Friday, November 29, 2013

Come back!

I'm not sure where I left you, so I'll just tell you about the last couple days. 

Wednesday my aunt invited me to Thanksgiving at her house.  She actually had 2 dinners.  I said yes, Ron said no, my uncle came and got me. 

Nice to go to their house WITHOUT having a massive crisis.  I had a great time, my aunt drove me home. 

We brought a plate for Ron.  He loved the "Funeral Potatoes", and has been talking about them all day.  I also got him some sausage balls, a staple from my childhood holiday dinners.  He loved them. We had a lovely chocolate chip pound cake for dessert. 

Today - well, I knew today would be busy.  Up at 3.  Didn't do my God time (got it later).  Off to work.  Stock and inventory.  Did that.  I had a box of decorations and put them up on the vending machines.  Merry Christmas!  Went home (don't know why), got to watch an episode of Supernatural (I like it).  Then off to the wholesale warehouse, where I bought about 150 chips, 30 candy bars, and a couple cases of soda (soda has been popular, and it has a great profit margin).  We went back to work. 
 
Now, when I have inventory, I have to leave Ron with the stuff, go into the building, get the cart and wheelchair, and then come back to Ron.  Ron gets in the wheelchair and I load everything on the cart.  Then Ron hangs onto the cart while I take him to our area (about a half mile!).  I set Ron up with the drinks (he can do sodas blindfolded - ha ha), while I did the snacks. 

The trick with snacks, is to make it look full, even if it isn't.  Happily I had more inventory than that.  I made it all look GREAT.  Thank you, God for giving me the ability. 

When I was happy, I closed the machines.  Ron needed more drinks.  I got them.  He stocked them.  Time to go.  I put up the cart and wheelchair. 

On our way out, we had a horrifying experience - as we came out I saw the vehicle leaving!  No!  Come back!   Happily, she did. 

We had some nice straight trips today.  I really enjoyed it and never take it for granted. 

Still depressed, more of an irritable depression.  I found Ron pretty annoying today, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't him. 

When we got home I ate, took my meds (I have to take them after work because I get pretty groggy), and took a nap.  I woke up from a very aggravating nightmare RIGHT before the kid next door kicked his soccer ball into the side of my house and yelled "Score!" (I think he set it up to ricochet off the side of my house, into the "goal").   Happily, he only did it once, but I wasn't getting back to sleep after that. 

I found a plumply adorable Torbie sleeping with me.  I didn't even recall her coming to bed. 

I got up, did my God Time, and then turned on the computer.  I won't be writing anything in Broken tonight but that's OK.  I need to figure where Jenny goes from here.  I have a couple of "forks" I can choose. 

One thing I find sad, everyone wants to know if I have X rated scenes.  Uh.  No.  I have no idea who might read it, young kids, older ladies, my Dad (Dad is not into my blogs, though).  Ew.  One of my brothers.  That would be revolting if they read a sex scene I wrote.  So I keep it PG. 

If I can't make it compelling without sex scenes, I'm not writing very well.  Yes, there will be "intimacy", but I will allude to it; not spell it out in graphic detail. 

Anyway, I can think about it while I'm trying to sleep tonight.  I have to get up at 5 to get more sodas to work and stock them. 

God bless us, every one.  Christmas is our "high season". 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bible Handout Update

"I'm so glad you're OK" Ron told me when I got back.
"I didn't even tell you about the guy who showed me his underwear.."
"Oh, that's normal for you!"

Yes, I am alarmed to admit I got to see a young man's Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer long underwear. He was quite proud of them. I was pretty freaked.

That, though, happened AFTER the Handout.

First thing, I missed the bus. The handcart made wierd noises all the way to the bus stop. I left it up to God, and got there just in time to see the bus whiz by.

Thanks a lot.

I remembered the Sandy Hook handout and set the cart up so people could read it from Antoine (the busy street). Sure enough, a car stopped and I gave away my first 4 Bibles. The bus came driver got a Bible, and a passenger. I got to De Soto and Antoine (it's a nice straight shot, about 8 miles south).

It was really slow at first. I don't know if it was the cold, the early hour (about 3:45), or what, but I was barely moving anything. Then I'd have huge gluts of 2-3 cars screaming for Bibles at the same time. I had one car with Texans flags in the windows. It was in the middle lane, not "my" left turn lane. He came back and got a couple.

The fake designer purse guy was still selling them in the Friendly Mart parking lot. He stared at me for a while, but got back to business. Not that he seemed to have any.

I wistfully thought about putting a Bible in each of the purses....

Today I had more people trying to give me money, for some reason. I declined as always. If I take money the police can shut me down.

I had several right hand lane cars wanting Bibles, at peril of life and limb I ran over there and distributed. I got stuck on the sidewalk every time.

One time, while I was stuck on the wrong side of the street, a guy doing lawn service came along and weedwhacked right by my Bibles, getting grass clippings all over the top layer. I was pretty annoyed, but I brushed them off. When he came back about 45 minutes later with the leaf blower, I put the sign over the top of the crate and gestured for him to proceed. He wasn't very cuddly, and certainly not interested in a Bible.

By the way, I wore my new long underwear and it was great. It was pretty chilly today with a wind. I didn't get overheated or cold, I was "just right".

I had a lot of families. Mom wants one, and one for each of the kids. In a few cases, Mom and her adult friend wanted Bibles; but there appeared to be a reading age child in the backseat. I'd offer one to the kid, and the Mom loved it.

I think my favorite was the pothead car. 3 young men in the car, clearly looking for trouble. The driver, barely 16, was smoking pot. He waved me off but his friend wanted one. I handed the friend 3 Bibles "In case he changes his mind".

Someone with very tinted windows honked pretty vigorously as they went by, and I waved.

An older white guy drove by, did a double-take, and waved. That was fun.

It got pretty slow again, and I had been asking God to let me know when it was time to leave. Daylight savings ended - it gets dark early. I didn't want to stay too late but I didn't want to miss anyone, either.

I decided I would leave when I got down to my last 30 Bibles (I brought 130), or at God's clear direction.

About that time, a carload of young men rolled up and stopped. I got out 4 Bibles (the car was full) but they were very jittery. The last time I saw that behavior I was violently mugged. My radar went up. The car turned a u-turn to the Friendly Mart and pulled up. I heard some pretty loud voices.

A woman pulled up, and wanted 4 Bibles for her kids. And, if I didn't mind, could she have one for herself? This is why I love my recipients. I set her up.

That got me down to my last 30 Bibles, AND those young men were getting louder. It was clear they were looking for trouble.

I really didn't want to present a fat, neon orange, target. I left and headed over to the bus stop, just missing it.

While waiting, I met the young man who showed me his long underwear as he told me how he'd prepared for the cold. He started to pull to show me his boxers, but saw a friend and went off. Only in my life.

The bus came right after that (gotta love those peak hours), and I went home.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Today

More chapters in Broken! 

I slept horribly last night.  I woke up at 3, thinking our pickup was due at 5.  Nope.  I got it wrong. 

Went to work, actually had some sales, praise God.  Ron is feeling a little better.  He's laughing at a comedian right now. 

Came home, got a nap, did some writing. Did up about 100 Bibles for a handout I'm planning Wednesday. 

That's about it for today. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pushed me away

It's vital for me to be honest here.  In so many places, I have to put on the brave face.  The one that has people going "You?  You get suicidal?" 

Yes, [expletive] I do.  I'm just good at fronting. 

Well, I'm not suicidal these days, but I do dream about another man.  I knew him in childhood.  He was a very kind and empathetic young man - amazing when you consider I was a crazy train at the time.  No, it was not John.  Someone I knew earlier. 

When I went to sleep last night, I wasn't even thinking about my marriage.  I was happy Torbie got into my bed.   I was thinking about Broken and how I will handle Jenny's other man. 

At any rate, I had a lovely simple dream.  We were hanging out and talking about his wife and kids.  [I found him online, and he's very happily married (as I'd hoped) with two great kids.]  We watched a movie and chatted a little, then I woke up. 

It makes me realize the things I do lack in my marriage.  Some of that due to Ron's head injury, I suppose.  I would rather credit some bad behavior to the head injury than not credit true damage.  I've had that myself; people demanding a standard I couldn't give.  I won't do that to Ron.  I will say every doctor's said he had a lot of profound damage. 

Other things are due to choices Ron has made.  I can only say he believes he "deserves" a "better standard". 

I said this about a week ago, I feel like God is showing me Ron can't be the husband I want, but God himself can provide my emotional needs.  I hope that's what God is trying to teach me; that's what I'm absorbing. 

Is this what I want?  No.  I want a vital marriage, one that is not based on need.  One where I'm not told, when he's angry, that he only married me for a caregiver and employee.  Is it true?  Probably to some degree.  Only God knows the answer to that. 

Is it going to hurt me, or my marriage, to put my eyes on God first?  No.  Everything I hear says just the opposite. 

I guess, and this is probably what Ron thinks too, I just wish I had more.  A more vital, positive marriage.  One free of the constant complaining about God's timing and "cruelty" in waiting on the rapture.  The tribulation's going to be cruel - God is going to get everyone out He can.  If you want to get raptured, get off your blind butt and work on sharing the gospel. 

I get tired of hearing "You have a beautiful spirit, but..."  Why do people always put the but after the compliment?  It totally destroys the compliment.  It feels like a participation ribbon - pretty, but meaningless.  The tail end of the remark is always cruel. 

I get tired of hearing him scoff if I talk about anything, including the blog, out of his interests.  I listen to him talking about all his science books and romance novels.  I act interested, even if I'm not or I don't understand, because it matters to him.   

Why can't he pretend some interest when I tell him blog statistics went up?  He has flatly refused to have anything to do with "Broken", when I'd love to bounce some ideas "offa" him. 

It's like he's starving me.  I don't feel he takes me for granted so much.  I never heard so many compliments as I did the day we got caught out in the rain, bringing sodas to work.  I just wish they weren't all "merit based" - that I could get appreciation and attention at home "just because". 

I wish he felt as though I were the most important person in his life; not because he needs me but because he wants me and loves to have me around.  Sometimes I envision a miracle healing for Ron; he is now "fine".   Would he still want to be married?  A lot of me doubts it. 

As it is, I go running to God.  Many, many, women, and even Christian women, end up running to another man.  Caregiving for a head injured spouse is very hard.  Living with bipolar, psychotic demons in my brain is very hard.  Living in this world is hard. 

I have to remind myself, he will answer to God.  It's my job to live my life in a way that will glorify Him.  So, I run to God; He's never pushed me away. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

All I want for Christmas

Bibles.  I'd love a case of Bibles to distribute. 

Oh, you want to get me something? 

I thought about it for a while tonight - all the Black Friday commercials had me thinking.  I only came up with a couple of items. 

1.  Long underwear (top and botton) in 2XL.  The cheap stuff would be great. 
2.  Wool socks for Ron (the thick, hiking kind).  He has big feet so something that fits a men's 10. One pair.  He'd also want Whisker Lickin's Crunch Lovers Tuna flavor cat treats for the girls. 

That's it.  We've got the basics, and that's all we need.  I don't need jewelry, or fancy soap.  I don't do needlework anymore and the garden is dormant.  My reading comprehension is not what it used to be.  I can barely make it though a manual. 

So, long underwear for me, and a pair of wool socks for Ron.  Cat treats for the girls. 

Don't get me perfume (too many headache issues), chocolate (same problem), or coffee (I seldom drink coffee).  I don't need an appliance or a sweater.  I have plenty of blankets and bedding.  Just the long underwear.

If you really wanted to go crazy, you could always throw in a 6-pack of Diet Dr Pepper bottles. 

Calling migraine

I have a horrible headache today.  I got my meds down; didn't vomit, and can use the computer, so I'm not calling "migraine". 

Good news: property tax has gone down by hundreds from last year.  Let's hear it for falling property values.  My house has lost about a third of the value.  Lower value - lower taxes. 

Bad news, the cost of my crazy meds went up, but not horribly - 12%.  Ron gave me $6 and I squealed "Subsidy!" and kissed him.  He also bought me a bag of french fries. 

It looks like I will be doing my handout on Wednesday.  Ron, as of this point, says he doesn't want to come with me.  That may or may not change.  I'm not going to whine or nag.  I can strap the Bibles on my hand cart and take the bus. 

My budget is pretty shot (paid for Doc and 3 months x 4 prescriptions), but I'm not complaining.  The cats are good.  I was able to buy them some more treats.  I also bought some cheap store brand food for the stray cats I see sometimes. 

They will eat the food (someone does) I put out, but I can't afford to share good stuff, or even average stuff.  I can afford the $3 for a bag of bargain generic brand.  When I put it out Baby Girl was gobbling it so it must taste pretty good for cats. 

I've seen a cute calico kitten, and an adolescent black cat.  I'm happy to feed both of them, especially in such miserable cold weather.   I figure someone is keeping them as "outside cats" but they may not realize animals need more food in cold weather. 

At any rate, it won't hurt our relationship for them to eat food out of a bowl that smells like my hands. 

I also have some ideas running around for "Broken".  Jenny has another neighbor.  They have a complicated relationship.  I haven't written it yet. 

It's funny how these characters come in and "jack" my story. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

"Someone will think I peed in your seat!"

I need a mother.  Someone to pick up after me, cook me nourishing meals, make sure I have clean socks, and most importantly, remind me to bring my rain gear. 

We had a simple day planned, go to the warehouse, get soda.  Go to work, stock soda.  Go home.  Maybe some other rides later. 

The weather guy had been talking about a cold front coming in, temperatures in the 50's.  Somehow the "strong winds" part didn't register.  The cold front would be preceeded by rain (customary).  The weather started out in the 70's this morning, so I brought my fleece jacket.  I figured that would be plenty.  I figured Ron, who had quoted the weather at me, would pick something appropriate. 

I wore a t-shirt with a fleece jacket and jeans.  Ron wore his twill pants with a sweatshirt. 

Our ride arrived, we ran out.  It began to rain.  We had two more pickups, the rain followed us.  We managed to get inside the warehouse club without getting too wet. 

I got our soda, and the sky opened up.  I don't get that kind of velocity in my shower.  Ron always carries a plastic bag, I borrowed it and wrapped up my cell phone. Ron wears a fanny pack so his stuff was OK. 

Our ride arrived, and I raced outside.  Huge, quarter sized drops splatted all around and on me.  I opened the door and stuck my head in "You stay inside.  I'm going to load up our stuff and then put Ron [in the vehicle].  You stay there!" 

I ran inside and got the cart.  Then I loaded the vehicle as the driver stayed dry (the drivers job is, duh, driving.  It's not their job to put up my merchandise.  That's why I get a free ride.). 

Then I got Ron, who had gotten a garbage bag and wore it like some kind of strange ghost.  He had it covering his head to his knees.  I got him loaded, but I was drenched.  I was completely soaked. 

I got in, apologizing.  "I'm sorry.  I'm soaked.  Someone will think I peed in your seat!"  The driver snickered.   It does happen. 

We got to work and I unloaded everything, then Ron.  I had to go through the rain to get the cart, then bring it out in the rain.  I had to load everything in the rain and then get Ron, and cart, into the building. 

We got rid of the garbage bag.  One of the Postal workers took a look at me, literally soaked and dripping  "Has it started raining yet?"  I laughed like a donkey.  "No, I don't think so."  He snickered and moved on. 

Working, saturated, wasn't so bad.  I dripped a lot, but I mopped it up.  I want to make life easier for every postal worker.  I didn't want to make a big cleanup for the custodian.  We got the machine stocked, snacks looked OK.  We need some bottled drinks.  Drip, drip. 

The cold front arrived.  I could literally see the windows fogging up, the wind blow.  I didn't stop to think what that meant for me, dripping wet. 

We finished what we came to do and left the building.  It was, I'd say, a relative temperature in the 30's.  I was soaking wet, in a wet fleece jacket and jeans, as the wind gusted, cutting through my clothes. 

I really could have used a "Mom" to remind me to bring a warm coat, poncho, snuggie, and some Hot Hands; but I didn't.  So I left all my lovely warm items at home and shivered. 

I have to wait where I can see the street, and the vehicle when it comes.  It is confusing and I always wave at them. 

It wouldn't have been so bad, only 20 minutes or so; but the driver was late.  Very late.  We waited an hour. 

The driver did turn up the heat when we boarded, and we chatted with another client we know.  When we got home Ron used the hair dryer to warm himself up.  I made myself some hot chocolate with hot milk and whipped cream, then I took a hot bath. 

What a day. 

However, I told Ron we clearly need to have a cold weather bag, with things like my extra snuggie (great for waiting at the bus stop), hot hands, hat, gloves, etc.  Because odds are, the next cold front day, I'll completely forget it all. 

However, a dedicated cold-bag is do able.  I hope. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Anyone's problem

Last night, I got a double bonus.  As you know, I'm battling depression.  Dire sales haven't helped. 

I've also had trouble dropping off to sleep.  For whatever reason, I am basically getting manic right before bedtime.  I'm not consuming caffeine.  I just lie in bed, tossing and turning, getting up to pee every 10 minutes (thank you lithium carbonate). 

Last night, I lay down.  All of a sudden I felt a flying, furry, rocket jump into my bed, meowing urgently.  She (Torbie) then lay on top of me, purring as I petted her with my free hand (not easy, I was lying on my side).   I woke up hours later, Torbie lying on her beloved wool blanket at my side.  I woke up hours after that, I had rolled over and thrown a (rather meaty, I'm afraid) leg over her.  I moved it quickly and she didn't even budge. 

I slept great. 

I got up, took my shower, and did my God Time.  Torbie sat with me while I did some of it, and got a treat or two.  Our ride was late but we made it to Doc's in time.  It's a long ride, I wasn't sure we'd make it. 

The copay (candy) was a big hit.  A woman called me back to the office.  Doc likes to see Ron so he tottered along with me. 

I sat down and gave her the basics of my condition: bipolar type one, rapid cycling, mixed, psychotic features.  We were just getting into medications when Doc showed up.  He grinned at her "You didn't believe me when I told you about her, did you?"  She nodded. 

"Most patients don't even know what they're taking, much less the doses!"  Well. 

It was nice to hear that I'm "cool" - the informed, medication-compliant, sober-living, "very stable" patient.  Apparently that's a BFD in the psychiatric community.  [shrug]  I just know me, what I do, and I don't want to be anyone's problem. 

My birth mother died, essentially homeless, on a motel floor with a 2 liter bottle of vodka on the nightstand.  I don't want to end that way. 

When I got home I posted some of this on my Facebook, and my friend the teaching psychologist said she uses me as a case study for a positive outcome with bipolar disorder. 

I thought that was completely awesome. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Without Him

At any given moment, I have a couple of triggers that really get me upset and anxious. 

1.  A Ron blackout.

2.  Neighbor kids screaming and kicking the ball into the side of my house.  Unfortunately about 8 feet of the side of my house is the property line.  I did write a letter to the father and he at least keeps the kids out of my yard now.  They would throw the ball into my yard, run around my house screaming, slam open the gate, run around in my yard screaming for a while making rude comments about us, then run out screaming.  I also had other kids (on the other side) looking in my windows so I try to tolerate the ball-kicking.  It never lasts more than an hour or so. 

3.  Loud music from neighbors.  It's not so much the music affecting me, but it affects Ron in a very negative fashion and there's a lot of very loud complaining on his part.  His attitude is worse, to me, than the music. 

4.  Cat bringing home a live rodent. 

So, out of all of that I only had to deal with #2, two days in a row.  That's now bad.  Praise God it does get dark early, and the kids are in a very-long-hours charter school.  They are gone about 10 and a half hours a day. 

When they do get home, though, they seem to be pretty wound up, hence the ball in the side of my house and the shouting at the top of their lungs.  I try to play music. 

I honestly have no idea why I find this so upsetting.  Maybe it's the ball thudding into my wall.  I sure couldn't hang any pictures on that wall in the bedroom!  Maybe it's the ball's thudding into my bedroom wall.  Maybe I just don't like screaming and irregular loud noises.  Maybe all of it.

All I read it's people talking about how they love the sound of children playing, and I just want to yell "Shut up!".  It makes me feel awful to share this. 

We went into work early and Ron was just picking at me all morning.  I did what he wanted, and he yelled at me for that.  I was pretty unhappy.  I told him "I did what you wanted, and you're yelling at me."  He said something about "Using my logic" and I reminded him that his logic is not my logic, I have a bonafide disability, and I'm going to go on the last thing he told me to do. 

He also made rude comments when I asked him for clarification.  "Make a list" he said.  "About what?" I asked.  He just scoffed at me and that is very hurtful.  I don't understand?  Why is that such a crime?  Why do I get derisive comments, scoffing, called names?   I tell him, I don't understand.

I'm asking for help.  Ron tells me "Oh, I'm just mad at God because you're disabled so it comes out that way."  So, I ask, you victimize me twice?  "Oh, sorry about that."  Yeah, so am I! 

I couldn't help but think, I bet there is at least one really nice guy out there who would be happy to clarify everything I asked.  Who would never, ever, mock me when I asked for more information. 

And that, friends, is a very dangerous place to be.  The devil hates marriage - every single one.  He would love to destroy every marriage, including mine.  He would love to send the "perfect" guy my way. 

So I end up having to guard my heart twice over, once from Ron, once from possible other guys.  Ron, finally realizing I was deeply hurt, said I needed to "get over it and forgive" him.   "That's going to take a while" I told him.  "I don't have a lot of buttons but one of them is getting yelled at when I ask for help."  I wanted to add, I never yell at you when you ask me for help.  I just do it. 

Then he said "Well, if I hurt you I'm sorry but you need to get over it."  Then a lot of rude comments about my illness, medication, etc.  Maybe I was just "mental" today.  He was going to "tell" my doctor. 

I really wanted to slap my head.  Go ahead.  Tell my doctor I am depressed!  I am going to tell him anyway!   I asked if he knew my mood right now.  He said angry.  I said, no I am sad.  I am already battling depression, you're not supportive, and attacking me when I ask for help.  Oh, he said, that's God's fault.  He made you broken.  It's his fault you're unhappy.  Why do you keep defending Him? 

I felt like I could make the same statement about Ron.  I just ignored him and worked on what we needed to do. 

I still felt hurt.  Still do, some.  God is my rock.  I will do whatever He tells me to do, and that means forgiving Ron. 

I will also be adjusting my expectations.  I used to think a husband would provide most of my emotional needs.  He would support me when I was down, rejoice when I'm up, embark with me on exciting-carefully-medicated-adventures, protect me from painful things (including his own judgement).  He'd be my companion, my lover, my friend. 

Instead, I have a boss (at work) a patient, and an occasional companion.  Not what I expected.  If I didn't know God Ron would have been gone a while back.

As it is, I feel like God's my husband.  He provides for my emotional needs, has never attacked me, has my best interests at heart every second, says what he means.  He created me for a purpose.  His word is faithful.  He even died for me. 

Years ago I confronted Ron about the verbal abuse and told him it had to stop, or I'd leave.  He was utterly shocked.  He couldn't believe I didn't feel loved, because he paid the bills, didn't he?  He kept asking me that. 

AGH. 

Not only that, but sales are truly terrible.  We have ongoing issues with a couple of vending machines.  They won't take money, or steal the money.  People just aren't buying; our new area is small, cramped, and loud.  We don't have a stockroom.  The repairman wants $80 for a repair that didn't work.  We need a new coin mech. 

I worry about my shoulder, pulling Ron behind the cart.  I pull the cart behind me, he's behind the cart, hanging onto a rope we tied to the back of the cart.  That cannot be ergonomically sound.  Lots of worries. 

My Dad is having medical testing because he has possible additional heart issues and may require a pacemaker.  I am a Daddy's girl. 

I took 2 naps today.  I needed both.  I ate spaghetti rings out of a can for lunch and used that to take my pills. 

I wonder if I will sleep tonight, or if I'll be up for hours once I lie down.  I have for the last week or so. 

And Ron wonders why I'm stressed!  I tried to tell him the last and he said "When do you ever sleep well?" 

Thank you for your support. 

Worst of all, I'm really thinking about those antianxiety things, and the sleeping pills, prescribed "by accident" last visit.  Wondering if I'd be so quick to send them back this time. 

DANGER.   

That's a bad place, and that's when I go dig into my Bibles like a tick, and spend extra time praying.  Because God knows I can't do any of it without Him. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Worth it

I'm not easily shocked, but I always drop my jaw when I hear Christians deriding evangelism.  Jesus made it pretty clear, that's our primary mission. 
 
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
 
I'm not necessarily talking about what I do: I feel I do what God has called me to do.  I answer to God and go as directed.  I care about pleasing God. 
 
I honestly don't want recognition or praise.  I might get a grin and a thumbs up for every 10 frowns or "ignoring you"s.  Every 30 drive-by's, and a half dozen "OH, God!  She's coming over to the car!  Floor it!"  I've even seen people make illegal turns on a red light to get away from me.  I just walk around with a sign!  If you want Bibles I'll give them but I don't bite! 
 
I'm not in it for human praise, and that's a good thing.  I don't really get it.  I don't want it.  I worry about pride and ego.  If I get proud, I'm useless and God has to find someone else to do "my" job. 
 
I do want to be used by God, however that may play out.  Cleaning toilets, moving heavy boxes, or standing on the corner with the free Bibles sign.  After all,
 
Romans 10:14-16
New King James Version (NKJV)
 
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
 
 
So, I know I'm doing what I'm called to do, and I'm happy to do it.  Ron quotes a gospel rapper and says I "Minister to the sinister". 
 
Today I was discussing "The Knockout Game" with another person online.  He had a lot to say about ignorant black youth.  I said, hey, that's my demographic.  Let's go to the ghetto and knock them out with God's love. 
 
He didn't agree, and I was frankly shocked at one statement.  I'm not repeating it.  I just told him he'd have to answer to God. 
 
Why would anyone resist God calling them to reach out to the unreached?  They're going to hell!  What better "revenge" on the Devil, who drives all the "ugly" in the world, than to snatch his servants from hellfire and send them to Heaven, instead! 
 
I have already talked a lot about various offenses I have "suffered" from ignorant black youth, I won't repeat them.  Suffice to say: mulitiple robberies.  Physical violence.  The devil wants me to hate my recipients, and uses whatever he can to make me hate them. 
 
But Jesus said: 
 
Matthew 5:44-45
New King James Version (NKJV)
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,  45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

I'm commanded to forgive them, and I have.  I really only have one person I haven't forgiven, and I'm working on it.  It's a white man, the police officer who blamed me for Ron's accident, and robbed him as he lay there dead in the road, then wrote up a false report.  I'm working on it. 

Everyone who's harmed me, or upset me even, gets prayed for every day.  I'm commanded to do that.  I aim to please God - that is my #1 goal these days.  I am sure I have lost readers over this.  That's OK.  Jesus is worth it. 

That's why I can't see why anyone would choose to disobey Him.  Preach the Gospel!  Pray for those who hurt you! 

It's worth it, at the end. 
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Beat

"I need your keys" I told Ron. 

"Why?"

"I need to remove this lock, and I need something to push the button down."  Ron handed over the keys, and I used one hand to depress the lock button as I twisted my vending key with the other hand.  Pop!  One vending lock in my hand. 

One very greasy lock, but hey, I don't mind getting my hands dirty. 

That was probably the high point of work; that, and stocking the snack machine.  The rest of it was an exciting challenge in faith.  Only God can help us make a profit.  Coin jammed mechanisms.  Bill acceptors not accepting.  The unspeakably frustrating coin mechanism on the bottled vendor. 

"Ron" I finally told him "What I'd do?  I'd take out all the soda and just sell $1 drinks only, cover up the coin slot and make it Bills Only, Coins Will Jam.  That worked before... but I'm not ripping people off!"  Ron agreed, which was great, but it necessitated unloading dozens of cold soda bottles.  Then finding the sodas a home - somewhere. 

I got up at 3, did my God Time later.  I didn't sleep well. 

Kind of a long story there: I have been medicating the cats with the flea drops every first of the month.  November 1, Ron suggested I "Wait, because they hate it and it's cold."  The cats have been itching some as a result. 

I'm pretty sure the invisible bugs in my bed were just a hallucination, but in case they weren't I did medicate the girls.  However, the hallucinations kept waking me up all night.  I plan to ask  Doc if I can take an extra Haldol at a time like that. 

We were ready when our ride came at 5 and we had a straight ride to work.  We did the usual inventory-stock-troubleshoot.  At one point I had to use the toilet. 

The custodians were cleaning the bathroom nearest our area, so I went up the hall.  I ended up stuck on a maniacal megaflush toilet.  The toilets have auto-flushers.  This one kept going off every 30 seconds.  WHOOSH.  WHOOSH.  It was a little awkward!  I finally got out of there and back to Ron. 

About that time, we had to leave.  We needed to go to the warehouse to get various supplies.  We did that, then we came back to stock.  We stocked, troubleshoot-cursing. 

The bottled vendor, at least will not be ripping anyone off.  I made a sign and taped it over the coin slot.  If they take the "Bills only, coins will jam!" sign off and put money in, well, that's on them.  I did what I could. 

Finally, done for the day.  9 hours.  We had to watch the construction demolishing all the trees in our area.  Last week they cleared 4 acres.  Now they are clearing the trees in front of the building.  It's awful to watch. 

I love trees (except mulberry trees, which would take over my yard if I'd let them), and hate to see them killed.  The saddest part was watching the branches and stumps put in the chipper.  When we left, they had 3 huge mulch mountains of wood chips.  The air reeked of pine oil, so strong it almost had a licorice note. 

I tried to breathe deep, the last I'd experience of the trees.  I think pine oil is considered antidepressant, and I can use the help. 

"It's ironic" I told Ron "Because I'm sure they have a big landscape budget.  When they're done, they'll plant more trees.  But they could have just left these!"  Our ride finally came and we went home. 

Yay.  Another straight trip, praise God.  I was hungry.  I was tired.  I needed my meds (I am taking mood stabilizers at dinner now because I get too groggy in the morning). 

I settled for a nap, a good nap.  I got up, did my God Time, and ate.  Took my pills, did up my pills.  Torbie had fun "helping".  Computer time and then bed soon. 

Whew.  I am beat. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

DUI

I sat in the plastic chair, at the potluck, watching my plate jiggle up and down as my left hand shook.  I had to hold the plate in one hand and eat with the other, but the bouncing due to tremors made that a little challenging. 

My hands are worse than my Dad (more on him in a minute).  My 72 year old Dad.  It was depressing to watch, but a necessary side effect of my lithium. 

Even more depressing to take out my pill pouch (I do like those) and look at the 5 mood stabilizers, one antipsychotic on the menu.  I showed them to Ron.  "I have to take all this plus another just to be human every day."  He mumbled something around his taco. 

I took a deep breath, sighed, and went in search of sweet tea.  I threw the meds in my mouth, took a big chug of tea, and down the hatch. 

It was interesting, though.  Yesterday I took my pills late, around dinner.  I can get a little impaired and didn't want to be "driving" Ron's wheelchair "under the influence.".  I waited on the medication until we got home, which ended up being unpleasantly close to bedtime. 

For whatever reason, if I take the mood stabilizers and antipsychotic around lunch (usual), I can have an awesome, solid, nap.  If I take them near bedtime I toss and turn for a couple of hours, then I have nightmares. 

So, I woke up not feeling very well, mild headache.  We didn't have a good ride to church.  One woman wore so much perfume I could taste it.  However, I always keep a couple excedrin and a phenergan in my Bible bag.  I use a pill pouch.  Like I said, they're good. 

I can get 50 of them at the Dollar store. 

I take all the mood stabilizers at lunch now; I just get too impaired.  I have no problem taking them when I'm off the clock.    I will mention this to Doc (I see him soon). 

In the morning, I just take the antidepressant and a few vitamins.  I know my diet is inadequate so I need the vitamins. 

Yes, I am a hypocrite.  I could just eat real food. 

So, I took the meds at the picnic, around 2 PM.  No impairment.  No groggy.  So, I just have to sleep 5 hours the night before I take my meds, and I won't be groggy? 

No wonder I get depressed. 

Ron was pretty cranky today, but he has to answer to God on that. 

The cats are good.  Torbie slept with me last night (took up half the bed!).  She's a comfort.  Baby Girl is acting kind of manic.  I think it's the nice weather in Houston - we had a high in the 80's. 

Tomorrow we will try to access the imprisoned vending machines.  We also need to empty the change bank on the broken vending machine, going back to Austin.  I will be sad to see it go, but the movers broke it.  I need to do an inventory and see what we can sell.  Stock what I have; get more inventory (I know I need candy bars), try to fix a bad bill validator. 

You can see why I need my wits. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nice things about my house

I'm going to share a little of my house with you. 

My bathroom is about 40 square feet.  It has a garden tub (3 feet by 5), toilet, sink.  It has an undercabinet sink in a medium tone pressed wood veneer.  The bathtub enclosure is lovely. 

When my friend asked what I'd like to see in the bathroom, I told him I wanted something neutral.  I put it all in his capable hands.  I wanted him to enjoy the project and anything would have been better than the falling tiles and rotted drywall. 

He outdid himself, my white fiberglass garden tub (about the only thing we kept, other than the window), is complemented by vertical subway style tiles in a light beige with darker tan grout.  It has a lovely stone tile mosaic border about 3 feet up from the tub line, and a reclaimed marble windowsill (he found a salvage yard and had it cut to fit). 

The walls are blue, but when I get around to painting I will do a light beige to match the tiles, with white trim.  I prefer neutrals in the public areas. 

My kitchen is a little bigger, about 60 square feet.  It has fake pressed wood veneer cabinets and a wood-tone countertop.  I think it's a laminate.  I do know someone used it as a cutting board, exposing a hard plasticy surface underneath.  It has a very basic stainless sink under a lovely window looking out at my tree.  I desperately need a new kitchen faucet.  The fridge and stove are white, the dishwasher black.  Interestingly enough they're all GE appliances.  No complaints - I'd buy more. 

I find it funny when I see those shows, featuring stainless appliances.  That's the last thing I want.  I have worked various foodservice jobs for over 14 years, I'd hate commercial-looking appliances.  I'd feel like I had to clock in everytime I went in the kitchen! 

If I could pick any color appliances, I'd probably choose black, but the ones I got with the house work fine, praise God. 

They don't "match" and I have never cared about that.  I cared more about the view.  The cabinets may be cheap, but they hold my food and dishes.  If I could pick a new cabinet I might get hickory.  I like the irregularities.   Countertops? 

No idea.  I don't think I'd get a stone, some kind of composite, a neutral.  Something I could buff out if needed.  Something that would go with the hickory, my cream colored tiles, and the cafe au lait grout.  Maybe coffee? 

I'm not a designer.  I'd love to get Aimee from Flipping Vegas, though. 

I have lots of natural light, 10 windows in the house.  Lots of green things growing outside all year round.  I love that. 

I love my bedroom, and the fact I took the doors off the closet.  It's so easy to hang my clothes (I hand everything except underwear).  I love my washer and dryer in their little laundry room right down the hall (I like that it's in the house). 

The bedroom is a deep curry yellow, very soothing to me.  I have those long plastic blinds that hang down to the floor.  They're fine.  The windows all have plain white blinds - very workable and practical.  I don't really invest in window treatments. 

For one, Baby Girl ripped up a curtain, going after a lizard.  I was glad it was a cheap came-with-the-house curtain or I'd have been very upset.  I do have long turquoise lace curtains I bought from Ikea, in the front room.  I find turquoise to be a soothing color as well. 

I also try to make sure the house isn't too girly.  I don't want Ron to live in fairyland with the little pink ruffles. 

The front room has some icky wallpaper border in hunter green, burgundy, and navy.  I hate it, but I'm scared of heights.  I would have to get someone to take it down.  I think it would be cool to put some fake crown molding up there when the border came down (assuming I had the money).   Either that or a tropical beach border to go with the turquoise. 

The walls, except for the bedroom and bathroom, are a light beige texture.  They applied the texture to "hide the imperfections in the drywall".  They did a bad job with the drywall mudding and taping.  The house flooded back in 2001, during Allison.  The storm didn't cause the damage; it was the police in their airboat!  The wake caused flooding in the house, which required the removal and replacement of all floor level drywall. 

The homeowner didn't have flood insurance.  It is unclear but it might have been a HUD house.  At any rate she sold it to a man who owned it for several months.  Then he sold it to Alfonso, who attempted to make a big flip.  He lost money. 

When I look at the drywall, I'm glad he did.  Someone did such a bad job most people would replace it.  It's not that disturbing to us; but it does indicate a sloppy work ethic. 

Sometimes I like to think what the guys on the flipping shows would have said to "my" guys.  It would start, and end, with a lot of yelling. 

But it's my house, and I love it. 

A crack pipe, a creep, and a very dead pit bull

"I get it now" Ron told me as I pushed him down the street in our subdivision "I see why you don't want to go out by yourself on the bus anymore." 

"Yeah" I agreed.  "Especially on a weekend afternoon!" 

Our weekend got off to a pretty good start.  The people in #19 like to play loud Spanish music, but it wasn't as loud as it could have been.  It's just tiresome to hear the bass line for hours every weekend night, and one reason we bought a home.  The noisy people are renting, several adults to a 4 bedroom house. 

I blame the landlord.  I wish landlords had to live next to the houses they rent out.  I bet they'd be a lot pickier. 

Anyway, I got to sleep around 10 (later than I like, but I got to sleep).  I had creepy depression nightmares but a decent quality of sleep.  I woke up around 7 with a pretty bad headache.  I took some Excedrin and tried to sleep. 

I couldn't, of course, due to the caffeine.  But, while lying in bed, I realized I had forgotten to buy anything for the potluck tomorrow, after church.  I got up, took my shower, and did my God Time.  Ron was sleeping.  I watched a house flipper show.

Ron finally woke up and we talked about getting something for church tomorrow.  "I'd rather leave now" I told Ron "If you're not coming.  I don't like to go out on weekend afternoons since my  mugging "

He agreed and we left the house around noon.  As we approached the subdivision bus stop, I found a glass item.   One end was a bubble, about 3/4 inch in diameter, carbonized on the bottom.  A glass tube extended a few inches from the "bubble". 

I've seen loads of these in the day, usually broken.  It's a crack pipe!  Right outside my subdivision!  I figure the passenger found it in the car and threw it out the window, onto the grass, in anger.  Or, even better, someone had a real and powerful encounter with Jesus, and threw away the pipe on their own. 

I also saw a huge, dead pit bull (mix?) behind the bus stop.  It was very stiff.  Thank God it had no odor.  Ron called around and left a few messages.  The dog must have run out into the street and been hit, then crawled behind the subdivision sign to die.  Either that or someone moved it. 

Howver, the dog, very large and tan, looked to weigh at least 50 pounds.  I am not a fan of dogs.  I like cats.  I've met some aggressive dogs; I prefer to avoid them. 

Oh, that would have been horrible if the dog had been injured and aggresive, with Ron in the wheelchair... yike. 

So, we made our transfers and had a pretty good ride to Sam's Club.  We rode all over, but they were out of potato salad.  OK.  We decided to get a combo pack of one ounce chips, like we sell at work, instead. 

I did wonder if we'd have problems with people bothering us for chips.  Looking back, if I did this again I'd have put the chip box in a trash bag.  Instead, Ron held it in his lap. 

I went over to Academy sports because I need a new hat.  I found one I like, plain, thick, stretchy, and cheap.  It was only $3 but is nice and thick.  If I were giving a hat to someone in need, I'd pick one of these. 

I wanted to get a hot chocolate at Starbucks, but Ron was pretty done for the day.  I got him to the bus stop, just in time to catch the bus. 

I wish we'd missed it. 

One guy on the bus took one look at the box of chips and started making comments about eating them, in a way that indicated he expected Ron to "share".  The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful.  We got off and went around the corner to the "home" bus. 

Ron sat in his wheelchair next to the bus stop, while I sat on the concrete bus bench.  An obese young man came over and started talking to Ron.  Ron and I have code words.  I indicated to Ron this guy was a possible problem.  He waved me off right as the guy started aggressively asking for chips. 

Ron told him no repeatedly.  I told him no repeatedly.  He kept asking.  "I'm hungry, why won't you help me?  I'll pay you!"  {If he could pay for chips, he would have bought them from the drugstore across the street}

The guy could see, walk, use both arms and legs.  I wanted to ask why he didn't go earn the money to pay for it like we did.  I also figured a guy his size could stand to skip a meal.   I kept saying "No" and "Leave us alone." 

It culminated in the guy standing in front of me as I sat on the bench, lighting a cigarette, and putting it 2 inches from my face.  I got up and stood behind Ron.  The guy sat on the bench where I'd been, trying to hustle Ron, and then slid over and demanded I sit next to him. 

I said "NO".  Ron thinks I was a little hostile, but he used to work in San Francisco.  It's been my experience that, if you're dumb enough to engage a panhandler, the only things you should say are "No" and "Leave me alone." 

The guy got mad because I wouldn't sit next to him, but I ignored him and stared a hole in the drugstore across the street.  I didn't want the guy to think he could dominate me.  The bus came, and unfortunately the guy got on.  He found some guy in the back and started raving about racists. 

The funny thing: I really doubt he would have done all this if I were black.  I would have told him to leave me alone, and he would have done it.  But when I say no I'm a racist, and I don't mean it. 

I stood up by the driver as the guy raved in the back (I felt sorry for his victim) and quietly confided the problem to the driver.  "He was very aggressive bothering us at the bus stop.  I don't want him getting off at our stop and finding out where we live."  He said he would take care of it, and he did. 

If he had followed us, I would have gone to the park and called the police.  I think he was too busy raving at his new victim. 

It dawned on me the guy was manic.  Unmedicated bipolar. 

Ron was pretty upset and lectured me about "Coming on Mama Bear" and "He could have hurt you".  I wanted to bonk him and say "You're the one who made conversation with him and started the whole mess!" 

I didn't.  That's when he made the comment about me staying home. 

Yup.  Never ride the bus on a weekend afternoon. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Faith leap paycheck

Today was pretty insane. 

We got to work early.  Praise God we did. 

I pushed Ron all the way down the hall (half a mile) to our area.  We discovered 3 vending machines were down.  One is not accepting bills.  Two had coin jams. 

Ron and I got the soda machine coin jam, fixed.  The second one was more difficult.  I disassembled the mechanism and tried to remount it.  Couldn't.  Handed it over to Ron.  He couldn't get it either.  We ended up making a frantic phone call and getting some help on it. 

But I felt pretty guilty, standing there with the stupid thing in my hand, refusing to mount, or slide back.  Our guy got it in 30 seconds.  On that thing, we need a new coin mech anyway, so we got a quote on that for the State. 

I worked on the "not taking bills" machine but didn't have as much time as I'd have liked.  I'm not sure if I did get it.  Worst case it has a sister machine right next to it. 

Someone left an out of code pastry lying on a table.  Was it ours?  I don't know.  I will have to pay refunds on Monday. 

I tried to get at "The threes" (every machine is named; snack 3 and soda 3 are in the new locker room).  It was locked!  It has a big construction KEEP OUT sign. 

How am I supposed to get the money if I can't get to my machine?  Agh. 

So, with all that I really doubted I would get paid.  But I did.  Thank you God for that.  I have to buy medication and pay my doctor. 

Thank you, God.  My life is a little more adventurous than if I just pulled a check every 2 weeks. 

I ran up and down that half mile hallway, several times.  My pants are getting loose, I see why.  It's sure not my eating. 

Work ended with simultaneous demands: Ron's phone rang with Metrolift outside and leaving in 5 minutes.  The othe vendor's guy (the one who fixed my label gun) asked if he could borrow said gun.  I had to get it out of my hidey hole and show him where to put it when he's done. 

Then I bolted, pushing Ron in his wheelchair. 

Whew. 

After that, Walmart-during-the-holidays was nothing. 

Every Bible

Now and then I am just blown away with what God has done for us.  Not only did He restore Ron after the accident (He's the man I love, and he can do pretty well for himself), He actually used to accident as a springboard for huge evangelism. 

"Every Bible I hand out" I wrote on Facebook "Goes back to Ron lying dead in the road, next to a totalled out pickup truck." 

God brought him back to me, a better man in many ways.  Those who didn't like the Ron of a few years ago would have really loathed pre-accident Ron - the guy Ron calls Ron 1.0.   He detests the man he was and aims to please God. 

He has doubts.  He gets tired.  He gets frustrated.  Ron knows Heaven is so much better than this (he got a peek).  He gets tired of politics, drama, and sorrow.  He hates to worry about money, and he hates watching me battle my illness. 

But he's Ron, only better. 

I don't have permission to talk about who he was, and I probably wouldn't anyway.  I can speak in general terms: He didn't value me much, or respect our relationship.  He usually felt he could "do a lot better" than me if he just looked around.  And he did. 

That all changed on January 7, 2003. 

While God was working on comatose Ron (God made a good point to me one day - Ron had suffered so much trauma he needed time to heal, or he'd be screaming in agony.  I didn't want Ron to suffer so I accepted the coma as best I could.), God was also working on me. 

Waiting in Shock Trauma ICU was some of the worst pain of my life, yet I knew God was holding my hand through it all.  God provided for my needs in amazing ways.  Someone would mail a check, or pass the hat at work (one reason I am fiercely loyal to "MY" Postal Workers), and hand me the money just when I faced eviction, utility shut off, etc.  I never worried about a meal.  Someone would come by and buy me a meal, bring me snacks. 

One day my father in law brought me a few handfuls of change, folded up in a piece of foil.  I treasured the coins. 

I learned to rely more on God, and I learned to rely on others.  The second lesson was a lot harder for me, I'm a very proud person.  I am determined to prove "I can". 

So, I swallowed my pride and watched God work.  As I read my Bible, seeking God's comfort, I realized all the other families in the ICU waiting room needed the same comfort. 

I had extra Bibles at home.  During one mania I'd bought several, cheap Bibles.  I brought them in, sneaking in during the "lunch period" when the room was supposed to be vacant.  I laid them on various side tables and scurried out like a rodent. 

I went to lunch, when I came back every family had a Bible.  Not only that, every family devoured a Bible. 

As time passed God showed me everyone suffered.  I was good at hiding it, so were they.  But they needed Jesus just as much as the ICU waiting room families.  I started handing out Bibles.  My Bibles. 

Then I got smart and started buying Bibles just to give away.  Happily, some of this intersected with a major Bible publisher's giveaway drive.  They offered very affordable whole Bibles (not anymore!) and I bought hundreds. 

One day God put it in my head to go stand on the corner with a Free Bibles sign.  I did it.  I saw how He could use me, if I let Him. 

Today I got 4 cases of Bibles.  A sponsor bought them.  You can bet I'll be praying on how to use them. 

It's about making God happy, at the end of the day. 

I never forget: every Bible I hand out goes back to Ron, lying dead in the road, next to a totalled out pickup truck. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Another leap of faith

At some point in the future, Ron and I will take the money out of the vending machines, count it, and determine how much I get paid. 

Ron pays for everything except groceries and my medical stuff. 

Next week, I see my doctor.  $50.  I also get my prescriptions.  About $100.  I have no idea if we've made enough to cover that, much less other things. 

However, God always has a way of making things work.  It will be interesting to see it in action. 

I'm lazy.  I'd rather just know I had it but that's dreaming. 

Soon: another leap of faith! 

Ignorance

I have severe mental illness.  Do you know what bothers me the most about "civilians"?   Ignorance.  Ignorant people telling me what to do, what to take, and demanding I throw away my medication. 

I had another run in lately.  I'm not going to share her viewpoint other than it is criminal.  She apparently had a run in with tranqulizers, and now believes that every psychiatric medication is pernicious and addictive. 

I was praying over my computer over how to respond, and God showed me: she has no concept of the various categories of psychiatric medication.  She thinks every drug is the same. 

So, I was led to ask her some questions, which I will answer myself. 

What is a mood stabilizer? 
It's what makes my cat get into my lap.  It balances out the highs and lows of my illness (during one mania, I did not sleep for 3 weeks), and makes life more livable. 

Is a mood stabilizer addictive?
No.  It either works or it doesn't, and it's only used for people with bipolar disorder.  Some of the drugs have "off label" uses but your doctor can determine that. 

How is a mood stabilizer taken?
My primary mood stabilizer can only be taken by mouth, in a tablet or capsule form.  I am tested periodically to make sure I have the right levels of medication in my blood stream. 

What are the side effects?
For me, mainly fatigue, brain fog, bad spelling, I would not be able to drive.  I also have dry mouth, hand tremors, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, etc. 

What is an antipsychotic?
I  hallucinate - experience things that aren't there.  My skin crawls with invisible bugs.  I smell strange things, and most usually, I hear music that does not exist.  I also get paranoid and have Bad Thoughts.  The antipsychotic takes that away.

Are antipsychotics addictive?
No.  In fact, many times people stop taking them because they hate the side effects.  In my case that is more fatigue and brain fog. 

How are antipsychotics taken
Many people get them as a monthly shot.  I take a tablet every day. 

What is an antidepressant?
Depression takes away a person's joy in life and ability to do the everyday tasks like work and housecleaning.  The right antidepressant helps give that back.  It won't make you "better", usually, I have always had ongoing issues, but it turns the volume down on the depression (which was suicidal before medication). 

Are antidepressants addictive
No, but if you stop taking certain ones without talking to your doctor, you will have some unpleasant symptoms. 

How are antidepressants taken?
Almost always, by mouth, a tablet or capsule. 

What are the side effects of an antidepressant? 
They usually cause things like headache, dry mouth, fatigue.  My medication causes headaches and a pretty nasty dry mouth, along with fatigue.  However, it's a lot better than being suicidal. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nice People Go to Hell Video Blog

I also read Ron's favorite tract aloud.

Weird

Sometimes I just want to unload, but then I have to think about "my witness". 

Am I showing the love of Christ?  Acting in a way that makes Him happy?  Showing respect to those He created? 

We're not hiring.  However, if we were we would need certain abilities:
  • Able to drive
  • Owns reliable vehicle
  • Able to do heavy lifting
  • Able to walk long distances unassisted.
  • Able to push Ron in wheelchair as needed
  • Able to pull fully loaded hand cart. 
  • Complete and utter honesty
  • Able to turn off cell phone while working. 
  • Able to climb under or behind vending machines as needed
These are just the "off to top of my head" requirements.  I'm sure we have more. 

That's why I find it frustrating when we meet a person with a disability, or someone who interacts with them (a driver) and they assume "Oh, you are blind.  So am I.  You'll hire me."  One driver actually told another client, a very immature young woman, "Oh, these are the people I told you about.  Ron will give you a job."  No, we said, and they were both shocked. 

Sorry.  The old boys club doesn't work at my house.  If we are hiring, we're going to get a sighted person.  One who can drive.  One who can turn off that cell phone and leave the drama at home.  Not someone who, upon being introduced to a possible employer, talks about how "My last employer sold the business, and the new people just kept who they wanted." 

Someone with persecution issues will probably make a terrible employee.  Not to mention, I assure you he would not have been able to do those job duties. 

Today we met a disabled couple at Walmart.  I'm not going to share the disability.  Suffice to say, when they heard about our business, they assumed Ron would hire the husband, who was so unfairly persecuted when the former owner sold the business.  That's a huge red flag right there. 

They also just assumed Ron would want a disabled person - our line of work requires the ability to use your eyes, both arms, and legs.  The ability to drive.  They did not have that. 

I would have no problem hiring a deaf person and I think they'd do a great job.  I'm not against all disabilities.  We just need someone who'd be useful.

Ron told them he wasn't hiring, business was bad.  They left it alone but I could tell they had "noted" us as possible contact.  We are not a tool to put in your phone book and pester for a job, now and then. 

I think I will tell Ron to say "We need someone who can drive".  That would have ended it.   I will suggest that when he wakes up. 

So, later on, the wife told me they were on section 8 housing and whined about not liking the apartment.  She asked me where we lived, I said a couple miles from here.  She asked if it was an apartment and I said, no, it's a house. 

She asked me what program we used.  I said, we didn't.  We cleaned up our credit and we had a down payment.  Oh, she said.  She wanted a house.  Who could she contact to get a house (through some special program)?  I told her I had no idea and she finally left me alone. 

If you are very low income and both you and your husband unemployed, I assure you no one will give you a house.  Maybe Habitat for Humanity.  But it's no one's job to give you a house because you don't like your free apartment. 

I was getting really sick of the conversation by now.  It was just a constant stream of gimmie, gimmie, gimmie. 

Ron and I work hard to earn what we have.  We live off one disability check and the profits from our business.  We take care of each other and find the idea of "begging" abhorrent. 

I guess we're weird. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Not so angry dead

You've all seen the movie.  A living person tangles with the dead.  The dead hate the living and try to kill them. 

Not quite.  "It is appointed for man to die once, then the judgement".  I actually got in trouble on a message board for sharing that my husband had a near death experience.  I have confirmation from a police officer on the scene, and the Lifeflight hospital bill ("resuscitation") that Ron was, in fact dead. 

The moderators of the message board told me if Ron had died he would have stayed dead, all other evidence to the contrary.  I felt an overwhelming urge to clunk my head into a wall. 

Clearly, Ron died.  The police officer just a few weeks ago telling me "He was dead in the road!".  Clearly, Ron came back, which does happen with pretty good frequency from what I understand.  I have met other paratransit passengers who say they died and came back. 

I believe, though, outside of "Time to go back because it's not your time to die", we don't have any interaction with those who have died. 

Mediums interact with familiar spirits, who as the article states, work for the devil.  You want to stay away from them.  They may appear to know personal details but demons are very observant.  It's their job to gather as much information as possible, on us, so they can use it against us. 

Say, for instance, I am strongly attracted to red-headed men.  The devil might send a seemingly devout, red-headed man to tempt me into breaking my marriage vows.  (Red headed men give me the creeps). 

So, stating something like "Your mother thought you were angry at her when she died" would be true, but it is also something a demon would know.  She is with Jesus now, she knows better (my feelings towards birthmom being very complex). 

Demons hate us.  Demons and the Bible  The want to make our lives miserable.  If granted the power by God, they would love to kill us. 

But demons are not the spirits of the dead.  The dead go to heaven or hell, or are sent back to earth to "finish their term" in an earthly body. 

The dead are gone, one way or another.  If you and the dead are believers, you will see them again. 

The demons are scary, but they can only do what is permitted by God.  The book of Job is really clear on that:  Job 1 & 2  Notice how the devil has to ask permission for every attack on Job. 

God, of course, permits these attacks to strengthen us. 

Don't be scared "of the dead".  They're gone already. 

More about pillows..

Well, the party wasn't too bad.  No karaoke and they wrapped it up around 11. 

Ron and I had a couple of arguments, one about my weight.  It's the same old "I deserve a skinny wife, who is a great cook and perfect housekeeper".  I'd like to see where it says that.  I weighed well over "ideal" when we married, so it's not like I "tricked" him. 

When I am thinner, Ron complains about the time invest in exercise.  He complains I don't want pizza and Chinese food.  He complains I'm not "enough". 

So, I have given up on tailoring my body to make him happy because he will never be happy with it, no matter what I do.  When I am ready, I will go low carb again for my health.  I have a family history of stroke and heart disease.  I don't want either.  Sugar also aggravates inflammation and that's never good. 

Then I tried to wake Ron up to document the racket next door (it got pretty loud for a couple of hours) but he shouted at me and called me names because I woke him up, etc.  He was so groggy I asked him what he'd drunk - he went ballistic.  Then I had to deal with racket next door and Ron's dirty fighting tirade for a good 20 minutes. 

I was just lying in bed, not responding (because that feeds it) thinking "I should have just endured the racket".   I read my Bible for a while and finally went to sleep. 

I had some really odd dreams, nightmares, really. 

I finally woke up around 7.  I had a severe headache, it wanted to be a migraine.  I took some Excedrin.  I did my God Time and took a shower. 

While in the shower, I mused about the Stardoc series and how terribly it had ended, I felt, in "Rebel Ice".  However, the author did write several more.  From what I can see, most were badly reviewed. 

I have to think the author got tired of Cherijo and "killed her off". 

[I have a problem with new characters wanting to add themselves to "Broken" and other plot lines itching to grow, and love stories (like Jeff) wanting to be fleshed out.  However, I remind myself it is ultimately Charlie and Jenny's story.  I can always write Jeff his own book.  :)  ]

I was pretty depressed after that, so I got out my new Gel Stick highlighter pen and started marking up Psalms.  If I liked a verse, I highlighted it.  That cheered me up. 

The Excedrin had me pretty manic so I decided to wash my pillows.  I don't have a lot of luxuries, for an American, but I do love a lot of pillows on my bed - real bed pillows, not those little squares.  I've had my favorite 3 for years.  They each cost about $10-15 each, and have the little fiberpuffs inside.  Instead of down clusters, they are made of poly.  Most bedpillows just have one big piece of polyester, especially the cheap ones.  Those are fine for my loveseats and chair, but not my bed. I like to fluff my pillows. 

The pillows aren't very bouncy anymore, and the covers are pretty stained.  I need to wash them. 

I could ride the bus to the laundromat, carrying the pillows in a garbage bag, but I'd rather not do that.  My washer has a bad belt (for the spin cycle), and washing a couple pillows would probably put the washer down for good.  Ron is so depressed he would hate taking me to the laundromat, and I don't want to "pay" by hearing hours of complaints. 

So, I got an 18 gallon plastic storage box, leftover from the stockroom cleanout, and filled it up with warm water and one of those detergent packs.  I washed 2 pillows, then rinsed them, and soaked them in a very mild bleach solution to kill any allergens.  I wrung them out (the nice thing about little puffs, they don't care if I twist and squeeze) and put them in the sink to drain.  When they seemed pretty dry, I put them in the dryer. 

I have another pillow still in the process, but I'll at least have something to sleep on tonight. 

It's kept me busy.  I also cleaned the sink and did all my dishes.  They tend to accumulate.  The sink is empty now, yay. 

I tried to take a nap but the Excedrin has me pretty wound up.  So, that's out. 

I'm just trying to enjoy my day off. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Unreasonable

I had to write a check to the water company today.  I forget about my hand tremor.  Most of the time it does not affect me, really.  I can type.  I can work, and take care of myself.  But that check looked like ones I used to get from very old ladies.   If I wrote more than 1 check a month that might matter. 
Sometimes I think "I should look into things I can to do cope with it" - not drugs, but simple coping techniques.  If I hold the pew in front of me at church, my hands shake.  But if I tense my hands and loosen them it helps.  It's doing it again, but I can stretch it out and that helps too. 

Today was challenging.  A very late ride to work, a driver who took the freeways during rush hour, instead of the side roads.  A very long ride to work as a result. 

I do get a little peeved, I admit, when they make us wait to pick up someone going to adult day care.  It's like, they can wait.  I'm going to work.   But it's important to the person going and it's not for me to rate. 

Finally got to work.  Ron was really rushed and pushing me.  We managed to accomplish every "Making a living" task we had on our list, but I couldn't find the refill for my label gun.  Ron suggested it may be in a snack machine (they have a storage area).  I mailed the water bill. 

The other vendors lost their label gun, so I basically loaned them mine for today, in exchange for them loading it with a roll of tape.  I guess I'm getting better at office politics!  Then I ran out the door. 

We got a good ride home, except for him wanting to play "Mr Politics".  You know someone like this.  [sigh]  Glad to get out. 

We went in and waited for our next ride.  When it arrived the creepy guy next door yelled he was having another, late, loud, party tonight.  Rolleyes.  He thinks I should just "tell him when I get loud" and "I will turn it down".  I tried that, it doesn't work. They laughed at me and turned it up.  They also party until 2 AM with very loud music, amplifiers, and last time, karaoke.   At 2 AM. 

I don't play games.  I just got in the vehicle. 

He gives me the creeps.  I listen to my hackles.  I am glad he stayed out of the yard and did not try to grab my door as I got in the cab, like he did a few months ago.  I have boundaries.  After I shut the door, he tried to open the back door, but I had already locked the doors.  I believe Ron also said something to him, as well. 

I am completely capable of yelling "Leave me alone" loudly and "Get off my property".  If that doesn't work I can report him to the police, they can come over and have a little talk with him. 

Texan men don't like people bothering women.  I love Texas. 

So, my next ride took me to Lifeway, where I'd put 100 New Testaments on hold.  I had to laugh, thinking the Devil really wants to punish me for getting Bibles.  I had a little money left in the budget so I got 10 whole Bibles too.  I went wild and bought myself an orange, gel, highlighter pen for my Bible.  All of it on sale. 

I walked over to the McDonald's and got lunch, came back and ate it while Ron called a subsidized cab.  The paratransit ride would have left us there another hour, it's not a huge store, and it was really busy.  I had Ron in a folding chair. 

I took my pills, figuring they'd make me very fatigued and I could catch some sleep before the party.  I did that.  Torbie even joined me. 

I slept for about 4 hours and started having strange dreams.  I was with a group of people, hiding somewhere in the midst of disaster.  Someone gave birth and they gave me the baby.  I got it cleaned up a little and wrapped up.  Odd. 

It looks like the party is starting next door.  Here comes the fun part. 

After the last party (because he was also hoarding too) I sent her a letter.  I have sent her a couple of letters when the hoarding is bad, and she thanked me because "We might have to move back in".  Her kids seem really nice and responsible. 

After the last letter, she called Ron, and gave him her number.  Ron called her and told her everything. She came out after work and had a talk with the tenant.  "This is a place to live, not a place to party" but the man was "busy mowing the yard". 

I believe the Baby Mama is the actual tenant, but she has him as "man of the house".  I feel sorry for her.  She already has a teenage daughter and a toddler.  Now she has an immature, selfish, Baby Daddy.  I'm sure he isn't good to her.  Whenever I see her she always seems very sad and frazzled. 

He works less than she does.  I am very traditional in my thinking, I would expect the man in my life to work at least as much as I do.  Ron does that.  Probably more because he does the accounting.   Ron is blind, head injured, and in a wheelchair.  This is a reasonable expectation, I feel: the man works at least as much as the woman. 

Especially if he is not helping with the housework. 

Am I gossiping?   Maybe.  I just think they're a train wreck, very sad, but I worry what might move in if they left? 

I don't think they would have another dog owner.  The dog, as you know, destroyed the fence.  See, I'm trying to think like a landlord.  They don't want that again. 

Ron and I also had issues with the kids next door (the renters) coming onto our property, with their friends, "after my ball" and looking into my windows just for fun.  They would climb over the locked gate to do this. 

So, I have to wonder, who's worse!  I'll leave that up to God. 

The sad thing - they really are pretty quiet almost every day of the year, just like all the other neighbors.  It's not unreasonable. 

Ron and I wonder sometimes what would happen if we moved to senior living.  He qualifies.  Would it really be that quiet?  But then I see the paratransit vehicles in apartment complexes, pulling in at 4 AM and honking loudly in front of the client's apartment.  I'd sure hate that! 

It's just like the "Who's a better tenant" next door question.  I just don't know.  I'm a human.  God has the answers, I have to give it to Him. 

Days like today that is a lot easier to do.  No way I can handle this on my own.  Not with my illness. 
 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Devil cab

Sometimes, especially when depressed, I "run dry" on blog ideas. 

Other times I fall over them.  Today I read a story of a girl, a Christian, into track.  She refused to run in a race because her number was 666.  She tried to get a new number, the officials refused, so she "walked". 

From what I saw the Christian corner applauded her decision.  The unreached corner mocked her savagely.  I'm not going to do either. 

Now, if you happen to be unreached, or a little rusty, I'll share a little:  The mark of the beast is brought to light in Revelation 13. 

Revelation 13:16-18
New King James Version (NKJV)
16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[a] the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
 
Let's take this one verse at a time.  The mark is applied to the right hand or the forehead.  The race number is worn pinned to the chest of one's running shirt. 
 
No one can buy or sell without the number - she can do whatever she wants without the number.  However, she does need the number if she wants to run in that race. 
 
The name of the beast - the antichrist.  Antichrist worship is inherent in the taking of the mark.  No one is being worshipped by slapping a race number on your jersey. 
 
She will not lose her salvation by wearing the number.  She is not condoning or endorsing anything.  We (pretrib rapture fans) know the antichrist exists, but no one knows who he is yet.  How can you worship him? 
 
It just looks foolish "I won't run if you make me wear that number".  It reeks of old time folkey superstition, like "Don't let a black cat walk in front of you". 
 
I could tell you a lot about "unlucky" black cats, having had one.  He was one of the best things to happen in my life, and two of the best things that ever happened to me (buying the house, and getting my diagnosis) occurred while he lived with me, sleeping in my bed almost every night.   I miss waking up to his sweet face.   
 
Some other examples:
Yellow Cab has a contract with Metrolift, the paratransit service taking care of the Houston area.  They convert a regular minivan cab to seating for 4, plus driver, and one wheelchair in the back.  They have a Yellow Cab number and a Metrolift number. 
 
For years, we rode in the "Devil Cab" - #666.  The drivers told me people would refuse to get in the vehicle.  One old lady pointed a quivering finger at the driver, saying "I know who you are!" 
 
I mean, come on, people.   It's a number.  Nothing more, nothing less.  But it was always the last cab on the lot, next to the rattlers and the junkers. 
 
I knew a guy named Clem.  He drove for Samtrans, the San Mateo County Transit (bus) company.  His driver number was #666.  He had to wear it in a large embroidered patch on his arm.  He said people, waiting for an hour, would step back and wave him on when they saw the number.  He treated it as a big joke.  So did we.  He was a fine driver. 
 
Last week, when I did "The meter readings" (basically a cash odometer reading on each vending machine), one came up as XY666.  I told Ron, and he started laughing and "begging" people to "buy something!  The devil's in my vending machine!" 
 
It's just a number.  We have nothing to fear by "working" with it. 
 
We have yet to see the Tribulation, and the Antichrist.  You will know when they're here; but they aren't. 
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Humble

James 4:6
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
 
It sounds odd to say I'm working on my humility and giving God credit; but there you have it - I'm working.  How does one work on humility? 
 
Well, for one I think it is immediately giving God the credit; without thought, you just do it.  I am lacking, I take the credit. 
 
Monday, I "fixed" a malfunctioning food machine.  I said "I did it" and mentioned how "I" fixed the food machine.  I didn't mention the prayer beforehand for God's help, and the fact that I really had no idea what I was doing - I just did it and God used my hands to fix it. 
 
Kind of a fail, there.  I wish I had gone straight to giving God the credit. 
 
I think I did a little better today.  Ron's cable was out.  He couldn't figure it out.  I tried everything on my end to make it work but he doesn't have a TV in his room.  "My" TV, in addition to being old, is also very heavy.  It doesn't work with the advanced boxes (like his) either.  They had to give me the "simple" box, which I love. 
 
How to fix it?  We went to work, came home, and it didn't work.  We unplugged it and let it sit for a while.  No joy.  Ron finally called tech support, who ran a line test and said he did have a problem, he should check the splitter. 
 
Ron looked at what he had in the room; it seemed fine.  My end of things (cable modem and simple box hooked to my old TV) was fine.  So, it was only on Ron's room. 
 
I went outside, around the house, to the entry point.  Cable comes out of the ground (we had ours buried) and goes into the house there.
 
Now, I had to take electronics and tech stuff for my ham radio test.  I also learned how to build computers and install software.  I was pretty good, back in the day, at troubleshooting basic computer issues, and almost everytime it was a loose connector.  If it wasn't that, it was what my Dad calls a "power off restart" (unplug it for a couple minutes, plug it back in).  All that applies nicely to the 12+ years I've worked with vending machines, as well. 
 
So, I checked the connections.  One seemed loose so I tightened it again.  I checked everything and tightened up anything that seemed loose, but besides the one connector we seemed fine. 
 
I went back in the house and punched up 23 on the remote, and the speakers began blaring "Criminal Minds".  GOTCHA! 
 
Ron, profusely grateful (still!) kept praising me.  After a brief "I did it!" I started giving God credit and behaving in what I'd consider a more "humble" manner (it wasn't that big a deal, I just tightened it up, etc). 
 
I want to be a person of humility.  I hate my pride.  It has cost me a lot over the years. 
 
Let's be honest, everyone likes the humble person, too.  [grin] 

I wish there were a test

"Stop bothering me or I'll hit you. " Ron shouted.  Alarm bells began to ring.  Lately, Ron has been threatening physical vi...