Friday, January 31, 2014

I love my job; a dilemma

"Heather" the note read "Planters Nuts are Better." 

I'd dug a note out of the snack machine, and I had to laugh as I read the note.  I love my customers, they are incredibly direct.  They'll tell me "This tastes like crap" or ask me to carry more of whatever they like.  They also request new things, on occasion, which I encourage. 

After all I always spy on the brown baggers, seeing what they've packed in their lunch.  Can I duplicate it?   I enjoy the challenges, too.  Most of the time. 

Today we got up very early, went to the warehouse.  We got canned soda today, and some snack items.  We went to work and were in the process of stocking with the big boss arrived. 

Here's the hierarchy: us, supervisor (yesterday), senior supervisor.  He's the one who showed up.  We'll call him Jack. 

Jack was delighted to find us stocking full vending machines.  He was very happy the bottled vendor was fully stocked with bottled water and soda.  He did have a question for me, though:

"How are you getting the merchandise?"  He was truly baffled.  I explained, warehouse, paratransit.  He was horrified.  "Ron is working you to death!"  I objected. 

See, this is one thing men don't understand, especially, God love 'em, Texas men:  I like manual labor.  I like picking up heavy things and putting them on a cart.  I like putting it in the vehicle.  I like taking it out of the vehicle and putting it on the curb, then getting the cart.  I like putting it on that cart and taking it to go stock. 

I told him "If I have a problem Ron will be the first to know.  I don't have a problem doing this.  I am healthy and strong." 

Everyone acts like Ron's some sadist.  No, he's not.  It kills him to watch me do this.  But we're both happy we are independent free agents. 

See, we used to buy soda from the other vendor, but when he declared his vendetta (we passed on a complaint from management, asking him to clean his area; when he didn't we passed it up to the our mutual supervisor), he "cut us off" from buying soda.  That's great.  Instead of having to buy $400 of soda all at once and carry the inventory, we can spend $20-40 at a time, as needed, and put it directly into the machine (after chilling it, of course).  He used it like a club to hit us, but he did a big favor cutting us loose. 

Suddenly we had a lot more inventory flexibility.  We run a Just in Time inventory, which means we buy things only as needed.  We keep no inventory; it's all stocked.  It works great.  In this economy a small business like ours needs all the help it can get! 

Anyway, turns out the boss wanted to push us to buy soda from the guy again.  We said we weren't interested - we didn't bear the guy any ill will (and we don't), we had a better business model.  He was kind of taken aback and went on about Ron "working me to death" again.  I didn't roll my eyes, but almost. 

He went on, mentioning more than once "The other guy might need a favor".  Ah, the crux. 

"You need to forgive him" we already did. 

"He MIGHT forgive you if you apologize".  "For what?" we said.  He got it and dropped that point, realizing it was completely illogical to make us apologize for passing on a complaint. 

It reminded me of times in the past when I was bullied and assaulted; then forced to "apologize" for defending myself.  The bully was rewarded, and I was punished.  That kind of injustice can be triggering.    I had that a lot in the past. 

He went back to saying we should basically indebt ourselves to the other guy, and mentioned again how "he might need a favor, or you".  Since we are independent it's pretty clear he's saying he wants us to do the guy a "favor". 

Since he just lost a big vending area, I have a bad feeling he intends to ask us to "let" the guy set up shop on our territory.   In which case, both Ron and I are inclined to say NO. 

We can't afford to give up the money; and the other guy (before the vendetta) kept bragging about how he owns his own home, and his wife got a big inheritance.  "We don't need to work."  They won't be out in the street if we say no. 

I am also reminded of how he laughed at me and said "never" when I asked if we could have a "corner" of his area back when we were losing ours.  He was awful about it. 

That said: I am a Christian.  I have to take it to Jesus and see what He wants me to do.  I don't want to shame or dishonor him; or cheat us of a blessing we might get if we were "generous". 

Faith can be a burden sometimes. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A rough day: or leaving a bunch of stuff up to God.

I need to vent, but I'll try to do it without being toxic. 

1.  I had a horrible nightmare.  I had gone "fishing" and caught some clams, a fish, and 2 snakes.  One of the snakes, the green one, kept trying to get out of my bag.  I had to ride public transit and I had to keep shoving the snake into the bag.  I knew I'd have to eat the "catch", all of it, but didn't know how to dress out a snake.  That was a concern.  It got wierder, me walking around my hometown looking for my old house, holding the bag  with the "catch" and the snake still trying to get out.  I didn't want to eat the snake, or even the fish.  I found it revolting.  UGH. 

So, I started off on that note. 

I read a great book about 20 years ago "Contact, the first 4 minutes".   The book explained that the first 4 minutes of contact with someone will set their opinion of you and the mood for the day.  If I go wake up Ron ranting about noisy neighbors, we're going to have a negative tone for the whole day.  So, I waited about half an hour after we woke up before I mentioned it in passing. 

On a positive note, I did hear something snoring in my room.  Torbie hadn't slept with me, but I could hear her snoring even over the noisemaker.  She was asleep in my sock drawer, left open, near the head of my bed.  She also came to visit during my God Time. 

I had a good shower and breakfast.  I knew today would be a long one.  We had to move a vending machine, and we were meeting with one of "the bosses". 

Watching the weather, I realized it would be cold and nasty, as well, so I wore my long underwear.  Sometimes the top "pulls up" when I'm working so I layered an oversized black t-shirt on top. 

2.  Our ride to the wholesale club.  The driver was listening to music on earbuds, banging the top of her "trip computer" (shows the assignments, and "lets" you perform them as you do them, also gets messages from headquarters, and GPS).  She was hammering the top with the side of her fist.  The headphones are a huge no-no, too.  She was late, messing up our next trip.  Then she went to the wrong address to pick up a client and banged on the door like the police, waking the homeowner up.  The homeowner was not happy.  The driver went "Woops!  Sah-ree!" then came back on the van laughing.  I was pretty pissed.  Then, 5 more minutes wasted, she finally went to the correct address (they were all clearly marked) and got the other client. 

On the plus side, she wasn't one of those "lurchy" drivers who alternate jamming on the gas and brake.  She wasn't a control freak.  She just wasn't efficient or professional.  We did make it to the wholesale club alive and intact. 

I ran in and got the soda Ron wanted, then came out to see our next ride waiting.  I got Ron and the drinks loaded, and we went to work. 

As we went into our area, we discovered:
3.  Four of our vending machines were dead.  The contractors were messing with the electrical, again.  That's our money, people.  We need electricity for the machines to work, so we can pay our bills.  The timeclock was dead, too, so I figured that would give it a little more priority.  It took hours to get it fixed and then it went down again right before we left. 

4.  Ron just walked by, reminding me.  He just had the ugliest, most defeated and self-pitying attitude.  Very confrontational, too.  I had to ride herd on him during our visit with the supervisor as she looked at me sympathetically.  "What am I getting out of the business?" stuff like that.  "No one's helping me, why should I try to make them happy?"  Two things he just said.  Words have power.  If you see yourself as a victim - you are.  If you approach people with negative, hostile, energy, even if you don't say anything, they're not going to help you.  They're going to put that negativity right back at you. 

The whole "I don't let anyone boss me around" is a myth.  If a policeman shows up with a search warrant you have to let him ransack your house.  If you get pulled over they can take your blood and search your car.  If the manager says jump, and you don't, you're getting fired.  It's reckless and foolish to have that "No one tells me what to do" attitude. 

That said, that's all I believe.  One of my internet friends was "declaring victory over the illness in Jesus name!  It is finished, let the healing begin" and the guy died that night.  God isn't manipulated.  When I ask God for something (Like please Lord help Ron to get his head out of his... if it's Your will, in Jesus name".  That's all I ask, if it is God's will

I guess I'm saying I don't boss God around; and I pity those who do.  God doesn't operate that way.  I am asking Him to help Ron with his attitude.  When he gets like this he is very reckless "I don't care if I piss off Mr Big... I don't want to and they can't make me....".  I put my head in my hands, begging God for whatever it is I need right now. 

5.  Then I was corralled by a middle-manager and told a bunch of supposition regarding our vending machines.  "He doesn't know anything" Mr Big told Ron "Ignore him." 

I did hear the other vendors are losing several machines.  They have several breakroom areas and the biggest one is on the chopping block.  They have to get rid of the machines.  They have the other breakrooms very tightly crowded; I think they'll have to send the machines back to Austin.  I think about how they have been so ugly to us and I'm trying really hard..

Proverbs 24:17-18
New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.
 
So, I can't gloat.  Even though it's sooo TEMPTING.  They put money above all.  Things like that - gloating over someone's trouble, tend to come back and bite me.  I will ask God to help me with that.
 
6.  Then the power went out again.  [scream]  It was still off when we left.  Did I mention a dead vending machine can't make ANY MONEY?   I have to leave that one up to God.   
 
7.  Ron got a little "cowboy" during the meeting with our supervisor.  I had to tell her "We don't want to cause trouble.  We want to do what's fair." stuff like that and she was nodding at me.  Ron finally shut up.   I think she has a fair understanding of the head injury and what that entails.  It's exhausting for me: I'm not responsible for his behavior, yet I am.  Agh.  Leaving that one up to God. 
 
8.  More toxic pity party from Ron while we waited on our ride. 
 
Finally home.  We have to work tomorrow.  I talked him into that because Mr Big wants the soda machine moved, and the movers can come tomorrow. 
 
I remember reading or seeing something, and someone was told "He will never agree to it unless his wife asks him to do it.  You need to go through her." 
 
Yeah.  A lot like my life. 
 
I'm not whining.  I'm very grateful for my warm house, 2 cats, job (even with all the drama), my friends, etc.  I am just beat! 
 
God can carry all this.  He is welcome to it. 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Depression sucks

A lot of my online friends are very upset about politics and have a lot to say.  I am not upset, and don't really have anything to say. 

1.  Everything is happening the way God set it up. 
2.  Things are monitored. 

I know, laugh at me and call me paranoid, after all I do take an antipsychotic.  But I have no desire to blabber anyway.  I keep my political opinions to myself. 

It's pretty hard to stay upset when I have a cute spotted kitty under my chair, anyway.  Baby Girl is lying under my chair, on her side, with her front legs extending outward, a position of perfect comfort and trust. 

Her love language is sleeping under my chair while I'm on the computer.  Torbie's a little more paws-on, getting on my chest and purring at me.  Needless to say my allergies have been a little more aggressive of late. 

That's how I got the day off, apparently.  I woke up coughing pretty bad, and Ron freaked out.  He cancelled the trips for today.  I think he might have been looking for a reason to do it anyway. 

I was given this computer about a year ago, after my house was robbed and my computer, stolen.  It had some music already on board. 

I hope she doesn't read this.  Most of it was folky alt-pop.  I got rid of it.  Some of it just wasn't to my taste, some I love, and some I need to delete.  I hate it when the song comes up on my playlist.  The only thing I hate more is when I'm sitting on the computer and I realize I'm listening to a song I hate, because I wasn't paying attention.  That's not my idea of a good time.  Everyone's different.  I'm sure if she went through my music she'd delete a lot of it, too. 

I did ask before I did anything, an she'd backed it up. 

I do love my Torbie cat, but, like all relationships, it involves some compromise.  I trade freedom of movement in bed for the company of a cat.  I need to put up my afghans.  I knit and crocheted 2 afghans.  I spent hours and hours working on them.  Torbie gets her claws snagged and pulls threads out - she's going to wreck them both if I don't save them.  I also need to mend the one with the worst damage before it starts unraveling.  The things we do for love. 

Is it "Important" for me to have the 2 afghans in daily use?  Heck, no.  Most nights it's too warm for them, anyway.  I'm kind of a rat anyway, nesting in many layers.  I have, at present, 2 cotton bedspreads, a cotton blanket (a little worse for wear, it's petty old), 4 pillows, and two fleece blankets.  I don't need much more.  If I did I have a wool blanket I use for really cold days on paratransit.   More than that, I probably have much worse problems. 

Ron has an afghan, a quilt, a fleece blanket, and a feather comforter, but he never uses them together.  He's discovered his Baby Girl won't climb in his lap if he's under a cover, so he sleeps in his clothes on top of the sheet, no cover.  It works for him.  She climbs up and sleeps against his left knee, or spoons behind him as he's on his side.  It's adorable. 

Since we spend virtually every waking moment together, we have our own "retreats".   That's good.  Baby Girl "has" Ron's bed, and Torbie has mine. 

When I took my nap, Torbie got up on me, purring.  Oh, I got so itchy.  It's ironic, she was given up for allergies.  I've had a mild cat allergy for a while now. 

I just take a lot of Vitamin C and the occasional Benadryl (one of the few OTC medications that does not freak me out).   I can't take the other allergy things, they make me manic.

Ron's remarking on a huge change.  He's always been a radio listener.  KYOK, 1590, the "Black" radio station, has now become a Disney station.  "It went from super Black to super White"   A little research shows the call sign moved, and was assigned to an "Urban Contemporary Gospel" station at 1140.  Ron will be interested to hear that. 

But the old 1590 remains "Disney".  Huh. 

That is a lot more meaningful for Ron, than me.  Ron lived in the same small house his whole life, moving out when he turned 18.   I remember his shock when we revisted various landmarks he'd known, realizing they were gone or completely changed. 

I moved when I was 10, breaking a lot of ties.  Then I moved to another church, breaking ties of friendship, some I'd known for several years - when I was 17.  It triggered a catastrophic depression.  Up to that point, I'd only had one suicidal depression.  I used to wash the dishes at night, looking at the knives.  But, at the end of it, I didn't want to hurt my Dad and he would have been deeply wounded. 

Oh, God, I hate depression.  No, I'm not suicidal.  I did pretty well today; got up, shower, God time.  Watched a little TV and even fixed Ron a massive amount of rice dressing.  A 2 pound tub of chopped and seasoned meat is cooked and combined with rice.  Ron likes a lot of rice and I ended up adding about 5 cups cooked rice (did that last night) to the mix.  He ate two bowls and licked out the (cool) pot.  Ron's happy.  The cats seem OK, but I need to clean the boxes.  I'll do that. 

I'm functional; kind of the end goal here for those of us with "mood disorders".   But I hurt, and it sucks, and Ron hates watching me hurt.  My family hates it too.  I hate to do my "weekly phone call"

Do you do that now that you're an adult?   "The Weekly Phone Call"  - it makes them happy.  They'd never hear from me when I was depressed, and hear too much when I was manic, otherwise. 

Anyway, I hate to do the call when I'm down because they can tell, there's nothing they can do, and it sucks.  I think I mentioned that a few times already. 

So, what do I do?  I try to stay busy.  I practice my faith, which is an ongoing work in progress (I think I am too easily distracted when I pray).  I do nice things for people who care about me.  I think Ron would marry me all over again.  I made him a gumbo AND a rice dressing in one week.  He's good about doing the dishes. 

I also try to do things like listen to music I love, and watch cute kitten and Mom videos.  I love to watch those.  If things were different (and my cats more generous) I'd love to foster some. 

Of course, if I watch cat videos the girls get pretty agitated.  I end up having to turn it off. 

I need to get some headphones. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Background

I grew up on the northeast coast, about an hour inland. 

We had a lot of snow and winter weather.  I've always loved the snow; and always hated the ice.  When we moved to CA, I didn't miss the ice but I hated the dismal chilly drizzles.  We got down to freezing once or twice.  I remember seeing snow topped foothills, far above us. 

For flatlanders like my family, we thought they were mountains.  Here's a nice example: 

That's one regret: I WISH Ron and I had done more hiking before his accident.  As it is, we only went hiking once.  He kept teasing me about my water consumption, which led to one of his endearments for me: "My little camel". 

I know, sounds horrible.  But he says it so sweetly. 

I was so happy when we moved to Houston.  In CA, we had a pretty severe temperature drop pretty much every night, say about 20 degrees.  That doesn't sound too bad, but what if you only got up in the 60's?  We even determined the absolute worst temperature and named it: 48 degrees.  Anything below that was miserable.  When we'd ride the bus home from his job in San Francisco, I'd read off the bank sign as we passed.  It was usually 55 and below.  We had one or two hot days which was funny because no one had air conditioning, except the stores. 

The fog would roll in over the coast, but it didn't hit us where we lived.  We just got the chill.  I hated to see the sun set. 

When I was 10, my grandmother brought me to Houston.  I loved it.  I was so excited when I found a lizard in the backyard.  It was the highlight of my visit, even more than the circus.  I put down roots, and wanted to come back. 

We came back a few times to visit Ron's family.  It just strengthened my resolve.  Ron's family didn't seem to excited about it, though.  [things to come]  But, reading the papers, I saw the jobs were plentiful and the pay comprable to what I made in CA. 

I nagged and nagged, trying to get Ron to move.  He dug in and refused.  I turned it over to God.  Ron decided to move! 

That's the closest I've ever come to leaving him.  I told him, I'll go first, and get set up.  Then you can come.  When we fought, Ron was always telling me he could get a roomate who'd "contribute" more than I ever did.  I figured he could do just that once I got to Houston. I had it all set up, how I'd call him a couple weeks in and tell him to stay. 

Ron had other ideas.  I think, on some level, he knew what I had planned.  He knows me pretty well.  He quit his job - which basically ensured he had to move with me. 

I only had a couple hundred dollars.  Ron found a one-way plane ticket on Southwest, but we didn't have enough money for two tickets.  Ron left days before I did, on a Greyhound.  They didn't help him at all.  Ron had to rely on a Deaf woman also traveling to Houston.  He said it was pretty comical.  I flew out days later, and we arrived on the same day.  I found a nice Nigerian man (I soon found out many Nigerian immigrants get into the Taxi business) and he made a nice little sum taking me to my new apartment. 

I moved to Houston in 2000.  I don't regret it.  I didn't get to do a lot of things, like graduate high school or college.  I didn't get my driver's license.  I never owned a car. 

On the plus side, I never had student loans.  I never had a hangover.  I never had to pay car insurance or gas (paying for someone else's gas nonwithstanding). 

I always wanted to own a home. I can do that here.  Our mortgage is $450, about what we would pay for a basic one bedroom apartment near work (in a terrible area).  It's on a bus line.  I'm good to go. 

It's in the paratransit area: Ron's good to go. 

We started our business in 2001.  It was apparent the job I'd moved for featured a sociopathic boss.  I should have known something was up: when I told my old boss where I was going, he laughed.  I endured as long as possible, while frantically interviewing for other jobs.  I made it six weeks before quitting. 

I finally got a job working at a chain restaurant.  I'd worn a revealing top, only to realize my interviewer was gay.  He looked sadly at my chest and said "You're really desperate, aren't you?"  I agreed.  He hired me. 

I am not a very good waitress.  I got confused.  I wasn't paced for it.  I kept interviewing. 

I applied for a steady government job working for the transit company.  It "only" paid $14K a year, about double what I make now.  My application worked it's way down the line.  I had a couple of interviews. 

In the meantime, a "good" job arose at a local CPA firm.  My office had a real cherry wood desk and a leather chair.  Oh, I wanted them so much.  And I got them, starting at $25K a year. 

When the transit company called to offer the job, I declined.  AGH. 

The CPA partnership dissolved 6 weeks later.  What is it with me, 6 week jobs, in Houston?  A frantic scramble for more jobs ensued. 

Ron was already going to the blind vendor training program.  They couldn't wait for him to take over the Post Office location.  He'd be gone for months; months I'd be living on my own for the first time ever. 

I had a nice, 1-bedroom, all-bills-paid apartment.  I didn't have any furniture, other than a table and some chairs.  I slept on an inflatable mattress.  I was pretty happy. 

Except, I was pretty sure I'd had a miscarriage in November 2000.  My child, if there was one (pretty sure - almost 2 months since my last cycle, I'm very regular - also a very different presentation than my usual) would be 13.  Yike.  God can handle that one.  I had 2 other ones that I know of.  One in about 1994-6, and one a few years ago. 

Ever since (the one in 2000), I'd had problems.  It hurt to sleep on my right side and my cycle was very erratic.  I'd seen the treatment Ron got at the county hospital when he went in for severe pain.  It was an all-day horror. 

I didn't want that.  Finally, I found a job.  It seemed like everything went right.  When I told them I would only work 7 months, they said "Oh, good!  Cheaper than a temp!"  And I had benefits, which resulted in the removal of a 5 mm hemmoragic ovarian cyst.   I haven't had any more problems. 

Ron liked the job, because it was 7-3.  I'd be home before dark.  Ron begged me to stay home after dark, and I agreed, which meant I pretty much went home after work.  I got interested in soapmaking and spent a lot of time online. 

I paid for the all-bills-paid, and Ron paid the phone bill.  Every Friday afternoon, I'd travel downtown to the Greyhound and buy a ticket to Austin.  Then I'd ride the 'hound to Austin.  Ron would meet me and we'd take a cab to his residential motel.   We'd eat and go to sleep.  Saturday we'd have some fun, going to the mall.  Ron used to like the Yankee Candles and burned them in the room to eliminate the stale odor. 

Sunday morning, we'd get breakfast and go back to the station, where I'd ride home.  I'd get home in the afternoon and come home before dinner. 

Once Ron got back (and I recovered from my surgery) we moved across town and got to work.  We both worked 16 hour days for about 2 years, until the accident. 

The deli operation lost money - thousands a month.  It was horrific.  If we could barely do it with Ron intact how could we do it now? 

That's one of those take-it-to-Jesus things.  We pleaded to be relieved - if the host said we could close it, we could.  We were told we were not allowed to tell the population (our customers) we needed it closed; and in fact would have to resign if it were kept open.  The host came back saying, and I'll never forget this: For the safety of our employees, we want the deli to remain open.  Oh, I cried so bitterly over that, Ron's good arm wrapped around me. 

Well, God worked on everyone and the deli was closed for good, not a month after we opened it again.  Thank God.  Our sole employee told us she'd never quit her day job (it was open nights) and she'd be fine.  I met her again recently and she's doing great. 

We bought the house in 2004.  We had an unethical agent but we still have the house.  Ron fired the first mortgage company "You'll never get the house!" and found another one.  We got a decent fixed rate mortgage and finalized the purchase in June.  The day we bought the house, I was stricken with a horrible case of Salmonella (bad eggs at a resturant).  I was sick for over a week, and it was 2 weeks before we could finally move.  Then my poor cat was poisoned by a former neighbor and died the night we moved in.  I still love the house. 

Now we were a vending operation, only. 

I began suffering suicidal depressions in 2006.  I thought I was done with this, I'd had so much pain growing up.  I went for help and God laid it on me to reveal all my symptoms, which completely freaked out my doctor.  She tried to have me committed but I wouldn't say I had a plan to commit suicide (I didn't have a plan, I had several).   I was eventually released and diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Once I got the meds, I took them, and will until I die.  Happy ending. 

Things were good until 2009.  The economy crashed, and about a quarter of our customers elected to take early retirement.  Some of them were our best customers.   Ouch. 

Over the next few years, we laid off a couple of vendors, and transitioned to buying our merchandise from the wholesale warehouse.  We were actually fired by the Hostess company because we "only" spent $50 a week.   They went under shortly afterward. 

Last year, we were told we'd lose our business.  We didn't, they moved some of the machines.  The rest went away, but we should get them back. 

We're looking at our new location coming in maybe 2-3 months.  God only knows what will come! 

A couple of gripes

If you don't want negative energy feel free to skip.  Now and then things bottle up and I get so peeved I have to do one. 

1.  Pit bulls that get out, acting agressively, and are shot.  Then everyone acts like the dog is the victim.  If the dog is off your property and someone feels threatened, they are ALLOWED to defend themselves.  What are they supposed to do, allow themselves to get eaten? 

Someone's going to say "Not all pits are that way".  I know that.  I was chosen by a huge black pit bull I named Happy back in 2004.  Happy desperately wanted to be my dog, and my insurance company said Hell NO.  We tried to place him with a rescue but no one wanted him.  I had to call the shelter.  It broke my heart. 

However, the majority of the pits I have encountered have been VERY human aggressive, and that's a problem.  Every pit I've known has also been animal aggressive, too, attacking other animals. 

Put a Golden with a cat and they'll be friends, or tolerate each other.  One guy at work left the pit bulls in the house with his cat and came home to carnage.  He was really freaked out and rehomed the dogs. 

If you love the dog and want to keep it alive, keep it on your property.  Do whatever it takes to make that happen. 

I'll say it again, the dogs in and of themselves are not evil.  But they are bred to be highly aggressive.  It's in their nature.  When they appear to be aggressive, and on public, or someone else's private, property - someone is allowed to kill them. 

Ideally, they would confine and trap the dog in a yard or shed, then call animal control, but that isn't always possible.  What if there are small kids around? 

I get so sick of those bleeding heart "poor doggy" posts when it is clear the owner failed to keep the dog confined, it was roaming loose, and terrorized someone with a gun.  They are allowed to use the gun to protect themselves. 

In those cases, the owner killed the dog. 

2.  JW's.  I get so sick of that smug, superior, attitude.  "You don't understand the Bible properly, let me help."  The Bible says if I ask God for understanding, God himself will give it to me.  Link 

"James 1:5
New King James Version (NKJV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. "

That's pretty clear.  Mainly, though, I hate the attitude.  They are taught they are the chosen ones, that the rest of "Christendom" is out to get them (not me, but they are going to hell with their doctrines), everyone else is an ignorant ass.. etc.   Want more?  Read Kingdom of the Cults' chapter on the JW's. 

I find that amusing when I have referenced James 1:5 and the "witness" didn't even know the verse.  And YOU want to teach ME the Bible?   I don't have that much brain damage. 

People, it's not that hard.  Sit down every day with a Bible (anything, please, but a New World, Recovery, or New Life Translation).  Ask God to give you understanding OF the Bible.  Start reading.  You can use a reading plan (I have a daily reading plan and a chronological one), or just start at Genesis. 

If you asked me, though, I'd say start at Matthew. 

Anyway, a few days ago we picked up a woman who honed in on our End Times discussion with the driver.  She started rebutting everything we said until I told her "I got my information directly from the Bible.  I don't allow people to tell me what the Bible says.  I don't let other people tell me what to think."    It was so cool, I felt like God was putting the words in my mouth.  I said a little more and stopped.  She left us alone. 

She tried to give me "the literature" when I got off and I shook my head, saying nothing.  "Why won't you take it?"  I gave her my "False Prophets from Hell" speaking look, and she acted all injured as she put it away. 

Actually, the JW's have taught me some important things.  If someone says no, accept that.  Don't keep pestering them - they said NO. 

Second, when they say no (and the majority do), don't take it personal.  Don't get an attitude or try to lay a guilt trip on the recipient.  It just pisses them off. 

When doing a Handout, I make a joke out of "disappointment".  I make an exaggerated sad face sometimes, then I grin, wave, and move on.  It's clear I am kidding. 

They are not. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Insanity sucks

I slept about 10 hours last night and woke up tired. 

It's my new normal.   I'm.  Going. To.  Be.  Tired.  I don't like it, who would? 

Insanity sucks a lot more. 

I like the life I have.  People tell me I'm funny.  Ron says he loves the way I interact with the customers, fill the machines, and take care of him (and our cats). 

When I call my family I don't usually go to voicemail, and when I do it's because they really were unavailable.  I don't often hallucinate, and I'm not generally paranoid or delusional.  I have anxiety issues, but that's to be expected. 

I agree with my doctor: anti-anxiety drugs are OUT.  "They wake up parts of the brain you really want dormant" he told me, in full instructor mode (he teaches).  He says my caffeine intake is fine (less than 450 mg).  I do what I can on my own. 

It's not debilitating.  I only really get panic attacks around traffic (post-traumatic) and heights (I fell down a steep flight of stairs, more than once, before my mother lost custody.  I was just left there to cry.)  So, both are understandable. 

I have a loving husband who calls me his "Queen".  I find that sweet.  While watching Divorce Court, I remarked "I could leave you in a room full of strippers and you wouldn't cheat".  I meant it.  He meant it when he agreed.  He values me and my contributions.  He tries to be understanding about my illness. 

I have customers who take care of me and enjoy me taking care of them.  They like us and want us around. 

I have, overall, really good drivers.  I very seldom feel unsafe riding with them. 

I pay, with side effects, for a pretty good life.  Considering the hell inside my head before, this is nothing to pay. 

"Oh No!"

Ron had a paratransit dispatcher sputtering today. 

Each client is issued a number.  The client calls in to find out about their rides.  They can use an automated system or talk to a real person.  The automated system is faster. 

*Important note* the client can also make their own rides from a list of their top 20 destinations.  Ron usually does this.  Fewer mistakes. 

We had a pretty simple day today.  I got to sleep in and got up at 8.  I showered, did my God time, and watched the weather.  We may get some snow tonight; a big deal for Houston. 

We had snow back in 2009.  We also had snow in 2004; but in 2009 I was actually out riding the bus .  I was out there for hours.  I forgot that snow is wet, and I needed to waterproof my long coat for the future (I have the stuff, but I never got around to doing the coat). 

Anyway, it looks like we may get some.  I'd like to see it.  I know the kids would love it.  Drivers, not so much. 

Which brings me to this: when Ron called the information line they had an automated recording saying they would only do dialysis, infusions, and surgery appointments only.  Ron was feeling naughty.  Egged on by me, he scheduled several of the longest trips possible. 

In a wheelchair. 

Then he called to "check on my trips".  The dispatcher was so outraged and upset, until Ron started laughing!  They had a great time laughing together until he hung up. 

"Make sure the other dispatchers see my trips before you delete them!" 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hopeful

I'm running depressed but I'm still pretty functional. 

I'm debating, for instance, how to "do up" my pills.  I have a weekly organizer.  I also have an incoming supplement shipment.  Do I wait for the supplements and then do up?  Or do I do up a few days tonight?  Probably the latter, I think. 

I'm generally not super functional at pill time, so I need to have it done up and ready for ingestion. 

A good example of the new normal: we went to the wholesale club.  Even after talking to Ron twice while shopping, I still forgot the bottled water.  I had to go back and do a second transaction.  Ron was very nice about it. 

When I get "foggy" he tends to get amused; which is better than anger at God or frustration with me.  It's still hard not to feel like he's laughing at me.  He swears he isn't; I believe him. 

My "problem" seems to have resolved pretty nicely.  I used "free" laundry detergent on everything that'll touch the affected area.  Then I also used some coconut oil on the appropriate area.  I think I'm just having a hormonal sensitivity.  I can probably go back to my usual routine in a week or two. 

I couldn't help but think, what if I did have cancer?  I don't.  I am at a higher than average chance, though, due to the antipsychotics.  I probably need to worry more about seizures and heart trouble.  Seizures, because a first degree relative had them, also a more distant relative.  Heart attacks' probably the biggest risk: both parents had severe heart disease.  My grandfather died of cardiovascular disease.  I'm "obese".  [raised eyebrow] 

Would I have any regrets if I dropped dead after posting this?  Not really.  Back in 2000, I had a boss who asked my point-blank if I believed Jesus was the only way to heaven.  I waffled.  I regret that. 

Anything else?  I regret I wasn't kinder to some people.  I feel like I could have been a better, Christian, role model to them. 

Is there anything I'd say 'No, God!  I can't go yet because I ___"?  No. 

I remember talking to one driver.  He said he didn't want to die yet because he hadn't done anything "meaningful".  I asked him what that meant. 

To him, it meant owning a hotel, having a lot of money and power.  Owning an empire of group homes for the developmentally delayed.  I don't think that's what God had planned for his life.   He didn't realize that God was likely using him more in his current position than He could anywhere else. 

My definition of meaninful goes directly back to evangelism: sharing my faith.  Praying for everyone, daily (including and especially you).  Asking God to give you good things, like love, faith, and hope.  That's been the most important work of my life. 

Speaking of, I decided to get the hats for the handout.  I'll be ordering them shortly.  My vitamins shipped, I should see them pretty soon.  I'm not sure about the cat treats, but a lot of companies don't send the email until I've already got it in my hand. 

After the hats, I might have a little money left for a few songs, and that's it for the fun money.  I didn't spend it on a lot of "fun" stuff, but stuff I do use. 

I am a big fan of oregano oil capsules during cold and flu season.  I just feel better taking it. 

I'm trying to make sure I get a good amount of rest.  I had a good nap last night, but had some trouble falling asleep.  Ron was pretty irked, the party machine started up.  He had to call the police. 

When we were looking for a home, our agent (to my knowledge) did a couple of very unethical things.  I think the worst was trying to persuade us to "rent the house" back to the sellers. 

They sold the house because they didn't want it. 

I'm buying it.  It's my house.  I want to live in it. 

I mentioned this to a friend, a realtor (I did not have a realtor, just an agent).  She was horrified. "Heather!" she told me "If you rent to them it takes forever to get them out!  They could end up squatting in your house for months while you pay the mortgage!" 

Ron and I told them no, sorry.  He was a handyman at an apartment complex.  We suggested they look into getting a discount apartment at his complex (I know they do that - and that's what he did). 

Might I add, he was a terrible handyman?  He did such a bad job installing the dishwasher it almost electrocuted me one day. 

So, we told them no.  Our (supposed to be ours) agent tried to lay a huge guilt trip but we said no, repeated what my friend had said (the agent didn't deny it), and told her we had already given notice on our duplex in crack-town. 

As it turns out, they tried to keep our address on their credit report - I fixed that by saying I would throw out any mail with their name on it.  It was over a year before they were able to apply for another mortgage (I know because the papers came to MY house). 

They would have been living in OUR house for over a year... while we were stuck back in crack-town paying rent and a mortgage. 

I suspect something like this may be going on with #19.  New owners, but same old tenants.  When will they move?  Are they?  Lots of questions.  I remain hopeful they will move in the future. 

Overall we really have a very quiet neighborhood.  We hope to keep it that way. 

I hope these kids (and they're very young, early 20's) are just acting out because they "have" to move.  I hope. 

So, I still slept pretty well.  I tend to have nightmares if I sleep too long - I think it's God's way of getting me out of bed when I'm depressed.  The nightmares are worse than the depression.  [shudder]  If I don't try to remember, they pass pretty quickly once I'm up. 

We didn't go to church for a couple reasons: 1.  We went last week and Ron will only go every  other week.  It's a 5 hour round trip on paratransit so I take what I get.  2.  The speaker was from Gospel for Asia, who's already getting our money.  I felt fine skipping that. 

Instead, we went to the warehouse, and then to work.  I need more pastry (they really like that variety pack), and something else I'm forgetting.  It's on my list, though.  Ron wants more drinks.  We'll go to the warehouse, go to work, stock. 

We'll go in the afternoon.  The other vendor works Monday morning. 

I was pretty horrified when I went in today - they have taken even more of the outside room, which was not in any way "given" to us.  Ron and I are already on the record objecting to this.  We've decided, if someone complains, to give them the number for our supervisor.  If a customer complains, he'll take it "serious". 

I got my handcart out of our little parking spot and got it all done.  I was a little freaked when I saw a customer taking a photo of Ron sitting on the handcart, but she was smiling.  People do find us "cute" when I'm pushing him on the cart, so I guess we're OK.  Worst case someone tells us "Don't ride on the cart". 

Ooh.  I just had a bad scare, I thought I lost the water bill.  Sometimes I worry a future employer might read my posts.  Well, at home, don't ever give me an important paper.  Drama ensues.  Found it. 

I also found out the thing I'd forgotten: munchies.  Munchies is a snack mix of assorted chips and pretzels.  They are very popular.  I even have flaming hot munchies.  Although, today, the best selling snack item was: Cheetos!  The regular kind, not one of the incendiary varieties I also stock. 

When we move, we'll be surrounded by cubicles.  I envision things like veggie chips, sea salt chips, and baked Lays in addition to the usual lineup.  Maybe some Coke Zero. 

In the meantime, we'll hoe our row and keep them laughing.  We put on a little bit of a show, you know that if you've seen our video blogs. 

"My Kind"

"I'm as upset" I told Ron "As if I walked into church and found them having an orgy!" 

Ron snorted.  I continued. 

I have a couple safe places online.  Here, Facebook, and a Christian message board (un-named). 

As you know, I've been pretty upset about the case in Texas, with the brain dead pregnant woman taken off life support.  Why?  Because her husband and mother decided they didn't want a baby with disabilities.  They were very clear on that, them and their attorney. 

I, of course, got pretty upset.  As a disabled person married to another person with disabilities, I don't like to hear of "my kind" being "put down". 

Who would?  I know it happens, especially with the advances in ultrasound technology and prenatal testing.  It doesn't mean I like it. 

I know some wonderful people, online and in person (one a relative) who make a point of adopting special children.  The child could have had a home. 

I know a lot of very conservative Christians.  If you want to watch them boil, mention abortion.  They loathe it.  They loathe those who perform the abortions.  They loathe those who encourage abortions. 

I would think (now, I'm not so sure) that if you mentioned aborting a child due to a disability, they'd be outraged and protective of the child.  "Don't do it!"  "Baby deserves life!"  "Who could do that?!" 

So, when I mentioned this case, I did so thinking I'd have... support for my position. 

Not.  Quite. 

I was horrified at the responses.  Apparently it's OK to kill a disabled baby, if the family doesn't want it.  What are they, Hitler?   I won't even talk about some of the responses. 

A few, family of the disabled, got my point.  The rest did not. 

In fact, they seemed ready to pull the plug themselves. 

I vented all this at Ron (a good listener) and he said "What did you expect?  We're all in the toilet here in the End Times!" 

"Ron" I told him "I thought they were at least up on the rim!" 

I'm going to take a break from that board for a while.  [sigh]  I really expected better. 



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Skip this if if you're a guy prone to lust issues.

It's always interesting, walking the line between honesty and taste. 

I have an annoying problem.  Involving part of my chest.  It is very, very, itchy.  I won't name the actual body part (that's my concession to "taste"). 

I found a cold compress to be helpful.  I also tried some oral benadryl.  I'm not very worried.  I also washed everything that touches the area, with some "free" detergent - no dyes or perfumes.  Ron was a little confused at Walmart when I told him I was looking for "Free detergent".  Huh?  Don't you have to pay?  [grin] 

One not-very-well talked about issue with antipsychotics are their effect on the breast.  They can make breasts grow (mine sure did!).  They can make breasts lactate (no comment).  They can make the patient have wierd sensations in the breast, and occasional breast pain.  I do. 

It's not malignant - the antipsychotic affects the levels of a hormone known as prolactin.  Prolactin works a lot on the breasts.  Taking the antipsychotic can also increase my risk of several cancers (including breast, pancreas, and ovary) due to the prolactin. 

It's still a lot better than running around paranoid, delusional, and hallucinating.  I am well aware of my trade-offs.  If Jesus doesn't rapture me shortly (my belief), I'm going to have a shorter life span due to my medications.  I'm OK with that.  I have to accept that - because I would have been dead back in 2006-2007 without it. 

I've had at least 8 more years thanks to medication, but interestingly enough that's about the only "extreme measure" I'm willing to take.  I don't want dialysis.  I probably wouldn't take chemo; definitely wouldn't take radiation. 

You see, when you look up "itchy bodypart" on Google, the first thing that comes up is a cancer.  I don't have any of the other signs, so I'm not worried. 

But it probably wouldn't hurt to look into getting a mammogram. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

He's Dead!

I generally don't like to post my schedule, or my neighors'.  I have to wonder if the guys who robbed us might have read the blog, but from what my neighbor saw I doubt it.  My neighbors' business is theirs, not mine to post. 

Unless of course someone's house burns down and I'm trying to get some donations.  I could see that (happily no one has). 

I was disappointed.  If you read my next post it's about a woman on life support.  Most people agree with "the family" in the article.  I think, if you do agree, it's a huge step forward towards medical care restrictions, death panels, and eugenics. 

Admittedly I have a "dog" in the ring, if you can call Ron that!  [laugh]  11 years ago "the professionals" were very eager to terminate Ron's life support.  Even after he was off the ventilator (he improved so much he only "needed" it for 2 days...

Funny story on that.  When they took Ron off the ventilator, he's breathing on his own, still comatose.  But when I told people their first reaction was OH HE'S DEAD!  [face palm]  No. 

So, even after he's off "the vent" the professionals are strongly discouraging any kind of action with Ron because "He'll have a bad outcome anyway".  Uh.  He just sent back a book on physics, having read and understood the whole thing.  He keeps the books for our business and manages all the household expenses (good thing - I got the water turned off one time).

Ron, by any standard, has made a spectacular recovery; but none of it would have happened if I'd listened to them.   I'm very stubborn. 

That said, both Ron and I have a policy of no extreme measures.  I have enough problems of my own, so does Ron - but we arrived at this decision on our own.  I think it should be left up to the individual. 

So, today Ron gave me a "snow day". 
1.  The traffic was insane. 
2.  Frozen, literally, most of the day.  Have I mentioned how we have to wait outside on our rides? 
3.  The other vendor was there... which leads me to the first paragraph. 

I don't normally share my schedule, or others', but the other vendor goes to work Monday and Friday, about 5-10.  Since [taking my time with an adjective] the other guy is waging a bit of a vendetta over literally nothing (we asked them to clean up after several complaints), it's easier to avoid them altogether. 

We normally avoid those days at work, at least in the morning.  The ice made the case a little more compelling.  Finally, Metrolift issued an advisory - "life sustaining only" - meaning, if you aren't on chemo or dialysis, you're staying home. 

I wonder how the group homes for the delayed handled that one. 

When I went to bed, I thought "I can't recall the last time I just slept in".  It seems we've been so busy I'm running around even on my days off. 

I slept in until 6, went back to bed, and woke up at 8 AM.  Outside looked pretty much the same.  All the weeds in the garden beds are d-e-a-d.  It's been a nice, quiet, day at home. 

I bought some glucosamine cat treats online, for Torbie.  I got some supplements for us.  So much for fun money, it basically bought me "broccoli".  I do have a little left if I find something fun. 

It's funny - it is so very quiet.  No school buses (they closed our district).  No outside noise at all (it does remind me of my childhood snow days).  I bet the city buses are all empty, too. 

We'll have some more cold weather coming, so I have my cold weather bag all set up.  I'll bring that the next time we go to work. 

That wool blanket was AWESOME yesterday. 

The future

I'm going to talk about abortion and euthanasia. 

You might not think abortion would have a lot to do with this case. 

Here's a summary: pregnant woman collapses.  Upon arrival at the hospital, she is deemed "brain dead".  Hospital keeps her on life support, husband says no, let the baby die. 

I should also add (I am a person with a disability married to same), the baby is different.   There are leg problems, and water on the brain (easily fixed with a shunt).  

The father has said he doesn't want a disabled baby.  He wants to get rid of it.  The attorney also had a lot of "might have" and "possiblys" such as "could have had a lack of oxygen".   Every press release I've heard from "the family" has had a lot of supposition. 

I'm sure you have your own opinion.  Would you want your loved one kept alive on life support to bear a child, and then let go (there are several precedents and all the babies were fine)?  What if the child is disabled?  Do you want the mother kept alive to bear a disabled baby?  It seems most would say, no. 

And, if the judge approves the termination of life support, what does this mean for abortion, and the rights of the disabled, in the future? 

I don't like the looks of the future. 

Update: The judge has overturned the law and will allow them to terminate life support.  The mother's dead, the baby dies.  Not really a "win" by any measure. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Red Wool Blanket

Ron and I waited by the side of the road, in our winter wear.  Ron wore a garbage bag over his jacket and slacks.  He sat on a folding stool. 

I stood next to him, wearing long underwear layered with a t-shirt, hoodie, jacket, jeans, wool socks, a knit hat, and a scarf I made a while back.  Over it all, I wrapped myself in a red wool blanket.  I imagine we made quite a spectacle.  The driver sure had a good time laughing when she stopped to load us.

Today was, I guess I'd say the "new standard".  I got up at 5, shower, God Time.  I cleaned the cat's water fountain and refilled it with filtered water.  I tend to spoil those I love. 

I knew it would be cold so I brought my cold weather bag - garbage bags, plastic bags, a blanket, hat, gloves, etc. 

We went to the warehouse and got some inventory, bottled soda.  I got a few snack items.  We went to work and stocked. 

One of the construction guys came over and introduced himself; he used to deliver our pastries.  He really seems to enjoy his construction job.  I was happy to see him doing well. 

Two construction workers asked us which machines were "ours" because they want to help us out, I told them and they said they'd let the others know.  I guess they like us.  They sure like seeing Ron ride by on his cart, and I think they like the "energy" between us.   

I think they also admire his work ethic.  We're both stocking at the same time.  I will always give Ron help if he needs it, but generally he doesn't. 

After work, we went home... maybe for good, but we couldn't.  We had to get more inventory.  Ron had made a second trip to the warehouse.  We went, got the inventory, brought it to work, and stocked. 

After work, we "got" to wait outside in feels like 20's degree weather.  We used to have a bus stop, with walls and a roof.  It made things a lot more bearable.  But, not anymore.  They demolished it.

Which left Ron and I, literally, standing out in the cold waiting on our ride.  People were driving like idiots today.  I love Houston, but we got into full panic mode at the mention of the word "ice".  We handle severe weather with aplomb.  We scoff at tropical storms.  We shrug at flooding rains and droughts...but get a little ice on the ground and everyone panics. 

Even though it was 40's for most of the day, people were just driving either really recklessly or very slowly.  I'm glad I get tomorrow off (Metrolift is actually saying no one's riding unless it's to dialysis or chemotherapy). 

Our driver finally came and laughed at the sight of the walking garbage bag and his long white cane.  I stuffed my blanket in my tote bag and jumped in.  As we rode, I started pulling off layers and putting them into the bag. 

I'm so glad I knew it would be cold.  Knew we'd have wind and rain.  It would have SUCKED otherwise. 

As it was, I was surprisingly cozy in my red wool blanket. 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

OMG yum yum noises

I tend to forget things. 

Today, at Walmart Ron asked for tomatoes.  A while back, I got him 2 boxes of assorted gourmet cherry tomatoes.  Ron loves tomatoes and ate both in a few days. 

"I'm sorry" he apologized

"Ron," I told him "I want you to eat them all!"  He was happy.  He was really happy when I told him I hate all tomatoes unless I'm the one who grew them. 

The last time I went to the dollar store (the 99cent store actually) they didn't have the tomatoes.  They did have some salad mix but I didn't have my cold bag. 

Ron has asked for more tomatoes, off and on, since.  I generally forget. 

His right leg is bothering him some so I told him I'd make him some protien shakes, which I will when he finishes eating his chicken.  I made him one and he loved it. 

I use the Body Fortress Chocolate Peanut Butter whey protein powder, obtained at Walmart.  I put it in whole milk. 

I had a talk with Ron recently.  "Just because you are OK, now, eating junk food, doesn't mean you'll always be fine.  You need to eat protein, fruits, and vegetetables." 

The last time I was at the dollar store, I did get Ron some grapes.  The black ones.  He loved them. Good.  I also work on getting him to eat more protein (not so hard on $1 two piece fried chicken special day). 

Today he reminded me about the tomatoes; then he backpedaled "If they're not too expensive, too much trouble, etc.".   We were pretty close to the veggies so I went and had a look.  The organic grape tomatoes looked horrible. 

When I had a veggie garden, Ron always loved the grape tomatoes; and they had a conventional that looked excellent.  I got him a box.  He's been munching on them all day, making OMG yum yum noises. 

Good.  At least I've got something nutritous into him. 

Ron's stubborn.  I can't nag or beg.  I have to present my case and let him think about it.  I also tempt him as much as possible, with things he does like to eat.  "Look!  Nectarines!" 

The trick is finding the highest nutritional value plus the most appeal to Ron.  Ron, for instance, will not touch a green thing ever.  He might eat some celery in tuna salad but that's it.  But how about a cole slaw?   He will lick the bowl. 

Tomatoes, grapes, fresh whole things God made... he will eat those if I can present them in an exciting manner. 

I always wanted to be a nutritionist.  Turns out, I am. 

I may end up in a ditch but I'm OK with that.

The driver was horrified.  "You did what?"

"I called the police" I repeated.  "They were very interested to hear about him." 

"You can't do that!" she uttered, distraught.  It's then I remembered the old ghetto code "Snitches in ditches/snitches with stitches". 

Well, I may end up in a ditch but I'm OK with that. 

It's my day off.  We just went to Walmart.  Everyone in public is sick and we really didn't need anything outside a Walmart. 

Our ride was late, and then she had some other pickups.  She wasn't the best driver.  I got pretty carsick and that never happens. 

She began exclaiming as we approached an intersection, and I leaned forward to look (I was seated in the back because the other client had spread her stuff out all around her on the seats).  I saw a beautiful, new pickup.  The body was perfect, but the back window was completely bashed out. 

As we passed him, I saw everything on the driver's side had been smashed, too.  Both windows.  As we came in front of him I saw his windshield was destroyed, but still in place.  The driver, hunched over in a hoodie, was hispanic.  I don't know how he could see out the windshield. 

I memorized the plate and called the police.  Like I said, they were VERY interested to meet this guy.  [Didn't tell the police because they already knew it: If nothing else he should only be going to the auto glass store.  He has a huge driving hazard with the windshield.] 

"I think he's been up to shenanigans." I said, before I hung up.   

The driver was angry that I was "siccing" the police on "A guy who is probably innocent.  Maybe they robbed his car." 

"I've seen that" I replied.  "And they only take out one window.  I'd bet money some guns were fired."  She got very agitated, bouncing in her seat. 

"You shouldn't have called!"

"Why?  Snitches in ditches?"  She stopped bouncing, surprised I knew "the rule". 

I faced Ron as I said it: "I'd rather end up in a ditch for doing the right thing then help a bad guy get away with a possible murder."  Ron nodded and agreed with me. 

Something bad happened in or around that truck. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Depression is back.

I'll describe the computer room.  I'm sitting at a computer, typing.  I face 2 windows covered in cheap cream colored curtains.  The left curtain is ripped.  The cats like to get into the window and claw the curtain.  Behind me you'll find a loveseat covered in an orange sheet.  One end of the loveseat faces the doorway.  The other end buts into my God Stuff bookcase.  I have some Bibles, devotionals, etc.  I sit on the loveseat and read the Bible/devotionals.  I also have my prayer notebook on the bookcase. 

While on the computer, I sit in a folding wooden chair that's moderately comfortable.  Under the chair, you'll find a spotted tabby.  Baby Girl has a new spot, under my chair. 

That's lovely, but I can't move the chair.  I'm sitting farther back than I'd like. Other than that it's a peaceful scene.  Music flows from my awesome, $30 speakers.  I can make some noise, but I keep the volume down.  You'd hear the music in this room only (which is good because, overall, Ron loathes my music). 

So why I am I so eager to go to bed?  I'm not that tired. Ron gave me tomorrow off! 

Depression is back.  I know something's up when I have a good, 1/4 of my weekly pay hanging out in my bank account and I haven't spent a penny.  I had a brief, manic, thought to buy a lot of Bible Promise books but I can just print up more "Where to look in the New Testament" tracts.

I might get some vitamins.  I am a big fan of Olive Leaf (you can look it up).  I might get some Oregon Grape Root, too.  Other than that (scratching head), I can't think of anything. 

That's a good place to be, but also very sad, too. 

I always sleep better with a cat in the bed

Early bedtimes (@6) are always iffy.  The neighbors may be active in some way; ambient noise... or I may just not be able to sleep. 

Last night I lay awake with a burning urethra, kicking myself for not drinking enough water.  I'd tried to "cut back" because I didn't want to get up every 5 minutes after I lay down (the usual).  Instead, I went too far the other way and had to deal with the burning - at least until I got enough water down the hatch. 

Once I did that, I slept great.  I also had my secret weapon: Torbie.  Torbie's a very good natured cat.  When I'm ready to go to bed, I set everything up, then I pick her up - an armload of orange and brown fluff, and take her to bed.  I set her down in "her" spot and she settles in.  She might get on top of me for some petting and cuddles, though.  I always sleep better with a cat in the bed.  She's very obliging. 

Today I had to worm her.  She was great, a little baffled, hid for a minute, but came right out when I rattled the treat bag.  Then we went back to doing God Time. 

First, though... I overslept.  I had a great quality of sleep and a decent duration.  I woke up and checked the clock - 2:40.  I'd meant to get up at 2.  Oops.  I had to shelve the God Time and take my shower. 

Ron and I talked for a while, too.  It's his birthday.  I want it to be a good one. 

Our ride came early, around 4, and I loaded all the drinks while the driver stood off to the side, watching.  I'm a hypocrite.  I don't want any help.  I would be annoyed if he tried to help.  But he could have at least offered.  Instead he just stood there.  I know, ridiculous for me to be upset. 

We got to work, unloaded, got the freezer loaded.  I stocked what I could.  We went back and checked the freezer (our location, and the freezer, are on opposite sides of a very large building).  Some things had to be adjusted.  We waited a while and talked some more; then got the coldest drinks out and stocked them. 

Ron was a little upset when I told him I had to work on the coin mech.  I had to explain "It ONLY needs nickels" a couple different ways.  He thought it was broken.  No, it's fine.  I just had to load it. 

After that we went out and waited on our ride.  It came pretty quick but he was pretty confused.  He kept driving around in circles, in the wrong parking lot, even though our notes clearly directed him.   

I have to admit, I was not as patient as I could have been, with the first 2 drivers today.  I'm not very proud about that. 

We got home.  I took a nap (with Torbie).  I had a hard time getting up but Ron wanted fried chicken. He hasn't had fried chicken in months.  I got up and dressed. 

Our ride was late and Ron was pretty irked at the driver (his turn, I guess).  We got there and a "recipient" asked me for money.  He looked just like one of the guys in the ghetto.  I said no. 

Let me explain something.  My Dad has worked with homeless drug addicts for 30 some years.  He says "Never give them money".  I spoke to a former drug dealer, who told me the same thing "It always came right to me."   So, I don't give them money. 

Had I felt he was in hardship I'd have bought him a $1 chicken special.  As it was, his labels cost a lot more than mine (not sure what's going on there). 

I met a woman on paratransit who became hysterical because the driver wouldn't roll down her window for a beggar.  She was very upset.  The gist of it: she felt God would only protect her, and her grand-daughter, if she gave money to everyone who asked.  If she didn't do this, God would allow this scenario to occur: grand-daughters car would break down.  A psycho would be the only one to stop.  He would violate her in unspeakable ways - because she didn't give money to the beggar.

Now, you know me.  I'd have given her a haldol.  Clearly "we" had some delusional issues, and God never works that way.   But the woman was really upset and kept reciting the scenario of the broken down car and the psycho, until we dropped her off. 

When she got out, the driver and I looked at each other, in shock. 

Ron and I headed into the chicken place.  When we've gone before, they had very long lines and a LOT of inefficiency.  However, they have a new manager, and it showed.  We could walk right up to the register and order.  The restaurant was clean, too.  Impressive during a $1 2 piece dark fried chicken special. 

Ron got 4 specials and ate 4 drumsticks, with some french fries.  He was having a good time and didn't get sick.  He has all the thighs waiting in the fridge, too.  The cats won't touch people food. 

On the way home, we rode with 2 women we have met before.  I don't like them.  1.  They are JW's.  I can tell by the way they were talking about Christmas.  Plus they had that superior attitude.  God calls us to be servants.  [sigh]  Not going there at present.  2.  They have fake service dogs.  A giant poodle on a leash, "trained at home" is not a service dog.  A friend says yes, it is, legally.  I say it's abusing the system.  I don't take my pet around everywhere.  I doubt the dog actually performs any useful, needed tasks - I'll ask next time.  As it was the dog was hogging half the vehicle and it was VERY crowded. 

They were having a minor snit fit over the fact we'd get dropped off first, but we were on the way. 

I didn't buy the house to impress anyone.  My home is a simple bungalow, but it's surrounded by a lot of "nice" brick homes.  When I think brick home, I think this:

That's why I bought a bungalow.  Anyway, the other women (she rides with her mother, they each have a pet dog) were impressed.  Like I said, I didn't buy the house to impress anyone.  I just want a quiet, safe, place to lay my head. 

I tried to take another nap (I had heard a lot of coughing at the chicken place), but couldn't.  So I gave up on that and finally did my God Time.  With Torbie.  She took off after we finished, still peeved about the worming. 

Baby Girl is still lying under my chair, though.

Monday, January 20, 2014

So cute

I love early morning pickups.  We get to work at 4 or so, get it all done.  When you're having your first cup of coffee, we're waiting on our ride home.

However, I hate early evening bedtimes.  Sure as sunrise, the neighbor kids have a rowdy play session, the party machine fires up down the street, or something else keeps me up. 

Last night it was the party machine.  Once I was sure it was them (they have a new CD), I called the police, who came out and settled the matter in 20 minutes.  Of course, by then all my drowsy had fled.  I didn't sleep well. 

As it turns out, neither did Ron.  He said he was cancelling work today (primary location) but we needed to go to the secondary and fix the coin mech (it wasn't giving dimes).  We went back to bed and got a couple extra hours sleep - for me it was pretty restless. 

For whatever reason, my medication can have an energizing effect, if I'm tired.  As it kicks in I get a little manic.  That's a big problem trying to sleep. 

Today, I took it at noon.  Plenty of time to work itself out before I go to bed at, oh, 6 or so. 

At any rate, not a good rest.  Even with primary work out of the location, I still had to get up and go to the other location. 

I did that.  I had planned to delay my God Time but the cats were in the computer room, waiting for me.  I had to go. 

I got the shower and everything.  I have a mild sore throat but I'm hoping I can kill it with my usual lineup. 

Yesterday, waiting on our ride from church, I saw a guy in a safety hat.  It looked like this:
PERFECT for a Bible Handout!  I decided to get one (I haven't bought it yet but I will, I don't want to cook my brains).   I found it for $4, too. 

We went to our secondary location and prepared to attack the coin mech.  It's been a lot of coin mech issues for us, lately.  We had to borrow a phillips head screwdriver.  Ron and I got the thing disassembled, and between us, fixed it. 

Ron was so proud of me (really) listening to me whack the cartridge against the side of the vending machine to loosen the stuck coin.  We got it fixed, filled the change bank again, and remounted it. 

Now, we only had 45 minutes until our ride (agh).  I don't feel crippled unless my medication's affecting me, or I'm waiting on a ride. 

We did it though, and had a pretty good ride home.  "Your cat's waiting in the yard, like a dog".  She was sitting on her hind legs, playing lookout.  Very cute.  She meowed a few times as we opened the door, and came along with us. 

Torbie's been hanging out with Ron, and Baby Girl's been lying by my foot for the last hour or so.  I think she was under my chair (just a basic wooden folding chair) before that. 

Baby Girl.  So cute. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I'm not a slut

"Ron" I told him today "When we're talking to people about how we met, could you focus a little less on the sex?  You're making me look like a slut." 

Ron has a tendency, to emphasize, to him, the "important part".  He focuses on the manic sex part.  Wow.  You took advantage of an underage, mentally ill child.  Way to go.  I wouldn't go bragging on that, myself. 

Let's think for a minute.  If sex was the only thing holding us together why did I stay with him after he was partially paralyzed?  How have we made it 22 years? 

It's not because I spent my childhood dreaming how I'd push my blind husband around in his wheelchair. 

Ron's talk has led to some unpleasant moments; one of the clients on board our first ride called me "An animal". 

"I've only had sex with one man." I replied.  "One man, Ron [last name], and I married him."  The unspoken "How many sex partners did you have and did you marry them?" question remained unspoken, yet clearly understood.  I don't like it when people treat me like a slut, so, when we got home I asked Ron to stop. 

I will correct him if need be.  I just realized today I'm very tired of this. 

Am I mad at him?  No.  He does have a head injury.  His "filter" for appropriate was smashed to bits.  However, reading one head injury rehab book, I found a story of a man who, after his accident, pleasured himself whenever the mood struck.  He did this in public, all over his small town.  Ron's never done that, thank God, but he shares things the way he experienced them. 

For Ron, our early relationship was all about sex.  My end was fueled by a desperate need to move out of "the house",  severe mental illness, and genuine attraction for Ron.  Ron told me once, he never really believed I loved him until after the accident.  He thought I was only with him for a place to live (I always contributed to the household).   I stuck around when he would have run - that made an impression. 

I didn't do it to impress him, but because he needed me and God made it clear I was to treat him as my husband, even if we weren't legally married.  Ron fixed that pretty quick and married me.  I had prayed about this about a year previous, and God told me Ron would "demand" to marry me.  He did, we married.  Now I can actually make his decisions. 

I did have a good night's sleep.  I woke up with a mild headache but not too bad, did my God Time, took my shower, and even watched part of a home remodel show.  I loathe stainless steel.  I would be furious if Ron took away my black and white appliances and replaced them with stainless.  It would make me feel like I'm at work (we have a stainless steel fridge at work). 

I like work but I don't want to bring it home.  We talk about work, at home, enough as it is.

I had a very wierd experience in the cab even before Ron started going on about the early days.  As I got in, the driver told the other client "I took him to the liquor store the other day.  He bought this big bottle of vodka and hung it in a bag around his neck.  Then he gave me this tract and told me about the mark of the beast."  [facepalm]   What an example. 

After Ron got in, he started talking about the sex stuff which bugged me to no end.   Especially because the other client was acting "holier than thou", judging me, and calling me outright names.  I will present my case to Ron using that exact example, why I'd like him to stop going on about the sex. 

We went to our secondary location to stock some merchandise.  I installed the new label (not as hard as it sounds), then ran to the dollar store for drain cleaner, oven cleaner, and some other items. 

When I got back with the stuff (I got Ron some grapes, because he needs to eat more fruits and veggies - stuff God makes), we had a short wait to the pickup.  That's unfortunate because Ron missed the coin jam.  We have to go back and fix that Monday. 

We came home, Ron ate some more grapes, then went into his man cave.  I read and reread the drain cleaner bottle.  It was a liquid poured into the drain and left for 30 minutes or longer.  I decided 45 minutes would be good.  The drain (kitchen) has a horrible slow drain. 

I forgot; Ron and his cat play in the sink.  He runs water for her, plugs the sink, and makes a little puddle.  So, when she saw me pouring drain cleaner, it seemed only natural for her to come along, try to put her paws in a puddle of lye, and stick her head in the drain flap, also soaked in lye.  I screamed at her, lunged, and pretended to bite her.  She ran off pretty quick.  When I finshed pouring, I put an upside down bowl over the drain and made sure the sink was clean (it had all run in by then).   Thank God I can see, and caught her. 

When the time was up, I ran water as directed and boy it drains so fast!  I am a big fan of lye now; not just for making soap. 

The cat came back and I gave her some treats.  She forgave me.  She'll never understand why I did it (not 'till we get to Heaven) but she forgave my erratic behavior. 

Cat treats cover a multitude of "sins". 

Friday, January 17, 2014

They could be out of lithium

Ron's pretty frustrated.  The party machine has started up somewhere in the subdivision. 

It's probably #19. 

Dear neighbors, some of us work on the weekends.  Some of us get up very early for work, on the weekends.  I know you must think everyone works a 9-5, M-F, but we don't.  We need our rest so we can go to work and pay our taxes. 

I end up thinking things like "Where are the guys who robbed my house?  They can't steal this car or the stereo in it?"  Bad Thoughts. 

God doesn't want me wishing ill on people, He wants me forgiving them and praying for them.  They're getting a lot of prayer, more than my human nature thinks they "deserve".  [sad grin] 

However, I've surrendered my life to God.  That means I surrender myself to things like this, and try to find a way to work it for good, even it's praying for all the latinos everywhere in the world and their stupid polka music. 

You may wonder what I'm talking about.  This. played at earsplitting volume, the bass line booming.  The same CD again and again.  All of my latino neighbors play the same CD at their parties.  It gets very, very, old. 

There's always something "wrong" in my life.  I don't mean that in a self pitying or a whiny way, but a factual statement.  Let's look at my life the last several years: bad mood control, up and down all over the place.  Delusions.  Then it was a series of physical problems (cutting of part of my finger tip, severe allergic reaction and massive hives for months).  Illness.  Injury.  Personally attacked a few times.  Ron's various health problems.  My favorite was him lying on the bed in the emergency room, after we've been there for 12 hours, suddenly remembering "Oh, yeah, I tried to move a vending machine.  Maybe that's the source of my agonizing back pain".  I was not happy. 

What else?  Ron drinking to blackouts every night.  Falling, verbal abuse, sleep deprivation.  Verbal abuse during the day, too. 

Hoarding next door - rat problems as a result.  Bubba bringing me live rats throught the cat door into my bedroom.  Problems with the other vendor.  He is easily "offended" and then wages war in return.  That can make things difficult, especially when we had him as a supplier for various items. 

Work problems, who can forget the look on Ron's face when he was told our vending location was up for demolition? 

[sigh] The point being, God has brought me through ALL of it. 

[blowing out air]  If God could bring me through the aftermath of the accident:
1.  Not allowed to make decisions about Ron (not legally married), and told Ron's family would be putting him in a nursing home (My response: "A bullet would be a lot kinder")
2.  Lost my job, because we're not legally married. 
3.  Not allowed any access to Ron's money (he had some cash on him at the time of the accident, which we later found was stolen). 
4.  Facing eviction because Ron's family refused to help. 
5.  Told I would "have to let them go" regarding my cats. 
6.  Told I would be unpaid slave caregiver for Ron AND his parents, for months (Ron put a stop to that when he was able to process it).   I believe it was their intent to burn me out and then place Ron in the nursing home.  Ron could not be "placed" if someone was willing to "take" him. 

It was my worst nightmare come to life - my own personal hell ON TOP OF Ron's horrific injuries, worrying about him, trying to aid in his recovery.  I had to put it all on God.  I would have had a breakdown.   I had to dump it all in His lap and say "You deal with it". 

God, in return, made it clear I had one job: Loving Ron, taking care of myself.  I did that.  Here we are today. 

[happy sigh]  Now it's quiet.  Ron called the police. 

So, the rest of my day.  We got up later (that was nice).  I had a nightmare about my stalker.  It was pretty vivid.  I got up and saw a car in my driveway.  I was pretty irked, which knocked me out of the nightmare.  I figured out the car was just doing a turn-around. 

I got my Bible and brought it to bed with me.  I do that sometimes.  I fell asleep pretty quick after that (I had Torbie cat too). 

I got up, did my shower and God Time.  The deodorant stone really works. 

We went to the warehouse - our driver was really late.  We got there so late Ron had to put our next ride on hold; but it worked out.  Then, off to work. 

We did all our worky work vending things.  I think my bill validator cleaners are working.  The snack 2 validator seems to be working better. 

I added the Hot Fries to the lineup and stocked the peanuts (a customer had left a note on my machine requesting more nuts).  Then off to our pickup. 

We came home, but left again for Walmart.  My pills were in.  They don't mess around with my medication - even the big bottles are always ready fast. 

I believe, based on the pharmacist's attitude when they ran out of lithium (!) a few years ago, that many psychiatric patients wait until they are out, and off their meds for a few days, before getting the refill.  That's dangerous. 

They could be out of lithium. 

Anyway, I got everything, checked it yup-yup-yup-all-there.  Paid up, left. 

I have had some ongoing underwear issues.  They keep falling down, and it's not because they're loose.  Then I have to get in my jeans, dig around, and pull them up.  Not something for the public, or, God forbid, work.  I've been looking for something better; haven't had much luck. 

I finally decided on 3 different types, nice colors.  Total cost about $30.  Plenty of garments to keep me covered and hopefully stay where they belong. 

I considered a cute scrub top covered in hearts, for about $14.  I decided against it, it's not something I'd wear everyday and then I could only wear it until Valentine's day. 

I figured, if I was going to spend $14 on tops, I should buy a package of black pocket-tshirts.  I did that.  It got my total up to a horrifying level at the checkout, but I will wear them. 

We had to wait a while on our ride (this is why I hate to ride later than, say 2 PM - the rides really go downhill), but he was a nice guy.  I got everything loaded and we had a straight trip home. 

I had to unload it all now (I don't want the drivers to help because their job is driving).  We'd gotten some soda so I got that and then brought everything up to the door. 

I got various items out of the packages and into the washer.  I'll do a couple of loads.  My goal is to get them dried tonight.  Some of them, at least. 

The rest can wait until tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mission Field

One night, not that long ago, I was pretty upset about my loud neighbors and their music.  I was venting. 

"Heather" God let me know "Would you move to Mexico and live next to a noisy cantina, if I called you to do it?" 

Of course, I told Him.  I'll go wherever and whenever You need me. 

"Heather" He told me "You need to view your life as a mission field." 

So, I won't focus on the horribly long wait times for every ride we had.  I won't focus on some of the spectacular paratransit screwups. 

I'll just focus on the mission field, so to speak.  Ron got to share his "Don't take the mark" speech with easily 8 different people, and handed out at least as many tracts. 

We got to reach 8 people today. 

But, if I were a drinker I'd be pouring one tonight. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Two Indulgences and some hot fries

Ron's a little traumatized right now, looking under my bed.  He's trying to find the crazy circle.  He's finding a LOT of books.  I should have made a video blog "Ron goes under the bed". 

I do feel a little smug, imagining the guy who robbed my house a year ago, trying to find "the good stuff" under the bed... and finding absolutely nothing.  No cash, no credit cards, no jewelry, no weapons... just books and assorted items (Ron found some pens, a candy bar wrapper, and an eyeglass case). 

We had today off.  Last night, I was working on a moderate headache when I went to bed.  I slept OK but the headache stuck around.  I decided hot water was not my friend today and took a birdbath instead of a shower. 

We had to give Baby Girl her next dose of worm stuff.  She was pretty pissed and avoided us both for hours. 

We went to Walmart.  I had a slow bathroom drain (the sink).  I only have 2 sinks in the house, the kitchen and the bathroom.  Both are running very slow.  We've lived in the house for nearly 10 years without cleaning the drains.  I figure they're about due. 

While at Walmart, I got the Liquid Plumber Slow Drain Formula (orange bottle).  Pour it down, leave it for an hour, run hot water for 5 minutes.  It worked very well. 

I need to get another bottle for the kitchen sink "Safe for Garbage Disposal".  I hope it works as well in the kitchen sink as it did in the bathroom. 

I have no problem promoting products in the blog - I only object to putting up ads for anything.  If I like it, you'll know.  I have a big mouth. 

My head still bothering me, I got some other stuff... (checking receipt).  Toilet drops.  You put a drop in the toilet before you (ahem).  It works.  Drain cleaner, already talked about that. 

I looked at room fresheners.  Ron has pretty bad allergies when it comes to fragrance, so I'd moved him off.  Ron was sitting in the seat, mounted onto the shopping cart.  I call them the "kiddie carts".  Anyway, Ron was thinking about work and apparently looked distressed.  A woman came over trying to save him.  I made a joke about leaving him further in the woods next time. 

Ron needs to return his talking book machine.  We needed strapping tape (the post office does not want you using duct tape - they want strapping tape).  I found some with a Christmas design.  The standard strapping tape is $3.  This was 74 cents.  I cackled over my good bargain for a while, and told Ron "A hoarder would buy all of them, but we only need one so that's it". 

I got some diet soda, cans and 2 liters. 

Last but not least, I got ... it. 

I've been wanting to get it for a while.  Both our girls (cats) are pretty frisky and love to play.  So, I got the Cat's Meow toy.  You can google it.  I might put up the video I made. 

It was $20 but I did have it.  I got some cheap batteries, just in case the girls hated it.  If they liked it, I figured, I'd get some rechargables. 

When we got home I put up the frozen items.  Baby Girl was bugging Torbie, who was making annoyed meows and hissing.  I set up the toy and called them. 

Instant peace as they analyzed it and attacked it.  They did it companionably, a nice change from the pestering and hissing of a few minutes ago. 

Worth it. 

That was my first indulgence.  I love to spoil my cats. 

We had bought some drinks, at Walmart, for our primary and secondary location.  We left and went to our secondary location. 

Ron stocked the machine while I shopped (pretty good deal!).  I wanted a Bible cover for my Bible.  I found a nice one after about 20 minutes.  It has an organizer cover and pockets.  I may show it off in a video blog. 

I tend to give my Bibles away, so I didn't want anything expensive (the Bible itself cost me $12).  $20 seemed like a good price point.  It's a little funny when you think of the cover costing more than the actual Bible. 

I also found some cute clings (decorations mounted onto glass, normally windows, but vending machine glass fronts work great too) in a Valentine's design.  I got a sheet.  When I paid, everything cost $18, the Bible cover was on sale.  Yay! 

Second indulgence. 

That location is doing pretty well so we will be going back soon. 

I went to a nearby dollar store, my head still bothering me.  It's just now improving. 

I got some snacks for both of us (Ron's partial to hot peanuts), and a few household things.  I went back and time to go home. 

I tried to take a nap but couldn't.  Torbie came by for a nice cuddle, so I savored her.  She is such a sweetie.  I hope she's as happy as I am.  She is just the perfect, sweetest, cat. 

"Nobody wants the older cats" they told me at the shelter.  Please, if you are thinking about getting a cat look at the older shelter cats first.  I've had 3 older cats and they've all been awesome. 

I had an assignment for Ron when we got home: eat the hot fries.  One of our drivers mentioned he really liked eating them.  I got a bag.  Ron ate them.  He says they are very good and should enter the lineup.  They will. 

I only eat hot things when I have a headache - the capsacin helps with the nerves or something. 

That's it. 

Torbie on my feet

Two days in one, again.  I got up at 7 AM (late for me) yesterday and we went to Walmart.  I finally found a canister for the dry cat food...