Showing posts from May, 2014

I have a right to grieve my losses

I told myself today, blogs are therapy for those who can't afford a therapist. 

Anyway, after my video blog (scroll down), God showed me something: I've never grieved what we lost. 

Ron and I lost a tremendous amount in the accident.  I lost that vital husband, the one who'd unload an entire pallet of soda and stack them 13 cases high, the guy who walked 2 miles to work each way while working 12-14 hour days.  Ron lost his mobility.  More than that, of course, but I never really grieved it. 

At first I was busy fighting to take him home, then I cared for him - a full time job for three.  We went back to work and I had to be the "everything" there - still am.  He got better, and worse, and worse again.  He went into the wheelchair full time. 

That's a hell of a ride.  I have a right to grieve my losses. 

Who would tell a person who lost a child: you need to forgive death for taking her from you?  You wouldn't.  You'd console them. 

It is OK for me…


I did a video. 

I worry people don't understand my feelings toward the man who ran over my husband.  I am sick of trite crap about "forgiveness".  I forgave him - my emotions are still complex. 

Anyway, if you don't want to watch me grapple feel free to scroll. 

"Won't give dimes"

Monday the other vendor's wife told me she'd gotten a complaint that the bottle vendor "Wasn't giving change".  I did a test vend and it worked.  I just scratched my head and moved on. 

Today someone told me it "Wasn't giving dimes".  Specificity.  Ah.  That, I can fix.  Generally speaking, that means the machine is either out of dimes, or the bottom dime is jammed.  If the dime is jammed you have to jab upwards with a pointy thing to get it loose.  Then it will dispense.

No pressure, though.  I heard the customer telling her friend I was "Going to fix it so it won't rip us off anymore".  Yike. 

The coin mech also features a handy "test" button for each denomination, so I can press the button and see if it's giving coins.  We had plenty of dimes.  I pressed the button.  No dime.  I found a sharp pointy thing (construction debris) and carefully felt for the opening on the underside of the coin mech.  I jabbed it upward, …


I tease Ron, telling him this is our song for work:

"You've got the brawn, I've got the brains"

Why do I say this?  Well, I moved half a ton of soda today.  Shelf to flatbed cart.  Cart to truck.  Truck to cart.  Cart to shelf.  (most of it)  The rest is still sitting on the cart in my stockroom. 

Needless to say, I wore my back brace.  In addition to moving the inventory, I fixed two vending machines, had a small meltdown in the stockroom (not enough time, I thought), stocked snacks, stocked cold food, and helped Ron stock canned sodas. 

It's rather alarming to see how they're consuming our inventory.  They really, REALLY, like what I'm stocking.  I need more candy! 

I did have a decent amount of chips, thank God. 

We will need to do a "Will-call" next week with our wholesaler.  I need to look it (address) up on Google and see if it's safe "waiting".  If not, I think they have a nearby fast-food.  I can bring a handcart, …

A "treat"

Houston's been having severe weather - heavy rain events. 

Last night and this morning we had yet more.  I was really glad I was doing my phone appointment. 

I got up at 5, hit the snooze a couple of times, then realized I could get up at 7.  I reset the alarm. 

I got up and took my shower, wondering how I can save on the water usage.  We were up to 3K gallons last month.  I think I need to get one of the showerheads with the cutoff switch, when I'm lathering or shaving my legs.  That will save quite a bit. 

My aunt sent me a text so I called her back. We chatted for about an hour.  Doc called me 20 minutes later. 

You know, I told Ron, I just paid (sum of money) for a 5 minute phone call!  Yeah, he told me, he thought the same thing. 

I did tell Doc everything - Ron back in the wheelchair, a little bit of caregiver stress (sounded nicer than burnout), and mildly depressed, which he said was very normal considering.   I see him at the end of August. 

Ron gave me the res…

Some wins

I had some wins today. 

I got a small advance on my pay. 

Doc agreed to do a phone appointment tomorrow, saving me a very long crosstown trip with Ron in the wheelchair, during rush hour, in severe weather downpour.   I think he felt OK with that, considering he once termed me "very stable".   Good.  I have a dead terror of that escalator.  3 stories.  I fell down an escalator as a child.  No thanks. 

For my next appointment, Doc is moving so I'll never have to face that horrid thing again. 

We didn't go to the warehouse, due to aforementioned severe weather.  We did go to work.  One of my machines was down, so I fixed it.  Everyone else was fine.  I even had time to clean the microwaves [shudder]. 

We mailed the homeowner's insurance.  $1048.  Not really a "great" policy (high deductibles) but like Ron said, pray God we never need it anyway. 

I also laid down the law on my Facebook.  Some people I know are just snarling and snapping at our presid…

I'm just an irritable, selfish, crazy woman

I woke up exhausted and depressed.  I was very irritable all morning (managed to cork it around the customers). 

I had a lot of wierd things, too.  One guy kept going on about the "fantastic" vending setup in Maryland, why didn't we do that.  Management didn't want that. 

Another guy wearing a maintenence outfit wanted me to name the circuits on which they'd installed out machines.  How would I know that?  "They didn't even let me plug in my own machines" I replied.  "I have no idea."  Well, what do you know, the guy interrogated.  "They just said I'd have plenty of amps to run my machines."  He went away after that. 

The last, and I mean, THE LAST thing I want is someone messing with our circuit.  The Postal workers already have over a half dozen microwaves in our area.  They don't need another however many they plan to install.  We had a terrible time in our last place because the microwaves took all the amperage, an…

I love Nigerians

It wasn't a bad day. 

But tell my neurotransmitters. 

I hate even talking about depression: I think I sound like an ungrateful whiner. 

I have huge blessings in my life, a husband I love, a business I enjoy - we can make a living at our work, two great cats, good physical health for me - most importantly the physical strength I need to take care of Ron and "assistant manage" the business.  I have a great little house in a quiet neighborhood, good friends, and many other blessings.  I have a life I can work around my disabilities and an abundance of effective medication. 

But tell my neurotransmitters.  I did get up on time, did my God Time, took my shower.  I'd mowed the backyard yesterday so I needed to wash my hair again. 

We went to church.  Our driver was training a Yoruba man.  I've met a few lately. 

Ron and I, being curious folk, have done our best to learn how to say "please and thank you" in as many languages as possible, including Yoruba…

Baby comes first

I don't discuss the neighbor's routine, because I wouldn't want them talking about mine.  I'd feel hideous if something happened, and tracked back to me. 

I will say I don't "get" the new "Letting the smallest kids run around, shout, and cry at 8PM and later in the backyard by Heather's bedroom." thing.  But, they stopped kicking the ball into the (side of my) house.  I think the latest fence repair (it must have cost them at least $200 +) has put and end to that, for now. 

I just want to go to bed when I want to go to bed, but I can't always have that happen. 

Anyway, this morning found me sleeping in, skipping my God Time (got it later), taking my shower, and going to Walmart.  I went to the garden center and looked around.  I was hoping to get some Coleus. 

They are pretty foolproof in Houston summers, and prefer light shade.  They'll last through the summer and die off before Halloween. 

Since we have a "good house"…

Some vending tips

You may work in vending.  If so, here are my tips. 

Ron and I have managed our "stand" for about 13 years now.  Prior to that, back in the late 90's, we built our own computers.  The computer experience has come in handy. 

A lot of people think vending is "meathead" work, for a strong back and a weak mind.  Or it's an easy, turnkey way to make a lot of money with minimal effort. 

We know better, don't we?  [grin] 

So, my tips:

Older machines are best.  My favorite snack and food machine are both old Rowes.  The only problem with that, though, is finding parts.  The simpler, the better.  If something isn't working, check connections.  It may have gotten unplugged when a customer beat it up.  Also try to replug things into the motherboard, etc.  I've saved a lot of service calls.  Clean the machines daily.  Glass cleaner works best on the snack machine glass fronts, and also bottled vendor.  I just use a basic citrus glass cleanser I bought at …

You can never know too many guys with trucks.

I stood in my bedroom last night, listening to the very loud sound of toddlers crying next door, in their yard, right next to my bedroom wall.  Then I went back out to occupy my time watching Law & Order reruns. 

God love 'em.  It's completely "unreasonable" for me to expect them to be very quiet on Sunday and Thursday nights, when I have a delivery.  I understand that. 

As I went to bed, over an hour later, I reminded myself I could take a nap today after work.  And I did just that.  A very nice, satisfying, nap. 

I do have to wonder, why the littles always cry in the yard.  Are they wanting attention?  Did they hurt themselves?  Are they just being petulant?  I don't know. 

I did take my shower last night, which worked well.  I did a henna too and it came out OK.  Nothing dramatic, just more of the same, but the roots are well covered. 

Apparently I have a lot of salt and pepper roots.  You can't tell now.  It was looking pretty bad, an obvious str…

Sometimes I have to wonder

Maybe it's me.  Sometimes, I have to wonder if someone is "really that confused" or "playing games and trying to provoke me". 

We had today off, praise God. 

I slept in, drank 2 quarts of water while sleeping.  I woke up with a headache around 5 but I took something and went back to sleep until 8. 

I had left some henna "working" overnight, so I could apply it later today (on my head right now).  However, since it's Thursday, we decided to get the Thursday fajita special. 

We planned this in advance.  Having finished with my God Time, finally, I was watching Supernatural.  I really enjoy the show.  I don't watch because the actors are "hot".  I watch because the actors are good actors.  It's also very well written. 

I own a few DVD's, most of them gifts, which I seldom watch.  If I did own a season collection, I'd probably start with Supernatural.  It's well plotted. 

I watch the reruns on TNT, which I'm sur…


I had to laugh. 

After I finished my post, setting boundaries for Ron so I don't burn out, telling him "Don't bother me unless you're bleeding to death"....

I had just settled into my comfortable chair.  I paid about $150 for it, about 11 years ago.  Money well spent.  I turned on the TV. 

Ron rolled into the kitchen to fix himself a Jack Links Teriyaki hot link.  He is addicted, and loves them.  However, they don't have a tear strip to open.  He got the knife. 

[closing my eyes, deep sigh] 

Yeah.  He called my name in a sheepish tone of voice, and I looked over to see his hand in the air, blood running down.  [facepalm] 

I'm doubled over laughing at this.  [sigh]  Yeah, he sliced himself pretty good. 

To me, it could have used a stitch or two, but he's a real man.  He has never once sought medical attention for any kind of bleeding injury. 

I got my toolbox - it's a real toolbox full of first aid supplies.  I washed my hands as he washed h…

He doesn't want that

Ugh. Very frustrated and more than a little burned out. 

Backstory: me, mentally ill, taking very strong drugs for same.  Not the fun kind, either.  The puke your guts out, exhaustive fatigue, brain fog kind of drugs.

That's on top of the brain damage. 

Now, to that let's add a week straight of migraines, yet having to work in spite of same.  Heavy manual labor and pushing a wheelchair. 

We're not done: let's add wracking abdominal cramps and worse. 

I have been getting up, between 2 AM to 5 AM, every day.  Sometimes I get enough sleep, sometimes I don't. 

Two days in a row I couldn't take my antidepressant, my migraine was so bad. 

Today we worked and came home.  I got a nap.  Then I spent hours on the computer figuring out the order system for the wholesale company.  Ron only had to "sit in" for about half an hour, yet he complained constantly and kept drinking. 

This morning he was so toxic and negative I blew up at him.  He asked me "…

Done with supplements

I'm not feeling very well. 

If you followed me around and watched me lifting, carrying, and pushing Ron in the wheelchair (the handles are low so I have to hunch to do it), you'd probably think "Of course you don't feel well". 

No, it's not the labor.  It's the damn supplements.  They're killing me. 

I have been wracked with agonizing abdominal cramps and worse for hours a day, every day, up hours at night.  Why?  The Glucosamine. 

I had a week of hideous migraines.  Why?  The Fish oil. 

I've cut both out but I still have aftereffects.  I worry I may get dehydrated or hypoanatremic (low sodium). 

Ugh.  I was thinking "Well, Lord, why is this bothering me now?  I used to take both these supplements".  Then God reminded me, that was before my medication.  Which, by all accounts, is very harsh to the digestive system. 

Oh, yeah. 

So, other than a basic multivitamin, and yogurt, I'm done with supplements for a while.

The sound of chainsaws

I'm feeling better about my whole weekend thing.  I figured out the fish oil is causing the migraines.  Ironic because it's supposed to *help*. 

I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, then I woke up with horrid abdominal pains and worse.  Ugh.  Not a good night. 

Anyway, we got to work at 4AM.  Stocked, did our thing.  We cannot be faulted on anything, the machines are working and stocked.  Customers are walking away happy.  Refunds paid promptly. 

I know a lot of other vendors are sharpening knives to stick in our back, coveting our location.  I'm one of those "Better under pressure" types anyway.  In this case, I believe it pays to be paranoid and vigilant about making the customers happy. 

Why, you may ask?  Well, you may or may not know the other vendor has essentially lost half his business.  Mr "I have all the machines" has been reduced to second place. 

They were aghast when they saw our soda delivery today.  We're going through an …

Then shut up

I've gotten a gamut of responses to my experience this weekend. 

Some people accuse me of being "bitter and unforgiving".  If they had gone through something similar I might be inclined to listen. 

Others agree the guy's being a butthead. 

The opinions I respect say the guy's bound to be wracked with guilt, knowing and seeing he put Ron in that wheelchair.  I agree, but at this point and time I can't give him the absolution he seems to be seeking.  He needs to look to God's forgiveness, not mine.  At this point and time, I can't make it better.

I'm getting there.  I'm doing everything I can do "absolve" him.  I pray for him.  I wish him well.  More importantly, 99.99% of the time I'm not wishing mayhem on him and his. 

I just don't want any more reminders.  It's hard enough dealing with the aftermath day to day.  It's even harder when I see the guy who apparently "got away with it" walking around in a p…

I know God understands - [bad language]

"It's a good thing you didn't have a (baseball) bat at hand." my aunt remarked. 

I agreed. 

Today, as I was unloading the pickup, the guy who ran over Ron came out of the building.  Ron was sitting in his wheelchair facing the building.  The guy, named Roy - I don't see the harm in sharing his first name.  Roy walks right up to Ron, smiling. 

Ron had no idea, of course. 

I wanted to kick his teeth in.   How can you smile I thought bitterly facing the man you put in a wheelchair?

Roy proceeded to make a few lame jokes about Ron having a "good supervisor" as I vigorously unloaded soda onto my handcart.  I said nothing.  Our friend responded and Roy left. 

I was horrified to see Roy get into a big, macho, pickup and drive away.  Our friend tried to make it better by teasingly "hiding" Ron's wheelchair.  I appreciated the gesture, but I was livid. 

"I heard about the truck" he told me ruefully. 

Who would insure a man who ran o…

My #1 seller

Oh, I'm tired. 

I woke up this morning with a pretty bad headache, but we had to work.  I took a hot shower and took some OTC painkillers.  Then we went to the wholesale warehouse. 

I was happy to see sliced, frosted, lemon poundcake at the door.  That's my favorite "sample". 

I parked Ron and took a flatbed cart, loading it with dozens of cases of bottled drinks, my snacks, and some frozen sandwiches.  We spent about $400. 

I didn't feel at all guilty about eating that pound cake.  Our friend arrived in his pickup and I put all the stuff into the truck.  We stuffed the truck (the snacks had to go into the cab), and barely had room for the folded wheelchair, standing up, in the back. 

We got to work.  I got my carts and unloaded the truck, putting everything onto the carts and then into the stockroom.  I had to push it all up a ramp, which is a great butt workout. 

Imagine my horror when we found the vending machines blocked off, floor wax freshly applied. …

The happy throng

I'm not sure if I've talked about this before. 

When I was a teen our church had a youth group.  They were a great bunch of kids, very tolerant of my social oddities and such.  They were friendly to me but no "real" friends. 

I did adore one guy named Chris, a year younger than me.  Even as a teen, he had a receding hairline and a potbelly, but he had a very kind heart.  I would have died for him.  I do so wish him well.  I like to envision him happily married, with a couple of kids, working some kind of techie job (Chris was highly intelligent). 

Every year, in June, our church did a mission trip.  We'd drive down the California coast in our 13 passenger van, spend a night in LA, across the border to Tijuana.  Then we'd go to the outskirts of TJ to an orphanage and do charity work for 4 days. 

Many wonder about the virtues of short term evangelism trips.  I will say we never shared the gospel, and no one ever got saved.  The gospel wasn't even shared…

A mighty crack

Ron had very high hopes: he'd go to the chiropractor, get an adjustment, hear a mighty CRACK, and everything would be back to normal. 

That didn't happen. 

I am glad I scrubbed Ron pretty well in the tub last night (showering aggravates his neuropathy).  Doc did a pretty full exam. 

We went in, Doc did an exam, and proclaimed Ron "amazingly flexible" - which I found interesting considering Ron's using a wheelchair.  Yet Doc could fold up one of Ron's legs and bring it up under his chin, or to the opposite shoulder.  "You should work at the circus" he said. 

That went pretty well, then it was time for the X-ray.  Ron did not enjoy standing up for his x-rays.  Later, upon viewing the X-rays, I'm amazed Ron can stand at all. 

"Severe degenerative changes" Doc proclaimed "Arthritis, and bone spurs". 

It's not the first time I've heard that.  After Ron's accident, the neurologist came by one day to review his fil…

Is that a bird?

I like to try to do nice things for myself when I'm depressed. 

Yesterday I spent about $12 on various air fresheners.  I like the Febreeze grapefruit. 

I also bought myself one of those cluster-poofy (cluster puff, my original choice of words, just sounds wrong) pillows.  It cost about $8, but it's been great.  It's got a lot of bounce.  I've been sleeping great on it.

I still have nightmares.  For some reason I've had some nightmares lately about stepping on broken glass.  It's stuck in my foot and I'm trying to get it out.  Pretty awful.  But falling asleep, and staying asleep?  Great. 

That's the nice thing about manual labor.  I sleep pretty well. 

Other than the nightmares.

So, I've enjoyed the new pillow.  I can't remember the last time I bought a new pillow. 

I am pretty simple, I never do my nails, I trim my hair once a year and use Suave hair care products, wear cheap and modest clothes, I have 3 pair shoes (workboots, cheap sne…