Thursday, July 31, 2014

That which doesn't kill me...

I almost died 3 times. 

Twice I began choking and had to be saved.  Once by my adoptive/step mother.  Whatever you want to say... 

Another time I choked on a round lime green candy from the candy dish at church.  It was a ball, about an inch in diameter.  Lime flavored.  A guy gave me the Hiemlech. 

I don't like lime flavored things anymore.  I remember the taste of the candy in my mouth as I tried to breathe (it completely cut off my airway). 

The third time I had an allergic reaction to my antidepressant.  I passed out, throat swelled up (but didn't close) and I developed a serious case of hives.

I'm not counting suicidal depressions, which are many.  I'm not counting near-miss traffic accidents, which are many. 

I am at huge risk for heart disease due to obesity, family history, and psychiatric medication. 

Those are the things that will kill me. 

I don't worry about Ebola.  I don't worry about "superbugs coming over the border with all the illegals." 

I don't worry, period.  Whatever gets me to heaven will do just that.  I just hope it's quick and painless. 

I don't know these roads!

This morning found me sitting on a toilet in a nasty public restroom, looking askance at a used rubber glove lying on the floor, and wondering just who had used it for what purpose. 

It was just that kind of morning.  Our first driver seemed OK at first, but an hour later we were driving around in circles as she exclaimed "I don't know these roads!  I don't know these freeways!"  Why, did you get a job as a cab driver if you don't know the roads and can't figure out the GPS? 

Oh, yeah.  Four thousand a month.  You thought you could fake it, but you can't, and now we're all (3 other clients besides us, on board) running very late. 

I very calmly told Ron he might want to call and reschedule our pickup "Because I don't think we'll get there when they said we would."  The driver blew up and started going on again about not knowing the roads, she was sorry (in a very nasty voice), etc. 

I could have said a lot, but didn't.  I knew she could have taken a freeway to get us to our drop off, but she didn't.  She took the scenic route through the Heights.  With a stopsign every 10 feet. 

I put on my headphones.  I didn't want to play the game. The driver was playing some kind of headgame where I was supposed to treat her as the victim of these awful roads

They didn't even give her any added trips.  I doubt she will be working at the end of the week. 

It seems that the cab program clears just about anyone to drive for the paratransit program, and the big vans are pickier.  I have seldom had a big van driver playing these head games. 

Oh, yeah, and her tiedown was broken so Ron's wheelchair was sliding all over in the back. 

We finally dropped the first client at his workshop (daycare for developmental disability). 

We got to the area.  "It's the big building up there" I told her, taking care to keep my voice level and calm.  I thought to myself, biting my tongue - I've about chewed it off! 

"What?!" she yelled  "What did you say to me?!" 

I spoke a little louder, still keeping my voice calm and level.  "It's the big building, up ahead, with the blue things." 

A minute later:  "Oh, I passed it up.  I have to go around." 

Have you ever wondered why I ask God to put His words in my mouth, His thoughts in my head, His love in my heart?  Every single morning?  This is why. 

I took a deep breath.  Downtown Houston is a maze of one-way streets.  "Oh, this is so confusing" The driver wailed as we continued to drive away from the building.  "I don't know these streets!" 

I calmly suggested she pull over in a parking lot and let us out.  I would push Ron over to the building "Since you are having trouble getting over there." 

She freaked out "I can't do that!  Make you push....!  Oh no!  In the heat!" 

"We need."  I told her very calmly "To get to our location.  Our pickup is coming in half an hour and it takes a while to make the pass.  We've already called once and explained we're running late.  We don't want to miss our ride and get a black mark.  I'm sure you don't want Ron to lose his service because you were having trouble." 

She finally took it seriously and got us over there.  Of course she took her sweet time unstrapping Ron.  "Oh!  I don't see a ramp!  We'll have to find one!" 

"We don't need a ramp" I finally released some of my impatience.  "I can push him in the street." 

She was so cheerful waving goodbye.  I hope that's the last time we get her. 

I felt so sorry for the old man with dementia, and his wife, who were going to be late for their doctor's appointment.  I hoped the language barrier would preclude any further head games. 

We got inside and they made the pass pretty quickly. 

Then we had the wait downtown.  Because it's downtown, you get a lot of very wierd semi-to-totally homeless population wandering through.  One woman was screaming at 2 metro police.   She was the first "manic" of the day.  I had to use the bathroom, where I found the rubber glove.  [twitch]  You can bet I'm taking my vitamin C tonight. 

Metro had covered up every available outlet, I guess because the homeless were using them to charge their cell phones.  They had security officers and police, as well. 

We ended up waiting about an hour. 

Our next driver was great.  We really liked her.  We went to the bank. 

I had begged, begged Ron to please go home.  No, he didn't listen.  He made a trip to go to the mall because he wanted some chicken from the food court. 

We ended up waiting over an hour on that pickup.  We met our second manic woman, another client, wandering around, jabbering about all the cabs she saw, who weren't her ride. 

Sometimes when I'm manic, and very talkative, Ron will scream "SHUT UP!" 

But I ask God to put His love in my heart... to keep me from letting out the ugly... so I just corked it and sighed. 

We were supposed to ride with her but I think the driver got that taken off.  He was very rude to us.  I smugly hoped he enjoyed having a manic, hypertalkative client.  She would be riding a while. 

I don't have permission to talk about it, but Ron felt some urgency to go home at this point.  He was pretty relieved to "see" our driver. 

The driver was dropping off a client, who remained in the vehicle, talking to the driver, jabbering away nonstop, for another 5 minutes, before the driver finally evicted her.  My third manic woman of the day. 

I was pretty weary and disgusted.  I take my meds.  I bet all the women knew they were bipolar, but either refused to accept it, or liked the manias too much to go on medication.  I felt very frustrated as I considered all the side effects I endure to manage my illness, and how irresponsible women like them make people like me look bad. 

I mean, everyone was laughing at them.  In a cruel way.   They were clearly out of control.  It was disgusting and pathetic. 

I don't feel sorry for people who know they're sick, but refuse to take medication as directed. 

Anyway, we got home before we had any problems.  I took a nap.  The cats brought me a dead bird, which I removed.  They left it by my God Time couch, which is clearly "my" territory in the home. 

I guess I should be flattered. 

What a day "off".

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The internet is infalliable

I got up at 4.  "Washed" my hair with conditioner again because I'm not "supposed" to shampoo it for 24 hours after a henna treatment.  Or so I read online and we all know the internet is infalliable. 

I did my God Time.  Good thing because I was wiped out when we got home. 

I did a lot of research before I started using henna on my hair.  Many of the hair websites, especially the longer hair/lets-use-henna sites are all about identifying your hair "type". 

Uh.  Long.  Wavy.  Oily.  Brown. 

They had codes that are more complicated than my wholesale vending supply catalog.  I decided I wouldn't benefit from participating in the communities and moved on. 

So, tomorrow morning, I will be using my shampoo.  Then I will condition my hair, put it up in my hair clip, and finish my shower.  Then I rinse out my hair and then wash my face (I have a problem getting conditioner on my face, which made me get a pimple for the first time in ages). 

We went to the warehouse.  Work inhales hundreds of pastries a week.  So, sight unseen, I bought more pastry.  Little did I know my label gun was almost out of ammo (sob!). 

My guy will fix it on Friday.  I got candy, a nice variety mix. 

I ran into one of the other blind vendors recently and saw it on his cart.  I stole the concept. 

We'll see what the Postal Workers think.  It's all about what they want. 

I got some chips, etc. 

Ron said if I wanted inventory I'd have to use my own money (put your rock away), and then I'd get paid back once we got to work.  We did that. 

When I told him the total, he said "I thought you'd spend less if it's your money".  Nope. 

We got to work.  The bottled vendor is broken.  That's frustrating.  We took bottled drinks out and put them in the cold food vending machine.  Sales will suffer for a few days but not terribly. 

Our guy is coming out on Friday.  I told Ron the man is worth the wait. 

The food machines were fine, and canned soda.  Ron worked on canned soda.  I did snacks and put drinks on the food machine.  I had a LOT of stocking. 

I'll actually feel a little relieved when the other vendors open up the "front office" break room.  It will compete, but I know my lineup can compete. 

Ooops.  I forgot to do fruit rollups. 

We did a lot. 

Finally done, time to go.  An official looking guy grabbed us as we left.  "We need you to test the new door".  I think he was the architect. 

I verified my badge opened the "handicapped" door.  It was clear the guy had had some concern about our access.  He could cross that off his list. 

Now they just need to connect the new wheelchair ramp to the actual door.  It just drops off, now. 

We went out.  We had a nice driver from Nigeria.  I said hello in the Yoruba dialect.  He gaped at us, grinned, and laughed.  Ron and I recited the few words we knew as he applauded, strapping down the wheelchair. 

I love the Nigerians.  They're such a bright people, mentally and emotionally. 

We went to Walmart.  That time of day it earned the reputation Hellmart. 

I needed refills on my medication.  I got them.  The tech was a little annoyed I inspected everything but it's my mind.  I'm always careful. 

Twice I was given diabetes medication.  My last A1C was better than Ron's. 

Once I was given sleeping pills, antianxiety medication, AND blood pressure medication.  Good way to kill me, or turn me into a junkie. 

I always check my pills. 

I got a few groceries, some drinks for tomorrow (a roadtrip downtown for a new yearly paratransit pass), etc.  Ron got a new backpack (he killed the old, new, one).  I made a small deposit so I have a little fun money if I get manic. 

Ha.  I plan for manias.  I have a nice tie-dye project in the living room.  3 t-shirts in my size, one in Ron's, and some blue and green dye.  Plus an extra $20 in my account if I want it.  I also got supplies for Driver Candy, which I did up while watching TV. 

The store was very crowded and noisy.  Not good for someone with my issues.  I finally fled and waited outside for half an hour on our ride. 

I was so glad to see the driver who brought us home.  She was new to us, and pleasantly suprised that I saw groceries as "my job", not hers.  Well, they are. 

A lot of clients don't see it that way. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Heather's day off

Yesterday, did I do a blog? 

I got up early, went in, stocked, inventory.  We needed cinnamon rolls, cheese danish, snickers, and a candy bar assortment. 

We went to the warehouse, and I bought it all.  One thing I hated: Ron was so cheap about buying snack inventory. 

Food machine?  Grudgingly.  Sodas?  You bet, the #1 priority.  Snacks?  Forget it.  I had to beg to get even minimal inventory to front the machines. 

However, last year Ron made a turnaround.  He grumbles, but he does "let" me get the snack inventory.  As a result, snacks have surged to first place in sales. 

We went back to work, I stocked, and helped Ron stock. 

When I ran by the credit union, they told me they aren't allowed access to the vending machines anymore. 

I told them I could call occasionally and deliver snacks.  They loved it. 

We went home. 

We had a driver who upset me some.  He wanted to hear about the accident, and then basically said we were too stupid to get a good settlement. 

We told him, nicely, we consulted multiple attorneys.  The "Postal Worker" was not on the clock, not on the property, driving a PRIVATE vehicle.  Therefore, the accident wasn't covered by the Postal insurance, but his private, minimal coverage policy. 

The driver told us, if it had been him hurt he would have gotten a bigger settlement.  I didn't argue. 

It's very hurtful and insulting when someone judges us like that.  [Lord, may I never be that person]  We're not stupid.  Don't you think we wanted some 6-7 figure "justice" like you see on TV? 

If we could have acheived that, we would've. 

I don't like being told we were screwed over.  Yes, we were, by "Insurance Reform". But I don't need people beating us over the head with it.   No wonder I didn't want to blog last night. 

I was still courteous to the driver, and gave him some ice cream when we got to the house.  The ice-cream-for-drivers has been tremendously popular. 

I was happy to find a case of Bibles on the porch.  I've been wanting some whole Bibles.  I got 25, but I gave one away to the driver. 

I also got some Spanish Gospels of John. 

I am in desperate need of Spanish, so I'm happy to see them.  I've been checking my main source of Spanish Bibles, but they're out of New Testaments. 

I made a batch of henna, heavy on the rose petals (they come as a mauve powder from the import store).  I went to bed pretty early. 

I slept in, got up around 7.  I did my God Time wearing my good glasses.  I washed my hair with shampoo only, wrung it out, and applied the henna, a rather tedious and very messy process. 

I shoved it all under a shower cap and watched Supernatural for a while.  After the programs, I wrapped my head with some additional plastic wrap (mainly edging the shower cap). 

A little about my sleep patterns: I sleep on a pyramid of 3 pillows. I put a garbage bag over the top pillow, and a very old towel on top of that. 

I took a nice nap. 

I had a freaky dream about bad plumbing, which woke me up (terrible leak, in a ceiling I didn't recognize).  I got up and rinsed the henna.  A tedious process. 

I rinse with lots of water, and then "wash" with conditioner. 

Then I got online. 

I helped Ron with some A/R stuff, that was it for work. 

I'll probably have a bowl of cereal for dinner. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pink Handout

Some of the recipients saw me singing along with "Gimme Dat" and dancing on the corner as I waved the Free Bibles sign. 

I wore pink today.  Someone sent me a pink safety vest, and I had a hot pink sign.  I took them both. 

I had a case with a little over 60 Bibles.  I had a feeling it would be a *better* day. 

I was right. 

For one, we had a great ride.  The driver was wonderful and enjoyed eating his ice cream as he drove. 

He also took Antoine.  I have been wanting a "new" spot in Acres Homes.  Gulf Bank @ Antoine was suggested, but I saw for myself it was a horrible median.  Victory, or West Tidwell, are much better.  I always hear of people getting shot over by Tidwell. 

When the driver realized my plan, he slowed down so I could investigate each option.  Once I saw Tidwell, though, I was very happy. 

We got out and I got Ron locked and loaded.  I had a little trouble pushing him - I kept bumping into jagged parts of the sidewalk.  The impacts nearly caused Ron to drop the case! 

I saw a lot of people begging in the vicinity.  When they saw us they realized we were competition of some sort, and began glaring. 

Welcome to Fondren. 

I got over to our median, happily empty, and setup.  The drivers began gaping as I donned my pink safety vest and unrolled my hot pink Free Bibles sign. 

I handed out my first Bible within a few minutes.  We worked for over an hour (we arrived early).  I handed out 40, but 50 total (more on that). 

I had a cheerleading section this time.  At one point, an older black lady rolled down her window to gape at me.  I headed over and she waved me off, nicely.  I backed up and headed over to a latino lady who wanted 2.  As I handed them over, the older lady began yelling encouragement.  I thought it was very sweet - she even pumped her fist at me and waved as she drove off! 

She had an interesting story to tell at church! 

I heard a car honking to my left as I worked.  I waved in the general direction and went back to work.   They began honking again, and shouting.  I looked back and 3-4 young asians were hanging out of the car windows, waving and grinning! 

I had a couple other cars, clearly Christians, wave and grin as they saw me. 

This is what they saw:

I had some recipients who were a lot of fun: one Nigerian guy had his window down (poor people never have power windows, or air conditioning, making them easy to serve).  I had just found a FOE/BIC mixtape (Gospel Rap made with artist's permission) CD.  I asked if he liked rap, he said yes.  I asked how many Bibles he'd like, he said one.  I handed the CD over along with the New Testament. 

He took it, but looked at me reluctantly.  "But I don't have any money" he said apologetically. 

"Good!" I replied briskly!  "I wouldn't take it!"  I grinned at him, told him I'd be praying daily, and headed off as he thanked me. 

Another lady really wanted 2 Bibles.  Her car was in such bad condition she had to open her car door to receieve them, but said she didn't have any money.  I told her the same thing as she gaped at me. 

Southwest has a rather aggressive panhandler population.  I have discovered I have to stand back about 10 feet from the curb so the cars feel "safe" approaching. 

Of course I had people who said no.  One said he didn't want a Bible because he wasn't a Christian.  I said he could always read it and make his own decision.  He made a blunt refusal and drove off. 

A panhandler stopped working his corner and came to watch us for a while.  After about 15 minutes, I felt led to go over to him.  "I don't want no Bible" he said. 

As I turned to go back to Ron, I saw a man get out of his car and head over to Ron (whom I'd left alone), attempting to give him money!  I started yelling no repeatedly and got over there. 

I told him "We don't want money, we want to give you this!" as I handed over the last whole Spanish Bible. 

Ron's talking book machine acts as a boom box if you have a flash drive containing music.  I brought my music. 

One of my favorite Bible Handout songs is Gimme Dat by Ambassador.  Ron laughed as I sang and danced the first time. 

About 45 minutes later, I'm tired.  I'm hot.  My brains are cooked.  Everyone's waving me off like a gnat.  He cued it up again and all the people who'd just said no got treated to a little show!

I think people are getting used to me now.  Instead of gaping in alarm, they're chuckling at me and grinning at the crazy Bible lady. 

Good.  Like I told Ron, nearly everyone who laughs at me will also take a Bible! 

I was about run out.  I decided to hand out two more Bibles and then wrap it up. 

I handed out one. 

Then a guy from church came running up.  He saw me as he rode past on the bus.  He got off and came over, wanting to help. 

"I'll set you up!" I told him.  I gave him a plastic bag with a sack of Bibles, Ron's sign, and my extra "Garment of praise"  (safety vest) 

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
He ran off to another corner.  I restocked my own Bibles and watched him work for a minute.  "He's a natural" I told Ron. 
I started getting dizzy - almost out of Bibles, I decided to wrap it up.  In the meantime, our church friend had distributed 10 Bibles of his own.   That's what I meant 40 + 10. 
"I had a lot of fun" he told me.  "I'd love to do it again".  I could tell he meant it. 
I went to the gas station and got a couple of large Diet sodas (I had drunk a quart of powerade on the way to the handout spot).  As I pushed Ron back to the church, someone honked and pulled in.  I got out a Bible, figuring someone had doubled back for a Bible after all. 
Nope, it was my aunt and uncle.  She took the photo.  We talked for a while, figured the wheelchair would fit in their trunk, and agreed to meet for lunch after church. 
We had fun. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Your tongue

The #19 party machine has started up again. 

I asked Ron to call the police.  He was on the phone, chattering. 

I would have hung up, called the police, and then called my friend back.  Once the people get started it is impossible to think, and very loud. 

The music has the loud Mexican "polka" beat. 

Ron, after he hung up, said "Oh, I thought it was your music".  Did you LISTEN?  Have I ever listened to that stuff?  Do I ever play my music that loud? 

He's been drinking.  Ron drinks every day "After 12".  He has varying degrees of sobriety from that point onward. 

If he calls the police he always thinks it's "cute" to say "Come out and make him stop or I'll have to kill him".  Or "I'm going to commit a crime if you don't...." 

I don't think it's ever a good idea to make threats, to the police, on the record.  You know?  Just not bright. 

But when he's drinking he thinks it's "Cute" and funny.  "I'm blind and in a wheelchair.  I can't do anything and I'm just letting off steam." 

[facepalm]  Anyway, I asked him to call the police, a couple times, because I had already taken my meds and I don't do well with interacting over the phone with the police.  I end up having them repeat things - because I hear them, I just don't get what they're saying. It's frustrating for me and them. 

It's especially bad for me if I have any kind of background noise.  I even turned off the TV.  Ron comes rolling up about halfway through the call and starts making comments.   I asked him, with progressive levels of frustration, to please be quiet. 

He gets very upset if I talk in the background when he's on the phone.  I reminded him of that when I finally hung up. 

Then he lit into me.  I was so rude.  I was mean.  God was going to get me for my terrible behavior. 

Why?  Because I asked you to help, you told me to stick it, and I did it myself?  Then you came out and pestered me and I asked you to stop? 

Who's the bad guy? 

He was really surprised I had called the police myself.  I told them I was disabled to cover any "stupid".  I was clearly very weary and told them I just wanted to sleep.   Which I do. 

This has NOT been our week for neighbor relations.  #7 with their wild party ending up in the freaked out drunken teen banging on our door in the middle of the night (Sunday night).  #2 cutting down a perfectly innocent tree at the behest of his landlady, then leaving the pile of clippings in front of my house (Tuesday).   Last night #6 had a wading pool party with lots of happy shrieking (that one I didn't mind because they're bonding).  Tonight, it's the #19 party machine. 


Is it a full moon? 

Ron, when he's being ugly, likes to attack my faith.  To tell me I am so awful, a terrible Christians, such a sinner, hypocrite, etc. 

Tonight he kept raving about the pastor's sermon about "the poison tongue" - all this because I asked him to please be quiet while I was on the phone.  I understand the head injury makes him regress, but sometimes I swear he's like a 3 year old. 

The pastor was referring to verbally abusive behavior, and to gossip. 

Anyway, he was verbally abusing me as he talked about "my" verbal abuse of him.  He's calling me a hypocrite and the music's banging and I almost started laughing. 

My life.  [shaking my head] 

Climbing out of the hole

[Gibbering]  It's been a rough couple days. 

Battling depression, for one. 

Two days ago, not a bad start: I got to sleep in and watch a couple episodes of Supernatural, after my shower and God Time. 

Then it all went to hell. 

Guy-with-a-truck-take-one.  NO COKES.  A vending business.  In Texas.  In the Summer.  And they don't have a single can of Coke on the premesis? 

I did buy snack items, and the OTHER drinks we needed.  I had already cleared off shelving (I have 2 shelving racks in my corner of the stockroom), so I'd have an easier time putting the drinks away.  We ended up buying about 15 cases of drinks, in addition to my snacks. 

We went in and worked third shift, putting things away.  Not a bad day overall.  Except for no Cokes. 

I like working third shift.  Ron and I agree we'll do it more often.  It's the afternoon/evening shift. 

I didn't sleep well.  I forget why. 

Woke up yesterday, a different guy-with-a-truck.  Got the Cokes.  The nice warehouse employee came over on his own and helped.  I tipped him. 

Got to work, unloaded everything myself (the driver had recent surgery and cannot do lifting, besides, it's my problem.  He drives).   Whoo.  My whole back half was feeling pretty worked today. 

LOTS of complaints.  Where have we been?  I made a joke about cheating with the third shift.  Bugs in the coffee machine.  Gnats. 

Time to blow the lid off: it's a very common problem.  Bugs in the coffee vending machine. It's very warm.  It has sugar and powders.  It has used coffee grounds.  It has moisture.  It's a bug's dream.  My repairman told me this.  "I've never seen a coffee machine without a bug problem". 

I had employees AND management very unhappy.  I explained we would fix it, and we did.  I put up some flypaper and a glue trap on the floor.  For obvious reasons, we cannot use poisons.  Ron did a deep clean on the machine itself, and I took out the used coffee grounds, the source of the "problem".  

I explained all this to the employees, management, and union rep who had gotten in on the problem.  Yike. 

Then I had various other complaints: one snack machine doesn't have all it's labels.  I explained they don't make the labels anymore.  She told me I "had" to put labels in there. 

She is in management, and it was her second complaint on the subject.  Not being stupid, I bought some stick on labels and "fixed" it.  Even though, when I told her I'd make labels, she said "Don't do that". 

If you want the labels, I have to make them.  It wasn't that hard.  The machine looks very happy now.  Especially stocked. 

Oh, yeah, TONS of stocking.  Of everything, except the coffee machine. 

For some reason, no one wanted coffee (laughing hysterically). 

I just had a lot of small, nibbling issues.  When I left I felt beat up, worn out, and very tired. 

We went to Walmart and I got my label supplies (I fixed the label issue today). 

I had a very hard time falling asleep last night.  Problems and worries kept running through my head.  I was exhausted and my illness amplifies when I'm sleep deprived. 

I had a rough night. 

I got up and did my God Time as best I could.  Shower and all that. 

I asked for some prayer support.  I figured I could use it.  One of my sponsors told me he's sending me a case of Bibles.  Someone else told me they are giving me something for "the work" but I can't reveal his name.  Or her name.  It could be a woman. 


Things were a lot better today. 

One of my customers told me "I can always count on you" (for a good meal/snack).  I was very touched.  I got everything stocked. 

People like my Fiber One Protein bars so much I need to buy more.  I'm very attentive when my customers are purchasing so I can fix problems, and I caught one as it happened. 

The other vendor and Ron had a great time hanging out in the stockroom.  Good.  Ron and I got everything done.  The guy from Dr Pepper came out and wrote up our old vending machine, aka "The Choker" - we may get another shiny new one like we did the old one. 

So, customers were happy.  Machines full.  Things good with the other vendors. 

Best of all, no trips after work - just going home.  We did that. 

I took a nice nap and feel a lot better, and finally have time to blog. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hater's Puppet

Haters want to start race wars. 

I'm not playing. 

A good example, I was "aggravated" by two different latino neighbors this week.  Do I hate latinos?  No.  I think the particular individuals were immature.  That's a big difference from hating all of them. 

You know what?  I totally understand why they risk everything to get here. 

This is what they can expect in Mexico, and how many make a living.  Garbage picking. 
If they're lucky, they might live here,
These are HOMES, with several per household:
NO utilities, running water, ameneties.  They throw their slop buckets full of human waste down the hill.  The slums reek of rotting sewage. 

I've been there, on mission trips.  Horrific. 

Contrast that home above to this "Section 8 Housing" project in America.  This is considered a "bad" one.  The caption on this photo refers to this as "one" of the playgrounds in the complex.  Notice the satellite TV dish? 

Where would you want your child to live? 

I get the completely human desire to give one's children a better life.  I don't hate them. 

Jesus told me to love everyone, so I will.  However, I understand as well as obeying God. 

We need to shut the border people say.  Keep those people out of our country! 

Well, guess what, buddy.  You're going to need a time machine.  The tide has turned.  If you want to do that go back about 70 years and you ought to fix it.  It's too late now. 

America has prospered from all the "illegal" activity.  I know for a fact virtually everyone in my family has hired an undocumented worker at one point or another. 

Regarding that, the Bible says treat your employees fairly, give them their wages, don't cheat them.  I try to hire citizens when possible. 

Latinos also have amazing compassion and empathy for Ron.  Ron is often embarrassed by their outpourings of kindness and occasional monetary offerings (which he always declines).   My next door neighbor is an amazing father to his 5 children.  He spends quality time with them even when exhausted after a hard day's work.  He values his wife, he works 12 hour days, often 6 days a week, to provide for his family. 

We will have conflict everytime you get different cultures mixing.  It's inevitable. 

I don't understand the all night-loud-music "birthday parties".  I'm sure they are horrified by my lax yard care.  But we're here now and we're learning to live together. 

When I read articles "Illegal child infects classroom" I know it's just the haters trying to create a race war, just like they did with the Trayvon shooting last year.  Black vs White didn't work to well, so it's Everyone vs. Latino right now. 


I will not be a hater's puppet. 

I have my own mind. 

Mount Brushmore

I slept pretty well.  I heard someone playing music, but it was down pretty low and I slept so I don't mind. 

I waited until an appropriate moment and talked to Ron about the mountain of tree trimmings in front of our house.  We have a pile, about 4 feet high, 3 feet deep, and 20 feet long. 

Ron decided to call the landlady.  "Oh, I told him to trim the tree" she replied blithely "Heavy trash will take them tomorrow."  Ron suggested she come by and look, because this is even worse than last month's pile, which we were quoted $50 on removal. 

"I'm not paying" Ron told her grimly "For this one."

She mentioned, again (said this last year too) they are trying to "get rid of" the tenants.  They came in fall, 2010.  She's had them for 4 years.  She must not hate them that much. 

We emphasized, overall, he's not a bad guy.  This is our only complaint.  Had I been on the phone I would have played up the "wheelchair user needs to get on the van" angle, but Ron chose not to do that. 

Ron had mentioned someone had pressure-washed the house, which is 20 years old this year.  "Oh, we did that - hired someone, because we're about to paint."  The house is in clear need of a paint job. 

Ron was worried they are getting ready to rent it, or sell it.  I don't think so.  She told me once the house was their fallback plan if "things got really bad, financially". 

I know the black middle class has suffered horribly the last several years.  If anything they would be coming back. 

The house is bad-enough looking they probably got fix-it letters from the homeowner's association.  We got one because they didn't like our trim, several years ago.  We had to hire someone to paint. 

Anyway, lots of drama too early in the morning. 

I was proud of myself for waiting to talk to Ron about the problem.  One of my favorite secular self-help books: "Contact, the First 4 Minutes".  It basically stated the first 4 minutes set the tone for the whole encounter. 

If I go straight into complaints the minute Ron wakes up, he's going to wish he hadn't.  If I make loving chatter for 5-10 minutes, first, he won't feel "dumped on". 

It seems to work very well. 

I checked the mail.  I got a very nice letter I won't share.  Suffice to say it was fan mail.  I don't need to inflate my ego, so I won't.  I'm glad I make people feel better (hopefully you, too!). 

I also got a package from an internet friend, about 200 tracts.  Yay!  Tracts!  They are very nice full color tracts, which I'll definitely use packing my Bibles.  I can also give some to Ron if he wants, but he's pretty loyal to "Where will you Spend Eternity" Link

We went to Walmart.  Ron was upset his sure-thing "one hour at Walmart" had been hacked to half an hour, but our pickup was late so I got my hour anyway. 

I made a deposit, I need to buy some things online: vending machine labels, if I don't make my own; and maybe another deodorant crystal stone. 

I hunted up Spanish Bibles.  I am a stalker.  I found 5 and put them all in my cart.  If I buy a whole Spanish Bible online, it costs me $3-4 plus shipping.  If I get it at Walmart it's $1.88 and I don't even pay sales tax. 

I got some more yogurt, etc.  Cat treats.  Spent some time among the air fresheners.  I think my house has a wierd smell.  I ended up getting a Febreeze "Fall Favorite" even though it's July.  It's a Sandalwood/Chai, shouldn't affect Ron, and makes the house smell OK. 

I bought some cheese dogs and whole grain buns, a little ice cream for me, some for the drivers, and checked out.  I was pretty hungry so I bought a breakfast sandwich. 

Ron wanted a hash brown so I got one. 

We had a good ride home but the drivers are having some difficulty navigating Mount Brushmore in front of our house.  Ugh. 

So, I need to do my God Time (woke up with a pretty nasty headache and didn't feel up to it either this morning or just now), eat my rice pudding, take my meds. 

I'm not sure if our truck day is on for tomorrow.  I heard Ron talking to the man and it sounded like a cancellation.  I have yet to find my back brace, which has me a little uncomfortable. 

However, I've done lots of heavy lifting for years without a problem. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Someone's at the door

I've had worse days, I remind myself. 

However, the last 36 hours have been pretty awful. 

Ron, tired of arriving "early" at church, decided to "fix the pickup", without telling me.  That resulted in a very late pickup and a tentative drop off half an hour after church start.  Ron was very upset and agitated. 

I had to deal with that on top of my own disappointment.  I don't think I ask for much, and didn't think it was that big a deal, arriving half an hour early.  I like to "visit". 

Ron made some phone calls and got very upset at the driver.  We ended up getting there 10 minutes before service.  He apologized but the driver wasn't happy.  And that, my friends, is why "church ladies" have such an awful reputation on the service. 

On the way home from church, the driver's computer broke.  The computer has a list of trips and information about each.  It also has GPS for each trip.  He has to "arrive" and "perform" trips as he arrives and loads the passengers.  He had to use the radio for all that, plus getting directions.  It took forever. 

Our ride home was estimated to take an hour.  It took two.  Some of the other clients were getting fussy because they had been riding half an hour.  I wanted to yell at them "I've been riding two!"  I didn't. 

The driver took the wrong turn and went hours out of the way.  I begged God to put His love in my heart because I really needed it.  I did what I could to be kind to him.  At this point, I had been riding for about 3 hours total. 

We had a turnaround trip at home, we were going to work.  I barely had time to change my shoes. 

We went to work and stocked what we could, then came home.  I rode a total of 4 hours. 

I noticed #7's oldest, across the street, was having a party.  He likes to have friends over to play pool in the garage - he's the adult son of the homeowners.  The current companion had a black sedan with the doors open and loud music.  The young man lives with his parents, teenage sister, and little sister (maybe 7 years old).   It was getting late and we needed to sleep, and that bass was traveling straight to my bedroom.  Ron called in a complaint to the police, and the homeowner's association. 

I figured maybe the parents were out of town and he was "off the chain".  He had made some noise on Saturday night, too. 

I just assume parents will tell their kid "Turn it off, we don't live in the ghetto". 

I heard the little girl running around and shrieking.  Apparently the parents were home, condoning this party, which had the appearance of a classical Mexican birthday party - loud music, lots of alcohol, loud until the early hours. 

If you asked my neighbors, none of them could tell you the month of my birthday, much less the date.  I'd certainly never keep them up all night, "celebrating".  I can't imagine anything more selfish but it's pretty prevalent in the culture.  I believe #2 is preparing for his annual blowout. 

He's currently piling some kind of brush clippings in front of my house in the street.  I guess I'm supposed to pay someone to haul them off, again, but I won't.  If I have to I will call the landlady and have her deal with him. 

He only cares about his landscaping when it's his birthday - I guess because his "friends" give him a hard time.  He'll spend weeks preparing for the party (he has this year).  The rest of the year you'll find 3-4 foot high grass everywhere. 

Back to #7.  I couldn't sleep for the music so I read Son of Hamas for a while.  Boy, he had an interesting life.  I read several chapters.  It seemed to be pretty quiet, so I went to bed.   I had to get up at 4.  It was already after 10. 

Something woke me up around 11:30.  I got up to wander up front and look out my peep hole. 

Suddenly I heard loud banging on my door and someone ringing the doorbell.  My immediate reflex: don't open the door. 

In some bad areas, thugs will target seniors and disabled by banging on their doors in the middle of the night, hoping the befuddled victim will open the door and allow entry for a home invasion burglary.  If the victim is lucky, that's all that occurs. 

I was not going to open that door.  Ron woke up and got in his wheelchair.  "Who's that?  I'm going to find out!" 

I told him no, if he wanted action please call 911.  He turned on his cell phone. 

We figured it was drunk kids from the party. 

I went up front, lights off, and looked out my spy hole in the blinds.  I saw a young man, the owner of the black (loud music) car, laughing hysterically in the driveway. 

Aha, I thought.  I was right.  That's a pretty nasty trick.  He got in the vehicle and drove away. 

The doorbell rang again, relentlessly, banging on the door, and I could hear a teenage girl screaming.  I told Ron to call 911. 

Let's take a moment.  You know Ron is disabled.  You have seen him, just as we've seen you.  You see he's in a wheelchair.  What in God's name do you think a blind man in a wheelchair can do for you? 

I made some jokes today about Ron using his "ninja powers" as people snorted. 

If you wonder what God would have me do, everything in my soul was saying "Leave it alone" and "No". 

I looked out the front window again.  The girl was on her cell phone, talking agitatedly.  Later, I saw her lying on the ground and rolling around in the driveway, which I thought very odd behavior. 

#6 occasionally runs errands at night - maybe to the pharmacy.  They leave the house for about 10 minutes and come right back.  As they came back, the girl jumped in front of their car screaming. 

It sounded like "He shot my Dad".  Turns out she was saying "He has a bat". 

Remember, the guy left a good 5 minutes earlier. 

The police came.  The party broke up eventually.  After about an hour and a half, it seemed quiet enough to go to sleep. 

Ron wanted to know what had happened.  He called the police.  Apparently, the driver of the black car, very drunk - got a baseball bat and was menacing people at the party.  After terrorizing them, he went out in the driveway, laughing hysterically, as I saw.  Then he left. 

Presumably #7's family know his identity and intend to press charges. 

I was pretty furious.  You buy a house in a decent neighborhood and then you want to bring in your willfully ignorant, criminal, thug friends.  Not only that you want to disturb hardworking people who are just trying to live their lives. 

Hopefully #7 has learned some lessons about the company the oldest is keeping.  Hopefully they have learned lessons about serving alcohol at parties. 

I say it constantly: I've never seen a person bettered by the use of alcohol.  It just brings out their worst.

I minister to ignorant people.  I don't have a problem with that.  I do have a problem with clearly affluent, educated adults, choosing to thug-identify and bring would-be criminals into my life.  And Ron's. 

If you want thugs, Houston offers plenty of neighborhoods.  But no, you only want to be a bad boy at your convenience. 

I barely got 3 hours sleep, and had to go to work. 

I was dying to go bang on their door at 4 AM, and wake them up.  I did my God Time instead. 

"God" I told Him.  "I don't have it today.  I don't have any love in my heart.  I am bitter and resentful.  I am angry.  I am frustrated I have to deal with losers.  I have to go to work.  I don't have it today.  I know You say in the Bible You won't hear me if I have bitterness and anger - but please hear me anyway and take it away." 

I felt better enough after that to do most of the prayer and Bible study portion of my program. 

For instance, I am seriously excited.  Voice of the Martyrs offers an opportunity to become a prayer partner for a "front lines worker" in high-persecution areas.  I signed up. 

I got a guy in Columbia.  Now, VOM was very clear: they don't want me to "out" him.  I won't.  He's a nice Latino man with a family.  I will be praying for all of them.  I put him in the front of my God Time notebook along with some other missionaries. 

I'd already taken my shower.  Thank God I didn't need to shave my legs. 

I got dressed and went to work. 

The other vendor wanted a meeting - yike. 

No, it was OK.  He wanted to talk abour raising prices.  Our guy from the state was demanding it, but the other guy had been balking.  "Talk to him direct" I told our boss "He won't receive it from us". 

So, prices are going up a nickel, pretty much across the board.  It's the first time in several years.  I'll have to look it up but I think it was 2008-9. 

I'm sure the population will scream. 

I helped Ron with his end of things, stocked what I had in snacks, did my inventory, and left to go to the warehouse.  Our guy-with-a-truck has been meeting us at the warehouse, and giving us a ride back to work.  Ron assumed that would happen, without asking "Joe". 

He called Joe, after the deadline to make trips, and found out, to his horror, Joe was taking overtime today and wouldn't be able to help.  We didn't have a ride to work. 

Paratransit was able to do it but it meant waiting at the warehouse for over 2 hours.  Ron doesn't like the crowds so we waited outside. 

I finished Son of Hamas.  Good book. 

I listened to my music.  I sat in my folding chair and watched over a dozen people, literally look down on us as they entered the store. 

That made me feel special. 

I was so exhausted - and fatigue is really bad for me.  All my Bad Thoughts get amplified.  The driver to take us to work wasn't very nice and broke my folding chair.  I was just so weary. 

We got to work.  I had to tag and stock about 100 pastries. I did that.  I stocked my candy and helped Ron with the food machine (adding bottled drinks).  I didn't get a chance to do the cup-a-noodles but they'll live. 

I took the gummy candy out of (snack machines) 1 &2, and put them in #3.  They weren't vending properly and I don't want anyone ripped off.  I am passionate about having happy customers.  #3 is good for vending wierd snack items. 

Everyone was complaining about the coffee machine. 

"I just don't have it" I told Ron. 

When everyone left, I opened the machine and did an inspection.  It had plenty of coffee beans, and ground coffee.  "Weak" it may be, but it's not my fault. 

I think people get accustomed to the rocket fuel served at gas stations, and expect it from our machine.  It can't do that.  Anyway, I'm not going to accept the stress for that right now. 

When we go back to work, we can do some test-vends and see for ourselves. 

Finally, time to go.  I was so happy to see the vehicle already pulling into the driveway.  We boarded and came home. 

I got an hour nap but woke up hallucinating, I think.  [sigh]  Now I need to figure out dinner and take my meds. 

I wryly noted #7 has apparently fled the scene.  Normally they have at least one car in front of the house.  Not today.  I think they are hiding. 

I believe #6 is going to go to talk to them.  The girl undoubtably scared the crap out of his children, screaming and banging on his door.  Then she jumps in front of his car, screaming hysterically about a guy who fled 10 minutes before. 

#6 and #7 are both Mexican, so he'll have more impact than Ron or I, for instance.  I would love to go over there with Ron in the wheelchair and yell at them about bothering cripples. 

However, God wants me to pray instead, so I will. 

I just wish my life had less drama.  I do everything I can to minimize drama in my life.  I got rid of quarrelsome internet folk, don't interact with the neighbors, follow the Bible, take my meds, avoid bad drugs and alcohol. 

I just want, to paraphrase the Bible: work hard with my own hands, mind my own business. 

I just wish other people's drama could stay off my property. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

I never abused anything

I think I'd have an easier time writing this post about my sex life. 

I have always, always, sought my Dad's approval, and to a lesser extent, that of my adoptive Mom/Stepmother.  If you know about my upbringing you may find that pathetic, or infuriating. 

I do. 

Dad's always had the "conventional" view of success: good grades, good college, good job, good spouse, good family. 

I'm a high-school dropout, a couple years of part time community college, no degree or certificate.  I'm self employed and making a very modest income.  I can't even drive.  I'm dependent on public transit.  I have post-traumatic stress, brain damage, and a couple different flavors of "crazy". 

In some ways, I did make the grade.  I bought a nice little house without asking him for money.  We've kept it for over 10 years during a horrific recession.  We have our own business.  I do evangelism.  I take my medication as directed, "very stable" per my doctor, and live a sober lifestyle.  In fact, I never abused anything other than caffeine.  I'm a "good wife" and caregiver to my very disabled husband. 

The above are "pleasing" to the "parental units".  As each event occured, they let me know they were proud of me. 

But, like a lot of kids, I want them to be thrilled with me, all of the time. 

I think it bothers them, on a basic level, that I never had a child.  Dad doesn't have any blood related grandkids.  He has 4 "steps". 

Anyone knows I could not mother.  Any child I had would have ended up in foster care, assuming they lived that long (I am a carrier for Bubble Boy syndrome and some nasty variants).   On a logical level they know I made the right decision, marrying a "fixed" man, but... 

Dad recently told me "I always wanted you to be an engineer" (had things been different I would have gone into the medical profession) "But an evangelist is a much higher calling." 

So, I thought I'd tell him all about the evangelism.  He was polite today but he said something that really cut me. 

"I know it's important for you to get positive feedback on these things". 


After I hung up, I took it to God.  I know I want their approval, and feel like I never really got it. 

"You were my daughter long before you were his" God told me.  "I created you, this way, for this purpose." 

Wow.  Good point. 

So, now, do I shut up about my work altogether?   I think I'll just wait for them to ask. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The person I needed

A cab driver was badly hurt this week, and lost one or both of his legs. 

I empathized, and sent a care package with some comforting items to him, care of the cab company. 

I don't think it's a big deal.  I always vowed I would be the person I needed when my life went to hell, the shoulder to cry on, the comforting hug, etc. 

When I know someone's hurting, I'll do what I can to help.  Especially if the Holy Spirit is working. 

Now, I knew it might be a little baffling to the cab company, so I put my phone number on the return address label, in case they had a question.  However, I had gotten someone to agree to pass it along. 

I wasn't surprised when my phone rang this evening.  I was surprised to hear the Operations Manager of the company on the line. 

More to to find out that he and "the entire staff down here" were "very touched to get your package today".  He mentioned he thought he found me on Facebook.  I mentioned the Free Bibles sign and he said "I figured that was you." 

He said a lot of nice things, which I won't repeat, because I'm just doing my job.  Sharing God's comfort in a dark and ugly world. 

"You're the only person I know who would do this" he said "Besides my sister". 

I paraphrased this:
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
New King James Version (NKJV)

Comfort in Suffering

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

After thanking me again, we hung up. 

I really don't think I did anything remarkable.  But God is using it for amazing good already.  Well, then, He gets the credit. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

With a migraine

I woke up with a migraine at 3 AM.  I crawled out of bed, disentangling from Torbie cat, and took two Excedrin, washed down with half a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. 

I've battled it all day. 

I am happy, every day I have done my God Time, worked, and taken my meds; in spite of these awful headaches. 

It's Day 4. 

We went to work, I stocked a little.  I'm out of (sour gummy) worms.  I need more chips, too.  We took the money out of the machines and I counted it, then we went to the bank.

While at work, I called Yellow cab twice, until I got ahold of someone in management.  I got permission to mail the box, which they will forward to the injured driver.  Good.  He even double checked the address. 

After the bank, we went to the mall, and I told Ron "There isn't a thing here, I'd buy."  No modest clothing (and I'm not a prude), I'm not into jewelry, and I get my vitamins from Swanson.  I did get a hamburger from the food court. 

We came home and I made up my care package:
2 devotionals I felt led to donate
The Bible I marked up after Ron's accident, lots of encouraging passages - also strongly led to donate.  I never use it anyway. 
A letter explaining why I did this

I taped up the box, loaded it, and taped it shut after double-checking.  I made sure I had the address, etc., and put it in a tote bag. 

We went to Taco Bell and I walked over to the Post Office.  I had treats for the Postal Workers.  I like feeding Postal Workers, even if they aren't "mine".  [grin] 

"Mine" will be processing it, probably right now, anyway. 

It's off in the mail, I went to the taco truck and got some takeout. 

The food is delicious but it's a very long wait.  We had the time, so I waited.  Ron inhaled his tacos.  I saved my food for later. 

Strong flavors and scents don't work very well with a migraine.  We had to wait about an hour for a pickup. 

I figure lots of people go on "mission trips" with hours of travel time.  This was my mission trip. 

We had a good ride home.  The headache's intermittent.  I will be eating some cheesecake soon and taking my meds. 

God knows I have to do that. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bulletproof vest

I just deleted a spam.  A woman claimed a "prophet" brought back her husband after he left. 

Let me get this straight.  Assuming the guy had the power to bring someone back, why would you want him?  He's a cheat who doesn't want to live with you. 

Good riddance, I'd say.  I'd put my faith in the Lord, who's completely reliable. 

I woke up at 3 AM with *another* migraine.  I finally tracked the source; Sam's Club blueberry muffins. 

Thanks a lot. 

We went to Walmart at 5 AM.  It was lovely.  I would have liked a little more time but we had work today. 

I bought some treats, if I ever get the go-ahead to mail that goody box.  I would have loved to add some chocolate, but not in this heat! 

I haven't heard back from the cab company.  I may do some independent digging. 

I felt pretty awful with the migraine, but I got everything on the list except Bibles.  They only had one Spanish Bible. I took it. 

I got the treats, some stuff for Ron, and a few things for me: drink mix, Powerade zero for the next Bible Handout, etc.  I tried to avoid processed foods and snack items, which kept my total number of items down. 

I can't find the receipt but I remember checking it. 

We went outside to wait on our ride.  When we'd arrived, a very manic guy tried to jump into "the cab".  I had to tell him "This is only for cripples" before he left the driver alone. 

The security guard was sitting on a bench, chatting him up.  [rolleyes]

He was gone, so we waited.  The driver pulled up, making comments about me "Leaving your bulletproof vest in Southwest Houston on Sunday"

Huh?  I only had my handout vest, which was sitting in my crate, in the living room.  He continued "Why didn't you have a bulletproof vest on Sunday, handing out those Bibles?" 

I wanted a bad neighborhood, I told him. 

No cult ever goes to the bad neighborhood, but all souls are equally valuable to God. 

God's called me to reach the poor. 

I'm very passionate.  The driver has had some bad experiences with "religion" and I could tell he was doing some hard thinking. 

Glad I could help. 

We got home and unloaded.  It wasn't much fun putting up the bottled water and Powerade, but I got it. 

I made sure to put the (ice cream) Drumsticks in the freezer.  I like to hand them out to drivers.  The treats have ice cream, covered with chocolate and peanuts, with a chocolate lined "cake" cone. 

Chocolate and peanuts are huge migraine triggers.  You can bet I won't be eating them. 

The drivers love them.  I already gave one away. 

We had a pretty quick turnaround and then we went to Sam's.  I brought my flash drive, and ordered some photos after I did my work shopping (a whole lot of pastry). 

I didn't mind working - I'd rather work with a headache than have it on my day off.  I've been very careful today so I shouldn't get another headache tomorrow. 

I bought chocolate donuts, (the sugar donuts had a terrible code and stayed at the store), 2 packages of chocolate cupcakes (the kind with the icing and the squiggle down the middle), and 3 trays of assorted pastry (honeybun, iced honeybun, cheese danish, and cinnamon roll). 

I also bought a little candy, stuff that won't melt. 

I bought 2 packages of honeybuns with my own money.  They are the "cheap" brand, but good and large.  I ate one and stocked the other 8 into the vending machines at work.  Like I said, I'm a lot more prone to spend my own money on inventory than I am to take something out of stock. 

I bought another tray for the "gals" at my local post office, when I mail the care package.  I like to bring them a treat.  They love them. 

As I put it in the back of Ron's wheelchair, he began ranting about "taking his inventory" and "giving away the store". 

Hey, I told him, I bought these with my money.  Not only that, I just stocked 8 of my honeybuns into your vending machine.  That shut him up right quick. 

As we waited, I saw the taco truck.  Our ride was coming late, so I went over and got lunch.  It was good, a grilled cheese with bacon.  Yum.  Bacon.  Good thick cut bacon. 

Ron ate a couple of tacos, making yum yum noises.  I have strongly considered adding green tea to the product lineup, especially since I see customers bringing it in. 

I bought Ron a bottle and he loved it.   We'll be adding it. 

I sat in my folding chair and Ron sat in his wheelchair, waiting on our ride, eating and drinking.  Cars drove by going to the credit union. 

We got a lot of paranoid, hostile, looks.  Ugly judgemental sneers, etc.  It was worse than a Bible Handout and that's saying a lot! 

Something in the Bible about despising the poor. 

I saw a familiar vehicle pulling into the driveway, and waved.  It was the Boss Man. 

He got out and we talked for a while.  He wants us to raise prices.  We told him he needs to tell the other guy; if it comes from us he'll balk.  We chatted for a while as the Metrolift (paratransit van) pulled up. 

The driver got out and eavesdropped, avidly listening to every detail as we discussed a few items.  We got Ron loaded. 

The Boss Man headed out to inspect the vending machines.  I was so glad I'd stocked. 

We had a nice straight trip home. 

The driver got a Drumstick.  I got a nap. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cologne man

I battled the migraine, and insomnia, all night long, well knowing I had to get up at 2 AM. 

Torbie came to bed around 10 and I fell asleep almost instantly.  I've written about this before: for me, a cat in the bed ensures swift, excellent sleep. 

I hated to get up, but the migraine was lurking.  I took a shower and did my God Time, my faithful Torbie at my side. 

She jumps up on the couch when I sit down.  I give her the glucosamine treats (2).  I do my prayer and Bible study.  I probably give her a few standard treats along the way, along with plenty of petting.  She lays against my leg, purring. 

It's wonderful. 

If she's not there, for whatever reason, I proceed without her. 

I finished and took a hard look at my antidepressants.  I knew if I took them, they'd escalate my migraine and probably kick me into vomiting into a bucket. 

The customers do not want to see me vomiting into a bucket, and I'd rather avoid it anyway. 

We went to work.  It was a good ride, the coveted "straight trip".  When we got to work, I hurried to arrange my corner of the stockroom and remove my carts. 

"What's the rush?" Ron asked. 

"I want to get out of here before cologne man arrives." I replied.  "It's going to kill my headache." 

I am very sensitive to scents when I have, or am battling, a migraine, and strong perfume or cologne can actually flip me into extreme pain and vomiting.  One reason I very seldom wear scents. 

Besides, not long ago, I passed a driver as I sat down.  She was securing Ron's wheelchair.  "I like your perfume!" she told me. 

"It's my shampoo" I replied, and told her what I use. 

Sure enough, he arrived in full fragrance.  I could literally smell him enter the room.  I avoided him as much as possible.  He may think it's due to the drama last week. 

The old don't-you-dare-tip-my-guy-for-helping-you. 


They arrived and the other vendor was unusually jolly.  If Ron and I are right, maybe he's taking his medication again.  Or maybe God worked on him. 

At any rate, I stocked (I am completely out of pastry), got sandwiches, and waited on Dr Pepper.  Ron had ordered about 50 cases.  Ron had arranged an earlier pickup.  I tell him, I don't mind waiting a little , but he doesn't listen. 

He has to figure it out himself.  The guy arrived just in the nick of time (thanks God) and I set him up with things I know he likes.  I got him a meatball sub, a Dr Pepper, some chips, and a scratch-and-dent bag of Peanut M&M's.  "I got a full course feast!" he said as he grabbed the box.  "Thanks!" 

I always, ALWAYS, always want us to be the fun place where they get spoiled rotten: deliverymen, repairmen, you name it.  Food, drink, and sincere appreciation for their hard work helping us make a living.  Ron is in full agreement. 

One reason I like working for him; he understands it's important to support our service providers. If they want to, they can make our lives a living hell.  I want to thank them for going over and above to get us quality product in a timely fashion. 

And it's a thankless job.  I want to show some appreciation.

My migraine crawled off right before Dr Pepper, which is good because I had to put it away!  Heavy lifting really sucks with a migraine. 

Finally done.  Everything looked great (except for pastry). 

We came home, I took a nap for a couple hours.  The headache was taunting me again.  Oversleeping can cause and aggravate migraines. 


At least I got some good reading out of the headache. 

Yesterday, at church, I placed my Handout crate (my supplies in a folding crate, rolled up sign, etc.) next to a table with a display of books.  One of them had the title "Harvest". 

I picked it up and read the back.  Missionary biographies, work being done for Jesus.  It looked very interesting. 

After church I was talking to one of the elders and asked if I could borrow the book.   He chuckled, because the book's on evangelism and I'd just finished telling him about the Handout.  "You can keep it, Heather." 

I'm bringing it back, I don't need to keep it, but it is interesting reading. 

A couple of interesting points:
Never asked for money or supplies.  Ever. 
Like George Muller, trusted God to supply if the plan was in His will. 

It definitely validates my decision: I don't ask for money.  God works on people and they send me money or Bibles.  Money is spent on Bibles.  Bibles are handed out.  People prayed for and hopefully saved. 

When I got up from my nap, I found a strange bag in the mailbox.  I don't know if you get a lot of packages, but Swanson Vitamins, and other places, now ship in heavy duty plastic bags.  I guess they're easier to freight than boxes. 

I looked at the return address.  "Jacksonville Warehouse".  Hm.  Ominous. 

I opened it anyway.  It was a pink reflective vest. 

I'd mentioned it on Facebook, and put up a link.  One of my friends made a comment "done".  Huh? 

I forgot she had my address. 

It's done alright.  [laugh]  I sent her a gracious thank you note. 

It's really cute and will be a lot of fun during a Handout.  It's attentiongetting without being quite so manic as the orange. 

Ron and I plan to do a Handout, in the future, with a guy from church.  He can wear the orange vest and I can wear the pink one.  Ron refuses to wear any safety apparel. 

Tomorrow, we run to Walmart, come home, and then work.  I prefer to "do" Walmart, 1. early morning, and 2. on a work day so I don't feel it "ate" my day off. 

Ron's very accomodating. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"You're going to think I'm crazy, and that's OK"

Today, I believe I encountered some of the nastiest judgement while doing the Handout - from people dressed for, and going to, church. 

I have had a vicious, nasty, migraine going on over a day now. 

I still got up, took my shower, did my God Time, did the Handout, and went to church after. 

I brought about 50 Bibles, including 5 Spanish, in my folding crate, along with the signs and all. 

Ron was very upset.  Instead of an 8:30 arrival, we were scheduled to arrive at 9:30.  Church starts at 10. 

I have seen God "fix" enough "bad rides" to have faith He could do the same this time, which He did.  One of the clients we were scheduled to pick up, never came out.  The pickup, and drop off, were cancelled and we got to the handout spot before 9. 

"I told you." I said smugly as I pushed him to our spot, an absolutely lovely median.  I set up and began walking the median, displaying the sign. 

I realized I'd need to change my approach.  NW Houston doesn't mind if I get close to the cars.  SW Houston does mind, so I stood farther back. 

I had been walking for a good 10 minutes before I got my first taker, a lady with very long manicured fingernails.  I had a lot of people, dressed for church, scowling and frowning at me.  You'd think they'd be happy. 

The sign is very clear: FREE BIBLES.  God loves you!

I don't get it.  Jesus said preach the Gospel.  In Matthew 22:9 He specifically tells people to "Go to the street corners and invite everyone you find."  

I'm doing that. 

I get it if the unreached get upset.  But a believer? 

I shook my head and kept going.  I gave away most of my Spanish very quickly.  An immigrant family in a cheap compact caught my eye.  I asked "Espanol?" and he nodded.  I ran over and gave him two (his wife). 

A carload of day labor guys started yelling - 4 more. 

A mother got one for her and her teenage daughter.  I found it interesting the daughter "happened" to get one that had my testimony in it.  I had put it in "randomly" and figured God would send them where needed. 

I had more judgers, frowners, and gapers.  I had a few people who shook their heads at me in wonderment - the crazy fat lady, dressed in loud orange, giving away Bibles on a Sunday Houston morning. 

I kept waving the sign and handing them out when I could. 

A car pulled up.  Two white guys with tattoos and piercings, playing filthy obscene rap music.  I just knew they wanted Bibles. 

I approached the open window, from the side. 

"You're going to think I'm crazy," I began "And that's OK". 

The driver turned off the music and gaped at me. 

"But I would love to give you each a free Bible, and pray for you everyday too." 

He stuck out his hand, and I handed them over.  "Thank you!" 

Pretty soon, 9:30 and time to go (It was a bit of a push to the church). 

I didn't have the headache, actively, while working.  It wasn't too bad during church, but the rest of the day it's been pretty horrific. 

At the Burger King, I saw 2 more day labor types talking in Spanish.  I gave them my last 2 Spanish.  They kept trying to give me money so I took some out of my pocket and said "Guapo takes care of me, mi esposo!"  They got the gist and put the money back in their pockets. 

Church was very interested to hear about the handout.  I told them "If the gangbangers show up it's my fault." 

They just laughed. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

God will always come first

Ron drinks pretty much every night.  Enough that he gets pretty loose. 

That can go one of two directions. "I love you so much even though you're broken and crazy and no other man wants you". 

I know he's telling himself that.  Not me.  It's very hard not to receive it, especially considering I have had verbal abuse my entire life.  I went right out from one situation into another. 

Or he runs into overt verbal abuse.

I asked him once not to make personal attacks about my illness - don't bring it up during fights and use it to beat me.  He does it anyway.  "Did you take your meds today?" in a biting tone of voice "Maybe you need another one!"  He also threatens to "tell my doctor" that I'm "acting crazy" when I probably just said "I can't help you for a couple minutes because I'm going to the bathroom." 

He has a very bad habit of repeating the pickup time several times, at me.  "Pickup at 7, did you get that?  DID YOU GET THAT?"  I say yes.  Then he called the company.  "Oh, pickup at 7:04!  DID YOU GET THAT?"  I told him if he kept repeating it, all I "got" was "Did you get that?" and none of the times at all. 

It might be better, I suggested, if he just told me once.  "But what if they changed the pickup time?" he slurred. 

"Four minutes doesn't matter" I replied levelly.  "It's just confusing". 

Ron the went on a tirade about my "judging" him and "thinking my waste doesn't stink" "Holier than thou" etc.  Huh?  I asked for a resonable accomodation of my disability.  I wouldn't tell Ron to read his own mail.  Why does he insist on telling me several sets of numbers, with a bunch of blabber in between, and expect me to remember one? 

Earlier he asked me to share my theories about Noah's drinking.  I said he must have planned it out for a while, to cultivate the vines, ferment the wine, etc. 

"So you're saying it's OK to drink, because God's a [won't repeat] and gives us almost more than we can handle." 

No, I replied, shocked.  "I didn't say that at all". 

He laughed maniacally.  "But you wanted to, didn't you?" 


If he would have heard it, I would have told him life gives us more than we can handle.  All our trials, in my opinion, show us how much we need God's guidance and direction in our lives.  We need His strength, not our own, because we are too weak to carry our own burdens.  God wants to carry them, so let Him! 

Ron asked for my opinion on alcohol and I told him I think alcohol is very dangerous, and I've never seen anyone benefit from drinking.  I could have said a lot, but didn't. 

He always tries to tell me it's fine "in moderation" but as I once heard, some people don't have an "off" button.  Ron is one of them.  [I didn't say this to Ron]  He learns this, periodically, to his pain and mine.  He makes promises which aren't kept very long and goes right back to the vomit, so to speak. 

Now he's making drunken phone calls.  He wonders why no one calls him back.  [wry shrug]   With some of the comments I've heard him make on voicemail I'm surprised anyone talks to him at all. 

Sigh.  A famous evangelist once said the devil uses our own families to attack us, and those attacks are the most painful. 

He was right. 

Now Ron's doing his usual theological ravings at someone else, not me.  Poor person, whoever they are. 

"The Devil must have been insane".
"God knew I would be mad at Him and I have a right to be.  I can be as ugly as I want, for as long as I want, and dump all over you and Heather - because I'm disabled." 
"My sin is OK because everyone else does too [that's all of that I'm going to share]"
"It's OK to drink because Jesus turned water into wine." 

He can go on, at length, on any one of these subjects for 20 minutes at a time.  He gets upset if I don't agree with him, but I don't. 

I guess if I had a "perfect" husband, one who valued me and didn't abuse me verbally, one who cherished my faith instead of deriding and attacking it, one who sought God on his own and strove to be the person God wanted him to be... I'd make that man my idol and forget all about God. 

As it is, I look at God to be my strength, to provide the emotional sustenence and love.  I'm sure some unreached will "aha" over that, but even if I did have the "perfect man" God would, and will always, come first. 

Why are you doing this?

Ron and I just had a rather tiresome discussion about the Bible Handouts. 

I reminded him I wanted to start at 8.  He disagreed.  I said, fine, I'll take the bus. 

[I love having that independence.  I will never, ever, live off a bus line no matter who I marry.  If I'm off the bus then the man has total control.  Not my thing at all.] 

So it's that important to you. 



Because I want to share Jesus....

No, you want to look good. 

[I laughed]  You have no idea how I look.  I look like I went off my meds, like a maniac, doing this.  I'm doing this to share Jesus. 

You want to impress people and have them talk about you're so holy. 

No.  I don't care what people say.  I'm sure most of them think I'm a lunatic.  I'm OK with that. 

Then why are you doing this? 

Because there are people, out there, hurting, right now, who need Him.  I want to make an introduction.  I have had a lot of pain in my life, and it's hard enough with Jesus in my life.  I can't imagine going through it without Him, so I want to help. 

So, you're doing this, not for recognition, but to share Jesus? 

Yes!  Like I said, it's a very humiliating process.  99% don't want a Bible, half act like I don't even exist, and the other half treat me like a drug addict!  Who'd sign up for that, to look good?  [Does he think they throw roses at me, on the median?]

What do you think the church will think?  I believe you're trying to impress them. 

I doubt it would impress them.  They'll probably think I need a medication adjustment.  I don't care what they think. 

Why do you think you have to do this? 

Mom would say God's given me a burden for these people, and their pain.  I feel it.  I want to help.  [I choked up a little and I know he heard it]  People are out there hurting.  I want to help. 

OK, fine, I'll make the trip. 

Absolutely nothing

"May I help you?" the store clerk asked politely. 

"I need some crack". 

"Oh, that's right over here, ma'am."  He indicated the proper aisle.  "What are you looking for?" 

"Catnip" I told him.  I measured a large bag with my hands "In the 'enabler' size." 

He started laughing. 

Thursday night: I "need" to get to sleep around 6.  I couldn't.  I finally began dropping off around 8.  Then #2 began weed-whacking, and did his whole yard between 8-10 PM. 

I had to get up at 1:30.  I hit the snooze, twice, and decided my hair was OK.  I did a quick wash at the sink and did my God Time. 

I think a lot of my faith, if you see it as a good or strong thing, is based on simple choices like that. 

We went to work.  We got the delivery.  Dozens of cases.  Most of them strewn on the floor of the truck due to a bad packing job.  Amazingly, all my merchandise was fine. 

The other vendor has 3 "employees", his wife (we are friendly and help each other out when we can), his brother (we are very friendly and help each other out when we can), and his employee (who's gone out of his way to be helpful to us lately). 

The employee helped pick up 20 cases of water off the floor of the truck and stack them on the pallet.  Then he "drove" the pallet back to my area.  I appreciated the help, and asked the boss' wife if I could give "Fred" a tip. 

"You don't have to do that" she replied.  "I know, but Ron would be upset if I didn't."  I was telling the truth. 

"Sure, if you want"

So I gave Fred $10.  Times are tight, he has 5 kids, I figured he could use it. 

The next time I saw the other vendor he was apoplectic that I had given his employee money.  Ron tried to reason, and the guy yelled at him and ran him off.  Said we were stabbing him in the back. 

We don't want to hire him!  I just wanted to say thank you!  Your wife said it was OK!  I didn't respond other than to say, mildly, I was sorry. 

Ugh.  We avoided the stockroom area as long as possible.  I still had to put up 15 cases of water, though.  I loaded them on the cart and pushed it over.  Ron decided he would "help" me lift the cases and smashed my hand, after I had asked him to stop. 

Ron figured my request was emasculating (his words).  I asked if he would rather lose a little pride or injure me.  We had an argument in front of the other vendor, who started laughing (maybe he isn't mad at us, anymore). 

I don't get the thinking, among others, that physical labor is worse than fire ants.  To be avoided at all cost. 

I like doing hard work.  I like knowing I can do it.  [shrug]  I told Ron and he agreed he would leave me alone unless I asked for help. 

I also realized, importantly I think, Ron was just as sleep deprived - and just as fragile, as me.   I had to give us both a lot of slack, knowing that sleep deprived Ron and rested Ron are two very different men, just like I'm two different women. 

It does confirm my decision not to bear children.  We don't do well with disruptions. 

The machines stocked, (and I had a lot of stocking!), we left.  We went to the warehouse.  I have been wanting to sell some chicken club sandwiches, which happened to be on sale. I bought those, and  another box of burritos.  Sam's Club crushes our wholesaler on cold food prices. 

I also got another case of Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits.  I had been selling Belvita, but when I actually ate one I thought they were awful. The Nature Valley is a million times better.  I began stocking Nature Valley instead, and the customers love it.  I bought a case each for me, and the customers. 

A little note: it would be easy to spend the company's money on personal.  I don't do that.  If anything, you'll probably find me spending my money on company product.   I bought my food with my money. 

We went back to work and stocked.  I had bought a huge sack of wrapped peppermints with my money.  I thought it would be nice to have them available.  I put them in a drawer, right next to the sporks (we supply sporks).  I hope the customers enjoy them.  Thinking about it, every restaurant provides mints.  Why not us? 

Indian restaurants provide candied fennel seeds.  :) 

I find it interesting, with profits improving, I want to make sure the customers are getting the best quality products, the best prices, and little touches that make them feel special.   Ron teases me, but I think he's secretly proud of my passion. 

We also put up some notes about refunds.  Right now, they stalk us, catch us, and we pay up.  We've decided to post Ron's number, they can call and arrange a refund.  We work all 3 shifts (we sure did yesterday), so it won't be hard. 

The old system had them walking to the office, filling out a form, and then waiting for us to repay it. Then they had to go back to the office and get the money.  The office had made it clear they weren't interested in continuing the policy. 

This ought to work fine.  We feel awful when we find a machine has eaten someone's money.  Not only are they hungry, but they don't have their money.  We want to make that right ASAP. 

One reason I love working for Ron. 

So, we finally finished.  We crawled out to paratransit. 

Ron had made a trip to go home.  They rode us around for an hour and then dropped us.  We had another hour before they picked us up to go to the pet store. 

We went to Starbucks and I went to the pet store, where I had the "crack" discussion. They didn't have what I wanted in treats. 

They were, however, having a sale on the Simply Nourish brand.  The girls love the salmon flavor. 

Ron bought a large bag of Blue Wildnerness Duck, and the SN Salmon.  I bought a bag of Rabbit, and Duck, SN brand.  It was on sale and I like to try new (grain free) foods on the girls now and then. 

I plan to save "my" duck for the disaster kit.  I had planned to get a 3.5 pound bag of salmon, but they didn't have it in stock (on sale), so I bought the rabbit instead. 

I have wanted to try rabbit cat food.  They - someone - ate a whole bowl overnight.  Someone likes it.  I hope it's one of our cats.  I left the bowl on the floor near the cat door. 

For a while, I had a problem with a stray cat coming in to eat our cat food.  Until Frosty (white cat in photos) kicked his butt. 

I went to bed around 7-8 last night - I was impressed I'd stayed up that long.  I'd consumed very little caffeine, considering. 

I slept 12 hours straight.  Got up, shower, God Time.  I tried one of the Nighthawk frozen breakfasts.  It has pancakes, sausage, and eggs.  It was very good. 

Now, today, praise God, a day off doing absolutely nothing. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I hate to miss and opportunity

Yesterday found me in front of an open snack machine, looking down at a box of chips, infuriated. 

Frito-Lay sent me a case of air-bags.  I'd be shocked if they had 3 chips apiece. 

I cannot and will not sell that crap to my customers.  I'd rather have an empty machine than rob them thus.  I am returning them. 

I stocked what I could, but resolved it would be a cold day in hell before I'd buy another case of Ruffles Original, or Lay's BBQ.  I hope Frito Lay does read this. 

A vendor needs quality product in order to have happy, repeat, customers.  If the customer feels cheated they won't come back. 

We'd gotten up early, did my God Time, and went to the warehouse.  I needed a lot of pastry, which I bought.  Ron needed water (out of stock) and Mountain Dew (we got 2). 

I taggled a box and a half of pastry before I realized, in horror, I was tagging them out of code in 3 days.  I had to take off all the labels. 

My hands have never been what I'd consider excellent at fine-motor coordination.  The lithium makes it worse.  God is good, it seldom affects my daily living, but I had a horrible time removing those labels.  I got them off and relabeled, all the while helping Ron. 

The Bible says, before praying, I need to have my heart clear of anger and bitterness.  Matthew 5:23, Matthew 5:44

I couldn't "reconcile" - not when Ron felt he had acted acceptably.  It would have just created strife.  My job was getting over it without burying it and becoming bitter.  God helped me to do that. 

People are going to fail me.  God will never. 

I have one God.  He is not human.  I can't expect to have a husband who never fails me in some way.  He's human - every man will fail at some point.  God knows I do! 

So, I settled all that the best I could before work and we worked very well together. 

One of our machines ate a $5.  Someone is very unhappy.  We plan to post Ron's phone number so people can arrange refunds. 

We went home, I took a nap.  When I got up I spent hours online with our wholesaler, finding merchandise.  Ron wanted a delivery. 

I found some fun things, like large bag kettle chips, hot popcorn, jalapeno crackers.  Companies I know produce good product, and good food costs.  I'm looking forward to stocking tomorrow.  I might take a photo.

When Ron woke up, I discussed the order and he said it sounded great. 

We have a $500 minimum.  After I called in everything, we still had over $140 to go. 

We are always running out of bottled water.  We could easily have a couple rows in each food machine, and two rows in the bottled vendor, and sell out every day.  But we lack water. 

So, I made it up with 20 cases of bottled water.  Ron got a little squinty over that.  "Why didn't you get some chips?"  Well, chips take a while to sell.  We can probably sell 2-4 cases of water a day. 

"Where are you going to put it?" 

"I'll find a place." 

I will. 

Today we went to the bank, carrying a large amount of change to deposit our sales tax.  Ron likes to pay the sales tax in quarters, so to speak. 

Last time the bank objected to the large amount of rolled quarters.  This time he brought loose change. They put the change in giant, sealed plastic bags. 

We left and went to the mall.  About halfway through the store, Ron remembered we had some more business.  We went back to the bank and conducted that. 

Boy, I felt pretty special.  Ron and I kept remarking we are "allowed" to live on our own. 

I told Ron, by the way, I was not counting today as a day off. 

We got lunch. 

After lunch, a man approached Ron.  He wanted to pray for Ron's healing. 

No, we replied kindly.  "We need to be disabled to do the work God has for us.  Thank you for your consideration, but if Ron were healed we would lose our jobs, lose our ministries, and I don't believe that's God's will for us."  I told him about the Bible Handouts "So please pray for the recipients instead".  He nodded and left. 

While I was writing this, three very iffy looking young men rang my doorbell and were given a Bible each. 

I hate to miss an opportunity. 

Scattered Shower

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