Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bang Bang

I worked all weekend. 

Yesterday was truck day.  I was pretty exhausted when I made it home, but I should have adequate inventory for a while.  I did forget the crackers. 

I forget what I did when we came home, hopefully got a nap.  I did watch a few movies on TV, including the Grumpy Cat one which was pretty cute. 

Today I wanted to go to church, but Ron said no because "It is supposed to rain".  It didn't of course. 

I slept in as late as I could (7 AM), did my God Time, and helped Ron with various accounting aspects for a couple of hours. 

Like I told him "If you're self employed you had better love what you do, 'cause you'll be doing it!"  I do enjoy most aspects of my job, so I consider myself blessed. 

I have found it pretty funny.  Ron and I, years back, designated "his" and "my" counter top, sink, etc.  His ongoing gripe, every time he's gotten drunk, is "my" sink.  Well,  my sink has been empty for days - and his full of dishes!   He's trying to get me upset about it.  I just tell him I'll send the roaches to his room. 

I made a point of showing it to my uncle.  Ron has gotten so bad on a few occasions I had to stay with my aunt and uncle for a few days.  Every time, Ron made the excuse "I have to drink, she's so awful, look at her sink!" 

I just asked my uncle to look at my sink.  "What's this?" looking at Ron's.  "Oh, that's Ron's".  I think, on some level he "bought" the whole "I have to drink to excess because Heather is a bad housekeeper".  He also saw Ron pretty loose on Thursday. 

On the way to their house: yes, he's like that every day.  He drinks every day.  No, I don't know how many drinks, he chugs from the bottle.  No, he won't see anyone or admit he has a problem.  He has been OK lately, to me.  Yes, I will call if I need to get out. 

Ron has been very appreciative lately.  He has made a point of telling me he appreciates all I do for him, that I do it well, etc.  He is also well aware his life would be destroyed without me.  He cannot run the business on his own.  He can't even get groceries. 

He has also complained about the housekeeping.  Well, I finally got the computer room nailed, and kept it nice.  I moved the couch 90 degrees, from one wall to the other, taking out the toe-breaking aspect of room entry.  Ron can also now fit his wheelchair through the door (he couldn't before, but I didn't know).  He rolled in and talked to me, listening to Youtube videos today, as Torbie lay on the couch.  He petted her, told her how much he loved her, and we all had a good time. 

The front room is fairly consumed in evangelism.  I have it all off to one side but that's about all I can do for now. 

Regarding my bedroom, I have a queen bed.  I have had it longways to the wall, because I'm the only one using it.  Ron has his own bed, which times has proved to be a good idea. 

The bed has been horrible.  Well, the frame is OK but the supporting slats kept falling down in the middle of the night, literally collapsing the bed.  Ron did a fix on that, but when the house was robbed the thieves broke some of the slats, trying to find "my treasure" (cough drop wrappers, seed catalogs, and garden books?).  I couldn't fix that.  They were toast.  So I got out the cinder blocks.  Remember at this time we were poverty level.  I believed a new bed would cost a couple hundred bucks and require a lot of assembly. 

At 1200 mg of lithium a day, I seriously doubt my assembly skills.  As Ron says at work, "sticking a can in a hole" is not rocket science.  Even troubleshooting isn't hard.  But assembly makes me quiver. 

Ron kept offering (not knowing just how I've rigged the thing, this is the last move it could make) to buy me another one, putting it on the credit card. 

I have had 3 credit card purchases.  One, a $15 purchase while manic, several years ago, with Ron's permission.  Frosty's last vet visit.  Bubba's last vet visit. 

I just figured I would have to suck it up.  The bed is somewhat lumpy (cinderblocks under a 4 inch mattress will do that!), but surprisingly comfortable.  It's just shredded.  I had such a hard time moving it last time, because all the slats fell out.  I swore I would just leave it in the current location. 

Then I found this the other day.  Cheap.  Easy set up.  Delivered.  Comfortable - or so say thousands of reviews.  I love my current foam mattress, so I can just slap it up there. 

Win.  "Tell me how much it costs and I'll pay you back" Ron told me.  He's pretty skeptical I can get a decent bed online.  Or a bed base.  Whatever you want to call it. 

I prayed about it and I still feel good about the idea. 

I'll be happy to get that behind me. 

I told Ron I'm not so happy with #6 right now.  They have a new baby.  I get it.  When he turned his garage into 2 bedrooms (it still looks like a garage to fool inspectors, I think his construction business does this a lot), he complained "It's getting tight!" 

They had another baby.  Why?  Ron had an operation in the 80's.  No kids, ever.  Or no more kids, for #6.  I have to think their church has some kind of weird teachings about birth control being a sin, etc.  Either that or they are the unluckiest people in the world.  If he didn't want #5 I can only imagine what he thought of #6. 

Some kids are going to have to double up. 

In our house, you could put 2 bunkbeds in the master, a bunkbed in Ron's room, and a full sized pull out (which I have done) in the computer room.  So put all the boys in the master, double up the girls, Mom and Dad live in a smaller bedroom.  They have a 5 bedroom now, they aren't going to find a bigger house. 

Yup.  I did a search on har.com.  A 7 bedroom house in the general NW area (I selected 3 options) starts at $420K.  Nope, that ain't happening.  Their house is valued about $80K. 

So, a couple days this week he was playing with the kids on the karaoke-obnoxious neighbor amplifier (the one he uses during parties).  The kids were yelling into the microphone and singing Twinkle twinkle little star, in English, very badly. 

I had wanted to take a nap, both days.  I was a little cranky.  I am going out of the way to be quiet, not disturb you.  Why can't you do the same? 

I get it if the kids want to run around and scream in the yard.  Fine.  But that? 

You'll catch me sniveling but I'm in no hurry to move. For one, generally it is very quiet.  Two, the house is valued at 56K, and we're only paying $450 a month for our mortgage.  928 square feet, plus garage.

A good comparison.  The "crackhead" apartments, 480 square feet, horrible neighborhood, $509 a month.  An all bills paid in a horrible neighborhood (but a decent complex) is $660-$700. 

So, I remind myself to be tolerant.  Nearly every neighbor I have is awesome.  There's always going to be that one person. 

#8 was going buggo this weekend playing music, but not loud.  Just loud enough to bother me, and I'm sure that wasn't his intent.  I'm not too worried about him because he's a renter. 

Two houses within a minute walk of me are going for $1,300 a month.  I remember that. 

So, I try to flex.  And even if I did have one of those million dollar homes, I'm sure I'd have trouble there. 

Tomorrow is delivery day.  I will be getting up at 2 AM.  I'm debating, go to bed now and try to sleep, or wait a while until I am more tired and do that? 

Probably the latter.  Since it's a regular school day tomorrow, I should be able to get a nap when I get home from work. 

I get a fair amount of exercise.  I loaded and unloaded about 50 cases of snack and soda product, Saturday.  Monday I unload a pallet of soda and put it away. 

Of course I will wear my bang bang.  The what? 

A song "Bang Bang" features a woman wearing bright suspenders over very little else.  She sings about wanting to do the guy "Bang Bang!" being the euphemism.  You can look it up on Youtube. 

I have now equated my neon green back-brace-with-suspenders with a Bang Bang now.  Mine, of course, are worn over a baggy black t-shirt, appropriate undergarments, jeans, and slip on workboots. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Take off your glasses!

I dated a few boys before I met Ron.  I "liked" another boy at church. 

Their mothers all said the same thing, I "Had a cute figure" - "cute" being synonymous with "flat", I suppose.  Little did they know I'd end up here. 

So, we'd go on a date.  The first date I recall - a trip to the ice cream parlor about a mile from my home.  We walked from my house. 

John (the boy I was dating, he was far more into me than I was him), wanted to get a shake, or a malt.  With two straws, for me and my girl.  So far, so good. 

We each loaded up a straw and started working on the beverage.  He gazed at me adoringly as I squirmed awkwardly (I was about 12). 

"Heather" he sighed.  "Take off your glasses.  I want to see your eyes!" 

They're the same eyes, I thought.  I was also worried because I knew my eyeglasses were very expensive.  John reached for them.  I stopped him and took the glasses off, terrified I would break them. 

My Dad had always told me "Never take them off unless you are bathing or sleeping."  I positioned the glasses as safely as I could, away from both John and the edge of the table.  He stared at me adoringly. 

"Oh, that's so much better.  I can see you now!"  I felt so awkward.  Me, without glasses, isn't me. 

If I ever date again, I would not let a man do that.  Either you understand I am my glasses, or you move on.  

It wasn't just John.  Years later, manic, I began dating a guy with serious rage issues.  He was an angry schitzophrenic.  I didn't know any of that at the time, but sure enough, he wanted me to take my glasses off every minute we spent together. 

When I found out about his rage issues, I begged God to help me get out of this.  As you may know, a stalker at my Dad's workplace nearly cost him his life.  I was terrified of stalkers. 

I knew the guy smoked.  He had been wanting me to hang out in the smoking area with him, and to begin smoking. 

"Get judgemental about the smoking" God let me know "He'll dump you".  I did and he did. 

Whew. 

Then of course I met Ron.  He could care less about my glasses.  He was clever, though. 

I don't know if your local mall has the little photo booth.  My local mall did.  So, on one of our first dates, Ron and I went to the mall. 

"I want a picture of you" Ron said endearingly.  "I want to carry it in my wallet"  OK.  We took photos.  (The small, terrible quality photo in my slide show - that's it).  He took them home. 

Then he called his friends and asked them to come over.  How did she look?  Was she cute? 

They told him I was "cute" - there's that word again.  He called me, pleased, and told me I had passed inspection. 

Really!  A blind guy worried his girlfriend might be a dog?  But Ron is very charming when he puts his mind to it. 

Ron, of course, looked a lot like a terror suspect.  I didn't care.  Looks have never been important to me, as long as he's clean and his hair brushed. 

I groom myself, keep myself presentable, but you'll never catch me primping.  I brush my hair, brush my teeth, shower, hair tie, and that's it. 

When I got my new glasses, everyone said they were "cute".  I agree. They are much better on my face. 

Happily, I only have to take them off when I shower, or sleep. 

Both

Well, I had a nice average mood for a day or so.  That was nice.

I wouldn't wish my illness on anyone, not even the guy who ran over Ron.

I slept reasonably late last night.  #8 had a party, some music, but not super loud.  I could sleep even without the earplugs.

I hope to practice wearing the earplugs, when I don't need them, so they are familiar and comfortable when I do need them.  That's the theory at least.  They are fantastic at noise blocking (about 40 dB).  I took them out last night and heard some bass - I didn't think they would work that well.

I just hope to get used to them.  Right now the earplugs feel "funny" and "invasive".  Isn't it nice to read about me actually addressing the problem, rather than ranting about the neighbors?

I did my God Time and headed off to work.  Or so I hoped.  The guy who picked us up scares me.

He reminded me a lot of this guy , the one who almost broke my legs back in June.  Thank God, He still has His hand on me.

Today's guy just makes me really uncomfortable because I worry about his cognitive.  He is very old.  He has been driving a long time.  So what?

Years ago he was in an accident, and as part of it had various head scans.  "They told me I had a stroke a while back" he informed me.  I wonder if the company knows.  He also has a severe tremor in his hands, which I find concerning.  He repeats himself, asking questions, and kept trying to tell me we have "always" taken a different route to work.

When we got Ron loaded today, he shoved the chair at me and told me to "take it back in the house".  I told him, Ron needs this.  We have to take it.  "No he doesn't." and tried to argue with me.  "He can only walk 3 feet without the chair" I told him "How is he going to work?" 

Then he refused to tie it down until I insisted, and told him a new wheelchair would cost him over $500.  

We take the Beltway to JFK.  Always.  When I told him that he said "Oh, a new shortcut!  You don't go the old way anymore?"  I was really alarmed.  We have always traveled that route.  God only knows what he considered "the old way".

I should have had him take Aldine Bender - my go-to when I am deeply concerned about the driver's ability. 

Like I said, the last time I had a guy like this I considered calling the company.  I didn't and he had a wreck.  Do I call?

I'm going to think about it for a while.  I don't intend to file a formal complaint, but I would like to suggest safety follow him for a few days.

If he's doing OK, no harm.  If he's as bad as he seemed, they will catch him and take him off the road.

But I don't want to get him fired.

[sigh]

So, we got to work, very late (the guy was an hour late picking us up).  I stocked snacks, wiping out the last of my inventory.  Ron worked on drinks.

Due to a few mistakes, some machines were very full and needed minimal stocking.

Once I finished the stocking, I helped Ron.  I mailed the school tax (about $300), and a personal thing.  I helped various customers.

I put out several small Christmas trees on top of the vending machines, and took down my fall stuff.  I didn't have time to do up Ron's wheelchair but I hope to do that tomorrow.

We did inventories.  Mine was easy: I need everything.  Ron needs 10 cases of drinks.  I will be VERY busy tomorrow.

You know how some couples have "Our song"?

Well, our business has a song.






I'm the "brawn" of course.  :P

Of course, we don't care about money.  We live very simply and just want to a roof over our heads and a quiet place to sleep.

If God blesses us, we'll use it wisely and do what we can to bless others.

So.  Tomorrow will be truck day.   That entailed clearing off the two handcarts loaded with soda, from our last shopping trip.  I'll remind you here I have 34 square feet of floor space, in my stockroom.  If it can't fit along the wall or on the 2 racks, it has to go on the handcarts.

I managed to get it all stowed.   "There goes the pumpkin pie!" I cheerfully informed a customer, as I labored.  "I just burned it off!"

He just grinned.  They're used to me.

I also wore my santa hat.  People seemed to like it.

It's hard enough working during the holidays - they have a very high pressure job.  They need some fun.  Really delicious, affordable, treats, and fun.  I aim to provide both.  

A lot about hormones

Well.  Interesting today. 

As you know, I decided since the majority of my headaches were hormonal, I would take a hormonal approach.  I increased my intake of soy foods and began taking some phytoestrogens (plant estrogens).  They work as an estrogen, with far fewer side effects. 

Traditional estrogen is made from the urine of caged, pregnant, horses.  That's not something I want to endorse, even if I felt such a product would be beneficial. 

Traditional estrogens have plenty of health concerns, phytoestrogens do not. 

At any rate, for as long as I can remember, I have had horrific headaches all week, leading up to the day of my cycle.  The day my cycle starts I got an even worse migraine, if possible.  Hideous. 

This has been going on for years, at least as long as the hot flashes, etc.  I have blamed all of this on "medication".  However, I'm concluding it might be hormonal after all. 

"Hormones" - seems like such a cop-out, something a weak woman would use to explain emotional behavior.  Or, as I saw more than once, an excuse a woman might use to get the day off.   "I have terrible cramps, I have to go home" - and the male boss, alarmed, consents. 

They'd always crow about it the next day as I viewed them with internal disgust.  I always thought "using" your uterus like that was a cheap and manipulative shot. 

As you know, I have heavy cycles, but I make that work anyway.  I thought it was funny recently when the other blind vendor accidentally wandered into our area and nearly opened my tampon container!  We would have had a good laugh, as I offered him one. 

As it was, when he asked, I said "Girl things" in an ominous tone.  He dropped it like it bit him and scampered away!  

Anyway, I thought, I clearly have some hormonal components.  When my estrogen is lowest (the week before, and especially the day of cycle), I have horrible headaches.  Why not try to build that up with some plant estrogens? 

It would either work, or not.  The extracts come from a yam, and a bean.  Pretty darned safe.  I would get some benefit just from eating certain foods I liked anyway.  If it worked.  

I began my campaign this week.  I got this, and this.  I take one capsule of each, every morning.  I got soy milk, and soy flour for baking (haven't done the baking yet but the soy milk is pretty good).  I'm eating more of my soy nut butter (fake peanut butter - real peanuts are a migraine trigger and a possible allergen). 

Results?  No headaches, not even today (when I started my cycle!).  Impressive!  Even better, while I still have hot flashes they seem to be more subdued.  Considering many remedies take months to work, I'm truly impressed with the results I got in just a few days. 

I'm glad I went this route. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Weapon

Well, I had a good day. 

Ron stayed home, I went.  I had a lot of fun and took my evening meds with dinner. 

They hit me pretty hard (the meds, not the family!) about 15 minutes later.  This was the general dizzy sensation.  At least I could still think. 

My uncle was a little worried, but I told him it's just the price tag and I really am OK with it.  I am.  I have to be. 

I have a horrible illness that wants me dead.  I have one weapon: medication.  I'd damned well better use it. 

Every Day

Today we all, like, have to do the Thanksgiving post. 

Well, I try to be thankful every day.  I'm trying, when I wake up, to just lie in bed thanking God for various things.  Not just my house but all the working systems in my house.  All the cats I've known. The good times with Ron, and how the bad times make me stronger. 

My illness, and the empathy I hope it has given me.  God choosing to use me for Bible Handouts - because anyone can do it. 

Every day, not just one. 

My life...

M., happy to do it.  I also put up a FB request (and will continue every week or so) for "a friend" with your circumstances. 

I think I made a good call yesterday.  Ron and I got up very early and went to Walmart.  While there, I thought about the probable holiday racket I might encounter the next month or so. 

I saw a pair of corkscrew earplugs.  They cost about $2.50, I think.  What the heck, I thought.  Why not? 

I have discovered the silicone ones fall out and get stuck in my hair, with some real pain on removal.  The foam ones pop out, sometimes. 

Yes, I follow the directions. 

So, I got it.  Then, actually.  I got 2 pair in the package.  I also bought some lights for Ron's wheelchair (Christmas, white and colored), and plenty of batteries to run the works. 

We came home, did the Bible Handout, came home.  Ron had been in a pretty awful mood all day, running everything down, moping, negativity, etc. 

It's funny, because I consider that "not bad".  "Bad" is active attacks on me, verbal abuse, yelling. 

Sad. 

I know Ron has depression.  Who wouldn't?  I also know Ron would be helped tremendously by some antidepressants, maybe an SSRI, maybe something else.  They'd be cheap and oh so worth it.  But he refuses to consider medication.  His answer was taking a single Wellbutrin one day, saying "It didn't work" and then concluding no antidepressant would help. 

I know I did a bad, doing that.  I was desperate.  I did tell Doc. 

I also think his drinking would be helped by the addition of an antidepressant.  Once his chemicals start righting, I venture, I hope, he would find more joy in life, and not in a bottle.  Work on building up his faith and his marriage, in that order. 

Right now the bottle is the only thing that makes him happy.  That, and eating. 

So, yesterday, we went out to eat.  For once, I was not queasy.  I didn't have a headache, either. 

So I had a pulled pork, which had a nice amount of nicely smoked meat.  It was very tender and good.  I'd get it again. 

Ron got his usual, a huge brisket plate with double cucumber salad.  He adores cucumber salad, the only vegetable item he consumes. 

We had a rather long wait on our ride, but we made it home. 

I went to bed pretty early, because I wanted to sleep in and get as much sleep as I could while I could.  We are getting into make it or break it season, and I don't think I'll have a lot of leisurely sleep ins, the next month. 

Ron was playing his talking book very loudly.  I asked him to turn it down, and he did. 

However, my music-on-the-weekend neighbor, I think the one who goes to work at 3:30 AM, was playing some music.  It wasn't super loud but it was noticeable. 

I felt a little bad about #6 and the new baby, but then I remembered their usual parties. 

On my part, I'm a very quiet neighbor.  We were the ones with a sloppy yard, but we have a yard guy now.  I stay on my side of the fence.  I very seldom even access the side of my house on the zero property line. 

When the ride comes in the morning, sometimes the drivers (who all seem to be moderately hearing impaired) have the dispatch radios up at a pretty high volume.  When they do that, I ask them to turn it down so we don't disturb #6. 

The Bible says to do good, to those who offend you.  So, I do what I can, when I can, and do my best to make sure I'm the kind of neighbor I would want. 

Even if it's the night after one of their parties.  Especially then. 

So, I just put in the earplugs.  One, people are entitled to a life and music is a part of that.  As long as it's not shaking my walls, or one of those godforsaken mexican polkas, I'm OK with a little background.  Two, I couldn't exactly call the police on them.  It wasn't that loud.  Three, sometimes I have trouble sleeping even when it's quiet.  Four, I could sleep in today. 

The earplugs worked great.  I slept for a while, and when I woke up the noise was gone.  I took out the earplugs (which are an adjustment process) and went back to bed.  I never did get a cat in the bed but slept pretty well anyway. 

When I woke up, Ron was playing loud music on headphones while he slept.  I was about done sleeping anyway. 

I have applied to join a stroke caregiver support group.  Sometimes I need someone else to say "He's not really being an @sshole, it's just the stroke."  Or say, yeah, he's being rude.  Someone who does understand. 

We'll see. 

I reminded myself he has a lot of issues right now.  Ron's a lot like a baby in that I don't want to wake hm up, ever.  I only do that if I have just baked something he likes.  Like I said, eating. 

Eggshells.  Not as bad as it has been in the past, but one day I think I'll look back and go "My life really sucked". 

I got up, shower, God Time.  I thought about making something for Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's, but ran out of energy.  I'll pick up the front room and clean the toilet, instead. 

I'll let you know how it went.  It should be fun. 

Ron wants to mope.  Well, I can't stop him.  Whoever shows up to give me a ride can try to cajole him, if they want.  If he wants to come I'll take care of him. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Handout

I think the seminal moment of today's handout would be me, "chasing" the "Big, Scary, Black man" around the median, laughing as I brandished a couple of Bibles at him. He slowed down, I went over, and he pulled off slowly. I began to jog next to him, digging in my bag for some Bibles. He started laughing, and went around the turnaround. So did I, also laughing. "I'm gonna catch you!"
He "let" me catch him and took a couple New Testaments.

I couldn't work my usual spot today. Ron and I encountered several people, also clad in orange safety vests, panhandling "for charity" on every median at the intersection.

[Bad Word]

I scratched my head for a minute and looked in both directions. South wasn't good. So I went north, about half a block, and found myself at the median turnaround point.

I "could" have worked my usual spot, but I didn't want the panhandlers shoving their buckets at the recipients. I also noticed any bills were going straight into pockets. I knew I'd have a lot of grief and I aim to do my job without drama, if possible.

As it turned out, it worked great. The cars could see the panhandlers a mile off (they were not homeless, but hired by the "charity" to beg), so they didn't stop at the light. Instead, they all stopped right next to me.

Plus I had all the turnaround traffic, which accounted for quite a few Bibles.

First I had a family, father and kids, 5 total. They had to wait a minute to get over (they were walking) but they did and I gave them each a Bible.

I had another young man, who took a whole Bible, but liked the New Testaments so much he asked if he could get some "to pass out tomorrow, to my family" - I told him absolutely. He walked off with 8 total.

I had a lot of singles, and a few doubles. At one point I smelled marijuana very strongly.

The people didn't know what to make of me. Some people were outright glaring, but I mainly got a lot of befuddlement and a tremendous amount of double-takes. One white guy almost drove off the road, he kept turning his head and gaping at us as he drove off.

I secretly hoped he'd come back, but he didn't.

I had plenty of young guys walk by, come over, and grab a Bible. They seemed to really appreciate my efforts.

One guy came up and brought me drinks. This happens frequently, in that "horrible bad neighborhood". I was able to give him a couple of New Testaments.  Four Gatorades.  Those aren't cheap at gas station prices! 

I had a Spanish father come by and get Bibles for his family, and some guys in cars.

Ron found it funny - I'd ask "English or Spanish?" and one guy told me "English!" adamantly - but he was Latino. "I don't care what they take" I told Ron "As long as they read it."

I let everyone know I was praying for them, and they were happy to hear it.

I was observed by some young men at an apartment complex, surrounded in an iron fence and barbed wire. They had no trouble climbing it, though.

I've been working the neighborhood for a little over 2 years now, they know me pretty well. I'm harmless.

I had a couple I think came back, and like I said, plenty of people who stopped going the wrong way to get a Bible.

One guy held up a couple of fingers as he idled in the far right lane. As soon as I could, I bolted over and made his delivery.

All in all, a good handout. I had some contractors, black, who seemed very touched to find me working. I was and am delighted to give them Bibles. God sent me to everyone, not an elite group.

Well, they're MINE but that's all. Since they are "mine" I pray for them daily and minister to them no matter what.

Today I had an encounter - a driver was screaming at me about young black men. I told him 90% are murdered "by their own". He said if the black community terrorized enough people and did enough damage, society would "have to fix the problem".

I told him "Only God can fix this."

Which is why I hand out Bibles - they have the answer, to everything.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The wince

Long term readers know I occasionally become upset by "the man who ran over my husband" - henceforth I will call him The Maimer, 'cause he put Ron in a wheelchair. 

Work is hiring.  They have been conducting a lot of interviews lately.  They bring the applicants in the front door and sit them in the hall (step one, I have no idea what happens afterward).  They ran out of chairs, so they took the chairs out of the front breakroom, tended by the other vendor. 

I won't be telling them that.  So, the "regulars" had nowhere to sit.  Every break area has it's regulars.  The Maimer is a regular in the front breakroom, usually. 

As I stocked, I reminded myself I'd see him; to anticipate it, so I could act instead of reacting. 

You can imagine how I feel, seeing him walk around ablebodied. 

It's ironic, because God enabled me to forgive the officer who stole Ron's money, falsified the accident report, lied about a witness, had Ron walking into the street backwards, and when I confronted him on that version of events - blamed me for the accident because Ron traveled alone, as he always did.  I had a lot of issues.

I'm still working on complete neutrality when I see The Maimer.  I have a long way to go.  But generally speaking, I am past the sobbing/wanting to mutilate him stage when I do see him.  Generally.

Generally I battle the impulse to shout at him and tell him he ruined our lives, I hope he's happy driving his nice new truck, etc.  Like I said, I'm working on it.

I reminded myself I would likely see him (especially, as it turns out, the custodians took advantage of the vacant room to wax the floor).  Sure enough, I did.

He carried a cup of our coffee as he left the area.  He paused, looking at Ron in his wheelchair.  Winced.  I turned my head because I was probably glaring at him, and I knew God didn't want that.  I heard him say Hi to Ron and Ron give a cheerful reply.

This is going to sound awful, and like I said I have a lot of work towards forgiveness.  But that wince at seeing Ron in the wheelchair did a lot for me, today.   

After the door closed, I told Ron, who shrugged it off.

"He didn't buy a snack?" Ron asked. 

"No" I replied.  "I was stocking and he knows I'm a little growly." 

Growly

Or I could have called it a tale of 2 cats.  My cat is older and very cuddly.  You can pet her bald.  She loves to get in laps and petting, gets upset if I have to go to the bathroom. 

Ron's cat is more independent.  Physical affection is always on her terms.  I only pet her when we get home from work. The rest of the time she's just not interested in my attention.  She allows some petting, but not much.  If Ron gets overeager she will growl at him. 

Ron calls her "Growly" when she does that.  He gets very offended but every cat is different.  "Torbie's right there" I told him "She'd love some petting." 

When I woke up, Baby Girl had chosen to sleep on my jeans and bra.  I said hello, and she opened her eyes, stretched, and meowed at me.  I knew I had permission, and gave her a few pets while speaking sweetly.  When I needed my clothes, I lifted her up and got the clothes, then resettled her on the remaining clean clothes.  She meowed again, I gave her a pet, and got ready to leave. 

I slept in a little and did my God Time later.  We had truck day. 

I knew I'd burn them off, so I ate some powdered sugar donuts for breakfast. 

I've been experimenting with a theory - adding soy protein to my diet in the hopes it will help alleviate my headaches, if nothing else.  So far, so good. 

I think many of the symptoms I blame on medication may be menopausal.  If so, the addition of some phytoestrogens should help.  (Plant estrogens).  If I'm wrong, it won't work.  My pharmaceuticals are very harsh on liver and kidneys, I don't want to add fuel to the fire, and this will either work or not, without harm. 

I really don't want to go the NSAID/prescription route for my week-before-the-cycle headaches, which are horrific.  Not the last couple days, though.
   
One reason I plan to get some soy stuff at Walmart tomorrow. 

So, we went to the warehouse.  They have nice new flatbed carts, thank God.  The old ones were terrible.  I wonder how many carts Ron and I bought with our purchases?

Ron wanted a lot of drinks - 40.  I got a few snack items, as a band-aid, until I can do a proper snack run and buy everything I need.  For instance, I am currently low on snickers.

I put the merchandise onto the cart.  Then, as the lovely cashier (I told Ron, she has a face that looks mean but she's very sweet and incredibly professional) scanned everything, I had to transfer it to the next cart.  To quote a friend "Damn thieves.  Ruin it for everyone."

Then I helped the cart attendant put the merchandise in the truck - if someone is helping me, I'm going to help.  I'm not going to stand there and watch them sweat.  It was cold enough that my hot flash wasn't apparent.  Oh, that cold air felt so good on my face.

We got to work.  We had a ton of applicants interviewing for "casual" jobs.  They are a one year job, and a possible foot in the door for employment at USPS.  You can bet we had a lot of very interested people.  Some interesting personalities - one player flirting with other applicants, one woman acting very haughty (probably a cover for her nerves), etc.

I unloaded all the merchandise onto carts and pushed the carts up the ramp, past the applicants - didn't run over ANYONE, and into our area.  I helped Ron stock, and did my own stocking, then I put away what I could.

It was a very long day.

I like what we did with the Cokes.  Yesterday, we asked the other vendor if we could borrow 2 cases of Coke, and give them back today.  He gave us 24 counts - that's what he gets.  However, the warehouse has a 32 count case.  We gave him two of those, so he got plenty of "interest".

Really, I told Ron.  Why be cheap?  This way we look awesome and he'll be happy to help us again.  Ron agreed.

I also believe in really good customer service, which found me eating a protein bar while getting a contractor a burrito out of our freezer.  "Breaks" can wait.  Customers can fly.

Ron teased the lady managing the interviews and pretended to ask for a job, as we left.

We finally left and our ride came just a minute later.  Good.  I was exhausted.  We got home, I ate a quick snack, laid down, and the neighbor children came out to play.

Most of the time the entire family is very quiet, but when they "play" they make a lot of racket (Dad included, during his parties).   I couldn't sleep.

I do have to commend them for moving things, and arranging things so they can't kick the ball into my bedroom wall anymore. 

I decided, rather than having "Bad Thoughts" and getting frustrated that I can't have the life I want, to do my God Time.

I did that, faithful Torbie at my side.

They had wrapped up by then (you can only sustain that kind of energy for so long), so I attempted to lie down again.  I don't think I slept but I got up after a while, realizing I probably only had one "sleep" left, and I wanted to save it for actual bedtime.

I plan to do a Bible Handout tomorrow.  I don't like the rhetoric I see.  I see one solution: overcome hate with love.  If everyone meets Jesus in a meaningful way, wow, the things that can happen.

But, how will they meet Him?

Romans 10:14-15 
New King James Version (NKJV)

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Do I think I am anything special?  No.  

Do I think I'm the only one who can do this?  No.  In fact, I think I was probably pretty far down the list, but everyone said no.  

I like the poem I wrote, years ago.  

Heather, I need you this way
.When I was a kid I'd fall and I'd cry
I'd look at the others, I'd moan and I'd sigh
.God why am I different? It's not very fair
They can do so much, I just can't compare.


I tried and I tried to learn tying my shoes
I'd fall off my bike, and was plagued by the blues
Depressed as a child! Sure doesn't seem fair!
I hated my glasses, my feet, and my hair.

I tried to make friends, so strange and so wierd
My company? No thanks! I was to be feared!
I sighed and I cried and I leaned upon God
I took him my pain and I made him my Rock.

When others were playing, and on the home phone
I was in my room, with God, never alone.
He told me again and again, oh it seemed
."I'm going to use you, for wonderful things."

As I got older, I realized my brain
Was broken and different, a source of much pain
I cried and I raged and felt bitter inside
When I realized that I never would drive

Stuck on the bus for the rest of my life!
No man would ever want that for a wife!
My glasses so thick, and my face broken out
My bitterness, raging, at God I would shout.

God why did you ever create me this way?
Are you sick, mad or just playing a game?
I love you so much but you weren't thinking straight
Had I been normal I could have done many things.

I could have reached others and led them to you
I could have made money, not cried with the blues.
Instead I have migraines, the ups and the downs
Can't live in the country, it must be the town.

God smiled and told me that soon I would see.
He had wonderful plans in store for plain old me.
I met my true love, at a certain job.
I only got because I'm off in my "knob".

Had I been born normal we would not have met.
One moment beside him, and our fates were set.
True love had stuck hard and fast and this I know.
We'll stay together, through sun and the snow.

God took many years before His plan was revealed.
A horrible accident, pain and harsh tears.
I looked around one day, my Bible in hand
And realized the others, on Him couldn't stand.

They din't know Jesus, they were all alone!
I couldn't stand that, put some Bibles on "loan".
The others so grateful someone had shared Him.
My future was set and the pain grew quite Dim.

I asked God for others to show them the way.
He said they were busy, or quite far away.
I said I could help if He wanted me to,
He said to me, "Heather! That's why I made you!

I need you to hand out Bibles on the bus.
I need you, with candy, to show them my love
I need you at multiple bus stops to stand,
To smile at the ugly, with Bible in your hand.

When you get mugged, I'll need you to pray.
For the poor dumb kid who stumbled your way
I need to to pray and I need you to care
Because you know this world is cold and unfair.

I knew that no one else could do this job so well.
So I made you for it, like ringing a bell. .
I knew you could go with my love in your heart;
I knew that you'd go even when it's hard.

I know you will care and I know you will love
The pull to go, know that it comes from above.
I'll guide you and show just what you should do.
I need you for this, that's why I made you.

If you were born normal, you'd be in a car.
And not at the bus stop, you'd be quite far.
I couldn't use you if you made lots of cash.
I need you with time and a big Bible stash."

I told him I'd go and I have no regrets.
I scratch my head sometimes, I often forget.
I lose things, my moods change, and yet He's still there
He fills me up, constantly, full of His care.

I hope that one day sometime after I've died.
I'll sit up in heaven, a large table beside.
I'll ask God about it, and He will just grin;
That's for the souls that you helped Me call in.

I'll sit at my table, I'll feast and I'll smile.
The cashiers, bus drivers, and others beside.
We'll laugh and we'll sing and God will kindly say:
Heather, you know why I made you this way.

Someone I know on Facebook told me I "shouldn't give my alms in public" - which is a misinterpretation of the Bible.  Back in the old days, some wealthy people would have a huge procession, with trumpets, as they went to feed the poor.  Jesus condemned that.

Jesus taught the Bible in public.  So did all the apostles.  Look at Peter - preaching to a crowd of thousands on Pentecost.  Look at the poor Apostle Paul, constantly getting beat up, whipped, and tormented for the gospel, but he kept on teaching from town to town.

I just hand out Bibles.  I hold up a sign.  You want it, you got it.  


Sunday, November 23, 2014

3 Steps

You know who you are, of course I will be praying for both of you and everyone in your circle.  I am so sorry to hear that.  ((((Hugs)))

I had a talk with Ron.  I basically said, I feel that you are pointing complaints and hostility at me.  Constantly.  Would you want to be around that person? 

Example, I wake up with a headache, you attack me for it, even though I am going to work with this headache and helping you make a living.  If you woke up feeling like that, what would you want? 

Oh. 

He was much nicer this morning.  I call that a win, for however long it lasts. 

Speaking of, I was OK with regard to headaches, until I took my antidepressant (headdesk).  I ended up having to take my generic excedrin, crammed in a van with a woman, her purse (which apparently required it's own seat), a very large man in a wheelchair, another guy in a reclining wheelchair (for blood pressure issues), and the second wheelchair user's father, who did make room for me to sit.  Good thing.  I didn't want to sit on that purse, but it was the only other seat!    I stood there just waiting and she glared, refusing to move her purse. 

At least the other guy helped.  We had a pretty long ride, we went to Lakewood church.  I am not a fan of their theology. 

A good example, one of the churchgoers had the pastor's book in his hand, reading it avidly.  He did not have a Bible - none of them appeared to. 

I personally believe Christians should focus on the Bible as sole spiritual food.  That's God's Word.  I'm not going to trust people's interpretation of the Bible, especially when God says "If anyone lacks understanding, let him ask and God will provide"  - James 1:5

For instance, for a while I had problems with the whole communion thing.  Why did we have to eat Jesus?  God finally made it obvious to me one day - in the Old Testament, the sacrifice was presented, slaughtered, cooked, and eaten in order to provide forgiveness.   That's why we had to "eat" Jesus.

That made total sense to me.  Forgiveness wasn't obtained until one "ate" the offering.

'Cause, before that, I always thought this ain't a zombie movie.

I always take God very seriously but it really did creep me out.  Yeah, that might make me look bad but I hope it helps others.

So.  We dropped the woman, and her purse, off at Goodwill.  We dropped the two wheelchairs and the caregiver at Lakewood.  Then we went to church.

"Don't feel bad" I told Ron "Plenty of people with cars are just pulling up, too."  We sat in the back because our pickup was estimated to show up right about the end of service.

It was a good service, of course about thanking God.  3 steps:  remember what he has done.  Praise him.  Thank him.  I was happy to see I am doing all 3, especially in public.

I try to be thankful for small things, as well as large.  I often thank God for my cats, for instance.

Torbie, by the way, was a bed hog last night.  I was actually happy when she left to go sleep with Ron.  She'll sleep on the side of Ron's bed, but the middle of mine.  I tend to flip like a pancake and an obese, elderly, housecat tends to impede the process.

I have decided to try some herbal estrogens to help with the headaches.  They'll either work or they won't, and a minimal risk of side effects.  A lot of the prescriptions out there either run a risk of addiction, have very toxic side effects, or may interact with my other drugs.

Ugh.  I am so looking forward to the end of the pill.  Pills every day, just to stay straight.  Ugh.

Anyway, I will focus on sweet Torbie, sitting in my window, instead.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Flip

My hair is probably the longest it's been in my life.  Somewhat wavy, waist length, I keep it in a ponytail. 

I find, as I go about my day, my ponytail likes to fall over my right shoulder and cascade over my chest.  I then find myself grabbing said ponytail with one hand and flipping it down across my back. 

I pulled a muscle a while back, and only then I did I realize how often I was doing this - because, for a few days, it hurt to perform the maneuver. 

I guess that would be one of my "endearing" habits.  Fixing my ponytail. 

The Medicated

I know several other people with bipolar disorder.  People who talk about having it.  Many of them are on again/off again with their medication. 

I am sure I "know" many more who do not talk about having it. 

I can see why. 

A little family drama: someone has decided to go back on her medication.  I, of course, applauded the decision. 

In response, the woman's mother wrote this, directed at me:  Wow, too bad you people would rather poison your bodies than find a good program that teaches you to know your signs and how to adjust yourselves! 

Talk about blaming the victim!  My parents have 2 children with bipolar disorder, and I believe their fondest dream is that the other child would be as committed as I am, to medication and simple living.  
They would NEVER accuse me of "wanting to poison my body".  

Ironically, from what I have heard, this woman has major mental health issues of her own.  I think those who are most vicious, attacking 'the medicated' are those most in need of medication themselves.   

I have to scratch my head "How to adjust yourselves?"  

What?  

You think, if it were that easy, we wouldn't have done it?  But, of course, mental illness is always the fault of the victim.  I am just too weak to manage my own mind.  Addicted to those horrible poisonous pharmaceuticals; a whore to them.  Worse yet, a promulgator.  

Please.   

She's MINE now

I really want to be a positive person.  I hate what I see in others, the negativity, never finding joy in anything. 

[sigh] 

Well, Torbie cat slept with me all night.  When I woke up, at one point, battling a migraine, she was lying on my pillow gazing at me, lovingly.  She is a wonderful cat - one of the best I've ever known. 

#19, the party machine, was playing very loud music.  The police got him to turn it down but I could still hear it for most of the night.  I have to think this kid (him and his girlfriend are maybe 20) doesn't work for a living, probably a student, so he figures "everyone" likes to party on Friday night.  He isn't observant enough to realize everyone else is quiet, maybe I should be, too.  

I think the "partiers" in our neighborhood go out, then come home.  

I'd gone to bed with chills and fever.  I felt horrible.  I had a pretty nasty abscess on my leg, fairly big and deep.  It was pretty painful.  I figured out, later, the abscess must have been triggering the fever and chills.  Good old vitamin C to the rescue.  I had some of this on hand and took a couple grams.  It tasted fine, a little salty, but I always need salt!  I also drank some licorice spice tea, it is beneficial for the immune system. 

It's about 80% "better" today, I think my tendency to skin infections is my manifestation of  my family's immune deficiency problems.  So far, I have always been able to treat them at home. 

Ron and I had had a pretty good night, I made "his" pintos, he ate them, he did the dishes, I went to bed.  Ron kept me up for a while, doing dishes, but I didn't mind because I had sweet, fat, Torbie in my bed. 

However, it was just getting louder.  It was some other music for a while and then I guess he got drunk and put in the Mexican Polka CD.  It's like they only have the one CD, when they want to party.  It's the same songs, often in the same sequence, and 3 neighbors blast it when they're "having a good time".  #2 (to our right), #6 (to our left), and #19 (about a block away). 

It wasn't 2 or 6, it had to be 19.  But Ron got all weird about that.  He was adamant I had to go check.  Ron, I told him.  I'm sick.  I'm very tired.  I'm depressed.  The last thing I want to do is get out of bed with my favorite cat in the world and go verify it's #19.  If it's not the other two, it's always them. 

He said he wouldn't call until I "proved" it was them.  [My phone was off or I would have done it myself]  I got out of bed, threw on my caftan, and left the house.  Right before I left Ron did a 180.  Oh, I didn't have to go.  It wasn't necessary. 

I said forget it, I was up, I would look.  I left.  Ron said some very uncomplimentary things about me after I shut the door, assuming I couldn't hear him, I suppose.  I went and looked, yes it was #19.  Of course it was. 

I came back in and told Ron.  "By the way" I told him "If someone's in the yard they can hear every word you say in the house.  You might want to remember that."  What?  "I could hear you.  I just thought you should know in case you want to talk about (#6) or whoever - if they're in the yard, they will hear you." 

He went ballistic.  Said I was hallucinating, etc.  He hadn't said anything about me, he was in his room.  That's gaslighting, because I know for a fact he was in the kitchen making yet another drink.  I didn't argue with him over my sanity. 

I mean, really, an alcoholic, abusive, head injury patient maligns me?  Whatever.  I think my lack of reaction to the sanity crack got him even more upset.  He threatened to "tell (my) doctor (I) was 'losing it', 'the medication wasn't working anymore' etc."  

He plays this card now and then when he's clearly wrong - turning it around, everything is my fault because I'm "crazy" etc.  He's going to TELL!  

If Ron ever did pull that crap I would make the drinky-drinky gesture (pretending to swig from a bottle) and then indicate Ron. 

I have hallucinated vague human forms.  I hallucinate music on occasion.  I hallucinate bugs on my skin pretty frequently (lately, the fourth toe on my left foot feels like it's got crawlies on it).  I don't hallucinate my husband verbally abusing me. 

But I think that is one reason Ron has chosen "broken" women - so he can look down on them, demean and degrade them, and feel superior.  He can talk all he wants, but I don't have to receive it. 

Anyway, he called the police, they turned it down - but not off, and I went back to bed.  Happily Torbie was waiting.  I sure love her. 

I battle mixed emotions when I think about her former owners.  One, how could you let her go?  She is awesome.  She is clean, sweet, friendly, and incredibly loving.  Secondly, I'm furious they did.  Thirdly, I'm happy they did because she's MINE now. 

She is awesome. 

I slept pretty horribly, between the fever, music, and headache.  The headache pills (thank you generic Excedrin) did a good job.  I plan to take an aspirin before I take my nap. 

However, I had Torbie.  She makes everything better. 

She's just so sweet and loving.  I'm so glad she picked me, and I tell her that all the time.  She chose me, getting in my lap at the shelter when I sat down.  I never saw her coming but I'll never give her up (until God takes her).  She is wonderful. 

She was a lot more sympathetic than Ron. 

I got up around 8.  Took my shower, cleaned the shower enclosure.  Our friend did a great job with the rebuild, but he used natural stone mixed with tile.  That's a problem, because you don't use tile cleaner on natural stone. 

And the shower needed cleaning.  I have experimented using various "stone" cleaners.  I finally found some Wegman's Granite Cleaner.  That did a good job of cleaning the tile, and making the stone look great. 

Ron, of course, complained about the smell.  Do you want me to clean the house, or not? 

Agh.  No wonder I get so many headaches. 

Then I did my God Time.  

Ron has always had an iron-clad rule "I don't drink before 12".  He has broken that rule on occasion, and more often.  Today he decided to start drinking at 10.   "Because it's my day off, but I'd never drink this early on a work day." 

This from the guy "Don't ever let me drink before 12".  That's not my job, it's yours.  I'm not playing games.  He also said something about not wanting to become an alcoholic, if he did I would "have to get him into rehab".  No, you'll have to get yourself into rehab when you finally hit bottom and please God don't let him drag me with him. 

He seems to think he would receive it when I told him he has a problem.  As I've been telling him for several years now.  Ron's drinking began escalating after my diagnosis and treatment, because, to him it  "wrecked" the whole family dynamic.  I was better, and he wasn't.  He'll have to deal with it because I refuse to feel guilty.   

Anyway, since then I have been telling him "You have a problem" when I feel he's a at a reachable moment.  Every time he has said "Yes, I could have a problem, but I don't, see I made one mistake and messed up this one time, but I'm going to do this ___ now and it will never happen again." 

Denial.  Rivers of denial. 

Like I said, I don't want to be that bitter, miserable person.  That is why I will do my best to hang onto the good things in life, like my cat, and my faith.  That may be all I have right now but it'll be enough.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Always and every day

I always want the Bad News first. 

I woke up with a nasty headache.  I couldn't take my antidepressant - if I have a severe headache (I only call them migraines if the nausea is present), I will vomit upon ingestion of said Wellbutrin.  I waste the medicine and I vomit.  So I don't. 

I had to work like that. 

Our guy with a truck, truck's broken.  We will have to take all our supplies on paratransit for the next 8 days.  I am NOT looking forward to that. 

I had to medicate the cats, and they both hate me right now (flea drops). 

The horrible woman at the warehouse was not fired, and working today, when we visited.  However, she was very subdued.  

That said, here's the good news: 

Torbie slept with me all night, and I got plenty of lap time too (which is now I noticed she was a fleabag and needed medicating).   She isn't speaking to me at all right now and ran away from treats. 

The headache left, pretty much, upon ingestion, of all things, powdered sugar donuts.  I don't care how it worked, it worked, pretty well at least.  The worst of the headache was gone around lunch, and I could take the antidepressant and all it's other psychiatric friends. 

Work wasn't bad.  Even though Ron ruptured a soda, we cleaned it up.  I got to service all the vending machines, in addition to helping Ron.  They are also making a handrail for the wheelchair ramp so Ron can get himself up and down by himself. 

Sales are down, so we won't need as much inventory transported on paratransit.  I've also put up an ad at work, soliciting drivers.  "You drive, I load and unload".  I hope someone bites.  Boy, do I hope - if they're nice and reliable. 

We had great trips, all of them. 

I got to hang out with the other vendors and some nice employees.  I was teasing one lady her drink would keep her "Young and beautiful!"  She liked that. 

When we got home, I ate and got all my meds down.  That's, like, the most important thing of the day, always and every day. 

When I got up, I started work on the beans.  I'm making a batch of Ron's favorite pintos.
_______________________ 

2 cups dry pintos
(soak overnight, pour off soaking liquid.  I like to add a little liquid smoke and a dash of pepper to the soak water). 

4 cups water
1/2 c to 8 ounce (half a one-pound bag) chopped, frozen, onions (to taste)
High quality spicy link sausage - 8 ounces or half a one pound link, chopped small.  I use Chappell Hill (a regional specialty).  Ground would work, too, but I'd brown it with the onions and then drain the grease, before adding to the beans. 
1/2 t black pepper (the beans will have spicy flavor from the sausage, and you can always add more)
1/2 t salt 

Simmer until done.  Mine are taking about 2 hours, but the beans are pretty old. 
_________________________________________________

If he likes the current batch, I'll get more sausage, make a monster batch the next time I'm manic, and can it.  Ron is happy to help with meal prep (chopping the sausage) and dish duty.

That's a good thing, because when I'm depressed I only have the energy to cook.  



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Use your words

I did have a good night of sleep.  However, it's never a good sign when the headache wakes me up.  It did, around 5.  I had my alarm set for 6.  I took some Excedrin and got up. 

I was too depressed for a shower, and my hair was "acceptable" for Walmart.  I slapped on some extra deodorant and dressed. 

Happily, I did manage my God Time, all while being mugged for cat treats, by Torbie.  She's pretty cute. 

Ron woke up, I made sure he looked OK (because no one points a finger at him, if he looks bad it is always my fault).  Our first ride was late. 

We got to Walmart with about an hour and a half shopping time.  However, my first dose had worn off and my second dose of Excedrin had me pretty wobbly. 

I had wanted to talk to the personnel lady about the Bible handout, but figured I wouldn't present a good image with my hair, and my general "presentation".   Besides, I feel like God wants me to wait and let Him do it all. 

I had a pretty detailed list.  Ron wanted quite a bit for a change, a big jar of peanut butter, 4 pairs of headphones, a box for the headphones, etc.  I got that, and my stuff, unprocessed deli meat, some bread (almost every multigrain bread has rye in it, yuck!), milk, etc. 

I am down 10 pounds from this summer, in part due to heavy labor, in part due to eating better foods, more protein and less junk. 

I also got 2 pair microfiber long underwear leggings.  I'm very happy about them.  Generally my "top half" is plenty warm during cold weather, but my lower half isn't.  A pair of jeans just doesn't do it, when I'm waiting outside on a ride. 

It was nice to see that I fit well within the size parameters, admittedly the largest size, but still good.  My jeans are getting a little loose too. 

For years, I had the very bad habit of squeezing myself into the smaller size the second I could get it zipped - resembling a sausage.  I'd have red marks on my waist when I took the pants off. 

Not a good look. 

So, I'm trying to go the opposite direction, wait until the "old" pants are very baggy and nearly falling off before I size down.  So far I think it's a better look. 

I have plenty to eat all next week.  Deli meat, cheese, and bread.  I even got some precooked bacon - I just warm it up. 

I also got some cleaning supplies, paper plates, plastic spoons, etc.  I try to go disposable if at all possible. 

I've determined I like to do nice things, secretly.  I won't say anything more.  If I get an earth bonus or a God bonus I'd rather wait on the latter.  The Bible is pretty clear if you get accolades for your "good works" on earth, you don't get them in heaven. 

We finished up.  My head was throbbing pretty badly.  I got Ron some food.  He kept offering me french fries.  I can't remember the last time I was happy eating 3 fries, but I didn't dare upset my stomach. 

We waited on one side, but the nail parlor's dryer vent was blowing fabric-softener fragrance at us.  My headache escalated and I fled, dragging a bench to a better area. 

2 people tried to give Ron money.  He was presentable, I guess they wanted to spread some holiday cheer.  He, of course, said no thank you. 

I reminded myself, as bad as I felt, my neighbor was in labor today.  Pretty obvious when I see the freaked out husband loading luggage, and a purse, into his truck.  I should note the date because "we" will have an epic party, a year from now. 

I pray everything goes well for them. 

I saw some people waiting on a cab and it reminded me of the couple I saw about a year ago.  They'd been waiting on a cab.  About the time the cab arrived, a friend of his showed up and offered him a ride.

He rejected the cab ride (remember the cabbie spent his own money on gas, and rejected other trips, to take this one) and got in the other vehicle.  "I'll remember this!" the cab driver said.

Months later, I saw those same people, waiting again with 2 shopping carts bursting with groceries.  They jumped all over our Metrolift, thinking it was their vehicle.  The driver spent 10 minutes telling them it wasn't their ride, and no she didn't have a direct link to Yellow Cab.  [The woman got very nasty when I asked her to move so I could load my groceries.  She even threatened to beat me up, but said she wouldn't "because she was a Christian".  Had she hit me, I wouldn't have hit her back, but I would have filed criminal charges.] 

"We've been waiting for hours!"  the guy whined.  Well, you got a bad reputation and now the cabs won't deal with you.

Happily Ron and I have worked VERY hard at cultivating good relationships with our drivers.  When I saw a cab driver helping the other Metrolift client (if a client is "ambulatory" they may hire a regular cab for a one time trip), I made a point of thanking him and telling him I'd ask God to give him good trips for the day.  

He liked that.  I think a lot of drivers do take short trips and/or Metrolift trips to get some brownie points with God. 

Our ride came up and insisted on parking by the vent with the fabric softener.  I was in serious pain and the guy thought I was mad.  I kept telling him, I'm in pain.  The fragrance is aggravating my headache.  When I, nearly sobbing, begged him to please shut the door, he got it. 

He wanted to pick up another client on the list.  He only told us the name after we consented (he was making his own schedule, we were supposed to go straight because he was an hour late).  It was Leo. 

Leo is the slow guy who struck a driver, about a year ago, because the driver wouldn't go back to his workshop for a lost cell phone.  We were riding in the vehicle at the time, and the slap was very loud.  The driver (now fired) was eating while driving, so he didn't report it.  I am very leery of Leo.  If he'll hit the driver, he'll hit me, or Ron. 

"I think of him like I do pitbulls" I told him.  "You'll probably be fine.  But you might not.  And I don't like to be around people prone to violence." 

The driver said he was "cool" and "Not that bad".  I chose to move my seat.  Leo would have to sit either right next to my groceries, or near the lift.  I opted to move from the lift area over by my groceries. 

Leo, like a lot of "limited" clients, carries around tons of stuff in bags.  I guess it's a security thing.  I didn't want those bags near my food. 

I didn't want someone, with poor impulse control, near my food.  I have had slow clients attempt to get into my merchandise and groceries.  I had 2 big bags of chips sitting on top. 

I made the right decision, because the client got on moaning about being hungry and missing breakfast, taking glances at my chips.  The driver asked Leo if he had food in his bags, and he produced a half-eaten sandwich.  He just had to be told, to eat it. 

Then, horrifyingly, the driver asks about the fiance.  Yes, the slow guy with massive anger and impulse control issues, the violent man, is getting married.  What a terrible idea.  That's going to end in prison - he'll hit his wife one day, charges filed, and into the prison system. 

A lot of the drivers tell me the slow clients can be physically abusive, to the drivers and the other clients.  From what I have seen, the company is far too "nice" to these individuals.  It's a physical danger to innocent people. 

The only time I heard of someone losing his service, an autistic guy was riding in the front seat with a driver, and kept yanking on the steering wheel in traffic.  Ron reported that to the head of the program, as we rode.  The driver verified it.  The guy (eventually at least) lost his service and now the group home has to transport him. 

If more people lost service, or were suspended, I think the group homes and workshops (who are making thousands a month off each client) would focus a little more on anger management skills. 

Ron and I were talking about children raised in poverty and ignorance (I'm talking about "normal" people now).  Why, he wondered, do they turn to crime, laziness, and thuggery?   Why are they so violent? 

Well, I told him, an educated family values education, they read bedtime stories every night, and help with the homework.  An ignorant family watches raunchy sitcoms and refuses to help with the schoolwork - or figures that's someone else's problem. 

An educated family uses time-outs and teaches children to "use their words".  They realize it's important to express emotions, in a healthy way.  Well, we've all seen angry, ignorant, people - they just try to outshout each other, and failing that, resort to violence. 

An educated family understands the value of hard work; an ignorant family wants to milk the system for whatever they can get.  Don't get me wrong, some people are truly in need, but like I told the social worker when she said I could get food stamps (back in 1994) "I have enough to eat".  An educated family learns and uses a budget, an ignorant person doesn't. 

It's not surprising the ignorant grow up to be angry, bitter, ignorant, entitled, and selfish.  They've never been taught anything else. 

Do I have a fix?  Introduce them to God, and maybe get some good budgeting, life skills, and job education.  [shrug]  For now, God wants me handing out Bibles. 

We came home.  I was miserable, but I do have a new policy.  I put everything away when I get home.  It may not seem like a big deal but it is for me. 

I did that, including Ron's 4 TV dinners, the deli meats, etc.  I ate some spicy chips (they help with headaches) and took a nap for a few hours.  Now I'm online. 

I'm waiting to do my nice thing.  I don't want witnesses.  Kind of subverts the whole "anonymous good deed". 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It can't hurt

I think God wants me to work some more on respecting Ron. 

Don't get me wrong, Ron is oblivious to all of this.  He may feel it in his gut but nothing overt. 

In a lot of ways, I do respect him.  I don't know anyone else who could endure what he has, come back, and go back to work. 

However, I don't know whether it's the alcohol, or a general negative outlook, but I see him eaten up by negativity, lack of motivation, bitterness, and an f-it-all attitude.  He just goes on and on - negativity during every conversation we have, for, minimum, several minutes at a time. 

Yes, he is depressed.  I believe dysthymia, a state of chronic and unrelenting depression.  I believe it is one of the things driving him to drink. 

Where does understanding and acceptance end?  Where does respect and tolerance end?  Where do I say "I can't take anymore" and endure the inevitable tantrum?  

I understand he has theological issues.  He is very eager for God to rapture us, new bodies, improved souls, paradise forever.  But he rants about God being "slow" and "Torture man" unendingly. 

I can only take so much, especially when I suffer from depression.  I could care less what he says when I'm manic.  I have an easy time ignoring him or blowing it off. 

When I'm depressed, already battling to have a positive outlook, wow, I managed to take a shower and do the laundry, plus work - it's horrific. 

But I need to be aware I could become bitter myself.  I'm not there but I could tip pretty easily.  I begin to view everyone with cynicism.  For instance, a thing going around Facebook.  A woman saying she "has" to have an automatic door opener because "The door is so heavy" when she's dealing with her disabled child.  The doors are not heavy, Ron can open them with his bad arm.  Don't get me wrong, if you break it you fix it, but she's exaggerating and waving her disabled child around for sympathy.  That gets me irky. 

Either that, or she needs to hit the gym.  If you have a kid in a wheelchair you need some strength. 

I need plenty of strength to deal with Ron, physical and mental.  Happily, the physical end of things has never been a big deal.  At age 40, and obese, I just have to be careful coming down the steps of the "big" paratransit van.  They are high steps and I'll tweak my bad knee (otherwise happy) if I don't. 

Mentally, I suppose I endure more than an average woman, which I guess makes me stronger.  Does that mean I want a high tolerance for depression and negativity? 

No, but it can't hurt. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cat hair on the keyboard

I like to end things on a positive note. 

Remember I was out of crackers?  I carry several different types, including whole grain. 

Today I went to the warehouse and bought the crackers, and some trail mix.  I was rather upset (scroll down for that), though, and forgot the hot mix 1 ounce chips.  [sigh]

I keep finding cat hair on my keyboard.  I think someone is sleeping up here during the day.  What a sad life it would be without cat hair. 

Poor naked kitties - the Sphynx, I feel so sorry for them. 

Anyway, I went to the warehouse, had a lot of drama I really didn't want, on top of a horrible depression, and getting out of a nice warm bed at God knows what in the morning. 

That's what I had to do, I just wanted to make sure my customers had good selections.  I had my stuff on my handcart, rolling from one machine to the next. 

A woman came up to me, looking miserable.  "I'm really sick to my stomach" she mumbled.  "Do you have any crackers?" 

THAT is why I got up so early today. 

It did my heart such good to see her walking away, looking better already, munching on the crackers she selected. 

Count your blessings

See, I was already having a bad day before the greeter incident. 

I woke up horribly depressed. 

Ron has been incredibly negative and picking at my faith all day.  For instance, I told him I wanted to take a nap so he made a lot of racket, taking out the garbage.  Passive-aggressive.  He's also been having hysterics because our guy-with-a-truck is having truck issues. 

We've run the business without a truck before, we can do it again.  Worst case, we would need to convert the bottled vendor from 16.9 ounce drinks, to 20 ounces, and raise the prices accordingly.  We'd get the sodas delivered, by Dr Pepper, who would love the business.  We'd have room for the inventory because we have room for the inventory, now. 

I would get wholesale delivery for snacks, instead of going out to get it.  The warehouse would be rather unhappy to lose our business but we could do it. 

It would mean far less physical labor for me.  

Ron was also talking about how he "couldn't" do "truck day" on certain days because "It's going to rain".  I told him, from what I heard it's more a drizzle.  I don't care about working in the rain, if we need the inventory we get it. 

"Don't you care about my feelings?" Ron wailed dramatically.  Apparently it would be devastating for him to know I was unloading the truck in the rain. 

I replied that perhaps running the business should take priority over feelings.  He started cursing.  Oh-kay.  Either you respect me or you don't and cursing at me indicates you don't. 

I don't think guys, in general, understand the hot flash.  When I am having a hot flash (perhaps menopause, perhaps my antidepressant), cold is GOOD.  Rain is GOOD.  Cold rain even BETTER.  I get very hot.  I feel like I'm in an oven.  Cold things feel very nice to me. 

I only get them when I'm awake, when I'm stressed out or doing physical labor.  If I have night sweats I think I just throw the covers off in my sleep.  I do wake up uncovered sometimes. 

Anyway, he won't receive it. 

He's been moping around ever since, having pity parties, yelling at God.  All.  Day.  Long. 

He is so blessed.  He worked just a couple hours.  He has reliable transportation, a hardworking helper, a wife who loves him, two wonderful cats, a nice little house, good working systems in the house, I'm healthy, the cats healthy, he's healthy (surprisingly so).  We have a good community of people who care about us. 

But, he won't see that.  All he sees is "Chuck has to take the truck to the mechanic and can't help us until it's fixed." and "The thermostat is acting up".  You have a wonderful gas furnace, and you can afford to run it at a comfortable level. 

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS! 

Code Pissed

"You can't leave him there." the greeter told me "People can see him there.  It looks bad [having someone with a disability sitting in public].  You need to put him in the corner, or it will upset the business customers." 

Oh, it will?  

Business customers?  What the heck are we?  

I was not happy.  I can, and do, endure all sorts of personal attacks on a daily basis.  However, with my life, I'm used to it and I generally laugh it off.  However, attack my husband and you will meet a whole different Heather. 

First, I went over to a group of cashiers and associates, gossiping.  I told them the greeter had just told me I had to hide my husband in a corner because he "looked bad" sitting in his wheelchair.  I also told them she told me the sight of my husband would "Upset the business customers". 

"What year are we living in?" I vented in exasperation "Do we hide all the cripples in the closet or what?  I am pissed!  Do you know how much money we spend here every month and she tells me the sight of a disabled man is OFFENSIVE?" 

I had made sure Ron was well out of the way of traffic.  He was visible as people entered the door but so what?  It's 30 degrees!  This same woman, the one who told me to hide him, had also yelled at me over "leaving him out in the heat!  It's too hot!", all summer long. 

So what is it?  Either he's out, or in, and if he's in I'm not sticking him in a corner.  She wanted to put me in the exit aisle, which wouldn't have been safe anyway.  I'm sorry the sight of a blind man in a wheelchair is so offensive.  It's a lot worse to live it! 

When I left Ron, storming off in a rage, I told him not to let anyone move him.  The manger went over to check it out, and later agreed my positioning was fine, he was out of traffic. 

Meanwhile, the associates (one in a wheelchair) gaped at me in shock.  "She said what?"  

I repeated it.  "Someone" I said ominously, "needs to teach her some manners!"

I went off to get my crackers and trail mix.  I was out and we only needed about $40 of merchandise.  In the meantime, the associates notified the manager she had a Code Pissed.  The manager talked to the associate, looked at Ron, well out of the way and minding his own business, heard how much we spend monthly from a cart attendant. 

I, in the meantime, decided to file a formal complaint, and formally requested a manager.  I was nice about it, but it was clear I was very upset.  I explained the whole thing to her, she was horrified.  "I'm sure she didn't mean it that way". 

Go talk to her, I said.  The manager did and by the time I left, the greeter was gone.  I guess she did mean it that way. 

"She needs to be taught people with disabilities have value."  I mentioned the employee in a wheelchair "How do you think he feels about this?  She needs, at the very least, some sensitivity training.  I could file a formal ADA complaint.  Do you know how bad this makes you look?  I'm not going to do that, but I don't ever want this to happen again."  She agreed it would not. 

She also had me fill out an incident report, which I did.  She was very nice about it, very apologetic.  I wasn't seeking anything but she gave me a gift card. 

The employees were very supportive, especially the guy in a wheelchair. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

"I could deal with the screaming"

Depression's back. 

That means I had about a week long mania.  Not too bad.

The forthcoming month long depression will be miserable, though, especially in winter. 

Facebook is running an ad campaign for some pharmaceutical company "Bipolar disorder?  You've got this!"  GACK. 

No, I don't.  I'm gagging down toxic medication at every turn, suffering horrendous side effects, and battling horrific depressions.  The only thing I've "got" is a dreadful, mortal, illness (an estimated 20-25% commit suicide, that's worse than a lot of cancers).  I have to fight with every fiber of my being every second of every single day. 

This is a lot different from "got this".  "Got this" - an illness, sure, but no big deal.  Let me tell you, my illness is a very big forking deal. 

I don't need some purveyor of toxic, overpriced, most likely fatal side effectual pharmaceuticals to give me a freaking pep talk.  I take my meds, and they keep me functional.  That's the goal. 

Enough. 

So, today, massively depressed, I went to work.  [sigh]  If this is me with the antidepressants I'd hate to see me without. 

Sorry.  I just get pissed off when people trivialize my illness.  It's not gout! 

Happily, I have a doctor who understands my needs.  Someone I knew online went to a county mental health clinic in another state.  Her doctor went on summer vacation.  While he was gone, some whore for a pharmaceutical company came in, took everyone off effective medication, and put them all on some new crap.  They all crashed and burned in spectacular fashion.  Then he left and the "real" doctor had to come back and help them glue the pieces together. 

That's pretty much my worst nightmare right there. 

I also talked to one of my drivers.  I mentioned my illness and he said his wife had gone off her meds while pregnant, and didn't start them up again after she gave birth.  "I could deal with the screaming" he said "But not the physical abuse.  She kept hitting me all the time." 

I emphasized that I was sure she was wonderful, but we need to take our medication daily.  If we don't, we get evil (I do and apparently others too, from what I hear).  

On a positive note, the people behind me have a dog.  It's a hound/pitbull mix.  It looks like a pitbull, howls like a hound.  This morning, as we left, I saw "Daddy" walking the dog.  I haven't heard the dog all day so I assume they are keeping it on the house, nice and warm (we will get into the 20's with a nasty wind chill tonight).  Good. 

I am not a fan of dogs, I hate the barking.  I don't like them jumping on me, either.  But I want good things for them, plenty to eat, sterilization, a loving home. 

We went to work, did our jobs, but we didn't have enough time.  I am also nearly out of crackers.  Out of all the merchandise, I'm almost out of crackers?   So, we need to run to the warehouse first, tomorrow, and then to work. 

We will have a longer day at work, Wednesday, so it won't be too long tomorrow. 

I did get home in time to watch some Supernatural, then I took a nap. 

When I'm depressed I generally don't have trouble sleeping, especially after I take my medication.  I got a pretty good little nap, then got up and did my God Time. 

After I got up, I even managed to strip the bedding and throw it in the laundry.  It's been a while since I washed the sheets. 

I like the layer arrangement of blankets so I kept them intact (they are clean, having just been brought out of storage), rolled up off to the side.  When I get the sheets back on the bed I can unroll the blankets. 

The weather is really cold so I shouldn't have any neighbor drama the next couple days - actually about a week, because we are estimated to get rain when the cold does clear out. 

I still wish I could get a cat to sleep with me.  I sleep so well with a cat in the bed. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Make my own happy

So, what did I do this weekend?

Well, both days off (in a row!) I had a nice nap.  I slept late today with no alarm. 

I reminded myself that even though my neighbors can aggravate, all neighbors will do that.  Mine aren't out there mutilating cats and leaving them on the doorstep, either, like they are in the Heights area (an affluent Houston suburb). 

The cats have been awesome, healthy and cuddly.  Well, Torbie's version of cuddly involves sleeping in my grandmother's knitting basket, a couple feet from the bed, and mugging me for treats during my God Time. 

Ron is still drinking, but not ugly.  He isn't having blackouts either.  If I have to live with an alcoholic I guess that's what I'll take. 

It's funny the things I told myself as a teenager: I will never live with an abuser.  I will never live with an alcoholic.  I will never live with someone who manipulates me (that did end pretty much after the accident, either that or God and maturity has enabled me to spot it). 

Yet, here I am.  Huh. 

Anyway, I'm having a good weekend in spite of it all.  If my happiness is dependent on Ron doing this, the neighbors acting invisible, etc, then I'll never be happy. 

I don't want to be a bitter, negative person.  This sounds horribly new-agey but I can make my own happy, if I want. 

Neighbors?

It's been an odd weekend for the neighbors. 

Yesterday I looked out the window to find a huge rental party bus half the size of a city bus, parked in front of my house.  #2 began playing the same old tired Mexican polka party CD. 

I really have to wonder, do they only have one party CD?  For all of them?  Because it sure seems like it. 

Anyway, It was apparent they were going to have a huge party.  I did take hope from the bus - they wouldn't have rented the bus if they weren't going somewhere. 

I had Ron call the landlady, who swiftly reminded them "This is a place to live, not a place to party" and they turned it down and left.  Wow.  Great.  We didn't hear them come back, either. 

My gripe with that; we have plenty of rowdy neighborhoods in Houston, where they party every night.  But they don't want their sleep disturbed, and they come here.  But they still want to have the rowdy party.  You don't get both, sorry. 

Then a black pickup, visiting #6 (on my other side) keeps blocking my driveway.  I find that very annoying.  If Ron became ill or something we'd have to wait on "blackie" to move before we could get the ambulance.  It's just rude, and illegal, especially since there is TONS of parking on the other side of the street.   He runs out and moves it like he knows he's doing wrong. 

Worst case I can call traffic enforcement and have them give him a ticket.  That would cure the problem, but it might make for bad will with #6.  But it's common courtesy, and the law!  You don't block someone's driveway unless it's your own!

I remind myself he hasn't put us out yet, and if he does I will give him a tongue lashing, and have Ron touch the vehicle.  He has every right to "look at" (feel) the vehicle blocking HIS driveway.  Mexican people are very superstitious, and nothing freaks them out like a disabled person touching their vehicle.  They act like the disability is "catching".  If that's the case, Ron touching the vehicle would be particular cause for horror, being blind and using a wheelchair.  

Then someone down the street played some music last night, but it wasn't too loud and I had today "offa" work.

Ugh.  I tell you, living out in the middle of nowhere looks better and better.  Too bad I can't drive.  


Spanish Bible Handout

Today was my all Spanish Handout.  I thought it would be interesting, but never could I have dreamed how odd it would get.  I had trouble ...