Tuesday, March 31, 2015

If it's my thyroid

Still depressed. 

Got up, I just didn't want to take a shower.  I compromised, I didn't wash my hair, but got everything else. 

Ron and others have a hard time believing long hair is easier for a depressive, but it is for me.  I can, during mild/cold weather, "get away" with skipping a shampoo now and then.  It looked frizzy, not great, but it was "fine". 

I did do my God Time, Torbie at my side. 

I ate and took my pills.  I had been able to sleep a little later.  Ron and I work one, later afternoon, shift every week so we can interact with all shifts.  I think that's really important. 

The customers seem to appreciate it.  Overall, I really like the new staff. 

We went to Walmart.  I only carried my reusable tote bags.  And, of course, the driver wanted a Bible.  I took care of it but I can't say how. 

We went to the store and shopped.  I didn't get much, cheese dogs, diet soda, drink mix, cat treats. 

I also got some catnip spray for a coworker.  He has cats, they'll enjoy it. 

I spent $20 on the business, and got the money back later. 

Praise God I did get some mints.  My medication brings dry mouth to a whole new level. 

When we got home, we found the yard mowed.  Our guy had come by.  He forgot to get his money. 

I found another soccer ball in the yard, so I can understand the kids a little better - if they lost two balls.  I threw it over the fence, of course.  I will be checking the yard daily. 

I find it funny, #2 is an even sloppier landscaper than us.  Apparently, if our yard looks good he has to mow his now - he's working on it now. 

Regarding #6, I am finding it easier to sleep when the dog is barking.  I got a look at her today as I returned the dog.  She is about the size of a cat, not growing any.  Good.  I'd much rather have her than that huge, vicious, pit bull on my back fence.  I'm scared of him. 

When #6 dog got out, she came over and licked my hand.  That's my kind of neighbor dog (if only she never barked!). 

Heather, you are impossible to please. 

I'm afraid there's some truth in that statement. 

Anyway, I put up my things, off to work.  Our ride was really late, and then we rode around for a while. 

Ron complained bitterly about "having" to ride down Greens Road.  Now, it's a terrible street, full of potholes, but you have to take the shortest distance.  I had to talk him out of calling dispatch and filling a formal complaint on the driver, who is just the nicest guy ever and totally professional. 

The driver appreciated it.  One part of my unofficial job description: calming him down.  Although he does the same for me, plenty. 

Praise God we have never both been extremely upset at the same time. 

Snacks were dead.  Dead. 

I was horrified when a customer told me I had accidentally stocked the Twix at 50 cents, and not $1 (should be $1.25).  AGH!  You would have gotten a laugh, watching me UNSTOCK. 

Oh, well.  The vending machines rip people off, sometimes they don't ask for the refund.  I tell myself this is just people getting their refund.  (We lost maybe $3 on my mistake)

Other than that, snacks needed nothing. 

I turned to the food machines, stocking them well.  A union rep had made a pointed comment about cup of noodles. 

I'd be a real idiot to ignore that. 

I did that, K-cups, shelf stable dinners, sandwiches, etc. 

Then I helped Ron with sodas, getting them for him, and putting replacement drinks into the fridge.  I also did an inventory for truck day. 

Meter readings!  For some reason a couple of my machines did not want to enter service mode - I had to keep beating on the button. 

Meter readings are like an odometer for sales.  They tell you, overall, how much you've made over the life of the machine.  If it was $200 last month and is now $350, I made $150. 

Did that. 

We went home.  I was pretty irritable for some reason, tired, and I just wanted to go to bed.  I was not happy when Ron said he wanted to run change instead. 

He decided against it, right as some neighbor fired up the lawn care equipment.  Agh!  I just wanted to sleep! 

I put in my earplugs and took a nap for 2 hours. 

I woke up, feeling better.  I got online.  I'm going to eat in about an hour and take my lithium.  I want my levels to be accurate when I get my blood test tomorrow. 

I plan to get:
Lithium level (obvious)
Chemistry panel (checks liver and kidneys)
Thyroid panel - someone at work mentioned my fatigue and weight gain may be thyroid related.  If that's the case I can check it.  Medication is cheap, and could really boost my quality of life. 

If it's my thyroid. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Adventure

Every now and then I come up against a subject so raw, I avoid blogging it. 

Say, infidelity. 

Manias are another one. 

Let me take you back in time, myself, as a small toddler (I was extremely underweight due to the neglect).  I lived in my crib, my crib was my prison.  Once my Dad and sister left the house, I was placed into the crib and left there for 12 hours until they returned.  During that time, I was not released. 

I was not fed, changed, rocked, or nurtured in any way.  It was a miserable existence, full of crying, my snotty face and eyes red and sore as I cried, hungry, in my sagging diaper. 

I really only lived when my Dad came home, one reason I am such a Daddy's girl.  Dad'd release me, feed me, get me cleaned up, fed, bath, playtime.  Life was wonderful with Dad. 

I hated my solo existence when he left, but there was something worse.  My mother drank to "manage" her bipolar symptoms.  When she was depressed she just lived in bed, neglecting me to the point she lost custody. 

One time I had been released from my crib for some reason, I followed her around the house, seeking attention.  She went downstairs.  We had a staircase leading to the basement, it had a turn and some pretty steep steps.  They normally kept the door shut for obvious safety reasons. 

Desperate for attention, I attempted to follow her, fell, and went down the entire flight of stairs, hitting my head on the floor as I landed.  I lay there, cried and cried.  She ignored me. 

Eventually, I picked myself up and tried to follow her into the utility room.  She shut the door in my face.  I cried at the door for a while longer, probably hungry. 

I finally gave up, climbed back up the stairs, and went into my bedroom. I have a dent in my skull, just inside my hairline. 

Worse: the mania. 

I remember crying in my crib, as usual, one day.  Suddenly, the door opened, and my mother came in, completely drunk and entirely manic.  She began attempting to sweet talk me and reached for me, reeking of alcohol, body odor, and cigarette smoke.  I screamed in terror, trying to hide, and backed up.  She grabbed me anyway. 

I'm sure she took me off on what she considered to be an adventure, something that completely terrified me.  It was hell. 

I hate manias.  Nothing scares me more.  Ron was so happy when we bought the house, and I was so panicky, thinking he was manic.  I didn't have a word for it then but his joy terrified me.  I find that very sad, so scarred by my mother I couldn't even share his joy.  

I hate admitting I am manic.  I hate admitting I have anything in common with that woman who damaged me so deeply.  I can't even drive!

I hate that I share her illness, and I, so easily, could end up just like her: homeless, broke, and half-naked dead on a motel floor, a 2 liter bottle of vodka at my side.  It's horrifying.  I can't imagine a worse fate than ending up like my mother.  She had extreme drama and head games every day of her life.

Don't get me wrong: I forgive her.  I believe she loved me, as best she could.

I had an experience.  About the time my mother died, I had a dream: a woman came to me and apologized for "hurting" me.  She said it had not been her intent, she loved me and had never wished me harm.  I could feel tremendous love coming from the woman.  I forgave her.

About a year later, I found out my mother died about that time.  So, I think maybe God let her apologize before moving on.  I don't know.  It doesn't matter either way: I am commanded to forgive, God gave me what I needed to do so, I did, I moved on.

I will, however, never have children.  I don't have any kind of healthy model for that.

I hate manias - they remind me of my mother.  They scare me, forcing me to confront my illness.  They make me feel powerless in a way the depression never can.

I hate to admit when I'm manic.  Having them, even medicated, makes me realize the hell I'd endure off my medication. 

I'm not, today.  It's the usual hellish depression.  

Enough

Sorry gang, I deleted the spam of the "nice man looking for love". 

Huh. 

Speaking of love.  I have a couple of love languages.  Ron is "acts of service".  I like to have quality time, #1.  I like to give gifts (I don't care if I get them, though), and I love to hear words of appreciation. 

As you know, the last has been kind of an ongoing issue with Ron.  When he seems receptive, I tell him "I like to hear that you appreciate me" - said in a nice voice. 

He has gotten a lot better about that, lately. 

Today I dropped everything on snacks (HATED to do that, but Ron really needed the help), to help him restock the fridge.  We chill all our bottled drinks before sale. 

I helped him fling a half-dozen cases in there, and we finished.  "You're such a huge help" Ron gushed.  "I don't know what I'd do without you... you must get sick of hearing that." 

"Ron" I told him "I can never hear that enough!" 

We both laughed. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Prefers them

They didn't finish the party until after 11.  I waited until I saw the cars leave, before I went to bed. 

I slept OK and got up at 6.  I was exhausted.  I took a shower and then found the ball in my backyard, tossed it back.  I found it funny that neither dog (back fence or next door) even noticed. 

Irritation nipped at me all day, like a pesky chihuahua.  I kept turning it over to God and it kept coming back. 

It's a nice weekend, I don't want to be upset. 

I know, however, 90% of this is "just" depression.  It's ruminating - link.  Let me tell you, it's exhausting. 

Ron got pretty upset last night and told me to shut up already "You are hurting me more than those kids!"  I put a cork in it, blogged, ranted on Facebook (at least a couple people agreed with me), etc. 

At the end of it, I just don't get why this guy and his family see our property as theirs.  The property line just doesn't exist in their heads. 

Perhaps he was involved in the house flip (the home was flipped twice prior to our buying it).  If so, he did a terrible job.  You can see all the mud and tape from the drywall repairs.  I don't know, don't care. 
I can't figure out why they don't move.  She wears very stylish clothing that was not plucked from the bargain bin.  They have two very nice late model vehicles and the infamous 13 passenger van he wanted to park in my driveway.  They have six kids - and have already illegally modified the home to 5 bedrooms.  She is still pretty young -they could end up with more kids.  They have no parking, no yard, and they just want to take ours instead of buying a "better" property. 
Why, I wonder (and I'm not hating now, just baffled) why do they think they can take ours?  Why not buy a couple acres out in the country? 

I probably don't want the answer, so I'm done.  Hopefully I made the point with the oldest last night - our yard is different from no other - if you lose your ball you will get it tomorrow.  It should encourage them to be more careful, too. 

If they sneak in after the ball, they'll be quiet.  If they get hurt sneaking that's on them.  I told them several times they don't have permission.  So even that's a win. 

We went to church.  I had an agenda:
1.  Donuts
2.  Ask them to buy me a case of these: $1.25 each when you buy a case
3.  Ask if it was OK to put the invitation/business cards into the Bibles.
4.  Tell them about the handout.

We got there late.  The driver had actually seen us on the Handout so we talked a little about that.  She, I think, took an inefficient route and we got there late.  I didn't say anything.  No donuts for me. 

I was still boiling about that anyway.

I did briefly inform him about the Handout, after services I asked about the Bibles and cards.  Turns out Chuck (the one at church, we know 2), runs a print shop.  He said he would be happy to help.

I plan to take him up on it and bring him my "Where to Look in the New Testament" masters.  I can't find a blog link so I'll put up the Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/notes/heather-boutte/where-to-look-in-the-new-testament/193096104070950  You can find my name here anyway.

So, that would be awesome.  I love that little tract, and not 'cause I wrote it.  I think a lot of people don't know where to start with a Bible.

All that done we had a nice ride home with a lovely, contracted, Yoruba cab driver.  The paratransit company will sometimes hire an independent cab, if the client can get into a standard sedan.  I put the walker in the trunk.  When that happens we give the driver a cash tip as well.

We don't HAVE to, but we do.  We want them to take the next trip. 

He had to get gas so I got to run in a gas station and get a few snacks.  A paratransit driver is never allowed to do this, so if anyone had, I would never write about it.  This, I can.

We got home, I ate, took my meds "When I'm this upset" I told Ron "I want to be as medicated as possible" - and I do feel a lot better.  I heard some noise next door so I put in my earplugs and slept about 2 hours.

I got up, did some housecleaning and a little yardwork.  I had to laugh at myself weeding.  I am so loopy I had to look at each thing in my hand and ask myself "Weed?".  I only took off one jasmine leaf.   The kittens had a blast helping.

I cleared a nice section all around the jasmine.  A while back someone (probably #6 again) weed whacked the front yard while we were gone, without permission, and nearly destroyed my jasmine.  When my yard guy comes I want to make it easy for him - a big circle all around the plant - so he doesn't have to get near it.

The jasmine looks great from all the rain we've had, and I have nice organic soil.  Had I better energy levels, I'd have the whole yard done up.

But I'm crazy enough as it is.  I'll take the trade off.

Besides, I'm sure God will let me play in the dirt, in Heaven, should I desire.

When Ron wakes up I think we'll order a pizza or something.  I'm getting hungry.

Low energy level + depression = a lot of quick and ready made meals.  Happily he doesn't mind.  He actually prefers them.  




Saturday, March 28, 2015

Playlist

Why do I get upset at the sound of kids playing next door?

Good question.  It didn't used to bother me.

1.  The kids next door #6 have had a tendency to come out of their yard, opening their gate, walking around my house, opening my gate, and run reckless in my yard.  I suppose that's one reason I tense up expecting trouble.  This, I should add, is AFTER revocation of permission to enter my yard under any circumstances (well, I wouldn't mind if the mother came in my front yard after her toddler).

2.  The kids on the other side had a tendency to destroy my property when playing.  One time I caught them ripping boards off my fence.  They didn't have "permission" to enter my yard, so they got the bright idea to make a hole.   Apparently sneaking in through a hole after destroying the fence gets a child in "less" trouble than walking around.  Again, they did not have permission to enter the yard.  I talked to his mother. 

3.  Same house, different tenant - the dog (I know not a child but same principle, something in their care they should have been watching) ripped huge holes in the fence because it liked my husband and wanted to live with him.

4.  The kid on the back fence used to yell at me whenever I went in the backyard, trying to engage me.  I just ignored her.  I always felt the parents should have taught her not to engage strangers under any circumstance, even a "neighbor".  90% of all kids are molested by someone known and trusted by the family.  Like a neighbor.  The girl would bother me every time I went in the yard, shouting "Hello!" at me endlessly.   I took the silent approach.  I knew her father would freak out if I tried to tell her about Bad People, even though she desperately needed to hear it.   He was a very strange man.  He used to play drums, very loudly, at 3 AM.  I didn't really want to talk to him. 

This is where I remind you I have severe mental illness.  Her parents, none of the neighbor parents, have any idea what I battle in my head, medicated, on a daily basis.  If they did they would bring the kids in the house when they saw me, and cross the street to avoid us.  Most likely, they would move. 

I talk about this - but many don't.  Terrible idea for you to allow your kids to approach any neighbor unless you are already on good terms and trust them.  You may find your child charming and adorable, but some don't. Some may be fighting horrific demons telling them to harm themselves and others, battling a distorted reality, psychotic depression, or all of it. 

Which brings me to 5.  One time I found kids from #2 (again) in my BACKYARD, having climbed over my gate to snoop (I didn't see a ball or anything in his hand when he left), looking in my window.  When I caught him at it he wasn't even ashamed.

"Boy" he said to me "You have a lot of books."  That is NOT his business.  Had he been an adult I'd have called the police.

This happened when he was supposed to be "playing outside".

Do you know how I'd have been whipped for going into someone's yard without permission, and looking in their windows?  I was happy to see the last of them.  I suspect they may have been implicated in the robbery a few years later.

6.  Can you imagine battling a horrific depression, not suicidal but if God takes you, you sure wouldn't protest - so tired and weary of day after day after day of unending emotional pain, and then hearing screaming kids for hours on end?  It's not a good thing for me.   I find it painful. 

7. - During one memorable party back in 2011, I found large groups of screaming children from #6 running around in my yard.  "We lost our ball".  I notice they never lose their ball over the other fences.  If it comes up tonight I'm going to mention that.  "Why do you only lose your stuff in my yard?"  [Of course, I currently have a huge weedy thicket out there so anything lost is staying lost.] 

In their little child minds, why should one kid have all the fun of getting the ball and running around in my much larger yard?  No, they would all come, all 10 of them.  And why stop at getting the ball?  Let's make some laps around the yard, screaming at the top of our lungs.  Let's leave the gate open, ignore little brother. 

I found the toddler in my yard, unsupervised.  A 3 year old, if that.  When I ran over to him to grab his hand and take him home (I planned to make a silent point - I am taking better care of your kids than you are), he ran out of my yard (so yes, he knew it was wrong), almost into the street.  That's when I revoked permission for anyone to enter my yard.

A couple months later the little boy broke his arm, which really confirmed it.  

During this particular party, I actually grabbed a young teenager.   It was nearly 10 PM on a Sunday.  "Do you know" I told him "I have to get up at 2 AM?  When are they going to finish?"

"I'm sorry" he told me.  He is the only one in nearly 11 years that has ever apologized for disturbing me during one of their parties.  I saw him talking to the father, who kept continuing to "party" for another hour.  Nice.

That was a really fun day at work, let me tell you.  

Clearly I'm going to have a problem with screaming packs of kids running around past Ron's bedroom window, late at night, when he's trying to sleep.  Sleep is very important for both head injury and mental illness patients, triply so for those like me with both. 

Why am I talking about this?  They are having a gathering next door.

4 visitor cars plus their own 6 kids = a lot of racket.  It didn't used to bother me but now I wonder what they are up to, are they going to come in my yard?  Will I have to go next door and yell at the parents again?  

Last time I had to use the word "trespassing".   They gave me the eye roll, yeah, whatever.  

You know what really annoys me?  A couple days ago the father comes over acting like he's going to do us a huge favor and "mow the yard, front and back".

[Ron and I always say he makes these offers because he wants "the neighborhood" to look good when he's having a party.  He usually only mows his yard when he's getting ready for a party.]  We told him no very firmly and he was pretty irked.

If his family used their permission properly, behaved, etc., I might have "let" him do it so he'd "look good" for his friends and family.  But I knew if I let one in for any reason it's an unending tide.  He'll just have to "live" with the pain of my yard during his party - if he ever comes out of his house. 

It's ironic, because the house on his other side looks just as bad, and so does #2.  #7, across the street, and #9 are the only ones who mowed this week.

All the yard guys are completely backed up.  They had 3 weeks of solid rain during their busy season.  So, not only did they miss out on the work, they also had that much more work due to the rain making everything grow.

We've already paid our guy - we always pay him in advance.  He is coming.  We called him days ago.

What did I do tonight?  Well, other than this (because I am battling a horrible depression and I have to get this out of my system).  I also decided to shut the bedroom and bathroom doors.  It does a good job of cutting back the noise.

At least the poor dog is getting some attention tonight.

I also found a couple of Disciple playlists and have streamed them.  Let me tell you, they could be having a gang war and I wouldn't hear it. 

Edit: Last year the kids came over later (8 PM) asking for their ball.  Last year, I told them to stop banging on my door and ringing my doorbell, my husband was "very sick" and they were "waking him up". 

So, 9 PM tonight they come by saying "Can we get our ball?" 

No, I told them.  You abused your privilidge (so angry I can't spell) - "You abused it and you lost it.  You don't get to do that and you know it.  I told you more than once." 

I then reminded them of my "very sick husband" and told them I had specifically asked them NOT to come and do what they had just done "You probably just woke him up".

"No" I told them "I am not going out back to find your ball tonight.  I'm not going to reward you."  I will, I continued, throw it over the fence TOMORROW.

They didn't like that.  "Do you do this with any of the other neighbors?  Any of this, go in their yard, bang on their door and ask them to bring you your ball?"

NO, he replied. "They just throw the ball over the fence when they find it."

EXACTLY I replied.  I will do that.  

And yes, they woke Ron up.  I am livid.  I specifically told them 1.  Not allowed in my yard.  I have told them this for nearly 4 years now.  They're going to come over and act like I FORGOT?  2.  DON'T bang on my door or ring the doorbell - which they did. 

I don't care if they're having a party.  They can wait until tomorrow just like they would have if it had gone over one of the other 2 fences. 

Takeout and TV dinners

notes for later blogging:
Things on top of Bibles

I once had a woman "yell" at me online, because I stacked my cases of Bibles.  I don't think she realized just how many I distribute.  "You can't put anything on top of a Bible!" she shouted.

"What if it's another Bible?" I retorted.

She got very irate.

Now, I have, as you might expect, Bibles everywhere.  I have Bibles by the case stacked by the front door.  I have loose Bibles spread all over my house.

"Like a gun nut" I told Ron "I've always got one in arm's reach".  

Ron teased me relentlessly one day when he asked me to look up a verse and I didn't have a Bible!  Embarrassing! 

I don't have a problem putting another book on top of a Bible. 

I have a damaged Bible, it has some dirt on the edge of the pages.  I put my bag on it after a handout, and the bag had some mud on it.  I was pretty horrified, but kept it. 

Happily I bought it, and not a sponsor.  I would have felt a million times worse. 

Anyway, I keep it on my nightstand.  Might as well read it - I like to read a little before bed and first thing in the morning.  I keep my eyeglass case on top, and wouldn't have a problem keeping my earplug case up there too.  Or an alarm clock. 

The other day I got undressed after work.  The cats had knocked the Bible down on the floor.  I almost dropped my dirty socks on it.  But I wouldn't put dirty clothes on a Bible - that is disrespectful.  I wouldn't eat off one, either, unless it was a waterproof Bible, and mine. 

So, I do have a few rules.  But I have to laugh when I look at my front room, stacked cases of Bibles, yet more Bibles and my Handout Box (a collapsible crate I use to transport the loose Bibles) sitting proudly on top, rolled up sign and safety vest aboard. 

Yes, I put things on my Bibles. 

Date with Jesus
I talked yesterday - it's easier for me to have a clear mind first thing in the morning.  For one, my medication is probably at it's lowest, rendering clear thought more possible.  Secondly, Ron interrupts.  Thirdly, things happen during my day that upset me, and it's hard to turn that off before I do my God Time. 

This morning, though, I woke up with a horrific depression.  No shower for me! 

I didn't know I had a problem, but I had s spectacular hemorrhoidal blowout on the toilet this morning.  Blood everywhere, some pain.  [sigh]  Really?  

Add the crushing depression: lack of interest - my primary clinical symptom, emotional pain, huge fatigue, hopelessness.

Yet I'm going to sit here on my loveseat, give God a lot of attention, praise and worship?  It sounded exhausting. 

I do face this a lot when depressed - the one thing that makes me feel better is often the hardest to start. 

I decided to light a couple of candles. I placed them on the floor in front of me, so I could watch them.  I wanted to make sure the kittens didn't knock them over, either. 

I scoffed at myself as I set them up "Looks like I'm planning a date".  I decided I was, with Jesus, and He appreciated my effort. 

I have to think He values my time even more when He knows how hard it is for me to "give". 

I got to it.  The kittens did show up, sniffed at the candles, and didn't burn the place down.  I had a good time once I got started, but getting started it always the hard part. 

Ron and I went out.  We needed cat food.  The pet store shares a parking lot with a Starbucks. 

I left Ron at Starbucks, walked over, and got the last 2 bags of the grain free salmon cat food.  The boys love it. 

Biscuit has some trouble (he's the one with the gray head) eating standard treats.  Too many treats make him sick.  He is OK with the softer, meat based treats. 

I got some of those (both the freeze dried beef lung and the trout/chicken were very popular), and 2 bags of food. 

I managed to say "Sorry" to the beautiful black cat.  He only had one eye and was 11 years old.  Poor baby.  I hope he finds a new home. 

I went back to Ron.  He whined/coaxed me into running over to the burger place and getting some takeout.  I did that. 

I did feel better, eating my bacon cheeseburger.  Ron sure liked his. 

I may not be able to cook these days due to depression and medication, but I can at least get him takeout and TV dinners.  I took my medication early (OK to do and clearly needed). 

We had a good ride home and I took a nap after helping Biscuit sample his new treats.  Biscuit climbed into bed with me and slept. 

The dog behind us was going crazy, barking. 

A word on that: I heard the dog barking a lot last night.  I believe the police came by. 

Their garage door is shut, and the dog is in the backyard "as usual".  One of their cars sits in the driveway now. 

Having got a look at it, and dealt with the aggression, I am dreading my next trip out back.  

I don't know what happened but I am glad Ron called in the welfare check.  It didn't look like the dog had any food or water. 

I also had trouble last night: the dog next door kept yapping.  Now it's a small dog, friendly, but boy can she yap. 

Both times, I put in my earplugs.  I can sleep with my earplugs for a couple hours at a time now.  Last night I took them out a few hours later, and it was fine. 

The neighbors just had a mobile groomer come by to fix up the little dog next door.  [shrug]  That's better than the other people do.  

I hope, as I did with the yardwork, it is not a predecessor to a party. 

I am surrounded by dogs.  I just wish I could feel safe in my own backyard, and they let me sleep when I wanted. 

I don't think that's going to happen. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pit bull welfare check

"So" I asked Ron "The Sheriff's Department is coming out; to do a welfare check on a pit bull?"  Ron agreed. 

It was just that kind of day. 

First:
Ron plays with Biscuit, who's on the walker.  Torbie looks on in the second photo. 

The start of my day: Ron, cats, shower.  God Time later, although I've decided I need to focus more on first thing in the morning. 

We went to Walmart.  I got some things, but not too much.  I found an insane coupon that got me 6 packs of Diet Mountain Dew for $2 each.  Normally they are $3.33.  Walmart was running a $2.50 special, plus my $1 off two six pack coupon. 

Space limitations be damned, I got them.  I barely had room for my energy/breakfast bars.  Small fan, drink mix (I am constantly thirsty), tampons, etc.  I got Ron some Queso chips. 

We went to work.  We had a pretty long ride. 

I got to work, stocked, helped Ron, and had time for it all. 

I have had a few problems at work.  One person got very upset over the dead coffee vending machine.  I told her to use the other machine, about 2 minute's walk away. 

"It's too far, and I don't like their coffee!" 

Well, I told her, our machine is dead - they don't make the part anymore, (so, I thought, you'd better get used to that other coffee or bring your own instant).   She was upset. 

Sorry, I told her, we just use the machines we are given.  We have to wait and see what (management) will do.  She stormed off. 

So glad I can pass the buck.  I am quite happy stopping at the "Assistant Manager" ring on the ladder. 

We got everything done, realized we DON'T need to get up at 2 AM for a soda delivery Monday, scheduled truck day for LATER next week, so a great day.  We even had a good ride home. 

Right after we got home, #6 came banging on our door. 

"I have an offer for you".  I remembered last year.

"No, we can't let you park in the driveway."  I pointed at the paratransit vehicle idling in same.  "We need the space, and even if we didn't, my cousin the lawyer said we can't."  All true.  Ron was still hunched over his walker, looking about 80 years old.  

"I'm going to mow your yard, front and back, every two weeks." 

NO thank you, we told him.  We have a yard guy, he is coming out. 

"No, I'm going to do it."  No thanks.  I have a hellish time keeping his "crew" family, and children our of our yard as it is.  He starts doing that they're going to turn it into a freaking playground. 

"No" Ron replied.  "We have a guy, he does our work.  Thank you very much but no."  He finally received it, I guess because "the man" said it.  [rolleyes] 

The guy has no boundaries.  We don't have any issues with any of the other neighbors.  If you want to "help" us, bring the dog in your house at night.  Spend more time with it.  Don't have loud, late, parties.  Don't do the obnoxious drunken all nighter every Christmas eve.  We would love that. 

I also wonder - he always wants to fix up our yard right before he has one of our big parties.  They put their trampoline right next to our fence so the kids can see in our yard.  [sigh]  I can see why he might want to "make it look better" if he's having a party but guess what, some people have "messy" neighbors.  We are quiet.  We "let" you sleep.  You don't even know we're here unless you look at the house, at night. 

I hope they are not having a party. 

Ron and I also figured he had a hook in that offer, once we bit he would start wanting things in return.  As it is we "owe" him nothing. 

It's sad, if any of the other neighbors wanted to do us a favor I'd be happy to accept.  In fact, some of them have offered, "If you ever need anything" and seemingly meant it.  Him, I doubt.  He has a lot of control issues and, as I said, has no respect for boundaries. 

I pity his wife, unless she's one of those "I like a 'strong' (controlling) man" types.  I am not. 

I like Ron to provide family leadership, and he does it well, and respectfully. 

Anyway, likely #6 is just as baffled and frustrated as we are. 

I was pretty irked.  Have you ever tried to do your God Time when you're frustrated with someone?  It is nigh impossible to clear it all out of my head; which is why I realize I need to prioritize my mornings. 

I went and checked the mail: nothing.  While at the mailbox I talked to someone. 

We have noticed the dog behind me.  It is tied up in the garage, the garage door open, two days in a row, no apparent food or water.  "I tried to knock on their door" she told me "But the dog came out and almost got me". 

It is a pitbull, and fairly aggressive.  This is the dog that kept trying to break my back fence the other day when I was working in my garden.  We have 6 foot high wooden privacy fences, but I was still rather alarmed. 

"If it was any other dog" I told Ron "I'd go check it out, bring it some water and cat food."  My vet said cat food is OK for dogs. 

Ron and I discussed it, and decided he needed to make a report.  He ended up calling a total of 4 different numbers, put on hold.  No one, I told him, wanted to deal with a pit bull. 

"Maybe you should say it's a poodle".  No, Ron said, they need to know it's a pit bull. 

I could hear him on the phone "And I don't even like pit bulls, but I can't stand to think of any animal hurting, can you come check it out?" 

The sheriff's department agreed.  Oddly enough.  You would have thought it would be one of the animal welfare numbers.  Maybe the police need to verify abandonment before the welfare people can come get it. 

I hope, if nothing else, it gets some food and water.  The residents are actually very quiet, so if they went out of town for a few days, maybe they can get a little education and go back to business. 

I always worry someone horrible will move next door, keep us up all night, etc.  I never thought of this when buying a house. 

Well, Heather, if you could drive you could live in the middle of nowhere, but you'd have other issues instead. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Victor

This intern was miles better than the last.  She beamed at me proudly.  "I can see you've got The Tremor!" she said excitedly. 

Yup.  Lithium causes a mild tremor, for me at least, in "proper" doses.  If my lithium's right I have the shakes.  9 years ago, just past diagnosis, I told God I was OK with it but I would like to "have fun" with crafts, etc.  I am still able to engage in fun activities, it just takes me a little longer.  Rarely my hands "get dumb" and don't function as well as I'd like - all totally normal and expected.  It certainly doesn't get in the way of work, typing, or the Bible Handouts. 

She continued, any symptoms?  Just the usual mixed episode, rapid cycling, psychotic feature stuff, and not that bad at that. 

Side effects?  The usual, nausea, vomiting, tremor, fatigue, dry mouth, unending thirst and urination.  The migraines, I added, were pretty bad. 

How bad? 

Out of the last three weeks I had at least 7 days of migraine.  She winced. 

I don't want narcotics, I told her, and tripitans make me manic.  They are also contraindicated (bad idea) for fat women in middle age with a family history of heart disease.  She nodded. 

I got on the scale, officially 30 pounds lost.  Doc came in and they discussed my case.  They both said they really liked having an "Informed and educated" patient who "understood her illness".  Well, if I don't understand it who will?  I don't want to be a slave to my chemistry.  I want to be the victor here, not the victim. 

Doc, upon hearing about the Bible Handouts, wanted a Bible.  I gave one each to him and his intern.  If she opens up a private practice with reasonable rates, I would love to be her patient. 

All done, got my prescriptions, off we go. 

Ron wanted to go home, instead of work as we'd planned.  It's a good thing we went home. 

I was about due to start my cycle.  Today I had unusually severe pain.  It was excruciating.  I wanted to die. 

I took one Aleve and went to bed.  Torbie climbed aboard and walked on my abdomen.  Normally I hate that, it's painful and uncomfortable, but it actually helped.  Cat accupressure, who'd have thought? 

I drowsed a little bit through the unending waves of pain.  I tried to curl up in a ball but found Biscuit and Gravy curled up at my feet.  They slept by my legs and feet, tangled together in a sweet ball, clearly hoping to make me better. 

Oh, God, I moaned to myself.  Make it stop.  I kept thinking about another Aleve (OK to take per bottle) and some ginger root.  I finally decided, why not?  I got up and took it.

Thank God it worked.  I got a very short nap (between the cramps and the neighbor's yard guy, just not a good day for a nap).

Ron and I went to Carl's Jr.  Our pickup was very late.  Ron called and asked if they could adjust the ride home.  The guy was apparently rather brusque.  Ron lost his temper and began shouting in that head injury fashion I've come to recognize.  He just goes from zero to 20, on a scale of 1-10.  I calmed him down, and he listened.  He thanked me later. 

I believe, when Ron "blows", I am the only one who can calm him down. 

We still had enough time to eat.   I took my pills - every day, like I told the doctors: Every day, as directed. 

Our ride came early but he was texting.  He couldn't leave until 5 minutes past the pickup time anyway. 

We had a straight ride home. 

Hopefully I get a good night's sleep tonight.  Those cramps were horrific. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Brisket Fries Handout

As I ran towards my second car, two Spanish Bibles in my hand, I managed to trip over the Spanish Bibles box and fall in a spectacular, twisty, manner. The poor recipients flinched in the car, looking aghast.

*Somehow* I managed to right myself (Thank You, Jesus!), regain my footing, and sprint the rest of the way towards their car. No Bibles were harmed.

It was an interesting handout.

We had a really excellent ride. When we arrived I got the driver to take a photo. Ron held both cases stacked on top of the wheelchair arms until we got to our destination.

At first I wanted to work Centre Blvd. It was right there, and there was a surveyor on the "good" looking median, a block down Bissonnet. However, I realized it had minimal traffic. Other than the Spanish guys, a couple of "white folk", and an African fellow with a lovely accent, it was dead.

My first English recipient was absolutely shocked when I refused her money. I got that attitude a lot today. No one with a sign on the corner refuses money! Except me.

I apologized profusely to Ron, reloaded, and headed off down the street. "He's just going to have to share" I told Ron, about the surveyor.

The surveyor made a big point of ignoring us.

The neighborhood had a hopeless, despairing, feel but it wasn't as bad as I thought. The recipients were eager, and if anything, I got to distribute to far more ethnicities. A Jamaican lady stopped dead, gaping at me, walking down the sidewalk. I ran over and found out she'd like two. A little later I gave one to one of her countrymen, wearing long dreadlocks, also gaping at me.

While I saw prostitutes (especially towards the end of, and after, the Handout), none were interested. In fact, one older lady who appeared manic shouted at me from the corner for a couple of minutes. Lunch hour being what it is, I didn't hear a word but she seemed pretty worked up.

Perhaps she felt I was there in a spirit of judgement. I was not, of course. I just hate to think of people hurting without God in their lives, I want to share Him. If you have a sin issue in your life, God will do the judgement and conviction.

I was a little frustrated, the light was so short. Suddenly, 20 minutes into the Handout, everything erupted into mayhem. I realized the light was out.

I had a captive audience. Houston traffic, at it's best, is horrific. Take a lunch rush, a very busy street, and no traffic light, and you've got insanity.

I now had plenty of time to walk up and down in a leisurely manner, chatting with the recipients. I must have handed out 15 to young Black men covered in tattoos.

One well dressed pedestrian kept wandering around, carrying a backpack. He wasn't homeless. I suspect he was "in marketing". At any rate he came over and got a Bible.

Several other pedestrians also got Bibles. They seem to be more interested, overall, than the cars, maybe because they can watch for a little while and see what I'm about.

The Spanish folk were thrilled to get a Bible in their own language, touched and thrilled. I offered "Espanol?" in my very bad Spanish. Not a few told me, indignantly, they wanted an ENGLISH Bible. I apologized and handed it over. However, out of 24 whole Spanish Bibles, I distributed 19. I'd ask if they wanted Spanish, then "Cuantos?" (How many). "De nada" (it's nothing).

A guy from the storage place, two blocks down (the manager no less) walked over. "Oh, Bibles! Usually they hand out free condoms."

I laughed "I'm in the right neighborhood, then!" He agreed, accepted a Bible, and left.

I had a few cars I had to chase, they had indicated they wanted Bibles but the light changed, or the traffic was letting them "go". I bolted after them, waving the Bibles and yelling "Wait!". They did, got the Bibles, and left. I imagine I was pretty funny chasing them like a dog.

I "caught" one lady taking a photo, grinned, and waved. A firetruck came by and the driver pointed me out to the other firemen, mouthing "Free Bibles".

I didn't know it, but I had a policecar watching me for a significant part of the Handout. As you know I obey the law so no rope to hang me. Remember this.

I find, in a new neighborhood, a lot of people just gape at me the first couple times. Once I become a "fixture" they are either indifferent or interested. I just did my best to grin and wave at all of them.

When I could (before the light died) I distributed to the bus stop. The harried looking Spanish Mom was very grateful. She was wrangling two small kids - remember there's nothing to keep them from running into traffic, either.

As Ron and I were wrapping it up, a car pulled up on the wrong side of the street. She had her window down, and a passenger. I handed her two Bibles.

"I know you from work" she said, grabbing a handful of change. I gave her the "don't take money" routine and told her "Every snack you buy from our machines buys a Bible!" she grinned at that and drove off.

If people didn't already know at work, they do now!

We headed across the street, and here comes the police car. [Bad Word] Well, I wasn't doing anything wrong!

"Excuse me" she yelled out her window.
Uh, oh. I turned around, glad I have the ACLJ phone number in my phone book. "Yes?"
"Do you have any Bibles left?"
I asked her how many she'd like, gave her two, and Ron and I headed off to lunch (Brisket fries)!

I forgot to add, 19 Spanish whole Bibles (huge, huge, huge with the recipients), and at least 73 English. In an hour's time. Boy does God ever bring 'em.





Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's not about me

Nothing like crawling around half dressed, behind a computer, trying to figure out why it can't find the network. 

Now, I'm simple, but the guy who set this up likes things to have "an order".  Computer to network to internet.  The kittens love to romp around the computer, so I thought maybe they knocked out the cable.  It's working now.  Either the prayer or the cord check did the trick. 

I also unplugged the network box for a while and said it only got to eat (electricity) if it behaved.  :p 

So, Truck Day.  52 cases, 30 of which were soda.  I needed a LOT of snacks.  I loaded, loaded the truck, loaded the carts, pushed it all in, and stocked. 

I was a little harassed at work, Ron kept asking for help.  I had to move 52 cases into vending machines and our stockroom.  We also got the sandwich delivery. 
I didn't see Torbie (that I know of) last night, but some kitten got in my bed for petting in the middle of the night.  It was dark.  It was Biscuit or Gravy.  I gave him petting, said he was a sweet boy, and he left. 

I was pretty depressed, so I just got my shower.  I just did my God Time.  It's a good thing I was full of the Holy Spirit, working on the computer after such a long day! 

At work, I stocked everything.  Those snack machines are PERFECT.  They can hold hundreds of items, which I stocked.  The customers really like my product mix, and interesting (I think) mix of "boring" plainish items with hot and spicy fire items.  I also have a nice variety of sweets, candy bars, "healthy" granola, chocolate, nut bars, pastry, you name it.

I don't even like most of what we sell, it gives me a migraine, I just don't care for hot items, and I'm allergic to Almonds - but to quote the Gospel Rapper - it's not about me.  It's about them and what will get them digging in their pockets.

The new people (transfers from another location) seem truly delighted with my choices.  I hate to get racial, but they had older white vendors, who probably stocked the kinds of things they liked to eat.  While I am middle aged and white, I am well aware my tastes are not the customer's.  I look at what they bring, what my drivers are eating (very similar demographic), etc.  Then I go buy that.  I also see what "my" "Black" man (Ron) is eating and get that.  So far, so good.

I take a lot of pride in my work.

That took forever.  I was completely, physically and mentally exhausted when we left.  Ron made the trips for tomorrow's Bible Handout in SW Houston.   Yay.  It looks to be perfect. 

I took a nap (not the best quality but I went under for a while at least) after eating and taking my pills.  So glad I had something ready made. 

When I got up, I did some chores - excuse me, housework, and did up 130 Bibles.  "Bad neighborhood", to me, equates to "Bring lots".  Once they figure out I'm not a scammer, many times I am swamped. 

I'll hand out however many I'm meant to.  God's bringing them.  I just have to find the corner and work it. 

That makes me sound like a prostitute! 

Anyway, I got caught up on everything, took out the trash, laundry, litter box, etc. 

Then I did my God Time, and had the computer excitement. 

The cats are good, Ron's good, and I'm just mainly tired. 

God willing, I am going to bed early, and will sleep! 




Monday, March 23, 2015

Day of the flying sandwich

"I'm sorry" the sandwich guy told us over the phone "Your sandwiches flew out on the freeway." 

What?

"The door didn't latch, the rack slid back against it as I accelerated, and I lost them all."  I began laughing hysterically, thinking of Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly" as the sound track to flying racks of sandwiches erupting from the truck.

I had a very good laugh, until he told me he still had to pay for them.  That sucks. 

Good news: the other vendor's tray was on another stack that did not escape.  They got their delivery.  We did not. 

"Oh, well" I told Ron "At least they'll be fresh".  The customers can shop with the other guy tonight. 

I slept horribly last night.  The neighbors went out, and didn't come back until well after my bedtime.  The dog became anxious and barked a lot. 

Once that settled the guy with the loud polka music drove around the neighborhood for hours.  "Next time" I begged Ron "Please call the police".  I tried to put in my earplugs but dropped them on the floor. 

I got perhaps 3 hours of sleep.  I still had to work. 

Shower had to wait: so did God Time.  I have done my God Time - if I postpone it I do it before I get online. 

I pray God I get some sleep tonight. 

We'd already stocked so we mainly just met the repairman.  After a few minutes examination, he declared it dead.  The brewer motor is gone, and they don't make replacement parts anymore. 

Ron and I did our best to act upset, while we inwardly rejoiced.  Coffee vending machines are horrific money pits.  Everyone screams at you when it's not perfect.  No one really cares if they get the wrong soda but God help you if the coffee messes up. 

Basically, we are out a lot of aggravation until the issue is settled.  Our guy is doing some research and will talk to the boss. 

I talked to the sandwich guy, and we'll meet him tomorrow. 

After that, we had a good ride home.  Our driver told us she had just argued with dispatch, telling them Ron "was a wheelchair".  She was shocked to find him with a walker today. 

I think Ron is making a good call, leaving the wheelchair (one of them) at work and using the walker the rest of the time.  If we had an emergency or are doing a Bible Handout, we have another, cheap, chair I bought for $100. 

We went to the taqueria today.  I got a shrimp quesadilla.  It was very good.  Ron got some machacado tacos.  link

I also got some meat for the cats, which they love.  I've seen everyone but Biscuit eating the meat. 

I came home and crawled into bed.  Ron went to the liquor store with his "friend", and bought case counts of all his favorites.  [head in hands]  I will refrain from further comment.  I did, however, make it clear I would not help with any alcohol.  I will throw an empty beer can into the recycle and that's about it. 

They made a lot of noise coming back.  I guess they "forgot" I was sleeping. 

I still got a couple hours of sleep after they finished.  I had a kitten and Torbie.  I assumed it was Biscuit,  he normally sleeps with me, but imagine my surprise to wake up to Mr Gravy!  I gave him some petting and cooed over them both. 

I had a couple of things I "had" to do.  I had to clean the litter boxes.  I did that.  I had to go weed a garden bed and mark it so the yard guy doesn't whack my Jerusalem Artichokes. 

I did that.  Apparently I woke up the vicious dog behind me.  Frankly, I think I embarrassed it.  It barked wildly as I weeded the garden bed (in MY yard), snuffing at the privacy fence and barking madly.  I'm glad we have a good fence on that side. 

The little dog next door gave a yap or two, but stopped when I used her name and talked nicely to her.  I don't hate dogs.  I just hate neighbor dogs that disturb my life or make me fear for my safety, or, God forbid, both. 

The little dog ran over to me one day when she was out with her owner.  I didn't mind that at all.  I petted her and she licked my hand.  She's really a nice little dog. 

The one behind me?  I'd probably climb the tree, like a cat! 

I finished up, washed my hands, and decided to go to the store.  I was really craving some ice cream.  I walked to the gas station (about a mile each way) and did that.  I realized the intersection outside the gas station is always really busy, and has a NICE median.  HMMMM. 

Smells like a Bible Handout! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

God is in the details

We didn't go to church, it was supposed to rain. 

I will have to get a little racial here.  Many of our drivers are Black women with processed hair.  Processed hair does not like rain - apparently horrific things happen to one's hairstyle. 

Now, some drivers have braids, or more "butch" hairstyles, but most of them have expensive hair.  One of my favorite drivers told Ron she was wearing a "Big ol' purple wig" and laughed at the rain. 

When we got home, Ron asked if she was really wearing a purple wig.  "Yes" I told him "We got home OK, didn't we?" 

So, no trips in the rain for Mr Ron (as they call him).  He doesn't want to ruin their hair, which I find endearing. 

We went to work a little later in the day.  I got to sleep in, with Torbie (the fat tortie tabby in my photos).  That was completely awesome for me. 

I love that cat.  She knows I have a hard time with bad dreams (I had a post-traumatic whopper nightmare not long ago), and I find her very comforting.  She has found a good spot in the bed (left foot) where I don't squash her. 

You can imagine what it must be like, for her to have me roll over on her.  I weigh easily 20 times her weight. 

I did everything: God Time, shower, etc.  I had even gotten up early. 

I got Ron in the bath.  He can do everything on his own.  Thank you God.  He has a "vibrating massager friction blister" that is trying to get infected.  He says he will deal with it. 

I hope so. 

I really hate taking him to the doctor, and don't I sound awful typing that?  [snort] 

I took some of my first aid supplies to work.  You might find this interesting: 
Generic triple antibiotic salve 88 cents at Walmart
Wound Seal spray - $4 at Walmart (on clearance so good luck)
Blood Stop pads - $1 each in a 4 pack. 
Curad Waterpoof bandaids.  They have the Ron seal of approval.  They are a little tricky to apply but stay put.  Even while working, they stay put.  Impressive. 
Large bottle 90% rubbing alcohol.  

I put those into my first aid area.  We stocked. 

I sadly informed Ron Tuesday would not work for the Bible Handout; we had to buy inventory and stock, instead.  We have to arrange our "truck day" ride some days in advance; it's scheduled now. 

Our friend is very happy with his 7 year old rescue chihuhahua.  Good.  I really think most people would benefit from a pet. 

Torbie, as though to prove my point, just jumped up in my lap for some cuddles.  Needless so say you had to wait, because I was petting her.  She is so sweet and loving. 

I think she knows I'm running a little more depressed.  When I'm really sick, my mood stabilizes.  I'm not manic or depressed.  If it was a headache or vomiting illness, I probably haven't had my antidepressant (which makes me vomit if taken during a migraine).  No antidepressant means I become depressed, until I get my levels back. 

So, currently, mild to moderate depression. 

Torbie is now sitting directly next to me.  She's a sweet girl. 

We got it all stocked and I used up 95% of my inventory.  Good, with perishables you want to use them up before you buy the new stuff, and God knows you don't want to use the new stuff before you move the older inventory. 

I helped Ron as much as I could (not as much as he would have liked).  We meet our repairman on Monday. 

"We already did all the stocking" Ron told me, sheepishly. 

Well, it will make tomorrow a little easier, then. 

We came home (good ride, kind of an odd lady, she kept saying I was perfect???). 

I took a nap.  I told Ron I would need my earplugs, as I could ear spanish polka music.  He mocked me and asked if I was sure I had taken all my meds.  For a second, I doubted myself. 

"Well" I told him "If I put in my earplugs, and it goes away, it's not hallucination!  Also, why would I believe a mostly deaf man when he says he can't hear it?"  He agreed. 

I went to bed.  Later on I took out the plugs.  I was tired enough I still slept, mainly because I had TORBIE! in my bed.  She likes to stand on my abdomen as I lie on my back, her feet always finding the painful pressure points in liver, stomach, and bowel.  I always try to coax her off to the side instead! 

She slept spooned with me (awesome!), great because I had another nightmare.  I get tired of them.  Partly due to some crappiness in my life, partly due to medication.  

When I got up, Ron sheepishly told me he had heard the car, driving around the subdivision. 

Just a note: if you like to drive around subdivisions with your music blasting, even if it's your subdivision, please don't.  It's incredibly rude.  Not everyone likes your music.  Some people are sick, have babies, or work nights and are trying to sleep.  Thank you. 

Yes, it was a nice day.  Go throw some weenies on the grill and drink a beer, but don't torture us. 

Not a big deal, but a chronic issue, and I wanted to get it out while I remembered. 

I hated to get up but the nightmare had been pretty awful. 

At work, Ron and I had planned our trips, so I didn't have to wake him up.  With paratransit, you have to plan the trip a day in advance.  I can't just call them up and say "Come get me". 

We are also figuring out the details for the Handout, on Wednesday.  We have to work Monday and Tuesday, do the Handout on Wednesday. 

We are going from NW Houston to SW Houston.  How long will that take?  How long will we need?  How long to eat afterward?  Will we find a good median? 

We shall see: but God is in the details, literally. 

I just have to do up the Bibles and go.  I found out my church info cards have already been shipped, so I should get them in time for the Handout.  God is so good with all these details. 

I can't even pay the water bill.  When I find it I pay it a couple months in advance.  It's the only bill I pay.  I am terrible at executive functions, thanks to my Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 

So all this management, planning and execution?  That's a gift from God.  Not only that, He sends people who want Bibles.  That in and of itself is remarkable, to tend a soul to that point and then send them to me at the exact moment I'm waving one, on a median.  :) 

Amazing.  I'm glad I'm a part of that. 

I don't kid myself that this is at all "My" work.  No, I'm an employee.  I go and do what I'm directed to do, where I'm directed to go. 

God is in the details. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2-pack

I woke up this morning to find a huge pile of mail, in a plastic bag, sitting on the toilet. 

1.  I like my toilet open. 
2.  I did not have my glasses. 

That meant, of course, Ron had gotten his walker and staggered to the mailbox on his own.  "On my way back" he told me "I found Gravy sitting on the seat of my walker."  Not sure how long Gravy and friends "helped" Ron check the mail. 

I went through it all, junk, junk, water bill ($13), and scripture booklets from World Missionary Press.  Look in my links over there --->

We had a pretty quiet day.  1.  Pretty depressed.  I couldn't take my antidepressant for most of the week - I would have just vomited.  2.  Headache, but not horrific and manageable with OTC headache pills.  I buy those rascals in the 2-pack. 

I got my shower and my God time. 

A word about my viewpoint: I believe unreached people go to hell.  I also believe they lack the comfort only God can give.  "Blessed Assurance" and all that. 

I want people to go to heaven, and I want them to have that comfort.  I don't walk around hating anyone and you should know that! 

If anything, I worry about them.  I grieve for them.  

I ate and took my antidepressant, which brought back the ever popular brain fog and fatigue.  I did not miss that.  I also resumed the hot flashes, dry mouth, and chronic daily headache. 

What's the point of having a blog if I can't whine about my medication?  [grin] 

I took a nap.  Mr Biscuit got in my lap and laid there while I slept.  He's a good boy.  Gravy likes to sleep with Daddy. 

Torbie's more "mine", Baby Girl is more her own cat.  When she wants a human, though, it's Ron. 

Clearly, the cats are a big part of my life. 

After I got up, I watched TV for a little while (an animal rescue show) and we went to the mall.  We had a really good ride with a newer driver. 

We got a meal, ate, and talked.  We had a pretty good time.  Ron kept saying he wanted more food but he'd eaten plenty. 

I did not want to deal with Ron in a family bathroom at the mall, eh? 

Our ride was late, a little drama with that, and then home again. 

He complained bitterly that I had "missed" something because I was wearing my headphones.  He had wanted me to see a cat lying on him and tell him who it was.  "I think it was Baby Girl but I'll never know" he moped.  I took off my headphones to be "more available".  

Ron was doing pretty well until he began sorting change near the computer room.  He objected to one song I played.  I changed it, to an old hymn - then he really started raving. 

I'd have thought, if anything, the gospel rapper would have done that.  [shrug] 

He kept demanding I play [his] music.  I told him, I don't go in your room and demand you play my music or even keep it on your computer.  I respect your choices.  Implied: you should respect mine. 

He complained he "didn't have a choice".  Yes, he did.  He could have waited until I was off the computer, and watching TV.  He chose to do it when he chose to do it. 

While I accommodate a lot in his life, I have learned to set some boundaries.  Yes, I will read you the bag of cat treats, 6 times, because you keep forgetting.  They like them all the same anyway.  Yes, I will read you your mail.  I will bring in the groceries and put them away.  I will do your laundry, etc. 

But I will not turn off my music because you choose to sit behind me, and complain. 


Friday, March 20, 2015

Don't waste your life

I finally got a good night's sleep, faithful Torbie at my side.  She may not be a super cuddly lap cat, but she's in the bed nearly every night.

Today, she slept on me during my nap.  As in, on my torso.  We had a good time.

Gravy is in front of my monitor, happily grooming himself as he obstructs my view.

We got up around 6:30.  I felt OK so we went to Walmart.  I did my God Time first.

Ron wanted to wait, so he did while I got him Icebreakers Watermelon Frost, Bath Wipes, various vitamins  - and Gravy's gone.

I got his stuff and mine.  After I cut my leg this week some of my friends gave me a hard time about my "inadequate" first aid kit.  "You should have had some wound seal".

I got 2 things; a coagulant spray (I found it in the camping area), and some Curad coagulant pads - they dissolve in the blood and make a coagulant gel.  I also bought some rubbing alcohol, which I thought I had until I cut my leg, and some "fresh" antibiotic cream (I think my old one expired).  I plan to bring some of my supplies to work, as odds-are I will most likely get injured there.

I bought a lot of drink mix, as you know I am perpetually thirsty.  I'm going to get a drink now, in fact.  OK.  2 quarts of Raspberry Lemonade with Stevia.  The stuff isn't cheap but it's good.  ($2.70 for 6 pouches). 

I drink about 2 gallons a day.  Lithium is a powerful diuretic.

I also got more pain medication: aspirin and OTC Generic Excedrin.  I couldn't find the fake Alka-Seltzer, but I think I am OK in that regard.

Chips.

Lots of cat treats for Ron.  Some underwear and a new bra I can wear under a white t-shirt.  I have found white and black to be "ghetto neutral" and good colors to wear under my neon orange safety vest.  I can then remove the vest and become a "civilian" quickly.   It doesn't stop the recipients, though, they will track me own sometimes after the handout.

You get the idea.  All done.

We came home, we had a good ride with a driver we liked.

One of the other clients got upset at Ron playing old R&B music and demanded he play "Some Christian music".  She was very haughty.  I told her I'd be happy to play my gospel rappers but I didn't think she'd like them (she was white, and 60 ish).  She agreed, and "let" Ron continue to play his music.

With great glee, he cued up "Jesus is Just Alright with me".  She grimaced.

Then I started telling her about the Bible Handouts, and bragging on Ron for coming with me.   She began shifting in her seat as though ants were biting her.

After we got everything into the house, I told Ron "I think 'Being a Christian' is more of a cultural/social thing for her."

"I wish I had told her about Romans 3:23" Ron lamented.  "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!"  I consoled him. 

The driver had asked if I "still" planned to go to Bissonnet (apparently a really awful area, great for Handouts!), and laughed when I agreed with enthusiasm.

God does not want us to get saved and sit on our butts.  He wants us out there in the trenches, getting up early to pray and study our Bibles, asking Him to teach us.  He wants us out there sharing our testimony (and boy do Ron and I have one!).  He wants us out there sharing Him, showing His love and peace in every aspect of our lives.  I'm working on the last. :) 

[sigh]  But I'm sure that woman thought she had it worse than anyone else in the world, and God doesn't want me to change.  [sigh]

Don't get me wrong: it's not my job to tell other Christians how to live their lives.  But I get so frustrated when I see them wasting their lives.  She could be witnessing and sharing her experiences with the other passengers, and the driver, every time she rides.

Don't waste your life!  Grow your faith; share it!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Catastrophic

I didn't know we're due to have a Supermoon. 

If I had, the migraine would have made a lot more sense, especially with one low-pressure weatherfront after another swooping through (either can "get" me, but both, apparently, are catastrophic). 

I just knew I hurt.  Last night I hunched over my bucket, tears literally streaming down my face from the pain - thanking God, yet again, that I never had children.  Bad enough to suffer.  Worse to watch a loved one. 

I slept poorly, had nightmares, and woke up with a continued migraine.  I wanted to die.  I wanted to cut off my head.  I just wanted to make it stop, already!

I like to think of myself as "pretty tough".  I can handle a 12 hour migraine, or even a 36 hour one.  But three days? 

I ate over the counter pain pills like candy.  Asprins.  Fake Alka-seltzer.  Fake Excedrins.  (I am cheap and use generics whenever possible).  Every 4 hours.  Praise God I did not eat a hole in my stomach. 

Three days.  It was apocalyptic.  Remember, I had a "truck day" delivery - moving lots of merchandise,  a day off, and then more work today. 

Praise God the pain began to abate somewhere in the early afternoon, today.  It's a good thing, some guy at work went crazy with cologne.  I'd have vomited.  I had to move some merchandise for Ron, too, pull handcarts, etc - all hell with any kind of headache, much less a migraine. 

However, something wonderful happened this morning. 

I heard a loud diesel idle.  I wondered about it, but assumed it had to do with #6, after all he's a contractor. 

DING DONG.  THUMP.  THUMP. 

Huh?  BIBLES! 

I raced to the door to find 4 massive cases of Spanish Bibles.  They are so awesome, WHOLE Bibles no less, in orange, which is, I'd say my theme color for the Handouts. 

I already gave 2, to the pizza people.  Dominos lets you know who is making the pizza, and who's delivering it.  They both had latin names. 

He didn't reject them.  :)   I said "The other one's for [cook's name]"  He smiled and said "OK".  This is all in addition to a generous tip.  Even if you're a cheapo, be generous when tipping cash + Bible.  Think of it as a short term mission trip (I know some people who pay several thousand for one mission trip). 

So, we went to work right about the time I was feeling better.  2 more drivers confirmed today, that part of Bissonnet is horrible.  I am so eager to go.

Early next week looks to be good.  I just have to figure out timing, and return trip.  Do we take the bus?  I prefer that, but Ron might not. 

He's still in a lot of pain with neuropathy.  I wish I could fix it, but, at the end of it, I can't.  I did give him some of my vitamins.  They seem to help, he says.

I ordered more, so he has his own stash.  I also found a very decent multivitamin.  It covers most of the basics, and that's great.  I take additional supplements, and in Ron's case, it's better than nothing.   It was a real battle to get him to take 4.  The multi, D3, Folic Acid (he never eats anything green), and a B-complex. 

We both avoid the doctor if at all possible, my psychiatrist excepted.  He writes the prescriptions!  I might look around and see if I can ask him for a low cost prescription, non-narcotic pain reliever.  Something I can take "around" the migraines. 

We had a good day at work and got it all stocked.  We had a 20% chance of rain, and it's rained for hours.  [snort]  "They" all agree rain tomorrow and Saturday, Monday - Wednesday should be clear and warm. 

Good Handout weather. 






Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"Migraine in his feet"

The dog next door was a little barkish last night.  I decided to "try" my earplugs again.  As you may remember, last time I inserted them too far and had a terrible time getting the left one out. 

I decided to insert them halfway and see how that went.  Worst case, I still had my tweezers, but a barking dog along my bedroom wall as I battle a migraine - not my idea of a good time. 

They worked pretty well.  I even fell asleep and dreamed.  I woke up, got a drink of water, went to the bathroom (a couple times a night on this medication), and took them out.  I slept pretty well the rest of the night, except for the migraine. 

Ron woke me up a couple hours before our pickup: the rain was inbound, did I still want to go?  I said I'd like to, but then I got a look at the Doppler weather map.  Hm.  No thanks. 

Personally I don't care if I'm out in the rain, but it upsets Ron and the drivers.  Plus, I still had that awful headache. 

Ron was asking me why I don't have a lot of food in the house.  "Everytime we go to Walmart, I have a migraine" I replied.  "I can't just get in the car and go, when I don't.  I have to stagger around the store, sick, trying to think about food when I'm trying not to puke!" 

He said he was sorry, he wished he could help.  That helps a lot more than you'd think.  I say that to him when he's got bad nerve pain. 

Basically, I've had a migraine the last couple days.  Ron has had a "Migraine in his feet" the last couple days.  I gave him various vitamins and that seemed to help, a little. 

I chalk the above paragraph up to spiritual warfare.  The devil does not like us doing evangelism. 

Oh, I want a donut and a very cold diet soda, so bad. 

Maybe a couple of donuts, or a beignet. 

[rubbing my forehead] 

Torbie slept with me last night, and I did see Biscuit too.  I think Gravy sleeps on the floor near my bed, and gets up before I do.  That's unconfirmed, though. 

Ron said Baby Girl came in "wet" so the rain must have started.  That should help a lot with the headache.  

Ron seems a little better today.  The excedrin took a lot of the pain, but I'm pretty jittery now from the caffeine. 

About the only "Have to" today - order more vitamins.  I am out of olive leaf, Vitamin D, and Folic Acid.  I used some of that on Ron, and gave some to a sick friend who helps us by driving the truck.  He also got some Oregon Grape root but I have another bottle. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Truck Day

Oh, I woke up with a horrible migraine. 

Unfortunately, it was truck day.  What is truck day?  Well, today it involved buying 38 cases of bottled drinks, and sundry snack items (mainly pastry and candy bars), placing them on the cart, putting them into the truck, removing them from the truck and placing onto handcarts, pushing the handcarts into the building, putting about 10 cases into the fridge, several more into the stockroom, stocking, and pushing the handcarts into the stockroom. 

You get the idea.  Ron was incredibly appreciative which I love. 

I can't say how, but I was able to obtain a Starbucks Double Shot Espresso - the cold canned item, before we got to the warehouse.  I drank it.  I got a little manic, but that came in handy.  It did take the edge of the headache long "enough". 

If I need to be manic any day, it's Truck Day. 

I did my work, helped Ron, and got most of the inventory put up.  I store some of the drinks on the handcarts due to lack of space. 

Business is good, thank God. 

I found a good spot for the next handout.  I am drawn to Bissonnet.  I've been polling the drivers about "the bad part".  3 drivers gave me a one block radius, so I'm hitting it (probably next week).  Ron is happy, it's right next to his favorite BBQ restaurant. 

We'll see how it goes. 

Anyway, most of the day was taken up with the excruciating migraine.  When we got home from work I was able to take a nap, thank you neighbors very much! 

I mean that truly. 

We went to the pet store and got cat food.  Ron was happy to get the catnip treats in the one pound size.  He had me read him the label.  What the what is animal meal?  I don't want to know! 

Headache's almost gone, praise God. 

I got 2 bags of salmon (that's the runaway favorite) and 1 of kitten food ('Cause they're only 6 months).  I also got some dog treats for a friend of mine who just adopted a rescue chihuahua. 

We came home, I got a Subway sandwich.  I ate it, realizing it was mostly vegetables and bread.  That would end poorly if I took my medication.  I will wait and eat some full fat yogurt later. 

Apparently, lithium + salad just ends badly.  I've tried it 3 times, every time with a significant amount of protein and fat.  Every time I either vomited, or ended up in agony. 

Ron wants to get "The special" at the steakhouse ($10 with 2 sides) tomorrow.  I assure you I won't be getting a double salad like I did last time!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Twice over

I had to get up at 2 AM today, and we had a long day at work.  The dog next door barked all Saturday night, and all last night as well. 

I had to keep asking God to help me have good thoughts; because I didn't.  I'm debating the use of those earplugs again.  God knows I don't want to get them stuck.  I'm even debating moving my bed out of the bedroom altogether and shutting the door.  The dog tends to hover on that wall. 

Ron also spent most of the night in agony from nerve pain, groaning.  No, he doesn't want to see a medical professional.  "They can't do anything for me" he says, and outside of narcotics (we both agree hell to the no on that!), he's right. 

I found it most frustrating when the dog shut up after I got up.  It was so quiet you could hear the bugs rustling, all the way until our pickup.  I bitterly wished the neighbors could have been as sleep deprived as I felt.  Yap from 2 AM until he goes to work, don't give them a break now that I'm up! 

No justice, sometimes. 

It is very important for me, with my illness, to get enough sleep on a regular schedule.  I'm already starting to get manic after 2 nights. 

[sigh]   Sorry to whine. 

I thought maybe the cats were to blame, but I checked the house a few times during "full frenzy barking" mode and they were all relaxing at home.  [shrug]  It's not my cats. 

I hope it's just a stray animal wandering around, which will wander off.  I worry maybe the dog isn't fixed, is in heat, and a stray male dog is trying to impregnate her.  That would be bad - all night barking every night while she's in heat, and then the inevitable puppies. 

Hopefully they got her from a shelter, already fixed.  [sigh] I doubt it.  Even if they don't "let" them breed, a lot of ignorant, negligent dog owners never fix their pets. 

I can't do anything about that.  He works 12 hour days, or longer.  They both have a 4 month old infant.  I know babies cry a lot and don't let their parents sleep.  I can only hope they sleep deprived as well; get tired of it, and get rid of her. 

For the second time in two months, I heard the kids playing in the yard.  The dog is in the yard, but they're not playing with it, rather around it.  They didn't get the dog for the kids.  After an initial few days they completely ignore it. 

I assume they did this out of some sense of "security".  But what kind of security do you have, if your dog is only in the backyard and "protecting" one third of your windows?  Someone can easily kick in the front door, or break a front window, do all kinds of horrible things, and all the dog can do (if inclined) is bark.  That's no protection. 

They're a lot better off getting an alarm, which they already have. 

If I were inclined, I'd have a big dog and a doggie door to the backyard.  The dog could go out, or come in, at will, protect us and our property, and play in the yard.  However, I'm not a dog person.  I can't stand the barking and I hear they eat the wrong things. 

I also have cats.  They would be most upset.

So, enough about my aggravations; I still had to go to work.  We had a nice driver.

This is small, petty, and unbecoming for a believer in Jesus: but I was happy when she pulled up and honked loudly, at 3:45 AM this morning.  She also left her dispatch radio turned pretty loud, and the door open.

I stood there by the door battling it out.  Jesus says to do good to those who "hurt" me.  But I didn't sleep the last 2 nights.  How do you like getting woken up?

I shut the door.

I had gotten my shower and God Time this morning, pretty smug about that.  If I do one thing every day (even before the deodorant), I want it to be my God Time.  Torbie hung out with me.

She also took a nap with me, later.  

We went to work.  Snacks didn't need much, just pastry.  People have gone crazy for my large sized chips, but not much else.  I am out of lss chips for now, so they will have to wait until tomorrow.  Clearly I will be buying additional product. 

Just in case you were curious about our prices, I'll share.  Remember we don't pay any "rent", our deal involves lower prices. 

Regular 1 ounce chip: 70 cents
Standard candy bar or pastry: $1
20 ounce bottle of water: $1
16.9 ounce soda: $1.10
Can soda: 75 cents
Sandwich: $2.25

You get the idea.  Ron was in extreme pain.  I accidentally bumped his foot and he screamed in agony.  Yet he worked a full day. 

I admire him, I love him, and I want to grab him by his scruff and take him to a pain clinic. 

I helped stock food, sodas, and assisted Ron with the bottled vendor.  We got the soda delivery (the whole reason for the ungodly early wakeup), and the sandwiches (we need to increase our order).  We did inventory and talked to the other vendor. 

Pretty soon time to go.  We had a ride to the bank. 

The other passengers got angry when I mentioned the transit company plans to increase the fare by a dime a trip.  She started raving "They need to understand... low income... accommodate...."  I wanted to tell her it was still cheaper than riding the bus (and she could ride the bus), calling a cab, or giving a friend gas money. 

The driver started talking about how all the drivers are getting a "Big raise" in 6 months.  Well, they have to do something to find more drivers.  They are chronically short staffed.  If you want to make $120 a day before taxes, Metrolift is your game. 

The "poor" client started talking about a management job she had, and how she had made $90K a year.  "You sure didn't save it" I thought "If you're screaming about a ten cent fare increase". 

People think I'm a bitch: I "just walk off and leave him".  One driver even told me she thought I was a neglectful bitch, until she realized Ron is very independent and doesn't want any help.  

Apparently no one heard me ask Ron if he wanted help.  They just saw me disembark, "leaving him".  "Poor lady" started screaming and demanding I come back.  I did. 
"You have to help him" she said. 
"He's fine" I said and got off again.  
"You need to get him a white cane" she shouted, as I went down the stairs.  How is a man, using both hands to push his walker, going to hold, and use, a white cane?  With his third hand?  

I was pretty annoyed, some of this no doubt fueled by my lack of sleep.   I muttered under my breath. 

We went in and did our banking.  One teller hasn't had us in ages.  Sometimes we have a change deposit, which is very complicated, and something everyone hates.  She hasn't had us, or a change deposit, in probably a year. 

Today she got us.  We just needed to convert some $1 bills, only.  She was delighted that was it. 

We left and had a good ride home.  I ate (I got some takeout hambugers, ate one for breakfast and one for lunch) and took my pills.  I got a good nap for an hour and a half or so until the kids next door woke me up. 

Spring break, this week. 

However, the rest of the week is forecast rain, rain, and more rain. 

Tomorrow's truck day.  We need a lot of drinks, pastry, and some candy.  Chips are actually OK except for the larger ones. 

You might think, work would be a bad thing for us.  After all, both Ron and I have disabilities.  I can't even think straight half the time thanks to my medication.  I'm always tired and stupid; I can't even drive, etc.  Ron, what ISN'T wrong with him? 

You know a lady at work asked me when Ron went blind.  I told her.  "So he's deaf, too?"  Yes, I told her.  "Since when?"  Before I met him.  "You married him anyway?"  Yes.  "Why?"  Because I love him. 

She was shocked. 

Anyway, we do what we can - work is good for us, gets us out of bed, and out of the house.  It keeps us active and engaged with the world. 

I know it would be "bad" if I just sat at home with a disability check (which I could get twice over). 


Sunday, March 15, 2015

I know my unreached readers don't believe in the devil, or spiritual warfare.  However I sure did last night.  For whatever reason, the dog next door was going crazy, barking madly.  Her owners weren't even home to be disturbed.  It was a good 4 hours of barking, when I needed to sleep.  Very tiring. 

I lay in bed, Biscuit sleeping by my leg, praying and asking God to put good thoughts in my head.  I did not have good thoughts, toward the dog or the neighbors.  I just don't understand people who buy a "yard dog" and ignore it except at feeding time.  I had other thoughts. 

I finally just said "God, you're going to have to clean out my head and fill it with good thoughts, or at least empathy, for the dog."  Normally it is very quiet.

I lay there comparing Biscuit to the dog.  The dog was out by herself, at night, never (apparently) allowed in the house because (I assume) they are too lazy to potty-train her, no real human interaction.  Biscuit has a kitty condo, playmates, toys, 4 litter boxes, and plenty of human attention.  In fact, he was sleeping on me, snoring gently as I petted him.  

Poor Biscuit.  I tried a new drink mix (that's the only thing I can think of) and farted horribly, nasty, toxic, gas explosions, all night long.  It was VILE.  If it bothered me, it must have been horrific for poor Biscuit, and Torbie, who had joined him on my other side.  I didn't have any cramps, just the gas, but boy that was plenty. 

I did eventually get to sleep and got about 5 hours of sleep.  I do wish the neighbors understood,  your front door is very near my bedroom, please don't slam it at night.  [sigh]   It's ugly, anyway.  They have a fake redwood composite door and the house is pink brick.  Ick. 

Then I remind myself there are "lots worse" neighbors out there.  I could have some older white lady meddling in my business and calling adult protective services because she saw Ron on the porch "by himself"; loud people with shouting, ignorant dramas; people who didn't respect my privacy (the current ones are OK in that regard, lately), etc. 

I woke up, far too early it seemed.  However, I had bought some Diet Dr Pepper at Foodarama.  That made things better, I felt.  I took my shower, and did my God Time later. 

We went to church.  We had a good ride and got there half an hour before services.  I had time to interact with other people, but Ron didn't have to wait "forever".  The pastor had a good sermon on 1 Peter 3:8-10.  Forgiving one's enemies, and loving them. 

"I have a feeling" I told Ron "We're going to see [the man who ran over you] in the near future."  As you can imagine, I'm fighting the battle on that guy.  I like to tell people I am moving forward. 

I've gone from:
Wanting to kill him
Wanting to beat him with a pipe
Wanting to scream at him for "ruining our lives"
To wanting him to just leave us alone. 

I know that is God working in me, because there's no way I could have gotten past step 1 or 2 on my own.  That's all God. 

Like I say, anything good you see in me is God.  I just ask Him to help, and try to follow orders. 

I find it a huge compliment when Ron says I am [God's] Good Soldier. 

Speaking of, I am intrigued with a new Handout idea: Bissonnet.  It is a terrible area with gangs, prostitutes, and drug dealing.  I need to do some research but once I get that down I want to do a Handout. 

If I believe we are living in the end times (I do), and I believe unsaved people are going to hell (I do), then I should be out there busting my ass to reach as many people as possible. 

Pray God I am. 

Oh, and if you pray please ask God for a good night's sleep tonight.  I managed to catch a nap today but I'm still pretty wiped out. 

Torbie on my feet

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