Monday, November 30, 2015

Don it

Something woke me up at 1 AM, I wasn't happy.  I finally went back to sleep but, interrupted, I was pretty exhausted this morning. 

I had to laugh at myself as I applied me deodorant.  I had shaved one armpit, and forgotten the other. 

We rode with the teacher's aide today.  Even though other women wait at the door of the school, she acts as though the driver must wait until it's unlocked.  Not according to paratransit rules, unless she has a severe intellectual limitation.  Now, it's not the best neighborhood but it's certainly not that bad.  And, if given a choice, I think they will rob the older, obese, white lady with the huge leather purse. 

Last time she waited so long in the car Ron had to remind the driver we had to get to work, we had deliveries, and we weren't interested in catering to overly hysterical fears.  If you are really that worried about your safety, get a concealed weapons permit.  A gun will certainly stop a mugging, or whatever else you fear. 

Lest you think I am a bitch, I have lived in horrible neighborhoods, where I saw people mugged on a regular basis, where they had a security guard doing check-ins on every car that entered, where the landlady admitted to renting to "at least 3" drug dealers.  Where I found empty bottles of cough syrup, dirty syringes, and used condoms everywhere I stepped.  Where I was constantly hassled by newly paroled sex offenders because they thought I was a prostitute (I dress very modestly). 

Now, that's a bad area.  And you know what?  I used to come home from work, on the bus, by myself, in the dark.  Sometimes I walked 2 miles home from work at 11 PM.  I lived.  I wasn't stupid, I used common sense.  I didn't carry a purse or wear anything of value. 

I feel a little bad about that, all these years with my engagement ring, and I have seldom worn it.  I haven't had it stolen, either. 

That reminds me of one of Ron's therapists at the hospital.  She had what must have been a 5-carat ring on her hand, at a charity hospital.  Not smart. 

So, use your common sense, you will be fine.  If you remain overly fearful, read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker.  Good book.  Has a whole chapter about the workplace shooting at my Dad's office. 

We got to work, things were about average in terms of sales.  I didn't feel bad we took 2 days off.  I got to work stocking. 

The other vendors have an astounding amount of paraphernalia.  They must have 10 carts, including a large flatbed.  They have dozens of milk crates they fill with product and stack on the carts, but in the meantime they stack them up all around the stockroom, making horrible obstacles for Ron.  He HATES working Monday, as a result. 

I had to get him around all their crap in addition to helping him and doing my usual duties. 

We are nearly sold out, in our stockroom, so we have to do a truck run tomorrow and buy more inventory.   I don't mind that.  I plan to buy some new things. 

I have a Christmas t-shirt, it's a fake sweater, so I will wear that tomorrow.  I like my Santa hat, it says "Merry Christmas" on it, but it is rather warm when I'm working.  I may wait on it until I'm done moving all the inventory, then don it. 

Something funny happened today and I threatened to put it in the blog.  I can't remember what, though. 

That's it for now. 



A look in my belly

OK, what do we eat? 

1.  Richards Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.  It's about $3.50 for one serving, but you can stretch it to two if you have a salad and make more rice. 

2.  Savoie's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.  If you are in Houston they have these at the Walters and 1960 Walmart.  Same price. 

3.  Ron likes Nighthawk TV Dinner - Top Chop't - it has a steak patty, sauce, mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon on top.  That's about $2 -$2.50. 

4.  I like Banquet pot pies.  They nuke easy and agree with my lithium.  The beef is very beefy.  I like Beef, or Turkey flavors. 

5.  I also like "The Greek Gods" greek yogurt.  It is full fat and the Honey flavor is sweet, but not overly so.  Agrees with the lithium. 

6.  If I'm in a cooking mood, the Asian porridges are great - they have combinations of whole grains and some beans, I just soak it and cook it in my rice pot.  I buy them at Asian grocery stores with "funny" names. 

7.  I am also a huge fan of the $1 double cheeseburger.  They agree with the lithium. 

8.  Ron used to love Stouffer's Lasagna, but he hasn't had it in a while. 

9.  On rare occasion, I like fish sticks, but they can be iffy with the lithium, which is probably why I don't eat them more often. 

10.  Tuna salad.  I make it simply, with just drained tuna, real mayo, and a little lemon pepper. 

11.  Love to eat, hate to make: grilled cheese, pancakes.  Not at the same time. 

12.  Green salads make me violently ill if eaten anywhere near my lithium, no matter what else I consume. 

13.  However fruit salads are OK so I have been eating more of them.  I want to eat a variety of foods. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

They'd probably stone you.

I don't know about you, but when someone wants me to like someone - desperately wants me to do so, I tend to put my hackles up.  I approach the meetings with resentment and trepidation.  I resist, firmly, the "You have to like them you're going to be such good friends". 

The last time it happened, I didn't like the person on first meeting, but tried to give them a chance.  In the course of our very brief interaction, I shared some mildly personal information and tried to be sympathetic to their plight. 

Subsequent events over the next few days confirmed my suspicion that said person was a drama-seeker.  They, in fact, kept trying to suck me into their dramas.  I was pretty upset.  I don't know you, I have my own problems.  I'm not going to nursemaid you.  I don't care.  The issues they had were fairly typical for someone of their age, but try to tell them that. 

At the time I felt I had much larger issues, I sure didn't have any energy or empathy left over for petty stuff. 

Our driver will often talk about introducing us to his women and I always think that will end badly, but he never does. 

If you want me to like someone (not that many do), introduce me and let them make an impression.  Either I'll like them, or I won't, but let me draw my own conclusions based on their behavior. 

I am sick of the media and their muslim apologists.  They keep trying to present the muslim as a tragic, persecuted, victim.  There's a story every day. 

My experience of islam can be more accurately defined by my best friend's abusive father.  By the driver who literally threw Ron's wheelchair in the driveway, having a tantrum because I chose to ride in the front seat (first come, first served, per transit policies) and refused to stay where he put me after he moved my purse.  Courteous men of any nationality know: you don't move a strange woman's purse unless she hands it to you and makes a request.   You certainly don't throw someone's wheelchair in the driveway, for any provocation.  I believe he was fired for that. 

I have had many other experiences.  You may not know, but many muslim men become cab drivers in Houston.  Most of them have been rude, haughty, and impatient.  I didn't feel safe riding with them, either. 

You're not impressing me with your behavior.  So, in my experience, muslim men have been tyrannical control freaks.  Ron was witnessing to one, a "nice" guy, lately, an "apostate" no less, the man got upset because Ron was talking about Jesus, and shouted at him to stop.  Ron's kind of unstoppable when he gets going. 

The atheists, agnostics, and backslidden Christians couldn't care less when Ron gets going.  They usually laugh at him, or ask a few questions to see just how crazy he runs. 

The other problem, as I see it: freedom of religion.  That means I am free to worship as I choose.  I can do my God Time at home or have it in the park.  I can hand out Bibles, or donate to a ministry that does so.  All those mysterious "new" women in the getup (veiled and robed) at my local  Walmart are free to prance around in America, speaking Arabic and wearing their tents.  America's a tolerant society. 

However, the muslim culture is not:
Qur'an 2:191-193,

"And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing...

"...but if they desist, then lo! allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with allah] and worship is for allah alone."

Abdullah Yusuf Ali,
The Holy Qur'an (1934):
"But when the forbidden months are past,
then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them,
and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war);
but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them:
for allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."

What are my duties as a Christian?  I'm supposed to love them, pray for them.  Do good for them when I can (but not in a way that supports, I believe, islam).  As a Christian, a muslim is free to live in my country as long as they are a contributing member of society.  Don't steal, don't murder, don't beat your wife or butcher your little girls.  We don't charge special taxes for those of other faiths.  However, in islam, a Jew or Christian must pay 50% of their wages to islam, in order to remain alive and unmolested.  That's just the last sentence covered. 

I think the "kill everyone, in any way possible" sentence is pretty clear. 

I spoke to a Christian woman from Sudan.  We were talking about the Bible Handouts and she said they'd never be permitted "back home".  "Because I hand out Bibles?" I asked. 

"Well, that" she said "And I can see your legs."  I was wearing very modest Bermuda shorts, covering me to the knee.  They were loose fitting, at that.  "They'd probably stone you." 

That pretty much said it all, to me. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Feathers on a stick

What did I do yesterday?  Depressed, went to work anyway.  I did everything except fill the nickels in my busiest snack machine.  My customers are going to be very unhappy about that. 

Well, I can't do anything about it now.  I went home and took a nap (yes!), then Ron and I went to Walmart. 

1.  I needed my medication. 
2.  Biscuit can always use more canned food. 
3.  Might as well check out the specials. 

I saw a couple things I might have been interested in: a button up fleece shirt (not the sweatshirt fabric, but the other kind) - but I already have 2, and it's just not that cold in Houston.  I also saw a thermal legging/top set, pretty cute, but nothing in my size.  All the colors were pretty sold out but the coral, which didn't seem to get anyone excited.  I even looked for my size in the coral.  Nope. 

Ah, well.  I mainly bought some food, a pot, the num-nums for Biscuit, and a purse.  This one is actually a crossbody purse, which I've been seeking.  It's big enough to hold my Kindle but not so big it looks like luggage.  I'm happy.  I already waterproofed it. 

The pharmacist "had" to talk to me because they changed the supplier on the Wellbutrin, which I already knew.  I said it gave me far fewer headaches than the larger, pink, tablets.  He was happy to hear that. 

We came home, I ate some pizza, and watched some TV.  Ron got an irate phone call from a pregnant woman who lost some money on the bill changer.  I could hear her shouting from the other room.  Then I went to bed. 

This morning I woke up to a drizzly cold rain.  I had planned to get up and go to the pet store.  They're having a sale on Christmas toys for pets - and our gang love the "feathers on a stick" toy.  It looks like s small feather duster.  Ron loves it because it is an easy toy for him to manipulate and he can feel them "jerk" as they attack it. 

I decided to stay home. 

After much debate, I bought myself one of the Amazon Fire $35 tablets.  I also got some memory and a "kid" case.  I figure it's a good idea to get something easy to grip, due to my occasional butterfingers.  I have wi-fi now, it should be easy to use.  It should arrive in about a month. 

I watched some TV and called Dad.  He is happy to hear Ron is figuring out portion control, and that it takes the body 90 minutes to reach the peak "drunk".  Ron would slam back several drinks in that time frame, trying to "tune out". 

It's funny, my parents (all 3 of them) were worried I would develop a drinking problem.  Instead, I married one. 

3 parents of course being biological mom, adoptive mom, and my Dad.  They seem to be doing well.  Dad is considering selling the time-share. 

Ron's reading a book about some couple vacationing in Barbados.  "Do people really have leather luggage?"  Yes, I told him, they do.  I think we still have Ron's old vinyl suitcase running around here somewhere.  It didn't even have wheels. 

If I would better one muscle group, it would be my forearms.  I think they could use some work.  I think every other group is in pretty good condition.  My arms sure got a good workout on that old suitcase! 

Anyway, that's it for now.  Still depressed, still fighting it. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Girl Scout Days

Yesterday we did truck day.  We parked at work, the pickup truck (I wasn't driving) loaded with merchandise.... and they were waxing in front of my vending machines. 

Now, something like that, I can take a couple of approaches. 
1.  Get a typical attitude "Y'all ruining my business.  You need to stop.  I have to make a living." 
2.  Go home.  [snort]  Tempted, though. 
3.  "Hi, I'm here, how can we work this out?  I know you need to do this, but I need to do that, if at all possible.  At the very least I need access to my stockroom, can we do that?" 

I took approach #3, and was not only able to access the stockroom, but stock the vending machines as well.  I call that a win. 

They did rush us at the end, though.  'You're about done, right?"  "Almost done?"  Etc.  But I understood THEY had work, just like I had, and we got out early. 

I hope my God time has made me a more sensitive and empathetic person.  I like to think it has.  They were smiling and pleasant, so they must have been satisfied. 

We came home, and I was actually able to take a nap.  I was thrilled.  #6's kids are out of school all this week. 

Now, it didn't work out to nap today, but I was still happy.

I debated checking my email, and decided to wait until today.  I was waiting to hear back from "The Big Boss". 

We have two directly above us, then the big boss above them.  Since Ron skipped the conference, he has to make it up somehow.  I submitted some ideas. 

I was worried he would say "No" and make us do something more complex, but he approved it.  Yay. 

One of them: take a CPR course, which I feel will actually serve the customers in the unlikely event someone has a problem in the cafeteria, while we're working. 

Also on the "to do" list, repair some siding (!) yet again, this time on the north side of the house.  It is cosmetic, but apparently a Very  Big Deal to the insurance company.  I mean, really?  You have nothing better to do? 

Not, Ron and I think, that they will ever pay any claims anyway.  Why would they?  It's really their job to get out of paying claims, when you think about it. 

 That, and the fact they change their name every year or so, have made us lose faith. 

My anxiety hasn't been as bad, amusingly enough, since I actually had things to worry about.

We were also contacted by the water department.  Apparently people are going around, banging on doors, saying they have to test the water from the taps.  What a great way to survey houses for future burglary.  The only people in my house are the ones I call. 

They are coming back a few days after the "water test" and claiming the water is grossly polluted, and selling a very expensive water filtration system. 

Years ago, a young man banged on my door, said he was doing an audit for energy efficient appliances, I "had" to let him into do an inspection, so he could suggest alternatives.  I told him, very politely, to go away.  He was shocked.  I don't know why. 

Why would I ever let a strange person into my home so they could evaluate me for a robbery? 

Lest I be accused of racism, my handyman is black, and very good at his job.  At his wages, he doesn't need to rob! 

At any rate, I don't worry about my water quality.  I never have since my Girl Scout days.  I enjoyed them, at least in Virginia. 

One time, they took us to the water treatment plant.  The manager did an excellent, and interesting, job of explaining all the steps they took to ensure I had clean water.  And I believe them. 

Now and again, I have mentioned a broken pipe or something to the water company, but that's about the extent of our interaction.  I read the water quality reports.  Ron has a faucet filter in addition to that, but I know I am blessed with potable water. 

So, on that front things are good. 

The cats are doing well. Biscuit remains the charmer, with Torbie in position #2.  Gravy's third, and Baby Girl is last.  She just wants to love us on her terms, not ours. 

Me, I like a hug now and then.  The boys are good for that.  I'm glad they're around. 

Today, I slept as late as I could and did my God Time, shower, and a little TV.  I tried to take a nap but I was too wound up on caffeine. 

I watched the first Hobbit movie, and Ron played a "funny" recording made 20 years ago.  I think it was Chris Rock.  I don't really find "black" humor, funny. 

Now, years ago I heard a very funny joke by a white comedian: What's the difference between a black boyfriend, and a white one?  The white guy pays the bills. 

Ha ha ha.  Me, I've only had Ron, who's black, and pays all the bills. 

Ron was disappointed I wasn't rolling on the floor, but I just don't find hostile racial/sex humor funny.  He records things, keeps hoping I will like them, I don't, he's disappointed. 

Well, I'm not going to lie.  That's one reason I don't watch sitcoms, I don't find them funny.  A lot of the humor is hostile or sex jokes. 

I enjoy my love life, with my husband, but I don't need to run around making jokes about it, constantly. 

Here's our only real joke:
Ron brags that I call him "The minute man".  The person starts to giggle. 
"Because I'm ready in a minute!" 
"No, because you're done in a minute!" 

(He's not).  That's it. 

Everyone always wants to know what you ate for Thanksgiving.  I had two giant handfuls of medication!  My, what a hearty meal they made. 

Then I had some leftover pizza.  Ron had some chicken/sausage gumbo. 

It's been my experience that those from SE Louisiana prefer an aquatic gumbo, all kinds of fish and seafood.  Those from NW Louisiana prefer a chicken and sausage with dark roux. 

We have, not one, but two, delicious "TV Dinner" gumbos in Ron's favorite style.  I bought him four and he ate one today for his Thanksgiving meal. 

I had the pizza.  I'm depressed anyway, I didn't feel cheated. 

I do wonder why I got one with sausage.  It doesn't always agree. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Barf for Mommy

Another day, another headache.  I still did my God Time and shower, and went to Walmart.  I really don't want to shop later in the week! 

I got Biscuit some new cat food, which he loves.  Since they all like to nibble at the canned food, I try to get the larger (5 ounce) cans.  I gave them 3 cans yesterday, total, and Biscuit got sick.  3, clearly, is one too many. 

Poor Biscuit just runs a little pukey.  I wonder sometimes if that's why they gave the kittens up - rather, dumped them in the woods next to a very busy street.  Pretty much a death sentence, that.  At least until I came along. 

Biscuit came running for me, like a long-lost lover.  He climbed me like a tree, meowing and purring in my ear as I laughed and giggled.  Gravy was more shy, hiding in the bushes and howling at me until I coaxed him out.  He then decided to trip me, repeatedly, as I walked to the bus stop. 

I had a huge sack of Bibles on my arm, I was committed - so I went and did the Bible Handout, worried about the little guys (I didn't know their sex yet), would get killed or hurt.  They had actually tried to ride the bus, but the driver fluttered the doors at them and chased them off. 

When I came back, that woman was kicking them in the head, they found my hamburger, and the rest is history.  Here I sit at my chair with Biscuit on my desk, staring at me adoringly as he purrs. 

So he vomits, a couple times a week.  Some cats have issues.  You don't kill them for it!  I just pet him and tell him it's OK, barf for Mommy.  I did that with Bubba, too (the beautiful solid black cat in my photo album).  Bubba was a lot pukier than Biscuit. 

I have very simple, inexpensive, furniture.  I'm happy with that.  I don't mind claw marks.  It just means they want to hang out with me. 

Just this week, the cats figured out they get lots of attention from me if they get up on my computer desk while I'm online.  Biscuit is up here right now, gazing at me with his beautiful light green eyes.  Torbie is really bad about sitting in front of my monitor. 

So, we got our Walmart done.  Ron wants gumbo for Thanksgiving, and loves a particular frozen gumbo "dinner", so we got him 4 of those.  He also wants me to make him some stuffing.  I got the ingredients for that. 

This week's headaches have given me a good opportunity to play "Take some pepto with the NSAID" whenever I take my headache pills (generic Excedrin), which has been pretty often.  I'm glad I take Milk Thistle supplements for my liver! 

My stomach has been fine, and if I had taken what I had, before, it would be pretty unhappy. 

I used to eat when I was hungry, now I eat to accommodate my medication.  Do I have enough fat?  Protein?  It's time for my meds, need to eat even if I'm not hungry.  Fruit, salads, etc. generally have bad results.  Maybe that's one reason people on lithium gain weight.  We have to eat pretty heavy meals when we take our meds or we get sick.  I know I do. 

So, we came home, and I took a nap.  The kids next door (#6) are out of school this week, but I have managed to get a nap both days (Monday and today).  I was pretty thrilled. 

I got up, did some organizing (I don't need to take out the trash tonight), and did up some pills.  I needed to put some new vitamins/supplements into my pills-of-the-week.  I had run out of multivitamins.  I had also read selenium may be helpful for depression, so I got some.  It was cheap.  We'll see.  I also got some flax oil. 

Pretty soon our ride came.  Ron wanted to go to the mall and get some teriyaki chicken, and burritos.  He likes to stock up and nibble for a few days.  I hate to go, but I will. 

He was very appreciative I did. 

The Chick-fil-a was open, so I had a chicken club, fruit salad (pretty daring for me, with my meds), and diet soda.  I ate at home and took a whole day's worth of medication.  I hadn't been able to take my morning stuff due to the headache (I will vomit!).  

I was a little nervous about the fruit salad, but I need to get more variety in my diet.  I want to eat better, less processed, foods.  I sound like a commercial. 

Anyway, on two occasions I had a grilled chicken salad, with my lithium, when I was taking HALF the dose I do now - and both times I became violently ill.  I felt horribly queasy, and had stabbing sharp pains.  I literally felt as though I was being stabbed to death. 

Horrid.  I had a natural concern I might have a repeat.  So, I had a couple spoonfuls of full fat cottage cheese and a couple potato chips.  I figured the additional fat and protein would help; and I'm fine, so it worked. 

I will have to experiment and find out if I can do "just" a grilled chicken club and fruit salad, with my meds.  However, the "bad reactions" are pretty instructive and trust me, I don't want a repeat! 

[shudder] 

I'm dead without my meds, but sometimes I feel like they're killing me! 

Our return trip arrived early so we went home when he called.  He "should" have waited but Ron and I are not one to turn away a sure-bet ride home. 

We ate at home, Ron thanked me repeatedly, and I reminded Gravy he had a num-num of his own. 

My vet's going to be thrilled they're eating some canned food.  I think even Torbie partakes, but secretly. 

I bought the "wrong" flavor today, it was mixed in with Classic Seafood Entrée, but they all adore it, so it's on the buy list now.  I like to mix up flavors and brands, remember when they had the scandal with the contaminated cat food a few years back?  Cats were dying left and right of kidney failure. 

I can't imagine anything worse than 4 dead cats, all in one day. 

It was bad enough I saw a black cat, run over by a car (lying dead in the median) today. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kick it!

I woke up at 3 AM, with a migraine, and went to work.  Our driver picked up another employee at our facility, on the way.  I didn't like him much. 

1.  Greeted me with "I know where you live now".  Dispatch apparently told him our location when he called to check on the ride. 
2.  Throughout the day, I kept running into him, the man had NO concept of personal space.  At least as applied to me.  He stayed at a normal distance from the other vendors (men), but stood very close to me, within 6 inches.  I had to keep moving away, and we had plenty of space. 

Do I think he was "into" me?  No.  With one exception (when my breasts got dramatically larger after Doc increased my antipsychotic, one guy was gaping a bit), I have never really felt the other guys at work were inappropriate.  I did have to ask someone's friend to explain "personal space" "before I made a complaint".  The friend did so and everything remained genial. 

The guy seems normal and is still working at the facility, so I assume he had a stroke, which caused some brain damage, which causes the inappropriate behavior.  But I really hate accommodating weird people.  I have enough weird in my life already! 

Certain jobs, however, attract special people.  Me, for instance, so I can't really complain. 

The other vendor kept asking very personal financial questions and trying to tell me I "had" to apply for disability.  I feel fine admitting I make about the income limit for someone on disability, so I wouldn't qualify.  I told him that.  He basically said to work the numbers so I would. 

Not real keen on that.  There's someone out there who really needs it.  Ron takes care of me. 

Now, if Ron died, and I felt God was leading me to do it, I would apply, but the requirements are pretty stringent.  Basically, all told, you cannot make more than a thousand dollars a month, plus the $700 payment.  So, I'm limited to $1700 a month.   Now, Ron has a policy that is supposed to pay off the house.  If that happened, I would need about $1200 to cover expenses.  I could JUST cover expenses with a small emergency hedge. 

If the policy didn't pay, I would need about $1600 to cover expenses, which would make living-on-disability really tight. 

Or I could just work like you do and make what I make.  I'd rather do the latter. 

There's a Bible verse in Psalm 37,
I have never seen the righteous forsaken, or his children begging bread. 

The nice thing about my life, I've already been through hell.  Facing eviction?  Been there.  Laid off with loved one in ICU?  Done that, facing eviction no less.  Unemployed and living on my last $20?  Yup.  Fired right before Christmas?  Not a good memory.  1997.

God sustained me through all of it.  Things have been so bad, at times, for example, my bathroom wall falling in... that I couldn't see how He could fix it, but He did.  God is there. 

The road may not be pretty, or fun, or pleasant, but there's an end to the road and it's a better place.  A place of safety and security if nothing else. 

So, I don't worry about getting disability.  In fact, according to Social Security regulations, I am NOT disabled, because I can make what I do.  That's a very pleasant thought. 

Needless to say, the anxiety has been a little better lately. 

I was really happy to see my favorite deliveryman from Dr Pepper.  I like him a lot. 

I would hope, when I die, my service providers will say that I was always kind, and treated them with respect and appreciation.  I would be very upset if they didn't.  I don't talk about some things, I figure God will "out" them at the proper time if He feels the need.  But I do like to think of myself as a kind and appreciative person. 

Unless you are Weird Guy on paratransit.  [snort]

I got my other delivery - we only got a half order of sandwiches.  I figure with Thanksgiving, and slower sandwich sales, we might as well.  Sales should skyrocket the next week or so, but not this one. 

Chips, pastry - pastry!  They are insane for pastry, I can't keep up.  Cookies and all remain steady.  So they like what I'm putting out. 

Oh, funny: Today at work a customer came to me with a mock complaint, because I'm the only one who sells the item she likes.  I bent over, stuck my butt out, and slapped it.  "Go on!" I encouraged her "Kick it!"  She looked at me and laughed.  "Come on!" I incited "You know you want to do it!"  We had a good laugh. 

I think, hope, pray, I might finally be getting manic.  God knows I deserve a small, well-managed one. 

Today's headache was horrific.  I got everything done and we came home. 

I managed to get a nap, the kids in #6 woke me up, playing in the yard.  That's why people live in the country.  Well, those who can. 

I did some organizing, ate a small bag of pretzels.  I am always craving salt.  I should probably put some salt tablets into my pills-of-the-week. 

That, and get some more tablets!   I kept eating painkillers today, I worry I am damaging my body, but all my blood test numbers come back fine. 

You can bet I am getting plenty of Vitamin C, though. 





Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday night shift

In Mexican culture, the baby's first birthday is a huge event.  I have endured several of them thanks to #6. 

Don't get me wrong, I am glad their kids are alive and healthy.  It is, however, tremendously exhausting to hear the party ongoing when I just want to sleep. 

So, I keep a calendar.  Basically, "we" have most of our parties in March, October, one in November (the 21st!) and the Christmas Eve party.  I'll talk about that one in a month. 

Anyway, we needed to work yesterday, and we had a couple of factors:
  • Blue Norther cold front inbound with heavy rain, in the morning.
  • Party at night, for certain. 
We decided to go to the warehouse later in the afternoon, and then work.  It's funny; when I was a retail slave for someone else, the only thing I wanted was a 9-5, Monday to Friday job.  Now I find myself enjoying my Saturday night shift.   I prefer working weekends. 

I had some gapes and double takes at work, but overall they were happy to see me/us.  Like I said, I enjoy the work, and they support us.  They should hear me say thank you now and again. 

I did have one problem.  Ron's wheelchair, at work, is very old.  The vinyl on the back had a tear at the bottom of the pocket.  Ron likes to keep things in the pocket, but they kept falling out. 

You can imagine the scene: Ron is lying on the floor, duct-taping the wheelchair, which is flipped over.  The customer gave me a nasty look, and moved towards Ron. 

"Did you fall, buddy?"  Another glare in my direction. 

"Actually," I said, "I flipped it over."  For Ron, of course, but I got an even nastier look.  "It was EMPTY!"

The man left, convinced I had turned Ron out onto the floor.  Ah, no.  If I'm going to hurt him I won't do anything overt or obvious.  I would tell him the store was out of his favorite TV dinner.  I wouldn't pretreat the stains when I did his laundry.  Stuff like that.  I wouldn't throw him out on the floor in front of all the postal workers. 

Before that point, however, I would take some good long breaks. 

Anyway, other than that it was pretty uneventful, except for the nearly empty vending machines.  It was a little disturbing.  I doubt we can take much time off in the next month.  I had better add some olive leaf to my vitamin regimen when I do up my pills later. 

Doing up my pills means taking 4 lithium and a Depakote,  that goes in the PM section for 2 weeks.  AM's are 2 each of Haldol and Wellbutrin.  They even look alike.  Then I add in all the supplements, vitamin A (I am getting some lithium acne on my chest, so I need it), Vitamin E (for my cardiovascular), multi with iron (because I did a food log and I NEVER got enough iron), Cat's Claw (supposed to be good for joints, and immunity - doesn't hurt and joints do seem better - I have some minor arthritis).  You get the idea.  It gets really fun if my hands start shaking.  A couple of times I have dropped the pill organizer on the floor, during.  Agh.  It's one of the few times Ron is on his own, "I'm doing up my pills". 

We finished up, the machines looking a lot better.  I take pride in doing a good job and providing quality service. 

We left, and our friend picked us up.  By now, I figured, the party was in full swing.  We went to a burger place and ate, having a good time.  By the time we came home, the guests were leaving and it felt like the 30's with the wind chill.  We would not have kids screaming outside the bedroom, all
night.  I hope this happens on Christmas eve.  Those parties are horrific. 

I went to bed and woke up with a migraine.  I haven't vomited yet but it's not much fun to be me.  I tried the "take the pepto with the pain reliever" routine and it sure didn't hurt.  I can take something else in about half an hour.  I think I will go with Tylenol.  I already took generic Excedrin, Aspirin 4 hours later (absolutely with some pepto), and probably Tylenol again because I don't want to be up all night from the generic headache pills' caffeine. 

I measured, and my waist is down 3 inches from September.  My hips, an inch and a half.  That explains why my pants are so baggy, lately.  If I can beat the headache I will dig around, because I know I have some smaller sizes running around somewhere. 

I'm also working on some laundry.  I dumped a half-gallon of iced tea on my carpet yesterday and I had to mop it up with my bath towel.  What an awful mess. 

Ron's fine.  He's still got some bleeding but the doctors have thrown up their hands.  If it gets bad, he's to take a course of steroids.  At least it isn't cancer. 

He likes eating some burritos I bought when I was manic.  When I'm manic, I can buy the strangest things.  I don't like burritos, but I bought them - because I was manic.  I have clothing selections I can tell from a glance - I was manic.  If possible, I usually end up donating whatever it is.  I did paint the bedroom a curry gold when manic, and I do love the color.  I've lived in it for nearly 12 years and enjoy it.  It's very calming to me. 

Not all bad. 

Boy, with Christmas coming, sales through the roof, and what feels like months of depression and anxiety under my belt, I could really use a good mania pretty soon. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

A whole lot about microwaves

I couldn't get the enter key to work on my last attempt. 

Aha. 

So, today was off.  I was pretty depressed, no shower or God Time.  I think sometimes how bad it would be to be a wealthy person with depression.  You wouldn't "need" to work. 

I did get my God time, come to think.  That's about all I did. 

Anyway, we went to Walmart.  We had to buy a microwave for work, and some soda, so not a lot of room for extras.  I filled up the rest of the cart with cat food, mainly.  Biscuit says he likes the Classic Seafood Entrée.  Gravy likes it, too.  Glad I got it. 

Since I've caught nearly all the cats nibbling at the num-num (canned food), I decided to focus on a bigger portion.  The less expensive cans are a larger size, and happily seem OK with my crew. 

I bought some decaf iced tea, etc.  A box of cereal I can consume with my soymilk.  But I didn't get much.  Ron bought 3 pounds, literally, of cat treats. 

I had some fun wrangling the microwave, which isn't heavy.  It's a Rival brand, by the Crock-pot people.  They have stood up (we bought 4) to incredible abuse.  Ron actually set our personal unit on fire with foil-wrapped takeout, and it still works.  Don't try that at your home.  Our boss bought us some commercial units, and they didn't even make it 6 months, but this one's lasted over a year.  I am happy to pay the $50. 

Well, the business bought it, but it still came out of our pockets. 

We came home, I took a nap.  Last night Ron and I had a good talk and have some understanding of each other's viewpoints.  My anxiety level is way down as a result. 

Still depressed, still anxious, but at least not as bad. 

Ron called the handyman to do a tweak on the cat door, so he did.  I modified my privacy screen too.  If I cover the cat door with the blinds, the cats make a lot of noise when they come and go.  But I can't have the windows wide open, either.  I taped some paper up over the panel. 

Blog excluded, I like my privacy. 

"I know how you are about locks"

Ron told me "I know how you are about locks". 

Well, we have a complex relationship. 

I never had a key to my parent's house, up until the day I moved out.  Ron says that is unusual.  The other kids did.  Her argument: "You will lose it".  "We are never gone when you want to come home".  No, but she used to lock me out. 

Another time my Dad gave me a key to "the trunk", I couldn't get it to work, kept telling him, he kept shouting.  I broke the key.  Dad came over shouting because I had broken the key to his first car.  I told him it didn't work.  He's the one who gave me the wrong key. 

After that incident (I was about 7) I was branded as "Bad with locks".  I had a reputation for "losing" things - that weren't lost, but taken from me.  However, rather than address the complex head games at the root of all this, they preferred to say I "lost" them. 

Why is it, when I had adequate storage and study space at school, when I could go in early and work later if needed - I suddenly "kept" all the items I wasn't bringing "home" any more?  And pulled straight A's? 

Good questions.  And people wondered why I never wanted to have children.  Can you imagine having to tell certain parties they would never be alone with my children - ever? 

That's one reason I am so baffled by the seemingly happy family next door.  What is that?  What is it like?  I have no concept.  I know how to front "everything's fine" when I am covered in bruises, my sinuses aching from my suppressed sobs.  I know how to smile brightly and play stupid when someone looks at whatever Ron's done to his head during a blackout.  I know how to act as though I'm not, in fact, suicidal, back when I was. 

Anyway, back to locks.  I did pretty well, living with Ron.  I never lost a house key, misplaced for a few minutes now and then, but that's it.  I keep them on a hook now. 

I never had "work keys" until I went to work for Ron.  I was given, pretty much from day one, a mind-boggling, heavy, key ring, loaded with 2 dozen keys for everything from our freezer, to the main stockroom.  I was also given a Federal Building Security BadgeBetter not lose that! 

A funny thing happened, while I have, on occasion, forgotten my keys at home, I've never lost them.  I install locks, actually, at work.  Ron tells me I do a better job than the repairman, and better yet, I don't cost him $65 either. 

I open and close locks on a regular basis, ongoing.  With the exception of a broken lockbar we haven't had any lock related issues of note.  Even the repairman said he'd never seen that one. 

I guess I do alright with locks, after all. 

Ron's comment?  I always lock doors behind me.  I'm a woman, it's just good common sense. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nightmares

I woke up at 5 AM, I got to sleep in.  :p 

We went to work, but it didn't need much stocking.  I stocked what I could and waited on the repairman. 

At one point, I was stocking, my arms full of product.  Ron was yelling for me.  He does that a lot.  He wanted me to help him.  I told him I had to stock the product I was holding, and he shouted it was my job to serve him, not fill vending machines. I gave him a peculiar look. 

The repairman came.  Ron had forgotten to empty the change bucket, which caused a backup.  Not only that, someone had put an Asian coin into the system.  That would have caused a jam on it's own.  He had to disassemble the unit. 

He "tried" to fix the "not giving proper change back" issue, but did a poor job of that.  I had to go and fix it after he left.  "I think" I told  Ron "I'm the only one who knows how to work it".  It has certain parameters, if they are met it behaves.  I have also eliminated most of the 70 cent items, stocking 75 cent items instead.  The big objection was people weren't getting the nickel back when they put the 75 cents, so that fixed the issue. 

After he left I stocked the machine and verified the coin mech was behaving.  It is. 

I helped Ron as much as I could and we left.  Ron forgot to do his inventory for canned sodas, so that will be interesting on Monday.  We have to get up very early on Monday. 

In Mexican culture, the baby's first birthday is a big deal, probably due to crappy infant mortality rates back in the old days.  Back then, it was a really big deal to get the baby to a year old. 

That party is imminent, this weekend.  I want to get as much rest as possible.  They have been quieter, but the kids still make a tremendous amount of racket for several hours.  That's actually the reason I had to ban them from the yard - they were taking the party into my yard. 

Not to mention unsupervised toddlers running around, etc.  I keep a calendar now so I at least have an idea what to expect.  If I know they're going to have a party, I can rest up, make sure the gate is locked, etc. 

I took a nap today but I had pretty bad nightmares about losing my teeth.  I woke up and tried to talk with Ron, which ended up in a lot of verbal abuse on his part.  I'm not even mad at him, and he's "fighting" with me.  How stupid is that? 

I'm not saying Ron is stupid, but sometimes I really think he could use some counseling.  So could I, I'm sure. 

Biscuit is eating his canned supper.  He loves those things.  I'm glad, he's a good boy. 

I ran Torbie off the desk and I feel a little bad about that.  Hopefully she'll get in my lap, later. 

The good stuff

Ron is furious.  Part of it is due to my confronting him regarding a really stupid thing he is doing with money.  He won't hear me on it.  I worry it's going to hurt us both. 

Part of it, and my disappointment, is the fact that he refuses to understand what depression means.  To him, I should be eager to run around with him at his whim, eating takeout every day.  He told me "It was (my) job to (serve) him" today at work.  I was aghast.  I hope I have never given him reason to believe that - I think that's more the narcissistic thing.  He doesn't understand, when I'm depressed, I'm doing great to take a shower, go to work, and come home, collapsing into bed for a nap.  He doesn't want to hear it.  He doesn't understand, doesn't want to, the anxiety I have been battling.  He just throws me a platitude, and he doesn't even mean that. 

Then we can't forget the health insurance discussion.  He told me, tonight, he spends $200 a month on alcohol.  This during a conversation how "(he) never gets anything for all his hard work".  Later on he was saying I didn't need health insurance, etc.  I told him I felt I did.  "It's just a waste of money" he said "at $200 a month".  I couldn't help think of the alcohol. 

Ron, I told him, you have Medicare.  You are paying over $100 a month for your medical coverage.  What is that?  "Oh, I deserve that" he said.  "And I don't?"  He also brought up an argument that, if I get insured, I will "become sickly, like his mother".  His mother was a carb addict, obese, diabetic, drama queen - who smoked.  Of course she was sick.  I try to watch what I eat, am active, take supplements, take medication as directed, drink buckets of water, get enough sleep, and "pass" all my blood tests with flying colors. 

Clearly he doesn't understand the concept of a $6K deductible.  If I tried to explain, he would just say it was more evidence I shouldn't get health insurance, etc. 

It's saddening and frustrating.  Ron, having worked himself up into profanities, is now binge-drinking and has already said any blackouts will be "my" fault.  No, they're yours.  I just hope he doesn't fall off his walker and hit his head, like he did last time. 

In some way he acts like a child.  I so wish I could say this all stems from the head injury, but one time back in 1998 he actually committed adultery, justified, he felt, because we had an argument.  "I'm going to act like a single man".  And he had sex with a woman he termed "A sewer" (as in, unsanitary and slutty), with no protection, because, of course, "It just happened and we were really drunk, because I was angry at you and we had a fight".  He didn't tell me for years... but let enough out I had a pretty good idea at the time.  I found the lying more of a betrayal than the actual act. 

So, in his mind, I was the reason he cheated.  Do I believe that?  No.  But I thank God all my blood tests have come back clean ever since.  He's gotten past that level of maturity but it brings dirty fighting to a whole new level. 

Unfortunately I didn't see any of this when we were dating, and I was so desperate I probably could have reasoned it away, but Ron is vicious when he feels attacked. 

So, what started it all?  He said, since I didn't want to go anywhere tomorrow after Walmart, he would just call his friend and pay him $20 to "go get the Teriyaki".  I told him I thought it was wasteful to spend $30, on $5 takeout.  Opinions only, I didn't tell him what to do. 

I even offered to go with him tomorrow night, because the neighbors will probably have a big party, but by then it was too late.  He had tried to tell me "It's going to rain Saturday!".  OMG.  I mean, I might get wet, which is totally unacceptable because it makes Ron feel bad. 

I also told him, what I heard of the forecast didn't indicate anything serious, so I didn't care.  That whole discussion ate up the entire amount of time he could have used to schedule a ride to the food place. 

Now Ron is telling me I am "too expensive", and making a big point of "giving me permission" to get my own health insurance.  It's not the insurance, I told him.  It's haggling the total down.  Ron has been getting tons of bills that start at $10,000 and end up with him owing $72.  He has totally unreasonable ideas about finance, that large debts will be simply forgiven because someone "can't pay". 

Not quite. 

1.  I wasted what I did have so I don't have to pay you.  Not going to work. 
2.  I don't owe anything even though I should have had insurance, but didn't. 
3.  I'm disabled, so I don't owe anything. 

None of those arguments will work! 

He's still ranting.  He is now convinced I was "bored" and decided to "start a fight for entertainment".  What kind of people has he known?  No, I am trying to get some issues conveyed.  He needs to be smart.  He needs to be careful.  He needs to stop spending $200 a month on whiskey. 

I didn't bother discussing that with him.  He likes it because (I am certain) it is loaded with sugar.  He likes feeling important at the liquor store.  He likes the little cloth bags that contain the bottle.  He has a whole collection of them.  He likes buying the good stuff and impressing other alcoholics. 

Oh, well, at least he's not bringing people over. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Coin jam

I have two cats on the desk so I can't type very well. 

Torbie wants to be nearby, but not in my lap.  I sat on the couch and called her for a while.  Nope. 

Biscuit wants to terrorize me, purring madly, until I feed him his canned food.  I guess he's getting hungry.  I have no room to mouse or type, and am holding the keyboard in my lap.  No one, at present, is interested in my lap. 

So, pretty depressed today.  No shower, did my God Time later.  I did a sink bath and went to the warehouse, got the supplies, back to work. 

But we had a coin jam in one machine so I couldn't stock it.  I couldn't clear the whole works.  I think it would be cruel to stock an (Biscuit is trying to go after the keyboard) out of service vending machine "look at all the great things you can't buy).  So I didn't.  I sure stocked the other two, though. 

I helped Ron and did my thing as best I could, then we came home.  Torbie met us on the porch.  I tried to take a short nap but it didn't work, too much background noise. 

The heater continues to behave, happily. 

I got up and did my God Time.  Then we went to Carl's Jr.  Dinner was good but I got a little queasy after taking my pills. 

Ugh.  Thank God for Pepto. 

Like I said, it's hard to type, so I'm going to go.  Hope tomorrow is better. 



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My meds are trying to make me a vegetarian

Yesterday was pretty typical: I got up at 4 AM, (did not do my God Time), went to work, came home, tried to take a nap (that didn't work out), and did some cleaning and organizing. 

I went to bed pretty early; when I got up I did get the shower and God Time. 

Salvation Army came today.  I decided to give them my coffee cups.  I have been collecting them since 1998, but I haven't "enjoyed" them in a long time.  They were clutter. They were that huge thing out in the garage.  I never looked at them or even made tea in them. 

I preferred my "Texas Wildflowers" mug.  I bought it at Walmart. 

Anyway, this morning, I mentioned I was thinking about getting rid of them.  Ron reminded me Salvation Army was coming.  Some lucky "thrifter", I thought, would love to get a ready-made collection. 

I did keep one "Heather" mug.  I forget who gave it to me, and Texas Wildflowers.  The rest went to Salvation Army, clearing out most of an entire kitchen cabinet, and a huge storage crate in the garage.  Good. 

I don't miss them. 

Now, in some circles that would be considered a huge red flag, giving away "my things".  Especially when I'm already depressed.  But I don't want a lot of stuff in my life.  I haven't enjoyed my collection in a very long time, over 10 years.  It was time to give it to someone who'd appreciate it. 

No regrets.  I also donated some art stuff and a tote bag I bought when I was manic. 

I watched TV until the heater repairman came.  He brought a new thermostat, which seems to have solved our issues.  I gave him a couple Bibles for his family.  He is a very nice man. 

The house is warm enough, I'm happy. 

My depression seems to have shifted: I am usually "loss of interest" and extreme fatigue.  Now we seem to have added anxiety (although not so bad the last couple days), and increased loss of interest.  I can't recall the last time I bought something online. 

We're getting into winter.  If I could have a day to do anything, what would I do?  Right now I would say sleep. 

I'll have to formulate a day out plan that involves more "fun". 

In the meantime, I'm fixing a lentil and mixed grains casserole.  I swear my meds are trying to make me a vegetarian.  Many times, a meal with meat just doesn't agree. 

Speaking of, Ron came to me complaining the manufacturer put potatoes in his gumbo.  "Ron" I told him "That's a Steak Bowl". 

"Oh" he replied, continuing his meal. 

I guess they "look" alike. 



Sunday, November 15, 2015

All I need is my Bible

"This is a computer room" I told Ron "Not a pass-out-on-the-floor-room".   Ron laughed as he lay on the floor. 

Ron got very drunk during "church", heckled the pastor, and passed out on the floor.  Thank God we were watching at home. 

Ron's belligerent and yelling, and the pastor's saying "I know some of you are having trials right now, but remember, all you need is your Bible."  You have no idea.

Yesterday, I got up at 4 AM, went to the warehouse, went to work, stocked.  I came home, took a nap, and we went to Walmart.  I had a horrible time with anxiety and depression. 

I did get most of what I needed, but I forgot the pepto.  I have "enough", I just like to have some backup.  It's for my stomach, after all. 

I do NOT need an ulcer, and I am in prime breeding conditions for same:
I take NSAIDS for my many headaches.
I take brutally toxic mood stabilizers - either of those would eat a hole in my stomach on their own. 
I am under a lot of stress. 
I am not getting enough protein. 

Anyway, I got, not surprisingly, more protein foods - easy stuff like skim ricotta, yogurt, soy milk (I get gassy with regular milk), easy things to consume when depressed, yet beneficial and wholesome-ish.  Wish I'd got the Pepto.  I read I can take it when I take my NSAIDS, which sounds like a good idea. 

Our heater is still acting up.  Last night Ron got drunk and tried to "fix" it by turning it on and off all night long, yelling at it, cursing, getting more drinks, banging around, and generally keeping me up all night.  I objected and he name-called.  "I was just trying to keep you warm, you [censored]."

Did I ask?  No. 

In fact, I specifically told him "I will be fine, I have plenty of blankets, and a space heater."  I reminded him of that, and he said, "Fine, freeze, [censored]." 

Ugh. 

The guy said he'd be out Monday.  No rush. 

Imagine my surprise when he said he still wanted to watch church today.  Sure, great.  I turned it on.  He complained a little but came in and sat down, 8 ounce drink of whiskey in his hand.  He'd already had one. 

He was pretty mellow until he finished the drink, then he got up and had another one.  He got pretty obnoxious when he started on that one.  Let's say, "formal alcohol drink" #7 or so. 

He thinks half a 16-ounce cup is "a drink" and "I only had one mouthful" failing to realize a mouthful is about 2-3 drinks, and one "cup" is really 7 drinks. 

Yes, I've told him.  He acts horrified for a minute and goes back to business as usual.  I am amazed his liver enzymes remain normal. 

I sat there, trying to feed myself spiritually, thinking, if only those gossiping women at work could see this.  They paint Ron as an innocent victim, a wonderful, warm, man.  I am painted as the lazy (racial) woman, cruelly forcing him to walk to work by himself

Ron always walked to work, alone, his entire working life, over 30 years.  He took buses "by himself".  He took commuter trains and subways "by himself".  He went hiking "by himself" and likes to relate the story of how he rescued the sighted hikers.  He was certainly capable of crossing a street by himself.  I even bought him a high-intensity, flashing, joggers safety strobe, which he wore faithfully. 

Ron worked me so many hours I couldn't walk him to work, even if I wanted to.  I have to sleep sometime, you know.  I would go in to work while he was sleeping and start the preparations.  He would let me sleep while he went to work and got his deliveries.  Not to mention, he was no victim, he was verbally abusive, drinking, and cheating.   He wouldn't even marry me, because "A woman only gets married so she can beat him legally when she leaves".  He also let his family treat me like crap, because he felt they were more important. 

Only my faith in God kept me at his side after the accident, when his precious "family" were trying to put him in a nursing home.  It certainly wasn't guilt.  What happened to Ron was the fault of the man who ran him over.  If Ron really felt unsafe he had other options to get to work.  He called a cab driver, who refused.  He called his brother, who refused.  Mr. "I'll be happy to help you run your business", who turned right around and blamed me, too. 

A lot of fingers to point if you want to go that way.  The other vendors used to give him rides because "It wasn't safe".  They thought our deli was going to affect their business and got very angry about it, decided to wage a little "war" and stopped giving Ron rides to work.  There's another finger to point.  Do I?  Never.  I could easily tell the gossips and they would love it. 

At one point, the other vendors were publically blaming me for the accident, and I reminded her she had stopped giving Ron rides, before I hung up on her.  She never mentioned it again.  I have never even addressed the others. 

I thought how they'd cluck and gossip, seeing Ron passed out on the floor, making guttural noises.  Yeah, really "interesting" huh.  I thought how they would never live with a man "like that".  Not unless they were getting a whole lot of benefit. 

And how they will continue to gossip about me until long after I'm dead.  This is all coming up, you see, because we are getting a lot of new staff.  They are, naturally, curious, about the blind man in the wheelchair.  Some of them ask me questions, and other postal workers come and try to change the story to the gossip version where I callously threw "poor Ron" out in front of an oncoming truck because I "refused" to walk him to work. 

The driver was distracted, talking on a cell phone, in a hurry, and ran a red light.  We'd both be in wheelchairs, assuming I lived.  I tell the new person. 

It gets old. 

Of course I clearly need to pray for the gossips.  Which I will. 

I am also faced, multiple times a day, with a smiling photo of the driver posted near the front door.  I would just rather pretend he doesn't exist.  Every time I see his face, I'm reminded of the worst times of my life.  Can they just STOP already?  He seems to be some kind of pet.  They made him "Employee of the month" a while back (stuck the photo right next to my vending area) and now this - they have a collage of about 20 employees, him included.  They couldn't find another mailhandler?   Out of a staff of two thousand?

I keep thinking of that old commercial "You deserve a break today" and feeling like, don't, I, Lord?  Many aspects of my life are good.  Nearly all my household systems are working.  The bills are paid.  Ron still has some problems (bleeding) but not bad, with the colitis thing.  I don't have a headache.  The cats are healthy.  I'm not pregnant.  :p  Besides being crazy, I'm healthy. 

The weather is nice, we have a good roof over our heads - but I'm tired.  I'm always tired. 

I keep putting myself out there doing Bible Handouts, praying for everyone, helping Ron witness to his muslim cab drivers (some of whom are very "interesting") - his "people group", apparently - and I wonder is my life even making a positive impact? 

Is it? 

I sent my aunt an email recently detailing things that would need to be settled if something happened to us.  I have been talking about this for a while, to her.  I finally did it, and scared the hell out of her.  "I thought you were suicidal at first" she said, "But then as I read I could see you weren't".  No, just trying to get things settled. 

I've been in a lot of near-miss accidents lately and I have to wonder if they are a sign of a fatal accident to come.  Maybe, maybe not.  I know I do feel better knowing I put out the adoption info for the cats, though.  People need to know Biscuit needs wet food, and what brand. 

The Bible talks a lot about endurance "He who endures to the end will be saved".  I'm enduring. 

I can't wait for my next mania. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Too Bad

Yesterday, I ate a new protein bar (!) and did our usual supply run. 

Work was pretty standard, I saw the freezer problem isn't as "fixed" as I thought.  We will need to take it somewhere and thaw it away from the server room.  That's just one thing to do in a long list. 

The machines looked good and the customers, happy, when we left. 

Good. 

They love coming to me for change. 

I had the worst nap ever.  Ron made a lot of noise feeding the cats, getting snacks, etc.  He was quiet today, though. 

Anxiety was pretty bad, but I had a lot of caffeine yesterday. 

Depression's been about the same.  I was pretty tired, so I didn't even get online.  I was proud I had at least managed my God Time and a shower, even some laundry. 

So. 

We had today off.  I woke up at 5 with a horrific migraine.  Apparently the new protein bars don't agree.  Agh.  I didn't vomit but that's about all I can say. 

Ron and I had planned to go to a BBQ place.  I was feeling a little better so I agreed.  The cab ride upset things a bit and I decided to get my food to-go. 

I did that. 

Our heater has been acting up and the repairman is here now, working on it.  We have a gas furnace (natural gas).  We think it needs a new "igniter". 

It doesn't always "catch" when it turns on.  If the gas isn't burning we don't get any heat. 

We got some BBQ for the repairman, whom we've met before.  He was very happy to see it. 

Ron ate a little of his food and we ate a couple of complimentary bread rolls.  My head started feeling better, until the ride home.  Now I'm back to vice-like, gripping, pain. 

When we got home I put our food away, Ron ate his chicken sandwich, and I laid down for a little bit.  The repairman came about 20 minutes ago. 

He's working away in our attic. 

I never go in the attic.  It's plenty roomy but I am scared of heights.  Also scared of traffic.  Which makes it funny that God enables me to do so many Bible Handouts. 

Hopefully the bill won't be too bad. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

These doses

Yesterday I got up at 4 AM, showered, God Time, went to the warehouse and bought 60 some cases of merchandise. 

I loaded and unloaded the truck, stocked what I could, and got everything crammed into our corner of the stockroom.  I helped Ron and we even had a little time to work on defrosting the freezer.  It had some big chunks of ice; and is very near the server room. 

That could be Very Bad.  We fixed it. 

After all that, we went home and I took a short nap.  I was pretty exhausted. 

We went out and got BBQ - by the time I got home I was truly exhausted and went straight to bed without even turning on the computer. 

My mood was better, less anxiety, maybe even a hint of a mania.  I am spotting so my cycle is imminent. 

Someone teased me when I told them about my hallucination last week, saying it meant I would get pregnant.  Happy to contradict that! 

I had a pretty good night of sleep.  I was pretty annoyed that morning, because the industrial complex nearby was making a ton of noise - trucks backing up, horrible loud bangs, etc.  "If I wasn't awake" I complained to Ron "I'd be furious". 

However, they were pretty quiet this morning. 

Ron was only allowed to drink "clear liquids" for his colonoscopies.  I got him some white grape juice, as he loves regular grape juice.  Sure enough, he guzzled the whole thing, both times, within a few days. 

I have a horrible time keeping Ron hydrated.  He doesn't have a good thirst mechanism and finds it troublesome to go urinate.  He keeps his fluid intake far below ideal.  Anything that can get him to drink is a good thing to have in the house. 

He wanted more; we went to Walmart and got it.  Actually, they were out of the name brand, but we got the generic, which Ron says is wonderful.  We'll have a couple on hand now. 

I got a few little things, but not much.  "You save a lot of money when you're depressed" Ron observed.  He's right.  I did get some air fresheners that seem to be headache-provoking.  We'll see. 

I also got some protein bars for breakfast, because I don't get enough protein.  My legs get achy on delivery days - not bad but just worked.  I know I need to rebuild that muscle; and I'm not. 

I'm not walking around in pain, but I want to be good to myself. 

I'm not foolish, either.  I'm an obese, middle-aged woman doing heavy physical labor.  I need to be careful. 

Ron is terrified I will become incapacitated, but so far I seem fine.  God will take care of me if I use common sense. 

Otherwise I'll spend all my time getting anxious over what might happen and how I would manage.  Then I will end up in trouble. 

I have burdens; but I won't be weak. 

To me, strength means (and this sounds like one of those horrible "inspiring" Facebook posts):
1.  Asking for help when I am impossibly suicidal.
2.  Taking a Day Out when overwhelmed by caregiving. 
3.  Telling Ron to shut up when his negative talk is becoming toxic. 
4.  Eliminating toxic people from my life. 
5.  Avoiding situations where I will be hurt and/or adjusting certain expectations accordingly. 
6.  Getting as much sleep as I require, without making a lot of apologies. 
7.  Staying active when depressed so I don't fall deeper into the pit.
8.  Restraining myself when manic. 
9.  Calling my doctor when necessary. 
10.  Taking everything as directed.  Every damned day. 
11.  Keeping a good supply of headache tablets and Pepto-Bismol for the inevitable side effects. 
12.  Asking for help. 
13.  Patience/tolerance with my shaking hands. 
14.  Keeping Ron posted on my moods so he has a better understanding of what I need at that moment. 

No one can take care of me, if I'm not taking care of myself. 

Ron's in a BBQ mood, after I got up he wanted to get more BBQ.  We went, with a very pregnant driver who's expecting twins. 

She was really sweet. 

I got link sausage.  I dearly love link sausage but it doesn't agree.  And, it didn't.  But it was sure fun eating it. 

I gave the rest of my pound (I got just a pound, sliced), to Ron, who had a great deal of fun eating it, asking if "I was sure" the whole time. 

I confirmed I didn't want it, in a rather strained voice, chugging yet more pink stuff, as he proceeded to gobble away. 

I am feeling better now, but very tired.  I just can't eat link sausage, taking lithium at these doses.  However, these doses get me in the therapeutic range.  I won't be changing that any time soon. 

We came home with a cab driver I really like, Victor, the guy from Guyana.  He has really long dredlocks and a lovely accent.  He is very zen, and an excellent driver too. 

It's a good thing.  Some maniac in a black SUV almost ran us off the road.  Why is it work out that the guy in the expensive car wants to kill you?  It's never the illegal in the piece of crap sedan.  No, it's the nice-looking person (except for the demonic expression) in the car equivalent to my mortgage.  I don't get that. 

I've almost been in over a dozen wrecks lately. 

If I did die tomorrow, would I have regrets?  No. 

I actually wrote a poem about it, back in 1998:

If I Die Tomorrow
If I died tomorrow,
I'd like to think I knew
I lived my life in balance
Regrets would be quite few.

If I die at eighty,
I know that I will say:
I had some fun in yesteryear,
And, yes, I did, today. 

If I die tomorrow,
It's nice, for me, to know:
I've never wasted precious time,
On jobs, or folks, I've loathed. 

I made my list, some years ago,
Of things, I'd like, to do.
And if I die tomorrow:
I'll know I got a few. 

Still true, about 20 years later. 





Monday, November 9, 2015

I was very rude

It's been a rough couple days. 

I have been able to get a nap most days, which is great.  Taking meds as directed, and no headaches either. 

Ron, however, has been horribly depressed, showing all the clinical symptoms.  And drinking.  He really does have dysthymia.  I remember years ago, he was really happy about something, and it scared the hell out of me.  I didn't know what to make of a happy Ron. 

It also brought up bad memories of my birth mother, manic. 

Anxiety is somewhat better but Ron isn't helping.  He's making what I feel are some very poor decisions and he won't listen to me.  He's just in this mental place where it will go well, and if it doesn't, so what. 

I worry about losing the business and the house, finding another place to live with 4 cats, and finding a job I'm qualified to do.  Home care comes to mind, but my aunt mentioned she would worry about caregiver burnout.  Working to help someone, helping someone at home, could be a bit much. 

Vending routes want you to drive, so that's it.  I would never work for the other vendor, assuming they would hire me. 

Anyway, hard times in my head.  I'm divided: do I worry about what may happen, and try to pre-empt big issues.  "Oh, well that didn't work out, I'll go work at the grocery store".  Or do I just float along like Ron, blithely unconcerned with what might happen in the future? 

I have asked God to work on Ron, that's all I can do, but in the meantime I am exhausted.  It doesn't help when he makes little comments, either.  I don't think he's baiting me but it feels like it. 

Now he's done some f-ed up thing to his cell phone.  He had his phone set to forward all calls to me if he doesn't answer.  I HATE that setting. 

He didn't ask me, either. 

I just get to play receptionist, again. 

Anyway, if I try to call him and he doesn't answer, it sends me back to my own voicemail.  It has been doing that every time I call him, now.  He's been trying to figure it out, which really means "Every 3 minutes I'm going to pester you for help". 

I would rather he just let me do a reset, but he thinks it will delete all his numbers.  "Restore factory defaults?"  I don't think so. 

Agh. 

Last night, not only did the neighbors "let" me take a nap, they also "let" me go to bed pretty early.  My mood wasn't great and I kept waking up.  Then I had a horrible allergy attack in the middle of the night because Torbie had joined me.  I wasn't about to kick her out. 

She's my buddy, I tell her. 

Biscuit didn't eat his num-num (canned food) the other day, so I am fasting him on dry food for a few days.  He did try to charm me this morning, climbing into bed and cuddling, purring away. 

I did my God Time later, and enjoyed the attention, one of the better parts of my day.  Torbie left at some point so I went ahead and took my shower. 

Off to work, at 4 AM.  We got there about 4:20.  I didn't have a lot of stocking, or inventory, for that matter.  Tomorrow will be "truck day". 

Our soda delivery came early, so we got that settled fast.  Ron was annoyed they had raised the price of the RC Cola, by $1.50 a case. 

It's still an OK food cost. 

I got the sandwiches and got them stocked, then got the other vendors their sandwiches.  One of the guys asked me to save him (out of their inventory) a couple for him and his cohort.  I did. 

All those sandwiches made me hungry, so I ate and older turkey out of my inventory. 

I went to get some soda for Ron, and encountered a manager type who was having a tantrum.  She wanted the building to have a deli, again.  I told her "It never made any money" and she got ugly.  The people wanting another deli don't give a crap whether we lost money, they just want a tuna sandwich now and then, and to yell at someone when they're having a bad day.  I didn't really press the issue.   I told her "big management must not have wanted one, or it would have been in the plans for the remodel" (just a few years ago).  She started muttering about jacked up and I left, feeling very abused. 

Why would we work 80 hour weeks, just to lose over a thousand dollars a month?  Why?  So you can have a hot dog and complain about the quality of my merchandise? 

There's a reason most restaurants close, and that's because they don't make money.  The break/lunch setup is very rigid, with long dead periods.  It's not conducive to anything other than vending. 

Now, NASA, they can take a break or lunch whenever they want.  No real problem there.  But big issues at our place.  Everything is done on a very strict schedule. 

And, like I said, if the Big Guys had wanted a deli they would have accepted a plan with one in the blueprints.  As it is, they accepted a lunch room plan with a sink, some microwaves, and a wall of vending machines. 

It got better.  On our way out the thieving repairman shoved his way out behind me (I told him I wouldn't let him out, security rules) and then held the door open for anyone else to come or go (BIG security violation) while yelling at me to "get out of the way".  I told him he was breaking security regulations and an alarm was about to go off (true) if he didn't shut that door.  He did, finally. 

I was very rude to him, and I don't care. 

1.  I know for a fact he stole thousands of dollars out of our vending machines, back when he had a key. 

2.  I am nearly certain he is the one who stole Ron's identity last year and tried to steal a $5K freezer from the State program.  Whoever did it had insider knowledge and a great hatred of Ron (why would you steal HIS identity, unless you hated him/us?).  We were contacted before it happened and, as I said, "Tell the fake Ron to go to hell". 

So, a lot of animosity on my part, towards him, and it's mutual.  He knows I would quit the business before I would hire him to work on any of our machines.  Plenty of repairmen out there, too. 

I just wanted to go to bed. 

But no, Ron changed the whole plan for the day and decided we HAD to go to the bank.  He even arranged for someone to pick us up. 

We went home, then to the bank.  It took forever.  Then Ron called a cab to take us home (this is one of the things that bothers me, just because you can afford to do this doesn't mean you should).  Then, finally home. 

I ate some yogurt and chips, then took my meds.  Not very fancy but they do the job.  And probiotics and protein are always a good idea.  Meds are an even better one. 

I took my nap (with Torbie), and did my God Time.  Then I turned on my old computer.  The state database only works with very old versions of Internet Explorer. 

I had a hard time rousting Ron to help me do the report.  He finally "helped" over the phone from the other room.  Yes, his hearing is that bad. 

That's when we figured out the call forwarding thing.  Hopefully it won't take all night to figure this out. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Metro [censored]

Really long day today. 

Neighbors made noise off and on all night, but were appreciably quieter than other parties.  I think they're "trying". 

I woke up pretty tired, still did God Time, shower, etc. 

It was cold and raining, more of a steady drizzle.  I was glad I brought my coat and jeans. 

We went to the mall and got Ron his new phone (not expensive).  The old phone was a total loss. 

We went to Walmart and got supplies for work.  I also did a little personal shopping, ate, and took my meds (they consume half my purse). 

We went to work, it was a long ride.  The driver told us how someone called him a "Metro N**ger". 

"I hope she was black" I gasped. 

"No, she wasn't".  OOoooh. 

We got to work, did a hell of a lot of stocking.  Oddly the other vendor's machines were nearly full.  I guess either they really like us, the selection, or both. 

Huh.  Kind of a big responsibility.  We got it ALL done, and boy there was a lot to do, then came home. 

I am exhausted, and going to bed.  I'll be more loquacious tomorrow. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Gathering

Well, Ron effectively finished destroying the phone. 

We did manage to schedule a ride to the phone place to get another one. 

He told me I was right and I didn't agree.  Wanted to. 

He got very drunk, fell off his walker backwards, and cracked his head.  He doesn't want any help, so I will assume, as always, he will bounce back tomorrow.  How many times has he done that, anyway?  Three dozen?  Backwards is new. 

No, it isn't.  Usually it was falling out of the wheelchair.  I swear the man is made of rubber. 

I finally got him fed and off to bed.  He made it OK. 

The neighbors are having a gathering, a little music, kids running around and screaming right outside my bedroom.  However, I don't have to get up until pretty late (8), but it is going to be a very long day. 

Sunday night I need to get to bed early, I'm hoping that can happen, because I have to get up at 2-3 AM  on Monday for a soda delivery.   On school holidays the kids run around outside when I'm trying to nap. 

Tomorrow, we go to the mall, go to the store, go to work, and stock rather late in the day.  We like to go in at odd hours and encounter people. 

Last time I found a guy bringing in a whole pallet of bbq chicken dinners.  I didn't care.  The other vendor has fits of someone sells so much as a peppermint, but they weren't going to buy our food, anyway, were they? 

The other vendor likes to shut 'em down.  We take a live and let life approach.  There's plenty of business for everyone. 

I would object if they were selling chips and canned soda, but that is really impractical to do on a large scale. 

I wonder when they'll finish their party.  I guess they are taking a 3 day weekend.  Nice for them, but I do better working more often. 

I do worry about him spending time with his kids.  My dad made that mistake, spent all his time at work and missed out on a lot, which he regrets.  In my opinion, kids love you more, the more time you spend with them. 

Dad invested a lot of time in me, during my formative years, and I will never forget that.  Things changed when he remarried, but he didn't understand.  He says he regrets his choices now. 

I'd hate for #6 to say that one day.   You want people to cry when you're gone. 

When the cell phone sobers up

It was a pretty tough day. 

Got up depressed.  No God Time or shower, but I looked OK.  I did my God Time later. 

We went to Walmart.  I got the stuff on my list, including more generic headache pills.  As it turns out, a good thing. 

Ron had a fit when he found out his doctor had prescribed a medication costing $482 dollars.  A month.  And they want him to take it, ongoing.  Needless to say, he called Doc. 

We came home, (I hardly got anything), ate, pill time, and I took a nap.  I haven't been having good dreams lately.  Not bad dreams, just unpleasant.  Also, #6 made some noise.  Poor thing would probably kill for a nap. 

By the way, #2 got the message, and has stopped running over the water meter.  Yay. 

I woke up, Ron played part of his book for me.  He really wants me to read this author. 

I headed off to do my God Time, when I was stopped by cursing.  Ron had dropped his cell phone into a glass of whiskey. 

I attempted to remove the battery and store it in a bag of rice, but he refused, wanting to "see if it worked anyway".  I pleaded with him, don't do it.  You might as well put it down the garbage disposal if you do that. 

He wouldn't listen.  Screamed I was a control freak trying to dominate him.  It's funny, about people.  They will always accuse you of the thing they do.  I would probably accuse someone of being judgemental, because I can be. 

While it worked at first, it didn't, for long.  Ron was very angry and blasphemous.  I don't think I've ever used that word before, but when someone's calling God a Mother F-er, repeatedly.... the shoe fits. 

God is going to discipline him on that.  Ron also thinks it is funny, and relevant, to call God "Torch", short for "Torture Man".  Not funny. 

Ron would, and does, say that his verbal abuse toward God indicates belief in God, that God wants belief and can tolerate the abuse.  Yeah, I think, but you're going to look like a real ass on Judgement Day. 

God made it clear I shouldn't intervene, so I don't.  I just shut my mouth and went back to doing my God Time.  Let me tell you, that's an odd one, praying while Ron is screaming at God in the other room. 

The phone is definitely "drunk".  It reeks of alcohol, which can't be good for it.  I gave Ron the bag of rice if he wants to try it later. 

We had to plan trips, online, for tomorrow.  Hopefully that will involve a new phone for  Ron, because I don't want him breaking mine. 

It's sad, he has had a lot of little "toys" he really loved, that he destroyed due to alcohol. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I never keep my money...

I woke up at 4 AM, with a catastrophic migraine.  I choked down some OTC headache pills and went back to bed, doing my God Time later. 

While God is very patient and would have been content with me groaning at Him, I figured He would understand I needed the rest. 

Over the course of the day, I consumed another dose of OTC headache pills, a 20 ounce iced coffee (and I hate coffee), and about 45 ounces of diet soda.  Total caffeine intake, over one gram.  I doubt I'll sleep tonight. 

Some migraines require massive amounts of very cold caffeine.  I also alternated between near-nausea and ravenous hunger. 

I'd say about a third is hormonal (I am nearing my cycle), a third the incoming cold front (notorious for headaches in my family), and a third the candy bar I ate yesterday. 

Oh. 

Fun part, I had to take  Ron to primary care doc.  Poor doc was clueless what had happened, since he sent us to the ER 2 months ago.  He was delighted to hear Ron's better. 

Ron's blood pressure was high, for him, because he was angry about waiting.  It was 155.  At the other doctor's it was about 145.  Not good, Ron.  It's normally about 120.  I tend to run "borderline" around 128.  But I'm fat.  :p 

I told him if it keeps up he will get "a label" as a difficult patient; and have to take blood pressure pills.  I didn't mention this, but I will, I am certain blood pressure meds would really interact with alcohol.  Agh. 

One time Ron had a bad reaction to blood pressure meds, given for a temporary prostate issue (about 20 years ago), and passed out on the floor.  "I woke up a couple hours later" he said "And went to work". 

Not going there. 

Anyway. 

Doc came in, chuckling over my very comprehensive medical history.  "You're the bionic man!"  He said Ron looks to be improving nicely.  Ron scratched at a psoriasis patch "Don't do that, you'll make it worse" he said kindly.  We talked and he said OTC steroid cream would be fine for Ron, but Ron, of course, refuses to use it. 

Agh. 

I said we'd like to have him as Ron's official Primary Care, he acted very pleased and said that would be great.  Good.  I like him a lot.  I plan to make him mine, too, when I resolve some insurance issues. 

I saw him for a bladder infection about 2 years ago and he impressed me.  That's why I dragged Ron to him back in September. 

Ron, in the meantime, is DONE with medicine.  He said he will be half dead before he sees another doctor. 

We came home and I laid down for a while.  I woke up feeling appreciably better but still hurting.  We ran to Arby's and the dollar store.  I got Ron some rice crackers. 

Ron has a bad habit of EUI (eating under the influence).  One time he ate some leftovers he'd been saving for breakfast.  He was furious, still is, he did that. 

So, even though I bought several bags - I will only give him one at a time.  The last thing his poor colon needs is half a pound of rice crackers. 

He's still bleeding, but it's minimal.  The doctors, both of them, are unconcerned.  God knows there's nothing but patchy inflammation in his colon.  They sure looked enough. 

When we got home I finally did my God Time.  I still have some anxiety but not as much as I'd think, given I had over a gram of caffeine today. 

My Doc, by the way, says everyone should have less than 450 mg a day. 

God must have turned a knob, because  large amounts of caffeine really makes me anxious. 

Ron got a lot of new books, and is grinning away as he reads them.  He will never admit it, but he loves Regency romance novels. 

I'm charging a couple of devices.  I also downsized my "Big bag" to a smaller purse.  I can still carry the things I need and a couple items for Ron.  I do wish it had a shoulder strap. 

Having lived near a big city all my life, I know a cross body purse is a lot safer.  That said, I never keep my money in a purse. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

PIckup window

Today was really long. 

We went to the warehouse, but first I had to go talk to my neighbor in #2 and ask him, politely, to please stop driving over the water meter.  "I'm worried you will break the pipes, and your pipes run there too."  He seemed to take it seriously and I kept it light and non confrontational. 

Then we went to the warehouse.  I got Ron 20 cases of drinks, and boy I'm a little stiff from that. 

I got some snack items, got everything in the building, and had minor hysterics over where I'd put it all.  The other vendor has about 300 square feet of storage.  I have 34. 

I hauled all my snacks off the racks, stocked, helped Ron stock, and made enough "hole" to backstock my new stuff. 

We left, and went to his doctor, but the ride was late. 

We had to leave the doctor's office before seeing the doctor, because our ride was rescheduled to come early (they can do that). 

We came home.  I tried to take a brief nap, and I'm sure Ron thought he was being quiet, but he wasn't. 

I woke up and did my God Time, fended off a salesman, watched a little TV.  I did up my pills for 2 weeks, which let me tell you takes a while.  Especially when I have 8 prescription capsules and tablets, a day. 

Not counting the supplements. 

What else, whacked in the leg with my naughty folding handcart, which unfolded when I was rolling it.  Ouch.  I'll have a bruise. 

I have a spectacular bruise on my left calf, but can't recall how I got it.  At any rate it's almost better. 

Anxiety is better,  Not much. 

Ron's reading a romance novel about a biker and his "woman".  Ugh.  He keeps saying I have to read it and I am so uninterested.  He was laughing at it last night and woke me up. 

Not Happy about that. 

Praying I get a better quality of sleep tonight.  I'm pretty exhausted from the drama and physical labor. 

Ron's doctor did call him back, says he has an inflammatory colitis, and will be starting Ron on steroids and another medication.  Ron can't remember what, of course, so I'll just find out at the pickup window. 

I'll be glad when I get manic.   

"Right Mind"

I got to sleep late today; I got up at 8.  Still tired, though.  Always tired.  Not the illness, the "cure".  I wish it wasn'...