Saturday, April 30, 2016

Didn't flood, again.

Houston was abuzz.  A new, ominous looking, storm system was inbound.  We might get more flooding.  Emergency services were up all night, in their lair downtown. 

You get the idea, constant weather updates, etc... and no rain praise God.  We had a little thunderstorm this morning, maybe 10 minutes, and that was it. 

However, the buildup affected my sleep.  I had a nightmare I was in a flooded out flophouse, water nearly at the top of the mattress, doing drugs.  I was doing something with some kind of colored powder and boy was it getting me high.  I didn't sleep much better even after that dream. 

Do you ever feel like you want a refund on your sleep?  That it wasn't what you paid for and you deserve something better?  That's how I felt. 

A lot of this is just my illness.  Some of it is media poisoning.  That's a term I haven't used!  Generally, I just avoid everything but local news and that works really well.  I don't discuss politics, which drives some of my drivers nuts.  That's the staple of their conversations and here I am rejecting it. 

Well, I don't.  Not after that one driver was shouting at me "I don't care if you lose everything [under the current administration] I am doing fine!"  He wanted me to proclaim my love for the incumbent and I told him I couldn't do that, we were in a very bad place financially.  A bad place we had NEVER been before the election.  That set him off and I was nearly crying, the guy was shouting at me, and he's damned lucky I didn't call in on him or he'd have been fired that day. 

Then HE would have been in the "bad place" he was mocking just a little while before.  He was eventually asked to leave (it was apparent in his relation of the story) about a year later.  He was "going into real estate" at a very bad time for it, so he did end up in that bad financial place he himself had mocked. 

Don't mock the poor.  God hates that.  Especially the working poor just trying to make a buck.  No, we never signed up for any help, although we would have qualified.  To quote myself when I applied for Medicaid to get my wisdom teeth out "I don't need food stamps, I have enough to eat."   

Anyway, after that, I don't talk politics.  I have to watch Ron because he makes inflammatory statements and basically manages to insult everyone, when he talks politics. 

Ugh.  Anyway, mixed episode today.  Manic and depressed at the same time.  After I did my God Time I attempted some cleaning of the bathroom.  I have a problem with my tile, it has limescale and soap scum.  Not a big deal, but I also have natural unsealed stone mixed in with the regular tile.  Regular cleaners damage the stone, so I have to be very careful. 

I have yet to figure it out, but I took a good stab at it today.  It looks a little better but not great.  Ron complained bitterly about the smell of the cleaning products. 

Eventually, my plan is to clean the stone and seal it, then hopefully I can use regular cleansers on top of it.  It's a plan. 

I watched a little Law & Order - that's one thing I hate about work on Saturday, they play L&O all day long, all I hear is dialogue and depressing chords.  This one was a depressing one about family betrayal and sexual abuse. 

For reasons I have shared in the past, I am not a fan of family betrayal. 

Ron is asleep, it is hot, humid, and sunny now.  The cats are all asleep in various parts of the house.  I cleaned the litter boxes and checked their food and water. 

Baby Girl wants to go out but I'm not letting her.  She is not very fond of me but she thinks I'm OK, Ron is really her "person".  Biscuit and Torbie are equally split between us.  They love us both. 

Biscuit kept batting at my feet when I was cleaning the bathroom, as he lay on the towel I keep by the bathtub. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

"Make me drink"

Some days are just - agh. 

I was awakened in the middle of the night, I believe by one of the cats running across me just because she could.  Biscuit is outnumbered 2 to 1 so I will use a female pronoun with regard to the cats, unless it is Biscuit. 

Anyway, a couple nights in a row, awakened at 2-3 AM.  I get up, I pee, I get a drink of water 'cause I'm always thirsty, I go back to sleep. 

I overslept this morning but I had enough time to shower, shave my legs, etc.  I did my God Time later before I turned on the computer. 

Ron kept picking fights.  He was very verbally abusive, at one point threatening to let the cats out (to get hurt or killed), because he didn't like how I responded to something.  How is that ever OK?  Ever?  I was furious, but didn't show it, because that just feeds the behavior. 

He was making attacks at my faith, accusing me of "being controlling and trying to dominate him".  Let me tell you, if I wanted a man to control and dominate I would not have married Ron.  He is stubbornly independent and incredibly hard headed. 

A good example, tonight during dinner he was telling me about a movie he is watching.  I reminded him born again Christians will be raptured before the Tribulation.  Ron said he wanted to be around during the tribulation, to be a great leader and warn people. 

"Ron" I told him "In your worst nightmares you can't imagine how bad it's going to be during the tribulation.  That is why we are getting raptured.  The only way you don't get raptured is if you're not saved.  Don't be one of those 'airbags' bleating about how much you want to tell the antichrist to go to hell.  It won't happen, and if it did it would be horrific." 

Ron started complaining about me trying to "dominate" and "control" him.  He was sulking because I told him he would be raptured, and not around during hell-on-Earth!  I don't get that at all. 

Now, some might say, Ron doesn't exhibit any fruits of the spirit (not many) and maybe he isn't saved.  I don't believe that, but if there's any possibility he could be left behind I pray he is not. 

I would tell him not to run into someone at work, I was controlling him.  I would warn him he left a machine unlocked (he has requested I tell him) and he yelled at me for "dominating" him. 

All day, I have had the same thought, he is profoundly ungrateful for any of the good things in his life.  We didn't flood.  We have a home.  We have a business we enjoy.  We have a good supervisor.  We have good management and customers.  We have good suppliers.  We didn't flood.  You get the idea. 

And all he can do is attack me because I'm keeping him from running over a manager in his wheelchair!  Speaking of, he has gotten very stiff lately. 

I suggested he see a neurologist, he was interested for about 5 minutes.  Then, I think, he realized he would have to fill out a form stating how much he drinks, and the doctor would call him on the drinking.  He doesn't want to do the water aerobics.  He doesn't want physical therapy.  He says the drinking is the only thing to help with the pain but he refuses to investigate any other modality. 

It makes me want to scream, especially as I see him wash his Tylenol down with alcohol, ruining his liver. 

OH.  Ron told me today, during a rare pleasant moment, he wasn't drinking anything for a few days to give his body a break.  He has put on some flab and he wants to lose it. 

So, he's not drinking, hence the pissy mood.  I would say that is 90% right there.  Ugh.  I can see why some people support their alcoholic's drinking.  It may wreck their health but they are nicer. 

I SO wish he would get into AA, or the Men's Group at church.  [sigh]   I have to leave that up to God.  When Ron comes to me, wanting help, I have some options for him.  Until then I am quiet. 

Work went OK.  We went to the warehouse and got 28 cases of drinks, plus some snacks.  We went to work and I unloaded it, miserably uncomfortable in my padded bra, but the driver stares at my chest if I don't wear one.  I will wear non-padded bras on days/times we don't encounter him and I never have a problem with men staring.  It's JUST him. 

He made the argument, talking about someone else, a while back "If they won't want me to look they shouldn't wear something that lets me".  I am practically wearing a burqua.  My tshirt collars go up over my collar bone, and the hem on the t shirt covers my butt.  The actual garment is baggy and oversized, not leaving any room for imagination, unless I happen to be picking up a case of water, chips, or whatever and the fabric tightens. 

Like I said, I don't have problems with other men so I tend to feel resentful that I "have" to wear a padded bra on the heavy labor in 90 degrees, 90% humidity weather.  It is miserable. 

The minute I got home, I took it off and exchanged it for another, more comfortable, bra. 

First I had to work.  They were doing interviews so I had to keep Ron from running over the applicants, admins, or management.  Then more managers wandering around in the cafeteria.  We had to do the end of the month accounting stuff in addition to all the regular stocking.  I was pretty busy. 

The other vendor's guys were there, so we had that excitement too.  It was pretty busy, but I got it all done, including a check and refill of the coffee machine. 

I use a good Dark Roast.  If you live in the mid Gulf coast I use Community Coffee Dark Roast.  As Ron says "It smells really good" and has a good flavor it you like coffee.  I don't. 

We left.  Ron was still cranky. 

We went home and I took a nap, well, I tried.  Ron had set an alarm which went off in the middle of the nap, then Torbie ran across me about half an hour later, just because she could.  I wasn't too happy with her, but she's adjusting to inside life now. 

The mosquitos are here.  10 days, that's how long it took.  God forbid you ever flood you have about 10 days to buy bug spray.  They were feasting on me this morning.  I got out my wipes and ran them off. 

I have been fine ever since, except for one finger during my nap.  I wash my hands, as I should, after using the toilet.  Apparently I washed off the repellent.  I had a bite on one finger. 

Other than that, fine.  Good stuff, DEET.  It makes my hands sticky and my arms greasy but it keeps the mosquitoes away. 

I thought it was funny that Walmart had a big display of repellent right by the front door, last week.  I bet it is sold out now. 

Interestingly, the kids next door seem pretty immune. 

I'm remembering how Ron told me last night, basically I "had to behave" so I wouldn't "make him drink".  I didn't receive it.  I told Ron it was up to him whether he drank. 

I could have also added I never drink, no matter what my day, but I didn't get into that.  Even if I were inclined my Haldol has very dire warnings all over the label. 

I have no desire to cook my brains. 



Thursday, April 28, 2016

A lot about num-nums

Today was long, unsurprising, and somewhat predictable. 

I got up exhausted, not surprising.  I hit the snooze button a few times, much to Biscuit's dismay (he wanted breakfast), and finally got up.  I fed him first, then dealt with my things.  I didn't have enough time to do my God Time so I did it later, after work and before I turned on the computer. 

Metrolift picked us up and rode us around for over an hour, to take us about 6 miles?  We liked the driver, though, and I got the front seat, so I was happy. 

We finally got to the Sam's Club on Richey Road.  Not surprisingly, they didn't have the stuff I'd come for.  I got some other stuff they carry that the other store (the good store) doesn't.  Then we had a long wait and finally went to work. 

We were pretty busy for a couple of hours.  I helped Ron a lot with the bottled vendor and canned soda.  I did what I could for snacks (not much!) and did candy bars. 

The Heath bar lady will be happy to see I stocked up. 

I will sell anything if it is a good food cost and the customers buy it. 

After hours of work, we finally left and went home.  We had to be "rode" around for another hour, though.  One woman lied about her pickup location and then told the people at the location to "send him across the street" which is not in the service area.  We wasted a good 10-15 minutes on that stunt, and then she opened the door and told Ron to get in the middle! 

I told her we were getting dropped next, and she went and told the other guy to get in the middle.  I thought that was very rude.  In a situation like that, the client is supposed to "let" the driver tell the other clients what to do. 

It got stranger.  I am pretty sure she was FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), too, because she kept interrupting our conversation (the driver was talking to me) going off on weird tangents that had nothing to do with the original conversation, then, the second the conversation hit a lull, went into a big dialogue about how she isn't really "from" Texas even though she's lived here for forty years, she sees herself as (another state), the drivers are so rude, etc.  The driver and I kept looking at each other. 

Now, when someone is "limited" the computer has a code for that, AR "Assistance Required".  If they are somewhat higher functioning they are TD "watch through door".  It gives the driver an idea what to expect.  AM is ambulatory, can walk.  WH is wheelchair.  BL is blind.  I know how to read the computer, we are picking up and dropping off 3 people, one of whom is in a wheelchair.  It is helpful. 

She had an AM code.  Not limited, overtly.  But I was sure glad to get out of there.  She kept making comments about my house, getting out in the driveway to claim the front seat, and I felt so sorry for that poor driver. 

I went straight to bed once I found my keys (a lot of drama this morning!).  I woke up feeling pretty energized, after only an hour of rest.  Wow.  That must be what it's like to be normal. 

I wake up exhausted, every day.  I am OK with that because my illness is so horrible.  I feel sorry for people who have milder mental illness because the risk/benefit is not as clear.  It must be so tempting to skip a day now and then, just to get some energy back in their life, and then they end up in the hospital because their levels get all out of whack. 

I did some laundry and cleaned the litter boxes, all 4 of them were used.  The front room and Ron's room were most popular.  I did a poll of all my cat friends on Facebook, and they all said they had lots of cats and just one big box for them. 

I prefer to have several (4) medium boxes to spread around.  That way, if I have to lock a cat in the bedroom, they have a box.  If they want to sleep in my chair in the front room, they have a box.  If they want to hang out in the computer room, they have a box a couple feet to my left. 

I keep them clean.  The house smells fine.  Well, it smells like cat food.  The outside trash can, however, smells horrific.  I would use better air fresheners but Ron objects.  So the house smells like lavender/vanilla, and canned cat food. 

Biscuit loves his canned food.  The latest rave is: Friskies Cat Concoctions Salmon and Chicken Liver.  It smells HORRIBLE and everyone loves it.   Even better, it doesn't make him sick. 

I did feel a little bad, this morning when I locked the cats up, I separated Biscuit from his num-num.  I won't do that again.  I hope. 

After all that I did my God Time and turned on the computer.  I bought a new gasket for my toilet because it keeps running.  Ron doesn't seem to get it.  Yes, it doesn't run for long, but it is running often and that will add up. 

I hope we can get it fixed ourselves.  The videos were pretty simple. 

I plan to wash all my winter bedding this week and then store it all in the garage.  Right now the current plan involves a contractor 2mm thick garbage bag, with a name tag.  That won't work very well if we flood but we haven't flooded in 15 years. 

The house did flood in 2001, after an epic tropical storm and a wake from an airboat.  Hopefully, not likely to be repeated. 

Last week was an epic storm cell and hopefully not to be repeated. 

Thank God I didn't lose my garage.  The water mark was a good 3 inches up on the door. 

"If we had the cat door out front" Ron said "We would have had it flood." 

Yup, thank God we moved it around back! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Some days are just hard

Some days are just hard. 

Today, for instance. 

First, though, let's get to yesterday.  I was manic "sigh".  Just a little bit, I did some cleaning and laundry.  Then I went on an outing.  I got breakfast, went to the grocery store, bought a few little things, and looked for a hair place in the strip mall. 

Instead, I found a nail place, which I didn't use.  I did my nails for my wedding but that's about it. 

I realized I was manic, wanted my mood stabilizers, and went home.  I took them, had a pretty good nap.  Ron and I sat out on the catio and talked.  I ordered a pizza. 

Then I went to bed. 

This morning we had a squall line come through with some moderate thunderstorms (at least where I live).  We had some thunder,lightning, and rain, which all moved off pretty quickly. 

During The Flood last week, the storms just sat on top of us, dumping yet more and more water on the land.  I kept reminding myself it couldn't rain forever.  It sure felt like it! 

Anyway, today was more normal.  Except for the horrible depression when I woke up.  I literally felt more exhausted when I woke up than I did when I went to bed. 

Ron had already arranged with a cab driver to take me to the hair place, so I got up, showered, and did my God Time.  I ate a snack and took my medication. 

I went and got my hair done (just took a couple inches off all around, to keep it about chin length), then did a little shopping.  I bought a bottle of lye for drain cleaning purposes.  They still don't have the good stuff in the orange bottle but plain lye works OK. 

Ron was on his last canister of cat treats.  Our cats are completely addicted to these treats, all of them.  "running out" would be a very bad day for all of us. 

So I bought Ron the amount he requested, plus two extra to put on his high shelf in the closet.  That way, God forbid we get flooded, we will still have at least two canisters of cat treats for the gang. 

I got some more protein bars, etc., and came home.  I let myself in through the back.  I took my medication. 

I gave Ron his stuff (he wanted some hard candy, fruit flavors, in addition to his treats), and found a place to put my stuff.  Then I got ready to take a nap. 

However, I have to tell you about #2.  They had someone out to pressure wash the house about 2 months ago, on the weekend, when I was trying to nap.  Then they had someone out about a month later to paint the house, also on the weekend, when I was trying to nap.  They painted about half of it, leaving big blotches all over the side and back of the house. 

Today, in the middle of the week, they had the same two guys out trimming one of my trees.  Now, I would think they would at least ask permission.  Barring that, they would tell me "We're going to trim your tree where it comes in our yard".  NO, they just did it. 

Now, to be honest, I don't like the tree.  I wouldn't have minded if they could have cut it down, safely, but they did a pretty good job just getting where it came over the fence.  Legally, they can trim the tree where it comes over the fence, as long as their actions don't kill the tree.  However, it took 2 hours, yelling, and power saws going during what I had hoped to be my nap. 

After they left, very noisily I might add, I finally did get a little rest.  The garbage truck came by, making more noise.  I woke up covered in blood.  I had passed a blood clot in my sleep and my ultra tampon had failed.  I had to pretreat the stain in my bedding and clean myself up. 

Oh, the joys of womanhood.  That hasn't happened to me in a good 13 years I think. 

I got dressed (good thing I was only wearing a t-shirt) and got the laundry started. 

Ron wants to watch an end times movie on TV.  I'm finishing a big bucket of diet decaf iced tea.  I read consumption of a gallon a day can cause problems, so I pared back to half a gallon of diet decaf iced tea a day. 

I drink about 1-3 gallons of "water" a day.  Probably a gallon of water, directly, and then a mixture of diet soda and diet instant beverages. 

The weirdest thing for me, when I was sick, I just didn't have my taste for drinking water.  I had to force myself to drink half a gallon a day, but I did it. 

The last thing I want is dehydration.  I got dehydrated once, and heat-sick, at an amusement park and it was a miserable experience.  I pray I never repeat that. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Poor Gravy

Nothing like screaming kids on a trampoline, 8 feet from my head, when I need to go to bed.  They did settle down pretty quick, though. 

Thank God.  I had to get up at 4. 

I slept OK, but I had some weird dreams.  I woke up, took my shower, shaved my legs, and did my God Time.  I ate and took my meds (every day), and took some headache pills for the headache. 

I started my cycle today which is always good for a headache. 

We shut the bedroom door and went out the back.  It was a big hassle, but the cats got the run of the house.  Biscuit got out earlier, though, when I was putting Ron's walker on the porch. 

I tried to catch him, to no avail. 

Our driver had a lot of air freshener in the vehicle but I understood when I saw the computer.  We were getting the wonder twins.  They are two young men, autistic, with severe behavior issues.  I think they can understand a little but they are non verbal.  They are not always clean and have some other issues I won't detail. 

Suffice to say, I understood why she used the air freshener!  I remember one time one of the men was wandering around the yard in a pair of dirty briefs, and tried to get into the vehicle right next to Ron! 

Only one was riding today, and they seem to have a "provider".  They brought him right out, the dog was tied up, and he behaved all the way to work. 

We got to work, unloaded, stocked, and worked.  I got the deliveries.  We were charged for last week's delivery even though we didn't get it due to the flooding.  So, I am out one day of work and $24.20 in sandwiches. 

We finished it all ahead of time and headed out.  The driver was a little odd, there was a language barrier but he was safe enough.  When we got home I found Biscuit crying at me, outside the Catio.  At least he knew where to wait! 

He wouldn't walk in the catio but he let me pick him up.  I got Ron in there, first, and then Biscuit, then locked it up, opened the back door, let us in, etc.  As I said, it's a hassle. 

I think it's better to just lock them in the bedroom when we leave, that way they have the bedroom and catio.  Biscuit has certainly figured out I keep food in the bedroom. 

I was pretty tired, but not as sore today, so I took a nap.  A long nap.  With Biscuit.  That was the highlight of my day.  That and the fact that Biscuit waited for me and knew I would get him back in the house again. 

I got up and did some Facebook.  At some point, I need to check my email. 

I cleaned up the backyard a little and it looks better.  I moved some cinderblocks into the catio area because the cats like to lie on them, and they can use them as a step to get on their shelf. 

Ron wanted me to watch a documentary about sea turtles.  I cried during nearly the entire film.  Sad little creatures suffering, being eaten, dying... it reminded me of Gravy.  Suffering and dying.  Oh, I cried and cried, I told Ron I was furious at him (actually I sobbed it at him) and I was never watching a movie he suggested ever again. 

He had "warned" me it had a strong "green earth" theme and to beware that, but he didn't tell me about all the death! 

I actually thought I had "gotten over" Gravy's death until I watched that.  I couldn't find my tissues so I took off my tshirt and cried all over it. 

Poor Gravy.  He deserved better. 

Well, I can take care of Biscuit, and I aim to do just that. 

We heard someone driving recklessly down our street today and I told him "I don't have to tense up because I know the cats are in here."  They can't get run over in the house. 

I wish everything were that simple. 

We also got Chinese food which was good but I'm still pretty depressed.  I'll be glad when I get manic. 

I think I would have been manic but Gravy died, so that threw everything to hell. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Toilet monsters

Well, I didn't need the reminder but Facebook does that: 3 years ago I lost Bubba.  http://houstonheather.blogspot.com/2013/04/god-ill-miss-him.html

I still miss him.  He was "bad" in that he brought home rats, but would I have wanted them breeding outside?  Or in my walls?   No. 

It was depressing.  I went to bed.  Biscuit joined me and was his sweet flaky self.  He even fell asleep in my lap, in bed, and twitched gently as he dreamed.  I sure love that "little" boy. 

First, though, I got up.  I took my shower and did my God Time, took my pills, fed Biscuit his breakfast.  He wasn't too excited about today's flavor. 

I like to buy different flavors now and then and "try" them on Biscuit.  He gets tired eating the same food.  For instance, the Friskies Salmon and Chicken Livers, last night, was a huge hit for both him and Baby Girl.  I'm going to remember that. 

In fact, we went to Walmart, and I bought 10 cans of the new rave.  Biscuit got so excited when he saw me putting it away.  He's a smart boy. 

Ron was incredibly negative, bitter, demanding, and just all around unpleasant.  I finally told him "You're toxic, I'm going in the other room". 

"Yeah!  You DO that!"  [rubbing my forehead]  Life with a depressed head injury victim can be challenging, especially when I am depressed myself. 

I swear, if I thought it wouldn't hurt him, I would dump some Wellbutrin in his whisky just to help him out.  I won't, of course.  One, I don't want to waste the medication! 

I went to the store.  I got some French Roast instant coffee, two packages of bug spray (they are coming, after that flood), 10 cans of num-nums, some floor wipes (the kind you mount on the mop, and push it around to clean the floor), etc.  I also got some more emergency ration bars.  Cashiers are always curious about them.  I told her I was buying them for a friend to put in her car. 

Liar. 

I also got some bungee cords for the new Bible cart I bought last night. 

I wanted some more drain cleaner.  The toilet made alarming glug glug noises during my shower today, so I poured a bottle of "foaming slow clog" cleaner (the orange bottle, whatever that is) down the drain and left if for over an hour.  I had the bathroom on lockdown because Biscuit likes to drink water from the tub after my shower.  I don't want him getting drain cleaner! 

After I flushed the pipes, Ron and I agreed the toilet problem had been fixed.  But it hasn't.  The seal is going bad on our toilet and it's leaking into the tank.  Then it fills itself, running and running and running. 

I finally turned off the valve.  I will tell Ron about this later. 

I did some research, after banging my head into a wall for a while I found out the problem is the valve.  You open the tank, pull out the green thing, unscrew it.  Then you take out the bad gasket.  Put the new one on.  Mush it into place.  Then screw the nut onto the green thing and you are good to go. 

Apparently. 

I will have to see.  It sounds like something I could do if my hands weren't freaking out on me (pretty regular).  Or Ron can do it. 

I just need to order the part but I will talk to him first.  He may want to call a plumber and have them change the whole works out. 

It is a little frustrating I can't get the parts off-the-shelf like I could when we had a standard toilet, but this one is great.  It will flush any sized deposit.  It was actually my anniversary present back in 2014.  One of the first nice things I wanted was a new toilet! 

I have caught Baby Girl drinking out of it on occasion, too.  I have mixed feelings about that.  We have 4 water bowls in the house and she wants to drink out of my germ laden toilet. 

She's certainly perky, though, so it isn't hurting her.  It does make me careful about using cleaning products.  I make sure to use something nontoxic with a strong lemon type fragrance. 

I have been trying to eat more protein, I did a lot of heavy work the last couple days, the handout, two big deliveries, and then the stress of the flood.  More protein is just a good idea. 

I also went way up on my Vitamin C, and continue to take everything as directed.  Every damn day. 

I was tired, so I took a nap.  However, #6 had the kids out for a while.  Then I couldn't sleep when they were quiet.  Biscuit got up on me and kneaded me for a while, which made me cry.  Gravy used to love to knead the blankets.  I napped for a little bit with Biscuit atop me. 

And Ron wonders why I love to spoil him. 

Since they are all basically inside now, I made sure to clean the boxes first thing this morning.  I also got some room spray because cat poop is pretty toxic when it's fresh.  It has a unique and distinctive pungency.  The boxes weren't bad so I was glad I did that.  I guess I will clean them first thing before I eat?  Maybe not a good idea.  But I'll figure it out. 

Ron is very picky about room fragrance, but he didn't complain over my Original Tide Febreeze. 

The kids came out again.  Their trampoline is directly outside my bedroom, which is good and bad.  If I really have an issue I can go talk to #6 and tell him, "This is my bedroom right here, I can hear everything, I have to get up at 4 AM most days and take care of my very disabled husband, can you help?"   How could he say no to that? 

He thinks he is a really nice guy, and he can be, on occasion.  I will give him a chance to be a good guy if needed. 

One of the kids was whining he didn't know what we had done in our yard (building the catio).  I wanted to open the door and say "That's none of your business, why don't you keep your eyes in your own yard?" 

It doesn't matter if the kids figure it out, while we have an outside door on the catio it has a lock.  No one can enter or let the cats out unless they have the key. 

Based on what I saw last night, the cats seem to want to go outside at night.  I had a lot of traffic which kept me up.  That, and probably the running toilet! 

Oh, I am scared to get the next water bill. 

I forgot something else I got today: contractor garbage bags.  Those are always useful but I plan to use these for organizing my stuff in the garage.  The garage is, frankly, a mess.  If we had flooded it all would have ended up in the dumpster, so to speak.  But it didn't, so I want to at least get things organized.  "Winter Clothes" etc. 

I also want to get them up high somehow so they won't be ruined if we flood again. 

God knows we could. 

I also bought name tags "Hello my name is big coats".  "Hello my name is afghans".  etc.  I haven't quite figured out how to seal them though.  The bags have flap ties so I will use that for now, until I can figure out either something higher, or something waterproof. 

Tomorrow I get up at 4 so that will be interesting.  I hope Ron wakes up before I go to bed because I need to talk to him about the toilet. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A whole lot smaller

I think I need to start drinking coffee in the morning. 

I drink some of that stuff at work and wow, I am good for hours.  I am trying to decide if that is a good thing or whether my natural state of fatigue is more "natural". 

I don't want to run around, cranked up on stimulants.  But I need to work! 

If I do start drinking it I will get it in instant. 

I overslept this morning, waking up at 6:15 instead of 5 AM!  You can bet I had a very short and thorough shower! 

I fixed up the cooler for Greg the Handyman and made sure everything looked OK for him.  Satisfied, I left. 

We headed off to the warehouse, which was, happily, fully stocked.  I was worried the flood relief efforts might have depleted the ready-to-eat snack foods.  They even had full supplies of water! 

I got all the inventory, including some stuff I had been needing.  For instance, last week I "tried" some biscotti, which has been hugely popular.  It has a good cost to me, and a good value to them.  It is new, and delicious, so they bought it all.  I got another bucket today. 

I also had to get some more trail mix, another popular seller. 

We went to work and unloaded (!).  I was really glad I had remembered to take a salt tablet, as I got pretty sweaty.  I felt pretty disgusting and unattractive, but I looked mildly mussed when I checked my reflection in a mirror.  Good. 

Then the stock.  Did that, helped Ron. 

On the way home, I had a revelation, 

This will compromise my OPSEC (Operational Security) but I think this is worth it.  The Army Corps of Engineers is building a huge detention pond very near my home, about a half mile downstream on the bayou.  It is about 30-40 acres, excavated about 30-40 feet deep. 

It was full to the top the day after the flood.  If they hadn't been working on it, we would have had all that in my house! 

Thank God they decided to start the project when they did!  They have been pumping it out for days now. 

That is all God and I have to give him praises for that.  It is also nice to know this detention project will alleviate future flood issues. 

Worth a little loss of secrecy to share that! 

I tried to take a nap but I was too wound up from the coffee I had checked at work.  I wanted to be sure the machine was behaving.  That has also got me thinking about maybe doing coffee in the morning, as it seems to make me more alert than a caffeinated diet soda. 

I have never been a fan of coffee, but I like a dark roast when I do. 

I got up, did my God time (no time this morning!) and got ready to go out to dinner.  We had a good time.  After dinner we went by a tool place and I found a folding cart rated to 150 pounds.  That would be fun to try to load 145 pounds of Bibles onto a handcart!  Even BETTER to distribute them all in one handout!  Ah! 

We came home.  The catio is finished, and Baby Girl was "out".  She finally came home and I put her in the house.  She is sleeping under the kitchen table, Torbie is with Ron, and Biscuit is on his kitty condo. 

They all seem to be adjusting well but they generally like to go out at night.  It's going to be a very interesting evening when they figure out "outside" just got a whole lot smaller. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Roaming

I was really hungry after the Bible Handout, and if I was hungry looking at and smelling all that wreckage, dragging my poor broken handcart all that distance, you know I was hungry. 

I went about 6 blocks and went to a Jack in the Box.  Normally I don't like fried burgers but I am positively addicted to Sourdough Jacks.  I got curly fries and a large drink, eating hunched over the cardboard, dripping sauce onto the packaging and not myself, for a change. 

I only have one complaint with the restaurant, they package everything to-go even if you tell them you are eating in the store.  Other than that, the food was good and hot, the drink tasty. 

I got a decaf diet rootbeer.  I like those space station consoles where you punch up any one of 100 drinks. 

I had called Lou the cab driver to pick me up at 12:30.  I got there around 12.  I ate, my only issue a small, unattended child who wanted to play with the contents of my Bible Box.  I love Jesus, and had she been able to read, I would have happily given her a Bible, but I don't need little kids wrecking my stuff.  I was also concerned her mother didn't seem to be paying attention. 

I'm a woman but that doesn't make me an automatic good person.  I could be one of those obsessed, "childless" (I prefer to see myself as "child-free") freaks who likes to snatch little kids and raise them as her own.   Sad.  Disturbing. 

The mother only called the child over when she was leaving. 

I finished my meal and moved where I'd see Lou coming.  Sure enough, he showed up pretty much on time. 

I went home, exhausted, wanting nothing more to take a good, long, nap.  But Greg was working on the catio. 

So, I've stayed awake, knowing I have to work tomorrow, wondering why #6 moved the trampoline and what that means to my future rest (I have decided it is a mostly good thing).  But the catio looks great, almost done, and the cats will be a lot safer now. 

I'm sure my cat hating neighbors, and I'm sure I have a few, will be just as happy they don't have my cats roaming anymore. 

Greenspoint flood handout

I called a cab to go to the handout location.

"You want to go where? You know that is a bad area...." the cab driver warned me. I explained what I was doing.
 
"Still" he said..."Prostitutes, drug dealers, gangs." Yeah, but they got flooded. Everyone is worried about food and clothes, what about eternity?

We got there fast and I unloaded the cart. The metal frame was bent and it was very difficult to keep the crates of Bibles onboard. I tipped it at a severe angle and let gravity pull it into place, then dragged it out to the median.

"Lord" I prayed "I sure hope we get rid of some of these Bibles" - not the most evangelical thought, but honest. "Because I don't think I can go anywhere with this cart now."

I donned my "Ask me for a Free Bible!" hat, my safety vest, and unrolled my sign.

"Gimme two!" the woman next to me demanded. It was insane.

I had people going the wrong way, stopping and blocking traffic, demanding Bibles. I had police "making the block" but happily never catching the traffic miscreants. I had people who had to go and came back. I had people stopping from all directions.

I was really happy I'd come. Of course I had slow periods. I didn't have any really negative responders. One woman wanted "Whatever you can spare" I yanked out a large handful, and a headband.

"Not the headband!" we laughed. She was distributing food and clothes and wanted to hand out Bibles too. She could go where I can't.

I had a young men walking up and asking for Bibles, which I found very endearing. Two of them were very excited to get a Bible. "New Testaments? For me?" You bet, I told them, and I will be praying daily.

From what I saw it is "Bloods" territory over there.

I had one young man with his clothes in see-through garbage bags, probably everything he owned in the backseat of his car. He was so humble and appreciative!

I let everyone, if at all possible, know I was praying for them. Sometimes it went too fast, like the guy who slowed down as the light changed to green, holding his hand out and beckoning me. I could see he needed two so that's what he got.

Then we had the yard guys, two of them in a truck. They were in the far lane. I ran over there and he said "Wait! I need two! OH!" as I handed two to him.

Pretty soon all the "Big" whole Bibles were gone (the HCSB evangelism Bibles), then I got to work on the New Testaments. I had about 120-130 Bibles and I only have about 20 left, so we'll call it @ 95 distributed.

I had some Spanish but not many, they were happy to get something, as always, in their own language.

At one point I had one car after another after another all wanting Bibles. That was probably the best moment in the handout, albeit exhausting!

After I finished I confirmed that yes, the cart was hopelessly bent, but it didn't matter because I had practically nothing left. I always try to hold back a little but I didn't need to, this time.

I walked over to a fast food place and got a meal, then called a cab to go home.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What matters

When I tell the story of how I found Biscuit and Gravy, some people get very angry I didn't call the police about their abuser.  Yes, she was kicking them.  Yes, that is a felony. 

Why didn't I do it?  Well, for one I was primarily focused on the starving kittens, feeding them and making sure Biscuit stopped licking out the empty "tin" and ate his half of the "loaf".  I was focused on keeping her away from them.  I actually got between her and them when she came over to watch them eat. 

She was waiting to ride a bus, and she did just that.  Once she got on the bus "we" couldn't catch her.  She could have gone anywhere.  All I could have said was that she was a young black woman.  There are a lot of young black women riding the bus in Houston!  I'm more the aberration!

I also wasn't angry at the time, I was more focused, as I said, on helping the cats.  God will deal with her. 

God also used her to show me what would happen to them if I didn't take them.  That, I think, was her purpose in all of this. 

Not to get arrested, or in trouble, but just to draw my attention to the fact these cats would die if I didn't help them. 

If you believe in God you know He will repay (Hebrews 10:30).  If you believe in "the universe", karma, whatever you know she will get all that hate back in her life in a very profound manner. 

Also, "they" would have taken the kittens away to a shelter.  Once they made their cruelty case they  would have taken them, tried to adopt them, and then most likely put them down.  They were older kittens with average markings, "nothing special".  I doubt that would have ended well for them. 

As it is, Gravy had a short life but he was spoiled rotten.  I wish you could have seen Ron giving treats to all 4 cats at the same time, it was epic. 

Biscuit still vomits on my furniture on a regular basis, he has a sensitive tummy, but I can live with that.  He knows his litter box. 

And that's what matters. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I don't mind a little kick in the butt

I slept Ok but had weird dreams about the coffee vending machine.  I woke up pretty tired and hit the snooze button a few times. 

I slept alone, the cats all found somewhere else to sleep.  They'll come back when it's hot out and they want to sleep under the vent. 

I got up and fed Biscuit his num-num.  He's always so eager every morning.  It's endearing.  He's such a bright and happy soul, he's good for me. 

I brushed my teeth and drank a diet soda, did my God Time and took a shower.  Ron and I were headed to Walmart. 

I could see a "thing" coming on the radar when I watched the Weather Channel, and hoped I would get to the store and back before it hit (I did).  It wasn't too bad though. 

I left Ron up front, all the kiddie carts were wet and we didn't have much time.  Ron did a lot of witnessing and handing out tracts. 

The other night, he basically admitted he is addicted to alcohol.  I was impressed God is working on him to this point.  He continues to "behave". 

I was worried he would have a blackout after Gravy died but he was OK.  I do believe he will have trouble if Torbie dies (the old lady tortie-tabby).  They are very bonded.  I hold back a little with her because I know she is old, will die, and break my heart yet again. 

I shouldn't do that, but I do. 

I really bonded to Frosty and had a terrible depression when he died.  I still love her, I still cuddle her, sleep with her, everything I did with Frosty.  I let her steal my chair.  I play with her and make sure she had what she needs, and an empty litter box.   But somehow I feel I'm cheating her. 

I'm probably more bonded to Biscuit, who is younger, but as we saw with Gravy youth does not always assure longevity.  Biscuit's more bonded to me because I am "Provider of delicious canned food", reliably providing at least 2 cans a day.  I gave him 3 once but he threw up. 

He doesn't get in my lap but he will sleep on my legs, occasionally.  I don't need him to be a lap baby to love him. 

Baby girl loves me in her own way, but she has her own issues.  It really broke her heart when Bubba died, she was very bonded to him.  She'll get on Ron now and then, never on me, never sleeps in my bed, doesn't sleep with the other cats even, but she sleeps in my doorway.  If I want a pet she will allow access, and occasionally roll over and let me rub her tummy.  That's all she wants to give and I'm OK with that, as long as she's happy. 

I hope all of them tolerate the catio as expected.  I bought a water bowl today for the bedroom.  I need to get some kind of food container now. 

When we are getting ready to leave, I will lock the cats in the bedroom/catio area.  They will have food, water, and litter box.  They will also have a cat tree and a queen sized bed.  That should be OK. 

Biscuit is really liking the cat tree in the bedroom. 

I got soda and looked at cat food.  I got some of the new Friskies and opened a can when I got home, both Baby Girl and Biscuit were pretty interested, and happily, Biscuit did not throw up. 

Biscuit has a delicate tummy and some foods are too rich for him.  Lamb with clam sauce?  OK. 

I got some air fresheners (to cover up the smell of the num nums!), and cat treats, litter, yogurt, sharp cheese, frozen sausage patties, and some rolls.  I figure I can put sausage and cheese on a roll, and eat that.  I should be OK eating sausage.  I'll find out. 

It's like I told Ron, I like plenty of food, but it only takes one time sick to my guts after taking my lithium with spaghetti.  I don't need another. 

I don't actually vomit but I tend to get very, very, queasy, sometimes abdominal pain.  And today one driver didn't believe I was mentally ill!  That's why I put up with the side effects. 

I don't have the "lower end" side effects often discussed in side effect reports, and even by my doctor.  Nope, don't have that issue at all.  Just nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, etc. 

I checked out, got Ron, and we left.  I put away the "cold" things and took a nap.  It rained, but not severely. 

I had a very good nap until I was awakened by the sound of a power saw.  He was cutting a board, then waiting 10 minutes, cutting another board.  It was tedious. 

I got up and got dressed.  Ron and I were going to the Waffle House.  I was worried the intersection would be closed as it had epic flooding and an actual drowning death pretty much on their doorstep. 

They were open.  We had a good meal. When we finished, our driver came early and picked us up.  She had to make some stops in the flooded out area of Greenspoint, where I plan to do the Handout.  Sure enough they are pretty wrecked, piles of dead furniture and carpet everywhere, people wandering aimlessly, EXACTLY the kind of scene I had envisioned. 

And there was "my" median right in the middle of it.  I felt it was confirmation from God to go and do the Handout. 

I don't mind a little kick in the butt; it's always good to know that my will and God's will are the same thing. 

Of course that means I will have to get up at 2 AM that day, work a full day, go do the Handout, go home and hopefully get some sleep.  I am skeptical about getting the sleep but this is more important. 

Normally getting my sleep is a very high priority.  Doc says it is vital to my health, in an urgent tone of voice.  I concur.  When I was sick in January my mood really deteriorated. 

Anyway, I'll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The day after

Not surprisingly, I had a hard time falling asleep last night. 

Not surprisingly, I woke up with a headache, probably an adrenaline hangover. 

We had to go to work, so I got up at 4 AM and took my shower.  I did my God time later.  I watched the news.  Greenspoint got flooded pretty bad. 

Now I need to tell you about Gunspoint, that's what they call Greenspoint.  It is a dying mall surrounded by low-rent apartment buildings, and fancy businesses.  It is rife with drug dealing, gangs, etc.  I will say I have never seen any hookers. 

And it got it's ass kicked yesterday.  People were floating out on refrigerators.  Here's a link to some flood photos.  Look for the word "Greenspoint" or "Arbor Court" in the captions.  flood photos

You can bet I am hearing The Call to go do a Bible Handout.  Timing will be tricky.  It will rain tomorrow and Thursday, Friday I have to get up at 2 AM to get a soda delivery.  I suppose I could take the crate to work on the hand cart, and take the #6 or paratransit to the handout location.  Worst case I will pay someone to give me a ride.  Money well spent! 

Our first driver got stranded over there and she had the perfect intersection for me.  I am always open to suggestion, when someone has said "You need to go to..." I always have a spectacular handout. 

I will go.  I can't stand the thought of traumatized, newly homeless, lost everything, people trying to navigate the system and get their lives back, without God.  Imagine if they lost their Bibles in the flooding!  That would be awful! 

If you don't agree don't say anything in the comments.  This is what drives ME. 

We got to work, which was fine.  They installed a badass drainage system when they did the remodel a couple years back. 

"How many people came in yesterday?" I asked a "nice" manager.
"About 20" he replied. 

We decided to forgo the sandwich delivery this week (I will get something at Sam's).  We stocked everything.  I had a little trouble with the coffee machine but that was my fault.  It is tricky to remount the canisters. 

I will need to refigure out how to do them.  Agh. 

Snacks were better.  Our repairman told us #2 throws snacks at me (when I exit programming mode) because it has a bad board.  He is ordering another one for us.  This happened Friday, I just forgot to mention it. 

I stocked, not that it needed a heck of a lot, and helped Ron.  He didn't need a tremendous amount either.  If no one got into work, no one bought anything. 

I didn't feel guilty about skipping work yesterday.  Not that I could have gotten out anyway!  I figure water was about 6 feet deep in the street.  I am on a modest grade, thank God. 

[takes a moment to break into Gospel praise song over not getting flooded]

I teased someone at work about my leg and they thought Ron beat me, even after I explained.  [sigh]  Ron is in for a rough road if I get murdered one day. 

I did have Doc put "clumsy" into my chart, though, so there's that. 

Pretty soon we were done and we headed out.  We had a good ride home with a really nice driver. 

When we got home I took a nap.  #6 kept their kids home today but they "let" me sleep.  Praise God.  I am still pretty exhausted from yesterday.  "Almost" losing my house is nearly as bad as losing it. 

It sounds obvious, but I never really thought of it that way.  I had hours of very high tension wondering what was going to happen.  Praise God it had a happy ending. 

I would hate to be ungrateful.  Ron was back to his usual complaining at God today, but that's between him and God.  I just know this: God did an amazing thing for me yesterday, many amazing things in my life, and I thank and love Him forever for that. 

Just in case you wondered where I stood.  :p 

After I got up the #6 kids went out to play.  I thought I would like to leave the house for a while, as it's going to rain tomorrow and it didn't look like rain today (in spite of the forecast). 

I thought I would like a pupusa.  But they were closed, that area did flood so I pray they're OK. 

Well, I thought, I can always ride the bus the other way and go to McDonald's.  I headed out. 

The bus was running today and came pretty quick.  I went to the grocery store. 

Greg, the handyman, loves the "blue" Doritos.  So I hit the rack and bought 10 small bags.  I also got him some other drinks because he gets hot working.  He is diabetic so that is an issue. 

I left, delighted with my haul.  It wasn't too heavy, which is a consideration when I have to walk half a mile to get home. 

I went to the chicken place.  They said they got flooded and lost their "oven", so no chicken specials today. 

I went to McDonald's and got my food, and a hot and spicy fried chicken sandwich, add bacon, for Ron.  Ron loved it. 

I had put all my medication in my shirt pocket.  I don't take my morning pills the morning I do sales tax, because one time I messed it up and we almost got a penalty.  So, I had EVERYTHING, all 8 pills, plus my supplements. 

I managed to fish it all out except for the Haldol.  I took what I could and fumbled with my breast pocket for a couple minutes, wondering if I was going to need to ask for help! 

"Excuse me, could you reach in there?  Yeah, the breast pocket, there's a little orange tablet in there that keeps me from seeing things.... wait!  Come back!" 

Happily, I dug it out, but next time I will put them in a plastic bag. 

I finished my food and left.  I had to wait over half an hour at the bus stop but it finally came.  I had a good walk home. 

I checked the mail, the mailbox didn't flood.  I got the water bill, we used a thousand gallons. 

They just installed new meters, but the flood waters wrecked quite a few of them, I saw, on my way home.  I don't envy whoever has to pay for that. 

Probably me, in the next bill! 

Ron was awake and on the phone.  He handed it to me so I could chat about the handout, while he gobbled his sandwich. 

It's funny, 10 years into my illness, medicated, and I can't remember eating without medication in my hand.  I never in a million years thought I would need 8 pills to remain functional but here we are and I hope I am rocking it. 

I plan to go to bed early tonight and hopefully replenish. 

I don't want to get sick out of this. 

The waters recede

Sorry to be a tease, the internet was a butt and I couldn't get online. 

I guess epic flooding messes up the works. 

Anyway, the water went down.  After I posted the photos I took a nap.  What could I do? 

#6 decided to play some music so I moved to the pullout, thinking it was a bad idea to sleep on the floor during a flood.  I had a pretty good nap until Ron woke me up asking questions. 

After I bit him (!) I got up and looked.  The water was down about halfway.  Praise God. 

I took another nap.  When I got up the water was almost totally down in the street, and gapers were walking around looking at the flood damage.  Rude. 

This happened after the hurricane, too. 

Yes, I had power the entire time, but about 100K people didn't.  That's not bad, considering.  Houston is about 4 Million.  I do have flashlights and a battery operated lamp. Ron has a wind up radio he loves.  He also has a battery operated fan.  My noisemaker is battery operated, as is my alarm clock.  It only runs on batteries and does not plug in at all. 

But we kept the fridge and contents, we had some flickers but nothing bad.  Our electric provider, Centerpoint, gets a gold star in my book. 

Our plumbing worked too.  Ron flushed and remarked how happy he was it worked.  Yeah, really. 

Sometimes the plumbing will fail during a flood.  Now, we have water stored, but flushing is a pretty big deal! 

Especially for Ron!  :) 

The cats were fine, they kept trying to go out front, ran up against the water, and came back in.  I had a hard time keeping them in but I didn't want them to float away. 

I saw various things like pieces of wood and beer bottles floating by.  One piece of wood beached itself in my front garden (just a jasmine on a trellis) and I threw it back by the tree.  It made a thunk and a splash, and floated off. 

I ate part of a TV dinner, for dinner, but I could tell I would get sick to my stomach if I ate it.  Pork and I don't really agree at this dosage of lithium.  Which is a shame, because I really loved pork. 

Not even bacon. 

I threw away the uneaten part after offering it to Ron, but he had already eaten a lot of Chinese food we ordered on Sunday.  I ate a bowl of cereal and that was fine. 

I need to get some more powdered milk if we lose power.  I would want powdered milk, and we're coming up on hurricane season. 

Please, God, let it be a boring year. 

I am so, so, grateful to God for sparing us.  This could have been an epic mess, but it wasn't.  It's like he put his hand in front of my house and garage. 

I still don't see how the garage stayed dry.  Even #6 was shocked when I told him. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Flood photos

Now that it's light out:
 Looking to the right, towards #6

 #2 on the right.  It is at a higher elevation.   You can also see the flooded out SUV in the middle of the street. 
 Looking at #7, across the street. 
My front porch.  Let's pray it doesn't get any worse. 

Flooded?

Heavy rain all night, with thunderstorms. 

I wasn't too worried until I woke up (I didn't sleep well).  I looked out the front window, the street was completely flooded about halfway up to the house. 

That's not good.  The water continued to climb towards my house and garage.  Still continues to climb, kind of like that awful movie "The Blob."

I freaked out for a while.  Calmed down.  Decided that yes, I should wake Ron.  If nothing else we were NOT going to work (what with 8 feet of water in the street, kind of impossible). 

I periodically check the front door and the garage.  So far the garage is OK.  I moved Greg's tools (he left some) to higher ground so they won't be damaged if/when we get water in the garage.  I don't see how I can escape garage flooding if nothing else, but we'll see what God has planned. 

The water climbed my yard and is now about 4 feet from my front door.  If it rises 6 inches (I measured) it will get into the house and flood. 

If the sheriff drives his airboat down my street, he will create a wake and flood my house.  So, for once, I am praying no one comes to check on us until the water goes down! 

What can I do?  I thought.  Well, I took a shower.  We will probably end up under a boil order (unsafe water) out of this so I might as well enjoy a nice hot shower while I can. 

I did that, and checked on the water again. Still higher. 

The storms just keep coming relentlessly, this is worse than a hurricane.  Yes, the hurricane has more force but the rain hasn't been as bad as our "historic flooding" (that's what they're calling it) today. 

I did my God Time.  What else could I do?  I made sure to ask God to please keep the airboats away, stop the rain, and fast drainage.  Please don't let my home flood, Lord. 

About halfway through, someone knocked on my door.  It was #6, checking on us.  I told him we were fine and he asked me to let him know if we needed anything.  That was sweet. 

Hopefully I won't need to do that. 

Most of the cars on my street are flooded out.  Even if the homes are OK, we have a lot of property damage just on my block. 

I'll keep you posted, and put up a photo when it gets light out. 

My camera doesn't have a flash. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Gang

Apparently, #6's bad habits are rubbing off on the other neighbors.  #8 had a very loud birthday party that went until after 9 PM, last night.  I think the lightning is the only thing that shut it down. 

We have been hearing "rain rain" in the forecast, but nothing except some clouds and wind, and, last night, a little lightning.  This has been going on for weeks.  They had very impressive time-lapse imagery today, but still no rain.  Now they are saying, oh, it's coming tonight.  Right.

We currently have a light drizzle. 

I turned on a very noisy fan when I went to bed and that helped me fall asleep, but I woke up pretty exhausted today.  I would have loved to sleep in an extra half hour. 

Sadly, I did not have any cats in my bed. 

Biscuit found me when I got up, demanding his num-num.  Baby Girl wanted some too so I split the can between them.  They were both happy. 

Ron and I had a trip to the pet store, but the driver was half an hour late.  Remember how I wanted to sleep in?  I kept thinking, I could have! 

Ron wanted some coffee so I got him that.  I ran and got a kolache because I was hungry.  I went to the pet store and looked at the adoption cats.  One of them had pooped out of his litter box.  I hope they get that cleaned up before the adoption fair.  No one wants a "bad" cat. 

Some of the cats figured I wasn't an adopter.  Some of them were too scared to come up and say hello.  The others ignored me. 

They can tell when you're looking.  I wished them good luck and went to get my cat food. 

And they were out.  I wanted 2, 11 pound bags of grain free salmon.  Sorry, Heather. 

I settled for 3, five pound bags.  I looked for the other brand they like but it was also sold out. 

This is why I always have "more cat food than I need".  Because supply chains are fragile and they really like this stuff. 

It was frustrating, but it is a payday weekend so maybe I should have expected it.  My guys are not the only ones eating grain free salmon. 

"No byproducts!". 

I used to feed the kitten food, it was a chicken flavor, when I had kittens in the house (Baby Girl, the boys).  Now they're all grown they like the salmon. 

When I can get it! 

I don't know what I would feed if I couldn't feed the Blue (Blue is the name brand if you are not a pet person).  Hopefully I won't have to figure that out. 

I believe if I'm cheap on the cat food, I will have more vet bills.  If I'm generous with the cat food, they are a lot healthier.  It seems to work for my gang. 

Torbie, after all, is very old (they wouldn't tell me at the shelter), but she has the energy of a much younger cat.  Baby Girl is plenty lively.  Biscuit, too.  So, I think I'm feeding the right thing. 

My vet asked me to feed more wet food, which I have, but the dry remains the backbone of their diet.  Everyone nibbles at the wet, (except Biscuit, who gobbles), and gobbles at the dry (Biscuit included). 

I also needed a litter box, but most of them were covered.  I need to tell you about Baby Girl. 

We got a covered litter box when Baby Girl was small, about 3 months and 3 pounds.  One day she went in to use it and couldn't push out the flap to exit.  I will never forget her sad, crying, face as she tried to get out of her litterbox. 

It was very sad, and very, very, funny.  I only laughed a little bit before I rescued her. 

Naturally, after that, she was terrified of covered boxes, so, if I buy them, I throw away the top.  If I can see something in the box then I need to be scooping it.  If I am scooping it properly then it won't have an odor (and they don't).  So, I need OPEN boxes. 

If I am confining all the cats to the bedroom and catio area, I need to have a big litter box.  I had a small, "kitten" box in my bedroom, but nothing I felt could handle the needs of 3 mature cats.  I bought a box I found suitable. 

When I checked out, I told the cashier the story about Baby Girl in the box, and then I loaded all the pet food into the box.  I pushed the shopping cart, with my products, about halfway across the parking lot.  Then I picked up the box and took it to the coffee shop where Ron was waiting. 

After all that, I was hungry, so I got more kolaches, including some for him.  I drank a diet Dr and got some more for Greg, the Handyman. 

He is diabetic and seems to like Diet Dr's OK, so I might as well have them to put in his cooler.  I set up a cooler with drinks and a box of snacks for him every time he comes out.  I did this when the guys were fixing my bathroom, too. 

Our ride came pretty fast and we went home.  I fit all 3 of the bags into my storage bucket.  My cats can be ghetto, and I could see them chewing a hole in the mylar.  This should be relatively safe. 

I set up the litter box, which looks to be a good size. 

I remember, about 15 years ago, I had two cats, a brother and sister.  I had two boxes for them. They would urinate in one box and defecate in the other.  I never had another cat who would do that. 

My ideal is one for each cat plus one extra for the house.  I have that setup now. 

Enough about poop.  I took a nap with Biscuit. 

He's a good boy.  It was a good nap.  I heard a little banging next door but they "let" me sleep. 

I don't know when Greg will be out to finish the Catio.  It will be worth it. 

It used to be "OK" to let the cats run around, but this world is just getting worse, and sick.  I believe someone ran over Gravy.  The vet wouldn't tell me.  And how would I catch them anyway, now? 

Now they can be safe, and "outside".  I think it's the best solution. 

I will have a hard time rounding them up every morning.  I may just feed Biscuit his num in the bedroom before we leave.  That will get him and possibly Baby Girl in there. 

Torbie, I expect to be naughty. 

Ron just ordered Chinese food for us.  I hope I don't regret this tomorrow. 







Saturday, April 16, 2016

My next cat

I went to bed about 9 PM last night. 

I was Not Happy to be awakened, after 11 PM, by a screaming kid having a tantrum in #6's backyard, right outside my bedroom.  I don't know how the kid got out but he did, and when caught, had a tantrum.  The father was yelling at him in Spanish during the tantrum, and dragged him back into the house. 

I hope he spanked the kid.  From what I could hear it was the 4-5 year old boy.  I may have been pregnant around the time this kid was conceived.  I had some odd symptoms and a very heavy period a while later, with massive clots the size of ping pong balls.  Money was tight or I might have gone to a doctor, but I never had any subsequent problems after that. 

Incidents like last night make me glad I had a miscarriage, if that's what it was.  I don't know whether it is all kids that age or just the ones next door, but boys aged 3-5 seem to be very "bad", extremely disobedient, and constantly breaking rules. 

I was especially annoyed when #6 fired up his compressor at 7 AM, letting it run for about 10 minutes and ensuring everyone had been woken up.  Yes, I get you need to go to work, but you don't have to fire up the compressor, while at home.  It's not like he had something at home to fix it, all the tools are in his truck anyway.  It was just his little F-you to all the people who did get to sleep in today. 

As far as I'm concerned, he doesn't get a prize for working 6 days (even though he only worked a couple hours today), because he's the one who fathered 6 kids.  If you make a lot of babies you have to pay for them, and you don't get a prize for that. 

That, after The Brat woke me up, made me pretty cranky.  Not to mention I had a headache. 

I did get some nice cuddles from Biscuit and Torbie.  Biscuit is really owning the cat condo in the bedroom now.  It is nice to lie in bed and look at his tail hanging off the edge. 

I got up and gave him some tuna in gravy, and he ate that.  I took my shower.  Ron woke up and told me we were going to the bank in 1 hour. 

Did I mention the headache? 

I did most of my God Time before our ride came. 

We went to the bank and I made the sales tax deposit.  Or should I $ay $ales tax? 

It was loud and took a while.  Then Ron wanted to go to the mall and get a fanny pack.  They didn't have the one he liked.  He asked me to give them his number so I did. 

I don't think they make the one he likes, anymore.  They weren't encouraging at the store (a small business). 

Then Ron wanted to go to the Waffle House.  We had a ride, why not? 

Well, it was packed. 

I am not a fan of screaming, noisy, toddlers.  They were hungry and wanted everyone to know.  They did not want to wait in line so they spent their time screaming at earsplitting levels. 

Did I mention the headache? 

I ate, it was good, but our waitress was a nervous wreck and it was very rushed.  Then I got stuck in line behind two gang members from New Orleans (the fleur-de-lis tattoo was pretty obvious) taking forever on their takeout order. 

I was so happy to just pay and get out of there. 

The Fleur-de-lis was a brand put on criminals, mainly prostitutes, sent to populate New Orleans by the French.  Now, New Orleans may be pretty proud of that past but I would not go bragging on it.  Like someone said "A lot of Genealogy freaks just 'can't find' that first generation in New Orleans."  Because they were all criminals and/or whores. 

I will say I was not impressed with the New Orleans population I met after Hurricane Katrina.  I have yet to meet a more demanding, entitled, bunch of brats.  I've written a lot about that.  My favorite was the old lady who demanded the driver stop and buy her a po-boy.  With his own money.  He declined and she cursed him out. 

After Katrina, a lot of cities re-evaluated how they would handle refugees from other cities, and most only committed to a few thousand, at best.  No other city in the nation will take tens of thousands like we did, and nursemaid them for years.   They saw what it did to Houston.  It cost Bill White, our mayor, his political future, and sent our crime rate skyrocketing. 

Now people just say they came here "A while back" at most, "In 2005" or "From Louisiana" careful not to mention New Orleans or Katrina.  They know how we feel about it. 

I have only met one "nice" person who came to Texas from Katrina, and she doesn't even live in the Houston area. 

So, Thug Boy was busy groping his girlfriend while they ordered, then he swung his hand back behind him at the level of my pelvis.  I jumped back until he stopped, then I moved back up to my former place.  I don't know what that was about.  I was giving him plenty of personal space. 

I was so happy to leave. 

We came home and I got things ready for the handyman.  I provide a cooler of drinks and a box full of snacks.  I got more of his favorite chip.  I unlocked the burglar bars on the back of the house, etc. 

He's out there now, working away.  I'll be glad when it's all done and my cats are safe. 

That fluffy cat came by again today, meowing loudly and trying to come in the cat door.  I was pretty annoyed, it was early and people are going to think it's MY cat making all the noise. 

It's not, it's some other person's cat.  They clearly don't give it any inside rights, or it wouldn't be so insistent on trying to be my next cat. 

I don't want a next cat.  I have plenty as it is. 

Oh, and a picture of my leg:
It doesn't hurt unless I press on it.  I have more bruises running down my leg to my ankle. 

But:
1.  I didn't bleed. 
2.  The compressor did not break. 

So I call it a win. 

Edit to add, Greg came out and did a lot of work on the catio.  Here is a progress picture. 



Friday, April 15, 2016

Yuck bucket

I woke up with yet another headache, around 5.  I was really peeved because I was sleeping with Biscuit and he was curled against my legs, purring. 

It's like Gravy left his cuddliness to Biscuit when he died.  Biscuit was already pretty cute, but he's even sweeter now. Either that or he is bonding more to us since "Brother" is gone.  I don't know, and I plan to just appreciate it. 

To the reader talking about getting a cat, let the cat pick you.  Biscuit literally picked me at the bus stop, climbing me like a tree and screaming to be taken home.  That's the cat you want, not the one you think you like, that seems indifferent. 

I got dressed, putting on my new padded bra and mentally chiding the guy who forces me to wear it.  Can you imagine unloading a truckload of heavy merchandise, in the summer, in Houston, in a padded bra?  Last time I did this I wore a new one, with an underwire that kept jabbing my gallbladder and provoking an attack.  It was horrible.  I went around with spasms and nausea all day, because someone can't keep his eyes to himself! 

I'm not all that, and even if I was it wouldn't matter.  Don't stare at a woman's chest unless she is "your" woman.  I wear baggy shirts with high necklines and long hemlines.  At least let me have a comfortable bra! 

Alas, I can't.  [grumble]  I wasn't happy about that.  Still not, although the new bra performed better than expected.  I kept forgetting I was wearing it, and that's the best compliment. 

I trimmed my toenails, they were getting long, did my shower, shaved my legs (summer in Houston!) and got dressed.  I still had a pretty bad headache so I didn't eat breakfast. 

I got most of my God Time when our ride came.  We headed off to the warehouse. 

I got the supplies we needed and we headed to work.  I had a heck of a time unloading the cart, I already had some existing inventory on the carts.  I got it, though, and got it all into the building. 

Then, the stock.  Lots of stocking.  Got that all done and helped Ron.  Finished.  Ate a protein bar. 

Time to service the coffee vending machine.  First, I emptied the yuck bucket.  The coffee machine has a drain.  The drain leads to a bucket.  It is nasty, hence the name yuck bucket. 

I emptied it and rinsed it out.  Then I filled the cups, French vanilla, and coffee.  I continue to use high quality dark roast coffees.  I don't expect to make any profit on the machine, so I might as well stock it with quality products. 

Besides, I had to test vend it and drink a cup of coffee, which positively slaughtered the migraine.  I wiped down some spills and basically cleaned it up. 

Finally, all done, but I couldn't get French Vanilla to work. I reset the canister.  It wasn't giving the same error message but it still wasn't vending.  Agh. 

About that time the repairman called.  He had our refurbished compressor.  I went out and helped him.  On the way into the building, the compressor fell off the cart and into my leg. 

He was horrified, I was blasé.  I have a horrible bruise on my left leg from God-knows-what.  It's been there for over a week.  Now I have matching bruises! 

It didn't hurt more than a minute, and I wasn't bleeding, my only real concern (blood and food service are not a good mix).  It doesn't hurt now but I will have some spectacular bruising. 

"I'm glad it was me and not you" I told him, meaning it.  He kept apologizing.  I didn't need it. 

Wow, I'm glad he's not here now, my leg is spectacular.  I even have a goose egg.  [shrug] It doesn't hurt.  I'm just happy I didn't bleed. 

We got the compressor working and he looked at the coffee machine, getting French Vanilla to behave.  I drank a cup of the French vanilla. 

By now, I was pretty cranked on coffee.  Normally I get a little tired in the afternoons but not today! 

We have 12 ounce cups in the machine, so I estimate I consumed over 500 mg of caffeine just from the coffee drinks.  Then another 400 from the OTC headache pills (two doses) and probably 300 mg from the diet soda I drank.  Doc says I should keep it under 450. 

Lord, please help me sleep tonight! 

He left and we worked on the sodas.  First the canned soda, then the bottled.  Ron literally wiped out the fridge stocking the bottled vendor.  I restocked it. 

I have done a lot of lifting and manual labor today, so I had a protein shake when I got home, but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

We finally finished.  We had "put the ride on hold" when Ron realized we would not be finished in time for our appointed pickup. 

He called and they took it off of hold, then sent it to the cab company.  Ron called Lou, and Lou snagged the trip.  Lou is one of our favorite drivers. 

We had a good ride home.  When I got home all 3 cats were waiting at the door.  It was very cute and endearing. 

Ron gave them treats while I made a protein shake.  I chugged that, got into something more comfortable, and fed Biscuit his num-num.  He gobbled it up. 

I finished my God time and made a bowl of cereal.  Then I did my blog ;p and will eat my cereal in a moment, while I take my pills. 

Whooo.  I am beat. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Any longer than necessary

Not a lot to write today. 

Still depressed.  Slept OK.  I got my God Time and shower.  I also did some organizing and rearranging.  I dragged the cat condo from the front room, where it isn't well used, to my bedroom, after moving some stuff. 

I like it, I hope the cats do too.  It looks like I will be locking the cats in the bedroom/catio every day when we leave (Torbie is a stealth expert at escaping and I'm not even trying to keep her contained yet).  I want them to have interesting things. 

Biscuit slept part of last night with me, as did Torbie.  I like to wake up and pet them in the middle of the night 

Biscuit got into a tangle with another cat and came in the cat door at high speed, screeching.  I checked him over, he looks OK, but this is yet another reason why I want them protected - other cats.  Other cats can hurt them and get them sick. 

At any rate, it was a pretty uneventful night except for the 5 AM headache.  I took some aspirin with some pepto, and went back to sleep.  It worked. 

When I got up I was very mildly queasy but not bad. 

The handyman came around 10 AM.  I had a box full of snacks and a cooler full of drinks, both of which saw plenty of action today.  Good, I WANT him to consume them. 

I need to get more treats before he finishes.  From what I can see, he just needs to lay the wire on the frame he has built. 

Now I'm wondering if he turned off the hose.  I'm going to go check.  Yes, it was on, but so was the nozzle.  I would have had to pull the "trigger" to get a water flow.  I turned it off anyway.  The gate was also open so I locked it. 

I don't want #6 wandering around in my yard, or garage.  At some points I inevitably have to provide access - for instance, the tools are in my garage so the door has to be unlocked and at least partially rolled up, but I don't have to provide access for any longer than necessary. 

Biscuit and I are becoming pretty close.  He won't really get in my lap but I don't need it.  He's always good for a  hug, I pick him up, hug him, and put him down as he purrs at me.  He likes to hang out nearby, either under my computer chair or on the back of the couch when I watch TV.  He has an endless appetite for petting, like his big sister Torbie.

I think you can guess what I do when I'm in my computer chair.  :p 

Torbie splits her affections between me and Ron, hedging her bets with both humans.  Baby Girl is more Ron's cat but will let me pet her and pick her up, if necessary.  When Baby Girl got hurt last year, I'm the one who took her to the vet. 

I still find it funny, the vet kept asking if I was OK paying $10 more for a long acting antibiotic injection, as opposed to a "daily battle" oral.  Yes, I told her, I don't care how much more it is, we're doing it! 

It was nice to be able to say that, although if $10 is going to break you at the vet you really need to look at your budgeting. 

I need to get more cat food.  I usually have a reserve bag but we had to use it.  I'm not going to let my cats starve if I have food in the house. 

I just need to get to the pet store quickly and buy another one. 

Biscuit and Baby Girl had "Tuna in gravy" this morning.  I split the can onto two plates, one for each, and it worked very well.  I would rather spend a few extra cents on plates than manage battles! 

They both enjoyed it.  I gave Biscuit (Baby Girl wasn't interested) "Seafood Nightmare" (Cod, Sole, and Shrimp feast) for dinner and he made a good dent in it. 

Our vet wants me to feed more wet food.  I do, they don't always eat it, but at least it is literally on the table.  I feed the cats on the kitchen table.  It's for feeding family, right?  Ron generally eats in bed and I eat in my TV chair. 

[sigh]  So today I mainly sat around and helped the handyman when he needed it.  I couldn't take a nap, too noisy. 

I was about ready to go to bed around 8 but the neighbors, #6, were making noise.  I guess they forgot a lot of us get up very early. 

Actually, tomorrow, I don't (for once), so I will enjoy that and try not to wake up with a headache. 

Tomorrow's going to be a busy day, with a repairman and truck day, in addition to the usual stocking! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Free Range Cats

Lately, the weather forecast has been completely wrong.  They swear it will rain, heavily.  We get some light clouds.  This has been ongoing for weeks now. 

It's frustrating because Ron plans certain outings around the weather.  If it's going to rain, for instance, we won't do truck day. 

Today was supposed to rain heavily. So he told the handyman not to come, gave us the day off, and did an afternoon (hate them!) Walmart trip instead of a morning one. 

It's a lot quieter in the morning. 

And of course it didn't rain. 

I slept in and got up at 7:40, gave the cats their num-num (Baby Girl wanted some, too), did my God Time, and took my shower.  I finished 2 loads of laundry and put them away. 

I watched some TV and took my medication, with a slice of pizza.  Then we went to Walmart. 

Ron didn't bring his walker, which is fine.  I am happy to help prop him up.  I will ask him to wait if I will be putting his weight, and mine, on one leg when going up or down.  I move, and then I help him. 

No sense wrecking my knees.  Ron died laughing over a Facebook joke "Remember when you had a left and a right knee?  Now you have the 'good' and the 'bad' knee!"  Most of the clients on the service laugh at the joke. 

We got there and I couldn't find any kiddie carts.  Frustrating.  I left Ron on the bench next to the security guard and went shopping on my own.  I got some supplies for work, on a separate receipt. 

I then turned to the important businesses of num-nums.  I got some tuna in gravy, some seafood in gravy (only one can of that, it's probably everything left in the net after they take the good parts), and some Styrofoam plates. 

I give the num num on a Styrofoam plate.  It is 7 inches in diameter.  If Baby Girl is hovering I break it into 2 plates.  One entire plate for each cat, half a can on each. 

Doing that runs through a lot more plates, but it does promote harmony and eliminates food-aggression.  That's when a cat gets mean around their food.  Gravy had that with other cats, he would strike Biscuit if Biscuit got too near the food.  He did that in the beginning but improved dramatically. 

I caught Baby Girl smacking Biscuit one day so I spread the food out so everyone gets a fair share. 

Torbie will "sneak" bites of the num num when she thinks I'm not looking, but she's more a dry food and treat kind of girl. 

I observed the depression is always worse on a day off, as I've seen in the past.  However, we had structured our day around the weather forecast (!!). 

We had to wait a while to go home but we finally made it.  I put away the cold stuff (some milk and ice cream pints), and took a nap. 

Actually I had more of a lie-down with Biscuit.  I called him and he got in bed with me, curled against my legs, and lay with me for over an hour.  He is such a sweet cat.  Don't get me wrong, Gravy was cute, and endearing, and sweet at times, but Biscuit is pure sugar. 

I still miss Gravy, though. 

The other day I cried and cried during "Safe and Sound" when it came up in my playlist.  I have always seen it as Biscuit and Gravy's song. 



I will always wish I could have done more for Gravy.  [crying break]

Speaking of doing more, the handyman is coming tomorrow.  Ideally, he does the whole thing.  Hopefully, he at least makes some progress on it.  I'll feel a lot better when the cats are confined. 

Torbie is going to be a bad girl, I see that.  She always waits at the front door when she sees we are leaving.  I'm going to have to lock her, and the other cats, into the bedroom. 

I think Biscuit will be OK with lockdown.  After all, he saw what happened to his brother and it was horrible. 

I won't think about that or I will cry again.  I have to try at least. 

Today I saw another loose dog roaming the neighborhood.  I tell you, if I ever start running again I'm going to get a treadmill, I'm sure not going running out there.  People either don't care, or don't bother, to keep their dogs confined. 

I suspect a dog got Gravy, it looked like a dog bite injury to me but the vet said she couldn't say. 

I was OK with free range cats when they only had the occasional abscess.  That's an easy fix, and not a big deal.  Vaccines prevented any sort of disease. 

For Bubba, I believe the most traumatic outside experience resulted when a beagle treed him in our front yard, baying delightedly as the neighbors yelled at him to SHUT UP.  He had an abscess at one point but as I said, an easy fix. 

Frosty was an older cat but still fine.  He was scared of strangers and ran away from them.  Smart cat.  He took quite a while to warm up to me, and I had tuna!   His only problem was also an abscess.  He died of illness, not injury, and old age.  It was one of those "He is so old we shouldn't bother" and this was the vet, who would make a lot more money if they "tried".  I took that pretty hard, let me tell you. 

BabyGirl was probably bit by a dog, on her hindquarters last year, but that was easily fixed with a long lasting antibiotic shot and a vaccine.

Torbie has been fine, with no problems.  Ron ran over her with the walker, once, that was about it.  She hissed at him, it never happened again.  And she learned to get the heck out of the way when she saw him coming! 

That was a big concern for Ron with Gravy, would 3 legged Gravy be able to get out of the way?   You have to remember that Gravy was very bonded to Ron, so much so he was pushing Baby Girl into second place. 

Now that I've actually lost a cat to the great outdoors I'm looking at it a lot differently.  I know they will still have problems, no creature can maintain perfect health all the time (although Torbie belies that statement), but hopefully no more trauma.  Let me tell you, it was traumatic all around.   

Ugh.  I feel raw, and exhausted, still.  Everyone tells me I need to take my time and grieve, and it's getting better.  I just want to feel like they're safe. 

So, we have tomorrow off.  We didn't make any paratransit plans because the handyman is coming and he may need my help with various tasks.  I will be happy to assist. 

I also need to reorganize the bedroom so I can set up a feeding station for the cats, when they are on lockdown. 

I can't fix what's wrong with him.

I slept OK, once I got to sleep, and woke up right about the time of my alarm clock.  It hadn't been set properly, apparently.  I got ...