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Archive for January, 2019

Not Quite Every Day

January 10th, 2019 at 09:30 pm

I had hoped to be blogging every day this month, but that's a little harder than I thought it was going to be. Most of the time I forget until after midnight, but today I remembered.

Tomorrow is payday and so today I sat down with the grocery ads and went through to see what the sales were. They have been awful for the last 3 weeks, but redeemed themselves this week. I was pleasantly surprised by the meat sales. Boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs are both on sale for $2.99 a pound. New York Strip Steaks are on sale for $5.99 a pound. We usually get the sirloin ones, because they go on sale at $4.99, but when strip steak is just $1 more per pound for a far superior cut, I will go for it. They also have grass fed beef on sale for $4.99 a pound so I am going to stock up.

They have a couple of pork sales going on as well, but I need to see how big they are, whether or not they have bones, and figure out what they mean by half cut chops. I have never seen that term before. They are both really cheap, one was $1.69 a pound and the other was $2.49 a pound, but those prices may even out depending on bones and I'd rather have boneless if it is a roast. If there is bone in a chop it needs to be on the edge. So we'll see on that one.

They have a pasta sauce I like but don't usually buy because of price on sale for 3 for $5, so I am going to check out the ingredients and see whether or not it has soy in it. If it doesn't, than I will go ahead and get some tomato based ones and some Alfredo ones. While I can make Alfredo sauce, it requires having cream on hand, and it is just easier to have jars on hand.

My son's special peanut butter is on a very cheap Friday only sale, so I will probably get four jars of that, too.

We are very low on cheese, so I will have to go to Winco. They have the best cheese prices in town. Since I'll be over there I'll stop at the Dollar Tree and stock up on soup, too. Fortunately all the grocery stores I shop at are on a pretty close loop. Two miles unless I include Costco and the Food Co-op, which is an additional mile, but still easily on that loop.

DH is taking the truck over to get an estimate on repairs tomorrow. They are a body shop that will bill my mother's insurance directly, but also one that is highly recommended in this town. He'll get an estimate on how much it would cost to paint the whole truck, too, since I want to start saving for that and I have not got a clue on how much that will cost. He also has a dentist appointment tomorrow for a cleaning. Good thing he only has to work until 11 a.m.

Still sticking to the meal plan really well. I don't really like the tater tot casserole my family loves, though, so I had tuna fish spread (no bread), a big salad, and finished off the canned pineapple from earlier in the week. Normally I'll make myself fish and chips on a night like this, but I didn't want to put forth the effort after all the cleaning I did today.

I'll clean out the fridge tomorrow before I go shopping. It's not bad, but someone spilled something in there that looks like juice and didn't tell me and it will need a bit of scrubbing and it is easier to do that before all the new stuff goes in and gets in the way.

I'm not sure if I'll do a one day shop or a two day shop. It really just depends on how well my body is doing. My joints have been hurting the last two days so I may not be able to do it all in one go.

Minor (Very Minor) Surgery Plus Instant Pot Recipe for Alliecat79

January 8th, 2019 at 08:28 pm

I took DD to the dentist today. She had to get the webbing clipped on that part of your mouth where the lower lip connects to the gum. It was starting to pull down the gum line on her two lower front teeth too far. It could have eventually exposed the roots of the teeth and she might have lost them due to them not being stable anymore. It was just a quick snip and a couple of stitches.

I am not sure how much it will cost us. Probably $50 for the co-pay, but they didn't collect anything while we were there. I wish our previous dentist had brought this up before. The new guy seems a little more on the ball. I mean, when he pointed it out to me, you could really see where the damage was being caused, it is an obvious thing that a dentist should have noticed before this. Unless maybe it wasn't as obvious and just got really bad in the last year.

I did actually break my no take out rule. I bought my daughter two milkshakes because she wasn't allowed to eat solids for the rest of the day and she wanted something cold to numb it. I really didn't want to go to the grocery store because it was raining hard, so we went to DQ.

I also spent $27.33 on prescriptions today, including a numbing mouth wash from the dentist for her. That came out of the medical account, though.

We still have not heard anything from the gyno's surgery scheduler. Hopefully we will hear from them this week. I know the doctor wasn't in her office for the last two weeks, but everyone was supposed to be back on Monday. The insurance company was probably pretty much closed down between Christmas and New Year's as well. If I don't hear from them by Friday I'll give a call on Monday.

I am still waiting to get a bill from DS's sleep study. It looks like it will be around $400 based on what the insurance company sent me for what they covered, but I'd like to get the bill so that it can be taken care of. The insurance statement only came on Monday. Everyone is behind because of the holidays, I think.

Mom called her insurance company today and has a claim number we can use. We will take the truck in soon to get an estimate and then schedule repairs. Fortunately, the damage is just cosmetic except for the bumper and while the license plate is dented in badly, it is still readable. We will leave that until we get new plates. Washington state requires new license plate numbers every 5 years (and they wonder why we are running out of numbers on our plates. They used to just be six digits and now they are seven because of this rule. Well, actually, we better make sure a new plate would even be attachable. I'll mention that to DH so he can mention it to the repair guy.

I did change my meal plan tonight since DD can't eat solids, to penné pasta with chicken sausage, since she can't eat the chicken sausage or tomatoes. I have a ton of sausage in the freezer that used to be something she could eat, but she can't anymore.

Oh, Alliecat79, this was a super easy Instant Pot meal. Just take two pints of diced tomatoes with their juice and add them to your pot, then dump in a box of penné pasta, then put in two jars of spaghetti sauce covering the pasta. Put an inch of water in each jar, put the lid on, shake up, and then dump the contents into the pot. Between that and the tomato juice there is enough liquid to make the steam so adding more is not necessary. Cut up some sausage links and put on top. On the manual setting, set the time for 12 minutes. Do a quick release when done and then stir it all up. That's it. (Sometimes I throw in a couple handfuls of frozen zucchini, too). Oh, and make sure you spray the liner pot with olive oil before you start. It makes clean up much easier.

Car Accident

January 8th, 2019 at 02:08 am

Don't worry, no one was hurt. We weren't even in the truck when my mother backed her SUV into it. She knew it was there. She saw it when she got in, but she had forgotten about it when she went to back out, which makes me think she didn't even look behind her as she backed up, and she must have really hit the gas because the amount of damage done to both vehicles was pretty bad. It put a six inch crack in our bumper and bowed it. It put a massive dent in the license plate, and it scratched big chunks of paint off the front of the truck.

The rear of her SUV actually fared worse. I am surprised that she is actually taking responsibility for it. She said she would call her insurance company. The last time she backed into one of our vehicles and left a big dent, she tried to play it off as nothing. At least the one time DH Scraped her old truck with the van, we offered to pay for it, but they popped the dent out for free. But this time she is going to pay for it. I just hope she doesn't have a super high deductible.

I hate to think what is going to happen to her insurance rates after this, though. True, it is her first accident in years (that I know of), but still she is 79 years old.

And that's another thing. Is it time to be thinking about taking the car keys away? I mean if you notice there is a vehicle parked behind you as you get into the car, but then forget about it by the time you back out, does that mean you shouldn't be behind the wheel anymore, or that you just spaced it.

Sometimes I think the driveway is cursed. This is the fifth accident in it during the last 30 years. I know they say most accidents happen close to home, but this is ridiculous.

When we take the truck in to be fixed we're going to get an estimate on how much it would cost to get the whole thing painted as well. The roof and the hood are both in pretty bad shape with flaking paint and rust starting. It was a bad paint year for Toyota Tacoma's that year. Body shops and mechanics can tell how old the vehicle is just by looking at the mess the paint is.

I had thought about not running it through the insurance to make it so her rates wouldn't go up, but you know, if she isn't driving safely than maybe her rates should go up, and it'll be a reminder to her to literally watch where she is going. I hope she just doesn't blame us for when it inevitably does go up. We had nothing to do with it. We were both in the house.

All's Quiet on the Home Front

January 6th, 2019 at 11:54 pm

DD is doing much better now. Thanks for all the supportive comments. They gave her IV fluids because she was dehydrated and the doctor agreed that it was a gasteroparesis flare up that caused an adrenal crisis due to not keeping down her meds. So we did everything right. She was there for a few hours, but her blood work came back okay on the cortisol levels, the shot did what it was supposed to do. Her iron levels are improving now that she has been able to eat very lean beef again, so we got confirmation of that. They did do the dumb pregnancy test despite her not needing one.

My birthday present from MIL has arrived yesterday, though my birthday is not until February 12th. She said I did not need to wait to use it if I didn't want to. I got a KitchenAid hand mixer in ice blue, which is really a minty green/blue color. They didn't have it in teal, which seems to be a discontinued color for KitchenAid. It is the color of my stand mixer, my toaster (Oster), and my Keurig. So I went with a color that will compliment the teal.

Today I ordered the birthday present that comes from DH (but will also be using some of the money I got from MIL for Christmas). It is a Dash 1400 watt blender in Aqua, which is also really a minty green/blue color in reality. Unfortunately KitchenAid does not have a blender in ice blue, so this was the closest I could come. I think this is a better blender anyway, more on par with a Vitamix, only slightly better. It was on a very good deal today and what I have been considering purchasing for a good long while. So, no, it's not an electric apple flinger situation.

We have been getting by with a cheap Ninja blender for the last couple of years, but it is one of those ones that you have to hold down to make it blend the entire time you blend it. And it is not that great with frozen things or ice. With this DD should be able to eat vegetables and fruits again that are not acidic. They have to be very pureéd or liquified so there are no long fibers that she can't digest.

You can also make soup in it as it has a soup function. This way she can get back to some healthier food options. And also I can make more low carb veggie soups. And we might be able to do a smooth pureé cauliflower and see if she can tolerate cauliflower that way. We've had to avoid the brassicas, but just maybe she could eat them this way.

I have been slowly investing in quality kitchen appliances the last few years after having cheap ones that break easily and have to be replaced for most of my marriage. I use them all the time, too, so it is nice to have dependable ones. It's not like I really need anything else anyway and cooking and baking make me happy so this has been working by having them be my gifts. I don't have to come up with unscheduled money for them, but I still get to add to my needed (and wanted) appliances/gadgets collection.

I am glad I took my time with these purchases and was able to wait until they came in the colors I liked and were good, high quality items that will last me for years.

First ER Visit of 2019 and Counting

January 5th, 2019 at 09:59 pm

DD's in stage 2 of an adrenal crisis. I had to give her a shot of cortisol because she couldn't keep the pills down for 24 hours and then DH took her to the ER because she has to be monitored for a while to make sure that she comes out of the adrenal crisis and that the cortisol doesn't send anything into overdrive (sort of like adrenaline would).

This is the first time I have given a shot to a human. It wasn't hard, but it was weird. I've only ever given them to rabbits when the herd needed Ivermectin and that is an under the skin shot, not a muscle shot. This was a muscle shot. I need to get used to it, though.

Before she left for the hospital I had her renew her shot prescription so we can get a replacement into her emergency med kit as soon as possible.

At least we have the money in the medical account to cover this when it comes due. That is a lot less stress on us than all of last year. I'll keep adding to the account, too. I had thought about maybe cutting my contributions since it is funded, but I think I'll continue on for a while. If it turns out we don't need it I will use it for debt payment, but for the time being it can just go into the medical account, at least until after her surgery (assuming the insurance company approves it). I'll stress less that way.

This visit will be the first thing on her deductible this year. It should just be around $753, since there won't be any need for tests, just monitoring. That will get her 3/4 of the way through her deductible. I hope they don't make her take a pregnancy test. They do for almost every visit, but since this one shouldn't involve radiation or narcotics in any way and we know what is going on, they don't need to.

They probably will, though, even though this should not be a diagnostic visit at all. Just another unnecessary expense for celibate women. They don't believe her when she says there is no chance. They tried to give me a pregnancy test when I went in pregnant with DS for the gash in my knee that I needed stitches for and they tried to do one after my hysterectomy. I pitched fits both times. I understand why they do it, but she's been too sick for the past 8 years to even go on a date, so it feels ridiculous. It costs somewhere in the $80 ballpark, so it just annoys me. Not like I can do anything about it, though.

Anyway, hopefully everything will be just fine. This is the first adrenal crisis she's had since being put on the cortisol. I am just glad that DH was available to take her. I am still a little under the weather, though worlds better, and I get sick every time I go to the hospital, plus the waiting room chairs and the in room chairs screw up my hips and tailbone for days afterwards. DH keeps me updated with texts so I have almost a play by play of anything going on without having to expose myself to the flu or the plague or whatever version of the creeping crud is going around town.

This and That

January 2nd, 2019 at 11:41 pm

They were having a 20% off plus free shipping deal on Vitamin Shoppe today so I went ahead and reordered my vitamins. We were out of Vitamin D (without soy) almost and we take a lot during the winter months here due to SADS. I ordered 6 bottles of it, 2 bottles of Vitamin A (without soy), 2 bottles of fish oil (that does not have polysorbate-80 in it), and a big bottle of Vitamin C (without soy). I spent $123.08 after the discount was applied. I should be set for some time on vitamins.

I started work on the novel again. I wrote about 1008 words and I plan on getting back to it when I finish posting here. I am going to try to post every day this month and I am running out of today, so thought I'd hop on and do this quick.

Still holding strong on cooking from the meal plan and not eating out.

I worked on decluttering my room a bit today. I am taking it one section at a time. I am overcoming years of packrat tendencies, but sometimes it is slow going. I am just sick of living a cluttered existence, so one of my goals for 2019 is to put an end to that. We have been working towards it for a while now.

DS will be getting some more cooking lessons this week and next. He'll be learning how to make the tater tot casserole, homemade pizza from scratch, pork carnitas, chicken shawarma and homemade pita bread, and the sausage/bell peppers/onions stir-fry dish. He is really enjoying the cooking lessons and was bummed that we had to stop in December due to my illness.

I think that about covers it.

Two Week Meal Plan

January 1st, 2019 at 12:57 pm

I have a goal of no eating out for the next two weeks and then will hopefully continue that for the whole month. I'll take it one step at a time, though, and the first step was planning out all the meals for the next two weeks. Part of me wanted to do the eat from the pantry challenge that some of my youtube buddies are doing, but part of me did not want to add that on top of my recovery. I am still weak from that illness and still very tired. I don't think I should make things extra difficult at the moment so I'm not.

I will need to pick up a few items at the start of week two, like plain Greek yogurt and dill for the Tzatziki sauce, more organic iceberg lettuce, and more potatoes. I usually only buy 13 pounds of potatoes a week, because that is all that will fit in the storage bin and since we eat a lot of potatoes, that usually doesn't make it the full two weeks. It might make it ten days, but sometimes only a week. It depends on whether or not I make hashbrowns or potatoes O'Brien for breakfast or not.

We don't eat much in the way of bread, and two of us can't eat beans or lectins (inflammation for me, gasteropaeresis for my daughter), so potatoes are one of our main carbs around here, along with rice, and sweet potatoes, with the occasional pasta.

Day One:
Chicken and Green Beans Stir-fry (has onions)
Rice
Home Canned Pears

Day Two:
Ribeye Steaks
Baked Potatoes
Broccoli
Canned Pineapple

Day Three:
Spaghetti with Ground Beef
Salad
Oranges

Day Four:
Pork Carnitas
Cole Slaw
Apples

Day Five:
Air-Fried Chicken Legs
Roasted Potatoes, Bell Peppers, and Onions
Green Beans
Oranges

Day Six:
Chicken Tater Tot Casserole
Broccoli
Home Canned Nectarines

Day Seven:
Beef Pot Roast
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Broccoli
Oranges

Day Eight:
Homemade Pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage, Ham, Yellow Onions, Bell Peppers, and Spinach
Cole Slaw
Canned Pineapple

Day Nine:
Pork Roast
Baked Potatoes
Home Canned Pears

Day Ten:
Chicken Zucchini Alfredo Bake
Apples

Day Eleven:
Fried Codfish
Fried Potatoes
Cole Slaw
Home Canned Nectarines

Day Twelve:
Chicken Shawarma
Homemade Pita Bread
Homemade Tzatziki
Cole Slaw
Home Canned Pears

Day Thirteen:
Cheeseburgers with Homemade Buns
French Fries
Salad
Oranges

Day Fourteen:
Sausage with Bell Peppers and Onions
Salad
Apples