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Adventure's in Parentsitting

June 20th, 2017 at 11:04 am

It's been a long two weeks since Mom came home from her shoulder surgery and the stories I could recount up to this point could fill a book. Did you know that oxycodone and elderly people often equals hallucinations? I sure didn't. After the first week we had to switch to hydrocodone because that particular side effect was getting bad.

I haven't had any help from my sisters. The eldest has come to visit twice, once staying for 20 minutes a few days after Mom came home and the other time staying for an hour and a half to do some work on the computer. She spent very little time interacting with Mom. She only lives five minutes or so away. When I asked her if she could stay with Mom while I ran to the store, her answer was that she had to go. *sighs*

My middle sister seldom stirs herself to come see Mom and when she does it is more of a pit stop for her than anything else. She's always been this way unless there is something in it for her, like presents. She quit coming at Christmas time when Mom stopped giving presents. She's never come for Thanksgiving or invited anyone to her home for Thanksgiving.

It's only a 40 minute drive from her house to here, but she comes up usually only once a year. When we lived in the mountains it was a 45 minute drive and we were in here at least twice a week. I just don't get the mentality. Yet I've seen it before, when Mom was taking care of Grandma and her sister did very little to help.

I've heard that is often the way, that one child does it all in caring for a parent. I've seen it play out in other people's lives, too. One of my friends is the only one who helps her mom out with her step-father, who had a stroke a year and a half ago. He has five sons, all biological, and they don't really do anything, certainly nothing without being prompted, and their wives don't either. Even though they all live nearby while my friend lives 2 hours plus a ferry ride away.

It frustrates me that family members behave this way when they all ought to be pitching in to help. Especially my sisters. But they weren't here when Mom was dealing with Grandma. They were married and out of the house. So they didn't see first hand the strain it put on her. I did what I could to help at the time, but I was still a young teenager.

My kids are helping some. My son is doing all the morning farm chores that were my mother's, like letting the birds out in the morning, cleaning out the chicken coop (he already does the duck coop and the turkey coop), mowing the lawn (she likes to do that or it would have been his chore a long time ago), weed-eating, etc. Mom never had evening farm chores, those we do.

My daughter has helped with some of the day to day care, and the first few days, the night time care since she is usually up until two or three in the morning. They have both helped with hourly checks as well. Fortunately Mom is now getting to the point where she can be left alone for two or three hours and she is sleeping through the night. The first week was hard, though.

DH will be home on Friday and I will get a bit of a break. I'll still have to do a lot, but he can take some of the burden. I am sick from the lack of sleep and close to a full body break down. I have to ice my knees and ankles frequently due to the many trips up and down the stairs. It is only two steps, but when you do them 20 times a day when you are used to only doing them once or twice, it is hard on damaged joints.

I haven't had as much time in the garden as I would like, but it is going like gangbusters. Hopefully today I can get out there and harvest, because there is a lot to do and I still want to plant green beans. It's not too late for this part of the country.

My daughter managed to dislocate her middle finger on her dominant hand 3 days ago. She got it back in, but the swelling and pain has been pretty bad. The doctor said just treat it like a sprain once he made sure it was in place. So it is in a splint and taped to the finger next door. This has taken her out of the running for a lot of things, like doing the dishes, taking out the recycling, cleaning the bathroom, and folding the laundry, all chores she either does or helps with normally.

Her brother picks up a lot of that slack. I went in halfsies on Nintendo Switch for him due to all his hard work.

In the midst of all this, I managed to spill water on my laptop and it will be 4 to 6 weeks until I get it back. I remember when turnaround was only 10 days. I'm sure I just fried the motherboard. This is not my first time spilling water on a computer, but hopefully it is my last.

I am using a new desk top computer hooked up to my TV. It will be my daughter's computer after I get my laptop back. Her laptop has lasted 8 years, but it is showing its age, so this was on the agenda anyway. It was 12 months same as cash, so I went ahead and did that. I usually do.

The medical bills from my ER visit and emergency laser eye surgery came in. It's $1800 total since it all went on the deductible. And I had $450 of labs, also all on the deductible. My x-rays bill hasn't come yet, but that will also be on the deductible. The new medical insurance can't start soon enough. We will have to meet a $1000 family deductible for it, but then we are done with that nonsense for the rest of the year. Plus not having to pay $1337 a month for insurance will be great. It'll just be $300 pre-tax a month, which frees up a lot of money.

DH got a job offer, but it wasn't one that would be sustainable. It would have been a drop in pay of 40%. Which would work if it was a local job, but not for one he has to pay airfare and travel expenses for. This is an offer from the company he was laid off from. It is also a backwards step in his career to a lower position. While it would have been steady work, we would have had to take money from savings each month to meet all the bills, so he declined it.

The other job he interviewed for is taking forever to start up and he probably won't hear anything about that until August. He will continue to look for something else, but my hope is that things will straighten out with the company he is currently working for since their benefits are unbeatable. Right now they have been given an additional project and have work through December, not just through October. Maybe things will continue to pick up.

I have set a goal for myself to try to write at least 1000 words a day on my novel. I can normally do 1500 to 2000 a day, but not while caring for my mother. Still, I'd like to do as much as I can. I just need to make it a priority again.

Well, that should catch things up. Hopefully I will be able to post again soon.

Made it to the Pool and Started a New Dietbet

May 29th, 2017 at 08:14 pm

In an effort to start exercising again, we made it to the pool today. It was during open swim and while there was a free lap lane, I didn't swim laps. What I did was grab a pool noodle, stick it under my arms, and then do the bicycling legs while floating thing for 20 minutes. Then I pretty much just floated for a while. Gravity is not my friend right now, so anything that helps me defy it is wonderful.

I figured I should take it easy in the beginning as I don't want to hurt myself when I am just getting started. I have no stamina right now. A lot of times working in the garden I end up huffing and puffing. I am just so out of shape. It's a good thing I took it easy, too, because my legs felt like jelly when I got out.

I sat in the hot tub for about 15 minutes and then took a nice long shower, since no one else was in the locker room. I am almost out of my swim shampoo and conditioner. It takes the chlorine out of my hair so I will need to buy some more soon if I keep this up.

I picked up the new pool schedule for the summer and there is only one water Zumba class a week. I am not ready to go to that or water aerobics, though. Not until my feet and ankles are doing better. Hopefully I'll get some kind of medication from the rheumatologist and it will help with all the swelling and tightness that reoccurs.

I also signed up for two dietbets, one a six month transformer and one a month long kickstarter. I finally feel motivated enough to get this weight loss thing moving again. I didn't have to put any money out since I still have a bunch in my account. The kickstarter starts on June 1st and the transformer starts tomorrow.

My son is wanting to eat more healthy and so we will be supporting each other. I am probably going to make my daughter get on the band wagon as well. I hope DH does, too. He's gained back a lot of weight and it is messing with his back. I'm going to stop buying the junk food for the most part. If it isn't in the house no one can eat it in front of me and tempt me.

I'm sure my weight is contributing to my ankle pain and that it isn't all arthritis. It's just so bad and I can't do this to myself anymore. So for now I am motivated and hopefully I can stay motivated.

I am getting my positive attitude back. I think my brain is either adjusting to the spot in my vision or the Occu Power is actually helping to diminish it. Either way it is less irritating than it was even a couple days ago.

I am trying to keep that attitude going, but DH's work is really testing my frustration levels. They waited until the last minute to decide whether he was going to be coming up on Mondays or Thursdays, and finally told him the day he left as he was heading out to catch a plane that it was Thursdays.

Today he gets a call from his boss's boss wondering where he is, because his boss, who said he would take care of putting all the paperwork together, didn't. His boss is the same guy who months ago, conveniently "lost" all three copies of the resume DH gave him and claimed he never received one from him even though DH personally handed him copies of it twice. It feels an awful lot like sabotage part 2.

So while it is now all worked out and in the future he will be starting on Mondays, he has lost 3 days of work out of this coming hitch. That is a big chunk of money that we were depending on.

I won't be able to put anything in the EF and I'm not sure where else I will be able to make cuts. I may actually have to pull from the EF to cover this. I was hoping to buy some new rabbit cages and replace my daughter's bed and put some money aside in case I have to pay for the full amount of the laser eye surgery. Maybe I can get by with buying almost no food in the next six weeks. It'll mean eating a lot of greens from the garden, which we have, and eating from our freezer and canning pantry. Maybe I'll do a challenge.

DH has not heard from the other company who said they'd let him know by the 14th. He will follow up with them tomorrow. I told him he needs to continue job hunting. I just don't trust these guys and all their last minute stuff. The fact that quite a few of them seem to have permanent cases of cranial rectal inversion doesn't help either.

But think positive. I can do that. I need to do that.

Grocery Prices on the Rise?

May 28th, 2017 at 05:35 pm

I am trying to decide if grocery prices are going up or not. I know that I can still walk out of Trader Joe's with a cart full of groceries, including meat, for around $120 to $150. And the grocery outlet seems pretty steady, but it has a different price point anyway. No, it's the regular stores that seem to be going up.

I have noticed it a lot on produce and on things that are in season in our state right now. Most of the greens have gone up, so I am grateful I don't need to buy them at this time of year because of the garden. Chicken prices seem to have gone up about 30 cents a pound and that's on sale.

Fish has definitely gone up a dollar a pound pretty much across the board. Even trout which is usually the cheapest fish you can buy since around here they are competing with people who go out and catch the fish themselves to eat and people who sell direct off their boats.

Beef prices, which I don't have to worry about for at least the next six months seem to have risen about a dollar a pound as well, except hamburger, which has gone up about 50 cents a pound. Hot dogs and hot dog buns have gone up and at this time of year, especially around holidays, it is usually down a lot. Bread has gone way up. Now that I am feeling better I need to go back to baking my own loaves.

Milk seems to be steady, but we don't buy enough of it for me to be sure. Eggs have gone up. Cheese's regular price has gone up, but its sale price has gone down. Frozen foods seem to be very cheap right now, or at least going on a lot of sales.

I think I will have to just do more shopping at Trader Joe's, the grocery outlet, and Winco and only do sale shopping at Safeway and Haggen. Costco seems to have had a slight bump in some prices and gone down in others. But Costco is the only place I can get a few items, so that one I'll just have to deal with whatever price is on those items.

Have you been noticing food prices going up a lot this year? Or is it just where I live that this is going on?

A Long but Good Day

May 21st, 2017 at 12:27 am

I got to see sister #2 today for the first time since last summer. Sister #1 was there as well, but I see her a couple times a week, usually. It was a graduation party for S2's youngest child and all four of her children were there including her eldest who lives in Arizona and his new wife. S1's daughter was hosting it.

S1 and I always tend to gravitate to each other at these things and of course, when S2 saw that, she had to come over and talk to us, too. She's always been that way, can't be left out of a conversation her sisters are having. It was good catching up. I think S2 has changed a lot in the last couple of years. It is good to see that she isn't as lost as she used to be.

S2 is finally on the internet and has an email address, so it'll be a lot easier for me to stay in touch with her now. I was able to get a picture of the 3 of us together and the 3 of us with Mom. We haven't had a picture of us girls together since I was 19. I am going to print a copy of the one of us with Mom for Mom to have.

After that we went to my great niece's first birthday party. We missed the first part of it, but made it for an hour of it. It was a pretty exhausting day for me, but worth it to spend so much time with family. It helped lift my spirits a bit.

I'm still depressed about my eye, but at least I didn't have to think about it for a while today. I didn't eat anything at either party, it was all cake and chips and soda. On the way home we picked up Taco Time, though and spent about $40. I had a taco salad with no dressing and added some berries on the side when I got home. Taco salads are my favorite thing from there other than tacos, but I'm trying to limit corn and wheat right now.

Tomorrow I will get back into the swing of cooking again. I need to make up a meal plan and probably buy some more veggies.

Shaking it Off

April 22nd, 2017 at 11:41 am

I think I might actually be starting on the upswing now with this head cold. I woke up feeling less tired than when I went to bed, it took less time to clear the gunk out of my nose and throat because there was less of it, and I had just enough energy to get a load of dishes and a load of laundry going. Of course, then I had to sit down because I am still a bit light-headed. I'll pace myself today, but if I can manage to get one more load of laundry and one more load of dishes done after this, I should be caught up. Unless I decide to change the sheets, but I may wait and do that tomorrow. Baby steps.

I watched the first season of Back in Time for Dinner. It was really interesting how food, its availability, its method of preservation and production and preparation all impacted family life and especially the lives of women.

I would have been quite frustrated during rationing and I know my family would have felt hungry with such small amounts of meat. We would have had to grow a lot of potatoes in our garden to make up for the lack. Potatoes will fill you when meat is scarce. The lack of fat would have been difficult, too. As farmers we would have been better off than most, but still...if we had to live under their exact conditions, than potatoes it would be.

I came away from the series with a greater appreciation of the abundance of fresh food we have today and the ease with which we can prepare it. It made me grateful I live now, with refrigeration and microwaves and freezers and dehydrators.

I see there are a couple more seasons available, so since I still have to rest a lot while I finish getting over this cold, I will probably tuck into those. I am getting a lot of granny squares crocheted for my bedspread so at least I don't feel completely unproductive.

I do have to go out and buy eggs at some point today. The birds are molting so I'm not getting any duck eggs at all. Or else they are hiding them again. I'm too sick to brave Costco on a Saturday. They have the cheapest organic eggs. I'm not even sure I want to brave Safeway on a Saturday, but I'll have to since Haggens is way too expensive for eggs. Plus I like the doughnuts at Haggens and they are hard for me to resist when I am sick and I am doing so well with the diet it is not worth putting them in my path. Maybe I can sit in the parking lot and just send my son in with a $20. That might be the easiest solution all around.

DH Thinks Things Went Well

February 25th, 2017 at 11:30 am

DH's job interview went really well. It was a four person interview so it turns out going down was a much better decision than doing a phone interview. They sent him 3 follow up questions by email when he got home and would like them answered by Tuesday. DH is going to work on them this weekend and so he can have them waiting for them on Monday to show promptness and meeting a deadline early.

Turns out that the job would not be located where they are, but will be moving about a series of temporary offices as each section of the work is completed. He would probably only have to go to the main office once a month for a meeting.

They are hiring for 4 different jobs, same position, and it sounds like one of them is perfect for DH's experience, though he could do all of them. They said he would hear back from them either way in a week and a half to two weeks.

They were very happy that DH was able to come in immediately for an interview, too. He applied on Monday, they called him on Thursday, and he interviewed Friday. DH feels the interview went very well for the most part, though his mind blanked right at the very beginning. Fortunately he was able to get through it and things went smoothly after that.

This would be a very good company for him to work for. Everything I have ever heard about how they are as employers is good. They have great benefits and a stock purchase option that is not available to the general public, but is to employees. I have wanted to buy stock in this company for two decades. Once you have it you can DRIP it even if you are no longer employed so can't buy more. But this company would be an excellent one to stay with.

They haven't mentioned salary, but won't unless he gets hired. But we know the typical salary for the position and it would be enough to live on and allow us to start paying my mother again. And build our Emergency Fund back up again, and start saving our money towards a down payment again, and DH could start taking one class at a time online for his Bachelor's Degree.

I would really appreciated prayers these next two weeks for DH to get this job. It would be so perfect now that we know the details. I know I will be praying hard.

DH Has a Job Interview

February 23rd, 2017 at 11:55 pm

DH has a job interview tomorrow in Kent, which is in between Seattle and Tacoma. That is a long way to go. I guess they offered him an in person interview or a phone interview, but he felt it was better to do one in person. He didn't check with me first, though, so I had to rearrange my appointment for tomorrow, but thankfully I could.

Normally he could take his dad's truck if there is a conflict, but he wanted the GPS in the van. I don't blame him. It gets us to unfamiliar places easily and it also tells us where there is heavy traffic, accidents, or standstills coming up.

While I can drive the truck, I have a really hard time getting into it. I have to use a step stool to get in, because his dad has the tires jacked up so high and the grab bar is located in the wrong place for pulling yourself up. There is no running board. And that's on the passenger side. On the driver's side, the steering wheel does not lift up high enough, so I have to twist in a way that generally tweaks my back and leads to muscle spasms for days. It's fine if I am sitting there driving, though I prefer a higher set steering wheel, but it is hard to get in under. If it was lower, I could just step in instead of climbing in and having to twist. *sighs*

So he'll be back at least two hours before my appointment so that should build in plenty of time for traffic jams. Heaven forbid there are protests on the interstate, because it is Seattle and it is Friday and that's what they do there. A lot. They've started charging people though, so it is starting to taper off.

I'm not terribly keen on Kent, though. Housing is in the $600K range and there is pretty much nothing available. Everything listed is under contract. It would be a bear of a daily commute from here. I don't see how we could afford to live there. I don't think he'd get paid enough. I'd rather move to Arkansas than to the Seattle area.

I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.


Making Do

January 16th, 2017 at 12:52 am

We are out of garlic powder. Even though we have a ton of garlic in the garlic braid I made this summer from what I grew in the garden, sometimes I just like to use garlic powder. I put it in the dough for my homemade pizza and I use it to make the parsley butter sauce for my garlic pull apart bread. I like to add it to my bone broth, which I don't season when I make it, but a pinch of it in a mug of broth is perfect.

We are at the stage where we just can't run to the store for any little thing we are out of. The more we go to the store, the more we spend, so the goal is to simply stay out of the store as much as possible.

To that end I am making homemade garlic powder. It's really not that hard. It's just kind of tedious to peel all the cloves and then chop them up. It's also time consuming. But eventually I got through several heads of garlic, cut up the cloves into 1/4 inch slices, and now they are in the dehydrator. By morning it should be dry and then I can run it through the spice grinder to make my powder.

Fortunately garlic is not nearly as wet as onions. Onions take a long time to dry, about 3 days. So worth it though. It makes the best onion powder I've ever tasted, just like doing the garlic makes the best garlic powder. I want garlic powder to add to my homemade pesto which we will have on ravioli for dinner since I try to avoid tomato sauce as much as possible now. It kicks it up a notch even though it already has minced garlic in it.

It is good to know how to make things like this so that when I run out of something that is a staple to my cooking, I can make what I need instead of just running to the store and spending more money than I intended.

Oh, yay

December 7th, 2016 at 11:53 am

Looks like the Christmas spam is starting early. Barely readable, spent too much time using a theasauras, completely off topic, trying too hard to be high brow spam, too.

So Many Didn't Even Bother

November 11th, 2016 at 10:24 am

70,000,000 registered voters did not vote in the election this week. A further 20,000,000 eligible voters did not register to vote. That means 90,000,000 people, give or take a few thousand due to life circumstances like a heart attack or stroke or giving birth, in America did not think who became the next president was important enough to vote for or register to vote for.

Or else they thought it was a done deal because of a media that wished it so and pollsters who over sampled in predominately liberal areas like large cities and college campuses and got such skewed data that it made them think they did not need to bother. Or they did it on purpose just so their polls would have the results they wanted them to have. If you looked at the collection data and not just the charts it was obvious what they were doing. But most of America didn't look. The propaganda machine did exactly the opposite of what it wanted to achieve.

It makes me wonder how many of those now protesting voted and how many did not. Based on my reasonable knowledge of statistics and my cynical opinion of human nature, I'd estimate at least 55% did vote but of those 5% voted for Johnson or Stein, 30% did not vote, the rest may or may not have but of those 10% are paid protesters, 3% didn't have anything better to do, and 2% are there just to try to incite violence to break out so they can riot, steal, beat people they pull out of random cars, and set things on fire, all of which have happened in most of the protesting cities, even Seattle, although at least in Seattle they are just burning garbage.

I wouldn't believe any polling data coming now that breaks down how America voted by race or sex, or any other label they want to put on us to divide us out, either. We saw how they polled only in select areas, not across America, certainly not in rural areas. We saw that people obviously lied to the pollsters as well, due to fear of getting beaten up, shame, or privacy issues. I think if there is one takeaway anyone should have from this election, it is that you can never believe the polls again, if you ever did in the first place. With my knowledge of statistics, including how to manipulate them, I never did.

I've Got the Blahs

October 27th, 2016 at 02:38 pm

I'm having a major case of the blahs. I really don't have much of a desire to blog right now. It's not that I'm letting things go by the wayside. It's just that without an income coming in, I have no goals other than to just get through this until DH finds a job. And with that being unlikely until after the election life is in limbo.

If Trump is elected, there will be more oil exploration and more projects going forward and more oil jobs. If Clinton is elected their won't be, because they won't be approved, unless Congress stays overwhelmingly Republican. It's a fact of the oil business. Republicans favor it. Democrats don't. Isn't that a fun place to be politically? Especially now when I'm losing faith in Johnson and I still don't want to vote for either of the other two. Ugh.

There will still be new projects here, though. So there will still be new jobs in my state, but with fewer openings so more competition for DH. And it is doubtful there will be any new jobs up there where the pay is usually better. We did find out for sure what happened there with Company B.

Company B didn't actually want to hire anyone from Company A at all even though parent company was very strongly saying you need to hire these specific people so things will run smoothly and the transition will work right. We want these people here. So basically anyone that was strongly recommended conveniently had their resumes "lost" on purpose.

DH's former co-workers who did manage to get hired say it is absolute hell up there. A lot of the people who were originally hired from Company A have been let go because they are being blamed for all the problems Company B is having, instead of Company B's complete willingness to be total donkey bottom fedoras and follow what has worked for the last 20 years because their way worked that one time with the small job so it ought to work on this much more massive scale. It doesn't.

I hope it was worth taking the lowest bid from a company that is not delivering and is acting like a snotty college kid in their first real job who thinks they know better than senior management because they did a class project their senior year and got an A on it, but were only hired because their daddy is CEO and can't actually be fired because of an ironclad contract, but is wreaking absolute havoc meanwhile.

In hindsight, I'm glad DH dodged that bullet. As for life being in limbo, I'm not really railing against it like I was before. I'm kind of numb to it. I'm not firing on all 8 cylinders. It's the onset of SADS. I'm using my happy light and I've upped my vitamin D intake. My diet is on track. But I haven't been able to exercise since I hurt my back and that is something that really makes a difference. And I haven't been able to spend time outdoors because of the foulness of the weather and being outside usually helps, too.

I'm sure resignation to wait things out also is contributing somewhat to a less than optimistic attitude, but I won't put pressure on DH. He is working hard on trying to find a new job and puts in hours every day on his job search between running his dad to chemotherapy here and to the follow up appointments and blood draws and the big cancer center in Seattle for other things and doing all the driving for his parents to do their errands since his mom doesn't drive anymore and his dad is so tired out by it.

Hopefully it will shake off with the higher dose of vitamin D starts taking effect.

Update--A Bright Spot

September 13th, 2016 at 12:24 pm

I haven't really posted this month, just the interest update at the start. I tweaked my back while the chiropractor was on vacation and that put me down for a few days. I finally went and spent the money to get a deep tissue massage and it was the right choice because I was functional again that evening and out of pain other than a few twinges here and there the next day.

Then I came down with something, but it didn't act like anything normal. I felt run down, exhausted, a little achy, and had been running a fever over 100 for 10 days. That's it. No other symptoms. I did get a spider bite and it had a massive rash with it, so perhaps its related to that. But it made me too tired to do much in the way of writing, especially since I was canning, dehydrating, and preserving food.

On the other hand, there is a major bright note. You all know how I have struggled with walking since a year after my knee surgery. I was doing so well that first year of recovery, even hiking, and then everything went downhill and I had severe pain in my knee when walking and it would swell up with fluid randomly and for no apparent reason. No one could explain it and MRI's didn't show anything new. Long walks were out of the question and if I went grocery shopping I could only go to one place before the pain got so bad I'd have to go lie down the rest of the day.

When the chiropractor got back from vacation, I asked him to do traction on my neck with this loop thing he has. It basically fastens around the hairline tightly and has a strap with a handle on it and he gently pulls to get some of the tightness out of the neck. Well, we had a miscommunication and after a few traction pulls, he did this adjustment on me he had never done before where he basically tried to yank my spinal column out of my body (that's what it felt like).

It felt like every single vertabrae from my tailbone to the top of neck moved into alignment. After the shock wore off and I could get up, I immediately felt something different in my hips, left knee and left ankle, which had been getting very bad over the summer. It took me a few steps for it to sink in that I wasn't limping for the first time since 2010.

I wasn't sure what to think, but I knew it wouldn't last. But it has. I walked around Costco the next day without pain or exhaustion afterwards. Every day I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept thinking I should try going for a walk, but I was scared. I was without daily pain in those joints for the first time in 6 years. I didn't want to screw it up.

Well, to make a long story slightly longer, yesterday DH and I went out to Bellewood because the Tsaguru apples are ready. They are my favorite apple and have only a two week picking window. It's 30 cents a pound cheaper to pick them yourselves than to buy them already picked. I wanted 20 pounds, so we would save $6 by doing U-pick.

But all of the golf carts were out. They use golf carts to take you to the orchard if you don't want to walk. Well, frugalness won out and I decided I would try to walk it. They said if it was too much for me to walk back to call them and they'd page someone to get us. Of course the apples I wanted were at the farthest end of the orchard!

It was a fifteen minute walk to get there. We had to go past the corn maze and the massive pumpkin and sunflower field, and over a bridge that crossed a stream before we even saw the orchard. Then on to the far back corner. It did not take very long to pick, though we had to go several trees down the row because the near ones were picked clean. We filled our two ten pound bags in about 10 minutes and headed back.

I did start to feel it a little bit when we hit the bridge, but it was more being winded. I am used to doing water exercise and keeping my breathing even. This was a little harder. I did feel a bit of a strain from using muscles in ways I hadn't in a long time and I was really afraid I was going to pay for it today, but you know what? I'm not. My muscles and joints feel fine.

I walked for a total of 30 minutes. I walked. You have no idea what this means to me. I am going out for another walk today, just to make sure it is not a fluke. If I can start walking and not be in pain...I might truly have my old life back. I'm scared to believe its even a possibility, but...I have a little hope now. The skeptic in me says to be guarded as it may not last, but oh, I hope it does.

Not Much Going on and a Military Question

May 26th, 2016 at 11:05 pm

It's been a slow couple of days. I went to Water Zumba on Wednesday, took today off from exercise, and will go to water aerobics tomorrow. I really wish they had the Zumba three times per week.

The Integrated Chemistry and Physics curriculum seems to be going well so far. The other stuff hasn't arrived yet. I think we will be able to finish off the Money Management course in 12 days if the online program doesn't malfunction again.

I haven't been spending the last few days. Tomorrow is payday so there will be a few bills paid and a trip to the grocery store. I also have physical therapy tomorrow so there will be money spent for that.

I know there are a couple of military families on here and I have a question. If the spouse in the military dies and the family is living in base housing, how long would the family have before they had to vacate the house?

More Pool Time

May 16th, 2016 at 11:06 pm

I went to the gym today and did a 45 minute water aerobics class, sat in the hot tub for 15 minutes, and then did an hour water Zumba class. It was fun and I kept up okay, though learning the steps in the water Zumba class was a little harder. I tend to have two left feet when I am first starting out. Eventually I get things though and do pretty good. I think it'll be five or six more classes until I am at that point though.

I had so much energy afterwards I felt like swimming laps, but decided that would definitely overdo it. I think I will sleep very well again, tonight. Tomorrow they only have one water aerobics class, but it is an hour. Unfortunately it ends at 10 and then lap swimming isn't until noon. So I'd either have to come back then if I wanted to exercise longer or come back at 8 p.m. Yeah, not so much.

The exercising is definitely a control thing. Since I can't really control our financial future at this point I am channeling it all into working out. Which is good up to a point, but I really do have to be careful not to go at it too hard. I don't want to hurt myself. It's a good distraction though. And it makes me too tired to dwell too much on life in limbo.

And it could be worse. I could be focusing all my attention on food. I don't want to do that because I can get a wee bit obsessive when I do. Like the way I am obsessive about budgeting and savings, which can sometimes get out of hand, too. I mean there are only so many scenarios I can run on spreadsheets for the future, but that doesn't stop me from running them.

Ah, issues. I have them.

Diet and Upcoming Medical Things

May 15th, 2016 at 10:50 pm

Gracious, but I was sore today, but in such a good way. I will be starting back up with the water aerobics tomorrow. It'll be nice. I slept like a log last night, my body was so tired from swimming for an hour. And I think my new pillow helped a lot. It was expensive, but it works much better with my c-pap machine, and my neck felt so much better this morning.

I am hoping I will sleep that hard again tonight as I could really use the sleep. I feel like I am on the edge of a cold, but it could just be the weather swinging from 75 degree days to 60 degree days. Or it could be the pollen. Or a combination of both. I am fighting hard not to get sick just when I am getting on a roll with exercising again.

My diet has been good for 3 days straight and I am hoping to keep it clean like this now. May 31st can't come soon enough. I will be glad to see the bariatric doctor and see if there isn't something more that can be done to help me (short of surgery, I don't want to do that) get the rest of this weight off.

Today was a no spend day, but I will have a prescription to fill on the 17th, and I have to pick up straw for the duck and turkey coops tomorrow. Otherwise I won't be spending anything else until payday. I've got a big dental bill to pay for my son's fillings. Not huge, but somewhere around $200 to $300. It was closer to $600 before insurance. I am going to have to stay on him about brushing his teeth better. I shouldn't have to with him being 16, but I do. Maybe if I tell him he's going to have to start paying a percentage of his dental bills out of his allowance he'll get the picture.

DH still needs to get crown work done and not sure when we'll be able to do that as it will be around $1000 out of our pocket. Guess where DS gets his bad toothbrushing habits from?

I know it is possible to correct lazy brushing and flossing habits as I've done it myself. But the males in my life haven't managed to get it together in that regard. My DD is fastidious about it, but she had braces for 3 years and had to be a fanatic about it, and those good habits have remained.

I have to call the ENT tomorrow. I keep forgetting, but DS has been having bloody drainage since his surgery and just remembered to tell me last week. It's been weeks since his surgery so this really should not still be going on. I'm sure fixing the problem won't come cheap. We'll see.

Well, I better hit the hay.

Swimmingly and Shoppingly

May 14th, 2016 at 02:58 pm

I received my $15 check from Pinecone today and sold 2 dozen duck eggs for $10. That'll go into the moving fund on Monday.

I also went to the pool today and swam laps for an hour. Well, mostly swam laps. When my arms would get too tired then I would walk the laps. Part of my physical therapy exercises are to walk forward one length of the pool, then backwards one length, then sideways with the left leg being the lead leg, then reverse with the right leg being the lead leg. I lost track of how many laps I actually did, but I was in there for the whole hour, then did some stretches and then sat in the hot tub for 15 minutes (glorious).

It's been a while since I've been to the pool and I will probably pay for all that exercise tomorrow, but for now I feel really good. My diet has been stuck in a rut (though I hit my dietbet goal for this month last month) and I think it is because I've been slacking on the exercise. I haven't been sleeping great either, and again, the exercise usually helps with that. I have a feeling I will sleep like a log tonight.

I found out from DH that it could be a couple more weeks before we know anything about the contract. No one knows why it is taking so long for them to make a decision. The current contract ends mid-June. I would hope they would come to a decision by then, but I'm not really holding my breath. It's more like I'm waiting for the chance to inhale.

The stress of not knowing has been messing with my eating as well. Which is why I forced myself to get back in the pool. I will go again tomorrow, too. It is a better way to channel stress than through food. Or shopping.

Although I did go shopping. I bought a new, smaller kiddie pool for the ducks to replace the other one that is harder to dump. And I also got new sheets and pillow cases for the bed and a new pillow, plus sunscreen and bug spray. I'm going to donate our old sheets to the animal shelter. They are always looking for sheets, blankets, and towels.

Yesterday I also bought my sun 3 tank tops, 2 shirts, and 5 pairs of shorts for the summer. He has grown so much the last year. And I got 3 tank tops for my daughter. I am sure when my husband comes home he will need to buy shorts. He has shrunk out of his old ones and I'm not sure he has any from before in his current size. We did get him a swim suit last time he was home and one in the next size down as well as he is still losing pretty fast, and swim suits don't stay on the rack very long around here. By actual summer, they are usually gone.

All of the spending was planned though and budgeted for.

One More Week of Limbo

April 21st, 2016 at 12:56 pm

So apparently the contract has been awarded, but we won't know for another week yet to exactly who. I'm like ?????????? I guess all the t's still need to be crossed and the i's still need to be dotted. But that does mean we really should know by the end of next week. One more week of limbo.

If it does get renewed by DH's company, I have found what I think is THE HOUSE. We are ready to move on it the minute we know if his job is secure. If you all pray, please, please pray that his company got the contract.

It's My Ten Year Blogoversary!

April 9th, 2016 at 05:38 pm

I almost missed it! 7.5 million hits and ten years ago today I started this blog. I was desperate about our debt and had no idea at all how to start saving money for an Emergency Fund. In the past ten years my husband and I have really changed our lives around. We paid off our mortgage in 12 years instead of 15 (then sold the house), paid off our van, paid off all of our credit cards, and now have just the 0% loan to my mother that we are working on.

Blogging about it all has been a sanity saver and you guys have all been so amazing, giving me advice, tough love when I needed it, and hand-holding when I would panic. The support has been amazing. Thank you all for taking this journey with me!

Man, I'm Sore

April 2nd, 2016 at 11:49 pm

I think I broke myself today. I moved 2 cubic yards of garden soil by myself. It took me 4 hours to do it, and I took a little break between every load because I did not want to stress my body out too much. And now my shoulder and my neck hate me. But all in all, I am actually doing better than I thought I would be. And I know I will sleep hard tonight.

I am mad at the chickens. They keep escaping and they dug up and broke my newly planted kale. I only planted it two days ago. It wouldn't be so bad if they had just dug it up, but they broke off all the leaves in the process. I'm going to have to figure something out to protect the beds if the little monsters are going to keep being such escape artists.

I transplanted about 24 strawberry plants into my gutter garden and then dug up and separated the rest of them, replanting a little over half and potting the rest up to hopefully sell for $10 bucks for a flat of 24. I have one flat of Junebearing and one flat of Everbearing.

My eat from the pantry challenge is going well, but it has only been two days. Dinner last night was spice-rubbed rabbit, fried red potatoes with onions and bell peppers, salad, strawberries, and mixed veggies. Tonight it was spaghetti with Italian sausage, green beans, strawberries, and pull apart garlic herb bread since I had leftover pizza dough from earlier in the week.

I did have to spend some money today. I spent $40.47 buying Claritin D for my son and generic Prilosec for my daughter. Man, Claritin D is expensive. I miss having allergy medicine being paid for by insurance. It used to be $15 for a 30 day supply. Now it is $22 plus tax for a 15 day supply. Prescriptions aren't taxable. OTC meds are. We tried DS on generic, but it didn't work for him. The generic is a lot cheaper, but that doesn't matter if he can't breathe.

I need to start making ice. I am usually lazy and just buy bags of ice, but with the challenge that is not an option. I have lots of ice cube trays so it isn't like I can't do it, just that it is kind of a pain. But the whole goal of the challenge is to stop spending money on convenience items, which honestly eat up a lot of the grocery budget. I just need to remember to actually do it.

We lost another rabbit. Our red buck. After having to put two down a couple of weeks ago, this just was devastating. I didn't know he was that sick or we would have put him down with the other two. He only had one symptom and he seemed to be responding to treatment.

We only have 3 other rabbits that got sick. Coccidia is super contagious, but they are away from the pregnant rabbits, thankfully. One is completely free of symptoms and the other two are getting another round of Corid. Both are eating well and one is gaining back the weight she lost, but has diarrhea. I will have to pick dandelion leaves for her tomorrow and give her blackberry canes as well. Those help with it.

I won't put those rabbits back into the breeding program until they have been free of symptoms for 8 weeks. Even with Persephone, who is better, trying to get her back in too soon may put stress on her that is enough to cause it to reoccur.

So now we don't have any red bucks and no way of breeding more. I'm not ready to bring any new rabbits in, not with the outbreak. Leo is still not well enough to breed does, so Starbuck is the only one on duty right now. We have 4 red does (2 of which are Wildfire's daughters so I still have the line, thankfully) and 2 white ones that are healthy. 2 of the red does are due to kindle this week. We do have a lovely little white buck growing up, but I really don't want another white buck. I want a red one or a broken one or a black one.

Tomorrow I am going to do nothing but the basics. Feed and water the animals. Feed and water the children. Be lazy. I think I got enough done today for the whole weekend. I was going to plant radishes, carrots, and peas, but not until I can keep those rotten chicken escape artists from getting out again.

Life in Limbo

April 1st, 2016 at 09:29 pm

So we were supposed to know yesterday about whether or not DH's company got the contract. Well, we still don't know. Apparently they are taking 2 MORE weeks to decide. Something that should have been decided in January. I am not holding my breath about 2 weeks from now, either. Do they not understand that they are fooling around with people's lives here and their livelihoods?

I am just hoping that DH can get some overtime in. There appears to be the work for it. If he can get in enough OT to get the EF up to $20K, I might (probably not), just might relax a little bit.

I have decided to do an eat from the pantry challenge for the month of April. I want to cut our grocery spending all the way down to $400. If I can, it will go a long way towards easing the pain of the pay cut. I don't need to buy meat at all during this month. I don't need to buy potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pasta, tomato sauce, rice, or flour, or sugar.

I am allowing myself to buy fresh fruit, milk, and some greens and onions if I run out, but that is all. I will be baking all my bread, rolls, and buns. I've got plenty of food in the freezer and on the canning shelves. My Aerogarden is producing a couple of salads a week. I've got lettuce planted that will hopefully take off by the end of the month. This should be easy. It goes without saying that there will be no eating out.

If I can figure this out and stick to a much stricter grocery budget, and we can get used to not getting everything we want food-wise all the time, then if his pay does go back up, we can save the difference then, too. That would be nice. And if it doesn't, we'll know we can get by on much less.

Emergency Fund Update and Musings

March 12th, 2016 at 01:06 pm

$16,322.85 Starting Balance
+__,221.67 Deposit Added
--------------------
$16,544.52 New Balance

I have passed the half-way point on my second mini-goal of 2016, which is to get the EF from $16K to $17K. $455.48 to go. I was hoping to have met that by the end of April, but with DH's paycut going into effect at the end of the month, I'm not sure I will. It might be the end of May.

One of the things I am debating is whether or not I should keep saving for the down payment or if I should just start shoveling everything into the Emergency Fund and if the contract is won at the end of June, then just transferring the money to the Down Payment Fund then.

It all goes into the same bank account. I know it is just a question of where to put it on the spread sheet, but I have told myself I will not touch the money in the DPF until we are ready to buy a house, unless it comes down to needing it to live on. I guess it is a mental thing.

Well, and then there is the mental thing of only touching the EF if there is an Emergency and not really even wanting to do it then. So if all goes well I still may have a psychological problem transferring the money to the DPF from the EF. I don't even know what that is. Maybe a little of my OCD coming through?

Maybe I need to set up a short term holding tank, from which I can easily move stuff later. I shouldn't have to play these kinds of mind games with myself to funnel money to the proper location. Anyone else go through these things or am I just sort of on my own there? I know it is rooted in the financial insecurity we had in the past, but I really thought I would have gotten over it by now having been out of consumer debt for almost a year.

Rough Week but Trying to Keep My Chin Up

January 22nd, 2016 at 02:19 am

This week my FIL (who I love like a father) was diagnosed with cancer, we lost 7 less than week old rabbit kits, and one of our hens jumped the fence and got eaten by a dog. I have an ingrown toenail that is driving me crazy and I think it is infected and I can't get in sooner than the 28th. I still have bronchitis. My knee is acting up. My son has to get a CT scan next week. And I am just ready for the week to be over.

On the bright side, and I do have one, I have lost 4 pounds this week. I found a toaster and can opener in teal to match my sea glass Kitchenaid mixer, and I found a gorgeous tablecloth with matching linen napkins, dish cloths, and hand towels that all match the teal, turquoise, and blue theme I am aiming towards. My kitchen is clean, really, really clean, all the way down to its bones and so is my bedroom.

My marriage is good. My daughter started her college classes online this week. My son is doing well with his online high school home school classes. I sold 2 dozen duck eggs, 1 dozen turkey eggs, and a buck breeding rabbit, and feel like I made a friend in the lady I sold him to.

I am trying to keep my chin up while we learn more about what will have to happen with FIL. They do think treatment will work, but I don't really have any details yet.

I'm totally ready for February now, though.

Doing Dietbet Again

January 4th, 2016 at 11:08 pm

I signed up for both a six month Transformer and a 4 week Kickstarter again this year. They started on January 1st. So far I have lost 6.2 pounds. I just wish I hadn't gained back all but 17 of the 50 pounds I lost last year. But I am determined to do this again. Last year I about doubled my money, which sure beats any interest rate I can find.

My husband also signed up for a Kickstarter. He has lost 70 pounds in the last 6 months, so I told him he might as well earn some money doing it.

I am sticking to my meal planning pretty closely and that will help a lot with this, too. It snowed this morning so I didn't make it to the pool. Hopefully it won't snow again tomorrow. The club parking lot is nasty to get in and out of when there is snow. I miss being in the water, though and want to get back to it.

I got about 1/3 of my kitchen reorganized and deep cleaned today and cleaned out the rabbit grow out cages and dropping pans, so I did get exercise in and plenty of movement.

I also knit 32 rows on the baby blanket I am making for my niece, who is due in May with a little girl. I did 5 loads of laundry, too, and am now caught up, including putting it all away.

All in all it was a very productive day.

My Dr. Scholl's Socks are Bad

December 16th, 2015 at 12:17 pm

I am really, really unimpressed with the new Dr. Scholl's socks that I bought. I bought two 3-packs at $14 each and each pair I have worn has been down my heel and halfway down my foot in the amount of time it takes to walk from the house to the car. They simply will not stay up.

It ticks me off. I expected the Dr. Scholl's name to live up to its reputation. After all, they make excellent shoes and inserts. But apparently they haven't a clue how to make good socks. Unfortunately you can't tell until you actually wear them. There doesn't seem to be enough elastic in the cuff.

It isn't just them either. The last set I got from Reebok and the last sets I got from Hanes and Fruit of the Loom like to slip down, too. I never used to have this problem. Are they just making crappy socks these days no matter the brand name?

I really don't like throwing money away like that. The only socks I haven't had major problems with this year or last are the big fuzzy slipper socks from Costco, but they are hard to get into a shoe. This is why I'm trying to learn to knit socks properly.

Anyone know if Kmart's Joe Boxer brand of socks stays up where it belongs? Or of any decent brand that does? I don't mind paying a little more if they actually work. They just can't be wool as I'm allergic.

Stuff and Other Stuff

November 10th, 2015 at 10:43 pm

As exhausted as I am, and as sick as I still am, I am doing better on the antibiotics. Better enough to have cooked for the past 7 days. A week without takeout feels like a major milestone at this point. Now granted, some of the meals were pretty simple, just heating up food I'd previously frozen, like lasagna, or homemade TV dinners, but even so, no money wasted on takeout.

I have so much to do still, though. I need to clean up the garden beds I haven't gotten to yet. I've got rabbits due to kindle this coming weekend, but I've prepared their nesting boxes and given them to them, so now it's just a wait for it thing. I need to get their trays changed though. I did half of them on Sunday and need to get the other half done tomorrow. DS doesn't have school so we should be able to do it pretty quickly.

I finally made it through 3 hampers of laundry today, 4 loads of which were towels, and 2 loads of which were clothes. I think we have too many towels, but I guess it was good when I was too sick to do the laundry. I have one load of clothes and sheets left to do for me and then there is another hamper full of DH's stuff, but he won't be home until the 18th, so that can slide if needed.

I will have to drag myself to the store tomorrow as we are out of milk and I have a small list of other things to pick up. Then I have to pick up a prescription. I haven't gone out since Friday, so it'll be nice to get out of the house. Cabin fever, I think. I may go to water aerobics if I can drag myself out of bed in the morning. No school so I don't have to. Haven't done water aerobics since Tuesday of last week. I miss it, but it's hard when you have brain fog from an illness to move in the mornings.

We may be pulling DS from school and homeschooling again. I've found a good program that is heavily video based which he needs. He still hasn't recovered all of what he lost with the concussion several years ago, so lots of reading is just hard on him. But this combines words on the screen being read aloud and he just does so much better that way. He learns very well from hearing or hands on work and he can still memorize easily, but his reading is so slow. It's been over 3 years so I'm not sure he'll ever get that back.

He's just been so sick this school year he has missed more days than he's gone. By a lot. School is making him sick with all its sick kids and germs and then he comes home and gets me and his sister sick and I think for all our sakes it may be the right thing to do. He also complains that his math teacher can't keep control of the class so it is hard for him to concentrate. Math is usually his best subject and he enjoys it, but he just can't focus.

We'll make the decision one way or the other by the end of the week. The program is $100 a month, but I think that is worth it for our health and his ability to go at his own pace. I know he'll race through some things and go slow on others, but he'll be allowed to, unlike in public school. He'll also be able to take AP classes if he wants to, which are only offered before school currently at his high school.

Once he turns 16 in March he can join me and his sister at water aerobics, too, so he can get his PE credits that way. Or do the home school PE program at the gym. There is one.

It's a lot to take on homeschooling again, but I think this program will be far less hands on for me than the one we did before. I'll likely only have to baby-sit him through English. And we'll get a transcript from it so if he ends up going back his senior year to get a diploma things will transfer. Although I think he might be able to get a diploma through this program, too. I don't remember for sure as I have looked at a lot of curricula this week.

It would be nice not to have to be a slave to the school schedule anymore. Better all around for all of us.

Gas for $1.86 a Gallon and Rethinking Costco

October 22nd, 2015 at 03:45 pm

I just filled up my gas tank for $1.86 a gallon. I had 30 points on my Safeway card since I've spent $300 there this month. So that was 30 cents off per gallon, and then I used cash which made it an additional 10 cents off per gallon. So while Safeway's regular gas price won't beat Costco's regular gas price, with points and cash discount, it is 20 cents cheaper to get it at Safeway. Plus Safeway is only a mile from my house and not on the other side of town.

I am thinking hard about letting my Costco card go when it expires in March. I keep it mostly for buying organic olive oil, butter, toilet paper, organic brown rice, organic sugar, organic tomato sauce and paste, organic frozen broccoli, and organic chicken.

But...we have a freezer full of chicken we grew this year. I now have enough spaghetti sauce canned for a year from my garden. I could stock up on a year's supply of olive oil, butter, tomato paste, brown rice, sugar and frozen broccoli right before it expires. I don't have to renew it and I can revisit the idea in a year of using the membership. Or my FIL and MIL have a membership so we could have them pick up what we need when we need it.

I used to buy cheese there, but Safeway's sales and often their regular prices are better than Costco's regular price. I am finding a lot of things that is true on. I know if I watch sales I can probably find Charmin for cheaper and find coupons for it. And when we run out of chicken, Trader Joe's does have less expensive organic chicken nowadays.

Another reason I am thinking of dropping Costco is that they will no longer be partnering with AMEX, which means I'd have to get another credit card and I don't want to.

It's just that the many things that used to be selling points for a Costco membership are now being chipped away at and as prices rise it just no longer seems the bargain it once was. The parking is atrocious and it's just getting to the point where it is not really worth it anymore.

Pain Makes it More Difficult to Stick to Home Cooking...But We Are

August 15th, 2015 at 02:47 pm

I am struggling a little bit with wanting to eat out right now. I don't want to do it because it is expensive and I'm trying to save money. I know it is simply a reaction to being in pain. Well, it's more a reaction to having an almost constant headache.

Between the broken nose and the mild concussion, it just almost never goes away except when I am sleeping and that has more to do with the narcotics the doctor gave me knocking me out for the night. Headache pain has always been much harder for me to deal with than any other type of pain because it always makes me feel like I'm not myself.

It is really hard to want to make meals from scratch when you feel sick, but pain is even harder, at least for me. But I don't feel up to driving either. I had to drive Thursday to go to my doctor's appointment and my son's doctor's appointment. I don't want to drive again for a while. It takes too much focus. So that is keeping my spending in check.

Since I am fundamentally against paying extra to have food delivered to my home, and not much delivers here anyway, I am trying to focus on simpler meals, or meals my daughter can make while I am nearby for help or reassurance. I have been teaching her to cook more things this year, but she lacks confidence to do it without a lot of hand holding yet.

The doctor says the break still looks straight, but the swelling isn't fully gone and we can't determine everything until it is. So far it is looking good enough he doesn't think I will need to go to an ENT doctor. Now that there is a lot less swelling I can actually feel the break when I touch the bridge of my nose. There is a little ripple there that was not there before. It's nothing you can see, though. The abrasion has almost completely healed. I really wish I didn't wear glasses right now, though. I know they are adding to some of the discomfort.

More concerning are the concussion symptoms, at least to me. The doctor doesn't seem to be worried, though. I am a little forgetful and find myself searching for words a lot more than usual. And I feel like a space cadet. Just a lot of brain fog. I am not used to having headaches. I haven't had them since I took all of the additives and preservatives and MSG and stuff out of my diet several years ago, except on very rare occasions or with a sinus or kidney infection or lack of sleep or my neck was out of alignment. And those were quickly remedied.

I know I will get better with time, but it is hard to push through right now. I am getting as much rest as I can. That is what the doctor said to do. But I still have animals to take care of and a garden to keep under control. The kids are helping, but I can't just check out like I could if DH was home. He will be home the day after school starts so I won't have to do too much driving in the early a.m. when I am not alert and am very foggy. In fact, if DS rides his bike the first 2 days of school I won't have to drive at all. Hopefully it won't rain.

So far I am managing to stick to my meal plans. I know I haven't been posting them, but I have still been making them. They are generally easier foods, though. No one is up for super complicated.

I do find that I'm not eating much outside of dinner. It's too much work. I'll grab a string cheese so I can take my medicine without it making me queasy, but that's about it. Not very healthy. I ought to make up some hard-boiled eggs so I'd at least have something a little more substantial during the day. I do have my electric egg cooker and it turns off when done, so I don't have to pay attention to it. Maybe I should do that.

Okay, this is getting long and rambling and may or may not make sense. I am not the best judge of that right now. So I'll stop babbling for now.

Blew Right Past It-- 9th Blogoversary

April 30th, 2015 at 08:29 am

April 9th of 2006 I started this blog in pretty dire straits. I had no savings, massive debt due to medical expenses, a mortgage, and credit card debt, also mostly due to the medical issues.

In the last nine years my husband and I have paid off the mortgage, paid off our van loan, and paid off all of the credit cards. The only money we owe now is the 0% loan we took out from my mother to pay off the hospital. I call that my medical mortgage, because that is what it feels like. We owe her $49,500 and once that is paid off we will have no more debt until we buy a new house. I am hoping to save enough up for that so as to not have a massive mortgage.

We have saved almost $15,000 in an Emergency Fund. When we started we were only banking $10 a week and whatever money I managed to save in the coin jar. After a few years I was able to add monthly $100 payments. When we started, a lot of people thought it was silly to save such small amounts, but they have added up big time. If $10 is all you have to save, then save it. If $1 is all you have to save, still save it. It may seem like nothing now, but take my word for it. In 9 years you could be sitting on several thousand dollars if you keep at it.

We have come a long, long way, and it has been a tough, tough road at times. So many people told us to just declare bankruptcy, but I didn't want to. That isn't how I was raised. Bankruptcy is a last resort, for people in desperate situations. We were always able to meet our bills even if things were quite tight for a long, long time. We probably could have easily qualified, but I didn't want to take that way out. It didn't feel right for us.

So instead we just put our heads down, dug in, and worked hard to get the debt paid off and bring down the evil empire that had held us under its sway for so long. We had a few setbacks along the way with me having to have 2 more surgeries and having to pay for those instead of putting a lot on old debt, but we made it through that. Things are going pretty well. Not enough to really loosen the purse strings as we still have to save for that down payment and pay back Mom. But enough that I feel like we are breathing deep again.

Yeah, I Guess I'm Just Complaining Here

March 20th, 2015 at 07:32 pm

I have got to start opening my mail earlier in the day. Yesterday I received 3 checks for the dentist from the insurance company. The insurance company pretends that it can't send the check directly to the dentist because he is not in network, which apparently means that the postal service won't take a check there or some such nonsense. And they write the checks so they have to be signed by both the dentist and whichever one of us is on it as well, which is fun when it is DH and he is in Alaska, and now that DD is 18 hers have to be signed by her.

They try to make it difficult so we will use one of their dentists. They have 3 dentists in our area all who work at a stupid strip mall dentistry. Um, no thanks. I will stick with my dentist and not play multiple dentists every time they change the list. So anyway, three checks came, one for me, one for DH, and one for DD. But I didn't open the mail until after the dentist's office had closed and by some universal law no dentist is ever open on Fridays, so that can't be taken care of until Monday.

And then I didn't open today's mail until 7 which is when the drive-thru at our credit union closes, but if I had, I would have been able to deposit the safe driver's rebate check I just got from the car insurance company into the Emergency Fund. Oh, I know it can wait until Monday, I just like to get those things in and earning interest as soon as possible. And I like seeing my EF amount go up. It's sort of like seeing credit card debt go down or a mortgage go down, but since I don't have that anymore, I just have the EF to watch go up. Not that I'm complaining about that, mind you, just, oh, I don't even know. There really isn't a point to this entry other than I need to open the mail earlier in the day when I can still do something about it.

I swear I am an organized person most of the time. I think. Right now I'm so out of it I could be deluding myself. It has been a very tiring day. And I'm cranky. And I'm tired of sick children. And I could really use a maid and a cook and a farm hand this week. I think I'm coming down with something. I guess six weeks is all I get to be free of illness this year. *sighs* Sorry to be such a grump.

An Important Day

March 18th, 2015 at 11:28 am

Twenty years ago today I married the love of my life and my best friend. Today we celebrate two decades. I have always believed we would make it. So has DH. We are as much in love today as we ever were and our marriage is strong. Now onwards towards 50 years!


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