My rheumatoid arthritis started flaring up on Tuesday and steadily got worse through the week. On Wednesday I started fighting off a migraine, successfully with medication, and on Thursday I strained some muscles in my low back because I had to pick the green beans and apparently I stayed in one position too long. I also started seeing floaters in my good eye. Yippee. Who needs to be able to read clearly? *sighs*
I need to pick green beans again and I am just really not wanting to. DH worked on my back for a couple of hours last night so I am doing better, but I'm afraid if I pick them it will go back into spasms.
Just to add to the fun, DD started throwing up blood, so Wednesday night was an ER visit, and it seems like on top of all her other issues, she has an ulcer. We will follow up on that after she sees the endocrine doctor and I see the surgeon for a follow up on my toe next week. At least is wasn't a bowel obstruction. They took x-rays.
At least things are going well for DH at work and things are running smoothly on the financial front. Since going full force onto Dave Ramsey's plan, I can really see the difference in the budgeting and accountability, as well as the intensity to get this last debt paid off. I try to watch at least 3 of his live streams each week and I have read three of his books now and one of his daughter's books.
I am currently reading Zero Debt by someone else. It is large print so that helps with the eye issues. I am also working my way through The Tightwad Gazette. I had to turn it back in once because someone had put it on hold, but I got it back again a couple of days ago.
I have been reading a fiction book, too, but I'm about to give up on it, even though I am halfway through. I don't really like the main character that much. She's hard to empathize with. I may just stubbornly forge on as I hate not finishing a book. I don't usually read mystery novels, but when I do, I expect to be more interested in the outcome than I am here. I've been trying to read this book for 9 weeks. The only reason I checked it out was because the title was a funny pun. I should probably stick to sci-fi and romance novels in the future.
I wish I could read more, but my eyes can only handle it for so long with these stupid floaters swimming around while I try to focus. I am feeling a little negative because of the amount of pain I am in and the amount of swelling that is going on in my body right now. I would appreciate prayers for healing and for a more positive attitude.
Viewing the 'Just Rambling' Category
My rheumatoid arthritis started flaring up on Tuesday and steadily got worse through the week. On Wednesday I started fighting off a migraine, successfully with medication, and on Thursday I strained some muscles in my low back because I had to pick the green beans and apparently I stayed in one position too long. I also started seeing floaters in my good eye. Yippee. Who needs to be able to read clearly? *sighs*
We did our annual trek to the end of the driveway to watch the fireworks over the bay. Best seats in the house, no parking issues, great view and no crowds. Better yet, absolutely free. It was a pleasant, if humid, night, very peaceful.
I did deviate from the meal plan and made sirloin steaks and baked potatoes for dinner tonight. The store had a one day sale on the steaks and I had money left in the grocery envelope, so I went for it. We made them in the NuWave oven, perfectly cooked (to rare) after 20 minutes at 350. I love making baked potatoes in the pressure cooker. It is so fast and easy and I think they taste even better than in the oven. Both methods of cooking are pretty hands off, although I did have to flip the steaks halfway through cooking. But otherwise, no baby-sitting the food which is my favorite way to cook!
Looks like DH might end up getting more than 15 hours a week of OT coming up. There is a lot to get done and they keep losing drafters, one quit, one to a new job. He's getting tired, though, so I don't know if more than 15 is a good idea. But maybe, if he gets enough sleep he can. I told him if he works more, we need to make sure he is getting enough protein in him during the day. With more OT, we can add a little more to the grocery envelope if we need to so he can keep going as needed.
Gardening is good exercise. I have been able to be out in the garden 3 days running. So far I have weeded 10 out of 11 beds in the last week or so. The tenth one was accomplished today. I pulled out 25 snails from one strawberry bed. I had some happy ducks. I am glad I found so many or I would not have much of a strawberry harvest. I got all the dead leaves off and snipped all the runner vines so that the daughter plants aren't sapping the energy from the mother plants. There are a ton of flower buds and even some blossoms already.
So far I have planted two types of lettuce, purple kohlrabi, dinosaur kale, bright lights chard, broccoli, and banner green bunching onions. I did buy a variety of peppers and tomatoes, but I won't plant them for another week to 10 days. Right now I am leaving them outside during the day but bringing them in at night. If the forecast looks good at night in about a week, I will try leaving them outside overnight.
I have gotten my steps in every day since getting the fitbit. My goal is still not that high, just 2000 steps a day, but I hit 3000, 3500, and 4000 during this week, but some days were just slightly over 2000. I had a couple of bad days because of my hip and knees being inflamed, probably because I am walking more than ever. I will likely bump my goal to 3000 on Monday. Slow and steady. I can't mess myself up by going too quickly with this. I am just happy to be doing as well as I am.
The diet has been a bit up and down. I do wish we could afford to get our gym membership back, but we just don't have the money for it right now. Swimming always helps with losing weight, plus it seemed easier to eat right when I swam consistently DH is not getting the amount of overtime he was, either. I don't think he got any last week and only a couple hours this week. And of course this coming week is his jury duty so he won't get a full week's pay, there, either, let alone any overtime. We can't even think about things like gym memberships.
I did want to mention that if anyone is interested in trying out Thrive Life, right now they are having their semi-annual sale. I believe it goes through the 23rd. This is the cheapest it ever is during the year, even better than their fall sale. The link to my website is in the side bar under sites I enjoy. I recommend starting with the chopped onions and see if that just doesn't change your cooking life. That and the yogurt bites.
Anyway, I haven't done the budget yet for this payday or last even though I have paid a couple bills. I will try to get that figured out and posted tomorrow. I don't think I posted a payday report last week at all, so I will probably do a double one in one post.
DH and I have been watching some movies on Netflix this week. No spoilers. We watched Odd Thomas, which was really good. It was delightful in places and scary in others and then it made me laugh and cry in others. Quite an emotional roller coaster. It was the best of the three movies we watched. I kind of wished they'd have made it into a TV series.
The Cloverfield Paradox was a great sci-fi thriller, though so distantly related to Cloverfield that it was almost ridiculous to have it in the name, similar to that other Cloverfield movie with John Goodman, no real relation, just capitalizing on the name in a blink and you miss it similarity. I really liked it, though. It was set on a space station where the crew was trying to find a stable form of power that would save the Earth from a major energy crisis and of course stuff goes wildly wrong.
The third movie was The Call Up, which is about some people that get asked to play this reality video game and whoever wins get a $100,000 prize, but they can actually end up getting killed in the game, which they are unaware of, so making it to the end is quite a feat. I liked it, but it was a little predictable. Still the characters were great. I think the ending was supposed to come as a big shocker, but I figured it out. If I hadn't, I'd have probably put this one in second place. But all of the movies were really good and I'd recommend them if you like supernatural and sci-fi movies.
There is not much else going on around here, lately. I did some grocery shopping, but that's about it.
After I posted on the 12th, I managed to get out into the garden. I was just going to do a little bit and 3 hours later I had weeded 5 of the raised beds. I was super sore that night and the next two days, but today I felt less stiff and almost back to normal. It was clear again, even though the forecast said it was going to rain all day, so I got another 2.5 hours in on the garden. DS helped me today.
We only got 3 beds done, but one was a strawberry bed and I had a lot of fiddly work to do in it. I had to cut all the daughter plants from the mother plants so they didn't drain all the life from them and they could operate as self-sufficient plants. I also trimmed off all the dead leaves and any that were red with snow-burned edges. It is all nice and healthy green growth, plus flower buds starting already.
I have two more beds left to do, both strawberry beds, so more fiddly work. I am hoping that will take just one more session in the garden and then we can weed eat the areas around the beds and set up a watering system. I found one based on hydropinics that I would like to make. It'll beat using the big sprinkler that gets the house and the neighbor's driveway. With the sprinkler, we have to close the windows during the summer, so I'd much rather have an irrigation system and leave the windows open when it is hot.
Being outside and getting my hands in the dirt has helped my head tremendously. And the physical activity is good for it as well.
We got fitbits in the mail on the 13th, a gift from MIL, and though I have had some trouble with getting it to sync, it has still been pretty motivational. My first day I just set my goal as 1000 steps because I really have not been active in a long time. And it was kind of hard, but I got there. Yesterday I just wanted to beat that, but was really happy to get over 1500, and then today I got over 2000. Each day I just want to push myself a little more. Right now getting to 5000 steps seems daunting, let alone the 10,000 daily steps they recommend, but I will just keep trying to beat the previous day's steps until I get there.
I do like the food log and water log features as well, though, I do feel like I'm floating by the time I've gotten in all the water for the day. Still, it is helping, because I've lost 6 pounds in 3 days. My diet is firmly back on track. Now I just need to work on getting to sleep earlier.
Getting to sleep has been bad the last few nights, because DH and I totally got caught up in the new Lost in Space on Netflix. They did a fantastic job, but I tell you, those last four episodes were like a book that was too good to put down. Well, pretty much all of it was, but it was nearly impossible towards the end. I highly recommend it.
There was barely any swearing in it, which is virtually unheard of for a Netflix Original. I appreciated it. Although, I didn't appreciate it that when one of the two times they swore (I think that was all, and one was incomplete), one of them was from a child. Netflix likes to put swear words in the mouths of kids and I don't like it. I get that kids swear a lot today, but maybe they'd swear less if they didn't have kids doing it in the movies all the time.
I don't think there were any oh, my Gods, either. That is so overused today. It's like using like all the time or dude. It gets intrusive, so when it isn't there, it makes me happy. And there was no nudity, again, almost unheard of for a Netflix Original that isn't geared just to kids. Certainly not the orgy fest that was Sense8.
So anyway, all that to say Lost in Space was just some brilliant story-telling with a great cast and a nice way to waste ten hours or so of your time. And I loved the robot. The old series had good stories, but was very much a product of its time in the hokiest of ways, and just can't hold a candle to what this reboot has done. And I got a kick out of the old one. I liked it. But this was the best series I've seen in ages.
I am trying to shake off this dragginess I have been feeling for the last month. It started with the stomach virus, then I had two days of feeling okay before the head cold hit, which devolved into a sinus infection. Now I'm in the dregs of that, but doing much better, and yet all I want to do is sleep. I force myself up in the morning to take care of the animals, and then it is right back to sleep for 4 to 5 hours.
The thing is I am getting plenty of sleep, but I never wake up feeling rested. My head feels cloudy most of the time. I suppose some of it could be allergy season kicking in, but that seems unlikely to me. I have had some pain, but usually the Ibuprofen takes care of that enough to fall asleep.
I don't feel like it is depression. I mean things aren't hunky dory because of finances, and I've had to do a lot for my mother, and I'm frustrated about my daughter's surgery situation, but generally life is good. Certainly not anything I want to hide away in bed over.
The weather has been keeping me from being able to do anything outside, and that could be part of it. I don't get the sun like I need and while a happy light helps, it is no replacement for natural sunlight. I am just itching to get my hands in the dirt and start working in the garden, but right now it is a mud fest out there. It did stop raining, but the ground just squelches. I may go out anyway today because who knows when it will be dry again?
I just wish I could stop being so tired. I made it through day one again on my diet. Maybe cleaning up my food again will help with the energy levels. I hope so. From past experience I know weight loss helps with the energy levels, so hopefully that will kick in fast. I don't like sleepwalking through life.
Well, it is that time of year again. Twelve years ago today I started this blog. In that time I paid off about $200,000 in debt, which included three cars (two used, one new) and one mortgage. I still have $29,750 to pay back to my mother, but I've been free of consumer debt for a couple of years now.
Most of the debt that wasn't cars or the mortgage was due to medical bills and having to pay for 6 surgeries in 5 years with cruddy medical insurance. I think it was 6. It blurs together. But it kept me alive, so what are you going to do? I was determined not to declare bankruptcy although we easily could have. But that would have felt like giving up and I never wanted to do that.
I hope to get moving on paying my Mom Loan off, but it has been rough going with 10 months of unemployment during the past year and a half. Right now we are breaking even. I am hoping to contribute $1000 of the tax return to paying on that loan. Maybe $2000. The rest will go into the Emergency Fund, at least until DD gets her surgery and we pay our portion.
It feels like there have been many ups and downs in the last twelve years. Two years ago we were in a much better place financially than now and it is taking a lot to recover from all we lost, both mentally and financially. I'm not sure how long it will take, but with a lower income it is slow going. And since we don't own the house anymore, our only assets are the van and the truck we are about to inherit.
I just keep hoping we will really get back on our feet soon and that DH will get a better paying job soon. We need it to get back to where we were and to ever have a chance of paying Mom off and saving for a down payment again for a home of our own. I feel like we are currently just treading water. But treading water is better than drowning. At least we all know how to swim.
I know I am not posting a ton right now, but the push to get the last town storage unit cleared out had been ongoing. We had until February 28th to be out and it went down to the wire due to snow.
One of the only fun things about it has been finding all the loose coins. I've found another $3.24 in American money bringing that balance to $5.92 and another Canadian dollar, bringing that to $2.60 Canadian.
We will still have a lot to go through in our out of city units, but at least we will only be paying $225 going forward and not almost double that each month. With the amount of boxes in the out of city units to go through, I believe we will be able to eventually downsize to the one larger unit, which will be $125.
We will be able to wait for nice days now that the last city unit is done. Having to work in the snow or below freezing temps has not been fun. DH did finally find our wedding album and it is fine. I never meant for that album to end up in storage to begin with so it is nice to have it home again.
DH is getting overtime again. He got 10 hours for the week ending last Friday and he has worked both Saturday and Sunday as well, but those will be on the following paycheck. He may get 70 hours this week. All of the money will be helpful as the washing machine is not working right and we will have to get it repaired.
We have been jollying it along, using a hose to fill it, since it was agitating before the water would go in. Originally, it was only doing this at the start, but now it is doing it on the rinse cycle, which means stopping the machine and filling it again for the rinse cycle. Filling it once is bad enough, but having to fill it twice is beyond annoying and means you can't leave the house while using the machine and it wastes a lot of time in the day.
Hopefully there will be a little money left afterwards to go back into rebuilding the emergency fund. DH did get asked to do some safety training for unnamed oil company so he can be the project lead on a project for them. So that one starts after his current project ends and will mean an additional 2 months of work. Which should get him to the end of the six months contract through the job recruiter so that he can be hired on directly with this company or find another job without having to buy out the remainder of the contract.
I am glad he has more work coming, but living in a constant state of not knowing when he will have a secure job is taking its toll on my stress levels. Security has always been my number one issue in life and I really want it back. I don't want to have to worry from month to month if DH will still have a job. I know that a lot of people deal with this situation or worse because they have no emergency fund, but up until a couple of years ago we never had.
It has been tough to go from a life that was always secure to one that is not. It was awful to lose all of the money from our house down payment fund and most of our emergency fund and to be sitting here on the brink of not having an emergency fund at all. It has sucked to have medical emergency after medical emergency with limited or no insurance. I hate having to live like this. It screws with my head.
And just when it feels like we will have a little extra money again, the washing machine breaks and the sun roof on the mini-van starts leaking again. Once we get the money together, I am having the sun roof sealed, since they obviously can't fix it so it actually stays fixed. It will lower resale value, but by the time we sell this thing, it will be 20 years old, so I doubt it will have much resale value anyway. And the second sun roof will still work, anyway.
I won't buy a car with a sun roof again. We seldom used it when it worked because half the time the angle of the sun coming in would shine in the rear view mirror and blind the driver. And with working AC there was no real need for it. Even sitting in the car waiting for someone on a hot day, with the sun roof open, the sun just beat down on us. It just isn't worth it.
If it wasn't leaking into the seat belt holder it wouldn't be so bad, but every time I pull the seat belt out to use it when it has been raining it is soaked. It would have to be on the driver's side. Speaking of the seat belt holder, the other day when I took my seat belt off, it took my hair with it into the seat belt holder. Fortunately the kids were in the car and could pull it back out, because I couldn't move to do it.
So, it is time for a hair cut, I guess. Or I need to keep my hair in a braid when I'm driving. It's down to the bottom of my shoulder blades and it is starting to get caught under my arms when I put my arms down after having them raised. I am rolling over when I am sleeping to sometimes pull it as well if I don't sleep in a braid. I like having long hair, but geesh, it can be a pain sometimes.
I hate wearing a braid outside in the winter, though. It exposes my ears and the back of my neck and I chill so easily. It is long enough to donate if I decide to cut it to my shoulders, which will still keep my ears and the back of my neck warm, at least.
I have been considering getting it layered so it will work with my natural curl. It frizzes a lot when it is all one length and the weight pulls out a lot of the curl, but when it is layered it curls like crazy. It would also cut down on the heaviness since it is so thick. I probably should just bite the bullet and do it. I am getting too old for long hair, I think.
The last time my hair was this long I dithered for months and then got it cut so short I hated it. It wasn't an easy to care for cut, either, which is the main reason why I hated it. Plus it worked against my curls. I know if I layer it, I'd have to use product, which I don't care for much, but it would be nice to have a change. You can see why it takes me forever to decide, hmm? Seriously, does anyone else have this problem? I've been like this my whole life. Always wanting short hair when it was long and long hair when it was short.
Once I do get it cut, I'll make a decision on coloring then. I think most of what I will be left with will have heavy grey streaking. A lot of what is still auburn will be cut off, leaving mostly grey streaked auburn. They grey washes it out, though and makes it look duller. I am not one of those folks who can go blonde because it washes me out and the grey is doing the same. But I hate spending the time coloring my hair, even when it is my daughter applying it instead of me.
Well, enough time spent wasting my morning. I'm off to organize, toss, and donate. It will end some day.
Yesterday, I found 87 cents today, bringing my found money for the year to $2.13 American and $1.60 Canadian. People leave coins lying around in the strangest locations sometimes. This was on top of the toilet paper holder at Kmart. I washed it, though. Money is dirty enough as it is, but money found in a restroom could be even worse.
We bought curtain rods for my son's new room. We still have to purchase curtains. Kmart did not have a good selection of blackout curtains. We will try Fred Meyer and then Wal-Mart next. They always have a better selection there and tend to restock their shelves. I did pick up holders for the bathroom shower curtain. Several of the plastic ones we had had cracked or broken.
I didn't really like the ones we picked up, because they are metal and I wanted plastic, but Kmart was sold out of most of what it had. I mean, they are pretty, just not what I wanted. But since we likely won't make it to another store until Friday and the shower curtain is not really doing its job anymore, I went ahead and got them.
I did a brief stop at the library to pick up my holds. I got two cook books, one on Indian cooking for the crock pot and one was for instant pot cooking. I don't have an instant pot, I spent my Christmas money on an air fryer instead, but someone recommended to me that I read the available instant pot cook books before I do buy an instant pot. I am thinking of getting one for my birthday in February. Our library has about ten different instant pot cook books.
I was going to pick them up on Saturday, but that would have meant driving through the chaos and congestion that always seems to center around the library/courthouses when the protesters are out in force. Since we had both the women's march and the march for life this weekend, it wasn't going to happen. I was told it was worse than pride week with the amount of people in attendance, so it was a good call to wait until today. I never would have found parking on the weekend.
Hopefully, I will find a few good recipes in the Indian cook book. I am always looking to expand my ethnic recipe repertoire. I can make 8 Chinese food dishes, 3 Korean, 1 Vietnamese, 5 Mexican, 2 Indian, 1 Morrocan, 1 Jamaican, and 1 Japanese dish. Not to mention the numerous Italian ones. It is nice to have them to change up my extensive American dishes.
Not much happened today. I got caught up on dishes, did some laundry, and made a chicken and vegetable soup that was very good. There are several portions left, which makes my daughter happy since it is one she can eat, having no pasta in it. I really didn't feel like cooking at all today, but the eat from the pantry challenge is keeping me on the straight an narrow.
As soon as DH wakes up and we eat breakfast we will be heading out to the storage unit we are getting rid of. I think we will have it cleaned out by the end of this weekend, but if not we have until the end of the month. We are taking enough time to label each box with a number and then make a key in a notebook, so in the future if we are looking for the contents of a certain box, we just need to find that number.
It is also giving us a chance to look through each box and note what we need to do with it. If it is just continue to store or to go through and sort. We've already donated 10 full size garbage bags of clothes, mostly children's clothes, but some of it was stuff from high school and college. We have clothing donation boxes all over town so those are easy enough to get rid of.
So far I have one bag of linens to donate. That's more complicated because it will actually require dropping off at Goodwill in person, so we will wait until I have gone through all the boxes of linens. I know there are a few blankets that can go and there are some table cloths. All I want to keep on my table cloths are the sunflower one, the autumn one, and the Christmas plaid one. The others can go.
I have sorted through four big boxes of stuff so far that we brought home after last weekend. I got rid of two paper bags of old magazines I had stored with one recipe each. I tore out the recipes and put them in my recipe binder in page protectors and tossed the rest of mags to be recycled. I also put all of our photo albums and photo boxes on a book shelf here. That gave us three totes emptied to go back to storage and use to repack some of the damaged cardboard boxes with. The other box was a damaged cardboard box so it went to recycle.
Today I hope to get the furniture moved. There is not much in there, two large book cases, a couple cubicles, one of which will come home, an end table, two floor lamps, and a small TV stand. There might be a stand for holding DVDs as well.
There are 3 knickknack shelves that I want to bring home and put up. They would be perfect for holding my pint and quart size herbs and teas that I grew and dried this summer. They are all kind of spread out through the pantry and kitchen and it would be nice to have them all in one place.
Everything else is just boxes. I know some of it we will have to bring home to sort. We'll have to store them in the garage while we bring one in the house at a time. Mom will probably throw a huge hissy fit about that, she's prone to them these days, but they won't be there long. Just long enough to decide what stays and what gets tossed and what gets donated.
I am thinking about getting rid of our couch. It is a huge sectional and it takes up so much space. It rarely gets used. There are several recliner chairs that we could use instead and there would be a lot more space. I loved the couch at the time we bought it and it was perfect for our needs then, but most of us like to sit with our feet up now, so it doesn't make sense to keep the behemoth any longer. It is in really good shape except for one cushion cover with a broken zipper, but that can be pinned with safety pins to keep it closed. Plus, free is a price that most people will overlook flaws for.
The blisters have come off my garlic burns. I've got four fingers with peeling skin. On the bright side, it looks like I will have full finger prints on three of them and one with a scar running through it that won't be quite as large as I feared on the index finger. They are still sensitive in water, which makes scrubbing dishes hard. Wearing rubber gloves wears on them too much because they are fitted. I can type, though. Go figure.
All right, well, I think I hear DH stirring, so time to get the day moving.
I am so glad 2017 is over and 2018 is here. It can't possible be as big of a struggle as the last two years have been.
My daughter went to the emergency room Friday night at midnight in excruciating pain. They did an ultrasound and a CT scan and found out her gall bladder is full of stones. They did not need to do emergency surgery, but they think she needs to get it out soon. We don't have insurance until February.
So we will get her in to see a gastroenterologist ASAP and schedule the surgery for February. I can't even call until Tuesday and then I am sure it will be 2 to 3 weeks before we can even get in to see a specialist. I am glad that insurance still can't do squat about pre-existing conditions.
This visit is going to cost us roughly $2500, unless I miss my estimate of $1000 for the visit, $500 for the ultrasound, and $1000 for the CT, which is still less than paying COBRA. DH will have to work a lot of overtime to pay for that, but he is allowed 10 hours of OT a week without having to ask, and then if things get into a rush time, they will okay additional over that. Hopefully we can manage to get it paid without taking money out of the Emergency Fund, but we definitely won't be putting any money into the EF for a couple of months. *sighs*
I had to completely throw out my meal plan for the eat from the pantry challenge and start from scratch since DD can't have dairy, most fats, eggs, pork, only very lean beef, no refined white flour so no pasta (we don't have any whole wheat on hand) or bread or tortillas, no refined white sugar (she can have honey, molasses, and brown sugar), no fatty fish, and no brassicas. That means none of my go to vegetables of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, bok choy and the like.
So we will be eating more turkey, chicken, rabbit, white fish and shell fish. I do have that, but I don't know how long it will last. I will have to make some stuff for DH, because he can handle only so much poultry before he starts clucking about it and he is not the biggest fan of fish, though he does like white fish.
The hardest part for me is that I like to cook in butter and oil. I know it isn't terribly healthy, but it makes things taste good. I can use spray oil or lightly brush oil on things, but no frying. We have spray olive oil and we can brush on avocado oil. But I will be doing a lot of steaming in foil packets with lots of veggies and herbs and then putting fish on top so the veggie flavors rise up into the fish and the fish juices fall down to flavor the veggies.
DS and I have agreed to eat like this with DD as much as possible. The hardest part for me will be not eating pasta. I can take or leave bread, but I love spaghetti and Ziti and macaroni. I know DH won't eat like us, though he could stand to, but he will refrain from eating the junk she likes but can no longer have in front of her. He'll keep it at work or in the truck.
And speaking of the truck, DH has been using his dad's truck since before his dad died and DH will inherit it once the will is through whatever it has to go through. It doesn't actually have to go through probate here unless it is contested, but it does have to go through official filing and then I think there is a short waiting period. So we are basically a two car family now for the first time in five or six years. Which means our insurance will likely double. We did do our part of the filing, but we are waiting for the state to do its part.
There is a loan on the truck, but MIL will pay it off before we change ownership legally once the life insurance comes through. She has enough to pay off all debts, and because he was still actively employed when he died, though off on disability, she gets his full pension of $3000 a month and she gets social security based on his wages, so she will actually be sitting pretty. Not to mention there is some property in trust between her, her sister, and her brother, so we aren't going to have to worry about her after all.
I guess I will go back to worrying about us instead. *double sighs*
The funeral on Wednesday was beautiful. I was able to speak, which was a good thing, because neither DH nor SIL could manage, though MIL did. I got a lot of compliments on what I said, which was nice, because I did not go in with a prepared speech. I don't like speaking in public, but I didn't feel it could go by without one of us saying something.
My favorite of DH's cousins did not attend. Her grandson, who is only 5, has a brain tumor. They biopsied on Tuesday and found out it is a very aggressive cancer and the tumor was the size of a tennis ball. Wednesday he had the surgery to remove it and they were able to get it all, but they still had to see if it had spread to the bloodstream. I am at such a loss. I am so tired of cancer hitting my family. This year has been a horror.
I am still pretty sick, but Thursday was my worst day. I think I have turned the corner with this cold, but I've been wrong before and gone on a second downswing. Hopefully not this time, though. Unfortunately, both kids are down with it, and DH started sneezing like crazy today. He's dosing on vitamin C. I hope he can keep going, because I am not at the stage where I can do any of the household or farm chores. Well, I did manage to fold one load of towels and one of clothes and then had to rest before I could put them away.
DH's interview was on Friday. He was supposed to be interviewed by two people, but the second one had a death in the family and couldn't be there. So the first guy said he needed to talk to the second guy when he gets back and see if he felt he needed to interview DH, too, or just go based on the first guy's opinion. He wanted to know if DH could start immediately, so I guess that is promising, but I'm not getting my hopes up yet.
DH and I went down to pick up our turkey today. We asked for one in the 13 to 16 pound range when we ordered a few months ago, and it is 15.07 pounds. I also picked up some sausage since we didn't get any with our pork. They had chorizo, which I was excited about, because I've never been able to find a chorizo without some bad additives in it. So one day next week I will make chorizo con huevoes with rice for dinner. Or possibly for breakfast with cauliflower rice.
I also picked up some roasts for canning. The roasts from our beef all have bones in them and I like them for pot roast dinners, anyway. But I want to can some meat for stews and chuck roasts available at the farm have no bones so are easier to cut up. In the winter I like to have stew once a week and we've been out of canned beef for a couple of months now.
We're also going to juice up a bunch of the apples we got when we went to the orchard a while back. I clearly got too many. If I juice it, I can can it and it will be shelf stable. That is a relatively easy task, but it will still have to wait until I feel decent enough to do it.
I was really hoping to do a better job at blogging with daily blogs this month, but I just haven't had the energy, so catch up posts a couple times a week are just going to have to do it for now.
A couple of days ago the nursing home sent FIL to the hospital because he had a rash spreading all over his body. Turns out it is MRSA. And they did a scan of his lungs and the big cancer tumor is now 6 inches and their is a smaller one as well and they are almost completely filling one lung. The other lung is clear. They are talking about putting in a breathing tube. Right now he is just on oxygen, but if it worsens the tube will go in.
I'm not supposed to go up there right now because I have a cold and it is really hard. Same with my daughter. My son was able to go up with DH, though. If it gets worse I may go up anyway with a breathing mask on. And it sounds like it is going to get worse.
In a lot of ways, this is worse than when my own father was dying. His mind had gone years before. But FIL is still completely in his right mind. He is close to giving up because it has just been so hard. It is heart-breaking.
I still don't know what MIL is going to do. She doesn't know how to do anything financially. She's never worked and I don't think she is capable of it. The life insurance will be enough to pay off their house and their regular bills, but I don't know about the hospital bills at this point. We can't afford to take care of them.
Plus, emotionally, I don't know what she will do. They have been married 50 years. At least she is driving again, but that took a lot of doing. She doesn't like to make phone calls and deal with stuff, but she is going to have to.
Oh, plus, their disability insurance is breathing down their necks trying to make them prove that he is disabled beyond the point of working at any job right now. I've complained many times in the past about how sucky Aetna is, but this is a new low. If MIL even knew where the paperwork was for certain things, trying to deal with that wouldn't be so hard.
Please, if you are part of a married couple and one of you is clueless about all the finances and paperwork, have a conference with your spouse and get it so you both understand everything. This is not something you want to be dealing with at death's door.
Please pray for my FIL, MIL, DH, and SIL. Right now is the hardest time of their lives and I am helpless to do a single thing.
I think the phrase reduce, reuse, recycle needs one more addition. Remake. Today I remade a pillow. I have several old flat pillows laying around and I really needed a new big fluffy pillow, because I have to sleep with one between my knees as they are so bad. I've been sleeping with two lately and then one always slips during the night and I wake up.
So I found an old pillow case that was pretty faded and then I cut open a couple of the pillows, pulled out all the batting and proceeded to pull it apart and fluff out the really worn down bits. I stuffed the batting into the old pillow case until it was very full and bulging and then I hand sewed it shut. I made the stitches big enough to be picked out later if I need to add more batting in the future when it gets flattened down again.
I still have several old pillows and some other faded pillow cases, so I can make a few more of these. I don't know why I never threw the pillows out, but I always figured I'd have a use for the batting one day. Maybe for a quilt or something. But this works. Now my daughter wants me to make one for her, too. It maybe took me an hour to pull all the batting apart and stuff the pillow and was easy enough to do while listening to a podcast.
I have something I needed and I didn't have to spend any money for it. Anyone else done something like this lately? How have you remade something or used it in a new way?
Oh, you guys don't know what an amazing lift it is to see the sky again. It is so beautiful and open and freeing to see it. It's like an oppressive force that was pushing down on us is gone. It's so wonderful to see. I finally had hope late last night when we could faintly see Polaris, Jupiter, and the space station (the brightest things in the night sky) peaking though the haze and the moon wasn't orange, it was white.
DH mentioned that maybe part of my problem was that I have seasonal depression in the winter and maybe it was the lack of direct sunlight that was affecting me. I think that may be part of it.
I don't use my Happy Light in the late spring, summer, or early fall because I am outside enough not to need it. But since I couldn't be outside much due to the smoke affecting my lungs, even with the inhaler, I wasn't getting that light and I certainly wasn't getting the benefit of being in the outdoors with fresh air at all.
So that really makes me feel so much better, although it was still a sad day as we said good-bye to our tom turkey George. The lady who is taking him is very nice and she promises to send photos of him with the turkey hens. It was still hard to see him go, but I know it is for the best. It seems so quiet without him, though. I will miss him. He is such a love.
On the practical side, it is one less chore on the farm. The turkey coop will be cleaned out one last time and I think we will tear it down. It'll be too much of a reminder and it blocks the view of the yard from the back windows. I think we will leave the covered courtyard up, though. The chickens go in there when it is raining or snowing so they can be out of the elements while still being outside.
I hope not having a guard animal will be noticed by the local hawks or the nesting pair of eagles that live near the hospital. George won't be there to chase them off. He won't be there to gobble any time someone pulls into the driveway. He won't react to the Medevac helicopter flying over or the firefighting helicopter and airplane when they fly over. Or the coast guard who sometimes fly over as well. Yes, it will be very quiet on the farm, save for the quiet babble of the ducks and the cackling of the chickens. Very quiet, indeed.
I managed to bang my head really hard yesterday, by dropping the shampoo in the shower, picking it up, and hitting the top of my head against the shelf the shampoo sits on. It's not a very big shelf, even. My daughter says I have a quail egg, not a goose egg. My head doesn't even hurt, but my neck and shoulders do from being compressed real hard when I banged my head. I have no concussion symptoms, either, thank goodness. Hopefully the chiropractor can fix my neck tomorrow.
Then just for funsies I got a massive charley horse in my calf this morning as I was doing my wake up stretch. One of those ones that is so bad it makes you cry and then feels like a massive bruise for the rest of the day. I'm like, what the heck, body? It lasted about 10 minutes, but felt like a lifetime. I take potassium and magnesium supplements so I don't get them, but every once in a while I get a zinger. I may have to add some calcium supplementation in, too.
I did work in the garden a lot yesterday and then in the rabbit shed today. I will be glad when the day comes that we can replace some of the cages, because it is really hard to get some of the dropping trays out of the older style cage. I just don't know when that is going to be, or if it is.
DH's work uncertainty is still uncertain. They are back to talking about only having work until October, not December after all. But they are trying to get something okay'd, which would be to keep on a skeleton crew and for DH to move up a level. There would be no raise with the promotion if it were to happen. Which honestly doesn't really concern me, because he'd be getting a year of experience in that position which would make it easier for him to get a different job later.
And yeah, while a raise would be great, really great actually, the income he gets now is sufficient to pay everything and put some money aside, at least once the medical bills from the previous insurance's deductible are fully paid off. And the great insurance through the end of 2018 is worth it, too.
So, yeah, the uncertainty is either a job ending or a promotion. I know which one I am hoping for. Prayers again would be helpful.
I've managed to go an entire week without getting take out. I haven't really stuck to my meal plan at all, though. Just winging it most of the week. And wanting to get take out. It's not like it is even that good. I just have been so tired, but I've made simpler things than I'd planned to compensate. Or making things in simpler ways, like making carnitas in the crock pot so I don't have to babysit them.
I'm going to make a big batch of Mexican rice in the rice cooker tomorrow. I'm on a Mexican food kick right now and am planning on fajitas and enchiladas and possibly tacos later this week. I'll be using some of the freeze-dried foods in preparing them as I won't have to chop anything that way. It makes it go so much faster.
Well, I guess I've rambled enough for one night.
Mom got her sling off today and can now do most things for herself and she can drive. I don't know which one of us was happier, her to be able to use her arm more and start doing different exercises...or me that she can now do so many things on her own and I don't have to be doing everything for her all the time.
It's nice not to be tied down to the house all the time anymore and have some of my autonomy back. It's been rough at times, but Mom started talking family histories and showing me photos and it was really interesting. She's going to dig out the family trees as I've been wanting to do an ancestry account for a while now.
There is nothing financial to report. We didn't spend any money on anything at all. We did go to the library, but we were only doing drop/hold pick up and they have certain parking slots that are free for 10 minutes for that very purpose.
I did find a penny today so added that to the coin jar. Other than that I didn't do anything concerning money at all.
Tomorrow I am going to sleep in late if I can manage it and then go over to JoAnn's fabrics. I think I may finally give in and buy a sewing machine. They have some for under $100 that would be a good starter machine and one I could eventually pass on to DD. I need to go and look at them again.
I felt somewhat inspired today to share some of the things I have been enjoying lately.
1. Portland Bee Balm. This comes in unscented (hallelujah!) and mint. This is probably the best lip balm I have ever used. It lasts for a long time and when it wears off, I don't feel the incessant need to reapply it like I do with other balms. Chapstick and Blistex, I'm looking at you. This one leaves my lips soft and unchapped. With others it always seems my lips are in the exact same condition when it wears off as they were when I put them on.
I ordered a case of 20 today since the store that was carrying them quit carrying them. Total cost with shipping was $49.99, which works out to $2.49 a stick. When I was buying it in the store it was $3.99 a stick. Everyone in my family uses these. It may take us a while to get through 20, but in the end it saves us money because I am constantly buying lip balm for everyone.
2. The show Travelers on Netflix Streaming. This is a wonderful show with a fantastic ensemble cast. It's science fiction, time travel with a unique premise. It's made by the Candian company Showcase and if you've had any experience watching their stuff, you'll know it is of great quality. The acting and the writing is wonderful and it is currently filming season 2.
I have to say that Netflix is really stepping up its game. A lot of the original programming they first came out with was head scratching and eyebrow raising, but they've started to hit it out of the park a lot more in the last year or so. It is a nice, inexpensive option to cable and such a good value, too.
3. The Rule of Thre3 series by Eric Walters. I was finally able to read the third book in the series (when the library finally purchased it), Will to Survive, which was the best so it goes out on a high note. The entire series is an enjoyable read, though, if you like TEOTWAWKI fiction, especially young adult TEOTWAWKI fiction, which I love. The scenario in this one is a computer virus which makes the entire electric grid go down around the world.
It was well written and less predictable than most. I even had one or two moments when I was actually surprised. The main characters were well developed and the side characters were too unless they were peripheral. I finished the trilogy wishing there was going to be another book.
4. Crocheting. I'm still working on my Starburst granny squares. It may take me a year to get this blanket made, but it is such a mind relaxer. And since the yarn is pretty darn cheap, especially when you get it on sale, I end up spending maybe $10 every two months on yarn. I had hoped to get it done for the fair, but I don't think that will happen. Maybe next year's fair. Hopefully it will be done by winter, but I'm not holding my breath. I can only do so much with the arthritis.
5. Kohlrabi. I have been harvesting a ton of kohlrabi from the garden the last two weeks. Kohlrabi is a very versatile vegetable. You can cook the greens as well as using the "bulb" that is the most common reason for growing it. I use the term bulb loosely, because it technically isn't, though that is what it looks like. It is an above ground swelling of the stem. It's a member of the brassica or cruciferous family and eaten raw tastes like a cross between a mildly sweet apple and a very mild radish, with a hint of kale. Eaten cooked, it tastes somewhat sweeter. I never get tired of it and it is a welcome change to all the lettuce I've been having since mid-spring. If you've never tried it, you should. It's a great low-carb vegetable with a great crunch and as good for you as kale.
Well, I know that list was random and only one of them involved spending money, but it is what was on my mind today, so there you go.
We finally got Mom's garage pad mostly cleared off today. It has been a repository of so much junk in the last couple of years its not even funny. This garage is more of a shop that sits at the back of the property and would never be used as a garage anyway as you can't get a car back there and never could. In front of it is a concrete pad that is really big, big enough to be a half basketball court.
So from it we hauled two free-standing basketball hoops. One was in good condition, the other unusable. We put one out at the end of the driveway with a free sign and the other is broken down ready to go to the dump tomorrow. There were lots of little scraps of wood not suitable for any project, lots of feed bags (starting to wonder if she ever throws away the chicken feed bags), various containers that were all broken, six plant stands, 2 empty hanging baskets made of cedar, several large yogurt containers (she uses those to measure feed for the birds), empty milk jugs, so many buckets, a ton of morning glory, two ladders, several two foot sections of PVC pipe, numerous broken tote containers, five holey tarps, and around 100 empty half gallon plant pots.
It looks a lot better now and there is room to work outside on days when it is too hot to build in the garage. The birds were really happy because there were tons of worms and bugs underneath all the stuff we picked up. The ducks went insane chasing the chickens if they got a big worm.
George complained the whole time we were out there, but Gina was cool as a cucumber in her wallow under the apple tree. I still don't know what's wrong with her. She's had a full course of antibiotics, but remains hunched, though her respiratory symptoms went away. It could be another injury. I don't know. I can't feel anything wrong on her legs and back. Maybe it is just the old owl injury acting up, but she's not been normal for months. Vets don't do turkeys.
I paid 4 medical bills and the garbage bill today. I guess that means it isn't a no spend day. I transferred $1500 out of the Emergency Fund. I hope to have it back in by mid-August, but I'm not sure. It depends on how all this medical bill/credit card roulette turns out. So long as I don't get charged interest anywhere, I'm fine with that.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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'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 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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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