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Archive for December, 2019

Ocarina and Moringa

December 11th, 2019 at 03:28 am

Well, I'm learning a new instrument. My son talked me into buying a bass ocarina. It is a plastic one, not a ceramic one, because lighter is easier on the rheumatoid arthritis. An ocarina is a type of flute. It's shaped like a sweet potato though. If you play any of the Zelda games you've seen one. I have some experience with a regular flute and a one octave wooden flute and have messed around with the Tonette which is a one octave song flute as well.

It's also treble clef which is the same as the violin, strum stick, and the right hand on the piano and organ. Aside from the bass clef for piano and organ's left hand, I also know the alto clef for the viola. But treble is easiest to pick up a new instrument in.

I've done 4 lessons so far and can play a half dozen songs. I find it funny that no matter what instrument I have learned over the years they always start with Mary Had a Little Lamb and Hot Cross Buns. I've also mastered Ode to Joy (also early in every instrument), Frere Jaques, Long Long Ago, Jingle Bells, Gently Row, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and a couple others that I can't play at tempo yet, but can muddle through. Today will be my fifth day practicing and Brahm's Lullaby is in that lesson, so grown up music is coming.

When I do my new lesson, I always do all the songs from the previous lessons first and some of the fingering exercises. It helps to cement stuff in even as I move on to new lessons. I've found it is the best way for me to learn. I kind of do immersion when learning a new instrument.

One of the things that really helps me with this time of year and fighting seasonal depression is keeping my mind active and being challenged by something. That's why I tend to work on playing music or learning French more in the winter and early spring. I also take 5000 IU of vitamin D and use a happy light.

I started taking Moringa about ten days ago and it has made a huge difference with my RA symptoms. I also seem to be sleeping better, my skin is clearing up, and I have less muscle soreness from my fibromyalgia. It's not gone, but it is there. I am waking up feeling like I slept, which is really nice. I still tire out very easily and have to pace myself, but the enervating exhaustion is gone most days. I'm feeling better than I have in a long while. They tout it as a miracle tree, and I don't know about that, but it does help along with the Embrel and the Hydroxychloroquine.

And I've felt up to making meals a lot more often, too. Which helps with the food budget a lot. Tonight we are having herb baked chicken. Spice Islands has this Garlic Herb Seasoning that comes in a big container from Costco and it is our new go to seasoning.

I don't even miss Lawry's anymore or Paprika that much, which used to be our go to seasoning before my daughter had to quit using any spice that was hot (as opposed to warming like coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg). This stuff has been fantastic on chicken, beef, and salmon. I haven't tried it yet on pork or lamb or other types of seafood, but I can't imagine it won't be good. I've been looking for a long time to find an all purpose seasoning so this makes me very happy. It's the little things in life, you know?

Retirement Update

December 6th, 2019 at 02:35 am

$15,259.56 401K
+_9,478.38 IRA
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$24,737.56 Total Retirement

$262.44 let to hit $25K.

Meal Planning for the Week

December 3rd, 2019 at 05:54 am

Monday:
Garlic Herb Baked Chicken
Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans
Oranges

Tuesday:
Beef Stew with potatoes, carrots, celery, and parsnips
Broccoli
Apples

Wednesday:
Chicken Stir Fry with broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cabbage
Rice
Oranges

Thursday:
Sirloin Steaks
Baked Potatoes
Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Apples

Friday:
DH's work Christmas party
Baron of Beef
Roasted Red Potatoes
Green Beans with Almonds
There are lots of other choices, but none of them appeal to me. The kids will fend for themselves.

Saturday:
Bacon Cheeseburgers
French Fries
Cole Slaw
Oranges

Sunday:
Pork Roast smothered in Onions
Butternut Squash
Green Beans
Apples

Shopping

December 2nd, 2019 at 07:26 am

We went to WalMart tonight to pick up some outdoor Christmas decorations. MIL's treat. They didn't have much left. I guess when you start selling Christmas stuff before Halloween, expecting there to still be a decent selection on December 1st is too much?

We got icicle lights in blue and white for the house's gutter line and porch peak and some bush blanket nets, some candy canes, and 4 little decorations (a cardinal, an angel, a star, and a Santa face) that we can attach to the deck or put on stakes in the yard.. We still need to go to Lowe's and pick out some more stuff. I'd like a nativity and a wreath.

Unfortunately all our outdoor decorations were stolen from MIL's house, which is why she's buying us new stuff. The really sad thing is I'll never be able to replace my son's rope light Christmas train, they just don't make them anymore, or my seal that was balancing a package on its nose that rotated. Or my penguin with the top hat. I was very attached to those.

We also picked up a phone charger for DH and a dual phone charger for the van and little Huskies (local college football team) nutcracker ornament for MIL.

Tomorrow my son and I will work on getting the bush nets on the bushes and attaching the lower set of icicle lights to the deck. I don't know if DS can do the gutter ones or if DH will need to do those. We can also attach the small decorations to the deck as well. I might have to run to Lowes for extra large zipties, though. While there I can see which big standees I might want, take photos, and have DH pick them up later. He is on his mom's card, I'm not.

After everything is in place we can then figure out the extension cord situation and the timer. We have a bucket of extension cords so those shouldn't be a problem. We may not turn the lights on for a week or so, because I want everything to be ready at once instead of lighting up a bit at a time. Now that it is finally December I feel like getting into the Christmas spirit.

Payday Report for 11/29/19

December 2nd, 2019 at 06:55 am

$346.83 Tithe
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_500.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Fund
__61.74 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Adults Blow Money
_120.00 Kids Allowances
_700.00 Christmas Fund
1000.00 Monster Mom Loan
--------------
3464.03 Total Money Out