Home > Archive: May, 2020

Archive for May, 2020

Dietary Changes are Making Me Feel so Much Better

May 31st, 2020 at 08:17 pm

The last time I had gluten was on May 21st and I started my diet on May 23rd. As of today I have lost 10.4 pounds, dropped a clothing size, which gives me a lot of new options with capri pants and shorts and sweat pants, if not jeans. My shirts are a lot looser, too, and longer than they were before, or at least they go down further.

I feel better, too. I am not having near the trouble with mucus pooling in my throat that I was when I was on wheat. It isn't gone, we are in cottonwood season, but it isn't where I feel like I am almost drowning in it. I also haven't had to use my asthma inhalers since dropping gluten and I am barely using my nasal spray at all, and certainly not first thing when I get up so I can breathe. I always thought it was dairy that was my problem, but I've had milk and cheese through this, so it doesn't seem to be.

I have also noticed that it has become a struggle to meet my daily calories for a safe daily intake. I'm just not hungry or craving bread all the time. I do push myself to eat at least 1200 calories a day, and I am happier if I can get it closer to 1400 to 1500. I've never had to worry about that when wheat was in my diet.

My stamina is also getting better and my legs are getting stronger. I was having trouble standing for more than five minutes at a time since having what we suspect was Covid19 back in February. Not with walking, mind, just standing in one place. Two night ago I was able to stand the entire time I was cooking instead of having to pull up a chair. Not to mention how much longer I can work in the garden, including doing things like shoveling. I was so weak when we started putting in the garden in April.

I've also noticed my RA symptoms don't seem as bad, despite using my hands a lot and my fibromyalgia, while still noticeable, is not as bad, but that may just be from the increased exercise.

I'm not sure if I have a gluten intolerance or just a wheat allergy. I know I don't have celiac. Considering the mucus output going down so much, I think it is an allergy.

Franz now has a gluten free bread line that tastes good. It has two types of bread, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, and bagels. That's the same as what Udi has, but Udi comes frozen. I like the Franz better as it is softer. I am still learning to bake gluten free, just haven't stumbled on any great recipes yet. I am going to attempt to make cornbread this week though, as I found a recipe that looks promising.

Mostly I am happy with just eating meat, veggies, and fruit, though. The bread craving is gone, so unless I am going to have a hot dog or hamburger on the grill, I don't feel much of a need for it. The kids do, though, so I buy the gluten free bread mostly just for them. They've been off wheat since the beginning of the year and both feel better and have dropped weight as well.

I read wheat belly years ago and was just not ready to give it up. Now I wish I had tried. I might have saved myself a lot of weight gain and physical pain and breathing issues.

Second to Last Monster Mom Loan Payment

May 29th, 2020 at 09:57 pm

$2000.00 Balance Forward
-1000.00 Payment Made
$1000.00 New Balance

One more payment to go and I am debt free, ya all!

Mostly a Rant

May 27th, 2020 at 01:59 am

I took DD to her primary doctor today as a follow up for her ER visit. He did prescribe her more valium, but only another 10 days worth. I wish he could have seen what a difference it has made to her day to day living, but all he's worried about is it being an addictive substance. Not so much about helping with pain and making those tight muscles relax. My mother has been on valium since I was a child and takes 3 times as much. We understand that it can be abused. But when the doctor is in charge of prescribing it, I don't see the issue. It's not like we're going to go out on a street corner for it. Just use it until things ease up and then wean off.

She has no reflex action in her left leg. Didn't matter where he tapped the thing on her knee or ankle, it didn't kick. He also poked her and there was no reaction. Her leg has been numb for a few weeks. So something serious is going on, but we won't know much more until the MRI on June 2nd. She restarts physical therapy on Saturday. I hope it helps and doesn't make things worse.

Then even if things are serious, her weight may be a detriment to getting surgery if she needs it. They say lose weight like that is an easy thing when you have to take prednisone every day to live and it makes you gain weight. I know what she eats. We don't have junk food in the house and she doesn't go anywhere to buy food or have an income to do it. I'm lucky if I can get 1200 calories into her in a day because she is so nauseated all the time and she isn't even able to cook her own food because of all the pain. She is not overeating. If anything she doesn't eat enough. It would help if her pituitary worked properly. And her digestive system. Her inflammation level in her blood work is off the chart, not to mention her neutraphils are crazy high.

I just want a healthy kid. Is that so much to ask? Why does she have to have five diseases, something wrong with her back, hip, and leg, and a liver tumor? How much can one body take? But sure, doctor, let's worry about addiction instead of quality of life, okay? Because that's more important than being able to function on even a basic level.


I Needed That!

May 25th, 2020 at 11:34 pm

What a nice little vacation DH and I had. It was wonderful to get away from the kids and to get away from my mom and have no cares in the world for a few days. The sea air was fantastic, 2 out of 3 sunsets were gorgeous and 1 was spectacular. I loved just being able to sit on the deck and stare out at the sea while DH cooked on the BBQ. DH made all of the meals, so I didn't even have to do that much. I really felt relaxed and unwound for the first time since mid-September.

It was also great to sit in the hot tub and just watch the ducks and seagulls and the dog that went for a swim every afternoon at the same time. I love seeing the tide go in and out as well and seeing all the shells left behind on the beach. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can see the seals, too.

It was good to have some alone time and DH and I had a serious talk about weight loss needing to happen and that I wasn't buying anymore junk food, I wanted it out of the house. He has agreed and is doing well since we got back. As am I. It is nice to have the whole family on board for a change. It was always so hard on me when I tried by myself. DS has been doing great since the start of the year. He lost 30 pounds. DD has lost some, too, but that is more due to the liver tumor and not wanting to eat much.

Speaking of the liver tumor, it has grown from 2.7 cm in October to 4.1 cm. We are waiting to hear back from the hepatology doctor about what steps to take next. I think she has to have some kind of nuclear medicine test, at least that was what the hospital recommended after her recent CT scan.

We've been working hard in the garden since we got back, but today is a day off because we worked for 7 hours straight yesterday and are sunburned and sore. We got a lot done, though. There is still so much to do, though. But I am good with a day off for everyone. It also rained all morning and early afternoon so not too much could be done, anyway.

I have pictures I would like to share, but am having trouble getting it to work.

So Much Garden Work this Week and Getting Ready to Go

May 18th, 2020 at 10:26 pm

It's been a tiring last several days but we got the ground garden weeded, rototilled, put up the bean supports, formed it into trench rows, and planted four rows of green beans and a block of corn that was 8 across down the length of the ground garden. I got my zucchini planted, my bee balm and larkspur transplanted, four of my six tomato plants in garbage bins, the remaining two potted up into 2 gallon pots, my ten pepper plants planted, and my pickling cucumbers in.

We also put down a thick layer of new hay for mulch, wet it down and trampled it, all around the beans and corn. It was first cutting hay and there are no grass seeds in it, so we shouldn't have to struggle with that.

I've shown DS exactly how to water, some plants don't like water on their leaves like tomatoes and peppers so need to be done at the base, some seeds like carrots have to be misted, some it doesn't matter on, so he has the list and knows exactly what to do while we are gone.

I can't wait to be at the seaside. I need this so much. Looking forward to sitting in the hot tub tonight and watching the sun sink into the bay. I don't know if we will swim in the water or not as the shore is very rocky and I don't want to tear up my feet. There is a dock but it is not a very stable one, it is on floats and anchors so it is hard to walk on, let alone jump into the water or get out of it, especially with no ladder. You can see exactly how it is made when the tide is out. I wish it was on pilings, but oh well.

I just wanted to check in before I went. I've been so quiet, but only because I was working so hard in the garden. My nephew has our number as do the kids, so if there is an emergency with my mother or my daughter while we are gone he will call. I am sure DS would call, too, but if he has to stay with Mom or DD, then nephew might be the one to call.

I need to go pack and figure out what food we are taking, besides the rib-eye steaks for the BBQ. Those are coming for sure, maybe some pork ribs as well.

Payday Report 5/15/20

May 16th, 2020 at 01:00 am

$330.86 Tithe (including AdSense portion)
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__75.00 Household Envelope
_800.00 Citi
_100.00 Blow Money Adults
1000.00 Emergency Fund
__50.00 Car Maintenance Envelope
_130.25 License Tab Renewal Van
_120.00 Allowances Kids
__50.66 Garbage
_100.00 Clothing Fund
$3156.77 Total Money Out

Emergency Fund Update

May 16th, 2020 at 12:51 am

$7808.17 Balance Forward
+1000.00 Deposit
+__13.73 Allstate Refund Check
$8821.90 New Balance

Really Worn Out

May 9th, 2020 at 04:36 am

This has been a rough week for me. I think the fibro flare is finally leaving, but I am still going through caffeine withdrawal. I think I have about two more days of it. It just makes me really draggy and unwilling to tackle much of anything. I have so much to do and no inclination to do it. But I will go out and work in the garden tonight. I always feel better for being outside. We need to finish filling the new bed and some garbage cans with soil as I bought my peppers and tomatoes yesterday.

I am also bummed because I lost my camera download cable. One of the things that doesn't work on my laptop is the memory card reader. I did order a new cable plus an external reader as well, just so I have backup. I think the old one might have fallen into my garbage can because I can't find it anywhere and I always keep it in the same place. So I can't work on videos, because I can't get them off my camera. No one else has one or a reader on their computers. One of them is supposed to be arriving tomorrow, so I will be in for a night of editing to get my garden video up on time, but that is okay. Oh, and CB, I forgot to answer your question, but yes, I am making garden videos again. The link is in my sidebar.

Despite my blahs, we did get the raspberries transplanted into a nice, orderly row. They were taking over their area and it was impossible to get in to pick them. We ended up tossing some of the smaller ones. In a different time, I'd have potted them up and sold them, but I don't want people coming to the house. I don't have anywhere else to plant them, either.

As this lock down drags on I feel it more and more mentally. I will be glad to get away to the cottage with DH. I think I really need it for my health. Now that my nephew has moved in, I feel less worried about leaving mom with just my kids, too. I know they are both legally adults, but one is disabled and the other is still young even though he takes care of DD when we are away.

I am glad this vacation is already paid for. I don't think I've ever needed something more, but if it wasn't already paid for I wouldn't be buying it now and we wouldn't be going. Too much uncertainty in the world.

Fibro Flare and Bracing for Meat Shortages

May 6th, 2020 at 05:17 am

I really put my body through the ringer on Friday. I got a ton done, but I have been basically non-functional with a Fibromyalgia flare since. Today I was able to go sit outside and watch DH turn the compost pile while I kept him company. It was kind of peaceful as we were at the back of the property in a little hidden away area that almost makes you feel like you are in a forest. Almost, because you can still see one the neighbor's fence and top of their house, but it was restful (for me) with the birds twittering and the squirrels and cottontails bravely running nearby.

I think tomorrow I might be able to do some garden work again, but I am going to take it easy and be gentle with myself. I can't go down like this. DS will be free to help starting tomorrow afternoon. If it is still bad, I will simply keep him company and direct him on what to do. I can't do anymore digging. It wrecked my legs and made it hard to walk. But I can do some things, so I will leave the hard stuff to DS.

I went to Winco last night to get chicken and they had signs up every four feet in the meat department saying to be mindful of other customers and not overbuy meat in a day right now so as not to overwhelm their supply. They did say we could come back daily, though. I say we will have limits within a week. I got four packs of legs and four packs of thighs, which was what I'd intended, but I am going to go back tomorrow and get some more legs to can.

I was hoping they'd have a good pork sale, but the ads were lousy, so I will just buy chicken legs for canning and do a batch a day until I have a month's supply on the shelf. Legs are the easiest to can as you can do it bone in. You are basically just filling your jars. I may pick up a couple of hams to can, too.

As these meat processing facilities continue to close over employee illness, we may go from limits to rations for meat. It would not surprise me in the least. I want to be ready. I don't think it should be limited to an amount per family, it should be limited to so much per person in your family, which is what rations would do. Right now in some areas they are limiting a large family to the same amount as a small family. That will eventually cause problems. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but I don't think anyone still thought we'd be on lock down this long, either.

No matter what happens, I want to be ready for it.

Reality Intrudes

May 4th, 2020 at 06:42 am

So I changed my blog title, because my sister found my youtube channel and I don't want her finding my blog. I may end up changing my user name to just Robin or Robin's Luck, but we'll see. I was thinking of changing it to Debt Free Robin once I am debt free, anyway.

I'm Seeing Earthworms When I Close My Eyes

May 2nd, 2020 at 05:35 am

I guess that is a good thing, though, because it means the soil is healthy and alive and full of red wigglers. But I could do without the image on my eyelids. That always happens when I see a lot of something for a long period of time. I worked in the garden today for 5 hours, 4 with DS and 2 with DH.

We got the bean "field" and the corn "field" weeded today. There is still a bit on the edges that needs to be dug out tomorrow, but that will be probably another 30 minutes of work. We lost the sunlight, though, so couldn't finish tonight. We also got the bean supports taken down. We should be able to Rototill tomorrow, weather permitting.

I'd like to do the potato "field" tomorrow. None of them are really fields, more like patches, I just refer to them that way. We only live on just under 1/2 an acre, so they couldn't really be fields. I'd also like to transplant some raspberries from a place where they are taking over to a place I'd rather they be at. They are thornless raspberries and they are not a deep rooted plant, so it should be relatively easy to move them.

We saw a lot of squirrels and rabbits, today. The mama squirrel kept trying to get our attention by waving her tail at us and taking off, trying to get us to follow her. She doesn't like us so near the place she has her nest. Well, I don't like where she has her nest, so we are even. Squirrels are why we cover our raised beds, and rabbits are one of the reason why we have tall raised beds, although it is mostly for my knees.

The rabbit didn't really care. It got as close as 4 feet at one point and we were talking to it. There is a family of cottontails that lives under our rabbit shed. Every year they have a couple of litters. Most don't make it due to cats and hawks and owls, but there is always a pair there the next year. Don't know if it is the same pair or their offspring.

I am very worn out, but I really want to get this done so everything can be planted and mulched and we can get on with the business of growing. I am going to purchase some silage tarping in the fall to cover the bare ground so we don't have to deal with weeds like this again in the spring. It is pretty heavy duty and can be used for several years.

I am thinking of growing my potatoes in straw this year. It would make harvest a lot easier. We'll see.

Interest to EF

May 1st, 2020 at 11:07 pm

$7806.29 Balance Forward
+___1.88 Interest Added
$7808.17 New Balance

Payday Report for 5/1/20

May 1st, 2020 at 11:00 pm

The tabs money was money saved from a previous paycheck, not really out of this paycheck, but I will track it with it, since it was paid today. Otherwise paycheck spending was $3,144.64.

Nothing to the EF this payday, but next I should be able to throw $1000 into it. May is a 3 paycheck month. I have to decide if any extra money will go to the EF or to the loan. So far DH's job is secure and looks secure for the foreseeable future, but with the world the way it is is anything really secure? I want that loan paid off so bad, we are so close, but at the same time I know we should still be careful.

The urge to not have to hear snide comments from my mother about how we owe her money (even though we pay consistently, and extra when we can) is very strong. Even though we've paid $108,000 off, that last $2000 still gives her leverage to be a donkey hat. I don't know why my mother has to have turned so mean in her old age. She hasn't always had a spiteful streak. I hate the start of dementia for what it has done to her. If I could go back in time I would have stayed on the hospital payment plan despite the interest rate instead of letting her help us, just so she couldn't use it as something to hold over us.

$318.47 Tithe
_500.00 Utilities
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__75.00 Household Envelope
_115.17 Internet
__36.00 Garbage
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
_100.00 Gas Money Envelope
_100.00 Adults Spending Money
_120.00 Kids Allowances
1000.00 Monster Mom Loan Payment
__85.55 License Tab Renewal Truck
3230.21 Total Money Out

Monster Mom Loan Payment

May 1st, 2020 at 10:32 pm

$3000.00 Balance Forward
-1000.00 Payment Made
$2000.00 New Balance