Home > Archive: August, 2021
Archive for August, 2021
August 29th, 2021 at 05:58 am
I had another migraine within a day of recovering from the last one. This one was brought on by fragrance. I had ordered some unscented body wash on etsy, because it was the only one I had been able to find that didn't have any coconut oil in it. Unfortunately she gave a overly scented soap bar as a gift with it and packaged it so poorly that the bottle was broken open and it soaked the entire package, an unpadded envelope with a tiny bit of biodegradable paper strings wrapped around it. My husband brought it into the house and set it in my bathroom sink. Big mistake. It reeked so bad.
I took quick photos and got it out of the house and scrubbed the sink down because I didn't want my daughter getting a migraine, because strong scents can trigger them in both of us. I did wear my face mask but it wasn't enough, the smell still got to me. I set up the air cleaner and just as I left the bathroom the migraine hit so badly that I could feel myself starting to go down. Fortunately I was able to call my husband, but he didn't get there quite in time and I passed out and hit the floor. It was a slow fall and I grabbed the door knob to try to not go down, but it only made it take longer. I don't think I lost conciousness until I was about a foot from the floor.
DH and DD said it was only for about 30 seconds and they were able to get me up, but I only took three steps before going down again. That one took about a minute and they managed to get me to bed. This one did not cause hallucinations, thank goodness, and it wasn't as painful as the first one. It lasted only 3 days.
I did send photos to the person on etsy and was immediately refunded. I just don't get it. Who sees someone order an unscented product and thinks, hey, I'll include a super strongly scented soap bar as a gift with this? It was nauseating.
I have scheduled a doctor's appointment to see about getting a referral to a neurologist. This is getting somewhat worrisome. I'll probably end up with a CT scan, which is good, just in case these were more than migraines.
After I got over the second migraine I had one good day and woke up with a sore throat the next morning. That progressed to sore ears, then left the ears and the snot fairy came and waved her magic wand over my nose. That's finally waning and while I do still have a bit of a sore throat, it doesn't hurt when I swallow so I think it is on the way out. Still have a dry cough and am very tired, though.
I hope I can manage to cook tomorrow. I always turn vegetarian when I get sick because meat protein is too much work. But I can feel the lack of protein and need to get back to my normal diet, especially because of the lack of iron. Living on cheese, egg flower soup, potatoes, and zucchini is not the best diet, though it is subsistence level. I'm just glad I had a lot of broth in the freezer, because heating it up and stirring an egg into it until it is cooked through was my highest level of cooking this week. Everyone else had to fend for themselves. I'll try to get around to posting last week's payday report this week, if I have the energy.
Medical Issues and Spending
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August 18th, 2021 at 03:24 am
I haven't tried to log in since the day it kept logging me out whenever I hit post. Notsomuch because I was fed up as that I wasn't doing particularly well. The migraine to end all migraines hit me. It was so bad I was having aural hallucinations. I mean, I see auras all the time, it's part of my synesthesia, but they are tiny. Like 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch and usually only on living things. Not only was I seeing them on everything, they were 8 inches on objects and some of them weren't attached to anything, but were floating in big sweeps of color.
I also lost my ability to make words come out right, which has never happened before, but is a symptom of severe aural migraines. That came back slowly over the next hour after I took my migraine medicine. I did call the online emergency doctor's thing set up for our health insurance when I could talk again and talked to them. I wanted to make sure it was a migraine and not a mini-stroke, though I was pretty sure it was migraine. I still took an asprin when I took my migraine meds just in case.
My body was pulling to the left when I was walking, which is a sign of stroke, but my migraine was mostly centered on the right side of my head and the right side of the brain does control the left side of the body. That was gone a few hours later and I didn't have any drooping. Based on my symtpoms and the aural hallucinations, they reassured me it was likely just a really bad migraine, but if I started drooping to go to the hospital immediately.
I am still extremely sensitive to light so I am wearing my sunglasses in the house during the day and at night when I use my computer. Still have a headache, but it is down to a normal level headache where I can function. I didn't sleep for 24 hours, but then was able to sleep 12 hours straight and that helped a lot. I've been sleeping more than usual as I recover. I quit seeing things after the first day, so that was good.
I've never had one so severe. I have had aural hallucinations with a migraine before, but they are much smaller blobs of floating colors with trails, not these huge things. It was really weird and scary.
Obviously I didn't do anything financial over the last several days, but DH did by a new set of toilet guts for the toilet tank. A part broke and the others showed a lot of wear and tear. They haven't been replaced since 1985, so we decided to get a full set instead of just replace the broken pieces and the flapper. It cost $20.98. And it is so much nicer. We don't have to hold down the flusher handle through the whole flush anymore. Something was preventing us from tightening it up before, because if we did it made the toilet run constantly. Now it is a dream to flush.
Medical Issues and Spending
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August 15th, 2021 at 07:31 am
Is anyone else having the issue of logging in, writing your blog entry, and it logging you out when you try to post it, thus evaporating your entry?
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August 8th, 2021 at 03:19 am
I heard from my middle sister last night and BIL should finally be coming home next week. He'll continue to need in home rehabilitation for his lungs and physical therapy to recover from the positions he was kept in and they are sending someone in to do that. The doctors say there is no reason that he should have survived. He had a really bad case of Covid and so many risk factors. My sister and I both think it is the power of prayer. There were hundreds of people praying for him. When even doctors call it a miracle, what else can it be?
In other news, DS is getting paid more than we thought. Instead of it being $13.79 an hour it is $17.79 an hour. Apparently there is a $4 an hour pay bump for hazard pay for grocery workers in my state for working with the public during a pandemic. Even only working 20 hours a week, that is going to allow him to make some pretty quick strides towards his goals.
Goal one for him is to save up enough for a $1000 Emergency Fund. I know Dave Ramsay says $500 for single people, but since his next goal is to save up for a car, and it'll be a beater, we both feel like $1000 is a better idea. He's setting aside 15% until he has the amount needed to open an IRA. He's also setting aside 10% of each paycheck until he has enough to send in a donation to a religious charity of his choosing.
I have agreed to keep giving him an allowance of $30 per week (instead of $45) until he has finished his Emergency Fund, so long as he actually does his chores and garden work and doesn't blow them off. That way he can pile the 75% that is left of his paycheck into the EF and knock it out over the next four weeks, but still have a little spending money. We will revisit the allowance situation then.
Then he can start saving towards a car. We figure if he can find something that runs for $2000 to start off with, that will take him an additional 2 months. Plus he will need to have some money set aside for insurance and car maintainance, tabs, ownership transfer tax, etc, so maybe 3 months. By 4 months he can start saving money to partially pay for his braces (I have $3500 that I've saved) if I haven't managed to save it all myself by then. Our insurance does not cover orthodontia.
Once the braces are paid for he will start saving up to pay for the schooling required to become an electrician, as well as start saving for a better car. If he moves to full time after the kids go back to school everything can be accellerated. I do hope he can. I'd like him to save up enough money that he can do the schooling he needs to do without having to work a job.
With his ADHD, OCD (both diagnosed last year), and bi-polar (recent diagnosis), I'm not sure it is good to overwhelm him by having to do both. He seems to be under control with his meds, but I well know how that can change in a heartbeat. I remember how hard it was for me to work full time and go to school full time because I didn't have the choice. At least DS has support for his mental illnesses. My parents didn't believe in mental illness. To this day, despite seeing it up close and personal with 3 different family members, my mother still believes you can shake off being bi-polar by thinking positively. But that's a rant for another day.
I spent $113.10 today, including tax and shipping. Lane Bryant online is having a big sale and I was able to pick up two more of the really good bras for $35 each instead of $55 each and some discounted underwear that matches the two I already have that they were sold out of previously. The money came out of the clothing fund. I've been waiting to pounce on a sale. These particular bras have been a game changer when it comes to comfort without sacrificing support. It's the Cacique Comfort Bliss line, which comes dangerously close to the comfort of the discontinued Cacique Barely There line, that I am still salty about over a decade later.
DH's Mom bought him a new phone because he smashed the one he bought (not the screen part, though) about six months ago when he took the case off to clean it. He can still call out with it, but it is hit and miss whether he receives phone calls, so after a month of trying to deal with it, he needed a new one because he has to have one for work since he is still working from home. So he ordered the same one as I have, which has been pretty good so far. He did pay for a new case and screen protector which cost $27.18 which came out of the household budget, so I don't really need to track it to anything. And if he wants to clean his phone like that in the future he must do it in the center of the king size bed so if he drops it, it should be fine.
I ended up making pasta for dinner last night, prawns putanesca. It was a new recipe and it was good. Tonight we will be having T-bones from our whole beef we bought. I am so looking forward to it. I will be making baked potatoes for everyone else, but I have some leftover mashed potatoes and gravy from KFC three days ago that I need to finish off, so I'll do that for me. Then tomorrow I am back on the gluten free band wagon. It really does make me feel so much better when I avoid wheat.
It finally rained last night and well into the day. This is the first real rain we've had all summer. We had one day where it barely sprinkled, but otherwise it has been very dry and hot. It was nice to see it. Maybe it'll green up some of the lawns again. They look like hay. While we live in a very nice neighborhood, most people don't waste water on their lawns here. They save it for their gardens, trees, and flower beds, which is what we are supposed to do. In fact the only lawn that is green right now is owned by Evil Hummer Dude and his wife, who scoff at water restrictions.
I need to make up a meal plan for next week. Meal planning keeps me away from the take out counter. But first I need to stop wasting time on her, and go make dinner.
Appliance Antics and Household Purchases,
Organize My Life
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August 7th, 2021 at 11:19 am
$16,623.91 Starting EF Balance
+__,_87.92 Amount Added
With the contributions that went in today, retirement now sits at $61,175.04, bringing net worth to $115,807.92.
I had $200 left in the grocery envelope from last payday, so I transferred that to the Hog Fund, bringing it to a total of $977. Of course, we are still trying to find someone who does warranty work on the 9 month old Frigidaire freezer that isn't working right. The Hog Fund may become a new freezer fund or a freezer repair fund, because there at least seem to be people who do non-warranty repair, as opposed to warranty repair, but it might be too expensive to be worth it and cheaper to buy a new one.
If this last guy does not call us back on Monday or doesn't do the work, I'm thinking of going to D&B and pleading our case. We have bought a dishwasher, a fridge, a chest freezer, a small upright freezer, a mini-chest freezer, a washer, two dryers, a microwave, and at least one bed from them over the past 26 years. I think a couple of more items, but I don't remember for sure. We couldn't buy an upright freezer from them this time, because they didn't have any at the time we bought. We did go there first. If they had, we would have stuck with them. But we are long time customers, so can't they please make an exception in this case? It might work. They only quit doing outside warranty work a couple of months ago. I mean, it's worth a shot. It has always been important to me to support local family businesses and I have as much as I could.
Appliance Antics and Household Purchases,
Emergency Fund/Coin Jar
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August 7th, 2021 at 01:19 am
In addition to it being payday we had a tiny dividend check for 51¢ and a check from MIL for $120.00, so I just added that in to the budget. I used part of it for a new envelope system and part for a small EF deposit. Hopefully they will actually send me the red envelope system that I ordered this time. My son will be taking the green one they mistakenly sent if they actually send me the red one, otherwise I am going to have to try to deal with their customer service, which I would rather avoid. I hate dealing with online customer service. Anyway, here's what went out today:
_200.00 Grocery Envelope
_500.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
__36.00 Garbage Fund (paid every 2 months)
_150.00 Car Insurance Fund
_100.00 Gas Money
__50.00 DH Blow Money
__50.00 My Blow Money
__90.00 Kids' Allowances
__87.92 Emergency Fund
__32.56 Red Envelope System
I usually do $400 a month for groceries, but since DH could only go to the store with me yesterday I charged the shop to the Citi card and the left the other $200 that would have gone to the grocery fund to go to the Citi payment today. We should be able to have a little more to add to the emergency fund this month if we keep our take out issue under control. There is currently $477.22 left on the Citi card and some of the autopays have yet to be charged. We will bring that down to zero by month's end. I never carry a balance, but if we don't stop this, it could happen and I never want it to happen again. It may not be much, but I didn't think I'd be able to add anything to the EF this week so I'm glad I could.
Next month I think I will increase the grocery budget to $500 like I talked about. It may not be necessary with DD's dietary issues, but I want that cushion if it is.
Paying the Bills,
Organize My Life,
Is Budget a Four Letter Word?,
Gazelles in Envelopes
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August 6th, 2021 at 08:19 am
I finally made it to the grocery store for a decent sized shop. DS and I went to Whole Foods since today was his day off. It really isn't as expensive as some people think. Like all stores it depends on what you buy. For organic, it can beat some of the other stores and some of their prices were lower than for regular produce or gluten free items in regular stores. I never find moldy produce there which is beginning to be more and more of a problem at one store I shop at. And it has more selection than say Trader Joe's, which I haven't been in in at least 9 months, because they were so draconian in their Covid practices.
I mean, the employees at TJ's were always rude, like shoving their way in front of you to stock something instead of waiting until you moved out of the way or rolling their eyes when the store layout had changed and you asked them were something was now, or when they discontinued an item that you bought a month before but they would lie and say that was discontinued months ago or a year ago. I've had a couple of them knock me off balance because they just run into you.
But their Covid practices were what really pushed it over they line. They were like 8 steps beyond what every other grocery store was doing. I swear I expected to end up in the disinfection scene from New Earth on Doctor Who or something.
Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htkUa_fVwCA and Link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htkUa_fVwCA
But they were inconsistent on enforcing it between registers. And I got one too many rude cashiers when I asked why the other cashiers allowed you to stand in front of the plexiglass instead of making you wait 8 feet from the place where you could watch your prices ring up or start bagging your food, I was done. They were just snarling and one even swore at me and I swear I was polite. I've worked in the service industry, so I don't ever talk disrespectfully to employees even if they are being donkey hats as it gets you nowhere (and I never talked to customers that way either, no matter how exhausted I was). If you have rules, everyone should follow them, not just one sole cashier. There is nothing they have that I cannot get elsewhere anymore. Plus their parking is, pardon my English, utter crap. I was willing to put up with it when they were the only game in town, but they haven't been that for a long time.
Anyway, here is what I bought at Whole Foods:
2 uncured sliced meat selections (think chorizo, cappicola, etc.)
1 organic watermelon
2 jars of soy free Hoison sauce (first time I've found this)
2 whole organic rotisserie chickens
5 organic nectarines
1 2 lb bag organic French fries
1 box Lundberg's organic Spanish rice
4 boxes Jovial gluten free brown rice penne pasta
1 box almond flour crackers (gluten free)
1 jar organic dill pickle spears
1 box Vital Farms pasture raised butter (cheaper than Kerrygold)
1 box gluten free pancake mix
1 box gluten free organic cereal Cheetah Chomps (like Fruit Loops in concept, but healthy)
1 box of strawberry applesauce (4 shelf stable pouches)
1 small box organic baby spinach
8 Siggi's skyr yogurt (various flavors)
1 pint organic grape jelly
10 pouches organic baby food
1 box Annie's gluten free white cheddar and shells pasta
1 box Annie's gluten free cheddar and rice pasta
1 half gallon bottle of organic lemonade and iced tea (mixed)
1 bag with 7 colored bell peppers
1 head of cauliflower
1 lb sugar snap peas (which they rang up as a serrano, I see, which is a lot cheaper)
1 bunch green onions
1 6 inch piece daikon
2 heads of broccoli
1 large bok choy
3 lbs of dark red cherries
I spent $211.95 and that grocery cart was full. I didn't buy much meat because we have a ton in the freezer. I will have to go to one more store to buy milk, bread, gluten and soy free bread, uncured hot dogs, and then Whole Foods was sold out of ginger and black plums so I'd like to get those, too. I shouldn't have to buy much else during the next two weeks, depending on how the fruit lasts. It seems to not last as long with days in the 80's and 90's like right now. The garden is producing lettuce, raspberries, zucchini, patty pan squash, and cucumbers now and it looks like I will have a lot ready by next week.
Oh, and the organic baby food pouches are because my daughter's gastropaeresis is acting up again, which makes it very hard for her to digest fiber. This allows her to have some fruits and vegetables in a pureed form. And since it is all organic, it really isn't that much cheaper to do it myself. The convenience factor is worth it, though I will still puree any food I cook for her that can be pureed. Right now having a soft food diet gives her digestive system a chance to rest without sacrificing nutrition. It is very easy for her to become malnourished and I don't always have the stamina or freedom from pain to do it all myself anymore. That particular yogurt was also for her.
I did order a shade cloth from Amazon last night for the strawberries. It cost $30.46. It's 10 x 13 and the two beds together are 12 x 4. They are hooped so while I probably only needed 8 feet instead of 10 for the sides, this was what was available. The strawberries are really struggling in this unrelenting heat and they are in the garden bed that gets the most sun during the day. Watering well just has not been enough and I don't want to lose them. I will move them next spring to a bed that gets shade during the hottest part of the day, assuming those beds do get built in late August and September as planned. I know at least one will, but I don't know if all four will. The potatoes and tomatoes are thriving, but I don't know what is going on with my peppers this year. They are stunted. I need to fertilize with fish emulsion.
There is the sweetest young cat coming by. I think she is descended from Mrs. Norris, a stray cat that was pregnant a couple of years ago, because it looks just like her. This is the most beautiful tabby in the traditional grey and black stripes. I think it is about five or six months old. It is just shy of the lanky teenage cat stage. It looks healthy and like it is eating, and I saw it with a mouse once, but there is no collar and when you pet the friendly little thing it has a lot of flea poop that comes off its fur, so it is infested.
It is what I call friendly/wary, which makes me think it has been recently dumped or got loose, but was raised among humans until then. I am putting out fresh water for it, but mostly the neighbor is looking out for it. It'll wind around my legs and loves to be pet, but it will not let me pick it up. I do wash with soap anywhere it touches me, though, as soon as I go in. I'm not getting flea bites or taking fleas into the house. Any clothes it touches go straight into the washer.
I wish I wasn't allergic to cats and DS wasn't. I haven't had one since the cat I got when I was ten died when I was 26 and I do like my ability to breathe. But this cat just makes me want to adopt it. It is beautiful and sweet and has such lovely eyes. I'm afraid I might fall in love with it. It is hard to be the cat person you are when it makes you miserable to have one in your home. The neighbor is looking out for it and will probably adopt it or at least bring it in for the worst part of the winter. She's a soft touch and all of her cats for the last 3 decades have found her, not the other way around. I might buy a flea comb if it gets really comfy with me and see if I can't help it. And maybe a flea collar. Do they make break away flea collars these days?
Medical Issues and Spending
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August 5th, 2021 at 04:49 am
Retirement went over $60K this week, so I thought I'd do an update, even though the next contributions go in on Friday and it should jump significantly if nothing wrecks the market this week. I was a touch concerned about the president defying the Supreme Court and if people start worrying about another step towards a loss of the checks and balances of our government, but it didn't seem to. We have Congress and the Supreme Court for a reason. I don't like end runs by any president, which is what executive orders are, and a huge step towards authoritarianism. It riles my nature as an Independent. Most people won't pay attention to that sort of thing until they wake up in a country that no longer resembles a democratic republic. But anyway, $60K! It's another mini-goal on my way to my next big one.
I have to get excited at the one place in life where I feel like I am making progress this year. So retirement is now at $60,370.41, a rise of $1,172.71 since my last check in.
I added the interest for last month to the EF, a whopping $3.85. Anyone else remember when savings accounts paid 7% interest. I wish we had that now. It'd be nice to actually earn a real amount on my EF and sinking funds.
$16,620.06 Starting Balance
+__,__3.85 Interest Added
$16,623.91 New Balance
So net worth goes up by $1176.56, bringing it to $115,003.29. So I guess that interest was worth something. It tipped me over $115K.
Organize My Life,
Emergency Fund/Coin Jar
2 Comments »
August 4th, 2021 at 11:31 pm
So I am dragging my sorry self back in to post. I had a bad weekend with my thigh muscles being absolutely on fire and it made it hard to focus on anything else. No blogging, no writing at all. It started to pass on Sunday morning and except for some occasional shooting fingers of fire it is much better, though the side and front muscles all feel like a massive bruise and are tender to the touch. This is all from a massive psyatic nerve pinch.
I ordered some of the special eye drops my daughter needs for her Sjogren's disease, almost $53 for a 90 pack. Then my son's specail inhaler, which is not covered by our insurance but is discounted under the Walgreen's prescription helper card, was $168. They are suspecting reactive airway disease and he'll be seeing an allergist/immunologist in October. His condition really kicked up after that big sickness we had on March of 2020 (suspected Covid, might have been a bad flu), which none of us bounced back from for about six months. I will be glad when Friday gets here and I can dump another $500 into the medical fund. Hopefully some of that can go towards orthodontia savings, because that has been stuck at $3000 due to having to buy a new walker for my daughter and one for myself, which fortunately I have only had to use 3 times so far. Most days I can get by with my cane and once in a while I have a really good day and don't need anything, although those are becoming rarer.
It looks like my son will be working 20 hours a week with his new job, at least until the high school kids go back to high school, whether in person, or more likely, back to video as it is looking like we might be heading back into lock downs. Then it is likely he will be moved to full time. Hopefully he can cope with a mask, because they reinstituted them this week for their vaccinated employees. He has his inhalers, although he had to keep them in his locker as they could react to some of the chemicals they have for cleaning.
The library has also reinstituted them for everyone coming in. That's true of all city buildings. I'm suspecting they know something the general public does not yet, and that they will probably be making everyone wear them inside again soon. Honestly, I've been debating it myself. I was planning on it for the cold season anyway, because I still ended up with a lot less colds, despite the fact it is hard on my asthma. I'm not looking forward to it, but I know what a bad case of Covid did to my BIL more recently and I do not want it to happen in my immediate family. Although they are saying this delta variant isnt as hard on the vaccinated, they do still get sick. And since I know how long it took me to feel normal again after what we suspect was Covid last time, I don't want to go through anything like that again.
I finally feel up to cooking tonight and am thinking about thawing out some steaks from the grass fed organic whole beef we purchased, making some fried potatoes to go with, and baking some yellow zucchini from our garden. I've picked two so far, but haven't eaten any yet. The cucumber and lettuce was really good, though.
My goal for the rest of the week and next week is no eating out. We've really got to reign that in again. It causes too much careless spending and takes a dent out of the money I want to save each month, if not wipes it out completely. I wish I could get back that focus I had when we were paying off debt. I know it is not as bad as it could be. We are contributing 15% to the 401k, after all. But I do want that EF to grow from 3 months to 6 months and it is not going to happen if we don't put it in check. It's been over a year that we've been debt free. And I feel like we've wasted a lot of it due to this kind of nonsense. I need to get my motivation back.
Although one place I do have my motivation back is my diet. I am off the soda and caffeine again and back to my diet. I've lost 5.2 pounds so far. I really need to do this to get the pressure off my psyatic nerve. The orthopedist/neurosurgeon said it'll probably take about 50 pounds for a significant difference, but even a few pounds will make a small difference and I'm thinking it has made some in the last couple days, at least with the fire, if not the numbness. I also feel a little difference in the disc pain, too, so here's hoping I keep my motivation, although pain is a very big motivator.
Tomorrow is DS's day off, but he has a dentist appointment and an appointment with the sleep doctor that I have to take him to and then hopefully we can make it to Whole Foods. Not much of a day off for him, but stuff has to get done.
I found out Whole Foods carries a grape jelly that is not made with corn syrup. Grape jelly is my favorite, but I cannot have corn syrup or I get really sick, so I haven't had it in ages. Since the last time I made some and I can't remember when that was. I also want to get some of the gluten free Jovial pasta. The closer store only carries the spaghetti and the penne, but they are always out of penne. Whole Foods carries a lot more choices. It's just harder to get over there since it is so out of the way. I might see if they have any duck breasts while I am there. It's been a long time since we have had duck.
I need to go through the new sales ads and see if there is anything good at Fred Meyer since it is right across the street from Whole Foods. We won't be able to do our typical grocery shopping trip on Friday this week as DS is working, but we don't need that much anyway, just fresh fruit, chicken, deli ham, deli turkey, and maybe some fish if any looks good and it isn't too expensive. I'm not sure when DH and his boss are going to be able to make it out fishing, but I hope it is soon.
All right, that about wraps it up.
Medical Issues and Spending
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