My MIL gave me a mandolin for my birthday on the 12th (I'm 52 now) and I started practicing yesterday. I can do a G chord, a C chord, and a D chord. Yesteday I got the fingering down and today I got the switching between chords down. I have no calluses on my fingers, because the only instrument I've really been working on before this is the bass and tenor ocarinas, so I need to build up those again.
Tomorrow I will work on my speed, but it sounds good and isn't too hard to tune. I like it better than the strumstick (mountain dulcimer) which only has four strings and was always falling out of tune. The mandolin has 8 strings, but they are double strings so the top two are both G, then the next two are D, then A, then E. It gives it more depth of sound, like two people strumming in unison. It's strung like a violin note wise, which I have played for years.
It's a good little instrument for a beginner's instrument. And a gorgeous cherry red with black edges. If they had made a blue one in the price range I would have gotten that, but that was only in the professional level and that is $1500, not the $139. Mine does have the stuff for plugging it into an amp, too. We don't have one, though, and I just want to do acoustically anyway.
I love being able to play music. It gives me something to do when I'm bored or, like today, when the power goes out for 1.5 hours, because some teenager in an SUV tried to run a red light and got plowed into by a Hummer and got knocked into a power pole, because the intersection is not 90 degree angles, it's off by quite a bit. You could hear the crash from my house a couple blocks away. My son went to be a looky-lou. No one was hurt bad enough to go the the hospital and the Hummer isn't too bad off. The SUV did not fare so well, but the speed there is only 25 mph. It could have been worse.
My other gift from MIL was a turquoise 3 cup food processor, for when I don't want to pull out the 8 cup one. This one is a lot lighter weight and easier for me to move by myself. I can't lift much weight with this arthritis without dropping things. It'll be nice for mincing a pound of meat fine.
DH gave me a teal leather ottoman for me to use under my desk. It is gorgeous and has a storage compartment in it. I needed something to put my legs up on when they fill with fluid, so this does the trick nicely and it has a good amount of padding on top so is really comfortable. My mom doesn't give gifts anymore. The kids are working on something, but didn't have it ready.
Today I finally had physical therapy again. I haven't gone since November. Then I got the flu, then we had snow that made it impossible to go anywhere. Then I got a head cold. And now I'm back among the living. We did an assessment. He said my range of motion has improved a lot since the beginning. Pays to do your exercises even when you can't go in and are sick all winter. I also took DD to her doctor's appointment. We will be billed for these appointments, as the deductible has to be met again. But we have $3000 on the HSA debit card again, plus a couple hundred that rolled over from last year, so we are using that.
I'll likely be the first one to meet the deductible as I have already had $1400 just for me, $1003 of which was for my arthritis shots, which at least seem to be working for now. It's completely covered once I max out my personal deductible. Or we max out the family deductible, but I will max out my own before the family contributes much.
Once DS is over his head cold we can start the process of taking him to the orthodontist and getting braces. Fun for the whole family. I have $6000 saved for it and no insurance for it. So hopefully it won't cost more than that. The last time I paid for braces it was $3000 for us and $1000 for the insurance and that was when DD was ten. Has anyone done braces lately? Especially Invisalign? It'd be nice to get a little bit of an idea. I know it varies by location, but ball park is fine.
I have to get a new mouth guard made since mine has cracked after 15 years, but that is only $400 and I've almost saved up for it. I'd like to get another pair of orthotics made so I can use the old ones in my garden shoes and not have to switch them out. That won't be until I save up for it after I finish saving for the mouth guard.
Oh, and I had a doctor's appointment with my regular doctor last week and he raised my anti-depressent from 50 to 75 miligrams, raised my gabapentin for nerve pain from 1500 mg to 1800 mg, and doubled my blood pressure medicine to 100/25. I can feel it making a difference already. I'm not retaining near as much water and I don't feel dizzy every time I stand up. So here's hoping that was the problem.
I found two pennies today. It's the first money I've found of 2022. I stuck them in my coin jar. Every penny counts.