Home > Archive: March, 2022
Archive for March, 2022
March 25th, 2022 at 03:22 am
I got my AdSense payment today, $104.20. I haven't even made a youtube video since May, I think, but I have two old vidoes that always chug along at the top of my views. I haven't decided what I am going to do with it yet. I've kind of lost my mojo at youtube, but maybe that will come back when it is time to start planting in the garden again. I've thought about using it to upgrade my video editing software, but I don't want to waste it if I don't resume making videos. I probably will, though. I just need to get on the right dosage of anti-depressants and I will start caring about things again.
Oh, and Amber, if you are reading this, congratulations on all you have accomplished. I don't want to deal with the pain in the butt captcha today to leave a comment.
March 19th, 2022 at 01:39 am
We recieved our safe driver's refund from our insurance company. It was $42.85, which is about double normal, but maybe it is because we have 3 drivers with no accidents in a year. I also had $5.12 left after paying all the bills, funding all the envelopes, and funding the medical fund.
$20,216.53 Starting Balance
+__,_47.97 Amount Added
$20,264.50 New Balance
The deposit out of this week's paycheck has not yet been made to the 401K, but it is still on it's way to recovery. The IRA is just barely starting to recover and it needs to make up about $800 more before it is back to where it was, but at least it is above $13K again. It's the first time in a while I haven't felt sick looking at the accounts. I guess as the Ferengis say, "War is good for business." I really hate that, but I'll take the recovery and pray for the innocents. I wish that today's deposit had made it in, though. With the amount of overtime on there the deposit would have been well over $1000. Probably won't show up until Monday or Tuesday now. Usually it shows up on Friday unless there was a banker's holiday during the week.
Anyway, here's the amounts
$72,456.16 New Balance
_71,759.98 Old Balance
$__,705.18 Amount of Change
That brings new worth up by $753.15 to $130,642.94, so finally cracked $130K.
March 18th, 2022 at 06:09 am
I got my mouth guard from the dentist yesterday; best $400 I've spent since getting my orthotics. It was a pain in the jaw using the broken one for two weeks, but it was better than none. This one fits like a dream and I had a great night's sleep after not having had very many in the last two weeks.
I can restart my cinzia shots now because surprise, surprise, I am finally well. Just in time for allergy season to go into gear with the blooming of dogwood and forsythia, but you can't have it all, and they are very beautiful. I can really feel how bad my rheumatoid arthritis has gotten since having to stop the shots and am looking forward to getting some relief again. You never realize how well meds can work until you are forced to go off them.
I cheated a bit on dinner tonight. We got two rotisserie chickens and a 2-pack of ready made potatoes from Costco and made some of my home grown and canned green beans. Total cost $19.95. It was way, way cheaper than takeout and I have plenty leftover for making other meals over the next couple of days. I figure a couple of chicken salads (over lettuce for me) and then some chicken salad (sandwich spread for the others), and quesadillas, and then I will pressure cook the bones in water for chicken stock and can it. We could do this once a week if we wanted to and I could make things like taquitos and enchiladas to vary things up a bit. DH works very close to Costco and now that he is going into the office 3 days a week, it is very doable without having to waste gas making a special trip.
Speaking of gas, it is at $4.35 per gallon at the cheapy cash only gas station and $4.79 to $4.89 everywhere else. I did make some budget decisions, one of them being gas. I've doubled our monthly gas budget to $200. We may not need that much, but I want to run a surplus in the gas envelope, because who knows how bad this is going to get.
I've also raised the grocery budget by $100 per payday. With the extra money I'm going to start purchasing more long term pantry items. I did get my wheat berries in the mail this week. I still have to get them into mylar bags and buy some buckets with lids, but that can get done either tomorrow or on the weekend. But I would like to buy more.
I have also raised the amount I am putting into the medical fund by $100 a month to $600. And as long as DH is working overtime, I will throw extra into it, too. With the very real possibility that DD will get kicked off our insurance on her birthday and we will have to pay Cobra for 18 months and then who knows what after that, we have to save money for that.
So that really means buckling down about the take out. I'm still trying to get a disabled dependent exemption, but with having to find a new doctor for her to go to, it's making it really difficult. You'd think with as many diseases as she has she would be a shoo-in. And it is stressing me out. I am trying to use the coping methods my therapist taught me, intead of my old stand-by of carbs, carbs, and more carbs, but it isn't easy.
Well, I better go over the ads and make my grocery list. It'll be so nice to step foot in a store without a mask on my face. I won't have to worry so much about my asthma, although I will start having to smell people again with their overwhelmingly scented soaps, lotions, shampoos, body washes, and perfumes, sometimes all on one person with a horrible clashing and clanging from all the different fragrances. I struggle with that so much because of my synesthesia. That was something that was mostly gone with the mask. Still, I think maskless and not aggravating my asthma so much wins.
March 10th, 2022 at 12:31 am
I am almost well enough to get my third booster shot now. Actually I can't tell if I am still sick or if it is just allergies starting, because there has been pollen on my windshield for the past several days. I still feel really tired, but I'm functional. I have started taking my more serious antihistimine, though.
The last few days have been beautiful and in the 50's. There is still a chilly wind, though. It is nice even if it still isn't outdoors weather. I'm not sure what is causing all the pollen. The nearest daffodils are 4 blocks away and the forsythia haven't started yet. That basically leaves crocus and no one in the neighborhood but us has them and there are only a dozen blooming. Not enough to count for the pollen dump.
It looks like the guy who is going to do the mold abatement in the guys' bathroom and repaint it will start next week. He's also going to do the alcove of the back door area and the room Mom watches tv in that also houses my piano.
I've been holding steady on my weight because I haven't been focused on weight loss while sick. I also haven't been taking my cinzia, because I am not supposed to while ill. I think I can restart it on the weekend. I haven't really noticed any increased rheumatoid symptoms getting worse, but that may be because the weather is warming up.
I looked at all the grocery ads today and made up my shopping list. I haven't been inside a grocery store in a long time. DH has been doing the shopping, picking up little things here and there. But I need to do a bigger shop. Fred Meyer had the best ads this week, so that will be my main shop, but I think I will also go to Winco. They never have ads, but they always have the best produce and best produce prices. We've made it through all the potatoes we grew that weren't sprouted and it's the only place I know where I can get 20 lb bags of potatoes. We're lucky if we can find anything above 5 lbs anymore. Since potatoes are pretty much a staple of our diet I just want to buy the one big bag at a time.
We'll see how far my grocery dollars will stretch. I have been debating about raising my grocery budget by $100 every 2 weeks, but first I want to see if it is necessary. It'll really depend on the cost of chicken. Which I'll likely get at Winco, because they always have the cheapest chicken prices. They also have the turkey chorizo we like. Since chicken doesn't go on sale anymore, that's where I need to go. I don't need to buy pork except for a small ham. I don't need to buy beef or lamb. If I can find dark turkey parts (necks, wings, backs) either place for cheap, I'll buy those. They make the best broth. I might even go for chicken feet if I find them, because that is so much collagen for bone broth.
I have found the tomato strainer I want to buy and also the honey strainer. I won't use the honey strainer for honey, but it will help in the tomato sauce making department as well as in the bone broth making process, since it is fine enough to catch all the spices that I use in making it instead of having to use cheese cloth, which is harder to clean.
I have been debating on buying a 25 pound bag of hard red wheat berries. I have my own flour mill, and the wheat is from my state and non-gmo. This is the type of wheat berry that will make whole wheat flour. I might get a bag of hard white wheat, too, which is for white flour. Soft white wheat, if anyone cares, is for making pastry flour. Wheat berries last a lot longer than flour and these ones are sproutable, so if we wanted to grow it (which I don't) we could.
It's a little $2.24 a pound. 1 cup of wheat berries equals to cups of flour, so it would be like $1.12 a pound for flour. Which you cannot get anymore. Not to mention, we haven't been able to find whole wheat flour in months. So 50 lbs of flour per bag without taking up the room of 50 lbs of flour. I would have to figure out how to store it, though. I haven't been able to find food grade 5 gallon buckets in about a year. But I have found 1/2 gallon and gallon jars, so maybe I can store it in those.
I won't order until I know DH will be back to bring it in the house. DS has tweaked his back getting my mom up off the floor yesterday. Just what he needed, since he tweaked his back about six weeks ago. Mom's okay, but this is the second time in a week she has fallen. I'm trying to get her to go to the doctor, but she's refusing. I may have to pull out my medical power of attorney documents and force the issue if it keeps happening. We'll see.
Well, it's time to make dinner, so that wraps this up.
March 6th, 2022 at 12:51 am
We set DS up with a Traditional IRA today and taught him how to do his taxes. Of course we have to wait to get paperwork from Vanguard before they actually get submitted, but he dumped $3000 from what he earned last year into it. So instead of having to pay $300 in taxes, he will now be getting $161 back.
He has been wanting to get this set up for a while and we didn't want to miss it. I know we still have a month, but I never like to push it. He would have got more back, but we still claim him as a dependent. Which we will until he works full time, buys his own groceries (or contributes his share to our groceries), and pays 1/4 of the bills. Then he can be an independent while still living with us. He's not even working right now, so it is a moot point.
DH finally sent off our taxes today. I thought he'd done it in early February like usual, but nope. So I'll stop looking for it to be deposited and just check on Wednesdays, just not this coming one. We always seem to get stuff deposited on Wednesdays from the IRS. We usually do them in February because it only takes a week at that point and because we want to get it in early in case someone tries to pull identity theft. Someone used DH's SSN back before we were married, and while it wasn't to claim taxes, it was to pay them.
He had to go through the rigamarole of proving that he didn't earn that money, because he wasn't living in California, so that we could prove he didn't earn an extra $50K that year. It was a pain, but since he was working at home, he hadn't started in Alaska, it was pretty easy to prove. Plus he had receipts from his credit card proving he was making purchases during that time and the location. So it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
We keep having these beautiful sunny days, but they are too cold to sit outside with the wind. DS says it is still too cold most days to go on walks. I want to soak up some sunshine, but I don't want to get chilled. It's probably just false spring #2. We can't plant around here until mid-April, but I really need to get my tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and basil going. I'll have to check the chart for anything else that takes a long time to germinate.
I'm only planting two varieties of tomatoes this year and it'll be mostly Opalka paste tomatoes They are heirloom and open pollinated, so seeds can be saved from them. I've grown them before twice with great results. The tomatoes can be as big as your hand. These aren't your typical baby romas. I will also be planting Lillian's yellow heirloom tomatoes. I'll probably just do two plants there. Since I am planting organic seeds and using organic planting medium, I will easily be able to sell any extras I don't need.
I'm seriously going to be making homemade tomato sauce, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and ugly sauce (from the yellow tomatoes), and anything else will be quartered or diced. I need to buy a food strainer. My food mill that came from my grandmother and was new in 1934, won't hold together anymore. I am trying to decide between a hand turned one or an electric powered one or just the add on for the Kitchen Aid. The latter two are quite a bit more expensive, but none of them are out of budget. Anyone have any experience with these and could recommend a good one? I want to make the purchase sooner, rather than later, before prices go up for tomato season.
March 2nd, 2022 at 01:22 am
Now, after that long-winded post, this one shall be short and sweet. My saving accounts earned $4.32 in interest, so I will add that to the EF, bringing the Emergency Fund to $20,216.53 and Net Worth to $129,889.79. I decided to dump the interest into the EF because it is easier than anything else, and I do want it to eventually grow to a year's expenses, which I will be rounding to $40,500. Long, long, long term goal is a year's income. But that is not the priority right now.
March 2nd, 2022 at 01:10 am
I woke up feeling better today. I slept in until 11:30 instead of 3:00 p.m. and was far less stuffy. My voice still is scratchy when I talk, but my throat doesn't hurt. Let's hope it's not a false spring situation where everything is starting to bud and then boom snow, like last week. That's how this illness has been. I know it is technically still winter, but you get my point. But I got up, drank my water, and did my physical therapy exercises, plus some arm exercises I do to strengthen my shoulders. It only takes 15 minutes, but when I am well I do them twice a day, so I get 30 minutes of exercise a day. As I improve, I can start doing them 3 times per day.
After that I made lunch. And not just soup. I made stir-fry, which involves chopping things. I don't remember the last time I made real food not out of a can and I didn't even do much of that the last 6 weeks. DH did a little cooking, usually spaghetti, but mostly it was take out. And I could really feel how detrimental that was to my body. Not to mention how detrimental this has been to our bank account. I mean, if it wasn't for the overtime we wouldn't be breaking even. When I think where that money could have gone...well, I try not to, because that dog has already bitten someone.
After this recent bout of illness I am determined to change my health through proper nutrition and whatever exercise I can do. I can't continue on this way with my weight. I am literally killing my body. My nutritionist has said to cut out a lot of carbs, but fat from dairy, tallow, lard, schmaltz, duck fat, goose fat, or healthy oils is fine. So when we do get our pig, I will get and render the leaf lard. I'm going to make some ghee to make the butter shelf stable. My nutritionist says that the government did the USA a world of hurt with it's old dietary recommendations for diabetics, people with heart disease, and extreme obesity. That's why so few people actually got better on those diets and why so much more medical intervention was required. Maybe 10% improved with a low fat diet. I've believed that for a long time.
So I am cutting out sugar except on birthdays or holidays and replacing it with fruit, but only one serving of fruit a day. And lots of vegetables and good quality protein. If I have a starch it'll be a potato, sweet potato, winter squash, nuts, rice, or brown rice pasta. I'm not the biggest fan of rice, but the family does like it. Brown rice pasta is good, though and we have a lot of it to get through before I buy regular pasta again, if I can even find any. The store shelves have been pretty bare of spaghetti or anything other than a few boxes of elbow macaroni, according to DH. Pasta's not an end all for my family, though, and I can make noodles from scratch if I feel up to it.
I think I will try to avoid flour for a couple of weeks until the ball is firmly rolling and may then have it once a week in place of a starch, mostly so I can still have a slice of pizza here and there. Depends on how good I feel. I make a good gluten free pizza, though. Either way, I pile on the vegetables and meat and cheese on my pizza anyway, and roll it quite thin, so it is pretty balanced, and add a salad. In the summer I might allow corn, but it is extremely sweet and a grain so I'd have to be careful. I will allow corn tortillas, but limited to once a week or less.
I would also like to eat more seafood. We still have quite a bit of salmon and bags of spot prawns in the freezer that I need to get through before those seasons start up again and we'll have new stuff to put away. DH has talked about maybe going for mussels, clams, and oysters this year and and also get the add on for gathering seaweed. Seaweed is great in the garden when you are building new beds or for your compost heaps and is easy to harvest after a high tide as there is lots of dead stuff. It doesn't have to be alive like for eating, it can just be what washes ashore. He'll need to lose some weight, though, to be agile enough to do much of that.
One day it would be fun to go for geoducks, (prounounced gooey ducks for non-coastal Washington and Oregon people), which I believe is the biggest of the clams in the world. We'd have to buy a clam gun, though. Which isn't an actual gun, but you can look that up if you are interested in knowing what it is. It would be useful for other clams, too, but I'd have to look up the regulations on that. It might be allowed only for geoducks. My son would have to do the actual getting down in the sound and sticking your arm down the hole the clam gun leaves, but he says it sounds like fun.
I've been reading and thinking about growing my own peppercorns. The same plant produces white, black, pink, green, and red peppers. It depends on the level of maturity of the peppercorns. It can be grown indoors, so I am thinking of trying it in a pot this summer that can be brought in when fall starts. That may have to wait until next year. The next time DH goes out fishing or prawning, I will have him bring back a couple of gallons of salt water as I want to try making salt, too. As many spices and herbs as I can grow or forage, is what I think. Has the salt shortage hit your grocery stores yet? I have a good amount in my preps, but I want to know I can make it. My food storage may be great, but I can't think how miserable it would be without herbs and spices to season it with.
I have decided the family is going to eat like me or fend for themselves. We all need to lose weight and this is how it is going to be. I'm sick of their bad food habits dragging me down every time I try to get my diet under control. I won't buy junk. My son is on board. The others are paying it lip service. We will see. I don't want to fail this time. I can't afford to anymore.
Today was a beautiful day and 55 degrees F. I did take a short walk out to the garage and back. It doesn't sound like much, but it's a start. Maybe tomorrow I can do to the end of the driveway and back, weather permitting. That's even longer. I know that sounds sad, but for someone with two deviated discs in her lower spine, it's a lot of progress. And I'm back to no cane. So yay, me.
Also, I noticed the garlic was up about 3 inches and last week's snow didn't seem to do it much harm. It was only here a day, though. It looks like every single bulb I planted came up, so kudos to Fedco (for the Music garlic) and the grocery store (for the elephant garlic). There are only a couple of weeds in the raised beds, which I will pull next time I go outside. I didn't want to get my hands dirty and my garden gloves and shovel were on the porch.
I need to think up a meal plan with this new diet. Good, healthy, tasty food that doesn't make us feel like we are giving anything up. Tonight's dinner, at least, I know. Rib steak, yellow potatoes, and green beans.