I'm glad Christmas is finished for one more year. The tree will be down today and we will take the outdoor Christmas lights and standees down this weekend and get everything tucked away into the garage or our storage unit. I will be glad to have it put away so life can return to normal.
We got a recumbant exercise bike for the family for Christmas to replace the treadmill that three out of four of us can't use because of our knees and also the weight capacity being quite low. The bike is high enough even my husband will be able to use it. I hope it works for my back. I'd really like to be able to start exericising again.
I'll be starting on a new arthritis drug when we get back from DD's surgery in Seattle. The old one stopped working. This one is a pen, so I can do it myself, but it is back to weekly injections intead of monthly ones, so now I'll be taking two different meds through pen injectors once a week. I'm going to be a pincushion.
I have a lot to do to get ready for January's Eat from the Pantry Challenge I do every year with my Facebook/Youtube group that I am in. I need to take inventory of what I have, top up any glaring empty spots, and on the 31st shop for fresh produce. I know I will have to take two days off from it while DD is in surgery but I will just add two extra days at the end to make up for it. When you in a hotel in a strange city with no microwave and no fridge, there is just no way to manage. If we had a VRBO, I could take food with us and cook, but we needed to be closer to the hosptial this time than any availabe rentals wHere.
My goal for this year's January Challenge is to save enough money to hit my goal of $10K for the bathroom fund. I am now at $9500, so if I can peel $500 out of an $800 a month grocery budget, I will be well pleased. I still intend to buy some fresh produce and milk, but not much else. And other than Seattle, no eating out, which we won't be paying for. MIL pays for our food and lodging when we go down to the hospital so that won't come out of any budget, let alone food. I might end up hitting the goal otherwise, but I don't know how much I will need to ultimately have, if $10K will even be enough. Stuff has gotten so expensive, but it is such a tiny room.
I would really like to get this started before the handymen or contractors get busy with big outdoor summer projects and have no time for tiny interior jobs that get them through the winter. I just have to have the money for it. No going into debt for it.
We still need to purchase our snow blower. There might be money leftover there that I can put into the bathroom fund, too. Every bit counts, you know? It just depends on what we end up getting. I want something I can drive, too, and not be overpowered by, even if that means having to take a couple extra passes on the driveway.
Even if it is enough and they get started on the bathroom, I think I'll keep saving anyway because things like this always seem to overrun the original budget.
I've already gotten two seed catalogs in the mail and they are full of such beautiful photos of seductive flowers and fruits and vegetables. I will buy very little this year. I have many things I didn't plant last year that I will need to plant this year that will be lovely and yummy. But there will be one or two things I'm sure I will find to plant. Some of the brand new introductions put onto the market that are developed in my area. Those do great here. I was hoping to put in a couple of trees, too, but things didn't get done this year because of DH's leg and it still hasn't healed up right and now he might have torn the miniscus on his knee on the other leg, which he sees the doctor for the day before we leave for Seattle. He'll probably get an x-ray, too.
I think I may have to hire someone to come in and rototill the garden this year and do the clean up. I have been saving all of my spending money, my Christmas money, and my future birthday money towards garden expenditures in the coming year, so if that is what is needed, I will hire a strong teenager from the farming community to come and do it for me. While there is still more infrastructure I want to purchase, like more raised beds and more cattle panels, getting the one plot tilled that hasn't been and getting the weeds cleared out of the other bed, is necessary.
We are buying heavy duty agricultural fabric this year from a farmer's supplier instead of a seed catalog and then once it is secured we will put the aluminum raised beds on top. No more dealing with ground weeds. I'm just so done with it. That's why the ground needs to be rototilled and raked flat, so the beds can go on top and set relatively flat.
We'll see what happens when we find out about DH's leg. If physical therapy and weight loss will fix it than maybe he can go forward from there. If he has torn something, then he may need surgery and won't be able to work in the garden in 2024 at all. Oh, well. If worse comes to worst, I will mostly skip a year except the raised beds and the blackberries and the plums. And that will be that.