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2018 Hits and Misses (I Don't Like the Word Fail)

December 31st, 2018 at 11:44 pm

Hits:

We paid of $10,750 on our last debt, the Monster Mom Loan. And that was only from April to the end of the year, as we weren't able to make any payments the first quarter of the year due to an $8000 hospital bill that nearly wiped out our savings.

We were able to pay all of our medical bills in full without taking out any more new debt or having to pay any interest. I did have to play with the credit card a little to manage that, but we paid it off before the interest would have come due. MIL helped us with a few of them, but we still paid over $20K out of pocket this year on medical expenses. I haven't figured out the full total yet as I am still entering things into the spreadsheet.

We found some doctors who took my daughter's medical issues seriously.

We have no new debt.

We have a fully funded medical account for 2019.

I started working on a novel and stuck with it.

Misses:

We ate out far too much. Yes, it was due to illness, usually, but sometimes it was due to failure to plan. We spent an average of $200 a month on eating out. Some months nothing was spent at all, but the other seven months more than made up for that.

My weight loss was a general failure. Although I was doing well before I caught the plague, I gained back all I lost while sick.

Exercise went by the wayside as well due to a lot of inflammation. I am slowly learning what causes the inflammation and trying to avoid it. Sometimes it is food, sometimes it is repetitive stress. I hope to slowly reincorporate exercise again this year.

I can't think of anything else and am just barely getting this in under the wire of 2018.

And on and on and on

October 2nd, 2018 at 06:06 pm

I am so wiped out. I really need to go the the doctor for myself, but that is not to be. Tomorrow is going to be a pretty awful day. DD has an appointment at 8 a.m., so no sleeping in. Mom has an appointment at 10:40 and then another one at 2:30 and at some point I have to squeeze in a run to the chiropractor's office. I will be sitting in waiting room chairs far too much tomorrow.

This paragraph is probably TMI, but I don't care.
You can skip to the next one. Thursday was supposed to be a day with nothing on it, but we had to schedule a redo for my daughter's pap smear, because apparently there were not enough cells in the sample. It's a rarity for that to happen, so of course it happened to her. So we have to go back in on Thursday and she really doesn't want to because it was really painful the first time.

Then also on Thursday Mom decided to schedule a doctor's appointment without asking me what I had going on, so I have to squeeze that in, too. Her blood pressure has been running high for the last week, so it is necessary, but it is at on office that takes forever to call back their patients. One hour waits are the norm, so it will be painful. On Friday Mom has more physical therapy. If I make it to next week, there is just PT on Monday and Friday since she will be dropping down to just twice a week, so maybe I can get in to see the doctor myself.

Friday is also payday, so I will have to do all the banking and then grocery shopping. The ads came today so I will sit down with them and try to plan a coherent list and plan out my two week meal plan.

On the plus side, physical exhaustion and running around like a chicken with her head cut off seems to have reengaged my creative brain. I've written 6000 words on one of my novels in the last two days and about 10,000 words in the last week. Not, mind you, the first book in the trilogy, but the third, because those are the characters wanting to be written. Whatever. I go with whatever gets the words out of my head.

I am drinking far too much caffeine though. I think I've got myself addicted again, but I'm not going to try to get off it again until next week when things calm down a bit. I'm also not eating that great, a lot of sandwiches, which is far too many carbs for me, but I am just too tired to try to do it right right now.

Anyway, I best get back to real life. No rest for the weary. Just thought I'd throw out an update for my sanity's sake.

Ashfall

August 22nd, 2018 at 01:55 am

The ashfall is getting pretty awful here. I feel like we are living near an active volcano or something. I had to go out to the garden today and wash off all the plants so they didn't starve. They were coated in grey brown ash. I wore a bandanna over my mouth and nose. I have given up on the green beans because I can't stay outside long enough to pick them. I will keep up with the tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers while I can. They are quick picks and I can get them and get back inside within 5 minutes.

It is still so hot here and it is awful because we can't open the windows. My asthma has really kicked up and I have to use my inhaler about every 4 hours or so. I've got a persistent cough, scratchy throat, and feel like my bronchials are affected. I have to use eye drops frequently, and nasal spray because my nose keeps blocking up. I thought last year was bad, but this doesn't compare. I am going to call the doctor tomorrow and ask for something stronger as an inhaler.

We have rain in the forecast for Sunday and Monday and I just hope it doesn't change. We need to be drenched to wash this garbage out of the air and maybe have a shot at putting out the fires. And someone in B.C. needs to get on the ball and start figuring out how to manage their forests properly. If they would slash and burn during the rainy season this would not be happening now, but the environmentalists had to push past the point of logic and now they don't do it right. I think people who have no clue about timber country should not be allowed to push their policies on the rest of the PNW.

I have been trying to keep the car sprayed off each day, but it just accumulates more. I don't want it to damage the paint, but I'm about to give up at this point.

It is all just so very frustrating. I want to be able to breathe and to go spend time outside without it hurting. I am going stir-crazy. Having the blogs down for 3 days did not help.

Rough Week Physically

July 21st, 2018 at 03:27 pm

My rheumatoid arthritis started flaring up on Tuesday and steadily got worse through the week. On Wednesday I started fighting off a migraine, successfully with medication, and on Thursday I strained some muscles in my low back because I had to pick the green beans and apparently I stayed in one position too long. I also started seeing floaters in my good eye. Yippee. Who needs to be able to read clearly? *sighs*

I need to pick green beans again and I am just really not wanting to. DH worked on my back for a couple of hours last night so I am doing better, but I'm afraid if I pick them it will go back into spasms.

Just to add to the fun, DD started throwing up blood, so Wednesday night was an ER visit, and it seems like on top of all her other issues, she has an ulcer. We will follow up on that after she sees the endocrine doctor and I see the surgeon for a follow up on my toe next week. At least is wasn't a bowel obstruction. They took x-rays.

At least things are going well for DH at work and things are running smoothly on the financial front. Since going full force onto Dave Ramsey's plan, I can really see the difference in the budgeting and accountability, as well as the intensity to get this last debt paid off. I try to watch at least 3 of his live streams each week and I have read three of his books now and one of his daughter's books.

I am currently reading Zero Debt by someone else. It is large print so that helps with the eye issues. I am also working my way through The Tightwad Gazette. I had to turn it back in once because someone had put it on hold, but I got it back again a couple of days ago.

I have been reading a fiction book, too, but I'm about to give up on it, even though I am halfway through. I don't really like the main character that much. She's hard to empathize with. I may just stubbornly forge on as I hate not finishing a book. I don't usually read mystery novels, but when I do, I expect to be more interested in the outcome than I am here. I've been trying to read this book for 9 weeks. The only reason I checked it out was because the title was a funny pun. I should probably stick to sci-fi and romance novels in the future.

I wish I could read more, but my eyes can only handle it for so long with these stupid floaters swimming around while I try to focus. I am feeling a little negative because of the amount of pain I am in and the amount of swelling that is going on in my body right now. I would appreciate prayers for healing and for a more positive attitude.

Nice Fourth

July 4th, 2018 at 11:16 pm

We did our annual trek to the end of the driveway to watch the fireworks over the bay. Best seats in the house, no parking issues, great view and no crowds. Better yet, absolutely free. It was a pleasant, if humid, night, very peaceful.

I did deviate from the meal plan and made sirloin steaks and baked potatoes for dinner tonight. The store had a one day sale on the steaks and I had money left in the grocery envelope, so I went for it. We made them in the NuWave oven, perfectly cooked (to rare) after 20 minutes at 350. I love making baked potatoes in the pressure cooker. It is so fast and easy and I think they taste even better than in the oven. Both methods of cooking are pretty hands off, although I did have to flip the steaks halfway through cooking. But otherwise, no baby-sitting the food which is my favorite way to cook!

Looks like DH might end up getting more than 15 hours a week of OT coming up. There is a lot to get done and they keep losing drafters, one quit, one to a new job. He's getting tired, though, so I don't know if more than 15 is a good idea. But maybe, if he gets enough sleep he can. I told him if he works more, we need to make sure he is getting enough protein in him during the day. With more OT, we can add a little more to the grocery envelope if we need to so he can keep going as needed.

I Can Feel it in My Abs

April 20th, 2018 at 06:30 pm

Gardening is good exercise. I have been able to be out in the garden 3 days running. So far I have weeded 10 out of 11 beds in the last week or so. The tenth one was accomplished today. I pulled out 25 snails from one strawberry bed. I had some happy ducks. I am glad I found so many or I would not have much of a strawberry harvest. I got all the dead leaves off and snipped all the runner vines so that the daughter plants aren't sapping the energy from the mother plants. There are a ton of flower buds and even some blossoms already.

So far I have planted two types of lettuce, purple kohlrabi, dinosaur kale, bright lights chard, broccoli, and banner green bunching onions. I did buy a variety of peppers and tomatoes, but I won't plant them for another week to 10 days. Right now I am leaving them outside during the day but bringing them in at night. If the forecast looks good at night in about a week, I will try leaving them outside overnight.

I have gotten my steps in every day since getting the fitbit. My goal is still not that high, just 2000 steps a day, but I hit 3000, 3500, and 4000 during this week, but some days were just slightly over 2000. I had a couple of bad days because of my hip and knees being inflamed, probably because I am walking more than ever. I will likely bump my goal to 3000 on Monday. Slow and steady. I can't mess myself up by going too quickly with this. I am just happy to be doing as well as I am.

The diet has been a bit up and down. I do wish we could afford to get our gym membership back, but we just don't have the money for it right now. Swimming always helps with losing weight, plus it seemed easier to eat right when I swam consistently DH is not getting the amount of overtime he was, either. I don't think he got any last week and only a couple hours this week. And of course this coming week is his jury duty so he won't get a full week's pay, there, either, let alone any overtime. We can't even think about things like gym memberships.

I did want to mention that if anyone is interested in trying out Thrive Life, right now they are having their semi-annual sale. I believe it goes through the 23rd. This is the cheapest it ever is during the year, even better than their fall sale. The link to my website is in the side bar under sites I enjoy. I recommend starting with the chopped onions and see if that just doesn't change your cooking life. That and the yogurt bites.

Anyway, I haven't done the budget yet for this payday or last even though I have paid a couple bills. I will try to get that figured out and posted tomorrow. I don't think I posted a payday report last week at all, so I will probably do a double one in one post.

DH and I have been watching some movies on Netflix this week. No spoilers. We watched Odd Thomas, which was really good. It was delightful in places and scary in others and then it made me laugh and cry in others. Quite an emotional roller coaster. It was the best of the three movies we watched. I kind of wished they'd have made it into a TV series.

The Cloverfield Paradox was a great sci-fi thriller, though so distantly related to Cloverfield that it was almost ridiculous to have it in the name, similar to that other Cloverfield movie with John Goodman, no real relation, just capitalizing on the name in a blink and you miss it similarity. I really liked it, though. It was set on a space station where the crew was trying to find a stable form of power that would save the Earth from a major energy crisis and of course stuff goes wildly wrong.

The third movie was The Call Up, which is about some people that get asked to play this reality video game and whoever wins get a $100,000 prize, but they can actually end up getting killed in the game, which they are unaware of, so making it to the end is quite a feat. I liked it, but it was a little predictable. Still the characters were great. I think the ending was supposed to come as a big shocker, but I figured it out. If I hadn't, I'd have probably put this one in second place. But all of the movies were really good and I'd recommend them if you like supernatural and sci-fi movies.

There is not much else going on around here, lately. I did some grocery shopping, but that's about it.

Feeling a Lot Better

April 15th, 2018 at 10:24 pm

After I posted on the 12th, I managed to get out into the garden. I was just going to do a little bit and 3 hours later I had weeded 5 of the raised beds. I was super sore that night and the next two days, but today I felt less stiff and almost back to normal. It was clear again, even though the forecast said it was going to rain all day, so I got another 2.5 hours in on the garden. DS helped me today.

We only got 3 beds done, but one was a strawberry bed and I had a lot of fiddly work to do in it. I had to cut all the daughter plants from the mother plants so they didn't drain all the life from them and they could operate as self-sufficient plants. I also trimmed off all the dead leaves and any that were red with snow-burned edges. It is all nice and healthy green growth, plus flower buds starting already.

I have two more beds left to do, both strawberry beds, so more fiddly work. I am hoping that will take just one more session in the garden and then we can weed eat the areas around the beds and set up a watering system. I found one based on hydropinics that I would like to make. It'll beat using the big sprinkler that gets the house and the neighbor's driveway. With the sprinkler, we have to close the windows during the summer, so I'd much rather have an irrigation system and leave the windows open when it is hot.

Being outside and getting my hands in the dirt has helped my head tremendously. And the physical activity is good for it as well.

We got fitbits in the mail on the 13th, a gift from MIL, and though I have had some trouble with getting it to sync, it has still been pretty motivational. My first day I just set my goal as 1000 steps because I really have not been active in a long time. And it was kind of hard, but I got there. Yesterday I just wanted to beat that, but was really happy to get over 1500, and then today I got over 2000. Each day I just want to push myself a little more. Right now getting to 5000 steps seems daunting, let alone the 10,000 daily steps they recommend, but I will just keep trying to beat the previous day's steps until I get there.

I do like the food log and water log features as well, though, I do feel like I'm floating by the time I've gotten in all the water for the day. Still, it is helping, because I've lost 6 pounds in 3 days. My diet is firmly back on track. Now I just need to work on getting to sleep earlier.

Getting to sleep has been bad the last few nights, because DH and I totally got caught up in the new Lost in Space on Netflix. They did a fantastic job, but I tell you, those last four episodes were like a book that was too good to put down. Well, pretty much all of it was, but it was nearly impossible towards the end. I highly recommend it.

There was barely any swearing in it, which is virtually unheard of for a Netflix Original. I appreciated it. Although, I didn't appreciate it that when one of the two times they swore (I think that was all, and one was incomplete), one of them was from a child. Netflix likes to put swear words in the mouths of kids and I don't like it. I get that kids swear a lot today, but maybe they'd swear less if they didn't have kids doing it in the movies all the time.

I don't think there were any oh, my Gods, either. That is so overused today. It's like using like all the time or dude. It gets intrusive, so when it isn't there, it makes me happy. And there was no nudity, again, almost unheard of for a Netflix Original that isn't geared just to kids. Certainly not the orgy fest that was Sense8.

So anyway, all that to say Lost in Space was just some brilliant story-telling with a great cast and a nice way to waste ten hours or so of your time. And I loved the robot. The old series had good stories, but was very much a product of its time in the hokiest of ways, and just can't hold a candle to what this reboot has done. And I got a kick out of the old one. I liked it. But this was the best series I've seen in ages.

I Need to Shake it Off

April 12th, 2018 at 02:53 pm

I am trying to shake off this dragginess I have been feeling for the last month. It started with the stomach virus, then I had two days of feeling okay before the head cold hit, which devolved into a sinus infection. Now I'm in the dregs of that, but doing much better, and yet all I want to do is sleep. I force myself up in the morning to take care of the animals, and then it is right back to sleep for 4 to 5 hours.

The thing is I am getting plenty of sleep, but I never wake up feeling rested. My head feels cloudy most of the time. I suppose some of it could be allergy season kicking in, but that seems unlikely to me. I have had some pain, but usually the Ibuprofen takes care of that enough to fall asleep.

I don't feel like it is depression. I mean things aren't hunky dory because of finances, and I've had to do a lot for my mother, and I'm frustrated about my daughter's surgery situation, but generally life is good. Certainly not anything I want to hide away in bed over.

The weather has been keeping me from being able to do anything outside, and that could be part of it. I don't get the sun like I need and while a happy light helps, it is no replacement for natural sunlight. I am just itching to get my hands in the dirt and start working in the garden, but right now it is a mud fest out there. It did stop raining, but the ground just squelches. I may go out anyway today because who knows when it will be dry again?

I just wish I could stop being so tired. I made it through day one again on my diet. Maybe cleaning up my food again will help with the energy levels. I hope so. From past experience I know weight loss helps with the energy levels, so hopefully that will kick in fast. I don't like sleepwalking through life.