I cracked my daughter up today when I started singing "This is the dawning of the age of Apocalypse." I've been listening to so many parody songs about Corona virus that I am quite surprised no one has done this one.
Yesterday I sold that rabbit in the grocery store parking lot and then we went in and did a shop. I was able to find chicken so I bought 8 family size packages, 4 of legs and 4 of wings, about 3 pounds per package (bone in). We eat chicken twice a week usually so I was very happy to have that. There were no thighs though, which is my favorite, but I guess you take what you can get these days. And we found elbow macaroni, both regular and gluten free. I took 4 of the regular and one gluten free. There were about 15 boxes of regular and 2 of gluten free, but lots of spaghetti, egg noodles, and a dozen boxes of penné. I haven't been able to find any macaroni in weeks, so that made me happy, too.
I was thrilled to find a tomato sauce that was not Hunts. I've never been able to stand Hunts tomato sauce or ketchup. It's so sweet and cloying. This was the store brand but the organic version. They had 8 cans and I took them all. We use 2 cans in our macaroni so that is four meals worth. They did not have non-organic sauce that was not Hunts. They also did not have tomato paste except the most expensive kind that comes in the tubes. But I have paste. There were several cans of diced tomatoes. Nowhere near full, but way more than sauce. I still have tomatoes I canned last summer, so we don't need them. They did have several types of ketchup, too. We got 3 bottles of our preferred brand which is enough to get through the month. DH and DS use a lot of ketchup, but they may need to start cutting back.
We got enough milk for the month. I was able to get organic non-fat but DH had to go standard for his 2%. Their use by dates are May 5th. They did have the bottled milk, but they aren't accepting bottle returns until the Apocalypse is over.
They had the Laredo Stagg chili. We got all 11 cans. There was a ton of chili in the other flavors and brands. They must have just gotten a shipment in because chili has been one of the foods that have been consistently low last month, it was one of the first things to go after toilet paper, tissues, rice, and beans. DS eats a can for lunch each day when we can find it. He doesn't like any other kind of chili but homemade which I make when we can't find the can.
There is still no toilet paper, but we don't need it. I was just checking for others. I did manage to find a small box of Puffs. They had about 20 but with a limit of one or I would have gotten 2. 2 small boxes equals one big one. Still, with my skin as sensitive as it is during allergy season, I was happy to even find one. We still have 3 boxes at home, but with 3 of us with severe allergies we go through it fast and who knows when I will see it again.
I got 3 cans of chicken and stars. They had 2 flats, but I am the only one who eats it and only when I have a queasy stomach, so just wanted a couple on hand. They didn't have chicken noodle, cream of mushroom, and cream of celery, but did have one flat of tomato soup. Didn't get any of that though as I have tomato soup that I canned last summer. Just heat up and add milk. And we still have cream of mushroom for DH.
I did get some fresh fruit. I got strawberries that were in plastic containers, grapes that were pre-bagged, and some green bananas. They did have yellow ones but we still had 4 ripe ones from the last time I bought green bananas. I also got a lettuce for week one and then a cabbage for week 2 for greens and some bagged celery and bagged green onions. Normally I hate buying so much plastic, but it is a little safer now than open bins of fruit. I am using gloves, but still.
DH will likely have to go back after 2 weeks for fresh fruit and greens, but that's a quick in and out. We have enough other foods for the rest of the month, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and radishes, which last a long time. I am really hoping to stay out of the store myself until May. I am so incredibly grateful for that sale on sirloin steaks and chuck roasts in early February right before I got sick. I stocked up big time at $3.49/lb for the steaks and $3.99/lb for the roasts and we didn't eat any of it, because I was too sick to cook in February and early March and we kept getting takeout. Ah, takeout, remember that? Seems like a hundred years ago.
We have some pork, bacon, sausage, a little lamb, 2 20 pound turkeys (one is for Easter) and a 14 pound ham. I will cook that ham eventually then bag it up into portions to use in pinto bean soup. There are also two salmon that DH caught last year. So other than chicken we just didn't need to buy meat. I am a bulk buyer by nature, as I buy a lot at really good sales and then we eat off that for three months or so. I obviously can't do that now, there are limits and rightfully so, but I am so grateful I could do it then.
I have this habit of bulk purchasing because my father went on strike twice when I was a kid and because my mother had done this, we had food while my dad couldn't work at the mill. He took a job at a gas station, but that was an enormous pay cut. I have always remembered this and it came in very handy to have this habit when we lived in the mountains and going to a store was a one hour expedition just to get there. Then when DH lost his job a couple years back and couldn't find a new one for 10 months, we had plenty of food to get through it. And now this disease comes. If we go into a full lockdown until the end of April we are good. Right now we can still go to the store and the doctor and the pharmacy, but that may change if things get worse. I hope they don't, but practically, I think they will.
The garden is coming along slowly but surely. Of course we can't plant yet, but when we can I want it to be ready to go, go, go. Hopefully we can get some work done on it this weekend.
Tomorrow is payday. We still have a payday. DH still has a job. I feel so awful for those who don't, but so much gratitude that DH does. And it looks like DH is going to be getting that promotion. They have started having him sit in (on the phone) on the meetings so he can be up to speed when the other guy retires. We had thought that was going to fall through and go to someone else, but apparently that was never the case. The old guy who has the job now will be retiring in a few months and is more or less just working a little and taking his sick leave and then vacation days after that while the virus is so bad so DH is already taking over some of that work, too.
I hope all is well with everyone out there in SA land. I know not everyone is in a good situation. I wish all of you were close enough to help if it gets bad enough. All I can do is pray for you and pray for the rest of the world. Except for Adam Schiff. He can f right off.
Viewing the 'Just Rambling' Category
I cracked my daughter up today when I started singing "This is the dawning of the age of Apocalypse." I've been listening to so many parody songs about Corona virus that I am quite surprised no one has done this one.
I finally made it to the library today to do my favorite thing, save money on books. I picked up four novels and 3 cookbooks. The one that I am interested in the most is Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I can tell already that this will highly likely be a book that I actually buy if we like the end product of the recipes. I have three weeks to make these recipes and make that decision. It's a $30 book so not a decision I will make lightly.
It's a real catch all of gluten-free baking. I have been baking homemade breads and pastries for decades, but this is like learning to be a good baker all over again. The skill set is different. Fortunately this book seems to teach the skill set along with the recipes. Probably one of the reasons it is so highly recommended for beginners on Amazon. This is really something I want to get good at, because a loaf of Udi gluten free bread is very expensive, is only half the number of slices of bread as a regular loaf of bread, and those slices are also smaller. Making my own will save a lot of money in the long run, even if the ingredients are still quite expensive compared to wheat flour. I am finding bulk sources, though, to lower those costs.
I also have an apocalypse fic to read for pleasure, which is one of my favorite genres. I was supposed to read it last month for my book group, but the person who had it checked out had it overdue for 3 weeks despite my hold. Rude. Can't wait to take that into the bathtub and escape life for a while. I think one of the reasons why I like this genre so much is that they always have it worse than me, so I end up being grateful for my life even if it is one lived in chronic pain. Because, you know, at least I have electricity and the internet.
I am still exhausted, but DS and I had enough stamina to get dishes done today. We got 4 loads done. Everyone was sick for the past week, even DH, though no one as bad as me. I took it in fits and starts, though. It is the first productive thing I have done, besides make dinner, in a while. Tomorrow I will try to tackle laundry. There are at least 3 loads of towels to fold (DH did manage that much) and I need to put away the pile of clean clothes on my bed. I am done with the prednisone but I never got the energy rush of the previous times. That's a bummer because I have been only getting a few hours of sleep due to it. It would have been better to be productive, but Oh well. I just have 4 days left on the antibiotics. I hope that kicks it.
DD has been off wheat for 6 days now and continues to improve. DS's acne is clearing up. Neither one is having stomach issues at all and DD has not felt the constant nausea she's had for the past couple years, either. Can it really be so simple that this was what made her digest so slowly and painfully and bloat to a rock hard stomach? She doesn't have celiac at all, they tested for it, but obviously she does have an issue with wheat, otherwise stopping it would not have been so positive for her. If this is all it takes to stay out of the ER and stop spending so much of our medical budget on it, that's a miracle in itself.
Speaking of medical, it's weird to start having to spend for it again. We maxed out in July, I think it was, and everything had been free since. I know a few months of DD's physical therapy, which she starts on Wednesday will eat up a large portion of the deductible. Our HSA card is not working as they said it would. They said we could start using it on January 1st, up to the full amount of the yearly draw, but when DH tried to use it for 2 prescriptions, less than $25 total, but it didn't go through. He's going to try to get that sorted out tomorrow. We may just end up submitting everything each month, which will be a pain, but whatever.
Once I see what the exact new amount is of the Friday's paycheck on Thursday (things will change a bit due to the HSA withdrawals), I can complete my 2020 budget template and my January budget. They are pretty much the same, I will just be adjusting a bit. I think it is around $113, but it will also affect that amount of tax taken out, so I've got it roughly, just not perfectly. I prepared that part before Christmas, I think.
Tomorrow I will catch up the Medical Fund savings account by entering it all into the spreadsheet. I've let is slide, just making sure there was a hefty balance on the things we did buy, mostly OTC meds. Nowhere near the balance of nearly $2000 (haven't transferred the other $2000 in there, still in the online account), but now I have to reconcile the account. Which is fine.
DH and I really need to get on the ball to figure out our 25th Wedding Anniversary getaway. I was too tired to look at places, but it's mid-March, so maybe tomorrow. He has done some preliminary looking. All I really know is I want to be near a view of the water.
I also want DH to take me out to dinner for my 50th birthday mid-February. It will be a week after my mother's shoulder surgery so the kids will stay home to take care of her. I want a good ribeye or prime rib, a sweet potato, and either mixed veggies or their salad. Not their broccoli, they don't cook it long enough, and no bread. I don't want to have to cook myself so we will just go to Outback one county over.
I need to try to get myself to the library tomorrow. I haven't had a book since before Christmas, not that I could focus for long, but it has still been driving me crazy. I was so out of focus, I could not even concentrate on a movie plot. Watched a lot of mindless stuff, like Say Yes to the Dress, I Didn't Know I was Pregnant, and Paternity Court on Youtube. Yesterday, I was finally able to switch to documentaries and a movie (action adventure, so straight-forward plot).
Well, I'm learning a new instrument. My son talked me into buying a bass ocarina. It is a plastic one, not a ceramic one, because lighter is easier on the rheumatoid arthritis. An ocarina is a type of flute. It's shaped like a sweet potato though. If you play any of the Zelda games you've seen one. I have some experience with a regular flute and a one octave wooden flute and have messed around with the Tonette which is a one octave song flute as well.
It's also treble clef which is the same as the violin, strum stick, and the right hand on the piano and organ. Aside from the bass clef for piano and organ's left hand, I also know the alto clef for the viola. But treble is easiest to pick up a new instrument in.
I've done 4 lessons so far and can play a half dozen songs. I find it funny that no matter what instrument I have learned over the years they always start with Mary Had a Little Lamb and Hot Cross Buns. I've also mastered Ode to Joy (also early in every instrument), Frere Jaques, Long Long Ago, Jingle Bells, Gently Row, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and a couple others that I can't play at tempo yet, but can muddle through. Today will be my fifth day practicing and Brahm's Lullaby is in that lesson, so grown up music is coming.
When I do my new lesson, I always do all the songs from the previous lessons first and some of the fingering exercises. It helps to cement stuff in even as I move on to new lessons. I've found it is the best way for me to learn. I kind of do immersion when learning a new instrument.
One of the things that really helps me with this time of year and fighting seasonal depression is keeping my mind active and being challenged by something. That's why I tend to work on playing music or learning French more in the winter and early spring. I also take 5000 IU of vitamin D and use a happy light.
I started taking Moringa about ten days ago and it has made a huge difference with my RA symptoms. I also seem to be sleeping better, my skin is clearing up, and I have less muscle soreness from my fibromyalgia. It's not gone, but it is there. I am waking up feeling like I slept, which is really nice. I still tire out very easily and have to pace myself, but the enervating exhaustion is gone most days. I'm feeling better than I have in a long while. They tout it as a miracle tree, and I don't know about that, but it does help along with the Embrel and the Hydroxychloroquine.
And I've felt up to making meals a lot more often, too. Which helps with the food budget a lot. Tonight we are having herb baked chicken. Spice Islands has this Garlic Herb Seasoning that comes in a big container from Costco and it is our new go to seasoning.
I don't even miss Lawry's anymore or Paprika that much, which used to be our go to seasoning before my daughter had to quit using any spice that was hot (as opposed to warming like coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg). This stuff has been fantastic on chicken, beef, and salmon. I haven't tried it yet on pork or lamb or other types of seafood, but I can't imagine it won't be good. I've been looking for a long time to find an all purpose seasoning so this makes me very happy. It's the little things in life, you know?
I think I'm still kind of reeling from having lost so much of my blog and I know everyone else feels that, too. I've had a bit of a what's the point attitude, because I have no clue if they are actually going to start backing things up or if this can happen all over again. It's not like they communicate things to us. I always have to go asking and quite frankly I'm tired of it and still kind of angry. I think I'm just going to have to force myself through it and try to blog anyway.
But really nothing is happening. I spent 5 days in bed with the most recent version of the plague. I've gotten dressed, brushed my hair, and made food for the last two days (which was a big deal, actually) and still had a bit of a cough and a runny nose and laid down a few times, but it is on the upswing. I think. I go back and forth. Autoimmune diseases complicate the healing process. Physical therapy about killed me, but I didn't want to cancel.
I hope this is not a bad flu year as I am allergic to the flu shot. Not that it seems to work these last few years anyway. They used to seem far more effective.
I've been working my way through the Star Treks. I started with Voyager, because that is my favorite (Tom and B'lanna forever), then moved on to Next Gen and now I am on Deep Space Nine. Netflix has Enterprise and the original, so I will probably do those next. I'm less of an original fan but I did like it. Honestly, I was more of a Battlestar Galactica/Buck Rogers fan when I was little. I will probably work my way through the Next Gen movies after that, then the originals, and then the new stuff. I've seen it all, except the most recent new one, but I am enjoying immersing myself in this universe again.
I have also been watching Raising Dion. It's about a child who comes into his superhero powers. Only he's about seven or eight years old and doesn't have any control and they go wild when he can't get a handle on his emotions. The acting is very good. I especially like his mother, but the little boy is great and it has Jason Ritter, who I have a soft spot for on account of his father. I'm four episodes in. Netflix really has some great Originals.
I had a major freak out today when I thought I had lost several chapters of my book. I have eleven written and I thought I'd lost everything after halfway through chapter three. It's been so long since I looked at it and I was ready to start writing again, but wanted to reread it first. I forgot that I had renamed the file. I realized it when I went to my back up portable hard drive and found the other title, then went back to the laptop and then sure enough it was there under the other title.
I don't save to the cloud because it has been hacked so many times I don't trust it. I had forgotten for a minute that I had saved it to the hard drive, so sheer blind panic ensued.
Not much else going on. Oh, we purchased 60 pounds of Kerrygold grassfed butter ahead of the tariffs. Hopefully that will be enough to outlast them. It was $330 but we had it and since the tariff is 25% it was worth it to me to get that in my freezer.
I don't think I'm going to try to recover any of my missing posts. I write so many blog entries in a month that finding them all would be a massive undertaking and I honestly just don't have the energy to do that at this time. Even if I did find them, I wouldn't want to just dump them back into the blog. That's okay for maybe 10 entries, but I would likely have 100 or more. So I am just going to accept them as gone and move on. At least for now.
I am going down tomorrow to meet my grand niece for the first time. It is her first birthday party. I'm not looking forward to the drive, but it will be nice to see my sister and my nephews and niece and the baby. I am not looking forward to the drive there and back, though. It is always so hard on my body to be in the car for long periods of time. I'm already in an RA flare due to the weather.
Today was payday. It's pretty much on auto pilot at this point. I don't know if there is much point in my posting my payday reports. I haven't in a while. At first it was mostly to keep me on track on the budget, but I've been doing really well with it for a year now and don't think it is really necessary anymore.
Yesterday I took DS shopping for sweat pants. It took us 4 stores to find one pair that wasn't paper thin or didn't cost $55 a pair (When did Penney's get so expensive) or wasn't unraveling at the seams. Why is it so hard to find thick sweat pants of good construction anymore? We found one pair at Kohl's that was on sale for $19.56. The selection everywhere for men's sweats is garbage. There is barely anything as compared to women's sweats and the colors are almost non-existent.
Or you'll go to Target (where I hate to shop) and their sizes are their own compared to everyone else's so nothing fits that should. When my son is a large in every store but not even the XL fits at Target, you know they are screwing with sizing. I thought they only screwed around with women's sizing. Men's used to be standard.
We are going to stop at a store in Burlington on the way back from the party and see if they have anything there. It is a store we used to have here, but our branch of it closed, and we used to have really good luck there with clothes. If not, we'll have to try some sporting goods stores to see if they have anything. I don't want to spend $55 a pair for Nike or Adidas. DS doesn't give a hoot about brand names and they are far from reasonable.
I am seriously thinking about digging out my sewing machine and learning to make clothes once and for all.
It rained all day so I didn't get any gardening done. Actually, I didn't get much of anything done. I did take DD to the doctor and DS to the gym and I read a lot. This is the first time since I got so sick that I have been up to reading for a decent length of time.
My new regimen of eye vitamins seems to be working quite well. I take 5000 IU of vitamin A, 450 mg of vitamin E, 200 mcg of selenium, and Bilberry Ginkgo Lutein complex. The spots had been getting darker again for a while, but they are back to a light yellow/brown and are far less noticeable. I don't know that they are smaller, but when they aren't black they don't seem to interfere so much with things like reading.
I took my third Enbrel shot tonight. Again it seemed like things weren't as good after the first five days, but that could just be soreness from gardening. The brain fog seems to be gone, though. I have more energy, but not as much as I'd like to have. I feel capable of doing things, though. I have to remember to call the mail order pharmacy for the next set of shots in about 5 days. I found out my co-pay for the drug this month is $30. Not bad for a wildly expensive drug.
I really need to schedule a hair cut. My hair is back to length it was when it was at its longest. It just grows so fast. But it is getting caught in my armpits when I raise my arms and then bring them back down and it pulls my hair and hurts. And DH sometimes leans on it and that is not good, either. I am thinking of cutting off about a foot and getting to one inch past my chin. Which will really be at my chin because it bounces up with my loose curls. I will basically be getting it cut to the length of my bangs by doing that. I have money in the personal care envelope, so it is just a question of making the appointment and doing it.
I go to the doctor tomorrow. I think I still have a sinus infection going on. The pressure is out of my ears, but I still have a pretty bad headache above my eyebrows and the back teeth and jaw hurt, which is also a sign of sinus infection. I think the ones in my face are also in play, but not as badly. I just want to get this thing cleared up so I can maybe enjoy the spring.
I spent $1.09 on a candy bar today, but that came out of my allowance envelope. I have been trying to avoid having sweets in the house, but clearly today was not going to be one of those days. I kind of felt like a PMSing teenager needing chocolate. Sometimes I swear I'm menopausal even though I had a hysterectomy in 2003 and went through all that stuff when I was 33 to 35. I wonder if that is even possible because if I were normal, this would be the age I would have started peri-menopause. Like I need that on top of all my auto-immune issues.
I tried the cheese wrap today. It is called Folio's and it was the Parmesan one. Apparently they make a cheddar cheese one, too. I did find out some more info about them. They are only available in west coast Costco's, but they are available nationwide at Aldi's, though not really because Aldi is not a nationwide chain.
I used one wrap, 2 slices of deli turkey, some rather hot stone ground mustard, and some cucumber slices. It was great and surprisingly filling for its size. I imagine after swimming I would need two, but on a normal day one is fine for lunch. I did add more cucumber slices on the side, though.
I have found some youtube videos on how to make your own Folio's, which I may try, as homemade would be cheaper, but if it is too fiddly to make, I don't mind shelling out for these, because they are good and it makes my life a little easier.