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Irlen, Rabbits, and Rain

May 24th, 2019 at 09:35 pm

I ordered some Irlen reading strips a while back and they finally arrived. My son, my daughter, and I all have some degree of difficulty with reading, particularly off a stark white page, but sometimes even off recycle paper color. I can adjust my computer with a filter, but I can't adjust books.

The reading strips are transparent and come in ten different colors and you put them over your page and move it down as you read. The difference in color makes it easier to read, especially with small print. This is something I have had more problems with since I broke my nose and had the concussion with it (I think in 2015), but I had no idea my kids had the same issue until I told them I had bought the strips and both piped up about it.

Anyway, it was fortunate that we all needed a different color. I was hoping that would be the case. I need a purple tint, my daughter needs a dark blue tint, and my son needs a lighter blue tint. This should help with headaches as well as words dancing and reading fatigue. Just judging from the little I've used it the difference is huge.

Today I cleaned out the rabbit shed with lots of petting bunny breaks and DH rearranged the rabbits so they are all on one wall. Then we brought in the haykeeper from the garage, which is also big enough to have the garbage can full of feed in it. It used to hold two bales of hay side by side, but since we only have 7 rabbits now, we only buy one bale at a time. And without the excess cages in the shed it can all fit in there nicely without taking up so much space in the garage.

It rained so there was no painting done today and no weeding. On the plus side it rained enough that I won't have to water the garden for 3 to 4 days. It was due to be watered today if it hadn't rained well. Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same, but DH says he will fix a space to paint in the garage so we can get it done and hopefully be ready to assemble it on Sunday.

Odds and Ends

May 20th, 2019 at 11:19 pm

Well, I got some of the stuff done that I wanted to get done over the weekend, but nowhere near what I had hoped for. Mostly because MIL went into the ER for several hours and DH had to go be with her. But it turned out just to be an inner ear infection. She had never had one before, so didn't have a clue on the symptoms, and it was pretty severe and she had lost all sense of balance. This after they did an EKG and an MRI and ran a ton of tests. It can be pretty disconcerting the first time you have one of those infections. And then the next day DH wanted to go out and spend time with her.

I didn't have a ton of energy on Saturday anyway. On Sunday I did work in the garden for a couple of hours. I weeded 40 square feet of the onion beds and ringed those ones. I have 72 more square feet to do. I also planted basil (purple and sweet green) and broccoli and made up a hanging basket with nasturtiums.

I avoid planting nasturtiums in the ground or the beds at all costs and it will spread like crazy and take over. It is about as bad as morning glory for taking over, but it is not pernicious, in that when you pull it out it does not come back. Still, it crowds out other plants so confining it to a hanging basket where it can trail as much as it wants to without touching the ground and rooting is the way to go.

Mom roto-tilled the area for the corn and green beans and then this morning she planted the corn and made the hills for me to put the squash in. I haven't planted it yet, but I have the plants. Tomorrow she wants to plant the beans and I will work on painting the garden bed ends so we can get it moved off the table so I can start working on the sides. I want this bed built this coming weekend and I have 3 days of no rain to prime and paint in.

We rotated the mattress 90° last night as it was developing quite a dip on the side I sleep on and I thought it might be contributing to the pain in my hip. So now the head is the side, which is okay because it is a king size bed and it only takes a couple of inches off the end. It did make a big difference in how I felt when I woke up. I figure we'll have to rotate it again before this side breaks down, which is why I didn't just do 180° this time.

I need to sit down and make up my meal plan for the week. Usually I do that on Monday morning, but I slept in really late this morning and haven't got to it yet. I usually sleep in hard after working in the garden. It will only take me a few minutes, so I best hop to it.

Quiet on the Homestead

May 16th, 2019 at 01:01 am

I haven't been posting. I managed to pull a muscle in my back last Friday (didn't do anything, just happened) and am finally able to move around without being in agony. Today is the first day that sitting in the computer chair wasn't super painful. Hopefully that means I will sleep better tonight. I have been waking up a lot due to shifting and my back twinging. This was not a good week for my chiropractor to go on one of his many vacations.

I used my mom's jetted upright tub with the bench seat a couple of times and her massage chair. It is good to have someone with things like that in the family. MIL has one of those tubs, too.

I was able to manage to do the dishes today and I have been able to cook (but not clean) since Monday, so I think I am starting to get back to normal. I hope so. This Friday is payday and I need to do the grocery shop, although I might have to use the ride on cart.

We haven't spent anything on take out. DH cooked when I couldn't. I hate having him do that on weekdays after a full day at work, but weekends don't make me feel guilty. DH's meals were sandwiches, burgers, and fish and chips, so easy meals.

I am hoping to be able to go out to the garden tomorrow with DS. We need to start ringing the onions. I would have done it last weekend if I hadn't hurt my back. Hopefully DH and I can get the raised bed finished and painted over the weekend. But if I can't, I can't. Maybe DS will help him. Maybe even DD with the painting. I will just have to pace myself and be very careful.

I went online and got the grocery ads so I could start preparing for Friday's shop. There are some good steak prices at Fred Meyer and Safeway and FM has whole wild sockeye salmon on for $4.99/lb so I will get one whole salmon filleted.

I am starting meal prepping this week with help from the kids. Today DD and I made chicken glop for her. Appealing, isn't it? It is just chicken, rice, cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. We just plopped everything into my giant mixing bowl and stirred it up until she liked the consistency. Then we divided it up by putting two cups into freezer bags. This is something she can easily digest with her gastroparesis.

Tomorrow we will be making lamb glop, which will be rice, ground lamb, and gravy and we will divide it up, too. I know the name isn't attractive but it tastes good and I don't have the energy to write a big, long name on a Ziploc.

Then for DS and I we will be making up steaks and chicken thighs and cutting them into strips, measuring them out and dividing the into baggies for the freezer. He will get 9 oz and I will get 6 oz. Then we can easily pull out what we need the night before and make salads the next day or just warm up some veggies.

I will also be cutting up and putting 24 sausages into the Instant Pot, cooking them quickly, and measuring them out into containers and making some bell peppers and onions on the side. I have bags of cut up bell peppers and onions in the freezer still. I think I will also make some zucchini patties from the frozen shredded zucchini and then refreeze.

I just want to make our lunches simple and easy and not something we have to think about during the week.

Oh, and DD and I will also be making sushi rolls (with cooked meat) and freezing them. They will just be seaweed, rice, and either shrimp, salmon, or crab. Seaweed is one of the few vegetables she can still eat without getting ill. Then she can take one out as she needs it and cut it up. She needs to have simple foods that are easy to digest. I just need to pick up a new bamboo mat for rolling. I think they have them at Winco, but if not I'll go to the Asian grocery store. I just don't like to go there unless I have to because the aisles are not exactly ADA compliant.

Hopefully with the kids helping me, we can get the meal prepping done without it hurting my back too much, we can be eating better, and I can spend more time outdoors.

Bits and Pieces

April 10th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

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.

Housebound

March 4th, 2019 at 11:52 pm

I don't like being housebound. With DH having to drive the van, I have no way of going and doing anything and it is a little frustrating. I need to get my glasses adjusted because I fell asleep with them on again and rolled over on my face, I need to go cash some checks at the bank, and I need to make some doctor appointments, but I can't do any of that until the truck is fixed. It is going in on Wednesday, but I don't know if it will be a one day repair or take a couple. I hope it is only one day, because I want my mobility back.

We've only been a two car family for less than a year and a half after many years of only having one and already I have forgotten what that was like. I feel like I'm being a baby about it, having a case of I want, I want, I want. It really does curtail your freedom, though. If I weren't disabled, I could walk to a lot of places, but even walking the two blocks to the bus stop is difficult right now. Actually the walking isn't the problem so much as the standing and waiting. Moving isn't nearly as bad.

Back before my injuries and my rheumatoid arthritis, I could have walked the two miles to the doctor's office, even when sick. Now even walking the six blocks to the store is out of reach. Maybe it is just that not having the van right now is piling on top of my not being able to do much with my body.

I am going to have to cut down on my gardening this year. Even with two foot tall raised beds and the ability to pull up a chair to garden, it was hard in 2018 and I think it will be harder this year. Maybe I'll just grow peppers, tomatoes, salad fixings, and onions. Those give me the biggest bang for the buck without a ton of effort throughout the season and the least worry about pests. And of course the herbs, which come back every year. I am just going to have to realize that my limitations are getting stronger as I age and adjust my life accordingly.

I am considering getting a mobility scooter or an electric trike bike. Then I could at least go to the store. I would only need the electric motor on the trike bike on the way home as it is downhill all the way to the store. But perhaps the mobility scooter is the way to go. It would be nice to be able to go out in the neighborhood again when the weather gets better. They are pricey though. Even the used ones. We'll have to see.

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.