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December 12th, 2020 at 03:48 am

My x-ray results came back and there is significantly more degeration due to arthritis in the L-4 and L-5 vertabrae, which is the lower spine, but no bulging discs.  So that is probably what is causing all the pain in the hip, pelvis, and down the leg.  I still think there is something else wrong, like with ligaments or tendons, but I have to do more physical therapy before I can get an MRI.

He is referring me to a different physical therapist's office this time.  I didn't really feel like the other place has ever really done me all that much good.  I still do the exercises they gave me, but I don't feel like it helps at all.

DH took an hour off today to drive me around to do the banking and then to the post office to mail the tithe check and another bill that we don't do online.  It hurts too much for me to drive right now.  He made up the hour later in the day.  Working from home is a wonderful thing.

We were going to go and have our glasses made today, but they told us that if we wait until January we will qualify for both frames and lenses and not just lenses.  I had no idea we were that close to being able to do that.  I thought it was at least six months away.  So we will try again after the calendar turns.

DD is having bad symptoms today from the bleeding liver tumor.  She hasn't been able to eat much at all the past 3 days and is super nauseated and in a lot of pain.  I know we are in the home stretch here, but it is agonizing for her.  I'm just glad they finally decided to do something.  She looks awful.  You can just see how much pain she is in by looking at her.  I feel helpless.

I did get the bills and all that done, but I'm too tired of sitting in my chair to do another entry with all that tonight.  Hope everyone else is doing well.  I'm too tired to read the blogs right now to check up on you all.


A Bit of Good News

December 10th, 2020 at 10:59 pm

I do have a bit of good news in all the upheaval of 2020.  There will be a Christmas contribution to the 401K and a small bonus at DH's work.  And I do mean small in comparison to past years.  $500 after taxes is nothing to sneeze at and will go directly to the Emergency Fund.  Unless DH works overtime between now and the end of the year the 401K contribution will be $813.17 because it is based on a percentage of hours worked during the year.

Starting next year they are going to start matching 401K contributions again, but not at 5%.  At 2.5%.  It's a lot better than the 0% they had to do for the last half of 2020.

I saw the doctor yesterday so I could get migraine medication and pain medication and do a blood pressure check.  I got the flu shot for the first time in a couple of decades.  I had a gut level intuition that this was going to be a bad flu year and they had the right strains this time.  I don't know where that came from, but I have always found that I should follow that voice when it happens.  I'll probably feel cruddy the next couple of weeks because of it, I always do, but that's the choice I made.

We also talked about my hip and low back pain and how it radiates he is suspecting a bulging disc, so once I am done with this entry I am going to go get an x-ray taken and see if there is anything obvious.  I might have to do physical therapy again.  I don't see how that will help as I am still doing all the exercises from last time.  And 45 minute sessions to an hour with a mask on when I have asthma is going to be torture even if I use my inhaler first.  I'll probably have to do albuterol treatments afterwards.

Then after I've put in my PT time for the insurance company I can get an MRI on my low back and hip area.  It's a lot of hoops for this type of MRI.  I hope they find something they can fix when all is said and done.

So, Progress I Guess

December 9th, 2020 at 12:44 am

So last night around 5:30 I got a message notification.  Not sure why my phone didn't ring, but it wouldn't have mattered since I was not in the room with my phone at the time.  Usually my fitbit tells me when my phone is ringing, but this time it just told me missed call.  Technology, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Anyway it was from the Virginia Mason surgery center scheduler.

Bear in mind that my daughter's liver daughter met with the liver tumor board yesterday, but we had not heard anything from her doctor at this point.  We weren't too fussed because we knew she had a video appointment with her today at 3.  So I was planning to wait until after the appointment to call back but they called again first thing in the morning.  This time the phone was answered and they said it was for a consult for surgery, which is more information than I had the first time.  So not really knowing what was going on yet, DH went ahead and scheduled it anyway.  On the day and at the time when DD has her brain MRI.

So then that had to be rescheduled.  Then an email came through from the liver doctor which explained what was going on with the liver tumor and also that she may have to go see a kidney doctor after all this because she has multiple cysts on one kidney.  Then we had the video appointment and got more details.  They want to take out the tumor.  It's basically right on the edge of the bottom of the liver and will be a super easy, laproscopic surgery.  Apparently now that she had time to review the MRI and so has the liver board, her tumor has been bleeding internally into the liver which is what was causing the hot ice pick through the back pain.

Apparently my daughter is that special someone who does get pain with this sort of thing (which we have been insisting on) and also she's too young for this sort of thing so that's extra bad, and along with various and sundry things, it is weird and worrying (her words) to not only the doctor but to the tumor board.  And also left unchecked this thing could turn cancerous because of the internal bleeding.

Of course she is that special someone.  This has been her medical history her whole life.  If this were an episode of House, he would not be able to find any one diagnosis because she has all of them...except Lupus.  Doctors are trained to look for horses, not zebras.  Well, my daughter has a herd of zebras running around inside her and not only that, but they are rainbow striped with wings and a unicorn horn.

All that to say they are going to flipping do something.  It's no longer wait, and wait, and wait.  It's get that puppy out within the next 3 months or so.  And MIL has already said she will pay for the surgery, the hotel, and meals while down there, since it will hit next year when the deductible and out of pocket max will, as it inevitably does, start over.  And DH can take sick time so it will not affect us financially whatsover.  That is a burden lifted.

Then I had to call DS's neurologist and see why they didn't bill the insurance for his latest appointment.  We gave them the insurance card at the visit and watched them scan it in.  Apparently they still sent it to last year's insurance, because they didn't bother to terminate the old one when they put in the new one.  So after a half hour on the phone, mostly on hold, I got that straightened out and they will bill the proper people.  Darn tootin'.  That bill was for $284.  The lady was really nice, though, and actual time to take care of the error was less than five minutes.  But dang, that doctor charges a lot for a 20 minute office visit.

Almost Through the Potatoes and Medical Stuff (Always Medical Stuff)

November 11th, 2020 at 06:06 am

Yesterday I canned 14 more quarts of potatoes (and I mislabled them with today's date, but what are you going to do?  I washed up the jars and tops today so they won't be sticky in storage.  They didn't feel sticky, but I don't take any chances.  I have enough of my garden potatoes left to do 7 more quarts and that will also fill my potato shelf.  Then I will start on carrots and parsnips.  I am switching to the single decker canner instead of the double decker, since I will be doing smaller loads from here on out.

DD went to the eye doctor today and the bulging optic nerves have stopped bulging so much.  She lost 20 pounds in six weeks, so we are thinking the water retention was what the issue was, because she had ballooned up because of it, and she is out of the danger zone now, but she is to follow up after a while just to be on the safe side.

No more doctor appointments until Monday when we will go down to Virginia Mason to meet the new endocrinologist and then spend the night and go to the liver specialist on Tuesday.  I am glad my nephew, my sister, and my son will all be here with Mom, though.

We are trying to sell the last two rabbits we have, but Facebook hates animal sales and censors posts on them.  You have to be very careful how you word things.  Even if you don't say a price they automatically throw out animal photos to be checked.  It's a farm group.  Farm sales should be allowed.  It is no way, shape, or form like a puppy mill, but that's how they treat it.  I hate their censorship.  I wish MeWe would take off, but I don't think it is going to.

I am going to look into Rumble as an alternative to Youtube as well.  Every time the algorithm starts working for me, they change it, and my channel just gets kicked back down.  It makes it hardly worth the effort, especially in the off season.

Tonight for dinner I made beef stew with celery, onions, and potatoes, with gluten free flour for the gravy.  I was out of carrots.  And had two yellow kiwis.  Those things are amazing.  I like them way more than green kiwis and I like those a lot.

We haven't spent any money for the last few days, but I will be tomorrow morning when I buy the carrots and parsnips.  I need 8 pounds of carrots and 8 pounds of parsnips.  Then on Friday when it is payday I will buy some more to do.  I haven't gone to the store since before the election so I have no idea what the shelves look like.  I won't be able to can much at all next week as I will be wiped by our trip to Seattle I am sure.  The season is winding down for me anyway, unless there is a terrific meat sale of some sort. 



New Medicine and Dietary Regimen Improving Things

November 9th, 2020 at 12:12 am

I went to see my rheumatologist on Thursday while I was in the middle of one my worst RA/Fibromyalgia flares I've had yet.  She decided to try me on prednisone long-term in conjunction with the embrel and hydroxychloroquine I already take.  I started it Friday morning and by the time I took the second dose Saturday my swelling and pain had already started to go down.  By this morning my hands felt almost normal.  They still tremble, but they are so much more functional and the pain has reduced tremendously.  I haven't seen my fingers this small in a few years.

She's started me on 10 mg for two weeks and then I can move up to 20 mg.  I will be seeing her again on the 23rd and we will go from there.  I really hope this is the answer.  I feel so much better in my body right now, it's like it isn't even mine.  The flare is definitely over.

As for making changes to my diet, I have stuck to portion sizes for the last 3 days and I am off the caffeine again.  I have been making sure that I drink 3 of my waterbottles a day.  My waterbottle holds 32 ounces.  I would like to get to 4 of them a day now that water is the only liquid I am drinking.

Today I am making a new step of controlling my high carbs to one meal a day, and then from there I will work towards only have 60 grams of high carbs a day.  Right now my plan is one fruit serving and one higher glycemic carb vegetable serving with my protein and low glycemic carb vegetables at dinner.  Tonight's plan is chicken sausage with bell peppers and onions and some fresh pineapple.  The onions and pineapple being higher glycemic and the peppers being lower.  Breakfast was 2 eggs and half a cucumber and lunch was thinly sliced leftover pork (4 oz) over a bed of lettuce.

I feel a lot better now that I am eating better again, too.  Caffeine really drags me down and makes me retain a lot of water and I can always feel the difference between being on it and being off of it.  I also feel the difference when I eat too many carbs or too many grain based carbs.  I will be going back to eating gluten free 100% of the time, too.  I won't be eating any gluten free bread for at least a week, though.  Just fruits, vegetables, and protein until things are firmly under control.

It is weird paying so much attention to portion sizes.  I don't think I really realized before just how skewed my perception was of portion sizes.  Now that I am measuring and weighing my food, it shows how off I was.  I am trying to do a 1600 calorie diet and being more careful is helpful to that.  I don't want to do anything more drastic than that.  I don't need superfast weight loss, just weight loss.

I am using my fitbit app to track both food and water.  Not really worrying about steps at the moment, but maybe in a week or so I can be more mindful of those as well.  Incremental changes are more important to me than trying to do everything at once and then failing.

General Update

November 5th, 2020 at 12:29 am

Yesterday I canned 14 quarts of potatoes, which is 2 lbs per jar.  I peeled 29 pounds of potatoes.  I always do an extra pound because you lose about a pound to peels.  My hands were very sore afterwards, but are doing surprisingly well this morning.  That makes the total jars of potatoes canned so far 21.  I think I've got at least enough to do 14 more jars, possibly 21, but we'll have to see.  There are lots of little ones that are too small to peel and will work better as roasted or fried.

I took DS to the doctor this afternoon and they finally gave him antibiotics for his sinus infection.  Hopefully he will start to improve now.  They should have given them to him the last week of September when he went in the first time, but his dad took him because I was too sick and his dad does not know how to advocate for him or tell the doctor's what they need to hear to get antibiotics.  We know when we have sinus infections around here, they happen too often, but sometimes on call doctors don't know the history, so I have to be forceful in advocating.

I finished my course of antibiotics yesterday and I am glad to be done with it.  I had to take the liquid form because the pills have red dye in them and I am allergic to red dye.  But the liquid has artificial sweetner and it was awful.  I don't react well to artificial sweeteners, but at least they don't intefere with my breathing or give me hives or cause migraines.  Lesser of two evils, especially since I can't take penicillin and the Z-pack didn't work.  I don't feel 100% better, but I do feel functional at a higher level than I've been.  If I could just shake the cough I would be happy.

I am taking the day off from doing any work and just giving my body a chance to recover from all the canning work I've done in the last few days.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with the rheumatologist and I am going to see if we can try a different medication.  I don't think mine are working anymore.  If she prescribes it with an anti-nausea med, I might be able to take one of the others I tried before that made me sick.

I am preparing to start on a new eating plan tomorrow.  I am going to work on weight loss again.  I am prepping the vegetables today so it will be easier for me to just get up and grab the proper food in the right portions.  All of the junk food is out of the house and I'm not going to bring in any more for the next two weeks.  And I'm going to go off gluten again, hopefully permanently.  My focus will be primarily on controlling my carbs to 60 grams, eating more seafood (twice a week at least), keeping my vegetable intake up, and cutting out gluten for good.  Also, I'll be cutting out sugar, but I will allow a small amount of honey while breaking the sugar addiction so the withdrawal isn't too bad.

Entry I Wrote on October 25, 2020

October 28th, 2020 at 10:24 pm

The lack of progress on the blogs is really starting to frustrate me.  I know it’s a platform change and that just makes everything drag out longer.  It looks like a better system when I can get into it.  At least one from this century anyway.

So, I added up the numbers and this is what we have harvested this year:

102 pounds of potatoes

5 pounds of bell peppers

5 pounds of Anaheim mild chile peppers

3 pounds of serrano chile peppers

6 pounds of Trident poblano peppers

2 pounds of jalapenos

12 pounds of radishes, plus their greens

3 pounds of carrots

64 ears of corn

104 pounds of green beans

6 bunches of celery

12 kohlrabi

12 broccoli heads

45 pounds of cucumbers

3 months’ worth of lettuce greens

2 cabbages

30 pounds of tomatoes

5 months’ worth of chard (still going strong)

10 pounds of beets, plus their greens

1 quart jar each of dried peppermint, spearmint, raspberry leaves, bee balm, calendula, and yarrow for tea

1 quart jar each of dried basil, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and nasturtium buds (dried they taste peppery)


I will be drying and powdering some of the poblanos to make ancho powder and the serranos to make a substitute for cayenne powder.


Sirloin steaks are on sale this week for $2.88/lb.  Hopefully I can make it over to the store this week and get some.  I’d like to grind some for burger.  You can’t beat that price right now.  Don’t know if I will make it or not.  This sinus infection is still kicking my butt.  I did go and have a car appointment on the 23rd and the doctor I saw put me on prednisone and an antibiotic called cefdinir.  I had to get the liquid kind though, because the pill form is red #40 and red #28 and I really prefer not to have migraines, thank you.  It tastes like artificial sweetener, which I also try to avoid, but sometimes you have to pick your battles.  Since I can’t take penicillin without getting hives it is the lesser of two evils.  And the Z-pack didn’t work last time.


Mom canned 14 jars of beef for me and seven jars of potatoes, so even though I’ve been in and out of it, things are still moving in stocking up the pantry for the upcoming cold and flu/political upheaval season.  Time is running short and I want to be ready in time.


Oh, I forgot to mention, DS passed his driver’s test.  This makes my life so much easier.  His license should be here in a few days.

Entry I Wrote on October 23, 2020

October 28th, 2020 at 09:57 pm

Things have been trucking along here in the days of a non-functional blog platform.  Mostly, I've been canning beef.  They had a massive sale on chuck roast, $2.99 a pound, at Fred Meyer on the last ad flyer and no limit.  I went in 3 times and ended up with a total of 34 roasts.  I did check with the meat guy and he said people just weren't stocking up and to take what I wanted because if it didn’t sell they’d grind it into hamburger.  I always made sure there were plenty left.  I will never clear a bin or shelf of anything except the particular type of chili DS likes.  It is hard to find so I grab it when I do.  I will be canning 14 jars today and putting the rest through the meat grinder for hamburger.  It is far cheaper at the roast price than at the burger price right now.

DH dug up the last of the potatoes.  It was a little over 4 pounds of baby reds.  So that is done.  I harvested all of the peppers and pulled them because I want to plant garlic in that bed, assuming I can find any to plant.  I’m checking the feed store today.  I cut off the side shoots on the broccoli and pulled them, too.  I still need to finish that bed and then we will be using it for strawberries.

I picked the dried out snow pea pods and harvested the seeds for next year.  With the way things are going seeds may sell out faster than they did this year because of the pandemic.  I’m saving bean seeds, too even though I still have a big packet left.  Thankfully, I’ve got quite a bit of corn seed.  And if I can’t get seed potatoes in the spring, I can do the organic grocery store potatoes again.  Maybe some of the ones I harvested will keep until March and I won’t have to worry about it.  I have tomato seeds and zucchini seeds and sweet meat squash seeds that I harvested a couple years ago.  And I have copra keeping onion seeds.  I am most concerned about finding an open pollinated carrot seed so I can start saving carrot seeds in the future, too.  There are a lot of seed packets in my bin of some older seeds so maybe some of those will germinate, too.  I’ll be starting a lot of my own seeds in the spring.  I’m going to do a full set up, no playing around this time.  It was hard to find all the starts I wanted last spring.  I need to be better prepared this time around.

I just want to be ready for whatever is going to be thrown at us next.  I really dread what the next three weeks are going to bring for this county.  If riots come to my city, I don’t know if we can protect ourselves.  We should be far enough away from Seattle, but we do have about 100 or so of that sort who like to cause trouble here downtown.  Mostly college students and university professors.  Usually armed citizens come out to deal with it and protect the shops, though, just as a presence that keeps things from getting out of hand, so who knows?  There’s three months to go after that before we see if things will even go back to some kind of normal.

Hopefully, it’ll just be bad for a week.  We have to go to Virginia Mason in Seattle two weeks post-election to the liver specialist to see if my daughter’s liver tumor has grown, although we should have the MRI results back in her patient portal sometime this week.  I still like things interpreted by a doctor.  The day before that she will be meeting with the new endocrinologist who specializes in adrenal insufficiency, so there will be an overnight down there which makes me even more nervous.  Most of the rioting has been going on a half mile away from the hospital, but that is not very far.  The talk is that they will riot no matter who is elected.  Fun times. /sarcasm  Remember the days when people accepted the results with dignity and grace?

This afternoon I have to take DD to the rheumatologist and remake the appointment I cancelled for myself because I was sick while we’re there.  I think I’ll just make mine a telemedicine visit, though.  This time of year I tend to get sick a lot.  I really need to make an appointment to get my eyes checked for new glasses, too so I can get them and some contacts.  I am sick of my glasses fogging up every time I put on a mask so I want contacts for the days I have to go out in public.

I made a very good loaf of gluten free bread last night, in the bread machine, using Jovial gluten free bread flour.  I tweaked it from the last time I made it and it was far less dense and the crust was amazing.  It was almost as big as regular sandwich bread.  I think with a bit more yeast, honey, and salt I can get it to be a fantastic loaf, but this one was enjoyable.  The one before was too dense for my liking.  I am getting this thing down.  And once I do I’m going to try to find a way to make a crispy crust gluten free pizza.  I can make a soft crust, but I want to get that crunch I like so much from the gluten pizzas.  I think this bread flour will help.  Jovial’s been in the business of gluten free since way before it came a thing and just belonged to celiacs.  They have the best pasta and I am looking forward to trying their pastry flour, too.

Well, I’ve wasted enough time on here, I best get back to real life for the day.

Are We Working Yet?

October 22nd, 2020 at 07:51 pm


Wellness Visit with Mostly Good Lab Results

September 12th, 2020 at 02:03 am

I was finally well enough to go in to the doctor for my Wellness visit, which I needed to do by October 1, because if DH and I both do that yearly and turn in the results of our labs to his work, we get $20 a month off our insurance premium, which is a savings of $240 a year. They don't report these to the insurance company, however, it's just a company program to make sure you get your check ups. I had the labs done back in early June, but had to cancel the appointment that went with it when I got sick and then didn't get better until recently.

For the most part my labs are better. There has been a steady improvement in the last 2 years, but this one was really good, except for my glucose level, which went up from 106, which was higher than it should have been, to 119, but I had eaten an unusual amount of sugar the night before (as in two gluten free brownies) for a special occasion.

We are going to retest that next week and I'll make sure not to eat things I don't usually eat. I won't try to be extra good, though, as I want a real reading, based on my normal eating. I just won't be extra bad. I don't tend to eat processed sugar, just fruit and not every day on that.

My good cholesterol (HDL) went up one point, from 43 to 44. My bad cholesterol (LDL) went down by 10 points from 67 to 57. My Triglycerides went down 26 points from 162 to 136. And my total cholesterol went from 142 to 128. So a nice downward trend on everything. My numbers were really good last time and the doctor is happy with the even better improved numbers.

I wonder what my lipid panel would have looked like if I'd had it while on my dietbet and eating for weight loss all month? I did win my dietbet goal, but until all weigh-ins are in at midnight tonight and they close it out on Saturday, I won't know by how much. I think I'm going to wait a week or two before signing up for another one. It is motivational, but I started a bit of a flare and am retaining water like crazy, so would like to wait until that is sorted.

The doctor did up the portion of my blood pressure medicine that is a diuretic because of the water retention. That's been an ongoing problem. The HCTZ has gone from 12.5 mg to 25 mg. He had to do it in a separate pill, because the 50 mg Losartan doesn't come with more than 12.5. Only the 100 mg comes with 25. So another pill for me to take, but oh, well. If it helps get rid of this fluid that's fine.

He also renewed my hydrocodone prescription, since the last time I had it renewed was February. I don't use it much, only a half a pill at a time when I flare and usually just at bedtime so I can sleep through the pain. I had to use up most of what I had when my knee got so painful. It is doing a lot better, actually. I have been consistent with my physical therapy exercises and watching how much inflammatory foods I eat. Hopefully I won't need it much longer.

Sore Knee is Getting Sorer

September 4th, 2020 at 05:10 am

I canned 10 more quarts of green beans yesterday, bringing the total count to 29. A deer got in the garden and ate a lot of the middle sections of beans and I am not sure if that part will grow back now that we've fixed the fence. It has caused a rush of growth at the top as the plants try to make up for the loss of leaves, so maybe it'll just get really full of beans up there where the stupid dear can't reach. It doesn't eat the vines, thankfully, so the plants are still alive.

I may have to buy some beans if I want to have enough canned for the year. I had really hoped not to have that happen, but I want to can 104 jars. I should have been able to with what I planted. I sure wish I could put that deer in my freezer to make up for what it has stolen from me. I am just glad they don't like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Maybe someone will trade me beans for cucumbers.

My knee was so bad today I didn't do anything but stay in bed and keep it elevated. I was pretty wiped out from snapping beans and canning them yesterday anyway. It doesn't seem like it should, but when when you've got two autoimmune diseases, it takes its tole on your body. Tomorrow is payday and shopping day, so I am glad I took the day to rest. I think I will have to use the ride on carts, though. I try not to unless I absolutely have to, but I'm not sure my knee can handle one store, even with the shopping cart for support.

I'll be through my antibiotics by Monday and they should let me come in for an in person visit on Tuesday at that point. If I can just get the fluid drained and maybe a cortisone shot I think I can manage. Unless I did tear something. If it gets any worse over the weekend, I'll just go to the hospital. Our out of pocket max is met, so it won't cost us anything to do that.

We've gained over $500 in the stock market in six days. It's been a crazy week.

Bits and Pieces

August 28th, 2020 at 01:38 am

As of today, I have lost 10 pounds on my diet bet. I have 13 days until weigh in and need to lose 3.7 more pounds. I think I am going to make it. I can see a big difference already and my knees certainly feel better.

We picked green beans, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers. I filled two plastic grocery sacks with green beans, 1 with cucumbers, got 10 tomatoes and two patty pans. I also harvested my first jalapeno, so I will be making pico de gallo this week. I will be spending a couple of hours snapping beans tonight so that I can can them tomorrow. I may have enough to do two canner loads.

It looks like DS is going to need a new mattress. That'll be around $900 I wasn't expecting to spend. We won't be buying bamboo mattresses again. It made it 3 years when it should have been five. DS has a huge wallow in the middle of it. We are looking into a Purple mattress.

We have just about got everything arranged so we can purchase a handicapped ramp for the back porch. It will make life so much easier for my knees and hips to not have to deal with stairs, and also for DD who has mobility issues due to hip dysplasia.

My poor mother got into an unexpected wasp's nest today. She got stung twice in the back of the head, once on the ear, once on the tip of the nose, and twice on the wrist. We gave her benadryl and got the one stinger out that was in. She used to do bee venom therapy on purpose, so she's pretty well immune to any allergic reactions, but we are watching her just in case.

We found out yesterday that one of her arteries, I believe it was one in her neck, is 95 percent calcified. But the ones around her heart are fine. Now that she's had the test we are waiting for her doctor's appointment to see what is to be done about it. She's probably going to have to have a procedure and change her diet. Good luck with that. At 80 I don't see her changing her diet.

Garden Produce is Coming out my Ears

August 19th, 2020 at 02:14 am

It's been a rough week because I twisted something in my knee, the knee formerly known as the good knee, and it swelled up with a ton of fluid which made it hard to walk. I've been icing it and finally took some water pills to help with the excess fluid and the pain has eased up a little. I hope I didn't tear anything. If it is still bugging me next week I will go to the doctor. My doctor isn't in this week. It's finally easier to walk today and I was able to get out to the garden.

The weeds are ridiculous, but I was able to get some of them pulled and I got my first green bean harvest. It filled up a dishwashing basin that is 3 gallons. I think that is enough for a canner load and there is enough out there for another one in probably two days, maybe one.

I've also harvested 60 odd cucumbers so I need to get to pickling. I picked up some dill and garlic so I can do that tonight. I think I will get at least one canner load of pickles and do some refrigerator pickles as well. I'll can the green beans tomorrow. If I have the energy, though, I will snap them tonight. That will make tomorrow go much easier.

These cucumbers are amazing. They are so sweet they taste almost like melon. Which makes sense since botanically they are pretty closely related. It is nice to be noshing down on a cucumber every day. I love this time of year.

I also have some red tomatoes. Just two, but one is not far behind it. I can wait to pick them and eat them. I'll probably make a nice pico de gallo with them. I like that better than salsa. I just need to pick up some cilantro since mine has flowered and will soon go to seed.

The strawberries look like they need another picking and I've got to harvest herbs and tea flowers and dry them. I can't believe how much the garden exploded in just a week.

It looks like the potatoes I planted first are starting to die back. Maybe in another week or two I will be able to start digging up potatoes. I hope we get a lot out of it. I plan on canning most of them since I don't know if any of them are keeping potatoes. I waited too long to get seed potatoes and had to buy and sprout organic ones from Trader Joe's. I have no way of knowing if they are determinate or indeterminate, either. Next year I will be better prepared. I hope.

I am thinking about getting an electric weed eater, the kind that plugs in. We have battery operated ones, but the battery pack makes it too heavy for me to operate with my arthritis. This is also my problem with gas powered ones. Plus those ones are too long for me. I want to get a shorter one with a cord. I always hated dealing with a cord when we had one in the past, but it was so lightweight and it was short so fit my arm length better. That one is long gone, but they don't cost too much and since my husband and son don't get around to it when I need it done, it might be the best option. I have enough in my allowance envelope, even after buying a new laptop. I had been saving for almost a year.

Oh, yeah, I got a new computer! It was $600 plus tax. It has a DVD player in it, which is pretty hard to find anymore. It is not touch screen, which takes some getting used to, but I really like it. My old one is still going, but the DVD player has been broken for almost two years and the speakers don't work well, so I had to use regular speakers.

I figure I will continue to use that one for writing and for video editing because it has the software and I will use this one for everything else, which is basically watching videos and movies, and doing research. I couldn't justify a big expensive computer like my last one was if that was all I was going to use it for even if I had enough money to buy one.

We are still eating out too much. It is hard to cook when I am in pain. I need to try to push through and do it, but I just have no motivation.

New Diet Goals, Motivations, and End of Life Planning

August 11th, 2020 at 11:26 pm

DH and I decided to sign up for a dietbet. We've gotten so far off track and I am now at a higher weight than I have ever been in my life. I don't know if he is or not, but it looks like he is. I am ruining my knees at this weight and am in constant pain. So the dietbet we joined was $35, so that is $70 out. It starts on the 13th and is a 4 week kickstarter. The goal is to lose 4% of your body weight in that amount of time. So that is my goal. I know sometimes people on here do one, so if you want to join the same one as me the invite is here:

Now that my focus does not have to be on paying down debt anymore, I do think this is an area where I need to target my focus. I need to get my motivation going again and I think that if I start being successful at weight loss again I will also want to work towards being more successful at working towards saving goals.

Right now I need something strong to focus on. Mom isn't doing too well healthwise right now. It's to do with her arteries and her heart. She does not want me to tell my sisters. She had a talk with us last night about what we want to be passed on to us. My answer is simple, keep living 20 more years. Then after that the knives and the canning equipment, and some of the paintings I gave her. She has already given me the Christmas ornaments (most of which I gave her over the years) and told me to take them to storage so my middle sister doesn't try to steal them. She already said she wanted them and my mom said no, they were mine since I gave them to her, but that sister can be persistent. She has long since given me Grandma's bowls and china.

Mom is going to get her will done up. She's kind of annoyed with my sisters, though. She is insisting on there being no funeral and the cremation is already set up and paid for. Her figuring on the funeral is that no one came and saw her while she was alive, they don't need to see her when she is dead. My figuring is that I have been here while she is alive, so if those are her wishes, so be it. I know my sisters might be mad at me, but if they wanted input they could have been here helping all along. And if they want a funeral than they can put it together and pay for it. Mom wants me to dispose of her ashes.

I think we need to revisit what is going to go on with the house, though. I need to make sure we can continue to live here as long as we want after she dies. She has always said we could and that my sisters won't be allowed to force a sale, but I need to make sure that gets in the will. Although the way my sisters have been acting all these years, I'll be surprised if they even end up in the will at all. It is sad when they only see her when they want something from her. It is also frustrating because they never come give me a break despite knowing I have these autoimmune diseases.

Yesterday was DD's 24th birthday. We made a gluten free chocolate cake. It was from Bob's Red Mill and it was very good. It tasted just like regular cake, maybe better. It doesn't rise as high, but it is not dense at all. I made homemade vanilla buttercream icing. It was way past the level of bakery icing in my opinion. The trick is to whip the heck out of it at every level.

We also did a barbecue with steelhead trout, corn on the cob, and zucchini and ate dinner outside. It was good birthday dinner for her and she picked everything that she wanted.

I need to get on top of the garden again. I need to go harvest a bunch of cucumbers and berries. It has finally cooled off enough, but it has been hard since my knees are both swollen and DS has been sick. He's feeling better today, though.

Financial Housekeeping

July 29th, 2020 at 08:59 pm

I finally sat down and balanced the checking account of my Medical Fund. I quit doing it back in October and then it started to become this insurmountable thing that I just didn't want to deal with. At least that is the way it seemed. It took me all of an hour to do it. Sometimes I think we build these things up in our heads to the size of mountains, when it is really just a foothill. Everything balanced out and I didn't have to hunt down any transpositions or subtraction or addition errors. I love it when it is easy.

After that I set up the August budget. If we can keep the eating out under control, things should be back on track. I will still be adding to the Medical Fund, so the EF will not grow as quickly as I would like, but without the MF we would just be raiding the EF constantly. Makes more sense to just put it there in the first place.

I finally got out of my mother the other day that Dad wanted to leave us daughters an inheritance, so she has it in her head that she has to do that. I told her flat out that I don't care about that, she needs to use her money on herself. Dad wouldn't want the end of her life to be so miserable. I mean, sure, if there is anything left, that's fine, but she is not to even let it enter her head that she shouldn't make her own life more comfortable.

We may be looking at a move to Montana in the future and she just may sell the house and move with us if we do. She knows that she can't live alone now, and neither of my sisters are willing to deal with it. She would like us to get a big enough property that she can put a single wide manufactured home somewhere on our lot. We are planning on rural 10 acres if it gets to that point, so that would not be a problem.

Her money is all tied up in the house now, but if she just bought a little house she would have a lot of money available. Her final years would be so much better. Then that house would belong to us after she dies, because we have cared for her all these years with no help from my sisters, though I would allow either of my sisters to live there if they wanted to up and move. I don't think they would since their kids are all here, though.

I don't particularly like the idea of transferring to Montana down the road, but at the same time I don't like what my state is becoming, especially in the Seattle area. If this violence and lawlessness becomes too much worse or comes closer, I'm prepared to leave the state once we can afford it. I hate cold, snowy winters, and it'll be hard to not be near the ocean, but Montana is beautiful, less populated, less political, and has a lower cost of living, and so I'd cope. It would be a few years down the road, anyway.

Payday Report for 7/24/20

July 24th, 2020 at 11:05 pm

My Google AdSense Payment hit this week so I combined that with DH's pay and upped the tithe accordingly. I also had some money left in the checking account. No money went into the EF this time as we replaced some items and upgraded others that I was holding off on when we were still in debt and DH needed new boots.

We also got take out more than we should have as I tripped over a floor fan and banged myself into the bedroom door and then as I stumbled forward got my other side on the door jamb. Not fun. I am doing better today, but the last week was really rough. I am still pretty stiff and sore when I wake up, but at least I can dress myself again and walk around without my cane.

I did not spend all of the grocery money from last payday, though, so that went into a new fund, the Freezer Fund. So that envelope was started with $179. I want to get a good freezer, not from Lowe's or Home Depot, so we will have to go to the actual appliance store and price what I want, which is a freezer with a temperature display on the outside and that beeps if the door is open too long. Frost free would be nice as well.

Here's how the paycheck broke down today.

$328.70 Tithe
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__75.00 Household Envelope
_500.00 Medical Fund
1608.60 Citi
__71.99 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
_100.00 Spending Money Adults
_120.00 Allowances Kids
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
3364.75 Total Money Out