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I Didn't Think I'd Be Able to Ever Move Again

May 19th, 2022 at 01:06 am

Last night was rough.  I did a lot of new exercises at physical therapy and even though it was in the pool it totally kicked my butt.  45 minutes of non-stop exercise was only possible with the decreased gravity.  By the time I got home everything hurt so bad.  I made it halfway to the house before I had to sit down in the chair at the bottom of the ramp and put the bag down.  It was so heavy with a wet towel and suit in there.  And I forgot my phone so I couldn't call DH to come out and get me.  So I sat there about ten minutes until I could go into the house and send DH out for my bag.  That's how weak I was.

I wasn't able to move my arms enough to make dinner.  They just felt like lead.  It felt like a full on fibro flare with the RA kicking in just for fun.  So we got Mexican.  I had a single tostada de ceviche.  They make it with tiger shrimp and it is really good with lots of tomatoes and onions.  And then I had a rectangle from a chicken quesadilla.  I also got 1 beef enchilada with rice, but I was too exhausted to eat it, so it went in the fridge for today.  I figured I would be able to eat it all since I hadn't eaten all day (yes, bad, I know).  And the rest of the family only ate 1 triangle each of the quesadilla, so there are still two left which I will probably have for lunch tomorrow.  We spent $80 for the four of us.

I took a hot shower after dinner and that helped, but DH had to come wash my hair since I wasn't able to lift my arms above my head.  I still had a good bit of pain going on so I took half a hydrocodone and it knocked me out and when I woke up I felt a lot better.  I can still feel some soreness, but it is just muscle soreness and not fibro.  It hurts to raise my hands above my head, but I can.

The hands still hurt, but they always do after a lot of work.  And not near as much as yesterday as I am typing fairly easily.  I will probably have to avoid that exercise in the future due to how hard it was on my hands.  It was using a mini-kickboard, holding it upright underwater, and pulling it towards me and pushing it away.  It builds the core, but so do a lot of other things, so we'll figure something out.  I have PT again on Friday so we can talk about it then.

I am able to make dinner tonight so we have steaks thawing.  I am going to cook the steaks rare and have green beans, and French fries.  It's a fairly simple dinner.  If my hands were better I'd be making fried potatoes, but French fries will have to do.  I have been making a lot more meals, but yesterday just threw me for a loop.  I will be making a crockpot meal on Friday so that I won't have to worry about making dinner when I get back from PT, it will just be there and ready.  We have beef ribs which work really well with low and slow cooking, so I will just throw them in there with some potatoes and sweet potatoes and then all that will need to be done when I get home is micro-steam a bag of broccoli.

DS and I went out to "shop" the freezer and brought in some steaks and roasts, Canadian bacon, and a pack of hotdogs.  I only had 16 pounds of butter, so I need to do a major stock up.  Last year I bought 60 pounds of butter and 8 of those in there were bought recently, so we went through a pound of butter a week, so I guess I planned pretty well.  I like spring and summer butter when the cows are on green grass and not hay.  I get grass fed butter and there is a world of difference between that and conventional, but also between summer and winter butter.

DS and I need to do an inventory of what is out there and of what is in the mini-chest freezer.  It is easy to see what is in the upright.  I need to see what we need to eat through and how much space we will have in the house and how much we will have in the garage.  I know some of what is in there is crab bait chicken and turkey breast and that will be out of there as soon as the dungeness season starts.  They have freezer burn, so this is a great way of not wasting the meat.  It'll get us through the season and it sure beats buying crab bait, especially at today's prices.

I had regular therapy today and we talked about how I don't like change and how I want to cut my hair and I've wanted to cut it since before the pandemic and things have been open and without masks for quite some time, but I don't do it.  Part of it was my salon went out of business, but something else was affecting me and I knew it.  So she asked if anything from my childhood might be affecting me and I realized that Mom made me get pixie cuts when I was a kid, because she didn't want to deal with the work of longer hair.  I wasn't allowed to choose my own hair cut until I was in the third grade and then I grew it long.

And even though I have had it short at various times in my life it was because I wanted to.  Now it is below my waist and full of damage and i need to get it cut.  And you know what?  My mom keeps saying that I need to get it cut.   Constantly.  And I haven't, because I still resent her very much for forcing me to have a style of hair that I hated for so many years.  Or that one time she made me get a perm.

So, now that I realize the only reason I am not doing it is to spite her, I think I can finally get past this and cut my hair to a couple inches below my shoulders and be done with it.  I've found a salon after much looking, so all I need to do is call tomorrow and schedule an appointment.

It's good for me to be able to realize what this is and get through it.  This is not the only aspect of my life that Mom affects this way, unfortunately.  And all of it relates back to having no bodily auntonomy when I was younger.  So steps were taken today to help me realize this and I feel a lot lighter.

Alright, well I better get to making dinner now that the steaks have sat out for an hour and are at room temp.  Then after dinner I will work in the garden a little.  Instead of getting a whole load of dirt, I've realized that we have a bunch of totes that we were growing in for the last two years that have dirt in them.  I weeded several of them yesterday and I managed to screen all the dirt in one to pull out roots and other things, like the peanuts our crazy squirrel couple bury all over the place.  Two of the peanuts have roots on them, so I put them in a large pot and we will see what becomes of them.

Last year there was one that grew and actually formed some peanuts.  Of course, I didn't know what it was until I'd pulled it out and it didn't take to being replanted and died.  I didn't even know peanuts could grow here, but apparently they can.  And these one's hadn't formed any other nuts on them so they have a better chance.  I'll have to look up their needs to see if they need special care and make sure I planted them at the right depth.

Okay, really going now.

 

 

 

Bits and Bobs

March 10th, 2022 at 12:31 am

I am almost well enough to get my third booster shot now.  Actually I can't tell if I am still sick or if it is just allergies starting, because there has been pollen on my windshield for the past several days.  I still feel really tired, but I'm functional.  I have started taking my more serious antihistimine, though.

The last few days have been beautiful and in the 50's.  There is still a chilly wind, though.  It is nice even if it still isn't outdoors weather.  I'm not sure what is causing all the pollen.  The nearest daffodils are 4 blocks away and the forsythia haven't started yet.  That basically leaves crocus and no one in the neighborhood but us has them and there are only a dozen blooming.  Not enough to count for the pollen dump.

It looks like the guy who is going to do the mold abatement in the guys' bathroom and repaint it will start next week.  He's also going to do the alcove of the back door area and the room Mom watches tv in that also houses my piano.

I've been holding steady on my weight because I haven't been focused on weight loss while sick.  I also haven't been taking my cinzia, because I am not supposed to while ill.  I think I can restart it on the weekend.  I haven't really noticed any increased rheumatoid symptoms getting worse, but that may be because the weather is warming up.

I looked at all the grocery ads today and made up my shopping list.  I haven't been inside a grocery store in a long time.  DH has been doing the shopping, picking up little things here and there.  But I need to do a bigger shop.  Fred Meyer had the best ads this week, so that will be my main shop, but I think I will also go to Winco.  They never have ads, but they always have the best produce and best produce prices.  We've made it through all the potatoes we grew that weren't sprouted and it's the only place I know where I can get 20 lb bags of potatoes.  We're lucky if we can find anything above 5 lbs anymore.  Since potatoes are pretty much a staple of our diet I just want to buy the one big bag at a time.

We'll see how far my grocery dollars will stretch.  I have been debating about raising my grocery budget by $100 every 2 weeks, but first I want to see if it is necessary.  It'll really depend on the cost of chicken.  Which I'll likely get at Winco, because they always have the cheapest chicken prices.  They also have the turkey chorizo we like.  Since chicken doesn't go on sale anymore, that's where I need to go.  I don't need to buy pork except for a small ham.  I don't need to buy beef or lamb.  If I can find dark turkey parts (necks, wings, backs) either place for cheap, I'll buy those.  They make the best broth.  I might even go for chicken feet if I find them, because that is so much collagen for bone broth.

I have found the tomato strainer I want to buy and also the honey strainer.  I won't use the honey strainer for honey, but it will help in the tomato sauce making department as well as in the bone broth making process, since it is fine enough to catch all the spices that I use in making it instead of having to use cheese cloth, which is harder to clean.

I have been debating on buying a 25 pound bag of hard red wheat berries.  I have my own flour mill, and the wheat is from my state and non-gmo.  This is the type of wheat berry that will make whole wheat flour.  I might get a bag of hard white wheat, too, which is for white flour.  Soft white wheat, if anyone cares, is for making pastry flour.  Wheat berries last a lot longer than flour and these ones are sproutable, so if we wanted to grow it (which I don't) we could.

It's a little $2.24 a pound.  1 cup of wheat berries equals to cups of flour, so it would be like $1.12 a pound for flour.  Which you cannot get anymore.  Not to mention, we haven't been able to find whole wheat flour in months.  So 50 lbs of flour per bag without taking up the room of 50 lbs of flour.  I would have to figure out how to store it, though.  I haven't been able to find food grade 5 gallon buckets in about a year.  But I have found 1/2 gallon and gallon jars, so maybe I can store it in those.

I won't order until I know DH will be back to bring it in the house.  DS has tweaked his back getting my mom up off the floor yesterday.  Just what he needed, since he tweaked his back about six weeks ago.  Mom's okay, but this is the second time in a week she has fallen.  I'm trying to get her to go to the doctor, but she's refusing.  I may have to pull out my medical power of attorney documents and force the issue if it keeps happening.  We'll see.

Well, it's time to make dinner, so that wraps this up.

 

A lot of This, Some of That

March 2nd, 2022 at 01:10 am

I woke up feeling better today.  I slept in until 11:30 instead of 3:00 p.m. and was far less stuffy.  My voice still is scratchy when I talk, but my throat doesn't hurt.  Let's hope it's not a false spring situation where everything is starting to bud and then boom snow, like last week.  That's how this illness has been.  I know it is technically still winter, but you get my point.  But I got up, drank my water, and did my physical therapy exercises, plus some arm exercises I do to strengthen my shoulders.  It only takes 15 minutes, but when I am well I do them twice a day, so I get 30 minutes of exercise a day.  As I improve, I can start doing them 3 times per day.

After that I made lunch.  And not just soup.  I made stir-fry, which involves chopping things.  I don't remember the last time I made real food not out of a can and I didn't even do much of that the last 6 weeks.  DH did a little cooking, usually spaghetti, but mostly it was take out.  And I could really feel how detrimental that was to my body.  Not to mention how detrimental this has been to our bank account.  I mean, if it wasn't for the overtime we wouldn't be breaking even.  When I think where that money could have gone...well, I try not to, because that dog has already bitten someone.

After this recent bout of illness I am determined to change my health through proper nutrition and whatever exercise I can do.  I can't continue on this way with my weight.  I am literally killing my body.  My nutritionist has said to cut out a lot of carbs, but fat from dairy, tallow, lard, schmaltz, duck fat, goose fat, or healthy oils is fine. So when we do get our pig, I will get and render the leaf lard.  I'm going to make some ghee to make the butter shelf stable.  My nutritionist says that the government did the USA a world of hurt with it's old dietary recommendations for diabetics, people with heart disease, and extreme obesity.  That's why so few people actually got better on those diets and why so much more medical intervention was required.  Maybe 10% improved with a low fat diet.  I've believed that for a long time.

So I am cutting out sugar except on birthdays or holidays and replacing it with fruit, but only one serving of fruit a day.  And lots of vegetables and good quality protein.  If I have a starch it'll be a potato, sweet potato, winter squash, nuts, rice, or brown rice pasta.  I'm not the biggest fan of rice, but the family does like it.  Brown rice pasta is good, though and we have a lot of it to get through before I buy regular pasta again, if I can even find any.  The store shelves have been pretty bare of spaghetti or anything other than a few boxes of elbow macaroni, according to DH.  Pasta's not an end all for my family, though, and I can make noodles from scratch if I feel up to it.

I think I will try to avoid flour for a couple of weeks until the ball is firmly rolling and may then have it once a week in place of a starch, mostly so I can still have a slice of pizza here and there.  Depends on how good I feel.  I make a good gluten free pizza, though.  Either way, I pile on the vegetables and meat and cheese on my pizza anyway, and roll it quite thin, so it is pretty balanced, and add a salad.  In the summer I might allow corn, but it is extremely sweet and a grain so I'd have to be careful.  I will allow corn tortillas, but limited to once a week or less.

I would also like to eat more seafood.  We still have quite a bit of salmon and bags of spot prawns in the freezer that I need to get through before those seasons start up again and we'll have new stuff to put away.  DH has talked about maybe going for mussels, clams, and oysters this year and and also get the add on for gathering seaweed.  Seaweed is great in the garden when you are building new beds or for your compost heaps and is easy to harvest after a high tide as there is lots of dead stuff.  It doesn't have to be alive like for eating, it can just be what washes ashore.  He'll need to lose some weight, though, to be agile enough to do much of that. 

One day it would be fun to go for geoducks, (prounounced gooey ducks for non-coastal Washington and Oregon people), which I believe is the biggest of the clams in the world.  We'd have to buy a clam gun, though.  Which isn't an actual gun, but you can look that up if you are interested in knowing what it is.  It would be useful for other clams, too, but I'd have to look up the regulations on that.  It might be allowed only for geoducks.  My son would have to do the actual getting down in the sound and sticking your arm down the hole the clam gun leaves, but he says it sounds like fun.

I've been reading and thinking about growing my own peppercorns.  The same plant produces white, black, pink, green, and red peppers.  It depends on the level of maturity of the peppercorns.  It can be grown indoors, so I am thinking of trying it in a pot this summer that can be brought in when fall starts.  That may have to wait until next year.  The next time DH goes out fishing or prawning, I will have him bring back a couple of gallons of salt water as I want to try making salt, too.  As many spices and herbs as I can grow or forage, is what I think.  Has the salt shortage hit your grocery stores yet?  I have a good amount in my preps, but I want to know I can make it.  My food storage may be great, but I can't think how miserable it would be without herbs and spices to season it with. 

I have decided the family is going to eat like me or fend for themselves.  We all need to lose weight and this is how it is going to be.  I'm sick of their bad food habits dragging me down every time I try to get my diet under control.  I won't buy junk.  My son is on board.  The others are paying it lip service.  We will see.  I don't want to fail this time.  I can't afford to anymore.

Today was a beautiful day and 55 degrees F.  I did take a short walk out to the garage and back.  It doesn't sound like much, but it's a start.  Maybe tomorrow I can do to the end of the driveway and back, weather permitting.  That's even longer.  I know that sounds sad, but for someone with two deviated discs in her lower spine, it's a lot of progress.  And I'm back to no cane.  So yay, me.

Also, I noticed the garlic was up about 3 inches and last week's snow didn't seem to do it much harm.  It was only here a day, though.  It looks like every single bulb I planted came up, so kudos to Fedco (for the Music garlic) and the grocery store (for the elephant garlic).  There are only a couple of weeds in the raised beds, which I will pull next time I go outside.  I didn't want to get my hands dirty and my garden gloves and shovel were on the porch.

I need to think up a meal plan with this new diet.  Good, healthy, tasty food that doesn't make us feel like we are giving anything up.  Tonight's dinner, at least, I know.  Rib steak, yellow potatoes, and green beans.

 

Weather, Catching the Flu, and Losing Weight

January 5th, 2022 at 12:02 am

The snow has finally melted, except for chunks here and there from the snow plows.  It's nice to see the green world again, but it's supposed to start sleeting tonight and turn to snow in the wee hours and snow all day tomorrow, then sleet for two days, then one sunny day and then rain for two days.  I don't mind the rain, it's the snow and the extreme cold I don't like.  Hopefully this will mean winter is over until February, where if we are going to get hit hard again, it will be then, based on previous years.

Hopefully we can start taking the Christmas lights down on the sunny day.  I don't mind the lawn ones staying a while longer, but I'd like to get the ones off the house itself before the next big windstorm hits.  And maybe the deck, too.  They clack.  Normally we'd have taken them down on the weekend that just passed, but not with 16 inches of snow on the ground.

I have to feel well enough to or DH will have to do it by himself, since I got slammed by something a few days ago and so did the kids.  DH had the sniffles for a few days and that was it, but not me.  Today is the first day I felt well enough to sit up for more than long enough to eat, I was so dizzy.  I think I've slept more than I have since I had Covid.  The one day I slept for 20 hours, not straight, but still.  I think it is flu, though.  I've had Covid twice and this was not it.  I've had the flu enough to know when it is flu and when it is a cold.  So I guess I caught whichever flu strain was not in the shot.

Speaking of eating, I've mostly been just eating soup.  Mostly plain egg flower soup with no vegetables in it, which is just taking my chicken broth and whipping up some eggs and then slowly pouring the eggs into the soup while stirring quickly to create ribbons.  DH had to do it, though.  I was too weak.  That way I get some protein in it and some calories.  Not having carbs for two days dropped my weight substantially and I have now lost 15 pounds.  Some may come back when I start eating carbs again, which will be today, but it was still nice to see it on the scale even if it goes back up a bit from getting off the too sick to eat diet.  I had to get off and get back on the scale again twice, just to be sure it wasn't the scale being weird.  I will have vegetables and beef in my soup today.  I haven't eaten yet, because I haven't been up long, but I will eat twice today.  I've been pushing the water pretty hard throughout this thing, sick or well.

My brain is craving spring rolls, but I am too tired to make them.  I have all of the ingredients.  I don't know if the eat from the pantry challenge is something I succeed at this year.  DH leaves on Sunday and won't be back until the following Saturday and if I am still sick or weak it's going to be pretty hard for me to pull meals together.  I have four days and then I will either have to cook or figure something else out.  It's easy to do challenges when you are well.  I will try my best, though.

  

More Snow

December 30th, 2021 at 11:02 pm

I wish they would fix the time stamps to be accurate to the poster's location.  They've been off for two years and it is driving me crazy.  I'd like my posts to reflect the actual day and time of my post.

Anyway, we had more snow almost a half an hour after my last post and it was about 2 inches, and then 1 inch later that night, and last night it started snowing around 11:30 p.m. and my husband said it was still snowing at 8 a.m. when he started work.  It's not now, but it dumped another 8 inches.  Some of it is melting now because it is bright and sunny and I can see the icicles dripping, but that is just going to mean ice.

I'm glad we made it to the store when we did, even if the only root veggies we could get were sweet potatoes.  The parsnips were smaller than carrots and the turnips were tiny.  I was hoping to get out today to get cheese at Winco and see if they had them there.  So I guess we'll have to make do with the two turnips we have and the two giant parsnips.  We have carrots and we have a 65 pounds left of the potatoes we grew, so that's plenty.  I can stretch the parsnips by cutting them in half, so can get four meals out of them.  We never have them by themselves, but mixed with other veggies.  If it melts enough tomorrow we'll go, but otherwise no grocery shopping until February 1st, except for greens, milk, and eggs.

I've lost 6.8 pounds in the last two days.  The first day I wasn't on my diet yet, I'd just dropped down from 4 cans of soda a day to one.  I got back on them when Thanksgiving happened, and they are so addictive.  But then next day I was on my diet so most of the weight dropped of by this morning.  I really hope I can do it this time.

My whole family said they would try with me, but both my husband and son ate a ton of pancakes this morning and then DH had a sandwich for lunch.  That is not cutting back on carbs and that is not trying.  I guess I have to do this on my own again, which kind of sucks, but I can't let it derail me like it always does to have no support.  I know my daughter would try if the other two would, but if they don't she won't.  Even if she's the one who needs to the most for health reasons.  Oh, well.  The only person I can control is myself, so that is what I must do.

I think I'll spend the day looking at the two seed catalogs that came the day after Christmas.  That always makes me happy.  Although I won't be buying seeds this year unless it is one or two items.  I bought plenty last year.  I just hope the garden is big enough this year that I can plant everything I want to plant.

True date:  12/30/2021  True time:  3:02 p.m. 

What a Busy Week

December 5th, 2021 at 01:07 am

There were appointments every day this week and man was it exhausting.  I had two physical therapy sessions, one regular therapy session, one doctor's appointment for me, and one doctor's appointment for DD, who has bronchitis and a negative Covid test.  I've been put on prednisone for 10 days to try to help with some of the inflammation I've been having due to the rheumatoid arthritis acting up so much in this cold weather swing, so I am feeling semi-decent, even if I do look like a puffer fish.

Last night DH and I to Costco and did a big shop.  I used the ride on cart and we filled that basket, plus the basket of another shopping cart.  I haven't been to Costco in months.  We spent all but $50 of the grocery budget in one go, but I have lots of fruits and vegetables, some carne asada and two types of raviolis.  And 4 cases of PH water, which was nearly $50 of the cost. 

And 2 cases of Charmin.  It's the first time they've had Charmin in a couple of months according the cashier.  They had a limit of 5, though we only got 2.  We might go back for more later.  I like to keep 5 cases in the house during cold and flu season and we were down to one.  Charmin is the only TP we can use that doesn't have some harsh agent in it that causes a rash.  Well, that and MD but we can't find that anywhere for the last few years.  They might not make it anymore.

I was really excited to find some uncured paleo bacon (no sugar) and some uncured paleo Candian bacon.  And also a turkey and a roast beef deli meat pack with no sugar.  I am going to restart my diet on Monday.  I am not doing paleo, I just like to keep my high carb intake down to one meal a day, no more than 60 grams, and the other meals to be no sugar with lots of low carb vegetables.  I got a couple of salad kits, a Ceasar (won't eat the dressing or croutons, but others will) and a chopped Meditarrean salad mix that had a lot of crunchy veggies in it like cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots, and non-romaine lettuce.  So I will mix those together.  I love salad and I make a simple dressing that has very low carbs, but tastes good.  I also stocked up a little on Kerrygold butter both salted and unsalted.

After that we headed out to storage with the truck to start bringing in our outdoor Christmas decorations.  The elk takes up almost the whole bed of the truck, but we were able to put the flat large ornament under it and tuck some other small things around it.  We had the bottled water back there, so there wasn't a ton of extra room.  Tonight we will be going back out to bring in the lamp post, the icicle lights, all the the other things like the star, the angel, the Cardnial, the Santa face, and the candy canes.  Plus the extension cords.

After we got home with the elk and put the groceries away and rested, we headed out to Lowe's.  We picked up a large room space heater for us and another one for Mom.  It has made a tremendous difference and I am no longer worried about the pipes freezing.  We heard from the furnace people and it might actually be two more weeks.

We picked up some more lights while there and got a new standee yard decoration.  This was a bear dressed in a band uniform sitting on a drum, so we call him a little drummer bear.  I try to buy one standee a year.  And we bought new lights for the bushes, because the solar ones just did not work well last winter.  Too much bad weather and too little sunshine.  We forgot to buy clips for the gutters though so we will go get those tonight when we go back out to storage.  Then hopefully tomorrow we can get the decorations up.  It's supposed to snow on Monday, so I'd like that done first.

At some point this weekend I'd like to go look for a freezer, too, now that the money has been refunded to us.  So thankfully that whole freezer saga is done.  Only took them 5 months.  If we can at least get one ordered that would be nice.

Oh, and we bought an electric blanket for DH since his quit working.  It should be here from Amazon on the 6th.

It has been spendy, but everything was either budgeted for or was saved up for, so it's all good.

I hope DH gets a decent Christmas bonus this year.  It would be cool if we could dump some more money into the EF.  They generally give a cash bonus and a 401K bonus.  Or you can choose to have the cash bonus go into your 401K, too, in which case the government doesn't get their greedy little paws on a huge chunk of the bonus (bonuses are taxed higher).  Last year the take home bonus was around $500, I think, but the year before it was $1500.  They supposedly did a lot better this year than last, so I am hopeful.

They are supposed to give out raises at the end of the year, too.  Not everyone is getting one, but it was strongly implied at DH's performance review that he would be.  I don't think any raise could keep up with runaway inflation right now, but anything would help.  It's not like DH doesn't have a good income, but when you put 15% into retirement and tithe 10%, that only leaves you with 75% to live on and that does make it tight sometimes.  It is like how we were living when we were paying down debt for the most part.

I guess that is the trade off, though.  Sacrifice now, so we don't have to sacrifice when we are in retirement.  I guess it just feels super tight because we had to set aside most of the money MIL gave us for medical expenses instead of just being able to use it.  But DS needs braces and DH needs a crown and I need a new mouth guard because mine is starting to crack.  Mine will only cost $400 though.  The crown will be $1500 and the braces I don't know yet, but I've got $6000 set aside for that.  I hope it won't cost that much, but that is what we paid for DD, although her teeth were way worse.

We need to get DS separated from the grocer's union so he can go get a restaurant job.  Did  you know that if you take a non-union job after joining that union that they can sue you?  That sucks.  He does not want to go back to work at a grocery store.  All the fast food places are hiring and they are non-union.  The McDonalds nearby is over $15.69 an hour for regular shifts and $16.69 for overnight shifts.  He was making $17.79 at the grocery store, so that's not too big a cut.  Plus he won't have to go outside much.  He had to get the carts at the grocery store and was always getting soaked, even with the rain jacket.

If he can get a job there it would be ideal.  Either that or the DQ that is a block away from the McD's.  He needs to start earning money so that he can get a car and then start saving up for school to become an electrician.  But first he has to get his GED.  Now that he is properly medicated for ADHD and BiPolar, he's got a chance of focusing long enough to do that.  Although I think McD's also has a program for getting your high school diplomma so he might be able to do that, too.  I'd prefer that to the GED, but at this point I just want him to finish.

This and That

January 17th, 2021 at 06:07 am

My daughter came home from the hospital last night.  They got all of the tumor.  We have to wait a week or so for the biopsy results, but it did not appear to be cancerous.  She is doing well, eating soup and Welch's version of Jell-O, which has no artificial dyes in it.  She's a little high on the pain medicine, but that's kind of how she reacts to it.

I started physical therapy on Friday.  They can't do much with me because of how inflammed I am right now, but they started an electrical stimulation thing called a tens machine and did that over the L-4 and L-5 vertabrae on my back.  I think it made a small amount of difference, but it is early days.

The pantry challenge is going well.  We still have not gone to the grocery store yet.  I have only repeated one meal and that was because there were leftovers.  I have salmon and spot prawns thawing in the fridge, both of which my husband and son caught.  DD thinks those will be easy for her to eat.  Her jaw and throat are pretty sore from having a breathing tube in during surgery.  So easy to chew foods are on the agenda for a couple of days.  We have a lot of seafood in the freezer, but it is getting close to the time when it needs to be used up by.

I finally succeeded in finding some dye free, fragrance free shampoo and conditioner.  I am hoping they are good products.  I still can't find a body wash like that that doesn't use coconut oil.  We make do on the castile bar baby soap that is fragrance and dye free, but sometimes you just want a liquid body wash.

If that new stimulus Biden wants passes that will give you money for all dependents not just children, we will be getting quite a lot of money.  DH made a mistake when he was trying to figure out our taxes early.  Turns out we will owe somewhere in the $900 range, not the over $2000 he'd originally thought.

If so, and if this stimulus comes quickly I figure we'll open a spousal IRA for 2020, which may be enough to get rid of that tax bill, and see about getting a new ceiling in the tiny bathroom.  If it doesn't pass or we don't get it, then I guess we will just have to save up to fix it.  First off I will need to price everything, but I think DH and DS can do it themselves.

It should only require two pieces of the moisture resistant drywall and rental of a drywall lifter, and some tape, some mud, and some paint.  We have plastic sheeting to keep paint from dripping onto the floor, tub, sink, mirror, and shelves.  We saved everything our mattresses were wrapped in.

I got my first seed order today from Victory seeds.  I am really excited about starting to plan for the new garden.  We are completely redoing it with cinderblock raised beds that we will use mortar on to make a permanent structure.  The wooden beds just fall apart too quickly and I don't want to throw away anymore money on this.

I have another order coming from Fedco and I have to order a couple more things yet, but not much.  I am just waiting on one of the companies to put up its seeds for the year, which should be any day now.  It's just the type of broccoli and the type of lettuce I want.

Not too much going on here.  I have slowly been working my way through the novel I am reading and am about 80% done.  I can't read like I used to since the concussion a few years ago and because of the floaters in my eyes so I mostly take 3 to 4 weeks to read a large print novel these days.  I set my goal on Goodreads to 12 books read for the year.  I listen to a lot of audio stories and books, though, but I don't count that as actual reading.  I do read quite a bit online, but I have to put the magnification up pretty high.

I've now lost 13.4 pounds, but I gave in and ate gluten today, still within the confines of my diet.  It was breaded cod fish.  We will see how I feel tomorrow.  I don't react like my kids do, but it usually makes me feel bloated.  At least I made it halfway through the month.

 

Bits and Pieces

January 13th, 2021 at 06:26 am

The Eat from the Pantry Challenge has been going well.  We haven't bought anything at the grocery store since December.  I had a massive I don't know what to cook/I don't want to cook moment tonight because I am just exhausted, but my son stepped up and listed ideas and then helped me do everything but chop the onion to get dinner on the table.  He's been so good about that.  He really wants us to get that grass fed side of beef.  He's also been really encouraging when I want to eat gluten, by talking me out of it.  I'm going to hold out as long as I can before I buy some fresh produce and milk.  The challenge allows for that, just to keep any spending to a minimum.  We still have both.  I'll be baking gluten free bread tomorrow.

I've lost a total of 10.8 pounds since the start of my diet the day after Christmas.  I'm happy with that and I'm past the point of wanting to cheat on my diet.  My diet does allow for gluten, but my personal goal is to stay off it for the month, then possibly the year.  It'll be a step by step, moment by moment journey.  I hope I can hang with the diet for the whole year, even if I don't stay off gluten.  I'm usually pretty gung ho for a while, but then life happens.

I'd like to stay away from eating out this year, too.  I feel better after not having eaten take out at all this year.  I know if we have to travel to Seattle and back for medical reasons there will have to be a meal somewhere, but MIL says she will pay for all travel costs related to DD's medical stuff and that includes food and lodging.  She's also paying the Virginia Mason bill for surgery for us when it comes, too.  So that will be DD's deductible and her out of pocket max and then we won't have to pay for any medical stuff for DD for the rest of the year.

Things are doing better here.  My little grand niece has been home from the hospital for 2 days and is doing a lot better.  Still waiting on the test results, though.  My sister and her husband came for a visit today (they are the grandparents of my grand niece).  I stayed six feet away from both of them and talked for a little while.  They were just dropping off their son, who lives here, and then BIL has a doctor's appointment down this way on Thursday.

DD had her Covid test today and goes in for her liver tumor to be removed on Thursday.  I am not going down, just DH.  They won't let us in to see her at all and the last car trip I had to Seattle put me out of commission for weeks.  It's what led to the pulled muscle.  I can't just sit in the car for several hours and wait until the hotel room is ready.  It hurts too much.  And since I won't drive in Seattle traffic due to the lunatics (seriously, Orange County is sane compared to Seattle drivers), DH it is.  And she is honestly a Daddy's girl.

They are keeping her for 24 hours observation due to the secondary adrenal insufficiency, but it is a laproscopic surgery, unless something makes it not be, in which case it will become a  3 day stay.  I hope it is the former, because her anxiety levels will be very high not seeing one of us for 3 days.  She hasn't had a panic attack in a long time, they were mostly related to cortisol crashes, but this is the sort of thing that might bring one on.

I start physical therapy again on Friday.  I don't want to, because it didn't help last time and I am worse off now, but they won't do an MRI until I've done it.  I know there is something going on with my left hip that is beyond degenerative rheumatoid arthritis.  I think there might be a detached or torn ligament.  So I'll go, I'll do the exercises, and I will hope against hope that they will work.

I am working on getting the kitchen organized and more disability friendly.  We got some new shelves put up and the best part of that is I have the recycle bins at a level where I don't have to bend down to put stuff in them.  They are at belly-height for me, so I can just pull the bin out and put something in it.  Because of the damge to the L-4 and L-5 vertebrae, it was pretty hard to bend to the floor and they were under something so I couldn't just drop them straight down.  DD is pleased with that, too.  These are just our inside bins that we fill and then take out to dump in the bins that go curbside.  We recycle more than anyone else on our block.  We also only put out a garbage can every other week and every other house puts out one every week.  It cuts our bill significantly.

Well, that's it for tonight.

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.

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: http://dbet.me/lrobbins

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.

The Diet is Going Well and No Spend Days

January 19th, 2020 at 03:08 am

We haven't spent anything these last five days. When you can't easily get around town you don't tend to go out and purchase things. It's been a nice quiet weekend so far. The snow finally started melting. There are still patches of it, but you can also see patches of the ground and the road.

Of course with such a big snow melt, there is likely flooding in the county. There usually is. Hopefully it isn't too bad. We had about 10 inches in town so they probably had closer to a foot and a half. There are areas that often flood only ten miles from here. I'm glad I don't live in a flood prone area anymore.

My weight loss is going nicely. I have lost 10.4 pounds so far and this is day 6. I am doing a controlled carb intermittent fasting sort of thing. I have an 8 hour window within which I eat. I only eat two meals because I am not hungry enough to eat three when I control my carbs, but if I were to eat a third it would be protein only and within the window. At the first meal I eat only protein. At the second meal I divide my food into three equal parts. One part is protein, 1 part is low glycemic vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, radishes, cucumbers), and one part is a high glycemic vegetables (usually potatoes, onions, carrots, winter squash, or parsnips) or gluten free bread (in case I want pizza or a sandwich or flatbread) or rice. Rarely will it be fruit instead for the carb. If it is fruit it will be an apple or an orange. But I find the other fills me up better, so I've only had fruit once.

Too much fruit is a diet breaker for me, because basically it is just sugar in the body. I also make sure the carb meal is consumed within an hour. This has to do with insulin dumping and not getting that second insulin dump that happens about 1 hour and 15 minutes after starting to eat carbs if you are still eating them.

Two days a week I have a larger carb portion at that meal than usual. This helps me to stick to it better and not feel deprived. I am not so concerned with calories, just equivalencies, but the calories are generally between 1500 to 1700. This is the diet I was on in the past where I lost 70 pounds, so I know it works.

I have also increased my physical activity. I am now doing all the arm exercises with the resistance band from physical therapy again and not just most of the leg ones. I have two more leg ones I can add in when my ankle stops hurting. DH rubbed it last night and it is much better, but still not quite right. I think it might be out of alignment and need an adjustment by the chiropractor. I found some exercises I can do for my ankles with the resistance band, so will try to do those if they don't hurt too much.

I've also added just some simple ones I can do sitting down. Arm circles, waist twists, just reaching up for the ceiling, and punching forward. I still have to be careful with this because of my rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. The point is just to move my body as best I can. When it starts feeling easy I can add more reps. But slow and steady is the way to go with exercise for me.

Monster Mom Loan Payment and Rambling

November 30th, 2019 at 06:57 pm

I had expected to pay $800 this payday towards the Mom loan, but I ended up paying $1000. I had forgotten that since this was a 3 payday month that the last paycheck of the month would be bigger as they don't take any medical out of it. So that extra $200 went towards this loan instead. That means a total of $1500 was paid on the loan this month. By the end of December the loan will be down to 4 digits.

$11,500.00 Balance Forward
-_1,000.00 Payment Made
-------------------
$10,500.00 New Balance

I have rejiggered the budget again and think that as long as we keep our eating out spending under control we can continue to pay $1500 a month. I just have to keep telling myself that I'd rather be out of debt than to buy a pizza. It doesn't always work, but it works more often than not. I have all the ingredients for making pizza. I do not need to buy one from a restaurant.

Plus I have started back on a diet yesterday, and eating out always makes my weight go up, so that is another incentive to stay out of restaurants and cook at home. I would like to be under a certain weight by my 50th birthday mid-February. I think I can do it if I stick to no restaurant food.

I am thinking about doing a dietbet once I am a few days into eating better again, but I don't know. I am still doing my physical therapy exercises and need to get back to walking. The weather turned beautiful but cold again, so since it isn't raining, I need to start again. Just lacking a bit of motivation.

New Fitness Tracker and Physical Therapy Update

October 8th, 2019 at 01:39 am

I went ahead and used some of my allowance that I have been saving to buy a new fitbit. It cost $108.50 with tax. I ended up getting the white one since my son has a black one. It's easier to not get them mixed up if we accidentally leave them in the bathroom after a shower that way.

I really like it so far. I especially like that it tracks the heart rate since the doctor wants me tracking my heart rate since I've had some incidents of racing heart. If I can just look down at my wrist when that happens I can know immediately what is going on.

I also like that I can read my text messages on it or get buzzed when someone is calling me. I keep the volume on my phone turned off most of the time because the ringing can sometimes trigger a migraine. I've tried a ton of ring tones and there is just something about the pitch coming out of the phone that does it. I also keep it in my purse so I wouldn't feel it vibrating if I set it to that.

It's also waterproof so when I go to the pool I can keep it on. That's what I liked about my last one. I hope this one last longer. It is better constructed.

So far I have hit my steps every day since I got it. My steps aren't super high, though, since I am disabled. But I am doing more each day and have already been able to reset my step goals once.

We have finally started working on walking at physical therapy. For the first 8 weeks it was strengthening and stability exercises. At my session on Friday we started working on walking. Since I started using the proper walking technique I am doing so much better and able to walk further without a cane. My goal for this week was to walk to the end of the block and back, which is actually a typical block since our block is two blocks long.

Plus I got my new shoes and they are really nice. They cost $80, but they are 4E in width and for the first time in my life my feet don't feel jammed into the toe box. They also have a high front of the foot and Velcro(TM) fasteners which are easier on my arthritic hands.

When I get orthotics they will fit in them, too. I am hoping to be able to get them made this month. They cost $400, though, and insurance does not cover them at all. My PT, my Chiropractor, and my Podiatrist think it will make walking easier and help me to not have so much pain because I'll be in better alignment. I have been thinking about it for a couple of years now and am ready to get them.

I have a PT appointment tomorrow and I hope I will show a lot of improvement. I have been consistent with doing my exercises and I think it shows.

Keep On Keeping On

April 4th, 2019 at 11:51 pm

DH had to pick up some pure maple syrup at Costco last night, so that cost $11.59. That seems to have gone down a good bit since the last time we bought syrup. I think it was around $15 last time, so that was a nice surprise.

The last two days were kind of painful. I think it was the storm. I am sensitive to changes in barometric pressure. I swell up when rainstorms come in. I also get headaches. It's weird. But the sun is back out today and also last night was my second shot of Enbrel and my joints are feeling better again, except my left hip, which is out and my chiropractor is on vacation. He won't be back until the 10th.

It is possible that I may be someone who has to take two shots of Enbrel a week, but I imagine it is too soon to tell. But the joint flare could also have been the medicine wearing off. I don't know. It's too soon to tell on that as well. No nausea or vomiting with this second shot, but I took some Zantac last night to try to prevent it, and it seems like it did.

Tomorrow we have another rain storm coming in, so if my joints hurt again, then I'll assume it was the pressure and not the medicine wearing off, since I just took the shot.

I have been maintaining my weight loss, but have not been very good at losing anymore. I haven't really been trying this week, but I need to get my act together, because I still have a lot to lose. We are going to get our gym membership signed up for this weekend and I can get back in the pool again. I am going to take it easy and only walk in the pool to start, not try to swim laps or use the water weights. I need to build up my stamina. Then maybe after a week or so, I might take a class.

They have Aqua Zumba one day a week and water aerobics the rest of the week days and Saturday. I will start with Aqua Zumba as it is easier on the joints and more fun. I will have to get up earlier for the water aerobics if I decide to start that, but Aqua Zumba is at 10:30. They do have two night time water aerobics classes if I just can't get up early enough. But they are at 6 p.m. and I imagine quite crowded at that time of day.

DS will be using the work out machines and weights while I am in the pool. He isn't really keen on water aerobics, though he did enjoy them when he was younger. I think he is self-conscious to be in a pool full of women, even if most of them are middle aged to old age.

I don't really know if DH or DD will use the membership or not. DD says she will to use the pool, but she is never able to get up, so I don't see it really happening unless she changes her sleeping schedule. I'm not going to drive there twice a day. It is a bad traffic situation later in the day and hard to get in and out.

I think I am going to have to accelerate savings for the computer fund. My computer keeps restarting itself. Every day, sometimes twice a day and it is getting super annoying. It keeps saying my computer has an error and has to shut down. Ugh. I am going to try a few things to see if I can't find the error, but it may not be salvageable.

This computer has quite a few things wrong with it that they never seemed to be able to fix 100% and now it no longer has a service contract, so I just can't see throwing money at it when I can throw money at a new one. I am not sure I will get a laptop this time, though. I think I may just get a desktop instead. We'll see. With my current phone, I don't really need a laptop to take with me anymore. I only write at home these days.

Although I do like taking the laptop into the bathroom while I am taking a long bath and playing a movie, so there's that. I guess I'll figure that out once I have the money saved up. I want to save instead of 18 months same as cash, but will do that if this thing goes belly up before the money is ready.

The End is in Sight for the Kitchen

January 29th, 2019 at 07:44 am

Last night DS and I got the two big kitchen drawers emptied and wiped out and one has been organized. The stuff that was in the other drawer is in a laundry basket at the moment. It is mostly a bunch of containers that need to be nested and a bunch more lids that I need a small box for so that I can keep them contained in one section of the drawer. I am hoping to find something like that soon.

The lower cabinet was cleaned out as well and there was stuff in there that has been there since we moved here in 2009. I don't think we have ever been in that cabinet since we moved here since it had a broken door that made it awkward to use. It was mostly baking mixes, pudding boxes, and canned goods that were bulging. All of it was full of spiderwebs and egg sacks. Ewwww. That's all been disposed off and scrubbed out and the door is now fixed. Entropy is not my friend.

I did the poor man's version of scrubbing the floor, which it to get a towel sopping wet and soapy and put it down on the floor and rub it around with my feet. I had to let the towel sit in two spots for about twenty minutes to get off some tough spots and they came right out. After that, I rinsed out the towel and then did it again to get the soap up off the floor. The floor is now nice and shiny and I didn't have to use a mop and hurt my wrists scrubbing the two spots. It takes a little more time, but I have to work within my limitations.

Tomorrow's goal is to clean out under the utility table and wipe down the fronts of all the cabinet doors. That should be easy as it is mostly paper bags and recycling under the table and they just need to be gathered and dealt with. Once that is clean then the two recycle bins should be able to stay in there without protruding into the walkway and there will also be room for the four 5 gallon buckets of white flour, white sugar, white rice, and whole wheat flour, that have been taking up residence in the living room for a couple of months.

On next weekend's agenda is to pull out the fridge and get the spot between the cabinet and fridge really well and behind the fridge. Our fridge in on castors so it shouldn't be difficult. Then to do the corner floor cabinet. DH will have to do that as my arms are not long enough to reach back there. It is not bad, but I do want to de-cobweb it and wipe the shelves down and make sure there isn't still some of grandma's stuff in the back. I also want him to clean the kitchen window. I want to launder the valance as well.

There are two top shelves that still have some of grandma's stuff on them that needs to be boxed up and given to my mom to deal with and then that leaves two other high shelves to wipe down, plus the tiny cupboards over the fridge that are about the size of cupboards over a range hood. Very small. Then the kitchen should be done for another year before it needs this kind of deep clean again. And hopefully we will manage to keep it organized in the meanwhile, with just the normal daily stuff of washing the counters, the sink, and sweeping the floor, and washing the floor as needed.

I am really loving having a reorganized kitchen with usable countertops. So many things are now put away and the things that are left out are things that I use every day, or would have if I could get to them. Since starting this, I have used the stand mixer and the blender every day, and the kids have been making coffee. I have easy access to the toaster, which is no longer back in the far corner, and the egg sandwich machine is easy to get to and use. The paper towels are finally back on the paper towel holder, which had gone missing. And there is plenty of room to use a cutting board on the counter instead of sitting down at the table to do so.

And it was just clutter. Badly stacked clutter. Way too much stuff, mostly storage containers and lids. And because I was too sick to deal with it, it stayed there, because apparently no one else can ever put stuff away. I just hope I don't go back to being unable to keep up with this stuff. Today is my last day on Prednisone and I am already dreading what tomorrow will bring, although Wednesday, the day we go down to Virginia Mason, is more likely the day I will crash. At least all I really have to do that day is sit in the van and then sit in doctor offices.

I have hit 5000 steps for the past three days. Since my goal is only at 3000 steps, I think it is time for me to up it. I am actually surprised I have done so much walking. I used to struggle to hit 3000 steps. Maybe it is just the Prednisone. Regardless, I want to keep up with the 5000 steps. Maybe it will make me feel better. My strength has seemed to be recovering from December's plague, but I don't know how real that is. I won't know until the meds are out of my system.

The diet is going okay. I am eating a lot more vegetables, mostly broccoli and cauliflower, but some salads, too. I made fajitas for dinner tonight. Well, DS made the fajitas (after I cut up everything and put the marinade together) and I made the tortillas from scratch. It was my first time making tortillas (though I have done pita bread before). I think it needs to have the salt doubled and I might do half white flour, half whole wheat flour to give it a bit more flavor next time. They weren't hard to do and I only made 8. I think in the future I will do a dough that makes 12 and only make 8 so they will be larger tortillas.

DD decided to try the fajitas. It is her first time eating bell peppers in a long time. DS cooked them until they were soft and hopefully that will help. She does onions just fine. We are just trying to get some more vegetables into her without upsetting her stomach. It has been a slow process.

DH's plane gets in in an hour. I will be glad to have him back home where he belongs again.

Long Weekend Plus Birthday Monday Update

February 13th, 2018 at 08:36 pm

Last week my husband worked 4 ten hour days so that he could have Friday off. We got a lot more done in storage, pulling out five large bags of trash and 2 bags full of recycled paper. We also pulled out another box of papers to shred. We donated another stack of books, probably only 15 this time, not a full box

We have reduced the amount in the larger unit so much that we should be able to get everything in there now. We have until the end of February to finish cleaning out the small 8 x 10 unit that is still here in town. Once that is in there we will just have the 10 x 18 and the 10 x 10 in the county. Then we will transfer what is in the county 10 x 10 into the county 10 x 18 as we go through it. Once we are done it will all fit in the 10 x 18 and our storage costs will be reduced significantly.

I found $0.79 this weekend bringing my found money this year to $3.47 American and $1.60 Canadian.

Monday morning I had to go and sit through a joint replacement class with my mother, as she is getting her hip replaced in March. It was 3 hours long and then of course my mother had to stay and talk for an additional 45 minutes, because she's never met a conversation she can leave. It was awful on my back and hips because their chairs were crap. Of course her care after the surgery will all fall on me again, because neither of my sisters will do anything.

I am very irritated with my mother because she refuses to go into a nursing home for the first week after she leaves the hospital. Medicare will cover it, but she refuses to go. She might be getting all her joints fixed, but mine are breaking down. She's just so selfish about it and I have to suck it up and do it. Last time I ended up on the verge of pneumonia and with so much pain in my joints I had to be on hydrocodone to function. If she would just go in for that first week when she needs round the clock care, I would be able to function so much better during the following five weeks when she will be able to sleep through the night and so will I.

Then in the afternoon I went to my rheumatologist for an appointment ($55 co-pay) and crossed off yet another drug I can't take. The sulfa affected my vision. Now she wants to do an MRI of my hands, but I can't afford it so that is on hold. She gave me some paperwork for an injectible drug, but one of the side effects is cancer, so no. I will just have to muddle along with the hydroxychloroquine.

So all in, yesterday was not one of my better birthdays, especially with the fact that I couldn't even have cake on this diet. But I have lost 13 pounds in two weeks, so it is kind of worth it. I miss sugar and flour though. A lot. I need to update the side bar to reflect my new age of 48.

We still haven't got taxes done, but we are working on it. It looks like we will be getting around $8000 back. I was hoping it was more, considering we spent around $30K in medical expenses last year. We'll need that money to pay for DD's surgery.