Thursday, October 20, 2016

CFS and Foggy Brain Moment

  As I was drying myself off after getting out of the shower at 12:30 a.m. I noticed something strange.  I could not towel dry my hair.  Uh oh....

   Let me take you through my day and how I arrived at this point.  I woke up very tired after having a busy day on Tuesday helping take care of toddlers at the MOPS group and then did some quick shopping and headed home.  Once home on Tuesday, I proceeded to get busy cleaning like a mad woman since my parents and one of my brothers arrives on Friday.  I cleaned until my body could not take it any more and I was in a lot of pain.  I had strange dreams Tuesday night and woke up exhausted Wednesday morning with a long "to do" list in front of me.  It was supposed to be our only rain free day so I needed to get as much done in the garden as I could to get it ready for the cold weather.  

   While I was having my coffee and answering and commenting on a few facebook posts, my son Chris called me and asked me what my plans were for the day.  I told him about my garden to do list and he said "oh, well that answers my question".  I asked him what he needed and he told me that all the elk burger from the elk he got was ready to be packaged up and labeled and they needed help.  I asked him if it would work for me to come the next day and then he told me how long the burger had been sitting in the big coolers at the butcher's.  Yep, it needed to be done today so I quickly got dressed, without even getting a shower and headed over.  Between the 3 adults and 2 grandboys, we managed to get 2 huge coolers full packaged and labeled in about 1 1/2 hours.  They sent me home with elk burger, steaks and some roasts. :)

  Upon my arrival home, I got busy here.  I made a pizza for a late lunch for my hubby and I and then I took the dog for a walk. When we got back from our walk I then got hoses and sprinklers unhooked and laid out to drain.  I took out the tomato cages, ripped out all the tomato plants, beans, marigolds and a few other things.  I harvested some sunchokes and then dug a trench and buried a blackberry branch so that it would make new plants.  By then I was exhausted and collapsed on the couch.

   My hubby and I watched a few shows, he headed for work, and I had a late dinner.  I was too tired to sleep so I got a few more things done.  I finally headed to the shower and washed and conditioned my hair, washed my body, and rinsed off.  I wrapped a towel around my head, dried my body, put on my jammies, took my meds and supplements, brushed my teeth and then proceeded to towel dry my hair.   One problem...I rinsed off my body but apparently forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair.  Can you say foggy brain moment?  So I grabbed a load of laundry, got that started since I was behind on it yet again, and then headed to the guest bathroom when I got the sprayer attachment from the shower, leaned over the side of the bathtub and finally got my hair rinsed off.

   It is now 1:15 a.m. and my hair is towel dried, the laundry I started in the washer is now ready to be hung up to dry and I am still too exhausted to sleep.  Yes, I realize that it sounds odd, but seriously, with CFS, sometimes you can't sleep, even though your mind and body are screaming for it.  I overdid it and I am paying the price for it now.  I pushed myself far beyond my limit and I really should know better by now, but there is just so much to get done and so little time to get it done in.  

   I'm going to get up, hang the laundry to dry and then head back to bed and try this whole sleep thing again.  Hopefully I will be able to get to sleep before 3 a.m. but I am not counting on it.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/8-10/14 2016


   I stayed home for the most part this week since I am still in recovery mode from that flu.  I did make a quick run down to the post office and bank, and we walked down to a friend's truck farm, but I did not leave our tiny town.  Being sick and being in recovery mode has saved us money because it has kept me out of the stores. ;)  Onto the savings...

~My cousin Marisa, who is a cookbook author, food blogger and canning expert, had 2 Victorio hand crank food strainers that she was giving away.  I was able to snag the more modern one with 4 different screens.  All I needed to do is pay for the shipping.  Woohoo!  My girls, cousin Jeremy and I will all get lots of use out of it. :)
~I worked on my points programs as my energy level allowed.
~Jeff and I watched some of the dvds I borrowed from the library along with some that we already owned.
~My grandsons loved all the shirts, a pair of boots, the Lego magazine and a pair of shorts that I sent over with my hubby for them on Saturday (I was home sick in bed).
~I made a green bean casserole and added some sliced turkey to it.  We also had some acorn squash from the garden.  This was our quick and easy dinner on Monday night.
~We had a hard frost heading in on Monday night.  I went out and salvaged everything I could from the garden.  I got squash, cabbage, tomatoes, beans and more blackberries and raspberries.

~I picked the last of the roses from the garden and made a mini bouquet with them.  Our cat knocked the hand blown vase over shattering it sending glass and water everywhere.  My sweet hubby cleaned that up while I saved the roses and got another vase out.  The flowers are now living in the kitchen where there is less chance of Rufus knocking them over.  I was sad to lose the vase but just happy that no one was hurt.
~Monday night I had some Cold Care PM tea to help ease my congestion. I repeated this on various nights throughout the week.
~Tuesday morning I woke up to a killing frost outside.  I took my camera out and tried to capture some of the beauty of the frost.  Silly me, I forgot to put shoes on so I had a cold crunchy walk across the grass. ;)

~Tuesday morning, as I thawed out from my barefoot picture taking, Josh and I had a lovely visit via SKYPE while I sipped on a hot cup of coffee. :)  SKYPE is a wonderful thing!
~Had our DIL Heather shop the pantry here.  We sent her home with tomatoes from the garden, pepperoni and pineapple for their homemade pizza that night (I'm so glad she mentioned that she was going to stop at the store to buy those things and that we were able to save her a trip) and some homemade raspberry syrup that my mom has us bring for the whole family here.
~One of our friends own's a truck garden and had a large pumpkin patch.  We took the grandboys down and they each picked out their own pumpkin and were thrilled to do so. :)  Isaiah picked a smaller one and Bradley got the biggest one he could find and had my hubby carry it back up to our house. :)  They only charge $5 per pumpkin.  I had some cash on me from some checks from Pinecone Research and used that.

~Our backyard apple tree is large and had dropped a bunch of apples that were rotting on the ground.  I paid the oldest grandson to pick up a bunch of them for me.  He got $2 and a bonus of a candy that he picked out of the candy jar.  His little brother Isaiah did not want to work on the apples.  Bradley now has some spending money for his trip with his mommy and grandma later this week. ;)
~The grandboys found some of the bubbles that I had here and decided that they wanted to play with them which was fine with me.  They then went out and played football in the front yard with G-pa (my hubby).  The boys wore their G-pa out.  LOL!
~Jeff moved our potted basil, thyme and flat leaf parsley into the enclosed hot tub area.  That kept them safe from the killing frost on Monday night.  I am hoping we can eek out a bit more growing time with them by having them near the warm hot tub even during the freezing weather.
~We continue to enjoy watching old episodes of Northern Exposure.  I have no idea why I did not get into that show when it was being broadcast.  It's a great show!
~I looked at our calendar and realized I have one less week than I thought I did before my parents and brother come for a visit.  I got busy cleaning and also planning out a menu and a birthday party for our oldest son.  He will be 29 this year...just one year away from 30!  Where has the time gone?

~There were some over ripe bananas in the fruit bowl so I made 3 loaves of banana bread with them and then threw the peels around some of my rose bushes.  We will enjoy the bread and the roses will love the peels.
~Our weather report told us to expect some high winds and lots of rain for a few days so I took all the hanging plants that were still alive outside down and removed the wreath from the front of our walkway.  I also called my son Chris and let him know to get all the kids toys picked up out in their yard.  The boys would be heartbroken if they lost some of their toys, especially their playhouse.
~Since we were told we might lose power with the storm, I gathered up candles and flashlights to have ready just in case.
~My hubby moved more bags of pellets up onto the back porch so we would not have to go out and get them from their storage area in the old cover dog run.
~We were supposed to help my cousin move on Saturday but with that being one of the worst days rain wise for this storm, I got ahold of him and we rescheduled for Sunday.  There is no need for all this furniture and stuff to get soaked or pay for a moving van on a day when he can't use it.
~Since I was craving soup and Chinese food, I made some shrimp and miso soup with udon noodles.  I added some squash, green onion and swiss chard from our garden to it.  Really good stuff!

~Sometimes you just have to have cookies!  I found a Pumpkin Spice cookie mix that I had bought on clearance awhile back and made them up.  They were a nice change from our regular cookie choices of peanut butter or chocolate chip and perfect on a cold and rainy day.
~I had Jeff pick up another huge bag of dog food for Caesar since we were getting low.  Jeff was in town for his bowling league and right across from Walmart where we get it.  He used a gift card that I had earned to pay for it.
~Jeff had to go in for a mandatory meeting at work on Friday night and the company provided pizza for all the workers for dinner.  Since it was just me at home for dinner, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich and finished up the acorn squash from our garden that I had cooked earlier in the week.

~Rufus has been getting into the kitchen cabinets looking for mice.  The cold weather has driven them indoors.  We have DCon out for them and I don't want him getting into the DCon or catching a mouse that has ingested it either.  I put some heavy duty rubber bands that I had saved from bunches of broccoli across the knobs and used them to keep him from being able to get those cabinet doors open.

   The first windstorm that I had been preparing for did not turn out to be as bad in our area as originally was forecasted for and I am so thankful for that.  We have round two hitting Saturday so we shall see how that blessed!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Preparing for the Storm

   The lights are already starting to flicker here and I will lose my internet if the power goes out so I am going to make this quick...just in case. ;)  We have a major windstorm complete with drenching rain headed out way.  It is supposed to hit us late tonight/early tomorrow morning.  The rain is already here ahead of schedule and the winds are picking up just a bit.  Our sustained winds are expected to be in the 30-40 MPH range with gusts of 50 MPH or more.  The west side of Washington state is going to be hit really hard and we have family over there that I am super concerned about.  

   I have been trying to get ready for this storm.  Jeff and I got all the hanging plants and wind chimes down and put in a safe area.  He used bungee cords to secure my big black iron plant stand that lives on the back porch to some support beams.  My car has been moved away from the big tree in the front.  I have 2 loaves of bread plus lots of sandwich fixings here.  I also have some fresh fruit and lots of canned goods.  I also have lots of juice, aseptic packs of milk, seltzer, soda and water.   There are lots of crackers and cereal.  I've charged the cell phones and my computer.  I have candles ready along with flashlights. If we lose power, I can go next door to our friend's house since she has a wood burning stove to stay warm if the power is out for more than a day.  Even if we still keep our power, the winds are going to be fierce, so I had my hubby stack bags of wood pellets for our stove up on the screened in porch next to the back door so we can both easily access them.  I have the laundry all caught up and am showered and dressed for the day.  Jeff will be picking up a huge bag of dog food tonight before he goes to his bowling league.  I figure we need it and it will add some extra weight to the car. ;) If we still have power later tonight, I will make another pot of coffee and put it in the thermal carafe (I have this mornings coffee in their now) and I will take another shower and blow dry my hair so that I at least look and smell decent tomorrow. ;)

   My hanai sister/neighbor, who just had a medical procedure done today and needs to keep the area iced, called to tell me how things went and I told her that frozen bags of peas worked really well for me after I had a breast biopsy done to keep the area chilled and less painful.  She and I got off the phone and she headed to the store to get some.  As our lights started to flicker, I realized that those peas were not going to stay frozen and would need to be refrozen again.  I  also realized that one of the things that I don't have in my medical supply stash is those chemical break away cold packs that do not need to be frozen and that she might need those too.  I quickly called her back and let her know about our lights flickering here and that she might want to pick some of those up as well.  She had not thought about that and to be honest, until the lights started flickering here, neither had I.  She is picking some up now before heading home. I need to remember to add those to my medical prep supplies as well.  My husband has to ice down his hand almost every day due to tendonitis and arthritis.

   Unfortunately, my hubby will be on the road tonight driving through an area that is notorious for really bad cross winds on a good day.  He will be driving through the area right when things are supposed to get really bad and then the storm will be following him up on his drive back home.  I am having him take some emergency supplies with him in case he gets stuck somewhere due to flooding, closed roads or anything.  His work truck is a high profile one that the winds just slam and it concerns me deeply.  I wish they would cancel his run tonight, but I don't see that happening unless the roads are closed before he takes off which is very unlikely.  Prayers for his safety are really appreciated!

   Praying for everyone else that is dealing with storms and the aftermath of storms right now.  Be blessed!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/1-10/7 2016


   It that time again for another Frugal Friday Wrap Up.  The following is brought to you by Western Family Cold and Flu Meds. ;)  Yes, I got the dreaded flu this week and am so thankful for a well stocked medicine cabinet and having lots of boxes of tissues on hand.  Onto my savings for the week...

~Saturday we took Jaysn and Rachel out to an early dinner.  We went to one of our favorite places that serves wonderful homemade pasta, soups and salads at fast food prices.  So good and much healthier.  We had a wonderful time and it was nice to just spend time with them and be able to talk about all kinds of things and help them plan for some major changes in their lives. :)  We had budgeted for this time out.
~Jeff and I curled up Saturday night and watched one of the movies we bought at the Dollar Tree.  It was pretty good.  I sipped on some Peppermint tea since my stomach was acting up.  It always does that when I am in a crash and recovery mode.
~I stocked up on some loss leader items at Safeway.  We were able to combine some deals and restock our soy sauce supply for the next year or so.  We use a lot of it in some of our favorite dishes.
~Swagbucks has been good to me this month allowing me to rack up quite a bit of points.  I cashed in for a $25 Walmart gift card while it was on sale for 2,200 points at the first of the month.  I also cashed in for a $10 Walmart gift card once my September bonus points were posted. :)  That $35 in gifts cards will come in handy to buy things that we need. :)
~We got a frost Saturday night so Sunday I went out and harvested most of the tomatoes, beans and squash.  The tomatoes will ripen slowly in the house even though they are green now.
~We stopped at Goodwill on Monday.  It's Senior Discount day then and Jeff qualifies for it. ;)  I found a really cute poncho/wrap for $5.99, a new with tags basic white shirt for $1.99 (colored tag of the week), a book by one of my favorite authors for $1.99 and a cute sign about prayer that will be one of the White Elephant gifts for this Christmas.
~Jeff found a bonus pack of garbage bags at the Dollar Tree.
~Jeff needs some new bowling shoes.  He has had the same ones for over 30 years now and they have more than done their duty.  I looked at and we found some to replace them for way less than the bowling supply companies are charging.  I am now working my points programs like crazy to try and get enough in gift cards to pay for most of the cost if not all of it.
~The library got some new dvds in so I put in requests for some of them.
~The local college newspaper had a coupon in it for $10 off $50 at the local building supple company.  The coupon is good through December of this year.  Jeff shops there quit a bit and is needing something that he can use that coupon on to cut his cost down.  I cut it out of the paper and put it in his wallet.
~Monday I was able to harvest some blackberries and a little of the second crop of raspberries.  I have enough to make a batch of mixed berry muffins with now.  YUM!  I may just freeze the berries and then make the muffins before my parents and brother come for a visit later this month.  My brother is a vegetarian and loves these muffins.  I make them with soy flour instead of eggs so that he does not have to worry about that. :)
~Jeff filled the car up with gas when were in town on Monday...that town had the cheapest gas of any of the towns that we shop or he works out of.

~I made a huge stockpot full of Zuppa Toscana and used kale from our garden in it. :)  I served it the first night with some garlic bread.
~Tuesday was my day to work with the local MOPS group.  Since I was in town, I hit a thrift store that had .24 clearance racks on Tuesday.  This is a Christian Thrift store that benefits people in the community.  I found lots of shirts for the little boys and a few other items on that rack.  I also picked up 2 seasons of a old TV series I used to enjoy, a movie, some earrings and a nice soft leather wallet.
~I found some marked down BBQ chicken at the deli and brought that home for dinner Tuesday.
~I cooked up 2 large pork roasts in the crockpot and shredded them and then added BBQ sauce.  I package up and froze most of it for future meals.
~The Beauty Box that Walmart sent me had a bath soak for sore and achy muscles.  I tried it out and to be honest, it did not help.
~The library had 2 movies in for me so I went and picked them up on Wednesday. :)
~I was so thankful that I had lots of leftovers in the refrigerator on Wednesday.  My fibromyalgia, along with my chronic fatigue syndrome, flared up big time and it hurt to even move.  I did the bare minimum around the house and was so thankful that I could just pull things out of the refrigerator and reheat them.
~Jeff and I both enjoyed using our hot tub to soak away some aches and pains.  After our long soak, we curled up and watched some TV shows online.
~By Thursday I realized I had the flu (on top of everything else) and did the bare minimum around here.  I was in bed by 4:00 p.m. and woke up around 10:30 p.m., grabbed some leftover soup and then headed back to bed until 9:30 a.m. on Friday.
~Jeff cleaned out and inventoried our freezers.  We have 2 turkeys and 2 hams in there along with lots of other meats.  I think I will cook one of the turkeys when my parents and brother are here.  That should feed us all plus give us leftovers and I can make soup with it also.
~Friday Jeff froze most of the leftover soup for future meals and what he didn't freeze, he had for a late lunch.  I snacked on cheese and crackers and had some guacamole and chips.  Tea was my beverage of choice for the day.  I did watch some YouTube Videos and watched coverage of the hurricane via The Weather Channel online. I usually do my points programs each day but could not concentrate enough to do them.
~We have been watching the show "Northern Exposure".  I had found seasons 1 and 2 on DVD at a thrift store or yard sale awhile back.  We love it and I am now on the lookout for the other seasons at a great price.
~We needed more of our supplements.  We get them at Vitacost.  I went through the link at Mypoints so I will get 4 points per dollar there.  Swagbucks has not been crediting my orders when I go through them so back to Mypoints I go.  I found some buy1 get 1 half off sales on some of the items and I also had a $30 off $100 coupon.  I also got free shipping.  I stocked us up on things that we needed and added another product that I wanted to try to see if it helps my husband and I with our pain levels.  We shall see!
~Friday night's dinner was more soup...this time tomato in a mug for me.  Jeff ate something earlier before he had to head off to work.
~Pinecone Research sent me my checks for $13.  I will cash these next week at our local bank and that will be my spending money for the next few weeks.  I don't need much but it is nice to have it if I want to pick up something on a whim. :)

   Sorry there are not a lot of pictures this week.  This flu has knocked me out and I have not taken many at all.  I hope you all can avoid this thing, it's miserable!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Safely Tucked In

   There is something wonderful about rainy days in the Fall.  The colors are still bright but are almost watercolor like when there is a screen of rain in front of them.  We have a metal roof so the sound of the rain is intensified and takes me back to my childhood where the rain was always welcome to cool off those tropical Hawaiian days.  Days like this are a blessing and make me feel safely tucked in and protected in my cozy little home.

   Our rain barrel in the backyard has been refilled and is over capacity so the raindrops are dancing on the surface of the water that pools in the lid.  In some ways the rain barrel is a reflection of my life at the moment.  There is a part of my heart that has been feeling empty inside.  The part that was once filled with a close and loving relationship with my mother in law and father in law.  All that has been stripped away with the ugliness that has happened and us being shut out of their lives through no fault of our own.  My husband and I have finally come to a place where we just have to step back and accept it for what it is.  There is nothing we can do to change a situation that we have not created.  When one door closes, God opens up a new one and He has done that for us.  God has sent us a precious gift and one that is filling my heart to overflowing. :)  

   As I am wrapped up in my fuzzy warm robe while eating some hot homemade soup that is soothing my scratchy and sore throat, I am so thankful.  I'm thankful for the life giving rain that is washing away the dirt and making everything clean again while nourishing the winter wheat that is laying dormant in the ground in the fields that surround us.  I am thankful to God for providing us a cozy home that will be paid off soon.  I am thankful for the amazing, kind and loving husband that I have been blessed with.  I am thankful for my children and grandchildren who are my true treasures here on earth and for the close relationship that we all have.  I am just so thankful for it all.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Paying the Price for Too Much Fun

   I overdid it yesterday.  I'm working with the local Mothers of Preschoolers group 3 days a month now providing childcare while the mothers get a much needed break and time of fellowship.  The little boy that I am paired up with to work one on one with was not feeling well so he and his momma stayed home.  I ended up helping in one of the toddlers rooms with all the kids since that will be the group that the little boy and I will be with when he is feeling better.  I had a wonderful time cuddling and playing with those little ones for 2 1/2 hours but boy am I paying for it now.  Picking up, rocking crying little ones, changing a multitude of diapers, building with Legos and blocks, holding 2 cuties on my lap while I read to a group all took a toll on this broken down body of mine.  When I am in a situation like that I give my absolute all and push through using up every bit of energy I have.  I then come home and crash.

   By the time I arrived home after MOPs and doing some shopping, I was spent.  I crawled into my pajamas, curled up in my recliner and fought off sleep because I knew if I took a nap, I would not be able to sleep later that night.  Around 8 p.m., I drew myself a nice hot bath with soaking salts in it, hoping it would ease some of the aches and pains and help me sleep.  No such luck but the cat did enjoy walking back and forth along the side of the bathtub. ;) Doofy (aka Rufus) likes to walk across me  and climb in and out of my lap when I am in my chair and in bed.  Last night and today him doing that is excruciating.

   Today I am exhausted and so sore.  I took a shower, and got ready for the day putting on the softest bra I had and then ran down to the library.  Even that hurt so that bra came off the minute I got back home.  If having my Fibromyalgia flaring was not enough, my Chronic Fatigue thought it would be a magnificent day to join the party.    Every move I make feels like I am lifting lead. My hands are aching as I type this.  I hurt, my brain is foggy, I'm tired and all I want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep and escape the pain.  But if you ask me if it was worth it, I will tell you without a doubt, YES!