Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Faking "Normal" When you Feel Like You Are Falling Apart


     Last week I had lunch with one of my hanai daughters and she shared something with me that I have really been pondering.  She told me that she misses living in Germany where people are really open and honest about things.  She said when you ask someone there how they are doing, they tell you the truth and don't try to pretend everything is okay when it is not.  She said they really do listen and want to know how you are doing also.  Moving back to America has been hard for her because everyone seems to be so busy and really not care how you are really doing and they cover up the truth about how they are also.  There is a serious lack on "connection" here in our culture.

   She and I got really deep with each other on what was going on in our lives and our struggles.  It was good to be able to share with each other and to empathize and be supportive of one another.  I came away from our lunch feeling like we really had made a difference in each others lives that day and felt understood and supported.  She and I share some of the same struggles and I would have never known that if we had just done the "surface" kind of talk and not gone deep.  Her sharing with me. along with another friend this weekend sharing his struggles, has encouraged me to finally admit that I need more help managing my anxiety and depression issues. I am extremely grateful to both of them for that.

   I am going to bare my soul here so please be kind.  I am struggling with major anxiety and panic attacks, along with depression, more and more lately.  I do recognize what is triggering it most of the time.  There is a lot of stress in our lives due to outside influences and as much as I try to avoid them, they rear up their ugly heads and down I go.  I am really good in a crisis situation on being there for others and keeping them calm, but have a really hard time even thinking rationally when it comes to handling my own health issues.  Routine health screenings send me into a panic which, given my childhood with a horrible worst case scenario doctor telling me I was going to die, not be able to have kids, etc., being dropped off at a very young age at the doctor's office to get painful monthly penicillin shots, being dropped off at the hospital for blood work and x-rays, and having to go through surgery as a young child and being left alone without a parent there to comfort me for 2 nights and just a few hours during the day has left deep scars on me.  As an adult, I have gone through ultrasounds and painful breast and uterine biopsies (twice on that before I finally got a hysterectomy) that have left me shaken and scared to death every time I now have a mammogram because I am terrified of having to go through that pain and the debilitating anxiety it produces.  It took me 6 months to recover from my last breast biopsy due to being allergic to the tape they used that I was allergic too and burned my skin so badly.  The numbing medication also wore off during the biopsy and they had to keep giving me more mid procedure.   That left me with tears streaming down my face and triggered a huge crash in my health.  My husband was not allowed to be there with me in the room while they were doing it so even with anti anxiety meds, I was a wreck.  The nurse that was holding onto my hand was wonderful and tried her best to keep me calm and my surgeon got all the calcifications out that he could see so that I would hopefully not have to go through this again.  I had a mammogram this Monday and they would not allow my husband to be in the room behind the protective screen like they did last time to help keep me calm and am having severe anxiety now waiting for the results. even if it was just a routine screening.  So was the one where I ended up having to have the biopsy.  And yes, I had to take anti anxiety meds to even go to the appointment.

   I have an appointment for routine blood work and a physical this coming Monday with my very much appreciated, gentle, caring and compassionate doctor.  Jeff is going with me, as he always does, to help keep me semi calm, remember things that I cannot, find the words to say when I cannot find them or get them from my brain to my mouth.  I know that I will fall apart emotionally again and we will have the difficult conversation about how I need more help dealing with my anxiety issues and the depression that comes with that.  My doctor has been very good about supporting me in my decisions on how I want to try and cope with things and has given me great suggestions and the space and time to try and figure out what does and does not work for me. He is amazing and I am very very blessed to have him.  I fully realize that many people do not have a doctor that understands that their patients with CFS and Fibromyalgia (along with many other illnesses) do not just have physical pain but emotional ones as well.  I do have days where I feel happy and have it together, but the bad days, where I do not, are becoming more and more frequent.  I need to be totally honest with myself and get some more help dealing with this and not pretend that I am okay when I am not.  I owe that to my family, my friends and to myself.






Monday, January 29, 2018

The Wind is a Whipping!


The winds are whipping outside on this freakishly warm Winter night.  It even scared Caesar, who usually likes the wind.  He quickly came inside and is now hiding out in the back bedroom sleeping and "guarding" Jeff while he sleeps too.  The cats don't seem bothered by it but I am wondering if we are going to lose power at some point.  The ground is very saturated and soft and I am afraid that trees may come down on power lines at this rate.  We have water continuously running down the small ditch in front of our home.  The seed pods from the big tree in front are rattling away as they are being tossed to and fro.  The huge pine trees are swaying in the wind and it sounds like they are making hissing sounds as the wind rushes through their thick needles.

My mind goes to dinner, that is yet uncooked.  I am thinking that it might be a good idea to get that going soon just in case.  I don't want to have to have cereal for dinner tonight.  I want something hot, something comforting and something that "sticks to your ribs".  I have 3 pork chops waiting to be made into something delicious and relatively healthy.  I have a physical next week so I am really trying to eat healthy this week and not depend on cheese as a quick snack.

I am praying the winds die down so that my hubby will not have to fight them on his drive tonight.  That makes for a long and stressful shift at work.  He does not need that at all.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pacing like Lions and Kitties on Countertops

Midgey who has commandeered the cat scratching thingy as her new throne.

Our strange Winter weather, that feels more like Spring has caused all kinds of chaos in our world.  The Spring bulbs have all come up and I fear that my fruit trees may also bud out here.  It is way too early for that and I know that we will have a killing frost and cold weather here again.  The kitties and Caesar are feeling it too.

Caesar has been wanting to be outside during both the day and night.  I let him be outside for most of the day, but I don't like him out at night for very long.  There have been reports of hungry cougars in our area and I am not taking any chances.

The kitties have been wanting to go in and out of the house.  Midgey, who has been very reluctant to go outside on the screened in porch decided this morning that she was going out there too.  I had all 4 furbabies out there for awhile before they slowly decided to come back in one by one...well except for Caesar who decided he wanted out in the actual backyard. 🐕  When inside the house, the kitties have spent time sprinting up and down the hallway, scratching on the windows and getting up on the kitchen counter tops, which all 3 of them know is not allowed.  I think Doofy has them trained that if they do bad things, Mommy puts you outside on the porch to cool off for a bit.  Smart but bratty I tell you!

Spring fever, in the middle of Winter is a real thing here with my furbabies.  They may drive me bonkers but I love them all!  Speaking of driving me bonkers, there is Doofy, crying at the back door to be let in again.  Give him 10 minutes and he will want back out.  At least I am getting some exercise getting up and down out of my recliner. ;)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/13-1/19 2018

Grammie's teething littlest love that has kept her busy!

   I'm later than usual getting this post up.  I had a really busy weekend, Monday and Tuesday.  Two of those days were spent with our youngest grandson Steven doing lots of cuddling, playing, and helping out his mommy and daddy with a project and then with some appointments.  Another day was spent shopping out of town and Monday was a catch up day here at home.  Today I am feeling it all.  I could tell that last night that I was crashing and sure enough, this morning it was hard to even move.  My amazing hanai sister/friend even took some thing back to the library for me because I was having some dizziness issues and knew I could not drive myself.  It was a "God thing" that she did because it put her in the right place at the right time to help someone in crisis there.  Shannon is amazing is so many ways with her ability to stay calm in a crisis, her loving and caring heart and her willingness to not only be there for those she loves, but for complete strangers too.  Everyone needs a Shannon in their lives.  Now onto the frugal ways of last week...

~Saturday we stayed home to rest since both of us had been feeling under the weather still.  I made Teriyaki Meatloaf and served it with rice, fresh pear slices and some Kim Chee on the side for me.
~Jeff and I watched lots of the the International House Hunters and Escape to the Country shows on YouTube.  We really enjoy those shows and were glad to see that we can still watch them online.
~Sunday Jeff took me into town since he needed to pick up the stair stringers for Jaysn and Rachel's place.  We had lunch at one of our favorite locally owned Chinese restaurants and had a really nice visit with the owner.  It costs the same amount of money to get good and healthy food there as it does to go to one of the fast food places.
~We also went to Goodwill and found some things there. We donated some clothing so we got a 20% off one item coupon.  The stereo Jeff picked up did not work, so it will be going back for a refund.  We had used the 20% off on that so I told Jeff to make sure he took the receipt with him and point that out so that they would refund the adjusted amount.  He did find a nice Adidas moisture wicking sports dress shirt there along with some cds.  I bought 2 dvds, some Method liquid hand soap, a shirt and some books.

~The Dollar Tree had one pair of socks left there that I wanted (I had bought some previously and loved them) and we lucked out on finding large boxes of Honey Oat Ohs.  We got 4 boxes of them and I will pick up more on Tuesday if they have any left.
~We had leftovers for dinner that night.
~Monday I baked 3 loaves of banana bread and 2 loaves of sandwich bread.  I think we are set for the week on bread now.
~While doing laundry, I noticed that I was running out of dryer sheets.  I pulled my last box of them out of my storage area and then cut all those sheets in half so they are ready to go. I find I only need half a sheet to do the job.

~Jeff worked on taking measurement and putting together a materials list of things he will need to do those steps for Jaysn and Rachel's house.  He wanted to see what he already had on hand here at home before buying more materials.  He is buying the materials and they are paying us back for them.
~Dinner Monday night was halibut bites (the halibut was a gift from Heather's parents), chicken and broccoli rice and cherry tomatoes.  I was going to get a picture of it but realized that I had the camera battery much for that idea.
~Tuesday Jeff and I did our grocery shopping.  Some of the good deals we found we large cans of coffee for $4.74 (we got 4 cans), HOney Bunches of Oats for $1.99 (got 2 boxes), and large sub sandwich from the deli for $2.74 (we split that for a late lunch while we were running errands), large frozen pizzas for $3.37 (got 3 of those), milk for $1.77 a gallon among other things.

~We took the stereo that did not work back to Goodwill and Jeff found a nice pair of heavy duty and waterproof winter boots, I found canning jar lids and a pretty Thomas Kinkade mug.
~Wednesday I picked up movies and books that I had on hold at the library.  We save so much money by using our library as a source of free entertainment. 😊
~I really was too tired to cook anything for dinner so my hubby ordered a chicken strips dinner from the tavern.  We split it.  We do budget this in for once or twice a month.
~Thursday I did some research to find out why we were "double billed" for our phone and internet service.  It turns out that Frontier somehow lost our payment for last month so they just billed us for last month and this month on the current statement.  I found this out by going through our bank statements and our check register.
~Jeff and I finally got my hair cut!  We took about 3 inches off and I feel so much better.

~I streamed more TV shows online.
~Since Jeff had bowling league, he finished up the leftovers for dinner before he left and I had a "snacky" dinner.
~After a lot of discussions, I think I have finally convinced my husband to cut back on his coffee consumption.  He was drinking at least 2 huge mugs or more a day.  Each of those mugs holds 4 cups in it.😦  He also will pick up a large cup of coffee some night while he is on his route.  That is way too much coffee for anyone!  I have one smallish mug a day of coffee.
~I spent Thursday evening catching up on some blog reading and then settled in to read a book from the library and sip on some of my hot lemon/ginger/honey drink.  I love rereading old favorites like "Continuing the Good Life" by Helen and Scott Nearing.  I wore out my copy of their first book "Living the Good Life" that was in paperback and am on the hunt for a hardbound copy at one of the used book stores.
~I had my Swagbucks programs running in the background while I read.

~Friday I had a long list of things to get done but had gotten some disturbing news late Thursday night so I did not sleep well at all.  The "ugly family drama" has reared it's twisted head again. That threw me protective "Mama Bear" mode and into a Fibro flare...😠
~I was really proud of my husband when I found that he had cut way back on the amount of coffee that he had ready to brew in the coffee pot when I switched it on in the morning.
~Swagbucks surprised me with a 100 sbs search win today!  Woohoo!

   I will not have a Frugal Friday Wrap Up post at the end of this week.  Since I have been so busy this week, I have not been jotting things down and I tend to forget if I don't do that daily.  I'm going to have a busy day tomorrow too visiting with one of my hanai daughters and her precious sons and seeing their new house. :)  Friday I suspect will be another slow day at home for me and I would like to get a meal made for a friend that just lost her mother today.  I need to concentrate on the people that need me this week and trying to take care of myself in between.  I know that my friends here will understand.  God bless!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Free Loaf of Gluten Free Bread

Send a coupon for a free loaf of bread to your friend via email and get a coupon for a free loaf yourself!  I'm not sure how long this deal will be around so I wanted to share it right away!

Huge Scare for Hawaii and our Family


   I am sure that everyone saw the news that Hawaii had a Incoming Nuclear Missile alert sent out on Saturday 1/13/17 in the morning hours.  I am so thankful it turned out to be a false alarm and was caused by someone accidentally activating and sending out the alert.  There were not fail safes in place but that has since be revised and now there are.  I did not know about it until later in the day but was absolutely heartbroken for my friends and family that went through that awful scare.  My nephew is in Hawaii on Oahu going to college, my sister was still there getting him settled in and was heading back to Tahiti later that day and my parents were also in Hawaii on the Big Island visiting friends there.  Having grown up there, I still have many friends and extended family there and reading about how terrified they all were just shook me to the core.  I'd like to share with you a post that my childhood friend Billy V, who was like a little brother to me, shared on his public Profession Facebook page.  He is a newscaster in Hawaii now and I am so proud of him for achieving his dream!  He and I still keep in contact.  There is a strong bond between people who grew up together in Hawaii that I have not seen as much of with people who grew up on the mainland.  I think it is a cultural thing.  Anyway, here is his post...I cried while reading it just thinking about what he was going through.

I was on Liliha street headed to Magic Island when I got the alert. Driving and couldnʻt believe my eyes. I couldnʻt breathe. I was shaking. My mother-in-law who doesnʻt speak english and my yorkie dog in the backseat. Made a decision I canʻt make it to Sand Island in 15 min. Wife and son will have to do what they can. Panic starts to set in. I made an immediate U-turn and was back at the house in 3 min. I told Mom go in the house. Korean missile launch. She understands and runs in. I run across to my neighbor who works at Diamond Head with Emergency Management. He just got off the phone to find it was a false alarm. Iʻm starting to hyperventilate, hands shaking, called News Director. Let him know. Get off the phone to start to text wife and son. 8:15am. Still hands shaking. Canʻt text. Tears falling.
Run back to house and notice HNN text messages are going like crazy. Decide best is to get dressed and head to station. Traffic canʻt move fast enough. Ian and I both run into the station together. Ianʻs prescence is immediately calming. Work is easiest to focus on, heart still running high on adrenaline. Others running in and immediately picking up. Team nods at each other as they come in. Game Faces. Mic on. IFB on. Finally in front of camera. Finally feeling calm. Michael Harris says go. Work Begins. I feel better.
I donʻt want to have that fear ever again. Not knowing if I saw my wife and son for the final time. Breathe.....*sigh*
See you guys at MPI Basketball Homecoming, then UH Basketball tonight.
My celebration of being here continues...#HugYourFriendsandFamily

(and later)

After finishing, I rushed home to hug my family. As we ate a late lunch, my wife and I started to cry as we walked each other thru what happened in our eventful day.
My wife and son were at Magic Island for the ILH Regatta. Everyoneʻs phones went off at the same time. There were screams and almost instant running. The streets became jammed with cars. People were running across Ala Moana Blvd almost getting hit. MPI Coaches told the team to go to the Ala Moana Hotel Building. Kids started running. Cars trying to get out. It started to be chaos. Kids calling their parents telling them they love them in case they donʻt make it. Parents screaming into their phones trying to find where their kids are, because they were with their teams preparing for their turn in the canoes and the parents waiting on Magic Island. First canoes hadnʻt launched yet, so they were all by the wall all together as teams when the alerts first came in. My wife got a hold of my son, who told her he was running for the Ala Moana hotel building. My wife tries to calm him saying it will be all right, she will meet and find him there.
He made it to the hotel driveway when I texted him to tell him at 8:15am it was a false alarm. He told his team and coach who confirmed with other coaches. They made their way back to the Yacht Club near Magic Island. My wife met him there. They went home.

   This is what my friend Billy went through and shared.  I have heard many other terrifying accounts from my friends there also.  As one of them said, if they were struck by a Nuclear Missile, he would not want to survive the initial blast because he would not want to have to deal with the radiation poisoning that would slowly and painfully kill him and his precious family.  He also pointed out that even if they somehow escaped that on the Big Island (Oahu would be the target due to the big military bases, but the Big Island might also be hit since there is also a smaller training base located there too), that the harbors would be severely damaged where the barges come in with most of the food and other goods from the mainland.  Hawaii is not set up with Nuclear Fallout Shelters and if there were actual incoming missiles, there is only about 12-15 minutes before they would hit.  That is not enough time to find a suitable shelter or to get your home buttoned up air tight.  The panic was horrible in Hawaii.  My friends are having nightmares now.  I cannot imagine the absolute terror they were going through and I am thankful that I did not know about it until after it was found to be a false alarm or I would have been terrified for all of them as well.  The thought of loosing my parents, my sister and my nephew, along with all of my dear and much loved friends  and hanai family brings me to tears.  I pray that they never have to go through this again.  My friend Billy is right though...Hug your friends and never know when it may be the last time you do.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/6-1/12 2018

This is how I have spent most of the week.  Jammies, robe, recliner and Doofy and Patches who are finally able to share my lap without a fight.

   Thank you so much for your support and making me laugh after my last "jammie gate" post. 😘  I told Jeff about your responses and he gave me a funny look and said "that is what I have been telling you".  Sometimes a gal just has to check in with her friends though to know that she is not totally losing it.  I mean, seriously, this man has spent the majority of his life with me and sometimes I think he really believes that my quirks are completely normal.  LOL!  Anyway, I thank you, Jeff thanks you and the kitties, who have been enjoying these jammie days with me, would thank you if they could talk.  Now onto the frugal doings for this week.

Taco Salad for dinner.

~Saturday I cooked up a bunch of ground elk and made it into Taco meat.  We used some of it for Taco Salad for dinner that night.
~Jeff and I watched the movie "The Italian Job" on Netflix.
~We enjoyed snacking on some of the goodies that my baby brother and his family sent us for Christmas.
~Sunday Jeff got me out of the house for a bit.  He took me to the bowling alley restaurant where he used some of the credit on his loyalty card to buy us both lunch.

All the produce I got on the Fill a Bag for $20 special.

~We stopped at the grocery store that was having a fill your bag for $20 produce sale.  We got sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes, red delicious apples, a pineapple, radishes, peppers and  pears.  I added up the normal retail cost of buying these items separately and it came to around $32.
~We also stopped at the thrift store and picked up a learn to draw Star Wars characters book (for the little boys), a Anne of Green Gables book in the series that I did not have, 2 baby food freeze and store containers (for Rachel since she makes Steven's baby food), a beautiful nude colored small leather purse and a Lilly Pulitzer eyeglass case.

Baby food freeze and store containers for homemade baby food.

~Jeff and I enjoyed watching the movie "Boss Baby" on Netflix.
~Monday I had lunch at Heather's mother's home after her grandmother's funeral.
~I got online at the library website and put in requests for more books to read.
~Exhausted and hungry for dinner around 10:00 pm. I was tempted to just call the Tavern and order a chicken strip dinner but decided to open a can of clam chowder and had that instead.

Homemade Lo Mein

~Tuesday I was totally out of it so I stayed home.  I wanted something simple for dinner so I rummaged around in the refrigerator and came up with a slice of pork roast, some broccoli slaw, Yoshida Gourmet Sauce, some fresh mushrooms and then added some whole wheat noodles and onion to make some Lo Mein.
~While making the Lo Mein, I accidently dumped too much sauce in so I got out the turkey baster and sucked as much as I could back out.  I will use this sauce later in the week for another dish I have planned.  I could not see wasting all of it.
~Jeff and I hot tubbed to ease our aching muscles.
~Wednesday I took the leftover taco meat, added sour cream, green enchilada sauce, some water and torn up into bite sized pieces of large flour tortillas and baked that off covered with foil in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes and then took the foil off and baked for an additional 10 minutes.  I let it sit for a few minutes to cool down and stop bubbling while I added some mild mexican cheese to the top.  Yum!

Deconstructed Enchilada Casserole

~In the early morning hours Wednesday, as I was getting ready to go to bed, I realized that Jeff had forgotten to take the video and a book back to the library.  I got dressed, drove down and put the things in the library drop box.  I also stopped at the post office and found lots of coupon inserts in the recycling bin.  I'm sure glad that nobody else was out at 1:00 in the morning and saw me.  I'm sure they would think that I was crazy.
~Thursday I stayed home again while it snowed/slushed outside.  I had no desire to go anywhere!
~Josh, Jeff and I used SKYPE to have a nice visit.
~Leftovers were for dinner since Jeff had to head in early to do some shopping and bowling later.

More of my thrift store finds earlier in the week.

~The roads are a mess, so I had him take my car since it has all wheel drive and I know the roads will be sheer ice by the time he heads to work from his bowling league and most likely in the morning when he heads home from work also.
~Jeff picked up  two 2 pound blocks of cheese at Safeway for $3.98 each.  There is a limit of 2 or he would have gotten more.
~I purged some more things that I no longer wear and have a bag ready to donate to a thrift store.
~Friday found me still rocking my was another gray and gloomy day.  I'm going to try and find the sliver lining here and say I was just saving on laundry costs by not changing into other clothes for the day.  That's a good thing right? 😉
~The gray and gloom were really starting to get to me so I took a "virtual vacation" to warm and tropical places and even flew first class via Youtube videos.   Just the sound of the airplane's engines revving up for take off calm me.  Traveling by air has always been one of my favorite things to do and it is something I did a lot as a child.  I will always associate it with fun vacations for the most part.

My bargain blocks of cheese.

~I pulled some bread, bagels and some ground elk meat out of the freezer since I did not feel like making bread today and was afraid that the sound of the Kitchenaid would wake Jeff who came home exhausted again.  I also only got 4 hours of sleep and none of that deep sleep so I was not very motivated to begin with.
~In need of comfort food, I cooked up a frozen pot pie for lunch and had some homemade applesauce with it.  I am so thankful that I made so much applesauce this past Summer and froze it.
~Dinner tonight was leftovers for Jeff and a salad for me.

Listening to my friend Gary Haleamau's music on YouTube.

~Jeff was not doing so well after he got up in the afternoon and he is not sure if that cold is coming back or if he might be getting the flu now.  He is picking up 3 boxes of tissues on his way to work tonight so that if he or I get the flu, we are restocked again.  I did check our flu meds and we are good with them.  We had planned on doing a restock this next Tuesday but with him feeling a bit more congested, we did not want to take chances.  A school district up north of us closed down this week and will reopen on Monday IF they have enough teachers to staff it and it there are enough students to make it feasible. They wanted to give the staff and students time to rest and heal since so many are sick.  They are also disinfecting the entire school.
~Sometimes I get really homesick for Hawaii and tonight was one of those nights.  I pulled up some of my friend Gary Haleamau music and played it on YouTube.  He has the most beautiful falsetto voice and wrote many of the Hawaiian songs that he sings on his albums along with Hawaiian classics.  I am really looking forward to seeing him and hearing him, his wife and son perform when we go down to Las Vegas to see Josh. 
~The pictures of my oldest grandson and my youngest grandson and their milestone moments just made me smile this week.  They are each entering into a new chapter of their lives and I am so blessed as their Grammie to get to see it all. :)

Picture of our oldest grandson Bradley who called us this week to tell us he lost another tooth.  He was very proud to show me his new "grown up" tooth that was coming in.

Meanwhile, teething baby Steven is getting his first baby tooth!

   Plans have changed for this weekend.  Jeff was supposed to go and get the back stairs built and replace the rickety ones and Jaysn and Rachel's on Saturday but now it is calling for rain.  Jeff called Jaysn and found out that Sunday is out for doing them because Rachel's mom and sister are coming down that day.  We were going to have to play it by ear anyway since Jeff is not feeling so great.  I am going to miss seeing my little Steven (along with his parents of course) but we don't want to risk getting him or his parents sick either.  I do hope Jeff is not getting sick again so that we can have a quiet weekend and can finally get my hair cut.  It's getting to the point where I am tempted to call one of my former students and make an appointment with her to get my hair done.  She is now a hair stylist and a very good one at that.  We will see how it goes.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Keeping It Real


   I'm sitting here in jammies at 6 p.m. typing up this post on a very wet and cold evening.  Now I know that this does not sound like anything unusual right, but here is the catch...these are the same pajamas that I put on last night and still have not gotten out of today.  Let's just delve in a little deeper.  I came home from our Heather's grandmother's funeral on Monday afternoon, got changed and have been in pajamas daily (well except for a brief time at 1 in the morning when I actually got dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt to run some things down to the library drop box and rummage through the recycling bin at the post office for coupons because Jeff forgot to drop the stuff off at the library on his way out of town for work).  I do shower and change my pajamas daily...usually at night. 

   I had planned on actually getting dressed in non pajama related clothing this week.  I even laid out a complete outfit Monday night on the guest bathroom countertop so I could shower and then get dressed in there without disturbing my hubby the following morning.  It is still sitting there this Thursday night taunting me.  I guess I could use the excuse that I was washing my bras and letting them dry (but I think that 4 days of "drying" was even a bit of a reach for me).  I could use the excuse that I am still recovering from that cold (yes, that one sounds plausible), or I could just be totally transparent and real and tell you the real reason (or reasons). I have been struggling, troubled and depressed for a good part of the week, although today was a much better day moodwise. 

   It started Monday when I saw some of the people that I love most in the world hurting because when they needed their friends and their church family the most, none of them (with the exception of the pastor) showed up at the funeral of their loved one.  There were just a small handful of family members present.  Oh how I ached for them all.  These hurting people are the same ones that are there for their friends, volunteer at their church, give back to their community and go out of the way to help others in their time of need.  I could clearly see the hurt in their eyes while we waited to see if any of their friends were going to show up.  I tried to put my feelings down into words so many times this week after this happened, but my words were just too filled with anger so I kept deleting my drafts.  I did not want to add to the pain that they were already going through.

   The weather and these gray days really do affect my mood.  It brings on anxiety and depression. Now on a beautiful clear and sunny winter day I am usually filled with joy, but days on end  of rain/snow mix tend to get me down.  Add to that feeling like I am trapped at home because everyone around me seems to be getting sick with the flu or strep throat (which I have to avoid getting with my history of rheumatic fever and therefore I need to not be around most people and risk getting sick).  Also add to that still dealing with the tail end of this cold (at least I hope it is the tail end of it), itchy inner ears and fibro flares along with little sleep and's a recipe for being an emotional mess this week.  

   Today was a better day though.  I watched a squirrel eat a seed pod in the shelter of the big pine tree while the snow swirled around him.  I took great delight in finally seeing what had Doofy all up in arms when I spotted a family of quail in our backyard weaving their way in and out of our chain link fence. Our son Josh SKYPEd with Jeff and I and it was so good to actually be able to see him while talking to him.  He usually just calls on the phone while on his way to work since he is so busy (yes, he has his phone synced with his truck so he can talk to us hands free and concentrate on the road but will get off it the traffic is really bad).  He had some good and encouraging news to tell us which made me so happy and took a huge burden off my heart.  😊  And finally, the weekend is coming and I am feeling like I will be ok to go and spend time with my youngest grandson on Saturday.  It has been far too long since I had some time with him (since Christmas) and I am missing him terribly!  I did get to spend time with my oldest two grandsons on Monday and that honestly made a very hard day better.  Any time spent with those three little loves of mine is something that I treasure.

   So yes, it has been a rough week, but it is looking up.  I am going to go and take a shower now and get into yet another pair of jammies, but just because it is getting closer to bed time.  The plan is to actually get up tomorrow morning and get dressed in those clothes that are still laying out on the counter for me.  If it is not raining or icy, I want to go for a walk, even though I know it will have to be a short one since I can't go very far at the moment.  I need to make two loaves of fresh bread so we have some for the weekend and for next week also.  Wish me luck please.

   Be blessed!





Saturday, January 6, 2018

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/30/17-1/5/18

We have all been spending a lot of time resting this week.

   It has been a week at home for me with this cold.  That alone saved us tons of money in gas and keeping me out of the stores. 😉  I had hoped to hit Walmart again and see if I could find anything further reduced in their after Christmas clearance sales. but that was not meant to be.  Such is life.  Most of my time was spent in my recliner this week with one of more cats curled up on my lap.  We have made great progress in them getting along better.  They can now all be on the same couch without fighting.  Onto the frugal doings...

Homemade smoked turkey soup.

~Saturday it seemed everything caught up with me and I spent most of the day in my recliner or on the couch.
~Jeff and I discovered a new to us series on Netflix and got hooked and binge watched it.
~We hot tubbed in the evening and talked about our plans and goals for the new year.
~Sunday we stayed home again and I made a large pot of soup.  I also made 2 loaves of bread.

A pork roast with apple and onions made in my new Instant Pot along with baked sweet potato rounds and a side salad.

~Jeff built a snow stop thingy from scrap wood for our garage door to keep the snow from blowing in under the door and making the floor slick.
~We continued to binge watch that series on Netflix.
~Monday we put away the Christmas decor and got the wrapping stuff all organized.
~Jeff organized the pantry and found more coffee stuck in the back recesses of it.  He knew we had more and this should keep us going for the rest of the month coffee wise.
~We had grilled cheese sandwiches and leftovers from all the Christmas goodies and food.

The two movies that I got free after cashing in my points at Disney Movie Rewards.

~Tuesday morning Jeff made pancakes (from my homemade mix) and we had those with our choice of homemade fruit or mapleine syrup.
~We were running low on flour in the kitchen so Jeff went and found our last bucket of flour out of our deep pantry and refilled my kitchen bucket.  We will have to buy another huge restaurant size bag of flour in February to restock the pantry.  I think we will be fine until then.  If not, we'll just get some from the bulk area in Winco to tide us over.
~I put some more water bottles in the cooler compartment in my car (it has a built in cooler/freezer between the two middle back seats).  I like to keep water in my car for when we are out and about.  It has not frozen even during the below zero temps if I keep it in the cooler compartment.  This saves me money since I won't be tempted to stop and buy something to drink.
~It was a beautiful but cold day on  Tuesday so Jeff and I took Caesar for a walk.  We went down to the post office and back, which, after sitting around so much lately, was all I could handle. 😉

Sweet Italian Sausage, leftover sweet potato rounds and sauteed zucchini for dinner.

~This month I am trying to do a pantry challenge so I have been watching pantry challenge videos on YouTube since they tend to help keep me motivated.
~I received my Walmart Beauty Box in the mail (it was the Classic Box) and there were only 4 travel sized items in it.  Apparently if you got the trendsetter box, you got lots of products.  I cancelled my subscription because they keep sending the same samples over and over again in the classic boxes.  That will save me $20 a year since they send the boxes out 4 times a year.
~Needing something to snack on with a crunch, I finished the last of the celery I had previously cut up for a veggie tray.
~Wednesday I ran down to the library and had a nice visit with the librarian there.  She is an amazing single mother and has such a positive attitude.  We had time to talk since no one else was there most of the time and I really got to know her better.  I also borrowed 2 movies and 2 books while I was there.

Books and movies borrowed from the library.

~My movies that I ordered with my Disney Movie Reward Codes came in.
~Dinner was Sweet Italian Sausages on hot dog buns with honey mustard and leftover sweet potato rounds from Tuesday night.  Jeff had a big Romaine and spinach salad with his and I had a sauteed zucchini since I have 2 that need to be used ASAP.
~We received a late Christmas gift from my baby brother and his family today.  It was a cheese and sausage set...oh my goodness, the jalapeno and cheddar sausage is so good!
~Thursday I had Jeff stop by the grocery store on his way home from work and pick up some of the one day only produce sale items that we needed.  I was really good not to go overboard though.

Milk toast is one of my comfort foods.

~I came down with the crud so I sipped on my honey. lemon and ginger syrup in hot water.  Boy did that feel good on my scratchy throat.  I also enjoyed munching away on the little bits of minced ginger that also found their way into my mug. ;)
~I had trouble sleeping Wednesday night and had a lot of trouble on Thursday night as well since I now have a cold and am dealing with the normal Fibro crud too.  I made myself a bowl of milk toast hoping that it would help.  I used the ends of my homemade bread that Jeff does not use for sandwiches.
~Friday was another day at home for me with this cold.  We had leftovers for an early dinner around 4 p.m. and I later made some fortified ramen to eat around 10 p.m..  I threw things in that ramen like broccoli slaw mix, spinach and some shrimp.
~We received several free magazines in the mail this week.

Fortified ramen really hit the spot Friday night.

   As you can see, not a lot was done this week.  On the other hand, not much money was spent outside of the normal first of the month bills either.  I'm continuing to try and use up food in the refrigerator before it goes bad and utilize our pantry and freezer as much as possible.  I'm hoping I feel better next week so that I can actually get out and get some things done.  Be blessed!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Pet Peeves and Channeling my Grandmother

  With having Fibromyalgia, I find it really hard to sleep at night so I watch a lot of cooking shows on PBS along with other home improvement type shows.  I set the timer on my TV and I pray that I will drift off to sleep while the show is on.  Having someone talking in the background helps to calm my mind and "occupy it" so that my mind is not racing with my own thoughts.  Most of the time I am relaxing and all is well until someone mispronounces a simple word and then I am wide awake again.   I have found this to be true with certain YouTubers who do cooking videos also.
   Maybe it is because I am NOT feeling well that I have finally reached my "fed up" point when it comes to this.  I mean how hard is it to pronounce ONION or ASK?  Now I understand why my grandmother would get so upset with us for mispronouncing things...yes, we used to refer to her as the Grammar Police, but the older I get, the more I understand where she was coming from.  She used to say that someone who was able to speak correctly just sounded more intelligent than someone who repeatedly mispronounces things even after they have been gently corrected.  Employers do take note of these things.  So, to help out, I have links to how to properly pronounce these words in this post.  Maybe some of those American born and raised and English as their first language food show experts on PBS should take note...just saying. 😉   Why is it that people from other countries who come here and learn to speak English frequently pay more attention to how to correctly pronounce words than those who are native speakers of the English language?

   So here is the deal...ONION is pronounced "un yin".   It is not "ung yun" Do you see a g in the word onion?  Nope, not there.

  How about the word ASK?  It is not pronounced "acks".  There is no X sound in there...none.

   Now before someone goes biting my head off, I do realize that there are some words that can be hard to pronounce like worcestershire because of the silent letters in it.  For the record, I looked that up too because I had trouble with it for the longest time.   For full disclosure, I also speak Pidgen English (it is widely spoken in Hawaii and combines word from many different languages along with some of its own), which has officially been recognized as a foreign language.  I am very careful to make sure to pronounce those words correctly when I am speaking with others who are speaking Pidgen English so that we can understand each other.   I also appreciate it when someone gently corrects me if I am not pronouncing something correctly.  I realize that there may be regional dialects in play, but onion and ask are not words that commonly have different pronounciations like pecan, tomato, potato for example.

   Blame it on the Fibro pain, blame it on my stuffy head that feels like it is in a vice today, blame it on my severe lack of sleep, blame it on whatever...but darn it, how hard is it to pronounce those two simple words?  I can just see my Grandmother cringing every time someone does this.



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Feeling a Bit Discombobulated

   Doofy got in this strange position tonight while snuggled up next to me in my recliner and I thought "Yep, that is exactly how I am feeling too".  For the past few days I have felt like I was on the verge on coming down with something.  I've been taking Lysine and my lemon, honey and ginger syrup to try and fend whatever it is off.  I have major Fibro fog and could not even remember the name of my own cousin today...yes, it is that bad.  My nose is runny and now my throat is starting to get hot,sore and scratchy and my ears are itching inside and I can feel the pressure building up behind my eardrums.  As the night progresses, it is just getting worse.  I'm feeling discombobulated.  I'm worried because we have Heather's grandmother's graveside service on Monday and I told them I would be there, even though there is bad weather expected.  Ginny was family and we do everything we can to be there for our family, especially in their time of need.  I was hoping to have the oldest two grandboys stay with us one night this weekend, but it looks like that is not going to happen now. 😟

I am pretty well stocked up on everything I need here if I get sick except for tissues.  I have 1 1/2 boxes in the house and another 1/2 a box in the car.  Jeff may have to get me some more on his way home from work.  There are lots of homemade soups in the freezer, along with some other premade meals and there is always the Instant Pot that I can throw things into since it cooks things up so quickly.  I even have bread in the freezer in case I am unable to get any more made.  Luckily we still have one loaf left that I made earlier in the week.  The guest bed in the back guest bedroom is now cleaned off after the Christmas pile of gifts that was on it and it is ready to go if I or Jeff need to move in there.  

For now I am going to go and take a nice hot shower, put on some soft jammies and crawl into bed.  I am praying whatever this is passes by the morning, but I'm feeling a bit feverish, Never a good sign.  Yuck!