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Archive for March, 2015

Tuesday blathering

March 31st, 2015 at 03:54 pm

I woke up at 3 this morning. My alarm was set for 5 AM but I was so very tired last night that I crashed on the couch before 9:00 PM. I rarely sleep more than 5 hours at a time so sleeping until 3 was great. For some reason, my blood sugar was 244 at about 7 this morning! My insulin pump was functioning fine so I bolused some units to deal with the high and by 9 AM my blood sugar was back in the good range. Later in the day it was too high again, 277! I bolused a small amount of insulin and put away our weekly order. That's some pretty physical work and between the insulin and activity the blood sugar was 108 a little later when I checked it. When I got home, I changed my set even though I put in a new one last night. Ugh. Those sets are expensive so every time something like this happens I cringe. But diabetes stuff happens and it is what it is!

I worked a 7.5 hour shift but forgot my lunch so I spent $4.33 on that. Grrrrr! I don't do that often but I really need to do it never.

After work I went to the bank to deposit the tax refund check then by the nursing home to see Pop but he wouldn't even uncover his head. I sat in a chair for about an hour, talking to him now and then while he talked to someone else who wasn't there. Dementia sucks, folks. It just sucks. I finally left and called Mom and she told me she wants to get a weed eater tomorrow so when she's ready to get out and about we'll go get one of those and go to the nursing home. Maybe we'll be able to get Pop out of bed and to the dining hall for a little bit of socialization time. Neither of us needs to spend money on lunch so we'll probably come back to my place for a quick meal together before she heads home.

Yesterday evening and this morning I went over my expenses with a fine tooth comb, a very fine tooth comb! There isn't a lot I can do to eliminate or reduce expenses but here are a few things I've done or will do:

Put my HuluPlus subscription on hold and will cancel it in April. I don't have cable television and pick up no local stations so I've relied on HuluPlus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime for viewing. The main reason I got HuluPlus was to watch "Vikings" and an old science fiction series I loved but I haven't used the service in a couple of months so it can go. That's a savings of $8.49 a month.

Decide if I want to keep my Amazon Prime membership. I do a lot of my shopping using Prime so I need to think about this for awhile. I pay annually but If I cancel Prime in September when it's up for renewal, that will be a monthly savings of about $9.

Decided to keep Netflix. I use it for about 90% of my television viewing and feel it's worth the $17.30 I pay per month.

Reduced my Starbucks card reload amount to $30 a month and am considering reducing it to $20. Even though I work at a licensed Starbucks we don't routinely get free drinks. When the boss is there, she'll sometimes let us have one but we don't count on that. I don't drink their dessert in a cup drinks - just unsweetened iced tea, no water added and coffee, hot or iced, or an Americano with cream. I need to drink more water, though, so reducing the amount I spend at work will help with finances and water consumption. That's a savings of $20 a month.

Right now that's about all I can do but progress is progress. Right? Right?? Right! ;-)

I'm off for the next two days and need to do some preliminary moving stuff - you know, throw out what needs to go, pack what I'm not using, etc. I also need to clean the apartment and do laundry, work on my Coffee Master certification, and work hard to have two more no spend days. Yeehaw!

Three No Spend Days, trouble at the nursing home, and tax refund arrived

March 30th, 2015 at 04:23 pm

Saturday, yesterday, and today I spent nothing. I like no spend days and had planned for these so I feel as though I actually accomplished something.

I had an almost 6 hour shift at work and met Mom for lunch afterwards. It wasn't planned but she'd called me earlier in the day and told me about a problem with Pop at the nursing home and said she wanted to meet me to talk about it. We went to Luby's and she paid for lunch. How sweet! I tried to pay but she reminded me that I paid last time and ended the discussion with, "Besides, I'm your mother." as she handed a twenty to the cashier. 'Nuff said. ;-)

The situation with my stepdad isn't good. He's a fall risk and Saturday he fell trying to get out of a wheelchair and when Mom visited that day she was told he hadn't hurt himself. When she arrived today she found him with a bruised and swollen cheek, a bit of a black eye, and rib pain. X-rays show he has no broken ribs but he's hurting and of course, we're worried about him. We can't afford to hire a sitter to stay with him so the doctor suggested enrolling him in the hospice program at the home. Mom's going to make an appointment to talk to someone about that. I don't know a great amount about hospice but if it will give him more care and keep him safer it's worth looking into.

My tax refund arrived today. Darn it, it's a little over $200! That's too much. I really try to keep the refund amount under $100 but oh well.

I can't decide if I should put the refund amount toward the EF or use it for a trip to Austin my mother and I hope to take in May. My oldest son and his wife just bought their first home and it's been at least three years since I've gone to visit them and almost seven since Mom has. A short visit with them would be wonderful and my mother can definitely use a little time away. We'll split expenses so I might be able to put a little of the refund money in the EF. As much as I need to add to add to the EF I also need to spend some time with my son and his wife. So does Mom.

Sometimes emotional wellbeing needs to be a priority, if only for a few days. Okay, that settles it. Thanks for the advice, y'all. Ha!

The sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar....

March 29th, 2015 at 06:18 pm

I'm almost $300 over my budget for March. That's the bad news.

The good news is that I'm still working a job I love most of the time, have food to eat, a wonderful family, a bed to rest in, and a life that's absolutely wonderful! Also, I didn't need to fall back on credit to make up for the deficit and there are two days left in this month - two days of opportunity for something good to happen. Wooot!

The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!

Here's hoping Monday will be spectacular. :-)

Frugal eating at home and how I got a fantastic A1c!

March 29th, 2015 at 03:21 pm

Sunday is usually meal planning day for me. I worked a 5.5 hour shift today but got most of the week done last night and finished it after I got off work today.

Awhile back I realized there's a very strong correlation between meat consumption and my higher blood sugar readings so I cut back on meat. I mean, waaay back. I still eat fish and small amounts of beef, pork, and chicken but not daily or even weekly. I call myself a "faux vegetarian". Whatever, it works. :-)

My food guidelines are pretty easy. If it's a vegetable I usually eat it raw or lightly cooked and unless it's a starchy vegetable I don't really limit the quantity. Starchy vegetables are a rare treat for me. If it's fruit I eat it now and then and in strict moderation. Fruit needs to be fairly low on the Glycemic Index like berries and melon. Pasta, beans, and grains are things I have once in a blue moon and then just a very small amount. And if it's meat...well, I think long and hard and usually decide against it. There are exceptions to all those guidelines, though. It's a matter of moderation, balance, and keeping my eye on the prize so to speak. But it stinks that the less expensive foods are things I can eat only rarely and it's very hard to stay within my budget for food.

My next to the last A1c was 5.9 and my last A1c two weeks ago was 5.1. For those of you unfamiliar with Diabetes and A1c, that first number is very good for a Type 1 and that last number is in the non-diabetic range so I'm pretty dang proud of both test results!

I didn't get those results by just cutting out most meat, though. I also walk. A lot. I use a Fitbit Charge HR to count my steps and even when I'm at home and watching television, I generally walk/jog in place. I've lost about 9 pounds in the process but it's taken me four months to do so. Four ridiculously long months! Age and the constant influx of insulin via my pump make weight loss quite the challenge but progress is progress, right? Besides, I've had some non-scale victories, too. My work pants are much looser and I simply feel better. I have more weight to lose but am focusing on the positives and not the fact that it takes so freaking long for me to lose a few pounds!

Anyway, here's my menu for this week:

Sunday night - Two boneless pork ribs (bought for .99 a lb at Albertson's), raw bell pepper strips, and a large salad.

Monday night - Homemade french onion soup, sans bread with extra cheese and a low carb muffin in a minute with butter

Tuesday night - Leftover french onion soup and a salad

Wednesday night - Very large salad, complete with cheese, black olives, and artichoke hearts

Thursday night - Dinner at Mom's house so it will be her choice. Heaven help me, she loves the carbs! I'll choose as wisely as I can, though. She always has salad stuff so if nothing else, I'll make a salad.

Friday night - I'll be at work but will take along leftover soup and an avocado

Saturday night - Vegetables roasted in broth and homemade almond meal crackers

Yeah, I eat a lot of salad and soup. I love them and they're thrifty and delicious so why not?

Keep it simple is my motto!

Long time no blog!

March 28th, 2015 at 07:34 pm

Way too long! Umm, a little over three years too long. ;-)

I'm still alive, still working as a barista at the same place, and still keeping my head above water, though sometimes just barely on that last one.

So much has changed in my life in the last three years. The man person, the one from whom I was separated, passed away after a brief illness. That threw me into a tailspin for awhile.

My stepfather's dementia has escalated and he was recently moved into a nursing home after a short hospital stay. If he's going to be there long term, I'll move in with my mother. She can't handle the expenses alone and taking care of the house and acreage is physically too much for her. Fortunately, they moved closer to me last year so although my drive to work will be a little longer than the one I currently have, it won't be bad. Also, there will be plenty of space for a garden! We've already decided to do container gardening again and are both very excited about that.

On the PF front, I'm doing okay. I have a little bit of money saved, have honed my scrimping skills, drastically reduced food waste, still use Netflix for entertainment, and my love for Dave hasn't waned. I still use his envelope system and still listen to his show. His EveryDollar app is one of my favorites! Yeah, I finally upgraded to an iPhone from my decrepit, barely functioning Blackberry. I have my son to thank for that, though. He gave me his old iPhone and added my line to his account so I now have a better phone and no phone bill. Thank you, son!

I'm still plugging away at paying off a couple of older debts. Ugh, would they please just disappear? At least I have no new debt and I'm thankful for that.

Before I stopped blogging here, I'd quit smoking. Well, that quit was busted but on January 21 of 2014 I had my last cigarette. I started vaping and although I still vape I'm down to 3 mg nicotine most of the time and foresee giving it up before too long. I know it's not as good as *no* nicotine but even my physician approves as long as I have a doable plan for quitting.

I'm still on my journey to minimalism. It's been a long and very interesting one. I've been in this one bedroom apartment for almost five years (wow, has it been that long?) and had accumulated too much stuff. Dealing with it was a source of distress for me, though. I'm not sure why except that it had taken me so long to get what I had that getting rid of any of it just seemed not quite right. On the other hand, it really was just stuff. I've given away a lot of it, sold some, and put some in dumpsters. Having more space and fewer material possessions to care for is so very liberating. Having less is easier now because I just seem to want less. I see this as serious progress in my emotional and financial health.

Anyway, I decided I really need to blog here again and to read other blogs here. The motivation provided is so helpful and I need that.

Nothing says "Don't buy that blouse/book/coffee!" like some of the entries here.

So there you have it, folks. Howdy! Again. :-)