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thursday, september 18, 2014
it's been awhile. as usual, time has gotten away from me, and i have no idea where it's gone. not that there's really that much to report: we did go to dragon con, but the rest of life has been...meh. things have been kind of...sinking. we're not in toxic house territory, but struggling is struggling, and sometimes the matter of degree is hard to keep in mind when you're shuffling bills yet again.
but here's what's been up in general....
hubs left alma thinking he had another job lined up (he was asked if he wanted to take an available position). it apparently helped alma since they needed to let someone go at the time. turns out the offer wasn't as set as the person offering thought, so hubs is now out 3 shifts a week. doesn't sound like much except it cuts $200/month from our budget which was already pretty thin because of things like the car payment, hiking water bills, and so on. you know, the standard living stuff most of us are watching go up faster than our incomes anyway. so now i'm behind on some bills and worried about winter since it's supposed to be at least as bad as last year (which is when i first started having trouble with the car payment: a $300 electric bill followed by another $200 electric bill because you don't want to freeze to death will do that to you: i'd get us a crap load of sweaters and blankets and fuzzy slippers before this winter hits except i can't afford to). the hope has been that bold will pick up and give him some extra shifts (bold pays him more), but that's not been happening as much as we hoped. and he wants to wait until after his mother has been out to look for replacement work. he did just get a much delayed/needed raise from el taco, but we don't know when it will kick in and it's not a lot (it amounts to maybe $3-5 a day). for now, i'm just scrambling to keep us ahead, cutting back on food items where i can (we used to have fish once a week and shrimp once or twice a month, not any more; i've cut the yogurt i buy in half; we've found a different cat food and are hoping it's as effective as the old stuff; and so on). after the first of the year, hopefully he'll look for something to replace those missing shifts.
i've also been struggling with personal goals: my weight is still stagnate, i'm barely writing, and my work is being rejected right and left so my confidence is tanking hard. because of money, i'm fighting to figure out how to eat better with in a much more limited budget. finally have a way to get me to drink water, but may have to stop after just starting because it's more expensive than my tea (4 gallons of tea: .50 cents; infused water: .75 cents - $1; and, yes, money is that tight). also started whey powder to try to increase my protein intake, and that may have to go as well even though i need it since i'm now focusing on building muscle and toning for a bit (in the hopes that the weight will start dropping again when i get back to cardio). i can't even replace our shredded sheets right now. it's frustrating because, really, i'm working my butt off, eating healthier than i ever have, and i just can't seem to get past this one spot. i've even researched and attempted to adjust for menopause and nothing.
and i don't even want to get into my aggravation over my writing. nothing is selling and words are barely happening.
it should be no surprise that it's been hard to stay focused on much these days. i'm getting what i can done, but some days, that doesn't seem like much. i get up, workout, eat, do housework with my son, fix dinner, do dishes, and then i'm supposed to write but by then i'm usually too tired and distracted, i do my yoga, read for 30-60, then crash. that's my day. it really is harder to get "me" things done when i'm worried about the family and bills and so on. i'm trying to figure out how i did it in toxic house...other than the fact that i couldn't get as much done so had a lot more time to work with.
but most upsetting to me is that we were finally, FINALLY starting to get on our feet and do well, and now...well, yea, it's not back to toxic house level of scraping by, but we're back to struggling. i feel like we started to get a break, then someone went "oh, wait, nope!" i know a lot of people don't think minimum wage should be raised, and hubs is of the opinion that even if it was, he'd not get minimum wage plus the amount he makes above it now, but as someone who is fighting every day to make ends meet (much less be able to pay all the extra bills like medical co-pays and all that stuff, and, yea, medical has to be considered extra for us still), that extra $5/hour would help soooooo much. (and i still don't get how companies can't see how making sure their employees make a livable wage doesn't help them: people who make enough money to live on actually spend more money.) i'm trying to remember degree here: we're making it, if just barely and with a lot of finagling, but we're scraping just to get by.
and one of the things that has, unfortunately, fallen to the lack of funds is the weekly raid spraying. i'd probably need a tanker of industrial grade stuff plus a flame thrower to combat the problem now, which really is depressing. i hate apartment living. really really do. if we ever get back on our feet, the plan is to get the stuff by the case, go room by room, clean up everything we own and put it in plastic lock top type crates, and spray the crap out of everything. it'll be a slow process, but if we do it that way, if we eventually move (and i really want to move), we should be able limit taking any of the problems with us. of course, we'd have to start over with the furniture again, but that's kinda already in the works (we just dumped the roach motel couch and love seat; hubs uses his folding sports chairs and i use a stability ball for seating now). i'm to the point that when we get new mattresses, we better be able to double wrap box springs and mattress in those protective mattress bags. really, fuck having to do this all a third time. cover it all, protect it all, spray the crap out of every room and any piece of furniture that can withstand it. once everything is crated, we can go through the whole apartment again and spray everything in a day or two.
and i'm sure the situation isn't helping my allergies, which are beyond outrageous this year. i've never had the sneezing, itchy throat, and sniffles like this before. prior to this year, i just couldn't breathe because of extreme congestion.
unfortunately, the tax return is already pretty much spoken for or i'd use that to get the process started. i need to use it to at least catch up on the car payments, get a few things that won't fall off my butt (yea, as much as i'm not losing weight and the tape measure says i'm not losing inches, i've needed clothes for a smaller body anyway, and that problem seems to be getting worse), replace the laptop (i have to copy and paste /, ?, and z, which is a big pain in the butt if you're a writer, especially the question mark; plus it's been locking up despite having plenty of space available), take care of some medical bills, and god knows what else. and we're not even expecting much back: youngest is off our return as she has her own job, and boyo no longer gives us the dependent deduction because once they're an adult, it's gone even if they're too disabled to be on their own.
all that being said, there are things going on that i'm enjoying. most are simple pleasures, like walking again since it's heading into cooler weather, but there have been a few bigger things.
dragon con was really good this year. hub's dad sent us money to go or we would have had to skip it. the money covered food, transportation, and hub's even got a few autographs. he had to be selective, but he did get some he wanted. i didn't spend much time at all on the writer's track, but got to see some really neat show panels for being human (oh my god, they were cray cray and so much fun!), falling skies, stargate, major crimes, warehouse 13 (another fun one), and defiance. i'm not usually big on following stars, but since the writer's track doesn't change much (and honestly, didn't have much of anything i was interested in this year)which makes it easy to catch something next year if you're interested but miss it, it was a nice change from my usual dc routine.
and this saturday, we're going to see whoopi goldberg because hubs won tickets. he also won gift cards for dinner, but we don't have the funds for a tip, so that will wait until another time. youngest managed to switch boyo's schedule at work so he'll go with her on saturday morning instead of friday night (they only give him one day a week, and lately, only an hour or two instead of the three he started with, and according to her, it's not his fault).
and hub's is doing really well: his bp meds are being reduced, and if he loses a little more, he'll be taken off entirely. his cholesterol meds are also being reduced, but he has to go on vitamin d. still, i'm really proud of him: he's started working out using turbo jam (the easier workouts for now; i doubt he'll ever become as gung-ho as i am, but he definitely wants to feel better and have more energy). i need to go in next to get checked, but it's hard with the co-pays due up front. then again, with the way finances are, i've not been able to make the payments i planned on the out of pocket costs still outstanding, so up front is probably the best way to go for the doctor's office. lol
so, yea, still alive, muddling through the financial stress, still working on getting healthier and losing the other half of my 160 pound weight loss goali'm working on being more active (as much as i can within the confines of budget and time, anyway) and still working on diet. i figure eventually the lock has to break. other things are hard, but there are bright spots, and i guess, that puts us pretty much in with most lower income (but not considered poor even if we're making less than $21k a year and can barely get by) families. life's not horrible, and there's less stress than there was in toxic house. hopefully it'll get better without getting worse first.
word of the moment: cauline
growing on a stem especially on the upper part of a stem ("Cauline leaves"); producing a well-developed stem above ground