Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random Tuesday: I'm Screwed Version


Alright, so.
Rule 1: Drinking while on meds = craptastic day the next day.

Rule 2: Having a usual med schedule of 9pm, and then taking them at 3am for two days = total screw-up of stability.

I'm teetering on the edge of stable and messed up. The last two days have been a glimpse back into months ago and suddenly I am completely 100% committed to my meds schedule.

Go me.

That being said, I have no energy, mental clarity, or even real desire to blog lately.

Or really any desire to do anything other than watch The Riches, drool over Eddie Izzard, zone practically into unconsciousness, and barely skim by on house chores. Laundry for the sole purpose to heat the house.

Hopefully between no drinking and stabilization of med schedule will even things out again. I was riding a wonderful 4-week straight line (or at least, a very very tiny wave of a line). Now in the last four days it's all been nutty.

Ah well. Ride the waves until things stabilize again.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Boneless Meat: TOTALLY not worth it

I hesitated writing this back when I tried bone-in chicken breasts because I figured ONE experience wasn't enough to make a judgment on. And does "judgment" look weird to you? Because my spell check SWEARS it isn't "judgement" but I swear it's "judgement" and not "judgment" cause, well, it looks weird.

Anyway. Pork chops. I bought pork chops today for dinner. I decided to get the "assorted" pack because it was cheaper per pound. I brought it home. Had Ben smell it (don't ask, I have horrible luck with pork products and them being spoiled). Started to de-bone it.

CRAP. It's all crap! I got maybe 4-5 "chops" worth out of it. Dude, I could have bought the actual pork "chops" for $1 more. I don't do pork broth or else I'd use the bones, so basically, the bones are useless. The time in actually deboning the "assorted" pack? NOT worth it.

It was the same with the chicken. When I figured out the price per pound AFTER deboning, GUESS WHAT? It was actually more expensive than the price per pound for frozen chicken breasts. Less than fresh chicken, but we're not picky, we eat frozen with no problem. Although we really were eating our OWN chicken until recently and now I shudder at the thought of commercial chicken, but I like our bourbon chicken recipe too much to NOT buy it.

So my verdict is I'm going to buy the boneless cuts I need and swallow the cost increase because it's not worth it.

Hey, Julie! I found "Pillow Pets" for $10 at our local grocery store. They had a monkey, penguin, ladybug, and bee. I almost bought the ladybug and penguin for my kids but my hubby convinced me that we could buy a LOT of food for $20 and not waste it on pillows. Stupid husband (who I love to death.).

But when I saw them, I totally thought of you. And giggled like a maniac. Yay bipolar.

That is all.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Most Awesome Lunch

What is this?

THIS is the most awesome lunch. Ever.
I basically threw a bunch of stuff from the fridge onto a tortilla and grilled it, then folded it omlette-style.
This one is spinach, shredded cheddar, pepperoni, and a dab of spaghetti sauce.
And holy moly is it good.

Just wanted to share.

Off to make another one. Mmmmmmmmgood.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Random Tuesday: Cake, Heat, And Who Knows What Else

Ah, Tuesday, how I missed you.

Alright, so, first on the agenda. Are cake pops becoming the new cupcake? Because that would suck. Although the fight to see who would win would be awesome. I mean, the cupcake could be a sumo wrestler type fighter, and the cake pop could be like the kid from The Karate Kid, the tall stupid one who knocks people out with a well aimed one-legged kick?
Or even better! Cupcake could be Darth Vader! And CakePoP could be LUKE! Becuase you make cupcakes cake and crumble it up to make cake pops. So, really, Cupcake COULD be CakePoP's father!

And then we'll hand Cupcake a tray, have him order a penni, with peas, and kill everyone in the cafeteria. (Watch it. I dare you. It's hilarious. Although Warning: Some expletive language. In a funny way.)

And cake! While we're talking about cake, here's another lovely clip to make you shoot coffee out of your nose smile.

So Ben, my wonderful handy man husband who can fix everything from dishwashers to car sensors to building a new wall, has rigged our dryer hot air out vent to, well, vent inside. This is HUGE since we only wood heat and we are running out of wood. This has been bothering me.

Talk about an incentive to do chores... do laundry = heat! Be warm! BRILLIANT! Now I wish I could just find a way to vent all the extra heat from the dishwasher that way. I guess it already does that, though, since there's a vent in the front.... hm.

Speaking of heat, the fire is lying to me. It gets hot and red and goes "i'm burning, i'm burning!" and I close it and come back 10 minutes later to find it out completely.

I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that I saw a grocery store ad that had bananas for $.29 and squealed in delight. I squealed. At a grocery store ad. At bananas for $.29.

The Russian language has no word for "the" or "a". They also do not use "to be" in the present tense. In other words, there is no "is" in Russian.

So, translate "He is a journalist."
Turns into "He journalist"
"Where is the letter? Here it is!"
Turns into "Where letter? Here it!"

Makes me think of that chick from The Fifth Element.
MULTI-PAZZ! Big bodda boom!

I wish I could rock out the orange hair.

I have never dyed my hair. Seriously. I've had blonde streaks once (horrible) and red streaks once (that you couldn't see). But never any color.
Must fix that.

Do we want peas this year in the garden? I've never had a pea plant grow successfully. Actually, thinking about it, I've never had a bean plant grow successfully. Me? Or the ground? I'm betting on me.

Going to try broccoli ths year. We  should have asparagus this year from planting the roots last year. They were one-year-old roots, grew last year, so this should be their 3rd year, where they start producing.

Broccoli. Asparagus. Lettuce, if I can get it to work. Do you "grow" baby carrots or are they just shaped that way from regular sized carrots? Because if you could grow them, that would be a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

I've been drinking coffee a lot lately. I'm not normally a coffee drinker. But lately it's been nice in the mornings. Maybe cause the new meds I'm on makes me a zombie. And coffee jump-starts everything. Which is great, but I don't particularly think coffee is healthy (on a drink-it-every-day level), AND the coffee I enjoy is $10/bag. Which I pay. Because, ya know, I never drink coffee.

I need a jump start today, man. I don't know how but apparently my awesome-house-cleaner-self got 'turned off' over the last few days and the house is deteriorting and now that I know I can actually clean, it's bothering the crap out of me. Who knew that under that blah exterior, there was a perfectionist? Hm.

Okay. I'm done. Actually I'm bored. And my coffee is done. Kudos.

Need more random thoughts? Head over to The Un Mom. She's got some awesome lair home decorating tips.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Mmmmmbeef.

Mmm, beef. That's this week's "featured ingredient" because I'm not grocery shopping this week, and we bought a large portion of a cow a few weeks ago, so we have a LOT of beef!

Last week I made crock pot cubed steaks, and MAN, were they good. I skipped the gravy and just cooked them in beef broth, since Tams can't have gravy, and then Ben and I smothered OURS in gravy after they were done. But whew. They were excellent!

I didn't get to try any of the rice or bean dishes last week because it seemed like those days things came up and dinner got skewed. But a lot of them require things I don't have on hand, and since I'm not grocery shopping, that won't work. So those are going to be put on the back burner until next week.

  • Monday - Hearty Skillet Supper (Allrecipes) with bread
  • Tuesday - I don't believe this, but I'm going to try carrot soup. Something I've never even considered. I guess candied carrots would NOT be a good side for this one, huh?
  • Wednesday - Burgers, fries, salad or broccoli
  • Thursday - Pasta, salad or other green veggie, garlic bread
  • Friday - Homemade pizza - going to try to make Tams her own pizza dough and see if she'll be okay with just sauce and toppings.
  • Saturday -Crockpot shepherd's pie - I think I tried this before and it bombed, but I'm going to try again
  • Sunday - Pot roast with carrots, potatoes, onions, fresh bread, and preferably salad if we have any left!
I've run into a bit of a road block with my off-line cookbooks. Most of them are old-time books from the 50s-60s-70s and they all feature LOTS of wheat, dairy, and egg. Not to mention a ton of meat dishes. So I've gone to searching for vegan recipes for Tamsyn, and adding in my own meat if I feel it needs it.
Some of these recipes are new experiences for me, and I think the carrot soup is going to be a REALLY new one...

So if anyone has any good, vegan recipes (preferably without wheat, too, but I'm not picky!), please share!

And don't forget to head over to The Organizing Junkie for more menu plans!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Bipolar Post I Promised

So yesterday I was ranting about money and started into bipolar and it went on and on and on so I decided to make it a different post.

So, here's the background: We're talking about money, accumulation of debt, and spending.
Read on.

When you're on a high, you either don't consider the implications of spending money (not being able to pay a bill later) or you rationalize it (oh, i'll 'pay it back' after the next paycheck). Mania and credit cards are terrible, disastrous mixes. I have, personally, charged a single credit card to it's limit within one week, riding the mania wave, buying stupid things like trying to outfit my whole bathroom for $400 at Kohls and decided I needed this and that and this for the kitchen and buying $400 worth of clothes at Kohls (can you tell me + kohls = disaster?). At the time i NEEDED THAT STUFF. Dead serious. I felt if I didn't get those clothes, I would have absolutely nothing to wear. If I didn't get that iced tea maker, I would DIE from lack of something to drink.

Seriously. It's like the part of your brain that is wired for survival? You know, eat sleep defend? It gets somehow sidetracked into buying things. Instead of eat-sleep-defend, it turns into buy-need-spend.
And somewhere, in the tiny, itty bitty sane part of your brain, you KNOW you shouldn't be spending the money. You KNOW it will only lead to disaster. You KNOW you don't have it. You KNOW you're going to overdraft your bank account. And you CARE. You really care! It's not just "screw it". You really care.
But somehow, the idea of "this is going to get me in trouble" and the action of "buying this" does. not. connect.

It's like trying to fit a square peg in a triangle hole. Your mind doesn't connect the thought to the process.
It's the same thing with cleaning house. Either you're so mired in decisions (a whoollleeeeee 'nother thing) or you can't seem to connect wanting a clean house to cleaning. Or wanting the dishes to be done, to actually doing them.

It sounds totally stupid, but I swear, it's true. On a down cycle, I will tell myself, in literal words, "I have to do this."
And I will sit there and stare at it for a minute, and then walk away. There are times where I have told Ben "Tell me to do this," And he will, and I will be able to do it. But if I talk to myself, I won't do it.
Sounds a lot like being lazy. But again. I swear it's not. It's not that I don't want to do it. It's not that I'm trying to avoid it. It just doesn't connect.
And when I'm sane/stable/not down/not manic, I see this. I can type it out. But when i'm down? I don't notice. I seriously do not notice that I walk away without doing whatever it was that needed done. It's like I blank out.

Or even worse, the decisions. Oh god the decisions.

When you're up, your head is racing so fast that decisions are first-come-first-served. You don't actually 'decide'. You have a thought and act on if. If it's a question "What should I wear?" you go to the first thing you think of, regardless if it's a good 'decision'. Example: wearing a short skirt in the middle of winter because it's the first thing you thought about. And you don't consider anything else, because that first thought IS PERFECT. Or, another example, you find a craigslist a goat for sale. And it's PERFECT. Nevermind that you don't have fencing, feed, or anything else you need. You get that goat.

Later, when you come off the 'high', you're stuck with a goat who is starving and has no place to live.

When you're down, well, decisions are the other way around. You CANNOT decide. You complicate every little decision until you are totally overwhelmed.
Doing the dishes is not just 'wash the dishes'. It's "where do I start? Which dish do I start with? Maybe I should clear the counters first so I can put the dishes on there to see what I need to wash. But to do that I'd have to put away the stuff I used to bake with last night... and some of that is dishes, so where do I put those? Do I put them with the dishes? But I don't have room for the dishes!" ETC.
You can see how, after five minutes of standing there with THIS running through your head,  you'd get overwhelmed. And you sit down.

And that survival instict, the one that had morphed into buy-buy-buy when you were manic, dumbs back down to eat-sleep-defend. And nothing else.

A week later when  you're stable, you look back and go "WTF? Why couldn't I just pick up a dish and wash it?"

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's Cold. I Feel Like Crap.

I'm sick of being cold.

(Disclaimer: I'm on the low end of a bipolar cycle, and also haven't eaten all day = in a crappy, i-hate-life mood)

I am cold every day. Not just put-on-some-slippers cold. But five layer tank top - shirt - long sleeved shirt - sweatshirt - hoodie - COLD.

We wood-heat only. AND, thanks to a wonderful, lovely, screw-you cold snap in late Nov, we used a LOT of wood. Too much. Much more than we estimated. So we're running low on wood, and rationing. So, cold.

But I am S.I.C.K. of being COLD.
I love winter. I do. I'm a winter gal. I have no problem being cold outside. I'll go take care of the goats in the 27 degree weather and not notice. But inside? Inside = warm, in my mind. And when inside = barely warmer than outside, my mind refuses to comprehend.

My kids are driving me loony. I counted up the days since I've been without them, and came up with New Years. Which doesn't seem that long, really, but then Ben wasn't feeling good, so the last 2 weeks I have had them 24/7. I have woken them up, taken care of them all day, taken care of them after Ben gets home (oh, and taking care of HIM too), put them to bed, gotten up with them 2-3 times per night.
Non. Stop.

And I am so sick of them. And that's a horrible thing to say, really it is. Because since being on the new meds, I've been able to 'enjoy' them again. Snuggle them, play with them, etc. But now? I'm just sick of them. I took off for 2 hours this morning to the local coffee shop to work on some Russian, and that was REALLY nice. And I'm sure a lot of you are going "wow, 2 hours, that rocks, I wish I could have that!" but 2 hours doesn't cut it for me. I'm more of a gone-all-day-be-home-for-dinner gal. I just need more than a few hours to 'reset'.

Screw this, I just put more wood on the fire. I'm COLD dude. We'll buy wood if we need to. It's still cheaper than electric heat.

Our money is out of control. Well, actually, we don't have any money, so I guess it doesn't matter. I confirmed with the insurance company that we do NOT want OUR car fixed (we looked, it'll be $400 to fix it, less if we can junkyard the parts, so screw the insurance's $1000 deductible). Hopefully the fact that we didn't use the collision part helps our rates stay down. I also found out we're a "platinum" member for being with them so long and they have "small accident forgiveness" which I THINK means less than $500 property damage, but it might be more, so we MIGHT get off with no rate increase. Or very little. So that's awesome.

However. We're still not making ends meet. Or really we're making SOME ends meet. Just not all of them.
Dear lord let our tax refund be more than 3k. Know how awesome that would be? FREAKING AWESOME.

Why do people not talk about money? I never understood that. Ask me, I'll tell you how much we make, how much we spend, how much debt we have. Of course I'll ask Ben FIRST before I tell you to make sure he's okay with it, but really, I, myself, have no problem with it. I'll tell you upfront what I make! Zero. Zip.

The guilt is back. I'm here sitting at home doing dishes while hubby's out there making, you know, money. And money is society. Money money money. You can't turn on the radio, TV, look at the newspaper, or visit a friend without money coming up. We are so focused on money as a society and I am trapped in it even more than I want to be.

I hate having debt. I hate it even more because I feel 90% responsible for it. First off I brought a fair amount into the marriage. I remember Ben wanted to wait to get married until I got all my debt paid off. That was almost 4 years ago. I STILL have some of that debt. Plus more. LOTS more. It makes me want to bang my head on the desk. I blame the bipolar. And that sounds like a cop-out but it's really not.

I was going to go on and on about the bipolar thing but I think I'll make that a separate post. Otherwise this post would be 19 pages long. Yes, 19. Exactly.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Food Waste Friday, And An Honest Mail Delivery

Check out The Frugal Girl for not only more food waste fridays, but also some awesome advice and really interesting reads.

After skipping last week and posting an emo New Years post, I was a little afraid of my fridge.

I shouldn't have been!
We had a bag of deli ham that we didn't trust and gave to the dog yesterday. Other than that? A jar of bean soup, jars of beef broth (that probably could have been used tonight but I don't trust them), and a lonely 1/2 of a bagel. How the heck did THAT even get in there?

But anyway, a good week!

And now, a story about our mail lady.
We have the same lady every day, except Saturdays, we have a different lady. We've gotten to know each other because if I know I have a package coming, I run out there so she doesn't have to get out of the truck, because we're not exactly right next to the road, know what I mean?

Anyway, today I got the mail and noticed this weird piece of paper. A post-it note. An honest to god post-it note.

Would you be interested in a pygmy goat (buck) and wether goat for $50? If so give me a call XXX-XXXX. I could email pics if you would like.
Your mail carrier

Okay, so an awesome way to communicate.
But what kills me?
She put a freaking stamp on the back and scratched it out with a pen, like they would do with a real letter. And put our address on the back.

Talk about honesty, right? And I know she wrote it on the spot because I watched her scribbling something and figured it was just a "come pick up this letter" note.
But no. It was a post-it, stamped and scratched out, addressed, offering us goats.

(And how do I reply? Put another post-it in there with a stamp that she can scratch out? Hm.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hate Is Too Strong Of A Word

Except today.

My children (child?) drew on my less-than-a-year-old-expensive-tile-laminate-kitchen floor. I'm assuming it was yesterday. It is crayon. Can't be pencil, NOOOO, that's too easy to get off. Has to be crayon. Dark blue crayon. Crayon? Does not come off that floor. The last time they drew on it, it took two hours for me to hand-scrub with baking soda a one foot by one foot section. I kid you not. The tile has all the texture stuff on it, so there's millions of little nicks and crannies and places where crayon gets caught up.

Oh! And bill collectors! Don't EVEN get me started. Okay, I'm sorry, but I got myself started.
Just got a call from the one credit card that hasn't been paid. And I hate to sound like I'm protesting guilt, because I'm not. I'm a firm believer that credit cards need to be paid and not foisted off.

BRB, have to go water the goats.

Okay, back. Where was I? Oh yeah. Credit card.
So anyway! Firm believer that you get into debt, you find your way out of debt. Even if it means relying on your husband to pay your bills while you have two kids and don't work (ahhem.)
So this card, right? This one card has about $1500 on it. The minimum payment was $75, which I paid faithfully for 2+ years while paying off other cards/things. One month I missed the $75, so my minimum the next month was $150. Too much. So I called and asked them if I could pay off the $75 missed payments in installments, or have it deferred, because $150 at once was too much.
They said no. So I paid $75. Which make me $75 overdue.
Over. And over. For months. I called and asked again what I could do. They said nothing could be done. (By now the $150 had turned into over $300 as a minimum payment, despite me paying the $75 monthly).
It, obviously, went into collections.
Collector just called.
First off, I think he was put off by my grunts and 'uhhuhs' instead of actual words. I've noticed that puts off a lot of them. But once we got through the original "are you mrs doran, blah blah blah", he asked if my address was correct, yes, it was, and then asked me my work address.
Wha? I hung up.

I just NOW realized why this is different than the collections calls i've gotten before! It was from a collection company, not the actual card company. Duh. I get it.

Well, long story short, I hate bill collectors. Not the actual card companies - i've had really good experiences with Discover and Chase Bank, who heard me out and worked out stuff with me. Discover even went "You've never missed a payment, and we noticed you missed this month, so we wanted to make sure everything was going okay and give you a reminder" which was awesome because, yup, I actually DID forget.

So I hate bill collectors.

Oh! And what else do I hate? Picture this. The house is 52 degrees. You're in a nice hot shower. Mmmmsteam, nice and hot, filling the bathroom so you know when you step out of the shower it will still be warm and you can get dressed before you exit and FREEZE YOUR BUTT OFF.
Now, take that whole, nice, warm steam-filled room, and open the door, while you're still in the shower.
My kids did this to me. Cold air flooded in.
After figuring out they wanted more oatmeal, and shooing them out, I turned up the heat to get it nice and steamy again.
And they opened the door. Again. This time to tell me they were SO HUNGRY and I HAD to get them more oatmeal because they were STARVING and the one full bowl they'd already had was NOT ENOUGH and they were going to DIE.
I finally gave up, dried off and dressed in freezing air while shivering.
I'd lock the door, but then Morri would pick that 15-minute-time-slot to pee on something because she couldn't get to the toilet.

Okay, so I feel better after putting my rant into words. But it's still freaking cold in here. Screw it, I've been cold for a week straight, rationing wood... I'm going to build a nice fire and try to thaw.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Experiment: 90 Minutes


I spent 90% of my day on the couch, drifting from awake to asleep. I don't know if it is because I've been staying up late the last few nights, or maybe because of drinking night before last, or just a mood swing, but my motivation was 0.

Around 3pm, I 'woke' up fairly coherently and realized I had wasted an entire day doing absolutely nothing. Totally disgusted with myself, I decided to do an experiment.

I set the timer for 60 minutes and got to work. I worked hard-core, non-stop, as fast as I could. And I wrote down every single thing I did. Then, when that timer went off, I was still going, and added another 30 minutes.

Here's what I did in 90 minutes:

  • Took out the trash
  • Unloaded the dishwasher
  • Started a load of laundry
  • Started a new load of dishes
  • Hand-washed 4 skillets, 2 bowls, the crockpot, 10 of our best knives that I refuse to dishwash
  • Swept the kitchen
  • Fed the girls spaghetti
  • Scrubbed the stovetop and counters
  • Wiped down the fridge, dishwasher, wall behind the crockpot
  • Cleared the microwave table and scrubbed it
  • Washed the cast iron skillet
  • Picked up the bathroom and swept
  • Cleaned the bathroom counter, sink, toilet
  • Picked up Morri's room (with her help! yay!), vacuumed
  • Switched the laundry, folded the dry load, and put it all away
  • Picked up the dining room (but haven't vacuumed yet)
It's funny because looking at it now, it seems like such a short list, but really, it's a lot. I'm sure anyone who cleans houses, stays with their kids, etc. etc. knows it's really a HUGE amount of stuff.

But! I feel as if I have atoned for my morning of sloth. I feel like overall it has been a productive day, and I am no longer disgusted with myself.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Random Tuesday: Thinking, thinking...


For once, random thoughts aren't coming! Or, well, now they are.

I'm learning Russian. Why? I dunno. It's just always been something I've wanted to learn. One of my "life goals" is to be tri-lingual (or more) before I die. Fluently. And then Spanish. I'm not sure if I include spanish in my 'tri' or not. So, maybe quad-lingual? Anyway. Russian is awesome. The Cyrillic alphabet? Awesome. Pronounciation? Actually not too hard. Of course I haven't, you know, said anything to an actual Russian speaker, so I could totally be f'ing it up. Dunno.

I was going to type out the "head, shoulders, knees and toes!" song but the only words I know from it is "knee" and "shoulder".
So, "head! плечо! колено! and toes!"
I bet some of you don't even see the russian, just a bunch of squares. I had to install the Russian typeset on my cpu.

So last night I got drunk. Seriously drunk. Like, two bottles of wine drunk. Although I warned Ben ahead of time (he would take the kids for the night), took a bunch of vitamins... actually woke up today only with a tiny bit of a headache.
Of course, last night I passed out on the bathroom floor in my own vomit. According to Ben (and the floor of the bathroom I had to clean up). I don't remember it though. All I remember is typing giddily to a friend and dancing around the living room.
After all the crap that happened over Christmas? I think I deserved it. I did waste two very good bottles of wine though.

My kids are both crashed on the couch. Together. I think that's the closest they've been without trying to kill each other. What IS it with kids lately? All my friends' kids are being brats too.

I have a huge stack of wood sitting in the middle of my living room floor. We're supposed to get anywhere from 2-6 inches before nightfall. Here's hoping we don't lose electric. Since no electric means no well pump which means no water.

I found three bras I bought a long time ago in a drawer under our bed that I forgot we had. I put one on. A push up one. Mm, boobs! And... then put four layers of clothes on over it.
When you have layers on? Boobs still look good. They just aren't as well defined.

I have laundry to fold.

I'm in love with True Blood. I've watched two full seasons over a week. I use it as background entertainment. Pause, do some dishes, play, pause, change laundry, play, pause, vacuum, play. It works very well.

Speaking of which. Back to it. And cleaning.


(Want more random thoughts? The Un Mom has them!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Head over to Organizing Junkie for more meal plans!

This week's meal plan is fairly easy to do, since I will be working straight from our stockpile. We have $30 for groceries this pay period, so I will keep that in reserve for next week, so that we could get some fresh fruit and veggies.

Mon - Ham and bean soup, using broth from last night's potroast and ham saved from christmas. Home made 'sweet' rolls with butter, salad.

Tues - Chicken Salsa Fajitas (minus the flour) with all the trappings of fajitas.

Wed - Spicy Beans 'n' rice, cornbread, salad

Thurs - Crock pot cube steaks, mashed potatoes, salad, bread???

Fri - Hearty skillet supper, bread, salad

Sat - Black bean enchiladas (didn't get a chance to make these last week), cornbread, salad (I hope I have enough salad to go around!)

Sun - Pasta chicken alfredo, spaghetti for the girls. Garlic bread.

Mmm. I'm starving now! After scanning the recipes, I think I have everything needed for all these meals. We have plenty of fruit and snacks for the kids. Sandwich stuff for me. I did a nice grocery run Friday and stocked us up, so we're really ahead of the game. (For once!)


Lately I've been dying to go back to school. I've been studying Russian and guitar as things to distract me, but nothing beats the thrill of working towards good grades (am I insane?). I spoke to Ben about our tax refund and, assuming it's a fair amount, we agreed that we would pay out of pocket for the few credit hours I need to take to re-qualify for financial aid.

That's very reassuring. Even one class would be excellent. One step closer to a degree.

I'm also considering applying to OUL - Ohio University, Lancaster. I'm wondering if my financial aid restriction will prevent me from getting aid from OUL too. Something to think about.

Meanwhile, life goes on. We cancelled Tamsyn's birthday party because of bad roads and snow, but we had a nice little celebration just in our family. I got some great pictures of her. And then that afternoon we Skyped with Ben's parents and they had a blast.

The house has been coming along, too. Yesterday we cleaned out our closets and reorganized them so everything would fit. Ben cleaned out enough of the garage to fit my car in and fixed a few minor dents. We also cleaned out a LOT of the utility room, giving us a huge walkway instead of just a tiny little path!

So, on that note, time to go. I have SO much to catch up on in regards to the house today.


Friday, January 7, 2011

It's Almost Soothing

I went manic tonight. Or at least, hypomanic - not a full blown mania, but the racing thoughts, twitchy nerves. Imagine having 6 cups of coffee, right after each other, within an hour.

That's hypomanic. Or at least, part of it. That's the best description I have.

It was like a light switch. I checked my mood journal. I have alarms set on my phone for 10am, 4pm, and 9pm to mood track.

My 4pm is a 4 out of 10... a "bad hair day". Slightly sluggish, but functional.
My 6pm? 6 out of 10. The high front of a good day. Riding on good feelings.
By 8 I knew I was hypomanic. I was speaking to my mother on the phone (something I normally avoid) while doing dishes. Ben couldn't follow the conversation easily. He said I kept switching topics. I was scrubbing things (the carpet) that wouldn't normally be part of my cleaning routine.

Now, two glasses of wine later, I feel stable again. I guess that should tell you how up I was. Two glasses of wine (slightly full, actually) make me feel grounded.

I still have racing thoughts. Is this post even make sense, I wonder? I'm watching True Blood with a sort of interested detachment. I'm wrapped in a blanket, munching on Snickers bars and Reeses. (Things I don't normally eat).
I have a huge craving for baked goods. Even plain, french bread with butter. I'd die for a piece of NorthStar Diner's bread. Carbs.
I have that happy go lucky idea of "all will be well". I spent too much on groceries today (which I rectified by putting next week's grocery money towards bills instead. Evened out. But still).

The good news is, it's a different kind of manic than it used to be.
Manic used to be irritable. Eating out. Spending money. Randomly buying animals, junk, etc. Unfocused. Unable to control.

This time it's different. I controlled it. I put back non-food items at the grocery store. It sounds simple, but good god, it wasn't. I was able to tell Ben to put the grocery cash back in the bank. I was able to pay bills, with Ben watching over my shoulder, with a fairly clear head.

Even manic, I feel more stable than I have in ages.

I can only hope that this mania was caused by lack of sleep, too much sleep (oddly enough, I had BOTH last night. Figure THAT out). Or from outside causes.

Either way, I'm okay with it. For now. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

That Darn New Years Post, 2011

Okay, so I'm 6 days late in posting a "new years" post. So sue me.

This year has been... a roller coaster ride. That about sums it up. Ups, downs, mood shifts, medication shifts, LOTS of medical bills, debt. Me: insane, sane, insane again, insane X 2 in April, sane, insane X2 AGAIN in December.

This year, I said hello, and goodbye, to two angel babies. This year, Tamsyn turned 1, started walking, started talking, and -finally- started to have her skin cleared up. This year, Morrigan turned 3, had wonderful birthday party, learned her ABC's, outgrew her beloved 'sparkly shoes', and learned a LOT about sharing.

This year Ben helped me through what I believe is the hardest year of my life. Despite the mood swings, the depression, the mania, he has been there. Maybe not the BEST supportive, but trying, and always my anchor.

So what does 2011 bring? Well, so far, it brings sanity and stability. The medications I started a week ago have held true - so far. My house is cleaner. I am able to organize and 'pretty' up things like the bookcases. I bought candlesticks, and they are now gracing our table.

I am able to cuddle my children again. I am able to speak nicely to them instead of yelling. I am able to bake again - bread, biscuits, you name it. The fog that surrounded my head seems gone. Even the simple tasks, like turning out a light as you leave the room, are suddenly clearer.

For some this might seem trivial. For me? Life-changing. Mind-blowing. For years, here I was, thinking I was just a horribly bad person who couldn't stick to a routine - or anything - to save her life. Turns out I'm bipolar. I'm sick. But it's treatable. It can be managed. I'm not really that selfish little brat. I'm not really a money-spending fiend. I don't really hate my life or my children.

I still have moments, over the last week. Yesterday I had the itch to spend money. But instead of the hundred dollar shopping spree I USED to do, I was content with a $14 goodwill trip. Content with it. Not scrounging for quarters so I could buy-buy-buy.

Today I'm a little irritable. I blame the beers I had last night. But again, it's manageable. It's NOTHING like what it would have been.

It's amazing and I can only pray, and hope, and wish, that this is true stability and not a swing.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dear Baby Girl

Today, Tamsyn is officially 2 years old.

Holy crap, where did time go?

I don't particularly have any words to say.

So here's some pictures.

Day of Birth

17 days later. Her skin was already starting to break out. "Baby acne"

A Month Later
April, 2009. Her skin was so bad, and her scratching so bad, that we had to put socks on her hands to keep her from clawing herself bloody.



This is probably as bad as her skin got. It was horrid. Infected, cracking, oozing sores that she could. not. stop. scratching. This is about the same time we finally connected food allergies to eczema and put her on soy formula.




And this Christmas, decorating cookies.

Right now she's sleeping, otherwise I'd snap a pic of her now.

Happy birthday, darling. It's been a long, hard ride, but you came out on top.
I love you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ah, Tuesday, How I Love You

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Ah, Tuesday, how I love you. Tuesday is a relaxing day for me. The hustle and bustle and "catch-up" of Monday is over. The girls are back into their routine. And, of course, Random Tuesday. Visit the Un Mom for more people's random thoughts.

It's 2011. Kabloowie, there went my brain. This year, Tams will turn 2, Morrigan will turn 4 (4??? SERIOUSLY?), Ben and I will have our 4th wedding anniversary, and I will turn 24. Holy crap.

So we sold a goat yesterday, Molly. Connie, her daughter, is up for sale, but who would have thought... nobody wants to buy a goat who isn't giving any milk, because, duh, it's winter, and they eat but don't produce and then they suck all the money out of your 'farm fund'. Duh. Someone offered me $25 less than I listed her for. Considering accepting it. Money is good right now.

People won't call me back about their car. Am I a bad person for not calling them? If I can hold them off/if they don't call before Friday, we'll have a pay day in our pocket and can afford the repair, no problem. If they call before that, well, we might be in trouble.

Speaking of money, our tax refund is going into savings. I'm not screwing with this "holy crap we owe X $900 OMG WHERE ARE WE GOING TO GET IT FROM!?!?!" crap anymore.

Ben is sick. Or getting sick. Today I woke up with a huge knot in my stomach. Ugh. I guess we've been lucky, since nobody has been sick this fall/winter yet. I have a feeling when/if we get it, it'll hit hard, though. Ben and I are both popping vitamin C like crazy. Oh, and B complex, garlic pills, echinacea. Anything to help prevent or otherwise lesson what is to come.

$6 grocery cart? BEST investment ever for the girls. Holy crap. I knew they'd play with it, but they PLAY with it. Thanks, JCPenney.

We're at that point where we're going to have to start rationing wood. The cold snap that hit us in early Dec. has hit our wood piles pretty hard. Time to start dressing in more than two layers.

I got a brand spankin' new kitchen knife set from my in-laws for Christmas. I can't tell you how much I love this set. Being able to actually, you know, cut things? Heaven. Also the BIL and his GF gave us a blender. Fan. Freaking. Tastic.

Every time our answering machine goes off, the dog howls. I crack up.

Alright, out of steam. Time to go take a shower, wake the heck up, and get some work done.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday, and More


(Check out Organizing Junkie for more menu plans!

Welcome to my first post of 2011!

One thing I have been terribly lax at is menu planning. For our family, when it works, it WORKS. When I don't make one, well, we go through the rush-whats-for-dinner daily.

So here we are again. A new year. Hopefully a new start.

Mon - Sweet & Sour Beef Stew over rice, homemade french bread

Tues - Bourbon chicken (a family favorite), stirfried veggies, over rice

Wed - Spaghetti or Alfredo pasta, more homemade bread, green beans

Th - Chili with cornbread, Broccoli

F - Bean enchiladas, cornbread, lemon garlic broccoli

S - Tamsyn's birthday party! We'll probably have a meat/cheese tray, so we'll finish that off, as well as cake and goodies.

Su - Plain ole' pot roast, french bread, salad

Now the trick: to stick with it!

Tamsyn turns 2 in 3 days (I originally typed '3 in 2 days'. WHOA, there, mommy, back up!). Her GF/DF/EF cake is ordered from Pattycake Bakery, a vegan bakery here in Columbus. I LOVE the fact that they are already vegan. They also take Gluten-free orders on a regular basis, so I'm not very worried about cross contamination. I could, of course, make T's cake here at home - but there is something about birthday cakes that makes me want buy them. Partly for the lovely decorations, done by real people. Partly because I LOVE birthday cake - the kind you get from a real bakery. LOVE it. Love it so much that I am having a 2nd, "regular" cake made for T's party. All for me (but I might share with some guests). After all, her birth day included me, right? So I get cake too!

Ahhem. Yes, I'm 6.

And in a random swing of topics, we sold Molly yesterday. :( For many reasons. The first is that the goats have to somehow pay for themselves... they weren't. Molly was the ringleader, she was a pain in the neck, so she went first.
Connie is up for sale, too. I'm debating on listing Nicky, just because I don't see any real reason to keep him.

I'm also considering breeding the "babies". I guess they're not really babies anymore! I'd like to wait until late January, though. That way they are a solid 9 months old. Connie was 8 months old when we bred her, and I feel that was a tiny bit too young.

Alright, well, time to go do some dishes, bake some bread, and make some yummy stew.