Thursday, September 15, 2016

Time flies when you're.....

I thought I had posted since Yule. Apparently that is not the case. Sorry. I'm still around, I'm off path though and trying to make my way back to a more sustainable, health and self sufficient lifestyle.

Here's the skinny:
  • Replaced the broken oven.
  • Fridge died, was gifted a older fridge by a friends who had an extra.
  • Second semester was brutal 15 credit hours, but one class ended horribly with a D so I will have to retake it eventually.
  • My dad had a stroke in February, my brother had a garage accident that massively damaged both his hands in April. They are both doing better. My brother moved out of state to be able to work.
  • Got turned down for financial aid this year. Cashing out my 401k after the call center closed kinda screwed me. I'm still in the dislocated worker program so my tuition and books were covered.
  • I'm still at school, 12 credit hours and I work two jobs. One for a well known sub shop (That made all of us sign a social media clause so I cant put the name down) and I also babysit a gorgeous 10 month old baby for some family friends. 
I miss writing, I haven't been keeping up with the blogs I love to read but I'm trying to rectify that. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Homemade for the Holidays (Winter check-in)

It's Winter Solstice
This is my "Yule Log" 

I haven't had a tree since Bill moved out five years ago. Without the step-kids and the step-grand-baby I just didn't have any incentive to decorate the first year or so. Three years back I lamented to Brenna and Sister Zim that I wanted to decorate but was didn't have a tree, didn't want a tree because the cat to human ratio increased and some of those cats are jerks. I know some fluffy bastard would bring it down and break something. They created the Yule Log. They snuck it in to the house and I came home to find it. It's now what I use in place of a tree. It has holes drilled to put in tea lights. It has owls. It's very much me.

I was on the fence about whether or not I would decorate this year. The weather has ranged from 40-70 F. It doesn't FEEL like winter. So it's hard to get into the mindset. I finally had an inkling to do something for the holidays, on the 21st! So I got the log down and then dug up my old Christmas decorations. It was rough, so rough. It made me homesick, it made me miss my late Uncle Scott who used to dress up as Santa. Several of my snowmen in the picture above are from him. I cried off and on the whole set up. 

Poor Brandon came home in the middle of it and did his best to help me. Then he let me open a Yule gift
It's a bluetooth speaker with extra bass! No more "tinny" music from my laptop or phone!

This is also the first year in almost a decade that I don't have a Christmas bonus to go shopping with and that's been rough. I know my friends and family don't care but I love gifting. So it's homemade presents for most people. I'm mid process of making different things for people. Stuff I have learned through the SCA has come in handy, I've made some rosewater and camphor perfumes and making some crocheted gifts. Also doing up some body washes, and some candles. Probably most will get them late. I've been having some things getting in my way...

Just some things Im working on

Like my oven breaking. The stovetop is fine but I can't bake a damn thing. I have a crock pot and an electric skillet so we can cook to a point, just not baking cookies, desserts etc. Not that I should be eating a lot of baked goods...but still, aggravating. After the holidays I'm hoping to get the repair guys out and they will tell me if it's worth fixing or buying a newer one (a newer used one).

Finals are over and I finished my first semester of college with a 3.7 GPA!! Next semester is going to be heavier credit hour wise, the courses tougher AND hopefully I will be working. My unemployment will be running out soon. I wont say where yet as it is not official. 

My health has also been trying to spiral out of control on me. My diabetes was not under control as well as they'd like and they also found out that my Vitamin D and my thyroid levels were low. So now I've cracked down and got it to a point where he decided against putting me on insulin. Now I just have to keep at it. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Post Turkey Day

School and life have kept me away from writing, sorry folks. College is going ok. Im doing well in my classes and we are fast approaching the end of the semester. So far Im all A's and B's.  Stuff on the homefront has been tight. Making my unemployment stretch has been an education in frugality. Extra money is being set aside for things, like road trips, in a jar. I've been using my Ibotta app and saving up my rebates as well to use later. A friend of mine just got me onto the Walmart app with its Savings Catcher; so far I am up to $6 and as I unfortunately shop Walmart often I figure I might as well use it, every penny counts.

Next semester the credit hours are going to be higher AND I need to pick up a job.  Im not looking forward to it. Guess it's a good thing I dont have kids yet.

I'm exhausted and there isnt much more I can think to tell you guys, other than yes, I am still here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

End of August

Yeah I know it's been three months since my last post. There wasn't a whole lot to tell. I wasn't working but was paying bills with my severance package. My shoulder was jacked up from the car wreck. There was no garden this summer. The insurance got worked out from the wreck, and with it and what money I had left from my cash out from work I bought a used car. Im happy with it and it's paid off.

Things that are happening now:

  • Im enrolled full time in college, classes started yesterday. Since I'm considered a displaced worker there is a program offered to me. Pick an approved degree or certificate program from a list the program offers and they pay for it. Tuition, books and mileage. They are still processing my application. However, I qualified for Pell and Map grants so I could get started.
  • Brenna and I are looking at a late summer garden to put cold weather crops in
  • Walley lost his job, Brandon is working temp jobs
  • Im out of severance money and finally went on unemployment. 
Life is stressful, trying to keep a handle on it. So far it's 50/50 depending on the day. I know this is temporary. I know that right now I just need to focus on school. The rest will fall in place. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

April was a disaster

April was so full of promise, I was getting ready to pay off bills, some of them 2 years ahead of time. I was gearing up for the garden, I was looking happily at the future and with hope. Then on the 14th this happened:

A 16 year old ran an stop sign and totalled my car.

Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks since my accident, the bruises are gone. I have a screwed up right shoulder and have to go to PT twice a week for most of May. Right now I am in Michigan visiting friends and trying not to be frustrated. I've been frustrated and angry since the wreck. All my plans have had to be altered. But this trip was not going to be one of them. I borrowed the boyfriend's car and went. This kid has wrecked more than just my car. Things I worked so hard for and towards. One of my best friends and I had put a lot of time into this car, She was a great car and would easily lasted another 100,000 miles. I cant work in my garden, which was set to help offset the burden of my not working. Yeah Im still on my severance package but that runs out in August, I'm still going back to school and I still have 6 months of unemployment to tap but I was saving that for the first semester of school.

I need to find a new car. I was still paying on her as she was part of my bankruptcy repayment. I was THIS  close to paying it off 2 years ahead of time. Seriously, the check was scheduled to clear into my account on the 17th and he hit me the 14th. So now that is all up in the air. It will all work out, just not as I planned. Deep down somewhere I know this but when I cant even pick up a goddamn laundry basket with both hands, or a heavy purse with my right arm it's extremely hard to remember this. My  anxiety and panic attacks have flared back up, especially when I am a passenger in the car now. Im tired of having to make sure my pain meds and anti anxiety meds are always on me.

So now it's May, the hardest month in my life anymore. Mother's Day and my 37th birthday are quickly coming. Anyone who's paid attention to my blog know I struggle through this, I feel no need to hash it out again. I pray to the Gods to help me as I heal, to give me strength to aid me in my perseverance and to help me become useful again. In this moment I feel so utterly useless, weak and unworthy.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Om nom nom

The thaw has begun in Southern Illinois. Everything is wet and muddy. There are still bits of ice and piles of snow here and there, especially where snowplows have created mounds of it but it got up to 47° today and it's just going up from there! Im just happy to not feel so achey and that I dont have to drive on ice!

I've been doing a lot of house cleaning and trying out new recipes. I've been trying really hard not to eat out, which is easier to do when you don't leave the house as much. But I also wanted to increase my cooking repertoire. With my first ex hubby all he wanted to eat was Hamburger Helper, pizza and canned ravioli. To this day even thinking of it can make me nauseous. The second was a great cook but every time I tried to cook on my own he would butt in and then take over. The boyfriend did this several times and I just stopped trying. After the call center closed I put my foot down. I wanted to cook and eat good food.

 Most times I forget to take pictures of the food but I've made some pretty tasty things lately. These are recipes out of Thug Kitchen's Cookbook which Walley picked up. Now, I will warn you, their stuff is meat and dairy free but these have passed Walley and the boyfriend's taste testing with flying colors and they are now going to be on regular rotation as they were originally written and also tweaked for when we are feeling at bit more like carnivores ☺ I made the stuffed peppers below with beef broth instead of veggie, because I had it on hand already.

Barley stuffed peppers

Sweet Corn and Green Chile Baked Flautas
Nailed it!
These flautas were a big hit. I've made them twice now. First time I stuck to the recipe. Second time around found us adding spiced ground beef and cheese. Next time we will forgo the cheese. We took it to a table top game night and they went quick. and while they're definitely able to go into the fridge if you have leftovers you will want to reheat them in a cast iron skillet so that the tortilla gets crisp again

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 1st update

In two weeks I will be officially unemployed. I cannot believe its been 6 weeks already. Time has flown so fast that I'm sort of sick to my stomach. I miss having a set schedule and routine. I am desperately trying to get back on one. I am eating healthier, and a lot of housework is getting done in a more timely manner. I am enjoying this somewhat domestic phase I've fallen in to. Some days I really wish I could just be a Stay-at-home Stephie™

Meal planning is going well. We have only been solidly planning dinners, our breakfast and lunches are usually left overs from the night before because we sometimes don't wake up until noon. (another reason I want back on a schedule) We went off track this week as one of my best friends and his girlfriend came to visit. We went out to eat a lot this week but it was well worth it. Michigan is so far away from Southern Illinois. I am planning to take a week or so up to visit them. Probably in April but not sure. I am quite excited about it. 

There is another thing I am excited about. I am going back to school! Since I'm considered a displaced worker there is a program offered to me. Pick an approved degree or certificate program from a list the program offers and they pay for it. Tuition, books and mileage. If I had kids they would help with childcare (too bad I don't) I'm happy and scared. I haven't been in school for almost 18 years. I've got things narrowed down to a couple options but it really looks like Medical Transcription, medical secretary, etc. I will start this Fall as there is too much this summer that I am supposed to do, and there is also the garden. Cannot wait for all this snow to go away!!