random stuff

These Days

These days of summer, the month of June, has been spectacularly obnoxious for me. Here’s why:

Near the beginning of the month, my debit card was stolen, and a number of charges were made online. The charges themselves were not very big, but my bank has added HUGE overdraft fees, leaving me nearly $900 overdrawn at the end of the month. I don’t even get nine hundred dollars in SSI/SSD each month!! We are working to fix this, but it seems as if the bank just doesn’t care. I hate it, and am not happy. And I’m broke, probably forever, now.

Add to the money problems the health stuff. The last year has been bad, seizure-wise, and we cannot seem to figure out why. OHSU, where I am a patient at the Epilepsy clinic, assigned me to a new doctor last Autumn, and I’ve seen her once. She keeps rescheduling my appointments. So I’m asking my GP, Dr Jeff, for a referral to the Providence Neurology & Epilepsy Clinic. I am done being shuttled around. That appointment, with Dr Jeff, is tomorrow. I get my thyroid level checked, too, after being on the med for over a year. Let’s hope things are looking up!

Some things are looking up, I can admit that. I’ve lost some weight in the last year, but not nearly what I need to lose. I am a short woman, with small bones, and weighing this much can’t be good for me. Now, I watched a TED Talk this week, and based on their info, even at this weight, I’m in the healthier group. See, I do 3 of the 4 things it takes to make you the healthy person: I eat plenty of fruits & veggies, I don’t smoke, and drink moderately. I don’t get enough exercise, but I’m working on it. Makes me feel better about myself, even if my clothes are a bigger size!

Seriously, 75% of what I eat these days is some sort of green smoothie. My NutriBullet gets more use than any other appliance I own, except my laptop! I am feeling better, and I know I am healthier. There are days when something happens to change that; last week I had a fairly bad seizure, and managed to injure myself in some strange places. How I got what looks like a rug burn/bruise underneath my boob, I have no idea, but it hurts like a bitch! Wearing a bra has been out of the question for the last week. (Oh, and the heat here, that’s only made things worse. I miss winter.) I’m finally not sore everywhere else, and feeling like a human being again. It’s amazing. Somedays I think my body hates me. Somedays I hate it.

These days, I only want to stop feeling as if I crawled out from under a rock. I looked like I should live under one for a while, but now I’m looking better, thank Merlin. I swear, I looked in the mirror last Saturday, and thought I’d been dead for a couple of days! Ick. Only my hair looked decent; I colored it the week before, and it’s very nifty. I’ll post some pics in the next couple of days–check Instagram!

These days, I am also having some interesting things going on; I’m back on the online dating scene, because I am apparently crazy (I will write about this later), and have no idea what I’m doing. I am trying to grow my nails out again, and not biting them is torture! Trying to answer Oprah’s “20 Questions Every Woman Should Answer.” I have no good answers. I never do.

 

tiny flat

Thrifty!

Upheaval has happened in my tiny room, and Miss Google is traumatized.

On Friday & Saturday, my Mom had a yard sale, selling (or attempting to sell) all sorts of stuff gathered from around the house. This included clothes, toys, and furniture. Among the furniture was a headboard that was part of a bedroom set. I’ve been using the long, low dresser in my room because, well, it was in here when I moved back, and it was just easier to use it than not. It’s a lovely piece, blond wood, and very sturdy. The headboard matches. At the sale on Saturday a family decided they wanted to buy the entire set, and would be back on Sunday afternoon to pick it up. So Sunday morning, I moved all of my belongings from the blond dresser to my old dresser, and Dad transported it down to the garage for them to pick up. Of course, these folks never showed up, and the whole thing was done for no reason!

Here is where the problem comes in: since I moved here, Miss Google’s food & water bowls had been on a tray on top of that dresser. There is not enough space on the tall one for the tray, so I moved it to my desk. She didn’t like that; every time she jumped from the bed to the desk, she ran into the wall. So she kept looking to the place where her bowls had been before, and yowling pitifully. “Meooow?” It was pathetic. I compromised  and placed the tray on the floor beside the tall dresser. I only hope I don’t trip over it in the dark!

My new old dresser, and a calm Miss G.
My new old dresser, and a calm Miss G.

This is the dresser I’ve had since I was a child. I once told Mom I wanted to paint it, and she said “But why? It’s such good wood!” This is her response to me everything I mention painting a piece of wooden furniture. I love the look of painted wood; Mom thinks that just the wood is enough. Sometimes I agree, sometimes, not so much. She’s gonna have a hissy fit when I paint my antique school desk this summer, but I want to use it as a vanity, and it needs to be a different color.

On a different note, I began searching for apartments this weekend. It was both exhilarating and depressing. Those available in my price range are either way out in the boonies (or in Vancouver, no thank you!), or creepy. Lots of studios. I am too old to live in a studio apartment. Been there, done that. As for sharing a bathroom or kitchen with a bunch of strangers, not even gonna think about that! Isn’t that why I’m moving? I have lived in dorms, student housing, a studio apartment, tiny apartments, a “manufactured home”, condos, houses, and fairly nice apartments. My dream apartment is in an older building, funky, and fun. A cross between Jerry Seinfeld‘s place and the apartment of Friends. Easy to find, right? And totally possible on my teeny-tiny budget, of course!

 

This, for $550 a month? In your dreams.
This, for $550 a month? In your dreams.

 

I do know that where ever I end up, I will be decorating on an even smaller budget,  hitting up Goodwill and thrift stores for the furniture I need. Which is nearly everything. I don’t have any living room furniture anymore, and I gave my kitchen table to my niece Kristan. Of course, she’s not using it now, and I’m using her living room chairs, so maybe we can trade for a bit…hmm. Anyway.

The idea of hitting the thrift shop used to just appall me. If it wasn’t new, I didn’t want it. While I always had an appreciation for antiques, especially furniture, the idea of buying thing like clothing from Goodwill was abhorrent to me. Not any more. (Don’t get me wrong; I’m not tying to be some hipster, shopping at the thrift store because it’s cool. And I have no intention of posting every days outfit on Instagram or Tumblr–folks would get real tired of seeing my yoga pants and plain cardigans! Life on a limited budget is challenging, and until this point, I’ve not been trying very hard to live within my means. ) There was also a time when I refused to buy groceries at WinCo, preferring Fred Myers, or a higher priced chain over the bag-your-own stores. My ex-husband was a big fan of WinCo, and introduced me to the delights of lower prices. It took me a long time to discover that shopping the bulk bins was even cheaper, as well as a greener choice, but these days, I buy lots of my stuff in bulk. I’d still prefer to have someone else bag my groceries, mainly because I suck at it, and always end up with one bag way too heavy, but I am getting better. The lower prices and larger selection have converted me to shopping WinCo! (Sorry for the commercial!)

What was my point?

Oh. I am challenging myself to live within my means from now on. I haven’t been spending like crazy, but after all those years of not having any money, I went a little wild. Amazon was my downfall…  The months ahead will be tough. Trying to find a place to live, and keeping the budget tight. Saving up all I can. I hate being broke, but I always remember that I am so much better off than so many others!

Meanwhile: watch this, and sing along.