Category Archives: frugal

Why Does a Stranger Get to Control My Life?

This is as close as I could find to a representation of my last disability hearing:

People who have applied for disability and not been approved at the two earlier stages end up with a hearing. There is a door at the back where the possibly-disabled and their attorney enter. The seats closest to them are where they sit, as if disability of any kind was contagious. There is a stenographer to my left on the square of tables, and a disability occupations adjudicator at the table to my attorney’s right. Directly in front of me is a dais. Once everyone is settled in the judge will enter from a door directly opposite the one I walked through. In his or her black robes, of course. My judge this time is male, and I suspect is the same judge I had last time.

So before a word has been spoken the stage is set. The judge, formally dressed, sitting higher than anyone else. The stenographer and adjudicator sitting close to, but lower than the judge and at an angle toward him. My attorney sits beside me. He doesn’t know me at all, even though we’ve been through a hearing together before and everyone insists he’s great. He was assigned to me by Allsup, a company I’ll be happy to pay since THEY jumped through all the hoops for me. If you need someone, call and mention my name. I think I should have frequent flyer points to share or something.They have a 97% success rate!

My judge has a documented 38%¬† approval on disability cases, which I found out yesterday. The adjudicator guy will do most of the talking. He’ll list all the jobs I could do full-time, since I clearly can’t return to Nursing. Pretty much I sit there and they talk about me between themselves. This time I’ll stand and tell my own story. No one in that room knows me or my family or what we’ve been through.

If they did they’d all give me gentle hugs, tell me I was in their prayers, and approve me for disability all the way back to the start date of 2009. My children, too, since my pain screwed up both of their lives, plus Michael’s. I don’t think they give compensation to spouses, but he deserves something for all he’s endured.

My hearing is Tuesday (the 14th) at 10 a.m. I would be incredibly thankful if my friends could pray for me, send some positive energy, or just think about me that morning, please. I’d appreciate it SO much! Even if I’ve been a bitch to you lately (as I have to most of those closest to me) just think back to the good times we’ve had and think fondly of me, even if it’s only a minute or two.

My Favorite Things (Today)

I could hardly believe it when I checked Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week and found a topic I’d already entered as a title during a sleepless night mind-mapping section. So here are my current favorite things, in no particular order. I have affiliate links with a couple of them, but certainly not all. Take this one, for instance:

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Non-slip tape. This is awesome! I bought the two-inch-wide clear tape, and my husband put it on the stairs down from the pantry to the back door. Our chocolate lab is thirteen and, um. . . more full-figured than she should be at her age. So the stairs were becoming a problem. After a few days of getting used to the tape she now hops up and down the steps like a pup! Thankfully, we had some left over. It came in handy when I slipped on our old bathmat and tumbled out of the shower. A wet, naked fifty-year-old woman wrapped like a burrito in a shower curtain is not pretty. Thankfully, my husband was home to unwrap me and help me get dried and into bed, where I stayed for forty-eight hours icing my hip and lower back. Now there’s tape on the bottom of the tub, too.

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Tiffany Reisz books. She’s been writing like crazy lately, which makes me incredibly happy. The Red is her latest, and it was simply perfect. It’s a book from within her books – a book her main character in the Original Sinners series wrote. So the whole thing is like an inside joke. Her newest, Michael’s Wings, comes out today! I can’t wait for my local bookstore to order it for me, so I’ll download it on Kindle and order it from Carmichael’s so I’ll have a copy for her to sign ūüôā She’ll be in Kentucky later this month, and I hope to get a chance to see her!

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Accupressure Pillow. The points on this thing are serious sharp to the touch, but I’ve slept more than one night with it under my neck or lower back and felt much less stiff than usual in the morning. And yes, they do make them in other colors. But when I have the option I always choose purple. I just noticed these are out of stock now on Zulily, but similar items are available on Amazon as well as most yoga supply shops. If there’s a locally-owned yoga shop near you this would be a great item to buy from a local business. I always #shopsmall when I can!

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Kiss imPRESS Nails. I swear I wouldn’t have even looked at this ad except for Christian Siriano. Yes, the youngest winner of Project Runway, the man who made the term “fierce” popular, and my second-favorite Project Runway competitor. My FAVE is Chris March, who was in the finals competing with Christian. He was snubbed because of his use of human hair in his collection on skirts and lapels. Seriously, it was gorgeous, and there wasn’t a celebrity there who didn’t have human hair extensions glued, clipped, or sewn into their scalp. Completely hypocritical. Anyway, the nails don’t require glue, and can be removed easily. In other words, even someone with a tremor like mine can have a nice manicure for about five bucks without apologizing to the nail tech fifty times. I haven’t bought them yet, but it will be happening soon!

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Sombra warming pain relief cream. Sorry to add yet another pain-relief item to this list, but you’d be surprised how many people on your Christmas gift list this year can use them. People who are doing hard physical work don’t have the time or energy to search out anything past Advil and a heating pad. It’s the people like me who pushed too hard for too long that have the answers. This is great because it doesn’t go on greasy, it smells like oranges, and it works for HOURS.

Exciting New Hobbies!

GREAT prompts over at Mama Kat’s this week! There were at least three I was ready to tackle, but of course that’s my problem: I want to tackle everything, and just can’t physically do it. I’ve been in constant pain since 2009. I haven’t been able to work since 2011. I’m still battling to get disability benefits.

But even after all that time I still really want to do it all. If it can be done in 15 minute increments and allows me to lie down for twenty out of twenty-four hours I can do it. Oh, and it can’t involve any lifting, pushing, or pulling, or really much movement at all. I’m like a grumpy talking statue – reclining bitch, perhaps? Oh, and I have a bad tremor. It’s in both hands, and it gets worse the harder I try to hold my hand steady.

Keep all that in mind while you look at just a few of the hobbies I want to pick up. I have Pinterest boards for all of them. I’m sure everyone who knows me squirts hot coffee out their nose when they see a new pin from me. At least I’m entertaining!

Crocheting or knitting

DIY Sturdy Crochet Slipper Boots Free Pattern from SMP Craft.

Aren’t these just PERFECT as Christmas gifts for the entire family? I’d only be able to work on them on really light pain days, though. I get a bit “stabby” when the pain is bad, and someone could lose an eye.

raising chickens

Fun way to identify your birds!  Charm Leg Bands are enjoyable to see on your feathered friends...

I did a lot of research on this. I was going to make a dust bath, a sprout-munching area, little jackets for them so they couldn’t peck each other. . . and then I remembered I’m not really that fond of eggs after all.

gardening

Plants for Shade - Shade Plants - 10 Varieties That Thrive Where the Sun Don't Shine - Bob Vila

I used to LOVE gardening. If I had a frustrating day at work I’d get out the hoe, the pruners, or maybe even the chainsaw! I had everything mulched beautifully, edged with brick, and thriving. Of course now I can barely get anything into a hanging basket, let alone the ground. And then it dies in a couple of weeks anyway because I forget to water it. I can remember to feed the dogs and let them out for potty breaks, but adding in medications every four hours pretty much uses up all the brain cells not saying OUCH!

crafts with wood

Love the use of these old crates stacked and mounted with caster wheels

I haven’t given up on this one yet. My husband’s not wild about the idea of someone with a tremor using a table saw or circular saw or whatever is in the basement, but I’ve got such GREAT ideas it’s a shame to waste them!

 

exercise while dangling from big silk ribbons

classes-3

I’ve never really been flexible or coordinated, but this really makes me wish I could give it a try. My neurosurgeon would probably fire me for being an idiot, though (hopefully after he repaired my spine.)

paint rocks

make a whole bunch of these and put them everywhere in the garden

I know someone who does beautiful, intricate paintings on rocks. I’d just like to do little hearts or flowers or inspirational, uplifting sayings. Then I’d leave then all over town where people usually run or walk their dogs so they could pick them up when they’re having a bad day, then leave them for someone else to find later.

sew/quilt

Repurpose an old men's shirt.

This dress is supposedly made from a man’s shirt. I guess if you’re a size zero and buy a men’s XXL shirt it might work.¬† These sorts of things just sucker me in because of frugality. Few things make me happier than a bargain!

 

refinishing/upcyling furniture

Little Dresser To Cute Cabinet ... gutting the whole thing since she was missing a drawer anyway & added shelving & then open frame doors to complete the look

Yes, I’m the one cruising everyone’s trash the night before pickup. My husband is quite thankful I can’t actually pick up anything of significant size. I did try to talk him into fetching me a free piano last week, but I had to back down after he walked me through our house with a tape measure and proved we had nowhere to put it.

I’ll stop there, but feel free to drop by my Pinterest account next time you need a giggle. I am the most random pinner ever! I really didn’t think Pinterest was going to be a big thing when it started, so I have boards like “Good Ideas” and “Nom Nom Nom”. Yeah, it’s totally down the rabbit hole there, but it’s my happy place. Oh, one more!

making fairy houses

fairy house from oatmeal container, bark, pinecones

I’ve actually done two, but I don’t think either of them survived the winter. Gonna have to research this a bit further.More natural stuff like bark, milkweed pods, and mushrooms? More plastic and polymer clay? Or just twenty coats of polyurethane instead of ten?

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