Categories
Economy Health

The New Normal

“If you’re going through Hell, keep going.”

Unknown

The world is under siege by an invisible threat that is overwhelming our medical community to the point where desperate measures are being taken to reduce the spread.

Oddly enough, now that things are coming to pass I feel an odd sense of peace. I suspected that things would be seriously affected in our nation since the Wuhan lockdown in January, so I no longer have to wonder what is going to happen next. My worst fears are coming to pass. The unknown is now the known, which gives me a sense of relief.

I can deal with the known. It’s the unknown possibilities that frighten me.

The last time I left the house was on Friday, March 13. A friend of mine had purchased a television and didn’t know how to connect her devices to it. I take care of my friends so, despite the risk, I went to her home and got it sorted. I am well-aware of the fact that, as things continue to be shut down, that the television will become her lifeline so I wanted to ensure that she was ready, especially since she has yet to fully comprehend the coming changes.

In the midst of the chaos that marks our local community, my daughter’s boyfriend came in on leave. They were married by the County Judge, who was delighted to take a break to participate in something happy for a change. Her husband has since retured to his base in California to see what happens with his scheduled deployment.

So for now, all we can do is wait this out.

My daughter’s job won’t be affected too much. She works in a grocery store, a venue that shouldn’t be shut down in the foreseable future. I’ve got enough money held back to survive for a couple of months. We’ve stocked up our supplies to the point where we can hold out for at least a month if it comes to that. I’ve resisted the urge to stock even more, since the majority of folks in my area did not realize that the situation was so serious until the other day so they are desperately attempting to make up for lost time by hitting the stores hard. They need more access to food and supplies than I do at this point.

One of my closest friends is now in quarantine, so I divide my time between keeping their spirits up as well as checking in on my other friends who are frightened at the changes sweeping the nation. I’m not getting much sleep as a result of that; the different time zones I am dealing with mean that I get to bed in the wee hours of the morning and am awakened not very long after. I nap when I can to compensate.

We aren’t going to be able to escape this, my friends. All we can do is move forward. The challenge we face worldwide is to slow the spread as much as we can to minimize the burden upon the international health systems. The only way we can do that is to stay at home as much as possible and avoid physical contact by maintaining a significant air gap between us and other people. We also need to exercise abundant caution with our personal hygiene by keeping our hands washed and so forth. I’m certain you already know that, so I won’t belabor the point.

If you’ve not stocked up on food and supplies for at least two weeks, I urge you to do so now. While I hope that food and supplies will remain in supply, I am uncertain about the ability of local groceries to keep some things in stock. I hope you will prepare accordingly.

This is going to get ugly, folks. It is going to get ugly, and it is going to be scary. While I see our state governors taking charge and doing their best, I am honestly uncertain of how much help (if any) that the average person will receive from the Federal Government here in the United States. To avoid any danger of being misled, I’ve taken to watching our President’s speeches. Thus far I’ve heard our President bail out the oil industry, encourage the FED to inject a fortune into the stock market and so forth, and announce that he is in talks to bail out the airline and cruise ship industries. Aside from promising an increased availablity of test kits, I’ve not heard our President speak much about concrete plans to help those directly affected by this.

That makes me extremely nervous.

I am not going to lie. Based upon the speeches I have personally watched, I’ve caught our President in several lies just over the past few days. I don’t know if those lies are meant to reassure the general public or not, but between those and the fact that he seems more interested in bailing out the corporations than he is in helping the average person, I have little faith that the United States Government is going to be much help in this. Fortunately our state governors are really stepping up to the plate, which gives me immense hope.

Dr. Fauci gives me hope as well. I have taken to watching his speeches and interviews since he is about the only one in our Federal Government that I trust to speak the truth. The picture he paints for the future is not a pleasant one, but at least it’s honest.

So buckle up and hunker down, folks. It’s about to get real.

Sending prayers, Annie

Categories
Health

Kentucky’s Current Coronavirus Epicenter

On March 6, 2020, my town received some disturbing news: Kentucky’s first Coronavirus patient was a resident of our area.

The tragic part of this is, due to the draconian screening methods used, this person was refused the test for Coronavirus and sent home initially. Given her place of employment, we suspect she worked at her job until she returned as the symptoms continued. Once again, she did not meet the testing criteria. By that point, however, she was so ill that they sent her to UK Medical Center in Lexington, where she was finally allowed to be tested for Coronavirus. She tested positive. Based upon reports from the family, she is currently on a ventilator.

Here is the statement our local hospital released concerning their attempts to properly diagnose her:
https://www.harrisonmemhosp.com/https%3A//www.harrisonmemhosp.com/node/COVID-19

Our town is in an uproar. We live in a small town, so we know who she is and where she worked. We also doubt that the store in question properly sanitized her workplace after she was diagnosed. The place certainly didn’t shut down. Here is a statement from the store in question:
https://www.lex18.com/walmart-issues-statement-in-response-to-coronavirus-concerns

As a result of this, our area now has one doctor, one Physician’s Assistant, at least one nurse, a number of hospital staff, and some family members currently in quarantine:
https://www.lex18.com/healthcare-workers-who-treated-harrison-county-patient-with-coronavirus-in-quarantine

Given the fact that we are a town with approximately 6,300 residents, this has significantly impacted our area’s ability to provide for those in need of medical care.

Our local leaders have been wonderful. Schools have been closed and all public gatherings discouraged. That said, I am furious at the United States government for this.

You see, Trump has stated that he wants to keep the number of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases low:
https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-reportedly-wanted-coronavirus-numbers-kept-as-low-as-possible-2020-3?op=1

How better to keep them low than by not allowing people to be tested?

And how ‘nice’ it would be for our governmental leaders if our disabled and elderly were to die, because if they die, the US government will no longer have to pay Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to support these people in their Golden years and through their time of need?

Think about it. An illness hits the United States that primarily targets the elderly and the physically compromised. That demographic is typically unable to work or have already retired. What better way for our government to reduce how much it pays out in those dreaded ‘entitlement’ payments than to allow an illness like that to run rampant? After all, it’s ‘only killing old people,’ as so many have stated.

Even worse, our nation allowed a family from our area, a family who lived in Hong Kong, to come to our area when COVID-19 hit Hong Kong without placing them into quarantine. Our little town is incensed at the US government’s carelessness to the point that the local paper, who ran a front-page article when the family arrived, posted this statement on Facebook:

I do not know if it was a coincidence that this woman and her family arrived here from Hong Kong just a few weeks before our first case was diagnosed. I do not know if she happened to shop at the place our first official victim of Coronavirus worked. I do know that it is a very small town with a limited number of stores, so this is a definite possibility. I also know that it is possible that her and her family were asymptomatic carriers. They may have introduced it to our area without even realizing it:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/health/coronavirus-asymptomatic.html

I am not faulting this family if that was the case. I am not faulting the poor woman who may have had to work while ill, because in this area, you are forced to work unless you are half-dead.

And apparently you are not allowed to be tested for this new thing unless you’re half dead as well, since Trump wants to keep our numbers down.

I feel so bad for the woman who is currently on a ventilator at the UK Medical Center in Lexington. I feel so bad for those who are currently in quarantine. I feel horrible for the family who may have unwittingly introduced this infection among our populace. They will never know if they did and I am certain that will weigh upon their conscience.

This makes me wonder even more if my grandson had the virus but wasn’t allowed to be tested. It makes me wonder if I had a mild case, and wonder if my friends who have presented similar symptoms were infected as well. It makes me wonder just how far the United States has fallen, that they care so little for their population that they are allowing an illness that has proven deadly to the elderly and disabled run rampant. We live in a nation where one of our reporters has actually suggested that this disease should be given to everyone, after all:
https://www.businessinsider.com/cnbc-host-everyone-should-get-coronavirus-to-save-economy-2020-3?op=1

Please protect your elderly. Check on them to make certain they have what they need. I have no doubts that they are watching the news with growing horror, knowing that our government is hoping that they will die.

And if you pray, please pray that our first official victim lives, and that our national government receives enough pressure to start testing more people. There have only been ten people tested in our state so far, which is absolutely ridiculous.

Categories
Food Health

Are You Picky About Your Pots?

I have owned my current set of pots and pans for longer than Katie has been alive. I am quite proud of these pots; it took quite a while to arrange for their purchase since they were far from cheap. I located them in one of those “seconds” stores that they have in malls occasionally; it is a place where major brands sell things at a discount that they haven’t sold through their normal channels.

The particular set of stainless steel pots that I own are made of heavy stainless steel with thick bottoms, designed to handle everything that I can throw at them. I no longer own the skillet however; I traded that away in exchange for a cast-iron one many years ago.

I am very particular about the pots and pans that I use on the occasions when I do cook. I read somewhere ages ago that aluminum buildup in the brain may be one of the causes of dementia. Given the propensity of metals to leech into food while cooking, I decided to be cautious.

I stopped using teflon pots and pans decades ago for the same reason. No matter how hard I tried, the teflon coating always seemed to deterioriate so I became concerned about that stuff leaching unhealthy things into our food as well.

I may not cook much, but I am thoughtful about the utensils I use.

Do you ever think about the pots you use when you cook? What reasons do you have for selecting the pots and pans that you have? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


It is hypocritical to run a website about buying and living on less while begging your readers to buy your crap so I refuse to do it. That said, I live on the money I receive from book sales, so if you can find it in your heart to pitch in I would be immensely grateful.

I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

Thank you for your support!

Categories
Health Life Personal self-improvement

It is Better to be Toothless and Healthy than to Suffer for Vanity

If anyone ever tells you that working a public job, running an online business, attending college, and getting all of your teeth yanked simultaneously is a good idea, please tell them that they are being incredibly stupid.

I can now say that from experience. I just tried it and it wasn’t fun. I highly advise you to take at least a week off from everything should you decide to get all of your teeth pulled at once, unless you happen to enjoy masochism, that is.

That said, I sincerely hope that the misery is completely behind me. I just looked through the maudlin posts I’ve been publishing and ended up depressing myself.

To summarize what I was trying to explain in my previous posts, living an intentional life is determining what you really want, making sure that it’s something you want and not something that society says you should want, and then living your life accordingly as you give the middle finger to the mindless masses who happen to disagree.

On to the story…

As all of you know, I decided to fix my painful visage once and for all by having every single tooth in my head removed. I decided that my health was far more important than my appearance and made my decision accordingly.

Society would like us to believe that the people who choose to have their teeth removed are all illiterate hicks. We either didn’t take care of our teeth or we destroyed them by using drugs as we showed off the car collection we keep on concrete blocks in our front yards. As a result, those of us who decide that it is best for our health to remove our teeth are stigmatized by society.

Oddly enough, it seems to be the poorest of the poor who hold that belief most often. I’ve had several obviously middle and upper class customers who actually praised my decision to forego immediate dentures, citing the pain they suffered from their personal decision to select vanity over comfort, while my less fortunate customers now sneer at me in disdain or tease me about my condition.

As one so eloquently phrased it, “I’ve got more teeth than you now. Guess you shoulda brushed!”

One of my neighbors decided to come through my line during the height of my misery.

“What happened to your mouth?” she asked with a laugh. “You look funny!”

If I hadn’t felt so bad I would have reached across that counter and slapped her into next week. It was obvious that she was determined to make me feel even more miserable than I already did from the expression in her eyes. It was typical behavior for her but I wasn’t in the mood for her attitude.

“When it comes between choosing between my teeth and my life, I choose my life every time,” I sniffed, outraged that she would attempt to humiliate me in the middle of a rush. “I plan to get dentures once my mouth fully heals.”

“I wish more people were as smart as you,” Mr. Mild Mannered Gentleman chimed in from his place behind her in my line. “Most people would rather poison themselves with rotten teeth than have the courage to accept the inevitable.”

Once my neighbor left with a splutter my defender continued the conversation. “I wish I would have been brave enough to not go with immediate dentures,” he confessed quietly as I scanned his purchases. “Those things are absolutely horrible.” He gave me a glimpse of his beautifully fake smile as he walked away.

For the record, I brushed my teeth faithfully. I flossed and did the other little things I could to take care of them to the best of my ability. Based upon the decade’s worth of posts I’ve written for this blog, I also believe that it is safe to say that I am far from illiterate. While I will own the fact that I’m a hillbilly, I know for a fact that my vocabulary can run circles around the more pompous I’ve encountered1.

But let’s face it, folks. Shit happens. We make a false step and end up scarred for life. We get in an accident and we lose a limb. In my case, I didn’t discover the dangers of soft drinks until my teeth started shattering in my head. It wasn’t common knowledge back when I was a child.

If a limb is gangrened, do we hold on to it or do we get that sucker amputated, attach a prosthesis, and get on with our life? Having your teeth removed is no different in the grand scheme of things.

Society is wrong for stigmatizing people who have made the intelligent decision to choose their health over their smile. What does it matter if your teeth are real or fake, if you have a complete set or not, so long as you are healthy?

It doesn’t matter one bit.

To the person out there in the world who is suffering because you are terrified of what society will think of you if you have your teeth removed: Ignore those idiots. It’s none of their business anyway. If they don’t pay your bills they don’t count and if they don’t like how you look you tell them where to kiss.

If you aren’t comfortable enough to do that you tell them I said where they can kiss. While they’re at it, they might be well-advised to tuck that stuff back in.

Their ignorance is showing and it’s ugly.


  1. For those that are wondering: Yes, I talk rings around them for fun. I find pomposity annoying. 
Categories
Health Productivity

How to Improve Your Health and Boost Productivity

At first glance the subjects of health and productivity don’t seem to have much in common. One concerns how you treat your body and the other how you handle your time. Yet the two are inextricably entwined. It is only by maintaining and improving your health that you can find the energy to do the things you want (and need) to do.

I must confess that I only understood the correlation recently. Over the years I had noticed a lessening of my energy levels. Considering that I am nearing the half-century mark, I attributed it to age and dismissed it. Everybody slows down when they get older, I told myself.

Over the past two years a lingering dental problem (a lifetime of drinking soft drinks has destroyed the enamel on my teeth) forced me to have several teeth removed. As I began to have the teeth extracted, I noticed a surprising side effect: Every time I had a tooth removed, my energy levels increased. With every single boost of energy, I became more productive in my daily life.

I began to ask questions about this phenomenon. Dental issues can cause lingering infections in the body. By removing the source of the infection, I was reducing the load on my immune system and allowing it to work more efficiently. Instead of expending energy to keep infections at bay, my body now had excess energy that could be channeled into other areas of my life.

I pondered this quietly as I noticed the change. If eliminating the cause of infection in my body could cause such a dramatic improvement in my productivity, could actively caring for my body improve my productivity even more?

I decided upon a simple experiment. As most people in this modern age, I didn’t get enough sleep. I would stay up until late in the night writing or chatting online with friends. As a result I would have to drag myself out of bed each morning and force myself to get to work. Since sleep is essential for health, getting more of it should not only boost my health but increase my productivity as well.

At first it was difficult to train myself to go to bed earlier. It felt as if I was wasting time sleeping instead of doing more important things like writing or cleaning my home. I can sleep when I’m dead, I would tell myself stubbornly when my designated bedtime arrived.

I kept working on my experiment. Since a set bedtime wasn’t helping, I instead started setting my alarm clock a bit earlier. Within a week or so my body would start forcing me to go to bed earlier at night.

I didn’t see much difference at first. I would still be a bit groggy in the mornings as I woke up and began to work. Over time that began to change.

I began to wake up before my alarm each morning, sometimes by several hours. At first I was content to lie there and think but over time I began to get restless. I began hopping out of bed ready to get to work.

I began to feel a restless energy that I hadn’t felt in years. Each time I would feel it surface I would get up and do something. While some of these spurts didn’t last long, others lasted for several hours. Over time, these spurts of energy began to get longer and tiny little health issues I’d attributed to age began to decrease.

My ankles no longer swell painfully after a long shift. My shoulder rarely aches after a busy day scanning purchases. My ability to deal with the daily stress of life has improved. Things that used to upset me are now met with a shrug.

I feel as if I’m doing less yet the evidence around me proves that I’m doing more than ever. My home is cleaner. I write more. I read more books than ever. I even started mowing my own yard instead of hiring others to do it yet I still have time and energy to spare. Even with starting college I now find myself with enough time and energy to get it all done.

And it all started by taking care of me first.

If you find yourself perpetually exhausted and feel as if you don’t have enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done, you can improve that situation by making one simple change to your routine:

Get more sleep.

Sleep is like a magic potion to the human body. It allows it to recharge, giving it time to devote to healing and restoration. It can solve problems that the modern medical community cannot even detect, much less repair. Even better, the solution is free.

So go to bed earlier tonight. If like me you have trouble doing that, start by setting your alarm a bit earlier each morning so that your body will force the issue. Take naps whenever you can. This is especially important if you find yourself nodding off whenever you sit down since this is a classic sign of sleep deprivation.

Take one day each week to just rest. You may sleep the entire day away at first (like I did), but over time you will notice that your sleep periods will get shorter and your energy levels begin to climb.

When your energy levels go up, your productivity will follow.

If you found this post helpful, please take a moment to share it with a friend. If you find that you have trouble sleeping, you may want to consider picking up a copy of Set Your Sleep on Autopilot: Learn How to Fall Asleep Fast by Eric West. In this book he compiled a number of very helpful suggestions. I had the honor of contributing my personal method for dealing with insomnia to this book as well. Over the years I’ve revisited this book several times to learn from him and the other contributors so I highly recommend it.

Categories
Happiness Health

Do Nothing

In a few short days my life is about to get extremely busy. While I would like to say that I am approaching the busiest I’ve ever been, thanks to the minimalist practice of eliminating the unimportant this would be a lie, so I refuse to mislead you.

Regardless of the exact details, the truth is that I have undertaken a course of action that will occupy a significant portion of my time for the next several years. At the end of this journey I will have achieved my life-long goal of graduating college so I consider the effort worthwhile.

It would be easy to fill the days leading up to my term. I’ve a house to maintain, a book to write, a blog to maintain, and a myriad of other items I would like to accomplish before I start this adventure.

Instead, I scheduled a day to do absolutely nothing.

The act of doing nothing can be immensely beneficial. It allows us to refresh both mind and body, recharging us so that we can regain the energy we need to keep moving closer to our goals. While you may not be able to do this very often, schedule at least one day a month to do nothing. One day a week is ideal but in this modern age that can be difficult to achieve. If you have children to care for you may not be able to spend the entire day relaxing (children need both food and supervision) unless you are fortunate enough to have someone in your life who will watch over them while you rest. If you don’t have someone who can watch them, take them to the park. They get to play and have fun while you sit on the sidelines and relax. It won’t be perfect but it will be better than nothing. I used to take my Katie to the local parks on a regular basis in order to recharge.

When you institute a day of doing nothing into your schedule you will discover that you feel better and have more energy. Your mind will be clearer and the tension you didn’t realize you were hoarding in your muscles will ease. Your immune system will improve so you will fall prey to illness less frequently. This will result in you having to take less time off of work or reduce the times you have to work while ill.

I highly recommend it.

How to Do Nothing

Schedule a day off from work (you can use your normal day off to do this). Warn your family and friends in advance since they might become concerned if you don’t respond to their calls or messages and wonder if you are feeling ill when you don’t climb out of bed first thing in the morning. The goal is to reduce stress, not exacerbate it with the frantic concern of others.

If you don’t feel that those around you would understand you can use the Stealth Method: tell everyone that on this certain day you will be immersed in a project and unavailable. This is the method I personally use. Since I have a habit of limiting my daily communication when I’m immersed in a writing project they don’t think to question when I announce that I’m scheduling an entire day for this.

Turn off your alarm clock the night before. Put your phone on silent or turn it off entirely. Mute all notifications from Messenger apps that you have on any of your devices (computers too). You can completely disconnect your Internet if you don’t use it to stream music as well, but this is not required if you mute all of your notifications.

Right before you go to bed the night before, take a long bath or shower (your preference). Dress in something comfortable that you can lounge around your home in the next day. Light some comforting incense, turn on some soft music (I recommend Weightless by Marconi Union), and go to sleep.

When you wake up do not hop out of bed immediately. Just lie there and relax. Note any thoughts that travel through your brain but don’t act on them. Just let them flow. If you find any of your thoughts creating stress, focus on your breathing as you think about how nice it feels to rest. You have nothing to do today so just be.

In time you will find yourself growing restless. You will have to use the bathroom or will want a cup of coffee. This is perfectly normal. Your body is accustomed to constantly rushing so it won’t be used to taking a vacation. Get up, do those simple tasks, then curl up in a comfortable chair or go back to bed.

Ignore the dirty dishes. The world is not going to end if you skip them for a day. Just stretch out and savor the luxury of not having to do anything for a change.

While it is perfectly acceptable to read during this time, resist the temptation to turn on the television. The last thing you want is to waste your day of rest on mindless drivel designed to sell you something by making you feel inferior. That said; do not read anything related to your daily life. Read something soothing, inspirational, or completely fictitious.

Take deep breaths and long naps. You may discover that the only thing you want to do is sleep and that’s okay. In fact, chances are high that the first few times you do nothing that your body will demand it. As a whole we push our bodies hard and rarely give them sufficient time to recharge, so ignore the voice in your head that tells you that you need to get things done.

Give your body what it needs instead.

Do not go shopping with your friends. Reschedule your Tinder date. Skip the coffee shop latte. Just stay home, relax, and do nothing.

At the end of the day turn your alarm back on but don’t bother with your phone or your notifications. You can restore those settings tomorrow when you rejoin the chaos.

After you schedule your first day of doing nothing, send this post to your one friend who works far too hard. Tell them that the world will not end if they take one day to care for themselves for a change. If that person is a single parent, volunteer to watch their children during the time. If you are both single parents, offer to take turns so you both can rest.

Above all, remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, no one will.

Wishing you peace and happiness,
Annie

Categories
Health

The Reality of Aging

I woke up to a face filled with pain the other morning. I sat up with a moan, trying to figure out what was happening when my daughter entered the room.

“Oh my God! What happened to your face?” Katie exclaimed.

I staggered to a mirror. My upper right lip had swelled to the size of a sports ball.

That would definitely explain the pain. Poking around the area I determined the source of my agony:

I had another toothache.

Shit!

I thought I had sorted all of my teeth. I choked down some pain meds, applied an ice pack to the swelling, and waited until my dentist office opened.

I spent a week on antibiotics to reduce the infection before my dentist felt safe removing the tooth. I am now teaching myself to speak with my upper lip covering my remaining teeth to conceal the gap and aid in pronunciation.

It is time I faced reality. I could end up killing myself if I continue with the misguided notion that I can save any of my teeth. My dentist has urged me to at least remove all of my top teeth and advised that I may want to have the remaining bottom teeth removed as well. While they may have a few years of life left in them, their removal is inevitable.

I’ve known this time was coming for years even if I didn’t want to face it. I’ve spent the past few years asking people who have had all of their teeth removed about their experiences as I sought their advice.

Interestingly, while those in the lower and middle-class income spectrum all recommend getting an immediate denture, every single wealthy person I’ve questioned has informed me that I would be wasting my money. Immediate dentures rarely fit right so they are uncomfortable to wear if one is able to wear them at all. Even the people who recommend them have told me that they only wore them on rare occasions if they could wear them at all.

One distant relative, a very wealthy businessman, had all of his teeth pulled at the height of his professional career. His research indicated that dentures would not fit properly until his mouth settled so he dressed in his business suits, taught himself to conceal the issue while he spoke, and waited three years for his mouth to completely settle before investing in his first set of dentures.

Other wealthy people have told me a similar story. Almost every single one of them decided to throw vanity aside and wait three years before acquiring their first set of dentures. Not a single one of them had any regrets over the decision, and every single one of them told me that I would be throwing my money away if I didn’t wait at least a year before acquiring my first set of dentures.

My auntie has suggested a middle-of-the-road approach. Have them all pulled and wait until at least Spring of next year to evaluate the condition of my mouth and decide if it has healed enough to justify the expense. She believes that, while I may have to replace that initial pair in a few years as my gums continue to shrink and the bones readjust that it would offer a reasonable compromise between vanity, health, and expense.

I’ve got to do this. If I don’t, I could end up killing myself. This last infection came completely without any warning. While I had noted that I had less energy over the preceding week, I did not make the connection between my energy levels and my mouth.

I have no desire to regain my freedom just to drop dead from a tooth infection.

Despite what society tells us, losing our teeth is not necessarily a sign of poverty. Even multi-millionaires have removed their teeth to avoid health issues and have opted to go without dentures for a time to allow their mouth to properly heal. As one wealthy lady informed me, it makes no sense to spend thousands of dollars trying to save something that will have to be removed regardless or to spend a thousand dollars on a set of dentures that will be useless in a few months to a year.

I happen to agree.

When my dentist office opens today I intend to call and make arrangements. I will set my vanity aside and allow the world to think what it wants about my toothless demeanor; my health is more important than societal beliefs.

To answer the question you may be asking: no, I am not completely comfortable with the thought of eliminating my teeth. I am definitely not comfortable with having to walk around toothless for an extended amount of time. It has to be done, however, so I may as well get it over with. Procrastination serves no purpose.

Categories
Finances Health

Self-Analysis

Last night I face-planted into my computer keyboard.

That was a definite sign of why I’ve become so grumpy and frustrated as of late. I’ve pushed myself a bit too hard again, sacrificing sleep for my goals.

I have really got to establish some limits here. While I’m happy that I am more productive than I’ve been in quite a while, I do not want to push myself so hard that it negatively affects my health.

On another front, a friend of mine has decided to create some goals of her own. Like mine, her goals include increasing her current income and establishing passive income.

She has heard about some local factories that may be hiring, so we have made plans to apply together at several places as soon as our days off match up. We can split the cost of fuel if we work the same shift, which will buy me some time to build up the extra funds needed to comfortably purchase a vehicle and pay for the higher insurance that I’ll be charged for the first year.

This has the potential of helping both of us if we work together. It would propel both of us income-wise, into “lower middle class.” While she is currently right on the border of that based upon her gross, I make a bit over half of her current income, so the financial change would be dramatic for me.

I would be forced to work a bit less on my studies (and my book project) but the increased income would greatly benefit my long-term goals.

That is a sacrifice that I am willing to make.

In the meantime, I clocked out early from work today since we were really slow, came home, and took a long nap. I need to start taking care of myself if I want to do this.

Categories
Health Life Personal self-improvement Success

The Process of Recharging

Day by day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.


Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie

I sleep in when I can. I rest instead of endlessly working. Bit by bit, I can tell a difference.

Instead of scolding the dogs for their excitement in the mornings when they wake me to go potty, I gather my coat and take them out without a word.

Instead of sighing in frustration when my co-workers page me for help at work I cry “help is on the way!” and race to the front with a laugh.

Instead of internally bitching when someone wants a few minutes of my time on the phone or in-person I give it to them. I limit it, as I’m still drained, but I’ve regained enough energy that I can safely give something back.

When I have a small spurt of energy I get up and do something that needs to be done. Last night as I visited with a friend I noticed that my dog’s collars needed washing so I pulled them off and scrubbed them while we chatted.

Five minutes later I was one task closer to catching up on my backlog.

The fridge is slowly getting emptied of the detritus the kid left behind. Her little Katie-piles are being dealt with as I stumble across them.

I’ve brainstormed one thing I can do now to improve my quality of living and I’ve taken steps to make it happen. I’ll cover that in a future post when it is more than just a plan.

I’ve even went back to tinkering on my plan to reduce my smoking. I’d started on a plan before things blew up around Thanksgiving but let it go due to the chaos that surrounded me. Now that things are calming down, I’ve gotten back to work on my goal of being a nonsmoker.

Last but not least, I’m processing my emotions with my journal. I fill several pages a day with random thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I find my thoughts repeating. I dutifully jot them down regardless. The very fact that I’m noticing the repetition is a good sign.

I suspect that my internal battery had been operating in the red zone for quite some time though life had been a bit too chaotic for me to notice it. I’ve been pushing myself quite hard for a couple of years now in order to make up for time lost back when I was injured, and even harder once I’d decided to teach myself about investing while focusing more on this website. Between that and everything else I suspect I’ve been heading for this physical and emotional crash for quite some time.

And that’s okay. It’s okay because I’m taking steps now to correct the issue, and I’m aware of the fact that I need to slow down, which makes me a wiser person.

I’ve got something I want to do. I’m not letting go of that, but I’ve realized that in order to accomplish that goal I’ve got to take care of myself now in a way that I’ve never really been able to do before.

So I am still here, and I am still fighting. I will do whatever it takes to achieve financial freedom, and I still intend to take you on that journey with me.

This is part of the process.

Are you still working towards your goals? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Health Personal

Practicing Selfishness

It has been six days since I watched Katie leave with the recruiter. Five days since I saw her last, on the day she shipped out to BASIC. Four days since I’ve had any contact with her.

And I’m doing perfectly fine.

I’ve not had a day off work since last Tuesday, the last day I saw my little girl. One of the kids quit at work, so my schedule was adjusted to take up the slack. The change was exhausting on top of everything else (I’m still recovering from the Crud) but I’m not complaining.

I’m actually thankful for the busyness.

That said, I’ve still got a lot on my plate right now. Not only am I adjusting emotionally, I’m recovering physically from illness (101F temp at its worst). I’m also dealing with family and friends who are more than a bit concerned that I will go batshit crazy now that the kid is gone.

Among the well-meaning suggestions I’ve received:

  • You need to get a car so you can get a better job now.
  • You need to relocate to another part of the state so you will have better access to jobs/opportunities/housing.
  • You need to relocate to (wherever) so I can help you recover and so you won’t be alone.
  • You need to find a good man to take care of you.

There have been more but those are the highlights.

It’s been more than a bit annoying. They mean well, so I accept their suggestions with a polite nod and continue on.

Instead of heeding their suggestions, I’ve been politely distancing myself from them.

My first priority is to take care of myself, so I have been selfishly doing just that.

I allow myself to sleep in every morning. I need as much rest as I can get between my work shifts in order to recover physically.

I’ve paused all reading and research. I’m still thinking, but at the moment I’m no longer actively collecting knowledge concerning my goals. I want to be rested both mentally and physically before I continue.

I’ve limited my housework, as well as my writing. I do the basics in order to keep from falling behind but I’m not going to worry about the other stuff at the moment. I’ll get to it when I feel a bit better and my schedule eases.

I’ve readily accepted rides to and from work. I need to conserve my energy so I’ve shoved my pride into my pocket and allowed myself to take advantage of every single offer. I’ve even asked for rides a couple of times. While I don’t intend to make bumming rides a habit, I am wise enough to understand that the less energy I expend, the faster I will heal. I compensate my friends for their help, of course.

In short, I am being selfish. I am taking care of me. I am refusing offers to go out after work for shopping, meals, or a drink at the local watering hole. I work, come home, and rest.

And I patently refuse any attempts to persuade me to do otherwise. I don’t care how well-meaning the offers may be, I know what I need right now, and I’m going to get it. Period.

Sometimes you have to be selfish. Sometimes you have to ignore the well-meaning offers and suggestions on how to better your life. More times than not, you know what you need better than anyone else. In that case, you have to stand your ground.

You have to take care of you.

How are you taking care of yourself lately? Are you practicing selfishness in order to get the rest you need? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Health

Rough Night

Hello everyone!

Last night was a rough night. After spending the day working outdoors I guess I didn’t drink enough water and ended up paying for it with an intestinal attack of some sort. 

I followed the Water Cure method of sipping water when I finally calmed down enough to think (the pain was rather bad) and eventually it faded enough to where I finally slept. 

I do NOT want another night like that.

One note: sleeping bags are not fun during a night of discomfort. Being up and down all night, it seemed as if I would get snuggled into the bag and then have to get back up. 

I’m sure it was just me and the discomfort, so I am staying with the sleeping bag, but it was a miserable night.  I want to go back to bed but have things I need to get accomplished today.

I think I am going to get dressed and write at the library today for a change of pace. I have got to get some work done today.

Categories
Health

Tummy Tamer Candy

My little girl has a stomach bug. Poor little thing was too ill to go to school as a result. I am making a batch of tummy tamer candy to help her out.

Usually I keep a batch of this candy around just in case either of us has an upset stomach, but with the moves and ensuing chaos I had yet to prepare a batch.

Tummy tamer candy is something I came up with a few years ago when my daughter could not keep anything down due to illness. I made them and asked her to keep one in her mouth to suck on. Being a small child she loved having the excuse to keep a piece of candy in her mouth, and in short order her stomach calmed down to where she could handle other things.

It is a homemade hard candy recipe made with ginger and Sweet Dreams (or Sleepytime) tea. The tea has chamomile and peppermint in it, both of which have stomach soothing properties, and ginger is famous for settling stomachs. You don’t need a lot of ingredients or tools to make this simple herbal remedy:

That’s it, all you need to make tummy tamer candy.

The recipe:

2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups brewed Sweet Dreams tea
1 tsp. ginger (approx) – you may have to adjust because some children find this dosage too spicy.

Mix it all in a heavy pot and cook over medium heat, allowing it to boil until you reach the soft-crack phase. Soft crack is where you can put some in cold water and it holds its strands together, yet it still is a tad soft.


Boiling towards the soft crack phase.

Once it is done cooking, pour it into a well-buttered baking sheet. If you don’t have a baking sheet don’t buy one. Just use some plates or baking dishes – you can even use a skillet if you have to – but on the things you can’t safely flex a touch you may want to add a layer of aluminum foil and butter that instead to make it easier to break up.

I waited too long on mine. It went into the hard-crack phase. It’s all good just looks a little different. Here it is poured out on the metal pizza pan I greased for the occasion.

The goal when you pour it out is to get a thin layer. If it is too thick it will take too long to harden plus be hard to break up.

Once you pour it out, you can take a buttered metal spatula and press indents into the candy in a small grid pattern to make breaking easier. I generally use 1/4 inch grids for mine.

I wasn’t paying attention and this batch ended up in the hard-crack phase before I know it, but just because I cooked it too long the batch isn’t ruined. It will just look a little different and harden faster. I didn’t move fast enough to make a grid on this batch, but it broke apart easily enough.

Allow it to harden and break it apart.

My daughter licked the spoon clean and is now on her way to a happier tummy!

Categories
Food Health Law of Attraction

Following a hunch

When you become closer to the Universal Mind, sometimes you get hints, or hunches that guide you in interesting ways…

Like the hunch to move to a house that didn’t really suit us.. but across the street moved a lady who had a mobile home for sale that did – a mobile home whose layout is strangely similar to the one I placed on my vision board then removed some time ago. A mobile home which I now own free and clear!

I have learned the hard way not to ignore hunches for whatever reason, so when I got the hunch that we needed a water filter for the new place I followed it and got a Pur water pitcher for us…

Since the purchase we have all been drinking glass upon glass of water. Even the guinea pig is drinking more water.

I began to research a bit on the benefits of water drinking, and found an interesting link. Apparently the Japanese have a certain method of drinking water on an empty stomach that is supposed to cure a lot of ills. With The Secret we don’t need such things, but it was an interesting read. The link is no longer active, unfortunately, so I’m unable to share it.

Perhaps the Law of Attraction has guided me to a desire for drinking more healthy water in order to bring about the healthier body I desire. Regardless, I’m playing my hunch and keeping some water nearby for whenever I want a quick drink.

Categories
Health Personal

Instinctive Fury

Someone posted something as a comment to my cousin’s post-surgery photos.

“Sorry to see these photos. Won’t show Ms. X. Hope the reaction is better.” (Paraphrased and names changed).

My blood boiled.

I have calmed a bit since that first gut reaction.

Like my cousin is so ugly people wouldn’t want to see her…

Grrr.

I love my baby cousin. I admire her guts in fighting this. I don’t appreciate anyone giving a HINT of not supporting her, especially when she is so self-conscious after surgery.

Anyhow, that’s my rant. I’m still furious, but I held my tongue for Dani’s sake. \l

Categories
Health Personal

My cousin looks like a borg…

…now that she has had her surgery. I wish I could post photos but she is a bit embarrassed at her appearance.

They shaved the whole entire side of her head and there is a tube running from the top of her skull behind her ear, down her neck, across her chest and into her abdominal cavity where the excess fluid will drain away. The tube is just under the skin so it is really obvious especially after the surgery. Behind her ear is this circle where a doctor will place a magnetic device that he will use to dial up or down how much pressure is needed to trigger the shunt, and should the issue be resolved, will be used to turn the shunt off.

Already she has had the rest of her long hair trimmed down to about an inch in length, and plans to shave it down to match the rest of her head when the swelling goes down.

This is my baby cousin, guys. She is as close to a blood sister as I really have, her and her siblings. Even though she was always taller than me and bigger than me I was the elder one. I always tried to look out for them when I would go spend summers at her house growing up.

Here in a few days I’m getting my head buzzed out of love and respect for what she is having to go through. If people don’t like it, tough! She is half a country away so I can’t be there physically, but at least I can be there spiritually.

I’m going to try to find some bandannas that represent me to wear during the interim while my scalp adjusts to the extra sunlight. Any ideas? One friend says biker bandannas would reflect my attitude best, and another says Native American ones. I dunno.

I love The Secret, and perhaps that is why I feel kinda strange here lately. I have my younger adopted sister who walks with a cane, my cousin who just had this surgery to have this tube implanted into her skull I gather permanently, and various friends who are diabetic and have a slew of illnesses.

You know what I have? A hormonal imbalance (controlled by birth control pills) and an annoying reaction to milk.

That’s it. Despite all the things that have happened in the past, I’m in the best health of my life at age 39, and here are all my friends and family so ill around me.

I love my health, I love this ability. Still at times I feel guilty because it’s like I’m some sort of superhero who is trying to learn and master their power and who feels great and wonderful yet those around her are ill and you know there’s a solution but you can’t force them to take it, cause no one is ready for it.

When I buzz my head I’ll post pictures here so all of you can have a good laugh. If Dani gets a good laugh out of it then it is worth it!

Sigh. I cried when I saw those pictures of my cousin. I worry about her so! She has already battled cancer and won, and now has to deal with this! As a result, she has left medical school after all of her hard work to excel.

Regardless of what happens, I am SO proud of her! She is fighting. She hasn’t given up. Even posting the pictures she talks about how “cool” it was that the doc would use this one device to control her shunt, and she wouldn’t have to have another surgery as a result.

Cuz, you are one brave chick, and I love you!