Thursday, November 3, 2016

Monthly Goals: November 2016

Thanks for all the e-mails and comments checking in to see how we are doing.  So far my son is back in school and doing good, his eczema is healing up on his hands (although I wonder how long the pink "new skin" look on his hands will last...still gives me a start when I see it out of the corner of my eye worried that he's reopened them or something), the antibiotics are working awesome for my daughter and her sores are looking a LOT better )still has a snotty nose we're watching, but I think she's doing better than she feels) so she should be good to go back to school tomorrow and I'm still worn out tired feeling, but at least I'm feeling a LOT better physically, so I'll take tired right now :).

I went in for my physical yesterday and for the most part it seems I'm doing good.  I need to get a pelvic ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts since they run in the family and my doctor wants to make sure that's not a potential problem (I've had issues in the past that were not followed up on so she's actually following up on them).  The ultrasound through the doctor's office would have been ridiculously expensive, but I called around and found that the outfit that had done my ultrasounds when I was pregnant is still the cheapest option out there (and they are really super nice to deal with and accept interest free payments :).  So, as soon as I've bandaged up the financial gash I caused by having to pay for my strep throat visit to the doctor last week I'll have to make an appointment to go in and get that done (hopefully next week).  We haven't talked about my lab results yet, so I'm still not sure how much vitamin D to be taking to get my deficiencies up, but I'm still popping some extra as any bit helps at this point I'm thinking.

When it came to goals last month...well I got the appointments I needed to get done, done.  The rest of it was kind of a mixed bag.  I did get the hallway closet done, which needed to be done BAD and I got a Christmas gift made (and I got one coming that I made for my husband in the mail), but I'm at this point WAY behind on getting Christmas gifts made, so that's definitely going to be taking a priority this month as I don't want to be running around all of December trying to get things done.  I'd like to get everything done in November so I can sit back, make cookies and have some fun with the kids this year instead of stressing about money and figuring out gifts come December.  I still see me stressing about money, but at least I'd like to not have to worry about spending money on Christmas in December anyway :).

I am still messing with the idea of how to make a weighted hat for my son, but it's not a super priority anymore as his speech therapist went and bought him one for an early Christmas gift (which was awesome) and it has come in super handy to get him cranial weight and pressure, which he craves all the time.

So, anyway, here are the goals for this month!

Sewing Goals:
  • Work on Christmas Gifts
  • Work on Couches 
  • Make gift for new nephew (he's due in January)
Cleaning Goals:
  • Reset master bedroom closet and get master bedroom mucked out and organized.
  • Clean out toys and kids rooms and just generally clean and neaten both rooms
  • Clean and organize kitchen cabinets (started doing this yesterday as they needed it).
General Goals:
  • Try not to spend money and pay debts (I'm praying we can just get ahead and maybe save a few pennies at some point.  Praying hard).
  • Make final prep list for Thanksgiving and slowly pick up items needed in coming weeks
  • Mull and can cider (*snort* this might get done by Spring the way I'm going ;).
  • Dig out Christmas decorations and move them to more easily accessible location for later (right now they are buried behind a TON of stuff in our 40' van so this is going to be a challenging goal I think).
  • See chickens off to their new home (it should be sometime soon as my friend just got her keys yesterday).  Muck out and clean cage once they leave.
  • Start baking more and things at home, but being careful of not overdoing it with arm when doing so (the challenging bit).
  • Grind wheat (coffee grinder away!!!) 
And yeah, I'm sure there will be more to pop up as I think about it, but that's what I have written down right now for this month.  How about you?  Got anything planned this month?


  1. My 3rd try, lol; hopefully the other 2 don't pop up once I post this.

    Erika, I'm glad to hear you and your children are doing better! Wishing you all improved health in the future!

    My November goals range from the usual stuff as we get ready for winter, to a "what was I thinking?" decision I made.

    The normal stuff includes putting away the deck and front porch furniture, cushions, etc.; continue cleaning up the yard (if the leaves ever finish falling off the trees! Plus there are some downed branches and a broken patio umbrella from last week's snow/sleet/freezing rain storm we need to deal with); empty, clean and refill the hot tub, since we do use it in the winter (even though we live in CT :-) )). I need to do some deep cleaning of areas in the house that I've been ignoring, and rearrange furniture so we can fit another table into the kitchen for our family Thanksgiving meal on the 19th--we've been pushing the limits of fitting everyone around my dining table with the big leaf in it, but now that we have 5 grandchildren and they're getting bigger, we really don't all fit. I've also got paperwork to catch up on (ugh!).

    The "what was I thinking?" is that I signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which is a writing challenge for the month of November. I'm an author, but for various reasons, I'd fallen off the finish-the-book train, and I'm using NaNoWriMo to get me jump-started back into the groove. So it's time to get out my kitchen timer, pump up my word count and revisit the 13th century :-).

    I also need to work on Christmas gifts, the usual cooking and household tasks, and my other jobs.

    Here's hoping we all have a productive month!


    1. Good luck with your writing. As someone who has been writing their one "book" in their head since I was in junior high I respect that you do it for a living :).

      And good luck with your cleaning and Thanksgiving prep on top of that!!! Here's to a productive month, indeed!

  2. I'm thinking about Christmas gifts also. I ordered a few yesterday when I was home sick with a stomach virus. (I was just weak by the afternoon.) I am making one gift - finishing a crocheted baby blanket for my granddaughter. I'd love to make more gifts, but time is a big factor. I know it is for everyone!

    I need to straighten my closet and get rid of some clothing. I especially need to watch my grocery budget closely for a week or two, so it's a good time to eat from the panty, right? I have quite a few ingredients that can be made into complete meals. As time goes on, I'll try to buy just the ingredients I'll need. We can do it! I still have a bit of produce coming from the garden. I'm always happy to slice a fresh tomato in November! It feels like something special. -I'm new to gardening, and maybe my expectations are low? Lol
    Thanksgiving is not a strain on us because it's a potluck. My husband smokes turkey breasts. Often someone brings a ham. Last year I think we had 24 people eating. It's informal with lots of sweet kids. I love eating the daughters' and nieces' cooking.
    I'm glad your kids are better! Hang in there! BTW, I always enjoy hearing about your weather. It's so different from Arkansas!

    1. Don't feel bad. When I get ANYTHING out of the garden I feel like I've won an award. It feels like a huge accomplishment. And I've been doing a garden for a long time in one form or another :).

      I am missing knitting and crocheting right now. I find the position I have to hold my bad arm in to do either is really painful, so I've had to shelve several projects I was working on (including a baby blanket for my nephew and a scarf for my son) and it depresses me to see the basket sitting there at night and not being able to work on them. Hopefully the tendonitis improves to the point I can knit and crochet again soon.

  3. Like everyone else, I'm so glad to hear that everyone is feeling better, Erika. You even sound better from your writings! One question, did the chickens end up giving you a lot of eggs? I know that you collected some, but wondered if you got more since.

    I can't wait to see the Christmas presents you made and the ones you are going to make. I have to figure out who I am making gifts for and what I'm going to make them still. I guess that is one of this months goals. I also have to figure out what I am going to buy and start watching sales. I'm still not sure what to get my daughter this year...I really have to get into the Christmas spirit soon!

    Like your mulled cider, I still have jam to make and can. Plus, I will now need to get some Christmas baking done and into the freezer as well. So there are 2 more goals for this month. My mom started on the Christmas baking today. She made a batch of fruit cake that was so large we had to use a large stockpot to mix it in. The one recipe ended up making 2 large bunt pans...we joked that we will be eating fruit cake for years from this one recipe!

    I will be working the school Christmas programs again this year at my work, which starts the middle of this month. I also have a recheck appointment from my gastric by-pass surgery later in the month, which is in Toronto (2-3 hour drive depending on traffic).

    I am determined to keep up the walking routine, so that's a huge personal goal. Of course winter is setting in, so committing to walking as much as possible will be far difficult! I mean, who wants to walk in snow and freezing cold temps!?! But I am determined to persevere!

    Although I'm sure more will be added to the list later, that's about it for my goals for now. Hope you all continue to feel better and stay healthy!

    1. So far, unless the chickens have hid some in the coop that I'm not seeing we got eight and that's it. They started molting really soon after we collected the eggs and I called a vet to make sure that nothing bad was happening and they said that chickens will molt when their egg laying "pattern" changes for the winter. If they don't get enough light they won't lay eggs at all in the winter months, so I guess they are preparing for that maybe since the dark is definitely setting in here. I mean I'm going out to water them at nearly 11 right now instead of 9 just a week ago, so that tells you how quick the dark starts to set in this time of year. And daylight saving time kicks in Saturday so that'll make morning light even worse.

      So, yeah, I'm thinking the eight eggs is all we are going to get from the chickens, but that's okay. I'm actually glad I did this as it really has showed me that keeping chickens is NOT as hard as I was worried it was going to be and they are actually kind of fun pets. It also showed my husband that they aren't super labor intensive or really stinky or anything, so he is actually warming up to the idea of getting a few of them. We want to build a new coop and rabbit hutch area as the disadvantages of the coop/pen we have have quickly become apparent during our chicken sitting, but really I'm kind of excited at the prospect of keeping some animals that will allow us to be a bit more self-sufficient. A couple of chickens (I have no desire to breed my own, but am going to help my friend slaughter hers for a share of the meat next year *woot!*) and at least one pet rabbit for the daughter to start. Yeah, I can do that :). Bright side too is that my friend is going to breed rabbits and chickens, so she said she'd give them to me free or as close to free as she could make them if they ended up costing too much and since she's allergic to eggs I'm going to help her care for the chickens and hopefully get some eggs out of the deal that way too.

  4. Yay! I am glad that you all are mending. Thank goodness.

    Today my boys went to the new dentist for cleaning. Little did I know it was a pay upfront, we kindly submit to insurance sort of place. $489. I nearly fell over. They charge $78 for the litterly less than 2 minutes the dentist looked in my 4 years mouth. Ouch. I pray I get reimbursed. Its new insurance, so nervous.

    We went to target and I held myself back but I did get a bunch of candy marked down for later.

    My goals are to finish a scarf for Christmas, clean the guest room, clean pur bedroom and get caught up on laundry. All sound small, all are mountains of time required. Sigh.

    1. Holy cow! That would make me fall over too! Dental bills are the worst when it comes to cost and things. And the dental insurance out there just isn't that great. Hope your little one had a good check up anyway?

      I avoided the stores hard after Halloween to not buy the marked down Halloween candy because of bills. Today I'm going to shopping and am armed with my Fred Meyer Rewards Rebate that came in the mail yesterday so I'm kind of hoping to find a few bags of marked down Starbursts for my son's therapy sessions, but we'll see. If I don't find any, I don't find any :).

      Laundry. It is one of those chores that you need to just embed the words, "Get caught up on laundry" on the top of any chore list because even if you get caught up on it you turn around and there's more waiting for you. My work load in that area doubled last night as my son managed to get ahold of a container of coffee grounds I was saving to mix into compost later for the garden (I figure I have chickens, so I might as well use the straw and the waste to start a compost heap for Spring). He got them ALL over his room and ground them into blankets and things. It's going to be a fun weekend of laundry for me. Blah!

  5. Hi Erika
    i am a new follower from West Yorkshire in England and am loving your thrifty frugal ways of living. We too struggle with bills here and try to stretch every penny as far as it will go.
    I am way behind with any sort of Christmas preperation and really need to get my head in gear. I am plowing my way through your blog from the start and loving every minute and learning loads of really useful stuff.
    glad things are improving on the health front for you all.
    take care Jane xx

    1. Welcome and thanks for chiming in :). Glad you find the blog useful and hopefully I'll have some more ideas for you for Christmas gifts here. Here's hoping anyway *laugh*.

  6. Your poor family. Hopefully everyone will start feeling better. I have literally no talent in making gifts so I buy. I buy a membership to our science center for both of my step-daughter's families so that take care of a lot of gifting. We had a bad couple of months with both of my kids in the er. Both are better but with co-pays, my daughter having a procedure, car repairs, new tires for my dh's car and car insurance for six months, saving account is low. Both kids are older and they understand. Life is pretty at times.

    1. Glad your kids came through everything okay, anyway. It never rains, it pours doesn't it? Hope things look up soon :(.

  7. Last week we pd out of pocket (well thru our hsa acc't so same thing) $1600 to the gyno ( I had surgery last Fri). They make you pay up front your part now for all procedures, nice huh? Don't know what I'll have to pay the hospital but the good thing is we are very close to our deductible of $10,000. Yeah you heard that right $10,000 & the only good thing about it is once we hit that everything is 100% pd by the insurance.

    Youngest son went to his dental appt for a cleaning cost $149, he had one cavity went back & it cost $118 & he needs a root canal (have not had that done need 2nd opinion 1st) but that could cost up to $1500 yikes!!! Plus he went to the eye doc same week & we pd $30 co-insurance up front but still have contacts & new appt fee to pay. So probably looking at another $300. I feel broke!!!

    Hate how that happens all at the same time but yet glad we had the money to pay for it. Last year I had heart surgery that cost around $150,000 & we were close to our deducible & only pd out of pocket around $3500 I believe for it.

    So glad everyone is on the mend & starting to feel better. I pray the rest of your year is sick free, doctor free & dentist free :)

    1. The dentist told my daughter she needed 2 root canals. Just did not have the money. Started doing the reminralising sp? New dentist one year later
      said her teeth were perfect beautiful clean etc. Yes the remieralising helped and the sonic care but she never needed a root canal. Be careful out there with dentists.

    2. See, sometimes not having money works out. Sorry that happened to you, but so glad you didn't end up getting unnecessary dental work done. Glad that it seems like you have a good dentist now, anyway :).

    3. I feel for you, Shanna. Our deductible is 5400.00 per person for my husband and I and if one of us makes that the insurance will split things 60/40 with us, but we have to make 11,600.00 together to get anything really covered 100%. I'm paying my ultrasound out of pocket and forgoing insurance totally as I'm getting a better deal by not using them (interest free payments and a lower rate). Glad the insurance came through for your heart surgery and things, though, even with the high deductible. Praying things look up for you and you'll be able to put all the money you've had to take out back into your HSA super fast!

  8. Glad you are all feeling better. Hopefully it stays that way. :) Maybe get your husband to grind some wheat manually when he is watching TV or something. ;)