Sunday, December 10, 2017

Well, that resolved quickly.

I have been informed that the family plan my phone is on now includes unlimited data. That means I'm able to remain online. So...yay, I think! Definitely thankful, regardless of how I feel right now.

I will talk about what I'm struggling with soon. Twitter is pretty much already aware, as they see the ugliness in real time, usually. I ripped into one FB account and deactivated. The other has no clue yet.

What I will say is that I was able to donate a few dollars to a friend's fundraiser to the Humane Society because I didn't have a Wi-Fi bill this month. It's a relief to get rid of it, and if something ever happens concerning the phone plan, I will be ok with limited data again if it means I will occasionally be able to do something worthy in a world that immensely sucks.

I will relaunch my own charity efforts in 2018, if anybody cares. Until then, I'm making my shopping list for upcoming festivities, which mostly involves baking breads that will be shared. I will probably make a dish or two and exchange a gift at the #1 bro's house, and I will go see Star Wars with a friend. Oh, and I will get up at the crack of dawn, stand in line, and fervently vote against a disgusting scumbag on Tuesday. That's all I have planned, other than stay alive. That's enough.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Diet Complications

Low Oxalate http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/Pages/low-oxalate-diet.aspx

Low Fiber https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000200.htm

High Protein http://www.todaysdietitian.com/pdf/webinars/ProteinContentofFoods.pdf

Fat https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-super-healthy-high-fat-foods#section2

Low Carb https://ketosizeme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Printable-List-of-the-Carbs-In-Foods.pdf

Low Sodium https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/heart-health/low-sodium-foods-shopping-list

In studying the different diets I'm supposed to be on to control my systemic diseases, several of which are contradictory, it looks like I'm going to be limited to lean low-sodium meat, lemons, avocados, and the very few low-oxalate, low-fiber vegetables in existence. I may have to compromise concerning a few things. For example, cauliflower is low oxalate, but has fiber (fiber is wrecking my digestive tract...I'll post a medical blog later), so I will have to reduce my portion to a cup or less per day. I can't even eat spinach or fruit because they are foods high in oxalate, and fruit has the added issue of fructose. Back when I made those sports drinks with red/green powder (I even posted a recipe), I started having kidney stones again, and had to cease the red/green powder and juice immediately. It is something I've confirmed...the stones are definitely made of oxalate. That has thrown a huge wrench in my already-challenging meal plans. The one thing I've found that is approved in every diet I listed is avocados. It would be in my best interest to adopt them as my new BFF.

I don't want to eat the same few things every day, so I'll have to see how creative I can get with the list I'm compiling. Food shouldn't be this complicated, but I'm going to do the best I can.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Magic Christmas In Lights (Backdated)

I am utterly inadequate, my friends, and must admit that I forgot to upload these photos of Indy500 the rolling walker and my visit to Bellingrath Gardens from...sigh...a YEAR ago. Yep. Better late than never, I suppose. So, in their proper place on the blog...finally...here they are.

http://www.ugottafriend.com/2016/12/magic-christmas-in-lights.html

Signed,

A Terrible Blogger


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Taking care of binness

^ I've probably already used that title in one or more of my blogs, to be honest.

I'm at a little library where the only places to sit are right in the middle of everything, so everybody behind me is able to see all of my business *virtually waves at everybody seeing this right now*.

Still, it's better than nothing. I was able to look at my bank transactions, pay my car insurance, suspend Home Chef till I can afford to order, look up a couple of addresses, check email, Facebook, NaNoWriMo, blah blah etc. I've zipped through it so quickly, I'll probably go ahead and login to Pokemon to play a game or two.

I've already written my annual NYE goal review blog, and have a new list of goals ready to launch out into cyberspace at the usual time I post these things, which is in the neighborhood of midnight December 31st.

I'm compiling a list of books I've read and audiobooks I've listened to over the last few weeks. I'll share those soon, as well as a few thoughts on some of them. I plan to do this frequently, and I hope by the end of NEXT year, I will have read dozens and dozens of books. I plan to start Harry Potter for the first time on Christmas.

Over the past week, I suffered through traffic and crowds and general stupidness of the frantic public and found my nieces and nephew their Christmas gifts, which I will ship tomorrow.

Otherwise, nothing significant is going on for the rest of the week. I'll take my car to a shop next week for an estimate, so I will know exactly how much money I'll have to save up to repair it (assuming it survives long enough to be repaired).

Feel free to follow on Instagram if you're looking for something more interesting. It's not more interesting by much, but hey, peektures!

Talk soon, homies.

Friday, December 1, 2017

More (and probably repeated) thoughts about Wi-Fi and other stuff

I no longer have internet other than the phone, which has limited data. This entry was written a few days ago and post-dated to publish today.

It turns out my phone doesn't support listening to audiobooks offline, so I'll have to use the tablet (it was free...a fantastic hand-me-down) instead to get online to download them from Overdrive via public Wi-Fi when able. I'll still check email daily using 4G, and do some banking and bill paying when necessary. Who knew Progressive Insurance offices don't accept payments? No joke. Phone or online is the only way to get that done around here.

My local little library (by "little", I mean "printer paper membership card with only four numbers on it casually cut into an uneven rectangle with craft scissors" little) has no Wi-Fi. Big surprise there, heh. The nearest one is about 22 minutes away, but I'll make the drive sometimes, car permitting.

There's always McDonald's Wi-Fi a mile away, but that requires buying something out of courtesy, and I loathe McD's food. Even their fries are disgusting. The coffee/donut shop on my road doesn't allow customers to use the internet, which is disappointing.

I'm only thinking out loud, and losing Wi-Fi isn't a crisis. I've got plenty of valid reasons to feel broken. This certainly isn't one of them. I know and appreciate its importance for many things, but I really don't see the point in sitting here refreshing the same pages over and over throughout the day. I've lost my tolerance for social media and wish I had a different way to follow the lives of my friends and nieces/nephew, but no matter what that is, it's going to qualify as social media because they live all over the country and the world. I'm grateful to be able to connect with them, but it also comes with a lot of frustration. A significant part of the issue is being bombarded with news, politics, and non-friends that I didn't ask to see. It's overwhelming, aggravating, and sometimes depressing. Occasionally, someone sends me chain letters or adds me to groups or wants to "fix" me, and at that moment I'd rather disappear. Things annoy me. I'm human. Sue me.

The main reason, of course, is financial. I appreciate those who tried to help me resolve this, or at least temporarily assist with the bill, but I'm to the point where I feel it's not ideal for my situation. It would merely be a delay. I can't afford extra bills during the winter due to my power bill, but as I've said, I'm no longer making it any other time either. So I can lose the bill now or lose it in a few months. I'd rather people save their money for something more important, which is exactly what I'm doing myself. I need glasses. I need car repairs. I need to pay medical bills. I haven't been to the dentist in years. There are too many needs at the moment to pay $64 a month to rant and rave on the internet. If someone gave me $64 right now, I'd put fuel in my car, order my acid reflux meds, and buy groceries. That's where I'm at, and have been for quite a long time.

I've been reducing the "stuff" in my life this year...both literal and figurative. I have boxes of stuff to go to the local shelter thrift store, and stuff to give to relatives, and stuff that I've organized (finally), and more stuff to deal with going into 2018. As I've mentioned in past blogs, some of the stuff isn't even important (receipts and other worthless crap), but the important stuff in storage has needed to be addressed as well. I'm happy that I've made tremendous progress on this, and I trust that I will continue to until I have a home that is minimalist, yet comfortable and fully-functional. A tiny home, perhaps.

"Operation Tiny Living" sounds like an interesting goal for the new year. We'll see what happens.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Nutcracker Suite, Louisiana-Style

My favorite mouse! Jo loves rats and was thrilled to be one of the Rat King's mice.


She was also one of Santa's elves! Here she is with Clara.
My sis Suzanne was also in the cast as a Christmas party parent.


































































































Pics taken by sister Katie/Jo's mama.

No photography was allowed, so there are no pics of the actual show. It was the first time I've seen The Nutcracker Suite live. I wasn't gifted with the strength or motor skills for such things, so I live vicariously through people who are able to dance and do acrobatics. I have to say I was impressed with the whole thing, but seeing my niece perform was a joy most of all.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017


























I spent Thanksgiving with my bro and his fam. I contributed corn casserole, Reese's fudge, and truffles. We watched football and Jumanji (which I had NEVER seen before, wow), and we played a hilarious game on the PS4 that was interactive through our devices (I borrowed someone's iPad for that). The name of the game is "That's You!", and it's a co-op. Check it out...it's a lot of fun!

Christmas plans have been made, but first, a carpool to see the rest of the family and attend my niece's first performance in The Nutcracker Suite. She's growing up so fast.

I'm having trouble walking and staying balanced, which is always frustrating. But I'm thankful to be able to be upright long enough to spend some time with loved ones.

I hope everyone who celebrates T-Day had a good one. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NaNo 2017 Finish Line
























I'm feeling pretty rough, so I'm happy to have crossed the 2017 #NaNoWriMo finish line on November 20th - a new record. I added a few hundred words this morning, and may add more before the end of the month, but I plan to spend the rest of today under a blanket drinking potassium, taking ibuprofen, and eating tacos. Cheers.

Friday, November 17, 2017

NaNoWriMo and Offline Prep


So, NaNoWriMo is going well.
Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat.

I've got very little to say about this year's NaNoWriMo other than what I've already said. Voice Typing is my hero. It hasn't been all voice, but a fair amount of it has and it's the reason my word count is as high as it is so soon. I have felt very little stress over it this year, and that's a win in my book.

I've been downloading a crazy amount of stuff to do while offline in 2018:

150 free art tutorials
70 permissible YT vids
60+ books from Project Gutenberg
A few other e-books elsewhere
Friends have already sent me books too

I received a lot of great suggestions for books to check out at my library or on Hoopla digital (which is now on my phone). I've also installed Instagram again so I can easily send photos to FB or Twitter without having to get on a browser (which drains more data, it seems). This way, I can still let the world know I'm alive on all three sites by using one. Data is shared on my phone and must be limited, so I am doing my best not to use much of it. Text messages are free, though, which helps.

I still need to marathon Stranger Things 2, and I'll probably do that this weekend.
I plan to marathon Harry Potter next week after I reach 50K on NaNoWriMo.

After that, I'll say goodbye to Wi-Fi, focus on Thanksgiving, and carpool to Louisiana.

When I return home, I'll address my car problems, and if (that's a big IF) resolved, eventually start going to the library (weekly, if I feel like it) to use their Wi-Fi and check out CDs and DVDs. I'm super glad I still have a CD/DVD player! And I'll be bringing out my old radio at Christmas (I really dislike Christmas music this early...I usually dive in around December 22nd).

If the car is not resolved in December, I'll just have to be cautious how far I drive it (within my neighborhood only...one mile radius) and hope it doesn't break down completely until I have the funds to change the situation.

That's the plan, anyway! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Losing my internet, and probably my mind

Due to how challenging it is to financially survive each month, especially the winter months when my power bill leaps, I have made a hard decision to cancel my home internet soon. I'd drop car insurance on my 19-year-old almost-dead car, but that's illegal, so dropping internet is my only reasonable option. I just know I can't continue existing like this.

I am giving myself a few weeks to do what I need to do online to prepare for the disconnection. I have a crazy amount of stuff to upload online from my phone and tablet, and also to download from online to my laptop. I'll revert to paying bills in person; thankfully I live across the street from my power and water company. I'll say sayonara to Pokemon TCGO (insert crying Pikachu gif here), and I'd like to marathon Stranger Things 2 and Harry Potter again before cutting it off. I've installed as many apps as I can fit on my phone, but those apps do not include Facebook or Twitter. I will have Chrome to occasionally visit those sites, and Blogger to continue blogging (about what, I haven't a clue...life is about to get even more boring than usual).

I feel that the correct perspective is to acknowledge that it's a first-world problem, and that I will perhaps be less stressed out overall since I will no longer be bombarded by current events. I'll still be aware, but not as actively (read: angrily) involved in the conversations. However, as sad as it all is, I'm glad people are finally standing up to the sadistic hypersexual freaks of Hollywood, the sports industry, the medical field, creepy-ass politicians, looney toon religious abusers, and, of all places, Gulf Coast restaurants. This has been infuriating and so disheartening, but I hope the innocent continue to rise up, call them out, and absolutely destroy them.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: I don't expect to be without Wi-Fi forever, but I'm going to ditch it for as long as necessary. The amount I will save won't be huge, but maybe it will be enough to get by without (humor me while I plagiarize the Bible) weeping and gnashing of teeth. Things have been hard.

Friends and family are advised to contact me via text message if they need/want to.

I'm not sure you'll notice anything different here, readers. My blogging isn't exactly consistent to begin with, but I have no plans to stop in spite of this change. I'll just be typing on (and undoubtedly cursing at while being simultaneously thankful for) the tiny keyboard on my 99 cent phone. It could be a lot worse.

Keep calm and carry on.