An update on me. I am moving.

I haven’t been active online very much lately. There is a lot going on in my mind. Stress, mostly. I have been planning the rest of my life since I have come to terms with a few things. Mostly that I can’t get or keep a job and I am not a people person. People who knew me from way back are probably shocked at the second part.

I can forget about getting a job

Don’t worry. This isn’t all negative. I swear.

I am never getting a job so I need to be self-employed. I am sure I can spend another five years job hunting (and I will continue to job hunt just in case) but once I get a job, they will find out I have epilepsy and find a reason to fire me. I am not holding my breath. I NEED to be self-employed.

I need to be independent

I can’t continue to keep depending on my ex (technically my husband) for the rest of my life. I need to be able to support myself. This part is mostly me wanting to be independent. But I am sure he would like to have his life back too.

Don’t get me wrong, the help has been greatly appreciated but I am sick of having to depend on someone else for everything.

I tried being a Virtual Assistant and, frankly, I can’t handle crazy people. The pay sucks. The bullshit “deals” that people offer sucks. I got tired of, “I’ll let you work for free for exposure” and “I can only afford to pay you $3 for your two days of work. Is that okay?”

My pay averaged out to $1 an hour on the lowest days and $5 an hour on good days. No one wants to pay me what I am worth and I am tired of working for slave wages.

Oh and my absolute favorite when I back out of a “deal” is, “I am trying to HELP you. I am doing this for YOU.” Yea, uh-huh. You sure it’s not because you keep lowering my pay and can’t find anyone willing to work for slave wages?

I like the area but there is nothing here for me

While I love Libby, I really have no reason to stay here.

Family? I can come back for a visit. I have a lot of family I haven’t seen in 11 years that I would like to see again. I can travel eventually.

The culture is as toxic as the asbestos. Individual people, I do fine with. However, as a whole, this area is not the culture I want to live in. I’ll come back to visit but my whole life doesn’t revolve around drinking at bars and doing not much else. I need something else to live for.

I came here to get closer to the family I didn’t grow up with. I did that. I feel like my move here served its purpose.

Having no income, I am treated very differently, than when I was full-time employed and had money. I have noticed the shift over the last five years and it’s not helping my mental state.

Therapy only goes so far. Now I need to do something.

I have gone to therapy for five years. FIVE YEARS! And I could probably go some more but my last day was yesterday. Honestly, in the beginning, I really needed someone to tell me I wasn’t crazy. Trust me, I tried to convince her I was but she is a good psychologist. I came a long way. She helped me see a lot of the abuse, getting treated like a doormat, and helped me come to terms with my limitations.

Yesterday was my last day. I feel good about this. I feel like I am on the right path. No amount of therapy is going to help when you are in rut. This is my time to get my life back together.

I am moving!

I made a joke to my ex one day that went something like; “I can always move back to Tennessee and be a chicken farmer!”

At first, I was kidding. Then I got curious.

  • How much do chickens cost? (About $5 if all grown, depending on breed. Less if raised from chicks.)
  • How much does it cost to feed a chicken per day? (About 70 cents if I make my own feed. Even less if I turn the feed into fodder.)
  • How many chickens do I need? (I am still debating)
  • How do I raise them? (researched a books worth)

Then I started searching Craigslist. I can get a lot of the stuff I need to get started for free, even the chickens! 

I started searching for homesteading information. I also searched for living off grid. I ended up talking to several people… and I decided this might be my best chance at being self-sufficient and self-employed. 

I can sell food at the farmer’s markets and flea markets. I priced booths. I will have fewer expenses. Phone, internet (hopefully), land taxes, fuel for a generator until I can get solar power set up, food, hygiene supplies, and animal supplies (and things of that nature). 

I’ll slowly work into being a hermit… I mean, a homesteader. I’ll be able to start generating my own income if all goes well. 

At the end of August, I will be moving. I plan to update the blog occasionally but when I get there, I can update from my phone… actually, I can do a LOT of stuff with my phone. I’ll also be a little more excited about doing YouTube videos because I’ll have something to do besides recipes and a little more excitement… even if it only excites me.

Plus, that will be great for family and friends updates. This blog and YouTube will be my way of updating my family and friends. If I run out of data, I can wait until the month is over. 

I want to get as independent as I can and get divorced. I am tired of waiting for a divorce! Finally, I will be free! I will be a farmer/ living off in the woods but I am really looking forward to this now! I can do this! 

I have a list of goals (I’ll post them later) that I plan to start working towards as soon as I get there. Top one is to stay connected to people. Leave me to my own devices and I’ll become a recluse in a heartbeat. That’s not healthy. The goal is long but that’ll give me PLENTY of stuff to keep occupied.

Until next update… I’ll keep adding to the list and get it ready to post.

 

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Free or Cheap Hobbies. We Need Them.

Remember how I sometimes say, “Get a hobby!” in my posts? Like this post where I talk about rumors about me. Java reminded me about the hobbies list I am supposed to be making. Did I ever mention how forgetful I am?

Here are four hobbies for you to explore. I picked free or cheap hobbies ($20 or less) since most of my friends have limited resources. I will make more hobby posts later and add them to this post. The prices I am listing are the cheapest I can find here.

Feel free to add to the list by sending me a message. I’ll add it to the post. I’ll add your name if you want too.

I’ll assume that you have limited access to stores and no Wal-Mart nearby. So I will be using the stores in my small town or Amazon.com as pricing guides.

Hobby #1: Making paper beads

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A bowl of paper beads. All made by me!

Price range to start: Free to about $15

You will need

  • Scissors $1
  • Elmer’s glue $1
  • Round toothpicks (not flat or square) $1.59 or a paper bead roller (I don’t have one because they are about $10)
  • A small piece of cardboard or Styrofoam to stick the toothpicks in while the beads dry (I am going to guess you can find this for $1 – I use what I have)
  • Colorful paper, newspaper, magazine pages, or any piece of paper you have lying around the house
  • Optional: Sharpies or other markers to color white paper so you can make patterns – Sharpies can be pricey but I suggest those to off brand markers since they don’t run when use you run glue over them. I have found Sharpies for about $5 for a basic pack
  • Optional: Judikins Diamond Glaze ($5) to make them shiny. Modge Podge is horrible on the beads as far as long-term goes. While this is optional, I highly suggest it. I’ve also used shellac before. It lasts a lot longer, not that it matters! A bottle of Judikins lasted me a year.

The hobby

Cut strips of paper into triangles (or other shapes), then wrap it around a toothpick and glue the end down, then coat with Elmer’s glue to create beads. You can finish them off with Judikins Diamond Glaze. I suggest this product over Modge Podge as it works in any climate or humidity. I found Modge Podge remains sticky forever when I lived in Tennessee. 

Resources

This YouTube tutorial shows you how to make basic and fancy beads. The thing I like about this video is she shows you all the neat things you can buy to make paper beads and also explains some of the issues you could run into (like not enough glue). The only thing I do differently is that I leave my bead on the stick for a minute for it to dry while I am making another bead. I leave them on the stick until I glaze them. 

In the video above, the basic bead tutorial starts here. If you already know how to make basic beads, shaped paper beads tutorial starts here where she shows tube beads, pointy end beads, ball beads, saucer beads, triangle (or cone) bead, and a double bead.

Section 3 of the video has ideas for decorating your beads and shows all the optional things you can do to your beads. The only thing I disagree with is putting water in your glaze. I don’t like the way it looks or how it lasts. I put on the glaze like I do the glue. This is the section that makes the paper bead hobby get expensive!

I will try to get my shit together long enough this week to make a video on how I make my beads. Or a post. But jennibellie does a much better job than I ever could.

Variation? Plastic Bottle Beads! I am going to try this but it’ll cost a little more if you don’t have nail polish (can get it at the Dollar Store). I am sure you can get creative though!

Hobby #2: Coloring or Drawing

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“Scaredy Cat” By Dotchi Latham

Price range: $1 to $10 to start. 

You will need

  • Crayons, color pencils, or markers ($1)
  • Coloring book or Paper ($1)

Adult coloring books are a lot of fun and run from cheap to OMG! If you have a printer, you can print out pictures to color instead of buying a book.

For drawing, you can use any piece of paper you can find lying around the house. I use printer paper (which was about $3 for the whole pack). You can find drawing tutorials with a quick Google search. You may not be Picasso when you start but keep going! It’s fun to try and it takes my mind off of stress.

Coloring is good for stress and quite therapeutic. Thought I would throw that out there.

Hobby #3: Crochet or Knitting

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A scarf I made!

Price range to start: Starts at $8 but probably closer to $20

This one can get pricey. But it’s a fun hobby and you can use what you make.

You will need

  • A crochet hook or knitting needles (about $5)
  • Yarn ($3 a skein)
  • A pattern. (I would start with something easy like a scarf or a dishcloth)

A lot of the pattern websites will ask you to join the site to see the pattern. I tend to stick with Ravelry as some of the other sites spam the crap out of my email.

While this hobby can be expensive, I can find yarn and crochet hooks at the thrift store for almost nothing. So, while it CAN be expensive, you can definitely make it a lot cheaper by looking for deals and not hoarding yarn. This is the part that actually takes more practice than actually crocheting.

The best part of this hobby is that you can crochet hats, scarfs, and slippers for charities to help out others. Don’t think you can? There was an 86-year-old man who learned to knit so he could make hats for preemies.

Hobby #4: Hiking or Walking

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Price range: FREE! But you can buy things for it if you want.

This is another hobby that can be expensive if you let it. But really, all you need is someplace to walk to, a drink (stay hydrated!), and some time to enjoy it. 

You can drive to a rural area to hike and explore or try out some urban hiking.

You can combine this with photography (use your phone or a cheap camera) or keep a journal or blog about your hiking adventures.

What is your Hobby?

Last Month’s Goals

Last month with a little off since we headed to Tennessee for the ten year memorial for my dear friend and a family reunion. My cell phone plan messed up and I am still trying to get Straight Talk to add my second card. 

It’s been a crazy month! And my youngest son turned 18 yesterday. He won’t let me post a picture of him.instead, here is a picture of me last night!

Don’t worry! That’s just honey with food dye dripping down my kitchen knife. Yes. That is my kitchen knife.

Onto Goals!

October Goals – How did I do?

Well, I didn’t do horrible. I did post a bit more on my instagram account though. 

Long Term Goals

Finish book draft: This is going better than planned and I am using NaNoWriMo to help propel it forward.

Get rid of most of my stuff: Still working on it. 

Start Video Blogging: Well, it is a LONG term goal, right?

Short Term Goals

Post 3 times a week plus one Sunday post. I think I managed three times a week. Traveling made this a little harder. I’ll give myself a C on this one.

Write something every day: I did this! I really did this! A+

Write two posts about something important: my two posts were merged into one very long, very emotional post. I am giving myself an A on this.

Restart the photography course: I took pictures? Meh, I couldn’t do this one because of the cell phone issue. So I am making it a long term goal. But as a short term goal? I failed.

Crochet 1 or 2 projects a week. This would have worked out but I forgot yarn. I won’t grade this one because I suspended it when I realized it.

Next post today will be my new monthly goals! What are your goals?

Java Asks “How Long Do You Rest Between Cleaning?”

I have a question … Let’s pretend that you are having a pretty good day not the best but pretty good. How long do you rest in between chores?

I got this text the other day and thought it would be better to go into details on the blog. I answered in text but it’s a shorter answer. Here it is:

Usually I work or clean for 10-30 minutes then rest for about an hour. Not even kidding. On a good day, I can rest for about 30 minutes.

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My longer answer is this…

When I was younger, I had this cleaning routine. My house looked GOOD! I was on top of the world. Now, not so much. I pick my battles with the house. I have levels of cleaning depending on how bad I hurt.

The Lowest Level: High Pain Day

On these days, I have a few lists I follow. Wake up routine, 420 List, and Before You Sleep.

My wake up routine is pretty simple now. I can do it on most of my horrible days. This is done after I go pee and take Jackjack outside to pee. This is done between the time I get up and 4:20 PM (the next list).

  • Get up!
    • Fold your blanket. I sleep in my recliner so I don’t make my bed. This is what I do instead. It becomes the dog/cat bed during the day. At night, they all sleep with me.
    • Feed Pets
    • Water Bowls
    • Scoop Poop (litter box). I’ll be honest, I do slack on this one. I try but some days my shoulders just kill me (have ever since Physical Therapy. I’ve never been the same).
    • Computer stuff (whatever I need to do that day)
  • Bathroom
    • Run a toilet brush around the toilet (usually done while I am in there)
    • Spray the tub if it needs it. (This literally takes one minute)
    • Wipe up your mess around the sink.
    • Empty the trash if needed. (I don’t empty the kitchen trash can though, it’s way to heavy for me.)
  • Kitchen
    • Did you eat something? (I have no appetite. I forget to eat)
    • Start dinner thawing or start it in the crock-pot. Plan what you are going to eat today.
    • Get someone to unload the dishwasher (I’ll explain later)
    • Load dishwasher.
    • Have someone start the dishwasher. (I’ll explain later)
  • Clothes
    • Did you change clothes? (Sometimes the answer is “Nope.” *checks box*)
    • Gather dirty laundry (on laundry day)
    • Look for dirty dishes and take them to the sink.
  • While you can still bend, tidy up the floor. Do it while you can! It will drive you nuts later!
  • Uncheck the 420 and before you sleep list.

420 Pain List

This list is all about pain management.

  • Have you taken your CBD oil?
  • Vape if you need it. 1 puff, wait 5 minutes. Repeat as needed.
  • Have coffee. How’s the headache?
  • Check the counter and sink.
  • Eat something.
  • Gather dishes and laundry. (This keeps me up and moving so I can’t just sit there and wallow in my own misery)

Before Bed or Sleep

This can be done from 420 on. It doesn’t matter when I do it, as long as it gets done.

  • Rotate dishes (someone empties, I load, someone starts)
  • Clean up the sink.
  • Clean the counters.
  • Set coffee pot
  • Set alarms
  • Scoop Poop
  • One Spot. (Put up shoes, purse, backpack, leash, coat, etc. Have it all in one spot so if you have to leave it is right there.)
  • Plan your meal for tomorrow (This is usually a mental thing. I just think, “bean burritos sound good” and that’s it.)
  • Uncheck the other lists
  • Go for a walk with Jackjack.

A note about the dishwasher.

Where I put (I’ll explain later) next to the dishwasher… this is the explaining part. I can either unload, load, OR start the dishwasher. I can’t do all three or I will be chair bound for days (or a week) from the pain. So, I have one kid unload, I load, and the other kid starts the dishwasher.

If we have a couple loads to catch up on, then the dishwasher stays parked in the kitchen (it’s a rolling dishwasher) and I will pile all the clean dishes on the deep freezer, load it again, and start it. Later, the kid that unloads can go through and put the pile of dishes away.

How I get shit done!

I’ll be honest, lately I haven’t done so well on this. But I am trying. Mostly, struggling. But still trying.

I do the basics first. That’s the three lists above. If that is all I can do that day, then so be it. That is all that gets done. If I can do more, then I use Motivated Moms to get me going and keep me motivated.

Frankly, four years of chronic pain gets to me sometimes. I don’t have pain pills to help the agony. I have marijuana and that is it. Some days, I push that to it’s limits.

I can’t clean like I could before. So using motivated moms makes me feel like less of a piece of crap. I feel like a failure because I struggle with my house. Having a check list that I can see that I am doing these chores and they got done… and it was EXTRA from my lists, that makes me not criticize myself so hard.

The rest breaks

I take rest breaks every 15 to 30 minutes, depends on how bad I am hurting. And then I stay put until the pain dies down some. That could take 30 minutes or it could take two hours. Depends on how horrible the pain is. 

If my pain is just out of control that day, I smoke and then take a nap. Some days, my kids know that I am going to be stuck in my chair all day. It happens. 

What is your cleaning like? Do you have to take breaks?

My Goal Post for September 2016

I should start doing this monthly. Make a post listing my goals and at the end of the month, I can review how I did. This was actually Java’s suggestion (and a couple of others), so thank you! I need to make goals and work towards them to keep depression from taking over.

I know what you are thinking! “OH YEAH! A GOAL POST!”
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I found this on Wikicommons! Get it? Goal post. GOAL POST!

Long Term Goals

I think I am supposed to pick three long-term goals to work towards. These are my three picks with reasons.

  1. Make a money plan or the next six months. I need to do this anyway. I need to plan what I am going to do to support myself. I have some opportunities come up that I need to seriously consider.
  2. FINISH THE FRICKING BOOK DRAFT! I am so horrible at this. I let myself get sucked into self-doubt too easily and I really need to stop doing that!
  3. Get rid of most of my stuff. I plan to go mostly digital and plan to live in an RV or a van. So I need to reduce my household inventory by a shit ton (which is approximately 264.2 gallons of human shit. Now you know). Besides, the minimal lifestyle is calling my name. I am keeping my Coca~Cola bottles though!

 

This Month Goals – September 2016

This one I am supposed to pick one thing per week and one for the month (or something like that.) So I picked five things I can work on this month.

  1. Pick up son from airport. Don’t laugh. I left him at a rest area once. I went back for him though! 
  2. Post 3 posts a week AND one survey post on Sundays. I am adding reminders to my phone so I can’t flake it off. Now that I am doing better (once my mouth isn’t killing me) I am better prepared to conquer blogging. I need the other days for Ebay and Etsy stuff.
  3. Ebay and Etsy stuff. I actually have Ebay on my phone. And this will make two goals… actually three goals. It helps with the financial plan, the getting rid of stuff, and this goal.
  4. Keep up with my house routine (even if it is small). I can’t do this until next week or this weekend. It does help me feel more accomplished though. Like, I know it’s hard but I can do it!
  5. Write something EVERY DAY! Not on Reddit or Facebook, this blog, or SparkPeople either. Write something towards the book or another book. 

I will report back at the end of the month how my goals went. I have a reminder set for that too.

SO, what are your goals? 

Making Goals for This Week

This last week I downloaded the Sparkpeople app and started using it. I am keeping above 1,000 calories a day so, that’s a positive!

And now that I am recovered from my denturist appointment bike ride (only took 3 days to recover) I am able to focus on other things again.

I decided to set goals for myself for this week and see how I do.

Goals for this week

  • Get the living room finished (I am so close!)
  • Write 2,000 words every day (I have been slacking)
  • Buy my train tickets for my appointment on the first (kind of important)
  • Get laundry caught up (hopefully).

What are your goals for the week?

It’s Sunday! And It’s Netflix Day!

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WordCloud!

This post will be shorter than usual. Today is Sunday and I usually pick a movie to watch (or a series). Today I am on Netflix browsing around the Sci Fi and Musical sections. Nothing looks interesting! 

Instead, I am on here browsing. Questions for today (answer as many as you like)…

  • What is a good movie to watch?
  • What is a good series to watch?
  • What is your favorite genre?
  • Who is your favorite actress?
  • Who is your favorite actor? 
  • Who are your least favorites?
  • What do you eat while watching a movie?

Let me know in the comments. 

Here are some suggestions I have gotten from around the web and in person: