Friday, November 21, 2014

Online shopping

I really am glad that with my health issues, I can shop online for almost anything.

BUT... it's really frustrating sometimes. The only benefit is that I know that while I search and search for the RIGHT thing? I'm not burning gas or energy I can't afford to spend.

I can search dozens of online shopping sites and never leave the comfort of my chair.

My current search has two goals.

1. New dining room table and chairs... I'm looking for medium cherry wood finish, 48" or less across round/oval table with simple lines, simple chairs. If the chairs are upholstered? I want it in a dark colored fabric or vinyl. Ideally, I'd like an expandable table, but can live without.  I'd prefer regular table height, but will live with counter height if that's what I can find. Right now? The only option close to what I'm looking for is running around $1500 - $3000... and yeah. Not in the budget.

2. Entryway furniture.... I want to create a drop zone in the garage with a bench (with cushion) and cubbies for shoes and misc under the bench, a cubbie shelf to hang over the bench with hooks for coats, purses, etc... and cubbies or shelving unit that can go to the side of the bench....  preferably not in white. I can find expresso colored bench and coat shelf; and black cubbies. I can find nice wood shelves and bench in cherry or white, but not the matching coat shelf for over the bench.

Seriously? Options people ... options.... why is this so hard?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Moving - three weeks later

Most, but certainly not all - boxes are unpacked.

Most, but not all furniture is in it's final resting place.

But it's been a few days since I've gotten anything done and I'm at the place where I'll do even less (if I don't hold myself accountable).

So, time for a list - room by room:

Clean the tiny bit of mold off of antique dresser and move it to basement.
Move fish tank to basement.
Once last toy boxes are removed and unpacked - list moving supplies on craigslist
Set up drop zone bench
Order shelves and hooks to set up around the drop zone bench

Master Bedroom:
Unpack last two to three boxes of craft items that just don't know where to go.
Buy two new surge suppressors to set up one per bedside table.

Master bathroom:
Find and install a medicine cabinet and put meds and supplements away.
Install new shower head

Sort out all the misc things that have been on the kitchen island since the week we moved in when I needed to have things handy while I unpacked everything else.
Pick up 8  command adhesive hooks to hang up measuring cups and spoons on inside of cabinet door
Pick up more shelving plastic to line shelves

Dining Room:
Find and buy a new table & chairs
Move empty china moving boxes to garage

Living room/desk area:
Move empty boxes and wrapping paper into garage
Unpack file box of files and set up new filing system in the new filing cabinet (talk about a yucky chore)
Touch up paint on walls
Sort out items to hang on walls
Figure out bench/storage for keeping near the door for dog walking chores
Install the programmable thermastat

Entry way:
Build shelving unit that got unpacked, but not assembled for kids bedroom
Take the two shelves out of the hall closet and reinstall them in the entry closet for storing wrapping paper better

Kids Bedroom:
Touch up paint on shelving unit already in room
Move in the shelving unit from the entry room
Unpack the two boxes already in the room - and then relocated remaining toy boxes from garage to start unpacking those as well.

Kids bathroom:
Fix leak around showerhead with plumbers tape

Half bath:
Pick up a long extension cord and command adhesive hooks so the cord is less obtrusive to the automated cat litter box
Set up the sticky mat to catch cat litter

Laundry room:
Set up new shelves
Make baskets for laundry sorting
Toss out old laundry sorters that don't work in the space

Geez... that's not a small list, is it? sigh.

After working on this list, there is good news. I wasn't able to come up with anything to add to the list for the loft area where my son's wii and tv is set up. Which means I actually have ONE ROOM DONE! lol A million more jobs to do, but one room is as ready as it will get. :-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

MTHFR - Moved in, still settling in

We're in the house.

We're not done unpacking.

But, we have the critical things sorted out and now it's down to figuring out the rest of it.

I plan on doing a box or two every evening... but I've been hitting stumbling blocks.

First stumbling block is my son's bookshelves.

They weigh about 50 pounds each unassembled.

So, tonight (assuming I feel up to it) - as I've managed to come down with a cold on top of everything else.

  1. Open the packages
  2. Carry each piece up the stairs individually
Tomorrow night (assuming I feel up to it)
  1. Assemble shelf #1
  2. Using my wheeled movers, I'll shift it into the wall space I need it to go to
Thursday night (assuming I feel up to it)
  1. Assemble shelf #2
  2. Wait for my eldest son to pick up shelf #2 and put it on top of shelf #1
Which reminds me, I'll need to get furniture straps that can fasten the top shelf to the wall to avoid tip-over.

So - basically, something that would take a lot of folks a single day on the weekend to accomplish - will take me at least 3 evenings and however much longer after that to accomplish my goal.

In the meantime I'm getting an upright freezer delivered this week.

I'm irritated with myself for not having taken a really good look around the garage. Because even though we have light switches on both sides and even a water faucet with a hose in the garage. I can't find a single electrical outlet in the garage. Who does that? Who would build a garage without any electrical outlets?  Especially given that this is a newer house and even the unfinished basement has a set of electrical outlets every four feet.

But if we truly can't find an outlet, we'll have to put the freezer in the basement (which is not my first choice). I'd rather have it on the same floor as the rest of the house - but in the garage, where there will be space once I get things put away.

Other major tasks ahead of me:
  • Finding a better solution for craft storage (I have a TON of craft supplies). I want to find a better, more attractive solution for storage than what I have been doing. But so far, I've had no luck in finding anything flexible enough and compatible with my style.
  • Once the bookshelves are in my son's room, we can provide him a box of books/toys per week to put away.
  • Cleaning supplies. I ended up with FOUR big boxes of cleaning supplies. No idea where they all came from other than the fact that I basically went through a few phases in my life where my house would be dirty and I wouldn't have the energy to fix that... but assumed that buying more cleaning supplies I didn't use would help. Silly, huh? But now I need to sort it all out. Some I will not be replacing once they are used up. My go-to cleaning supplies lately are vinegar, dawn and baking soda... and that's probably going to be it for a little while.
  • Once some of the rest of the unpacking is finished and I can gift away the moving boxes, I want to set up a 'station' in the garage that would be a drop zone. I want it to have a bench with padding and a space to put shoes/boots under the bench. A few shelves for storing back packs, etc... and a place to hang our coats. I've been to pinterest and have ideas of what I want... but right now there's no space in the garage to set it up. And instead the drop zone is right inside the garage door and it's literally where people need to walk and is a mess.
In the meantime, I'm struggling with timing. The task I'd like to tackle first would be to get my craft supplies sorted. However, I also plan on replacing the carpeting in the house in February/March time frame. Which means if I sort it all out and find the furniture (which I haven't found the furniture yet)... and get it all moved into the bedroom, it has to get moved in a few months again. So, I'm really tempted to leave it all in my garage. But I'd hate to have it in the garage when winter hits. So... do I stick it all in the basement, keep shopping until I find the right solution... and then order it after the furniture arrives? I can access it from the basement, but that's just not where I want it stored long-term. But, that might be the next several weeks... every evening take a box or two of crafting supplies to the basement ... get them out of the way in the garage which may make way for the finding space to store cleaning supplies and setting up the drop zone. Then if I focus on a's bookshelves, he can also be working through his pile of boxes at the same time. 

At least it's a plan of attack... not perfect, but something.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Frank Pumpkinstein

I can think of a few things we would have done differently if we'd actually planned this out a little better. Maybe buying something for the ears and nose (these are just green 'stones' from a mancala game)... but it turned out pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

We sprayed the pumpkin green and let it sit to dry while we went back inside to sort out the ornamentation.

The eyes were circles cut out of cardboard with black magic marker.
The teeth were cut out of the same box.
The ears and nose were mancala pieces (hey, they were green and roughly the right shape).
The bolts were in a pile of bits and pieces of hardware.
The hair was me taking black fun fur and crocheting a little rectangle.

We used stick on velcro and attached that to all the pieces... when the pumpkin was dry we brought it in and added the black stitches and mouth with a black magic marker and stuck on the opposite side of the velcro a place for all the pieces to attach. I'm sure I could have found an easier (cheaper) way to attach everything - but this was something we threw together in about two hours (mostly drying time) with what we had in the house.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Moving houses next week - with MTHFR

Thankfully, I'm not moving far. Thankfully my new house will have very few steps, the bedroom is just off of the kitchen as is the master bath and laundry. (Woot!)

But, Moving houses is a HASSLE.

Being sick while moving? PIA

This will be my third move and hopefully the last one for a really long time.

Both of my previous moves involved a lot of decluttering (though there's always need to do more) which involved selling good furniture/items and/or donating useful items and/or tossing things that were no longer of value.

The first time I moved after becoming seriously ill, I worked in a town 45 minutes from my home. While the rent payments in the new town were the same as the house payments, the savings by not commuting would help me pay more overdue bills. The savings in time for the cummuting time was useful for spending valuable time with my then 3-yr old son.  I would pack two or three boxes into my SUV every evening. Drive to work. Drop the boxes off at the new apartment and unpack them. Then take the empty boxes home. I repeated this for about three weeks before hiring a truck and getting a friend to help haul out the big furniture. (I was abandoning the house to foreclosure, so not paying rent and house payment at the same time bought me extra moving time).

The second time I moved, I couldn't afford to pay the current months rent if I was paying the deposit and first months rent at the new apartment - so while there was a week overlap, I had to come back later to pay the landlord a few months later.  But, I spent an entire month, packing one box an evening and making a massive pile. Found a great discount for a moving truck, hired some guys off of craigslist to do the carrying. I stayed on our then third floor apartment, my son down by the moving truck or helping carry things up and down the two flights of stairs. The new apartment was on the ground floor (thank goodness) - so the unloading went much better.

This time? I started to pack about two months ago. Again, a box or two a night after work, more perhaps on the weekend. That went well for about two weeks. Until my last house purchase fell through. Then I took about three weeks off of the packing duties. Right now I have a handful of things that we don't need to pack yet. And about two or three boxes of items to be moved the day we'll start sleeping in the new house - which I'll wait to pack until the night before.

I did hire a truck, this time with movers as while the last deal went through very inexpensively, hiring a moving van and movers in one go is much easier to manage and they are often insured (the guys moving me last time were not).

I get the house on the weekend, and am moving during the week (got a discount for that). Since my son often works weekends, this works better for him as well.  Saturday and Sunday will be spent moving a few things on our own ahead of time (things like a bunk bed that needs to be dismantled and reassembled), lamps, some of the food, the new cat litter system, new rugs, etc. We'll also draw a little floor plan out and make some decisions about some of the furniture destinations and add that for directing the movers.

On Monday the internet gets turned off at the old apartment and turned on in the new house... so we'll move the tv's, wifi, and rokus ourselves on Monday and get the network established. We'll spend the night 'camping' in the living room Monday night.

Between Sunday/Monday I hope to take a few things that we use regularly but that are getting thrown out (old microwave - there's a new cabinet mounted one at the house), a few broken lamps, an old, busted headboard, etc. to the dumpster.

Tuesday morning the movers arrive early... we'll meet them at the old apartment and 'direct' them and let them handle the big items. We'll leave all the cleaning products behind and come back the following weekend to clean up the old apartment before turning the keys in.

After the last move, I unpacked a box a day for about a month to 'settle' in slowly and gradually and I think that will work again with this move. If we move all the immediate need things on our own and unpack on Sunday/Monday - then the things in the boxes the movers bring can be gotten to over a period of time.

The only real difference, is last time, I left it to the then 20-yr old son to 'decorate' as I didn't have the spoons left after the moving and unpacking and it kind of showed. This time I've got a 23-yr old daughter-in-law and I'm hoping she'll be willing to lend some advice on placement. I'll still probably leave them to 'handle' the placement... but I'm pretty sure her opinion will have a better end result.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Frugal Shopping in the new Internet Age

With a new house comes new expectations. For the most part, my existing furniture is fine.

But not perfect.

I've got a list of 'need to have soon' items - a new tv stand, an end table (or three), etc.

And a list of 'hope to have' items - a better organization system for my craft supplies and for sorting laundry.

I'm doing a lot of online shopping... and I started with free Craigslist listings.

And then I proceeded to not-so-free Craigslist items.

Then I started searching some of the alternative 'new' options....
Bed, Bath, and Beyond

etcetera, etcetera

I'm not in the new house yet (which my son - who is doing a lot of the moving - tells me, means that I should wait for furniture delivery until AFTER I move).

So, I still have a few weeks to browse and consider where and what I think I need.

Ideally, I'll find exactly what I need in near-new condition for virtually no money at all ...

But, let's face it... that might not be going to happen.

If I do end up buying new, I realized that when I search these different web stores - that I'm seeing the same products over and over again. And of the ones with brick and morter stores, most of the products are only available online. They are listing stock that they don't maintain... but want to be able to 'sell' the item and have the manufacturer ship directly to the customer.  There are a few items on each website that aren't always on all websites... but of the items that are listed on multiple sites - the prices are usually within pennies of each other.

BUT, some sites are offering 10% discounts on some products. Some sites are offering reward points which can be used for cash towards future purchases.

So, it does seem like this research time is beneficial. If all other things are the same, but you can get 10% off immediately? That's probably the best 'frugal' option - as the quality of the item, shipping, etc won't vary from website to website. If the prices are the same and no sales? The next bet would be to pursue the purchase with the company you may have rewards options through.

Monday, October 06, 2014

MTHFR treatment - week 2 and now starting week 3

Week 2:

B complex
Vitamin D drops
1/2 pill of daytime muscle relaxant twice a day
1/4 pill of nighttime muscle relaxant at suppertime

Added 10 mg of sublingual B12 (using up enzymatic therapy and switching to Jarrow)
Added 5mg of Thyroid Armour 
Added Vitamin C

So far so good (i.e., no negative side effects), but I still really tired ALL the time. If I miss a muscle relaxant I notice it  in increased pain. Still doing epsom salt baths 3 times a week. But I'm more achy than usual... so I either need to up the magnesium OR start chiropractic care soon (still debating).


Week 3:

5mg of Thyroid Armour
B complex
Vitamin D drops
Vitamin C
10 mg of sublingual B12 (using up enzymatic therapy and switching to Jarrow)
1/2 pill of daytime muscle relaxant twice a day
1/4 pill of nighttime muscle relaxant at suppertime

Added 5mg of Methylfolate with my morning supplements

Next week: add another 5 mg of Methylfolate and NAC


Adding the Methylfolate in the past has been a big BOOST in treatment, and I'm hoping this time around as well. I'm in the middle of packing the apartment and everything is messy and unorganized and -ugh-worthy-crap. My plan is to move a couple of things the weekend of the 18th. Have the movers move most of the things on the 21st. Taking the 20th and 22nd off to move all the things I don't want the movers moving (tv's, lamps, fish tanks, etc).  Big "A" is off work on Sunday and Tuesday and those are the dates that I could use the most help with. I'm hoping this gives us the weekend of the 25th to deep clean the apartment. I can't fix all the broken things that the apartment manager wouldn't fix... and I can't fix the carpet that we stained irrepairably... but I can do what I can to remove the 'yuck' that gets built up when you are ill and unable to function at even 40% of normal capacity.

FWIW - I'm still in recovery mode. I had a bit of struggle this weekend following a late night disturbance next door... but I'm up to working in office 4 days a week and working from home 1 day a week. Which was where I was right before all of this happened. So, that's pretty good. I'm thinking I'll try working a full week in office at some point in the coming weeks and as long as I'm still in recovery go back to working from home only occasionally. If it doesn't go well, I'll simply start working from home more often as needed.