The teachers are striking (and in some cases, unusually fetching har har).
Seriously, I am stumbling into "home schooling" which is little more than:
[*] lurking on teachers' websites, mostly from other school districts, and grabbing links to curriculum topics and exercises in PDF or .ODT or .DOCX form to copy onto the kid's USB drive;
[*] hounding him to read his calculator's manual and play with the features so he's comfortable when the school year starts for real;
[*] speaking to him in French, hoping it'll evolve into conversing with him;
[*] having him journal about and use ADHD coping strategies;
[*] getting books from the library relevant to curriculum topics;
[*] torrenting etextbooks;
[*] acquainting him with the power of apps like RedNotebook; cloud storage like OneDrive and GoogleDrive; mindmapping applications;
[*] screaming at him to get off the freaking game and YouTube websites and have one tab open to Khan Academy.
Today I'll buy him some workbooks and assemble some mechanical pencils so he can start Algebra, and borrow US History books from the library. We have James W. Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me (given to me by my m-i-l, a US teacher) of which the striking history teachers approve. It's more managing and babysitting. Pulling lesson plans every two hours out of my scatterbrain is nothing like teaching so I don't feel like I am scab labour. If anything I'm doing the teachers a big favour by reducing their workload (my kid has an Individual Education Plan and is on the "special" side, neurologically. He's developmentally lopsided at what seems to be a 60 degree angle: college-level reading and vocabulary and performance in oral examination, grade 3 sentence writing and information retention). I feel my contribution'll mean more to his teachers than Starbucks and Top Pot doughnuts contributions.
Viewing the 'organization attempts' Category
The teachers are striking (and in some cases, unusually fetching har har).
We, not the royal, martyred, sarcastic we but the family plural we, are cleaning. That is magic in itself. I couldn't find the $300 cheque made out to me until I opened a book called _Smart but Scattered_ and there it was, wedged between pages. You rest a spell and let that irony seep in. You see, when there's $300 to be found, I find also motivation to pick up every white piece of paper and determine if I need it or if it can go elsewhere. I also found $33 credit slip to one of my fave used bookstores. In a search for the cheque (I offered a "dessert place of your choice reward" to the finder) the spouse found instead a softcover overdue library book the tot could not bother to remove from an open sack a whole thirty inches away from his internet-obsessed carcass' six-hour parking spot for... twenty-five days. "No, I'm not an addict! Durrrrr. Oooh new gaming video on YouTube. "
We have already splurged on a Rug Doctor rental to clean a rug. A futon cover is in the wash, as we'd like to sell the futon and the coffee table and make a new, minimized household for ourselves.
I chose the old school fill in with pencil home account ledger instead of Mint.com, YNAB, GnuCash or KMyMoney. It won't keep track of my stocks and funds, but do I want to look at that stuff right now? My psyche is fragile.
I am down to below 152 lbs, just a little over 1.5 kg away from my goal weight.
I am a week away from departing for the homeland. This week I eat down the stores and learn how to responsibly dispose of the food, detritus and distractions that are not good for us. I was going to plan an exercise regimen but maybe burning the calories as a human whirlwind may be more constructive. With the weight loss my hormones are rebalanced: an estrogen dominance thickened my waist, an estrogen deficiency brings the return of hot flashes. The release of body heat, perspiration, hormones and ketones was a heady scent-stew that sent my cat racing into our bedroom, right for ME, to check up on me. Cats are insanely gifted at smelling things.
I have learned that my returned right to vote has been overturned by a province's Court of Appeals -- not the province I most recently lived in, but the nation's capital happens to be in that province.
Also learned that I need more information and to share more information with my optometrist. We are stymied by insurance's irrational and unexplained restriction on quantities for renewal. My plan B, with doctor's blessing, was to head for a Canadian pharmacy, but the optometrist wrote out quantities for over 90 days, which Canadian pharmacies will not fill, and furthermore I require a Canadian physician's approval for filling the prescription. My field of vision and intraocular pressure remain stable: I won't qualify for a seeing-eye dog anytime soon.
The circumference and weight loss is still working, even though I remain wary of its drawbacks. Down to 40 inches, or 101.6 cm in the hips, and 32.5 inches or 82.5 centimetres in the waist. Not low enough to buy new clothes. The family is not touching much of the refrigerated leftover starches I made for them. We have learned so much about metabolism of carbohydrates, gluconeogenesis, insulin resistance, glycine, trace minerals, benefits of bone broth, intermittent fasting. One man improved his glaucoma with a ketogenic diet but his personal experience and three paragraphs of Adelle Davis' _Let's Get Well_ are not a sufficient base of evidence for me. The man suggests he may have had undiagnosed diabetes, the symptoms of which reversed with metabolic adaptation. Adelle Davis suggested supplementation with wheat germ, fortified milk, lecithin, and B vitamins. Milk gives me stomach cramps though.
The interesting thing is until I went on this low-carbohydrate diet I was going through butter at the rate of a pound a week. Butter is fat, and is important for keeping a high ratio of fat to carbohydrates. But because I'm not using it on pasta, potatoes or bread, and instead for eggs and vegetables and with olive oil for sauteing animal protein, I seem to have a lot more of it. The vegetables I eat now: cauliflower, asparagus, tomatoes, celery, leafy greens don't use so much butter, except for green beans.
Debt-wise, some karma monkey is chucking wrenches into my works to pay off the car loan: buying new tires for the bike, bimonthly utilities, semiannual vehicle insurance, a new computer to take up north. The good news is if we switch to T-Mobile, we can use our phone on Canada networks. Right now I lose $1.25 in minutes cash per month on Canada's 911 service fees. And the Canadian dollar is dropping. I'll still be buying dairy on my way to the border though.
I'd been paying so much attention to macros and summer reading I haven't been inputting my numbers.
I've lost a few inches on a low carb, high fat diet, and I didn't even exercise. I was scared at first to check my weight, because the sizes I wear are those reported by those who report a weight I was at just before I gave birth, and the sizes I want to wear are reported by people my height who are around fifteen lbs or seven kilograms or just over a stone less than that. My gut is still bigger than I want it to be though. I'm thinking maybe I should exercise to cut it.
I just learned this week about ketogenic diets, just joined reddit this week and am learning lots.
The healthfulness of the diet I initially found questionable, especially after my messy, scary blood clinic episode. I have since added potassium chloride to my dining table, and put a few shakes of it into my drinking water, and supplement with magnesium. I do miss my toilet-bowl wonders, those daily affirmations I have a healthy colon, though. The body's grabbing its glucose from fat stores and not from ingested carbs, so I let less out than a government or St. Louis Cardinals online database.
I am having more coconut oil, a little more these days. Working up to five tablespoons a day.
For the vegans and high-fat diet fans, a
It is summer: I feel I must change the landscape of my lawn to get the house ready for sale next year, but I have so little cash and am such a newbie I'm paralyzed by lack of ideas, knowledge and resources.
I may need some help/push in the right direction for where to begin.
A plus: the house now has greater than $300K equity.
The boy received his McDonalds stock funds. I wish the Direct Purchase Plan stocks we have performed better. Slow and steady may win the race but they have to rely on momentum zippers stalling or reversing.
I am "racing"/"recording" my debt elsewhere, but in keeping with the suspiciously drab narratives of "auto lending"/"auto insurance"/"email marketing" crap blogs festering here, I present my narrative to go with my numbers, as debt support group was too chaotic/crowded today, and Women in Red Racers updates are succinct.
Tax refund arrived.
I put most of it in the money market account. I can stop crashsaving now and start dividing nonemergency funds into investment (long term), debt repayment, and emergency funds/planned expenditures (medium term). I did take the family out to a sitdown, let them come with the menus, cloth napkins on the table type of meal, and even had a cocktail and dessert, because that is too infrequent. We used a coupon which probably covered one cocktail. $100 went into each of two Direct Purchase Plan stocks, both with Dividend Yields above 3%, General Electric and Procter & Gamble.
Cat vaccinations and utility payments are next. Both of these are less than I budgeted for, but my son's shoes and auto fuel and my breakfast out, today's expenses, are more than what I budgeted for. It's too easy to fritter away the refund. I'd like to get the scooter properly maintained, buy some Canadian dollars and some silver, buy the new phone. I used to be able to use Twitter and Gmail on our phone, now I can't. And yes, the 20th anniversary jaunt to western Vancouver Island is still being funded and planned.
We have spent $22.47 on outside dining, seventeen days into the month. That is less than books, or movies, or postage. Groceries look like they'll be $700 for the month, including cat food and litter, as we're up to $354.28 for spending. Had a Nanaimo Bar at 50% off.
We have earned $5.86 this month in interest. The internet went up $8 a month. [Sarcastic comment about Comcast's neediness redacted.] I fueled the car with $15.00 for a 464-mile range.
Meal Planning for the Week
- Panko Chicken Thighs
- Creamed Chicken (w/Breasts): Canned Chicken
- Minestrone Stew
- Thai Coconut Chicken Curry: Chicken Breasts
- Red Lentil Stew (I keep writing that)
- Clear out the Freezer. I have fewer servings of some protein than I have people.
Frugal luxuries: Baker Street Tea with a 1930 film "The Benson Murder Case" starring William Powell. He started smiling about the same time Garbo spoke and for most of the decade after he did he was box office gold.
Chequing has $200 in it. Keeping fingers crossed I won't have to transfer cash from Money Market Account this week, hoping for $17/day average expenditure, mostly grocery items.
I'm in shock at my $313 water/sewer/yard bill. I will check the outdoor hoses for drips: I can't hear any drips or see any leaks inside the house. Normally it's $250 for yard, water and sewer for two months. We have not had freezing weather that would make the pipes burst.
DH needed to go out and for me to go with him on Sunday so we went to Value Village to go buy clothes for the boy and for him. I didn't have a wardrobe plan of what to buy so I merely admired but did not buy the Coach and Chanel purses and totes attractively priced for under $100. In retrospect I perhaps should have used the 30% off coupon in the Chinook Book for their purchases. My little one still has smaller feet than I do, yet he takes a size 16 in pants. He is shopping in the men's section now, although for small sizes. He is still eight inches shorter than me.
I have not bothered to weigh myself, but am programming via temporal tap my body to reduce its set weight to 140 lbs. I know I am at least 168 lbs. and am still fitting into US size 12 clothes. It looks like if I drop to 150 lbs I will get into a size 10, and size 8 at 140 lbs, according to "My Body Gallery: What Real Women Look Like."
Negatively worded phrases "It's not my fate to be fat" for example are repeated as the finger tips tap around the left ear; positively charged phrases like "I'm looking fine when I weigh 139" are "tapped in" the same way over the right ear. It's important to find and use personal phrases your body's inclined to use as truth. For example, someone on the metric system probably wouldn't want to use 139 as a number. The messages don't have to be weight-based, even. If you have salt cravings like I do, you may find tapping messages helpful for preventing a 15-oz Chex Mix feeding frenzy. Or you might program your mind and body to return your wardrobe to two sizes smaller than present. More on the temporal tap
Debt payoff is still the dominant goal for us financially. Until February 1 I'll see if I can raise our assets by $102.60. I'll likely end up cheating by adding $4543 worth of stock and house value increase as $4440.40 of planned and unplanned expenses fly away from us. I'll be gleaning what I can from your blogs.
We sort of have a new cat. Okay, we are feeding someone else's cat. In the summer, after our white cat died, our brown one would venture out and not always come back when called in the evening. We tried shaking the treat bag, and a large ginger neuter came up: "Hey you have treats!" Now the large ginger tabby waits for us to return home, or scratches at the door, to get at our cats' food. Our resident animals are too old and puny to resist other than a perfunctory hiss when they're up to it. He doesn't stay in the house long. He is a happy nomad and not Otto von Bismarck.
Giving GnuCash another go. This time it is easier, as long as I don't jolly myself into thinking I can save and import my TD Ameritrade balances and transactions. I haven't used any of the Loan Wizards either, as they give me months upon months of automated payments all with the wrong amounts. I'm cheating by pretending I owe more than I actually do. My genuine totals owing are in the sidebar.
How are you today?
I had a day of some accomplishments: washed the range hood filters, our bedsheets, bought clothes, retrieved my wallet. Ipod still missing. Not too worried because I paid nothing for it. It is probably in our house somewhere.
Saw Baselle on Saturday: she is radiant and fine. My child will participate in her Fantasy Celebrity Cemetery game and he made some good picks, some stellar unique ones, some cagey ones too. One person Baselle has on her list is someone I had on my first version, but discarded. I hope I don't have remorse over that, but I probably will. This year nearly everyone had good lists, and I just lucked out because I followed Baselle's 2013 winning strategy of finding someone in their forties.
For 2015 I want to be more creative and active. I am now mostly on Linux on one laptop, and I now have a Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pis are the thrifty way for young people to learn computing, but I decided I didn't have to be twelve or under to make use of the Pi. I've played with software for designing sound, and dipped my baby toe into the Python programming shell (called IDLE, get it? Python? har! Those funny Brits!). I also installed Apache server and now I have a web page. All of this I did last night. I have now a SDF.org account for practising mySQL and using old-school UNIX commands. I think if I reduce my exposure social media (hashtag abuse rots the mind) and go on a news-information diet I'll be okay. News is 88% corporations and governments' dictated garbage, typos, and celeb blather anyway these days, am I right?
I want to be cleaner next year too. My eyes are terrible now and I can only feel the schmutz, not see it. I have some recipes for scented cleaning concoctions, so I'll be able to smell the clean as well.
I want every day to have some minor accomplishment at least, or average out the year in daily accomplishments. I will work on templates for my RedNotebook software so I have a framework: "What needs to be changed?" "What was good?" "What steps did you take toward ....?" "What are you going to read?"
I want to be more mindful. I wouldn't say I'm manic, but too often I see more books and CDs and DVDs from the library I want to borrow, and sometimes I misplace them if I'm out, especially on a bus. Then I have to pay for their replacement. update: case in point, I was going to play a CD from the library, then found a CD from the library I thought I returned (I returned only the case). I better read Philippa Perry's How to Stay Sane but that presumes I am sane. My spouse tells me I am sane in a crazy world.
I want to overcome my social anxiety and awkwardness. I have to be okay with rejection though, as well as other people's social anxieties and awkwardness, but I don't know how to be okay with rejection; that is, positioning the rejection as the other person's problem and not a confirmation that I'm unfit for society.
Financially, 2014 showed growth over 2013. Except for the house. Despite all these cranes working on erecting multifamily residences, and a 1 bedroom apartment in the city goes for more than our 3-bedroom mortgage in the city, Zillow values our house at $5000 less than this time last year, so I have 3% growth in equity from the $10000 I've paid down in principal. I live in an area with good transportation and most amenities are within walking distance. Gold and silver are down from 12 months ago as well. Stock accounts went up, except for General Electric. Bonds are up a little over 2%, money market account is up slightly. Debt you can look at in the sidebar, unless you're using adblock software. 8% principal paid on HELOC; 9.18% principal paid on mortgage; 22% principal paid on car loan. Car loan annual principal paid percentage is the only number that didn't increase from last year.
Stocks to look into next year: CI, DLTR, ONNN, SU, TRV, VIAB.