2019 New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! So, today is January 1st, 2019. Wow, one more year until 2020! Can you believe it? I can’t. I remember being 10 years old in 1990 and watching movies that were set in the future and I remember one of them being 2020 and I remember thinking that was so far away and that we would likely be living on other planets and driving flying cars, etc. I think I likely watched too much of The Jetsons! But honestly, it seemed just so far away and I never really thought much beyond just being old enough to get married and have kids. Now that it’s here it seems like just yesterday that I was that 10-year-old kid.

I have never been very good at making and keeping New Year’s Resolutions and when I did I always made the same ones and then forgot about them a week or two later and I’m sure this will end up being the same but I might as well give it a try. I like to make lists and checking things off is so satisfying but I always get side-tracked and end up doing/getting things that aren’t on my list and not doing/forgetting about things that are on my list. It’s the same at the grocery store. I make a list, I go aisle by aisle and I end up with tons of things in my cart that were not on my list and always end up forgetting half the things that are on my list or deciding that I really don’t want them and getting something else instead. I am sure there is a word for that. Some sort of term

Anyways, here are 5 New Year’s Resolution’s that I hope to achieve in 2019:

1. Loose 36 lbs – I know this seems pretty specific and it is. I want to make it achievable so that would work out to 3 pounds a month, I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but at about 185-190 pounds and 5 foot 1 inch that would make a huge difference, and is achievable for me, especially in the beginning while I’m still recovering. I think it will make a big difference as well in how I feel and help me with better controlling my diabetes. If I can achieve it then next year I will set a bigger goal.

2. Walk 25 km a week – Again a very specific goal, I would like to start walking again and try to get 5 x 5km walks each week which would equal out to 25 km’s a week. I figure that a 5 km walk used to take me about an hour and if I factor in 2 days a week that I just can’t get out for some reason, either needing a break or being sick or the weather being too bad I would like to try and get in 25km a week. Even though I have some apps on my phone I would really like to get a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or maybe something cheaper to start out with to track walking.

3. Try a new food/recipe every two weeks – I am a very picky eater and since we go grocery shopping usually every two weeks for the majority of stuff I figure if I grab one new vegetable, fruit, cheese or another food item each shopping trip that I have never tried and give a new recipe a try with it so that I can add some more variety to my diet and start getting away from processed foods.

4.  Finish our foster care application – Last year, early in the year, I can’t remember exactly when we went to a foster care info session in Halifax. I remember there was still snow on the ground so it’s been almost a year. I am unsure where the application went with the move and all but I want to sign us up for another info session near Digby and get the paperwork filled out, do our background checks and get everything submitted before the winter is through.

5. Save $1040 – We want to purchase a house in a couple of years and to do that we need to save up a down payment. Last year we saved up just under $1700 dollars in about 9 to 10 months and still have about $360 of it, the rest we had to use when I hurt myself to help cover the bills. I would like to save $20 a week for the next 52 weeks so that in the end we will have $1400 by December 31st 2019. Next year if we increase it a little we can have small down payment for a house under $100,000, which is what we are aiming for. It’s going to take us a long time to find a house for that price but they are out there, we expect to have to put work into it and are fine with that, as long as it is livable, the rest is cosmetic and we can make it what we want it.

That’s probably the most specific I have ever been with New Year’s Resolutions, but I want to make them achievable and be specific enough that I have to actually work towards them and not just say “oh, well that was pretty general, does this count?”. I am so excited for 2019!

2018 – A Year in Review

Happy New Years!!! Well, it is New Year’s Eve and tonight we are heading to my parent’s house for a new years eve party. They invited a bunch of friends of the family and we are staying the night as we don’t want anyone drinking and driving. We’re going to bring our blow up air mattress we got for camping a few years ago for our honeymoon and sleeping somewhere, though I am not sure yet where. We are going to play games like Uno and Bad People a game my parents got for Christmas.

Anyways, I’ve written and re-written this a few times. I find it a bit hard to look back on a whole year, mostly just because it’s hard to remember what happened when and also I never know what is the best way to write about it. Sometimes I feel writing is not one of my strong points, even though I have been blogging for almost 20 years – more than half my life! I’m just going to jump in though and sort of go in chronological order and do the best that I can to remember everything, not that there really is all that much to remember.

Edward gets his learners permit!

In January of 2018, Edward took and passed the test to get his learners permit and I have been teaching him all year to drive. I am really proud of my husband for this one and I know it seems like it’s his accomplishment and not my own, which it 100% is, but I am proud of myself for teaching him and helping him realise that he could do it. I’ve learned a bit about myself in the process. I am a pretty patient person and never really thought myself to be. Sometimes I get annoyed and forget he’s just learning but I am sure that if he was my child and not my husband I would probably do the same thing.

Getting my Freestyle Libre system

At some point in January while at my doctor’s office I mentioned to him seeing an advertisement for the Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system. He told me that one of his receptionists Michelle was diabetic and used it and that she loved to let people know about it and told me to go talk to her and then do a little research on if my insurance would cover it and come back to him in a week and he would write me a prescription if I still wanted to try it. I decieded to go for it after speaking to Michelle and confirming with my insurance it was covered.

I can’t express how much I love the Libre. It’s helped me determine which foods and drinks really raise my blood sugar. It’s helped me determine how being sick affects my blood sugar and it’s helped me get my A1C down from 8.2 to the latest one which was 6.6 and it was even lower at one point at 6.2 which is the lowest I have been in a few years since being told I may be pre-diabetic.

It’s easy to install, with easy to follow instructions and other then sometimes stinging a little or occasionally getting a “bleeder” which is just a little blood coming through the hole in the sensor if you hit a vein, it’s virtually pain free and means that I only have to do a finger poke occasionally to ensure the sensor is working rather than when I get up, before and after each meal, when I go to bed and in the middle of the night overnight. With neuropathy in my fingers, it is really painful so I am glad to minimize the number of times I have to use test strips and a drop of blood and the Libre allows this.

Spending the summer and fall on crutches

In June I hurt my left knee and ankle when I slipped on my parent’s basement stairs. At first, I literally got up and walked up the stairs and went upstairs and sat down. Later when I got up to go home I noticed my knee was swollen and hurting a lot. I limped out and the next day Eddie took me to the emergency department because it was really swollen and I couldn’t put any weight on it and I had also hurt my neck and back as well. They sent me home without doing an x-ray or anything and just said it was sprained and to keep off it and take a few days off.

After about 7-10 days it was not getting any better and was really painful and swollen so I went back and it was x-rayed and I was told there were no fractures but I did have a bad sprain (grade 2) to both my knee and ankle and would need to see a specialist. I was told no weight at all on it until I started physio and to continue using crutches. I ended up being put off work for a while because I had to keep my leg elevated due to the swelling.

At the end of July I was bored but still in pain but wanted to try going back to work so I started back early August after they gave me the all clear.  I was back 2 weeks (while still using crutches and waiting to see a specialist) when I slipped in the shower and landed on my left side, the same side that was already hurt. I ended up re-hurting my knee and hurting my hip. This time an on-call doctor at my doctors office was really concerned I may have fractured my hip and sent me for x-rays after the hospital sent me home for a second time without them, but I was unable to get in the position they needed for the x-rays due to the pain and swelling so I was told I needed to stay off my leg completely and stay in bed for a week while they waited for the swelling to go down and try again. During this time I developed numbness, discolouration and tingling as well as more pain in my groin and thigh.

The x-rays showed nothing but my family doctor was still concerned and after talking with my physiotherapist who at that point refused to touch me until I had more x-rays of my whole leg and hip, referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon. He sent me for first a CT scan and then after finding what he thought might be something a bone scan which came back negative. It took me another month to get back on my feet enough to go back to work. I was off until the beginning of October when I convinced them to let me go back.

In October I got the final results of the x-rays, CT and bone scan and the orthopaedic specialist said that it appears that I damaged the bottom of my spinal cord and nerve endings coming out of the bottom of my spine and through my hip. He figured it was causing the pain, swelling, numbness and causing weakness when trying to walk. I was told to continue using crutches and slowly increase the weight bearing until my leg could handle it. I still have pain, swelling and numbness now but I am able to bear weight and walk short distances unaided and am slowly increasing the walking each day or two.

Making the move to Digby and new jobs

During all the above chaos my parents let us know that they were moving to Digby, they had been talking about it for a few months, my cousin who lives in the US was looking for a retirement/vacation home here in Nova Scotia and she asked my parents who she knew wanted to move back to Digby that if she could find the right place if they would move in and take care of it for a reduced rent and they said yes. Mom actually found the perfect place and my cousin came to see it and fell in love with it and her and her husband bought it. During that time my parents decided they wanted to purchase a small house near Digby for them to move into when my cousin and her husband moved here in a few years. They found and purchased a small cottage on October 1st.

We’d been saying for a while, Edward and I, that we wanted to move out of the city but it seemed like a long way off. After my parents bought the cottage they mentioned renting it out on Airbnb for a few years after fixing it up a little or finding someone to rent it to on a more permanent basis for a few years. Somewhere along the way we brought up the idea of renting from them if we could find jobs down there and they agreed and we decided that the first one of us that got a job we would move. Eddie got offered a job right away and we ended up giving notice at workplaces and I took a transfer leave to see if I could find a position with the bank down here and we moved around the middle of November but we still kept the apartment another month until the end of December so we could take our time packing and moving.

Eddie’s job kind of fell through but we both have jobs here now and are getting settled in and starting our jobs both on the 3rd of January. In the meantime, I am working from home transcribing which I actually really enjoy and am going to keep doing part-time on the side for my mom’s company. I will be working part-time in an office doing tax returns and part-time at home transcribing and Edward’s going to be working in a department store.

Feeling sick & a to-do list

I have been thinking a little about some things I want to get done around the house both inside and out. I wasn’t feeling that good yesterday and started writing this post then and am having a hard time concentrating so I figured I would give up on work for the evening and just watch TV or read and write another blog post for tomorrow. I’m not sure why I feel sick but it started last night with some nausea and a headache and today I have felt really sick to my stomach and just a general uneasy/unwell feeling. I’m guessing a bit of a stomach bug or something. I took some gravol and fell asleep on the couch for about 90 minutes. I woke up feeling about the same.

We got up at 7 a.m. and were supposed to be on the road by about 7:30 to 8 a.m. with my Mom to Halifax to do some packing and cleaning the apartment but my Mom left Brighton about 7:10 and got as far as the exit to Digby (2 exits before us) and she couldn’t see 2 feet in front of her it was snowing so bad. She’s uncomfortable driving in the snow so we rescheduled for Tuesday and are going to go up than with her and maybe Dad too and do some packing, cleaning and sorting through our stuff as we are going to get rid of some things.

In the meantime, I have been thinking a lot about the outside of the house. The picture above is the front of the house. Dad and Eddie need to fix the window because it leaks but it is a nice big single pane window.  I want to rebuild the bird house myself and plant some flowers around it. They will also be redoing the deck in the spring/summer. There are 3 apple trees around pack (somewhat neglected) and a raspberry bush. My Dad mentioned planting a garden for us. So I’ve kind of come up with a to-do list of things I want to do around the house both inside and out. I have to run some of it by Mom and Dad as they own the place but it’s mostly things that need to be done anyways. The shed needs to be painted as well but I love the property. My parents eventually plan to retired here so it would be nice if it is all done by the time they do.

Outside I want to prune the apple trees and raspberry bushes and look into what else we can plant. I want to get Dad and Eddie to build us a little vegetable garden box so I can plant some veggies. I want to create a few areas around the house to plant some flowers. I have to check because there might be a few places, everything is badly overgrown. I need to do a little research as I have never really done any of this stuff myself, other than helping my parents from time to time, but my Dad is good at gardening and enjoys it.

Inside my Dad and Eddie will be dividing the bedroom back up into two smaller bedrooms from the larger bedroom with small little room through a curtain that it currently is and they are supposed to be doing that sometime in the next month or two, maybe early in the new year. We need a second full bedroom as we plan to apply to be foster parents in the new year and the room needs to be finished before we do. It’s a bit hard to see in the picture below because the rooms are so small and with furniture in them it’s hard to get in a position to take a good picture but there is basically a false wall between the two rooms with a curtain as a doorway and the door to the left in the picture is actually the door to what will be the second bedroom. I want to finish a few little things like mouldings, door frames etc, that were never finished and maybe paint the living room as well. I don’t mind putting our own money into it as long as Mom and Dad are okay with the things we do as eventually the house will go to Denton and myself anyways, that and Mom and Dad would likely reimburse us anyways and we wouldn’t do anything without running it by them anyways.

Maybe you can see better in the picture below, in between the two doors you can see where the old wall was and in the bathroom picture further below the hole to the right of the bathtub is right on the other side of where the light switch and thermostat is and the door on the right actually opens into the bathroom right now. The door on the left is for bedroom #1 (master) main bedroom and opens into the living room. So yeah the door on the right will be for bedroom #2 (small). The bedroom I think would have been the same size at one time but he took some of it which were supposed to be a closet in the bathroom, which was never finished. Once the wall is removed and a new one put back where it was a long time ago each room will have its own door. We also need to install a light in bedroom #2 and an electric heater, the wiring is there already for the heater but the heater was out in the shed broken so my Dad is going to buy a new one.

Secondly, they also need to finish the bathroom as right now there is a giant hole in the wall/closet. So to the right of the bathtub that will be a linen closet to my understanding and then where the towel rack currently is the sink is going to be moved there and the walls all finished and the toilet moved closer to the tub so we can make a little entryway into bedroom #2 as right now the only access would be through the bathroom, you would need to go into the bathroom and close the door to get at the door for bedroom #2. Not the best set up so Dad wants to try and make a little entryway/hall for the second bedroom apart from the bathroom. The tub is going to be refinished and a new tub surround put up, new walls and paint and new flooring as well (some of the floorboards also need replacing).

I can’t wait for it to all be done and should be before summer hopefully! Right now the bathroom is a bit of a nightmare for someone terrified of spiders, at least the winter shouldn’t be too bad. It’s too cold for them, but spring is going to be a pain so hopefully they will get that done before it warms up to much. We will likely stay at my parents for a few days while they do it. Paint fumes really bother my Asthma. If you’d like to see more pictures of the house you can find them in this post.

I’m having a bit of a hard time getting into a routine but I know it will be easier once Edward has a job and I have some quiet time to type and get some things done. I have to say he has been wonderful though and has kept the place clean and tidy and has chopped wood, cooked, cleaned and all the other housework while I type. I just find it really hard to get myself up in the mornings before 9 a.m. I really struggle even if I go to bed by 11 p.m. I still can’t seem to get up and get moving. Tomorrow. My goal is bed at 11 p.m. and up at 7 a.m. but I am really struggling with it.