Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Saving Seeds for the Kiddos' Future

Parents want the best for their children and give them the greatest opportunities to start off their adulthood on the right foot. But that means starting now and not just waiting for the future. As in Aesop's tale of the ants and the grasshopper, saving up now means that you'll have what to eat in the future, even if playing is more fun... Saving up for the future is also like gardening. Here's how.

Planning for your little ones' future is sort of like starting a garden from scratch. You don't need a whole lot to get started—just some seeds, which are like the few bucks you tuck away now and then. Maybe you open a college fund or just start a little savings stash. Every bit you save is planting a seed for their education and stability down the road. It's about the small things you do now, like maybe teaching them to save their allowance or showing them how to budget for that video game they want. You're laying down the roots for their financial smarts.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Reclaiming the Word "Fat" and other "Bad" Words

Fabulously fat me, dressed up as Morticia

I needed to go clothing shopping and asked in a local Facebook group where I could find a clothing store for fat women. And in addition to a lot of helpful suggestions I got so many comments about my choice of language.
  • "Plus size women. Not fat women."
  • "Why the term Fat women? Larger sized women please!"
  • "Can't we just say plus-sized? So much less demeaning."
I specifically use the term fat.

I am fat.

At  5'9 and 285 lbs, fat is a perfectly accurate descriptor. I'm fat. I'm tall. I'm blue eyed, straight brown haired, lightly freckled, myopic (need glasses), and a woman. Those describe me. They are all facts. Descriptors. None of them are either positive or negative. They are neutral. 

Descriptors are only negative if you make them that way. Otherwise, they are neutral.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Ten Tips for Talking to Your Child About A New Sibling

Navigating the conversation about a new sibling with your kids can be a bit like decoding a complex puzzle. This post explores the nuances of discussing the addition of a new family member. While my own parenting journey might not involve expanding the brood, I've learned a thing or two about fostering understanding and acceptance in the midst of life changes. So, let's delve into the practical aspects of having "the talk" with your little ones and create a roadmap for smoothing the transition.

There are so many considerations to hold in your mind at once when preparing yourself for a new baby that discussing it with your existing child can be easy to put off. No matter how old they are, talking to them about their new sibling is the best way to set up a positive relationship with the new baby.

Friday, November 17, 2023

7 Decluttering Tips for Busy Moms

Do you need a no-nonsense guide on decluttering for the overwhelmed? If the daily chaos of toys, laundry, and random odds and ends has you feeling a bit suffocated, you're in good company. I get it. In this blog post, we'll tackle decluttering with practical tips that fit the reality of our busy lives. So, if the idea. of a minimalist haven seems like an unattainable dream, stick around. The goal is order, without the overwhelm.

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. But between work, school drop-offs and pick-ups, after-school activities, meal prep, and more, life can get hectic for moms! Keeping a tidy home amidst the chaos of daily life is no easy feat. Clutter can quickly take over, leaving you feeling overwhelmed.

The good news is there are many effective ways to tackle clutter and keep your home organized. As a busy mom, a little decluttering each day goes a long way towards maintaining order. Here are seven tips to help you declutter your home and free up more time and space for what matters most to you.

Friday, November 10, 2023

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!

This time last week I woke up to horrifying messages from so many people. My Facebook page was sharing essentially pornographic stories, with links to a porn website if you clicked on them. I tried to go to my page to delete it, but I was completely locked out of my page. It wasn't considered something of mine anymore, I had zero access to it- just the same amount of access that any of you have.

I was horrified and upset and so many other things. I didn't know how to fix it. I tried reporting it to Facebook. I mobilized my circles to please report the facebook page. Everyone kept telling me to change my password but that didn't work since the page wasn't connected to my account anymore.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Don't Wait Too Late for Life Insurance

If you're like me, you probably don't want to think too much about death and what happens after we die. We're young and hope to live a long life, so why plan for our deaths just now? And besides, it's expensive, complicated, and just feels irrelevant. But unfortunately, disasters happen, and people die way before their time; unfortunately too many people in my circles have been dealing with that lately. My friend, for example, lost her brother in law in a plane crash, and he left behind many children. Fortunately, he had a good life insurance policy, so my friend's sister doesn't need to worry about the finances now in addition to all the rest of the hell they're going through at the moment.  Life insurance is one of the most important financial decisions you can make for yourself and your loved ones. And I'm going to tell you why.

First of all, what is life insurance? Life insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company that pays out a lump sum of money to your beneficiaries if you die during the term of the policy. The money can be used for anything, such as paying off debts, covering funeral costs, or providing income for your family.

There are different types of life insurance, but the most common and affordable one is term life insurance. Term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time, usually 10, 20, or 30 years. You pay a fixed amount every month, and if you die within the term, your beneficiaries get the payout. If you outlive the term, the policy expires and you get nothing.

Why is term life insurance beneficial? Term life insurance is beneficial because it offers a lot of coverage for a low cost. You can get hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars of coverage for a fraction of what you would pay for a permanent life insurance policy. Term life insurance is also flexible and simple. You can choose the amount and duration of coverage that suits your needs and budget. You don't have to worry about any cash value, investment options, or fees that come with permanent life insurance policies. 

Friday, November 3, 2023


Oh my gosh, I want to throw up.
Someone hacked my blog's Facebook page and kicked me off as site admin so now I have no access to it...
And they're posting sexually explicit things on it. (On the page's stories.)
I don't know what to do.
But I wanted to:
1) Let you know.
2) Let you know I know.
3) Apologize for you having to see those stuff.
4) Ask for help if you know how to help me with this.

Thanks so much.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Hello Car! Again...

Very excited with my brand new (to me) car!

This post has been a long time coming. 

I literally started writing it over a month ago, which was more than a week after buying my car, but there were a lot of emotions involved in writing this and it took me quite a while. More on that in a little bit.

So for those who didn't see my post in September (writing about what happened in August), basically after 6 months (minus a couple of days) of buying my last car, the engine completely conked out (dangerously, along the highway in a dangerous area, but fortunately we all came out unscathed). It was really, really, really disappointing and frustrating, and I had a lot of guilt about it, which is why it took me a few weeks to write it up. 

I blamed myself for it (something I'm very good at), blamed myself for maybe not being responsible enough, for getting a bad car, for not doing enough research... but fortunately people I care about talked some sense into me, and reassured me that it was not my fault, that it just was a case of bad luck. This had been after months of recurrent leaking near the engine, which was suspected to have been caused by the engine, but there was no way of knowing. So having paid to fix up the car for that, and other various issues, in addition to the money I spent on it... was just a huge bummer. Especially since I'd paid to fix it up some more just a few weeks before it conked out.

My mechanic, who is a sweet guy, at least gave me a refund on the new battery that he'd just replaced. He also helped me find someone to purchase the trashed car for parts. While he could have replaced the engine, it wasn't worth doing in a car that was 15 years old, given that the engine would cost more than half of what I originally paid for the car.

Lastly, I felt a lot of regret that I didn't pay for insurance that would pay for repairs if damaged, or a new car if totaled or stolen. I paid for mandatory insurance which covers injuries to another party, and extra insurance for damages to another vehicle, but not comprehensive insurance. I hadn't gotten around to doing that, because it costs more money and is more complicated to get, and I felt I screwed myself over. However, I found out that it never would have covered an engine dying, only damages in an accident, so I was able to let go of that guilt.

So now, on to the new car.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Yay! Free Books!

I want to apologize for not having posted for far too long. I feel terrible about it, like I've let you down big time. I am going to try to be more on top of posting- I'm chock full of ideas for posts, with many partially written posts, but I need to actually find the time and headspace to write, not to mention having my body not hurt too much to sit up and write.

Anyhow, on top of that, my family and I have been going through a lot lately. We're ok, but it's complicated.

My kids were out of school for a few weeks (they finally all started school again this past week), and while they were home bored, my daughters decided to redo their bedroom, something they've wanted to do since their big brother moved into his bedroom that we built last year. 

Speaking of that, a friend reminded me that I never posted a final post about his room... and the reason I didn't was that I was waiting until it was completely finished, but I still haven't managed to put up his loft bed (my body hurting, lack of time with my sons home to help me while I also had energy, needing to find the right equipment, etc...) so he's been sleeping on a mattress on the floor this past year... But maybe I'll do a nearly final picture even with the mattress on the floor.

In order to redo my daughters' bedroom (pretty much using only what we had in the house already) they needed to get rid of a lot of books that were on their bookshelf. Most of those books were books that they outgrew or that never appealed to them. So we sat down and sorted them into a few piles.

One pile was garbage- broken books, or other bad quality things that just weren't usable anymore.

Another pile was of books we wanted to keep on the shelf.

Another pile was books that no one is reading now, but we (or I) have fond memories of, some of them still from my childhood.

And then the rest went into the giveaway pile.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Super Simple Homemade Sports and Rehydration Drink Recipe

Important update:

I am reposting this post. Unfortunately, too late, I realized a mistake I made with my post, and I feel bad for anyone that used my recipe and didn't get the exact benefits needed from it, because of my mistake. Reposting this with the corrections will hopefully get more people to see these needed changes.

When I made this recipe as previously written, I was peeing a million times a day. Ok, slight exaggeration, but I wasn't retaining liquid, which was the reason I was drinking this in the first place. Since I need to retain more liquid to have a higher blood volume to combat my POTS, I don't just need more fluids, I need fluids with salt. And this recipe did not have enough salt. I added more salt and then adjusted the other ingredients so it tastes decent. You might not like the taste as much as when it had less salt, but the point of this is effectiveness, not just taste.

I have an embarrassing confession. I sweat. A lot. Probably 3 or 4 times as much as the average person. I'm not entirely sure of the cause, but it means that I am constantly losing large amounts of both fluids and salts, as much as an athlete would, even when I'm not doing anything particularly physically exertive. In addition to that, I have dysautonomia, specifically Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, something that is usually comorbid with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which I also have. This means that my body doesn't know how to regulate blood flow, which causes a large variety of different symptoms, but it is most pronounced when changing positions (that's what postural orthostatic tachycardia means- heart rate affected by your posture) which can cause really bad dizziness.

To treat the symptoms of POTS, there are lots of different recommendations. Drinking really large quantities and having a lot of salt are two extremely helpful ones, because salt causes water retention, and combined with drinking more, that increases your blood volume, which is one of the biggest ways to help symptoms. 

I don't know about you, but drinking salt water isn't something that is particularly appealing to me. I've drunk large amounts of water in the past but it made me nauseous. I've even gotten water poisoning one time after a hike (it was terrible) and it only went away when I had something carby and salty. I try to remember to drink but when it is just water it doesn't happen enough. And it doesn't really help my symptoms anyhow, because if you drink water but don't have the salt, you just pee it all out and it doesn't help with the blood volume.

Enter sports drinks.

They're basically drinks that are meant to help replenish what you lose when you sweat. Liquid. Salt. Electrolytes. And sugar. Not always sugar. But sugar helps because carbohydrates help facilitate sodium and water absorption. My friend started buying powdered Gatorade and I started drinking it to see if it helped with my dizziness and exhaustion issues and the difference was remarkable. I was much more of a functional human being when I drank Gatorade. However, locally you can only buy ready made Gatorade, which is quite pricey if you drink 3-4 liters a day. I ordered it online internationally, and it was terrific. But then the store raised their shipping prices prohibitively, and ordering it didn't make sense anymore. I tried ordering rehydration packs from iherb (not Gatorade but a similar idea) but they still haven't arrived. But my Gatorade was finished. And I needed to have something to help me rehydrate that wasn't just water.

I have a sports drink recipe here, called Laborade (which I based on a different recipe I found online years ago) but it calls for a gallon of water, which is a lot to make at once, and I don't really have any good container to mix that large of an amount in. And I wanted something I could make to scale. So I experimented to see if I could make that into a powder version, using citric acid, and some fruity tea bags... and it was just terrible. It tasted so bad that I didn't want to drink it, nor did anyone else. This was after multiple attempts with different permutations.

But I was out of Gatorade and I needed something. So I experimented. What if I made lemonade, but didn't make it as strong, and then added some salt to that? It worked. Then I added tea bags for flavorings. It also worked great. I tried playing around with the amounts of sugar, salt, and lemon... but increasing the salt just made it taste yucky.

Eventually, I found the perfect ratio for me. And it works just as well as Gatorade, I think. I mean it's not like I did a scientific study with this, but drinking 4 liters a day of this sports drink definitely helps a lot, and much more than that amount of water, and it is more pleasant to drink so I don't minimize my drinking.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

The Financial Aftermath of a Car Accident: 7 Things to Know

Having lost my car to engine failure last month, car issues have been on my mind. In my case, I didn't lose my car because of an accident, but I know just how stressful suddenly not having a car is. And I've been in a bad car accident a few years ago in a rental car and I know how difficult it is in so many ways, financially, emotionally, etc... I hope you are never in a car accident, but in case you are, here are some things you need to know about the financial aftermath.

Getting in a car accident can be truly life-altering, and one of the greatest and most far-reaching impacts they can have is on your finances.

The aftermath of a car accident (especially a more severe one) touches so many facets of your life. From medical bills to paying for lawyers and even purchasing a new vehicle – there’s a lot of spending involved, whether you were at fault or not. If you’ve been in an incident recently and want to start thinking about the long-term costs and how you might be impacted over time, here’s what you need to know.

Immediate Financial Impact

Starting off with the initial hit, which you’ll face directly after being in a car accident. Initially, you’ll probably only be faced with medical bills. If you’ve been seriously injured, you’ll need to be admitted to hospital, and depending on where you live and what insurance you have, etc., you might need to pay those costs up front. However, you’re able to claim compensation, you might be able to get this money back.

Another financial knock that you’ll face directly after the incident is the cost of the damage to your car. If there’s any serious damage, you’ll need to have the vehicle repaired or even buy a new one. However, this can also be mitigated by insurance or claiming for compensation.

Keeping Your Relationship Romantic Through the Years: A Brief Guide

Someone I care about closely has a significant anniversary today and this topic feels especially relevant. For some people, like myself, relationships end because they weren't healthy and needed to end. Other people manage to stay together in a loving relationship "until death do us part". (A woman I knew for years just passed away yesterday after 55 years of marriage to her husband with whom she was very close.) And then there are the relationships in between, that don't have significant problems, but couples just... sort of drift apart. That doesn't have to happen. There are ways to keep your relationship strong, vibrant, and healthy for years, even with all the complications that life throws your way. Here are some ideas on how to do that.

Romance is one of the most incredibly important and beautiful elements of any relationship. While it might change shape over the years, it is important to do what you can to keep the romance in your relationship alive and well.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your relationship romantic as you and your partner build a life together.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Goodbye Dear Car of Mine

I'm having a hard time emotionally right now. Confused. Anxious. Stressed. Sad. Shame. Hopeless. And lots more to boot.

Last week I was driving home from an outing along a highway, and about a 30 minute drive from my house the car started making some noise. 5 minutes later I realized that I couldn't go as fast as the speed limit- the car started making strange noises and the RPM went up really high when I tried going above 80 kmh. Then I couldn't go faster than 70. Then I couldn't go faster than 60. I was on a stretch of road that really wasn't safe to break down on, and I knew that there was a town about 5 kilometers away. I prayed that we'd be able to at least make it there before we couldn't drive anymore.

We finally got to the entrance of the town, and after I stopped at the traffic light to turn into the town, I couldn't get the car to move forward. I stepped off the brakes and the car started rolling backward, downhill, even with my foot on the gas. I parked and put on my hazards and tried to call emergency roadside service, and they told me that based on what I told them, there was no point in calling a volunteer to come help since there was nothing they could do, and I'd just need to call a tow truck. I had my passenger get out of the car and get help to push the car out of the middle of the road and into the town limits. My son and 2 other guys pushed the car while it was in neutral, and I was able to drive it into the town and park it at the side of the road.

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