Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mar. 23 - Snow Again?!

Okay, what?  Guess what we woke up to this morning.  SNOW.  Ugh!  It's still dark out so I can't see just how much is out there but I can tell it's covered the ground.  Temps are supposed to get into the 40s though, so it should all melt.  But then, yeah, more snow coming Friday night/Saturday.  They're saying up to four inches.  Noooooooo!

Well, my mom's appointment was fine yesterday.  It was an eye exam.  She's been going every six months for quite some time now, but yesterday her eye doctor said she could go back to just yearly exams.  She has mild (?) glaucoma that has not changed in years, so he said "At this point it's unlikely to change or get worse so yeah, yearly exams should be fine."  Yay!  I mean, it was only two days a year, not a huge burden on me.  She chooses to go to an eye doctor a couple towns over though, and it's very hilly over that way.  The direct route highway has three or four extreme hills that my wimpy little car can barely make it up, and the downside of one of those hills comes out in a fairly sharp curve.  It scares the heck out of me.  If weather is not clear and dry, I won't even attempt driving there.  Brother1 told me an alternate route, and we considered taking it yesterday but decided not to just in case we got lost and ended up missing her appointment.  But those hills . . . yikes.

The appointment was a little later in the morning than when I'm usually over there, so I got home later than usual.  I didn't bother doing laundry (Wednesday is laundry day) or putting Easter decorations out.  I'll work on all that today.  I worked on the puzzle and watched more of White Princess.  I noticed the DVR was recording Spanish Princess yesterday.  I do have the series on DVD but it will be handy having it on the DVR again for when I finish White Princess.  Yeah, it's such a chore to get up and switch discs, I know.  LOL

So, I noticed something at Walgreens yesterday and I'm trying to wrap my head around it.  We had to stop and pick up a prescription on the way back from my mom's appointment.  The prescription wasn't quite ready so I was looking at things while I waited, and I noticed something that had me doing a double-take.  Let me explain.  I've said multiple times here on the blog that the needles for insulin pens are the most expensive of all my diabetes supplies/meds.  Our insurance barely pays anything for them.  I've always wondered why, and have mentioned here it seems like they want people to use the glucose monitors instead.  I just picked up a refill of needles about a week ago and have the receipt right here.

A box of needles costs $66.96.  Insurance only pays $11, so I'm paying $55.23 per box, out of pocket.  When I first got out of the hospital and we went to pick up all my prescriptions for the first time, needles were not included.  We had to go back to the pharmacy when we noticed this, and they said the doctor had not included a prescription for it.  They did call and get the mistake fixed but the point here is that the pharmacy said needles are not OTC because you need a prescription, or something like that.  Okay fine, it hasn't been a problem since that first time.  But what I noticed yesterday was boxes of needles right on the shelves in the diabetes supplies section.  And they were only $9.99 a box!!!!

Whaaaaat?!

I had to go actually pick up the box and double check that I was seeing the right thing.  I was.  Only $9.99 per box, and right there on the shelf.  These were only boxes of 50, and I get boxes of 100 with my refills but still, even to buy two boxes to equal the 100 I usually get comes to only $19.98, instead of the $55.23 I've been paying.  I'm just blown away by this.  How did I not know?  Were they always available OTC and I just never looked?  I'm thinking they're maybe not as good quality as the needles I'm used to but that might still be alright.  The needles my sister-in-law gave me recently are an obviously cheaper quality but they're working out alright.  But geez, if I can save myself $100 or more, I'll use the cheaper needles!

I also wanted to briefly mention that I'm saddened to find people don't care if I reply to their comments or not.  True, I've only heard from a couple of people but I could already tell that people weren't coming back to see my replies.  It seems totally wrong and rude for me to not reply, but it sure would make things easier to skip those pleasantries.  So sad, and just another thing that proves to me I'm not getting what I hope for out of blogging.

Okay the sun is up enough now that I can see we only got a dusting of snow.  Still, any snow at this point is too much.  Grrrr.

And with that, I will go get busy on all the things I've been neglecting this week.

Melted - Vanilla Frosted Grahams (Beezy Tarts)

Vanilla Frosted Grahams - 'Vanilla frosted graham crackers with hints of raisins and cinnamon.'
 
There was a popular scent back in the day called Hansel & Gretel's House.  It was sort of a gingerbread scent, and I loved it.  When I saw the description of this, the mention of raisins in particular, I thought for sure this was that same scent.  Well, I don't have Hansel & Gretel's House on hand to be sure but I guess that's okay because this is an awesome scent regardless.  It does strike me as a gingerbread scent, the slightly sweeter style that I prefer.  I should have saved this for Christmas!
 
This is a warm and cozy bakery scent, some soft spices, and a gentle sweetness.  I don't know that I'd ever recognize it specifically as graham crackers.  I don't know what raisins smell like so I can't say if there is a distinct note of it in this.  The frosting and the cinnamon are not distinct either.  All of the notes are nicely combined to form this delicious scent that would be a great holiday scent, but is just as good any time.
 
I melted about a third of this tart (approx. 0.7 oz. worth) in my tea light warmer and had medium-strong scent and throw.
 
I would absolutely get this scent again, and am already considering ordering a few to set aside for the holiday season.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Mar. 22 - Pt. 2 - Back To Normal?

Hello again!  It's still 37 degrees this morning here in Wisconsin, still cloudy, but light rain has started since doing my previous/first post today.  I knew it was coming but was hoping it would hold off because I have to take my mom to an appointment this morning.  Ah well, it's better than snow, right?
 
So to backtrack a bit since I rudely skipped posting yesterday, on Monday I went to my mom's as usual.  I did her grocery shopping and her laundry, and we played Yahtzee for a while.  Brother3 was there, as usual, and we were talking about old music like KISS and Alice Cooper, even The Monkees and Barry Manilow.  It was great.  lol  When I got home from her place I'd hoped to get my Easter decorations out but ended up vegging on the couch and getting caught up on some shows.  Last of Us is done for the season but I did have Y&R and Snapped recorded.
 
Tuesday (yesterday) I had wanted to try some different things from what my usual daily routines have become, because of all the mind swirlies I talked about in the post just before this one.  I failed on all levels and actually wasted more time just sitting around trying to figure out what's making me feel this way this time around.  I ended up starting another puzzle, finished watching White Queen, and started watching White Princess.  Hubby and I played our wizard game when he got home from work.  After supper he went to watch his shows on TV (usually Simpsons and wrestling or Battlebots), and I played my other game for a bit, watched my current favorite Youtuber's latest video, then headed to bed.  Mixed with all that were scattered conversations about my current frustrations, which I didn't expect to lead to any solutions, and they didn't.  Still nice to just unload troubles sometimes though.

Now today (Wednesday) I will be heading back to my mom's since she has an eye doctor appointment this morning.  I probably won't stay after we are done with that.  I'd like to get back home and decorate for Easter.  I did haul the box out of storage yesterday but didn't actually decorate.  Not quite sure how I'd like to do it this year, if I want to put all the usual things in all the usual places or change it up a bit.  I have about an hour before I need to head to my mom's.  You'd think I could go ahead and get started, right?  lol  But no, I'm going to log on to my free game for a while instead.

How is spring showing up in your area?
Have you decorated for Easter yet?

Mar. 22 - Pt. 1 - Why I Skipped A Day

Hello.  It's 37 degrees already before 7am here in Wisconsin.  They say we might hit 50 today, but chance of rain is good.  That's fine.  Warm and no snow!  It looks a little foggy at the moment as the sun is trying to come up.

I skipped posting yesterday because, yes, I'm once again confused and frustrated with all sorts of things.  I know this is probably boring to anyone who has been following for a bit, same old story.  I know I was just talking about 'leaving court and living quietly in the country' and referencing a bible verse about something similar.  I guess I'm just trying to figure out what changes I need to make to be able do this.  The blog is always the first target in the This Must Go category, and I'm not sure I understand why I think that way.  I skipped blogging yesterday but did it buy me any extra time or ease my mind?  No, I just sat here looking at other sites more mindlessly, and did not get busy on any of the millions of other things I tell myself I'll do.

My oldest brother (Brother1, as I've called him here) deleted his Facebook and Messenger accounts a couple days ago.  I'm in awe.  I've been wanting to do that for so long now but can't seem to take that final step.  I've trimmed down my friends list and how many groups I'm in or pages I follow.  I've somewhat given up on the hope that maybe someone will actually post some family news instead of just reposting stupid crap or vaguebook whining.  I need a personal FB account to be able to run our Achy Joints Creations business page, but I could run it through Hubby's account if I had to.  But for some reason I just can't fully step away from it.  So when he said he has, I was like 'Oh my gosh, I can do it too.'  But so far, nope.  I did uninstall if from my phone though.

I guess I just really don't know what I'm looking for at this point in my life.  I'm perfectly willing to just live a quiet life here in the country.  I've always been a homebody, and it's probably a factor in why friends I've had over the years have drifted away.  I think I hang onto my internet habits and interests because I feel safer, more comfortable with those interactions and friendships.  I don't have any desire to meet or hang out with people I chat with online, but I love internet friendships.  I find I'm really missing the old days of chat rooms and chat programs like ICQ.  (Anyone remember that one?!)

So while I'm content to just live my life old school, plant some flowers and enjoy them when they bloom, decorate for holidays, watch a good movie . . . I still feel like I want to share those things with someone besides Hubby.  So no, I don't think I can just dump my internet life.  What is there to change then?  That's what I'm trying to figure out.  My expectations maybe?  Probably.

Back to Achy Joints Creations for a bit.  If you're new here, that is the little craft side hustle Hubby and I have.  He does woodworking projects to sell, and I was making soap to sell.  We did two years of local farmers markets and have an Etsy shop.  Events of late 2021 sort of slowed our Achy Joints activities and for most of 2022 we were on a total break.  Scattered discussions about it have us deciding to continue to put AJC on hold for 2023, possibly all the way until Hubby can retire.  So in recent days I've been thinking about just putting our Etsy shop into vacation mode, or maybe completely closing it.  Then yesterday afternoon, out of the blue because the shop has been absolutely dead for a long time, someone purchased a bird feeder.  We were both like 'Wowwwww, is that a sign to keep going?'  lol

Anyway, just a lot of mind swirlies happening again.  

Oh!  Another thing that has frustrated me with the blog is that I can't get AdSense to work.  I've submitted it for review three or four times now and it keeps coming back saying I have things that need to be fixed, but of course it does not specify what or explain how to fix those mystery things.  One of the results keeps saying something like 'low quality content' or 'not enough content/site still under construction.'  What?  It's most definitely not under construction, and as for 'low quality content,' I see other blogs that are just as boring or worse than mine but still running ads.  So I just don't understand what they're looking for?!  Things were sooooo much easier years ago with my original blog.  Kicking myself once again for deleting it.  And if you're going to suggest ways to improve content quality, don't bother.  I took a blog course several years ago and know about all the little tricks, but that's not the kind of blogging I want to do.

I'm rambling now and have lost track of what points I'm trying to make.

A question though . . . I love when people take the time to leave comments, but do you click notifications for follow-up comments?  I reply to every comment and often ask questions in return, trying to start conversations, but 99% of the time that's where it ends.  Once again, it's just so sooo different blogging this time around.

Okay, I'm going to do a quick 'normal' post as soon as I get this posted.  I skipped one day so now you get two posts!  lol  If you've made it to the end of this blah blah whine whine post, thank you.  I'm not looking for advice.  I just wanted to document this struggle for myself, to be able to look back on it.  I do appreciate you taking the time to visit though!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Mar. 20 - First Day of Spring!

 
Happy First Day of Spring!  It's looking to be a nice day for it too, 29 degrees and sunny at the moment, heading for a high in the mid-40s.  Yay!  Winter was holding on as long as it could this weekend though.  We had a another very light dusting of snow and yesterday morning when I went out to fill the bird feeders it was only like 9 degrees or something crazy.  And windy!  Angry, cold winds as winter was pushed out.
 
The weekend was okay around here.  The usual Saturday routine of grocery shopping and Hubby going to his dad's.  Sunday we celebrated Hubby's birthday (which is actually today).  The boychildz + friend were here.  We had sloppy joes and chips for lunch, and a large piece of store bought cake that we cut into five tiny pieces, because none of us need all that sugar.  He got a lot more presents than he normally would, because he sort of got snubbed at Christmas.  One of the presents was a fun card game called Loot 'n Loaded.  Of course we had to try it out.  It's an old west themed game, mainly a card game but sometimes circumstances call for a duel and for that there are two Nerf-style 'pistols' and a cardboard liquor bottle 'target.'  It was pretty funny whenever it came to duels.  At first we were all kinda hesitant, like 'This is dumb and awkward,' but after a few duels it was a very serious battle.  LOL  And of course the menfolk were all talking about ways to turn it into a drinking game.  lol
 
It was fun to have the boys over but later I did get down about things.  It seems they like to head home earlier each time.  When I sadly mentioned this to Hubby later he said, "Yeah, but they have their lives to live too."  I know, I know . . . but I'm seeing now how it got to the point with our own parents where we just stopped getting together for occasions, and I'd hoped and tried to keep that from happening with us.  I did shed a few tears about it all.  I know things will never be like when the boys still lived at home, or in the first couple years after they'd moved out, when we'd still get together on weekends and play Munchkin all day, eat meals together while we played.  I'm not willing to just give up though, which I think our own parents did.  I don't think we started declining their invitations . . . I think the invitations just stopped coming.  And I'm not going to do that.
 
But anyway, I'll move on before this becomes a total pity party.
 
I've been watching White Queen again.  I happened to catch part of it on TV last week Thursday and it sucked me in enough that I put my own DVD in on Friday and started from the beginning.  I've seen that show miniseries  probably three or four times already since it first came out.  I just love all those Tudor era shows!  Anyway, I want to do a post just about White Queen so when I watched last summer I'd been writing down my thoughts and notes in a notebook.  As I've been watching it this time, I had that notebook with me to write my thoughts again, then went back and read my thoughts from last time.  I was kind of happy to see my opinions haven't changed, glad to see I'm consistent.  lol  But while writing about the show this time I realized my biggest frustration can be applied to my own current life situation.  I will go into a lot more detail whenever I eventually do my White Queen post but in short, it keeps baffling me and frustrating me, the lengths those people would go to for power, or in Elizabeth's case, to win.  How many chances did these people have to step away from court life and live quietly in the country?  But no, they were power hungry or revenge driven, and sacrificed happiness and family.

And then it hit me.  I also have the option to leave court life and live quietly in the country.  I can quit stalking social media in hopes of news and contact with family members that obviously don't want it.  I can let go of that stubborn hope things within my dysfunctional extended family will change.  I can find my own peace and joy in quietly living my own life without the constant struggle and drama to stay connected.  A YouTuber I follow recently posted a bible verse as she was going through some sturggles of her own, something about living quietly and minding one's own affairs.  (I do not know the bible, so if you know the verse, let me know.)  When she posted that I was like, 'Hmm, I like that,' and now this realization during White Queen . . . maybe it is indeed time to 'leave court life and live quietly in the country.'  Perhaps my peace and joy truly is in letting go.

With that, I must get ready to head to my mom's for the usual Monday routine.

Hope you have a sunny and warm first day of Spring!

Friday, March 17, 2023

Mar. 17 - Gaelic Storm

It's a wet, windy, and cold St. Pat's Day morning here in Wisconsin.  It's still dark outside but from what I can tell, we did not get that inch of snow they'd been predicting.  We did get a ton of rain though, which is good and bad.  The snow is mostly gone, but it's so sooooo muddy and sloppy now.
 
So, St. Patrick's Day.  Do you celebrate?  We don't.  I mentioned in a previous post that I do have a chunk of Irish in my ancestry and I've always sort of embraced my Irish side because I was into great Irish bands like U2 and Boomtown Rats.  Then I found out I was more Scottish than Irish.  Doh!  Ah well, what's that saying, 'Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day!'
 
I have my Gaelic Storm CDs playing today.  Are you familiar with them?  They were the steerage band in the Titanic movie.  I'm sure you know the scene . . .
I couldn't find a decent pic online that actually shows the Gaelic Storm members more clearly.  Not all of the musicians you see in that scene are from the band.  The man to the left of the lady on fiddle on the far right is Patrick Murphy, singer and leader of Gaelic Storm.  The lady might be Kathleen from the band.  The black hat guy mostly blocked by Patrick in this photo is Steve.
 
Gaelic Storm had a small following already but Titanic really made them popular.  The first thing I did when we finally got internet at our house back then was find a Titanic message board and became completely obsessed.  Those were the early days of 'social media,' before Facebook and Instagram and all the evils of today.  I made many friends on the Titanic boards and had sooo much fun!  And we all learned so much about Gaelic Storm through all that.  They were touring a lot, playing Irish Fests and small towns, making them easily accessible.  Band member Steve was also known to hop on the boards and chat with fans.
 
The height of Titanic chaos was 1998 but carried on for quite a while after.  It was 2002 when I finally saw Gaelic Storm live, and yes, we were all still chatting on the Titanic boards online even then.  I saw them in a tiny little town near me called Green Lake.
 
My sister and I went, and even got to meet the band after because it was such a small venue and they were well known to meet and greet. 
This photo was actually taken by band member Steve.  That's my sister on the left, singer Patrick in the middle, and me on the right.  Steve had said, "On the count of three, give him a kiss!"  We all laughed like 'yeah yeah, whatever,' but he really did count to three and my sister really did kiss him.  It was hysterical.  I even got their autographs that night.
Their third CD had just come out shortly before we saw them live.  It's called Tree, which is actually a play on the strong accent making the word 'three' come out like 'tree.'  (Actually, not all members of the band were even Irish.)  Everyone's favorite song at the time was An Poc Ar Buile, about a goat on a rampage.  Tree is still my favorite of their CDs.

Band members started coming and going shortly after this.  I saw them I think three more times back around that time.  I do have their first seven CDs but was losing interest by then.  Not only were most original members gone but they'd sort of started to change their style, taking on a bit more of a modern music style instead of the more traditional Irish jig type stuff.  Bands change and evolve, I know, but I just lost interest along the way.  I do still love those first three CDs though!

 I'm wearing a green t-shirt today and listening to Gaelic Storm, and that's about the extent of my St. Patrick's Day celebration.  Oh, and here are the almost nothing decorations I have for the occasion . . . 

Are you celebrating today?

Melted - Apple & Oats (Beezy Tarts)

Apple & Oats - 'Apple slices, steel cut oats, raw honey, tart apple peel, vanilla extract, and a hint of maple sugar.'
 
I loved this scent!  That surprises me a bit because on cold sniff it was rather blah.  Warmed though, oh my gosh, it really blooms into something more.  I usually save apple scents for fall but like I said, on cold sniff this wasn't doing anything for me so I went ahead and melted it now.  The apple notes are soft and sweet, not spiced or heavily fall-like.  The oatmeal notes add a sort of bakery base to the overall scent.  I do get the vanilla but the honey and maple are not distinct.  It's all just rolled together into a very cozy, slightly sweet bakery scent, and I loved it.

I melted half of this tart (about 0.9 oz. worth) in my tea light warmer and had medium-strong scent and good throw.  I would have liked it to be just a bit stronger because I enjoyed this scent so much.

If this scent is available next time I order from Beezy Tarts I will absolutely be grabbing more!