My Goals For 2016

Just so you know, I can pretty much hear you roll your eyes from here. The year is almost halfway over, I should take care of my resolutions with everyone else. Well, I don’t do resolutions. They pretty much set you up to fail, because we all know you aren’t going to even get halfway through the year with them. Goals have more stick behind them. They are what responsible people do. And I’m trying really hard to be responsible.

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So pretty much my overall goal is to get my Sarcoidosis in better check. So, I have my smaller goals to achieve that.

1. Go minimalist. It will save me so much money that can be spent on wholesome foods that will keep symptoms in check.

Also the process of becoming minimalist will require low impact movement on my part that will also help strengthen the parts of my body affected by my illness.

2. I have got to call the landlord about that refrigerator. Right before we got married he came and gave us a “new” refrigerator and it is actually worse than the old one. The fridge is a bug free thawing zone and that’s it. If you don’t get to stuff in time it just rots. And pretty quickly too. The freezer works. That’s good.

3. Then I need to start shopping. And consider my husband’s desires as well.

So, that seems pretty manageable to pull off in 6 to 7 months.

Being Homeless Part One

Wait, what? Thought I said I was super frugal and used to be in the Air Force and a total nerd. How does someone like that become homeless? Well, that part is kind of a long story. But, the short of it is that people become homeless all the time for so many, many reasons.

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I remember not long before I became Homeless I was having a lot of vehicle trouble with the Mercury Mini Van my brother (or maybe my sister-in-law posing as my brother) convinced me was a good buy.

Anyhow, my Uncle had come to get me and decided to chit chat the whole way back to my errant van. What was the talk about? His work with the homeless. I remember it really standing out to me that he said it’s all about choices, all it takes is one bad choice and a person is homeless. Of course he meant things like alcohol (in my family there is this huge branch that believes that one sip makes you an alcoholic.) Drugs and stuff like that. But, I’m living proof that there are other ways you can find yourself homeless. And, being homeless can be a life changing event that catapults you into learning how to be even more thrifty and watching what you spend.

It all started, I guess after my brother died. I know, I know, I keep promising to tell that story. I’m thinking of saving it for the anniversary of his birthday. Which is coming up, so you can look forward to that… I guess. I was in a deep dark place at the time and my rent accrued because I just didn’t have the will to live really. Sure, I had many other siblings, but at that time the trajectory of the others ending up in a similar position was pretty high for most of them. I just went to my Mom’s and let my bills go and just laid there wasting away. My mom pulled me up and forced me to go to college, which forced me to do things like shower, dress, and eat.

I went back home because it was a lot closer to college and my mom suggested that I move one of my sisters in with me, to keep me company and me help keep her off the path my brother went down. It didn’t turn out so well because the guy that got her into all that was like a rat around the house. I would beat him away my broom and he would sneak back in. He stole so much money from me that I took to hiding it in my laundry soap bottles to keep him out of it! I’d through all his stuff in trash bags and toss it out of the house before heading off to school and come home and he’d be back in the house with all his stuff and his friends invited over for a party. That was a nightmare alone to live through. I can guarantee that. Then my Land Lady suddenly decided she had changed her mind about our agreement for me to pay back the back pay in bits and pieces until it was all paid off. I woke up one morning to the Sheriff flushing my Bipolar meds down the toilet and several other tenants throwing my stuff outside. I was in shock! I  had to go through my own stuff and shove as much as I could in my mini van, my first thought was to just run away. No matter that I had met a really cute guy at school that I had a huge crush on.

I took off across the state and ended up running over a piece of semi tire, it totally tipped the oil pan under the van and forced me to pull over. So, everything I have left in the world is in this van and it’s useless to me. For those not mechanically inclined I’m sure I don’t have to explain that no oil is a huge no go. That’s why we go to Valvoline when our husbands make us… or do you go for the super man candy?

Anyhow, this adorable old Sheriff pulls up and runs my plates and my license and he gives me a ride to his office that felt like it was a rip off of the Andy Griffith show. I called my younger brother and told him what happened he was pretty put out that my first thought wasn’t to call him for help (though his wife makes most of us second guess asking him for even asking if we can hang out with him.

So he paid to have my van towed and fixed. Then he demanded that I come and stay in his guest bedroom.

I did this for about a month. It was a rough life. I mean, I love my brother to pieces. We grew up with a pretty close bond because we are only 13 months apart. We have always looked out for each other. As much as we could. But, yeah, his (well fiancé at the time) really couldn’t respect my personal boundaries and would pull the “under my roof” card when I got mad at her for going through my stuff. My brother couldn’t get why I would keep all my stuff in my van still and use the laundromat and Burger King Wi-Fi instead of his. Especially when I was desperately sick with Strep Throat after cleaning out his basement. The local sewage had backed up into many of the neighborhood basements that year after HEAVY rainage. I helped him all day long cleaning out the basement. With being underinsured I would buy minced garlic and eat a spoonful before bed at night.

The final straw was around Halloween I was sick in bed and his fiancé sent me a text after a night of them partying and told me to clean up her vomit in the bathroom before she got home from work. I sent her back “hahaha” and of course she wasn’t amused and told my brother I wasn’t picking up my share of the work. He was really upset with me. So, I drove over to my Uncle’s house and spent the night over there. But, my sister’s old boyfriend (remember him) was mad that she was leaving him and broke in and stole my purse. This included my house key to my brother’s house.

My brother’s wife to be made sure I was not welcome back. My Mom came and got me and I moved onto her couch for the next year.

Maybe this is not considered homeless to many, but I assure you, it is. And this isn’t even the end of the story.

I just figured this would be a good stopping point before part two where you find out the rest.

Have you ever been homeless? Have you ever felt like homeless people don’t pull their fair share in life or have done something to earn their lot in life? Be honest. I won’t take offense. I promise. I’m here to share and educate. Not beat you over the head.

Pride And Prejudice Style

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As promised on Facebook, I’m delivering here. The not so subtle hint is that I LOVE All Things Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice was the very first of her books that I read and have read it over and over again. It’s just that much a classic. I don’t segregate over which movie of the book is better and which is supposedly junk. I’ve seen people do and I think it just makes a person unable to enjoy the story told over that is such a great story!

Anyhow, as we already know, the Polyvore App is on my phone and I think Mike has come to be a little Jelly Fish over that App because I’m always on it. You should see the stuff not shared! If you end up seeing anything you absolutely must have, these photos aren’t linked. But, if you go to My Pinterest there is a board over there that I post all my combos to and those are all linked.

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e0afbe88d45af02899316a14652a92bfThis first outfit is meant to be much like Lizzie’s outfit she wore when she first danced with Mr. Darcy. The pearl necklace is not meant to be worn as a necklace, but wound around in her hair much like her hair was done up at the dance.

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I know, this one is not a very spot on interpretation. This was my first attempt at creating the looks and then I took the idea and ran with it. It’s supposed to be like the dance dress Lizzie wore when Mr. Darcy snubbed her. Rotten, rotten man! The modesty of the time was not to be come by, so I had to just find this little jacket to go over the dress.

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Rotten, rotten man again. I think only Mr. Darcy could possibly make a proposal sound like an insult. Mike was a little rough around the edges with our proposal because he was so nervous. But, at least he didn’t say it was against his better judgement! Haha. I guess you can surmise where this dress comes from. I know, it’s hard to find spot on dresses!

 

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I love this! I got really close to the actual dress in the movie. This is supposed to be much like the opening scene where she is walking and reading a book. Lizzie. She is my favorite. I feel like I’m her sometimes.

 

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My  favorite dress in the entire movie, the one she wore the most often and it was so hard to recreate. I’m telling you, if I find a dress like the one she wore in the movie I’m snatching it up. It’s divine!

wp-1461445715638.jpegNow for the one dress that is not Lizzie’s dress. This is Jane’s wedding dress. I’m thinking I pulled this one off well. I figure the blue scarf can be used in the hair or as the belt she had in the movie.

What books or movies inspire fashion for you?

 

5 Things I Wish You Understood About Bipolar Life

Okay, I’m just going to come out with it and say I’m more than a little tired of the opinions people throw out about mental illness. You know, it’s like when you have a kid to raise and people try to tell you that you are parenting wrong and you just want to choke them because you know that you have made the best choices for you and how could anyone not in your personal shoes know that?

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I’m Bipolar (and, yes, this subject will get revisited pretty frequently) these “episodes” happen more than I’d like. I’m learning to live with the illness, what I’m not learning to live with is unsolicited advice from people who think they know what they are talking about… but in fact don’t.

Please allow me to share just 5 of these things that irk me, that maybe you too can think twice about before offering advice to others with mental illness.

1

“Stop taking those meds! That’s poison for your body!” Well, okay, I’ll give you that, but would you honestly tell a cancer patient to stop taking chemo because it’s poison? I hope you wouldn’t because that poison is possibly the only chance at saving their life! And with being Bipolar it can often be the difference between life and death as well. People often think of Bipolar as the ‘moody disorder’ but it is far beyond that. This Bipolar site gives a better idea that it is not just about mood… totally legit. I have ended up in the hospital several times because I almost killed myself. And harming myself is something I fight often. It isn’t that I hate myself. It’s that my mind likes to tell me to do things that I know isn’t healthy. In the end, with medication. We have to pick our battles. I’m crunchy about a lot of stuff. My nail polish is even non toxic. So, if I choose to take medication into my body that you think is bad for me, but I know it is is the only thing that keeps me on this end of the keyboard and not in a coffin. I’m not trying to sound over the top here. Just being truthful. Lots of people die from Bipolar. From self medication, from no medication, from bullying, from being on medication, but the Doctor got the wrong one and one of the above then one of the above happened. So, just don’t play like you are a Doctor unless you actually are one and assigned to my personal wellbeing.

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Diet and Exercise people. I kind of get where these people are coming from because I’ve been raised with these people all my life and I have used this as a supplemental help for my mental well being and my Chronic Illness that I wrote about Here. So, yes, diet and exercise play a huge role in our health, but they aren’t the end all be all. You cannot control mental illness with just diet and exercise. I ended up in the mental hospital when I was on a very healthy diet. I know for a fact that you can have a breakdown while on a good diet. So, yeah, I get where you are coming from. I don’t care if you think you have cured your mental illness with Diet and Exercise. I really don’t care if your sister’s best friend cured hers. HA! If you aren’t my Doctor you should not be telling me that Diet and Exercise is the end all be all cure. (P.S. this is very different from when people blog about their personal stories, I hope we are taking stuff like that with a grain of salt and chasing it down with bringing it up with our Doctor anyway.)

3

“It’s all in your head” people which I think should really also be paired with the “It will go away on it’s own” people. To the first No Duh, its all in my head. That’s why it’s called Mental Illness. Haha. But, to be a little more serious here. I’m not sure that these people actually hear themselves. It’s really mean to say this to people! Or to give someone false hope because mental illness is basically a short circuit in the brain. That is not going to go away. You may experience periods of time where you remain steady in either manic or depressive and it feels like it has gone away because you no longer known what normal is anymore. Ha, I’ve gone and told people I slept good the night before because I got 4 hours of sleep in instead of staying up around the clock! So, yeah, if you aren’t my Doctor don’t tell me that it is going to go away. That’s not your call to make.

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Religion/Spirituality I tread carefully here, because I find it offensive that anyone makes this connection. But, I do realize that not all people make this connection. If you know what I mean. I just want to make sure that you know. I feel this covers everything from feeling that I somehow have a demon inside me, not having “Found” the “correct” religion, to just needing to meditate and all this will go away. I have known many religious and spiritual people that have struggled with mental illness of all kinds.  And besides, has anyone ever considered that being told you have a demon inside you is just not nice? Thankfully actual doctors don’t make a practice of making this connection and if mine did, he would no longer be my doctor.

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Asking “Does this mean you will kill me in my sleep?” For more of us mentally unwell it’s about “ME” if you get it. Even if I go without my meds, I’m more of a harm to myself than to anyone else. I’m sure there are a few people with mental illness likely to be violent. But, most of the time there are other issues involved. Like heavy drug and alcohol usage. And even then, my little brother was Bipolar and on Heroin and an Alcoholic and he was really the sweetest person ever. When he got angry he took it out on himself. And he was always giving, and serving others, in everyway he could. He was such a tortured soul. Anyhow, asking if someone is going to kill because of a mental illness just goes to show that maybe that person needs to go read that link that I shared about Bipolar. Because it’s kind of hurtful. And my Doctor has never asked me if I felt like hurting others even though he knows that I live in a high stress, high hate environment. He asks me if I feel like hurting myself because that has a much higher chance of happening, even while on medication.

I think it’s safe to say that the take away message here is that, if you aren’t a doctor or the physician of the person in question. It’s not your business.

The only exception to this rule is if you are someone that honestly loves and cares about this person and you think that self harm or suicide are emanate. Then you should drag that person into the doctor or the hospital as needed.

Do you or a loved one suffer from a mental illness that you wish more people understood?

BMK Newsletter 2.0

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My newsletter underwent some upgrades. Remember the issues I had with my email newsletter before and my realization that some of you probably wouldn’t be getting the emails into your inbox? Well, I fixed that. But, I forgot my passcodes so I had to get a new Mailchimp account. It sounds weird, but I really hope that no one had signed up for my last email newsletter because that makes this awkward. Not that it isn’t to begin with. There is a huge learning curve to switching to WordPress, at least for me.

The new thing is that now you put you name into the form so that my newsletter knows its meant for the inbox. Cool beans, right? So, feel free to sign up, the form is over there on the left and you are encouraged to sign up and tell your friends to sign up. I’m contemplating adding a freebie for readers.

So, this is just part of the process. I’m wondering what new things you guys are learning that is a difficult process?

When Mike Met Kim

This is always a fun story to tell. I guess because it’s one of those situations where we really are soul mates and it’s interesting how it all ended up playing out.

KissI had just started college and I saw him outside of college on that first day. I immediately had a huge crush on him, but I couldn’t explain it. I’ve never been the kind of girl to start mooning over a guy I’ve never even said hello to. But, there I was. All my dreams were filled with him. Everywhere I went his face popped into my mind.

Well, there was this other girl at school that had her eye on him. Apparently he said ‘Hi’ to her and she took it that he was ready to fall in love and get married. I was disappointed, but I encouraged her to seek him out if she was that into him. She came back to me the next day and said he had a girlfriend. Double disappointed then.

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But, I figured there would be no harm in talking to him. It would be all innocent enough since we were at college. What would we do? Make out in the parking lot? So, one day I was sitting on a computer at school and a joke popped up in my email. It was a hilarious joke. I so wanted to tell someone this joke. I went outside itching to find someone that would be into hearing this joke and I found Mike. I walked up to him and asked if he liked jokes. He responded in the affirmative. I then told him the joke and he laughed really hard and then came back with another joke for me.

This started us talking for some time at school. Yes, we did tell a lot of jokes, but we ended up talking about other stuff too. It wasn’t long before it was time for him to graduate and we were sitting outside talking. He told me “You are going to be the only thing I miss about this school.”  I gave him my number because I figured if nothing else we could hang out sometime. Maybe with a guy this awesome his girlfriend and I would be best buds too. He took my number but I didn’t hear from him for two months.

When he came back to school to wrap up some things he mentioned again how much he missed me. I looked him straight in the eye and said “WE NEED TO HANG OUT SOMETIME.” he blinked a minute and said “Oh, okay.” The next day he called me and asked me out. I was confused and asked him about his girlfriend and he assured me he had only told that other girl that because he was in no way interested in her.

We went out and went bar hopping that evening. I was a little confused by this date because I knew he wasn’t much of a drinker and neither am I. Apparently he thought that when I squeezed all 3 drinking stories I had., into one conversation, that meant I did that sort of thing all the time… when really the actual stories had been stretched out over a decade!

Anyhow, with two beers in me, my lips loosened. I told him all about how I’d had this HUGE crush on him and he admitted that he had the same feelings towards me. He drove me back to school where my car was and we… made out in the parking lot! Haha.

So, one thing led to another and we were very serious for each other in no time. We have been together for over 6 years now and have moved . We have a lot in common and the stuff we don’t on to marriage. Many say they have found their Soulmate. Mike and I say we have found our Red Ribbon. I believe it is an old Chinese legend that when we are born there is an invisible red ribbon attached to us and the other end is attached to the one we are meant to be with. That red ribbon gets tangled and twisted a lot in life, but we always find each other in the end.

How did you meet your significant other?

Why I Left Your Blog…

Even though I’ve been blogging on and off for 18 1/2 years, I still have so much to learn as the blogging world changes. It is a constant change for even the most fluent bloggers out there and I think we can all agree that learning what turns readers off is a constant.

So today, I’m going to attempt to wear both the blogger and the reader hat at once and share a bloggy pet peeve of mine.

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As a newlywed come from divorced parents (I was an adult when they split) I have become somewhat obsessive with learning how to make a marriage work. My husband was previously married and it didn’t work out. I was previously in a long term relationship with someone who found it funny to use the ideal of marriage to trail me along like a cat with a piece of string.

Anyhow we both have been burned by marriage.

I have been reading up on marriage blogs. But, I often click away from blogs. Why?

Pop up mailing list forms. Please be considerate of mobile device users who cannot click away from your form and most times can’t even subscribe to get away from this blocking the view. Most of the time I just hit backspace and move on to a blog that doesn’t pull this dirty trick.

What can you do to still get form seen often and not lose your mobile audience?

Have your mailing list form prominently displayed in your sidebar. I also condone posting it at the end of every post. Another option would be to post about your mailing list once a month or so and include your form, of course.

There are so many kinder options to take and still keep that mailing list form out there to encourage more subscriptions.

Sarcoidosis Awareness Month

If you follow me on Instagram right now, you know that I have a chronic illness called Sarcoidosis. April is Sarcoidosis Awareness Month. On Instagram I’m keeping it light and fun and lots of PURPLE. The purple ribbon is the ribbon of Sarcoidosis. Also it is one of the “snowflake” diseases. This does not mean it only shows up in Winter (although it is a huge problem for me in the winter) it is called a snowflake disease because for each person it presents so differently or at least it can. I’m in a group on facebook and many times I’ll go on there and be like “well today I feel like this.” and 5 or 6 other women will confirm that it is indeed part of the illness.

fb_img_1460058927080.jpgIt is also called an “invisible illness” I kinda don’t agree with that term. The two pictures of me about are within a 5 year period of time. I only didn’t smile in the second picture because I was desperately trying to keep the full lips going!

On here, I’m going to admit, it is NOT a fun illness. Although, I doubt there are many fun ones. Mostly it’s ladies that get this illness, but sometimes the guys get it too. And, yep, you can die from it. Although, most people don’t.

How do I describe how I most of my new found friends most often describe the illness? First off imagine you have the flu. Not the beginning of the flu, but in the middle sweaty, snotty, achy, and never enough sleep flu. Now have someone drag you out of bed and make you run 10 miles up a steep incline. After that you are held upright, and punched repeatedly by a MMA fighter right in the chest. And then someone decides to shove a hair dyer up your nostrils and turn that on.

However the symptoms really are varied. Following are some images I DO NOT TAKE CREDIT FOR. But, I do feel they are relevant to this post so I am sharing them. If you are the owner and want credit or for me to remove them, please get in touch with me and I will follow your wishes.

0a99f1a39cddc7143fb9bde910af56d28e3393f8a0146176ad828343316087edWant to know more? Of course you can google it, that’s cool, I’d also be forever grateful if you followed me on Instagram. I’ve got tons of informational memes on there, and Hubby and I take pictures of the journey all the time.

5 Thrifty Things The Air Force Taught Me

If you have been a good little reader you have read my new About Page and know that I went into the United States Air Force at the tender age of 17. Before anyone gets any ideas to get all mushy and squishy about “thanks for serving” I say, save that for people that really served. I was a behind the scenes oil for the wheels to keep turning. I didn’t even go in because I had high ideals to fight for my country. I joined because my Dad couldn’t tell the difference between a site cookie and a pop up add cookie. He got the idea in his head that I was checking my Horoscope online because of those popup ads. Myself and two of my tech savvy brothers tried to point out the difference, but he just would have none of it. I ended up kicked out over it. My cousin was going into the Air Force, and he started really pushing the idea on me. He told me it would be a roof over my head and a coat (something I really needed because my Dad took mine) So, next thing I knew I was carted off to boot camp and two years I spent in the Air Force.

Such a baby face!
Such a baby face!

 

I learned so much about myself as a person and about the world at large from my  time in the military. But, today I’d like to tell you about what I learned about money.

  1. Write Everything Down The first thing we had to do in boot camp was to pull all of our cash out of our pockets and write the serial numbers of each bill along with how much the bill was. Oh, but it didn’t end there. Anytime we spent a bill we had to get a new sheet of paper and begin all over again. There was no slacking, either. You could be called out at any time to show your cash and paper. If it did match up… ooooh boy were you in trouble. It cut seriously into study time to have it be off. So, I went without. Everything did double duty if possible.
  2. You Don’t Need That Many Clothes What? Seriously. We had BDUs  (ABUs for you young whipper snappers), Blues, and workout wear. And we didn’t get that many of each. There was a laundry detail and we just washed our clothes often. I got so used to the paired down wardrobe that when I moved into my current apartment, the over abundance of closet space was a let down to me, most of the space is actually filled with old college textbooks.
  3. Double Down Shhhhhh, it’s kind of a not very well kept secret that all trainees cheat during boot camp. Remember how I said we had to write down every dollar spent? Well, I ended up just getting shampoo and using it as body wash as well. We were supposed to dust down the floor around our bed areas with our hands to pass the white glove test. We were allowed baby wipes to help get through the extremely HOT Texas Summer. We ended up also using them to wipe down the floors with and get them super clean. Today I still keep this practice alive. I if I’m running low on hand soap, I refill with shampoo. When my clothes wear out I cut them up as rags. Paper towels are stupid! Sometimes when I run out of TP before payday I pull out the old scrubby and some soap. Lean over the tub and clean. It almost seems better than TP. My apartment pays for the water, so I’m not paying for extra water.
  4. Take Care Of Your Business In the Air Force you can get in serious trouble for not paying your debts and bills. And they hardly pay you anything. It is some hefty responsibility to take on. Once my direct deposit but pulled out of my bank instead of added to it. Of course the bank and the government are not going to take that as their fault. So, I had to very creative as I waited one month for my bank balance to get to 0 and another month until my balance got back to $700.00. After getting out I’ve lived on all kinds of scary budgets that people don’t get how I pull it off. It’s because I’ve learned to take care of your business first and find fun in the little things. Even a day hanging out with a friend while we both work on our writing. Or a day running errands for my MIL with my hubby can be a “date.”
  5. Whatever It Takes There is something to be said for determination. Over and over again I learned this lesson. During Warrior week we ran the course. I crawled hand over hand, upside down, on a rope, over water as part of the challenge. It was an especial challenge for me because I don’t exactly have chest muscles. There was a TI trying to rush us along because others were waiting in line and they had to run in place while waiting. He began stomping on the rope to knock me into the water and onto the next course. I was desperate to keep up with the other girls. My legs came undone, but with the next stomp I was able to swing them back up. When I finally got to the end of the course the sense of pride I had was enough, the Airman title and coin was a bonus. The point of this story is that if you have the fire, and the commitment in you to make it, you will. Financially lean times happen to everyone. I’m used to being poor and it doesn’t bother me like it does others. I’m creative and I have what it takes to get done what needs to be done.

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Being in the military had lots of ups and downs for me, but the lessons I learned about being thrifty have followed me through my life. I will never regret them.
What major event in your life taught you about being thrifty?

Update about the Newsletter

Okay, apparently I’m still a noob when it comes to mailchimp subscribe code. What does this mean for you? It means that annoying thing where you will need to add my mailchimp email to your email address book so my newsletter doesn’t get sent to your spam folder.

As always I’m going to keep up with the research until I figure out how to change this so subscribing is a two step (as opposed to a three step) process.

Thanks for your understanding and if you haven’t yet, head over to the left and subscribe.

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