Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two New Family Members!

My darling Jerry has disappeared, I can't find him anywhere and none of the neighbors have seen him. He's not at the local shelter either. There were some cats close to his age and size but not had the same kitten face he still had at 41/2.

Well, since he wasn't there I decided to look at the cats that were running out of time and see if any of them picked me. Well, two of them did. They're friends. Right now they're enjoying hiding in their new home. It took them a few minutes to come out of the carrier. Actually they were so unsure I had to reach in and get them out.

I have nearly a full bag of cat food left and one litter box. So I went to get another litter box, a bag of litter and a grooming brush. They've been outside in the heat at the shelter, granted there was a make shift curtain to pull over the cages to keep the temperature down but it's been in the nineties so they were shedding pretty badly. They seem grateful for the air conditioning and the fact that they can pick where they want to be and stay there without being bothered.

Jerry was a bit more playful tripping you every chance he got and rather spoiled since he'd wake you up to feed him but I 'd had him since he was six weeks old. There two just need a little time to realize that they aren't going back to the shelter. Tomorrow I get to call and make an appointment to get them fixed and vaccinated. Which is covered since they were sponsored. The cost of adoption for a kitten is $15 but everyone adopts them there is a woman that sponsors the grown cats so there isn't a charge to take them home.

Hubby won't let me go get anymore. We have three bedrooms and the house is on almost 7 acres, if I could afford a fence I could go get a couple of the dogs down there. Dogs are great for keeping people from coming into the yard at night. Now I miss my lab and my lab Rottweiler mix.

Where are you Jerry?

My cat ran away. He asked to be let out day before yesterday morning and never asked to come back in. Well, we figured he'd decided to spend the night outside, he's done that before but always come back the next morning. This time he didn't. He always comes when I call but this time he hasn't.

He's not anywhere in the yard. The neighbors haven't seen him. Thankfully he's not on the side of the road, unfortunately he had recently discovered the edge of the road. When we get back from therapy today hubby is going to check the shelter and see if they picked him up. If they did he damn well have better not been on MY property.

OK time to get ready to go. Where in the world are you Jerry??

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Again

Tuesday always feels like Monday for some reason. It could be because we went from having Monday therapy then school to just having Tuesday speech to start the week. I've been up for an hour and so far nothing is done. I decided to ramble here and focus on work on a separate blog, that way I'm not confusing myself.

We have to be in therapy in one hour. So far Theresa has picked at her breakfast and she's not even dressed yet. She still has to have her supplements before we can dress her. She finally learned that she can spit.

On the bright side spraying my hair with my pink and leaving it a few minutes before I washed it helped my hair. It tends to dry out during the summer and feel like straw if I don't do something to condition it everyday or spray it with the sheen. It works out better to use the sheen, I don't need conditioner with it (I'm the only one in the house that uses a separate bottle) and washing it doesn't take as long. I can leave it down with the pink.

I managed to get a good bit of grass cut yesterday and there's still enough gas in the lawnmower to get most of the side I stopped on done. That easy walk was one of the best investments I ever made. I was looking at reel mowers but I'd need one at least 2 feet wide and I'd be the only one to ever use it. Even at 2 feet wide it'd only be used to do right around the house since there's approximately three acres to mow and it gets up to the high nineties early. So instead we have an old riding mower (much smaller than the one I used to have) that was given to us when the last one tore up and the easy walk. I love the easy walk just squeeze the lever and keep up.

I may still get the reel mower to keep the very front and back down. That way I could get under the trees better and not have to worry about the other one getting hung on something.

I did some math for the magic jack, after the device with a year of service included I'd average $34 a month to have a home phone and two cell phones. That's with leaving hubby's like it is for work and stuff, then reducing my phone plan to an automatic top up of $15 every three months for emergencies since that time adds up. The problem using up all the minutes on my cell phone so I can turn off the rollover option and change it to the $15 every three month auto top up. Then I'd have to change the contact number on everything.

Of course I have to make sure they have a local number for my city. With the majority of my calls being incoming I need a number that everyone can call. I love the idea of being able to call anywhere in the country (I can now on the cell phone) without worrying about the minutes that I'm using. Of course I have some built up but if I change the plan before I use them then I lose them.

OK time to finish up and get a couple things done before we leave I have a couple of things to do real quick.

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Approach to Working

OK I finally figured it out. I began with 1518 Helium articles on the 25th. I plan to add a minimum of 100 new articles by the 24th. That'll bring my article total up to 1618 by the end of the month. I decided to write to titles that aren't qualified for upfront payments during the month. While the upfront payments options are great they have been causing me stress. From now on if I see a title I like I'm writing to it, I see a subject I want to write about I'm writing about. If I find something interesting I'm writing about it.

I did some thinking and I believe that I can earn more if I don't focus on the actual earnings so much. I know for a fact that when I give I do better than when I don't. Even if it's just a little bit. I know how to get by on less but lately I've been reading a blog that makes me wonder just how much more frugal I could be. There are some things I've convinced myself that I can't live without kleenex is one of them. I don't know why but my husband had a habit of blowing his nose on whatever he could find when we met. Once he realized that I threw away those items instead of washing them he stopped. He realized it was cheaper to buy a box of kleenex than new clothes. I can however go without napkins and paper towels. I have some paper towels to put greasy foods on but other than that they don't get used.

I need to get some new kitchen towels and put most of the old ones to work on cleaning the floors. The stains won't come out of them. I have a dozen storage options I don't buy the containers unless I absolutely need them. My fridge is empty except for some kool-aid, tea and Theresa's bread. My freezer on the other hand is almost over full. Of course it doesn't take much to fill a side by side.

OK I have no idea where this is going so I'm going back to work now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's the third Day and Not so good so far

OK it's Sunday so we overslept. Actually I was up at 3 this morning but I decided to go back to bed so I could function today. It's a little after noon now and we have a birthday party at 2. I just wrapped the present, well I put it in a gift bag with tissue paper because my wrapping skills suck when I'm in a hurry.

Since the 25th I've written a total of four new articles, three of which qualify for upfront payment. I've reposted some articles and they seem to be earning OK where they are. I've got to to spend part of tonight and tomorrow verifying facts and sending yet more income proofs out.

I know what I need to save the problem is I have to re-budget to make everything fit. I'm thinking about a magic jack to reduce the cell phone bill. Currently two cell phones with roll over minutes come to $43.60 a month. We don't use them as much as we used to. They're prepaid and I just have to log into the website to change the plan. There is one that is $15 every three months if you top up automatically which I do. For two phones that's $30 every three months total before tax but that's only $10 a month versus the $20 now.

I'm waiting on a web post about Magic Jack from someone that uses it before I decide. I remember reading that the device is $40 with a year of service included. I think it's like $20 for a year of service. Like I said waiting on a web post to make sure. I can count and that's less than I pay now. I like the idea of not needing an answering machine.

OK I still have a little bit of work to do before we can go. I've got to leave enough time to pack Theresa her special cake. I have a few dollars to get her a bag of chips since she can't have the pizza they're having either.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 2 for Organization and Earnings

Day 2 started out by over sleeping until a little after 8 am. Yeah that's late for summer when you have a small child and work to do. I still haven't managed to get to work yet. I have managed to get all but one towel folded and put away because for some reason that one towel wasn't dry. I have another load of clothes soaking right now to make sure the stains are out of them. I just love how food ends up all over clothes no matter how careful the kids are.

I managed to get a nice cold bath because it's already hot outside. I had to take a cold bath, I made Theresa a yellow cake using bananas and put pineapple on it. She likes it, I think it could use a little cinnamon. I made us an angel food cake. It turned out rather interesting, guess next time I'll actually use the mixer instead of a wisk to bring the eggs to peaks. I used to have a manual mixer that I loved. I could actually mix things without wearing half the batter. I'm not really into electric gadgets in the kitchen. I have an electric can opener because it's the only one that doesn't get lost and a small food processor because I lost the little hand grinder. The little grinder only did a cup at a time but that's all that I need.

My writing percentage at Helium is going up slowly. That's good but I have to do more ratings, my fifth rating star is in danger from lack of enough ratings. The more I write the more I rate but my writing percentage has to be closely monitored. I can't afford to drop back to four stars right now.

OK my floor should be dry so I can go refill my coffee. I made Kool-aid this morning, at 10 cents a pack it's still cheaper than tea and I don't use as much sugar in it. I still haven't gotten a water bottle to stick in the fridge so I don't have to turn the faucet on every time I want a glass. I have a water filter with flavor cartridges on my kitchen sink. I don't like plain water and buying bottled water makes me feel guilty, besides I prefer non-carbonated water.

OK it's really time for work; hopefully I won't have to play catch-up at the end of the month this time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 1 for Organization and Earnings Experiment

OK it's day one of the new earnings and organization experiment. So far I managed to oversleep. I did get some articles posted at wikinut ( today. I rated some at Helium, then I posted some articles to Associated Content. I still haven't managed to do but maybe one leap frog at Helium today. 

I had the day planned out so that after therapy Theresa and I went to the pharmacy, then to the grocery store. Well, we managed to pharmacy to get her multivitamin. $16 for a bottle that lasts two months which came to $17.44 with tax. So that bottle is $8 a month before tax and $8.72 a month after tax is added. That's for the capsules that I can take apart and dissolve in her juice, the chew-ables are only $14 before tax but they're more difficult to get in her. The difficulty results in her missing doses that she doesn't need to miss. Now that I've got that supplement cost figured out it's time to figure out the rest of them.

The grocery store didn't go as well. We pulled in and I realized that while I had been able to pay the pharmacy I didn't have the money on me to get what we need from the grocery store. So we came home to try again later. Theresa had lunch and now she's pretending to take a nap. That's OK she'll be in a good mood when I go to get her up. When it cools off some I can go get her stuff to take with her this Sunday. 

She's going to a birthday party and I have to take her something to eat because of the food sensitivities she has. I'm still rearranging the grocery budget to get it to a decent amount each month because of the ridiculous price of her food. Tomorrow we go to pick up the allergy free foods that we special ordered for her because it was cheaper than buying them in the grocery store.

I managed a load of laundry this morning that hubby hung up for me. Now I'm going to do some article posting, leapfrogging and then it's off to make room for my small dish pan to hand wash a couple things I don't want to risk tearing up in the washing machine. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Experimenting with Earnings and Bill Payments

Well it's officially June 25th at Helium and the start of a new upfront payments cycle. It's once again time to begin earning for the next month while trying not to confuse it with this month. I have just enough to cover expenses. The rest well that's where my savings account comes into play. It'll take care of those things that we have to have and can't do without like Theresa's supplements that'll need replacing before the end of the month. Hopefully the money to pay the next round of car insurance and cover the tags will be left in the account. Then there's Christmas.

Both are still a little ways away so I think I'll focus on the here and now. I think we can manage with what we have. We have most of what we need for the next month as long as nothing major happens. The air conditioning in my truck isn't working. It's in the high nineties so that makes it an issue. Four windows to roll down and a fear of stinging insects flying into them. Of course the windows being down just lets more hot air in, the vent works to let air circulate and it's a bit cooler than the outside air. Getting it fixed isn't an option at the moment, it'd be nice though. If it was winter I wouldn't even think about it the heater works great.

Funny thing is that while Theresa is disabled by SSI's definition if we actually manage to tuck enough away to take care of an emergency she doesn't qualify. The really funny thing is that she needs constant care, attention and more therapy than she's getting but we can't afford anymore. No one seems to realize that in order to make enough to cover everything there is very little one on one time left; when there is one on one time enough to help her progress there is no time for anything else. Right now she's in the floor playing with her cards. She likes her cards and she likes quizzing herself on them.

All the stress is where the new experiments with my earnings and the bill payments come in. I seem to have trouble focusing lately so I'm spreading my earnings out a bit more. I don't have any private clients right now so I'm back to my own material with my own by-line. As difficult as it may seem to believe it's easier to ghostwrite than to have my name permanently associated with an article. I guess that it's well actually I have no idea what it is.

I think I'll see how much I can manage to get done if I stop staying up late at night to work and start getting up at 4 or 5am and going to bed by at least 11pm. I think I can manage to drink a few cups of coffee in the morning, leap and repost some articles then set up some promotions. During the day I go to therapy with Theresa, clean the house (always something to do), cook, get ready for the next day etc. I think I'll even use my "to do list' again. My biggest problem is that they are always too detailed when I do them. I have to write down everything that I could possibly have to do during the day and check it off as I go. I think I'm over detailed when it comes to the list. This time I have to have two one for home and one for "work" my productivity is off lately.

Summer speech at the school ended today with no warning. Well, everyone but me had warning the therapist gets to take a vacation. I think that's a nice thing although I would love to have one. That leaves Thursday morning free to put something else there. She's always learning in real time but there are still somethings that we have to get for her therapy needs. There are some puzzles that she needs, I think I'll look on eBay and at the local thrift shops. She needs new books too, I've got to go renew my library card so that I can check some out to read with her. I need to read some too. I've got dozens of books I haven't read yet. I think I'll read them before I get anymore for myself.

I have a feeling the new schedule I'm aiming for isn't going to work too well but I'm going to try it. I think that I can fit more in if I don't oversleep or try and stay up late to catch up on what I'm behind on. NO MORE ALL NIGHTERS IS THE GOAL.

Actually the goal is to save enough money to live off of for six months to one year without doing without. I'd love to get the bills down to less than $500 a month but we have a couple years before that happens. That reminds me I have to check and see which bills have been paid and which ones haven't. I may be transferring the money into my savings account sooner than I think. OK time to go to work and prepare for tomorrow.

Udating Information

Well, the updating of Theresa's information for her SSI eligibility has been done. An envelope will be here within the next week so that I can mail back the proofs that they need. This whole process is rather confusing to me. Oh well, I just have to remember that it's not until two months later that our income affects Theresa. When people send letters for appointments they should make it a point to tell you what you need.

I've got to find all those things that Theresa threw out of my desk. I had things that we needed in it but they aren't there anymore. My husband went to the grocery store while I was on the phone. I'm kind of worried about that now. He's not good at the store, I bet when he gets back the grocery budget will be blown. The fact that he's not answering his phone is worrying me. He didn't have any idea what we needed when he left.

I have a lot of work to do next month. Estimating my income is never easy, I wish that it would go up so I could save at least half of it. Well, I just heard a car door slam I hope that he didn't go overboard or spend anymore out of the bank. Well, it's time to go back to work then I have to figure out how much I have to earn next month.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday and Planning for the Weekend Already

It's only Wednesday and we're planning for the weekend already. Theresa is going to a birthday party on Sunday afternoon. I managed to get the gift today, still have to wrap it. That'll take about five maybe ten minutes. I still have to find time to go to the grocery store and get her something that she can have without trying to eat what everyone else is having.

An alternative to the cake is her special cake, alternative to the pizza is a little bit more difficult. I'm thinking pepperoni and something but I can't come up with anything. She can have coke, I think she can still have coke.

It's 93 out and I'm exhausted but hubby had to go somewhere so I'm up instead of taking a nap. I've been rewriting articles and posting at other places to expand my earnings potential. So far it's going so-so. Oh well, I just so an article that I can write to. In another twenty minutes I'll get Theresa out of bed, she'll have been pretending to take a nap long enough. I want her dressed and ready in case we have to leave. I still have to check and see if there is anything in the kitchen for her to eat already cooked.

OK one article, get Theresa up, put clothes away and wash another load. Then maybe get more work done and take a look at houses. I want my feet on the ground, this trailer is beginning to fall apart and shakes when it thunders. I"m not real fond of that never mind the fact that it's up off the ground a bit on blocks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rambling On Today

Well, today was the beginning of a new week for working. The weekend was dedicated to some rest not much but some. I've managed one new article and one rewritten article for new to post as part of work today. Theresa hasn't done much but be a kid today.

My darling hubby went to get an estimate on his car door where someone hit it yesterday. Their insurance better pay for the damage, he was parked with the car off when they drove into it. He went to fill out an application for a job to go with his part time job which starts back in August. My writing income is dwindling as a direct of result of still taking care of everything even though he has two months off. He's getting out of the house even if he was to work two jobs. Too much togetherness is bad for you.

I've managed to figure out so far that next month's income should be just enough to cover the bills, buy food and nothing else. I refuse to walk to therapy and I don't ride well with others. Well, it's time to go back to work so I guess that I'll stop complaining and go back to work to help cover more than those two things. I've still got to get an estimate on getting the air conditioning in my truck fixed, if it were winter I'd have more time the heat works great.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's Father's Day and Not Very Productive for Me

It's Father's Day so hubby just left to go see his dad. Theresa is here with me, she was still napping when he left, right now she's having pretzels as her after nap snack.

So far today I've managed to do a load of laundry, some dishes, make tea and write maybe two articles. Thursday is the last day I have to come up with all the money need to cover the expenses we have next month without touching my savings account. It's sadly not enough for a month's worth of expenses thanks to the extended amount of time that hubby was out of work and all those things that just happened to pop up during the time that he was unemployed. Funny how things that can wait only happen when you can afford them to but those things that can't only happen when you're nearly broke.

I seem to be the only one that understands the consequences of the upcoming month and the decline in income no matter how temporary it is. The first part of August school starts back and hubby will be back at work part time, he's still got to find some full time work or another part time job to go with it. I've got to figure out how to fit in more writing time in the middle of all the therapy sessions we have. Theresa has to have therapy and constant learning opportunities at home as well. This is going to be a rather interesting month. Thankfully all the bills are paid for this month, I think .

I still haven't figured in the co-pay for ABA correctly it's $6 a week since that two hour session counts as two. I'm wondering about the gas to get there it's getting to be rather expensive to have to go all the way out there three times a week, and farther once a week. I'm wondering if we can't start doing speech before or after ABA again. That way I'd cut out one trip a week. The day that kills us is when we have to go to the school in the morning and then all the way to Children's Rehab and Therapy Services that afternoon after having to come all the way home. No one thinks about the cost of travel when they make appointments.

OK it's time to try and get some work done. It's 93 degrees out and all I want to do is soak in some cold water. Back to work now.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Again and Nothing Done Yet

I don't know why but on Saturday I seem to start the day late every weekend. I guess it's because I need a morning to recover the week that just passed and all the trips to therapy. I should be working or cleaning out my truck to make room for taking the recycling off but it's rather hot outside right now and it's only 11am. I have a feeling this summer is going to be rough on the light bill. I may just go outside long enough to get the measuring tape and find out how much film I need for the windows to keep the sun out.

I'd plant some trees around the house but there are two many repairs to be done or it might just have to be replaced and the trees would have to be cut down to move something in. If I had the money to do the repairs I'd have the money to replace the entire thing in the state that it's in. When things get to a certain point it makes more sense to replace them if you can find something cheaper. I may end up with a used home and have to spend money for a foundation but that would be cheaper than replacing the roof and all of the cracked/broken windows and the flooring that is starting to buckle. Never mind the fact that the carpet is so old it wrinkles I need a new carpet cleaner, it'd look better until something is done about it at least.

OK time to go back to work and fit in some cleaning that no one else seems to want to do while I work. I think I have less than a week to finish writing at least fifty more articles or more. I'm so tired I could scream. Back to work, we've still got to fit in table time for the baby.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Again Wrapping Up the Week

We're getting ready to leave for therapy. So far I've managed to get myself ready except for my shoes, give Theresa breakfast, drink a cup of coffee and do a load of laundry. It's supposed to be in the nineties with a slight chance for rain today so my clothes are in the extra bedroom. The one room in the house where everything I can't figure out where to put gets shoved until I figure out where to put it or get rid of it. 

I'm hoping that today's session will go well. Theresa is out of butter and we need a bag of rice so I'm going to stop and get her some. Actually she has butter sticks and the rice can wait so I may just let it go until we get to the night that I want to have chicken and rice. The idea to cook as little as possible in this heat. 

Oh well, I have an hour to get Theresa ready and be at therapy. I'm running behind I usually manage to get a little bit of work done before we go. This morning it wasn't meant to be but that's OK too. I'll just stay up after everyone goes to bed to finish up tonight. I have a feeling that everything is going to work itself out anyway.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Almost Friday

Well, it's nearly Friday and there's a chance of rain and thunderstorms all weekend long. I personally think the one we had yesterday will do for me until sometime in 2011.

We had speech at the school this morning. I still haven't been able to get Theresa to sit still long enough to go over the worksheet that they did last week and now I have a new one. I wonder if I make a copy of the picture and let her color it if she'll go over it with me willingly more than once. She's taking a nap right now because she had Occupational therapy this afternoon as well. She did good.

It's currently 95 degrees and partly cloudy here. I can't tell from the radar if the rain below us is coming toward us are staying put. It's supposed to be down to 77 tonight with a 30% chance of rain. Tomorrows high is supposed to be 97. I'm gonna have to get up at 4 in the morning to get my coffee and get something done in my yards with this heat and the storms they expect. Of course watching the weather channel I'm kind of glad I don't live anywhere else they just showed a rather large tornado.

Right now they're showing footage from yesterday where there were multiple tornadoes close together. They just mentioned us which is kind of bad for us. Did I mention I have no where safe to go in a storm? The only place I can go is to a store or restaurant like the Waffle House that is open twenty-four hours a day to get away from the weather. I want a basement, I also want to be sure it won't flood.

Did I mention that I can't stand driving in the rain around here. Seriously, during heavy downpours with large pools of water in the running across road ways and rain falling so hard you can't see the road in front of you these people speed up and go around you in the water.

The oil spill has put tar boils on Okaloosa Island. The beach is still open though. That's not good. It's time for hurricane preparedness again. If we have a hurricane before I get everything prepared I'll have a fit. I can't afford a disaster right now. OK time to go back to work and figure out what my budget is for the rest of the summer as we seem to have recently lost some income.

I hope the weekend is good at least.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Learning in Real Life Situations

Theresa did great in speech yesterday. We went to the store yesterday afternoon and she had fun. We started at Winn-Dixie we wandered around the store for nearly two hours and only had two bags. She saw a Sponge Bob balloon and yelled "Sponge Bob Square Pants!'. I told her that I'd take her back later to visit sponge bob. She asked for a drink that I forgot to get so all the way to the next store she kept repeating "drink." When we got to the next store she was kind of upset at me.

Well, we walked around that store for about an hour and she was rather happy with her sprite when we left. As soon as I got her out of the cart to go to the car she said "Let's go home." I asked "you want to go home? she repeated "let's go home."

Last night she brought me a canister that looked like the one her paints are kept in saying "paint" I asked "do you want to paint? She answered, "YES"

My baby is learning how to have a conversation. I'm so happy that I could scream. Well, in about a half hour we need to leave for her daily speech therapy. We have an excuse to go back to the store today, after all we didn't get everything that we needed. She's rather vocal and when she says it's time to go home then it really is. We still need cat food, baby wipes, q-tips and some meat to complete a few meals. We have vegetables but only chicken to go with it. We have three meals of chicken which gets rather boring if you eat it three days in a row.

The family is starting to reject leftovers so we're looking for alternatives that don't require the oven with the heat in the low hundreds.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Examining My Expenses

Well living off of $500 a month or less isn't an option for me. I have a child with Autism, therapy and supplements to help her interact and prevent problems are expensive. There are the regular bills and then all the "extra's" that aren't actually extras for her. I'm gonna start by figuring out how much we spend each month so bear with me as I try and figure out exactly how much it costs us to live.

  1. ABA Therapy - not covered by insurance, financial aid covers the $55 hour rate with a $3 per session co-pay. This is a one a week two hour therapy.
  2. HLC Mindlinx at $37.99 a bottle with her going through approximately three bottles a month is $124.23 with a sales tax of 9% included. (This one is every month to purchase Ouch)
  3. Nordic Naturals Pro-Omega fish oil is $41.99 a bottle with her going through about a bottle and a half each month thanks to the dose. That's still less than she'd use on the full dose recommend which only leaves 24 doses in the bottle total.
  4. Zinc is a choice of a $13-8oz bottle or 100 capsules at $7.50. The capsules are cheaper and last longer. They're both 20mg and she gets 60 mg (1 1/2 tsp or 1 1/2 capsules). 
  5. 250mg vitamin C is $7.50 for 100 capsules, one a day which means a bottle just over every three months.
  6. Multivitamin, not sure how much it is anymore I just know it last a few months. 
  7. Magnesium/Calcium is $10.99 for a bottle of ninety. At four capsules a day it's approximately two bottles a month. 
  8. Vitamin D drops approximately $22 and still trying to figure out how long that tiny bottle is going to last. She gets three drops a day and I bought the bottle over spring break or just after. I've still got a half full bottle. I'm liking the math on that one.
The total of the supplements I'm not sure of at the moment and I've left some off because I'm not sure of the cost. She has to be one  the supplements for a while for me to get used to the dosage and the costs, when the dosage changes so does the cost. Then there is the cost of getting her to therapy, I almost fainted when I saw gas for $2.39 over the weekend. There are a few bills that stay the same each and every month. I bet there are some that can be reduced but not immediately. 

  • Light Bill - $170.00 (thanks to budget billing) Now as long as I don't go over which is kinda hard in triple digit heat it'll be fine. I love it when they owe me money, it's just too hot and humid to open the windows. 
  • Pest Control Service - $33.00 gotta love fire ants and field mice
  • Debt Payment - $20 a month
  • My cell phone - $21.80
  • Husbands Cell phone - $21.80 
  • Internet/cable bundle - $67 approximately (have to work and I was tired of nothing to watch) joke was on me still nothing on. 
Those come to $333.60. Not too bad for the monthly bills but that doesn't include $55 a week of child support which I try to send off once a month instead of spending more money on stamps. Besides when it all goes out the first of the month for the entire month hubbies ex-wife gets it faster especially since it's mailed to the court. That way I know everything is taken care of. Almost. 

We forgot to include groceries which include a number of items tailored to meet special dietary needs. Low sodium (blood pressure issues for hubby), budget restrictions and then the dietary restrictions placed on Theresa in an effort to heal her tiny gut. Gluten/Casein Free and then the foods that set off red flags for her digestive system. So no wheat, barley, rye, oats, milk, milk derivatives, eggs, peanuts, oranges, grapefruit, other citrus fruit and a few other things that are making shopping even more difficult. 

So I think the first thing I'm going to do is figure out exactly how much all this stuff averages out to a month. Then I'm going to read that blog I read the other day from start to finish. It really was interesting. I'm kind of tired of wondering how in the world my expenses got to be so hight. I would love some shade  so I could open the windows and still be comfortable during the summer out here.


Yesterday I followed a link on Facebook to a blog about living on $500 a month or less. I was inspired. Actually I was amazed. I know I have lived with the bills less than $500 a month but I'm not sure I can live off that. I know for a fact my bills are more than that. It did make me wonder if we could get by on less. I wondered if there was anyway to get rid of some of the bills, especially since the bundle for my Internet is fixing to go up. I still haven't written out the child support check because I can't find the coupon like paper that goes with it. I also need to find the records to tell me how much it is this time.

I know there are some costs beyond the bills that can be reduced. I'm wondering how I'm going to get everything done and still get some work done. We're gone for at least an hour and a half four days a week. Friday's we're gone anywhere from three to four hours at a time. Three days a week to focus on work and home isn't an awful lot of time.

I've got to figure out how to fit therapy time (structured) in at home too. This is getting harder and harder. Oh, well, I think I'll give it a shot. Not the $500 a month or less but reducing expenses to see how low I can get them. I'm going to measure the windows and get some window film to keep the heat out of the house. The light bill has to come down during the summer. Winter cold spells bring the bill up and summer the heat in the high nineties and low hundreds runs the bill up something awful.

OK time to get to work then to figure out how to cut down on some of the expenses. I think I'll see just how much it's realistic to do the old fashion way without power. Giving up air conditioning isn't an option in the middle of a field with a few dozen windows to let the heat in.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Ok it's Sunday afternoon. The month is almost over and I think we may make it according to budget. I went to the store this afternoon and saw a bunch of things that I can put on the list of approved Christmas items. There are a lot of things that she'll enjoy and can have now that she's talking.

Moon sand and that under water sand are good options. I'm leaving clothing off the list because they tend to buy a lot of winter stuff she only wears once. They can't seem to understand it'd be more helpful to buy things that she can wear all year or things that she can use time and time again.

I haven't gotten any work done today. I did get a load of laundry done so there isn't as much piled up. I was going to get plastic window coverings but I forgot about them. I have no idea how I'm going to manage to cut them by myself either but that's beside the point. OK, it's time to try and get some work done. If nothing else I can put all the things Theresa pulled out of my desk back in it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

More Progress than I Thought

OK we did ABA today. I watched as Theresa exhausted from a full week complied with every request. She got to play for an hour after since she did so good. I talked to the therapist about her goals. There are a lot that haven't been filled in because they haven't had time to assess them while they tried to increase her speech. Now she can move on and I can use some of the things in her book to get her to talk for me. Puzzles and letters she likes I can use those to get her to talk.

When we got home she had a small tantrum before she ran over to the couch and went to sleep. Now she's up, she's talking and she's upset. Her "snack" is not what she wanted it would seem. If she wants something different she has to say it.

In another week we should have the forms I mailed off today back. I signed it and my husband was actually supposed to sign it. So now I have to wait until they send it back and take it back all over again. OH well, next time I'll pay attention before I seal the envelope so I don't have to wait until I mail it off to figure out I got it wrong.

Now it's time hopefully to get a little bit of work done and some laundry. Not so thrilled at having to do the last part.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Exhausted and Not Done Yet

I'm exhausted. We've had therapy every day this week and have one more day to go. I'm truly tired of having to get up and leave the house. This week we had an additional ABA session Monday. We had our three regular speech sessions and on occupational therapy session too. Now we have one more day of ABA tomorrow on our regular day. Two long hours of watching and hoping they aren't allowing her to do anything I don't want her to do. All the behaviors that I wanted to stop stopped when she began therapy and started learning how to speak. It took 2 1/2 long years to get the dangerous behaviors to stop I really don't want them to restart as she learns to be more independent.

I haven't got enough work done this month but some is better than none. I'm still adjusting to the summer schedule and not having any time that I can actually sit down to work without any interruptions. The summer vacation is only two months and I have no idea which class Theresa will be in. I have her IEP somewhere, she's been rearranging so I can't find it or anything else since she started.

I'm hoping to get everything back into my desk this weekend. OK time to pretend that I'm not too tired to get some work done.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Still Confused

OK I did my time in the first of four mandatory ABA driven "parenting" classes and now that it's all over I'm confused. At least I have the sheets that they use to do the data collection on, so I can look it up. I'll get less confused that way. I wonder what the rest of them are going to cover. There are six classes total only four are required.

I managed to get one article written today. Tomorrow and Thursday we have speech, Thursday afternoon we have OT. Friday we have a two hour ABA session which will make a total of four hours ABA this week. It also means that we left the house five days to go to structured therapy. I have to find her scissors before Thursday so that I know she's using them in OT. Then the therapist can see how far she is with those so they know when to take the step to the next pair. Besides Theresa has small hands.

OK well, it's after midnight and sleeping in is a luxury that I don't have so I guess I better end this post.

Common Sense Please Stand Up

I posted an article on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday that appears to be doing rather well. It's been viewed over 900 times since yesterday morning. At least I know someone is reading what I write.

We did a two hour ABA session yesterday. I watched this time. I'm still wondering at what point therapists will ask to find out what kids can do and are allowed to do. I never imagined I've have to tell someone that my THREE Year old is NOT allowed to go down slides head first or backward. I have a kid with no sense of danger, I'd prefer not to teach her to break a bone. She did sorting yesterday too.

I've given a lot since she began therapy and allowed her to have things with the therapists that she'd never be allowed to have at home because they're too small for her age. She put tiny marble looking things into different color cups yesterday and they worked on imitation. The child knows how to imitate I prefer she not perform on command like a trained seal. No she's never seen a giraffe or any other jungle creature so she got the name of the animal on the card wrong. I know common sense went out the window with her diagnosis but there are some areas that it's rather useful.

After all the goal is make the child self sufficient and ensure that she has manners. I'm going to have to go over the goals that the therapist set for the child. There are some things MY children aren't allowed to do and I'm fixing to scream as loudly as I can if someone doesn't start asking if she's allowed to have or do certain things.

On the bright side she's smarter than most of the people I deal with everyday.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Not much done today.

Well, I managed to do some promoting, editing and a little house cleaning today. Not a very productive day since I slept late but that's OK too. I managed to get some of the things I need to do done and the rest will wait. We don't have an appointment until Tuesday.

We missed table time today but Theresa has been in a good mood all day. I'm glad that she had a good day, she's just been a little active it seems.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Back to Basics

OK there was no ABA today. Sarah (therapist) had a sick child. We did do an hour with the nutritionist. I even scheduled another visit in one month. I have questions still, I'm hoping that the next time Theresa won't destroy the list.

I just realized I can not find the list of things that she was sensitive to. I'm going to try bananas in her bread in place of eggs, maybe. I have to find a different substitute in the meantime of things that can be used. Can't go get groceries yet. 

The easiest way to find her sensitivity is go back to basic. She can have meat, vegetables and fruit. That is as long as it's not an orange. I'll be keeping a food diary for her for a few weeks. I'll be giving the sheets to the nutritionists once a week or so until the appointment so that she can look over them and find a pattern. 

The worst part is that a rotation diet may not work for Theresa. There is no way to be sure until we do it. The best part is that she'll have healthy eating habits. 

Well, the laundry is going to be done soon and I need to get an article written before it finishes. That's part of the joy of working at home.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Plans for the Week

The summer's here. So far we've had one speech therapy appointment this week. Today's was cancelled because of an appointment for the therapist's son. Tomorrow we have to see the school speech therapist and then the OT. 

Friday we meet with the nutritionist and then go to ABA for two hours. We'll have two follow ups with the nutritionist while we figure out what she's eating and what she's tolerating. I'll spend the following two hours in ABA with her. She's starting to respond more. 

She's made enough progress that home therapy is more organized. We only have a half hour of table time though. She won't sit at it any longer when she's at home too many distractions we have to get rid of. We're working on it. She'll sit on the couch and do her flash cards, quickly because they bore her.

OK time to improve some past articles and write a few new ones since the summer isn't going to be a complete vacation like I wanted.