Well, I'm still here plugging away in La La Land. I hope my readers are all doing well today :)
Just some stuff:
1. I'm determined to cut our darn grocery/food bill down to a sustainable level. We've been spending in excess of $13,000 a year which is ridiculous, despite the fact that I have been tracking expenses for almost a decade now. This is how long it takes me to lose my 'support' systems! And yes, food has most definitely been a support. And don't even ask me how much money we used to spend when we had 4 teenagers in the house. We could retire on that amount alone. Anyway, I wanted to really make the effort this time to cut the food bills by 50% and, at the end of this first quarter, I am on track. I don't want to spend much more than $6500 for 2017 onward. It has been surprisingly easy on this particular 'food challenge' attempt to stick to the budget. It hasn't been anywhere near as painful as it once was, so there's progress! I'm sorry to sound so pathetic. Many of the blogs I read are headed by determined men and women who just get on with it. I, on the other hand, have spent a lifetime just trying to function in a non destructive manner and, up until 10 years ago, failing terribly. The past 10 years have been good though! Varying degrees of progress but the trajectory has ultimately always been upward, I will say that. One step back and two forward. So, I need to make some adjustments for April in order to make it to the end of that month bang on target. I'm pleased.
2. We've stayed out of restaurants and have turned down numerous related invites. This has made us pariahs both inside and outside of the family. Friends have copped an attitude and I'm about to dump a long term friendship over the snippy manner in which one particular 'friend' is handling herself. She has turned from a support into a competitor somewhere along the way, always having to prove me wrong even going so far as to bring supporting documentation every time we meet for chrissakes. Get over yourself, lady. You're becoming toxic and I don't do toxic.
The family is both bemused and bewildered at our complete lack of desire to eat oversalted/greased/sugared food outside of our own kitchen but we've stuck to our guns. I can't believe that we've FINALLY succeeded at conquering this particular heretofore expensive problem.
3. We're taking our first trip of the year soon. It is going to be completely self catered, as in no restaurants. All food and cooking supplies/utensils are in the process of being packed. I'm planning this with military precision as we've never done anything like this before. It'll be fun, I tell the spouse. He cocks an eyebrow and looks skeptical but is, as usual, along for the ride. It's an experiment and I'll post the details of how this goes in a future post.
4. We are consulting with Cardiothoracic surgeons. The spouse has a very major health issue. Unbeknownst to him, he was born with a major heart defect. Major. How the hell can one get to a certain age/point in life and not already know about such a thing? Throughout his life, he's been told one minute he has a heart murmur and then, the next, that he doesn't. No one thought to do any tests when he was a kid. Well, he DOES have a fucking murmur, stupid doctors. We found out about this some time ago but I never mentioned it here. Along with everything else that goes on in my life, now I am dealing with another life or death situation. Don't get me wrong. The spouse is healthy as an ox and asymptomatic. The heart issue was only discovered several years ago by an excellent cardiologist (who has become our friend) when the spouse was about to get on a plane on company business. So, anyway, now we know and we have known and the time is drawing near when something is going to have to be done about this condition before the spouse drops dead. The cardiologist thought that the spouse had some years left yet before surgery would be necessary but the results from the last CT scan show that not to be the case. It sounds like a daunting situation and it is BUT .... the spouse's condition is a silent killer and we consider ourselves lucky that we even know about it at all. The surgery will be as major as it gets.
See now, my UK family have been aware of the spouse's health issues all along and yet still manage to continually behave like massive, spoiled, selfish country bumpkin rubes. I think it's obvious, now, why I had to cut them out of my life. I just couldn't deal with any more crap and I am barely emotionally recovered over the past 6 months from our last visit to the UK anyway. ALL of my emotional resources are needed for the here and now, for the people who TRULY love me. The spouse has taken good care of me for decades and now I am going to make sure that he gets the best of care and attention and gets through this thing in one piece. So fuck off 'dad', we don't have time for your shit.
5. As with all addicts, I will have to replace one addiction with another and I'm trying to start a new obsession and become 'addicted' to Health. This will of course benefit the spouse too. He is doing pretty darn well on his diet regimen, not bad at all. It's all about the diet and exercise. Speaking of, I am doing pretty well on the weight loss side of things. It's very slow and steady because it's emotionally difficult to lose one's 'armor' but I'm getting there. I am seeing progress and I'm not backsliding the way I always used to do. It's hard to overcome those fundamental cracks in one's character when PTSD is the base one has to work from.
6. The appraiser is on hold for the minute. With the news that the spouse is facing surgery, we cannot take on any more extra work or stress until the most important issue is resolved. We will have more news on this in a few months.
7. House work. There'll be some of this going on in a couple of months. We need to finish up and put in the new flooring upstairs.
That's all for now. Peace.