Catching Up (READ: I’m Alive!!)

I’m so sorry it has been so long between posts.  I have started a few posts over the past few weeks but didn’t get around to finishing them.  Why, you ask?

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Well, I think I mentioned this before.  I am doing some transcription work in my own time, and I’m loving it.  I was able to transcribe 3 1/2 days of a trial, and now am transcribing what can be called pre-trial interviews.  I tend to equate them in my mind with what I used to do as a lawyer – depositions! But it’s not lawyers asking the questions, but investigators.  We had investigators with my law firm too, way back in the days.  It’s interesting to me because I also get to learn about different areas of the law that I might not have known before, or on which I had the barest smidgen of knowledge.

NEWS FLASH!!!!  All of this extra work allowed me to make a payment of $1200 to my credit card debt!! Yes!!! A ZERO balance with Capital One WILL be mine by April if not sooner.  I have three paychecks coming in March, and one will be automatically put toward my debt.  That should pay off the balance or pretty damn close to it. And i have been working on my taxes.  Looks like I’m getting a refund this year, woohoo!!!!  And YES, it will go toward my debt!! I’m beginning to think I might even be able to pay off my two credit cards this year!

My friend, Elaine, said I should treat myself to something with my AZ refund.  If I do use it for anything other than debt, it will be for some dog obedience classes for Morgan.  I’d like to get her to be more socialized around other dogs.  Right now, when she sees another one, she freaks out and goes berserk.  Not with Baby O, though.  With her, she is very gentle. I’ve also seen her try to groom HoneyBun a few times, and the Bunster puts up with it (mostly), so it warms my heart to see it.

I did break down and buy an actual chair for my apartment.  I had been using a loveseat folding kind of chair and finally it just got to me how unstable it was.  So I went and looked at several thrift stores before finally realizing that they have a Habitat for Humanity Restore near me, and that’s when I picked up this baby for $33!  Each animal has taken a turn on it (some more than once), so as you can see it’s a big hit.  I I also needed to feel a bit of permanence in my home life, but I wanted something that could be easily moved, come April. And it fits in my car and has wheels!  And fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), Morgan can fit on my lap on it, so now she has this crazy idea that she is a lap dog! (Sigh.)

the new chair as occupied by Morgan!

the new chair as occupied by Morgan!

I started RUNNING again last week!  I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and took Morgan with me, and she did really well.  Yep, she’s my new running partner.  I love her to death, and we both love running in the Bosque (that’s woods for everyone else not in New Mexico.)  She always seems calmer among the trees,  and I know that area has the same effect on me.  So I try to get us over there as often as I can.

I’m going to be volunteering with RoadRunner Food Bank this Wednesday in their warehouse.  I’ve volunteered at a food bank back in the Boston area and really liked the time and work I did while there.  Definitely felt like I was being productive.  And here in Albuquerque, there is a large homeless population, and I’m sure, many who are struggling to get by.  So I’ll see how it goes when I am there, and if I like it, I’ll plan on going back!

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I sent in an application to volunteer with the city animal shelter but their training sessions are all while I am at work.  (My “weekend” consists of Wednesday and Thursday.)  So I need to reach out to the coordinator and explain my schedule and see if I can maybe meet with her at a different time.  Or find a different shelter with which to work.

I don’t want to get too political here on this blog, but I know that a lot of people have been upset with the several executive orders that have been signed recently.  I’m scared of what is happening in this country and while I wasn’t alive back then, I have read a lot about the Holocaust.  I’m definitely a liberal, so the idea of discriminating against someone just because of their religion or the way their name sounds, just makes me sick.   So I did apply to be a volunteer at the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum.  They even have a library! So I need to follow up on that application and see how I can be of use.  I don’t have a lot of money to donate but what I do have is my time, and skills, so that’s what I will give.

the chair, obviously a big hit, but it's getting kind of crowded!!

the chair, obviously a big hit, but it’s getting kind of crowded!!

The news has gotten so depressing to me lately, that, honestly, I hardly turn on my TV anymore.   Instead, I’m loving so many of the SNL skits I see on YouTube, and have been listening to a fair number of financial podcasts such as those that are linked on the right side of my blog.  I know I can’t make change on a large scale but I can look out for myself and try to help others in small ways.  That’s my way of resisting!! And I want to use my writing skills and/or research to help others.

Oh, and one more thing!! The book I worked on for so long with my author has been published!!!!! It is called Presidents’ Secrets:  The  Use and Abuse of Hidden Power, by Mary Graham.  I’m so proud of the work I did on this, and for having been able to work with such a wonderful woman for so many years.  She was incredibly gracious to me in her acknowledgements.  It is such a gratifying feeling to see something that you worked so hard on, come to fruition.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been working on.  What have you been up to lately?  Please drop me a line and let me know! And as always, thanks for reading!

 

What a difference a week makes, and other things

This face...how can you NOT love this face??!! I took this last night as she was getting ready for bed. She sleeps right next to me.

This face…how can you NOT love this face??!! I took this last night as she was getting ready for bed. She sleeps right next to me.

Wow. I had my surgery one week ago today. I remember waking up in the recovery room and being like “yep, this is what I remember the pain to be from the last time.”  They gave me one of those handheld control things where you can click on the button to give yourself a dose of pain medication when you want it. Seeing as I was in pain, every time it lit up, I pressed it. Later on, they told me “we couldn’t believe how much morphine you gave yourself. How are you awake right now?” and the best line from one of the nurses (and I think she was serious) was “do you do street drugs?” (I think my answer was obvious when it was clear I had no idea what she was asking. I was like “um, I’m a runner?!” once another nurse clarified the question for me. I admit, I was a bit insulted. It was taking everything I had to just stay awake and answer her questions, and now she’s insulting me for it? I got the impression she was very bothered at having to take care of me. (Luckily she was only there for one shift, of which most of it, I slept, due to the effects of the aforesaid morphine.) Everyone else was much nicer.

After a week of percocet (yay, I love percocet, and no, it doesn’t bother my stomach at all, as many people have asked), and ibuprofen, I’m almost out of the percocet but definitely feeling more like myself. I want to get out there and run and I look at the runners around the reservoir with envy, but i know i have to take it easy. Not walking up stairs seems to be key. When I do, it seems like my incision tightens up or something, and I’m reminded “um, you just had surgery last week, you know.” Anywho, it does appear that the swelling in my stomach is starting to go down. I’m still hoping for that flat tummy, and I will have it, only a matter of time.  (Yes, I am determined.) I am utterly convinced that my being in shape BEFORE the surgery is totally helping with my recovery AFTER the surgery.  As long as I don’t sneeze (as I did the other day and burst a blood vessel in my leg, wow, that hurt!) or laugh too much, the healing will continue.

My mom has been visiting since last Thursday and has been a huge help. She gets bored just sitting around so she already cleaned my entire kitchen so it looks like it’s completely brand new, much better than I could have done.  Makes me inspired to look inside my fridge now – it’s super clean and organized!  Of course, having my furballs around me 24/7 is also a huge help on my mental outlook. It’s going to be so hard to go back to work when my healing time is over!

This week I will attend a training session so I can start doing independent contract work as a bar essay review grader – basically what it means is that people who are studying for the bar can do practice essays to prepare for the real thing. Then I get to grade them, and I get paid for my work. I passed the bar in three states, so these three I will start with (and was glad to see they are some of the more high paying states) and then I will see if I have time to do grading for other states. Just have to get myself certified for each state in which I want to grade. Looking forward to making some extra cash and putting it toward my savings. Granted, a lot of the work for that won’t start to hit until after the middle of May when bar review actually starts, but by then, I”l be done with classes (by next week actually!) and then I’ll still be off work. Since I don’t plan on taking more than one class this summer (medical terminology), I figure I can use the time wisely. That and to sell off stuff I don’t use anymore, or donate.

My stress level has definitely gone down since last week or the last day of work, about ten days ago. I’ve been able to get caught up on schoolwork, and even finish everything for one class, although admittedly, the workload for that class was negligible. I think it’s being home so much with my animals who have such a calming influence has something to do with it. I wish I could always spend this much time with them!  I’ve also been able to watch a lot of youtube videos of financial vloggers and am getting inspired at their progress at paying off debt and also saving at the same time. I’m an information junkie and admit it, I’m always ready to learn about new things, tips or tricks, and especially when it comes to finances and animals. I’ll add links to some of their channels on this blog in case you are curious.

I’m putting together ideas for more posts on this blog – since I have the time, I’d like to be more productive with it, and also use it to discuss causes and topics that really mean a lot to me.

One other thing I did – as you can see below, I’ve been collecting change for a bit of time now. Added it up and had $36.31 in total, so tonight my mom and I rolled coins together. I put everything that’s rolled up in my little fire-proof safe. And from now on, I’m going to be more vigilant about picking up change I see – in just the past two days, I found 26 cents! (Hey, mock if you will, but every little bit does add up eventually. There are even blogs out there of people who update their tally every day of found change.)

Total = 36.30. Not bad for just being loose spare change. Always keep your eyes to the ground, you never know what you might find.

Total = 36.30. Not bad for just being loose spare change. Always keep your eyes to the ground, you never know what you might find.