Monday, March 24, 2008

Cash and Vegetables

I'm tired this morning. I didn't sleep well. It was an odd series of thoughts that were keeping me awake for most of the wee hours of the night.
One set of thoughts isn't that weird. Money was the root of the problem. I've done some recent budget analysis. I mean, I haven't gotten down to the nickles and dimes of it, but used the actual bill amounts (rounded to the next highest $10 for a little "cushion") for the known quantities, and the approximate averages for things like the utilities, gas for the car and groceries. We're surviving. We've even got our heads above water at the moment. If something like the air conditioner last summer happens again, we're toast. There are two things in the budget that are taking up way more of a percentage then they should be: eating out and credit card debt. The one, Gak and I can fix. The other, we'll just have to slog through for now.
We made some bad decisions in the past and were put in some tough spots that ended up costing us a lot more money than they should or could have. We've cleaned up our act, but we're going to be paying for our mistakes for many years yet. The good news is that my college loan should be paid off in the next 18 months, which will free up a little bit each month. The other good news is that we've got about 24 months left on the car payments, which will free up a sizable amount eventually.
I wish there were other places we could cut corners. We've got the cheapest cell plan available for how we use them, and looking at the other Verizon options for the land-line, we've got the best deal there too. We could get rid of the satellite TV, but with where we live, we can't even pick up the local stations without it, and I refuse to not be able to at least watch the local news or PBS. (Old downtown building, not antenna on the TV.) We could get rid of the Internet, but that's one expense neither of us are willing to give up. We only have 1 car, and with how tall Gak is, we can't downsize it reasonably. Our gas bill has been cut in half (or better) this winter with the new windows that were put in last February, and we're pretty good about not running things we don't need to be. Gak and I have already talked about our "hobby budgets" for yarn and Warhammer figures. Nothing new at this point for either of us.
The other thing that kept me awake most of the night were vegetables. Or should I say, the lack of vegetables in my diet. I know I need to eat them. Not just for me, but for Boo. I've been trying for 32 years to overcome this. It's not that they don't look really good and yummy. It's that I can't stand the taste of them. The smells of most of them cooked even slightly makes me nauseous. This was a problem before I became pregnant. I mean, I can't even stand the smell of frozen corn warmed up with a little butter and salt. Corn isn't supposed to have a major odder... I mean, I put too many shredded carrots on my salad and it tastes like dirt. Carrots aren't supposed to taste like dirt. Celery shouldn't have a lot of flavor, but the only way I can eat it is to drown it in so much blue cheese dressing that any benefit is more than lost.
Another issue is texture. I can't stand mushy. Although, I do like mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. If I'm careful, I can sneak a few cooked carrots mashed into my potatoes, or corn if I just swallow each bite whole. I can't get an entire serving into me this way, but I can get something. I love crunchy things, so you'd think raw veggies wouldn't be an issue. Well, like my example above with celery, I have to drown things in enough dressing that any benefit is lost, and again, I can't get an entire serving in me.
I've tried hiding veggies in things. I added some chopped frozen spinach (about as well drained as anyone can get it) to a chicken and alfredo dish. I couldn't stand it. All I could taste or smell was the spinach, and again, I didn't even put a full serving in. It looked beautiful. I really wish I'd liked it. I wanted to like it.
What's the flavor that gives me so much issue? I'm not sure I can explain. Taste is such an individual thing. First there's the smell, it's almost a taste that you get in the back of the mouth. Then there's the actual flavor. Sometimes it's dirt-like, sometimes it's bitter or even almost a sulphur taste. I really wish I knew how to get around this. So many more dishes would be available to eat. It would be so much more healthy. It would get Boo off to an even better start. The guilt and the questions of why kept running through my head keeping me awake.

But, yesterday was a good day over all. Gak actually had off. We lazed around most of the morning, and then got cleaned up and went to IKEA. Mom joined us, once I was able to get her good directions. It was a fun day. We went looking for a rocking chair and a wardrobe. We found the wardrobe. We found some lamps and some other really cool things that will make the room really look great including some lamps and a rug. Hopefully we'll get the wardrobe and the crib together soon. The lamps will have to wait until the walls get painted. I promise to share pictures as soon as I can.
We also got to have dinner at Mom and Dad's. It was nice to have dinner together. On the way home we stopped and caught up with Kat and Scott for a little bit.
Well, I'd best get my butt in gear and try to figure out the agenda for the rest of the week and get some kind of service work done before I get yelled at.
Peace to all and may you have restful nights and good days.


Chelsea said...

Re: Bills; do you need a land line phone, since you each have a cell? We've lived on our cells since we moved here and haven't had any trouble.

Addey said...

I'd thought about it, but... our Internet is a DSL line, so we have to have at least some kind of phone service, and trying to have only local service doesn't really happen with Verizon, and would end up costing just about the same in the long run.