Gosh where does the time go? We’re already in July!
Good things about June were:
The weather has been lovely and sunny – well, that is, for me. Husband doesn’t tolerate the heat well. It does help my mood, I can really tell, when it is bright and sunny outside. We had a lovely morning in Wollaton Park and I got a chance to see NTU’s Brackenhurst Campus. I have done so many loads of washing as I can just peg them out.
We’ve tidied up the front garden and had bespoke cupboards fitted in the bedroom, lots ot lovely storage for us now!
After waiting more than a year, we now have a date for Husband’s PIP tribunal date. It will take place on July 13th. They have asked us to send in anything else we would like to court to consider, so last week I sent in two letters from the hospital, one letter from Husband’s therapist and one from Husband’s employment support worker.
We have continued to stay under budget, food-wise. This has been due to Foodprint, buying reduced bargains and saving food from being thrown out. Twice at work this month I have come into the staffroom to find people throwing food away, simply because it was beyond the expiry date – as in they didn’t check to see if the food could still be eaten. They were being dictated to by the date on the pack. I immediately volunteered to take the food home where it was a welcome addition to our meals.
Things that could have improved about June was that Husband’s dose of Epilim was reduced to help some symptoms he was experiencing – this we had agreed to but it was to be done in a way so I could be at home and support him with it.
As it was, it was done suddenly and it meant he had to stay home from work for five days, and I for three, as he felt too unwell to go in and I didn’t want to leave him that way on his own. Husband is better now but I am quite cross that we were put in this situation as I was very worried about him and there wasn’t really anyone who I could ask about if this was normal and could be expected. In addition to this it meant I lost three day’s worth of wages as dependents leave is now unpaid at my weekday job.
My weekday job seems to be imploding now, with more and more people leaving or looking to leave as it’s becoming harder and harder to work there. I am in the same boat now.
Gosh where does the time go? Have suddenly realised I have not summer up last month and we are almost in July!
Good things about May were:
Husband and I had a very positive experience when he visited Occupational Health for a health check. After everything that has happened to us, I have become quite jaded and guarded. So it was so lovely to see that (while I don’t expect everyone to know everything about Asperger’s) the occupational health nurse had made an effort to read up on it prior to Husband coming to his appointment and got an insight into what someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome might need support with.
My colleagues and line managers at work were lovely and supportive. It’s balm for the soul when you’re stressed out and the world seems to have it out for yo, that there are people backing you.
We have continued to be under budget for food and I think once I have done the grocery diary for three full months, I will do a more in-depth post about it.
I got to spend two days in London seeing my best friend and her sisters visiting from Norway.
Things that could have been improved about May were:
On the 21st of May was our PIPiversary. On that day, one year exactly had passed since we had started the application process for PIP for Husband. Still no tribunal date.
Work is becoming increasingly taxing, with challenging behaviour from students, coupled with many policy changes to our service. This has led me to experience some nights where my mood has been very low this month. Some of these policy changes are unreasonable, and some are downright discriminatory. I think what they will lead to, is a significant decline in the number of people using our services.
We’ve made some changes to the house the last two weeks, both inside and out. Not without its challenges, as the gent doing the work for us took much longer than he had forecast and so we spent a week on the sofabed downstairs while he did this to our upstairs bedroom:
So pleased with how it has turned out. Just need to find the will to live to apply some varnish to it now.
I have also been doing some stuff around the garden at the back. Husband’s Dad surprised us by coming by one morning and bless him helped us cut the hedge for us. Our next door neighbor has said we are more than welcome to use their hedge trimmer when we need to, so that saves us buying it for the garden.
Half term was very relaxed. The first half of the week was spent just with Husband and I enjoying it. Had dinner with his family and celebrated his birthday by going with him to see the new Solo movie and having breakfast out. I also travelled to London to see my friend and her sisters, and got some badly needed bras as several of mine are just unsightly now.
Last week was very different however, it was unsettling for us both.
Husband has been discussing lowering the dose of Epilim he is on as it is starting to interfere too much (seizure control ok, but impacting him in other ways). It was agreed with the consultant that the dose reduction would be done with his approval and with us discussing it first with the GP.
Naturally we went to get his prescription last Monday to find it had been lowered from 2300mg to 2000mg. Husband and I were both cross at this as it had been done without properly discussing it with us, but Husband was prepared to give it a try.
Husband and I ended up staying home for most of last week as his withdrawal symptoms were quite strong. Husband felt shaky constantly, tired all the time and felt like he couldn’t focus on tasks; he also felt on edge and tingly which he has explained is how you feel before having a seizure.
So he didn’t feel well enough to go to work, and I did not want to leave him on his own, so I stayed at home with him. Saturday one of the neighbours checked up on him while I was at work at my weekend job, and Sunday friends came by so he wasn’t alone for too long.
It’s been a week now and Husband is feeling more himself thank goodness. We just didn’t expect this to just be dropped on our laps.
Half term this week so Husband and I have both had a week off work. The weather has been nice all week so Tuesday morning was spent taking a leisurely stroll around the lake in the grounds of Wollaton Hall.
I am so grateful that we can access these beautiful spaces.
These two weeks have been very mixed. No surprises there, as the Silver household normally is.
Last Monday was incredibly busy at work with students trying to finish their work and submitting it within the deadlines, all while the computer systems continued to crash and freeze. This has been on-going since the latest Windows OS was installed and people were pulling their hair out as it kept happening. All we could do was restart the PCs for them and keep encouraging them to save their work.
I just felt so unprofessional as even though it’s not our fault and we can’t help it, I didn’t feel we were delivering a very good service. In addition to this several of the students had their work saved as files that were so large the email system rejected them as being too large, so were not able to email their submissions to their tutors. We found ways around it but those two things combined with a chair that got vandalized left me feeling quite drained.
And to top things off we found out later that three of the students had formally complained about the PCs, understandably, but also about the staff in the library that day saying we had been unhelpful and laughed at their troubles.
I am absolutely incandescent. We were nothing but as helpful and understanding as we could be that day given everything we had to deal with. Not to mention one of the students who complained was barred from coming and seeing us for a term due to behaviour earlier in the term.
All the same, it left me feeling quite drained that evening. Didn’t have the energy to cook so we had takeout. Not great for the budget.
Tuesday was a bit better. I had a day off which helped my mood a lot, plus Husband’s visit to Occupational Health went very well.
The appointment went really well. I accompanied Husband to the appointment not sure what to expect. I needn’t have worried however as the occupational health nurse had clearly taken the time to read about Asperger’s Syndrome and how it can present, and went through the information carefully with Husband, checking repeatedly that he was alright and if there was anything he wanted to ask.
It all went swimmingly – until we got to the vaccination history. As Husband will be dealing with items that have human blood on them in his work, he needs to have the Hepatitis B vaccine. Husband hates needles. But to help him they have booked him an appointment to have the injections and blood tests done at the occupational health clinic so he can have them done in peace and at his own pace, rather than having to go to the drop-in sessions.
For some, it may seem like a small thing. However given everything we have gone through these last two years, anyone treating Husband with a bit of dignity and making adjustments so that he can participate fills me with immense joy.
Wednesday and Thursday last week were spent getting the garden together. I have planted nasturtiums and sweet peas and will try my hand at tomatoes this year. I have also planted some flower seeds we were given.
Saturday after work I met up with Husband and the family and his parents very generous paid for a meal out at the Wetherspoon up the road from us. A lovely gesture and it meant I didn’t have to cook after a long day at work.
One thing I have been thankful for as well these last two weeks are my colleagues at both workplaces. Colleagues have listened and offered advice and support, and given us stuff and help.
A receptionist I like at work and I managed to have lunch together and she very kindly gave me lunch, and gave me lots of leftovers to use up. My supervisor gave me a box of cereal she’d bought but didn’t like so gave it to me, and a colleague at my weekend work has been giving me lifts partway home which saves me so much time. It also meant I was able to swing by Tesco Sunday night to get these beauties:
I have continued to use my smartphone responsibly (?) and have installed Shopmium and continued to use Job Spotter. Shopmium has netted us £10.02 in free groceries via their cashback, and I have gotten a £10 Amazon voucher from Job Spotter and I am working on another one.
This Monday was an odd day for us – it was our PIP anniversary. We are still waiting for a court date for Husband’s PIP claim.
Tuesday was spent doing washing and things around the house. The weather these two weeks has been lovely and warm so have gotten several loads of washing done.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were spent at at my weekday job – I enjoy my work and like my colleagues and (most) of the students, but several changes to our procedures were announced this week and I am not sure I can stand behind these changes and how it will impact how we deliver our service. It has made me wonder if I have a future there. It left me drained and Friday night was spent feeling really off and unsettled.
It’s hard to explain, but I felt really flat and drained, and my skin feeling prickly and my hair kept standing on end for seemingly no reason.
So once again we had a takeout.
Must stop dealing with feelings by eating stuff….
Saturday and Sunday have been quite quiet at the university – this is a good thing as we have two new hires starting this month. My colleague very kindly gave me a lift almost the whole way home on Saturday. As the weather was nice I decided to do the right thing and walk the rest of the way, which I enjoyed.
Sunday morning was spent lounging around at home, and moving stuff upstairs from the bedroom in preparation for the carpenter to come next week to make the bespoke cupboards for the bedroom.
Next week is half term, which gives Husband and me a nice week off from work, which we sorely need. We’ll get some time together, we’ll celebrate Husband’s birthday, and I will travel down to London to see my friend and her sisters.
So this week has been both expensive and frugal at the same time. How, you ask?
Monday was a Bank Holiday, so Husband and I both had a day off. We had a leisurely morning at home before taking the bus and walking around the lake at Wollaton Hall, enjoying the lovely weather. We both an an ice cream before going to see Husband’s family. To contribute, we brought two bottles of fizz with us and we were given some lovely French stick bread to take home with us.
….aaand then his glasses snapped off at the hinge. So booked an appointment with the opticians for the day after as I had time to accompany him and I had a voucher for a free eye test. Husband’s glasses left us £160 lighter, even with us choosing the cheapest frames.
Tuesday morning, as we were getting ready to go, I dropped my phone. It then didn’t want to switch on and when it did, the screen wasn’t responding.
So called the carrier and as I was eligible for a free upgrade, I have now officially joined the 21st century and gotten myself a smartphone. Nothing fancy, but it works and I can access apps and things on it.
I’ve installed an app called JobSpotter on it as I do travel around a lot to and from work. You get points for taking pictures of uploading job adverts seen in local shops, and the points can be converted to Amazon vouchers. So far I have gotten £6.49 accrued so will cash out when I get to £10. Maybe I will review it in future?
Previously when I had a regular phone I shook my head at people who were continuously on their phones on the bus and while walking. But now I have one, I can see how addictive smartphones can be, and I have made a conscious decision to not spend my whole commute on it, and read a book or newspaper instead. I also solemnly promise to not get it out while eating a meal (with other people) or before bed.
Thursday I dropped by Sainsbury’s to see if they had any bread, and got some lovely reduced food.
Friday I attended a meeting at work where we were told officially what we have known for months, that the site we are working at will be closing when we finish for the summer. We have been advised they are looking at all the positions in our departments, not just ours, and that we will receive a letter in the next few weeks about how this will affect each one of us.
Sunday I attended a training session at work which meant we finished early. It was really pleased as it meant I could attend Sharing Sherwood after all. So I left work , got two bargains at Tesco, and went to join Husband and our neighbour there.
Tonight’s menu at Sharing Sherwood.
Next week we don’t have a lot of plans for (yet). We are due to see the occupational health nurse at Husband’s new workplace, as they need to talk to him about the conditions he declared on the occupational health questionnaire. Not quite sure what to expect as I have never done it before, though I can imagine it is similar to the questions we get asked whenever we renew our travel insurance.
Then, hopefully, Husband will be offered his contract and can hand his notice in at his current job.
I was called by one of the product testing panels to ask if I wanted to do a study with them that paid £20 in Tesco vouchers after work. I am saving all vouchers I get for Christmas (sorry, I know it’s the C word, but it’s best to be prepared!) so said of course.
The bus doesn’t go all the way to the venue so I get off at the closest bus stop and walk from there along the road. Sometimes in winter it’s a pain as it can be dark and wet and sad.
Not today. Everything is coming out so it was lovely and green, and I saw lots of bluebells and cowslip alongside the road. Plus it stays lighter for longer now and the weather was nice so it was quite a pleasant walk.
The study was scheduled to take up to 75 minutes but I completed it in 45, and on my walk back to the bus stop on the other side of the road, look what I spied!
Naturally I have been on the Woodland Trust website to ensure I have identified this right, but they are indeed wild garlic or ramsoms. There was this bunch and one further up the road as well.
It’s important to not take more than what you can eat and leave some for others, so I took a small bunch home. I’ve put them in a glass of water and will use them for dinner tomorrow after they’ve been thoroughly washed.
Shh... don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.