Thursday, 19 January 2012

This 'n that

I'm at home for a second day today with a sore back. This particular issue comes and goes and hasn't been a problem for quite some time, but it reared its ugly head yesterday just before I went to work. My back - "seizes" is the best word - from time to time between my shoulders, just at the base of my neck. I can't turn my head or lift my arms above my shoulders; particular movements seem to make it worse, like driving. It used to last for days regardless of what I'd do, but the past couple of times has only been a day or two, which is...better.

I took an Extra-Strength Tylenol but it didn't help, so I came home instead. Sitting, standing and doing lots of things that would just exacerbate the problem didn't seem like the best way to spend my day. I've been sitting on a ball at my desk at home for about a month and apparently it's been great for my back. It has helped my posture (which is poor) to the point that switching back to a chair the other day was, I believe, the root cause of my back problem yesterday. I'm back on the ball and it's helping immensely. I have a chiropractic appointment lined up for Saturday morning, and that should help as well. An unexpected cost, but not outrageous at $40, so I'm okay with that extra expense this month.

I'm certain a new bed would also help, so I'm going to start looking at prices for a mattress set. The Brick had an excellent Boxing Day Sale, but I don't want to finance anything unless I can put a dent in it right away, regardless of the length of the "Don't Pay" incentive. My bed is okay for now, but is already third-hand and its best years are long behind it.

The temperatures are doing some fancy footwork over the next couple of weeks. Environment Canada is generally more accurate, but the Weather Network has longer term forecasts posted - just to make us miserable ahead of time! And we've actually just gone DOWN a degree to -39C this morning...

Because we use more gas at this time of year, it's important to always have a full tank. I was down to a quarter tank by Monday and even though I don't venture out of town during the winter, you never want to get stuck without enough gas, just in case, particularly with frigid temperatures. I'm glad I got an oil change last week, too, and the fluids checked.

My spending since the 14th looks like this:

Jan 15: No spend!

Jan 16: Gas $62.69 (49.749L @ 125.9L). It generally costs me about $75 to fill from empty and I try to fill only once a month. Because I'm lazy, my "commute" to work is all of 7 minutes (= 40 mins walk). Once the temperatures go up and the light stays a bit later, I'll be walking. My goal is to drive as little as possible during the summer. I'll have to get my bike tuned up for that challenge, so will budget for that accordingly.

Jan 17: $6.96 4L milk (I was surprised, too. I generally pay about $4.59) and $3.80 for a bagel and tea for breakfast at Tim Horton's. My first visit this year! I decided I needed a treat.

Jan 18/19: No spend!

Tomorrow I have to take my cat to the vet for a glucose test to check her levels and see if an adjustment is needed for her insulin shot. She's doing "okay," but not great. She's still thin and listless, although her appetite has moderated, which is positive. She's vomiting a lot, though, which is not, although this may have something to do with her change in food...

One of my favourite book genres out there these days is the memoirs of those who have undertaken a year-long challenge of one sort or another. There's a particular name for it, but I can't remember what it is. Gretchen Rubin mentions it towards the end of her wonderful "Happiness Project," which I loved. "A Year Without Made in China" and "Not Buying It" were a couple of the first ones I read, several years ago, and there are a number of them devoted to not spending. This is something I would really like to do, so I'm going to have a think and see what I can come up with.

Stay warm out there!


T'Pol said...

-39C? Wow! Here it is around -7C during the day and -16C during the night and we think we are freezing! Today as I was driving from work, it was -12C. This is too cold for me! Ankara (the Capital of Turkey) is inland so it gets real cold. I was happy living in Istanbul for ten years. Since it is by the sea, it is much nicer and it almost never drops below 0C in winter. Mild, nice Istanbul weather... I miss it so much!

Gill - That British Woman said...

it's tropical weather in our neck of the woods compared to you!!!

You are paying an extra $2 for a 4 litre bag of milk compared to us.

How much is gas up there per litre?


Northern Living Allowance said...

@T'Pol - we've been quite spoiled up to now - last week it was a balmy -6C or so. It dropped about 30 degrees in 2 days, so was quite a shock. It was only 10 degrees warmer in Victoria over Christmas, but there was no snow. Just lots and lots of rain...

@Gill - we're at 125.9L right now. It actually dropped 0.02 in the couple of months before Christmas, so I'm feeling quite spoiled.

Middle Way said...

Hope your back feels better fast! Sending you healing thoughts!

By the way, your article about your road trip is Fab! Congratulations!

Jane said...

I never could find a mattress I liked until I tried putting a memory foam topper on my current mattress and voila! The best sleep ever! I've had chronic back pain since I fell off a trampoline when I was 14. I bought my daughter a new bed for Christmas with a memory foam mattress and she says its the best thing that ever happened to her ability to sleep!

Northern Living Allowance said...

@Jane - Oh! Really? I shall look in that direction instead then...thanks for the tip!!

Karen E said...

Have you seen "No Impact Man" yet? It follows a small family in NYC trying to live basically off grid. I enjoy reading/seeing people make big changes in their lives too. =)

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi Karen! Thanks for commenting! :) No, I haven't heard of "No Impact Man" but it sounds neat. I'll look it up on line and see if it's something I can get here. A local family just won a new Prius competing in a national energy saving competition, which is pretty cool.