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Carol in Cal.

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About Carol in Cal.

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    Qualified Bee Keeper

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  • Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
  • Interests
    Lutheran theology and hymns, world history, chemistry, knitting, weaving, literature, reading
  • Occupation
    Homeschooling and also working fulltime

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  1. I have found that freecycle gives me unreliable results, also. But the Buy Nothing facebook lists are better, because they are in the neighborhood so people get to know others and no shows are noticed.
  2. Probiotics are amazing these days. Recently I had to go on very strong antibiotics twice in a row two different times for serious tooth infections. The first time I didn't take probiotics and got horrible intestinal cramping during round one AND a yeast infection early in round two. The second time I took probiotics, and had no intestinal or UTI issues. I used OTC probiotics that were labelled as being for intestinal flora rehab and for female infection prevention (which included cranberry elements), and I had no issues. This was VERY convincing to me, and now I'm all about trying to build up my gut flora with substrate work--insoluble fiber, more fruits and veggies in general, adding in cooked veggies when I normally mostly eat raw ones, etc. I am really glad to have found this because having rosacea I have to take antibiotics pretty often. For me they are antiinflammatory but with these gut bacteria tradeoffs, which are now avoidable.
  3. Bodies are all different. I wonder whether you might have tried the often recommended antiinflammatory foods like turmeric, ginger, etc.? Also there are supportive herbs for liver--particularly milk thistle and dandelion root--that might be helpful in general. As well, wobenzyme is supposed to be an antiinflammatory supplement, per my husband's chiro. I am cautious about that last one because I have a touch of fatty liver myself, and I'm not sure whether it could contribute, but the rest are good for me, numbers wise. I suspect that in the next 10 years we are going to learn a ton about bacterial colonies as that relates to obesity and inflammation, and that both of those problems are going to be dealt with a lot more easily once we know how to adjust gut bacteria reliably. I don't mean to belittle your goals at all, but really it sounds like you're already doing all the right things, and I hope for your sake and for the sake of many others that this intractible stuff becomes very treatable, and naturally so, sooner rather than later.
  4. If you're not throwing away reusable stuff, don't feel guilty. You're saving someone else from having to do this later on. Might as well get it over with.
  5. I would never ever cosign on any loan. That's putting too much control of my credit into someone else's hands. I'd borrow the money and loan it directly, in which case there would be no nasty surprises. I think that so much of this has to do with whether there is a differential. One of my sets of grandparents was pretty well off and offered my folks an allowance when they got married. They thought this was normalizing the fact that they were just better off, no big deal. The kid that they offered it to never even told the spouse, because of assuming this would be seen as insulting. Mine and my husband's poorer relatives have a general policy that their kids and even grandkids can pile into their house to live as long as they want. Oddly, the more well to do ones don't. I don't pretend to understand this. I feel like our family culture as a whole is that everyone should try for self-reliance but we back stop each other. There are exceptions on the mooching side of this and on the stingy side but that's the general case. I see a lot of sense in living together multi-generationally but there are great difficulties with it as well. I think I like the Amish model best--the elders move into a smaller house on the same property where they are independent but there, and easy to help and to be helped by. Or maybe the many tiny houses and one big great house model.
  6. It lasts for 18 months normally. 36 if you have a certain kind of disability--not sure of the details around that, but I know that it's possible. You pay what the company price would have been and they can charge you a small service fee as well. I THINK that if the company drops the plan for their employees you are SOL as well, but am not sure of this--it's worth checking on if you are depending on this. We have used it twice--it was easier than dealing with finding new medical insurance on top of everything else. Once we took the whole thing, and the other time we just took dental and vision because we had major medical elsewhere but the better dental and vision coverage were very helpful at that point in our lives. (You can piecemeal it like that if the former employer did.)
  7. Wow. Never without a mattress protector AND a bottom sheet. I used top sheets as well, but have seen people just use a puffy blanket for both sheet and blanket--I guess that's fine if you change your decor a lot, but it's harder on the blanket because you have to wash it more often if you don't have a sheet on it. I think the idea came from those bunk bed sleeping bags that went directly on the mattress because it's so hard to make a bed over your head. Or maybe from the duvets that are used in Europe to encase the blankets.
  8. Costco has a great deal on a very sophisticated system, but we are going with a simpler one that lends itself better to frequent absences. It's a slug of money that we were not expecting, but it can't be helped.
  9. I agree with those who would keep the Prius. I'd personally keep the truck, too, because you use it so much and so well. My experience is that Toyotas run forever if they are maintained, but Fords are less reliable in the long run.
  10. Well, I love my Pampered Chef stoneware for all other baking so I fully expect to love the bread pans, too. Also just recently scored a PC large bar cookie pan at a thrift store, and am looking forward to trying that as well. What I mostly use are the pizza pan (for dessert pizzas), the shallow baker, the deep covered baker (mostly for roasted meats though), and the 3 sizes of open rectangular bakers. They are absolutely awesome.
  11. I dunno, that's worth considering, but unlike a lot of folks whose trucks or SUVs are just aspirational activity wise, it sounds like he's actually making great, productive use of the truck.
  12. How I did it was: I use two savings accounts and one checking account at the same credit union. I don't pay anything to do this. The checking account is for regular expenses that are paid monthly--mortgage, credit cards, utilities, cash, charitable donations. One savings account is for the sinking fund. It gets automatic deposits with DH's paycheck. Each is a proportion of my estimate of our annual recurring but not monthly expenses. I recalculate this every couple of years--property taxes, non-monthly insurance, car repair estimates (we drive old cars so this is always a thing), gifts. The total is divided by the number of paychecks in a year, and that's how much goes in. Then the other savings account is for the emergency fund, never ever touched for any of the above, and for any surplus that might develop. So every time a big bill comes in, I can call the credit union and tell them to move funds from the sinking fund to the checking account. BUT, if I have a surplus in the checking account to partially cover that bill, I use it and only transfer the amount that I actually need to cover the bill. That way the theory is that extra money would add up in the sinking fund, and be moved into investments or something else. In practice the surplus tended to be used for non-anticipated stuff, but it was really good to have on hand. Functionally it buffered the emergency fund. Now that we are older with no kids at home and some career changes we are using a different system that is much harder to describe. Among other things, since we are both over 59 1/2 we can park our emergency fund into an older savings contract that pays no less than 3% (not available anymore but we already had these) but has a penalty for withdrawals before retirement age. Also a sinking fund can go into something like that, but (it's complicated) DH is between jobs so we are not using the sinking fund approach at the moment. For me, sinking funds are very functional mostly when income is steady. I don't see a great value to them when income is coming in spurts. YMMV, I know you can make this work but for me it doesn't make sense. So we are not using the approach above ATM but I fully expect to return to it when DH starts his next job.
  13. Re. running belts--I have an older Amphpod. I love it. It has a large water bottle that is mounted at a sideways diagonal in a sleeve, so it doesn't bounce at all. There is room for ID, cell phone, keys, and a small snack (Bonbel ounce or a granola bar). Also Ricola and some first aid stuff like aspirin, bandaids, sudafed, and allegra tend to be things I carry with me, but I use this mostly outdoors. If you're mostly staying home, you'd have a different list. Plus, well, it does look pretty cool, much more so than a fanny pack. Here is the most similar version I could find online that is currently available:
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