Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Month: December 2014

Looking Back

All in all, 2014 was an okay year for the Bauhaushold. It wasn’t stellar, and it had its fair share of challenges and trials — among which were a health scare and the wreck and subsequent insurance rigmarole (which, I’m happy to report, is resolved as of today) — but it was definitely a big improvement over 2013. The important thing is, we’re better off now than we were this time last year, and as we head into the new year I’m filled with genuine optimism for the future.

Highlights were kind of few and far between, although they weren’t nonexistent. I managed to publish a couple of books, and while they haven’t performed magnificently, they’ve helped my other books to get noticed. Our prayers surrounding said health scare were positively answered and that turned out to not be too serious, which is always worth celebrating.

If you don’t mind my turning spiritual for the space of a paragraph (and you can skip to the next one if you do), I think the biggest highlight of the year is how much we’ve both grown in our faith and in our ability to apply it. Although I still have a long way to go, God has done amazing things both for me and in me during this past year. I’ve become much more patient and able to be content and at peace regardless of my circumstances, and much less prone to self pity and the negative thought patterns that lead me to depression. When I do catch myself going down that road, I’ve learned how to pray and praise my way out of it. I also started keeping a journal of prayers, promises found in scripture, and reasons I have to be thankful, writing down all the ways that I’ve seen God move in my life, which has helped tremendously to alter my mindset and make me a more hopeful person. I haven’t been keeping up with it the last couple of months, but that’s definitely something I want to get back to doing regularly in the new year.

And then there was the new diet. Even though it got derailed during the holidays, restricting my gluten and dairy intake during the week made a world of difference in my energy levels and my ability to think clearly. I think that was mostly down to the gluten, and I’m now more convinced than ever that my hypothyroid is caused by Hashimoto’s disease (which is common in women with PCOS and has been linked with gluten intolerance). Hopefully I can get tested for that in the coming year to be 100% certain. Cutting back on dairy helped a lot with my digestion issues (and that’s all I’ll say about that). I didn’t realize how much it also made a difference to my PCOS symptoms until the holidays came and I started downing eggnog and cheese with abandon.

As for how we plan to wrap up the year, we’re still debating, but I’m hoping it will involve Chinese takeout and a cozy night in with the DVD player.

What about you guys? Has 2014 been good to you? Any special plans for New Year’s Eve?

Still Alive

I have made myself miserable. I’m not saying this to whine, but as an impassioned plea to my future self to please do a better job next year of refraining from gluten and dairy-based treats. All of the cheese and butter and eggnog and cream and gravy and such that I’ve been eating lately is wreaking havoc on both my digestion and my PCOS, and all the bread, rolls, biscuits, cookies, stuffing, and other gluten-laced deliciousness has caused my energy levels to flat line. Now we just need to be sure we’re rid of all the Christmas leftovers by New Year’s Day so we can both get back on track and start feeling healthy again.

Between the self-induced misery of holiday eating habits, seasonal affective disorder brought about by the fact that the sun has only been seen here about three times in the last two weeks, and ongoing frustration with the insurance company regarding our totaled truck, I haven’t been feeling very sociable lately. My freelance work slowed way down by the end of last week, so I’ve been taking the opportunity to enjoy a vacation from any type of computer work (besides, I had a ridiculous amount of knitting and crochet I had to get done before the big day) and recharge my mental batteries — hence my absence from the blog and scant appearances on social media.

Despite all of that, though, we had a lovely Christmas. We stayed home and stayed in our PJs and just hung out with our four-legged “kids,” enjoying and celebrating our own little family while marathoning a Christmas movie roster that included Scrooge, A Christmas Story, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Yes, those are too Christmas movies.

The bulk of all that frantic knitting and crochet was for the furbabies. Pete got a new sweater and a knitted plush bone squeak-toy in his stocking, and the cats got a new bed and a door hanger bouncy cat toy in theirs. Matilda the box turtle got left alone to sleep, which is, I’m sure, what she preferred.

In addition to books, warm comfy pants and a nice bottle of Scotch (a present to himself), Matt also got a replica of the scarf Jeremy Brett wears in the old Granada Sherlock Holmes series, which is the other thing I was frantically trying to finish on time. I failed, but mainly because I ran out of yarn. I need to add at least two more balls of yarn before the length is right. Still, Matt said it’s his favorite present. *beams and twirls*

As for me, so far I’ve gotten books and chocolate, which is enough to make me happy. Besides finally getting the most recent Dresden Files novel and the illustrated trade paperback version of The Dark Tower: Book VII, Santa/Matt also got me a copy of The Little House Cook Book, which is my favorite so far (sometime soon I will have to talk to you about my new Little House obsession). I hope it will teach me a few old-timey skills that I can incorporate into my zombie plan. I’ll also be getting the new Laura Ingalls Wilder autobiography, Pioneer Girl, once Amazon gets it in stock, and I’m kind of chomping at the bit to read it.

In other news, we’re still waiting for State Farm to settle up and pay us for the truck, going on over two weeks now since we reached a settlement agreement. First we were supposed to be able to pick up the check the Friday after settling, and then for some mysterious reason that got pushed to Wednesday of the following week, and then the State Farm office where we’re supposed to pick it up and sign over the truck still hadn’t received it and nobody had an explanation as to why and we haven’t heard anything from them since. On the bright side, at least the insurance adjuster finally stopped giving us deadlines to return the rental car that Matt kept having to call and extend, and just told us to keep it until we get the check and can finish making our Aveo road worthy. Whenever that will be. I’ve given up on expecting it to happen this year.

And now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a magic cookie bar calling my name in the kitchen. Hey, I can’t very well expect the husband to polish off all those leftovers by himself. That wouldn’t be fair to him, now would it?

How was your Christmas this year?

Not enough of me to go around.

I have been falling down on the blog, and I’m not sure yet when I’ll be able to get back into a regular posting routine. We’re still dealing with fallout from our accident, and it’s ridiculous how much of our time that keeps eating up. We’re behind on just about everything, including Christmas; we just got the decorations put up this weekend, and we haven’t even started our shopping yet. I’m just hoping we can get around to that before all the stores are too picked over to find what we want. Add to that some issues with our plumbing, and I just don’t have time for regular blogging–or noveling, for that matter, which quite the source of bother.

So anyway, the insurance company decided to total the truck. We went to the repair shop this morning to be sure we got all of our personal items out of it, and that was a surprisingly emotional time as we said goodbye. We had a lot of good memories tied up in that little truck. So now we’ve got a week left to get our Aveo operational before we have to give back the rental car we’ve been driving. Since it hasn’t been running, we haven’t been insuring it, so we’ll have to get insurance and a new tag put on it, too.

I tell you what, this is sure turning out to be a lot of hassle for what was a relatively minor wreck that wasn’t even our fault. On the bright side, at least now we can afford to get the Aveo fixed.

And of course the other thing keeping me busy is that I’ve got steady freelance editing and e-book formatting work coming in, so that’s another thing to be thankful for.

In other news, I haven’t been doing very well at sticking to my gluten-free diet, and as such my energy levels have severely tanked. I guess I can take that as confirmation that avoiding gluten really is good for my thyroid and the extra energy I had wasn’t just a placebo effect. Now if I can just stop being tempted by all this holiday food… oh look, cookies!