Friday, December 28, 2012

A Weekly Planner For the Rest Of Us

I have a problem with most planners and calendars.  Planners are generally created with 'normal' people in mind; those whose days and weeks are filled with activities and numerous things to keep track of related to a busy life. 

They're not created with the realities of chronic illness in mind.  For example, there is seldom enough room for the notes that substitute for an astute memory when my fibro fog rolls around.  And my body does it's own good job of keeping track of it's aches and pains.  Realistically, as my art journal page below attempts to show, there are too many of them to write down anyway, so I don't need all that unused space on a typical planner page.  And looking at all that empty space would get a bit depressing too.
Fibromyalgia and Arthritis Pain - Oh my!
With all of that in mind, I've created a weekly planner for the rest of us!

In my planner, I've allowed space for four major or daily tasks.  I chose four because it's seldom that I can complete more than that on any given day.

There is a separate space for miscellaneous 'To Do's', and important for me, a place where I can note the things that need to be delegated.  Delegating is a must and having a place to note these tasks is essential.

Then, too, there is a small area in which to note appointments.

There's a special space for the Communication Queen in all of us, where we can note phone numbers, emails we need to send, make notes about our social networking sites or to jot down a url.
A Weekly Planner For the Rest Of Us
A larger area in which to note things related to self-care - and those can be anything from taking a nap or a short walk, to giving yourself a manicure, to making time for hobbies or art.
Since nutrition is always a 'hot topic' for me and I tend to forget to eat, and because good nutrition is essential to keeping my pain levels manageable, there's also space to note meals. 

Last, but far from least important, there is a decent amount of space for notes.

You'll find the days of the week and a place to write the date at the top of the planner, and underneath these, there is room to check off your top four tasks to show that you've completed them each day as well as space to mark off when you've taken your medications for the day.  There are additional spaces that you can personalize for other things that you might wish to keep track of on a daily basis.

If you think that the planner would work for you as well, I'd be happy to email you a copy for your personal use.  If you know of others who might appreciate it, please feel free to send them here.

To get a free copy (minus the watermarks!), simply leave a comment with your email - or, if you prefer not to have your email addie published here,  follow your comment up with an email to, putting 'Weekly Planner' in the subject line. 

While I'll be providing the copies free of charge, I still ask that you honor my request above (it's the only way I have of tracking whether or not it's useful to others!) and respect my copyright by not distributing or sharing the non-watermarked copy without my permission.  Feel free to Pin or post the watermarked copy or share the link to this post.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's That Time of Month Again

It's that time of month again inventory my cabinets and freezer; to put together a grocery shopping list; to organize and do a spreadsheet on grocery store match-ups; to decide which new recipes we'll try this time around (seriously, I can't afford to waste food, so I look for recipes that I'm pretty sure will be winners!)

But I just can't seem to find the motivation; I'm procrastinating.  And I'm enjoying my food today.  You'd think that that would provide some motivation.  But no, it's just not working that way!

It's mid-afternoon and I've had my prescribed (as in prescribed by a Doctor, not by my tummy) 2 meals and 2 snacks so far today. 

Breakfast was oatmeal (cooked in a big batch and then frozen in single portion sizes) with home-frozen peach slices and walnuts (the Doctor says to balance the carbs with a protein.  Walnuts are a protein...I think).
Yummy Tomato Soup
The first snack was warm apple slices (again, home frozen).  The afternoon snack was a mug of tomato soup with french fried onion sprinkles, a bit of parsley and parmesan cheese.

And lunch was two turkey sausage links with a warm, savory muffin.  Yum!  The muffin is chock full of spinach, sauteed leeks, red pepper and cheese.  They were an experiment, but oh!  They are so good!
Savory Muffins
I don't have a recipe; I didn't measure while I was experimenting.  It might be a good habit to get into as I tend to experiment often, lol! 

The base was homemade baking mix (like Bisquick, but with organic ingredients!), to which I added chopped spinach, leeks lightly sauteed in organic olive oil, red pepper flakes, two slices of crumbled bacon and a handful of grated cheese.  Oh, and an egg and milk to moisten it all.  Poured into muffin tins and baked for 16 minutes, my experiment gave me ten delicious, savory muffins!  They weren't overly done because I wanted to be able to reheat them without ending up with something inedible.

Dinner for my son and I will be 4-6 ounces of pork, baked in the oven with potatoes and sweet potato wedges, and corn on the cob.  The sweet potato wedges are home cut and frozen, and the corn on the cob was cut into segments, blanched and frozen back when it was 4 ears for $1.00. 

I want to note too, that I bought the organic olive oil AND organic canola oil at Grocery Outlet and they were a big enough bargain that I bought multiples.  If you have a Grocery Outlet store in your area, they're definitely worth checking out.  Their stock changes constantly, but I've been able to find great deals on pantry items and have found cereal, canned beans, tomato products, frozen vegetables and even meat and pizza - all organics at fantastic prices!  Whatever you buy, be sure to check expiration dates and you may not want to purchase produce there unless you'll be using it within a day or two.

And that takes me back to that grocery list that's waiting to be made...sigh!