March 2022 in Review

March was basically a three-part split: First, all the birthdays. Honestly, neither Laurence nor I did much for our birthdays, just kinda stuck to a few fun things and home-family. That’s one thing about the pandemic – we’ve gotten used to not having big birthdays, I suppose. Second, sleep issues. I talked about that in depth in my last post, so I’ll leave this here. Third, the feral colony. We first put out food for the colony we’re trying to adopt on Feb 28th, and since then, we’ve catalogued a number of regular visitors to our yard. There are a couple roaming male cats, two younger cats that probably belong to the colony four doors down, an overnight visitor that we’ve only seen twice, and one little grey girl who has made our yard her home base. We set up a security camera to record overnight footage, and while it doesn’t always capture everything, we have a pretty good idea of what kinds of creatures hang around at night. (Note: We don’t leave out food overnight.) This has probably been the biggest influence of my month, and I’ve literally spent hours watching these cats, planning out and ordering supplies, etc.

Reading and Watching
My brain is so half-asleep these days that I could barely focus on books, and honestly couldn’t really make it through even a single tv show without falling asleep either. So I don’t have much to say. I ended up reading three books, with The Book of Cold Cases coming ahead as the favorite for March.

The big goal I got to cross off this month was related to finances. Jason’s bonus this year allowed us to pay off a large chunk of our unsecured debt, and once our tax refund comes through, we’ll be able to pay off the rest. That will leave us with just the mortgage, car payments, and Jason’s school loans in terms of debts. We’d made fairly good progress on this last year until we ran into 1) four car accidents including three totaled cars, 2) a very expensive hospital stay, and 3) rescuing, socializing, and vetting four kittens. But if we can get this all paid off in the next few weeks, we’ll be in really good shape for the first time since the major house-explosion in 2018. (For newer readers, a briefing: In 2018, some unscrupulous, lazy work by roofers led to more than half our former house being replaced from scratch, for a grand total of over $20k AFTER what insurance paid.)

We continued to focus on the garden this month, getting everything planted before it got too late in the season. The mistflower bed is entirely planted now, and while we decided to put in a few butterfly-attracting perennials into the nectarine bed, we mostly distributed wildflower seeds this year. Wildflower seeds also went into the live oak bed. Seeds are more affordable and will provide enjoyment for a season until we have the money to transform each of these beds into something more permanent.

Health and Fitness
I talked about sleep apnea and its affects on my health in my most recent post, and honestly, that’s been the biggest factor of March. When you don’t sleep properly, nothing else can really happen. I’m not leaving the house because I’m napping all the time. Some (most) days, the inflammation from my RA is so bad that my entire body hurts just laying there, every joint throbbing in pain, and until my cpap arrives, we can’t tell if that means I need a different medicine or if the inflammation is being affected by the lack of sleep. I have so little energy that I can barely move around, much less exercise. I’m eating more than normal to provide extra energy for my body. The whole cycle is awful. So anyway, I may not be doing much in terms of any other part of my health right now, but I forgive all those lapses while I deal with a very major systemic problem. I’ll get back to it when I’m sleeping again.

(the seven hikes of March)

Favorite Photos
Heh. Nearly all my photos this month are of Lady Grey, the cat that’s made our yard her home. When I barely leave the house, I really don’t take too many photos, so there aren’t a whole lot of favorites this time around.

Top, left to right: Laurence as an adult, looking like he belongs on a 90s album cover; the biggest bully among the birds; mystic spire bloom. Bottom, l to r: deer seen at Hardberger Park; columbines in bloom; Eastern Phoebe. Full versions of all these photos can be seen on my instagram stories.

Highlights of March
Once again, the biggest highlight of the month has been everything involved with the feral colony: nicknaming the cats, seeing the nocturnal animals in our yard, starting a project that will be really good for the future of these poor creatures! Otherwise, here were the other fun things:

  • Brandon Sanderson’s awesome announcement and accompanying kickstarter!
  • finally making it to Guadalupe River State Park (after four last-minute cancellations outside my control in the last year!)
  • Gherkin proving just how smart she is !!!
  • starting to see more butterflies in my yard again
  • new upgraded camera!
  • the nectarine tree bloomed – we weren’t sure it would since we kinda messed up with it last year, but it’s definitely still living!
  • my fowl language mug, ha! –>
  • and another Sanderson announcement at the end of the month: a preview of the rough-draft prologue of Stormlight 5!
  • I finally managed to get a copy of Cain’s Jawbone!

Coming up in April
Normally April is a pretty melancholy month for me, with the change in weather turning miserably hot, but I’m honestly looking forward to it this year. Not the weather change, but I hope that in April, two things will happen: I’ll get my cpap and begin to sleep properly again, and we’ll get our tax refund and finish paying off all consumer debt. I’m a little worried about the impending covid spike, particularly how it might affect the vacation J and I have planned for early May, but we’ll see how that all goes.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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