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Continuing ed

June 26th, 2014 at 11:44 pm

As part of keeping my massage therapy license I have to take 24 hours of continuing ed courses every two years. My current 24 hours are due Jan 2016. We have to do at least 4 of those hours in ethics. I signed up for an ethics class in August already. The rest can be anything we want as long as at least 8 hours of it is hands on.

I decided to get certified in prenatal massage. I have had quite a few pregnant clients already (we had some basic training in school, enough to be able to do it but not necessarily specialize), and they are a demographic I want to attract. Most of my pregnant clients come in two to four times a month, vs. once every one to six months like most of my non pregnant clients. The certification course is very rigorous and comprehensive.

They are doing the four day course in San Diego in October of this year. I found a room on airbnb.com with great reviews that is close to Sea World, near where the class is being held, and it's $55 a night. The hotels around Sea World are 150-250 a night. This room also includes use of the kitchen, which includes some fresh food items, so I can further save money by fixing my own meals. And there is an outdoor jacuzzi! Good thing I still have a swim suit I almost never use. I requested a booking and pending verification from the owner, that is where I'll stay.

Flights are currently about $150 each way. That's not bad, but I'm going to watch it and see if comes down any. Special rates between Seattle and San Diego aren't uncommon. I could save about $40 total by taking Amtrak, but since it's a full two days travel time, I'd be losing a lot more money by missing all that work. I do love the train, but not that much.

I am also excited because one of my best closest friends from high school, who I still keep in touch with, lives about 20 miles north of San Diego. We haven't seen each other in 4 years, so I'm looking forward to catching up.

After this class, and the ethics class I will be done with my continuing ed until 2016.

Resisting temptation

June 13th, 2014 at 02:01 pm

In my last post I talked about some if the reasons it has been hard for me to limit spending on food in the past. Now I will talk about some things I have found which make it a little bit easier.

1) Make food I want to eat

Sometimes this means paying a little more for bread that doesn't taste like cardboard. Sometimes this means using fresh vegetables instead of frozen or canned.

Sometimes this means taking a little time and effort to learn new recipes, and to make something more complex than plain oatmeal, or plain grilled chicken with unseasoned frozen vegetables.

If I am looking forward to the food I have at home then I will be far less likely to just go out instead.

2) Don't eat too much late at night

Why? Because if I wake up hungry I will get my butt out of bed and make breakfast. If I don't I will roll around in bed until the last minute and pick up a donut and coffee on the way to work.

3) Plan ahead

This one doesn't need a lot of explanation. Coming up with a meal at the last minute is daunting. Especially if you are missing a crucial ingredient, but don't have the hour it takes to walk to the store and back.

4) Eat out sometimes

Just plan for it, enjoy it, and don't let it turn into something you do every day. Go out for dessert and have dinner at home. You still have all the fun of going out, but it's much less expensive.

Something new out of something old

June 5th, 2014 at 10:45 am

DD needed a comfortable chair for her room for reading. I had a hard time finding anything small enough for that space, especially at a good price. We had a small coffee table from IKEA that we didn't really need or have space for. I sat on it a few times while we were moving, just to rest for a minute, and realized it was pretty sturdy and would make a good bench if it had a cushion on top.

So I bought a piece of high density cushion foam, and a yard of fake fur for about $50 and created this:

I found a magenta fake fur throw pillow at Big Lots to lean against, and not only does it fit in her room, but there is a lot of space underneath for storage.

DD's room

May 30th, 2014 at 10:14 am

DD will be here next week for a short visit before spending the summer in Alaska. She will be back in August just before school starts.

We moved into our current apartment in March, and have been converting the walk in closet into her bedroom. It's actually a great space to use for a bedroom. It has a window that opens, two lights that turn on and off independently, three separate outlets, and even a land line phone jack (how quaint).

It is 4" wide by 19" long, so it's a pretty good size, but a challenging shape to use as a bedroom. There are two doors, one leading to the master bedroom, and one to the living room. Both doors need to be kept clear because the window in the closet also leads to the fire escape. This led us to decide to loft a bed in the middle of the room, between the two doors.

My dad came from Idaho last month and helped put a loft in for her bed. We also took out some of the existing shelving and hanging bar for clothes, and after building the bed we reinstalled some of the shelves in places that worked a bit better. The materials for the bed cost me about $75. To buy one that fit in that space would have cost me at least $200, and I didn't care for the design of that one as it didn't have an opening at the top of the ladder. The one we built is much sturdier and easier to get in and out of.

The light fixture that wound up above the bed wasn't really well suited for that space, since it was glass with sharp corners on it, and the bulb wasn't fully enclosed. We found a new fixture for $20 at Home Depot and replaced it. The new on is rounded with a plastic cover, so if she bumps her head on it it won't be especially painful. Another plus on the new light fixture is that it has a pull chain so she can turn it on and off without getting out of bed.

Next week while she is here I'll be helping her with unpacking and getting the space organized, as well as hanging up mirrors and artwork. I bought a small desk online, that needs to be put together as well, and have a few more shelves to install.

She also had a lofted bed in our previous apartment, and I had put white Christmas lights underneath it for some soft white lighting. I will be doing that again as soon as I can find some lights, as most of the old set had burnt out. I might check Amazon for some LED lights this time.