Our house was our castle and our keep, our house in the middle of our street

Pretty much, my entire life lately consists of doctor visits. I think I average out to about one a week for the year so far. As I’ve written before, my pain levels stopped being “high but tolerable” some time last year, so I started going to a rheumatologist in hopes to figure out what the hell is going so we can fight back properly. The pain levels have still been increasing, so now I’m needing much better pain management than I’ve had in the past. I’ll be asking about that next time I’m in the doctor’s office, most certainly.

Outside of pain and doctors? Well.. there really isn’t much outside of that. Work is the same old ordinary work. And in the non-work hours, I don’t do much of anything, since I physically can’t. So yup, my life pretty much sucks. But I’m here, and am trying to find ways to combat against that. I miss having more of a life than I do now.

I guess the main thing I am doing when I’m not goofing around with Facebook games is spending time house hunting. Mom & I are finally going to move, really and truly this time. We don’t have to worry about selling the house; our neighbor wants to buy it. I spent a good bit of time googling what needed to be done to sell a house without a realtor, and downloaded the contract templates from the Texas State Realtor Board’s website. Now mom & our neighbor just need to have the inspection, settle on the price and fill out the paperwork before taking them to the title company, and possibly a real estate lawyer to finalize it all. Nice and easy! If only finding our new house was that easy!!

Mom and I are both incredibly picky, and it takes a lot to find a house with all the features we need/want. With my knees, I really need a 1 story house (and that’s one of the reasons we’re moving out of the current 2 story). Mom wants a townhouse or condo – fine by me – but most that we find that have enough space for us are 2 story, with both/all bedrooms upstairs. I would be okay with a 2 story townhouse, if there was a bedroom on the main floor for me, but we haven’t found one yet that is nice/is in our price range/hasn’t been sold right before we find it. I’ve also been spoiled rotten with our current house because we have HUGE bedrooms, the kind you rarely find in houses anymore. So it looks like I need to have 2 bedrooms when we move – 1 for use as an office, since my desk/TV/etc won’t all fit in these tiny rooms and leave room for my bed, too (or vice versa). Mom automatically “gets” the living room, and can set up her computer there if she doesn’t want to have it in her room.

We’ll also have to make sure that there’s space for Bennett (my hedgehog), and of course plenty of space for the cats and all their accessories. Mom wants a small yard or patio – just enough room for a patio table, a grill, and bird feeders. We both really want a garage, but we are willing to compromise on that – as long as the parking is immediately outside our house, and (preferably) covered. But a garage truly would be best – as I said, we’re spoiled. 😉

On top of all that, we need to make sure we have somewhere Emily can sleep whenever she comes to visit! And that is exactly what she’ll be doing in one week’s time. Only 6 more days until she arrives! I’m definitely looking forward to her visit, and it’ll give me reason to be out and about and doing things. Or, well, trying to do things. I do admit to a slight fear of being insanely exhausted and of my pain levels being stupid and impeding fun, but I’m determined to try to push through and have fun, dammit! 😉 Pain already gets to rule enough of my life as it is – I’m refusing to let it rule over vacation too.

Bet you never thought you’d see me ’round these parts again

I’m strongly considering doing some writing here again. I want to, but then again, I’ve wanted to for quite some time and it just hasn’t happened. I always have thoughts swirling in my head that I want to write about, but somehow they never seem to make it out of my head.

In preparation of starting to use this blog again, I’ve spent some time importing a few posts over from my livejournal. Just some things I’d posted over there that would help fill the gap since I stopped posting here. I now need to go through and fix a few things on the site as I managed to break a few links in the process. Oops.

Late Night Confessions of an Excel Addict

Excel is my weakness. I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but it became a program I have to have. Not just needing to have the program on my PC, but to a point where I am using Excel at least once a day. And, honestly, I use it quite a lot more than that. On an average day, I am guaranteed to have 4 programs running at all times: Firefox, AIM, MSN, and Excel.

I use Excel for anything and everything. One example: I use it as a tool to aide in planning of vacations. I’ll create one tab to make a list of rental car companies, and the prices each one offers, along with any coupon codes, etc, that I might need. I create another tab with different flights, so I can pick which is best. I’ll have another for hotels, where I can list locations, prices (with separate columns for price per night, taxes, overall price, and price per person), and I’ll have additional columns for comments, where I can log things like if there’s an additional fee for parking or internet, or anything else they might decide to charge me for. Once the decisions are made, there will be a tab with all the confirmation numbers and specific details, to print out easily and pack in the carry-on. A separate spreadsheet will help me keep a list of potential places to visit, along with the hours and prices of each attraction. I’ll even use a spreadsheet to help me plan what to pack on the trip, breaking things down into a checklist type format – IE. one column for shirts, another for pants, another for undergarments/nightwear/etc, and columns for shoes, or toiletries, or medications. There will be one tab with what needs to be packed, another for what is packed, and even another to break down my clothes by day, to make sure I have the right amount of each type of clothing packed. Yeah. I know, I’m insane. To further prove how crazy I am — I had a total of 7 separate multi-tabbed spreadsheets when I was planning my birthday trip to Vancouver this year. 😉

And I use it for so much more than just vacation planning. If I need to create a list (for absolutely anything at all), 99% of the time I’m going to do it in Excel. In the summer, when it’s almost time for all the TV shows to start back up — you guessed it, I’ll create a spreadsheet for it. Not only will the file have a list all the premiere dates for all the shows I watch, but I also use it to create a weekly grid, so I can visually see what show is on what night at what time — and figure out what needs to be DVR’d. (This is the list I created this for this fall. Shows have been adjusted since, but that was what I was originally watching.) Hmmm, I really need to work on a new list, since shows are about to start shifting around for the spring, and my midseason shows will be starting up soon. :-[

If I am shopping for something – yup. I’ll start a spreadsheet for that, too. That way, I can compare different models or brands, and see what the differences are, easily. And once I decide on the specific item I’m buying, I can use another tab, to list all vendors and their prices, to make sure I get the best cost! I have a sheet for books I want to read, and I have one for jewelry I want to buy. I’ve got another spreadsheet for jobs I’ve applied for, along with the contact info, dates I applied, any follow up taken, and any other job-hunt relevant info. I just did a search on my entire PC — as of right this second, I have 586 excel files on my computer, dating all the way back to February of 2000. (Oh yeah. I rarely trash my old Excel files, either. Ha. :-[ )

So… yeah. I want to get certified as an Excel Specialist. There’s still some things I need to learn before I can (like macros), but I think it would be nice. Especially considering my every day dependency on Excel.

I have no idea why I wrote an entire entry confessing the depths of my addiction to Excel, but I did. And since I am attempting to get back into the habit of posting again, I’m posting it. 😉 Anyone who actually read all this has my sympathy and appreciation. Haha.