Yesterday was my birthday. Every year I go for my bi-annual checkup on my birthday. I don’t recall how that got started. Had blood work done, etc. Despite two blood pressure medications my BP was a bit high.

I think it’s because of the pain. So I was out and about before the winter precipitation began and happened by a new Sleep Number store in Tulsa Hills. So I decided to stop and go in. I tried different beds, but came back to the first one, which was the cheapest.

People have been extolling the virtues of Sleep Number beds to me over the years.

Ordered a sleep number bed:

I’d been thinking about getting one of these beds for awhile. So I went ahead and ordered one (full size) and bought a pillow that addressed neck problems for people who sleep on their side. The pillow was $110. I have been paying around $40 each for pillows and thought that was high.

However the pillows I have been buying used to be comfortable and now nothing helps with the pain, and I switch them out every six months or so. This neck thing has been somewhat gradually coming on. I went from buying $5 pillows to $40 pillows to deal with the problem over the past 4-5 years.

This pillow is carved out for your shoulder. I have wide shoulders, so this should help.

All told I paid for installation plus the cost of the mattress and the base you get in lieu of a box spring, plus the pillow. And it came to under $1500 for the cheapest bed. I opened an account with them and I will pay it off same as cash.

That’s what I always do because I hate to pay interest. When I was married we ended up paying a ton of interest and it seemed so wasteful.

The one I ordered:

Here’s the one I ordered. I did not buy the frame. I’m having them put it on my own bed frame.

Then I drove down the road a bit and went into the Ashley Furniture store and ordered myself a recliner. I always used to have a recliner, but got away from that in the five years I’ve lived here. I’ve been sitting on the couch and using the ottoman. But I know I’m looking down too much.

The neurologist I saw several weeks ago said that two kinds of work typically aggravate this type of neck problem: Dental hygienists and people who work on computers.

I think it might help to have my laptop on the lap desk I’m using in a recliner instead of sitting on the couch with it with my feet on an ottoman. Because I can lean back and take the pressure off my neck with a recliner and I can’t do that with an ottoman.

I don’t like to sit at a table or desk because Charlie likes to sit with me.

When they’ll be delivered:

Both should be delivered in about two weeks. I chose a beige-colored recliner. Nothing fancy, just a regular recliner that didn’t look overly “puffy.”

I don’t know why all the furniture manufacturers have to design recliners that look so puffy and ugly. But most of them I see for sale do tend to look like that.

The cost of the chair was just over $400. Delivery and taxes really bite. But then I’m also having them put that coating on it due to having pets and my clumsiness with coffee some mornings. So it ended up over $600. Ouch.

Oh well, I didn’t owe anything on my credit cards. I like to pay things off before I start with something else. And what fun is life if you’re always in pain?

Picked up my MRI:

While I was out that way I picked up my MRI that never got sent to the doctor and took it to his new office. Then I picked up my favorite Chinese food for two nights at the lunch rate. The restaurant was located less than a block from the doctor’s office.

I always get it before the lunch rate is over at 4 p.m. and heat it up in the Breville at suppertime.

So that’s what I did for my birthday. Oh, and stopped at Walgreens to get a new ice pack for my neck and back. At night I first apply ice and a shiatsu massager to my neck and back that I got at Bed, Bath & Beyond a few years ago, then heat. When the massager wears out, I get a new one. They’re about $49.

If I didn’t use all these things for my neck and back every night while I read, I would never be able to sleep. I sure hope this bed, pillow and recliner help me out. I’m out of answers for this dilemma.

Then went home:

Came home to two hungry critters. I gave Charlie a Composure pill before I left to try to keep him calm. But boy was he excited to see mom come through the door.

As soon as I was inside the phone rang and it was the Breast Cancer Foundation, so I gave a contribution. I hate to think of all the women out there who get breast cancer. I’ve been lucky thus far and am grateful for that.

Ivy Stunt:

Last night Ivy got in trouble for pawing the thing out that I use to keep her from putting her springy toys under the washing machine. Which for some reason she delights in doing. It looks like a pool noodle (I think that’s how that’s referred to).

Nathan gets them in the packing materials when he orders water heaters and gives them to me.

I’ve been trying to train Ivy not to paw those out from under the washing machine so her toy doesn’t get under there. But she can’t seem to help herself. She both likes to paw the thing out and also put her toys under the washing machine.

Why, I’m always thinking, does she want to do these things?

I keep a spray bottle of water nearby because I hate having to roll that heavy washing machine out to retrieve her toys. It kind of upsets me to spray her. But it also upsets me to have to keep moving the washing machine out. It’s a bit of both I guess.

Then because there’s not a lot of space I take my yard stick and reach behind and get the toy.

When she was younger, the water spray didn’t seem to bother her. But now it does.

She took off running and stuck her head under a piece of furniture. I had to laugh. Her big body was sticking out. Just her head was hidden and she was very still. She thought I couldn’t see her.

Then I felt kind of bad and talked to her using a tone of voice letting her know that all was okay. She’s so silly, but also very sweet. My funny bunny Ivy Lou.

This morning when I laid down on my yoga mat Ivy flopped over on her back next to me. I guess she wants to learn yoga stretches.

Friday Frugal Tips:

How about we discuss frugal crafting and DIY’s on Friday? Several of you have mentioned it. And it’s quite different from any other topics we’ve focused on.

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109 Comments

  1. Happy Belated Birthday, Brenda! Your bed sounds wonderful. I’m eager to hear how it goes. It’s been on my list for a while. Keep us posted!!

  2. Happy belated Birthday! I’m glad you bought yourself a few new items and I love my recliner and I hope that will help your neck as it will give some support. Ivy I think enjoys engaging you in helping retrieve her toys; it’s all about Miss Ivy! Charlie looks cute as a bug.

    I’m looking forward to today’s frugal tips!

    Carol and Molly
    xoxoxo

  3. I really hope the new bed and recliner give you some relief, Brenda! The leather chairs in my living room are recliners – but I like the fact that they don’t really look like it. I love the stories you tell about silly Ivy – what a little crackpot she is!! Molly is the crackpot in our house – she’s so silly, she makes me laugh daily.

  4. I asked when your birthday was this month, & you didn’t say! That’s one way to elicit birthday wishes, put it in your blog. Never saw so many comments! Happy birthday, older sister. ? ….yawn.

  5. A belated Happy Happy Birthday, Brenda!!!!!

    Just a thought. Have you asked any of your doctors if they would prescribe your bed, pillows, and chair. These are not just simple luxuries in your case due to the severity of your pain and discomfort. It wouldn’t hurt to ask because then they might be deductible since they are part of your medical needs.

  6. Happy belated birthday! I’m glad to read that you’ve bought some items that you needed.

    On another topic, did you have a list of recommended bloggers? You’ve cut back on how often you’re posting, and some others I read only post when they have a new product to sell. It isn’t a frugal topic, but maybe one of the Friday topics could be favorable blogs.

    1. Do you mean various genres of bloggers? I already have that at the top of the page and it’s called Lovely Reads. Click on that and you will find all kinds of bloggers, frugal ones included, in links you just click on to visit.

      1. Yes, that’s what I was looking for. Thanks! And I meant to type favorite blogs for a possible Friday post, not favorable.

  7. Brenda, please watch your credit card. I assume you made your donation to the Breast Cancer Foundation by credit card. How do you know anyone soliciting by phone is legitimate? Scammers co-op real organizations names to lure you in to revealing credit card numbers. Sorry we have to be so careful, but they called you and not that you initiated the contact.

      1. I was worried a bit about that. I only made a $20 donation. But they hung up before I could ask them to send me a confirmation email. I might have just blundered there.

  8. Happy birthday, Brenda. Glad your day was so good and so productive too. Love the idea of a new recliner and bed. Hope it alleviates your pain. Love to see Charlie and Ivy’s pictures. Stay well.

  9. Happy belated Birthday Brenda! I’m glad you were able to purchase some things that will hopefully help with your pain. I’m not sure if you’ve thought about it but wanted to mention that a recliner can be dangerous for a cat. I had to get rid of ours because one of our two cats would run under it as soon as she saw it go up and I was always afraid she would get hurt. Maybe you can use the spray bottle to train Ivy to not go under it!

  10. Good for you, Brenda, for giving yourself some treats on your birthday! I hope this is the beginning of a most happy year for you and one in which you get major relief from the pain you’ve been suffering. I so hope your new bed and recliner will help enormously.

    I have been looking for a recliner for months but I just can’t find a smallish one–not one of the big, puffy ones you describe–in a color I like at the price I can afford. They are all drab colors like grey, brown, black, etc. I have a grey couch and a light green and ivory wing chair in my LR and I need something brighter–not red, however! I know you love red, but that would clash with my turquoise and berry-colored rug! Although, maybe a dark red wouldn’t, but I just don’t want to go in that color direction. I’ll just keep looking ’til I find what I want. OR, I’ll give up and go with grey!

    The picture of Ivy that you posted today is hilarious. I’m sure she is just stretching and yawning but she looks frighteningly ferocious like she is yowling loudly and preparing to pounce on her prey. And what a little stinker she is to keep pawing that foam strip out from under the washer. Never a dull moment, right?

    Glad you got those Xrays delivered to the doctor. Maybe now he’ll have some helpful information for dealing with your the pain in your neck and arms and hands when you see him. I sure hope so.

    Give some pats to Charlie and Ivy Lou and a hug to yourself. I hope your bed gets delivered soon and that it will help you to get a good night’s sleep.

  11. Happy Birthday Brenda. Sounds like you had a wonderful day shopping. So happy you were able to find a bed that will help your pain. I need a new bed also so may check them out.

    So cute pictures of Ivy Lou playing in the box with Charlie looking on.

    Looking forward to Frugal Friday.

    1. I’m not crazy about shopping. Which is why I try to get a lot of it done at once. Now I’m rethinking the recliner because of Charlie’s little dirty paws. I’m going to go back today and look it over again.

  12. I am so happy you had a good birthday. The best gifts are those we give ourselves, then we get exactly what we want. Enjoy 62, my 73rd is breathing down my neck. Your babies are both beautiful

  13. Happy birthday Brenda! I hope your new mattress helps! It’s time we got a new one, too. Be interested in what you think of it!! Enjoy your evening!!

  14. Love that photo of Ivy with her back up! And I would still be laughing over her hiding her head…not funny, but funny! I do hope the new pillow and bed help you feel better. I hate that you had to go to the doctor on your birthday…not fun at all, but ordering a new bed with hopes of pain relief is a good birthday gift to yourself! Love and hugs!

  15. Happy Birthday, Brenda! I’m so glad that you bought yourself a nice bed, pillow, and chair. Those have made a big difference in taking care of my neck pain and I hope that you will, too. And Chinese food is a good thing, too!

      1. That’s exactly the conclusion I came to. Back in the day, the doctor prescribed physical therapy, but that came to an end after a couple of months. Then, I was on my own at that point. I did yoga for nine years and a year of Alexander Technique. AT’s premise is that we continue to injure ourselves by the way we move and rest, and we can be taught to move more efficiently. I only do these things now when I have a flare up.

  16. Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Brenda!! Glad you got those items. We have a sleep number. But we also got a topper from Costco to put on it not too long after we got it. Hubby seemed ok without that, but my hips are not good and that was the ticket. Now, all is well. I LOVE my recliner. Mine cost a bit more as I got one for short folks…tis not comfortable enough for me in a regular sized one. But I am rather picky about taking care of it too. Hubby has his own. His vibrates and makes heat. I have sat in his a time or 1 but for me, mine is just nice. I have been sleeping in it recently as my cold has made it too hard to lay down. I feel as we age, that these items are not a luxury but a necessity. So we can function so well as we can!! Great ideas for a birthday (well, except the doc part…argh!!) Chinese food…my fav!!

  17. Blessed belated birthday, Brenda! I love how you combined things for the home WITH self-care !!! …. Question: when I went to purchase a new bed several years back now, I was told there was a fee for the environmental disposal of my old mattress and box spring – until they realized that I lived in an apt bldg, with a handy-dandy dumpster, and they could just chuck it in there ;- Did you encounter anything like that???

  18. happy birthday brenda. what an amazing gift. we have been using a raised bed ( not a sleepnumber) for 1 1/2 now and I just love it was pricey but a small price to pay considering the amount of time we are in our beds and what havoc a bad mattress can do to our bodies. good luck with your bed.

  19. Happy Birthday ! Hope the bed, pillow, and recliner help with your pain. Love your fur babies, really enjoy seeing the pictures of them. Thank you for donating to breast cancer, I appreciate it, I’m an 11 year survivor 🙂

  20. Happy belated birthday. I’m curious to hear what you think of the bed. I doubt we’d be able to get one. We live in an old house. I don’t think it would be able to go up the stairway the way it’s configured. I must be the only person that can not get comfortable in a recliner. I feel like a turtle stuck on its back. Maybe the smaller size would work better for me? It can be awkward getting comfortable to read. I don’t know why. It didn’t used to seem that way. I agree why are the majority of the recliners so huge and puffy? They seem to say get me a beer and bag of chips.

    1. Kathy, one reason we got our sleep number is that it comes in PIECES…and was the only bed for 2 that we could fit in our upstairs apt with teeny stairways, at that time. Very lightweight. We simply opened the big delivery box downstairs, took the pieces upstairs bit by bit…and assembled it. Was easily taken apart and moved to our current place too.

  21. I’m so happy that you were able to buy yourself a new bed and recliner. Can’t wait to hear your bed reviews. It’s great to splurge on ourselves every so often and you deserve it. Sounds like you had a lovely day. I sent you birthday wishes on FB but very late as it froze on me yesterday.

  22. Brenda,

    Happy Birthday. I’m hoping your new bed and recliner will give you some much needed relief. Also, thank you for the breast cancer support. That means a lot to me.

    Susan

    1. I sure hope it was the right place calling me. I’d just rushed in the door and didn’t have all my thoughts collected yet. At any rate, I gave a small pledge. $20

  23. Happy Belated Birthday to you! And what a way to treat yourself — doctor visit and blood tests. You sure know how to party! Actually, what a wonderful gift to yourself — keeping yourself as healthy as possible.

    I know you will let us know how the new mattress, pillow, and recliner work for you. We are all hoping that these purchases allow you to live with less pain. And you will provide Charlie and Ivy with new furniture to explore. At least you treated yourself to Chinese food.

    Take care and have a wonderful afternoon. Looking forward to Friday’s post.

  24. Happy birthday Brenda! Glad you are doing what you need to to take care of the neck pain. I have neck pain from whip lash injuries from many years ago and now the arthritis that the physical therapist predicted has set in. I have been thinking about a recliner but like you I dislike the size of them. I will be interested to hear if the new chair helps your neck pain. The neck pain makes it difficult to read a book or work on the computer. I hope that you have found relief from your pain in the neck!

  25. Happy Birthday Brenda! I am so glad you treated yourself to something you need for yourself. Beds and pillows are important to your health. Glad you had a good day!

  26. I wished you a happy birthday on FB yesterday but I don’t know if you saw it…sooo…happy birthday to you here, too! You’ll have to let us know how you like your sleep number bed. We’ve been thinking of getting one, too. Our mattress is only 3 years old and a good one. It’s from Verlo – top of the line. But every morning my lower back and sometimes hips are in so much pain, I can barely walk. We’ve already had the bed adjusted once (you can send it back and have them back it softer or harder), I’ve tried sleeping with a pillow between my legs (that only works part of the night until you end up throwing the pillow across the room), and now we have a memory foam topper which doesn’t help either.

    I’m concerned about your high blood pressure. Yes, it can be a little higher because of pain. But still…esp with two different medications, that is not good. I don’t know if you’ve read my recent blog post, but I just did one on healthy eating and ironically enough, talked about blood pressure. I have a new dr and he’s working with me on keeping mine low and of course, a lot of it comes down to the food you’re eating. I can guarantee you, Brenda that if you start eating whole/real food instead of fast food and pre-packaged “food” (that’s not really food…just a bunch of chemicals), your BP will go down. Chinese food is loaded with sodium – which raises blood pressure. I know you don’t like to cook, but when your health is on the line, sometimes you have to do what it takes to get well – and there are easy, healthy things to cook! You can take a chicken breast and cut it in strips or chunks and stir-fry it in some olive oil or avocado oil with a bunch of veggies. If you like that chinese food taste, season it with a sprinkle of low-sodium soy sauce or better yet, coconut aminos (soy is highly GMO plus a hormone disruptor) and even a little squeeze of fresh orange juice. Simple and delicious!

    As far as Ivy batting her toys under the washing machine, my cats love to bat toys under the stove and fridge. It’s amazing how many toys we find when we move the fridge to vacuum behind it or the coils. Squirting her with water isn’t going to do any good – it’s just what cats do. Maybe there’s some kind of barrier you can put up in front of the machine…a piece of wood like a 2×4? Or even a screen. Talk to Nathan and see what he can come up with.

    Take care of yourself and be well, my friend!

    1. Yes, I saw it on FB. Thank you. Oddly enough my daughter had a doctor’s appointment and had the same results. BP somewhat elevated and had lost a few pounds. It runs in the family.

  27. Happy ? Birthday ? Brenda! Glad you treated yourself to some nice things that hopefully will bring you comfort and pain relief.

  28. Happy belated,Brenda.And blessings for many more!
    Good for you,getting necessities taken care of,hope the mattress,pillow and recliner help,not much worse than living in pain!
    I do the same thing with Chinese food…all my faves are on the lunch menu:)
    That picture of little Miss Mischief in the box is adorable,my 2 don’t pay any attention to boxes or bags…weirdos,lol.
    The queen of quilts on her throne,is she yelling or yawning?

    Just asking because my tuxie has an opinion on everything,I’ve starting calling her the boss.
    It’s freezing in N.Y.S. today,we’re supposed to get some snow and ice,yuck.

    1. I don’t have any problem buying on the lunch menu, then refrigerating it until suppertime. Then I put it in my Breville Smart oven and crisp and heat it right up.

  29. Happy Birthday and I hope you love your new bed and chair as much as I love mine. I have had my bed about 5 years now and can tell you it made a world of difference to me. over the years i have increased the number but it’s still working for me. I’m shopping round for a new recliner, mine is over 10 years old and it’s time for a new one. It is a lazy boy and is the best recliner i have had. it’s a small one to fit women and I can have a very comfy nap in it daily. My bed doesn’t have the adjustable head but that’s fine with me. My hips, back and neck (with foam pillow for the neck support) have improved and let me get a good nights sleep. I can only sleep on my right side since I dislocated my shoulder and tore the rotator cuff off. Best for side sleeping.

  30. Hi Brenda,
    Happy Birthday. You will love the sleep number bed. We have had one for about 5 years now and love ours. With having fibromyalgia which is worse in my neck and shoulders this bed is so great. I think you will find it to be most helpful.
    Kris

    1. I almost looked into them three years ago. I’ve just had my mattress for three years! But it’s doing my neck and back in. He told me these last 25 years and sometimes the components have to be replaced, but not the bed. At any rate you get about 100 days to try it out. If you want another, they’ll get it for you.

  31. Happy Birthday, Brenda!
    When I retired the first thing I bought was a recliner. I just could never get comfortable reading on the sofa or a regular chair. Now I have the recliner and a lap desk that holds my book or my kindle and I’m in reading heaven.

    Frugal Fridays, I’ll never tire of learning new recipes and meal ideas for those on a budget. Hope these remain a regular part of the rotation.

  32. Happy birthday! I hope the bed will work for you. And the recliner. I can’t sit in a recliner because of back issues but I love how comfortable they are.

    Grace & Peace,
    Pam

  33. Belated birthday wishes, Brenda! !

    It appears you had a delightful and fun birthday! Treating yourself to things that will improve your well being is a very good thing. Can’t wait to hear all about them once they arrive in your cozy home.

    Enjoy your day with your fur babies, Charlie and Ivy!

  34. Happy Birthday, Brenda. That Ivy is a busy young lady. I’m sorry I don’t remember, but I think the reason that you didn’t put anything in front of the washer was because you have to move it. Couldn’t you put those big pool noodles around and tucked in the bottom to prevent things from going under there? Like a flexible wall? Or would Ivy use her nails to pull them out? Just a thought.

  35. Happy Birthday.
    I am curious to know if your mattress will adjust to a sitting position? It sounds like a wonderful investment for you.
    Have been following you for a long while – since Texas. I’m glad things are going well.
    We have a new kitty too – saved from the rough city streets and happy to be in a nice warm home.
    Patricia

    1. No, it isn’t that kind. It’s one big mattress because it’s full and I live alone. It just has all the different settings I think. It was the cheapest so I don’t think it has much of the frills. I wasn’t spending $3000-$4000 on a mattress/bed.

  36. Happy Birthday, Brenda from another February birthday gal! And I so hope that your new bed, pillow, and recliner contribute to much improved health. Pain is an awful thing to deal with and I think you’re very brave about it.
    Love Ivy’s love of life, ‘though wish she could get over that putting toys under the washer! Keep on with the spritzing, it may teach her not to do that little trick.
    Mary

  37. That sounds like a great birthday, Brenda. Good for you for spending a bit of money on things that really are necessities (not just to have something new). I hope the bed and pillow both work out great.

    I am glad you got a recliner, too. It always amazes me how when you add a new piece of furniture to the place the piece looks huge until your eyes adjust to seeing it there. I don’t think there are many “pretty” recliners-although at one time LazyBoy made a wing chair that was mid-sized and looked nice.

    I always love your stories about Ivy. Kitties are so cute. Have a great Wednesday-xoDiana

  38. Happy Birthday, Brenda! Looks like you had a nice day and got some goodies for youself. Way to go!

    Yes, I know from experience that pain does increase your blood pressure — sometimes quite a bit. I have chronic back and neck pain and even my doctors now know that if I’m in the midst of a bad spell my pressure will be up. I take my own blood pressure daily and track it so I don’t worry about it.

    Hope your enjoy your new recliner and that the new bed will bring you some relief so you can sleep. Blessings for you in the coming year.

  39. What a good birthday. I hope the bed and recliner help. I’ve been thinking about getting a recliner instead of sitting on my couch which doesn’t support my back even with pillows. Ivy is a cat and cats are going to do what they want…end of story. So we human’s just have to love them and gently (spray bottle) discourage them from behaviors we don’t like.

  40. Happy Birthday Brenda! Sounds like you had a busy day! Enjoy the new bed and recliner. After a career sitting at a computer, my neck and back were killing me. Much better after several months not dealing with that stress. Hugs to all.

  41. Hope you have a wonderful birthday week! New bed and recliner sound like good purchases. Hope they will help……Alice

  42. Happy Birthday! It sounds as if you had a busy day and then of course had a wonderful greeting upon your arrival back home. My in-laws have that bed and they love it! My MIL has terrible back and neck pain and she said it has helped a lot, so let us hope that you have the same luck.

    Have a great day!

  43. Happy Birthday Brenda!! I am so happy you are getting the new bed and recliner!! Chinese food sounds like a wonderful birthday dinner!! Loves to you and precious Charlie and precious Ivy Lou!!

  44. Happy (belated) Birthday, Brenda! The photos of Charlie and Ivy from your post on the 18th are the most adorable ever. I hope your new furniture and pillow will help alleviate some of your pain. Best wishes.

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