Free Hobbies and Vitamin D: Day 39


It appears that we have found the culprit to my fuzzy head. All my blood tests came back within the normal range except for my vitamin D test which came in well below what it was supposed to be (for those familiar, it came in at 11). This actually surprised me quite a bit because I spend so much time outside, I really didn’t think it was going to be the issue. Apparently I’ve been doing a good job (too good) at covering up and putting on sunscreen.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix (although it won’t be long-term either). I have been prescribed high dosage vitamin D pills which I have to take for 12 weeks. At the end of that time I will get my blood tested again to see if my vitamin D levels have improved. The foggy feeling will hopefully begin to disappear as my vitamin D levels rise.

I’m hoping that this is what the issue is and from a financial standpoint, it’s one of the better diagnosis that could have been made. While I will likely need to buy vitamin D supplement pills to take from now on, I’m not going to have to take expensive prescription medication or get a battery of other tests done. I feel I dodged a bullet that could have wreaked havoc to the minimum wage challenge, and I’m definitely looking forward to having a clear head in the near future.

I spent the day at the beach “glassing.” There are avid groups that hunt for sea glass (glass that has been in the ocean and tumbled around in the sand for years so that it has been worn smooth). I have a few friends that are very into this hobby and one of them asked me to go to the beach and hunt. I view any day spent at the beach as a good day, so I wasn’t too difficult to twist my arm to go.

Now, what you’re thinking and the actual reality of what avid beach glass collectors do is probably not the same. You probably assume that looking for sea glass entails people walking along the beach looking for glass that has washed ashore. This is not the case. Avid collectors don wetsuits and go into the frigid ocean waves with specially made tools searching for the sea glass:


They also spend time on the beach with shovels digging deep holes in search of sea glass:

shovel glassing

You probably didn’t realize that searching for sea glass could be quite that hardcore, but it is. While the avid collectors can spend hundreds of dollars on equipment (wet suits, gloves, special tools, special shovels, etc) to pursue their hobby, I don’t have any of it and couldn’t afford it on my current minimum wage budget. The good news is that I could get out there with a borrowed garden shovel, a lot of clothing layers on top (and a bathing suit on the bottom) and simply endure the cold water while searching.

While the whole concept may sound strange to the average person, it’s actually quite a good hobby for someone on a restricted budget to get involved with if they live near the beach. A lot can be spent on specialized equipment, but the hobby can be pursued without any of it making it virtually free. Not only can it be done for free, it can also earn the collector money (although the vast majority of collectors do it for their own private collections). Rare pieces of sea glass can sell for over $100 and there are some people who make their living by collecting sea glass. It’s a great example of how a hobby doesn’t need to cost a lot and can even make money.

After four hours of digging in the sand, these are the rarer pieces I found during the day:

sea glass

While they may not seem like much to most people, they are pretty good finds for most collectors. The orange piece is especially rare, probably the rarest piece I have ever found and it would be worth quite a bit to a jewelry maker (yes, there are artists that make jewelry exclusively out of sea glass). I didn’t keep any of it giving it all to my friend, but in return I did get treated to a wonderfully yummy lunch. I do know that I used a lot of muscles that I don’t normally use, and I have a feeling that I will be quite sore in the morning. It was still worth it.

It would have been a no spend day except that I needed to pick up the vitamin D prescription which set me back $10.

Today’s Spending

Food: $0.00
Car: $0.00
Housing: $0.00
Travel: $0.00
Health: $10.00
Misc: $0.00

Total: $10.00

Total Spending

Food: $27.89
Car: $45.00
Housing: $0.00
Travel: $0.00
Health: $565.00
Misc: $19.00

Total: $655.89

(Top photo courtesy of bradley j and sea glass photo courtesy of Bev Jacquemet)

This entry was posted in Entertainment, Health, Minimum Wage Challenge, Personal Finance and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Free Hobbies and Vitamin D: Day 39

  1. I was also diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency recently. Just wondering are you a vegetarian? My doc said it is common for vegetarians to have this?

  2. ElisabethP says:

    When it comes to vitamin D, there are some/many problems. First, it must be vitamin D3, (NOT D2).

    Then the D-vitamin has some helpers, whom are very important. So, to have the best and a working combination, it is not enough with vitamin D3. You need some magnesium, zink (I also believe that zink and selenium cannot live without eachother), vitamin A, vitamin K2, some calcium and some other minerals and vitamins.

    People with complaints of “fuzzy head” should be extremely thourogh with bloodworks, besides vitamin D3, also of thyroid function, vitamin B12 and some other things.

    Second, you have to study, read all the information yourself. Do not trust the pharmacy companies, not even all MDs can be trusted. Sorry, says a physician/MD from a country where all citizens are vitamin D-deficient in winter.

  3. creditcardfree says:

    Vitamin in relatively inexpensive…so great news! I love that sea glass, it is beautiful.

  4. CB in the City says:

    How interesting. I live near a beach; that could be a retirement hobby. No fancy equipment for me, however!

  5. Debbie M says:

    I got diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency not long after I starting using sunscreen every day. It got caught in a regular annual physical, so I didn’t get to the foggy-head stage. After the high-dose prescription, I started just taking a regular supplement (though I was not told to). And this has worked and is keeping my Vitamin D levels in a decent range.

  6. jeffrey says:

    No, I’m not.

  7. jeffrey says:

    The best places to find seaglass is in areas where there were old dumps along the coast. Some beaches have far more than others. A simple google search should help you find the best beaches to find it in your area.

  8. jeffrey says:

    I’m hoping that is what will happen with me. Fingers crossed that it ends up being being a relatively simple and inexpensive fix.

  9. jeffrey says:

    Yes, this could have turned out to be much more costly. I’ll just be happy if I don’t have the foggy head all day.

    It’s funny with the seaglass. Some people find it beautiful while others think it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. I like it, but I do it more for the challenge of the hunt (and why I give it all away)

  10. Wowitsawonderfullife says:

    I have a vitamin D deficiency as well. I really noticed a difference after about 4 months of taking a supplement. I also take a B12 supplement.

  11. jeffrey says:

    I’m hoping that the fuzziness goes away before then, but I’m assuming that it will gradually start to fade as I get my number up.

  12. Aleta says:

    There is a Vit D3 Liquid supplement made by Sundown. It has 5,000 iu and in the beginning I took 2 doses a day. Ask your Dr if you shouldn’t be on a liquid rather than a tablet. Liquid goes immediately into your bloodstream whereas a tablet has to be broken and (we hope) digested.

    I’ve read many articles that say by putting your hands out in the sun for 20 minutes a day solves a lot of these problems. We DO NEED sunlight. There are times of the day that are less harmful than others.

  13. Wendy says:

    When I was working at the reference lab 2 years ago, about half the Vit D tests gave low results- including mine. The prescription drugs got mine up to low normal within a few weeks, and now I take an OTC supplement. When you switch to the supplement, make sure it is D3. I use the gel caps, easier to swallow. Because I do not have a calcium deficiency and do have a history of kidney stones, I don’t take the supplements that have Calcium and Vit D. I also switched to a lower SPF sunscreen and tried to spend at least 15 minutes per day in the sun. I know lots of people advocate taking multiple supplements, but there are some that will make you sick if you get too much. Vitamin D is one that can cause problems at high levels.

  14. Jo says:

    Both orange and red glass are very rare and if you’re lucky enough to find those colors, yes, you will earn some decent money. I once watched a special on the science channel (is there any other?)regarding sea glass. The beach location was an inlet in the San Fran/Oakland bay area. The individual did not want to air to the host where precisely he was doing his “beach combing.” He got in there by kayaking and used, like you, very few and inexpensive tools. The wetsuit was a must. That water is downright frigid, being from San Diego myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *