Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

Happy New Year!!I don’t really do resolutions just goals and ideas. I mean, we all want to eat better, exercise more, live more intentionally. On and on…but we do what we do and usually set our selves up. I just write a list of things I’d like to accomplish and leave it at that.

For now its pretty simple:

  1. keep decluttering, although 90% is done. there’s always more to declutter especially when trying to redecorate or change the purpose of a space.
  2. keep walking of course, but with my new fit bit( needed to return to get the larger size) I hope to add a few miles on each week.
  3. explore 2 new areas we haven’t been to such as Yellowstone or more of the Oregon coast. we’ve been all along highway 1 on the Oregon coast, but I’d like to go back and explore it more.
  4. Get a budget in place that looks like a retirement budget and see how this works for us.
  5. Pay down the car as much as possible. even though my husband gets a reimbursement for his car, we still have the payment and I’d like to be gone.
  6. stay as healthy as possible.
  7. be frugal
  8. embrace minimalism even more!!
  9. I’m sure I’ll think of more!



JKWP update

So, on January 1st, it’ll be 954 days of walking straight. In rain, snow, freezing temperatures, some wonderful warm mornings, and sunrises….

We are 46 days from my goal of 1000 days of walking. I’m sure we will keep just keep walking but maybe not necessarily at the break of day.

So cold!

We are experiencing such cold weather here in northern california. It’s like 32 degrees and we are suppose to have some snow mix by morning. This is not normal weather for us. Yes, the mountains get snow but usually were in the 50’s even 60’s this time of year.

I really dislike the cold. Our house is small and takes a lot to keep warm because it was built without a lot of insulation. Yes, we’ve done the attic etc, but some of the walls are uninsulated.  When we remodeled after we bought this place over 20 years ago, we insulated where we could but still the house is not very efficient. All this week it’s not suppose to get above 45 in the day. Ugh!!!

tomorrow is my blood test. My CBC last week was actually great. But this is my SPEP test and free light chains, so I’m anxious about it. I haven’t felt very well overall so it makes me think that the Velcade isn’t working. Well, I guess I’ll know soon enough.

Well, tomorrow is the living room zone , for. Flylady and anything extra I can get done. All the Christmas stuff is away, and it feels good to have all over.

Our walks in the morning have been freezing. But the geese are glad to see us as my husband feeds them wild bird food.



Merry Christmas

Just a quick pop in to say Merry Christmas !

It’s a winter storm warning here, so were staying warm and cozy today.

Our traditional christmas eve dinner is fondue!

Have a merry merry day.

Oh, my Velcade shot went well, although a little weird with how the oncology nurse stabbed me with the needle. I guess he wanted to make sure it went in??? Huhhh, well, it is bruised but at lest it was quick.

Winter solstice

On my first try, it says solciste…..DUH…. it’s SOLSTICE!!!

It is the shortest day of the year, and the light will start increasing after today.

We were out walking in pouring rain. Uhh, why? well, just to keep walking.  Well, honestly, we only went around once and that was enough. Its still raining and I guess, its suppose to all day and even tonight. Its snowing in the Sierras, and hopefully my daughters drive isn’t too awful. I told her to book a hotel there, but not sure that’s what she wants to do. Maybe someone she works with will offer a room. They have in the past so….

I had my CBC blood test this am , so I should know how my platelets are tomorrow. I go Wednesday for my shot. Next week I’ll get the full blood work up and then I should know if anything has changed.

I’m reading another Wallander book today and I may download a kindle book. Not sure wha tI want to read next.

I made a turkey dinner last night complete with stuffing and gravy. Grilled tofu for the veggie. It was good and the homemade cranberry sauce really good with orange zest in it. i have lots to freeze for soup or whatever.

B is off working and will be gone overnight so I’ll make left overs for dinner or a sandwich.

We finished watching Doc Martin season 7 and it ended good. Basically alls good in Portwenn. It’s a great series especially the village of ‘Portwenn”.


So glad 2015 is over!

Its really been an awful year for me overall. Not that I’m being negative , its just starting in January with my root canal disasters. Then, that ending up as 2 tooth extractions. Then my cancer restaging  complete with X-rays, bone marrow biopsy , bence jones urine testing, on an on. Becoming refractory to Revlimid, starting Pomalyst…. Then month after month waiting for my numbers to change. No change:(  I’ve managed thru it and now i’m on the weekly VElcade. A lot of issues this year.

Then probably the worst , losing my best little job in the world, due to someone else’s stupidity. That has been the hardest, as I couldn’t understand how this happened  in the way it did. I’m still not ‘over ‘ it really. I’ve just accepted it now. But I wanted to keep working. I needed to do that and it was taken from me. All in all, out of my hands but still a life changing moment. I’ve thought of trying for another job, but I’m so limited. I can’t really work retail,

can’t really work too many hours, lift, etc. So, I think that this has been depressing for me to accept , that that’s it. If something came my way ,I’d certainly consider it but thats unlikely.

one reason I wanted to keep working was to increase y very meager SS. I never worked full time to collect a lot an this little job was helping to give me a little more. Now its stopped and won’t ever get more than the under $300 its set at. That too is difficult. How will retirement shape up..We still have a mortgage, etc, etc. So, the year had a lot of difficult things.

But theres also the good. My children are healthy as is y husband. He has a good job that gives us health insurance. He sold some of his company stock and we were able to re roof our house and take down the 2 giant trees. of course, with taxes we will be hit on that stock sale.. but it was worth getting somethings done.

I’m very grateful for many things this year,even if it was a difficult one. My cancer although active, isn’t creating a burden yet ,overall. the drugs have kept it at bay, and hopefully, the Velcade will drop my numbers in to the normal range.

So here’s to 2016 being an amazing and extraordinary year of wonder, good health, love, peace and prosperity!!


Christmas memories

Oddly, I remember very little of my childhood and even less of any particular Christmas. I do remember one when I must have been 11 or 12. I wanted to ski at a NY ski resort and have skis. My mother did not understand these things and we were very poor, so somehow she bought these really awful wood skis,( I know now were cross country skis). I was devastated as well, ‘what the hell am I going to do with these’? I vaguely remember a christmas after that my most often not present alcoholic father, came back from working on the Alaska pipeline. I remember a christmas tree in the house and maybe a doll?

Oh, I do remember my grandmother, who lived at that time in the Bronx, coming to our shabby abode, with a pillow case of christmas goodies. Cant remember anything exact, but I remember waiting for her at the end of our long road.

BUT, I remember every Christmas since then with B starting in 1969, when we werent even married yet and then everyone from that point forward. I made a big deal of christmas for my 2 children, undoubtedly , compensating for my own lack of. It was never fancy stuff, as we were in to waldorf education, never had any money,so it was natural wood toys, etc. But, I made sure there was pretty decorations, lovely,mostly vegetarian food and magic…..

Santa,(my husband) would be down there (in the front room) putting out stuff at 4 am. My daughter, then my son ,would be up very early to see it all. I truly loved it and loved being able to do that for my kids. Both my children remember things from when they were 3 or younger. I’m amazed at that considering how little I remember. Its like my life really started when I meet B and we started our life together. We didn’t even have our daughter till we’d been married 15 years and I was 33. So, we certainly did things a little different.

Anyway, good memories of our last 45 years together. This year still lots of nice memories, especially going out to get the tree in South Lake Tahoe…

Cancer isn’t cheap!

Whats the Real Price Tag Cost Expense Investment

What’s the Real Price ?

Many of my drugs over the years have been enormously expensive. Revilimd and Pomalyst are oral drugs that cost over $10,000 a month for 21 pills. Fortunately, we have very good insurance and low copay. But for many they still have high copays for what ever reason.

Now I’m on a weekly subcutaneous shot called Velcade. Again, these drugs are enormously expensive, and thankfully we have insurance through my husbands work. But, theres always the hidden costs, of gas to get there, copay prescriptions, life stuff .

So after thinking about this for about a year, I asked my tech savy daughter to put a donate button on my blog. WHY? you might ask.

Well, having cancer and doing treatments isn’t just about the drugs etc. Its the gas to get to appointments, the copays, the unexpected things. For instance, the last year in February, I had a bone marrow biopsy as part of my restaging to see what my plasma cells were. Well, let me tell you BMB are really, really painful even with the lidocaine they give you in the bone. So, I asked for conscious sedation and to have the new “drill” used. Okay, all good. We were told OOP around $400. Well the procedure ( 30 minutes, while pretty wonderful as you remember absolutely nothing), was $12,000. then we were hit with a 20% copay of $3000. So its always the unexpected.  Then as part of this whole what do I do next, we flew up to Seattle to the Seattle Cancer Alliance Center to see a myeloma specialist. Out of pocket, $2000. yes, we didn’t have to go , but somewhere here I needed to see a specialist and get his opinion. Fortunately his opinion was keep doing what were doing. Although I think recommended doing cyborg ,which is cytoxan, velcade, and dex. So we’re not doing that now.

Anyway, I know its tacky to have a donate button on here and it does feel weird, but hey a dollar here a dollar there may help pay for my weekly gas, or even lease that car when I’m driving myself in a few months. Anyway, there it is and and hopefully i’m not offending anyone.

I’ve been working with WordPress on there blogversity course and its been helpful to look at my blog in a different way.

I really do love meeting amazing people from around the world and reading their stuff and seeing their pictures. I do need to do more with picturesI think.

Anyway, just an update since you will see the donate button on the top right.

Just rolling along!

Yesterday was my 3rd Velcade shot. Still its not too bad to go to Sacto. I’m still looking into a lease car for when I start going by myself. Not sure if we can afford to, but I think we will at least check it out. I can drive the 2000 vw but its 16 years old and not sure I quite trust it or I can drive my 1999 dodge caravan, 17 years old 147,000 miles. So….. I will think about for the beginning of next year. It would appear I’ll be on Velcade( figuring it will bring my numbers down), or some other IV in the future so…

Heres a shot of me looking like “Elf” wandering around looking for a christmas tree in the snow.IMG_0380Ha, Ha or Ho Ho!!

this was our Forest service $10 tree permit I’ve wanted to do forever..!! Of course, this adds to my forest of trees in the very small house. What is it with me and christmas trees. ??? Not very minimalistic, but somehow it works.

Today, I have my little koffee klatch with the friends of Applegate Library. I still haven’t even been in to the library. Fortunately, my librarian daughter gets me all my books from her branch.  My absolute favorite right now is Henning Mankell  And the Kurt Wallander series. He was a really great writer. I love the setting in Sweden.

B is headed down to Costco for wine for his accounts as Christmas gifts. So, i’ll have him pick up a few things like butter and cream.

Then he’ll pop over to Trader Joes and  get a few more things I like to get there.

We are in for cloudy rainy weather for over a week. Ugh, I need sun and warm weather. Hawaii anyone. Sure ,If you can afford it.

I’m going to work on our goals for 2016, financial and home improvements and personal.