Random thoughts and other things…

I wonder why some people stop blogging. I follow some great bloggers in the UK and in Wales. When I clicked on the blogs they follow most of them no longer blog. They seemed quite successful and nicely laid out so one wonders did a life event or spam stop them cold in their tracks.  I think blogs evolve because you change and so does your world. Children grow up, some people have illnesses, etc. Anyway, just some random thinking.

Yesterday, I made it to the gym and it was not crazy busy but still somewhat busy. The 10am slot must be the busiest since most people are out and about plus there are 2 classes still going on at that time. I like to go around 10:15 am but I may bump it out to 11 am as most people are leaving then. ( another random thought)

Today I’m home doing some house things and cooking. I have 12 large potatoes in the oven to make double stuffed potatoes. This will make about 9 halves that I can freeze for easy dinners. Then later I plan on making a turkey roast and will have one or two of the baked potatoes with that. Earlier this week I made Maine Baked beans from Mavis over at 100 dollars a month

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the recipe again so maybe it’s in an old post.

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Basically, you have to soak the navy beans overnight and then cook for an hour or two before putting in the oven. I only did an hour and it really did need another one. But then you bake in a dutch oven for @ 6 hours. It really was delicious. It’s not an easy on the table meal but great for a rainy weekend. I like her recipe since it didn’t add bacon which the veggie can’t have. But I added Adelle’s chicken sausage on the side.

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Tomorrow I have the jury deliberations. I’m on the fence with it so I guess I’ll hear what other people say. I hope we’re out by noon.

other random things…

I checked the Cobra and the medical was canceled so that’s good. I still need to call and find out how we get a card so we can use the Vision and Dental?? Always something to call and check on.

We also made the decision to postpone Yosemite with the Norovirus so maybe we’ll try again in March.

Simple Sunday

It’s still cloudy and chilly here in Northern California. There was a big storm that came thru Wednesday and Thursday with I 80 getting closed due to spin-outs. The temperatures are supposed to go into the mid50’s and low 60’s next week so that’s better.

When it’s this chilly which is all relative, I don’t wander around outside much but I’ve decided to start doing at least 15 min outside even if it’s just raking.

Of course, I walk most mornings very early and it’s quite freezing. Literally 32 degrees, but somehow that’s just my MO.

I’ve had jury duty this week and I go one day next week. It’s all quite interesting but for me, with my IBS, I get quite nervous about bathroom access. I did fine because I didn’t eat in the morning.  I’m keeping track of what I’m eating to see what, if any, pattern there is. Plus I am somewhat claustrophobic so being confined to the jury room is a little stressful.  But I made it along with 12 others.

I’m definitely not used to being out all day and that was very stressful. My daughter made dinner both nights so that was nice.

I canceled the medical part of the Cobra so hopefully, that went thru as you do it by email. It takes up to 7 business days to reflect so I’ll be checking the online site. We did request to keep the dental and vision at least until I get that covered by something else. What do other people do? Is it AARP that has a separate dental plan and what about vision?

B was also able to get the very last of his 2019 SDI because we had the doctor say he was still disabled. It wasn’t a lot but it will certainly help.

We went to Costco and did some grocery shopping and filled the car up with Costco gas.

I read that there has been a norovirus at Yosemite from mainly people eating at the Ahwahnee so now we are decided to probably not go since we cannot even risk B getting something like that as it could activater his GvsH.  we have some time to think about it but there are other places we can go. We’ll see…..

I didn’t get to the gym today so I will go tomorrow.

 

Midweek musings

We lost another chicken yesterday. It was one of our black and white ones. I looked all over for feathers but nada. I’m guessing it was the fox since he’s coming nightly to try and get compost( it’s closed). But foxes do hunt in the day. It always makes me sad to lose one. Now there are only 4. We aren’t planning on getting chickens this year but maybe next. I think we all need a break from the daily chicken routine. But I do love having chickens though and they eat bugs and keep snakes away. Still, the morning and night routines do get old and we have to lock them up as the raccoons would get in their pen.

I’m still checking daily on jury duty but there are 2 more days and last time I did get called on Friday which was weird.

There’s still a lot of uncertainty with things financially and with B finally giving his resignation. We think now that the long term disability we were counting on for the next 5 months won’t happen since he will be retired from UNFI. He’s still medically unable to work but because he will have left UNFI by Feb 1st we think they will say that’s that then.  Has anyone had this happen or been in a similar situation and still was able to get the long term disability? Hartford has tried everything not to pay and succeeded so I’m guessing they will win on this one too.

Some good news is though Merck, the drug company, approved B getting the Tier 5 drug Noxafil for free. That would have been an initial $2000 approx for the first month. I think it was @ 1750 or around that. So that is great news.

With that being resolved we can now drop the Cobra and just do Medicare and supplementals. It’s kinda scary giving up the Cobra but really it’s been a royal PITA. Especially the prescription part.  The one thing I need to check is if we can keep the Cobra for just the dental and vision. Before with the other provider, we could but as of January 1st, the provider changed. Actually, that’s when the issues with the prescription part started happening.

So still lots of things up in the air.

Simple Sunday

Well, let me say right off the bat, today is not that simple and yesterday was a crisis.

Everything was fine until B put clothes in the dryer and then there was a loud pop. In the house, all the lights, appliances, space heaters were flashing. It wasn’t good.

My daughter ran out to make sure B wasn’t electrocuted and to turn off the power. He went to the main switch and turned off the laundry room but the house was still blinking everywhere. He turned off the main power to the house. All the power protector surges were fried. In fact, the one in my office area was smoking and melted.

THIS WAS NOT A GOOD SIGN. My daughter thought maybe it was something in our wiring but I didn’t think so.

After regrouping, he called PGE and in about an hour the repairman showed up. After checking lines to the house, he determined the main power line had come loose and caused the surges. He fixed it.

We lost the dryer, one space heater, the radio/record player and I think that’s it. Fortunately, we didn’t lose the TV, refrigerator, etc.

So today, we have to go buy a dryer and install it. Actually, I think B is going to take our son and go to Lowes. I ordered online so it’s just a matter of picking up at Will Call.(  I hope)!!!

So now to a Simple Sunday.

  • we have a nice chicken and wild rice soup for dinner plus a lentil soup for the veggie:)
  • I’m going to the gym and do some weights and treadmill
  • tidy the house and do the bathroom zone( Flylady zone for the week)
  • read, read, read…..I’ve read about 6 books in the last 3 weeks. This one is the new one in The Girl with the dragon tattoo series. The writer who took over is quite good. I also read the new Jack Reacher, Blue Moon, the new Anne Hillerman, The Tale Teller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz,  ( very sad but truly excellent), James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, also superb and shocking stuff about Trump( what an idiot). I also read a couple MC Beaton’s Agatha Raison books.
  • walked this morning at 6:30 am and there was a nice, big moon.

This week I am on call for jury duty. I checked Friday and it said to check again. I really hope I get passed on.

A nice little getaway

We left for Chico around 9:30 am. It was drizzling here but by the time we were heading up Hwy 99, the skies were clearing. A nice drive up.

We made good time and arrived just when I thought we would in time for lunch.

We had soup and a sandwich at the Tin Roof bakery and it was, as always, yummy. I  bought a loaf of their delicious sourdough to bring home. Then we cruised the upscale Salvation Army and then walked into downtown Chico. I was hoping to buy some closed in Birkenstocks but they didn’t have the soft sole in the style I wanted.  We checked out the bookstore too.

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One fun thing we did was walk around CSU chico, which was empty since it’s Winter break. Then we went into the Chico museum and had a lovely walk around.

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We checked into our room around 2 pm and relaxed. Around 4 we went down to the bar and had chardonnay wine and had a nice time just chatting about stuff.

We headed to the Red Tavern for our dinner reservations around 5:30. It’s a cozy place and fancy but not super fancy. Just right.

I had the Prix fix dinner of chicken scallopini, salad, and desert. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a good vegetarian option except for quinoa something so B had a lovely mushroom soup and a house salad with bread.  All in all really terrific.

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The next morning we had a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel although I thought it was free. We had a voucher so we ended up paying an additional $12. I guess that’s pretty cheap for two breakfasts.  Then we headed over to the Trader Joes since I thought it would be clever to do my weekly shopping there. I didn’t get everything I needed like some meat but other than that it was good.

Neither one of us wanted anything to eat so we headed out and took the more country way back home. Tons of migrating birds in the rice fields. This is where Lundberg Farms has many of their rice fields. If you know the brand, then that’s where some of the rice comes from.

Travel plans

Now that Christmas and NY are over, it’s back to my regular things.

I’m already planning some trips for us and what I’ve lined up so far is

  • Chico to stay at the Diamond Hotel( a restored old hotel) and dinner at the Red Tavern which is kinda fancy.
  • Yosemite and a stay at the Ahwahnee which is on my bucket list. Plus I’d never go to Yosemite during the tourist season. We did that camping when our kids were young and it was busy but not insanely so as it is now. We’re staying only one night due to the cost factor. It should be about a 3 1/2 hour drive so quite doable.
  • I still need to book the dates for Santa Barbara. I’m thinking early March which should be lovely down there. This will be 3 nights as it is too far just for 2 nights. Although we might just stay 2 nights and then the other night in Monterey as that’s about the half waypoint. ( it is a long drive)
  • April, I’m hoping we can get into New Brighton Stat beach and will look at that this weekend actually. It always books out that time of year so I don’t know yet.
  • Update on New Brighton. Just made a reservation for April so we’re set there. It’s after Easter and there were only a few spots with 3 nights. So I took one.
  • May has nothing, maybe camping?
  • June -nothing yet. Everything at nevada beach is booked:(
  • July we usually stay home
  • August nothing yet

The rest is open and I’ll see where we are.

 

Simple Sunday

It’s been a nice week although weird again with the holiday in the middle of the week. I kept thinking Thursday was Monday. Oh well, it seems that we’re back on course and today is Sunday.

We did a shop a Costco on Friday and didn’t overdo it. I bought extra coffee and TP so we won’t need to ‘run’ down there for those things. We are eyeing a new TV though. Ours is about 8 years old and still works but the sound quality isn’t the best. There are some sales for the super bowl so if I think we can swing it, I will.

B’s last SDI was this last week too. He did get a notice to have his doctor fill out a form about not returning to work, so I’m not sure if they would extend his benefits to use up the little he has left or if it’s just paperwork. What I read is the maximum award is 12months, so we’ll see. We’ll try and do that next week although he sees his doctor on Tuesday and I’m sure it won’t be in the mail by then.

This month will be the big test of how we do without the SDI. I know it’s going to be an adjustment. But at least we have no big bills in January just the car tags for the old van. Still, that’s $150. I have been saving quite a bit of the SDI so that I know I won’t be adding to the savings.

Also, we had to call on his Cobra as, just as expected, the Noxafil prescription came in at$1200.  This amount was the Medicare Part D prescrpiton plan that I’m not planning on using that’s why we’re paying the Cobra amount. I am not paying that much money when last month it was 0.00 co-pay.  So he called and the Cobra payment letter was just going out. So we did it online and then now we have to wait for it to get activated by the prescription plan. After that, we still don’t know what the co-pay will be since we haven’t reached any yearly deductible.  It’s all unsettled right now but next week we should know and hopefully, it’ll be resolved.

Plus we know that within a few months Noxafil will be reduced or eliminated so then we will cancel the Cobra and just use the Medicare Part D as all his other drugs are Tier 2. I think it’s only Noxafil that is Tier 5. What a Fucking scam is all I have to say.

Today is a gym day and we will go for our walk shortly.

Flylady zone is the kitchen and I’ll start that today but finish tomorrow.

I made a new recipe last night from another blogger( Teresa Kasner)

She lives along the Columbia River in an old beautiful farmhouse. Her pictures are outstanding. So the recipe was for Chicken with potatoes and spinach in a creamy parmesan sauce. It was good.

This week is Clinic for Barclay and our overnight trip. Plus whatever stress with the prescription stuff comes up.:(

I started a list of projects for the year and we’ll see how far we get.

  1. to drop the wood stove to floor level so that the footprint is lower and less of an eyesore. We built the platform specifically so we wouldn’t be bending to put wood in but it does take up a lot of floor space. This won’t cost a lot except added stove pipe( which is pricey) but we won’t need a lot. And some stone for the floor. Our woodstove is quite efficient and we will keep it for a few more years. Eventually, we will put in a gas/propane stove. But that’s maybe 5 years out still.
  2. We will be replacing windows in my daughter’s room. This will be maybe @ $1000 as it will be 2 windows replacing one large one. The Anderson windows we bought last summer are great and very energy efficient. So that ended up @ $800( I think).
  3. I’d like to also replace the bathroom window. Same size but just more energy efficient. All the windows in the house we’re replaced when we remodeled but they are now 25 years old so an upgrade will be nice.
  4. I don’t think we will get to any bathroom remodel this year.
  5. I think we are going to try and redo some of the kitchen. The biggest thing is the counters and sink( pipes underneath) really need to be redone. Getting a new pantry system from Ikea will be first on the list as that will be freestanding.

There’s always garden work and yard work. That’s kinda ongoing.

Barclay’s official retirement date is January 30. That’s 25 years. It’s hard to let go of, I think, because of the way it all happened with him getting sick. But how incredibly lucky we are for modern science that has given him a new chance without cancer. Even I can’t say that, although I have been extraordinarily lucky that my Myeloma has responded to treatment. Well, it is what it is.

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This was our dinner the other night. A small piece of filet mignon and a Beyond Meat sausage( which are delicious BTW).