Friday things and a nice birthday for me.

First, another turn around the sun. I had a lovely day and we got Panera for dinner which is a treat for us. All in all, a nice day especially with this beautiful weather. My son got me two albums by a really great artist,sarah jarosz.

I actually didn’t want anything for my birthday as we just got the truck and the RV this summer but he’s a generous son and bought it for me anyway.

As a matter of no gifts, this will be the FIRST christmas ever I don’t buy presents. I think I’m just done trying to figure out gifts for everyone and so I decided to not do any. I don’t think I’ll put up the tree either. What I will do is give both kids some money and call it good.It’ll be weird on Christmas morning because we are use to some presents but it’s a good time to start a new tradition of no gifts.

Hey, speaking of budget stuff/spending did anyone else get enormous increases in Part D prescription plans. Mine is going from $28.50 to $68 and Barclay’s is going from $26 to $71. WTF is that about?? Did I miss something about increases in Part D prescription plans??? Anyway that is going to increase our budget stuff.

I’m off to get my flu shot this morning and maybe do another Goodwill drop off. I still have a few more things to take out to buggie so I might wait till next week.

I’m still waiting on my labs which is annoying me as i still can’t get in the patient portal to see the results so I have to call. Kind of a PITA really.

I finished paying the UCD final bill from August of 2019 where B was in the month in between Medicare and Cobra. What a joke that was. The cobra was supposed to pay for all the coverage and did squat and we were still paying $700 a month. My advice is NEVER do a cobra. Well, it’s done so that’s a nice feeling. Of course our house insurance has increased, I guess, because of all the fires in California especially in our area. Well, it’s always something!!!

I have my monthly menu plan done for October so I just need to laminate it. Tonight is pizza night but I don’t feel like a pizza so I think I’ll do something with an Italian theme. We had an Ooni last week, two actually, and so that made 30 pizzas with the Ooni which at $10 a pizza paid for itself. I plan on keeping it in the garden shed so if it’s not too cold or rainy in the fall or winter we can pull it out and make some Friday night pizzas.

This was last weeks!

End of September

It’s been a good month and ending even better that we had RAIN! It was only for a few hours the other night but everything was washed off and watered. Summer has ended I think. This morning is the first woodstove fire ( we call a twinkly) because it’s just a few small logs to take that morning chill off. The kitties aren’t too sure what is going on in that”box”. I’m sure before too long they will all be underneath it to take advantage of the warmth.

I’ve had to call the bank twice about the camping refund and there is no record of it despite rec.gov saying they did the refund. So it has to be disputed. I’m not worried about it. It’ll get resolved one way or another.

I went swimming yesterday and it was still darkish when I left. Hmm… I’ll have to see if I want to still keep going that early. The pool is fine once you’re in but it definitely is cooler outside. I walked this morning and it was cool but nice.

I made black beans yesterday and have lots to freeze for soups or a black bean chili. I’m trying to build up some easy freezer meals for the next couple of months. We had one of the enchilada meals I’d froze and it was really good although most of the sauce had been absorbed so next time I’m thinking of adding more right before I cook it.

I’m waiting for my labs to come in. I’m thinking today or tomorrow. I’ll call down to Mercy tomorrow if they don’t call me. Usually my doctor is very good about getting my results to me. I am prepared that my numbers have increased but hoping it’s not anything like a big increase then I’ll freak out. ( well ,freak then accept it).

I’ve been doing a few small projects around the house. Mainly some reorganizing of pantry stuff and stuff in the closet. I did the Goodwill run the other day with the small dresser and other misc. I already have another small pile in the car but I’ll wait till there’s more to go do it.

well, that’s a wrap for me.

Frugal Friday

We are back home and had a great time in Tahoe. If you’re ever wanting to visit Tahoe, come in September. Most of the tourists are gone and it’s beautiful. Now some of this was due to the Caldor fire and lots of things cancelled/closed but in general September is amazing up there.

For B’s birthday lunch we went to Sprouts which is the main health food restaurant in South Lake. We both agreed it was so so. We’ve been there many times so maybe it was an off day. The sandwich was fair but not great. Oh well, we still had a lovely time and it was only $20 plus tip.

Here’s the 2 old people out at the beach without even combing our hair!!!!

We went to the grocery store and bought a few groceries but that was only $27 so a frugal win. We had brought most everything we needed and the fridge is so big that we had lots of room.

We should have a refund from the days we weren’t there but I haven’t seen it so I may have to call. It should be almost half of our original fee. BTW, if you get the Senior Parks pass( thru the US FS the fees at Nevada Beach and other places that are USFS and parks it is half off. That’s probably why there are so many seniors there. I mean where else are you going to go on vacation in one of the most beautiful spots in the world for $20 a night.

This toward South Lake at @ 7am.

I think this was the worst smoke toward SL Tahoe.

I went and did my labs this morning so next week I should know how much of an increase I’ve had. I wish it would level off but unfortunately that’s not the way my pattern has been.

Tomorrow, I’m excited to get back in the pool as it’s been a week. I’ll probably only do 35 minutes since it’s back to basics again at least until next week.

So, this was a very frugal week even on vacation.

This looking directly across the lake. Emerald bay is over there somewhere.

The smoke lifted as the day went on and it cleared up by afternoon.

Getting ready to go

We are getting things ready to head up to Tahoe Friday. The damn AC in the truck has stopped working just like I said it would. It wasn’t the freon. Well, now there’s nothing we can do till next week so we might as well not get too pissed off. But I think they are trying to pull a fast one on us and now that we have the warranty they have to fix it. Still a PITA to have to drop it off and so on. But on a positive note it won’t be hot in Tahoe and we certainly are not going to need AC. As a matter of fact the mornings are going to be quite cool with a low of 28.

I have most of the food organized and a menu plan done. I’m going to hit the store tomorrow for just a few things. Overall, very simple. There’s no wood or charcoal fires allowed so no Hibachi cooking or Dutch Oven. Also, no fires at night.

I’ve got a big bag of books from the used bookstore so that should fill up my days. Plus we plan on some hiking. Nothing too strenuous just some walking. We plan to not go even into South Lake because of the fire issue. (The fire is not threatening south lake but I want to stay clear anyway.

I need to get labs Friday so we will leave after that. Because we are trailering I suspect it’ll take a little longer than normal and we have to go slower too. As long as everything goes okay with the truck we should hit the campground by 1pm or so. September is lovely in Tahoe and it should be beautiful with nice days and cool nights. Barclay has a birthday next week so we might do a lunch out.

Friday things

There were lots of things this week.

I swam on Tuesday and it was good. Somewhat busy when I got there and then it lightened up. I’ll go again tomorrow. I haven’t been able to get the 3rd swim in yet but that’s ok. It is an effort to go twice a week as it is and it’s also gas money. I try and fill up at costco which is right on the way to the pool.

Then Tuesday Barclay had his video appt about his MRI. The PC doctor will refer him to a specialist because it is neurological. The nerve is being affected by the degeneration of the L 5 ( I think it was L5). Hopefully it won’t progress and some sort of physical therapy or cortisone shots will help. Who knows?? Surgery would be the very last option. I guess with spinal stenosis, it can progress where surgery is necessary.

Then Wednesday I saw Dr Laptalo. It was an ok visit. He was on call so he was 40 minutes late and seemed distracted. That’s okay, overall. My Kappa light chains are still in normal range and so is the ratio. So for now, all good. I do think my remission will be short lived and I’ll be back in treatment by Jan/ Feb. It really depends on how quickly they start rising. Last time it was slow to start and then was very rapid, doubling every month. Anyway, I’ll do labs in September and see him again in October.

After that I decided to go in to Trader Joes which is right off the freeway at Douglas so quite easy. I got lots of things like 3 boxes of tea, 4 different cheeses, milk, juice, some frozen stuff, wine, and chocolate. Oh and 2 little petite orchids.

Then yesterday B took the Santa Fe in to the dealer for the recall fix and had the oil changed. Poor thing had to wait over 3 hours. After that he went to Roseville Honda and looked at a truck and it seems it’s a winner.It’s a 2014 Chevy Silverado. Very clean and drove great he said. So actually today, we are both going to look at it and decide. It’s been quite a process figuring out what we need and want to do. We know for now, we want to keep the Santa Fe as our driving vehicle. The truck is really for towing and Home Depot/ Lowes kinds of things. Anyway, if we are committed to travel in the Rubi then this what we need to do. We also decided to donate the van to the public radio station here( well Sacramento). We all agree trying to sell for $1000 bucks isn’t worth it especially since the windows don’t go down except the drivers side and the blinkers only work sometimes. The engine is still quite powerful but overall, we’ll just see if we can donate it. Maybe they don’t even want it???

Yesterday while he did that I made jalapeno pepper jelly. It looks really good so I may open one later and try with a dab of cream cheese.

This was the last jar and it didn’t quite fill up so we’ll start with this. You can’t see the green too well but it’s a nice color of green.

Friday things

I guess we’re never going to see blue skies this summer. It’s all hazy and smoke filled from the Caldor fire over near Placerville. That’s about an hour away from us over Hwy 49. The Eldorado National forest is all closed and many parts of the Pacific Crest trail is closed. What a summer.:(

I’m going in for my labs in about 45 minutes. I should have the important tests back by next Wednesday when I see my doctor. I guess it’s just a waiting game. I have a feeling that my remission is going to be short lived but who knows. It’s just a feeling.

I went to the farm stand yesterday and bought tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, radishes, lettuce( I was surprised by that), and local bread. It came to $31. I’m okay with paying more since it is all grown right there in the fields. They actually had some lugs of tomatoes out for $20. so I may do that next week.

Last night I made a NYT recipe for corn chowder. It was delicious.

The bread was the one I bought from our local baker. The jalapenos are from our garden and we do have tons. This weekend I’ll probably do 2 more jars of refrigerator jalapenos.

I don’t plan on any grocery shopping till next week or later. I need to write a list of what I want/need to get.

I plan on swimming tomorrow as normally I’d go today but with labs that’s not happening. After my labs we’re going to look at a truck. It’s becoming clearer that we will have to have a truck to pull the Rubicon. Things are pretty high priced but I saw some used under $30K. Expensive,but there’s not a lot of choice here. So we want to check out Toyota Tundras and Chevy Silverado’s. I think that will give us a good idea of what we’re after.

Simple Sunday

Our skies are still smokey and the sun is a red orb in the sky. It did clear up yesterday afternoon but it’s back in this morning. We had a good walk though although ‘he who shall not be named was there’. My God!, He is always there. I don’t think he’s taken a day off in the last year. Even I, OCD that I am, try and take a rest day.Oh well, he doesn’t bother us(right??after all that)… and does stay out of the way.

I went to Safeway to get the rest of the camping food for B and Sachi. One night spaghetti with garlic bread, the next night tofu burgers. It should be easy for them to handle. Then we went to Starbucks to get a pound of coffee ground for the press. It’s easier than trying to grind a large jars worth of coffee. We shared a tall Italian Roast coffee.

I finished the bathroom zone. I had bought new shower curtains last week so I put them up. With a claw foot tub, our shower needs 2 curtains to go around the ring at the top. I replace them about 3x a year due to mold issues. This time of year with everything so dry there isn’t much of a problem but in the winter it is more so. Still I cut the bottom off @3 X as well and wash in bleach.

I ordered the new Rosamunde Pilcher’s book.

She is one of my favorite authors. Will see if I like it. I have no qualms about returning a book if I don’t like it. I’m sure Amazon doesn’t want you doing this often but I have when I’m not happy with a book or a purchase.

This coming week will include swimming 2x, my labs on Friday , and taking Buggie in to check this wiring issue. The running lights on the left are not working and even after changing the fuses and bulbs it’s still not working. So we need to get it fixed as we drive out in the near dark at 5:45 am and the lights are not on. The brake lights work fine though. B needs to try and reschedule his IGIV for sooner as he is really feeling the fatigue. The anti-rejection drug he is on is causing his immunoglobulins to drop too low. Unfortunately, he will need to be on this drug a while so this is the treatment. At least it works. The cost is shocking at $41,000. Really?? I guess you’d just die if you didn’t have insurance.

I’m thinking seriously of painting our floors in the front room and bedroom white. I’ve always wanted white floors, very Scandish. But it would require some logistics as we would need to do half or a third at a time so we can access the bathroom and my daughter can get out of her room. Plus what I read is that it takes at least 2 coats maybe 3. We’ll see how it goes when the weather is cooler. It’s too hot now to do anything.

I think what I’ll do first is go to the Benjamin Moore paint store and find out about paints that can be put on a floor. Is it just regular paint and then a coat of varathane over it?? I’ll check.

Friday things

It was a fairly frugal week with money things. I went to Safeway and spent @ $70 on groceries and at Trader Joe’s @ $40. That was just groceries. Wine purchased was $25 approx. I’m not sure what I’ll do next week. Costco is still out there as we need some things there like dishwasher pods, and some other non food things. But I’ll wait and see what’s on the menu, then decide. Actually I need to do an August menu.

I didn’t make the Ikea meatballs, shrimp/potstickers, or cobb salad. We had take out only once for Taco tree tacos. I like this planner I got off etsy. It has nice clean minimal look and could be used for Flylady too. when you look at my menu you can see the themes plainly. Pasta night, taco tuesdays, rice Sundays,pizza Fridays, soups, and BBQ’s. Actually with it being so hot his month I don’t think I fired up the Weber once.

I have most of August’s bills in except the UCD one which they send the notice in the mail around the 15th. Otherwise, everything else is in. Our PGE was a nice surprise at $239 and that’s with running window coolers all thru the month. I’m guess the BIG reason is we’ve been line drying laundry and not using the dryer which is 220 so that must the energy user. I may try to continue the line drying into the fall and maybe winter if I get a drying rack that’s big enough. The only problem is I dislike seeing laundry in the front room on clothes racks. I’ve done it before and it’s just messy looking. But normally our electric bill would be in high $300’s so it does make a difference.

Today, B is going to declutter the Karastan rug up to habitat for humanity. We’re not sure they will take something that old or big but it’s worth trying. If they don’t take it, I’ll try putting it on Craigs list for free.

I always find it fascinating that at one time ,even a few months ago, I would not have imagined getting rid of it but after unrolling it the other day it’s obvious it doesn’t fit in with any of our decor. Most of my front room is Heywood birch, greys and whites. So the karastan is tans, burgundies, navy blue and other colors.

This when we had it in the bedroom. You can see the color scheme. Anyway, I hope someone will love it as much as I did. 🙂

Then I’m going to home depot to pick up some high gloss black paint. I’m going to paint the claw foot tub this weekend. I also ordered the garden gate so B can work on that.

BTW, his MRI did show some nerve stuff going on @ L 3 or 4. He hasn’t talked to the PC yet but the results were in his portal. It isn’t clear as to what’s to be done.

My labs came back in the normal range but it was a 3 point increase from 12.3 to 15.5 . I certainly hope this won’t be the trend as that means there is no remission except this very short period. I’m not going to worry about right now as there’s not much I can do anyway.

Simple Sunday

I had a nice walk starting at 5:30 am. Of course, HE was there, but no matter, I just ignore him and carry on. Although I will say, since I’ve been using my walking pole( for added stability) he stays to the right on the path, so that’s a good thing. I’m still debating my timing. Sunrise is 5:53 am so getting there at 5:30 is fine. But soon it will be getting darker as sunrise gets later. Not sure what I’ll do but I think thru July this will work out ok.

Today the big missionis to go to Costco. I’m hoping it’s not insane like the one Sunday we tried. Perhaps the hoarders are done with their hoarding food and non food and it’ll be a regular Sunday which is usually pretty mellow especially since all the church christians are not there. It looks like our last trip/shopping there was June 8th. So that’s about right with trying to go every 6-8 weeks. Coffee is on sale so we’ll get enough for 2 months. I don’t need any meat so really it’s the basics like bread, cheese, coffee, butter, bagels ,cereal, and that kind of stuff.

I used some of the veggies from the farm stand to make a summer ratatouille. I used the zucchini, onions, our bell peppers and tomatoes. I served it over some cheese tortellini I had in the freezer. It was pretty tasty. So far on the Ooni pizza oven, I’ve made 22 pizzas. So I need 8 more and the Ooni will have paid for it self in how much take out pizza would have been for a comparable 12″ wood fired pizza.

the radishes were quite excellent and so were the cherry tomatoes.

This week Flylady is in the bedroom. Sunday is sheet day so I’m putting those in the washer and then we will line dry them. I am still loving linen sheets and don’t think I would ever go back to cotton. I may need to buy another set though as my winter ones are in the RV. I suppose I could just take them off for the winter but I’ll wait and see.

I have my monthly labs tomorrow. I’m not too concerned yet as it’s only been a month or so since I finished Velcade but who knows? right? My doctor is in Europe for 2 weeks so I won’t even be able to get my results although I may call down and talk to the nurse. Then I also am picking up my new glasses which is really not new since I’m using my old frames. I love the Lindberg frames and they are uber expensive so I thought since they are exactly what I want rimless and a lovely color I’d use them. I was planning on getting my other pair done too but that would add on another $500 to my bill. The one’s I’m picking up are partly covered by our vision plan but the second pair wouldn’t be . It would just be OP.

It has been so great not to have weekly appts at the infusion center. Not that it was that much trouble but it’s still nice. Plus, overall I’m feeling better with the drugs coming out of my system. So a win-win.

Here’s a fun blast from the past. I have this print on our living room wall.

And here’s Barclay in front of his 1967 VW( that I wish we had never sold)

This was probably 1980. That’s Jason our first child. We loved that dog and he lived to be 15 and was the sweetest dog ever. The print is from a photo and then my son had it done that way with California on the print.

Those were the good ole days:)

More stuff gone!

I finished loading the boxes of stuff into my 2000 VW(Buggie) and corralled Barclay into coming with me to the appt for drop off at Cancer Thrift STore.

We ended up with 5 big boxes. Most of this stuff was of some value and I didn’t want to give it to Goodwill. At the Cancer Thrift it will stay local. In the boxes was all the Fiesta Ware dishes, bowls, cups and the red pitcher. I’d say maybe 30 pieces in all. Then the Malloware vintage melmac. That’s a full service setting for 6.Three stuffed animals: a Peter Rabbit, A Pooh Bear and another Teddy. A very nice vintage Pyrex bowl( red) in near perfect condition. The STar Trek stuff and I can’t remember half the stuff which means it was good for it to go.

I’m working on the Waldorf toys and have them on ebay. I’ve had some interest. We’ll see how it goes. I have gotten rid of all the Waldorf dolls previously because they are cloth and that won’t last. Most of the Ostheimer wooden animals I will keep as I like to use them as displays. They are my friends( the bunnies, foxes, cats, frogs etc.) I also have some children’s books I’m not sure yet how many I want to keep.

These are going on Ebay and are already sold.

After this round I’ll probably reassess and see where I am. I do have a bin of both kids Waldorf main lesson books and I want to get that down to 3-4 nice ones and some watercolor paintings.

I’m heading to Sacramento for my doctor appt now. I will update later.

Just got back and the good news is my kappa is 12.3 ,lambda is 9.99 and the ratio is better than last month at 1.24 So excellent news.

We decided I seea hi in 8 weeks( end of August). He thinks I’ll stay in remission quite a while which is reassuring.