The week ahead…

First looking back over the last few days.

Still really hot here making it hard to go outside and do much except for early in the morning.

We picked up some oak barrels at Home Depot to replant some bamboo in. I love putting bamboo in barrels as it looks lovely.

Years ago, probably 20, I went to a Waldorf parents house who had golden bamboo. I dug up as much as I could( believe me, back-breaking). But that is what we have as a privacy screen all around the driveway area. But we put some in barrels as it contains it and makes a pretty visual effect. We have these two barrels outside our bedroom window. But the old barrels had deteriorated and were no longer holding water so they will be replaced. I’m guessing these were about the same age, 20 years.

Then Barclay’s labs came back with very high creatine( not good) because of the new drug Jakofi. We both kinda flipped out since the NP kept saying hydrate which he was doing obsessively. He will need to go in for an IV hydration if his numbers remain high. I’m really bugged by this as it all started with the Jakofi. It’s a great drug for GVHD but he’s still on other stuff and it’s hard on the kidneys. So I asked why not drop the Jakofi to 2 a day then 1 a day and so forth. No answer on that yet. So we were definitely bummed out for a few days. We’ll see how the labs are this week.

I had worked on learning how to butcher a whole chicken. I saw a youtube by ProCooks, who I like, and thought well, I could do that. It’s fairly simple just kinda involved so not sure I think it’s worth doing regularly.  Then I made Pioneer woman fried chicken and it was A LOT of Work. Not doing that again. Plus the kitchen ended up looking like a vat of oil exploded. It was tasty but I wouldn’t say great. I think I’ll stick to Southern-fried tofu.

Today is my Flylady morning in the LR zone. Definitely an EZ zone for me with just some deeper dusting and window cleaning.  Generally, it takes 10 minutes tops.

I’m going to get out the bread maker and make some WholeWheat sourdough. I just use the bread maker to make and rise the dough and then I bake in the oven.

Other than that an open week.

I’m making lists of my barn prepper pantry items so I can determine how many weeks/months of stuff we have.  I want to have a balance of pantry security and not going overboard with the ‘survivalist’ mode. I did order some dried Whole milk to put aside in case of either a power outage or unavailable at stores. If anything, I can use it in baking.

I found a book at our little free library, “Radio Free Vermont

. Pretty funny book and is contemporary as Trump is president. If your library has it, I’d recommend it for a fun read.

Here’s an interesting bit of news from our area. We used to live in Foresthill. From 1975 when we came to California till 1995 when we moved here( about 20 miles difference) with Auburn being in the middle and everyone’s main hub. ( mostly). So we lived near a road called Yankee Jims. Very remote and goes down a very windy, steep and treacherous dirt road( some of the way) to the North Fork of the American River. There’s a bridge there that, if I remember correctly, was one lane. Anyway, there’s parking on the side of the road for maybe 10-15 cars MAX!  Last weekend there were 313 cars down there, blocking the road both ways. So now the whole area is shut down and no cars can go in. WHY PEople!! So STupid!

Oh and another STUPID controversial thing. I was looking on Youtube for prepper pantry ideas so I clicked on this one called Alaska Granny. I thought it looked interesting. Younger than me, so not sure where the “granny “comes from. Anywho, this was right after the debacle with GOYA foods. BOYCOTT GOYA!! BUT, this lady does a whole vlog on GO OUT AND BUY AS MUCH GOYA FOODS AS YOU CAN TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR TRUMP AND THE OWNER OF GOYA.

Really??? oh well, takes all kinds. I guess she thinks Trump is cool or some deluded thing. Really, he’s sending federal troops into cities for political shit.  Really, people, he’s a narcissistic nutcase.  History will show this to be one of the worst periods of American politics.

OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

 

 

the week ahead…

Another quiet week with no appts. I don’t get my labs till the first week of August. I’m expecting the worst with another steep rise but am still hoping to delay treatment till fall or even this winter. Not to be pessimistic but realistic since Myeloma just doesn’t go away and blood work doesn’t magically get better:(

Monday is chore day and doing little things around the house. I cleaned the tub with Comet and I plan on washing the towels which I try to do on Mondays. The Flylady zone is the bedroom. I’d say if you’re new to Flylady, clean everything out of your bedroom except your bed and maybe a dresser. No TV’s, no extra chairs( unless it’s a very large room), and basically remove all distractions.  If you haven’t uncluttered, now is the time to do so. As I’ve said many times, once things are simplified and cleared out cleaning is a snap, and keeping it that way is quite easy. More stuff means more cleaning and it is visually distracting. I do have a Heywood Wakefield bedside table I need for my meds that I take in the evening and my water.  If I could figure out a way to eliminate that I would.  Maybe another wood crate attached to the wall like the one on B’s side of the bed. It’s small but has enough room.

Mondays are also the day we don’t walk but oddly it feels like the day just doesn’t feel quite complete. But since I’m quite OC about it, it’s probably good I break up the routine.

I’ve been researching long term prepper pantry storage and it seems Mylar bags are the way to go. But since I’m using the vacuum sealer right now, I don’t think I’ll add mylar to the mix. Maybe down the road.  But I’m not looking to try and prep for 5 years and those people that do are kinda extreme. So what I am going to do is get a few more 5-gallon buckets and put some of the vacuumed sealed bags in them so light doesn’t affect them. I’ll try and do a bucket for rice, then one for beans, and then one for flour or baking things. Also, I’d get the gamma lids since they screw down.

I do think that in the fall things are going to get worse and so it is good to be ahead of that. I still like the idea of the upright freezer for certain things but we need to kinda regroup from the tree expense.

Meal plan for the week is : ( in no particular order of using)

  • Tacos, bean and some taco beef for the carnivores plus all the trimmings
  • Cobb salad with hardboiled eggs, sliced cheese, olives, maybe some kind of bean like kidney beans, veggie bacon, cherry tomatoes from the garden and we also have cucumbers coming in as well.
  • homemade macaroni and cheese with broccoli on the side
  •  chicken piccata/tofu with corn I froze( from the fruit stand) and maybe potatoes.
  • homemade pizza
  • mystery meal???

Well, that’s a wrap for now.

 

 

 

 

Friday things

well, not good news on my labs:(

My kappa light chains went up to 176mg/L so a 66 point increase.

Lambda only to 13. mg/L ( normal as I am not Lambda myeloma)

ratio up to 13.44 so a 4 point increase.

Not happy but what can you do. I will see my doctor at the end of June. Not sure if I’ll do the video conference or just go down to Sac. Probably I’ll go down. I mean he isn’t going to start treatment yet anyway, but I’d like to check in physically.

We’re still looking at when I hit 500 mg/L so that maybe January. Or if things speed up sooner. You can’t really tell how it will go except it won’t go down.

I won’t lie that it doesn’t upset me but since this month is my 15 year since diagnosis( I’ll write about that later), you do get somewhat hardened to the fact that remission isn’t forever.

Other matters, B had his BMbiopsy Wednesday and was pretty loopy from the drugs but he said it went well( if enduring one of the most painful procedures you can go thru, can be ok).

I haven’t done any grocery shopping since the Costco Instacart last week. But I will go tomorrow as I need salad stuff and milk. I’d like to get to Trader Joes maybe next week.  I guess it all depends.

We’re in for a cool down here in Northern Ca. It’s been hot but not 100 degrees hot, just 95 degrees hot.

I read in the WP another Confederate statue was taken down. It was some Admiral. They did it either at night or early morning and it was whisked away. Good Riddance.  I also read that Lafayette Park where the peaceful protesters were attacked by the police used to be a slave market. One of the biggest. maybe Trump should read( ha ha ha) some history about the cruelty of selling black people.

That’s all I’ve got.

Simple Sunday

What the fuck is wrong in America?

The awful murder of an innocent black man by 4 policemen.

The absolutely horrendous situation of the privileged white woman calling the police when a black man asked her to leash her dog( which was posted on a sign right behind her). Thankfully, this did not end violently and I’m glad she was fired from her job.

I’m glad there are protests going on. Something has to change in this country.  Of course, with a pandemic also going on, it’s tricky. I’m just depressed by it all. We have a racist president who is invoking violence, plays to his base, is a narcissist, and cannot feel anything except his own shit.

Something has to change.

In other news on the home front, we had another Instacart Costco order that was expensive but worth it. I spent @$375 for food and then a tip. Lots of stuff was prepper pantry stuff like bleach, cleanser, and toilet paper.  Some good food stuff like tuna, potatoes, avocados, bananas, and more. I looked at the receipt and then what I was charged by Instacart and most things were about $2.00 more that way. I ordered Sierra Pale ale for B and that was $4.00 more. So it definitely adds up but to not have to go into the store is worth it still.  The young man said the store was very busy and the checkout lines long. So I think a good choice. I’ll reevaluate in June about the time I need coffee. Of course, it’s a privilege that we can do this right now. There have been times in our past when I had $10. 00 a week for food.  And there have been times when I had zero money for food. So, for now, we can do this. Down the road, who knows. We’re living on a very limited income which will come in under $30,000 so… we shall see.

Our weather has been crazy with over 100 degrees one day and then hail and thunder the next. today is partly cloudy and cool. At least we’re not running the coolers all day.

I had my eye exam and everything seems stable with my macular pucker. Can’t do much about right now.  I also decided to cancel my crown on Tuesday and wait a few more weeks. I’m nervous about the air filtration in the office and stuff drifting around. I’m not sure much will be different in 3 weeks but I’ll try.

Next week I have my labs so we’ll see what news I get there.

 Barclay has another Bone Marrow Biopsy on Wednesday( such fun) so hopefully, he’s still fully engrafted. He started the Jakafi and I really hope this fixes the GVHD stuff.

Well, that’s all the news here at home. We did finish Ozark and it ends pretty violent and setting up for a 4th season. It’s good drama and Laura Linney is one of my favorite actors.

Flylady zone is the entryway this week if you’re following.

Thunder and lightning, oh my!

We had a huge rain cell come thru yesterday in the afternoon. There was thunder( a lot) and lightning, hail, and torrents of rain. Quite the spring storm. There was snow in the Sierras which is not that unusual in normal times. Well, everything is soaking wet.

We just got back from a nice walk. I wanted to do another round but nature was calling or maybe it was my cup of coffee so we left. But it was really nice and fresh out.  All the geese families are getting big.

Our chicks are getting big too and the others seemed okay with them but the 2 Auracana are being mean to the black one so we’ll need to see if we have to separate them more. It’s a pecking order but they can do harm to an outed chicken so we don’t want that.

Barclay has labs today and then a video conference. This time last year he was in UCD med centers Bone Marrow Transplant Unit getting chemo conditioning for the actual transplant. A whole year has gone by, wow.  Except for ongoing GVsH intestinal stuff he’s doing well although still too thin.

Then tomorrow he has to go down to UCD med center for a urology appt with a new guy. My daughter has volunteered to drive him down. It shouldn’t be a long wait and I suggested she pop over to Corti Bros. We could use some Mikes Blend meat for chili or burgers. I made the burgers with the Crowd Cow burger meat and it was good. I’m not sure I’d say exceptional but I’ll wait to make a final evaluation after I make the chicken and the one steak I bought.  It was delivered quickly and with dry ice, so that kept it all frozen.

We’ve been having game night on Wednesdays and here’s one of the games that is hysterical to play.4839DF99-8862-4F19-A414-BF84DD9E2496

It is not for children so be aware.

This is one of the cards that I thought was beyond funny.

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too funny:) You kinda need to be where we are to appreciate it.

We’re planning to do take out Mexican tonight. The first time in 3 months. Hope it’s good and safe:(

Oh, and our idiot president is taking Hydroxychloroquine.  What a complete idiot. How can we even have a president that is so stupid? It is beyond me.  Good grief, Charlie Brown. Vote Blue, no matter who so we can move on to some sense of normalcy. Or at least someone who isn’t a third-grader.

 

Beltane, May 1st.

We always try and have a Beltane fire on or near May 1st. In cross-quarter on the Celtic Calendar, it’s the beginning of summer. Burning away the old and planting for the new. It is between the Spring Equinix and the Summer Solciste. We had a fire the night before so that was good enough. We might have one tonight if we sit out.

This week I finished reading Jane Austin’s ‘Emma’. 500 pages of Jane Austin and it was astonishingly good. We have all the JA’s in Easton Press editions. I also reread a couple of e-books. I like the author Meg Wolfe. She used to have a great minimalist blog that I really enjoyed but I guess having written 5 books in this series took all her time. The first is the ‘Uncollected Death’. Charlotte Anthony is downsizing and is commissioned to write the memoir of a woman who then is murdered. There are 4 other books in the series which I’ve read but this one is my favorite.

I’ve moved most of my house plants( and there’s a lot), out to the sun porch. I’m going to see how they summer over out there. It does get hot out there so I’ll have to see whether this is a good option.Then I moved all the LP’s under the Heywood Wakefield so they are near the turntable. I’ll see how this works too.  That freed up a wood crate I had so I may use that somewhere else. Mostly, I’m trying to reduce visual clutter in my office room/space.  I have the one wall with Grateful Dead LP covers framed, and our Woodstock original Life magazines framed, B’s Bob Dylan poster and my favorite Star trek poster. It’s all colorful and pleasing to the eye but I wouldn’t want to add to it.

We’re doing really well food /pantry wise. I finally was able to get Costco to deliver toilet paper here although they are 14 days out for delivery. We have enough though. Plus the other big thing is coffee. We all drink coffee so we go thru  a lot. So I ordered 2 Starbucks French roast as it is on sale. It’s still cheaper to go in to the store( Costco) to get it but that would mean going into the store. So it’s worth it for now to pay the extra $5.00.

I haven’t been too creative with cooking. Mostly just cooking to get by. We even didn’t do Friday night pizza because no one wanted pizza. So we had the frozen manacotti I did a week ago. It was good. I did try making a sourdough focaccia and it was ok. Not great but I think I will try a different recipe and see how that goes.

Speaking of Costco, I checked Instacart/Costco and it looks like I can get delivery here so I may try that when I need the next round of stuff. But for now we’re good.

This morning after our walk I went into the Holiday Market an got enough fresh stuff for the week and they had tofu so that was exciting.

Next week Barclay has to go down to UCD med center to see the doctor because he needs his port flushed and another IVG infusion. I’ll just sit in the car and read although this time I may go for a walk.Last time I didn’t but I think it should be ok.

I also had my Zoom video appt with my doctor and it was quick and easy. We’re in agreement that starting treatment while the pandemic is going on is not a good idea. But we did agree when my kappa light chains get to @ 500 then that will be a good place to start. It really depends on how quickly the cancer cells start to activate. This last time it only went up 18 points so  that was quite a bit less than the time before. Really it’s just a waiting game. I’m not happy about but WTF. Not much you can do. So we shall see. it’s out there in the future somewhere.

A few pictures from around the yard

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This time of year in May everything is nice and green and so pretty. My daughter does an amazing job as gardener!

Simple Sunday or same old same old…

We walked as usual. Lovely, early and no one around in the park. My favorite time.

Then I came home and put on jeans( which barely fit now) ugh:(, zipped into Auburn to go to Safeway.  No traffic except a few semis on I -80.

Safeway was not busy but there were no veggies at all, no dairy like yogurt, etc. I got most of what I needed. Ramen, bread, butter, cookies, deli stuff, salad pack, milk, cream, and some other stuff. But I was planning on bananas, cabbage, avocados, broccoli, etc. So I may go down to Holiday  Market later in the week. For now, we can have salad and we do have chard in the garden.  So all in all a good trip.  Most everyone had masks and gloves on but a few old men did not…. maybe they think the order from Placer Co. chief Medical officer doesn’t pertain to them like the imbeciles that are Trumpers protesting the sheltering in place order.  Darwin anyone??

Last night I made a split pea soup from the Palouse split peas. It was delicious. Palouse is a small family-owned company and I was able to get 5lbs of lentils and split peas. If you need these try ordering from them. They arrived very quickly and the price was @ $15 for the 5 lbs. I think.

Tonight’s dinner is unknown. My son wants to cook something so we’ll see. He’s a great cook and enjoys doing more gourmet stuff than I do.

The chickies are getting big and eating a bunch. We’re taking them outside and they are in a fenced area so they can run around. They seem to like that. They still need a heat lamp but our weather is supposed to warm up so they will move out to the sunporch this week.

Barclay’s labs have come back way better. Platelets have gone up and so did his hemoglobin.  The took him completely one of his drugs, Dapsone, so this may be why his numbers were dropping. So good news there. Also, UCD med center did give us a grant on one set of bills from last August. At least we think they did as we haven’t gotten any official letter from them but the billing shows the $1300 that was going to be due is not showing. Now only the last $500 is on there. So that’s cool, I hope.  Hopefully, there’s no surprise. I would like to have a letter that states that though.

The Flylady zone is in the bedroom, which, I’m about to get up and go do.

This week I’m planning on washing all the outside windows with the Outdoor Windex. You attach it to a hose and spray. I’ve been using this method for a few years and it works great.

 

My doctor’s appt is at the end of the month and I’m planning on it being a video appt. I’ll have to wait till I get directions on how to do it though.  I did read another Myeloma patients take on ratios and I think he was referring to one of the major Myeloma treatment centers, where one of the criteria is a ratio of 100. That’s what my doctor keeps saying but when my ratio was up in the 70’s I was in treatment with Revlimid. Oh well, mine is still under 10 so, that’s something I suppose.

 

 

Randomness…

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A bunch of random photos.

 

The top is the sourdough bread that came out PERFECT!

Next are my wood friends. These, of course, were my children’s toys but I have kept most of the Waldorf toys. I did pass on the Waldorf dolls and silks as over time they will deteriorate and so I did that quite a few years ago now.

Then my newest Catherine Holm. It’s all rusty on the inside but it’s for water on the woodstove and It only was $25.00. I’m not sure about the darker green but for what it is it’s fine.

We just got back from our walk and got there a little earlier and then dog walker showed up and as we were leaving the two women that are friends and SHOULD’NT be walking together. It really bugs me as they drive here to walk and they really shouldn’t be there but even more so they shouldn’t be waking together as they are not family. Oh well. :(:<<<

Today is just some housekeeping chores and maybe some gardening.

The zone if you follow is the bathroom. If you want to follow Flylady, you could go thru your shampoos etc and get rid of old stuff or stuff you’re not using. We keep ours to a minimum. Plus we have the smallest bathroom possible.

B has his labs today and then another video conference about his lowering Hemoglobins. A little concerning.

I’m missing Finnie and Ollie.

 

 

Another sad day…

We lost Finnie yesterday.

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4BC83E01-6F8F-4B89-835A-B8DAA105BC0A.jpegAlmost a month exactly from when Ollie died. Finnie seemed to be doing okay. We took him to the vet and he did a round of antibiotics but over this last week he got worse. We’re not really sure what it was but he was acting very weird and then confused and not very aware of things. So we called the vet and he went to kitty heaven. It’s been a hard last 9 months with both dogs and now both our cats. The cats were 17 years old and were adopted together so maybe they were so bonded or something. Anyway, it’s lonely in the morning without them yowling for cream and food. I’m sure we will get some kitties down the road but not for a while yet.

I think pets teach us so much about life and death. Plus they are just present. A lot to be learned from that alone.

The weather is still blah. Not sunny not rainy. Just grey. We walked this morning and only the one other dog walker was there so that was nice.

My labs came in and it’s okay. My kappa light chains went to 110mg/L so an 18 point increase and Lambda went down to 12mg/L. Looking back over my labs since 2015 my Lambda never did go out of normal range but that’s because my myeloma is kappa. So now the ratio is up to 9.23mg/L  So going up.

I’m planning to not go down to Sac at the end of the month but the assistant said we could do a video conference so that’s what I’ll do.  Really nothing different is going to be said until he’s ready for me to start treatment.  Sigh:(

I’m going to make some cookies today and then move some pantry stuff. My order of flour should be showing up today. That’s a good thing as I’m starting a Tartine bread leaven and will need the flour tomorrow.

 

 

Friday Stuff, not Frugal

We have baby chicks. They just showed up this morning. We ordered 10 Leghorns. I wanted Bardrock but they weren’t sexted. If you get them non -sexted you will end up with some roosters. Roosters are kind of a PITA really.  Anyway, since we’ve decided to not do the camping trips at least till August, I figured we would be here at home and we might as well get chickens. I really like chickens and they are interesting birds. Plus they do keep bugs at bay and also snakes. Of course, you don’t get eggs for 4-5 months but that’s ok.

Then, let’s see, yesterday was Barclay’s IVG infusion. We got there by 10:30 and the parking lot was pretty empty and the freeways were not too bad at all. I waited in the car reading on my iPad, looking at the news, sending a few texts and trying to nap. He was done by 2 pm so long but not bad. We were home by 3 pm.

My son cooked us a nice dinner of homemade mac and cheese and roasted asparagus. It was nice not to cook. Tonight is pizza night and the dough is in the fridge doing a sow rise.

I ordered 25 lbs of flour and it should be delivered today. This is Central Milling which I usually get at Costco but they are out and I’m not going there anyway for quite a while.

I’ve had yeast in the freezer and when I went to use it it didn’t really puff up so I may have to track down some fresh yeast but in the meantime, the pizza dough was doing an ok rise.  The yeast is supposed to be good for a year in the freezer so maybe it’s just been in there a little too long.

I have spent A LOT OF MONEY on supplies. I’m just going to call this emergency food stores.  Since March 3 when I went to Winco/Costco I’ve spent over $1000 in bulk foods, pantry foods, regular store stuff and more. Most of it will last a long time as it can be used over the coming months but still, it’s a little frightening to see what I’ve spent.  Next week I will go early to our local store for milk and some fresh stuff and wine if we need it.   I did check out some of the wine delivery services but it’s more expensive than I want.  I also was checking out Instacart for delivery but so far I wasn’t that impressed.  Maybe I look at it next week. For now we at set.

 Next week starts almost a month of being home and honestly, I don’t see it changing up soon. I’m certainly not going out to just be out.  I have my labs next week and then both my dental appts are postponed and my eye exam. I haven’t canceled my oncology appt yet and that’s not till he end of April but if my labs aren’t shocking and it’s still just going up I’ll message him and say how bout next month.

Be safe and stay home!