Five on Friday

  • Well, I ordered the upright freezer.

That’s the good news. The bad news is delivery is 3 months away. Who knows if it even will be delivered or I will get an out of stock notice. I think I must have gotten one of the last ones.  This Lowes upright was $719. From there they went way up at $1500 and higher.  So we’ll see. But I have a plan for this upright and feel it is a wise investment. Regardless of the pandemic, it’ll be nice to have a 6 months’ worth of freezer stuff and be done with it.

  • Our budget is done for August and all bills accounted for.  I put in for my LLS reimbursement. They have a new format on their website and it is very easy to use. If I didn’t get the reimbursement for insurance I don’t think our monthly income from SS would cover it. So I am very grateful for all who donate to the LLS.
  • We are planning a trip to Costco next week( 1st week of August). I don’t need to go to the store before then so that’s nice. I’m not planning on prepper stuff just normal we need like cheese, bread, olive oil, and some other random things.
  • Tonight is pizza night. Tomorrow I plan on BBQing a pork roast for the carnivores and will probably do a Field Day roast sausage for the vegetarian.
  • I canceled the extra Amazon channels of Brit Box, and Acorn for now as we have watched all the current shows we like. Maybe when some new seasons come out I’ll re-up. But that saves almost $15.00 a month. Then I saw somehow we were paying for PBS masterpiece too so I canceled that. We haven’t watched any of those channels for quite a while so I guess we were throwing that money away. Right now, we mostly watch Amazon Prime stuff and are currently rewatching Death in Paradise which is a good detective show.
  • I need a new book so I  may peruse Amazon for an ebook today.
  • I’ve decided to take a Facebook break. So I’m deactivating my account for a month. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook but I just feel it’s time to break away for a while. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel when it’s over.  Maybe my creativity will get sparked again.??
  • okay, I can count and this is more than 5!!!!

 

Five on Friday

I think I will just abandon Friday for now as nothing we’re doing is very frugal. But five on Friday does highlight that.

  • So we went and did the Costco and Trader Joes trip on Tuesday. We went early and TJ’s was still fairly busy. But we were in and out at a mere $167. Some snacks, tofu, frozen veggies, salad stuff, tea, wine, and who know what else. Costco was busy but again we made it thru pretty easily although by the time we left it was getting packed. I had one woman run in front of me almost knock me over( not really, just imagining) to get to the Clorox wipes. Geez, lady.  My son wanted some Knobb Creek whiskey? so that was expensive. But it was a giant bottle. Anyway, we got out of there under $200 with $100 being the whiskey, his Captain Morgan Rum, and B’s Sierra Pale ale. All of which I do not imbibe.
  • Our windows finally arrived so we went and got those from Home Depot.
  • We were back at Home Depot to get wood for the windows and insulation. There is some dry rot that needs to be fixed. More $$$.
  • The weather is heating up to 100 degrees + this week. Not my favorite thing.
  • I made three new recipes this week. Organic Turkey meatballs. They came out pretty darn good. Then I made on the BBQ a seasoned Tri-Tip from Costco I had bought back in March. I watched a YOu Tube to see how it was done and I actually followed the directions and it came out great. Then I had bought some fresh Ahi Tuna at Costco. It was pricey but again I watched YouTube and got the timing down as it’s a quick sear. It came out really good and there was enough for all 3 of us meat-eaters to have lunch the next day. So $17. for 2 meals for 3 people. It’s not beans and rice but we eat that a lot of the time anyway.
  • My daughter bought a ceiling fan for her room and the wiring is too sold to reuse so B will need to go get the right wiring for that too. This old house was really not built very well and then when we had the wiring redone when we moved in the guy who did it, did the worst job possible. He totally screwed what circuits do what and it’s really a mess but to try and prefix that would just be too expensive. So we’ll do what we can.

California along with many other states is seeing an increase in COVID -19 cases. Honestly, this whole thing with people NOT wearing masks is getting out of hand. If it saves lives and keeps the virus from spreading why would you think it’s political. It’s science, folks. Plain and simple facts of how a virus spreads.

Now we’ve got idiot in chief, planning this rally tomorrow with his idiot, science deniers, all together. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Costco and Dr. Stangelove

Yay….., our Costco toilet paper order showed up yesterday. That means we’re set and won’t need to go into the store at least for a while yet. I have another home delivery of some prepper pantry stuff showing up. That includes brown sugar, regular sugar, and bakers yeast and chocolate.  I was talking with B that the last time we were in Costco was March 3. so if we can get to June 3 that’s 3months.  The home delivery, even though more expensive, has been a lifesaver. Time, gas, driving down to Roseville. So really a win-win.  I think I’m still going to do one more Instacart, but I’ll wait on that for now.

We used more of the LLS gift card at our little market yesterday and bought things to get thru the week, like hot dog rolls, burger buns, tofu, milk, and cream.

I also am expecting a farm to table meat delivery of some chicken and a small amount of beef. It’s called Crowd Cow if anyone is interested. They are 2 guys from Seattle who wanted to support small farmers.  I’ll do an update on how it is after it arrives. I kept the order small to check it out.

For anyone who drinks wine out there( we do) Darci Kent wineries have case sales going on. We have bought from them before and their wine and labels are quite lovely. I’m planning on buying the new case release( if it’s still available) of a rose, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay.   Maybe I better go check right now.  Whew…. all good. I ordered it. Yeah, I love NOT having to go to the store to buy wine.

B has the gate ready to go up today so that will be one project down and lots more to go.

We watched Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove last night and wow, for a movie back in 1964?? it was great and so well done. Usually, I don’t really like Kubrick’s stuff but this was good and Peter Sellers was pretty phenomenal.

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!

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).

 

 

As 2019 comes to a close

It has been a year of highs and lows.

Lots of things were awful with B’s diagnosis and then being transfusion dependent. Lots of chemo visits weekly. But in spite of that, there have some great things. His brother was a 10/10 match for the BMT and that was amazing.

Being at UCD med center in the BMT unit for a month was hard, very hard, but it all went way better than expected. Staying at the Kiwanis in our friends RV was also great and made the whole experience of having to be there almost 3 weeks delightful. Being able to be just minutes from the clinic made it all worth it.

Recovery and gaining strength and energy back has been slow but sure. B is doing amazing and he is almost 7 months post-transplant.

There has been no major graft vs host although he must remain vigilant as that can happen even down the road.  Now he is tapering off immunosuppressants and that means less prescriptions. He will still need his vaccinations sometime next year.

So the year really was a mixed bag of emotions but overall I feel very positive about it. We did fine financially with the extra GoFund Me and the SDI. This week will be his last SDI and I am totally grateful to have had NOT to worry about money. After my transplant in 2006 and that following year, we were in serious,serious debt and it was awful. There were no GoFundME things or networks to receive financial help. I did have 2 friends that were very generous and that was a blessing.

At the end of this year, I feel grateful for my health and my children’s health. Both of my children have excellent jobs that they earned this year.

B will also officially retire as going back to full time just isn’t going to work for him. I will miss the paychecks and being able to travel with him, but honestly, he is 69 and with everything that has happened, life is just too short to go back to a job even if it’s only for another year. Who knows what will happen and he has this chance to retire. Social Security will be tough but hey, so what! We have struggled before and made it and if we can only do so much then so be it. Actually, I’m just grateful we have the little we will have coming in as it will cover our basics.

WE didn’t do any traveling and that was okay. We are planning something once a month for  2020. Next month we are planning an overnight to Chico where B has a free room at one of the nicer hotels downtown. We are planning to have dinner at a place I’ve wanted to go forever called the Red Tavern. I can’t remember where I read about it over 5 years ago, but it’s supposed to one of the best restaurants around.

House wise, we didn’t do anything major except outside and tree removal.  We did replace two windows and they look great. Next year we will replace a few more windows in the bathroom and kitchen and my daughter’s room as well. Next year, we hope to work on the kitchen and do a minor remodel( mostly the sink and counter as it is 25 years old this summer and the sink connections are pretty rusty.

So life keeps on keeping on and it really is a wonderful life.

Things to think about for 2020

I don’t do goals so much anymore and I try to avoid putting myself in the position of expectation on myself. I do like lists of things that I would like to do or things that need to be done.

I like Flylady as it gives me a focus on weekly chores.  And I like grocery lists and menus. I also like budgeting and do that daily and weekly and monthly. I also have annual bills tallied. ( This might be the challenging area once were on SS solely).

Now that SDI is ending money will be different.  I have saved as much as I felt I could but there were some big expenses in 2019. We had over $6000 in medical bills. The trees were almost $5000. Plus travel and other expenses during B’s transplant. We were very blessed to have the GoFundMe account which covered Kiwanis’ house for 3 weeks and other expenses.

Overall, financially, 2019 was good. We didn’t rack up any CC debt related to medical bills or anything related to the transplant. I used CC to pay things but was able to pay in a timely manner.

In 2020 we will need to be ultra frugal as there won’t be bonuses, or extra money coming in. Honestly, I ‘m not sure how it will play out but it will one way or the other.

We’d still like to take down the big tree in the back of the house and that will be upwards of $5,000 as it will need a big crane. the other big thing will be, do we want to redo the bathroom so it is ‘age ‘friendly. We plan on staying here so a walk-in shower seems prudent.

I’m also figuring that I’ll be starting Velcade sometime in the next 6 months so that’s weekly trips to Sacramento. Lots to think about.

Frugal Friday

It’s been a nice week. Very low key overall. The weather is cooler but still no rain. I guess I’m ready for some rain and we do it need it as things are quite dry.

The small fall garden we planted has given us some lettuce and chard and even a few radishes my daughter grew in a # 10 can. Too funny but they were the best radishes yet. We’ve had 2-3 nice salads and that saves a bit from buying store-bought.

I’ve been to the gym a few times to keep up on weights and treadmill but have been coming straight home and not having to go into Safeway. That really does save money. I think the Walmart pickup has really been excellent as I can see the amount of what I’m buying and planning meals too.

 Today I’m heading to Costco so that won’t be too frugal. This list includes Vanilla which for some reason is exorbitant.  It’s been that way for a while. Last year when B was still working I had ordered vanilla beans and made my own extract. But that is used up now.

I’m planning on getting a Costco pizza for dinner which is a money saver since it’s $10 for a huge pizza. I end up freezing some but that’s okay.

The year is winding down and I’m glad that 2019 will be over. It’s been a hard year with everything. B still hasn’t decided about going back to work but I think it’s about 90% that he doesn’t want to deal with all the stuff again. We’re not sure how the disability payments will go in January. They’re due to end Dec 31st so if there’s an extension, I don’t know yet. It’ll be harder with just SS $ but I think it will work although Costco’s trips will be MUCH smaller:)

Frugal Friday

No, not really. Although we haven’t been spending money carelessly. Our grocery budget is our biggest variable expense. I budget $200 a week for everything including pet supplies, non-food items, wine, food and misc. That seems to be a good amount for us.

But when you factor in Costco trips like in August, I definitely go over.  The Costco trips are often items that last a few months if not more. I’ve tried separating out non-food and then I get all confused and lose track of what was what so if I just lump it all together it works better for me.

For August I’m trying out $125 a week and I’ll see how that goes.

We aren’t going on any trips this year due to the medical stuff so there are no expenses there.

We also can’t eat out as B can’t have restaurant food yet. Although I have gotten him In an Out french fries and a shake as he needs to gain back about 20lbs. So we don’t really have an eating out budget. I have gotten a pizza or two so there’s that.

We also don’t have any big projects around the house but there are a few things. We absolutely need to fix our step coming out the door. It is awkward and has two levels so he and our daughter will put down a new concrete step that covers both and goes out farther. We wanted to build a deck out level from the front door and then a step-down but a deck would probably run us $3-5,000. So not now.

We’re on the fence about getting more trees down. I think we will call and see about at least 2 and get an estimate. We still have too many trees that are very big around the house.  But that too is a very expensive project.

We still have co-pays on the medical side too and the GFM is being used for that but it’s getting low.   The $6,000 from the beginning of the year is almost paid off. The transplant co-pays haven’t even shown up yet. Yikes, that could be scary.

Well, all in all, we’re doing okay.

Frugal Friday on Saturday

This week was okay budget wise.

We did go to Trader Joes and I haven’t decided whether to make that part of my May grocery bill or just call it for April which now sits @800. This includes all food, non-food, cat food, and alcohol( which is just wine for me as B is not drinking at all with his treatments.)

I’m leaning just calling it for April and just moving forward.  The only extra bills were the medical co-pays. One was for $500 and the other $350.  That’s just medical and part of how we’ve budgeted the GFM money.  All other bills are done and the budget is set for May.

We’ve sent in the long term disability forms but really don’t know how they would calculate that.  It would be nice but I’m still not sure even how that works.

I went to Target and got a fan since now the weather is getting warmer. I also picked up cat food and some cloth napkins we needed.

We did go to Home Depot for more garden supplies but I consider that seasonal expenses especially for the garden which will produce veggies. That was @ $130.

Tomorrow is a gym day and B needs platelets. So I’ll go and then wait at Starbucks for him as it usually is a shorter infusion.

Dinner is Greek Chicken Souvlaki.