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.

Happy Summer Solstice and Simple Sunday

The heat has been brutal. Today we’re still topping out over 100 degrees. By tomorrow it should at back to the 90’s. The garden is suffering and most of our veggies are not too happy. I’m not sure what we’ll even get. The tomatoes are sad looking. The gopher has gotten most of the pepper plants and I don’t even see a zucchini plant out there. I’m not sure how to plan the garden if we’re going to have such heat, water shortages, and gophers. 😦

Happy Father’s day to Barclay!! The best Dad ever!! So much fun over the years!

Today I will continue with looking at cookbooks. I already have another 4 ready to go. Then the Flylady zone is the bedroom. I’ve moved a few things out of the closet and there is more shelf space in there now.

I still want to rearrange where I put the red Fiestaware. Right now it’s in the teak bookcase on a shelf. I’d like to get it underneath in the cabinet. One empty shelf idea or at least some white space on a shelf.

The kitties are getting bigger and more rambunctious. We have another appt for mamakat but last time she ran out of the cage so I’m not sure what we going to do.

I have my doctor’s appt Wednesday and my labs should be there. I do want to talk to him about a few things like would it be worth getting a Velcade shot once a month? and my sleep pattern is terrible. I have interrupted sleep every night. If I take Ativan then I can get about 4 1/2 hours straight. Then what about my watering eyes? I’m assuming that it will get better. And of course, the neuropathy. It never gets so bad but it still does get worse as the weeks go on. And lastly, what about my IBS and having a rough day usually the day after Velcade on the last round of the month. Oh well, he’ll probably just say that’s chemo. 😦

I’ve ordered the brackets for the kitchen shelving and then we are planning to put up 2×10 shelves. These bracketts are the same I’ve used on the other wall and are quite nice, hand forged and all. I’d still like the ikea pantry but since it’s been a year and a half since they were available ,I’ll just move forward.

Velcade, Round 6, shot #3.

Done!! 6 months of Velcade. 3 weeks on one week off.

I get labs Friday and then see Dr. L next week. Where it goes, who knows.

Tonight I have leftover vegetarian chili and IP polenta.

Tomorrow is Dex Thursday and I don’t walk. I’ll tidy the house and continue to do this next layer of decluttering. This round is sponsored by Ann Patchett whose New Yorker article really hit home. I’m getting rid of all my Fiesta Ware except the red. I like the red and we use it at Christmas and Valentines day. I plan on giving it all to Cancer Thrift Store not Goodwill. I just feel better giving it to them as the money stays local. Anyway, it’s a lot. The other thing is all my kids Waldorf toys( ok, not all of them:), but quite a bit. If they don’t sell on our local facebook they will go too. We have the Live oak Waldorf school here in Applegate( about 3 miles away). So far no one is interested. It’s interesting to go to another level when I’ve decluttered so much and so much was valuable. navajo rugs, vintage fans, dishes, books etc, antique silver( yes, silver).

But this is what I want:

I want our small home to be a true reflection of minimalism and where we are at this point in our life. Even though what I’m getting rid of was only on 3 different shelves,that’s 3 too many. I’m not interested in making a buck off Fiesta Ware. So what?? It’s nice but that’s it.

What about you??? Are you deciding who you are in your life right now?? And what you have reflects that.!!!

June 15th, 2005.

Possibly the worst day of my life. Standing in the driveway @ 2pm and the awful doctor called that the biopsy showed multiple myeloma and he’d refer me to an oncologist.

I was referred quickly and by 4th of July week I was slated for radiation. 17 rounds of radiation. You went 5 days a week, so it was a little over 3 weeks.

What can I say except, it was what it was and it is what it is.

So 16 years later, I’m finishing up 6 months of Velcade tomorrow.

It is what it is.

Velcade, Round 6, shot #2.

Today I drive to Rocklin to get my shot. Then straight home to do some chores, dinner prep, and then take Dex after lunch. Last week the 16mg Dex wasn’t too awful. Still I do need to modify what I do since DEx is sneaky and I certainly wouldn’t drive.

Yesterday Costco was great. It was straight in and we were done in 30 minutes. It wasn’t busy at all. Not sure if that’s because everyone had shopped on Sunday or it’s close to the middle of the month. Anyway, it was great for us. We got some great looking fruit and most of the basics we needed. They didn’t have the organic Lundberg brown rice so maybe they’re not carrying that anymore. I don’t think we’ll need to go back till the end of July. We did buy 2 bags of coffee so that should get us thru till then.

Budget wise, the 3 annual bills are paid, AAA membership, Costco membership and propane tank rental. All are once a year bills. Our next set of annual bills will be fall and that’s expensive as it’s the house insurance( which is going up every year due to fire concerns, car insurance( bi annual) and property taxes(bi annual). I’m moving a small amount of money over to a savings when I can to put toward these. I doubt I can get to the final amount but something will help. Right now with having put lots of RV misc on the credit card, that’s number one priority. I should be able to finish that next week.

Our weather is lovely and very cool. Next week looks like we’re back in 100 degree weather so not fun. It’s nice not to use the coolers all the time and we’re not having to water so much.

Update on the kitties:

My daughter was able to get the last one from the barn. Mama kat was not happy and has been up here at the house trying to ‘call’ her out. She’ll get over it. My son was able to get a voucher from the ASPCA to spay mama but we have to wait to get it. She may get pregnant in the meanwhile but I guess that’s the chance we’re taking. I’m hoping we get it done in time or? or, those kitties would just go straight to the shelter. ( no – kill one).

Friday things…

We are back home from our ‘maiden voyage’ and it did have some snafus.

So here we are leaving the driveway. Up ahead on the left is one of our big ponderosas and B didn’t take the turn wide enough so he hit the corner of the awning and snapped off the cover. Fortunately, it didn’t damage anything except the plastic cover which can be taped or replace. The awning worked fine in camp. The drive up to Tahoe was perfect. Not a lot of traffic and we went 55-60 most of the time and the Santa Fe did great. Controlling the steering is something to pay attention to probably because of the weight on the hitch. I don’t know if having a truck resolves that or what but we can’t really entertain the idea of a truck at this point. We have anti sway bars but it’s still something to pay attention to. B did a great job driving though.

So we got up there early and asked if we could check in and Yes, we could. So, here is our spot.

We’ve stayed in this spot before and like it as it is across from the bathrooms.

The campground had way more people than when we were there 2 years ago. I’m guessing pandemic fatigue and everyone wants to be out doing something. Of course, there has to be the one group of campers that are noisy, loud, obnoxious with too many kids running around. Sorry, but I do think one needs to be respectful of Other campers!!! They were certainly not and they moved picnic tables that are NOT meant to be moved together, and were hacking at tree stumps for firewood. Geez, I’m glad they were far enough away that I couldn’t see all there crap. I would not want to be there this weekend with them blaring music.:(

The first night we did a Lodge dinner of stuffed peppers.

I love Lodge cooking and forgot how fun it is to just put the food in and sit back and relax.

The second night we used the Hibachi and I cooked some chicken for me and a Dr. Praeger burger for B. We had potato salad as our side. Quite yummy.

So the second snafu was concerning the battery charge. We were under the impression that the battery and the solar charging would last easily 2-5 days. Well, we were running the frridge all day and by 7pm the battery charge was low and we turned off the fridge. No lights or water pump either. So the next morning we hooked the Santa Fe back up and charged the battery. Then we ran the fridge 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Then we used the water pump as necessary. That seemed to do the trick and the battery held the charge overnight. It was frustrating to have it happen and like I said, we were told the battery was fine for days. Nope. So we are going to have to buy a second battery and they are not cheap. But it should make a difference.

We hooked up Thursday and left by mid morning and had a lovely ride home. I 80 was not too busy so we did fine. Trailering is quite different with this as opposed to the tent trailer and I’m leaving it open till next year whether it is for us at all. I think the difference would be getting a used truck early next year and then seeing how the trailering feels. The SF can do it and it was fine but I think the uptake is a bigger vehicle with a V-8 will make the difference.

Here’s the bed. Comfy and great windows to look out of. That front window is tinted and you can’t see in at all.

Here’s the totally cool kitchen. We can’t use the microwave unless we’re hooked up to a 30 amp( I guess, not too sure of that).

On our way out we stopped at the Donner Party Memorial.

She was a survivor, I think.

So, today(Friday) I went for my first shot of Velcade in this final round. How long it will keep in remission is anyone’s guess but I hope for a while at least.

WEll, I’m off to take DEX and probably rest.

Frugal Friday

It’s almost the end of the month and I’ve come in on budget with groceries. $600. for the month , so I’m very happy with that.

Tomorrow is my daughters birthday, so that extra food stuff will come out of the sinking funds for birthdays. She wants a fruit tart for her birthday cake so that will be bought and then some sort of BBQ food. How the years go by. I’m grateful she lives with us as she does so much in the garden( well, all of it really), and is such a great person. Smart, funny, well educated( librarian), and is fun to be around. Happy Birthday, Sachi!!!

Gas prices are going up here in California so I filled up the Santa Fe and it was $50. Towing the Rv will certainly add to the gas bill but that’s what it takes. Next week we plan on going up to Donner Lake for the maiden voyage. Only 2 nights since I scheduled my Velcade shot for Friday. I could have bumped it out a week but didn’t really think that far ahead so it is what it is.

We’ve been putting things in the Rubicon and it is so great that there will be a place for everything. There was in tent trailer, but everything was in bins that needed to come out and often it got a little messy with bins on the bench. In the Rubicon, the bathroom stuff will be in the bathroom and kitchen stuff in the kitchen. So cool.

After my appt with Dr. Laptalo, that went fine BTW, we headed over to Ikea to get some things for the Trailer. We needed kitchen towels,Ikea’s .79 towels are the best) bath towels, a paring knife, and a comforter and pillows. In the tent trailer we just slept in our down bags, no sheets. So since this is an actual bed we needed a top blanket. I don’t keep extra sheets or blankets in the house just what I use on the bed. Same with towels. We have 4 towels in the bathroom. That’s it. Ikea was busy even at 10:30 in the morning. Crazy.

Today, I’m making an Ooni pizza for dinner. I’m also making a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread in the Zojirushi. I have a few house chores and then I plan on going to the pet bookstore to get some paperbacks for camping.

Flowers by the front door.

.I did the budget for June. We still have 4 more UCD payments from the copay big mistake of August 2019. But since there’s no interest on this , that’s ok. Plus, they did the UCD grant for quite a bit of that month. It was extraordinarily high because Barclay had an IGIV which is $41,000 ( yes, you read that right) each time. So I’m more than happy to pay this copay amount over time.

We have 2 annual bills in June as well. AAA roadside assistance and Costco membership. I put these on auto pay so they will go on our credit card, I hope. If not, it’s the checking acct. Can’t quite remember which I did.

I plan on keeping the food budget to $600 again. That might be a little low for 4 people but I’m still using freezer food and pantry so that should help.

Velcade, Round 5, shot #3.

Today is my shot 3 and the last in this round. I’m really glad to be over this. I had another day of what I think is, toxic overload, and I feel just kind of lousy for a day. It does pass but it’s the only thing that I can think of that would randomly occur. This has happened twice before on day 3 or 4 after my shot so I’m pretty sure it’s connected. Today I won’t take Dex because tomorrow we need to be at the RV dealer and I cannot deal with stuff if on Dex. So I’ll have to delay it till tomorrow afternoon. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel without the dex after my shot.

Things are moving along with the RV purchase. Today after my shot I will meet B over at the dealer to leave the Santa Fe to get the anti- sway bar put on and trailer brakes. I’m definitely concerned about towing with the SF but it is what it is and by all accounts it should be able to do it. I think, though, next year we will have to look at a used truck. We can’t use any more savings this year so hopefully all will be fine till we can get a truck. I’m also pretty sure going up to Tahoe will be SLOW. It’s quite the climb and towing will be a challenge I’m sure. Going down toward Capitola though the only real climb is Hwy 17 and we can actually go down to Watsonville and bypass 17, so we probably will do that.

I’ve been cleaning out the fridge and freezer and using up odds and ends. I’m writing some menus based on what to use and it’s going well. I had to throw out some moldy cheese that I didn’t get to but that’s ok. so far we’ve had green chili enchiladas, nachos with beans, peppers and sausage( not yet but soon), and breakfast for dinner as we have lots of eggs.

Walking is going fine and we are out there at 5:30am. AH is still there and doesn’t seem to ever take a break. After running into B last week he has backed off when he passes us and stays somewhat to the right. He never apologized or anything but after that incident he has stayed more to the right. He was walking in the middle of the path with his dog on his right when he knocked shoulders with B. B could have fallen and hurt something. Anyway, we’re walking and it’s all okay.

Here’s a couple of photos of the Ooni pizzas

This was the best one that I made for lunch a few days later.

This was the marguerite. There’s definitely a learning curve but I quickly was able to time each pizza and turn. It’s about 60 seconds for the first turn and then about 20-30 seconds for the second and third turns.

Velcade, Round 5, shot #1

I went down to Rocklin yesterday and started the next round. It went fine except I couldn’t remember which side of my belly they gave the last one. I’m fairly bruised up on both sides so I’m not sure it really matters. Then, Barclay had come with me, we headed down to the RV camping world to look at a Coleman. I will share the outcome tomorrow. We’ve been pretty set on an R pod, but there are absolutely none available within 3 hours, so then we looked a a new model of Coleman that an SUV can pull. It’s nice.

Today is Dex day and yesterday I took the 12mg ,down from 16mg and today feel good. Not too dexed out. I even walked 2 rounds at the park and wasn’t short of breath. ( a dex side effect). So I’m very pleased with the results. He said I could even try 8mg. The reason being is that since I’m back in the normal range of things, Dex isn’t as crucial in bonding with Velcade. It’s still important just that I can do well with less. So I’m pretty happy with that.

Today is just a puttering around day. I watered my plants, and ‘m cooking a chicken in the oven for tonight. I plan on making a potato salad and we still have some lovely asparagus from Costco. I wanted to try a new way of baking tofu too I read about in the NYT. You wrap the tofu in a paper towel then microwave it and it removes the moisture. Then you bake with tamari and oil. It’s worth a try. I usually just press it with a cast iron top.

We are all excited to have a cat show up near our barn. It is getting friendlier. We checked all the missing cats on our neighborhood watch but nothing showed up. She’s( we think it’s a she) has been her @ 10 days.

Not the best photo, but she’s cute and is now sitting inside the barn door. My son , who is NOT, a big animal person has really taken this on. First he named her Sgt Pepper, which I liked, then he didn’t think it fit her so now she’s Siri. I do hope she sticks around as we could really use a barn cat.

Spring time busy.

There’s lots going on in the gardens and the yard. Flowers are blooming and all three lilac trees are in full bloom. This has been a really good year for flowering trees. Out Cherry trees maintained their blossoms for weeks which was unusual. Now the lilacs are in full swing and very full. The white roses are just starting to bud and a few have flowers. The Cecil Brunner looks to be ready to explode with pink blossoms.

Today I plan on applying the redwood stain to the new fencing. I’m going to use a small roller so I think it will go quickly but I’m not sure how much/far the gallon will go. It certainly wasn’t cheap at $58 a gallon. The garden shed is nearing completion and I have bought the same house paint to paint that. I’m still not thrilled with the way it’s positioned but done is done. We still need to get some roofing to finish the shingles. We had some left over when we had the roof re -done so we just need to get 2-3 more bundles.

The weather is stellar right now with this afternoon being @ 80 degrees. I plan on BBQ some chicken and tofu.

I need to write up my monthly menu and check the freezer. I know I’ve used up quite a bit and when we were in New Brighton my daughter also used up lots of frozen things so that’s good and I can write a list of what needs to be replaced.

After my doctor visit yesterday, which went fine, I stopped at Trader Joe’s in Roseville. I bought some bread things,bagels,pita bread, sandwich bread, some veggies, some frozen things too. TJ’s is great for snacks like sesame sticks so I got a nice variety.

The doctor visit was fine. He said to lower my Dex( from 16 to 12 mg) so it’s maybe not so intense. That’ll be nice. He also said we’ll just wait and see about Round 6. I think if the Dex is more tolerable he’ll go for round 6. I guess we’ll see. All my numbers were still great and my ratio even went down to 1.3 since Lambda went up slightly. So I’m pleased and plus I feel pretty good overall. I do feel pretty lucky that the cancer is being wiped out by Velcade. Unfortunately, there are always rogue cells left behind and that’s why relapse is inevitable. But that’s not now and I refuse to think about something in the future I have no control over.