Midweek musings

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

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

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

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

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

So still lots of things up in the air.

Simple Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So now to a Simple Sunday.

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

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

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).

 

 

Winter Solstice

Finally, the darkest day of the year!

Now it will slowly turn around and the days will get lighter. I’ve actually looked at this over the years and the sunrises and sunsets don’t change a whole lot till around January.

So today we will walk. We’ve been going out around 6:30 am and it’s still darkish and then by round 2, the light is showing.

Yesterday, my daughter and I drove up to Truckee to the library as she had a bag of goodies for her ex- co-workers. I loaded up on cookbooks and I even found on the FOL shelf Comey’s book from last year. the summit had snow at 7300 elevation but around Truckee, there wasn’t that much snow. another storm is headed in this weekend. We had a lovely lunch at Wild Cherries and headed back home.  I’m so glad she is not driving that daily and driving to Sierra College is like 22 minutes and no snow. So she just needs a few more hours to be able to buy into their insurance. I think she said at 22 hours. So one more shift.

I also had an appt to meet my new PCP with Sutter. He seems nice enough. I’m planning on the colonoscopy for the end of January or beginning of February sometime. Oh well, I guess I can suffer thru.

Hanukkah begins tomorrow night and I have the Menorah ready. Although we are not Jewish, but Atheists, I still like the idea of Festival of lights and candles and little presents.

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a lovely new platter( stoneware ) and our very own lemons from the greenhouse!

 

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.

Friday the 13th

I love Friday the 13th. Mostly, I just like the number 13. Why? I have no idea. Well on to 5 on Friday or maybe even Frugal Friday.

Our trip to Trader Joes was not frugal but did get almost everything I need for Christmas dinner and just holiday eating. Think Brie, crackers, pub cheese, etc.

I still need the lasagna stuff but that’s an easy Safeway trip.

It’s raining today but we did get a walk-in with our umbrellas. It was only drizzling so not bad. I’m planning on going to the gym and then maybe an errand.

Barclay is going to officially retire at the end of January from UNFI. That’s his 25-year anniversary. It was a hard decision, really but I think the right one. His HR said though he needs a medical release to return to work from his doctor and then he needs to be reinstated in order to then retire. It seems like a lot but I guess they have rules. So that’s what he’ll do.  He also is going to check about the long term disability that he could possibly get for a few months but that’s pretty iffy.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Tonight is pizza night and I’m doing homemade. It’s still raining:(

BTW, if you’re looking for a good murder/mystery series on Netflix,  Le Foret, which is in French with subtitles is superb and the companion series ‘the Black Spot’ is terrific. Excellent characters and the scenery, shot in France and Belgium is great.

On a Friday

It’s been a good week overall. The diverticulitis seems abated for the moment. I certainly hope that doesn’t happen any time soon.  I hate being on antibiotics which generally my body rejects. This time it seemed ok with just minor itchiness which may have been psychological. Anyway, I guess I ‘ll just have to do a wait and see and if I notice lower left discomfort call the PA again.

It was sunny yesterday which did improve everything. More rain and snow are on the way tonight and thru the weekend.

SO EXCITED!!!!

Just got back from my walk and there are 2 geese back at the park. I’m guessing these are 2 that were injured and Wildlife Rescue helped them.  So happy to see 2 of our friends!

Today I’m going to just stay home and putter around. I want to declutter some in the closet from hell and see how things can be organized more efficiently. The one closet in this house is for our clothes and it’s our overflow pantry.  Maybe I should rethink the pantry part and get the one from Ikea. I’ll have to consider this after Christmas.

Well, off to do something productive!