Like an episode of ‘Survivors’

If you’ve never seen the BBC show ‘Survivors,’ you should. It’s a group of people that find each other after a pandemic that has wiped out almost everyone. They are all very different and the story is interesting.  But this morning the one scene I’m remembering is when some of them go out to find any grocery store to get stuff. Well, my son and daughter drove out to go to Grocery Outlet this morning. It was weird. I said be careful, wear your mask, don’t talk to anyone….. slightly paranoid right?  I hope they make it back.  ( Just kidding):)

We did a nice walk and no one was there this morning. I have to say reading the WP about people going to NParks and the beaches just totally gets me upset. What is wrong with people? This is a pandemic, not a time to invade coastal towns so you can walk on the beach.

This week Flylady has 2 zones the Living room, and then the entryway. Both are relatively easy for me and I’ll do the LR zone this morning. I did get my beeswax candle order. Yes, it is a necessity as I light these every night. The order is 4 pairs for $40. I also got a Thai soup order( sort of like ramen). My daughter and I both like ramen for breakfast so this will be nice.

I think my Costco order for laundry soap is supposed to show up tomorrow. Definitely not 2-day shipping but more like 7 days out. Still, I will need laundry soap so we’ll be set.

Barclay is outside doing a burn pile of leaves and twigs so that should keep him busy for a while. Plus it is nice to get those outside chores done.

Friday stuff…

Well, it’s Friday.  It seems like it’s been a weird week with Super Tuesday and then with all the Covid-19 stuff going on.  Maybe I’m just feeling off by it all. I kind of feel unmotivated and not doing much. Yesterday I didn’t even go to the gym. I just didn’t feel inspired.  I picked up a prescription for my daughter and then went to Goodwill.  I found a few cookbooks and a white t-shirt.

I don’t think I’m going to the gym today either. Fridays are super busy in there so… germs?

This was not a frugal week with the stockpiling shop we did but I do feel good about it. We rarely waste food and what’s in the pantry will last. If we do have a 14-day quarantine we would be fine. One thing I think I’m going to go get though is evaporated milk. Maybe some powdered milk too. I don’t drink milk but I like cream in my coffee. So it might be good to have some on hand. Milk freezes fine so I will get a few quarts to freeze. I just googled can you freeze heavy cream and even David Lebowitz said “YES”. So, I’ll get some heavy cream to freeze too. He did say shake it well though and defrost in the fridge.

It’s pizza night!

 

Simple Sunday

It is quite windy but clear here in Northern California. No rain on the horizon but the north wind is making it very cold.

The moon was big and bright to the west as we walked in the park. I only did 2 rounds as I wanted to get back to try and get on Recreation.gov to reserve Nevada Beach in August. I got back and on the computer by 7: 05 am and everything was gone. Oh well, I’ll check tomorrow.

My fractured rib area( old fracture, not new) has flared up again and is very painful so I am going to skip the gym and put Arnica on it. It started( about 2 weeks ago) when I had the very minor cold but I did cough and that always does it but yesterday I must have turned the wrong way and pulled the muscle. I think I first had this rib fracture after my first relapse in 2010 0r 2011. But last fall it acted up again and I went for an x-ray, so I know it’s not new but the old “chronic fracture area.  Very bothersome and limiting which I hate. Unfortunate Myeloma does affect the bones and ribs are always a target. I’ve read of people having a bone spontaneously break and that must be awful.

This week is the bathroom zone so I’ll try and limp thru that.  Other than that I’ll be home reading or just sitting.

I’m planning on making a mushroom ragu over polenta and a meat ragu for those that want it. I’ve been making the polenta in the Instant Pot and it works great for that if you’re interested.

We had a coyote come right next to the studio where my son sleeps and he got a chicken. It was at 3pm in the afternoon. Very bold coyote to do that. I’m thinking seriously we need a dog as dogs will keep coyotes away for the most part. This was very close to the house so that’s really bold and unsettling.  I’m still undecided about getting new chicks this spring. I think I’d like to take a break with the chickens but then again they do a lot of work in the yard. Of course, if they’re out free-ranging there’s obviously the risk of coyote or fox.

 

 

Five on Friday

I like to do five on Friday occasionally as opposed to Frugal Friday although this was mostly a frugal week.

  • We did get the Santa Fe serviced so that was not cheap but car maintenance is just part of annual bills. Our next big bill will be the spring property tax and our car insurance.
  • We haven’t eaten out at all since the end of January so maybe this weekend we’ll do a Panera date.  We spent quite a bit eating out in January. I think we got Round table twice and that’s not cheap even if it is just pizza. I’m using cash for groceries and trying to keep it with $100-$125 a week. I’ve actually used quite a bit from the freezer and dumped some stuff that was just too old.
  • I walked almost every day, except Monday. Since my foot fracture 2 years ago, I try not to be too compulsive about walking EVERY day.
  • I  started another minimalist declutter game. That’s the one where you do one item on day one and then 2 items on day two and so forth. I usually get thru to day 30 but sometimes it’s just little stuff. I went thru 4 drawers in my office area and did get rid of numerous pieces of junk.  I’m going to go thru the closet pantry and declutter any food I haven’t used or probably won’t. I don’t keep a large stockpile so that should be easy. I used to try the stockpiling for the apocalypse and decided it the apocalypse comes we’ll just have to die. ( haha).

I need to wash the sunroom windows soon too.  In memory of Kirk Douglas, we’re watching “Spartacus”. It’s really amazing what they did with sets in those days. No CGI!

The weather is a little warmer and it’s nice to get outside some. I think today we’re hitting 60 which is not too bad for February.

I want to get to the nursery soon too and get some potatoes to put in the garden. My daughter has planted the garlic and onions so hopefully, we’ll have a good crop of those. Potatoes do well in our soil so.  I’m hoping we get apples this year to make applesauce. Last year the tree was in it’s not producing year but the year before was a blockbuster year, so that makes this year a production year( I hope).

 

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).