Simple Sunday or back to my regular programming:)

Honestly, I am still on a rant about the SCOTUS shit. Mitch McConnell should go crawl in to a hole in hell and stay there.

Well, this was a pretty good week overall. The smoke is filtering back in but it’s not like it was so hopefully it’ll clear out soon.

Mornings have been cool walking but still nice. We still have the 2 others that are weird and annoying showing up right after us. I really wouldn’t mind if he wasn’t such a jerk. Doesn’t use a flashlight when it’s dark out, just barrells by without so much as a ” coming up on your left”and really sets the energy off in the park. The other lady is just plain weird and I can’t read her MO, which for me a counselor who made a living ‘reading’ other people, is unusual. I’m hoping she falls away with daylight savings in October but I’m pretty sure he will not especially since he does walk the dog or I should say drags his dog along.

Budget wise, September has been pretty good. I haven’t tallied up the food but I think it’s in the $600 range so that’s ok. I am planning Costco next week before the sales end. It’s been about every 4 weeks were going which is about on target. Prepper wise, I think we are set. When I get the upright freezer, then I can concentrate on filling that with stuff. It has been a trial and error with stocking up. All the non food stuff is great. Some prepper stuff I bought I’m not too sure how we will use it like the whole powdered milk. I suppose if you couldn’t get to the store at all powdered milk would work. It wasn’t expensive so I don’t mind if it ends up in the food bank stuff next year.

I did pay our Allstate bill ( every 6 months). My son needs to pay me his part but he can do that next month. Then our house insurance is coming due as well. Fall brings annual bills including property tax. Right now we can pay all that with our savings( EF is where I keep it) but who know 10 years from now. But that’s the future and I want to BE HERE NOW!! well, to a certain extent I do need to plan.

Here’s the floor finished. Even though it is beautiful light color now. Pine floors will darken with age.

Here’s our Philly cheesesteak sammies we had Friday night. The top one is just roasted peppers and cheese for the veg man.

This is the only picture I kept of my brother’s. He was quite talented. My sister has the really nice one that I wanted of a sailboat. I gave my younger brother 3 others(water colors) that I didn’t really want/or had a place for.

If you’re following, it’s the bedroom zone this week.

Also, B has a birthday this week. Another year around the sun!!

And “May you be inscribed in the book of Life for another year”

L’Shanah Tovah!!!

Blue Skies

It feels like a miracle that the sky is blue. We even ate dinner out on the patio. A miracle!!!

I do hope that’s the last of the smoky skies and that the tired overworked firefighters get a break.

We both got our flu shots and both had headaches for most of the day. But it only lasted 1 day so not too bad. B also had his IGIV on Tuesday and I dropped him off and my daughter went 4 hours later to pick him up. After I dropped him off I went to Winco and spent $130. Not really prepper stuff, just food to use and eat now. Bread, cheese, canned chilis, Amys enchiladas,spinach, tofu, tea, and 3 different kinds of trail mix to snack on. There was other stuff but I can’t remember.

This morning I’m making a zucchini bread from one of the last zucchini from the garden. Most things are done although I have maybe one more big batch of tomatoes to cook and then put thru the food mill. If you ever have an abundance of tomatoes and want to can or freeze a food mill is the way to go. I think I bought mine years ago at Crate and Barrel maybe for $50. But it removes the skins and most seeds.

Yesterday I made applesauce from apples from our one tree. They are a Golden delicious. Again I cut and quartered and cored, then just cooked down. Then I put thru the food mill. I ended up with 5 pints and tomorrow I will do the next box. The apples aren’t as big as we’ve had in the past and I think one trick is to remove some apples when they are small so that the tree can put more energy into the remaining. I don’t know if this is true but seems logical.

Tonight is pizza night but no one feels like a pizza so we are maybe going to do sandwiches. This week I did make a few newish recipes. One was from Tassajara cooking,it was mushroom stroganoff. I had a lot of mushrooms to use up. It’s a good recipe. Then I made a chili relleno casserole that used eggs. It too was quite good. Right now we are getting an abundance of eggs from the girls so that recipe used 8 eggs. They are on the small side. Also, I’m experimenting with freezing the beaten eggs. I guess this is a real thing so I’ve done a few baggies and will defrost one this weekend and see how it goes. You basically do a light whip of the eggs. You don’t want a lot of air. Then you do add a pinch of salt. I’m quite curious if this will work for scrambled eggs.

The pine floor has been a complete PITA. Honestly, I told Barclay, I don’t remember it being a problem last time at all. This time, he’s had to redo 4 boards, then plane them down and now sanding. If I knew it was going to do this I would have just done a laminate in a pine pattern. Oh well, he’s almost ready to do the Varathane on top so that’s that.

Well, that’s all the news.

Oh wait, I just got the Woodward book from Amazon, so excited to read that today.

Smoke, smoke and more smoke!!

Our temperatures have gone way down to the ’80’s but we are still being choked by smoke. No blue skies and just haze constantly.

The pictures of SF are so apocalyptic. That same day our skies turned a bizarre purplish orange and it was dark at 3pm. My daughter said,” Just wait till Yellowstone blows”. Very reassuring.

The week has been overall ok. I had my Flu shot, the over 65 dose, and had a bit of a headache from it. In the past I’ve actually spiked a fever for maybe an hour then it’s gone. The pharmacist said the one dose is good for the whole season. Now B and the kids need to go get theirs. We usually all do it at the end of September or into October but this year I wanted to get ahead of it.

Barclay’s liver numbers went down but still not in the normal range. Just above high normal. At least that’s something. Although it’s been going up and then coming down. I still think it’s the Jakafi but he’s only on a single dose so who knows. He also has an IGIV next week since his immunoglobulins are down. It’s too be expected with his drugs. I will drop him off and Sachi will go get him. It’s not in Sacramento but Roseville so I’m planning to either go to Winco or Trader Joes.

It is so depressing about the fires,politics, everything. I just hope we can see some relief soon with the fires and the politics. I have to say though I am thrilled that tRump’s world is unraveling. He deserves nothing but shame and holding the place of “the worst president in American history”.

I’m planning on buying Woodward’s book only to support the fact he wrote it.

This is the book I use the recipe from for my pizza dough. I’ve made a number of her recipes and they are all good. I did buy her second book ” Let’s Stay in ” as a Christmas present for myself, but didnt like it all and gave it away.

This is the best recipe I have found so far. Always comes out great.

Simple Sunday

I just finished the bathroom zone. This past week I asked my daughter to use up the bathroom paint and touch up here and there. So it ended up about 1 pint and looks good. One good thing about keeping the same color and absolutely loving it is when you do touchups even a few years later it doesn’t show the beginning or end of the color if that makes sense. the color in the bathroom is called Rarified air by Sherwin Williams and we have had it in the bathroom for years and I never tire of it. It is a very pale blue with probably some grey in it.

The heat is exhausting. Yesterday it was 108. This morning it was 77 on our walk. The annoying dog walker is still there by 5:30 so we just step out of his way as he barrels on by. If I haven’t mentioned this before I will now.  Over the years we’ve been walking every day or near every day ( going into year 9), we’ve had lots of people come and go.  Some great people and others not so great. Recently, probably @ February or March, this guy shows up with a white, very pretty dog. The dog is muzzled and is not a friendly sort. So at first, we were all fine even once or twice said hello. But then he started really fast walking and would come up behind us without saying like ” on your left” or something so I started getting pretty annoyed. Then more and more he would just barrel by and even when we were walking side by side( B and I) he wouldn’t step off the path and just skimmed us. Then I started watching how he was with others and it seemed the same. Also, adding to my annoyance, is that he comes speeding down our main road( speed limit 25mph, he’s doing 45 at least) and then the park roadway to fast and the practically screeches in a 180 to park.  So, I kept hoping as sunrise is way later now, he would adjust and come later. But no luck. This morning we were using a flashlight so anybody else could see us but not him. Just barreling by in the premorning light. Oh well, I’ll adjust but it is annoying.

Last night I made a big Cobb salad with tofu, chicken, avocado, lettuce, carrots, cheese, and some leftover cabbage. It was good. Tonight is probably YOYO. Plus this heat makes cooking not fun.  Although, I made a peach pie yesterday and it was delicious.  It was the NYT recipe for peach pie.

This week is no appts for me but lots for B; he has labs, video conference with Dr. Abedi, and another one with the urologist he was referred to.  But at least it’s not driving to Sacramento so there’s that.

Today would have been the day we headed up to Tahoe but alas, no. The area lakes are being inundated with valley people and ven South Lake Tahoe had protesters telling tourists “go home”. Which says a lot since Soth Lake Tahoe depends on tourism for revenue. But they are coming in hordes and leaving tons of trash. Such a shame people have to be so such slobs.

Well, on that cheery note, I’m off to read or something that involves not moving a lot.

Simple Sunday and the best $15.00 I spent this year.

Hot!

A hot week in Northern California. I guess we will need the coolers all week. Fortunately, we can and do turn them off by 9pm. I got out in the pool on the floatie yesterday and it was nice.

Happy Father’s Day to B.

I made pancakes, scrambled eggs, and some veggie bacon. Plus fresh coffee. It was pleasant to sit out on the patio.

This week is the bedroom zone for those that follow  Flylady. I want to declutter the closet some and wash the bed covers. I do the sheets every Sunday but the covers only once every couple of months. The linen sheets from Ikea have held up well( they are a year old) and the cost is very reasonable for linen.

 

The best $15 I spent this year was for the Lodge crepe/ low side griddle pan.

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I bought this at Target so I could make crepes this spring. Now I use it for almost everything I used the other two cast iron pans for. I still use my vintage cast iron that I’ve had for 40 years.  When I was given these they were already antique. So I’m guessing they’re @ 80 years old.

It’s not at Target right now but at Amazon

It is a great pan for crepes, pancakes, chicken, tofu, and lots of other things that benefit from a small edge.

 

Tonight I’m going to make the Impossibe burgers with all the trimmings. Safeway has just started selling the block( looks just like beef). I’ll let you know how it is.

 

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!

The state of affairs.

Things are good this week with 2 doctor appointments down.

B had clinic on Tuesday and I drove him to UCD med center as it was an early appointment so there was traffic.  He’s back on prednisone for a rash but it is minor and seems gone now.  I sat in the car dealing with the financial fallout from the Cobra.  What has happened is this: His group insurance ended as of 7/31 and that’s when we initiated the Cobra thinking at $700 a month that would take care of all the bills.

Ha!!! NOw UHC Cobra is still saying because he was Medicare ELIGIBLE they won’t cover the full costs. WTF????? Well, long story short, after numerous calls we are on the hook for the August appointments.  I made payment arrangements while I was waiting for him to finish up at clinic.  All his appointments from then on were covered by Medicare. But we still were paying the Cobra till actually just the end of last month( January). Not sure this was necessary but open enrollment hadn’t quite started so even though we could have signed him up with special circumstances, we just left the cobra in place.

All I can say is if you’re ever faced with losing group coverage and have to go on Cobra …DON”T.  Overall, the cost factor doesn’t cut it or you need to absolutely clear what the cover. In our case, I just assumed everything was covered.

So then yesterday, I had to drive back down to Mercy cancer center for my appointment.  It’s kinda what I thought he would say is yes, it’s going up but too soon to start treatment and to keep thinking of this as smoldering myeloma.  So it’s watch and wait. That’s okay and when the time comes and my numbers are going up faster, I’m sure we will move ahead.

Today, I’m going to do some cooking. I’ve made hardboiled eggs and I’m going to make the olive and feta topping again. Plus I ‘going to grill some chicken for lunches and dinner. I think I’ll grill some onions while I’m at it.

I have some house chores to catch up on and then I’m going to hit the gym.

 

Simple Sunday

It’s still cloudy and chilly here in Northern California. There was a big storm that came thru Wednesday and Thursday with I 80 getting closed due to spin-outs. The temperatures are supposed to go into the mid50’s and low 60’s next week so that’s better.

When it’s this chilly which is all relative, I don’t wander around outside much but I’ve decided to start doing at least 15 min outside even if it’s just raking.

Of course, I walk most mornings very early and it’s quite freezing. Literally 32 degrees, but somehow that’s just my MO.

I’ve had jury duty this week and I go one day next week. It’s all quite interesting but for me, with my IBS, I get quite nervous about bathroom access. I did fine because I didn’t eat in the morning.  I’m keeping track of what I’m eating to see what, if any, pattern there is. Plus I am somewhat claustrophobic so being confined to the jury room is a little stressful.  But I made it along with 12 others.

I’m definitely not used to being out all day and that was very stressful. My daughter made dinner both nights so that was nice.

I canceled the medical part of the Cobra so hopefully, that went thru as you do it by email. It takes up to 7 business days to reflect so I’ll be checking the online site. We did request to keep the dental and vision at least until I get that covered by something else. What do other people do? Is it AARP that has a separate dental plan and what about vision?

B was also able to get the very last of his 2019 SDI because we had the doctor say he was still disabled. It wasn’t a lot but it will certainly help.

We went to Costco and did some grocery shopping and filled the car up with Costco gas.

I read that there has been a norovirus at Yosemite from mainly people eating at the Ahwahnee so now we are decided to probably not go since we cannot even risk B getting something like that as it could activater his GvsH.  we have some time to think about it but there are other places we can go. We’ll see…..

I didn’t get to the gym today so I will go tomorrow.

 

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

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).