the week ahead…

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This is Rose Campion that has spread all over our hill.

We have a few things lined up for this week.

Tomorrow we are having our septic being pumped.  I know very exciting. But really, our septic tank is under the 1200 required by law but is grandfathered in because it was put in a long time ago. Actually, we’re not sure when it was put in since the old man who lived here didn’t get a permit at least that we could find in county records. So about 5 years ago when the septic was overly full and we didn’t know it until the toilet wasn’t flushing down and we knew was wrong. So now we’re on a 2-year schedule. Once he opens and pumps we’ll know if we could’ve gone 3 years. I know, I know, so exciting and TMI.

Then I’m going to brave Costco since I want to use our rebate. I’m not too worried as Costco requires everyone to wear a mask so I’m good with that. I have a big list of things to get( again) but some are still prepper pantry stuff. For instance, I’d like to get a case of chili and some more marinara sauce. Plus I need washcloths and the 24 pack of white hotel washcloths are really the best for the money.

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here’s my nifty food vacuum sealer which I LOVE!!!

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So cool.

 

Later in the week, we are going to drive up to Tahoe to go to the cannabis store so B can get some stuff. His plants are coming along but it’s a way off to harvest. Plus the ride will be nice. I’m thinking of bringing some coffee in our mugs and maybe sandwiches. The beach area in Kings Beach is quite lovely but I’m not sure if there will be lots of people or if it’s still closed.  So a nice day trip.

The weather is quite nice this week. No really hot days.

We are also going to call the tree guy because the giant tree is now leaning MORE!! At first, I thought I was just imagining it but the top is no longer straight up. This is a huge tree and is aiming straight at the barn.  We have the money in our emergency fund but now there is no extra money coming in so whatever we take out won’t get replenished. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. But I think, except for the giant oak near the barn, this would be the last tree for a while unless something else happens. We have 2 other huge Ponderosas that are leaning but they are leaning away from our house. Unfortunately one is leaning towards our neighbor’s house which is kinda scary.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady and mine is done already. I just need to mop the floor later.

We are also planning a trip to Home Depot for wood. I’m conflicted about buying from Home Depot since the owner is a huge TRump supporter but the closest Lowes( liberal) is down by Costco. So for our old van a bit risky. ( The van is the only car that can hold wood on the roof and inside when we take the  seats out). So, anyway, it’s a conflict for me.  We are planning to get some fence posts so we can start the fence behind the barn to block out those neighbors.

That’s about it.

I’m so glad the protests are making such a difference and maybe we will see some real change. It is still so sad it has taken so many black lives though to get to this point.

 

 

It’s been a busy week.

It’s been a full week with a mini trip to Tahoe.

Barclay had 2 appointments this week. One was clinic to check on his rash which seems to be gone now. Of course, we’re slightly freaked out that the one case of coronavirus is being treated at UCD med center. I think I’ll wear a mask next time I’m there.

Then Wednesday we headed up to Lake Tahoe for an overnight at Lakeland. Our big thing was to walk the new trail that opened last year. It is an amazing feat of engineering and goes right along the lake where people never had access before. ( Well, the Maidu and Washoe did) but that’s a long time ago. The trail is over 3 miles all the way to Sand Harbor. I had hoped to rent bikes at the trail but it was too early in the season. So we walked. I actually didn’t think we would make it all the way but we did. Of course, here it is Friday and we are both still recovering. My calves and legs still are sore.   BUT, IT WAS SO WORTH IT. Just beautiful!!

The lake was like glass and the smoothest I think, I have ever seen. The water an incredible blue.

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These last two photos are at Sand Harbor. In the summer, this beach is wall to wall people and the line of cars waiting to come in can be miles long. They limit how many cars can park.

We got to Lakeland and 1 bedroom suite was ready.  It was great. Very nice.

We went out later for a glass of wine at Riva’s which has a view of the lake. Not too crazy as again it’s off-season in Tahoe which in my opinion is the only way to go although we will be camping in August which is high season. But generally, we stay out of town and only hit up the Safeway which is a few blocks from the campground.

 

The next day we drove the other side of the lake past Emerald Bay and I swear I had only one car behind me the whole way to Tahoe City. Just great.

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Birthday trip

We did it!!

This is our birthdays’ gift… B’s is September 22( the same as Bilbo’s and Frodo’s, ( so lucky) and mine is next week on the 30th…..  we are getting ‘older” ( ha, ha, no really we are now old!!

I had reserved 2 nights at Tahoe at Nevada Beach( our favorite). I wasn’t 100% sure that this was a good idea with Barclay just 4 months post-transplant but it turned out brilliant.

The weather was cool at night but the days were picture perfect fall in Tahoe. Plus the campground was almost all ‘old’er people and not a ton of kids running around or riding bikes. The beach was almost empty as was the beach parking lot.

In a word, it was my idea of perfect.

This was also a big deal as B hasn’t really driven any length since really his diagnosis so also a big accomplishment. Next week we see the transplant doctor and he should be able to tell us more about the BMB results which looked great. No MDS, no leukemia, the part we didn’t get yet was the donor cells amount. So hopefully that’s all good too. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_398.jpg

We certainly hope it’s all good.

Today, Barclay has his labs in Auburn instead of UCD med center Sacramento. Then we plan to do a call to AARP to sign him up for supplemental plan F. I’m hoping to get Part D signed up at the same time.  So we may be on the phone for a while.  There is still some billing issues we’re dealing with when the Cobra wasn’t activated. I’ve called twice but it still seems to show we owe that money. I’ll wait to deal with that as I can really only handle one thing at a time.

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This is our sweet tent trailer that we really love and our anniversary present you can see there is the Honda generator. Wow, so quiet and definitely worth it.

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The handsome transplant patient 4 months post-transplant and almost a year since the horrible diagnosis. A new life.  A huge shout out of a” thank you” to his brother, Rodman, for the gift of life. A true gift.

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Here’s the happy camper with morning coffee!!

 

 

Five on Friday

  • I decided to do a Walmart order so I can get the items I needed for going to Tahoe. Vegetarian baked beans, veggie dogs, sauerkraut, rolls for the first night. Since I’d spent so much at Costco last week I wasn’t going to but then it seemed the easiest thing to do. Not really frugal, but it is overall cheaper than Bel-Air or Safeway.
  • I have to go to the dentist to have them check on my tooth that broke. I called the Delta Dental that we have on Cobra and it is activated or some such thing( I hope)  so we’ll see how that goes.
  • Today I’m going to call either AARP or a broker to get B signed up for Plan F ( I’m guessing that’s the best although a reader did tell me Plan G was also excellent. And then also the PArt D. I plugged in his prescriptions and it’s the Noxafil that is a Tier 5 so that’s what will make it expensive but we’ve got to do it one way or another.
  • I don’t think that this can all be in place by October 1st but definitely by Nov 1st. Our plan is to pay for another month of Cobra then cancel.
  • All the monthly bills are done except Verizon which comes out at the very end of the month. So that’s good. Next month will be expensive since 2 of our annual bills will come due. AAA house, which is going up because it was canceled and it needs to be done thru California Fair insurance. AAA will still handle it but it’s going up quite a bit. And our bi-annual car insurance, and then in November the property tax which also went up.  Not sure how all this play out once B is not getting SDI anymore but I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Simple Sunday

Our weather is heating up this week. Even though we will get to the upper 90’s the humidity here in California is quite low. It must be brutal to have 95-degree weather with 95% humidity or whatever they are having thru most of the country.  I remember growing up in New York and the humidity in the summer was awful.  Even though I moved to Tucson in 1970, and the temperatures were 110 in the summer, there was almost no humidity. I’ll take that any day.

I went to the gym this morning and it was perfect with almost no people.  Ha, Ha, the introvert that I am. But seriously, on Monday mornings it is a zoo in there and sometimes you can’t even get to a machine without 3 other people heading you off.

I picked up a nice stack of books at the pet bookstore to read this week or next couple of weeks. I found a good copy of Hemmingway’s ‘ The Sun Also Rises’.

Last night I made an orzo salad with our own cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. I also added our own basil. It was good. I had some shredded chicken on the side for the meat-eaters. I’m not feeling too inspired tonight to cook, so we’ll see what happens. I do have a menu plan for the week including homemade chicken enchiladas but I don’t feel like that tonight.

I worked in the Bedroom zone this morning and it’s almost done. Sunday is my sheet day, so they are washed and ready to put back on the bed. I’m loving linen sheets and if you’re in the market for new sheets, definitely check out linen. They are wonderful to sleep on. This set is the one from Ikea I bought to use in the RV.

Our week doesn’t look overly busy so that will be nice. We even may take a drive up to Tahoe just to see the lake and sit for a while. I really miss going up there this time of year and camping. But it is what it is and there will be next year.IMG_1147

Simple Sunday

Ha, it is a miracle!!!

Just when I sent a priority letter to NYC Corrections the next day, my documents were in the priority envelope I had paid for from before. So I now have in hand my brand new birth certificate, my original marriage license and the court documents for my legal name change. What a miracle!!! All in all, it only took 8 months.  Now I can get a passport and the new real ID from California.

Today B has a transfusion early. He needs both blood and platelets but it’s been 18 days for the blood so that is an improvement. Like I said we see the transplant doctor Thursday but we know he has tentatively scheduled him for another chemo in April. I also, did not quite register the co-pay issue or maybe I was in denial but 20% of 500,000 is $100,000. I just can’t get it in my head that we would be responsible for that. I mean we don’t even have any retirement money to speak of so WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO???  I hope this is wrong and I’m going to have B call UHC and talk to the coordinator to find out.  Somehow it just doesn’t seem right.

I’m heading to Costco this morning too. I need some greens, avocados, almond milk and a few other things which I’m sure will morph into a bigger shop. Oh, and I need to return 2 items. One is the Instant Pot Cookbook which is, in my opinion, a waste. I’ve never returned a book and feel kinda weird about it. Like what read the book and then give it back. Heck, I may not do it after all.

Here’s a few pictures of the snow in Tahoe:

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Well, off to do laundry. It’s sheet day!

 

Five on Friday

It’s going to be another nice spring day. We didn’t walk this morning but will tomorrow. Sunday is my favorite day for walking as usually, no one is there.  But this Sunday, B has his transfusion scheduled for 8 am. He doesn’t get labs till tomorrow at 3pm so we won’t know what he needs till after that.  So getting out the door will be too rushed if we try and walk at 7am.

Today is going to be a fun day as we are driving up to Tahoe, actually, Incline to go to the Marijuana store for B to get some edibles and may the oil.  He can’t smoke anything as he signed an agreement not to while undergoing the transplant.  So just the chocolates and something else.

Then we’ll go to Truckee for lunch.

The dogs will be home outside so we need to time it so they’re not out for too long. I think we’ll be gone for about 5 hours.

Here’s a couple of pictures of the Ikea cabinet we got for the bathroom. Funny, it’s really the only thing that would have fit there so I guess I was spot on.

 

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I’m planning on painting the tub black and we’re hoping to replace the floor this summer or fall depending on if B will be well enough or we may hire someone to do it.

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This is one of my most favorite prints.  I found this at a garage sale many years ago.

It’s been another frustrating week with NYC corrections not answering my emails about our original marriage license and then LLS (leukemia lymphoma society) denied my insurance claim because the breakdown in the forms we have doesn’t have B as the Assoc. alone. It shows him plus one. So that was not good enough for them even though that’s how I’ve been doing it since last June. Go figure.  I resubmitted everything again with an additional form we found that shows his health credits but it still only shows him plus one. So I’m not going to sweat it although I was pretty nasty on the phone saying that was all we had to show it.

Since I’ll be switching to Medicare by June 1st I  can just wait till then as they do cover Medicare.  I did speak to an insurance agent and actually got MORE info.  Wow, It’s amazing anyone figures this stuff out. So I need to get a form from B’s HR stating I won’t be on his insurance and then go into SS office for them to process. Then I add the plan F and Part D. He was helpful in that he said to go with the less expensive drug coverage as right now I don’t need the chemo drugs. And actually, in the future, I would ask for only infusions so that would be covered by Part B. I can’t see me going back on Revlimid since I became refractory to it.  But if that does happen I can change the plan in January ( I think that’s what he said). 

So at least I know the next step.

Dinner is some kind of pizza. I’m not making one so it may be a frozen one.

A rare blizzard warning for the Sierra

This is a rare weather prediction for the Sierras. Where we are in the foothills there is lots of rain BUT THERE WILL BE WINDS. High winds.  Since we’re on the eastern side of the Sacramento Valley that is where the high wind warning is.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. In the past, we have booked into the Holiday Inn in Auburn and just left for the night.  I’m not sure I want to do that this time unless it dire. The threat being 100-foot Ponderosa pines.  But we have in recent years gotten thru without trees falling. And we have removed some. I’d say we still need to take down 6 more trees that are on the South side of the house and then in the back by the barn there is one of the biggest trees we have( probably 4 feet diameter at the bottom) that is leaning toward the barn but not the house. These winds have generally always come from the SSW so that’s where there are about 6 left.  Some lean away and one leans towards.  Of course, these trees have been around for at least 50 years maybe 100, but still, a gust of 60mph can do some damage.  So I’m undecided.  My anxiety probably will be the deciding factor. So if by 5 tonight or so if it’s just too much we can go. My daughter doesn’t want to go since her cat Ollie is not well and almost died yesterday. She has taken a floating holiday today.  and she’ll probably need tomorrow too.

B has had a few days off from appts. How nice to just relax.  Tomorrow he has labs and then if he needs an infusion it would be Friday.

I might go to the gym. I haven’t decided as my back is still bothering me from lifting something too heavy last week. I do have degenerative disc in some areas so it could be that. I’ll wait a week and see how it is. If it’s still bothering me I’ll ask for an x-ray.

I cleaned out the kitchen pantry this week and reorganized. I’m following along with ‘the minimalist kitchen’ by Faux Martha.  Her blog is quite beautiful and her sponsor is OXO. So she has a huge following. I like her ideas and she seems very down to earth and not preachy. I really despise preachy.  If you’re interested go to her website TheFauxmartha.com or YouTube put in Minimalist Kitchen. minimalist kitchen

 

Looking back at 2018

It really was a wonderful year with my remission still present. It’s been now, 2 1/2 years since my last Velcade treatment. I’m cautiously optimistic about my numbers in the next 6 months or at least I know that in the past my numbers don’t just skyrocket so that is reassuring. If something starts changing I will have months to prepare mentally and emotionally.

We had numerous wonderful trips.

Our annual Lake Tahoe trip was just wonderful in September. Going up to the north coast with B for work was also nice. We hit Santa Barbara back in the very beginning of the year too. I do love Santa Barbara to visit.

My sister had a rough year with her cancer treatment but is now cleared and is doing well.  She, of course, couldn’t visit this year and we did miss her.

My daughter was promoted to full-time Youth Services Librarian so we are very proud.

Our son is in his last year and now last semester of college and is working very hard. He was traveling to Sac State from here 4 days a week and that is over an hour commute when the traffic is good. We’re proud of him for being so diligent.

Then the world crashed down on November 19 with B being diagnosed ( after the 19th, more like Dec 1) with MDS high risk. What a shock and it has sent us spiraling into the world of doctors again. For people like us, who rarely see a doctor unless it’s needed it’s all very weird. Of course, I do my routing labs etc, but on the whole, it has never been something we do because we’ve always been so healthy. This has been a shock, to say the least.

The future seems uncertain and we must just go forward bravely.

What else can you do??

Greetings from beautiful Lake Tahoe

It is really beautiful here. Lovely low 70’s during the day and chilly at night @35.

Fortunately, we have a heater plus we’re having fires in the evening(when it’s not windy) and the morning.IMG_0522

The’old folks at the beach!!

Our morning walk to the beach!!!

Last night we had our first Lodge dinner. Baked potatoes. The night before it was a red flag warning so we couldn’t do even a fire. The potatoes take a while @ 1 1/2 hours. But so cool, just pop them in and add some water.

Today, we’re going up to B’s gym and I’ll pay to be a guest. I need to do a workout.

Then we’re either going out to lunch or back to camp and chill for a while. We thought of taking out the kayaks, but the wind picks up by 11 am so that won’t work today. We’ll do that tomorrow. Yesterday, we had a nice bike ride around the area.

Tonight we’ll probably do spaghetti. Then another Lodge tomorrow.

The campground has really cleared out and people too. We’ve had a few noisy moments but nothing like in the height of the season.