Simple Sunday

We got back from Napa around 12noon. A good drive through the valley. Some traffic but nothing unusual for Vacaville or Sacramento. There are crazy drivers everywhere. We got into the driveway with no problem. Going out is another matter and when we left B didn’t pull enough to the left and spent an hour backing up and trying to get it into position. So I left a voice message for our tree guy and we just need to get the tree down. I just don’t see it worth the stress of going out every time. There are only maybe 4-6 inches between the trailer and the tree when it pulls out and it’s way too close. Our next trip out is New Brighton so it needs to be done by then. Another expense:(

Speaking of expenses it’s bi-annual bill time with property tax and Allstate. So they need to be factored in for next month.

Daylight savings started today and we didn’t get out to walk til 7am which is really 6am but that was ok, nobody was there anyway, which is perfect for me.

This is a busier week for me than my normal. I have Dr. Latalo on Thursday and then Friday I have an appt with the audiologist to test hearing. I’m fairly certain that the one time I had water in my ear it affected my eardrum. After that, I started using earplugs. I can hear but it’s not as clear as my right ear. So we’ll see. I plan to swim Tuesday and I need to go to the library too.

I need to tidy up the house although my daughter did a great job keeping up with things. My son helped by doing 3 dinner nights so it evened out. I also need to shop tomorrow for a few things and plan my menus for the week. I have my basic plan but need to see what’s in the freezer to use up.

I started a list of things for Rubi too. The Ikea towels we bought are way too thick and do not dry quickly so I plan to switch to a Turkish towel. We had an extra cooking pot in there I don’t use so that’s going. I have 2 wine glasses we don’t use as we use the same Ikea glasses for juice and or wine/water. We also discovered we didn’t have any laundry soap so I’ll pick up something when I shop.

Here’s where we went for the tasting. Delicious.

They give you a taste of 5 champagnes. It was quite interesting and delicious.

This was our wood-fired four cheese pizza with arugula. The place was called Live Fire Pizza.

Just look at those leopard spots of char on that. Amazing.

Napa Valley

Right now we are in the Expo RV campground and it’s really nice. It’s all big RVs with a few small ones like ours. Full hookups are pretty damn nice though. Some of these big ones are almost obscene though, like 30 ft. Where can you go in those things and then pulling seems really crazy to me but hey each to their own?

Napa is a beautiful area and we discovered we were only a few blocks from some great restaurants. We went to Model Bakery which is good enough to be in the Goldbelly order online system. We had a lovely coffee and almond croissant. I also bought a baguette for later but it does seem a little hard. Maybe I can put it in a pan and warm up.

So to back up. We landed in Bodega @ 1:30 on Sunday. Our spot was empty and we were set up within half an hour. The weather was spectacular. Sunny and almost no wind. Monday was also no wind and sunny. We ventured out to Bodega bay and went to the Kite store and bought some twirling wind things that we like to have in the yard. The last time we bought those must have been 15 years ago. Then we went down to Fishetarian for lunch. It was delicious and a 10 out of 10.

We had lovely beach walks and walks on the bluffs above the beach. When we left on Wednesday the wind was picking up and there was a wind warning.

So this afternoon we’re going to Mumm Champagne for a tasting. We planned on doing 3 but they are just too expensive. Oh, get this, we thought it would be fun to do the Napa Wine train which we’ve always wanted to do BUT IT WAS $420 per PERSON. AHH, not for us.

Anyway, so far it’s been a lovely trip.

2022

I’ve said before, I never do resolutions anymore but I do set some goals as benchmarks to move toward. The top of the list is to keep doing things that are healthy for me/us. That would include walking almost every day, swimming 2x -3x a week, eating good food( which we do anyway), keeping positive( which I think we do anyway, but always a good reminder. I’m pretty disciplined with menus, budgets, groceries, Fly lady routines, and other chores.

Other goals would be for projects. The entryway windows where B has his desk are not doing well. They were wonderful old windows from a library in SF someone gave us. But now the wood is in bad shape so probably the first project will be taking them out and replacing them with a vinyl-type window. the footings under that part of the room should be done better too. The next 2 windows are in the sunroom. These shouldn’t be as complicated as the other ones as the wall is straight and not at an angle and it should be fairly straightforward. Other outside things are a fence along the nasty neighbor’s border. We hoped to do a privacy fence but I think that will be too expensive this year so we decided to put up 5-foot fencing to make the boundary more designated and we can even plant some things along it to create a barrier. Fencing and poles shouldn’t be more than $150 maybe and it’s a start. Right now it is the original (since 1950) 3-foot hog fence that has 4inch gaps. So this will be a good start. I’m pretty sure we are going to budget for the one tree to be taken down. I’m hoping the bid is @ 2500.

We’ve got 4 RV trips planned and I hope we can get reservations for at least 2 more maybe 3. I’d like to find one more new place to go. Last year was great with discovering Refugio State Beach and then the Wine Resort RV Park in Paso Robles. We definitely enjoyed full hookups.

My sister’s health is very precarious right now and she will go into hospice care soon. With Omicron, I won’t fly but we could drive back if she makes it into spring. We just don’t know and the details are somewhat sketchy. It’s been hard to deal with as she’s only 4 years older than me. What her husband said was, she was having difficulty breathing( she is on 24hour oxygen due to the Interstitial lung disease . Other than that , like why? I don’t have the details. It sucks really.

This week I have my 6 – month eye check for the macular pucker and I have Dr. Laptalo as well. I’ll swim at least once and probably call that good.

Last night I made a loaded baked potato soup and it was very good. Tonight I’m roasting a chicken and I’ll do some frozen nut loaf for B. Not sure what else, a salad and ? Then later in the week, I plan on making Beef bourguignon. I saw a recipe for mushroom bourguignon and I might do that for B.

Most of the week is supposed to be nice but there is rain tomorrow and Tuesday. I don’t think we’re supposed to get snow though.

Five on Friday

  • We’re still waiting to hear on the RV. I’m guessing the one that came in was the bunk bed one as I saw it on their website. That’s ok. The longer the money is in our savings the better, I guess. It’s a big leap for us to use savings but as I said( mostly to myself), if not now , When?? So that’s it. Especially after fellow blogger Teresa just up and died suddenly, who know how much time any of us have. I wouldn’t risk using more money than I feel we can handle though. We only have SS as income and some retirement savings but relative to most retirees, it’s probably very miniscule. But regardless, we’ll manage somehow or another.
  • The 8 mg of Dex was pretty easy to take. It’s still Dex so there is that. Next week I plan on doing the 12mg again.
  • We fired up the Ooni because it said do a 30 minute burn at full temperature. So that’s done and I have dough ready. I plan on doing 3 pizzas :marguerite, pepperoni, and a broccoli bacon/ veggie bacon.

I wrote on the chalkboard, 30 pizzas at $10 will pay for the Ooni. It’s probably less than 30 since most of the wood fired 12 inch pizzas like at Mod pizza and 965 Blast are more like 12.99 and up. But I figured I’d just do it at $10 and times that by 30.

  • Our weather is supposed to cool slightly which is nice. This season has already been too hot and dry. I am really worried about fire this year. We have a good defensible space but even so a big fire could just blast through.

Simple Sunday and a review of our first month of full retirement.

 So it’s been a month since Barclay ‘officially’ left UNFI. With only now SS as our income, it went ok. We did get our tax refunds, which weren’t big but it was added income and I was able to pay our April property tax early.  So that’s a big win.

Essentially, our basic income with be under $3,000.  Moving is not an option and plus in the housing market here we couldn’t rent a place for what our mortgage is. SS does take out our Medicare and that’s good.

We can do it if we’re careful. Annual bills will need to be paid with the small savings we have. Also, by mid-year, I’ll expect our 2 adult children who live here( well, my son lives in the Studio) but still, there are utilities,  etc, to bump up what they’re paying in rent.  That will give us the padding we need.

We paid off the car last year so that was a big payment.

Food is the variable that gets me. If I add in a Costco trip my food budget gets blown. Even though most of that stuff is bulk such as coffee, TP, rice, etc. It still adds up. I’ve tried to separate nonfood and that helps some.  Still, if I combine that with a Trader Joes in the same month the food budget easily goes over $600.

This week was really nice and our trip to Tahoe just perfect.

Today is a gym day.

I’m also making Joanna Gaines Chocolate chip cookies. We’ll see how they compare to Tollhouse.

For dinner, I’m making crepes again with my new Lodge pan. I also ordered the crepe spreader from Amazon to spread the crepe mixture. I used the spatula last time and it did work ok but this tool allows you to have a broader surface to spread. I’m planning on ham and cheese for the meat-eaters and spinach mushroom for the veggies.  I’ll also make a gruyere sauce.

This week we are in the entryway zone and dining room if you’re following Flylady.

Be sure to clean off patios and front doors. I put up the spring wreath I have that is forsythia flowers. Plus I bought a few pots of pansies and violas. So perhaps just tidy and freshen up your entryways.  I try and keep shoes in a wood crate.

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.