A nice little getaway

We left for Chico around 9:30 am. It was drizzling here but by the time we were heading up Hwy 99, the skies were clearing. A nice drive up.

We made good time and arrived just when I thought we would in time for lunch.

We had soup and a sandwich at the Tin Roof bakery and it was, as always, yummy. I  bought a loaf of their delicious sourdough to bring home. Then we cruised the upscale Salvation Army and then walked into downtown Chico. I was hoping to buy some closed in Birkenstocks but they didn’t have the soft sole in the style I wanted.  We checked out the bookstore too.

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One fun thing we did was walk around CSU chico, which was empty since it’s Winter break. Then we went into the Chico museum and had a lovely walk around.

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We checked into our room around 2 pm and relaxed. Around 4 we went down to the bar and had chardonnay wine and had a nice time just chatting about stuff.

We headed to the Red Tavern for our dinner reservations around 5:30. It’s a cozy place and fancy but not super fancy. Just right.

I had the Prix fix dinner of chicken scallopini, salad, and desert. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a good vegetarian option except for quinoa something so B had a lovely mushroom soup and a house salad with bread.  All in all really terrific.

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The next morning we had a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel although I thought it was free. We had a voucher so we ended up paying an additional $12. I guess that’s pretty cheap for two breakfasts.  Then we headed over to the Trader Joes since I thought it would be clever to do my weekly shopping there. I didn’t get everything I needed like some meat but other than that it was good.

Neither one of us wanted anything to eat so we headed out and took the more country way back home. Tons of migrating birds in the rice fields. This is where Lundberg Farms has many of their rice fields. If you know the brand, then that’s where some of the rice comes from.

Travel plans

Now that Christmas and NY are over, it’s back to my regular things.

I’m already planning some trips for us and what I’ve lined up so far is

  • Chico to stay at the Diamond Hotel( a restored old hotel) and dinner at the Red Tavern which is kinda fancy.
  • Yosemite and a stay at the Ahwahnee which is on my bucket list. Plus I’d never go to Yosemite during the tourist season. We did that camping when our kids were young and it was busy but not insanely so as it is now. We’re staying only one night due to the cost factor. It should be about a 3 1/2 hour drive so quite doable.
  • I still need to book the dates for Santa Barbara. I’m thinking early March which should be lovely down there. This will be 3 nights as it is too far just for 2 nights. Although we might just stay 2 nights and then the other night in Monterey as that’s about the half waypoint. ( it is a long drive)
  • April, I’m hoping we can get into New Brighton Stat beach and will look at that this weekend actually. It always books out that time of year so I don’t know yet.
  • Update on New Brighton. Just made a reservation for April so we’re set there. It’s after Easter and there were only a few spots with 3 nights. So I took one.
  • May has nothing, maybe camping?
  • June -nothing yet. Everything at nevada beach is booked:(
  • July we usually stay home
  • August nothing yet

The rest is open and I’ll see where we are.

 

As 2019 comes to a close

It has been a year of highs and lows.

Lots of things were awful with B’s diagnosis and then being transfusion dependent. Lots of chemo visits weekly. But in spite of that, there have some great things. His brother was a 10/10 match for the BMT and that was amazing.

Being at UCD med center in the BMT unit for a month was hard, very hard, but it all went way better than expected. Staying at the Kiwanis in our friends RV was also great and made the whole experience of having to be there almost 3 weeks delightful. Being able to be just minutes from the clinic made it all worth it.

Recovery and gaining strength and energy back has been slow but sure. B is doing amazing and he is almost 7 months post-transplant.

There has been no major graft vs host although he must remain vigilant as that can happen even down the road.  Now he is tapering off immunosuppressants and that means less prescriptions. He will still need his vaccinations sometime next year.

So the year really was a mixed bag of emotions but overall I feel very positive about it. We did fine financially with the extra GoFund Me and the SDI. This week will be his last SDI and I am totally grateful to have had NOT to worry about money. After my transplant in 2006 and that following year, we were in serious,serious debt and it was awful. There were no GoFundME things or networks to receive financial help. I did have 2 friends that were very generous and that was a blessing.

At the end of this year, I feel grateful for my health and my children’s health. Both of my children have excellent jobs that they earned this year.

B will also officially retire as going back to full time just isn’t going to work for him. I will miss the paychecks and being able to travel with him, but honestly, he is 69 and with everything that has happened, life is just too short to go back to a job even if it’s only for another year. Who knows what will happen and he has this chance to retire. Social Security will be tough but hey, so what! We have struggled before and made it and if we can only do so much then so be it. Actually, I’m just grateful we have the little we will have coming in as it will cover our basics.

WE didn’t do any traveling and that was okay. We are planning something once a month for  2020. Next month we are planning an overnight to Chico where B has a free room at one of the nicer hotels downtown. We are planning to have dinner at a place I’ve wanted to go forever called the Red Tavern. I can’t remember where I read about it over 5 years ago, but it’s supposed to one of the best restaurants around.

House wise, we didn’t do anything major except outside and tree removal.  We did replace two windows and they look great. Next year we will replace a few more windows in the bathroom and kitchen and my daughter’s room as well. Next year, we hope to work on the kitchen and do a minor remodel( mostly the sink and counter as it is 25 years old this summer and the sink connections are pretty rusty.

So life keeps on keeping on and it really is a wonderful life.

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!!

 

 

Almost bought a trailer

So, from my blogs you know we’ve wanted to upgrade from our tent trailer(that we love, but alas has no bathroom) to a hardbody.

So yesterday we decided to go take a look at the 2020 R Pods. They are small and lightweight. The original one we thought we’d be interested the 190, was a little cramped for our style. Then we like the 179 ( it may be a different #)with the rear kitchen, was quite a bit roomier.

But then he showed us the 195 and we were sold. It was perfect. But out the door almost $ 26,000 that includes all the setup, brakes for the Santa Fe, etc. So it was a good price but we weren’t sure or I should say hesitant to commit.  We would need to finance some and I think we’re unsure about that.

So although perfect, now isn’t the right time. Or maybe it is.

IMG_0644.jpegThe other thing is after we got home I looked up towing it with the Santa Fe. And although it has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs, most people advised against it as it will wear the motor and brakes out by stressing it. This R pod came in 3400 lbs, so under but still probably hard on the car.

So that also then got me thinking we’d need to go back to the drawing board about getting used truck. That then increases the cost now considerably. So it is a dilemma.

oh well, we’ll just have to think about it all more.

Solitude

I’m taking this idea from over at the blog ‘a smaller and simpler life’   

written by Sue from Wales. She is a wonderful writer and is truly living what she aspires to be.

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I’ve always been an introvert but in my earlier years just ignored what I needed. I don’t do that anymore. I don’t like crowds, parties, concerts etc. It’s just not what I’m interested in.

I am truly in a place where I like being alone/or with B who’s generally outside doing something so I have time to do what I want. When he was traveling for work I had many days where I was alone all day till either my daughter or son came home later in the evening. I was perfectly happy doing my own thing whatever that may have been.

I am embracing this as I get older and don’t feel the need at all to ‘fit’ in.

Having embraced minimalism and loving the simplicity of things, I don’t need to overextend or keep busy. I do my daily routines and enjoy the day. I may work on a project or plan something that might need to be done.

Now that we’re in ‘treatment’ mode, there’s no traveling about and as a matter of fact, I just canceled our spring trip to New Brighton beach because another round of chemo will start.  That’s okay because I believe you must live the season you’re in and not fight it.  We’ll go traveling again when this is over and it will be delightful.

 

Ready to go!

So, we have 2 kayaks on the car, 2 bikes on the car, 3 boxes of firewood, ice chests, clothes, dry foods, and the kitchen sink:)

 

We take off around 10:30 or so. We need to feed the doggies first, and I have a prescription at the post office. I need to pick up as it requires a signature.

It takes almost 2 hours with the tent trailer and weight to get to South Lake Tahoe.

And they don’t really want you checking in before 12 noon. Even when we get there they can be a little snippy. But only once before did we have to wait.

B picked up Bob Woodward’s new book’ Fear’ for me at Costco so I will start that today. I’ve been holding off till we get up there.

I’m planning to use the lodge tonight, but we’ll see.

I went to the Placer co Superior Court this week and got the papers to legally change my name to my name( ha, Ha). It’s a bit of a process and after filling out the forms which I will do after we get back, then I need to have the legal name change in the paper for 4 consecutive weeks.  I did email the jerk in NY but haven’t heard back. I want to confirm that this will release a certified birth certificate in the new order, which will be Christina Roxanne. So we shall see. I checked the passport requirements, and it does say certified BC. B thought I should just try with my old copy but I’m not sure that would fly with them as it is a very detailed procedure. That is the reason I’m doing any of this is for the passport in case we want to go over to British Columbia or on the hopes of Paris one day.