The tree is down!

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We got a call on Saturday morning from the tree guy about showing up later that day. It was a message on my phone and like 20 minutes late he was here with the small crane. Not sure what would have happened if we weren’t home. Maybe he figures retired people are always home? Anyway,  I headed out to the gym and the driveway was going to be blocked by the crane. Up he went and topped the tree and then worked down. B decided that paying the $200 to have them buck it up was worth it and it totally was. Now we have small rounds that he can use the log splitter and split. They worked ALL day and still were working at 4:45pm. finally, I said, we can rake the rest. All in all the 2 trees and 2 small oaks cost $3300.  I gave the workers a $200 tip to split between them. I think they were a little surprised as I guess most people don’t do that but they had worked really hard all day and felt like it was deserved.  So in total $3500. It looks really good to have these 2 ponderosas out. The one in the front was the leaner toward the house. Who knows if it would go or any of the trees left could still go actually but that’s the risk of living in pine trees.

I have my labs this morning and then home to do some light chores. This week we are in the living room zone if you’re following Flylady.  I put up the tree yesterday and put on the lights. We were going to go up and get the tree permit today ( in Truckee) but decided not to as I don’t really want to deal with 2 trees. Unusual for me as I use to love all of the 3 little trees I had around that were themed( the bird tree, the snoopy tree, the ugly ornament tree). Well, those days are over. So anyway, the one tree is up with lights and very few ornaments. I’m just not doing the whole thing this year and as a minimalist, I’m trying not to overdo stuff.

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This is where the 2 small oaks were that we wanted out so that we can maybe eventually park a vehicle there.

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This is  not the ponderosa we took down but it gives you an idea of the size:)

Frugal Friday

I’m not too sure anything these days is all that frugal. We still have medical bills coming in that the Cobra insurance(UHC) says we owe due to the fact B was medicare ELIGIBLE but was in fact not on Medicare. WTF! At least it was for only the one month as far as I can determine. But we could appeal but I doubt that we would win it. So payments on that for a while.  So NOT frugal. Or maybe it will keep us more frugal as that money cant be spent elsewhere.  No, I think it would go straight to savings.

I’ve got most everything for Thanksgiving but realized I still need the nut loaf ingredients. I have the brown rice but the binder is cottage cheese and I need mushrooms too. But I can get those next week at our local Holiday Market.

The dental surgery co-pay was $196 so that was worth having the Cobra for as it would have been @ $1500 so that’s good. I seemed to have a reaction thought to something as I started sneezing and my sinuses went berserk. But the oral surgeon seemed to think it was a cold even though I told him I had no cold. Anyway, it’s better today.

Still, no tree guys so that money is ‘hanging’ out in our checking so that’s a savings ( sorta).

I’m not going to the gym as I’m going to Walmart for a pickup and then to the bank to get a notarization. B sold his motorcycle to someone in Nevada and it was signed wrong so I need to sign a paper that says I signed it wrong .P.I.T.A.  Plus I’m still not feeling 100%. He did lose quite a bit by selling the Honda as he bought it new. But that’s the way it goes.

Dinner is pizza and I’m going to try Whole Foods refrigerator dough to compare to T.J’s. I’ll report back.

 

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November hasn’t been a kind month

It will be a year tomorrow that Barclay was getting a blood test and was told to go to the ER immediately. He had almost 0 platelets, and extremely low RBC, WBC, and hemoglobins. Seriously bad.  I knew it was something bad and that this wasn’t just a blip.

 

He got in to see the local oncologist pretty quickly( like that same week). MDS was a possibility or aplastic anemia.  After getting more transfusions he got a BMB but the BMB wasn’t done right and the sample was inadequate.  This was when we were still with Sutter.  So eventually it was done correctly and the diagnosis was MDS high risk.

He then was transfusion-dependent and without a transplant would last maybe a year.

The rest is history.

Today was almost that year mark and another BMB.

Now my turn. It was right before Thanksgiving in 2003 when I had the fracture in my T-10.  Of course, I didn’t know that then or even that it was Multiple Myeloma. the NP I saw said a strained back. No Xray ( which would have at least seen something). I lived with that for 18 months till the spring of 2005 when I saw a doctor about some back surgery since my back still hadn’t really ever gotten 100% better.  Then I had an MRI. There was a plasmacytoma. The rest is history.

So November brings up some difficult emotions.

Transversing blood cancers is difficult. I’ve been fortunate that my Myeloma has responded when I’m in treatment.  I’m grateful I’m not starting treatment this month but hopefully can get to spring before I start.  B’s MDS is tricky and I hope he has a long if not permanent remission.

There’s always the questions” Why Us?” But I don’t bother with that anymore. Nor do I do prayers or the ‘God’ thing’.  Life is what it is and I believe we must live presently and with good intentions. There are no second-guessing these things.  I believe we must js\ust put one foot in front of the other and

remember what Bilbo Baggins says” It’s dangerous business going out your front door”.

Simple Sunday

Another week ahead with 2 appointments.B has his BMB ( 6 months) on Monday to check how everything is. I’m pretty sure it’ll be good as nothing unusual has shown on any blood tests. Then Tuesday he has weekly labs. He’s driving himself to those. Then Wednesday I have my dental surgery to remove the root of the broken took. I’ll have propofol to be sedated.  I’m hoping the gap heals for Thanksgiving. I’m not doing an implant but may consider a bridge for that area.  I would consider not doing anything but there is the risk of an infection and that wouldn’t be good.

I guess we’ll be eating soup this week.

Still no rain in our forecast. By this time we usually have had several storms with rain. Everything is quite dry.

I’m in the bedroom zone this week. I did the windows and tidied the closet. I was going to declutter a vintage suitcase I have in a corner and discovered it had mold on the bottom. So I had to take it out and remove everything. I decluttered about 25% but some of the items are baby things and want to hold on to them a while longer. Not clothes, they are long gone but wooded toys and some Peter Rabbit plates( Beatrix Potter). So now I need to buy a bin for that stuff. Unless I can get them in the under the bed bin which I will try first.

Then after seeing that, I ‘ve decided to pull up the antique wool Karastan rug I have and donate that to Cancer Thrift.  I’ve had this rug since 1977 and bought it at the Salvation Army for $500. It’s a lovely rug in pastels but I think it’s time if it’s holding moisture on the floor causing mold. Our bedroom floor is cold in the winter partly due to there is no insulation under the house.  We had to remove all that when we had the rodent infestation about 3 years ago. So, I think, it’s time to do something else. My daughter’s tiny room has vinyl flooring from Home Depot and it’s really nice so I think that’s what we’ll do in there.

Our floors are wood(fir) but not in great shape so I don’t feel bad about covering them up. Plus it does make cleaning easier.

Today is a gym day( I think). Now with the rug fiasco, I may just stay home and deal with that.

 

 

A minimal Thanksgiving

552cdb22-105b-4107-869e-4ec1dff8e550.jpgEvery year I think “oh, I’m going to go out for Chinese food, or order a pizza for Thanksgiving”.

But then I realize, I like to cook for Thanksgiving although each passing year I streamline it more. One, because too many side dishes are well, too many.  But, since we don’t have family that comes or anyone we know really, it’s a fairly low key event.

This year I will do our vegetarian nut loaf, which I’ve made every year for the last 20, plus either a small turkey or turkey breast, plus mashed potatoes, a vegetarian tamari gravy, and a few other sides. That’s about it. I always buy a pie but no one eats it till maybe the next day as we’re not dessert eaters at all.  I’m not really a baker so I usually buy a pie at Costco but this year maybe I’ll think of something else.

Since it’s only the 4 of us, I just don’t want to overdo it.

I have a few pumpkins for the table and the knitted pumpkins as well and I’ll go cut a few branches of the Japanese maple for color.

A lovely fall so far…

Our weather is so beautiful.

I can’t hardly imagine being anywhere else, well maybe Hawaii! Next week looks lovely as well with day time temperatures in the 70’s. We do need the rain though:(

We had a fun time at Ikea this week. I got the new Poang chair covers(2) that I’d been waiting till they were in stock. I really would have liked the more expensive ones but they weren’t in stock till the end of November plus they were kinda pricey.  I love their storage jars and always buy one or two.  I’m liking the smaller ones to use in the fridge.

We also picked up the plant stand I’ve been eyeing so I can put 3 plants together.

 

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I really like the bamboo wood legs and it holds 3 plants. I’m still experimenting with which ones to use.

I also gave some plants a shower this week and they’re happier.

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This morning I made banana bread as we had 4 ripe bananas that needed using.

I always add pecans/walnuts and choc chips.

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This morning I’m planning on going into town for just a brief stop at the bank to get a copy of a transaction and then down to our local bagel store.

We haven’t heard from the tree guy so maybe next week. Since they did the other tree last Saturday I thought they might be back today but we had no call.

No appointments week

Finally, where we have NO appointments.  It’s crazy such a little thing can mean so much. ( sounds a bit like Gandalf the grey). (Also, we just finished watching the trilogy and I’m halfway thru the last book “Return of the King”), hence the reference.

Seriously, it is nice. So today I’m going to get the oil changed in my VW.  If the wine sale is still going on at Grocery Outlet I might stop there. I had picked up a Malbec last week and tried it last night and it was quite good.

We haven’t heard back from the tree guy so who knows but it’s only Wednesday.

Out neighbor hasn’t gotten home from the hospital yet. We haven’t heard anything but I hope he is okay and gets to come home even if it’s only for a short while. His doggie misses him. The son is coming 2x  day to feed and walk him. I’m not sure where the son is staying as he lives in the bay area.

Tonight both my adult kids are going to see LOTR part one on the big screen. It’s the extended version so it’ll be long. I’m sure it’ll be great to see.

I’m planning just some jasmine rice with vegetable spring rolls for dinner.

Five on Friday

Friday stuff…

Autumn is really here with everything turning gold and yellow. The days are comfortable at 70 degrees but mornings are quite chilly (mid-thirties).

Hopefully, the firefighters are getting a handle on both fires north and south. I haven’t seen any more possible blackouts so fingers crossed.

  • I’m making a sourdough pizza dough for dinner. I was going to order out but decided this will be better. I have olives, mushrooms, bell peppers, and even some pepperoni. So I think we’re set.
  • Last night( Halloween) we watched the original”Creature from the Black Lagoon”. Very entertaining. The short shorts on the guys were hysterical.  They came up above their belly buttons but didn’t cover too much below. You couldn’t see ” anything” but it must have been held tight? Who knows? The night before we watched “Young Frankenstein” which is one of our top 5 favorite movies. It is so funny even after having watched it 500 times.
  • I’m heading to Walmart for a pick-up, then I might go to the gym?? Maybe?? If I don’t I’ll go tomorrow.
  • Washed the couch covers yesterday as that was in the LR  zone. Today is actually another zone as it is November 1. If you follow Flylady, that would be the Entryway and dining room. Since our table is in our living room space it’s already done. I did put away all my vintage Halloween stuff. I’m leaving out my knitted pumpkins till Thanksgiving and I have some small real ones on the table too.
  • Next week we have no appts, so I’m going to take Buggie( my 2000 VW) to get an oil change.
  • Last night with dinner we had a fun bottle of Chardonnay.
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Power is back on

So this was the 4th blackout. We had it pretty well nailed down with what to do. We’re also lucky we have a propane stove, wood heat, and a propane water heater. We had the generators for the fridge and freezer and fairy lights everywhere.

Still, it was inconvenient and for business owners and restaurants, it must have had a huge financial impact. Hopefully, it’s all over for now although there’s no rain in the immediate forecast. The fires are really terrible and you just feel for all the loss of property, beautiful countrysides and hills in LA.  The winds in LA have been incredible. Is this the new normal? I’m guessing yes.

Overall, it’s been a good week. The clinic visit for B was good and he’ll have another BMB on the 18th to see how the bone marrow looks.

I saw the oral surgeon for my broken tooth and will have that extracted in November. The dentist mentioned implants but I’m not going that way and insurance doesn’t cover it (as far as I know)so the cost is very high. So that’s that then.

Happy Halloween!


Simple Sunday( AKA as no electricity or …

or Little House on the Prairie Episode.

Lights out at 8 pm last night so we at least got thru dinner. We were sitting around listening to my son’s Spotify and talking. It was nice really.

There have been winds all night from the northeast but nothing too frightening( well, it’s still dark so I can’t’ tell yet). the solar lights were going on and off due to the wind though.

Yesterday was really a beautiful fall day. Everything is turning shades of gold and yellow. We don’t get a lot of reds but we do have Japanese maples that are turning red so that’s nice.  There wasn’t any wind to speak of.

Last week the PG&E tree crew came and took down a dead tree from the back near the barn. I happened to ask if they freelanced and they mostly didn’t speak much English but the one guy said “yes” and I showed him the 2 trees where they had just been cutting. They aren’t a threat in any way but they had pretty good leans, I mean like at 45″ angles and one was very large.  So I gave him my phone #.  Later that week they stopped by with a quote and it was VERY good for 2 trees. No bucking up just 4-5 lengths.

So now we those 2 taken care. In front of these 2 is a very very large tree that is also a leaner. It is leaning into the barn area.  If it went it would take out the barn for sure. But this tree requires a large crane and that’s not on the agenda for this year. We still haven’t had the other tree guy that we have the contract with contact us about the tree in the front.  I’m guessing that’ll happen soon though.  So maybe next year we can do the big tree but I’m guessing that is a $5,000 tree so??

This week we have a clinic visit for B and I have a dental appt about the tooth that is broken. That’s it for this week so not bad in terms of appts.

This week the Flylady zone is the living room if you’re following.  If you want to follow her plan in a modified way this is what I do.

  • dust
  • wash inside windows
  • make sure only things that live in the LR are in there, remove the rest.
  • declutter anything that isn’t loved or beautiful( I did this forever ago) but I still look around
  • vacuum
  • wash mirror

that’s about it. If you’re just starting out you might set a timer for 15 minutes and see what you can declutter or remove.

Dinner is unknown since the power is off but fortunately we are quite comfortable since we have a propane stove and can cook. No oven as that is electronically controlled. I may do pasta or something like that.