Post gone?

 

Well, the whole post I just wrote disappeared and didn’t publish right so…  I’ll try and rewrite later.

Summer Daze

Sunflower

Cancer requires one to slow down and simplify their life. Predictability in ongoing routines helps me to manage an otherwise unpredictable disease. Finding peace in a time of uncertainty is the goal. 

Once a month, I receive a dose of immunoglobulins. It’s a support treatment. It doesn’t kill cancer cells. Instead, it boosts my immune system, which is depleted of defenders by my blood cancer, multiple myeloma. The immunoglobulins help to protect me against bacterial and viral infections. Things like the common cold; things like Covid-19.

Due to my “sucky” immune system, I also practice preventive measures to minimize unduly exposing myself to random bugs. I was social distancing before it became a meme. I learned from nurses at the time of my stem cell transplant in 2008 that an emphasis on personal hygiene would prolong my life. It’s simple, common sense behavior. For 12 years, I’ve avoided salad bars, chosen not to fly, and washed my hands … a lot.

Bachelor Buttons, Cosmos, and Japanese Poppy

My health is decent, managed by a series of treatments that have not changed in some time. The plan is busy but not arduous: I take oral drugs at home and have two monthly visits to the infusatorium. One is for a dose of the aforementioned IGG cells. I receive a cancer killer drug at the other visit. After that, I get a few weeks break before doing it all over again.

In order to combat the disease, my oncologist designed a coherent plan. It’s based on science. If necessary, we adapt when the cancer develops wrinkles that need smoothing. 

These days, much of the rest of my life is similar to everyone else’s. That’s assuming they are following the prevention methodologies of social distancing, personal hygiene, and mask wearing. With the coronavirus we all have immune systems jeopardized by an infectious disease. 

Finding peace in my wildflowers.

Unfortunately, many people refuse to adhere to practical preventive measures. Why is it that there is blatant disregard for common sense? It starts with leadership. Our president refuses to model safe behavior.

In fact, he stumbles to be relevant in multiple crises. Obviously, he missed his chance to lead. Mayors and governors act decisively. They govern. The president, however, fails to articulate a clear message. He muddies the water with “gut” assessments of biology. And, his repeated contention that fewer tests will lead to fewer cases, murders logic. 

The misinformation, in conjunction with a lack of direction, lead to an increase in the infection rate. More deaths follow. The economy flounders as millions of Americans cannot work. All this for want of a national plan to control the pandemic. 

It’s hard to find peace under this cloud of uncertainty. Things must change. Leadership must be found. Be sure to vote this November. Your life may depend on it.

How the prepper pantry is going.

I haven’t bought anything in the last few weeks. But our last Costco trip @2 weeks ago did add some stuff.73917E27-9CE3-45B5-8681-5AFB0CFE7863.jpeg

On that trip, I bought the 2 pack of vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, and TP, plus I was lucky enough to walk by the cleaning area and there were a few Clorox wipes still there.

So these restaurant shelves are out in our barn.  Some stuff in the bins has been vacuumed sealed and placed in there for safekeeping. We have the other set of restaurant shelves in the kitchen actually and once we get the Ikea pantry, that will go out to the barn as well.

Under the kitchen workbench, I have some wine crates with misc items too. I’ve been crazy about these Far Niente crates. So now I have 4.They fit under the shelves and the work bench.

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I went down to our local fruit stand, Ikeda’s, and bought corn to freeze. Here it is blanching. Then I cut it off the cob and froze.

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Then I made sourdough bread in the bread maker. But I always bake it in a regular pan.

Tomorrow I’m going to make some strawberry jam with some berries I got at Ikeda’s. If you’re ever in Northern Ca and going up I-80 stop at Ikeda’s. It is been there for many years. And Danielle Steel has written about it in one of her romance novels.

 

 

Mila Grace

Three years now...this beautiful, sassy, determined girl came into our lives!

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She was my compass, my measure of time as I journeyed through months of difficult chemotherapy, sleepless nights, endless prayer to overcome fear and uncertainty.

I was still celebrating the good news of my daughter’s pregnancy when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  I was in Dublin on business when I got the call.  I wept as I walked along the Liffey processing the magnitude of change that lie ahead.  I pondered life on the shoulders of my driver and doorman, and prayed in a pint of Guinness.  I wondered if I would be alive to meet this baby…and then did the one thing that would distract me from this cancer diagnosis and went shopping.  I bought the cutest baby girl outfits in my favorite shops on Grafton Street, not even knowing if the baby was a girl.  And over it all, I prayed for peace, trusting God to carry me through the uncertainty.

Life changed in an instant.  I left work, started treatment, studied all I could about multiple myeloma and was shaken to the core by the dreadful odds I faced!  I was not going to get trapped in worry…I was determined to survive, determined to meet this new little one.

As we all awaited her arrival, I thought of her, I focused on life!  Her life!  My life!  How this child would bring abundant joy just as her brother Reid had done a season before.  I dreamed of the hugs and smiles and happiness that only a grandchild can give.

Chemo was killing the cancer but not my hope.  It tried to steal my joy but it could not.  In the midst of the hell of it all, I was at peace…I trusted God’s timing, as inconvenient as it seemed, and His grace to sustain and restore me and bless our family with two new lives…mine and Mila’s.

A good doctor knows the best medicine is balance. Balance between treatment and living!  I was given options to live in this moment.

I chose to wait until after baby was born to have the stem cell transplant. I was determined to hold this child right away!  To meet her fully coherent and not in recovery or worse.  I would have an ally to begin a new life with…to be bald with and that was the one surprise!

Mila Grace was born that June day.  Full of spirit…full of love…full head of hair!

Now she is three!  And I have been gifted three years “new” life too!  Stable and strong! She is still my compass.  My measure of time.  My reminder that life is a gift and hope lives in the heart of those who believe.

So on this birthday, I celebrate all it is, that by the grace of God I am still here to love her…the sweet, brave, smart, funny and beautiful girl that delights us with her charm. She is a force…adventurous and fearless and I dare to say I see a little of my spirit in her!

 

 

Photos with permission from my daughter!

Simple Sunday

Well, back to my regular programming here:)

Wow, our weather changed on a dime yesterday and now it is breezy and cool and just lovely. The high is supposed to be 82 degrees so really nice.

It was a busy sort of week with the dentist and oncology doctor but it all went well. My crown copay turned out less than I thought at $550. So that was good. The crown seems pretty sensitive to hot/cold so not sure if that will pass or ?

We ordered pizza out and that was pricey. I’ll go back to making my own pizzas next week. It was very hot Friday so it was convenient but too expensive just for pizza. ( well in my estimation)

Yesterday, I made zucchini lasagnas. I plan on cooking them tonight as it will be cooler and I can use the oven.  We’re just getting lots of zucchini from the garden, so I thought I’d try it. Then I had a lot of sauce leftover so  I made a regular noodle lasagna and then I ran out of lasagna noodles so I just threw some flat noodles in a pan topped with sauce and cheese and called it good.  Those I put in the freezer.

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The FlyLady zone this week is the Living room and then on July 1st, the entryway.

I’m debating going down to the big stores this week to shop. But, I think I might try and wait a week and just get milk and cream and a few things down at our Holiday Market. I have plenty of stuff to use from the pantry. There are a few more prepper pantry things I’d like to stock up on but there’s no hurry at this point. I usually like to wait till we need coffee or TP to go to Costco so that’s still a few weeks out at this point.

I found a really great cooking blog called Just one Cookbook,

She is Japanese and her recipes are pretty good. I’ve made the yakisoba twice already.  Her YouTube is good also. I’m kinda on another Japanese kick right now. I’ve ordered a vintage Tenugui to use as a window covering. And also from eBay, a furoshiki to use as a window covering too. I’ve been looking at some Japanese fabric to make some pillows but haven’t found what I want yet.

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This is the west side of our house and it gets very sunny in that window. You can see the window cooler which is a lifesaver in our bedroom. It is removed in the fall.

 

Frugal as in necessary vs frugal millionaire because it’s hip.

This is my blog and my opinions. If you don’t want to read my rant about frugal necessity vs it being a luxury for millionaires( or asset millionaires) don’t read it then.

Recently, I followed a blog trail and ended up at someone’s site that was dedicated to being very frugal and ways to save a buck. Some of it was weird and using really cheap food stocks. ( think the blue box of mac and cheese and Krusteaz pancake mix). Ok, perhaps they’re not all bad but still.

Anyway, then this blogger is writing about being debt free and their monthly expenses. I was still on board here at this point. Then they go on to talk about net worth and assets. So she says, well our net worth went up $69,000 from the stock market taking  our net worth to over @ $2,000,000. I just about threw up.  Why are you even taking about trying so damn hard to be a cheapskate when you have that much money to draw from if you need it.

So then I started really thinking about this in relation to some other bloggers that do the same thing. The most famous is probably Frugalwoods. She wrote a book about  how being frugal lead them to be FIRE and independently wealthy.  What she doesn’t say is that her husband has continued to work from their home for an IT company whose salary is over $250,000 a year and benefits on top of that. Her salary comes from her blog, book and some independent consulting.

You know what? It’s easy to save 75% of your salary when it’s that big. Or even 50%. Honestly, it really seems to me pretentious and dishonest. Yes, it’s terrific you can grow kale on your 66 acre farm in Vermont to save money. And you eat the same thing for lunch every day. But it’s another thing is that YOU DON”T HAVE TOO> You have the savings to fall back on but what about the people that don’t.

How many low-income people eat beans/rice/pasta while struggling to pay the rent. They can hardly make ends meet and being frugal is a necessity.  They have no savings, retirement, etc. They live paycheck to paycheck.  We’ve been there.

Even now, we have Social Security and a small amount in retirement that we started way too late. Yes, that’s our fault but remember when you have no money to save because your bills/income are the same, ( actually bills out numbered income) so there is NO wiggle room.

PS. We still have a mortgage so that didn’t create the asset!

There are a few other bloggers like that, that I’ve just stopped reading because it’s ridiculous to read about trying to sell stuff on eBay to make a few bucks when you own multiple homes worth millions. Why not just donate that stuff to Cancer thrift or something?

Now they whole Frugal thing is so popular right now and I totally support it especially ones that really do give genuine advice because they are NEEDING to be frugal. I remember Frugal Queen in the UK. She had a terrific blog and had to be frugal.

I don’t know…  clearly this is a rant of mine which I take full responsibility for and that it clearly hits a nerve.

I think it is important to be frugal and careful with money and really everything including ones resources. But it’s another thing to have a blog about being frugal when all the while it is just white privileged rich people needing to pretend they need to save a buck because that’s how they got their money?? Not!

And BTW, it’s a great thing to pick up pennies or whatever change you find on the ground especially when your annuities and income are almost $6,000 a month. Whew, that must be tough.

And BTW, Thrifty Mom from Boise is really thrifty because that’s how she survives as a single mom with 2 adopted children. Now that’s real.

 

Okay, enough ranting. I’m going to go figure out my budget for our fixed income and see where I get too.

 

Please, do not respond in any nasty way. I won’t post those and it’s not worth it.

 

Friday round-up.

I’m really glad this week is over.

It’s been hot and that’s made it hard to be outside. I’ve been going out to the pool every day at 4pm so at least it’s a cool down to some degree.

My dentist’s appt went really well and they are taking every precaution so I felt safe. The crown was done in around 3 hours, start to finish.

My oncology appt also went fine except he was really late. He apologized as a family he had an appt with was having some issues. Nothing new, just wait till my numbers go up to 500. 😦  I sorta feel like a ticking bomb.  I was home by 12:15 so not too bad. Geez, people are driving CRAZY!!!

Tonight we’re ordering pizza out. It’s too hot to turn the oven on. So that will be a nice change.

I’ve done our budget for July and the only BIG expense will be the trees at @ $4,000. Geez, I really hope that’s it for a few years but probably not.

I put a yard sign up BLACK LIVES MATTER. I like it and it just shows some support. I would be out there protesting if I could. I did for VietNam but now I can’t risk getting COVID or bringing it back to others. So, just a small way of showing some support.

There’s a great news story trending about a young barista at Starbucks in Southern California who told a guest they had to wear a mask in the store. She went on a verbal rampage and then took his picture, posted it on Facebook while continuing to shame him. Tons of people came out in support of him and NOT the privileged white woman and then someone started a GO FUND ME tip jar. At last count, it’s up to $32,000. Wow, that is a really heartwarming story. That is some lucky kid.

B is still working on our daughters room windows and they really look nice. These new type windows have a UV tint which is amazing.  It definitely cuts down on the sun’s heat coming in. Plus he’s working on getting the ceiling fan up but that is requiring new wire so kinda a pain. But at least there will be some new wiring. When we had the guy do the wiring when we remodeled, he must have been on drugs and the wiring is screwy. Why he didn’t replace all the old wiring is unknown.

I probably won’t be going to the store till next week and haven’t decided where. I might just go to Safeway but I’ll need to write a list and see what I need.

 

 

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.

 

Five on Friday

I think I will just abandon Friday for now as nothing we’re doing is very frugal. But five on Friday does highlight that.

  • So we went and did the Costco and Trader Joes trip on Tuesday. We went early and TJ’s was still fairly busy. But we were in and out at a mere $167. Some snacks, tofu, frozen veggies, salad stuff, tea, wine, and who know what else. Costco was busy but again we made it thru pretty easily although by the time we left it was getting packed. I had one woman run in front of me almost knock me over( not really, just imagining) to get to the Clorox wipes. Geez, lady.  My son wanted some Knobb Creek whiskey? so that was expensive. But it was a giant bottle. Anyway, we got out of there under $200 with $100 being the whiskey, his Captain Morgan Rum, and B’s Sierra Pale ale. All of which I do not imbibe.
  • Our windows finally arrived so we went and got those from Home Depot.
  • We were back at Home Depot to get wood for the windows and insulation. There is some dry rot that needs to be fixed. More $$$.
  • The weather is heating up to 100 degrees + this week. Not my favorite thing.
  • I made three new recipes this week. Organic Turkey meatballs. They came out pretty darn good. Then I made on the BBQ a seasoned Tri-Tip from Costco I had bought back in March. I watched a YOu Tube to see how it was done and I actually followed the directions and it came out great. Then I had bought some fresh Ahi Tuna at Costco. It was pricey but again I watched YouTube and got the timing down as it’s a quick sear. It came out really good and there was enough for all 3 of us meat-eaters to have lunch the next day. So $17. for 2 meals for 3 people. It’s not beans and rice but we eat that a lot of the time anyway.
  • My daughter bought a ceiling fan for her room and the wiring is too sold to reuse so B will need to go get the right wiring for that too. This old house was really not built very well and then when we had the wiring redone when we moved in the guy who did it, did the worst job possible. He totally screwed what circuits do what and it’s really a mess but to try and prefix that would just be too expensive. So we’ll do what we can.

California along with many other states is seeing an increase in COVID -19 cases. Honestly, this whole thing with people NOT wearing masks is getting out of hand. If it saves lives and keeps the virus from spreading why would you think it’s political. It’s science, folks. Plain and simple facts of how a virus spreads.

Now we’ve got idiot in chief, planning this rally tomorrow with his idiot, science deniers, all together. Good grief, Charlie Brown.