Week 2 of Isolation Movies

Movies:

  1. Our Brand is Crisis

    food snack popcorn movie theater
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  2. Secretariat
  3. The Martian
  4. Romancing the Stone
  5. The Jewel of the Nile
  6. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  7. The Holiday
  8. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  9. Gladiator
  10. Man From Snowy River

Non-Movie Watching:

  1. Jeff Dunham comedy shows
  2. abandoned antique close up design
    Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

    newest episode of “The Rookie

  3. newest episode of “Bless this Mess
  4. newest episode of “Survivor
  5. newest episode of “The Walking Dead
  6. started watching “The Kominsky Method” on Netflix
  7. CNN10 news
  8. Jimmy Fallon at Home
  9. miscellaneous YouTube dark hole!

 

Day 14 of Isolation

I can’t believe it has been 2 weeks!  On one hand it seems SO MUCH LONGER!  On the other hand, it has gone by relatively smoothly. 

We are trying to find ways to keep ourselves entertained without leaving our property.  Our 9000 square foot piece of land (.2 acres; 836 square meters) doesn’t give many places to hide with a house on it!  I think our biggest challenge is finding some time alone.

How are you finding time alone with this “Safer at Home” order?

 

Today we:

  • made extra YUMMY pancakes with some of the sourdough starter – didn’t think to take a picture until they were all gone!
  • worked on Sudoku puzzles
  • GUITAR HERO!  Amazed our guitar still works!  I think it’s been over 10 years since it was last used.
  • naps and a very restful day

Day 13 of Isolation

Is it just me or is this never going to end?  I have a weird feeling that we aren’t going on vacation this summer.  Looking at the number of cases this morning seems to confirm things are getting worse, not better.

My principal sent an email this morning (midway through our spring break that’s already ruined by the pandemic) that we must check our work email HOURLY starting Monday.  Like I have nothing else to do (oh wait, I guess I don’t) but still!

They also want us to “interact” with the students starting next week.  Granted, we can’t assign anything that results in a grade and we can’t force them to “interact”.  They want all of us to set up a Zoom or Google Meet time so students have access to us.  Not sure how comfortable I am with this.  They can already message through the district platform and email us.  Is it so they can see us?  Be reassured by us?

Today on the homefront:

  • a few more weeds pulled out of the side yard
  • facetime with the kiddos
  • patio is ready for spring, I even had lunch outside today!
  • Declutter a shelf in the back bedroom so we can put our Wii stuff there.

My LadyBug friends while out with the weeds!  My social life is devolving!

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Day 12 of Isolation

This seems like our new normal.

Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  Franklin D. Roosevelt

I am fearful that EVERYTHING coming into our home is infected.  And we aren’t going out often or ordering stuff.

  • John went to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables this morning at the grocery store.
  • Kiddo #2 ordered something from Amazon before the “Safer at Home” order here in California. [She will frequently use our address for deliveries since she has issues getting stuff delivered at her apartment.]  Everyone else must have been ordering the same gluten free soup.  It finally arrived today in a cardboard box. 

I was nagging John to be sure he sanitized everything including the box and bags along with all the door handles and other stuff he might have touched after he brought the stuff in.  

Please don’t misinterpret – I am a supporter of self-isolation and the statewide isolation order.  From a public health perspective, this and hand washing are the best ways to decrease the spread.  Our county currently has a 10% death rate.  This is nothing to mess with.

Anyone else having anxiety about infected stuff coming into the house?  I know we have all conquered our fears of clutter entering!

 

And the other stuff happening here today:

  • John made another loaf of sourdough bread
  • Barb weeded the side planter.  It was nice to sit outside and have time “alone” with my thoughts.
  • Catching up on blog reading.

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Day 11 of Isolation

Things are starting to settle into routines.  Laundry is getting done more frequently – doing yard work is clothing extensive!  We are having more dishes to wash since we are eating all 3 meals at home.  We have been experimenting with recipes.

I’m going to try to get up earlier rather than later.  My morning wake up time has been getting later and later.  Yesterday it was 11:30 and a kick in my behind that I need to get up earlier.  This morning was 10:00.  John has been “sleeping  in” too – this morning it was 6:00 when he woke up.  Way too early for me!

How is your new daily routine coming along?

Things going on today:

  • more yard work – does purchasing bark/mulch count as an essential?  We are debating a trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s but not sure we want to risk it at this point.
  • no puzzle today – decided to read instead.
  • John baked gluten free sourdough bread!  It was so YUMMY!  We need to figure out something to do with the starter he has been maintaining.  I think waffles are on the menu for tomorrow morning!

Day 10 of Isolation

John went to the store this morning.  Our local grocery store did not have toilet paper – we aren’t out and he wasn’t going to buy it – he was just curious.

The health food store farther away in downtown had everything gluten free he wanted (baking mix to make homemade bread specifically).  They also had dry beans, quinoa, and hominy which the local grocery store didn’t have.  We are now set on those.

We made Mac and Cheese for lunch.  No baking!  Here’s the gist of what I did.

“French Onion Mac & Cheese”  Sorry no pic, it was just mac & cheese in a pot.

  1. Boil the noodles in just enough water so that when they are done there is hardly any water left.  I also added some beef Better than Bouillon to the water before cooking.
  2. While the noodles cooked, I caramelized 1/2 a large onion.
  3. I grated about 3 ounces of Gruyere cheese which we just happen to have in the frig and sparked this recipe.
  4. When noodles were done, I added a little bit of cornstarch to thicken the remaining water since we used gluten free noodles.  I would think with regular noodles you wouldn’t need to do this.
  5. Mix the noodles, onions, cheese together with a splash of half and half.
  6. EAT!  It was super YUMMY!!

 

Other happenings in our house:

  • Barb’s shoulders are sore today from working in the yard yesterday
  • finished another puzzle – I think it is time to move to reading for a while

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Day 9 of Isolation Ruminations

I’ve updated our day numbers.  We started isolation 2 days before the first blog post.

I haven’t left the house/yard since returning from dinner Friday 3/13.

On this day, I left for work and was dreading Friday the 13th at a middle school.  We had already had RAIN (you know that wet stuff that occasionally falls from the sky in Southern California), FULL MOON, and DAYLIGHT SAVINGS!  What more could happen??

Friday after lunch, everything changed.  The county was shuttering all school at the end of the day until 4/6.  By Tuesday morning, the closure was extended to 4/30.  John found out his school was closing until 4/6 on the same day I found out 4/30.  It wasn’t until Thursday that John received confirmation that his school was closing until 5/1.

I’m not sure if this is a positive or not, but we are not expected to provide specific lessons to the students.  Because some students do not have internet access, we can’t assign anything we expect to have completed and turned in digitally.  Some students have started the “assignments” I posted but not a majority by any stretch of the imagination.  The district also feels this is a stressful enough event without adding parents trying to guide/teach as well.

So now we have to “entertain” ourselves for at least 6 weeks at home.  Today we:

  • did some yard work, we were out there for 2 hours!  It was a beautiful morning here.
  • contemplated what we will do for student semester grades IF we don’t return.
    • Barb thinks we won’t go back
    • John is optimistic we will.
    • Can we just give a grade based on what they earned just before shutdown?
    • Can the state just say “No Grades”?  They’ve already said no state testing.
    • AP tests will still be given during May.  Not sure how this will look and how valid the test scores will be.
  • completed another puzzle – we purchased this in Yellowstone National Park.  It is OBVIOUS someone purchased it before us and returned it with broken pieces.  Glad all the pieces were included.  Would have been really annoyed if it had missing pieces.

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  • started another puzzle

Day 6 of Isolation

The state of California has its act together.

We filed our taxes Monday afternoon and this morning when I went online, the bank had already received our refund!!  Less than one week!  Not that we are going anywhere to spend it but we have it!

John also received his new Real ID license today.  He went last week on Friday to do the renewal.  One week to receive it!  Hope other aspect of state government are as efficient!

Meanwhile –

  • Our bathroom temporarily ran out of toilet paper.  Just a small panic until I realized there were 10 rolls in the other bathroom.
  • It was a beautiful morning here so we did a couple of hours of yard work.  The recent rains have spurred growth of grass and weeks.
  • I caught up on reading other blog posts
  • Naps
  • We played Wii Bowling again!

Week 1 of Isolation Movies

As we wrap up our first week of isolation/Safer at Home, here is a list of the movies watched this week.

  1. Contagion – and why not?
  2. Frozen II – and we don’t have kids here!
  3. Fast 5 – we still need to watch the most recent one
  4. Remember the Titans – one of our favorites!
  5. The King’s Speech
  6. The Rainmaker
  7. Hell or High Water – we’ve been on an underdog theme it seems
  8. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – personally I liked the first one better
  9. Seabiscuit
  10. CHiPs – Dax Shepard also has a pretty good podcast we enjoy on road trips
  11. Rango – although it is a cartoon, it is not a kid movie in my opinion
  12. Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken – interesting twist on Super Size Me.

No “TV” series at this point.  What have you been watching?  Any suggestions?

Day 3 of Isolation

I say this is Day 3 but it is really Day 5.  Somehow the weekend didn’t count when I made the Day 1 post.  Does the day number really matter?  Nope.  Especially knowing that I am looking at being off work for at least 47 days.

I weighed in this morning and I hit 25 pounds decluttered!  Guess the stress eating last week was what my body needed to get over the 23 pound plateau I’ve had for 3 weeks.  On the positive side, I didn’t gain anything for 3 weeks!  I still tracked my food intake but definitely went above what I should have been eating – not nearly as much as “old” me would have eaten.

Other things going on today:

  • more Sudoku for John
  • catching up on blog reading for Barb
  • we got out all of the old Wii stuff and set it up.  John is practicing driving at the moment before our big race later!  Update to follow
  • watched CNN10 for the week.  I didn’t realize it was still being recorded.
  • talked to the kiddos and mom.  Our phone calls sure last longer now that everyone is in isolation!

Random Acts of Kindness

This is an interesting time.  All of us are a little on edge.  Our school was supposed to be having a “Random Acts of Kindness” week.  Let’s all try to do this!

Let us know in the comments about a random act of kindness you gave or received this week.

We received a Random Act of Kindness on Tuesday.  Back Story:  Kiddo #2 had a nearly dead, car wouldn’t start, battery on Monday night when she was leaving work.  AAA came out and jumped her, then she drove towards us so we could trade cars about half way.  When you have a Prius, car not starting could be one of MANY things.

On Tuesday, John took the car to our mechanic.  He originally quoted us $50 to look over everything just to make sure it wasn’t something major causing the battery drain.  (Kiddo #2 didn’t think she left any lights on or doors open.)   The mechanic called a few hours later to say the car was ready.  We went to pick it up and the charge was $0.00!  He said they checked everything, plugged it into the computer to check for codes, and everything was fine.  He said with all that is going on, he didn’t want to be “that guy” who charges when everything is ok.

 

Day 1 of Isolation

 

Trying to prevent Cabin Fever!

  • completed and filed our taxes
  • Scanned a previous year of taxes to discard paper from the filing cabinet
  • shredded a pile papers
  • John cleaned the guns
  • deep cleaned the stove and oven
  • watched “King’s Speech” together
  • did 2 loads of laundry
  • completed an 8 part sudoku – John worked on his for a while
  • John took a nap
  • watched the news, “played on the internet”
  • tried a new dinner recipe (saute zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, and hominy with cumin)
  • talked to both kiddos
  • drove in to trade cars with Kiddo #2 – her battery died so we are going to get it replaced – we’re off and she isn’t.  We know it’s been about 5 years so it’s due.

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Coronavirus “Spring Break”

Well, it happened.  My school was one of MANY in California that is on a 3 week public health hiatus.  John’s district hasn’t closed any schools yet, but he is currently on Spring Break.  My principal made it very clear that since the health department is closing us, we are expected to isolate/self-quarantine.

Thankfully, we are not expected to prepare lessons for the students.  I posted a few things they will need to do when we return – hopefully they will do it since it is the family life unit.  It’s usually the one chapter of the book they look at!

Hope every one is staying safe and healthy during this unusual situation we find ourselves in.

Surviving Fire Season

This has been an interesting fire season for us.  Our town had 2 wildfires while the Santa Ana winds were blowing last week.

Day 1 had an evacuation area that surrounded the school I work at.  Literally our side of the street wasn’t evacuated but directly across and to the west of us was under mandatory evacuation.  It sure did make releasing students interesting!

Day 2 had an evacuation warning at the house.  We got the cell phone alert at 3:30 am.  Thankfully it wasn’t mandatory.  I think they do that in case the wind shifts, which it didn’t.

Hopefully that is the end of it for us for a while.  Our last mandatory evacuation was about 25 years ago.  Flames got within 100 feet of the house that time.

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Picture from the hillside looking down at the fire.  Not sure of source – from CNN.com

Canceling Protection One/ADT

ARGH!  We decided to cancel our home security monitoring through Protection One.  How difficult is this, you ask?  VERY!!!!!

We recently had our cable-based internet router die – just straight up quit working one day.  We spent the evening returning/exchanging it at the local office.  They also gave us an updated wireless modem.  After setting it all up, we realized our landline wasn’t working (service provided by our “cable” provider.)  After another hour on the phone with them, they claim all is perfect.

3 days later – count that – not 1, not 2, but 3 days later we can’t set the alarm when we are ready to leave the house.  Evidently our backup battery for the cellular backup option died because the system was unable to use the landline.

A technician came to the house a few days later after being told we needed to have a software update.  John took the afternoon off the deal with this.  The technician arrives, does the update, yet still can’t get the landline option to send a signal for the alarm system.  The “only option” is to upgrade to cellular for “ONLY” $5 MORE PER MONTH.

So now our monthly bill is up to $67.  We have a discussion after the technician leaves and decide that is just too much.  We can probably get a different alarm system cheaper and technologically more advanced.

I call to cancel and they remind me that we have been “loyal” customers for over 10 years.  Yep, we know how long we’ve had the alarm system and still want to cancel.  Now starts the drama!  I forgot about the 30 days notice requirement.  I assumed they would cut us off at the end of the pre-paid month.  NOPE!

Website says you can’t cancel online – you must call and have them convince you that you are putting your family at risk by cancelling.  Then, get this, you have to send an email to cancel.  Cancel date is based on when they receive your email/written request (which they don’t tell you).  Thankfully we emailed as they told us we needed to email.

Can you believe we “missed” the cut-off for canceling at the end of the billing cycle by 2 days??  (According to our contract, we need to give a 30 day notice.)  They then claim that our contract states that we need to give notice prior to the next billing cycle and that our cancel date won’t be in 30 days (Nov. 7) but Dec. 5th because of the billing cycle requirement.  They also have someone call multiple times trying to offer us a 36 month contract for $50 without updating any of the technology.  They did eventually offer no monthly payments until 2020 but with no upgraded equipment.  They finally agree after a week of emails and phone calls to cancel at the 30 day mark (Nov. 7).

How hard is it to just stop monitoring the system?  They claim it is very difficult.  My guess is all that happens is they “flip” a switch and we are off.  Anyone know anything about this side of it?

The icing on the cake is today we got a bill for $15 for the cellular upgrade.

Now what do we do with the ancient equipment?  What will happen when we try to disconnect everything?  Will the alarm still sound?  Can they remotely wipe out our system?  Will that mess with the landline?  Not looking forward to Nov. 7th.

Not the tow dolly this time!

Now that you know all about our tow dolly issues, I bet you are thinking nothing else could go wrong on this trip.  Well, you would be so wrong!

Between Lubbock, Texas and Buffalo, New York we had to make an emergency stop at the Ford dealership in Charleston, West Virginia.

As we were beginning our day, John noticed Winnie was running hot.  Thankfully we were near Charleston and they had a Ford dealer.  They don’t have the facilities to work on RV’s but took pity on us and looked to see if it was something “easy” to fix.  A hose had wiggled loose with all the crappy roads we were traveling on, burned a hole in it, and we were out of radiator fluid.  They were able to order a part to fix the hose.  Thankfully everything could be accessed from under the rig and through the hood opening.  Otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to help us at that location and they are the “largest” one in the state.

$493 later we were on the road again!

Tow Dolly – Not Loving It – PART 3!

Yep, there is more to this story.

Can you believe this??  After leaving Buffalo Camping World, we arrive at Hogback Lake, Indiana KOA the next evening and decide to check the bolts.  Keep in mind, every time we stop at a rest area or for gas we are checking for them and the ratchets.

I bet some of you are psychic!

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image from https://www.rvtravel.com/rver-horoscopes-for-may-2017/

One of the bolts they replace is MISSING!  Of course it is a Saturday evening and most service departments are closed on Sunday.  Monday morning is another phone call to Camping World in California.  They are shocked we are calling again – as are we with a few other emotions brewing.

They run interference for us again and now we travel to Indianapolis Camping World.  They scheduled an appointment for 2 pm but we show up at 12 pm.  They finally get us into the service bay about 1 pm.

We stroll their store, spend some money, and finally are on our way about 5 pm with all of our bolts in place.  Just another day of vacation!

 

Tow Dolly – Not Loving It – PART 2

So now that everyone is thankful their vacation hasn’t started like ours, it just keeps getting “better”.

About an hour after our last post about tow dollies, I was sitting at the picnic table at just the “right” location and noticed that there are 2 bolts on the right side of the dolly but not on the left.  John inspected and we were missing 2 bolts from the bottom and one from the side that hold the ramps in place.  We got ready to leave the next morning to go to Camping World and found that the light fixture they installed was not working again! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS???

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Do you see those 2 bolts?  How I managed to see them still amazes me.
The next morning we call Camping World in California and thankfully get to talk to the same person we talked to about our previous issues.  He makes arrangements for us to take it to the nearest Camping World in Buffalo, New York.

It feels like our vacation is a tour of Camping World facilities!

We get there and they say it will take a couple of hours.  After a “relaxing” lunch at Red Robin (YUMMM), we take a drive to Niagara Falls.  Someone forgot our passports (cough Barb cough) so we stay on the US side.  It was a nice diversion while the tow dolly was being repaired.

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I love this picture of the falls!  We paid $1.25 per person to go up the observation deck to get this photo.

They called us about 4 pm to say that they “fixed” it – they replaced the bolts but they didn’t have a light fixture.  They also said one of the bolts had broken off in the permanently installed nut and that it probably happened while they were assembling it. Great!  What else did they screw up??

We return about 5 pm after a stop at AutoZone to pick up a trailer light.  They install it for us and we are finally back on the road about 7 pm.

Bet you are wondering what happened next!!

 

 

 

Tow Dolly – Not Loving It

As you saw in our Crazy Car Drama post, we had to purchase a new tow vehicle.  After much consideration, we purchased the same thing we had before, just 11 years newer.

Italics are John’s comments.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a place to make it flat-towable before we wanted to leave SO we purchased a tow dolly.  Instead of buying a used one, we went for a new one through Camping World.  (I know – we could have found it cheaper elsewhere BUT they are nationwide and if there was an issue, they would be able to take care of it.  We assumed it wouldn’t happen – little did we know!)

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First, we ordered it and it took a week to arrive at the local Camping World.  They call on Monday and say it will be ready for pick up on Thursday.  WHAT??  What can possible need to be done that it takes 3 or 4 days??  (The wheels and ratchets need to be put on.)

Keep in mind we were planning to leave on Monday or Tuesday so what’s a couple of days??

John finally gets the call about 3:30 on Thursday that it is ready to pick up.  By the time he gets home, the right rear light has fallen off.  He calls camping world and they say to bring it in.  On his way home from Camping World, he stops at Autozone and picks up a new rear light, just in case!   And on his way home about 1/2 mile from the house, John turns the corner and there is our light – broken, but found!

On Friday morning, we finish the last minute packing and head out, assuming we are quickly going to leave Camping World.  When we arrive, they say they will have to order the light (which we purchased for $8!) and it will be about a week.  Well, NO!  You are going to use this one we purchased (they never offered to reimburse us for this.)

As we are standing there, I ask “Aren’t there supposed to be ratchets for each front wheel?”  Sure enough, there is!  One of them was either stolen while at Camping World OR it also fell off.  We were going for stolen.  These are bolted on, how could it fall off???

They modified some ratchets to work on the missing side and agree to order and overnight ship the replacement to us when it arrives.

So we finally leave Friday afternoon after spending 5 hours at Camping World.

We travel along and get to Amarillo, Texas on Sunday afternoon.  We are finally starting to feel like it is a vacation.  As we pull into the campground, the trailer ramps are dragging really noisily.  We get to our site and THE OTHER RATCHET LOST A BOLT and the left CAR WHEEL WAS PARTIALLY ON THE RAMP!!  So now we know it wasn’t stolen!

We call Camping World and they recommend taking it to the nearest Camping World – in Lubbock 125 miles away!  I quite forcefully tell them to call and make sure they can help us.  “Oh, we’re sorry, they are closed until tomorrow!”

So on Monday morning we take off for Lubbock and before we arrive I call them and they happen to have the same trailer in stock and will be able to replace both ratchets!

Lubbock Camping World had us on the road in about an hour!!  They also used some sort of solution (Hold Tight Thread Lock) on the bolts to make sure they wouldn’t loosen.

So how do we feel about the tow dolly?  Ask us when we finish vacation!  (It is definitely more work to load the car and get ready than flat towing.)

Crazy Car Drama

I think the crazy is still following us since our last post.

We borrowed Kiddo #2’s car (the Xterra) to make a trip to the landfill.  Kiddo #2 was driving our car in downtown Los Angeles and was hit by a driver making a left turn in front of her on April 25th.  She is not at fault but now the car needed to be repaired.  Thankfully we pay a little extra to have a deductible of $250.  The insurance company said it may take a year to get it back since they will have to deal with the other driver’s insurance company.  We used Caliber Collison and they were AWESOME!!  They even delivered the car to Kiddo #2 when it was completed at her apartment!

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John was in an accident on May 5th – of course the extra car was with Kiddo#2!!  Someone got a new mail box and fence from our insurance company because of this one.   It is moments like this that make you glad you have insurance.  It took them until May 13th to decide they were going to consider his car A TOTAL LOSS!

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Now keep in mind, his car was the one we towed behind the motorhome.  We also were due to leave on May 30th.

After much car and soul searching, we purchased a 2019 Nissan Sentra on May 19th – just like his old one, but newer and dent-free!  Getting it ready to travel is a separate post all its own!

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Some Weeks Should Never Be!

This was one of those weeks which should never be experienced by any homeowner!  To those of you who recently mentioned you love being a renter – I agree with you when stuff like this happens!

Our hot water heater decided to spring a leak Monday afternoon.  John had to take 2 days off for estimates and replacement.  He received estimates for both a traditional water heater and a tankless version.  Needless to say, traditional water heater got installed on Wednesday.

Thursday evening, we heard a weird noise – almost a gurgling sound.  When we went into the master bathroom, the toilet bowl had very little water and there was a weird coating on the floor of the shower.  Yep, the sewer line was backed up.  A call to Roto-Rooter was made – $500 minimum charge to come immediately or $250 to come in the morning.  John took Friday off!  It seems the main sewer line has a crack and roots entered and blocked the flow of YUCKY stuff from our house.  Roots are now gone but a decision needs to be made about the cracked pipe.  Maybe next month??

$2500 later we have hot water AND our sewer line is cleaned out.  Gotta love home ownership!!

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Bug Update

Well, we survived the weekend.  John was miserable until Sunday afternoon – 4 days of misery – but seems to be over the fever part.  He still has a cough that doesn’t seem to be getting better yet.  I vaguely remember that it will last weeks, mentioned it to him and he was NOT HAPPY to hear it.  On Monday he went to the doctor and they prescribed another cough medicine.  They took a chest x-ray because of the way it sounded.  We haven’t heard anything yet (Wednesday afternoon) so I’m assuming he is ok.

I came down with a fever, achy hips (why my hips?  they don’t lie) and a killer headache Saturday about lunch.  It was like having a migraine with body pain.  My head hasn’t hurt like that for MANY years.  Had to get up Sunday night to watch the 1/2 season premier of THE WALKING DEAD – does that sound a little obsessed with a show??  I could barely make it through the episode!  Went back to bed and finally got up again Monday night to write sub plans.  I am so glad we had Monday off as a holiday!  I stayed home Tuesday with no fever but exhausted.

Now to survive this week so we can enjoy a three day weekend!  The flu kicked our butts but we won!!

“The Bug” Hit Our House

Is it a cold or the flu?  Who knows and who cares when it makes you feel yucky.  Based on the chart below, it seems like it’s the flu.

John woke up this morning with a cough, headache, and fever.  After going to school to prepare sub plans, he is home resting.

A phone appointment with a doctor means Barb gets the honor of driving to the pharmacy to get him cough medicine and antibiotics.  Not sure he really needs the antibiotics but they prescribed them based on his symptoms – even Dr. Kiddo questioned them (but she isn’t his doctor!)

Sure hope he is the only one who gets this “bug” – Murphy’s Law says I’ll get it since this is a 3-day weekend for us.  Hope all of you are staying away from this!

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www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/coldflu.htm

February 2018 Update

February has been a roller coaster of a month for us.

On a more personal note, Barb’s dad passed away suddenly on February 26th.  Mom called about 8 am saying he fainted and she had called 911.  About 8:20 am while Barb was driving to their house, she got the phone call that he was gone.  Just like that our small corner of the world is turned upside down.

These kind of events make you evaluate what’s important – it sure isn’t all the crap you keep in the house, garage, etc.  Our decluttering sort of made this a little easier when we helped clean out the garage, closet, and dresser.  We did have to remember that not everyone was used to going through stuff and getting rid of it.

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Dad in his prime – about 50 years old here.

Another Leak, oh my!

Some of you may remember that we had our house flood about 2 years ago.  We affectionately (??) refer to it as the Great Flood of 2015.  That was a horrible time.  House flooded so we moved into a hotel, John’s dad passed away, and our daughter got married all within a month.

Barb’s first day with students this year was Tuesday.  She came home to a damp rug in the master bath.  Thought that was odd and decided to wash the bath linens.  Walked into the guest bathroom to standing water.  Not as deep as the Great Flood!  This was about 1/4 of an inch.  Just enough to be contained in the bathroom.

She immediately turned off the water to the house (lesson from the Great Flood) and began cleaning up the mess.  This time we didn’t need the industrial water vacuum called out!  It appeared the water was oozing from the boundary of the hallway tile and bathroom flooring.  Thankfully, it oozed into the bathroom which is slightly lower.

Plumber was able to arrive on Thursday. Yep, we went 2 days basically with no water.  When we had to flush, we turned on the water and quickly did anything else that needed water (washing our body quickly!!)

We had a leak in the pipe to the master bath shower.  He was able to fix it within an hour!

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Why does our house like to leak???

Thankfully, the wall they had to remove is in the linen closet.  A few things were damp but not permanently damaged.  The plumber recommended a restoration team.  Having been there before, we opted to rent an industrial dehumidifier and fan.  It is a small space between the shower and wall.  We feel we didn’t need a restoration team for this one!

Now we have to listen to these 2 devices for several days.  Never so glad to be back at work!!

Another FORCED look at what is in the linen closet again!!

Vacation Derailed

Our 6 week vacation lasted 4 days before “disaster” struck.

Barb tripped over her own feet on the evening of the 4th day.  Dislocated shoulder and trip to the ER was the excitement of the evening.

Here’s the initial x-ray.  Our niece replied “that don’t look right!”

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We ended up coming home on the 6th day.  She just couldn’t handle the RV life with the amount of residual pain.  Besides that, follow-up appointments and physical therapy at our home facility will be more convenient and much less costly than paying out of pocket.

As a side note, we have a reputation of ER visits during vacations – kidney stones, broken arm, urinary tract infection, scratched cornea are just a few reasons for ER visits.

Maybe some decluttering will get accomplished this summer hahahaha

Things are just easier now.

Having been sick since April 13th, I haven’t done much/any housekeeping.  Sure the dishes were put in the dishwasher; laundry was done when we ran out of undies; and the sheets were washed multiple times because when you have a fever, you sweat like crazy.

Know what else??  The house is still tidy!  Sure, the carpet needs vacuuming and furniture could use dusting.  BUT the house generally looks fine.  The “old” house would have had stuff piling up everywhere.  This is the first time I’ve been sick since we removed 14,680 items from the house (since we began counting).  With less clutter, even being out of commission for 4 weeks, everything looks fine.

Other household chores like going through the mail is easier.  We have gone electronic for most things.  We now get very little physical mail and it is very easy to go through standing at the recycle box.  We also stopped all magazine subscriptions and newspaper delivery.  Today the only mail was a Mother’s Day card from kiddo #1.

Paying bills has been simplified – I have a list in the bill/paper box so I know what needs to be paid and the due dates.  I’m still hesitant to do automatic payment.  We have streamlined so much of this that it takes about an hour to get everything done.  It used to take all day – literally – to get every check written, address envelopes, put all the info into the budget book.  The other thing that weirdly helps is getting paid just once a month.  I get paid the last work day of the month, John gets paid the first work day of the month.  Bills get paid and we know exactly how much we have left for the month.

I’m so thankful we started thinking about simplifying our lives a few years ago and that decluttering and minimalism are aspects that are working for us.

 

The Coffee Maker got a Spanking!

Our beloved coffee maker, who lives full time with us and travels with us in the motorhome, decided this morning to stop spitting out water.  We tried running it with vinegar thinking maybe the hard water had clogged up the lines.

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While researching online how to deal with this brand of coffee maker when it decides to stop spitting out hot water, there were numerous posts suggesting a spanking.  Since it wasn’t working, what did we have to lose?

Now this bad, bad coffee maker needed a spanking – literally.  If you’ve ever tried to spank a metal object on its bottom, it can be quite painful to the spanker.  John brought in his mallet and gave it about a dozen good hits.

After a couple of tries, coffee maker decided the pain wasn’t worth it and delivered hot water the way it was supposed to!

Gotta love when brawn wins the fight against technology!

 

April Update – April was tough!!

April was a rough month in our house this year.

We decluttered 5 items – I think this is the least amount ever!  Grand total this year is 657.  We have a ways to go to reach our 2017 goal of 2017.  We are enjoying the “freedom” of less in the house!

So here’s our month:
Barb had a stomach bug and missed 2 days of work (Thursday and Friday 4/13 and 4/14).

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Anyone who is a teacher knows that missing work unexpectedly is horrible.  The first day she text a coworker and she handled the sub plans.  Thank you Stefny!!

We got onto a plane Saturday to enjoy the holiday weekend with kiddo #1 in San Francisco area to fly home Sunday night with kiddo #2 in tow.  Kiddo #2 flew in on Friday – it was the first Easter with both kiddos in 5 years!  Such a blessing!

Monday night kiddo #1 called – mommy made her sick.

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Thursday Barb developed a cough and low grade fever.

We then went apartment hunting on Saturday for Kiddo #2 since she will be living about an hour away – horray!!

By Sunday it was a high fever and nasty cough.  Our Doctor-to-be (in 2 weeks!!) insisted she go to the doctor on Monday.  She even escorted Barb since she was so miserable.  Antibiotics and cough medicine prescribed.  Barb missed work again on Monday and Tuesday (4/24 and 4/25).   As of today, tiredness and coughing still happening.  Will this ever end?  This comic represents life when the cough medicine wears off about 3 am.

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Because Barb is on the district science committee, she misses a lot of school for meetings.  At least those are known in advance and you can plan ahead.  Illness is horrible for planning.  Teachers rarely take sick days because of true illness!

John and kiddo #2 picked up the slack for the 2 + weeks Barb was under the weather.  THANK YOU!!

So as you can see, decluttering was nearly nonexistent during April.  We did eliminate an old, ugly, holey t-shirt John insisted on still wearing.  Some things are such accomplishments they have to be mentioned!!