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Archive for October, 2016

I've Got the Blahs

October 27th, 2016 at 02:38 pm

I'm having a major case of the blahs. I really don't have much of a desire to blog right now. It's not that I'm letting things go by the wayside. It's just that without an income coming in, I have no goals other than to just get through this until DH finds a job. And with that being unlikely until after the election life is in limbo.

If Trump is elected, there will be more oil exploration and more projects going forward and more oil jobs. If Clinton is elected their won't be, because they won't be approved, unless Congress stays overwhelmingly Republican. It's a fact of the oil business. Republicans favor it. Democrats don't. Isn't that a fun place to be politically? Especially now when I'm losing faith in Johnson and I still don't want to vote for either of the other two. Ugh.

There will still be new projects here, though. So there will still be new jobs in my state, but with fewer openings so more competition for DH. And it is doubtful there will be any new jobs up there where the pay is usually better. We did find out for sure what happened there with Company B.

Company B didn't actually want to hire anyone from Company A at all even though parent company was very strongly saying you need to hire these specific people so things will run smoothly and the transition will work right. We want these people here. So basically anyone that was strongly recommended conveniently had their resumes "lost" on purpose.

DH's former co-workers who did manage to get hired say it is absolute hell up there. A lot of the people who were originally hired from Company A have been let go because they are being blamed for all the problems Company B is having, instead of Company B's complete willingness to be total donkey bottom fedoras and follow what has worked for the last 20 years because their way worked that one time with the small job so it ought to work on this much more massive scale. It doesn't.

I hope it was worth taking the lowest bid from a company that is not delivering and is acting like a snotty college kid in their first real job who thinks they know better than senior management because they did a class project their senior year and got an A on it, but were only hired because their daddy is CEO and can't actually be fired because of an ironclad contract, but is wreaking absolute havoc meanwhile.

In hindsight, I'm glad DH dodged that bullet. As for life being in limbo, I'm not really railing against it like I was before. I'm kind of numb to it. I'm not firing on all 8 cylinders. It's the onset of SADS. I'm using my happy light and I've upped my vitamin D intake. My diet is on track. But I haven't been able to exercise since I hurt my back and that is something that really makes a difference. And I haven't been able to spend time outdoors because of the foulness of the weather and being outside usually helps, too.

I'm sure resignation to wait things out also is contributing somewhat to a less than optimistic attitude, but I won't put pressure on DH. He is working hard on trying to find a new job and puts in hours every day on his job search between running his dad to chemotherapy here and to the follow up appointments and blood draws and the big cancer center in Seattle for other things and doing all the driving for his parents to do their errands since his mom doesn't drive anymore and his dad is so tired out by it.

Hopefully it will shake off with the higher dose of vitamin D starts taking effect.

The Storm so Far

October 15th, 2016 at 11:04 pm

On Thursday night we got hit hard enough that it ripped the corrugated roofing off the butcher station, but the turkey coop, chicken coop, duck coop, and rabbit shed survived with no damages.

On Friday we had to staple down the greenhouse plastic on the raised beds, because the clamps weren't strong enough to keep the wind from tearing it free. There was a pretty good lull in the afternoon so we were able to do this.

We ran out to get more bottled water. The first store we went to the power was out and it took a while to get away from there as the stop lights were out, too. We went across town to the other Fred Meyer and halfway through our shopping trip the power went out there. Backup generators came on and then about 5 minutes later the power was on. We finished up and hurried back home. A few more stoplights were out. We beat the rain home, but only just.

The wind died down around ten this morning. Several neighbors had lost shingles, but we didn't. The house, the garage and the rabbit shed roof were all intact. We let the birds out for a few hours, but cooped them early when the winds started to pick up again. We gave them extra food and water in case they can't be let out tomorrow.

The wind has been pretty ferocious for the last four hours. It sounds like a freight train at times. The rain is lashing pretty hard. So far we've not had any power flickers at all, though. It's supposed to go on like this all night and then drop down to winds of about 16 to 18 miles per hour at around 8 a.m. and through the day with lots of rain.

I think flooding is going to be more of an issue than anything unless some trees come down on the power lines. We won't get flooded out, we're on top of a hill and far enough from the major creek or the river or the bay or the lake, but the basement will flood as it does in every major storm so we'll have to have the sump pump going.

I am thinking we might not get hit as hard as they have been predicting, but you never know. I saw that a couple of tornadoes touched down in Oregon briefly yesterday, F2's. That is incredibly rare for this part of the country. It devastated Manzanita. I always wanted to visit this incredible bed and breakfast they have there. I don't think I'd even know the name of the town otherwise.

I really hope all the storm hype has been (pardon the pun) overblown. So far, at least for our area, it doesn't seem any worse than the bad fall blows we usually get. Just have to wait and see if it floods any worse. Right now there is just water over roadways, nothing unnavigable in some of the county. But more rain is on the way so it could get worse.

Storm Prep

October 13th, 2016 at 04:52 pm

So we're getting ready for what they are calling a post typhoon cyclone coming our way. This will likely be the worst storm to hit the west coast in my lifetime. Actually, it is to be a series of 3 storms to hit in rapid succession which are stemming from a Super Typhoon called Songda that is making its way across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.

We have plenty of shelf stable food, I've canned so much, and we have all of the staples I normally keep in food storage. We have our regular two cases of water in food storage and tonight we'll fill one of the bathtubs just in case we end up needing washing water or flushing water. We also have the 3 50 gallon rain barrels for further backup and to water the animals.

We've got a new, full BBQ-sized propane tank and 2 of the smaller propane tanks for the camp stove in case we end up having to cook on that. We've filled up the gas tank in the van. We've got the power station charging. It'll run my c-pap machine and DH's b-pap machine if we lose power. DH and I have been talking about getting a generator as well. I'd like to have something we can plug a couple of heaters into and a lamp and the fridge.

Our batteries are stocked up. Our cameras and cell phones are charged. Our computer batteries are charged. Our flashlights that don't take batteries are charged. Our regular flashlights and candles and lighters have all been rounded up.

We've tied down the garden low tunnels but we are talking about 50 to 70 knots of sustained winds so I am not sure it will make any difference in the end. Hopefully it will though. We've got all the empty pallets stacked in the garage now so they won't get rained on or go flying.

The rabbits have been taken care of early and the shutters are locked on the rabbit shed. The birds are going in early as well with extra food and water in case they can't come out tomorrow. Garage chicken has been secured with extra food and water (she's recovering from an injury) in her cage.

I can't think of anything else we need to do. We don't generally get storms quite this bad. Those of you who go through hurricanes on a regular basis over on the East coast, can you think of anything else I might need to do to prep?

Used Our New Insurance

October 5th, 2016 at 05:03 am

Today, well technically yesterday, we used our new insurance for the first time. They weren't entirely sure as whether or not they fall under regular doctor or specialist doctor. I think they are specialist, but since we see a nurse practioner for this not an actual doctor that might change what the co-pay is. It'll get sorted once the cards actually arrive in the mail.

The bill arrived in the mail so we were able to set up automatic payments to one of the credit cards. That way we won't have to worry about it again until such time as we need to change it. We also could have set up direct withdrawal if we'd wanted to. I prefer the credit card though as it leaves a better paper trail. Then the credit card gets paid in full when it is due.

I have an appointment on Thursday afternoon so I hope the cards show up between now and then. They are so much easier to do when they can just swipe them.

Totally monthly premium comes out to be $1199. So the unemployment should pay for that plus prescriptions and a few doctor visits a month. I am glad of it as it will really help our money to stretch longer.

September Run Down

October 3rd, 2016 at 08:42 pm

DH has been unemployed for 6 weeks now with not a lot of progress, unfortunately. He did have his resume accepted by a local refinery and was contacted to say he had been placed into the pool of candidates to be considered for upcoming jobs starting November through February. And that's pretty much what we've been hearing. Most jobs in his field won't be hiring for a few months.

A short term (4 to 6 month) job listing came up today here in town for a job he is qualified for, probably over-qualified for, so he sent a resume in for that. Even if there is no prospect for a job before the refineries start hiring again, we will be okay for a while. But I do hope he finds a good job soon. I am trying hard not to put pressure on him, since he is working hard at looking. These lulls happen. He's just never been caught in one before, and shouldn't have gotten caught in this one, but you've heard that rant already.

I made the second withdrawal from our Emergency Fund today, $3,500. We should be able to get through most of October on that, plus the unemployment when it comes again. That brings the EF down to $13,500, but remember we still have $45,000 in the House Down Payment Fund we can tap if we need to. And a few hundred in the Moving Fund.

The reason why we won't make it through the whole month on the $3,500 is that we will have to make an insurance premium payment and that is somewhere between $1100 and $1200. Ouch. I'm just not sure when. We will likely charge it to get the cash back points. We finally got approved and our acceptance letter came today with a paper we can use temporarily until our cards come which should be later on this week. That will put our prescriptions at $10 each and regular doctor visits at $20 each and specialist visits at $45, period, without the deductible kicking in. It is a $5000 deductible for everything else for the family.. No vision or dental for anyone but DS, since it is law to require it for anyone under 18, but they don't care about adults (even though 75% of the population in the US wears glasses or contacts).

We ended up going with a silver plan, because when we plugged in all the numbers it was going to be cheaper for us to do a silver plan than a bronze plan. And while the gold plan has a $2000 family deductible, it wasn't worth the difference in costs since doctors visits and prescriptions were so reasonable outside the deductible.

Both DD and I had to buy glasses in September out of pocket as we both had severe prescription changes in just one year. Out of pocket costs were close to $1000 (including her eye exam which happened after losing our insurance). But seeing is necessary, and it has made a tremendous difference for me. My headaches are gone and they were getting quite bad.

I didn't post much in September. I pulled that muscle in my back again and was in a lot of pain. Still am in some, but it is starting to improve. I have to budget what I can do, though. I have to make choices. If I need to go grocery shopping, that is all I will be doing that day. If I need to can tomatoes, they get chopped up one day and canned the next. I finally made dinner tonight for the first time in a while, but had to have help with chopping things. And it was exhausting.

DH has had to take over my rabbit duties. I miss them and have only managed to go out twice in three weeks to do general health checks. Good thing I did, as Ruby had an abscess. DD (vet tech student) was able to drain it and treat it, but if I hadn't checked on them no one would have known to do so.

I didn't get too much of a fall crop in, as the time I should have been planting was when the muscle pull happened and I went down really hard. I can still plant some carrots and turnips and put some greenhouse plastic on the supports that normally hold netting to keep out the birds and squirrels. I can put in radishes, green onions, and kohlrabi as well. I just have to have the energy to do it. I worry about bending over the garden bed, too, even from a chair, as I don't want the muscles to spasm again. I have another month until I need to plant my garlic.

We are getting kale, lettuce, broccoli, kohlrabi, peppers, tomatoes, basil, and sage still. Chard will be ready to start harvesting in another week or so. No sign of the first frost yet, but that usually doesn't happen until Halloween at the soonest, sometimes not until well into November. Last year it was December before we got a frost hard enough to kill anything except the tomatoes and we overwintered kale and chard.

Tomorrow I need to chop and freeze peppers. I have serrano, ancho, jalapeno, Anaheim, and sweet bells. And we need to start chopping and freezing onions, too, though they will last a lot longer than the peppers without it. I'll have to take it in steps with DH helping me. Fortunately peppers are easy to do, just have to wear gloves.

Not much else to talk about, though I'm sure I'm missing all kinds of things.