Monday, February 29, 2016

First Rose of the Season

The First Rose of the Year

Happy February 29!  It comes only once every 4 years, so, it seems one should do something special to celebrate the date!  I am celebrating with the first rose of the season!

This morning I had another hydration session and another immune booster injection.  My white blood cell count is at its lowest point in the cycle right now, so the immune booster shots are important to keep the immune system performing well.  Each immune booster injection costs over $600, so I am very grateful to have insurance.  With my insurance, I just pay $15 copay per injection.  And, of course, I am very grateful for my job through which I get my insurance.  While I was at the clinic, there was another patient who was having some rather severe side effects from the medications; made me feel grateful that my side effects have been relatively mild.

Later in the afternoon, I dropped daughter off at the airport to catch her flight back to Berkeley.  By the time her flight arrives in Berkeley and she takes the subway from the Oakland airport to Berkeley and get from the subway station to her apartment, it will be later in the evening and dark.  She always calls me when she arrives at the airport, when she gets to the apartment, etc., to let me know she's completed each stage of her journey.  She knows I tend to worry about her safety.

I noticed, today, that the first rose of the season has bloomed.  So, of course, I had to take a photograph of it.  The weather this week is just gorgeous with temperatures in the mid-80s.  No rain in the forecast at least until Sunday, so what that means is, I'll be needing to water the rose bushes that were newly planted on Friday and the rest of the rose bushes that are just forming buds or starting to flower.  I hand water them with the garden hose and that takes time and energy.  Hopefully, this week, I will start feeling better and more energetic.  Today, I watered the front garden, including the newly planted rose bushes.  I plan to do the back garden tomorrow.

Today is also the day to take the big trash cans to the curb for trash pick up, tomorrow.  Daughter already took the big green yard waste bin and the big black trash can to the curb for me, earlier today, so I just had to empty the waste baskets and take the inside trash to the can.  I did that when I went to water the front garden, so that job is done.

My nextdoor neighbors were returning home when they saw me out in the garden and stopped by to chat.  Our conversations are usually pretty interesting (lots of miming and smiling and nodding) because they speak very little English (the gentleman speaks a little English but the lady speaks only Spanish) and I speak almost no Spanish.  But I understood enough to know they were asking me how I was and maybe telling me to wear a hat to protect my head from the sun (today, I was wearing a scarf, it was 5:30 p.m. and the sun was setting; but they've seen me bare-headed out in the garden earlier in the day on other days).

And one more picture because the orange tree looks so lovely:

Orange Blossoms and Fruit

Today, I am grateful for:

- Insurance coverage to pay for my medical care.
- My job through which I get my medical insurance.
- Relatively minor side effects and discomfort compared to others.
- Daughter had a safe flight back to Berkeley and a safe ride from the airport to her apartment.
- The first rose of the year.

How was your Monday?  Did you do something special to celebrate that fact that it is February 29?


  1. Beautiful rose! So wonderful that your daughter is able to fly home frequently to be with you. I believe you mentioned she was considering a job with the company for which she interns. Did she decide to take the position? It's been a while since you mentioned it so I may have mixed up the details. :)

    1. Carolyn, it is indeed wonderful that daughter is able to fly home frequently, although it is costing us a pretty penny. Still, worth it to us at this particular time.

      Yes, they have offered her a job, and she will most probably take the position, but they have to create it first and that's taking some time. Their HR has to formally announce the position and daughter has to formally apply, be interviewed, etc. In the meantime, her supervisors are talking of extending her internship and making it full time. We will wait and see.

      If the job comes through by August, she will accept it. If not, she will come home, stay with me, and look for a job closer to home. August is when her lease on her apartment ends. She doesn't want to renew the lease if there is no job by then (the rent is too high on her internship pay). If she comes home and continues to stay with me, she will have no rent to pay.

      We are OK with it, either way. We are of the mindset that what ever happens will happen for the best.

  2. Such a pretty rose. I don't know if I ever even acknowledged the fact that it was the 29th. All my days just kind of blur together for the most part.

    1. Thank you, Jess. Well, that's OK if you didn't acknowledge that it was the 29th; a lot of people were saying why did the extra day have to be a Monday! LOL.

  3. The rose is beautiful. I too am so thankful for our insurance. So many people don't have that . My son is a Baptist preacher, he has to buy his insurance independently and his deductible is $12,000. [Almost like not having insurance].
    Proud your side effects are not as bad as some, but praying that all of them will go away..
    You have really nice neighbors and friends. So proud for you.
    Have a good day.

    1. Thank you, Judy. Yes, good insurance coverage is a blessing. Sorry your son has such a high deductible!

  4. I just find it so amazing that you can grow oranges. I wish I could some of our rain over, and I've just seen some snow in the wind. It is wonderful to be able to see into lives all over the world. x

    1. I am in Southern California, so oranges, lemons, and all things citrus grow very well, here. We've been told that there is a chance of rain this weekend, so we are looking forward to that. We haven't received as much rain as we had been expecting from El Nino this winter and this is our rainy season. So the drought will continue and with it, water restrictions, etc.


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