Friday, July 17, 2020

A Slight Change of Plans

The oncologist's office called me again, yesterday evening.  Apparently, they haven't received the authorization for the visit from the insurance company, yet, and the appointment, scheduled for today, has to be postponed until they receive the authorization.  The appointment has now been tentatively rescheduled for next Friday, instead.  I mentioned to the nurse who called me that I had taken the blood test on Tuesday, this week, but, she said it would still be valid for next Friday.  Let's hope the authorization comes in by then.  Update: I received my copy of the authorization in today's mail!  It was post marked on July 14.  The clinic should have been able to retrieve it online, if they had checked, yesterday!  Oh, well, I am not too concerned about the delay. 

I found it difficult to get motivated to do much, yesterday.  I practiced the piano, tidied up a bit, washed a stack of dishes (I had been keeping them to have enough to run a load in the dishwasher, but, in the end, just washed them all by hand!), watched news, and did a lot of sudoku puzzles! 

My daughter called me during her lunch break to say that she had finally received a delivery slot for some items she wanted to order online, including fresh produce and disinfectant spray.  She wanted to go over the list of items with me, just to make sure that what she was ordering was reasonable.  Poor girl is concerned about the amount of money she is spending on groceries and household supplies as the prices being charged are so much more than what she was accustomed to paying when she purchased the majority of her groceries and cleaning supplies from the dollar store!  She doesn't need my permission to spend her own money, but, she wanted the reassurance from me that yes, the items she was ordering were things she needed.  They were, and, as I told her, at this point in time, availability was the main determinant!  The disinfectant spray, for example, hadn't been available for some time and is now limited to one container per order.  I couldn't persuade her that $2.99 was a reasonable price for a cantaloupe (she is used to paying $.99 for one at the dollar store), but, I might have persuaded her that she "needed" a package of ice cream sandwiches!  LOL.  The good news is, she was able to order a three pack of yeast!  She is now going to try to see if she can order some to be shipped to me (sometimes, the availability of stuff depends on the postal code it is being delivered to, and she is able to get items that are not available for delivery in my area). 

In the evening, I had to change my dinner plans, a little bit.  I had planned to cook chicken and had put some chicken thighs in the fridge to defrost on Wednesday night before I went to bed, but, by Thursday afternoon, it was apparent that they wouldn't be thawed in time to cook for dinner.  Instead, I took out the roast pork that neighbor S had given me and kept that to thaw.  Then, in the evening, I sauteed some onions, tomatoes, and curry leaves, added the cubes of roast pork, some curry powder, chili powder, the last bit of coconut milk leftover from a can I had opened, earlier, etc., and made myself a curry to have with a paratha.  I didn't take a photo of the curry, last night, but, I took a photo of the leftovers, today:

Leftover Pork Curry
I made some milk rice to have with the pork curry for my brunch, today.  I opened a new can of coconut milk to make the milk rice and for the chicken curry which I plan to make for dinner, tonight.  That brings my stock of canned coconut milk down to nine cans, which is not bad, except, I haven't been able to buy more coconut milk in my last two grocery orders!  I have used regular (dairy) milk in my curries, before, but, that means I will have to plan and coordinate my grocery shopping and cooking a little better to have enough fresh milk on hand for curries.  I started out a stock of 13 cans of coconut milk, assuming I'd use one can every couple of weeks; when I couldn't get more cans of coconut milk, I tried to ration my use to one can every three weeks.  We are now in the fourth month and I just opened the fourth can from my stock, so, I guess I've managed to ration my use to one can per month.  I won't stress about it, right now, but, I hope I can stock up again, before too long.

Today, I have done two loads of laundry and watered the fruit trees.  My cantaloupe vines haven't fared too well in the recent heat wave:

Cantaloupe Vines
Probably time to pull them out and clear that spot.  Oh, well, they tried!  It just got too hot when it went up to 100F, last week.

On the other hand, when I was checking the cantaloupe vines, a glimpse of red caught my eye:

The First Ripening Tomato

The volunteer roma tomato plant has one small ripening tomato!  It is a tiny tomato, but, I was very excited to see it.  I will harvest it in another day or two. 

M came over to tend to the garden and he was kind enough to run an errand for me.  I last put gas to the car exactly four months ago, on March 17.  I still had half a tank of gas, but, I like to refill the tank when it gets to half.  I asked him to fill the tank again, for me and, when he asked me if I needed anything else (there is a mini market at the gas station), I asked him to buy me half a gallon of whole milk if they had some.  I now have a full tank of gas and a half gallon of milk (I still had a little left in the half gallon I bought on July 3, but, now I have more milk for the next two weeks. 

Other than that, my plans for the rest of the day include practicing the piano, cooking the chicken curry, and putting away the laundry once it has dried.

Today, I am grateful for:
- I received my copy of the authorization
- The oncology clinic was able to reschedule my appointment for next week
- The blood test I did this week will still be valid for next week and I don't have to retake it
- M putting gas for me and buying me some milk
- One ripening tomato on the volunteer plant

Today's joyful activity was discovering the ripe tomato! 

I hope everyone has a good weekend.  Stay safe!



  1. I'm glad you were able to get the appointment and such worked out.

    I really feel for your daughter. I'm sure things are more expensive - not just because she's not shopping where she usually does, but also because the prices have gone up - but hopefully (with your assurance) she will weigh not just monetary cost but peace of mind and a little joy (ice cream).

    I hope you have a good weekend!

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Yes, peace of mind is worth a lot, isn't it? We are also very blessed in that we are able to pay the higher prices.

      Hope you, too, will have a lovely weekend. Hope your daughter is doing well. Take care.

  2. You have a great list of blessings, I like to think about mine too. For some reason this morning I thanked God for how delicious tea is, and then I added that coffee is delicious too. God is good. Do you cook the rice as usual and add coconut milk when it is done?

    1. When I make milk rice, I cook the rice as usual, but, before it is fully cooked, I add the coconut milk and a little salt and cook it a little longer until the consistency becomes like that of a very thick porridge or oatmeal.

  3. That's frustrating about the mix up with the authorisation for your oncology appointment. I have my fingers crossed that all goes smoothly next week.

    I feel for your daughter. I too am noticing the increased cost of food now I am relying on deliveries. There's no chance to buy yellow stickered produce so am paying full price for everything and that's made a huge difference. How is she coping with being home alone for so long?

    1. Yes, but, I am used to it getting mixed up, by now! LOL. Back when I was first diagnosed, I had to jump through so many hoops to get things authorized, with the insurance company insisting they sent the documents and the doctors' offices claiming they never received anything or vice versa!

      She is coping well, Eileen, thank you for asking. She has been even more isolated than I have been, but, we talk every day and she has done some online activities with friends. :)

  4. I'm glad your authorisation came through eventually. It must be worrying whenever there is a delay like this.
    The tomato is looking good. After a promising start I don't think I'm going to get any this year after all. X

    1. Thank you, Jules. I think the authorization was there, but, someone at the clinic neglected to check for it, online. But, that's OK. I don't mind going in one week later.

      Oh, I hope your plants will produce some tomatoes for you! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. :)

  5. Your cantaloupe looks like one of my cucumber plants. I'm not sure what happened, but I pulled it up yesterday. Luckily, I have one more cucumber plant that is surviving. We've had two cucumbers from it so far. The first ripe tomato is so exciting. We have one that is just starting to turn and my hopes are high now for a fresh tomato soon.

    1. I guess the growing conditions weren't quite to that one cucumber plant's liking! But, I'm glad you have another plant that is doing well and producing cucumbers and I hope you get lots of tomatoes from your garden. I think, considering the amount I spend on watering, I grow some of the most expensive tomatoes! LOL.

  6. Insurance/doctors/appointments - it can be a bit frustrating at times but I'm glad you were able to get a quick reschedule.

    I wonder what the deal is with the yeast? I could understand in the beginning when even the basics, like a loaf of bread, were often not available. People grabbed the yeast and flour thinking they would need to make their own.
    But that hasn't been the case (at least in the store I go to) in months. Packaged bread has been plentiful. So you would think the demand on yeast would be back to what it was.

    I know other areas experience different outages so maybe some of your other readers can tell us what they are seeing when they shop.
    The one thing I have been unable to get since March in the Aldi's I shop in is their canned diced tomatoes. A staple for me and I'm thankful I was stocked up but I find that a strange thing to be out of. Actually all of their tomato products run continually low now.
    But no canned diced tomatoes since March? Maybe they have them and run out quickly and it's just a coincidence that when I go in every 2 to 2 1/2 weeks they are out on the day I shop but still it's odd.
    The coconut milk has been plentiful at Aldi's and I've been able to keep my backup level at 6 cans. I'm not sure if it's the kind you like - but if someone you know is going to Aldi's, have them look for you.

    I hope your daughter's order has all that she needs/wants. I'm glad she has you to help her through, talking about the finances of all of this and being a good voice of reason.
    And I think those ice cream sandwiches are a necessity. ;)

    1. I have my theory about what happened with the authorization for the doctor visit, but, it basically boils down to overworked staff at the clinic not checking up on things. But, it's fine; these things happen and, anyway, they gave me another appointment. :)

      I don't know what the situation is with yeast. But, my daughter was unable to buy bread in the previous grocery order! The store was all out of bread! She ordered two loaves this time, from a different place, and she received them, as well as the yeast.

      I hope you will be able to get your diced tomatoes. Have you tried ordering them online? My daughter orders things for me from Target and Amazon, in addition to the grocery store curbside pick up. I rarely use canned diced tomatoes, but, I bought a 4-pack of them on sale, sometime in February (I think), after I had read a recipe for tomato soup using canned tomatoes.

      Aldi is just now making their way into my area. There is one store that I know of, which opened a couple of years ago; it's a few miles away from me and I haven't been there, yet (not in my usual shopping route). But, I now have the regular milk, as well, so can use that instead of coconut milk in my curries. :)

      Thank you, my daughter received everything she ordered plus an extra bag of frozen mixed vegetables that she didn't order! She wasn't charged for it, she says, so, I can only imagine that someone made a mistake! Yes, we could all do with an ice cream sandwich at times like these, couldn't we?

  7. I too am glad your authorization came through. Why does the clinic require it for an appointment, Bless? Is it because it’s with an oncologist? Once my doctor’s office said they couldn’t do a follow up of a blood test, and an exam on the same day because insurance doesn’t allow it. Other than that, they’ve never asked for an authorization. Maybe it’s because I only have very routine stuff.

    I’m happy to hear your daughter got some yeast. I too wonder why there’s a yeast shortage.

    1. Thank you, Nil. The clinic needs the authorization in order for me to see the doctor and receive the treatment. Usually, the doctor's office or clinic will put in the request for authorization of services at the same time they make the appointment and receive it before my visit. If the primary care doctor wants me to be seen by a specialist, then, they have to put in a referral to the insurance company and the insurance will mail the authorization to me to call and set up the appointment with the specialist and send an electronic copy to the specialist's office. Occasionally, the specialist's office will call me before I call them to set up the appointment. In this particular instance, I think someone at the clinic didn't check to see if the authorization was received.

      Thank you, she received the yeast and now, she's going to see if she can get me some, too. :)

  8. I worry about my "inability" to stock up for the diet I'm on. If things go sour in a hurry, will I have time to abandon the keto diet and buy up the things I will need for long term storage? (like flour, rice, dried beans and the like I talk about my concerns with my daughter every once in a while. In the meanwhile, I am stocking up the best way I can with frozen foods that I am allowed and hope that there will be time to act should our supply chains be broken. It is a worry though.

    I understand your daughter's concern as well with the cost of food and other supplies. She can take into account the savings of not having to travel into work to offset some of the increased costs.

    1. I hope you will be able to keep to your diet. But, maybe do a little bit of "just in case" stocking up with the rice, flour, and beans, etc., too? Maybe, in a year or so from now, if you find that you don't need it, you could donate it or give away.

      Yes, she doesn't have to pay the $80 per month for her monthly bus pass, so she is applying that towards her groceries and other supplies. Plus, although she didn't eat out or get take out food that often, she is saving whatever she might have spent on the occasional meal out or take out, etc., too.

  9. I suspect you were a little relieved to have to postpone your appointment for a week. I hope all will be good when you do go next Friday.
    We are seeing yeast with limits on purchase, and plenty of flour right now. I was grocery shopping on Friday morning and it was strange to remember the empty shelves a few weeks ago now that there are various varieties and sizes of flour bags available.
    One of our critters decided it was a good idea to sample the Gaillardia flower that I was enjoying and I found it nipped off the stem and lying in the flower bed. The culprit was likely a chipmunk as I saw him brazenly messing with the flower after I had noticed it, as if to let me know it was his doing! Well, there is a bud on the stem so I hope when it opens I can enjoy it for a while without it being sabotaged again!

    1. Yes, I was relieved to have it postponed, although this particular visit isn't making me feel quite as nervous.

      It's good to hear that the shelves in your stores are full, again. I haven't been inside a store since mid-March (March 17, to be exact)!

      Oh, no! Bad chipmunk! Although, I suppose the pretty flower was too much to resist? They are so colorful, aren't they?


Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Your comments are much appreciated. Please comment in English. Thank you.