Day 6, leather, papers, dishes, blood

Friday, 12/7/18

Here’s what I’ve done today as of 4pm:

Put leather conditioner on 2 more cushions and the arms of a chair, so one chair is done. Took about half an hour and was actually good exercise, standing, leaning, kneeling, rubbing/wiping.

Spent half an hour plugging numbers from the last couple of months of Schwab statements into this huge spreadsheet that Marian designed to track the values of our multiple brokerage accounts. For various good reasons we have four pots of money, managed by different brokers. (One account, Marian’s IRA, will be closed next spring.) She delighted in getting all the summary numbers for all the accounts into one spreadsheet, with totals at the bottom, and automatic calculation of percent change annually and month-to-month. She wasn’t well enough to update it for the October and November statements, so I did that now.

Called the “Honey-do” handyman outfit to find out why they weren’t here taking oak leafs out of my gutters. Sidenote, when I’d scheduled this two weeks back (i.e. day -5 or so) I’d consciously thought, “This is the last time I’ll make this call (ISMISEP).” Well, Michelle — we’re on a first-name basis because I’ve used them for various things for 20 years — was all apologetic, big job in San Francisco, blah blah; and we reschedule to next Thursday.

Drove to the Stanford Blood Center in Menlo Park to donate blood. The receptionist looked me up and said, “Oh, this is your 78th!” I knew I’d donated often, but that’s… a lot.

Stopped on the way home to buy a night-light for the bathroom. Another sidenote, we’d put a night light in the outlet in the bathroom when Marian started getting really weak, to help her if she got up at night. It was a crappy thing with a glare-y little incandescent bulb that you had to turn on with a switch, and I was always forgetting to turn it on. During the Day 1 de-invalidizing I chucked that thing in the bin. Today I bought a smaller, LED version that turns itself on and off automatically.

Not feeling all that up, I next took an hour nap, and felt better. So I brought out our dinnerware service and inventoried it. We bought this complete service for 12 in the 1970s. The clean design and warm colors of Rorstrand’s Annika suited us both. Here’s a sample…


I knew that there were bits damaged or missing (40 years of daily use after all) and thought if the casualties weren’t too bad it could be complete again. Indeed they weren’t. In the end, there are four dinner plates with chipped edges — my fault, every one — and one missing coffee cup. (No idea when that disappeared.) So I quickly found them at and ordered those bits. Shortly I’ll have the full service (it includes sugar and creamer, teapot, casserole, and two baking dishes!) in good shape, plus four chipped but serviceable plates extra. I have a purpose in mind for all this. Later.

Delving into various cupboards to find all the Annika pieces reminded me of how much stuff I have to get rid of. There must be 25 flower vases in one cupboard. We aren’t hoarders, and the house is very neat and tidy. But there’s a lot of stuff all neatly organized and tucked away in many cupboards and drawers.

I spent a while mixing up some Keto Chow. Background: for several years I’ve been blogging about and reviewing meal replacement products. When Marian asked me, back in October, what I planned to do about eating when I was alone, I said, “No problem, Soylent,” and she laughed. But I was serious. I have no interest in cooking for myself. I cooked for both of us for the last 6 months (and rather well if I do say) but there’s a quantum difference between cooking a meal for two, and for one. I’m a competent cook but I get no pleasure from it, and it’s just boring to prepare food and then immediately eat it. So I mean to eat nutritional shakes, with occasional restaurant meals. I’ve wanted to try the latest version of Keto Chow and will, starting tomorrow. Tonight, actually.

OK I had a little insight while sitting in the chair having blood drawn, but this is too long. Tomorrow.

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