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Caterpillar Report

August 18th, 2016 at 05:50 am

There are 6 "getting large" swallowtail caterpillars up and about. There are now 2 chrysalises. I've marked my calendar so I can keep a close eye on things when they might emerge as butterflies, so I can catch it all with my camera, though honestly, now that I'm not working, I check the aquarium several times daily because I love watching them.

In addition to the 8 caterpillars, there were two more very small caterpillars but I'm afraid I may have tossed them when I snipped off a few small pieces of parsley plant so I could more easily sop up rainwater that collected in the bottom of the aquarium without disturbing or jostling other caterpillars on parsley branches. I looked for and found the parsley branches I tossed, but no caterpillars. It's possible they're still in the aquarium.


Can you see the chrysalis here? There are 2 branches in the aquarium. Look at the one on the right. See how it's v-shaped. Look at the branch on top and you'll see a weird oval-shaped thing hanging underneath it. That's one of the chrysalises.

I got a little yard work done after 5 yesterday. I wanted to cut back some shrub foliage that was touching the front of my house. It was getting overgrown. Well, in doing so I discovered an underground burrow, which I'm pretty sure is where one of the 2 rabbits hanging around here made its home. As with the woodchuck burrow a few years ago, it's a little too close to my home for comfort. Literally, one foot from the foundation. And to prove my point, it looks like the little rabbit did some digging in another spot right at the foundation. I live in an old house and I don't need bunnies in the basement!

So I cut back the overgrown shrub to just a nub. It will grow back; it's impossible to kill. The bunny will have time enough to find another home before winter sets in. Critters around here sure do seem to like living in close proximity to humans. I guess the walls of the house feel "safe."

Not much happening on the job search front. I've applied for only 10 jobs since my last day of work nearly 3 weeks ago. It feels like ages since I've been gone! I feel I should be applying for more jobs, since it's a numbers game, and in fact I haven't heard back from anyone. But I've seen very few jobs I could do.

I've attended a few webinars at the outplacement consulting group and will continue with weekly meetings with my assigned counselor there. I guess it's helpful but I don't really feel motivated, that's the real problem.

I am also somewhat distracted by other competing things I want or need to do: wrap up probate (totally out of my hands now), get back into researching family tree stuff and continue disposing of mom's art, which I am doing...in the next 2 weeks I'll be meeting with and donating up to a dozen pieces at the new local farm sanctuary (construction starts next year on their building) and meeting with a new shop to sell art.

I continue to be amazed by a single cucumber plant in my driveway that has gifted me with 15 cucumbers so far and is still going strong. Those soft, store-bought cucumbers have nothing on these. My lone eggplant is also going full guns with no less than FOUR small eggplants growing now and numerous other blossoms. I've already harvested 2 eggplants. Let's pray the voles don't destroy the plant.

I harvested what I could of my onions which had pretty small bulbs. I'll cook them all up in one batch with rice or something.

My one potted tomato plant petered out and is done. I have one cherry tomato plant doing pretty well. I'm tracking produce of all and will summarize everything in a few weeks. Late-planted stringbeans are now loaded with blossoms. Everything's in pots because of voles, which no fence can deter since they go underground and pop up wherever they like. To try to exterminate them would be a massive job since i have an acre and a half.

My 401k rollover check should be on its way to me now; I wish it could have gone directly to Vanguard but it hasn't.

I sent in my check for my 1st month of COBRA. It's going to be $513 a month as I decided to drop the dental insurance.

I heard the scary news that Aetna has pulled out of most states' ACA offerings. I'm afraid this will raise rates this November for those who remain, at open enrollment time. I can save a lot of money in 2017 by switching to a lower cost plan for $300-something instead of $513/mth at ACA, but I'm very worried about security and stability of my plan and having it work as seamlessly as my current plan.

To top things off, my longtime GP decided to turn his practice into a thing where you have to pay an annual lump sum figure in order to get his undivided attention and top notch care. I knew he'd wanted to do this years ago becus I responded to some telephone surveys he did and I said in no uncertain terms I thought this was a terrible thing for patient care because it turns quality healthcare into something only wealthier people can afford.

I called in to see what the fee was and while I don't remember it exactly, it was well over $1,000. I assume that would be in addition to the usual co-pays.

HOWEVER, i almost always see the nurse practitioner in his practice, and the office said she would NOT be a part of that plan. I see her for my physicals and minor ailments like a bad cold or poison ivy, etc. But I really should be seeing a doctor, and should have a GP to turn to if I need one for something more serious. Although I'd wind up seeing a specialist if that were the case. I really like the nurse practitioner. So I don't know. I'll be skipping next spring's physical if I'm still unemployed.

I'm not quite halfway toward meeting my $500 charge goal on my Bank of America bonus credit card. I'd like to wrap this up fairly soon so I have time to get another bonus credit card, maybe one with a higher charge required as my homeowners and car insurance come due in October. I could meet a big chunk of any big charge goal in one fell swoop. Otherwise, I'm mostly limited to groceries and gas while I'm unemployed.

I've been thrown off the normal exercise schedule I'd been building by the extremely hot weather of the last 2 weeks. It's still muggy, but in the 80s, not the 90s, so I did squeeze in a small walk last night, and want to go for a longer walk this morning, while the day is still young.

3 Responses to “Caterpillar Report”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Cool chrysalis!

    Our only food gardening success this year has been a totally random melon plant that started growing in our median strip, where our neighbors had taken out the grass and put in some other plants (not melon, though! We reckon an animal or bird dropped or pooped the seed there). Looks like we'll have two good-sized cantaloupes to harvest soon! AS tried container gardening on our third-floor balcony of tomatoes and broccoli, but the broccoli hasn't yielded a full size crown yet and the squirrels have gotten every decent tomato that started to form.

  2. rob62521 Says:

    You've done pretty well with your few plants.

    My friend signed up for one of those doctor concierge plans. She loves it. There is no copay. She meets with the doctor a minimum of 4 times a year for about an hour each time. The doctor calls her to make an appointment if she hasn't come in. He tells her she paid for his time and he wants to make sure he sees her and keeps her healthy. If needed, he could admit her to the hospital, but so far, this hasn't been an issue. DH and I are almost wondering if this would be worth it. Right now, our general practitioner is limited to how many minutes he can spend with us when we go in.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Well but what's the point of meeting with, and paying for, visits to see your doctor if you don't have a particular reason to do so? Then it's just wasted money.

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