Paradise ponders... Busy, I've been. Sorry for missing a day posting and worrying some of you. Sheesh!
On Monday a giant dumpster was delivered to our house, per my request. This beast holds 30 cubic yards of stuff headed for the dump, and I ordered it up so that I could clean up piles of crap that have accumulated ever since we first bought the house up here. There's cardboard, old pallets, a couple cubic yards of foam packing material, stuff left by the previous owner that we didn't want and couldn't give away (carpet remnants, drapes, and all sorts of other things), and more things than I care to list. Much of my time since Monday morning was spent loading junk into my ATV trailer, then unloading the trailer into the dumpster. I'm nearly done now, and I'm feeling it in every muscle (even my earlobes are tired!). All that remains is a 200 lb container of salt (from the old water softener I replaced two years ago) and some fencing remnants (more on that below). There's a Mormon horde scheduled to appear here on Saturday to help me get that salt container out of the basement and into the dumpster. On Monday, the dumpster will be gone, and our premises considerably neater!
The fence I mentioned above was a five strand barbed wire fence stretching for 600' along the west side of our property. A local lad named Jacob H., a mere 14 years old, volunteered to take it down for me at the rate of $7.50 an hour. He'd work after school. I figured it would take him four or five days, 3 or 4 hours a day, so worst case $150 or so. I'd happily pay that to avoid the nasty work of tearing a fence down! So yesterday evening he started ... and finished, an hour and a half later. I didn't watch him, but he must have worked like a demon possessed – he took out dozens of T-posts, clipped the barbed wire, rolled it up, and piled up the T-posts – all in 90 minutes! I paid him $20 (which got a big smile) ... and now I'm going to use him anywhere I could use physical help. This afternoon he's going to come back and help me load all that junk on my tractor and haul it the quarter mile or so to the dumpster. Another $20 and I won't have to jump on and off the tractor a few dozen times. Deal!
I had a long conversation with Kevin, the fellow up in Montana who is making our custom fireplace door. It was such a pleasure to talk with a craftsman like that! He had some questions about how to make it, all great ones, and promised me a drawing with measurements I could check. I got the drawing last night, and this morning I checked it all out – it was spot on. He's starting the fabrication today, and we should have it in our hands within a couple of weeks. Assuming we like the result (and we're certainly expecting to!), we will be using him for some other custom metalwork we'd like to have done. It's a good resource to have!
Monday was a day for Debbie and I to celebrate – we got two pieces of good news on the same day. The first good news was that her latest lab work showed her sodium and calcium levels both down (through diet and drugs) to levels that mean she can safely take the drug her endocrinologist wants her to take: Forteo. We've been waiting almost two months for her sodium and calcium levels to get down there, working out a diet and adjusting drug dosages along the way. Big step! Forteo is a very expensive drug, though: about $2,500 per month for the daily self-administered injections. Our insurance company denied coverage for it, wanting Debbie to take a different drug (much lower cost) for two years first, then only if that failed would they cover the Forteo. Her endocrinologist was certain the other drug would fail, given Debbie's condition, so she appealed the insurance company's denial. The second piece of good news on Monday was that the insurance company's review board agreed with her endocrinologist, so now she's approved for Forteo! As I was writing this paragraph, the first month's worth of Forteo showed up by courier. Tomorrow we travel to Salt Lake City, to the endocrinologist's office, where they will train Debbie on how to administer the drug. This is the first step to getting her bone density back up, and a big milestone for her. Hooray!