Maintaining Minimalism

This morning as I was doing the Flylady zone( the bedroom) I looked around and was pleased that this room is calm and clutter-free.

In Quaker or Amish homes things are sparsely furnished. I was always, in my youth anyway, partial to the Amish look. And of course, as I’ve written we were Quakers for many years and married in a Quaker ceremony. (more on that later this week) ūüôā

sparselyadverb

UK /ňąsp…Ďňźs.li/ US /ňąsp…Ďňźrs.li/

 

with only a small number or amount of people or things:

. Function rules and there is little excess.

In Japanese homes, things are very minimal and ascetically lovely. For the longest time, I wanted to create a Japanese home with tatamis and low furniture.

For years we slept on a futon in our other house. But when we moved to this house we slept on the futon for a while only to discover (with disgust) that mold was under the futon due to it being on the floor with no circulation. In our other home( the one we built) the bedroom was on the second floor and carpeted.

As time went on, I just fell into stuff.

Then as I rediscovered my love of simplicity,¬†minimalism fell into place. ¬†I still would love a traditional type Japanese home effect but that’s not going to happen here.

But, I also love the Scandinavian look, which is really quite similar in some respects to a Japanese look except perhaps the lines are clean and simple and generally white or a teak wood. I do love white furniture and teak as well.

So my point, in a round- about way is, now having embraced minimalism for a number of years now, maintaining a clean room with little clutter is fairly easy and doesn’t require a lot of time.

I finished the bedroom zone including windows in 10 minutes.

I moved another plant in there in a corner and I’m not sure it will like it there. But I’ll keep it there for a few weeks and see how it is.

Dinner is roast chicken, a veggie burger for B and potatoes from the garden!

Car drama:(

I wonder why things happen all at once sometimes. Is it the stars aligning or just WTF?

 

My daughter has a nice CRV Honda¬†2007. ¬†When she drove in the other evening I thought I heard something from her engine. Then the next morning when she started it I said Whoaaaa….you can’t drive that.

So she took the Santa FE.  B and I drove into the Honda dealer and the news was grim.

Back a month ago when she took it to see what was up with the A/C, they said the whole system was shot. $5000 to fix. So she said no thank you. The guy said she could still drive the car no problem.

Well, Big problem as the pulley and belt are ready to come off and that would ruin the engine. So we were at a stand still because she still owes $5000.  So now this fix was what???

So when I went in this morning, he explained that the pulley and the air compressor ( not a Honda part) will be @ 1000. And then they would disconnect the electrical to the A/C. ¬†I’m actually not sure why they didn’t do that before. Hummmm , maybe a mistake on their part. Anyway…..

We thought to bring it to another garage and have them do the whole AC for $3000, but now that he’s offered this, I think that’s the best way to go so I said go ahead.

At least this way she can still use the car , pay it off, and then next year trade in for something newer.   GEEez what an ordeal and so stressful.

I went to Grocery Outlet for some vitamins and a few items and now home. I think I can finally relax.

Well, she will still have to figure out driving Tuesday as B needs his car to go to San Francisco for work.

Yikes, what we do for our ADULT children…..

 

 

 

Friday stuff

I made a small batch of zucchini relish to try. It came out spicey. I think it’ll be good on rice or even beans.

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Then I went back to Ikeda’s fruit stand and bought 1 container of their peaches to try the lavender peach jam again right. ¬†It came a beautiful color. But I’m not sure I taste the lavender with it being added as a¬†liquid.

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I was going to go down to the CSA farm yesterday afternoon to buy bulk tomatoes but I decided I needed a break from canning so I’ll wait. Plus they were charging 1.75 a lb. So I need to check what other farmers are charging. $1.75 seems high to me for seconds.

I made a couple of small jars of tomato sauce but the one didn’t seal. I was trying out the Quattro jars from Italy. ¬†They are nice. So I opened the one and it looked like I didn’t wipe the rim well enough for the seal. I’m going to just use that tonight for a pasta sauce.

I ordered the ravioli maker from Amazon. It’s the one you place the pasta sheet over then fill and then place the second pasta sheet over it. Then you use a rolling pin and go over it to seal. Hopefully, it’ll work as I don’t want to spend a lot of money on the attachment for the pasta maker. ¬†This one was $12.

Tonight instead of pizza I’m going to use the ravioli I tried to make by hand. I figure I better have a backup plan in case they don’t work. ( fall apart int he water).

The budget is done for the rest of the month and I’m challenging myself to only spend a $100 in food. With the garden producing so much I think I can do this. I bought some organic chicken at the store and milk and that was $20. Pretty pricey. ¬†But I have stuff in the freezer to use. I’m going to write a detailed menu for 14 days and see how that fits.

Not much happening in the decluttering minimalism world here. I do need to drop off a thrift store load but just haven’t done it yet. Plus there’s a food bank drop off too. ¬†My kitchen counters have been pretty messy with tomatoes and peaches and cucumbers all over it. But for now, that’s just the way it has to be till I finish my canning projects.

 

 

 

 

‘stupid is, as stupid does’ Forrest Gump

I really should read the WHOLE recipe before trying something.

I bought some lovely peaches

IMG_1487.jpg to make jam. They were not cheap. Two baskets at 7.99 each.  Local, so nice. Then I got it in my head to make lavender peach jam.

So I soaked the lovely lavender buds then promptly threw away the liquid and put the soaked buds in my lovely jam. Then I read the recipe and it was to use the liquid and toss the lavender buds.  Well, there they are floating in my jam.

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They don’t taste bad just a little chewy. I guess these won’t be gifts and when we eat them we’ll have to push off those little seeds. oh well. ‘stupid is as stupid does’, I guess.

Lesson learned READ THE FUCKING DIRECTIONS FIRST!!!!

 

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Simple Sunday

It’s been a busy week canning more stuff.

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This is the batch of dill pickles. I did find the Pickle Crisp at Walmart of all places. Nobody in Auburn had it that I could find. So, you only add a 1/4 tsp to the jar and it’s supposed to make them stay crisper. We’ll see. The recipe says to¬†wait about 6 weeks to try them. I put one small jar in the fridge so I’m going to open that in a few weeks and test them out.

We went to Costco on Friday and loaded up on some good food and some nonfood things like laundry soap. I like the Kirkland Free laundry soap. No dyes or fragrance.

I ordered the Complete Ball canning book off Amazon. I think it will be useful and it has loads of interesting things to try. ¬†I’m going to go the local fruit stand and see if they have any peaches left. It’s kinda late but they may still have some.

We’ve had lots of zucchini in the garden so we had zoodles last night for dinner with spinach and garlic and parmesan and little bits of fresh mozzarella. Tasty!!!

I have a half of container of ricotta left from the last homemade lasagna so I ‘m going to make another lasagna tonight maybe a meat sauce based one and then another spinach one.

It’s a gym day and then I did most of my house cleaning chores yesterday but I’ll do a few of the weekly home stuff today. That list includes:

  • wash mirrors in the¬†house
  • water plants as needed
  • dust the whole house
  • general tidying or putting things away that are left around.

 

We walked this morning in the park and it was really wonderful to be back there. I will go again on Wednesday. I’m forcing myself to pace going and so 2 days off sounds about right. My foot feels better but I’d guess it’s not 100% or maybe I’ll feel the stress fracture area for a while even if it’s healed?? who knows??

B has to be on call for jury duty all week, so he’s not going anywhere except day stuff if he’s not called. I don’t have any plans this week but have a dental cleaning Wednesday.

I don’t have any plans this week but have a dental cleaning Wednesday.

The light is certainly changing and it’s getting darker way earlier. It’ll be fall in almost a month. Another season. Our Tahoe camping is mid-September, so that’s going to be different. Not summer. But at least the crowds will be gone.

 

 

 

Still smokey and jam making!

Well, we had one day where the smoke cleared but it’s been back ALL week. It’s so hazy and the air quality is poor. My husband was up at Lake Tahoe and said you couldn’t hardly see the lake. Terrible.

I’ve been busy with jam making and putting up the start of tomatoes.

I went and picked up my flat of blackberries on Monday and Tuesday made ¬†8 half pints of Blackberry sauce. I don’t like to add a lot of sugar so it never really gels¬†which is fine by me. I like the sauce on pancakes and toast.

Then I made up some quick tomato sauce from the tomatoes I had from the garden.

IMG_1479.jpg Not enough for the winter but a start. I will call around to find some seconds soon.

This morning I took out the rest of the blackberries that I froze and made 6 more little jars.

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These will be for gifts at Christmas. I like these small jars and they are hard to find so when I saw them the other day I picked up another case.

I want to can some cucumbers but haven’t found the Pickle Crisp that is recommended for canning pickles. Any home canners out there with advice on is this necessary??

Today was a gym day and TADA……my first back on the recumbent bike since my foot rest began over 9 weeks ago. Of course, the fracture had happened way before that but I was too stubborn to stop walking. ¬†Still, I was pleased and I see how it is tomorrow.

Everyone is off somewhere today but B will be home by 4pm or so.

I’m going over to the koffee klatch to see who shows up. I haven’t been in a while.

Tonight I think I’m making some sandwiches for dinner but we’ll see.

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

The smoke from the fire has mostly moved out and the air quality is better. There’s a slight breeze which may not be good later in the day as it warms up.

I’ve been to the gym and am now home thinking about what next to do. Here’s the zucchini¬†bread.

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It’s a really good recipe and it did puff up. I thought it was way to little batter in the pans but it was fine. I will make another batch this week as I have more zucchini coming in. I may go get some mini loaf pans.

Then here’s the Tartine bread

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It had a great sourdough flavor. I have another batch in the fridge that I’ll bake up this week as well.

I’m in the kitchen zone this week so I may start that today and get the cabinets windexed.

I’m cooking chicken tiki marsala in the crockpot and then later I will do some tofu in a pan. I’m planning on cooking some organic long grain white rice with it.

We went for a lovely walk in the park this morning. I sure do miss my daily walks but soon enoughI’ll get back to a more regular schedule.

Tomorrow I’m excited to go pick up my flat of blackberries from a local farm. I’m planning to make jam on Tuesday.