Simple Sunday, Rainy Sunday

We are getting lots of rain and we need it here in California. There’s a lot of snow in the mountains, which will help the snowpack for spring melt off.

I had a good swim yesterday and the pool was busy but I had a lane to myself for most of my swim and then shared a lane at the end( which is about 45 minutes). Saturdays are hit-and-miss. Sometimes it’s super busy and then sometimes mostly empty. Traffic was light too which was surprising since I thought more snowboarders and skiers would be heading up to Tahoe.

Then when I came home I started the chicken pot pie pressure canned filling. The chicken wasn’t really up to my standards but I thought I was being frugal buying the Safeway deal. I think I’ll skip that next time. It just wasn’t that great. I haven’t tasted the final product but hopefully, it’s ok. But I couldn’t get my pressure canner to not leak (drips) from under the rim and then it wouldn’t come up to pressure. I had to restart 3Xs. Finally, I googled it and someone said to use vegetable oil on the gasket on both sides. That finally did it and the pressure was fine at 15 lbs. It’s quite a learning curve doing this pressure canning. So then this morning I’m pressure-canning organic kidney beans that I got from Azure. I ended up with 7-pint jars. These will be great for soups like minestrone. I did see that All American has the pressure canner that I want back in stock but at $400, I need to wait till January. I just paid the property taxes so we need to regroup from that.

This week it’s the kitchen zone in Flylady and I’ll do that tomorrow or Tuesday. This is a mellow week for me with no appts. I think we’re going to do Costco and get that done well before Christmas. I plan to go to the gym at least once. I wish I could get there more but the cost of gas is an issue with it adding to the cost of the membership.

As usual, Christmas will be minimal with just a few gifts each. We don’t really exchange any gifts with other family members except Heid’s husband which I sent a Point Reyes Cheese selection. Heidi loved charcuterie so I think Richard will like this sampling. Point Reyes cheese is a women-owned cooperative. I’m sure Christmas is going to be difficult for him.

I looked up reservations for Nevada Beach and it looks like this week I’ll try for a spot in early June. Fingers crossed!

I’m about halfway thru reading Gone with the Wind. It’s over 1000 pages. It is so interesting her depiction of the South and life there. It seems it’s very much like looking thru rose-colored glasses that the ‘darkies’ as she calls them, were really people enslaved and owned by other human beings. It’s kind of weird to read it now from a different perspective. So then we watched the first half of the movie last night. It is an amazing cinematography feat especially when Atlanta is burning. I think we’ll watch the other half tonight which picks up after Scarlett is back at Tara.

Five on Friday

So, I had my oncology appt yesterday, and that all went well except for the horrendous rain going down to Sacramento. I don’t like driving in the rain because of my macular pucker which makes seeing out of my right eye difficult and rain makes seeing worse. But I made it down and back just fine. Dr. L said same old same old, we’ll just keep track of things and go from there which is really all we can do. It’s really when my kappa light chains start doubling that I’ll say let’s do something. We agreed, when the time comes, to go back on Velcade and see if it’s still effective. I’m still hoping for June-ish.

Then this morning I had my follow-up audiology appt and that went as expected. No change and still have less hearing in my left ear. I just mumbled umm ok… that’s what I thought.

Then Safeway had some great deal this week so I went over there which is just down the road from the Sutter Medical Bldg. The deals were $1.97 for 24 Arrowhead water, $1.97 for 1 lb butter, $1.77 for boneless chicken breasts, .87 for Honey crisp apples, and more savings on some other things. The cashier said I saved more than my bill was so that was cool. I think I might pressure can the chicken in a recipe like chicken soup or something. I’ll check my pressure canning book and see what looks good.

It’s pizza night and I will take out one of my frozen dough balls to defrost. My son’s not home tonight so it’s just us and my daughter. I’ll keep it simple.

I have everything out that I plan to have for Christmas and it’s quite pretty and simple. I did declutter all the Hallmark boxes except a few so that left lots of room in the one Christmas bin. I still have the Ikea white storage boxes in the closet but those are not in the way and are on the top shelf.

I plan to either swim tomorrow or do the gym. Usually I swim Saturday, but I feel I need to keep up on doing the weights. So I guess I’ll decide tomorrow.

December 1st

It’s a very rainy morning. No walk since it’s more than an umbrella would stand plus I need to leave a little early to head to Sacramento. There’s a winter storm watch with lots of snow and wind for the Sierras. I -80 will be affected for sure but since I’m headed in the opposite direction it should be ok( except for the crazy drivers).

It’s hard to believe it’s almost the end of the year. 2023 is right around the corner. I was thinking back on all the wonderful Christmases we’ve had. A few were more somber like when B was diagnosed with MDS and me with myeloma and last year Heidi died shortly after Christmas. Really though most have been happy occasions, especially with children. Neither of my kids probably will have children so no grandkids but that’s their decision, not mine. I probably wouldn’t be the greatest grandparent anyway as I’m not into kids but then again, I didn’t like kids a lot before I had any so maybe it would be different. Who knows?

I’ve been working on a gratitude journal for next year and want to write something I’m grateful for every day. Right now I’m just waiting in my daily to -do/budget book. Maybe that’s all I need instead of something separate. I’ll think about it.

Our first Christmas together after we were married was in Tucson. We had rice with nuts and raisons in teak salad bowls my mother had sent us. I’m sure we had a tree of some sort as we used to work the Uof A’s forestry tree lot but I don’t think we did that first year. The following year started our tradition of lasagna for Christmas. We didn’t have an oven so I went to the landlord’s house next door and used his oven. I’m sure there have been a few Christmases we didn’t have lasagna. And that’s on the menu for this year too.

Simple Sunday

As usual, I started my day with a walk. Only one other person there today. She’s a regular who does an exercise class at the community center ( on the steps outside) with our neighbors. They’ve been doing this for quite a few years now. Later this week we’re supposed to get some very cold weather like the low 30s. I really dislike that kind of cold but it is what it is.

Then I worked on putting some Christmas stuff up.

Then I got busy pressure-canning the turkey broth. I noticed some water leaking from the top after I put the gauge on so I had to stop and let it depressurize and then see what the issue was. The gasket must have been slightly off so I reset it and put some olive oil on it to help seal it. For good measure, I went to Amazon and ordered a new gasket. I’m not sure I need the new gasket but at least I’ll have it if this happens again.

We watched Home Alone last night and I thought it was kind of dumb. I had seen it before, so I thought the same thing then too. We’re totally enjoying watching Poirot though. It is really well done. That’s on Prime if you are interested.

A somewhat busy week with my doctor appt and I have a follow up audiology check up. Plus a swim and the gym too.

Frugal Friday

I was going to go down to the Rec center( aka as the gym) today but decided not to being it is Black Friday and HWY65 where I turn on to is right on the way to The Galleria shopping mall and big stores like Walmart. I will go swimming tomorrow. It’ll be early enough that I should miss the shoppers although I might get some traffic heading up to the Sierras on the way home.

We don’t go out to shop on Black Friday but I did find a 25% off deal on Bombas and bought a couple of T-shirts for B and a pair of socks for me. Then Amazon had a good B F deal on a comforter and we need a new one so I got that. It was $20. I think that was 50% off.

I put away the pumpkin and fall things from the table and will decorate with a few Christmas-themed things later. I have some red candles and a few other things to put out. I won’t do a lot yet as it’s a bit early for me.

We all had a good Thanksgiving with lots of good food. I don’t know why eating dinner at 2 pm sets me off but it does and then I don’t feel like eating at all later. I did have some homemade pumpkin pie around 7:30 though.

I’ve been somewhat depressed at my kappa light chains going up 4 points. Even though Dr. Laptalo said, it’s just a small increase, don’t worry, I do worry that now things will start doubling. I mean I know intellectually that my cancer will come back and I’ll need treatment again but maybe it’s just so tiring to think about it all. Anyway, in a few days, I’ll feel better once I process it. There’s nothing I can do about it so…

I’m going to look up a pressure canning recipe for turkey broth or soup and see what it looks like. I may do that tomorrow. I think I’ll make the broth today. and then if I want to do some pressure canning it’ll be ready to do. I might put up our small Ikea Christmas tree this weekend too.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Fall Season GIF

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for my husband who does so much and is healthy now.

I am thankful my children are healthy and have excellent jobs with benefits.

I am thankful for our humble home that gives us a roof over our heads and keeps us dry, warm, and safe within.

I am thankful for being able to walk every day in our beautiful park with a paved trail.

I am thankful to be able to swim and have a car that can get me there.

I am thankful that my myeloma numbers are still low even though they are out of range and increasing. The increase of my Kappa light chains to 26.0 is a jump but still not worrisome. I am thankful I still have a number of months before treatment would need to start again. I am grateful for a hematologist/medical oncologist whom I trust and know will do the right thing when the time comes.

I am thankful each and every day just to be aware of the beauty around me and to live the best life I can.

Simple Sunday

I received the email that our Azure order is to be picked up today. I’m pretty excited to see how it goes. I’m not sure how many people will be there but I imagine quite a few. B is quite excited as this is like the old Mountain Peoples Warehouse days when we would go to the warehouse and pick up bulk orders. Of course, that was 1978!

Our walk was lovely again this morning with lots of pink gold and yellows and reds around. The park was frosty and even the trees had frost. Tomorrow I will not walk as I have to go get my labs and then Tuesday I’ll swim. It’ll be a short week for going to the gym or the pool but that’s ok, it is what it is.

I’m planning out the menu for Thanksgiving and when to defrost what. I think I’ll take out the petite Diestal turkey today and put it in the barn fridge and then take out the nut loaf muffins on Wednesday to defrost.

They popped out pretty easily but next time if I do it this way, I’ll use a small square of parchment paper.

This is the recipe I have used for years. I don’t always add green peppers and I don’t use cashews just walnuts and sometimes pecans.

I’ll prep everything on Wednesday and then just have the dishes in the fridge or the ingredients chopped. I have mashed potatoes in the freezer but I may make another batch for Thanksgiving and leave those in there for another meal. I plan on doing a few yams since I’m the only one that likes them. I just use store-bought rolls. I haven’t decided on the vegetable sides but probably have green beans and maybe some corn from this summer.

Here’s the crepe-making from the other day.

The sauce is a bechamel with gruyere. They were delicious. If you’re making crepes you need that little tool you see in the picture as it moves the batter into a circle. That’s the thing about cooking. Having the right tool makes it work. I made a stir fry the other day from NYT recipes ( check it out) called Everything Stir fry, which basically was leftovers in the fridge. It was delicious but I realized maybe I want a carbon steel wok. I checked Amazon and found one for $60 so I’ll think about it for a while. My large cast iron works fine but again a wok is a specific tool used for a specific type of cooking.

If I don’t blog this week, Have a Happy Thanksgiving. We always have so much to be thankful for and just being here is a gift.

Friday Things

I’m in the middle of making spinach and mushroom crepes. I had to go down to the Holiday Market for gruyere and ended up spending $77.00. Food is really expensive and it seems every time I’m in the store it’s almost $100. I haven’t totaled this month up but I’m sure it’s going to be VERY high. Both Costco and the Azure order(which will be here next week) were around $300. So right there that’s $600. Oh well, I’ll just blame it on the holidays and inflation. sigh^^>>^^.

The kids took off in the Santa Fe for Hollywood this morning. Hopefully, it’s a good trip for them and fun too. My daughter, whose an author of Gay/lesbian Vampires, Werewolves, and other unworldly beings books, is there for the Whatpad convention for paid writers. I think there are awards being given and she is up for one. Her books are read worldwide and she has a big following. My son and his friend are going to the world tour concert by Elton John at Dodger stadium.

I won’t be going to the gym or pool unless I have B drive me in the truck. I could use my daughter’s Honda Fit but it’s such a small car it makes me nervous. So that’s ok, I can wait til next week if necessary.

Our days continue to be beautiful. There are still leaves on the trees so probably in the next storm they’ll all come down. We had a tree person look at the snags on the bottom of the property and he quoted $1500. I just laughed and said they can fall. I would prefer they don’t fall on the neighbor’s fence again but I’m not paying that kind of money for 2 snags. I’m hoping we can find someone who’s a logger( and needs work) to drop them for $100.

Next week is Thanksgiving and I plan on having most of our simple meal prepped and done by Wednesday except for the turkey, I made the nut loaf yesterday and froze that. I’ll use the canned cranberry sauce I made and then make mashed potatoes, green beans and, stuffing. I’m sure my sister’s family,which is quite large as she had 5 kids and they all have kids, will miss her. We never spent Thanksgiving together but I’ll miss talking to her. We were never really close but in these last 15 years she has been there for me and my family. So I’ll raise a glass to her. 🙂

Simple Sunday

Another beautiful walk this morning although chilly at 37 degrees. No one at the park but us. It’s always a thrill ( okay that may be an exaggeration)to get there and walk by ourselves. The trees are lovely fall colors and the geese have been around too.

The pie came out really terrific. I might tweak the recipe some and use heavy cream instead of evaporated milk but overall it was delicious. It was soft but after refrigerating it firmed up nicely. I think I will make another next week or maybe pumpkin cheesecake.

This week we are in the Bathroom zone and 1 other room so I’ll probably tidy my office area.

We had one of our dead snags fall over the neighbor’s fence down in the woods so B has been chainsawing that up. We have 2 other dead snags that we’ll need someone to drop. We hadn’t planned on that as they are down on the very lower edge of the property but the neighbor indicated he’d like them down. As long as it is very little $, I’ll do it. If it’s more than $100 no, they can just fall. These trees have been dead for about 7 years from bark beetle so it’s natural that they would eventually fall. Our other 2 neighbors have lost about 12 large trees and supposedly PGE will take them but who knows when? PGE is so backed up with keeping lines clear of trees that it could be a while. These trees are not near any lines so I’m surprised PGE said they’d do it.

I’m not planning any extra cooking today. I’ve pulled a bunch of things from the freezer for the week. Some chicken, frozen lentil soup, spaghetti sauce, and frozen eggs. So I’ll plan some dinners from that.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the gym and Tuesday I have a dental appt. That’s it for this week with probably a swim day Thursday.

Here’s Friday’s pizza. I’m using Tony Gemignani 00 flour and it’s a game-changer for pizza dough. Plus I’m making 1 large batch and dividing it into 4 balls and then freezing it. It’s working great.

Good news for Democrats holding the Senate. At least something positive is happening.

Frugal Friday

All things considered, it was a frugal week. I didn’t need to go to the store at all but B went to Safeway for a few things so I had him spend over $25 to get a turkey for $7.00. I might give this to the food bank since I plan on getting a Diestal from our market. They have a coupon for $15.00 off a Diestal so I put an order in for one of the petite turkeys which are 10-12 lbs. I did this last year and it worked out great for us.

The pumpkin puree ended up at 6 Qts which I thought was pretty good. I’m going to make a pie tomorrow to test it out. I also saw a recipe in NYT cooking for a pumpkin bisque that looked good. And I want to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I still have the other green pumpkin to bake and will do that this week. ( I’m assuming the insides are orange):)

The chickens haven’t been laying much so B put a light in their coop and now they are producing more. This time of year I use a lot of eggs in cooking.

Our freezer is pretty packed especially after going to Costco so I’m planning on doing some freezer meals for the week. So far I have shrimp scampi with pasta, bean burritos, and something with chicken, and I need to check what soups I have frozen too. I am going to put the sauerkraut I made in the refrigerator and I probably will do a Rueben-type sandwich this week( minus the meat).

With the extra Azure order, I’ll definitely be over our $800 food budget. But that’s okay as most of the order is pantry stuff and long-term food items.

All the monthly bills are in and I just submitted my LLS for November so that’ll be $175 for covering my UHC coverage.

I swam this morning and didn’t realize the pool was just opening at 7am so it was PACKED!! Not the way I like it at all but I shared a lane with a swimmer who wasn’t splashing and kicking wildly.:)

Tonight is pizza night and it’s just the 3 of us as our son is headed up to Mt Shasta City. We have the second half of the last Vera to watch on Brit Box. This is season 11. It’s good although predicatible.