The week ahead…

I missed writing Simple Sunday yesterday for no reason other than I didn’t get to it. We walked yesterday and it was nice. AH is still there, EVERY SINGLE DAY, but we avoid him and it’s fine. Today is our no walk day so I stayed in bed till 5:10am. ( really):(

Our weather is headed for terribly hot by Friday at 107 degrees. Geez I’m not sure our planet is going to survive global warming. The water situation in the southwest is dire and we are in a drought here for sure. All the reservoirs and lakes are way low, Folsom, Shasta, Tahoe all are very low. We are watering a lot for the gardens but I’m thinking by August I’m not sure that’s going to be reasonable and we probably should let some of the garden beds just go to seed. The 3 garden beds in the front are a wash as the gopher is eating everything so that’s just a waste. I’m planning on having my daughter dig up what’s there and put in some lavender plants and some more flowers.

This week is the bathroom zone and I may do some work in the sun room. I’ve had to move ALL my plants out of there because it is no the catio( kittio) playroom. they’ve knocked over and broken two pots already so now I have them in the front room and it starts to make me a bit claustrophobic. But it’s temporary till the kitties are older, I hope. We still haven’t gotten the voucher for mamakat so we may just have to pay for the spaying which is really expensive. But if we don’t do it soon, she will go into heat again and then everything’s complicated. So fingers crossed it’s there this week.

Last night’s dinner was cheese tortellini with pesto, watermelon and some left over potato salad. Tonight I’m planning on a quiche since I have some gruyere to use up. Then Tuesday is mexican and I might do a chile relleno bake with some pintos. I have some turkey burgers to use so I’ll do that Wednesday and a veggie burger for B. I’ll probably make some macaroni salad too.

My only appt this week is Velcade. Last Saturday was another rough day with feeling pretty lousy. Fortunately, it does pass, but still. Another Myeloma buddy died this past month. I was quite upset as I’ve been blogging buddies with her for about 8 years. Julie was funny, smart, a real warrior in the sense she never really had any treatment breaks like I have. She kept on. Then around 3 years ago her husband developed Alzheimer’s and died last year. So she had that to deal with as well. I will miss her.

I’m thinking of doing a Walmart pickup this week. I need some misc. stuff and Walmart besides Winco is the best place to go.

Well, I better go get the bathroom done and do some house tidying.

Frugal Friday

I think overall it was a frugal week. Costco was a bigger shop at $600, but $120 of that was non food, and $20 was wine. So, that meant food was $460. Plus, the coffee, bread, flour sugar, etc will last to the end of July.

My food budget is still $600 . but with Costco at $460. I think I will end up slightly over. But that’s still $140 left. I spent another $30 at Safeway so the balance is $110. We don’t need anything immediately so I can see what veggies we might need next week.

At Costco I bought a box of large tomatoes and one night we had stuffed tomatoes and they were delicious. I made Julia Child’s Sole Meuniere with Dover Sole I got at Costco too and man, it was delicious.

I’ve been decluttering odds and ends from the barn( again) and have decided to sell the Robin Egg Blue mallow ware Melmac.

It’s really a lovely set but I just don’t have any use for it. It would make a great picnic set or a dinner set for someone with a vintage trailer. I’m going to list on Ebay first. I also have a Star Trek console that lights up and I’m going to list that too as it’s just been kicking around the barn.

We decided to hold off selling the tent trailer this summer as one of us may want to sleep out there and we thought that on occasion there might be some campgrounds we’d take that too. We’ll see, nothing is set yet , and we’re flexible. If we don’t use it all in the next 6 months then next spring we’d sell it.

I submitted my LLS reimbursement for May so that should help next month. It covers our health insurance so that’s a big deal. We wouldn’t be making it on just SS without that LLS grant money. I am grateful to all those that donate to LLS so they can help so many people with blood cancers. It is a gift for sure.

Overall, I think it was a frugal week. No unnecessary spending, just essentials.

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

Next on the chopping block.

This is a signed Alice Waters book. It really is a lovely cookbook with linocut images. Quite beautiful. But I’ve never made a recipe from this book or unfortunately never went to Chez Panisse. Probably the time to have gone would have been the 1970’s right when we moved here. Probably it could have been one of those Berkeley trips we made to visit our friend Jim. Also, when we had our bookstore later in the 1980’s we would drive down to Berkeley to go to

Bookpeople and buy literally $1000’s of inventory. It was a huge warehouse and fun too. But never ventured into town where Chez Panisse was.

So, I might look one more time if there is a recipe to make but I doubt it.

Velcade, Round 6, shot #2.

Today I drive to Rocklin to get my shot. Then straight home to do some chores, dinner prep, and then take Dex after lunch. Last week the 16mg Dex wasn’t too awful. Still I do need to modify what I do since DEx is sneaky and I certainly wouldn’t drive.

Yesterday Costco was great. It was straight in and we were done in 30 minutes. It wasn’t busy at all. Not sure if that’s because everyone had shopped on Sunday or it’s close to the middle of the month. Anyway, it was great for us. We got some great looking fruit and most of the basics we needed. They didn’t have the organic Lundberg brown rice so maybe they’re not carrying that anymore. I don’t think we’ll need to go back till the end of July. We did buy 2 bags of coffee so that should get us thru till then.

Budget wise, the 3 annual bills are paid, AAA membership, Costco membership and propane tank rental. All are once a year bills. Our next set of annual bills will be fall and that’s expensive as it’s the house insurance( which is going up every year due to fire concerns, car insurance( bi annual) and property taxes(bi annual). I’m moving a small amount of money over to a savings when I can to put toward these. I doubt I can get to the final amount but something will help. Right now with having put lots of RV misc on the credit card, that’s number one priority. I should be able to finish that next week.

Our weather is lovely and very cool. Next week looks like we’re back in 100 degree weather so not fun. It’s nice not to use the coolers all the time and we’re not having to water so much.

Update on the kitties:

My daughter was able to get the last one from the barn. Mama kat was not happy and has been up here at the house trying to ‘call’ her out. She’ll get over it. My son was able to get a voucher from the ASPCA to spay mama but we have to wait to get it. She may get pregnant in the meanwhile but I guess that’s the chance we’re taking. I’m hoping we get it done in time or? or, those kitties would just go straight to the shelter. ( no – kill one).

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

I bought a Vitamix a few years ago on sale at Costco. We use it mostly for smoothies and blending soups.

My daughter bought me this vitamix cookbook shortly thereafter but I’ve never used it.

The smoothies look good but I usually just throw in what I have laying around. No recipe.

Here’s two that I picked out that show why I wouldn’t cook these.

I mean it looks healthy but just not my style.

I do make zucchini burgers in the summer but I just use a box grater to grate the zucchini and then add my ingredients.

So another book to go in the pet bookstore bag.

Simple Sunday

A beautiful day here in Northern California. Not too hot and the next week looks really nice. We had a nice walk in the park this morning too. We missed yesterday because it was my Dex morning and my brain just isn’t all there.

We plan on going to Costco on Tuesday and then Wednesday I go back down to Rocklin for my Velcade shot.

We haven’t shopped Costco in over a month so that helped the grocery budget for sure. This won’t be a huge shop but big enough with basics. Plus I need flour,sugar, rice and other staples.

We’ve been watering like crazy and our water bill shows it . It’s $132 this month and I suspect it will be higher next month since we filled the pool. Oh well, in the winter it’s PGE in the summer it’s Meadow vista Water company. (sigh)…

We had some tamales for dinner last night( frozen ones I bought) so dinner was easy and no prep except I made a fresh salsa. The tamales were a New Mexico brand and they were ok not great.

Tonight I may just throw another freezer meal in and call it good. This week on the menu is:

Panko shrimp with jasmine rice, crispy tofu, bag of asian veggies( Trader Joes).

homemade mac and cheese to use up a block of sharp cheddar I have,

OOni pizza on Friday,

Something with eggs like a frittata,

And I think I’ll look for a recipe for an instant pot meal.

I need to go to Target to get a few things like stainless steel wipes, a basket for the kitty toys which are growing exponentially, paper plates for the cat food, some command hooks for the trailer and ?

BTW, 3 kitties are now in the foster cage in my office room/ everything room. My daughter has done an amazing job catching them and working with them. The last one is still out with mama and has been difficult to catch. She’s going to try today. We are going to call for Ciri to get spayed at a regular vet office hopefully this week.

Flylady zone is the kitchen which for some reason I thought was last week. So I did a quick sweep thru and timed it at 20 minutes. Really I could do whatever zone I want when it’s convenient but I just like to stick to the routine. Flylady’s book and program really did change my life when I needed it. Unfortunately, when I watched her on youtube, I was mortified at the Christian iconography all around her. I have no idea what religion she is but I think if in the beginning I knew that I would have not read her books. Fortunately, as far as I know that is never mentioned in her book( I may have to check that but I’m pretty sure I would have picked up on it.) Just to be clear, I have no problem with her being religious, but seeing a dozen weird crosses behind her when she’s doing a vlog is too much for me. That’s just me!

I

Project: Cooking through my cookbooks or else.

So the project is: I have lots of cookbooks although that is probably relative. If I can find at least one recipe that is a keeper to make, I will keep the cookbook.

This is a signed Annie Somerville cookbook. I couldn’t find one recipe I wanted to make:( If anyone out there wants to pay postage, they can have the book.

So we’ve been to Greens at Fort Mason twice and really it is spectacular. If you are near San Francisco or are visiting you must add this to your to do list. Reservations are probably expected. We had reservations both times.

Now her other one Fields of Greens there are lots to try.

These all look delicious but I just don’t cook like this with these kinds ingredients.

Anyway, this one is on the way out. Didn’t make it.

Friday things…

We are back home from our ‘maiden voyage’ and it did have some snafus.

So here we are leaving the driveway. Up ahead on the left is one of our big ponderosas and B didn’t take the turn wide enough so he hit the corner of the awning and snapped off the cover. Fortunately, it didn’t damage anything except the plastic cover which can be taped or replace. The awning worked fine in camp. The drive up to Tahoe was perfect. Not a lot of traffic and we went 55-60 most of the time and the Santa Fe did great. Controlling the steering is something to pay attention to probably because of the weight on the hitch. I don’t know if having a truck resolves that or what but we can’t really entertain the idea of a truck at this point. We have anti sway bars but it’s still something to pay attention to. B did a great job driving though.

So we got up there early and asked if we could check in and Yes, we could. So, here is our spot.

We’ve stayed in this spot before and like it as it is across from the bathrooms.

The campground had way more people than when we were there 2 years ago. I’m guessing pandemic fatigue and everyone wants to be out doing something. Of course, there has to be the one group of campers that are noisy, loud, obnoxious with too many kids running around. Sorry, but I do think one needs to be respectful of Other campers!!! They were certainly not and they moved picnic tables that are NOT meant to be moved together, and were hacking at tree stumps for firewood. Geez, I’m glad they were far enough away that I couldn’t see all there crap. I would not want to be there this weekend with them blaring music.:(

The first night we did a Lodge dinner of stuffed peppers.

I love Lodge cooking and forgot how fun it is to just put the food in and sit back and relax.

The second night we used the Hibachi and I cooked some chicken for me and a Dr. Praeger burger for B. We had potato salad as our side. Quite yummy.

So the second snafu was concerning the battery charge. We were under the impression that the battery and the solar charging would last easily 2-5 days. Well, we were running the frridge all day and by 7pm the battery charge was low and we turned off the fridge. No lights or water pump either. So the next morning we hooked the Santa Fe back up and charged the battery. Then we ran the fridge 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Then we used the water pump as necessary. That seemed to do the trick and the battery held the charge overnight. It was frustrating to have it happen and like I said, we were told the battery was fine for days. Nope. So we are going to have to buy a second battery and they are not cheap. But it should make a difference.

We hooked up Thursday and left by mid morning and had a lovely ride home. I 80 was not too busy so we did fine. Trailering is quite different with this as opposed to the tent trailer and I’m leaving it open till next year whether it is for us at all. I think the difference would be getting a used truck early next year and then seeing how the trailering feels. The SF can do it and it was fine but I think the uptake is a bigger vehicle with a V-8 will make the difference.

Here’s the bed. Comfy and great windows to look out of. That front window is tinted and you can’t see in at all.

Here’s the totally cool kitchen. We can’t use the microwave unless we’re hooked up to a 30 amp( I guess, not too sure of that).

On our way out we stopped at the Donner Party Memorial.

She was a survivor, I think.

So, today(Friday) I went for my first shot of Velcade in this final round. How long it will keep in remission is anyone’s guess but I hope for a while at least.

WEll, I’m off to take DEX and probably rest.

How to do a morning home reset.

The concept of a house re-set is from the Youtube vlogger minimom. She just recently stopped doing her youtube channel and she is missed. A honest, forthright person who is a minimalist and has 2 young children. She talked about a morning reset and an evening one. So I’ve adopted the idea as a house reset in the morning.

Basically, you go thru each room and pick up whatever doesn’t belong there and put it away and tidy each room. You’re not really cleaning as such, just being sure things are where they belong and the room is ‘set’ for the day. I don’t do an evening reset myself as by that time everything is done except maybe emptying the dishwasher which B does.

I usually start in the bedroom. I make the bed, tidy any books I’ve been reading and take out the laundry basket from the closet.

This is looking out to the north side of the house where the iceberg roses are blooming.

I keep one orchid in this room on the crate that was mounted on the wall. I put B’s collection of Dylan books inside the crate.

Next, I do the bathroom reset. Empty trash can, swipe the sink and swish the toilet bowl. That’s usually all I do. We only each have a towel and those are on hooks.

I use two of my pinecone ware mugs for Q tips.

The front room usually only needs a pickup of anything that might have been put on the table. This doesn’t happen too often unless there’s a project going on.

My office area can get messy with papers but i put them in a crate that I really love that has a hinge. So I can open and close it.

This is my “office” box.

The kitchen also is just reset so everything is off the counters, breakfast dishes done and in the dishwasher. If I’ve been making bread or cooking , all that gets cleaned up and things put away.

Overall, the reset may take me 10 minutes, maybe 15 depending how the kitchen is.

Having become more minimal is definitely a key to a simple clean house that doesn’t require lots of hours of work to maintain.

Right now I have my VW loaded with another load for the thrift store. Stuff just adds up and how I look at what I need changes so things get decluttered.

Simple Sunday

We’re busy getting the Rubicon set up for camping at Donner State park this week. I have most of what I need in there at this point.

I still need to prep some food as I plan on using the Lodge this time to make stuffed peppers with a tomato sauce. I might do a mac and cheese in the Lodge the 2nd night but still undecided. I like to use the small hibachi for BBQing so I might do that instead. We went thru all the stuff from the tent trailer and whittled it down to what we want in the new trailer. We have the white corelle dishes, bowls, and a serving platter, 2 pots, and 2 fry pans. I’m not sure I need 2 fry pans so when we’re up there I’ll see what we’re using.

This is a very quick trip and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to really tell what we need or don’t need. We’re hoping to find some place with hook ups in the next month so we can try out the things that run with power and the sewer hookup.

The kittens are growing and are now annoying tweens running around the barn. We are pretty sure we are not going to bring them in the house. The main reason is my daughter( who is really the one taking care of them) is actually allergic to cats so she has to wear a mask out in the barn. They are really cute though. MamaKat is quite friendly and we’re planning on her spay next week after we’re back from camping. Hopefully, we can get her in the cat carrier.

We had a nice BBQ of burgers, chicken and a veggie burger for my daughter’s birthday with a fruit tart for dessert. It was all yummy. I bought the Dr. Praeger burgers this time and I think they are way better the the processed Beyond meat stuff.

This week Flylady’s zones are the entry way and the kitchen. Our entryways are fine and maybe just need a spruce up but i’m not sure I’ll get to the kitchen zone till later in the week. It seemed like I just did it as the same thing happened last month when the week had 2 zones.

It’s supposed to be quite hot tomorrow with temperatures hitting 100. It’s way too early for such hot weather but I guess global warming is to be blamed. We are watering a lot so our water bill is going to go up.

I’m working on an idea for a series of posts about cooking. What I want to do is pick one or two recipes from every cookbook I own. If it passes the test of tastes good, ease of making, etc, I’ll keep the cookbook, if not, I’ll donate it back to the pet bookstore. I just feel I have way too many cookbooks that I’ve never made a recipe from. I like to look at them but not cook from them so that’s the challenge.