Happy birthday to me!

imageWell, here I am, 61 today. It’s weird to say that, as I’m sure most everyone goes wow I still feel 35 inside. Or 25 or whatever.

I’ve enjoyed getting older. I like where I am. Of course there are things I wished I’d did differently, but hindsight is 20/20.

Im grateful to be here and feel good. When I was diagnosed it seemed so depressing and scarey. Now, I’m use to dealing with multiple myeloma. It’s never easy but I cope.

Today was my 122 day walking and it was sprinkling. But it was still nice.

No special dinner plans, but I did go out to the store and pick up some mini desserts. So well see what shapes up for dinner.

It’s been a great life and I’m grateful for the time that is been given to me.

A time for reflection

We lost one of our myeloma heroes this week,Judy M. She was an amazing and inspiring person. She tried so many drugs, but she had high risk myeloma and in the end nothing was working.  I enjoyed her blogs and she will be missed. I send thoughts of peace to her family who were there for her the whole time at the end.

It is a reality check when someone you’ve been following for a while dies. Last year we lost a number of myeloma cyber space friends. It is  a tough wake up call. I feel very lucky to be still here and doing well. It’s not always easy but heck, what’s the alternative. So RIP, Judy….

on other notes, B is putting in our new window today. Should be good. And I’m going to start painting  the window trim. Since tomorrow is a dex day , I’m good till around 1 pm then I crash for a few hours and then @ 4 I start to pick back up.

menu for the week is:

saturday : vegie dogs/ hot dogs, beans , maybe salad

Sunday: chicken with mushrooms and wine, (coq au vin)

Monday: birthday pick?????

Tuesday: spaghetti and meat sauce/ marinara for the vegies

Wednesday: frittata  of some sort

Thursday: broccoli cheddar soup in bread bowls

Friday: tacos


We’re in Tahoe!


We arrived yesterday and it’s beautiful. Cool, but nice. We have our tent trailer really organized and very minimal. It’s nice. I just wish we had a bathroom. That’s the only problem for me. But we work it out with the campground bathrooms. Showers are another story as, in the summer we use a solar shower, now it’s too cold , so no showers. 

Today it’s windy and overcast. We have a heater so were fine and we haven’t really planned on any excursions. Just walking and bike riding. It’s nice not to fill the day up. The campground is pretty empty and quiet. It closes in 2 weeks for the winter so were late to be here but it’s fun.

i made yummy hash browns and our own chicken eggs for breakfast and some coffee. Dinner is tacos, black bean . 

So looking over the September challenge, I think I’ve done really great with the food budget, it’s a little under $400. So with a week left, I’m doing great. I think getting the freezer has been the real key here, as I have stuff in there to use . 

Gas is normal, with the exception of $60 for gas to get up here. 

Entertainment, including, wine for evening sipping is $90. 

Clothing is where I went out on the budget, because I bought a nice north face polar tec jacket. I had no jacket so, I consider that my birthday present. Then Sachi and I went to old navy and spent $300 plus. But, both of never buy clothes so I’m just going to say I have a clothing budget. Really I need to make a clothing budget, because I never add it in to the budget….any ideas?

We also were up and walked our 2 miles and saw a coyote! He didn’t seem to fazed by us. 

So enjoying the time we have!

Friday… Finally…

Well, it’s been a good week working everyday. I really enjoyed it even last night till 7pm. I’ll be here again tomorrow and then next week were off to Tahoe for a few days. it’s suppose to rain some tomorrow , that’ll be a nice change. 

I will do an update on the September low spend challenge soon. I need to go to Costco, winco, and trader joes Sunday , but it’s not for a lot. 



imageimageMinimalism , to me, is having what you need and no more or less. I think it’s defined  in clean spare lines.  No clutter and visually easy on the eyes.

It’s interesting that journey started really when we were first married. B and I were married in a Quaker meeting house. I wore my great grandmothers white dress.( not a wedding dress, but what was called a tea dress, very beautiful with handmade lace).

Quakers are known for there queries which are questions about life really. They speak to the heart of simplicity, generosity, living a conscious life, and non violence. We stayed Quakers for many years. Then after our move from Tucson to Northern California we were about an hours drive from the nearest meeting and lost contact. At the same time zen buddhism started to be very important, and we loved all things Japanese. The shojis, tatami mats, and the no clutter. We meditated, lived very simply.

Later, we built a house, and bought some stuff, not a lot but some. We still slept in a futon on the floor and kept things pretty minimal. Later, we sold that house and moved where we live now. A very small house. Somehow we keep adding too much stuff and I started collecting all things vintage, dishes( my passion), table cloths, toys, on and on. We also had 2 children so there was all that stuff. Then in 2005 I was diagnosed with a blood cancer, and I really couldn’t do much for that first year of treatment. Then after my stem cell transplant when I started to feel better, I discovered fly lady. Her program helped me to with just 15 minutes at a time start to declutter. Then somewhere I just started feeling I needed to get rid of all the things, button collections, extra furniture  on so on. I wanted a minimalist look. In our small house I wanted it to be clear of visual clutter.

I have made great progress. I would like to take it one step further and get rid of a few more things and try to redo our pantry setup, which is covered with a vintage barkcloth. Cute but I’d like a closed cabinet.

we aren’t mortgage free and doubt we’ll ever be , but I try and pay extra when I can. We have ,for the first time an emergency fund and that’s a nice feeling. We are heading toward retirement but its still a ways off. I would love to have the minimal bills as well. I think that speaks to taking minimalism straight into the financial realm. But for us, that’s not now.

But the journey towards this minimalism has been fulfilling and I am thrilled with the results.


Today is day 107 walking . Pretty good. I’d really like to add an extra .5 mile but with rev/dex it’s aliitle hard to do .  But overall it’s great.

we had an estimate on one of our more dangerous trees and the bid is $1075, plus the crane fee. I think it’s very fair as this includes chipping and clean up. So sometime in October it will get done. Hurray. Maybe next year we can budget the really big tree.

B is off the New Mexico for the week tomorrow , and Tuesday starts my 5 days working. I’m just going to glide thru and then rest when I come home. It should be fine.

We’ve been watching season 5 of doc Martin , it’s so great to see that scenery in northern England. It’s a great series if your looking for something new. Most libraries probably have it. 

I just started reading Elizabeth Berg’s new book, OMG, it is also great. She’s a very good writer who really explores how most of us feel at some time or another and weaves it into a story.

B has just about wrapped painting all the outside buildings and trim. A very big job!

tonight is roast turkey breast,and baked potatoes,I had frozen. If your looking for A great freezer idea, double stuffed potatoes are terrific. I cut the potatoes in half , then it’s more like a side dish. I’ll steam some broccoli on the side.

I’m finally coming out of the dex haze, hurray….


Monday morning catch up.

I’ve been busy with all kinds if things since last week especially as the rev/dex wore off. This is my week off till probably Thursday. That’s the earliest I can get delivery as you have to sign for the revlimid. So, I’ve painted kitchen cabinets, worked on organizing pots and pans. Also, did another sweep thru the pantry. 

On the low spend September, it’s not been to good. I’m doing great with food/non food but house painting and house miscellaneous is still adding up. Two trips to Home Depot , and another $75 apprx. Then some more paint for the aviary, and so it goes. I guess I’ll be happy if we can at least cut the food/ non food some. 

I read “My Life in France” ,by Julia Child. It was really pretty fascinating. Now I’m reading some little murder mystery paper back, can’t even think of the title. 

This week I work 1 extra day,but next week I’ll e filling for my co worker who is getting surgery. I’m a little concerned especially being on revlimid. I’m telling myself, just pace yourself. 

Oh, the exciting news was yesterday was my 100 th day walking! Now I’m going for the next 30 days. I havent  really lost any weight but I’m walking and that’s what matters. 

On a sadder note, a myeloma blogger on the myeloma beacon, isn’t doing well and is expected to die in the next few days. It’s always a somber reminder that this is a terminal disease. She lives in Idaho, and has a wonderful dog named Kemmer. He’s a beautiful golden retriever. She also has an incredibly support sister, Jani, who has been there for her the whole way. She’s tried every combination of drugs, and now nothing is working. I’ll miss her posts.

September low spend update and other things!

So, it’s going okay with the low spending. Monday was just gas in the van,$20. Tuesday was no spend, Wednesday was $5 for cat food.  (Remember we have Tucker who is a diabetic cat and needs food every 4hours. Then also, got cash for groceries , and non food. 

Today we went to Sacramento to see Dr.L, my blood work was all good, so were set for the next round of revlimid. I told him all my complaints, dry mouth, tired, on and on. But overall, it’s ok. I won’t start even till next week, as I have to be here for delivery and that will have to be next Thursday . So I’ll get a little break. I’llImage know about my m- protein next week.

I thought I was getting Zometa today but its next month, so off we went to trader joes, wine, and a few things. Winco, cat food, organic salad. Then costco, for some food, and non food. TP, Lysol wipes. So totals were, non food, $62, food,$60, wine ,including champagne , $30.

so, not too bad. Tomorrow, I work and its a no spend day except for a gift card for a friend who lent us the paint sprayer. I’ll put this in extra, as it is just that.

Heres the front of the house painted. I love the black on the door. 

Tuesday incidentals.



So, the update on Target from Sunday. I spent sway too much, but I am going to make a call and say it was my birthday stuff. I have budgeted $100 for birthday, but wasn’t going to use it . But then, I saw a knife I really needed, and some kitchen shears…. So the only real household item was the shoe cubby for my sons room as I’m sick of his shoes everywhere. So that ended up $35, plus I got 2 bins that go into it. Those were $11. So right around $50. I’ll put that in household and try and get by for the month on another $100. Household always adds up here.

Yesterday, was gas in my van for $15.

Today, I’m off  to work and will be a no spend day. Hurray!We had glorious rain yesterday. Kinda weird for California in September, but so welcome. And it was really warm too.

Yesterday started my week 14 walking. Being on a steroid is hard on muscles, you lose muscle mass on dex and I can feel some leg weakness, but I’m determined to keep going.

Well, I’m off to drop food at the food bank, 4 boxes, and then to the library.

Day1 of low spend September !

ImageWell, unfortunately we’re not off to a great start. I’m finishing up some trim on the house. And then I have to go in to target for a few things. Then to Home Depot for concrete paint. Theses have already been budgeted, so maybe I can count It in sinking funds instead of today.

Menu for the week

Sunday: chile rellenos

Monday: burgers on the BBQ

tuesday : pasta something

Wednesday: chicken , zucchini fritters

Thursday : black beans in the crock pot

Friday: tacos

Saturday: soup and a salad


Update on my Rev/ dex,

im almost done with my first cycle. It’s gone very well. Dex is dex, what can you do.

this will be my week off. That’s always nice. Won’t know my m- protein till next week.