Happy Birthday to me!!

Actually, I’m a little surprised to still be here.  When I was diagnosed in 2005 with myeloma, the average survival rate was 3-5 years. I remember my first radiation appointment and the radiation oncologist said oh, 3-5 years survival. I just about fell over right there.  But here I am. And even more amazing, after 5 years of Revlimid and then Pomalyst for 6 months, I started Velcade and voila… I am in remission.  Six sessions of Velcade or over 7 months.  who knew. Pretty amazing and I am enjoying it for all it’s worth. I know I’ll relapse again, but for now, I’m a pretty happy camper. Although getting older means more aches and arthritis stuff, generally I feel good.

My son made me an amazing breakfast with cinnamon rolls, eggs, cheesy hashbrowns, and bacon. Yumm. Plus some lovely gifts.

Tonight is pizza night which I am cooking!  I’m going to do a marguerite one,  a bacon and chicken one, and ?  I’ve been cutting the pizza dough in thirds and that seems to be just the right size.


Simple Sunday

Fall has arrived in Northern California. Beautiful days and cool nights.  The forecast is much of the same for the next 2 weeks. When my sister arrives with her 3 daughters, the weather will be cooler. 75 degrees during the day and cooler at night.  I’ve already planned a tentative  itinerary and meal plan. One of the days they want to drive up to Lake Tahoe. I may or may not go. It’s a pretty straight forward drive but if you want to go around the whole lake, pretty long.  So, then we will do a wine tasting and lunch. It’s a nice winery and pretty. Of, course, this time, they’re at a hotel( thank you). But still, it will be a little stressful to deal with them all.

We have another tree to deal with asap. We have very large Ponderosa pines on our hill here and 2 years ago bark beetles came thru and we now have a stand of dead trees. But they are all down hill and not a threat. Just ugly. and a potential fire threat.  But also, way too expensive to take down. So, there is a tree below our pool that has looked a little stressed but not bad. Overnight, it turn brown. I kid you not one day, sort some brownish pine needles, bam ,the next day brown. So, We have to take it down. It’s a very large tree that , if it fell would cause some damage. so we just , and I mean just got our EF back up and now there goes the money… cha ching, cha ching. It is so frustrating. The tree needs to be brought down while someone can still climb it and if we wait that won’t happen. So, hopefully we can get a bid this week. It’s also tree cutters busy season, so there could be a wait. Ugh!!

Other than that not much new.  It’s kinda weird not being on any treatment but also quite lovely.  I go get my labs next Monday so I should know before our Florida trip how the numbers are.

B got the bathroom painted. Looks great and now he will work on the front room. I’m keeping the same color,Navajo white, which is a soft cream white. It works well in that room. He might get started next weekend. I’m going to paint one wall in the bedroom , simply white ( Benjamin Moore) to see how I like it.

WE are still waiting on the refi, because of the subordination, but it should be in soon and then the final whatever. We were offered a one time recast of the loan as per the HAMP program requires but the payment is still a lot higher than this loan we have going. It’s tempting but we need the lower payment in order to make this affordable. I’m hoping that right before B retires we can refi again for an even lower rate. Plus, we will need our ducks in a row, with no car payment. Since he has to have the car for work we will need to time that. We’re thinking of him getting another Elantra for the mileage. We’ll see.

Dinner is potato leek soup and grilled chicken. maybe a salad.38c79d4c9fd73259ae24c007303cfb01

We’re going….

So it was approved for us to fly the day before. So we will leave Wednesday and come back on Sunday. We will have to pay for the one night as that’s not included.  Economy will tough but it’s 4 hours to Dallas and then an hour break to get to the other plane and then on to Ft. Meyers.

I’m sure it’ll be an adventure !!

Well… it’s really hot here today like 94. but then by Thursday it’s going to be 64 , so what’s up???


simple Sunday

So, we had the huge oak tree taken down yesterday. wow, it looks really different.  they did a great job. I’ll post some pictures  after B sends them to me from his phone. As suspected, it was full of carpenter ants and so it was a good thing. Still, I feel a little ‘orc-ish’ about it. It was an old oak with lots of stories. This is all Maidu  land and I’m sure they came up on this hill long ago.  There are many grinding rocks in the area and in the now out of print book ‘Ooti’ , there are pictures of the meadows around here from the turn of the century.

I’m trying a new sandwich bread from Frugalgirl

http://www.thefrugalgirl.com. It seems to have risen very nicely so I’ll see how it turns out.

I’m also going to cut up apples from our tree and make some more applesauce. Probably cook today and strain and can tomorrow.

I’m hoping B gets the bathroom painted and that will freshen it up. Since it’s so small, I keep it very minimalistic. White towels( the hotel ones from Costco) and then baskets on shelves for misc. We’re doing it the same color which I have never tired of. It’s a very pale blue.

Also making spinach soup for dinner. I use Goldies spinach soup from the catering murder mysteries. It is by far the best I’ve found. I didn’t have any gruyere so I just added more cream cheese and used veggie broth. Plus I use an immersion blender to whip it up.


Thursday stuff…

Still trying to figure out the Florida trip. Honestly, the turn around is just too short for me. travel all day Thursday, Friday regroup, Saturday fun, Leave Sunday, all day travel. If it was a 2-3 hour eleanorroosevelt143006flight, I’d been jumping on it but this is probably too much for me, but we’ll see. We have to decide in a week.


Today I’m off to Costco. I don’t need a ton of stuff, but what I do need is basic stuff. Lettuce, spinach, organic chicken, cheese, etc. It shouldn’t take too long and then I may go over to Winco for cat food and some canned stuff.

Today is our Koffee Klatch, but getting home from Costco and putting stuff away takes as long as going. so I won’t go today to the lunch. Everyone’s upset that eventually, Applegate is going to close. Well, duh… did you think it was not going  to? It’s obvious, taking away 6 hours a week in a rural branch is the kiss of death for it. It won’t be for a year( next fiscal year) but it will happen. Sad really.

We’re walking earlier and it’s  darkish. Getting there @ 6 . It’s nice since we may be starting to miss the ‘crowd that has started to show up when we walk. We’re 4 months into year 4 of the Just Keeping Walking Project.



An award and should I go??

My husband has won( earned) a very prestigious award from the company he works for (UNFI).  He is #8 in sales in the country. As a result, he has won a trip to Naples FL in October and I can go too.  BUT,  I hate flying. I’m always concerned about germs due to my myeloma, even though I’m in remission. And I dislike Florida immensely.  Why couldn’t it be Hawaii which it’s suppose to be next year.

Anyway, I sorta want to go, of course , to support him, but I also do not do well in crowds, etc etc.  So the question is should I go. I need to decide in a week so reservations can be made. If I don’t go, of course, I’ll feel guilty but it opens up the possibility of my daughter going. She loves adventure so it could be fun for her to see that area.

Any thoughts????



the week ahead….and pantries,and stuff!

Today is Flylady’s home blessing day. So I’ve done the mirrors, I still need to vacuum and the laundry is going. Bathroom zone is done. I’m going to wash some sunroom windows later.

another huge success on the No Knead bread. I started it at 3:30 pm yesterday and then when I got back from walking, started the oven and put the dough in my new banneton (bread proofer thing).  It came out so nice . My advice with bread making is don’t give up. I’ve been making bread over 40 years. Yes, back when Laurel’s Kitchen was the rage.  I made some pretty heavy brick like whole wheat loaves. But even now after not making bread a few months during summers peak, I had to re-engage so to speak. This is my 5 th loaf in almost that many days or maybe it’s the 6 th.  Anyway, it takes time to get the feel of it all again. I haven’t tried the sourdough again, but I will soon. Of course, I will make some bread in a loaf pan soon too, but right now I’m having fun with the Le Creuset method. By the way, I love Le Creuset. My dutch oven I use is over 30 years old so if you’re going to make this bread, invest in a Le Creuset. I would love a new one in white, but it is pricey.img_0178

IMG_0179.jpgToday, I need to go buy some coffee to make it to my Costco trip. Costco’s Starbuck’s is on coupon and a great deal, but I need some for tomorrow.  Also, I need some lettuce for a salad to go with the lasagna tonight.

I’ve been off Velcade and dex now almost 3 months( September 25) and it’s really great. It’s also weird to feel kinda normal. To not worry so much about how I’m going to feel day to day and the Dex ups and downs.  It is a real gift to have this time off.  My next labs are the beginning of October… hope it’s good.  Plus, he didn’t see any need to do Zometa so I got out of that one too. the time will come , I’m sure when I’ll be back in treatment but for now it is a gift. It is very easy to take one’s health for granted until it’s not there and then you realize how precious it is.

Dinner is lasagna, salad and maybe a few slices of the bread( unless I keep eating it) ha ha…

I went thru the freezer and threw out some stuff from 2013. then I decided to organize meals all week from what is in there. I don’t have a big stockpile and want to keep it that way, but some stuff needs to be used.  Unless the apocalypse is coming I think I can get to the grocery store for whatever. I do like some things in reserve, like butter, some bagels, tomato sauce, but a lot of things just pile up in there. the pantry is the same. I do keep some reserve, but overall I like the European idea of shopping for what you need on a regular basis.  I do like cans of tomatoes, olives, some organic beans, but mostly I think its nice to keep it small.  of course, my pantry is limited so I’m not sure if I had a whole room devoted to it, what I would do.  But I do know, you shouldn’t have a stuffed pantry out of fear that everything is going to collapse at any moment. A reasonable supply if there was an emergency.  Storing food for a year, like some religious groups suggest, seems extreme.

But each to his own.

Bread making continued and a cookbook review


I let the first rise go 9 hours then preheated the oven to 475 for an hour. I made the nice round boule and let it rise while the oven preheated. So it really only needs that hour. I put it on parchment and voila. It worked great.  So this is not the sourdough which didnt rise as nicely.  I’m going to work on the ratio of sourdough and water and I may add a tiny bit of yeast ans wee how that goes.


no knead bread!!!

img_0165It’s also Friday night pizza so the dough is made.

The book review is of “A Modern Way to Cook” by Anna Jones.9780399578427.jpeg

It is a vegetarian cookbook with quite lovely pictures. Unfortunately, the recipes are quite weird and seem to be odd combinations. Such as charred celery root steaks. Humm, not sure about that.

I did like how she separated recipes by time, such as ‘ready in twenty, or forty minute feasts’.

It just didn’t seem to have appealing ingredients in the recipes. I mean what is ‘sumac yogurt’??

So, get this one from the library and save your money on something you will make recipes out of.

This book was given to me  by blogging for books in exchange for my honest opinion.


Bread making 101

Well, I’m back in the thick of it. I’m reading everything about the no knead bread and today I’m starting loaf # 4. I’m going to shorten the first rise and the second one as well. I’m guessing( after reading a lot) that the yeast has done its thing and there’s not enough oomph for it to do the final puff in the oven.  So today, I’m not using sour dough, just the 1/4 teaspoon yeast and will do the first rise for 12 hours or so. I’ll have to see as that  puts me at 7 pm. So I may need to do it tomorrow am. I may have to read up on leaving close to  24 hours. That seems like a long time.  But the second rise I’m definitely doing for just the hour not 2.  I also ordered a proofing basket to get the nice marks you see on bread like it whole Foods.  I’m having fun figuring it out.

My daughter and I had a great trip into the Sierras to Quincy. Very low key and just delightful. We stopped in Truckee on the way home for bagels at a place she had been wanting to try.They are very close to New York bagels.  We bought 1/2 dozen to bring home.

The refi is still in limbo with the subordination again. It was going to fund this week till they realized  they still didn’t have that info. So it’ll be another bit yet.  They’ve done a good job on this so far, so I hope it’s done so we don’t have to pay October’s payment. We are still over in the budget.  So we need a little catch-up. since I can’t work, my job is to figure out how to get our budget to work and still have money left over:)  That has yet to happen. But I’m hoping with the savings of $500 a month on the house payment does the trick.


Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread

The week ahead.

So, I forgot about simple Sunday,as I was in the middle of making bread, cleaning, reading and do some decluttering. I’m back to bread making as our weather is so much cooler. It has been really lovely. But sunrise and sunset are later and earlier. We’re sitting out by the fire again and then I’m coming in to watch a show @ 8pm.  I finished Grantchester which was great. If you  like Acorn/BBC, it’s excellent. Then  we watched Stranger Things, a  Netflix original. Just okay, if you don’t like supernatural stuff, just skip it.

I’m making the sourdough no knead bread. the loaf I made yesterday was kinda flat, but the taste was so good. I watched you tube on the bread making and someone used a bread basket thing to do the final rise in. This is quite a wet dough so I think just leaving it on the bread board for the final rise didn’t work out. So today I have it in a bowl and then will roll out. I might see how much one of the bread basket things are. I also forgot to put the cast iron pot in the oven to preheat and that’s probably why it didn’t puff up. Right now I have it in there for 40 minutes.  So, it came out pretty flat again, and I think the water/sourdough/flour ratio is off. I checked Jim Layey’s bread and it’s about 1/4 less liquid, and I’m guessing that’s it. The taste is terrific ,though.

I’m in the kitchen zone this week. Always my biggest area as its cleaning the stove cabinets, refrigerator etc.  I’m getting ready to go start it.

Then I need to go into town to the store for a few things. My daughter and I are doing a mini get away up to Quincy to Ada’s. So  since there’s a kitchen we’ll do a grilled chicken, mac and cheese and a wedge salad. So I need to get the items for this.

Then I went out to the barn yesterday and I’m trying to get memorabilia down to one bin instead of two. Also, I’m going to be ruthless with the Life magazines. I need to get it to maybe 4 bins. Right now it’s down to 8. since I started with 40, I guess that’s good. I wish I could find a collector who loves them as much as I do.

I just read ” Cooking for Picasso”. Its a pretty good book about a young girl who cooks for Picasso when he escaped from Paris for personal reasons. He’s about 55 at this point and quite famous. She’s about 17 and of course becomes enamoured.  It’s an interesting read and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Now I’m reading another Icelandic mystery by Indridason.   this writer is AMAZING. I read every word and for me that’s unusual.

51buKngrBPL.jpgCheck out his books. i just saw he put one out this year.