Five Frugal Things Friday

So as with many other bloggers, I’m joining in with the 5 frugal things this week. I may not do  this every week but it can help with accountability.

  1.  We haven’t been out for any lunches or dinner.Although I did buy a cup of soup the other day so I guess that’s not really frugal.
  2. We are trying to keep our space heaters at 55 or off. My son is gone for a few days and we have his off completely. But we are in for a very cold storm by Monday even possibly snow so that may not keep going.
  3. I returned the ham I bought at Costco since it was moldy( yes, very weird) but I didn’t go get another but bought some sliced ham and that was fine with us. As it was I froze half of it. So I got back almost $24.00.
  4. Bundling errands so we only take one car to town.
  5. Uh, there must be one more…. oh, I know, we’re only going to run the dryer once a day.  Unfortunately, today was extra sheets so I’ve run the washer and dryer 3 times but overall it’s the goal and I did do it every other day this week.
  6. This is good. WE ordered propane and it was only $1.55 a gallon. Believe me, that is so cheap I could hoard it if I had extra tanks. To fill up was $ 178. Pretty much unheard of as this time last year it was almost $400.

Looking ahead to 2017

universe-welcome-2017-sign-free-vector.jpgThis year has been great for me. My Velcade treatments put me in complete response and I’ve enjoyed 6 months now chemo free. My ‘leaky’ eyes have greatly improved although not completely gone. I feel pretty darn good overall.

This new year I hope to keep going at the gym and increase my overall strength. Keep walking, of course. Eat healthy, which we do anyway. But always a good reminder to keep going with menu planning. I want to decrease our grocery budget if possible.

Next year will see my son going to San Francisco State University as a senior. He will have to get a student loan as we can’t help him out except for maybe some miscellaneous stuff. Not sure when he can apply for financial aid but it’s a few weeks away at least. So very exciting for him as this was his top choice as the cinema department is supposed to be great.

WE’ve got 3 camping trips reserved but one we will cancel as I got the site we wanted at a later date. It’s still too early to get Nevada Beach but hopefully, I’ll be lucky again to get the 2 weeks. Last year was so awesome to have 2 weeks at Tahoe.

Also, finish the emptying of the barn stuff and reorganize. Get all our misc. debt stuff from the tree removal and school tuition stuff from last semester done. I’m sure there will be stuff that comes up but hopefully, we’ll have our EF fuller.

Well, today is gym day, Koffee Klatch, if anyone shows up, and dinner is Chicken noodle soup. I think???

Just keepWalking update

We’re at the end of the year so, it’s 6 months from June 1 when the new walking year started. That’s 3 1/2 years of walking every single day with intention.  These past few days it has been 27 degrees and that is pretty darn cold to walk in at 6:30 am.  I finished the year (almost the end of the year) at  900 miles. I was trying to get 1000  miles in that the lady from Britain challenged. But I was still 100 miles short. Next year!!

I saw my oncologist today, and he was sick with a cold so we stayed apart.  And no physical exam which I don’t need anyway, but it was good to touch base. He said everything looked good and he’d order labs for 8 weeks. That’s a little long for my comfort range but we’ll see.  Actually, after I read the clinical summary, he put them at 6 weeks. I think he wasn’t really thinking clearly. That’s okay.  Then I’d see him again in February. I think if my labs look good I’ll cancel that and ask for labs again 6 weeks after that. I think that’s what he wanted but got mixed up especially since his computer wouldn’t boot up and his head was stuffy.

Then we hit Trader Joes for salad stuff, got the paint for the front room, and then stopped at Costco to return something.

All in all a good day.

It’s taco Tuesday.

labs look good!

My CBC came in all good. My usual slightly high MCH and something else. I think I vaguely remember my oncologist saying that this was due to the transplant. But I don’t know.

So the exciting news is my Kappa and lambda light chains are still all normal range plus the ratio is normal at 1.01

BUT, and this is a big but, this month’s numbers went up another 1 point from last month. So, last month my kappa light chains were at 11.7 mg/L and this month 12.8 mg/l  so there is a trend here as this happened even the month before that. So, there is movement but at least it’s still all in the normal range. I see my doctor next so we’ll see what he says. Probably don’t worry about it till there’s something to worry about.  The high end of normal is 19.4 so I’d still have a way to go.

So I’m thrilled to be at 6 months and still all normal.

Today, I’m going to the gym and then get cash for gas and food. Then to meet a friend for a coffee.

Last night’s dinner was awful. The couscous ended up mushy, the baked cod was chewy and the spaghetti squash was actually pretty good.

Tonight is crockpot Thursday, but I don’t have anything really planned for it. I could do beans but I don’t think so today. My back up meal is breakfast for dinner.

Update: normal SPEP test. which is serum protein electrophoresis !! The light chain test is more sensitive so with the trending it probably means movement, but for now, I am one happy person. It’s a great way to end the year.

Going Uber Frugal with Frugalwoods.

So starting in January we particpating in both The Compact, and Frugal woods uber Frugal month. Buy nothing new except food, gas etc, is the basis of the Compact. It should be really fun to think outside the box. We actually had our first challenge this week. Our dishwasher stopped draining. It is almost 20 years old . This has happened before and we knew something was stuck but could we ( oh I mean HE) get it out.   Visions of ordering from Home Depot danced in my head and it was not a pleasant thought to think of having to charge $500 for a dishwasher. Especially since we’re doing the The Compact ( nothing new) and trying to be Uber Frugal. But as I was leaving the gym, the text on my phone from my sweet and amazing husband said…”Fixed”!!!!! yeah…. and Whew that was a close call. I’m not really one for hand wash dishes day after day. Some are Okay and I get the Zen of it, but for sanitation and sterilizaton, give me a dishwasher.


I’m acutually, really looking forward to this challenge. I always need a goal or multiple and it keeps me focused.

Today is just a home day with chores. B needs to get cat food and a prescription. That’s it.

I’m going to work on lists for Christmas dinner and breakfast. I’m going back to our traditional lasagna. I’ll do a pan of cheese and a pan of meat lasagna.Then a salad, garlic bread and that’s it.

Christmas breakfast will be cinnamon rolls and a breakfast sausage casserole. Plus one just with green chilies and cheese for the veggie:)

Dinner tonight is Baked cod in parchment, couscous, and a salad. Grilled tofu for the vegetarian.

Labs and the week ahead

Today I went to get my blood draw. This is month 6 of being off all drugs. I’m a little anxious but not alot. It is what it is, no matter what. I have been having my kappa light chains go up 1 point a month but sill in the normal range but if the trend continues then there is some activity. I should know by Thursday.

It is so cold here. 28 degrees this morning. I really dislike the cold. It’s going to get up to 51 degrees but that’s not really tropical , is it.?

Today is some small chores and the bedroom zone. One of the benefits of having decluttered and Kon Mari-ed is that it takes little time to do a clean. I change sheets once a week. We have 2 pairs of sheets. One goes on the bed the other in the wash. Then just dust well and tidy the closet. Usually I wash all the windows in whatever zone I’m in but right now we have a clear plastic over the windows to help insulate. They are double pane windows, but this is the north side of the house and is usually colder. Since I Kon Mari the under bed bins and book case there’s not much to do.


Dinner is pasta Monday, so I’m making an fettucine alfredo. The best recipe I’ve ever come across is from one of my favorite books’The Kitchen Counter cooking School’.  Basically, it’s heavy cream in a pan. Then you heat up gradually, like maybe 10 minutes. The cream thickens and when you use a spatula thru it , it leaves a a trail.( think of the parting sea of heavy cream) Then add the parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. So easy and amazing. I use to do a bechamel sauce but this is much better.

Plus a salad and a piece of grilled chicken if I’m feeling motivated.


Tomorrow I have my invisalgn appt and the gym.  Then Thursday , lunch with a friend and the gym.


Kon mari, the kitchen part 2

so there’s the upper cabinet cleaned out. The utensil drawer redone. The ikea cart for extra stuff(still working on what works here.) And those are our everyday white dishes.

I’m looking into trying to get another drawer somewhere under a cabinet so we’ll see. Someday we will remodel and this wont be such a crappy kitchen. For now it works and I guess that’s good enough.

It’s finally sunny here but freezing. On our walk, I even waited thill 6:30 since it was 30 degrees outside.  Funny, nobody else was out walking…

today is just tidying chores and that’s it.

Dinner is leftover black bean burritos ( I think).

5 things Friday

First, my daughter’s Honda just got towed to the dealer.She is suppose to work today so not good. And it’s snowing up there, so my car wont really cut it. I guess when I go pick her up I’ll see what she wants to do.

Sescond, made my pizza dough for tonight.

Third, I was going to Kon mari 2 bins I have that hold vintage table cloths and stuff. i’ve been thru these before but maybe with new ‘eyes’ I’ll see something  to donate.

Fourth….. uhh, let’s see, the budget is a bust till payday, so that’s something.

Fifth, my gym workouts ate going well. I do feel stronger. this is week 5 so I’ll probably add some additional repetions to what I’m doing. Plus increase my cardio ( treadmill, recumbent bike) to 20 minutes. I’ve been doing 15.

Costco and Trader Joe’s shopping…

We did our last big shop of the year yesterday, both at Costco and Trader Joes. we bought the Fondue at TJ, that’s for Christmas eve. Christmas eve is also the beginning of Hanukkha. usually we have latkes, applesauce and some thing else but sice its Christmas eve we’ll stick to our traditional fondue with veggies and bread. Of course, we’re not even Jewish or Christian but hey, I like festive, ritual things so there you have it.

At Costco, we loaded up on cheese, tamales, some champagne,etc. It was busy there but not too bad. We’re  not going back till after the new years. Plus, whatever little things we might need, milk and veggies, I’ll just go down to our little market here. We’re lucky to have this Holiday Market. their produce is mostly organic and they have lots of other organic including meats,cheeses and breads.

Today is a home day, cleaning and tidying, and some decluttering. We are in for a lot of rain tomorrow with wind. Not my favorite thing. so we’ll see.


Dinner is a Thai coconut chicken soup.