‘The Travelers’ by Chris Pavone

61oakvfikpL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThis is quite the thriller. It is full of suspense and intrigue.  The main character, Will Rhodes, is a travel writer. He travels all around the world to get the inside scoop on places to visit and where to eat for the magazine he works for.

He has some relationship issues and money issues. He is ‘recruited’ to be part of a spy organization although you don’t really know who. It is a great read for those of us that love espionage and trying to figure out who and what is behind something.

It is an excellent book and one you won’t be able to put down.

Trump is a classic narcissist

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/donald-trump-mental-illness-narcisissm-us-president-psychologists-inauguration-crowd-size-paranoia-a7552661.htmltrump is a classic narcissist!!

Really this is what I thought all along. I do have advanced degrees in psychology and counseling so I think I do know a little about this. But this article really defines it.

wow, I’m not sure how we are going to get thru this. It is really scary.

I will try and write another blog later. I have a book to review.

Simple Sunday

It has been a nice day. No rain. Ha Ha. Still cold and frosty when we walked at 6:45 am. On Sundays, we try and go later and give ourselves a little break. Tomorrow marks the end of month 7 of year 4 of walking every day in the just keep walking project. I think the worst day last week was when the wind was blowing, the rain was pouring, and I was coughing. We only did 1 round. But intentional walking.

I went to the gym and it was very empty so that was nice. They do keep the music a little loud for my tastes but I put my earbuds in and it lessens the noise.

I’m certainly anxious about my labs this week but will go forth and hope for the best. I still feel good but with myeloma, sometimes that’s tricky. But even if my numbers go up( which is the trend) I think they’re still going to be in the normal range.

We finished our taxes with Turbo Tax and it was pretty easy. Changing the deductions and upping our 401 k last year will yield us a refund. First time in years. So yeah for that.

Of course, I have to write something about Trump and his insanity and instability. i am really scared of where all this is going. The man is certifiably nuts. His reality is so warped.  The pictures of the inauguration show fewer people. He tried to get the NPS to actually find pictures that showed his inaccurate statement of it was million and a half people. It clearly was not. But he still believes it was plus the voter fraud. There was no voter fraud to the tune of 3-4 million illegal votes. it just is impossible and he will not see reason because he is a narcissist who cannot accept he didn’t win the popular vote. But what starts getting scarier is this administration trying to take away a womens’ right to an abortion. We are going back to the 1960’s people. Wake up.  You may not believe in abortion for yourself but we must as women have the right to decide. Not some politician or man in Washington.

Then the whole immigration thing is almost more than I can take. Why is he excluding the 4 countries including Saudia Arabia that was responsible for 9/11. Because he has business dealings there. That’s the long and short of it. Closing immigration is not going to keep us safer.  Right now the vetting system is extensive. It takes over 2 years to get a visa. What are these people thinking , it is just insanity.  Then on Holocaust Remberence day for the President of the United States to not even say it was the Jews who were the target and millions of Jews died at the hands of the Nazis is utter disrespect for the whole tragic thing. To just say innocent people died is to undermine how tragic the Holocaust was.  Millions of JEWS were murdered in gas chambers. Yes, many others did too but the whole reason for Nazi Germany was to eliminate the Jewish race. It was unbelievably disrespectful of Donald Trump to say what he said. The White Supremacists want people to believe it didn’t happen the way it did. They want it to be just ‘innocent’ people, not Jews.

This is wrong and I hope to the stars that we get thru this.


Dinner is a red lentil curry soup and some left over potroast I was going to shred and put on some tortillas.

Five Frugal Things Friday

Well, let’s see what this week was about. Since I was still coughing a lot I didn’t go out much.

  • Didn’t buy the shower curtains I need yet, so I’ll just wait till next payday.
  • We ate all our meals at home.
  • Did fewer loads of laundry
  • Didn’t buy the candles I wanted even though the price was great, shipping was more than the candles(beeswax).
  • Made chicken stock from the Costco chicken I bought
  • Ate food from the freezer and the freezer looks better

Next week I’ll be getting a Zaycon order of whole chickens so I need room in the freezer. I’m going to learn how to cut up a whole chicken. It was a great deal for natural not organic chickens. It is farm to table so I like that. No middle man essentially.

I started in on our taxes using Turbo tax online. Our taxes this year are very simple so I started putting in numbers. We have a ton of receipts for donations and they must be entered individually. So I’m going to wait another week or so to see if anything shows up in the mail but I’m not expecting any surprises. I know we haven’t gotten interest statements yet, but it’s going to be small since most of our cash accounts diminished this past year.


Dinner is Friday night pizza.

How being a minimalist helps when you’re​ not feeling well.

This last week really threw me for a loop. I had a terrible hacking cough and lung congestion. I just didn’t feel well. But all the house routines and chores went smoothly and efficiently because of minimalism. There’s less stuff to take care. The housework can be managed by B or my daughter. They know the routine and it’s all because of what we’ve worked on in this last 3 years.

Dinners are simplified with a menu plus the meals are generally simple. Beans, rice, salads, some proteins like tofu or chicken make it easy to pull together.  I have a theme for every night , like Taco Tuesday, crockpot Thursday. So although the item maybe different it still uses the theme.The toughest part is just figuring out what you want to make or feel like eating when you’re sick. We had a few more soups than usual and that was perfect. Especially since it’s been raining nonstop.

The budget is all in place and simplified.  Most everything is on auto pay. A few things need to be put in manually like our PGE because we’re on their balanced payment program and it can’t be automated. Plus this month has been a no spend month so there wasn’t going to Target or wherever. That’s been great although I am having a candle withdrawal moment.

This morning, for instance, I checked bank stuff went to pay the Allstate but it wasnt due yet so I’ll wait a few more days.. Then I started a laundry load and dusted and still need to do a quick vacuum. So there’s less to dust, less to put away etc. I started another thrift store box and have a few things in there. One is my postal scale I used when I did Ebay. I used it everyday. Now I haven’tused it in maybe 2 years. I thought I’d  sell it but it’s kinda dinged up so someone will be delighted to find it at the Goodwill.


The Sun!!

It’s amazing. The sun is out. Of course, it’s still pretty cold out there but at least it’s sunny. It should be sunny for at least a few days.

Today, I’m still not going to the gym. I don’t want to be ‘that’ person everyone is staring at because I sound like I have TB. So I’ll wait another day. I waited this long to join the gym I can be sick and not push myself.

My daughter is off to work and the freeway is clear( I hope). My son starts his spring semester today so he’ll be off soon. I’m taking a huge load to the food bank and then come home and work on some laundry. I need to get coffee but I think I’ll just make a small pot tomorrow as I’m going to Costco. Buying a pound at Starbucks is @ $13 and at Costco, it’s 2 1/2 lbs for $18. So I’ll wait.

I’ve gathered up the tax stuff and it’s pretty straightforward this year. Last year I bought the online version of Turbo tax instead of the physical and I liked it better so I’ll do that again.

We’re lucky we didn’t lose a chicken last night as one was outside the enclosed at night coup. There were feathers all over so I’m guessing something tried to get it but it got away, at least I think I counted 11 chickens. I’ll do another head ( beak count) later. when it’s rainy and dark it’s hard to tell if everyone is in.

Tonight is taco Tuesday.  I was thinking of making some beef enchiladas but I’ll see how ambitious I feel later.



Monday morning

Well, I really did get sick and had to go to urgent care and get an antibiotic and cough medicine with codeine. I think the last time I had a Z-pack was probably 5 years ago.  So not fun. I’m doing much better but still coughing some. That’s been the worst. So not a lot has been done.

I did go down to our Holiday Market and manage to spend $71 on groceries. It’s always more expensive there but sometimes distance and energy must take precedent. I’m planning on Costco this week, just not sure when. We need TP, coffee, cheese and more so I’ll get there.

I was so thrilled at the Women’s marches and their incredible success. I mean 3 million people marched around the world.  And what is Trump concerned about but the size of the size of the inaugural crowds.  My daughter is making me a pussyhat and I can wait to wear it.

We’re almost at the end of the Uber Frugal month.  It’s been interesting to watch how we spend money. We didn’t go out to eat or do take out. So that saved some money. I had a $10 Panera card I used when we went and had a coffee. Going to Costco will up the grocery bill but in the end, it saves so much when I can buy a block of cheese for $8.00 as opposed to a tiny block for $4.00. I’ve also really gone thru the freezer and that’s been great. This week I’m going to use some grass fed hot dogs, grass fed sausages and some beef. Not sure what I’ll make but should be relatively simple.

B is away all week in Santa Monica doing a co-op reset.  They do reset at night so very hard on the body especially at his age. He’s probably going to get these co-ops taken away and given to someone down there( like it was), so I’m kinda bugged he has to go do this.


not feeling better:(

I thought I was on the mend and over this cold which was mild at least until yesterday. Then I was coughing non stop and by evening quite sore from it. All night, I  coughed even with Vicks Vapor rub which did help but not a lot. Today I feel worse. My heads stuffy and I’m coughing still. I guess I’m just going to take a bath and crawl back into bed….. sigh.

I was going to go to the gym and then I need to get 2 shower curtains. I know not part of the no spend pact but after a while, the old ones just need to get tossed. Maybe tomorrow.

My daughter left Truckee at 3 pm (early as she usually works till 6). It took her 4 hours to get home because of the snow and snow related accidents.

So far the Uber Frugal month has been great. I’ve used tons of stuff from the freezer that generally I just ignore. Like last night I made turkey chili with some organic ground turkey I’ve had in there and always push aside in favor of something else. So win win.  There’s more to use up especially since I’m getting a Zaycon order of Whole chickens at the end of the month. From the first time we moved to California 1975, we started buying bulk.Bulk beans, organic rice, honey, oats.  We were back to the landers living in a fairly rural area where my husband got a job with the Forest Service.  WE drove 20 miles to organic milk and made our own butter.  So even though today we live near a Holiday Market ( at the end of our driveway and across the street,  we still buy in bulk. Costco is great for cases of organic beans( when I don’t feel like making them from scratch, plus bulk butter, cheese ,tofu etc.  I don’t think we need a year’s worth of food but it wise to have some back up if a disaster occurred.  Believe me, the stores would empty out in hours.

So it’s prudent I think to have some things stored especially canned tomatoes and stuff you use a lot.  We also keep bottled water in the barn.

So think about your pantries and do a no spend month and really see what it is you use consistently and then slowly build up a small stockpile. so far, I’ ve learned quite a bit about my shopping habits.

I love to shop more European, where you go to the market daily for what you need. But it’s just not practical here.

I also enjoy reading Frugalwoods daily posts and one in particular stuck out about not trying to cook gourmet meals all the time. Stick to simple meals and simple foods. I like to think that my rotation of menus is basically simple foods like taco Tuesday which may not always be a taco but a bean bowl or burrito, Same with crockpot Thursday. Soups or beans, simple and then freeze the rest.

Well, I think it’s the Epson salt bath time for me.

There’s another storm…

Well, there’s two really. Outside it’s raining and the wind is blowing. Already on of the dead bark beetle trees has fallen over. I hope it ends soon. But it says rain and wind till 9 pm tonight so,…….. gulp…. I don’t like when it’s dark and windy. Oh well.

The second storm is on Friday with Trump’s inauguration. Honestly, I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode. Oh, BTW, did you read or see some of the cabinet members interviews. I mean, this is what I’ talking about that Trump picks billionaires and supporters not qualified people. The Dept. of Education, Devos, actually thought the repeal on the ban on guns in school was a good idea because in some schools(she was referring to Wyoming), there’s Grizzly bears and you might just need a gun. OMG people, is this what we have to endure. Then she goes on when questioned about the IDEA program, which has to do with equal educational opportunities for disabled students, and she doesn’t even know what it is.  Really, and she is ultra conservative Christian. Remember folks, there’s a reason for a separation between state and church.

OMG, even better is Ben Carson’s answer to Elizabeth Warren’s question about could he guarantee that not a single taxpayer dollar would benefit Trump or his family. So he says, , OMG, get ready,he  wouldn’t  do anything to benefit any American. Of course that’s not what he meant.But really he’s qualifed to be HUD’s head beacuse he grew up in a tenement house. Well, JFC, I grew up on Welfare and food stamps, so maybe I should head that department.  It’s just so strange.

Really, Trump is a narcissistic nut job and time will tell. I guess the bottom line those that think Trump is the best thing that ever happened won’t  change their minds or even be open, but just continue to think it’s because of all the left stuff. And for hating Obama, he will go down as one of the greatest presidents.  One fact, just in case you want to know, unemployment is at it’s lowest in a decade 4.9 % I think. So what’s the deal with bringing jobs. We have the lowest unemployment in years thanks to Obama. Just a fact.  I’m sure there’s tons more but I still have this cold and although I feel fine I’m coughing a lot.

Well, enough of my rant.


Simple Sunday and a cold:(

Well, I guess sooner or later I’d pick something up. My son had a cold this past week and I picked up the germ. Even though I’m pretty OC about hand washing something must have snuck in.  It’s not a terrible cold but still coughing, headache, etc. I’m not going to the gym today, obviously, so I’ll just tuck into a good book and hope by Tuesday it’s mostly gone. I have a dental cleaning that day and I’ve cancelled once, so I I hope it’s better and I’m not coughing….

It was very cool walking this morning as it was a heavy fog, and you couldn’t even see across the park. I only did a mile as I was hacking and blowing my nose non-stop.


Oh, the exciting news was our clawfoot tub faucet disintegrated and started leaking all over. So, it’s ordered as it is a special width, but we’ve been trying to take baths and wash our hair in the tub. Not really fun, so I hope it’s here tomorrow or Tuesday. I looked on Amazon and they actually had one, but B had already ordered it so we’ll stick with that. I should have looked right away as it would have been here by now. UGH>>> live and learn, Right??

Well, tonight we’re going to have tofu burgers and I’m going to make homemade rolls. I think I’ll grill some onions too.