Getting ready for camping

We are packing up most stuff today in the tent trailer and then tomorrow we’ll pack the Santa Fe. We have really learned how to minimalize our camping food, equipment etc.

For instance, we use to pack everything under the sun including all our food. Now we just do basics like cream, butter, eggs(our own). Then as we plan a meal, I’ll go to the market. In Capitola, where were camping, a Nob Hill is maybe 3 miles away. So if we’re going to do grilled chicken, I go get it plus whatever else. It really makes it easier. Now if we were boondocking somewhere remote this, of course, wouldn’t work. But we don’t tent trailer that way. If and when we get a hard body, I would definitely do some different style camping. Or when we go up the coast to Bodega Bay to camp, there are no stores nearby. There is a tiny market but it’s more for travelers. At Bodega Bay we do pack a lot more.

I do plan out our dinners and this time we’re using the Lodge every night. I have one night not planned and we may do something else. So far here’s the menu:

  • Lodge dutch oven mac and cheese and a salad
  • Lodge dutch oven pizza( we did this at Tahoe last year and it was great)
  • Lodge dutch oven chili and cornbread vegetarian( I might cook up a small amount of beef but I’ll wait and see how we feel)
  • Lodge breakfast casserole
  • Lodge  lasagna( this is the fall back meal if I want to cook a 4th night)
  • Lodge double stuffed baked potatoes is a possibility too.

I usually buy packaged salad and that is a side.

I’m off to the gym this morning and then to Grocery Outlet for a few things. If you get a chance go read this blog frugaltexasgal

It’s pretty darn good.



Five Frugal Things Friday

It’s been a nice week. Nothing exceptional. Just had a good flow.

I found a crumpled $20 bill in a parking lot. Looked around to see whose it might be, but since it was earlyish( 8am) no one was near, so I scooped it up.

I sold the treadmill(today) and it’s getting picked up this morning. so one more thing out of the black hole.. oh, I mean the barn.

I used 2 bananas to make chocolate chip banana bread. I’m not much of a sweets baker, but this is the old Marth Stewart one that uses sour cream that I’ve used forever.

I’m making homemade pizza tonight.

had a few no spend days, and went to the thrift store yesterday, but didn’t see anything I needed.

We walked in the rain this morning. It was nice. Today, I’m going to the gym again this time with my daughter and then to Safeway. We need to load up on cat food for the cats while we’re camping next week. Our housesitter is a friend of my sons and we have used him twice before. He’s responsible and reliable. But I want to be sure there’s enough bird food and chicken food and cat food.  He’s vegan, so he can figure out his own food. I have lots of beans and rice.


Tidying up

It’s been a busy and productive morning. I always try and keep Monday mornings open since I do my Flylady weekly home blessing, cook some things usually for the week ahead, and tidy. Tidying up different areas that might need it or whatever zone I’m in that week.

If you don’t have a weekly cleaning plan or you’re looking for more of a routine I ‘d recommend Fly lady at least for the basics. you don’t have to do the whole think ,just what works for you. Since I’ve mostly decluttered everything, cleaning the zone is a breeze. This week it is the bedroom so I dusted washed the 2 windows and tidied the closet.  It may take you a while to declutter your bedroom but I’d suggest just having your bed and a dresser. I have a small Heywood nightstand that I keep my water on and my pills in.  Right now since I don’t need a pharmacy next to me at night I can get away with just my two pills. I have one lamp on the dresser. The dresser is B’s and it’s an older Heywood probably mid-1940’s. I keep my clothes in baskets in the closet or just hang my t-shirts and pants. I don’t have a lot of clothes, plus I don’t work so it’s very simple. I would suggest working on the bedroom to tidy it up and simplify it.  You really don’t need 3 dressers, night stands, TVs or any extra stuff in the bedroom. It’s best if it’s serene and calm. I think it’s a good room to start decluttering because it can be done relatively quickly and you’ll see results.

Try and minimize pictures on the walls too. One blog I follow, which is beautifully done and her house quite charming, but one wall of her bedroom is covered in framed photos. I don’t know about you but I don’t think I could sleep with all those faces staring at me. And their voices too. Back when I did Feng Shui professionally, I often told people, limit pictures of people as they become voices in your head. And those pictures of people have lots of memories. Some are great to keep but just limit how many.  Also, try to keep office stuff out of the bedroom. It interferes with the purpose of the room.

Creating a minimalist bedroom will lead to better sleep and nurturing.

Today I also made caramelized onions for the week and to freeze some. I made another loaf of wheat /white bread, and I’m going to grill some chicken to have in a big salad tonight.



Simple Sunday and not Frugal :(

Okay, what happened to no spend stuff. Well, right out the window with spring on it’s way.

B and my daughter went to Home Depot yesterday and bought lumber for 1 raised bed and soil and some fencing. $ 170.

Then I found a source for linen so I can make some bread bags. I’m having lots of fun with my ‘new’ to me Zojirushi. I’m experimenting with whole wheat and white organic flours and ratios. Also, the timing of the rises. But I want something, not plastic to keep the bread in and looked up bread bags. So Food 52 had beautiful linen bread bags for $38. No, I’m not doing that. So I found an online source for 100% linen at $8.40 a yard. Wow, I ordered 2 yards.

But, remember, I don’t have a sewing machine as mine bit the dust. So I bit the bullet an ordered a Brother from Amazon. Right around $100 so I’m happy with that. I did try to source a free one or a used form thrifts but didn’t find much. I did find a Brother but they wanted $85, so I thought, well I may as well get a new one. I actually use to sew quite a bit in our ‘hippie’ years so maybe I’ll be inspired. At least I’m getting linen bread bags at a fraction of the cost of buying them made. I had also checked Etsy and forget it , way too expensive. I thought I’d make linen napkins too. I love how linen gets better with age. And this website had beautiful colors.

On a decluttering note, I did sell the Heywood Wakefield coffee table for $40, and today I’m going to list the treadmill. B also finally sold my son’s huge box of Brio.(probably $1000 worth) for $200. But he gave that to Z since it was his Brio. Still, it’s one one thing gone.


We went to the gym and did a small workout and then my daughter wanted to go to Target and look for some interview clothes. She has an interview next week which would be a bump up from her position now. Fingers crossed she gets it. So, back to Target.  I went in to get a spray bottle to make a mixture of water bleach. Yes, I know bleach isn’t environmentally friendly, but we have to use it in our bathroom since it’s so small it gets mold.  I also use vinegar and water but not on the shower curtains.  So then, of course, I figured I better get some cat cans, some of the said bleach, some veggie bacon, and then… an expensive SimpleHuman garbage pail for the kitchen. We’ve been using 2 different pails and it’s a pain in you know what. We have been trying to separate all recyclables but in our county, we have what’s called one pail. It’s everything goes on a conveyor belt and then gets separated. So we’ve gotten a little discouraged and will just keep trying to reduce waste. We compost anything that can be. Give the chickens any scraps. So Not frugal but it looks lovely and it’s quite big so we won’t be using so many liners. I call that a win.

Well, no more spending this week. I have all the groceries I need and more. So I figure a no spend week.


Labs still normal and other things

So, the good news is my Kappa light chains and Lambda are still in the normal range. And my ratio is normal too at 1.16  My lambda actually went down so the ratio went up slightly.

It’s so exciting that this is my 9th month off drugs and I feel good.  So, I won’t see him again ’till June but still get labs in 6 weeks. He said I didn’t need to get labs that soon but I’d rather do so. My myeloma markers have never just jumped up quickly, so even testing every 6 weeks is over reaching but I’d rather keep an eye on it all.  he mentioned that my Hemocrit is slightly high ( 46) high normal is 45, so he wanted me to drink more water. I honestly don’t think it’s a dehydration thing but probably some damage to the blood plasma in the bone marrow from ongoing treatments. And it started to go slightly high after 4 months of Velcade. Who knows. I’m not too worried about it.

So, let’s see, I dropped off a big load at goodwill that had been accumulating in my car. And then took some Life magazines to the Humane Society bookstore. I also got out to the barn and dragged out my Heywood-wakefield coffee table and sold it for $40. A  big win. It’s one more thing gone. Then we moved my daughter’s Yamaha keyboard back into my office area for her to play.  If it doesn’t seem as if it’s working right, we’ll donate it but at least it’s in a place where it could be used.  Then B took all the cardboard which does add up because of his samples to recycle. So that cleared up space.  Next, I’m going to take a picture of the treadmill and list on our local sell group. It’s a good treadmill that folds up but now we’re going to the gym, I don’t see using it. And we really have no place, literally , in our small house for it.

I’ve been making the Zojirushi bread daily to try different recipes. Some have looked and tasted great and some have had issues. The middle is falling, or the crust isn’t quite right. They all taste great but I you tubed some videos and am trying some corrections this morning.  After I get this figured out I want to try bagels, raisin bread, and some other recipes.

We decided not to go the farmers market this morning since I don’t need anything and we went to Costco on Thursday. I’m making a chard soup tonight from last weeks chard bought at the Farmers market.

So, it’s been a productive week. Next week looks cloudy and rainy. Then the following Monday we head down to new Brighton State beach for the week. It had better be nice.

The first time out with the tent trailer always has a learning curve of what do we have in there and what do we need. Capitola is fun in that we can go to the store and get stuff so I’m not planning on bringing tons f food. I know I’m going to cook in the Lodge cast iron at least once.

Well, off to do stuff. I’ll post some frugal things and budget stuff later today.( or tomorrow)


‘ROAD FOOD” by Jane and Michael​ Stern

This is a really fun book to read. The authors have visited all these places across the country. If you’re planning a road trip, this book is for you. They really go into detail about each place and give what’s great to order.

We’ve been to the La Super-Rica in Santa Barbara and their description is spot on. It is barely a restaurant and it has florescent lights. But the food is very authentic and of course, this place was made famous by Julia Child, who frequented it when she visited SB.

Based on their very accurate description of La Super-Rica, I would trust their reviews of other places.

I would have like more reviews of California especially Northern California but what they did, I think, would be fun to visit if you’re on a road trip.

We also have been to Tecolote in Santa Fe and believe it was and has been one of the greatest breakfasts I’ve ever had. So again, their description is spot on.

I would definitely recommend this fun book of restaurants and cafes.

This book was provided by bloggingforbooks in return for my honest opinion.

Some thrift store finds

I’ve been going over to Goodwill lately and have found a few good things. For about 3 years I’ve been looking for a Zojirushi bread maker. It is the best of the best but at $270, I don’t think so. But what to my amazement I saw the other day but a Zojirushi bread maker. Of course, I snapped it up or I should say heaved it up. I paid $15 for it. But did it work? Well, I got it home and cleaned it up and made a loaf of white sandwich bread. Yep. Pretty darn tasty.IMG_0586 (1).jpgIMG_0588 (1).jpg  so very excited. and I will sell or give away the inexpensive one I bought just for making the dough. I made a whole wheat loaf the next day and pretty darn good too. So I am thrilled at my find.

Then I found a nice vintage Descoware gratin pan. It’s cast iron with enamel over sorta like a Le Creuset.  I made a small pan of cheese enchiladas and they were yummy.

I’ve been washing what few curtains I have and having to iron them. I’m not much of an ironer but it needs to be done.

Then here’s the sunroom all cleaned up.


IMG_0327.jpgYou can barely see Buddy and Lucky the cockatiels.

Here’s a shot looking back at my office space.


IMG_0584.jpgWell, I’m off to do some laundry.

Saturday Stuff

B is still in S Cal, staying at the California Grand at Disney land for the natural foods convention, so We are holding down the fort. The weather is lovely so it makes it way easier than if it is cold and rainy. Today were suppose to hit 73 degrees. Yay, I’m all for nicer weather.

I went to the farmers market just now and it’s nice to get some very fresh stuff. It’s always more expensive ( I spent $25) for veggies but the quality is great. I was there and back in 40 minutes.  My only splurge was organic strawberries for $5.75. Pretty steep but they look lovely.

I might go out later to the thrift store as I’m not going to the gym today. I’ll do my work out tomorrow.  I like Sundays as there are fewer people. so I might wait and go then.

This week has more appts than I usually do. I have my labs on Monday, some library stuff Wednesday and then my doctor appt Thursday. Thursday also is the annual Friends of Library meeting at 1 pm. But since I’m in Sacramento till  12;30 or later, I’m probably not going to make it.

This coming week is suppose to be very nice with temperatures in the 70’s and high 60’s so I’m going to wash curtains and open all the windows one day to air everything out. I cleaned the sun room yesterday except for the bird cage. I’d like to get rid of the cockatiels but feel guilty. Do you think birds have feelings?? They were born when we had our huge aviary. At one time we had 80- finches, doves, budgy,  cockatiels. They would mate and these 2 we have left are the result of that. They’re not friendly per se but they do know us. Mostly, they’re  messy and I’d like to get rid of that.

Well, tonight we’re ordering a sandwich from our Holiday market. S and I  share one and it’s fun to do something different.


Spring is coming…

A little Waldorf song we use to sing”Spring is coming, spring is coming, birdies build their nest…” Ummm, I can’t remember the rest. I still have my Waldorf song books so maybe it’s in there. oh, here it is….
Spring is coming, spring is coming
birdies build your nest.
Weave together straw and feather
doing each your best.

Spring is coming, spring is coming
flowers are growing, too.
Pansies, lilies, daffodilies
now are coming through.

Spring is coming, spring is coming
all around is fair.
Shimmer, glimmer on the river,
joy is everywhere.
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IMG_0565This is goose girl with her geese.These were the wooden toys  fromIMG_0567Germany. Ostheimer wood toys. i would buy these for my son ,Z, and daughter when they were little. Okay, really I bought them for me because I love them so. Right now we have the frog prince and little bunny on the table and we, (okay , I do) play little skits at dinner.

IMG_0568Here’s some daffodils from the garden.

finally, the sun is out and it’s going to be a lovely next week or so with temperatures reaching 70 degrees. Yeah!! I am sick of rain and cold.

B is heading to S Cal to go to the huge natural foods show in Anaheim. He gets to stay at the California Grand at Disney land . Geez, poor guy, it’s tough.

I’m doing a few chores today like dust but things are tidy. one of the best things about being a minimalist is the less stuff you have the easier it is to keep things tidy and done. This week was the kitchen zone and as I’ve said it is probably the zone that requires the most work due to the stove, refrigerator etc. But for some reason this week I breezed thru it in about an hour. I think I had been keeping things wiped down and very tidy all week so that could be why.

On another note, I decided to buy some new Corelle White lunch plates because my Crate and Barrel ones were getting pretty marked up. I’m enjoying the Corelle because it stacks with a very small footprint (only 1 inch high for 6 plates.) I got rid of 4 C and B white ones and 3 smaller ones. Then I bought some new glasses called Duralex and there made in France. I absolutely love them. My goal it to get rid of my wine glasses and all the other ones and just use these for wine, juice etc.  Supposedly they are very durable and last for a long time. The six I bought are lovely .