‘Braving it’ by James Campbell

This is an extraordinary account of a father and daughter’s journey to Alaska.  The daughter is just fifteen but wants to go on this adventure with her father to help the father’s cousin build a cabin. It has wonderful descriptions of Alaska and the wildness that goes with it.

I had some mixed emotional feelings about this book especially when they return to Alaska to canoe the river Hulahula in the very remote  Artic.  It was extremely dangerous and life threatening in a number of instances.  The author and his daughter both seem to love the danger aspect. I respect their love of the wild and especially Alaska.

The book is well written and allows the reader to come along on some incredible adventures that otherwise wouldn’t ever experience.


Five Frugal Things Friday

It’s been a good week overall. I’m happy with the reorganizing and decluttering I did.

  1. Ate our meals at home and shopped at Grocery Outlet for things to get us through till I shop Costco next week.
  2. I’m trying to do only 2 very small loads of laundry a day,( white and dark). Although that may not seem frugal, it’s frugal with my time as I keep up on it and it’s not huge loads.
  3. Read 4 books this week free from Netgalley. They’re e- books but fun. Most were  cookbooks but one was a self-help called 30 days to Joy ( or something like that). What I liked about it was her take on just do what brings you joy.  I thought that was very simple and yet we need to read or hear that.
  4. We want to update our kitchen someday( when we have money) Ha….. Ha… but in the meanwhile, I decided to paint the cabinets again so at least they look better.  So, instead of groaning we can’t afford to remodel, I bought a high gloss white paint and voila!  It’ll do for now.
  5. All the bills are in for the month and budget done. Unfortunately, we will have a very expensive auto repair on my son’s Subaru.  He needed the head gaskets done to the tune of $2500. Plus an accelerator problem. We offered to put it on our CC so he at least has a car. The other option was to sell it as is but then he wouldn’t have a car. So it’s cheaper to fix a car than buy a new used car. So, that won’t be frugal to charge it but it will be cheaper in the long run as hisSubaru will run for a good long while.

Tomorrow we’re going to Home Depot to get the boards for the last garden bed.  I budgeted a small amount for this since it’s now or not plant. In the long run, it’ll be frugal when we have lettuce, etc.

Tonight is Friday night Pizza!


I’ve wanted to get rid of the bin cubby (6 bins) for a while. They were useful but I wanted to empty that space. so I kept 2 of the Martha Stewart bins for house rags, my vintage cloth, and new white bathroom washcloths, hand towels, and bath towels. I get these at Costco once a year and it’s a great bargain. White Hotel towels. The washcloths are a bundle of 24 for about 18.00 and the bath towels are 6 or 8 to a pack for @ $20. When there done they all become rags for things. It’s a great bargain if you’re after white towels for the bathroom.

So back to the little cubby thing. I reorganized the closet some and got rid of a few things. This is the only built-in closet in this house. For my daughters’ room, we have a floor to ceiling Ikea closet system. So we always need to maximize this space.  One shelf is my overflow pantry stuff. This has actually worked out great. One shelf is the bins with my workout stuff, seasonal stuff( swim suits) and then the above mentioned. On the floor under the last shelf are plastic bins with sheets( we have 2 pairs, one on the bed, one in the bin). Office stuff and one other.

I’m slowing getting it to where it’s pretty organized and labels.

Today, I’m heading over to the Humane Society thrift store to drop off a load some of which includes a few vintage tablecloths I don’t want anymore. Then to the Pet bookstore to drop off some old antique books that were my husband’s mothers.  They are really falling apart and event hough they are quite antique I don’t want them anymore. Then next to Goodwill to drop some clothes and miscellaneous stuff.  I’m going to start a pile in the barn for my son to sell at the flea market including some vintage games( Lone Ranger) and Clue.

It’s pasta night so I’m thinking penne pasta with tomatoes, basil, and smoked mozzarella.




Tuesday stuff

I had a dentist appt this morning. A cleaning and checkup. All good except a small cavity that needs attention before I’m done with Invisalign.  It took forever and I ended up cutting short my workout. Plus I didn’t go to the market as it was already past 12 when I got home. The doggies get their lunch at 11:30 so I was hurried some.

It’s warm today but then tomorrow and the next few days are cooler by 10 degrees each day.  I decluttered a bin bookcase and will take that out to the barn to see if my son wants it when he goes to SFSU. Otherwise, It’ll go to the thrift store. It’s just a small piece and was actually behind the door but it’s one more thing I want to go. I put my fabric and whatever stuff in some other smaller bins.

Tonight is taco Tuesday but I made a chili with some heirloom red beans that B had and I’ll put that over some cheese tamales I had from Costco.

We’ve had a few bills pop up that I forget about. One is we are being charged a fire tax bill that is called Cal Fire. Everyone is charged this in our county and I think California.But I tend to forget it till it shows up. Plus our annual propane tank fee. Geez, it is always something.

Unlike Sluggy who actually planned for retirement, we will go in with very little and hope for the best. I guess there’s always RV living. If I live that long… Haha… no seriously, we just have never planned for things like that. I guess we were always the ‘free spirit’ type and boy, I’d like to go back 20 years. Hindsight is always 20/20? right?


Simple Sunday

We ended up in Chico Around 5:30 on Friday. There were quite a few delays on 299 due to massive mud and rock slides. Half a hill came down in one section and we were stopped for 45 minutes. So we got in later than we planned.  WE were going to go to the Sierra Nevada Brewery restaurant but I looked up the menu and we decided not to go there.  So we went into downtown to a Mexican place we knew and the whole downtown was berserk because of Cinco de mayo. The wait would be 2 hours so we quickly left. My introvert self was having a mild panic attack. Then we went to a place near the hotel and it was okay to start and then went downhill quickly. They were packed but we got our order in and then service just dropped off. They just had too many people in there. Plus there were screaming children. But the chile Relleno was decent enough but we finally had to go the counter for our check.  Then we escaped. Back at the hotel things spiraled down as this was supposed to be a spa king room. (We didn’t ask for that), but after the TV was off we could hear this very loud and constant noise like a compressor. By this time it was after 9 so we weren’t going to try and switch rooms. Maybe we should have. The Marriot Hotel of Chico needs some help. Even though B’s job pays for the hotels, this was an expensive room ( think Friday night). So first off the compressor noise that didn’t stop, our window view was a cement wall, the room smelled of mildew( probably the spa)  and then the bed needed practically a ladder to get into it. So neither on of us slept very well, to say the least. I wake up at 5 and think ok, I’ll take a shower and that’ll feel good. I start the water, no hot is coming out…..wait….wait ….get very mad….wait then it starts to come out. WTF. This is supposed to be a top notch hotel.

I left a very nasty note on the comments form and we left, went to Starbucks after we did our walk, and then hit the road home. Too bad, but the rest of the trip and the hotel in Eureka, the Best Western was fabulous.

Everything at home was good. Chickens, dogs, cats, birds, house looked good. I made us some scrambled eggs and then did a few chores and took a long nap.

Today I’m going to the gym, and then pick up a few things at the store. I might use the Lodge tonight but I’ll wait and see.

I wrote a couple of book reviews for Netgalley and I should be getting another book this week. It’s a fun way to read newer stuff.

But there’s no place like home!!

Eureka, Ca

It’s been a fun trip ( work for him, fun for me) to this area. I haven’t been here for many years and I’m guessing not a lot has changed. It is a fairly depressed area and I’m guessing that fishing and logging used to be the economy booster. There’s quite a few homeless and Not sure why as it’s not that warm or desirable but there are a lot of them hanging around.  But we’ve had lots of walking, good food and fun all around.

We found 2 used bookstores but there’s no Goodwill. I didn’t feel like hitting up the other thrift stores.  Eureka natural Foods and North Coast co-op are incredible stores. The one in Arcata has Humbolt State nearby so must do pretty well with that.

After B works this morning we will head to Chico and spend the night since it’s a 4-5 hour drive today.  Then home Saturday.  We may hit up the FArmersmarket on Saturday of not.

I bought a murder mystery book by a local author but after starting realized I had already read it but I’ll reread it and then pass on to the library. It’s a signed copy so that will be nice.

It’s rainy and windy here but once we’re inland it’ll be 79 degrees in Chico. Go figure, it’s California!!

Update, he’s alive!!!!

Okay, we were getting ready to leave for the coast(a 7-hour drive), and we saw our neighbor come out his front door and he had his little dog too. So all is good. I tell you I was pretty concerned as this was not the first time he has fallen.  But this was the bloodiest so far.  But as the 2 commenters noted next time I will call the Sheriff to do a well- check. I mean he is 92. 😦


May Day

Our weather has been glorious. Yesterday was 80 and just somewhat breezy in the afternoon. Our house is on top of a hill so we usually always have a breeze of some sort. Today is much the same although I think I saw the temperature around 84. Very nice.

Last evening I used my new 10 ” Lodge( early mothers day gift), to make Taco meat. I adore Lodge camp cooking. All I did really is cook the organic ground beef in the Lodge and then had the condiments on the side. Organic pintos for the nonmeat eaters. I really like this size as it’s a little easier to handle and we don’t need 6 servings of something. So it’s perfect.

Other news…Friday I was laying down @ 2 pm and my daughter comes in and says I need to call 911 for our neighbor . Well, I jump off the bed and run out without shoes( not recommended) and there’s our neighbor covered in blood. His head is bleeding profusely and he has flaps of skin on his face. He walked over to our house( a miracle really). So he says he fell thru his plate glass door. Non-safety glass.  Not good. I’m running around trying to get a patio chair for him (remember to put shoes on in an emergency).  I get him settled and am yelling for my daughter to get towels. Finally, she does. WE live on a hill and at the bottom of the hill across the road is the fire station. So within 4 minutes the paramedics are there and took over. He’s okay. Lots of stitches. This situation makes me very upset not because of the blood etc but because this 92-year-old man who has 4 children, lives alone with no help. His house is disgustingly dirty and finally, after us prodding, he’s getting meals on wheels. But he should be in assisted living and his kids should be doing that for him. So the update is yesterday, I didn’t see him come out to walk his little dog. So not good. But I didn’t go over. Last night @ 8:30 I walked out our yard and looked in his and the house is pitch black. Not good. I sure hope he’s not dead over there. Then today which is Wednesday, B and I are leaving for the coast.  He’s working and I’m going along for the ride. So no one will be here to see if he comes out. My daughter works today so she won’t be home till 7pm. I don’t want to go over there this morning because of what I might find. Dilemma.

Well, B is headed to Eureka / Arcata to work and I’m going to go. It’s a long drive but should be nice. Of course, I hope we don’t come home to find our neighbors dead.