A lovely birthday!

It’s a lovely day and a lovely birthday.

We started out by going to the farmers market and got some nice veggies. Then we went for a coffee and pastry.  Then over to the bank for B’s gas money.

Then I decided not to go buy a piece of cake at Safeway but make something. So I decided on a pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting. So I wrote down what I needed and went down to our market.  I also decided not to get dinner out but make a skillet lasagna as I had most everything I needed. I did need some cottage cheese and bought that as well.  So, all in all, it will be a nice frugal birthday dinner and cake.

Ahh to get old gracefully.  Actually, I feel pretty great and it’s now 15 months off Velcade. It’s amazing to me. I do go for labs in October so fingers crossed for good results.

I also, made some sourdough bread this morning as I had made the dough yesterday and did a slow rise in the fridge.  I used the Le Creuset this time for the classic boule look.





Tofu with Golden mushroom gravy

I didn’t take any pictures but this is a recipe worth sharing.

First, saute mushrooms in olive oil and a little butter. I was making this recipe as I had a whole container of mushrooms that needed to be used. So, saute till brown and I like to do them till they’re just a little crispy. Set aside on a plate.  In the same pan, add a few tablespoons Nutritional yeast, and flour.  I just eyeball it. Then toast for a few minutes. Then add 1-2 cups hot water or veggie broth. I used hot potato water as I was cooking some potatoes for mashed potatoes as a side. So again I just eyeball it till it looks nice and thickened. Then add a splash of olive oil and a splash of sesame oil.  Next, add tamari or soy sauce about a few good glugs. A crushed clove of garlic and freshly grated pepper. Continue mixing till a nice gravy consistency.   I strained mine as the nutritional yeast I was using were flakes. So straining made it a beautiful golden color. I also mixed just a tad of corn starch in as I wanted it just a tiny bit thicker.

Next, add in the mushrooms and stir.

Then I sliced up the tofu and fried in just a tiny glug of olive oil.

Plate the tofu and then ladle the gravy on top.

I served this with mashed potatoes and corn I had frozen from the farmers market.

This is a winner recipe!!  Try it.  I hadn’t used nutritional yeast a lot before, but now I will add to other things as well.

Ending September

It’s almost the end of September and that’s my birthday. Probably why I like fall so much.  Even so, I enjoy the cool nights and warm days. Yesterday was quite warm and I got quite a few things done.

  • Dropped off a load of 4 boxes of food to our local food bank
  • got the paint out to paint the shake shingles but there’s not enough so I’ll need to go to the paint store.
  • laundry 2x. I try and do only a load a day but sometimes there’s enough to do a small white and small dark load.
  • Paid my son’s minor surgery bill
  • waited for the ATT guy to fix the internet
  • went to the gym

Think  I’m going to write down some goals for October just to be accountable.

  1. Paint the shake shingles where we replaced the door and windows.
  2. Buy at least 4 Christmas items, this could be gift cards or a book or item of clothing that might be needed. My son needs new slippers so that’s one.
  3. Garden or be out in the yard tidying up 3 x a week for 15 minutes. We need to clean up the vegetable gardens and my herb garden and plant for fall.
  4. Go on one date with B, could be coffee or lunch.
  5. Help with FOL book and bake sale
  6. Make one new Julia Child recipe
  7. Get my blood work done the 3rd week of October.
  8. Continue to empty one bin and consolidate. Perhaps another round of Life magazines and there’s my children’s Waldorf main lesson books and art to go thru.
  9. ?
  10. ?  TB figured out


On my list for today is finally get the outside windows washed. I use the Windex spray bottle that is mad for outside windows ( I got mine at Home Depot). I’ve been using this product for several years as I just can’t get on a ladder anymore. So this bottle attaches to your hose and has a wash selection and then a rinse. It works pretty well. I use to take the screens off and then use a squeegee but now I don’t even do that. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough.



Here’s my little fire from last night sitting out.

Simple Sunday​

Another gorgeous day. The air is crisp and smells lovely of mowed grass and split oak.

B and Z used the wood splitter(rented) for about 5 hours and did most all f the huge oak we had taken down last year. He still needs to do another round with pine. We should be good for wood for 2 years maybe. In the future, we plan to switch to a propane fireplace but that’s aways off yet. Projects are getting done and it ‘s always a nice sense of accomplishment.  I think as we’ve become more minimalistic there’s less to take care of in some cases as we’ve gotten rid of a lot. Around the property, there are still some areas to take care of but it’s mostly garden and drought resistance plants with a little patch of lawn. The barn is ongoing, as it’s always needing to be tidied and decluttered. But it is progressing. I’m going to pare down the Christmas stuff, even more, this year. Right now I have 3 bins of stuff and I ‘d like it to be 2.  My new motto is ONE LESS BIN.  which actually has worked pretty well in all of my storage areas.

The barn is ongoing, as it’s always needing to be tidied and decluttered. But it is progressing. I’m going to pare down the Christmas stuff, even more, this year. Right now I have 3 bins of stuff and I ‘d like it to be 2.  My new motto is ONE LESS BIN.  which actually has worked pretty well in all of my storage areas. I also prefer to decorate with natural things like pinecones, branches, rocks, corn stalks ( for fall) and other seasonal natural things. I use to have lots of fall crap but when I started decluttering I just let it go. I find the process quite interesting from a psychological perspective. It’s as if layers keep coming off.  That’s one reason, I think. KonMarie isn’t just a one-shot deal. If I did that and nothing else, I think at different points I’d feel joy in some things and then later not.

There have been many many things I never thought I’d get rid of a few years ago and now I’m like meh, I don’t need or want this any more. So it is a process.

This week I’m in the living room zone (which we call a front room) (probably from another era), so I had B move my Heywood back under the TV and moved out the dest/table that I had there. It’s one less piece of furniture. Right now it’s on the sun porch, but I’ll take it too the thrift store in a few weeks after I think about could it be repurposed somewhere. It’s kinda a nice mid century looking table but not old. I actually got it at Target like 4 years ago.  So we’ll see. Each week I’m in a different zone, I try and do one thing for the area. Either declutter or just re look at how the space is being used. Of course, each zone gets a deep clean.

I got out the Zojurishi and have a loaf of sourdough baking right now. It’s bread season and I usually start off by using the bread machine and then move on to just using the Kitchen aid mixer and letting it do its thing in a bowl.

I also made spaghetti sauce for Sunday Supper. One is a meat sauce and the other marinara. I’ll boil some thin spaghetti and make a salad.

Today was a gym day. I went alone as my daughter wasnt feeling great.



A fall day!

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday.


Looking good for 67!!! I love you.  I made an apple pie with apples from Machado’s orchard which is just down the road in Auburn.  It came out good. I think I should peel the apples next time but it still tasted good. His request for dinner was Sub sandwiches so I made a big cheese one for him with pickles, pepperoncini, and other things.

Only 3 more years till retirement!!!!

Well, we were out walking at 6am. Still darkish but it gets light pretty quickly. I was going to go the gym but I think I’ll just go tomorrow on my regular day and just do some odds and ends today. B is splitting wood with the wood splitter and my son is trying to fix the brakes on his Subaru.

Our weather is so nice. Things are turning golden as they do here in the foothills. We don’t have the colors like back east but we do get variations of yellows and oranges and the Chinese pistachio tree turns a brilliant red. Also, liquid ambers turn shades of red too.  The mornings are cool but afternoons are lovely. We started having our afternoon wine by a fire in the fire pit so that’s always nice.

I took down a shelf in the tiny bathroom because they were getting rusty around the edges.( they were a stainless steel). I tried to clean it but it didn’t work. So they held our white hand towels and wash cloths and the water pik. So having taken it down, it looks way better. Less visual clutter. so I’m not going to replace them. But I bought 2 hooks to hang hand towels on.  So by reducing those shelves, it opens up that space. I also priced out a new bathroom cabinet as the one in there came from a yard sale when we moved in here. So it seems a good time to replace it with something nicer and it’ll spruce up the space.  I priced one out at Lowes and it’s anywhere from $40- $100.  The one I liked was @ $70.

Tonight I’m making some wild salmon with rice and I’ll grill some tofu too.



Back from Nakoma

Nakoma is a golf resort and lodge in Northern California. The main attraction is that it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Apparently, the plans were uncovered at some point and the investors of this resort bought the rights to the plans. The Lodge is quite spectacular. Apparently, the golf course, named the Dragon, is one of the more challenging ones in the country.  Also, it is for really rich people as witnessed by us.

We had dinner at the Lodge and it was a disaster. The roasted garlic plate was good, not great. My French onion soup I sent back as it was yucky and the Ceasar salad was weird in that the romaine lettuce was chopped or shredded really. I ate about a third.  All in all not impressive which was too bad as it is a unique experience.  Maybe we hit an off night.

Then we headed the next day to Quincy and had breakfast at our favorite place.  I shopped the co- op a little while B worked and then we headed home. It was a lovely fall drive.


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‘The Four Tendencies’ by Gretchen Ruben

I just went thru this book and I have to say it is just not my thing. It’s kinda pseudo-psychology from a lay- person perspective with all kinds of labels and personality descriptions.

I’m sorry, but this book just isn’t interesting at all.

I’m sure she means well in describing these personality types but personally, it just feels like labels and categorizing personality traits.

I wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to label yourself and somehow that would help you understand yourself. I have read her other books and did enjoy them especially ‘The Happiness Project’.

Simple Sunday

We had a nice walk this morning. The park was empty when we got there but then 10 minutes later quite a few cars were showing up. On Sundays, we get there a little later as we stay in bed just a few minutes more. So it was 6:20 about. Sunrise is 6:45 now and gaining a minute a day. This coming Friday is the equinox and my husbands birthday. A Virgo on the cusp.

We’re planning an overnight at a place in the Sierras.


Not at Lake Tahoe but to the NE. It’s a place that is designed in the Frank Llyod Wright style so I’m interested to see it. Mostly, I think, people golf there but I know there are some walking trails too. It’s quite expensive but B bought this as a Groupon like 2 years ago so we need to use it.

Today is a gym day. Then I need just a few things from the store. I thought I’d make some homemade brownies but I need some dutch cocoa.  PLus I need cream and lemons.

Dinner is a quiche (I think). We have a ton of eggs to use so that seems logical.

We’re also going to do another garbage run as we have a huge pile(again) of stuff from around the yard. There are the poles from the old pool and a used tarp and the old doors that we replaced. So, after we get back from town we’ll go do that. It’s at the end of the road we live on so pretty convenient.

Fall is in the air and last night we had our first fire in the firepit. It was cozy and I had made a delicious curried lentil soup. A great recipe and a keeper.


Thursday stuff

Well, it’s certainly feeling like fall here. It’s overcast and cool. A nice change from 105 heat.  Right now I’m at Starbucks waiting to have a flat tire fixed next door at the tire place.  Plus, have the tires rotated. This is on my 1999 Dodge van.  I had the oil changed this week too.  It’s still making a clicking sound so I don’t know if the valves are getting worse or is it a belt?  Next pay check I might take it down to the local mechanic and have him check it out.  But for now, it seems to be fine.

Then if it doesn’t take too long, I’m going to the gym and then home to do some chores.

I gathered a few more things from the barn for another thrift store run. A bag of bamboo charcoal we’re not ever going to use and an old air mattress that I don’t know if it even works.  So, a small load to drop off tomorrow.

For dinner, I’m making that organic pot roast.  If it’s not too late I’ll use the crock pot otherwise I’ll use my Le Cruset dutch oven.



One empty shelf or one empty drawer

I love the sound of one hand clapping and I love one empty shelf or drawer.

I’m not sure where I first read that on a minimalist’s blog but it totally captivated me. Now in every dresser, there is at least one empty drawer and in 2 of my bookcases, there is one empty shelf.

It feels good to have that room on those 2 shelves. It lets the space breathe.  The one larger bookcase in our front room does not have an empty shelf, but 3 shelves hold my fiesta ware and 3 shelves hold our Easton press books, and 1 shelf holds my cookbooks and 1 shelf hold photo albums. I may have to re- look at that bookcase and redo the Fiesta ware.

Today is a quiet day with just some puttering around and menu planning for the week.

So far I have:

Sunday was Sunday supper (or something to roast, or bake for leftovers during the week) I did a lovely whole organic chicken.

Monday is pasta night so I might do a mac and cheese or just a simple pasta with butter and parmesan.

Tuesday is taco Tuesday and I’ll use some of the left over chicken and do soft chicken tacos.

Wednesday is Whatever Wednesday so ???

Thursday is crockpot Thursday and I have an organic pot roast to cook. I’ll throw in some potatoes and onions.

Friday is Friday night pizza. so some sort of pizza.

Saturday has been Sammie Saturday but now with the cooler weather, I think I’ll make it soup night.


BTW, didn’t see the weird park guy today, but I did carry my pepper spray.  Also, B is gone this week up to the North Coast, so I’ll be walking alone. So if I see the guy I’ll turn around and walk the other way and then the same when I get near him on the other side. The park path is a .5 mile circular path.