Is it a Frugal Friday after a Costco trip…

No, not really but we did go mostly to get the stuff that was on coupon so that did help. Still, $300 later…. Not that anything will go to waste because I froze some stuff and a few things are for the camping next week. It rained super hard driving down to Roseville by the time we got out it was not pouring. I also picked up a $9.95 large pizza so I don’t need to think about dinner.

Let’s see, other frugal things this week… ummm…I got nothing. We didn’t do too much this week so maybe that was frugal. After watching this one YTer this week that is a hot mess( bipolar) and her awful pantry with strange food she bought for the pandemic, I came to the conclusion that I will go thru my prepper pantry and redo it. Watching these YTers is quite eye opening and makes me re-evaluate what I do have. I think I will start a box for the food bank and see what I end up with. I always do a food donation around Thanksgiving anyway wo this will motivate me to do more:)

The pool has been emptier than usual so I’m wondering if the cooler fall weather is keeping some people home. It’s still busy but not crazy busy. Lap swimming only goes to 9:30 am so it’s a limited period of time. Since I’ll be gone next week I’ll miss swimming for almost a week. Hopefully we can just walk more while were there.

I had my bloodwork done this morning but won’t know much till we’re back. That’s okay. It’ll be whatever it is.

Is minimalism gone as a trend??

There are quite a few Youtubers doing vlogs about this right now. Has the trend of minimalism died down or is it over? Most agree that it’s not but with a few caveats. During the pandemic with lots of people working from home the decluttering bug really hit many people. Everyone was trying to make their homes more comfortable and enjoyable. Just look at what happened to Ikea’s stock. There are items that I’ve been trying to get for almost 2 years. ( the shoe cabinet).

Trends do come and go and minimalism has definitely been over done by youtubers and bloggers. Yet, having been on this journey almost 10 years now, I think it is an evolving concept. Certainly, I started out needing to create space in my very small house. I shudder to think about the stuff I had jammed into an under 900 sq ft house. Actually our official house square footage with the county is under 700 sq feet. But since we’ve closed in two porches we have added space. Both had concrete patios so we built on that. Still it’s a small house and it was packed. When I started Flylady in 2012 (approx), it was to get a schedule down with homemaking and declutter. But what has emerged is a deeper understanding of what works for me and what I need around me.

Some of this was triggered by relapsing in 2010, 4 years after my transplant. I think I felt out of control and needed to control something so I started with the Flylady zones. Honestly, it was a life saver for me. There’s quite a bit with FL I don’t use or particularly like but the zone cleaning has been a lifesaver and to this day I still do it weekly. Especially, at first, the 15 minute timed sessions. I did this with all the zones until I had cleared out most things.

As all the bloggers and youtubers agreed that minimalism is not just a one way thing. There’s no ‘right ‘way to be a minimalist. My house does not look empty of things but I have only what I use, love or need. And that is always changing. I know there’s more to release, because it is no longer needed/wanted, but, it’s not huge amounts. For instance, I found in the bin under the bed the Beatrix Potter dishes that were both my daughters and sons. They don’t want them( I asked) so off to Cancer Thrift they will go. I checked Ebay and they sell for maybe $20 so not worth selling and when someone finds them in the Cancer Thrift, be excited.

The week ahead

Today will be bitter sweet as our beloved vannie is going to Cap Radio car donations. It still runs just fine and has never broken down . But, we did not want to deal with selling it even though I think it would have sold quickly. The only thing wrong is the blinkers not working right. But we must be realistic and let it go. Now that we have Chevy, that can do all the Home Depot stuff plus the dump runs etc. I’ll be sad but I think it’ll be good to not just have it parked in the yard.

We do plan a trip to costco on Wednesday so we can hit the sales before we leave next week. They have some soup on special and some other things I can’t remember now what I wanted to get. It’s best to hit the Costco sales as that is the best way to really save money.

I’m planning on swimming Tuesday and Thursday so that’ll be get up and go. I’m in the water by 7:15 am. Probably, a little crazy but that’s the way I roll. ( or swim, I guess).

Then I have my labs on Friday. I’m sure I won’t know about any results till the following week when I see my doctor. I am bracing for my kappa light chains to go over the high normal mark. My ratio had actually gone down which is good. That’s because the lambda went up too. My lambda is always and has always been in the normal range it’s the kappa that increases. So with the ratio decreasing that’s quite good even if I go out of normal range with the kappa light chains. Still it’s a waiting game. Maybe I should title this blog a lesson in Multiple Myeloma and what to expect when you have an incurable but treatable blood cancer. No, that’s too long of a story.

Simple Sunday

Another beautiful October day. The clouds are rolling in and we expect rain. As a matter of fact, it looks like the storm door is definitely going to open by Wednesday. We are covering things and finishing up some outside work.

We went down to Ikea to pick up some heavy curtains for the bedroom as the windows do let in some cold even though they are double paned. That was supposed to be a project this year of replacing them but we ended up replacing one sunroom window and then the laundry room got a makeover. Maybe next year.

I plan to write out some goals and projects for next year and prioritize them. We know we need one more tree down that is nearest the driveway and is making taking the RV out challenging since it leans in toward the driveway. This is another 100 ft Ponderosa so probably $3000. Then we are planning to switch the wood stove to propane as we feel that B probably isn’t going to want to keep cutting firewood. Those 2 projects are probably the big ones.

Simplifying the woodstove will make a big difference. We love wood fires but it is a lot of work and we need to look to the future when getting wood, bringing it in the house, stacking, etc will be another chore we’d rather not do.

I’m tired from going to Ikea so I think dinner will be a simple tofu scramble with some Kirkland tomato bisque soup. That’s about all I can do.

This is looking out at the driveway. The second tree in is the one we need down. the first one is a leaner but it’s leaning away from the driveway so if it goes it will go in that direction. The last one is a crooked tree that the original owner cut the top to put an antenna on top thus the split. If that goes it will just fall in the woods. Trees are beautiful until they are a threat. 😦 The golden bamboo is the bamboo I went and dig up at a fellow Waldorf school parent’s house back in 1997.

Saturday musings…

Overall, a really nice week with absolutely spectacular weather. Cool in the mornings and then lovely warm afternoons. We are seeing lot of yellows on the oak trees and shades of gold with a little red occasionally. Down at the park there are lots of trees with red,yellow, and oranges thrown in. The park has liquid ambers which do change into beautiful fall colors, chinese pistachio turns a brilliant red. I think there’s maples and a gingko tree as well. We are due for some rain possibly tomorrow even and then it looks like the storm door may open next week.

We are still planning our trip to Capitola the following week even if there’s rain. That’s one reason we bought Rubi is so we can go even if it’s rainy outside. I ordered a gas fire pit to take with us so we can have an evening fire. In Tahoe there were and even still now, no open fires even in campgrounds and no charcoal even. We saw a few RVers with the gas fire pits and they were cute. They weren’t too expensive( $140 from Amazon).

Yesterday I had to go into the dentist as I had part of a crown come off. The new dentist looked at it and took x rays and said the metal part was still in tact so it’s ok to leave at this point. I still need to replace it but I’m hoping January sometime. So that threw my day off some since it was the middle of the day. But I feel relieved it’s ok at least.

I ended up making salmon for dinner with brown rice from Trader Joe’s and a salad. I could’ve done pizza but didn’t feel like it. BTW, the rice at TJ’s in the freezer section is spectacular for quick meals. It microwaves up quite nicely. Tonight I’m baking some chicken with a side of delicata squash I bought at our local farm. I was so impressed with their hard squashes I bought 5 and I think next week I’m going to go back and buy another 6-8 so I can have a winter stash. We didn’t get any squash this year out of our garden. My daughter has Johnny’s garlic almost all planted and because we had such success with the onions in the barrels, we’re doing all the garlic in there too. I’d like to try and do some gardening in the galvanized troughs and see how that does. We do have problems with voles and earwigs that eat most anything. So this might be a good solution.

‘This week I’ve been painting the bathroom. We’ve done all the rooms this year except this one. I used the same paint which is called ‘rarified air’ and is lovely pale blue/grey. Then since I was feeling ambitious I decided to paint the claw foot tub too. It came out really nice. The original red I painted it has really stood up since it’s 26 years now since we put it in but I’ve wanted it black for a while. Eventually the tub and bathroom will be re done. But not this year. I have photos but they’re not uploading for some reason.

Simple Sunday on a beautiful October day

A lovely walk started the day. We ended up doing 4 rounds since(he who shall not be named) left at 6:45. He must be getting there right before us because he walks about 45 minutes. It’s ok…it’s dark and he is wearing now a headlamp. I wonder if someone said something to him about walking in the dark and coming up on people, which originally was our gripe with him. Anyway, we can’t see him and he’s on his side of the path( our other gripe is him walking in the middle of the path with his dog to his left, which puts him straight at us.) But he is moving over so a big improvement.

This is Gus, one of the kitties. He’s the biggest of all the kitties and very sweet.

The other night I made a delicious frittata and crispy potatoes. This was taken before it was cooked.

I added some of the pickled jalapenos on top and it was yummy.

This morning I whipped up a dish of spanakopita,one of our favorites, and made one freezer container too. I used a recipe from America’s test kitchen so we’ll see. The difference was beating 2 eggs with the feta and adding a bit of sour cream.

Yesterday, I also made borscht in the Instapot and we’ll have some of that too and then I put 2 containers in the freezer.

I’ve been playing ‘crafty’ and pulled out my old loops for making pot holders. This was our craft/handwork project in 4 or 5th grade. I think 4th.

These are 2 of the originals. How’s that for making something that actually lasts. They do look a bit worn.

Here’s the one I made the other day!!! I’m not very crafty at all, but occasionally I like to pretend and do something like this. It’s a bit hard on my hands( arthritis stuff) but I persevered.

This week is the bathroom zone and I’ll do some of that in a bit.

Here’s the back of the truck loaded….where does it all come from.??

Frugal Friday and other things…

It’s been an okay frugal week. All the first of the month bills are out and done. The rest like PGE,water, ATT come a little later in the month.

We had the house insurance due and if you live in California you know that in our area most insurers have cancelled policies so you have to do what’s called the California Fair plan. This is in addition to the rider with AAA. This year it went over the $2,000 mark but for some people it’s WAY higher like in the 10,000 and up range. I’m not sure but I think it’s related to the size of your house and maybe the fire risk in your area. Anyway, that’s a big expense.

After swimming I went to Winco which is across the street and did a small shop. It has been very convenient to do this and except for Walmart, you cannot get groceries etc cheaper. Winco is employee owned which I think is great and they do not take cc, only debit.

I had my dental cleaning and all was okay. sitting in that chair for an hour though really takes a toll on my back. I wonder about people even older and what they do to accommodate them. Anyway, I don’t need to do anything right now and go back in about 5 months.

I filled out the online form to donate Vannie( the dodge Caravan) to Capradio so she’ll be gone probably with in a week. Actually Vannie runs fine and I think would keep going but there are electrical issues and the blinkers don’t work so safety is the main reason we’re donating. Plus, we bought the truck to do the things Vannie did ,so there’s that. Plus, I just don’t want something sitting in the yard if we’re not using it. My son still had ideas about camping in it, which he did many times, including taking it all the way up to the greater Seattle area to visit a friend. But now the time has come. I’ll miss you VanGo.

This morning I’m helping B load up the truck and go to the local drop off, which conveniently is right at the end of our road about 3 miles. This must be our 6th trip this year with stuff!!! I threw in quite a bit. I tend to be more ruthless than B, who thinks,sometimes, maybe something can be reused. Which in itself is fine unless it really is just junk:)

I finally saw my labs and they were all in the normal range still but my Kappa was close to the high normal, so I’m guessing next month it’ll go over. I guess after that it’ll be month to month watching if the increases start getting bigger which is what eventually happened last time. I can’t say I’m not disappointed that I only had from June to November in remission but I’ll take what I get. It’s a strange place to be knowing once again, I’ll be back in some kind of treatment. sigh:(

Simple Sunday on Monday…

I got my flu shot on Friday and exactly 12 hours later( right around midnight) got hit with some side effects. Achey, headache ,general malaise so I didn’t swim on Saturday. Yesterday I did feel somewhat better. The shot was the extra strength for over 65 yo so maybe that’s why. Then for some strange reason my left foot starting up again and it was very painful to walk. Remember in 2016 when I just finished the 5 years of “Just Keep Walking Project” and I had gotten hairline fractures on the top of my foot from the repetitive motion. It’s like that. But what’s weird is in Tahoe we were walking over 3 miles a day and I had no problem. I used a bunch of arnica on it yesterday and this morning it feels somewhat better. Geez, getting old is not fun when you’ve got these issues popping up.

I made a new recipe last night ,Chicken Katsu. I saw it in the NYT and it looked good. Basically you pound chicken thin then coat with panko and fry. I guess what makes it katsu is the sauce which is described as Japanese BBQ sauce. I made chicken ones and tofu ones. The tofu ones were delicious. I did coleslaw on the side with a ginger dressing and some organic jasmine rice. Quite yummy.

This week I have a dental cleaning and that’s it for appts. I plan on swimming Tuesday and Thursday. With it being dark earlier till DLS, I may start to go just a tad later. Usually I’m there in the pool by 7:15am, so I might try to make it 7:30 or so.

IT WAS A MIRACLE!!!! AH walker was NOT there this morning. It’s the first time in about 20 months he hasn’t been there. I do have to say though he is staying out of our way and moving to his right when he passes us with his dog. We are just walking as usual and not trying to walk single file when he passes. So I do give him credit for that. But he’s still not using his flashlight in the dark and does pass us sometimes with us being surprised. The other day I saw he had his flashlight on over by the pond but when he came around the pond and saw our light he turned his off. ( passive aggressive anyone?) Oh well, he is not bothering us by walking into us anymore. Especially since now there are other people around and he’s more accountable then. All good, I’d say.

The laundry room has been almost completed. The shelves still need to go up and the one wall still needs some wood but it’s some tricky cuts at angles so I’m not sure when my son will get to it. At least the door is now back on and the new window in. It looks quite nice. I’ll try and get some photos up.

Also this week I need to take another car load to the thrift store. Honestly, I think decluttering just never ends and I do feel it’s like peeling layers of an onion. What used to seem important enough to keep is now headed to the Goodwill. I just keep going thru things and finding that I don’t need it anyone or my style has changed and it doesn’t fit it. Case in point, I have a number of very cool( to me) vintage 50’s lamps that I bought many years ago at an estate sale. One has a nice wood base and is curvy. But I took it out of the front room last year because I moved a different lamp there so it was out in the barn. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the almost 10 years of decluttering and minimizing is don’t just store something thinking ‘someday’ you’ll want that again. Most likely you won’t. In addition if you get rid of it and find 5 years later you really want that item again, I’m sure ebay will have something that will be similar.

Even though I’ve simplified our house and barn( aka as the large storage area for my son’s things now), I don’t think I’ve reached that final point of being ‘done’. Maybe that doesn’t ever happen and that’s just life.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Most of my kitchen is streamlined and there’s not any decluttering but it is the biggest zone I have to clean that takes over an hour. Probably due to the stove, stove hood etc. Plus wiping down my jars takes time too. Since I don’t have a built in pantry, the Far Niente wine boxes I use that are under my stainless steel island work perfectly fine. My kitchen, even though it does need to be redone, works just fine for now.

Friday things and a nice birthday for me.

First, another turn around the sun. I had a lovely day and we got Panera for dinner which is a treat for us. All in all, a nice day especially with this beautiful weather. My son got me two albums by a really great artist,sarah jarosz.

I actually didn’t want anything for my birthday as we just got the truck and the RV this summer but he’s a generous son and bought it for me anyway.

As a matter of no gifts, this will be the FIRST christmas ever I don’t buy presents. I think I’m just done trying to figure out gifts for everyone and so I decided to not do any. I don’t think I’ll put up the tree either. What I will do is give both kids some money and call it good.It’ll be weird on Christmas morning because we are use to some presents but it’s a good time to start a new tradition of no gifts.

Hey, speaking of budget stuff/spending did anyone else get enormous increases in Part D prescription plans. Mine is going from $28.50 to $68 and Barclay’s is going from $26 to $71. WTF is that about?? Did I miss something about increases in Part D prescription plans??? Anyway that is going to increase our budget stuff.

I’m off to get my flu shot this morning and maybe do another Goodwill drop off. I still have a few more things to take out to buggie so I might wait till next week.

I’m still waiting on my labs which is annoying me as i still can’t get in the patient portal to see the results so I have to call. Kind of a PITA really.

I finished paying the UCD final bill from August of 2019 where B was in the month in between Medicare and Cobra. What a joke that was. The cobra was supposed to pay for all the coverage and did squat and we were still paying $700 a month. My advice is NEVER do a cobra. Well, it’s done so that’s a nice feeling. Of course our house insurance has increased, I guess, because of all the fires in California especially in our area. Well, it’s always something!!!

I have my monthly menu plan done for October so I just need to laminate it. Tonight is pizza night but I don’t feel like a pizza so I think I’ll do something with an Italian theme. We had an Ooni last week, two actually, and so that made 30 pizzas with the Ooni which at $10 a pizza paid for itself. I plan on keeping it in the garden shed so if it’s not too cold or rainy in the fall or winter we can pull it out and make some Friday night pizzas.

This was last weeks!