Five on Friday

  • I’m feeling pretty good this morning and most of the ‘Dex’ effects are gone. Just a small bit of hyper-ness. But I put that to use making yogurt in the IP. Actually, I made it yesterday and I put the yogurt selection on for 24 hours. It looks good. Also, frugal-wise, I bought the organic milk at Costco just for this purpose so it was 2 gallons for 9.95. So 1/2 a gallon is about $2.50. That puts a quart of homemade organic yogurt at $2.50.
  • We picked up the free pizza at the Holiday Market for dinner tonight. Each month there is a coupon for something free so this month is the pizza. It’s not the best pizza but heck it’ll be fine. Last night my son cooked the new vegetable burgers from Costco that were on sale. Normally $12.89 and then $5.00 off. The box is 10 burgers I think. They are not soy or pea protein like Beyond burgers or Impossible. They are brown rice, veggies, and almonds. We all like them with pickles, cheese( swiss) and tomatoes, and lettuce. If you go to Costco they are on sale till Jan 24.
  • Our weather is really nice , with a high yesterday of 67. We really need rain but this is nice ,and I’m enjoying it. Next does show some rain though.
  • I’m re-reading all the Sue Grafton books and that’s been fun. She was such a good writer and I totally enjoy reading about Santa Barbara that she called Santa Theresa. I don’t know if I ever mentioned that the first trip I did to SB with B when he was working, we were walking the beach path near the marina and in the parking lot near one of the restaurants was a 1974 light blue VW with Kinsey on the license plate. Of course, if you know her character Kinsey Millhone, she drove a Baby blue 1974 VW. We never saw her but still, I saw her car. ( Sue Grafton’s as she lived in Santa Barbara).
  • We’re planning on having a fire in the fire pit this afternoon as again the temps are still @ 67 degrees. It’s nice to sit out and watch the birds and have a glass of wine or two:)

January 13, 1st Velcade

So yesterday I went down to the Mercy( Dignity Health) satellite medical center in Rocklin. It was about a 25 minute drive so this is less than 1/2 of going down to C street in Sacramento. It was very nice. A quite small infusion room with 5 chairs. The nurses(2) seemed exceptional and mine was over the top friendly and informative.

So this is round 1.

Shot one of 2.5 milligrams of bortezomib. The nurse said she had quite a few patients on different regimes such as weekly( no breaks), 2x weekly for 2 weeks and then a 2 week break. So I thought that was interesting.

The drive home uneventful and I was back quickly.

When I got home I waited till @ noon to take the dex. I rested a bit and got up around 2 and read some. My daughter made some tortellini for dinner. My eyes do get affected with dex and so we only watched one Bridgerton.

I took an Ativan and was in bed @ 9. I didn’t fall right to sleep but eventually. This morning I could tell it was still a Dexish morning so I’ve done some of my morning resets( swish and swipe), tidy kitchen, and started a IP of yogurt. I did cut our walk short by 1 round as I was just too tired to do another.

So onward to Shot # 2 next week.

New Fence

This is our new fence that you see when you drive up our hill. We are the last house and our neighbors( the old man, Leo) house is on the right as you drive up. The fencing that was there was just rusty old hog wire that the original owner had up. Sometime after the new neighbors moved in ( about 2 years ago now) we knew we wanted a more private fence. Their house is across the driveway and down some. They remodeled the garage to be a studio apartment for their adult daughter. It’s a great property and they bought it at a really great price from the original owners.

The boards are not redwood but stained fir. So they may not last 25 years but they should last a good long time.

So this is looking down the driveway and you can see our little house onthe left.

My daughter did an amazing job building this and digging the post holes with the help of her Dad.

So this shot is looking down the driveway to where we park. That’s my daughters Honda Fit. To the right is Leo’s house and we know once he dies and the house goes on the market we will build the same fence along this property line. His house and the yard are right there to the right and I don’t want to see new neighbors especially if they are noisy and have kids.

We’re actually thinking of coming down the one side so we can block off seeing the neighbors truck and hoarding yard filled to the brim with everything.

This is shot looking down toward the neighbors mess.

We’re planning on spraying it this summer with some kind of sealant or outdoor stain even though it is already coated.

Our property line actually comes straight out from the end post so the fence is not on the property line as that would close off the driveway too much for emergency vehicles. Our new neighbor was parking his RV across from this shot and it was limiting access. Interestingly, right after he moved it down by his garage Leo( our 95 yr old face planted right there and knocked himself out and is still recovering in the hospital from a brain bleed. I really don’t think he’ll be coming back to his house but we’ll see. We do feel bad for him living alone but he wants to die there and not in a nursing home so I understand that.

Here you can see the other driveway that leads to the barn and the sunporch entry way. We plan to put up another gate here in the summer. Our next fencing project would be back behind the barn to block the view of our very ‘unfriendly’ neighbors that built a huge workshop that we can see and hear him in all the time. He rebuilds cars and is always grinding away. Plus they moved up from the valley so they’re new to ‘country ‘ living.

Simple Sunday

A nice morning walk and we were there by ourselves for the first two rounds. Then the lady who does the exercise group(3 in total) came and walked but we didn’t pass her as she walked in the same direction. She’s nice and we don’t mind her at all.

Then I did the bathroom zone in about 15 minutes. I wiped the shelves, did the mirrors and window, did the tub with Bar Keepers, toilet( which I do almost everyday anyway) and then the floor. B did the fan grate as it’s too hard for me to reach and get down.

He went out early with our daughter to get the rest of the fence wood. He said it was almost all gone so it was good they got it today. Sachi has been the primary fence builder and she is a great help.

It’s kind of a cloudy day and I feel unsettled with the political stuff going on. It just feels unfinished with trump. Maybe next week will start the impeachment which I feel is necessary ( or at least something is) to show him he can’t do this stuff without consequence. I can’t even imagine how terrifying that must have been for lawmakers plus it is the cornerstone of democracy.

Last night I made a lovely split pea soup. I didn’t take a picture but it was quite good. I made it in the crockpot instead of my Staub because I didn’t want to have to keep watching it. At the end before eating, I squeezed some lemon juice on the individual bowls and it really ‘livened’ it up.

Tonight, I plan on cooking roasted brussel sprouts and baked sweet potatoes and some sort of protein. I don’t have any tofu so maybe a beyond burger? I have some chicken for the carnivores which I will bake as well. I’ve been feeling like millet patties( the Ananda cookbook), so I may do that later in the week.

I’d highly recommend the cookbook “Midnight Chicken” . It’s much more than a cookbook as it starts out with her talking about her attempted suicide and then how cooking ‘saved ‘ her. It helped her out of a depression. Clinical depression is not something I’ve experienced but cooking is definitely therapy for me. She has lots of stories in each section. Worth supporting her by buying the book. I first saw it on one of my favorite bloggers in southern UK Tales from a Happy House. Her photos are stunning and I love reading about life in a different part of the world. So a big shout out to her as this was one of her Christmas presents and when I saw it , I just loved the title.

Frugal Friday

It’s hard to keep writing about my boring life after watching the news and the disgrace of Pro-trump supporters. As many have said, there are no words that can really express the outrage and horror of it all. I just hope they get him out before it’s too late and he does something else.

This week I spent $90 at groceries down at our market. It’s more expensive but more convenient too. Plus it supports our local Holiday market. Next week I plan on Costco, so that won’t be frugal but I haven’t been there since the end of November so I guess that counts for something.

We spent $99 on smog/oil change for the van and I will do the DMV on line next week. This is our 21 year old van and it’s still going even if it is ‘pinkish’ ( the red paint on the hood is all faded to a pale red/pink color.:) But we still use for Home Depot trips. I love my van even if I don’t drive it very much. I mostly use my VW which is also 20 years old but the paint on that is perfectly fine.

Speaking of which, half the fence is up and that was another $150 for wood. So at least that much more to finish it. But it really looks nice. I’ll post a picture soon.

We still haven’t gotten our stimulus check as there was a problem with Turbo tax and the accounts. I did receive an email saying they were fixing the problem so that’s good at least. I’m guessing we will use some of that to finish the fence.

We had our propane tank filled this week too and that was $230. That usually lasts us 3 months or so. Our electric bill is still up there but since we’re on the balance payment plan it averages out. The weather has been in the 50’s and low 40’s at night so we aren’t use space heaters in the bedrooms. That should help next months bill.

We started watching Bridgerton and it’s quite good if you’re looking for a series. Plus the Money Heist is intense and superb. We just started Part 3. It’s in Spanish but subtitled.

My no spend month is going sort of ok. I bought a cookbook( Midnight Chicken) which is terrific. So that wasn’t needed but I do love cookbooks and to justify it, I am the COOK here so…( I also bought air filters for the air purifier so that was household. And I bought a pair of Levis. I only have 2 pairs of pants and the one I wear out to town and to doctor appts. It’s a pair of Levis in a dark wash. The other is light denim and is my around the house jeans . So I decided I needed something else to switch off with the other pair. They didn’t have the light denim so I bought black. Not sure how they will go for everyday wear but I’ll try. So I guess overall, I’ll see how the rest of the month goes. NO spend months aren’t usually completely no spend for me but I am much more aware of not just hitting the Amazon button:)

Simple Sunday

A simple day to start the new year.

My daily chores are done and the FL zone this week is the kitchen. The entry way was only 2 days so I missed that. But, I think I’ll sweep the patios and tidy up the fir boughs.(my daughter already did all this so it’s done!!) I’m going to leave them thru january as it seems wintery. My door wreath is bay laurel so that can stay up too. I also have some nice pinecones we collected up in Tahoe on the bench outside the front door.

One thing I’ve learned with being more minimal is to use natural things for decor or seasonal decorations. It makes it easier for me to not have think about the decorations in bins. I definitely used to keep bins with seasonal stuff but not so much any more. Now I only have my vintage Halloween, and some Easter stuff and Christmas in some Ikea boxes. Works for me.

I used my Staub again for a braised short rib recipe. It cooked beautifully but we ( the meat eaters) were not too into the dish. It was good but not great. It will not go into rotation even though it really is an easy one pot meal. This pot though has cooked everything I’ve done to perfection. If you’re looking for an all around pot this is it. Staub should sponsor me as I cannot say enough good things about this pot. And that’s coming from a die hard fan of Le Creuset.

I am doing a Walmart pickup so that should get us thru till we get to Costco about mid month. I’m planning on trying to use the Instant Pot to make yogurt. It seems easy enough so on the Walmart order I have some whole milk yogurt to use as a starter. We’ll see. I’ll post how it goes.

My rib feels pretty good. Maybe still a little tender where I probably pulled the muscle around the rib. I’ll be sure to mention it to my doctor. He did ask whether I wanted to do PET scans and a bone marrow biopsy to see it there were any hot spots and/or if the myeloma has morphed. I declined since it is what it is regardless. I think if I had more symptoms I might but at this point I’m fairly asymptomatic except for blood work that show the increases.

This week I see the eye doctor for my 6 month macular pucker scan. I’m hoping to not have to get my eyes dilated as they stay dilated for hours. I’m also thinking of getting the surgery when the pandemic is over and things are back to normal so probably a year from now.

I added some more ” things I hope to accomplish” list. :

find 3 new hikes to try

paint the living room and kitchen( this was supposed to be done last year)

find 2 new places to camp( I was thinking either private or maybe just Forest Service campgrounds)

keep up with the prepper pantry but streamline what I stock( and know we will use).

Rib update

Thanks for the concerns.

Appreciate that . Actually it is feeling 100% better today so maybe it was just pulled rib muscles. It’s still tender but not as awful as yesterday so that’s a good thing.

Since I have a history of chronic rib fractures, it seemed that it was a flare up. On my x rays you can see the old fractures.

So anyway, it is better and thank you all.

Five on Friday

Finally, it’s 2021. I’m not sure how great the year will be but I’m hopeful. I start Velcade mid month, as expected. I asked about getting my shots in Rocklin which is about 25 minutes away, and he said sure that would work. Mercy ( or Dignity Health),has a satellite facility there and it will make it easier. Unfortunately, I’ve fractured another rib so it’s smart that I’m starting now. Fractures, in case you don’t know about Myeloma, are one of the damaging aspects of this cancer. I’ve had multiple rib fractures, so I know what it feels like. Unfortunate, to have it happen right now and also quite painful. It limits how much stuff I can do around the house. With rib fractures there’s not much you can do. If it’s a vertebrate or another bone they can some intervention. Oh well, I’m just glad it’s not a vertebrate.

We had a fun New Years eve with sub sandwiches from our Holiday Market. We watched the newish Starsky and Hutch and it was fun. We didn’t crack the champagne but will today.

Budget wise, I came under $800 on groceries including holiday food and alcohol. This is the lowest I’ve had since the pandemic started and I was stockpiling every month. Into January I’ll try and keep it between $700-800. That includes food, non food, and alcohol.(mostly wine and some beer). I’m planning a Costco trip mid month so we’ll see how much that adds if I add in prepper stuff. I’m not planning to but will stockpile a few things like coffee, Rosarita veg. beans, TP, and a few other things. The rest is just stuff we need like cheese, fish, bread etc.

I’m starting another round of decluttering. Mostly this is paper stuff. I’m going thru all our old receipts, medical things and throwing away anything that isn’t needed. Also, little stuff in drawers, like old pens, screws etc. It probably won’t add up to a lot but I’m motivated to do another sweep. I also started a bag for the food bank with food I know we’re not going to really eat. ( I see you canned chicken:) ). There’s nothing big I’m decluttering like furniture since everything we have has already gone thru multiple layers of decluttering. Still, I always like to look at things from a fresh perspective.

I’ve made up my monthly meal plan.

I’m renaming Wednesdays, Pasta Wednesday since that will be my Velcade/Dex day. It’ll make it easier for the others to cook if they know what the plan is. 🙂 I also dashed out to Target to get one of their simple calendars. I loved the one from last year but they didn’t have quite that style. It’s funny how such a simple thing like a minimalist calendar is so hard to find. I checked all over and the nicest were like $20 and up. Even on etsy they were expensive. So Target had just what I wanted for $5.00. It was pretty empty just like I hoped.

Simple Sunday and Christmas is over.

It was a really nice simple christmas.

Everyone got some nice things. I got my son a Pendleton National Park wool blanket from Goodwill Seattle. It’s the Glacier one that is white with color stripes. Very nice and a fraction of the cost new. He also got a used copy of Easton Press” A Tale of Two Cities”. B got a new Leatherman knife since a few years ago when he went to board a plane he had is quite expensive Leatherman in his pocket and they took it away. My daughter got 2 pairs of pruning shears, an Easton Press Grimm Fairy tales and some other stuff including these made in Japan Sound Collection plates… I discovered these by accident about 2 years ago at Goodwill when I found a bowl and fell in love with it. They are quite hard to find and the only place apart from Japan ,I guess, is Ebay.

I got a lovely sweater, a Kitchen Aid hand mixer( I asked for this), and some great gifts from my son, artisan flour, and a scone mix.

All in all a really nice and somewhat minimalist Christmas. It could have been scaled back even a little more but in the end I think it was perfect.

I made a NYT recipe called the Big Lasagna.

This is just the first page of the recipe, there are 2 more pages if you’re interested you can google it. It actually was huge and must have weighed 5 pounds. Lasagna is always our Christmas dinner. Not sure quite when this started but I remember when we were first married making lasagna since it was vegetarian.

It really was delicious.

I took all the Christmas stuff down and put away. I start to feel it looks a little cluttered up after 3 weeks of decorations. So now it’s all tidy and things put back in place.

I’m cooking up the scone mix this morning. It’s a ginger cranberry and it was a nice mix. I’m thinking scones are a nice easy thing to bake so maybe I’ll do this more often. This mix was from the Vermont Store but King Arthur has some lovely ones to choose from.

Our walk was lovely at 6:10am this morning. Still dark, but by 7am we’re getting a nice light and the park is all frosty.( well, it’s frosty before that but then we can see it!).

If you follow FL, we’re in the Living room zone. That was one reason I wanted to put Christmas stuff away. I’ll wash the inside windows and dust everything.

Well, this is the week I go to Sacramento to meet with my oncologist. My first question is going to be” when can I get the Covid vaccine? the second will be when do we start treatment.” 😦 Really, I’d rather start than have myeloma cells multiplying and then risking fractures or worse.