A funny story

So, we have the 10 white leghorn chickens that we got in the spring. My daughter is the one who really took this on and took care of them and all 10 survived. They are definitely little dinosaurs and very smart. ( think Jurassic Park, Velociraptor,).

I like chickens and think they are very entertaining but they can dig up gardens and eat things they shouldn’t. But for the most part, they are now in one of two areas of the fenced yard….except for Rosie the Rebel and her sidekick Dora the explorer.  These 2 are jumping the fences and getting out.

Last week I had my office door open and in came Rosie wandering on thru and ended up in the kitchen pecking for crumbs on the floor!!! We got her out but she still comes pecking at the door as if to say” hey, let me in”…

So yesterday, B is taking the garbage out to our pail and meets up with the new neighbor. The neighbor is remodeling their garage to be an apartment( lucky them). So he tells B that Rosie wandered into his garage and went up the stairs to the loft. Just like this was all normal. So he got her and brought her back over, which somehow none of us saw.  So she is quite the brave one and probably will get eaten first by wandering coyotes if she stays outside the fence. ( But I hope not).

Here’s the treadmill that I bought.

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3979C335-EEEA-4998-886F-0EC15371435F It had pretty good ratings and it was compact which I needed for our small space. The one I think the upgrade to is Nordic track that Walmart has on its site. It is just under $600.

So far this one is doing just fine. The walking area is narrower than a usual treadmill but that hasn’t really bothered me. I don’t think this treadmill would work if you were a runner. Plus when I upgrade, I want a bigger motor like 2.5 horsepower. This one is only 1.5. anyway for now I’m happy with it and have used it 5 times since I got it. I’m only walking 15 min so I’m hoping to get to 30. At the gym, I would do 20 minutes so maybe that’s what I’ll end up.

Some sunflowers from the garden that are over 14 feet.

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and some more tomatoes…..

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Catching up

 Monday morning….

We are still in the smokey haze although I thought it was a smidge better this morning then it seemed to seep in again.  Hopefully, there is  containment soon.

This morning I bagged up the 25 lbs of organic oats in the mylar bags and just need to put them in the buckets and take out to the prepper barn. Oh BTW, the swamp cooler is keeping the barn at 72 degrees or even cooler so we are good to go out there for the pantry being relatively cool.

I also started my menu plan for September. I try and do a whole month even though what’s there may not be on that day. It’s just a reference point.  I’ve switched up a few things like Taco Tuesday and that can be burritos or enchiladas or really anything Mexican. We love rice and beans so that’s easy to have ready. I always make more beans than needed and freeze the rest.

The chicken girls are now laying and so we’re getting lots of eggs but they are still small so you need to use double the amount. I’m guessing that as they mature the eggs will get to be normal size.  I read that you can freeze the eggs if you whip them up so I may do that down the road. I guess lots of pantry prepper people do that especially since right now chickens would be laying the most and in the winter will not.

Mondays we don’t walk so I stayed in bed till 5:30 am. It was ok but I think I prefer just getting up at 5am.

Wednesday morning…

Still somewhat smokey but better.

Today I head to Sacramento for my oncology appt. It looked Sacramento air was clear so that’s a good thing. I’m not expecting any big revelations from my doctor but I’d like his opinion on the now present monoclonal protein.

My new treadmill showed up and it is a small one. It has high ratings and seems to work fine. The only thing I don’t like is the latch to hold it up in the space saver position is a large bolt and is not that easy to get into position.  But the price was right( $300.). If I continue to be diligent and use it then I will consider a better model next year.  Used ones are impossible to find and I read it’s one thing you shouldn’t buy used. Nordic track has a mid priced model so I’d consider that but for now the small  one will have to do.

Facebook update: I’ve been off Facebook almost a month and it’s been fine. I have looked a couple of times as I wanted to see what a few people were commenting on. Overall, looking at it ,I felt it was  a waste of time and I’m glad to be off for now. That may change as the election gets closer.

I have my budget set for September and am planning another Costco trip next week ( or sooner if it works out). But that shop would go on Septembers’s food budget.

 

 

Friday Stuff

There are fires everywhere here in California. There is smoke everywhere and it’s best not to be outside too much. We did walk this morning but only a mile as you could see the smoke haze as it got light.  Vacaville is around an hour and a half or less away so that’s where most of the smoke is coming from. There’s also the fire near Reno and the smoke is filling the Tahoe Basin. This was the week we were supposed to be in Tahoe so perhaps it’s all for the best. So many people were getting evacuated that I -80 was shut down in Vacaville and Fairfield. Pretty scary stuff.

I feel somewhat optimistic after the DNC that perhaps the winds of change is toward decency again. But after the last election, it’s hard not to feel like something awful could happen. I honestly do not think our democracy would survive another 4 years of Trump. Extreme? maybe or maybe not.  We’re planning on taking our absentee ballot down to Auburn and drop at the office of the registrar. Easy to do and we’ll know its there.

I needed to do a fill-in shop before I do Costco at the end of the month so I decided to do Walmart pick up.  It was actually great. I forgot how easy it is to do and I love I can add on since I forgot a bunch of things and then everyone wanted to add a snack or fruit or something. I ended up just over $100. So that’s great. If I bought the same stuff at Bel Air it would easily be $200. One new thing I’m doing that I got from the Tightwad Gazette is to keep track of price points. It’s quite interesting to see the price differences. I’m sure if I was a couponer I could do better. But so far Costco still has most store prices beat.  For example, a half-gallon of organic milk runs about $4.79 in the stores. At Costco 2 gallons is just over $10.00. That is a huge difference.  There are lots of other examples too but what is at issue is you need either a second refrigerator or a freezer or have 10 kids which will drink all that milk. We just freeze the milk till we’re ready to use it.  Anyway, it’s been a fun exercise it frugality.

My right side ribs are pulled again and I’m having limited mobility with it but since I’ve had chronic rib fractures due to Myeloma, I just figure It’ll pass. Of course, the concern with myeloma is it does affect the bones so fractures are a common result of this cancer.  I see my doctor next week so we’ll see what he says.

I’m still making some freezer salsa and waiting on the next batch of Roma tomatoes to ripen. Probably by Sunday I’ll be able to make some more tomato sauce.  We definitely will have plenty to get thru the winter. I’ve been drying basil too since we have a nice crop this year.

We’re in between projects and since it’s been too hot outside to work on fences or anything for that matter. In the house, I still want to get painting done but we need to go get that paint at the Benjamin Moore store and that’s down by Trader Joes in Roseville. So maybe next week. Also there are a few pine boards in my office that need replacing so I’d like that to get done.  We are also planning on redoing our outside laundry since the floor is in bad shape. It’d be nice to have laundry somewhere in the house but there isn’t any space for a washer and dryer unless we built an addsition which we don’t have money for. Well, I’m grateful for what we do have.

 

Simple Sunday

I just finished the bathroom zone. This past week I asked my daughter to use up the bathroom paint and touch up here and there. So it ended up about 1 pint and looks good. One good thing about keeping the same color and absolutely loving it is when you do touchups even a few years later it doesn’t show the beginning or end of the color if that makes sense. the color in the bathroom is called Rarified air by Sherwin Williams and we have had it in the bathroom for years and I never tire of it. It is a very pale blue with probably some grey in it.

The heat is exhausting. Yesterday it was 108. This morning it was 77 on our walk. The annoying dog walker is still there by 5:30 so we just step out of his way as he barrels on by. If I haven’t mentioned this before I will now.  Over the years we’ve been walking every day or near every day ( going into year 9), we’ve had lots of people come and go.  Some great people and others not so great. Recently, probably @ February or March, this guy shows up with a white, very pretty dog. The dog is muzzled and is not a friendly sort. So at first, we were all fine even once or twice said hello. But then he started really fast walking and would come up behind us without saying like ” on your left” or something so I started getting pretty annoyed. Then more and more he would just barrel by and even when we were walking side by side( B and I) he wouldn’t step off the path and just skimmed us. Then I started watching how he was with others and it seemed the same. Also, adding to my annoyance, is that he comes speeding down our main road( speed limit 25mph, he’s doing 45 at least) and then the park roadway to fast and the practically screeches in a 180 to park.  So, I kept hoping as sunrise is way later now, he would adjust and come later. But no luck. This morning we were using a flashlight so anybody else could see us but not him. Just barreling by in the premorning light. Oh well, I’ll adjust but it is annoying.

Last night I made a big Cobb salad with tofu, chicken, avocado, lettuce, carrots, cheese, and some leftover cabbage. It was good. Tonight is probably YOYO. Plus this heat makes cooking not fun.  Although, I made a peach pie yesterday and it was delicious.  It was the NYT recipe for peach pie.

This week is no appts for me but lots for B; he has labs, video conference with Dr. Abedi, and another one with the urologist he was referred to.  But at least it’s not driving to Sacramento so there’s that.

Today would have been the day we headed up to Tahoe but alas, no. The area lakes are being inundated with valley people and ven South Lake Tahoe had protesters telling tourists “go home”. Which says a lot since Soth Lake Tahoe depends on tourism for revenue. But they are coming in hordes and leaving tons of trash. Such a shame people have to be so such slobs.

Well, on that cheery note, I’m off to read or something that involves not moving a lot.

Frugal Friday

With the abundance of cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes, I’ve been making lots of salsa.

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First, I followed the Ball recipe for salsa to the letter and even with the added safety of a 1/8 of citric acid which is done to keep the acid ratio correct.  I ended up with 4 pints of beautiful looking salsa for wintery days when you want to think back to these beautiful summer days. KIDDING……right now it’s supposed to be 102 today and 105 tomorrow.  Yes, summery but not my idea of fun.

Then I made freezer salsa which is super easy since there is no canning. Just up in the food processor and whip up. Put in jars with enough headspace and freeze. And, oh my, it was delicious.  I even made one scrambled egg just so I could pour about 1/2 cup of the salsa on it. It was more like salsa with an egg.  Yummy…

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Today is normally pizza night but with this heat, it ain’t happening. Even if we ordered it’s still too hot for pizza. So I’m making a nice spinach soup that we can have either chilled or slightly warm. My favorite recipe is from the catering mystery series that starts with ” Dying for Chocolate”. It’s a great series with the main character as the caterer who also happens to solve murders. So her recipe for Goldielockes Gourmet Spinach soup is delicious. She doesn’t use a stick blender to mix but I do since I prefer it as smooth soup.  Then if I’m really motivated, I might make a few grilled cheese bites to go with it.

So, the prepper barn pantry was getting pretty warm with this heatwave. So we went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest cooler we could for the window. It is keeping it marginally cool but we also have a swamp cooler out there but the switch was not working and the part needed to be ordered. So it arrived this morning and now it is fixed ( thanks to the handyman husband).!!!! So the barn temperature is at 72 which is really good.  So I’m pretty happy about that. Since we don’t have a garage that could be a designated pantry and kept cool, this is the best I can do.

On the frugal side, all the bills for the month are done except the water bill which comes in on the 20th. I have auto-pay for that so it comes out of our checking.

My LLS check arrived for my Medicare amount and prescription Part D amount. Always very grateful to the LLS and its donors that provide these grants to many people all of who have some type of blood cancer.

Well, off to clean up the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

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Here are the two barrels with bamboo. The window above is our tiny bathroom.  The bedroom window is to the right and that’s where we thought he 3rd barrel would look nice.

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Here’s the updated closet. It probably doesn’t look much different but it is very bright and sparkly.  We added some new hooks for my clothes, as I tend to hang my walking/workout pants and jacket there.

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This is the clothes side. Mine is on the bottom. As you can see, I don’t own a lot of clothes.

I’m thinking of adding a barn door ( one that slides) instead of the curtain. I need to check out how much the hardware is but I don’t think it’s a lot.

This morning I made another batch of tomato sauce from garden tomatoes. I think I’ll get about 2 Talenti size containers. I will freeze these. We are getting a lot of Roma tomatoes and orange cherry tomatoes. Not too many slicing ones yet.

I’m experimenting with making pie crust to this morning. It seemed to come together very nicely so fingers crossed. It’s in the fridge for a few hours minimum.

I was going to start the kitchen zone but decided to wait till tomorrow since I was making a mess with tomatoes and flour. So tomorrow will be the kitchen zone and a general tidy up.

My two, lost in USPS space,books finally arrived. the one is the vegetarian one I wanted from The Ananda community. Ananda was started in 1967 in North San Juan which is about an hour from here. It was really at its height in the 1970s. We went multiple times for different reasons. Meditation and I seem to remember a wedding.  Then at some point in the late 1980s, Kriyananda, the founder( AKA Donald Walters) got in some serious tax problems and I believe sex scandals and fled to Italy.  Anyway, it is a beautiful piece of property. It’s probably over 600 acres about and still continues to this day offering retreats.

This week is hot again so that’s kinda unfortunate. The few days we had in the 80s were great.

Next week is quiet with no appointments so maybe we’ll plan a drive out somewhere. Everywhere here in the Sierra Nevada foothills and Tahoe areas are just inundated with people from the valley and the Bay area. Any thought of a solitary hike is out of the question.  I’m not even sure how camping will go next year as everyone has decide to buy campers, RV’s and whatever and flood the campgrounds. I guess a lot depends on when we get the vaccine.

I am reading an outstanding book that I bought on Amazon.

‘White too long’, by Robert Jones.  It is an amazing book about White Supremecy in White Christianity.  I’m an atheist, but I have a lot of respect for this author and what he is writing.

If you’re so inclined, I’d recommend buying it even if it is too support his thesis monetarily.

 

 

Well, not good on the labs.

Well, I figured another increase. Up to 239.9mg/L from 176. So another almost 70 point increase. Lamba went down to 10.2mg/L so of course, that means the ratio went up. Up to 23.4 mg/L.

The bigger news is now there is finally a monoclonal protein showing:( it’s at .3  I haven’t had a M protein in over 4 years so that is a bit unsettling.  Well, as I’ve said, the blood tells the story. Not much I can do about it except plan on the timing of Chemotherapy. I’m guessing when I see him at the end of August he will still say, wait.  I’m predicting by November/December will be a good time to start.  If you figure about a 70 point increase each 8 weeks, that puts it at 4months apprx.

This will be my 4th relapse( well technically my 3rd, since I counting when I became refractory to Revlimid and started Pomalyst.) so I guess I know the drill.

 

Projects done!

The closet looks bright and clean. We did move our space heaters to the barn and I have one box of “I don’t know what to do with” stuff. One item is my old Waring blender that I bought new in 1985. It still works fine but most I use my Vitamix. So I’m undecided and will wait on deciding to give away or not.  We still need to hang my mirror back up and then I can take a photo if I remember.

B finished repotting the bamboo in the new barrels. This is actually a pretty big job as the roots needed to be cut with a Sawzall.  That’s how thick they were.  We are going to get a 3rd barrel as it will fill the space out nicely.

We also took everything out of the chest freezer and defrosted it. I got a good count on what’s in there so that was helpful plus it’s more organized.

The weather is quite a bit cooler and we actually sat outside last night.  Today is also really nice with a high of only 85.

Yesterday I bagged up the Central Milling flour into 3 mylar bags. I could have used the food saver bags but  I wanted to test out how the flour would be. The other bag I will use the food saver bags and then compare the two.

Tuesday we did our Costco shop. It was just under $500. Some of that was alcohol. The Costco beer which is a variety of ales and other types is a great deal at $20. and this was the first time we’ve seen it in almost a year. So we bought 2. That should last a while. I don’t drink beer but B does( although not too much right now with his issues) and my son has the occasional beer. Then we bought champagne for our anniversary. Since we’re not going anywhere, we figured we’ll do some kind of celebration dinner with champagne. This shop wasn’t really a prepper shop but more stuff for the month, salad stuff, avocados, spinach, cheese, bread.  The only things I still need are milk, bananas, vegetable shortening, and burger rolls. I’ll probably do that later in the week.  I’m hoping this shopping will get us thru most of the month.  Oh, I did get organic pasta that was on sale. So that’s for the prepper pantry.  Later this month we’ll hit Winco and get 2 more of the buckets if they have them and the gamma lids. I’m tempted to go sooner than later as I’m guessing they will get sold out.

I’m still waiting on my labs, so maybe by tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my son’s 26th birthday. Such a wonderful young man. Funny, talented, smart, and has a full-time job with California State Sierra Nevada Conservancy.  He was a fun kid and outgoing.  He was homeschooled all the way thru high school. He then went to Community college, got 2 degrees, and then graduated from CSU Sacramento. No student debt and he did most of it on his own. We are so proud of him. So, I need to find out what kind of dinner he wants and dessert. Our family ritual is the birthday boy/girl gets to pick their favorite dinner and dessert.

I’m reading the new Todd Borg” Tahoe Hit”. It just came out if you’re interested. He’s one of my favorite authors and is local to Lake Tahoe.

685789B5-5871-4B18-ADA0-0533A910EDF3.jpegHere’s my new BLACK LIVES MATTER yard sign for the driveway.

 

 

Simple Sunday

For some reason, I got a bee in my bonnet. so to speak, to clean out and paint our ONE closet. It is a good size, 4×6. I always wanted to make this a half bath with a small shower but that would mean digging up our septic and putting a bigger one in. That expensive just isn’t on the table anymore( unless we win the lottery, and since I don’t play, that’s not happening).

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So we need to get a roller to do most of it. The Hardware store doesn’t open till 9am( here in town, not Home Depot). I have 1/2 a gallon of white and that may or may not be enough. We’ll start with the ceiling and then the clothes side. I’ll consider going into Home depot for more Behr paint or I’ll go tomorrow and finish the pantry side.  Getting the clothes back in would take priority as they are on the bed and the couch right now.

If nothing else it will get the dust bunnies out and freshen up the space which hasn’t been done, like ever.

Also here are the mylar bags filled.

 

These are really nice bags if you’re interested. The came from TheEpicenter in Oregon. They have a zipped part as well as the normal heat part. I read it can be tricky to do the heat but I had no problem. The oxygen tabs in them should pull the oxygen out in 48 hours. Some are already showing that but others seem the same. No matter they are sealed.  I already ordered another 20 bags since a few months ago you couldn’t even get these.

Tonight I ‘m making tofu burgers with macaroni salad.  I need to go to the store and pick up some burger rolls later.

Tomorrow are my labs. It’s been 8 weeks so we’ll see what they show. As I said before Myeloma just doesn’t disappear  so with my numbers increasing it’s a matter of time before I start Velcade and Dex.

Being off Facebook has been overall easy. Once in while I miss reading what people are up to but not a whole lot.

 

Off to paint!!!

August 1, Lammas

For some reason, I have always loved the Celtic calendar. which is also called a cross-quarter. I used to believe it was all ‘past life’ influence but now that stuff doesn’t ring true. It’s probably more kinship with the Welsh( which I have in family lineage) and Irish( perhaps on my father’s side). Anyway, it doesn’t matter, why, just that I like the cross quarters and today is Lammas. The Celtic celebration of late summer.Photo Of Sunflower

I can always feel the sift of air and light at Lammas. Perhaps just that I walk early every day and notice those things.

This would be a day to bake bread from the harvest. I also saw to make beeswax candles. I used to make my own candles but have long given that up and now just buy my beeswax candles. I do burn them nightly from fall to spring but not during the summer. The glow they give is like no other and is one of my favorite rituals.

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I just made some bread so I won’t do another loaf but I do have some buttermilk to use so I am planning on making buttermilk biscuits. Good enough.

On a sad note, our neighbor has poisoned the skunks and we have one in our yard dying a painful death. It has really upset me. I don’t want skunks under our porch either but for the most part, they are harmless and they do eat things at night.  Right now it has sprayed a last spray and is in the bushes by our water pond. I guess once we can see where it is we will pick it up(with a shovel) and go bury it. It makes me mad that he did this.

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Some lavender from our plants that I harvested. I use lavender all winter to freshen up clothes and sprinkle on rugs and then vacuum up.