Frugal Friday

I was going to go down to the Rec center( aka as the gym) today but decided not to being it is Black Friday and HWY65 where I turn on to is right on the way to The Galleria shopping mall and big stores like Walmart. I will go swimming tomorrow. It’ll be early enough that I should miss the shoppers although I might get some traffic heading up to the Sierras on the way home.

We don’t go out to shop on Black Friday but I did find a 25% off deal on Bombas and bought a couple of T-shirts for B and a pair of socks for me. Then Amazon had a good B F deal on a comforter and we need a new one so I got that. It was $20. I think that was 50% off.

I put away the pumpkin and fall things from the table and will decorate with a few Christmas-themed things later. I have some red candles and a few other things to put out. I won’t do a lot yet as it’s a bit early for me.

We all had a good Thanksgiving with lots of good food. I don’t know why eating dinner at 2 pm sets me off but it does and then I don’t feel like eating at all later. I did have some homemade pumpkin pie around 7:30 though.

I’ve been somewhat depressed at my kappa light chains going up 4 points. Even though Dr. Laptalo said, it’s just a small increase, don’t worry, I do worry that now things will start doubling. I mean I know intellectually that my cancer will come back and I’ll need treatment again but maybe it’s just so tiring to think about it all. Anyway, in a few days, I’ll feel better once I process it. There’s nothing I can do about it so…

I’m going to look up a pressure canning recipe for turkey broth or soup and see what it looks like. I may do that tomorrow. I think I’ll make the broth today. and then if I want to do some pressure canning it’ll be ready to do. I might put up our small Ikea Christmas tree this weekend too.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Fall Season GIF

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for my husband who does so much and is healthy now.

I am thankful my children are healthy and have excellent jobs with benefits.

I am thankful for our humble home that gives us a roof over our heads and keeps us dry, warm, and safe within.

I am thankful for being able to walk every day in our beautiful park with a paved trail.

I am thankful to be able to swim and have a car that can get me there.

I am thankful that my myeloma numbers are still low even though they are out of range and increasing. The increase of my Kappa light chains to 26.0 is a jump but still not worrisome. I am thankful I still have a number of months before treatment would need to start again. I am grateful for a hematologist/medical oncologist whom I trust and know will do the right thing when the time comes.

I am thankful each and every day just to be aware of the beauty around me and to live the best life I can.

Simple Sunday

I received the email that our Azure order is to be picked up today. I’m pretty excited to see how it goes. I’m not sure how many people will be there but I imagine quite a few. B is quite excited as this is like the old Mountain Peoples Warehouse days when we would go to the warehouse and pick up bulk orders. Of course, that was 1978!

Our walk was lovely again this morning with lots of pink gold and yellows and reds around. The park was frosty and even the trees had frost. Tomorrow I will not walk as I have to go get my labs and then Tuesday I’ll swim. It’ll be a short week for going to the gym or the pool but that’s ok, it is what it is.

I’m planning out the menu for Thanksgiving and when to defrost what. I think I’ll take out the petite Diestal turkey today and put it in the barn fridge and then take out the nut loaf muffins on Wednesday to defrost.

They popped out pretty easily but next time if I do it this way, I’ll use a small square of parchment paper.

This is the recipe I have used for years. I don’t always add green peppers and I don’t use cashews just walnuts and sometimes pecans.

I’ll prep everything on Wednesday and then just have the dishes in the fridge or the ingredients chopped. I have mashed potatoes in the freezer but I may make another batch for Thanksgiving and leave those in there for another meal. I plan on doing a few yams since I’m the only one that likes them. I just use store-bought rolls. I haven’t decided on the vegetable sides but probably have green beans and maybe some corn from this summer.

Here’s the crepe-making from the other day.

The sauce is a bechamel with gruyere. They were delicious. If you’re making crepes you need that little tool you see in the picture as it moves the batter into a circle. That’s the thing about cooking. Having the right tool makes it work. I made a stir fry the other day from NYT recipes ( check it out) called Everything Stir fry, which basically was leftovers in the fridge. It was delicious but I realized maybe I want a carbon steel wok. I checked Amazon and found one for $60 so I’ll think about it for a while. My large cast iron works fine but again a wok is a specific tool used for a specific type of cooking.

If I don’t blog this week, Have a Happy Thanksgiving. We always have so much to be thankful for and just being here is a gift.

Frugal Friday

A frugal week overall. No eating out, nothing extra bought, and just doing our usual things. Yesterday, I woke up with a mild flare-up of diverticulitis. I had a horrible attack almost 2 years ago exactly. This is definitely just a pain in the lower left abdomen but I’m keeping vigilant as you don’t want it to go full-blown. Mostly, I did pretty much nothing all day. We were planning to go out for lunch but I didn’t think that was a good idea. I’ll see how I am tomorrow. What I read was most mild cases do resolve themselves. It’s always something.

All the monthly bills are done and I’ve worked up next month’s budget. The biggest thing is paying off the house insurance bill. Then next up will be the property tax. We’ll get there:) I do think using the cash envelopes is working well and keeping us on track (mostly).

This morning I’m not going to the gym to rest more but I am making applesauce to can from some free apples my son’s friend gave us. It’s usually pizza night but I think I’ll do something in the crock pot that’s more easy on the digestive tract. I think I’ll make some brown rice too. High fiber is important with diverticulitis.

Barclay painted the cement patio yesterday grey. It came out terrible. WAY TOO BRIGHT. So now we need to go spend another $50 on a darker color. On the paint sheet, the color Armour looked darker than it is. I’ll let him go back to Lowes and get a different color next week. We’re supposed to have rain tomorrow morning so no painting.

Oh, and good news!!! My labs came back with no change. Kappa at 22.4 mg/L. Another month of freedom!!!

Simple Sunday

We actually have a cool morning with some overcast. It seems like a marine layer that is coming in. We had a lovely walk by ourselves. Nobody was there at all. Tomorrow is usually my non walk day but since I took Friday off from everything I will walk. I also go get my labs and then head down to the Rec Center to do some weights.

It’s been a busy few days. I pressure-canned the Baked Beans.

It only made 5 pints but the sauce tasted delicious. I plan on doing another batch but with the bacon. I’m having lots of fun learning this new way of food preparation.

I also started some sauerkraut. I had a lovely head of cabbage from the farm down the road and knew that’s what I wanted to do. I chopped it finely up and then add the salt which starts the cabbage to make the brine. I don’t have the weights or the special top for the sauerkraut but the Ball book of preserving said just use a 4ounce jar filled with water and press down. ( It fits in the wide-mouth jar perfectly.) so one head of cabbage made 1 Qt jar of kraut. I think I’ll wait the week out and then transfer it to the fridge. I plan on having it with the baked beans and some beer brats I have in the freezer. I’ll make B a veggie brat thing.

Then my son brought home a box of apples from his friend’s farm and I made a delicious apple pie.

I always only make one pie crust so I just use the extra that I cut off to make a lattice and use a cutter for the oak leaves.

I had pie for breakfast and it was quite good.

Today is just some house tidying, sheet day, and reading. Plus I’ll knit some later.

Friday things

With the number of annual bills that have just come in I’m not sure Frugal fits anywhere in Frugal Friday. Except for the property tax due in December or earlier, if we can manage it, they are paid. Now we just have to work on what we put on our Visa to pay them. The VW’s bill of $3000 is done and with the gas credit Gov. Newsome just sent out ( we got $700) ( a very nice windfall), that mainly went to the AAA insurance. So we’ll get there, but it will be at least another month, I think. Oh well, such is life when you live on a very limited income. It’s inch by inch row by row…Still, I’m grateful for all that we have and our continued health.

B just had his labs done and all looks great. 🙂 I go Monday for my monthly labs so we’ll see if I have another increase. It’s a guessing game.

Yesterday was my swim day and it was really nice at the pool. Not super busy. The water was really perfect. I may skip tomorrow but I’ll wait to see how I feel. We had a nice walk this morning and were watching the light because in 2 weeks or so is the end of or beginning of daylight savings and we fall back. So if we’re walking at 6 it’ll be 5 and that’s just too early. We haven’t seen AH at all in the last few weeks so that’s nice.

This morning I’m pressure-canning Homemade baked beans( minus the bacon). This recipe is from the new book I bought. This was a fairly simple recipe without lots of prep or chopping. It’s a great book with lots of meal ideas for canning. Right now I’m sticking to non-meat ones but maybe eventually I’ll add something else in.

I stopped at Winco after the pool because I needed the molasses and the Great Northern White beans for the recipe. Plus I picked up some packaged food I wanted for the freezer like Amy’s cheese enchiladas and Morningstar veggie bacon. Oh, I bought dried New Mexico Chilies because I want to try canning enchilada sauce. That’s my next pressure canning project. I checked on the All-American again and now they are ALL out of stock. So next year will be time enough for me to upgrade. My friend from the Koffee Klatch said, “oh no, I put mine in our yard sale pile when we moved”. I groaned ” oh no!!!”. Oh well C’est LaVie”.

Yesterday, I cut up our old linen sheet that had started to rip into cleaning cloths and hemmed them on my sewing machine. I plan on doing a few more today.

Tonight is a pizza night if I get the dough out of the freezer. I can always do some pasta with sauce otherwise.

Here’s a cute picture of Gus

He’s got a toy mouse on his head:)

Friday Things

It’s been a weird week. It started off with me having to take Buggie back to the garage because my fan speeds were not working. The girl at the desk became very defensive and I was also defensive that my fan wasn’t working and I wanted it fixed. It boiled down to when I brought my car in my fan was working when I picked it up(well my daughter did),the fan speed was stuck on high. I asked Sachi and she said the fan was on when she picked it up and just thought with the smoke and fires the garage had it running high. So the whole escalated the next day with the owner calling me and really ripping into me about how I was rude and ‘an awful person’ for confronting his daughter. Of course, I said look at it from my side,that I just spent $3000 on the car and I get home and my fan is not working. Well, it volleys back and forth that no way did they do anything to my fan and it must have been my daughter driving it home( which is 10 minutes folks) and cranked the fan on and broke it. Really??? are you kidding me.? no I didn’t say that. I just said, I don’t know what happened but she said the fan was on high when she drove it home and she didn’t touch the dial. I apologized that I offended his daughter but again, my point was my fan is not working. So, in long run, he said he spent ALL DAY fixing something( the switch??). I said thank you and took my keys and left. Obviously, I will never go back for service there. It’s always so weird to me how things can turn into an event when I simply went in saying I want my fan fixed since when I brought it in it was working and when I drove it next the fan was not working. I’m sure I was intense to a degree but not ‘rude’. Oh well, I thought of doing a negative Yelp review, but then just figured why bother?

Other than that, Tuesday I had my labs and my CBC, CMP are all the same pretty much and my Kappas just came in this morning and went up to 22.3 mg/L from 20.1. so an increase but not too dramatic. It seems my numbers are holding steady for the time being.

This morning is my covid booster so I’m planning on doing that and then going to Safeway for a few things and then home. Usually, Saturday is my swim day but I’m leaving that open as I don’t know if I’ll feel lousy or not.

Budget-wise, it was a good week with nothing extra spent except some salad mix, wine, and bananas. bb

I’ve been doing some batch cooking for the freezer. I made beef stew in the Instant Pot and then froze 2 quarts, lentil soup, and froze 2 quarts. A yummy quiche from Le Creuset cookbook. It came out really good with fresh thyme.

I got a lot done around the house yesterday and felt good about that. I changed the shower curtain, we put the rug back down in the bedroom, made the lentil soup, and washed all the couch covers. So everything is fresh for fall. I’m having B take out the cooler in the bed room this weekend and I’ll put up the fall/winter cutains soon.

Simple Sunday on a Monday

We left Tahoe in the smoke and came home to smoke. Ugh….One day the AQI was 500, which is pretty bad. Today is also not looking good. Our weather is cooler so hopefully, that will help the firefighters.

My daughter went and picked up my VW on Friday and didn’t notice the fan was on full blast, and when I went to turn it down it wasn’t working. I tried a few times and then just decided I would need to confront the garage because it was working fine when I brought it in. So I went in this morning, a little defensive, and said this was working when I left my VW here and now it’s not. She said, we didn’t work on that and I said that may be but my fan control is not working now and it was when I brought it in. I said I would like it fixed. I haven’t heard back from them; hopefully, it is a minor thing. I better not get charged. And there was a diagnostic charge I said don’t bother with and they have it on there so another confrontation, which I do not do well.

I canned BBQ sauce yesterday with the last of the tomatoes. It’s way early for them to be done but this summer has been so weird that it’s just one more thing. It’s thinner than I wanted so I wrote on the lid to add ketchup to thicken it.

Yesterday was my sister, Heidi’s birthday. She would have turned 74. It is so strange how she just had a flare up of the interstitial lung disease and died. She had been coping with it for a number of years with no flare ups. Well, I guess when it’s time, it’s time. ( that’s just me rationalizing).

Tomorrow I have my labs and so I should have my kappa light chain numbers by Friday. I see my doctor next week. Then I scheduled my omicron booster for Friday. I didn’t have any reaction last time so fingers crossed this time. But each time is probably different so who knows.

We’re still on the fence about going to Southern Ca next month. I guess we’ll just keep sifting through our feelings and fiances about it.

My son is off on a cool adventure staying in a fire lookout up in the McCloud district( way Northern Ca). This can be booked like a camping spot and is fairly hard to get a reservation. Back in the 70’s we often went to the Duncan Peak fire lookout especially since our friend Shelley was the lookout person. I haven’t been in years and years and my son said all that’s left is the foundation as all lookouts are done with remote viewing.

I just looked outside and everything is a weird yellow color from the fire. I’m sure the air quality is awful. I was going to swim today but the pool is closed also due to the AQI.

I still need to plan some meals this week and write a grocery list. I need salad stuff so maybe I’ll do Winco for organic spring mixes. I did see a recipe on a youtube channel for a green soup. Lots of veggies and spinach and then blended. Green soup is one of my favorites and this one also had cauliflower and broccoli.

Friday things.

I had my consult with my PCP about my slightly higher LDL #. My HDL was very good and the ratio was good but he wanted/needed to tell me to try and cut out some higher fat foods like butter. 😦 I love butter but I told him I will do my best and he said we can test in another year. So that’s that. I will try to cut back on butter and cheese and some carbs. I cook with a lot of butter but usually in combination with olive oil. I’ll just try and be more conscious of using butter like on toast and bagels etc. Also, my thyroid numbers came back normal. Last time when my LDL was slightly high it must have been about 6-7 years ago, I started eating oatmeal for breakfast 4-5 times a week and within 6 months my cholesterol dropped 60 points.

My Myeloma labs came back almost the same as last month. So hurray on that. Another month of freedom so to speak. All my other labs were normal and the same as before. So all in all, it’s good.

Our anniversary is next week and B said I should go buy the Louis Vuitton. I said I’ll think about it. It’s not a cheap purchase and I’m quite happy with my Coach bag I bought that is similar in size to the Neverful. Still, a Louis is a Louis. I think my obsession( sort of) is that it’s French (although not many are made in France anymore) and the quality of workmanship. I only love the LV monogram and the black ones. The others are really quite gaudy in my opinion. Well, I’m certainly not getting younger:( That purchase would definitely NOT fit into Frugal Friday!!!

Today is a home day and I’ve done my morning reset, bathroom swish and swipe, and kitchen tidy. I plan on going to the farm this afternoon for a few things. I also am feeding my sourdough starter and plan on putting it into one jar instead of 3 1/2 jars. I might make some sourdough bagels this weekend. If I’m cutting out some carbs I might make bread with whole wheat as that is better on the glycemic scale.

Tomorrow after swimming I’m planning to go to Trader Joe’s for a few things. I know they have Ezekiel bread which is good and whole wheat tortillas too. I’m certainly willing to switch things up a bit. Besides, I always like a challenge.

Our hot weather continues. It’s very depressing after what seems like forever of 100 degree days. The nights aren’t cooling off hardly at all. Next week temperatures are all in the mid 90s so maybe that will be a little better.

I’m waiting for the next batch of tomatoes to ripen so I can process them. I’ll probably just do the tomato sauce again. I don’t think there’s too much else I’m interested in doing except getting some corn to quick freeze. Last year I did about 12 bags of corn and we used them all. Safeway usually has the best prices. I’ll check their flyer later.

On the spending side, I put an order into Rancho Gordo for 8 bags(1lb). Since they are in Napa they arrived in record time. If you haven’t tried their beans, you should. They are all heirloom and absolutely delicious. I ordered a new one to try called Whipple bean. I also added on a jar of Mexican oregano. When I opened it, it didn’t smell too much different from my oregano. So I’ll have to see how it is in recipes. Let’s see, I ordered falafel mix from Amazon because TJ’s doesn’t carry it in their stores anymore and finding it in the regular grocery store is a PITA. I bought some salad stuff from Holiday Market too. Even with cash envelopes, I’m still spending @ $700 a month on food. I guess that’s just the norm. At Costco, I did mostly cash and then the rest on the debit card. Costco is always more than I think it will be, of course!! Well, B did buy Sierra pale Ale beer but it’s really the best price for it if you drink beer. I also picked a few bulk items like sugar and some more flour.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY # 28 to my dear son, Zephyr.

On a Sunday morning, 28 years ago, we were scheduled to go into Auburn Faith Community hospital and induce labor. My ob/GYN came in in his tennis clothes, broke my water and by 12:30 I was in labor. My son was born at 2:28pm that afternoon. It was very hard labor but fortunately quick. Whoever said you forget the pain after childbirth obviously didn’t have the same level of pain I did.

I’ve been very busy canning blackberry jam and salsas since Friday morning. My daughter and I went and picked 2 buckets of blackberries. I did one bag yesterday and will do the other bag today. I need 1/2 pint jars so I plan on going into Target soon and seeing what I can get.

I didn’t swim yesterday because of the canning and it was a good thing as I started at 6:30 am and finished by 11am. Today, I’m only planning on doing the blackberries if I can get the 1/2 pint jars. Tomorrow, I will can the tomatoes. I have plenty of jars for that. I’m liking the new canning pot I bought it is much nicer than the old Ball metal one.

This week I have my fasting labs on Wednesday. My appt is early so fasting shouldn’t be a problem.

Tomorrow I plan on going to the Roseville rec center and then drop off library books. My two most recent ” TheLioness ” by Chris Bohjalian and “The Paris Apartment” are OUTSTANDING and I would highly recommend.

Well, no zone cleaning for me today, I am beat. 😦