Midweek Musings

B’s dental appt for his wisdom tooth extraction went well. He does seem to bounce back from these things very well. His next appt is to try and reattach the crown that fell off. I’m not sure about a new crown since they are expensive. The co-pay on the extraction was just over $500 so not cheap.

We’re almost done watching Season 2 of The Witcher. It’s a great series if you like that kind of stuff, which we do. I also just started reading the book and the author is Polish and the writing is good. We need a new series to watch as we finished what we were watching. I guess we could go back and rewatch some things.

Our beautiful weather continues and afternoons are really nice. I didn’t swim yesterday as I wasn’t feeling 100% for some reason. I plan on swimming tomorrow though.

I made another boule of sourdough this time with asiago cheese. It came out perfecto!! Last night I made a chile Relleno casserole with some of the hatch chiles I froze this summer. It was quite good and much easier than traditional rellenos that require whipping the egg whites first. Tonight I plan on a simple meal of burgers(impossible and maybe meat) and spicy coleslaw.

I found this poem by Mary Oliver on someone else’s blog. I mean, how wonderful is that!

Simple Sunday

Another Christmas has come and gone. We really had lovely Christmas. I made a big breakfast of eggs (our own), mini-pancakes, fried bananas, bacon, veggie sausage, and hash browns. Fresh coffee on the table and I used my needles and pine Tepco plates. After breakfast, at the table, we opened a few items to share. I used the Santa fund to get a gift card for each kid and B got his in cash, chocolate from Trader Joe’s. My son shared a few presents: 2 jazz LP’s for Dad, an Easton Press book for me ” Tale of Two Cities, and a plaque with one of my favorite quotes from Tolkien” No Admittance except on official party business, and for his sister an Apple gift card. B got each of us one thing, a candle for me, chainsaw chains( a 3 pack) for Sachi’s electric chainsaw, and a gift card to Cherry records for Z which is his favorite record store in Auburn. Honestly, I think it was the nicest stress-free Christmas ever. I will definitely do this again next year with breakfast being the focus and then a couple of small things or GC’s as gifts to share at the table.

We have had lovely very cold walks. Some in the rain and wind and some with stars and then sunrises. It’s supposed to keep snowing and raining here and in the Sierras. I have my labs tomorrow but I may have to reschedule. I think I’ll wait till I’m up to see how it is. The Santa Fe is all-wheel drive so it shouldn’t be a problem. It would be more how is I – 80? It’s been closed off and on so it could be 7 am.

I’ve taken some of the Christmas decorations down and will finish tomorrow. I plan to go thru the one bin in the barn that’s Christmas and see if there’s a way to get it down even further. the bin has all the Hallmark ornaments we’ve collected over all these years so I don’t want to get rid of them but maybe pack it differently. Right now it’s too cold to go out there so it’s just something to do at a later time.

We’re staying snug and warm with a wood fire going pretty much non stop. I bought a stove top fan that works off the heat and it is very good at moving the air. We have one that is a 2 blade but this is 4 blade. I think I might get another one down the road.

I finished the last PD James I had from the pet bookstore, “Death comes to Pemberly”. It is a murder mystery using the Jane Austin’s characters. It was quite excellent.

We’ve been trying to get a spot at Nevada beach in June and it’s almost impossible. We gave up because now it’s too close to 4th of July and I never want to be in Tahoe on 4th of July. So I happened to look one morning and lo and behold there had been a cancellation. So I jumped on it and now we have 4 nights in the first part of June. I’d rather have a few more nights buts I’ll take it. It’s in a spot we haven’t had but we know it and it’s on the loop we like. Next up will trying to book in late August or September but that will have to wait or the timing ( 6 months out).

Frugal Friday

I made bagels yesterday and that was VERY frugal. When I go to Flour garden, it’s $22 dollars for a dozen organic bagels. We do like them a lot but that gets pretty expensive even if I do that twice a month. So I tried the King Arthur recipe and watched some Youtube channels. They came out pretty excellent but I didn’t get the rise I wanted. I think because 1. I didn’t use bread flour, just all-purpose, 2. I didn’t do a slow overnight rise. So tomorrow I’m going to try again and do both. it was fun making them. And probably the cost is maybe $2.00 for a dozen.

We’re not ordering pizza tonight. I’ll either do one of my frozen meals or I will make a breakfast casserole. We’re not getting lots of eggs ( which is great) but I have 3 dozen in the fridge. I think I even have a TJ’s frozen pizza if we want that and make a nice salad on the side. Ordering pizza out is nice once in a while but is WAY too expensive. $30 for a large pizza is crazy especially when it’s probably maybe $3.00 of ingredients. I’ve put the Ooni away for winter because by dinner time it’s too dark and cold outside to use it.

I have only done the Winco shop so far this month and that was on the 2nd so grocery wise things are in line with the budget. I plan on going to Costco Monday( it’s always the coffee) to get some things. I want to avoid Costco too close to Christmas as it is a madhouse. On my way to swim though, at 7am, I’ve gotten Costco gas which is a huge saving. I do not plan on a big stock up at Costco, just basics.

Today is a home day for me and there’s a few pottering things I want to do. I plan to iron a few linen napkins, mop the kitchen floor, wash a few windows and maybe a few other things.

I finished another PD James mystery. This one was an early one of hers called ‘Innocent Blood’. Very compelling story. Now I started another Dagliesh one. She is a superb writer.

Well, off to make a cup of tea.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY HANUKKAH!!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. I plan on making some latkes and a piece of salmon and salad. Nothing too fancy.

We are not Jewish but atheists, but I do love traditions and lighting the candles to me represents bringing some light into the world. I didn’t do presents as such, just a few chocolate things from Trader Joe’s and I’ll give the kids some money one night. Not much as they both work good jobs.

We are having lovely November weather. We had a fire outside yesterday afternoon and it was perfect for sitting outside. Our walks have been nice too. We still see AH but I think the train has left on that and we just don’t care anymore. Once in a while he’ll be a little passive-aggressive and walk straight at me with his dog but then he moves over at the last minute. And if he sees us coming with our flashlights he’ll turn his off. Weird but ?? Oh well, we’re just doing what we’ve done for the last 10 years. When I started walking daily part of the path was still dirt and there were very few people who walked. Now it can be very busy especially by 10 am.

Today is a nice pottering day. I’ve made some pumpkin spice scones. Swish and swiped the bathroom, scrubbed a cast iron, and got out some more Christmas things. I put the lights on the Ikea tree and that’s all I plan on doing. We were lucky to get a Christmas tree permit so we’ll go get a live tree for the sunroom next week. We certainly don’t need it but for $10. it’s a cheap date for B and me.

I’ve been working my way thru PD Jame’s books and she is such a good writer. I am enjoying them.

Well, back to pottering around. I’d like to finish embroidering one napkin too.

Friday things…

We’re getting ready to leave tomorrow. The first stop will be in Salinas/Monterey KOA since that’s the halfway point. I think that site will have hookups so we will try and figure that out since we haven’t had that yet. Then the next day down to Refugio State Beach. Refugio does not have hookups as far as I can tell. We’re planning to go into Santa Barbara Tuesday as that’s the farmers market.

Today I packing up the dry food and tomorrow will do the refrigerator stuff. Barclay had the oil changed in Chevy and so we’re good to go there. He’s going to pull the RV out this afternoon and then just back slightly into the other driveway( our driveway splits) so we can pull straight out tomorrow. Part of the reason is our newish neighbor’s daughter’s boyfriend parks in the road( usually on Friday night) and that would block us from being able to do a wide turn so this way it’ll be done.

I had a good swim this week and will miss the pool while we’re gone. Hopefully, it won’t feel like I’m starting over after 10 days. Well, it is what it is.

I’ve finished up my house chores except for vacuuming and this morning PGE is coming out to check on the tree by the barn that is a leaner. It’s a huge Ponderosa so maybe they’ll take it. Then right after that, I’m going to the pet bookstore to load up on some books to bring with me.

I’ll post some pictures when we’re there if I can get some Wifi service.

Rainy Monday

Well, we would have been on the road by now down to Capitola. It’s still raining and there are numerous flash flood warnings. We live on a hill so we are not affected but around town there are a number of creeks that probably are flooded.

So, since we were not going I was going to go swim but checked the website and the pool heater is down. They said you could still swim but no thanks. So NO walking, NO camping, NO swimming. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

I did get to the pet bookstore Saturday so I loaded up on some books so that will keep me busy. I don’t have any baking plans but maybe I’ll make so cookies. Plus, I’ve made a few more pot holders and have enough for one or two more.

Tonight I plan on making spaghetti and using two frozen sauces I have in the freezer as I continue to use up what I have. Funny how some people are stocking up again with the news saying the supply chain is going to cause some shortages. Someone in Costco was trying to buy 2 paper towel packs( which is a lot of paper towels) and they said only one per customer. So maybe panic buying is back in. We’re fine with what we have and I have no plans to stockpile anything. Actually, I plan to get out to the barn and seriously go thru stuff. I wrote a revised menu plan for the week( now that we’re not at Capitola) to use up stuff.

I did give away our artificial tree this past weekend to a nice young woman. this was our 7ft one that was quite nice but I just don’t want to store something that bulky. I plan to go thru our ornaments( again) and see what else I can get rid of. My son got out one wine box of DVD’s and separated out a huge bag to go to the pet bookstore because he has them on his Google Play Library. So that was cool especially since he is a bit of a hoarder on things. 🙂 I’ll drop them off next week.

Getting ready to go

We are getting things ready to head up to Tahoe Friday. The damn AC in the truck has stopped working just like I said it would. It wasn’t the freon. Well, now there’s nothing we can do till next week so we might as well not get too pissed off. But I think they are trying to pull a fast one on us and now that we have the warranty they have to fix it. Still a PITA to have to drop it off and so on. But on a positive note it won’t be hot in Tahoe and we certainly are not going to need AC. As a matter of fact the mornings are going to be quite cool with a low of 28.

I have most of the food organized and a menu plan done. I’m going to hit the store tomorrow for just a few things. Overall, very simple. There’s no wood or charcoal fires allowed so no Hibachi cooking or Dutch Oven. Also, no fires at night.

I’ve got a big bag of books from the used bookstore so that should fill up my days. Plus we plan on some hiking. Nothing too strenuous just some walking. We plan to not go even into South Lake because of the fire issue. (The fire is not threatening south lake but I want to stay clear anyway.

I need to get labs Friday so we will leave after that. Because we are trailering I suspect it’ll take a little longer than normal and we have to go slower too. As long as everything goes okay with the truck we should hit the campground by 1pm or so. September is lovely in Tahoe and it should be beautiful with nice days and cool nights. Barclay has a birthday next week so we might do a lunch out.

Simple Sunday

I finished reading the sweetest little book called ‘Pottering, A cure for Modern Life”. Being British it’s pottering, here it would be puttering. I think I like the British spelling better. A very sweet book with lots of good ideas about how to slow your life down and really just a reminder for those of us who already live slow life, to keep going.

We had a nice walk this morning. No one was there till 6:05 and then of course it was AH. Later a couple showed up with 2 dogs and he (AH) had a hard time controlling his dog. It lurched at the other 2 dogs growling. He had to use both hands on his leash to control it.

Today I plan on doing refrigerator pickles with the ones I got at the farm. It’s only 4 cucumbers so maybe a small pint jars worth. I need some celery seed which I don’t normally keep in my spice basket.

Yesterday I made a King Arthurs scone mix, blueberry sour cream. They were very good and I’d buy the mix again. For dinner I made Ikea sauce, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. The sauce was delicious. B had a Dr. Praeger burger with the sauce.

This coming week is somewhat busy. We’re going to look at another truck down in Roseville, I have my appt in Sacramento, the Santa Fe is going into the dealer for a recall fix it, B has a video dr appt, and it’s our anniversary. I had hoped we could drive up to Tahoe but with the smoke and all the Forest Service everything closed, it doesn’t seem like a good idea. This happened last year with the pandemic, everything shut down and this year it’s fires and the pandemic.

Simple Sunday

Our skies are still smokey and the sun is a red orb in the sky. It did clear up yesterday afternoon but it’s back in this morning. We had a good walk though although ‘he who shall not be named was there’. My God!, He is always there. I don’t think he’s taken a day off in the last year. Even I, OCD that I am, try and take a rest day.Oh well, he doesn’t bother us(right??after all that)… and does stay out of the way.

I went to Safeway to get the rest of the camping food for B and Sachi. One night spaghetti with garlic bread, the next night tofu burgers. It should be easy for them to handle. Then we went to Starbucks to get a pound of coffee ground for the press. It’s easier than trying to grind a large jars worth of coffee. We shared a tall Italian Roast coffee.

I finished the bathroom zone. I had bought new shower curtains last week so I put them up. With a claw foot tub, our shower needs 2 curtains to go around the ring at the top. I replace them about 3x a year due to mold issues. This time of year with everything so dry there isn’t much of a problem but in the winter it is more so. Still I cut the bottom off @3 X as well and wash in bleach.

I ordered the new Rosamunde Pilcher’s book.

She is one of my favorite authors. Will see if I like it. I have no qualms about returning a book if I don’t like it. I’m sure Amazon doesn’t want you doing this often but I have when I’m not happy with a book or a purchase.

This coming week will include swimming 2x, my labs on Friday , and taking Buggie in to check this wiring issue. The running lights on the left are not working and even after changing the fuses and bulbs it’s still not working. So we need to get it fixed as we drive out in the near dark at 5:45 am and the lights are not on. The brake lights work fine though. B needs to try and reschedule his IGIV for sooner as he is really feeling the fatigue. The anti-rejection drug he is on is causing his immunoglobulins to drop too low. Unfortunately, he will need to be on this drug a while so this is the treatment. At least it works. The cost is shocking at $41,000. Really?? I guess you’d just die if you didn’t have insurance.

I’m thinking seriously of painting our floors in the front room and bedroom white. I’ve always wanted white floors, very Scandish. But it would require some logistics as we would need to do half or a third at a time so we can access the bathroom and my daughter can get out of her room. Plus what I read is that it takes at least 2 coats maybe 3. We’ll see how it goes when the weather is cooler. It’s too hot now to do anything.

I think what I’ll do first is go to the Benjamin Moore paint store and find out about paints that can be put on a floor. Is it just regular paint and then a coat of varathane over it?? I’ll check.

Simple Sunday

We are still in heavy smoke and the air quality is very unhealthy. We did walk this morning but with masks. I’m guessing tomorrow will be just as bad but maybe some wind will come in, let’s hope.

I made the ice cream cake yesterday . It was delicious and such a clever idea to use ice cream sandwiches.

I also made a huge batch of chile rellenos with hatch chiles that are coming in from New Mexico. It’s labor intensive as you do need to flame broil the chiles, then put in a plastic bag, then peel off burnt skin, then ,make egg whites, then mix egg whites with the yolks that have been whipped, then dip the stuffed chiles in the batter and then fry. By that time you are exhausted. And I still have another bag of chiles ready to do….

I think there’s 3 left from this batch.

We decided to do Costco today since I want to swim tomorrow. It’s probably going to be busy but that’s just the way it is there. That way we won’t need to go back till September maybe before our Tahoe trip. It’s always the coffee which decides it.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Since Costco is trumping( geez I don’t like that term) that, I’ll need to do that tomorrow after swimming. I actually started it the other day by doing the stove hood and cleaning all the stainless steel but I’ll still do a go around.

The book I ordered from Amazon showed up finally. ( late by a few days). It’s okay. It has some good ideas but most of the apartments or houses are pretty glitzy and not too rustic. I’ll go thru it again and take some notes. I would have like to see more small spaces like our house which is more make do with what you’ve got rather than remodel and gut and then remodel with fancy stuff. Still her concept is valid and overall the book has beautiful pictures.

This coming week is pretty mellow. Not much on the docket, appt wise. So nice to not have to do something every week. I’ll try and swim 2x and then of course do my daily walk. I plan on getting more Hatch chiles if I see them at the store so that would mean another batch of rellenos. We’ll enjoy them in the winter if they last that long.

We’re getting tons of peppers in the garden, some tomatoes but not a lot, and we replanted some squash plants. I’m hoping to get some zucchini by September. Otherwise, the garden wasn’t a great producer this year but we do have nice herbs going ( basil, chives, thyme, oregano,mint, etc. Plus there’s some chard to pick which I’m going to do this morning.