Frugal Friday

We went to Costco an that was over $400. Granted, lots were items that will be used for all of July and beyond. The sale items are where the deals are and I got the giant Windex bottle, Cholula 2 pack, San Marzano tomatoes( the best for pizza sauce), and lots of other pantry staples. Some of those things will last a year( think the giant jug of Windex), and others will last 6 months (think Cholula). So, all in all, it was good. The store was busy as usual and I sort of thought with the issues with gas prices and inflation there would be fewer people but that didn’t seem to be the case. We also filled the Chevy truck up with gas at Costco as that’s the cheapest anywhere.

We’ve had all our meals at home and some tasty ones. Last night even with our heat wave, I used the Weber and cooked BBQ Chicken. It came out great. I don’t know what it is with that small gas Weber, but everything comes out excellent. Maybe it’s the control dial. Anyway, if you’re looking for a great tabletop BBQ this is the one and worth the price. One night we just had egg salad sandwiches, and another night was just some hot dogs with homemade potato salad. Simple meals when it’s this hot.

I stopped at the library yesterday to pick up a hold and picked up a few more books. It is such a nice library and the self-checkout is convenient.

Today’s another hot day and in a little while, I’ll close all the windows to keep the cool in. I’ve been turning on the coolers around noon. I usually start with just the one cooler in the entryway and then the front room one later.

Simple Sunday

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday it was 93 and hot. Today it is overcast and 70. We even had a sprinkling of rain. How cool is that and we really need it.

I had a good walk this morning and almost no one was there except the one runner who happened to be walking. At first, I didn’t recognize her not running, and then on my second round I said” oh you’re not running, I didn’t recognize you”. She laughed. So all in all a nice walk.

I had a bit of a setback yesterday from doing the weights on Thursday. I guess the lactic acid build-up or exercise flu hit me pretty hard. I felt pretty lousy all day and figured out it must have been the weights even though I hardly did more than 20 minutes. So when I go next, I’ll need to hydrate and do less. I’m very careful with anything I do physically but I guess it was more than my body could handle. The last time I did weights at the gym was February of 2020 right at the beginning of all the lockdowns. So perhaps even the small reps were too much. I guess there will be an adjustment period.

Today I’ll do the bathroom zone and quick house tidy. Mostly just putting things back where they belong. Since I didn’t feel like eating much yesterday my daughter put together some ravioli and salad. I’m not sure what I’ll do tonight as I still don’t feel like food much. Maybe breakfast for dinner.

I started reading ‘Maus’ by Art Spiegelman and geez, wow, If you haven’t read go buy it, get it from the library. It is brilliant. Tragic, but brilliant. I’m not sure what the ‘banned book’ thing is about as the story is about his father in Nazi Germany and how he survived in Poland and then eventually was betrayed and was sent to Auschwitz. Maybe the White Supremacists don’t want the truth out there. ( I just looked up the banned book deal. Apparently, it Tennessee that banned because of language(damn) and nudity( I guess the naked men when they were stripped in the concentration camps). WTF, those horrors and so much more beyond our comprehension happened. The world CANNOT forget what Hitler did and was doing to eradicate and entire race of people.

I went to the farm stand Friday and picked up some early zucchini, radishes, lettuce, spinach, and some delicious peaches.

All good news with my labs. No increase and staying almost where they were right above high normal. So I made it to my goal which was to stay out of treatment for a year. Everything else will be icing on the cake. BTW, June 15 is my anniversary of my diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma. 17 years later here I am. Hopefully for a while longer.

This coming week should have much cooler temperatures except Wednesday which looks like a 90 degree day.

Frugal Friday

It’s been an okay frugal week. Nothing great but just ok. Most of our big bills for the month are out and just a few more are scattered later in the month.

I had a good swim on Tuesday and the pool was very unbusy which is very unusual. I came straight home afterward. Then Thursday B and I decided to do Winco for a few camping things and at the last minute added in Costco for some camping food as well. I needed Raos to bring and Costco has the best price for the 2 pack. I also got some WW bread for sandwiches. I spent about $175 between the two stores. We also filled up the truck with Costco gas which is the cheapest around. We’re definitely looking at traveling with gas prices. Next week, going to Capitola shouldn’t be more than 2 tanks of gas and the same with Nevada Beach in June. But we’re definitely reconsidering Refugio because that is much farther away. For now, we’ll keep the reservation but still think about it. Then I went to library and got a nice selection of books. Oh, and then we had a lunch date at Celestino’s pizza, which is the best New York pizza around in my opinion.

I went to the nursery with my daughter and bought all our tomato and pepper plants and a few ornamentals for her back garden area. That was her birthday present. We were trying to get a birdbath for her but they didn’t have any affordable ones. The cheapest they had was $110. The last time we were there they had a nice one for $80. I guess we should have bought it then.

I had my labs this morning so I should get results next week. Fingers crossed. I’ve been having some pain in my right leg but I think I over-stretched it doing some yoga. It was better this morning but then the ache comes back ( kind of in the hip and upper thigh area) by afternoon. It’s always something.

After we’re back our next big expense will be having the septic pumped. We’ll call once we’re back. As far as expenses for Capitola, it’ll be a few stops at Gayles bakery and probably one grocery store shop. We generally do not eat out but I thought maybe we’d find some place for a lunch near the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We’ll see. I know we’ll go walk the beach trail so that might be a good day to do that.

Oh, the tree guys came and ground out the stump so now there’s no issue with going out or coming in with Rubi. Yay! He didn’t charge us which was really nice.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a productive week with taking down the tree, shopping at Costco, swimming, the library and lots of cooking.

Out of the Le Creuset book, I made both the French onion soup and the cheese souffle. The french onion soup used a chicken broth as a base and I don’t think it had enough rich flavor. Next time I would do a homemade vegetable stock and/or a beef bouillon cube. Yesterday, my son surprised me after I got home from swimming by starting the Lodge and making biscuits and sausage gravy. We had fun together and he really likes Lodge cooking. I’ve actually never had biscuits and gravy and it was delicious.

Today is a home day with cleaning the living room zone and probably I’ll add the sunporch in. Actually, I think this week, which is a light week with no appts, I’ll do a whole house zone cleaning. I’ve done this a few times and I like it. I don’t do it all in one morning but 2-3 mornings.

I read Greg Mckeon’s book Essentialism this week and am finishing his latest book, Effortless. I liked them both and felt he has some really good thoughts on living simply and with your best intentions. I also read “Oh, William” by Elizabeth Strout. Very thought provoking, and written in a clever narrative.

Budget wise everything is paid for the month and the ginormous check for the tree is cashed. So it’s all good. I do hope the neighbor doesn’t decide to change his mind about the logs because then we’d be on the hook for them.

Our weather looks lovely and sunny for the next 10 days and then we leave Mother’s day morning to go down to Capitola. I still haven’t booked anything at Refugio and in October after were back at Capitola we are going to stay 3 nights in Napa at the Expo RV place we stayed in before and really liked. So I’m not sure at this point if Refugio is going to happen. I almost think I’d rather try and plan our trip to San Diego early next year. I’m not sure we could afford Refugio and San Diego. The camping spots are not expensive it would be the gas.

Update: I just got spot 35 which is on the beach and next to the one we had last year. It’s just as nice a spot as 34 although 34 is the best. Now we just have to figure out do we still go to Capitola and then Refugio or skip one. I think since we have both booked I’ll just wait on it and think about it. We would need a stop over going down and back.

I can’t quite remember when we got his poster but I’m guessing in the early 1970’s as the VietNam war was happening. Somehow this poster survived all our moves and was hanging out in the barn till recently. I asked B to bring it in so I could frame it. Right now it’s just on a bull clip.

Simple Sunday

The weather is about to change and it’s going to rain and be colder. We need the rain so it’s all good. Plus the stuff we’ve planted will do nicely with a sprinkling of rain.

My son and I made Lodge dinner last night and it was great. We got pre-marinated tri-tip and cooked for 1 hour in the lodge.

My daughter made Boca burgers for her dad.

We added extra coals about halfway and only did one turn. It came out superb. Lodge cooking is such fun. I like our 10″ Lodge best. The 12″ is bigger and probably good for a bigger family. He’s planning to camp up at Lassen later this week and wanted to try the Lodge out before he left. He’s planning on taking our car the Santa Fe as it is a very comfortable travel car. I might do another one this week maybe a vegetarian chili with the corn bread on top.

I plan on getting my 2nd covid booster this next week sometime. I got a few notices from Medicare that they’re available so I’ll probably go to CVS.

I just finished 2 books by Judith Jones( the one who was the editor at Knopf when she read Julia Child’s draft). The first was her memoir and she lived an interesting life. She lived in Paris as a young woman and was totally smitten by French food and the markets and all of it. The second book was written after her husband of 40+ years died and she wanted to keep cooking even if it was just for herself. So these dishes are basically for one person. But they could easily be doubled. She was an interesting person for sure. She died in 2006. She certainly loved very weird foods like offal and other things that I certainly wouldn’t eat but she was an adventurous cook. But she wrote about a number of the chefs( and were a lot) and the books that Knopf published. So I went to the Pet bookstore and found 3 of the ones she mentioned. i don’t know if I’ll keep them or even cook from them but for a $1.00 each it’s cheap entertainment for me.

Speaking of which I found this youtube, I think I mentioned before, Rachel loves to cook. She’s hispanic and is a great cook and cooks similar to how I cook. So last week she made this breakfast dish that was a homemade tomato chili sauce, corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, crisy bacon bits and then they are rolled into an enchilada shaped. Then sprinkled with cheese on top and baked or on the stove top covered till the cheese melts. I made it this morning and it was delicious. Check out her channel and subscribe.

This week is the Flylady bathroom zone which I finished. I also did the bedroom zone but that was just a quick wipe of surfaces and dusting.

Friday Things

The most exciting news is my labs came back and my kappa light chains actually went down slightly INTO THE NORMAL RANGE!!! I’m pretty shocked really. I don’t know if I can remember when I started going out of range( increasing) that it ever went down. Well, I’m thrilled for another month of emotional freedom.

I was going to skip swimming tomorrow since my new suit didn’t show up but decided to just go for it. My current suit is fairly chlorinated and not in good shape but I figure no one is there to look at me and when I get out I’ll put my towel over me. Hopefully, my suit shows up next week.

Today is a home day and just pottering around. My daily chores are done and I might do a quick vacuum. I made the pizza dough for tonight, so that’s done. I have a few new books to read from the library so that’ll be fun.

I’m working on a small embroidery project from Posie in Oregon. I bought a PDF of her March pattern in which all the proceeds were going to Ukraine. I like embroidering but my hands can only do so much until they start cramping. Not much going on in the decluttering world. I’m in a good place with what we have and use. There’s always more but then that takes another level of what I want to keep and what I want to pass on. I have a great vintage turquoise blue typewriter but it’s been shuffled around for years with me thinking ” oh it’ll be a great display”. But honestly, I probably won’t do that, and plus I don’t have any room for it on a shelf. So, I’ll put that aside for the hospice thrift store.

I’m beyond thrilled at Ketanji B. Jackson getting confirmed for the Supreme Court. At least some good news.

We spent @ $400. at Costco which included $50. for lawn fertilizer, beer( $29.00), and something else that was non-food?? Oh, I think it was AAA batteries( $18.00) and gallon freezer bags($ 15). So, I’d guestimate that @$300 was for food.

It feels like it’s been a spendy week. And of course, the tree is going to be $$$$. But what can you do? If we didn’t have the money, I guess we wouldn’t do it. We’ve been there so…Plus, everything seems so much more expensive.

Friday things

Yesterday we ventured out to Costco and it was fine. We were only among a handful of people wearing masks but heck, that’s ok. We spent $300 on food and $80 on nonfood. Overall, that’s a low $ trip at Costco for us. I still need a few extras and I think I’ll have Barclay do that next week after he gets his port flush. What I’d like to take advantage of is the Nasacort that is on sale. It’s 4 of them for $28. I pay $18 at the store for one. So that’s a big saving. Then I went over to Dicks’ sporting goods for earplugs. They didn’t have the Speedo ones so I got the TYR as a backup since last week I had to swim one time without earplugs because I thought I left them home. In actuality, they were stuck in my towel and when I lifted my towel they fell out. Oh well.

OMG. good news!! LLS just opened funding for Myeloma so I jumped on and submitted my application and was approved. They have it very streamlined and it was easy to do. I was definitely getting concerned about funding. LLS covers our medicare and UHC so it’s a good chunk of change a month.

Today I need to go drop off food at the food bank, Goodwill, check on my prescription at Bel-air, and then drop books off at the bookstore.

I plan to make pizza tonight but I’ll use a Trader Joe’s dough. I’m going to top with the fennel sausage I bought in Napa. I think I’m going to pull the Ooni out and use that so one with be cheese and the other will be the sausage.

Our weather has been spectacular and we ate dinner on the patio 2 nights in a row. Next week does look quite a bit cooler.

I’ve been reading the book ” High on the Hog” that the Netflix original was based on. I’d highly recommend it just for the history part. What we did to Africans is shameful. All that history SHOULD be taught in high schools so students can learn about ALL of our history, the good, the bad, and the ugly. NOT just what the good White people did. Arghhhh, don’t get me started.

We’re working in the garden areas and decided to buy 2 galvanized water troughs that people use for raised beds. B filled one with garden soil and is ready to plant. We bought some things at the nursery to plant like onions, and parsley, cilantro, chives. My daughter has lots of seeds to plant too. The garlic in the barrels we planted is doing great. We do have the front garden beds almost ready. Those will be things like chard, lettuce, kale, etc.

Everything is starting to pop with this warm weather. It’s been a very pretty spring.

FUCKED UP FRIDAY

FUCK everything. What is wrong with this world.? The war now in Ukraine and DICTATOR PUTIN is beyond words for me. I really wonder what is happening on the planet. We have Putin invading a sovereign democracy, Trump calling him a “genius”. JFC, why??

Then you’ve got all these god damned spineless Republicans taking away woman’s rights, trying to control what is taught in schools, making transpeople out to be some horrible thing, banning books. The list just goes on and on.

I certainly do not want to just ignore the news or not read about things. We don’t have TV so I only read the Washington Post on- line and the New York Times. Still it’s enough to send me over the edge with what’s happening. At least there is a few items of good news, the 3 officers were found guilty of violating George Floyds civil rights and not helping him when they knew he was dying right in front of them. And the racists killing Arbery also found guilty . So at least there is some good coming out confronting the evils in this country.

In other home front stuff, just a nice week of pottering around the house, swimming, and reading some good books. Tonight is supposed to be pizza night but we’re not doing that. We all decided we want some ramen bowls so that’s what I’ll do.

We’ve had extremely cold mornings with the temperatures @ 28 degrees. That’s cold. We do get cold weather here but it doesn’t last too long generally. Lots of frost everywhere.

I’ve been having to deal with kick backs on my credit cards that were stolen that have automatic charges. Our Delta Dental, VSP, etc. So I’m having to go and call or go online to fix them. PITA.

I plan to drop off some books at the pet bookstore and then go the market for a few things. My Frugal Challenge of $100 a week is going well. This week I’m at @ $80 and I will spend that other $20 today or about that. It feels good to be going thru freezer food and pantry stuff. I still need to plan our camping meals for when we’re gone. At Wrights Beach, it’s bring everything we may want as there isn’t a store except for a tiny market in Bodega. But at the Napa campground, we’re in Napa so I’m guessing there will be everything in the way of stores. We added Mumm winery to our tastings but I’m not sure we’ll keep the other. Mumm is one of my favorite champagnes.

Frugal Friday

So, overall a frugal week with no extra purchases. Instead of pizza tonight we’re opting for Italian sub-type sandwiches. I’ll need to get some hoagie rolls and shredded iceberg and some deli stuff but this will come out of ‘dining out’ money not grocery. We were going to order a pizza from a new place in town but decided to just do this.

It’s been cooler the last few days and mornings @39 degrees. It does warm up nicely by afternoon but still chilly to start. Our next RV trip is just over 2 weeks away over at Wrights Beach. We only could get 3 nights. Then we’re going to try a new place in Napa which is the half way point to home for us. We have a reservation at 2 wineries for tastings. That’ll be interesting. The one place was pretty pricey but we figured we don’t do stuff like that often so it’ll be fun and I’m sure different.

I’m just about to file our taxes. We owe a small amount this yearaso I’ll file and then put a pay on such and such a date. Our taxes were very simple to do. Since there isn’t any itemizing anymore, that’s worth it for us, it’s quite easy. We always use Turbo tax.

I went to the pet bookstore the other day and picked up some newer books like the new Reacher. Lee Child is writing this with his son, and let me say, IT IS AWFUL. I love the Jack Reacher series but this just doesn’t hold together and the plot is lame. I also picked up the newer Hiiasson book. He’s always good for a laugh.

We don’t have a new TV series to watch yet so we might put in Matrix Reloaded. We watched the The Matrix the other night and it is a good movie. Any TV series on Prime or Netflex that you’re watching?

On a Monday…

I just got back from my labs and gassing up Bugs. So now to do a few things.

I have a sourdough loaf of cran-walnut in the oven baking. I’m totally into this sourdough bread-making right now. Maybe a little too obsessed but it is fun for me. So far, the olive loaf is in first place with cheddar jalapeno a second. I don’t have any more Castelvetrano olives left but I do have the kalamata left so I’ll use them. Safeway has the Castelvetrano ones so next time I’m in there I’ll get them. The best place to get them is Costco but it seems that it is more of an annual thing. The year before I got the giant jar in the fall and then never saw it again till this past winter.

I got the entryway door wreaths done with the faux apple blossoms and white blossoms. I might go get some pansies or violas for the entry too.

Tonight I’m making some spring rolls I have in the freezer, jasmine rice, chicken satay, and some crispy tofu. I need to get some cilantro from the store and that’s it. I need to marinate the chicken and then make some rice later.

I need to do a Monday morning house reset and my weekly Monday things, like wash mirrors, and dust. FL calls it home blessing, I try not to use blessing as it has a religious connotation but it doesn’t matter really in the long run.

We’re watching a series from a Harlan Coben book. It’s called Safe. It’s a little intense but quite good and has Michael Hall ( Dexter). He’s a great character actor.

Well, that’s all I got this Monday.