Friday things

Frugal things included shopping at Grocery Outlet for a few items we needed and to take advantage of their semi-annual wine sale. 20% off everything is a good deal. I bought 6 different bottles to try. None of the wineries are familiar to me but that doesn’t matter. Then we also stopped at Safeway to check on turkey breasts but they didn’t have any( nor Target or Walmart)?? So I added in a 10lb turkey (their brand) and when I was checking out it rang up as $7.00 so that was a good deal. I’m not sure I’ll use it for Thanksgiving but it’ll be in the freezer.

The black beans looked like they came out good in the pressure canner. I soaked 3 lbs overnight and then cooked for 30 minutes. I ended up with 5 Qts and 1 pint. So that’s quite a bit. I’ll use the pint jar next week and test it out.

I had my annual mammogram this morning and was in and out in 20 minutes. Then I headed down to Roseville to the Rec center. It was too early for the library so I’ll go next week. After that, I just came straight home and had a poached egg and toast instead of stopping at Panera.

I’m cooking up a banana bread right now as I type this blog because it wasn’t quite done. The bananas were in the freezer and I’m really trying to use things that need using up.

Tonight is pizza night and I have that all prepped. My son leaves for Las Vegas tomorrow with his friend. Their seeing Elton John. I think this is his 20th time seeing him. One time in LV at an Elton show, Elton’s rep came up to Zephyr and his friend and gave them VIP tickets to move up to the front row. That was a thrill for him.

We’re in for lots of rain next week so it’ll be an inside week for sure. There’s supposed to be snow in the mountains. Hurray!

Simple Sunday

Fall is definitely here and with it colder weather and lots of pretty colored leaves. In the park, the trees are red, orange, yellow, and gold colors. Up here on our hill, we mostly have shades of yellow and gold. We had a lovely walk with no one there again. Sunday is my favorite day to walk. We’re consistent in walking 45 minutes. Then poof! I’m done. It’s the same with swimming. 40 minutes give or take and then that’s it.

I ordered 2 more cases of Ball jars and lids. They didn’t have the pint ones so I’ll check around for them. I also got a table runner in a tartan red plaid for Christmas and a candle(balsam). Speaking of Christmas, I’m pretty sure we’re not going to go up to Tahoe to cut a tree. The permits are in South Lake and that would mean going twice up there, once to buy the permit and then second, going to get the tree. There are no online purchases this year. Again, I don’t think we’ll do much in the way of gifts. Both my children buy whatever they need/want anyway. I’ll probably do a few gift cards though.

Here’s the applesauce from the other day.

I only got 4-pint jars but it is very tasty. I’ll see if my son can pick up a few more apples from his friend’s trees.

This week is another quiet one with no appts. I will go to the gym at least once and then swim at least twice. I’m doing a small Winco trip on one of the swim days as it is just across the street from the pool. We’ll probably do Costco in two weeks. As always, it’s the coffee we’ll need.

So we have a ‘new’ very friendly cat that has shown up!!!

Meet Chester!

He looks just like Gus! But his face is squarer ( is that a word?)more square. He’s very friendly and wants attention. We’re not sure where he came from but he seems to like it here.

This is Gus the tiger boy!!! He is bigger than the new cat that we’ve named Chester!!

I’m glad the week is over. I had those few days I didn’t feel well and it was just kind of an off week. Flylady zone is the living room. I did the windows and dusted. I put out a few Halloween decorations( my vintage ones) and added some mini pumpkins.

We finished watching “Severance”. If you like futuristic, dystopian stuff, then this is for you. Very intense and you’re not really sure what is going on. I have some Ann Cleeves on hold at the library I’ll pick up this week. ( she writes the Vera series).

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.

Simple Sunday and Happy Rosh Hashanah!

The beginning of the New Year for the Jewish faith. I really like the idea of Fall being the start of the new year. Plus leaving behind old ideas, regrets, etc. I read that a Jewish tradition is to throw bread crumbs into running water and that symbolizes letting go. I like that idea.

Friday came and went and I forgot or( really, didn’t get around to posting Frugal Friday). I started out by making the apple pie for Barclay’s birthday. This is before I baked it.

It came out great although the filling needed to be thicker( the liquid part). I did add some cornstarch but it wasn’t enough. I think I will order some Liquid Jel from King Arthur to thicken up pie fillings.

The pan is the KA one I bought last year and it is a GREAT pan for making the bottom crispy and not soggy.

And then on Friday, I wanted to drop off the stuff I had set aside for hospice thrift. But they were closed so I went over to the SPCA thrift store and dropped the ‘good ‘ stuff there. Then I dropped off 2 bags of books at the pet bookstore. So by the time I got home I didn’t feel like blogging.

I used the pressure canner and got the chicken broth done. I followed the instructions and put the weighted gauge at 15lbs of pressure for 25 minutes for the broth. It worked brilliantly and I got 3 Qts of broth and 2 pints. I’ve already used one to make a soup from Chelsea Winter( from New Zealand), mean green soup. Wow, it has broccoli, cauliflower, peas, spinach, onion, garlic, potatoes, and zucchini. You cook it up and then whiz it with the hand blender. Then add cream, parmesan, and creme fraiche( I used sour cream). It was quite delicious.

Today we are off to Costco for coffee( on sale) and laundry soap, etc. Everything adds up and going to the stores seems like a money pit right now. Also, this is the time of year our fall annual bills come due. So right now it seems like everything is a money drain. My goal next year is to be better prepared and have that money in a separate account. It’s there in our savings but I’d like to have a designated account.

I have a boule of sourdough in the oven and when it’s done we’ll leave for Costco. This week the Flylady zone is the LR and then the entryways on Saturday.

Simple Sunday

I’d say overall a nice week. Our temperatures were in the 90s but it wasn’t unbearable. This coming week we do have 4 days of 102-104 degrees and that is not comfortable. Well, with global warming I guess the temperature of the planet is going up. I read that the UK is really suffering, and quite a few of my favorite bloggers have been talking about the incredible heat.

We had a very nice walk this morning and we were the only ones till about 6:05 when the one older guy showed up. He’s been walking almost every day and seems nice. He doesn’t say much and keeps to his own space. It’s rare we are walking alone as most days there are at least 6 other people. I’m sure that with sunrise getting later there will be fewer people. The Canada geese babies are all grown up and all flying. It’s always fun to watch their development from puff balls to flying.

After we got home I made up the last batch of refrigerator jalapenos. There was just one jar. I already did 2 other refrigerator ones. These are really spicy.

Yesterday after swimming( which was wonderful as always), I made up the pickled beets( 2 jars) and shelf-stable jalapenos. I got 4 1/2 pints and 1 pint.

I decided not to go to the gym tomorrow so I can process the box of tomatoes. These are all ours and I’m guessing 30#s. There are also tomatoes all over my counters in different ripening stages. I’m thrilled to have so many as last year was dismal.

And we have lots of cherry tomatoes still coming and it’s barely the start of the tomato harvest.

That tomato on the top left is a Black Krim. Very tasty.

This week is the bathroom zone and I just finished that too. The joy of being clutter free and with just enough is that my zones are generally no more than 15 minutes at the most except in the kitchen. In the bathroom, which is very small, there’s only one towel per person and they hang on hooks. I wash towels once a week on Mondays. So there’s no pile of towels, although right now I have one extra in there that came from the RV and should go back.

I just passed reading 101 books so far this year and there were probably a few more I didn’t write down. Interestingly, I had picked up two Zen interior books at the pet book store for $1 each, and they were written in the late ’90s and it’s amazing all the ‘catch ‘ phrases they used like ” less is more”, declutter for a simpler life, and lots of other things. These 2 authors, were WAY ahead of the whole ‘minimalist movement’ that really took off in 2010. Of course, the Japanese were always very minimalist in their homes and Zen was a huge influence. I will keep these 2 hardbacks for now as they are inspiring to read through. If you’re interested one is called Wabi Sabi, and the other is Zen Interiors.

Frugal Friday

It’s been a fairly frugal week. Yesterday before the gym I went into Winco mostly to get some Ball Quart jars as I read somewhere Winco’s prices were the lowest. The quart jars were $13.73 so a good price. I also picked up some KA flour that was half the price of what Safeway’s was. All in all, it was slightly over $100. I used cash. Using the cash envelopes this month has really helped me be more conscious of what I’m spending. I still need to go into Costco for some basics like olive oil, sugar, coffee, and a bottle of champagne to celebrate our anniversary later this month.

I have a large load of tomatoes from our garden ripening so I can process them this weekend. I think I’ll do some salsa and sauce if there’s enough. I bought some jalapenos at Winco and will do some more refrigerator jalapenos and maybe some cowboy candy( sugary jalapenos).

I still have some more beets to can too as I bought another bunch at the farm stand last week. Maybe I’ll do that this morning as I’m not going anywhere today.

We’ve had home-cooked meals all week( tofu burgers, BBQ chicken,) and last night I did pasta and used some of the dehydrated cherry tomatoes in olive oil. It was quite good but I cooked the dehydrated tomatoes too much in the butter/ olive oil sauce and they were slightly overcooked but still delicious. I just did another batch of dehydrated cherry tomatoes and I’ll put them in olive oil as well. I think I’m going to buy a different dehydrator too. The one I have is round and plastic and doesn’t hold a lot and the one I’m looking at is square with metal shelves. I think that will work better.

I just finished reading Todd Borg’s new book,” Tahoe Moon”. If you love Tahoe like I do, you will love this latest thriller.

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. 😦

Simple Sunday

A lovely walk this morning although with the cloud cover it was muggy/ humid. Our temperatures are 10 degrees higher than Sacramento which is crazy but they are getting the delta breezes and we have none.

A busy morning when I got back. It’s sheet day so the sheets have come off and are in the laundry and I did a bathroom swish and swipe.

Then I started on the canning I planned on doing this morning. I decided to do pickled beets and another 2 jars of bread and butter pickles in the water bath canner. My canner is on the way out as it is rusty and the rack is rusty. But it works fine for boiling water. Nonetheless, I just ordered a stainless steel water canner with a rack from Amazon. I had ordered a stainless rack for inside the Ball canner but canceled the order after looking at the condition of the Ball canner overall. So the other one is a good deal with 35% off so it ended up at $53.00. So the pickled beets made 2 jars and the pickles 2 jars. Next week at the farm stand I’ll buy 2 bunches of beets and that should get me 4 more jars. I’m going to open one of the beets in a few days and check out the taste. This recipe was from a Youtuber ( Wyse Guide) who has a farm.

I finished the Anne Hillerman book and started the Jacqueline Winspear latest. Both are excellent writers.

This week is still a light week for me and then next week I have my fasting labs and regular labs and I’m going to get my new eyeglasses ordered. I’m using my Lindberg frames so that will cut some of the expense. I’ve had these frames for over 5 years and they are remarkable. They are rimless and quite light. There I’m thinking they are a titanium frame. It’s the progressives, and the no line bifocal, that cost.

It’s hard not going stir crazy this summer but our Tahoe trip is about a month away now so we have that to look forward to.

Flylady zone is Entryways. My favorite blogger, Minimom, is going back to using Flylady after trying the SHE method. She is a great example of how minimalism works for a family and she has adapted Flylady to her needs. I think that’s the ticket with Flylady, is to use the basic concepts and then adapt them, which is what I do. But I do think you have had to declutter first which is always included in her weekly tasks on her website. Granted it’s not a very sophisticated website but it does show what to do each day if you need that. I do my zone all in one morning usually Sunday or Monday morning. Then each day I do a house reset and tidy and usually always do a bathroom wipe down.

Simple Sunday

We have smokey skies from the Yosemite fire this morning and the sun is an orange ball. The temperature seems cooler but we’re still expecting a high of 98 today. I do hope the firefighters can get this under control. There’s already been a mandatory evacuation down near Mariposa. ugh… fire is scary! We had a nice walk though, and no one showed up while we were there.

I read a few newer books this week including Josuha Becker’s” Things that matter”. I liked it well enough, not remarkable but still a good read. Then Kellerman’s new book “City of Dead”. He’s always pretty scripted but I still like his writing. Then by Kumiko Love( I wonder if that’s her real last name), “My Money, My Way. ” She basically takes most of her ideas from people like Dave Ramsey and others but I still like her presentation and I thought it a worthwhile read about money and budgets. I put a few canning books on hold and I’m still contemplating the pressure canner. I did decide that the All American is too expensive for me (over $ 400) but the Presto is $160 or so and that may be a better beginner option. I’m definitely not interested in pressure canning chicken or beef etc but there are some things I would do that need a pressure canner like chicken broth.

I made some refrigerator bread and butter pickles yesterday, and they looked good. We didn’t plant cucumbers for some reason so I bought 3 at the Farm and got 2 jars out of them.

Here are some of the onions I harvested. I’m thrilled to get some onions.

This morning I started the sourdough bread and will let it do a slow rise overnight and bake tomorrow early. I also made a pie crust for the goat cheese quiche I’m making later. The best pie crust I’ve found is from Joanna Gaine’s book” Magnolia Table”. I’ve made it numerous times and it comes together very easy.

The Flylady zone is the living room zone. I did most of it already but I still need to dust the tops of the Easton Press books.

This week I plan to do a Winco trip for a few things, and B has labs on Wednesday in Rocklin so I’ll see about him stopping at Costco again for a few more things. Other than that, trying to stay cool, and doing my normal stuff.

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.