Simple Sunday

A lovely walk this morning with NO ONE there. Definitely unusual these days. Still, it was lovely and the stars and Jupiter were very bright.

We are having the most beautiful fall weather. It’s perfect. Cool at night and then the days are golden and warm.

So, I researched why there was some ‘siphoning’ with the Vegetable soups I pressure canned and the reason was the jiggling ( the weighted gauge)was going too fast and I didn’t reduce the heat. They are still safe to eat but did lose some liquid. So yesterday I got the pressure canner up to 10lbs of pressure and did that on high heat. Then when the gauge started jiggling( that’s what it’s called), I moved it to the middle burner which is a lower heat factor. I measured the jiggles at 4-5 a minute and that’s where it should be. So I wrote all that down in the pressure canner book. I also got a new book that is quite excellent with lots of recipes. The next one I’ll try is called white bean ragout. It has bacon in it but I’ll leave that out. There’s also a lentil soup with sausage but again I’ll, leave the sausage out and add that later if the meat eaters want that. Most of the time everything we eat is vegetarian.

You can see the reduction of liquid. It’s been fun to learn about all this.

Here’s a picture of us going over to Apple Hill. This is Sutter Mill where gold was discovered. We did our Rosh Hoshanah thing with the bread crumbs in the river. That is the South Fork of the American river behind us. Oh, and there were APPLES at all in Apple Hill because of the frost we had back in April.

I made zucchini bread in the new Lodge. The Lodge loaf pan is a real star for crisping up the edges.

Well, I have to go get food and stuff ready to take out to Rubi, and then we’ll leave for Tahoe. Trailering does take longer and usually, it’s about 1 hour 45 minutes to South lake but with the trailer, it takes well over 2 hours- 2 /12 hours.

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.

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

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

So far, it’s been a frugal week as we haven’t done much. I went into Whole Foods (spent $45.00)yesterday because I thought I could get some Nicoise olives for my Nicoise salad recipe from my Le Creuset cookbook. Alas, the young lady didn’t even know what I was talking about and said she hasn’t ever seen them there. Except I have bought them there before, granted it was probably 2 years ago. So I bought some tiny olives that look similar to Nicoise and they were actually delicious. The salad called for fingerling potatoes and they didn’t have those either so I was batting 0 out of 2. When I came home I boiled some eggs for hardboiled eggs for the salad too. I had bought a piece of Ahi tuna from Trader Joe’s last time I was there so I put that in a bowl of water to defrost. Then my daughter grilled that on the Webber. All in all, it came out quite well.

The reason I was going down to Roseville is my library hold came in. It’s the Maus graphic novel that schools in the south and basically all Republican states want to ban. So I picked that up and a few other books to read. I’m up to 65 books for the year and with the 6 I picked up I’ll be over 70. Not that numbers count as I just always have read a lot.

I also wanted to check out the gym that is next to the library that I can use with my swim membership. So, a year and 3 months later I decided to go in and see the layout. Now with Covid, I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway but now I feel fairly comfortable going in. It was really great and I like that it seemed simple and had the machines I like to use. I did a quick circuit and felt that I will add this in to my weekly workouts.

Other than WF, I don’t think we spent any money. Today I going to the farmstand, that just opened for the season, and get some things for the week. I have cash for that. The only extra expense we have this month is the truck DMV, which I mentioned before. I haven’t paid it yet and will do so towards the end of the month. Other than that everything is covered. There’s not much leftover but that’s ok.

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.

April $$$$

I didn’t even bother with the Frugal Friday as April will be expensive. The bid for the ponderosa is $4500. That’s more than double what we paid for the last tree. The tree is in an awkward spot and will need the crane to take it down piece by piece. There’s just nowhere to drop pieces. Then the logs will be piled up in our neighbors spot down from us and then tree logger will need to bring his truck(big) in to get them.( These logs will be cut into 17 ft pieces and sold to a mill for wood). Things are never simple here with trees. After this, unless it’s critical, trees will have to go down the priority list. Unfortunately, we still have about 4 more that should be dropped but not anytime soon if we can help it. I plan to leave before the tree guys get here and I’ll go down swimming and then hang out and then go to the library at 10. I have too much anxiety around these things and I know myself well enough that if I don’t see it, the imprint won’t be there.

We’ve had some nice morning walks and it’s definitely lighter at 6:10 now. And sunset is now quite a bit later and it’s staying light till at least 7:30.

Tonight is pizza night but I don’t think we’ll do that. No one feels like a pizza so I’m not sure what we’ll do. Sandwiches??

I’ve been making the sourdough loaves every 3rd day. So I have quite a bit frozen so I’m going to put my starter in the fridge for a while. I have really enjoyed making these loaves and have learned quite bit about the dough and hydration. I think our favorite is the cheddar jalapeno loaf.

I started looking at reserving Refugio SB for the fall but so far it’s booked but, I’ll just need to check daily. It’s pretty far to go and with gas prices, it’s going to be expensive but I think if I can get a spot, we’ll go.

Next week I have labs and swimming and some grocery shopping to do.

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.

Simple Sunday

After a cloudy Saturday, today is bright and sunny. The rest of the week looks fabulous with temperatures in the 70s. I think I see BBQ this week.BTW, the series on Netflix, High on the Hog, how Black American cuisine changed America, and how we eat is truly phenomenal. So much history. If you have the chance watch it.

We had a nice walk this morning with no one around. We didn’t try to get there too early being Sunday I like to take my time.

Today is sheet day for us. We only have one set of sheets for our bed so we wash and put it back on. These linen sheets are about 4 years old and still wonderful. I’d definitely recommend linen sheets. I think these were only about $130 but lots of high-end sheets are way higher. IKEA has a nice set that we have out in Rubi.

I’m feeding my sourdough and think I’m going to do a nut one next. Walnuts, pepitas, and maybe sunflower if I get some unsalted ones. I’m averaging 2-3 loaves a week. One day to make the dough and then refrigerate overnight, then bake and enjoy for a few days. Then when that one is almost done I start the dough for the next one. Of course, this is now. Once summer hits I won’t be baking as it’s too hot to use the oven generally.

Tonight I plan on doing a stir fry with some leftover veggies. I need to get some tofu at the store though. This week is the bedroom zone and I finished that already.

Barclay has a busy appt week but I don’t so I’ll see what I get up to. I know doing some garden stuff and tidying up the garden shed. But I think I’ll plan a trip to the pet bookstore and maybe the library. Well, that’s a wrap up for today.

I thought you’d enjoy a picture of me after I got out of the hospital. This was dated March 26, so i’d been out of the hospital about a week. Heidi was with us for 2-3 weeks helping with everything. You can see my wig in my hand. My sweet boy was 10 and my daughter was 19 even though she looks younger.

Friday things

I just got back from getting my labs. It’s great that Quest is by appt. only. I was the only one in there and was done within 10 minutes.

There’s still no funding for myeloma at LLS so that’s not good news. I keep checking daily but there’s only mantle cell leukemia and Waldenstrom ( sp is probably wrong)( which is pretty rare.)So means February won’t be covered as that was my look back month meaning if I was funded in February, they would cover it even though my grant ended Jan 31. Tough break for us as that covers all my insurances.

Back home I put the sourdough cheddar jalapeno bread in the oven. This will be my last bread till we’re back. I’ll put my starter in the fridge tomorrow. I tried a sourdough rosemary baguette this week and it turned out great. I have a baguette pan I bought eons ago at Williams Sonoma and used that. The trick I think with sourdough and bread-making is just to keep doing it over and over. I can definitely tell by the feel of the dough how the hydration is. I had gotten a copy of Nancy Silverton’s Bread-making and read it thru. Overall, though, recipes look good, but they all make 2 loaves at a time and I don’t do that. Also reading about how she feeds her starter seemed too complicated to me. What I do is just keep adding equal amounts of flour and water at least once a day. Probably not as ‘scientific’ but it works for me. I also hate to throw away discard sourdough starter so I end up with 3-4 jars in the fridge. Oh well.

Then I’ve made the pizza dough for tonight and that’s in the bowl doing the first rise. It’s almost time to get out the Ooni for spring. Last night I used our new gas Weber that I bought for camping. I wanted to try it before we left. So I made BBQ chicken, BBQ tofu, roasted mini potatoes, and roasted veggies. WOW. It all came out delicious. I’m pleased and am looking forward to cooking with it camping.

It’s a cloudy day with rain expected off and on but it feels warm out. But it’s supposed to get very cold tonight with the possibility of snow. I plan on swimming tomorrow so I guess I’ll wait and see how it is in the morning. After swimming I was going to go over to Winco for some camping supplies. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll just go to Safeway. I actually don’t need a whole lot but things like peanut butter and some veggies and cream for coffee.

In good news, AAA settled my claim for a fair amount. The depreciation was factored in and then the $1000 deductible. I can’t buy a new Louis Vuitton for what they gave me but at least the $500 in cash was covered. I miss my Louis but I certainly can’t spring for a new one. sigh….:( Maybe down the road I can get a used one. There are a few sites that sell authentic LV and they look good. Still more than the amount they gave me but not the cost of a new one.

The situation in Ukraine is so devastating. Almost a million people leaving Ukraine. I hope the sanctions President Biden is implementing work to cut off the money. No money = No war. I shudder to think what the asshole Trump would be doing. I still keep hoping he gets indicted for something. I made a small donation to World Central Kitchen that is providing food trucks on the borders to feed people. Here’s the link if you want to donate too. It’s a small thing we can do to help the Ukraine people.