Friday Things

I’m doing things around the house today. I finished the sourdough rye. My starter needs some reviving so I’m adding flour and water to see if I can get it to double. I’m planning on another loaf before we leave on Monday morning. Speaking of which, I will go get my labs Monday morning so I should have the results by Friday. I know it’s probably gone up since I can tell I’m a wee bit more tired. Well, I’m figuring that it will be Fall when I start Velcade, at least if my calculations are correct.

Yesterday was Costco and that went well. It was very busy though. It’s hard to know why sometimes it’s so busy but then we figured out that it’s probably graduations and weddings.

Our yard is full of roses blooming, foxglove flowers, mini carnations, tons of tomato plants, peppers, sage, and lots of lavender too. This is a very pretty time in the year here.

Tonight we’re opting out of pizza and will just have some spaghetti and sauce I think. Nothing too involved. I have some salad stuff I can use too.

I’ve been thinking about how things go full circle. Back when we were first married we owned next to nothing. We traveled from NY to Tucson in a 1964 VW bus and what was in there, is all we owned. We never really bought furniture as such until right before we moved here in 1975. Then we had some antique dressers, a table( this was an old Forest Service table) some chairs and a few other things. It wasn’t until we built the house in Foresthill that we bought things. A nice couch set from Macys, an oak round table, a few chairs and misc. Then when we moved here after the house sold, we had everything in storage while we remodeled. We had gotten rid of a lot but still had way to much for this space. I guess I just kept trying to stuff things in here even though nothing fit. So the full circle is I’d like to own next to nothing again except what is truly used and loved. My Heywood collection for sure, a couch to sit on that’s comfortable for reading and watching some TV, and bookcases either built in or the one we have for the Easton Press. I look around and think what more can I reduce. I’d rather have space than things. It’s pared down but not quite to the poetry yet.

Frugal things:

Costco was under $300 and that was quite a bit of freezer stuff and pantry basics.

I went to the library and got a lot of books to take camping.

We filled the truck up with gas at Costco where it was .70 cheaper than here in town.

One of the pears tree we bought at Home Depot didn’t make it so B was going to bring it back. Kind of a PITA since he had to dig it up but that’s $ back in his pocket to either get another tree or wait till next year to replace.

I was tempted by a LV neverfull of FB market place. But then I checked the code and it said it was invalid. I tried numerous sites and no one could verify it so I saved myself $800. The woman said it had been authenticated but since the code( which all LV have) wasn’t one with right country I passed. I’m still planning on getting one but it’ll need to be from site that verifies it like Fashionphile.

Wednesday stuff

The plumber called back and was going to come the next day but in the meanwhile B figured out that by taking off the outside paneling he could do it himself as the pipes are right there. I was unhappy about this as I thought the plumber was a plumber for a reason, but I just acquiesced. Humm. I guess we’ll see.

I had a great swim yesterday and the pool was quite nice. I only had to share the lane for the last 10 minutes of my swim.

Today is just a do stuff around the house day and then go to town to drop off the Fiesta ware at the hospice thrift store. they only take donations on Wednesday so I’ve missed quite a few. I made a loaf of sourdough rye(24-hour slow rise in the fridge, I made homemade yogurt using a new-to-me method, and I vacuumed, and washed the kitchen floor. I also need to drop off an Amazon return for my daughter and go to the bank.

Tonight for dinner I have some ground precooked turkey so I thought I make a turkey chili mac. I have all the ingredients so that’s what’s for dinner.

I ordered some peaches from a farm in the valley. I bought two boxes so that should be enough for jam and a couple of pies. It wasn’t cheap but I hope they are delicious.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the gym and drop books at the library.

Another view of the ocean at New Brighton. The stuff you see at the top of the picture is what is left of the concrete ship and pier that used to be out there before the huge storms. To the left of that is where Seacliff was and that is all closed too.

Simple Sunday and blog anniversary

I started my blog in April 2012. I really wanted to document how my life with Multiple Myeloma was. At that point, I had been on Revlimid for 2 years and would stay on that for 3 more years till it was no longer working.

I had already begun becoming more minimalist and had been decluttering using Flylady for a few years. I mostly wanted to journal using the blog as the forum because writing( in a notebook), a journal never appealed to me. It’s been a fun outlet for me. So here I am 11 years into blogging and about ready to start another round of Chemo( well, I hope not till fall).

Spring has sprung here in Northern California and it’s been quite nice. The trees are starting to pop out and our white camelia tree is blooming( very late I may add). We had the Ooni fired up for Friday night pizza and last night used the charcoal Weber for chicken and veggie dogs. Tonight, I plan on Spanish rice, chips, and Pico de Gallo, and some main dish. I might open a pressure canned jar of veggie stew.

This coming week is just regular stuff. I plan on trying to go to the gym and pool twice each. We’ll see. That’s a lot of driving so, I’ll just see how I feel.

I’m making a loaf of sandwich bread right now. I’ve been trying to not eat bread but the rest of the fam needs it so I used the Kitchen Aid and made a King Arthur recipe. My son thought his partner might like the Zojirushi so he took it down to their place. I actually feel good about letting it go. I guess the final question was did I have the space for it and really I didn’t. It was in the closet but now I’m using that space for something else. Plus, most of the bread I make is sourdough in the Dutch oven and I only used the bread maker for the dough cycle for sandwich bread.

I sorted thru most of my canning jars and I have plenty for this season. I think I’ll buy some lids though so I have extra. Probably Winco is the best place to get them.

Well, I’m off to finish the bedroom zone and get the bread in the oven.

Wednesday stuff

The pool was busy again even though there was a sign about Spring Break. I still had a nice swim. It will be a challenge to go over to the outdoor pool but I’ll just have to wait and see how that goes in June.

I’ve been going through some decluttering again and have posted my tortilla press and some houseplants on our Pay it Forward group. I used the tortilla press maybe half a dozen times but it’s not really my thing. The houseplants are not thriving where I had them( the sunroom) and I’m not into just having plants stuck around anywhere. So I thought I offer the 3 to someone who can make use of them.

I’m feeling the urge to go to a new level of decluttering things that aren’t absolutely necessary. It’s, to me, just levels and layers of decluttering and simplifying. What was important even a few years ago, just isn’t anymore. I want the simplicity of useful items and that aren’t just single purpose appliances. I haven’t put on the bread maker yet but it is on my to do list. Also, I really want to pare down to the ‘poetry’ and only have what is essential. That may include getting rid of any duplicates or things that are just lying around. I don’t have a lot of that but there is always something.

A fresh loaf of sourdough.

Some honey in a new honey Ball jar. So cute!!

Here’s the flowering cherry tree. You can’t really see where the top broke off but it’s in the middle area.

Well, tomorrow is my doctor appt. Not much to really talk about except once again when we might start treatment. As I’ve said my limit is when my kappa light chains get to 100. Right now they are at 46.1 mg/L so that was another 6 point jump. Normal high is 19.4, so it is increasing. 😦 I’m not sure what his assessment is but I’m not waiting till they are over 600 like last time. As long as the increases are small it’s ok, if they start doubling then it’s time. It does suck but what can you do?

Simple Sunday

Somehow Frugal Friday got away from me as I went down to the gym and when I got home other things needed doing.

I did a small Winco shop after swimming yesterday. $109 including some wine. It was salad stuff and some pantry/frozen items like hash browns. The pool was amazing again with lanes even open. Maybe some of the die-hard swimmers are doing their other exercises outside I it’s been pretty nice out. Anyway, I sure appreciate having my own lane.

This morning we had a nice walk and once again we seem to be the only predawn walkers right now. Yay!!! It was cold but nice.

Then I put the sourdough boule in the oven which I had preheated while we walked so it was ready to go. After the bread was done I headed into the Auburn gym. Again, there seemed to be fewer people than last week so maybe the nice weather has everybody going to Home Depot for gardening stuff?

Once I got home, I made up a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies which are still baking. I froze two logs of cookie dough for later. I also am soaking some Rancho Gordo beans(Marcella), and a white bean as I plan to pressure can them tomorrow.

This coming week is just regular stuff. Next week I have both my labs and doctor appt. My eye scan showed my macular pucker about the same. I’m still on the fence about the surgery but when the time comes and I need cataract surgery, then I will need to get it done. I guess I’m just scared to do it.

Well, nothing new here. Oh, after a week of trying for camp spots in Tahoe, we finally got one for the end of September. Geez, such an ordeal to get spots.

Wild California Weather or Frugal Friday

We are still getting clobbered. Right now it’s been raining here nonstop and there’s some wind. There are flood warnings everywhere for N Ca, specifically the Sierras and the Bay area. At this point, I’m guessing we’re canceling New Brighton because of the flood dangers in the Santa Cruz Mtns. Plus we’ll be right on the coast so I’m not too comfortable with the whole idea. Also, the day we leave it’s raining nonstop all day in Capitola. Reserving something in March is always a gamble, so we’ll be flexible. I do hate to give up the spot because it was an electric one. Oh well, that’s life.!!!

This week was busy but not too bad. I swam on Wednesday and that was lovely. I went to the gym on Tuesday and the library. We went to Costco on Thursday( yesterday), and holy cow was it busy. We didn’t have a clue as to why. It seemed just a regular Thursday. Weird. Anyway, I got lots of things to bulk up the freezer and pantry. I plan on going back in soon to get a few things more that we need like AA batteries. I didn’t want to add them to the cart yesterday.

After Costco, we went to our favorite pizza place, Celestino’s which is the closest to a NY pizza I’ve ever had out here. Although I left NY in 1970, thankfully, NY pizza has always been near and dear to me since I grew up right next to Pepe and Eddies. Now that might seem strange since I grew up on Quaker Rd in Highland Mills which back then was VERY rural. But right up the road, actually, the end of the road was this Italian family who ran the restaurant. There was the grandmother, Nonnie, Eddie, Pepe, and 2 children, Barbara and Johnny. Johnny was a few years older than me and we did play together occasionally. Anyway, their pizza was the best, ever.

We also spent money at Ikea but I brought cash for that from my ‘home’ money. The Ivar shelf is absolutely fabulous. I wish I had room for a second one. Maybe if I look at the space closer, I may be able to fit it in but that would mean using most of the wall and I’m reluctant to do that. ( at least for right now).

I should have bought another shelf and actually when I did my calculations I had the extra shelf in there but Ikea sells the Ivar as separate pieces. I had figured the 5 shelves( as shown on the website were all together but they weren’t. I got 6 shelves instead of the 7 I had planned thinking that was all I’d need but I can see I need the extra one for pint jars and half pints. I love that I can see what I have left in the canned goods and what I need to do this summer.

This is such a clever system and the total was $115. So a fabulous deal.

Today is a home day and with the rain and wind, I’m glad to be home baking and tidying things up.

Overall, an expensive week but since it’s all stuff we don’t normally do, I’m ok with it.

My labs came in with another 6pt increase. 😦 so now I’m at 36.7mg/L for kappa Light chains. It’s a bummer but as I’ve said,” your blood is your blood and it is what it is”. I did go back and looked at the graph for my increases in 2019 and they really started doubling at about 55mg/L. So in one month they went from that to almost 100. And then the next month almost to 200mg/L. So that’s what I don’t want to happen this time. The Myeloma cells are clearly on the increase and why wait till I’m at 600mg/L to start treatment. We don’t even know if Velcade will be effective since this will be my 3rd time on it. Lots of unknowns.

Simple Sunday

More snow!!!

Yikes, we are getting clobbered. I -80 is closed again for the billionth time. Well better that, than tons of accidents, which there still are plenty of.

I made it home just in time from the pool when the rain/snow started coming in. This morning it was snowy on the ground but we still went for a walk.

I did a fairly big shop at Winco and was glad to get that done. I bought lots of produce and some items for the pantry like mustard and jalapenos. The store was very busy which thought was odd since all the Saturdays I’ve been there it’s mostly empty. ???rain maybe??

I just finished the Kitchen zone and have now started another WW bread dough to rise. My order from King Arthur came super fast, and that had the vital gluten you add to your dough and the baker’s dry milk. I think in the bigger picture, I’d rather use the Kitchen Aid to make the dough and let it rise in the bowl. I’ll still think about it but I think maybe the bread maker will go sometime this summer.

I’ve been thinking about where to put more shelves for the shelf-stable pressure canned and regular canned goods. I came up with behind the bedroom door is kind of empty space that could handle a shelf unit. The french door is about 11.5 inches from the wall so a unit would fit. This is the one I’m looking at.

I would get 2 extra shelves because some jars like pints don’t need a lot of room. Since I did the kitchen zone and tomorrow is my day to not do any workouts, I plan to go to Ikea. ( unless it’s snowing:( )

If it works, it will free up the closet shelves. Since we only have one closet in this house, storage is always a challenge. Because it’s open shelving, I may have to hang a cloth or something as I have issues with too many visual things around. Speaking of which maybe I need to remove some things that are on shelves or the wall. Every once in a while I remove some items to see how it looks. What helps me the most is taking pictures and then looking at them with a critical eye.

This week is a fairly normal week with swimming and the gym. We’ll do Costco sometime too this week. Next week is our trip to New Brighton, but again it depends on the weather. If it’s raining here and there, then no. Capitola’s weather is usually milder than here so there’s that.

Ice Roads

I made an attempt to go get my labs( with an appt) this morning. Monday I had to cancel because their computer system was down. So yesterday by late afternoon we were getting more snow then around midnight more snow. But then it cleared and that snow turned to ice. Our low was 27 degrees. The road out of town was backed up, and cars were everywhere including lots of non-all-wheel drive. A truck coming in the opposite direction was telling people to turn around as there were cars blocking the road in every direction ahead. I did a U-turn and drove very carefully up our driveway. So now I have to reschedule for a third time.

I’m playing around with the Zojirushi bread maker again. I was considering giving it to the thrift store and then thought why don’t I make a loaf of sandwich bread in it. Well, the first one did not work and it was deflated.?? So after getting back from the ice road debacle, I tried another after having read what might have caused that. So it seems maybe I added a slight bit too much yeast. In this loaf, I added slightly under the amount called for.

It did a nice rise and the crust looks good. I’ll let it cool and cut it. Does anyone have the Zojirushi Virtuoso?? I’m thinking mine is working fine but I got the yeast off. But is the newer one better?? Of course, it’s almost $400 so that’s not happening anytime soon. I think I’ll put an order in with King Arthur for bakers’ dry milk and vital gluten. that will help with the rise. For now, I think I’ll keep it and keep adjusting for sandwich bread. I’m also considering milling the flour. I’ve seen a number of YouTubers milling wheat berries and it seems like the flour would be incredible. Is anyone, grinding their own wheat berries.?

Simple Sunday

A quiet Sunday. We walked and it was lovely in the park. No one there but us and the Canada geese.

I did the bathroom zone and then spent more time(wasted) looking at reviews on meat slicers for bread and whether an electric knife would be better. I’m undecided. I baked another sourdough and this one was some whole wheat. I timed cutting the other boule with my Mercer bread knife, which came in at under 4 minutes. Most of the slices were even. I guess one advantage of the bread slicer is it’s doing the work for you and not your arm.:)

After that, I went to the Anytime fitness gym. It wasn’t too busy today. Today’s Superbowl so maybe lots of people were doing other things.

This is another just the normal stuff week. I always appreciate the ‘normal’ weeks. Next week we’ll be in Napa so that’s exciting. I think we’re going to drive up to St Helena maybe to a winery. It’s only two nights so I know I want to go to the Rancho Gordo bean store and also back to the Public marketplace we liked so much. And there’s the river trail that we only did part of.

This week I’ll do a recheck of our taxes and then get ready to pay the little we owe and send it off. I suppose I could wait but not sure I need to. I’d rather they be done and gone.

Well, that’s it for this week.

Frugal Friday

We went to Costco yesterday and spent just under $400. That included clothes for B( sweatpants and sweatshirt), and lots of nonfood items, like my Krill oil pills( expensive even on sale) $20. The regular stuff of coffee, bagels, cheese, veggies, bananas, and some frozen food. All in all, it was a good shop. That’s probably all I’ll do for a few weeks with exception of milk, half and half, and wine or maybe something nice for Valentine’s Day.

After Costco, we had our Date Thursday and went to our favorite Mexican restaurant. We hadn’t been there in at least 6 months. So that was fun to do. I’m using a cash envelope for ‘dates’ and that’s how we paid.

Today I’ve been pottering here and there around the house. I moved my Ficus Tree to the LR where it can get more light. I started another sourdough loaf. Tidyed the kitchen and swished the bathroom. I’m trying to figure out a different way to slice my boules. I looked up a bread slicer and saw a few under a hundred that could also slice meat and cheese. It seems like it would certainly save money in the long run. When I buy deli meat it’s usually turkey or ham and since it’s Boars head it runs $17 a pound so it’s pricey. When I was in Costco I looked at their turkey breast (cooked) and it came in at About $17-20 for 4 lbs. So that would be a huge savings. I am also going to check the price of a turkey breast that I could cook myself. I just don’t want something with lots of sodium.

Tonight I’ll make a homemade pizza since last week we ordered takeout. That’s probably all that I’ll do this month. When we’re in Napa we will go out to eat but that comes under travel.

I plan on looking at our taxes again this weekend. I guess the middle class refund we got last year is confusing. It won’t be taxed by Caliornia but for the federal government it isn’t decided or something like that. I plan on just putting it under the 1099 and see if it affects our taxes. I kind of doubt it but I’ll put it in and see.

If anyone has any suggestions about a meat/bread slicer let me know or cooking just a turkey breast to slice up. I was also looking at an electric knife which some bread makers suggested so that’s an option too. An electric knife would be cheaper than a slicer. Does anyone have an opinion on an electric knife for cutting sourdough bread?