August 1, Lammas

For some reason, I have always loved the Celtic calendar. which is also called a cross-quarter. I used to believe it was all ‘past life’ influence but now that stuff doesn’t ring true. It’s probably more kinship with the Welsh( which I have in family lineage) and Irish( perhaps on my father’s side). Anyway, it doesn’t matter, why, just that I like the cross quarters and today is Lammas. The Celtic celebration of late summer.Photo Of Sunflower

I can always feel the sift of air and light at Lammas. Perhaps just that I walk early every day and notice those things.

This would be a day to bake bread from the harvest. I also saw to make beeswax candles. I used to make my own candles but have long given that up and now just buy my beeswax candles. I do burn them nightly from fall to spring but not during the summer. The glow they give is like no other and is one of my favorite rituals.

36298EC3-2173-42EA-93F6-1A0F7EB2C3CC 2.jpeg

E4E1460C-182A-4CC9-8124-E00F87A561B6.jpeg

I just made some bread so I won’t do another loaf but I do have some buttermilk to use so I am planning on making buttermilk biscuits. Good enough.

On a sad note, our neighbor has poisoned the skunks and we have one in our yard dying a painful death. It has really upset me. I don’t want skunks under our porch either but for the most part, they are harmless and they do eat things at night.  Right now it has sprayed a last spray and is in the bushes by our water pond. I guess once we can see where it is we will pick it up(with a shovel) and go bury it. It makes me mad that he did this.

D2A3573F-702E-46B7-B7CC-A718DCD03B1C

Some lavender from our plants that I harvested. I use lavender all winter to freshen up clothes and sprinkle on rugs and then vacuum up.

 

The week ahead…

First looking back over the last few days.

Still really hot here making it hard to go outside and do much except for early in the morning.

We picked up some oak barrels at Home Depot to replant some bamboo in. I love putting bamboo in barrels as it looks lovely.

Years ago, probably 20, I went to a Waldorf parents house who had golden bamboo. I dug up as much as I could( believe me, back-breaking). But that is what we have as a privacy screen all around the driveway area. But we put some in barrels as it contains it and makes a pretty visual effect. We have these two barrels outside our bedroom window. But the old barrels had deteriorated and were no longer holding water so they will be replaced. I’m guessing these were about the same age, 20 years.

Then Barclay’s labs came back with very high creatine( not good) because of the new drug Jakofi. We both kinda flipped out since the NP kept saying hydrate which he was doing obsessively. He will need to go in for an IV hydration if his numbers remain high. I’m really bugged by this as it all started with the Jakofi. It’s a great drug for GVHD but he’s still on other stuff and it’s hard on the kidneys. So I asked why not drop the Jakofi to 2 a day then 1 a day and so forth. No answer on that yet. So we were definitely bummed out for a few days. We’ll see how the labs are this week.

I had worked on learning how to butcher a whole chicken. I saw a youtube by ProCooks, who I like, and thought well, I could do that. It’s fairly simple just kinda involved so not sure I think it’s worth doing regularly.  Then I made Pioneer woman fried chicken and it was A LOT of Work. Not doing that again. Plus the kitchen ended up looking like a vat of oil exploded. It was tasty but I wouldn’t say great. I think I’ll stick to Southern-fried tofu.

Today is my Flylady morning in the LR zone. Definitely an EZ zone for me with just some deeper dusting and window cleaning.  Generally, it takes 10 minutes tops.

I’m going to get out the bread maker and make some WholeWheat sourdough. I just use the bread maker to make and rise the dough and then I bake in the oven.

Other than that an open week.

I’m making lists of my barn prepper pantry items so I can determine how many weeks/months of stuff we have.  I want to have a balance of pantry security and not going overboard with the ‘survivalist’ mode. I did order some dried Whole milk to put aside in case of either a power outage or unavailable at stores. If anything, I can use it in baking.

I found a book at our little free library, “Radio Free Vermont

. Pretty funny book and is contemporary as Trump is president. If your library has it, I’d recommend it for a fun read.

Here’s an interesting bit of news from our area. We used to live in Foresthill. From 1975 when we came to California till 1995 when we moved here( about 20 miles difference) with Auburn being in the middle and everyone’s main hub. ( mostly). So we lived near a road called Yankee Jims. Very remote and goes down a very windy, steep and treacherous dirt road( some of the way) to the North Fork of the American River. There’s a bridge there that, if I remember correctly, was one lane. Anyway, there’s parking on the side of the road for maybe 10-15 cars MAX!  Last weekend there were 313 cars down there, blocking the road both ways. So now the whole area is shut down and no cars can go in. WHY PEople!! So STupid!

Oh and another STUPID controversial thing. I was looking on Youtube for prepper pantry ideas so I clicked on this one called Alaska Granny. I thought it looked interesting. Younger than me, so not sure where the “granny “comes from. Anywho, this was right after the debacle with GOYA foods. BOYCOTT GOYA!! BUT, this lady does a whole vlog on GO OUT AND BUY AS MUCH GOYA FOODS AS YOU CAN TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR TRUMP AND THE OWNER OF GOYA.

Really??? oh well, takes all kinds. I guess she thinks Trump is cool or some deluded thing. Really, he’s sending federal troops into cities for political shit.  Really, people, he’s a narcissistic nutcase.  History will show this to be one of the worst periods of American politics.

OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

 

 

a change in the weather

It actually rained here the other night. We woke up to everything watered down. All the yellow pollen washed away. It’s cooler but actually nice. Today our high will be around 60 so okay.

Update on the Instacart order. It was great. I got almost everything I ordered and was really pleased. It is more expensive with a tip but I definitely thought it was worth it. I will probably do at least one more before venturing to Costco.

We did a very early trip into Home Depot since they wouldn’t do the curbside pickup for the gate post. We bought one farm gate for one driveway but needed the post. I don’t plan on keeping the gate close all the time but I want the option especially when we’re not here. Our driveway is weird as it splits and goes straight into where we park and then to the right back to the barn. No one can ever figure out which way to go.  I think we will do the second gate in the fall.

We’re also planning to put up some privacy fencing. The neighbors behind the barn moved up here from the Sacramento area and have a lot of crap we can see. So we plan on putting up around a hundred feet of cedar fencing along that border.  Then we want to do the same for where our elderly neighbor( Leo) lives since when they sell I fear who will move in will be rednecks with 6 kids. So I want a fence along the driveway to block seeing over there.

I’m also thinking of doing a bulk meat order from someplace like Butcher Box. It’s supposed to be small ranchers and grass-fed meat. Has anyone done that?  Usually, I get organic from Costco but thought about doing something different.

I bought a food sealer thing on Amazon that vacuum seals food. I tried a few things yesterday and it looks like it would be great for rice, meat, cheese, etc.  I tried bread and it squished it flat so that didn’t work. I then read the manual and it said to freeze the bread first and then vacuum seal and put back in the freezer. So I’m going to try that today too.

 The chickies have quadrupled in size and are now out in the big girl’s pen. They are still separated but soon will mix with them.  We’re going to have lots of eggs by next spring:)

We’ve been watching Ozark on Netflix and it’s a good show. Dark, but good. Sorta like Breaking Bad was. Oh, plus on Hulu the funniest, Stan versus Evil is hilarious. Definitely lots of laughs.

0549BDC2-D161-4917-B82A-31977A1359F9

another loaf of sourdough…

D486FB66-B96E-479C-9CCB-576761D5A87D

this is what it looks like in the proofing basket.

4F384465-E201-4BCD-9209-9BA2BDD3C494

some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

A quiet Sunday

I walked at @ 6am and there were no Christians to be seen. Usually, there is a sunrise service at the park and there are swarms of Christians.  Now all the picnic areas are all taped off and signs saying closed. I’m glad that people are at least being responsible.

I got the sourdough bread going and it’s in the oven. I learned a new thing to do which was to test the leaven before you add the flour. So once you’ve made your leaven you take a spoonful and drop it in water. If it floats its ready to use. Mine did. I’ve never done that before so it was cool. Plus I only used the King Arthur white wheat flour so it may be a little denser but it rose beautifully. BTW, I got my 25 lbs of Artisan flour from Central Milling yesterday ( after I made my dough) and it is beautiful flour.

I also have sourdough burger buns rising. I didn’t check the starter so I do hope it rises. The starter looked nice and bubbly but the water trick seems to be very helpful. Anyway, I have burgers on the menu for dinner with homemade buns. I have a Beyond burger for B.

I also whipped up a pasta salad with the Castelevano olives and feta.

Right now I’m fairly exhausted so I think I’ll read for a while.

Another sad day…

We lost Finnie yesterday.

F91687D3-1467-493B-9FCB-E8FEFEE6F3D6.jpeg

 

4BC83E01-6F8F-4B89-835A-B8DAA105BC0A.jpegAlmost a month exactly from when Ollie died. Finnie seemed to be doing okay. We took him to the vet and he did a round of antibiotics but over this last week he got worse. We’re not really sure what it was but he was acting very weird and then confused and not very aware of things. So we called the vet and he went to kitty heaven. It’s been a hard last 9 months with both dogs and now both our cats. The cats were 17 years old and were adopted together so maybe they were so bonded or something. Anyway, it’s lonely in the morning without them yowling for cream and food. I’m sure we will get some kitties down the road but not for a while yet.

I think pets teach us so much about life and death. Plus they are just present. A lot to be learned from that alone.

The weather is still blah. Not sunny not rainy. Just grey. We walked this morning and only the one other dog walker was there so that was nice.

My labs came in and it’s okay. My kappa light chains went to 110mg/L so an 18 point increase and Lambda went down to 12mg/L. Looking back over my labs since 2015 my Lambda never did go out of normal range but that’s because my myeloma is kappa. So now the ratio is up to 9.23mg/L  So going up.

I’m planning to not go down to Sac at the end of the month but the assistant said we could do a video conference so that’s what I’ll do.  Really nothing different is going to be said until he’s ready for me to start treatment.  Sigh:(

I’m going to make some cookies today and then move some pantry stuff. My order of flour should be showing up today. That’s a good thing as I’m starting a Tartine bread leaven and will need the flour tomorrow.

 

 

A bit of catch-up.

Not sure where the time has gone. I missed Five on Friday and Simple Sunday.

I haven’t actually been doing anything all that different although I have been making lists of things to do and then ticking them off. Maybe that’s where the time went.

We went to Costco on Thursday and did a huge shopping that completely blew my grocery budget for the month but I did get plenty of food for the rest of the month. Plus some things were big items that last a long time like laundry soap, dish soap, nuts( 2 bags), case of pineapple, case of olives, and lots of other things for the pantry.  so I won’t be ordering Walmart groceries for 2 weeks and hope that catches me up on my grocery budget till October 1st.

The windows and trim are done and just need painting.

I painted a small dresser that was white a darkish grey. Not sure where I’ll put it but it is useful and pretty as it has carved acorns on the handles. This was a thrift store find many years ago. I’ve done 2 coats but will do a third this morning.

I made a lovely sourdough sandwich loaf yesterday and it was almost gone by dinner. Plus I did make grilled cheese so half the loaf was used there. I had taken my starter out of the fridge and had been feeding it for 3 days. I wasn’t sure if it would revive but it did. I tried a recipe I had printed a while ago. Quite simple but I have another I want to try this morning. Both are started in the bread machine and then cooked in a pan. I like doing it this way. Of course, the best way is in the dutch oven using the slow rise method. but sometimes you just want sandwich bread.

IMG_0653.jpeg

I cleaned out a lot of things from the chest freezer over the weekend too. That was on my to-do list. It looks better. There’s only so long I can keep bags of spinach I thought I use for smoothies. Plus some ‘burritos’ I made (4) that no one ever ate and were lingering at the bottom of the freezer.  I still have 2 bags of walnuts in there that need to be shelled. I bought those last summer from a friend so I need to use them soon in baking.( I probably overestimated how many walnuts we can realistically use).

We’re actually supposed to get rain/thunderstorms today. I guess we’ll see.

This week is the bathroom zone if you’re following Flylady. I’ll do that this morning plus it’s towel day. ( I wash our 4 towels on Mondays).

Tomorrow B has clinic and labs. My daughter has offered to drive so I get a break. Last week we had to drive down to get the prescriptions that had finally been cleared with the Cobra insurance. We let here around 8:40 and were down there by 9:30( amazing when there’s no stop and go traffic). Tomorrow though we need to leave by 7:30 and that will be morning commute traffic.

Simple Sunday

It’s a lovely morning with cool temperatures. The next week does heat up but not till Wednesday.

We had a nice walk in the park although it is noticeably darker at 5:45. We may need to start going just a bit later.

Today is a gym day and then I need a few groceries for some recipes. I’ve really used most all the meat in my freezers and lots of misc. A few quarter bags of veggies got tossed. So it’s looking good in there. I made a slow cooker pineapple jalapeno pork roast and it was quite tasty. I also pulled out my bread maker and made the dough for some bread. Then I baked that in the oven.

 It’s also the bathroom zone which I’m just about to do. Other than that it’s sheet day so I’ll get those in the washer soon too.

The coming week isn’t too busy. Clinic and B’s labs on Tuesday. So we may plan an excursion to Tahoe for the day. A nice picnic or something for a few hours. B can’t be in the sun so we’d need to find someplace that has shade. Meeks Bay on the East side has nice big trees so that may be an option.

I went to the pet bookstore this week and got a good selection of books. I’ve finished 3 of them. One of them called”Dirt” is a funny compilation of different authors takes on housekeeping. It was entertaining.

Dinner is grilled chicken and a salad with some noodles on the side.

It’s official….MDS high risk

So it was the local medical oncologist that had the biopsy results from the other Dr. The official diagnosis is Myelodysplastic syndrome high risk because of the 7q deletion.

So at least he doesn’t need to do the induction in the hospital if it was leukemia. I guess that’s something.

For now, it’s going to be the 5 days of chemo every 28 days. Hopefully, the drugs kill off the ‘blasts’ or baby leukemia cells which are bad and then his bone marrow will start producing the right cells. Also, that will mean less and fewer transfusions and platelets.  Then it will be a donor transplant. I seem to recall the transplant doctor saying hospital time a few weeks then outpatient. Fingers crossed that it works as there is a 50% chance it won’t and he’ll die. Or he’ll need to go back on some sort of treatment. 😦

Today, after he gets platelets which do go very quickly after the IV is in, we’re going to Costco so I can load up on organic greens for those smoothies and fruit. I really hate going this time of year with Christmas, but I also hate spending a lot of money on greens at the store when can get a big bag at Costco for the same price if not cheaper.  I will get some other things as well since we’re there and call it my weekly shopping.

I’ve got a new sourdough recipe I’m trying out and it’s on its second rise. But we’ll be gone for a few hours so It’ll be longer than usual.

I’m going over to the gym for a tiny bit while he’s at the infusion center. I can probably get a good 30 minutes in.

Some of my labs are in but this new patient portal is a PITA as it says results released in a few days( it gives the date). WTF, there my results and he’s viewed them so why??? I didn’t see the big 2 tests SPEP or Light chains but they will be coming in soon I suspect.

Oh well, if it goes up again, I’ll just have to not flip out and go with it. Fortunately, I’m not high risk and my numbers have never just shot up so that would give me time to adjust. I see my doctor next week right after Christmas.

I haven’t been too inspired with cooking dinners so we’ll see what I feel like tonight. Mostly I’ve done just what’s easy without a lot of thought. Last night was pinto beans, a frozen enchilada and TJ’s cheese tamales.

 

 

Simple Sunday

A very cold morning but clear.It was 34degrees. We went for a nice walk. Not too much for B but still nice to see the early morning. We also saw a coyote and some deer. Funny, we rarely see these two wild life in the park.

I made chocolate Babkas for the first time. It’s a rich brioche type dough with a chocolate filling. Then it’s rolled up and baked. It was yummy and a nice treat.

IMG_0556.jpeg

Tonight I’m making the potato latkes and I’m going to grate them in the food processor. That should save some time from hand grating. I have the applesauce. I will also fry up some chicken strips just because I need to use the chicken up.

The gym was quite empty (my favorite time is Sunday).  Then I went into Safeway for some jelly donuts for Hanukkah. I doubt we’ll eat them tonight but tomorrow morning sounds about right.

This week is light except B going to the lab and then infusion center. I don’t have any appointments. My next set of labs are coming up at the end of December and that’s it.

I decluttered a box of ornaments and Santas that no longer seem to fit with what I’m doing. I will end up with 2 bins of Christmas stuff. I ‘d love to get it down to one but there’s just a little too much for one bin. I think it’ll end up a bin and a half with most of the second bin being my Life magazine Christmas Santas. I did empty the wrapping paper holder container so I can get rid of that.

I finished the minimalist game for November.  I maybe didn’t get a few days done but overall it was a success. One of the things I love about doing these sort of tasks is that it really helps me focus on getting rid of lots of little things I don’t need. It may not seem like a lot but it adds up and then draws etc look much better and clearer too.

 

 

Simple Sunday

Our walk this morning was quite chilly. 48 degrees!  But it’s supposed to warm up to 78 degrees so that will be nice. It sure is darker longer in the morning and now sunset is 6:36pm.  Fall is here for sure.

I’m in the kitchen zone this week. I’ve been doing a little extra all week so it shouldn’t take quite as long. I wiped down the bathroom and the laundry is started.  Sundays are sheet day so that adds a load.

The first Tartine bread didn’t work out so well it didn’t do the puff up in the Le Creuset.  I have the second loaf on the counter now doing a final rise from the refrigerator. I’m thinking that the kitchen was cooler and the fermentation should have gone longer.  But it may be the batch is off so I ‘ll see if it does better with a final rise time being a little longer.

I’m off to the gym and then to get some groceries. I am planning to go into Target as well for a few things. We need more twinkly lights as our stash from last year is used. We keep light ups all year in the carport and on the house. They are on timers and come on at dusk.  We don’t have outside lights so this works well for us.

I am terribly saddened by the political news. I really thought there was a good chance Kavanaugh wouldn’t be confirmed. Apart from the sexual assault issues, his whole temperament with the anger and partisanship really is an issue for a supreme court justice.  But somehow this got thru too. Our democracy is really threatened by this whole populist movement. There is such division in this country. How anyone with any degree of sanity can support Trump is beyond me. His mocking Dr. Ford and then people laughing is just cruel and unpresidential.  It goes on and on.

 

Tonight I’m making polenta with roasted butternut squash and brussel sprouts.  I’m not sure what else maybe some pan grilled pork chops. We don’t eat a lot of pork so maybe not.