After Thanksgiving, and a Simple Sunday.

It was a lovely Thanksgiving with the four of us. My brother stayed home as he does work as a machinist around lots of other people. BTW, the company he works for made a number of the very specific pieces the Space -X used to go to the Space Station.Cool!

Update, on Saturday he stopped by for a pan of nut loaf and a plate of turkey with all the trimmings!! He’s a great guy who shares our political views and is outspoken about the corruption of Trump.

I had ordered the Diestel turkey breast and it was delicious. It was pricey, but worth. I have lots of slices left to freeze plus I plan to make a turkey wild rice soup.

Update: I think I’ll freeze the turkey since it’s now Sunday and we’re kinda turkeyed out:(.

Yesterday on our walk, 2 unusual things happened. We started out by the pond and a black cat jumped out of the blackberry bushes. One of his eyes was closed so we were concerned it was hurt. it was very friendly so we picked it up and drove home. I woke my daughter who tried to look at it but it squeezed under the kitchen counter. So we went back and walked in the park. On our last round we saw ‘granny’ goose( the last domestic goose at the park) limping. Her one leg had been injured. We were worried for her. I messaged ARD and told them and they said call animal control, which I didn’t do. This morning ‘granny ‘ wasn’t there so either she got taken by animal control or a coyote got her. Sad. At one time there was a flock of 20 geese and they were always fun to watch.

Back to the cat. So eventually it came out and wasn’t hungry and it looked like it was someone’s pet. And the eye wasn’t injured, as we thought, it didn’t have a right eye. B put it out on Nextdoor neighbor and within the hour some said it was our local hardware stores pet cat. So B took it home to the store. But it made us all realize how much we miss having a cat/cats.

Not much on the agenda for today. I may wander out to the barn and get the other Christmas boxes down to see if I want to use anything more. I’ve made a wreath with bay leaves for the front door. It has nice dark green branches/leaves so it looks Christmassy. I’ll probably go cut some cedar and pine branches also to make a centerpiece for the table.

Sunday morning:

off for our walk at 6am. It’s still somewhat dark and then it’s predawn. This time has worked out well. We’ve only crossed the jerk dog walker once so that’s a huge plus.

We still don’t have rain in the forecast but it’s cold in the morning( like high 30’s). I got an email alert from PGE saying we would have a high electric bill. I figured it would be since we use the space heaters off and on. Well, we may have to cut back on when we use them like maybe only in the mornings. This house doesn’t have any central AC/heat so we use the wood stove and then in the bedrooms small space heaters. I’m not surprised since we get this every year a few months of very high electric. I probably should just put that in the annual bills column. Yeah, I think I’ll do that. 3/4 months of high PGE which would be @ $1,000.

I don’t plan on making Tartine today so that will lighten my morning. I’ll get out my starter tomorrow for Tuesday/ Wednesday bread.

This week Flylady has 2 zones, the living room and the entry ways. My front room is fairly easy as it’s pretty minimal. It doesn’t take me more than 15 minutes to do the zone. I do wipe the tops of the Easton press as they are gold gild and do get dusty. I also do the windows and the mirror. We have a large Heywood Wakefield mirror in this room near the dining table. The entryways start on Tuesday which is Dec. 1. I’ve already changed out the seasonal decor to Christmas/ Winter. One thing minimalism has taught me is to use as much natural things for decorations hence the bay laurel wreath. Plus, I can keep that up all winter not just Christmas. I do change the outside twinkly lights from orange(fall) to blue( winter). We keep lights up year round as we don’t have outside lights so we put the twinklies on a timer to come on at dark till around 11pm and then again in the morning around 5:30 till 7am. It just helps with outside lighting.

We got a bumper crop of lemons from our one dwarf tree. This one of 2 bowls of lemons. I will slice and freeze some. Great for adding to water and then I thought I might look preserved lemon. Someone years ago, gave me a ball jar of preserved lemons and they were excellent on/cooked with chicken. Anyone have a recipe they use?

Well, off to start the day:)

Simple Sunday

A lovely Sunday walk this morning without the jerk, who showed up yesterday after a 2 week hiatus. That’s ok we just ignored him even though he was walking in the middle of the path and we had to walk single file when he went by. It’s not worth the psychic energy anymore to even deal with it. We just went on our merry way. But it was a very pretty morning at the park this morning. We’re pretty lucky to have at least this one trail that is paved. There isn’t anything else like it at all around here. The closest would be Auburn which has one park with a paved trail otherwise it’s Folsom or up the hill to Truckee that has amazing trails all paved.

From there I started working on the nut/cheese loaf for Thanksgiving. I ended up with enough for 2 loaves and one half size one. I put them in the freezer till Thursday morning. I use the recipe from Greens. I’ll try and post it tomorrow.

Then I cut up the loaf of Tartine and put that in the freezer and started a new batch which I’ll do a slow overnight rise. That way I can cook it tomorrow morning.

I put the Costco chicken carcass in the Instant Pot to make broth. That’s still cooking. I also started a Crock Pot of pinto beans for dinner. Costco had the green chile cheese tamales which are my favorite so we’ll have those with pintos.

Tomorrow B has his IGIV. It’s in Roseville so I’ll take him and Z will go pick him up since my daughter works on Mondays. Z works too but he can take it as his lunch break. Hopefully, that will help his energy which is still pretty low and lagging.

I finished everything for Christmas. Really, don’t get too excited, as we only have us to buy for and I keep it small. I will send off something to my sister and give my brother some money. For us, I have books, a couple pairs of jammies, an Elton John album my son wanted and some other misc. Generally, I get stuff we need in the clothes dept, books, something fun and something that is a want.

Hanukkah is early this year, Dec 10th, but I’ve decided not to do any gift things and we’ll just light the candles. I like the idea of the light illuminating the dark and we need that right now.

Flylady zone this week is the bedroom. I finished it today. It doesn’t take very long since it’s pretty uncluttered in there. I did wash the comforter though and my daughter put up the new shoji screen for the one window. It keeps the cold out amazing.

Five on Friday

I’m late getting this off since this morning I was trying to get my Tartine bread in the oven before we left to go to Costco. The bread was a rye mixture( so slightly darker) and the rise isn’t as high but it has great flavor especially with cream cream . I got it in for the first 20 minutes with the lid on and then took the lid off for the final 25 and left my daughter in charge of taking it out. It looked great when I got home.

Costco( the 9am, 60 and older crowd) was absolutely crazy. The line to get in was around the building. For an instant, I almost decided we should just leave but decided this is it till after January 1st and it’s only going to get worse ,so we went in. I guess the TP run is back on and most people were beelining to the back for the TP. Geez, really?? Anyway, they have rearranged the store so cold veggies are near the bakery and that’s where I started. I got everything on my list except canned beans because at that point in the store I was DONE!!! I made B get 2 cases of beer because I ain’t going back in there during Christmas. If we need cream or whatever I’ll hit our market here in town.

My Diestel turkey breast showed up yesterday and that will be nice to have instead of the whole turkey. Last year I did a Whole Foods turkey and it was delicious( according to my notes) but this year I didn’t want to do the whole thing plus I haven’t been into Whole Foods since last Christmas. I do keep a written menu of Thanksgiving each year and then add notes. It has been good to refer back to. I started doing this the one year I downloaded Flylady’s thanksgiving “to do ” list. I have to say, it has been helpful.

B had a call from the Cancer after hours clinic asking him to call( this was after 7pm). We didn’t even get the message till bedtime since neither of us keep our phones with us. We ignored it figuring it was his potassium level( which it was). His blood pressure hasn’t been stable so he went back on the HCTZ which is extremely effective but drops his potassium to low levels and they want him to get an infusion. When you’ve been down this road this many times we just had him take extra potassium pills and drink some gatorade. So after calls this morning( in the middle of Costco noless), yes, increase potassium pills, stop the HCtz again, and get another blood test. Also his immunoglobulins are down which happens about every 2 months so he will need an infusion for that. Sometimes, I feel like I’m barely hanging on here.

We got a Christmas tree permit to go up to Tahoe next week. It’s always a crap shoot of whether you will go the right area and find a nice tree but this year we will give it a go. Last year we skipped it with everything still going on. There has been some snow up there so that will be interesting. I’m planning on NOT putting up the artificial tree if we find a nice live on to put up. If not I will use the live one in my room with just some lights and put the artificial one up in the front room.

Tonight is pizza night and we are having just a frozen pizza. I was going to do Round Table but after spending a zillion dollars at Costco decide to just use what we have. Plus, the deep dish ‘MOtown’ from Costco is quite excellent.

Well, that’s a wrap, and I hear a glass of red wine calling me.

Five on Friday( ok, it might be more)!!

What a week it has been, but I think with Arizona now going for Biden officially, it’s a done deal.

Trump and his narcissistic personality just can’t admit defeat. Sad, really. Like a kid who just can’t/won’t grow up.

And how his loyal believers even think what they think is beyond me. Honestly, I think they are missing some DNA strand the rest of us have that filters humility, honesty, civility and on and on.

Well, on to this week. Today it’s supposed to rain and right now it’s cloudy but the temperature is nice, mid forties. Earlier things week we were at 32 degrees and it was freezing and walking was tough. The path had some ice and was tricky to navigate. We haven’t seen ‘the jerk’ so either he’s very early or on vacation. Either way, it’s lovely to walk with his frantic weird energy. As a matter of fact, there are 2 other couples that walk and they are so pleasant and nice with a “good morning” or “hello”.

I picked a small order from Walmart yesterday. Mostly we needed the small Coleman propane bottles for our “Buddy” heater which we use when we sit out on the sun porch and it’s cold. Walmart has the best prices with a 4 pack at $13.57. I picked a few groceries but not much.

I also went into Target for Christmas lights but they didn’t have the Target brand out yet, so the next day I did a pickup for them as it showed on the website. I did pick up some blue lights that we use throughout the winter on the outside by the front door. Right now the orange/fall ones are still up but I’ll have B take them done this coming week. I’ve moved most of the pumpkins away from the 2 doors and have put the small Christmas type trees by one.

I’m thinking of doing a bay laurel wreath for the front door as we have a nice big tree in the front yard that we planted when we first moved here so it is 25 years old. I will add a red ribbon.

The bread making frenzy continues and the loaves and my starter is doing great. Again, it’s truly the Tartine recipe that does the best bread.

Each recipe does make 2 loaves, so I just cut the second one and freeze the slices. Speaking of which, I knicked my finger cutting the top of the loaf the other day. Not a bad cut but the top of the loaves are very crunchy and so I bought these gloves so it wouldn’t happen again. so far they work great.

I dropped off a Goodwill load this week. No waiting this time. I guess the great purge of 2020 is over for now. They even brought a cart for you to put your stuff in. Before you had to take everything out of your bags and separate it. It was kinda a pain.

I also decided to take the TV in my office space off the wall and get rid of the DVD player there too. I bought( at Target) a quite compact Sony DVD blu ray for the DVD’s I want to keep. ( Shirley Valentine,I see you).

One of my absolutely favorite YouTubers is a young woman in New Zealand ,who is the most sincere person I’ve seen on YT yet. She is the ultimate minimalist and quite inspiring. Minimom really walks her talk and does not put out regurgitated stuff like some YT’s like Life at Home Taoist style who doesn’t even really know what a Taoist is.

Even though she(Minimom) is only in her 30’s with 2 small children she really puts it out there without the other crap. So it took her saying her house/condo was too small for 2 TVs and the light bulb went on for me. I don’t need that 2nd TV when I walk 20 feet into the front room and watch a DVD. We did need the new player though as this TV is newer than the old one and wouldn’t hook to old DVD player.

Anyway, if you are into minimalism and watch youtube, go to her channel.

On Edge!!!

It’s Friday and we are still waiting for the results. Crazy.

All the articles in the Wash. Post about the Senate still having control is worrisome. McConnell, the asshole, will block everything. Is there any recourse?? I don’t know honestly, but hope someone can figure it out.

I think I’m going to tune out politics after the final tally and just go about my life. At least if Biden wins we will have some sense of decency back in the White House. I can hardly take another minute of trump and his lies, deceit, undermining democracy and on and on.

We watched V is for Vendetta last night. If you haven’t seen it, you should . It is frightening to see what can happen when an authoritarian /dictator takes over. The story is takes place in London but still relevant especially when it references ex-America.( meaning America as we know it no longer exists).

Well, on to more mundane things. We went to Costco yesterday and spent $500. But half of that was Christmas stuff plus beer for B and Z. I tried to get most of the stuff I needed that was on coupon and did well. I got a new Crock Pot that was $10 off, cereal, yogurt, Kodiak pancake stuff. All in all, I saved $75.00. So I call that a win. We picked up a tin of cookies for our post office and a container of Caramels for another gift. We picked up 2 sets of pj’s for B and Z and I got the new Ina Garten cookbook for Christmas. So really food ended up about $250 I’d say.

We have our first cloudy cool day in like forever and it’s a wonderful change. It was supposed to rain and there were maybe 10 sprinkles but at least it’s cloudy.

I’ve been going full board on the sourdough bread. I decided to go back to Tartine and yes, even though it takes longer, it is the best. I’ll post some pictures once they are uploaded.

Well, I’m off to anxiety land waiting….

Simple Sunday

Anxiety is running high with only 2 days till the election. I just can’t help but feel anxious something is going to happen and Trump will win. I mean, I have always said,it is what it is, but in this case it scares the s#@t out of me. I guess we will know soon enough. I just hope it’s a landslide and orange man can’t contest it. It just is giving me serious mental issues.

Our weather in Northern California continues to be beautiful but we need rain. I can’t remember getting to November 1st without some sort of rain and that is unnerving. The weather show a chance of rain Friday so fingers crossed( whatever that means).

B still has some projects going. He finished the siding replacement which ended up a huge project. Why can’t things just be “oh, that needs replacing” and be done with it. No, it has to end up a big project. We still have the laundry room floor to replace and we want to do some privacy fencing in the front to block out at least part of the driveway. That project probably is going to cost $400 but it will look way better than 60 year old wire fence that is crumpled.

Today I’m baking a white sourdough no knead loaf. I think next week I’ll go back to the Tartine recipe and compare. Tartine’s is more complicated( you weigh everything) but it does give a better rise.

For dinner I’m planning to take some of the frozen baked potatoes out and make a chicken picatta plus a salad.

We are in entryway zone, if you follow Flylady. I think I will tidy the sunroom entry and move what plants are there to the greenhouse. I have a pumpkin out there I will keep to Thanksgiving week. The deer have eaten my chrysanthemums so I moved them.

So time changed this morning and I knew the “jerk” would be there earlier and yep, he was. That’s okay we just went by in the opposite direction but now his thing is to not move to the right of the path as he passes, he just stays in the middle. Oh well, like I said to B this morning, whatever his problem is, it’s not us anymore as we have gone out of our way to accommodate him. I think he’s just an angry young man( well, he’s probably early 40’s.) Anyway, it doesn’t phase me anymore which is a good thing. So by the time we left it was light enough to see the tree color at the park so that was quite nice.

That about wraps it up and let’s just hope we have a new president on Wednesday.

Simple Sunday

We are on extreme fire alert today thru Tuesday. Power will be shut off this afternoon. Scary stuff. Plus everything is so dry. These winds are supposed to be quite bad all the way to the Bay area. Geez. We really need a break here.

The winner of the bread recipe so far is the No knead sourdough. Both the rye and the white were superb. I may just keep tweaking it so it’s perfect. Of course, come next summer, I’ll abandon bread making and forget it all. Hummm…. maybe that’s why I blog about bread, so as to have a written history.

Success!!! We are walking a little later at 6am. The jerk is still there, but we are walking in the OPPOSITE direction and it makes all the difference since he’s not storming up behind us. Now he just storms by with his dog. It has been GREAT!

I had my biennial mammogram and will get the results next week. Since I didn’t hear anything I’m guessing it’s ok. I was in and out in record time as they have scheduled everything with Covid in mind so appts are spaced.

This week is my oncology appt. I’m not too concerned since I know it’s another 2 months before I’m starting something. That puts me after Christmas. So if all goes accordingly, I’ll wager January. After my appt, I plan to hit up Trader Joe’s in Roseville on the way home. I haven’t been there in months. There’s a few things I specifically want from there ( besides the Charles Shaw), tamari, hash browns, some frozen stuff which TJ’s does a great job of. That will go on my November food budget.

I was out in the prepper pantry in the barn the other day, and it looks great. I have to say, we did a great job on both food and nonfood. I can see periodically adding stuff but for the most part we are using stuff on rotation and then replacing.

The gardens are all cleaned up for winter. My daughter does a great job pulling everything up and putting it in the compost. We haven’t planted anything else yet but I may encourage her to start some chard and cold weather stuff. She did plant all the bulbs I ordered. I ordered 3 giant bags. We have one designated bulb area and in the spring it is very pretty.

This week is the living room zone, so I’ll wash windows and do a deeper dusting.

Halloween stuff..

Lanterns for later when the power is out.

Of course, we have out generators too but we’ll use them tomorrow for a few hours for the freezer and fridge.

Bread making continues…

Even though temperatures are in the high 80’s, it is fall.

I think this is the warmest October I can ever remember here. Still, I’m back into bread making. Bread making is definitely an art form, and in the summer when I don’t make any, I have to get the feel for it all over again by fall.

I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter quite diligently sna it’s doing great. i probably have too many jars going as the counter is often filled with jars in different stages of bubbling. It looks a bit like a science experiment.

This in the jars just fed, so it will double in size.

This is the rye starter.

Yesterday, I made a sourdough sandwich loaf. It didn’t rise as much as I would have liked but it is a softer bread( the crumb that is). It has milk in it which will always make a softer bread.

My favorite so far is the sourdough rye. It is dense and just delicious. Today I’m going to experiment with a no knead sourdough rye. we’ll see??

Yesterday for Sunday breakfast I made sourdough banana pancakes with discard. For some reason, I’m loathe to toss the discard after you do another feed. It just seems wasteful. Besides pancakes, I found lots of recipes like biscuits, and pumpkin bread so I’m definitely going to try and use some of the discard in other recipes.

Today I’m going in to the bank to get the print out of our payment to UHC so LLS can reimburse me.

Today was our no walk day. We had a confrontation yesterday with dog walker. He doesn’t use a flashlight and with no moon it is dark. We try very hard to get out of his way but when he comes around behind us, I shine the flashlight on him. Well, yesterday he flipped out. I think he was partially right that I didn’t need to shine it on him but it does let us see where he is. Anyway, it wasn’t nice. So tomorrow we are going to walk in the opposite direction so we can see him coming. Not sure if that will help but I’ll try. I think we need to try and say good morning although in the past when we have, he just ignores us so not sure about that. I did apologize for shining the flashlight at him but he didn’t seem to want to let it go. It’s an unfortunate series of events because we like being there early and in our almost 9 years of walking in the park we have never had a belligerent person. So this is kinda new and I’m not sure how we will approach it. We could time arriving when he leaves but I actually don’t know that since we only walk for 40 minutes and he does at least an hour so????

Any ideas?? walk later? earlier? ( that would be a stretch since we start at 5:15am. oh well, it was/is depressing.

Unfortunately, there are no other paved trails around us. The closest would be down in Folsom and that’s 40 minutes away.

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.

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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.

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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.