Imbolc


Imbolc or Imbolg, also called Saint Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic traditional festival. It marks the beginning of spring, and for Christians it is the feast day of Saint Brigid, Ireland’s patroness saint. It is held on 1 February, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, its traditions were widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man… Wikipedia

· Imbolc is a pagan holiday celebrated from February 1 through sundown February 2. Based on a Celtic tradition, Imbolc was meant to mark the halfway point between the winter solstice.

February 2nd is cross-quarter. I always feel the earth slightly shifting. Perhaps it’s the sap starting to run in the trees or possibly the sun’s angle. Right now we’re getting light still in the afternoon at 5:45pm and walking in the morning, predawn is 6am. I love when this change happens.

I had a good Dr. appt. Nothing new to report. My increase of 3 points is still very low and he actually had gone back and looked at when my numbers started doubling. So at one point, it went from 90 to 180. So that’s what I won’t let happen again and he’s well aware of that. Still, he’s the medical oncologist and knows what he’s doing. But it was a good drive into Sacramento with not tons of traffic just the normal.

I had thought of going down to the pool this morning but will wait till tomorrow. Driving out 2 days in a row is a lot for me. So Friday will be my swim day. I’ll probably go to the gym on Sunday then.

The pantry challenge is winding down as I am running out of ideas. I will check the freezer this morning and see what I can cobble together. I still have plenty of shell stable meals so I may do a couple of them. I know I have some salad stuff to use up today.

Thankful Thursday:

That I have an oncologist who knows me and is attentive.

That it’s sunny out even though it’s cold.

My husband who does SO MUCH around here and is always willing to stop at the store or drop things off for me( returns).

That I feel good overall and love swimming and going to the gym and that I CAN do it.

That we get SS and that almost covers all our bills including still having a mortgage:( . Then I’m thankful our kids pay ‘rent’ and that covers the rest , food, misc, etc.

I’m so thankful they both have excellent jobs and love them. We never got the job thing right( not for lack of trying) but first, in the mid 70’s there were NO jobs that we could get( plus affirmative action knocked Barclay out of the job pools with the US Forest Service. and always we resorted to some kind of self employment. He did Shiatsu massage for years and I did the whole ‘spiritual’ healing/counseling mumbo jumbo. Later we opened the metaphysical bookstore in Old Town Auburn but that was in the late 80s.

Lastly, I’m thankful Barclay is healthy again!!

Frugal Friday

It’s almost the end of January and the pantry challenge is going great. I will continue into February. I’ve come in @ $400 in groceries for the month. For the four of us, that’s really good. The pantry and the freezer are decreasing so that’s a good thing. I still have quite a bit to use up.

Last night I made Sole Milanese.(Ina Garten recipe) I made way too much but that’s what was in the freezer bag. Note to self: (portion out the fish better). Tonight is usually pizza night but no one feels like that so I think I’ll just do a simple pasta dish. Here’s the pizza from last week. I’m looking forward to using the Ooni outside when the weather changes.

I have February’s budget done and in place. I plan on looking at starting taxes this next week. It should be quite simple. I think we have all the things I need. We did get a 1099 for the California relief something. I guess that was a taxable amount. Not sure why they’d give you a refund and then expect it to be taxed. Oh well, who knows how anything in the government works.

We had our Date Thursday yesterday at Chipolte. It was ok. It seemed like an awful lot of people getting take out. I guess we don’t go out to eat very often so it’s always a surprise the amount of people doing it. But I am trying to get us to do one thing a week like this.

This was a sunset but my phone didn’t really capture the colors well. It was orangey and pink. this is looking west out our bedroom window.

Well, that’s it for today.

Wednesday’s musings

Well, a disappointment with my labs. Kappa went up to 30.7 mg/L so a 3-point jump. And the ratio went up to 1.96mg/L from 1.76 so also a jump. I’m disappointed but such as it is.

The pool was busy but I did get a lane right away. It’s sort of hit-and-miss most mornings. But it’s still worth the effort. I went to the gym yesterday, which was pretty empty although I saw some new faces. Probably new years resolutions kicking in.

Today I’ve been playing around with a spreadsheet I downloaded for the budget. It’s taken me 6 different tries but I think I have it down and I like it as long as it works the way it’s supposed to. I bought it off Etsy on the recommendation of Minimom on Youtube. I do most of my budgeting in a notebook but I wanted to add something new.

After the pool, I went over to Winco for a few groceries. Honestly, you cannot beat the price of things there. It’s a bit of a learning curve because of the layout but I know it well now so I can just go to the areas of food I need. Their bulk area is amazing. Lots of bins of snacks, spices, grains, everything you could want bulk, even honey.

Today I need to vacuum and dust and then fall into a heap depressed about my light chains. It’ll take me a day to regroup.

Friday Things

We’re back in the rain today and all weekend:( I know we need all we can get but geez, it gets kind of old. Anyway, I didn’t go out this morning so I could do a few house things.

I made up a batch of hummus from the garbanzos I cooked the other day. I planned the next week’s menu using the pantry challenge. Tonight I will use the one frozen pizza I have in the freezer. I’ll make a salad on the side. I tidied up my office space and did a swish and swipe in the bathroom. I planned to vacuum but all the kitties are sleeping!

I had a nice swim yesterday and the pool was not super busy. I usually swim Saturdays but with the next wave of the storm is tomorrow and it’s forecast to be heavier rain and some wind.

Our UHC medicare supplemental has a gym membership with Anytime Fitness for free so I signed up for that. B is already signed up and is going 2-3 x a week. I plan on using the gym for the treadmill and weights when I don’t want to drive down the hill. Plus it’s free!

We went to Costco on Wednesday and it was not too busy at all. We usually try and get there right at 9 but this time we were there at 10 and it was great. Plus we didn’t need a whole lot. I was primarily going to get the 4 pack of Nasocort I use to help clear my sinus cavity. This was something the doctor said to try and it does help. We bought about $100 in just groceries. I’ll add that amount to the food budget but the non food I’ll keep out of the low spend challenge. Things like AA batteries, allergy stuff are just maintenance stuff and need to be bought regardless of low spend month.

My favorite youtube, Minimom had a good budget video the other day. She had bought a download from Etsy that is compatible with Google Docs. I checked it out and I’m curious but I tend to like my budget on paper. It’s on sale today so I guess I’ll need to decide.

That’s it for now, hopefully, the rain will ease up. It’s hard not to go stir crazy.

Getting ready for camping 2023

This would have been the week we were in Refugio. We canceled due to the cost of gas. ( gas is around $6.00 a gallon here but in the Santa Barbara area it’s probably higher. We both agreed that we didn’t want to add to the cc right now with the other things that are still on there. Plus, we felt we had done it last year and it was great but we didn’t really feel like we needed to go back there. Santa Barbara is always a draw for us but that’s still 30+ minutes away from Refugio so it’s not like we could just pop in. Anyway, we’re both ok with the decision.

My goal for 2023 is to go to one new place to camp and explore that area. I’d like it to be within 4-5 hours of driving.

So far for 2023, we have New Brighton booked in March and Wrights Beach in April. Both are 5 nights and that’s a nice amount of time. I think we’re going to book Napa at the end of each of these if we can get in. I’ll check that soon. My goal is to not drive more than 2-3 hours a day unless we are on an extended trip. I still have hopes that we can get to the Southwest, and then Pacific North West but with gas prices, we need to be budget-minded. I think I want to have a dedicated savings for travel and then that money will be in there for gas etc. We don’t spend a great deal generally once we’re in a location. So it’s really gas and the campground fees. We love the places we go to regularly so that’s all good. I mean Tahoe is my favorite place and where I want my ashes spread after I leave this earth.

Barclay is off to buy the concrete paint in a different color this morning down at Lowes. We decided to go with an earth tone in darker brown. Let’s hope we like it. Sort of an expensive mistake with the gallon being $50. Oh well… Then he’s going to pop into Winco for a few things. I think shopping at Winco has really helped my grocery budget. I can’t remember the last time I went into Safeway. Also, not running down to the Holiday Market for bits and bobs also is a money saver as it is definitely more expensive. I’m probably spending more at the farm but since it is produce just picked I’m ok with that. Last week I got potatoes, 2 cabbages, lettuce, spring mix, a leek and ?( I think it was some broccoli) it was $20. So pricey but ok.

I’m going to prep more apples this morning and get them ready for applesauce. I’m not sure I’ll cook them today but I’ll see how I feel when I’m done.

This time of year always is difficult for me remembering when I had the compression fracture in T 10 and didn’t know what it was or why. It was November 2003. Then later, in the fall of 2005, I was getting ready to do the SCT in February but was getting heavy duty chemo during this time. So difficult memories for me. Then Barclay’s MDS happened right about now too( early November). It’s an emotional time remembering these periods. Even when my last relapse was hitting numbers way too high, that was November of 2020 and I started chemo in January 2021. So lots of sad and difficult memories. Of course, I’m an optimist so right now things are stable. I’m doing well, Barclay is well and our kids are healthy and happy. So that’s all positive.

September 30th and another turn around the sun.

I’ve got to say it is VERY Weird to turn 70. I’m not sure if that means anything at all since you can’t stop time unless you’re dead and gone, I suppose. Well, I’m at a good place in my life. I’m swimming and doing the weights(although I’d like to be at the Rec center more), walking, and going out with the RV whenever possible. We have our SS and that covers most of what our monthly bills are and our 2 children pay us ‘rent’ and that covers the incidentals. I feel very grateful to have what we need at this point in our lives. Down the road , who knows really.

Yesterday I used the pressure canner again and made vegetable soup. For my birthday, my daughter bought me the ALL-Clad stock pot which is 16 qts and needed to make large amounts of prepared food for canning. I also got from her the new Alexa which is fun. My son got me a Lodge loaf pan which looks great. Very sweet of him. He really always thinks of the greatest gifts. I’m terrible at coming up with ideas.

I’m getting more comfortable with the pressure canner. This recipe made 7 qts and processed for 85 minutes. I bring a chair into the kitchen and keep an eye on it although nothing seems untoward. This morning I’ll wash the jars and label. I had one jar ‘siphon’ a little which is some seepage. It doesn’t make the canned product unsafe just slightly lower liquid in the jar so I’m planning on using that in the next few days. I’m really excited about learning this new skill. The Mirro canner seems to be working fine. I went and checked out the All American but still not ready to do that. Maybe next year. I ordered another pressure canner book so maybe they’ll be some new recipes to try. Ball has a few in their book and online but it seems limited.

B bought me some lovely flowers too.

On to Frugal Friday…

We went to Costco last Sunday and stocked up with coffee, bagels, bread, and lots of other stuff I can’t remember and,non food stuff like AA batteries, laundry soap, dish soap, TP etc. This all goes on October’s food budget. I decided to up our budget to $800 and I think that will be the right amount. We’ll see:)

We took Buggie in for that alignment that was needed but the mechanic( a different garage) couldn’t do it because he couldn’t get the bolt or something undone. So I guess we’re going to just leave it for now. He said it would be @ $900. After the expensive other garage stuff, I’m kinda done for now. I only use Bugs to go to Auburn and maybe drive 1500 miles a year at the most. So I’m not too worried. We did get the 2 new front tires though.

We were able to get a reservation at Nevada Beach for next week so we’re heading up there for a few days. The weather looks perfect. I also booked New Brighton for March. It might a little early to go there but you never can tell with March weather.

Friday Things

It’s been a weird week. It started off with me having to take Buggie back to the garage because my fan speeds were not working. The girl at the desk became very defensive and I was also defensive that my fan wasn’t working and I wanted it fixed. It boiled down to when I brought my car in my fan was working when I picked it up(well my daughter did),the fan speed was stuck on high. I asked Sachi and she said the fan was on when she picked it up and just thought with the smoke and fires the garage had it running high. So the whole escalated the next day with the owner calling me and really ripping into me about how I was rude and ‘an awful person’ for confronting his daughter. Of course, I said look at it from my side,that I just spent $3000 on the car and I get home and my fan is not working. Well, it volleys back and forth that no way did they do anything to my fan and it must have been my daughter driving it home( which is 10 minutes folks) and cranked the fan on and broke it. Really??? are you kidding me.? no I didn’t say that. I just said, I don’t know what happened but she said the fan was on high when she drove it home and she didn’t touch the dial. I apologized that I offended his daughter but again, my point was my fan is not working. So, in long run, he said he spent ALL DAY fixing something( the switch??). I said thank you and took my keys and left. Obviously, I will never go back for service there. It’s always so weird to me how things can turn into an event when I simply went in saying I want my fan fixed since when I brought it in it was working and when I drove it next the fan was not working. I’m sure I was intense to a degree but not ‘rude’. Oh well, I thought of doing a negative Yelp review, but then just figured why bother?

Other than that, Tuesday I had my labs and my CBC, CMP are all the same pretty much and my Kappas just came in this morning and went up to 22.3 mg/L from 20.1. so an increase but not too dramatic. It seems my numbers are holding steady for the time being.

This morning is my covid booster so I’m planning on doing that and then going to Safeway for a few things and then home. Usually, Saturday is my swim day but I’m leaving that open as I don’t know if I’ll feel lousy or not.

Budget-wise, it was a good week with nothing extra spent except some salad mix, wine, and bananas. bb

I’ve been doing some batch cooking for the freezer. I made beef stew in the Instant Pot and then froze 2 quarts, lentil soup, and froze 2 quarts. A yummy quiche from Le Creuset cookbook. It came out really good with fresh thyme.

I got a lot done around the house yesterday and felt good about that. I changed the shower curtain, we put the rug back down in the bedroom, made the lentil soup, and washed all the couch covers. So everything is fresh for fall. I’m having B take out the cooler in the bed room this weekend and I’ll put up the fall/winter cutains soon.

Frugal Friday, I guess.

No, just kidding 🙂 It’s been a fairly frugal week except for our 2 year Septic pumping. This house only has a 900-gallon tank(which is now illegal but back then was acceptable.), so we need to have it pumped every 2-3 years. It was $575 so not too bad really, and we have that in our annual bills account.

But food-wise, it’s been a low-spend week. I have plenty of things in both the fridge and freezer to use. This past week I made baked herb chicken with our cherry tomato compote, veggie sausage bake, cheese toasties with avocado and tomato, and pasta with tomatoes, and mozzarella. Tonight is pizza night and I’m not sure that’s what I’m doing. It’s early yet so I have time to think about it. First thing this morning is to blanch and freeze some local corn. I haven’t seen the sales for 10 for $1.00 come up. Maybe I missed it. So this was 2 for $1.00. I got just 10. Then I have more tomatoes to process but I may wait and do that tomorrow.

Barclay was supposed to get his port out this morning ( a milestone after 3 1/2 years) but he got a rash ( we think from his Shingrex shot) and the doctor said he should wait for it to be gone. He’s going to call his team nurse this morning to check on it.

We went out for a coffee at the local cafe and had iced americanos. That was $10 with a scone and came out of his personal money. Since we are doing cash envelopes again, he’s getting $100 a month for fun money. That’s working out very well. Also, he’s in charge of the cash envelopes for chicken food, and home depot. I’m still working out how much those should be REALISTICALLY. A budget only works if it fits what you need to spend and have the $ to fund the line item. So far, I have Tractor Supply at $50, and Home Depot stuff at $200.

We are going to have to take my VW to the shop as the coolant is still leaking. Hopefully, it won’t be too much. I don’t really keep a car repair fund so I guess I better start that.

I just finished the corn and got 3 small baggies of shucked corn. So maybe 20 more ears of corn.

Friday things

Today has been mostly tidying the house and catching up on a few things. I returned a small handheld label maker I had ordered a couple of weeks ago from Amazon because the ink was skipping and after trying a bunch of times just gave up. I’ll look for a different kind of label maker when I feel like it.

I’m planning on using my cash envelopes for August for a few things like groceries, Target, Home Depot and, a few others. I feel like we need to be a bit more focused on where the dollars are going. I know our daily budget but lots of time I just say to B to get it at Home Depot and then he buys whatever. It’s covered in our checking but I feel like we need to say there’s this $amount and that’s it. I’ll focus on August and see how it goes. For some things like gas, I won’t do cash so that’s the debit card. But I will have an index card with the amounts as ‘virtual cash’. All our regular bills are automatic.

Today is our last really hot day and then we start to trend downward into the low 90s. Maybe we can start eating dinner out on the patio again.

After my gym workout, I went into the library and picked up my holds. Two were canning books but they weren’t quite what I was after so I guess I’ll just have to buy the Ball book again. ( I gave it away a few years ago because I hadn’t used it). Most recipes are on- line but I’d still like to have a copy for reference mostly. I was excited to get the new Anne Hillerman book. I still love all things Santa Fe and New Mexico and appreciate the native culture immensely. The pinion pines smell amazing and the sky is incredibly blue. I’ve bought pinion pine incense and it’s lovely.

Tonight is supposed to be pizza but alas, it’s too hot so we’re going to have a brown rice salad. Last night I made zucchini fritters from the farm. I’ll probably go out there later this afternoon for a few things.

Not much else going on here.

A goat cheese quiche:

Garlic herb butter

corn from the farm.

Frugal Friday

It was a frugal week overall. All of June’s bills are in for the month with the exception of the DMV for the truck which is due at the end of June. The DMV seems really high but maybe trucks cost more. We bought the truck a year ago so DMV fees were included and we didn’t probably notice.

This past week was 2 grocery shops. Winco for @ $100 and Costco for @$120. So not too bad. Most of those things will last the month of June and were some pantry refills. I plan on going to the store tomorrow for some camping food things we will need like half and half, some bananas, and at least one salad pack.

We’re leaving Monday and I don’t think were going to hit traffic going up to Tahoe as most of it will be coming down going west. Tahoe itself will probably be busy but we’re not planning on doing anything extra except a lunch out. We also need to go check the dump station in Zephyr Cove as Nevada Beach campground does not have a dump station. We’re only there 4 nights so it shouldn’t be a problem. Still, we will want to use a dump station before coming home.

Other expenses this week were the birthday present for my daughter, stuff from Home Depot, and some things from Amazon. I needed some black-out curtains to hang as the sun is pretty intense in the bedroom and the entryway this time of year. I also bought a Hario pour-over set for Rubi. We usually do the coffee press first thing but then after we walk we’ve felt like a coffee so this will give us 2 cups more. It’s a small pour-over carafe. Hario is supposed to be an excellent product so I’m excited to try it.

Tomorrow is a swim day and I’m hoping the pool is somewhat empty. The other day it was absolutely packed with people even waiting which does not happen very often. I also thought to go check out the gym over by the library for using weights. I’ve seen the building but haven’t gone in and I’m not sure what the set up is but it’s included in my monthly fee so it’s worth checking out.

I don’t have much on the schedule today except work out in the garden shed some. Tonight is pizza night and I think we’ll order one.

Post Script

After 6 months of glorious walking without the AH, he showed up yesterday. I almost fell over:(

So here’s the whole story, I decided a while ago that if he came back, which honestly I didn’t think was going to happen after 6 months, I would make an overture to him. So as he passed by I said ” Hey, Welcome back! Where’ve ya been??” Nicely… So he turns around( he a very dark sunglasses on so I couldn’t see his eyes) and looks at me and says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and then turns and keeps walking. I was floored. I really was totally floored by this. But he was here this morning and we just ignored him and he looked the other way when he saw us. I’m convinced he has some sort of social issue or a mental issue or both.