Friday things

It was a fairly frugal week with money things. I went to Safeway and spent @ $70 on groceries and at Trader Joe’s @ $40. That was just groceries. Wine purchased was $25 approx. I’m not sure what I’ll do next week. Costco is still out there as we need some things there like dishwasher pods, and some other non food things. But I’ll wait and see what’s on the menu, then decide. Actually I need to do an August menu.

I didn’t make the Ikea meatballs, shrimp/potstickers, or cobb salad. We had take out only once for Taco tree tacos. I like this planner I got off etsy. It has nice clean minimal look and could be used for Flylady too. when you look at my menu you can see the themes plainly. Pasta night, taco tuesdays, rice Sundays,pizza Fridays, soups, and BBQ’s. Actually with it being so hot his month I don’t think I fired up the Weber once.

I have most of August’s bills in except the UCD one which they send the notice in the mail around the 15th. Otherwise, everything else is in. Our PGE was a nice surprise at $239 and that’s with running window coolers all thru the month. I’m guess the BIG reason is we’ve been line drying laundry and not using the dryer which is 220 so that must the energy user. I may try to continue the line drying into the fall and maybe winter if I get a drying rack that’s big enough. The only problem is I dislike seeing laundry in the front room on clothes racks. I’ve done it before and it’s just messy looking. But normally our electric bill would be in high $300’s so it does make a difference.

Today, B is going to declutter the Karastan rug up to habitat for humanity. We’re not sure they will take something that old or big but it’s worth trying. If they don’t take it, I’ll try putting it on Craigs list for free.

I always find it fascinating that at one time ,even a few months ago, I would not have imagined getting rid of it but after unrolling it the other day it’s obvious it doesn’t fit in with any of our decor. Most of my front room is Heywood birch, greys and whites. So the karastan is tans, burgundies, navy blue and other colors.

This when we had it in the bedroom. You can see the color scheme. Anyway, I hope someone will love it as much as I did. 🙂

Then I’m going to home depot to pick up some high gloss black paint. I’m going to paint the claw foot tub this weekend. I also ordered the garden gate so B can work on that.

BTW, his MRI did show some nerve stuff going on @ L 3 or 4. He hasn’t talked to the PC yet but the results were in his portal. It isn’t clear as to what’s to be done.

My labs came back in the normal range but it was a 3 point increase from 12.3 to 15.5 . I certainly hope this won’t be the trend as that means there is no remission except this very short period. I’m not going to worry about right now as there’s not much I can do anyway.

Frugal Friday

I’ve come in almost at budget food wise. I think it’s right around at $600 give or take a few dollars. I’m using some cash envelopes again for some food, alcohol(wine mostly), and misc. But I’m using a virtual envelope for gas as we don’t do cash at gas stations. Also we plan on going to Costco in July so that will be on the Visa card.

I saw on Youtube a person making the cash envelopes with a laminator and it worked great. I like that they are clear and I can see the money. Overall, the budget looks good especially since there are no annual bills due right now. We only a few UCD payments left but since there’s no interest, I’m ok just leaving it like it is. Still, it’ll be nice to finish that up.

On Prime day, I saw that the bed frame I had in my cart was on sale. A very nice minimalist wood frame. It was 2/3 ‘s off which seemed like a great deal so I bought it and it is VERY nice. B said it was so well designed. The old wood frame we had we got from our neighbor about 24 years ago.!!! After seeing it taken apart I was kinda shocked we kept using it as it was pretty funky:( Well, I guess we do keep things till sort of the end of their usefulness.

Yesterday, I moved all the stuff off the restaurant stainless steel shelves and B moved in the Heywood cabinet. I’m reserving judgement as to whether I like it till the shelves are up. We haven’t gotten the bracketts yet and I still need to paint the shelves after they are cut. It will take 2 coats of paint. It’s funny because the stainless steel shelving looked great empty. I got to thinking that if it was used for dishes, pots, etc and not food it would be fine. But because I had lots of jars and assorted things on it just always looked messy. So we’ll see. I’m planning on streamlining the jars so they are all the same and then when they are on the shelves it will look more uniform. Plus some baking goods don’t need to be out but in a basket marked baking in the closet pantry.

I sold some of the waldorf toys but didn’t calculate the shipping right so I lost about $10. That’s ok, I guess.The stuff is gone and out of the house. Ebay charges so much now. I still have some more stuff to organize to sell(mostly Waldorf toys) but I’ll take a break and get back to it in a few weeks. Still, that’s a few dollars in our account that wasn’t there.

Today, I’m dropping off 5 bags of books to the pet bookstore and then going to Grocery Outlet for some bread and whatever else looks good.

I went to our local farm CSA, and picked up some nice veggies for the week. I spent $27.00. I got beets, chard,lettuce,radishes,zucchini, and some peaches. We are so lucky to have this farm in our town and I want to keep going. I might not need to go every week but at least every 2 weeks.

Velcade, Round 6, shot #2.

Today I drive to Rocklin to get my shot. Then straight home to do some chores, dinner prep, and then take Dex after lunch. Last week the 16mg Dex wasn’t too awful. Still I do need to modify what I do since DEx is sneaky and I certainly wouldn’t drive.

Yesterday Costco was great. It was straight in and we were done in 30 minutes. It wasn’t busy at all. Not sure if that’s because everyone had shopped on Sunday or it’s close to the middle of the month. Anyway, it was great for us. We got some great looking fruit and most of the basics we needed. They didn’t have the organic Lundberg brown rice so maybe they’re not carrying that anymore. I don’t think we’ll need to go back till the end of July. We did buy 2 bags of coffee so that should get us thru till then.

Budget wise, the 3 annual bills are paid, AAA membership, Costco membership and propane tank rental. All are once a year bills. Our next set of annual bills will be fall and that’s expensive as it’s the house insurance( which is going up every year due to fire concerns, car insurance( bi annual) and property taxes(bi annual). I’m moving a small amount of money over to a savings when I can to put toward these. I doubt I can get to the final amount but something will help. Right now with having put lots of RV misc on the credit card, that’s number one priority. I should be able to finish that next week.

Our weather is lovely and very cool. Next week looks like we’re back in 100 degree weather so not fun. It’s nice not to use the coolers all the time and we’re not having to water so much.

Update on the kitties:

My daughter was able to get the last one from the barn. Mama kat was not happy and has been up here at the house trying to ‘call’ her out. She’ll get over it. My son was able to get a voucher from the ASPCA to spay mama but we have to wait to get it. She may get pregnant in the meanwhile but I guess that’s the chance we’re taking. I’m hoping we get it done in time or? or, those kitties would just go straight to the shelter. ( no – kill one).

Frugal Friday

It’s almost the end of the month and I’ve come in on budget with groceries. $600. for the month , so I’m very happy with that.

Tomorrow is my daughters birthday, so that extra food stuff will come out of the sinking funds for birthdays. She wants a fruit tart for her birthday cake so that will be bought and then some sort of BBQ food. How the years go by. I’m grateful she lives with us as she does so much in the garden( well, all of it really), and is such a great person. Smart, funny, well educated( librarian), and is fun to be around. Happy Birthday, Sachi!!!

Gas prices are going up here in California so I filled up the Santa Fe and it was $50. Towing the Rv will certainly add to the gas bill but that’s what it takes. Next week we plan on going up to Donner Lake for the maiden voyage. Only 2 nights since I scheduled my Velcade shot for Friday. I could have bumped it out a week but didn’t really think that far ahead so it is what it is.

We’ve been putting things in the Rubicon and it is so great that there will be a place for everything. There was in tent trailer, but everything was in bins that needed to come out and often it got a little messy with bins on the bench. In the Rubicon, the bathroom stuff will be in the bathroom and kitchen stuff in the kitchen. So cool.

After my appt with Dr. Laptalo, that went fine BTW, we headed over to Ikea to get some things for the Trailer. We needed kitchen towels,Ikea’s .79 towels are the best) bath towels, a paring knife, and a comforter and pillows. In the tent trailer we just slept in our down bags, no sheets. So since this is an actual bed we needed a top blanket. I don’t keep extra sheets or blankets in the house just what I use on the bed. Same with towels. We have 4 towels in the bathroom. That’s it. Ikea was busy even at 10:30 in the morning. Crazy.

Today, I’m making an Ooni pizza for dinner. I’m also making a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread in the Zojirushi. I have a few house chores and then I plan on going to the pet bookstore to get some paperbacks for camping.

Flowers by the front door.

.I did the budget for June. We still have 4 more UCD payments from the copay big mistake of August 2019. But since there’s no interest on this , that’s ok. Plus, they did the UCD grant for quite a bit of that month. It was extraordinarily high because Barclay had an IGIV which is $41,000 ( yes, you read that right) each time. So I’m more than happy to pay this copay amount over time.

We have 2 annual bills in June as well. AAA roadside assistance and Costco membership. I put these on auto pay so they will go on our credit card, I hope. If not, it’s the checking acct. Can’t quite remember which I did.

I plan on keeping the food budget to $600 again. That might be a little low for 4 people but I’m still using freezer food and pantry so that should help.

Five on Friday

  • We’re still waiting to hear on the RV. I’m guessing the one that came in was the bunk bed one as I saw it on their website. That’s ok. The longer the money is in our savings the better, I guess. It’s a big leap for us to use savings but as I said( mostly to myself), if not now , When?? So that’s it. Especially after fellow blogger Teresa just up and died suddenly, who know how much time any of us have. I wouldn’t risk using more money than I feel we can handle though. We only have SS as income and some retirement savings but relative to most retirees, it’s probably very miniscule. But regardless, we’ll manage somehow or another.
  • The 8 mg of Dex was pretty easy to take. It’s still Dex so there is that. Next week I plan on doing the 12mg again.
  • We fired up the Ooni because it said do a 30 minute burn at full temperature. So that’s done and I have dough ready. I plan on doing 3 pizzas :marguerite, pepperoni, and a broccoli bacon/ veggie bacon.

I wrote on the chalkboard, 30 pizzas at $10 will pay for the Ooni. It’s probably less than 30 since most of the wood fired 12 inch pizzas like at Mod pizza and 965 Blast are more like 12.99 and up. But I figured I’d just do it at $10 and times that by 30.

  • Our weather is supposed to cool slightly which is nice. This season has already been too hot and dry. I am really worried about fire this year. We have a good defensible space but even so a big fire could just blast through.

Frugal Friday

The sunrise on our daily walk.

It was a frugalish week. No major expenses came up except buying the paint for the garden shed and the fence( redwood stain) but my daughter paid for these as part of her monthly rent. It worked out well especially since paint is so expensive.

I did do the Trader Joe’s shop but that will carry over to May’s food budget. So far the month looks good on the food budget. I’m definitely under $600. Separating wine/beer and non food has given me a better picture of what is just food. Of course, there wasn’t a big Costco shop this month. We are planning Costco on Sunday as the coffee is almost gone. So I suspect that will come in @ $400. We have our rebate to use so that will reduce the cash flow out.

Here are some of the lilacs blooming.

We both submitted our LLS copays and we should be getting that refunded as part of our grant with them. I’m absolutely sure we would not be making ends meet if we had to pay the medical copays. So the LLS grants( done yearly) are a big savings for us.

Tonight is pizza night and I’m doing a homemade one with TJ’s dough. I have to say the pizza dough is one of their best deals at $1.19( I think) it may have gone up. But you get 2 pizzzas out of one dough and the freeze really well.

I’m still debating getting the outside pizza oven. I think we’d get our money’s worth out of it but still it is a one use thing which I don’t normally like to do. But we calculated 10 pizzas at $30 would pay for it. Since we have pizza almost every Friday night it would pay for itself pretty quickly. The big advantage is it heats up to 925 degrees in 15 minutes. You’ll never get a conventional oven to do that.

Monday Musings

It’s cloudy today. I guess no BBQ tonight. That’s ok, I have plenty of things I can cook. Because of chickens laying so many eggs, I will make a quiche of some sort. I have the pie crust in the refrigerator chilling. I don’t know why I resist making crusts. In the food processor it took all of 2 minutes to get it to form a ball and then into the fridge.

This morning I have already done the bedroom zone, made the quiche crust, windexed the mirrors and am still needing to vacuum.

I also paid the UCD bill for April by phone. I still need to do Allstate some time this week. That’s not due till April as well but I might as well do it sooner than later. I can remember vividly when we had zero money to pay bills on time and always had to do payments. Even our property taxes we had to arrange. Grocery shopping was limited and there was NO extra money for anything. I am grateful that we can pay what we need to. There’s not a lot left over but to me that’s fine as long as the basics are paid.

My son, who spends money like crazy,:) asked for a special edition Rockstar Pendleton for his birthday so I will do that too. It’s a throw size and quite stunning in reds and blacks with men on horses riding facing forward. I guess it’s from some game he plays.

The kitchen is back together and next we will move on to the entryway and B’s cubby. The one wall was actually an outside wall so it’s the siding on the house. It’s painted in the Navajo White I used originally around the house. We’re planning to use the semi gloss on that and the other siding too. I don’t think we’ll start this week but maybe Saturday. This area was a deck that we built right after we moved and remodeled. So 26 years ago. Then at some point we closed it in as room. At some point we should make the foundation of it up to code as it is only on foundation blocks. i don’t know maybe that would work but I doubt it and it would need concrete. Well, that’s out of my zone of things to think about.

Today is our no walk day and I don’t plan on going anywhere.

Five on Friday

The rug I bought for the entryway/B’s office space is way to big and the door hits it so it needs to go back to Costco. He turned his desk toward the wall so I moved a small rug I have in front of my little Ikea couch to put under his chair. It looks way better. I’m not a big fan of rugs everywhere so this is a good option for now. In the winter we do need small rugs to wipe our feet on but the rest of the time I pull them up.

We had a nice walk with only one other guy who showed up. We see him on a rare occasion but usually he walks on the side of the road. It was supposed to be raining so no one else was there ie; AH!! Or if he was, he was gone by the time we got there. So quite lovely.

We’re starting the painting this morning. I took all the jars off my wall shelves. I think we’re going to add another shelf for my larger Ball jars. I’ve been so frustrated with Ikea and them not having ANYTHING IN THE WAY OF PANTRIES FOR ALMOST A YEAR NOW. Next to the fridge is where I want a Sektion freestanding 4 door pantry. I’ve checked every week but still out of stock. I really don’t want to do something else as I like the Ikea line and it works well for us. I’m hoping that we can get down there in the next month and maybe I can speak with one of the kitchen design people and find out when it might be available. In the meanwhile the restaurant shelves will have to do.

I’m planning on starting a freezer/pantry clean out. I’d like to try and make all our meals from either the freezer/pantry for the next 2 weeks. So far I have

  • lamb chops, new spring potatoes, asparagus, and quiche for the veggies( B and whoever else doesn’t want lamb). We actually rarely it but once a year in spring I like to do some.
  • ravioli with Rao sauce
  • burgers on the BBQ both meat and veggie
  • tofu scramble with veggies, nuts, and seeds,
  • breakfast for dinner as we are getting so many eggs:)
  • split pea soup
  • lentil soup
  • turkey chili/vegetarian chili with cornbread
  • pasta night
  • frozen lasagna night
  • Another quiche, probably mushroom/gruyere
  • grilled chicken on the BBQ/tofu on the BBQ
  • polenta with cheese and sauce, salad
  • Thai something with rice, either tofu or chicken or chickpeas. I do have some dry chickpeas I need to use.

I’ve done the budget for April and the extras are Allstate car insurance, DMV for the Santa fe, the UCD extra fucked up bill, and think that’s all.

I was going to go to town but decided to wait till tomorrow and get a few more chores done since Thursday’s really not too productive with the Dex. Today though the energy is there so I might as well use it.

Five on Friday

Finally, it’s 2021. I’m not sure how great the year will be but I’m hopeful. I start Velcade mid month, as expected. I asked about getting my shots in Rocklin which is about 25 minutes away, and he said sure that would work. Mercy ( or Dignity Health),has a satellite facility there and it will make it easier. Unfortunately, I’ve fractured another rib so it’s smart that I’m starting now. Fractures, in case you don’t know about Myeloma, are one of the damaging aspects of this cancer. I’ve had multiple rib fractures, so I know what it feels like. Unfortunate, to have it happen right now and also quite painful. It limits how much stuff I can do around the house. With rib fractures there’s not much you can do. If it’s a vertebrate or another bone they can some intervention. Oh well, I’m just glad it’s not a vertebrate.

We had a fun New Years eve with sub sandwiches from our Holiday Market. We watched the newish Starsky and Hutch and it was fun. We didn’t crack the champagne but will today.

Budget wise, I came under $800 on groceries including holiday food and alcohol. This is the lowest I’ve had since the pandemic started and I was stockpiling every month. Into January I’ll try and keep it between $700-800. That includes food, non food, and alcohol.(mostly wine and some beer). I’m planning a Costco trip mid month so we’ll see how much that adds if I add in prepper stuff. I’m not planning to but will stockpile a few things like coffee, Rosarita veg. beans, TP, and a few other things. The rest is just stuff we need like cheese, fish, bread etc.

I’m starting another round of decluttering. Mostly this is paper stuff. I’m going thru all our old receipts, medical things and throwing away anything that isn’t needed. Also, little stuff in drawers, like old pens, screws etc. It probably won’t add up to a lot but I’m motivated to do another sweep. I also started a bag for the food bank with food I know we’re not going to really eat. ( I see you canned chicken:) ). There’s nothing big I’m decluttering like furniture since everything we have has already gone thru multiple layers of decluttering. Still, I always like to look at things from a fresh perspective.

I’ve made up my monthly meal plan.

I’m renaming Wednesdays, Pasta Wednesday since that will be my Velcade/Dex day. It’ll make it easier for the others to cook if they know what the plan is. 🙂 I also dashed out to Target to get one of their simple calendars. I loved the one from last year but they didn’t have quite that style. It’s funny how such a simple thing like a minimalist calendar is so hard to find. I checked all over and the nicest were like $20 and up. Even on etsy they were expensive. So Target had just what I wanted for $5.00. It was pretty empty just like I hoped.

Looking back at the year… and ahead!

The year that shall not be named, oh F#ck it, 2020, was certainly difficult.

All the Covid deaths, the necessary lockdowns, enormous food bills, canceling all our trips including Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc, and all the rest. Certainly, the election was totally anxiety-filled and still is until Biden is sworn in. The stuff trump is still pulling is appalling. ANd all the GOP spineless idiots. Some of the stuff that comes out of their mouths is truly mind-boggling. I read in the WP that the idiot( he’s a newly elected representative) that is possibly going to challenge the votes recently said,” he found out that there were three branches of government”. WTF? are you mentally challenged?

At least we’ve been healthy so there’s that. Both of my kids have their jobs, so that’s excellent.

Climate change is worrying with California fires and really no rain. We’ve had a few days but nothing like normal.

Barb, over at “Living Richly in Retirement”, is a great blogger. She recently moved to Texas( very brave in my opinion) and was just writing about going over her budget categories for the new year.

So I got to thinking that I’d like to do that too. I’m going to look back at food( of course the pandemic meant Instacart a number of times), what I spent on Amazon stuff( scary amount), and Home Depot( home improvement). Then I can realistically set some numbers for 2021. Like do we want to set a certain limit? I’m not sure. Basically, I usually look at , Can we afford it? So set amounts might be a good new way forward.

Catagories could be:

home improvements/ this might be just stuff around the house or bigger like the window replacements/

outside/yard stuff( especially in spring and summer we do spend a lot on seeds, plants, dirt/soil.

dining/take out. This isn’t too hard. I usually give us $50. which is pizza night and a taco night.

travel/camping, In a normal year when we go camping, it is paid for in advance, and usually, I bring or give us @ $200 for food or fun. I’d have to add up a normal year but based on 2019 I’d say $1,000.

Annual bills are fixed amounts so I know those numbers.

I’ll keep thinking of other areas too. Clothing etc is generally not a category as we really only buy something if we need it. I need some new Birkies this year and a new pair of jeans. Birthdays, anniversary, we don’t do much but it might be good to designate something.

Medical/ we have Medicare and supplemental plans so those amounts are in the monthly budget. We did get a SURPRISE ( not good) letter from UCD med center saying we still owed $2500 from Barclays transplant. I freaked out. So we’re waiting till she sends what it is in a letter. But I will call and challenge whatever it is as we were told over and over after we reached the deductible it was 100% covered so I have no idea where they are coming up with this. When we did the GoFundMe, $6000 of the 10,000 we got went to that deductible. So???? I’m not as freaked now since it usually takes me a few days to calm down but still it will need to be dealt with and how much going back to that paper work am I going to have to do??? Not happy about this. Plus, WTF, it’s now 18 months later.

Well, I’ll start my list with those things and see what else should be added.