Frugal Friday

We went to Costco an that was over $400. Granted, lots were items that will be used for all of July and beyond. The sale items are where the deals are and I got the giant Windex bottle, Cholula 2 pack, San Marzano tomatoes( the best for pizza sauce), and lots of other pantry staples. Some of those things will last a year( think the giant jug of Windex), and others will last 6 months (think Cholula). So, all in all, it was good. The store was busy as usual and I sort of thought with the issues with gas prices and inflation there would be fewer people but that didn’t seem to be the case. We also filled the Chevy truck up with gas at Costco as that’s the cheapest anywhere.

We’ve had all our meals at home and some tasty ones. Last night even with our heat wave, I used the Weber and cooked BBQ Chicken. It came out great. I don’t know what it is with that small gas Weber, but everything comes out excellent. Maybe it’s the control dial. Anyway, if you’re looking for a great tabletop BBQ this is the one and worth the price. One night we just had egg salad sandwiches, and another night was just some hot dogs with homemade potato salad. Simple meals when it’s this hot.

I stopped at the library yesterday to pick up a hold and picked up a few more books. It is such a nice library and the self-checkout is convenient.

Today’s another hot day and in a little while, I’ll close all the windows to keep the cool in. I’ve been turning on the coolers around noon. I usually start with just the one cooler in the entryway and then the front room one later.

Frugal Friday

So far, it’s been a frugal week as we haven’t done much. I went into Whole Foods (spent $45.00)yesterday because I thought I could get some Nicoise olives for my Nicoise salad recipe from my Le Creuset cookbook. Alas, the young lady didn’t even know what I was talking about and said she hasn’t ever seen them there. Except I have bought them there before, granted it was probably 2 years ago. So I bought some tiny olives that look similar to Nicoise and they were actually delicious. The salad called for fingerling potatoes and they didn’t have those either so I was batting 0 out of 2. When I came home I boiled some eggs for hardboiled eggs for the salad too. I had bought a piece of Ahi tuna from Trader Joe’s last time I was there so I put that in a bowl of water to defrost. Then my daughter grilled that on the Webber. All in all, it came out quite well.

The reason I was going down to Roseville is my library hold came in. It’s the Maus graphic novel that schools in the south and basically all Republican states want to ban. So I picked that up and a few other books to read. I’m up to 65 books for the year and with the 6 I picked up I’ll be over 70. Not that numbers count as I just always have read a lot.

I also wanted to check out the gym that is next to the library that I can use with my swim membership. So, a year and 3 months later I decided to go in and see the layout. Now with Covid, I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway but now I feel fairly comfortable going in. It was really great and I like that it seemed simple and had the machines I like to use. I did a quick circuit and felt that I will add this in to my weekly workouts.

Other than WF, I don’t think we spent any money. Today I going to the farmstand, that just opened for the season, and get some things for the week. I have cash for that. The only extra expense we have this month is the truck DMV, which I mentioned before. I haven’t paid it yet and will do so towards the end of the month. Other than that everything is covered. There’s not much leftover but that’s ok.

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.

Five on Friday

I decided to not go with Frugal Friday today as it seems this has been an expensive week. It’s not daily stuff but more like the bigger things. Both DMV’s for the Rubicon and Chevy are due and it sure seems as if they are almost double what they were last year. Then our AAA membership will be due next week and that’s gone up. There is one other bill but I can’t remember right now. Oh, wait, it’s not a bill but I added on the camping trip to SeaCLiff in the fall on the CC and that was almost $500. SeaCLiff is the campground right down the beach from New Brighton but it is right on the ocean and double what New Brighton is. It does have full hookups so that’ll be nice. Anyway, that took the credit card up I’ll pay that in a few days. So lots of bills. The regular groceries, gas, etc is all okay.

I had my doctor’s visit yesterday and all is good. I’ll see him again in 2 months. There is nothing too much to discuss, but he’s always very attentive and asks about my issues( diarrhea, sleep, etc). After that, I headed up to the new Trader Joe’s.

I went to Trader Joe’s to get some snacks like corn chips, crackers, and salad stuff. I picked some wine, half and half, juice, some frozen things, and frozen fish. Last time I bought a piece of frozen salmon and it was really good so this time I picked up some ahi tuna to try. B went to Costco because they had a patio cover on sale. It was normally $159 and it was $40 off , so a very good deal. We have to have something over the patio as the sun in the summer blasts that area and we can’t eat outside unless there’s a cover. In the past, we’ve used the shade triangles but after a while, it just looks tacky. So this is a good thing.

We’re on a high wind alert and high fire danger today. It’s warm out @ 80 but it’s the dry wind that is potentially a problem. B did anchor the new patio cover with stakes but we might need to do some sandbags as well. Everything is drying out due to the wind. We try to keep the areas around the house green as a fire block but that means watering the yard.

Today is a home day with pottering around the house and yard. I want o clip the herbs and get started with drying. In our climate, oregano, and thyme are year-round plants but parsley, cilantro, basil, and tarragon are annuals. So I want to dry a good amount of each.

Here’s one of the cool rocks we picked from the beach. Lots of fossils and two cool holes. I try to always look for rocks with holes in them, not sure why.

Frugal Friday

It’s been an okay frugal week. Nothing great but just ok. Most of our big bills for the month are out and just a few more are scattered later in the month.

I had a good swim on Tuesday and the pool was very unbusy which is very unusual. I came straight home afterward. Then Thursday B and I decided to do Winco for a few camping things and at the last minute added in Costco for some camping food as well. I needed Raos to bring and Costco has the best price for the 2 pack. I also got some WW bread for sandwiches. I spent about $175 between the two stores. We also filled up the truck with Costco gas which is the cheapest around. We’re definitely looking at traveling with gas prices. Next week, going to Capitola shouldn’t be more than 2 tanks of gas and the same with Nevada Beach in June. But we’re definitely reconsidering Refugio because that is much farther away. For now, we’ll keep the reservation but still think about it. Then I went to library and got a nice selection of books. Oh, and then we had a lunch date at Celestino’s pizza, which is the best New York pizza around in my opinion.

I went to the nursery with my daughter and bought all our tomato and pepper plants and a few ornamentals for her back garden area. That was her birthday present. We were trying to get a birdbath for her but they didn’t have any affordable ones. The cheapest they had was $110. The last time we were there they had a nice one for $80. I guess we should have bought it then.

I had my labs this morning so I should get results next week. Fingers crossed. I’ve been having some pain in my right leg but I think I over-stretched it doing some yoga. It was better this morning but then the ache comes back ( kind of in the hip and upper thigh area) by afternoon. It’s always something.

After we’re back our next big expense will be having the septic pumped. We’ll call once we’re back. As far as expenses for Capitola, it’ll be a few stops at Gayles bakery and probably one grocery store shop. We generally do not eat out but I thought maybe we’d find some place for a lunch near the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We’ll see. I know we’ll go walk the beach trail so that might be a good day to do that.

Oh, the tree guys came and ground out the stump so now there’s no issue with going out or coming in with Rubi. Yay! He didn’t charge us which was really nice.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a productive week with taking down the tree, shopping at Costco, swimming, the library and lots of cooking.

Out of the Le Creuset book, I made both the French onion soup and the cheese souffle. The french onion soup used a chicken broth as a base and I don’t think it had enough rich flavor. Next time I would do a homemade vegetable stock and/or a beef bouillon cube. Yesterday, my son surprised me after I got home from swimming by starting the Lodge and making biscuits and sausage gravy. We had fun together and he really likes Lodge cooking. I’ve actually never had biscuits and gravy and it was delicious.

Today is a home day with cleaning the living room zone and probably I’ll add the sunporch in. Actually, I think this week, which is a light week with no appts, I’ll do a whole house zone cleaning. I’ve done this a few times and I like it. I don’t do it all in one morning but 2-3 mornings.

I read Greg Mckeon’s book Essentialism this week and am finishing his latest book, Effortless. I liked them both and felt he has some really good thoughts on living simply and with your best intentions. I also read “Oh, William” by Elizabeth Strout. Very thought provoking, and written in a clever narrative.

Budget wise everything is paid for the month and the ginormous check for the tree is cashed. So it’s all good. I do hope the neighbor doesn’t decide to change his mind about the logs because then we’d be on the hook for them.

Our weather looks lovely and sunny for the next 10 days and then we leave Mother’s day morning to go down to Capitola. I still haven’t booked anything at Refugio and in October after were back at Capitola we are going to stay 3 nights in Napa at the Expo RV place we stayed in before and really liked. So I’m not sure at this point if Refugio is going to happen. I almost think I’d rather try and plan our trip to San Diego early next year. I’m not sure we could afford Refugio and San Diego. The camping spots are not expensive it would be the gas.

Update: I just got spot 35 which is on the beach and next to the one we had last year. It’s just as nice a spot as 34 although 34 is the best. Now we just have to figure out do we still go to Capitola and then Refugio or skip one. I think since we have both booked I’ll just wait on it and think about it. We would need a stop over going down and back.

I can’t quite remember when we got his poster but I’m guessing in the early 1970’s as the VietNam war was happening. Somehow this poster survived all our moves and was hanging out in the barn till recently. I asked B to bring it in so I could frame it. Right now it’s just on a bull clip.

Earth Day

When we were younger, each year, we would go to the UC Davis Earth day festival in Davis. Lots of music, booths, fun for kids, great food items. It’s been many many years since we went but still, this is a day to honor Mother Earth.

Of course, this was our big taking down another tree week, so maybe some irony there but needs must. Here are some pictures:

The logs are on our neighbor’s area and the logger was to come and get them but then his logging truck needed a clutch so it has been delayed till Monday. But then our neighbor( who is a hoarder) said he would take them to cut up. ???? I went oh dear, to myself. But it will save us @ $300 because the logger does not take the trees for free even though he goes and sells them to the mill. So I guess I don’t care really as long as it’s not our problem anymore.

The crane operator and the tree crew were just amazing, as always. Now we just need to get the one opposite it down. It is quite a leaner but it’s leaning away from us. Still, it needs to go but maybe next fall if we have money.

I went down swimming later and it was nice. Then I went to Costco at 9am, and from there went to the library. By the time I was done at the library 10:45 am when B texted and said the crane was done. So all in all it took a little over 3 hours which is amazing to me. Well, now we can drive Rubi out no problem and big trucks like the septic truck will be able to come in no problem. It was pretty expensive but you really don’t want amatuers taking own a tree like this one.

So an expensive week.

Today is a home day and tidy up around the house. Most of the rain is done for the next 10 days which is good.

Here’s a picture of the Guster( Gus) the cat.( one of the barn cats( there were 4 kittens and mama) that are now 1 year old.)

Friday Things

The most exciting news is my labs came back and my kappa light chains actually went down slightly INTO THE NORMAL RANGE!!! I’m pretty shocked really. I don’t know if I can remember when I started going out of range( increasing) that it ever went down. Well, I’m thrilled for another month of emotional freedom.

I was going to skip swimming tomorrow since my new suit didn’t show up but decided to just go for it. My current suit is fairly chlorinated and not in good shape but I figure no one is there to look at me and when I get out I’ll put my towel over me. Hopefully, my suit shows up next week.

Today is a home day and just pottering around. My daily chores are done and I might do a quick vacuum. I made the pizza dough for tonight, so that’s done. I have a few new books to read from the library so that’ll be fun.

I’m working on a small embroidery project from Posie in Oregon. I bought a PDF of her March pattern in which all the proceeds were going to Ukraine. I like embroidering but my hands can only do so much until they start cramping. Not much going on in the decluttering world. I’m in a good place with what we have and use. There’s always more but then that takes another level of what I want to keep and what I want to pass on. I have a great vintage turquoise blue typewriter but it’s been shuffled around for years with me thinking ” oh it’ll be a great display”. But honestly, I probably won’t do that, and plus I don’t have any room for it on a shelf. So, I’ll put that aside for the hospice thrift store.

I’m beyond thrilled at Ketanji B. Jackson getting confirmed for the Supreme Court. At least some good news.

We spent @ $400. at Costco which included $50. for lawn fertilizer, beer( $29.00), and something else that was non-food?? Oh, I think it was AAA batteries( $18.00) and gallon freezer bags($ 15). So, I’d guestimate that @$300 was for food.

It feels like it’s been a spendy week. And of course, the tree is going to be $$$$. But what can you do? If we didn’t have the money, I guess we wouldn’t do it. We’ve been there so…Plus, everything seems so much more expensive.

April $$$$

I didn’t even bother with the Frugal Friday as April will be expensive. The bid for the ponderosa is $4500. That’s more than double what we paid for the last tree. The tree is in an awkward spot and will need the crane to take it down piece by piece. There’s just nowhere to drop pieces. Then the logs will be piled up in our neighbors spot down from us and then tree logger will need to bring his truck(big) in to get them.( These logs will be cut into 17 ft pieces and sold to a mill for wood). Things are never simple here with trees. After this, unless it’s critical, trees will have to go down the priority list. Unfortunately, we still have about 4 more that should be dropped but not anytime soon if we can help it. I plan to leave before the tree guys get here and I’ll go down swimming and then hang out and then go to the library at 10. I have too much anxiety around these things and I know myself well enough that if I don’t see it, the imprint won’t be there.

We’ve had some nice morning walks and it’s definitely lighter at 6:10 now. And sunset is now quite a bit later and it’s staying light till at least 7:30.

Tonight is pizza night but I don’t think we’ll do that. No one feels like a pizza so I’m not sure what we’ll do. Sandwiches??

I’ve been making the sourdough loaves every 3rd day. So I have quite a bit frozen so I’m going to put my starter in the fridge for a while. I have really enjoyed making these loaves and have learned quite bit about the dough and hydration. I think our favorite is the cheddar jalapeno loaf.

I started looking at reserving Refugio SB for the fall but so far it’s booked but, I’ll just need to check daily. It’s pretty far to go and with gas prices, it’s going to be expensive but I think if I can get a spot, we’ll go.

Next week I have labs and swimming and some grocery shopping to do.

Frugal Friday

No walk this morning because I had to be in Auburn at 7:45 to get my hearing test and then see the ENT doctor. So I do have some hearing loss in the left ear but I could repeat all the words so there’s no distortion of hearing. He said to come back and check in 6, months to see if’s worse or the same. Uhh, well okay!

Then I went over to CVS to figure out why CVS Caremark( mail order) keeps getting my cholestyramine wrong. They’re sending the brand Prevalit which I do not like at all. I think we figured it out but I’ll have to wait for the doctor to reorder.

I bought 2 pairs of Okibashi at CVS and my Nasocort for my sinuses. I also spent over $100 at Safeway on Monday so I’ll need to figure out a menu for next week and then go to the store again maybe Sunday. I plan on swimming tomorrow so I could do Winco but I don’t have a list ready.

I ordered and received 6 1lb bags of Rancho Gordo beans which just happen to come from Napa. These are really lovely heirloom beans. I made the King City beans this past Tuesday and they were delicious. They cost more than regular beans but I think the flavor is superior. I froze a good size container for next week.

I need to tally up food costs for the month excluding camping. That comes out of travel money. I know gas for our trip was @ $300 maybe slightly less. With gas prices so high I imagine it’s restricting some RVers. Eating out camping was @ $ 110. The champagne tasting was $80 for both of us and the bottle we bought was $42. Groceries were @ $ 150. I’ll need to double-check my receipts. Plus Wrights Beach was $105 for 3 nights and Napa was $165. for 3 nights. Those were paid in advance.

This month is expensive because of property taxes and Allstate and we owed IRS this year. All in all, it was a lot. Our next annual bills are small ones like Costco membership, AAA membership, and ??? Plus there’s still no funding from LLS for myeloma so that’s quite a bit we count on that’s not there. I keep checking daily.

Here’s a picture of the kitties who are now almost 1 year old.

From left to right: Gus, Cherry, Bean, Smudgerton. So cute and they all have unique personalities. little Cherry is the only girl and the smallest.