Friday things…

I’m using up the dex energy to paint trim and the french door in the bedroom. Most of it done. I’m planning on painting the window trim as well and got most of one window done. I’ll do the rest tomorrow.

I’ve got the pizza dough in the bowl doing a first rise and then I’ll put it in the fridge till later.

I’ve been very frustrated about not getting ANY camping spots at all. It seems everyone in the universe now want to go camping. I’m in reserve america at 6:55 am and clicking reserve right up to 7 when it opens up and POOF they are ALL gone. I’m guessing people with faster modems or computers are just beating my Mac. Well, we might not be getting to Tahoe again this summer except for day trips.

I did order the garden shed from Costco at $999. It will be at least 3-5 weeks before delivery so that’s into April I’m guessing. I think it will be most useful.

My labs came back AMAZING. Get this. After one round of Velcade my kappa light chains went from 660.6 to 45.6. Ratio went from 60.1 to 3.65. Even my Dr was impressed. So this cycle who know but it is good news that the myeloma cells do not like VELCADE!!! I know it probably won’t always be this hopeful but for now it is and that’s all we really have in the end anyway, is this day and this moment.

Kitchen zone

This was a busy weekend with starting the painting.

I did the area in front of our small bathroom and the book shelves. I’m waiting to put the books back for 24 hours till I’m sure they are quite dry. This morning I did the french door to the bedroom and that’s it.

I usually do most of the zone on Sundays but since painting was involved I didn’t get to it till this morning. It wasn’t the most thorough I’ve ever done but perfectly fine for a zone cleaning. The last thing I want to do with this zone is clean out my wine crate pantry boxes and wipe them and restock. I’ll probably to that tomorrow.

First this morning I had to go get my labs for Wednesday’s shot. He added in the IgG test which can be a myeloma indicator. Last time it came back normal so that’s good. Then my covid shot is Friday so I’ll have a day to recuperate and mostly get thru the dex.

I bought a new cookbook. Mark Bittman’s ‘Dinner for Everyone”. It seems pretty good with each recipe having an easy adaptation, a vegan one, and then a fancy one. I may try something tonight as I try and do 2-3 new recipes in my monthly menu plan.

We’re heading into some very wintery weather by Friday. Rain and lots of snow in the Sierras. We still need so no complaining.

Frugal Friday

I made all our bread and snacks this week. The sourdough seed bread was really good.

The chocolate sheet cake went pretty fast too. I used my new hand mixer and the frosting got nice and fluffy. This morning I’ve got a pan of brownies started and am thinking about making some scones as well.

We were going to order out pizza but then we all decided to just stick with homemade cheese and one with pepperoni. That all will save $40. minimum. Pizza is very expensive these days.

So with me being on Vel/Dex two days( Wed and Thurs) cooking dinner is a challenge so my daughter is doing Wednesday night pastas and my son is doing Thursday whatever. Last night he did a turkey pot pie and a tofu pot pie. Boy, were they ever delicious.

This is the tofu one in one of my small Lodge pans!!! He ate it all!!!! it had tofu, mushrooms, carrots, onions, cream, wine, salt and pepper. Yumm.

So because I was dexed up I paid a bill early:) I guess that counts as a frugal win since now it’s one less to do. Actually almost every bill we have, is paid directly except this one and PGE. PGE because we’re on their balance program so that your bill is averaged over the year. For some reason they don’t do auto pay for that.Go figure.

My VW( Buggie) got an oil change this week so that cost but since I drive it under 2,000 miles a year the last time it was done was late 2019 so it was time.

I still need to plan a small shop for lettuce, and a few things next week. I haven’t decided to just go to the Holiday here or actually do a Walmart pick up. I guess I’ll think about it since I won’t do it till Sunday or even Monday.

B went and bought another stack of boards to turn the corner on the fence. We will do 3 panels down to block off the neighbors hoard of junk. Then that will be done. Sometime when the weather turns sunny again I ‘ll get a gallon of redwood stain and paint it. I like painting overall so I don’t mind doing most of that.

Earlier in the week I redid one of the Heywood chair covers. I use painters canvas and it holds up well.

This is the only keyhole Heywood chair I have. The others are solid back. The key hole ones are more valuable.

Basically, you just cut the piece to fit and then staple down. Pretty easy. This is the piece that I took off. I plan on doing another one today.

It’s raining out and it looks like rain for the next week with temperatures colder. I guess that’s good. The mountains will get much needed snow.

Five on Friday

  • I’m feeling pretty good this morning and most of the ‘Dex’ effects are gone. Just a small bit of hyper-ness. But I put that to use making yogurt in the IP. Actually, I made it yesterday and I put the yogurt selection on for 24 hours. It looks good. Also, frugal-wise, I bought the organic milk at Costco just for this purpose so it was 2 gallons for 9.95. So 1/2 a gallon is about $2.50. That puts a quart of homemade organic yogurt at $2.50.
  • We picked up the free pizza at the Holiday Market for dinner tonight. Each month there is a coupon for something free so this month is the pizza. It’s not the best pizza but heck it’ll be fine. Last night my son cooked the new vegetable burgers from Costco that were on sale. Normally $12.89 and then $5.00 off. The box is 10 burgers I think. They are not soy or pea protein like Beyond burgers or Impossible. They are brown rice, veggies, and almonds. We all like them with pickles, cheese( swiss) and tomatoes, and lettuce. If you go to Costco they are on sale till Jan 24.
  • Our weather is really nice , with a high yesterday of 67. We really need rain but this is nice ,and I’m enjoying it. Next does show some rain though.
  • I’m re-reading all the Sue Grafton books and that’s been fun. She was such a good writer and I totally enjoy reading about Santa Barbara that she called Santa Theresa. I don’t know if I ever mentioned that the first trip I did to SB with B when he was working, we were walking the beach path near the marina and in the parking lot near one of the restaurants was a 1974 light blue VW with Kinsey on the license plate. Of course, if you know her character Kinsey Millhone, she drove a Baby blue 1974 VW. We never saw her but still, I saw her car. ( Sue Grafton’s as she lived in Santa Barbara).
  • We’re planning on having a fire in the fire pit this afternoon as again the temps are still @ 67 degrees. It’s nice to sit out and watch the birds and have a glass of wine or two:)

Simple Sunday

A cold but bright sunny day. I don’t think it got barely in the low 50’s. When we walked this morning everything including trees and bushes were frosted over.

I baked the Tartine walnut kalamata olive loaves and they turned out beautiful and delicious.

The above picture is my starter( Tart) and she’s really lovely.

Here’s my December menu plan. I fill in the regulars like Taco Tuesday and Pizza night and then see what is in freezer /pantry. I don’t make the menu on the day except for the regulars so like spaghetti might be listd on the 7th but was made on the 14th. It jsut depends. Holidays I do keep to the menu since that’s different.

Tonight though we’re having a frittata and that’s not even on there because I have an abundance of eggs. So flexibility is the key.

We( California) are on stay at home orders so even going to the big stores seems risky. I went down to our Holiday Market this morning and was going for milk and some other things and totally forgot the milk. Go figure. I guess I ‘ll go again in a few days. I did get 1/2 and 1/2 so that will suffice.

We just found out our neighbor has covid along with his lady friend. So that has me completely freaked as they don’t really go anywhere. He said( on Facebook) he thought it was Costco but I don’t know. Costco is pretty safe unless maybe he went when it was really packed. Scary:( Hopefully they will be ok.

This week we are in the bedroom zone if you follow FL. I did most of it this morning but I still need to dust and tidy up the closet some. I took all the Christmas stuff out of the closet and put it under the tree so the closet isn’t so stuffed.

So tomorrow night is the big conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter. I looked last night and it was behind some big pines so I’m not sure we’ll have a good view. I’m going out tonight to check again. I have an app on my phone that locates stars and constellations so I found them but they were not obvious to me. If you have a clear view I imagine it’s impressive.

This week is low key with Christmas and all. No appts so just the same old same old.

Frugal Friday

Happy Hanukkah!!!

We had delicious latkes last night with homemade applesauce and that new tofu recipe which I will link soon. It’s from a famous restaurant back east and it’s marinated in a pickle brine. I know sounds weird but believe me, it is absolutely delicious fried up and crispy.

Tonight we are ordering a pizza, so not really frugal but I will say in my defense, this is the first time we’ve ordered pizza in a few months.

I decided to do a Safeway pickup in Auburn as they just started doing that. It went well. They carry Boars head products which is my favorite deli cheese and sliced meat. I picked up some smoked salmon for a Hanukkah breakfast with bagels. I should have enough groceries till almost the end of the month except for a few odds and ends. So far, I’m at just under $400. for the month so pretty good.

We did a few small gifts for Hanukkah last night and tonight is our family gift of an Easton press ” A Christmas Carol”. I’m hoping we can read it out loud between now and Christmas.

I’m planning on working on a No Spend couple of months except house stuff that’s needed. Since my Christmas shopping is done I started the NS this month. But I did throw in some extras already like Hanukkah candles since I didn’t have enough and a tea strainer for loose tea. Not expensive but will make tea making easier. Mostly, I want to stay away from Amazon. I don’t go out an shop in stores ever but online is convenient and maybe too easy. So that’s my primary reason for the no spend month.

The rain is expected to come in tonight and continue on and off for a week. We really need it so that will be a welcome change.

Simple Sunday

We were supposed to have a PGE blackout tomorrow but it seems that the last message I got said it may not happen. We are supposed to have 70 degree weather and some wind. JFC, this is December 6, where is the rain?? I guess we would be ready. We do have what we need and our heat is mostly wood and propane so it would be ok. I just hope we get some kind of rain soon.

This week is the kitchen zone for Flylady followers. It is my biggest zone and takes the longest. Still, clearing your counters and keeping your sink clean will go a long way.

I have a Tartine bread dough started and will do that tomorrow. I used up most of the pieces I had frozen so I’m ready to do a fresh batch.

We been having fun opening the Bon Maman advent jams. They are the cutest little jars which of course I am saving for?? Well, I’ll think of something. Seeds? spices?

I’m planning on making a curry for dinner in my new Staub. I ‘ll make some rice to go with it and also a tofu curry.

Tomorrow I have my labs and I am bracing for the worst. I think if it is under 600mg/L I’ll be happy. Well, not happy but ok. If the same pattern emerges though it will probably over 600. Guessing almost 400mg/L now, so adding 50% ( that’s what it’s done,) will take it to 600 or so. maybe I’ll be lucky though but who knows.???

Well, off to do the first fold on the Tartine bread.

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.

Simple Sunday

Today is a day of JOY and celebration that we have hope for our country. The endless lies by Trump and Barr and all of them will soon come to an end. Honestly, I think this country saw the damage he was doing and heeded the call for change before it was too late.

I was thinking about it and trying to think of 1 thing Trump did that was positive for the American people( all of them). I can’t really come up with one. The tax thing was for the rich. The anti-immigration stuff was to keep ‘those’ people out that Bannon and Steven Miller didn’t want in our country, ripping children away from their parents and putting them in detention centers. All of it amounts to total negativity. Plus, for me, the lies and more lies, over and over, just did me in.

So a new beginning and with a woman VP. I am doing a happy dance for sure.!!!

Walking this morning was pleasant and the fall colors are lovely in the park. We’ve been getting there right at 6am instead of the 5:15 time and it is working out just fine.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady. It’s a big zone with the stove and shelves to clean but at the end worth a bright clean space. My biggest takeaway advice is to minimize what you have in the kitchen and keep the counters clear. It really does make a difference. The second thing is to clean up as you cook. I don’t always do this but 95% of the time I do. It too makes a huge difference in keeping the kitchen tidy.

I plan on making some meatballs later to have with spaghetti tonight and a I’ll make a salad.

We’re in for quite a bit of rain this week and it’s welcome. Plus, it’s really chilly today so fall is here.

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.