Frugal Friday and other things…

It’s been an okay frugal week. All the first of the month bills are out and done. The rest like PGE,water, ATT come a little later in the month.

We had the house insurance due and if you live in California you know that in our area most insurers have cancelled policies so you have to do what’s called the California Fair plan. This is in addition to the rider with AAA. This year it went over the $2,000 mark but for some people it’s WAY higher like in the 10,000 and up range. I’m not sure but I think it’s related to the size of your house and maybe the fire risk in your area. Anyway, that’s a big expense.

After swimming I went to Winco which is across the street and did a small shop. It has been very convenient to do this and except for Walmart, you cannot get groceries etc cheaper. Winco is employee owned which I think is great and they do not take cc, only debit.

I had my dental cleaning and all was okay. sitting in that chair for an hour though really takes a toll on my back. I wonder about people even older and what they do to accommodate them. Anyway, I don’t need to do anything right now and go back in about 5 months.

I filled out the online form to donate Vannie( the dodge Caravan) to Capradio so she’ll be gone probably with in a week. Actually Vannie runs fine and I think would keep going but there are electrical issues and the blinkers don’t work so safety is the main reason we’re donating. Plus, we bought the truck to do the things Vannie did ,so there’s that. Plus, I just don’t want something sitting in the yard if we’re not using it. My son still had ideas about camping in it, which he did many times, including taking it all the way up to the greater Seattle area to visit a friend. But now the time has come. I’ll miss you VanGo.

This morning I’m helping B load up the truck and go to the local drop off, which conveniently is right at the end of our road about 3 miles. This must be our 6th trip this year with stuff!!! I threw in quite a bit. I tend to be more ruthless than B, who thinks,sometimes, maybe something can be reused. Which in itself is fine unless it really is just junk:)

I finally saw my labs and they were all in the normal range still but my Kappa was close to the high normal, so I’m guessing next month it’ll go over. I guess after that it’ll be month to month watching if the increases start getting bigger which is what eventually happened last time. I can’t say I’m not disappointed that I only had from June to November in remission but I’ll take what I get. It’s a strange place to be knowing once again, I’ll be back in some kind of treatment. sigh:(

Friday things and a nice birthday for me.

First, another turn around the sun. I had a lovely day and we got Panera for dinner which is a treat for us. All in all, a nice day especially with this beautiful weather. My son got me two albums by a really great artist,sarah jarosz.

I actually didn’t want anything for my birthday as we just got the truck and the RV this summer but he’s a generous son and bought it for me anyway.

As a matter of no gifts, this will be the FIRST christmas ever I don’t buy presents. I think I’m just done trying to figure out gifts for everyone and so I decided to not do any. I don’t think I’ll put up the tree either. What I will do is give both kids some money and call it good.It’ll be weird on Christmas morning because we are use to some presents but it’s a good time to start a new tradition of no gifts.

Hey, speaking of budget stuff/spending did anyone else get enormous increases in Part D prescription plans. Mine is going from $28.50 to $68 and Barclay’s is going from $26 to $71. WTF is that about?? Did I miss something about increases in Part D prescription plans??? Anyway that is going to increase our budget stuff.

I’m off to get my flu shot this morning and maybe do another Goodwill drop off. I still have a few more things to take out to buggie so I might wait till next week.

I’m still waiting on my labs which is annoying me as i still can’t get in the patient portal to see the results so I have to call. Kind of a PITA really.

I finished paying the UCD final bill from August of 2019 where B was in the month in between Medicare and Cobra. What a joke that was. The cobra was supposed to pay for all the coverage and did squat and we were still paying $700 a month. My advice is NEVER do a cobra. Well, it’s done so that’s a nice feeling. Of course our house insurance has increased, I guess, because of all the fires in California especially in our area. Well, it’s always something!!!

I have my monthly menu plan done for October so I just need to laminate it. Tonight is pizza night but I don’t feel like a pizza so I think I’ll do something with an Italian theme. We had an Ooni last week, two actually, and so that made 30 pizzas with the Ooni which at $10 a pizza paid for itself. I plan on keeping it in the garden shed so if it’s not too cold or rainy in the fall or winter we can pull it out and make some Friday night pizzas.

This was last weeks!

Simple Sunday

Things are back to normal around here. All the camping stuff is organized back in Rubi, the linen sheets washed and put back on the bed and kitchen is tidied too.

Our weather is definitely fall like and it’s getting darker earlier in the evening and getting lighter later in the morning. We walked this morning starting at 6:08 and it was still somewhat dark so we used a flashlight. AH was there, (when is he ever not there) and didn’t have a flashlight. ( Jerk!!)

BTW, we did get the laundry room back together before we left for Tahoe. The walls are painted but the ceiling wood still needs to go up and the door isn’t up. That’s because we plan to flip it so it opens the other way that what it was doing before. It looks good. I’ll get a few pictures up this week.

We decided to do Costco this morning because of the coffee on sale( Starbucks that’s $5.00 off) and the sale ends today. We got other sale items too since that is the best way to take advantage of Costco’s prices. We were in and out in 30 minutes, so a record.

The kitties are growing and lots of fun to watch although they are little terrors when running thru the house. Little Cherry got spayed on Thursday so now they are all done. They all have such unique personalities.

All the garden stuff is winding down and we have been cleaning up the yard/garden areas. My daughter does most of it but I try and do some everyday. I must have made 8 jars of pickled jalapenos. Hey, if you haven’t tried pickled jalapenos in eggs salad , give it a try it was delicious.

Last evening we had a BBQ. The first in months with the weather so hot plus fire danger. I did some burgers, veggie burgers and chicken. I plan on using the chicken tonight in some ramen. It was fun and it was nice to sit outside with the lovely weather.

I have a load in buggie to take to the Goodwill tomorrow. Included is a small very nice old dresser that has carved acorns on the handles. I’ve loved the little dresser but now I don’t have a use for it so I’m going to pass it on to someone who has space and can use it.

This week in Flylady we’re in the living room zone. We plan to take out the window cooler and I’ll wash the windows. I might look around or take some pictures to see what can be rearranged or decluttered. BTW, one of the BEST tools to see how things are in your space is take pictures with your phone. It really is eye opening.

Frugal Friday

We are back home and had a great time in Tahoe. If you’re ever wanting to visit Tahoe, come in September. Most of the tourists are gone and it’s beautiful. Now some of this was due to the Caldor fire and lots of things cancelled/closed but in general September is amazing up there.

For B’s birthday lunch we went to Sprouts which is the main health food restaurant in South Lake. We both agreed it was so so. We’ve been there many times so maybe it was an off day. The sandwich was fair but not great. Oh well, we still had a lovely time and it was only $20 plus tip.

Here’s the 2 old people out at the beach without even combing our hair!!!!

We went to the grocery store and bought a few groceries but that was only $27 so a frugal win. We had brought most everything we needed and the fridge is so big that we had lots of room.

We should have a refund from the days we weren’t there but I haven’t seen it so I may have to call. It should be almost half of our original fee. BTW, if you get the Senior Parks pass( thru the US FS the fees at Nevada Beach and other places that are USFS and parks it is half off. That’s probably why there are so many seniors there. I mean where else are you going to go on vacation in one of the most beautiful spots in the world for $20 a night.

This toward South Lake at @ 7am.

I think this was the worst smoke toward SL Tahoe.

I went and did my labs this morning so next week I should know how much of an increase I’ve had. I wish it would level off but unfortunately that’s not the way my pattern has been.

Tomorrow, I’m excited to get back in the pool as it’s been a week. I’ll probably only do 35 minutes since it’s back to basics again at least until next week.

So, this was a very frugal week even on vacation.

This looking directly across the lake. Emerald bay is over there somewhere.

The smoke lifted as the day went on and it cleared up by afternoon.

Getting ready to go

We are getting things ready to head up to Tahoe Friday. The damn AC in the truck has stopped working just like I said it would. It wasn’t the freon. Well, now there’s nothing we can do till next week so we might as well not get too pissed off. But I think they are trying to pull a fast one on us and now that we have the warranty they have to fix it. Still a PITA to have to drop it off and so on. But on a positive note it won’t be hot in Tahoe and we certainly are not going to need AC. As a matter of fact the mornings are going to be quite cool with a low of 28.

I have most of the food organized and a menu plan done. I’m going to hit the store tomorrow for just a few things. Overall, very simple. There’s no wood or charcoal fires allowed so no Hibachi cooking or Dutch Oven. Also, no fires at night.

I’ve got a big bag of books from the used bookstore so that should fill up my days. Plus we plan on some hiking. Nothing too strenuous just some walking. We plan to not go even into South Lake because of the fire issue. (The fire is not threatening south lake but I want to stay clear anyway.

I need to get labs Friday so we will leave after that. Because we are trailering I suspect it’ll take a little longer than normal and we have to go slower too. As long as everything goes okay with the truck we should hit the campground by 1pm or so. September is lovely in Tahoe and it should be beautiful with nice days and cool nights. Barclay has a birthday next week so we might do a lunch out.

Simple Sunday

Lots being done today.

The laundry room is torn apart and there’s hammering and banging going on. The one window is out and that will need replacing. Realistically if it’s done by next weekend, that’ll be good. The washer is hooked outside to a hose , real Okie( not to be prejudiced) but it does look a bit like, well maybe Appalachia. The freezer is outside too on the dirt:( It is covered and running but the whole effect is, well, Okie like. humm…..

I finished the Kitchen zone which took quite a while. But the floor still needs mopping and I’m too bushed to do it now.

I made some granola this morning for the week ahead. Then I made another Zojirushi pot of brown rice that used up the last of the organic brown from last year. The date on it was still good but best to finish it up.

Yesterday, I did more pickled jalapenos.

Tomorrow I’m planning on doing one last batch of jalapeno pepper jelly and that should do it. What a year for peppers.

My daughter has been busy cleaning out garden beds and surrounding areas of dead stuff. It already looks so much better. I think we’re ready to pull up most everything in the garden beds including the pepper plants:)

Barclays IGIV went well and he has more energy. Next week he gets his Covid booster, so that’s good.

No word from the dealer on the AC in the truck. They looked swamped when we dropped it off so who knows.

Tomorrow I will be modifying our Tahoe trip. The whole Tahoe basin is closed till September 17 so that affects our camping trip. Under these circumstances I’m fine with that and even if it all gets cancelled. Better for less people to be up there so the firefighters can do their job. …sigh…

Simple Sunday

Because of the smoke and unhealthy air quality the pool has been closed both Friday and Saturday. It’s smart they do that when it’s so bad you can’t see 100 yds. Well, since all the die hard swimmers will be enmasse on Monday, I’ll wait and go on Tuesday and it’ll still probably be busy. That’s okay, I’m swimming because #1. I love it and always have, #2 it’s good for me, and #3 just because.

Yes, I just checked and it’s closed this morning but there isn’t lap swimming till 11:30 am and then it’s only an hour and a half so I haven’t tried to do a Sunday.

My son is still undecided about the Van but I think I will talk with him and just say, it’s really served it’s time but if he wants then we will have to sign title to him. Then he will need to do insurance etc, repairs. I’m not sure he really wants to take that on.

This week is two flylady zones, the LR and the entry ways. This should only take 15 minutes each.

I made one more jar of pickled jalapenos for the fridge( so that makes 3 jars in there). I looked up doing it in a water bath and it looks easy so I may do a few of those. We opened the one 3/4 full jalapeno jelly jar and Wow!!! It is delicious!!! I may do that this morning but I’ll see how I feel. The biggest part is deseeding and deveining the peppers. Then cutting them up and waiting for the sugar and vinegar to come to a full boil. So somewhat more involved.

I was experimenting making corn tortillas yesterday. I did one batch with a tablespoon of oil and one with just the hot water. I think the one with the oil was slightly better. I pressed but still didn’t get quite as thin as I’d like. Any tortillas makers out there with hints?? I remember the nurse at UCD who was hispanic, made tortillas every day for her kids and she said just keep trying till you get the feel for the right consistency. I ordered some Bobs Red mill masa harina so I’ll try that when it comes.

I got an email from Recreation.gov saying that Nevada Beach was now closed thru the 16th. That is part of our reservation window. So we either need to cancel or modify. I’m going to wait till next week to modify and maybe something will improve. It’s really for the best they keep people out because people are stupid and do stupid things.

Simple Sunday

I finished reading the sweetest little book called ‘Pottering, A cure for Modern Life”. Being British it’s pottering, here it would be puttering. I think I like the British spelling better. A very sweet book with lots of good ideas about how to slow your life down and really just a reminder for those of us who already live slow life, to keep going.

We had a nice walk this morning. No one was there till 6:05 and then of course it was AH. Later a couple showed up with 2 dogs and he (AH) had a hard time controlling his dog. It lurched at the other 2 dogs growling. He had to use both hands on his leash to control it.

Today I plan on doing refrigerator pickles with the ones I got at the farm. It’s only 4 cucumbers so maybe a small pint jars worth. I need some celery seed which I don’t normally keep in my spice basket.

Yesterday I made a King Arthurs scone mix, blueberry sour cream. They were very good and I’d buy the mix again. For dinner I made Ikea sauce, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. The sauce was delicious. B had a Dr. Praeger burger with the sauce.

This coming week is somewhat busy. We’re going to look at another truck down in Roseville, I have my appt in Sacramento, the Santa Fe is going into the dealer for a recall fix it, B has a video dr appt, and it’s our anniversary. I had hoped we could drive up to Tahoe but with the smoke and all the Forest Service everything closed, it doesn’t seem like a good idea. This happened last year with the pandemic, everything shut down and this year it’s fires and the pandemic.

Friday things…

I’ve added some things to the prepper pantry that I got at Walmart the other day. I think most of what I think we can use/ need thru the winter months is in there now. I also bought 8 Mountain High freeze dried meals as emergency meals if ever needed due to fire or other disaster. I still need a few things from Costco that I forgot the other day like maple syrup, tomato paste, and ? So I may pop in there or have B pop in some time after he gets back from Salt Point.

Today B is going to the bank to get the copy of our bank statement for LLS. You , of course, need to provide proof of payment. I’d like to get it done by Sunday so it’ll come in before the end of the month. It usually takes 2 weeks minimum. I am grateful to all the people who donate to LLS as they give us these grants for reimbursements for insurance, prescriptions, and lots more. When I was on Revlimid( an extremely expensive Tier 5 drug) they covered my OP expense. Thankfully, I’m not on Revlimid anymore and Velcade was covered by Medicare as it is in clinic infusion.

I just finished the pickled jalapenos and am about to start charring the Hatch chilies. I’m planning on just freezing those and not do the whole relleno thing. They do freeze well.

I sold a few Waldorf books to the young mom who bought most of my Waldorf toys. Nice young woman and I gave her all my wool roving and needles so she can make some felted animals from the book I sent to her. I have some wood toddler toys as well but her kids are older so I’ll donate them to Cancer Thrift.

Budget wise, Costco took us right to the $550 mark for the month. So I’ll end up probably close to $650 I think. Except for the small Costco trip, I don’t need too much except maybe some veggies. I might go out to our local CSA farm and get some. They are more expensive but totally worth it as it is all grown right out there in the fields that used to be Simpsons Ranch. The Simpsons homesteaded this property in Meadow Vista sometime in the early 1900’s. The Maidu Indians lived on this land seasonally and there are many grinding rocks in the fields where they would crush the acorns to make a flour for winter. Mr Simpson wrote a book called”OOTI” about the Maidu. What is wonderful is that instead of selling and making a shitload of money the land went to the Placer Land Trust and the people farming it are ‘renting’ it as a farm.

Our skies continue to be filled with high smoke clouds. It’s not down low but it is our there and the sun is a ball of orange.

I plan on using the Ooni tonight for pizza though as the temperature looks to be @ 93. So not too bad.

Midweek Musings

I’m getting things ready for the camping trip B and my daughter are taking up to Salt Point next week. I went to Target and got 2 bins to put dry food and then one for pots and dishes. They are taking the tent trailer and since we took everything out when we were setting up the RV, so I need to get bins to put in there. Since we are undecided about the Coleman, we figured they could go to the coast and see how it goes. My daughter wants to keep it because it has separate sleeping areas that she can use whereas the RV is really only for us. The RV couch does fold down to a bed but it’s not private. We’re not in a hurry to sell it because once it’s gone it’s gone. We figure it will be good for a certain type of camping especially where there are facilities. I guess time will tell.

So I’ve got most of their food stuff ready and it’ll be easy things like spaghetti one night and then veggie burgers the next. This is my daughters only chance to get away before Sierra College starts.

I’ve got a Walmart order ready to go so the misc food stuff can be picked up there like a small peanut butter and jam. The stuff I use at home is Costco size so unless I scooped it out they are taking the giant container. Probably more expensive but definitely more convenient.

I picked a big bowl of jalapenos to make more refrigerator pickled jalapenos. they last way longer in the fridge than the recommended month. We used them all last winter and they were fine. Since the brine is just vinegar, water, a little salt and sugar there’s not much in there to go bad. I’d still like to check out ordering a lug of tomatoes from the farm but not sure I want to deal with canning it all. Next year we really need to order a truck load of compost/fertilizer for the soil. We’ve used turkey manure before and that worked great. Plus this year the moles really did a job on the plants and eating the roots. But then Ciri the cat came to live here and we haven’t seen much mole activity.

My son was planning on camping at Lassen National Park that same week, but the fires have closed the park and all reservations were cancelled. I’m not sure what he’ll do but he said he might go for an overnight in the high country.

I’ll be home taking care of kitties and the chickens. Maybe I can get thru some more magazines or look around for a project. Otherwise, probably I’ll be walking, reading and just doing what I normally do.