2022

I’ve said before, I never do resolutions anymore but I do set some goals as benchmarks to move toward. The top of the list is to keep doing things that are healthy for me/us. That would include walking almost every day, swimming 2x -3x a week, eating good food( which we do anyway), keeping positive( which I think we do anyway, but always a good reminder. I’m pretty disciplined with menus, budgets, groceries, Fly lady routines, and other chores.

Other goals would be for projects. The entryway windows where B has his desk are not doing well. They were wonderful old windows from a library in SF someone gave us. But now the wood is in bad shape so probably the first project will be taking them out and replacing them with a vinyl-type window. the footings under that part of the room should be done better too. The next 2 windows are in the sunroom. These shouldn’t be as complicated as the other ones as the wall is straight and not at an angle and it should be fairly straightforward. Other outside things are a fence along the nasty neighbor’s border. We hoped to do a privacy fence but I think that will be too expensive this year so we decided to put up 5-foot fencing to make the boundary more designated and we can even plant some things along it to create a barrier. Fencing and poles shouldn’t be more than $150 maybe and it’s a start. Right now it is the original (since 1950) 3-foot hog fence that has 4inch gaps. So this will be a good start. I’m pretty sure we are going to budget for the one tree to be taken down. I’m hoping the bid is @ 2500.

We’ve got 4 RV trips planned and I hope we can get reservations for at least 2 more maybe 3. I’d like to find one more new place to go. Last year was great with discovering Refugio State Beach and then the Wine Resort RV Park in Paso Robles. We definitely enjoyed full hookups.

My sister’s health is very precarious right now and she will go into hospice care soon. With Omicron, I won’t fly but we could drive back if she makes it into spring. We just don’t know and the details are somewhat sketchy. It’s been hard to deal with as she’s only 4 years older than me. What her husband said was, she was having difficulty breathing( she is on 24hour oxygen due to the Interstitial lung disease . Other than that , like why? I don’t have the details. It sucks really.

This week I have my 6 – month eye check for the macular pucker and I have Dr. Laptalo as well. I’ll swim at least once and probably call that good.

Last night I made a loaded baked potato soup and it was very good. Tonight I’m roasting a chicken and I’ll do some frozen nut loaf for B. Not sure what else, a salad and ? Then later in the week, I plan on making Beef bourguignon. I saw a recipe for mushroom bourguignon and I might do that for B.

Most of the week is supposed to be nice but there is rain tomorrow and Tuesday. I don’t think we’re supposed to get snow though.

Looking back at 2021

For us, 2021 was a really great year in spite of Covid. For lots of people, it was horrible but we managed to accomplish some very BIG Goals. # 1 was buying Rubi( the RV), which was exactly what we wanted), then Chevy, after realizing the Santa Fe was just not going to cut it with towing, and then going on camping trips especially the new addition of Refugio State Beach.

I started chemo in January, 3 weeks on 1 week off until June. My numbers went back into the normal range almost immediately after just the first treatment but you still need to do the full course of 6 rounds. I’ve had a great 6 months but my numbers are now slightly out of high normal so it’s a matter of how quickly they will increase. I’m waiting now for this week’s labs, so we’ll see. My guess is I’ll be back on Velcade in June. Amazingly, last time ( 2016) I had 4 1/2 years of remission. Not this time and it’s questionable how long Velcade will work before it’s on to the next treatment option. Well, that’s not today so…

I m swimming in March and I continue to love it. I wish I could get more than the 2-3 times a week in but it’s just too far and too much gas to do more than that. But it is incredible.

We did quite a few projects around the house and yard including the privacy fence along the driveway. We replaced the sunroom windows that were water damaged and will do the other 2 this summer. We redid the whole laundry room. It still needs some siding up around the window and I’ll bug my son to finish that when the weather is nicer. Let’s see, what else… I painted the bathroom, and ??? I’m sure there are more things…

Today is New Year’s Eve. We’re going to have the fondue we didn’t use for Christmas and I think to watch the new Witcher series. We had a lovely walk this morning and still no dog walker. That’s very odd, so we think either he got covid or moved?? We never knew his name so can’t check it out. But really it is wonderful to not have him stomping by or trying to run us off the path. Still, he is a dark walker( early morning) so there’s that connection. Not many people do that.

I plan to go to Target tomorrow as I need my calendars for 2022. I like their very simple inexpensive ones. Not sure they’ll have any left but I’ll try there first. I do plan a no-spend January but that’s just extra stuff that I don’t need( like candles). My January budget is set including the increase of our Part D Medicare plans.

I lost count of how many books I read , maybe 75? 100? I read a lot so I don’t think it really matters how many. Sometimes I read 3 books a week. It all depends on the type of book. Maybe I’ll keep count next year except I have tried that and then give up because it starts to be too many.

Snowmageddon

I am now going crazy with NOT being able to go swimming much less walk.

SNOW, SNOW,SNOW……….

I had planned to go down to Roseville today to swim but again it’s snowing and I don’t want to be on the freeway getting stuck with a billion semis that are lining the on-ramps. Oh well, not much I can do about it. Maybe later we will walk from the house down to the park. The main reason we don’t do this regularly is our driveway is about a 45-degree angle. I can easily walk down but coming back up is difficult. Oh well, I guess since there’s nothing to be done about it, I’ll just accept it as Mother Nature’s way of saying take a break.

I made some yummy black bean burgers last night for dinner. The recipe is PioneerWoman’s and is simple and quite excellent. Everyone liked them.

I did a pantry check and wrote down what I have in the house and what I need. I still have to go out to the barn to do the prepper pantry. I have used most of what’s out there except a few things and I need to go check that out as I don’t quite remember. I think I have 2 bins of food plus the long shelf life of dried foods. Those I won’t use as they are true emergency food items. I’m not sure we will ever need them but they’re fine in one bin. or two. Most of the cleaning/non-food items I’m moving into the laundry room. Since it’s been redone it has two nice big shelves for those items. I still have some beans and oats in mylar bags and those too are long term so they’re fine in the storage bucket.

I’ve definitely gone thru some mental change in regards to a prepper pantry. I don’t feel the need to hoard a year’s worth of food or even 6 months. If the apocalypse is coming well, then it’s coming and me having a year’s worth of food isn’t going to matter. That being said, I have always ( 47 years now, since1975, have bought in bulk. Back then it was rice or beans, honey, flour, etc. I just always felt it was easier to have a supply on hand and then I didn’t need to think about it. So plus this last year really helped me focus on what we eat and what was just ‘hoarding’ or ‘what other people were doing. So that’s that.

I plan on making some scones this morning. I have a King Arthur Eggnog scone mix that’s definitely holiday-ish. I think I’ll do spaghetti with sauce tonight maybe a meat sauce but probably not as that means defrosting something. I’ll see how I feel later. I have some salad stuff that needs to get used up and some garlic bread. Yeah, that sounds good for tonight. Less thinking about it and it’s there to be used from the pantry. I have a nice bottle of red wine too!!!

Simple Sunday

Another Christmas has come and gone. We really had lovely Christmas. I made a big breakfast of eggs (our own), mini-pancakes, fried bananas, bacon, veggie sausage, and hash browns. Fresh coffee on the table and I used my needles and pine Tepco plates. After breakfast, at the table, we opened a few items to share. I used the Santa fund to get a gift card for each kid and B got his in cash, chocolate from Trader Joe’s. My son shared a few presents: 2 jazz LP’s for Dad, an Easton Press book for me ” Tale of Two Cities, and a plaque with one of my favorite quotes from Tolkien” No Admittance except on official party business, and for his sister an Apple gift card. B got each of us one thing, a candle for me, chainsaw chains( a 3 pack) for Sachi’s electric chainsaw, and a gift card to Cherry records for Z which is his favorite record store in Auburn. Honestly, I think it was the nicest stress-free Christmas ever. I will definitely do this again next year with breakfast being the focus and then a couple of small things or GC’s as gifts to share at the table.

We have had lovely very cold walks. Some in the rain and wind and some with stars and then sunrises. It’s supposed to keep snowing and raining here and in the Sierras. I have my labs tomorrow but I may have to reschedule. I think I’ll wait till I’m up to see how it is. The Santa Fe is all-wheel drive so it shouldn’t be a problem. It would be more how is I – 80? It’s been closed off and on so it could be 7 am.

I’ve taken some of the Christmas decorations down and will finish tomorrow. I plan to go thru the one bin in the barn that’s Christmas and see if there’s a way to get it down even further. the bin has all the Hallmark ornaments we’ve collected over all these years so I don’t want to get rid of them but maybe pack it differently. Right now it’s too cold to go out there so it’s just something to do at a later time.

We’re staying snug and warm with a wood fire going pretty much non stop. I bought a stove top fan that works off the heat and it is very good at moving the air. We have one that is a 2 blade but this is 4 blade. I think I might get another one down the road.

I finished the last PD James I had from the pet bookstore, “Death comes to Pemberly”. It is a murder mystery using the Jane Austin’s characters. It was quite excellent.

We’ve been trying to get a spot at Nevada beach in June and it’s almost impossible. We gave up because now it’s too close to 4th of July and I never want to be in Tahoe on 4th of July. So I happened to look one morning and lo and behold there had been a cancellation. So I jumped on it and now we have 4 nights in the first part of June. I’d rather have a few more nights buts I’ll take it. It’s in a spot we haven’t had but we know it and it’s on the loop we like. Next up will trying to book in late August or September but that will have to wait or the timing ( 6 months out).

Simple Sunday

I made another batch of bagels this morning using a different recipe. This one did an overnight rise of the dough. Definitely better. I need to do a few tweaks to the recipe though as I put the bagels on the parchment paper like it said but this morning they stuck to the paper and were difficult to get off. I used a spatula underneath them but next time I will spray the parchment paper with canola spray. The boiling part went fine and so did the baking. I think bagel making is like bread making that it does take a few times to really get the feel for it and how it should be.

We had a nice rainy walk and it was a Christmas Miracle….. the AH was not there. It was amazing. Of course, it was raining and he doesn’t usually walk in the rain so maybe not a miracle.

Then we had decided yesterday to hit Costco today as Sunday before the churchgoers get there is usually a good time. We went right in and it was good. We were done in about 20 minutes and back out. This will be our last trip till mid -January or whenever we run out of coffee. I bought 3 bags of Starbucks so that should last us. Since we’re having a minimalist Christmas, there was no looking at the Christmas stuff or trying to figure out gifts. It’s very freeing. I think this is a natural evolution of our minimalism and everyone is on board. We’ve never not had gifts so it will be quite different. I am totally enjoying not being part of the Christmas madness. Well, everything is sorted and put in the fridge and freezer. I did get some chile tamales for Christmas dinner or Christmas eve so that will be tasty. The cheese and green chile ones are usually only available at holiday time.

This week is the bathroom zone so I plan on doing that later or even tomorrow. Wverything is tidied up and my daughter did a reset and tidied the kitchen for me while we were gone.

It’s snowing up at Tahoe and looks like the storm door is open all week. We need the snow pack so that’s good. We’re supposed to have rain all week too.

We’re watching the new season of Shetland and it’s good. We also started the Night Manager and it’s also good but gets a little intense.

Mid-week

It wasn’t raining yet so our walk was nice. Yesterday coming back from swimming the fog was pretty dense in Auburn. Here though it was just overcast. Tomorrow the rain moves in.

My blocked ear( left ) is still bothering me Eustachian Ear thing. This started a few weeks ago after swimming. My PCP thought it would resolve in a few weeks but it hasn’t and is still bothering me. Well, it’s not going to keep me from swimming and I did buy ear plugs. I wasn’t using them before and probably that’s what started the whole thing. Oh well, it’s always something, right? I plan on going into town to get some pseudoephedrine which is suppose to help. I’ve been using Flonaise and it does help but hasn’t cleared it up.

We haven’t gone up to Tahoe to use our tree permit yet and now it looks like the storm door is open and they are expecting a lot of snow. So we may not get up there this year. We always have a fun date getting the tree and stopping at Tahoe House for coffees and pastry.

The windows are in the sunroom and look really good. It’s not done of course but still the wood that was water damaged is gone.

they are not the most expensive windows like Anderson, but they will do the job out here. Plus they open which is going to be great in the summer.

This was the one Barclay did in the summer.

These are the rest of the french door windows that actually came from a house in Tahoe. These will stay until next year. They do not get the same direct rain as the south facing ones did.

Yesterday, after swimming I came home and made King Arthurs Holiday scones and they were delicious. They had fruit and nuts in a spice mix. Quite excellent. they only offer that at this time of year so if you’re interested order some now.

Some photos from the trip and other misc stuff.

I got my P23 booster yesterday( pneumonia) and it was all good. No reaction, but I didn’t expect one as I’ve had the P13 before. So another medical thing ticked off. I still need to get a dtap but will do that soon. Always stuff. I also had my labs done by the phlebotomist from hell. Well, she was new and didn’t get the vein right. I’ve had thousands of draws at this point in my life and I know when they get and when they don’t. Anyway, I should know if I’m moving out of range on my Kappa Light chains by next Friday.

Here’s our Thanksgiving table using the dishes my dear friend Sara gave me years ago. The wine is from Monterrey County. It was quite delicious.

Here’s the husband looking happy with his nut loaf!!

My super handsome son!!!

This is the Diestel turkey he brined and cooked!!!

This is the Paso Robles RV place.

My beautiful daughter ,Sachi.

Backing in to the spot. But he redid it so it was straight in.

All cozy inside. Having full hook ups does make a huge difference.

This is on the trail at Refugio. We walked this everyday about 2miles.It’d probably help if I combed my hair:)

Frugal Friday, I suppose.

We are back from our Rv adventures. Paso Robles turned out great. At first, I thought, well, it’s all big Rv’s and maybe we won’t stay the second day, but we really needed the day to just decompress. We had a great spot on the end with only an RV on our left. So that was a big factor. We really like space around us so that spot made a big difference. We will go back next year if everything works out. Refugio SB was only a 2-hour drive. So that was good. The only crazy thing was going into the grocery store( Albertson’s). It was a madhouse and really stressed us out. But we got what we needed. I especially wanted some local wine from Paso Robles and they did have a whole aisle of just Paso Robles wine so that was cool.

The next day we hooked up and left for the drive home. We were concerned that it would be too long but we came under 5 hours. Without trailering it probably would have been just under 4. We stopped 3 times to stretch. I-5 is great for rest stops. All major interstates should have them. We had snacks and peanut butter sandwiches. Well, I sat on mine so I just nibbled at it.

Getting home was fine and we navigated past the tree that needs to be taken down for us to have easier access in and out. Going in is much easier than going out. Next year we’ll figure that out.

Budget-wise, traveling is expensive. Not the SB or even the RV resort, but GAS was pretty outrageous. We never eat out so that saves money. But for next year I will add to my extra savings for gas.

All I have left of with annual bills is our property tax and I’ll pay that next week. Then we get a good size break from annual bills till March/April.

Thanksgiving was low-key. I actually used the Diestal Turkey I bought last year on sale. My son brined it and cooked it. I did the sides.

No Black Friday sales for us. Tomorrow I plan on swimming and maybe putting up the small Ikea tree I bought. We’re not doing any ornaments, just some small lights. Hanukkah is Sunday evening so I plan to put out a few little decorations. One is a blue glass ornament my son actually did in, I think, 6th grade at a local glass blowers studio.

Hello from beautiful Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara county.

This is the view from the best camp spot ever. Boy, did we ever luck out with this spot. It is amazing. Right on the beach edge with only those views in front of us. I kind of wished we booked for as long as it allows but 6 nights will be fine.

We had a good drive down and Chevy and the Rubi did great. We stayed in Salinas KOA and it was fine for one night. We didn’t even unhook. The spots were awfully close but we managed. From there the ride was also great and we landed here @ 1:15 and were able to get our spot. Everyone walking by says” Best place in the campground ” and boy are they right. When I made the reservation I had no idea that this spot was so great. So we’re hoping to make this an annual trip in November. The weather has been great too.

We went into Santa Barbara and the first stop was Renaud’s for their famous almond croissants. Truly amazing. We love their breakfasts but we had already had our breakfast in camp so we had the croissants and then bought some for the next day. State Street is now a promenade and no cars so we walked as far as we wanted and it was beautiful. Almost NO tourists at all. Santa Barbara really is so beautiful. Next, we went to Stearn’s wharf and Moby Dicks which was our go to place for happy hour. I had a bowl of clam chowder and B had fries. It was only fair and I think we both realized that being in the camp spot and having a glass of wine was better. But it’s only fair to say when we used to do Moby’s, we were in the Holiday Inn right off State Street , so different circumstances. –

We’ve walked the beach every day and it’s lovely. Today is a stay-in camp day and tomorrow we leave for Paso Robles. It’s more of an RV resort so we’re not sure how we will like it but it’s there for now. From there we were going to go to New Brighton and had reservations but it’s a bit of a detour( about 2 hours) and then we realized we’d be driving the day before Thanksgiving, so we cancelled that and will drive home on Monday. I suspect it will be busier than when we drove down but that’s the way it is.

We’re learning quite a bit more having stayed in this spot for 6 days. The solar panel is working great and the battery has stayed charged. We’re running the Honda generator about 2 hours in the afternoon to charge my mac and our phones. Overall, it is perfect for us and we really feel grateful for this chance in our lives.

Back to reality next week, I have my labs so that’ll be interesting to see if I go out of normal range. Plus, apparently CVS 2 years ago gave me the wrong pneumonia shot. I had had the 13 and was supposed to get the 23 but they gave me the 13 again, so now I need to go get the 23. What a PITA. And I’ve been having some hearing issues with my left ear that started about a month ago after swimming. The doctor checked and said there was any inflammation or water but behind the eardrum was some fluid so he recommended Flonaise. It hasn’t done much but I’ll let him know and he was going to send a referral to an audiologist. Ahhh, the joys of getting older. I am excited about getting back to swimming though. I miss the water.

Friday things…

We’re getting ready to leave tomorrow. The first stop will be in Salinas/Monterey KOA since that’s the halfway point. I think that site will have hookups so we will try and figure that out since we haven’t had that yet. Then the next day down to Refugio State Beach. Refugio does not have hookups as far as I can tell. We’re planning to go into Santa Barbara Tuesday as that’s the farmers market.

Today I packing up the dry food and tomorrow will do the refrigerator stuff. Barclay had the oil changed in Chevy and so we’re good to go there. He’s going to pull the RV out this afternoon and then just back slightly into the other driveway( our driveway splits) so we can pull straight out tomorrow. Part of the reason is our newish neighbor’s daughter’s boyfriend parks in the road( usually on Friday night) and that would block us from being able to do a wide turn so this way it’ll be done.

I had a good swim this week and will miss the pool while we’re gone. Hopefully, it won’t feel like I’m starting over after 10 days. Well, it is what it is.

I’ve finished up my house chores except for vacuuming and this morning PGE is coming out to check on the tree by the barn that is a leaner. It’s a huge Ponderosa so maybe they’ll take it. Then right after that, I’m going to the pet bookstore to load up on some books to bring with me.

I’ll post some pictures when we’re there if I can get some Wifi service.