Simple Sunday on Monday…

Somehow between painting and other things the day got away from me. I did get another wall in the bedroom done. What a difference it makes. I told B that it must have been longer ago that it was painted than I originally thought. It is looking very clean and crisp. Then I got inside the ONE closet we have and it was a mess. I tidied and moved some things so it looks better but today I plan to take all my canning jars out and put them in the barn in a box. I’m not planning on any canning this year except maybe salsa and tomato sauce so I can put them in a bin out of the closet.

This coming around from the door side to the window side where I’ll paint today. The contrast is startling:( I like the grey trim but wouldn’t do it again as painting over dark colors is a two coat job. I’ll just stick to white.

The yard is filled with lots of flowers and this geranium is a new one. A bright red.

Here is an assortment of succulents that were just taken out of the green house.

This is the water pond with a yellow water lily. My daughter bought goldfish so their in there too now. Last time we had goldfish the raccoons had a fish feast so it’s been a while and she is covering it at night.

Barclay has been working on getting the new stove hood up. Everything in this house is more complicated and he had to fix the wiring in the attic. But it’s done and the hood should go up today. We really needed a new one the other was just gross. I’m guessing stove hoods have a life expectancy since there is grease involved even though I clean it diligently, it’s never really really clean.

The roof is on the shed so now it’s only the doors and trim. The roof felting and roofing will be put on later.

Next Sunday we head out for our first trip in over a year to Capitola. It’ll be great to see the ocean and just camp. We do plan a few walks in Santa Cruz but mostly just hanging out. Gayle’s bakery is at the top of the list too. I don’t plan to over do the food as I figure we can go to the store( Nob Hill and/or Trader Joe’s ) and get stuff. I plan our basic camping foods, spaghetti, tacos, and whatever else looks good.

Last night I made this delicious dinner. This was from The Washington Post, Eat Voraciously Newsletter called Tortilla Espanola with two Aiolis. Of course, I didn’t read the 2 aiolis right so it ended up one with the smoked paprika and basil in it. Still it was delicious. I added a little Manchego cheese and I think that made it even better. I evened flipped it out of the cast iron pan. I have a picture but it’s on B’s phone. I’ll try and put it up later.

Simple Sunday

I got my 2nd covid shot on Friday and it all went fine. It was easy in and wait 15 minutes after the shot. My arm was slightly sore but that’s it so I’m pretty jazzed.

We hit up Trader Joes and spent right around $200. That included some pantry stuff and assorted snacks and wine. It was fine till 9 am when they opened it to under 65 and then it was a madhouse so we quickly left.

Our two flowering cherry trees are in full bloom.

They are quite pretty this year. Some years because of rain or snow they don’t reach full bloom but these did. The bees are happy!

All the daffodils my daughter planted this fall are coming up too.

They are up and down the new fencing and just past our entryway driveway. Those trees on the right are our neighbors,Leo’s, so you can see how close that is to our parking area. That’s why we will want a fence there.

I’m planning on making a curry for dinner with veggies and rice. I have some broccoli that needs using and I bought some cauliflower too.

This week is the kitchen zone and I will start that tomorrow. Today I want to vacuum and do some other chores. We are headed into some rain tomorrow and for the next few days too. Monday is our no walk day so I can get a head start on the kitchen zone. Barclay is planning on starting on the LR walls painting. We figure a wall at a time or maybe a wall and a half with everything that needs moving. The bookcase wall will require all the books removed. So a bigger job than the fireplace wall which only has a Heywood Wakefield cabinet.

Still no luck getting a reservation at Nevada Beach. Now reservations are for almost the second week of September. I’ll keep trying but feel it’s probably a wash.

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.

Simple Sunday

A simple day to start the new year.

My daily chores are done and the FL zone this week is the kitchen. The entry way was only 2 days so I missed that. But, I think I’ll sweep the patios and tidy up the fir boughs.(my daughter already did all this so it’s done!!) I’m going to leave them thru january as it seems wintery. My door wreath is bay laurel so that can stay up too. I also have some nice pinecones we collected up in Tahoe on the bench outside the front door.

One thing I’ve learned with being more minimal is to use natural things for decor or seasonal decorations. It makes it easier for me to not have think about the decorations in bins. I definitely used to keep bins with seasonal stuff but not so much any more. Now I only have my vintage Halloween, and some Easter stuff and Christmas in some Ikea boxes. Works for me.

I used my Staub again for a braised short rib recipe. It cooked beautifully but we ( the meat eaters) were not too into the dish. It was good but not great. It will not go into rotation even though it really is an easy one pot meal. This pot though has cooked everything I’ve done to perfection. If you’re looking for an all around pot this is it. Staub should sponsor me as I cannot say enough good things about this pot. And that’s coming from a die hard fan of Le Creuset.

I am doing a Walmart pickup so that should get us thru till we get to Costco about mid month. I’m planning on trying to use the Instant Pot to make yogurt. It seems easy enough so on the Walmart order I have some whole milk yogurt to use as a starter. We’ll see. I’ll post how it goes.

My rib feels pretty good. Maybe still a little tender where I probably pulled the muscle around the rib. I’ll be sure to mention it to my doctor. He did ask whether I wanted to do PET scans and a bone marrow biopsy to see it there were any hot spots and/or if the myeloma has morphed. I declined since it is what it is regardless. I think if I had more symptoms I might but at this point I’m fairly asymptomatic except for blood work that show the increases.

This week I see the eye doctor for my 6 month macular pucker scan. I’m hoping to not have to get my eyes dilated as they stay dilated for hours. I’m also thinking of getting the surgery when the pandemic is over and things are back to normal so probably a year from now.

I added some more ” things I hope to accomplish” list. :

find 3 new hikes to try

paint the living room and kitchen( this was supposed to be done last year)

find 2 new places to camp( I was thinking either private or maybe just Forest Service campgrounds)

keep up with the prepper pantry but streamline what I stock( and know we will use).

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.

Friday things

Well, let’s see. The week was dark and stormy( kidding … a reference to “Throw Momma from the Train”)! Actually it was pretty dark and stormy yesterday for the morning and then it lightened up by afternoon. Today it’s freezing this morning but sunny and should be a nice day with highs in the mid 50’s.

It was an okay week. I really felt depressed most of it but today I feel brighter.

I didn’t make bread this week so this morning I’m baking a couple of Tartine boules so that will give us some bread for toast or grilled cheese.

I only went to our Holiday market this week for a few things and I think I spent $45. I needed a gift card for our garbage guy and a holder and I bought an inexpensive bottle of Cabernet for him.

I also started writing out a list of projects for 2021 and where we could possibly go camping. Capitola for sure if the SB is open, Nevada Beach also. I’d like to get to Bodega to camp too. That’s usually booked way in advance since it’s right on the beach and all the big RVer’s want the spots. I might check that out today.

Last night I made a polenta lasagna and it was really good. I used the IP to make the polenta and then Rao’s sauce( which is in my opinion the best on the market.) Costco has the best deals on a 2 pack for about $10 something. Then I used grated mozzarella on top. We all liked it and I think because it was so easy, I’ll add to my menu rotation.

When I menu plan, I write up a menu for the whole month and then check off what I made. I also add in space for a new recipe so I can try something new. I also add in 2 nights of takeout. We already had the pizza this month so that leaves one left. Some months, especially with the pandemic, we didn’t do any take out at all.

Tonight is supposed to be pizza night but since we had that Italian polenta last night I’m going to bake the frozen nut loaf. I made some cranberry sauce from frozen cranberries and I’ll do some mashed potatoes and a veggie. that should do it.

Is 2020 over yet?

What we have 15 days left till January 1st. Honestly, some things about 2020 were awful and some less awful. I’m an introvert in a house of mostly introverts(my son is pretty outgoing) so staying home wasn’t a biggie for me. Not being able to go on camping trips was an inconvenience especially with all the reservations I had and that are frankly a PITA to reserve. Going into stores just for a few things is a thing of the past except maybe our market at the bottom of our hill. Literally I could walk down there in 3 minutes. It would be the walk up that would do me in. Our driveway is probably a 45 degree angle. Okay maybe slightly less. I wonder how you could figure that out?? Anyone? with an engineering degree? The political shit was too much to bear and still is with Trump not conceding and still whining like a toddler that he didn’t get his way and the sycophants that should be removed from office for supporting him.

And I guess I can’t ignore that I’ve relapsed and cancer is back. So starting treatment in January 2021 may not be the best start to a new year. 😦

Well, anyway, I find myself somewhat depressed these days. Maybe it’s all the political crap finally taking its toll on me or not sleeping well or who the F*k knows. I’m sure that this too will pass at some point.

We have been having some nice walks in the early morning and haven’t seen the jerk for quite a while. I think he’s just taken to getting there earlier so as to avoid everyone that shows up a little later. That’s fine with me.

I’m half way thru the Obama book and some of the political stuff is a little over my head but some stuff is so poignant and really speaks to how much he cared about this country. The other book I’m reading that I picked up at the little free library at the park is Chris Bohjalian’s book ” the Guest Bedroom” . His books always have a controversial topic and this one is no exception. It’s about the sex slave traffic from Russia of under age girls. Pretty tough reading but well done. Maybe I need a cozy mystery next.

Last night we had chicken tortilla soup made in the Staub. It was quite good. I’m seriously loving this pot and would highly recommend. Actually, I think I saw the sale was still on ($99.00). I’m convinced it has something to do with how the top is made that is keeping the liquid from evaporating and just deepening the flavors.

Tonight’s dinner is unknown right now but probably something easy. I have salad stuff and maybe a pasta? Or I do have some chicken brats, that would work too.

Simple Sunday

I just finished the bathroom zone. This past week I asked my daughter to use up the bathroom paint and touch up here and there. So it ended up about 1 pint and looks good. One good thing about keeping the same color and absolutely loving it is when you do touchups even a few years later it doesn’t show the beginning or end of the color if that makes sense. the color in the bathroom is called Rarified air by Sherwin Williams and we have had it in the bathroom for years and I never tire of it. It is a very pale blue with probably some grey in it.

The heat is exhausting. Yesterday it was 108. This morning it was 77 on our walk. The annoying dog walker is still there by 5:30 so we just step out of his way as he barrels on by. If I haven’t mentioned this before I will now.  Over the years we’ve been walking every day or near every day ( going into year 9), we’ve had lots of people come and go.  Some great people and others not so great. Recently, probably @ February or March, this guy shows up with a white, very pretty dog. The dog is muzzled and is not a friendly sort. So at first, we were all fine even once or twice said hello. But then he started really fast walking and would come up behind us without saying like ” on your left” or something so I started getting pretty annoyed. Then more and more he would just barrel by and even when we were walking side by side( B and I) he wouldn’t step off the path and just skimmed us. Then I started watching how he was with others and it seemed the same. Also, adding to my annoyance, is that he comes speeding down our main road( speed limit 25mph, he’s doing 45 at least) and then the park roadway to fast and the practically screeches in a 180 to park.  So, I kept hoping as sunrise is way later now, he would adjust and come later. But no luck. This morning we were using a flashlight so anybody else could see us but not him. Just barreling by in the premorning light. Oh well, I’ll adjust but it is annoying.

Last night I made a big Cobb salad with tofu, chicken, avocado, lettuce, carrots, cheese, and some leftover cabbage. It was good. Tonight is probably YOYO. Plus this heat makes cooking not fun.  Although, I made a peach pie yesterday and it was delicious.  It was the NYT recipe for peach pie.

This week is no appts for me but lots for B; he has labs, video conference with Dr. Abedi, and another one with the urologist he was referred to.  But at least it’s not driving to Sacramento so there’s that.

Today would have been the day we headed up to Tahoe but alas, no. The area lakes are being inundated with valley people and ven South Lake Tahoe had protesters telling tourists “go home”. Which says a lot since Soth Lake Tahoe depends on tourism for revenue. But they are coming in hordes and leaving tons of trash. Such a shame people have to be so such slobs.

Well, on that cheery note, I’m off to read or something that involves not moving a lot.

Simple Sunday

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Here are the two barrels with bamboo. The window above is our tiny bathroom.  The bedroom window is to the right and that’s where we thought he 3rd barrel would look nice.

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Here’s the updated closet. It probably doesn’t look much different but it is very bright and sparkly.  We added some new hooks for my clothes, as I tend to hang my walking/workout pants and jacket there.

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This is the clothes side. Mine is on the bottom. As you can see, I don’t own a lot of clothes.

I’m thinking of adding a barn door ( one that slides) instead of the curtain. I need to check out how much the hardware is but I don’t think it’s a lot.

This morning I made another batch of tomato sauce from garden tomatoes. I think I’ll get about 2 Talenti size containers. I will freeze these. We are getting a lot of Roma tomatoes and orange cherry tomatoes. Not too many slicing ones yet.

I’m experimenting with making pie crust to this morning. It seemed to come together very nicely so fingers crossed. It’s in the fridge for a few hours minimum.

I was going to start the kitchen zone but decided to wait till tomorrow since I was making a mess with tomatoes and flour. So tomorrow will be the kitchen zone and a general tidy up.

My two, lost in USPS space,books finally arrived. the one is the vegetarian one I wanted from The Ananda community. Ananda was started in 1967 in North San Juan which is about an hour from here. It was really at its height in the 1970s. We went multiple times for different reasons. Meditation and I seem to remember a wedding.  Then at some point in the late 1980s, Kriyananda, the founder( AKA Donald Walters) got in some serious tax problems and I believe sex scandals and fled to Italy.  Anyway, it is a beautiful piece of property. It’s probably over 600 acres about and still continues to this day offering retreats.

This week is hot again so that’s kinda unfortunate. The few days we had in the 80s were great.

Next week is quiet with no appointments so maybe we’ll plan a drive out somewhere. Everywhere here in the Sierra Nevada foothills and Tahoe areas are just inundated with people from the valley and the Bay area. Any thought of a solitary hike is out of the question.  I’m not even sure how camping will go next year as everyone has decide to buy campers, RV’s and whatever and flood the campgrounds. I guess a lot depends on when we get the vaccine.

I am reading an outstanding book that I bought on Amazon.

‘White too long’, by Robert Jones.  It is an amazing book about White Supremecy in White Christianity.  I’m an atheist, but I have a lot of respect for this author and what he is writing.

If you’re so inclined, I’d recommend buying it even if it is too support his thesis monetarily.

 

 

What we’ve been up to.

Fortunately, my son Zephyr is able to work at home. It’s a bit of a challenge as he does video production but he’s managing.  Sachi is able to also do the library stuff online too which is mostly ‘chatting’ with students about research stuff.

I’ve read 4 ebooks in the last week. It’s a new author and character I really like.

Here’s the link. 

 The character Emma is an FBI agent who’s really good at what she does. The books are paced well and the mystery is good.  Now what?? I’ll have to see what else I can download.

The weather hasn’t been good enough to work in the yard but maybe in a few days. Everyone is getting a bit of cabin fever I think.

Our pantry is still well-stocked but I am waiting on an order from Costco for laundry soap and dishwasher soap. Both were supposed to be 2-day delivery but it’s now day 4 and it hasn’t shipped yet. We don’t really want to hit up Costo so I guess I wait and see.

I canceled our camping trip to New Brighton in April. I just don’t think everything will reopen by then and even so, it’s probably just too risky. Disappointing to say the least.

We had tacos last night and tonight is kinda freezer cleanout. I have some spanokopita to use up. I’ll make a salad with the last lettuce I have. I’ll probably need a store run for some fresh stuff by Monday.  Maybe I’ll go Sunday or Safeway has the senior time Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I could do that.

the sun is peaking out so that’s a good sign that it might end up a sunny day.