Simple Sunday

A nice simple RAINY Sunday which is fine with me. It’s just a nice drizzle although there is a winter storm warning for the Sierras. We walked this morning and it was just starting to drizzle as we left.

I went to the gym in Auburn and used the treadmill. I’m using this gym on Sundays for a quick workout to add to what I’m doing. It seems Sunday morning is old men’s morning who don’t use the wipes after using machines:(

Then I went to Safeway for a few things. Groceries are certainly expensive.

Then I came straight home and spent the last 2 hours looking at vintage Levi’s. I pretty much only wear Levis so a Youtuber I like was wearing some great-looking Levis and so I asked her what # they were and she said vintage 501s. So I just spent(wasted) 2 hours looking and didn’t really see what I thought would work for me.

Next week I have my doctor appt and then just the normal stuff. We may go to Costco as their sale stuff starts Wednesday and there are some items we need ie: laundry soap, coffee, toothbrushes and I think a few other things. Other than that same old same old.

The Flylady zone is the living room and entryways. I did the LR zone already so I’ll just tidy the entryways. I think I’ll also do some kitchen zone too. I want to start with all my pantry jars and give them all a wipe-down.

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Frugal Friday

It’s almost the end of January and the pantry challenge is going great. I will continue into February. I’ve come in @ $400 in groceries for the month. For the four of us, that’s really good. The pantry and the freezer are decreasing so that’s a good thing. I still have quite a bit to use up.

Last night I made Sole Milanese.(Ina Garten recipe) I made way too much but that’s what was in the freezer bag. Note to self: (portion out the fish better). Tonight is usually pizza night but no one feels like that so I think I’ll just do a simple pasta dish. Here’s the pizza from last week. I’m looking forward to using the Ooni outside when the weather changes.

I have February’s budget done and in place. I plan on looking at starting taxes this next week. It should be quite simple. I think we have all the things I need. We did get a 1099 for the California relief something. I guess that was a taxable amount. Not sure why they’d give you a refund and then expect it to be taxed. Oh well, who knows how anything in the government works.

We had our Date Thursday yesterday at Chipolte. It was ok. It seemed like an awful lot of people getting take out. I guess we don’t go out to eat very often so it’s always a surprise the amount of people doing it. But I am trying to get us to do one thing a week like this.

This was a sunset but my phone didn’t really capture the colors well. It was orangey and pink. this is looking west out our bedroom window.

Well, that’s it for today.

Simple Sunday

A sunny Sunday but cold again. Still at 32 degrees and frosty on our walk this morning. The park was all frosty but it was a nice walk. It seems Great White Duck is now missing so we’re assuming it got taken by a predator. She/he has been around for maybe 4-5 years so that’s sad.

I worked on the bedroom zone and I plan on shampooing the carpet this week. I probably will also add in the LR zone too as there’s not a lot to do in that either. I do need to dust everything though.

I popped into the Auburn gym and felt the same about it as last week. The assisted weights are old and really dated compared to Roseville. The treadmills are also ‘dated’ to some degree. I was the only one using wipes on the equipment and it seemed most of the people there were ignoring wiping anything. I saw one old guy sneezing and snotting into his tissue and then go use a machine. Ewwww:(

Tomorrow I have my labs and then I might go down to the Roseville gym. I’m not committing yet because I may want to just come straight home and do some house tidying. The thing about being more minimal is it takes way less time to clean, tidy, or organize with a decluttered house. Still, things need to get done. Yesterday I washed the sunroom windows and washed the barkcloth cover I use on the couch out there. So everything in that room is done.

I also think having routines and daily to-do lists helps keep things organized. I almost always have my menu in place for dinner and I always keep my kitchen counters clear. If I had more storage space I definitely would keep my Kitchen Aid in a cabinet. Also, I think when our small microwave gives up the ghost I won’t replace it. I also keep the tea kettle on the counter. I really can’t change that as we use it a bazillion times a day.

The pantry challenge is going well and we are definitely using up things. This week I have some Dover sole to use up and from the big freezer, I’m planning on using the last ground turkey to make chili. I’m slowly bringing in all the pantry things from the prepper pantry and putting them in rotation. I’m pretty sure I won’t do a huge prepper pantry again. But I do want to keep doing pressure canned shelf stable foods. I don’t think I’ll do tons but I do enjoy the process and it is very convenient. So far the big winners are the BBQ sauce, enchilada sauce, chicken pot pie filling, and vegetable soup.

The pantry challenge also helped with my budget and I’m coming in way under what I planned. Our next month’s budget starts next week with our SS checks and then I’ll do a final tally. Let’s hope this debt ceiling shit doesn’t affect SS as that is all we’ve got!

Frugal Friday

We’re finally getting sunny days. It’s still very cold(32′) this morning but at least there’s sun!!

It’s been a good week. Barclay had his port out and that all went well. It was almost 4years to the date he had it put in. Lots of blood transfusions.Whew, what a story that was. But he’s 100% better and has no lingering GVH issues.

I had my annual Well care check with my PCP. It was fine although maybe a slight waste of time as I didn’t have anything to discuss and he didn’t have a lot to say. Oh well, it’s fine. I did say I still had some pressure in my left ear and he just said to go see the ENT doctor. Er, okay then.

After that appt, I went down to the Roseville gym and then the library. I also swam on Wednesday and it was busy but I did get a lane. Near the end of my swim, some guy came and shared the lane.

This morning I’m making some sauerkraut and doing a general tidy-up. I’m making a pizza for dinner and need to defrost the dough. Last night I made my first ever meatloaf and it came out really good. I did follow a recipe and I suppose that does help. I decided to make this since I had a lb of local pork sausage I had bought at the farmers market this past summer and as part of the pantry challenge wanted to use it up. I also had some organic ground beef to use up too. I topped it with my canned BBQ sauce and it was excellent. The pantry challenge is going splendidly and I may continue into February. There are 11 more days in January so I’ll decide then. I do plan on doing an Azure order in February so that will be some pantry restocking.

I got the new Marie Kondo book from the library. What a waste. It’s mostly repeat stuff but there’s so many photos of her. It seems the book is really about how many photos can she have taken of herself.

And here’s a shot of the sauerkraut wilting and about ready to go into a jar with the fermenting lid on.

This was one head of cabbage. It does shrink down.

I haven’t spent a lot on groceries this week except $80 at Trader Joes. Since I was going in for a few things I added some extras like pita bread for falafels, OJ, micro greens, and some other random stuff.

I also tackled washing the couch covers and saw that one corner at the bottom was ripping so I will need to get a new cover eventually. I’mgoing to pull some embroidery thread out and sew it for now. I think these white covers are over 5 years old probably more. I’m not ready to buy a new couch so a new cover will be fine. Next time I go to Ikea I’ll check it out.

Simple Sunday

We lost power for about an hour last night but I’m surprised it wasn’t more. It’s still raining so we decided not to walk this morning. I actually like walking in the rain as long as the wind isn’t blowing and today it is still windy. It looks like we’re in for rain all week. There have been many trees down so I hope ours can hold on. Even along I -80 I saw some pines that had fallen over.

I did go swimming yesterday and got a lane fairly quickly but by the time I was done lots of ‘new ‘ faces were showing up and the high school team again. I imagine it’ll slow down after a while with NY resolutions fading away.

Then I popped into Winco for salad stuff and other veggies. I didn’t buy a lot of anything else as I’m doing the pantry challenge which is to use up what I have. So far it is going splendidly. Last night we had some salmon I had in the freezer so that’s used up and we had a salad with it. I also used my last acorn squash from the farm stand I bought this fall. So overall I’m pleased with the challenge. This week I plan on using 2 pressure-canned soups, and some enchiladas from the freezer, and then see what else needs to be used up.

I just finished reading an excellent book called ” The Longing for Less” by Kyle Chayka. It is quite the essay on minimalism. I’d highly recommend it. I’m not planning on writing down the books I read this year as last year once I hit 150, I didn’t bother anymore.

Today, I plan on doing the Kitchen zone and then read some more. This week is a mellow week, with no appts. Depending on the weather though, I’ll go down to Roseville to swim and to the Rec center at least 1x.

Frugal Friday and we survived the storm!

We made it thru this storm with rain and wind. The wind gusts were pretty scary up on this hill. We have(still) too many very big (100+ ft) Ponderosas. These trees are probably near the end of their life cycle and even 27 yrs ago when we moved here they were smaller. We’ve spent 10’s of thousands removing trees( the last tree was almost 5K) I think it was 4500? That was for 1 tree. It’s the saturated ground now that could be a concern because trees will fall if the ground can’t hold them. Well, today we have a break so that’s good. The coast and Santa Cruz area( including our favorite Capitola) were hit VERY hard and there has been lots of damage.

On to frugal Friday stuff. So far the pantry challenge is going well and I am using stuff from the freezer and in the fridge. Last night I made a red potato soup with carrots, onion, and celery. Then added some sour cream at the end. I needed to use the potatoes up and it was delicious. I had made a loaf of bread( sandwich) in the Zojirushi bread maker and we had that with butter. I always bake my loaf in the oven and not finish in the breadmaker. There’s a bread challenge going around Instagram somebody is doing and each month is dedicated to perfecting the type of bread such as sandwich, baguette, etc. I’m not too interested in doing it but reading tips on bread-making is always helpful.

I returned the one bread slicer I ordered from amazon. I thought it was too expensive for what it was so I’m still looking for one that’s cheaper. Or I just may keep slicing by hand which isn’t a problem, it’s just nice to have even slices.

Today I’m driving to Roseville to go to the gym and I have 2 holds at the library. I still haven’t been over to Anytime Fitness to sign up under UHC medicare’s free program but hope to do that next week. It’ll be nice to have an option for the gym closer.

We’ve been watching a hilarious show on Hulu,” Only Murders in the Bldg” with Martin Short and Steve Martin. If you have Hulu check it out or do what my daughter does and sign up for the free trial and then cancel. Then we’re watching Poirot and these are the earlier ones so it’s fun. We finished jack Ryan and it was good. I’m not crazy about Clancy’s writing but the character is good.

Tonight is pizza night and I’ll make one from the dough I froze.

I’ve been having some trouble with my left ear again, the one in that I had some hearing loss in last fall. It’s kind of a pressure. Does anyone have that symptom and what did you do. I’m not sure if it’s the inner ear or what . I see my PCP in a few weeks for my annual wellness check up so I’ll ask him but I thought I’d see if anyone has had something similar.

Thoughts 2022

2022 started out awful with my sister suddenly dying of Interstitial Lung disease. It was so unexpected as she had been doing just fine and had never had a flare-up before. Her family was/is devastated. I still miss her even though we weren’t exactly ‘close’ we still had a good relationship and she was very kind and generous when Barclay was diagnosed with MDS. I miss her.

We were able to do many RV trips with Rubi and I’m grateful we bought this RV when we did and it fits us to a T. We really love that it is small but has everything we need( a bathroom). Our year started at New Brighton, then we went to Wrights Beach, Napa, and Tahoe and back to New Brighton. All our trips were great with no problems.

We had one tree taken out with a crane and it was expensive but worth it as we really couldn’t comfortably get Rubi out without being inches from the tree( or getting stuck, like the one time we were taking Rubi out and B couldn’t make the turn and had to inch by inch back it up. That was NOT fun.). A very worthwhile investment. Having the tree out makes going out with the trailer easy.

We’ve all been healthy this year and that’s the most important thing.

This year I learned to pressure can and was gifted a pressure canner thru out local ‘Pay it Forward’ group. It’s been fun and rewarding to can shelf-stable soups, beans, sauces, and more. I hope to buy an All-American this spring for more pressure-canning adventures.

I went to our local farm almost weekly and loved getting farm fresh veggies. Not inexpensive but it does support what they are doing right here in our little town.

I’m glad I started utilizing the gym at the Rec Center this summer. It’s part of my membership( which I was only using for swimming) and doing weights again has been very helpful in feeling stronger.

Our vegetable gardens did well thanks to my daughter and we had lots of good produce and herbs. I’m hoping we can add another raised bed this spring.

I didn’t do a lot of decluttering this year but there were still trips to the thrift store to drop off misc. I’m probably at a point where there is not a lot to declutter but always something that I find no longer useful or beautiful.

I’m sure there’s lots more that happened and I may add to this when I think about things as a record of 2022.

Winter Solstice

Yesterday was the Solstice and I am glad the longest night and shortest day are over. Of course here in California, it doesn’t really start to turn around and be that noticeable for a few weeks or so. Still, we will notice the increase in light probably in the afternoon.

Today is a run errands day. First to Safeway to get the fondue stuff for Christmas Eve. Then Target to get a calendar. I also will stop at Holiday Market( if I have any energy left) to get their coupon specials for the week.

I have one more night of beeswax Hanukkah candles left and then it’ll just be regular beeswax candles. My daughter has been reading out loud ” A Christmas Carol” while the candles burn down. Charles Dickens was a very flowery descriptive writer. It’s been fun.

I ended up with 10 1/2 pints of Seville marmalade. Some are more runny than others and I’m guessing it’s where the pectin was in the pot. I don’t mind it that way and it’s great as a sauce for chicken or tofu. Then the pear chutney ended up with 8 1/4 pints and we had one the first night and it was delicious.

Happy Hanukkah

We are atheists and I’m sure some people would be puzzled as to why we like to celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. I think with Hanukkah, it is the meaning of the festival of lights and the beauty of the candles in a menorah. I think religious holidays can be secular if you enjoy the festivities and food etc but not the religious stuff.

Even though we are not Jewish, I really enjoy the beauty of the Festival of Lights. We’ll be lighting our candles tonight for the first night and exchange some little gifts. I always make latkes and we have homemade applesauce too. By the same token, as non-Christians, I still love the spirit of Christmas things, the tree, the lights, and the little decorations. So I do enjoy both without the religious attachment. Strange? maybe!!!

This morning started out with a walk and it was magical with the frosty fields and even frost on the Canada Geese’s back. Then back home to assemble the Christmas lasagna. I did two pans and they are now tucked into the freezer. Then my daughter peeled the potatoes for the latkes and they are hanging out in some water till it’s time to shred them. I plan on doing a spinach quiche too with some gruyere cheese.

This week I plan to swim and also go to the rec center. Hey, B checked with UHC and we can get a free gym membership at a local gym with just the cost of buying the key fob( it’s for the door when no one is there). So he’s going tomorrow to sign up and then I’m going to do it too. Since it’s free with our UHC health care we can take advantage of this. Then I can go when it’s too much to go down to Roseville. That’s exciting news at least.

I was reading an article about the 90/90 rule for decluttering. There are lots of these little hacks to help with decluttering but this one caught my attention. So if you’re looking to declutter things ask yourself:

” Have you used this in the last 90 days? And will you use it in the next 90 days”. it’s a great way to look at why we hold on to things. Exceptions are probably seasonal decor and such. I started going thru each room again with this in mind. I still feel the need to ‘par down to the essentials but keep the poetry”.

Five on Friday on Saturday!

Yesterday completely got away from me. I went to the rec center, came home, and got busy doing chores and pottering around.

Our weather is still freezing with mornings quite frosty and temperatures in the low 30s. We walked this morning and the fields at the park were all white with frost. Today’s high should be around 55 so that’s something at least.

After my walk, I started in on the Meyer Lemon marmalade and which is now ready to come out of the canner. I got the lemons at Costco and they are only seasonal. I’ll try and get another bag next time I’m there in January. Then I made the pumpkin chocolate bread batter and put that in the oven to bake for an hour. Next up is a gingerbread scone mix I had from last year so I thought I’d better make those too.

This past week was pretty mellow although B had 2 appts. One for his port flush and one for a bladder scan (urology). Nothing wrong except he doesn’t empty his bladder all the way. This goes way back to when he was working and on the road for hours at a time and didn’t go pee and just held it. We’ll see what the urologist says. ????

I went to Winco after my swim and bought most of the Christmas food I needed( like ricotta for the lasagna) and other misc. stuff. This has been an expensive month all the way around. Prop. tax, DMV, food, a few gifts, etc… I’ll be glad when January rolls around and a fresh start to the new year. I won’t do a No Spend but I will do a low spend of only essentials. I’m working on the amounts for our annual bills so that from each SS check we can set aside something. It isn’t a lot as we live on the SS exclusively but I’ll try. We do have the small amount from B’s 401K that is in fidelity but it’s not much:( I think it was laura over at the occasional nomads that said that the amount of SS increase they were going to save, so I think I’ll do that too. I’ll just have to look at the two amounts and subtract them. One thing that is worrisome is that when one of us dies we would only have one SS check and that wouldn’t cut it. I’m not sure if I add in the money both kids pay for rent if it would be enough. 😦 Probably if we increased it some.

Meyer Lemon marmalade

Pumpkin Chocolate chip bread from pureed pumpkin.