Hello from New Brighton State Beach

We’ve been here since Sunday and it’s very nice. Our drive down went well trailering and going thru SanJose. I’m sure that being Sunday makes a difference. We found a Costco in Tracy to get gas so that saved us quite a bit on gas.

A lovely spot but I think I still like 62 and 63 better. if you’re lucky you are on the bluff side overlooking the ocean. Some of the spots weren’t even occupied but the website says everything is sold out. Go figure. Still new Brighton is a nice campground.

We did a nice beach walk yesterday

The weather is warming up and I suspect the campground will be fuller by Friday. Yesterday when I walked around half the spots were empty.

We’ve had great food so far, a Staub dinner of stuffed peppers and sauce, burgers on the Weber, and a quesadilla night. Tonight is another BBQ with some chicken for me and tofu for B. I have some potato salad I bought to have with that. We also stopped at Gayles which is a must in Capitola.

My daughter says the kitties are fine and all is good at home although it has been quite cold. Did I mention last week we lost a chicken to either a fox or coyote. We think a fox because we never heard anything. B lets them out to free range and generally they stay together and don’t go to far. But clearly one of them did. It’s always a little sad to lose one of the girls.

Today we’re taking a drive to see some Redwoods so that’ll be nice and then a beach walk later.

Frugal Friday

It’s been an okay frugal week. Nothing great but just ok. Most of our big bills for the month are out and just a few more are scattered later in the month.

I had a good swim on Tuesday and the pool was very unbusy which is very unusual. I came straight home afterward. Then Thursday B and I decided to do Winco for a few camping things and at the last minute added in Costco for some camping food as well. I needed Raos to bring and Costco has the best price for the 2 pack. I also got some WW bread for sandwiches. I spent about $175 between the two stores. We also filled up the truck with Costco gas which is the cheapest around. We’re definitely looking at traveling with gas prices. Next week, going to Capitola shouldn’t be more than 2 tanks of gas and the same with Nevada Beach in June. But we’re definitely reconsidering Refugio because that is much farther away. For now, we’ll keep the reservation but still think about it. Then I went to library and got a nice selection of books. Oh, and then we had a lunch date at Celestino’s pizza, which is the best New York pizza around in my opinion.

I went to the nursery with my daughter and bought all our tomato and pepper plants and a few ornamentals for her back garden area. That was her birthday present. We were trying to get a birdbath for her but they didn’t have any affordable ones. The cheapest they had was $110. The last time we were there they had a nice one for $80. I guess we should have bought it then.

I had my labs this morning so I should get results next week. Fingers crossed. I’ve been having some pain in my right leg but I think I over-stretched it doing some yoga. It was better this morning but then the ache comes back ( kind of in the hip and upper thigh area) by afternoon. It’s always something.

After we’re back our next big expense will be having the septic pumped. We’ll call once we’re back. As far as expenses for Capitola, it’ll be a few stops at Gayles bakery and probably one grocery store shop. We generally do not eat out but I thought maybe we’d find some place for a lunch near the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We’ll see. I know we’ll go walk the beach trail so that might be a good day to do that.

Oh, the tree guys came and ground out the stump so now there’s no issue with going out or coming in with Rubi. Yay! He didn’t charge us which was really nice.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a nice week with even a trip up to Lake Tahoe. I’ve wanted to try and stop at the Ritz Carlton in Tahoe to buy one of their signature candles. Each Ritz has its own signature fragrance. So that was our first stop. If you know Tahoe it is right next to Northstar on 267. It’s quite a ways back and feels a little like driving to the Overlook in “The Shining’. But it’s very beautiful. There was no one out front but the valet and he asked were we checking in? There’s NO parking at all in front of the hotel. So I said we were hoping to go to their gift store. He sort of hemmed and hawed a little and then said ok, pull over there on the right, and to give him our keys, and told us how to get to the spa. I practically ran in. It was really nice of him to let us do this. So anyway, long story short, I got the Tahoe Candle.

Barclay actually has enough points from his Marriot account for one night there so we will do that during an off-season time. Right now is perfect but we’re going to Capitola next week so it seemed too rushed to try and do it now.

From there we went to NuLeaf for B to get some chocolate and gummies. NuLeaf is in Incline, so you drive down to Kings Beach and then over to Incline going around the lake. Next, we stopped at Potlatch gift shop for some postcards of Tahoe I wanted to get you YouTuber Minimom who has asked subscribers to send postcards of the area they live in. She’s in New Zealand. I thought she’d enjoy Lake Tahoe. And we also picked up some stickers’ Keep Tahoe Blue”.

Next, we got sandwiches at a new to us place in Incline and then headed to Sand Harbor. Sand Harbor is one of the most beautiful beaches around Tahoe. There was pretty much no one there, maybe 5-6 other people. So it was glorious.

All in all a beautiful day.

Next Sunday we leave for a week at New Brighton State Beach. We have one of our favorite spots. It’s not an ocean view spot but it is open and near the bathrooms, if we need them. No hookups though. There are a few spots with hookups but they are hard to get.

I’ve cooked some great meals this past week from ‘The Le Creuset ‘ cookbook. The french onion soup.

A quiche

This week Flylady zone is the entryway. I did the windows and B replaced some pavers out the sunroom porch room so that was a nice improvement.

Our weather is going to be beautiful this week with temperatures in the 70s and even one day with an 80-degree day.

I have labs on Friday so I should get results next week while we’re gone. I’m not too worried about my numbers this time but I hope they are still in the normal range.

Here’s a view of the yard. Everything is very green and lush right now.

Cooking with Tahoe girl!

Well, I decided to try something different so I videoed cooking a quiche.

It was lots of fun for me to do and I think I’ll keep videoing certain things like cooking and maybe some travel stuff.

Today is a lovely day and we are going to drive up to Tahoe. We haven’t been in ages ( all winter) so I’ll probably do some short videos. Anyway, it’s a new way to approach my blog, and plus it’s good for my brain to engage in something different.

My daughter has a tripod so next time I’ll use that instead of holding the iPhone.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a productive week with taking down the tree, shopping at Costco, swimming, the library and lots of cooking.

Out of the Le Creuset book, I made both the French onion soup and the cheese souffle. The french onion soup used a chicken broth as a base and I don’t think it had enough rich flavor. Next time I would do a homemade vegetable stock and/or a beef bouillon cube. Yesterday, my son surprised me after I got home from swimming by starting the Lodge and making biscuits and sausage gravy. We had fun together and he really likes Lodge cooking. I’ve actually never had biscuits and gravy and it was delicious.

Today is a home day with cleaning the living room zone and probably I’ll add the sunporch in. Actually, I think this week, which is a light week with no appts, I’ll do a whole house zone cleaning. I’ve done this a few times and I like it. I don’t do it all in one morning but 2-3 mornings.

I read Greg Mckeon’s book Essentialism this week and am finishing his latest book, Effortless. I liked them both and felt he has some really good thoughts on living simply and with your best intentions. I also read “Oh, William” by Elizabeth Strout. Very thought provoking, and written in a clever narrative.

Budget wise everything is paid for the month and the ginormous check for the tree is cashed. So it’s all good. I do hope the neighbor doesn’t decide to change his mind about the logs because then we’d be on the hook for them.

Our weather looks lovely and sunny for the next 10 days and then we leave Mother’s day morning to go down to Capitola. I still haven’t booked anything at Refugio and in October after were back at Capitola we are going to stay 3 nights in Napa at the Expo RV place we stayed in before and really liked. So I’m not sure at this point if Refugio is going to happen. I almost think I’d rather try and plan our trip to San Diego early next year. I’m not sure we could afford Refugio and San Diego. The camping spots are not expensive it would be the gas.

Update: I just got spot 35 which is on the beach and next to the one we had last year. It’s just as nice a spot as 34 although 34 is the best. Now we just have to figure out do we still go to Capitola and then Refugio or skip one. I think since we have both booked I’ll just wait on it and think about it. We would need a stop over going down and back.

I can’t quite remember when we got his poster but I’m guessing in the early 1970’s as the VietNam war was happening. Somehow this poster survived all our moves and was hanging out in the barn till recently. I asked B to bring it in so I could frame it. Right now it’s just on a bull clip.

Simple Sunday

A lovely morning. We walked a little earlier as on Easter the Christians come out to the park to celebrate some mythical being. Well, actually Jesus was a real person but the other stuff is way too magical for me. Anyway, enough of my sarcasm. We got in our walk before they started singing which was why we went earlier. It’s a nice sunny day but there is rain forecast for the week. I guess we’ll have to see as the tree people are supposed to be here Wednesday.

I made the Salad Lyonnaise last night and it was yummm.

Basically, it is endive( frissee) crumbled crispy bacon, with a poached egg on top. The dressing is shallot that has been sliced thin and barely sauteed with some red wine vinegar and dijon mustard.

Here’s the Daphenoise from the night before.

I booked a spot at New Brighton for October. Not our favorite spot but it’ll do if I can’t get one of the others we like. At least it’s something. Nothing is available at Refugio. I tried again this morning and however their booking is, it’s not working for me. I clicked on book now at exactly 8( I’m using the second hand on my iPhone. But someone must be I stroke ahead of me because it doesn’t come up and is then locked(meaning someone has blocked it).

At this point, I’m fine with not going to Refugio as it is quite a distance and gas would be expensive. But I’ll keep trying for a while. We’re kind of thinking of maybe a bigger trip to San Diego in February so that could be a reason not to do Refugio in November.

Tomorrow I have a dental appt for a routine cleaning and then Tuesday I’ll swim. My inexpensive suit( not a speedo) did show up late Saturday so I’ll wear that. I found a NWT tags Speedo on eBay and bought that so I should get that in a couple of weeks. At least I’ll have 2 suits to rotate and that may help with the chlorine issue. Then Wednesday is supposed to be tree day and I’ll go down to Roseville to the library and Costco. Then that should be it for the week.

I’m planning on BBQing some chicken for dinner and maybe making a macaroni salad.

Flylady zone is the bedroom. I worked on the closet from hell and rearranged some clothes and got rid of a few things I found on hangers that I didn’t remember I had in there like a tank top. I also got rid of 2 pairs of leggings that I never wear(almost brand new) but the legs are too tight and I don’t like that.

Well, that’s a wrap.

Friday Things and Croque Madame

For an early Mother’s day present my daughter bought me a Le Creuset cookbook. I love all things French and I love the Le Creuset cookware I have. Of course, I love Staub too and the All Clad set I have is superb and I have had that set since 1987 when we finished building our house in Foresthill( Foresthill is where we landed from Tucson in 1975 and bought property in 1981.. Foresthill is about 20 minutes from Auburn. ) Just some back history here.

I have gone thru all my cookbooks and did get rid of about half. ButI do love looking thru cookbooks and getting ideas. This book is OUTSTANDING. There are lots of recipes I will actually make. So last night I made Croque Madams. It’s made with a Bechamel sauce , ham and gruyere.

Before being plated with salad. Barclay’s was minus the ham. It was great. Tonight instead of pizza I plan on making Pommes Dauphinoise perhaps with some chicken. I haven’t thought that thru yet. I’ll do salad at least.

Barclay has an MRI on that hip that keeps bothering him today. Not sure what it’ll say or really what they do about it but at least he’d know what is going on. I had my 2nd covid booster and that went well. No reaction except a tiny bit of arm soreness.

I plan on swimming tomorrow unless it’s really raining hard. I don’t like driving in the rain and our son has the Santa Fe for a camping trip so I’d need to use my daughters Honda. I guess I’ll just wait till I get up tomorrow and check the weather. Other than that not much else is new. Plus my new suit isn’t here yet. The first Speedo I ordered got lost in the mail, then the TYR I ordered was WAY too small( who sizes these things anyway), and now the cheap one I ordered ( not speedo or TYR is lost in space or on a truck somewhere). It’s supposed to be here today.

We are having a heck of a time getting or as the case may be we are NOT getting any camping spots in Refugio. Somehow the algorium must randomly select and so far we haven’t had any luck. They get locked instantly and then there’s no seeing the spot open. It’s a really awful website and system but I wouldn’t know how to change it. There’s just too many people out and about. Last year when I got the spot we had I don’t remember it being this difficult. That was November but still. Anyway, we may try for a private RV place in Pismo Beach somewhere.Any RV’ers out there that have been in or around Pismo?? or even half moon Bay??

We’re in for more rain and that’s a good thing for California. We did have a lovely walk this morning. the baby geese have just been born and so far there are 3 families of them. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but never get to close to a Canada goose and her babies. Anyway they sure are cute.

Simple Sunday

The weather is about to change and it’s going to rain and be colder. We need the rain so it’s all good. Plus the stuff we’ve planted will do nicely with a sprinkling of rain.

My son and I made Lodge dinner last night and it was great. We got pre-marinated tri-tip and cooked for 1 hour in the lodge.

My daughter made Boca burgers for her dad.

We added extra coals about halfway and only did one turn. It came out superb. Lodge cooking is such fun. I like our 10″ Lodge best. The 12″ is bigger and probably good for a bigger family. He’s planning to camp up at Lassen later this week and wanted to try the Lodge out before he left. He’s planning on taking our car the Santa Fe as it is a very comfortable travel car. I might do another one this week maybe a vegetarian chili with the corn bread on top.

I plan on getting my 2nd covid booster this next week sometime. I got a few notices from Medicare that they’re available so I’ll probably go to CVS.

I just finished 2 books by Judith Jones( the one who was the editor at Knopf when she read Julia Child’s draft). The first was her memoir and she lived an interesting life. She lived in Paris as a young woman and was totally smitten by French food and the markets and all of it. The second book was written after her husband of 40+ years died and she wanted to keep cooking even if it was just for herself. So these dishes are basically for one person. But they could easily be doubled. She was an interesting person for sure. She died in 2006. She certainly loved very weird foods like offal and other things that I certainly wouldn’t eat but she was an adventurous cook. But she wrote about a number of the chefs( and were a lot) and the books that Knopf published. So I went to the Pet bookstore and found 3 of the ones she mentioned. i don’t know if I’ll keep them or even cook from them but for a $1.00 each it’s cheap entertainment for me.

Speaking of which I found this youtube, I think I mentioned before, Rachel loves to cook. She’s hispanic and is a great cook and cooks similar to how I cook. So last week she made this breakfast dish that was a homemade tomato chili sauce, corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, crisy bacon bits and then they are rolled into an enchilada shaped. Then sprinkled with cheese on top and baked or on the stove top covered till the cheese melts. I made it this morning and it was delicious. Check out her channel and subscribe.

This week is the Flylady bathroom zone which I finished. I also did the bedroom zone but that was just a quick wipe of surfaces and dusting.

Simple Sunday

Flowers from around the yard.

This is one of the original Camilla bushes that were here when we moved here. The other, a red one, was cut down as it was too near the house. This one is really a tree now.

This is a redbud which is native, I think, to California.

This was just a twig when we planted it( first in a pot). It was one of those free trees from the Arbor foundation. BTW, the Ponderosa tree you see in the background in the middle is the one we’re taking down as we can barely squeeze Rubi through. When we first moved here those trees were half this size.

Here are the ruffled daffodils out front.

The Flylady zone is the living room and I did that this week. Actually, there’s never much to do as it stays tidy and uncluttered generally. But I decided to add the kitchen zone as I skipped it last month when we were in Napa. The other regular zone is the entry ways since April 1st is Friday. We got the flowers all planted in pots out there this week so that’s done except for just a tidy up.

Here’s the first Ooni pizza of the year. The leopard spotting( the charred part) was perfect. I didn’t get a picture of the sausage one as it got eaten quickly.

There’s not a lot this week on the table and I’m glad of that. I’ll swim 2x and I might go down to the library one day too. Tonight I’m making a recipe from the youtuber’ Rachel cooks with love’. She’s hispanic and a terrific cook. She has a pretty big following too. I’m making her latest recipe, crispy chicken tacos. I’ll make a crispy bean for Barclay. Well, that wraps up things for me this week.

Friday things

I just got back from getting my labs. It’s great that Quest is by appt. only. I was the only one in there and was done within 10 minutes.

There’s still no funding for myeloma at LLS so that’s not good news. I keep checking daily but there’s only mantle cell leukemia and Waldenstrom ( sp is probably wrong)( which is pretty rare.)So means February won’t be covered as that was my look back month meaning if I was funded in February, they would cover it even though my grant ended Jan 31. Tough break for us as that covers all my insurances.

Back home I put the sourdough cheddar jalapeno bread in the oven. This will be my last bread till we’re back. I’ll put my starter in the fridge tomorrow. I tried a sourdough rosemary baguette this week and it turned out great. I have a baguette pan I bought eons ago at Williams Sonoma and used that. The trick I think with sourdough and bread-making is just to keep doing it over and over. I can definitely tell by the feel of the dough how the hydration is. I had gotten a copy of Nancy Silverton’s Bread-making and read it thru. Overall, though, recipes look good, but they all make 2 loaves at a time and I don’t do that. Also reading about how she feeds her starter seemed too complicated to me. What I do is just keep adding equal amounts of flour and water at least once a day. Probably not as ‘scientific’ but it works for me. I also hate to throw away discard sourdough starter so I end up with 3-4 jars in the fridge. Oh well.

Then I’ve made the pizza dough for tonight and that’s in the bowl doing the first rise. It’s almost time to get out the Ooni for spring. Last night I used our new gas Weber that I bought for camping. I wanted to try it before we left. So I made BBQ chicken, BBQ tofu, roasted mini potatoes, and roasted veggies. WOW. It all came out delicious. I’m pleased and am looking forward to cooking with it camping.

It’s a cloudy day with rain expected off and on but it feels warm out. But it’s supposed to get very cold tonight with the possibility of snow. I plan on swimming tomorrow so I guess I’ll wait and see how it is in the morning. After swimming I was going to go over to Winco for some camping supplies. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll just go to Safeway. I actually don’t need a whole lot but things like peanut butter and some veggies and cream for coffee.

In good news, AAA settled my claim for a fair amount. The depreciation was factored in and then the $1000 deductible. I can’t buy a new Louis Vuitton for what they gave me but at least the $500 in cash was covered. I miss my Louis but I certainly can’t spring for a new one. sigh….:( Maybe down the road I can get a used one. There are a few sites that sell authentic LV and they look good. Still more than the amount they gave me but not the cost of a new one.

The situation in Ukraine is so devastating. Almost a million people leaving Ukraine. I hope the sanctions President Biden is implementing work to cut off the money. No money = No war. I shudder to think what the asshole Trump would be doing. I still keep hoping he gets indicted for something. I made a small donation to World Central Kitchen that is providing food trucks on the borders to feed people. Here’s the link if you want to donate too. It’s a small thing we can do to help the Ukraine people.