Friday things…

I ended up sending a bouquet of flowers from Farmgirl Flowers to Heidi’s family. Honestly, I’m not good at what is appropriate in these matters. But I figured they would at least send a nice message of our thoughts are with them all and we miss Heidi. We haven’t really heard anything but her oldest daughter did write a nice obituary. We found some photos of the fun times we had when she came out. I might try and put them together in an album.

We went to Costco on Sunday and that was a good grocery haul. I didn’t buy any meat but did get the Impossible burgers on sale. We had them one night with all the condiments. They’re good but I’m not really into eating too many highly processed foods like that. Last night I made my excellent spinach mushroom crepes with gruyere cheese sauce. Quite yummy. Tonight is pizza night but none of us feel like pizza so I’ll do something else.

This morning I put together 3 cheese lasagnas for the freezer. I had bought a large container of ricotta at Winco a few weeks back so that’s why I wanted to make the cheese lasagnas.

I plan on swimming tomorrow and then do some decluttering out in the barn. My son is away for the weekend as it’s MLK day on Monday so he has that off. We have a bunch of old posters from our bookstore that need to go the thrift store. Yes, that’s a long time ago but some of them were on the wall in the barn and now they are rolled up. As I’ve said many times decluttering really never ends , it just keeps evolving.

We’ve had some super nice walks this week. Beautiful predawn and sunrise walks.

Here’s a nice picture Barclay took of the table set for dinner.

This is another he took of the sofa.

I haven’t seen any tax stuff come thru so I’m not doing any IRS stuff till it does. It should be easy enough since SS is our only income and we did take some savings for the RV partial payment. I’m guessing whatever we need will be here by the end of the month or early February.

Budget wise, medicare is way up to $170. Even with the 5.9 increase, that pretty much uses that up. On top of that both are Part D prescription plans almost tripled. I probably should have researched other plans but I was too lazy to do the necessary work. This fall I will though to see if we can get it cheaper although the little bit I did check, these plans we stayed with went to no deductible as opposed to the $400 deductible before so maybe that was the difference.

Simple Sunday

We have sunny skies and crisp cold air. We had a lovely walk this morning and I noticed that sunrise is now 7:22. So it’s starting to inch back slowly. Only one person trying to jog in the park( looked like a new years resolution). But hey, we gotta start somewhere. Then after some toast and coffee, we headed down to Costco for our monthly shop. My printer has died so I needed to check there for one and they had the inexpensive one I was looking at online. So that’s ticked off. I have to have a scanner for my LLS stuff although my daughter showed me how to do it with an app. We were in and out in under an hour.

I haven’t heard from Heidi’s family but imagine that they are planning the funeral. Being very Catholic I’m sure there’s some kind of mass being done. I got off some flowers and they should arrive early this week.

This week is the bathroom zone and I plan on doing that later or maybe tomorrow. Depends on how motivated I feel.

For dinner, I have white bean soup with brown butter pasta on the side. Growing up as poor as we were, my mother would make brown butter bow tie noodles. I kind of doubt it was butter but maybe it was. I’m not sure margarine would do the same. I know when my grandmother would come up from the Bronx she always brought a pound of unsalted butter to go with the Jewish rye. Anyway, I love noodles and brown butter.

Other than that, I need to go out to the prepper pantry in the barn and put away the canned tomatoes and coconut milk I bought. I need to make a current list of what’s out there as I’ve taken out quite a few things.

The update on my kappa light chains is that it went up a point to 20.6 so now out of normal range. 1 point is not a big increase so I’m not too concerned,yet. Next month , who knows??

In happier times!

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!!!

Snow…

Whoo Whee…it is cold. We woke up to snow on Tuesday morning and it kept going off and on. We usually get a sprinkling of snow at our elevation a couple of times during winter. This was a big snowstorm for the Sierras and is much needed. Needless to say, I didn’t venture out to swim. I probably would have been fine on the freeway but with Caltrans discouraging any travel, I didn’t feel I needed to add to it.

It’s bright and clear this morning and 27degrees. So the trees in the park were very frosty.

I went into Winco after swimming yesterday for a few things. And next week I’ll hit Trader Joe’s for a few things including fondue, which is our traditional Christmas eve dinner. So far even with Costco, I’m under budget for food/alcohol( mostly wine). If my calculations are correct, a total of @ $550 is really quite good. So if I add the TJ’s trip at about $100 that brings me under budget. Of course, there will be the run to the market here for the odds and ends before the end of the year but usually, that’s not too much. Shopping at Winco and the new Trader Joe’s, and of course, Costco has definitely made a difference from shopping just Safeway.

Other than that there are no unusual budget expenses for the rest of the month. January is a NO SPend month so no projects or Home Depot trips. Anything that the house might need is excluded like vacuum filters or the filters for the air filter thing.

Today I’m planning on taking the couch covers and washing them. I do this around every 3 months. This Ikea couch has been absolutely fabulous and I love it. When it’s time for a new one I’ll definitely do Ikea but maybe a bit more of a midcentury look. I’ve been waiting for the two chairs forever( since the beginning of the pandemic). The Poang chairs still look good and quite comfortable.

My son is headed to Yosemite today and is going to be there a few days. It should be quite beautiful as it got a lot of snow.

I need to go make some pizza dough and I was going to make bagels but the Barley Malt I ordered from Amazon was lost in the mail so I need to find it in a store. I haven’t been too inspired with cooking lately but maybe over the Holidays or not???

My minimalist Christmas decor.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY HANUKKAH!!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. I plan on making some latkes and a piece of salmon and salad. Nothing too fancy.

We are not Jewish but atheists, but I do love traditions and lighting the candles to me represents bringing some light into the world. I didn’t do presents as such, just a few chocolate things from Trader Joe’s and I’ll give the kids some money one night. Not much as they both work good jobs.

We are having lovely November weather. We had a fire outside yesterday afternoon and it was perfect for sitting outside. Our walks have been nice too. We still see AH but I think the train has left on that and we just don’t care anymore. Once in a while he’ll be a little passive-aggressive and walk straight at me with his dog but then he moves over at the last minute. And if he sees us coming with our flashlights he’ll turn his off. Weird but ?? Oh well, we’re just doing what we’ve done for the last 10 years. When I started walking daily part of the path was still dirt and there were very few people who walked. Now it can be very busy especially by 10 am.

Today is a nice pottering day. I’ve made some pumpkin spice scones. Swish and swiped the bathroom, scrubbed a cast iron, and got out some more Christmas things. I put the lights on the Ikea tree and that’s all I plan on doing. We were lucky to get a Christmas tree permit so we’ll go get a live tree for the sunroom next week. We certainly don’t need it but for $10. it’s a cheap date for B and me.

I’ve been working my way thru PD Jame’s books and she is such a good writer. I am enjoying them.

Well, back to pottering around. I’d like to finish embroidering one napkin too.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

A nice homemaking day.

I have an Instant pot of Potato leek soup cooking, and I made a pork roast in my Staub. I added potatoes and carrots and onions from the farm. I don’t usually do this with pork and usually just do pulled pork but I wanted to use the Staub so I looked for recipes online. It looks good. I guess the test will be later on how tasty is it.

Then I did my morning reset around the house. The Flylady zone this week is the entryways and my office. I don’t need to do much in either area, but I’ll wash the windows and tidy up some.

I went into Micheals to get some worsted yarn to make socks with my new little sock loom. I bought 2 different types of wool and can’t quite tell which is the right one to use. I plan on using the thinner wool first. This is a little wood contraption( loom) that you knit on. My hands can’t do the repetitive knitting action or they cramp up so this is what this loom is for. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

It’s all clouded over now whereas this morning we could see stars and Orion’s belt clearly. Rain is forecast for tomorrow.

This week I have my mammogram and my appointment with Dr. L on Wednesday in Sacramento. I plan on swimming Tuesday and Saturday if I can. The new Trader Joe’s just opened in Rocklin so I want to stop and check it out. I’m excited that it’s that much closer to us and the exit is where Target and Walmart are. ( well, Walmart is on the opposite side of the freeway). Everyone has wanted TJ’s to come into Auburn but I think the demographics weren’t there.

We’ve been having nice evening fires on the patio. The weather has been perfect for sitting out for just a bit after sunset.

Saturday’s musings…

Yesterday was busy with going to Target for a few things, then the Goodwill dropoff, and then the pet bookstore dropoff. My daughter helped with it all as the books were a lot. Plus we had a bag of DVDs and that was heavy too. Lots going out the door. I held back the Beatrix Potter dishes and put them on our local buy group. I kind of doubt they’ll sell but I’ll try. If not that will be the beginning of a new load.

We used the Ooni last night and it came out great. I read an article in the WP about whether the Ooni was worth buying and the guy said absolutely. But he did say with the pellet one like I have you need to feed it for about an hour to get the stone up to a super-hot temperature. I had been getting the oven up to 900 degrees but not letting it stay up there for a period of time so the stone will char and crisp the bottom. It came out perfect. The second one needed more time and was good but the bottom wasn’t quite as crisp. So after maybe 40 pizzas, I’ve learned a thing or two about the Ooni. I’ll probably put it away for winter in the garden shed.

We’ve been walking a little later at 6:20am getting ready for daylight savings to end on Nov 7th. Plus it’s been great that we only encounter AH once or twice and then he leaves. So win-win. Actually, he’s really been unintrusive and he’s now wearing a headlamp so we can see where he is. That was one of my real issues with him. It’s dark out and when you cant see someone it’s dangerous. So all in all, it’s working out ok.

Sunrise in the park.

Yesterday I went to the farm and bought some leeks for potato leek soup which I plan on making today. I also got some garlic and a few more hard squashes. I also picked up a bag of salad greens and super greens which I think had mustard greens in it. So they will be part of dinners. I still have some radishes left from last week and a small amount of broccoli. It’s been fun going over to the farm and buying local. They really are doing a great service for the community and surrounding areas.

Last week we decided to go walk down at the park next to the pool and it was nice. It’s about a mile loop and paved. I’m not sure we’ll do it often but once in a while. Then we went to Winco and picked a small number of things including another turkey roast. It was convenient and fun!!! Then we stopped on the way home to check out a trail I read about locally but it was narrow and dirt. That won’t work for me as I don’t feel stable enough going downhill into the canyon on a dirt trail. If it was a fire road it would probably work.

Today I’m going to make in addition to the soup and a small macaroni and cheese as I have shredded cheese to use up. I’ll probably put that in the fridge for tomorrow though.

Simple Sunday

Another beautiful October day. The clouds are rolling in and we expect rain. As a matter of fact, it looks like the storm door is definitely going to open by Wednesday. We are covering things and finishing up some outside work.

We went down to Ikea to pick up some heavy curtains for the bedroom as the windows do let in some cold even though they are double paned. That was supposed to be a project this year of replacing them but we ended up replacing one sunroom window and then the laundry room got a makeover. Maybe next year.

I plan to write out some goals and projects for next year and prioritize them. We know we need one more tree down that is nearest the driveway and is making taking the RV out challenging since it leans in toward the driveway. This is another 100 ft Ponderosa so probably $3000. Then we are planning to switch the wood stove to propane as we feel that B probably isn’t going to want to keep cutting firewood. Those 2 projects are probably the big ones.

Simplifying the woodstove will make a big difference. We love wood fires but it is a lot of work and we need to look to the future when getting wood, bringing it in the house, stacking, etc will be another chore we’d rather not do.

I’m tired from going to Ikea so I think dinner will be a simple tofu scramble with some Kirkland tomato bisque soup. That’s about all I can do.

This is looking out at the driveway. The second tree in is the one we need down. the first one is a leaner but it’s leaning away from the driveway so if it goes it will go in that direction. The last one is a crooked tree that the original owner cut the top to put an antenna on top thus the split. If that goes it will just fall in the woods. Trees are beautiful until they are a threat. 😦 The golden bamboo is the bamboo I went and dig up at a fellow Waldorf school parent’s house back in 1997.

Saturday musings…

Overall, a really nice week with absolutely spectacular weather. Cool in the mornings and then lovely warm afternoons. We are seeing lot of yellows on the oak trees and shades of gold with a little red occasionally. Down at the park there are lots of trees with red,yellow, and oranges thrown in. The park has liquid ambers which do change into beautiful fall colors, chinese pistachio turns a brilliant red. I think there’s maples and a gingko tree as well. We are due for some rain possibly tomorrow even and then it looks like the storm door may open next week.

We are still planning our trip to Capitola the following week even if there’s rain. That’s one reason we bought Rubi is so we can go even if it’s rainy outside. I ordered a gas fire pit to take with us so we can have an evening fire. In Tahoe there were and even still now, no open fires even in campgrounds and no charcoal even. We saw a few RVers with the gas fire pits and they were cute. They weren’t too expensive( $140 from Amazon).

Yesterday I had to go into the dentist as I had part of a crown come off. The new dentist looked at it and took x rays and said the metal part was still in tact so it’s ok to leave at this point. I still need to replace it but I’m hoping January sometime. So that threw my day off some since it was the middle of the day. But I feel relieved it’s ok at least.

I ended up making salmon for dinner with brown rice from Trader Joe’s and a salad. I could’ve done pizza but didn’t feel like it. BTW, the rice at TJ’s in the freezer section is spectacular for quick meals. It microwaves up quite nicely. Tonight I’m baking some chicken with a side of delicata squash I bought at our local farm. I was so impressed with their hard squashes I bought 5 and I think next week I’m going to go back and buy another 6-8 so I can have a winter stash. We didn’t get any squash this year out of our garden. My daughter has Johnny’s garlic almost all planted and because we had such success with the onions in the barrels, we’re doing all the garlic in there too. I’d like to try and do some gardening in the galvanized troughs and see how that does. We do have problems with voles and earwigs that eat most anything. So this might be a good solution.

‘This week I’ve been painting the bathroom. We’ve done all the rooms this year except this one. I used the same paint which is called ‘rarified air’ and is lovely pale blue/grey. Then since I was feeling ambitious I decided to paint the claw foot tub too. It came out really nice. The original red I painted it has really stood up since it’s 26 years now since we put it in but I’ve wanted it black for a while. Eventually the tub and bathroom will be re done. But not this year. I have photos but they’re not uploading for some reason.

Simple Sunday on a beautiful October day

A lovely walk started the day. We ended up doing 4 rounds since(he who shall not be named) left at 6:45. He must be getting there right before us because he walks about 45 minutes. It’s ok…it’s dark and he is wearing now a headlamp. I wonder if someone said something to him about walking in the dark and coming up on people, which originally was our gripe with him. Anyway, we can’t see him and he’s on his side of the path( our other gripe is him walking in the middle of the path with his dog to his left, which puts him straight at us.) But he is moving over so a big improvement.

This is Gus, one of the kitties. He’s the biggest of all the kitties and very sweet.

The other night I made a delicious frittata and crispy potatoes. This was taken before it was cooked.

I added some of the pickled jalapenos on top and it was yummy.

This morning I whipped up a dish of spanakopita,one of our favorites, and made one freezer container too. I used a recipe from America’s test kitchen so we’ll see. The difference was beating 2 eggs with the feta and adding a bit of sour cream.

Yesterday, I also made borscht in the Instapot and we’ll have some of that too and then I put 2 containers in the freezer.

I’ve been playing ‘crafty’ and pulled out my old loops for making pot holders. This was our craft/handwork project in 4 or 5th grade. I think 4th.

These are 2 of the originals. How’s that for making something that actually lasts. They do look a bit worn.

Here’s the one I made the other day!!! I’m not very crafty at all, but occasionally I like to pretend and do something like this. It’s a bit hard on my hands( arthritis stuff) but I persevered.

This week is the bathroom zone and I’ll do some of that in a bit.

Here’s the back of the truck loaded….where does it all come from.??