Simple Sunday

Perfect fall weather. The mornings are cool and days get warm. We still haven’t had any outdoor fires in the fire pit because of fire danger. We need some rain to do that.

Not now:(

Our walks are stress free since we’re the only ones there that early. The stars have been spectacular. Venus is very bright and Mars is quite red. We we’re leaving at 6 and the first person showed up so hopefully we can maintain this schedule. Frankly, it’s worth it to be out the door just a little earlier. As I said to B this morning, we can do it now but who knows the future. A year from now? or when I start Velcade? I may not be up to it so we might as well do this while we can.

This week is the Living room zone if you follow Flylady. I did ours including window washing. I need to do the outside windows this coming week. I try and do them each quarter. I use the outside bottle of windex that attaches to a hose. It works quite well.

Today is a mellow day without too much on the docket. I’m planning on soup for dinner with salad. Yesterday I prepped 15 baked potatoes( Costco, big bag) for double stuffed potatoes. That’s 30 halves. But when you pile it on you do get less. So I ended up with 20 halves. I left 4 out and froze the rest. The potatoes were really nice so if you’re in Costco, that’s a good buy. I guessing that’s because the harvest is happening in Idaho. Plus the value is incredible. 15 lbs of bakers for $5.69. I think down at the Holiday they are .99 a pound right now. Also, double stuffed potatoes freeze beautifully.

This coming week has some appts. I have a dental cleaning and we are tentatively going to Ikea to get 2 chairs for the sunporch. We’ll see. It depends how the week shapes up and my mood. The pantry from Ikea is still unavailable so that won’t be happening. But Ikea is fun and affordable.

Simple Sunday or back to my regular programming:)

Honestly, I am still on a rant about the SCOTUS shit. Mitch McConnell should go crawl in to a hole in hell and stay there.

Well, this was a pretty good week overall. The smoke is filtering back in but it’s not like it was so hopefully it’ll clear out soon.

Mornings have been cool walking but still nice. We still have the 2 others that are weird and annoying showing up right after us. I really wouldn’t mind if he wasn’t such a jerk. Doesn’t use a flashlight when it’s dark out, just barrells by without so much as a ” coming up on your left”and really sets the energy off in the park. The other lady is just plain weird and I can’t read her MO, which for me a counselor who made a living ‘reading’ other people, is unusual. I’m hoping she falls away with daylight savings in October but I’m pretty sure he will not especially since he does walk the dog or I should say drags his dog along.

Budget wise, September has been pretty good. I haven’t tallied up the food but I think it’s in the $600 range so that’s ok. I am planning Costco next week before the sales end. It’s been about every 4 weeks were going which is about on target. Prepper wise, I think we are set. When I get the upright freezer, then I can concentrate on filling that with stuff. It has been a trial and error with stocking up. All the non food stuff is great. Some prepper stuff I bought I’m not too sure how we will use it like the whole powdered milk. I suppose if you couldn’t get to the store at all powdered milk would work. It wasn’t expensive so I don’t mind if it ends up in the food bank stuff next year.

I did pay our Allstate bill ( every 6 months). My son needs to pay me his part but he can do that next month. Then our house insurance is coming due as well. Fall brings annual bills including property tax. Right now we can pay all that with our savings( EF is where I keep it) but who know 10 years from now. But that’s the future and I want to BE HERE NOW!! well, to a certain extent I do need to plan.

Here’s the floor finished. Even though it is beautiful light color now. Pine floors will darken with age.

Here’s our Philly cheesesteak sammies we had Friday night. The top one is just roasted peppers and cheese for the veg man.

This is the only picture I kept of my brother’s. He was quite talented. My sister has the really nice one that I wanted of a sailboat. I gave my younger brother 3 others(water colors) that I didn’t really want/or had a place for.

If you’re following, it’s the bedroom zone this week.

Also, B has a birthday this week. Another year around the sun!!

And “May you be inscribed in the book of Life for another year”

L’Shanah Tovah!!!

Blue Skies

It feels like a miracle that the sky is blue. We even ate dinner out on the patio. A miracle!!!

I do hope that’s the last of the smoky skies and that the tired overworked firefighters get a break.

We both got our flu shots and both had headaches for most of the day. But it only lasted 1 day so not too bad. B also had his IGIV on Tuesday and I dropped him off and my daughter went 4 hours later to pick him up. After I dropped him off I went to Winco and spent $130. Not really prepper stuff, just food to use and eat now. Bread, cheese, canned chilis, Amys enchiladas,spinach, tofu, tea, and 3 different kinds of trail mix to snack on. There was other stuff but I can’t remember.

This morning I’m making a zucchini bread from one of the last zucchini from the garden. Most things are done although I have maybe one more big batch of tomatoes to cook and then put thru the food mill. If you ever have an abundance of tomatoes and want to can or freeze a food mill is the way to go. I think I bought mine years ago at Crate and Barrel maybe for $50. But it removes the skins and most seeds.

Yesterday I made applesauce from apples from our one tree. They are a Golden delicious. Again I cut and quartered and cored, then just cooked down. Then I put thru the food mill. I ended up with 5 pints and tomorrow I will do the next box. The apples aren’t as big as we’ve had in the past and I think one trick is to remove some apples when they are small so that the tree can put more energy into the remaining. I don’t know if this is true but seems logical.

Tonight is pizza night but no one feels like a pizza so we are maybe going to do sandwiches. This week I did make a few newish recipes. One was from Tassajara cooking,it was mushroom stroganoff. I had a lot of mushrooms to use up. It’s a good recipe. Then I made a chili relleno casserole that used eggs. It too was quite good. Right now we are getting an abundance of eggs from the girls so that recipe used 8 eggs. They are on the small side. Also, I’m experimenting with freezing the beaten eggs. I guess this is a real thing so I’ve done a few baggies and will defrost one this weekend and see how it goes. You basically do a light whip of the eggs. You don’t want a lot of air. Then you do add a pinch of salt. I’m quite curious if this will work for scrambled eggs.

The pine floor has been a complete PITA. Honestly, I told Barclay, I don’t remember it being a problem last time at all. This time, he’s had to redo 4 boards, then plane them down and now sanding. If I knew it was going to do this I would have just done a laminate in a pine pattern. Oh well, he’s almost ready to do the Varathane on top so that’s that.

Well, that’s all the news.

Oh wait, I just got the Woodward book from Amazon, so excited to read that today.

Frugal Friday

My doctor’s appt went well. He’s clearly aware of my increase in kappa light chains and now the m -spike. So I feel reassured that when we move forward with treatment it’ll be the right time. Again at this rate, probably by the end of the year.  I definitely will not let them get over the 1,000 mg/L mark which is where it was when the other treatment of Pomalsyt( an oral chemotherapy) wasn’t working. But for now, I have a few more months of “freedom”.

  I also had a brief dental appt to check on the cold sensitivity where she had done the crown. It seemed it was all ok and she recommended using Sensodyne toothpaste.

We’re heading to Costco so as to take advantage of the coupon sales. Dish soap, laundry soap, and a number of other things are on sale and I’d like to get them. It will probably end up another $500 shop but that will go on September’s food budget.  I’m planning on about $600-$700 including alcohol( wine for me, beer for B).  Plus it’s our birthday month so we may have a take out dinner or two.

I bought some books from Goodwill books online.

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Of course, cookbooks!! The prices were good but not exceptional. the Pioneer woman one was $15 I think. Goldy’s was $7.00. Still, with the pet book store closed( where books are $1.00 each) there’s not a supply of cookbooks coming into my house which for me is cheap entertainment.

Last night I made a breakfast bake with hashbrowns, eggs, cheese, and some sausage on the meat side. It was very good and a good way to use up the eggs were getting from the chickies.

Tonight is pizza night. I might get a take and bake from Costco.

This weekend I have more tomatoes to process and I’m going to do a large pan of baked tofu as I need to use some up. Baked tofu is good cold or in sandwiches.

The days are really getting shorter and sunset now is about 7:40 and sunrise is 6:30am.  We’re still getting out to walk at 5:30 am but I think fairly soon we will bump it out to 5:45am.  This morning was busy down there with dog(jerk) walker getting there at 5:40am. We were almost done and he came blasting by and I yelled at him saying” On your left”. He does irritate me something wicked.

Well, I’d better get some things done so we can leave to get to Costco by

 9am when they open.

Friday Stuff

There are fires everywhere here in California. There is smoke everywhere and it’s best not to be outside too much. We did walk this morning but only a mile as you could see the smoke haze as it got light.  Vacaville is around an hour and a half or less away so that’s where most of the smoke is coming from. There’s also the fire near Reno and the smoke is filling the Tahoe Basin. This was the week we were supposed to be in Tahoe so perhaps it’s all for the best. So many people were getting evacuated that I -80 was shut down in Vacaville and Fairfield. Pretty scary stuff.

I feel somewhat optimistic after the DNC that perhaps the winds of change is toward decency again. But after the last election, it’s hard not to feel like something awful could happen. I honestly do not think our democracy would survive another 4 years of Trump. Extreme? maybe or maybe not.  We’re planning on taking our absentee ballot down to Auburn and drop at the office of the registrar. Easy to do and we’ll know its there.

I needed to do a fill-in shop before I do Costco at the end of the month so I decided to do Walmart pick up.  It was actually great. I forgot how easy it is to do and I love I can add on since I forgot a bunch of things and then everyone wanted to add a snack or fruit or something. I ended up just over $100. So that’s great. If I bought the same stuff at Bel Air it would easily be $200. One new thing I’m doing that I got from the Tightwad Gazette is to keep track of price points. It’s quite interesting to see the price differences. I’m sure if I was a couponer I could do better. But so far Costco still has most store prices beat.  For example, a half-gallon of organic milk runs about $4.79 in the stores. At Costco 2 gallons is just over $10.00. That is a huge difference.  There are lots of other examples too but what is at issue is you need either a second refrigerator or a freezer or have 10 kids which will drink all that milk. We just freeze the milk till we’re ready to use it.  Anyway, it’s been a fun exercise it frugality.

My right side ribs are pulled again and I’m having limited mobility with it but since I’ve had chronic rib fractures due to Myeloma, I just figure It’ll pass. Of course, the concern with myeloma is it does affect the bones so fractures are a common result of this cancer.  I see my doctor next week so we’ll see what he says.

I’m still making some freezer salsa and waiting on the next batch of Roma tomatoes to ripen. Probably by Sunday I’ll be able to make some more tomato sauce.  We definitely will have plenty to get thru the winter. I’ve been drying basil too since we have a nice crop this year.

We’re in between projects and since it’s been too hot outside to work on fences or anything for that matter. In the house, I still want to get painting done but we need to go get that paint at the Benjamin Moore store and that’s down by Trader Joes in Roseville. So maybe next week. Also there are a few pine boards in my office that need replacing so I’d like that to get done.  We are also planning on redoing our outside laundry since the floor is in bad shape. It’d be nice to have laundry somewhere in the house but there isn’t any space for a washer and dryer unless we built an addsition which we don’t have money for. Well, I’m grateful for what we do have.

 

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.

Frugal Friday

With the abundance of cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes, I’ve been making lots of salsa.

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First, I followed the Ball recipe for salsa to the letter and even with the added safety of a 1/8 of citric acid which is done to keep the acid ratio correct.  I ended up with 4 pints of beautiful looking salsa for wintery days when you want to think back to these beautiful summer days. KIDDING……right now it’s supposed to be 102 today and 105 tomorrow.  Yes, summery but not my idea of fun.

Then I made freezer salsa which is super easy since there is no canning. Just up in the food processor and whip up. Put in jars with enough headspace and freeze. And, oh my, it was delicious.  I even made one scrambled egg just so I could pour about 1/2 cup of the salsa on it. It was more like salsa with an egg.  Yummy…

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Today is normally pizza night but with this heat, it ain’t happening. Even if we ordered it’s still too hot for pizza. So I’m making a nice spinach soup that we can have either chilled or slightly warm. My favorite recipe is from the catering mystery series that starts with ” Dying for Chocolate”. It’s a great series with the main character as the caterer who also happens to solve murders. So her recipe for Goldielockes Gourmet Spinach soup is delicious. She doesn’t use a stick blender to mix but I do since I prefer it as smooth soup.  Then if I’m really motivated, I might make a few grilled cheese bites to go with it.

So, the prepper barn pantry was getting pretty warm with this heatwave. So we went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest cooler we could for the window. It is keeping it marginally cool but we also have a swamp cooler out there but the switch was not working and the part needed to be ordered. So it arrived this morning and now it is fixed ( thanks to the handyman husband).!!!! So the barn temperature is at 72 which is really good.  So I’m pretty happy about that. Since we don’t have a garage that could be a designated pantry and kept cool, this is the best I can do.

On the frugal side, all the bills for the month are done except the water bill which comes in on the 20th. I have auto-pay for that so it comes out of our checking.

My LLS check arrived for my Medicare amount and prescription Part D amount. Always very grateful to the LLS and its donors that provide these grants to many people all of who have some type of blood cancer.

Well, off to clean up the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Hot Weather continues

Today we are 100 degrees. It is really getting old that it is just day after day of heat. The mornings start off nice and then by noon it’s hot.

It looks like this will continue for at least the next week. I mean it is July/August in California but still…

The NP, in the video conference, did tell B to lower the Jakofi to one a day till we see how the hydration is going. I’m pretty sure she talked with Dr. Abedi and voiced my disapproval/concern about the creatine being linked to when he started the 2nd Jakofi. So I guess we’ll see.

I haven’t been too inspired to cook( too hot) but I did make a nice brown rice salad last night for dinner. It was brown rice, carrots, green onions, a few olives, a nice zucchini from the garden, tomatoes from the garden and some parmesan cheese. It was good.  I also made kinda a green dressing with parsley, basil, and a little thyme. I put it in the Vita-mix with lemon and olive oil. I had tried it in the food processor before and it didn’t seem to pulverize it. I’m wondering if the food processor just doesn’t do that. If that’s what you have happened let me know.  So I think my son is planning on cooking some fish tonight( mahi-mahi).  Not sure about the vegetarian option but the rice salad and maybe a beyond burger. No one seems especially hungry at dinner time so maybe we should do a few YOYO nights.

I ordered a few used cookbooks to purview.  One is actually one I gave away years ago. A vegetarian cookbook from Ananda.  I found it on amazon used so with our pet bookstore closed I decided to get it. I had ordered a book on eBay about southern cooking but then it was not in stock even though I paid for it so now it’s hanging out there to be refunded. Oh well, not good communication on the seller’s part.

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I offered up some sourdough starter on our Nextdoor neighbor site. I have way too much starter. So I had one person interested so I gave them 2 jars. I still have a quart in the fridge.

 

The week ahead…

First looking back over the last few days.

Still really hot here making it hard to go outside and do much except for early in the morning.

We picked up some oak barrels at Home Depot to replant some bamboo in. I love putting bamboo in barrels as it looks lovely.

Years ago, probably 20, I went to a Waldorf parents house who had golden bamboo. I dug up as much as I could( believe me, back-breaking). But that is what we have as a privacy screen all around the driveway area. But we put some in barrels as it contains it and makes a pretty visual effect. We have these two barrels outside our bedroom window. But the old barrels had deteriorated and were no longer holding water so they will be replaced. I’m guessing these were about the same age, 20 years.

Then Barclay’s labs came back with very high creatine( not good) because of the new drug Jakofi. We both kinda flipped out since the NP kept saying hydrate which he was doing obsessively. He will need to go in for an IV hydration if his numbers remain high. I’m really bugged by this as it all started with the Jakofi. It’s a great drug for GVHD but he’s still on other stuff and it’s hard on the kidneys. So I asked why not drop the Jakofi to 2 a day then 1 a day and so forth. No answer on that yet. So we were definitely bummed out for a few days. We’ll see how the labs are this week.

I had worked on learning how to butcher a whole chicken. I saw a youtube by ProCooks, who I like, and thought well, I could do that. It’s fairly simple just kinda involved so not sure I think it’s worth doing regularly.  Then I made Pioneer woman fried chicken and it was A LOT of Work. Not doing that again. Plus the kitchen ended up looking like a vat of oil exploded. It was tasty but I wouldn’t say great. I think I’ll stick to Southern-fried tofu.

Today is my Flylady morning in the LR zone. Definitely an EZ zone for me with just some deeper dusting and window cleaning.  Generally, it takes 10 minutes tops.

I’m going to get out the bread maker and make some WholeWheat sourdough. I just use the bread maker to make and rise the dough and then I bake in the oven.

Other than that an open week.

I’m making lists of my barn prepper pantry items so I can determine how many weeks/months of stuff we have.  I want to have a balance of pantry security and not going overboard with the ‘survivalist’ mode. I did order some dried Whole milk to put aside in case of either a power outage or unavailable at stores. If anything, I can use it in baking.

I found a book at our little free library, “Radio Free Vermont

. Pretty funny book and is contemporary as Trump is president. If your library has it, I’d recommend it for a fun read.

Here’s an interesting bit of news from our area. We used to live in Foresthill. From 1975 when we came to California till 1995 when we moved here( about 20 miles difference) with Auburn being in the middle and everyone’s main hub. ( mostly). So we lived near a road called Yankee Jims. Very remote and goes down a very windy, steep and treacherous dirt road( some of the way) to the North Fork of the American River. There’s a bridge there that, if I remember correctly, was one lane. Anyway, there’s parking on the side of the road for maybe 10-15 cars MAX!  Last weekend there were 313 cars down there, blocking the road both ways. So now the whole area is shut down and no cars can go in. WHY PEople!! So STupid!

Oh and another STUPID controversial thing. I was looking on Youtube for prepper pantry ideas so I clicked on this one called Alaska Granny. I thought it looked interesting. Younger than me, so not sure where the “granny “comes from. Anywho, this was right after the debacle with GOYA foods. BOYCOTT GOYA!! BUT, this lady does a whole vlog on GO OUT AND BUY AS MUCH GOYA FOODS AS YOU CAN TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR TRUMP AND THE OWNER OF GOYA.

Really??? oh well, takes all kinds. I guess she thinks Trump is cool or some deluded thing. Really, he’s sending federal troops into cities for political shit.  Really, people, he’s a narcissistic nutcase.  History will show this to be one of the worst periods of American politics.

OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.