After Thanksgiving, and a Simple Sunday.

It was a lovely Thanksgiving with the four of us. My brother stayed home as he does work as a machinist around lots of other people. BTW, the company he works for made a number of the very specific pieces the Space -X used to go to the Space Station.Cool!

Update, on Saturday he stopped by for a pan of nut loaf and a plate of turkey with all the trimmings!! He’s a great guy who shares our political views and is outspoken about the corruption of Trump.

I had ordered the Diestel turkey breast and it was delicious. It was pricey, but worth. I have lots of slices left to freeze plus I plan to make a turkey wild rice soup.

Update: I think I’ll freeze the turkey since it’s now Sunday and we’re kinda turkeyed out:(.

Yesterday on our walk, 2 unusual things happened. We started out by the pond and a black cat jumped out of the blackberry bushes. One of his eyes was closed so we were concerned it was hurt. it was very friendly so we picked it up and drove home. I woke my daughter who tried to look at it but it squeezed under the kitchen counter. So we went back and walked in the park. On our last round we saw ‘granny’ goose( the last domestic goose at the park) limping. Her one leg had been injured. We were worried for her. I messaged ARD and told them and they said call animal control, which I didn’t do. This morning ‘granny ‘ wasn’t there so either she got taken by animal control or a coyote got her. Sad. At one time there was a flock of 20 geese and they were always fun to watch.

Back to the cat. So eventually it came out and wasn’t hungry and it looked like it was someone’s pet. And the eye wasn’t injured, as we thought, it didn’t have a right eye. B put it out on Nextdoor neighbor and within the hour some said it was our local hardware stores pet cat. So B took it home to the store. But it made us all realize how much we miss having a cat/cats.

Not much on the agenda for today. I may wander out to the barn and get the other Christmas boxes down to see if I want to use anything more. I’ve made a wreath with bay leaves for the front door. It has nice dark green branches/leaves so it looks Christmassy. I’ll probably go cut some cedar and pine branches also to make a centerpiece for the table.

Sunday morning:

off for our walk at 6am. It’s still somewhat dark and then it’s predawn. This time has worked out well. We’ve only crossed the jerk dog walker once so that’s a huge plus.

We still don’t have rain in the forecast but it’s cold in the morning( like high 30’s). I got an email alert from PGE saying we would have a high electric bill. I figured it would be since we use the space heaters off and on. Well, we may have to cut back on when we use them like maybe only in the mornings. This house doesn’t have any central AC/heat so we use the wood stove and then in the bedrooms small space heaters. I’m not surprised since we get this every year a few months of very high electric. I probably should just put that in the annual bills column. Yeah, I think I’ll do that. 3/4 months of high PGE which would be @ $1,000.

I don’t plan on making Tartine today so that will lighten my morning. I’ll get out my starter tomorrow for Tuesday/ Wednesday bread.

This week Flylady has 2 zones, the living room and the entry ways. My front room is fairly easy as it’s pretty minimal. It doesn’t take me more than 15 minutes to do the zone. I do wipe the tops of the Easton press as they are gold gild and do get dusty. I also do the windows and the mirror. We have a large Heywood Wakefield mirror in this room near the dining table. The entryways start on Tuesday which is Dec. 1. I’ve already changed out the seasonal decor to Christmas/ Winter. One thing minimalism has taught me is to use as much natural things for decorations hence the bay laurel wreath. Plus, I can keep that up all winter not just Christmas. I do change the outside twinkly lights from orange(fall) to blue( winter). We keep lights up year round as we don’t have outside lights so we put the twinklies on a timer to come on at dark till around 11pm and then again in the morning around 5:30 till 7am. It just helps with outside lighting.

We got a bumper crop of lemons from our one dwarf tree. This one of 2 bowls of lemons. I will slice and freeze some. Great for adding to water and then I thought I might look preserved lemon. Someone years ago, gave me a ball jar of preserved lemons and they were excellent on/cooked with chicken. Anyone have a recipe they use?

Well, off to start the day:)

some photos

This is the view out the ‘front’ish’door. By that I mean no one can ever really figure out that this is the front door as the driveway comes around to a fence and then thru the fence is the ‘front door’. This house sits oddly to the driveway so confusing.

This is one of the many Japanese maples my daughter has planted. Probably long after I’m dead these will be nice and big. The color is better in the sun.

This is looking out to the front yard and to the left you can see the big Japanese maple. That on is 25 years old( planted when we moved her). So that’s why the reference to the above one. 🙂

Another shot of the front.

Here’s the bowl with the nut loaf mixture.

This is the base of the nut loaf, brown rice, walnuts, later you add the cheese and cottage cheese and eggs as a binder.

This is the mushroom onion mix with the herbs.

I use cheddar cheese but you could really add any cheese you have.

I actually generally use a regular loaf pan but this time I used these so we could have the second one at another time.

I serve with all the regular sides, green beans, potatoes, etc. Then I make a tamari gravy as none of us like turkey/ chicken gravy plus then B wouldn’t have it. But even with turkey we make the tamari gravy, we just like the flavor better.

This the view from my sitting area( the room where we re-did the pine floor).

Simple Sunday

A lovely Sunday walk this morning without the jerk, who showed up yesterday after a 2 week hiatus. That’s ok we just ignored him even though he was walking in the middle of the path and we had to walk single file when he went by. It’s not worth the psychic energy anymore to even deal with it. We just went on our merry way. But it was a very pretty morning at the park this morning. We’re pretty lucky to have at least this one trail that is paved. There isn’t anything else like it at all around here. The closest would be Auburn which has one park with a paved trail otherwise it’s Folsom or up the hill to Truckee that has amazing trails all paved.

From there I started working on the nut/cheese loaf for Thanksgiving. I ended up with enough for 2 loaves and one half size one. I put them in the freezer till Thursday morning. I use the recipe from Greens. I’ll try and post it tomorrow.

Then I cut up the loaf of Tartine and put that in the freezer and started a new batch which I’ll do a slow overnight rise. That way I can cook it tomorrow morning.

I put the Costco chicken carcass in the Instant Pot to make broth. That’s still cooking. I also started a Crock Pot of pinto beans for dinner. Costco had the green chile cheese tamales which are my favorite so we’ll have those with pintos.

Tomorrow B has his IGIV. It’s in Roseville so I’ll take him and Z will go pick him up since my daughter works on Mondays. Z works too but he can take it as his lunch break. Hopefully, that will help his energy which is still pretty low and lagging.

I finished everything for Christmas. Really, don’t get too excited, as we only have us to buy for and I keep it small. I will send off something to my sister and give my brother some money. For us, I have books, a couple pairs of jammies, an Elton John album my son wanted and some other misc. Generally, I get stuff we need in the clothes dept, books, something fun and something that is a want.

Hanukkah is early this year, Dec 10th, but I’ve decided not to do any gift things and we’ll just light the candles. I like the idea of the light illuminating the dark and we need that right now.

Flylady zone this week is the bedroom. I finished it today. It doesn’t take very long since it’s pretty uncluttered in there. I did wash the comforter though and my daughter put up the new shoji screen for the one window. It keeps the cold out amazing.

Five on Friday

I’m late getting this off since this morning I was trying to get my Tartine bread in the oven before we left to go to Costco. The bread was a rye mixture( so slightly darker) and the rise isn’t as high but it has great flavor especially with cream cream . I got it in for the first 20 minutes with the lid on and then took the lid off for the final 25 and left my daughter in charge of taking it out. It looked great when I got home.

Costco( the 9am, 60 and older crowd) was absolutely crazy. The line to get in was around the building. For an instant, I almost decided we should just leave but decided this is it till after January 1st and it’s only going to get worse ,so we went in. I guess the TP run is back on and most people were beelining to the back for the TP. Geez, really?? Anyway, they have rearranged the store so cold veggies are near the bakery and that’s where I started. I got everything on my list except canned beans because at that point in the store I was DONE!!! I made B get 2 cases of beer because I ain’t going back in there during Christmas. If we need cream or whatever I’ll hit our market here in town.

My Diestel turkey breast showed up yesterday and that will be nice to have instead of the whole turkey. Last year I did a Whole Foods turkey and it was delicious( according to my notes) but this year I didn’t want to do the whole thing plus I haven’t been into Whole Foods since last Christmas. I do keep a written menu of Thanksgiving each year and then add notes. It has been good to refer back to. I started doing this the one year I downloaded Flylady’s thanksgiving “to do ” list. I have to say, it has been helpful.

B had a call from the Cancer after hours clinic asking him to call( this was after 7pm). We didn’t even get the message till bedtime since neither of us keep our phones with us. We ignored it figuring it was his potassium level( which it was). His blood pressure hasn’t been stable so he went back on the HCTZ which is extremely effective but drops his potassium to low levels and they want him to get an infusion. When you’ve been down this road this many times we just had him take extra potassium pills and drink some gatorade. So after calls this morning( in the middle of Costco noless), yes, increase potassium pills, stop the HCtz again, and get another blood test. Also his immunoglobulins are down which happens about every 2 months so he will need an infusion for that. Sometimes, I feel like I’m barely hanging on here.

We got a Christmas tree permit to go up to Tahoe next week. It’s always a crap shoot of whether you will go the right area and find a nice tree but this year we will give it a go. Last year we skipped it with everything still going on. There has been some snow up there so that will be interesting. I’m planning on NOT putting up the artificial tree if we find a nice live on to put up. If not I will use the live one in my room with just some lights and put the artificial one up in the front room.

Tonight is pizza night and we are having just a frozen pizza. I was going to do Round Table but after spending a zillion dollars at Costco decide to just use what we have. Plus, the deep dish ‘MOtown’ from Costco is quite excellent.

Well, that’s a wrap, and I hear a glass of red wine calling me.

Simple Sunday

It seems the craziness continues with the trump supporters and him still not conceding even though there is no way for him to get the electoral votes. His malfeasance just continues in some downward spiral of an alternate reality. I still think his mental illness will catch up to him at some point.

This morning I made some banana pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast. We’re still getting lots of eggs. I tried selling them but got no takers so now I’m just giving them away for free. It’s ok. It’s a small way to give to someone who needs them. I used one pack of the frozen ones(scrambled) and they were great. Actually, I don’t know if I could tell the difference. So I did a few more bags and popped them in the freezer. The girls will slow down once there are fewer daylight hours and it’s colder.

Our walks have been lovely and no sign of the ‘jerk’ dog walker. Either he’s getting there really early or something’s up with him because I figured we would have at least crossed his path in the last two weeks but we haven’t. But it’s really really nice to not have his frenetic energy there. Also, since it’s so pleasant we’ve increased our walk time to 45 minutes so that’s a plus.

All the tree leaves are turning shades of gold, yellow, red, and orange. This is one of the more colorful falls we’ve had in recent memory. I remember one year when we had a serious frost early and all the trees just turned brown and that was it. I’m guessing that because the temperatures have been warm the sap flowing helped with the color change. Any scientists out there that can give a scientific answer???

I’ve got some Tartine sourdough in the oven and then I’m going to finish cleaning up the kitchen. I’ve been freezing leftover slices of bread since we don’t go thru that much bread and when we want a slice for toast I just take it out of the freezer. I also just made some parmesan croutons with some end pieces.

This week is the bathroom zone if you’re following Flylady.

I still have a few weeks before my next labs( first week of December) so that’s kinda nice to jsut put it out of my mind for now. Barclay will need another IGIV soon but he’ll do that in Roseville as it’s half the distance. He’s going off a few more drugs (yay)and will finally be getting his pneumonia vaccine. He’s going to have talk to his doctor about his chronic fatigue and see what options there are. I know of a few myeloma patients that use Ritalin for increased energy but I’m not sure what his doctor will think. Also a serotonin reuptake(like zoloft) may help his low energy and meloncholy. I’m not sure what his options are but he can talk to his doctor or the NP next time and check it out.

Five on Friday( ok, it might be more)!!

What a week it has been, but I think with Arizona now going for Biden officially, it’s a done deal.

Trump and his narcissistic personality just can’t admit defeat. Sad, really. Like a kid who just can’t/won’t grow up.

And how his loyal believers even think what they think is beyond me. Honestly, I think they are missing some DNA strand the rest of us have that filters humility, honesty, civility and on and on.

Well, on to this week. Today it’s supposed to rain and right now it’s cloudy but the temperature is nice, mid forties. Earlier things week we were at 32 degrees and it was freezing and walking was tough. The path had some ice and was tricky to navigate. We haven’t seen ‘the jerk’ so either he’s very early or on vacation. Either way, it’s lovely to walk with his frantic weird energy. As a matter of fact, there are 2 other couples that walk and they are so pleasant and nice with a “good morning” or “hello”.

I picked a small order from Walmart yesterday. Mostly we needed the small Coleman propane bottles for our “Buddy” heater which we use when we sit out on the sun porch and it’s cold. Walmart has the best prices with a 4 pack at $13.57. I picked a few groceries but not much.

I also went into Target for Christmas lights but they didn’t have the Target brand out yet, so the next day I did a pickup for them as it showed on the website. I did pick up some blue lights that we use throughout the winter on the outside by the front door. Right now the orange/fall ones are still up but I’ll have B take them done this coming week. I’ve moved most of the pumpkins away from the 2 doors and have put the small Christmas type trees by one.

I’m thinking of doing a bay laurel wreath for the front door as we have a nice big tree in the front yard that we planted when we first moved here so it is 25 years old. I will add a red ribbon.

The bread making frenzy continues and the loaves and my starter is doing great. Again, it’s truly the Tartine recipe that does the best bread.

Each recipe does make 2 loaves, so I just cut the second one and freeze the slices. Speaking of which, I knicked my finger cutting the top of the loaf the other day. Not a bad cut but the top of the loaves are very crunchy and so I bought these gloves so it wouldn’t happen again. so far they work great.

I dropped off a Goodwill load this week. No waiting this time. I guess the great purge of 2020 is over for now. They even brought a cart for you to put your stuff in. Before you had to take everything out of your bags and separate it. It was kinda a pain.

I also decided to take the TV in my office space off the wall and get rid of the DVD player there too. I bought( at Target) a quite compact Sony DVD blu ray for the DVD’s I want to keep. ( Shirley Valentine,I see you).

One of my absolutely favorite YouTubers is a young woman in New Zealand ,who is the most sincere person I’ve seen on YT yet. She is the ultimate minimalist and quite inspiring. Minimom really walks her talk and does not put out regurgitated stuff like some YT’s like Life at Home Taoist style who doesn’t even really know what a Taoist is.

Even though she(Minimom) is only in her 30’s with 2 small children she really puts it out there without the other crap. So it took her saying her house/condo was too small for 2 TVs and the light bulb went on for me. I don’t need that 2nd TV when I walk 20 feet into the front room and watch a DVD. We did need the new player though as this TV is newer than the old one and wouldn’t hook to old DVD player.

Anyway, if you are into minimalism and watch youtube, go to her channel.

Simple Sunday

Today is a day of JOY and celebration that we have hope for our country. The endless lies by Trump and Barr and all of them will soon come to an end. Honestly, I think this country saw the damage he was doing and heeded the call for change before it was too late.

I was thinking about it and trying to think of 1 thing Trump did that was positive for the American people( all of them). I can’t really come up with one. The tax thing was for the rich. The anti-immigration stuff was to keep ‘those’ people out that Bannon and Steven Miller didn’t want in our country, ripping children away from their parents and putting them in detention centers. All of it amounts to total negativity. Plus, for me, the lies and more lies, over and over, just did me in.

So a new beginning and with a woman VP. I am doing a happy dance for sure.!!!

Walking this morning was pleasant and the fall colors are lovely in the park. We’ve been getting there right at 6am instead of the 5:15 time and it is working out just fine.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady. It’s a big zone with the stove and shelves to clean but at the end worth a bright clean space. My biggest takeaway advice is to minimize what you have in the kitchen and keep the counters clear. It really does make a difference. The second thing is to clean up as you cook. I don’t always do this but 95% of the time I do. It too makes a huge difference in keeping the kitchen tidy.

I plan on making some meatballs later to have with spaghetti tonight and a I’ll make a salad.

We’re in for quite a bit of rain this week and it’s welcome. Plus, it’s really chilly today so fall is here.

Frugal Friday

It was a frugal week overall. The grocery shop at Trader Joe’s will go on November’s grocery bill. So far October has been around $800 all inclusive. That’s food, non food and alcohol. So actually I’m ok with that total. For 4 people eating 3 meals a day, I’d say it’s quite good.

Gas has been quite reduced since we don’t really drive anywhere. I fill my VW up about every 6 weeks and that runs around $30. The Santa Fe fills up about once a month at $50. So really that is a big savings.

All our annual bills are done for the year so that’s also a savings as we wont have property tax or Allstate till next spring. I paid the property tax way early( for once) and that’s kinda nice. Usually I’d wait till the first week of December to do it.

We don’t have family to buy gifts for so that reduces Christmas spending. I usually get my brother a GC to either Tractor Supply or Starbucks. Then I send my sister a consumable gift usually wine or something a little fancy.

For us, I keep it simple. For each of us, one book(almost always an Easton Press), one piece of clothing, something fun, and something they need. My son will get a GC to Home Depot since he’s working on the barn and rebuilding/strengthening part of it. I still end up spending more than I’d like but it’s not bad. I try and buy all year long when I see something then I don’t have to think about it. Pre pandemic, I would often find things at the thrift store all year to put away for Christmas but not this year. I’ve gone into Goodwill 2x since the pandemic started and it wasn’t all that interesting.

Tonight is pizza night and I think we’re going to order something. I need to check but I think we’ve done 2 takeouts this month. Well, I know one was the free pizza from the store and my daughter bought Tacos one day so I’m not sure what else we did this month. Anyway, I don’t have the pizza dough made so that kinda settles it anyway.

I finished the Return of the King yesterday. The trilogy takes me about a month to get thru and is thoroughly enjoyable everytime I read it. This is my 3rd or 4th time. Next up I’m going to re read, To Kill a Mockingbird as part of that takes place at halloween( BOO Radley!!). Anyway, I was going to start Dracula which I also read once a year but maybe later.

Thursday stuff

Yesterday was my doctor appointment and it went well. I’ll have my 8 week labs around the first week of December, then see him right after Christmas, then start Velcade/Dex in January. He did mention that there is a pill form of Velcade but since that would be a tier 5 drug, I just don’t want to deal with that. So the shot isn’t bad and neither is the drive. ( We got there in 50 minutes yesterday with NO traffic. So it’ll be 3 weeks on one week off. I’ll be ready!!!

I am having lots of anxiety about the election next week, along with the rest of the country.( well, intelligent people who can see Trump for what he is). It’s just a lingering underlying stress as to what’s going to happen. It’s not keeping me awake at night but still, I read the news compulsively for clues. Well, I guess we’ll know soon enough.

We shopped at Trader Joe’s in Roseville after the doctor appt( which was why B came with me). It was pretty packed with people but everyone HAS to wear a mask so it was ok. I loaded up on lots of things. Some prepper stuff like canola spray and tamari, and some just regular food. We were home by 12 noon so not bad at all.

As I mentioned, we adjusted our walk time till 6 so as to try and avoid jerk walker. He’s still there though and just as abrupt but at least walking the other way has made a huge difference. 6 am is nice because by 6:30 it’s predawn and the sky is lightening up. Sunday is daylight savings so I figure we will just walk when we feel ready and see what time that ends up being. I’m guessing the jerk will go by the darkness not the time. One example of him still being a jerk. So the confrontation was about his not using a flashlight, right? So he has been using one. Then this morning I saw him have it on and then as he approached us he turned it off. Uhh…passive aggressive anyone????

Tonight my son is going to make us an Oktoberfest dinner of Bratwurst something( not sure yet exactly what he’s doing) but at least I don’t have to cook.

I have a loaf of rye sourdough baking and it didn’t puff as much as I’d like but it still tastes great.

We are still getting lots of eggs and I’ve been keeping up on using them. I put it out on Nextdoor neighbor but no one answered. I’m guessing with the pandemic when everyone was buying chicks, and now they are all laying eggs. It’s okay, in a few months they will slow down once it gets cold.

I have loved lighting my beeswax candles for dinner time. I have lots of pumpkins on the table and around. We’ve been having a fire every morning too. It’s been about 45 degrees out, so chilly.

Simple Sunday

We are on extreme fire alert today thru Tuesday. Power will be shut off this afternoon. Scary stuff. Plus everything is so dry. These winds are supposed to be quite bad all the way to the Bay area. Geez. We really need a break here.

The winner of the bread recipe so far is the No knead sourdough. Both the rye and the white were superb. I may just keep tweaking it so it’s perfect. Of course, come next summer, I’ll abandon bread making and forget it all. Hummm…. maybe that’s why I blog about bread, so as to have a written history.

Success!!! We are walking a little later at 6am. The jerk is still there, but we are walking in the OPPOSITE direction and it makes all the difference since he’s not storming up behind us. Now he just storms by with his dog. It has been GREAT!

I had my biennial mammogram and will get the results next week. Since I didn’t hear anything I’m guessing it’s ok. I was in and out in record time as they have scheduled everything with Covid in mind so appts are spaced.

This week is my oncology appt. I’m not too concerned since I know it’s another 2 months before I’m starting something. That puts me after Christmas. So if all goes accordingly, I’ll wager January. After my appt, I plan to hit up Trader Joe’s in Roseville on the way home. I haven’t been there in months. There’s a few things I specifically want from there ( besides the Charles Shaw), tamari, hash browns, some frozen stuff which TJ’s does a great job of. That will go on my November food budget.

I was out in the prepper pantry in the barn the other day, and it looks great. I have to say, we did a great job on both food and nonfood. I can see periodically adding stuff but for the most part we are using stuff on rotation and then replacing.

The gardens are all cleaned up for winter. My daughter does a great job pulling everything up and putting it in the compost. We haven’t planted anything else yet but I may encourage her to start some chard and cold weather stuff. She did plant all the bulbs I ordered. I ordered 3 giant bags. We have one designated bulb area and in the spring it is very pretty.

This week is the living room zone, so I’ll wash windows and do a deeper dusting.

Halloween stuff..

Lanterns for later when the power is out.

Of course, we have out generators too but we’ll use them tomorrow for a few hours for the freezer and fridge.