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.??

Simple Sunday on Monday…

I got my flu shot on Friday and exactly 12 hours later( right around midnight) got hit with some side effects. Achey, headache ,general malaise so I didn’t swim on Saturday. Yesterday I did feel somewhat better. The shot was the extra strength for over 65 yo so maybe that’s why. Then for some strange reason my left foot starting up again and it was very painful to walk. Remember in 2016 when I just finished the 5 years of “Just Keep Walking Project” and I had gotten hairline fractures on the top of my foot from the repetitive motion. It’s like that. But what’s weird is in Tahoe we were walking over 3 miles a day and I had no problem. I used a bunch of arnica on it yesterday and this morning it feels somewhat better. Geez, getting old is not fun when you’ve got these issues popping up.

I made a new recipe last night ,Chicken Katsu. I saw it in the NYT and it looked good. Basically you pound chicken thin then coat with panko and fry. I guess what makes it katsu is the sauce which is described as Japanese BBQ sauce. I made chicken ones and tofu ones. The tofu ones were delicious. I did coleslaw on the side with a ginger dressing and some organic jasmine rice. Quite yummy.

This week I have a dental cleaning and that’s it for appts. I plan on swimming Tuesday and Thursday. With it being dark earlier till DLS, I may start to go just a tad later. Usually I’m there in the pool by 7:15am, so I might try to make it 7:30 or so.

IT WAS A MIRACLE!!!! AH walker was NOT there this morning. It’s the first time in about 20 months he hasn’t been there. I do have to say though he is staying out of our way and moving to his right when he passes us with his dog. We are just walking as usual and not trying to walk single file when he passes. So I do give him credit for that. But he’s still not using his flashlight in the dark and does pass us sometimes with us being surprised. The other day I saw he had his flashlight on over by the pond but when he came around the pond and saw our light he turned his off. ( passive aggressive anyone?) Oh well, he is not bothering us by walking into us anymore. Especially since now there are other people around and he’s more accountable then. All good, I’d say.

The laundry room has been almost completed. The shelves still need to go up and the one wall still needs some wood but it’s some tricky cuts at angles so I’m not sure when my son will get to it. At least the door is now back on and the new window in. It looks quite nice. I’ll try and get some photos up.

Also this week I need to take another car load to the thrift store. Honestly, I think decluttering just never ends and I do feel it’s like peeling layers of an onion. What used to seem important enough to keep is now headed to the Goodwill. I just keep going thru things and finding that I don’t need it anyone or my style has changed and it doesn’t fit it. Case in point, I have a number of very cool( to me) vintage 50’s lamps that I bought many years ago at an estate sale. One has a nice wood base and is curvy. But I took it out of the front room last year because I moved a different lamp there so it was out in the barn. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the almost 10 years of decluttering and minimizing is don’t just store something thinking ‘someday’ you’ll want that again. Most likely you won’t. In addition if you get rid of it and find 5 years later you really want that item again, I’m sure ebay will have something that will be similar.

Even though I’ve simplified our house and barn( aka as the large storage area for my son’s things now), I don’t think I’ve reached that final point of being ‘done’. Maybe that doesn’t ever happen and that’s just life.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Most of my kitchen is streamlined and there’s not any decluttering but it is the biggest zone I have to clean that takes over an hour. Probably due to the stove, stove hood etc. Plus wiping down my jars takes time too. Since I don’t have a built in pantry, the Far Niente wine boxes I use that are under my stainless steel island work perfectly fine. My kitchen, even though it does need to be redone, works just fine for now.

End of September

It’s been a good month and ending even better that we had RAIN! It was only for a few hours the other night but everything was washed off and watered. Summer has ended I think. This morning is the first woodstove fire ( we call a twinkly) because it’s just a few small logs to take that morning chill off. The kitties aren’t too sure what is going on in that”box”. I’m sure before too long they will all be underneath it to take advantage of the warmth.

I’ve had to call the bank twice about the camping refund and there is no record of it despite rec.gov saying they did the refund. So it has to be disputed. I’m not worried about it. It’ll get resolved one way or another.

I went swimming yesterday and it was still darkish when I left. Hmm… I’ll have to see if I want to still keep going that early. The pool is fine once you’re in but it definitely is cooler outside. I walked this morning and it was cool but nice.

I made black beans yesterday and have lots to freeze for soups or a black bean chili. I’m trying to build up some easy freezer meals for the next couple of months. We had one of the enchilada meals I’d froze and it was really good although most of the sauce had been absorbed so next time I’m thinking of adding more right before I cook it.

I’m waiting for my labs to come in. I’m thinking today or tomorrow. I’ll call down to Mercy tomorrow if they don’t call me. Usually my doctor is very good about getting my results to me. I am prepared that my numbers have increased but hoping it’s not anything like a big increase then I’ll freak out. ( well ,freak then accept it).

I’ve been doing a few small projects around the house. Mainly some reorganizing of pantry stuff and stuff in the closet. I did the Goodwill run the other day with the small dresser and other misc. I already have another small pile in the car but I’ll wait till there’s more to go do it.

well, that’s a wrap for me.

Simple Sunday

Yesterday I chose not to go to the pool and stay home and cook. I wanted to get some freezer meals done so I have more choices when I don’t feel like cooking. So first I used my last #10 can of tomatoes and cooked up some ground beef and made a meat sauce for lasagnas. Then I used the other half of the can for sauce in the cheese lasagnas. I had decided to buy the freezer containers from amazon.

I started out making 2 cheese lasagnas, 2 meat lasagnas , and 1 cheese enchilada tray.

This week I’m in the bathroom zone. At Ikea I bought a round mirror to replace the one we’ve had in there for 25 years. I checked prices on Amazon and Ikea had the best price for this type of mirror.

Today we are doing a little painting in the laundry room. The window is in and there is still the new subfloor to put down.

We had an unfortunate negative run in with our neighbor that we want the fence built to block out his garage. So he seems to not have a job but works on old cars, that’s fine. He is often grinding or doing something making noise but it’s tolerable. Well, yesterday starting at 8 am he started air blasting an old truck. the noise was at 85 decibels which, if you look it up, is VERY loud. So I said, let’s just give him the benefit of the doubt and let it go till noon. Well, noon came and went and so the noise kept going Then he had 2 people show up doing other blasting things. I really was losing it by 4pm. So I said ok let’s wait till 5. At 5:15 I walked over to the fence behind the barn. One of the men came over and I said “you cannot be running industrial machinery all day in a residential area. I’d like to talk to the owner. He had his back to me and turned around and said ‘call the police’. I said that’s what I don’t want to do. He turned his back to me and ignored me. the other guy says, this is almost over and I said, regardless you cannot have industrial level noise in a neighborhood and it’s the owners responsibility. I was livid to say the least. I’m thinking what is with this guy. We’ve never had any encounters with him ever and he deals with me that way. So my daughter checked and we can file a noise complaint online. I really don’t want to do that but I will if it happens again. I hate conflict and am NOT good at dealing with these things really. But I will call the sheriff if it goes on again for that long.

What would you have done? and why do you think he was so belligerent to me.?

Simple Sunday

Lots being done today.

The laundry room is torn apart and there’s hammering and banging going on. The one window is out and that will need replacing. Realistically if it’s done by next weekend, that’ll be good. The washer is hooked outside to a hose , real Okie( not to be prejudiced) but it does look a bit like, well maybe Appalachia. The freezer is outside too on the dirt:( It is covered and running but the whole effect is, well, Okie like. humm…..

I finished the Kitchen zone which took quite a while. But the floor still needs mopping and I’m too bushed to do it now.

I made some granola this morning for the week ahead. Then I made another Zojirushi pot of brown rice that used up the last of the organic brown from last year. The date on it was still good but best to finish it up.

Yesterday, I did more pickled jalapenos.

Tomorrow I’m planning on doing one last batch of jalapeno pepper jelly and that should do it. What a year for peppers.

My daughter has been busy cleaning out garden beds and surrounding areas of dead stuff. It already looks so much better. I think we’re ready to pull up most everything in the garden beds including the pepper plants:)

Barclays IGIV went well and he has more energy. Next week he gets his Covid booster, so that’s good.

No word from the dealer on the AC in the truck. They looked swamped when we dropped it off so who knows.

Tomorrow I will be modifying our Tahoe trip. The whole Tahoe basin is closed till September 17 so that affects our camping trip. Under these circumstances I’m fine with that and even if it all gets cancelled. Better for less people to be up there so the firefighters can do their job. …sigh…

Friday things

There were lots of things this week.

I swam on Tuesday and it was good. Somewhat busy when I got there and then it lightened up. I’ll go again tomorrow. I haven’t been able to get the 3rd swim in yet but that’s ok. It is an effort to go twice a week as it is and it’s also gas money. I try and fill up at costco which is right on the way to the pool.

Then Tuesday Barclay had his video appt about his MRI. The PC doctor will refer him to a specialist because it is neurological. The nerve is being affected by the degeneration of the L 5 ( I think it was L5). Hopefully it won’t progress and some sort of physical therapy or cortisone shots will help. Who knows?? Surgery would be the very last option. I guess with spinal stenosis, it can progress where surgery is necessary.

Then Wednesday I saw Dr Laptalo. It was an ok visit. He was on call so he was 40 minutes late and seemed distracted. That’s okay, overall. My Kappa light chains are still in normal range and so is the ratio. So for now, all good. I do think my remission will be short lived and I’ll be back in treatment by Jan/ Feb. It really depends on how quickly they start rising. Last time it was slow to start and then was very rapid, doubling every month. Anyway, I’ll do labs in September and see him again in October.

After that I decided to go in to Trader Joes which is right off the freeway at Douglas so quite easy. I got lots of things like 3 boxes of tea, 4 different cheeses, milk, juice, some frozen stuff, wine, and chocolate. Oh and 2 little petite orchids.

Then yesterday B took the Santa Fe in to the dealer for the recall fix and had the oil changed. Poor thing had to wait over 3 hours. After that he went to Roseville Honda and looked at a truck and it seems it’s a winner.It’s a 2014 Chevy Silverado. Very clean and drove great he said. So actually today, we are both going to look at it and decide. It’s been quite a process figuring out what we need and want to do. We know for now, we want to keep the Santa Fe as our driving vehicle. The truck is really for towing and Home Depot/ Lowes kinds of things. Anyway, if we are committed to travel in the Rubi then this what we need to do. We also decided to donate the van to the public radio station here( well Sacramento). We all agree trying to sell for $1000 bucks isn’t worth it especially since the windows don’t go down except the drivers side and the blinkers only work sometimes. The engine is still quite powerful but overall, we’ll just see if we can donate it. Maybe they don’t even want it???

Yesterday while he did that I made jalapeno pepper jelly. It looks really good so I may open one later and try with a dab of cream cheese.

This was the last jar and it didn’t quite fill up so we’ll start with this. You can’t see the green too well but it’s a nice color of green.

Simple Sunday

I finished reading the sweetest little book called ‘Pottering, A cure for Modern Life”. Being British it’s pottering, here it would be puttering. I think I like the British spelling better. A very sweet book with lots of good ideas about how to slow your life down and really just a reminder for those of us who already live slow life, to keep going.

We had a nice walk this morning. No one was there till 6:05 and then of course it was AH. Later a couple showed up with 2 dogs and he (AH) had a hard time controlling his dog. It lurched at the other 2 dogs growling. He had to use both hands on his leash to control it.

Today I plan on doing refrigerator pickles with the ones I got at the farm. It’s only 4 cucumbers so maybe a small pint jars worth. I need some celery seed which I don’t normally keep in my spice basket.

Yesterday I made a King Arthurs scone mix, blueberry sour cream. They were very good and I’d buy the mix again. For dinner I made Ikea sauce, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. The sauce was delicious. B had a Dr. Praeger burger with the sauce.

This coming week is somewhat busy. We’re going to look at another truck down in Roseville, I have my appt in Sacramento, the Santa Fe is going into the dealer for a recall fix it, B has a video dr appt, and it’s our anniversary. I had hoped we could drive up to Tahoe but with the smoke and all the Forest Service everything closed, it doesn’t seem like a good idea. This happened last year with the pandemic, everything shut down and this year it’s fires and the pandemic.

Friday things

I guess we’re never going to see blue skies this summer. It’s all hazy and smoke filled from the Caldor fire over near Placerville. That’s about an hour away from us over Hwy 49. The Eldorado National forest is all closed and many parts of the Pacific Crest trail is closed. What a summer.:(

I’m going in for my labs in about 45 minutes. I should have the important tests back by next Wednesday when I see my doctor. I guess it’s just a waiting game. I have a feeling that my remission is going to be short lived but who knows. It’s just a feeling.

I went to the farm stand yesterday and bought tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, radishes, lettuce( I was surprised by that), and local bread. It came to $31. I’m okay with paying more since it is all grown right there in the fields. They actually had some lugs of tomatoes out for $20. so I may do that next week.

Last night I made a NYT recipe for corn chowder. It was delicious.

The bread was the one I bought from our local baker. The jalapenos are from our garden and we do have tons. This weekend I’ll probably do 2 more jars of refrigerator jalapenos.

I don’t plan on any grocery shopping till next week or later. I need to write a list of what I want/need to get.

I plan on swimming tomorrow as normally I’d go today but with labs that’s not happening. After my labs we’re going to look at a truck. It’s becoming clearer that we will have to have a truck to pull the Rubicon. Things are pretty high priced but I saw some used under $30K. Expensive,but there’s not a lot of choice here. So we want to check out Toyota Tundras and Chevy Silverado’s. I think that will give us a good idea of what we’re after.