Simple Sunday

Daylight savings is so weird. I wish they would just pass the law and leave time in the spring alone since both mornings and evenings have plenty of light. I woke up at 4am on clock but it was 5am with the spring ahead. So I got up at 5:30 after I got the coffee going. We went out to walk about 6:10 or so and so really that was 5:10. AH was already there so I guess he’s on the same schedule as us. His dog crapped all over the path right where we walk but he didn’t pick it up. Just left it for someone else to do. Tomorrow is Monday and it’s our no walk day so that will give us another day to adjust.

We’re in for rain mixed with snow tomorrow. We need rain so can’t complain really. I’m planning to go to Costco tomorrow so we’ll see how that shapes up. I can hold off if necessary. Mostly it comes down to needing coffee:)

Flylady zone is the bathroom which I will do a little later.

I’m planning on a stir fry( tofu and veggies) for dinner with some rice. This week I wil BBQ( once the weather is nice again) some steak bits, tofu, and I have some chicken defrosting for a mediterranean dish with artichokes and olives. I also have a cabbage to use for something. We don’t eat the corned beef stuff and cabbage for St Pats day. I may make something similar with tempeh. Tempeh and cabbage and potatoes??? We don’t eat a lot of tempeh but it is good for certain things. I especially like tempeh reubens. You grill the tempeh, mustard,add sauerkraut and cheese. A trick I learned is to slice the tempeh thin and then soak in water for a few minutes as it takes away some of the bitterness that tempeh sometimes has.

After finishing the front room , I was pleased that the only thing I decluttered was 3 mini puzzles from so dollar store my son bought us for Christmas. We did them and now they can go to someone else. Other than that not much was deemed unnecessary.

T

The teak book case empty. This was a Salvation army find many years ago when you could still find deals there. I think I paid $20.

Some of the Easton Press Books.

The couch wall done.

More Easton Press and LP’s and photo albums.

It should be a good week. My daughter gets her 2nd covid shot this week. She’s a bit of a hypochondriac so hopefully it all goes well. The first shot did so I don’t expect any problem plus she will take a Tylenol and allergy pill when she gets home.

Simple Sunday

I got my 2nd covid shot on Friday and it all went fine. It was easy in and wait 15 minutes after the shot. My arm was slightly sore but that’s it so I’m pretty jazzed.

We hit up Trader Joes and spent right around $200. That included some pantry stuff and assorted snacks and wine. It was fine till 9 am when they opened it to under 65 and then it was a madhouse so we quickly left.

Our two flowering cherry trees are in full bloom.

They are quite pretty this year. Some years because of rain or snow they don’t reach full bloom but these did. The bees are happy!

All the daffodils my daughter planted this fall are coming up too.

They are up and down the new fencing and just past our entryway driveway. Those trees on the right are our neighbors,Leo’s, so you can see how close that is to our parking area. That’s why we will want a fence there.

I’m planning on making a curry for dinner with veggies and rice. I have some broccoli that needs using and I bought some cauliflower too.

This week is the kitchen zone and I will start that tomorrow. Today I want to vacuum and do some other chores. We are headed into some rain tomorrow and for the next few days too. Monday is our no walk day so I can get a head start on the kitchen zone. Barclay is planning on starting on the LR walls painting. We figure a wall at a time or maybe a wall and a half with everything that needs moving. The bookcase wall will require all the books removed. So a bigger job than the fireplace wall which only has a Heywood Wakefield cabinet.

Still no luck getting a reservation at Nevada Beach. Now reservations are for almost the second week of September. I’ll keep trying but feel it’s probably a wash.

Friday’s things…

This was the big day. I got my second vaccine. HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!

Barclay got his yesterday and only had a sore arm so I’m hoping that’s all I get. I will report back though.

I ordered raspberries, asparagus,,blueberry plants from Johnny’s. I decided that we should have an asparagus patch after all this time. It will take a few years to produce but that’s ok. We have lots of golden raspberries but last year when I tried to make jam it just didn’t come out very well. Maybe too many seeds even after I strained them out and the flavor fresh was great but not so much as a jam.

This week I made the Mediterranean white bean soup again and man, it is so good.

Then I made a big batch of granola.

I also whipped a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t get a picture of them and now they are all gone.

Tonight is pizza night and we’re going to order out. I’m gonna leave it to my son to decide where he wants to get it. We don’t do take out very often so I’m okay with $30+ for pizzas although homemade is pennies on the dollar.

I need to do a shop in the next few days as we are out of a lot of things. I’m thinking Trader Joe’s as it’s been ages since we’ve been there.

Our neighbor( old Leo who’s 95) fell again in his house. His son was there so he called 911 but he did break his hip in 2 places. It’s unlikely he will come home again. We need to be ready with fencing along the driveway as once Leo is gone his son will put the house on the market. Our driveway is right along his property line and too close for us as we see his parking area( which is quite big). We are concerned that some ‘rednecks’ will buy it as it is not the greatest house or property. If we had the money we would buy it but sadly we don’t. Oh well.

I start my next round of Velcade next week. My doctor visit was good. He didn’t say anything about our ‘plan’ but there’s time yet. I figure this is round 3, so at least thru to round 4. All good.

Velcade, Round 2, shot #2.

Today is my next shot and it should go quickly. I still have bruised areas from the other shot but eventually it will fade. Also there is still some foot neuropathy going on but it’s not too bad. That just doesn’t go away quickly. It can take months after treatment has ended but I’m ok with it at this point.

Yesterday my daughter got her first Covid vaccine. so hurray!! Just a sore arm so that’s good. It actually went really quickly so these health care workers and those coordinating are doing a phenomenal job.

My son got back from Tahoe and went and had a rapid covid test and it was negative. But he’s still only coming in the house for food and bathroom breaks. Tomorrow he goes for the 24 hr test so then he’s in the clear, I hope.

I made the other Seville orange marmalade and I think the recipe is better. It came out properly jelled so maybe it was using the candy thermometer that did it. You want the temperature at 220 or 218 about and then it jells. It definitely did that.

I’m making a mediterranean white bean soup for dinner. I soaked the beans yesterday and put in the IP this morning. So far when I tasted it,it is delicious! I had B pick up a Truckee Sourdough baguette to have with it and I will grill up some sausage if the meat eaters want that too. Actually my daughter will do the rest as after I take dex this afternoon I’m not good for much.

Kitchen zone

This was a busy weekend with starting the painting.

I did the area in front of our small bathroom and the book shelves. I’m waiting to put the books back for 24 hours till I’m sure they are quite dry. This morning I did the french door to the bedroom and that’s it.

I usually do most of the zone on Sundays but since painting was involved I didn’t get to it till this morning. It wasn’t the most thorough I’ve ever done but perfectly fine for a zone cleaning. The last thing I want to do with this zone is clean out my wine crate pantry boxes and wipe them and restock. I’ll probably to that tomorrow.

First this morning I had to go get my labs for Wednesday’s shot. He added in the IgG test which can be a myeloma indicator. Last time it came back normal so that’s good. Then my covid shot is Friday so I’ll have a day to recuperate and mostly get thru the dex.

I bought a new cookbook. Mark Bittman’s ‘Dinner for Everyone”. It seems pretty good with each recipe having an easy adaptation, a vegan one, and then a fancy one. I may try something tonight as I try and do 2-3 new recipes in my monthly menu plan.

We’re heading into some very wintery weather by Friday. Rain and lots of snow in the Sierras. We still need so no complaining.

Friday Stuff…

Well, the biggest excitement is that our county just opened up vaccines to over 65 so we were able to schedule both of us for next week. We have to drive to Roseville but that’s okay at least we have an appt. I do expect I’ll get a fever and headache since even with a regular flu shot I do. But I’m 100% ok with that and will just deal with it. I’m pretty excited!!

I dropped off our property tax payment this week. I was going to do it with a cc but there was a fee(apprx. $25) for that so I decided to just write a check. So that saved the fee.

We went to Costco also and it was @ $600. So $350 was food and the rest non food( including organic chicken food) and alcohol. I’m guessing the next time were back is March sometime. I was hoping they had their fruit trees out but they didn’t. It’s a great place to get citrus trees at a very reasonable price.

Cooking wise, I made a marmalade cake and Wow!! It was amazing. The recipe was from Nigel Slater. It was like a pound cake batter with the marmalade mixed in. It was absolutely delicious.

My son made a recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to cook Everything”. It was baked bread cod. It came out delicious. I had bought the Wild caught cod at Costco. It was pricey ($20)but it made enough for dinner and lunch so probably that made it about $3.00 a serving. We would eat more seafood if I bought it but usually I go with shrimp or salmon from Costco. So this was a nice change.

I’ve picked up the Benjamin Moore paint so I’ll be starting the 15 min. sessions this weekend.

Simple Sunday

A simple day to start the new year.

My daily chores are done and the FL zone this week is the kitchen. The entry way was only 2 days so I missed that. But, I think I’ll sweep the patios and tidy up the fir boughs.(my daughter already did all this so it’s done!!) I’m going to leave them thru january as it seems wintery. My door wreath is bay laurel so that can stay up too. I also have some nice pinecones we collected up in Tahoe on the bench outside the front door.

One thing I’ve learned with being more minimal is to use natural things for decor or seasonal decorations. It makes it easier for me to not have think about the decorations in bins. I definitely used to keep bins with seasonal stuff but not so much any more. Now I only have my vintage Halloween, and some Easter stuff and Christmas in some Ikea boxes. Works for me.

I used my Staub again for a braised short rib recipe. It cooked beautifully but we ( the meat eaters) were not too into the dish. It was good but not great. It will not go into rotation even though it really is an easy one pot meal. This pot though has cooked everything I’ve done to perfection. If you’re looking for an all around pot this is it. Staub should sponsor me as I cannot say enough good things about this pot. And that’s coming from a die hard fan of Le Creuset.

I am doing a Walmart pickup so that should get us thru till we get to Costco about mid month. I’m planning on trying to use the Instant Pot to make yogurt. It seems easy enough so on the Walmart order I have some whole milk yogurt to use as a starter. We’ll see. I’ll post how it goes.

My rib feels pretty good. Maybe still a little tender where I probably pulled the muscle around the rib. I’ll be sure to mention it to my doctor. He did ask whether I wanted to do PET scans and a bone marrow biopsy to see it there were any hot spots and/or if the myeloma has morphed. I declined since it is what it is regardless. I think if I had more symptoms I might but at this point I’m fairly asymptomatic except for blood work that show the increases.

This week I see the eye doctor for my 6 month macular pucker scan. I’m hoping to not have to get my eyes dilated as they stay dilated for hours. I’m also thinking of getting the surgery when the pandemic is over and things are back to normal so probably a year from now.

I added some more ” things I hope to accomplish” list. :

find 3 new hikes to try

paint the living room and kitchen( this was supposed to be done last year)

find 2 new places to camp( I was thinking either private or maybe just Forest Service campgrounds)

keep up with the prepper pantry but streamline what I stock( and know we will use).

Simple Sunday and Christmas is over.

It was a really nice simple christmas.

Everyone got some nice things. I got my son a Pendleton National Park wool blanket from Goodwill Seattle. It’s the Glacier one that is white with color stripes. Very nice and a fraction of the cost new. He also got a used copy of Easton Press” A Tale of Two Cities”. B got a new Leatherman knife since a few years ago when he went to board a plane he had is quite expensive Leatherman in his pocket and they took it away. My daughter got 2 pairs of pruning shears, an Easton Press Grimm Fairy tales and some other stuff including these made in Japan Sound Collection plates… I discovered these by accident about 2 years ago at Goodwill when I found a bowl and fell in love with it. They are quite hard to find and the only place apart from Japan ,I guess, is Ebay.

I got a lovely sweater, a Kitchen Aid hand mixer( I asked for this), and some great gifts from my son, artisan flour, and a scone mix.

All in all a really nice and somewhat minimalist Christmas. It could have been scaled back even a little more but in the end I think it was perfect.

I made a NYT recipe called the Big Lasagna.

This is just the first page of the recipe, there are 2 more pages if you’re interested you can google it. It actually was huge and must have weighed 5 pounds. Lasagna is always our Christmas dinner. Not sure quite when this started but I remember when we were first married making lasagna since it was vegetarian.

It really was delicious.

I took all the Christmas stuff down and put away. I start to feel it looks a little cluttered up after 3 weeks of decorations. So now it’s all tidy and things put back in place.

I’m cooking up the scone mix this morning. It’s a ginger cranberry and it was a nice mix. I’m thinking scones are a nice easy thing to bake so maybe I’ll do this more often. This mix was from the Vermont Store but King Arthur has some lovely ones to choose from.

Our walk was lovely at 6:10am this morning. Still dark, but by 7am we’re getting a nice light and the park is all frosty.( well, it’s frosty before that but then we can see it!).

If you follow FL, we’re in the Living room zone. That was one reason I wanted to put Christmas stuff away. I’ll wash the inside windows and dust everything.

Well, this is the week I go to Sacramento to meet with my oncologist. My first question is going to be” when can I get the Covid vaccine? the second will be when do we start treatment.” 😦 Really, I’d rather start than have myeloma cells multiplying and then risking fractures or worse.

Looking back at the year… and ahead!

The year that shall not be named, oh F#ck it, 2020, was certainly difficult.

All the Covid deaths, the necessary lockdowns, enormous food bills, canceling all our trips including Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc, and all the rest. Certainly, the election was totally anxiety-filled and still is until Biden is sworn in. The stuff trump is still pulling is appalling. ANd all the GOP spineless idiots. Some of the stuff that comes out of their mouths is truly mind-boggling. I read in the WP that the idiot( he’s a newly elected representative) that is possibly going to challenge the votes recently said,” he found out that there were three branches of government”. WTF? are you mentally challenged?

At least we’ve been healthy so there’s that. Both of my kids have their jobs, so that’s excellent.

Climate change is worrying with California fires and really no rain. We’ve had a few days but nothing like normal.

Barb, over at “Living Richly in Retirement”, is a great blogger. She recently moved to Texas( very brave in my opinion) and was just writing about going over her budget categories for the new year.

So I got to thinking that I’d like to do that too. I’m going to look back at food( of course the pandemic meant Instacart a number of times), what I spent on Amazon stuff( scary amount), and Home Depot( home improvement). Then I can realistically set some numbers for 2021. Like do we want to set a certain limit? I’m not sure. Basically, I usually look at , Can we afford it? So set amounts might be a good new way forward.

Catagories could be:

home improvements/ this might be just stuff around the house or bigger like the window replacements/

outside/yard stuff( especially in spring and summer we do spend a lot on seeds, plants, dirt/soil.

dining/take out. This isn’t too hard. I usually give us $50. which is pizza night and a taco night.

travel/camping, In a normal year when we go camping, it is paid for in advance, and usually, I bring or give us @ $200 for food or fun. I’d have to add up a normal year but based on 2019 I’d say $1,000.

Annual bills are fixed amounts so I know those numbers.

I’ll keep thinking of other areas too. Clothing etc is generally not a category as we really only buy something if we need it. I need some new Birkies this year and a new pair of jeans. Birthdays, anniversary, we don’t do much but it might be good to designate something.

Medical/ we have Medicare and supplemental plans so those amounts are in the monthly budget. We did get a SURPRISE ( not good) letter from UCD med center saying we still owed $2500 from Barclays transplant. I freaked out. So we’re waiting till she sends what it is in a letter. But I will call and challenge whatever it is as we were told over and over after we reached the deductible it was 100% covered so I have no idea where they are coming up with this. When we did the GoFundMe, $6000 of the 10,000 we got went to that deductible. So???? I’m not as freaked now since it usually takes me a few days to calm down but still it will need to be dealt with and how much going back to that paper work am I going to have to do??? Not happy about this. Plus, WTF, it’s now 18 months later.

Well, I’ll start my list with those things and see what else should be added.

Simple Sunday

A cold but bright sunny day. I don’t think it got barely in the low 50’s. When we walked this morning everything including trees and bushes were frosted over.

I baked the Tartine walnut kalamata olive loaves and they turned out beautiful and delicious.

The above picture is my starter( Tart) and she’s really lovely.

Here’s my December menu plan. I fill in the regulars like Taco Tuesday and Pizza night and then see what is in freezer /pantry. I don’t make the menu on the day except for the regulars so like spaghetti might be listd on the 7th but was made on the 14th. It jsut depends. Holidays I do keep to the menu since that’s different.

Tonight though we’re having a frittata and that’s not even on there because I have an abundance of eggs. So flexibility is the key.

We( California) are on stay at home orders so even going to the big stores seems risky. I went down to our Holiday Market this morning and was going for milk and some other things and totally forgot the milk. Go figure. I guess I ‘ll go again in a few days. I did get 1/2 and 1/2 so that will suffice.

We just found out our neighbor has covid along with his lady friend. So that has me completely freaked as they don’t really go anywhere. He said( on Facebook) he thought it was Costco but I don’t know. Costco is pretty safe unless maybe he went when it was really packed. Scary:( Hopefully they will be ok.

This week we are in the bedroom zone if you follow FL. I did most of it this morning but I still need to dust and tidy up the closet some. I took all the Christmas stuff out of the closet and put it under the tree so the closet isn’t so stuffed.

So tomorrow night is the big conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter. I looked last night and it was behind some big pines so I’m not sure we’ll have a good view. I’m going out tonight to check again. I have an app on my phone that locates stars and constellations so I found them but they were not obvious to me. If you have a clear view I imagine it’s impressive.

This week is low key with Christmas and all. No appts so just the same old same old.