Simple Sunday

A very pretty morning in the park and no one there but us and the Canada Geese.

Today I plan to do some reorganizing in the pantry, closet, and the Heywood in the kitchen. There’s not a great deal to do but a few things I want to rearrange. The closet( our only closet and my nemesis) is almost where I want it. I don’t want food storage in there anymore just clothes and seasonal things. So I know there’s a bag of coffee to move out and a bag of flour. Otherwise, I’m finally getting the closet to a space that’s not so crowded with EVERYTHING.

B got the patio shade cover up and it’s very nice and really covers the whole area. It’s 13×13 so bigger than most patio shade covers. We had some serious wind the other day and it was well anchored.

This week is quiet with not much going on except the normal things like swimming, walking, some grocery shopping( not much), and just house stuff. I’d like to do a library run maybe Thursday. Next Sunday is my darling daughter’s birthday so I need to ask her(again) what she wants to do. It’s hard to believe she is 37 YO and 37 years ago we were waiting for her to arrive. It was one of the happiest times of my life. I loved being pregnant both times. I did have a miscarriage 2 years after she was born as we were trying to have another baby. I was 16 weeks. That didn’t work out and after that, we just gave up on any infertility treatment. But of course, then the miracle child(my son) showed up 9 years later.

This week is Flylady bedroom zone but I did that this week as I had B move the bed and I vacuumed and cleaned under and around the bed. This week I’d like to change the curtains out to some light fabric but I’m not sure what I have around. I might need to go down for a quick trip to Ikea.

Simple Sunday

A lovely morning. We walked a little earlier as on Easter the Christians come out to the park to celebrate some mythical being. Well, actually Jesus was a real person but the other stuff is way too magical for me. Anyway, enough of my sarcasm. We got in our walk before they started singing which was why we went earlier. It’s a nice sunny day but there is rain forecast for the week. I guess we’ll have to see as the tree people are supposed to be here Wednesday.

I made the Salad Lyonnaise last night and it was yummm.

Basically, it is endive( frissee) crumbled crispy bacon, with a poached egg on top. The dressing is shallot that has been sliced thin and barely sauteed with some red wine vinegar and dijon mustard.

Here’s the Daphenoise from the night before.

I booked a spot at New Brighton for October. Not our favorite spot but it’ll do if I can’t get one of the others we like. At least it’s something. Nothing is available at Refugio. I tried again this morning and however their booking is, it’s not working for me. I clicked on book now at exactly 8( I’m using the second hand on my iPhone. But someone must be I stroke ahead of me because it doesn’t come up and is then locked(meaning someone has blocked it).

At this point, I’m fine with not going to Refugio as it is quite a distance and gas would be expensive. But I’ll keep trying for a while. We’re kind of thinking of maybe a bigger trip to San Diego in February so that could be a reason not to do Refugio in November.

Tomorrow I have a dental appt for a routine cleaning and then Tuesday I’ll swim. My inexpensive suit( not a speedo) did show up late Saturday so I’ll wear that. I found a NWT tags Speedo on eBay and bought that so I should get that in a couple of weeks. At least I’ll have 2 suits to rotate and that may help with the chlorine issue. Then Wednesday is supposed to be tree day and I’ll go down to Roseville to the library and Costco. Then that should be it for the week.

I’m planning on BBQing some chicken for dinner and maybe making a macaroni salad.

Flylady zone is the bedroom. I worked on the closet from hell and rearranged some clothes and got rid of a few things I found on hangers that I didn’t remember I had in there like a tank top. I also got rid of 2 pairs of leggings that I never wear(almost brand new) but the legs are too tight and I don’t like that.

Well, that’s a wrap.

Friday Things

The most exciting news is my labs came back and my kappa light chains actually went down slightly INTO THE NORMAL RANGE!!! I’m pretty shocked really. I don’t know if I can remember when I started going out of range( increasing) that it ever went down. Well, I’m thrilled for another month of emotional freedom.

I was going to skip swimming tomorrow since my new suit didn’t show up but decided to just go for it. My current suit is fairly chlorinated and not in good shape but I figure no one is there to look at me and when I get out I’ll put my towel over me. Hopefully, my suit shows up next week.

Today is a home day and just pottering around. My daily chores are done and I might do a quick vacuum. I made the pizza dough for tonight, so that’s done. I have a few new books to read from the library so that’ll be fun.

I’m working on a small embroidery project from Posie in Oregon. I bought a PDF of her March pattern in which all the proceeds were going to Ukraine. I like embroidering but my hands can only do so much until they start cramping. Not much going on in the decluttering world. I’m in a good place with what we have and use. There’s always more but then that takes another level of what I want to keep and what I want to pass on. I have a great vintage turquoise blue typewriter but it’s been shuffled around for years with me thinking ” oh it’ll be a great display”. But honestly, I probably won’t do that, and plus I don’t have any room for it on a shelf. So, I’ll put that aside for the hospice thrift store.

I’m beyond thrilled at Ketanji B. Jackson getting confirmed for the Supreme Court. At least some good news.

We spent @ $400. at Costco which included $50. for lawn fertilizer, beer( $29.00), and something else that was non-food?? Oh, I think it was AAA batteries( $18.00) and gallon freezer bags($ 15). So, I’d guestimate that @$300 was for food.

It feels like it’s been a spendy week. And of course, the tree is going to be $$$$. But what can you do? If we didn’t have the money, I guess we wouldn’t do it. We’ve been there so…Plus, everything seems so much more expensive.

FUCKED UP FRIDAY

FUCK everything. What is wrong with this world.? The war now in Ukraine and DICTATOR PUTIN is beyond words for me. I really wonder what is happening on the planet. We have Putin invading a sovereign democracy, Trump calling him a “genius”. JFC, why??

Then you’ve got all these god damned spineless Republicans taking away woman’s rights, trying to control what is taught in schools, making transpeople out to be some horrible thing, banning books. The list just goes on and on.

I certainly do not want to just ignore the news or not read about things. We don’t have TV so I only read the Washington Post on- line and the New York Times. Still it’s enough to send me over the edge with what’s happening. At least there is a few items of good news, the 3 officers were found guilty of violating George Floyds civil rights and not helping him when they knew he was dying right in front of them. And the racists killing Arbery also found guilty . So at least there is some good coming out confronting the evils in this country.

In other home front stuff, just a nice week of pottering around the house, swimming, and reading some good books. Tonight is supposed to be pizza night but we’re not doing that. We all decided we want some ramen bowls so that’s what I’ll do.

We’ve had extremely cold mornings with the temperatures @ 28 degrees. That’s cold. We do get cold weather here but it doesn’t last too long generally. Lots of frost everywhere.

I’ve been having to deal with kick backs on my credit cards that were stolen that have automatic charges. Our Delta Dental, VSP, etc. So I’m having to go and call or go online to fix them. PITA.

I plan to drop off some books at the pet bookstore and then go the market for a few things. My Frugal Challenge of $100 a week is going well. This week I’m at @ $80 and I will spend that other $20 today or about that. It feels good to be going thru freezer food and pantry stuff. I still need to plan our camping meals for when we’re gone. At Wrights Beach, it’s bring everything we may want as there isn’t a store except for a tiny market in Bodega. But at the Napa campground, we’re in Napa so I’m guessing there will be everything in the way of stores. We added Mumm winery to our tastings but I’m not sure we’ll keep the other. Mumm is one of my favorite champagnes.

Wednesday things

A beautiful walk this morning under the Snow moon. Quite bright and no one showed up whilst we were there. Sunrise is definitely getting earlier now. Venus is very visible too.

I didn’t swim yesterday as the Santa Fe’s window is still not fixed. It should get sorted this afternoon though and I plan on swimming tomorrow. When we went to Costco on Monday, I went to the service counter to get a new card and the person asked where I had my purse stolen. So I said right down the road at the Mike Shellito pool and she said wow, I was the SECOND person in the last two weeks that had their car broken into there. WOW, is all I could say. Nothing new with the claims but it’s early yet.

Yesterday I made sourdough cinnamon/cran bread.

It was good. I think next time I’d use brown sugar and a little more. My favorite is still the jalapeno cheddar.

My pantry challenge is moving along and I figured out breaking down the Costco shop into categories( non -food, food) and then I separated all the food for just this week such as strawberries,half and half) and then all the longer term items like coffee, blocks of cheese, I calculated the cost per week and how many weeks would it take to use and then added those totals. So that was kind of a revelation. So if I broke down just this week’s food it came to $43. Then the breakdown of food for the month(like the coffee) was $20 a week. That’s things like tofu, coffee, cheese, ramen. Then B went to TJ’s and spent $25 on food.( Well,some how two TJ’s chocolate bars ended up in his cart, but that’s ok. So, that’s @$88 give or take a few dollars. I usually round up so, $90 with $10 left over. Our meals have been delicious with tamales one night, Tucson Stew another night, pasta with homemade alfredo sauce tonight.

I still think this $100 a week for 4 people would be very hard if you didn’t have some sort of pantry or freezer back up. I’m not planning on doing any major restocking for the prepper pantry. I think I’ll just keep getting some things that I like to keep extras of and call it good. For some people the idea of a year’s worth of food is comforting. For me, it seems slightly fear driven ( I totally did this too) but maybe the lesson out of it all was FOR WHAT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE, keep some pantry in case of emergency and decide how much that is. For us, I think a reasonable balance is maybe a months worth of stuff. Now remember, I have always ( since 1975) bought in bulk my beans, rice, flour,etc. So that’s nothing new to me. But all the extras was somewhat recent with the pandemic. ( Think extra soup cans, condiments, etc). Well, life is a journey and we can only hope to learn from where we’ve been to where we are going.

Barclay had a good visit with his transplant doctor and the good news is he will go off Jakafi. That’s an anti-rejection drug that runs @ $7,000 a month(OOPS, Barclay said it’s$17,000 a month). Fortunately, he has the grant actually from the drug company and UCD charity.

This month is my renewal for LLS and there is no funding for myeloma so I’m trying to not panic too much. I just keep checking daily as the funding can come in and then be gone quite quickly. Hopefully by the end of February which is my renewal month.

Today I’m planning to drop off the last of my Fiesta ware that I know I’m not going to use at the Hospice Thrift. Then a few other errands like an Amazon return.

Friday things…

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is another he took of the sofa.

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

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

Visual Clutter

I’m not exactly sure when I made the connection between how I was coping with things and the visual clutter around me but my guess is in 2012 although it may have been shortly after I relapsed in 2010 from my STC transplant and was on Revlimid. Revlimid is oral chemotherapy extraordinarily expensive as most of the Tier 5 drugs are. Fortunately, B had excellent health insurance and I believe our co-pay was @ $60 for a 12,000 a month drug. Now it is even more.

I think I felt more stressed and of course, there was the dreaded Dexamethasome weekly as well. Maybe I had just reached a turning point, Who knows? and really I don’t care about the Why just that it started to make my life flow better.

But I had started the Flylady system and was going thru each room in the house and something just snapped. I couldn’t stand to look at all the stuff everywhere. It was all too much. I was working, happily, at the library at the job I LOVED, and I started asking my co-worker if she wanted anything I was giving away. She like Bric a Brac so she became the recipient of many things. At the time, I must have done a hundred trips to the Salvation Army( that was still in Auburn) and Goodwill which had only recently opened. I think it was only Salvation Army at that time that was in Auburn if I’m remembering correctly.

Some of the collections I gave away:

vintage Pyrex

a vintage button collection in 4 jars

Vintage Fans

Navaho Rugs

Excessive furniture( antique trunks, futon, ???

some antique Sterling silver ( some sold on eBay and some given to the Cancer Thrift store

SO. MUCH. MORE.

I’m quite sure that the term minimalism was not in my vocabulary then but decluttering was and Flylady’s system. What struck me about her system was the less you had, the less you had to clean or deal with and that’s what hit the mark for me. Also, she starts with keeping your sink clean, free of dishes, and doing it every day. From there with the 15-minute rule, I followed her zone cleaning and decluttering. Now, I don’t do most of her stuff daily as it’s been done but I do the weekly zone cleaning.

Plus, I make sure daily to keep my counters clear and do a bathroom swish and swipe. On Mondays I do a whole house reset and dust, wash mirrors and the glass on the Heywood, and little things that add up.

I also set Monday as towel day. We each only have one towel and that’s it. Plus I do sheets on Sunday and we only have one set of linen sheets for our bed.

I certainly still have books in the bookcase and other visual decorations but it all has a place and is loved, beautiful or useful.

Probably our most minimal area without any visual clutter is the bedroom. We have our bed, a vintage Heywood dresser, and a Heywood bedside table that holds my nighttime medications. That’s it.

Journeying into minimalism has been one of the best things I have ever done. It has simplified my home and allowed me a different perspective. I am more intentional about what I do and what I bring into my home. I don’t think the journey really ends. It just evolves. There are still things I’d like to change up and make different but for the present it’s fine.

Simple Sunday

Well, the clocks went back an hour so it’s now only 7am and we’ve walked and I’ve done some banking and now I’m eating a bagel.

I’m planning on starting the kitchen zone in a few minutes and getting that done. Then I plan to get a bag ready for the food bank and drop it off in one of the Food for Families bins.

Yesterday, I shopped at the new Trader Joe’s and it’s a lovely store. The layout is different so I had to kind of zig-zag to get stuff but it was fine. I picked up some Thanksgiving things like cornbread stuffing and some premade turkey gravy. Since we will be arriving home the day before Thanksgiving I need things to be as easy as possible. Of course, my son and daughter will be here to keep things running smoothly like letting the chickens out in the morning and in in the evening. They’re both working all the time we’re gone so they can keep up on the chores. It’s a big help really.

I’ve been reorganizing a few drawers of things like tools and will finish that up today too. B is taking a load to Goodwill so a few more misc things out the door.

The week ahead isn’t too busy. I have an annual visit with my PCP which is annoying to me since I see Dr. L every 8 weeks but I guess it’s their policy. Still a PITA. One is Sutter and my oncology is Dignity so I guess they don’t really communicate.

Since we’re having a no-gift/minimalist Christmas it has been very interesting to go into Target and look at all the stuff and realize, I don’t need to buy anything!!! ( well, a candle but that’s all the time). I’m determined to see how this plays out and if I like it or not. We have never had a Christmas with no gifts so this will be a new experience. Besides, we all get what we need/want anyway all year long. I will send my sister something( usually Harry and David’s pears) and my brother I just give cash to. Since we have no other relatives to exchange with I guess it does make it easy.

Saturday’s musings…

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

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

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

Sunrise in the park.

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

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

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

Rainy Monday

Well, we would have been on the road by now down to Capitola. It’s still raining and there are numerous flash flood warnings. We live on a hill so we are not affected but around town there are a number of creeks that probably are flooded.

So, since we were not going I was going to go swim but checked the website and the pool heater is down. They said you could still swim but no thanks. So NO walking, NO camping, NO swimming. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

I did get to the pet bookstore Saturday so I loaded up on some books so that will keep me busy. I don’t have any baking plans but maybe I’ll make so cookies. Plus, I’ve made a few more pot holders and have enough for one or two more.

Tonight I plan on making spaghetti and using two frozen sauces I have in the freezer as I continue to use up what I have. Funny how some people are stocking up again with the news saying the supply chain is going to cause some shortages. Someone in Costco was trying to buy 2 paper towel packs( which is a lot of paper towels) and they said only one per customer. So maybe panic buying is back in. We’re fine with what we have and I have no plans to stockpile anything. Actually, I plan to get out to the barn and seriously go thru stuff. I wrote a revised menu plan for the week( now that we’re not at Capitola) to use up stuff.

I did give away our artificial tree this past weekend to a nice young woman. this was our 7ft one that was quite nice but I just don’t want to store something that bulky. I plan to go thru our ornaments( again) and see what else I can get rid of. My son got out one wine box of DVD’s and separated out a huge bag to go to the pet bookstore because he has them on his Google Play Library. So that was cool especially since he is a bit of a hoarder on things. 🙂 I’ll drop them off next week.