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.

Simple Sunday and a cancellation:(

It is a windy rainy Sunday and we didn’t walk even with Frogg Toggs. I just felt why bother since the wind is quite blustery. Plus, there’s always tomorrow.

So speaking of tomorrow…. I opened my email yesterday about 3 pm and went WHAT!!!!! Recreation.gov ( the California State Park system ) cancelled New Brighton’s reservations due to the incoming storm. Well, I’m glad they want to be safe but after Monday the weather looked fine. But done is done so I guess we’ll see what fun things we can do this week. I am disappointed though. This was the RV trip where we were going to learn about using the sewer hose in a dump station as New Brighton has one.

The movie Dune is out and my son said it was pretty good. Usually I don’t do movies( besides Covid) because it overloads my sensory input and I often feel sick afterwards. So maybe not that, we’ll see. He did say it was a slow paced movie.

Yesterday I did a bunch of batch cooking. I had bought a 15lb bag of bakers from Costco, so I did 10 potatoes which translates into 11 halves since I pile the potato with the filling which is potato, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and butter. these double stuffed potatoes are great for quick dinners and freeze beautifully. I’m actually finishing the rest today which is about 6 more potatoes. Then I made a turkey breast and that was quite good. My daughter made the golden gravy which is nutritional yeast and tamari and water and pepper. Yumm.

This week I plan on cooking as much as possible from the freezer and pantry. I went to our local CSA farm on Thursday and bought some more hard squash, so I’ll cook some of that as side dishes. I have some tofu to use so I plan on a tofu curry. Plus we have some frozen fish to use and half a bag of french fries. That should clear out quite a bit from the freezer/fridge.

Since we’re not going to Capitola for the week, I’ll swim a couple of times. Since this was supposed to be a vacation week I’ll keep doing stuff to a minimum. I have made a few more loop pot holders and watched a YT channel on binding off which helped as the loops were coming off at the end. Plus from that tutorial it linked the website so I was able to order some new loops. These loops and frame must be from when Z and I did this in hand work back in 4th or 5th grade. Funny how many purges these have gone thru and made the cut:)

Flylady zone is the living room this week. I have put up a few of my vintage Halloween items but not all. Trying to keep it more minimal.

Well, our power has gone off a few times already for a few minutes so I’m guessing we’re going to lose power sometime today with the winds.

Is it a Frugal Friday after a Costco trip…

No, not really but we did go mostly to get the stuff that was on coupon so that did help. Still, $300 later…. Not that anything will go to waste because I froze some stuff and a few things are for the camping next week. It rained super hard driving down to Roseville by the time we got out it was not pouring. I also picked up a $9.95 large pizza so I don’t need to think about dinner.

Let’s see, other frugal things this week… ummm…I got nothing. We didn’t do too much this week so maybe that was frugal. After watching this one YTer this week that is a hot mess( bipolar) and her awful pantry with strange food she bought for the pandemic, I came to the conclusion that I will go thru my prepper pantry and redo it. Watching these YTers is quite eye opening and makes me re-evaluate what I do have. I think I will start a box for the food bank and see what I end up with. I always do a food donation around Thanksgiving anyway wo this will motivate me to do more:)

The pool has been emptier than usual so I’m wondering if the cooler fall weather is keeping some people home. It’s still busy but not crazy busy. Lap swimming only goes to 9:30 am so it’s a limited period of time. Since I’ll be gone next week I’ll miss swimming for almost a week. Hopefully we can just walk more while were there.

I had my bloodwork done this morning but won’t know much till we’re back. That’s okay. It’ll be whatever it is.

Is minimalism gone as a trend??

There are quite a few Youtubers doing vlogs about this right now. Has the trend of minimalism died down or is it over? Most agree that it’s not but with a few caveats. During the pandemic with lots of people working from home the decluttering bug really hit many people. Everyone was trying to make their homes more comfortable and enjoyable. Just look at what happened to Ikea’s stock. There are items that I’ve been trying to get for almost 2 years. ( the shoe cabinet).

Trends do come and go and minimalism has definitely been over done by youtubers and bloggers. Yet, having been on this journey almost 10 years now, I think it is an evolving concept. Certainly, I started out needing to create space in my very small house. I shudder to think about the stuff I had jammed into an under 900 sq ft house. Actually our official house square footage with the county is under 700 sq feet. But since we’ve closed in two porches we have added space. Both had concrete patios so we built on that. Still it’s a small house and it was packed. When I started Flylady in 2012 (approx), it was to get a schedule down with homemaking and declutter. But what has emerged is a deeper understanding of what works for me and what I need around me.

Some of this was triggered by relapsing in 2010, 4 years after my transplant. I think I felt out of control and needed to control something so I started with the Flylady zones. Honestly, it was a life saver for me. There’s quite a bit with FL I don’t use or particularly like but the zone cleaning has been a lifesaver and to this day I still do it weekly. Especially, at first, the 15 minute timed sessions. I did this with all the zones until I had cleared out most things.

As all the bloggers and youtubers agreed that minimalism is not just a one way thing. There’s no ‘right ‘way to be a minimalist. My house does not look empty of things but I have only what I use, love or need. And that is always changing. I know there’s more to release, because it is no longer needed/wanted, but, it’s not huge amounts. For instance, I found in the bin under the bed the Beatrix Potter dishes that were both my daughters and sons. They don’t want them( I asked) so off to Cancer Thrift they will go. I checked Ebay and they sell for maybe $20 so not worth selling and when someone finds them in the Cancer Thrift, be excited.

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.

Friday things and a nice birthday for me.

First, another turn around the sun. I had a lovely day and we got Panera for dinner which is a treat for us. All in all, a nice day especially with this beautiful weather. My son got me two albums by a really great artist,sarah jarosz.

I actually didn’t want anything for my birthday as we just got the truck and the RV this summer but he’s a generous son and bought it for me anyway.

As a matter of no gifts, this will be the FIRST christmas ever I don’t buy presents. I think I’m just done trying to figure out gifts for everyone and so I decided to not do any. I don’t think I’ll put up the tree either. What I will do is give both kids some money and call it good.It’ll be weird on Christmas morning because we are use to some presents but it’s a good time to start a new tradition of no gifts.

Hey, speaking of budget stuff/spending did anyone else get enormous increases in Part D prescription plans. Mine is going from $28.50 to $68 and Barclay’s is going from $26 to $71. WTF is that about?? Did I miss something about increases in Part D prescription plans??? Anyway that is going to increase our budget stuff.

I’m off to get my flu shot this morning and maybe do another Goodwill drop off. I still have a few more things to take out to buggie so I might wait till next week.

I’m still waiting on my labs which is annoying me as i still can’t get in the patient portal to see the results so I have to call. Kind of a PITA really.

I finished paying the UCD final bill from August of 2019 where B was in the month in between Medicare and Cobra. What a joke that was. The cobra was supposed to pay for all the coverage and did squat and we were still paying $700 a month. My advice is NEVER do a cobra. Well, it’s done so that’s a nice feeling. Of course our house insurance has increased, I guess, because of all the fires in California especially in our area. Well, it’s always something!!!

I have my monthly menu plan done for October so I just need to laminate it. Tonight is pizza night but I don’t feel like a pizza so I think I’ll do something with an Italian theme. We had an Ooni last week, two actually, and so that made 30 pizzas with the Ooni which at $10 a pizza paid for itself. I plan on keeping it in the garden shed so if it’s not too cold or rainy in the fall or winter we can pull it out and make some Friday night pizzas.

This was last weeks!

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.

I am the family curator.

I’m the one who goes thru 99% of our stuff to declutter and get rid of. Of course, I check with other family members about whether they want something or not. Other things that are in the realm of kitchen, misc, etc I often just put in the thrift store bag and be done with it.

Right now I’m back at getting rid of my Life magazines. I want to have just 2 bins of the best of Life. Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King assassination, Selma, moon walk, etc, you get the picture. I pulled 6 out to give to the cancer thrift. They are somewhat collectible.: 2 Beatles ones, Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder and a few others. i have to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

My son has been getting rid of old comics. For a while we were collecting all kinds from Superman to Justice League. But most just sit in a bin so what’s the point?

Most stuff isn’t worth my time to put on Ebay. Last week I had on a 1950’s slinky, and barkcloth from the 50s too. Lots of lookers but not one bid so I’m giving them to the thrift store instead of trying to relist. The barkcloth is a cool mid century pattern but not in colors I use anymore. Lots of yellows.

I think it’s a balance of what’s really worth keeping and what is just stuff lying around( or in closets, bins, storage areas, garages??

I was reading a really good article over at Food52 about visual clutter and that even when you’ve decluttered and things are pared down it might not be the amount of stuff but the effect of the visual stuff still left.. The person writing the article removed her container of utensils on her counter and put them in a drawer and she said she felt instantly more calm. So,it’s not so much about the amount of stuff( if you’ve decluttered) but the effect of the visual clutter on you of what’s left.

The article is written by Laura Fenton. She also says let FUNCTION be your guide. In other words , as she says, if all the shoes end up in your entryway instead of closets, then put a basket or something to hold the shoes in that area thus serving the function of the shoe dilema.

She has written a book that I think I will order from Amazon as I have liked all the articles she has written.

It’s a process, that’s for sure but I think in the end we all want our living spaces to reflect who we are and sometimes we need to just be the one to curate that space.