Frugal Friday

I think overall it was a frugal week. Costco was a bigger shop at $600, but $120 of that was non food, and $20 was wine. So, that meant food was $460. Plus, the coffee, bread, flour sugar, etc will last to the end of July.

My food budget is still $600 . but with Costco at $460. I think I will end up slightly over. But that’s still $140 left. I spent another $30 at Safeway so the balance is $110. We don’t need anything immediately so I can see what veggies we might need next week.

At Costco I bought a box of large tomatoes and one night we had stuffed tomatoes and they were delicious. I made Julia Child’s Sole Meuniere with Dover Sole I got at Costco too and man, it was delicious.

I’ve been decluttering odds and ends from the barn( again) and have decided to sell the Robin Egg Blue mallow ware Melmac.

It’s really a lovely set but I just don’t have any use for it. It would make a great picnic set or a dinner set for someone with a vintage trailer. I’m going to list on Ebay first. I also have a Star Trek console that lights up and I’m going to list that too as it’s just been kicking around the barn.

We decided to hold off selling the tent trailer this summer as one of us may want to sleep out there and we thought that on occasion there might be some campgrounds we’d take that too. We’ll see, nothing is set yet , and we’re flexible. If we don’t use it all in the next 6 months then next spring we’d sell it.

I submitted my LLS reimbursement for May so that should help next month. It covers our health insurance so that’s a big deal. We wouldn’t be making it on just SS without that LLS grant money. I am grateful to all those that donate to LLS so they can help so many people with blood cancers. It is a gift for sure.

Overall, I think it was a frugal week. No unnecessary spending, just essentials.

How to do a morning home reset.

The concept of a house re-set is from the Youtube vlogger minimom. She just recently stopped doing her youtube channel and she is missed. A honest, forthright person who is a minimalist and has 2 young children. She talked about a morning reset and an evening one. So I’ve adopted the idea as a house reset in the morning.

Basically, you go thru each room and pick up whatever doesn’t belong there and put it away and tidy each room. You’re not really cleaning as such, just being sure things are where they belong and the room is ‘set’ for the day. I don’t do an evening reset myself as by that time everything is done except maybe emptying the dishwasher which B does.

I usually start in the bedroom. I make the bed, tidy any books I’ve been reading and take out the laundry basket from the closet.

This is looking out to the north side of the house where the iceberg roses are blooming.

I keep one orchid in this room on the crate that was mounted on the wall. I put B’s collection of Dylan books inside the crate.

Next, I do the bathroom reset. Empty trash can, swipe the sink and swish the toilet bowl. That’s usually all I do. We only each have a towel and those are on hooks.

I use two of my pinecone ware mugs for Q tips.

The front room usually only needs a pickup of anything that might have been put on the table. This doesn’t happen too often unless there’s a project going on.

My office area can get messy with papers but i put them in a crate that I really love that has a hinge. So I can open and close it.

This is my “office” box.

The kitchen also is just reset so everything is off the counters, breakfast dishes done and in the dishwasher. If I’ve been making bread or cooking , all that gets cleaned up and things put away.

Overall, the reset may take me 10 minutes, maybe 15 depending how the kitchen is.

Having become more minimal is definitely a key to a simple clean house that doesn’t require lots of hours of work to maintain.

Right now I have my VW loaded with another load for the thrift store. Stuff just adds up and how I look at what I need changes so things get decluttered.

Velcade, Round 4, shot #2.

I drove down to Rocklin yesterday and had my shot. I was out again by 10:20 and it went well. Sometimes the injection stings some and yesterday it did. Other times I barely feel it, so who knows.

From there I drove up to the Walmart in Rocklin which is right on my way home and picked up my order. They didn’t have the propane bottles we needed for camping so we’ll need to get them somewhere else. Then I went into the nursery side and bought 2 clay pots and 2 orchids. For some reason getting clay pots now is like winning the lottery. They only had 2 on the shelf. Oh well, I’ll keep checking but Home Depot also didn’t have any.

I took my Dex after lunch and rested. Geez, Dex is so weird. Oh well, my daughter made a nice stir fry with tempeh. It was good. Yesterday I experimented with making jasmine rice in the Staub and it came out great. I love my Zojirushi rice maker but wanted to try this as an alternative. The nice thing is that it is half the time . 15 minutes on a boil and then 15 minutes rest. The other method is an hour. It’s nice to have the alternative.

Today is just take it easy and do a few things. I want to air out the bed covers on the line. And move a few more things around in the closet.

We finished the bedroom painting it looks amazing. I’m very glad I screwed up and started the touch up as I wouldn’t have really know how bad it was( well I guess that’s relative. )

The stove hood debacle continues as it wasn’t working unless the bathroom fan was on which I said”No way, am I putting up with that”. I said hire an electrician, people do it all the time. But he managed to get it hooked to something else?? and now the bathroom fan isn’t working. Did I say just hire an electrician??Well, he is pretty handy and always figures out a solution. We had most of the wiring was redone when we moved in but there were some that the guy didn’t do for some reason. ( he wasn’t a real licensed electrician although he did know a lot).

I hope the tar paper can go on the garden shed before we leave on Sunday but the shingles will need to wait. Most of the trim is going on too. It looks good and I think we will like the extra storage.

I have another Goodwill run to make tomorrow but i will have my daughter help. Last with her helping it went really quick plus I couldn’t lift the monitor anyway.

Tonight my son cooks and I’m not sure what he planning. Maybe I’ll check the freezer but I know I have lots of salad stuff.

Plus, the most exciting thing this week is he gets his Covid shot tomorrow. Hurray!!!!

Simple Sunday on Monday…

Somehow between painting and other things the day got away from me. I did get another wall in the bedroom done. What a difference it makes. I told B that it must have been longer ago that it was painted than I originally thought. It is looking very clean and crisp. Then I got inside the ONE closet we have and it was a mess. I tidied and moved some things so it looks better but today I plan to take all my canning jars out and put them in the barn in a box. I’m not planning on any canning this year except maybe salsa and tomato sauce so I can put them in a bin out of the closet.

This coming around from the door side to the window side where I’ll paint today. The contrast is startling:( I like the grey trim but wouldn’t do it again as painting over dark colors is a two coat job. I’ll just stick to white.

The yard is filled with lots of flowers and this geranium is a new one. A bright red.

Here is an assortment of succulents that were just taken out of the green house.

This is the water pond with a yellow water lily. My daughter bought goldfish so their in there too now. Last time we had goldfish the raccoons had a fish feast so it’s been a while and she is covering it at night.

Barclay has been working on getting the new stove hood up. Everything in this house is more complicated and he had to fix the wiring in the attic. But it’s done and the hood should go up today. We really needed a new one the other was just gross. I’m guessing stove hoods have a life expectancy since there is grease involved even though I clean it diligently, it’s never really really clean.

The roof is on the shed so now it’s only the doors and trim. The roof felting and roofing will be put on later.

Next Sunday we head out for our first trip in over a year to Capitola. It’ll be great to see the ocean and just camp. We do plan a few walks in Santa Cruz but mostly just hanging out. Gayle’s bakery is at the top of the list too. I don’t plan to over do the food as I figure we can go to the store( Nob Hill and/or Trader Joe’s ) and get stuff. I plan our basic camping foods, spaghetti, tacos, and whatever else looks good.

Last night I made this delicious dinner. This was from The Washington Post, Eat Voraciously Newsletter called Tortilla Espanola with two Aiolis. Of course, I didn’t read the 2 aiolis right so it ended up one with the smoked paprika and basil in it. Still it was delicious. I added a little Manchego cheese and I think that made it even better. I evened flipped it out of the cast iron pan. I have a picture but it’s on B’s phone. I’ll try and put it up later.

Five on Friday

Finally, it’s 2021. I’m not sure how great the year will be but I’m hopeful. I start Velcade mid month, as expected. I asked about getting my shots in Rocklin which is about 25 minutes away, and he said sure that would work. Mercy ( or Dignity Health),has a satellite facility there and it will make it easier. Unfortunately, I’ve fractured another rib so it’s smart that I’m starting now. Fractures, in case you don’t know about Myeloma, are one of the damaging aspects of this cancer. I’ve had multiple rib fractures, so I know what it feels like. Unfortunate, to have it happen right now and also quite painful. It limits how much stuff I can do around the house. With rib fractures there’s not much you can do. If it’s a vertebrate or another bone they can some intervention. Oh well, I’m just glad it’s not a vertebrate.

We had a fun New Years eve with sub sandwiches from our Holiday Market. We watched the newish Starsky and Hutch and it was fun. We didn’t crack the champagne but will today.

Budget wise, I came under $800 on groceries including holiday food and alcohol. This is the lowest I’ve had since the pandemic started and I was stockpiling every month. Into January I’ll try and keep it between $700-800. That includes food, non food, and alcohol.(mostly wine and some beer). I’m planning a Costco trip mid month so we’ll see how much that adds if I add in prepper stuff. I’m not planning to but will stockpile a few things like coffee, Rosarita veg. beans, TP, and a few other things. The rest is just stuff we need like cheese, fish, bread etc.

I’m starting another round of decluttering. Mostly this is paper stuff. I’m going thru all our old receipts, medical things and throwing away anything that isn’t needed. Also, little stuff in drawers, like old pens, screws etc. It probably won’t add up to a lot but I’m motivated to do another sweep. I also started a bag for the food bank with food I know we’re not going to really eat. ( I see you canned chicken:) ). There’s nothing big I’m decluttering like furniture since everything we have has already gone thru multiple layers of decluttering. Still, I always like to look at things from a fresh perspective.

I’ve made up my monthly meal plan.

I’m renaming Wednesdays, Pasta Wednesday since that will be my Velcade/Dex day. It’ll make it easier for the others to cook if they know what the plan is. 🙂 I also dashed out to Target to get one of their simple calendars. I loved the one from last year but they didn’t have quite that style. It’s funny how such a simple thing like a minimalist calendar is so hard to find. I checked all over and the nicest were like $20 and up. Even on etsy they were expensive. So Target had just what I wanted for $5.00. It was pretty empty just like I hoped.

Makin’ it Monday

I just passed 1252 posts on my blog.

Of course, I’ve had my blog since 2012 when the great decluttering era started and my journey with minimalism. Right now, it seems minimalism is taking a back seat because my houseplants are taking over. Seriously, I think I need to give some away. Plus with Covid-19 the pantry has exploded into the prepper pantry.  It’s all good though, everything changes. I’m certainly not filling up white space with stuff.

My Flylady routine hasn’t changed all that much since 2012 but some. When I first started with FL, I did all her recommendations. Then as they got done, I wrote out my list of things for each zone and that’s what I use today. Some people find FL too involved or restrictive, but I think the form is valuable if you own it for your own circumstances. If you are drowning in clutter and not getting the house in order, start with the kitchen sink as she recommends.  Keeping the kitchen sink clean and clutter-free of dishes really sets the tone for the whole house as odd as that sounds.

Our very hot weather continues and so does the constant watering the yard. We are getting some cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini which is nice. As a matter of fact, I’m planning on making a zucchini bread this morning.

Last night I made the individual quiches and they were good. I used the  Breville toaster oven and it kept the kitchen cooler than using the oven. I think they could have been cooked a little less.

Today is my basic Monday chores which are dusting, vacuuming, mop kitchen floor, and a general tidy up.

We had the logger guy come and pick up the huge logs on Saturday. What a relief they are gone. He charged $150 which was completely worth it to get them out of the back area. Barclay could have never cut them up.

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Five on Friday

I like to do five on Friday occasionally as opposed to Frugal Friday although this was mostly a frugal week.

  • We did get the Santa Fe serviced so that was not cheap but car maintenance is just part of annual bills. Our next big bill will be the spring property tax and our car insurance.
  • We haven’t eaten out at all since the end of January so maybe this weekend we’ll do a Panera date.  We spent quite a bit eating out in January. I think we got Round table twice and that’s not cheap even if it is just pizza. I’m using cash for groceries and trying to keep it with $100-$125 a week. I’ve actually used quite a bit from the freezer and dumped some stuff that was just too old.
  • I walked almost every day, except Monday. Since my foot fracture 2 years ago, I try not to be too compulsive about walking EVERY day.
  • I  started another minimalist declutter game. That’s the one where you do one item on day one and then 2 items on day two and so forth. I usually get thru to day 30 but sometimes it’s just little stuff. I went thru 4 drawers in my office area and did get rid of numerous pieces of junk.  I’m going to go thru the closet pantry and declutter any food I haven’t used or probably won’t. I don’t keep a large stockpile so that should be easy. I used to try the stockpiling for the apocalypse and decided it the apocalypse comes we’ll just have to die. ( haha).

I need to wash the sunroom windows soon too.  In memory of Kirk Douglas, we’re watching “Spartacus”. It’s really amazing what they did with sets in those days. No CGI!

The weather is a little warmer and it’s nice to get outside some. I think today we’re hitting 60 which is not too bad for February.

I want to get to the nursery soon too and get some potatoes to put in the garden. My daughter has planted the garlic and onions so hopefully, we’ll have a good crop of those. Potatoes do well in our soil so.  I’m hoping we get apples this year to make applesauce. Last year the tree was in it’s not producing year but the year before was a blockbuster year, so that makes this year a production year( I hope).

 

On a Friday

It’s been a good week overall. The diverticulitis seems abated for the moment. I certainly hope that doesn’t happen any time soon.  I hate being on antibiotics which generally my body rejects. This time it seemed ok with just minor itchiness which may have been psychological. Anyway, I guess I ‘ll just have to do a wait and see and if I notice lower left discomfort call the PA again.

It was sunny yesterday which did improve everything. More rain and snow are on the way tonight and thru the weekend.

SO EXCITED!!!!

Just got back from my walk and there are 2 geese back at the park. I’m guessing these are 2 that were injured and Wildlife Rescue helped them.  So happy to see 2 of our friends!

Today I’m going to just stay home and putter around. I want to declutter some in the closet from hell and see how things can be organized more efficiently. The one closet in this house is for our clothes and it’s our overflow pantry.  Maybe I should rethink the pantry part and get the one from Ikea. I’ll have to consider this after Christmas.

Well, off to do something productive!

Simple Sunday

Another week ahead with 2 appointments.B has his BMB ( 6 months) on Monday to check how everything is. I’m pretty sure it’ll be good as nothing unusual has shown on any blood tests. Then Tuesday he has weekly labs. He’s driving himself to those. Then Wednesday I have my dental surgery to remove the root of the broken tooth. I’ll have propofol to be sedated.  I’m hoping the gap heals for Thanksgiving. I’m not doing an implant but may consider a bridge for that area.  I would consider not doing anything but there is the risk of an infection and that wouldn’t be good.

I guess we’ll be eating soup this week.

Still no rain in our forecast. By this time we usually have had several storms with rain. Everything is quite dry.

I’m in the bedroom zone this week. I did the windows and tidied the closet. I was going to declutter a vintage suitcase I have in a corner and discovered it had mold on the bottom. So I had to take it out and remove everything. I decluttered about 25% but some of the items are baby things and want to hold on to them a while longer. Not clothes, they are long gone but wooded toys and some Peter Rabbit plates( Beatrix Potter). So now I need to buy a bin for that stuff. Unless I can get them in the under the bed bin which I will try first.

Then after seeing that, I ‘ve decided to pull up the antique wool Karastan rug I have and donate that to Cancer Thrift.  I’ve had this rug since 1977 and bought it at the Salvation Army for $500.

BF1936E0-FA70-4E07-8641-ABF8015F9821.jpegIt’s a lovely rug in pastels but I think it’s time if it’s holding moisture on the floor causing mold. Our bedroom floor is cold in the winter partly due to there is no insulation under the house.  We had to remove all that when we had the rodent infestation about 3 years ago. So, I think, it’s time to do something else. My daughter’s tiny room has vinyl flooring from Home Depot and it’s really nice so I think that’s what we’ll do in there.

Our floors are wood(fir) but not in great shape so I don’t feel bad about covering them up. Plus it does make cleaning easier.

Today is a gym day( I think). Now with the rug fiasco, I may just stay home and deal with that.

 

 

Tidying up

There are 3 things that have really been game-changers for me when it comes to tidying.

The first is cleaning up the kitchen immediately( for the most part) after cooking or prepping food. Washing the dishes in the sink then air-drying them in the rack and then putting them away soon after. Since the dishwasher still isn’t working we’ve had to do all the dishes by hand. Actually, it’s kinda nice to make it a zen moment of being in the now of hand washing the dishes. So, if there are dishes in the sink, DO THEM!!

The second is whenever I leave a room I look around to see what needs to be brought back to where it lives. For example, we fold our laundry on the bed. So after it’s done there are often piles (like dishcloths) that need to be put away. If I’m putting towels away I might not get back to the other items right away. So when I go back in the room I pick up what’s there and take it out to it’s home. I do this in all the rooms actually. I think I started doing this when I had my foot fracture so I was limiting how much I walked around and so I started carrying anything in that room that didn’t belong there out.  I think it’s a good practice and it makes sure things go back to their proper places.

Also, and thirdly, I am adamant about everything has a place to live. That’s where it goes and needs to be put back after use. In the really great book”Decluttering at the Speed of Life” by Dana  White,

she talks about decluttering in a very humorous way. But one thing that stuck with me is to ask yourself WHERE YOU WOULD GO LOOK for an item. And then to put such item in that spot. For instance, we have a drawer where ALL the batteries go. Not some here and there, but all of them. So whenever anyone needs one, they know to go to the top drawer of that dresser( it’s the one in my office area).

These are at least 3 ways that I keep( and hopefully others) the house tidy and clean.

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