Blue Skies

It feels like a miracle that the sky is blue. We even ate dinner out on the patio. A miracle!!!

I do hope that’s the last of the smoky skies and that the tired overworked firefighters get a break.

We both got our flu shots and both had headaches for most of the day. But it only lasted 1 day so not too bad. B also had his IGIV on Tuesday and I dropped him off and my daughter went 4 hours later to pick him up. After I dropped him off I went to Winco and spent $130. Not really prepper stuff, just food to use and eat now. Bread, cheese, canned chilis, Amys enchiladas,spinach, tofu, tea, and 3 different kinds of trail mix to snack on. There was other stuff but I can’t remember.

This morning I’m making a zucchini bread from one of the last zucchini from the garden. Most things are done although I have maybe one more big batch of tomatoes to cook and then put thru the food mill. If you ever have an abundance of tomatoes and want to can or freeze a food mill is the way to go. I think I bought mine years ago at Crate and Barrel maybe for $50. But it removes the skins and most seeds.

Yesterday I made applesauce from apples from our one tree. They are a Golden delicious. Again I cut and quartered and cored, then just cooked down. Then I put thru the food mill. I ended up with 5 pints and tomorrow I will do the next box. The apples aren’t as big as we’ve had in the past and I think one trick is to remove some apples when they are small so that the tree can put more energy into the remaining. I don’t know if this is true but seems logical.

Tonight is pizza night but no one feels like a pizza so we are maybe going to do sandwiches. This week I did make a few newish recipes. One was from Tassajara cooking,it was mushroom stroganoff. I had a lot of mushrooms to use up. It’s a good recipe. Then I made a chili relleno casserole that used eggs. It too was quite good. Right now we are getting an abundance of eggs from the girls so that recipe used 8 eggs. They are on the small side. Also, I’m experimenting with freezing the beaten eggs. I guess this is a real thing so I’ve done a few baggies and will defrost one this weekend and see how it goes. You basically do a light whip of the eggs. You don’t want a lot of air. Then you do add a pinch of salt. I’m quite curious if this will work for scrambled eggs.

The pine floor has been a complete PITA. Honestly, I told Barclay, I don’t remember it being a problem last time at all. This time, he’s had to redo 4 boards, then plane them down and now sanding. If I knew it was going to do this I would have just done a laminate in a pine pattern. Oh well, he’s almost ready to do the Varathane on top so that’s that.

Well, that’s all the news.

Oh wait, I just got the Woodward book from Amazon, so excited to read that today.

Simple Sunday

A nice morning even though there is a little smoke lingering. It is cooler than it’s been. The week ahead looks to be in the low ’90’s so warm but not unusual for this time of year.

This week I have no appts so I may plan on doing some painting. The kitchen cabinets need a touch-up and I have the paint for that. I may plan to go down to Roseville to the Benjamin Moore store to get the white.  I’d like to get the front room painted and maybe the kitchen. Having the same color makes it easy to do and repainting is mostly a breeze. ( well, sort of, as I can’t do the ceilings but I can paint the walls.

This week Flylady has 2 zones. The living room and then the entryway. Yesterday, I wrangled the couch covers off and washed them. My daughter put most of it back on as my hands have trouble stretching the main cover. ( I guess an arthritic thing going on). The entryways need sweeping and a general tidy up.  So I’ll plan on that later in the week.

B took a huge load to the local garbage transfer station and that was great to get rid of stuff that was just hanging around like old fencing. I asked him to load the old van with the thrift store stuff and I can do that this week too. We have a digital piano that needs to go and it is too big to fit in my VW.

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Here are the two ‘old’ ones celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe it’s been 50 years. Lots of laughter, fun, some tears but not too many and lots of great adventures.  I guess getting married at 18 and 20 worked out for us but I’m guessing we are the exception.

Projects done!

The closet looks bright and clean. We did move our space heaters to the barn and I have one box of “I don’t know what to do with” stuff. One item is my old Waring blender that I bought new in 1985. It still works fine but most I use my Vitamix. So I’m undecided and will wait on deciding to give away or not.  We still need to hang my mirror back up and then I can take a photo if I remember.

B finished repotting the bamboo in the new barrels. This is actually a pretty big job as the roots needed to be cut with a Sawzall.  That’s how thick they were.  We are going to get a 3rd barrel as it will fill the space out nicely.

We also took everything out of the chest freezer and defrosted it. I got a good count on what’s in there so that was helpful plus it’s more organized.

The weather is quite a bit cooler and we actually sat outside last night.  Today is also really nice with a high of only 85.

Yesterday I bagged up the Central Milling flour into 3 mylar bags. I could have used the food saver bags but  I wanted to test out how the flour would be. The other bag I will use the food saver bags and then compare the two.

Tuesday we did our Costco shop. It was just under $500. Some of that was alcohol. The Costco beer which is a variety of ales and other types is a great deal at $20. and this was the first time we’ve seen it in almost a year. So we bought 2. That should last a while. I don’t drink beer but B does( although not too much right now with his issues) and my son has the occasional beer. Then we bought champagne for our anniversary. Since we’re not going anywhere, we figured we’ll do some kind of celebration dinner with champagne. This shop wasn’t really a prepper shop but more stuff for the month, salad stuff, avocados, spinach, cheese, bread.  The only things I still need are milk, bananas, vegetable shortening, and burger rolls. I’ll probably do that later in the week.  I’m hoping this shopping will get us thru most of the month.  Oh, I did get organic pasta that was on sale. So that’s for the prepper pantry.  Later this month we’ll hit Winco and get 2 more of the buckets if they have them and the gamma lids. I’m tempted to go sooner than later as I’m guessing they will get sold out.

I’m still waiting on my labs, so maybe by tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my son’s 26th birthday. Such a wonderful young man. Funny, talented, smart, and has a full-time job with California State Sierra Nevada Conservancy.  He was a fun kid and outgoing.  He was homeschooled all the way thru high school. He then went to Community college, got 2 degrees, and then graduated from CSU Sacramento. No student debt and he did most of it on his own. We are so proud of him. So, I need to find out what kind of dinner he wants and dessert. Our family ritual is the birthday boy/girl gets to pick their favorite dinner and dessert.

I’m reading the new Todd Borg” Tahoe Hit”. It just came out if you’re interested. He’s one of my favorite authors and is local to Lake Tahoe.

685789B5-5871-4B18-ADA0-0533A910EDF3.jpegHere’s my new BLACK LIVES MATTER yard sign for the driveway.

 

 

Simple Sunday

For some reason, I got a bee in my bonnet. so to speak, to clean out and paint our ONE closet. It is a good size, 4×6. I always wanted to make this a half bath with a small shower but that would mean digging up our septic and putting a bigger one in. That expensive just isn’t on the table anymore( unless we win the lottery, and since I don’t play, that’s not happening).

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So we need to get a roller to do most of it. The Hardware store doesn’t open till 9am( here in town, not Home Depot). I have 1/2 a gallon of white and that may or may not be enough. We’ll start with the ceiling and then the clothes side. I’ll consider going into Home depot for more Behr paint or I’ll go tomorrow and finish the pantry side.  Getting the clothes back in would take priority as they are on the bed and the couch right now.

If nothing else it will get the dust bunnies out and freshen up the space which hasn’t been done, like ever.

Also here are the mylar bags filled.

 

These are really nice bags if you’re interested. The came from TheEpicenter in Oregon. They have a zipped part as well as the normal heat part. I read it can be tricky to do the heat but I had no problem. The oxygen tabs in them should pull the oxygen out in 48 hours. Some are already showing that but others seem the same. No matter they are sealed.  I already ordered another 20 bags since a few months ago you couldn’t even get these.

Tonight I ‘m making tofu burgers with macaroni salad.  I need to go to the store and pick up some burger rolls later.

Tomorrow are my labs. It’s been 8 weeks so we’ll see what they show. As I said before Myeloma just doesn’t disappear  so with my numbers increasing it’s a matter of time before I start Velcade and Dex.

Being off Facebook has been overall easy. Once in while I miss reading what people are up to but not a whole lot.

 

Off to paint!!!

Friday round-up.

I’m really glad this week is over.

It’s been hot and that’s made it hard to be outside. I’ve been going out to the pool every day at 4pm so at least it’s a cool down to some degree.

My dentist’s appt went really well and they are taking every precaution so I felt safe. The crown was done in around 3 hours, start to finish.

My oncology appt also went fine except he was really late. He apologized as a family he had an appt with was having some issues. Nothing new, just wait till my numbers go up to 500. 😦  I sorta feel like a ticking bomb.  I was home by 12:15 so not too bad. Geez, people are driving CRAZY!!!

Tonight we’re ordering pizza out. It’s too hot to turn the oven on. So that will be a nice change.

I’ve done our budget for July and the only BIG expense will be the trees at @ $4,000. Geez, I really hope that’s it for a few years but probably not.

I put a yard sign up BLACK LIVES MATTER. I like it and it just shows some support. I would be out there protesting if I could. I did for VietNam but now I can’t risk getting COVID or bringing it back to others. So, just a small way of showing some support.

There’s a great news story trending about a young barista at Starbucks in Southern California who told a guest they had to wear a mask in the store. She went on a verbal rampage and then took his picture, posted it on Facebook while continuing to shame him. Tons of people came out in support of him and NOT the privileged white woman and then someone started a GO FUND ME tip jar. At last count, it’s up to $32,000. Wow, that is a really heartwarming story. That is some lucky kid.

B is still working on our daughters room windows and they really look nice. These new type windows have a UV tint which is amazing.  It definitely cuts down on the sun’s heat coming in. Plus he’s working on getting the ceiling fan up but that is requiring new wire so kinda a pain. But at least there will be some new wiring. When we had the guy do the wiring when we remodeled, he must have been on drugs and the wiring is screwy. Why he didn’t replace all the old wiring is unknown.

I probably won’t be going to the store till next week and haven’t decided where. I might just go to Safeway but I’ll need to write a list and see what I need.

 

 

the week ahead…

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This is Rose Campion that has spread all over our hill.

We have a few things lined up for this week.

Tomorrow we are having our septic being pumped.  I know very exciting. But really, our septic tank is under the 1200 required by law but is grandfathered in because it was put in a long time ago. Actually, we’re not sure when it was put in since the old man who lived here didn’t get a permit at least that we could find in county records. So about 5 years ago when the septic was overly full and we didn’t know it until the toilet wasn’t flushing down and we knew was wrong. So now we’re on a 2-year schedule. Once he opens and pumps we’ll know if we could’ve gone 3 years. I know, I know, so exciting and TMI.

Then I’m going to brave Costco since I want to use our rebate. I’m not too worried as Costco requires everyone to wear a mask so I’m good with that. I have a big list of things to get( again) but some are still prepper pantry stuff. For instance, I’d like to get a case of chili and some more marinara sauce. Plus I need washcloths and the 24 pack of white hotel washcloths are really the best for the money.

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here’s my nifty food vacuum sealer which I LOVE!!!

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So cool.

 

Later in the week, we are going to drive up to Tahoe to go to the cannabis store so B can get some stuff. His plants are coming along but it’s a way off to harvest. Plus the ride will be nice. I’m thinking of bringing some coffee in our mugs and maybe sandwiches. The beach area in Kings Beach is quite lovely but I’m not sure if there will be lots of people or if it’s still closed.  So a nice day trip.

The weather is quite nice this week. No really hot days.

We are also going to call the tree guy because the giant tree is now leaning MORE!! At first, I thought I was just imagining it but the top is no longer straight up. This is a huge tree and is aiming straight at the barn.  We have the money in our emergency fund but now there is no extra money coming in so whatever we take out won’t get replenished. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. But I think, except for the giant oak near the barn, this would be the last tree for a while unless something else happens. We have 2 other huge Ponderosas that are leaning but they are leaning away from our house. Unfortunately one is leaning towards our neighbor’s house which is kinda scary.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady and mine is done already. I just need to mop the floor later.

We are also planning a trip to Home Depot for wood. I’m conflicted about buying from Home Depot since the owner is a huge TRump supporter but the closest Lowes( liberal) is down by Costco. So for our old van a bit risky. ( The van is the only car that can hold wood on the roof and inside when we take the  seats out). So, anyway, it’s a conflict for me.  We are planning to get some fence posts so we can start the fence behind the barn to block out those neighbors.

That’s about it.

I’m so glad the protests are making such a difference and maybe we will see some real change. It is still so sad it has taken so many black lives though to get to this point.

 

 

Simple Sunday

Our beautiful weather continues here. Today we’re supposed to reach low 70’s.

Spring is in the air. Although it would look like we’re headed for another drought so that’s not good. The daffodils are up and there are violets in the yard. I like violets as they will spread and pop up in the most unlikely spots.

I finished the living room zone already. Since there’s not a lot to do in there it goes fairly quick.

Yesterday, I potted 4 starter plants and today I have 2 more to do. Mostly pothos and Monstera and

Syngonium podophyllum. I have at least 2 more of these.

I also decided to repurpose a little table my daughter took out of her room to put the plants on since now I have at least 4 more to put somewhere.  I’m painting it white so it’ll blend in more.

We’re looking at stove hoods and found one on amazon we like so we’re going to order that. This begins the very minor kitchen remodel. We can’t change the configuration of the kitchen due to walls and doors so we just have to make do with the way it is. I suppose if we had money, a contractor could do it but we don’t so that’s that.

I’m also going to get a new kitchen island in stainless. Basically, the same as we have that’s from Ikea but they don’t carry this one anymore and the one I found ( AMazon)has the shelf straight across whereas the one I have it’s split.

We’re trying to prioritize what we can do and how much we can spend as there is no more ‘extra ‘ money coming in.  That SDI was pretty great.:)  😦 sad it’s over…..

Well, off to the gym and then Safeway.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a nice week although weird again with the holiday in the middle of the week. I kept thinking Thursday was Monday. Oh well, it seems that we’re back on course and today is Sunday.

We did a shop a Costco on Friday and didn’t overdo it. I bought extra coffee and TP so we won’t need to ‘run’ down there for those things. We are eyeing a new TV though. Ours is about 8 years old and still works but the sound quality isn’t the best. There are some sales for the super bowl so if I think we can swing it, I will.

B’s last SDI was this last week too. He did get a notice to have his doctor fill out a form about not returning to work, so I’m not sure if they would extend his benefits to use up the little he has left or if it’s just paperwork. What I read is the maximum award is 12months, so we’ll see. We’ll try and do that next week although he sees his doctor on Tuesday and I’m sure it won’t be in the mail by then.

This month will be the big test of how we do without the SDI. I know it’s going to be an adjustment. But at least we have no big bills in January just the car tags for the old van. Still, that’s $150. I have been saving quite a bit of the SDI so that I know I won’t be adding to the savings.

Also, we had to call on his Cobra as, just as expected, the Noxafil prescription came in at$1200.  This amount was the Medicare Part D prescrpiton plan that I’m not planning on using that’s why we’re paying the Cobra amount. I am not paying that much money when last month it was 0.00 co-pay.  So he called and the Cobra payment letter was just going out. So we did it online and then now we have to wait for it to get activated by the prescription plan. After that, we still don’t know what the co-pay will be since we haven’t reached any yearly deductible.  It’s all unsettled right now but next week we should know and hopefully, it’ll be resolved.

Plus we know that within a few months Noxafil will be reduced or eliminated so then we will cancel the Cobra and just use the Medicare Part D as all his other drugs are Tier 2. I think it’s only Noxafil that is Tier 5. What a Fucking scam is all I have to say.

Today is a gym day and we will go for our walk shortly.

Flylady zone is the kitchen and I’ll start that today but finish tomorrow.

I made a new recipe last night from another blogger( Teresa Kasner)

She lives along the Columbia River in an old beautiful farmhouse. Her pictures are outstanding. So the recipe was for Chicken with potatoes and spinach in a creamy parmesan sauce. It was good.

This week is Clinic for Barclay and our overnight trip. Plus whatever stress with the prescription stuff comes up.:(

I started a list of projects for the year and we’ll see how far we get.

  1. to drop the wood stove to floor level so that the footprint is lower and less of an eyesore. We built the platform specifically so we wouldn’t be bending to put wood in but it does take up a lot of floor space. This won’t cost a lot except added stove pipe( which is pricey) but we won’t need a lot. And some stone for the floor. Our woodstove is quite efficient and we will keep it for a few more years. Eventually, we will put in a gas/propane stove. But that’s maybe 5 years out still.
  2. We will be replacing windows in my daughter’s room. This will be maybe @ $1000 as it will be 2 windows replacing one large one. The Anderson windows we bought last summer are great and very energy efficient. So that ended up @ $800( I think).
  3. I’d like to also replace the bathroom window. Same size but just more energy efficient. All the windows in the house we’re replaced when we remodeled but they are now 25 years old so an upgrade will be nice.
  4. I don’t think we will get to any bathroom remodel this year.
  5. I think we are going to try and redo some of the kitchen. The biggest thing is the counters and sink( pipes underneath) really need to be redone. Getting a new pantry system from Ikea will be first on the list as that will be freestanding.

There’s always garden work and yard work. That’s kinda ongoing.

Barclay’s official retirement date is January 30. That’s 25 years. It’s hard to let go of, I think, because of the way it all happened with him getting sick. But how incredibly lucky we are for modern science that has given him a new chance without cancer. Even I can’t say that, although I have been extraordinarily lucky that my Myeloma has responded to treatment. Well, it is what it is.

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This was our dinner the other night. A small piece of filet mignon and a Beyond Meat sausage( which are delicious BTW).

 

 

Things to think about for 2020

I don’t do goals so much anymore and I try to avoid putting myself in the position of expectation on myself. I do like lists of things that I would like to do or things that need to be done.

I like Flylady as it gives me a focus on weekly chores.  And I like grocery lists and menus. I also like budgeting and do that daily and weekly and monthly. I also have annual bills tallied. ( This might be the challenging area once were on SS solely).

Now that SDI is ending money will be different.  I have saved as much as I felt I could but there were some big expenses in 2019. We had over $6000 in medical bills. The trees were almost $5000. Plus travel and other expenses during B’s transplant. We were very blessed to have the GoFundMe account which covered Kiwanis’ house for 3 weeks and other expenses.

Overall, financially, 2019 was good. We didn’t rack up any CC debt related to medical bills or anything related to the transplant. I used CC to pay things but was able to pay in a timely manner.

In 2020 we will need to be ultra frugal as there won’t be bonuses, or extra money coming in. Honestly, I ‘m not sure how it will play out but it will one way or the other.

We’d still like to take down the big tree in the back of the house and that will be upwards of $5,000 as it will need a big crane. the other big thing will be, do we want to redo the bathroom so it is ‘age ‘friendly. We plan on staying here so a walk-in shower seems prudent.

I’m also figuring that I’ll be starting Velcade sometime in the next 6 months so that’s weekly trips to Sacramento. Lots to think about.

The tree is down!

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We got a call on Saturday morning from the tree guy about showing up later that day. It was a message on my phone and like 20 minutes late he was here with the small crane. Not sure what would have happened if we weren’t home. Maybe he figures retired people are always home? Anyway,  I headed out to the gym and the driveway was going to be blocked by the crane. Up he went and topped the tree and then worked down. B decided that paying the $200 to have them buck it up was worth it and it totally was. Now we have small rounds that he can use the log splitter and split. They worked ALL day and still were working at 4:45pm. finally, I said, we can rake the rest. All in all the 2 trees and 2 small oaks cost $3300.  I gave the workers a $200 tip to split between them. I think they were a little surprised as I guess most people don’t do that but they had worked really hard all day and felt like it was deserved.  So in total $3500. It looks really good to have these 2 ponderosas out. The one in the front was the leaner toward the house. Who knows if it would go or any of the trees left could still go actually but that’s the risk of living in pine trees.

I have my labs this morning and then home to do some light chores. This week we are in the living room zone if you’re following Flylady.  I put up the tree yesterday and put on the lights. We were going to go up and get the tree permit today ( in Truckee) but decided not to as I don’t really want to deal with 2 trees. Unusual for me as I use to love all of the 3 little trees I had around that were themed( the bird tree, the snoopy tree, the ugly ornament tree). Well, those days are over. So anyway, the one tree is up with lights and very few ornaments. I’m just not doing the whole thing this year and as a minimalist, I’m trying not to overdo stuff.

simplify

simplify

simplify

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This is where the 2 small oaks were that we wanted out so that we can maybe eventually park a vehicle there.

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This is  not the ponderosa we took down but it gives you an idea of the size:)