New Fence

This is our new fence that you see when you drive up our hill. We are the last house and our neighbors( the old man, Leo) house is on the right as you drive up. The fencing that was there was just rusty old hog wire that the original owner had up. Sometime after the new neighbors moved in ( about 2 years ago now) we knew we wanted a more private fence. Their house is across the driveway and down some. They remodeled the garage to be a studio apartment for their adult daughter. It’s a great property and they bought it at a really great price from the original owners.

The boards are not redwood but stained fir. So they may not last 25 years but they should last a good long time.

So this is looking down the driveway and you can see our little house onthe left.

My daughter did an amazing job building this and digging the post holes with the help of her Dad.

So this shot is looking down the driveway to where we park. That’s my daughters Honda Fit. To the right is Leo’s house and we know once he dies and the house goes on the market we will build the same fence along this property line. His house and the yard are right there to the right and I don’t want to see new neighbors especially if they are noisy and have kids.

We’re actually thinking of coming down the one side so we can block off seeing the neighbors truck and hoarding yard filled to the brim with everything.

This is shot looking down toward the neighbors mess.

We’re planning on spraying it this summer with some kind of sealant or outdoor stain even though it is already coated.

Our property line actually comes straight out from the end post so the fence is not on the property line as that would close off the driveway too much for emergency vehicles. Our new neighbor was parking his RV across from this shot and it was limiting access. Interestingly, right after he moved it down by his garage Leo( our 95 yr old face planted right there and knocked himself out and is still recovering in the hospital from a brain bleed. I really don’t think he’ll be coming back to his house but we’ll see. We do feel bad for him living alone but he wants to die there and not in a nursing home so I understand that.

Here you can see the other driveway that leads to the barn and the sunporch entry way. We plan to put up another gate here in the summer. Our next fencing project would be back behind the barn to block the view of our very ‘unfriendly’ neighbors that built a huge workshop that we can see and hear him in all the time. He rebuilds cars and is always grinding away. Plus they moved up from the valley so they’re new to ‘country ‘ living.

Frugal Friday

It’s hard to keep writing about my boring life after watching the news and the disgrace of Pro-trump supporters. As many have said, there are no words that can really express the outrage and horror of it all. I just hope they get him out before it’s too late and he does something else.

This week I spent $90 at groceries down at our market. It’s more expensive but more convenient too. Plus it supports our local Holiday market. Next week I plan on Costco, so that won’t be frugal but I haven’t been there since the end of November so I guess that counts for something.

We spent $99 on smog/oil change for the van and I will do the DMV on line next week. This is our 21 year old van and it’s still going even if it is ‘pinkish’ ( the red paint on the hood is all faded to a pale red/pink color.:) But we still use for Home Depot trips. I love my van even if I don’t drive it very much. I mostly use my VW which is also 20 years old but the paint on that is perfectly fine.

Speaking of which, half the fence is up and that was another $150 for wood. So at least that much more to finish it. But it really looks nice. I’ll post a picture soon.

We still haven’t gotten our stimulus check as there was a problem with Turbo tax and the accounts. I did receive an email saying they were fixing the problem so that’s good at least. I’m guessing we will use some of that to finish the fence.

We had our propane tank filled this week too and that was $230. That usually lasts us 3 months or so. Our electric bill is still up there but since we’re on the balance payment plan it averages out. The weather has been in the 50’s and low 40’s at night so we aren’t use space heaters in the bedrooms. That should help next months bill.

We started watching Bridgerton and it’s quite good if you’re looking for a series. Plus the Money Heist is intense and superb. We just started Part 3. It’s in Spanish but subtitled.

My no spend month is going sort of ok. I bought a cookbook( Midnight Chicken) which is terrific. So that wasn’t needed but I do love cookbooks and to justify it, I am the COOK here so…( I also bought air filters for the air purifier so that was household. And I bought a pair of Levis. I only have 2 pairs of pants and the one I wear out to town and to doctor appts. It’s a pair of Levis in a dark wash. The other is light denim and is my around the house jeans . So I decided I needed something else to switch off with the other pair. They didn’t have the light denim so I bought black. Not sure how they will go for everyday wear but I’ll try. So I guess overall, I’ll see how the rest of the month goes. NO spend months aren’t usually completely no spend for me but I am much more aware of not just hitting the Amazon button:)

Simple Sunday

A simple day to start the new year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

find 3 new hikes to try

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

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

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

Ideas for 2021

Actually, I never set goals.

What I do is have a running list of things that are of interest to me and then consider setting them as priorities. Goal setting or resolutions, like losing weight or exercising more, just doesn’t work for me. I do better with an idea like ‘walk in the park most days’. Since I’m pretty structured I don’t have a problem accomplishing that because it’s just part of who I am. Or losing weight. I just eat healthily and even though I could easily afford to lose 20 lbs, I honestly don’t give a flying fig. We eat healthy and always have. We eat very little sugary stuff and a good basic vegetarian diet with meat on the side so to speak. So, my idea would be maybe adding new recipes into my rotation at least 2x a month. If I do great if I don’t’ meh.

Now that neither of us works at a job, we live a quiet life with the occasional camping trip(when we’re not in lockdown or dealing with a deadly virus).

I do plan on making some camping reservations so I guess we’ll see how that goes. We had really hoped to buy a newish closed in RV but honestly I’m not sure we feel like we have money to do that. So I guess that’s a goal or at least getting out camping is a priority.

other ideas may include:

Finding some new places to walk.

having coffee dates once we can

update: ha ha, half this blog didn’t post, and of course I can’t find the original so I’ll try and do a rewrite.

Modified edition:

I don’t do RESOLUTIONS as such like New Years resolutions.

I do set some goals such as Just Keep Walking! But putting down resolutions of lose 20 lbs or exercise more ,as I said, doesn’t work for me. Probably, because it doesn’t motivate me or interest me. But when I did the Just Keep Walking Project, I walked EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 5 YEARS. It was only when I ended up with a hairline fracture in my foot I had to stop 😦

I do set FINANCIAL GOALS such as NO CC DEBT which we have kept to in all 2020. Also, trying to add little amounts to our mortgage principal. We,unfortunately, still have a mortgage but such is life. I’d like to reduce the principal. That way when we’re gone the kids( we have everything in a trust) they would have more equity if they want to sell and move somewhere else. But since there’s not a lot of wiggle room in the budget it is small amounts to add to it but still every bit does help.

I read a lot so read more doesn’t make any sense. I would like to be more creative but cooking is my creative outlet so that’s good. I enjoy knitting but my arthritis in my hands kicks in and causes some cramping after a while so I don’t do that often.

Anyway, other goals or things to try and accomplish are:

Replacing the 2 bedroom windows. They were replaced 25 years ago but since redoing my daughter’s windows and seeing how much better they are at insulating I can see those 2 need doing.

Next, a modified kitchen redo. The window, and the sink and counter. That all depends on whether we want to take on ripping all that out. We couldn’t afford to have someone do it so it would be what can we accomplish ourselves. So that’s up in the air.

After weget vaccinations and can travel, I ‘d like to try and go up the Oregon coast again. Just slow and camping here and there. But it all depends on my Velcade shots and how soon I can go do those things. So again, kind of wait and see sort of thing.

Finish the fences in the front and out by the barn. That’s doable and we can budget that in.

So, it’s some goals mixed in with wants and a to do list.

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.