Five on Friday

I decided to not go with Frugal Friday today as it seems this has been an expensive week. It’s not daily stuff but more like the bigger things. Both DMV’s for the Rubicon and Chevy are due and it sure seems as if they are almost double what they were last year. Then our AAA membership will be due next week and that’s gone up. There is one other bill but I can’t remember right now. Oh, wait, it’s not a bill but I added on the camping trip to SeaCLiff in the fall on the CC and that was almost $500. SeaCLiff is the campground right down the beach from New Brighton but it is right on the ocean and double what New Brighton is. It does have full hookups so that’ll be nice. Anyway, that took the credit card up I’ll pay that in a few days. So lots of bills. The regular groceries, gas, etc is all okay.

I had my doctor’s visit yesterday and all is good. I’ll see him again in 2 months. There is nothing too much to discuss, but he’s always very attentive and asks about my issues( diarrhea, sleep, etc). After that, I headed up to the new Trader Joe’s.

I went to Trader Joe’s to get some snacks like corn chips, crackers, and salad stuff. I picked some wine, half and half, juice, some frozen things, and frozen fish. Last time I bought a piece of frozen salmon and it was really good so this time I picked up some ahi tuna to try. B went to Costco because they had a patio cover on sale. It was normally $159 and it was $40 off , so a very good deal. We have to have something over the patio as the sun in the summer blasts that area and we can’t eat outside unless there’s a cover. In the past, we’ve used the shade triangles but after a while, it just looks tacky. So this is a good thing.

We’re on a high wind alert and high fire danger today. It’s warm out @ 80 but it’s the dry wind that is potentially a problem. B did anchor the new patio cover with stakes but we might need to do some sandbags as well. Everything is drying out due to the wind. We try to keep the areas around the house green as a fire block but that means watering the yard.

Today is a home day with pottering around the house and yard. I want o clip the herbs and get started with drying. In our climate, oregano, and thyme are year-round plants but parsley, cilantro, basil, and tarragon are annuals. So I want to dry a good amount of each.

Here’s one of the cool rocks we picked from the beach. Lots of fossils and two cool holes. I try to always look for rocks with holes in them, not sure why.

Back to our routines.

Since Sunday we’ve been slowly getting back to our daily routines. B has been outside nonstop with cleaning out Rubi( the RV) and cleaning it (which it doesn’t need much). He’s getting the pool ready to fill which is always a process and he’s doing endless outdoor chores.

I’ve been catching up with my Flylady routines and seems like today I’m mostly done with everything. I might do a kitchen deep clean later this week.

I like routines and I do better with daily lists and that sort of thing. I always prioritize what is most important to do and get that done first. Today, I have on my list to get out the dehydrator and start drying herbs that are in the garden like oregano, lemon thyme, regular thyme, and tarragon. I think there is some parsley too that can be harvested. We are going to have a bumper crop of garlic and that’s exciting. I guess planting in containers works best for some things and then the earwigs and other things don’t eat the seedlings so they have a chance to grow. The garlic is in 4 barrels so that’ll be a big harvest. I planted the onions around them so once the garlic is done I’m hoping the onions take off. In the 2 big galvanized tubs( they are 2×6), we have tomatoes, peppers, dill, parsley, fennel and I’m not sure what else.

The asparagus we planted last year don’t seem to be doing very well. Only 10 have come up and we planted at least 24. Maybe the soil conditions aren’t quite right. B has already harvested some radishes that he’s growing in an old clawfoot tub that he’s converted to a planter.

I haven’t done any decluttering as of late because where the house is now, seems good. I’m still debating getting rid of some canning jars but since canning season is just starting I think I’ll wait and see what I actually use. I plan on canning salsa, pickles, tomato sauce, and, a few other things. No jams this year as we don’t eat a lot of jam and I still have some marmalade and pepper jelly to use.

Tomorrow I go down to Sacramento to see Dr. L. My numbers came back just slightly over high normal at 19.9mg/L high is 19.4mg/L. last month I was at 18.3/L so a fairly big jump. 1.6, but I’m not too worried yet.

Earth Day

When we were younger, each year, we would go to the UC Davis Earth day festival in Davis. Lots of music, booths, fun for kids, great food items. It’s been many many years since we went but still, this is a day to honor Mother Earth.

Of course, this was our big taking down another tree week, so maybe some irony there but needs must. Here are some pictures:

The logs are on our neighbor’s area and the logger was to come and get them but then his logging truck needed a clutch so it has been delayed till Monday. But then our neighbor( who is a hoarder) said he would take them to cut up. ???? I went oh dear, to myself. But it will save us @ $300 because the logger does not take the trees for free even though he goes and sells them to the mill. So I guess I don’t care really as long as it’s not our problem anymore.

The crane operator and the tree crew were just amazing, as always. Now we just need to get the one opposite it down. It is quite a leaner but it’s leaning away from us. Still, it needs to go but maybe next fall if we have money.

I went down swimming later and it was nice. Then I went to Costco at 9am, and from there went to the library. By the time I was done at the library 10:45 am when B texted and said the crane was done. So all in all it took a little over 3 hours which is amazing to me. Well, now we can drive Rubi out no problem and big trucks like the septic truck will be able to come in no problem. It was pretty expensive but you really don’t want amatuers taking own a tree like this one.

So an expensive week.

Today is a home day and tidy up around the house. Most of the rain is done for the next 10 days which is good.

Here’s a picture of the Guster( Gus) the cat.( one of the barn cats( there were 4 kittens and mama) that are now 1 year old.)

Simple Sunday

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

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

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

Here’s the Daphenoise from the night before.

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

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

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

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

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

Well, that’s a wrap.

Frugal Friday

It’s been interesting not thinking about groceries on this low-budget food month challenge. This week, so far, I’ve spent 34.99. The 34.00 would have been even lower but B went to Safeway and bought 3 giant oranges for 4.97. It was an honest overlook as per pound it wasn’t too bad but they were very large so it weighed more. The same with apples. That’s ok, it was still a low-cost shop. Today I need to get some mozzarella for pizza night and I have a coupon for some free bananas. I think the biggest challenge is just mental and adjusting to I don’t need anything at the store or to build up the prepper pantry. Like I said, I’m trying to have us eat down both the freezer and pantry. Next week I plan on using some turkey for chili and then look at what else is in there. Overall, it’s been a good challenge.

We did fill up both buggie and the Santa Fe and gas is pretty steep at$4.59 to 4.79. per gallon. I try and fill Bugs up only once a month as I only drive that to Auburn and back.

Last week was an unexpected oak firewood purchase since we needed it and we saw it down at the corner where someone had a trailer full to sell. I wasn’t super happy that it wasn’t quite a cord when he dropped it off and the guy should have known. But he did drop off some extra after we complained. But even then I still don’t think it made up a full cord which is 4x4x8 and looks pretty impressive when you see it.

So far this morning, I’ve made the pizza dough, fed my sourdough starter, washed 3 shelves in the refrigerator. I’ve done some email stuff and checked LLS( Leukemia Lymphoma Society). Sadly, right now there is no funding for myeloma so my grant can’t be re-upped. I’ll keep checking every day because funding does come in on a daily basis. Still, that’s a big hit for us if I’m not getting my insurance covered. Hopefully, it’ll come in soon.

I don’t have any projects going on right now and feel a little adrift. I like to be working on something and nothing seems to be jumping out to be done. I’ll think about what can be reorganized or done differently. The kitchen always can use some organizing.

Here’s the last amaryllis bulb that’s blooming. I think this one is the prettiest so far. I’m still not crazy about them and won’t order bulbs next fall.

I plan on going into the pet bookstore this morning and dropping off some books and seeing what looks good. I still have a few PD James in my bedside table.

2022

I’ve said before, I never do resolutions anymore but I do set some goals as benchmarks to move toward. The top of the list is to keep doing things that are healthy for me/us. That would include walking almost every day, swimming 2x -3x a week, eating good food( which we do anyway), keeping positive( which I think we do anyway, but always a good reminder. I’m pretty disciplined with menus, budgets, groceries, Fly lady routines, and other chores.

Other goals would be for projects. The entryway windows where B has his desk are not doing well. They were wonderful old windows from a library in SF someone gave us. But now the wood is in bad shape so probably the first project will be taking them out and replacing them with a vinyl-type window. the footings under that part of the room should be done better too. The next 2 windows are in the sunroom. These shouldn’t be as complicated as the other ones as the wall is straight and not at an angle and it should be fairly straightforward. Other outside things are a fence along the nasty neighbor’s border. We hoped to do a privacy fence but I think that will be too expensive this year so we decided to put up 5-foot fencing to make the boundary more designated and we can even plant some things along it to create a barrier. Fencing and poles shouldn’t be more than $150 maybe and it’s a start. Right now it is the original (since 1950) 3-foot hog fence that has 4inch gaps. So this will be a good start. I’m pretty sure we are going to budget for the one tree to be taken down. I’m hoping the bid is @ 2500.

We’ve got 4 RV trips planned and I hope we can get reservations for at least 2 more maybe 3. I’d like to find one more new place to go. Last year was great with discovering Refugio State Beach and then the Wine Resort RV Park in Paso Robles. We definitely enjoyed full hookups.

My sister’s health is very precarious right now and she will go into hospice care soon. With Omicron, I won’t fly but we could drive back if she makes it into spring. We just don’t know and the details are somewhat sketchy. It’s been hard to deal with as she’s only 4 years older than me. What her husband said was, she was having difficulty breathing( she is on 24hour oxygen due to the Interstitial lung disease . Other than that , like why? I don’t have the details. It sucks really.

This week I have my 6 – month eye check for the macular pucker and I have Dr. Laptalo as well. I’ll swim at least once and probably call that good.

Last night I made a loaded baked potato soup and it was very good. Tonight I’m roasting a chicken and I’ll do some frozen nut loaf for B. Not sure what else, a salad and ? Then later in the week, I plan on making Beef bourguignon. I saw a recipe for mushroom bourguignon and I might do that for B.

Most of the week is supposed to be nice but there is rain tomorrow and Tuesday. I don’t think we’re supposed to get snow though.

Snowmageddon

I am now going crazy with NOT being able to go swimming much less walk.

SNOW, SNOW,SNOW……….

I had planned to go down to Roseville today to swim but again it’s snowing and I don’t want to be on the freeway getting stuck with a billion semis that are lining the on-ramps. Oh well, not much I can do about it. Maybe later we will walk from the house down to the park. The main reason we don’t do this regularly is our driveway is about a 45-degree angle. I can easily walk down but coming back up is difficult. Oh well, I guess since there’s nothing to be done about it, I’ll just accept it as Mother Nature’s way of saying take a break.

I made some yummy black bean burgers last night for dinner. The recipe is PioneerWoman’s and is simple and quite excellent. Everyone liked them.

I did a pantry check and wrote down what I have in the house and what I need. I still have to go out to the barn to do the prepper pantry. I have used most of what’s out there except a few things and I need to go check that out as I don’t quite remember. I think I have 2 bins of food plus the long shelf life of dried foods. Those I won’t use as they are true emergency food items. I’m not sure we will ever need them but they’re fine in one bin. or two. Most of the cleaning/non-food items I’m moving into the laundry room. Since it’s been redone it has two nice big shelves for those items. I still have some beans and oats in mylar bags and those too are long term so they’re fine in the storage bucket.

I’ve definitely gone thru some mental change in regards to a prepper pantry. I don’t feel the need to hoard a year’s worth of food or even 6 months. If the apocalypse is coming well, then it’s coming and me having a year’s worth of food isn’t going to matter. That being said, I have always ( 47 years now, since1975, have bought in bulk. Back then it was rice or beans, honey, flour, etc. I just always felt it was easier to have a supply on hand and then I didn’t need to think about it. So plus this last year really helped me focus on what we eat and what was just ‘hoarding’ or ‘what other people were doing. So that’s that.

I plan on making some scones this morning. I have a King Arthur Eggnog scone mix that’s definitely holiday-ish. I think I’ll do spaghetti with sauce tonight maybe a meat sauce but probably not as that means defrosting something. I’ll see how I feel later. I have some salad stuff that needs to get used up and some garlic bread. Yeah, that sounds good for tonight. Less thinking about it and it’s there to be used from the pantry. I have a nice bottle of red wine too!!!

Simple Sunday

A lovely Sunday morning walk. They’ve fixed some of the path with new asphalt so it’s much nicer and has fewer cracks to trip on. I use my walking stick in my left hand which does help with stability but mostly I keep it with me so that the AH dog walker moves over when he’s walking in the middle of the path with his dog to his far-left which puts the dog straight in our path. With his passive-aggressiveness, he usually waits till the last second to move over to the side of the path he’s supposed to be walking. Remember driving, bicycles, etc, you stay to your right. Oh well, it was still a very pleasant walk.

I came home and started working on the bedroom closet which is our ONLY closet. I did a little more reorganizing and there’s still some more to do. I’ve decided for the most part to not keep extra pantry stuff in there except for the Costco size cereal boxes. Plus probably the extra coffee bean bags. Last time I went to Ikea I bought a few extra white boxes and now I have all the stuff I use for Easter, Christmas, and Hanukkah in those boxes on the top shelf. I don’t have a lot of clothes so I hang my T-shirts, denim shirts and the 2 sweaters I have. I’m not sure what my end goal is in there but definitely eliminating as much extra stuff as possible.

Then I did the kitchen zone : here’s a few photos.

Someday, we’ll have money to redo the kitchen. Not the lay-out but the counters and the cabinets.

The new sunroom windows are almost in. What happened was the nice old redwood windows had just gotten too water damaged and water was seeping in and getting on the floor when it rained. Granted it is just a porch but we use it a lot for wood, cat litter etc. So now there are windows that will open and that will help with air flow.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY HANUKKAH!!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. I plan on making some latkes and a piece of salmon and salad. Nothing too fancy.

We are not Jewish but atheists, but I do love traditions and lighting the candles to me represents bringing some light into the world. I didn’t do presents as such, just a few chocolate things from Trader Joe’s and I’ll give the kids some money one night. Not much as they both work good jobs.

We are having lovely November weather. We had a fire outside yesterday afternoon and it was perfect for sitting outside. Our walks have been nice too. We still see AH but I think the train has left on that and we just don’t care anymore. Once in a while he’ll be a little passive-aggressive and walk straight at me with his dog but then he moves over at the last minute. And if he sees us coming with our flashlights he’ll turn his off. Weird but ?? Oh well, we’re just doing what we’ve done for the last 10 years. When I started walking daily part of the path was still dirt and there were very few people who walked. Now it can be very busy especially by 10 am.

Today is a nice pottering day. I’ve made some pumpkin spice scones. Swish and swiped the bathroom, scrubbed a cast iron, and got out some more Christmas things. I put the lights on the Ikea tree and that’s all I plan on doing. We were lucky to get a Christmas tree permit so we’ll go get a live tree for the sunroom next week. We certainly don’t need it but for $10. it’s a cheap date for B and me.

I’ve been working my way thru PD Jame’s books and she is such a good writer. I am enjoying them.

Well, back to pottering around. I’d like to finish embroidering one napkin too.

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.