Friday things

It was a fairly frugal week with money things. I went to Safeway and spent @ $70 on groceries and at Trader Joe’s @ $40. That was just groceries. Wine purchased was $25 approx. I’m not sure what I’ll do next week. Costco is still out there as we need some things there like dishwasher pods, and some other non food things. But I’ll wait and see what’s on the menu, then decide. Actually I need to do an August menu.

I didn’t make the Ikea meatballs, shrimp/potstickers, or cobb salad. We had take out only once for Taco tree tacos. I like this planner I got off etsy. It has nice clean minimal look and could be used for Flylady too. when you look at my menu you can see the themes plainly. Pasta night, taco tuesdays, rice Sundays,pizza Fridays, soups, and BBQ’s. Actually with it being so hot his month I don’t think I fired up the Weber once.

I have most of August’s bills in except the UCD one which they send the notice in the mail around the 15th. Otherwise, everything else is in. Our PGE was a nice surprise at $239 and that’s with running window coolers all thru the month. I’m guess the BIG reason is we’ve been line drying laundry and not using the dryer which is 220 so that must the energy user. I may try to continue the line drying into the fall and maybe winter if I get a drying rack that’s big enough. The only problem is I dislike seeing laundry in the front room on clothes racks. I’ve done it before and it’s just messy looking. But normally our electric bill would be in high $300’s so it does make a difference.

Today, B is going to declutter the Karastan rug up to habitat for humanity. We’re not sure they will take something that old or big but it’s worth trying. If they don’t take it, I’ll try putting it on Craigs list for free.

I always find it fascinating that at one time ,even a few months ago, I would not have imagined getting rid of it but after unrolling it the other day it’s obvious it doesn’t fit in with any of our decor. Most of my front room is Heywood birch, greys and whites. So the karastan is tans, burgundies, navy blue and other colors.

This when we had it in the bedroom. You can see the color scheme. Anyway, I hope someone will love it as much as I did. 🙂

Then I’m going to home depot to pick up some high gloss black paint. I’m going to paint the claw foot tub this weekend. I also ordered the garden gate so B can work on that.

BTW, his MRI did show some nerve stuff going on @ L 3 or 4. He hasn’t talked to the PC yet but the results were in his portal. It isn’t clear as to what’s to be done.

My labs came back in the normal range but it was a 3 point increase from 12.3 to 15.5 . I certainly hope this won’t be the trend as that means there is no remission except this very short period. I’m not going to worry about right now as there’s not much I can do anyway.

Further minimizing…

So, as you know I’ve been going thru more things and getting rid of more things. Sometimes hidden or just in a box or vintage suitcase in my case. I’ve also sold some Waldorf toys.

First off, a few miscellaneous.

So random things in the Heywood, nobody has used. The two candle holders are Hearth and Home and they were cute but they take a small candle and I generally never have them. The glass is probably my son’s but it hasn’t been used so it’s going. ( update, B said it was his from some trip to LOng beach and he didnt care).The hurricane top was because I bought 2 for when power went out and then I bought a spare top. Who knows when I’ll need that so it’s going. The pyrex is going because I have too many.

The Waldorf things include:

Goose girl, oak tree and pond with bridge.

That kangaroo and baby retail for $40.

Both of these sets I sold for $100. Ostheimer toys are all out of stock everywhere and very desirable. But they only took up room in my Heywood drawer so I’m glad that they are going to a good home with young children.

So what have I discovered? Getting rid of things and clearing any space feels great and opens up that space. Even if it’s only one or two things. I love space more than things.

Minimalism is certainly a journey as is decluttering. I think there is a point where it feels just right but I still have things to get rid of. It’s really layers of things and when I get to the next layer, things I didn’t see before, are more visible and I don’t care about them anymore.

Case in point. I bought an Instant Pot airfryer about 2 years ago, maybe 18 months. We had lots of fun with it the first 6 months and then slowly nobody wanted to get it out and use it. If we had a choice we used our toaster oven, which we love. ( Breville). So I decided to donate it and now it’s in the pile to get dropped off at Goodwill. That opens up that whole area under the Heywood. I don’t have anything in there at the moment and plan to only put something there if it fits and the space works.

The thing about decluttering is just start and then just keep going. Little by little, inch by inch, row by row….

Friday things…

We’re headed into 4th if July weekend. I-80 has been crazy busy but we pretty much stay home on holiday weekends. I do plan on going to the pool tomorrow but early so I’m hoping most of the traffic will be gone.

We had turkey burgers on the BBQ last night and it was hot out so it made it challenging to cook. They were ok. B had a Beyond burger. Tonight I plan on using the Ooni and make 2 pizzas. i think we’ll just need to move one of the patio umbrellas so there’s more shade.

The kitchen shelves are now up and look good. The brackets are from Signature hardware it you’re looking.

So everything that was on the restaurant shelves is on these shelves and in the Heywood. I do like the drawer for utensils as we only have the one other drawer, so that’s nice. Underneath has my Vitamix, and my big jars(gallon) of flour and rice. Plus, I’m using the cabinet that was in my office area and was empty except for a few items. For now it’s a good alternative to the Ikea pantry.

Oh, the boy kitties are now neutered and so the only one left is the little girl kitty. They don’t have any openings for girls right now so that’ll be something to stay on top of. You have to check their website daily for appts. But everyone(except little Cherry) has shots and fixed. Hurray!!!

Our temperatures are fairly normal here in the mid 90’s. July is always hot and so is August. Hopefully, not too many over 100 degree days. I shudder to think of the electric bill. We have been line drying clothes since it’s too hot to use the dryer. I do put the clothes in the dryer for a fluff cycle but that’s not hot.

Today B is going to do another dump run. I think this is our 6th this year. We had one free one and then the others we’ve paid for. Today it’s a bunch of old carpet that was on the floor of the barn, old fencing and misc. I cleaned out the freezer so there’s a bunch of food stuff to go in a bag. I got tired of looking at 1/4 bags of frozen veggies that have been in there for a year.

Well, that’s a wrap up.

Happy Summer Solstice and Simple Sunday

The heat has been brutal. Today we’re still topping out over 100 degrees. By tomorrow it should at back to the 90’s. The garden is suffering and most of our veggies are not too happy. I’m not sure what we’ll even get. The tomatoes are sad looking. The gopher has gotten most of the pepper plants and I don’t even see a zucchini plant out there. I’m not sure how to plan the garden if we’re going to have such heat, water shortages, and gophers. 😦

Happy Father’s day to Barclay!! The best Dad ever!! So much fun over the years!

Today I will continue with looking at cookbooks. I already have another 4 ready to go. Then the Flylady zone is the bedroom. I’ve moved a few things out of the closet and there is more shelf space in there now.

I still want to rearrange where I put the red Fiestaware. Right now it’s in the teak bookcase on a shelf. I’d like to get it underneath in the cabinet. One empty shelf idea or at least some white space on a shelf.

The kitties are getting bigger and more rambunctious. We have another appt for mamakat but last time she ran out of the cage so I’m not sure what we going to do.

I have my doctor’s appt Wednesday and my labs should be there. I do want to talk to him about a few things like would it be worth getting a Velcade shot once a month? and my sleep pattern is terrible. I have interrupted sleep every night. If I take Ativan then I can get about 4 1/2 hours straight. Then what about my watering eyes? I’m assuming that it will get better. And of course, the neuropathy. It never gets so bad but it still does get worse as the weeks go on. And lastly, what about my IBS and having a rough day usually the day after Velcade on the last round of the month. Oh well, he’ll probably just say that’s chemo. 😦

I’ve ordered the brackets for the kitchen shelving and then we are planning to put up 2×10 shelves. These bracketts are the same I’ve used on the other wall and are quite nice, hand forged and all. I’d still like the ikea pantry but since it’s been a year and a half since they were available ,I’ll just move forward.

Velcade, Round 6, shot #2.

Today I drive to Rocklin to get my shot. Then straight home to do some chores, dinner prep, and then take Dex after lunch. Last week the 16mg Dex wasn’t too awful. Still I do need to modify what I do since DEx is sneaky and I certainly wouldn’t drive.

Yesterday Costco was great. It was straight in and we were done in 30 minutes. It wasn’t busy at all. Not sure if that’s because everyone had shopped on Sunday or it’s close to the middle of the month. Anyway, it was great for us. We got some great looking fruit and most of the basics we needed. They didn’t have the organic Lundberg brown rice so maybe they’re not carrying that anymore. I don’t think we’ll need to go back till the end of July. We did buy 2 bags of coffee so that should get us thru till then.

Budget wise, the 3 annual bills are paid, AAA membership, Costco membership and propane tank rental. All are once a year bills. Our next set of annual bills will be fall and that’s expensive as it’s the house insurance( which is going up every year due to fire concerns, car insurance( bi annual) and property taxes(bi annual). I’m moving a small amount of money over to a savings when I can to put toward these. I doubt I can get to the final amount but something will help. Right now with having put lots of RV misc on the credit card, that’s number one priority. I should be able to finish that next week.

Our weather is lovely and very cool. Next week looks like we’re back in 100 degree weather so not fun. It’s nice not to use the coolers all the time and we’re not having to water so much.

Update on the kitties:

My daughter was able to get the last one from the barn. Mama kat was not happy and has been up here at the house trying to ‘call’ her out. She’ll get over it. My son was able to get a voucher from the ASPCA to spay mama but we have to wait to get it. She may get pregnant in the meanwhile but I guess that’s the chance we’re taking. I’m hoping we get it done in time or? or, those kitties would just go straight to the shelter. ( no – kill one).

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.

Vecade,Round 5, shot #2

I’m heading down to Rocklin for my shot. I’m planning on taking the 8 mg of Dex and compare that to the 12mg last week. 12mg was WAY easier and I pretty much breezed thru it. But for comparisons I thought it’d be interesting to try the 8mg.

Then I’m going to go to Walmart for a pickup. It’s not a big order and there isn’t that much ‘dinner’ stuff in the order but more like things such as yogurts, salad stuff, chips, bread, oh, I added some organic chicken, bananas, bubbly water, and some other things. I love doing the pickup as I’d never get thru Walmart as a store. I never really shopped there so I don’t know the layout and it would probably take me an hour just to get thru. Pickup is a breeze.

I managed to stain most of the new fence and just have around the corner to do or until the stain is gone. I don’t plan on buying another gallon for a bit.

We are still in waiting mode on the RV and actually haven’t heard a word from them. I’m guessing the RV hasn’t come in yet so there’s not much to do. We did decide to break up signing the papers, taking the RV class, and having the hitch put on into 3 separate visits. I just cannot sit thru all that at once. I realized that it’s just sensory overload for me and it’s better for me to take control and do it this way.

I managed to reserve a camp spot up at Donner Lake for 2 nights just to get out and try the trailer. Donner SP is not one of my favorite places but it’s pretty and close to lots of walking trails.

I pulled all kinds of leftovers from the freezer so dinner will be a choice of that. Most are single servings of things like pulled pork, mac and cheese, beans, rice, so whoever wants what can get it. We ended up doing just the black beans and pulled pork and made burritos with avocado and cheese.

Exciting….. my Ooni pizza oven showed up so when I get home from Rocklin I will set it up. I don’t plan on doing a pizza tonight though as the dough isn’t made and I want to get some tile for underneath it. Very Excited though!!!!

Velcade, Round 5, shot #1

I went down to Rocklin yesterday and started the next round. It went fine except I couldn’t remember which side of my belly they gave the last one. I’m fairly bruised up on both sides so I’m not sure it really matters. Then, Barclay had come with me, we headed down to the RV camping world to look at a Coleman. I will share the outcome tomorrow. We’ve been pretty set on an R pod, but there are absolutely none available within 3 hours, so then we looked a a new model of Coleman that an SUV can pull. It’s nice.

Today is Dex day and yesterday I took the 12mg ,down from 16mg and today feel good. Not too dexed out. I even walked 2 rounds at the park and wasn’t short of breath. ( a dex side effect). So I’m very pleased with the results. He said I could even try 8mg. The reason being is that since I’m back in the normal range of things, Dex isn’t as crucial in bonding with Velcade. It’s still important just that I can do well with less. So I’m pretty happy with that.

Today is just a puttering around day. I watered my plants, and ‘m cooking a chicken in the oven for tonight. I plan on making a potato salad and we still have some lovely asparagus from Costco. I wanted to try a new way of baking tofu too I read about in the NYT. You wrap the tofu in a paper towel then microwave it and it removes the moisture. Then you bake with tamari and oil. It’s worth a try. I usually just press it with a cast iron top.

We are all excited to have a cat show up near our barn. It is getting friendlier. We checked all the missing cats on our neighborhood watch but nothing showed up. She’s( we think it’s a she) has been her @ 10 days.

Not the best photo, but she’s cute and is now sitting inside the barn door. My son , who is NOT, a big animal person has really taken this on. First he named her Sgt Pepper, which I liked, then he didn’t think it fit her so now she’s Siri. I do hope she sticks around as we could really use a barn cat.

Kitchen zone

I did the kitchen zone this morning. I actually timed it and it took an hour. I still need to water the plants and do the overhead lights but basically it’s all done. The bread stuff usually fits in the one bin but since we’d just been to Costco there was an overflow of ummm, danish things.

The new stove hood is great and I can reach the buttons/functions so that’s a big plus. We’re still hoping we can re do the counters with Ikea cabinets this fall but right now nothing is in stock. When we go in next time I’d like to ask the sales person if we can order and just wait.

This area will stay the same as it’s functional and we don’t need it different.

The top shelves you see will be replaced with boards and the same brackets I bought for the Ball jar shelves. I’ll also have B dropped them a few inches so the tops are more accessible. The shelves will also come all the way to the window.

This area will stay the same too as we just added that bottom shelf.

I wouldn’t mind a bigger window but probably that won’t happen. We will get a window though that opens up instead of sideways.

This is some of my All Clad. Barclay bought me a set when we finished building our house in Foresthill in 1988. If you ever need pans to last a lifetime, All Clad is it. I also have 2 frying pans and large stockpot.

The stove hood is a nice improvement.

As I’ve said the kitchen zone is my biggest zone mostly due to the work area. There’s the stove, hood, shelves, cabinets etc. so it definitely takes some time. I plan on getting a new stove sometime in the next year too.

Spring time busy.

There’s lots going on in the gardens and the yard. Flowers are blooming and all three lilac trees are in full bloom. This has been a really good year for flowering trees. Out Cherry trees maintained their blossoms for weeks which was unusual. Now the lilacs are in full swing and very full. The white roses are just starting to bud and a few have flowers. The Cecil Brunner looks to be ready to explode with pink blossoms.

Today I plan on applying the redwood stain to the new fencing. I’m going to use a small roller so I think it will go quickly but I’m not sure how much/far the gallon will go. It certainly wasn’t cheap at $58 a gallon. The garden shed is nearing completion and I have bought the same house paint to paint that. I’m still not thrilled with the way it’s positioned but done is done. We still need to get some roofing to finish the shingles. We had some left over when we had the roof re -done so we just need to get 2-3 more bundles.

The weather is stellar right now with this afternoon being @ 80 degrees. I plan on BBQ some chicken and tofu.

I need to write up my monthly menu and check the freezer. I know I’ve used up quite a bit and when we were in New Brighton my daughter also used up lots of frozen things so that’s good and I can write a list of what needs to be replaced.

After my doctor visit yesterday, which went fine, I stopped at Trader Joe’s in Roseville. I bought some bread things,bagels,pita bread, sandwich bread, some veggies, some frozen things too. TJ’s is great for snacks like sesame sticks so I got a nice variety.

The doctor visit was fine. He said to lower my Dex( from 16 to 12 mg) so it’s maybe not so intense. That’ll be nice. He also said we’ll just wait and see about Round 6. I think if the Dex is more tolerable he’ll go for round 6. I guess we’ll see. All my numbers were still great and my ratio even went down to 1.3 since Lambda went up slightly. So I’m pleased and plus I feel pretty good overall. I do feel pretty lucky that the cancer is being wiped out by Velcade. Unfortunately, there are always rogue cells left behind and that’s why relapse is inevitable. But that’s not now and I refuse to think about something in the future I have no control over.