Friday Things

It’s been a weird week. It started off with me having to take Buggie back to the garage because my fan speeds were not working. The girl at the desk became very defensive and I was also defensive that my fan wasn’t working and I wanted it fixed. It boiled down to when I brought my car in my fan was working when I picked it up(well my daughter did),the fan speed was stuck on high. I asked Sachi and she said the fan was on when she picked it up and just thought with the smoke and fires the garage had it running high. So the whole escalated the next day with the owner calling me and really ripping into me about how I was rude and ‘an awful person’ for confronting his daughter. Of course, I said look at it from my side,that I just spent $3000 on the car and I get home and my fan is not working. Well, it volleys back and forth that no way did they do anything to my fan and it must have been my daughter driving it home( which is 10 minutes folks) and cranked the fan on and broke it. Really??? are you kidding me.? no I didn’t say that. I just said, I don’t know what happened but she said the fan was on high when she drove it home and she didn’t touch the dial. I apologized that I offended his daughter but again, my point was my fan is not working. So, in long run, he said he spent ALL DAY fixing something( the switch??). I said thank you and took my keys and left. Obviously, I will never go back for service there. It’s always so weird to me how things can turn into an event when I simply went in saying I want my fan fixed since when I brought it in it was working and when I drove it next the fan was not working. I’m sure I was intense to a degree but not ‘rude’. Oh well, I thought of doing a negative Yelp review, but then just figured why bother?

Other than that, Tuesday I had my labs and my CBC, CMP are all the same pretty much and my Kappas just came in this morning and went up to 22.3 mg/L from 20.1. so an increase but not too dramatic. It seems my numbers are holding steady for the time being.

This morning is my covid booster so I’m planning on doing that and then going to Safeway for a few things and then home. Usually, Saturday is my swim day but I’m leaving that open as I don’t know if I’ll feel lousy or not.

Budget-wise, it was a good week with nothing extra spent except some salad mix, wine, and bananas. bb

I’ve been doing some batch cooking for the freezer. I made beef stew in the Instant Pot and then froze 2 quarts, lentil soup, and froze 2 quarts. A yummy quiche from Le Creuset cookbook. It came out really good with fresh thyme.

I got a lot done around the house yesterday and felt good about that. I changed the shower curtain, we put the rug back down in the bedroom, made the lentil soup, and washed all the couch covers. So everything is fresh for fall. I’m having B take out the cooler in the bed room this weekend and I’ll put up the fall/winter cutains soon.

Friday things

Today has been mostly tidying the house and catching up on a few things. I returned a small handheld label maker I had ordered a couple of weeks ago from Amazon because the ink was skipping and after trying a bunch of times just gave up. I’ll look for a different kind of label maker when I feel like it.

I’m planning on using my cash envelopes for August for a few things like groceries, Target, Home Depot and, a few others. I feel like we need to be a bit more focused on where the dollars are going. I know our daily budget but lots of time I just say to B to get it at Home Depot and then he buys whatever. It’s covered in our checking but I feel like we need to say there’s this $amount and that’s it. I’ll focus on August and see how it goes. For some things like gas, I won’t do cash so that’s the debit card. But I will have an index card with the amounts as ‘virtual cash’. All our regular bills are automatic.

Today is our last really hot day and then we start to trend downward into the low 90s. Maybe we can start eating dinner out on the patio again.

After my gym workout, I went into the library and picked up my holds. Two were canning books but they weren’t quite what I was after so I guess I’ll just have to buy the Ball book again. ( I gave it away a few years ago because I hadn’t used it). Most recipes are on- line but I’d still like to have a copy for reference mostly. I was excited to get the new Anne Hillerman book. I still love all things Santa Fe and New Mexico and appreciate the native culture immensely. The pinion pines smell amazing and the sky is incredibly blue. I’ve bought pinion pine incense and it’s lovely.

Tonight is supposed to be pizza but alas, it’s too hot so we’re going to have a brown rice salad. Last night I made zucchini fritters from the farm. I’ll probably go out there later this afternoon for a few things.

Not much else going on here.

A goat cheese quiche:

Garlic herb butter

corn from the farm.

Simple Sunday

We have smokey skies from the Yosemite fire this morning and the sun is an orange ball. The temperature seems cooler but we’re still expecting a high of 98 today. I do hope the firefighters can get this under control. There’s already been a mandatory evacuation down near Mariposa. ugh… fire is scary! We had a nice walk though, and no one showed up while we were there.

I read a few newer books this week including Josuha Becker’s” Things that matter”. I liked it well enough, not remarkable but still a good read. Then Kellerman’s new book “City of Dead”. He’s always pretty scripted but I still like his writing. Then by Kumiko Love( I wonder if that’s her real last name), “My Money, My Way. ” She basically takes most of her ideas from people like Dave Ramsey and others but I still like her presentation and I thought it a worthwhile read about money and budgets. I put a few canning books on hold and I’m still contemplating the pressure canner. I did decide that the All American is too expensive for me (over $ 400) but the Presto is $160 or so and that may be a better beginner option. I’m definitely not interested in pressure canning chicken or beef etc but there are some things I would do that need a pressure canner like chicken broth.

I made some refrigerator bread and butter pickles yesterday, and they looked good. We didn’t plant cucumbers for some reason so I bought 3 at the Farm and got 2 jars out of them.

Here are some of the onions I harvested. I’m thrilled to get some onions.

This morning I started the sourdough bread and will let it do a slow rise overnight and bake tomorrow early. I also made a pie crust for the goat cheese quiche I’m making later. The best pie crust I’ve found is from Joanna Gaine’s book” Magnolia Table”. I’ve made it numerous times and it comes together very easy.

The Flylady zone is the living room zone. I did most of it already but I still need to dust the tops of the Easton Press books.

This week I plan to do a Winco trip for a few things, and B has labs on Wednesday in Rocklin so I’ll see about him stopping at Costco again for a few more things. Other than that, trying to stay cool, and doing my normal stuff.

House Lessons

There is any number of things I could say our small house taught us but here are some.

This house was sold ” as is” by the nephew of the owner who had died at least 3 yrs before, so it was in a very neglected state. Plus Mr. Clark was 90-something when he died so the house was already neglected due to the fact he was so old and couldn’t do any repairs. The bathroom was pretty much ruined by water damage. We had to gut the tiny bathroom and even the subfloor had to be removed. The prequel to this story is for another post.

It took a very long time for me to understand that this was a very small house and only so much could realistically fit. ( I know, I know, it seems only logical). BUT I didn’t learn this for many years We had moved from a 1500 sq ft house to under 700sq ft. I tried to cram in all our stuff and for years( at least 15) just kept moving stuff around. So the first lesson was the house is a container and the container can only fit what it can fit. It is too small for 2 couches, a piano, a large oak table and on and on. I tried but it really was too much but I still tried. It really wasn’t till I started doing Flylady( around 2010) that I began to understand the relationship between clutter, stuff, collectibles, furniture, and SPACE. What I wanted was a house that worked for me with less stuff, less cleaning, less dusting of collectibles, moving piles of stuff constantly, etc.

Secondly, this is an OLD house and will never have the amenities of a newer house. Our floors creak and the foundation certainly needs some attention. Old houses are harder to keep clean and are always in need of some sort of upkeep that newer houses don’t require. Accepting this house was OLD just helped me get on with the actual living in it.

Thirdly, the layout is really just awful and I’ve had to adjust to this. There is no entry wat to speak of, You come into the kitchen after stepping into what is the front door where Barclay has his desk to one side and on the other is a low metal locker for odds and ends. This room was a porch we enclosed. If we had money, I would have repositioned the front entry in a completely different way. Of course, back then in 1995, with the little money we got from the sale of our house we did redo quite a bit including all the plumbing and electrical. Still, we never changed anything structurally or added on ( like a second bath or bedroom). We just didn’t have the money then nor now.

Four, finally this house taught me to SIMPLIFY everything. Living small is possible if you remove the excess and that is what this house taught me. There’s no question, that if we had money, I would have done remodeling and building but that is not the case so, it’s do what you can with what you’ve got.

If anything, this house taught me to be a minimalist in a way that works for me. It may not be ‘minimalist’ enough for someone else but I’ve pared done to the essentials of what I need and use and love.

There’s more to the story but that’s for another time.

Simple Sunday

Well, the HOT weather is back and will be with us for about 10 days. I try and hold off turning on the coolers till about noon. The one we added last year in the entryway/ B’s office space actually helps the house the most as there’s no air circulation there and it gets really warm. The cooler moves the air in there and into the kitchen. I also close all the windows by 8 and close what curtains/blinds we have and that helps.

This week is the Flylady bathroom zone and I just finished that. I tidied the kitchen and other rooms too. I was going to make the bagel dough for tomorrow a little later. ( will see if that happens.)

I’m planning to go in to Auburn to go to Michaels as I need some black embroidery thread. I’ve been having fun doing some embroidery. Usually, I just like to do borders on napkins and things but I found a cute Neko cat one on – line for free and I’ve 2. One is just on a linen bag I have and the other I left in the hoop for my daughter to put in her space. It’s meditative and like knitting is a good mind exercise. I might pick up some cotton to do some wash cloths too. I can only knit so long as my hands have some arthritis and after a while cramp up. Still, it’s fun to do something creative.

I did end up going into Winco yesterday and spent a little over $100. I got a few extra pantry things so that was good. One thing I told B when I got home was all the shelves and bulk sections in Winco were all full. No gaps or empty shelves. So I think this is a good time to look at what I need to restock in my prepper type pantry.

I think dinners this week will be around a salad theme because of the heat. I plan on making a Greek pasta salad for tonight, maybe do a sandwich or wrap night too.

Friday things

It’s been a quiet week and also an off week. With the 4th of July on Monday, I didn’t go to the gym and then I didn’t swim Tuesday because I didn’t want to get stuck in the traffic on I-80 with everyone traveling after the holiday. So I went to the gym Wednesday and now it’s Friday and I’ll swim tomorrow. But next week is also messed up because Monday I have my annual eye exam and I’ll get my eyes dilated so I need to drive straight home as my pupils stay dilated for hours. Then Thursday I have Dr. Laptalo, so no gym that day unless I went afterward. It’s always a crap shoot if he’s on time (almost never) or really late ( almost always). So if I don’t leave there till 11, I probably will not want to go to the gym at noon. Some weeks are just like that but I don’t have this happen that often.

I’ve been watching some youtube channels using the All Amerian pressure canner. I’m still undecided. I’d like to be able to can low acid foods( you must pressure can), or just stick with the water bath canning which is what I’ve always done. The canner is quite expensive at @$400, so not a small investment. I guess I’ll keep thinking about it.

The herbs I’ve been drying have come out very nice and quite fragrant so I’ve enjoyed that. This morning I’m making some herbed butter to freeze. I mix the unsalted butter with thyme, parsley, and chives and then roll in a piece of parchment to make a log. It’s nice to have in the winter.

The second batch of bagels I made yesterday came out great.

This is after the overnight fermentation in the fridge.

So using the barley malt syrup is absolutely a game-changer. It gives the bagels a nice chewy texture and delicious flavor. I plan on making these once a week for a while. It is a two-day process with a rise in the refrigerator overnight.

I went to the farm stand yesterday and bought some produce for the week. Beautiful lettuce, spring mix, radishes, cabbage, zucchini, and cucumbers. We’re lucky it’s 5 minutes down the road. I’m hoping to find some peaches this weekend to make some peach jam and maybe a peach pie.

I didn’t do any grocery shopping this week but I may go to Winco tomorrow as we need milk and a few other things. I guess I’ll just see after my swim. So the week has bfarm standeen quite frugal.

Other than that same old same old. It’s still hard to see the news and the horribleness of the Highland Park shootings. It’s really just crazy. Just think, you’re out with your family for the 4th of July to celebrate, and see the parade and then the next minute you’re killed by a crazed murderer with an automatic weapon. When is it going to end and we ban assault rifles. How many more must die.?

Frugal Friday

We went to Costco an that was over $400. Granted, lots were items that will be used for all of July and beyond. The sale items are where the deals are and I got the giant Windex bottle, Cholula 2 pack, San Marzano tomatoes( the best for pizza sauce), and lots of other pantry staples. Some of those things will last a year( think the giant jug of Windex), and others will last 6 months (think Cholula). So, all in all, it was good. The store was busy as usual and I sort of thought with the issues with gas prices and inflation there would be fewer people but that didn’t seem to be the case. We also filled the Chevy truck up with gas at Costco as that’s the cheapest anywhere.

We’ve had all our meals at home and some tasty ones. Last night even with our heat wave, I used the Weber and cooked BBQ Chicken. It came out great. I don’t know what it is with that small gas Weber, but everything comes out excellent. Maybe it’s the control dial. Anyway, if you’re looking for a great tabletop BBQ this is the one and worth the price. One night we just had egg salad sandwiches, and another night was just some hot dogs with homemade potato salad. Simple meals when it’s this hot.

I stopped at the library yesterday to pick up a hold and picked up a few more books. It is such a nice library and the self-checkout is convenient.

Today’s another hot day and in a little while, I’ll close all the windows to keep the cool in. I’ve been turning on the coolers around noon. I usually start with just the one cooler in the entryway and then the front room one later.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY JUNETEENTH TOO!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL DAD’S OUT THERE, of kids, and furry kids too.

After the fiasco with the Ooni, yesterday we lit the pellets again and did get the temperature to 990 degrees. So that was working and probably what we did wrong was not wait long enough for the temperature and I think I need to scale the toppings way back. I did go and order Ooni pellets just to have the right specific ones they have.

This morning we had a nice walk with only one other person who has been showing up all week. He’s nice and seems to be enjoying walking. I’m planning on making a Father’s Day brunch of baked eggs with spinach in the individual lodge pans, bacon, both real and veggie, biscuits ,and homemade jam. I’m not sure what I’m planning for dinner but I might do Praeger burgers with corn, and I have some potatoes to use.

Our weather turns very hot by Wednesday, so today is probably a good day to BBQ and sit outside. When it’s 95 out it’s just too hot.

The pool was really nice yesterday because there were not a lot of swimmers. Almost everyone had their own lane which is rare. I enjoyed it immensely. After that, I went to the newish Trader Joe’s for a few things mainly wine, and bagels. I also got milk and juice and microgreens which I love on sandwiches. I was out of there in 15 minutes. We are planning Costco this week, but my son loves his bagels for breakfast.

This week is mellow, no appts or anything, just normal day to day stuff and a trip to Costco. I’m sure Costco will be pricey as so many prices have gone up. Even their bagels which used to be 5.99 are now 7.99. and that was 6 weeks ago. There’s not much you can do except try and hold to a budget and not freak out.

Flylady zone is the bedroom, if you follow the zones. She had a good description of decluttering the bedroom on her website which is really awful aesthetically. But the person who runs her website does a good job describing how to start under the bed, then to the right of the bed then left. And she always says, just do 15 minutes. I think Flylady works if you modify it to fit your circumstances.

Here’s a few pictures from the week, a funny video of Ciri the ‘mama kat’.

That’s a vulture sunning itself.

The Gus(ter)!!!!

She’s playing with a TOY mouse!!!

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.