Fall Cooking and tidying

I made a lovely pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing the other day. It was just right for this time of year.

Actually, I couldn’t find pumpkin anywhere even Walmart. So I happened to check Raley’s/Bel AIr and they had their brand on sale for $1.25 a can. I bought 10. Then I forgot the cream cheese so B went to Bel Air and bought 2. Never again. He paid almost $5.00 a package. I can get 6 boxes at Costco for less than $7.00. Well, I guess it pays to have a stockpile of things like that.

I went for my labs Tuesday so I’m guessing I’ll hear the bad news by next week. He also ordered an IGG test which is immunoglobulins. I guess with Myeloma it must show differently but I can’t really say I recognize it. So we’ll see.

Today, I’m making a creamy chicken and wild rice soup for dinner. I have some frozen Borscht for the veg.

We actually have a cool cloudy day and it’s great. I washed all the outside windows with the Windex sprayer that attaches to a hose. Very convenient. I try and do the outside windows 4 times a year generally around the cross quarters. Since I do the inside windows with each zone that gets done in each room about every 5 weeks. I like clean windows.

In the bedroom I added a linen top cover. I love the look and feel of linen. I don’t think now that I have had linen sheets I could go back to regular cotton ones. So I was watching one of my favorite Youtubers, Benita Larsson in Copenhagen and she said in Europe most people only use a duvet cover over the bottom sheet. Then take that off to wash as needed. That wouldn’t work for us but I got to thinking about wanting a linen top cover. I checked everywhere for just fabric but it was all running about $45 a yard. So I happened to think of Ikea’s linen set. I checked and they had the king size duvet. Works perfectly and gives me the look I’m after. Oh, and it was only $79.99.

Linen king duvet used just as a covering for winter. I love how linen looks after it’s washed.

I also use linen napkins for meals and have a white set and a natural set. Sometimes I iron them but mostly I like their crinkleness.

I think I’ll go do some garden stuff also since it’s cloudy and I can get maybe one bed ready for fall planting.

I’m also going to get out my vintage Halloween stuff to put out.

Five on Friday

*Let me be the first to say, Trump and Melania testing positive is just what he deserves for not taking any precautions or even taking Covid-19 seriously. We never go anywhere without masks and sanitizer. We don’t mingle in crowds or go to Target to browse. Nada!! ” So stupid is as stupid does” Forrest Gump!!

*My son is very creative and loves to build things related to movies/props/video games. So using a 3D printer he built this

and another angle

This is from The Portal Game; The Aperture Science handheld Portal Device. ( For us non gamers, this is a video game)

Pretty amazing! and he figured out the electronics so it changes colors,red to orange to green to blue.

Way beyond my comprehension. Maybe all that homeschooling and building projects did something?? nah, I think he’s just super smart.

*Yesterday I made a very yummy applesauce cake with the left over apples I had. It turned out way better than I thought it would.

I dusted powdered sugar on top to make a finishing touch. It’s almost gone this morning!! The recipe also did not use eggs and I wasn’t sure about that but it was fine.

*Budget wise, things are pretty good. Except for the Ikea trip we didn’t spend any extra. Since we do Ikea maybe 2x a year, I’m okay with picking stuff there like extra kitchen towels, pantry jars etc. Plus, if you have an Ikea near your Tuesdays and Wednesdays they open at 9am for over 65. It was great to get in there and there were only a few people in there. No kids! Very worth it! We will need to still pay the AAA fair California bill but we haven’t gotten it yet. I’m guessing it’ll be there any day in the mailbox. Plus the other big expense will be property tax. I’m planning on paying that when we drop our ballots off at the county voting box.

*I spent a little down at the market for milk and a loaf of rustic bread and Guiness Stout for the Welsh Rarebit I made for dinner last night. I love Welsh rarebit. It’s basically cheese sauce on toast. The recipe was form the NYT (mark Bittman). It was a little strong on the stout.

Since we had pizza on my birthday, tonight I will do either breakfast for dinner or a frittata with some potatoes or???? mystery night!!

*BTW, if you follow Flylady this is a 2 zone week. Yesterday started the Entryway/dining room zone. Always a good time, if you have a dining room to declutter,simplify and minimize what you have. I don’t have a ‘real’ dining room. Our table is in the main room. I have the Heywood wakefield hutch which holds my Tepco pine cone ware. So all I do is wash the glass on it and dust. I also make sure the table is clear except for my beeswax tapers and seasonal decor( right now it’s the little white pumpkins from the garden, and our linen napkins in a bowl.

Ok, that was 6 things with a lot mixed in:)

Another turn around the sun.

Yip…. another year older. I made it to 68.

Getting older is kinda weird really. Inside you feel pretty much the same as you did when you were younger but the body sure can’t keep up the same:) I am extraordinarily grateful to be 68.

We had a nice walk this morning and got there @ 5:10. So the annoying lady showed up at 5:43 but we were done. It was so weird. She pulled in to the parking lot and parked in the middle of almost on the park road. Honestly, I was WTF? is she doing. Not the best place to park.

We had a fun trip to Ikea but alas, the chairs were not what I wanted and then we found some we like but they were out of stock. But I bought a bunch of fun Christmas stuff, a new bath mat, candles, 2 glass jars and their brand of cotton kitchen towel that run .79 and are really the best of found except William Sonoma’s but they are 4 for $20.

Tonight my son is going to go get a pizza for dinner so no cooking.

Last night we watched another episode of ‘THe Boys”. that show is intense to say the least.

It’s fairly warm today and there’s smoke from the Santa Rosa fires. We sure could use rain.

There’s also supposed to be a high fire warning tomorrow thru Saturday.

What a joke about the debate. We didn’t watch but caught all the news this morning. tRump was an asshole. Biden did the best he could but Chris Wallace should have shut tRump down. And that whole thing with the proud Boys makes me sick. I hope we can hang on till Nov 3 and then ?

A commenter wanted to know how to freeze the potatoes. Potatoes on there own don’t freeze well but these double stuffed do. First bake way more than you think because you will scooping out the potato. So I did 15 whole potatoes. It does take a while to bake. I had them on 2 hours but they were done by 1 :45. So then let them cool and cut in half. Scoop the insides into a big bowl. I add a stick of butter and About one cup of cheddar cheese. I also add 1/2-1 cup of sour cream. I kinda eye ball it. Salt and pepper. Blend well. Then I mound it into the shell. So 1 potato half is maybe 3/4 of the potato. I ended up with 20 halves. I wrap in foil and then put in a zip lock bag and then freeze. I often take them out and heat in the microwave or I’ll just stick back in the oven and rebake. Great for nights when you don’t feel like cooking.

Simple Sunday

Perfect fall weather. The mornings are cool and days get warm. We still haven’t had any outdoor fires in the fire pit because of fire danger. We need some rain to do that.

Not now:(

Our walks are stress free since we’re the only ones there that early. The stars have been spectacular. Venus is very bright and Mars is quite red. We we’re leaving at 6 and the first person showed up so hopefully we can maintain this schedule. Frankly, it’s worth it to be out the door just a little earlier. As I said to B this morning, we can do it now but who knows the future. A year from now? or when I start Velcade? I may not be up to it so we might as well do this while we can.

This week is the Living room zone if you follow Flylady. I did ours including window washing. I need to do the outside windows this coming week. I try and do them each quarter. I use the outside bottle of windex that attaches to a hose. It works quite well.

Today is a mellow day without too much on the docket. I’m planning on soup for dinner with salad. Yesterday I prepped 15 baked potatoes( Costco, big bag) for double stuffed potatoes. That’s 30 halves. But when you pile it on you do get less. So I ended up with 20 halves. I left 4 out and froze the rest. The potatoes were really nice so if you’re in Costco, that’s a good buy. I guessing that’s because the harvest is happening in Idaho. Plus the value is incredible. 15 lbs of bakers for $5.69. I think down at the Holiday they are .99 a pound right now. Also, double stuffed potatoes freeze beautifully.

This coming week has some appts. I have a dental cleaning and we are tentatively going to Ikea to get 2 chairs for the sunporch. We’ll see. It depends how the week shapes up and my mood. The pantry from Ikea is still unavailable so that won’t be happening. But Ikea is fun and affordable.

Simple Sunday

BOYCOTT GOYA FOOD PRODUCTS!

( just a reminder)….

We stocked up the prepper pantry this week with

  • 25 lbs of black beans. they’re not organic but grown in Washington state so I felt ok about it.
  • canned goods
  • coffee( 2 bags of Starbucks French Roast on sale at Costco)
  • Bob’s steel cut oats
  • TP
  • paper towels ( Costco’s giant package gets us through most of the year) We try not to use a lot of paper towels but sometimes you just have to.
  • Dove soap( 16 bars)
  • ramen soup( my favorite breakfast)
  • lots of single item things from Winco like Asian seasoning stuff, and olives
  • four more boxes of pasta
  • Another 10 bag of Calrose rice

The barn pantry looks really good and as soon as I get the Ikea pantry the other stainless steel shelves will go out there too.

Not much on the schedule this week, so that’s nice. With the weather being so hot, I don’t like having to go out much.

I went to Goodwill yesterday and Whoaaaaa… I got there at 9:45am. Dropoffs start at 10am. there were probably 25 cars already in line. By the time it started, I had probably 30 cars behind me. I guess it’s the season.

My order from Ikea ( from 2 months ago) showed up. So it’s another bamboo plant stand. And another small cabinet. I have this cabinet in our entryway and my plan was to put this one next to it. But then since we put the small TV in my office area, I decided I will put it under the TV and put ALL the DVDs in it. If they don’t fit some will have to go. So a little more organization.

I’ve been taking some pictures of the different rooms again and looking at the spaces. In my office area, the brown rug ( once I took the picture) looked really awful with the grey Ikea couch. So that was pulled out and I’ll have to see if I want a grey rug to replace or just leave the wood floor. Some of the pine boards need replacing so another project.

This week on the menu will be

  • individual Lodge quiches, a mushroom /cheese, spinach/ cheese)
  • Yakisoba with crispy tofu
  • burrito bowls with pintos, avocado, tomato salsa, cheese and tortillas
  • maybe something with beef like in a Japanese recipe from Just One Cookbook
  • spinach crepes with a bechamel sauce( maybe) depends how ambitious I feel!

BTW, I am loving the Zojirushi rice maker I got. It is fantastic ( thanks Laura from The Occasional Nomads who always has great suggestions and has lovely Japanese things in her home on Kaua’i.

My head is spinning with the political crap going on. With Trump getting Stone off the hook and out of his scheduled sentence, I just want to throw up. The corruption is so blatant it’s mind-boggling. Then he and Devos ( who is also evil incarnate) just wants the kids to go to school 5 days a week. Ok, you send YOUR kid or you go and spend a week in a classroom with 30 kids and tell me it’s safe. Yeah, right.

In other boring news, the Flylady zone is the bathroom. Not exciting but hey it still needs to get done.

 

It’s all too much…

Well, no Frugal Friday here. It’s more like  WTF Friday. Hey, that’s catchy!

Really, I ‘m not sleeping very well and actually took an Ativan to sleep the other night. I

rarely do that and I guess the stress is building.

We had a nice walk though, this morning and then I went into our Holiday Market. There was no bread( I didn’t need any anyway), no pasta, sauces, no flour, etc, no regular milk. But I actually got what I needed which was maple syrup, sliced cheese, applesauce, tortillas, organic milk, and some other stuff. I wore a mask in the store as well as gloves. The clerks were very with it and asked did I want them to use gloves and I said yes. So they are being very proactive.  That should be the last shop I need for at least the next 2-3 weeks.

Everywhere in California, there is a mandatory ‘shelter in place’. I think it’s a good thing at least for the next 2 weeks. It is scary though, to think about this in the larger picture.  We still have our reservations for New Brighton in April but we will cancel as the California park system is shut down anyway. That’s disappointing as we missed last year and now it looks like this year too. Oh well, can’t be helped.

I even saw Ikea is closed so that’s something.

Finnie is still doing poorly. My daughter did take him to the vet and he’s on antibiotics, but he’s not eating and I’m guessing he’s not long for this world. Really upsetting since we’ve lost all our pets in the last 8 months. They were old but still. I still hope Finnie can pull-thru.

I’ve been freshening my sourdough starter from the fridge and it looks good. I used some to make some dough for pizza tonight so we’ll see how it rises to the occasion.

I’m not sure when I’ll do another post. I feel deflated about everything.  But I’ll post when I get back in the mood.

 

Simple Sunday

I ended up having this head/sinus cold thing.  Not debilitating but still not great. I haven’t been to the gym as I don’t want to be THAT person I glare at who’s snotting away over by the weight machines.  Maybe tomorrow if my nose dries up:)

The only logical place I got this was the hospital as I didn’t go out Monday, Tuesday was the procedure,  went to the gym Thursday but then starting getting sickish Thursday.  so that’s about the right incubation time 2 -3 days. Oh well, it’ll pass.

I changed my labs till tomorrow but I’d guess my WBC will be affected with a cold. The other tests aren’t really affected by a virus.

I did walk this morning and that was ok.

Barclay’s official last day of work was Friday. The end of 25 years with UNFI. I still wish it had been different that it wasn’t because of getting MDS and then having an allo transplant but life is what it is. Since we don’t have a much in the way of retirement it’ll be challenging but  I guess we’ll do ok. If not we could always sell and go rent. Although rents are way more than our mortgage in this area. So who knows really.

Today is the super bowl and my son has a Hulu account so he’s going to log in and maybe we can catch some of the game. We used to love Super bowl and back in the day watched the games. I guess we stopped that, maybe 10 years ago. It started to just seem like they were Roman games with gladiators and kinda weird.

This coming week is open and that will be nice. I’m going to go to the Nevada Co library for some holds.

I might go to Ikea this week if the pantry I want is in stock. It comes and goes pretty quickly. Our space is so limited that it has to be a certain size and this one has on an open shelf for a microwave. We don’t use the microwave much except for popcorn and heating leftover coffee. I can make popcorn on the stove and its quite easy but sometimes the convenience of a bag wins.

I finished our taxes which were very easy as there wasn’t much in taxable income. With SS income and the money paid out from B’s sick leave( he had taxes taken out on this, thus the refund) so we’ll get a small refund. That’s why I feel okay getting the Ikea pantry which is about $200.

Here’s the marmalade I made.

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the one jar lid is one from last year and I will put this one in the fridge.

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It came out really well and has a beautiful color. I stopped at Whole Foods but they did not have Sevilles.  These were just navel oranges from the store.  Next time I would slice the rind super thin.

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Plus 2 small jars for the fridge as well. I still have 4 more organic navels from Whole Foods so I might do another batch.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady.  I will start but probably wait till I feel better to finish it.

 

A lovely fall so far…

Our weather is so beautiful.

I can’t hardly imagine being anywhere else, well maybe Hawaii! Next week looks lovely as well with day time temperatures in the 70’s. We do need the rain though:(

We had a fun time at Ikea this week. I got the new Poang chair covers(2) that I’d been waiting till they were in stock. I really would have liked the more expensive ones but they weren’t in stock till the end of November plus they were kinda pricey.  I love their storage jars and always buy one or two.  I’m liking the smaller ones to use in the fridge.

We also picked up the plant stand I’ve been eyeing so I can put 3 plants together.

 

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I really like the bamboo wood legs and it holds 3 plants. I’m still experimenting with which ones to use.

I also gave some plants a shower this week and they’re happier.

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This morning I made banana bread as we had 4 ripe bananas that needed using.

I always add pecans/walnuts and choc chips.

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This morning I’m planning on going into town for just a brief stop at the bank to get a copy of a transaction and then down to our local bagel store.

We haven’t heard from the tree guy so maybe next week. Since they did the other tree last Saturday I thought they might be back today but we had no call.

Things are going great!!

First things first, TODAY is my 14th year since diagnosis. I was standing in our driveway and Barclay took the phone call from the awful doctor. Doesn’t matter, here I am!!!!  So onward. Next week I get my labs in the middle of all this and we’ll see what my numbers do. Up or down??? I’ll deal with it one way or another.

It’s the weekend and B has no labs till Monday so we can relax. I’m heading over to Ikea as they charged me for 2 paring knives but I only bought one. I’m not sure how that will work but I’ll try. Plus I bought this darling fold out bed for our daughter to sleep on here but then discovered that the couch does fold down to a bed. Okay, Barclay figured it out I just kinda looked at it and didn’t connect the dots. Oh, well.  So I will return that(insert sad face as it’s really cute). But I don’t need it now and then at home I’d have to store it so, decision made.

It’s all going really well and so far and now it’s just waiting till we can go home. Although next week is labs one day, clinic the next and then repeat so going home isn’t too feasible.

Tomorrow both kids are coming down so we can have Fathers day here.  They are doing a great job keeping things going at home. Which, surprisingly, is a lot of work mostly due to having pets, chickens and large garden areas.

We are off for a small walk and BTW Sacramento is having a serious cool down so we are VERY comfortable…. Todays high is only going to be 84 so really nice.

Another Ikea trip.

I need to return the shelf we bought for the bathroom. since we bought the shelf unit we don’t need the shelf where the other one was. So that’s the main reason.  But then we decided to get a small metal cabinet for cat litter and dog food. Right now, the cat litter bag is on the floor and I really don’t like looking at it.  This is a nice cabinet that’s only $40. Ikea has this new thing called Click and Collect where you order and pay online and then pick up at the local Ikea.  We’re lucky to have one only 50 minutes away. their free coffee is always yummy. And the breakfasts are $1.99.

We’re not getting the breakfast today, but we might get the free coffee.

Then tomorrow I have the eye doctor appt. Since this whole thing with Medicare is coming up, I need to get glasses while I’m still covered with B’s UHC. It completely sucks that vision and dental plans are so poorly addressed in Medicare. I mean, REALLY??? If you’re older don’t you need that more??? I asked our dentist when I switch to medicare what is different? And the receptionist says,” Oh we don’t take Medicare. ”  So I’ve been a patient with Pier 210 Dental in Auburn, Ca for almost 40 years and now I can’t get my dental needs there. WTF????