Frugal Friday

We are back home and had a great time in Tahoe. If you’re ever wanting to visit Tahoe, come in September. Most of the tourists are gone and it’s beautiful. Now some of this was due to the Caldor fire and lots of things cancelled/closed but in general September is amazing up there.

For B’s birthday lunch we went to Sprouts which is the main health food restaurant in South Lake. We both agreed it was so so. We’ve been there many times so maybe it was an off day. The sandwich was fair but not great. Oh well, we still had a lovely time and it was only $20 plus tip.

Here’s the 2 old people out at the beach without even combing our hair!!!!

We went to the grocery store and bought a few groceries but that was only $27 so a frugal win. We had brought most everything we needed and the fridge is so big that we had lots of room.

We should have a refund from the days we weren’t there but I haven’t seen it so I may have to call. It should be almost half of our original fee. BTW, if you get the Senior Parks pass( thru the US FS the fees at Nevada Beach and other places that are USFS and parks it is half off. That’s probably why there are so many seniors there. I mean where else are you going to go on vacation in one of the most beautiful spots in the world for $20 a night.

This toward South Lake at @ 7am.

I think this was the worst smoke toward SL Tahoe.

I went and did my labs this morning so next week I should know how much of an increase I’ve had. I wish it would level off but unfortunately that’s not the way my pattern has been.

Tomorrow, I’m excited to get back in the pool as it’s been a week. I’ll probably only do 35 minutes since it’s back to basics again at least until next week.

So, this was a very frugal week even on vacation.

This looking directly across the lake. Emerald bay is over there somewhere.

The smoke lifted as the day went on and it cleared up by afternoon.

Getting ready to go

We are getting things ready to head up to Tahoe Friday. The damn AC in the truck has stopped working just like I said it would. It wasn’t the freon. Well, now there’s nothing we can do till next week so we might as well not get too pissed off. But I think they are trying to pull a fast one on us and now that we have the warranty they have to fix it. Still a PITA to have to drop it off and so on. But on a positive note it won’t be hot in Tahoe and we certainly are not going to need AC. As a matter of fact the mornings are going to be quite cool with a low of 28.

I have most of the food organized and a menu plan done. I’m going to hit the store tomorrow for just a few things. Overall, very simple. There’s no wood or charcoal fires allowed so no Hibachi cooking or Dutch Oven. Also, no fires at night.

I’ve got a big bag of books from the used bookstore so that should fill up my days. Plus we plan on some hiking. Nothing too strenuous just some walking. We plan to not go even into South Lake because of the fire issue. (The fire is not threatening south lake but I want to stay clear anyway.

I need to get labs Friday so we will leave after that. Because we are trailering I suspect it’ll take a little longer than normal and we have to go slower too. As long as everything goes okay with the truck we should hit the campground by 1pm or so. September is lovely in Tahoe and it should be beautiful with nice days and cool nights. Barclay has a birthday next week so we might do a lunch out.

Frugal Friday( for the most part)

I suppose the biggest save this week was shopping at Winco . I haven’t been in quite a while and ,once again, really shocked at the low prices as opposed to Safeway/BelAir.

I probably saved $50 at least on what I bought. I didn’t really go item by item but it was significant. What happened is, after swimming I decided to go over there and it wasn’t too difficult at all. Usually after my swim I come directly home. No stops. So this time I swam 35 minutes so I wasn’t too wiped out and it was perfect. Plus I was in there at 8am. So there were just a few shoppers( big bonus for me who dislikes people). All in all, I was quite pleased and will do it again, probably before we head to Tahoe ( if it is even open).

The truck AC we as fixed, we think, at no cost to us as we have the warranty. I’m still not sure it was just the freon but I’ll wait and see.

We haven’t done any take out in a while and that always saves money. Just haven’t been interested in other people’s food. Tonight is pizza night and I’ll do an Ooni. I’m down to 4 more and it’s paid for itself. If I were to order it again, I would definitely go for the gas one so if you’re thinking about an Ooni do the gas one. The pellets take more work and getting the temperature right is tricky. Not hard, you just have to keep adding the pellets at the right time.

I’m planning on going down to Ikea this morning as I have a 10% coupon I want to use. I tried to do the click and collect which is nice and easy but the item I wanted they said they couldn’t do that due to low stock. Oh well, it shows 4 in stock so I hope it’s there.

The laundry room is still torn apart but getting there. I decided to buy the less expensive window to replace the one that broke and was all fogged anyway. That hopefully will go in this weekend. I want it all done including being painted by the time we leave for Tahoe so that should give my son and B a timeline.

Simple Sunday

Lots being done today.

The laundry room is torn apart and there’s hammering and banging going on. The one window is out and that will need replacing. Realistically if it’s done by next weekend, that’ll be good. The washer is hooked outside to a hose , real Okie( not to be prejudiced) but it does look a bit like, well maybe Appalachia. The freezer is outside too on the dirt:( It is covered and running but the whole effect is, well, Okie like. humm…..

I finished the Kitchen zone which took quite a while. But the floor still needs mopping and I’m too bushed to do it now.

I made some granola this morning for the week ahead. Then I made another Zojirushi pot of brown rice that used up the last of the organic brown from last year. The date on it was still good but best to finish it up.

Yesterday, I did more pickled jalapenos.

Tomorrow I’m planning on doing one last batch of jalapeno pepper jelly and that should do it. What a year for peppers.

My daughter has been busy cleaning out garden beds and surrounding areas of dead stuff. It already looks so much better. I think we’re ready to pull up most everything in the garden beds including the pepper plants:)

Barclays IGIV went well and he has more energy. Next week he gets his Covid booster, so that’s good.

No word from the dealer on the AC in the truck. They looked swamped when we dropped it off so who knows.

Tomorrow I will be modifying our Tahoe trip. The whole Tahoe basin is closed till September 17 so that affects our camping trip. Under these circumstances I’m fine with that and even if it all gets cancelled. Better for less people to be up there so the firefighters can do their job. …sigh…

Simple Sunday

Because of the smoke and unhealthy air quality the pool has been closed both Friday and Saturday. It’s smart they do that when it’s so bad you can’t see 100 yds. Well, since all the die hard swimmers will be enmasse on Monday, I’ll wait and go on Tuesday and it’ll still probably be busy. That’s okay, I’m swimming because #1. I love it and always have, #2 it’s good for me, and #3 just because.

Yes, I just checked and it’s closed this morning but there isn’t lap swimming till 11:30 am and then it’s only an hour and a half so I haven’t tried to do a Sunday.

My son is still undecided about the Van but I think I will talk with him and just say, it’s really served it’s time but if he wants then we will have to sign title to him. Then he will need to do insurance etc, repairs. I’m not sure he really wants to take that on.

This week is two flylady zones, the LR and the entry ways. This should only take 15 minutes each.

I made one more jar of pickled jalapenos for the fridge( so that makes 3 jars in there). I looked up doing it in a water bath and it looks easy so I may do a few of those. We opened the one 3/4 full jalapeno jelly jar and Wow!!! It is delicious!!! I may do that this morning but I’ll see how I feel. The biggest part is deseeding and deveining the peppers. Then cutting them up and waiting for the sugar and vinegar to come to a full boil. So somewhat more involved.

I was experimenting making corn tortillas yesterday. I did one batch with a tablespoon of oil and one with just the hot water. I think the one with the oil was slightly better. I pressed but still didn’t get quite as thin as I’d like. Any tortillas makers out there with hints?? I remember the nurse at UCD who was hispanic, made tortillas every day for her kids and she said just keep trying till you get the feel for the right consistency. I ordered some Bobs Red mill masa harina so I’ll try that when it comes.

I got an email from Recreation.gov saying that Nevada Beach was now closed thru the 16th. That is part of our reservation window. So we either need to cancel or modify. I’m going to wait till next week to modify and maybe something will improve. It’s really for the best they keep people out because people are stupid and do stupid things.

Simple Sunday

I finished reading the sweetest little book called ‘Pottering, A cure for Modern Life”. Being British it’s pottering, here it would be puttering. I think I like the British spelling better. A very sweet book with lots of good ideas about how to slow your life down and really just a reminder for those of us who already live slow life, to keep going.

We had a nice walk this morning. No one was there till 6:05 and then of course it was AH. Later a couple showed up with 2 dogs and he (AH) had a hard time controlling his dog. It lurched at the other 2 dogs growling. He had to use both hands on his leash to control it.

Today I plan on doing refrigerator pickles with the ones I got at the farm. It’s only 4 cucumbers so maybe a small pint jars worth. I need some celery seed which I don’t normally keep in my spice basket.

Yesterday I made a King Arthurs scone mix, blueberry sour cream. They were very good and I’d buy the mix again. For dinner I made Ikea sauce, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. The sauce was delicious. B had a Dr. Praeger burger with the sauce.

This coming week is somewhat busy. We’re going to look at another truck down in Roseville, I have my appt in Sacramento, the Santa Fe is going into the dealer for a recall fix it, B has a video dr appt, and it’s our anniversary. I had hoped we could drive up to Tahoe but with the smoke and all the Forest Service everything closed, it doesn’t seem like a good idea. This happened last year with the pandemic, everything shut down and this year it’s fires and the pandemic.

Friday things…

We are back home from our ‘maiden voyage’ and it did have some snafus.

So here we are leaving the driveway. Up ahead on the left is one of our big ponderosas and B didn’t take the turn wide enough so he hit the corner of the awning and snapped off the cover. Fortunately, it didn’t damage anything except the plastic cover which can be taped or replace. The awning worked fine in camp. The drive up to Tahoe was perfect. Not a lot of traffic and we went 55-60 most of the time and the Santa Fe did great. Controlling the steering is something to pay attention to probably because of the weight on the hitch. I don’t know if having a truck resolves that or what but we can’t really entertain the idea of a truck at this point. We have anti sway bars but it’s still something to pay attention to. B did a great job driving though.

So we got up there early and asked if we could check in and Yes, we could. So, here is our spot.

We’ve stayed in this spot before and like it as it is across from the bathrooms.

The campground had way more people than when we were there 2 years ago. I’m guessing pandemic fatigue and everyone wants to be out doing something. Of course, there has to be the one group of campers that are noisy, loud, obnoxious with too many kids running around. Sorry, but I do think one needs to be respectful of Other campers!!! They were certainly not and they moved picnic tables that are NOT meant to be moved together, and were hacking at tree stumps for firewood. Geez, I’m glad they were far enough away that I couldn’t see all there crap. I would not want to be there this weekend with them blaring music.:(

The first night we did a Lodge dinner of stuffed peppers.

I love Lodge cooking and forgot how fun it is to just put the food in and sit back and relax.

The second night we used the Hibachi and I cooked some chicken for me and a Dr. Praeger burger for B. We had potato salad as our side. Quite yummy.

So the second snafu was concerning the battery charge. We were under the impression that the battery and the solar charging would last easily 2-5 days. Well, we were running the frridge all day and by 7pm the battery charge was low and we turned off the fridge. No lights or water pump either. So the next morning we hooked the Santa Fe back up and charged the battery. Then we ran the fridge 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Then we used the water pump as necessary. That seemed to do the trick and the battery held the charge overnight. It was frustrating to have it happen and like I said, we were told the battery was fine for days. Nope. So we are going to have to buy a second battery and they are not cheap. But it should make a difference.

We hooked up Thursday and left by mid morning and had a lovely ride home. I 80 was not too busy so we did fine. Trailering is quite different with this as opposed to the tent trailer and I’m leaving it open till next year whether it is for us at all. I think the difference would be getting a used truck early next year and then seeing how the trailering feels. The SF can do it and it was fine but I think the uptake is a bigger vehicle with a V-8 will make the difference.

Here’s the bed. Comfy and great windows to look out of. That front window is tinted and you can’t see in at all.

Here’s the totally cool kitchen. We can’t use the microwave unless we’re hooked up to a 30 amp( I guess, not too sure of that).

On our way out we stopped at the Donner Party Memorial.

She was a survivor, I think.

So, today(Friday) I went for my first shot of Velcade in this final round. How long it will keep in remission is anyone’s guess but I hope for a while at least.

WEll, I’m off to take DEX and probably rest.

Friday things…

I’m using up the dex energy to paint trim and the french door in the bedroom. Most of it done. I’m planning on painting the window trim as well and got most of one window done. I’ll do the rest tomorrow.

I’ve got the pizza dough in the bowl doing a first rise and then I’ll put it in the fridge till later.

I’ve been very frustrated about not getting ANY camping spots at all. It seems everyone in the universe now want to go camping. I’m in reserve america at 6:55 am and clicking reserve right up to 7 when it opens up and POOF they are ALL gone. I’m guessing people with faster modems or computers are just beating my Mac. Well, we might not be getting to Tahoe again this summer except for day trips.

I did order the garden shed from Costco at $999. It will be at least 3-5 weeks before delivery so that’s into April I’m guessing. I think it will be most useful.

My labs came back AMAZING. Get this. After one round of Velcade my kappa light chains went from 660.6 to 45.6. Ratio went from 60.1 to 3.65. Even my Dr was impressed. So this cycle who know but it is good news that the myeloma cells do not like VELCADE!!! I know it probably won’t always be this hopeful but for now it is and that’s all we really have in the end anyway, is this day and this moment.

Five on Friday

We finally got off our asses and drove up to the West side of the lake for a day trip. It was really glorious. The west side( Tahoe City, Tahoma, Meeks Bay is closer so that’s where we headed.

First we stopped along the paved trail that runs along the Truckee river and walked some. Beautiful fall foliage. The trail was pretty empty except for some bicyclists. Nobody else walking.

Then we went on into Tahoe City to our favorite coffee house, Tahoe house. It required everyone to wear a mask and use the lines spaced out on the floor. We got 2 coffees and a danish to share. All their food is made on site and quite delicious. It was cool that they had signs on the tables that showed green for sanitized and then when you left you flipped it over and it was red and said not sanitized. It seemed they were coming around frequently to wipe tables.

Then we went on down to Meeks Bay which is a forest service campground and beach. There were only a few other people on the beach and all a good distance away from us. We ate our picnic lunch and relaxed. the only thing we needed were our beach chairs( which I didn’t even think about) as the blanket was okay to sit on but not really laying down.

This is looking East toward Nevada Beach.

All in all, totally worth it.

I paid the property taxes this week. At least we had the money. There were many years where we had to make payment arrangements because we didn’t have the money. So I am grateful for that. I’d like to plan next year to pay the whole year at once as opposed to the twice schedule. But that wouldn’t be till a year from now. That would give me time to strategize that into the budget.

We also paid our PO Box fee for the year. So I think that is all our annual bills till next spring.

We’ve all voted!! If you get a chance to read the NYT editorial today about voting Trump out, you should. It is a superb write up about how dangerous he is for this country and how we as a democracy will suffer if he is reelected.

Today, I don’t have a whole lot going on. I’m feeding my sourdough starter with rye flour to make another rye loaf. I plan to go in to Target for shower curtains and that’s about it.

The week ahead…

We both felt really awful yesterday. It seemed like an allergy type thing as we know it’s not Covid. ( no fever, no cough,) But still kinda headachey, and low energy. Sometimes I’ve had days like this out of the blue, but not on the same day as B. He just took it easy all day. I pushed thru and did most of the kitchen zone. I thought maybe it was a reaction to the air quality since we had been out walking but I’m not sure. When were out we always have masks on and we use sanitizer. Plus, everywhere we went people were 99% masked. So kinda a question mark.

We both feel better this morning but I still feel slightly off. I had plans to get my labs this morning but rescheduled for tomorrow. If this is allergy thing, my counts will show lower so I thought better to wait a day. I don’t see my doctor till the very end of the month so I have time to get my labs and results before hand. I don’t like the surprise of waiting. It reminds me of when I was first diagnosed and all the tests and waiting and then the dreaded phone calls. Now I’d rather know before hand and adjust my headspace.

I did make a lovely smoky lentil soup( William Sonoma recipe)( you can get from their website.) for dinner but that’s it. Usually I’ll make grilled cheese or have some homemade bread but that didn’t happen. I put together my monthly meal plan. I write it out but I don’t follow the days exactly. So we had the lentil soup Sunday not the frittata. I just use the template as a guide. Then I check off what we have eaten.

You can see I still have a few squares to fill in. I plan on looking at some cookbooks today. I also try to do one or two new recipes a month.

We are in cooler temperatures today and the air looks good. I keep thinking that maybe walking in the park with the air quality unhealthy affected us. On the other hand we’ve been doing it now since the fires started and haven’t been affected so who knows. It’s a mystery.

I was laughing maniacally( joke) when I read Trump was on Dexamethasone. How funny!! As anyone who has been on Dex,off and on for years, you know it masks aches and pains and other ills because it is such a high dose steroid. The problem is what goes up must come down and when he’s off it, then the problems could resurface especially his coughing. Oh well, he deserves it and more. Honestly, driving around in his armoured car infecting others or at least the possibility, is pure evil. Just for a photo op.

The week has B’s video appt with the nurse practitioner and labs. If the air stays nice we might do that drive up to Tahoe to see the lake. Maybe pack a picnic.