Friday Things

It’s been a tough week after the car break in. We still don’t have the window fixed and it won’t be till next Thursday. I plan on driving my daughter’s Honda Fit tomorrow to the pool. I finished all the paperwork for the claim but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

I made the pizza dough for tonight and also have my sourdough starter getting ready for another loaf of jalapeno cheddar bread. I’ll mix up the dough later and then refrigerate overnight and bake tomorrow morning.

So far the grocery challenge has been pretty easy. I went to Winco Tuesday and spent a little more than I wanted at $61. Then Barclay spent another $15 at Safeway for bread flour and cream and something else I can’t remember now. So I don’t need anything today or tomorrow so I’ll end the week at almost $80. I’ve got most of the menu for next week done. Monday we plan on going to Costco because we will need coffee. I’m still not sure how I will separate Costco in the weekly budget since some things will last more than a week. Maybe I’ll try and divide it up but that seems like more trouble or effort than it’s worth. So, I’ll need to think about that.

I was working on a spreadsheet form from a Youtuber. But, even though I enjoyed figuring it out for budget stuff in the end it was just too complicated. I do a daily budget sheet in my notebook, so I know exactly what’s going out and coming in. I might play with it some more but I doubt I’ll use it.

In March we will have some bigger expenses. Barclay is having some dental work and that’s going to cost @ 900. Then we have property taxes due and Federal taxes too. We will owe IRS a small amount this year. I’m okay with that as we did use some retirement savings(withdrawal) to do the half payment for the RV. So that will all add up and it will be a pricey month.

If you have Disney Plus, the Mandalorian show is quite good and we’re enjoying it. Oh, and the Amazon Prime new Reacher was EXCELLENT. The actor is perfect for how you visualize Jack Reacher.

Well, I’m off to town to drop a load at Goodwill so I better get a move on.

On a Monday…

I just got back from my labs and gassing up Bugs. So now to do a few things.

I have a sourdough loaf of cran-walnut in the oven baking. I’m totally into this sourdough bread-making right now. Maybe a little too obsessed but it is fun for me. So far, the olive loaf is in first place with cheddar jalapeno a second. I don’t have any more Castelvetrano olives left but I do have the kalamata left so I’ll use them. Safeway has the Castelvetrano ones so next time I’m in there I’ll get them. The best place to get them is Costco but it seems that it is more of an annual thing. The year before I got the giant jar in the fall and then never saw it again till this past winter.

I got the entryway door wreaths done with the faux apple blossoms and white blossoms. I might go get some pansies or violas for the entry too.

Tonight I’m making some spring rolls I have in the freezer, jasmine rice, chicken satay, and some crispy tofu. I need to get some cilantro from the store and that’s it. I need to marinate the chicken and then make some rice later.

I need to do a Monday morning house reset and my weekly Monday things, like wash mirrors, and dust. FL calls it home blessing, I try not to use blessing as it has a religious connotation but it doesn’t matter really in the long run.

We’re watching a series from a Harlan Coben book. It’s called Safe. It’s a little intense but quite good and has Michael Hall ( Dexter). He’s a great character actor.

Well, that’s all I got this Monday.

The Pantry Challenge

I always like a bit of a challenge so I decided to do a $100 a week grocery challenge. That’s for 4 adults. Usually, my grocery bill averages $700 for the 4 of us so that’s a $300 difference. So that means using lots of pantry and freezer items. We’re in a good place to do that as both are filled although the freezer is only about half full that’s ok. I think if you didn’t have a well-stocked pantry $100 a week for 4 adults might be hard.

My plan is to keep a list of what I’m using and where I’ll replenish it like Costco or Winco.

So far I’ve spent $30 at Winco and .48 at Bel-air. The Winco shop was almost all veggies and salad stuff plus milk and a half and half.

The meals this week have been:

Smokey Lentil Soup with cheese quesadillas. The lentil soup is a favorite from NYT.

Sheet pan nachos. This is a new way( for me) to make nachos that I took off of Mavis Butterfield’s blog. She makes her nachos this way in the oven. It’s a great way to do it and very easy and clean up is a breeze.

An Ina Garten recipe for Bouef Bourguignon. I made it in the crockpot and that was a winner too.

Tonight is a big salad and grilled chicken /tofu. We use to call this the Kitchen Favorite because back in the 70’s the original vegetarian restaurant in Auburn was called “The Kitchen’. Of course, it didn’t have chicken but basically, it was salad, grilled tofu, and avocado slices. They made the best blue cheese dressing which I’ve never been quite able to duplicate but Trader Joe’s blue cheese dressing is close.

Tomorrow will be homemade pizza. I have everything I need.

Saturday, I’m planning tofu burgers with all the fixings and fries.

Sunday will end the week out or begin the week depending on how I look at it. Maybe a spaghetti night.

Simple Sunday

A lovely walk with just the two of us. 🙂 Sundays are usually quieter anyway but the dog walker was always there regardless. I’ve come up with two scenarios: either he moved??? or has had some surgery/illness prevention him from walking. Being that he walked 5 miles a day (I’m guessing) not walking just doesn’t seem an option. It doesn’t matter, he’s not there and we are truly enjoying the park again.

This morning we had a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs with Boursin cheese, rolls that my daughter made, and some bacon. ( no veggie bacon today:( ) Right now I have the sourdough bread in the oven on its last 15-minute bake. This one is jalapeno cheddar. The asiago one was quite delicious. Last night we had stuffed peppers in the crockpot with brown rice, cheese, walnuts, and onions. I cooked them in a tomato base. Quite yummy. Tonight I’m making some grilled chicken, potatoes and a big salad. I’ll probably grill some tofu too. The rest of the week is undecided but I am going to start my pantry challenge early( this week) and see how it goes.

We had a couple of spectacular sunrises and sunsets the last few days because of the wind stirring up so much dust/particles in the air. Reds, oranges, yellows.

We’ve been debating the wood stove thing again vs gas fireplace. We know down the road we will need to do this as B will not be able or want to keep up with firewood. Plus firewood is messy and the dust isn’t good for the air quality esp. since my daughter is asthmatic. I guess we just need to go into a fireplace store and find out how much they are and installation.

Oh here’s the bread, I just took out of the oven. yummmmm….

I plan on two swims this week and we may drive up to Lake Tahoe to see the snow.

Friday things…

I ended up sending a bouquet of flowers from Farmgirl Flowers to Heidi’s family. Honestly, I’m not good at what is appropriate in these matters. But I figured they would at least send a nice message of our thoughts are with them all and we miss Heidi. We haven’t really heard anything but her oldest daughter did write a nice obituary. We found some photos of the fun times we had when she came out. I might try and put them together in an album.

We went to Costco on Sunday and that was a good grocery haul. I didn’t buy any meat but did get the Impossible burgers on sale. We had them one night with all the condiments. They’re good but I’m not really into eating too many highly processed foods like that. Last night I made my excellent spinach mushroom crepes with gruyere cheese sauce. Quite yummy. Tonight is pizza night but none of us feel like pizza so I’ll do something else.

This morning I put together 3 cheese lasagnas for the freezer. I had bought a large container of ricotta at Winco a few weeks back so that’s why I wanted to make the cheese lasagnas.

I plan on swimming tomorrow and then do some decluttering out in the barn. My son is away for the weekend as it’s MLK day on Monday so he has that off. We have a bunch of old posters from our bookstore that need to go the thrift store. Yes, that’s a long time ago but some of them were on the wall in the barn and now they are rolled up. As I’ve said many times decluttering really never ends , it just keeps evolving.

We’ve had some super nice walks this week. Beautiful predawn and sunrise walks.

Here’s a nice picture Barclay took of the table set for dinner.

This is another he took of the sofa.

I haven’t seen any tax stuff come thru so I’m not doing any IRS stuff till it does. It should be easy enough since SS is our only income and we did take some savings for the RV partial payment. I’m guessing whatever we need will be here by the end of the month or early February.

Budget wise, medicare is way up to $170. Even with the 5.9 increase, that pretty much uses that up. On top of that both are Part D prescription plans almost tripled. I probably should have researched other plans but I was too lazy to do the necessary work. This fall I will though to see if we can get it cheaper although the little bit I did check, these plans we stayed with went to no deductible as opposed to the $400 deductible before so maybe that was the difference.

Friday things and a nice birthday for me.

First, another turn around the sun. I had a lovely day and we got Panera for dinner which is a treat for us. All in all, a nice day especially with this beautiful weather. My son got me two albums by a really great artist,sarah jarosz.

I actually didn’t want anything for my birthday as we just got the truck and the RV this summer but he’s a generous son and bought it for me anyway.

As a matter of no gifts, this will be the FIRST christmas ever I don’t buy presents. I think I’m just done trying to figure out gifts for everyone and so I decided to not do any. I don’t think I’ll put up the tree either. What I will do is give both kids some money and call it good.It’ll be weird on Christmas morning because we are use to some presents but it’s a good time to start a new tradition of no gifts.

Hey, speaking of budget stuff/spending did anyone else get enormous increases in Part D prescription plans. Mine is going from $28.50 to $68 and Barclay’s is going from $26 to $71. WTF is that about?? Did I miss something about increases in Part D prescription plans??? Anyway that is going to increase our budget stuff.

I’m off to get my flu shot this morning and maybe do another Goodwill drop off. I still have a few more things to take out to buggie so I might wait till next week.

I’m still waiting on my labs which is annoying me as i still can’t get in the patient portal to see the results so I have to call. Kind of a PITA really.

I finished paying the UCD final bill from August of 2019 where B was in the month in between Medicare and Cobra. What a joke that was. The cobra was supposed to pay for all the coverage and did squat and we were still paying $700 a month. My advice is NEVER do a cobra. Well, it’s done so that’s a nice feeling. Of course our house insurance has increased, I guess, because of all the fires in California especially in our area. Well, it’s always something!!!

I have my monthly menu plan done for October so I just need to laminate it. Tonight is pizza night but I don’t feel like a pizza so I think I’ll do something with an Italian theme. We had an Ooni last week, two actually, and so that made 30 pizzas with the Ooni which at $10 a pizza paid for itself. I plan on keeping it in the garden shed so if it’s not too cold or rainy in the fall or winter we can pull it out and make some Friday night pizzas.

This was last weeks!

The week ahead…

I missed writing Simple Sunday yesterday for no reason other than I didn’t get to it. We walked yesterday and it was nice. AH is still there, EVERY SINGLE DAY, but we avoid him and it’s fine. Today is our no walk day so I stayed in bed till 5:10am. ( really):(

Our weather is headed for terribly hot by Friday at 107 degrees. Geez I’m not sure our planet is going to survive global warming. The water situation in the southwest is dire and we are in a drought here for sure. All the reservoirs and lakes are way low, Folsom, Shasta, Tahoe all are very low. We are watering a lot for the gardens but I’m thinking by August I’m not sure that’s going to be reasonable and we probably should let some of the garden beds just go to seed. The 3 garden beds in the front are a wash as the gopher is eating everything so that’s just a waste. I’m planning on having my daughter dig up what’s there and put in some lavender plants and some more flowers.

This week is the bathroom zone and I may do some work in the sun room. I’ve had to move ALL my plants out of there because it is no the catio( kittio) playroom. they’ve knocked over and broken two pots already so now I have them in the front room and it starts to make me a bit claustrophobic. But it’s temporary till the kitties are older, I hope. We still haven’t gotten the voucher for mamakat so we may just have to pay for the spaying which is really expensive. But if we don’t do it soon, she will go into heat again and then everything’s complicated. So fingers crossed it’s there this week.

Last night’s dinner was cheese tortellini with pesto, watermelon and some left over potato salad. Tonight I’m planning on a quiche since I have some gruyere to use up. Then Tuesday is mexican and I might do a chile relleno bake with some pintos. I have some turkey burgers to use so I’ll do that Wednesday and a veggie burger for B. I’ll probably make some macaroni salad too.

My only appt this week is Velcade. Last Saturday was another rough day with feeling pretty lousy. Fortunately, it does pass, but still. Another Myeloma buddy died this past month. I was quite upset as I’ve been blogging buddies with her for about 8 years. Julie was funny, smart, a real warrior in the sense she never really had any treatment breaks like I have. She kept on. Then around 3 years ago her husband developed Alzheimer’s and died last year. So she had that to deal with as well. I will miss her.

I’m thinking of doing a Walmart pickup this week. I need some misc. stuff and Walmart besides Winco is the best place to go.

Well, I better go get the bathroom done and do some house tidying.

Velcade, Round 3, shot #3.

So this finishes Round 3 and I get labs tomorrow so I should know by next Wednesday how it all looks. I will start Round 4 April 7th.

It was a quick trip down to Rocklin. All went smooth and I got my shot and was out by 10:15. I’m having some eye issues like I did before with watering eyes and getting some styes. I have an ophthalmic prescription ointment but it’s 6 years old at least. the nurse said still use it but it may not have quite the efficacy. Then get Dr. L to prescribe a new one. It is interesting how you ‘forget’ certain things with chemo and then it’s like ” wait , didn’t this happen before”.?

I decided to stop at the Humane society bookstore in Auburn and was glad I did.

Everyone has to wear a mask and everyone did.It was somewhat busy but I found a good stack of cookbooks to read and then more of the Sue Grafton. They actually had an ‘A is for Alibi”, her first, which is pretty hard to find. It was only released in paperback. So I’m set for books for a while.

I’ve actually read ‘Bella Tuscany’ a few times but it is a great location book about Tuscany, which I’m sure I will never see in my lifetime. And I have read the Berg book too. I really always enjoyed her writing.

Today is a no walk Dex day as I end up having shortness of breath so I’m going to lay low and read. I still need to get out my monthly menu planner sheet and start April.

Five on Friday

The rug I bought for the entryway/B’s office space is way to big and the door hits it so it needs to go back to Costco. He turned his desk toward the wall so I moved a small rug I have in front of my little Ikea couch to put under his chair. It looks way better. I’m not a big fan of rugs everywhere so this is a good option for now. In the winter we do need small rugs to wipe our feet on but the rest of the time I pull them up.

We had a nice walk with only one other guy who showed up. We see him on a rare occasion but usually he walks on the side of the road. It was supposed to be raining so no one else was there ie; AH!! Or if he was, he was gone by the time we got there. So quite lovely.

We’re starting the painting this morning. I took all the jars off my wall shelves. I think we’re going to add another shelf for my larger Ball jars. I’ve been so frustrated with Ikea and them not having ANYTHING IN THE WAY OF PANTRIES FOR ALMOST A YEAR NOW. Next to the fridge is where I want a Sektion freestanding 4 door pantry. I’ve checked every week but still out of stock. I really don’t want to do something else as I like the Ikea line and it works well for us. I’m hoping that we can get down there in the next month and maybe I can speak with one of the kitchen design people and find out when it might be available. In the meanwhile the restaurant shelves will have to do.

I’m planning on starting a freezer/pantry clean out. I’d like to try and make all our meals from either the freezer/pantry for the next 2 weeks. So far I have

  • lamb chops, new spring potatoes, asparagus, and quiche for the veggies( B and whoever else doesn’t want lamb). We actually rarely it but once a year in spring I like to do some.
  • ravioli with Rao sauce
  • burgers on the BBQ both meat and veggie
  • tofu scramble with veggies, nuts, and seeds,
  • breakfast for dinner as we are getting so many eggs:)
  • split pea soup
  • lentil soup
  • turkey chili/vegetarian chili with cornbread
  • pasta night
  • frozen lasagna night
  • Another quiche, probably mushroom/gruyere
  • grilled chicken on the BBQ/tofu on the BBQ
  • polenta with cheese and sauce, salad
  • Thai something with rice, either tofu or chicken or chickpeas. I do have some dry chickpeas I need to use.

I’ve done the budget for April and the extras are Allstate car insurance, DMV for the Santa fe, the UCD extra fucked up bill, and think that’s all.

I was going to go to town but decided to wait till tomorrow and get a few more chores done since Thursday’s really not too productive with the Dex. Today though the energy is there so I might as well use it.

Happy St. Patrick’s day

That really does say it all.

Today is Velcade day. Round 3, shot #2.

This last cycle has been a little tougher. Not sure why. I feel a little more run down even though my labs are ok. My lymphocytes are a little low but not out of normal. Maybe it’s just a build up of stuff in my system.

I had a good drive down to the infusion center. They are very nice and very with it. I decided to go back into Costco before my appt for two reasons. One, they had some sweats on sale for $10 and I bought one the other day and they fit nice and are heavy enough for cold morning walks so I wanted a second pair. Since my wardrobe is very limited and small when I like something I try and buy multiples. The other reason is I had seen a nice rug for B’s office ( our entryway) and it was just $50. That’s for a 5×7 rug which is an excellent price. Costco was very empty even compared to Monday when we went and I was in and out in 15 minutes.

This morning I started chopping vegetables for Tucson stew which we are having tonight. We’ve had this on rotation almost every 2 weeks, it’s that good. My daughter will make some brown rice later. Then after I got home I made up some taco meat( from last night) pintos, cheese burritos to freeze.

Then I had a piece of steak I’d defrosted and needed to use so I cut it up into small pieces and cooked it over high heat. It seared nicely. I’m not sure what I use it for but it’s done. My son was thinking of a beef stew/shepherd’s pie. So now I’m relaxing till I take Dex about 1 or so.

Exciting news!! Our garden shed showed up yesterday. It’s wrapped in plastic so if it rains it should be ok. Plus we got our stimulus money so that amount covers the price of the shed( $999 on sale, plus tax). There’s enough left to save some and maybe start buying what we need for the barn fence.

Well, I’m off to read some before Dex time.:)