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.:)

Simple Sunday

I went down to Walmart for a grocery pickup. It went smooth and fast. They really have it dialed in and it was loaded quickly and efficiently. Part of the reason I did Walmart is you just can’t beat their prices. I checked out Campbell’s tomato soup at the store as I didn’t have any. It was $1.99. At Walmart it was .98 . So go figure.

I came home and put together a batch of cranberry orange scones. Scones are fairly easy but sometimes they don’t hold together so we’ll see. The recipe is NYT orange cranberry scones.

This week FL is in the living room zone so I plan on doing a few things this morning. I wasn’t feeling totally great so I’ll leave most of it for tomorrow.

Last night I made what I’m calling Tucson mix. Back when we were at U of A, being vegetarians, there weren’t a lot of options to eating out but there was a small health food shop that sold a bowl of brown rice topped with a medley of zucchini, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and ?? Actually both of us can’t quite remember but I think that was it. They sold a bowl for .99 . So we ate there often. Yesterday I started it in the Staub and simmered most of the day. It turned out delicious. For my son( a meat eater) I sauteed some jalapeno cheddar sausage from costco and we also had some sauteed shrimp if anyone wanted to add that. I’m definitely adding this to the rotation in monthly meal planning. Next time maybe adding a yellow squash. I’m pretty sure it didn’t have eggplant because Barclay doesn’t like eggplant. Anyway it was a good first attempt.

Here’s the pizza from Friday night. Very nice!!

This week’s menu will include breakfast for dinner, Mac and cheese and salad, a new tofu recipe I saw in the NYT for BBQ tofu.

I just finished tidying the living room and dusted. I might do the windows or leave that for tomorrow. I still need to vacuum.

Rain is predicted all week with even the possibility of snow tomorrow. Our walk this morning was cold @ 36 degrees but NO one else showed up so it was nice. Everything was quiet and frosty! I can already tell I’m getting slight tingling( neuropathy) in my foot. Hopefully it will just an annoyance and NOT a problem. Velcade does cause neuropathy so I guess I’ll bring that up at my doctor appt.

Frugal Friday

I made all our bread and snacks this week. The sourdough seed bread was really good.

The chocolate sheet cake went pretty fast too. I used my new hand mixer and the frosting got nice and fluffy. This morning I’ve got a pan of brownies started and am thinking about making some scones as well.

We were going to order out pizza but then we all decided to just stick with homemade cheese and one with pepperoni. That all will save $40. minimum. Pizza is very expensive these days.

So with me being on Vel/Dex two days( Wed and Thurs) cooking dinner is a challenge so my daughter is doing Wednesday night pastas and my son is doing Thursday whatever. Last night he did a turkey pot pie and a tofu pot pie. Boy, were they ever delicious.

This is the tofu one in one of my small Lodge pans!!! He ate it all!!!! it had tofu, mushrooms, carrots, onions, cream, wine, salt and pepper. Yumm.

So because I was dexed up I paid a bill early:) I guess that counts as a frugal win since now it’s one less to do. Actually almost every bill we have, is paid directly except this one and PGE. PGE because we’re on their balance program so that your bill is averaged over the year. For some reason they don’t do auto pay for that.Go figure.

My VW( Buggie) got an oil change this week so that cost but since I drive it under 2,000 miles a year the last time it was done was late 2019 so it was time.

I still need to plan a small shop for lettuce, and a few things next week. I haven’t decided to just go to the Holiday here or actually do a Walmart pick up. I guess I’ll think about it since I won’t do it till Sunday or even Monday.

B went and bought another stack of boards to turn the corner on the fence. We will do 3 panels down to block off the neighbors hoard of junk. Then that will be done. Sometime when the weather turns sunny again I ‘ll get a gallon of redwood stain and paint it. I like painting overall so I don’t mind doing most of that.

Earlier in the week I redid one of the Heywood chair covers. I use painters canvas and it holds up well.

This is the only keyhole Heywood chair I have. The others are solid back. The key hole ones are more valuable.

Basically, you just cut the piece to fit and then staple down. Pretty easy. This is the piece that I took off. I plan on doing another one today.

It’s raining out and it looks like rain for the next week with temperatures colder. I guess that’s good. The mountains will get much needed snow.

Five on Friday

Finally, it’s 2021. I’m not sure how great the year will be but I’m hopeful. I start Velcade mid month, as expected. I asked about getting my shots in Rocklin which is about 25 minutes away, and he said sure that would work. Mercy ( or Dignity Health),has a satellite facility there and it will make it easier. Unfortunately, I’ve fractured another rib so it’s smart that I’m starting now. Fractures, in case you don’t know about Myeloma, are one of the damaging aspects of this cancer. I’ve had multiple rib fractures, so I know what it feels like. Unfortunate, to have it happen right now and also quite painful. It limits how much stuff I can do around the house. With rib fractures there’s not much you can do. If it’s a vertebrate or another bone they can some intervention. Oh well, I’m just glad it’s not a vertebrate.

We had a fun New Years eve with sub sandwiches from our Holiday Market. We watched the newish Starsky and Hutch and it was fun. We didn’t crack the champagne but will today.

Budget wise, I came under $800 on groceries including holiday food and alcohol. This is the lowest I’ve had since the pandemic started and I was stockpiling every month. Into January I’ll try and keep it between $700-800. That includes food, non food, and alcohol.(mostly wine and some beer). I’m planning a Costco trip mid month so we’ll see how much that adds if I add in prepper stuff. I’m not planning to but will stockpile a few things like coffee, Rosarita veg. beans, TP, and a few other things. The rest is just stuff we need like cheese, fish, bread etc.

I’m starting another round of decluttering. Mostly this is paper stuff. I’m going thru all our old receipts, medical things and throwing away anything that isn’t needed. Also, little stuff in drawers, like old pens, screws etc. It probably won’t add up to a lot but I’m motivated to do another sweep. I also started a bag for the food bank with food I know we’re not going to really eat. ( I see you canned chicken:) ). There’s nothing big I’m decluttering like furniture since everything we have has already gone thru multiple layers of decluttering. Still, I always like to look at things from a fresh perspective.

I’ve made up my monthly meal plan.

I’m renaming Wednesdays, Pasta Wednesday since that will be my Velcade/Dex day. It’ll make it easier for the others to cook if they know what the plan is. 🙂 I also dashed out to Target to get one of their simple calendars. I loved the one from last year but they didn’t have quite that style. It’s funny how such a simple thing like a minimalist calendar is so hard to find. I checked all over and the nicest were like $20 and up. Even on etsy they were expensive. So Target had just what I wanted for $5.00. It was pretty empty just like I hoped.

Simple Sunday

A lovely Sunday walk this morning without the jerk, who showed up yesterday after a 2 week hiatus. That’s ok we just ignored him even though he was walking in the middle of the path and we had to walk single file when he went by. It’s not worth the psychic energy anymore to even deal with it. We just went on our merry way. But it was a very pretty morning at the park this morning. We’re pretty lucky to have at least this one trail that is paved. There isn’t anything else like it at all around here. The closest would be Auburn which has one park with a paved trail otherwise it’s Folsom or up the hill to Truckee that has amazing trails all paved.

From there I started working on the nut/cheese loaf for Thanksgiving. I ended up with enough for 2 loaves and one half size one. I put them in the freezer till Thursday morning. I use the recipe from Greens. I’ll try and post it tomorrow.

Then I cut up the loaf of Tartine and put that in the freezer and started a new batch which I’ll do a slow overnight rise. That way I can cook it tomorrow morning.

I put the Costco chicken carcass in the Instant Pot to make broth. That’s still cooking. I also started a Crock Pot of pinto beans for dinner. Costco had the green chile cheese tamales which are my favorite so we’ll have those with pintos.

Tomorrow B has his IGIV. It’s in Roseville so I’ll take him and Z will go pick him up since my daughter works on Mondays. Z works too but he can take it as his lunch break. Hopefully, that will help his energy which is still pretty low and lagging.

I finished everything for Christmas. Really, don’t get too excited, as we only have us to buy for and I keep it small. I will send off something to my sister and give my brother some money. For us, I have books, a couple pairs of jammies, an Elton John album my son wanted and some other misc. Generally, I get stuff we need in the clothes dept, books, something fun and something that is a want.

Hanukkah is early this year, Dec 10th, but I’ve decided not to do any gift things and we’ll just light the candles. I like the idea of the light illuminating the dark and we need that right now.

Flylady zone this week is the bedroom. I finished it today. It doesn’t take very long since it’s pretty uncluttered in there. I did wash the comforter though and my daughter put up the new shoji screen for the one window. It keeps the cold out amazing.

Simple Sunday

Anxiety is running high with only 2 days till the election. I just can’t help but feel anxious something is going to happen and Trump will win. I mean, I have always said,it is what it is, but in this case it scares the s#@t out of me. I guess we will know soon enough. I just hope it’s a landslide and orange man can’t contest it. It just is giving me serious mental issues.

Our weather in Northern California continues to be beautiful but we need rain. I can’t remember getting to November 1st without some sort of rain and that is unnerving. The weather show a chance of rain Friday so fingers crossed( whatever that means).

B still has some projects going. He finished the siding replacement which ended up a huge project. Why can’t things just be “oh, that needs replacing” and be done with it. No, it has to end up a big project. We still have the laundry room floor to replace and we want to do some privacy fencing in the front to block out at least part of the driveway. That project probably is going to cost $400 but it will look way better than 60 year old wire fence that is crumpled.

Today I’m baking a white sourdough no knead loaf. I think next week I’ll go back to the Tartine recipe and compare. Tartine’s is more complicated( you weigh everything) but it does give a better rise.

For dinner I’m planning to take some of the frozen baked potatoes out and make a chicken picatta plus a salad.

We are in entryway zone, if you follow Flylady. I think I will tidy the sunroom entry and move what plants are there to the greenhouse. I have a pumpkin out there I will keep to Thanksgiving week. The deer have eaten my chrysanthemums so I moved them.

So time changed this morning and I knew the “jerk” would be there earlier and yep, he was. That’s okay we just went by in the opposite direction but now his thing is to not move to the right of the path as he passes, he just stays in the middle. Oh well, like I said to B this morning, whatever his problem is, it’s not us anymore as we have gone out of our way to accommodate him. I think he’s just an angry young man( well, he’s probably early 40’s.) Anyway, it doesn’t phase me anymore which is a good thing. So by the time we left it was light enough to see the tree color at the park so that was quite nice.

That about wraps it up and let’s just hope we have a new president on Wednesday.