Thursday stuff

Yesterday was my doctor appointment and it went well. I’ll have my 8 week labs around the first week of December, then see him right after Christmas, then start Velcade/Dex in January. He did mention that there is a pill form of Velcade but since that would be a tier 5 drug, I just don’t want to deal with that. So the shot isn’t bad and neither is the drive. ( We got there in 50 minutes yesterday with NO traffic. So it’ll be 3 weeks on one week off. I’ll be ready!!!

I am having lots of anxiety about the election next week, along with the rest of the country.( well, intelligent people who can see Trump for what he is). It’s just a lingering underlying stress as to what’s going to happen. It’s not keeping me awake at night but still, I read the news compulsively for clues. Well, I guess we’ll know soon enough.

We shopped at Trader Joe’s in Roseville after the doctor appt( which was why B came with me). It was pretty packed with people but everyone HAS to wear a mask so it was ok. I loaded up on lots of things. Some prepper stuff like canola spray and tamari, and some just regular food. We were home by 12 noon so not bad at all.

As I mentioned, we adjusted our walk time till 6 so as to try and avoid jerk walker. He’s still there though and just as abrupt but at least walking the other way has made a huge difference. 6 am is nice because by 6:30 it’s predawn and the sky is lightening up. Sunday is daylight savings so I figure we will just walk when we feel ready and see what time that ends up being. I’m guessing the jerk will go by the darkness not the time. One example of him still being a jerk. So the confrontation was about his not using a flashlight, right? So he has been using one. Then this morning I saw him have it on and then as he approached us he turned it off. Uhh…passive aggressive anyone????

Tonight my son is going to make us an Oktoberfest dinner of Bratwurst something( not sure yet exactly what he’s doing) but at least I don’t have to cook.

I have a loaf of rye sourdough baking and it didn’t puff as much as I’d like but it still tastes great.

We are still getting lots of eggs and I’ve been keeping up on using them. I put it out on Nextdoor neighbor but no one answered. I’m guessing with the pandemic when everyone was buying chicks, and now they are all laying eggs. It’s okay, in a few months they will slow down once it gets cold.

I have loved lighting my beeswax candles for dinner time. I have lots of pumpkins on the table and around. We’ve been having a fire every morning too. It’s been about 45 degrees out, so chilly.

Budget Friday

I’m trying to come up with a good blog title for Fridays. I’m not sure Frugal Friday quite fits.

Overall, we are frugal because we have no income per se except SS. So maybe just Budget Friday would work. I’ll see. But budget-wise, all Octobers bills are in. We do have the 2 annual bills of house insurance and Allstate which is twice a year. With ALL the insurance companies getting out of insuring California property, for the most part, we are now having to do the California Fair Plan which is added to the AAA insurance. We went from our annual bill being slightly over $1,000 to now we are slightly over $2,000. Quite a jump.

Costco was just at $450, so that will go on October’s food budget. About $70 was wine and beer. I did buy a bottle of nice champagne for celebrating birthdays. Actually, it wasn’t expensive at $15.00. Plus there were a few prepper items and 2 bags of Starbucks coffee that was on sale. With all 4 of us drinking coffee we go thru quite a bit. But I don’t see us going back to Costco till the very end of October or even the first week of November which could then include any Christmas food or items. Prepper stuff included tuna, Cholula sauce, TP, another case of water, extra butter, and extra cheese. The only thing I didn’t get and I need is some tamari sauce. I’ll probably just go down here to the store and pay their price. The best place to get low sodium tamari is Trader Joe’s but I don’t think I’ll be getting there any time soon.

So far this morning I have made pizza dough, washed living room windows, cleaned the ceiling fan, and am just about ready to clean the rest of the sunroom.

Our lovely fall weather continues with absolutely beautiful days with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s. Next week does have a few 93degree days but this time of year that doesn’t seem so bad.

Budget-wise, I did my LLS for the UHC premium and my medicare which they cover for 2 months so that will be here in a week or so. I am very grateful to LLS for my grant (myeloma) as it does cover health insurance. If we had to pay OP for us both it’s almost $700 so I’m not sure how the budget would do. Probably we would be in the red. But there are gifts sometimes even with having cancer.

B did order the boards for the house ( 5 of them) so that was $120 about. But the siding needs to be fixed. Other stuff, even the fencing by the barn is optional and can be put off if we don’t have extra money.

If you’re looking for a new TV series, The Boys, is quite good. It’s super heroes that are darker more evil and is well done. We just started Season 2 on Netflix.

Well, that’s a wrap for now.

Simple Sunday or back to my regular programming:)

Honestly, I am still on a rant about the SCOTUS shit. Mitch McConnell should go crawl in to a hole in hell and stay there.

Well, this was a pretty good week overall. The smoke is filtering back in but it’s not like it was so hopefully it’ll clear out soon.

Mornings have been cool walking but still nice. We still have the 2 others that are weird and annoying showing up right after us. I really wouldn’t mind if he wasn’t such a jerk. Doesn’t use a flashlight when it’s dark out, just barrells by without so much as a ” coming up on your left”and really sets the energy off in the park. The other lady is just plain weird and I can’t read her MO, which for me a counselor who made a living ‘reading’ other people, is unusual. I’m hoping she falls away with daylight savings in October but I’m pretty sure he will not especially since he does walk the dog or I should say drags his dog along.

Budget wise, September has been pretty good. I haven’t tallied up the food but I think it’s in the $600 range so that’s ok. I am planning Costco next week before the sales end. It’s been about every 4 weeks were going which is about on target. Prepper wise, I think we are set. When I get the upright freezer, then I can concentrate on filling that with stuff. It has been a trial and error with stocking up. All the non food stuff is great. Some prepper stuff I bought I’m not too sure how we will use it like the whole powdered milk. I suppose if you couldn’t get to the store at all powdered milk would work. It wasn’t expensive so I don’t mind if it ends up in the food bank stuff next year.

I did pay our Allstate bill ( every 6 months). My son needs to pay me his part but he can do that next month. Then our house insurance is coming due as well. Fall brings annual bills including property tax. Right now we can pay all that with our savings( EF is where I keep it) but who know 10 years from now. But that’s the future and I want to BE HERE NOW!! well, to a certain extent I do need to plan.

Here’s the floor finished. Even though it is beautiful light color now. Pine floors will darken with age.

Here’s our Philly cheesesteak sammies we had Friday night. The top one is just roasted peppers and cheese for the veg man.

This is the only picture I kept of my brother’s. He was quite talented. My sister has the really nice one that I wanted of a sailboat. I gave my younger brother 3 others(water colors) that I didn’t really want/or had a place for.

If you’re following, it’s the bedroom zone this week.

Also, B has a birthday this week. Another year around the sun!!

And “May you be inscribed in the book of Life for another year”

L’Shanah Tovah!!!

Blue Skies

It feels like a miracle that the sky is blue. We even ate dinner out on the patio. A miracle!!!

I do hope that’s the last of the smoky skies and that the tired overworked firefighters get a break.

We both got our flu shots and both had headaches for most of the day. But it only lasted 1 day so not too bad. B also had his IGIV on Tuesday and I dropped him off and my daughter went 4 hours later to pick him up. After I dropped him off I went to Winco and spent $130. Not really prepper stuff, just food to use and eat now. Bread, cheese, canned chilis, Amys enchiladas,spinach, tofu, tea, and 3 different kinds of trail mix to snack on. There was other stuff but I can’t remember.

This morning I’m making a zucchini bread from one of the last zucchini from the garden. Most things are done although I have maybe one more big batch of tomatoes to cook and then put thru the food mill. If you ever have an abundance of tomatoes and want to can or freeze a food mill is the way to go. I think I bought mine years ago at Crate and Barrel maybe for $50. But it removes the skins and most seeds.

Yesterday I made applesauce from apples from our one tree. They are a Golden delicious. Again I cut and quartered and cored, then just cooked down. Then I put thru the food mill. I ended up with 5 pints and tomorrow I will do the next box. The apples aren’t as big as we’ve had in the past and I think one trick is to remove some apples when they are small so that the tree can put more energy into the remaining. I don’t know if this is true but seems logical.

Tonight is pizza night but no one feels like a pizza so we are maybe going to do sandwiches. This week I did make a few newish recipes. One was from Tassajara cooking,it was mushroom stroganoff. I had a lot of mushrooms to use up. It’s a good recipe. Then I made a chili relleno casserole that used eggs. It too was quite good. Right now we are getting an abundance of eggs from the girls so that recipe used 8 eggs. They are on the small side. Also, I’m experimenting with freezing the beaten eggs. I guess this is a real thing so I’ve done a few baggies and will defrost one this weekend and see how it goes. You basically do a light whip of the eggs. You don’t want a lot of air. Then you do add a pinch of salt. I’m quite curious if this will work for scrambled eggs.

The pine floor has been a complete PITA. Honestly, I told Barclay, I don’t remember it being a problem last time at all. This time, he’s had to redo 4 boards, then plane them down and now sanding. If I knew it was going to do this I would have just done a laminate in a pine pattern. Oh well, he’s almost ready to do the Varathane on top so that’s that.

Well, that’s all the news.

Oh wait, I just got the Woodward book from Amazon, so excited to read that today.

Projects done!

The closet looks bright and clean. We did move our space heaters to the barn and I have one box of “I don’t know what to do with” stuff. One item is my old Waring blender that I bought new in 1985. It still works fine but most I use my Vitamix. So I’m undecided and will wait on deciding to give away or not.  We still need to hang my mirror back up and then I can take a photo if I remember.

B finished repotting the bamboo in the new barrels. This is actually a pretty big job as the roots needed to be cut with a Sawzall.  That’s how thick they were.  We are going to get a 3rd barrel as it will fill the space out nicely.

We also took everything out of the chest freezer and defrosted it. I got a good count on what’s in there so that was helpful plus it’s more organized.

The weather is quite a bit cooler and we actually sat outside last night.  Today is also really nice with a high of only 85.

Yesterday I bagged up the Central Milling flour into 3 mylar bags. I could have used the food saver bags but  I wanted to test out how the flour would be. The other bag I will use the food saver bags and then compare the two.

Tuesday we did our Costco shop. It was just under $500. Some of that was alcohol. The Costco beer which is a variety of ales and other types is a great deal at $20. and this was the first time we’ve seen it in almost a year. So we bought 2. That should last a while. I don’t drink beer but B does( although not too much right now with his issues) and my son has the occasional beer. Then we bought champagne for our anniversary. Since we’re not going anywhere, we figured we’ll do some kind of celebration dinner with champagne. This shop wasn’t really a prepper shop but more stuff for the month, salad stuff, avocados, spinach, cheese, bread.  The only things I still need are milk, bananas, vegetable shortening, and burger rolls. I’ll probably do that later in the week.  I’m hoping this shopping will get us thru most of the month.  Oh, I did get organic pasta that was on sale. So that’s for the prepper pantry.  Later this month we’ll hit Winco and get 2 more of the buckets if they have them and the gamma lids. I’m tempted to go sooner than later as I’m guessing they will get sold out.

I’m still waiting on my labs, so maybe by tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my son’s 26th birthday. Such a wonderful young man. Funny, talented, smart, and has a full-time job with California State Sierra Nevada Conservancy.  He was a fun kid and outgoing.  He was homeschooled all the way thru high school. He then went to Community college, got 2 degrees, and then graduated from CSU Sacramento. No student debt and he did most of it on his own. We are so proud of him. So, I need to find out what kind of dinner he wants and dessert. Our family ritual is the birthday boy/girl gets to pick their favorite dinner and dessert.

I’m reading the new Todd Borg” Tahoe Hit”. It just came out if you’re interested. He’s one of my favorite authors and is local to Lake Tahoe.

685789B5-5871-4B18-ADA0-0533A910EDF3.jpegHere’s my new BLACK LIVES MATTER yard sign for the driveway.

 

 

Five on Friday

  • Well, I ordered the upright freezer.

That’s the good news. The bad news is delivery is 3 months away. Who knows if it even will be delivered or I will get an out of stock notice. I think I must have gotten one of the last ones.  This Lowes upright was $719. From there they went way up at $1500 and higher.  So we’ll see. But I have a plan for this upright and feel it is a wise investment. Regardless of the pandemic, it’ll be nice to have a 6 months’ worth of freezer stuff and be done with it.

  • Our budget is done for August and all bills accounted for.  I put in for my LLS reimbursement. They have a new format on their website and it is very easy to use. If I didn’t get the reimbursement for insurance I don’t think our monthly income from SS would cover it. So I am very grateful for all who donate to the LLS.
  • We are planning a trip to Costco next week( 1st week of August). I don’t need to go to the store before then so that’s nice. I’m not planning on prepper stuff just normal we need like cheese, bread, olive oil, and some other random things.
  • Tonight is pizza night. Tomorrow I plan on BBQing a pork roast for the carnivores and will probably do a Field Day roast sausage for the vegetarian.
  • I canceled the extra Amazon channels of Brit Box, and Acorn for now as we have watched all the current shows we like. Maybe when some new seasons come out I’ll re-up. But that saves almost $15.00 a month. Then I saw somehow we were paying for PBS masterpiece too so I canceled that. We haven’t watched any of those channels for quite a while so I guess we were throwing that money away. Right now, we mostly watch Amazon Prime stuff and are currently rewatching Death in Paradise which is a good detective show.
  • I need a new book so I  may peruse Amazon for an ebook today.
  • I’ve decided to take a Facebook break. So I’m deactivating my account for a month. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook but I just feel it’s time to break away for a while. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel when it’s over.  Maybe my creativity will get sparked again.??
  • okay, I can count and this is more than 5!!!!

 

The week ahead…

First looking back over the last few days.

Still really hot here making it hard to go outside and do much except for early in the morning.

We picked up some oak barrels at Home Depot to replant some bamboo in. I love putting bamboo in barrels as it looks lovely.

Years ago, probably 20, I went to a Waldorf parents house who had golden bamboo. I dug up as much as I could( believe me, back-breaking). But that is what we have as a privacy screen all around the driveway area. But we put some in barrels as it contains it and makes a pretty visual effect. We have these two barrels outside our bedroom window. But the old barrels had deteriorated and were no longer holding water so they will be replaced. I’m guessing these were about the same age, 20 years.

Then Barclay’s labs came back with very high creatine( not good) because of the new drug Jakofi. We both kinda flipped out since the NP kept saying hydrate which he was doing obsessively. He will need to go in for an IV hydration if his numbers remain high. I’m really bugged by this as it all started with the Jakofi. It’s a great drug for GVHD but he’s still on other stuff and it’s hard on the kidneys. So I asked why not drop the Jakofi to 2 a day then 1 a day and so forth. No answer on that yet. So we were definitely bummed out for a few days. We’ll see how the labs are this week.

I had worked on learning how to butcher a whole chicken. I saw a youtube by ProCooks, who I like, and thought well, I could do that. It’s fairly simple just kinda involved so not sure I think it’s worth doing regularly.  Then I made Pioneer woman fried chicken and it was A LOT of Work. Not doing that again. Plus the kitchen ended up looking like a vat of oil exploded. It was tasty but I wouldn’t say great. I think I’ll stick to Southern-fried tofu.

Today is my Flylady morning in the LR zone. Definitely an EZ zone for me with just some deeper dusting and window cleaning.  Generally, it takes 10 minutes tops.

I’m going to get out the bread maker and make some WholeWheat sourdough. I just use the bread maker to make and rise the dough and then I bake in the oven.

Other than that an open week.

I’m making lists of my barn prepper pantry items so I can determine how many weeks/months of stuff we have.  I want to have a balance of pantry security and not going overboard with the ‘survivalist’ mode. I did order some dried Whole milk to put aside in case of either a power outage or unavailable at stores. If anything, I can use it in baking.

I found a book at our little free library, “Radio Free Vermont

. Pretty funny book and is contemporary as Trump is president. If your library has it, I’d recommend it for a fun read.

Here’s an interesting bit of news from our area. We used to live in Foresthill. From 1975 when we came to California till 1995 when we moved here( about 20 miles difference) with Auburn being in the middle and everyone’s main hub. ( mostly). So we lived near a road called Yankee Jims. Very remote and goes down a very windy, steep and treacherous dirt road( some of the way) to the North Fork of the American River. There’s a bridge there that, if I remember correctly, was one lane. Anyway, there’s parking on the side of the road for maybe 10-15 cars MAX!  Last weekend there were 313 cars down there, blocking the road both ways. So now the whole area is shut down and no cars can go in. WHY PEople!! So STupid!

Oh and another STUPID controversial thing. I was looking on Youtube for prepper pantry ideas so I clicked on this one called Alaska Granny. I thought it looked interesting. Younger than me, so not sure where the “granny “comes from. Anywho, this was right after the debacle with GOYA foods. BOYCOTT GOYA!! BUT, this lady does a whole vlog on GO OUT AND BUY AS MUCH GOYA FOODS AS YOU CAN TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR TRUMP AND THE OWNER OF GOYA.

Really??? oh well, takes all kinds. I guess she thinks Trump is cool or some deluded thing. Really, he’s sending federal troops into cities for political shit.  Really, people, he’s a narcissistic nutcase.  History will show this to be one of the worst periods of American politics.

OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

 

 

Putting things up

I made a quick batch of pickled jalapenos this morning.

 

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We use these all winter. They are not canned but just refrigerator jalapenos. It says they are good for 2 months in the fridge but we are just finishing ajar from last fall so I’m guessing they last a lot longer than what the recipe says because it’s just vinegar and water and some sugar.

Also, at Winco we SCORED gamma lids and some buckets. These are seriously expensive on Amazon. They’re probably not quite as good as the Amazon ones but they’ll do the job of sealing the buckets. AF23071C-19BD-4C6C-9865-F0B4CA78E2BE

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I have the black beans and points to put in the 5 gallon buckets but I’m waiting on the mylar bags to separate the beans. I could vacuum seal them so I might do that but the mylar I guess are  better for longer term storage.  The mylar bags are not coming in till the first week of August so I’ll have to see what I want to do.

I rearranged the prepper pantry in the barn and moved all the non food( well almost) to other shelves that used to hold all my magazines. It looks good and based on what’s there I’d say I have almost a year for some things and 6 months for others( TP).

I was watching a few youtubers who are preppers and the recommendation was a cooler dark place. We do not have a closet to use in the house as there is only one real designated closet albeit that it is large. So I got to thinking maybe we should build a closed in cabinet in the barn. I’m not sure since the barn does not get any direct sunlight in there and is generally on the cooler side. I don’t know, I’ll have to think on that too.

I tell you though, some of these preppers are really out there with survivalist stuff. I sorta ignore all that and just try and glean some ideas about storage.

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Some of my orchids are reblooming which I’ve never had happen. It must be they like where I put them which was actually an accident. I had put them on B’s to get them out of the way and sure enough the morning light and then the coolness from the windows at night must be the right condition. Excited to see if it happens again.

the week ahead…

Another quiet week with no appts. I don’t get my labs till the first week of August. I’m expecting the worst with another steep rise but am still hoping to delay treatment till fall or even this winter. Not to be pessimistic but realistic since Myeloma just doesn’t go away and blood work doesn’t magically get better:(

Monday is chore day and doing little things around the house. I cleaned the tub with Comet and I plan on washing the towels which I try to do on Mondays. The Flylady zone is the bedroom. I’d say if you’re new to Flylady, clean everything out of your bedroom except your bed and maybe a dresser. No TV’s, no extra chairs( unless it’s a very large room), and basically remove all distractions.  If you haven’t uncluttered, now is the time to do so. As I’ve said many times, once things are simplified and cleared out cleaning is a snap, and keeping it that way is quite easy. More stuff means more cleaning and it is visually distracting. I do have a Heywood Wakefield bedside table I need for my meds that I take in the evening and my water.  If I could figure out a way to eliminate that I would.  Maybe another wood crate attached to the wall like the one on B’s side of the bed. It’s small but has enough room.

Mondays are also the day we don’t walk but oddly it feels like the day just doesn’t feel quite complete. But since I’m quite OC about it, it’s probably good I break up the routine.

I’ve been researching long term prepper pantry storage and it seems Mylar bags are the way to go. But since I’m using the vacuum sealer right now, I don’t think I’ll add mylar to the mix. Maybe down the road.  But I’m not looking to try and prep for 5 years and those people that do are kinda extreme. So what I am going to do is get a few more 5-gallon buckets and put some of the vacuumed sealed bags in them so light doesn’t affect them. I’ll try and do a bucket for rice, then one for beans, and then one for flour or baking things. Also, I’d get the gamma lids since they screw down.

I do think that in the fall things are going to get worse and so it is good to be ahead of that. I still like the idea of the upright freezer for certain things but we need to kinda regroup from the tree expense.

Meal plan for the week is : ( in no particular order of using)

  • Tacos, bean and some taco beef for the carnivores plus all the trimmings
  • Cobb salad with hardboiled eggs, sliced cheese, olives, maybe some kind of bean like kidney beans, veggie bacon, cherry tomatoes from the garden and we also have cucumbers coming in as well.
  • homemade macaroni and cheese with broccoli on the side
  •  chicken piccata/tofu with corn I froze( from the fruit stand) and maybe potatoes.
  • homemade pizza
  • mystery meal???

Well, that’s a wrap for now.

 

 

 

 

Friday Stuff

There’s not much going on over here at Casa Neumann’s.  Same ol’ same ol’.

This morning I’m going into Safeway to get a few items that are needed but other than that just the regular stuff. Most of my house chores are done for the week except a tidy up here and there.

I have pizza dough made ( on Wednesday) so I just need to bring it out of the fridge and let rise at room temperature.

I was looking at upright freezers for the ol’ prepper pantry but geez everything is sold out.  If I order a small one 14 ft it says delivery is in October, so maybe?? Do any of you use both a small chest freezer( that’s what I have now) and an upright?? What do you stock up on. I know I could put my extra flour and rice in there and that would extend shelf life. Plus milk freezes well and cheese. Let me know what you do. Other people’s setups are helpful to know.

 

OMG, we had a bear go thru the yard last night.  Arlo recorded it around 3:30 am. We have a mountain lion that’s been hanging around but we’ve never seen a bear. They are here because people have lost their chickens to bears but we’ve never seen one. Very Wild things going on.