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.

 

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.

 

the week ahead…

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This is Rose Campion that has spread all over our hill.

We have a few things lined up for this week.

Tomorrow we are having our septic being pumped.  I know very exciting. But really, our septic tank is under the 1200 required by law but is grandfathered in because it was put in a long time ago. Actually, we’re not sure when it was put in since the old man who lived here didn’t get a permit at least that we could find in county records. So about 5 years ago when the septic was overly full and we didn’t know it until the toilet wasn’t flushing down and we knew was wrong. So now we’re on a 2-year schedule. Once he opens and pumps we’ll know if we could’ve gone 3 years. I know, I know, so exciting and TMI.

Then I’m going to brave Costco since I want to use our rebate. I’m not too worried as Costco requires everyone to wear a mask so I’m good with that. I have a big list of things to get( again) but some are still prepper pantry stuff. For instance, I’d like to get a case of chili and some more marinara sauce. Plus I need washcloths and the 24 pack of white hotel washcloths are really the best for the money.

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here’s my nifty food vacuum sealer which I LOVE!!!

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So cool.

 

Later in the week, we are going to drive up to Tahoe to go to the cannabis store so B can get some stuff. His plants are coming along but it’s a way off to harvest. Plus the ride will be nice. I’m thinking of bringing some coffee in our mugs and maybe sandwiches. The beach area in Kings Beach is quite lovely but I’m not sure if there will be lots of people or if it’s still closed.  So a nice day trip.

The weather is quite nice this week. No really hot days.

We are also going to call the tree guy because the giant tree is now leaning MORE!! At first, I thought I was just imagining it but the top is no longer straight up. This is a huge tree and is aiming straight at the barn.  We have the money in our emergency fund but now there is no extra money coming in so whatever we take out won’t get replenished. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. But I think, except for the giant oak near the barn, this would be the last tree for a while unless something else happens. We have 2 other huge Ponderosas that are leaning but they are leaning away from our house. Unfortunately one is leaning towards our neighbor’s house which is kinda scary.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady and mine is done already. I just need to mop the floor later.

We are also planning a trip to Home Depot for wood. I’m conflicted about buying from Home Depot since the owner is a huge TRump supporter but the closest Lowes( liberal) is down by Costco. So for our old van a bit risky. ( The van is the only car that can hold wood on the roof and inside when we take the  seats out). So, anyway, it’s a conflict for me.  We are planning to get some fence posts so we can start the fence behind the barn to block out those neighbors.

That’s about it.

I’m so glad the protests are making such a difference and maybe we will see some real change. It is still so sad it has taken so many black lives though to get to this point.

 

 

Simple Sunday

What the fuck is wrong in America?

The awful murder of an innocent black man by 4 policemen.

The absolutely horrendous situation of the privileged white woman calling the police when a black man asked her to leash her dog( which was posted on a sign right behind her). Thankfully, this did not end violently and I’m glad she was fired from her job.

I’m glad there are protests going on. Something has to change in this country.  Of course, with a pandemic also going on, it’s tricky. I’m just depressed by it all. We have a racist president who is invoking violence, plays to his base, is a narcissist, and cannot feel anything except his own shit.

Something has to change.

In other news on the home front, we had another Instacart Costco order that was expensive but worth it. I spent @$375 for food and then a tip. Lots of stuff was prepper pantry stuff like bleach, cleanser, and toilet paper.  Some good food stuff like tuna, potatoes, avocados, bananas, and more. I looked at the receipt and then what I was charged by Instacart and most things were about $2.00 more that way. I ordered Sierra Pale ale for B and that was $4.00 more. So it definitely adds up but to not have to go into the store is worth it still.  The young man said the store was very busy and the checkout lines long. So I think a good choice. I’ll reevaluate in June about the time I need coffee. Of course, it’s a privilege that we can do this right now. There have been times in our past when I had $10. 00 a week for food.  And there have been times when I had zero money for food. So, for now, we can do this. Down the road, who knows. We’re living on a very limited income which will come in under $30,000 so… we shall see.

Our weather has been crazy with over 100 degrees one day and then hail and thunder the next. today is partly cloudy and cool. At least we’re not running the coolers all day.

I had my eye exam and everything seems stable with my macular pucker. Can’t do much about right now.  I also decided to cancel my crown on Tuesday and wait a few more weeks. I’m nervous about the air filtration in the office and stuff drifting around. I’m not sure much will be different in 3 weeks but I’ll try.

Next week I have my labs so we’ll see what news I get there.

 Barclay has another Bone Marrow Biopsy on Wednesday( such fun) so hopefully, he’s still fully engrafted. He started the Jakafi and I really hope this fixes the GVHD stuff.

Well, that’s all the news here at home. We did finish Ozark and it ends pretty violent and setting up for a 4th season. It’s good drama and Laura Linney is one of my favorite actors.

Flylady zone is the entryway this week if you’re following.

Anything new?

No, not really. It’s just same ole same old.

On Monday we went down to Winco, which is @ a 25-minute drive. We went early like at 6:15 am. It was fairly empty and we got everything I was after for the prepper pantry. Extra pasta, salsas, instant potatoes, and lots of other stuff to put out in the barn where the prepper pantry lives. We have stainless steel restaurant shelves out there and I’m using bins to put things in. The bins are to keep things clean and to keep bugs or other things out. We haven’t had any problems out there in a while but better to err on the side of caution. Some things I don’t keep in bins like the canned goods. Plus we will need to be rotating stuff into the house so some stuff I want to be able to see. I have labeled most everything. There’s a little more to do but mostly it’s done.

In the house, I have my closet pantry and then in the kitchen, I have some wine crates dedicated to canned goods as well. Overall, I’m happy with what I’ve done. I think if I planned meals, I have at least 3 months worth at this point.

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I’m still spending ALOT on food but as it is prepper pantry stuff, I feel okay about it. I have a very bad feeling about what the second wave of Covid-19 will bring. People are going a little crazy going out and so many are not wearing masks. Go figure.

Tomorrow I will go to my eye doctor’s appt. I’m planning on wearing a mask. This is my annual eye exam and my macular pucker scan. I probably should do the surgery but honestly, I don’t want to deal with it. I can’t really see out of my right eye but my left compensates so I guess for the time being ( unless it’s worse) I live with it.

It’s really hot here for the next few days so the coolers are in the windows. By Saturday though the temperatures are expected to drop again. last year at this time I was driving to Sacramento every day and it was also a heatwave. By the time I was in the RV it was sweltering.  So I guess its par for the course.

I made a chocolate cake last week.

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It was very chocolatey… I ended up freezing half as we weren’t eating it all.

Our daughter’s birthday is Friday. Wow, 35 years ago!!! We were so happy!! And had waited a long time for her. We’d been married 15 years so, a pretty long time to wait for a kiddo!!