Five on Friday

Another good week.

The doctor’s appt went well and he’s graduated to doing clinic just once a week. That’s really great. His labs all look good and the prednisone is controlling the diarrhea. I’m pretty sure it was a mild case of Graft vs Host in the gut but it’s under control now. He will slowly taper off the prednisone next week.

I used the IP again and made polenta and the next night did chili. I guess as long as it’s under my Heywood Cabinet and not taking up real estate in the kitchen, I’m okay using it for certain recipes. Polenta in the Instant Pot is particularly good if you haven’t tried that. When you made polenta on the stovetop it is hands-on stirring for about 30 minutes. So this is a really great way to make it and it is very creamy. I put it in a loaf pan and chill and then cut in slices and fry with a little tamari and then I top with cheese.  So I’m glad I didn’t just get rid of it without giving it some time.  Time is an amazing thing!

I’m going to Costco this morning for a few things and to bring my receipt where I was double charged.  I feel kinda weird about it but I’ll try.

We’re adjusting to life without Bonnie. Rocky seems better than at first. He’s getting a lot of attention, so that helps.

I finished a few really excellent psychological thrillers by Dana French. ” In the woods” and ” Broken Harbor”. She’s a great writer but the stories are dark but compelling. I also picked up a few books at the book exchange at the Cancer clinic. First, this is a terrific idea to have a bookshelf for patients to pick up books and drop off. Kiwanis house has quite a few bookcases thru out their facility and I definitely used them. So I picked up Ernst Hemmingway’s ” A moveable Feast” which was published posthumously. I ‘ve never really like Hemmingway’s stuff but this was really great. It’s a collection of essays about when he lived in Paris in the 1920s. I would highly recommend it. It is a masterpiece of writing.  I’m interested in going back an rereading some of his other books.

I dropped off about 8 books including some very new books I had bought but really didn’t want to keep. Flylady’s new book “CHAOS” was one. And some others too.

We received the first Cobra insurance bill and it’s a whopper.  Part of the bill still has our son on for medical, but that will come off as of 9/1 when his Kaiser Permanente kicks in so there will be another very large bill in August as well. Big as in $1200. Yes, that’s big! But then it should drop by about $600, I think… we’ll see:(

 

A book giveaway.

I’m giving away my copy of “lightly  How to live a simple, serene, stress-free life” by Francine Jay.

It’s a great little book with lots of ideas for minimizing, simplicity, decluttering and more.

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To enter, Please leave a comment on why you’d like to have it.

I will use a random number generator to pick a winner and then will post that and the winner can email me there address.

The giveaway will be open until next Sunday, April 14th.

Simple Sunday

Well, it’s been a longish week.  Hot, Hot, more hot!!

There’s not much change for the coming week either.  I’m so glad we have an Intex pool. That was one of our better purchases since we both love the water so much. BTW, this newer model came with a sand filter so if you’re ever in the market for a pool that doesn’t cost a fortune these are a great value. This pump has kept the water crystal clear with some additions of shock but that’s expected.

I went to the gym and did weights.This morning  we walked one round in the park. I wore the boot and my foot felt ok. I won’t try and push to do it tomorrow. I was just happy to go and walk around once.  It has been discouraging not to be able to walk everyday but well life happens and it’s best to go with the flow.Healing my foot is top priority.  My other foot also feels like maybe something is tweaked. I do have a bone spur and osteoarthritis in both feet and that can be a cause of foot stress fractures. I hope that’s not whats going on.. I was going to check with my oncologist next time about whether the Zometa that I use to get for bone strength could help here.

A super fun find at the Goodwill was an Atlas 150 pasta maker. I got it for $5.00.  I’ve been looking for one forever. It wasn’t till I got home though and realized it didn’t have the clamp.  But I went to the hardware store and got a C clamp and that worked. I can get a replacement on Amazon for $20 so I might do that. Then this morning, viola!!! I made pasta.  So tonight I’m making the homemade pasta and then zoodles as we have some lovely zucchini in the garden.  I’m going to use a yellow and green zucchini.  Then I thought I’d made a garlic olive oil sauce and throw in a few shrimp.

So we will see how it turns out. Since it’s the first time making the pasta, I’m sure there’s a learning curve.  I’d like to try a lasagna with the home made noodles.

I decided to order Courtney Carver’s ‘ Soulful Simplicity’

and I have to say, I’m enjoying it. It’s way better that ‘ The year of Less’ and ‘Frugalwoods’.  So if you’re looking for some inspiration for minimalizing this is a good one. She does mention ‘God ‘ a few times so far but I’m okay with that as she does qualify it with ‘spirit’ or ‘heart’.  I also like Dave Ramsey and of course he does use lots of christian things but I overlook that for the content that’s being given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Five

  • Yesterday my daughter and I took a huge load to Goodwill that was mostly my son’s stuff. Hurray!!!! Maybe the decluttering is sinking in for him. ( Probably not, but it was a good start).  Plus it was two Kirkland dog beds that the border collies just don’t use. The books I saved out of the drop to take to the pet bookstore as I’d rather support them.
  • Did the budget with B’s check and we’re on track to finish the credit card that we put Z’s spring tuition on by July.  Also, I finally paid the last of my Invisalign costs. So that was exciting. After the CC is done, I’m determined to finish the Santa Fe. It’s 2014 so, that’s 4 years of payments and I want it gone. If I did that by the end of the year I’d be happy.  I don’t see us getting another car for B’s work. Even though the company does do a stipend it would mean another car loan and right now, I don’t want that.
  • Retirement is looming for B so we need to be as debt free except the mortgage as possible.
  • My daughter and I went to the gym and then after the thrift store drop headed over for some tostadas. Yummy.
  • For dinner, I made baked tofu and then made a really yummy coconut curry vegetable stew. It was delicious. Plus I made a peanut sriracha sauce for the tofu.

Today it’s hot. So I might just hang out at home and read. My son lent me another graphic novel, TheWatchman, so I’m curious about it. He said it is the # 1 graphic novel of all time.

I might wash the outside windows with the Windex outdoor product. It actually works very well and you don’t need to wipe them when done although it does help.

Tonight is pizza night.

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Cheese and pepperoni pizza with basil.

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

For Christians, it’s Easter Sunday.  For the rest of us, just a beautiful day without religious embellishment.  Our walk was lovely despite the sunrise Christians out to worship some long ago person who supposedly came out from behind a rock and rose from the dead.

I’m taking a wild educated guess, that there was undoubtedly a scientific reason for it, or maybe it was just a story that kept going and getting more outrageous.  The first Gospels weren’t even written until 70 A.D., so that’s an awfully long time to embellish the story!! The first gospel was written by Mark but some scholars believe Matthew may have written his earlier than 80-90 AD.  Anyway, one simply must put into context this was over 2000 years ago and there certainly was no internet. Science was a mere blip. The earth was flat and religion was a good way to have something to believe in. Oh well, enough of my meanderings.

No gym today as it is closed. I’m going to work on a few projects. The laundry room is tidied but I still need to wash the floor.  I did paint the shelves so they are clean and bright now.  I’m going to cook some southern fried tofu with a potato bake and some strawberries for desert.

FLylady zone is the entryways and dining room. I will wash the sunroom windows and front door. We moved all the geraniums outside so that brightens it up. Everything is growing wildly.  Mowing will be a weekly event.

Next  week does bring some rain on Friday but it shouldnt be too bad and we could use it.

I need to call down to the cancer center and see when my doctor ordered my labs. He’s away this week, and I cant remember if he said he’d order them for this week or next. Since I see him next week I’d like to get them done sooner. This week I have a dentist appt for a dental cleaning and then a birthday lunch on Friday. So my week is open.

I’m reading an excellent book by Barbara Ehrenreich ” Living with a Wild God”. So far it is compelling.

 

Friday Things

It is another beautiful fall day here in Northern California. There is nowhere else I’d like to live except the coast. But not really, I need mountains and such.  Next week brings rain so it’ll change as it should. Nothing stays the same.

Today, I’ve been puttering around. I made a vegan banana bread. It’s from the blogger Sadia at ‘Pick up Limes’.  It is one of the best banana breads I’ve ever made. She has very beautiful food photos and her recipes are really quite delicious. All vegan.

Then I tidied around the house, and I’m finishing 2 loads of laundry as I had enough to do a small load of white.  As a minimalist, I find it much simpler to do one load a day and a few times a week a second. Fly lady is where I originally got the idea but it’s around a lot of other blogs.

I dusted around the house and watered my plant friends.  Not much decluttering although I did put a few pairs of earrings in a bag for Goodwill.  I’m up to 700 items in October. As I said lots of small things, but they do add up.

At the recommendation of a fellow blogger, I read’ My year of no clutter’. It’s an interesting book which focuses on her hoarding tendencies and anxieties. But I gleaned a lot from the book and would recommend it.

Right now I’m reading from the library, ‘unstuffed’.  I was going to buy this off amazon but it seemed to indicate some Christian things in it so I didn’t. So far I haven’t seen much in that way except a bible verse.  If a book starts including the Christian stuff especially related to minimalism, I quickly close the book.  It may all be fine and good for them to think Jesus was a minimalist, and yes I’m  pretty sure in 20BC there weren’t any Walmarts around so, yeah, not owning much there.  Not to be judgmental, but it is all relative and one does need to think about these things. Anyhoo, so far I live her ideas and it’s a good read.

 

UPDATE:  The book becomes a little more and more evangelical as it nears the end.  by the last chapter she’s really trying to tell us that only by turning to God can we find Grace. Because He is perfect.  And we are not. So that will help your decluttering journey.

Well, as an atheist, and someone who was a Quaker and a Buddhist previously, I can say with some certainty for me ,There is NO God.   Is he up on a cloud somewhere?  Is he in another dimension? For me, living a life of balance and simplicity is about being here in this life and living it fully and wholly.

Well, my sister will arrive in Sacramento tomorrow and we’ll see her Sunday. Should be a nice day although not as warm as today.

Home made falafel balls

So, this week I made another loaf of the vegan banana bread, but I used regular choc chips so that made them not vegan and it was quite a bit sweeter.   Think I like the dark Valharona choc better.

Then I’ve been experimenting with falafel mixes. I bought a packaged one and it was okay but I knew I could make it for less with out preservatives.

Here’s the recipe  

I was quite skeptical of using the garbanzo beans just soaked over night but it was amazing and a great recipe. I even followed the instructions.

I forgot to take pictures though(as usual).

Then I baked up a batch of tofu to have for lunches. That was tasty too.

I’m reading a fun murder mystery series by Meg Wolfe. She has written the Minimalist Woman and a couple of ebooks. I really like her writing style, very sharp and concise. Here’s the first one in the series.

The first one is loads of fun as she describes a woman going thru downsizing and minimalizing.  Try these,  I think they’re great. But I’m only on Book 2 so far.

 

 

 

tonight, it’s sorta YOYO. Everyone is getting a sandwich at the store but I think I’ll just make some noodles and brown butter. ( my go to comfort food.)

BTW, I got the first coat of Kilz on the wall and tomorrow, I’ll paint the white.