Simple Sunday

It’s been a productive week with taking down the tree, shopping at Costco, swimming, the library and lots of cooking.

Out of the Le Creuset book, I made both the French onion soup and the cheese souffle. The french onion soup used a chicken broth as a base and I don’t think it had enough rich flavor. Next time I would do a homemade vegetable stock and/or a beef bouillon cube. Yesterday, my son surprised me after I got home from swimming by starting the Lodge and making biscuits and sausage gravy. We had fun together and he really likes Lodge cooking. I’ve actually never had biscuits and gravy and it was delicious.

Today is a home day with cleaning the living room zone and probably I’ll add the sunporch in. Actually, I think this week, which is a light week with no appts, I’ll do a whole house zone cleaning. I’ve done this a few times and I like it. I don’t do it all in one morning but 2-3 mornings.

I read Greg Mckeon’s book Essentialism this week and am finishing his latest book, Effortless. I liked them both and felt he has some really good thoughts on living simply and with your best intentions. I also read “Oh, William” by Elizabeth Strout. Very thought provoking, and written in a clever narrative.

Budget wise everything is paid for the month and the ginormous check for the tree is cashed. So it’s all good. I do hope the neighbor doesn’t decide to change his mind about the logs because then we’d be on the hook for them.

Our weather looks lovely and sunny for the next 10 days and then we leave Mother’s day morning to go down to Capitola. I still haven’t booked anything at Refugio and in October after were back at Capitola we are going to stay 3 nights in Napa at the Expo RV place we stayed in before and really liked. So I’m not sure at this point if Refugio is going to happen. I almost think I’d rather try and plan our trip to San Diego early next year. I’m not sure we could afford Refugio and San Diego. The camping spots are not expensive it would be the gas.

Update: I just got spot 35 which is on the beach and next to the one we had last year. It’s just as nice a spot as 34 although 34 is the best. Now we just have to figure out do we still go to Capitola and then Refugio or skip one. I think since we have both booked I’ll just wait on it and think about it. We would need a stop over going down and back.

I can’t quite remember when we got his poster but I’m guessing in the early 1970’s as the VietNam war was happening. Somehow this poster survived all our moves and was hanging out in the barn till recently. I asked B to bring it in so I could frame it. Right now it’s just on a bull clip.

Simple Sunday

Another Christmas has come and gone. We really had lovely Christmas. I made a big breakfast of eggs (our own), mini-pancakes, fried bananas, bacon, veggie sausage, and hash browns. Fresh coffee on the table and I used my needles and pine Tepco plates. After breakfast, at the table, we opened a few items to share. I used the Santa fund to get a gift card for each kid and B got his in cash, chocolate from Trader Joe’s. My son shared a few presents: 2 jazz LP’s for Dad, an Easton Press book for me ” Tale of Two Cities, and a plaque with one of my favorite quotes from Tolkien” No Admittance except on official party business, and for his sister an Apple gift card. B got each of us one thing, a candle for me, chainsaw chains( a 3 pack) for Sachi’s electric chainsaw, and a gift card to Cherry records for Z which is his favorite record store in Auburn. Honestly, I think it was the nicest stress-free Christmas ever. I will definitely do this again next year with breakfast being the focus and then a couple of small things or GC’s as gifts to share at the table.

We have had lovely very cold walks. Some in the rain and wind and some with stars and then sunrises. It’s supposed to keep snowing and raining here and in the Sierras. I have my labs tomorrow but I may have to reschedule. I think I’ll wait till I’m up to see how it is. The Santa Fe is all-wheel drive so it shouldn’t be a problem. It would be more how is I – 80? It’s been closed off and on so it could be 7 am.

I’ve taken some of the Christmas decorations down and will finish tomorrow. I plan to go thru the one bin in the barn that’s Christmas and see if there’s a way to get it down even further. the bin has all the Hallmark ornaments we’ve collected over all these years so I don’t want to get rid of them but maybe pack it differently. Right now it’s too cold to go out there so it’s just something to do at a later time.

We’re staying snug and warm with a wood fire going pretty much non stop. I bought a stove top fan that works off the heat and it is very good at moving the air. We have one that is a 2 blade but this is 4 blade. I think I might get another one down the road.

I finished the last PD James I had from the pet bookstore, “Death comes to Pemberly”. It is a murder mystery using the Jane Austin’s characters. It was quite excellent.

We’ve been trying to get a spot at Nevada beach in June and it’s almost impossible. We gave up because now it’s too close to 4th of July and I never want to be in Tahoe on 4th of July. So I happened to look one morning and lo and behold there had been a cancellation. So I jumped on it and now we have 4 nights in the first part of June. I’d rather have a few more nights buts I’ll take it. It’s in a spot we haven’t had but we know it and it’s on the loop we like. Next up will trying to book in late August or September but that will have to wait or the timing ( 6 months out).

Frugal Friday

I made bagels yesterday and that was VERY frugal. When I go to Flour garden, it’s $22 dollars for a dozen organic bagels. We do like them a lot but that gets pretty expensive even if I do that twice a month. So I tried the King Arthur recipe and watched some Youtube channels. They came out pretty excellent but I didn’t get the rise I wanted. I think because 1. I didn’t use bread flour, just all-purpose, 2. I didn’t do a slow overnight rise. So tomorrow I’m going to try again and do both. it was fun making them. And probably the cost is maybe $2.00 for a dozen.

We’re not ordering pizza tonight. I’ll either do one of my frozen meals or I will make a breakfast casserole. We’re not getting lots of eggs ( which is great) but I have 3 dozen in the fridge. I think I even have a TJ’s frozen pizza if we want that and make a nice salad on the side. Ordering pizza out is nice once in a while but is WAY too expensive. $30 for a large pizza is crazy especially when it’s probably maybe $3.00 of ingredients. I’ve put the Ooni away for winter because by dinner time it’s too dark and cold outside to use it.

I have only done the Winco shop so far this month and that was on the 2nd so grocery wise things are in line with the budget. I plan on going to Costco Monday( it’s always the coffee) to get some things. I want to avoid Costco too close to Christmas as it is a madhouse. On my way to swim though, at 7am, I’ve gotten Costco gas which is a huge saving. I do not plan on a big stock up at Costco, just basics.

Today is a home day for me and there’s a few pottering things I want to do. I plan to iron a few linen napkins, mop the kitchen floor, wash a few windows and maybe a few other things.

I finished another PD James mystery. This one was an early one of hers called ‘Innocent Blood’. Very compelling story. Now I started another Dagliesh one. She is a superb writer.

Well, off to make a cup of tea.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY HANUKKAH!!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. I plan on making some latkes and a piece of salmon and salad. Nothing too fancy.

We are not Jewish but atheists, but I do love traditions and lighting the candles to me represents bringing some light into the world. I didn’t do presents as such, just a few chocolate things from Trader Joe’s and I’ll give the kids some money one night. Not much as they both work good jobs.

We are having lovely November weather. We had a fire outside yesterday afternoon and it was perfect for sitting outside. Our walks have been nice too. We still see AH but I think the train has left on that and we just don’t care anymore. Once in a while he’ll be a little passive-aggressive and walk straight at me with his dog but then he moves over at the last minute. And if he sees us coming with our flashlights he’ll turn his off. Weird but ?? Oh well, we’re just doing what we’ve done for the last 10 years. When I started walking daily part of the path was still dirt and there were very few people who walked. Now it can be very busy especially by 10 am.

Today is a nice pottering day. I’ve made some pumpkin spice scones. Swish and swiped the bathroom, scrubbed a cast iron, and got out some more Christmas things. I put the lights on the Ikea tree and that’s all I plan on doing. We were lucky to get a Christmas tree permit so we’ll go get a live tree for the sunroom next week. We certainly don’t need it but for $10. it’s a cheap date for B and me.

I’ve been working my way thru PD Jame’s books and she is such a good writer. I am enjoying them.

Well, back to pottering around. I’d like to finish embroidering one napkin too.

Simple Sunday

Our skies are still smokey and the sun is a red orb in the sky. It did clear up yesterday afternoon but it’s back in this morning. We had a good walk though although ‘he who shall not be named was there’. My God!, He is always there. I don’t think he’s taken a day off in the last year. Even I, OCD that I am, try and take a rest day.Oh well, he doesn’t bother us(right??after all that)… and does stay out of the way.

I went to Safeway to get the rest of the camping food for B and Sachi. One night spaghetti with garlic bread, the next night tofu burgers. It should be easy for them to handle. Then we went to Starbucks to get a pound of coffee ground for the press. It’s easier than trying to grind a large jars worth of coffee. We shared a tall Italian Roast coffee.

I finished the bathroom zone. I had bought new shower curtains last week so I put them up. With a claw foot tub, our shower needs 2 curtains to go around the ring at the top. I replace them about 3x a year due to mold issues. This time of year with everything so dry there isn’t much of a problem but in the winter it is more so. Still I cut the bottom off @3 X as well and wash in bleach.

I ordered the new Rosamunde Pilcher’s book.

She is one of my favorite authors. Will see if I like it. I have no qualms about returning a book if I don’t like it. I’m sure Amazon doesn’t want you doing this often but I have when I’m not happy with a book or a purchase.

This coming week will include swimming 2x, my labs on Friday , and taking Buggie in to check this wiring issue. The running lights on the left are not working and even after changing the fuses and bulbs it’s still not working. So we need to get it fixed as we drive out in the near dark at 5:45 am and the lights are not on. The brake lights work fine though. B needs to try and reschedule his IGIV for sooner as he is really feeling the fatigue. The anti-rejection drug he is on is causing his immunoglobulins to drop too low. Unfortunately, he will need to be on this drug a while so this is the treatment. At least it works. The cost is shocking at $41,000. Really?? I guess you’d just die if you didn’t have insurance.

I’m thinking seriously of painting our floors in the front room and bedroom white. I’ve always wanted white floors, very Scandish. But it would require some logistics as we would need to do half or a third at a time so we can access the bathroom and my daughter can get out of her room. Plus what I read is that it takes at least 2 coats maybe 3. We’ll see how it goes when the weather is cooler. It’s too hot now to do anything.

I think what I’ll do first is go to the Benjamin Moore paint store and find out about paints that can be put on a floor. Is it just regular paint and then a coat of varathane over it?? I’ll check.

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

Things are quiet around here.

The big storm is over and now it’s just cloudy, no rain. Today, I plan on tidying up the entry zones and my office area(done!). This time of year the entry zone is really just sweeping and removing any debris or stuff lying around.

We had a nice Sunday walk. Jerk walker was still there but then left as we started our second round. We’ve missed him for the most part as he must be getting there earlier but today, being Sunday, he was later.

I’ve almost finished reupholstering the dining room Heywood chairs. I have one left. Using a drop cloth as the fabric is economical and I actually love the look of the cotton. Next time I will need to replace the foam cushions but that’s a few years away at this point.

I plan on starting my painting project this week. Since I can’t really paint for long periods with my rib issues(arms raised and using a roller), I figured I’ll use the Flylady method and do it in 15 minute intervals. I’m still debating using the Behr white I have or wait till I have Benjamin Moore‘s Simple White. I think I’ll do the ceiling in front of the bathroom door with the Behr and then decide whether to keep going. I did read about a paint called, Farrow and Ball that sounds like a really nice paint with great coverage. I plan on checking it out this week.

Yesterday I made another NYT recipe called https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1021839-potato-cheddar-soup-with-quick-pickled-jalapenos. I made it my Staub, of course, and it was really good. Somehow the sprinkling of jalapenos really did uplift the soup. There’s enough left over for lunch today. I plan on making meatballs for dinner and maybe put them in sauce and bake. Not sure yet if that’s how I’ll do it since then B wouldn’t be able to eat the pasta bake. So I guess I’ll just leave them on the side.

My order from King Arthur Flour showed up and I made one of the scone mixes. It was White Chocolate cranberry scones. They were a big hit. Perhaps a little expensive for a mix ( 7.99) but it made 8 large scones so basically $1.00 a scone. I think overall it was worth it.

For Christmas my son had gotten me an Easton press of “ Robinson Crusoe” . I’ve read it before many years ago, but it is very entertaining and well written.

Simple Sunday

We finally have rain!!

We had to use umbrellas to walk but that was fine. Nobody was there but us so that’s always a treat.

I made some sugar cookie dough this morning and it’s in the fridge for a few hours to harden some. So I’ll start those a little later. I used an Alton Brown recipe and it was pretty straight forward.

If you follow Flylady, we are in the bathroom zone. I can finish mine in about 15 minutes as our bathroom is so small. I might add on a couple of extra tasks this week as well. I consolidated the Christmas ornaments into 1 larger plastic bin that B had bought at Home Depot. So that’s most of the Hallmark boxes and some felted animals when I use to put them out at Christmas on the nature table. I don’t do that anymore but they’re cute enough to keep for now. In the future, who knows? right.

So, as expected, my kappa light chains went up over 600,( high normal is 26.4) and the ratio also doubled( It was 74.3 mg/l ) normal high is 26.3. So Velcade will start in January. So since it’s 3 weeks on 1 week off, I’m thinking @ the second week of January and then a break the first week of February and so on. I guess we’ll have to see how it’s working as to how many rounds it’ll be. That’s a wait and see kind of thing. But one would hope, if it works on the myeloma, 6 months of treatment. Again, big unknowns since we don’t know how things will go. Disappointing but reality.

Tonight I’m cooking a roast chicken in my cast iron pan and I think I’ll make some buttered noodles to go with it as we are potatoed out from latkes. i wanted to get down to Krispy Kreme for donuts( you know to keep the cooking in oil thing going for Hanukkah:) but that may not happen.

B is actually going down for a doctor visit this week as I think they want to see him in person. I’m going to write a list of things for him to bring up because they continue to bother him. He is supposed to get his pneumonia shot and soon he will start revaccinating. I never did revaccinations as back in 2006 it wasn’t common then. Now, I think with autos it is. It is absolutely necessary with an allo transplant though as he had donor cells.

Well, I think I’m going to finish my Sunday chores and read some more of the Obama memoir. BTW, it is a great book and so full of compassion and insight. Definitely worth buying . One thing that really stood out to me was how many times he went to Walter Reed to see the wounded soldiers and how he would interact with them. I tried to look up how many times trump did it but I only found the 1 time shortly after his inauguration. I guess he couldn’t handle seeing the soldiers with one leg or arm or whatever. What a guy!:(

Frugal Friday

There have been some frugal things this week so here goes:

* We just returned home from picking up a trailer load of free oak. Beautiful wood that a friend offered. It won’t really be ready to burn right away but it’s lovely wood. There’s a lot more to get but we will need to see if my son can help as a lot of it is on a downhill slope which is too slippery for me.

*We had leftovers for all our lunches this week including today which is the left over chicken and wild rice soup.

*Since we have so many eggs I made egg salad for lunches too.

*I picked up a free pizza and salad for dinner tonight with the coupons from the Holiday market. Each month they have a coupon you can use. It’s a handy thing to have .

*We didn’t really go anywhere this week or do any big shopping just picking up a few fillers. Next week I plan to hit Costco to get a few things. We don’t need a huge amount but some things like cottage cheese and cream cheese are just too expensive at the store.

Overall, it’s been a nice week. I’m slowly getting a few Christmas items together plus asking what people want or could use. My son wants the Witcher books that the TV series is based on. I’m looking at some gardening stuff for my daughter.

I’m halfway thru my fall re-reading of the LOTR trilogy. I’m in the Two Towers. Everytime I read it I love it more and more.

We’re still walking early like 5:10 but I think we may start to go a little later starting next week. Mostly, I’m avoiding the jerk dog walker but he shows up anyway sometimes early too. So maybe there’s no getting around it and we just have to avoid him and when we do it doesn’t bother me. Mostly, I get irritated because he’s not using a flashlight and comes up behind us it is startling. Go figure.

Smoke, smoke and more smoke!!

Our temperatures have gone way down to the ’80’s but we are still being choked by smoke. No blue skies and just haze constantly.

The pictures of SF are so apocalyptic. That same day our skies turned a bizarre purplish orange and it was dark at 3pm. My daughter said,” Just wait till Yellowstone blows”. Very reassuring.

The week has been overall ok. I had my Flu shot, the over 65 dose, and had a bit of a headache from it. In the past I’ve actually spiked a fever for maybe an hour then it’s gone. The pharmacist said the one dose is good for the whole season. Now B and the kids need to go get theirs. We usually all do it at the end of September or into October but this year I wanted to get ahead of it.

Barclay’s liver numbers went down but still not in the normal range. Just above high normal. At least that’s something. Although it’s been going up and then coming down. I still think it’s the Jakafi but he’s only on a single dose so who knows. He also has an IGIV next week since his immunoglobulins are down. It’s too be expected with his drugs. I will drop him off and Sachi will go get him. It’s not in Sacramento but Roseville so I’m planning to either go to Winco or Trader Joes.

It is so depressing about the fires,politics, everything. I just hope we can see some relief soon with the fires and the politics. I have to say though I am thrilled that tRump’s world is unraveling. He deserves nothing but shame and holding the place of “the worst president in American history”.

I’m planning on buying Woodward’s book only to support the fact he wrote it.

This is the book I use the recipe from for my pizza dough. I’ve made a number of her recipes and they are all good. I did buy her second book ” Let’s Stay in ” as a Christmas present for myself, but didnt like it all and gave it away.

This is the best recipe I have found so far. Always comes out great.