Simple Sunday

We lost power for about an hour last night but I’m surprised it wasn’t more. It’s still raining so we decided not to walk this morning. I actually like walking in the rain as long as the wind isn’t blowing and today it is still windy. It looks like we’re in for rain all week. There have been many trees down so I hope ours can hold on. Even along I -80 I saw some pines that had fallen over.

I did go swimming yesterday and got a lane fairly quickly but by the time I was done lots of ‘new ‘ faces were showing up and the high school team again. I imagine it’ll slow down after a while with NY resolutions fading away.

Then I popped into Winco for salad stuff and other veggies. I didn’t buy a lot of anything else as I’m doing the pantry challenge which is to use up what I have. So far it is going splendidly. Last night we had some salmon I had in the freezer so that’s used up and we had a salad with it. I also used my last acorn squash from the farm stand I bought this fall. So overall I’m pleased with the challenge. This week I plan on using 2 pressure-canned soups, and some enchiladas from the freezer, and then see what else needs to be used up.

I just finished reading an excellent book called ” The Longing for Less” by Kyle Chayka. It is quite the essay on minimalism. I’d highly recommend it. I’m not planning on writing down the books I read this year as last year once I hit 150, I didn’t bother anymore.

Today, I plan on doing the Kitchen zone and then read some more. This week is a mellow week, with no appts. Depending on the weather though, I’ll go down to Roseville to swim and to the Rec center at least 1x.

Frugal Friday

The biggest Frugal Fail was going out for the worst breakfast ever!!! We decided to go to a new place near Trader Joe’s after we shopped called Early Toast. Wow, so awful I should have taken the $50 bill and burned it in the parking lot. Oh well, it does not reinforce my wanting to go out for meals. 😦

But TJ’s shop was good and I really was just going in for their snacks( the best potato chips ever) and curry sauce, misc items, and some wine.

We also picked up the Walmart order and the only thing I didn’t get was the turkey breast which was the only thing I really wanted in that order. 😦

Overall, a frugal week though with just the above-mentioned groceries and breakfast.

I had a good swim yesterday and the pool was really nice. The last 2 times it was quite cool which is unusual. But they must have gotten a few complaints and it was back to the way it usually is. Tomorrow I haven’t decided if I’ll swim or possibly go to the gym. I think I’ll wait and see how I feel later today.

Our weather is much cooler now but still no rain. It shows rain next week so fingers crossed. We really need the rain. We’ve been having a fire most mornings and evenings just to take the chill off the house.

I picked up 4 Ann Cleeves books from the library and started one. I have seen Vera on Brit Box so some of these books are adaptations of the series. The writing is good though. I stopped counting books I’ve read this year after 125 and that was in September. So probably I’m close to 150 books for the year. I just finished ‘A Tree grows in Brooklyn’ which was THE BOOK that influenced me the most growing up. If Francie could go to college, so could I. I was the first person in my family to ever go to college and later graduate school. Heidi, my sister, eventually earned her degree at the Catholic college she was working at. And all of her children are college educated with her oldest daughter holding a Ph.D. in nursing. ( I think it would be DNP??) not sure but she teaches.

Well, that’s all I got this morning so I’m off to do some chores and tidying up.

Simple Sunday

Fall is definitely here and with it colder weather and lots of pretty colored leaves. In the park, the trees are red, orange, yellow, and gold colors. Up here on our hill, we mostly have shades of yellow and gold. We had a lovely walk with no one there again. Sunday is my favorite day to walk. We’re consistent in walking 45 minutes. Then poof! I’m done. It’s the same with swimming. 40 minutes give or take and then that’s it.

I ordered 2 more cases of Ball jars and lids. They didn’t have the pint ones so I’ll check around for them. I also got a table runner in a tartan red plaid for Christmas and a candle(balsam). Speaking of Christmas, I’m pretty sure we’re not going to go up to Tahoe to cut a tree. The permits are in South Lake and that would mean going twice up there, once to buy the permit and then second, going to get the tree. There are no online purchases this year. Again, I don’t think we’ll do much in the way of gifts. Both my children buy whatever they need/want anyway. I’ll probably do a few gift cards though.

Here’s the applesauce from the other day.

I only got 4-pint jars but it is very tasty. I’ll see if my son can pick up a few more apples from his friend’s trees.

This week is another quiet one with no appts. I will go to the gym at least once and then swim at least twice. I’m doing a small Winco trip on one of the swim days as it is just across the street from the pool. We’ll probably do Costco in two weeks. As always, it’s the coffee we’ll need.

So we have a ‘new’ very friendly cat that has shown up!!!

Meet Chester!

He looks just like Gus! But his face is squarer ( is that a word?)more square. He’s very friendly and wants attention. We’re not sure where he came from but he seems to like it here.

This is Gus the tiger boy!!! He is bigger than the new cat that we’ve named Chester!!

I’m glad the week is over. I had those few days I didn’t feel well and it was just kind of an off week. Flylady zone is the living room. I did the windows and dusted. I put out a few Halloween decorations( my vintage ones) and added some mini pumpkins.

We finished watching “Severance”. If you like futuristic, dystopian stuff, then this is for you. Very intense and you’re not really sure what is going on. I have some Ann Cleeves on hold at the library I’ll pick up this week. ( she writes the Vera series).

Simple Sunday

I’d say overall a nice week. Our temperatures were in the 90s but it wasn’t unbearable. This coming week we do have 4 days of 102-104 degrees and that is not comfortable. Well, with global warming I guess the temperature of the planet is going up. I read that the UK is really suffering, and quite a few of my favorite bloggers have been talking about the incredible heat.

We had a very nice walk this morning and we were the only ones till about 6:05 when the one older guy showed up. He’s been walking almost every day and seems nice. He doesn’t say much and keeps to his own space. It’s rare we are walking alone as most days there are at least 6 other people. I’m sure that with sunrise getting later there will be fewer people. The Canada geese babies are all grown up and all flying. It’s always fun to watch their development from puff balls to flying.

After we got home I made up the last batch of refrigerator jalapenos. There was just one jar. I already did 2 other refrigerator ones. These are really spicy.

Yesterday after swimming( which was wonderful as always), I made up the pickled beets( 2 jars) and shelf-stable jalapenos. I got 4 1/2 pints and 1 pint.

I decided not to go to the gym tomorrow so I can process the box of tomatoes. These are all ours and I’m guessing 30#s. There are also tomatoes all over my counters in different ripening stages. I’m thrilled to have so many as last year was dismal.

And we have lots of cherry tomatoes still coming and it’s barely the start of the tomato harvest.

That tomato on the top left is a Black Krim. Very tasty.

This week is the bathroom zone and I just finished that too. The joy of being clutter free and with just enough is that my zones are generally no more than 15 minutes at the most except in the kitchen. In the bathroom, which is very small, there’s only one towel per person and they hang on hooks. I wash towels once a week on Mondays. So there’s no pile of towels, although right now I have one extra in there that came from the RV and should go back.

I just passed reading 101 books so far this year and there were probably a few more I didn’t write down. Interestingly, I had picked up two Zen interior books at the pet book store for $1 each, and they were written in the late ’90s and it’s amazing all the ‘catch ‘ phrases they used like ” less is more”, declutter for a simpler life, and lots of other things. These 2 authors, were WAY ahead of the whole ‘minimalist movement’ that really took off in 2010. Of course, the Japanese were always very minimalist in their homes and Zen was a huge influence. I will keep these 2 hardbacks for now as they are inspiring to read through. If you’re interested one is called Wabi Sabi, and the other is Zen Interiors.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY # 28 to my dear son, Zephyr.

On a Sunday morning, 28 years ago, we were scheduled to go into Auburn Faith Community hospital and induce labor. My ob/GYN came in in his tennis clothes, broke my water and by 12:30 I was in labor. My son was born at 2:28pm that afternoon. It was very hard labor but fortunately quick. Whoever said you forget the pain after childbirth obviously didn’t have the same level of pain I did.

I’ve been very busy canning blackberry jam and salsas since Friday morning. My daughter and I went and picked 2 buckets of blackberries. I did one bag yesterday and will do the other bag today. I need 1/2 pint jars so I plan on going into Target soon and seeing what I can get.

I didn’t swim yesterday because of the canning and it was a good thing as I started at 6:30 am and finished by 11am. Today, I’m only planning on doing the blackberries if I can get the 1/2 pint jars. Tomorrow, I will can the tomatoes. I have plenty of jars for that. I’m liking the new canning pot I bought it is much nicer than the old Ball metal one.

This week I have my fasting labs on Wednesday. My appt is early so fasting shouldn’t be a problem.

Tomorrow I plan on going to the Roseville rec center and then drop off library books. My two most recent ” TheLioness ” by Chris Bohjalian and “The Paris Apartment” are OUTSTANDING and I would highly recommend.

Well, no zone cleaning for me today, I am beat. 😦

Simple Sunday

A lovely walk this morning although with the cloud cover it was muggy/ humid. Our temperatures are 10 degrees higher than Sacramento which is crazy but they are getting the delta breezes and we have none.

A busy morning when I got back. It’s sheet day so the sheets have come off and are in the laundry and I did a bathroom swish and swipe.

Then I started on the canning I planned on doing this morning. I decided to do pickled beets and another 2 jars of bread and butter pickles in the water bath canner. My canner is on the way out as it is rusty and the rack is rusty. But it works fine for boiling water. Nonetheless, I just ordered a stainless steel water canner with a rack from Amazon. I had ordered a stainless rack for inside the Ball canner but canceled the order after looking at the condition of the Ball canner overall. So the other one is a good deal with 35% off so it ended up at $53.00. So the pickled beets made 2 jars and the pickles 2 jars. Next week at the farm stand I’ll buy 2 bunches of beets and that should get me 4 more jars. I’m going to open one of the beets in a few days and check out the taste. This recipe was from a Youtuber ( Wyse Guide) who has a farm.

I finished the Anne Hillerman book and started the Jacqueline Winspear latest. Both are excellent writers.

This week is still a light week for me and then next week I have my fasting labs and regular labs and I’m going to get my new eyeglasses ordered. I’m using my Lindberg frames so that will cut some of the expense. I’ve had these frames for over 5 years and they are remarkable. They are rimless and quite light. There I’m thinking they are a titanium frame. It’s the progressives, and the no line bifocal, that cost.

It’s hard not going stir crazy this summer but our Tahoe trip is about a month away now so we have that to look forward to.

Flylady zone is Entryways. My favorite blogger, Minimom, is going back to using Flylady after trying the SHE method. She is a great example of how minimalism works for a family and she has adapted Flylady to her needs. I think that’s the ticket with Flylady, is to use the basic concepts and then adapt them, which is what I do. But I do think you have had to declutter first which is always included in her weekly tasks on her website. Granted it’s not a very sophisticated website but it does show what to do each day if you need that. I do my zone all in one morning usually Sunday or Monday morning. Then each day I do a house reset and tidy and usually always do a bathroom wipe down.

Simple Sunday

We have smokey skies from the Yosemite fire this morning and the sun is an orange ball. The temperature seems cooler but we’re still expecting a high of 98 today. I do hope the firefighters can get this under control. There’s already been a mandatory evacuation down near Mariposa. ugh… fire is scary! We had a nice walk though, and no one showed up while we were there.

I read a few newer books this week including Josuha Becker’s” Things that matter”. I liked it well enough, not remarkable but still a good read. Then Kellerman’s new book “City of Dead”. He’s always pretty scripted but I still like his writing. Then by Kumiko Love( I wonder if that’s her real last name), “My Money, My Way. ” She basically takes most of her ideas from people like Dave Ramsey and others but I still like her presentation and I thought it a worthwhile read about money and budgets. I put a few canning books on hold and I’m still contemplating the pressure canner. I did decide that the All American is too expensive for me (over $ 400) but the Presto is $160 or so and that may be a better beginner option. I’m definitely not interested in pressure canning chicken or beef etc but there are some things I would do that need a pressure canner like chicken broth.

I made some refrigerator bread and butter pickles yesterday, and they looked good. We didn’t plant cucumbers for some reason so I bought 3 at the Farm and got 2 jars out of them.

Here are some of the onions I harvested. I’m thrilled to get some onions.

This morning I started the sourdough bread and will let it do a slow rise overnight and bake tomorrow early. I also made a pie crust for the goat cheese quiche I’m making later. The best pie crust I’ve found is from Joanna Gaine’s book” Magnolia Table”. I’ve made it numerous times and it comes together very easy.

The Flylady zone is the living room zone. I did most of it already but I still need to dust the tops of the Easton Press books.

This week I plan to do a Winco trip for a few things, and B has labs on Wednesday in Rocklin so I’ll see about him stopping at Costco again for a few more things. Other than that, trying to stay cool, and doing my normal stuff.

Frugal Friday

So far, it’s been a frugal week as we haven’t done much. I went into Whole Foods (spent $45.00)yesterday because I thought I could get some Nicoise olives for my Nicoise salad recipe from my Le Creuset cookbook. Alas, the young lady didn’t even know what I was talking about and said she hasn’t ever seen them there. Except I have bought them there before, granted it was probably 2 years ago. So I bought some tiny olives that look similar to Nicoise and they were actually delicious. The salad called for fingerling potatoes and they didn’t have those either so I was batting 0 out of 2. When I came home I boiled some eggs for hardboiled eggs for the salad too. I had bought a piece of Ahi tuna from Trader Joe’s last time I was there so I put that in a bowl of water to defrost. Then my daughter grilled that on the Webber. All in all, it came out quite well.

The reason I was going down to Roseville is my library hold came in. It’s the Maus graphic novel that schools in the south and basically all Republican states want to ban. So I picked that up and a few other books to read. I’m up to 65 books for the year and with the 6 I picked up I’ll be over 70. Not that numbers count as I just always have read a lot.

I also wanted to check out the gym that is next to the library that I can use with my swim membership. So, a year and 3 months later I decided to go in and see the layout. Now with Covid, I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway but now I feel fairly comfortable going in. It was really great and I like that it seemed simple and had the machines I like to use. I did a quick circuit and felt that I will add this in to my weekly workouts.

Other than WF, I don’t think we spent any money. Today I going to the farmstand, that just opened for the season, and get some things for the week. I have cash for that. The only extra expense we have this month is the truck DMV, which I mentioned before. I haven’t paid it yet and will do so towards the end of the month. Other than that everything is covered. There’s not much leftover but that’s ok.

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).