Fall Cooking and tidying

I made a lovely pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing the other day. It was just right for this time of year.

Actually, I couldn’t find pumpkin anywhere even Walmart. So I happened to check Raley’s/Bel AIr and they had their brand on sale for $1.25 a can. I bought 10. Then I forgot the cream cheese so B went to Bel Air and bought 2. Never again. He paid almost $5.00 a package. I can get 6 boxes at Costco for less than $7.00. Well, I guess it pays to have a stockpile of things like that.

I went for my labs Tuesday so I’m guessing I’ll hear the bad news by next week. He also ordered an IGG test which is immunoglobulins. I guess with Myeloma it must show differently but I can’t really say I recognize it. So we’ll see.

Today, I’m making a creamy chicken and wild rice soup for dinner. I have some frozen Borscht for the veg.

We actually have a cool cloudy day and it’s great. I washed all the outside windows with the Windex sprayer that attaches to a hose. Very convenient. I try and do the outside windows 4 times a year generally around the cross quarters. Since I do the inside windows with each zone that gets done in each room about every 5 weeks. I like clean windows.

In the bedroom I added a linen top cover. I love the look and feel of linen. I don’t think now that I have had linen sheets I could go back to regular cotton ones. So I was watching one of my favorite Youtubers, Benita Larsson in Copenhagen and she said in Europe most people only use a duvet cover over the bottom sheet. Then take that off to wash as needed. That wouldn’t work for us but I got to thinking about wanting a linen top cover. I checked everywhere for just fabric but it was all running about $45 a yard. So I happened to think of Ikea’s linen set. I checked and they had the king size duvet. Works perfectly and gives me the look I’m after. Oh, and it was only $79.99.

Linen king duvet used just as a covering for winter. I love how linen looks after it’s washed.

I also use linen napkins for meals and have a white set and a natural set. Sometimes I iron them but mostly I like their crinkleness.

I think I’ll go do some garden stuff also since it’s cloudy and I can get maybe one bed ready for fall planting.

I’m also going to get out my vintage Halloween stuff to put out.

Simple Sunday

For some reason, I got a bee in my bonnet. so to speak, to clean out and paint our ONE closet. It is a good size, 4×6. I always wanted to make this a half bath with a small shower but that would mean digging up our septic and putting a bigger one in. That expensive just isn’t on the table anymore( unless we win the lottery, and since I don’t play, that’s not happening).

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So we need to get a roller to do most of it. The Hardware store doesn’t open till 9am( here in town, not Home Depot). I have 1/2 a gallon of white and that may or may not be enough. We’ll start with the ceiling and then the clothes side. I’ll consider going into Home depot for more Behr paint or I’ll go tomorrow and finish the pantry side.  Getting the clothes back in would take priority as they are on the bed and the couch right now.

If nothing else it will get the dust bunnies out and freshen up the space which hasn’t been done, like ever.

Also here are the mylar bags filled.

 

These are really nice bags if you’re interested. The came from TheEpicenter in Oregon. They have a zipped part as well as the normal heat part. I read it can be tricky to do the heat but I had no problem. The oxygen tabs in them should pull the oxygen out in 48 hours. Some are already showing that but others seem the same. No matter they are sealed.  I already ordered another 20 bags since a few months ago you couldn’t even get these.

Tonight I ‘m making tofu burgers with macaroni salad.  I need to go to the store and pick up some burger rolls later.

Tomorrow are my labs. It’s been 8 weeks so we’ll see what they show. As I said before Myeloma just doesn’t disappear  so with my numbers increasing it’s a matter of time before I start Velcade and Dex.

Being off Facebook has been overall easy. Once in while I miss reading what people are up to but not a whole lot.

 

Off to paint!!!

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.

 

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

Well, back to my regular programming here:)

Wow, our weather changed on a dime yesterday and now it is breezy and cool and just lovely. The high is supposed to be 82 degrees so really nice.

It was a busy sort of week with the dentist and oncology doctor but it all went well. My crown copay turned out less than I thought at $550. So that was good. The crown seems pretty sensitive to hot/cold so not sure if that will pass or ?

We ordered pizza out and that was pricey. I’ll go back to making my own pizzas next week. It was very hot Friday so it was convenient but too expensive just for pizza. ( well in my estimation)

Yesterday, I made zucchini lasagnas. I plan on cooking them tonight as it will be cooler and I can use the oven.  We’re just getting lots of zucchini from the garden, so I thought I’d try it. Then I had a lot of sauce leftover so  I made a regular noodle lasagna and then I ran out of lasagna noodles so I just threw some flat noodles in a pan topped with sauce and cheese and called it good.  Those I put in the freezer.

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The FlyLady zone this week is the Living room and then on July 1st, the entryway.

I’m debating going down to the big stores this week to shop. But, I think I might try and wait a week and just get milk and cream and a few things down at our Holiday Market. I have plenty of stuff to use from the pantry. There are a few more prepper pantry things I’d like to stock up on but there’s no hurry at this point. I usually like to wait till we need coffee or TP to go to Costco so that’s still a few weeks out at this point.

I found a really great cooking blog called Just one Cookbook,

She is Japanese and her recipes are pretty good. I’ve made the yakisoba twice already.  Her YouTube is good also. I’m kinda on another Japanese kick right now. I’ve ordered a vintage Tenugui to use as a window covering. And also from eBay, a furoshiki to use as a window covering too. I’ve been looking at some Japanese fabric to make some pillows but haven’t found what I want yet.

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This is the west side of our house and it gets very sunny in that window. You can see the window cooler which is a lifesaver in our bedroom. It is removed in the fall.

 

simple Sunday

It’s much cooler today and some clouds rolling by.

We walked early and the only one there was dog walker. We name everyone who comes to the park. Oh, not to them, just between us. Some have been less than nice like clodhopper runner. but there’s Sprite who is a long-distance runner and seems very nice. We say hi as she goes by. There are now 5 sets of babies at the park. They are very protective so we stay out of their way.

I finished the kitchen zone.

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Here’s part of my kitchen pantry and some of my vintage Pyrex. I washed them all today which is something I don’t do every time.

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Here’s on the window sill. A vintage Ball jar. I love these and have quite a few. You used to be able to pick these up at Flea markets for about $1.00 , not anymore.

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This is looking back at what really is the front of the house but because of how are driveway is no one ever comes to this door. When I used to do Feng Shui it would drive me nuts. Now not so much.

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This is another shot and you can see the patio table where we eat most meals now that’s it nice out.  To the far right is the laundry room we added on. You have to come out to get to it. Not sure how that will be when we’re older but heck for now it’s fine.E26CC31D-0E8D-487B-858D-C240267711CD.jpeg

Here’s a comfrey plant. When I was doing herbs I would harvest this and make teas. Good for bones.

The rest of the day is open and I have brownies baking in the oven but other than that it’s open.

I may go look for an ebook since I feel like reading something mindless.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a nice week with really glorious weather. We’ve eaten dinner out on the patio and it’s been great. The mosquitos are coming out though so that’s a pain. Just when it’s getting nice enough to sit out after dinner, wham, mosquitos buzzing. I guess I ‘ll try and find the bug spray today.

The chickies are growing and going outside in a new cage on the grass but still coming into the dog crate at night. They have t least another month of going back and forth and then they will still need to be separated from the big girls for a while. Getting chickens is actually a lot of work. But by September we will start getting some eggs so that’s nice.

This week I have my doctor’s appt and I will be doing a video appt. I’m not sure how they set it up yet but should know tomorrow( Monday).

I went down to our Holiday market the other day when they opened( 7 am). Spent a small fortune but got some extra things for the prepper pantry. Ever since we moved to this area in 1975, I have been a bulk buyer. Beans, rice, honey, oats, etc. We had a small co-op in Auburn at that time and we could order stuff. We also did a buying club with what is now UNFI( That Barclay just retired from after 25 years). It was Mountain Peoples Warehouse then and you could order bulk things even dairy like cheese. Then a group would get together and separate out orders.  I don’t think they allow buying clubs anymore but I could be wrong. Anyway, that’s what we did. Somewhere after embracing a minimalist house, I started backing off on having a prepper pantry. I still would buy Lundberg brown rice and a case of tomatoes from Costco but I had been trying to back off it. Then all this Shit hits with Covid-19 and yes, I am back in buying bulk in full swing.

A prepper pantry though just isn’t bulk rice but enough food that could last you anywhere from 3 – 12 months. Now I don’t want a bunker with guns and food but I do want to build up my pantry.

Some stuff I’m putting out in the barn on the restaurant shelves( stainless steel). Extra dish soap, laundry soap, canned goods are going out there. Some packaged goods are going in bins to store. I’m planning on buying a food preserver thing that seals the contents of the bag but I want to wait and see what Costco’s looks like before I commit to it.

So far my plan is to have a dozen boxes of Pasta, a case of kidney beans, a case of cannellini beans, a case of refried beans, a case of tomatoes, and other smaller quantities of condiments, sauces. Mostly stuff I know would eat normally. I did buy 8 freeze-dried meals but I’m not sure about doing that again as that is not something we would normally eat.  I’ve been meaning to try one just to see how it is. Also a couple of boxes of tea and sugar. I keep some extra coffee in the freezer but in a shut down that wouldn’t last long. Maybe I’ll check into instant or freeze-dried coffee as a backup.

Right now the freezer is being eaten down and I haven’t bought a lot to replace things till I get to Costco which I’m thinking will be mid-May.

Dinners have been uninspired like spaghetti and sauce, meatloaf( I bought as I don’t know how to make a good one), rice and beans, grilled chicken, salad, and just normal stuff.  Tonight I am grilling chicken outside and will make a potato salad I think. I made a nut loaf with brown rice yesterday so I will serve that to B.

Well, life goes on, or as the chaos theorist in Jurassic Park says” Life finds a way”.

Flylady has two zones this week. Living room zone and entryway zone. I did the living room already but still need to vacuum.

 

Simple Sunday

We walked this morning and it was noticeably warmer @ 46 degrees. I think we’re going to get close to 70′ today and mostly sunny.

A few more books I got at the pet bookstore.F6FAF8BB-8500-4D03-A711-DD270A923F05.jpeg2539EA24-DD46-4DED-A5B8-519CEC359967.jpeg

My Culinary Journey was excellent. She actually lives in Provence part of the year and right near Sacramento the other part. I think she said Winters. She moved to France in 1970 so quite the adventurer. I was just starting U of A that year. So some perspective.

The ‘Everyday Greens’ cookbook is one of my favorite and this is a signed copy.  Greens is the vegetarian restaurant run by the Buddhist monks from Tassajara and Green Gulch. Back in the day when I was practicing Buddhism, this is the Sanga I belonged too.  We’ve been to Greens a number of times and if you’re in San Francisco you should definitely go. The food is delicious and beautiful.

I’m also reading ‘Me Elton John’. Wow, it’s a terrific book and boy did he go thru some drug-crazed years. It’s amazing and even more so what he overcame and is now such a philanthropic person. He gives generously to many causes.

This morning I’m making some Butterscotch Oatmeal cookies. They smell good.

I’ve been doing some embroidery so I picked up a few little books too although it’s not quite what I was looking for. I mostly like doing edging and little spots of color on things like my linen napkins.

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Today is a gym day.

This week is Flylady’s bedroom zone if you follow. If you’re new to it. Start by decluttering ANYTHING that doesn’t belong in your bedroom and any excessive furniture. Yes, the treadmill being used to hang clothes on needs to go.

I have only one Heywood dresser and a side table and that’s it besides the bed. The side table I need to hold the pills I take at night. Plus my water glass.

Last night I made falafels with tahini sauce and a delicious recipe that was Castelvetano olives, lemon zest, shallot, and garlic and fresh thyme.  You cook the shallot, garlic, and thyme in some olive oil. Then add the olives and lemon zest. Cook for a few minutes then let cool some. Then add a block on feta cubed up. I’ve found the feta from Costco in the brine from Greece is the best.

This is supposed to be served with a grilled rustic bread but I just put it over the brown rice and it was delicious.

Tonight I’m making a quiche of some sort as I have eggs to use and some gruyere cheese as well.

 

 

Simple Sunday

Well, let me say right off the bat, today is not that simple and yesterday was a crisis.

Everything was fine until B put clothes in the dryer and then there was a loud pop. In the house, all the lights, appliances, space heaters were flashing. It wasn’t good.

My daughter ran out to make sure B wasn’t electrocuted and to turn off the power. He went to the main switch and turned off the laundry room but the house was still blinking everywhere. He turned off the main power to the house. All the power protector surges were fried. In fact, the one in my office area was smoking and melted.

THIS WAS NOT A GOOD SIGN. My daughter thought maybe it was something in our wiring but I didn’t think so.

After regrouping, he called PGE and in about an hour the repairman showed up. After checking lines to the house, he determined the main power line had come loose and caused the surges. He fixed it.

We lost the dryer, one space heater, the radio/record player and I think that’s it. Fortunately, we didn’t lose the TV, refrigerator, etc.

So today, we have to go buy a dryer and install it. Actually, I think B is going to take our son and go to Lowes. I ordered online so it’s just a matter of picking up at Will Call.(  I hope)!!!

So now to a Simple Sunday.

  • we have a nice chicken and wild rice soup for dinner plus a lentil soup for the veggie:)
  • I’m going to the gym and do some weights and treadmill
  • tidy the house and do the bathroom zone( Flylady zone for the week)
  • read, read, read…..I’ve read about 6 books in the last 3 weeks. This one is the new one in The Girl with the dragon tattoo series. The writer who took over is quite good. I also read the new Jack Reacher, Blue Moon, the new Anne Hillerman, The Tale Teller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz,  ( very sad but truly excellent), James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, also superb and shocking stuff about Trump( what an idiot). I also read a couple MC Beaton’s Agatha Raison books.
  • walked this morning at 6:30 am and there was a nice, big moon.

This week I am on call for jury duty. I checked Friday and it said to check again. I really hope I get passed on.

Midweek Musings

We had a nice drive to Sacramento yesterday for B’s clinic appt. Traffic moved fairly well thru the usual difficult areas( where I -80 merges to Business 80) and the downtown area.  His appt went well and the good news is they have reduced his Tacrolimus to every other day. This is the biggest drug that targets keeping at bay Graft vs Host. So we need to watch for any flare-ups but the NP was pretty confident that this is the time to start. So that means maybe by February he can go off Noxafil which is the Tier 5 that we are holding on to paying the Cobra for. Actually, with the plan set to restart in January, we’re not sure if the Cobra co-pay will reset( I’m assuming it will) and that means, well, I’m not sure how much the co-pay will so that’s a big question mark.

We are set up with Plan D medicare for him but that’s not what we’ll use as that immediately goes to Tier 5 and the 25% start. So way to much $. I guess we will just need to wait and see how it plays out. I’m hoping we can drop the Cobra by March.

After clinic we went to Trader Joes and OMG it was a madhouse. I almost walked right back out. But we managed thru and I got what we needed for Christmas( fondue, and ham) and lots of good food( french fries, they have the best frozen) and other things including TJ’s wine!

We stopped for a pizza slice and then headed home.

Today is a gym day. And then I need to hit Home depot for a bulb for my salt lamp.  Then home to bake some more cookies and maybe make the fudge.

Tonight is a new recipe for a spinach pie. One of the very few memories I have of my mother and this was not when I was young but @ 16, she made a spinach pie that was like a pizza. My sister doesn’t remember it so I’ve been trying to recreate it. This recipe calls for ricotta so maybe that’s what she used.

I’ll update after it’s done and give a review.

 

Simple Sunday

A calm and rainy day ahead. Rain is indicated for most of today but at least it’s not too cold yet. We managed a walk in the park yesterday between storms and it was pleasant. I’m not used to being there in the late morning so things looked different:)

Yesterday, the baking bug hit and I made some chocolate chip cookies, the dough for sugar cookies( in the refrigerator now) then I prepped dinner, which was chicken with mushrooms and finally assembled two casseroles of enchiladas for tonight’s dinner.

 

The week ahead is not too busy. B has clinic on Tuesday and then after that, we’re going to shop Trader Joes. I plan to do Costco later in the week.  I plan o getting what we need for Christmas dinner. Our tradition is fondue Christmas eve and then cheese lasagna Christmas day.

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Today is a gym day.

Plus it’s the kitchen zone for those that follow Flylady.  I’ll do some today and some tomorrow. It’s raining so no walk this morning.