Five things Friday

  1.  Political things:

The election is over and I’m happy with the results overall. At least Democrats got the house back and can put some pressure on Trump to be more accountable.

I was very upset when I saw the treatment of Jim Acosta. I happened to be watching that news conference on Youtube just when that happened. He did not touch her in any way inappropriately and even says’excuse me, ma’am’.  Why the lies form Sanders and Trump?? Whose the enemy of the people?? It’s a government that’s bent on Nationalism and populist views and actions. Not the press which is just trying to ask questions albeit ones Trump doesn’t want to hear.

2.  We had the Santa Fe fixed at the tune of $1600 as it was a computer item where the key is synched to the car and then they said his brakes were shot. It does have 90,000 miles so I guess that’s probably realistic.  We’re still not sure what we’ll do about cars and specifically a work car for B since the Santa Fe comes off the program in January.  That gives us at least 3 months to figure it out. I don’t think I’d do anything before February.

3. I caught a cold from my daughter. After her trip to Salt Lake City she came down with a cold and I got it yesterday. So my head is 3x bigger( that’s the way it feels) and my sinuses are plugged.  Hers went very quickly so I hope mine does too. I have my labs on Monday and when you’re sick your white blood count goes down fighting the infection. So I guess I’ll have to hope by Monday I’m back to normal.

4. I made a menu for Thanksgiving and it’s simple. Just the traditional stuff not a ton of sides.  So far I have

Turkey (either a Trader Joes kosher turkey breast or an organic turkey)

Nutloaf/gravy homemade using tamari

mashed potatoes/green beans

stuffing/ cranberry sauce homemade

rolls/butter/ olive tray

 

I learned a number of years ago to not go overboard as we just don’t eat it.  We tend to eat simply and never overeat.  I also haven’t decided to get a turkey breast or an organic turkey. I refuse to buy the commercial deals of turkeys for .47lb. How are those poor turkeys raised in miserable conditions? At least the organic ones have had a little better life. ( I hope).

5. I’m still doing the Minimalist game and have another bag of over 30 items to go to the thrift store. Some of it is just small junk but at least it’s out.

Well, I’m off to lay on the couch and try and breathe!!!

Simple Sunday

It is a beautiful fall day.

We had a lovely walk in the park this morning and it was quite empty except for our geese friends. The Canada geese babies have all grown up and have flown away. Once in a while, we see them circle around the pond. There are other lakes around here and I imagine they hang out there too.

I made another pie in a tin dish and froze it on the recommendation of blogger Hilary.  I just took it out of the oven and it smells and looks amazing so I will try and do at least a couple of pies this way for fall.

I went to Target and got another case of pint jars for the applesauce which I will start tomorrow.  I figure I can get most of the one box of apples done. The second box is staring at me already but will have to wait.

We leave for Tahoe on Friday and will be gone a week. It’s a different time to be up there but certainly, most crowds are gone. Evenings will be chilly but we can sit by the fire or inside the tent trailer. Usually, we play scrabble or I read. We are taking the kayaks so we will go out at least 2 times to make it worth bringing them.  We might drive down to Sand Harbor( quite a ways back on the lake) and go out from there. Sand Harbor State Beach is where many of the famous shots/pictures of Tahoe are with the big boulders and beautiful blue water.

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I’m planning a few Lodge meals and other than that just simple foods. Plus the grocery store is like half a  mile away.

Since the tent trailer does not have a shower we’ll go to the gym up there, work out and then shower. My main criteria for a new trailer is a shower/toilet.

I made organic long grain rice for dinner and we’re having burritos with rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, lettuce.

 

Maintaining Minimalism

This morning as I was doing the Flylady zone( the bedroom) I looked around and was pleased that this room is calm and clutter-free.

In Quaker or Amish homes things are sparsely furnished. I was always, in my youth anyway, partial to the Amish look. And of course, as I’ve written we were Quakers for many years and married in a Quaker ceremony. (more on that later this week) 🙂

sparselyadverb

UK /ˈspɑːs.li/ US /ˈspɑːrs.li/

 

with only a small number or amount of people or things:

. Function rules and there is little excess.

In Japanese homes, things are very minimal and ascetically lovely. For the longest time, I wanted to create a Japanese home with tatamis and low furniture.

For years we slept on a futon in our other house. But when we moved to this house we slept on the futon for a while only to discover (with disgust) that mold was under the futon due to it being on the floor with no circulation. In our other home( the one we built) the bedroom was on the second floor and carpeted.

As time went on, I just fell into stuff.

Then as I rediscovered my love of simplicity, minimalism fell into place.  I still would love a traditional type Japanese home effect but that’s not going to happen here.

But, I also love the Scandinavian look, which is really quite similar in some respects to a Japanese look except perhaps the lines are clean and simple and generally white or a teak wood. I do love white furniture and teak as well.

So my point, in a round- about way is, now having embraced minimalism for a number of years now, maintaining a clean room with little clutter is fairly easy and doesn’t require a lot of time.

I finished the bedroom zone including windows in 10 minutes.

I moved another plant in there in a corner and I’m not sure it will like it there. But I’ll keep it there for a few weeks and see how it is.

Dinner is roast chicken, a veggie burger for B and potatoes from the garden!

Friday stuff

I made a small batch of zucchini relish to try. It came out spicey. I think it’ll be good on rice or even beans.

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Then I went back to Ikeda’s fruit stand and bought 1 container of their peaches to try the lavender peach jam again right.  It came a beautiful color. But I’m not sure I taste the lavender with it being added as a liquid.

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I was going to go down to the CSA farm yesterday afternoon to buy bulk tomatoes but I decided I needed a break from canning so I’ll wait. Plus they were charging 1.75 a lb. So I need to check what other farmers are charging. $1.75 seems high to me for seconds.

I made a couple of small jars of tomato sauce but the one didn’t seal. I was trying out the Quattro jars from Italy.  They are nice. So I opened the one and it looked like I didn’t wipe the rim well enough for the seal. I’m going to just use that tonight for a pasta sauce.

I ordered the ravioli maker from Amazon. It’s the one you place the pasta sheet over then fill and then place the second pasta sheet over it. Then you use a rolling pin and go over it to seal. Hopefully, it’ll work as I don’t want to spend a lot of money on the attachment for the pasta maker.  This one was $12.

Tonight instead of pizza I’m going to use the ravioli I tried to make by hand. I figure I better have a backup plan in case they don’t work. ( fall apart int he water).

The budget is done for the rest of the month and I’m challenging myself to only spend a $100 in food. With the garden producing so much I think I can do this. I bought some organic chicken at the store and milk and that was $20. Pretty pricey.  But I have stuff in the freezer to use. I’m going to write a detailed menu for 14 days and see how that fits.

Not much happening in the decluttering minimalism world here. I do need to drop off a thrift store load but just haven’t done it yet. Plus there’s a food bank drop off too.  My kitchen counters have been pretty messy with tomatoes and peaches and cucumbers all over it. But for now, that’s just the way it has to be till I finish my canning projects.

 

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

It’s been a busy week canning more stuff.

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This is the batch of dill pickles. I did find the Pickle Crisp at Walmart of all places. Nobody in Auburn had it that I could find. So, you only add a 1/4 tsp to the jar and it’s supposed to make them stay crisper. We’ll see. The recipe says to wait about 6 weeks to try them. I put one small jar in the fridge so I’m going to open that in a few weeks and test them out.

We went to Costco on Friday and loaded up on some good food and some nonfood things like laundry soap. I like the Kirkland Free laundry soap. No dyes or fragrance.

I ordered the Complete Ball canning book off Amazon. I think it will be useful and it has loads of interesting things to try.  I’m going to go the local fruit stand and see if they have any peaches left. It’s kinda late but they may still have some.

We’ve had lots of zucchini in the garden so we had zoodles last night for dinner with spinach and garlic and parmesan and little bits of fresh mozzarella. Tasty!!!

I have a half of container of ricotta left from the last homemade lasagna so I ‘m going to make another lasagna tonight maybe a meat sauce based one and then another spinach one.

It’s a gym day and then I did most of my house cleaning chores yesterday but I’ll do a few of the weekly home stuff today. That list includes:

  • wash mirrors in the house
  • water plants as needed
  • dust the whole house
  • general tidying or putting things away that are left around.

 

We walked this morning in the park and it was really wonderful to be back there. I will go again on Wednesday. I’m forcing myself to pace going and so 2 days off sounds about right. My foot feels better but I’d guess it’s not 100% or maybe I’ll feel the stress fracture area for a while even if it’s healed?? who knows??

B has to be on call for jury duty all week, so he’s not going anywhere except day stuff if he’s not called. I don’t have any plans this week but have a dental cleaning Wednesday.

I don’t have any plans this week but have a dental cleaning Wednesday.

The light is certainly changing and it’s getting darker way earlier. It’ll be fall in almost a month. Another season. Our Tahoe camping is mid-September, so that’s going to be different. Not summer. But at least the crowds will be gone.

 

 

 

Still smokey and jam making!

Well, we had one day where the smoke cleared but it’s been back ALL week. It’s so hazy and the air quality is poor. My husband was up at Lake Tahoe and said you couldn’t hardly see the lake. Terrible.

I’ve been busy with jam making and putting up the start of tomatoes.

I went and picked up my flat of blackberries on Monday and Tuesday made  8 half pints of Blackberry sauce. I don’t like to add a lot of sugar so it never really gels which is fine by me. I like the sauce on pancakes and toast.

Then I made up some quick tomato sauce from the tomatoes I had from the garden.

IMG_1479.jpg Not enough for the winter but a start. I will call around to find some seconds soon.

This morning I took out the rest of the blackberries that I froze and made 6 more little jars.

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These will be for gifts at Christmas. I like these small jars and they are hard to find so when I saw them the other day I picked up another case.

I want to can some cucumbers but haven’t found the Pickle Crisp that is recommended for canning pickles. Any home canners out there with advice on is this necessary??

Today was a gym day and TADA……my first back on the recumbent bike since my foot rest began over 9 weeks ago. Of course, the fracture had happened way before that but I was too stubborn to stop walking.  Still, I was pleased and I see how it is tomorrow.

Everyone is off somewhere today but B will be home by 4pm or so.

I’m going over to the koffee klatch to see who shows up. I haven’t been in a while.

Tonight I think I’m making some sandwiches for dinner but we’ll see.

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

The smoke from the fire has mostly moved out and the air quality is better. There’s a slight breeze which may not be good later in the day as it warms up.

I’ve been to the gym and am now home thinking about what next to do. Here’s the zucchini bread.

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It’s a really good recipe and it did puff up. I thought it was way to little batter in the pans but it was fine. I will make another batch this week as I have more zucchini coming in. I may go get some mini loaf pans.

Then here’s the Tartine bread

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It had a great sourdough flavor. I have another batch in the fridge that I’ll bake up this week as well.

I’m in the kitchen zone this week so I may start that today and get the cabinets windexed.

I’m cooking chicken tiki marsala in the crockpot and then later I will do some tofu in a pan. I’m planning on cooking some organic long grain white rice with it.

We went for a lovely walk in the park this morning. I sure do miss my daily walks but soon enoughI’ll get back to a more regular schedule.

Tomorrow I’m excited to go pick up my flat of blackberries from a local farm. I’m planning to make jam on Tuesday.