Frugal Friday, I suppose.

We are back from our Rv adventures. Paso Robles turned out great. At first, I thought, well, it’s all big Rv’s and maybe we won’t stay the second day, but we really needed the day to just decompress. We had a great spot on the end with only an RV on our left. So that was a big factor. We really like space around us so that spot made a big difference. We will go back next year if everything works out. Refugio SB was only a 2-hour drive. So that was good. The only crazy thing was going into the grocery store( Albertson’s). It was a madhouse and really stressed us out. But we got what we needed. I especially wanted some local wine from Paso Robles and they did have a whole aisle of just Paso Robles wine so that was cool.

The next day we hooked up and left for the drive home. We were concerned that it would be too long but we came under 5 hours. Without trailering it probably would have been just under 4. We stopped 3 times to stretch. I-5 is great for rest stops. All major interstates should have them. We had snacks and peanut butter sandwiches. Well, I sat on mine so I just nibbled at it.

Getting home was fine and we navigated past the tree that needs to be taken down for us to have easier access in and out. Going in is much easier than going out. Next year we’ll figure that out.

Budget-wise, traveling is expensive. Not the SB or even the RV resort, but GAS was pretty outrageous. We never eat out so that saves money. But for next year I will add to my extra savings for gas.

All I have left of with annual bills is our property tax and I’ll pay that next week. Then we get a good size break from annual bills till March/April.

Thanksgiving was low-key. I actually used the Diestal Turkey I bought last year on sale. My son brined it and cooked it. I did the sides.

No Black Friday sales for us. Tomorrow I plan on swimming and maybe putting up the small Ikea tree I bought. We’re not doing any ornaments, just some small lights. Hanukkah is Sunday evening so I plan to put out a few little decorations. One is a blue glass ornament my son actually did in, I think, 6th grade at a local glass blowers studio.

Hello from beautiful Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara county.

This is the view from the best camp spot ever. Boy, did we ever luck out with this spot. It is amazing. Right on the beach edge with only those views in front of us. I kind of wished we booked for as long as it allows but 6 nights will be fine.

We had a good drive down and Chevy and the Rubi did great. We stayed in Salinas KOA and it was fine for one night. We didn’t even unhook. The spots were awfully close but we managed. From there the ride was also great and we landed here @ 1:15 and were able to get our spot. Everyone walking by says” Best place in the campground ” and boy are they right. When I made the reservation I had no idea that this spot was so great. So we’re hoping to make this an annual trip in November. The weather has been great too.

We went into Santa Barbara and the first stop was Renaud’s for their famous almond croissants. Truly amazing. We love their breakfasts but we had already had our breakfast in camp so we had the croissants and then bought some for the next day. State Street is now a promenade and no cars so we walked as far as we wanted and it was beautiful. Almost NO tourists at all. Santa Barbara really is so beautiful. Next, we went to Stearn’s wharf and Moby Dicks which was our go to place for happy hour. I had a bowl of clam chowder and B had fries. It was only fair and I think we both realized that being in the camp spot and having a glass of wine was better. But it’s only fair to say when we used to do Moby’s, we were in the Holiday Inn right off State Street , so different circumstances. –

We’ve walked the beach every day and it’s lovely. Today is a stay-in camp day and tomorrow we leave for Paso Robles. It’s more of an RV resort so we’re not sure how we will like it but it’s there for now. From there we were going to go to New Brighton and had reservations but it’s a bit of a detour( about 2 hours) and then we realized we’d be driving the day before Thanksgiving, so we cancelled that and will drive home on Monday. I suspect it will be busier than when we drove down but that’s the way it is.

We’re learning quite a bit more having stayed in this spot for 6 days. The solar panel is working great and the battery has stayed charged. We’re running the Honda generator about 2 hours in the afternoon to charge my mac and our phones. Overall, it is perfect for us and we really feel grateful for this chance in our lives.

Back to reality next week, I have my labs so that’ll be interesting to see if I go out of normal range. Plus, apparently CVS 2 years ago gave me the wrong pneumonia shot. I had had the 13 and was supposed to get the 23 but they gave me the 13 again, so now I need to go get the 23. What a PITA. And I’ve been having some hearing issues with my left ear that started about a month ago after swimming. The doctor checked and said there was any inflammation or water but behind the eardrum was some fluid so he recommended Flonaise. It hasn’t done much but I’ll let him know and he was going to send a referral to an audiologist. Ahhh, the joys of getting older. I am excited about getting back to swimming though. I miss the water.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

A nice homemaking day.

I have an Instant pot of Potato leek soup cooking, and I made a pork roast in my Staub. I added potatoes and carrots and onions from the farm. I don’t usually do this with pork and usually just do pulled pork but I wanted to use the Staub so I looked for recipes online. It looks good. I guess the test will be later on how tasty is it.

Then I did my morning reset around the house. The Flylady zone this week is the entryways and my office. I don’t need to do much in either area, but I’ll wash the windows and tidy up some.

I went into Micheals to get some worsted yarn to make socks with my new little sock loom. I bought 2 different types of wool and can’t quite tell which is the right one to use. I plan on using the thinner wool first. This is a little wood contraption( loom) that you knit on. My hands can’t do the repetitive knitting action or they cramp up so this is what this loom is for. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

It’s all clouded over now whereas this morning we could see stars and Orion’s belt clearly. Rain is forecast for tomorrow.

This week I have my mammogram and my appointment with Dr. L on Wednesday in Sacramento. I plan on swimming Tuesday and Saturday if I can. The new Trader Joe’s just opened in Rocklin so I want to stop and check it out. I’m excited that it’s that much closer to us and the exit is where Target and Walmart are. ( well, Walmart is on the opposite side of the freeway). Everyone has wanted TJ’s to come into Auburn but I think the demographics weren’t there.

We’ve been having nice evening fires on the patio. The weather has been perfect for sitting out for just a bit after sunset.

Rainy Monday

Well, we would have been on the road by now down to Capitola. It’s still raining and there are numerous flash flood warnings. We live on a hill so we are not affected but around town there are a number of creeks that probably are flooded.

So, since we were not going I was going to go swim but checked the website and the pool heater is down. They said you could still swim but no thanks. So NO walking, NO camping, NO swimming. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

I did get to the pet bookstore Saturday so I loaded up on some books so that will keep me busy. I don’t have any baking plans but maybe I’ll make so cookies. Plus, I’ve made a few more pot holders and have enough for one or two more.

Tonight I plan on making spaghetti and using two frozen sauces I have in the freezer as I continue to use up what I have. Funny how some people are stocking up again with the news saying the supply chain is going to cause some shortages. Someone in Costco was trying to buy 2 paper towel packs( which is a lot of paper towels) and they said only one per customer. So maybe panic buying is back in. We’re fine with what we have and I have no plans to stockpile anything. Actually, I plan to get out to the barn and seriously go thru stuff. I wrote a revised menu plan for the week( now that we’re not at Capitola) to use up stuff.

I did give away our artificial tree this past weekend to a nice young woman. this was our 7ft one that was quite nice but I just don’t want to store something that bulky. I plan to go thru our ornaments( again) and see what else I can get rid of. My son got out one wine box of DVD’s and separated out a huge bag to go to the pet bookstore because he has them on his Google Play Library. So that was cool especially since he is a bit of a hoarder on things. 🙂 I’ll drop them off next week.

Is it a Frugal Friday after a Costco trip…

No, not really but we did go mostly to get the stuff that was on coupon so that did help. Still, $300 later…. Not that anything will go to waste because I froze some stuff and a few things are for the camping next week. It rained super hard driving down to Roseville by the time we got out it was not pouring. I also picked up a $9.95 large pizza so I don’t need to think about dinner.

Let’s see, other frugal things this week… ummm…I got nothing. We didn’t do too much this week so maybe that was frugal. After watching this one YTer this week that is a hot mess( bipolar) and her awful pantry with strange food she bought for the pandemic, I came to the conclusion that I will go thru my prepper pantry and redo it. Watching these YTers is quite eye opening and makes me re-evaluate what I do have. I think I will start a box for the food bank and see what I end up with. I always do a food donation around Thanksgiving anyway wo this will motivate me to do more:)

The pool has been emptier than usual so I’m wondering if the cooler fall weather is keeping some people home. It’s still busy but not crazy busy. Lap swimming only goes to 9:30 am so it’s a limited period of time. Since I’ll be gone next week I’ll miss swimming for almost a week. Hopefully we can just walk more while were there.

I had my bloodwork done this morning but won’t know much till we’re back. That’s okay. It’ll be whatever it is.

The week ahead

Today will be bitter sweet as our beloved vannie is going to Cap Radio car donations. It still runs just fine and has never broken down . But, we did not want to deal with selling it even though I think it would have sold quickly. The only thing wrong is the blinkers not working right. But we must be realistic and let it go. Now that we have Chevy, that can do all the Home Depot stuff plus the dump runs etc. I’ll be sad but I think it’ll be good to not just have it parked in the yard.

We do plan a trip to costco on Wednesday so we can hit the sales before we leave next week. They have some soup on special and some other things I can’t remember now what I wanted to get. It’s best to hit the Costco sales as that is the best way to really save money.

I’m planning on swimming Tuesday and Thursday so that’ll be get up and go. I’m in the water by 7:15 am. Probably, a little crazy but that’s the way I roll. ( or swim, I guess).

Then I have my labs on Friday. I’m sure I won’t know about any results till the following week when I see my doctor. I am bracing for my kappa light chains to go over the high normal mark. My ratio had actually gone down which is good. That’s because the lambda went up too. My lambda is always and has always been in the normal range it’s the kappa that increases. So with the ratio decreasing that’s quite good even if I go out of normal range with the kappa light chains. Still it’s a waiting game. Maybe I should title this blog a lesson in Multiple Myeloma and what to expect when you have an incurable but treatable blood cancer. No, that’s too long of a story.

Saturday musings…

Overall, a really nice week with absolutely spectacular weather. Cool in the mornings and then lovely warm afternoons. We are seeing lot of yellows on the oak trees and shades of gold with a little red occasionally. Down at the park there are lots of trees with red,yellow, and oranges thrown in. The park has liquid ambers which do change into beautiful fall colors, chinese pistachio turns a brilliant red. I think there’s maples and a gingko tree as well. We are due for some rain possibly tomorrow even and then it looks like the storm door may open next week.

We are still planning our trip to Capitola the following week even if there’s rain. That’s one reason we bought Rubi is so we can go even if it’s rainy outside. I ordered a gas fire pit to take with us so we can have an evening fire. In Tahoe there were and even still now, no open fires even in campgrounds and no charcoal even. We saw a few RVers with the gas fire pits and they were cute. They weren’t too expensive( $140 from Amazon).

Yesterday I had to go into the dentist as I had part of a crown come off. The new dentist looked at it and took x rays and said the metal part was still in tact so it’s ok to leave at this point. I still need to replace it but I’m hoping January sometime. So that threw my day off some since it was the middle of the day. But I feel relieved it’s ok at least.

I ended up making salmon for dinner with brown rice from Trader Joe’s and a salad. I could’ve done pizza but didn’t feel like it. BTW, the rice at TJ’s in the freezer section is spectacular for quick meals. It microwaves up quite nicely. Tonight I’m baking some chicken with a side of delicata squash I bought at our local farm. I was so impressed with their hard squashes I bought 5 and I think next week I’m going to go back and buy another 6-8 so I can have a winter stash. We didn’t get any squash this year out of our garden. My daughter has Johnny’s garlic almost all planted and because we had such success with the onions in the barrels, we’re doing all the garlic in there too. I’d like to try and do some gardening in the galvanized troughs and see how that does. We do have problems with voles and earwigs that eat most anything. So this might be a good solution.

‘This week I’ve been painting the bathroom. We’ve done all the rooms this year except this one. I used the same paint which is called ‘rarified air’ and is lovely pale blue/grey. Then since I was feeling ambitious I decided to paint the claw foot tub too. It came out really nice. The original red I painted it has really stood up since it’s 26 years now since we put it in but I’ve wanted it black for a while. Eventually the tub and bathroom will be re done. But not this year. I have photos but they’re not uploading for some reason.

Frugal Friday and other things…

It’s been an okay frugal week. All the first of the month bills are out and done. The rest like PGE,water, ATT come a little later in the month.

We had the house insurance due and if you live in California you know that in our area most insurers have cancelled policies so you have to do what’s called the California Fair plan. This is in addition to the rider with AAA. This year it went over the $2,000 mark but for some people it’s WAY higher like in the 10,000 and up range. I’m not sure but I think it’s related to the size of your house and maybe the fire risk in your area. Anyway, that’s a big expense.

After swimming I went to Winco which is across the street and did a small shop. It has been very convenient to do this and except for Walmart, you cannot get groceries etc cheaper. Winco is employee owned which I think is great and they do not take cc, only debit.

I had my dental cleaning and all was okay. sitting in that chair for an hour though really takes a toll on my back. I wonder about people even older and what they do to accommodate them. Anyway, I don’t need to do anything right now and go back in about 5 months.

I filled out the online form to donate Vannie( the dodge Caravan) to Capradio so she’ll be gone probably with in a week. Actually Vannie runs fine and I think would keep going but there are electrical issues and the blinkers don’t work so safety is the main reason we’re donating. Plus, we bought the truck to do the things Vannie did ,so there’s that. Plus, I just don’t want something sitting in the yard if we’re not using it. My son still had ideas about camping in it, which he did many times, including taking it all the way up to the greater Seattle area to visit a friend. But now the time has come. I’ll miss you VanGo.

This morning I’m helping B load up the truck and go to the local drop off, which conveniently is right at the end of our road about 3 miles. This must be our 6th trip this year with stuff!!! I threw in quite a bit. I tend to be more ruthless than B, who thinks,sometimes, maybe something can be reused. Which in itself is fine unless it really is just junk:)

I finally saw my labs and they were all in the normal range still but my Kappa was close to the high normal, so I’m guessing next month it’ll go over. I guess after that it’ll be month to month watching if the increases start getting bigger which is what eventually happened last time. I can’t say I’m not disappointed that I only had from June to November in remission but I’ll take what I get. It’s a strange place to be knowing once again, I’ll be back in some kind of treatment. sigh:(

Simple Sunday on Monday…

I got my flu shot on Friday and exactly 12 hours later( right around midnight) got hit with some side effects. Achey, headache ,general malaise so I didn’t swim on Saturday. Yesterday I did feel somewhat better. The shot was the extra strength for over 65 yo so maybe that’s why. Then for some strange reason my left foot starting up again and it was very painful to walk. Remember in 2016 when I just finished the 5 years of “Just Keep Walking Project” and I had gotten hairline fractures on the top of my foot from the repetitive motion. It’s like that. But what’s weird is in Tahoe we were walking over 3 miles a day and I had no problem. I used a bunch of arnica on it yesterday and this morning it feels somewhat better. Geez, getting old is not fun when you’ve got these issues popping up.

I made a new recipe last night ,Chicken Katsu. I saw it in the NYT and it looked good. Basically you pound chicken thin then coat with panko and fry. I guess what makes it katsu is the sauce which is described as Japanese BBQ sauce. I made chicken ones and tofu ones. The tofu ones were delicious. I did coleslaw on the side with a ginger dressing and some organic jasmine rice. Quite yummy.

This week I have a dental cleaning and that’s it for appts. I plan on swimming Tuesday and Thursday. With it being dark earlier till DLS, I may start to go just a tad later. Usually I’m there in the pool by 7:15am, so I might try to make it 7:30 or so.

IT WAS A MIRACLE!!!! AH walker was NOT there this morning. It’s the first time in about 20 months he hasn’t been there. I do have to say though he is staying out of our way and moving to his right when he passes us with his dog. We are just walking as usual and not trying to walk single file when he passes. So I do give him credit for that. But he’s still not using his flashlight in the dark and does pass us sometimes with us being surprised. The other day I saw he had his flashlight on over by the pond but when he came around the pond and saw our light he turned his off. ( passive aggressive anyone?) Oh well, he is not bothering us by walking into us anymore. Especially since now there are other people around and he’s more accountable then. All good, I’d say.

The laundry room has been almost completed. The shelves still need to go up and the one wall still needs some wood but it’s some tricky cuts at angles so I’m not sure when my son will get to it. At least the door is now back on and the new window in. It looks quite nice. I’ll try and get some photos up.

Also this week I need to take another car load to the thrift store. Honestly, I think decluttering just never ends and I do feel it’s like peeling layers of an onion. What used to seem important enough to keep is now headed to the Goodwill. I just keep going thru things and finding that I don’t need it anyone or my style has changed and it doesn’t fit it. Case in point, I have a number of very cool( to me) vintage 50’s lamps that I bought many years ago at an estate sale. One has a nice wood base and is curvy. But I took it out of the front room last year because I moved a different lamp there so it was out in the barn. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the almost 10 years of decluttering and minimizing is don’t just store something thinking ‘someday’ you’ll want that again. Most likely you won’t. In addition if you get rid of it and find 5 years later you really want that item again, I’m sure ebay will have something that will be similar.

Even though I’ve simplified our house and barn( aka as the large storage area for my son’s things now), I don’t think I’ve reached that final point of being ‘done’. Maybe that doesn’t ever happen and that’s just life.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Most of my kitchen is streamlined and there’s not any decluttering but it is the biggest zone I have to clean that takes over an hour. Probably due to the stove, stove hood etc. Plus wiping down my jars takes time too. Since I don’t have a built in pantry, the Far Niente wine boxes I use that are under my stainless steel island work perfectly fine. My kitchen, even though it does need to be redone, works just fine for now.

End of September

It’s been a good month and ending even better that we had RAIN! It was only for a few hours the other night but everything was washed off and watered. Summer has ended I think. This morning is the first woodstove fire ( we call a twinkly) because it’s just a few small logs to take that morning chill off. The kitties aren’t too sure what is going on in that”box”. I’m sure before too long they will all be underneath it to take advantage of the warmth.

I’ve had to call the bank twice about the camping refund and there is no record of it despite rec.gov saying they did the refund. So it has to be disputed. I’m not worried about it. It’ll get resolved one way or another.

I went swimming yesterday and it was still darkish when I left. Hmm… I’ll have to see if I want to still keep going that early. The pool is fine once you’re in but it definitely is cooler outside. I walked this morning and it was cool but nice.

I made black beans yesterday and have lots to freeze for soups or a black bean chili. I’m trying to build up some easy freezer meals for the next couple of months. We had one of the enchilada meals I’d froze and it was really good although most of the sauce had been absorbed so next time I’m thinking of adding more right before I cook it.

I’m waiting for my labs to come in. I’m thinking today or tomorrow. I’ll call down to Mercy tomorrow if they don’t call me. Usually my doctor is very good about getting my results to me. I am prepared that my numbers have increased but hoping it’s not anything like a big increase then I’ll freak out. ( well ,freak then accept it).

I’ve been doing a few small projects around the house. Mainly some reorganizing of pantry stuff and stuff in the closet. I did the Goodwill run the other day with the small dresser and other misc. I already have another small pile in the car but I’ll wait till there’s more to go do it.

well, that’s a wrap for me.