2022

I’ve said before, I never do resolutions anymore but I do set some goals as benchmarks to move toward. The top of the list is to keep doing things that are healthy for me/us. That would include walking almost every day, swimming 2x -3x a week, eating good food( which we do anyway), keeping positive( which I think we do anyway, but always a good reminder. I’m pretty disciplined with menus, budgets, groceries, Fly lady routines, and other chores.

Other goals would be for projects. The entryway windows where B has his desk are not doing well. They were wonderful old windows from a library in SF someone gave us. But now the wood is in bad shape so probably the first project will be taking them out and replacing them with a vinyl-type window. the footings under that part of the room should be done better too. The next 2 windows are in the sunroom. These shouldn’t be as complicated as the other ones as the wall is straight and not at an angle and it should be fairly straightforward. Other outside things are a fence along the nasty neighbor’s border. We hoped to do a privacy fence but I think that will be too expensive this year so we decided to put up 5-foot fencing to make the boundary more designated and we can even plant some things along it to create a barrier. Fencing and poles shouldn’t be more than $150 maybe and it’s a start. Right now it is the original (since 1950) 3-foot hog fence that has 4inch gaps. So this will be a good start. I’m pretty sure we are going to budget for the one tree to be taken down. I’m hoping the bid is @ 2500.

We’ve got 4 RV trips planned and I hope we can get reservations for at least 2 more maybe 3. I’d like to find one more new place to go. Last year was great with discovering Refugio State Beach and then the Wine Resort RV Park in Paso Robles. We definitely enjoyed full hookups.

My sister’s health is very precarious right now and she will go into hospice care soon. With Omicron, I won’t fly but we could drive back if she makes it into spring. We just don’t know and the details are somewhat sketchy. It’s been hard to deal with as she’s only 4 years older than me. What her husband said was, she was having difficulty breathing( she is on 24hour oxygen due to the Interstitial lung disease . Other than that , like why? I don’t have the details. It sucks really.

This week I have my 6 – month eye check for the macular pucker and I have Dr. Laptalo as well. I’ll swim at least once and probably call that good.

Last night I made a loaded baked potato soup and it was very good. Tonight I’m roasting a chicken and I’ll do some frozen nut loaf for B. Not sure what else, a salad and ? Then later in the week, I plan on making Beef bourguignon. I saw a recipe for mushroom bourguignon and I might do that for B.

Most of the week is supposed to be nice but there is rain tomorrow and Tuesday. I don’t think we’re supposed to get snow though.

Looking back at 2021

For us, 2021 was a really great year in spite of Covid. For lots of people, it was horrible but we managed to accomplish some very BIG Goals. # 1 was buying Rubi( the RV), which was exactly what we wanted), then Chevy, after realizing the Santa Fe was just not going to cut it with towing, and then going on camping trips especially the new addition of Refugio State Beach.

I started chemo in January, 3 weeks on 1 week off until June. My numbers went back into the normal range almost immediately after just the first treatment but you still need to do the full course of 6 rounds. I’ve had a great 6 months but my numbers are now slightly out of high normal so it’s a matter of how quickly they will increase. I’m waiting now for this week’s labs, so we’ll see. My guess is I’ll be back on Velcade in June. Amazingly, last time ( 2016) I had 4 1/2 years of remission. Not this time and it’s questionable how long Velcade will work before it’s on to the next treatment option. Well, that’s not today so…

I m swimming in March and I continue to love it. I wish I could get more than the 2-3 times a week in but it’s just too far and too much gas to do more than that. But it is incredible.

We did quite a few projects around the house and yard including the privacy fence along the driveway. We replaced the sunroom windows that were water damaged and will do the other 2 this summer. We redid the whole laundry room. It still needs some siding up around the window and I’ll bug my son to finish that when the weather is nicer. Let’s see, what else… I painted the bathroom, and ??? I’m sure there are more things…

Today is New Year’s Eve. We’re going to have the fondue we didn’t use for Christmas and I think to watch the new Witcher series. We had a lovely walk this morning and still no dog walker. That’s very odd, so we think either he got covid or moved?? We never knew his name so can’t check it out. But really it is wonderful to not have him stomping by or trying to run us off the path. Still, he is a dark walker( early morning) so there’s that connection. Not many people do that.

I plan to go to Target tomorrow as I need my calendars for 2022. I like their very simple inexpensive ones. Not sure they’ll have any left but I’ll try there first. I do plan a no-spend January but that’s just extra stuff that I don’t need( like candles). My January budget is set including the increase of our Part D Medicare plans.

I lost count of how many books I read , maybe 75? 100? I read a lot so I don’t think it really matters how many. Sometimes I read 3 books a week. It all depends on the type of book. Maybe I’ll keep count next year except I have tried that and then give up because it starts to be too many.

Some photos from the trip and other misc stuff.

I got my P23 booster yesterday( pneumonia) and it was all good. No reaction, but I didn’t expect one as I’ve had the P13 before. So another medical thing ticked off. I still need to get a dtap but will do that soon. Always stuff. I also had my labs done by the phlebotomist from hell. Well, she was new and didn’t get the vein right. I’ve had thousands of draws at this point in my life and I know when they get and when they don’t. Anyway, I should know if I’m moving out of range on my Kappa Light chains by next Friday.

Here’s our Thanksgiving table using the dishes my dear friend Sara gave me years ago. The wine is from Monterrey County. It was quite delicious.

Here’s the husband looking happy with his nut loaf!!

My super handsome son!!!

This is the Diestel turkey he brined and cooked!!!

This is the Paso Robles RV place.

My beautiful daughter ,Sachi.

Backing in to the spot. But he redid it so it was straight in.

All cozy inside. Having full hook ups does make a huge difference.

This is on the trail at Refugio. We walked this everyday about 2miles.It’d probably help if I combed my hair:)

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.

Planning our RV trip to Refugio state beach

We are still planning to go on our trip to Refugio in 2 weeks. We have it planned where we will drive to Salinas/Monterey KOA the first night and that’s about 4 hours. I absolutely do not want to drive more than 4 hours while trailering the RV. I know it may happen once in a while but we are definitely trying to keep it within that time frame.

Refugio State Beach is just about the only campground near Santa Barbara. At least above SB. I’m not sure what I below it going south. It’s about 30 minutes from SB so not just a few minutes down the road. It’s a small campground that is as all the campgrounds are these days booked way in advance. I hope we like it.

Then from there we will leave and come back up to Paso Robles area and spend a night and then go over to New Brighton for 2 nights and then home. New Brighton is about 4 hours trailering.( going 55-60mph)… All this is contingent on the weather as California state beaches closed New Brighton when the big atmospheric storm came in. We still haven’t got our refund and I’m going to have to do the same thing that I did in September with Nevada Beach when that got cancelled and the refund was sent but not received by my bank. Pain in the Ass.

I’ve started to line up next year and hope we can get some reservations.

Here’s what I have so far listed not reservedyet:

Wright’s Beach

New Brighton

Nevada Beach

up the Oregon coast then over to Portland and then down I -5 to get home.

?? something new maybe down by San Diego ??

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.

Simple Sunday and a cancellation:(

It is a windy rainy Sunday and we didn’t walk even with Frogg Toggs. I just felt why bother since the wind is quite blustery. Plus, there’s always tomorrow.

So speaking of tomorrow…. I opened my email yesterday about 3 pm and went WHAT!!!!! Recreation.gov ( the California State Park system ) cancelled New Brighton’s reservations due to the incoming storm. Well, I’m glad they want to be safe but after Monday the weather looked fine. But done is done so I guess we’ll see what fun things we can do this week. I am disappointed though. This was the RV trip where we were going to learn about using the sewer hose in a dump station as New Brighton has one.

The movie Dune is out and my son said it was pretty good. Usually I don’t do movies( besides Covid) because it overloads my sensory input and I often feel sick afterwards. So maybe not that, we’ll see. He did say it was a slow paced movie.

Yesterday I did a bunch of batch cooking. I had bought a 15lb bag of bakers from Costco, so I did 10 potatoes which translates into 11 halves since I pile the potato with the filling which is potato, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and butter. these double stuffed potatoes are great for quick dinners and freeze beautifully. I’m actually finishing the rest today which is about 6 more potatoes. Then I made a turkey breast and that was quite good. My daughter made the golden gravy which is nutritional yeast and tamari and water and pepper. Yumm.

This week I plan on cooking as much as possible from the freezer and pantry. I went to our local CSA farm on Thursday and bought some more hard squash, so I’ll cook some of that as side dishes. I have some tofu to use so I plan on a tofu curry. Plus we have some frozen fish to use and half a bag of french fries. That should clear out quite a bit from the freezer/fridge.

Since we’re not going to Capitola for the week, I’ll swim a couple of times. Since this was supposed to be a vacation week I’ll keep doing stuff to a minimum. I have made a few more loop pot holders and watched a YT channel on binding off which helped as the loops were coming off at the end. Plus from that tutorial it linked the website so I was able to order some new loops. These loops and frame must be from when Z and I did this in hand work back in 4th or 5th grade. Funny how many purges these have gone thru and made the cut:)

Flylady zone is the living room this week. I have put up a few of my vintage Halloween items but not all. Trying to keep it more minimal.

Well, our power has gone off a few times already for a few minutes so I’m guessing we’re going to lose power sometime today with the winds.

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.

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.