Simple Sunday

A lovely walk this morning with NO ONE there. Definitely unusual these days. Still, it was lovely and the stars and Jupiter were very bright.

We are having the most beautiful fall weather. It’s perfect. Cool at night and then the days are golden and warm.

So, I researched why there was some ‘siphoning’ with the Vegetable soups I pressure canned and the reason was the jiggling ( the weighted gauge)was going too fast and I didn’t reduce the heat. They are still safe to eat but did lose some liquid. So yesterday I got the pressure canner up to 10lbs of pressure and did that on high heat. Then when the gauge started jiggling( that’s what it’s called), I moved it to the middle burner which is a lower heat factor. I measured the jiggles at 4-5 a minute and that’s where it should be. So I wrote all that down in the pressure canner book. I also got a new book that is quite excellent with lots of recipes. The next one I’ll try is called white bean ragout. It has bacon in it but I’ll leave that out. There’s also a lentil soup with sausage but again I’ll, leave the sausage out and add that later if the meat eaters want that. Most of the time everything we eat is vegetarian.

You can see the reduction of liquid. It’s been fun to learn about all this.

Here’s a picture of us going over to Apple Hill. This is Sutter Mill where gold was discovered. We did our Rosh Hoshanah thing with the bread crumbs in the river. That is the South Fork of the American river behind us. Oh, and there were APPLES at all in Apple Hill because of the frost we had back in April.

I made zucchini bread in the new Lodge. The Lodge loaf pan is a real star for crisping up the edges.

Well, I have to go get food and stuff ready to take out to Rubi, and then we’ll leave for Tahoe. Trailering does take longer and usually, it’s about 1 hour 45 minutes to South lake but with the trailer, it takes well over 2 hours- 2 /12 hours.

September 30th and another turn around the sun.

I’ve got to say it is VERY Weird to turn 70. I’m not sure if that means anything at all since you can’t stop time unless you’re dead and gone, I suppose. Well, I’m at a good place in my life. I’m swimming and doing the weights(although I’d like to be at the Rec center more), walking, and going out with the RV whenever possible. We have our SS and that covers most of what our monthly bills are and our 2 children pay us ‘rent’ and that covers the incidentals. I feel very grateful to have what we need at this point in our lives. Down the road , who knows really.

Yesterday I used the pressure canner again and made vegetable soup. For my birthday, my daughter bought me the ALL-Clad stock pot which is 16 qts and needed to make large amounts of prepared food for canning. I also got from her the new Alexa which is fun. My son got me a Lodge loaf pan which looks great. Very sweet of him. He really always thinks of the greatest gifts. I’m terrible at coming up with ideas.

I’m getting more comfortable with the pressure canner. This recipe made 7 qts and processed for 85 minutes. I bring a chair into the kitchen and keep an eye on it although nothing seems untoward. This morning I’ll wash the jars and label. I had one jar ‘siphon’ a little which is some seepage. It doesn’t make the canned product unsafe just slightly lower liquid in the jar so I’m planning on using that in the next few days. I’m really excited about learning this new skill. The Mirro canner seems to be working fine. I went and checked out the All American but still not ready to do that. Maybe next year. I ordered another pressure canner book so maybe they’ll be some new recipes to try. Ball has a few in their book and online but it seems limited.

B bought me some lovely flowers too.

On to Frugal Friday…

We went to Costco last Sunday and stocked up with coffee, bagels, bread, and lots of other stuff I can’t remember and,non food stuff like AA batteries, laundry soap, dish soap, TP etc. This all goes on October’s food budget. I decided to up our budget to $800 and I think that will be the right amount. We’ll see:)

We took Buggie in for that alignment that was needed but the mechanic( a different garage) couldn’t do it because he couldn’t get the bolt or something undone. So I guess we’re going to just leave it for now. He said it would be @ $900. After the expensive other garage stuff, I’m kinda done for now. I only use Bugs to go to Auburn and maybe drive 1500 miles a year at the most. So I’m not too worried. We did get the 2 new front tires though.

We were able to get a reservation at Nevada Beach for next week so we’re heading up there for a few days. The weather looks perfect. I also booked New Brighton for March. It might a little early to go there but you never can tell with March weather.

Simple Sunday on a Monday

We left Tahoe in the smoke and came home to smoke. Ugh….One day the AQI was 500, which is pretty bad. Today is also not looking good. Our weather is cooler so hopefully, that will help the firefighters.

My daughter went and picked up my VW on Friday and didn’t notice the fan was on full blast, and when I went to turn it down it wasn’t working. I tried a few times and then just decided I would need to confront the garage because it was working fine when I brought it in. So I went in this morning, a little defensive, and said this was working when I left my VW here and now it’s not. She said, we didn’t work on that and I said that may be but my fan control is not working now and it was when I brought it in. I said I would like it fixed. I haven’t heard back from them; hopefully, it is a minor thing. I better not get charged. And there was a diagnostic charge I said don’t bother with and they have it on there so another confrontation, which I do not do well.

I canned BBQ sauce yesterday with the last of the tomatoes. It’s way early for them to be done but this summer has been so weird that it’s just one more thing. It’s thinner than I wanted so I wrote on the lid to add ketchup to thicken it.

Yesterday was my sister, Heidi’s birthday. She would have turned 74. It is so strange how she just had a flare up of the interstitial lung disease and died. She had been coping with it for a number of years with no flare ups. Well, I guess when it’s time, it’s time. ( that’s just me rationalizing).

Tomorrow I have my labs and so I should have my kappa light chain numbers by Friday. I see my doctor next week. Then I scheduled my omicron booster for Friday. I didn’t have any reaction last time so fingers crossed this time. But each time is probably different so who knows.

We’re still on the fence about going to Southern Ca next month. I guess we’ll just keep sifting through our feelings and fiances about it.

My son is off on a cool adventure staying in a fire lookout up in the McCloud district( way Northern Ca). This can be booked like a camping spot and is fairly hard to get a reservation. Back in the 70’s we often went to the Duncan Peak fire lookout especially since our friend Shelley was the lookout person. I haven’t been in years and years and my son said all that’s left is the foundation as all lookouts are done with remote viewing.

I just looked outside and everything is a weird yellow color from the fire. I’m sure the air quality is awful. I was going to swim today but the pool is closed also due to the AQI.

I still need to plan some meals this week and write a grocery list. I need salad stuff so maybe I’ll do Winco for organic spring mixes. I did see a recipe on a youtube channel for a green soup. Lots of veggies and spinach and then blended. Green soup is one of my favorites and this one also had cauliflower and broccoli.

Simple Sunday

It’s already hot out so I started one of the coolers on low. Today is only 103! haha,, but Tuesday still looks like the worst at 108. There’s a big fire up near Mt Shasta, in the Weed area. That is a lot of cattle/ranch land. I saw that some structures burned:( What a difficult weather pattern we’re in with global warming. I hope it’s not too late to reverse some things.

Our walk was very nice with only us and the stray kitties. That doesn’t happen very often anymore. I’m not sure if we’ll walk tomorrow or just wait till we’re settled in camp and then go for a walk up there. B has Rubi ready to go. Tomorrow I’ll put all the food in and clothes and prescriptions etc. No hurray as we won’t leave till @ 9:30-10am.

I’ve done a quick go thru go all the zones so my daughter just has to keep up on swish and swipe and vacuuming. She takes care of the litter boxes anyway. Food is up to them although there is plenty in the fridge and freezer. The only night she works late is Tuesday but my son will be home to take care of kitties and things.

This morning I made the brown rice to stuff the peppers. The peppers are from Costco, the organic ones. So the mix is brown rice, some tomato confit, sauteed onions,( I forgot garlic), a bit of grated cheese, some green hatch chile sausage crumbled and sauteed, and finally some chopped nuts. The veggies ones are the same minus the bit of crumbled sausage.

So this is in the crock pot with some San Marzano tomatoes. In camp, I will use the Staub and simmer for an hour.

I finished another dishcloth,#3. It’s gray and my favorite so far.

Here’s the ecru-colored one.

I’m planning on taking my knitting camping and also my embroidery. I bought a kit from Walmart ( very inexpensive, like 4.99,) and it’s a cat so that’ll be fun.

We watched Jaws last night. Such a great classic summer movie. We haven’t watched the new Amazon Tolkien one yet. Maybe we can stream it up at Tahoe.

Well, that’s a wrap for today. I’ll have a full week off from swimming and the gym. Then it’ll feel like I’m starting all over :(. We will walk a lot in Tahoe but that’s quite different from doing weights and the pool. When I get back I have labs on Tuesday so I won’t swim that day( Tuesday is my regular swim day). The pool is only open for lap swimming till 9:30 so it’s too rushed to go down after labs. I’ll go Wednesday.

Frugal Friday, and the heat is coming:(

The heat is on its way.

Today is around 103 degrees; by Monday, we’re looking at 108. That’s pretty much unheard of in the Sierra foothills. We get 100-degree days, maybe even 103 but I don’t remember 108. We’ll be leaving for Tahoe Monday morning @ 10 am so we can get up there by 12:30. Checkout is noon so we don’t want to get there too early. We’ve never had a problem with early check-in but it does depend on the camp hosts.

Even in Tahoe, the temperatures will be in the 80’s, and for September that’s hot. I’m looking forward to just getting up there.

I have most of the meal ideas planned and will make a list of what to go buy at the store. This week was another lower spend week with B going to Costco but that was only $85 and $20 of that was champagne to bring with us. But he filled the truck at Costco gas and that was the main reason for going. No extras from Amazon or Winco this week. I stopped at our market yesterday to pick up cilantro for the salsa I was going to make this morning.

We had a nice walk at 5:40-6:20 am and then I came home and started chopping stuff for the salsa. The recipe calls for chopped onions, tomatoes( peeled and cored), bell peppers, and jalapenos, cilantro, and garlic. After all that I cooked it down for 30 minutes and then put it in the jars. Processing was 20 minutes.

That was 10 lbs of tomatoes. I think probably I’ve done @ 50 lbs so far. There’s not a lot left on the plants but if there is I’ll just do some quick sauce and maybe freeze that.

Except for the excessive heat, it’s been a nice week.

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.

Frugal Friday

It was a frugal week overall. All of June’s bills are in for the month with the exception of the DMV for the truck which is due at the end of June. The DMV seems really high but maybe trucks cost more. We bought the truck a year ago so DMV fees were included and we didn’t probably notice.

This past week was 2 grocery shops. Winco for @ $100 and Costco for @$120. So not too bad. Most of those things will last the month of June and were some pantry refills. I plan on going to the store tomorrow for some camping food things we will need like half and half, some bananas, and at least one salad pack.

We’re leaving Monday and I don’t think were going to hit traffic going up to Tahoe as most of it will be coming down going west. Tahoe itself will probably be busy but we’re not planning on doing anything extra except a lunch out. We also need to go check the dump station in Zephyr Cove as Nevada Beach campground does not have a dump station. We’re only there 4 nights so it shouldn’t be a problem. Still, we will want to use a dump station before coming home.

Other expenses this week were the birthday present for my daughter, stuff from Home Depot, and some things from Amazon. I needed some black-out curtains to hang as the sun is pretty intense in the bedroom and the entryway this time of year. I also bought a Hario pour-over set for Rubi. We usually do the coffee press first thing but then after we walk we’ve felt like a coffee so this will give us 2 cups more. It’s a small pour-over carafe. Hario is supposed to be an excellent product so I’m excited to try it.

Tomorrow is a swim day and I’m hoping the pool is somewhat empty. The other day it was absolutely packed with people even waiting which does not happen very often. I also thought to go check out the gym over by the library for using weights. I’ve seen the building but haven’t gone in and I’m not sure what the set up is but it’s included in my monthly fee so it’s worth checking out.

I don’t have much on the schedule today except work out in the garden shed some. Tonight is pizza night and I think we’ll order one.

Post Script

After 6 months of glorious walking without the AH, he showed up yesterday. I almost fell over:(

So here’s the whole story, I decided a while ago that if he came back, which honestly I didn’t think was going to happen after 6 months, I would make an overture to him. So as he passed by I said ” Hey, Welcome back! Where’ve ya been??” Nicely… So he turns around( he a very dark sunglasses on so I couldn’t see his eyes) and looks at me and says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and then turns and keeps walking. I was floored. I really was totally floored by this. But he was here this morning and we just ignored him and he looked the other way when he saw us. I’m convinced he has some sort of social issue or a mental issue or both.

Five on Friday

I decided to not go with Frugal Friday today as it seems this has been an expensive week. It’s not daily stuff but more like the bigger things. Both DMV’s for the Rubicon and Chevy are due and it sure seems as if they are almost double what they were last year. Then our AAA membership will be due next week and that’s gone up. There is one other bill but I can’t remember right now. Oh, wait, it’s not a bill but I added on the camping trip to SeaCLiff in the fall on the CC and that was almost $500. SeaCLiff is the campground right down the beach from New Brighton but it is right on the ocean and double what New Brighton is. It does have full hookups so that’ll be nice. Anyway, that took the credit card up I’ll pay that in a few days. So lots of bills. The regular groceries, gas, etc is all okay.

I had my doctor’s visit yesterday and all is good. I’ll see him again in 2 months. There is nothing too much to discuss, but he’s always very attentive and asks about my issues( diarrhea, sleep, etc). After that, I headed up to the new Trader Joe’s.

I went to Trader Joe’s to get some snacks like corn chips, crackers, and salad stuff. I picked some wine, half and half, juice, some frozen things, and frozen fish. Last time I bought a piece of frozen salmon and it was really good so this time I picked up some ahi tuna to try. B went to Costco because they had a patio cover on sale. It was normally $159 and it was $40 off , so a very good deal. We have to have something over the patio as the sun in the summer blasts that area and we can’t eat outside unless there’s a cover. In the past, we’ve used the shade triangles but after a while, it just looks tacky. So this is a good thing.

We’re on a high wind alert and high fire danger today. It’s warm out @ 80 but it’s the dry wind that is potentially a problem. B did anchor the new patio cover with stakes but we might need to do some sandbags as well. Everything is drying out due to the wind. We try to keep the areas around the house green as a fire block but that means watering the yard.

Today is a home day with pottering around the house and yard. I want o clip the herbs and get started with drying. In our climate, oregano, and thyme are year-round plants but parsley, cilantro, basil, and tarragon are annuals. So I want to dry a good amount of each.

Here’s one of the cool rocks we picked from the beach. Lots of fossils and two cool holes. I try to always look for rocks with holes in them, not sure why.

Simple Sunday

We are home after a week at New Brighton SB. The weather really was outstanding and we left with temperatures expected to be in the 70s. That’s a perfect temperature for the Santa Cruz area. Sunday is always the and we whizzed thru San Jose and all the surrounding areas with very little traffic. Getting ready to go and putting stuff away takes about an hour and a half. We could probably streamline that a bit but overall stuff needs to follow a specific course: close the awning, close the slide-out, etc. We used the camp dump station for the first time and we did pretty good considering.

Everything looked great upon arriving home except it is much warmer. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 80’s all week. Still, the yard and house looked good and my daughter did a great job taking care of the stuff and she still worked all week.

So here are some pictures.

This is along the lighthouse trail in Santa Cruz. The rock formation was once a bridge.

This is looking back at the light house.

California poppies.

These trees are part of the Henry Cowell Redwood Park. Some of these giant sequoia are 2,000 years old.

Always good to be home.

Hello from New Brighton State Beach

We’ve been here since Sunday and it’s very nice. Our drive down went well trailering and going thru SanJose. I’m sure that being Sunday makes a difference. We found a Costco in Tracy to get gas so that saved us quite a bit on gas.

A lovely spot but I think I still like 62 and 63 better. if you’re lucky you are on the bluff side overlooking the ocean. Some of the spots weren’t even occupied but the website says everything is sold out. Go figure. Still new Brighton is a nice campground.

We did a nice beach walk yesterday

The weather is warming up and I suspect the campground will be fuller by Friday. Yesterday when I walked around half the spots were empty.

We’ve had great food so far, a Staub dinner of stuffed peppers and sauce, burgers on the Weber, and a quesadilla night. Tonight is another BBQ with some chicken for me and tofu for B. I have some potato salad I bought to have with that. We also stopped at Gayles which is a must in Capitola.

My daughter says the kitties are fine and all is good at home although it has been quite cold. Did I mention last week we lost a chicken to either a fox or coyote. We think a fox because we never heard anything. B lets them out to free range and generally they stay together and don’t go to far. But clearly one of them did. It’s always a little sad to lose one of the girls.

Today we’re taking a drive to see some Redwoods so that’ll be nice and then a beach walk later.