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.

Frugal Friday

It’s been an okay frugal week. Nothing great but just ok. Most of our big bills for the month are out and just a few more are scattered later in the month.

I had a good swim on Tuesday and the pool was very unbusy which is very unusual. I came straight home afterward. Then Thursday B and I decided to do Winco for a few camping things and at the last minute added in Costco for some camping food as well. I needed Raos to bring and Costco has the best price for the 2 pack. I also got some WW bread for sandwiches. I spent about $175 between the two stores. We also filled up the truck with Costco gas which is the cheapest around. We’re definitely looking at traveling with gas prices. Next week, going to Capitola shouldn’t be more than 2 tanks of gas and the same with Nevada Beach in June. But we’re definitely reconsidering Refugio because that is much farther away. For now, we’ll keep the reservation but still think about it. Then I went to library and got a nice selection of books. Oh, and then we had a lunch date at Celestino’s pizza, which is the best New York pizza around in my opinion.

I went to the nursery with my daughter and bought all our tomato and pepper plants and a few ornamentals for her back garden area. That was her birthday present. We were trying to get a birdbath for her but they didn’t have any affordable ones. The cheapest they had was $110. The last time we were there they had a nice one for $80. I guess we should have bought it then.

I had my labs this morning so I should get results next week. Fingers crossed. I’ve been having some pain in my right leg but I think I over-stretched it doing some yoga. It was better this morning but then the ache comes back ( kind of in the hip and upper thigh area) by afternoon. It’s always something.

After we’re back our next big expense will be having the septic pumped. We’ll call once we’re back. As far as expenses for Capitola, it’ll be a few stops at Gayles bakery and probably one grocery store shop. We generally do not eat out but I thought maybe we’d find some place for a lunch near the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We’ll see. I know we’ll go walk the beach trail so that might be a good day to do that.

Oh, the tree guys came and ground out the stump so now there’s no issue with going out or coming in with Rubi. Yay! He didn’t charge us which was really nice.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a productive week with taking down the tree, shopping at Costco, swimming, the library and lots of cooking.

Out of the Le Creuset book, I made both the French onion soup and the cheese souffle. The french onion soup used a chicken broth as a base and I don’t think it had enough rich flavor. Next time I would do a homemade vegetable stock and/or a beef bouillon cube. Yesterday, my son surprised me after I got home from swimming by starting the Lodge and making biscuits and sausage gravy. We had fun together and he really likes Lodge cooking. I’ve actually never had biscuits and gravy and it was delicious.

Today is a home day with cleaning the living room zone and probably I’ll add the sunporch in. Actually, I think this week, which is a light week with no appts, I’ll do a whole house zone cleaning. I’ve done this a few times and I like it. I don’t do it all in one morning but 2-3 mornings.

I read Greg Mckeon’s book Essentialism this week and am finishing his latest book, Effortless. I liked them both and felt he has some really good thoughts on living simply and with your best intentions. I also read “Oh, William” by Elizabeth Strout. Very thought provoking, and written in a clever narrative.

Budget wise everything is paid for the month and the ginormous check for the tree is cashed. So it’s all good. I do hope the neighbor doesn’t decide to change his mind about the logs because then we’d be on the hook for them.

Our weather looks lovely and sunny for the next 10 days and then we leave Mother’s day morning to go down to Capitola. I still haven’t booked anything at Refugio and in October after were back at Capitola we are going to stay 3 nights in Napa at the Expo RV place we stayed in before and really liked. So I’m not sure at this point if Refugio is going to happen. I almost think I’d rather try and plan our trip to San Diego early next year. I’m not sure we could afford Refugio and San Diego. The camping spots are not expensive it would be the gas.

Update: I just got spot 35 which is on the beach and next to the one we had last year. It’s just as nice a spot as 34 although 34 is the best. Now we just have to figure out do we still go to Capitola and then Refugio or skip one. I think since we have both booked I’ll just wait on it and think about it. We would need a stop over going down and back.

I can’t quite remember when we got his poster but I’m guessing in the early 1970’s as the VietNam war was happening. Somehow this poster survived all our moves and was hanging out in the barn till recently. I asked B to bring it in so I could frame it. Right now it’s just on a bull clip.

Simple Sunday

A lovely morning. We walked a little earlier as on Easter the Christians come out to the park to celebrate some mythical being. Well, actually Jesus was a real person but the other stuff is way too magical for me. Anyway, enough of my sarcasm. We got in our walk before they started singing which was why we went earlier. It’s a nice sunny day but there is rain forecast for the week. I guess we’ll have to see as the tree people are supposed to be here Wednesday.

I made the Salad Lyonnaise last night and it was yummm.

Basically, it is endive( frissee) crumbled crispy bacon, with a poached egg on top. The dressing is shallot that has been sliced thin and barely sauteed with some red wine vinegar and dijon mustard.

Here’s the Daphenoise from the night before.

I booked a spot at New Brighton for October. Not our favorite spot but it’ll do if I can’t get one of the others we like. At least it’s something. Nothing is available at Refugio. I tried again this morning and however their booking is, it’s not working for me. I clicked on book now at exactly 8( I’m using the second hand on my iPhone. But someone must be I stroke ahead of me because it doesn’t come up and is then locked(meaning someone has blocked it).

At this point, I’m fine with not going to Refugio as it is quite a distance and gas would be expensive. But I’ll keep trying for a while. We’re kind of thinking of maybe a bigger trip to San Diego in February so that could be a reason not to do Refugio in November.

Tomorrow I have a dental appt for a routine cleaning and then Tuesday I’ll swim. My inexpensive suit( not a speedo) did show up late Saturday so I’ll wear that. I found a NWT tags Speedo on eBay and bought that so I should get that in a couple of weeks. At least I’ll have 2 suits to rotate and that may help with the chlorine issue. Then Wednesday is supposed to be tree day and I’ll go down to Roseville to the library and Costco. Then that should be it for the week.

I’m planning on BBQing some chicken for dinner and maybe making a macaroni salad.

Flylady zone is the bedroom. I worked on the closet from hell and rearranged some clothes and got rid of a few things I found on hangers that I didn’t remember I had in there like a tank top. I also got rid of 2 pairs of leggings that I never wear(almost brand new) but the legs are too tight and I don’t like that.

Well, that’s a wrap.

Friday Things and Croque Madame

For an early Mother’s day present my daughter bought me a Le Creuset cookbook. I love all things French and I love the Le Creuset cookware I have. Of course, I love Staub too and the All Clad set I have is superb and I have had that set since 1987 when we finished building our house in Foresthill( Foresthill is where we landed from Tucson in 1975 and bought property in 1981.. Foresthill is about 20 minutes from Auburn. ) Just some back history here.

I have gone thru all my cookbooks and did get rid of about half. ButI do love looking thru cookbooks and getting ideas. This book is OUTSTANDING. There are lots of recipes I will actually make. So last night I made Croque Madams. It’s made with a Bechamel sauce , ham and gruyere.

Before being plated with salad. Barclay’s was minus the ham. It was great. Tonight instead of pizza I plan on making Pommes Dauphinoise perhaps with some chicken. I haven’t thought that thru yet. I’ll do salad at least.

Barclay has an MRI on that hip that keeps bothering him today. Not sure what it’ll say or really what they do about it but at least he’d know what is going on. I had my 2nd covid booster and that went well. No reaction except a tiny bit of arm soreness.

I plan on swimming tomorrow unless it’s really raining hard. I don’t like driving in the rain and our son has the Santa Fe for a camping trip so I’d need to use my daughters Honda. I guess I’ll just wait till I get up tomorrow and check the weather. Other than that not much else is new. Plus my new suit isn’t here yet. The first Speedo I ordered got lost in the mail, then the TYR I ordered was WAY too small( who sizes these things anyway), and now the cheap one I ordered ( not speedo or TYR is lost in space or on a truck somewhere). It’s supposed to be here today.

We are having a heck of a time getting or as the case may be we are NOT getting any camping spots in Refugio. Somehow the algorium must randomly select and so far we haven’t had any luck. They get locked instantly and then there’s no seeing the spot open. It’s a really awful website and system but I wouldn’t know how to change it. There’s just too many people out and about. Last year when I got the spot we had I don’t remember it being this difficult. That was November but still. Anyway, we may try for a private RV place in Pismo Beach somewhere.Any RV’ers out there that have been in or around Pismo?? or even half moon Bay??

We’re in for more rain and that’s a good thing for California. We did have a lovely walk this morning. the baby geese have just been born and so far there are 3 families of them. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but never get to close to a Canada goose and her babies. Anyway they sure are cute.

April $$$$

I didn’t even bother with the Frugal Friday as April will be expensive. The bid for the ponderosa is $4500. That’s more than double what we paid for the last tree. The tree is in an awkward spot and will need the crane to take it down piece by piece. There’s just nowhere to drop pieces. Then the logs will be piled up in our neighbors spot down from us and then tree logger will need to bring his truck(big) in to get them.( These logs will be cut into 17 ft pieces and sold to a mill for wood). Things are never simple here with trees. After this, unless it’s critical, trees will have to go down the priority list. Unfortunately, we still have about 4 more that should be dropped but not anytime soon if we can help it. I plan to leave before the tree guys get here and I’ll go down swimming and then hang out and then go to the library at 10. I have too much anxiety around these things and I know myself well enough that if I don’t see it, the imprint won’t be there.

We’ve had some nice morning walks and it’s definitely lighter at 6:10 now. And sunset is now quite a bit later and it’s staying light till at least 7:30.

Tonight is pizza night but I don’t think we’ll do that. No one feels like a pizza so I’m not sure what we’ll do. Sandwiches??

I’ve been making the sourdough loaves every 3rd day. So I have quite a bit frozen so I’m going to put my starter in the fridge for a while. I have really enjoyed making these loaves and have learned quite bit about the dough and hydration. I think our favorite is the cheddar jalapeno loaf.

I started looking at reserving Refugio SB for the fall but so far it’s booked but, I’ll just need to check daily. It’s pretty far to go and with gas prices, it’s going to be expensive but I think if I can get a spot, we’ll go.

Next week I have labs and swimming and some grocery shopping to do.

Simple Sunday

We got back from Napa around 12noon. A good drive through the valley. Some traffic but nothing unusual for Vacaville or Sacramento. There are crazy drivers everywhere. We got into the driveway with no problem. Going out is another matter and when we left B didn’t pull enough to the left and spent an hour backing up and trying to get it into position. So I left a voice message for our tree guy and we just need to get the tree down. I just don’t see it worth the stress of going out every time. There are only maybe 4-6 inches between the trailer and the tree when it pulls out and it’s way too close. Our next trip out is New Brighton so it needs to be done by then. Another expense:(

Speaking of expenses it’s bi-annual bill time with property tax and Allstate. So they need to be factored in for next month.

Daylight savings started today and we didn’t get out to walk til 7am which is really 6am but that was ok, nobody was there anyway, which is perfect for me.

This is a busier week for me than my normal. I have Dr. Latalo on Thursday and then Friday I have an appt with the audiologist to test hearing. I’m fairly certain that the one time I had water in my ear it affected my eardrum. After that, I started using earplugs. I can hear but it’s not as clear as my right ear. So we’ll see. I plan to swim Tuesday and I need to go to the library too.

I need to tidy up the house although my daughter did a great job keeping up with things. My son helped by doing 3 dinner nights so it evened out. I also need to shop tomorrow for a few things and plan my menus for the week. I have my basic plan but need to see what’s in the freezer to use up.

I started a list of things for Rubi too. The Ikea towels we bought are way too thick and do not dry quickly so I plan to switch to a Turkish towel. We had an extra cooking pot in there I don’t use so that’s going. I have 2 wine glasses we don’t use as we use the same Ikea glasses for juice and or wine/water. We also discovered we didn’t have any laundry soap so I’ll pick up something when I shop.

Here’s where we went for the tasting. Delicious.

They give you a taste of 5 champagnes. It was quite interesting and delicious.

This was our wood-fired four cheese pizza with arugula. The place was called Live Fire Pizza.

Just look at those leopard spots of char on that. Amazing.