Simple Sunday

The weather is going to be lovely this week again and temperatures will be in the 60’s so quite nice. Things are starting to grow and the flowering cherry tree is in full bud. Daffodils are starting to bloom too. My daughter has started a bunch of seeds and is cleaning up garden beds. We’re debating buying a garden shed from costco. It seems a good idea so that we can corral all the tools and mower etc in one spot. The barn works ok but things are scattered and it’s more of my son’s place for his tools. Plus the prepper pantry is on one side of the barn too. We have a carport type area but it’s full of my son’s junk( note to self: time to tell him to clean it up or toss it!)

This week I’m in the bedroom zone so I will paint the inside of the french door. I washed one blanket and a set of curtains. I am debating putting the curtains back up and just using the bamboo blind. I guess it depends on how cold it gets as the curtains do keep out some cold even these are dual pane windows. One of the projects for this year is replacing those windows. They are fine in terms of condition they just aren’t as insulating as they should be. You can really see the difference with the windows we did in my daughter’s room. Really like night and day with keeping the cold out.

I’ve done most of my Sunday chores except to vacuum so I’ll do that next.

I’ve got the Tucson stew in the Staub simmering away and later I will make some brown rice to go with it. I made a loaf of sandwich bread yesterday so we can have that on the side too.

Frugal Friday

Well,here it is Friday again. This morning I have a Walmart order to get down in Rocklin. My daughter will drive as usually I don’t drive for 2 days after dex. ( learned from past experience it’s not a good idea to drive when on steroids)!! This will be my last shop of the month. I think I’m around $650 for food this month. That does NOT include non food and alcohol. I separated it out this month as I wanted to get a better idea of all 3 categories. Alcohol averaged $100 and that was with my son’s IPA Voodoo Ranger that he likes and I buy when I see it. ( He usually pays this back). Then non food was also @ $100 and that includes household stuff. So theoretically the total is still averaging right around $900 for the 4 of us to eat, drink and use toilet paper( ha Ha). I’m okay with this so that’s good.

I did have both kids give us $100 each more on their rent for the high electric bill. This month it should go down as we haven’t had too cold of weather and the space heaters haven’t been running. Of course, our dryer is electric and we do use that a minimum of an hour a day.

I asked on Facebook which I don’t use hardly at all anymore but it is useful for the local stuff, if anyone had Meyer lemons and our neighbor did. So I’ve been juicing them and freezing it in ice cube trays. I love Meyer lemons. We have a nice dwarf lemon tree in the green house and actually got a huge crop but that’s all gone now so this was a nice treat.

We signed up for VSP vision insurance as the Cobra of vision and dental expired. I knew that the Cobra ended after a year so I was expecting it, sort of. But I signed us up. I’m not sure what the savings will be in the long run but I’d rather have the coverage at least for the next year and then we can reevaluate. I haven’t gotten to the dental yet and I’m guessing that will be more expensive. Does anyone have a recommendation.? I’m planning on staying with Delta Dental but I guess I’ll know more when I actually go the site.

Our taxes are done and filed. We didn’t owe which I kind of figured since our SS comes in fairly low. Even the small amount we took out of savings for the trees last year didn’t affect the tax burden so I was pretty happy about that.

Velcade, Round 2, shot #2.

Today is my next shot and it should go quickly. I still have bruised areas from the other shot but eventually it will fade. Also there is still some foot neuropathy going on but it’s not too bad. That just doesn’t go away quickly. It can take months after treatment has ended but I’m ok with it at this point.

Yesterday my daughter got her first Covid vaccine. so hurray!! Just a sore arm so that’s good. It actually went really quickly so these health care workers and those coordinating are doing a phenomenal job.

My son got back from Tahoe and went and had a rapid covid test and it was negative. But he’s still only coming in the house for food and bathroom breaks. Tomorrow he goes for the 24 hr test so then he’s in the clear, I hope.

I made the other Seville orange marmalade and I think the recipe is better. It came out properly jelled so maybe it was using the candy thermometer that did it. You want the temperature at 220 or 218 about and then it jells. It definitely did that.

I’m making a mediterranean white bean soup for dinner. I soaked the beans yesterday and put in the IP this morning. So far when I tasted it,it is delicious! I had B pick up a Truckee Sourdough baguette to have with it and I will grill up some sausage if the meat eaters want that too. Actually my daughter will do the rest as after I take dex this afternoon I’m not good for much.

Happy Valentines Day!

Hope it is a lovely day for all !

It’s cold here this morning but sun should come out later. Yesterday we walked in the rain and it was lovely. It wasn’t a windy rainy, just a nice steady misty rain. We used umbrellas and not our Toggs. This morning jerk walker was there deciding he owned the whole path and wouldn’t move to his right. WTF man! He’s such an asshole!

My Seville oranges showed up. If you’re interested in them, they are from Pearsons Ranch in California. They are a bit pricey but if you want”real’ English marmalade this is the way to go. I’ve made one batch already and will make the other today. I’m trying two different recipes. One was recommended on one of my favorite blogs,‘Tales of a Happy House’. She is a great cook and an inspirational blogger!! The other I’m trying today is Lebovitz who lives in France.

The color is quite beautiful. I let the jars set for 2 days and they did firm up some. It’s still more liquidy but it will be nice one pancakes or yogurt. For this next batch I will use my candy thermometer as the temperature may not have quite reached the 220 degree mark.

I’m making spinach and mushroom crepes for Valentines dinner with a cheese sauce. I think I’ll also make some brown rice to have on the side and then we can use that for Tucson stew another night.

Last night I made the smoky lentil soup which is one of my favorite recipes and with it I made fresh blue corn tortillas with my new tortilla press. I decided to get one after trying to roll out the masa between pieces of parchment and I couldn’t get it to go quite right so the press is brillant. I plan on playing around with plain flour tortillas later.

Both of us have now had our first Covid vaccination and it all went well. My daughter gets her first one on Tuesday as she is an educator and they are in the Tier 1 B. My son , who decided to go up to Tahoe this weekend and is kinda on my shit list for doing so, will have to rapid test and then not eat with us for the week or be in the house without a mask. I guess he felt he HAD to get a way. Well, he had better not bring Covid home or else? You can tell I’m pissed about it, right? Normally he is very considerate so who knows what’s up. He is almost 27 so I can’t exactly tell him what he can or cannot do.

My shot 1 of Velcade round 2 went well and I was in an out in no time.

I finished painting the alcove and did the high gloss yesterday.( trim and the bathroom door).The next phase is Barclay painting the LR ceiling this week sometime. Then I will start a wall at a time.

This week is the bathroom zone so I will get that done today as well.

Friday Stuff…

Well, the biggest excitement is that our county just opened up vaccines to over 65 so we were able to schedule both of us for next week. We have to drive to Roseville but that’s okay at least we have an appt. I do expect I’ll get a fever and headache since even with a regular flu shot I do. But I’m 100% ok with that and will just deal with it. I’m pretty excited!!

I dropped off our property tax payment this week. I was going to do it with a cc but there was a fee(apprx. $25) for that so I decided to just write a check. So that saved the fee.

We went to Costco also and it was @ $600. So $350 was food and the rest non food( including organic chicken food) and alcohol. I’m guessing the next time were back is March sometime. I was hoping they had their fruit trees out but they didn’t. It’s a great place to get citrus trees at a very reasonable price.

Cooking wise, I made a marmalade cake and Wow!! It was amazing. The recipe was from Nigel Slater. It was like a pound cake batter with the marmalade mixed in. It was absolutely delicious.

My son made a recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to cook Everything”. It was baked bread cod. It came out delicious. I had bought the Wild caught cod at Costco. It was pricey ($20)but it made enough for dinner and lunch so probably that made it about $3.00 a serving. We would eat more seafood if I bought it but usually I go with shrimp or salmon from Costco. So this was a nice change.

I’ve picked up the Benjamin Moore paint so I’ll be starting the 15 min. sessions this weekend.

Simple Sunday

Things are quiet around here.

The big storm is over and now it’s just cloudy, no rain. Today, I plan on tidying up the entry zones and my office area(done!). This time of year the entry zone is really just sweeping and removing any debris or stuff lying around.

We had a nice Sunday walk. Jerk walker was still there but then left as we started our second round. We’ve missed him for the most part as he must be getting there earlier but today, being Sunday, he was later.

I’ve almost finished reupholstering the dining room Heywood chairs. I have one left. Using a drop cloth as the fabric is economical and I actually love the look of the cotton. Next time I will need to replace the foam cushions but that’s a few years away at this point.

I plan on starting my painting project this week. Since I can’t really paint for long periods with my rib issues(arms raised and using a roller), I figured I’ll use the Flylady method and do it in 15 minute intervals. I’m still debating using the Behr white I have or wait till I have Benjamin Moore‘s Simple White. I think I’ll do the ceiling in front of the bathroom door with the Behr and then decide whether to keep going. I did read about a paint called, Farrow and Ball that sounds like a really nice paint with great coverage. I plan on checking it out this week.

Yesterday I made another NYT recipe called https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1021839-potato-cheddar-soup-with-quick-pickled-jalapenos. I made it my Staub, of course, and it was really good. Somehow the sprinkling of jalapenos really did uplift the soup. There’s enough left over for lunch today. I plan on making meatballs for dinner and maybe put them in sauce and bake. Not sure yet if that’s how I’ll do it since then B wouldn’t be able to eat the pasta bake. So I guess I’ll just leave them on the side.

My order from King Arthur Flour showed up and I made one of the scone mixes. It was White Chocolate cranberry scones. They were a big hit. Perhaps a little expensive for a mix ( 7.99) but it made 8 large scones so basically $1.00 a scone. I think overall it was worth it.

For Christmas my son had gotten me an Easton press of “ Robinson Crusoe” . I’ve read it before many years ago, but it is very entertaining and well written.

Simple Sunday

I went down to Walmart for a grocery pickup. It went smooth and fast. They really have it dialed in and it was loaded quickly and efficiently. Part of the reason I did Walmart is you just can’t beat their prices. I checked out Campbell’s tomato soup at the store as I didn’t have any. It was $1.99. At Walmart it was .98 . So go figure.

I came home and put together a batch of cranberry orange scones. Scones are fairly easy but sometimes they don’t hold together so we’ll see. The recipe is NYT orange cranberry scones.

This week FL is in the living room zone so I plan on doing a few things this morning. I wasn’t feeling totally great so I’ll leave most of it for tomorrow.

Last night I made what I’m calling Tucson mix. Back when we were at U of A, being vegetarians, there weren’t a lot of options to eating out but there was a small health food shop that sold a bowl of brown rice topped with a medley of zucchini, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and ?? Actually both of us can’t quite remember but I think that was it. They sold a bowl for .99 . So we ate there often. Yesterday I started it in the Staub and simmered most of the day. It turned out delicious. For my son( a meat eater) I sauteed some jalapeno cheddar sausage from costco and we also had some sauteed shrimp if anyone wanted to add that. I’m definitely adding this to the rotation in monthly meal planning. Next time maybe adding a yellow squash. I’m pretty sure it didn’t have eggplant because Barclay doesn’t like eggplant. Anyway it was a good first attempt.

Here’s the pizza from Friday night. Very nice!!

This week’s menu will include breakfast for dinner, Mac and cheese and salad, a new tofu recipe I saw in the NYT for BBQ tofu.

I just finished tidying the living room and dusted. I might do the windows or leave that for tomorrow. I still need to vacuum.

Rain is predicted all week with even the possibility of snow tomorrow. Our walk this morning was cold @ 36 degrees but NO one else showed up so it was nice. Everything was quiet and frosty! I can already tell I’m getting slight tingling( neuropathy) in my foot. Hopefully it will just an annoyance and NOT a problem. Velcade does cause neuropathy so I guess I’ll bring that up at my doctor appt.

Simple Sunday

A nice morning walk and we were there by ourselves for the first two rounds. Then the lady who does the exercise group(3 in total) came and walked but we didn’t pass her as she walked in the same direction. She’s nice and we don’t mind her at all.

Then I did the bathroom zone in about 15 minutes. I wiped the shelves, did the mirrors and window, did the tub with Bar Keepers, toilet( which I do almost everyday anyway) and then the floor. B did the fan grate as it’s too hard for me to reach and get down.

He went out early with our daughter to get the rest of the fence wood. He said it was almost all gone so it was good they got it today. Sachi has been the primary fence builder and she is a great help.

It’s kind of a cloudy day and I feel unsettled with the political stuff going on. It just feels unfinished with trump. Maybe next week will start the impeachment which I feel is necessary ( or at least something is) to show him he can’t do this stuff without consequence. I can’t even imagine how terrifying that must have been for lawmakers plus it is the cornerstone of democracy.

Last night I made a lovely split pea soup. I didn’t take a picture but it was quite good. I made it in the crockpot instead of my Staub because I didn’t want to have to keep watching it. At the end before eating, I squeezed some lemon juice on the individual bowls and it really ‘livened’ it up.

Tonight, I plan on cooking roasted brussel sprouts and baked sweet potatoes and some sort of protein. I don’t have any tofu so maybe a beyond burger? I have some chicken for the carnivores which I will bake as well. I’ve been feeling like millet patties( the Ananda cookbook), so I may do that later in the week.

I’d highly recommend the cookbook “Midnight Chicken” . It’s much more than a cookbook as it starts out with her talking about her attempted suicide and then how cooking ‘saved ‘ her. It helped her out of a depression. Clinical depression is not something I’ve experienced but cooking is definitely therapy for me. She has lots of stories in each section. Worth supporting her by buying the book. I first saw it on one of my favorite bloggers in southern UK Tales from a Happy House. Her photos are stunning and I love reading about life in a different part of the world. So a big shout out to her as this was one of her Christmas presents and when I saw it , I just loved the title.

Simple Sunday

A simple day to start the new year.

My daily chores are done and the FL zone this week is the kitchen. The entry way was only 2 days so I missed that. But, I think I’ll sweep the patios and tidy up the fir boughs.(my daughter already did all this so it’s done!!) I’m going to leave them thru january as it seems wintery. My door wreath is bay laurel so that can stay up too. I also have some nice pinecones we collected up in Tahoe on the bench outside the front door.

One thing I’ve learned with being more minimal is to use natural things for decor or seasonal decorations. It makes it easier for me to not have think about the decorations in bins. I definitely used to keep bins with seasonal stuff but not so much any more. Now I only have my vintage Halloween, and some Easter stuff and Christmas in some Ikea boxes. Works for me.

I used my Staub again for a braised short rib recipe. It cooked beautifully but we ( the meat eaters) were not too into the dish. It was good but not great. It will not go into rotation even though it really is an easy one pot meal. This pot though has cooked everything I’ve done to perfection. If you’re looking for an all around pot this is it. Staub should sponsor me as I cannot say enough good things about this pot. And that’s coming from a die hard fan of Le Creuset.

I am doing a Walmart pickup so that should get us thru till we get to Costco about mid month. I’m planning on trying to use the Instant Pot to make yogurt. It seems easy enough so on the Walmart order I have some whole milk yogurt to use as a starter. We’ll see. I’ll post how it goes.

My rib feels pretty good. Maybe still a little tender where I probably pulled the muscle around the rib. I’ll be sure to mention it to my doctor. He did ask whether I wanted to do PET scans and a bone marrow biopsy to see it there were any hot spots and/or if the myeloma has morphed. I declined since it is what it is regardless. I think if I had more symptoms I might but at this point I’m fairly asymptomatic except for blood work that show the increases.

This week I see the eye doctor for my 6 month macular pucker scan. I’m hoping to not have to get my eyes dilated as they stay dilated for hours. I’m also thinking of getting the surgery when the pandemic is over and things are back to normal so probably a year from now.

I added some more ” things I hope to accomplish” list. :

find 3 new hikes to try

paint the living room and kitchen( this was supposed to be done last year)

find 2 new places to camp( I was thinking either private or maybe just Forest Service campgrounds)

keep up with the prepper pantry but streamline what I stock( and know we will use).

Simple Sunday and Christmas is over.

It was a really nice simple christmas.

Everyone got some nice things. I got my son a Pendleton National Park wool blanket from Goodwill Seattle. It’s the Glacier one that is white with color stripes. Very nice and a fraction of the cost new. He also got a used copy of Easton Press” A Tale of Two Cities”. B got a new Leatherman knife since a few years ago when he went to board a plane he had is quite expensive Leatherman in his pocket and they took it away. My daughter got 2 pairs of pruning shears, an Easton Press Grimm Fairy tales and some other stuff including these made in Japan Sound Collection plates… I discovered these by accident about 2 years ago at Goodwill when I found a bowl and fell in love with it. They are quite hard to find and the only place apart from Japan ,I guess, is Ebay.

I got a lovely sweater, a Kitchen Aid hand mixer( I asked for this), and some great gifts from my son, artisan flour, and a scone mix.

All in all a really nice and somewhat minimalist Christmas. It could have been scaled back even a little more but in the end I think it was perfect.

I made a NYT recipe called the Big Lasagna.

This is just the first page of the recipe, there are 2 more pages if you’re interested you can google it. It actually was huge and must have weighed 5 pounds. Lasagna is always our Christmas dinner. Not sure quite when this started but I remember when we were first married making lasagna since it was vegetarian.

It really was delicious.

I took all the Christmas stuff down and put away. I start to feel it looks a little cluttered up after 3 weeks of decorations. So now it’s all tidy and things put back in place.

I’m cooking up the scone mix this morning. It’s a ginger cranberry and it was a nice mix. I’m thinking scones are a nice easy thing to bake so maybe I’ll do this more often. This mix was from the Vermont Store but King Arthur has some lovely ones to choose from.

Our walk was lovely at 6:10am this morning. Still dark, but by 7am we’re getting a nice light and the park is all frosty.( well, it’s frosty before that but then we can see it!).

If you follow FL, we’re in the Living room zone. That was one reason I wanted to put Christmas stuff away. I’ll wash the inside windows and dust everything.

Well, this is the week I go to Sacramento to meet with my oncologist. My first question is going to be” when can I get the Covid vaccine? the second will be when do we start treatment.” 😦 Really, I’d rather start than have myeloma cells multiplying and then risking fractures or worse.