Frugal Friday

It’s almost the end of January and the pantry challenge is going great. I will continue into February. I’ve come in @ $400 in groceries for the month. For the four of us, that’s really good. The pantry and the freezer are decreasing so that’s a good thing. I still have quite a bit to use up.

Last night I made Sole Milanese.(Ina Garten recipe) I made way too much but that’s what was in the freezer bag. Note to self: (portion out the fish better). Tonight is usually pizza night but no one feels like that so I think I’ll just do a simple pasta dish. Here’s the pizza from last week. I’m looking forward to using the Ooni outside when the weather changes.

I have February’s budget done and in place. I plan on looking at starting taxes this next week. It should be quite simple. I think we have all the things I need. We did get a 1099 for the California relief something. I guess that was a taxable amount. Not sure why they’d give you a refund and then expect it to be taxed. Oh well, who knows how anything in the government works.

We had our Date Thursday yesterday at Chipolte. It was ok. It seemed like an awful lot of people getting take out. I guess we don’t go out to eat very often so it’s always a surprise the amount of people doing it. But I am trying to get us to do one thing a week like this.

This was a sunset but my phone didn’t really capture the colors well. It was orangey and pink. this is looking west out our bedroom window.

Well, that’s it for today.

Understanding Myeloma

I thought I would put in a description of myeloma to help people understand what it is how it affects the body. Just FYI.

an, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of the plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that make antibodies that protect us from infection. In myeloma, the cells grow too much, crowding out normal cells in the bone marrow that make red blood cells, platelets, and other white blood cells.

Multiple myeloma is considered treatable, but generally incurable.[3] Remissions may be brought about with steroidschemotherapytargeted therapy, and stem cell transplant.[3] Bisphosphonatesand radiation therapy are sometimes used to reduce pain from bone lesions.[3][6]

I’ve relapsed now 5 times, this being the 5th. Last time the Velcade worked practically instantly but disease progression does come into play and the cancer cells get smarter and more resistant. This will be my 3rd time on Velcade so it is questionable how effective it will be. One thing for sure is I am not waiting till my Kappa light chains go to 600+. That’s what happened last time. This time I will say Kappa over 100mg/L let’s start treatment.

Thankful Thursday: I am thankful to still feel good enough to swim and go to the gym. Right now probably the one symptom I have may be decreased energy and I do start to lose more hair for some reason. Other than that, I’m asymptomatic.

Simple Sunday

A sunny Sunday but cold again. Still at 32 degrees and frosty on our walk this morning. The park was all frosty but it was a nice walk. It seems Great White Duck is now missing so we’re assuming it got taken by a predator. She/he has been around for maybe 4-5 years so that’s sad.

I worked on the bedroom zone and I plan on shampooing the carpet this week. I probably will also add in the LR zone too as there’s not a lot to do in that either. I do need to dust everything though.

I popped into the Auburn gym and felt the same about it as last week. The assisted weights are old and really dated compared to Roseville. The treadmills are also ‘dated’ to some degree. I was the only one using wipes on the equipment and it seemed most of the people there were ignoring wiping anything. I saw one old guy sneezing and snotting into his tissue and then go use a machine. Ewwww:(

Tomorrow I have my labs and then I might go down to the Roseville gym. I’m not committing yet because I may want to just come straight home and do some house tidying. The thing about being more minimal is it takes way less time to clean, tidy, or organize with a decluttered house. Still, things need to get done. Yesterday I washed the sunroom windows and washed the barkcloth cover I use on the couch out there. So everything in that room is done.

I also think having routines and daily to-do lists helps keep things organized. I almost always have my menu in place for dinner and I always keep my kitchen counters clear. If I had more storage space I definitely would keep my Kitchen Aid in a cabinet. Also, I think when our small microwave gives up the ghost I won’t replace it. I also keep the tea kettle on the counter. I really can’t change that as we use it a bazillion times a day.

The pantry challenge is going well and we are definitely using up things. This week I have some Dover sole to use up and from the big freezer, I’m planning on using the last ground turkey to make chili. I’m slowly bringing in all the pantry things from the prepper pantry and putting them in rotation. I’m pretty sure I won’t do a huge prepper pantry again. But I do want to keep doing pressure canned shelf stable foods. I don’t think I’ll do tons but I do enjoy the process and it is very convenient. So far the big winners are the BBQ sauce, enchilada sauce, chicken pot pie filling, and vegetable soup.

The pantry challenge also helped with my budget and I’m coming in way under what I planned. Our next month’s budget starts next week with our SS checks and then I’ll do a final tally. Let’s hope this debt ceiling shit doesn’t affect SS as that is all we’ve got!

Frugal Friday

We’re finally getting sunny days. It’s still very cold(32′) this morning but at least there’s sun!!

It’s been a good week. Barclay had his port out and that all went well. It was almost 4years to the date he had it put in. Lots of blood transfusions.Whew, what a story that was. But he’s 100% better and has no lingering GVH issues.

I had my annual Well care check with my PCP. It was fine although maybe a slight waste of time as I didn’t have anything to discuss and he didn’t have a lot to say. Oh well, it’s fine. I did say I still had some pressure in my left ear and he just said to go see the ENT doctor. Er, okay then.

After that appt, I went down to the Roseville gym and then the library. I also swam on Wednesday and it was busy but I did get a lane. Near the end of my swim, some guy came and shared the lane.

This morning I’m making some sauerkraut and doing a general tidy-up. I’m making a pizza for dinner and need to defrost the dough. Last night I made my first ever meatloaf and it came out really good. I did follow a recipe and I suppose that does help. I decided to make this since I had a lb of local pork sausage I had bought at the farmers market this past summer and as part of the pantry challenge wanted to use it up. I also had some organic ground beef to use up too. I topped it with my canned BBQ sauce and it was excellent. The pantry challenge is going splendidly and I may continue into February. There are 11 more days in January so I’ll decide then. I do plan on doing an Azure order in February so that will be some pantry restocking.

I got the new Marie Kondo book from the library. What a waste. It’s mostly repeat stuff but there’s so many photos of her. It seems the book is really about how many photos can she have taken of herself.

And here’s a shot of the sauerkraut wilting and about ready to go into a jar with the fermenting lid on.

This was one head of cabbage. It does shrink down.

I haven’t spent a lot on groceries this week except $80 at Trader Joes. Since I was going in for a few things I added some extras like pita bread for falafels, OJ, micro greens, and some other random stuff.

I also tackled washing the couch covers and saw that one corner at the bottom was ripping so I will need to get a new cover eventually. I’mgoing to pull some embroidery thread out and sew it for now. I think these white covers are over 5 years old probably more. I’m not ready to buy a new couch so a new cover will be fine. Next time I go to Ikea I’ll check it out.

Simple Sunday

We lost power for about an hour last night but I’m surprised it wasn’t more. It’s still raining so we decided not to walk this morning. I actually like walking in the rain as long as the wind isn’t blowing and today it is still windy. It looks like we’re in for rain all week. There have been many trees down so I hope ours can hold on. Even along I -80 I saw some pines that had fallen over.

I did go swimming yesterday and got a lane fairly quickly but by the time I was done lots of ‘new ‘ faces were showing up and the high school team again. I imagine it’ll slow down after a while with NY resolutions fading away.

Then I popped into Winco for salad stuff and other veggies. I didn’t buy a lot of anything else as I’m doing the pantry challenge which is to use up what I have. So far it is going splendidly. Last night we had some salmon I had in the freezer so that’s used up and we had a salad with it. I also used my last acorn squash from the farm stand I bought this fall. So overall I’m pleased with the challenge. This week I plan on using 2 pressure-canned soups, and some enchiladas from the freezer, and then see what else needs to be used up.

I just finished reading an excellent book called ” The Longing for Less” by Kyle Chayka. It is quite the essay on minimalism. I’d highly recommend it. I’m not planning on writing down the books I read this year as last year once I hit 150, I didn’t bother anymore.

Today, I plan on doing the Kitchen zone and then read some more. This week is a mellow week, with no appts. Depending on the weather though, I’ll go down to Roseville to swim and to the Rec center at least 1x.

Frugal Friday and we survived the storm!

We made it thru this storm with rain and wind. The wind gusts were pretty scary up on this hill. We have(still) too many very big (100+ ft) Ponderosas. These trees are probably near the end of their life cycle and even 27 yrs ago when we moved here they were smaller. We’ve spent 10’s of thousands removing trees( the last tree was almost 5K) I think it was 4500? That was for 1 tree. It’s the saturated ground now that could be a concern because trees will fall if the ground can’t hold them. Well, today we have a break so that’s good. The coast and Santa Cruz area( including our favorite Capitola) were hit VERY hard and there has been lots of damage.

On to frugal Friday stuff. So far the pantry challenge is going well and I am using stuff from the freezer and in the fridge. Last night I made a red potato soup with carrots, onion, and celery. Then added some sour cream at the end. I needed to use the potatoes up and it was delicious. I had made a loaf of bread( sandwich) in the Zojirushi bread maker and we had that with butter. I always bake my loaf in the oven and not finish in the breadmaker. There’s a bread challenge going around Instagram somebody is doing and each month is dedicated to perfecting the type of bread such as sandwich, baguette, etc. I’m not too interested in doing it but reading tips on bread-making is always helpful.

I returned the one bread slicer I ordered from amazon. I thought it was too expensive for what it was so I’m still looking for one that’s cheaper. Or I just may keep slicing by hand which isn’t a problem, it’s just nice to have even slices.

Today I’m driving to Roseville to go to the gym and I have 2 holds at the library. I still haven’t been over to Anytime Fitness to sign up under UHC medicare’s free program but hope to do that next week. It’ll be nice to have an option for the gym closer.

We’ve been watching a hilarious show on Hulu,” Only Murders in the Bldg” with Martin Short and Steve Martin. If you have Hulu check it out or do what my daughter does and sign up for the free trial and then cancel. Then we’re watching Poirot and these are the earlier ones so it’s fun. We finished jack Ryan and it was good. I’m not crazy about Clancy’s writing but the character is good.

Tonight is pizza night and I’ll make one from the dough I froze.

I’ve been having some trouble with my left ear again, the one in that I had some hearing loss in last fall. It’s kind of a pressure. Does anyone have that symptom and what did you do. I’m not sure if it’s the inner ear or what . I see my PCP in a few weeks for my annual wellness check up so I’ll ask him but I thought I’d see if anyone has had something similar.

2023

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I write down some goals for the new year. This year I separated Household/Yard/Remodel Goals from my personal goals.

Household/ Yard Goals:

Gravel on the driveway

Buy a new weedeater( B’s died last fall)

Replace B’s office windows and restructure the wall.

Fix the carport roof( needs support beams added and a new felt roof)

Support under the house( this is an old house with a post and beam support system which frankly sucks)

I’m sure there are more…..

Some personal goals:

Keep on keeping on! I actually have a list I’m working on so I’ll update it when it’s done.

Keep using cash envelopes for some things. This has worked out well and I plan on continuing with food, misc, chicken food, and household the main ones.

Simple Sunday

Wow, have we gotten rain. There is flooding everywhere and the ground is saturated. We have a break today and then more rain is due this week. Well, we do need it.

Today we started the New Year with a walk, of course. I put a loaf of sourdough in the oven and then put my starter in the fridge. I’ll not make any more bread for a while as I have been freezing at least half of each loaf. I do plan on making a sandwich loaf in the bread maker later this week though.

This week I plan on swimming and going to the gym at least once. I’d like to swim at least 2x but I’ll see how the week shapes up.

My labs came back with a 1.7 increase in Kappa Light chains so I’m now at 27.7mg/L. That’s still fairly low so I’m ok with it and there wasn’t a big jump. It’s when there starts to be doubling increases, I’ll start to worry. 😦

Thoughts 2022

2022 started out awful with my sister suddenly dying of Interstitial Lung disease. It was so unexpected as she had been doing just fine and had never had a flare-up before. Her family was/is devastated. I still miss her even though we weren’t exactly ‘close’ we still had a good relationship and she was very kind and generous when Barclay was diagnosed with MDS. I miss her.

We were able to do many RV trips with Rubi and I’m grateful we bought this RV when we did and it fits us to a T. We really love that it is small but has everything we need( a bathroom). Our year started at New Brighton, then we went to Wrights Beach, Napa, and Tahoe and back to New Brighton. All our trips were great with no problems.

We had one tree taken out with a crane and it was expensive but worth it as we really couldn’t comfortably get Rubi out without being inches from the tree( or getting stuck, like the one time we were taking Rubi out and B couldn’t make the turn and had to inch by inch back it up. That was NOT fun.). A very worthwhile investment. Having the tree out makes going out with the trailer easy.

We’ve all been healthy this year and that’s the most important thing.

This year I learned to pressure can and was gifted a pressure canner thru out local ‘Pay it Forward’ group. It’s been fun and rewarding to can shelf-stable soups, beans, sauces, and more. I hope to buy an All-American this spring for more pressure-canning adventures.

I went to our local farm almost weekly and loved getting farm fresh veggies. Not inexpensive but it does support what they are doing right here in our little town.

I’m glad I started utilizing the gym at the Rec Center this summer. It’s part of my membership( which I was only using for swimming) and doing weights again has been very helpful in feeling stronger.

Our vegetable gardens did well thanks to my daughter and we had lots of good produce and herbs. I’m hoping we can add another raised bed this spring.

I didn’t do a lot of decluttering this year but there were still trips to the thrift store to drop off misc. I’m probably at a point where there is not a lot to declutter but always something that I find no longer useful or beautiful.

I’m sure there’s lots more that happened and I may add to this when I think about things as a record of 2022.

Friday things

Another nice walk without being too cold. Sunrise is 7:20 am and was the same yesterday.

Today is just a pottering day and tidying things up. I’m not sure why things look more ‘untogether’ around Christmas. Maybe it’s the Christmas tree and the few decorations I have around although I even put a few away as I felt it was too much visually. Maybe it’s being stuck inside a lot with the rain and cold.

We’ve had fun with the ‘ugliest’ tree ornament game again. So far the pink sparkly dinosaur is winning but it’s a close runner-up with pineapple face. <>!!!!

I’m debating going to the pool tomorrow. I want to go but I’m not sure about the traffic on Christmas eve day. I guess I’ll wake up and see how I feel. I need to check the hours too as I think I saw something about that on the way out the other day but didn’t pay attention to it.

Tonight we’re ordering a pizza so I won’t have to cook. That’ll be nice.

My January budget will go from Dec.26 to January 25 approx. I do think the cash envelopes are helping with some things like Home Depot, bird/chicken food, groceries ( to some degree), and, misc. For now, I’m going to keep doing it. January will be a low spend month with no extras. I plan on holding off on Costco till we need coffee. The biggest change is going to be saving from SS the extra increase so we can use that for annual bills. Plus whatever other money we can put towards that fund from anything else.