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.

Friday Things

It’s been a weird week. It started off with me having to take Buggie back to the garage because my fan speeds were not working. The girl at the desk became very defensive and I was also defensive that my fan wasn’t working and I wanted it fixed. It boiled down to when I brought my car in my fan was working when I picked it up(well my daughter did),the fan speed was stuck on high. I asked Sachi and she said the fan was on when she picked it up and just thought with the smoke and fires the garage had it running high. So the whole escalated the next day with the owner calling me and really ripping into me about how I was rude and ‘an awful person’ for confronting his daughter. Of course, I said look at it from my side,that I just spent $3000 on the car and I get home and my fan is not working. Well, it volleys back and forth that no way did they do anything to my fan and it must have been my daughter driving it home( which is 10 minutes folks) and cranked the fan on and broke it. Really??? are you kidding me.? no I didn’t say that. I just said, I don’t know what happened but she said the fan was on high when she drove it home and she didn’t touch the dial. I apologized that I offended his daughter but again, my point was my fan is not working. So, in long run, he said he spent ALL DAY fixing something( the switch??). I said thank you and took my keys and left. Obviously, I will never go back for service there. It’s always so weird to me how things can turn into an event when I simply went in saying I want my fan fixed since when I brought it in it was working and when I drove it next the fan was not working. I’m sure I was intense to a degree but not ‘rude’. Oh well, I thought of doing a negative Yelp review, but then just figured why bother?

Other than that, Tuesday I had my labs and my CBC, CMP are all the same pretty much and my Kappas just came in this morning and went up to 22.3 mg/L from 20.1. so an increase but not too dramatic. It seems my numbers are holding steady for the time being.

This morning is my covid booster so I’m planning on doing that and then going to Safeway for a few things and then home. Usually, Saturday is my swim day but I’m leaving that open as I don’t know if I’ll feel lousy or not.

Budget-wise, it was a good week with nothing extra spent except some salad mix, wine, and bananas. bb

I’ve been doing some batch cooking for the freezer. I made beef stew in the Instant Pot and then froze 2 quarts, lentil soup, and froze 2 quarts. A yummy quiche from Le Creuset cookbook. It came out really good with fresh thyme.

I got a lot done around the house yesterday and felt good about that. I changed the shower curtain, we put the rug back down in the bedroom, made the lentil soup, and washed all the couch covers. So everything is fresh for fall. I’m having B take out the cooler in the bed room this weekend and I’ll put up the fall/winter cutains soon.

Frugal Friday

Hello from Lake Tahoe.

The fire near home is still raging and the smoke is up here and quite nasty. Lots of campers leaving. We’ll see how it goes today and then if it stays in the unhealthy range we will probably leave. The fire is near Foresthill where we lived from 1975 till 1995. Foresthill is about 20 minutes from Auburn. Areas are evacuated including where we built our house. Sad. I hope with the cooler weather tomorrow the firefighters can get some containment.

We’ve been enjoying lots of walks and had a lovely breakfast out yesterday morning. We had decided to do one extra thing like breakfast out or lunch, so we decided to do breakfast at Driftwood Cafe. Today we walked down to the beach and around the campground. Later we may do another walkabout if it’s not too smokey.

Camping is generally frugal as we bring most of what we need but there’s always the grocery store run. Today we need a block of ice to help keep the refrigerator at a colder temp than what the battery was doing.

The most expensive thing that has happened is at home with my VW. I took it in on Friday so they could work on the coolant leak this week. Well, $3000. later it is all fixed. But it wasn’t just the coolant. It was the brake pads and rotors, the oil change, the filters, and the transmission flush…. all of which haven’t been done on the Bugs. We rarely do anything except an oil change so this was worth doing. Buggie is a 2000 VW that is now a classic and we use to do errands in town. It doesn’t go past Auburn. In addition though because the tires were wearing uneven we need 2 new tires and an alignment too. 😦

All this has us rethinking whether we can afford to go down to Refugio next month. It’s almost 700 miles so that’s a lot of gas plus going into Santa Barbara all adds up. And we have the other campgrounds we’re staying at down and back. So, we definitely need to think on this and decide one way or the other. I’m inclined to cancel mostly because of gas prices. We then have another reservation for Sea Cliff in November. So…decisions, decisions.

here’s a normal Lake Tahoe picture

Here’s the fire impact

This morning you couldn’t even see across the lake.

I’ve knitted another dishcloth and have done some embroidering. Oh, and read Alexander McCall Smith’s new book ” The Sweet Remnants of Summer’. It was a nice book. Easy to read.

Simple Sunday

Our day started with a lovely walk with no one else until our last round. This past week every day we walked there were way too many people for me. I don’t mean just one or two but probably 8-10 people and that’s at 6am. Oh well, today was nice and the temperature cool.

We only have a week till we head up to Tahoe and I’m sure looking forward to it. We don’t have any plans to do anything yet but we’ll do a lot of hiking, beach time, walking, and just camp stuff. I’m working on our menu and know we’ll do a few meals on the Weber. I’ll also use the Staub for a few meals too.

This morning I’ve done some meal prep for the week. I’m marinating the tofu for the “Superiority Tofu burger , this is from a restaurant in Greenwich Village NY. It’s marinated overnight in a pickle brine and then fried. Then I’m soaking some black beans for a recipe my daughter found of’One pot Rice and Beans”, I made up two w.w wraps with cheese, spinach, tomato and, a slice of ham.( no ham on the veggie one). And finally, I made our favorite chard soup. ( there are 2 jars of this in the fridge).

I think I may still grill the chicken up and then we could have that in a few dishes like tacos, or bean bowls.

Yesterday I made another batch of tomato sauce. I cooked it down for about 2 hours and it had a lovely consistency.

I prefer not to use the quart jars as it takes more water in the canner to cover them but I wanted the larger size this time. I think I have close to 12 jars of sauce right now down.

I’ve been having fun with a few house projects. One is simply using one of my vintage tablecloths to make a curtain to cover the one opening under the counter. Who knows if we’ll ever be able to afford a kitchen remodel so trying to make it more functional and yet less cluttered is important to me. Behind this curtain are all my cooking oils and vinegars.

Then I’ve been enjoying knitting some dishcloths. I really like the repetitiveness of knitting. It’s probably a right brain/left brain thing.

This week is low key with only my regular gym and swim days. Barclay is going to take the truck to Costco to fill up with gas and then get a few items in Costco. If I need to get anything, I’ll go into Winco which is across the street from the pool.

Flylady is the LR zone and the entryways. I bought this really lovely Tartan print runner from Target and love the fall colors of it.

The napkins are a nice linen blend which is always my favorite.

Anniversary day.

Actually, it was yesterday, August 23. Wow, from 1970 to now seems like a very long time, but in my mind, the years have been really short. We’ve always been a good balance for each other and enjoy each other’s company and we are best friends too. We certainly have had our share of issues, especially in the first 7 years when we went to couples counseling at U of A while students. We took an unusual path getting married so young but then heading to college and life in Tucson. No parents around and no pressures to be a certain way. We were carefree, had lots of sex, and traveled. Of course, we did go to our classes and B graduated in 1973 and I in 1974.

Also, we didn’t have our daughter till we’d been married 15 years and then our son came 9 years after that so we had lots of time alone with each other.

This we bought at Costco but it’s the winery in Napa we wanted to go to but there were no openings that day. It was beautiful smooth champagne. We decided to go out for breakfast at a new to us place in Auburn. It was mellow and the food quite good. We will go back again. Then we thought about doing dinner out but decided I would just whip together a pasta dish with homegrown tomato compote. I also used some baby eggplants that were delicious.

We’ve had so many adventurous anniversaries. On our 7th anniversary, we backpacked in Mt Rainer and hiked up to a glacier. There was a backpackers hut up there so we stayed in that and in the morning went out and picked huckleberries for pancakes.

Then we’ve had lots of special dinners out. Americo’s in Sacramento was in one of the first years we were here in California. Later we always went to Mt Shasta for our anniversary and that became an annual event for years. We loved the campground and then after about 10 years, it sold and went downhill and we stopped going. We also had the one year we had traveled the coast and had the most amazing breakfast at Big Sur. I can’t remember the name of the lodge but it was famous. I’m sure if it’s still there, maybe I’ll google it.

Sometime after that, we started going to Tahoe for anniversaries. We had our tent trailer and usually went on the East side. It wasn’t till way later we discovered the West side, Nevada Beach, in Zephyr Cove where we go now.

It’s been a wonderful life.

Simple Sunday

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!! No, it’s not that bad yet. We are getting a great crop of tomatoes this year as opposed to last. This morning I made 4 more pints of tomato sauce from the Ball canning book. I used citric acid instead of lemon juice. The next batch of tomatoes is ripening in the box. I’m guessing at least 5 more days. This reduced for about an hour.

At the farm, I picked up 2 zucchini to shred and freeze some and make zucchini bread with leftovers. I also picked up some more cucumbers to make a dill refrigerator pickle and I also want to make some tzatziki for falafels and pita bread. This week I’ll do some white beans maybe as a dip, salads, tofu something, and probably some BBQ chicken. Anniversary day (Tuesday) we probably will get an early dinner or late lunch depending on where we go. Hard to believe it’s 52 years. Honestly, it doesn’t seem like that but there it is. It’s been a pretty wonderful life.

I have been thinking of trying to sell my wedding dress on eBay to hopefully a museum. When I sold the very old Quaker dresses I had it was to a museum in PA that bought them and that was so right. My dress was handmade in Poland ( probably before she immigrated to NYC)and was my great grandmother’s. My mother repaired the lace panels and added a starchy fabric to the bottom so it would hold its shape better. It’s not doing me any good in a box under my bed. So I guess this year would be a good time to deal with it. My daughter, who is non-binary, certainly wouldn’t ever use it.

We’ve got 2 weeks before we go up to Tahoe so that’s exciting. It’s our favorite spot so that’s something to look forward to. September is still busy in Tahoe but most of the true tourists have left.

This week the Flylady zone is the bedroom and master closet. Since we only have one closet in this house, I guess that’s the master one!!!:) I’ll probably add the LR zone too as that’s easy and I’ll have the time.

Frugal Friday

It’s been a fairly frugal week. Yesterday before the gym I went into Winco mostly to get some Ball Quart jars as I read somewhere Winco’s prices were the lowest. The quart jars were $13.73 so a good price. I also picked up some KA flour that was half the price of what Safeway’s was. All in all, it was slightly over $100. I used cash. Using the cash envelopes this month has really helped me be more conscious of what I’m spending. I still need to go into Costco for some basics like olive oil, sugar, coffee, and a bottle of champagne to celebrate our anniversary later this month.

I have a large load of tomatoes from our garden ripening so I can process them this weekend. I think I’ll do some salsa and sauce if there’s enough. I bought some jalapenos at Winco and will do some more refrigerator jalapenos and maybe some cowboy candy( sugary jalapenos).

I still have some more beets to can too as I bought another bunch at the farm stand last week. Maybe I’ll do that this morning as I’m not going anywhere today.

We’ve had home-cooked meals all week( tofu burgers, BBQ chicken,) and last night I did pasta and used some of the dehydrated cherry tomatoes in olive oil. It was quite good but I cooked the dehydrated tomatoes too much in the butter/ olive oil sauce and they were slightly overcooked but still delicious. I just did another batch of dehydrated cherry tomatoes and I’ll put them in olive oil as well. I think I’m going to buy a different dehydrator too. The one I have is round and plastic and doesn’t hold a lot and the one I’m looking at is square with metal shelves. I think that will work better.

I just finished reading Todd Borg’s new book,” Tahoe Moon”. If you love Tahoe like I do, you will love this latest thriller.

Simple Sunday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY # 28 to my dear son, Zephyr.

On a Sunday morning, 28 years ago, we were scheduled to go into Auburn Faith Community hospital and induce labor. My ob/GYN came in in his tennis clothes, broke my water and by 12:30 I was in labor. My son was born at 2:28pm that afternoon. It was very hard labor but fortunately quick. Whoever said you forget the pain after childbirth obviously didn’t have the same level of pain I did.

I’ve been very busy canning blackberry jam and salsas since Friday morning. My daughter and I went and picked 2 buckets of blackberries. I did one bag yesterday and will do the other bag today. I need 1/2 pint jars so I plan on going into Target soon and seeing what I can get.

I didn’t swim yesterday because of the canning and it was a good thing as I started at 6:30 am and finished by 11am. Today, I’m only planning on doing the blackberries if I can get the 1/2 pint jars. Tomorrow, I will can the tomatoes. I have plenty of jars for that. I’m liking the new canning pot I bought it is much nicer than the old Ball metal one.

This week I have my fasting labs on Wednesday. My appt is early so fasting shouldn’t be a problem.

Tomorrow I plan on going to the Roseville rec center and then drop off library books. My two most recent ” TheLioness ” by Chris Bohjalian and “The Paris Apartment” are OUTSTANDING and I would highly recommend.

Well, no zone cleaning for me today, I am beat. 😦

Is it ‘back to the 70s’ or just 2022???

We left Tucson, Arizona in July of 1975. Summers in Tucson are HOT! Little did we know that Northern Ca can get just as hot as Tucson and it was when we arrived. Moving to a very rural, logging, a redneck community was a bit of a shock but we did adapt(eventually). There were some like-minded people, especially on the fire crews that were hired seasonally. And that is where this story begins. Shelley M was one of the few women on the fire crew and a very independent person. She may have been one of the first ‘tiny house’ people as she lived in a 16 ft trailer. But she became the first person I knew who did bulk buying, organics, raw milk, herbs, medicinals and, much more. She basically taught me everything I know about bread making, using mason jars to hold food, using grains, rice, making yogurt and lots of other things. She was an avid Adelle Davis fan and was always talking about nutrition, herbs, natural healing , etc. She also was(as far as I know, and I’m almost 100% sure of this) the only female fire lookout who lived in the lookout that was up at Duncan Peak. She would live up there for weeks on end and then come down to her trailer which was above Foresthill in a place called Baker Ranch. Remember this is 1975,76,77, and probably 1978. Baker Ranch is located about 10 miles above Foresthill and at that time was definitely ‘out there’. Eventually, when we bought our 30ft trailer, which was a lovely shade of pink, that’s where we were able to find a spot that you rented. That was in 1978.

It was shortly after meeting Shelley that I started buying in bulk. Brown rice, flour, honey,( no sugar back then for us…Heeeheee:) ), raw milk, nuts. When we went to Mother Truckers we would fill up our bottles with shampoo and rinse too. We also had a buying club thru Mountain Peoples Warehouse( that later became UNFI, which Barclay just retired from after 25 years) but that’s not part of this story. Anyway, we would meet the truck or go up to Grass Valley and pick up our bulk food, cheese by the block and whatever else and then we would split up the orders.

I think businesses like Mountain Peoples was way ahead of their time as there wasn’t Costco, Sam’s club or any of that. There was Sacramento Co-op but I don’t remember shopping there.

So here it is 2022 and we’re still buying in bulk although now it’s Costco or Walmart. UNFI doesn’t have small buy clubs anymore but there’s still Briarpatch Co-op in Nevada City and soon to be in our nearest town of Auburn!!! (Very Exciting). So the cycles of life continue. I’m stillmaking bread( although my first years of bread baking they was more like ww bricks), canning, batch cooking and so on.

So in some ways it isn’t much different than what I started in 1975.

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.