After Thanksgiving, and a Simple Sunday.

It was a lovely Thanksgiving with the four of us. My brother stayed home as he does work as a machinist around lots of other people. BTW, the company he works for made a number of the very specific pieces the Space -X used to go to the Space Station.Cool!

Update, on Saturday he stopped by for a pan of nut loaf and a plate of turkey with all the trimmings!! He’s a great guy who shares our political views and is outspoken about the corruption of Trump.

I had ordered the Diestel turkey breast and it was delicious. It was pricey, but worth. I have lots of slices left to freeze plus I plan to make a turkey wild rice soup.

Update: I think I’ll freeze the turkey since it’s now Sunday and we’re kinda turkeyed out:(.

Yesterday on our walk, 2 unusual things happened. We started out by the pond and a black cat jumped out of the blackberry bushes. One of his eyes was closed so we were concerned it was hurt. it was very friendly so we picked it up and drove home. I woke my daughter who tried to look at it but it squeezed under the kitchen counter. So we went back and walked in the park. On our last round we saw ‘granny’ goose( the last domestic goose at the park) limping. Her one leg had been injured. We were worried for her. I messaged ARD and told them and they said call animal control, which I didn’t do. This morning ‘granny ‘ wasn’t there so either she got taken by animal control or a coyote got her. Sad. At one time there was a flock of 20 geese and they were always fun to watch.

Back to the cat. So eventually it came out and wasn’t hungry and it looked like it was someone’s pet. And the eye wasn’t injured, as we thought, it didn’t have a right eye. B put it out on Nextdoor neighbor and within the hour some said it was our local hardware stores pet cat. So B took it home to the store. But it made us all realize how much we miss having a cat/cats.

Not much on the agenda for today. I may wander out to the barn and get the other Christmas boxes down to see if I want to use anything more. I’ve made a wreath with bay leaves for the front door. It has nice dark green branches/leaves so it looks Christmassy. I’ll probably go cut some cedar and pine branches also to make a centerpiece for the table.

Sunday morning:

off for our walk at 6am. It’s still somewhat dark and then it’s predawn. This time has worked out well. We’ve only crossed the jerk dog walker once so that’s a huge plus.

We still don’t have rain in the forecast but it’s cold in the morning( like high 30’s). I got an email alert from PGE saying we would have a high electric bill. I figured it would be since we use the space heaters off and on. Well, we may have to cut back on when we use them like maybe only in the mornings. This house doesn’t have any central AC/heat so we use the wood stove and then in the bedrooms small space heaters. I’m not surprised since we get this every year a few months of very high electric. I probably should just put that in the annual bills column. Yeah, I think I’ll do that. 3/4 months of high PGE which would be @ $1,000.

I don’t plan on making Tartine today so that will lighten my morning. I’ll get out my starter tomorrow for Tuesday/ Wednesday bread.

This week Flylady has 2 zones, the living room and the entry ways. My front room is fairly easy as it’s pretty minimal. It doesn’t take me more than 15 minutes to do the zone. I do wipe the tops of the Easton press as they are gold gild and do get dusty. I also do the windows and the mirror. We have a large Heywood Wakefield mirror in this room near the dining table. The entryways start on Tuesday which is Dec. 1. I’ve already changed out the seasonal decor to Christmas/ Winter. One thing minimalism has taught me is to use as much natural things for decorations hence the bay laurel wreath. Plus, I can keep that up all winter not just Christmas. I do change the outside twinkly lights from orange(fall) to blue( winter). We keep lights up year round as we don’t have outside lights so we put the twinklies on a timer to come on at dark till around 11pm and then again in the morning around 5:30 till 7am. It just helps with outside lighting.

We got a bumper crop of lemons from our one dwarf tree. This one of 2 bowls of lemons. I will slice and freeze some. Great for adding to water and then I thought I might look preserved lemon. Someone years ago, gave me a ball jar of preserved lemons and they were excellent on/cooked with chicken. Anyone have a recipe they use?

Well, off to start the day:)

Simple Sunday

A lovely Sunday walk this morning without the jerk, who showed up yesterday after a 2 week hiatus. That’s ok we just ignored him even though he was walking in the middle of the path and we had to walk single file when he went by. It’s not worth the psychic energy anymore to even deal with it. We just went on our merry way. But it was a very pretty morning at the park this morning. We’re pretty lucky to have at least this one trail that is paved. There isn’t anything else like it at all around here. The closest would be Auburn which has one park with a paved trail otherwise it’s Folsom or up the hill to Truckee that has amazing trails all paved.

From there I started working on the nut/cheese loaf for Thanksgiving. I ended up with enough for 2 loaves and one half size one. I put them in the freezer till Thursday morning. I use the recipe from Greens. I’ll try and post it tomorrow.

Then I cut up the loaf of Tartine and put that in the freezer and started a new batch which I’ll do a slow overnight rise. That way I can cook it tomorrow morning.

I put the Costco chicken carcass in the Instant Pot to make broth. That’s still cooking. I also started a Crock Pot of pinto beans for dinner. Costco had the green chile cheese tamales which are my favorite so we’ll have those with pintos.

Tomorrow B has his IGIV. It’s in Roseville so I’ll take him and Z will go pick him up since my daughter works on Mondays. Z works too but he can take it as his lunch break. Hopefully, that will help his energy which is still pretty low and lagging.

I finished everything for Christmas. Really, don’t get too excited, as we only have us to buy for and I keep it small. I will send off something to my sister and give my brother some money. For us, I have books, a couple pairs of jammies, an Elton John album my son wanted and some other misc. Generally, I get stuff we need in the clothes dept, books, something fun and something that is a want.

Hanukkah is early this year, Dec 10th, but I’ve decided not to do any gift things and we’ll just light the candles. I like the idea of the light illuminating the dark and we need that right now.

Flylady zone this week is the bedroom. I finished it today. It doesn’t take very long since it’s pretty uncluttered in there. I did wash the comforter though and my daughter put up the new shoji screen for the one window. It keeps the cold out amazing.

Simple Sunday

It seems the craziness continues with the trump supporters and him still not conceding even though there is no way for him to get the electoral votes. His malfeasance just continues in some downward spiral of an alternate reality. I still think his mental illness will catch up to him at some point.

This morning I made some banana pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast. We’re still getting lots of eggs. I tried selling them but got no takers so now I’m just giving them away for free. It’s ok. It’s a small way to give to someone who needs them. I used one pack of the frozen ones(scrambled) and they were great. Actually, I don’t know if I could tell the difference. So I did a few more bags and popped them in the freezer. The girls will slow down once there are fewer daylight hours and it’s colder.

Our walks have been lovely and no sign of the ‘jerk’ dog walker. Either he’s getting there really early or something’s up with him because I figured we would have at least crossed his path in the last two weeks but we haven’t. But it’s really really nice to not have his frenetic energy there. Also, since it’s so pleasant we’ve increased our walk time to 45 minutes so that’s a plus.

All the tree leaves are turning shades of gold, yellow, red, and orange. This is one of the more colorful falls we’ve had in recent memory. I remember one year when we had a serious frost early and all the trees just turned brown and that was it. I’m guessing that because the temperatures have been warm the sap flowing helped with the color change. Any scientists out there that can give a scientific answer???

I’ve got some Tartine sourdough in the oven and then I’m going to finish cleaning up the kitchen. I’ve been freezing leftover slices of bread since we don’t go thru that much bread and when we want a slice for toast I just take it out of the freezer. I also just made some parmesan croutons with some end pieces.

This week is the bathroom zone if you’re following Flylady.

I still have a few weeks before my next labs( first week of December) so that’s kinda nice to jsut put it out of my mind for now. Barclay will need another IGIV soon but he’ll do that in Roseville as it’s half the distance. He’s going off a few more drugs (yay)and will finally be getting his pneumonia vaccine. He’s going to have talk to his doctor about his chronic fatigue and see what options there are. I know of a few myeloma patients that use Ritalin for increased energy but I’m not sure what his doctor will think. Also a serotonin reuptake(like zoloft) may help his low energy and meloncholy. I’m not sure what his options are but he can talk to his doctor or the NP next time and check it out.

Five on Friday( ok, it might be more)!!

What a week it has been, but I think with Arizona now going for Biden officially, it’s a done deal.

Trump and his narcissistic personality just can’t admit defeat. Sad, really. Like a kid who just can’t/won’t grow up.

And how his loyal believers even think what they think is beyond me. Honestly, I think they are missing some DNA strand the rest of us have that filters humility, honesty, civility and on and on.

Well, on to this week. Today it’s supposed to rain and right now it’s cloudy but the temperature is nice, mid forties. Earlier things week we were at 32 degrees and it was freezing and walking was tough. The path had some ice and was tricky to navigate. We haven’t seen ‘the jerk’ so either he’s very early or on vacation. Either way, it’s lovely to walk with his frantic weird energy. As a matter of fact, there are 2 other couples that walk and they are so pleasant and nice with a “good morning” or “hello”.

I picked a small order from Walmart yesterday. Mostly we needed the small Coleman propane bottles for our “Buddy” heater which we use when we sit out on the sun porch and it’s cold. Walmart has the best prices with a 4 pack at $13.57. I picked a few groceries but not much.

I also went into Target for Christmas lights but they didn’t have the Target brand out yet, so the next day I did a pickup for them as it showed on the website. I did pick up some blue lights that we use throughout the winter on the outside by the front door. Right now the orange/fall ones are still up but I’ll have B take them done this coming week. I’ve moved most of the pumpkins away from the 2 doors and have put the small Christmas type trees by one.

I’m thinking of doing a bay laurel wreath for the front door as we have a nice big tree in the front yard that we planted when we first moved here so it is 25 years old. I will add a red ribbon.

The bread making frenzy continues and the loaves and my starter is doing great. Again, it’s truly the Tartine recipe that does the best bread.

Each recipe does make 2 loaves, so I just cut the second one and freeze the slices. Speaking of which, I knicked my finger cutting the top of the loaf the other day. Not a bad cut but the top of the loaves are very crunchy and so I bought these gloves so it wouldn’t happen again. so far they work great.

I dropped off a Goodwill load this week. No waiting this time. I guess the great purge of 2020 is over for now. They even brought a cart for you to put your stuff in. Before you had to take everything out of your bags and separate it. It was kinda a pain.

I also decided to take the TV in my office space off the wall and get rid of the DVD player there too. I bought( at Target) a quite compact Sony DVD blu ray for the DVD’s I want to keep. ( Shirley Valentine,I see you).

One of my absolutely favorite YouTubers is a young woman in New Zealand ,who is the most sincere person I’ve seen on YT yet. She is the ultimate minimalist and quite inspiring. Minimom really walks her talk and does not put out regurgitated stuff like some YT’s like Life at Home Taoist style who doesn’t even really know what a Taoist is.

Even though she(Minimom) is only in her 30’s with 2 small children she really puts it out there without the other crap. So it took her saying her house/condo was too small for 2 TVs and the light bulb went on for me. I don’t need that 2nd TV when I walk 20 feet into the front room and watch a DVD. We did need the new player though as this TV is newer than the old one and wouldn’t hook to old DVD player.

Anyway, if you are into minimalism and watch youtube, go to her channel.

Simple Sunday

Today is a day of JOY and celebration that we have hope for our country. The endless lies by Trump and Barr and all of them will soon come to an end. Honestly, I think this country saw the damage he was doing and heeded the call for change before it was too late.

I was thinking about it and trying to think of 1 thing Trump did that was positive for the American people( all of them). I can’t really come up with one. The tax thing was for the rich. The anti-immigration stuff was to keep ‘those’ people out that Bannon and Steven Miller didn’t want in our country, ripping children away from their parents and putting them in detention centers. All of it amounts to total negativity. Plus, for me, the lies and more lies, over and over, just did me in.

So a new beginning and with a woman VP. I am doing a happy dance for sure.!!!

Walking this morning was pleasant and the fall colors are lovely in the park. We’ve been getting there right at 6am instead of the 5:15 time and it is working out just fine.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady. It’s a big zone with the stove and shelves to clean but at the end worth a bright clean space. My biggest takeaway advice is to minimize what you have in the kitchen and keep the counters clear. It really does make a difference. The second thing is to clean up as you cook. I don’t always do this but 95% of the time I do. It too makes a huge difference in keeping the kitchen tidy.

I plan on making some meatballs later to have with spaghetti tonight and a I’ll make a salad.

We’re in for quite a bit of rain this week and it’s welcome. Plus, it’s really chilly today so fall is here.

On Edge!!!

It’s Friday and we are still waiting for the results. Crazy.

All the articles in the Wash. Post about the Senate still having control is worrisome. McConnell, the asshole, will block everything. Is there any recourse?? I don’t know honestly, but hope someone can figure it out.

I think I’m going to tune out politics after the final tally and just go about my life. At least if Biden wins we will have some sense of decency back in the White House. I can hardly take another minute of trump and his lies, deceit, undermining democracy and on and on.

We watched V is for Vendetta last night. If you haven’t seen it, you should . It is frightening to see what can happen when an authoritarian /dictator takes over. The story is takes place in London but still relevant especially when it references ex-America.( meaning America as we know it no longer exists).

Well, on to more mundane things. We went to Costco yesterday and spent $500. But half of that was Christmas stuff plus beer for B and Z. I tried to get most of the stuff I needed that was on coupon and did well. I got a new Crock Pot that was $10 off, cereal, yogurt, Kodiak pancake stuff. All in all, I saved $75.00. So I call that a win. We picked up a tin of cookies for our post office and a container of Caramels for another gift. We picked up 2 sets of pj’s for B and Z and I got the new Ina Garten cookbook for Christmas. So really food ended up about $250 I’d say.

We have our first cloudy cool day in like forever and it’s a wonderful change. It was supposed to rain and there were maybe 10 sprinkles but at least it’s cloudy.

I’ve been going full board on the sourdough bread. I decided to go back to Tartine and yes, even though it takes longer, it is the best. I’ll post some pictures once they are uploaded.

Well, I’m off to anxiety land waiting….

Simple Sunday

Anxiety is running high with only 2 days till the election. I just can’t help but feel anxious something is going to happen and Trump will win. I mean, I have always said,it is what it is, but in this case it scares the s#@t out of me. I guess we will know soon enough. I just hope it’s a landslide and orange man can’t contest it. It just is giving me serious mental issues.

Our weather in Northern California continues to be beautiful but we need rain. I can’t remember getting to November 1st without some sort of rain and that is unnerving. The weather show a chance of rain Friday so fingers crossed( whatever that means).

B still has some projects going. He finished the siding replacement which ended up a huge project. Why can’t things just be “oh, that needs replacing” and be done with it. No, it has to end up a big project. We still have the laundry room floor to replace and we want to do some privacy fencing in the front to block out at least part of the driveway. That project probably is going to cost $400 but it will look way better than 60 year old wire fence that is crumpled.

Today I’m baking a white sourdough no knead loaf. I think next week I’ll go back to the Tartine recipe and compare. Tartine’s is more complicated( you weigh everything) but it does give a better rise.

For dinner I’m planning to take some of the frozen baked potatoes out and make a chicken picatta plus a salad.

We are in entryway zone, if you follow Flylady. I think I will tidy the sunroom entry and move what plants are there to the greenhouse. I have a pumpkin out there I will keep to Thanksgiving week. The deer have eaten my chrysanthemums so I moved them.

So time changed this morning and I knew the “jerk” would be there earlier and yep, he was. That’s okay we just went by in the opposite direction but now his thing is to not move to the right of the path as he passes, he just stays in the middle. Oh well, like I said to B this morning, whatever his problem is, it’s not us anymore as we have gone out of our way to accommodate him. I think he’s just an angry young man( well, he’s probably early 40’s.) Anyway, it doesn’t phase me anymore which is a good thing. So by the time we left it was light enough to see the tree color at the park so that was quite nice.

That about wraps it up and let’s just hope we have a new president on Wednesday.

Frugal Friday

It was a frugal week overall. The grocery shop at Trader Joe’s will go on November’s grocery bill. So far October has been around $800 all inclusive. That’s food, non food and alcohol. So actually I’m ok with that total. For 4 people eating 3 meals a day, I’d say it’s quite good.

Gas has been quite reduced since we don’t really drive anywhere. I fill my VW up about every 6 weeks and that runs around $30. The Santa Fe fills up about once a month at $50. So really that is a big savings.

All our annual bills are done for the year so that’s also a savings as we wont have property tax or Allstate till next spring. I paid the property tax way early( for once) and that’s kinda nice. Usually I’d wait till the first week of December to do it.

We don’t have family to buy gifts for so that reduces Christmas spending. I usually get my brother a GC to either Tractor Supply or Starbucks. Then I send my sister a consumable gift usually wine or something a little fancy.

For us, I keep it simple. For each of us, one book(almost always an Easton Press), one piece of clothing, something fun, and something they need. My son will get a GC to Home Depot since he’s working on the barn and rebuilding/strengthening part of it. I still end up spending more than I’d like but it’s not bad. I try and buy all year long when I see something then I don’t have to think about it. Pre pandemic, I would often find things at the thrift store all year to put away for Christmas but not this year. I’ve gone into Goodwill 2x since the pandemic started and it wasn’t all that interesting.

Tonight is pizza night and I think we’re going to order something. I need to check but I think we’ve done 2 takeouts this month. Well, I know one was the free pizza from the store and my daughter bought Tacos one day so I’m not sure what else we did this month. Anyway, I don’t have the pizza dough made so that kinda settles it anyway.

I finished the Return of the King yesterday. The trilogy takes me about a month to get thru and is thoroughly enjoyable everytime I read it. This is my 3rd or 4th time. Next up I’m going to re read, To Kill a Mockingbird as part of that takes place at halloween( BOO Radley!!). Anyway, I was going to start Dracula which I also read once a year but maybe later.

Simple Sunday

We are on extreme fire alert today thru Tuesday. Power will be shut off this afternoon. Scary stuff. Plus everything is so dry. These winds are supposed to be quite bad all the way to the Bay area. Geez. We really need a break here.

The winner of the bread recipe so far is the No knead sourdough. Both the rye and the white were superb. I may just keep tweaking it so it’s perfect. Of course, come next summer, I’ll abandon bread making and forget it all. Hummm…. maybe that’s why I blog about bread, so as to have a written history.

Success!!! We are walking a little later at 6am. The jerk is still there, but we are walking in the OPPOSITE direction and it makes all the difference since he’s not storming up behind us. Now he just storms by with his dog. It has been GREAT!

I had my biennial mammogram and will get the results next week. Since I didn’t hear anything I’m guessing it’s ok. I was in and out in record time as they have scheduled everything with Covid in mind so appts are spaced.

This week is my oncology appt. I’m not too concerned since I know it’s another 2 months before I’m starting something. That puts me after Christmas. So if all goes accordingly, I’ll wager January. After my appt, I plan to hit up Trader Joe’s in Roseville on the way home. I haven’t been there in months. There’s a few things I specifically want from there ( besides the Charles Shaw), tamari, hash browns, some frozen stuff which TJ’s does a great job of. That will go on my November food budget.

I was out in the prepper pantry in the barn the other day, and it looks great. I have to say, we did a great job on both food and nonfood. I can see periodically adding stuff but for the most part we are using stuff on rotation and then replacing.

The gardens are all cleaned up for winter. My daughter does a great job pulling everything up and putting it in the compost. We haven’t planted anything else yet but I may encourage her to start some chard and cold weather stuff. She did plant all the bulbs I ordered. I ordered 3 giant bags. We have one designated bulb area and in the spring it is very pretty.

This week is the living room zone, so I’ll wash windows and do a deeper dusting.

Halloween stuff..

Lanterns for later when the power is out.

Of course, we have out generators too but we’ll use them tomorrow for a few hours for the freezer and fridge.