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.

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.

Thursday stuff

Yesterday was my doctor appointment and it went well. I’ll have my 8 week labs around the first week of December, then see him right after Christmas, then start Velcade/Dex in January. He did mention that there is a pill form of Velcade but since that would be a tier 5 drug, I just don’t want to deal with that. So the shot isn’t bad and neither is the drive. ( We got there in 50 minutes yesterday with NO traffic. So it’ll be 3 weeks on one week off. I’ll be ready!!!

I am having lots of anxiety about the election next week, along with the rest of the country.( well, intelligent people who can see Trump for what he is). It’s just a lingering underlying stress as to what’s going to happen. It’s not keeping me awake at night but still, I read the news compulsively for clues. Well, I guess we’ll know soon enough.

We shopped at Trader Joe’s in Roseville after the doctor appt( which was why B came with me). It was pretty packed with people but everyone HAS to wear a mask so it was ok. I loaded up on lots of things. Some prepper stuff like canola spray and tamari, and some just regular food. We were home by 12 noon so not bad at all.

As I mentioned, we adjusted our walk time till 6 so as to try and avoid jerk walker. He’s still there though and just as abrupt but at least walking the other way has made a huge difference. 6 am is nice because by 6:30 it’s predawn and the sky is lightening up. Sunday is daylight savings so I figure we will just walk when we feel ready and see what time that ends up being. I’m guessing the jerk will go by the darkness not the time. One example of him still being a jerk. So the confrontation was about his not using a flashlight, right? So he has been using one. Then this morning I saw him have it on and then as he approached us he turned it off. Uhh…passive aggressive anyone????

Tonight my son is going to make us an Oktoberfest dinner of Bratwurst something( not sure yet exactly what he’s doing) but at least I don’t have to cook.

I have a loaf of rye sourdough baking and it didn’t puff as much as I’d like but it still tastes great.

We are still getting lots of eggs and I’ve been keeping up on using them. I put it out on Nextdoor neighbor but no one answered. I’m guessing with the pandemic when everyone was buying chicks, and now they are all laying eggs. It’s okay, in a few months they will slow down once it gets cold.

I have loved lighting my beeswax candles for dinner time. I have lots of pumpkins on the table and around. We’ve been having a fire every morning too. It’s been about 45 degrees out, so chilly.

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.

Bread making continues…

Even though temperatures are in the high 80’s, it is fall.

I think this is the warmest October I can ever remember here. Still, I’m back into bread making. Bread making is definitely an art form, and in the summer when I don’t make any, I have to get the feel for it all over again by fall.

I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter quite diligently sna it’s doing great. i probably have too many jars going as the counter is often filled with jars in different stages of bubbling. It looks a bit like a science experiment.

This in the jars just fed, so it will double in size.

This is the rye starter.

Yesterday, I made a sourdough sandwich loaf. It didn’t rise as much as I would have liked but it is a softer bread( the crumb that is). It has milk in it which will always make a softer bread.

My favorite so far is the sourdough rye. It is dense and just delicious. Today I’m going to experiment with a no knead sourdough rye. we’ll see??

Yesterday for Sunday breakfast I made sourdough banana pancakes with discard. For some reason, I’m loathe to toss the discard after you do another feed. It just seems wasteful. Besides pancakes, I found lots of recipes like biscuits, and pumpkin bread so I’m definitely going to try and use some of the discard in other recipes.

Today I’m going in to the bank to get the print out of our payment to UHC so LLS can reimburse me.

Today was our no walk day. We had a confrontation yesterday with dog walker. He doesn’t use a flashlight and with no moon it is dark. We try very hard to get out of his way but when he comes around behind us, I shine the flashlight on him. Well, yesterday he flipped out. I think he was partially right that I didn’t need to shine it on him but it does let us see where he is. Anyway, it wasn’t nice. So tomorrow we are going to walk in the opposite direction so we can see him coming. Not sure if that will help but I’ll try. I think we need to try and say good morning although in the past when we have, he just ignores us so not sure about that. I did apologize for shining the flashlight at him but he didn’t seem to want to let it go. It’s an unfortunate series of events because we like being there early and in our almost 9 years of walking in the park we have never had a belligerent person. So this is kinda new and I’m not sure how we will approach it. We could time arriving when he leaves but I actually don’t know that since we only walk for 40 minutes and he does at least an hour so????

Any ideas?? walk later? earlier? ( that would be a stretch since we start at 5:15am. oh well, it was/is depressing.

Unfortunately, there are no other paved trails around us. The closest would be down in Folsom and that’s 40 minutes away.

Frugal Friday

There have been some frugal things this week so here goes:

* We just returned home from picking up a trailer load of free oak. Beautiful wood that a friend offered. It won’t really be ready to burn right away but it’s lovely wood. There’s a lot more to get but we will need to see if my son can help as a lot of it is on a downhill slope which is too slippery for me.

*We had leftovers for all our lunches this week including today which is the left over chicken and wild rice soup.

*Since we have so many eggs I made egg salad for lunches too.

*I picked up a free pizza and salad for dinner tonight with the coupons from the Holiday market. Each month they have a coupon you can use. It’s a handy thing to have .

*We didn’t really go anywhere this week or do any big shopping just picking up a few fillers. Next week I plan to hit Costco to get a few things. We don’t need a huge amount but some things like cottage cheese and cream cheese are just too expensive at the store.

Overall, it’s been a nice week. I’m slowly getting a few Christmas items together plus asking what people want or could use. My son wants the Witcher books that the TV series is based on. I’m looking at some gardening stuff for my daughter.

I’m halfway thru my fall re-reading of the LOTR trilogy. I’m in the Two Towers. Everytime I read it I love it more and more.

We’re still walking early like 5:10 but I think we may start to go a little later starting next week. Mostly, I’m avoiding the jerk dog walker but he shows up anyway sometimes early too. So maybe there’s no getting around it and we just have to avoid him and when we do it doesn’t bother me. Mostly, I get irritated because he’s not using a flashlight and comes up behind us it is startling. Go figure.