Simple Sunday

A lovely walk with just the two of us. 🙂 Sundays are usually quieter anyway but the dog walker was always there regardless. I’ve come up with two scenarios: either he moved??? or has had some surgery/illness prevention him from walking. Being that he walked 5 miles a day (I’m guessing) not walking just doesn’t seem an option. It doesn’t matter, he’s not there and we are truly enjoying the park again.

This morning we had a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs with Boursin cheese, rolls that my daughter made, and some bacon. ( no veggie bacon today:( ) Right now I have the sourdough bread in the oven on its last 15-minute bake. This one is jalapeno cheddar. The asiago one was quite delicious. Last night we had stuffed peppers in the crockpot with brown rice, cheese, walnuts, and onions. I cooked them in a tomato base. Quite yummy. Tonight I’m making some grilled chicken, potatoes and a big salad. I’ll probably grill some tofu too. The rest of the week is undecided but I am going to start my pantry challenge early( this week) and see how it goes.

We had a couple of spectacular sunrises and sunsets the last few days because of the wind stirring up so much dust/particles in the air. Reds, oranges, yellows.

We’ve been debating the wood stove thing again vs gas fireplace. We know down the road we will need to do this as B will not be able or want to keep up with firewood. Plus firewood is messy and the dust isn’t good for the air quality esp. since my daughter is asthmatic. I guess we just need to go into a fireplace store and find out how much they are and installation.

Oh here’s the bread, I just took out of the oven. yummmmm….

I plan on two swims this week and we may drive up to Lake Tahoe to see the snow.

Simple Sunday

Another great walk this morning with a pretty sunrise. Nobody else there, not even the AH which we’re not sure why or what’s up with that but still it’s great not to have him stomping by us.

It looks like a cloudy day but the temperatures are really ok with high @ 60-65. Not bad for this time of year at all. The next 10 days actually look quite nice and I think we’re going to plan a drive up to Tahoe.

This week is the bedroom zone. I’ll wash the windows and tidy up but most of it is already done as this room is very minimal. I did wash the linen cover the other day. I may or may not iron it. I do like the look of linen without ironing it. The only thing I’ll probably do is tidy the closet some.

I made some sourdough pancakes this morning from the discarded sourdough and I have a batch ready to go for bread. The pancakes were good. I’ll bake the bread tomorrow after letting it do a slow rise in the refrigerator.

Just look at that beautiful starter. Except for it sort of exploded.

Here’s one of the amyrillys blooming. I bought the 4 pack of bulbs(Costco) and one didn’t come up. The other 2 have buds and this one is blooming. They are strange plants and I don’t think I will do them again. I love orchids though and usually buy one every time I go to Trader Joes.

This week is quiet for me but B has 3 appts. , two dentist and his port flush and blood draw. I plan on swimming at least 2x but that’s about it.

My second favorite Youtube vlogger, Beneta Larsson, has a 6 part series on decluttering if you’re interested. She is a minimalist that walks the talk. Her apartment is a beautiful example of minimalism and I love her cats. I’ve definitely been inspired by her.

Friday things…

I ended up sending a bouquet of flowers from Farmgirl Flowers to Heidi’s family. Honestly, I’m not good at what is appropriate in these matters. But I figured they would at least send a nice message of our thoughts are with them all and we miss Heidi. We haven’t really heard anything but her oldest daughter did write a nice obituary. We found some photos of the fun times we had when she came out. I might try and put them together in an album.

We went to Costco on Sunday and that was a good grocery haul. I didn’t buy any meat but did get the Impossible burgers on sale. We had them one night with all the condiments. They’re good but I’m not really into eating too many highly processed foods like that. Last night I made my excellent spinach mushroom crepes with gruyere cheese sauce. Quite yummy. Tonight is pizza night but none of us feel like pizza so I’ll do something else.

This morning I put together 3 cheese lasagnas for the freezer. I had bought a large container of ricotta at Winco a few weeks back so that’s why I wanted to make the cheese lasagnas.

I plan on swimming tomorrow and then do some decluttering out in the barn. My son is away for the weekend as it’s MLK day on Monday so he has that off. We have a bunch of old posters from our bookstore that need to go the thrift store. Yes, that’s a long time ago but some of them were on the wall in the barn and now they are rolled up. As I’ve said many times decluttering really never ends , it just keeps evolving.

We’ve had some super nice walks this week. Beautiful predawn and sunrise walks.

Here’s a nice picture Barclay took of the table set for dinner.

This is another he took of the sofa.

I haven’t seen any tax stuff come thru so I’m not doing any IRS stuff till it does. It should be easy enough since SS is our only income and we did take some savings for the RV partial payment. I’m guessing whatever we need will be here by the end of the month or early February.

Budget wise, medicare is way up to $170. Even with the 5.9 increase, that pretty much uses that up. On top of that both are Part D prescription plans almost tripled. I probably should have researched other plans but I was too lazy to do the necessary work. This fall I will though to see if we can get it cheaper although the little bit I did check, these plans we stayed with went to no deductible as opposed to the $400 deductible before so maybe that was the difference.

Simple Sunday

We have sunny skies and crisp cold air. We had a lovely walk this morning and I noticed that sunrise is now 7:22. So it’s starting to inch back slowly. Only one person trying to jog in the park( looked like a new years resolution). But hey, we gotta start somewhere. Then after some toast and coffee, we headed down to Costco for our monthly shop. My printer has died so I needed to check there for one and they had the inexpensive one I was looking at online. So that’s ticked off. I have to have a scanner for my LLS stuff although my daughter showed me how to do it with an app. We were in and out in under an hour.

I haven’t heard from Heidi’s family but imagine that they are planning the funeral. Being very Catholic I’m sure there’s some kind of mass being done. I got off some flowers and they should arrive early this week.

This week is the bathroom zone and I plan on doing that later or maybe tomorrow. Depends on how motivated I feel.

For dinner, I have white bean soup with brown butter pasta on the side. Growing up as poor as we were, my mother would make brown butter bow tie noodles. I kind of doubt it was butter but maybe it was. I’m not sure margarine would do the same. I know when my grandmother would come up from the Bronx she always brought a pound of unsalted butter to go with the Jewish rye. Anyway, I love noodles and brown butter.

Other than that, I need to go out to the prepper pantry in the barn and put away the canned tomatoes and coconut milk I bought. I need to make a current list of what’s out there as I’ve taken out quite a few things.

The update on my kappa light chains is that it went up a point to 20.6 so now out of normal range. 1 point is not a big increase so I’m not too concerned,yet. Next month , who knows??

In happier times!

2022

I’ve said before, I never do resolutions anymore but I do set some goals as benchmarks to move toward. The top of the list is to keep doing things that are healthy for me/us. That would include walking almost every day, swimming 2x -3x a week, eating good food( which we do anyway), keeping positive( which I think we do anyway, but always a good reminder. I’m pretty disciplined with menus, budgets, groceries, Fly lady routines, and other chores.

Other goals would be for projects. The entryway windows where B has his desk are not doing well. They were wonderful old windows from a library in SF someone gave us. But now the wood is in bad shape so probably the first project will be taking them out and replacing them with a vinyl-type window. the footings under that part of the room should be done better too. The next 2 windows are in the sunroom. These shouldn’t be as complicated as the other ones as the wall is straight and not at an angle and it should be fairly straightforward. Other outside things are a fence along the nasty neighbor’s border. We hoped to do a privacy fence but I think that will be too expensive this year so we decided to put up 5-foot fencing to make the boundary more designated and we can even plant some things along it to create a barrier. Fencing and poles shouldn’t be more than $150 maybe and it’s a start. Right now it is the original (since 1950) 3-foot hog fence that has 4inch gaps. So this will be a good start. I’m pretty sure we are going to budget for the one tree to be taken down. I’m hoping the bid is @ 2500.

We’ve got 4 RV trips planned and I hope we can get reservations for at least 2 more maybe 3. I’d like to find one more new place to go. Last year was great with discovering Refugio State Beach and then the Wine Resort RV Park in Paso Robles. We definitely enjoyed full hookups.

My sister’s health is very precarious right now and she will go into hospice care soon. With Omicron, I won’t fly but we could drive back if she makes it into spring. We just don’t know and the details are somewhat sketchy. It’s been hard to deal with as she’s only 4 years older than me. What her husband said was, she was having difficulty breathing( she is on 24hour oxygen due to the Interstitial lung disease . Other than that , like why? I don’t have the details. It sucks really.

This week I have my 6 – month eye check for the macular pucker and I have Dr. Laptalo as well. I’ll swim at least once and probably call that good.

Last night I made a loaded baked potato soup and it was very good. Tonight I’m roasting a chicken and I’ll do some frozen nut loaf for B. Not sure what else, a salad and ? Then later in the week, I plan on making Beef bourguignon. I saw a recipe for mushroom bourguignon and I might do that for B.

Most of the week is supposed to be nice but there is rain tomorrow and Tuesday. I don’t think we’re supposed to get snow though.

Looking back at 2021

For us, 2021 was a really great year in spite of Covid. For lots of people, it was horrible but we managed to accomplish some very BIG Goals. # 1 was buying Rubi( the RV), which was exactly what we wanted), then Chevy, after realizing the Santa Fe was just not going to cut it with towing, and then going on camping trips especially the new addition of Refugio State Beach.

I started chemo in January, 3 weeks on 1 week off until June. My numbers went back into the normal range almost immediately after just the first treatment but you still need to do the full course of 6 rounds. I’ve had a great 6 months but my numbers are now slightly out of high normal so it’s a matter of how quickly they will increase. I’m waiting now for this week’s labs, so we’ll see. My guess is I’ll be back on Velcade in June. Amazingly, last time ( 2016) I had 4 1/2 years of remission. Not this time and it’s questionable how long Velcade will work before it’s on to the next treatment option. Well, that’s not today so…

I m swimming in March and I continue to love it. I wish I could get more than the 2-3 times a week in but it’s just too far and too much gas to do more than that. But it is incredible.

We did quite a few projects around the house and yard including the privacy fence along the driveway. We replaced the sunroom windows that were water damaged and will do the other 2 this summer. We redid the whole laundry room. It still needs some siding up around the window and I’ll bug my son to finish that when the weather is nicer. Let’s see, what else… I painted the bathroom, and ??? I’m sure there are more things…

Today is New Year’s Eve. We’re going to have the fondue we didn’t use for Christmas and I think to watch the new Witcher series. We had a lovely walk this morning and still no dog walker. That’s very odd, so we think either he got covid or moved?? We never knew his name so can’t check it out. But really it is wonderful to not have him stomping by or trying to run us off the path. Still, he is a dark walker( early morning) so there’s that connection. Not many people do that.

I plan to go to Target tomorrow as I need my calendars for 2022. I like their very simple inexpensive ones. Not sure they’ll have any left but I’ll try there first. I do plan a no-spend January but that’s just extra stuff that I don’t need( like candles). My January budget is set including the increase of our Part D Medicare plans.

I lost count of how many books I read , maybe 75? 100? I read a lot so I don’t think it really matters how many. Sometimes I read 3 books a week. It all depends on the type of book. Maybe I’ll keep count next year except I have tried that and then give up because it starts to be too many.

Simple Sunday

Another Christmas has come and gone. We really had lovely Christmas. I made a big breakfast of eggs (our own), mini-pancakes, fried bananas, bacon, veggie sausage, and hash browns. Fresh coffee on the table and I used my needles and pine Tepco plates. After breakfast, at the table, we opened a few items to share. I used the Santa fund to get a gift card for each kid and B got his in cash, chocolate from Trader Joe’s. My son shared a few presents: 2 jazz LP’s for Dad, an Easton Press book for me ” Tale of Two Cities, and a plaque with one of my favorite quotes from Tolkien” No Admittance except on official party business, and for his sister an Apple gift card. B got each of us one thing, a candle for me, chainsaw chains( a 3 pack) for Sachi’s electric chainsaw, and a gift card to Cherry records for Z which is his favorite record store in Auburn. Honestly, I think it was the nicest stress-free Christmas ever. I will definitely do this again next year with breakfast being the focus and then a couple of small things or GC’s as gifts to share at the table.

We have had lovely very cold walks. Some in the rain and wind and some with stars and then sunrises. It’s supposed to keep snowing and raining here and in the Sierras. I have my labs tomorrow but I may have to reschedule. I think I’ll wait till I’m up to see how it is. The Santa Fe is all-wheel drive so it shouldn’t be a problem. It would be more how is I – 80? It’s been closed off and on so it could be 7 am.

I’ve taken some of the Christmas decorations down and will finish tomorrow. I plan to go thru the one bin in the barn that’s Christmas and see if there’s a way to get it down even further. the bin has all the Hallmark ornaments we’ve collected over all these years so I don’t want to get rid of them but maybe pack it differently. Right now it’s too cold to go out there so it’s just something to do at a later time.

We’re staying snug and warm with a wood fire going pretty much non stop. I bought a stove top fan that works off the heat and it is very good at moving the air. We have one that is a 2 blade but this is 4 blade. I think I might get another one down the road.

I finished the last PD James I had from the pet bookstore, “Death comes to Pemberly”. It is a murder mystery using the Jane Austin’s characters. It was quite excellent.

We’ve been trying to get a spot at Nevada beach in June and it’s almost impossible. We gave up because now it’s too close to 4th of July and I never want to be in Tahoe on 4th of July. So I happened to look one morning and lo and behold there had been a cancellation. So I jumped on it and now we have 4 nights in the first part of June. I’d rather have a few more nights buts I’ll take it. It’s in a spot we haven’t had but we know it and it’s on the loop we like. Next up will trying to book in late August or September but that will have to wait or the timing ( 6 months out).

Simple Sunday

I made another batch of bagels this morning using a different recipe. This one did an overnight rise of the dough. Definitely better. I need to do a few tweaks to the recipe though as I put the bagels on the parchment paper like it said but this morning they stuck to the paper and were difficult to get off. I used a spatula underneath them but next time I will spray the parchment paper with canola spray. The boiling part went fine and so did the baking. I think bagel making is like bread making that it does take a few times to really get the feel for it and how it should be.

We had a nice rainy walk and it was a Christmas Miracle….. the AH was not there. It was amazing. Of course, it was raining and he doesn’t usually walk in the rain so maybe not a miracle.

Then we had decided yesterday to hit Costco today as Sunday before the churchgoers get there is usually a good time. We went right in and it was good. We were done in about 20 minutes and back out. This will be our last trip till mid -January or whenever we run out of coffee. I bought 3 bags of Starbucks so that should last us. Since we’re having a minimalist Christmas, there was no looking at the Christmas stuff or trying to figure out gifts. It’s very freeing. I think this is a natural evolution of our minimalism and everyone is on board. We’ve never not had gifts so it will be quite different. I am totally enjoying not being part of the Christmas madness. Well, everything is sorted and put in the fridge and freezer. I did get some chile tamales for Christmas dinner or Christmas eve so that will be tasty. The cheese and green chile ones are usually only available at holiday time.

This week is the bathroom zone so I plan on doing that later or even tomorrow. Wverything is tidied up and my daughter did a reset and tidied the kitchen for me while we were gone.

It’s snowing up at Tahoe and looks like the storm door is open all week. We need the snow pack so that’s good. We’re supposed to have rain all week too.

We’re watching the new season of Shetland and it’s good. We also started the Night Manager and it’s also good but gets a little intense.

Frugal Friday

I made bagels yesterday and that was VERY frugal. When I go to Flour garden, it’s $22 dollars for a dozen organic bagels. We do like them a lot but that gets pretty expensive even if I do that twice a month. So I tried the King Arthur recipe and watched some Youtube channels. They came out pretty excellent but I didn’t get the rise I wanted. I think because 1. I didn’t use bread flour, just all-purpose, 2. I didn’t do a slow overnight rise. So tomorrow I’m going to try again and do both. it was fun making them. And probably the cost is maybe $2.00 for a dozen.

We’re not ordering pizza tonight. I’ll either do one of my frozen meals or I will make a breakfast casserole. We’re not getting lots of eggs ( which is great) but I have 3 dozen in the fridge. I think I even have a TJ’s frozen pizza if we want that and make a nice salad on the side. Ordering pizza out is nice once in a while but is WAY too expensive. $30 for a large pizza is crazy especially when it’s probably maybe $3.00 of ingredients. I’ve put the Ooni away for winter because by dinner time it’s too dark and cold outside to use it.

I have only done the Winco shop so far this month and that was on the 2nd so grocery wise things are in line with the budget. I plan on going to Costco Monday( it’s always the coffee) to get some things. I want to avoid Costco too close to Christmas as it is a madhouse. On my way to swim though, at 7am, I’ve gotten Costco gas which is a huge saving. I do not plan on a big stock up at Costco, just basics.

Today is a home day for me and there’s a few pottering things I want to do. I plan to iron a few linen napkins, mop the kitchen floor, wash a few windows and maybe a few other things.

I finished another PD James mystery. This one was an early one of hers called ‘Innocent Blood’. Very compelling story. Now I started another Dagliesh one. She is a superb writer.

Well, off to make a cup of tea.

Mid-week

It wasn’t raining yet so our walk was nice. Yesterday coming back from swimming the fog was pretty dense in Auburn. Here though it was just overcast. Tomorrow the rain moves in.

My blocked ear( left ) is still bothering me Eustachian Ear thing. This started a few weeks ago after swimming. My PCP thought it would resolve in a few weeks but it hasn’t and is still bothering me. Well, it’s not going to keep me from swimming and I did buy ear plugs. I wasn’t using them before and probably that’s what started the whole thing. Oh well, it’s always something, right? I plan on going into town to get some pseudoephedrine which is suppose to help. I’ve been using Flonaise and it does help but hasn’t cleared it up.

We haven’t gone up to Tahoe to use our tree permit yet and now it looks like the storm door is open and they are expecting a lot of snow. So we may not get up there this year. We always have a fun date getting the tree and stopping at Tahoe House for coffees and pastry.

The windows are in the sunroom and look really good. It’s not done of course but still the wood that was water damaged is gone.

they are not the most expensive windows like Anderson, but they will do the job out here. Plus they open which is going to be great in the summer.

This was the one Barclay did in the summer.

These are the rest of the french door windows that actually came from a house in Tahoe. These will stay until next year. They do not get the same direct rain as the south facing ones did.

Yesterday, after swimming I came home and made King Arthurs Holiday scones and they were delicious. They had fruit and nuts in a spice mix. Quite excellent. they only offer that at this time of year so if you’re interested order some now.