Simple Sunday

Things are quiet around here.

The big storm is over and now it’s just cloudy, no rain. Today, I plan on tidying up the entry zones and my office area(done!). This time of year the entry zone is really just sweeping and removing any debris or stuff lying around.

We had a nice Sunday walk. Jerk walker was still there but then left as we started our second round. We’ve missed him for the most part as he must be getting there earlier but today, being Sunday, he was later.

I’ve almost finished reupholstering the dining room Heywood chairs. I have one left. Using a drop cloth as the fabric is economical and I actually love the look of the cotton. Next time I will need to replace the foam cushions but that’s a few years away at this point.

I plan on starting my painting project this week. Since I can’t really paint for long periods with my rib issues(arms raised and using a roller), I figured I’ll use the Flylady method and do it in 15 minute intervals. I’m still debating using the Behr white I have or wait till I have Benjamin Moore‘s Simple White. I think I’ll do the ceiling in front of the bathroom door with the Behr and then decide whether to keep going. I did read about a paint called, Farrow and Ball that sounds like a really nice paint with great coverage. I plan on checking it out this week.

Yesterday I made another NYT recipe called https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1021839-potato-cheddar-soup-with-quick-pickled-jalapenos. I made it my Staub, of course, and it was really good. Somehow the sprinkling of jalapenos really did uplift the soup. There’s enough left over for lunch today. I plan on making meatballs for dinner and maybe put them in sauce and bake. Not sure yet if that’s how I’ll do it since then B wouldn’t be able to eat the pasta bake. So I guess I’ll just leave them on the side.

My order from King Arthur Flour showed up and I made one of the scone mixes. It was White Chocolate cranberry scones. They were a big hit. Perhaps a little expensive for a mix ( 7.99) but it made 8 large scones so basically $1.00 a scone. I think overall it was worth it.

For Christmas my son had gotten me an Easton press of “ Robinson Crusoe” . I’ve read it before many years ago, but it is very entertaining and well written.

Round 1 over, Velcade, shot #3

It was a brutal drive down to Sacramento yesterday.

We had wind and rain here overnight and it didn’t let up driving down. Sacramento looked liked a war zone. It was hit very hard by wind and rain. I saw debis all over and many trees snapped in two. There was no power in the C street area but Mercy did have power. Off the exit onto J street, the homeless encampments looked like they took a huge hit with stuff ALL over the place. Why we can’t provide some kind of motel/hotel rooms for these people is beyond me. I know Gov Newsom is trying his best to come up with solutions. Why the nutsos want to recall him is all so beyond me. What was he supposed to do during a pandemic, just say ok, keep businesses open and spread Covid-19?? Honestly?? Some People are really stupid.

Anyway, I got down there just fine and saw Dr. Laptalo. He said the soft lump that was on my front temple area probably was a plasmacytoma so fortunately with 24 hours of my first shot it was gone and he said that’s good. But there’s not much we can do with the bone area right now. sigh… why is it always something?. But the important thing is when my numbers started to double in early November, that’s when this soft lump appeared so clearly the abnormal plasma cells were working overtime. I’ll be more aggressive next time saying we need to start treatment when we reach this 500 point.

So then when I left, the sun was out but still very strong winds. I headed up to Rocklin for my shot. I was 1/2 hour early but the nurse told me just to come in since the shot doesn’t require IV hook up or anything and they had done my vitals in Sacramento. The shot went well and I was on my way.

I need to do labs before my next round starts in February and I have off next week.

There wasn’t any rain when I left but the winds were still very strong and it was hard to even walk back to the car.

I got home by 12 having left by 8am. So not too bad. I ate some lunch and took Dex.

I guess it’s all a waiting game to see what my blood work shows, but after only one round, you can’t expect too much. Maybe by Round 3 in March.

My daughter made a nice comfort food dinner of Mac and Cheese, wedge salad and a few breaded Costco shrimp in the air fryer.

We are watching Brooklyn 99 with my son and it you want a funny show this is definitely it. Great writing and characters. We’re taking a break from the ‘Money Heist’ since we just finished Part 3. Then we browsed and started ‘Lupin” . French and quite good so far. We also paused Cobra Kai. It’s a good show, I’m just not sure if I’m into the story line although it is good and it’s fun they are the original characters from the “Karate Kid”.

Tonight my son will cook and is planning an IP chicken teriyaki dish. I’m going to make a tofu curry for the veggies. Plus I’ll put some arborio rice in the Zojirushi. An easy meal to put together.

It’s still raining and we didn’t walk. I just ordered this morning a set of Frogg Toggs since I don’t mind walking in the rain if I have the right gear. If I feel up to it, I’ll get on the treadmill and do at least something, maybe:)

Simple Sunday

I went down to Walmart for a grocery pickup. It went smooth and fast. They really have it dialed in and it was loaded quickly and efficiently. Part of the reason I did Walmart is you just can’t beat their prices. I checked out Campbell’s tomato soup at the store as I didn’t have any. It was $1.99. At Walmart it was .98 . So go figure.

I came home and put together a batch of cranberry orange scones. Scones are fairly easy but sometimes they don’t hold together so we’ll see. The recipe is NYT orange cranberry scones.

This week FL is in the living room zone so I plan on doing a few things this morning. I wasn’t feeling totally great so I’ll leave most of it for tomorrow.

Last night I made what I’m calling Tucson mix. Back when we were at U of A, being vegetarians, there weren’t a lot of options to eating out but there was a small health food shop that sold a bowl of brown rice topped with a medley of zucchini, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and ?? Actually both of us can’t quite remember but I think that was it. They sold a bowl for .99 . So we ate there often. Yesterday I started it in the Staub and simmered most of the day. It turned out delicious. For my son( a meat eater) I sauteed some jalapeno cheddar sausage from costco and we also had some sauteed shrimp if anyone wanted to add that. I’m definitely adding this to the rotation in monthly meal planning. Next time maybe adding a yellow squash. I’m pretty sure it didn’t have eggplant because Barclay doesn’t like eggplant. Anyway it was a good first attempt.

Here’s the pizza from Friday night. Very nice!!

This week’s menu will include breakfast for dinner, Mac and cheese and salad, a new tofu recipe I saw in the NYT for BBQ tofu.

I just finished tidying the living room and dusted. I might do the windows or leave that for tomorrow. I still need to vacuum.

Rain is predicted all week with even the possibility of snow tomorrow. Our walk this morning was cold @ 36 degrees but NO one else showed up so it was nice. Everything was quiet and frosty! I can already tell I’m getting slight tingling( neuropathy) in my foot. Hopefully it will just an annoyance and NOT a problem. Velcade does cause neuropathy so I guess I’ll bring that up at my doctor appt.

Simple Sunday

A nice morning walk and we were there by ourselves for the first two rounds. Then the lady who does the exercise group(3 in total) came and walked but we didn’t pass her as she walked in the same direction. She’s nice and we don’t mind her at all.

Then I did the bathroom zone in about 15 minutes. I wiped the shelves, did the mirrors and window, did the tub with Bar Keepers, toilet( which I do almost everyday anyway) and then the floor. B did the fan grate as it’s too hard for me to reach and get down.

He went out early with our daughter to get the rest of the fence wood. He said it was almost all gone so it was good they got it today. Sachi has been the primary fence builder and she is a great help.

It’s kind of a cloudy day and I feel unsettled with the political stuff going on. It just feels unfinished with trump. Maybe next week will start the impeachment which I feel is necessary ( or at least something is) to show him he can’t do this stuff without consequence. I can’t even imagine how terrifying that must have been for lawmakers plus it is the cornerstone of democracy.

Last night I made a lovely split pea soup. I didn’t take a picture but it was quite good. I made it in the crockpot instead of my Staub because I didn’t want to have to keep watching it. At the end before eating, I squeezed some lemon juice on the individual bowls and it really ‘livened’ it up.

Tonight, I plan on cooking roasted brussel sprouts and baked sweet potatoes and some sort of protein. I don’t have any tofu so maybe a beyond burger? I have some chicken for the carnivores which I will bake as well. I’ve been feeling like millet patties( the Ananda cookbook), so I may do that later in the week.

I’d highly recommend the cookbook “Midnight Chicken” . It’s much more than a cookbook as it starts out with her talking about her attempted suicide and then how cooking ‘saved ‘ her. It helped her out of a depression. Clinical depression is not something I’ve experienced but cooking is definitely therapy for me. She has lots of stories in each section. Worth supporting her by buying the book. I first saw it on one of my favorite bloggers in southern UK Tales from a Happy House. Her photos are stunning and I love reading about life in a different part of the world. So a big shout out to her as this was one of her Christmas presents and when I saw it , I just loved the title.

Simple Sunday

A simple day to start the new year.

My daily chores are done and the FL zone this week is the kitchen. The entry way was only 2 days so I missed that. But, I think I’ll sweep the patios and tidy up the fir boughs.(my daughter already did all this so it’s done!!) I’m going to leave them thru january as it seems wintery. My door wreath is bay laurel so that can stay up too. I also have some nice pinecones we collected up in Tahoe on the bench outside the front door.

One thing I’ve learned with being more minimal is to use natural things for decor or seasonal decorations. It makes it easier for me to not have think about the decorations in bins. I definitely used to keep bins with seasonal stuff but not so much any more. Now I only have my vintage Halloween, and some Easter stuff and Christmas in some Ikea boxes. Works for me.

I used my Staub again for a braised short rib recipe. It cooked beautifully but we ( the meat eaters) were not too into the dish. It was good but not great. It will not go into rotation even though it really is an easy one pot meal. This pot though has cooked everything I’ve done to perfection. If you’re looking for an all around pot this is it. Staub should sponsor me as I cannot say enough good things about this pot. And that’s coming from a die hard fan of Le Creuset.

I am doing a Walmart pickup so that should get us thru till we get to Costco about mid month. I’m planning on trying to use the Instant Pot to make yogurt. It seems easy enough so on the Walmart order I have some whole milk yogurt to use as a starter. We’ll see. I’ll post how it goes.

My rib feels pretty good. Maybe still a little tender where I probably pulled the muscle around the rib. I’ll be sure to mention it to my doctor. He did ask whether I wanted to do PET scans and a bone marrow biopsy to see it there were any hot spots and/or if the myeloma has morphed. I declined since it is what it is regardless. I think if I had more symptoms I might but at this point I’m fairly asymptomatic except for blood work that show the increases.

This week I see the eye doctor for my 6 month macular pucker scan. I’m hoping to not have to get my eyes dilated as they stay dilated for hours. I’m also thinking of getting the surgery when the pandemic is over and things are back to normal so probably a year from now.

I added some more ” things I hope to accomplish” list. :

find 3 new hikes to try

paint the living room and kitchen( this was supposed to be done last year)

find 2 new places to camp( I was thinking either private or maybe just Forest Service campgrounds)

keep up with the prepper pantry but streamline what I stock( and know we will use).

Simple Sunday and Christmas is over.

It was a really nice simple christmas.

Everyone got some nice things. I got my son a Pendleton National Park wool blanket from Goodwill Seattle. It’s the Glacier one that is white with color stripes. Very nice and a fraction of the cost new. He also got a used copy of Easton Press” A Tale of Two Cities”. B got a new Leatherman knife since a few years ago when he went to board a plane he had is quite expensive Leatherman in his pocket and they took it away. My daughter got 2 pairs of pruning shears, an Easton Press Grimm Fairy tales and some other stuff including these made in Japan Sound Collection plates… I discovered these by accident about 2 years ago at Goodwill when I found a bowl and fell in love with it. They are quite hard to find and the only place apart from Japan ,I guess, is Ebay.

I got a lovely sweater, a Kitchen Aid hand mixer( I asked for this), and some great gifts from my son, artisan flour, and a scone mix.

All in all a really nice and somewhat minimalist Christmas. It could have been scaled back even a little more but in the end I think it was perfect.

I made a NYT recipe called the Big Lasagna.

This is just the first page of the recipe, there are 2 more pages if you’re interested you can google it. It actually was huge and must have weighed 5 pounds. Lasagna is always our Christmas dinner. Not sure quite when this started but I remember when we were first married making lasagna since it was vegetarian.

It really was delicious.

I took all the Christmas stuff down and put away. I start to feel it looks a little cluttered up after 3 weeks of decorations. So now it’s all tidy and things put back in place.

I’m cooking up the scone mix this morning. It’s a ginger cranberry and it was a nice mix. I’m thinking scones are a nice easy thing to bake so maybe I’ll do this more often. This mix was from the Vermont Store but King Arthur has some lovely ones to choose from.

Our walk was lovely at 6:10am this morning. Still dark, but by 7am we’re getting a nice light and the park is all frosty.( well, it’s frosty before that but then we can see it!).

If you follow FL, we’re in the Living room zone. That was one reason I wanted to put Christmas stuff away. I’ll wash the inside windows and dust everything.

Well, this is the week I go to Sacramento to meet with my oncologist. My first question is going to be” when can I get the Covid vaccine? the second will be when do we start treatment.” 😦 Really, I’d rather start than have myeloma cells multiplying and then risking fractures or worse.

Simple Sunday

A cold but bright sunny day. I don’t think it got barely in the low 50’s. When we walked this morning everything including trees and bushes were frosted over.

I baked the Tartine walnut kalamata olive loaves and they turned out beautiful and delicious.

The above picture is my starter( Tart) and she’s really lovely.

Here’s my December menu plan. I fill in the regulars like Taco Tuesday and Pizza night and then see what is in freezer /pantry. I don’t make the menu on the day except for the regulars so like spaghetti might be listd on the 7th but was made on the 14th. It jsut depends. Holidays I do keep to the menu since that’s different.

Tonight though we’re having a frittata and that’s not even on there because I have an abundance of eggs. So flexibility is the key.

We( California) are on stay at home orders so even going to the big stores seems risky. I went down to our Holiday Market this morning and was going for milk and some other things and totally forgot the milk. Go figure. I guess I ‘ll go again in a few days. I did get 1/2 and 1/2 so that will suffice.

We just found out our neighbor has covid along with his lady friend. So that has me completely freaked as they don’t really go anywhere. He said( on Facebook) he thought it was Costco but I don’t know. Costco is pretty safe unless maybe he went when it was really packed. Scary:( Hopefully they will be ok.

This week we are in the bedroom zone if you follow FL. I did most of it this morning but I still need to dust and tidy up the closet some. I took all the Christmas stuff out of the closet and put it under the tree so the closet isn’t so stuffed.

So tomorrow night is the big conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter. I looked last night and it was behind some big pines so I’m not sure we’ll have a good view. I’m going out tonight to check again. I have an app on my phone that locates stars and constellations so I found them but they were not obvious to me. If you have a clear view I imagine it’s impressive.

This week is low key with Christmas and all. No appts so just the same old same old.

Simple Sunday

We finally have rain!!

We had to use umbrellas to walk but that was fine. Nobody was there but us so that’s always a treat.

I made some sugar cookie dough this morning and it’s in the fridge for a few hours to harden some. So I’ll start those a little later. I used an Alton Brown recipe and it was pretty straight forward.

If you follow Flylady, we are in the bathroom zone. I can finish mine in about 15 minutes as our bathroom is so small. I might add on a couple of extra tasks this week as well. I consolidated the Christmas ornaments into 1 larger plastic bin that B had bought at Home Depot. So that’s most of the Hallmark boxes and some felted animals when I use to put them out at Christmas on the nature table. I don’t do that anymore but they’re cute enough to keep for now. In the future, who knows? right.

So, as expected, my kappa light chains went up over 600,( high normal is 26.4) and the ratio also doubled( It was 74.3 mg/l ) normal high is 26.3. So Velcade will start in January. So since it’s 3 weeks on 1 week off, I’m thinking @ the second week of January and then a break the first week of February and so on. I guess we’ll have to see how it’s working as to how many rounds it’ll be. That’s a wait and see kind of thing. But one would hope, if it works on the myeloma, 6 months of treatment. Again, big unknowns since we don’t know how things will go. Disappointing but reality.

Tonight I’m cooking a roast chicken in my cast iron pan and I think I’ll make some buttered noodles to go with it as we are potatoed out from latkes. i wanted to get down to Krispy Kreme for donuts( you know to keep the cooking in oil thing going for Hanukkah:) but that may not happen.

B is actually going down for a doctor visit this week as I think they want to see him in person. I’m going to write a list of things for him to bring up because they continue to bother him. He is supposed to get his pneumonia shot and soon he will start revaccinating. I never did revaccinations as back in 2006 it wasn’t common then. Now, I think with autos it is. It is absolutely necessary with an allo transplant though as he had donor cells.

Well, I think I’m going to finish my Sunday chores and read some more of the Obama memoir. BTW, it is a great book and so full of compassion and insight. Definitely worth buying . One thing that really stood out to me was how many times he went to Walter Reed to see the wounded soldiers and how he would interact with them. I tried to look up how many times trump did it but I only found the 1 time shortly after his inauguration. I guess he couldn’t handle seeing the soldiers with one leg or arm or whatever. What a guy!:(

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.