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.

Fall Cooking and tidying

I made a lovely pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing the other day. It was just right for this time of year.

Actually, I couldn’t find pumpkin anywhere even Walmart. So I happened to check Raley’s/Bel AIr and they had their brand on sale for $1.25 a can. I bought 10. Then I forgot the cream cheese so B went to Bel Air and bought 2. Never again. He paid almost $5.00 a package. I can get 6 boxes at Costco for less than $7.00. Well, I guess it pays to have a stockpile of things like that.

I went for my labs Tuesday so I’m guessing I’ll hear the bad news by next week. He also ordered an IGG test which is immunoglobulins. I guess with Myeloma it must show differently but I can’t really say I recognize it. So we’ll see.

Today, I’m making a creamy chicken and wild rice soup for dinner. I have some frozen Borscht for the veg.

We actually have a cool cloudy day and it’s great. I washed all the outside windows with the Windex sprayer that attaches to a hose. Very convenient. I try and do the outside windows 4 times a year generally around the cross quarters. Since I do the inside windows with each zone that gets done in each room about every 5 weeks. I like clean windows.

In the bedroom I added a linen top cover. I love the look and feel of linen. I don’t think now that I have had linen sheets I could go back to regular cotton ones. So I was watching one of my favorite Youtubers, Benita Larsson in Copenhagen and she said in Europe most people only use a duvet cover over the bottom sheet. Then take that off to wash as needed. That wouldn’t work for us but I got to thinking about wanting a linen top cover. I checked everywhere for just fabric but it was all running about $45 a yard. So I happened to think of Ikea’s linen set. I checked and they had the king size duvet. Works perfectly and gives me the look I’m after. Oh, and it was only $79.99.

Linen king duvet used just as a covering for winter. I love how linen looks after it’s washed.

I also use linen napkins for meals and have a white set and a natural set. Sometimes I iron them but mostly I like their crinkleness.

I think I’ll go do some garden stuff also since it’s cloudy and I can get maybe one bed ready for fall planting.

I’m also going to get out my vintage Halloween stuff to put out.

The week ahead…

We both felt really awful yesterday. It seemed like an allergy type thing as we know it’s not Covid. ( no fever, no cough,) But still kinda headachey, and low energy. Sometimes I’ve had days like this out of the blue, but not on the same day as B. He just took it easy all day. I pushed thru and did most of the kitchen zone. I thought maybe it was a reaction to the air quality since we had been out walking but I’m not sure. When were out we always have masks on and we use sanitizer. Plus, everywhere we went people were 99% masked. So kinda a question mark.

We both feel better this morning but I still feel slightly off. I had plans to get my labs this morning but rescheduled for tomorrow. If this is allergy thing, my counts will show lower so I thought better to wait a day. I don’t see my doctor till the very end of the month so I have time to get my labs and results before hand. I don’t like the surprise of waiting. It reminds me of when I was first diagnosed and all the tests and waiting and then the dreaded phone calls. Now I’d rather know before hand and adjust my headspace.

I did make a lovely smoky lentil soup( William Sonoma recipe)( you can get from their website.) for dinner but that’s it. Usually I’ll make grilled cheese or have some homemade bread but that didn’t happen. I put together my monthly meal plan. I write it out but I don’t follow the days exactly. So we had the lentil soup Sunday not the frittata. I just use the template as a guide. Then I check off what we have eaten.

You can see I still have a few squares to fill in. I plan on looking at some cookbooks today. I also try to do one or two new recipes a month.

We are in cooler temperatures today and the air looks good. I keep thinking that maybe walking in the park with the air quality unhealthy affected us. On the other hand we’ve been doing it now since the fires started and haven’t been affected so who knows. It’s a mystery.

I was laughing maniacally( joke) when I read Trump was on Dexamethasone. How funny!! As anyone who has been on Dex,off and on for years, you know it masks aches and pains and other ills because it is such a high dose steroid. The problem is what goes up must come down and when he’s off it, then the problems could resurface especially his coughing. Oh well, he deserves it and more. Honestly, driving around in his armoured car infecting others or at least the possibility, is pure evil. Just for a photo op.

The week has B’s video appt with the nurse practitioner and labs. If the air stays nice we might do that drive up to Tahoe to see the lake. Maybe pack a picnic.

Five on Friday

*Let me be the first to say, Trump and Melania testing positive is just what he deserves for not taking any precautions or even taking Covid-19 seriously. We never go anywhere without masks and sanitizer. We don’t mingle in crowds or go to Target to browse. Nada!! ” So stupid is as stupid does” Forrest Gump!!

*My son is very creative and loves to build things related to movies/props/video games. So using a 3D printer he built this

and another angle

This is from The Portal Game; The Aperture Science handheld Portal Device. ( For us non gamers, this is a video game)

Pretty amazing! and he figured out the electronics so it changes colors,red to orange to green to blue.

Way beyond my comprehension. Maybe all that homeschooling and building projects did something?? nah, I think he’s just super smart.

*Yesterday I made a very yummy applesauce cake with the left over apples I had. It turned out way better than I thought it would.

I dusted powdered sugar on top to make a finishing touch. It’s almost gone this morning!! The recipe also did not use eggs and I wasn’t sure about that but it was fine.

*Budget wise, things are pretty good. Except for the Ikea trip we didn’t spend any extra. Since we do Ikea maybe 2x a year, I’m okay with picking stuff there like extra kitchen towels, pantry jars etc. Plus, if you have an Ikea near your Tuesdays and Wednesdays they open at 9am for over 65. It was great to get in there and there were only a few people in there. No kids! Very worth it! We will need to still pay the AAA fair California bill but we haven’t gotten it yet. I’m guessing it’ll be there any day in the mailbox. Plus the other big expense will be property tax. I’m planning on paying that when we drop our ballots off at the county voting box.

*I spent a little down at the market for milk and a loaf of rustic bread and Guiness Stout for the Welsh Rarebit I made for dinner last night. I love Welsh rarebit. It’s basically cheese sauce on toast. The recipe was form the NYT (mark Bittman). It was a little strong on the stout.

Since we had pizza on my birthday, tonight I will do either breakfast for dinner or a frittata with some potatoes or???? mystery night!!

*BTW, if you follow Flylady this is a 2 zone week. Yesterday started the Entryway/dining room zone. Always a good time, if you have a dining room to declutter,simplify and minimize what you have. I don’t have a ‘real’ dining room. Our table is in the main room. I have the Heywood wakefield hutch which holds my Tepco pine cone ware. So all I do is wash the glass on it and dust. I also make sure the table is clear except for my beeswax tapers and seasonal decor( right now it’s the little white pumpkins from the garden, and our linen napkins in a bowl.

Ok, that was 6 things with a lot mixed in:)

Another turn around the sun.

Yip…. another year older. I made it to 68.

Getting older is kinda weird really. Inside you feel pretty much the same as you did when you were younger but the body sure can’t keep up the same:) I am extraordinarily grateful to be 68.

We had a nice walk this morning and got there @ 5:10. So the annoying lady showed up at 5:43 but we were done. It was so weird. She pulled in to the parking lot and parked in the middle of almost on the park road. Honestly, I was WTF? is she doing. Not the best place to park.

We had a fun trip to Ikea but alas, the chairs were not what I wanted and then we found some we like but they were out of stock. But I bought a bunch of fun Christmas stuff, a new bath mat, candles, 2 glass jars and their brand of cotton kitchen towel that run .79 and are really the best of found except William Sonoma’s but they are 4 for $20.

Tonight my son is going to go get a pizza for dinner so no cooking.

Last night we watched another episode of ‘THe Boys”. that show is intense to say the least.

It’s fairly warm today and there’s smoke from the Santa Rosa fires. We sure could use rain.

There’s also supposed to be a high fire warning tomorrow thru Saturday.

What a joke about the debate. We didn’t watch but caught all the news this morning. tRump was an asshole. Biden did the best he could but Chris Wallace should have shut tRump down. And that whole thing with the proud Boys makes me sick. I hope we can hang on till Nov 3 and then ?

A commenter wanted to know how to freeze the potatoes. Potatoes on there own don’t freeze well but these double stuffed do. First bake way more than you think because you will scooping out the potato. So I did 15 whole potatoes. It does take a while to bake. I had them on 2 hours but they were done by 1 :45. So then let them cool and cut in half. Scoop the insides into a big bowl. I add a stick of butter and About one cup of cheddar cheese. I also add 1/2-1 cup of sour cream. I kinda eye ball it. Salt and pepper. Blend well. Then I mound it into the shell. So 1 potato half is maybe 3/4 of the potato. I ended up with 20 halves. I wrap in foil and then put in a zip lock bag and then freeze. I often take them out and heat in the microwave or I’ll just stick back in the oven and rebake. Great for nights when you don’t feel like cooking.

Simple Sunday

Perfect fall weather. The mornings are cool and days get warm. We still haven’t had any outdoor fires in the fire pit because of fire danger. We need some rain to do that.

Not now:(

Our walks are stress free since we’re the only ones there that early. The stars have been spectacular. Venus is very bright and Mars is quite red. We we’re leaving at 6 and the first person showed up so hopefully we can maintain this schedule. Frankly, it’s worth it to be out the door just a little earlier. As I said to B this morning, we can do it now but who knows the future. A year from now? or when I start Velcade? I may not be up to it so we might as well do this while we can.

This week is the Living room zone if you follow Flylady. I did ours including window washing. I need to do the outside windows this coming week. I try and do them each quarter. I use the outside bottle of windex that attaches to a hose. It works quite well.

Today is a mellow day without too much on the docket. I’m planning on soup for dinner with salad. Yesterday I prepped 15 baked potatoes( Costco, big bag) for double stuffed potatoes. That’s 30 halves. But when you pile it on you do get less. So I ended up with 20 halves. I left 4 out and froze the rest. The potatoes were really nice so if you’re in Costco, that’s a good buy. I guessing that’s because the harvest is happening in Idaho. Plus the value is incredible. 15 lbs of bakers for $5.69. I think down at the Holiday they are .99 a pound right now. Also, double stuffed potatoes freeze beautifully.

This coming week has some appts. I have a dental cleaning and we are tentatively going to Ikea to get 2 chairs for the sunporch. We’ll see. It depends how the week shapes up and my mood. The pantry from Ikea is still unavailable so that won’t be happening. But Ikea is fun and affordable.

Budget Friday

I’m trying to come up with a good blog title for Fridays. I’m not sure Frugal Friday quite fits.

Overall, we are frugal because we have no income per se except SS. So maybe just Budget Friday would work. I’ll see. But budget-wise, all Octobers bills are in. We do have the 2 annual bills of house insurance and Allstate which is twice a year. With ALL the insurance companies getting out of insuring California property, for the most part, we are now having to do the California Fair Plan which is added to the AAA insurance. We went from our annual bill being slightly over $1,000 to now we are slightly over $2,000. Quite a jump.

Costco was just at $450, so that will go on October’s food budget. About $70 was wine and beer. I did buy a bottle of nice champagne for celebrating birthdays. Actually, it wasn’t expensive at $15.00. Plus there were a few prepper items and 2 bags of Starbucks coffee that was on sale. With all 4 of us drinking coffee we go thru quite a bit. But I don’t see us going back to Costco till the very end of October or even the first week of November which could then include any Christmas food or items. Prepper stuff included tuna, Cholula sauce, TP, another case of water, extra butter, and extra cheese. The only thing I didn’t get and I need is some tamari sauce. I’ll probably just go down here to the store and pay their price. The best place to get low sodium tamari is Trader Joe’s but I don’t think I’ll be getting there any time soon.

So far this morning I have made pizza dough, washed living room windows, cleaned the ceiling fan, and am just about ready to clean the rest of the sunroom.

Our lovely fall weather continues with absolutely beautiful days with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s. Next week does have a few 93degree days but this time of year that doesn’t seem so bad.

Budget-wise, I did my LLS for the UHC premium and my medicare which they cover for 2 months so that will be here in a week or so. I am very grateful to LLS for my grant (myeloma) as it does cover health insurance. If we had to pay OP for us both it’s almost $700 so I’m not sure how the budget would do. Probably we would be in the red. But there are gifts sometimes even with having cancer.

B did order the boards for the house ( 5 of them) so that was $120 about. But the siding needs to be fixed. Other stuff, even the fencing by the barn is optional and can be put off if we don’t have extra money.

If you’re looking for a new TV series, The Boys, is quite good. It’s super heroes that are darker more evil and is well done. We just started Season 2 on Netflix.

Well, that’s a wrap for now.

Floor project done.

This took 4 coats of Varathane.

Into the sunroom. Now I need a few chairs so we can sit out there. I did move my treadmill out there since this time of year it’s pleasant out there to use it. When it gets too cold I may have to bring it in.

Well, Everything is back in place. I dragged the couch(Ikea) in from the sun porch. ( you can see the towels under the legs).

I’m still not sure about the extra TV. We haven’t really used it but i have the DVD’s in the Ikea cabinet so, a question yet to be determined. I’m thinking waiting till spring and if during the rainy/winter season if we still don’t use it then give it away.

Ultimately, it came out nice but was really a pain. Next on the to do before winter list is some siding on the south side of the house( which gets a lot of sun) needs to be replaced. Hopefully that won’t end up being a big issue. just take it off and replace with new. Ha , does it ever work that way. Also, the laundry room floor needs replacing but we’ll see if we get to that or not. Also, I would like to get the fencing up back behind the barn to block the new neighbors workshop which is a noisy( not all the time) and not see his stuff. It’s a pretty big job to dig post holes etc, so we’ll see how hubby does.

BTW, he made it to the big 70!! Yikes, are we that old?? Weird I know. Anyway, thru it all, he’s still doing very well. There’s still a lot of drugs pumping thru his system so I really hope that changes soon.

Today, we’re heading to Costco to do our shopping for October. Plus, the sale items including coffee. Since we started the prepper pantry, being ahead on things is definitely a win win for us. I appreciate not having to think about whether I have this or that and know I actually have extra. I guess it’s my personality type that I’ve always liked buying bulk foods even back to the early days in California( 1975). Now it’s just more like Winco, Costco whereas back then it was co -ops and Mother Truckers( which was a co-op of sorts).

We walked quite early this morning and yay for us we didn’t have to see dog walker or ghost lady. It was glorious. So I guess we’ll keep that schedule up at least for a while. I do love the stars and walking in the predawn. Well, actually it’s technically still night since it’s quite dark and there’s no new moon yet. But the stars were really lovely.

Simple Sunday or back to my regular programming:)

Honestly, I am still on a rant about the SCOTUS shit. Mitch McConnell should go crawl in to a hole in hell and stay there.

Well, this was a pretty good week overall. The smoke is filtering back in but it’s not like it was so hopefully it’ll clear out soon.

Mornings have been cool walking but still nice. We still have the 2 others that are weird and annoying showing up right after us. I really wouldn’t mind if he wasn’t such a jerk. Doesn’t use a flashlight when it’s dark out, just barrells by without so much as a ” coming up on your left”and really sets the energy off in the park. The other lady is just plain weird and I can’t read her MO, which for me a counselor who made a living ‘reading’ other people, is unusual. I’m hoping she falls away with daylight savings in October but I’m pretty sure he will not especially since he does walk the dog or I should say drags his dog along.

Budget wise, September has been pretty good. I haven’t tallied up the food but I think it’s in the $600 range so that’s ok. I am planning Costco next week before the sales end. It’s been about every 4 weeks were going which is about on target. Prepper wise, I think we are set. When I get the upright freezer, then I can concentrate on filling that with stuff. It has been a trial and error with stocking up. All the non food stuff is great. Some prepper stuff I bought I’m not too sure how we will use it like the whole powdered milk. I suppose if you couldn’t get to the store at all powdered milk would work. It wasn’t expensive so I don’t mind if it ends up in the food bank stuff next year.

I did pay our Allstate bill ( every 6 months). My son needs to pay me his part but he can do that next month. Then our house insurance is coming due as well. Fall brings annual bills including property tax. Right now we can pay all that with our savings( EF is where I keep it) but who know 10 years from now. But that’s the future and I want to BE HERE NOW!! well, to a certain extent I do need to plan.

Here’s the floor finished. Even though it is beautiful light color now. Pine floors will darken with age.

Here’s our Philly cheesesteak sammies we had Friday night. The top one is just roasted peppers and cheese for the veg man.

This is the only picture I kept of my brother’s. He was quite talented. My sister has the really nice one that I wanted of a sailboat. I gave my younger brother 3 others(water colors) that I didn’t really want/or had a place for.

If you’re following, it’s the bedroom zone this week.

Also, B has a birthday this week. Another year around the sun!!

And “May you be inscribed in the book of Life for another year”

L’Shanah Tovah!!!

RIP, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It is almost unbelievable were dealing with this on top of everything else. She was a pioneer for women’s rights. Now we could be set back 50 years if a conservative woman gets on board. Can you even imagine revoking Roe vs Wade? I am appalled.

The god damned Republicans can’t even be decent enough to wait even a day out of respect for this amazing woman.

It is beyond comprehension except for pure evil from these republicans especially McConnell. What the FUCK?