Frugal Friday and we survived the storm!

We made it thru this storm with rain and wind. The wind gusts were pretty scary up on this hill. We have(still) too many very big (100+ ft) Ponderosas. These trees are probably near the end of their life cycle and even 27 yrs ago when we moved here they were smaller. We’ve spent 10’s of thousands removing trees( the last tree was almost 5K) I think it was 4500? That was for 1 tree. It’s the saturated ground now that could be a concern because trees will fall if the ground can’t hold them. Well, today we have a break so that’s good. The coast and Santa Cruz area( including our favorite Capitola) were hit VERY hard and there has been lots of damage.

On to frugal Friday stuff. So far the pantry challenge is going well and I am using stuff from the freezer and in the fridge. Last night I made a red potato soup with carrots, onion, and celery. Then added some sour cream at the end. I needed to use the potatoes up and it was delicious. I had made a loaf of bread( sandwich) in the Zojirushi bread maker and we had that with butter. I always bake my loaf in the oven and not finish in the breadmaker. There’s a bread challenge going around Instagram somebody is doing and each month is dedicated to perfecting the type of bread such as sandwich, baguette, etc. I’m not too interested in doing it but reading tips on bread-making is always helpful.

I returned the one bread slicer I ordered from amazon. I thought it was too expensive for what it was so I’m still looking for one that’s cheaper. Or I just may keep slicing by hand which isn’t a problem, it’s just nice to have even slices.

Today I’m driving to Roseville to go to the gym and I have 2 holds at the library. I still haven’t been over to Anytime Fitness to sign up under UHC medicare’s free program but hope to do that next week. It’ll be nice to have an option for the gym closer.

We’ve been watching a hilarious show on Hulu,” Only Murders in the Bldg” with Martin Short and Steve Martin. If you have Hulu check it out or do what my daughter does and sign up for the free trial and then cancel. Then we’re watching Poirot and these are the earlier ones so it’s fun. We finished jack Ryan and it was good. I’m not crazy about Clancy’s writing but the character is good.

Tonight is pizza night and I’ll make one from the dough I froze.

I’ve been having some trouble with my left ear again, the one in that I had some hearing loss in last fall. It’s kind of a pressure. Does anyone have that symptom and what did you do. I’m not sure if it’s the inner ear or what . I see my PCP in a few weeks for my annual wellness check up so I’ll ask him but I thought I’d see if anyone has had something similar.

2023

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I write down some goals for the new year. This year I separated Household/Yard/Remodel Goals from my personal goals.

Household/ Yard Goals:

Gravel on the driveway

Buy a new weedeater( B’s died last fall)

Replace B’s office windows and restructure the wall.

Fix the carport roof( needs support beams added and a new felt roof)

Support under the house( this is an old house with a post and beam support system which frankly sucks)

I’m sure there are more…..

Some personal goals:

Keep on keeping on! I actually have a list I’m working on so I’ll update it when it’s done.

Keep using cash envelopes for some things. This has worked out well and I plan on continuing with food, misc, chicken food, and household the main ones.

Simple Sunday

Wow, have we gotten rain. There is flooding everywhere and the ground is saturated. We have a break today and then more rain is due this week. Well, we do need it.

Today we started the New Year with a walk, of course. I put a loaf of sourdough in the oven and then put my starter in the fridge. I’ll not make any more bread for a while as I have been freezing at least half of each loaf. I do plan on making a sandwich loaf in the bread maker later this week though.

This week I plan on swimming and going to the gym at least once. I’d like to swim at least 2x but I’ll see how the week shapes up.

My labs came back with a 1.7 increase in Kappa Light chains so I’m now at 27.7mg/L. That’s still fairly low so I’m ok with it and there wasn’t a big jump. It’s when there starts to be doubling increases, I’ll start to worry. 😦

Frugal Friday

It is miserable out with rain, rain, and more rain. I decided after I got up at 5:30 am I wasn’t going to risk driving to Roseville to swim. It’s not the rain, although that is a factor, it’s more the crazy New Years’ eve drivers going up to Reno or Tahoe. So I worked on my batch of pizza dough to freeze and one for tonight.

Barclay came with me to Safeway to get the sub sandwich things( our New Years Eve tradition) and surprisingly it wasn’t too busy. Then we thought we’d have a coffee date at Starbucks with peppermint mochas, but alas, they had no peppermint syrup so we just had plain coffee.

I’m going full steam on sourdough bread making and here’s today’s loaf: a walnut raisin loaf with some KA white wheat.

I ordered a bread slicer thing to get even slices but I’m not sure that I’ll keep it. I can cut pretty good slices with my bread knife, but I thought I’d try it to see whether I like it. Now for the sandwich bread in the Zojuruishi, it’ll probably be great. It won’t be here till next week, but that’s ok.

For January, I plan on doing a pantry/ freezer challenge that the Youtuber, Three Rivers Homestead started. Basically, you set how much you want to spend in the month, like for dairy or fruit/ veggies, and then the rest of your meals come from the pantry or freezer. I think I’ll put in $100 and see how far that gets me. I do need to go to Costco once for some non food items like laundry soap and allergy pills but I’ll keep it to a minimum and not add that to the grocery bill. The idea is to start using what you’ve canned or processed so you can reduce your pantry in preparation for the coming year.

All the Christmas stuff is away and at Safeway, I bought a bunch of Eucalyptus branches to put in a glass jar.

Well, Have a safe New Years’ eve. I’m working on my list of goals for the year, some for house stuff, yard and, some just for myself to work on.

Thoughts 2022

2022 started out awful with my sister suddenly dying of Interstitial Lung disease. It was so unexpected as she had been doing just fine and had never had a flare-up before. Her family was/is devastated. I still miss her even though we weren’t exactly ‘close’ we still had a good relationship and she was very kind and generous when Barclay was diagnosed with MDS. I miss her.

We were able to do many RV trips with Rubi and I’m grateful we bought this RV when we did and it fits us to a T. We really love that it is small but has everything we need( a bathroom). Our year started at New Brighton, then we went to Wrights Beach, Napa, and Tahoe and back to New Brighton. All our trips were great with no problems.

We had one tree taken out with a crane and it was expensive but worth it as we really couldn’t comfortably get Rubi out without being inches from the tree( or getting stuck, like the one time we were taking Rubi out and B couldn’t make the turn and had to inch by inch back it up. That was NOT fun.). A very worthwhile investment. Having the tree out makes going out with the trailer easy.

We’ve all been healthy this year and that’s the most important thing.

This year I learned to pressure can and was gifted a pressure canner thru out local ‘Pay it Forward’ group. It’s been fun and rewarding to can shelf-stable soups, beans, sauces, and more. I hope to buy an All-American this spring for more pressure-canning adventures.

I went to our local farm almost weekly and loved getting farm fresh veggies. Not inexpensive but it does support what they are doing right here in our little town.

I’m glad I started utilizing the gym at the Rec Center this summer. It’s part of my membership( which I was only using for swimming) and doing weights again has been very helpful in feeling stronger.

Our vegetable gardens did well thanks to my daughter and we had lots of good produce and herbs. I’m hoping we can add another raised bed this spring.

I didn’t do a lot of decluttering this year but there were still trips to the thrift store to drop off misc. I’m probably at a point where there is not a lot to declutter but always something that I find no longer useful or beautiful.

I’m sure there’s lots more that happened and I may add to this when I think about things as a record of 2022.

Friday things

Another nice walk without being too cold. Sunrise is 7:20 am and was the same yesterday.

Today is just a pottering day and tidying things up. I’m not sure why things look more ‘untogether’ around Christmas. Maybe it’s the Christmas tree and the few decorations I have around although I even put a few away as I felt it was too much visually. Maybe it’s being stuck inside a lot with the rain and cold.

We’ve had fun with the ‘ugliest’ tree ornament game again. So far the pink sparkly dinosaur is winning but it’s a close runner-up with pineapple face. <>!!!!

I’m debating going to the pool tomorrow. I want to go but I’m not sure about the traffic on Christmas eve day. I guess I’ll wake up and see how I feel. I need to check the hours too as I think I saw something about that on the way out the other day but didn’t pay attention to it.

Tonight we’re ordering a pizza so I won’t have to cook. That’ll be nice.

My January budget will go from Dec.26 to January 25 approx. I do think the cash envelopes are helping with some things like Home Depot, bird/chicken food, groceries ( to some degree), and, misc. For now, I’m going to keep doing it. January will be a low spend month with no extras. I plan on holding off on Costco till we need coffee. The biggest change is going to be saving from SS the extra increase so we can use that for annual bills. Plus whatever other money we can put towards that fund from anything else.

Winter Solstice

Yesterday was the Solstice and I am glad the longest night and shortest day are over. Of course here in California, it doesn’t really start to turn around and be that noticeable for a few weeks or so. Still, we will notice the increase in light probably in the afternoon.

Today is a run errands day. First to Safeway to get the fondue stuff for Christmas Eve. Then Target to get a calendar. I also will stop at Holiday Market( if I have any energy left) to get their coupon specials for the week.

I have one more night of beeswax Hanukkah candles left and then it’ll just be regular beeswax candles. My daughter has been reading out loud ” A Christmas Carol” while the candles burn down. Charles Dickens was a very flowery descriptive writer. It’s been fun.

I ended up with 10 1/2 pints of Seville marmalade. Some are more runny than others and I’m guessing it’s where the pectin was in the pot. I don’t mind it that way and it’s great as a sauce for chicken or tofu. Then the pear chutney ended up with 8 1/4 pints and we had one the first night and it was delicious.

Happy Hanukkah

We are atheists and I’m sure some people would be puzzled as to why we like to celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. I think with Hanukkah, it is the meaning of the festival of lights and the beauty of the candles in a menorah. I think religious holidays can be secular if you enjoy the festivities and food etc but not the religious stuff.

Even though we are not Jewish, I really enjoy the beauty of the Festival of Lights. We’ll be lighting our candles tonight for the first night and exchange some little gifts. I always make latkes and we have homemade applesauce too. By the same token, as non-Christians, I still love the spirit of Christmas things, the tree, the lights, and the little decorations. So I do enjoy both without the religious attachment. Strange? maybe!!!

This morning started out with a walk and it was magical with the frosty fields and even frost on the Canada Geese’s back. Then back home to assemble the Christmas lasagna. I did two pans and they are now tucked into the freezer. Then my daughter peeled the potatoes for the latkes and they are hanging out in some water till it’s time to shred them. I plan on doing a spinach quiche too with some gruyere cheese.

This week I plan to swim and also go to the rec center. Hey, B checked with UHC and we can get a free gym membership at a local gym with just the cost of buying the key fob( it’s for the door when no one is there). So he’s going tomorrow to sign up and then I’m going to do it too. Since it’s free with our UHC health care we can take advantage of this. Then I can go when it’s too much to go down to Roseville. That’s exciting news at least.

I was reading an article about the 90/90 rule for decluttering. There are lots of these little hacks to help with decluttering but this one caught my attention. So if you’re looking to declutter things ask yourself:

” Have you used this in the last 90 days? And will you use it in the next 90 days”. it’s a great way to look at why we hold on to things. Exceptions are probably seasonal decor and such. I started going thru each room again with this in mind. I still feel the need to ‘par down to the essentials but keep the poetry”.

Five on Friday on Saturday!

Yesterday completely got away from me. I went to the rec center, came home, and got busy doing chores and pottering around.

Our weather is still freezing with mornings quite frosty and temperatures in the low 30s. We walked this morning and the fields at the park were all white with frost. Today’s high should be around 55 so that’s something at least.

After my walk, I started in on the Meyer Lemon marmalade and which is now ready to come out of the canner. I got the lemons at Costco and they are only seasonal. I’ll try and get another bag next time I’m there in January. Then I made the pumpkin chocolate bread batter and put that in the oven to bake for an hour. Next up is a gingerbread scone mix I had from last year so I thought I’d better make those too.

This past week was pretty mellow although B had 2 appts. One for his port flush and one for a bladder scan (urology). Nothing wrong except he doesn’t empty his bladder all the way. This goes way back to when he was working and on the road for hours at a time and didn’t go pee and just held it. We’ll see what the urologist says. ????

I went to Winco after my swim and bought most of the Christmas food I needed( like ricotta for the lasagna) and other misc. stuff. This has been an expensive month all the way around. Prop. tax, DMV, food, a few gifts, etc… I’ll be glad when January rolls around and a fresh start to the new year. I won’t do a No Spend but I will do a low spend of only essentials. I’m working on the amounts for our annual bills so that from each SS check we can set aside something. It isn’t a lot as we live on the SS exclusively but I’ll try. We do have the small amount from B’s 401K that is in fidelity but it’s not much:( I think it was laura over at the occasional nomads that said that the amount of SS increase they were going to save, so I think I’ll do that too. I’ll just have to look at the two amounts and subtract them. One thing that is worrisome is that when one of us dies we would only have one SS check and that wouldn’t cut it. I’m not sure if I add in the money both kids pay for rent if it would be enough. 😦 Probably if we increased it some.

Meyer Lemon marmalade

Pumpkin Chocolate chip bread from pureed pumpkin.

Simple Sunday

Another rainy Sunday but that’s ok, we really need all the rain and snow we can get. We’ve received almost 3″ of rain so that’s great. Tomorrow looks sunny and I think I’ll plan on going to the rec center and then the library. I’m reading the new Ann Cleaves, Vera book. She’s a good writer and Vera is a very interesting character and in the books, she is a much more complicated character.

This week Flylady zone is the bathroom and I did that yesterday as there was nothing else to do. I do a swish and swipe daily in the bathroom.

I might pop into town to get those GCs so it’s done but I’ll have to see how the rain is later. Christmas is 2 weeks away so there’s still time although I’d like to give the one GC to the garbage guy this week. Hanukkah is next Sunday so I might do the $10 GCs then to like Starbucks and In n Out Burger. I also wanted to get a couple of small boxes of chocolates to give to.

Menus for the week include:

baked chicken and potatoes of some sort with salad

tofu curry with rice

breakfast for dinner, probably pancakes and scrambled eggs

mushroom quiche with salad

soup of some sort maybe lentil

Mexican themed something maybe enchiladas and I did buy the Costo cheese and chile tamales which are delicious.

Well, that’s it for a rainy day.