Thankful Thursday

Wow, I’m thankful I feel better today after the booster shot knocked me out. It was the Moderna booster whichI hadn’t had before and it felt like the flu or chemo, take your choice. Since I know both, I’m just glad it’s over. One day is plenty. Today I feel back to normal.

I’m thankful to go to the pool today but will take it easy and not overdo my muscles. since we’ll be in New Brighton next week it’ll be another week of not swimming:( We are planning to find an Anytime gym ( which we have the free membership to) and use it twice. It’s in Santa Cruz so it’ll be a good excuse to go walk the Lighthouse trail and find a coffee.

I’m grateful that the truck’s AC will be fixed but it won’t be done till we’re back so driving thru the valley will be hot probably. It is very weird that this is the 2nd time this same issue with the truck has come up. Supposedly they changed the compressor last time but why would it go out in 2 years( usually they don’t go out) that quick. Then the guy said it would take a week to get the part and I’m thinking from where? China? Slow boat?. Who can’t get parts overnight these days? It’s a dealership?? Oh well, I’m grateful it SHOULD be covered in our warranty.

I’m thankful that’s been some justice done to tRump. It probably doesn’t change his base any but at least it’s something. And also that Santos has been indicted. What a dick. Claiming unemployment while paying himself from his Ponzi scheme. What a low life.

I’m grateful the weather is so beautiful right now and next week looks even warmer. Capitola should be lovely.

Simple Sunday

We had a nice Sunday walk in the park. Quiet with only the Canada Geese families around. I think we counted 6 families.

I went to the Auburn gym for a bit and then when I got home sliced up the jalapenos for refrigerator jalapenos. It’s an easy recipe of 1 cup white vinegar 1 cup water, tsp of pickling salt, and 1 Tsp of sugar. Boil that and then pour over the jalapenos in the jars. Cool and then refrigerate.

I labeled the Chicken Chili Verde pressure canned jars and put them in the pantry. I plan on trying a few other of the Ball meal-in-a-jar recipes. There’s a chipotle taco meat one that sounded good. There’s also a chickpea stew one that’s vegetarian I want to try as well.

B cleaned out the inside of the fridge and freezer while I was gone so that chore is done. I plan on doing the kitchen zone tomorrow. Monday is usually my home reset day. I do the little things that need doing and the zone cleaning.

I made a quiche crust to make a spinach quiche for tonight. ( not anything to do with the coronation, just part of my meal rotation.) I had preordered the new Magnolia cookbook and will look thru that today too. I like her recipes and find them to be very good most of the time.

This is a quiet week with only one appt. I have an appt to get my booster. Other than that, just normal stuff. Next week we’re in New Brighton for the week. Hopefully, the AC charge they did works. I still think there’s probably a leak but at least for now, it’s working.

Frugal Friday

Since we were gone last week till Saturday, we didn’t spend much. We had the one lunch out at Fishetarian and that was $50, I think.

So except for gas, we had a very low spending week.

I went to Trader Joe’s on Monday after the gym and spent $140 on groceries. I got quite a bit of groceries and snacks so I think we’re set. This morning we took the truck to AutoNation Honda( where we bought it) for them to fix the AC. After that, I went over to the gym and Barclay walked the trail behind the Rec center. Then we had a coffee date at Nugget and then it was off to Winco to get the stuff I need to pressure can Chicken Chili Verde. Mostly that was the green salsa verde. I picked up a bunch of jalapenos to make pickled jalapenos. I plan on doing the pressure canning either tomorrow or Sunday. Winco ended up $60 but that included $15 for birdseed and then $20 for wine. So groceries were about $35.

I don’t need anything next week so hopefully it’ll be a low spend week too.

After getting home, I shucked the corn we had gotten on sale 3 for $1. I ended up with 3 bags to freeze. I checked on pressure canning it but most canners said freezing was better for corn.

In unfortunate lab news, my Kappa went up 14 points to 56.4 mg/L… so not good. But since I’m asymptomatic, I’ll take it. I’m still hoping to get to September without treatment. Not much I can do but be ok with it. 😦 sigh….

Thankful Thursday

  1. I’m grateful that our week in Bodega had nice weather. It wasn’t warm, but there was relatively no wind( always a plus on the coast), making it extra nice. The day after we left it got very windy.
  2. Now that we’re home, the weather was warm for the beginning of the week but now I’m grateful for the spring rain we’re getting. Everything is so green.
  3. After 50 + years, I’m grateful that B and I enjoy each other’s company. We always have fun on our adventures even after all these years.
  4. That are barn kitties, now house cats are fun to watch and add to our lives. They( all 5 including mama cat) have distinct personalities . Chester makes 6 and he’s probably the biggest character since he just showed up one day and then practically the next he was on the couch sleeping.
  5. I’m grateful for my lifelong love of reading and books. The little library in Highland Mills, NY started me on that journey. That library is now a historical building being built in 1923. It was stone and very tiny. the roof was not red though LOL.
  7. I’m grateful that our journey into simplifying has been so rewarding and that B is on board with continuing to let go of things that take up space and that we don’t really need. Last week I gave another 2 bags of books to the library including my Ina Garten books. They’re nice to look thru but if I need a recipe I almost always just google it.

Back to the usual.

I am so glad we left Wright’s and got home early. The drive must have wiped me out because it took two days to just get back into the swing of things.

I went to the gym yesterday and the library. It felt good to do the weights and some treadmill. After that, I stopped at Trader Joe’s and bought groceries that should get us through a week or so. I also picked up a small orchid as a treat.

Then this morning it was back to the pool and swimming. It felt great to be back in the water. I am so grateful I can swim at Mike Shelito Pool.

Then when I got home and put the sourdough boule in the oven. I just cut apiece and it’s quite yummy.

I opened an Etsy store to sell our old Indian jewelry that was Barclay’s dads’ from the ’70s. If it doesn’t sell eventually I’ll just donate to the hospice store but I thought I’d try this first. There’s nothing stupendous about them but they are nice silver pieces.

Today, I plan on making a Rancho Gordo recipe of beans that was on his website.

If you go to Rancho Gordo it should be there.

Wrights Beach at Sonoma Coast State Beach

We had a great trip.

We left Tuesday morning. Stopped in Sonoma for gas which is a little more than halfway. Traffic was fairly easy and towing went well. We love our truck for its towing capacity. Unfortunately on the way home, we discovered the AC wasn’t working again. When we bought the truck 2 years ago, the AC wasn’t working and they replaced the compressor. So the question is why would it not be working now??? Anyway, I checked our paperwork and we had paid for 24 months of unlimited service so we should be able to get it fixed at no cost. I certainly hope so as I won’t drive in a vehicle w without AC when it’s 95 degrees out. Still, it’s a PITA to deal with.

We rolled into Wrights at about 12:30. So the timing was perfect. The campground was not very full at that point so that was nice plus it was mostly retired people like us so it was quiet.

We set up quickly and had sandwiches for lunch. Then we strolled out to the beach and walked. It was sunny and the temperatures quite nice.

The next morning we used the griddle that attaches to the RV for the first time. It was fun. We made pancakes, eggs, and bacon (for me).


The rest of the day we walked the beach, sat in camp and read and I knitted.

This part of the cliff trail that goes along the bluffs.

Lots of spring flowers and eucalyptus blooms.

Dinner one night: cheesy potatoes and grilled tofu and chicken.

We went to our favorite local spot , Fishetarian. Delicious.

The weather in Bodega that day was sunny and beautiful.

We also did a Lodge one night of stuffed peppers with home canned tomato sauce. It’s one of the best lodge dinners as the flavors really meld together. There were 2 in the pan not just one.

We did lots of walking and I finished 2 books. One was Michelle Obama’s new book. Very detailed and hopeful.

The second was an older Louise Penny , the Brutal Telling. She is an amazing writer and I plan on putting some of her newer stuff on hold. This was an older one.

After much discussion and so many people coming in on Friday, we decided to leave Saturday instead of Sunday. It was a good decision since the wind was also coming in and at 20mph, it’s tough to be outside. Plus, now there were lots of kids and families which is fine, it’s just we prefer it quieter.

So we took out time and left 10:30am. Then we went over to Bodega Dunes to use the dump station. It’s very weird that the State park system can’t afford to have someone in the kiosks. At both places, no one was in the kiosk most of the time.

We were both super tired after driving 4 hours and so it was nice to have the next day to just do a few things. B did most of the trailer clean up and I dealt with the left over food etc.

So today is Monday, and it’s just a chill day with some house chores. Tomorrow I have my labs and then I’ll go down to the gym. I’d rather swim but my labs are 8:30 and so I can’t get to the pool and swim by the time they close lap swimming at 9:25.

When we got home everything was in bloom and absolutely stunning.


Apple tree.

This is our cherry tree. I’ve never seen it have so many blossoms.

My daughter had everything tidy in the house too. My son took a few days off work and worked out in the barn.

Now our weather shows cool and even possible rain. Go figure.

Simple Sunday

We are getting things ready in the trailer and I’ve been working on the menu and foodstuff. I’m making lists for Tuesday morning since we want to leave by 8:30. With one stop for gas I’m guessing arriving around 1 or 1:30.

I plan on doing 2 Lodge meals so that’ll be fun. Then at least 1 BBQ maybe 2. Cooking outside is so nice and then the kitchen doesn’t get messy.

I went to the Auburn gym this morning and then over to Target. I wanted to get some of the Stasher bags to put things in. They are a reusable silicone bag in lots of sizes. I got the snack size and then the sandwich size which I plan to use for sliced cheese camping, and then a 4 cup bag. They were on sale but still they are pricey. If I like using them I’ll get more slowly to build up a nice supply.

These are a daffodil hybrid. I can’t remember if I got these from Brecks or Johnny’s but they are so pretty.

Frugal Friday

It’s been an ok week budget-wise. We did go back to Costco for the things that were still on sale and other staples. I think we’re set until May sometime.

We leave for Wrights Beach next week so I will stop at Winco for just a few things. I usually take a premade mac and cheese, salad paks, peanut butter, etc. There are no stores really once you hit Bodega Bay except little convenience stores and there is one market but very expensive. It’s really better to have meals planned out.

We’re there longer than I thought, for 5 nights. Then we stay in Napa for one night too. It does help with the drive home to stop halfway. Going over to the coast is about 4- 4 1/2 hours so it’s a bit of a drive. Plus Napa has the full hookups whereas Wrights has no hookups at all. Not even available water. You need to have your water in the tank before parking. We’ll manage but probably need to be conservative.

I have a bunch of books to bring and I may bring my knitting. Of course, there’s the beach to walk on too, and the cliff trail. All in all, it should be nice weather and hopefully a nice trip.

I’m working on May’s budget and need to factor in Rubi’s DMV and insurance. That’ll take all our misc money for the month. May is my daughter’s birthday too so I’ll need to budget a birthday dinner of her choice.

I dropped off another bag of books for the FOL. Most were cookbooks that I finally decided I never make anything from so why was I keeping them? Also my copy of the Tightwad Gazette, which is fun to read but it’s pretty dated information. Plus I was never into extreme frugality like she was. Someone will probably love finding it at the used book sale.

This week both of our cars got a rock thrown at the windshield and put a star crack in them. I’m not sure if we’re calling to try and get it fixed or just wait and see if they get worse. Both were on the same area of the freeway so I’m guessing the road is rough from winter storms. Oh well, it’s always something.

Thankful Thursday

  1. A beautiful sunny day with everything green and lush. The park is very pretty now with the trees coming out. We now have 3 Canada Geese families.
  2. That I have wonderful adult children that I get along with so well. My daughter and I hit up our local nursery, Green Acres, to get some pony packs of tomatoes and some other veggie starts. She had sprouted an entire tray of tomatoes but that last frost got them even in the greenhouse. She picked out a bird bath that was her early birthday present.
  3. For the lovely indoor pool that is kept so perfectly by the Roseville Parks and Rec staff. I’m sure it’s a lot of work to keep an indoor pool at the right temperature and chlorine level.
  4. Even though we have a ( relatively) low income, it’s still enough to take care of our needs even with a mortgage for now. I still have some concerns about when one of us dies and that lower SS will go. We need both to make it so that is going to take some adjusting. But I’m confident life will find a way.
  5. For books and libraries. In spite of my very bad end of working at the library experience, libraries have always been important to me. Starting from when I could read, which was around 5 yo, books have held magic for me. Books have transported me to places I’ll never see. It is abhorrent that there is book banning going on in this country. If you don’t want to read a certain book or don’t want your kids to, fine, that’s your choice but don’t tell other people what they should read. Most of these ‘Mothers for Liberty’ have their heads up their asses and are just pushing their far-right Christian views on others.

10 things that simplified my life and/or what I wish I knew then that I know now!!!

I’m on this ongoing journey to simplify my life so it’s uncomplicated and streamlined. I truly only want what is useful to me or beautiful.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but still, I think my younger self would have benefited from minimalism, especially with young children. We never bought into keeping up with Jones and for that I’m grateful.

So here are 10 things I think would have helped me then that I do now:

#1. Have a specific routine for morning and evening house resets. I started this with Flylady and the 15-minute rule which is to do what you can in 15 minutes. I use to house clean sporadically usually on Saturdays. Now I swish and swipe the bathroom daily, clean after each meal, do sheets on Monday, and generally do a house tidy every morning. I always clean as I cook so nothing piles up and that’s a game changer.

#2. Whenever I leave a room I look around to see if something needs to go somewhere else. I almost never leave a room without taking something. It could be some paper, or a pen, or a canning jar, but whatever it is I try and move it to where it is supposed to live.

#3. Declutter, ongoing…. never seems to stop. Really though, I’ve decluttered probably 75% of what we had including at one point a baby grand piano!! ( in our tiny house). Decluttering is like an onion, there are layers and layers. I got rid of so many ‘collections of things’ from vintage buttons to vintage fans. I think as we age we see things differently and value things differently so letting go of things that may have been significant a few years ago is easy.

#4. Less is more. I try and only have the minimum necessary. For instance, we only have one set of linen sheets, one towel each plus I have my swim towel. We have one set of utensils but I do have a very large set of sterling silver from Tiffany’s that was my husband’s mother’s wedding silver.

Previously, I would have had multitudes and back-ups.

#5. I have only monochrome colors such as white, gray, and black for the most part. I I have lots of wood accents and lots of green plants. The only color I generally have around is my Catherine Holm collection and the Easton Press books( in the living room). I learned thru this whole process too many colors or patterns are stressful for me.

I think it’s never too late to change how we do things and even why we do things. Now, at my age, I value white space, less clutter, and the ease of keeping my home tidy and clean.

#6. I meal plan and have a rotation of meals weekly. this structure helps me stay on track with food budgeting and grocery shopping. I like that it’s Friday pizza, Tuesday tacos. pasta Wednesday etc. It seems gimmicky but it saves me from mental fatigue.

#7. I have a very specific wardrobe. I know what I like to wear and don’t sweat the rest. I don’t own a dress or a skirt or any dress shoes. I wear Bombas T shirts in white, black or grey or striped. I wear black leggings or Levis. I wear demin button down shirts.I don’t have any dressy things except one or two shirts that could be used as dressy in a pinch. I have one pair of Merrells for the gym, one for walking , and a pair of Birkenstocks. That’s it. Again, I do this because I hate spending time thinking about things like what to wear. 🙂

#8. I try and keep visual clutter to a minimum. I don’t have lots of Tchotchkes around. I have some things like my Arhoj Ghosts, but I do love them.

#9. I don’t have much in the way of seasonal decor. I’ve whittled down Christmas stuff to a few small boxes, Easter a few vintage postcards and a few bunnies. Halloween is just my few vintage items which I do love too. Anything else I try and use things from nature to make up seasonal stuff like pumpkins, flowers, river rocks, driftwood ,etc. This is probably a carry over from my Waldorf days with the nature table.

#10. Only buy it if you can afford it. Only use a credit card if it can be paid in a short period of time. I don’t say if I can pay it in one month because sometimes like with our taxes, it took a couple of months to get it paid. In the past ( mostly in our 40’s and 50’s,) we had lots credit card debt. Now, I just can’t do that. We still live ( at our age) with a mortgage because we did stupid refinancing right before the mortgage crisis in 2008. We’ve come a long way with it but unfortunately, we still have a mortgage although I am extremely grateful that it’s affordable on our fixed income. We couldn’t rent a place for what our mortgage is.