Simple Sunday

I finished reading the sweetest little book called ‘Pottering, A cure for Modern Life”. Being British it’s pottering, here it would be puttering. I think I like the British spelling better. A very sweet book with lots of good ideas about how to slow your life down and really just a reminder for those of us who already live slow life, to keep going.

We had a nice walk this morning. No one was there till 6:05 and then of course it was AH. Later a couple showed up with 2 dogs and he (AH) had a hard time controlling his dog. It lurched at the other 2 dogs growling. He had to use both hands on his leash to control it.

Today I plan on doing refrigerator pickles with the ones I got at the farm. It’s only 4 cucumbers so maybe a small pint jars worth. I need some celery seed which I don’t normally keep in my spice basket.

Yesterday I made a King Arthurs scone mix, blueberry sour cream. They were very good and I’d buy the mix again. For dinner I made Ikea sauce, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. The sauce was delicious. B had a Dr. Praeger burger with the sauce.

This coming week is somewhat busy. We’re going to look at another truck down in Roseville, I have my appt in Sacramento, the Santa Fe is going into the dealer for a recall fix it, B has a video dr appt, and it’s our anniversary. I had hoped we could drive up to Tahoe but with the smoke and all the Forest Service everything closed, it doesn’t seem like a good idea. This happened last year with the pandemic, everything shut down and this year it’s fires and the pandemic.

Friday things

I guess we’re never going to see blue skies this summer. It’s all hazy and smoke filled from the Caldor fire over near Placerville. That’s about an hour away from us over Hwy 49. The Eldorado National forest is all closed and many parts of the Pacific Crest trail is closed. What a summer.:(

I’m going in for my labs in about 45 minutes. I should have the important tests back by next Wednesday when I see my doctor. I guess it’s just a waiting game. I have a feeling that my remission is going to be short lived but who knows. It’s just a feeling.

I went to the farm stand yesterday and bought tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, radishes, lettuce( I was surprised by that), and local bread. It came to $31. I’m okay with paying more since it is all grown right there in the fields. They actually had some lugs of tomatoes out for $20. so I may do that next week.

Last night I made a NYT recipe for corn chowder. It was delicious.

The bread was the one I bought from our local baker. The jalapenos are from our garden and we do have tons. This weekend I’ll probably do 2 more jars of refrigerator jalapenos.

I don’t plan on any grocery shopping till next week or later. I need to write a list of what I want/need to get.

I plan on swimming tomorrow as normally I’d go today but with labs that’s not happening. After my labs we’re going to look at a truck. It’s becoming clearer that we will have to have a truck to pull the Rubicon. Things are pretty high priced but I saw some used under $30K. Expensive,but there’s not a lot of choice here. So we want to check out Toyota Tundras and Chevy Silverado’s. I think that will give us a good idea of what we’re after.

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

I think I’m down to the final books in my cookbook project.

The set of Julia Child Books is a keeper, of course. I do look thru recipes from time to time and have made a number of her classic recipes. It should be in everyone’s cookbook collection if for no other reason is her cooking changed the way we looked at food/cooking in the early sixties.

The last one is the Ball Preserving book.

I only water bath can so many of these recipes are ones I will never try but canning is a valuable skill to know and this is one of the classic books. I’ve seen a few others I’m interested in like Amish canning and might check them out at some point.

I’ve been making different jams for years and I have done salsas. This year with our garden not producing any/very few tomatoes,I doubt I’ll be doing anything with tomatoes unless I buy a lug from the CSA farm.That could end up too expensive but I might check with them as to a price.

So that’s all the cookbooks.

Simple Sunday

Our skies are still smokey and the sun is a red orb in the sky. It did clear up yesterday afternoon but it’s back in this morning. We had a good walk though although ‘he who shall not be named was there’. My God!, He is always there. I don’t think he’s taken a day off in the last year. Even I, OCD that I am, try and take a rest day.Oh well, he doesn’t bother us(right??after all that)… and does stay out of the way.

I went to Safeway to get the rest of the camping food for B and Sachi. One night spaghetti with garlic bread, the next night tofu burgers. It should be easy for them to handle. Then we went to Starbucks to get a pound of coffee ground for the press. It’s easier than trying to grind a large jars worth of coffee. We shared a tall Italian Roast coffee.

I finished the bathroom zone. I had bought new shower curtains last week so I put them up. With a claw foot tub, our shower needs 2 curtains to go around the ring at the top. I replace them about 3x a year due to mold issues. This time of year with everything so dry there isn’t much of a problem but in the winter it is more so. Still I cut the bottom off @3 X as well and wash in bleach.

I ordered the new Rosamunde Pilcher’s book.

She is one of my favorite authors. Will see if I like it. I have no qualms about returning a book if I don’t like it. I’m sure Amazon doesn’t want you doing this often but I have when I’m not happy with a book or a purchase.

This coming week will include swimming 2x, my labs on Friday , and taking Buggie in to check this wiring issue. The running lights on the left are not working and even after changing the fuses and bulbs it’s still not working. So we need to get it fixed as we drive out in the near dark at 5:45 am and the lights are not on. The brake lights work fine though. B needs to try and reschedule his IGIV for sooner as he is really feeling the fatigue. The anti-rejection drug he is on is causing his immunoglobulins to drop too low. Unfortunately, he will need to be on this drug a while so this is the treatment. At least it works. The cost is shocking at $41,000. Really?? I guess you’d just die if you didn’t have insurance.

I’m thinking seriously of painting our floors in the front room and bedroom white. I’ve always wanted white floors, very Scandish. But it would require some logistics as we would need to do half or a third at a time so we can access the bathroom and my daughter can get out of her room. Plus what I read is that it takes at least 2 coats maybe 3. We’ll see how it goes when the weather is cooler. It’s too hot now to do anything.

I think what I’ll do first is go to the Benjamin Moore paint store and find out about paints that can be put on a floor. Is it just regular paint and then a coat of varathane over it?? I’ll check.

Friday things…

I’ve added some things to the prepper pantry that I got at Walmart the other day. I think most of what I think we can use/ need thru the winter months is in there now. I also bought 8 Mountain High freeze dried meals as emergency meals if ever needed due to fire or other disaster. I still need a few things from Costco that I forgot the other day like maple syrup, tomato paste, and ? So I may pop in there or have B pop in some time after he gets back from Salt Point.

Today B is going to the bank to get the copy of our bank statement for LLS. You , of course, need to provide proof of payment. I’d like to get it done by Sunday so it’ll come in before the end of the month. It usually takes 2 weeks minimum. I am grateful to all the people who donate to LLS as they give us these grants for reimbursements for insurance, prescriptions, and lots more. When I was on Revlimid( an extremely expensive Tier 5 drug) they covered my OP expense. Thankfully, I’m not on Revlimid anymore and Velcade was covered by Medicare as it is in clinic infusion.

I just finished the pickled jalapenos and am about to start charring the Hatch chilies. I’m planning on just freezing those and not do the whole relleno thing. They do freeze well.

I sold a few Waldorf books to the young mom who bought most of my Waldorf toys. Nice young woman and I gave her all my wool roving and needles so she can make some felted animals from the book I sent to her. I have some wood toddler toys as well but her kids are older so I’ll donate them to Cancer Thrift.

Budget wise, Costco took us right to the $550 mark for the month. So I’ll end up probably close to $650 I think. Except for the small Costco trip, I don’t need too much except maybe some veggies. I might go out to our local CSA farm and get some. They are more expensive but totally worth it as it is all grown right out there in the fields that used to be Simpsons Ranch. The Simpsons homesteaded this property in Meadow Vista sometime in the early 1900’s. The Maidu Indians lived on this land seasonally and there are many grinding rocks in the fields where they would crush the acorns to make a flour for winter. Mr Simpson wrote a book called”OOTI” about the Maidu. What is wonderful is that instead of selling and making a shitload of money the land went to the Placer Land Trust and the people farming it are ‘renting’ it as a farm.

Our skies continue to be filled with high smoke clouds. It’s not down low but it is our there and the sun is a ball of orange.

I plan on using the Ooni tonight for pizza though as the temperature looks to be @ 93. So not too bad.

Midweek Musings

I’m getting things ready for the camping trip B and my daughter are taking up to Salt Point next week. I went to Target and got 2 bins to put dry food and then one for pots and dishes. They are taking the tent trailer and since we took everything out when we were setting up the RV, so I need to get bins to put in there. Since we are undecided about the Coleman, we figured they could go to the coast and see how it goes. My daughter wants to keep it because it has separate sleeping areas that she can use whereas the RV is really only for us. The RV couch does fold down to a bed but it’s not private. We’re not in a hurry to sell it because once it’s gone it’s gone. We figure it will be good for a certain type of camping especially where there are facilities. I guess time will tell.

So I’ve got most of their food stuff ready and it’ll be easy things like spaghetti one night and then veggie burgers the next. This is my daughters only chance to get away before Sierra College starts.

I’ve got a Walmart order ready to go so the misc food stuff can be picked up there like a small peanut butter and jam. The stuff I use at home is Costco size so unless I scooped it out they are taking the giant container. Probably more expensive but definitely more convenient.

I picked a big bowl of jalapenos to make more refrigerator pickled jalapenos. they last way longer in the fridge than the recommended month. We used them all last winter and they were fine. Since the brine is just vinegar, water, a little salt and sugar there’s not much in there to go bad. I’d still like to check out ordering a lug of tomatoes from the farm but not sure I want to deal with canning it all. Next year we really need to order a truck load of compost/fertilizer for the soil. We’ve used turkey manure before and that worked great. Plus this year the moles really did a job on the plants and eating the roots. But then Ciri the cat came to live here and we haven’t seen much mole activity.

My son was planning on camping at Lassen National Park that same week, but the fires have closed the park and all reservations were cancelled. I’m not sure what he’ll do but he said he might go for an overnight in the high country.

I’ll be home taking care of kitties and the chickens. Maybe I can get thru some more magazines or look around for a project. Otherwise, probably I’ll be walking, reading and just doing what I normally do.

Simple Sunday

We are still in heavy smoke and the air quality is very unhealthy. We did walk this morning but with masks. I’m guessing tomorrow will be just as bad but maybe some wind will come in, let’s hope.

I made the ice cream cake yesterday . It was delicious and such a clever idea to use ice cream sandwiches.

I also made a huge batch of chile rellenos with hatch chiles that are coming in from New Mexico. It’s labor intensive as you do need to flame broil the chiles, then put in a plastic bag, then peel off burnt skin, then ,make egg whites, then mix egg whites with the yolks that have been whipped, then dip the stuffed chiles in the batter and then fry. By that time you are exhausted. And I still have another bag of chiles ready to do….

I think there’s 3 left from this batch.

We decided to do Costco today since I want to swim tomorrow. It’s probably going to be busy but that’s just the way it is there. That way we won’t need to go back till September maybe before our Tahoe trip. It’s always the coffee which decides it.

Flylady is the kitchen zone. Since Costco is trumping( geez I don’t like that term) that, I’ll need to do that tomorrow after swimming. I actually started it the other day by doing the stove hood and cleaning all the stainless steel but I’ll still do a go around.

The book I ordered from Amazon showed up finally. ( late by a few days). It’s okay. It has some good ideas but most of the apartments or houses are pretty glitzy and not too rustic. I’ll go thru it again and take some notes. I would have like to see more small spaces like our house which is more make do with what you’ve got rather than remodel and gut and then remodel with fancy stuff. Still her concept is valid and overall the book has beautiful pictures.

This coming week is pretty mellow. Not much on the docket, appt wise. So nice to not have to do something every week. I’ll try and swim 2x and then of course do my daily walk. I plan on getting more Hatch chiles if I see them at the store so that would mean another batch of rellenos. We’ll enjoy them in the winter if they last that long.

We’re getting tons of peppers in the garden, some tomatoes but not a lot, and we replanted some squash plants. I’m hoping to get some zucchini by September. Otherwise, the garden wasn’t a great producer this year but we do have nice herbs going ( basil, chives, thyme, oregano,mint, etc. Plus there’s some chard to pick which I’m going to do this morning.

Frugal Friday

First, let me say we are safe from the River Fire although Colfax, which is the next town above us was evacuated. We were ready with our bags but thankfully it didn’t happen. There are RV’s down at the park and our neighbor has his daughters giant ‘Uncle Eddie’s RV in their yard. I think the fire is mostly under control but the sky this morning is a weird yellow color.

The monthly bills are all done and about half are paid already. Most of our bills come out in the first week of the month so then I can figure what’s left even though I already have it all written down. It’s when we add in Home Depot and those things that then budget needs adjusting.

Tomorrow is my sweet boy’s 27 th birthday. He is a great young man and so talented. I’m planning on making pulled pork( his request) corn on the cob and then for the birthday cake, an ice cream cake. I saw this great recipe for mint chocolate chip ice cream cake in NYT recipes. We actually do not eat a lot of ice cream or cake stuff even on birthdays so I will make just a loaf pan of this. It looks fun and easy and pretty yummy.

I bought some things from Costco.com this week too. A pair of pants for B and some T shirts and Frontline for the kitties. That’s what added to the cost. The pants and t shirts were only $22 and $20 respectively. As I’ve said before, we don’t really have a clothing budget since we generally don’t buy clothes but B needed some new pants and his t-shirts s are starting to look pretty ratty.

I’ve cooked some good meals this week including pesto pasta with our garden basil. Last night I made homemade french fries and they came out pretty excellent. Earlier this week I made chicken enchiladas from leftover chicken so that was tasty too. Tonight I may make a pizza or ?? I have the dough ready so I guess I’ll see how hot it is later.

Oh, BTW, Beth( reader) I still don’t have your email for the Zuni Cookbook. Can you email it to me. Thanks:)

This morning I’m going to drop off a load to Goodwill and then hit Safeway for the mint ice cream and fudge sauce and a few other things on my list. Groceries are sure getting expensive. With the water problems for farmers here in California and then the PNW burning up and then the crops fried, food prices are going to go up this fall.

My swimming is going well and I’m building up some stamina. It’s definitely an effort to go do but totally worth it. I’m trying not to overdo it and just add a minute or two each time. last week I had a day where I felt awful and realized the day before I had swum and not eaten anything before and I think my body went in to exercise fatigue.( yes, it’s a real thing). So I need to be more careful. This week I ate a banana before I swam I think that helped my glucose levels. I’ve been going twice a week and that seems to be a good amount. When I can I will try and add a third time sometime this fall.

I am the family curator.

I’m the one who goes thru 99% of our stuff to declutter and get rid of. Of course, I check with other family members about whether they want something or not. Other things that are in the realm of kitchen, misc, etc I often just put in the thrift store bag and be done with it.

Right now I’m back at getting rid of my Life magazines. I want to have just 2 bins of the best of Life. Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King assassination, Selma, moon walk, etc, you get the picture. I pulled 6 out to give to the cancer thrift. They are somewhat collectible.: 2 Beatles ones, Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder and a few others. i have to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

My son has been getting rid of old comics. For a while we were collecting all kinds from Superman to Justice League. But most just sit in a bin so what’s the point?

Most stuff isn’t worth my time to put on Ebay. Last week I had on a 1950’s slinky, and barkcloth from the 50s too. Lots of lookers but not one bid so I’m giving them to the thrift store instead of trying to relist. The barkcloth is a cool mid century pattern but not in colors I use anymore. Lots of yellows.

I think it’s a balance of what’s really worth keeping and what is just stuff lying around( or in closets, bins, storage areas, garages??

I was reading a really good article over at Food52 about visual clutter and that even when you’ve decluttered and things are pared down it might not be the amount of stuff but the effect of the visual stuff still left.. The person writing the article removed her container of utensils on her counter and put them in a drawer and she said she felt instantly more calm. So,it’s not so much about the amount of stuff( if you’ve decluttered) but the effect of the visual clutter on you of what’s left.

The article is written by Laura Fenton. She also says let FUNCTION be your guide. In other words , as she says, if all the shoes end up in your entryway instead of closets, then put a basket or something to hold the shoes in that area thus serving the function of the shoe dilema.

She has written a book that I think I will order from Amazon as I have liked all the articles she has written.

It’s a process, that’s for sure but I think in the end we all want our living spaces to reflect who we are and sometimes we need to just be the one to curate that space.