Frugal Friday

So, overall a frugal week with no extra purchases. Instead of pizza tonight we’re opting for Italian sub-type sandwiches. I’ll need to get some hoagie rolls and shredded iceberg and some deli stuff but this will come out of ‘dining out’ money not grocery. We were going to order a pizza from a new place in town but decided to just do this.

It’s been cooler the last few days and mornings @39 degrees. It does warm up nicely by afternoon but still chilly to start. Our next RV trip is just over 2 weeks away over at Wrights Beach. We only could get 3 nights. Then we’re going to try a new place in Napa which is the half way point to home for us. We have a reservation at 2 wineries for tastings. That’ll be interesting. The one place was pretty pricey but we figured we don’t do stuff like that often so it’ll be fun and I’m sure different.

I’m just about to file our taxes. We owe a small amount this yearaso I’ll file and then put a pay on such and such a date. Our taxes were very simple to do. Since there isn’t any itemizing anymore, that’s worth it for us, it’s quite easy. We always use Turbo tax.

I went to the pet bookstore the other day and picked up some newer books like the new Reacher. Lee Child is writing this with his son, and let me say, IT IS AWFUL. I love the Jack Reacher series but this just doesn’t hold together and the plot is lame. I also picked up the newer Hiiasson book. He’s always good for a laugh.

We don’t have a new TV series to watch yet so we might put in Matrix Reloaded. We watched the The Matrix the other night and it is a good movie. Any TV series on Prime or Netflex that you’re watching?

Frugal Friday

It’s been interesting not thinking about groceries on this low-budget food month challenge. This week, so far, I’ve spent 34.99. The 34.00 would have been even lower but B went to Safeway and bought 3 giant oranges for 4.97. It was an honest overlook as per pound it wasn’t too bad but they were very large so it weighed more. The same with apples. That’s ok, it was still a low-cost shop. Today I need to get some mozzarella for pizza night and I have a coupon for some free bananas. I think the biggest challenge is just mental and adjusting to I don’t need anything at the store or to build up the prepper pantry. Like I said, I’m trying to have us eat down both the freezer and pantry. Next week I plan on using some turkey for chili and then look at what else is in there. Overall, it’s been a good challenge.

We did fill up both buggie and the Santa Fe and gas is pretty steep at$4.59 to 4.79. per gallon. I try and fill Bugs up only once a month as I only drive that to Auburn and back.

Last week was an unexpected oak firewood purchase since we needed it and we saw it down at the corner where someone had a trailer full to sell. I wasn’t super happy that it wasn’t quite a cord when he dropped it off and the guy should have known. But he did drop off some extra after we complained. But even then I still don’t think it made up a full cord which is 4x4x8 and looks pretty impressive when you see it.

So far this morning, I’ve made the pizza dough, fed my sourdough starter, washed 3 shelves in the refrigerator. I’ve done some email stuff and checked LLS( Leukemia Lymphoma Society). Sadly, right now there is no funding for myeloma so my grant can’t be re-upped. I’ll keep checking every day because funding does come in on a daily basis. Still, that’s a big hit for us if I’m not getting my insurance covered. Hopefully, it’ll come in soon.

I don’t have any projects going on right now and feel a little adrift. I like to be working on something and nothing seems to be jumping out to be done. I’ll think about what can be reorganized or done differently. The kitchen always can use some organizing.

Here’s the last amaryllis bulb that’s blooming. I think this one is the prettiest so far. I’m still not crazy about them and won’t order bulbs next fall.

I plan on going into the pet bookstore this morning and dropping off some books and seeing what looks good. I still have a few PD James in my bedside table.

Looking back at 2021

For us, 2021 was a really great year in spite of Covid. For lots of people, it was horrible but we managed to accomplish some very BIG Goals. # 1 was buying Rubi( the RV), which was exactly what we wanted), then Chevy, after realizing the Santa Fe was just not going to cut it with towing, and then going on camping trips especially the new addition of Refugio State Beach.

I started chemo in January, 3 weeks on 1 week off until June. My numbers went back into the normal range almost immediately after just the first treatment but you still need to do the full course of 6 rounds. I’ve had a great 6 months but my numbers are now slightly out of high normal so it’s a matter of how quickly they will increase. I’m waiting now for this week’s labs, so we’ll see. My guess is I’ll be back on Velcade in June. Amazingly, last time ( 2016) I had 4 1/2 years of remission. Not this time and it’s questionable how long Velcade will work before it’s on to the next treatment option. Well, that’s not today so…

I m swimming in March and I continue to love it. I wish I could get more than the 2-3 times a week in but it’s just too far and too much gas to do more than that. But it is incredible.

We did quite a few projects around the house and yard including the privacy fence along the driveway. We replaced the sunroom windows that were water damaged and will do the other 2 this summer. We redid the whole laundry room. It still needs some siding up around the window and I’ll bug my son to finish that when the weather is nicer. Let’s see, what else… I painted the bathroom, and ??? I’m sure there are more things…

Today is New Year’s Eve. We’re going to have the fondue we didn’t use for Christmas and I think to watch the new Witcher series. We had a lovely walk this morning and still no dog walker. That’s very odd, so we think either he got covid or moved?? We never knew his name so can’t check it out. But really it is wonderful to not have him stomping by or trying to run us off the path. Still, he is a dark walker( early morning) so there’s that connection. Not many people do that.

I plan to go to Target tomorrow as I need my calendars for 2022. I like their very simple inexpensive ones. Not sure they’ll have any left but I’ll try there first. I do plan a no-spend January but that’s just extra stuff that I don’t need( like candles). My January budget is set including the increase of our Part D Medicare plans.

I lost count of how many books I read , maybe 75? 100? I read a lot so I don’t think it really matters how many. Sometimes I read 3 books a week. It all depends on the type of book. Maybe I’ll keep count next year except I have tried that and then give up because it starts to be too many.

Simple Sunday

We walked this morning and it was noticeably warmer @ 46 degrees. I think we’re going to get close to 70′ today and mostly sunny.

A few more books I got at the pet bookstore.F6FAF8BB-8500-4D03-A711-DD270A923F05.jpeg2539EA24-DD46-4DED-A5B8-519CEC359967.jpeg

My Culinary Journey was excellent. She actually lives in Provence part of the year and right near Sacramento the other part. I think she said Winters. She moved to France in 1970 so quite the adventurer. I was just starting U of A that year. So some perspective.

The ‘Everyday Greens’ cookbook is one of my favorite and this is a signed copy.  Greens is the vegetarian restaurant run by the Buddhist monks from Tassajara and Green Gulch. Back in the day when I was practicing Buddhism, this is the Sanga I belonged too.  We’ve been to Greens a number of times and if you’re in San Francisco you should definitely go. The food is delicious and beautiful.

I’m also reading ‘Me Elton John’. Wow, it’s a terrific book and boy did he go thru some drug-crazed years. It’s amazing and even more so what he overcame and is now such a philanthropic person. He gives generously to many causes.

This morning I’m making some Butterscotch Oatmeal cookies. They smell good.

I’ve been doing some embroidery so I picked up a few little books too although it’s not quite what I was looking for. I mostly like doing edging and little spots of color on things like my linen napkins.

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Today is a gym day.

This week is Flylady’s bedroom zone if you follow. If you’re new to it. Start by decluttering ANYTHING that doesn’t belong in your bedroom and any excessive furniture. Yes, the treadmill being used to hang clothes on needs to go.

I have only one Heywood dresser and a side table and that’s it besides the bed. The side table I need to hold the pills I take at night. Plus my water glass.

Last night I made falafels with tahini sauce and a delicious recipe that was Castelvetano olives, lemon zest, shallot, and garlic and fresh thyme.  You cook the shallot, garlic, and thyme in some olive oil. Then add the olives and lemon zest. Cook for a few minutes then let cool some. Then add a block on feta cubed up. I’ve found the feta from Costco in the brine from Greece is the best.

This is supposed to be served with a grilled rustic bread but I just put it over the brown rice and it was delicious.

Tonight I’m making a quiche of some sort as I have eggs to use and some gruyere cheese as well.

 

 

Books, Lots of Books

Everyone on different blogs is talking about books so I thought

 I’d add some of my recent ones. Here’s the first stack from the library

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I really have enjoyed the Cat Sitter series that takes place in the Florida Keyes. Lots of descriptions.  MC Beaton is always a good read with Hamish.

The library series”Something Read something” was okay.

Joanna Fluke’s books are always good for some new recipes. The Aunt Dimity books take place in the Cotswolds and I love that area of England so… Not that I will ever go there in real life but that’s the joy of books and traveling in your imagination.

There were cookbooks in the load too but I didn’t get a picture of them.

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Some good cookbooks to look at and maybe find some new recipes.  Mark Bittman usually has some good recipes.  “Real food “is one used before. Some stuff is the same old same old but she does have good ideas to help you take a look at what you’re buying and eating.

I’m almost done with the Marcia Muller ” the Break”. It’s good and her descriptions of SF are great.

I walked yesterday and it was absolutely freezing( 27′). That’s cold for here. We don’t usually have temperatures like that. At least later it was sunny but still cold.

I went to the gym yesterday finally and it was busy with lots of ‘new’ people still. I only used the recumbent as my ribs are really sore from coughing which is kinda weird as I haven’t really had much of a cough with this cold.

Today I’m planning on going to the koffee klatch with the library friends. I guess our FOL is kaput and dismantling. Really sad since this group was responsible for buying the building the library is in now. Well, all things do change and this little branch went downhill after I left. I’m not renewing the website which is under my name and even last year I told them no one was even going to it but no listens to me. So now, I will just not renew it.  The money left in the FOAL fund is substantial so that will need to be donated to the library for materials.

I’m making another batch of marmalade this morning before I go out.

I’ve vacuumed, swish and swiped the bathroom and got out things from the freezer for the rest of the week.

Simple Sunday

Well, let me say right off the bat, today is not that simple and yesterday was a crisis.

Everything was fine until B put clothes in the dryer and then there was a loud pop. In the house, all the lights, appliances, space heaters were flashing. It wasn’t good.

My daughter ran out to make sure B wasn’t electrocuted and to turn off the power. He went to the main switch and turned off the laundry room but the house was still blinking everywhere. He turned off the main power to the house. All the power protector surges were fried. In fact, the one in my office area was smoking and melted.

THIS WAS NOT A GOOD SIGN. My daughter thought maybe it was something in our wiring but I didn’t think so.

After regrouping, he called PGE and in about an hour the repairman showed up. After checking lines to the house, he determined the main power line had come loose and caused the surges. He fixed it.

We lost the dryer, one space heater, the radio/record player and I think that’s it. Fortunately, we didn’t lose the TV, refrigerator, etc.

So today, we have to go buy a dryer and install it. Actually, I think B is going to take our son and go to Lowes. I ordered online so it’s just a matter of picking up at Will Call.(  I hope)!!!

So now to a Simple Sunday.

  • we have a nice chicken and wild rice soup for dinner plus a lentil soup for the veggie:)
  • I’m going to the gym and do some weights and treadmill
  • tidy the house and do the bathroom zone( Flylady zone for the week)
  • read, read, read…..I’ve read about 6 books in the last 3 weeks. This one is the new one in The Girl with the dragon tattoo series. The writer who took over is quite good. I also read the new Jack Reacher, Blue Moon, the new Anne Hillerman, The Tale Teller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz,  ( very sad but truly excellent), James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, also superb and shocking stuff about Trump( what an idiot). I also read a couple MC Beaton’s Agatha Raison books.
  • walked this morning at 6:30 am and there was a nice, big moon.

This week I am on call for jury duty. I checked Friday and it said to check again. I really hope I get passed on.

Simple Sunday

It’s a lovely morning with cool temperatures. The next week does heat up but not till Wednesday.

We had a nice walk in the park although it is noticeably darker at 5:45. We may need to start going just a bit later.

Today is a gym day and then I need a few groceries for some recipes. I’ve really used most all the meat in my freezers and lots of misc. A few quarter bags of veggies got tossed. So it’s looking good in there. I made a slow cooker pineapple jalapeno pork roast and it was quite tasty. I also pulled out my bread maker and made the dough for some bread. Then I baked that in the oven.

 It’s also the bathroom zone which I’m just about to do. Other than that it’s sheet day so I’ll get those in the washer soon too.

The coming week isn’t too busy. Clinic and B’s labs on Tuesday. So we may plan an excursion to Tahoe for the day. A nice picnic or something for a few hours. B can’t be in the sun so we’d need to find someplace that has shade. Meeks Bay on the East side has nice big trees so that may be an option.

I went to the pet bookstore this week and got a good selection of books. I’ve finished 3 of them. One of them called”Dirt” is a funny compilation of different authors takes on housekeeping. It was entertaining.

Dinner is grilled chicken and a salad with some noodles on the side.

Almost fall.

I so enjoy this time of year of late summer early fall. Of course, my birthday is in September so that’s probably why.  Although I think beyond the birthday thing it’s just a beautiful time with cool evenings and warm days. We sat out last night till 8:30 and it was still warm.

The garden is winding down and so is watering the garden.  Our water bill was quite huge due to watering so much when it was 100 + for weeks at a time. We’re already watering way less and that should drop the bill next month. I’m still picking green tomatoes so they can ripen in a box. Plus now I’m starting to cut the hard squashes. We have quite a few butternut and spaghetti squash. They will be nice in the fall and winter.

This year our apple tree is in full production so I’ll be making applesauce and pies. I’m going to make a pie today or tomorrow so I can see how it freezes and then defrost and bake. I’d like to experiment to see if this is the best method. Otherwise, it’ll be apple sauce canned.

This morning is a gym morning. We walked this morning as well so that puts me at 4x a week. I’m probably going to add a 5th day next week.  It’s great to be back out in the morning. I love moving first thing( well after 1 cup of coffee).

My latest drama is trying to get a certified birth certificate. We would like to get passports so that we can travel or flee the country if necessary( just kidding). So my  birth certificate is not embossed. So I figured no problem. I filled out the NYC form paid the fee and voila. Well, no the next day I get an email saying that my first name does not match the birth certifcate so it’s voided. WTF????  My birth name is Aurora Roxana Christina. I have never ever in my entire life used Aurora as that was my mother’s name. So I email back and say I have always only used Christina as my legal name. Nope!! he says, I have to have something with my legal first name. WTF??? I have absolutely nothing. So I’m supposed to email someone else. Such a simple thing and now it’s a f@#King problem. Leave it someone in NYC to be an asshole and screw it up.

Well, I guess I’ll see what happens.

I’ve read a couple of really good books this week. One is ‘Educated’, about a woman born in 1986 to an extreme Mormon family in Idaho. It is so eye-opening. It’s amazing she found herself and escaped. And she went on to obtain her Ph.D. Quite a story. The other is a Jodi Picoult, ‘Leaving Time’. It has a huge twist that is completely unexpected. Great characters.

Dinner is either nachos or leftover homemade ravioli. Not sure which yet!!

 

 

 

 

Friday Things

It is another beautiful fall day here in Northern California. There is nowhere else I’d like to live except the coast. But not really, I need mountains and such.  Next week brings rain so it’ll change as it should. Nothing stays the same.

Today, I’ve been puttering around. I made a vegan banana bread. It’s from the blogger Sadia at ‘Pick up Limes’.  It is one of the best banana breads I’ve ever made. She has very beautiful food photos and her recipes are really quite delicious. All vegan.

Then I tidied around the house, and I’m finishing 2 loads of laundry as I had enough to do a small load of white.  As a minimalist, I find it much simpler to do one load a day and a few times a week a second. Fly lady is where I originally got the idea but it’s around a lot of other blogs.

I dusted around the house and watered my plant friends.  Not much decluttering although I did put a few pairs of earrings in a bag for Goodwill.  I’m up to 700 items in October. As I said lots of small things, but they do add up.

At the recommendation of a fellow blogger, I read’ My year of no clutter’. It’s an interesting book which focuses on her hoarding tendencies and anxieties. But I gleaned a lot from the book and would recommend it.

Right now I’m reading from the library, ‘unstuffed’.  I was going to buy this off amazon but it seemed to indicate some Christian things in it so I didn’t. So far I haven’t seen much in that way except a bible verse.  If a book starts including the Christian stuff especially related to minimalism, I quickly close the book.  It may all be fine and good for them to think Jesus was a minimalist, and yes I’m  pretty sure in 20BC there weren’t any Walmarts around so, yeah, not owning much there.  Not to be judgmental, but it is all relative and one does need to think about these things. Anyhoo, so far I live her ideas and it’s a good read.

 

UPDATE:  The book becomes a little more and more evangelical as it nears the end.  by the last chapter she’s really trying to tell us that only by turning to God can we find Grace. Because He is perfect.  And we are not. So that will help your decluttering journey.

Well, as an atheist, and someone who was a Quaker and a Buddhist previously, I can say with some certainty for me ,There is NO God.   Is he up on a cloud somewhere?  Is he in another dimension? For me, living a life of balance and simplicity is about being here in this life and living it fully and wholly.

Well, my sister will arrive in Sacramento tomorrow and we’ll see her Sunday. Should be a nice day although not as warm as today.

Eureka, Ca

It’s been a fun trip ( work for him, fun for me) to this area. I haven’t been here for many years and I’m guessing not a lot has changed. It is a fairly depressed area and I’m guessing that fishing and logging used to be the economy booster. There’s quite a few homeless and Not sure why as it’s not that warm or desirable but there are a lot of them hanging around.  But we’ve had lots of walking, good food and fun all around.

We found 2 used bookstores but there’s no Goodwill. I didn’t feel like hitting up the other thrift stores.  Eureka natural Foods and North Coast co-op are incredible stores. The one in Arcata has Humbolt State nearby so must do pretty well with that.

After B works this morning we will head to Chico and spend the night since it’s a 4-5 hour drive today.  Then home Saturday.  We may hit up the FArmersmarket on Saturday of not.

I bought a murder mystery book by a local author but after starting realized I had already read it but I’ll reread it and then pass on to the library. It’s a signed copy so that will be nice.

It’s rainy and windy here but once we’re inland it’ll be 79 degrees in Chico. Go figure, it’s California!!