Frugal Friday

It’s been an okay frugal week. Nothing great but just ok. Most of our big bills for the month are out and just a few more are scattered later in the month.

I had a good swim on Tuesday and the pool was very unbusy which is very unusual. I came straight home afterward. Then Thursday B and I decided to do Winco for a few camping things and at the last minute added in Costco for some camping food as well. I needed Raos to bring and Costco has the best price for the 2 pack. I also got some WW bread for sandwiches. I spent about $175 between the two stores. We also filled up the truck with Costco gas which is the cheapest around. We’re definitely looking at traveling with gas prices. Next week, going to Capitola shouldn’t be more than 2 tanks of gas and the same with Nevada Beach in June. But we’re definitely reconsidering Refugio because that is much farther away. For now, we’ll keep the reservation but still think about it. Then I went to library and got a nice selection of books. Oh, and then we had a lunch date at Celestino’s pizza, which is the best New York pizza around in my opinion.

I went to the nursery with my daughter and bought all our tomato and pepper plants and a few ornamentals for her back garden area. That was her birthday present. We were trying to get a birdbath for her but they didn’t have any affordable ones. The cheapest they had was $110. The last time we were there they had a nice one for $80. I guess we should have bought it then.

I had my labs this morning so I should get results next week. Fingers crossed. I’ve been having some pain in my right leg but I think I over-stretched it doing some yoga. It was better this morning but then the ache comes back ( kind of in the hip and upper thigh area) by afternoon. It’s always something.

After we’re back our next big expense will be having the septic pumped. We’ll call once we’re back. As far as expenses for Capitola, it’ll be a few stops at Gayles bakery and probably one grocery store shop. We generally do not eat out but I thought maybe we’d find some place for a lunch near the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We’ll see. I know we’ll go walk the beach trail so that might be a good day to do that.

Oh, the tree guys came and ground out the stump so now there’s no issue with going out or coming in with Rubi. Yay! He didn’t charge us which was really nice.

Friday things

Yesterday we ventured out to Costco and it was fine. We were only among a handful of people wearing masks but heck, that’s ok. We spent $300 on food and $80 on nonfood. Overall, that’s a low $ trip at Costco for us. I still need a few extras and I think I’ll have Barclay do that next week after he gets his port flush. What I’d like to take advantage of is the Nasacort that is on sale. It’s 4 of them for $28. I pay $18 at the store for one. So that’s a big saving. Then I went over to Dicks’ sporting goods for earplugs. They didn’t have the Speedo ones so I got the TYR as a backup since last week I had to swim one time without earplugs because I thought I left them home. In actuality, they were stuck in my towel and when I lifted my towel they fell out. Oh well.

OMG. good news!! LLS just opened funding for Myeloma so I jumped on and submitted my application and was approved. They have it very streamlined and it was easy to do. I was definitely getting concerned about funding. LLS covers our medicare and UHC so it’s a good chunk of change a month.

Today I need to go drop off food at the food bank, Goodwill, check on my prescription at Bel-air, and then drop books off at the bookstore.

I plan to make pizza tonight but I’ll use a Trader Joe’s dough. I’m going to top with the fennel sausage I bought in Napa. I think I’m going to pull the Ooni out and use that so one with be cheese and the other will be the sausage.

Our weather has been spectacular and we ate dinner on the patio 2 nights in a row. Next week does look quite a bit cooler.

I’ve been reading the book ” High on the Hog” that the Netflix original was based on. I’d highly recommend it just for the history part. What we did to Africans is shameful. All that history SHOULD be taught in high schools so students can learn about ALL of our history, the good, the bad, and the ugly. NOT just what the good White people did. Arghhhh, don’t get me started.

We’re working in the garden areas and decided to buy 2 galvanized water troughs that people use for raised beds. B filled one with garden soil and is ready to plant. We bought some things at the nursery to plant like onions, and parsley, cilantro, chives. My daughter has lots of seeds to plant too. The garlic in the barrels we planted is doing great. We do have the front garden beds almost ready. Those will be things like chard, lettuce, kale, etc.

Everything is starting to pop with this warm weather. It’s been a very pretty spring.

Friday Things

It’s been a tough week after the car break in. We still don’t have the window fixed and it won’t be till next Thursday. I plan on driving my daughter’s Honda Fit tomorrow to the pool. I finished all the paperwork for the claim but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

I made the pizza dough for tonight and also have my sourdough starter getting ready for another loaf of jalapeno cheddar bread. I’ll mix up the dough later and then refrigerate overnight and bake tomorrow morning.

So far the grocery challenge has been pretty easy. I went to Winco Tuesday and spent a little more than I wanted at $61. Then Barclay spent another $15 at Safeway for bread flour and cream and something else I can’t remember now. So I don’t need anything today or tomorrow so I’ll end the week at almost $80. I’ve got most of the menu for next week done. Monday we plan on going to Costco because we will need coffee. I’m still not sure how I will separate Costco in the weekly budget since some things will last more than a week. Maybe I’ll try and divide it up but that seems like more trouble or effort than it’s worth. So, I’ll need to think about that.

I was working on a spreadsheet form from a Youtuber. But, even though I enjoyed figuring it out for budget stuff in the end it was just too complicated. I do a daily budget sheet in my notebook, so I know exactly what’s going out and coming in. I might play with it some more but I doubt I’ll use it.

In March we will have some bigger expenses. Barclay is having some dental work and that’s going to cost @ 900. Then we have property taxes due and Federal taxes too. We will owe IRS a small amount this year. I’m okay with that as we did use some retirement savings(withdrawal) to do the half payment for the RV. So that will all add up and it will be a pricey month.

If you have Disney Plus, the Mandalorian show is quite good and we’re enjoying it. Oh, and the Amazon Prime new Reacher was EXCELLENT. The actor is perfect for how you visualize Jack Reacher.

Well, I’m off to town to drop a load at Goodwill so I better get a move on.

Simple Sunday

We have sunny skies and crisp cold air. We had a lovely walk this morning and I noticed that sunrise is now 7:22. So it’s starting to inch back slowly. Only one person trying to jog in the park( looked like a new years resolution). But hey, we gotta start somewhere. Then after some toast and coffee, we headed down to Costco for our monthly shop. My printer has died so I needed to check there for one and they had the inexpensive one I was looking at online. So that’s ticked off. I have to have a scanner for my LLS stuff although my daughter showed me how to do it with an app. We were in and out in under an hour.

I haven’t heard from Heidi’s family but imagine that they are planning the funeral. Being very Catholic I’m sure there’s some kind of mass being done. I got off some flowers and they should arrive early this week.

This week is the bathroom zone and I plan on doing that later or maybe tomorrow. Depends on how motivated I feel.

For dinner, I have white bean soup with brown butter pasta on the side. Growing up as poor as we were, my mother would make brown butter bow tie noodles. I kind of doubt it was butter but maybe it was. I’m not sure margarine would do the same. I know when my grandmother would come up from the Bronx she always brought a pound of unsalted butter to go with the Jewish rye. Anyway, I love noodles and brown butter.

Other than that, I need to go out to the prepper pantry in the barn and put away the canned tomatoes and coconut milk I bought. I need to make a current list of what’s out there as I’ve taken out quite a few things.

The update on my kappa light chains is that it went up a point to 20.6 so now out of normal range. 1 point is not a big increase so I’m not too concerned,yet. Next month , who knows??

In happier times!

Simple Sunday

Things are back to normal around here. All the camping stuff is organized back in Rubi, the linen sheets washed and put back on the bed and kitchen is tidied too.

Our weather is definitely fall like and it’s getting darker earlier in the evening and getting lighter later in the morning. We walked this morning starting at 6:08 and it was still somewhat dark so we used a flashlight. AH was there, (when is he ever not there) and didn’t have a flashlight. ( Jerk!!)

BTW, we did get the laundry room back together before we left for Tahoe. The walls are painted but the ceiling wood still needs to go up and the door isn’t up. That’s because we plan to flip it so it opens the other way that what it was doing before. It looks good. I’ll get a few pictures up this week.

We decided to do Costco this morning because of the coffee on sale( Starbucks that’s $5.00 off) and the sale ends today. We got other sale items too since that is the best way to take advantage of Costco’s prices. We were in and out in 30 minutes, so a record.

The kitties are growing and lots of fun to watch although they are little terrors when running thru the house. Little Cherry got spayed on Thursday so now they are all done. They all have such unique personalities.

All the garden stuff is winding down and we have been cleaning up the yard/garden areas. My daughter does most of it but I try and do some everyday. I must have made 8 jars of pickled jalapenos. Hey, if you haven’t tried pickled jalapenos in eggs salad , give it a try it was delicious.

Last evening we had a BBQ. The first in months with the weather so hot plus fire danger. I did some burgers, veggie burgers and chicken. I plan on using the chicken tonight in some ramen. It was fun and it was nice to sit outside with the lovely weather.

I have a load in buggie to take to the Goodwill tomorrow. Included is a small very nice old dresser that has carved acorns on the handles. I’ve loved the little dresser but now I don’t have a use for it so I’m going to pass it on to someone who has space and can use it.

This week in Flylady we’re in the living room zone. We plan to take out the window cooler and I’ll wash the windows. I might look around or take some pictures to see what can be rearranged or decluttered. BTW, one of the BEST tools to see how things are in your space is take pictures with your phone. It really is eye opening.

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.

Simple Sunday

I had a nice walk starting at 5:30 am. Of course, HE was there, but no matter, I just ignore him and carry on. Although I will say, since I’ve been using my walking pole( for added stability) he stays to the right on the path, so that’s a good thing. I’m still debating my timing. Sunrise is 5:53 am so getting there at 5:30 is fine. But soon it will be getting darker as sunrise gets later. Not sure what I’ll do but I think thru July this will work out ok.

Today the big missionis to go to Costco. I’m hoping it’s not insane like the one Sunday we tried. Perhaps the hoarders are done with their hoarding food and non food and it’ll be a regular Sunday which is usually pretty mellow especially since all the church christians are not there. It looks like our last trip/shopping there was June 8th. So that’s about right with trying to go every 6-8 weeks. Coffee is on sale so we’ll get enough for 2 months. I don’t need any meat so really it’s the basics like bread, cheese, coffee, butter, bagels ,cereal, and that kind of stuff.

I used some of the veggies from the farm stand to make a summer ratatouille. I used the zucchini, onions, our bell peppers and tomatoes. I served it over some cheese tortellini I had in the freezer. It was pretty tasty. So far on the Ooni pizza oven, I’ve made 22 pizzas. So I need 8 more and the Ooni will have paid for it self in how much take out pizza would have been for a comparable 12″ wood fired pizza.

the radishes were quite excellent and so were the cherry tomatoes.

This week Flylady is in the bedroom. Sunday is sheet day so I’m putting those in the washer and then we will line dry them. I am still loving linen sheets and don’t think I would ever go back to cotton. I may need to buy another set though as my winter ones are in the RV. I suppose I could just take them off for the winter but I’ll wait and see.

I have my monthly labs tomorrow. I’m not too concerned yet as it’s only been a month or so since I finished Velcade but who knows? right? My doctor is in Europe for 2 weeks so I won’t even be able to get my results although I may call down and talk to the nurse. Then I also am picking up my new glasses which is really not new since I’m using my old frames. I love the Lindberg frames and they are uber expensive so I thought since they are exactly what I want rimless and a lovely color I’d use them. I was planning on getting my other pair done too but that would add on another $500 to my bill. The one’s I’m picking up are partly covered by our vision plan but the second pair wouldn’t be . It would just be OP.

It has been so great not to have weekly appts at the infusion center. Not that it was that much trouble but it’s still nice. Plus, overall I’m feeling better with the drugs coming out of my system. So a win-win.

Here’s a fun blast from the past. I have this print on our living room wall.

And here’s Barclay in front of his 1967 VW( that I wish we had never sold)

This was probably 1980. That’s Jason our first child. We loved that dog and he lived to be 15 and was the sweetest dog ever. The print is from a photo and then my son had it done that way with California on the print.

Those were the good ole days:)

Frugal Friday

I think overall it was a frugal week. Costco was a bigger shop at $600, but $120 of that was non food, and $20 was wine. So, that meant food was $460. Plus, the coffee, bread, flour sugar, etc will last to the end of July.

My food budget is still $600 . but with Costco at $460. I think I will end up slightly over. But that’s still $140 left. I spent another $30 at Safeway so the balance is $110. We don’t need anything immediately so I can see what veggies we might need next week.

At Costco I bought a box of large tomatoes and one night we had stuffed tomatoes and they were delicious. I made Julia Child’s Sole Meuniere with Dover Sole I got at Costco too and man, it was delicious.

I’ve been decluttering odds and ends from the barn( again) and have decided to sell the Robin Egg Blue mallow ware Melmac.

It’s really a lovely set but I just don’t have any use for it. It would make a great picnic set or a dinner set for someone with a vintage trailer. I’m going to list on Ebay first. I also have a Star Trek console that lights up and I’m going to list that too as it’s just been kicking around the barn.

We decided to hold off selling the tent trailer this summer as one of us may want to sleep out there and we thought that on occasion there might be some campgrounds we’d take that too. We’ll see, nothing is set yet , and we’re flexible. If we don’t use it all in the next 6 months then next spring we’d sell it.

I submitted my LLS reimbursement for May so that should help next month. It covers our health insurance so that’s a big deal. We wouldn’t be making it on just SS without that LLS grant money. I am grateful to all those that donate to LLS so they can help so many people with blood cancers. It is a gift for sure.

Overall, I think it was a frugal week. No unnecessary spending, just essentials.

Velcade, Round 6, shot #2.

Today I drive to Rocklin to get my shot. Then straight home to do some chores, dinner prep, and then take Dex after lunch. Last week the 16mg Dex wasn’t too awful. Still I do need to modify what I do since DEx is sneaky and I certainly wouldn’t drive.

Yesterday Costco was great. It was straight in and we were done in 30 minutes. It wasn’t busy at all. Not sure if that’s because everyone had shopped on Sunday or it’s close to the middle of the month. Anyway, it was great for us. We got some great looking fruit and most of the basics we needed. They didn’t have the organic Lundberg brown rice so maybe they’re not carrying that anymore. I don’t think we’ll need to go back till the end of July. We did buy 2 bags of coffee so that should get us thru till then.

Budget wise, the 3 annual bills are paid, AAA membership, Costco membership and propane tank rental. All are once a year bills. Our next set of annual bills will be fall and that’s expensive as it’s the house insurance( which is going up every year due to fire concerns, car insurance( bi annual) and property taxes(bi annual). I’m moving a small amount of money over to a savings when I can to put toward these. I doubt I can get to the final amount but something will help. Right now with having put lots of RV misc on the credit card, that’s number one priority. I should be able to finish that next week.

Our weather is lovely and very cool. Next week looks like we’re back in 100 degree weather so not fun. It’s nice not to use the coolers all the time and we’re not having to water so much.

Update on the kitties:

My daughter was able to get the last one from the barn. Mama kat was not happy and has been up here at the house trying to ‘call’ her out. She’ll get over it. My son was able to get a voucher from the ASPCA to spay mama but we have to wait to get it. She may get pregnant in the meanwhile but I guess that’s the chance we’re taking. I’m hoping we get it done in time or? or, those kitties would just go straight to the shelter. ( no – kill one).