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).

Simple Sunday

Today is a Costco day. We needed coffee and that’s always the ticket. Plus the Starbucks is on sale with $5.00 off a bag which is excellent. We got most everything except we couldn’t find the Aveeno cream on sale and they didn’t have printer ink for my printer. We used our Costco rebate and so the final tally was @ 200. Pretty good for us.

This week Flylady zone is the kitchen so I’ll do that tomorrow unless I start a little later. I have a dentist appt tomorrow for a dental cleaning but it’s not till 11am so I have time to do the kitchen zone.

It’s way cooler today and very early summer like. We put up the screen tent thing yesterday as the mosquitos are starting to come out. We had a nice BBQ with some Trader Joe’s pre seasoned Shawarma chicken. It was pretty tasty. There’s enough for leftovers for lunch or dinner. I also made a chickpea salad with olive oil and oregano from the garden. I sliced up some Manchego cheese in it too.

One of my absolute favorite bloggers was writing about some stoneware from England called Hornsea. I’d never heard of it so I went to Ebay and sure enough it’s a stone ware that is very retro and many pieces are from the 70’s. I loved it and may buy a small piece:) I especially loved the little creamer so that may be my first piece. Check it out it’s quite cool.

Well, besides starting Round 5 this week and the dentist not much else. I’ve been staining the fence and got about 3/4 of the way and ran out of the stain so I’ll need to get that. I may or may not start painting the garden shed.

I still haven’t completely decided about the Ooni pizza oven. I like the idea of wood fired pizza and I think I’d use it regularly but $300. is a lot of money. I guess I’ll keep thinking about it for now.

Happy St. Patrick’s day

That really does say it all.

Today is Velcade day. Round 3, shot #2.

This last cycle has been a little tougher. Not sure why. I feel a little more run down even though my labs are ok. My lymphocytes are a little low but not out of normal. Maybe it’s just a build up of stuff in my system.

I had a good drive down to the infusion center. They are very nice and very with it. I decided to go back into Costco before my appt for two reasons. One, they had some sweats on sale for $10 and I bought one the other day and they fit nice and are heavy enough for cold morning walks so I wanted a second pair. Since my wardrobe is very limited and small when I like something I try and buy multiples. The other reason is I had seen a nice rug for B’s office ( our entryway) and it was just $50. That’s for a 5×7 rug which is an excellent price. Costco was very empty even compared to Monday when we went and I was in and out in 15 minutes.

This morning I started chopping vegetables for Tucson stew which we are having tonight. We’ve had this on rotation almost every 2 weeks, it’s that good. My daughter will make some brown rice later. Then after I got home I made up some taco meat( from last night) pintos, cheese burritos to freeze.

Then I had a piece of steak I’d defrosted and needed to use so I cut it up into small pieces and cooked it over high heat. It seared nicely. I’m not sure what I use it for but it’s done. My son was thinking of a beef stew/shepherd’s pie. So now I’m relaxing till I take Dex about 1 or so.

Exciting news!! Our garden shed showed up yesterday. It’s wrapped in plastic so if it rains it should be ok. Plus we got our stimulus money so that amount covers the price of the shed( $999 on sale, plus tax). There’s enough left to save some and maybe start buying what we need for the barn fence.

Well, I’m off to read some before Dex time.:)

Friday Stuff…

Well, the biggest excitement is that our county just opened up vaccines to over 65 so we were able to schedule both of us for next week. We have to drive to Roseville but that’s okay at least we have an appt. I do expect I’ll get a fever and headache since even with a regular flu shot I do. But I’m 100% ok with that and will just deal with it. I’m pretty excited!!

I dropped off our property tax payment this week. I was going to do it with a cc but there was a fee(apprx. $25) for that so I decided to just write a check. So that saved the fee.

We went to Costco also and it was @ $600. So $350 was food and the rest non food( including organic chicken food) and alcohol. I’m guessing the next time were back is March sometime. I was hoping they had their fruit trees out but they didn’t. It’s a great place to get citrus trees at a very reasonable price.

Cooking wise, I made a marmalade cake and Wow!! It was amazing. The recipe was from Nigel Slater. It was like a pound cake batter with the marmalade mixed in. It was absolutely delicious.

My son made a recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to cook Everything”. It was baked bread cod. It came out delicious. I had bought the Wild caught cod at Costco. It was pricey ($20)but it made enough for dinner and lunch so probably that made it about $3.00 a serving. We would eat more seafood if I bought it but usually I go with shrimp or salmon from Costco. So this was a nice change.

I’ve picked up the Benjamin Moore paint so I’ll be starting the 15 min. sessions this weekend.

Simple Sunday

A simple day to start the new year.

My daily chores are done and the FL zone this week is the kitchen. The entry way was only 2 days so I missed that. But, I think I’ll sweep the patios and tidy up the fir boughs.(my daughter already did all this so it’s done!!) I’m going to leave them thru january as it seems wintery. My door wreath is bay laurel so that can stay up too. I also have some nice pinecones we collected up in Tahoe on the bench outside the front door.

One thing I’ve learned with being more minimal is to use natural things for decor or seasonal decorations. It makes it easier for me to not have think about the decorations in bins. I definitely used to keep bins with seasonal stuff but not so much any more. Now I only have my vintage Halloween, and some Easter stuff and Christmas in some Ikea boxes. Works for me.

I used my Staub again for a braised short rib recipe. It cooked beautifully but we ( the meat eaters) were not too into the dish. It was good but not great. It will not go into rotation even though it really is an easy one pot meal. This pot though has cooked everything I’ve done to perfection. If you’re looking for an all around pot this is it. Staub should sponsor me as I cannot say enough good things about this pot. And that’s coming from a die hard fan of Le Creuset.

I am doing a Walmart pickup so that should get us thru till we get to Costco about mid month. I’m planning on trying to use the Instant Pot to make yogurt. It seems easy enough so on the Walmart order I have some whole milk yogurt to use as a starter. We’ll see. I’ll post how it goes.

My rib feels pretty good. Maybe still a little tender where I probably pulled the muscle around the rib. I’ll be sure to mention it to my doctor. He did ask whether I wanted to do PET scans and a bone marrow biopsy to see it there were any hot spots and/or if the myeloma has morphed. I declined since it is what it is regardless. I think if I had more symptoms I might but at this point I’m fairly asymptomatic except for blood work that show the increases.

This week I see the eye doctor for my 6 month macular pucker scan. I’m hoping to not have to get my eyes dilated as they stay dilated for hours. I’m also thinking of getting the surgery when the pandemic is over and things are back to normal so probably a year from now.

I added some more ” things I hope to accomplish” list. :

find 3 new hikes to try

paint the living room and kitchen( this was supposed to be done last year)

find 2 new places to camp( I was thinking either private or maybe just Forest Service campgrounds)

keep up with the prepper pantry but streamline what I stock( and know we will use).

On Edge!!!

It’s Friday and we are still waiting for the results. Crazy.

All the articles in the Wash. Post about the Senate still having control is worrisome. McConnell, the asshole, will block everything. Is there any recourse?? I don’t know honestly, but hope someone can figure it out.

I think I’m going to tune out politics after the final tally and just go about my life. At least if Biden wins we will have some sense of decency back in the White House. I can hardly take another minute of trump and his lies, deceit, undermining democracy and on and on.

We watched V is for Vendetta last night. If you haven’t seen it, you should . It is frightening to see what can happen when an authoritarian /dictator takes over. The story is takes place in London but still relevant especially when it references ex-America.( meaning America as we know it no longer exists).

Well, on to more mundane things. We went to Costco yesterday and spent $500. But half of that was Christmas stuff plus beer for B and Z. I tried to get most of the stuff I needed that was on coupon and did well. I got a new Crock Pot that was $10 off, cereal, yogurt, Kodiak pancake stuff. All in all, I saved $75.00. So I call that a win. We picked up a tin of cookies for our post office and a container of Caramels for another gift. We picked up 2 sets of pj’s for B and Z and I got the new Ina Garten cookbook for Christmas. So really food ended up about $250 I’d say.

We have our first cloudy cool day in like forever and it’s a wonderful change. It was supposed to rain and there were maybe 10 sprinkles but at least it’s cloudy.

I’ve been going full board on the sourdough bread. I decided to go back to Tartine and yes, even though it takes longer, it is the best. I’ll post some pictures once they are uploaded.

Well, I’m off to anxiety land waiting….

Budget Friday

I’m trying to come up with a good blog title for Fridays. I’m not sure Frugal Friday quite fits.

Overall, we are frugal because we have no income per se except SS. So maybe just Budget Friday would work. I’ll see. But budget-wise, all Octobers bills are in. We do have the 2 annual bills of house insurance and Allstate which is twice a year. With ALL the insurance companies getting out of insuring California property, for the most part, we are now having to do the California Fair Plan which is added to the AAA insurance. We went from our annual bill being slightly over $1,000 to now we are slightly over $2,000. Quite a jump.

Costco was just at $450, so that will go on October’s food budget. About $70 was wine and beer. I did buy a bottle of nice champagne for celebrating birthdays. Actually, it wasn’t expensive at $15.00. Plus there were a few prepper items and 2 bags of Starbucks coffee that was on sale. With all 4 of us drinking coffee we go thru quite a bit. But I don’t see us going back to Costco till the very end of October or even the first week of November which could then include any Christmas food or items. Prepper stuff included tuna, Cholula sauce, TP, another case of water, extra butter, and extra cheese. The only thing I didn’t get and I need is some tamari sauce. I’ll probably just go down here to the store and pay their price. The best place to get low sodium tamari is Trader Joe’s but I don’t think I’ll be getting there any time soon.

So far this morning I have made pizza dough, washed living room windows, cleaned the ceiling fan, and am just about ready to clean the rest of the sunroom.

Our lovely fall weather continues with absolutely beautiful days with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s. Next week does have a few 93degree days but this time of year that doesn’t seem so bad.

Budget-wise, I did my LLS for the UHC premium and my medicare which they cover for 2 months so that will be here in a week or so. I am very grateful to LLS for my grant (myeloma) as it does cover health insurance. If we had to pay OP for us both it’s almost $700 so I’m not sure how the budget would do. Probably we would be in the red. But there are gifts sometimes even with having cancer.

B did order the boards for the house ( 5 of them) so that was $120 about. But the siding needs to be fixed. Other stuff, even the fencing by the barn is optional and can be put off if we don’t have extra money.

If you’re looking for a new TV series, The Boys, is quite good. It’s super heroes that are darker more evil and is well done. We just started Season 2 on Netflix.

Well, that’s a wrap for now.

the week ahead…

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This is Rose Campion that has spread all over our hill.

We have a few things lined up for this week.

Tomorrow we are having our septic being pumped.  I know very exciting. But really, our septic tank is under the 1200 required by law but is grandfathered in because it was put in a long time ago. Actually, we’re not sure when it was put in since the old man who lived here didn’t get a permit at least that we could find in county records. So about 5 years ago when the septic was overly full and we didn’t know it until the toilet wasn’t flushing down and we knew was wrong. So now we’re on a 2-year schedule. Once he opens and pumps we’ll know if we could’ve gone 3 years. I know, I know, so exciting and TMI.

Then I’m going to brave Costco since I want to use our rebate. I’m not too worried as Costco requires everyone to wear a mask so I’m good with that. I have a big list of things to get( again) but some are still prepper pantry stuff. For instance, I’d like to get a case of chili and some more marinara sauce. Plus I need washcloths and the 24 pack of white hotel washcloths are really the best for the money.

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here’s my nifty food vacuum sealer which I LOVE!!!

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So cool.

 

Later in the week, we are going to drive up to Tahoe to go to the cannabis store so B can get some stuff. His plants are coming along but it’s a way off to harvest. Plus the ride will be nice. I’m thinking of bringing some coffee in our mugs and maybe sandwiches. The beach area in Kings Beach is quite lovely but I’m not sure if there will be lots of people or if it’s still closed.  So a nice day trip.

The weather is quite nice this week. No really hot days.

We are also going to call the tree guy because the giant tree is now leaning MORE!! At first, I thought I was just imagining it but the top is no longer straight up. This is a huge tree and is aiming straight at the barn.  We have the money in our emergency fund but now there is no extra money coming in so whatever we take out won’t get replenished. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. But I think, except for the giant oak near the barn, this would be the last tree for a while unless something else happens. We have 2 other huge Ponderosas that are leaning but they are leaning away from our house. Unfortunately one is leaning towards our neighbor’s house which is kinda scary.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady and mine is done already. I just need to mop the floor later.

We are also planning a trip to Home Depot for wood. I’m conflicted about buying from Home Depot since the owner is a huge TRump supporter but the closest Lowes( liberal) is down by Costco. So for our old van a bit risky. ( The van is the only car that can hold wood on the roof and inside when we take the  seats out). So, anyway, it’s a conflict for me.  We are planning to get some fence posts so we can start the fence behind the barn to block out those neighbors.

That’s about it.

I’m so glad the protests are making such a difference and maybe we will see some real change. It is still so sad it has taken so many black lives though to get to this point.

 

 

Simple Sunday

What the fuck is wrong in America?

The awful murder of an innocent black man by 4 policemen.

The absolutely horrendous situation of the privileged white woman calling the police when a black man asked her to leash her dog( which was posted on a sign right behind her). Thankfully, this did not end violently and I’m glad she was fired from her job.

I’m glad there are protests going on. Something has to change in this country.  Of course, with a pandemic also going on, it’s tricky. I’m just depressed by it all. We have a racist president who is invoking violence, plays to his base, is a narcissist, and cannot feel anything except his own shit.

Something has to change.

In other news on the home front, we had another Instacart Costco order that was expensive but worth it. I spent @$375 for food and then a tip. Lots of stuff was prepper pantry stuff like bleach, cleanser, and toilet paper.  Some good food stuff like tuna, potatoes, avocados, bananas, and more. I looked at the receipt and then what I was charged by Instacart and most things were about $2.00 more that way. I ordered Sierra Pale ale for B and that was $4.00 more. So it definitely adds up but to not have to go into the store is worth it still.  The young man said the store was very busy and the checkout lines long. So I think a good choice. I’ll reevaluate in June about the time I need coffee. Of course, it’s a privilege that we can do this right now. There have been times in our past when I had $10. 00 a week for food.  And there have been times when I had zero money for food. So, for now, we can do this. Down the road, who knows. We’re living on a very limited income which will come in under $30,000 so… we shall see.

Our weather has been crazy with over 100 degrees one day and then hail and thunder the next. today is partly cloudy and cool. At least we’re not running the coolers all day.

I had my eye exam and everything seems stable with my macular pucker. Can’t do much about right now.  I also decided to cancel my crown on Tuesday and wait a few more weeks. I’m nervous about the air filtration in the office and stuff drifting around. I’m not sure much will be different in 3 weeks but I’ll try.

Next week I have my labs so we’ll see what news I get there.

 Barclay has another Bone Marrow Biopsy on Wednesday( such fun) so hopefully, he’s still fully engrafted. He started the Jakafi and I really hope this fixes the GVHD stuff.

Well, that’s all the news here at home. We did finish Ozark and it ends pretty violent and setting up for a 4th season. It’s good drama and Laura Linney is one of my favorite actors.

Flylady zone is the entryway this week if you’re following.