September 30th and another turn around the sun.

I’ve got to say it is VERY Weird to turn 70. I’m not sure if that means anything at all since you can’t stop time unless you’re dead and gone, I suppose. Well, I’m at a good place in my life. I’m swimming and doing the weights(although I’d like to be at the Rec center more), walking, and going out with the RV whenever possible. We have our SS and that covers most of what our monthly bills are and our 2 children pay us ‘rent’ and that covers the incidentals. I feel very grateful to have what we need at this point in our lives. Down the road , who knows really.

Yesterday I used the pressure canner again and made vegetable soup. For my birthday, my daughter bought me the ALL-Clad stock pot which is 16 qts and needed to make large amounts of prepared food for canning. I also got from her the new Alexa which is fun. My son got me a Lodge loaf pan which looks great. Very sweet of him. He really always thinks of the greatest gifts. I’m terrible at coming up with ideas.

I’m getting more comfortable with the pressure canner. This recipe made 7 qts and processed for 85 minutes. I bring a chair into the kitchen and keep an eye on it although nothing seems untoward. This morning I’ll wash the jars and label. I had one jar ‘siphon’ a little which is some seepage. It doesn’t make the canned product unsafe just slightly lower liquid in the jar so I’m planning on using that in the next few days. I’m really excited about learning this new skill. The Mirro canner seems to be working fine. I went and checked out the All American but still not ready to do that. Maybe next year. I ordered another pressure canner book so maybe they’ll be some new recipes to try. Ball has a few in their book and online but it seems limited.

B bought me some lovely flowers too.

On to Frugal Friday…

We went to Costco last Sunday and stocked up with coffee, bagels, bread, and lots of other stuff I can’t remember and,non food stuff like AA batteries, laundry soap, dish soap, TP etc. This all goes on October’s food budget. I decided to up our budget to $800 and I think that will be the right amount. We’ll see:)

We took Buggie in for that alignment that was needed but the mechanic( a different garage) couldn’t do it because he couldn’t get the bolt or something undone. So I guess we’re going to just leave it for now. He said it would be @ $900. After the expensive other garage stuff, I’m kinda done for now. I only use Bugs to go to Auburn and maybe drive 1500 miles a year at the most. So I’m not too worried. We did get the 2 new front tires though.

We were able to get a reservation at Nevada Beach for next week so we’re heading up there for a few days. The weather looks perfect. I also booked New Brighton for March. It might a little early to go there but you never can tell with March weather.

Simple Sunday and Happy Rosh Hashanah!

The beginning of the New Year for the Jewish faith. I really like the idea of Fall being the start of the new year. Plus leaving behind old ideas, regrets, etc. I read that a Jewish tradition is to throw bread crumbs into running water and that symbolizes letting go. I like that idea.

Friday came and went and I forgot or( really, didn’t get around to posting Frugal Friday). I started out by making the apple pie for Barclay’s birthday. This is before I baked it.

It came out great although the filling needed to be thicker( the liquid part). I did add some cornstarch but it wasn’t enough. I think I will order some Liquid Jel from King Arthur to thicken up pie fillings.

The pan is the KA one I bought last year and it is a GREAT pan for making the bottom crispy and not soggy.

And then on Friday, I wanted to drop off the stuff I had set aside for hospice thrift. But they were closed so I went over to the SPCA thrift store and dropped the ‘good ‘ stuff there. Then I dropped off 2 bags of books at the pet bookstore. So by the time I got home I didn’t feel like blogging.

I used the pressure canner and got the chicken broth done. I followed the instructions and put the weighted gauge at 15lbs of pressure for 25 minutes for the broth. It worked brilliantly and I got 3 Qts of broth and 2 pints. I’ve already used one to make a soup from Chelsea Winter( from New Zealand), mean green soup. Wow, it has broccoli, cauliflower, peas, spinach, onion, garlic, potatoes, and zucchini. You cook it up and then whiz it with the hand blender. Then add cream, parmesan, and creme fraiche( I used sour cream). It was quite delicious.

Today we are off to Costco for coffee( on sale) and laundry soap, etc. Everything adds up and going to the stores seems like a money pit right now. Also, this is the time of year our fall annual bills come due. So right now it seems like everything is a money drain. My goal next year is to be better prepared and have that money in a separate account. It’s there in our savings but I’d like to have a designated account.

I have a boule of sourdough in the oven and when it’s done we’ll leave for Costco. This week the Flylady zone is the LR and then the entryways on Saturday.

Frugal Friday, and the heat is coming:(

The heat is on its way.

Today is around 103 degrees; by Monday, we’re looking at 108. That’s pretty much unheard of in the Sierra foothills. We get 100-degree days, maybe even 103 but I don’t remember 108. We’ll be leaving for Tahoe Monday morning @ 10 am so we can get up there by 12:30. Checkout is noon so we don’t want to get there too early. We’ve never had a problem with early check-in but it does depend on the camp hosts.

Even in Tahoe, the temperatures will be in the 80’s, and for September that’s hot. I’m looking forward to just getting up there.

I have most of the meal ideas planned and will make a list of what to go buy at the store. This week was another lower spend week with B going to Costco but that was only $85 and $20 of that was champagne to bring with us. But he filled the truck at Costco gas and that was the main reason for going. No extras from Amazon or Winco this week. I stopped at our market yesterday to pick up cilantro for the salsa I was going to make this morning.

We had a nice walk at 5:40-6:20 am and then I came home and started chopping stuff for the salsa. The recipe calls for chopped onions, tomatoes( peeled and cored), bell peppers, and jalapenos, cilantro, and garlic. After all that I cooked it down for 30 minutes and then put it in the jars. Processing was 20 minutes.

That was 10 lbs of tomatoes. I think probably I’ve done @ 50 lbs so far. There’s not a lot left on the plants but if there is I’ll just do some quick sauce and maybe freeze that.

Except for the excessive heat, it’s been a nice week.

Friday things.

I had my consult with my PCP about my slightly higher LDL #. My HDL was very good and the ratio was good but he wanted/needed to tell me to try and cut out some higher fat foods like butter. 😦 I love butter but I told him I will do my best and he said we can test in another year. So that’s that. I will try to cut back on butter and cheese and some carbs. I cook with a lot of butter but usually in combination with olive oil. I’ll just try and be more conscious of using butter like on toast and bagels etc. Also, my thyroid numbers came back normal. Last time when my LDL was slightly high it must have been about 6-7 years ago, I started eating oatmeal for breakfast 4-5 times a week and within 6 months my cholesterol dropped 60 points.

My Myeloma labs came back almost the same as last month. So hurray on that. Another month of freedom so to speak. All my other labs were normal and the same as before. So all in all, it’s good.

Our anniversary is next week and B said I should go buy the Louis Vuitton. I said I’ll think about it. It’s not a cheap purchase and I’m quite happy with my Coach bag I bought that is similar in size to the Neverful. Still, a Louis is a Louis. I think my obsession( sort of) is that it’s French (although not many are made in France anymore) and the quality of workmanship. I only love the LV monogram and the black ones. The others are really quite gaudy in my opinion. Well, I’m certainly not getting younger:( That purchase would definitely NOT fit into Frugal Friday!!!

Today is a home day and I’ve done my morning reset, bathroom swish and swipe, and kitchen tidy. I plan on going to the farm this afternoon for a few things. I also am feeding my sourdough starter and plan on putting it into one jar instead of 3 1/2 jars. I might make some sourdough bagels this weekend. If I’m cutting out some carbs I might make bread with whole wheat as that is better on the glycemic scale.

Tomorrow after swimming I’m planning to go to Trader Joe’s for a few things. I know they have Ezekiel bread which is good and whole wheat tortillas too. I’m certainly willing to switch things up a bit. Besides, I always like a challenge.

Our hot weather continues. It’s very depressing after what seems like forever of 100 degree days. The nights aren’t cooling off hardly at all. Next week temperatures are all in the mid 90s so maybe that will be a little better.

I’m waiting for the next batch of tomatoes to ripen so I can process them. I’ll probably just do the tomato sauce again. I don’t think there’s too much else I’m interested in doing except getting some corn to quick freeze. Last year I did about 12 bags of corn and we used them all. Safeway usually has the best prices. I’ll check their flyer later.

On the spending side, I put an order into Rancho Gordo for 8 bags(1lb). Since they are in Napa they arrived in record time. If you haven’t tried their beans, you should. They are all heirloom and absolutely delicious. I ordered a new one to try called Whipple bean. I also added on a jar of Mexican oregano. When I opened it, it didn’t smell too much different from my oregano. So I’ll have to see how it is in recipes. Let’s see, I ordered falafel mix from Amazon because TJ’s doesn’t carry it in their stores anymore and finding it in the regular grocery store is a PITA. I bought some salad stuff from Holiday Market too. Even with cash envelopes, I’m still spending @ $700 a month on food. I guess that’s just the norm. At Costco, I did mostly cash and then the rest on the debit card. Costco is always more than I think it will be, of course!! Well, B did buy Sierra pale Ale beer but it’s really the best price for it if you drink beer. I also picked a few bulk items like sugar and some more flour.

Frugal Friday

It’s been a hot week and it looks like the next 10 days are hot too. I do ok with the heat in the low -mid-nineties but the upper 90s and 100s are hard for me. I don’t want to be outside; even being in the pool isn’t all that great as the air is still stifling. I do all my chores early and then read or do some handwork in the afternoon. This afternoon I’m going to the Farm for a few veggies. I saw they had corn coming in.

I haven’t been to the store this week but B went to Costco after his hearing test and got some things. That ended up $245. Some pantry stuff and then just groceries. Food is costly and I guess will probably stay high for a while. He filled up the truck at Costco gas and that saved some as Costco gas is the cheapest around. All our monthly bills are done and I’ve done a preliminary budget for August.

Oh, I did stop at Walmart after the gym and bought a few capri yoga pants. For some weird reason, Walmart’s cotton leggings always fit my body. Anyway, I needed something that fit and I could use at the gym.

This morning I made a batch of maple granola, and 2 little 4 ounce jars of pesto

for the freezer. If the farm has basil I’ll pick up some and make a few more jars. We don’t use lots of pesto but it is nice in the winter to have. As a matter of fact, we’re having pesto pasta salad for dinner. We considered getting take out but it’s just too expensive for us to buy. I can’t remember the last time we ate out?? hmmm, maybe last spring??

Wednesday I spray washed all the outside windows with the outdoor Windex product. It works really well and there’s no going back to use a squeegee although in the past I did do that. We also have been harvesting the onions and I have some nice looking ones. Onions are hard to grow here but the one bed my daughter did, they grew to a good size. We think the reason was the cardboard that she put down before adding more soil to the bed. There are some more to get in a few other beds but they are quite small and I’m not sure they’re going to grow anymore. We have lots of tomatoes but their still all green.

We watched most of the hearing last night and I’m so over anyone ever supporting trump for anything. He almost destroyed our democracy and is STILL trying to with his ongoing lies that the election was stolen. I loved them showing Josh Hawley running like a scared rabbit in the hallway even though he had fist pumped the armed rioters. Ha, I hope he’s eating s#*t this morning.

Well, off to do whatever is left to do.

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.