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 was a frugal week overall. The grocery shop at Trader Joe’s will go on November’s grocery bill. So far October has been around $800 all inclusive. That’s food, non food and alcohol. So actually I’m ok with that total. For 4 people eating 3 meals a day, I’d say it’s quite good.

Gas has been quite reduced since we don’t really drive anywhere. I fill my VW up about every 6 weeks and that runs around $30. The Santa Fe fills up about once a month at $50. So really that is a big savings.

All our annual bills are done for the year so that’s also a savings as we wont have property tax or Allstate till next spring. I paid the property tax way early( for once) and that’s kinda nice. Usually I’d wait till the first week of December to do it.

We don’t have family to buy gifts for so that reduces Christmas spending. I usually get my brother a GC to either Tractor Supply or Starbucks. Then I send my sister a consumable gift usually wine or something a little fancy.

For us, I keep it simple. For each of us, one book(almost always an Easton Press), one piece of clothing, something fun, and something they need. My son will get a GC to Home Depot since he’s working on the barn and rebuilding/strengthening part of it. I still end up spending more than I’d like but it’s not bad. I try and buy all year long when I see something then I don’t have to think about it. Pre pandemic, I would often find things at the thrift store all year to put away for Christmas but not this year. I’ve gone into Goodwill 2x since the pandemic started and it wasn’t all that interesting.

Tonight is pizza night and I think we’re going to order something. I need to check but I think we’ve done 2 takeouts this month. Well, I know one was the free pizza from the store and my daughter bought Tacos one day so I’m not sure what else we did this month. Anyway, I don’t have the pizza dough made so that kinda settles it anyway.

I finished the Return of the King yesterday. The trilogy takes me about a month to get thru and is thoroughly enjoyable everytime I read it. This is my 3rd or 4th time. Next up I’m going to re read, To Kill a Mockingbird as part of that takes place at halloween( BOO Radley!!). Anyway, I was going to start Dracula which I also read once a year but maybe later.

Frugal Friday on Saturday

This week was okay budget wise.

We did go to Trader Joes and I haven’t decided whether to make that part of my May grocery bill or just call it for April which now sits @800. This includes all food, non-food, cat food, and alcohol( which is just wine for me as B is not drinking at all with his treatments.)

I’m leaning just calling it for April and just moving forward.  The only extra bills were the medical co-pays. One was for $500 and the other $350.  That’s just medical and part of how we’ve budgeted the GFM money.  All other bills are done and the budget is set for May.

We’ve sent in the long term disability forms but really don’t know how they would calculate that.  It would be nice but I’m still not sure even how that works.

I went to Target and got a fan since now the weather is getting warmer. I also picked up cat food and some cloth napkins we needed.

We did go to Home Depot for more garden supplies but I consider that seasonal expenses especially for the garden which will produce veggies. That was @ $130.

Tomorrow is a gym day and B needs platelets. So I’ll go and then wait at Starbucks for him as it usually is a shorter infusion.

Dinner is Greek Chicken Souvlaki.

 

Friday stuff

So yesterday was another test for B. This was the cardio stress test. Today it’s an EKG and x rays. So all that’s left is the CT scan in May and he’ll be ready to go to transplant.

Yesterday I drove and my daughter came along and we went to Whole Foods and then Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble is such a waste. It is so expensive. I was checking out cookbooks etc and they are full retail price as opposed to Amazon where it’s usually half that.  It was nice to look at the books but I want interested in buying.

Then since B hadn’t eaten we went out for brunch and it was really nice to do. I’m definitely a Scrooge when it comes to eating out but this time I was okay with the bill and the food was good. Not great but good.

So then today I’m going to forge forward to Social Security and be prepared to wait.  I figure 2-3 hours all said and done. After that, I may go to the gym but it kinda depends on how I feel.

My food budget is pretty much used up for April so I need to use all of what I have in the refrigerator and freezer. Tonight I ‘ll make a homemade pizza.  If anything, I’ll need salad stuff but right now I’m set for the next week.

 

Our weather looks really nice this next week with temperatures in the 70’s which I am so ready for. All our grasses are growing like crazy so the mower will be going none stop. A lot of this is seasonal grass, not lawns. We only have 2 small areas of lawn we keep green.

Some things have been planted but it’s too early for tomatoes, etc.  I think my daughter(the gardener) did plant lettuce and radishes so we’ll see how they do.

Next week looks open except me trying to get this crown done. I’m not looking forward to that but since it seems dental with Medicare is non-existent I better do it now. Still, that’s another copay but whatcha going to do?

 

 

Monday morning

Just went to get my blood test again to check my WBC so I can start pomalyst tomorrow or Wednesday.  I called Optum RX and the prescription hadn’t been called in yet….huh.. So I had to call Mercy cancer center and get the nurse. So it should be faxed today. Geez…it’s a good thing I still can think.

The budget for October was pretty blown in the way that we had such big expenses. But those were out of the EF for the roof and the trees. Food and non food(cat food, cleaning, wine etc..) came in @ $800. household ( like home depot etc) came in @ $300. So not too bad. Every thing else was normal or lower. Our electric has been great at @ $100. Thats low for us. The last medical from the bone marrow biopsy co pay is this month so, that’ll be done. Paying for my Invisalign will be ongoing for a year I’m guessing. I’m going to order propane and put that on my cc so I can get the points. I’ve already used points to get 5 gift cards for christmas.

I finally got the outside windows done using Windexs outside sprayer. It’s a good product if you can’t afford someone to do your windows.  B has been cleaning the yard up before we start getting the rains and its an ongoing process. Leaves, pine needles… on and on. But it looks good.  We’re suppose to get rain Wednesday or Thursday.

I might go walk another round in the park. I feel like I need to up my time walking to an hour total. But then I get lazy and don’t do it. We’re still walking in the morning buts only about 25 -30 minutes. I think I need to build up to an hour. I thought about a fit bit with the steps that you can see buti’m not sure I want to spend $125 for it. I’m visual so I’d need the one with the screen. we’ll see.

Working the budget

imageWell, the rain has stopped. Actually since we weren’t camping it was great to get that much rain for the garden . But, it’s suppose to be 100 by the weekend. Go figure?,!

So, it’s budget day. All Julys bills are in and I have a few to write out and send. But, I send those to coordinate with the next pay check. I’d hoped to have the Prius paid off by now but as usual we are not really ahead. I put$50 in Santa, and moved $500 back to sinking. It’s again not what I hoped but at least it’s something. Groceries I’ve put at $300 and that may have to include non food. I’m going to do some batch cooking for the freezer ,so I made need more bulk items. Yesterday, I made a spinach lasagna and this yummy pesto penne pasta bake. Both are in the freezer. I’m going to do enchiladas and double stuffed potatoes. It’s off to Costco today and winco. June we did spend less on food, but non food and cat food were too high.

If you remember our cat tucker has feline diabetes, so we are feeding him can food every 4 hours.

I’m not budgeting any clothes for July. We spent too much in June which is unusual. I almost never buy clothes but I found a few things I needed. I still need new walking shoes, but that will have to wait till I see how the budget is. B needs tires and a 30,000 mile service. Both big money items for us.

So yesterday, I decided not to box up the Franciscan dishes. I decided I don’t use the shelves their on,because there too high for me. So I’m going to see if I do use them , if not ….

I got school art and main lesson books( for you Waldorf people), down to 1 bin. We also have almost another load to go to the thrift store. A tent with no poles I found. Where the heck did that come from? So out in our funky barn we have shelves I the middle ,that actually help the structure, and that’s where I store Christmas etc. My goal is to only have what will fit on these shelves. Christmas is about 4 bins, LOTR binders( kids stuff) 1 bin, art work 1 bin, Z’s brio set 1 bin, Star Trek stuff 2 bins if I’m honest:) ,and some others. But it’s almost where it’s good for now.

What I’ve discovered in this simplifing journey, is each time I go thru stuff, I find less to keep, less that really just doesn’t need to be stored in a bin. Many many years ago, we were very influenced by everything Japanese. Hence , my daughters name is Sachiko. But we were very wabi sabi. Alan watts kinda, “Uncarved Block, Unbleached Silk”. So I guess it’s always been there for us. But after you live somewhere 20 years, stuff accumulates. We still have a very small house( under 1000 sq ft), but as anyone with kids knows, stuff just appears. So it’s now, less is more.