Back to our routines.

Since Sunday we’ve been slowly getting back to our daily routines. B has been outside nonstop with cleaning out Rubi( the RV) and cleaning it (which it doesn’t need much). He’s getting the pool ready to fill which is always a process and he’s doing endless outdoor chores.

I’ve been catching up with my Flylady routines and seems like today I’m mostly done with everything. I might do a kitchen deep clean later this week.

I like routines and I do better with daily lists and that sort of thing. I always prioritize what is most important to do and get that done first. Today, I have on my list to get out the dehydrator and start drying herbs that are in the garden like oregano, lemon thyme, regular thyme, and tarragon. I think there is some parsley too that can be harvested. We are going to have a bumper crop of garlic and that’s exciting. I guess planting in containers works best for some things and then the earwigs and other things don’t eat the seedlings so they have a chance to grow. The garlic is in 4 barrels so that’ll be a big harvest. I planted the onions around them so once the garlic is done I’m hoping the onions take off. In the 2 big galvanized tubs( they are 2×6), we have tomatoes, peppers, dill, parsley, fennel and I’m not sure what else.

The asparagus we planted last year don’t seem to be doing very well. Only 10 have come up and we planted at least 24. Maybe the soil conditions aren’t quite right. B has already harvested some radishes that he’s growing in an old clawfoot tub that he’s converted to a planter.

I haven’t done any decluttering as of late because where the house is now, seems good. I’m still debating getting rid of some canning jars but since canning season is just starting I think I’ll wait and see what I actually use. I plan on canning salsa, pickles, tomato sauce, and, a few other things. No jams this year as we don’t eat a lot of jam and I still have some marmalade and pepper jelly to use.

Tomorrow I go down to Sacramento to see Dr. L. My numbers came back just slightly over high normal at 19.9mg/L high is 19.4mg/L. last month I was at 18.3/L so a fairly big jump. 1.6, but I’m not too worried yet.

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

The most exciting news is my labs came back and my kappa light chains actually went down slightly INTO THE NORMAL RANGE!!! I’m pretty shocked really. I don’t know if I can remember when I started going out of range( increasing) that it ever went down. Well, I’m thrilled for another month of emotional freedom.

I was going to skip swimming tomorrow since my new suit didn’t show up but decided to just go for it. My current suit is fairly chlorinated and not in good shape but I figure no one is there to look at me and when I get out I’ll put my towel over me. Hopefully, my suit shows up next week.

Today is a home day and just pottering around. My daily chores are done and I might do a quick vacuum. I made the pizza dough for tonight, so that’s done. I have a few new books to read from the library so that’ll be fun.

I’m working on a small embroidery project from Posie in Oregon. I bought a PDF of her March pattern in which all the proceeds were going to Ukraine. I like embroidering but my hands can only do so much until they start cramping. Not much going on in the decluttering world. I’m in a good place with what we have and use. There’s always more but then that takes another level of what I want to keep and what I want to pass on. I have a great vintage turquoise blue typewriter but it’s been shuffled around for years with me thinking ” oh it’ll be a great display”. But honestly, I probably won’t do that, and plus I don’t have any room for it on a shelf. So, I’ll put that aside for the hospice thrift store.

I’m beyond thrilled at Ketanji B. Jackson getting confirmed for the Supreme Court. At least some good news.

We spent @ $400. at Costco which included $50. for lawn fertilizer, beer( $29.00), and something else that was non-food?? Oh, I think it was AAA batteries( $18.00) and gallon freezer bags($ 15). So, I’d guestimate that @$300 was for food.

It feels like it’s been a spendy week. And of course, the tree is going to be $$$$. But what can you do? If we didn’t have the money, I guess we wouldn’t do it. We’ve been there so…Plus, everything seems so much more expensive.

Middle of the week and hopefully not WWIII.

As I’m sure all of you are, I’m trying to find some hope that the situation in Ukraine turns around and Putin is kicked on his ass. It’s a scary situation when there’s nuclear capability. I refuse to be upset by gas prices or higher prices for anything. If that is the cost of freedom in Ukraine then so be it. I can’t stand the Biden haters who think gas prices are because of the pipeline from Canada. That has NOTHING to do with it. Oh well, since I am not that well versed in oil exchanges, I’ll leave it at that.

I’m definitely a little sore today from swimming yesterday as it had been 10days since we were gone. I did walk this morning and that was good. Today I’m just pottering around and doing some rearranging of things. I filled 2 bags with food for the food bank that was in my wine crate pantry. It’s stuff that’s been in there and I know I’m not likely to use. I emptied one Far Niente wine crate and used that for DVD’s and put that under my little Ikea couch I have in the sun room. As always, I try to keep like with like and the other crate of DVD’s in under there to so it’s the logical place for it.

Tomorrow I have my appt with Dr. L . My labs came back with virtually no change so that was VERY EXCITING. I am just slightly above high normal. If it can stay that way or near that till June it’ll be 1 year since my last Velcade so I’d be happy with that.

With spring bursting everywhere it’s hard not to go spend a ton of money on plants and seeds. We are buying 2 galvanized steel container to try as garden planters. The garlic in the barrels is doing great so I should get a good harvest of garlic.

Friday things

I just got back from getting my labs. It’s great that Quest is by appt. only. I was the only one in there and was done within 10 minutes.

There’s still no funding for myeloma at LLS so that’s not good news. I keep checking daily but there’s only mantle cell leukemia and Waldenstrom ( sp is probably wrong)( which is pretty rare.)So means February won’t be covered as that was my look back month meaning if I was funded in February, they would cover it even though my grant ended Jan 31. Tough break for us as that covers all my insurances.

Back home I put the sourdough cheddar jalapeno bread in the oven. This will be my last bread till we’re back. I’ll put my starter in the fridge tomorrow. I tried a sourdough rosemary baguette this week and it turned out great. I have a baguette pan I bought eons ago at Williams Sonoma and used that. The trick I think with sourdough and bread-making is just to keep doing it over and over. I can definitely tell by the feel of the dough how the hydration is. I had gotten a copy of Nancy Silverton’s Bread-making and read it thru. Overall, though, recipes look good, but they all make 2 loaves at a time and I don’t do that. Also reading about how she feeds her starter seemed too complicated to me. What I do is just keep adding equal amounts of flour and water at least once a day. Probably not as ‘scientific’ but it works for me. I also hate to throw away discard sourdough starter so I end up with 3-4 jars in the fridge. Oh well.

Then I’ve made the pizza dough for tonight and that’s in the bowl doing the first rise. It’s almost time to get out the Ooni for spring. Last night I used our new gas Weber that I bought for camping. I wanted to try it before we left. So I made BBQ chicken, BBQ tofu, roasted mini potatoes, and roasted veggies. WOW. It all came out delicious. I’m pleased and am looking forward to cooking with it camping.

It’s a cloudy day with rain expected off and on but it feels warm out. But it’s supposed to get very cold tonight with the possibility of snow. I plan on swimming tomorrow so I guess I’ll wait and see how it is in the morning. After swimming I was going to go over to Winco for some camping supplies. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll just go to Safeway. I actually don’t need a whole lot but things like peanut butter and some veggies and cream for coffee.

In good news, AAA settled my claim for a fair amount. The depreciation was factored in and then the $1000 deductible. I can’t buy a new Louis Vuitton for what they gave me but at least the $500 in cash was covered. I miss my Louis but I certainly can’t spring for a new one. sigh….:( Maybe down the road I can get a used one. There are a few sites that sell authentic LV and they look good. Still more than the amount they gave me but not the cost of a new one.

The situation in Ukraine is so devastating. Almost a million people leaving Ukraine. I hope the sanctions President Biden is implementing work to cut off the money. No money = No war. I shudder to think what the asshole Trump would be doing. I still keep hoping he gets indicted for something. I made a small donation to World Central Kitchen that is providing food trucks on the borders to feed people. Here’s the link if you want to donate too. It’s a small thing we can do to help the Ukraine people.

Simple Sunday

We had a nice walk this morning and wow, Venus was right above the crescent moon. Very beautiful. Nobody was there initially and then the Le Foret guy( he comes out of the woods, honestly), showed up and then 2 others later. But we were done by that point.

This morning I’ve made the olive sourdough bread, a chocolate cake is baking, and I have a turkey breast in the crockpot. I’m just about done with the living room zone which BTW is just today and tomorrow and then Tuesday starts the entry zone. I would like to go to the nursery and get some kind of flower, like maybe some pansies. Our violets have gone crazy this year and are all over.

A week from today we’re heading to Bodega Bay. My son and daughter will hold down the fort. Both have to work so they’re here anyway. The weather looks nice enough with some wind which isn’t unusual. There are no hookups at Bodega so it will be l or solar.

I have my labs later this week and then I’ll get my results next week. I see Dr. L in mid-March. I would be pretty darn happy if my numbers stay about the same. Speaking of which, March 1st is my 16th re-birthday. Hard to believe, I was going in today and then getting Melphalan, and then on the 1st was when I got my stem cells. It’s really the melphalan that does you in It was hands down, the worst episode of my life. I remember we had terrible storms and looking out the window from the BMT unit over to the freeway and watching the rain and wind go sideways. That part of Sutter hospital has all been redone since then and actually the whole building I first got my chemo in was torn down and is now the Children’s Hospital.

Friday things

I guess we’re never going to see blue skies this summer. It’s all hazy and smoke filled from the Caldor fire over near Placerville. That’s about an hour away from us over Hwy 49. The Eldorado National forest is all closed and many parts of the Pacific Crest trail is closed. What a summer.:(

I’m going in for my labs in about 45 minutes. I should have the important tests back by next Wednesday when I see my doctor. I guess it’s just a waiting game. I have a feeling that my remission is going to be short lived but who knows. It’s just a feeling.

I went to the farm stand yesterday and bought tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, radishes, lettuce( I was surprised by that), and local bread. It came to $31. I’m okay with paying more since it is all grown right there in the fields. They actually had some lugs of tomatoes out for $20. so I may do that next week.

Last night I made a NYT recipe for corn chowder. It was delicious.

The bread was the one I bought from our local baker. The jalapenos are from our garden and we do have tons. This weekend I’ll probably do 2 more jars of refrigerator jalapenos.

I don’t plan on any grocery shopping till next week or later. I need to write a list of what I want/need to get.

I plan on swimming tomorrow as normally I’d go today but with labs that’s not happening. After my labs we’re going to look at a truck. It’s becoming clearer that we will have to have a truck to pull the Rubicon. Things are pretty high priced but I saw some used under $30K. Expensive,but there’s not a lot of choice here. So we want to check out Toyota Tundras and Chevy Silverado’s. I think that will give us a good idea of what we’re after.

Simple Sunday

Our skies are still smokey and the sun is a red orb in the sky. It did clear up yesterday afternoon but it’s back in this morning. We had a good walk though although ‘he who shall not be named was there’. My God!, He is always there. I don’t think he’s taken a day off in the last year. Even I, OCD that I am, try and take a rest day.Oh well, he doesn’t bother us(right??after all that)… and does stay out of the way.

I went to Safeway to get the rest of the camping food for B and Sachi. One night spaghetti with garlic bread, the next night tofu burgers. It should be easy for them to handle. Then we went to Starbucks to get a pound of coffee ground for the press. It’s easier than trying to grind a large jars worth of coffee. We shared a tall Italian Roast coffee.

I finished the bathroom zone. I had bought new shower curtains last week so I put them up. With a claw foot tub, our shower needs 2 curtains to go around the ring at the top. I replace them about 3x a year due to mold issues. This time of year with everything so dry there isn’t much of a problem but in the winter it is more so. Still I cut the bottom off @3 X as well and wash in bleach.

I ordered the new Rosamunde Pilcher’s book.

She is one of my favorite authors. Will see if I like it. I have no qualms about returning a book if I don’t like it. I’m sure Amazon doesn’t want you doing this often but I have when I’m not happy with a book or a purchase.

This coming week will include swimming 2x, my labs on Friday , and taking Buggie in to check this wiring issue. The running lights on the left are not working and even after changing the fuses and bulbs it’s still not working. So we need to get it fixed as we drive out in the near dark at 5:45 am and the lights are not on. The brake lights work fine though. B needs to try and reschedule his IGIV for sooner as he is really feeling the fatigue. The anti-rejection drug he is on is causing his immunoglobulins to drop too low. Unfortunately, he will need to be on this drug a while so this is the treatment. At least it works. The cost is shocking at $41,000. Really?? I guess you’d just die if you didn’t have insurance.

I’m thinking seriously of painting our floors in the front room and bedroom white. I’ve always wanted white floors, very Scandish. But it would require some logistics as we would need to do half or a third at a time so we can access the bathroom and my daughter can get out of her room. Plus what I read is that it takes at least 2 coats maybe 3. We’ll see how it goes when the weather is cooler. It’s too hot now to do anything.

I think what I’ll do first is go to the Benjamin Moore paint store and find out about paints that can be put on a floor. Is it just regular paint and then a coat of varathane over it?? I’ll check.

Simple Sunday

We finished painting the kitchen in the semi gloss Benjamin Moore, Simply White. I thought it had been semi gloss before but it must have just been eggshell. For our kitchen semi gloss is best as our stove hood is not the best and grease does get on surfaces. Even doing the once a month kitchen zone when I wipe all the shelves it still builds up. So that was a good choice. We’re going to add another shelf to the one wall and I just ordered the bracketts. They’re not cheap as they are hand forged but they are nice looking. Then I will put my 1 gallon Ball jars there. Things are still disorganized as a couple of shelves are still drying so I can’t put stuff back yet. But tomorrow I will.

We’re headed for a very nice week so I’m planning on a few BBQ meals on the new Weber. Since I’m doing the freezer challenge, I’ll plan on burgers and chicken at least once. I need to work on the monthly menu plan for April too.

I plan on having labs next Friday since I see my doctor on the following Wednesday. The light chain tests take 3 days minimum so I need to do it earlier than I normally do( which is Mondays). Then April will start Round 4.

B and my daughter haven’t started building the garden shed yet so that will probably be the project for this week. Mavis over at ‘one hundred dollars a month’ blog was writing about what containers to use for gardening and she mentioned the big galvanized bins. A couple of people said they work great and there’s less bending involved. I thought I’d check out how much they are. Most of our raised beds are 2×12 boards and they do break down eventually.

Flylady zone is the bedroom. I’ll do that tomorrow.

This looking down the driveway from the barn. Our neighbors now have their tent trailer up there. The sunroom is where we have our 4pm wine and cheese and listen to jazz or NPR.

Friday things…

I’m using up the dex energy to paint trim and the french door in the bedroom. Most of it done. I’m planning on painting the window trim as well and got most of one window done. I’ll do the rest tomorrow.

I’ve got the pizza dough in the bowl doing a first rise and then I’ll put it in the fridge till later.

I’ve been very frustrated about not getting ANY camping spots at all. It seems everyone in the universe now want to go camping. I’m in reserve america at 6:55 am and clicking reserve right up to 7 when it opens up and POOF they are ALL gone. I’m guessing people with faster modems or computers are just beating my Mac. Well, we might not be getting to Tahoe again this summer except for day trips.

I did order the garden shed from Costco at $999. It will be at least 3-5 weeks before delivery so that’s into April I’m guessing. I think it will be most useful.

My labs came back AMAZING. Get this. After one round of Velcade my kappa light chains went from 660.6 to 45.6. Ratio went from 60.1 to 3.65. Even my Dr was impressed. So this cycle who know but it is good news that the myeloma cells do not like VELCADE!!! I know it probably won’t always be this hopeful but for now it is and that’s all we really have in the end anyway, is this day and this moment.