Frugal Friday

It is miserable out with rain, rain, and more rain. I decided after I got up at 5:30 am I wasn’t going to risk driving to Roseville to swim. It’s not the rain, although that is a factor, it’s more the crazy New Years’ eve drivers going up to Reno or Tahoe. So I worked on my batch of pizza dough to freeze and one for tonight.

Barclay came with me to Safeway to get the sub sandwich things( our New Years Eve tradition) and surprisingly it wasn’t too busy. Then we thought we’d have a coffee date at Starbucks with peppermint mochas, but alas, they had no peppermint syrup so we just had plain coffee.

I’m going full steam on sourdough bread making and here’s today’s loaf: a walnut raisin loaf with some KA white wheat.

I ordered a bread slicer thing to get even slices but I’m not sure that I’ll keep it. I can cut pretty good slices with my bread knife, but I thought I’d try it to see whether I like it. Now for the sandwich bread in the Zojuruishi, it’ll probably be great. It won’t be here till next week, but that’s ok.

For January, I plan on doing a pantry/ freezer challenge that the Youtuber, Three Rivers Homestead started. Basically, you set how much you want to spend in the month, like for dairy or fruit/ veggies, and then the rest of your meals come from the pantry or freezer. I think I’ll put in $100 and see how far that gets me. I do need to go to Costco once for some non food items like laundry soap and allergy pills but I’ll keep it to a minimum and not add that to the grocery bill. The idea is to start using what you’ve canned or processed so you can reduce your pantry in preparation for the coming year.

All the Christmas stuff is away and at Safeway, I bought a bunch of Eucalyptus branches to put in a glass jar.

Well, Have a safe New Years’ eve. I’m working on my list of goals for the year, some for house stuff, yard and, some just for myself to work on.

Five on Friday

So, I had my oncology appt yesterday, and that all went well except for the horrendous rain going down to Sacramento. I don’t like driving in the rain because of my macular pucker which makes seeing out of my right eye difficult and rain makes seeing worse. But I made it down and back just fine. Dr. L said same old same old, we’ll just keep track of things and go from there which is really all we can do. It’s really when my kappa light chains start doubling that I’ll say let’s do something. We agreed, when the time comes, to go back on Velcade and see if it’s still effective. I’m still hoping for June-ish.

Then this morning I had my follow-up audiology appt and that went as expected. No change and still have less hearing in my left ear. I just mumbled umm ok… that’s what I thought.

Then Safeway had some great deal this week so I went over there which is just down the road from the Sutter Medical Bldg. The deals were $1.97 for 24 Arrowhead water, $1.97 for 1 lb butter, $1.77 for boneless chicken breasts, .87 for Honey crisp apples, and more savings on some other things. The cashier said I saved more than my bill was so that was cool. I think I might pressure can the chicken in a recipe like chicken soup or something. I’ll check my pressure canning book and see what looks good.

It’s pizza night and I will take out one of my frozen dough balls to defrost. My son’s not home tonight so it’s just us and my daughter. I’ll keep it simple.

I have everything out that I plan to have for Christmas and it’s quite pretty and simple. I did declutter all the Hallmark boxes except a few so that left lots of room in the one Christmas bin. I still have the Ikea white storage boxes in the closet but those are not in the way and are on the top shelf.

I plan to either swim tomorrow or do the gym. Usually I swim Saturday, but I feel I need to keep up on doing the weights. So I guess I’ll decide tomorrow.

Simple Sunday

Another beautiful walk this morning although chilly at 37 degrees. No one at the park but us. It’s always a thrill ( okay that may be an exaggeration)to get there and walk by ourselves. The trees are lovely fall colors and the geese have been around too.

The pie came out really terrific. I might tweak the recipe some and use heavy cream instead of evaporated milk but overall it was delicious. It was soft but after refrigerating it firmed up nicely. I think I will make another next week or maybe pumpkin cheesecake.

This week we are in the Bathroom zone and 1 other room so I’ll probably tidy my office area.

We had one of our dead snags fall over the neighbor’s fence down in the woods so B has been chainsawing that up. We have 2 other dead snags that we’ll need someone to drop. We hadn’t planned on that as they are down on the very lower edge of the property but the neighbor indicated he’d like them down. As long as it is very little $, I’ll do it. If it’s more than $100 no, they can just fall. These trees have been dead for about 7 years from bark beetle so it’s natural that they would eventually fall. Our other 2 neighbors have lost about 12 large trees and supposedly PGE will take them but who knows when? PGE is so backed up with keeping lines clear of trees that it could be a while. These trees are not near any lines so I’m surprised PGE said they’d do it.

I’m not planning any extra cooking today. I’ve pulled a bunch of things from the freezer for the week. Some chicken, frozen lentil soup, spaghetti sauce, and frozen eggs. So I’ll plan some dinners from that.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the gym and Tuesday I have a dental appt. That’s it for this week with probably a swim day Thursday.

Here’s Friday’s pizza. I’m using Tony Gemignani 00 flour and it’s a game-changer for pizza dough. Plus I’m making 1 large batch and dividing it into 4 balls and then freezing it. It’s working great.

Good news for Democrats holding the Senate. At least something positive is happening.

Friday things

Frugal things included shopping at Grocery Outlet for a few items we needed and to take advantage of their semi-annual wine sale. 20% off everything is a good deal. I bought 6 different bottles to try. None of the wineries are familiar to me but that doesn’t matter. Then we also stopped at Safeway to check on turkey breasts but they didn’t have any( nor Target or Walmart)?? So I added in a 10lb turkey (their brand) and when I was checking out it rang up as $7.00 so that was a good deal. I’m not sure I’ll use it for Thanksgiving but it’ll be in the freezer.

The black beans looked like they came out good in the pressure canner. I soaked 3 lbs overnight and then cooked for 30 minutes. I ended up with 5 Qts and 1 pint. So that’s quite a bit. I’ll use the pint jar next week and test it out.

I had my annual mammogram this morning and was in and out in 20 minutes. Then I headed down to Roseville to the Rec center. It was too early for the library so I’ll go next week. After that, I just came straight home and had a poached egg and toast instead of stopping at Panera.

I’m cooking up a banana bread right now as I type this blog because it wasn’t quite done. The bananas were in the freezer and I’m really trying to use things that need using up.

Tonight is pizza night and I have that all prepped. My son leaves for Las Vegas tomorrow with his friend. Their seeing Elton John. I think this is his 20th time seeing him. One time in LV at an Elton show, Elton’s rep came up to Zephyr and his friend and gave them VIP tickets to move up to the front row. That was a thrill for him.

We’re in for lots of rain next week so it’ll be an inside week for sure. There’s supposed to be snow in the mountains. Hurray!

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.

Friday things

It’s been a really nice week for me. Mellow and I feel like I got a lot done.

Walking has been really great and two people that used to walk at the same time showed up. They are friendly and always use headlamps. It’s been about 6 months since we’ve seen them so who knows why. I have to say not having the dog walker there has made the park mellow and pleasant. But if he comes back, we’ll deal with it.

I have another sourdough loaf of jalapeno cheddar ready to go. It’s so delicious and really quite easy. You just need the starter feed and then the recipe is basically no-knead and does a slow rise in the refrigerator. If you’re interested it’s King Arthur’s no-knead sourdough recipe and then I just added about a cup of cheddar and a few tablespoons of chopped jalapenos. I didn’t alter the recipe, just added it. I plan on trying an olive one and a walnut one.

Here’s another amaryllis bulb blooming. This one is called Minerva.

Today I might go to the pet bookstore but I’ll do my morning reset first and then see. I also have a load to go to the Goodwill. As usual, it’s in the back of buggie(my 2000 VW) and has been for a few weeks.

I just made the pizza dough for tonight and the oven is coming up to temperature for the bread. ( which takes forever to get to 500 degrees). After it comes up to temp. you drop it back down to 475 or 450 depending on what kind of bread you’re baking.

I plan on swimming tomorrow which I’m looking forward to.

Frugal Friday

Back from the world of DEX, so now it’s on to how the week went money wise.

We did a grocery shop at Safeway that came in at $95 plus some wine which I’m not including in the grocery amount. I’m working on a Walmart order for next week that should take us thru the following week. That week we head down to Capitola, so the stuff I’m buying is partly for that and partly so the kids have some extra here if they need. Of course, they can get their own food too, which I’m sure they will.

I had to pay OP for my Dex copay of $36.00. That will be all I need to finish all the chemos. I checked online with the mail order and it was only less as a 90 day supply. So I won’t need that again so it’s a unusable as such.

I did order some N 95’s this morning as I/we will continue to use them even when the vaccine numbers go up. California is supposed to open more up and I’m not going to get caught in variants if I can help it.

My daughter paid for the nursery things so that didn’t cost me anything.

We’re ordering a pizza tonight but it’s from Celestino’s and their extra large is only $23, so that’s a good deal. I could’ve made one but it’s nice to do something different.

Here’s some shots of the garden shed as it is now.

And here’s a picture of one of the Japanese maples leafing out. These were planted by my daughter about 3 years ago!

I did my usual chores this morning after out walk. I vacuumed, mopped the floors, did a reset of the house ( going around and putting away whatever is out of place).

Friday’s my energy definitely comes back so that’s nice. I still don’t drive but tomorrow I’m going out so it should be fine.

Five on Friday

I’m late getting this off since this morning I was trying to get my Tartine bread in the oven before we left to go to Costco. The bread was a rye mixture( so slightly darker) and the rise isn’t as high but it has great flavor especially with cream cream . I got it in for the first 20 minutes with the lid on and then took the lid off for the final 25 and left my daughter in charge of taking it out. It looked great when I got home.

Costco( the 9am, 60 and older crowd) was absolutely crazy. The line to get in was around the building. For an instant, I almost decided we should just leave but decided this is it till after January 1st and it’s only going to get worse ,so we went in. I guess the TP run is back on and most people were beelining to the back for the TP. Geez, really?? Anyway, they have rearranged the store so cold veggies are near the bakery and that’s where I started. I got everything on my list except canned beans because at that point in the store I was DONE!!! I made B get 2 cases of beer because I ain’t going back in there during Christmas. If we need cream or whatever I’ll hit our market here in town.

My Diestel turkey breast showed up yesterday and that will be nice to have instead of the whole turkey. Last year I did a Whole Foods turkey and it was delicious( according to my notes) but this year I didn’t want to do the whole thing plus I haven’t been into Whole Foods since last Christmas. I do keep a written menu of Thanksgiving each year and then add notes. It has been good to refer back to. I started doing this the one year I downloaded Flylady’s thanksgiving “to do ” list. I have to say, it has been helpful.

B had a call from the Cancer after hours clinic asking him to call( this was after 7pm). We didn’t even get the message till bedtime since neither of us keep our phones with us. We ignored it figuring it was his potassium level( which it was). His blood pressure hasn’t been stable so he went back on the HCTZ which is extremely effective but drops his potassium to low levels and they want him to get an infusion. When you’ve been down this road this many times we just had him take extra potassium pills and drink some gatorade. So after calls this morning( in the middle of Costco noless), yes, increase potassium pills, stop the HCtz again, and get another blood test. Also his immunoglobulins are down which happens about every 2 months so he will need an infusion for that. Sometimes, I feel like I’m barely hanging on here.

We got a Christmas tree permit to go up to Tahoe next week. It’s always a crap shoot of whether you will go the right area and find a nice tree but this year we will give it a go. Last year we skipped it with everything still going on. There has been some snow up there so that will be interesting. I’m planning on NOT putting up the artificial tree if we find a nice live on to put up. If not I will use the live one in my room with just some lights and put the artificial one up in the front room.

Tonight is pizza night and we are having just a frozen pizza. I was going to do Round Table but after spending a zillion dollars at Costco decide to just use what we have. Plus, the deep dish ‘MOtown’ from Costco is quite excellent.

Well, that’s a wrap, and I hear a glass of red wine calling me.

Friday the 13th

I love Friday the 13th. Mostly, I just like the number 13. Why? I have no idea. Well on to 5 on Friday or maybe even Frugal Friday.

Our trip to Trader Joes was not frugal but did get almost everything I need for Christmas dinner and just holiday eating. Think Brie, crackers, pub cheese, etc.

I still need the lasagna stuff but that’s an easy Safeway trip.

It’s raining today but we did get a walk-in with our umbrellas. It was only drizzling so not bad. I’m planning on going to the gym and then maybe an errand.

Barclay is going to officially retire at the end of January from UNFI. That’s his 25-year anniversary. It was a hard decision, really but I think the right one. His HR said though he needs a medical release to return to work from his doctor and then he needs to be reinstated in order to then retire. It seems like a lot but I guess they have rules. So that’s what he’ll do.  He also is going to check about the long term disability that he could possibly get for a few months but that’s pretty iffy.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Tonight is pizza night and I’m doing homemade. It’s still raining:(

BTW, if you’re looking for a good murder/mystery series on Netflix,  Le Foret, which is in French with subtitles is superb and the companion series ‘the Black Spot’ is terrific. Excellent characters and the scenery, shot in France and Belgium is great.

Friday stuff…

Well, it has been a really busy week with doctor appts, chemo( still 3more days to go), Costco not once but twice. Uhgggg, I ended up going again to Costco today as the Vet didn’t get the dogs pills in on Monday. PITA.  So, it was back down. I ended up getting gas again.  Plus, I figured I’d get the stuff on sale. B has been using Orgain drinks to bolster his food intake and it was on sale. I got both the powder and the liquid. It’s pricey but since he’s lost so much weight (almost 20 lbs) the doctor and I want him to eat eat eat. He’s always been way to thin and now it’s critical he gain weight.

Anyway, this has not been a thrifty week at all. I’m not sure if I’m just going to not go to the store for the rest of the month or just minimally. I do need milk and almond milk so that’s more$ right there. Oh well. It’s only Feb 8 so that’s a while till the end of the month but as of right now, I’m over budget. I’ve been budgeting $200 a week for everything, food, and non-food. It’s actually been spot on. Since we do provide food for our adult children it’s more than if it was just the 2 of us. My daughter does pay rent/food but my son who’s in school full time we let slide.

I’ve also been on the phone a lot, which I greatly dislike, arranging payments for the hospital bill for B’s port placement and the surgeon. I did the one over 4 months at $350 a month and the other over 10 months at $270. They were very accommodating but still not really budget friendly. Well, at least they let us do payments.

We haven’t heard back from the financial coordinator about the insurance for the transplant or sending off the BM kits to the brothers. Maybe next week.

Next week I have an appointment with an SS advisor about Medicare. We are both still covered by B’s insurance but I’m thinking if I switch over to Medicare then that will give us an idea of what our monthly amount will be. I’m sure it’s more than what we pay now but it has to be done sooner or later. So, we’ll see what he says. I need to be sure the drugs I might need in the future such as the Velcade I was on will be covered or at least after we pay the initial amount of our responsibility. Honestly, sometimes I feel as if we are just bumbling thru. Take the SDI, we really had no idea what to put in the form and it was initially rejected.  Then after calling them and waiting forever on hold, we had it figured out.  Still, sometimes I wonder how are we going to navigate this stuff.

Any suggestions for Medicare would be most welcome.

Well, on a more positive note, I’m making a BBQ chicken pizza for dinner and leftover gourmet veggie for the Dad.