Projects done!

The closet looks bright and clean. We did move our space heaters to the barn and I have one box of “I don’t know what to do with” stuff. One item is my old Waring blender that I bought new in 1985. It still works fine but most I use my Vitamix. So I’m undecided and will wait on deciding to give away or not.  We still need to hang my mirror back up and then I can take a photo if I remember.

B finished repotting the bamboo in the new barrels. This is actually a pretty big job as the roots needed to be cut with a Sawzall.  That’s how thick they were.  We are going to get a 3rd barrel as it will fill the space out nicely.

We also took everything out of the chest freezer and defrosted it. I got a good count on what’s in there so that was helpful plus it’s more organized.

The weather is quite a bit cooler and we actually sat outside last night.  Today is also really nice with a high of only 85.

Yesterday I bagged up the Central Milling flour into 3 mylar bags. I could have used the food saver bags but  I wanted to test out how the flour would be. The other bag I will use the food saver bags and then compare the two.

Tuesday we did our Costco shop. It was just under $500. Some of that was alcohol. The Costco beer which is a variety of ales and other types is a great deal at $20. and this was the first time we’ve seen it in almost a year. So we bought 2. That should last a while. I don’t drink beer but B does( although not too much right now with his issues) and my son has the occasional beer. Then we bought champagne for our anniversary. Since we’re not going anywhere, we figured we’ll do some kind of celebration dinner with champagne. This shop wasn’t really a prepper shop but more stuff for the month, salad stuff, avocados, spinach, cheese, bread.  The only things I still need are milk, bananas, vegetable shortening, and burger rolls. I’ll probably do that later in the week.  I’m hoping this shopping will get us thru most of the month.  Oh, I did get organic pasta that was on sale. So that’s for the prepper pantry.  Later this month we’ll hit Winco and get 2 more of the buckets if they have them and the gamma lids. I’m tempted to go sooner than later as I’m guessing they will get sold out.

I’m still waiting on my labs, so maybe by tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my son’s 26th birthday. Such a wonderful young man. Funny, talented, smart, and has a full-time job with California State Sierra Nevada Conservancy.  He was a fun kid and outgoing.  He was homeschooled all the way thru high school. He then went to Community college, got 2 degrees, and then graduated from CSU Sacramento. No student debt and he did most of it on his own. We are so proud of him. So, I need to find out what kind of dinner he wants and dessert. Our family ritual is the birthday boy/girl gets to pick their favorite dinner and dessert.

I’m reading the new Todd Borg” Tahoe Hit”. It just came out if you’re interested. He’s one of my favorite authors and is local to Lake Tahoe.

685789B5-5871-4B18-ADA0-0533A910EDF3.jpegHere’s my new BLACK LIVES MATTER yard sign for the driveway.

 

 

Putting things up

I made a quick batch of pickled jalapenos this morning.

 

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We use these all winter. They are not canned but just refrigerator jalapenos. It says they are good for 2 months in the fridge but we are just finishing ajar from last fall so I’m guessing they last a lot longer than what the recipe says because it’s just vinegar and water and some sugar.

Also, at Winco we SCORED gamma lids and some buckets. These are seriously expensive on Amazon. They’re probably not quite as good as the Amazon ones but they’ll do the job of sealing the buckets. AF23071C-19BD-4C6C-9865-F0B4CA78E2BE

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I have the black beans and points to put in the 5 gallon buckets but I’m waiting on the mylar bags to separate the beans. I could vacuum seal them so I might do that but the mylar I guess are  better for longer term storage.  The mylar bags are not coming in till the first week of August so I’ll have to see what I want to do.

I rearranged the prepper pantry in the barn and moved all the non food( well almost) to other shelves that used to hold all my magazines. It looks good and based on what’s there I’d say I have almost a year for some things and 6 months for others( TP).

I was watching a few youtubers who are preppers and the recommendation was a cooler dark place. We do not have a closet to use in the house as there is only one real designated closet albeit that it is large. So I got to thinking maybe we should build a closed in cabinet in the barn. I’m not sure since the barn does not get any direct sunlight in there and is generally on the cooler side. I don’t know, I’ll have to think on that too.

I tell you though, some of these preppers are really out there with survivalist stuff. I sorta ignore all that and just try and glean some ideas about storage.

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Some of my orchids are reblooming which I’ve never had happen. It must be they like where I put them which was actually an accident. I had put them on B’s to get them out of the way and sure enough the morning light and then the coolness from the windows at night must be the right condition. Excited to see if it happens again.

the week ahead…

Another quiet week with no appts. I don’t get my labs till the first week of August. I’m expecting the worst with another steep rise but am still hoping to delay treatment till fall or even this winter. Not to be pessimistic but realistic since Myeloma just doesn’t go away and blood work doesn’t magically get better:(

Monday is chore day and doing little things around the house. I cleaned the tub with Comet and I plan on washing the towels which I try to do on Mondays. The Flylady zone is the bedroom. I’d say if you’re new to Flylady, clean everything out of your bedroom except your bed and maybe a dresser. No TV’s, no extra chairs( unless it’s a very large room), and basically remove all distractions.  If you haven’t uncluttered, now is the time to do so. As I’ve said many times, once things are simplified and cleared out cleaning is a snap, and keeping it that way is quite easy. More stuff means more cleaning and it is visually distracting. I do have a Heywood Wakefield bedside table I need for my meds that I take in the evening and my water.  If I could figure out a way to eliminate that I would.  Maybe another wood crate attached to the wall like the one on B’s side of the bed. It’s small but has enough room.

Mondays are also the day we don’t walk but oddly it feels like the day just doesn’t feel quite complete. But since I’m quite OC about it, it’s probably good I break up the routine.

I’ve been researching long term prepper pantry storage and it seems Mylar bags are the way to go. But since I’m using the vacuum sealer right now, I don’t think I’ll add mylar to the mix. Maybe down the road.  But I’m not looking to try and prep for 5 years and those people that do are kinda extreme. So what I am going to do is get a few more 5-gallon buckets and put some of the vacuumed sealed bags in them so light doesn’t affect them. I’ll try and do a bucket for rice, then one for beans, and then one for flour or baking things. Also, I’d get the gamma lids since they screw down.

I do think that in the fall things are going to get worse and so it is good to be ahead of that. I still like the idea of the upright freezer for certain things but we need to kinda regroup from the tree expense.

Meal plan for the week is : ( in no particular order of using)

  • Tacos, bean and some taco beef for the carnivores plus all the trimmings
  • Cobb salad with hardboiled eggs, sliced cheese, olives, maybe some kind of bean like kidney beans, veggie bacon, cherry tomatoes from the garden and we also have cucumbers coming in as well.
  • homemade macaroni and cheese with broccoli on the side
  •  chicken piccata/tofu with corn I froze( from the fruit stand) and maybe potatoes.
  • homemade pizza
  • mystery meal???

Well, that’s a wrap for now.

 

 

 

 

Simple Sunday

BOYCOTT GOYA FOOD PRODUCTS!

( just a reminder)….

We stocked up the prepper pantry this week with

  • 25 lbs of black beans. they’re not organic but grown in Washington state so I felt ok about it.
  • canned goods
  • coffee( 2 bags of Starbucks French Roast on sale at Costco)
  • Bob’s steel cut oats
  • TP
  • paper towels ( Costco’s giant package gets us through most of the year) We try not to use a lot of paper towels but sometimes you just have to.
  • Dove soap( 16 bars)
  • ramen soup( my favorite breakfast)
  • lots of single item things from Winco like Asian seasoning stuff, and olives
  • four more boxes of pasta
  • Another 10 bag of Calrose rice

The barn pantry looks really good and as soon as I get the Ikea pantry the other stainless steel shelves will go out there too.

Not much on the schedule this week, so that’s nice. With the weather being so hot, I don’t like having to go out much.

I went to Goodwill yesterday and Whoaaaaa… I got there at 9:45am. Dropoffs start at 10am. there were probably 25 cars already in line. By the time it started, I had probably 30 cars behind me. I guess it’s the season.

My order from Ikea ( from 2 months ago) showed up. So it’s another bamboo plant stand. And another small cabinet. I have this cabinet in our entryway and my plan was to put this one next to it. But then since we put the small TV in my office area, I decided I will put it under the TV and put ALL the DVDs in it. If they don’t fit some will have to go. So a little more organization.

I’ve been taking some pictures of the different rooms again and looking at the spaces. In my office area, the brown rug ( once I took the picture) looked really awful with the grey Ikea couch. So that was pulled out and I’ll have to see if I want a grey rug to replace or just leave the wood floor. Some of the pine boards need replacing so another project.

This week on the menu will be

  • individual Lodge quiches, a mushroom /cheese, spinach/ cheese)
  • Yakisoba with crispy tofu
  • burrito bowls with pintos, avocado, tomato salsa, cheese and tortillas
  • maybe something with beef like in a Japanese recipe from Just One Cookbook
  • spinach crepes with a bechamel sauce( maybe) depends how ambitious I feel!

BTW, I am loving the Zojirushi rice maker I got. It is fantastic ( thanks Laura from The Occasional Nomads who always has great suggestions and has lovely Japanese things in her home on Kaua’i.

My head is spinning with the political crap going on. With Trump getting Stone off the hook and out of his scheduled sentence, I just want to throw up. The corruption is so blatant it’s mind-boggling. Then he and Devos ( who is also evil incarnate) just wants the kids to go to school 5 days a week. Ok, you send YOUR kid or you go and spend a week in a classroom with 30 kids and tell me it’s safe. Yeah, right.

In other boring news, the Flylady zone is the bathroom. Not exciting but hey it still needs to get done.

 

How the prepper pantry is going.

I haven’t bought anything in the last few weeks. But our last Costco trip @2 weeks ago did add some stuff.73917E27-9CE3-45B5-8681-5AFB0CFE7863.jpeg

On that trip, I bought the 2 pack of vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, and TP, plus I was lucky enough to walk by the cleaning area and there were a few Clorox wipes still there.

So these restaurant shelves are out in our barn.  Some stuff in the bins has been vacuumed sealed and placed in there for safekeeping. We have the other set of restaurant shelves in the kitchen actually and once we get the Ikea pantry, that will go out to the barn as well.

Under the kitchen workbench, I have some wine crates with misc items too. I’ve been crazy about these Far Niente crates. So now I have 4.They fit under the shelves and the work bench.

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I went down to our local fruit stand, Ikeda’s, and bought corn to freeze. Here it is blanching. Then I cut it off the cob and froze.

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Then I made sourdough bread in the bread maker. But I always bake it in a regular pan.

Tomorrow I’m going to make some strawberry jam with some berries I got at Ikeda’s. If you’re ever in Northern Ca and going up I-80 stop at Ikeda’s. It is been there for many years. And Danielle Steel has written about it in one of her romance novels.

 

 

Anything new?

No, not really. It’s just same ole same old.

On Monday we went down to Winco, which is @ a 25-minute drive. We went early like at 6:15 am. It was fairly empty and we got everything I was after for the prepper pantry. Extra pasta, salsas, instant potatoes, and lots of other stuff to put out in the barn where the prepper pantry lives. We have stainless steel restaurant shelves out there and I’m using bins to put things in. The bins are to keep things clean and to keep bugs or other things out. We haven’t had any problems out there in a while but better to err on the side of caution. Some things I don’t keep in bins like the canned goods. Plus we will need to be rotating stuff into the house so some stuff I want to be able to see. I have labeled most everything. There’s a little more to do but mostly it’s done.

In the house, I have my closet pantry and then in the kitchen, I have some wine crates dedicated to canned goods as well. Overall, I’m happy with what I’ve done. I think if I planned meals, I have at least 3 months worth at this point.

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I’m still spending ALOT on food but as it is prepper pantry stuff, I feel okay about it. I have a very bad feeling about what the second wave of Covid-19 will bring. People are going a little crazy going out and so many are not wearing masks. Go figure.

Tomorrow I will go to my eye doctor’s appt. I’m planning on wearing a mask. This is my annual eye exam and my macular pucker scan. I probably should do the surgery but honestly, I don’t want to deal with it. I can’t really see out of my right eye but my left compensates so I guess for the time being ( unless it’s worse) I live with it.

It’s really hot here for the next few days so the coolers are in the windows. By Saturday though the temperatures are expected to drop again. last year at this time I was driving to Sacramento every day and it was also a heatwave. By the time I was in the RV it was sweltering.  So I guess its par for the course.

I made a chocolate cake last week.

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It was very chocolatey… I ended up freezing half as we weren’t eating it all.

Our daughter’s birthday is Friday. Wow, 35 years ago!!! We were so happy!! And had waited a long time for her. We’d been married 15 years so, a pretty long time to wait for a kiddo!!

 

Friday Stuff

I’m not sure that Frugal Friday works anymore since groceries are much more pricey and I’m still buying to build up the prepper pantry.

I added some Bob’s Red Mill polenta to the pantry in the vacuum seal bags. Also in the Costco home delivery order got the 2 pack of Lemon Juice, Rosarita beans, and a case of their corn. I have a Costco Instacart order ready to go but will wait till next week.  That way that will take me almost into June. Oh yeah, they had SAF instant yeast and I also got some really nice powdered cocoa for baking.

 

For the prepper pantry, I’m making a list of dinners that I could put together from what I have to see how many months/weeks I would have. I have some combinations of dinners we eat normally like beans, tortillas, salsa, pasta with sauce, rice-based meals.  Mostly, I’m trying to have meals that we normally have so things aren’t weird like Spam for dinner:(  From the freezer, I am adding some meals like chicken, or organic beef, but that would really be stockpiling unless I bought a 1/8 of a cow from a farmer. If I knew someone that did that I would consider it. Right now, I’m good with Costco’s organic ground beef and chicken.

In other news, Barclay is continuing to have GVHD with intestinal stuff and skin rashes. His doctor ordered a new drug call Jafaki.  The drug is enormously expensive and the co-pay was coming in at $1500. a month. ahh, there is no way we can pay that now we are on a fixed income with no extras coming in. Our Medicare prescription plan had it for slightly less. So he talked with the financial coordinator and UCD Medcenter gave us a grant for $7000 that is JUST for the Jakafi. Let’s hope this does the trick.  Tomorrow is his 1-year re-birthday and I would really like to have the GVHD be gone. Well, I guess we will see but at least we’re not going bankrupt from a drug cost.

Today we walked and it was refreshing. I have the pizza dough ready to go in the bowl. I also cut up a whole bag of Vidalia onions to freeze.  Last week I made the mistake of trying to make a larger pizza and it was not good. It was too big for my pizza steel and was a mess. It tasted fine but it was falling into the oven because it was too big. You’d think I’d learn:(  So this week it’s back to 2 pizzas.

I just finished reading Adam Savage’s ” Every Tool’s a hammer”. He’s the guy from Myth Busters.  Quite interesting.  Check it out.

 

 

Costco and Dr. Stangelove

Yay….., our Costco toilet paper order showed up yesterday. That means we’re set and won’t need to go into the store at least for a while yet. I have another home delivery of some prepper pantry stuff showing up. That includes brown sugar, regular sugar, and bakers yeast and chocolate.  I was talking with B that the last time we were in Costco was March 3. so if we can get to June 3 that’s 3months.  The home delivery, even though more expensive, has been a lifesaver. Time, gas, driving down to Roseville. So really a win-win.  I think I’m still going to do one more Instacart, but I’ll wait on that for now.

We used more of the LLS gift card at our little market yesterday and bought things to get thru the week, like hot dog rolls, burger buns, tofu, milk, and cream.

I also am expecting a farm to table meat delivery of some chicken and a small amount of beef. It’s called Crowd Cow if anyone is interested. They are 2 guys from Seattle who wanted to support small farmers.  I’ll do an update on how it is after it arrives. I kept the order small to check it out.

For anyone who drinks wine out there( we do) Darci Kent wineries have case sales going on. We have bought from them before and their wine and labels are quite lovely. I’m planning on buying the new case release( if it’s still available) of a rose, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay.   Maybe I better go check right now.  Whew…. all good. I ordered it. Yeah, I love NOT having to go to the store to buy wine.

B has the gate ready to go up today so that will be one project down and lots more to go.

We watched Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove last night and wow, for a movie back in 1964?? it was great and so well done. Usually, I don’t really like Kubrick’s stuff but this was good and Peter Sellers was pretty phenomenal.

Simple Sunday

It’s been a nice week with really glorious weather. We’ve eaten dinner out on the patio and it’s been great. The mosquitos are coming out though so that’s a pain. Just when it’s getting nice enough to sit out after dinner, wham, mosquitos buzzing. I guess I ‘ll try and find the bug spray today.

The chickies are growing and going outside in a new cage on the grass but still coming into the dog crate at night. They have t least another month of going back and forth and then they will still need to be separated from the big girls for a while. Getting chickens is actually a lot of work. But by September we will start getting some eggs so that’s nice.

This week I have my doctor’s appt and I will be doing a video appt. I’m not sure how they set it up yet but should know tomorrow( Monday).

I went down to our Holiday market the other day when they opened( 7 am). Spent a small fortune but got some extra things for the prepper pantry. Ever since we moved to this area in 1975, I have been a bulk buyer. Beans, rice, honey, oats, etc. We had a small co-op in Auburn at that time and we could order stuff. We also did a buying club with what is now UNFI( That Barclay just retired from after 25 years). It was Mountain Peoples Warehouse then and you could order bulk things even dairy like cheese. Then a group would get together and separate out orders.  I don’t think they allow buying clubs anymore but I could be wrong. Anyway, that’s what we did. Somewhere after embracing a minimalist house, I started backing off on having a prepper pantry. I still would buy Lundberg brown rice and a case of tomatoes from Costco but I had been trying to back off it. Then all this Shit hits with Covid-19 and yes, I am back in buying bulk in full swing.

A prepper pantry though just isn’t bulk rice but enough food that could last you anywhere from 3 – 12 months. Now I don’t want a bunker with guns and food but I do want to build up my pantry.

Some stuff I’m putting out in the barn on the restaurant shelves( stainless steel). Extra dish soap, laundry soap, canned goods are going out there. Some packaged goods are going in bins to store. I’m planning on buying a food preserver thing that seals the contents of the bag but I want to wait and see what Costco’s looks like before I commit to it.

So far my plan is to have a dozen boxes of Pasta, a case of kidney beans, a case of cannellini beans, a case of refried beans, a case of tomatoes, and other smaller quantities of condiments, sauces. Mostly stuff I know would eat normally. I did buy 8 freeze-dried meals but I’m not sure about doing that again as that is not something we would normally eat.  I’ve been meaning to try one just to see how it is. Also a couple of boxes of tea and sugar. I keep some extra coffee in the freezer but in a shut down that wouldn’t last long. Maybe I’ll check into instant or freeze-dried coffee as a backup.

Right now the freezer is being eaten down and I haven’t bought a lot to replace things till I get to Costco which I’m thinking will be mid-May.

Dinners have been uninspired like spaghetti and sauce, meatloaf( I bought as I don’t know how to make a good one), rice and beans, grilled chicken, salad, and just normal stuff.  Tonight I am grilling chicken outside and will make a potato salad I think. I made a nut loaf with brown rice yesterday so I will serve that to B.

Well, life goes on, or as the chaos theorist in Jurassic Park says” Life finds a way”.

Flylady has two zones this week. Living room zone and entryway zone. I did the living room already but still need to vacuum.

 

Keeping on…

Things are still in lockdown in California, for which I am grateful. Gov. Newsome is doing a great job of keeping ahead of things with basically shutting everything down. I honestly don’t get the Trumpers hating him so much when all he is doing is trying to take care of California. The negative comments on the local the newsfeed on Facebook are nuts.  Crazy!!

Since I’m an introvert and don’t go out to movies or things often it hasn’t bothered me to be home except maybe going out for coffee.

The park has posted signs to walk 6 feet apart and the playground is now taped off. I’m guessing the park is getting overwhelmed with people trying to just get outside. Since we walk early there is only the new dog walker guy and he walks very fast and not near us. He’s been coming for about a month now. Many people over the 8 years I’ve walked there have come and go. It changes with the seasons too. Lots more people as the weather gets nice. So we always start backing it up and going earlier. In summer even 5am is not too early.

I made some more oatmeal chocolate chip cookies yesterday and they are almost gone today. Humm…rationing  next??  We had fun individual pizzas last night although my son said each person was supposed to top their own. I did it because nobody was coming in to do it.

Tonight I’m making some chicken tenders with pasta on the side. I  think I even have some Quorn chicken tenders for B. I don’t have any salad stuff but I do have chard in the garden I can use.  Oh, BTW, Amazon prime has Julia Child’s the French cook original on and it is so fun to watch. It’s in black and white which is too bad since you can’t’ see the browning and sauteing she describes. I’ve actually learned a thing or two and I wonder how much I saw originally as her style of cooking is similar to mine although she is maybe a little more strict. Anyway, check it out as it’s fun.

I haven’t really started any projects except working on notes for a “prepper” pantry. I was trying to move away from stockpiling but now, no way.  If anything I’m going full throttle. Yesterday, I ordered from Mountain house which does freeze-dried stuff.  They didn’t have the #10 cans I wanted( all sold out) but they did have some servings of 2-3 available. I bought some to try and of course, they really last forever probably.  I’ll give an update when they arrive. Also, I’ve ordered from Costco, but they are sold out on most things and some they are not shipping to my zip code right now. I wanted a case of Rosarita’s beans but that’s not available as of yet. I’ll do a write up down the road when I get it together.

I need to schedule my labs for next week or maybe the following week. I don’t see Dr. Laptalo till the end of April and even then if things are only the same( my numbers going up but still not starting treatment), I’ll ask to just pass on seeing him physically.

BTW, Finnie seems to be doing better and eating a little more. I’m still not sure how long he will last but at least there has been an improvement.

Oh, and I think we are going to get some chicks as we know we’re not going traveling anytime soon so we will be home to take care of them.  I may order online so as to avoid the feed store though.

Well, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.