Simple Sunday and Christmas is over.

It was a really nice simple christmas.

Everyone got some nice things. I got my son a Pendleton National Park wool blanket from Goodwill Seattle. It’s the Glacier one that is white with color stripes. Very nice and a fraction of the cost new. He also got a used copy of Easton Press” A Tale of Two Cities”. B got a new Leatherman knife since a few years ago when he went to board a plane he had is quite expensive Leatherman in his pocket and they took it away. My daughter got 2 pairs of pruning shears, an Easton Press Grimm Fairy tales and some other stuff including these made in Japan Sound Collection plates… I discovered these by accident about 2 years ago at Goodwill when I found a bowl and fell in love with it. They are quite hard to find and the only place apart from Japan ,I guess, is Ebay.

I got a lovely sweater, a Kitchen Aid hand mixer( I asked for this), and some great gifts from my son, artisan flour, and a scone mix.

All in all a really nice and somewhat minimalist Christmas. It could have been scaled back even a little more but in the end I think it was perfect.

I made a NYT recipe called the Big Lasagna.

This is just the first page of the recipe, there are 2 more pages if you’re interested you can google it. It actually was huge and must have weighed 5 pounds. Lasagna is always our Christmas dinner. Not sure quite when this started but I remember when we were first married making lasagna since it was vegetarian.

It really was delicious.

I took all the Christmas stuff down and put away. I start to feel it looks a little cluttered up after 3 weeks of decorations. So now it’s all tidy and things put back in place.

I’m cooking up the scone mix this morning. It’s a ginger cranberry and it was a nice mix. I’m thinking scones are a nice easy thing to bake so maybe I’ll do this more often. This mix was from the Vermont Store but King Arthur has some lovely ones to choose from.

Our walk was lovely at 6:10am this morning. Still dark, but by 7am we’re getting a nice light and the park is all frosty.( well, it’s frosty before that but then we can see it!).

If you follow FL, we’re in the Living room zone. That was one reason I wanted to put Christmas stuff away. I’ll wash the inside windows and dust everything.

Well, this is the week I go to Sacramento to meet with my oncologist. My first question is going to be” when can I get the Covid vaccine? the second will be when do we start treatment.” 😦 Really, I’d rather start than have myeloma cells multiplying and then risking fractures or worse.

Ideas for 2021

Actually, I never set goals.

What I do is have a running list of things that are of interest to me and then consider setting them as priorities. Goal setting or resolutions, like losing weight or exercising more, just doesn’t work for me. I do better with an idea like ‘walk in the park most days’. Since I’m pretty structured I don’t have a problem accomplishing that because it’s just part of who I am. Or losing weight. I just eat healthily and even though I could easily afford to lose 20 lbs, I honestly don’t give a flying fig. We eat healthy and always have. We eat very little sugary stuff and a good basic vegetarian diet with meat on the side so to speak. So, my idea would be maybe adding new recipes into my rotation at least 2x a month. If I do great if I don’t’ meh.

Now that neither of us works at a job, we live a quiet life with the occasional camping trip(when we’re not in lockdown or dealing with a deadly virus).

I do plan on making some camping reservations so I guess we’ll see how that goes. We had really hoped to buy a newish closed in RV but honestly I’m not sure we feel like we have money to do that. So I guess that’s a goal or at least getting out camping is a priority.

other ideas may include:

Finding some new places to walk.

having coffee dates once we can

update: ha ha, half this blog didn’t post, and of course I can’t find the original so I’ll try and do a rewrite.

Modified edition:

I don’t do RESOLUTIONS as such like New Years resolutions.

I do set some goals such as Just Keep Walking! But putting down resolutions of lose 20 lbs or exercise more ,as I said, doesn’t work for me. Probably, because it doesn’t motivate me or interest me. But when I did the Just Keep Walking Project, I walked EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 5 YEARS. It was only when I ended up with a hairline fracture in my foot I had to stop 😦

I do set FINANCIAL GOALS such as NO CC DEBT which we have kept to in all 2020. Also, trying to add little amounts to our mortgage principal. We,unfortunately, still have a mortgage but such is life. I’d like to reduce the principal. That way when we’re gone the kids( we have everything in a trust) they would have more equity if they want to sell and move somewhere else. But since there’s not a lot of wiggle room in the budget it is small amounts to add to it but still every bit does help.

I read a lot so read more doesn’t make any sense. I would like to be more creative but cooking is my creative outlet so that’s good. I enjoy knitting but my arthritis in my hands kicks in and causes some cramping after a while so I don’t do that often.

Anyway, other goals or things to try and accomplish are:

Replacing the 2 bedroom windows. They were replaced 25 years ago but since redoing my daughter’s windows and seeing how much better they are at insulating I can see those 2 need doing.

Next, a modified kitchen redo. The window, and the sink and counter. That all depends on whether we want to take on ripping all that out. We couldn’t afford to have someone do it so it would be what can we accomplish ourselves. So that’s up in the air.

After weget vaccinations and can travel, I ‘d like to try and go up the Oregon coast again. Just slow and camping here and there. But it all depends on my Velcade shots and how soon I can go do those things. So again, kind of wait and see sort of thing.

Finish the fences in the front and out by the barn. That’s doable and we can budget that in.

So, it’s some goals mixed in with wants and a to do list.

Simple Sunday

It seems the craziness continues with the trump supporters and him still not conceding even though there is no way for him to get the electoral votes. His malfeasance just continues in some downward spiral of an alternate reality. I still think his mental illness will catch up to him at some point.

This morning I made some banana pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast. We’re still getting lots of eggs. I tried selling them but got no takers so now I’m just giving them away for free. It’s ok. It’s a small way to give to someone who needs them. I used one pack of the frozen ones(scrambled) and they were great. Actually, I don’t know if I could tell the difference. So I did a few more bags and popped them in the freezer. The girls will slow down once there are fewer daylight hours and it’s colder.

Our walks have been lovely and no sign of the ‘jerk’ dog walker. Either he’s getting there really early or something’s up with him because I figured we would have at least crossed his path in the last two weeks but we haven’t. But it’s really really nice to not have his frenetic energy there. Also, since it’s so pleasant we’ve increased our walk time to 45 minutes so that’s a plus.

All the tree leaves are turning shades of gold, yellow, red, and orange. This is one of the more colorful falls we’ve had in recent memory. I remember one year when we had a serious frost early and all the trees just turned brown and that was it. I’m guessing that because the temperatures have been warm the sap flowing helped with the color change. Any scientists out there that can give a scientific answer???

I’ve got some Tartine sourdough in the oven and then I’m going to finish cleaning up the kitchen. I’ve been freezing leftover slices of bread since we don’t go thru that much bread and when we want a slice for toast I just take it out of the freezer. I also just made some parmesan croutons with some end pieces.

This week is the bathroom zone if you’re following Flylady.

I still have a few weeks before my next labs( first week of December) so that’s kinda nice to jsut put it out of my mind for now. Barclay will need another IGIV soon but he’ll do that in Roseville as it’s half the distance. He’s going off a few more drugs (yay)and will finally be getting his pneumonia vaccine. He’s going to have talk to his doctor about his chronic fatigue and see what options there are. I know of a few myeloma patients that use Ritalin for increased energy but I’m not sure what his doctor will think. Also a serotonin reuptake(like zoloft) may help his low energy and meloncholy. I’m not sure what his options are but he can talk to his doctor or the NP next time and check it out.

Five on Friday( ok, it might be more)!!

What a week it has been, but I think with Arizona now going for Biden officially, it’s a done deal.

Trump and his narcissistic personality just can’t admit defeat. Sad, really. Like a kid who just can’t/won’t grow up.

And how his loyal believers even think what they think is beyond me. Honestly, I think they are missing some DNA strand the rest of us have that filters humility, honesty, civility and on and on.

Well, on to this week. Today it’s supposed to rain and right now it’s cloudy but the temperature is nice, mid forties. Earlier things week we were at 32 degrees and it was freezing and walking was tough. The path had some ice and was tricky to navigate. We haven’t seen ‘the jerk’ so either he’s very early or on vacation. Either way, it’s lovely to walk with his frantic weird energy. As a matter of fact, there are 2 other couples that walk and they are so pleasant and nice with a “good morning” or “hello”.

I picked a small order from Walmart yesterday. Mostly we needed the small Coleman propane bottles for our “Buddy” heater which we use when we sit out on the sun porch and it’s cold. Walmart has the best prices with a 4 pack at $13.57. I picked a few groceries but not much.

I also went into Target for Christmas lights but they didn’t have the Target brand out yet, so the next day I did a pickup for them as it showed on the website. I did pick up some blue lights that we use throughout the winter on the outside by the front door. Right now the orange/fall ones are still up but I’ll have B take them done this coming week. I’ve moved most of the pumpkins away from the 2 doors and have put the small Christmas type trees by one.

I’m thinking of doing a bay laurel wreath for the front door as we have a nice big tree in the front yard that we planted when we first moved here so it is 25 years old. I will add a red ribbon.

The bread making frenzy continues and the loaves and my starter is doing great. Again, it’s truly the Tartine recipe that does the best bread.

Each recipe does make 2 loaves, so I just cut the second one and freeze the slices. Speaking of which, I knicked my finger cutting the top of the loaf the other day. Not a bad cut but the top of the loaves are very crunchy and so I bought these gloves so it wouldn’t happen again. so far they work great.

I dropped off a Goodwill load this week. No waiting this time. I guess the great purge of 2020 is over for now. They even brought a cart for you to put your stuff in. Before you had to take everything out of your bags and separate it. It was kinda a pain.

I also decided to take the TV in my office space off the wall and get rid of the DVD player there too. I bought( at Target) a quite compact Sony DVD blu ray for the DVD’s I want to keep. ( Shirley Valentine,I see you).

One of my absolutely favorite YouTubers is a young woman in New Zealand ,who is the most sincere person I’ve seen on YT yet. She is the ultimate minimalist and quite inspiring. Minimom really walks her talk and does not put out regurgitated stuff like some YT’s like Life at Home Taoist style who doesn’t even really know what a Taoist is.

Even though she(Minimom) is only in her 30’s with 2 small children she really puts it out there without the other crap. So it took her saying her house/condo was too small for 2 TVs and the light bulb went on for me. I don’t need that 2nd TV when I walk 20 feet into the front room and watch a DVD. We did need the new player though as this TV is newer than the old one and wouldn’t hook to old DVD player.

Anyway, if you are into minimalism and watch youtube, go to her channel.

Simple Sunday

Today is a day of JOY and celebration that we have hope for our country. The endless lies by Trump and Barr and all of them will soon come to an end. Honestly, I think this country saw the damage he was doing and heeded the call for change before it was too late.

I was thinking about it and trying to think of 1 thing Trump did that was positive for the American people( all of them). I can’t really come up with one. The tax thing was for the rich. The anti-immigration stuff was to keep ‘those’ people out that Bannon and Steven Miller didn’t want in our country, ripping children away from their parents and putting them in detention centers. All of it amounts to total negativity. Plus, for me, the lies and more lies, over and over, just did me in.

So a new beginning and with a woman VP. I am doing a happy dance for sure.!!!

Walking this morning was pleasant and the fall colors are lovely in the park. We’ve been getting there right at 6am instead of the 5:15 time and it is working out just fine.

This week is the kitchen zone if you follow Flylady. It’s a big zone with the stove and shelves to clean but at the end worth a bright clean space. My biggest takeaway advice is to minimize what you have in the kitchen and keep the counters clear. It really does make a difference. The second thing is to clean up as you cook. I don’t always do this but 95% of the time I do. It too makes a huge difference in keeping the kitchen tidy.

I plan on making some meatballs later to have with spaghetti tonight and a I’ll make a salad.

We’re in for quite a bit of rain this week and it’s welcome. Plus, it’s really chilly today so fall is here.

Bread making continues…

Even though temperatures are in the high 80’s, it is fall.

I think this is the warmest October I can ever remember here. Still, I’m back into bread making. Bread making is definitely an art form, and in the summer when I don’t make any, I have to get the feel for it all over again by fall.

I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter quite diligently sna it’s doing great. i probably have too many jars going as the counter is often filled with jars in different stages of bubbling. It looks a bit like a science experiment.

This in the jars just fed, so it will double in size.

This is the rye starter.

Yesterday, I made a sourdough sandwich loaf. It didn’t rise as much as I would have liked but it is a softer bread( the crumb that is). It has milk in it which will always make a softer bread.

My favorite so far is the sourdough rye. It is dense and just delicious. Today I’m going to experiment with a no knead sourdough rye. we’ll see??

Yesterday for Sunday breakfast I made sourdough banana pancakes with discard. For some reason, I’m loathe to toss the discard after you do another feed. It just seems wasteful. Besides pancakes, I found lots of recipes like biscuits, and pumpkin bread so I’m definitely going to try and use some of the discard in other recipes.

Today I’m going in to the bank to get the print out of our payment to UHC so LLS can reimburse me.

Today was our no walk day. We had a confrontation yesterday with dog walker. He doesn’t use a flashlight and with no moon it is dark. We try very hard to get out of his way but when he comes around behind us, I shine the flashlight on him. Well, yesterday he flipped out. I think he was partially right that I didn’t need to shine it on him but it does let us see where he is. Anyway, it wasn’t nice. So tomorrow we are going to walk in the opposite direction so we can see him coming. Not sure if that will help but I’ll try. I think we need to try and say good morning although in the past when we have, he just ignores us so not sure about that. I did apologize for shining the flashlight at him but he didn’t seem to want to let it go. It’s an unfortunate series of events because we like being there early and in our almost 9 years of walking in the park we have never had a belligerent person. So this is kinda new and I’m not sure how we will approach it. We could time arriving when he leaves but I actually don’t know that since we only walk for 40 minutes and he does at least an hour so????

Any ideas?? walk later? earlier? ( that would be a stretch since we start at 5:15am. oh well, it was/is depressing.

Unfortunately, there are no other paved trails around us. The closest would be down in Folsom and that’s 40 minutes away.

Simple Sunday

Perfect fall weather. The mornings are cool and days get warm. We still haven’t had any outdoor fires in the fire pit because of fire danger. We need some rain to do that.

Not now:(

Our walks are stress free since we’re the only ones there that early. The stars have been spectacular. Venus is very bright and Mars is quite red. We we’re leaving at 6 and the first person showed up so hopefully we can maintain this schedule. Frankly, it’s worth it to be out the door just a little earlier. As I said to B this morning, we can do it now but who knows the future. A year from now? or when I start Velcade? I may not be up to it so we might as well do this while we can.

This week is the Living room zone if you follow Flylady. I did ours including window washing. I need to do the outside windows this coming week. I try and do them each quarter. I use the outside bottle of windex that attaches to a hose. It works quite well.

Today is a mellow day without too much on the docket. I’m planning on soup for dinner with salad. Yesterday I prepped 15 baked potatoes( Costco, big bag) for double stuffed potatoes. That’s 30 halves. But when you pile it on you do get less. So I ended up with 20 halves. I left 4 out and froze the rest. The potatoes were really nice so if you’re in Costco, that’s a good buy. I guessing that’s because the harvest is happening in Idaho. Plus the value is incredible. 15 lbs of bakers for $5.69. I think down at the Holiday they are .99 a pound right now. Also, double stuffed potatoes freeze beautifully.

This coming week has some appts. I have a dental cleaning and we are tentatively going to Ikea to get 2 chairs for the sunporch. We’ll see. It depends how the week shapes up and my mood. The pantry from Ikea is still unavailable so that won’t be happening. But Ikea is fun and affordable.

Simple Sunday

I just finished the bathroom zone. This past week I asked my daughter to use up the bathroom paint and touch up here and there. So it ended up about 1 pint and looks good. One good thing about keeping the same color and absolutely loving it is when you do touchups even a few years later it doesn’t show the beginning or end of the color if that makes sense. the color in the bathroom is called Rarified air by Sherwin Williams and we have had it in the bathroom for years and I never tire of it. It is a very pale blue with probably some grey in it.

The heat is exhausting. Yesterday it was 108. This morning it was 77 on our walk. The annoying dog walker is still there by 5:30 so we just step out of his way as he barrels on by. If I haven’t mentioned this before I will now.  Over the years we’ve been walking every day or near every day ( going into year 9), we’ve had lots of people come and go.  Some great people and others not so great. Recently, probably @ February or March, this guy shows up with a white, very pretty dog. The dog is muzzled and is not a friendly sort. So at first, we were all fine even once or twice said hello. But then he started really fast walking and would come up behind us without saying like ” on your left” or something so I started getting pretty annoyed. Then more and more he would just barrel by and even when we were walking side by side( B and I) he wouldn’t step off the path and just skimmed us. Then I started watching how he was with others and it seemed the same. Also, adding to my annoyance, is that he comes speeding down our main road( speed limit 25mph, he’s doing 45 at least) and then the park roadway to fast and the practically screeches in a 180 to park.  So, I kept hoping as sunrise is way later now, he would adjust and come later. But no luck. This morning we were using a flashlight so anybody else could see us but not him. Just barreling by in the premorning light. Oh well, I’ll adjust but it is annoying.

Last night I made a big Cobb salad with tofu, chicken, avocado, lettuce, carrots, cheese, and some leftover cabbage. It was good. Tonight is probably YOYO. Plus this heat makes cooking not fun.  Although, I made a peach pie yesterday and it was delicious.  It was the NYT recipe for peach pie.

This week is no appts for me but lots for B; he has labs, video conference with Dr. Abedi, and another one with the urologist he was referred to.  But at least it’s not driving to Sacramento so there’s that.

Today would have been the day we headed up to Tahoe but alas, no. The area lakes are being inundated with valley people and ven South Lake Tahoe had protesters telling tourists “go home”. Which says a lot since Soth Lake Tahoe depends on tourism for revenue. But they are coming in hordes and leaving tons of trash. Such a shame people have to be so such slobs.

Well, on that cheery note, I’m off to read or something that involves not moving a lot.

simple Sunday

It’s much cooler today and some clouds rolling by.

We walked early and the only one there was dog walker. We name everyone who comes to the park. Oh, not to them, just between us. Some have been less than nice like clodhopper runner. but there’s Sprite who is a long-distance runner and seems very nice. We say hi as she goes by. There are now 5 sets of babies at the park. They are very protective so we stay out of their way.

I finished the kitchen zone.

9DC8613B-4811-4473-AEBF-0E0441C20945.jpeg

Here’s part of my kitchen pantry and some of my vintage Pyrex. I washed them all today which is something I don’t do every time.

381EC864-A7C9-4C17-AD6B-5ED0513690BF.jpeg

Here’s on the window sill. A vintage Ball jar. I love these and have quite a few. You used to be able to pick these up at Flea markets for about $1.00 , not anymore.

5B0A0A0F-268A-4AB8-A96A-89C6426019BB.jpeg

This is looking back at what really is the front of the house but because of how are driveway is no one ever comes to this door. When I used to do Feng Shui it would drive me nuts. Now not so much.

7A897C4A-FC9E-4340-836D-A828B6EBD4E8.jpeg

This is another shot and you can see the patio table where we eat most meals now that’s it nice out.  To the far right is the laundry room we added on. You have to come out to get to it. Not sure how that will be when we’re older but heck for now it’s fine.E26CC31D-0E8D-487B-858D-C240267711CD.jpeg

Here’s a comfrey plant. When I was doing herbs I would harvest this and make teas. Good for bones.

The rest of the day is open and I have brownies baking in the oven but other than that it’s open.

I may go look for an ebook since I feel like reading something mindless.

A quiet Sunday

I walked at @ 6am and there were no Christians to be seen. Usually, there is a sunrise service at the park and there are swarms of Christians.  Now all the picnic areas are all taped off and signs saying closed. I’m glad that people are at least being responsible.

I got the sourdough bread going and it’s in the oven. I learned a new thing to do which was to test the leaven before you add the flour. So once you’ve made your leaven you take a spoonful and drop it in water. If it floats its ready to use. Mine did. I’ve never done that before so it was cool. Plus I only used the King Arthur white wheat flour so it may be a little denser but it rose beautifully. BTW, I got my 25 lbs of Artisan flour from Central Milling yesterday ( after I made my dough) and it is beautiful flour.

I also have sourdough burger buns rising. I didn’t check the starter so I do hope it rises. The starter looked nice and bubbly but the water trick seems to be very helpful. Anyway, I have burgers on the menu for dinner with homemade buns. I have a Beyond burger for B.

I also whipped up a pasta salad with the Castelevano olives and feta.

Right now I’m fairly exhausted so I think I’ll read for a while.