Happy Hanukkah

We had a nice dinner of latkes, roast chicken, nut loaf( from thanksgiving) with sour cream and the last jar of my homemade applesauce from last fall.

We lit the candle ( one, for the first night). Then we each had a little gift of cash, and B got us 1 lottery ticket. I never win anything so… but he actually recouped $6.00. Still, it was fun to chat and share this time with Sachi and Zephyr and Barclay. My family.

Today I’m doing the Flylady bedroom zone. It’s pretty much done as I change the sheets on Sundays. But I will dust and tidy.

Other than that, just a nice quiet day home.

Yesterday I did make another batch of homemade peanut brittle. I had bought a candy thermometer and it was a great $10 buy as right on it is the temperatures for hard brittle etc. Well worth it to have.

I might make a soup tonight or just something light. Latkes are fried and although not really heavy still fried!! So I have a butternut squash from our garden to use so I think that’s what I’ll make. I found a recipe that was butternut squash and red lentil soup. It’s kinda a curry so I might do that.

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Almost ready!!!

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The mix that was done in the food processor. And of course, the wine glass!!

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Frying up the Latkes

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This is my red fiesta ware that I use at Christmas. Oh, in the background you can see the peanut brittle.

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This was our Solstice fire.

 

Winter Solstice

Finally, the darkest day of the year!

Now it will slowly turn around and the days will get lighter. I’ve actually looked at this over the years and the sunrises and sunsets don’t change a whole lot till around January.

So today we will walk. We’ve been going out around 6:30 am and it’s still darkish and then by round 2, the light is showing.

Yesterday, my daughter and I drove up to Truckee to the library as she had a bag of goodies for her ex- co-workers. I loaded up on cookbooks and I even found on the FOL shelf Comey’s book from last year. the summit had snow at 7300 elevation but around Truckee, there wasn’t that much snow. another storm is headed in this weekend. We had a lovely lunch at Wild Cherries and headed back home.  I’m so glad she is not driving that daily and driving to Sierra College is like 22 minutes and no snow. So she just needs a few more hours to be able to buy into their insurance. I think she said at 22 hours. So one more shift.

I also had an appt to meet my new PCP with Sutter. He seems nice enough. I’m planning on the colonoscopy for the end of January or beginning of February sometime. Oh well, I guess I can suffer thru.

Hanukkah begins tomorrow night and I have the Menorah ready. Although we are not Jewish, but Atheists, I still like the idea of Festival of lights and candles and little presents.

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a lovely new platter( stoneware ) and our very own lemons from the greenhouse!

 

Rainy Day

It was a rainy day and I had to drive to Sacramento for my oncology appt. The drive was slow but not too bad. My appt went well. I’ve had Dr. Laptalo as my medical oncologist since I was diagnosed in 2005. He was a fellow then and then later board certified. He’s a good person and I trust him. Again, it’s really just waiting till my numbers are higher to start anything. That’s ok. He did recommend I have the colonoscopy after the diverticulitis bout. So I will schedule that for January or even February. I had him look at my CT scan with contrast and he said there was nothing unusual. So that’s good.

Then I came up to Rocklin and went to Walmart to exchange the flannel shirt I had picked up by accident in XXL. That is way too big for B. Then home.

Tomorrow I have a gym day and then some errands. I need a candy thermometer to make the peanut brittle and I need to go to the bank.

I am feeling somewhat frustrated with the house and it starts to feel really small this time of year. It’s usually when I start looking at decluttering more or at least moving some things around so there is more space. Winter/rainy days do make things seem closed in. Well, that too will pass.

Dinner is veggies and one of the cheese fondues. It’s not the one I usually buy so I thought I try it tonight.

Things to think about for 2020

I don’t do goals so much anymore and I try to avoid putting myself in the position of expectation on myself. I do like lists of things that I would like to do or things that need to be done.

I like Flylady as it gives me a focus on weekly chores.  And I like grocery lists and menus. I also like budgeting and do that daily and weekly and monthly. I also have annual bills tallied. ( This might be the challenging area once were on SS solely).

Now that SDI is ending money will be different.  I have saved as much as I felt I could but there were some big expenses in 2019. We had over $6000 in medical bills. The trees were almost $5000. Plus travel and other expenses during B’s transplant. We were very blessed to have the GoFundMe account which covered Kiwanis’ house for 3 weeks and other expenses.

Overall, financially, 2019 was good. We didn’t rack up any CC debt related to medical bills or anything related to the transplant. I used CC to pay things but was able to pay in a timely manner.

In 2020 we will need to be ultra frugal as there won’t be bonuses, or extra money coming in. Honestly, I ‘m not sure how it will play out but it will one way or the other.

We’d still like to take down the big tree in the back of the house and that will be upwards of $5,000 as it will need a big crane. the other big thing will be, do we want to redo the bathroom so it is ‘age ‘friendly. We plan on staying here so a walk-in shower seems prudent.

I’m also figuring that I’ll be starting Velcade sometime in the next 6 months so that’s weekly trips to Sacramento. Lots to think about.

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.

Midweek Musings

We had a nice drive to Sacramento yesterday for B’s clinic appt. Traffic moved fairly well thru the usual difficult areas( where I -80 merges to Business 80) and the downtown area.  His appt went well and the good news is they have reduced his Tacrolimus to every other day. This is the biggest drug that targets keeping at bay Graft vs Host. So we need to watch for any flare-ups but the NP was pretty confident that this is the time to start. So that means maybe by February he can go off Noxafil which is the Tier 5 that we are holding on to paying the Cobra for. Actually, with the plan set to restart in January, we’re not sure if the Cobra co-pay will reset( I’m assuming it will) and that means, well, I’m not sure how much the co-pay will so that’s a big question mark.

We are set up with Plan D medicare for him but that’s not what we’ll use as that immediately goes to Tier 5 and the 25% start. So way to much $. I guess we will just need to wait and see how it plays out. I’m hoping we can drop the Cobra by March.

After clinic we went to Trader Joes and OMG it was a madhouse. I almost walked right back out. But we managed thru and I got what we needed for Christmas( fondue, and ham) and lots of good food( french fries, they have the best frozen) and other things including TJ’s wine!

We stopped for a pizza slice and then headed home.

Today is a gym day. And then I need to hit Home depot for a bulb for my salt lamp.  Then home to bake some more cookies and maybe make the fudge.

Tonight is a new recipe for a spinach pie. One of the very few memories I have of my mother and this was not when I was young but @ 16, she made a spinach pie that was like a pizza. My sister doesn’t remember it so I’ve been trying to recreate it. This recipe calls for ricotta so maybe that’s what she used.

I’ll update after it’s done and give a review.

 

So much for those who try and defend the confederate flag

“Indeed, the flag had long been tied to white supremacy, racism and racial violence. The Confederate flag was already tied to racism in 2000 when the state legislature agreed to move it from the top of the capital to the nearby Confederate monument where it would remain for the next 15 years. Indeed, the flag had first flown at South Carolina’s State House, at least partially in response to federal orders to desegregate. The Confederate flag was a favorite symbol of those resisting the civil rights movement, including, in this case, the South Carolina government.” Washington Post

This article is from the Washington Post yesterday morning. Definitely reading material.

No one is going to change anyone’s mind about how they think about the South including the Confederate statues or the flag. People believe what they want to believe. But history and facts tell a different story.

So for those out there who like to believe the fantasy that the Confederate statues and flags have something to do with standing up to the government for the idea of taxation( what the civil war was about( they think)), think again. It was about the evil forces that lower humanity into thinking slavery was just fine.

 

 

Simple Sunday

A calm and rainy day ahead. Rain is indicated for most of today but at least it’s not too cold yet. We managed a walk in the park yesterday between storms and it was pleasant. I’m not used to being there in the late morning so things looked different:)

Yesterday, the baking bug hit and I made some chocolate chip cookies, the dough for sugar cookies( in the refrigerator now) then I prepped dinner, which was chicken with mushrooms and finally assembled two casseroles of enchiladas for tonight’s dinner.

 

The week ahead is not too busy. B has clinic on Tuesday and then after that, we’re going to shop Trader Joes. I plan to do Costco later in the week.  I plan o getting what we need for Christmas dinner. Our tradition is fondue Christmas eve and then cheese lasagna Christmas day.

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Today is a gym day.

Plus it’s the kitchen zone for those that follow Flylady.  I’ll do some today and some tomorrow. It’s raining so no walk this morning.

On a Friday

It’s been a good week overall. The diverticulitis seems abated for the moment. I certainly hope that doesn’t happen any time soon.  I hate being on antibiotics which generally my body rejects. This time it seemed ok with just minor itchiness which may have been psychological. Anyway, I guess I ‘ll just have to do a wait and see and if I notice lower left discomfort call the PA again.

It was sunny yesterday which did improve everything. More rain and snow are on the way tonight and thru the weekend.

SO EXCITED!!!!

Just got back from my walk and there are 2 geese back at the park. I’m guessing these are 2 that were injured and Wildlife Rescue helped them.  So happy to see 2 of our friends!

Today I’m going to just stay home and putter around. I want to declutter some in the closet from hell and see how things can be organized more efficiently. The one closet in this house is for our clothes and it’s our overflow pantry.  Maybe I should rethink the pantry part and get the one from Ikea. I’ll have to consider this after Christmas.

Well, off to do something productive!