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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Beltane, May 1st.

We always try and have a Beltane fire on or near May 1st. In cross-quarter on the Celtic Calendar, it’s the beginning of summer. Burning away the old and planting for the new. It is between the Spring Equinix and the Summer Solciste. We had a fire the night before so that was good enough. We might have one tonight if we sit out.

This week I finished reading Jane Austin’s ‘Emma’. 500 pages of Jane Austin and it was astonishingly good. We have all the JA’s in Easton Press editions. I also reread a couple of e-books. I like the author Meg Wolfe. She used to have a great minimalist blog that I really enjoyed but I guess having written 5 books in this series took all her time. The first is the ‘Uncollected Death’. Charlotte Anthony is downsizing and is commissioned to write the memoir of a woman who then is murdered. There are 4 other books in the series which I’ve read but this one is my favorite.

I’ve moved most of my house plants( and there’s a lot), out to the sun porch. I’m going to see how they summer over out there. It does get hot out there so I’ll have to see whether this is a good option.Then I moved all the LP’s under the Heywood Wakefield so they are near the turntable. I’ll see how this works too.  That freed up a wood crate I had so I may use that somewhere else. Mostly, I’m trying to reduce visual clutter in my office room/space.  I have the one wall with Grateful Dead LP covers framed, and our Woodstock original Life magazines framed, B’s Bob Dylan poster and my favorite Star trek poster. It’s all colorful and pleasing to the eye but I wouldn’t want to add to it.

We’re doing really well food /pantry wise. I finally was able to get Costco to deliver toilet paper here although they are 14 days out for delivery. We have enough though. Plus the other big thing is coffee. We all drink coffee so we go thru  a lot. So I ordered 2 Starbucks French roast as it is on sale. It’s still cheaper to go in to the store( Costco) to get it but that would mean going into the store. So it’s worth it for now to pay the extra $5.00.

I haven’t been too creative with cooking. Mostly just cooking to get by. We even didn’t do Friday night pizza because no one wanted pizza. So we had the frozen manacotti I did a week ago. It was good. I did try making a sourdough focaccia and it was ok. Not great but I think I will try a different recipe and see how that goes.

Speaking of Costco, I checked Instacart/Costco and it looks like I can get delivery here so I may try that when I need the next round of stuff. But for now we’re good.

This morning after our walk I went into the Holiday Market an got enough fresh stuff for the week and they had tofu so that was exciting.

Next week Barclay has to go down to UCD med center to see the doctor because he needs his port flushed and another IVG infusion. I’ll just sit in the car and read although this time I may go for a walk.Last time I didn’t but I think it should be ok.

I also had my Zoom video appt with my doctor and it was quick and easy. We’re in agreement that starting treatment while the pandemic is going on is not a good idea. But we did agree when my kappa light chains get to @ 500 then that will be a good place to start. It really depends on how quickly the cancer cells start to activate. This last time it only went up 18 points so  that was quite a bit less than the time before. Really it’s just a waiting game. I’m not happy about but WTF. Not much you can do. So we shall see. it’s out there in the future somewhere.

A few pictures from around the yard

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This time of year in May everything is nice and green and so pretty. My daughter does an amazing job as gardener!

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 would 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.

 

Simple Sunday or same old same old…

We walked as usual. Lovely, early and no one around in the park. My favorite time.

Then I came home and put on jeans( which barely fit now) ugh:(, zipped into Auburn to go to Safeway.  No traffic except a few semis on I -80.

Safeway was not busy but there were no veggies at all, no dairy like yogurt, etc. I got most of what I needed. Ramen, bread, butter, cookies, deli stuff, salad pack, milk, cream, and some other stuff. But I was planning on bananas, cabbage, avocados, broccoli, etc. So I may go down to Holiday  Market later in the week. For now, we can have salad and we do have chard in the garden.  So all in all a good trip.  Most everyone had masks and gloves on but a few old men did not…. maybe they think the order from Placer Co. chief Medical officer doesn’t pertain to them like the imbeciles that are Trumpers protesting the sheltering in place order.  Darwin anyone??

Last night I made a split pea soup from the Palouse split peas. It was delicious. Palouse is a small family-owned company and I was able to get 5lbs of lentils and split peas. If you need these try ordering from them. They arrived very quickly and the price was @ $15 for the 5 lbs. I think.

Tonight’s dinner is unknown. My son wants to cook something so we’ll see. He’s a great cook and enjoys doing more gourmet stuff than I do.

The chickies are getting big and eating a bunch. We’re taking them outside and they are in a fenced area so they can run around. They seem to like that. They still need a heat lamp but our weather is supposed to warm up so they will move out to the sunporch this week.

Barclay’s labs have come back way better. Platelets have gone up and so did his hemoglobin.  The took him completely one of his drugs, Dapsone, so this may be why his numbers were dropping. So good news there. Also, UCD med center did give us a grant on one set of bills from last August. At least we think they did as we haven’t gotten any official letter from them but the billing shows the $1300 that was going to be due is not showing. Now only the last $500 is on there. So that’s cool, I hope.  Hopefully, there’s no surprise. I would like to have a letter that states that though.

The Flylady zone is in the bedroom, which, I’m about to get up and go do.

This week I’m planning on washing all the outside windows with the Outdoor Windex. You attach it to a hose and spray. I’ve been using this method for a few years and it works great.

 

My doctor’s appt is at the end of the month and I’m planning on it being a video appt. I’ll have to wait till I get directions on how to do it though.  I did read another Myeloma patients take on ratios and I think he was referring to one of the major Myeloma treatment centers, where one of the criteria is a ratio of 100. That’s what my doctor keeps saying but when my ratio was up in the 70’s I was in treatment with Revlimid. Oh well, mine is still under 10 so, that’s something I suppose.

 

 

Randomness…

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A bunch of random photos.

 

The top is the sourdough bread that came out PERFECT!

Next are my wood friends. These, of course, were my children’s toys but I have kept most of the Waldorf toys. I did pass on the Waldorf dolls and silks as over time they will deteriorate and so I did that quite a few years ago now.

Then my newest Catherine Holm. It’s all rusty on the inside but it’s for water on the woodstove and It only was $25.00. I’m not sure about the darker green but for what it is it’s fine.

We just got back from our walk and got there a little earlier and then dog walker showed up and as we were leaving the two women that are friends and SHOULD’NT be walking together. It really bugs me as they drive here to walk and they really shouldn’t be there but even more so they shouldn’t be waking together as they are not family. Oh well. :(:<<<

Today is just some housekeeping chores and maybe some gardening.

The zone if you follow is the bathroom. If you want to follow Flylady, you could go thru your shampoos etc and get rid of old stuff or stuff you’re not using. We keep ours to a minimum. Plus we have the smallest bathroom possible.

B has his labs today and then another video conference about his lowering Hemoglobins. A little concerning.

I’m missing Finnie and Ollie.

 

 

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.

Another sad day…

We lost Finnie yesterday.

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4BC83E01-6F8F-4B89-835A-B8DAA105BC0A.jpegAlmost a month exactly from when Ollie died. Finnie seemed to be doing okay. We took him to the vet and he did a round of antibiotics but over this last week he got worse. We’re not really sure what it was but he was acting very weird and then confused and not very aware of things. So we called the vet and he went to kitty heaven. It’s been a hard last 9 months with both dogs and now both our cats. The cats were 17 years old and were adopted together so maybe they were so bonded or something. Anyway, it’s lonely in the morning without them yowling for cream and food. I’m sure we will get some kitties down the road but not for a while yet.

I think pets teach us so much about life and death. Plus they are just present. A lot to be learned from that alone.

The weather is still blah. Not sunny not rainy. Just grey. We walked this morning and only the one other dog walker was there so that was nice.

My labs came in and it’s okay. My kappa light chains went to 110mg/L so an 18 point increase and Lambda went down to 12mg/L. Looking back over my labs since 2015 my Lambda never did go out of normal range but that’s because my myeloma is kappa. So now the ratio is up to 9.23mg/L  So going up.

I’m planning to not go down to Sac at the end of the month but the assistant said we could do a video conference so that’s what I’ll do.  Really nothing different is going to be said until he’s ready for me to start treatment.  Sigh:(

I’m going to make some cookies today and then move some pantry stuff. My order of flour should be showing up today. That’s a good thing as I’m starting a Tartine bread leaven and will need the flour tomorrow.

 

 

Just keeping on…

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Well another day and really what day is it???

Things are fine here although I have felt a little stir crazy with the massive rain we had that kept everyone inside. Now it’s going to be nice again and even approaching 70 degrees.

The chickies are growing overnight, which is what chicks do.  For now, they are in a big Costco box( good timing) with a red light for warmth. They will stay inside for a few more weeks and then we will move them to the sunporch. will need the sun lamp for quite a while longer. They really don’t go out with the big girls for quite a while.

The sourdough bread came out tasty but I should have had a bit more of a water ratio. Next time will weigh things out which really is the best way to do a proper sourdough.

We’re out of fresh veggies, salad, milk, etc. So tomorrow I will go to the market early to see what I can get. I’d rather not do Safeway as there are more people. I have one more Costco order showing up but that more prepper pantry stuff. Plus I did put on paper plates which we haven’t used in ages but it will help alleviate the very loaded dishwasher..every. single. night!

Last night I made a manicotti and it was quite good.  Tonight I have tortillas for fajitas ( I think that’s what I’ll do). Plus I have sour cream and avocado.( I have one left).

B has his labs this morning and then a video appt with his doctor. That should be interesting. I had my labs yesterday at Quest and they were all very conscientious.  I wore my mask and gloves. Not sure when I’ll get my results as theoretically my doctor was supposed to be in Africa on safari. I doubt that is happening.

 

Well somehow, the whole second half of this post disappeared so I will try again later.

Update:

I was saying before half the post disappeared… that my blog is 8 years old. I started in 2012. At that time I was 2 years into being on Revlimid as I had relapsed from my SCT in 2010. I did pretty well on Revlimid. It was the Dex that usually did me in. And then after about year 3, I started having serious IBS from the Revlimid.  But what I was saying was I started writing about myeloma and life.  Then I became refractory to Revlimid in 2015. So it was on to the next drug, which amazing worked wonders.

At that point in 2012, I began seriously minimalizing all our stuff. I got rid of at least 1/2 of what we had.  Still, even now, I think there’s more that could go or perhaps be changed up for something fitting to where we are now.  I was already doing Flylady as that is what really changed things for me. I could do 10 minutes a day.  It really was a game-changer. Even though now I don’t do the daily things for the zones as she does, I still do each zone weekly and I write what I need to do in that area.

 

I was also giving a shout out to Donna over at Retirement Confidential 

about doing an online alcohol order and that I was considering doing it.  She is a really good writer and has a great sense of humor. As a fellow introvert, It’s fun to read her stuff. Go check it out.

Oh yeah, I was on a rant about the news and our ignoramus President. Such a dumb, self-centered, narcissistic leader. It’s his fault at not taking the coronavirus seriously back when he was informed in January.   The Washington Post has a very informative article on the timeline and it is astounding his lack of caring when medical experts were telling him what was on the horizon. His lies and spins on this is really appalling. Plus the whole thing with relieving the captain of the ship and then firing the inspector general who forwarded the whistleblower’s report is such an obvious misuse of power that there are no words really.  It is a disgrace and I know history will tell the tale of the worst president ever. A reality TV star and a lousy one at that.

 

I think that was most of it that got deleted or lost in space.

Friday Stuff, not Frugal

We have baby chicks. They just showed up this morning. We ordered 10 Leghorns. I wanted Bardrock but they weren’t sexted. If you get them non -sexted you will end up with some roosters. Roosters are kind of a PITA really.  Anyway, since we’ve decided to not do the camping trips at least till August, I figured we would be here at home and we might as well get chickens. I really like chickens and they are interesting birds. Plus they do keep bugs at bay and also snakes. Of course, you don’t get eggs for 4-5 months but that’s ok.

Then, let’s see, yesterday was Barclay’s IVG infusion. We got there by 10:30 and the parking lot was pretty empty and the freeways were not too bad at all. I waited in the car reading on my iPad, looking at the news, sending a few texts and trying to nap. He was done by 2 pm so long but not bad. We were home by 3 pm.

My son cooked us a nice dinner of homemade mac and cheese and roasted asparagus. It was nice not to cook. Tonight is pizza night and the dough is in the fridge doing a sow rise.

I ordered 25 lbs of flour and it should be delivered today. This is Central Milling which I usually get at Costco but they are out and I’m not going there anyway for quite a while.

I’ve had yeast in the freezer and when I went to use it it didn’t really puff up so I may have to track down some fresh yeast but in the meantime, the pizza dough was doing an ok rise.  The yeast is supposed to be good for a year in the freezer so maybe it’s just been in there a little too long.

I have spent A LOT OF MONEY on supplies. I’m just going to call this emergency food stores.  Since March 3 when I went to Winco/Costco I’ve spent over $1000 in bulk foods, pantry foods, regular store stuff and more. Most of it will last a long time as it can be used over the coming months but still, it’s a little frightening to see what I’ve spent.  Next week I will go early to our local store for milk and some fresh stuff and wine if we need it.   I did check out some of the wine delivery services but it’s more expensive than I want.  I also was checking out Instacart for delivery but so far I wasn’t that impressed.  Maybe I look at it next week. For now we at set.

 Next week starts almost a month of being home and honestly, I don’t see it changing up soon. I’m certainly not going out to just be out.  I have my labs next week and then both my dental appts are postponed and my eye exam. I haven’t canceled my oncology appt yet and that’s not till he end of April but if my labs aren’t shocking and it’s still just going up I’ll message him and say how bout next month.

Be safe and stay home!

Like an episode of ‘Survivors’

If you’ve never seen the BBC show ‘Survivors,’ you should. It’s a group of people that find each other after a pandemic that has wiped out almost everyone. They are all very different and the story is interesting.  But this morning the one scene I’m remembering is when some of them go out to find any grocery store to get stuff. Well, my son and daughter drove out to go to Grocery Outlet this morning. It was weird. I said be careful, wear your mask, don’t talk to anyone….. slightly paranoid right?  I hope they make it back.  ( Just kidding):)

We did a nice walk and no one was there this morning. I have to say reading the WP about people going to NParks and the beaches just totally gets me upset. What is wrong with people? This is a pandemic, not a time to invade coastal towns so you can walk on the beach.

This week Flylady has 2 zones the Living room, and then the entryway. Both are relatively easy for me and I’ll do the LR zone this morning. I did get my beeswax candle order. Yes, it is a necessity as I light these every night. The order is 4 pairs for $40. I also got a Thai soup order( sort of like ramen). My daughter and I both like ramen for breakfast so this will be nice.

I think my Costco order for laundry soap is supposed to show up tomorrow. Definitely not 2-day shipping but more like 7 days out. Still, I will need laundry soap so we’ll be set.

Barclay is outside doing a burn pile of leaves and twigs so that should keep him busy for a while. Plus it is nice to get those outside chores done.