Last day of 2017

a lovely day it is.

We went to the gym and then hit up Home Depot for some plants (indoor) and plant food.

Tonight we’ll have some champagne and I’m making tempeh Rueben sammies.

See ya next year( tomorrow):)

 

Ending 2017

Goodbye 2017.

It has been a great year for me. I know some people have not had a good year including my sister who has had some serious health issues. I guess it’s all about how you experience the year with health, finances, family, work,  and just life.

I’m so grateful my health has been good and I think that’s the main reason this has been such a good year. I think that makes all the difference. Even money or finances take a back seat to health issues. If you’re in relatively good health, I think you can handle whatever comes your way.

We had some great camping trips and work trips too. I always love going to Santa Barbara with B when he has to see the co-ops. It’s such a treat. This year I went up to the North Coast for the first time with him too. Eureka is a bit of a depressed area but the co-ops are amazing. so that was fun. Plus we camped at new Brighton twice and that was lovely especially going to Gayles Bakery. It’s the best!! Camping at Lake Tahoe always tops my list of the best things that have happened. This coming year we may do things a little different in regards to Tahoe. And I still haven’t booked any camping trips yet.

Learning how to Lodge cook was lots of fun and I ended up with 2 Lodge camping pots. It was such fun to cook a pizza in camp and other great recipes like chili topped with corn bread and breakfast casseroles.  Such fun!!

Our finances were good and we were frugal yet got quite a bit done around the house. We even bought a wood splitter on sale for B to use. It was bought with one of his bonuses so that made it even better. We still have some big chunks of tree to deal with and I’m hoping this coming year we can take 2 more Ponderosa pines down so there will be more to split. Food and groceries in general still seem to be our biggest variable expense so I’m working on looking at working on that. I do menu plan and plan my Costco trips but food is just so expensive. I’m tracking food, non-food and pet food and this may give me a better idea of where it’s going. We ended December with just under $1000 for food, nonfood, Christmas food, alcohol, and pet stuff. Most months I run @ 600- 700 so that’s high. Although the Costco trip had gifts in it so I could reduce the amount by that and then it’s maybe $800.

I continued to declutter right up to Christmas and as a matter of fact, have a small load in the back of my VW to go into the thrift store.  I would guess this year I’ve gotten rid of 2000 things. many just small but others not so small.  For next year, I’m going to look at each room with a critical eye and see what can be improved. That should be a fun project.

Well, I’m making a whole wheat bread in the Zojirushi on the dough cycle and then I’ll bake in a pan. It’s a king Arthur WW bread recipe and so far looks good. Then I just finished baking the butternut squash for soup tonight and made a batch of mashed potatoes to freeze for when I make a shepherds pie on Monday.

So I’m off to read a bit and decide if I’m going to town.

Chrusciki and Le Creuset

IMG_1142.jpg Here’s a picture of our traditional ‘Chrusciki’. It’s a polish/European fried dough. It’s not very sweet except for the powdered sugar. My mother made these at Christmas. One of my few memories.

IMG_1148.jpg My fancy new pot. I love Le Creuset and they do last a lifetime or two. As I mentioned my other two are over 30 years old.  I got this great deal where it was on sale and then got another 20% off so still expensive but under $300.

I’ve got all the Christmas stuff down except one swag I’m leaving up for a while because I like the twinkly lights in it.

I’m going to the gym today but no leg work as I must have pulled a muscle behind my knee on Sunday. I’m not sure what really happened but my knee was pretty flipped out the other day and I even only walked one round. Even when I am sick, I try and do 2 rounds so you can tell my knee was hurting.

It’s pizza night but I’m deviating(oh the horror), and making baked ravioli. I have some that need to be used so I’ll make them. Since my daughter is not eating gluten right now, I’ll make something else for her when she gets home from work. She doesn’t get in till 7pm so I whip something easy.

 

 

 

 

2018

A new year.

I do not set or make resolutions. I haven’t for years. What I do is just figure out what I want to do more of or less of. I do write out a list of things to accomplish so I guess that’s more of a goal. I do like goals as such. Like the Minimalist game and setting the goal of getting rid of things. But for some reason, I don’t do the resolution thing like exercise more, diet, lose 10 lbs.  Those things just don’t interest me.

When I started the Just Keep Walking Project, I just wanted to walk every day. That’s a goal.  But I try to not make it that there’s guilt attached or pressure.  Since I’m in year 4 and 7 months, I guess I like that goal.

In terms of routines and keeping things simple, I like to do certain things daily and weekly. This is where I do FlyLady stuff. It keeps me focused and then I know it’s done for the week.

So my list for 2018 looks like this with stuff added and subtracted as the year progress.

  • Keep walking
  • gym 3x a week
  • daily routines
  • weekly routines
  • now, this is new, I’d like to shop once a week or even once every 2 weeks. I only go to Costco once a month or even 6 weeks. But at the market, I tend to need something usually cat food or cream. I’m doing the Frugalwoods January no spend so that will help. But I’d like to get the other part figured out. I get conflicted with stocking up stuff(which I do for somethings) and more of a minimalist view(like in Paris or Europe) of getting what I need fresh more often. Well, since I haven’t figured it out yet, I will make that a goal.
  • YNAB for our budget goals and daily recording
  • build a new deck for the Studio( well,my husband would do this), I’d just supervise and get in the way.
  • Put in a new kitchen counter and sink. This depends on money really and it would be from Ikea so nothing outrageous.
  • if we can afford 2 more trees taken down.
  • camping 6 x’s (last year we did 4 trips)
  • go on some sort of date with my husband 1X a month. Like a new lunch place.

So there’s probably more, like continue to declutter my Life Magazines( 6 bins left) to ideally 2 but I think that’s a stretch since there’s the moon walk, Kennedy, Selma, MLK Jr., and so many great ones.

Of course, most of this depends on how my labs are thru out the year and if I will go back on Velcade if the numbers start going up. I guess that’s a big ‘who knows?’

Dinner is fresh cream of mushroom soup, which I just tasted and it is YUM,  twice baked potatoes I did with the Costco huge bag of russets and a roast chicken in my NEW WHITE LE CREUSET  that Santa brought.  Oh, my it is very beautiful.

 

Looking at the new year and budgets

We had a delightful Christmas with lovely thoughtful gifts. A couple of favorites were the knitted cotton dish cloths by my daughter, a thrifted Japanese vase from my son, and this wonderful print from my husband.

IMG_1147 the lights are just a reflection of twinkly lights in the living room.

This was taken from a picture of me looking out at Lake Tahoe in 1977 or there abouts. It may have been one of the first times we were up there. Jason, our first boy, was sitting with me but you can’t see that in this picture. My son stylized the picture and added Lake Tahoe. How cool is that? All in all a lovely day.

So on to budget stuff for the new year.

My plan is to get all the annual bills fully funded with our Social Security.  Since we just opted to start SS even though B is working still.  All that money will go to annual bills and EF.  We looked at all the numbers and it still made sense to start this now.  I started mine early anyway but that amount is pretty small since I never worked full time and that was one of my main reasons for working at the library.  Anyway, now I get an increased amount called spousal something.  Wow, I didn’t know that was possible.  So the budget looks good for saving 100% of this money even though the monthly amount will be scary when full retirement comes.  But we need this to go forward.  The only thing I might do around July is to pay a chunk of the Santa Fe off. Right now, that’s a big payment but almost the whole amount is going to principal. It’ll be under $10,000 soon, so I’ll decide then.   Other than that, just keep going. We know there’s no way to pay off the mortgage so that’s a given. We’re planning to sign the Subaru over to my son and take him off our auto insurance and that will decrease that substantially.  Hopefully, we can do that before the next 1/2 bill rolls in which is March.  So who knows how it’ll play out, we will just do the best we can.  When we add in part b and supplemental insurance after B retires that will affect the monthly amount too. So that will need some research since my chemo drugs, when I’m on them, can run over $10,000 a month so we better have insurance to cover them.

Well, I’m off the gym this morning and then I’m in the Living room zone this week. I’ll take down the tree and put things away through the week.

Dinner is YOYO 🙂