Friday things

I went and helped set up books for the bake and book sale tomorrow.  Then I left to take my son to pick up his Subaru that had some sort of oil leak but it was covered by the warranty we got when we paid for the engine to be rebuilt.

Then I went to the store and picked up cream, cat food, wine and a few other essentials for the weekend.

Tomorrow I am going over to the book sale early to help out and then leaving around 10 or so since we’re driving up to Chico so B can pick up his motorcycle. It’ll be a long day but I’ll get thru it. He’s been set on a Triumph which is what he had in college. Then reconsidered and found a brand new Honda Rebel. It’s a smaller motorcycle and that may be a good thing.  It won’t hold resale the same as a Triumph, but that’s not why he’s buying it.  This money comes from the many bonuses he has had over the years that usually has gone to bills. So it’s his turn.

 

Speaking of budgets, things are okay. The bills are getting paid but we’re still not putting away money above and beyond the 401 k that is taken out automatically.  In the next 2 months we have property tax and house insurance so 2 really big annual bills. Sigh… I really hope we get a handle on this as retirement looms out there.  But I am optimistic we will have it sorted as we go into those years.  We have to get rid of the car payment and that will free up some money.  But he gets a reimbursement for the car so it’s a double edge sword.  Still, I hope by mid-year next year the Santa Fe is paid and then we can look at the last car loan for him in these last 3 years.

I am trying very hard to be as frugal as I can and only buying essentials.  Even so, things do come up.

Dinner is Friday night pizza.

 

Apocalyptic Fires in Wine Country

The fires over in Napa and Sonoma are just awful.

It is so sad and shocking to see the devastation of this beautiful area. So many people displaced and homes lost. It does put in perspective how quickly one can lose everything even life itself. These fires raged so quickly many people and probably animals just couldn’t get out quick enough.

Such a tragedy.

 

A Minimalist’s day

Often my days are about doing daily simple chores and going about my life.

I never overload my schedule and even when I worked at the library l kept my schedule simple and unburdened. Now it is even more so as I don’t have a go-to job.

I start my day with getting dressed even down to my walking shoes. I drink a quick cup of coffee that was prepared the night before and then is on an automatic timer for 5:30 am.   If the dishwasher needs emptying I’ll do that.Then I head out the door and drive 1/2 a mile to our park and walk for 32 minutes. Then upon returning home, I get more coffee and then write my list for the day and what I want/need to accomplish. I include simple things like dust, prep for dinner and what we’re having, budgeting stuff, gym, etc.  I browse thru the news and some blogs.

Then I’ll do a few quick chores, like make the bed, take out the laundry, swish and swipe the bathroom. I don’t have young children but both my adult children live at home so there’s always some extra things(dishes, laundry,) that might need attention.

If I’m going to be baking bread like today I start prepping thing and get my starter ready and then the dough. Or if I’m making my delicious maple granola, I’ll get out oats, maple syrup etc.  Otherwise, I wipe down the counters and make sure they are clear and uncluttered. Plus I do this in each room. Our house is tiny so really it doesn’t take but 10 minutes max.  But it is by having minimalized our things that it is a quick process.

I  am amazed at how simplified my life is since embracing minimalism.  It is so true, less is more.

The rest of the day is either going to the gym or whatever chores might need doing. If there’s a project I’m working on, I may do it after lunch. RIght now, I’m still working on the barn decluttering so I may go out for a bit to do that. I prep for dinner between 4-5 depending on what I’m making.  I also usually read for a few hours and then dinner.  After dinner, we might have an outside fire and talk about the day or current events. I go to bed fairly early 9pm or so. I might read in bed for 1/2 hour but generally lights out by 9:30 or 10.

Dinner tonight is chicken noodle soup and homemade bread.

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Simple Sunday a day late….

We had a lovely Sunday. It was beautiful out, not too warm, not too cool.

I finished painting the front door. I finished painting the shake shingles the other day and then B painted the sunporch wood that he replaced.  He worked on a ton of wood, moving it and cutting it. In a few years we’ll probably switch to propane stove but for now, we have a lot of wood.

I cooked a whole chicken for Sunday Supper plus mashed potatoes, tofu, and that mushroom golden gravy. It was yummy.

We watched Wonder Woman last night and it was great. A female heroine that is tough and beautiful.

Today, I’m in the kitchen zone but I actually did most of it yesterday so I only needed to mop the floor and clean the stove top.  I might turn on the self-cleaning oven later this week.

1 load of laundry almost done too.

I managed to gather another 50 items to toss or give away. Lots of little things but hey it’s more out the door.  My goal is 1000 items by Thanksgiving.

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Also, we had very strong wind picked up yesterday evening and as a result, there’s been a terrible fire over in Sonoma ( wine country).  Many homes and business lost.  I had just said to B that I’m going to update our emergency packs the day before.  So today I’m going to the barn and get an empty bin and write on it what goes in. Mostly this would be  for photo albums and our lock box with important papers.  I have 2 other packs with things like toothbrushes, first aid kit etc.  I guess timely with what’s going on and necessary.

Tonight I’m making a cauliflower cream cheese soup and homemade bread and a spinach salad. I haven’t made cauliflower soup, so I’ll post how it is tomorrow.

So, other than that just puttering around the house and garden.

 

 

Saturday stuff

I went and had my annual flu shot and updated pneumonia shot this week.  I thought the insurance company was paying but since I went to Walgreens, I had to pay OOP.  I figured okay, I’m here, let’s get this done. $289 later ouch!! The pneumonia shot was $229. I should have just backed off and scheduled an appt with my PCP but I guess I just wanted it done.  That’ll take a bit of recouping this next paycheck.

We also went to Costco this week and it was very expensive. $100 was Christmas and the rest stocking up on things like laundry soap, TP, etc. What I figure I’ll do is minimize shopping the rest of the month and try and keep the grocery/non- food/ cat food/ wine budget around $700.  That should even things out.

We had a nice Mexican lunch out too so that’s almost our dining out budget. I figure maybe a taco night or takeout pizza. We’ve really cut out eating out for the most part so that shouldn’t be too difficult.  Since I love cooking and creating wonderful food it gets easier not to eat out.  Today I’m making another batch of Tartine bread. I’ll freeze one and we can enjoy the other over the next couple of days.

Last night we had Friday night pizza and I made a ricotta arugula pine nut pizza. Wow, it was good.

I started another round of decluttering with just little things like extra pens etc. Plus some misc Fiesta ware that I don’t want anymore. So far about 150 things ready to go to the thrift store or thrown out.

Well, tonight I’m cooking some organic grass fed burgers( I think). I might wait till closer to dinner and see how I feel about that for dinner.

 

Tartine Bread

I’m back in the swing of things with bread making. So, the last loaf of a sourdough but it wasn’t the dough that rests and goes thru the full autolyse and bulk fermentation.  I decided to get out my Tartine Bread book which by the way reads like a chemistry class. It is quite challenging to read and follow, but I persevered thru and made the loaves.  It’s anywhere from a 2-day process to 5 days depending on if you already have a starter.  It is an amazing bread and well worth the effort.

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It tasted terrific. The recipe makes 2 loaves so I waited to bake the 2nd one today and then my oven wasn’t cooperating.  This has been going on for a while where it won’t calibrate the temperature.  It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it’s frustrating. So I turned the oven on and off for 3 hours and then finally it was coming up to speed. For the Tartine bread, it needs to be at 500 degrees for 30 minutes with the Le Cruset in the oven.  Finally got it to work and the second loaf is done. Now I’m in the process of baking 12 huge potatoes for double stuffed potatoes that I’ll freeze.  When you’re cooking that many potatoes it takes twice as long.

 

So I guess we’re going to go buy an oven this weekend. Not frugal, but I cook so much it’s hard to be without a reliable oven.  This one was a lovely GE profile that ( if I remember was @ 1200).  I found a nice Whirlpool one on sale at Lowes for 650.  It’s normally 1000 so a good deal. As long as it’s self-cleaning and has sealed burners, I’m good.

I’m  really trying to keep things as frugal as possible so, we’ll see.