Thursday, October 19, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mother

Today was the anniversary of my mother's birthday. 

Mother


She was born in 1920, the 6th child in a family of 9 children; the 3rd of 4 daughters.  She was step-mother to five, mother to one, grandmother to one, and teacher to several hundred during her 40 years of teaching.  I wrote more about her, here.

I was full of memories of her, today.  She was the most influential person in my life and I miss her.  All day long, I have been humming her favorite song: Whispering Hope.

"Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion, whispers her comforting word,
Wait till the darkness is over, wait till the tempest is done
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, after the shower is gone.

Whispering hope, oh how welcome thy voice
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.

If in the dusk of the twilight, dim be the region afar
Wilt not the deepening darkness, brighten the glimmering star,
Then when the night is upon us, why should the heart sink away
When the dark midnight is over, watch for the breaking of day."



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rest on Tuesday

I woke up feeling very tired, this morning, and called in to take a sick day off.  Then, I slept most of the day!  They were jackhammering the garage floor, next door, but I slept through the noise!  I guess I was really tired.

I did get up once to bring the trash cans in and collect the mail.  The next door construction crew were blocking my drive way, again;  I asked them to move their equipment and they did.  They could have parked their equipment on the other side of the street, but they prefer to park as close to the work site as possible.  I wasn't planning to go anywhere, but I don't like having my drive way blocked.

The mail included someone else's bank statement!  It had been delivered to the wrong address!  Same house number but a different street!  I put it back in the mail box, with the address circled, saying it was delivered to the wrong address.  I hope they deliver it to the correct address.

Later in the evening, I called my sister and spoke with her for a bit; then, watered the front garden and did a little more cleaning and housework.

It was another hot day, today, but it is supposed to cool off on Friday, with even a chance of rain!

Today, I am grateful for:
- I am able to take time off from work as needed
- I was able to sleep through the noise of jack hammering, next door
- Getting a few things done around the house
- A nice chat with my sister
- Video chatting with my daughter  

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DIDN"T; Took the day off
- Call insurance about the doctor's bill
- Call oncologist's office to schedule a port flush
- Bring the trash cans in - DONE
- Put away today's laundry - DONE
- Water the front garden - DONE
- Start tidying the family room: STARTED
  - clear pass through counter between family room and kitchen - DONE
  - dust the bookshelves - DONE
  - clear the coffee table - DONE
- Clean the Litter Box - DONE
- Tidy the spare bedroom

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Call insurance about the doctor's bill
- Call oncologist's office to schedule a port flush 
- Clear the computer table
- Clear the small dining table

How was your Tuesday? 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday: Surgeon's Visit and Grocery Shopping Week 3

It was 68F in the morning, today, and 100F in the afternoon!  All quite normal for the middle of October.

I tried to go to bed at a decent hour, but, even so, I didn't fall asleep until well after 1:00 a.m.  Then, I kept waking up, every hour or so.  I did fall back asleep, each time, but didn't want to wake up when the alarm went off and I had to wake up.  

Today, I put gas to the car in the morning on my way to the office.  I had a productive morning at the office.  In the afternoon, I went to my appointment with my surgeon.  I don't think they remembered to note down my appointment, because they looked very confused when I showed up and one of the front office staff asked me who made the appointment for me!  I showed them the appointment card I had been given, in response to their query.  It seemed to satisfy them and they asked me to have a seat.  I am glad I had the appointment card with me!  I have felt that the cysts have gone down a bit and the surgeon seems to think the same.  I asked him if I should have a biopsy and he didn't think it was needed.  He was also afraid that further surgery might not heal too well due to all the radiation I have had.  I asked him about the port catheter and he thought it was time to remove it, but said to check with the oncologist on my next visit (in November) and call him to schedule it, if the oncologist agreed it could be removed. 

I didn't return to the office after the appointment with the surgeon.  I came home, instead.  On the way home, I stopped at the small ethnic grocery store and bought a loaf of bread and more raspberries:

October 16 Groceries

 The bread was $1.50 and the double pack (12 oz) of raspberries was $1.99, for a total of $3.49.

October 16 Receipt

October regular grocery budget = $53.
So far, I have spent $4.13 + $1.98 + $.61 + $5.94 + $12.04 + $3.85 + $6.56 + $3.49 = $38.60
Balance left in the budget = $53 - $38.60 = $14.40





I really don't know what else I will want to buy for household groceries, this week.  I seem to have plenty of everything, and next week, I know there will be leftovers from the prayer gathering dinner.  I also seem to be the only one eating the yogurt and apples at the office!  Someone had brought doughnuts, today, but I had a yogurt and an apple. 

When I came home, my next door neighbors' construction crew had parked their equipment blocking my driveway, again!  I don't know why they can't block the neighbor's driveway, instead!  I had to wait while they attached something to their trailer before they could move it.

I was thinking I would be able to get going on my to do list since I was home early.  But first, I had some of the bread with butter and golden syrup.  Then, I lay down on the sofa and took a nap for almost 1 1/2 hours!  I woke up only when my daughter called to say she was home.  Even then, it took me a little time to wake up and have a cup of tea.  But, I am sure I really needed that nap!  I did most of the items on my to do list after I woke up from the nap.

Cleared Dining Table


I probably should have taken a "before" picture of the dining table, but I didn't, because I was too ashamed to do so!  It was pretty messy!  I had my sewing machine, self-healing cutting board, basket of fabric scraps, and box of thread and sewing notions, as well as a small pile of mail spread out on it.  The sewing machine and all the sewing related items have been moved to the spare bedroom and the mail moved to the family room to be sorted, later.  I dusted the table and the china cabinet, but I'll need to dust again, before the prayer gathering.


Monday To Do List:
- Put gas to the car - DONE
- Go to the office - DONE
- Surgeon's appointment - DONE
- Put away washed dishes - DONE
- Do a load of laundry (sofa dust sheets) - DONE
- Tidy the spare bedroom
- Clear the dining table/put away sewing machine - DONE
- Empty the trash cans/waste baskets - DONE
- Take the big trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Water the garden - DID THE BACK GARDEN

Today, I am grateful for:
- A good visit with the surgeon
- Yogurt and apples from the office
- Freshly baked bread
- A cleared dining table
- An afternoon nap

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Call insurance about the doctor's bill
- Call oncologist's office to schedule a port flush
- Bring the trash cans in
- Put away today's laundry
- Water the front garden
- Start tidying the family room:
  - clear pass through counter between family room and kitchen
  - dust the bookshelves
  - clear the coffee table
- Tidy the spare bedroom

How was your Monday?  How is your grocery shopping coming along?  Are you staying under budget so far this month?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up

We've had some lovely weather, this weekend.  Sunny and warm (highs in the 90s).  But, my house tends to be on the cool side, so it's 68F inside, when I wake up, and I open the windows to let the warm air in to warm up the house.

On Saturday, I woke up feeling tired and achy.  I had felt achy on Friday, too, and eventually took a Tylenol to help.  It wasn't bad enough for Tylenol, on Saturday, but I didn't have the energy I needed to do all the things I had planned to do.  So...I decided to take it easy.  I did a load of laundry to help me feel like I did something, went for a short walk, took some pastries over to my cousin P, called cousin V, called another friend to remind her about the prayer gathering, read some blogs and commented on them, cleaned the litter box, cooked spicy "devilled" beef, exchanged emails with a friend, and video chatted with my daughter.

Dinner was some of the spicy beef with pita bread:


"Devilled" Beef and Pita


Later in the night, I decided to bake some cornbread.  Even though the daytime temperature is high, the evenings are cool and I have been doing a bit of baking to make up for a summer of not turning on the oven, if you haven't noticed. 


Cornbread

Breakfast on Sunday morning was a piece of cornbread:

Piece of Cornbread
Later in the morning, my neighbor T called for our weekly Sunday morning chat.  After that, I responded to an email one of my long-time friends had sent me.  We've been friends since 5th grade, I believe; the only friend from childhood with whom I've kept in touch on a regular basis.  

In the afternoon, I put away the dried laundry from yesterday and did the dishes.  I had been collecting them from Friday, in order to have enough to run the dish washer.  I still didn't have enough for a full load, but the dish washer needed to be run, because I haven't used it in about two weeks (I usually just wash each day's dishes by hand).

Then, I started to clean the kitchen: I cleared and wiped down the kitchen counters and the stove top; put all the empty jars I had washed and dried in a box to store in the garage until needed; cleaned the microwave; tidied up the cabinet where I store the Tupperware-type containers and wiped the shelf; refilled the bottle of dishwashing liquid; swept the kitchen; and took out the kitchen trash. Really need to tidy the rest of the kitchen cabinets, too, but that is not urgent.  I might do that after the prayer gathering is over. Need to mop the kitchen floor, too, but I didn't do it, today.

Later, I cleaned daughter's bathroom, which is also the visitor's bathroom.  It will need to be wiped down again, just before the prayer gathering, but it is cleaned. 

Finally, I watered the houseplants and changed the dust sheets on the family room sofas. 

Considering the fact that I wasn't feeling very motivated to clean, I think I did OK.  What happens is, I write a list of everything that needs to be done and then, it becomes overwhelming!  So much to do!  So little energy!  But then, when I tell myself, just do one baby step - just do the dishes, just wipe the small counter area, just the stove top, etc., I manage to get something done. 

Daughter's cell phone started to give her trouble, yesterday.  It wouldn't turn on at times.  When it did the same thing, this morning, too, I told her to go ahead and buy a new phone, I'll pay for it.   Her old phone is something she bought about 7 years go; she said the phone store offered her $5 for it for a trade-in! 

I wasn't hungry for any lunch, today.  So, I had a meal replacement drink.  But I had an appetite for dinner: rice, spicy beef, cabbage, and lentils.  I served the same for my lunch to take to the office, tomorrow.

Dinner

I am afraid I opened one of the passion fruit drinks I bought for the prayer gathering!  It's one of my favorite drinks and I knew I wouldn't be able to resist! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A pleasant weekend
- Warm weather
- But cool enough to bake
- An email from my long-time friend
- A clean and tidy kitchen

I am going to post my do to lists, again, to help motivate me.

Monday To Do List:
- Put gas to the car
- Go to the office
- Put away washed dishes
- Do a load of laundry (sofa dust sheets)
- Tidy the spare bedroom
- Clear the dining table/put away sewing machine
- Empty the trash cans/waste baskets
- Take the big trash cans to the curb
- Water the garden

How was your weekend?  Did you accomplish most of what you wanted to do?  How do you motivate yourself to do cleaning and housework when you don't feel up to doing it?  What are your plans for Monday?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Shelftober - Week 2

I was able to continue with eating from the pantry and freezer in the second week of October, as well. (Shelftober Week 1 is here.)  But I had a hard time with a lack of appetite and not feeling like eating what I made. 

Sunday, 10/8:

Breakfast was half a bagel with butter and freshly picked feijoa from the garden.
Lunch was rice, fish curry, and sauted cabbage:

Rice, Fish Curry, Sauted Cabbage
Dinner was the other half of the bagel with peanut butter for protein.

Monday, 10/9:
Brunch: A banana, followed by half a bagel spread with peanut butter.
Dinner: I am not vegetarian, but I felt like having a vegetarian meal, so cooked some lentils to have with the cabbage I cooked the other day:

10/9 Dinner: Rice, Cabbage, Lentil Curry

Tuesday 10/10:
Breakfast - banana
Lunch - Fish curry, pita, grapes
Dinner - Egg and bacon rolls



Egg & Bacon Rolls

Wednesday, 10/11:
Breakfast - yogurt (brought in by former supervisor)
Lunch - Egg & Bacon rolls, grapes
Dinner - Fish pie - last of the fish, flaked, mixed with a few frozen green peas and a white sauce,  topped with mashed potato and baked for a few minutes.
Dessert:  Pistachio pudding using up a box of mix I had in the pantry.
Snacks: Puff pastry cheese twists



Thursday, 10/12
Breakfast - yogurt (more of what my former supervisor had brought in)
Lunch - Egg & Bacon rolls
Dinner - Fish pie, pistachio pudding
Snacks - apple slices, puff pastry cheese twists

Friday, 10/13
Brunch: tuna sandwich, apple
Dinner: pasta with manwich and meat sauce (from the freezer); grapes
Snacks: Wafer cookies with chocolate cream filling
Late night snack: Homemade potato chips!  I had a craving for potato chips, so, sliced the second of the two potatoes I had bought (had used one to make the mashed potato for the fish pies), and fried it.

Saturday, 10/14
Brunch: Half a bagel with butter
Dinner:  Spicy "devilled" beef:  marinated beef from the freezer, cut into strips, sauted with onions and green chilies, curry leaves, etc. 

Devilled Beef
That used up the last package of beef I had in the freezer.  I had it with a pita bread:

Pita Bread and Devilled Beef
Some pistachio pudding for dessert.
Snacks: Grapes, calamondin from the garden.

Calamondin on the tree
Calamondin Fruit
Calamondin are like miniature tangerines.  They are about the size of a kumquat, but round, not elongated.  They are very acidic.

Peeled Calamondin
I will continue with Shelftober, next week, as well.  At the end of the 2nd week of Shelftober, this is what I have left of the freezer inventory:

6 4 king fish steaks
 3 pieces of salted dried fish
2 packages (approx. 1/2 lb. each) of cooked ground beef
1 package bacon
1 package mini sausages ("Lil Smokies")
3 packages of marinated beef steak (uncooked)
1 package sausage meat
1 package sausages
1 chicken breast
2 quart bags, each with 1/4 roast chicken 
5 turkey pot pies
5 3 packages of frozen puff pastry squares
1 1/3 package of something called "ulundu vadai" which is an Indian/Sri Lankan savory snack
3 1/2 lb. butter
1 bag (5 lbs.) flour
1 package (2 lb) red rice
1 package grated coconut
1 banana bread
3 1/2 packages of sliced strawberries (for eventual jam making)
3 large bags of cooked cashews (for making curry)
1 bag of frozen green peas (new)
- several  one baggy of frozen tomato, sliced onions, some green chilies, etc.
Plus:
1 container manwich sauce
2 4 bananas
4 quart size zipper bags of bread slices
1 package smoked sausage and 2 whole chickens (for prayer gathering dinner)


Friday the 13th!

On Friday, I called the Sears billing services to inquire about the statement I received.  According to their customer service, payment hadn't been received.  They suggested I called the bank to see if the check cleared.  So, I called the bank and, yes, the check cleared two days after it was issued.  I got some additional information and called the billing services, again.  This time, I got a really nice person who looked up my account information and asked me if I had another account with them.  Yes, I do; I have a regular store account and their credit card.  The purchase had been made on the credit card.  Well, guess what?  The payment had been applied to the other account!  Why?  I didn't have an outstanding balance on the store account.  Human error, I guess.  I don't know.  I have to admit that I didn't verify that the payment was applied to the correct account when I went to pay the bill - I just assumed the cashier would apply the payment to the account specified in the statement!  Next time, if there is a next time, I will ask them to verify the payment was applied to the proper account!  Anyway, I was transferred to customer service and the person I spoke to assured me that the correction is being made and they will waive any late fees, etc.  Yes, please.

I have one other bill I need to call about, from one of the doctors' offices, but I am waiting till Monday, on that.  I can only handle one bill at a time.


On Friday, I was grateful for:
- Managed to get the bill and payment straightened out
- Helpful customer service people
- Tylenol for aches and pains
- My gardener friend tidying up the back garden for me
- Chatting with my daughter

Plans for Saturday include some housework, laundry, grocery shopping, and some cooking.

How was your Friday?  What are your plans for the weekend?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Thursday's Review

This week is going by very quickly, for me.  On Monday, I had a holiday and spent some time tying my quilt.  I had help, of course:

Dancer Helps to Tie the Quilt
There are, I think, at least two balls of yarn under my bed, thanks to my helper!

I ran into a bit of a problem with the tying of the quilt.  I am tying it in the corners of the blocks and while the yarn goes through the quilt (comforter) part without any difficulty, the quilt top has several thicknesses of fabric at the corners because of all the seams and it is hard to pull the eye of the needle with two strands of yarn through the 3 or 4 thicknesses of fabric.  I managed to tie all around the borders, but I am struggling with the rest.  The comforter is prequilted, so the tying is not that necessary.  I am wondering whether to "tie" with buttons sewn on with thread, instead.  Or just sew a stitch or two in each corner and leave it at that, without trying to tie with the yarn.  I got frustrated and put the quilt away because my fingers were cramping, I was pricking myself with the needle, and my hand was hurting from the effort! 

Tuesday, I did the grocery shopping and some baking - the egg and bacon rolls:

Egg & Bacon Rolls
 

Wednesday, I went to the office; my former supervisor had been in the office on Tuesday and brought apples and yogurt cups for everyone and there were enough leftover for me to have an apple and a yogurt for breakfast.  In the evening, I made fish pies for dinner:

Fish Pie
Made with the last of the cooked fish, some green peas, a white sauce, and mashed potatoes.  There was enough filling and mashed potatoes to make two small individual pies.

On Thursday, I went to the office and had a productive day.  I met with my new supervisor and updated her about my current projects so she knows what I am working on.  I think we had a good meeting.  

When I came home, I found a bill from Sears for the refrigerator/freezer I had bought in September.  I had purchased it using my Sears store credit card in order to get the discount (I wanted to pay it with a check, but was told I wouldn't get the discount if I did that).  When I received the bill, payment due at the beginning of October, I went to the store and paid it off in full before the end of September..  I have the cancelled check and the receipt, both stapled to the bill by the cashier who processed my payment.  So, why am I getting another bill now?  Stating that my payment is overdue?  And charging me a late payment fee?  This is why I hate charging anything on a credit card, even if I pay it off in full when I get the statement.  And why I always insist on paying in person, rather than mailing in a payment (and having that go astray).  Sigh.  So now, I will have to call the billing services and ask what is going on.  I am not too worried because I know I have proof of payment; but I still find it stressful to have to deal with this double billing.  I had intended to purchase a new washer and dryer from them, this past weekend, but now, I am glad I waited.  I don't know if I want to buy anything else from them, if they can't credit a payment to the proper account without double billing me!

I had the second fish pie for dinner and some pistachio pudding for dessert.  An apple for a snack.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A good meeting with my new supervisor
- Yogurt and apples from my former supervisor
- I have the cancelled check and receipt to show as proof of payment of the fridge/freezer
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Safe commutes to work and back

How has your week progressed?  Have you been billed twice for something you've already paid in full?  What would you do with this second bill I've received?