Friday, January 20, 2017

Thursday: January Grocery Shopping Week 3

It rained last night and it rained in the morning, too.  But it cleared, later on, and it was a nice day.  I woke up feeling tired.  I called my supervisor and we agreed that I shall work from home today and tomorrow.  I felt bad about having to do that, but going to the office is more tiring than I thought it would be!  In fact, I needed a nap, this afternoon!

Later in the evening, I called the pharmacy to see if my lowered dosage medication was ready for pick up, only to be told they had put it on hold because they didn't have my new insurance information!  But when I went to pick up my earlier medication refill, I informed the person helping me that I had a new insurance card and gave it to him; he checked the computer and said they had the information, already!  I guess he thought the old information was the current one?  Anyway, they asked me to bring in the new insurance card, so I did that. 

However, apparently they don't have separate pills for the 250 mg; what they wanted to do was give me the same 500 mg pills and I am to cut them in half!  Well, I already have an almost full container of the 500 mg pills, so I said I'll use them, instead.  I looked for a pill cutter, but they didn't have any more on the shelves.  I will need to look for one at a different pharmacy.  Although I seem to recall someone giving me a pill cutter, sometime ago - wonder if I still have it and if so, where I kept it!

I also asked if they could refill another medication since I was coming to the end of my supply of that.  They said it would be a one hour wait.

So I decided to go to the bank (located in the same shopping mall) to withdraw some spending money, and to the grocery store (also located in the same shopping mall), during that hour long wait.  I really didn't need anything much, other than some canned cat food, but I bought some fresh fruit, milk, a bread roll, and a box of macaroni and cheese (had been wanting some, the other day).

January 19 Groceries

1 pint milk = $1.19
1 box macaroni and cheese = $1.00
Red grapes @ $.99/lb = $1.57
1 mango = $.99
1 bread roll = $.50
Total = $5.25

The six cans of cat food I bought came to $5.34.  I told Dancer he's spoilt because I spent 9 cents more on his food than I did on mine, but he wasn't impressed. 

January 19 Receipt

January grocery budget = $75
Spent to date = $5.12 + $4.39 + $5.25 = $14.76
Balance remaining = $60.24

I know I am not buying a lot, but I promise I am eating!  Breakfast, today, was some of the boiled manioc (cassava) with a spicy onion sambol.  Lunch was the last pita bread with some of the meat curry my friend had given me, and a cucumber salad.  Dinner was the bread roll I bought today, with the last of the meat curry.  Grapes for dessert.  A bowl of cereal with some of the milk for a snack.

After I went to the bank and did the grocery shopping, I went back to the pharmacy and picked up my medication.  This time, the refill cost $2.63.  A very odd amount!

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to work from home today (and tomorrow, too).
- An understanding supervisor
- An afternoon nap
- The rain we had last night and this morning
- Being able to run my errands without incident

Today, I spent:
Groceries: $5.25
Cat food: $5.34
Medications: $2.63

How was your Thursday?  What are your plans for Friday?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday: Back at the Office

I couldn't fall asleep until after 1:30 a.m., last night, so it was hard to wake up at 7:00 a.m., this morning.  The fact that the house was chilly didn't help (my non-digital thermostat is not working properly - the heater doesn't always come back on, automatically; I have to toggle it, manually, to get it to come back on).  I wanted to stay in my warm bed, under the covers, and sleep longer.  But, eventually, I got up, fed the cat, did my morning ablutions, checked and logged my blood sugar level and blood pressure.  The sugar level was well within the target range, but my blood pressure was low.  I felt fine, however.
I called my supervisor to let her know I was coming in to the office, today, but I'll be a little late.  My normal start time is 8:00 a.m. and I am still trying to work my way up to that!  My supervisor is at the office at the crack of dawn! She had already sent me an email from the office at 6:30 a.m., about a project, asking me to work on it, today!  She said she was going to be out of the office most of the day, today, but I was to come in at whatever time I wanted to, it was OK.  She said it was OK if I wanted to work from home, too, but I thought I should go in.
I promise I am not going to take pictures of my outfits to the office, every day!  But I am still trying to figure out what is still wearable in my closet, so, I took a picture of today's outfit, too.  It's the same pair of pants I wore last week, worn with a sweater I had knitted back in the 1980s.  I had actually knitted it for my mother (I made a peach colored one in the same pattern for myself).  I wore a short sleeved blouse, under the sweater, for layering:
Outfit No. 2
I wore it with a jacket from another suit:
With Jacket
The jacket was a little big and I thought I looked a bit like a Charlie Chaplin character, but I kept the jacket on all day because I felt too cold to take it off. 

The work day went well.  I attended the monthly staff meeting, worked on the project my supervisor  wanted me to work on, was welcomed back to the office by our Deputy Director who told me they needed me there, etc. 

After I came home, I had a cup of tea and relaxed.  Called one of my cousins who had some surgery done recently; she's recovering well.  Made and ate some spaghetti for dinner; leftovers will be packed for my lunch for tomorrow.  I forgot to check with the pharmacy if they had my new medication ready for pick up - will call them tomorrow. 

It started raining later in the evening, after I got home.  I was glad I didn't have to drive home in the rain; the freeway was congested enough as it was!  I don't know if it is going to be a rainy day tomorrow, too.  I am planning to go to the office, tomorrow, although I might work from home on Friday.  I'll see how it goes.

Today, I was grateful for:
- Being able to go into the office on my schedule
- A safe commute to the office and back
- Being told, by the Deputy Director, that I was a "valuable resource" (her words, not mine) 
- More rain for the garden
- Video chatting with my daughter

I didn't finish my to do list, so I will just carry it forward to tomorrow.

How was your Wednesday?   What have you planned for tomorrow?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday: Another Doctor's Appointment

Today was another sunny, mild day.  I had another doctor's appointment today, so I took the day off from work.  Which was a good thing, because all I managed to do today was go to my appointment and come back!

My appointment was scheduled for 1:00 p.m.   I was asked to arrive at 12:45 p.m. (they always ask you to be there 15 minutes early to check you in, etc.).  I left the house just before noon and I walked into the clinic at 12:40 p.m. Checked in, paid my co-pay, and sat and waited.  Read through my prayer book, cover to cover.  Watched parts of the children's movies they were playing on the monitor (shared waiting room with pediatrics and family practice; the latter part of Robots and the first part of Wreck-It Ralph).  I don't know why they have the volume set so high, but it was still too loud for me even after the security guard on duty lowered it (when people in the waiting room couldn't hear their numbers being called).

And I waited.  I knew that the nurse assistant had muttered something about the PA being triple booked, when she made the appointment for me (although she had been speaking in Spanish to another person at the office), so I was prepared for a long wait.   But at 2:00 p.m., I decided to go up to the receptionist and ask her how much longer would I have to wait, since my appt. was for 1:00 p.m.  She said, "Let me check; they were looking for your chart".  I was called in a few minutes later!  Apparently, the chart was on the PA's desk as she had been reviewing it, earlier! 

The PA apologized for the wait and thanked me for waiting.  She said she was checking my file because the oncologist's office had sent her a report.   I updated her on what the neurologist had to say.  She will wait for his report, but she was pleased he didn't find anything wrong.  I mentioned the other fall and she examined my shoulder and had me move my arm, etc. and she agreed that there doesn't seem to be any fracture.  I am to continue to ice or apply heat as I choose for any stiffness and soreness.

She looked at my blood pressure and sugar level monitoring logs and she wants to keep the blood pressure medications as they are (said she has seen in my chart how crazy things became on previous occasions when the blood pressure medications were changed).  But she wants to lower the blood sugar medication to half my current dosage.  I am okay with that; this is the second time my blood sugar medication has been reduced since I first started taking it.  The goal is to be off of it, completely, eventually.  I am to continue to monitor my sugar levels (and pressure, too) for 3 more weeks and see her again in 3 weeks.  

I was at the clinic till almost 3:00 p.m.  I hadn't eaten lunch yet, although I had taken some crackers and a banana with me.  I wasn't even hungry, but I ate a couple of bites of the banana when I got into the car.  Now my car smells of banana!

I decided I wasn't in the mood to go shopping for a pair of pants after all, and came home!  Didn't get home till 4:00 p.m.!  I debated whether to stop and buy some fried chicken for my meal (Tuesday special: two pieces - drumstick and thigh - for $1.79), but decided not to.  I had enough food at home and fried chicken isn't the healthiest thing to eat, is it?

I brought the trash cans in, checked the mail (bills and a survey regarding the services of one of my doctors), texted daughter (spoke to her on the phone after she got home and we will video chat a bit later), ate a very late lunch, opened the windows to air out the house, and relaxed.

My neighbor whose husband passed away just before Christmas called to give me details of the funeral Mass scheduled for later this month, I chatted with a friend who called to ask how my doctors' appointments went, replied to a friend's email and to a cousin's text.  Still need to clean the litter box and wash a few dishes, pack a lunch to take to the office tomorrow, and try on an outfit (tried on two of my wool skirts and they are both too big in the waist - fitted waist bands;  they sit on my hips!).

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to reduce the dosage of my sugar medication.
- A safe drive to the clinic and back.
- Answered prayers.
- Another sunny day
- Friends and family who call, email, text, etc., to ask how I am.

Today, I spent: $15 for my co-pay; $5 for parking.

It is supposed to rain, again, tomorrow.  I am planning to go to the office.  Hope the morning drive won't be too bad.

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Call the street tree services about the sapling my neighbor planted/getting a permit to plant, etc.
- Call the pharmacy to see if my new medication is ready for pick up
- Go to the pharmacy after work, if it is ready
- Do some housework, maybe?

How was your Tuesday?  What have you planned for tomorrow?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Busy Monday: Doctor Visit, Grocery Shopping, and Clothes Shopping

It was a lovely sunny day, today.  A bit on the cool side (low 50s) in the morning, but the afternoon high was 65F, and I know that must feel like summer to some of you, right now!

I had my appointment with the neurologist in the morning.  The visit went quite well, I thought.  He asked me some questions and took down some notes, tested my reflexes, had me do some eye-hand coordination and resistance movements, etc., and said everything seems to be in good working order!  He didn't think the reflexes were any slower on one side than they were on the other and any slowness/clumsiness on the left side was nothing more than would be considered normal for a right-handed person.  He will send his report to the primary care clinic and I will be meeting with the Physician Assistant tomorrow afternoon, although I don't know if she'd receive the report in time for our appointment.  I must say I was very thankful to hear his diagnosis!  We still don't know why I fainted and fell, but my central nervous system seems to be functioning okay!

On the way home, I decided I felt well enough to go to the Armenian store to do some grocery shopping.  I only needed a few groceries for the rest of this week - some vegetables and a little ground beef:

January Week 2 Groceries

I bought:

1 packet pita bread = $.99
Green beans, @ $.79/lb = $.25
Broccoli, @ $.49/lb = $.24
Potatoes, @ $.39/lb = $.47
Beets, @ 3 lb/$1.00 = $.21
Cucumber = $.20
Ground beef @$1.99/lb = $2.03
Total = $4.39

January Week 2 Receipt

I didn't buy any fruit because I still have 1 pear, 2 bananas, and 3 large apples in the fridge and my oranges are just about ready to be picked.  Plus I have canned fruit in the pantry.

They had chicken drumsticks on sale for $.59/lb. this week, but I didn't feel like having chicken, this week.  Head-on shrimp was on sale for $3.99/lb. and I debated buying some, but, again, didn't feel like cleaning and cooking shrimp.

I bought the ground beef with the idea of making some spaghetti sauce so I could take spaghetti for lunch to the office once or twice and maybe to make a cottage pie or, if I feel up to it, something we call "patties" which are small pastries filled with ground beef, very similar to empanadas.  I browned the ground beef with some onion and garlic, this evening (yes, I found the 2 onions I had bought earlier that I couldn't find when I was cooking the fish curry and the dhal; I had stored them in a place where I normally don't store them, so forgot where I had kept them!)

January grocery budget = $75
Spent to date = $5.12 + $4.39 = $9.51
Balance remaining = $65.49

I had one of the pita breads with some of the meat curry my friend had given me for lunch.

Then, I decided that I felt well enough to go shopping for a new pair of pants.  I went to Sears, first.  They had the brand I was looking for (although the name had changed a bit from the last time I bought their pants!), they even had a few in the style I was looking for (elastic waist, all around), but they didn't have any in the size I wanted: 12 petite, short.  I was laughing to myself, because, when I was looking for bigger sized pants, I had a difficult time finding any and there used to be plenty of the size 12 pants.  Now that I want a size 12, all I was finding were size 16 and up!  I tried on some other styles and brands, but I didn't like the fabrics and the cuts.   I've lost weight, but I still have a bit of a tummy, so I need something roomy enough and high waisted enough to accommodate it!

Next I went to a discount clothing store, located a block behind Sears.  I've had good luck with finding clothes there, including pants, but it's a bit "hit and miss", and I didn't find anything today.

Finally, I drove to Kohl's which is in the opposite direction, but not too far.  They didn't have the brand I was looking for, but I tried a couple of other brands and styles and they didn't fit right.  By then, it was around 3:00 p.m. and I was starting to get tired.  So, I gave up my search for a pair of pants that I liked and came home!

Had a banana for a snack and a cup of tea, a bit later.  Then, browned the ground beef, took the kitchen trash out, took the trash cans to the curb for pick up tomorrow morning, had dinner, video chatted with my daughter, looked on-line for the type of pants I want to get but didn't order anything, and relaxed.

Tomorrow, I have my doctor's appointment in the afternoon.  Depending on how I feel afterwards, I might stop at the mall to see what they might have in terms of pants!  I really do want to support the stores in my neighborhood by shopping in them.  So many actual stores have closed or are closing, it really is a shame.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- The neurologist's diagnosis that nothing seems to be wrong with my reflexes.
- Free parking at the clinic!
- A safe drive there and back.
- Feeling well enough to go shopping!
- A sunny day.

Today, I spent:  $15 co-pay at the clinic; $4.39 for groceries

How was your Monday? 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Not Quite Jack and the Beanstalk

I know we've had a lot of rain, recently, and it has caused all kinds of weeds to spring up and plants to grow, but when I looked out my window this morning and saw this little sapling growing in my parkway, I knew the rain couldn't have caused it to grow overnight! 

A Sapling Grows in the Parkway

I knew my gardener didn't plant it there - he would never plant anything without informing me, first - but I called him to ask, anyway.  He assured me he hadn't planted it and wouldn't plant anything without my knowledge.  So I guessed it was my neighbor to my left.  I went out and inquired about it from my neighbor, this afternoon.  I don't speak Spanish and she doesn't speak English, so it is difficult to have a conversation beyond wishing each other a good day and saying, "How are you" and "I am fine".  But I pointed to the tree and said her husband's name in a questioning tone and she nodded her head and repeated his name and asked, "Is OK?"  Well, yes, I suppose it is OK, although it would have been better if he had asked me first (he speaks a little more English than she).  My gardener asked if he was to remove it, but I said to let it be.  After all, if my neighbor is willing to landscape my parkway for me, who am I to object?  I've seen similar trees growing in the neighborhood, but I don't know what type of tree it is.  My gardener might know; I shall ask him.

It didn't rain, today, but it was mostly cloudy.  I had a quiet morning.  A couple of my friends called and I chatted with them.  One friend called to say she had a stash of plastic grocery bags if I wanted them - she knew I use them as trash bags.  The grocery stores in my city stopped giving out one-time use plastic grocery bags about two years ago but the grocery stores in her city gave them out until last year, when the entire state put a stop to one time use plastic grocery bags.  Except I reuse them as trash bags.  So I went over to her house in the early afternoon to collect them from her.  I took a bunch of curry leaves and some lemons from my trees and a pair of pants with the tags still on them, that are too big for me.  In addition to the stash of plastic bags, she also gave me a container of meat curry, boiled manioc (also known as cassava or yuca; not to be confused with yucca), and coconut sambol. 

On the way back from her house, I debated whether to go to the shops to buy myself a pair of pants.  But it was about 3:00 in the afternoon and I hadn't had lunch yet, just a cup of tea and a banana for breakfast.  Even though I had a packet of crackers with me, and a bottle of water, I thought it would be more prudent to come home and have lunch.  After lunch, I didn't feel like going shopping, so I just stayed home and tidied the living room a little bit.

Later in the evening, one of my aunts called and I had a pleasant chat with her. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Friends and family who call
- My friend giving me some of her stash of grocery bags and cooked food
- My neighbor planting a tree in my parkway for me
- A safe drive to my friend's house and back
- Being able to return her kindness with some produce from my garden

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with the neurologist in the morning.  If I feel up to it in the afternoon, I will do a little clothes shopping. 

How was your Sunday?  What would you do if you looked out your window one morning and saw that your neighbor had planted a sapling in your parkway?  Would you accept it or would you object to it? 

Lazy Saturday

Today was sunny and quite warm.  It would have been a good day to go shopping for that pair of pants I want to buy.  But I didn't feel like going out and about.  To begin with, I don't like clothes shopping on the best of days.  Today, just the thought of getting dressed, driving to the store, trying on pants which always seem more trouble than trying on blouses, seemed overwhelming!  I decided that the pair of pants I was wearing in the pictures I took last week didn't seem too bad.  Yes they are a bit loose and faded, but I could probably get by with wearing them a couple more times to the office.
I probably should have gone grocery shopping, too, but I decided I could manage with what I had on hand.  After all, I am supposed to be eating from what's in the pantry and freezer, this month, anyway.  However, when my gardener friend called me this evening saying he was at the grocery store and could he pick up something for me, I asked him to buy me a small bunch of bananas, which he did.
There was a time, not too long ago, when I would have pushed myself to go and do the shopping I should have done, knowing that I'd be fine once I was out and about.  But that was before I fell.  Today, when I didn't feel like going anywhere, and didn't have to, I stayed home.  It will be different on Monday and Tuesday, when I have to go to medical appointments, and on Wednesday and Thursday, when I have to go to the office.  
So, after I made the executive decision to stay home, today, I took it easy.  I read blogs and played on the computer, rested on the sofa in the afternoon (I don't think I napped, but I might have dozed off a bit), read a little, listened to a lot of music (gospel songs were my music of choice, today, although, later, I had to listen to my neighbor's party music as they always celebrate in their back yard and play amplified music!), and even sang a bit.
I wasn't totally unproductive, though.  I did a load of dishes, today, and I cooked another fish curry and more dhal for my dinner.  The fish was from the freezer and the dhal was from the pantry.  I realized that I was out of onions when I went to cook, though.  I usually have some in the freezer, but it looks like I used it all up!  So I cooked the fish and the dhal without any onions!  The fish curry has tomatoes and a yellow chili, which I deseeded so it won't be so hot.  I ate rice, fish curry, dhal, and the last of the leftover sauted zucchini for dinner. 

That was the last of the fish I had in the freezer.  It is a type of fish called seer fish in Sri Lanka and is also known as king fish.  I buy the frozen fish steaks from the Sri Lankan store.  I will buy more when I next go to the Sri Lankan store, although I don't know when that will be.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny, warm day.
- My friend bringing me bananas.
- A working dishwasher!
- A well stocked freezer and pantry.
- A restful, relaxed day.

How was your Saturday?  Was it as lazy as mine was or were you more productive?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday...the Thirteenth!

The day was cloudy, with a few scattered showers, but it didn't rain a lot, and it was even partly sunny, at times.

I had forgotten I had a doctor's appointment with the oncologist, this morning!  I knew I had an appointment this month, but I had forgotten the date!  It was nagging at me, last night, so before I went to bed, I looked for all my appointment cards and letters and found that my appointment was for this morning! 

I was up and dressed in good time and on the road by 9:00 a.m.  My appointment was at 10:15 a.m. and I was at the clinic by 9:45 a.m., so it all worked out fine.  My pressure was rather low, but I felt fine.  I was examined and told to come back in 3 months' time.  My appointment is for April 14; I wrote it down in my calendar as soon as I came home.  Need to write it in my planner, too.  I also confirmed my upcoming appointments for Monday morning (neurologist) and Tuesday afternoon (primary care).

Cooked some fresh rice when I came home, for lunch, and had it with leftover corned beef, sauted zucchini, and the last of the cashew curry.  I still have another serving of zucchini for tomorrow's lunch.  Dinner was a sandwich and a pear.

My gardener put away part of the Christmas decorations for me - I had taken down the wreaths; they and the bin with the winter village went back to the garage.  I haven't undecorated the tree yet, so he'll put that away next week.  After that, he pruned the rose bushes in the front garden.  We haven't transplanted them in the back garden, yet. 

I spent the evening working on office stuff.  Then, I took a nap!  Later, I video chatted with my daughter. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to make it to my medical appointment in time!
- The visit went well.
- A safe drive to the clinic and back.
- A little break from the recent rain.
- A nap on the sofa!

Today, I spent: $15 for my co-pay at the clinic and $8 for parking. 

How was your Friday the Thirteenth?