Thursday, April 27, 2017

Windy Thursday

Another fairly productive day at the office, today.  I gave the thank you card I made, along with a box of Ceylon tea, to my supervisor for all the plants she gave me.  She kept saying I didn't have to, but I told her I wanted to.  
During my lunch break, I went to the weekly farmers' market and my favorite bakery stall was there, this week, and I was able to buy a loaf of the crusty French bread that I like.  I also tried the Hawaiian barbecued chicken stall for the first time.  It was good, but not something I'd want to buy all the time.  I wasn't planning to buy lunch, but the peanut butter sandwich I had brought for lunch didn't really appeal (I had one yesterday, too, and found it OK; two days in a row was too much, I guess.)
It's been another very windy day, which might explain the sinus pressure headache I had.   I didn't feel like stopping at the garden center to buy the tomato cages, after work.  I just came home directly,  took a Tylenol, and rested for a bit.  But I couldn't fall asleep, so eventually, I got up and put in a load of laundry to wash.  That always makes me feel I was productive!  It is hanging up, now, to dry inside the house.  One of my friends called to ask how daughter and I were and we chatted for a bit.

Daughter's office closed early, today, and she and her colleagues were asked to work from home or a different, off-site location, in order to avoid the protests that were planned in Berkeley, later in the evening, and any potential violence that might have resulted.  I am glad she was able to go home a couple of hours early.
I have taken tomorrow and Monday as vacation days, so I will have a nice long weekend ahead of me!  I am hoping I will be able to both rest and get a few things done, as well!  It's going to be another hot weekend with temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s, according to the weather forecast!  So, I am planning to be productive in the mornings when it is cooler and relax in the afternoons when it will be hot.  

Today, I was grateful for:
- Daughter was able to go home early and avoid the protests taking place this evening.
- Being able to treat myself to lunch out
- Being able to buy my favorite bread which I haven't had in 16 months! (And it tasting just as good as I remembered it being!)
- Being complimented on my dress and appearance.
- Being able to take a couple of days of vacation
Friday's To Do List:
- Go to the garden center for tomato cages 
- Finish assembling the trellis
- Put away laundry
- Do another load of laundry
- Other items from the carried forward list!

How was your Thursday?  What have you planned for Friday?

Wednesday's Doings

Today has been a warm and windy day.  I checked on the seedlings and watered them before I left for the office.  I had a fairly productive day at work.  I gave my supervisor an update on my work projects and told her when I have my next medical appointments so she knows.  So far, I've 3 scheduled in May, 1 in June, and 2 in July, plus I am supposed to report for jury duty in June, as well. 
I checked another garden center's website, today, and they have the tomato cages for a more reasonable price of $1.98 each.  They are shorter than the others I looked at yesterday, but that doesn't matter.  I am really not looking to give support to the plants; I just want to protect the seedlings until they are somewhat grown, so the cats don't dig them out, or "fertilize" them, or sleep on top of them!  I wouldn't want them to squash my squash plants!  LOL.   

I also looked at vegetable plants being grown in hanging planters.  If nothing else, I can get some hanging planters and grow my squash in them, off the ground and away from the cats!  I also loved looking at all the creative containers people have come up with for growing plants, such as plastic soda bottles!
Speaking of being creative, I made a thank you card, today:
Thank You Card
The thick white paper with the torn edges is handmade paper I made one year with old utility bills I shredded!  I added some rosemary leaves to it when I was making it, but they are not too visible.  The flowers are metallic sequins.  
Today, I raided daughter's closet and borrowed one of her blouses to wear to the office!  I needed a black blouse and my only solid black top was too big and droopy.  Her blouse fitted me perfectly!   I took a picture of myself and sent it to her, with the caption, "Borrowed plumes".  She laughed and said to help myself!  She left half her clothes down here, so I will be borrowing more from her closet in the future!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to borrow from daughter's closet!
- A pleasant day at the office
- A safe commute to the office and back
- A drive through the park on the way to the office and back
- A sunny and warm day

I didn't do anything that was on my To Do list for today, other than going to the office and daily tasks such as the dishes.  I will just carry today's To Do list forward and work on it tomorrow and Friday.  
How was your Wednesday?  What have you planned for Thursday? 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Day Tuesday

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words of encouragement on yesterday's post.  I admit I was feeling a bit down about things.

But, today is a new day, isn't it?

Today, I woke up when the alarm went off at 7:00 a.m., but dozed a bit longer!  Thank goodness for snooze buttons!  Eventually, however, I went to the office and had a productive day.  But, before I went to the office, I brought in the trash cans and watered the seedlings.  Last night, I looked out the sliding glass door and saw that one of the cats had managed to get under the mesh I had placed to cover the newly planted squash seedlings.  So, this morning, I rearranged the mesh to cover that gap and hopefully, that will be enough to keep the cats away!  The seedlings looked more dead than alive, after being transplanted, but I am hoping they will revive and continue to grow.  If not, I will plant the succulents my supervisor gave me and call it done!

During my lunch break, I went to the pharmacy and picked up a container of low dose aspirin.  I just bought the 30 pills container, just in case the doctor tells me to stop taking them, again!  It cost $2.95 with taxes, but since I had received a $2 coupon good towards the purchase of medications, I had to pay only $.95.

After work, on my way home, I drove to the garden center to look for tomato cages.  I was thinking I would stick a tomato cage over the zucchini seedlings when I planted them, to keep the cats away.  The last time I bought tomato cages (many years ago, admittedly), they cost something like $.79 cents, I believe (must have been many, MANY years ago!  LOL!).  Well, today, the 54" galvanized steel tomato cage was priced at $4.99 and a 42" red painted one cost $5.99!     Generally, I don't buy even 10 lbs. of zucchini in a year.  Zucchini sells for $.99/lb. at the regular grocery store and for $.79/lb. at the ethnic store.  But, it goes on sale for $.39/lb. quite regularly, and that's when I usually buy it.  This week, it is selling for 3 lbs/$1.00 at one of the ethnic stores.  I could buy at least 15 lbs. of zucchini for the price of one tomato cage and not have to worry about watering the plants, or anything!  I decided not to buy the tomato cage at that price.  I will check the dollar stores and one of the discount stores in my area to see if they have any tomato cages for less.  If not, I will continue to buy my zucchini when it goes on sale!

Grocery Ad for Zucchini

Tuesday's (and Beyond) To Do List:
- Water seedlings - DONE
- Go to the office - DONE
- Pharmacy to buy low dose aspirin - DONE
- Bring in trash cans - DONE
- Buy tomato cages - PRICED them and decided not to buy at that price!
- Weed the rest of the planting bed
- Transplant zucchini seedlings
- Family room - tidy, dust, vacuum
- Bedrooms - vacuum
- Finish cleaning the bathrooms - DONE
- Paperwork (at least 15 minutes)
- Put away laundry

Wednesday's (and Beyond) To Do List:
 - Go to the office
- Weed the rest of the planting bed
- Transplant zucchini seedlings
- Family room - tidy, dust, vacuum
- Bedrooms - vacuum
- Paperwork
- Put away laundry
- Daily tasks (dishes, litter box, etc.)

Today, I am grateful for:
- Kind, encouraging comments from all of you
- One of the nicest supervisors
- Safe commute to work and back (there was another horrible accident on the freeway I take to go to the office in the morning and the freeway was closed in that direction even during the evening commute!)
- Phone calls and emails from friends
- Feeling better than I did yesterday

How was your Tuesday?  Have you bought any tomato cages lately?  If so, how much did you pay for them?  Do you think $4.99 is a reasonable price for a tomato cage?  Would you pay that much?  Am I being unreasonable to expect to pay less than that?  Maybe I need a reality check?

Monday: April Grocery Shopping Week 4 - Part 2

April 24 Groceries

Today, in the morning, I had an appointment with my oncologist.  The nurse practitioner examined me and made some suggestions about additional things I could do for the inflammation and swelling, including applying a steroid cream (cortisone) and taking ibuprofen or aspirin.  She also went over my most recent lab test results and I had my catheter port flushed.  I have to go back in six weeks to have the port flushed again and I'll see the oncologist in three months' time.

My appointment was at 9:15 a.m.  I left home at 8:15 a.m. and got there just on time.  It was 11:30 a.m. when I left the clinic and I got home around 12:30 p.m.  I had intended to go grocery shopping on my way back, but I decided to come home first, as I was getting hungry.  I had milkrice and the rest of the beef curry for lunch.  After lunch, I felt tired and took a nap!

After I woke up from my nap, a little after 4:30 p.m., I went grocery shopping to buy bread ($.99), bananas (@$.59/lb) and ataulfo mangoes (@$.25).    I spent a total of $2.51.

April 24 Receipt

Amount spent to date = $22.24 + $21.87 + $4.55+ $23.48 + $7.40 + $2.51 = $82.05
Balance left in the April grocery budget = $83.07 - $82.05 = $1.02

After tea, I did a little gardening - I weeded half of a circular planting bed and transplanted the patty pan squash seedlings.  Then, surrounded the seedlings with some wire mesh.  I think, though, I will get some tomato cages for them and the zucchini seedlings, instead.  I couldn't finish weeding and planting because it got too dark and I got a little tired towards the end.

I am actually wondering if I bit off more than I can chew with trying to plant a garden this summer.  I am still not completely well and although I do enjoy gardening, all this effort to keep the cats out of the vegetable planting beds and making trellises for the grape vines is becoming a bit too much for me.  I can't do as much as I used to or would like to.  I am finding it very frustrating and a bit overwhelming.

I was in the garden from about 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Once I came in, I cleaned out the fridge, did the litter box, took the trash to trash cans and took the trash cans to the curb.  Then, I made an egg salad and had egg salad sandwiches for dinner.  After dinner, I put away the dishes I had done yesterday and washed today's dishes.  Then, I started cleaning the bathroom.  In between, I wrote to a friend, sent a message of sympathy to another friend whose husband passed away, and video chatted with daughter. 

I realize that the medical appointment took up practically the whole morning.  Then, when I came home, I was tired and needed a nap.  Once I woke up, I was as productive as I could be, under the circumstances, and accomplished a lot.  But still, I didn't do all what I had wanted to get done, such as the rest of the house cleaning, the paperwork, etc.  And that is making me feel impatient and frustrated.  Plus I am feeling a bit anxious and worried about the continued inflammation and wondering what it means and why my recovery seems to be prolonged.

Today, I am grateful for:
- the lab report showed my tumor markers were good
- the nurse practitioner made some suggestions that might help with the inflammation and swelling
- the port flushing went well
- a safe drive to the clinic and back
- time spent in the garden

 Monday's To Do List:
- Doctor's appointment in the a.m. - DONE
- Grocery shop for bread, bananas, mangoes - DONE
- Family room - tidy, dust, vacuum
- Bedrooms - vacuum
- Clean out the fridge - DONE
- Empty waste baskets - DONE
- Take the trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Weed one planting bed - DID HALF
- Transplant the seedlings - DID SOME
- Clean the bathrooms - STARTED
- Paperwork (at least 15 minutes)
- Put away laundry

Tuesday's (and Beyond) To Do List:
- Water seedlings
- Go to the office
- Pharmacy to buy low dose aspirin
- Bring in trash cans
- Buy tomato cages
- Weed the rest of the planting bed
- Transplant zucchini seedlings
- Family room - tidy, dust, vacuum
- Bedrooms - vacuum
- Finish cleaning the bathrooms
- Paperwork (at least 15 minutes)
- Put away laundry

I already know that the list is too long to get done in one day.  Then there's all the other stuff I want to do, including planting the succulents, putting together the trellis, and baking banana bread.  This might be a week-long to do list!  

How was your Monday? 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday: Strawberry Harvest

Ripe Strawberry

I had arranged to video chat with one of my friends this morning, but my laptop didn't corporate!  I got an error message saying I couldn't chat on-line using the particular program I wanted to use and had to download something, which I tried, but couldn't get to work.  So, I spoke with my friend on my cell phone, instead.  I could hear her, but couldn't see her because I don't have a state of the art cell phone, just a very basic one.  It was a little frustrating to me, and I was rather disappointed, but happy that I got to chat with her.

After that, I did a load of dishes in the dishwasher and washed my special china cups and one or two non-stick pans by hand.    Then, I cooked milkrice for brunch and had it with some of the beef curry I had brought home from last night's dinner at my cousin's house. 

It was another warm day and in the afternoon, I felt tired.  I lay on the sofa and read for a bit and tried to take a nap, but couldn't fall asleep.  While I rested, my half-sister called to check on me and we had a nice conversation.  Around 5:30 p.m., I gave up trying to nap and had a cup of tea.

The messy house was getting to me, so, I decided to do some cleaning.  I tidied, dusted, and vacuumed the living room and dining area and vacuumed the hallway and the kitchen.  I will do the family room and the bedrooms tomorrow. 

After that, I watered the front garden and the back.  When I was watering, I noticed that one of my two strawberry plants had a ripe strawberry and picked it!

My Strawberry Harvest!

Yesterday, my aunt had wanted to come for a visit in the evening, and when I told her I was going to a cousin's house, she said she might try to visit today, instead.  I had spent some time in the afternoon wondering what I could prepare for dinner should she and my cousin visit.  Aunt usually says don't worry about dinner, but that is just one of our cultural conventions.  It is just one of those social niceties.  One doesn't take that to mean anything.  Our custom is to offer a meal to anyone who visits.  Aunt has some dietary restrictions, I was out of a couple of meal items including bread, and I didn't feel like going grocery shopping in the afternoon or cooking in anticipation of them visiting because aunt hadn't called to confirm they were coming.  Eventually, I decided that, should they visit, I could cook a pot of rice, make a fish curry using canned fish, and saute the spinach or some of the cabbage I had bought for a quick meal that could be prepared in 30 minutes (it would take aunt and cousin a little more than 30 minutes to get to my house).  Eventually, around 8:00 p.m., I called aunt to see if they were planning to visit and she said my cousin was still teaching piano and it would be too late to come after that.  We agreed that they'll visit on another day, instead.  I was glad I hadn't actually cooked anything in anticipation.

Instead, I cooked a quick, one pot dish for myself, using part of the beef smoked sausage I had bought (aunt and cousin don't eat beef, otherwise I could have made it for them).

Smoked Sausage Meal

I sliced a medium potato and sauted it with some sliced onion; added about one third of the smoked sausage, sliced, and half a large carrot.  Finally, I added some shredded cabbage.  I sprinkled some chili flakes to season.  I ate about half of it for my dinner and the rest will be for tomorrow's dinner.

For dessert, I had:

Strawberry and Cream!

LOL!  I felt like Curly Locks in the nursery rhyme, who was told all she'd have to do was sit on a cushion, sew a fine seam, and eat "strawberries, sugar, and cream"!  I only had the one strawberry, but I savored it! 

Today, I am grateful for:

- I was able to chat with my friend
- Phone call from my sister
- Resting on the sofa
- Getting some housework done
- A strawberry from my garden!

Sunday's To Do List:

- Dishes/run dishwasher - DONE
- Living room - tidy, dust, vacuum - DONE
- Dining room - clear table, dust, vacuum - DONE
- Hallway - vacuum - DONE
- Kitchen - Wipe counters and stove top, put away dishes, shine sink, vacuum floor/mop - STARTED
- Water the garden - front and back - DONE
- Water indoor plants - DONE

Monday's To Do List:

- Doctor's appointment in the a.m.
- Grocery shop for bread, bananas, mangoes
- Family room - tidy, dust, vacuum
- Bedrooms - vacuum
- Clean out the fridge
- Empty waste baskets
- Take the trash cans to the curb
- Transplant the seedlings
- Clean the bathrooms
- Paperwork (at least 15 minutes)
- Put away laundry

How was your Sunday?  What are your plans for tomorrow and the rest of the week? 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Warm Saturday

Warm, as in 90F!  It was already quite warm when I woke up in the morning.  So, although I had watered the seedlings and a few other plants by hand, yesterday, I turned on the sprinklers and watered the back garden, in the morning. 

One of my aunts called me in the morning and we had an hour-long conversation!  Aunt had much to say and I was a willing listener.  She wanted to visit me in the evening, but I wasn't going to be free in the evening, so she said maybe she'll visit me tomorrow evening, instead, if her daughter is free to bring her.

Later in the morning, I gave a ride to a friend who wanted to get some packing boxes from a moving truck rental company.  On the way back, we stopped at a grocery store as I needed to buy a dessert to take to the prayer gathering, later in the evening.  I had been wanting to make a dump cake, but I didn't feel like baking when it was so hot.  So, I bought a box of 40 assorted mini cream puffs and eclairs and I bought a flan.  I picked up a bag of cat food, too, and a packet of tea as a gift for my friend.  I asked my friend if she'd like to go out to lunch or come to my house, but she declined, so I dropped her off at her apartment and went home.

The house had stayed relatively cool, so it felt quite comfortable, after the heat outside.  After lunch, I read for a bit and then, took a nap on the sofa! I had a cup of tea after I got up and then, it was time to get dressed to go to the monthly prayer gathering.

One of my cousins was hosting it for the first time and I gave another cousin a ride to the prayer gathering and back.  This was the first time I went to the monthly prayer gathering since January.  I was too sick to attend the February gathering and I hadn't felt up to driving to the March gathering.  I am glad I was able to attend this month's gathering.  The cousin who was hosting had prepared most of the meal (biriyani rice, chicken curry, lentils, sauted squash, and fresh fruits for dessert) but others also brought a dish or two to contribute to the meal, so there was a beef curry, eggplant, sausages with peppers, and another vegetable curry, as well.   Afterwards, my cousin urged me to serve myself a plate of food to bring home, but I chose to bring only a little of the beef curry another cousin had prepared. 

I left the prayer gathering around 11:30 p.m.  I dropped my cousin off at her house and came home and spent an hour or so video chatting with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to help my friend with picking up her boxes
- Being able to attend the prayer gathering
- Being able to help my cousin with a ride to the prayer gathering
- Being able to contribute a couple of desserts to the meal
- Phone call from an aunt

Plans for tomorrow include video chatting with a friend, cleaning the house, and maybe transplanting the vegetable seedlings.  Hopefully, it will be a cooler day; otherwise the poor seedlings are going to get baked!

How was your Saturday?  What are your plans for Sunday?  What is the weather like in your part of the world? 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Friday: April Grocery Shopping Week 4

This morning, I was woken up by a phone call - it was my oldest half-brother, calling from Sri Lanka to check on me!  That was a nice surprise!  He's 16 years older than me, and my mother used to say that when I was a baby and I'd cry, he was about the only one who could get me to stop! 

Later in the morning, I took the car in for a service as the "maintenance required" light had come on.  They did the usual oil changes, tire rotations, etc. and said everything was fine.  It was good to hear that!  It was all covered under the extended warranty, so I didn't have to pay anything today. 

Afterwards, I did my grocery shopping.  I rarely make a meal plan and then go grocery shopping for the ingredients; I tend to do that only for special meals like the prayer gathering dinner or the almsgiving.  Usually, I just buy what appeals to me from what is on sale that week and then, plan meals based on what I bought and have on hand.   I went to the Armenian ethnic store, today, to get some fresh produce and milk because that's what I needed.  

As usual, I bought what I needed to round out what I have on hand, and I chose to buy that from what was on sale this week.  I needed some bananas (the two remaining bananas from the Week 3 grocery shopping trip have become a little too ripe for my liking) and at least one additional fruit for the week (still have 1 pear and several oranges in the fridge).  So, I chose to buy the apples that were selling for $.39/lb. this week, as opposed to other varieties of apples that weren't on special that were selling for $.89/lb.  I might go to a different store over the weekend for cat food and they are advertising a type of mangoes that I like for $.25 each, so I might buy some mangoes, as well.

I didn't need any meat (I have chicken, ground beef, fish, ground sausage, and shrimp in the freezer), yet, when I saw that the smoked sausages were on sale for $1.89 each, I bought a package!  Bacon was on sale for $2.89/lb. and I was tempted to buy some as I don't have any bacon on hand, but I  decided to wait on it, since I was getting the smoked sausage.  They had eggs on sale, too, for $.99/doz. and I put a carton into my cart and put it back, again, as I still have most of the dozen eggs I bought earlier. The prices are good through next Tuesday, so I might change my mind and go back for those, over the weekend! 

April 21 Grocery Shopping

I bought:

1 pkg. (12 oz.) smoked sausage = $1.89
1/2 gal.(1.89 L) milk = $1.99
1.3 lb bananas (4 bananas) @$.49/lb = $.64
2.08 lb. apples (3 large apples) @ $.39/lb = $.81
1 cucumber = $.20
.54 lb. tomato (2 tomatoes) @ $.69/lb = $.37
.52 lb green beans @ $1.39/lb = $.72
1 cabbage (1.4 lb) @$.20/lb. = $.28
1 bunch spinach = $.50
Total = $7.40

April 21 Receipt

Amount spent to date = $22.24 + $21.87 + $4.55+ $23.48 + $7.40 = $79.54
Balance left in the April grocery budget = $83.07 - $79.54 = $3.53

Cutting it close, this month, aren't I?  But that is OK.  I don't think I'll be needing much more, next weekend, other than more fresh produce.

I was tired after grocery shopping, so, after I finished my work for the day, I took a short nap!  I woke up when my gardener friend came over to do the garden.  We spent the next hour or so trying to put together a trellis I had in the garage - it was bought years ago and I never assembled it!  We couldn't finish putting it together as one piece was wrong (the item was bought too long ago to try and return it!)  I spent another hour or so, trying on my own, before I got too tired and gave up for the night!  I'll work on it more, tomorrow. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Phone call from half-brother
- The car was serviced and didn't need any additional work done
- Afternoon naps
- Time spent in the garden
- Texts from cousin, emails and phone calls from friends.

How was your Friday?  How are you coming along with your April grocery budget?