Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spiced Garbanzo Beans

Spiced Garbanzo Beans/Chick Peas

For brunch, today, I ate a bowl of spiced garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas.

Garbanzo beans are a type of legume and high in protein.  They are also a rather inexpensive source of protein.

I buy both dried garbanzo beans (either in packets or from the bulk bin at the ethnic store; can't remember the price per lb. though), or canned garbanzo beans (often on sale for $.50 per 14 oz. can or $.99 per 28 oz. can).  The dried garbanzo beans tend to be cheaper, but one must soak them for about 12 hours and boil them for about an hour or so, before they can be used.  The canned ones are already pre-cooked.  One just has to drain and rinse them. Canned garbanzo beans are a nice addition, as they are, to salads.

One of the things I like to do with either cooked dried garbanzos or the canned ones is make spiced garbanzo beans.

I usually use 2 of the 14 oz. cans or one 28 oz. can when I make for just myself and daughter.  If I am making for a crowd, or bulk cooking for the freezer, I will use more garbanzos and adjust the other ingredients accordingly.

First, I saute some finely sliced or diced onions (as much or as little as I like; about 1/2 an onion is usual) in a bit of oil, a teaspoon or so of mustard seeds  (depending on the amount of garbanzo beans), some curry leaves (can substitute a bay leaf), a sliced green chili or two (or some dried chilies), then add the cooked or canned garbanzo beans.  I will add a teaspoon or two of curry powder, stir and saute the garbanzo beans.  One can always vary the amount of spices (curry powder and chilies) to taste.  Finally add some salt and lemon juice to taste.

The resulting spicy garbanzo beans dish can be eaten by itself for breakfast or as an afternoon snack or served with rice as an accompanying curry. 

I like to make a quantity of it and freeze it in 1-2 serving portions to pull out and microwave, as I did this morning.  Which is why there are no pictures accompanying the cooking directions.

Do you eat garbanzo beans/chick peas?  If so, how do you serve them?  Do you think you'll try making spiced garbanzo beans? 

Chemo Session Number 7 Crossed Off the List!

I went for my chemo session number seven this morning!  Five more left!  The session went off smoothly.  I felt a bit sleepy immediately afterwards, so I was glad that daughter was there to drive me home.  I dozed a bit on the drive home!  Of course, I wasn't sleepy when I got home.

We picked up some Chinese food for lunch, but my taste buds have changed.  I didn't much care for the pepper chicken and steamed rice I ordered.  Daughter gave me her beef and ate the chicken, which she said was quite good.

In the afternoon, I worked on my office work and sent off this week's completed assignment, later in the evening. 

I took a break when my gardener came to attend to the garden.  He brought me more aloe cuttings to plant.  We are redoing the front parkway.  I forgot to take pictures, today, so I'll take some tomorrow.

My daughter went to the pharmacy for me to pick up my medication refills.  Later, she went to a pot-luck dinner and games evening at a friend's house.  She decided her contribution to the pot-luck would be banana bread; I couldn't finish eating all the bananas my friend and my cousin brought for me last Saturday and they are getting a bit too ripe!  Her friends had planned to go grocery shopping for their pot-luck dinner and cook together.  But daughter had everything she needed to make the banana bread, so she and I packed everything into a tote bag for her to take with her.  She left a little after 4:00 p.m., but I guess the grocery shopping, cooking, and games took a little longer than expected.  She just texted me to say they were just getting ready to eat, and she'll be home a little later than she had first thought.  I said it was OK.  I'll probably still be up, anyway!  I told her to save me a slice of her banana bread!  Most probably I'll be making another loaf of banana bread with the rest of the ripe bananas, tomorrow.

Daughter said her thesis presentation went well, yesterday.  She said she was extremely nervous at first and spoke too fast, until one of the two evaluating professors told her it was OK to slow down a bit!  She said she felt more relaxed for the rest of the presentation.  She finished her presentation well within her 10-minute allotted time.  But during the question and answer session, one of the professors asked her a question that didn't relate to the thesis and it threw her off for a bit. She said she was able to sort of answer it in a round-about way.  Afterwards, her thesis advisor, who had also been in the audience, had told her that she thought it was not a fair question.  After it was all over, one of the professors asked her if she was feeling better now that it was all over.  Daughter said she told him she won't be able to relax till she finds out how she did and he had given her a thumbs up!   And the other professor had told her she did well.  So, it sounds like it went well.  But, of course, she is waiting until she gets the official notification that she passed to believe it.

Daughter also told me that her supervisor at work, who had also attended the thesis presentation, sent an email afterwards, to all the staff who had attended Wednesday's practice presentation, saying they'll all be happy to hear that daughter did really well at the thesis presentation.  I thought that was very nice of her supervisor.  Daughter's thesis is related to the work she is currently doing and will be doing once she starts working full time in June.

Yesterday, I was grateful for:

- Friends and family wishing daughter well on her presentation
- Daughter's presentation seems to have gone well
- She has received a lot of support from her supervisors and colleagues
- She had a safe flight home
- Daughter is home for the weekend!

Today, I am grateful for:

- Daughter is home for the weekend!  :D
- Chemo session #7 is behind me.
- Gardener friend gave me free plants.
- Daughter is having a fun evening with her friends.
- Family and friends calling to check on me.

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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Collection of Cookbooks

My Shelf of Cookbooks

It's a library of books, but, as far as I know, there is no collective noun for cookbooks, specifically.  So, I guess I'd have to go with a collection of cookbooks (although, if I could create my own collective noun, I'd go with a recipe of cookbooks!)  This is my collection of cookbooks after much decluttering over the years.  At one time, I had about two and a half 3-ft. wide shelves of cookbooks.  Now, I have it down to one 2-ft. wide shelf.  I could probably edit it down a bit more - after all, I have two copies (different editions) of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.  I bought the newer one because the older one was falling apart, but then, I noticed that the newer one didn't have some of the older, tried and true, recipes!  So, I kept them both!

Among my cookbooks are some that belonged to my mother.  I wrote about some of my mother's cookbooks sometime ago, when I first started blogging.  Today, I decided to do a post about one of her cookbooks:  Good Housekeeping's Cold Cookery No. 2.  It is a 32-page (including front and back covers) paperback booklet that was priced at 2 shillings, originally.  I am assuming (going by two  other booklets that were printed in 1958 and 1959 at the same price) that it was printed in the late 1950s and before 1962, because a booklet from that year has a price of 2 shillings and 6 pence.

I wanted to post several pictures of the pages, but, on the inside of the back cover, it states, in very fine print, that all recipes and photographs in the book are copyright by Good Housekeeping.  I don't want to run into trouble with copyright laws!  But surely it will be OK to show a picture of the front and back covers of the booklet?  And a little bit of what's on the inside of the covers?  I give full credit to Good Housekeeping for their booklet, Cold Cookery No.2, and all recipes and photographs therein!  Is that enough, do you think?

The front cover features some cold, refreshing lemonade (recipe found on page 27, under the title "Party Cups and Punches"):

Front Cover

The back cover features a picture of "April Candle Gateau" (recipe found on page 25, under "Frozen Desserts"):

Back Cover

The recipe instructions say to place a lemon essence soaked sugar lump in each apricot half on the top and set them alight, just before serving.  I don't know why it's included under "Frozen Desserts", because nothing is frozen.  

The inside of the front cover gives useful information about making the most of your refrigerator:

Useful Tips

I tried to do a close-up of the tips:
Close Up of the Tips

If you click on the photo, you might be able to read what it says.

Pages 3 and 4 are missing!  Not sure what page 3 might have had, but page 4 apparently had colored pictures of Jellied Consomme Madrilene, Mint Ice Cream, Fruit Soup, and Tomato Hors d'Oeuvre (according to the recipes for these items which are found on page 5).  I can't get over the fact that the recipe for Mint Ice Cream (made with double cream, egg white, chopped mint, sugar, and green coloring) states to use it as a garnish and that it is particularly good with grilled lamb chops, or to serve in small quantities with cheese straws, as an hors d'oeuvre for a summer luncheon!  I'd have thought mint ice cream was for dessert!  But the dessert ice cream recipes are features on pages 14 and 15, followed by "Ice Cream Sweets" (including Baked Alaska) .

There are menus for various meals featuring salads: a Leisurely Lunch, a Quick Lunch, a Snack Supper, a Smoerrebroed Lunch, a Sunday Supper, a Special Occasion Lunch, and a Family Lunch.  It's convenient to have the whole menu written out for you.  I wish I could have posted a picture of the menus, but I am afraid of running a-foul of the copyright laws! 

On the inside of the back cover are more useful tips on how to care for your refrigerator:

More Useful Tips

Anybody else has her mother's recipe books?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quiet Wednesday

It's been another quiet day, over here.  I slept in this morning and had an afternoon nap, as well!  I guess I needed a lot of rest, today.

I spent most of the rest of the day doing office work.  I was able to send in some completed work, which is always a good thing. 

I did take a little walk around the garden at lunch time.  The cherry guavas are forming on the tree:

Baby Cherry Guavas

 And the jasmine flowers are fading:

Fading Jasmines

I did more laundry today, including the big quilt from daughter's bed.  All her bedding has been washed now. 

My gas bill came today: $65.41.  (Last month's bill, in comparison, was $97.20.)  I use natural gas for heating, the water heater, dryer, and cooking.   I don't use the dryer since it is not working properly, but I do still use the heater at night.  This is my one indulgence - a warm house!  I feel cold easily - right now, I am seated in front of the heater, wearing sweats, socks, and a hat to keep my bald head warm!   Apparently, last year was warmer, because I used 27 therms last April; this April, I've used 59 therms!  Which means I went over my baseline of 51 therms, by 8 therms.  Each therm up to the baseline limit is charged at a lower rate ($.79/therm currently); whatever is over the baseline is charged at a higher rate ($1.05 currently).  Plus there are other charges added to the bill, including surcharges and taxes.  The gas company sends a weekly "bill tracker" estimate of what my monthly bill will be based on the amount of gas I've used up to that time, so that it is possible to cut back if needed.  I choose to cut back elsewhere to keep a warm house.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to sleep in
- Afternoon naps
- Getting office work done
- My washing machine
- Video chatting with daughter

How was your Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday's Doings

Today, has been a fairly quiet day. I went for my 2nd injection in the morning and came back without any problems.  Washed one of daughter's blankets and hung it up to dry.  Then, had a banana for breakfast. 

Spent the rest of the morning doing office work.  My supervisor had sent me a status update request, so I  did that, as well.

Lunch was rice, leftover deep fried egg curry, cabbage, tomato chutney, and pappadum. 

In the afternoon, I took a nap.  Later, I did more office work.

In the evening, I watered the front garden.  And washed another quilt.  I am washing the blankets and quilts that were on daughter's bed, so she'll have freshly laundered bedding when she comes home this weekend.

I had a nutritional drink instead of tea, this evening, and half a toasted bagel.  I had been feeling a bit nauseated, so, took one of the anti-nausea medications, at daughter's insistence (I try to "tough it out" as much as I can). 

I am hoping I will be able to sleep at a decent time, tonight, and that tomorrow will be a better day.

Today, I am grateful for:

- A good drive to the clinic and back.
- A productive morning.
- Afternoon naps.
- Medicine for the nausea.
- Getting the laundry done.

So, as you can see, a fairly quiet, ordinary day. 

How was your day?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday's Productivity

Bauhinia or Orchid Tree Flower

I was able to fall asleep shortly after midnight, last night, and slept till the alarm went off at 6:30 a.m.  I had a cup of tea, got dressed, and was on the road by 7:15 a.m.  I had a good drive down to the clinic and was there by 8:15 a.m.  My appointment was for 8:30 a.m.  I was weighed in (had lost another 1 lb. since Friday's weigh-in), blood pressure checked, etc., and given my injection.   I spent a little time, afterwards, talking with another patient who has been receiving chemo on Fridays with me.  She was experiencing a lot of more severe side effects, unfortunately.  It takes her two hours to get to the clinic from her home, so my hour long drive is nothing!

After I came home, I had a banana and a bagel with cream cheese for brunch.  Then, I did a load of laundry, walked around the garden a bit (and took the picture, above), spoke on the phone with one of my cousins,  and with my daughter who was without power, for some reason.  Losing power seems to happen quite frequently in Berkeley!

I also responded to some work related emails and inquiries.  Later in the afternoon, I took a nap.  I did more office work after my nap.

In the evening, there were some rain clouds in the horizon and I thought it might rain, but it only drizzled a bit.  However, I called a friend of mine who lives just a couple of miles away to check on her and she said it poured with rain where she was!

I took the trash cans to the curb for trash collection, tomorrow morning, and called my neighbor across the street to see how she was.

One of my cousins came to visit me later in the evening and another cousin called to see how I was.  She hasn't been able to come and see me since my diagnosis and was very apologetic about it, but I told her not to worry.  I know people are busy and have their own problems.

I cooked some fresh rice to have with my leftover curries for dinner, but then, I didn't want to eat what I had prepared!  So, I baked the last frozen pot pie I had in the freezer and had that, while I watched Dancing with the Stars.  But the pot pie wasn't much to my liking, either.  However, the mango I ate afterwards was good.

Later, I video chatted with daughter and listened to her rehearse her thesis presentation (she needs to keep it to under 10 minutes).

Today, I am grateful for:

- Relatively minor side effects
- A good drive to the clinic and back
- Being able to listen to favorite music on CD while driving
- Afternoon naps
- Visits and phone calls with family and friends

How was your Monday?  Did you have a good start to your week?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Lunch

Remember these from yesterday?

Burnt Hard Boiled Eggs

After my initial dismay, I wondered what I could do with them besides feeding them to the stray cats in my garden.  And then I knew.  I'd make one of my favorite dishes: deep fried egg curry!  First of all, there is an actual thing called a deep fried egg curry, sometimes also called fried egg curry.  If you do an on-line search, you'll find several versions of the recipe.  Of course, normally, one starts out with regular hard boiled eggs that have been peeled, not burnt ones!  The directions are the same, however.

First, I pricked each egg all over with the tines of a fork (to prevent the egg from exploding in the hot oil).  Then, heated some oil in a deep frying pan (I used a traditional Sri Lankan frying pan which is shaped like a small wok) and fried the eggs until golden brown:

Boiled Egg Being Deep Fried

I fried the eggs individually until all three were done:

Deep Fried Hard Boiled Eggs

 I left them to drain on some paper towels and made the curry gravy.

 First, I sauted some sliced onions, a couple of cloves of garlic, and a few curry leaves in a bit of oil:

Onions, Garlic and Curry Leaves Being Sauted

Then, I added a heaping teaspoon of dark roasted curry powder and a level teaspoon of chili powder:

Curry Powder and Chili Powder Added

Opened a can of coconut milk:

Canned Coconut Milk

  And added it to the mixture in the pan and let it cook a bit:

With Coconut Milk Added

Then, added the deep fried eggs to the curry gravy and added salt and lemon juice to taste:

Deep Fried Egg Curry

We've all heard of the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade".  My variation of that is, "When life gives you burnt eggs, make deep fried egg curry!"  :D

To accompany the eggs, I made some sauted cabbage.  I know I posted how to make it, earlier, but I took some new pictures today, too.  So, first, shred the cabbage:

Shredded Cabbage

Saute in a bit of oil, with dark roasted curry powder, salt, etc.:

Saute with Curry Powder, etc.

Cook for a few minutes:


Sauted Cabbage

Since I had some oil left over in the frying pan after deep frying the eggs, I decided to fry some lentil flour wafers, known as pappadum (many variations of how it is spelled):


Uncooked Pappadum

I broke each pappadum in half to fit my frying pan and the amount of oil I had.  It takes only a few seconds to fry each piece and it expands a bit as it fries:

Pappadum Being Fried

I drained the fried pappadum on a piece of paper towel.  Once fried, they can be stored in an air-tight container for several days, so I fried a few extra pieces:

Fried Pappadum

All that was left to do was open a jar of my homemade tomato chutney:

Homemade Tomato Chutney

Warm up the rice I had in the fridge, and serve myself a plate of lunch:

Sunday Lunch

It was very good.  The eggs didn't taste burnt, at all.  They just tasted like regular deep fried egg curry.  And I have enough leftovers for at least two more meals.  All I need to do is cook some fresh rice.

Apart from cooking Sunday lunch, I did a load of laundry in the morning, and watered the back garden in the evening (it had been a bit cloudy and overcast, and I was hoping it would rain, but it didn't).  I will probably wash another load of laundry before I go to sleep.

One of my friends had said she might visit me today (in fact, I had cooked a bit extra thinking she might join me for lunch and there was a package of chicken curry in the freezer if she didn't care for my fried egg curry), but she called later in the afternoon to say she wasn't able to visit, after all.   The aunt who visited last night called to see how I was, which was very sweet of her.  I will be video chatting with daughter, a bit later in the evening. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- Knowing how to rescue my burnt eggs!
- A lovely Sunday lunch.
- Plenty of leftovers for the week
- Phone calls and video chats
- Being able to fit back into a pair of pants I had held onto for years!

How was your Sunday?  What did you have for Sunday lunch?

Saturday's Happenings

Once again, I couldn't sleep until after 3:00 a.m., last night.  I remember looking at the time and it was 3:15 a.m. and I must have dozed off, because I woke up again at 3:45 a.m.!  But I managed to fall asleep again and I slept until 8:00 a.m. when the alarm went off.  I had set the alarm because I wanted to wake up early enough to try to reestablish a somewhat regular sleep pattern.  Towards that end, I've also decided I'll try to avoid afternoon naps.

After I had my morning cup of tea, I decided to put some eggs to boil to make more egg salad, and then, I forgot I had the eggs on the stove!  Suddenly I got a burning smell and remembered the eggs!  All the water had boiled off and the eggs were burnt!  Oh, no!  I was hoping that only the shells were burnt and peeled them to see, but they were burnt on the inside, too.

Burnt Eggs
I put three more eggs to boil and this time, I remembered to turn off the stove in good time!  I really need to get myself a kitchen timer!

I also decided that I would bake myself a loaf of bread using some of the frozen bread dough I had bought as part of my pre-chemo stock up.  I kept the frozen dough to thaw and rise and baked it in the afternoon.

Freshly Baked Bread

How is it possible that I can bake a perfect loaf of bread and burn hard boiled eggs?

In between burning the eggs and baking the bread, I cleaned both bathrooms, did the dishes, tidied the kitchen counters, made the egg salad (from the 2nd lot of boiled eggs), and did a little paperwork/filing. 

Around 11:00 a.m., the friend I had asked to buy me some groceries called to say she and her husband were on their way from the grocery store.  She brought me the bananas, broccoli, and head of lettuce I had asked for, but she wouldn't accept any money from me.  This is another reason why I don't like to ask people to grocery shop for me, because they won't let me pay them back.  So I picked a bag of fresh lemons and several sprigs of curry leaves and gave her in return.

Later in the evening, one of my cousins and her mother visited me.  They had wanted to bring me a loaf of bread last night, when I had mentioned to them that I was out of bread, but I told them not to worry, it was too late and I knew they were both tired after work, etc.  So they had said they'll come this evening, instead.  I had made the egg salad and the bread because aunt had said she liked egg salad sandwiches.

I had asked cousin to bring me a certain brand of tea that I like, as she lives close to the Sri Lankan store that sells it.  Well, she and aunt brought me three bags of groceries!  Including a loaf of multi-grain bread, a loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread, a package of English muffins, two bunches of bananas, a bag of apples, several packets of fruit cups and applesauce cups, two six packs of apple juice bottles (I had mentioned to cousin, once, that I sometimes take a small bottle of apple juice when I go for my chemo sessions), and, of course, the two boxes of tea bags I had requested.  And they wouldn't accept any money, not even for the tea, which is a bit pricey.  I am overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness and generosity.

We had egg salad sandwiches and some of the leftover chicken and vegetables I had made earlier in the week for dinner and we spent a lovely evening chatting.  Aunt liked the bread I had baked, so, when they left, I gave them the rest of the loaf to take with them.  It was the least I could do!

After they left, I video chatted with daughter.   She had spent the better part of her day preparing her thesis presentation.  She has to give a 10-minute presentation and prepare herself for a 50-minute question and answer session.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Generous family and friends
- Having visitors and company

- Being able to give produce from the garden in return 
- Very few side effects other than the insomnia
- A lovely day

How was your Saturday?  Did you have a good start to your weekend?  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mid Point of Chemo!

Today I had the 6th of 12 chemo sessions!  I've reached the mid point of this second phase of chemo!  Six sessions left to go! 

I had a hard time falling asleep last night.  Maybe my afternoon naps are to blame?  I was up until after 4:00 a.m. and then, when I did fall asleep, I dreamt that I was in an accident on the freeway!  I was not ready to wake up when the alarm went off at 7:00 a.m., so I stayed in bed for another half hour and sort of dozed on and off.  Still, I was up and dressed and ready to leave by 8:15 a.m.  Traffic was fairly light since it was Friday; the traffic reporters call it "Friday light", a result of some people having Fridays off from work.  In addition, it was also a holiday for some, being the start of Passover.  I was at the clinic shortly after 9:00 a.m. and called in by 9:15 a.m. (my scheduled appointment time). 

I met with the nurse practitioner today and we discussed  my insomnia.  She said it is a side effect of the chemo as well as the steroids.  Also, I am no longer as tired as I used to be, since I don't have to go to the office, am not experiencing the extreme fatigue from the first part of chemo, can take afternoon naps, etc.  Her suggestion was I do more physical activity to tire me out.  So, longer walks, I guess.

The chemo session went well.  It was quite uneventful.  As usual, I read my prayer book and knitted while I was hooked up to the IV.  I was done a little after 12:30 p.m. and was home by 1:30 p.m.  No problems and no side effects, so far. 

One of my cousins called in the afternoon to see how the chemo session went and her mother called me later in the evening.  They are planning to visit me tomorrow night and aunt wants me to make her some egg salad sandwiches after she found out that I had an egg salad sandwich for my lunch, today; apparently she loves egg salad sandwiches!

My gardener friend came to do the garden today.  We decided to redo a portion of the front parkway, with paving stones and aloe plants that he will bring from his own garden.  Then, I got him to transplant a few plants, uproot a couple of unwanted volunteer tree seedlings that were growing from seeds dropped from my back neighbor's trees, and plant the packet of tomato seeds that I found included in a magazine I had received.  He asked me if I needed anything in terms of groceries.  At first, I said I was fine, but then, asked for bagels.  So, this evening, he brought me a package of bagels, cream cheese, and a mango!  

For dinner, tonight, I had some of the leftover chicken and veggie saute and a bagel with cream cheese.

Daughter and I were able to video chat, today.  She had to switch to her iPad, as her laptop was giving trouble.  There seems to be something wrong with her laptop as it says the microphone doesn't connect.  She tried to connect her headphones, instead, and that didn't work, either.  Her laptop is fairly new, so, we'll have it checked when she comes home, next. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- A safe drive to the clinic (unlike my dream of an accident!)
- Listening to a music CD during the drive.
- Being at the mid point in the second phase of chemo!
- Being able to video chat with daughter.
- Gardener friend bringing me bagels and cream cheese.

Wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight?  It is past 1:20 a.m. now, and I am not tired or sleepy!

How was your Friday?  What have you planned for the weekend? 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Quiet Thursday

I've had a rather quiet day, today.

In the morning, I went for my blood test.  There wasn't a long wait; I barely got started on my cross-word puzzle (I carry a book of cross-word puzzles with me to do when waiting) before I was called in and had my blood drawn. 

Once home, I warmed up one of the ground beef filled bread rolls that I had made and frozen back in November and had it for breakfast, along with a bowl of dry cereal.  Then, I settled down to do some office work. 

Lunch was some of the leftover chicken and vegetables I made the other night.  I liked it better as lunch than I did as dinner, for some reason.

I felt tired in the afternoon, so I took a short nap on the sofa.  Dancer cat settled down on the love seat across from me for his afternoon nap!  After I woke up, at 2:30 p.m., I did more office work.

Around 6:30 p.m., I had a cup of tea and two of the apple-oatmeal muffins I had baked, also back in November, and frozen for just this purpose (for having when I was undergoing chemo). 

I also boiled two eggs and made egg salad for a sandwich filling.  Tomorrow morning, before I leave for my chemo therapy session, I will make myself a sandwich with the egg salad and the last two slices of bread, to take with me to eat during chemo.

Dinner was some of the egg salad with pre-made toast from a packet (bought from one of the ethnic stores).

Technology wasn't working too well for daughter and me tonight.  We were unable to get a good connection that allowed us to video chat as usual.  She could both hear and see me, but I was either able to see her and not hear her or hear her and not see her.  We tried several different video chat venues, but had problems with each.  At one point, I was looking at her on the computer screen and talking to her on the phone!  Hopefully, our connections will be better, tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for:

- An uneventful visit to get the blood drawn
- A well-stocked freezer
- An afternoon nap
- A good cup of tea
- Managing to "chat" with daughter even with technical difficulties

How was your Thursday?   

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday's Doings

I didn't have to go anywhere this morning, so I was able to sleep in a bit.  As a result, I didn't need to take a nap in the afternoon, even though I lay down to see if I could sleep.

I spent most of the day working on office work.  I received another work assignment rather late last night (just before 10:00 p.m.), which I acknowledged receiving around 10:20 p.m.  One of the benefits of working from home is there is no set start time.  One of the downsides of working from home is there is no set end time! 

After I finished today's office work, I attended to a stack of my own papers that had piled up.  It was mostly filing, but I tried to toss as much of it as I could.  I think I was able to toss about half of it.  I now have one more stack of papers to sort through and file!

In the evening, I put water to the back garden and picked another handful of ripe cherry guavas to eat.  I also took a short walk around the block.

Breakfast was a banana and a piece of toast with cheese.  Lunch was rice with chicken, bell peppers, onions and carrots - it was some of what my neighbor had brought me which I had frozen.  I also ate a mandarin orange for dessert.  I wasn't hungry for dinner, so I had a nutritional drink, instead.

One of the things I was told to avoid due to chemo treatments was going out in public.  Because the chemo compromised my immune system and made me vulnerable to germs.  As a result, I have not gone grocery shopping.  My daughter had been doing my shopping for me, but, she couldn't shop for fresh produce the last time she was home because she herself got sick.  Then, she didn't come home last weekend and she won't be coming home this weekend, either.  I've been managing with whatever I had in the fridge and freezer, but I am coming to the end of my loaf of bread and it would be nice to have more fruits and vegetables.  I do have some frozen bread dough in the freezer and I thought of making a loaf of bread using that, or making some bread from scratch.  But, instead, today, I called one of my cousins and asked her to pick up a loaf of bread for me when she goes grocery shopping next.  Then, I called a friend of mine and asked her to pick up some bananas and some vegetables for me, when she goes grocery shopping this weekend.  I have my reasons for asking different people to pick up different things, but mostly, it's so that I don't impose on any one person, in terms of time and effort.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to work from home
- Getting through another pile of accumulated paperwork
- Being able to call on family and friends for favors such as going grocery shopping for me
- More fruit from the garden
- Video chatting with daughter

How was your day?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Equally Warm Tuesday

Another warm day, here, although it felt a little cooler than yesterday.

I went for my immune booster injections in the morning.  Came home and had a scrambled egg and fried potatoes for brunch. 

The first of the cherry guavas are ripe:

Ripe Cherry Guava
I picked and ate the ones that were ripe (after washing them, of course)!  They were still warm from the sun!

I felt very tired today, so I took a nap in the afternoon.  Ate a banana instead of having a cup of tea when I woke up.

Later in the evening, I deadheaded the roses in the front garden and put water.

Made a chicken and vegetable saute for dinner:

Chicken and Veggies
Unfortunately, I didn't have much of an appetite.  I forced myself to eat what I had served to the plate and put the rest of the dish in the fridge for later in the week.  At least I won't have to cook for a couple of days.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Safe drive to the clinic and back
- Immune booster injections
- Fresh, ripe cherry guavas
- Afternoon naps
- Phone calls from a friend and an aunt

Daughter just called (9:00 p.m.) to say she's home (at her apartment) after her last class.  Her class ends at 8:00 p.m., and then she has to wait for the bus.  Usually, she gets home around 8:45 p.m., but today, the bus driver got into a shouting match with a passenger who had to be removed from the bus and then, they had to wait for the bus driver's supervisor to arrive!  All the passengers had to get down and wait for another bus, daughter said.  Well, at least she's home safe and sound.  It's been a long day for her (her first class was at 9:00 a.m.) with classes and work in between classes. 

How was your Tuesday?  Did you have a good day?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Warm Monday

Today has been a warm day, here, with a high of 88F. 

I woke up with a bit of a headache, which eventually went away after I took a nap in the afternoon.  

I went for my injection in the morning.  It took a long time due to traffic, a little over an hour and 15 minutes.  The return journey took about 45 minutes.  Came home and had a late breakfast of a tuna salad sandwich.  Then, I took a walk around the garden.

The four-o-clocks are blooming, under the lemon tree:

Yellow Four-O-Clocks
And by the trash cans:

Magenta Four-O-Clocks

Roses are blooming, too; I love these double colored ones:

Double-Colored Roses

Baby oranges are forming on the orange tree:

Baby Orange
And out on the street, the jacaranda trees are flowering:

Jacaranda Tree

After my walk in the garden, I spent some time doing office work.  Later, I cleaned the living room and dining area.  And attended to some paperwork and paid a bill.  Lunch was a bowl of cashew curry and a tangerine.  I also made myself a glass of lemonade with a lemon from my trees. 

In the afternoon, my neighbor brought over the bananas I had asked her to pick up for me.  She wouldn't accept any money from me for them, though.  Dinner was a peanut butter sandwich with banana.  I had thawed some chicken breasts, too, to have with vegetables and potato, but I didn't feel like cooking. 

In the evening, I took the trash cans to the curb for trash pick up tomorrow morning.  

Much later in the evening, two of my cousins paid me a quick visit.  One of them is visiting from Australia and I had been unsure if she'd have time to visit me, so I was happy to see her.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Cousins visiting
- Neighbor bringing me bananas
- A glass of fresh lemonade
- A clean and tidy living room and dining area
- Video chatting with daughter

How was your Monday?


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Almost There: Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt Update

My English paper pieced hexagon quilt in the pattern known as Grandmother's Flower Garden is something I started several years ago.  I've worked on it in fits and starts and I've posted about it earlier.  I had hoped to have it finished by the end of summer, last year, but that didn't happen.  However, I have been sewing on it, a little at a time and it is coming along!  I spread it on the bed, yesterday, to check on its progress:

Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt in Progress

I have seven more flowers left to attach: 

Seven Flowers Left

Still need to figure out how to do the border.  Right now, the flowers leave a deeply scalloped edge, which will be hard to bind.  I will have to make several half-flowers to fill in the gaps, if I want to have a straight border to the quilt.  Maybe I'll have it done by the end of this summer year?

Sleep Deprived Saturday

Well, being unable to sleep on Friday night didn't spoil my Saturday too much.  Once I realized that I wasn't able to sleep, I sort of took things in stride.  I enjoyed a cup of tea around 7:00 a.m. and then, made pancakes for breakfast.  I wanted some strawberries to serve with them, but since I've been told not to eat fresh berries, I took some of the strawberries I had previously frozen and cooked them with a bit of sugar to pour over the pancakes.

Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup

After breakfast, I stripped my bed, remade it with fresh sheets, and put my Texas Star quilt on the bed:

Texas Star Quilt
I then did a load of laundry and hung it up to dry.

Lunch was a salad, with the last of the lettuce, grated carrot, chopped Bosc pear, and cashews:

Salad for Lunch

Later in the afternoon, around 3:15 p.m., I finally lay down on the sofa, cuddled Dancer the cat who came to keep me company, and took a nap!  From about 3:30 p.m. till 5:00 p.m.  Just as I was waking up, my daughter called to say she had returned from doing her grocery shopping.  She was telling me what she bought and how much she paid, etc.  She shops the way I do - buying mostly what's on sale.  She has given herself a monthly budget of $100 for groceries for herself.  She got some good deals, so I told her to send me a list of what she bought and the prices she paid.    She sent me this:

0.93 lb
Sesame Oil
1 bottle (5.5 fl oz)
Shirataki Noodle
1 packet (4 servings)
2% Milk
½ gallon
2.15 lb (6 bananas)
Roasted Garlic Hummus
1 container (10 oz)
1.40 lb (2 stalks)
Salmon Furikake
1 container (50 g)
Bunched Radishes
1 bunch (8 radishes)
Iceberg Lettuce
1 head
Baby Carrots
1 bag (1 lb)
Gold Sweet Potato
1.41 lb (2 potatoes)
Red Bell Pepper
1.36 lb (7 peppers)
1.56 lb (1/2 watermelon)
1.28 lb (1/2 cantaloupe)
Orange Mango Juice
1 carton (64 fl oz)


She didn't need to buy any meat because I had sent her off with salmon, chicken curry, and ground beef, plus she has more uncooked salmon and two whole chickens in her freezer.  

I had another cup of tea after my nap.  Afterwards, I hand watered the back garden, as it wasn't my scheduled day to use the sprinklers (due to the continuing drought, we are assigned days of the week based on our house numbers on which to use the sprinklers; houses with odd numbers may use the sprinklers on Mon, Wed, and Sat; houses with even numbers on Tues, Thurs, and Sun; but we may hand water any day).  I also hand washed all the dishes that had piled up in the sink.

My dinner was leftover fried rice:

Fried Rice for Dinner

I also had part of a nutritional drink for "dessert".

A cousin and an aunt called me today, as well as one of my friends.    I also called another friend who had been in an accident earlier this week, to check on her. 

All in all, it has been a pleasant day, even if a bit sleep deprived.

Today, I am grateful for:

- A working washing machine (on it's 24th year!)
- Being able to air dry the laundry (since the 24 year old dryer isn't drying!)
- An afternoon nap!
- Phone conversations with friends and family
- Being able to hand water the garden even when I can't use the sprinklers

Well, it's just past midnight, so I am off to see if I can fall asleep!

Hope you've all had a lovely day, today.