Thursday, July 20, 2017

Playing with Layouts

Initial Sketch

On Wednesday, I went to the office in the morning and had a productive day.  Since it was National Hot Dog Day, I went to my favorite hot dog place on my way home from work and bought chili dogs for dinner!  After I came home, I ate a chili dog and had a cup of tea.

Then, I sketched out my initial layout idea for the baby quilt and cut out my quilt squares: 18 from the teddy bear patterned fabric and 6 each of the solid colored fabric.  I made each square 5 1/2 inches which includes 1/4 inch sewing allowances.  The finished square will be 5 inches. I didn't have enough of the teddy bear patterned fabric to cut 18 complete squares; I had to patch two of the squares, but I don't think it makes a big difference.

Then, I had some fun trying out different layouts:

Layout #1
Layout #1 is similar to the sketch, except I have a different order of solid colors and the diagonal lines are going in a different direction.

Layout #2

Layout #2 has the solid colors in columns (or rows, depending on how one looks at the quilt top). 
The patterned squares still form diagonal rows.

Layout #3

I tried to mix up the solid colors a little more, but daughter pointed out that the blue squares are still in columns.  I needed to mix up the colors a little more.

Layout #4
Layout #4 has the solid colors mixed up a little more. 

I still don't know which layout I like the best, although there are two that I like better than the others.  So, I am opening it out for a vote!  Which one is your favorite? 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A productive day at the office
- An evening spent playing with fabric
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Phone call from my friend
- Emails from another friend

How was your Wednesday?  Did you celebrate National Hot Dog Day?  Which is your favorite layout of the ones shown above?  Can you suggest a different layout?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Planning Another Project onTuesday

Teddy Bear Fabric

I didn't want to go to the office, this morning, but I eventually made my way in, if only because it's cooler in the air conditioned office than at home!  My supervisor was happy to see me, however, as I was able to help her with one of her projects. 

Saturday morning, one of my cousins had called to tell me that her younger daughter, who lives in New York, was coming for a visit and bringing her 8 months old baby son with her.  Cousin invited me to stop by any time on Sunday or Monday to see the baby, as I haven't seen him yet.  I have been wondering what I could give him when I go to visit him.  I suppose I could get him some clothes; a size 1 year will fit him, if not now, then, later on.  Or a toy, perhaps, but it would have to be something they can easily take back in a suitcase.  Or give a gift card to a department store or a toy store? 

The other alternative I've been thinking of has been a quilt.  Previously, I  had knitted him a baby blanket for the baby shower.  But now, a crib quilt might be something that is appropriate, and, hopefully, appreciated?  I am thinking of something relatively quick and easy - sewn in the machine and minimally quilted.  I have an abundance of fabric in the stash; enough and more to make the quilt without having to buy anymore.  All I need to buy is the batting, as what I have on hand isn't enough.
Today, after I came home from work, I washed the piece of fabric which has a pattern of colorful teddy bears on a white background.  It is a seer sucker fabric and I have about a half yard piece.  I am thinking of squares of the patterned fabric with squares of solid yellow, blue, and red (all colors found on the bears).  There's enough of the blue fabric for the backing as well.

Fabric from the Stash

Tomorrow, I plan to decide on a pattern and cut out the pieces.  On Friday, I will go to the fabric store to buy the quilt batting, as I have to go for a blood test on Friday and the fabric store is close to the lab.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The fabric stash! 
- A safe commute to the office and back
- A nap on the sofa after I came home
- Phone calls from a friend and an aunt
- Video chatting with my daughter

How was your Tuesday?  What do you think of my idea for a quilt for my cousin's grandson? 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tote Bags on Monday

One of Two Tote Bags

I had the day off from work, today, so I was able to sleep in till 10:30 a.m.  After I had my tea and checked emails, etc., I changed my bed sheets and did a load of laundry.  One of my aunts called and I chatted with her for a bit.  Aunt was calling because she had been trying to call one of my cousins who was not answering her phone; I told aunt that perhaps cousin was on another phone call.  Aunt wanted me to go over to her house to tell her that aunt was trying to call her!  I told aunt that I could try to call cousin on her behalf, but I will not go over to her house as I am persona non grata at her house (her husband is angry with me).  I called my cousin and later, aunt called to say she was able to speak with cousin.  Apparently, cousin was on another phone call that lasted a long time.   

Then, I decided to do some sewing.  Initially, I wanted to sew new cushion covers for the family room sofa throw pillows.  But when I looked in my stash, I didn't see any fabric I wanted to use for the covers.  Instead, I saw this piece of fabric:

Apples and Alphabet Fabric
It was a 1 yard piece of fabric I had bought a long time ago when daughter was still in school (I bought the fabric because I fell in love with the pattern; I thought I will make something for one of her teachers with it, but didn't).   I decided to make two tote bags with this fabric, today.  The fabric is rather thin, so I decided to line it with some scrap fabric I had leftover from making a nightdress:

Lining Fabric

I was able to make two totes from the fabric.  I cut out the bags and straps in such a way that all the fabric was used.  One more piece of fabric used up and gone from the stash!  I shall give one to one of my aunts and one to one of my friends as they are both Montessori teachers.

The tote bags took most of the afternoon and early part of the evening to make (partly because I had to unpick the first straps that I made).

Later in the evening, I watered the garden, both front and back, took the trash cans to the curb, chatted a bit with one of my neighbors who saw me watering the front garden and came over to say hi, washed the dishes, and video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A day off from work to play and relax
- Leftovers from last night's dinner for my lunch
- Washing machines, sewing machines, fans, etc.
- An afternoon spent sewing two tote bags with fabric from the stash
-  Electricity to run the fans, washing machine, fans, etc.

How was your Monday?  Have you sewn tote bags? 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Productive Sunday

Sunday started off with the realization that, once again, the pharmacy had made a mistake!  I realized it in the wee hours of the morning, which was when I got ready for bed, when I was taking my nightly medications. 

Remember the medication that I went back and forth between the pharmacy and the primary care clinic to get the authorization?  The pharmacy had texted me on Thursday morning, saying it was ready to be picked up.  I went to the pharmacy directly after work, picked up the medication that was ready, verified the dosage, and came home.  I took one pill for the first time on Friday night without noticing anything.

But, last night, or rather, very early this morning, I remembered that the physician assistant had told me she will prescribe a 90 day supply to eliminate having to go back for refills before my next appointment with her.  I checked the vial and saw that it said "Qty: 90" on it.  But, when I looked at the amount of pills in the vial, it didn't look like there were 90 pills!  So I poured out the pills onto my hand and counted them out - two by two and, when I counted 29, I recounted them, one by one!  Still 29!  The pharmacy had given me the usual 30 pills, even though the label on the vial specified 90!  Good grief! 

I knew I had to go back to the pharmacy, later in the morning, to tell them about the mistake.  But I couldn't fall asleep fretting if the pharmacy will give me the balance pills or if they will say they can't give me the balance remaining pills because, by accepting the vial, I had indicated everything was correct!  What if they say they gave me the correct number of pills and accused me of removing part of the 90 pills and coming back with a false claim to get more pills from them?  How would I prove that I only received 30 pills?  Does this mean that, from now on, I will have to count out my pills to verify I received the correct number, before I left the service window?!  I'll be ready to do so if I had to, but really!  Why is getting a routine prescription filled so complicated?

It was 4:00 a.m., before I finally went to sleep!  I woke up once around 6:30 a.m., but went back to sleep and slept until 10:00 a.m. when my daughter called to say she was going with her colleague to feed the stray cats at the race track and then grocery shopping.  I had a cup of tea, responded to blog comments, spoke with my neighbor who called for our Sunday morning chat, and spoke with my aunt who called to check on me.

Around noon, I went to the pharmacy and told the pharmacist that I had a problem.  I explained the discrepancy in the pill count and she was really nice.  She didn't give me a hard time about it, at all, but immediately counted out the remainder of the pills and gave me.  Well, that was a relief!  Maybe these ladies just really like to see me on a daily basis?  LOL.

I called my friend from the car and told her I was going to the Armenian grocery store and asked if she needed anything; she said no, she didn't need anything.  Then, I went to the Armenian store and I picked up this week's specials and one or two other things:

July 16 Groceries
I bought:

Papaya ($.49/lb) = $2.48
Peaches ($.79/lb) = $.99
Cherries ($.99/lb) = $2.01
Mini cucumbers ($.99/lb) = $.56
Okra ($1.99/lb)  = $.66
Broccoli ($.99/lb) =  $.23
Tomato ($ = $1.38
Serrano chilies ($.99/lb = $.18
Red lentils ($1.29/lb = $1.04
Pita bread = $.99
Cashews ($8.99/lb!) = $3.78
Total = $14.30

Cashews (raw) have gone up by $2 per pound since I last bought some!  Now I am sorry I didn't look for cashews at the Sri Lankan store.

Amount spent on groceries so far in July = $34.21 + $2.59 + $35.43 + $14.30 = $86.53

Amount left in the July grocery budget = $103.82 - $86.53 =  $17.29

July 16 Grocery Receipt

After I came home, I cut and ate some of the papaya:


Along with a pita bread with the last of the lentil curry I had made and some leftover sausage.

In the afternoon, I rested for awhile, trying to persuade myself to do some housework.  Just then, I received a phone call from a friend, asking if I would be home in the evening around 6:00 p.m., as she and her husband wanted to visit.  I told her I'd love to see her.  It was just the impetus I needed to get started on the housework!  I dusted and tidied the living room, dining room, and family room and vacuumed them, along with the kitchen and the hallway; then, swept my bathroom.  I decided to do the bedrooms, tomorrow.  I tidied the kitchen a bit, too and took out the trash and the recycling.

Then, I took a shower and got ready to receive my visitors.  Since they came around 6:00 p.m., I offered them tea or coffee, but my friends declined, saying they had just had dinner.  They brought me some mangoes and a packet of rice and curries for my dinner!  My friend had prepared rice, fish, lentils, beetroot, and kale, wrapped it all up in wax paper and aluminum foil to make a packet:

It was too much for me for one meal; I had some of it for dinner and kept the remainder in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch or dinner.

We had a nice, long visit.  We've been friends for a long time, but it has been awhile since we last visited.  After they left, I had dinner, and returned my aunt's phone call (she had called while my friends were visiting).  Then, I walked up and down my block for about 15 minutes.  I didn't walk for the full 30 minutes - I figured my vacuuming counted for part of my exercise!  After that, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The medication pill count was resolved without any hassle (other than fretting about it during the night and having to make yet another trip to the pharmacy!)
- Daughter had a fun morning out with her colleague
- Friends called and came for a visit
- They brought me dinner and fruit
- The house got tidied and cleaned! 

How was your Sunday? 

Saturday: Lunch Out and Special Grocery Shopping!

Saturday morning I slept in!  I woke up a couple of times but went back to sleep, each time!  That was bliss!  I finally woke up at 10:30 a.m. when one of my cousins called.  I spoke with her for a few minutes, then, had a cup of tea and watched some sewing shows on TV.

Later in the morning, I made a card for one of my friends:

Birthday Card
Then, it was time to pick up my friend and take her out to lunch to celebrate her birthday! We went to one of our favorite diner-type restaurants and had a nice lunch.  She had a turkey hamburger patty melt with seasoned fries and and ice cream for dessert.  I had macaroni and cheese with grilled chicken garlic bread, and a side salad and a slice of cheesecake for dessert.  I brought home half my lunch home, as it was too much for one meal for me.

After lunch, my friend and I went to the Sri Lankan store.  I wanted to buy more tea and some frozen fish, among other things.  My friend wanted to buy red rice and a few other items.  Unfortunately, they didn't have my favorite tea.  I was told they were expecting another shipment in about two or three weeks' time.  I have another unopened box of 100 tea bags and a package of loose tea in my cupboard, so I can wait for the shipment.

I took this picture for SandyExpat, who mentioned PGTips tea: 

Display of Teas

These next two pictures are for Sandy and Sharon and any other British ex-pats who might be feeling a bit homesick - there's a whole section of the store with British products:

British Goods

More British Goods

Next time I'll take a picture of the British biscuits display.  The freezer held some black pudding, too, by the way. 

I bought the frozen fish I had wanted; it is priced at $4.99/lb. and is available in 10 lb. boxes or individual slices; I bought four slices, priced $2.15 (2 packages), $2.30, and $2.50, depending on the weight; I spent a total of $9.10 for the fish:

Frozen Slices of Seer Fish

Dried powdered coconut milk (to be reconstituted with water - 2 tablespoons to 150 ml water for "thick" coconut milk and 1 tablespoon to 150 ml water for "thin" coconut milk); 300g. box, for $3.99:

Coconut Milk Powder

No trip to the Sri Lankan store is complete without some special snacks - these are a savory mixture of a type of snack known as "murukku" which look a bit like pieces of noodles that are made with urad (a type of black lentils) flour, lentils, green peas, and nuts that are fried and spiced with salt, chili powder, curry leaves, etc.  We usually call it "murukku mixture" or "cocktail mixture"; the 250g (8.8 oz) jar cost $3.99:

Front of Snack Mix Jar

The contents are better seen from the back of the jar:

Snack Mixture Contents
I gave into temptation and bought a jar of pineapple jam (one of my favorites; $2.99), a can of golden syrup (another favorite; $4.59 for 454g) and a box of pudding mix ($2.29).  This is the first time I am trying this pudding mix - before this, I have always made this particular pudding (wattalappan, also spelled vatalappan or vatalappam) from scratch, using jaggery (a type of palm sugar), coconut milk, and eggs.  My friend, too, bought a packet to try.  I asked the store owner if it tasted like the pudding made from scratch and he was honest enough to tell me he hadn't tried it.  I am pretty sure it won't taste like the real thing, but I want to give it a try. 

Jam and Syrup and Pudding!  Oh, my!

I also decided to try another convenience food - a can of breadfruit curry ($3.99).  On previous visits to the store, I've bought the cans of breadfruit in brine, which need to be cooked into a curry.  This can contains already curried breadfruit that is ready to eat.  I love breadfruit, so I am looking forward to trying this - hopefully I will like it!

Can of Breadfruit Curry

And I bought a jar of a tried and true favorite - a spicy onion relish ($4.49) - I had some, the other night, with the last of the pita bread and I noticed that I had almost come to the end of my jar:

Jar of Spicy Onion Relish

My total came to $35.43:

July 15 Grocery Receipt 

Amount spent on groceries so far in July = $34.21 + $2.59 + $35.43 = $72.23

Amount left in the July grocery budget = $103.82 - $72.23 =  $31.59

My friend came home with me and we had a cup of tea and chatted a bit before I took her home.

In the evening, I watered the front garden and had a long chat with one of my cousins who called. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A pleasant day in the company of my friend
- Going out to lunch with her
- A visit to the Sri Lankan store
- Being able to buy treats from my country of birth
- Phone calls from cousins

How was your Saturday? 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Friday in Review

I was very glad that it was Friday and the last day of the work week, when I woke up, today.  I felt very tired, but went to the office, anyway, and spent a productive day.
On the way home after work, I stopped at the pharmacy to ask about another of my medications. It had been authorized, but the pharmacy didn't have it ready yesterday.  When I went in today,  I was told it would take 10 minutes, so I waited.  And I waited.  After about 30 minutes, I went up to the counter to ask what was taking so long and I was told the paperwork needed to be checked by the head pharmacist who had gone on his break or something, and that it would take another 30 minutes.  So, I waited some more.  Fortunately, it was nicely air conditioned in the pharmacy, there was a chair where I could sit while I waited, and I was able to flip through some of the magazines that were on sale while I waited.  It was almost like being in the library!  LOL.
Finally, after almost 45 minutes, I asked the pharmacy clerk about the status and was told it was ready, she had been trying to call me.  I do know that she had been serving, by herself, an almost endless line of clients picking up their medications during the entire time I was waiting.  I fully believe that she didn't have a minute to page me to say my medication was ready.  It really wasn't her fault, but I wasn't feeling very happy about it.  But, finally, I received my medication!  The whole thing took almost 2 hours!  Ridiculous!
While I was waiting, I remembered I had a $2 store coupon, so I picked up a box of cheese crackers.  Regular price was $3.29, on sale this week for $1.99 and free to me with my store coupon.  
Box of Free Crackers
I was tired when I got home.  I had a cup of tea, ate some of the cheese crackers, and called one of my friends to wish her for her birthday and spoke with my aunt who called to check on me.  The rest of the evening was spent responding to blog comments, replying to a friend's email, watching some TV, and video chatting with my daughter.
Today, I am grateful for:
- A productive day at the office
- A free box of crackers
- Enjoying the air conditioning at the pharmacy while I waited for my medication
- Being able to flip through some magazines while I waited! 
- Getting my medication

Plans for the weekend include possibly getting together with my friend for her birthday, doing some much needed housework and some cooking.
How was your Friday?  What are your plans for the weekend?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Thursday's Adventures

For some reason, I woke up this morning thinking it was Saturday!  I was very disappointed when I realized it was only Thursday and I had to go to work!
I went to the farmer's market during my lunch break and bought a hamburger (from a Mediterranean stall) for my lunch and an almond croissant (from the French bakery stall) for my tea.  I ate half of the hamburger for lunch and ate half of the croissant when I got home.  I took a picture of the croissant for Nathalie since she had commented about the lack of a photo the last time I mentioned buying a croissant:

Almond Croissant from the French Bakery Stall

I went to the dentist's this afternoon and had my stitches removed (there were three stitches).  The dentist checked on me to ask how I was and if I felt a lot of pain after the extraction.  Then, the technician cut the stitches and pulled them out.  Except, he forgot to snip the 2nd stitch before he tugged on it!  Ouch!  That hurt, and I believe I might have bled a bit.  But the extraction site seems to be healing well.  The dentist was getting ready to do the bone graft and I reminded him again that we had agreed I wouldn't get a bone graft or implant!  I made an appointment for the other extraction and possible filling before I left.

I felt fine after the stitches were taken out.  So, I did a little shopping in the dollar store in the the same shopping mall.  I bought kitchen sponges, a pair of rubber gloves, two lint rollers, two hot pads, a packet of C batteries, a jar of roasted peanuts, and a box of cake mix.  I was looking for a butter dish, too, but didn't find one.  Then came home and had a cup of tea.
Then I remembered that the pharmacy had texted a medication refill was ready for pick up.  So, I went to the pharmacy for that and then, went to the dollar store next to the pharmacy for some bananas and a pair of foam insoles for shoes (the other dollar store didn't have them or I didn't see them).  I paid $2.59 for food items.  

Amount spent on groceries so far in July = $34.21 + $2.59 = $36.80
Amount left in July grocery budget = $103.82 - $36.80 =  $67.02
I didn't do a lot, again, after I came home.  My sister had called and left a message, so I called her back.  Then, had dinner, watched some TV, and video chatted with my daughter.
Today, I am grateful for:
- The dental visit went well, the extraction site is healing well
- Goodies from the farmer's market 
- Prescriptions from the pharmacy
- Safe commutes to the office and back, dentist's and back, etc.
- Phone call from sister, texts from cousin, emails from friends

How was your Thursday?  Do you ever wake up thinking it is the weekend, only to realize it is another work day?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

When the Planets Align

When the planets align, then it is the right time, things that haven't budged for weeks and months suddenly fall into place just like that and we have results!

Today, I had an appointment with my Physician Assistant.  She asked me how I was and I told her I was frustrated about my inability to receive the authorization for the medication refills and told her what happened.  She apologized for the mess with the medications.  According to her, there was nothing in the file about the pharmacy's requests, and the lady I spoke with who told me that the system didn't show me receiving one of my medications, actually worked next door!  Excuse me?  Why would someone who worked next door answer your phones?  The implication she was making was I had called the wrong number.  I was able to tell her the clinic's number which I called and she was surprised that I had it memorized!  Yes, I don't know my own cell phone number by memory, but I have memorized the clinic's number! 

She said, in the future, to leave her a message, or ask for the office manager (who wasn't in the office, today), or to show up in person.  OK, I'll do that in the future.  But, today, I made sure to ask her for new authorizations on all my medications and she said she will send them electronically to the pharmacy.  I stopped at the pharmacy on my way home in the evening and had the pharmacist check the computer system and yes, they have received them.  One medication was available for me to pick up today but the others will be ready tomorrow (except for one, which is not due for a refill yet).

After my appointment with the Physician Assistant was over, I went to the office for half an hour or so, to discuss some work matters with my supervisor. 

Then, it was time to go for my appointment with the radiation oncologist.  I complained to his nurse and him about the ultrasound that was authorized but the hospital wouldn't do without a mammogram and the mammogram that wasn't processed because the ultrasound was authorized and someone confused the two.  He thought it was a bunch of nonsense, had his nurse call the hospital, marked the area he wanted scanned and sent me across the plaza to the hospital to be scanned!
I had to wait for a little bit, since I was a "walk-in" patient, but I didn't mind the wait, at all.  After waiting more than two months, what was another hour or two?  I was eventually scanned!  The technician had me wait until she checked with the radiologist to see that the pictures were clear enough for him to "read" them; apparently they were.  I was told that the results will be available in about a week or so. I have a follow up appt. with the radiation oncologist in 2 weeks' time.  He should have the results by then.

I was at the hospital until after 4:30 p.m.  It was too late to return to the office.  I came home, going to the pharmacy on my way home to check on the refills and stopping to buy some dinner, as I was hungry.  

And just like that, the recent medical drama was resolved over the course of the day!  I will, eventually, get a mammogram done, but for now, the ultrasound should be enough.  Depending on what the results indicate, there might be other  procedures and tests, but for now, things have been accomplished.

After I came home, I felt too tired to do anything. I had a phone call from my aunt and a friend, I video chatted with my daughter, and exchanged emails with a friend.

Today, I was grateful for:
- My medications have been reauthorized!
- My ultrasound scan has been done!
- Helpful clinic staff 
- Validated parking
- The planets aligning!
How was your day, today?  Have you ever experienced a time when the planets aligned for you?  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July Grocery Shopping - Part 1

July 11 Grocery Shopping

Today, I went grocery shopping for the first time in July.  I went to two stores to take advantage of sales.

Store 1 had the frozen puff pastry I had been waiting for to go on sale at $1.99 and today was the last day of the sale (regular price $2.49).  They also had the cans of coconut water on sale for $.69 (regular price $.89).  The green grapes were on sale for $.69/lb, and that was a good price.  They also had a new to me brand of corned beef  (same brand as the coconut milk I often buy) and I had been wanting to buy more corned beef (I am down to my last can); I bought one can of this new brand to try it.  If I like it, then, I'll buy a couple of additional cans as the brand name corned beef is almost $6 per can at the regular grocery store.

At Store 1, the ethnic (Armenian) grocery store, I bought:

10 cans of coconut water, $.69@ (plus $.05 redemption value) = $7.40
5 packets of frozen puff pastry, 17.5 oz.@; $1.99@ = $9.95
2 cans (13.5 oz@) coconut milk, $.89@ = $1.78
1 can mackerel (15 oz) = $1.69
1 can corned beef (12 oz) = $3.79
1 lb. bacon = $2.79
Broccoli crown, .33lb @ $.99/lb = $.33
Green beans, .32 lb @$1.49/lb = $.48
Green grapes, 1.84 @$.69/lb = $1.27
1 pkt. pita bread = $.99
1 lb. yogurt (labne cheese) = $1.99
Total = $32.46

At Store 2 (Kroger affiliate), I bought:
3 mangoes @3/$1 = $1.00
1 doz. eggs = $.75
Total = $1.75

I mostly went to Store 2 to buy cat food; 13 lb. bags for $8.99 @ and there were $2 off coupons on each bag, so I got each bag for $6.99 (however, cat food comes from another budget, not my grocery budget).

Total spent on groceries at the two stores = $34.21

July 11 Grocery Receipts

My July Grocery Budget is: $75 + $28.82 carried over from June =$103.82
Spent so far in July = $34.21
Amount left in July grocery budget = $103.82 - $34.21 =  $69.61

I received the new grocery ads, today.  Prices effective July 12 to July 18.  Store 1 is advertising cherries ($.99/lb.; I'm glad I didn't buy any for $1.19/lb. today), papaya ($.49/lb.; glad I didn't buy any for $.79/lb. today), peaches ($.79/lb), salmon steak ($4.99/lb), zucchini ($.39/lb), among other things.  Store 2 is also advertising cherries for $.99/lb, but their peaches are $1.49/lb and their papaya is $.79/lb.  I will probably not go to Store 2 next week.  

Have you gone grocery shopping in July yet?  Do you buy different brands of canned food to try them if there is a difference in price or do you remain brand loyal?  

Monday: One Third Into July

Can you believe we are already one third of the way into July?  Is it me or does it feel like the month is whizzing by?

My cheek is still somewhat swollen from the extraction, so I called my supervisor to take the day off from going in to the office, this morning.  I didn't want to go in looking like a chipmunk on one side!  But the pain has subsided enough that I didn't need to take any Tylenol today, which I think is a good sign.  I still have another day of antibiotics and then, the follow up appointment is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

It was a slightly cooler day, today.  I didn't need to retreat to the room with the air conditioner and managed with only the fans.

Dancer was very happy to have the run of the house!  Of course, since he had the entire house to roam in, he chose to regurgitate some undigested food in my bedroom, right next to the bed, in the little space between the bed and the closet door, which is where I walk to get things like my other pair of glasses from my bedside table.  Which was how I found out he had regurgitated, in the first place!  DANCER!!!  Oh, have I mentioned that I usually walk barefoot inside the house when it isn't cold enough for me to warrant wearing socks?  I wasn't expecting to step on something wet and squishy...eww, eww, eww!  I suppose I should be grateful it was just undigested food and not something else!

I unpicked the covers from the throw pillows on the family room sofa (when I sewed the covers, I neglected to sew zippers or fasteners, so whip stitch them closed each time) and put them, the dust sheets, and the towels I use to cover the arms of the sofa to wash.  They are hanging up to dry.  Then, I lint rollered the sofas and covered them with different old sheets I keep for the purpose.  I will probably put the same covers back on the throw pillows (they have a pattern of old fashioned seed packets on them), but I am getting a little tired of them. 

The cushion covers under discussion

Today, I harvested the second zucchini from my plants:

Today's Zucchini

It's not very big, maybe all of four inches.  But I didn't want to keep it on the plant for any longer, because, it comes already pre-baked, as you can see:

Side that was exposed to the sun
I don't know if any of it can be used.  Maybe the last couple of inches closest to the stem?

Later in the evening, I put gas to the car.  The nozzle kept clicking off on me, but one of the gas station clerks, who was out and about cleaning around the pumps, helped me put the gas.  Later, I put water to the back garden, cleaned out the fridge, took the trash cans to the curb, washed the dishes, and wiped down the kitchen counters.  Still need to clean the litter box.  I didn't get around to potting up the seedlings, again.

Sunday's Monday's To Do List:
- Repot the papaya seedlings in a bigger pot (too hot to plant them outside!)
- Pot up the avocado seedling
- Wash the sofa dust sheets and cushion covers - DONE
- Sew a belt to go with the blue patterned skirt and blouse
- Grocery shop for a few things
- Clean out the fridge - DONE
- Take the trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Water the garden - WATERED the back garden
- Put gas to the car - DONE
- Submit mileage verification for car insurance discount - DONE
- Do the dishes - DONE
- Wipe down kitchen counters - DONE

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Grocery shop on the way home
- Bring the trash cans in
- Water the front garden
- Pot up the seedlings (papaya, avocado)
- Re sew the cushion covers
- Sew the blue belt

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to stay home from the office
- A slightly cooler day
- Dancer is OK, he just ate too fast
- Tooth extraction seems to be healing OK
- Gas station clerk helping me pump the gas

How was your Monday? 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Garden in July

Today, I walked around the garden in the evening and took some photos.  We've had a few days of triple digit temperatures and this is how the garden looks in July:

The front garden:

All the grass has died again

But the pomegranates are coming along

And the Plumeria is leafing out

The newly transplanted mimosa (or silk tree) (Albizia julibrissin) seedling (at least, that is what I assume it is!) seems to be doing well, too.   My gardener friend and I found this plant, then about 8 inches high, growing in the middle of the back garden, last year.  We dug it up and planted in a pot and it grew despite being crushed and broken once or twice, by the garden cats who liked to sleep in the pot!  We transplanted it in the front garden last month or so, and I am hoping it will grow and provide some shade as well as pretty pink flowers, eventually.

Mimosa (?) seedling

Directly behind the mimosa seedling is a planting bed that is located under my living room "picture" window.  The window faces west.  The evening sun shines full blast on this window from about 3:00 p.m. until it sets.  It more or less bakes everything I plant in front of the window, due to the radiant heat, like these succulents my supervisor gave me:

Sun-scorched succulents

I need to rethink and redo this planting bed.  The plants along the other bed, lining the walk up to the front door fare much better:

Dusty Miller and African Daisies (Osteospermum)

 The back garden:

No grass here, either!

My poor patty pan squash is not coping well with 108F temperatures! 

Pre-baked baby squash!

The tomato vine is doing better!

The rose bushes are trying valiantly!

"We are doing our best!"

A bit sunburnt!

The pink oleander along the back wall is doing OK


So is the plumbago along the side wall

 Although the lantana that is mixed in with the plumbago has set fruit (berries):

Desiccated Lantana Berries

The hibiscus flower is almost done for the day

The white agapanthus is still going strong

And here and there, throughout the back garden, there are self-seeded four-o-clocks, providing a little color:

Four-o-clocks in front of the star jasmine vine

And more along the wall in the side yard


Where the feijoa or pineapple guava are forming

The garden in July is a place where the plants are adapting to the heat.  But, if one looks closely, there is still some beauty to be found:

One last look at the back yard

Thank you for coming on a tour of my garden in July!  How is your garden growing?