Saturday, July 11, 2020

Warm on Friday

The weather has turned warm and of course, I spent the afternoon with a quilt spread on my lap as I sewed the borders down!  Good planning, Bless! 

Today, I put away the laundry from yesterday and did a little mending in addition to sewing on the quilt.  Aunt C called and we chatted for a long time.  I also practiced the piano for about 30 minutes in the early evening.

Later in the evening, M came to tend to the garden.  Today, he weeded the area behind the garage.  I took some cuttings from the geranium that is growing there, to see if I can root them. 

Still later, I video chatted with my daughter.  She is looking forward to receiving a delivery of groceries, tomorrow, afternoon. 

It's been a low key sort of day, spent sewing.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another warm day, with a day time high of 100F.  I should try to work on the quilt in the morning, before it gets too hot! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A quiet, relaxing day
- Fans and electricity to run them
- M tending to the garden
- Conversations with my aunt
- Video chatting with my daughter

Today's joyful activity was sewing.

Plans for tomorrow include more sewing!

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

Friday, July 10, 2020

Thursday, Already!

It's Thursday, already!  The days are going too fast!  I've been busy sewing the quilt.  Today, I sewed down the two longer side borders, taking the border fabric to the back of the quilt and hemming it by hand.  Later, I pinned one of the shorter borders (the ones at the top and bottom of the quilt) in readiness to sew, tomorrow.  I still need to trim the extra batting at the other end and pin that border down, too. 

I watched/listened to the news while I sewed; I watch more than one news channel and both national and international news broadcasts, so, there was something on all afternoon, while I sewed.  I did two loads of laundry, as well.  Later in the evening, I practiced the piano, watered the garden, and did the dishes.  As I was getting ready to water the side yard, today, I was startled as a blur came running past me from the front yard.  I didn't even see what it was, but, presumed it was a cat.  I glanced towards the front yard and there, on the other side of the side yard fence was a pit bull dog, without a leash!  It must have been chasing one of the garden cats!  For a moment, I was afraid it would jump over the fence (it's not a very high fence), but, it didn't.  I don't know whose dog it was or why it was running around without a leash, but, I suspect it belongs to one of the neighbors. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to sew
- The pit bull dog didn't jump over the fence and come into the back yard
- The pharmacy offering free delivery of medications
- Water for the garden
- Fresh strawberries

Today's joyful activity was sewing.

Plans for tomorrow include more sewing and tending to the garden with M.

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

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Quilt Making with Dancer

Dancer Helps Again

Hi Blog Friends,

It's Dancer again!  As you can see, I have been helping Mummy with the quilt she is putting together!  Mummy always says she doesn't know how she will manage to do her projects without my help!

On Monday, I helped her with measuring the fabric for the back of the quilt.  Mummy took a photo of me, making sure that the tape measure wasn't something alive that could pose any threat to her!  In the photo, I was checking to see if the other end of the tape was twitching.  It wasn't.  If it had been, then, I would have pounced on it!  Mummy said the tape measure wasn't a snake, or, even a long worm, but, I told her one can't be too sure.  I've heard of tape worms, after all, because I was once given some medicine for it, a long time ago!  The tape measure might be another form of tape worm, for all I know!

Mummy had bought the blue fabric for the borders of the quilt and the backing.  Although she bought 6 yards, there wasn't quite enough for both.  But, I told her to add a strip of some birthday print fabric that she had to the backing to make it wide enough and, since this quilt will be a birthday gift, the birthday print fabric makes a good accent, don't you agree? 

On Tuesday, Mummy finished attaching the borders to the quilt top.  Mummy made the top of the quilt by sewing down strip of fabric to squares of fabric.  I told her that it is called foundation piecing.  It is a very good way to use up the fabric stash, Mummy said.  She took this photo to show the foundation squares.  You can see a little of the blue borders, too.

The Underside of the Quilt Top 

Then, she spread the quilt batting on top of that and then, the quilt backing and tried to pin it in place.  Of course I had to help!

Being the Ever Helpful Kitty!

Mummy says it is best to do this step on the floor, but, it is hard for her to get down on the floor.  So, she will pin it all in place on the bed, instead.  I agree that the bed is more comfortable than the floor.  Mummy is planning to do a self-binding of the quilt, by bringing the borders to the back of the quilt and hand-sewing it in place.  It is going to be a tied quilt and, yes, I'll be helping her with that, too.  I am a most helpful kitty, aren't I?

Hope all of you are keeping well and have a kitty of your own to help you with your projects!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July Meal Plans - Week 1 Update and Week 2

This is a review of my meal plan for July, Week 1 (which included the last couple of days of June, as well), followed by my plans for Week 2.  I did a big grocery pick-up during Week 1 which sort of caused my meal plan to go off course during the weekend, but, that was OK! 

July Week 1 Meal Plan: 

Brunch - Waffles with the last fresh peach
Dinner - Egg salad sandwich
Snacks - Almonds

Breakfast - Egg salad sandwich
Lunch - Rice and curries (kebab curry, sauteed green beans, lentils, pineapple curry)
Dinner - Paratha and kebab curry, fresh orange
Snacks - Dry cereal

Wednesday (July 1):
Brunch - Milkrice with kebab curry (cooked enough milkrice for 2 meals)
Dinner - Salad, followed by an egg salad sandwich
Snacks - Dry cereal, peanuts

Brunch - Leftover "Planned"over milkrice with kebab curry
Tea - Paratha with kebab curry
Dinner - Rice, leftover curries (kebab, dhal, green beans, pineapple)
Snacks - Fruit salad (banana, apple, orange, cashews) granola bar, almonds

Brunch - Scrambled egg with fried potatoes
*Grocery shopping trip in the early evening* (curbside pick up)
Dinner - Rice, smoked sausage stirfry (from the freezer) Hot dogs on buns, potato salad, peach lemonade
Snacks - Dry cereal, yogurt  banana, grapes

Brunch - Pancakes or waffles with home-canned peaches (the jar that didn't seal, which is in the fridge)  Hot dog and bun, potato salad, banana
Dinner - Leftover rice and sausage stirfry  Peach yogurt, cheese snack crackers
Snacks - Apple slices with peanut butter Banana bread

Brunch - Toast with butter and jam Hot dog on a bun, potato salad, banana
Dinner - Leftover rice, kebab curry, lentils, green beans, pineapple curry, fresh strawberries
Snacks - Cheese snack crackers

Friday's grocery order included two packages of hot dogs (10 count) and a packet of hot dog buns (8 count).  I froze one package of hot dogs, but, kept the other package and the buns and enjoyed them, all weekend (and will probably enjoy them this week, as well!).  I am aware that hot dogs are not the most nutritious of meals, but, they make a quick and convenient meal, and I do like them!  I did freeze three of the remaining buns and hot dogs, this morning, after I had a hot dog for my brunch, so I won't be tempted to eat all the rest of them, this week!

This is my meal plan for this week:

July Week 2 Meal Plan

Brunch - Cereal
Dinner - Rice, chicken stir fry (chicken, broccoli, carrots, peanuts)

Rice with Chicken Stir Fry
Snacks - Strawberries

Brunch: Hot dog, bun, orange juice
Dinner:  Leftovers (rice and bits and pieces in the fridge that must be finished) with cucumber salad

I am going back to meal options for the rest of the week, because I am not sure of what I'll feel like eating on any given day!  Items I need to use this week include the rest of the potato salad, strawberries, the zucchini, and cucumber.

Breakfast/Brunch: Cereal with milk, banana bread, pancakes with canned peaches, French toast, ham sandwiches, potato salad

Dinners: Rice with leftover chicken stir fry (Wednesday?); gyoza (pot stickers) with zucchini (Thursday?); ham sandwiches with salad (Friday?); rice and chicken curry with green beans (Saturday?), leftovers (Sunday?)

Snacks/desserts:  Fresh fruits, banana bread, yogurt, cereal, snack crackers

Let's see how well that works out!  Are you doing any meal planning this week?

Monday, July 6, 2020

Sunday into Monday

I spent a restful day on Sunday.  I spent the morning replying to blog comments and playing games on the computer.

Later, I portioned the chicken thighs and drumsticks I bought for myself and froze them.  Now, I need to make room for the broccoli and green beans I want to freeze!  I have a side by side fridge/freezer and while the freezer part is more than sufficient for my usual weekly shopping habits, it is not enough for monthly Covid stock ups!  As I told one of my friends, I might have to eat up all the ice cream I bought (1 pint container!) to make room for the broccoli and the green beans!  LOL!  I do plan to cook one head of broccoli for this week's meals, but, I'd like to blanch and freeze the green beans. 

I also worked on the quilt on Sunday.  This is the scrap strip quilt that I am making - it was supposed to have been a Christmas gift to a friend, but, I couldn't finish it in time, so I am trying to get it finished as a birthday gift, instead.  Yesterday, I decided that it needed to be at least one row longer, so I sewed a row of ten blocks and attached it.  Sewing the blocks is what I enjoy the most in quilting.  Added borders and finishing it is not as much fun!

I watched a documentary about 1968 on TV while I sewed.  I remember reading about some of the events that took place, back then, but, I was in Sri Lanka, then, and we didn't have TV service; reading about events is different from watching actual TV footage of what was happening.

On Sunday, I was grateful for:
- Freezers
- Electricity to run the appliances
- Leftovers for meals
- My fabric stash
- Interesting documentaries to watch on TV

My joyful activity was sewing more blocks for the quilt top.

Today, Monday, I was woken up by a phone call from some realtor calling to express an interest in buying my house! Oh, but, I'm not interested in selling it! 

Neighbor S called at noon and we agreed to do the piano lesson at 12:30 p.m.  It went well, I think.  I just wish I didn't get so nervous during lessons.  I keep fumbling over the keys as a result.  But, S is very patient with me.  I need to practice more and learn how to count better!  I seem to take the counts and note values on the page of music as a suggestion, lingering a bit longer on some notes and shortening others!  I guess I play to my own rhythm!  Maybe I'll be a good jazz pianist!  LOL!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Online piano lessons and the technology that enables it
- A full freezer (and the electricity to run it)
- Being retired
- Warm, sunny, summer days
- My own home, which provides me with shelter, a safe and peaceful haven

My joyful activity today will be more sewing, although I haven't done any yet!   

Monday's To Do List:
- Piano lesson - DONE
- Put away the non-perishable groceries that have been kept out to air and disinfect since Friday
- Dust living room and dining area 
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up
- Add borders to the quilt
- Water the front garden

This week's cleaning area is the kitchen (and back porch, but, I really don't have a back porch).  I would like to sort through one or two lower kitchen cabinets and maybe straighten out the spice drawers.

How was your Sunday?  How is your Monday coming along?

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fireworks on Saturday


People have been lighting fireworks in my neighborhood for the past several days, but, today, there's been at least one going off every second since about 6:00 p.m. Listening to the sounds, one wouldn't know that fire works are actually illegal in Los Angeles and there is supposed to be a fine if people light them.  I guess the message didn't quite register with those lighting them and there's no one enforcing the fireworks ban.  Poor Dancer doesn't like the noise and he's been hiding under my bed, coming out, occasionally to look at me, as if to ask what is going on, Mummy?  Neighbor T called to say her dog is shivering and scared, even after she gave him something the vet had given to calm him down.

I've had a relaxed day, today.  I slept in, chatted on the phone with various people, practiced the piano, and watered the back garden.  My buddleia (butterfly bush) is coming along nicely - there's a flower stalk at the end of almost each branch!  This is its first year in my garden (it was planted in November), and I am hoping that it will continue to grow well, year after year.

Baby Praying Mantis
This baby praying mantis, approximately one inch long, came out of hiding from some of the plants at the base of the bottle brush tree when I watered.  I guess it didn't appreciate the shower it received when I watered the plants!  I wonder if it's the same one I saw on the peach tree, a couple of weeks ago - it was even smaller than this and I couldn't take a photo of it as it kept hiding under a leaf.

Female Cantaloupe Flowers
Sorry, the photo is rather blurry.  But, these are two female cantaloupe flowers, with the flowers falling off, already .  They are not on the vines I had left in place to grow, but, rather, on one of the very spindly plants I thinned out and transplanted elseswhere!  I don't know if these were fertilized or not - if they were, then, perhaps they might grow to be cantaloupe; if they weren't, then, they will turn yellow and drop off!  I haven't found any female flowers on the bigger cantaloupe vines.  But, next year, I think I will buy a packet of seeds and try to grow them in earnest! 

Today was a warm day.  It went up to 82F inside the family room (it was probably 92F or 94F, outside) and I wore a skirt and a short sleeved blouse and no socks!  In contrast to yesterday, when it was 76F inside the family room and, as I told Susan, I was in jeans and a cotton sweater and socks!  LOL.  I even turned on the ceiling fan, this afternoon! 

Once again, I went off the meal plan and had a hot dog with some potato salad for brunch, today.   Followed by a banana.  In the evening, I tried a slice of the banana bread I had defrosted. 

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread

The bread was good, if a little dry.  I spread a little butter on my slice and it was very good.  I called cousin P because I know she likes banana bread and I took about one third of the loaf of bread to her.  I called neighbor S to offer her some, too, but, she said one of her daughter had had a fever recently, and, although she was fine now, S didn't want me to get exposed to any germs.  I appreciate her consideration, very much. 

Dinner was a container of peach yogurt and some cheese snack crackers as I wasn't really hungry for a regular meal.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A relaxed, restful day
- Fireworks!
- Being able to share some of my banana nut bread with cousin P
- Phone calls with family and friends
- Video chatting with my daughter

Plans for tomorrow include sewing the quilt (which I didn't do, today), watering the front garden, and practicing the piano.

How was your Saturday?  What are your plans for Sunday?

Friday, July 3, 2020

Groceries on Friday

Today, I got my cleaning done in the early afternoon - I cleaned the bathrooms, scrubbed the stove top and under the burners, tidied one kitchen cabinet and took inventory of household supplies stored there (kitchen trash bags, foil, sandwich bags, sponges, etc.; now I know how much of what I have and what I need to add to the next shopping list).

Then, at 5:00 p.m., I went to the grocery store to pick up the groceries I had ordered last night.  This time, I had authorized substitutions to make it easier (otherwise, they text me a list of possible substitutions and I either authorize it, one by one, or not).  The store clerk loaded everything into the trunk of the car, handed me the receipt, and everything took less than 10 minutes.  I then called friend R, before I left the parking lot, to let her know that I was on my way to drop off a couple of items she had wanted.  She, too, had gone grocery shopping at a store close to her apartment and had bought me a couple of items I had forgotten to order - some ginger and a cabbage.  She also gave me a bag of frozen yuca (also known as cassava and manioc).

I had left a note to M to trim the hedge of lantana and plumbago growing along the side wall behind the garden shed.  He was trimming it when I got home from picking up the groceries.

I brought the groceries in and spent the next hour or so, disinfecting the items and getting all the perishables put away.  I didn't take any photos of what I bought, however.  I wanted to get everything cleaned and put away before I got too tired.

Several of the items I had ordered were unavailable - I didn't get any of the beef I ordered, or yeast, or relish, or lettuce, or canned coconut milk.  They didn't have the big bottle of oil I wanted and had substituted a smaller bottle.  They didn't have the 3 lb. chubs of ground beef I ordered, but substituted 2 lb. trays of ground beef, instead.  They didn't have the big bag of chicken pot stickers I wanted and substituted a smaller bag.  They didn't have the 1 lb. bag of carrots I wanted and substituted a 2 lb. bag for the price of the 1 lb. bag!  When they substitute a smaller unit, they charge me the price of the smaller unit and when they substituted the bigger bag of carrots, they charged me the price of the smaller quantity that I had ordered.  I don't have any complaints there!

The only problem with allowing substitutions was, instead of the regular sweetened condensed milk I requested (which, apparently, they didn't have), they substituted cans of "dulce de leche", which is caramelized condensed milk!  Oops!  I guess I should have specified no substitutions for that one item!  Oh, well, I guess I'll just have to figure out what to do with six cans of dulce de leche!  LOL.

The last time I did a grocery pick up was at the end of May.  In June, I picked up a few items at the Sri Lankan store, got a few canned items and sugar delivered, and had a few other items like bananas, bread, and eggs picked up for me by family and friends.  Today's grocery pick up was another pantry and freezer stock up, with chicken drumsticks and thighs, ground beef, hot dogs, cold cuts, and a dozen eggs.  Butter was on sale for $1.99/lb. and I bought 3 lbs.  I stocked up on cereal, unsalted top saltine crackers, cheese crackers, pancake mix and syrup, apple juice, more sugar (there will be another batch of jam in the future), a big bag of potatoes (shared some of it with R), onions, fresh fruits (grapes, bananas, strawberries), vegetables (carrots, green beans, a cucumber, a zucchini, and two broccoli crowns) as well as the cabbage R picked up for me.  I also got a half gallon of milk, a container of potato salad, another loaf of bread, a package of hot dog buns, and, as a treat, a pint of vanilla ice cream, because I've been craving ice cream!

I spent almost $200 on groceries, today, which is more than double my normal monthly grocery budget , but, that is OK.  I am just grateful that I am able to stock up.  I froze the ground beef, but, kept the chicken in the fridge for tonight.  Tomorrow, I will repackage the meat into smaller packages and freeze them.  I don't anticipate buying more meat for at least another couple of months!  I might need more fresh produce and perhaps milk before the end of the month, but, otherwise, I should be fine.

I had to take out a bag of ice cubes and a loaf of banana bread from the freezer to make room for today's groceries.  The water from the ice cubes will be used to water some plants.  The banana bread (which has been in the freezer for some time) will be sliced and tasted to see how it is and, if good, then, will be distributed to friends and neighbors, as I am not particularly fond of banana bread!  I had made it for my daughter to take it back with her, but, she didn't have room for it the last time she was here and she is not coming down this month as planned.  In fact, she would have already been here as of Wednesday, if she was coming down, but, now, we are looking at maybe Thanksgiving or even, Christmas.  Or, maybe not.  Who knows?  I'll see her when I see her.

For some reason, bringing in the groceries, disinfecting and putting it all away tired me out!

Brunch had been a scrambled egg and a fried potato.  I ate a banana after I got back from grocery shopping and snacked on a few grapes while I put things away.  For dinner, I went off my meal plan and cooked myself two hot dogs!  Is it still junk food if I cook it at home?  LOL.  I had a refreshing glass of peach lemonade to go with it.

All in all, it had been a productive day.  It started out relatively cool (for me; not quite 70F inside the house), but, in the afternoon, it went up to 90F outside (just 80F inside the house).  Now that's more my kind of weather!  LOL.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to do a grocery pick up
- Being able to stock up
- Being able to exchange grocery items with friend R
- M helping with the garden
- Chatting with my daughter, both on the phone and online

Today's joyful activity was picking up groceries!

Friday's To Do List:
- Clean the bathrooms - DONE
- Do one deep cleaning task - Scrub the stove top/under the burners - DONE
- Errands, if any - Grocery pick up - DONE
- Have M tend to the garden - DONE

Saturdays are my catch up days to do any cleaning that didn't get done during the week for whatever reason!  But, I was good this week and got my cleaning done!  The big item on tomorrow's agenda is to get the chicken thighs and drumsticks ready for the freezer and finishing up a quilt.

Saturday's To Do List:
- Package chicken for the freezer
- Prepare the green beans and broccoli for the freezer
- Sew on the quilt
- Practice the piano

How was your Friday?  What are your plans for tomorrow?  Are you doing anything special to celebrate Independence Day, tomorrow?