Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Blood Tests and Piano Lessons

Tuesday was a very overcast and cool day (59F when I woke up and a high of 64F in the afternoon).  I am afraid it might be too cold for my okra to germinate!

I took it easy in the morning, responding to blog comments, reading other blogs, etc.  Then, I went for the blood test.  My appointment was scheduled for 1:00 p.m., but, I still had a 20 minutes wait!  The waiting room was full (only 6 people are allowed at one time to keep the required social distancing) and I waited out in the hallway, but, that was a bit crowded too, with the overflow patients.  After over 20 minutes of waiting, I was called in, even though there was one other person ahead of me in line (I was told that they were waiting for a fax from that person's doctor before they could attend to her).  The blood test, itself, went smoothly.  My favorite lab technician attended to me and we chatted for a few minutes (she was the one who gave me her phone number on a previous visit and told me to call her if I needed any groceries picked up, etc.)

Came home by 2:00 p.m. and ate brunch (I had gone fasting for the blood test; I had a granola bar with me to eat in the car, if I needed to, but, preferred to come home and eat).  Then, read and relaxed for a bit before practicing the piano.

My piano lesson was at 6:00 p.m.  I was given an A+ (no stickers, though, unless I give myself one!) on the theme from Godfather, Hedwig's theme, and an etude.  I still need to work on the minuet from the last lesson.  Today, I received two new pieces: Minuet in D Minor by Leopold Mozart (I think; the title and composer's name are in Russian on the sheet music that S photocopied for me) and Arabesque by Johann Burgmuller.

Daughter had leftover rice and curries for dinner; I was not very hungry after having noodle soup for brunch, so I had a toasted cheese sandwich.  I also made some fresh fruit salad with an apple, a plum, an orange, a handful of blueberries, and some cashews for us to share; I added raisins to my portion only because daughter doesn't like raisins.  

Later, I chatted with friend R.

I'm afraid that I didn't get through my To Do list, today.  I will have to be extra productive, tomorrow!  

Today, I am grateful for:

- A safe drive to the lab and back
- The blood test went smoothly
- Medical insurance
- S teaching me to play the piano
- Working appliances

Today's joyful activity was playing the piano.

How was your Tuesday?  What are your plans for Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Productive Monday

Another Rose

I've had another productive day, today.  A relaxed morning, during which I replied to blog comments, etc., and walked around the garden for a bit.  I picked three oranges from the tree.  The oranges are coming to an end; there are maybe 3 or 4 left on the tree.  After those are gone, there won't be anymore until next year.  I also did some dusting and two loads of laundry.

In the late afternoon, I took my daughter to get her dental CT scan done.  It didn't take long and they gave the results on a CD which daughter dropped off at the dental clinic on our way home.

After we came home and daughter made me a cup of coffee, I did the rest of the tasks on my To Do List - cleaned the fridge, took the trash cans to the curb, practiced the piano, and ran the dishwasher.

Brunch had been fried rice.  For dinner, I cooked a chicken stir fry with green beans served over rice:

Dinner:  Chicken and Green Beans Stir Fry over Rice

There's enough of the stir fry left for tomorrow's dinner.  I haven't been making any meal plans, lately, but, we've been eating well.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Daughter's dental scan appointment went well
- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- Oranges from the garden
- Roses
- A productive day

Today's joyful activity was picking fresh oranges from the tree.

Tuesday's To Do List:

- Blood test
- Dust family room and my bedroom
- Put away the dried laundry
- Water the house plants
- Piano lesson
- Plant the sweet potato slips that have been rooting

How was your Monday?  What are your plans for Tuesday?

Monday, April 12, 2021



Yellow Rose

Pink Rose

Another Pink

Today was slightly cooler and there was a cloud cover in the morning.  My first thought was, "It's too early for May Gray!"  But, the sun came out, later in the afternoon and it turned out to be a nice day, after all.

I spent a relaxed morning, replying to blog comments, reading a couple of other blogs, playing a game or two of sudoku, and chatting with neighbor T when she called.

In the afternoon, I did some weeding in the back garden.  There was an area near the side wall that was overgrown with grass. There are a few osteospermum plants growing there and a clump of crocosmia, but, there was a good four feet or so of the planting bed that was full of grass!  I weeded that area, this afternoon and reclaimed at least eight square feet of growing space!  I am not quite sure what I will plant there, but, maybe some green beans or tomatoes.  I weeded under the orange tree, too, although that area was not too bad.  I want to weed around the peach tree, next. 

In the evening, I watered the front garden and practiced the piano.  Later, I called friend R and checked on her. 

Lunch was rice with leftover curries (fish curry, spicy potatoes, green beans, broccoli leaf mallung, the last few pieces of the hot dogs in chili sauce, etc.)  Dinner was frozen gyoza (potstickers).  We had oranges for dessert.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Cooler, but, sunny weather (perfect for weeding in the garden)
- Roses and other garden flowers
- Water for the garden
- Phone chats with friends
- Oranges from the tree

Today's joyful activity was spending time in the garden.

Plans for tomorrow include taking my daughter for a dental CT scan.

Monday's To Do List:

- Take daughter for the scan (look up driving directions)
- Dust the living room/dining area
- Laundry
- Clean the fridge
- Take the trash cans to the curb
- Practice the piano
- Do a load of dishes

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


Sunday, April 11, 2021



Saturday's Harvest

The pea vines are almost done and turning yellow, but, I am still finding and picking peapods!  The regular green ones were more productive than the burgundy ones, but, I am grateful to M for sharing his seed packets with me.  

As is often the case in the garden, when one thing is on its way out, another thing is coming in.  I noticed that the zucchini seeds are starting to germinate: 

Zucchini Seed Germinating

M planted them in a semi-circle around the peach tree.  So far, four seeds have germinated. 

Nearby, the irises and the wildflowers are coming up, nicely.  The wildflowers include calendula, California poppies, and a lone cosmos plant!  

Wildflowers and Irises

Cosmos Flower

When M heard that I liked cosmos and was hoping to collect the seeds from this flower to grow them, he offered to buy me a cosmos plant - we planted it in another spot in the garden, on Friday.

Calendula leaves are edible, either raw in salads or cooked like spinach, but, I have left the leaves on the plants to grow and produce flowers.  I have been harvesting some of the calendula flower petals, however, to have on our salads; I can't detect any taste to them, but, my daughter could taste a little bitterness.  She would much rather have rose petals in her salads!  

Fully Opened Double Colored Rose

New Pink Rose

Saturday brunch was a sandwich (the last of the turkey cold cuts and cheese) and salad.  I had some crackers with peanut butter and strawberry jam at tea time, with a cup of tea.  Dinner was a hamburger for daughter and a cheeseburger for me, made with some of the hamburger patties daughter made on Friday night.  

I had a fairly relaxed day; I watered the back garden, again, applied some compost to some of the plants, cleaned the kitchen and the bathrooms, and practiced the piano.  I also spoke with my friend who had a consultation with the surgeon on Friday (she has two diagnostic scans to undergo, next week before any further decisions can be made) and with cousin P and friend R.

On Saturday, I was grateful for:

- M sharing his vegetable seed packets with me
- The ongoing peapod harvest
- Zucchini seeds germinating
- Garden flowers, both edible and not
- The garden cats seeming to heed the caution tape!

My joyful activity was being in the garden and discovering what was growing and harvesting the peapods.

Plans for Sunday include watering the front garden!

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

Saturday, April 10, 2021

A Cautionary Tale

Testing to See if the Carden Cats can Read!

Friday turned out to be a day of gardening!  In the morning, I watered the back yard and then, did some weeding.  In the afternoon, M arrived to tend to the garden.  We planted two tomato plants, a bell pepper plant, a serrano chili plant, a basil plant, and a cosmos plant.  Then, he prepared another planting bed and planted the okra seeds I had put to soak, last night.  We planted regular green okra and a burgundy okra!  I have never tried burgundy okra, so I am curious to see how they turn out.  

After he left, I felt the need to rig up some kind of barrier to keep the garden cats from digging in the newly planted bed.  I used some leftover pieces of hardwood flooring as stakes and attached a small piece of wire mesh to one of the shorter sides.  Then, with my daughter's help, I stretched the last bit of chicken wire along one of the longer sides.  Except, the remnant piece of chicken wire wasn't enough to cover the entire length of that side.  So, the old window screen was brought into service to fill in the gap along that side.  Which left the remaining two sides open!  I had no more wire mesh and no more old window screens.  All I had was a leftover roll of caution tape that I had bought many years ago, when I planted some flowering plant seedlings. along the parkway and was trying to keep people from trampling them.   So, I used that!  I couldn't get the tape to stay taut because, every time I pulled on it, the stake at the end slanted a bit more!  I eventually straightened it up a bit with a stone to hold it in place.  And I stuck a short stick midway  along the long side and twisted one or two of the tapes around it to help with the sagging.

My daughter laughed and asked me if I thought the garden cats could read!  She took the picture before I had straightened the stake and sent it to M, with the caption, "My mom is testing to see whether or not the outside cats can read!"  LOL.  Well, maybe they won't be able to read, but, hopefully, the tape will deter them from digging up the planting bed and disturbing the okra seeds; at least until I can ask M to buy me another roll of chicken wire!  

The planting beds are being made wherever there is enough room, at this point.  I won't win any awards for landscaping and garden design, but, I am fine with that!

In between playing in the garden, I took a couple of slices of the banana-blueberry bread across the street to neighbor S, practiced the piano, and cleaned the litter box.

Brunch was a salad, followed by a slice of the banana blueberry bread.  Dinner was hamburgers that daughter made.  I grated a zucchini to add to the ground beef and daughter added diced onion, breadcrumbs, and an egg to the mixture before forming the patties.  I teased her that she was making mini meatloaves, but the resulting patties were very moist and flavorful.  Then, she made a red wine reduction sauce (butter, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, red wine and water) to go on the beef patty:

Gourmet Burger!

 It was a delicious dinner and there are leftovers for another couple of meals.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Having a garden to plant
- M helping with the gardening
- My new pair of gardening gloves
- Daughter making dinner
- Leftover roll of caution tape!

Today's joyful activity was playing in the garden.

What do you think?  Do you think the garden cats will pay any attention to the caution tape and keep out?  

Friday, April 9, 2021

Productive Thursday

Purple Martha Washington Geraniums

This particular geranium showed up on my side of the back wall, years ago.  My mother and I thought that maybe the neighbors behind my house had a plant growing near the wall on their side and a root burrowed under the wall's foundation and sent up a new plant.  It grew near the back wall and, later, my mother took some cuttings and planted them behind the garage and near the side wall.  The original plant and the ones near the side wall died and the ones behind the garage almost died, but, have managed to survive drought and neglect.  I've tried taking some cuttings, but, I don't have my mother's green thumb, and the cuttings have never rooted for me; not even when M dipped them in rooting powder and tented them with plastic to create a mini greenhouse for them!  I've said this before, but, I'll say it again - my mother could poke a dry stick in the ground and it would turn into a plant for her; I can take a plant and fuss over it and it will turn into a dry stick!

Today has been a productive day.  Last night, I wrote myself a To Do list and, I am happy to say that I did everything I had listed!  It wasn't a very long list, but, still, I feel like I accomplished something!  I picked up my tax documents, scheduled an appointment for my blood test for next week, watered the front garden and the few indoor plants, put away the laundry, practiced the piano, washed the sofa dust sheets, lint rollered the sofas to remove Dancer's fur which had still managed to get on the sofa, and put two thicknesses of dust sheets on the sofa!  

Later, I spoke with my friend who will be having a consultation with the surgeon, tomorrow morning.  My daughter compiled a list of questions for my friend's daughter to ask of the surgeon (it's what she did when I had my consultation with my surgeon, who was very impressed with my daughter's questions, to the point of asking if she was studying medicine and, if not, why not!)

Brunch today was tabouleh for my daughter and the last of the tortillas with fish curry for me.  Dinner was ramen noodles with the rest of the stir fry and some of the laab from yesterday. 

The last item on the To Do list was to bake a loaf of banana bread to use up the last two bananas that had turned brown.  I delegated that task to my daughter who baked a delicious loaf of banana-blueberry-oatmeal-walnut bread:

Banana-Blueberry-Oatmeal Bread

A Slice of (slightly blurry) Deliciousness

We had a couple of slices of the banana bread for dessert/late night snack.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- What I was able to accomplish and feeling productive
- My daughter being home
- Home baked treats
- Water for the garden
- Working appliances

Today's joyful activity was baking with my daughter.

Plans for tomorrow include tending to the garden when M comes over and housework.

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

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Double Colored Rose

I am feeling almost back to normal, today, although I felt a little tired in the afternoon, and, again, in the evening.   It's been a good day, over all.  In the morning, I put away the laundry I did on Tuesday and tidied the shelf where I keep the towels in the linen closet.  Then, I did another load of laundry (my bed sheets, etc.) and practiced the piano.

Neighbor S brought us a big container of homemade tabouleh, this morning; she had called me, yesterday, to say she was planning to make some.  I didn't take a picture of it, but, we had some of it for dinner and it was delicious.  

Lunch was leftovers from last night's dinner.  After lunch, I rested a bit and read blogs, etc.  

In the evening, I watered the back garden.  The bearded iris bulbs that M planted are starting to flower:

Bearded Iris

I am hoping that the irises will do well in the back yard (they didn't do well in the front) and will multiply over the years.

After I finished watering the back yard, I picked what I could from my vegetable plot:

Today's Harvest

Broccoli side shoots (which are about the size of individual broccoli florets) and peapods, along with a bit of pea vine that broke off.  It was all turned into a stir fry, with the addition of some carrots, corn, and peanuts:

Stir Fry

I cooked some ground turkey to go with the stir fry, making a version of laab with it.  Dinner was tabouleh, followed by rice with laab and vegetable stir fry.  Stewed apples and ice cream for dessert.  The apples had been in the fridge for longer than I care to admit!  I added some ginger preserves to the stewed apples and that gave it a nice flavor.  Later, daughter cut up a mango and I made mango pickle for her to snack on.   

Today, I am grateful for:
- S bringing us some of the tabouleh she made
- Continuing to feel better
- Garden flowers
- Working appliances
- Phone calls with friends

Today's joyful activity was spending time in the garden, seeing the flowers starting to bloom and picking today's harvest!

Plans for tomorrow include going to collect the tax document file.  

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