Sunday, September 20, 2020

Quiet Sunday

I've had a quiet day, today.  Nothing very exciting like earthquakes to report!  Just an ordinary, uneventful day for which I am very thankful!  

It was another warm day.  I had French toast for brunch, practiced the piano, checked on neighbor T, took some empty boxes to the recycling bin for her, watched TV, knitted, did several Sudoku puzzles, and chatted with friend R. I had the last of the stringhoppers with fish curry for dinner.  Later in the evening, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A quiet, restful, uneventful day
- Being able to do a small service for neighbor T
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Emails from friends
- Moderate air quality

Today's joyful activity was knitting.

Plans for Monday include my piano lesson and doing some housework.

Monday's To Do List:
- Change bed sheets
- Load of laundry (bed sheets/towels)
- Dust living room & dining area
- Clean the fridge
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up
- Water the front garden
- Piano lesson

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

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

We had an earthquake, last night, at 11:38 p.m.  A moderate earthquake, registering at 4.6 on the Richter scale.  The epicenter was fairly close to me, about 15 miles away, so, I felt it quite strongly.  First a small rattle, followed by a stronger shaking.  As always, the first thought I had was, "I hope this is not the Big One!"  Followed by, "I hope this is not a pre-quake to a stronger one".  Nothing fell off the shelves and everything seemed fine, which is a blessing; we don't need a devastating earthquake on top of everything else!  It was just another reminder to be prepared and ready, though.  I was still up and awake when this earthquake happened, but, nighttime quakes are one of the reasons why I keep a bag with a few earthquake supplies near my bed!  In fact, I had just checked the batteries on my flash lights, just earlier in the evening.

I had just finished video chatting with my daughter, when the quake happened, so I called her back to tell her we had an earthquake and I was doing fine.  Then, I watched the news to find out more about the quake.  My cousin called, too, to check on me, and we chatted a bit.  

Fortunately, there weren't any other quakes and I went to bed around 1:30 a.m.  I was tired and fell asleep almost right away.  I woke up, once, at 5:00 a.m., when another cousin texted me in response to my text the evening before, but, I went back to sleep and slept till later in the morning.  

Today's weather forecast says the air quality is fair and I can see a clear blue sky.  My asthma is better, but, I am taking it easy, today, watching some of my favorite cooking shows on TV.  Friend R called in the morning and I chatted with her for a bit.  Later, neighbor T's daughter brought over a spare key to her mother's back door, so that, in the future, if there is an emergency, I can let myself in to check on her.  

My plans for today include cooking the chicken breast I put to marinate, yesterday, knitting, and practicing the piano.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Last night's earthquake wasn't the Big One and didn't cause any damage

- Phone calls from family and friends

- Better air quality

- Cooking shows on TV

- Warm weather and bright sunshine

Today's joyful activity is just relaxing.

How is your Saturday coming along?  

Friday, September 18, 2020

Organizing the Freezer on Friday

Today was a fairly productive day, at least until I had an asthma flare-up in the evening.  

In the morning, I did two loads of laundry, checked on my neighbor T, and chatted with cousin P.  The radiology center where I had the mammogram on Wednesday called to ask where the previous mammogram was done to request a copy for comparison, so, at least, they are working on it.  

In the afternoon, I did a freezer inventory and organized the freezer a little better.  This is the freezer that comes with my side-by-side fridge/freezer (I don't have a second freezer).  I had organized it, earlier, but, the last grocery pick up I did messed it up a bit as I shoved things in where they would fit!  As a result, things became a bit disorganized.  Today, I took everything out, shelf by shelf, grouped things so that they were not all over the place and wrote down what I have.  

Then, I portioned out the trays of chicken breast halves that I bought, yesterday, and froze most of them, in packages of 2 breast halves per package.  I kept one piece to cook over the weekend - cut it up into small pieces and left it to marinate in the fridge.  I plan to make a chicken stir-fry with it. 

After that, I cut up the chub of ground beef.  I had been wanting hamburgers, recently, so, I decided to form all three pounds of ground beef into hamburger patties.  I made 16 patties and froze 12 of them in packages of two each.  I cooked the last four and had two for dinner, tonight; the remaining two are in the fridge for another meal.

By that time, it was 5:00 p.m. and M was here to tend to the garden.  I didn't have a specific task for him, so he watered and tidied the garden for me.  

My asthma flare up started around that time; I was talking on the phone with my daughter and realized that I was wheezing.  I took two puffs of my rescue inhaler and turned on the air purifier.

I've been taking it easy, since then.  I practiced the piano for a little, spoke on the phone with friend R, and watched news.  I needed to take two more puffs of the rescue inhaler, a few minutes ago; I am waiting for it to take effect.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Rescue inhalers and air purifiers

- M tending to the garden for me

- Freezers and a freezer inventory

- Working appliances and the electricity to run them

- Chatting on the phone with family and friends

Today's joyful activity was organizing the freezer!  Maybe not everyone's idea of a joyful activity, but, it brought me much joy to see what I had in there and know that it is somewhat organized!  

Plans for tomorrow include cooking the chicken stir-fry. 

How was your Friday and what are your plans for the weekend? 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Appointments and Groceries on Thursday

Thursday morning, I went to my appointment with the podiatrist.  My original appointment had been scheduled for early May, but, I had been postponing it, due to my reluctance to venture out during the pandemic.  Today, I finally kept the appointment and went in.  The podiatrist was concerned about my big toe that I had hurt when I slipped in the the shower, back in July, but, eventually decided that I hadn't broken or torn anything and the toe didn't need to be X-rayed.  Even so, he told me I should have come in to have it checked, when I first hurt it!

My appointment was at 10:30 a.m., but, by the time I was seen and drove home, it was already noon.  I had some milk and cereal for brunch and rested a bit.  

The grocery store texted me to say that they didn't have some of the items I had ordered and offered substitutes for some of them (a different brand of frozen battered fish fillets to the store brand I had ordered and a four-cheese pizza instead of the pepperoni pizza I wanted); I accepted the substitutions, as they don't charge extra for the substitutions.  Other items I ordered, including the shrimp potstickers and the store brand mango fruit cups, were simply unavailable and they could only give me two cans of condensed milk instead of the six that I wanted.  Oh, well.  That was a stock up item and I will order them from another store or try again at a later time.

My pick up slot was between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  I got to the store a few minutes before 3:00 p.m., but, that was not a problem.  A few minutes later, a store employee brought out my groceries and put them in the trunk of my car.  There is normally a $6.95 service charge for online ordering and pick up, but, the store has waived it during the pandemic, so, it was free of charge!

I called friend R from the grocery store parking lot and said I'll be coming over directly - I had a tray of chicken and a bag of curry leaf sprigs that she had wanted.  In exchange, she gave me two packets of the tea that I prefer and a packet of mustard seeds that she had obtained for me, as well as some disposable masks (worth their weight in gold, these days!) and a new winter jacket that someone had given her last Christmas, which was a little too snug for her, to be given to my daughter!

Then, I came home and disinfected everything and put away most of the groceries.  I didn't put away the frozen pizza and decided to have that for my dinner, instead.  It has been 6 months (or more) since I last had a pizza; that's the only reason why I turned on the oven on a day when it was 100F!  LOL.  I ate nearly 1/3 of the pizza!  The rest of the pizza was sliced into four pieces, individually wrapped in foil and frozen for another day.  

I didn't take any pictures of the groceries I bought, today, as I was trying to get it all in the fridge before the frozen items thawed and the ice cream melted even more! 

But, here's a list of what I bought:

Frozen battered fish fillets, 10 count = $5.99

1 frozen cheese pizza = $4.99

3 trays boneless/skinless chicken breasts @$1.67/lb  ($6.36 + $6.71 + $6.08) = $19.15

3 lb. chub ground beef = $11.97

1 loaf sliced sandwich bread = $1.49

1 loaf French bread = $1.00

1 jar sweet relish = $3.29

1 cantaloupe = $1.50

4 large peaches @$.99/lb = $1.91

4 bananas @$.59/lb = $.97

2+ lb. cotton candy grapes @$3.99/lb = $8.62

2+ lb. red grapes @ $1.99/lb = $4.70

1lb. bag carrots = $.99

1 cucumber = $.99

1 iceberg lettuce = $1.29

1 zucchini @$1.49/lb = $.60

1 broccoli crown @$1.99/lb = $1.45

1/2 gal. whole milk = $2.29

2 cans condensed milk, @$1.99 = $3.98

1 container orange juice = $2.99

1 container vanilla ice cream = $2.98

2 boxes cereal @ $1.79 = $3.58

5 bags ground coffee @$4.99 = $24.95 

1 bag tortilla chips = $2.99

1 doz. eggs = $2.99

Total = $117.65

One of the trays of chicken was for friend R and the coffee is for my daughter (for whenever she comes down for a visit; she will take some back with her).  

I put my two trays of chicken and the chub of ground beef in the fridge for today.  Tomorrow, I will portion it all up and freeze, or maybe cook some of it and then freeze.  

My pre-Covid grocery budget used to be $75 for the month plus another $25 for eating out.  But, I've gone over that during the pandemic, as I no longer grocery shop in person at the ethnic stores where I used to get really good deals and I have been stocking up.  Since I am no longer eating out (or getting take out food), I decided to add that $25 to my grocery budget and raised it to $100 per month.  But, I think I will increase my grocery budget to $125, this month, since I have already spent $5 earlier in the month for milk and grapes and I spent almost $118, today.  Of course, I didn't grocery shop in August and some of the items I bought today are for stocking up (and others were treats!).   

I rested in the evening, practiced the piano, called neighbor T to check on her, washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, a little bit.  

On the To Do List for tomorrow: water the indoor plants, process the chicken and ground beef, and do a load of laundry.

Today I am grateful for:

- The appointment with the podiatrist went well

- A safe drive there and back

- Being able to order groceries online and free pick up

- Friend R getting me my tea and sharing some of her masks with me

- Being able to increase the grocery budget as needed

Today's joyful activity was visiting my friend, even if very briefly.  

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wednesday's Activities

Another warm day!  106F at 3:00 p.m.!  The air quality is considered to be still poor, but, it was a little less hazy, today.  I was even able to detect a hint of blue in the sky!  A hazy blue, but, blue, nonetheless!

Today, in the morning, I called the radiology center to confirm my afternoon appointment.  I don't know what made me confirm their location, too, but, I am so glad that I did, because apparently, I was to go to a different location than the one listed on the letter of authorization!  I don't know if they have several different locations or, if the address on the letter is where their headquarters are located!  But, I went to the location the person on the phone told me to go to.  I had been there, before, and one good thing about this location is that they have free parking!  In any case, I went early enough for the appointment that I could drive to the other location if necessary!  But, apparently, I was at the right place.  I had to fill out some papers, but, was called in early, before my appointment time, and I had all three procedures done - a mammogram, an ultrasound, and a bone density scan.  The technicians were very pleasant and cheerful, which I appreciated very much.  The results will be sent to my oncologist's office and I will find out the diagnosis when I go for my appointment in October (unless I am notified earlier).  

I had showered in the morning, before I went to my appointment, but, when I came home, I realized that I had to shower again, in order to remove all the gel they put on me for the ultrasound and all the touching of machines and my hair touching the surfaces on which I had to lie down for the ultrasound and bone density scan!  I generally don't wash my hair twice a day, but, I did so, today!  It's squeaky clean, now!  LOL.

I called neighbor T in the morning before I left and checked on her.  She said she was a bit shaken up and sore, but, she's taking some over-the-counter pain medication and managing.  Her daughter wasn't there when I called, but, she was coming over in the early afternoon, T said.

In the evening, my daughter helped me to order some groceries.  I haven't done a major grocery shopping since the end of July!  I wanted to get some fresh produce, bread, orange juice, chicken, etc., plus a couple of treats!  I hope I will be able to get everything I ordered (I won't know until sometime tomorrow, when they go to gather the items for the order; I said substitutions were OK, except for the condensed milk!).

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to get to the correct location for my medical tests!

- Getting all three procedures done in one go.

- Cheerful technicians who are working under what has to be stressful conditions

- A safe drive there and back

- Free parking

- Daughter helping me with ordering groceries

Today's joyful activity was chatting with my daughter.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with the podiatrist, in the morning.  That is another medical appointment I have been postponing since April!  Later, in the afternoon, I will pick up my groceries and deliver the items I will be picking up for friend R.  Not sure what else I'll be able to get done, tomorrow.  

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


Tuesday, September 15, 2020


Mid-September, already!  The days are flying!

Monday was a good day.  The air quality was a little better, it was less hazy, there was more sunshine, and it was warm!  It was comfortably cool inside the house, but, almost 100F outside!  My kind of temperature and I was happy!

In the morning, I replied to blog comments, read and commented on a couple of blogs, and practiced the piano.

In the afternoon, I had my piano lesson.  Why is it that I play quite well when I am practicing and then, make silly mistakes when I have my lesson?  S was very patient with me and I received a new song (Santa Lucia) to learn, in addition to the current pieces.

I also did some cooking.  I made a fish curry, using a piece of frozen seer fish (also known as king mackerel), a potato curry, and some onion relish (seeni sambol).  I had these curries with some frozen stringhoppers (a type of noodles made from rice flour) for my dinner: 

Dinner: Stringhoppers, Curries (Potato, Cashews, Fish), and Onion Sambol

Later in the evening, I received a delivery of one of the two air purifiers my daughter had ordered for me and the two spare air filters:

New Air Purifier

When I called my daughter to tell her about the delivery, she reminded me that I should have received two purifiers.  But, only one was delivered.  So, she contacted the customer service of the store we bought it from and they were very nice and said they will send a replacement purifier.  

On Monday, I was grateful for:
- The better air quality and weather
- S's patience during my piano lesson
- Receiving the air purifier
- Phone calls and emails from friends
- Video chatting with my daughter

Monday's joyful activity was setting up the air purifier!

Today (Tuesday), the air quality and weather are about the same as they were, yesterday, although today's temperature was a little lower, with a high of 95F.   

I practiced the piano, watered the garden, and brought the trash cans in.  I made milk rice for brunch and had it with some of the seeni sambol that I made, yesterday.  Dinner will be leftover stringhoppers and curry.  I also made some phone calls to check on a couple of friends that I haven't heard from, recently.

In the afternoon, neighbor T's daughter K called me to say that her mother had fallen in the shower; K was with her and had called the paramedics.  She just wanted me to know so that I wouldn't get worried when I saw the paramedics arrive.  I called K a short while ago and she said her mother was doing okay.  She didn't have to go to the hospital, but, obviously shaken up quite a bit and bruised; K was staying the night with her mother.  I'm glad T was not hurt.  

Today, my daughter left her apartment building to venture outside for the first time in 6 months.  Her office is moving to another location and, although that move won't take place until next March at the earliest, they are not renewing their lease at the current location and employees have been asked to take turns coming in to the office to pack up their files and other items they want moved to the new location.  Daughter walked to the office (just under 2 miles from her apartment) and back, as she didn't want to take the bus.  She said the air quality was moderate, today, so, the walk wasn't too bad (she, too, has asthma).  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter had a safe trip to the office and back
- Neighbor T is not too badly hurt
- Friends I called are doing well
- Better weather and air quality
- Medical insurance

Today's joyful activity was chatting with a couple of friends.

Plans for tomorrow include going for my annual mammogram and, maybe, a bone density scan (not sure if they will do both procedures on one day).  

How is your week going?  What are your plans for tomorrow? 

Monday, September 14, 2020

September Meal Planning: Week 2 Update and Week 3

I started out the week with good intentions!  These were my menu options for the week -

September Week 2 Meal Plan Options:

Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch:  Cereal with milk, French toast✓, scrambled egg and fried potatoes✓, boiled cassava with spicy onion sambol✓, pancakes✓.

Dinners:  Pasta with meat sauce✓; coconut flat bread with onion sambol✓; rice with fish curry hot dogs and cabbage✓; leftovers✓. 

Snacks/desserts:  Fresh fruits (oranges✓, apples), canned fruits, muffins✓, crackers✓, cereal✓, cookies✓, etc.

This is how those good intentions worked out:

Coconut Flat Bread

Brunch: Spaghetti and sauce 
Dinner:  Savory coconut flat bread
Snacks/Dessert: Crackers
Brunch: Coconut flat bread
Dinner: Spaghetti and sauce
Snacks/Dessert:  More coconut flat bread!

Breakfast: Crackers with peanut butter
Lunch: Rice, cashew curry, cabbage, hot dogs with red onions and tomato chutney 
Dinner: Coconut flat bread
Snacks/Dessert: cookie, orange

Lunch:Rice, cashew curry, cabbage, hot dogs

Brunch: French toast
Dinner:  Leftovers from Wednesday's lunch
Snacks/Dessert: cookie, orange, cereal with milk

Brunch:  Scrambled egg, fried potato
Dinner:  Spaghetti and sauce
Snacks/Dessert: Orange, muffin

Brunch:  Spaghetti and sauce
Dinner: Rice, cabbage, cashew curry, hot dog cooked with onions and chutney
Snacks/Dessert: Orange

Brunch:   Boiled cassava with spicy onion sambol (katta sambol)
Dinner:  Pancakes with spicy/sweet onion sambol (seeni sambol)
Snacks: Peanuts, orange

I did well enough, I guess.  I didn't stray too much from my meal options and I didn't go hungry!

On to Week 3!  I still haven't done any grocery shopping, so, I am cooking from the freezer and pantry, this week, too.  

September Week 3 Meal Plan Options:

Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch:  Cereal with milk, scrambled egg and fried potatoes, pancakes, tuna salad on crackers.

Dinners:  Stringhoppers (rice noodles) with fish curry, leftover cashew curry, and potato curry; Rice with leftover fish curry, cabbage; Rice or noodles with smoked sausage stir fry; leftovers 

Snacks/desserts:  Fruits (fresh/canned), nuts, crackers, cookies, etc.

How about you?  What are your meal plans for the week?