Sunday, July 31, 2016

Decluttering Marathon!

As of last night, I was only at Day 27 when it came to my decluttering.  Which means that today, I am four days behind with my decluttering!   With only 378 items decluttered, I need to declutter 122 items to meet my goal of 500 items by July 31!  Yikes!  I set aside today for a decluttering marathon!

28 Items for July 28
5 glass bottles I had been saving to reuse for homemade flavored oils, etc.
1 sugar bowl
1 creamer (the sugar bowl and creamer comes as a set; at one time I might have considered them as 1 item, but I am grasping at straws at this point!)
1 rubber sink mat
4 stem glasses
1 teacup with broken handle (had been keeping it to pour hot oil into for cooling before disposal)
1 empty plastic jar
1 enamel bowl (neighbor brought some food in it but didn't want it back)
1 silver candy dish (needs polishing; was my mother's; a bit unsure about getting rid of this item...)
12 plastic containers (had been saving to start seeds in them)
= 28 items

Substitution Candy Dish

I have decided to keep the silver candy dish shown in the first picture and substitute the silver plated candy dish shown above; it has been treated with an anti-tarnish finish so doesn't need polishing, but I preferred to keep the other dish.

378 + 28 = 406 items decluttered.

29 Items for July 29

10 x 10 used batteries
5 pairs of stretched out socks
2 copper decorative wall ornaments
2 china figurines
1 cut glass ice bucket
3 books
2 plastic strawberry baskets
1 packet of emery boards/nail files
1 candle
1 tube of old lip balm
1 bag of plastic knives
= 29 items

The library in the next city accepts used batteries for recycling.  When daughter used to take piano lessons, we used to pass by this particular library on a weekly basis and the batteries were recycled regularly.  Once she stopped piano lessons, I didn't go by this library that often.  But I continued to toss the old batteries into a box with the intention of taking them to the library one day.  Today, I emptied the batteries into the bag and was surprised to find 100 of them!  I decided to count 10 batteries as 1 item, so, 10 x 10 batteries = 10 items.

406 + 29 = 435 items decluttered.

30 Items for July 30
5 items of clothing (1 skirt; 4 blouses)
2 rolls of crepe paper
1 gift box
1 white file folder
1 food container
9 rolls of wall paper borders
1 video tape
1 bag of pieces of chalk
3 strips of 6 acrylic paint pots each
3 strips of 5 acrylic paint pots each
1 mini art kit (3 pots of paint and tube of glitter glue)
2 draw string bags
= 30 items

435 + 30 items = 465 items decluttered

31 Used Printer Ink Cartridges

I might be cheating, here, but I am going to count the 31 used printer ink cartridges as 31 items for today's decluttering.  They will be taken to Staples for the rebate.

465 + 31 = 496 items decluttered.

Plus 4 bonus items to make it 500:

4 Bonus Items!
4 books.

Whew!  I did it!  500 items decluttered in the month of July!  That was fun, although it got a bit intense towards the end!  I might do it again, but not necessarily in August!  My next step will be to call for a pick up of the items I have set aside for donations.

Have you done any decluttering lately?  


Saturday: Family Visits and Decluttering

I cooled down the house to 82F last night (by keeping the windows open till past midnight) and it was still 82F when I woke up.  So the morning was comfortable.  I didn't feel like going out to do grocery shopping, though, so I spent the morning playing on the computer, watching TV (lots of sewing, knitting, and cooking shows on Saturdays), doing a bit of decluttering, etc.  One of my neighbors called in the morning and I had an email from one of my cousins.

Today, I decluttered 27 items for July 27:

27 Items for July 27
7 unopened printer ink cartridges for printer I decluttered
1 pair of goggles from daughter's science lab in undergrad chemistry class
2 user manuals
1 roll of dried up packing tape
2 flower pens that I had made
1 dried out permanent marker pen
5 bags of 10 assorted pens each
1 pile of assorted erasers
4 gift bags
1 empty box some stationery came in
1 cloth bag
1 "bead" necklace (the "beads" are some sort of seed)
= 27 items

378 items decluttered so far. 

I am so far behind with the decluttering, I've half a mind to count the 5 bags of 10 pens as 50 pens,  but that would be taking the easy way out, wouldn't it?  I feel that the flower pens and the dried out marker are the only ones I can count individually.

In the process of decluttering, I sorted through and organized the wicker chest in which I store my gift wrap, gift bags, possible future holiday gifts, etc.  Something I had been wanting to do for a long time.  The wicker chest is starting to fall apart.  I would like to find another spot for the gift wrap, etc.  and get rid of the chest.  But it is one of Dancer's favorite napping spots and will remain in place for the time being.

Around 4:30 p.m., I put on the a/c in the bedroom and went in there with my laptop.   Dancer soon joined me and took a nap on the bed, enjoying the coolness of the room!

I had planned to do more decluttering in the evening, but one of my aunts and cousins came over for a visit and I invited them to stay to dinner.  It was a snack dinner of rice, lentil (dhal) curry, and canned fish as aunt declined my offer of chicken curry or pork chops.  I served some of my homemade tomato chutney, as well.  After dinner, we sat around and chatted, so I didn't have time to declutter.  In any case, I'd rather visit and chat with my aunt and cousin than declutter!  :D

Today, I am grateful for:  
- Aunt and cousin visiting
- Being able to make a quick dinner (in the 20 minutes it took for the rice to cook) with what I had in my pantry
- Cooler mornings and evenings
- Video chatting with daughter
- Phone calls and emails from friends and family

What are your favorite "pantry" meals to prepare with stuff you have on hand?  

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday, At Last!

This has seemed like a really long week for me.  I think it is due to the heat.

Woke up at 7:00 a.m. to get ready to leave at 8:00 a.m. for my 9:00 a.m. hydration appointment.  I was at the clinic in good time, however, they were running behind with two of the doctors out on vacation and the third doctor not coming in till 10:00 a.m.  The nurse practitioner was seeing their patients as well as hers!  As a result, I didn't get called in until nearly 10:30 a.m. and it was another 10 minutes or so until I was seen by the nurse practitioner.  She said my blood test results were good and, as I was anxious about being late for my 11:30 a.m. radiation appointment, we decided that I could skip the hydration session.  I will go back in three weeks for the next hydration session.  I should be done with radiation by then and they can delay as much as they like and I won't mind.

The radiation session went well; it was number 18.  12 more to go!  I'll start a countdown when I get to number 10, I think! 

In the afternoon, I spent a little time doing office work!  Yes, I know, I took a day of vacation, today, too, but I had some questions about one of my projects and had called and emailed a colleague for clarification.  She had emailed me back, but I needed further clarification and emailed her again.  Finally, we spoke on the phone and resolved the issue. 

The late afternoon was very hot.  Although I was seated in front of the stand fan, it was just blowing hot air on me.  So, around 4:30 p.m., I went to the bedroom and turned on the a/c.  And took a long nap! 

Had phone conversations with one of my cousins, an aunt, and a friend in the evening, and, of course, video chatted with daughter. 

And I decluttered 26 items for July 26:

26 Items for July 26

1 photo frame
1 storage box
3 computer anti-virus software (expired)
2 printer ink cartridges (for one of the printers I am tossing)
1 finished "Autumn Leaf" needle point canvas
7 "Autumn Leaf" unfinished needle point kits
1 bag of crewel wool
2 stems of artificial flowers
1 pack of anime cards
1 cross stitch kit
1 bag of 6 jingle bells
1 binder
1 book
1 old planner
1 note book
1 squirrel shaped glass candle holder
= 26 items

The needle point kits were purchased years ago, from Goodwill, for $.39 each (price stickers still attached).  I never got around to finishing them.

351 items decluttered to date.

I also watered the back garden.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Good blood test resuls
- Weight is down by another 2 lbs.
- a/c in the bedroom
- afternoon naps
- phone calls and video chats

I've no major plans for the weekend.  Maybe do some grocery shopping, cleaning, tidying, catch up on the decluttering, laundry, etc. 

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

Friday, July 29, 2016

Side Effects!

Today, I went for a blood test in the morning.  Got to the lab at 9:40 a.m. and was done with the blood test before 10:00 a.m.  Since I had to be fasting for the blood test, I took a meal replacement drink with me and had that, afterwards.  Then, I drove to the clinic for the radiation treatment, directly, instead of going home and then leaving for the clinic.  I was almost an hour early, but they took me in almost as soon as I got there, which was very nice of them.

Afterwards, I sat in the waiting room to be called in by the nurse.  5 minutes into my wait, the fire alarm went off!  Apparently, they were having a scheduled fire drill and we all had to participate!  I got my exercise for the day climbing flights of stairs (the radiation clinic is in the basement of the building).  After the drill was over, we all went back into the building and I had another short wait before I was called in.  The nurse took my weight and pressure, etc. and then the radiation oncologist examined me. 

There are some minor side effects:  the skin on that side has a slight pink color now, and there is some swelling.  The nurse asked if I've noticed if that area is warmer to the touch and when I said yes, said to wring out a wash cloth with cold water and use it as a cold compress.  She also gave me some sample sized tubes of an ointment to use, twice a day, once after the treatment and once before going to bed.  The doctor asked if I was experiencing any pain or if the area was tender to the touch and I said no.  So, treatment will continue without any delays.  I feel blessed that my side effects to date have been so minor and without any discomfort. 

After that, I came home, had lunch, checked and responded to emails including a couple of work emails (even though I am officially on vacation today and tomorrow), and took an afternoon nap.

Later in the evening, I video chatted with my daughter, watched some TV, and did a bit of decluttering:

Decluttering for July 25
10 books
1 broken fly swatter
2 sets of 4 sewing cards
1 bag of yarn and other craft supplies
1 gravy boat
1 reading light
1 artificial flower arrangement
5 gift bags
2 food containers
= 25 items

I've decluttered 325 items so far in July.  I am three days behind, but hope to catch up!

Today, I am grateful for:

- Pleasant clinic workers who accommodate me even when I show up an hour early, if their schedule allows it.
- Side effects that are relatively minor and pain-free.
- Free ointment samples.
- Afternoon naps.
- Video chatting with daughter.

Friday's to do list includes:
- Dr's appt. with oncologist & hydration session
- Radiation treatment
- Pay bills
- Decluttering

How was your day?  What have you planned for Friday?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Half Way Up the Mountain!

I had my 15th treatment yesterday and my 16th today.  I am half way up the mountain!  Just 14 more steps to go!  Still doing well as far as side effects go.  I asked the radiation technician to confirm that it was my 16th treatment today, and it must have reminded her that I haven't been seen by the radiation oncologist or even the nurse since my initial consultation (except for when the oncologist came in to mark the area to be scanned just before I started my treatments).  She told me to wait in the waiting area after my treatment, that the nurse would see me.  Five minutes later, she came to tell me that the nurse couldn't see me today, after all, and will see me tomorrow.

  It's been exactly one year since I received the results of my mammogram saying it showed something abnormal.  It has been quite an year. 

Yesterday, I went in to the office for a short time in the afternoon.  Today, I went in for a meeting in the morning.  I wanted to stay the whole day, just for the air conditioning!  :D

What hasn't been taking place is the decluttering.  I just haven't had the time to sort through things.  So now I am 3 days behind!  I am a little disappointed about being behind with the decluttering, but I am still planning to catch up, though!  I have taken Thursday and Friday off from work, so I should have more time to declutter.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being more than half way done with my treatments
- The treatments going well and according to schedule
- Still feeling OK and doing well
- Answered prayers
- Phone call from one of my cousins in Australia

Thursday's to do list:

- Blood test in the morning
- Radiation treatment
- Meet with nurse and/or radiation oncologist
- Declutter!
- Water the back garden

How was your day?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Warm Monday

Weekends are nice, but, unfortunately, they are followed by Mondays!  It was a warm Monday, too, with triple digit temperatures.

I had my radiation treatment, as usual; everything went well and I got home without any problems.  Spent the afternoon and evening doing office work. Later in the evening, I cleaned out the fridge, emptied the waste baskets, took out the recycling, and took the trash cans to the curb.  I had planned to water the garden, but didn't get around to it.  Will add it to Tuesday's to do list.

I am still a day behind with my decluttering.  But I decluttered 24 items for July 24:

July 24 Decluttering
16 cassette tapes; I used to listen to them on my commutes when I drove my previous cars which had built-in cassette players.  The present car has a cd player.  I do have two cassette players in the house, but I rarely listen to the tapes when I am home.

1 cassette tape organizer

1 empty box

1 brass frame from a mirror which broke; I kept it thinking I might be able to find a round mirror to fit into it, but it seems unlikely

1 plastic bucket from when two of daughter's friends gave me homemade candy to help with my nausea

2 candle holders

2 ornaments

Today, I am grateful for:

- Safe drives to the clinic and back.
- Air conditioning in the car!
- Treatments going well, so far.
- Video chatting with daughter.
- Being able to work from home as needed.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Prayer Meeting Sunday

Daughter and I didn't go to sleep till nearly 3:00 a.m., so we slept in, this morning.  Later in the morning, I called one of my cousins and spoke with her for a bit.  Still later in the morning, one of my neighbors called for our weekly Sunday morning phone chats. 

My daughter flew back to Berkeley, this afternoon.  I gave her one of the banana breads I had baked earlier and frozen, to take back with her. 

After I dropped daughter off at the airport, I put gas to the car ($2.89/gallon; I put for $30) and drove to the monthly prayer meeting.  This is the first time I've attended a monthly prayer meeting since November of last year.  I took another loaf of banana bread as my contribution to the prayer meeting lunch, and a jar of tomato chutney for the aunt who was hosting the prayer meeting.  I met several family members and friends at the prayer gathering, which was nice.  Driving back home, afterwards, I could see smoke from at least two of the brush fires in our area.

I got home around 5:30 p.m. and took a nap!  I woke up once when daughter called at 6:30 p.m. - she had got back to her apartment, gone grocery shopping, and come back!  I went back to sleep after I spoke with her and slept until 8:30 p.m.!

Today's decluttering was 23 items for July 23:

July 23 Decluttering
9 books and 1 file folder of papers; 8 of the books and the file folder of papers are what daughter decluttered.

10 items of clothing; all had been given to me; I've had them for at least one year and I wore one item once.  Time to let them go.

1 broken clothes hanger, 1 food container, 1 jar.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Daughter had a safe flight back to Berkeley.
- I was able to attend the monthly prayer meeting, again.
- A safe drive to the prayer meeting and back.
- A long, evening nap.
- Cooling off at night.

All in all, it has been a lovely weekend.  But it is back to radiation treatments and work, again, tomorrow.

Monday's To Do List:

- Office work
- Radiation treatment
- Clean the fridge
- Empty waste baskets
- Take trash cans to the curb
- Water the garden
- Address and mail a thank you card

How was your Sunday?  What have you planned for Monday?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Family Time Saturday

Today was another hot day. 

But, in the morning, when it was still a bit cooler, I did some tidying and sweeping, while daughter cleaned her bathroom.

At noon, my sister and her husband came over and took us out to lunch.  We had Italian food and I was happy to be able to taste my food again.  :)  I couldn't finish my portion, though, so brought the leftovers home. 

In the afternoon, we put the air conditioner on in the bedroom and both daughter and I took naps!  I woke up once, when one of my cousins called, but I went back to sleep, again, afterwards!

Later in the evening, one of my aunts and cousins came to visit me.  I cooked some rice and warmed up a packet of chicken curry and a packet of cashew curry I had in the freezer, and yesterday's smoked sausage and broccoli stir-fry and offered them dinner, with grapes for dessert.  My cousin brought me another bag of groceries: a loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread, a jar of peanut butter with strawberry jam, cans of fruit and packets of fruit cups, and a 3-pack package of cheese, dried fruit and nuts snack mix.  She is such a blessing to me.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am a day behind with the decluttering.  So, today, I decluttered 22 items (with a little help from daughter) for July 22:

July 22 Decluttering: 2 Printers
Two printers.  One side of the roller is broken on the printer in the front and although it prints, the paper comes out all crinkled and printed over on that side.  The printer part of the one in the back doesn't work, but the scanner does.  Daughter has a new printer with a scanner, so we don't need to keep these two items. 

July 22 Decluttering: 20 books
With daughter's help, I also decluttered 20 books.  10 of them were her old text books from her undergrad years:

10 Text Books
The other 10 were some of my crafts and gardening books:

Crafts and Gardening Books
Today, I am grateful for:

- Lunch out with sister
- Afternoon naps in a cool bedroom
- Phone chat with cousin
- Visit and dinner with aunt and cousin
- Daughter helping with the decluttering

How was your Saturday?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beyond Warm

Today, we went beyond warm to hot, by my definition: 111F around 2:00 p.m.!

111F Outside

I forgot to take a picture, but the temperature inside was close to 90F.  Needless to say, daughter and I stayed in the bedroom with the a/c on!

The morning was already quite warm when we left to go to the clinic - in the 90s.  Today's radiation treatment, too, went well.  But I am beginning to see a little pinkness in the skin around the radiation sites (there are two sites).  However, there is no soreness or tenderness, so all is still OK.

When we came back from the clinic, we had sandwiches for brunch and both daughter and I did some office work, including conference calls.  Then, around 2:00 p.m., we took a break to make an ice cream run for soft serve cones!  After that, we turned on the a/c and stayed in the bedroom, doing work.  Later, however, I took a nap!

When my gardener friend came to do the garden, this afternoon, he brought me an individual cherry pie, which I shared with my daughter:

Cherry Pie
He said he bought it from a small pie shop he passed on his way to one of his clients.  It was quite delicious. 

Later in the evening, when it became cooler, I opened the windows to air out and cool the house.  Unfortunately, there are brush fires in the area and the air quality wasn't so good.  I could see the smoke from the front garden:

Smoke from Brush Fire
Sorry, the photos are blurry:

From the End of the Block

I am afraid I am a day behind on the decluttering.  It is getting to a point where it feels like pulling teeth!  However, here are 21 items for July 21:

July 21 Decluttering
10 cook books and 11 crafts books. 

This is what the cook books shelf used to look like:

Cook Books Shelf: April, 2016
How it looks now, after a couple of rounds of decluttering:

Cook Books Shelf: July, 2016
I am still debating if I need to keep both copies of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.

Dinner was rice with a smoked sausage, onion, and broccoli stir fry.  I added the container of hot sauce we received with our order of Thai food, yesterday, to the stir fry and my daughter said the stir fry was amazing and I was an awesome cook!  :D

Smoked Sausage & Broccoli Stir Fry

Today, I am grateful for:

- Air conditioning on a hot day.
- Ice cream cones.
- The gift of a cherry pie.
- Cool nights.
- Afternoon naps.

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

Friday, July 22, 2016

Another Warm Day

It was already 90F when I left to go to the clinic at 10:30 a.m. and 102F when I came back home at 12:30 p.m.

The radiation treatment went well, as usual. 

On the way back, daughter and I picked up some Thai food for lunch: beef fried rice and chicken satay with peanut sauce.  I am starting to taste food again, so I enjoyed my lunch.

Spent the afternoon working until the heat made me feel tired and sleepy.  Then, I went to the bedroom, put on the a/c, called daughter into the room so she'd be cool (she, too, was working from home), and took a nap!  After I woke up from the nap, I did more office work, until much later in the evening. 

Unfortunately, I didn't finish my decluttering for today.  So that needs to be done tomorrow, instead.  Along with tomorrow's items!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Air conditioning in the bedroom!
- Fans.
- Radiation treatments continuing to go well.
- Beginning to taste my food again.
- Daughter's company.

How was your Thursday? 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Memories and Groceries

53 years, for today, since my father's death. I was 7 years old then.  I remember the details of that day so clearly, even after all these years.  I remember one of my aunts coming to my home from the hospital where my father was, to take me to the hospital to be with my mother and my half siblings.    No body told me anything, but my aunt must have said something to my maid because she started to cry, and then I guessed my father had died.  I remember going to the hospital and seeing my sister seated on a chair with one of our brothers holding her.  She cried out when she saw me and I remember my mother trying to hush her.  I remember being taken into the hospital room where my father's body was still laid out on the bed, to see him.  What I remember the most is that his big toes were tied together with a bandage and another bandage was tied around his face to make sure the feet and the jaw stayed in place as rigor mortis set in.  Later that night, his body was brought home and laid out in the sitting room, as was the custom then.  There were no funeral parlors at that time in my country of birth.

There aren't many photographs of my father and me.  This is one of two that I have of just the two of us - not the best quality since it's a photo of a photo and taken with my cell phone:

My Father and I

I went for my radiation treatment, as usual, today.  On the way back, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things since daughter is coming home for the weekend, tonight.

July 20 Groceries
Yes, there is a cat's tail in the background!  Guess who came to see if Mummy brought him something?

He's sulking because there's nothing for him!
I bought:

2 x 4-pack fruit cup (mango), @$2 = $4.00
juice = $2.49
half and half = $1.79
2 mangoes, @ $.50 = $1.00
1.62 lb. bananas, @$.69/lb. = $1.12
Total = $10.40

Grocery spending so far in July =  $12.25 + $23.02 + $16.12 + $10.40 = $61.79

July 20 Receipt

According to the forecast, we were supposed to have a high of 98F today.  But when I came home after grocery shopping, it registered 100F on the car temperature gauge:

Outside Temperature

It was much cooler inside the house, however:

Inside Temperature
And now, the declutterings.  First, 19 items for July 19 -anyone else remember these?   Computer diskettes.

July 19 Declutterings

20 items for today:

July 20 Decluttering
6 more computer diskettes
2 boxes of water paints
2 inner cardboard tubes from foil rolls, saved for possible craft project
5 note pads
5 packets of tabbed dividers

210 items decluttered.

Daughter called around 5:30 p.m., on her way to the airport, saying that, according to the airline's website, her 7:30 p.m. flight has been delayed till 10:00 p.m.  Then, when she got to the airport, she called to say her flight has been cancelled!  Apparently the airline had a computer glitch and many flights were either delayed or cancelled and many passengers were stranded in airports.  It was on the evening news, as well.  She was waiting in line to speak to an agent to ask if she could get a seat on another flight; if not, I said to get a refund and come down next weekend.  I said a prayer for her to be able to get a flight home and my prayer was answered!  Daughter called at 7:00 p.m. saying she was able to get a seat on a different flight!  She was home by 8:30 p.m.

Today I am grateful for:

- Answered prayers.
- Daughter was able to get a flight home after all.
- Memories of my father.
- Going through the radiation treatments without any difficulties, so far.
- Being able to go grocery shopping, again.

How was your Wednesday?


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mountain Climbing: One Third of the Way

Today, I had the 10th of 30 radiation treatments.  I am now one third of the way up this portion of the climb up the mountain!  Every 5th treatment, they film things before the actual treatment starts; so that took place today, before the treatment. 

I also worked on office stuff, brought in the trash cans, watered the front and back gardens, did a load of laundry, and video chatted with my daughter.  However, I forgot to mail the car registration renewal payment and didn't get around to watering the indoor plants and decluttering!  I will declutter 19 items tomorrow to make up for it, in addition to tomorrow's 20 items!

In the meantime, the decluttering has resulted in a few empty spots around the house, including a shelf in one of the bookcases.  It didn't stay empty for long, though:

Dancer Finds a New Place for a Nap

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being 1/3 done with treatments
- Safe drives to the clinic and back
- Validated parking (I pay $2 with validation; otherwise, it is $7 to park at this clinic; it's $8 at the other clinic and they don't validate)
- Water for the garden
- Being able to work from home during this time

How was your day?


Monday, July 18, 2016

30 Percent Done!

I had my 9th radiation treatment today.  I am 30% done with treatments, already!  So far, so good, too. *smile*

It's been a relatively quiet day.  I did some office work in the morning and afternoon.  Later, I did my decluttering for the day.  And in the evening, I took the trash cans to the curb.  In fact, I did everything on my to do list for today, except watering the front garden.  I will add that to tomorrow's to do list.

Today's decluttering:

July18 Decluttering
18 file folders and their contents.  Things like receipts from payments for daughter's dance classes, a certificate of appreciation I received for knitting hats for newborns for someone's Girl Scouts project, statements and paperwork relating to old store cards, correspondence from an aunt who is no longer alive, etc.  There's a little more room in my file cabinet.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Completing 30% of my treatments.
- Not experiencing any side effects, so far.
- Safe drives to the clinic and back.
- Being able to work from home.
- Video chatting with daughter.

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go for 10th radiation treatment
- Office work before and after radiation
- Mail car registration renewal payment
- Bring in trash cans
- Daily decluttering
- Water front garden
- Water back garden
- Water indoor plants
- Do a load of laundry

How was your day, today?  Did you have a good start to your week?  What are your plans for tomorrow?

June 17 Decluttering: Picture and Thoughts

June 17 Declutterings

Here it is, at last!  My picture of the June 17 declutterings.  It hadn't loaded to the computer from my cell phone until a few minutes past 7:00 a.m. today!

So, as I said in my post yesterday, 10 partially used note books and 7 highlighter pens.  The notebooks are mostly from when daughter was in high school.  Even though the smaller, 70 page note books go on sale for as little as 25 cents each, or, occasionally, even less, during "back to school" sales, it felt like a waste to the frugalite in me to toss (recycle) the unused portions.

Partly because, I remember that when I was a little girl, we used to sell the old, used note books, including pages that had been written on, to the rag and bottle man.  He'd make his rounds every month or so, collecting old clothes, bottles, and paper, which he sold to the various businesses that recycled or reused them.  Back then, and in that place, small store keepers would twist a page of note book paper into a cone to sell a few cents worth of candy, salty/spicy snacks, etc. from the bigger bottles or bins in which they were kept.  The size of the cone depended on the amount bought.  Larger amounts of stuff, including items like sugar, used to be sold by weight, in bigger cones made from newspaper, etc., and tied with string (the bottom of the cone would be bent to hold stuff in).  Very few things came individually packaged, back then.  I don't know how it is now; I haven't been back to my country of birth in nearly 26 years.

So I kept the partially used note books for my use - to write my daily or weekly to do lists, to write grocery lists, to write pantry and freezer inventory lists, to write down a recipe when watching cooking shows, to make menus, to write holiday gift lists, to write knitting directions, etc., etc., etc.  I kept one at my bedside table to write those "I should do"s that come to mind when I'm trying to go to sleep.  I kept one on the family room coffee table to jot down various other stuff.  The rest were stored in desk drawers.

They are useful items, and, as I said before, it seems a waste to toss them in the recycle bin.  However, I guess I don't really need to keep so many half used note books.

I will donate the highlighters since they still work (I tried them out).

Off to find 18 items to declutter, today!   

Sunday Lunch Out

Today, I was woken up by the sound of the phone ringing, but when I answered the phone, there was no one at the other end.  I hung up the phone and went to the bathroom, and the phone rang again.  This time, I let the answering machine pick it up, but no one left a message.  I went back to bed and tried to sleep a little more, but couldn't fall back asleep.  So, decided to get up.

I spent the rest of the morning doing some office work and sent an email to my supervisor asking her a question regarding my current project.

Later, in the afternoon, one of my friends and I went out to lunch to celebrate her birthday, which was earlier during the week.  It was the first time I went out to eat at a restaurant since I started chemo! We went to a restaurant that was new to me, but my friend had been there before and she recommended it.  I had planned to treat my friend, but she insisted on treating me, instead!  I agreed on the condition that the next time we go out for a meal, it'll be my treat.  I had a hard time choosing from the pasta and burgers and sandwiches that were on the menu, but eventually chose to have a Caesar salad with sliced grilled chicken breast on top.  I couldn't finish it, so brought half of it home to have for my lunch, tomorrow.

After lunch, my friend and I did a little shopping.  I bought a bag of the anti-furball formula cat food for Dancer and my friend bought a few household and office supplies for herself.  Afterwards, I dropped her off at her apartment and came home.

It was a slightly warmer day, today (90F at 3:00 p.m. when I came home after lunch).  But the house stayed relatively cool.  I spent the afternoon relaxing.  Later in the evening, I did the dishes and did a bit of decluttering.

I had a bit of a hard time, today, deciding what to declutter!  I kept pulling things out and putting them back again!  Eventually, I settled on 10 partially used note books (I had kept them to write grocery lists, my daily to do lists, etc.; they will be recycled) and 7 highlighters (they will be donated; I checked them to see if they are still working and they are).  The photo I took of the decluttered items is taking a long time to upload to my computer, so I might have to post the picture tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Going out to lunch with my friend
- My friend treating me
- Phone calls and emails from family and friends
- The house staying relatively cool
- Video chatting with daughter

Still need to clean the litter box before going to sleep.

Monday's To Do List:

- Go for 9th radiation treatment
- Office work before and after radiation
- Put away washed dishes
- Empty waste baskets and kitchen trash
- Take trash/yardwaste cans to curb for trash pick up Tuesday morning
- Water the front garden
- Declutter

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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July Grocery Shopping Part 3

One of my friends called me this morning and asked if I was up to receiving visitors.  I said yes, of course, and she said she'd be over within the hour!  I quickly cleared the dining table (I had some of my decluttered items from yesterday spread out along with some mail and other papers), and dusted the living room and dining area.  All was nice and tidy when my friend and her daughter arrived about 45 minutes later.  We had a nice visit and caught up on each others lives since we last chatted.

Later, in the early afternoon, I went to the ethnic grocery store:

July 16 Groceries

I purchased:

Peaches, 1.25 lb @ $.49/lb = $.61
Onions, 1.01 lb @ $.25/lb = $.25
Broccoli crown, .52 lb @ $.89/lb = $.46
12 cans coconut water, @ $.69 = $8.28
Calif. Redemption Value, @ $.05/can = $.60
Cauliflower, 2.15 lb @ $.39/lb = $.84
Lettuce = $.50
Amarretti cookies = $2.19
Italian bread = $2.39
Total = $16.12

They also had red seedless grapes on sale for $.69/lb, but I didn't buy because I still have some of the grapes I bought earlier.

One reason why I go to the ethnic grocery store is the prices on their produce; in comparison, at the regular Big Chain grocery store, broccoli and cauliflower are $.99/lb; lettuce is $.99 each; peaches are $.99/lb.  I couldn't find their price on onions this week, but I'm sure it's more than $.25/lb.

July 16 Receipt

Grocery spending so far in July =  $12.25 + $23.02 + $16.12 = $51.39

I couldn't finish my decluttering yesterday, so I finished it today:

July 15 Decluttering

1 binder organizer
1 index cards binder
1 autograph album
2 packs of playing cards
1 boxed picture frame
2 empty boxes
1 battery operated Neopets toy
1 knitted mini doll
1 tassel/keyring
3 tape dispensers
- a couple of sheets of stickers
= 15 miscellaneous items

And I did today's (Saturday's) decluttering:

July 16 Decluttering

16 assorted books!

So far, I have decluttered: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12+13+14+15+16 = 136 items.

My aunt called to say that, although she had hoped to visit me today, she was too tired/jet lagged to do so (she just returned from a week-long visit to France, yesterday).  I told her it was fine, we'll visit another time.

I spent a quiet evening, chatting with a cousin who called and video chatting with daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A visit from a friend
- Being able to do my own grocery shopping, again
- Pleasant weather (today's high was only 88F)
- Keeping in touch with friends and family
- Starting to taste some foods, again.

Plans for tomorrow include going out to brunch with a friend.

Hope you are all having a nice weekend.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Productive Friday

Today was a productive day.  I was up and out of the house by 7:30 a.m. to get to my hydration appointment by 8:30 a.m.  My appointment was not until 9:00 a.m., but I was hoping to be seen early, as I was worried I'd be done with hydration early enough not to be late for my radiation treatment (I had tried to reschedule the hydration appointment for the afternoon, after the radiation, but hadn't been able to do so).  I was called in and had my pressure checked and weighed (I've lost another 2 lbs.) shortly after I arrived, but I had to wait until after 9:30 a.m. to see the nurse practitioner.  The visit with the nurse practitioner didn't take long and I was receiving my hydration before 10:00 a.m.

I finished with the hydration a little after 11:00 a.m.  I had plenty of time to drive over to the radiation treatment. I was there a few minutes early and had my treatment on time. I was all done by 11:45 a.m. and home again by 12:30 p.m. Had lunch (rice, beef curry, cucumber salad) and then, started work. I worked all afternoon and the early part of the evening,  with a short break to chat with my gardener when he came to do the garden.

I had a slight headache most of the morning, but it went away in the afternoon. 

Later in the evening, I went for a walk, had a chat with one of my aunts, video chatted with daughter, wrote to a friend, etc.  

I didn't finish my decluttering, today, so I will finish it tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Managing to make it to my appointments on time.
- Friendly staff at both clinics.
- Safe drives to the clinics and back.
- Phone call from aunt.
- A productive day.

Plans for tomorrow include doing some housework, laundry, and a possible visit from aunt and cousin.

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

Friday, July 15, 2016

Thursday's Activities

Today, I had two medical appointments in the morning: a blood test and the radiation treatment.  I went for the blood test, first.  I got to the lab around 9:30 a.m., to give myself enough time if there was a long wait (my appointment for the radiation treatment was at 11:30 a.m. and it takes me about an hour to get there from home).  There were several other people ahead of me, but the wait was not too bad.  I was done with my lab work shortly after 10:00 a.m.

I knew I'd be early, but I left for the radiation treatment directly from the lab, as there was a freeway entrance only a few blocks away.  I got to the radiation clinic around 10:40 a.m.   I had just settled down to read my prayer book while I waited, when the technician saw me.  She was surprised to see me so early, but she called me in right away, which was very nice of her, I thought.  So I was done with my treatment by 11:00 a.m. and home again before noon!

Spent the afternoon doing office work.  Then, took a long (2 hours) nap!  I guess I was tired!

Afterwards, I called a friend to wish her for her birthday, wrote to another friend, video chatted with daughter, cooked dinner, etc.

Breakfast had been a meal replacement drink, taken after the blood test.  Lunch was spaghetti with sauce.  Later, around 4:30 p.m., I had a craving for something like cake, so I reheated two date and cashew muffins I had made and frozen earlier.  They tasted somewhat bitter, but I ate them, anyway.  Dinner was a chicken breast, sliced and cooked with potatoes, carrots, onions, green peas, and celery.  The last of the fresh strawberries for dessert.

Today's decluttering were two sofa covers and twelve sofa cushion covers = 14 items.

I didn't take a picture as they are already rolled up and put into bags.  They are the covers for the two sofas in the family room.  Last October, I bought new replacement covers as the old covers were tearing as a result of Dancer cat sharpening his claws on them!  My intention was to use the new covers for the prayer meeting I hosted in October and then, put back the old covers for everyday use.  However, I was just after my surgery and couldn't use my arm much and taking off and putting back these particular sofa covers involved quite a bit of tugging and pulling.  Since I couldn't do it myself at the time and no one else was willing to do it (as it was, it took a friend, a cousin, and my daughter to get the old covers off and the new covers on and they wondered how I did it by myself in the past), the new covers were left on and have become the everyday covers.  So, I will get rid of the old covers.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Blood test and radiation treatment going well.
- Radiation technician taking me in early.
- Afternoon naps.
- Safe commutes to medical appointments.
- Being able to drive myself to these appointments.

How was your day?  Did you declutter anything today?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Twenty Percent Done!

Today, I had my 6th radiation treatment.  I am 20 percent done, already! 

I did some office work for a couple of hours before I left for my treatment and for the rest of the afternoon when I returned from my treatment.  I was able to finish work on my current project and send it in, as promised, by the end of the work day, today. 

In the evening, I did a little crocheting on the rag rug, went for a walk, put away the laundry from yesterday, wrote an email to a friend, and video chatted with daughter. 

Today's decluttering:

July 13 Decluttering
13 books, note books, and memo pads.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being 20 percent done with my radiation treatments.
- No side effects so far.
- Safe drives to the clinic and back.
- Getting my office work done on time.
- Friends who care about my health, if I am eating properly, getting enough exercise, etc.

How was your day, today? 

Sing Along with Bless!

Today was a busy day.  Had my 5th radiation treatment in the morning.  It went well and I didn't feel anything afterwards.  I hope it will continue to be that way.

On the way home, I stopped to put gas to the car.  Gas was $2.69 per gallon; I put a little over 10 gallons to fill the tank (I had about quarter tank left); it came to $28.12.

I spent the afternoon and early part of the evening working on office work.  There was a conference call on one of my current projects, several emails regarding my new assignment, another phone call on a different project, etc.  I've promised a finished product by the end of the work day, tomorrow, on one of my projects, so, I've put a bit of pressure on myself!

Later in the evening, I put water to the front garden, did a load of laundry, spoke with my half-sister who called to see how I was and to invite daughter and me out to lunch on daughter's next visit home, called a friend of mine for a chat, emailed another friend, and video chatted with my daughter.  

Today's decluttering:

July 12 Decluttering
So, are you all ready to sing along with me?  All together now:

"On the twelfth day of July, Bless did declutter,
Twelve assorted books,
Eleven other books,
Ten additional books,
Nine of daughter's books,
Eight rubber stamps,
Seven random items,
Six printed booklets,
Five magazines,
Four copper pans,
Three books on cross stitch,
Two painted boxes,
And a sewing machine with a broken bobbin"

Hope you enjoyed singing with me!

Today, I am grateful for:

- Completing the 5th radiation treatment and still feeling fine.
- Being able to work from home while I am undergoing treatment.
- Phone call from my half-sister.
- Keeping in touch with friends.
- Video chatting with daughter.

How was your Tuesday?  Did you have a good day?  Did you enjoy the sing along?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday in Review

Today has been a relatively quiet day.  I went for my radiation treatment in the morning; again, it went very well, there was no delay, I didn't feel anything during the treatment or afterwards.  I did apply some of the aloe vera gel after I came home, simply because I had it on hand. 

I had a couple of emails from my supervisor, regarding work.  I am to stop working on one project until payment on a delinquent account has been made by the client.  And I was asked if I could work on a new project.  I appreciate how my supervisor asks if I have the time to work on a new project instead of just assigning it to me.  I responded to both emails and clarified project priorities (I had been assigned another new project to work on, just last week; wanted to know which new project to start on first).  Spent the afternoon and part of the evening working on office work.

Still later in the evening, I emptied the waste baskets and kitchen trash, took the recycling out, and took the big trash bins to the curb for pick up tomorrow morning.  Washed the few dishes that had collected in the sink.  Video chatted with my daughter.

Today's decluttering:

July 11 Decluttering
"On the eleventh day of July Bless did declutter
eleven other books"

Yes, the supply of books seem endless!  There are several shelves, all crammed with books!

By the way, be ready to sing through all the verses to date of the decluttering song, tomorrow!  :D

Today, I am grateful for:

- Daughter calling to wish me a good morning.  :)
- A safe commute to the clinic and back.
- The treatment went well; no side effects as yet; I'm feeling fine.
- A new project to work on; having enough work that I can do from home during my treatment.
- Video chatting with daughter.

Plans for tomorrow include another radiation treatment, more office work, watering the front garden, maybe putting gas to the car, maybe doing a load of laundry,  and more decluttering, of course.

Hope you have all had a lovely day and a good start to your week.  What have you planned for tomorrow?


Crocheted Rag Rug Part 2

Today, I started on my crocheted rag rug.

First, I crocheted a long row of chain stitches, using a size N (10 mm) crochet hook:

Chain Stitch
I made enough chain stitches until I had a fairly long length:

Long Strip of Chain Stitches
It was about 34 inches long:

Length of Row of Chain Stitches
Then, I crocheted double crochet stitches, one in each chain stitch, starting with the 4th chain stitch from the hook:

First Row of Double Crochet
When I got to the end of the row of chain stitches, I crocheted five double crochet stitches into the last chain stitch to take the turn:
Turning at the End
Then, I did double crochet stitches all the way down the other side.  I will continue to go round, doing double crochet stitches into each stitch in the previous row.  When I get to the end, I will crochet three double crochet stitches into the stiches at the corners to take the turn. 

I had a fairly quiet, relaxed day.  Daughter went back to Berkeley, today.  I dropped her off at the airport, watched some Wimbledon tennis and Olympics trials and news, of course, on TV, and started crocheting the rag rug.  My neighbor called me in the morning and one of my cousins called in the evening.  Daughter had a safe flight and a safe trip from the airport to her apartment.  We video chatted, later in the evening.

Today's decluttering:

Ten Additional Books

"On the tenth day of July Bless did declutter
Ten additional books"

I loved Noddy books when I was a child.  When my daughter was a little child, I asked one of my cousins who lived in Britain to buy me some Noddy books for daughter.  She enjoyed reading them, but she was never as "into" Noddy as I had been.  I held on to the books because they reminded me of my childhood, but it is time to let them go. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- Daughter had a safe trip back to Berkeley
- A quiet, restful day
- Time to do hobbies
- Pleasant weather
- Phone calls from neighbor and cousin

How was your Sunday?  

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July Grocery Shopping Part 2

Spent a quiet morning, at home, today.  Watched some Wimbledon tennis on TV.  Later in the afternoon, daughter and I went to the pharmacy to pick up my medication refills and did the rest of our grocery shopping.

July 9 Groceries
1 Baguette = $1.99
6 Bagels = $1.99
2 Frozen dinners, @$1.88 = $3.76
2 lb. Strawberries, @$1.25 = $2.50
2 Turkey cold cuts, @$1.50 = $3.00
Cherries, @$1.99/lb = $4.14
1 container parmesan cheese = $1.99
Total = $19.37

The cherries, one packet of cold cuts, one container of strawberries and half the bagels are for daughter to take back with her, along with the cantaloupe and plums we bought the other day.

When I came home and set out the groceries to take a picture, I realized that I had forgotten to take the baguette with the rest of my groceries!  So daughter and I drove back to the store!  The cashier had put aside the baguette for me!  I guess he knew I'd be back for it!  Daughter and I had some of the baguette with some of the turkey cold cuts, after we came home (and I took the picture).

Then, I took daughter to meet up with one of her friends, and, on the way back, I stopped at another grocery store for the chicken leg quarters that were on sale for $.49/lb. this week.

Chicken Leg Quarters
I asked the butcher for 7 individual leg quarters, which came to just over 7 lbs. and cost $3.65.

So, my grocery totals for today add up to:  $19.37 + $3.65 = $23.02.
Grocery spending so far in July =  $12.25 + $23.02 = $35.27

After I came home, I cut up the chicken and cooked a chicken curry.  I froze most of it.  Daughter will take half of it back with her.   In the two years she's been at Berkeley, she's never seen chicken go on sale for less than $.99/lb. 

I will need to buy more bread for the week, though, because, between the two of us, daughter and I ate most of the baguette, today!

Today's decluttering is mostly thanks to daughter going through some of her books:

July 9 Decluttering
But, for the purpose of my song, I'm claiming the credit!

"On the ninth day of July, Bless did declutter
Nine of daughter's books"

Today, I am grateful for:
- A relaxed morning
- The cashier holding the baguette for me
- Daughter's company while grocery shopping, etc.
- Daughter was able to spend some time with one of her friends
- Pleasant weather

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend.