Friday, June 30, 2017

June Balanced Life Goals - Month End Review

Time, once again, to review another month's balanced life goals!  This month seems to have gone by quickly! 

Spiritual:  The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life.
- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude - Have continued to do so.
- Continue to focus on blessings, joy, and abundance - Have been trying to do so.
- Take time for meditation(doesn't have to be an extended period of time;  even 5 minutes of intentional, mindful meditation is good) - Have been trying.  It has been a bit hit or miss, though.
- Cultivate non-attachment - Finding this to be difficult to do.
- Attend the monthly prayer gathering if possible - Attended the monthly prayer meeting and gave a ride to cousin and her daughter, as well.
Environment:  The goal is a clean, tidy, uncluttered house and a well-maintained garden.
- Do some regular house cleaning in order to maintain what I have been able to achieve - implement cleaning routines to the extent possible - House is being maintained, more or less.
- Keep the dining table cleared! - Was able to do so until just this past week, when I set up the sewing machine and decided to leave it set up to do more sewing over the upcoming weekend, as well.  As a result, I still have the machine and the box of sewing notions on the table.  Sigh...and the hat I wore to the funeral on Tuesday and a handful of mail.
- Declutter -  Cultivate non-attachment to things by decluttering at least one item a day during the month of June - Didn't achieve; I decluttered a few items (mostly clothing), but not to the extent I had planned.
- Do some regular organizing - This, too, didn't get done.
- Plant the new succulents I've been given - I planted some, but not all.
- Tend to the vegetable seedlings - I have been tending them and watering them, etc.  But the bean plants were scorched by the heat, last weekend.
- Plant the grape vines and get a trellis for them -  Not done!  These might end up being container grown grape vines at this rate!
- Weed and mulch - Gardener friend has been weeding and mulching for me!
Daughter:  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her. 
- Daily texts, phone calls, email exchanges, and video chatting!  - On-going
- Enjoy her visit at the end of the month - Had a lovely visit, although I didn't get to see her as much as I would have liked as she was busy with her friends!

Family & Friends:  The goal is to keep in touch with various family members and friends.
- Communicate regularly - phone calls, texts, and emails - Have been doing so.
- Get together with a friend for lunch or dinner - went out to lunch with a friend; also met with other friends and family at the prayer gathering and at a funeral for a family friend.
Career:  The goal is to continue to do work which I enjoy (for the most part) and which enables me to support myself.
- Continue to ease into going to the office full time as health permits - Have been doing so.
Finances:  The goal is financial security.
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose - Have been doing so. 
Health & Well Being:  The goal is good health.  This will continue to be the focus, this month, as my longer than anticipated recovery continues!
- Attend the appointments with my various doctors - 3 scheduled, so far, in June, there might be at least one or two more!  - There were several medical appointments, actually, and I even forgot one because I had written it down for July, not June!  Oops! 
- Continue to go for additional screening tests, as needed - Still waiting on the referrals - that's another story!
- Continue to monitor blood pressure and sugar levels - Did; they have been stabilized, again.
- Continue to focus on a healthier diet (more vegetables!), drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and getting sufficient sleep - A work in progress!
Time Management:  The goal is having enough time to do all what I want to do!
- Organize myself and put routines into place so I have a more regular schedule - Yet another work in progress!

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time:  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Put together a succulents planter to take to the office - Didn't do.
- Do a few more things from the Spring Joy list/ Do a summer joy list - I did quite well with my Spring Joy list and did a Summer list, as well.
- Work on at least one Unfinished project and finish it! - I finished sewing my blouse!  YAY!

All in all, not too bad, I think.  I did well in some areas, but other areas didn't get as plumped as I would have liked.  The wheel, as a result, was a bit wobbly, but the nice thing is, I get to try again, next month!  
Did you make any monthly goals for June?  If so, how did you fare with them?

A Gift on Thursday

Thank You Gift from Neighbor
Today, I didn't want to go to the office in the morning!  I really, really wanted to call and ask if I could work from home, instead.   But I made myself go in to the office.  Partly because, after a brush fire in the neighboring city, yesterday, our air quality was bad - very hazy and smoky even though the fire was put out.  I knew it would be better for me to be in the air conditioned office than at home.  But it took me awhile to actually get dressed and go!  I did call my supervisor before I left the house to let her know that I was coming in and when to expect me.   

I went in a bit late, but, by doing so, I was able to skip a mandatory fire drill that took place this morning.  I have participated in several fire and earthquake drills at the office and I know the routine - how to exit the building, where our designated meeting place is, and so forth.  So missing it this time shouldn't be a problem.

In the afternoon, I took a break and went first to the pharmacy to get my antibiotics prescription filled and to visit with my friend who is the pharmacist.  After that, I went to the bank, finally!  Today, I chose not to go to the farmers' market and they were taking down the tents when I went on my break.

My daughter emailed me in the afternoon to ask my opinion whether she should choose to take compensated time (or "comptime") off or choose to receive payment for overtime worked.  One would give her more time off, the other would give her more money.  I suggested she chose time off because then, she could extend her Thanksgiving break and winter break (they have to take a mandatory week off between Christmas and New Year, using vacation or comptime, as the entire office is closed during that time).   She told me she went with my suggestion (apparently, she needed to fill out payroll paperwork specifying how she wanted her overtime compensation, for the next fiscal year).  I love the fact that she still asks me for my opinion about such things and is willing to be guided by my suggestions. 
I had planned to do the dusting and vacuuming this evening, but the air quality was still bad enough that I could smell the smoke in the air.  I decided that the dusting and the vacuuming could wait for another day or two until the air quality improved.  I didn't want to risk getting an asthma attack.  I also didn't go out to water the garden, for that reason.
Later in the evening, my neighbor called and told me to check outside my door, that there might be something there for me!  I looked and I found the lovely planter I've pictured above, with an orchid in flower, a parlor palm, and a variegated pothos.  It is from my neighbor and her daughter as a thank you gift!  I'm not sure for what, exactly; the card attached read, "Thank you for everything!", but I suspect it was because I was able to help her out, last week, when she had a bit of a problem.  I told her she really didn't have to, I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, but I love their gift. I placed it on the mantel only long enough to photograph it.  After that, I placed it on top of the entertainment center in the family room, well out of reach of a certain kitty who likes to chew on plants.  Orchids aren't poisonous to cats, according to what I've read, but pothos is (I've another pothos plant on top of that entertainment center, out of his reach).
Today, I am grateful for:  
- A productive day at the office once I got there!
- Being able to visit with my pharmacist friend
- Friendly tellers at the bank
- A lovely gift from my neighbor
- A cooler day (only in the 80s)

Thursday's To Do List:
- Office - DONE
- Bank - DONE
- Pharmacy - DONE
- Dust and vacuum living room and dining area - NOT DONE!
- Water the front garden - NOT DONE!

Friday's To Do List:
- Office
- Note to gardener friend with a Garden To Do List
- Dust and vacuum (can do over the weekend, too)
- Water the garden
How was your Thursday?   Are you ready for it to be Friday?  Are you ready for June to end?  Can you believe that the first half of this year is already just about over?  (It is already June 30, when I am tying this!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday: Dental Appointment and a New Blouse

Today, I spent the morning preparing myself for the dental appointment, both mentally and physically - I checked my blood pressure in the morning (it was good), I took my blood pressure medication, I remembered to take the medical clearance given by my doctor with me, etc., and I presented myself at the dental clinic at 11:00 a.m. exactly.  I was asked to wait a little bit, which I was glad to do as it gave me a few minutes to read my prayer book.  Then, I was called in, seated on the chair where I waited a little longer (I always remember reading something Erma Bombeck wrote about how sitting in the dentist's chair was just about the only time she got to actually sit!) and was finally seen by the dentist.

He studied my charts and checked my mouth and, at the first opportunity, I asked him what exactly were we doing today.  I said I was told I was to have a deep cleaning and I was surprised by that because I thought I'd have the extractions done first.  I also said I didn't want implants and bone grafts.  He said he understood and agreed to do the extractions first.  So, today's appointment turned out to be another examination!

He prescribed another dose of antibiotics in preparation for the extraction of the tooth in the upper right jaw (a molar).  I am to start taking the antibiotics one day prior to the extraction, which is scheduled for next week, Thursday (dentist will be away over the 4th of July holidays).  It sounds like we are doing one tooth at a time, which is fine with me.  Less stress to my system, I believe.  I remember that the last time I had a tooth extracted (about 9 or 10 years ago, as daughter was still in high school) it took me several days to recover from the swelling and the pain.

I am feeling much better about my dental procedures, now.  I guess I could have saved myself a lot of mental anguish had I spoken up at that first visit, but I am not very assertive when it comes to such things.  In fact, I found myself apologizing to the dentist for refusing the implants, today, and he ended up assuring me that I had nothing to apologize for, that he will recommend what he thinks is best but ultimately, the decision is mine to make.

It was a bit cooler, today, and I contemplated running a few errands, since I had the rest of the afternoon free.  Instead, I came home, had some lunch, and then, started to sew my blouse.  After I machine sewed the bias bindings to the armholes, I began to experience some visual distortions - I call them "dancing white lights" but my eye doctor called them ocular migraines.  I used to get migraines when I was younger and the visual distortions used to precede the headache.  Later, however, I would get only the visual distortions without a headache.  I haven't had one in years, though, so, I got a bit worried when I experienced one this afternoon.  I stopped the sewing and lay down on the sofa.  The visual distortion lasted only a couple of minutes, but I rested with my eyes closed for about half an hour.  There was no headache.  I really don't know what caused it, but I think maybe it was because I was stressing so much about the dental appointment?

Later, I finished sewing the blouse.

New Lace Blouse

It is a very simple and plain blouse, but I like it.

There was a length of lace left over so I hemmed it and made a scarf with it.  I can wear it as a regular, straight scarf or tied into a bow:

Scarf to Match

It can be pinned to the blouse to dress it up, a bit more:

Blouse with Bow

It is a dusty beige-pink color, but I can wear it with a black or white skirt.  That is one more unfinished project completed!  Woo hoo!   Only some dozen or so unfinished projects left to do!  But I am thinking of making myself a black blouse, so I didn't put away the sewing machine.  I have some black fabric in the stash, but they are mostly remnants from other projects and I don't know if I have enough for a blouse.  I will take a look through them this weekend and see.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Dental procedures have been sorted out!
- A new blouse and scarf to match!

- The visual distortion was short-lived
- I didn't get a migraine headache
- Emails and phone calls from friends; video chatting with daughter

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Dental appointment - DONE (New appointment made)
- Finish sewing the blouse - DONE
- Finish cleaning the bathrooms - DONE
- Clean the litter box - Will do before going to bed

Thursday's To Do List:
- Office
- Bank
- Pharmacy
- Dust and vacuum living room and dining area.
- Water the front garden 

How was your Wednesday?  Do you have unfinished projects or works in progress as some people call them?  Are you like me, starting new projects before finishing ones already started?  Or are you someone who finishes one project before starting on another? 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


The funeral of a family friend who died a week or so ago was held today.  At first, I thought I will not attend the funeral and go to the office, instead, because I had taken yesterday off to be with daughter and take her to the airport and will be taking tomorrow off to go to the dentist's.  But this morning, I changed my mind and decided to attend the funeral, after all.  I called the office and spoke to my supervisor and took the day off, explaining it was to attend a family friend's funeral.  My supervisor was very understanding.
Then, I called my cousin to ask if she was going and, if so, could she give me a ride.  She was going with her daughter and she said they could give me a ride.  The funeral was starting at 11:00 a.m. and cousin said she was leaving at 10:00 a.m.  I said I'll be ready.  I had a cup of coffee, took a shower, and got dressed.  I was ready and waiting when she called to say she was leaving the house.  She and her daughter picked me up and I rode with them to the funeral and back.  
There was a service in the chapel attached to the mortuary, followed by the burial.  I heard two new-to-me hymns, today.  One of them was "Shepherd me, O God", which I really liked.  The other one was sung to the tune of Danny Boy, but I don't know the name of the hymn and I don't remember what the words were.  Afterwards, there was a catered buffet lunch in the reception room of the mortuary.   Towards the end of the lunch, the fire alarm went off!  It was a false alarm, but we had to evacuate the reception room and my cousin suggested it was a good time to leave, so we left.  I got back home a little after 2:00 p.m.

The afternoon was hot!  I sat under the fan and watched some TV and read blogs, etc.  Later in the evening, after it had cooled off a bit, I brought the trash cans in, watered the back garden, put away the washed dishes from yesterday, and started cleaning the bathrooms.

The dentist's office called to confirm tomorrow's appointment and one of my friends called to wish me luck at tomorrow's appointment!  
Later in the evening, I video chatted with my daughter.  She said it was only 59F up there, this morning, when she left to go to the office!  A far cry from our 100+F weather!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to take time off from work to attend the funeral
- Cousin and her daughter giving me a ride to the funeral and back
- Seeing another cousin and some friends at the funeral
- The fire alarm going off was a false alarm and not a real fire
- Video chatting with my daughter
Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DIDN'T GO
- Attend family friend's funeral - DONE
- Bank (didn't go, last week) - DIDN'T DO
- Water the back garden - DONE
- Finish sewing the blouse - DIDN'T DO
- Put away washed dishes - DONE
- Pay bills - DONE
- Clean the bathrooms - STARTED

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Dental appointment
- Finish sewing the blouse
- Finish cleaning the bathrooms

I am not making a bit long list for tomorrow as I have no idea how I will feel after my dental appointment.  

How was your day, today?  Was it warm or cool where you live?

Monday, June 26, 2017

My Turn to Make Breakfast

It was my turn to make breakfast, this morning.  Daughter had been wanting waffles since she came home, as she doesn't have a waffle iron and she had decided she didn't want one (no room in her tiny studio apartment for yet another specialized appliance).  So, this morning, on her last day home for this visit, I made waffles for brunch and raspberry compote to serve with them, using raspberries I had frozen earlier, a little sugar, a couple of sticks of cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Wish I had some whipped cream to top it!
I made extra waffles and packed them up for daughter to take with her.  Also sent a packet of rice pilaf I had frozen, earlier, and a bag of pecans home with her. 

Daughter's flight was in the early afternoon.  I dropped her off at the airport around 1:45 p.m.  As always, it was hard to say goodbye to her.  Especially as we haven't decided when her next visit will be - maybe sometime in August or September.

It was another triple digit day, but, at only 101F, a bit cooler than yesterday.  I had the family room ceiling fan on in the afternoon and someone took advantage of the fan to cool off during a nap:

When it is too hot to lie fully on the towel but still want the softness to pillow his head.

On my way home from the airport, I put gas to the car; $25 worth of gas at $2.69/gal.

Later, I sewed the neckline of the blouse, but didn't finish sewing the armholes.  Instead, I took a nap!  After I woke up, I emptied the waste baskets, took the trash cans to the curb, watered the front garden and indoor plants, washed the dishes, handwashed a couple of clothing items.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter had a safe flight back, despite some turbulence prior to landing, and a safe journey from the airport to her apartment (subway ride and bus ride).
- I was able to make one of her favorite breakfasts and send some extra waffles home with her.
- A slightly cooler day.
- I was able to reconnect with a friend.
- A nice nap on the sofa.

Monday's To Do List:
- Take daughter to airport - DONE
- Finish sewing my blouse - Did some, but didn't finish
- Put away sewing machine, etc., and tidy the dining table - NOT DONE
- Empty waste baskets - DONE
- Take trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Water the indoor plants - DONE
- Water the front garden - DONE
- Video chat with daughter in the evening - DONE 
- Put gas to the car - DONE 
- Clean the litter box - Will do a little later
Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Bank (didn't go, last week)
- Water the back garden
- Finish sewing the blouse
- Put away washed dishes
- Pay bills 
- Clean the bathrooms

There are more things I should do, but, I am going to leave the list fairly short, partly because it is too hot to do a lot!
When daughter went to Atlanta, earlier this month, she arrived at the hotel after 10:00 p.m. on that first night.  It was too late for her to go out to dinner, by herself, so she ordered room service.  A hamburger with sweet potato fries.  The condiments came in tiny little bottles which she knew I would like (she knows me so well!)  She showed them to me when we video chatted and I squealed over them.  So, she brought them home to me as a souvenir of her trip!   Each bottle is about two inches tall and the little jar is about an inch and a half!

Too Cute!
So much cuter than little plastic packets!  I can see myself refilling them with ketchup, mustard, and mayo to take to the office with my lunch!

How was your Monday?   What's your favorite breakfast?

Heat Wave on Sunday

Today has been the hottest day yet, this summer.  108F outside, according to my cousin who saw that number posted somewhere on her way back from church.  I managed to keep the house to a comfortable low 80s and it was fine until early evening, when it got warm and stuffy inside the house.  But then, I opened the windows and went outside to water the back garden and it was cooling off, outside.

Withered Bean Plants

My poor bean plants have got withered for the heat!

Wonder if they'll revive?

The one patty pan squash that is forming looks like it might have been pre-baked! 

Pre-Baked Squash!

The tips of the tomato plant, too, have withered for the heat:

Damaged Tips of Tomato Plant

But the plant, itself, is thriving (and there are tiny tomatoes, forming!)

Almost Up to the Second Tier!
The squash plants had looked droopy during the afternoon, but they recovered in the evening and got watered, well:

Patty Pan and Zucchini Plants

The orange tree is showing signs of distress, with curled up leaves:

Orange Tree Needs Water

 One of the lemon trees looked bad, too, but I am hoping it will revive.  

Daughter and I spent a quiet morning, together.  We chatted a bit and she helped me change my passwords on my accounts.  I am always hesitant to do such things on my own because I am afraid I'll mess up; she is my tech support.  Daughter was very kind and encouraged me to have more confidence in myself, telling me that I was an intelligent woman and was more capable than I give myself credit for being.  

Earlier, one of my friends had called and we had made tentative plans to go out to lunch, today.  But today, she called and we postponed the lunch date for another day, maybe in early July.  I invited her to come and spend the day at my house anyway, but she declined.

Later, in the early afternoon, one of daughter's friends came to  give her a ride to their other friend's party.   Daughter stayed on after the party to help with the clean up and rode home with her friend.

I spent the evening sewing a blouse for myself.  I have to finish the neckline and armholes, which I'll do tomorrow (still trying to decide if I want to add sleeves to it - probably not).  The fabric is some lace that my mother had bought.  I lined it with some other fabric that was also in her stash.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Fans!
- Being able to keep the house relatively cool for the most part.
- Daughter having fun with her friends.
- Water for the garden.
- Someone sleeping with her head on my lap while I type this.  (I make a comfy pillow, I've been told.)   

Tomorrow (Monday), daughter flies back to Berkeley.  Her flight is in the early afternoon, so we'll spend the morning together (I've taken a day of vacation from work) and then, I'll drive her to the airport.  Other plans for tomorrow include sewing my blouse and tidying up the house a bit.

Monday's To Do List:
- Take daughter to airport
- Finish sewing my blouse
- Put away sewing machine, etc., and tidy the dining table
- Empty waste baskets
- Take trash cans to the curb
- Water the indoor plants
- Water the front garden
- Video chat with daughter in the evening

How was your Sunday?  Is it hot where you are?  Are you managing to stay cool?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Surprise Breakfast on Saturday

On Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of daughter moving around in the kitchen.  At first, I thought she was making her coffee.  Then, I thought that maybe she was making herself some oatmeal.  When I went to the kitchen to see what she was doing, this is what I saw:

She was brewing my tea and making me breakfast as a surprise!  Scrambled eggs and pancakes.  She said she would have fried bacon, too, except she didn't know if I had any and if so, where it was kept (I had a package in the freezer).  She said she thought that if she was going to spend the day helping her friend prepare for his party, then, she could at least make me breakfast!  Of course, she left me the dishes to do, as she hates doing the dishes!  But that was fine with me, as I don't mind doing the dishes and, in any case, I was planning to run the dishwasher, today.

Daughter left shortly after breakfast.  Her friend came to pick her up and they picked up another friend who was going to do the cooking and then they were going grocery shopping and so forth.

I spent a relaxed morning watching some TV shows now that the TV is working again.  I enjoy the Saturday morning shows on the public television channels - quilting, knitting and crochet, sewing, cooking, etc. 

Later, I did a load of laundry and ran the dishwasher.  Then, I attached new elastic to the waistband of one of my skirts.  I was getting ready to alter the waistband of another skirt, as well, but then, I noticed that there was a tear in the fabric of the skirt.  I could have darned it, but it was an old skirt and I decided to toss it, instead.

I also renewed a pillow.  I had two small pillows, bought a couple of years ago, which had an inner covering that had deteriorated.  I pulled the fiberfill out of both pillows, stuffed it all into an old pillowcase, and sewed the opening closed to make myself one new pillow:

Renewed Pillow
 Later, I watered the front garden.   These pictures were taken a couple of days ago:

Dusty Miller and Gladioli

Gladioli Close Up

Baby Pomegranate
After that, I cooked rice, green beans, and a meatball curry using some of the frozen meatballs I had bought earlier.  Half an apple for dessert.

Daughter came home later in the evening and we chatted for a bit before she went to bed.  I should be going to bed, too, as soon as I've finished this post and cleaned the litter box. 

On Saturday, I was grateful for:
- Daughter cooking me a surprise breakfast
- Daughter is able to spend the weekend doing fun things with her friends
- Machines that do the work for us - washing machines, dishwashers, sewing machines, etc.
- Cooking and sewing shows on TV
- Phone calls from friends and aunt

How was your Saturday?  Have you woken up to a surprise breakfast being cooked for you?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summer Joy List

The Spring Joy List worked out quite well and I decided to do a Summer Joy List, as well.  Some items on the list  remain the same, as they do bring me joy no matter how often I do them.  Others have changed and I've shortened the list a little. 

This summer marks the second year since my cancer diagnosis.  It will also be the summer when the follow-up mammogram will confirm if I am in remission or not.  I want to make sure that each day I am blessed to live is filled with as much joy as it possibly can.

Here is my Summer Joy List:

1.  Daily prayer and contemplation
2.  Continue to drink my tea or coffee in my favorite cups
3.  Continue to interact daily with my daughter
4.  Invite aunt and cousin to a meal
5.  Go out to lunch or dinner with a friend
6.  Visit a neighbor
7.  Do a craft project or two
8.  Do more gardening
9.  Bring more fresh flowers and greenery into my home
10. Play with fabric
11. Visit the farmers market
12. Visit the library
13. Music - listening and singing
14. Indulge in summer fruits
15. Declutter the house/decorate for summer
16. Strawberry lemonade

Anyone else making a summer joy list?

Spring Joy List Review

Time to review my Spring Joy List, which was for the period between March 21 to June 20:

1.  Daily prayer and contemplation: take time to appreciate this time of renewal - Have been saying my prayers daily.
2.  Continue to drink my tea in my favorite cups - I've gone back to drinking coffee, but I have a favorite cup for coffee, as well.
3.  Continue to chat daily with my daughter - We've been doing this every day.
4.  My daughter's next visit home (in April or May) - She visited over the Mother's Day weekend, which was lovely and is visiting again, this weekend!
5.  Savor my last jar of homemade apple and pomegranate jam! - The jam is just a memory, now!

Flowers from the Garden

6.  Visit the temple - Visited the temple and made donations
7.  Do a craft project: make a birthday card for my sister - I made a thank you card for my supervisor, instead
8.  Do more gardening: plant a vegetable garden, scatter some flower seeds - the flower seeds didn't do anything, but the vegetable garden was planted and at least one zucchini has been harvested!
9.  Celebrate Sri Lankan New Year (April 13) - Celebrated it in spirit.
10. Bring in more fresh flowers and greenery - Did that several times

Zucchini Growing in the Garden

11. Play with fabric - Not to the extent I would have liked.
12. Visit the farmers' market - Visited it regularly
13. Visit the library - Visited the library several times; even borrowed some books to read! 
14. Read a book or two (or more) - Read a few
15. Do more sketching - Doodled a bit, but that wasn't really sketching, as such.

One of the Books from the Library

16. Naps on the sofa! - Oh, yes!  Several!
17. Take in the sunsets - Almost every evening.
18. Music - listening and singing - Quite often.
19. Arrange to video chat with a friend - Video chatted with my friend
20. Indulge in strawberries!  - Did so several times, included the one strawberry my one plant bore before it died!

The Single Strawberry Harvested!

Did you do a Spring Joy List?  If so, were you able to do some of the joy-inspiring things you wanted to do?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday: Farmers Market and Daughter Comes Home

On Thursday, I went to the office.  During my lunch break, I went to the weekly farmers market.  This time, I remembered to take my cell phone with me to take some pictures. There are stalls set up along the sidewalk and in a courtyard area:

Breads and Other Baked Goods

The sellers offer a variety of items from fresh produce to cooked food and hand crafted items such as homemade soap.  I bought a croissant from my favorite French bakery stall (but forgot to take a picture of that!)

After work, I picked up the Thai food my daughter had requested for dinner - beef fried rice and chicken satay with peanut sauce.

Then, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items: milk ($1.99), bread ($1.99) and bananas ($.59/lb).  My total came to $5.18.

June 22 Groceries
(Yes, Mr. Nosy came to see what was going on, as usual.)

After that, it was time to go to pick up daughter.  Her flight was delayed, so she arrived an hour later than scheduled, but she's here, safe and sound!  We had dinner, chatted, and looked through some photo albums/scrapbooks, together. Daughter "fixed" the TV so now it works again.

One of my friends had called and left a message, so I called her back.  One of my neighbors called, too, and I chatted a bit with her.

On Thursday, I was grateful for:
- My daughter had a safe flight home
- Daughter is home for the weekend
- Weekly farmers markets
- Safe driving to and from office, etc.
- A working TV

Thursday's To Do List:
- Office - DONE
- Bank
- Farmers Market - DONE
- Change bed sheets - DONE
- Laundry
- Grocery store for milk - DONE
- Pick up Thai food for dinner - DONE
- Pick up daughter from the airport - DONE
- Hug a daughter! - DONE!

Friday's To Do List:
- Bank
- Pharmacy
- Pet supplies store for kitty litter
- Laundry
- Spend time with daughter
How was your Thursday?  Did you have a good day?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday - Sorting out the Dental Situation and the First Day of Summer

Thank you, all, for being so supportive of me as I went on and on about the dental situation.  I believe I might have over-reacted a bit.  I had felt overwhelmed by all of the recommended procedures and the costs, especially.  I had taken a quick look at the detailed list of recommended procedures the dentist had given me, that first day, saw numbers like $2,600, $2,000, etc. per tooth, did a quick mental tally, saw that it added up to at least $10,000 and felt stunned.  I just clutched the estimate and my antibiotics prescription and practically ran out of the clinic! Later, I added up the costs with a calculator and it came to $10,890.  I wondered if the dentist was just trying to get as much money as he could out of me!

The bit about bone grafts needed for the implants and my radiation oncologist voicing his concern about bone necrosis got me even more worried.  Then came all the drama to get the medical clearance.  The last straw, in a way, was the appointment for the deep cleaning ahead of the extractions.  I wasn't expecting that, at all.  I felt very confused and didn't know what to do. 

Earlier, when I went to see the dentist for the second time for additional antibiotics, I did tell him that I only wanted the extractions done, now, and wanted to wait on the implants until I can change my insurance coverage.  He said something to the effect that he had given me his recommendation and left it at that.  At the time, I was still dealing with a tooth ache, so I wasn't thinking too clearly.

Last night, when I said my prayers, I prayed for guidance on this matter.  Today, I felt calmer.  I called my insurance and I verified what was covered and what was not (some of the deep cleaning is covered; what dentist has listed on his estimate was the part that was not covered - mostly medications, apparently); extractions are covered for $15 per tooth (but I am also being charged $15 by dentist - perhaps the difference between his regular charges and what insurance covers?  But $15 per extraction seems reasonable to me and I will not quibble about that).  What is not covered are the implants and implants-related procedures and the crown listed for one tooth.  I will have to pay out of pocket for those (and they are the more expensive items).

I asked the insurance customer service person about getting a second opinion and what I needed to do if I chose to change dentists (I have to ask new dentist if his clinic accepts my coverage, first of all, and then, call the insurance to have them transfer me to new dentist).   My one cousin's dentist is out of the network, so any work he does won't be covered at all.  I also got another cousin's dentist's information (he's a new dentist for her, too, assigned to her by her insurance and she hasn't had any work done by him, yet).  I didn't call yet, though.  Maybe I'll call and see if he's in the network or not.  
But now that I've calmed down a bit, I think I will go to my currently assigned dentist for the deep cleaning appointment, ask him why the deep cleaning has to take place before the extractions (maybe it is to ensure I'll do the deep cleaning as opposed to getting the extractions done and then, disappearing!) and take it from there.  If I can get the deep cleaning and extractions done for now, it will all come to under $1,000 and I can manage that.  In October, when it is open enrollment again, I can look into a different dental plan with more coverage.  It won't go into effect till January, however.

In other news, I went to the office again, today.  There was a cultural festival in the courtyard of the building where I work to celebrate Caribbean heritage with music, limbo dancing, and a catered buffet lunch to which we were invited.  My supervisor and I went together and stood in line to be served rice and beans, chicken, fried plantain, cole slaw (don't think that's very Caribbean!) with a slice of caramel frosted cake and a coconut tart for dessert!

Caribbean Lunch
It was very good.  Not spicy hot, but very nicely flavored.  Especially welcome because I hadn't taken a packed lunch, today, only an orange.  I had intended to eat a chicken salad and crackers snack kit that I had at my desk.  Free Caribbean food was better.

To make up for that big lunch, I had a salad for dinner:

Salad Dinner
Lettuce, roast chicken breast, grated carrot, and some canned mandarin segments with bottled dressing.  Just right for a warm summer night.  Yogurt for dessert.
Daughter said there was an earthquake near Berkeley this afternoon and she felt it while she was at a meeting.  Fortunately, it was a relatively minor quake of 3.0 magnitude.   But it was centered on the Hayward fault which goes directly under Berkeley, so I worry any time there is an earthquake in the area. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- Getting my dental situation sorted out, somewhat
- Free lunch!
- Today's earthquake near Berkeley was relatively minor and daughter is OK
- Emails from a friend
- The pharmacy refilled one of my medications without any problems!

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DONE
- Call cousin's dentist to make an appointment for a second opinion  - NOT DONE/Changed my mind
- Call dental insurance - DONE
- Call the oncologist's office - DONE
- Go to the bank - Thursday
- Put away laundry - DONE
- Water the garden - DONE
- Change my bed sheets and remake bed - Thursday
- Laundry - Thursday
- Pharmacy - DONE

I didn't get all of my to do list done; I went to the Caribbean festival instead of going to the bank during my lunch, today.  

Thursday's To Do List:
- Office
- Bank
- Farmers Market
- Change bed sheets
- Laundry
- Grocery store for milk
- Pick up Thai food for dinner
- Pick up daughter from the airport
- Hug a daughter!  :)

How was your Wednesday and first day of summer?