Tuesday, October 31, 2017

On the Last Day of October

Fall continues!  It even rained early this morning!  And there's more rain in the forecast through the weekend!  This is so exciting!  Rain is such a blessing for us.

I  worked from home, today.  During my lunch break, I went to the dentist's to pick up the document they had prepared for me.  Then, I stopped at the dollar store (in the same mini mall as the dental clinic) to buy two boxes of quart sized freezer bags and, since they had a door mat that I liked for $1.50, I bought that, too, for the inside of the front door (will put it out for the almsgiving; the current door mat will do for the time being, but it is looking a bit worse for wear after being used for at least the past 3 years). 

I had been dithering over which dental plan to choose before our open enrollment period ended.  The plan I am on currently (a Dental HMO), has low monthly premiums, but, of course, doesn't cover a lot of treatments or minimally covers them.  The PPO coverage includes better benefits, but costs 5 times as much!  I was weighing the pros and cons over and over again, but, eventually made the decision to go with the PPO.  It goes into effect next year.  Once the decision was made, it was a matter of calling and making the change.

I continued with my paperwork after I finished my office work for the day.  I spent more than the 30 minutes I had planned to do and went through another big bag of papers and tossed what could be tossed (another grocery bag full) and filed the rest.  The filing wasn't done to my usual standards (by date, with most recent in front, etc.), but for now, just getting the papers in the appropriate folder is sufficient.  I told myself that in this instance, it doesn't have to be perfect; "good enough" is OK.  I will go through and redo the files, later, when I next file something in them.  Or, at the end of the year, when I have to make new file folders for the new year.

I watched some TV while I worked on the papers and files.  We didn't get any trick or treaters down our road, today.  It didn't even feel like Halloween. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Rain!

- Being able to work from home
- Being able to make a decision on the dental insurance
- Having a choice of insurance in the first place
- Making progress on my backlog of paperwork

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the dentist's to pick up a document - DONE
- Make a decision about choice of dental insurance - DONE
- Go to the office - Worked from home
- Make an additional phone call about another medical bill - POSTPONED
- Bring the trash cans in - DONE
- Water the indoor plants - DONE
- 30 minutes of paperwork - DONE  (Spent a lot more than 30 minutes on it!)

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Make the phone call about the medical bill
- 30 minutes (or more) of paperwork
- Wash dishes
- Do the litter box

How was your Tuesday?  Did you get any trick or treaters?

Fall Arrives on Monday

It was quite overcast all day, on Monday.  Not too cold as the high was in the 70s, but it looked cold because it was so cloudy.  One of my friends said it drizzled a bit early in the morning in her area, but I didn't notice any rain in my area. 

I had a productive day.  I went to the office, I made a couple of phone calls pertaining to the insurance paperwork, I paid a couple of bills, I went to the post office to buy a stamp and mail one of the bills and to the bank to pay the other bill (both post office and bank are within walking distance), did more paperwork when I came home (one pile done and a whole grocery bag of paper to be recycled), cleaned out my purse (why is it that I have 5 pens in my purse and can't find one when I need a pen?), took the trash cans to the curb, cleaned the litter box, put away the dried laundry, decluttered several magazines, and watched some TV.  My friend R called and we had a nice chat.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter.

I took care to dress warmly, today - long sleeved knit top, a short sleeved knitted tunic over that, a cardigan, a scarf, and I took a jacket, too, just in case.  But, for some reason, the venting had been turned down and for once, I felt warm in the office.  I didn't need the cardigan and my hands weren't icy cold!  I hope it continues to be like that, but, most probably, the vent will be on, tomorrow!

Monday gratitudes:
- The day was warmer than it looked
- I was comfortably warm in the office
- I had a productive day
- Being able to pay my bill
- Chatting with my friend and my daughter

Monday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DONE
- Make my phone calls - DONE
- Pay 2 bills - DONE
- Go to the post office - DONE
- Go to the bank - DONE
- Do 30 minutes of paperwork - DONE
- Empty the waste baskets - DONE
- Take the trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Put away the dried laundry - DONE
- Clean the litter box - DONE
- Clean my purse - DONE

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the dentist's to pick up a document
- Make a decision about choice of dental insurance
- Go to the office
- Make an additional phone call about another medical bill
- Bring the trash cans in
- Water the indoor plants
- 30 minutes of paperwork

How was your Monday?  Did you have a good start to your week?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Productive Procrastinating on Sunday

I slept in again, this morning.  Then, woke up determined to start on my paperwork!  But first, I had to have a cup of coffee, go on-line for a bit, talk on the phone with my daughter, etc.  Then, I had to eat something for brunch (toast and peanut butter), empty the dish washer, clean up some stuff that Dancer had regurgitated.

By then, it was early afternoon and I put gas to the car for the week ahead.  Gas was $2.89/gal. and I spent $27.09 to top up the tank (I was at less than half, but more than a quarter). 

After that, I went to the grocery store across the street from the gas station to pick up a few items - bread ($.99), bananas ($.76), coffee creamer ($1.99), cold cuts ($3), a box of mac&cheese ($1), and two individual sponge cakes ($1.00), and a bag of cat food.  The groceries came to $8.74; the bag of cat food (plus tax) came to $9.84.  I posted about my October grocery shopping in a separate post; I came under budget by $5.66, so I am happy. 

Came home and ate one of the bananas and a sponge cake and had a cup of tea. 

Then, I decided enough procrastinating on the paperwork, and started on it.  I went to the spare bedroom to get a file (my file cabinet is in that room). 

But first, I had to put away the baking pans back in the oven where I normally keep them - I had taken them out of the oven when roasting the chicken and stored them temporarily in the spare room.  They've been there all week and suddenly, it seemed very important to put them back in the oven.

Then, I had to take some of my medications and I needed to cut a pill in half and it was important to cut a whole month's worth of pills in half.  Once that was done, I had to dust my bedside table.  Then, I needed to dust the top of the chest of drawers.  Then, of course, I had to strip my bed and do a load of laundry.  And remake the bed with the other set of sheets.  Dancer came to help:

Smoothing Out the Fitted Sheet

"I'm helping Mummy make the bed"
"Making beds is tiring"

"Nothing like a nap on a freshly made bed"
I got him off the bed to finish making the bed with top sheet, blanket, and quilt (nights are starting to get a bit chilly), then he jumped on top of the quilt to finish his nap!  

Then, I started on the paperwork.  But first, I had to hang the laundry to dry.

Then, I realized I needed some past paperwork to compare with the current paperwork.  That document was somewhere on my very cluttered desk.  Which meant I had to clean the desk first - put away the quilt tops and fabric until I am ready to work on them again, make a pile of all the papers, dust the desk, clean the lamp, wash out the microfiber cloth I was using to dust, because it was dirty.

Eventually, I found the document I needed and compared the two.  Now I have questions I need to ask before I go any further!  So, I put both documents into my tote bag to take to the office, tomorrow, and make a phone call, before I do anything else on that particular piece of paperwork! 

I really should procrastinate more on my paperwork - I get a lot of house cleaning done when I do that!  LOL!

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny, warm day
- A productive day
- Coming under budget on my grocery shopping this month
- Making a start on the paperwork
- Having "help" with making my bed!

Monday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Make my phone calls
- Pay 2 bills
- Go to the post office
- Go to the bank
- Do 30 minutes of paperwork
- Empty the waste baskets
- Take the trash cans to the curb
- Put away the dried laundry
- Clean the litter box

How was your Sunday?  Are you a procrastinator?  Do you find yourself doing anything and everything but what you have to do when you procrastinate? 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October Grocery Shopping: Month End Totals

October's grocery shopping has been a bit confusing, with trying to keep track of two separate budgets, one for the prayer gathering and one for the regular household groceries,  Most year, I just lump the two together and that's easier.  But, this year, I tried to keep the two separate because of the Shelftober challenge and because I had gone over the grocery budget in August and was trying to make up for it in September and October. 

I normally budget $75 per month for grocery spending.  However, I spent almost $71at the Sri Lankan store in August. I made up almost $49 of that in September and needed to make up the balance $22 in October.  Therefore, my October regular grocery budget was $53 ($75-$22 = $53).

The prayer gathering budget was $300, since I budget $25/month for it.  As I explained in a previous post, the amount was arrived at by allocating $1 per person for the approximately 25 people who used to be in the rosary group.  Since last year, however, the group has shrunk a bit, although I invited 21 people this time (22 including me; some of the people I invited aren't in the regular rosary group, but they attend when I host).  However, I didn't spend half of what I budgeted, so will be reconsidering the amount I budget for next year.

But here are the totals:

Prayer Gathering - Budget: $300
9/18:  $4.49 for smoked sausage
9/27: $1.29 for 2 cans of mixed nuts
10/4: $10.97 for 2 whole chickens
10/7: $2.06 for 1 dozen eggs and 2 boxes of mint chocolates
10/10: $21.75
10/20: $86.18
10/21: $26.73
Total Spent: $153.47
Balance to carry forward: $300 - $153.47 = $146.53

I spent a little over half what I had budgeted for the prayer gathering!  I am sure this was because I used some items I already had on hand (such as the cashews) and I didn't have to buy any alcohol (again, I used what I had bought earlier and cousins brought more wine). 

I am rather pleased with what I spent on the prayer gathering.  I will use some of the balance leftover to augment my holiday budget, especially for baking supplies, etc., to replenish a few items that were used up and to stock up, and for more treats from the Sri Lankan store!

October Regular Groceries - Budget: $53
Week 1: $4.13 + $1.98 + $.61 = $6.72
Week 2: $5.94 + $12.04 + $3.85 + $6.56 = $28.39
Week 3 = $3.49 (of which $1.99 was for raspberries, some of which was used for the rosary dinner)

As of Week 3, I had spent: $4.13 + $1.98 + $.61 + $5.94 + $12.04 + $3.85 + $6.56 + $3.49 = $38.60
Balance left in the budget at end of Week 3 = $53 - $38.60 = $14.40

October Week 4 groceries:

Oct. 29 Groceries
Today, I went grocery shopping for bread ($.99), flavored coffee creamer ($1.99), bananas ($.76 @ $.49/lb), cold cuts ($3.00), a box of mac&cheese ($1), and two sponge cakes (@$.50).  By buying the cold cuts, mac&cheese, and sponge cakes, I broke my Shelftober rule of buying only bread, dairy, and fresh produce!  But, I think it doesn't matter, this close to the end of the month.  Plus, I've been wanting mac&cheese for a few weeks now, and I want to take sandwiches to office for lunch one or two days, this week.  

Oct. 29 Receipt
The receipt total includes a bag of cat food ($8.99 and tax on the cat food $.85 =  $9.84)

My groceries came to $8.74.

October grocery spending: $4.13 + $1.98 + $.61 + $5.94 + $12.04 + $3.85 + $6.56 + $3.49 + $8.74 = $47.34

Balance left in the October grocery budget  = $53 - $47.34 = $5.66

I had one of the sponge cakes and a banana when I came home from grocery shopping.  Dinner was mac&cheese!

I have made up the $71 I overspent in August and I will be carrying forward $5.66 into November.

How did you do with your October grocery budget?

Fun on Saturday

I slept till quite late this morning.  When I woke up, I thought to myself,  "Last Saturday, by this time, I had been up for several hours, had cooked a cashew curry, gone to the temple, and had come back home!"  In contrast, this morning was spent relaxing with a cup of coffee, reading blogs, and watching cooking shows on TV.

Breakfast was a tangerine.  Lunch was leftover rice and meatball curry, with cucumber slices, homemade mango chutney, and fried pappadums (lentil wafers):


In the afternoon, I kept some of the potted plants on the dining table to get some sunlight; of course, Dancer had to come and check it out:

"Ooh, what is this?"

"If I hide behind the scarecrow, Mummy won't see me eating her plant"

"Who's eating my plant?"

"Not me!  I'm a sunbeam!"

Later, I decorated for Halloween, today, using the decorations I've had for years:

Halloween Wreath
The wreath is something I made several years ago; my mother bought the little scarecrow in the middle for my daughter, one year.

Halloween Mantel

The jack-o-lantern is what I bought for my daughter for her first Halloween, the scarecrow stuck into the plant was bought for me by my mother, the mug was a gift my daughter received from her aunt (my sister), I can't remember from where I got the jack-o-lantern wind chimes hanging down , and the plastic bucket was bought when daughter was about 5 or 6, when we were on our way to her piano teacher's house to trick-or-treat and daughter forgot to bring her jack-o-lantern with her; rather than go back home, I stopped at the grocery store and bought the bucket for $.99.  That's all the decorations I have, other than the table runner I made, a few years ago:

Halloween Table Runner
Every year, when I put away the decorations, I wonder if I can declutter anything.  I feel I have decluttered the Halloween stuff as much as I want to.  If I had to declutter further, I suppose the bucket and the wind chimes could go.  But for now, I will keep them.  All my Halloween decorations, including the wreath, fit into a large plastic bin which I store in the garage; I keep the table runner in my linen cupboard, however.

I dusted the living room and the dining room while I decorated; I probably should have vacuumed, too, but I didn't.

My aunt called in the afternoon and I invited her and my cousin over to dinner; she didn't want me to get too tired cooking, so I said we'll have leftovers from the prayer gathering.  They came over in the evening and I warmed up some of the leftovers and we enjoyed a pleasant meal.  Aunt paid me the compliment of saying my house is one of the few places where she's comfortable enough to say she's hungry.  Afterwards, we visited and talked until past 10 o'clock. 

After they left, I ran the dishwasher, cleaned the litter box, swept the bathroom floor, and video chatted with daughter until after midnight!

It was a lovely day. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to sleep in
- A sunny, warm day
- A fun day
- Leftovers
- Aunt and cousin visiting

Tomorrow, I really need to get some paperwork done that I've been procrastinating doing! 

Do you decorate for Halloween?  Do you keep your decorations from year to year?

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Today, was another uneventful day.  Actually, I rather enjoy these uneventful days, even if I don't have much to write about, in terms of what I did.

That reminds me of something I read in 9th grade.  We had to read a book of collected essays and writings as part of our required English reading; I remember there was something written by Sir Winston Churchill about his experiences as a school boy.

But one of the essays was about the art of letter writing.  The author recounted a journey by train, during which the author shared a carriage with a young soldier who was trying to write a letter to his family.  The soldier hadn't got that far beyond the initial greeting, saying he was well, and asking how everyone was, and was apparently trying to think of what else to write.  The author and the soldier struck up a conversation and the soldier admitted that he really didn't know what there was to write home about beyond what he had already written.  Then, the soldier proceeded to tell the author stories about his experiences during the war, until the author got off the train.  The author imagined the soldier continuing to ride the train and struggle over what to write; of course, the point being made was, if the soldier would only write down all the things he told the author, it would be a wonderful letter.  The moral of the essay was, when writing letter, include all the details, even if you don't think it's important, because the details are what brings a scene to life to the reader.  

I have always remembered that essay (obviously!), even though I've forgotten the name of the author.  I tried to give all the details when I wrote my weekly letters home to my mother and step-father when I went away to university.  My step-father kept all my letters - I found them among his belongings after his death.

These days, I don't write that many letters (plenty of emails, though!), but this blog is a little like a letter, isn't it?  A letter in which I give the details of my day, even if it is only to say I went to the office and came home!

Today, before I left to go to the office, I wrote a note to my friend M who takes care of my garden for me, telling him what needs to be done.  He has a key to my gate, so lets himself in and locks up when he leaves.

Today, my cubicle felt cold enough for me to wear a jacket over my cardigan, along with my scarf!  I think, next week, I will take some packets of hot cocoa to keep at my desk.  I don't drink tea or coffee at the office as I drink a cup of coffee in the morning when I wake up and a cup of tea when I come home, but I can make myself a cup of hot cocoa to sip in the afternoon, when I feel cold. 

M had been and finished the garden by the time I came home from work; he had left me a message on my answering machine, so I called him back and left a message on his answering machine! 

Then, daughter called to let me know she was home from work, herself.  After that, I made myself a cup of tea and watched the evening news.  Later, I called one of my aunts to check on her.  I invited her and cousin to dinner to try some of my soup, but she declined, saying she's tired and cousin was still teaching (she gives piano lessons). 

Dinner was more of my soup and a piece of leftover carrot cake for dessert.  I still have plenty of leftovers for meals during the coming week, but I will want another loaf of bread and I am debating whether to buy a container of flavored coffee creamer this weekend or wait till next weekend. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to remember the gist of something I read in 9th grade!
- The end of the workweek
- The abundance in my fridge and freezer
- Answering machines
- The internet

I am looking forward to the weekend.  I want to get some of my paperwork done, get some cleaning and gardening done, and maybe a bit of grocery shopping. 

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

Friday, October 27, 2017

Chicken Soup on Thursday

It's been another warm day, but highs only in the 90s, not the low 100s. 

I went to the office prepared for the too-cool air conditioning - wearing a scarf around my neck and a jacket in addition to a cardigan.  Even so, I had to go outside the building twice in the afternoon, to walk around a bit to warm up!  The farmers' market was just closing up when I went outside the first time, so I looked around, but didn't buy anything. 

I had a good, productive day at the office.  I finished one project, just in time to have two other projects come in! 

After I came home, I had a cup of coffee and relaxed a bit.  Then, I made a pot of soup with the leftover roast chicken from the prayer gathering.  I added all of the steamed asparagus that was also leftover and some more vegetables - carrots, celery, onion, tomato - and made chicken and vegetable soup for dinner:

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Soup when it is 90F outside?  Definitely!  I grew up in a tropical country, where soup was eaten year round. 

I called my friend R and offered to bring her some soup, but she had just returned from an event at her workplace during which dinner had been served.

I have enough soup left over for another two or three meals.  It is supposed to get cooler, next week, with highs in the low 70s; maybe I'll freeze the rest of the soup till then.

I had a fresh guava from an aunt's garden, after the soup.  She brought a bag of them to the prayer gathering and I shared them with the others, but there are several left over that are getting overripe!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Scarves
- A stroll around the farmers' market
- Guavas from an aunt's garden
- Safe commutes to the office and back
- Chatting with my daughter

It was a relatively uneventful day.  I am happy to have an uneventful day or two, after the busy days, last week, of getting ready for the prayer gathering.  But, I am afraid it doesn't make very interesting reading!

How was your day?  Are you looking forward to it being Friday, tomorrow?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Slow Wednesday

Wednesdays are known as hump day, but, to me, today was slump day!   I didn't get a lot done. 

I went to the office in the morning and took the cranberry cake I had bought for the prayer gathering to share.  There were so many desserts at the prayer gathering, I didn't even serve the cranberry cake.  It didn't take long for the cake to disappear, at the office. 
It was freezing cold (to me) in the office, today, and I forgot to take a scarf to keep my neck warm (I find that I feel warmer if my neck is covered).  It was in the upper 90s or maybe even in the low 100s outside, but I found it cold inside.  I was wrapped in my cardigan, but there were others in sleeveless blouses, so, obviously, not everyone felt as cold as I did.  I do sit under a vent, so my cubicle is cold, and the way the built-in furniture is configured (in a U shape that wraps around the cubicle) I can't move my chair from under the vent.
I had a fairly productive day at the office.  But the drive home tired me, I think.  I had to take a different route than the one I normally take in order to avoid traffic due to a baseball game.  I think everyone else had the same idea, because the freeway was a parking lot!   On the way home, I was tempted to stop and buy a pizza for $5, but I didn't.  I have plenty of food at home.

I had intended to do paperwork and filing, this evening, but, I didn't do anything.  I had a cup of tea, called my neighbor T to check on her, and took it easy.  I do paperwork at the office all day, I don't feel motivated to do more paperwork when I get home.  I hope I can get myself motivated to work on them, tomorrow.
Today, I am grateful for:
- A productive day at the office
- A safe drive to the office and back
- A compliment on my appearance by a colleague
- A fridge full of leftovers
- Video chatting with my daughter
Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DONE
- Get started on paperwork/filing that was pushed aside
- Other things such as putting away dishes and laundry and cleaning the litter box - DONE
Thursday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Paperwork/filing
- Water the garden
- Make soup with some of the leftover roast chicken
How was your Wednesday?  Hope it was more productive than mine!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Back to Summer on Tuesday

Today was a rather warm day.  It was already quite warm when I woke up in the morning and, later, in the afternoon, we reached a high of 106F.

I worked from home, today.  In between office work, I put away the laundry from yesterday and did two more loads of laundry.

Lunch was leftovers from the prayer gathering dinner:

Lunch: rice, asparagus, smoked sausage with spring onions, cashew curry, meatball curry

Later, in the evening, I brought in the trash cans, washed the roasting pan and some other dishes, put away the big rice cooker, and swept and mopped the kitchen floor.

Today, I was grateful for:
- Being able to work from home
- A lovely, warm summer-like day
- Leftovers
- Exchanging emails with my friend
- Video chatting with daughter

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - Worked from home
- Bring in trash cans - DONE
- Wash the roasting pan - DONE
- Put away the big rice cooker - DONE
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor - DONE
- Put away the dried laundry - DONE
- Do another load of laundry - DONE (did 2 loads, actually; all laundry is caught up)

I am so happy I was able to get my To Do list done!

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Get started on paperwork/filing that was pushed aside
- Other things such as putting away dishes and laundry and cleaning the litter box

How was your Tuesday? 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday - Erasing the Evidence

I had the day off from work, today.  So, I was able to sleep for a full 8 hours after falling asleep at 3:00 a.m.  (On days I go to the office, I set my alarm for 8:00 a.m., even when I fall asleep at 3:00 a.m.)

After a cup of coffee, I set about erasing the evidence of Saturday's prayer gathering!  That's what they used to call it when I was a member of an organizing forum.  After making a sandwich, put away the bread, the butter or mayo, the cold cuts, etc., and wipe the crumbs off the counters to erase the evidence of your sandwich making; after doing a load of laundry, fold and put away the laundry as soon as the items are dried to erase the evidence of doing laundry; after holding a prayer and dinner gathering at your home, put everything away and straighten up the house to erase the evidence of the event! 

First, I got dressed, including shoes and lipstick!  Shoes because I had a pain in the sole of my heel from being on my feet wearing the flat shoes I wore during the prayer gathering and wearing my old pair of walking shoes helped.  I wore them all day, yesterday (I normally don't wear shoes inside the house) and the pain was gone by night.  This morning, there was no pain, but I wore the shoes as a preventive measure.  Lipstick because, well, I felt like it!  LOL.

Then, I put in a load of laundry to wash.  While it was washing, I put away the laundry from yesterday.  Then, I put all the dining chairs back (they had been moved to the living room to provide extra seating) and straightened up the living room.  I returned the statue of Our Lady to the other altar where it is kept, usually, and returned the anniversary clock to the mantel.  But first, I replaced the batteries in the clock, washed the glass dome, and wiped the mantel.  Then, I wiped the coffee table, put the Halloween table runner out, and straightened up the cushions on the chairs - the decorative, accent cushions or pillows. 

I forgot to take pictures until I started to write this post, so here's how the rooms look in the evening:

Living Room from Front Door

From Another Angle

In between, I hung up the load of laundry to dry.

Next, I tidied up the dining area.  All the dishes that were washed had been set out on towels on the big dining table to dry.  I put them all away and took the opportunity to check what disposable items I will need for the almsgiving I will hold in December.  I use my good china for the meal I serve the monks, but use paper plates and bowls, etc., for the people who participate, in order to cut down on all the washing up, afterwards.  I removed the table cloths I used for the dinner and put them to launder, later.  Wiped the table, set a small square table cloth in the middle and the fruit bowl.

Dining Table

By this time, I was hungry, so I had a late lunch.  Then, I did the rest of the dishes that needed to be washed (forgot the roasting pan, though, which was hiding in the oven!).  One of the plates I was washing slipped out of my hand and broke.  We'll count that as my decluttering for the day, along with a small empty bottle of perfume I had kept in my dresser drawer to scent my clothes (the bottle  no longer had any scent left).  Later, I emptied all the waste baskets and took the trash and recycling cans to the curb.

It was 102F today and it is going to be even hotter, tomorrow.  The garden needed to be watered, so I hand-wanted the front garden and turned on the sprinklers at the back.  I watered the indoor plants, as well.   

Later in the evening, I called my cousin P and friend R who had come and helped me and thanked them again and we discussed the prayer gathering, again. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Having the day off from work
- Being able to sleep in
- My foot is OK and there were no more cramps
- A lovely warm day.
- I was able to get most of my to do list done

Monday's To Do List:
- Put away the dried laundry - DONE
- Do another load of laundry - DONE
- Put away the washed dishes - DONE
- Check what needs to be replenished and make a shopping list (I know we ran short of the quart sized baggies, yesterday!) - DONE
- Put away the bottles of drinks, etc. - DONE
- Photograph the wine bottle labels so I know what to buy, next time (two of my cousins brought wine because I told them I don't know what to buy for them, as I don't drink alcohol)
- Put back the chairs and tidy up a bit - DONE
- Take the trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Wash the rice cookers (DONE) and roasting pan
- Put away the big rice cooker until needed for the almsgiving
- Water the indoor plants - DONE
- Water the front garden - DONE
- Water the back garden - DONE
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor
- Return or renew library magazines - DONE (Renewed)

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Bring in trash cans
- Wash the roasting pan
- Put away the big rice cooker
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor
- Put away the dried laundry
- Do another load of laundry

How was your Monday?  Did you have a good day?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday: The Day After the Prayer Gathering

Today, I slept till 10:00 a.m. when my aunt's phone call woke me up.  She was calling to ask how I was feeling after getting so tired, yesterday.  I assured her that I was feeling OK.

Then, my friend R and I had breakfast, talked about the prayer gathering, and discussed the upcoming almsgiving (in December; she said she'll come and help if she can).  Around 12:30 a.m., I drove her back to her apartment.  I gave her one of the tote bags I had sewn as a thank you gift for helping me with the prayer gathering.

I didn't get my usual Sunday morning call from my neighbor T,  so, just before I drove friend R home, I called T and checked on her, especially since I knew her daughter has gone out of state for a few days.  T was OK, and said she was just thinking of calling me!  I asked her if I could some to see her later in the evening and she said that would be lovely.

Came home and did a load of laundry.  I took the trash and recycling out and started to put away some of the washed and dried dishes, but didn't finish.  I recognized that I was tired and I didn't want to drop any dishes and break them and end up having to sweep and mop because I had to clean up the shards.  I will put them away tomorrow, when I am more rested.  I went over the family room sofas with the lint roller to remove cat fur and recovered them with the other set of dust sheets. 

In the evening I called neighbor T again to see if she's up to having me visit her and she said yes.  I took her some of the leftover carrot cake.  She served me some iced coffee and we visited for about half an hour.

Two of my cousins and an aunt called in the afternoon and evening to check on me and I assured them that I was OK and that I was resting.  I listened to some music and read a bit, but didn't turn on the TV.  Chatted a bit with my daughter, too.  She's baking mini apple pies!

Daughter's Ramekin Apple Pies

I didn't photograph any of the groceries I bought, yesterday, but I bought bread, tomatoes, two kinds of grapes, red onion, a cranberry cake, 2 lbs. strawberries, blackberries, tangerines, cucumbers, garlic, Serrano chilies, spring onions, and ginger.

Oct. 21 Grocery Receipt

I  spent $26.73.  Earlier, I had estimated $20, but I bought one or two items that I didn't have on my list: bread ($2.39) since I was out of it, a cranberry cake ($2.69) because I felt guilty about not making the flan, and more tangerines than I had planned to buy.  The bread was actually for the house, but at this point, I am just going to lump it with the prayer gathering totals.  So, altogether, I spent $153.47 on items for the prayer gathering.  Well under budget and I have enough food leftover for several meals.  I will carry the balance forward as I will need to replenish some items that were used up and for stocking up.  Maybe, next year, I will budget a little less, each month, because the prayer group seems to be getting smaller.

Today, I am grateful for:
- My friend R's help
- A pleasant morning spent in her company
- Family calling to check on me
- A nice visit with my neighbor
- Lots of leftovers for future meals!

Monday's To Do List:
- Put away the dried laundry
- Do another load of laundry
- Put away the washed dishes
- Check what needs to be replenished and make a shopping list (I know we ran short of the quart sized baggies, yesterday!)
- Put away the bottles of drinks, etc.
- Photograph the wine bottle labels so I know what to buy, next time (two of my cousins brought wine because I told them I don't know what to buy for them, as I don't drink alcohol)
- Put back the chairs and tidy up a bit
- Take the trash cans to the curb
- Wash the rice cookers and roasting pan
- Put away the big rice cooker until needed for the almsgiving
- Water the indoor plants
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor
- Return or renew library magazines

That should keep me busy and out of trouble!

How was your weekend?  What did you do?    What are your plans for tomorrow?

10/29/17 edited total spent on prayer gathering to $153.47

Rosary Prayer Gathering


I hosted the monthly Rosary prayer gathering for October, yesterday.

As always, I did too much!

The day started out very well.  I got up early and made the cashew curry to take to the temple.  Then, I cleared the table in the family room.  Then, I went to the temple for a brief visit.  I was laughing at myself for participating in two different religious events from two different religions in one day, but that is me.

After I came home from the temple, I had some brunch, tidied my bedroom, and relaxed a bit while the eggs boiled and I posted about my visit to the temple.

Then, I picked up my friend and we did the rest of the grocery shopping, together.  I bought the fruits and vegetables I needed for the dinner, while my friend bought some apple bananas for us to share and a container of yogurt as her contribution to the dinner.  She also bought this can of chocolates and toffees that she remembers having at Christmas while growing up:

I was shaking my head at her because the candy cost $16+, since it was imported and is available only in the ethnic stores, but she said the nostalgic value was worth it!  She shared her chocolates with me (just what I need, right?)

I started the cooking in the afternoon.  Maybe it was finely dicing the three large onions for the curries, or slicing the 3 lbs. of smoked sausage and 3 bundles of spring onions, or not remembering to drink enough water or not yet taking the magnesium pill for the day, or a combination of everything, but I was sauteing the garbanzo beans when my right hand began to cramp.  I continued to stir with my left hand and I felt my left hand cramping.  I remembered what happened last year, when I was preparing for the almsgiving (that's when I fainted in the bathroom and knocked my head on the edge of the bathtub) and got worried. 

I took my magnesium supplement and drank a glass of water.  Then, I called my cousin P who had offered to come and help with the cleaning and asked her for help.  There wasn't much cleaning left to do (only my bathroom, which I wasn't going to ask her to clean); but I didn't want my friend to be the only person doing the work while I rested and waited for the cramps to subside.  Cousin came over and she and my friend R removed the dust sheets on the family room sofas, and set up the altar,  etc., while I cleaned my bathroom.  That's when my feet began to cramp!  Oh, dear!  I still had a couple of curries to cook and a few things to do!

I drank more water and I said a prayer to enable me to complete the preparations for the prayer gathering.  My prayers were answered and the water and the magnesium worked!  The cramping stopped.  My cousin left as there was no more cleaning to do.  I finished cooking the rest of the curries; everything was ready when the first guests arrived, a little after 8:00 p.m.  The only thing I forgot to do was set out towels in my bathroom (I had removed the towels that were there and was going to put new towels when my cousin came back and I got distracted; didn't realize I hadn't set out towels till after everything was over!  Oops!  But I had set out guest towels in the other bathroom, which was the one most people used.)

Most of the regular prayer group arrived around 8:30 p.m. or shortly thereafter.  I served them the snacks I had prepared.  But we were waiting for one of my aunts and cousin and they delayed to come until about 9:20 p.m.  Once they arrived, the prayers began.

My friend who conducts the prayers read a short inspirational story and led the reciting of the Rosary.  Usually, the immediate members of the family who hosts (husband, wife, children, etc.) say the decades.  When I host the gathering, since I don't recite the Rosary, my aunts, cousins, and friends say the decades.  I sit and listen.

After the prayers were said, dinner was served.  My cousins and friends helped to get the dishes to the table.  I didn't take a picture of the table, but the dinner was served buffet style: rice, roast chicken surrounded with steamed asparagus, meat ball curry, cashew curry, salad of slices of cucumber, tomato, and red onion rings with halved hard boiled eggs around it, and more of the garbanzo beans.  Only two of the aunts sat at the table, the rest of us sat around on the sofas and chairs.

Afterwards, the desserts were brought out and kept on the living room coffee table.  I didn't make the flan because I felt it would be too much.  As it was, we had a platter of fresh fruits (green grapes, red grapes, tangerines, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries), yogurt and treacle, the assortment of mini eclairs and cream puffs I had bought, a cranberry cake I had bought at the last minute to compensate for the lack of flan, a carrot cake one of my cousins had bought, a chocolate babka and a pumpkin chai spice loaf another cousin had bought, and the chocolate mints!  One of my aunts brought a bag of guavas from her tree and I encouraged everyone to take some home with them, but I still have about 6 or 7 huge guavas left!

There were 15 of us at the prayer gathering and enough food for at least another 15 people!  LOL.  I had roasted two chickens, but one whole chicken was left untouched.  I quartered it and sent three of the quarters home with my cousins and friend, along with some of the rest of the food.  Two of my cousins and my friend R stayed afterwards to help put away the food, wash the dishes, and sweep the dining area.  By this time, my feet were hurting from being on my feet so much.  I froze some of the leftovers and kept a little of everything in the fridge for me for the week. 

It was past midnight when my cousins who stayed behind to help, left.  After my friend R who stayed the night went to bed, I video chatted with my daughter for a little bit, said my nightly devotions, and went to bed, myself.  I was tired, but I couldn't fall asleep right away.  It was 3:00 a.m. when I finally went to sleep!

Yesterday, I was grateful for:
- The opportunity to go to the temple in the morning.
- The opportunity to host the monthly prayer gathering
- My friend coming to help me
- My cousin coming to help me
- Two of my cousins and my friend helping me after the dinner.

Looking back, even though I did as much as I thought I could before hand, I realize that I could have done even more.  I could have cooked the sausage when I bought it and frozen it; I could have done the same with the meat balls, too.  I could have cleaned the house, earlier, too. 

But the prayer gathering, itself, went off nicely and everyone enjoyed the meal afterwards.  That's what matters. 

Next month's prayer gathering will be hosted by my late friend's daughter in remembrance of the 1 year anniversary of my friend's passing.  I asked if I could bring something and I was asked to bring a dessert, if possible.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

At the Temple: Kathina Ceremony

In the morning, I got up early and made the cashew curry I wanted to take to the temple.  Today, they were holding what is known as the Kathina ceremony, which marks the end of the Rainy Season Retreat.  The tradition is for the monks to remain at their respective temples during the rainy season (or, at least, what was the traditional rainy season in India); any travel during this season is highly restricted and alms are generally brought to the temple by the devotees.  The monks observe this Rainy Season Retreat during the same time of the year, and have kept the tradition even when they moved to other countries, even if the rainy season in those countries differed from the rainy season in India (something my daughter questioned when she was a child and was most dissatisfied with the answer she received from the monk she questioned, that it was the custom!  She has a very logical mind and this answer made no sense to her.  :D)

Buddha Statue in the Courtyard

Tradition is to have chantings of blessing the night before, followed by a processional around the neighborhood in the morning and the offering of alms, a special robe, and lunch to the monks and all the devotees and participants in attendance.  I didn't wait for the whole ceremony, which will go on until afternoon, but I went in time to see the processional.

Some of the Sunday School students who have learned to play the traditional drums

The drummers leading the processional

The temple relics being carried on the head of one of the devotees

The umbrellas are known as "Pearl Umbrellas" or "muthu kuda" as they are traditionally decorated with pearls and one of the special features of this type of processional.

The flags are Buddhist flags, featuring what are known as the Buddhist colors; each color has a significance.

The Principal Monk of the Temple leading the monks

Procession of Monks with devotees following
The procession is supposed to bless the neighborhood. 

The monks were very happy to see me and even though I didn't stay for the rest of the ceremony, they tied a strand of blessed thread on my right wrist (usually tied on the right wrist, not the left).  The blessed thread is formed of three strands of thread (to represent the three "jewels" of the Buddha, the Dhamma or Doctrine, and the Sangha or the disciples/monks) which are interwoven at intervals, which is held by everyone while blessings are chanted; the soundwaves of the chanting is supposed to be absorbed by the thread, and it becomes a visual reminder of the blessings that protect us.  The monks gave me another piece of the blessed thread to keep and give to my daughter on her next visit home.

The Blessed Thread on my right wrist
I feel very blessed to have been able to participate in today's Kathina ceremony at the temple, even in a very limited way, today.  It was more than what I was able to do last year.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask; I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.

Friday: Preparing for the Prayer Gathering

I am so glad I took the day off today to prepare for the prayer gathering!  Had I left it all for tomorrow, it would have been too much!

Once again, even though I went to bed at a fairly reasonable (for me) time, last night, I couldn't fall asleep until after 3:00 a.m.  When my alarm went off at 8:00 a.m., I could have got up, but I decided to sleep!  I slept for my full 8 hours, but that meant I woke up after 11:00 a.m.!  By the time I had a cup of coffee, checked e-mails, watched some news, etc., it was after 12 noon.  I spent a little time making my To Do list and feeling slightly panicked at all what I had to do!

Eventually, in the afternoon, I made my shopping list and went to one shopping mall where there were two grocery stores and a dollar store, because I had things I needed to buy from all three stores! 

Prayer Gathering Shopping (10/20)

First, I went to the dollar store to buy a packet of paper plates, a new broom (not pictured), and a disposable foil pan (for the cashew curry I am planning to take to the temple).  While I was there, I saw that they had the thin asparagus stalks I wanted, so, I bought 2 bundles. Spent $5.39 at the dollar store.

If I had thought a little more clearly, I could have bought the soda from there, but I didn't think about it - I had it written down on the list for the other store!

Dollar Store Receipt

Then, I went to a grocery store called Smart & Final - they are a bit like Costco, but there is no annual membership fee (I let my Costco membership lapse).

I bought the majority of the rest of the items on my list from there:

3 bottles of sparkling apple cider, @$2.99 + $.10 deposit = $9.27
(poor planning on my part because, sometimes, the dollar stores carry them, but I am not going to fret about it, now)
2 2-liter bottles Pepsi, @ $1.89 + $.10 deposit = $3.98
(again, if I had thought a little more clearly, I could have bought the soda from there, but I didn't think about it - I had it written down on the list for the other store!)

2 2-liter bottles Shasta @$.99 + $.10 deposit = $2.18
1 bag potato chips = $2.99
2 bags beef meatballs, @$8.99 = $17.98
1 box (40 count) mini cream puffs assortment = $5.99
1 gal. milk = $2.99
Drinks and Food Subtotal =  $45.38
2 potted plants, @ $14.99 =  $29.98 + tax ($3.43) = $33.41
Total = $78.79

I decided to buy the frozen meatballs, instead of beef, because it is easier to cook them than cutting the beef for a beef curry.  

The two red anthurium plants are for the mantle piece, to place on either side of the altar, because, in addition to roses, anthuriums were my mother's favorite flower. 

Smart & Final Store Receipt

I didn't see any dip for the potato chips at this store, so I went to the other grocery store to buy some dip ($1.89) and I bought another container of the passion fruit cocktail ($2.39), as well (since I drank some of the other one I bought, earlier!).  Spent a total of $4.28.

Grocery Store Receipt

Altogether, I spent $86.18 on items for the prayer meeting, not including the $1 for the pan for the temple and $1 for the broom, the taxes on them and the $.10 I paid for one reusable plastic grocery bag at the dollar store.  I estimate that tomorrow's groceries will come to less than $20.

After I came home, I had a late lunch - tuna sandwich with a handful of the chips!  Then, a cup of tea. 

My friend M came to do the garden and he broke the cobwebs in the family room and washed the sliding glass door for me, before tidying up the front garden.  After he left, I started cleaning the house.

Living room - dusted and vacuumed
Dining room - dusted and vacuumed
Family room - dusted and vacuumed
Hall way - vacuumed
Visitor's bathroom - cleaned again, including washing the walls! (Yes, I went overboard with the cleaning, there!)
Kitchen - vacuumed, counters have been cleared; will do final cleaning after cooking, tomorrow
Laundry - bath mats washed

Saturday's Must Do List:
- Warm up the cashew curry to take to temple
- Make the flan
- Hard boil the eggs
- Pick up friend
- Finish grocery shopping (fresh produce and yogurt)
- Set up altar (friend will do)
- Put the table cloth on the big dining table
- Family room - clear table
- My bathroom - clean
- Clean the litter box

Other Items to do:
- My bedroom - tidy
- Daughter's bedroom - tidy; make up bed for friend who is staying the night
- Spare/visitor's bedroom - CLOSE THE DOOR!  It's a dump!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Friend M cleaning the cobwebs and the sliding glass door for me
- My cousin calling and offering to help with any cleaning I need done, tomorrow
- Getting most of the grocery shopping done
- Getting most of the house cleaned
- Feeling well enough to do what I did today

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.  I am expecting approximately 15 people to attend the prayer gathering.   They will get here between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.  Prayers will be said around 9:00 p.m., once everyone has arrived.  Dinner will be served afterwards, around 9:30 p.m.  I want to finish most of the cooking by 7:00 p.m., although the chicken can roast until 8:00 or 8:30 p.m.

How was your Friday?  Did you have a good day?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Thursday: Feeling Better and Another Song

Today, I woke up feeling more or less back to normal.  I didn't have more sleep than in the past several days, but, perhaps, the quality of sleep was better, although I still woke up at least a couple of times in the night.   I still would have liked to have slept a little longer, but I was able to get up and go to work without any problem.

Yesterday, I froze in the office and had to wrap myself with the crocheted blanket I keep in my desk drawer!  Today, I wore a scarf and it kept me warmer.  I think I will take a spare scarf and keep that at the office, in addition to my blanket.

We had our annual earthquake preparedness drill ("Duck, Cover, and Hold" - the building alarm sounds, we are told to pretend there is an earthquake and we practice ducking under the desks and holding on for the duration!)  I have been in the office during several earthquakes, so, I've experienced the real thing.

I had a very productive day at the office and accomplished all what I had wanted to accomplish this week, and more.  Which was good because I had planned to take tomorrow off and I don't feel guilty about taking time off when I've completed my work for the week.

This whole week, I have been eating from what I had in the pantry, fridge, and freezer, augmented by some of the yogurt and apples that were at the office.  But, I have been wanting a Big Mac for a couple of days and, today, I gave in to the craving and bought myself one for dinner:

Uh Oh!

After having a piece of cake at the office, too!  (We were celebrating a colleague's birthday, which will be tomorrow.)  There goes my reputation for eating healthy!  Oh, well, I believe the last time I ate a Big Mac was in early April.  Once every 6 months isn't too bad, though, is it?  Once again, I didn't get any fries, only the burger!  It came to $5.01 with tax.   

I had planned to get a little more cleaning done, this evening, but I didn't do any of it!  Instead, I played the piano, sang (more songs my mother taught me), watched some TV (a program about the planets on the science channel), had a phone call from a friend, and video chatted with my daughter.  I will do my cleaning, tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Feeling better
- Scarves
- Productive day at the office
- Safe commutes to the office and back
- Songs my mother taught me

Here's today's song my mother taught me: there's a bit of a story that goes with it - almost every weekend, we used to drive the three hour journey to my step-father's hometown, where he had a second dental clinic.  Our car didn't have a radio and so, we sang during the drives there and back.  One day, my step-father sang "When I Grow Too Old to Dream" and my mother sang this song in response.  Of course, I learned both songs!

When Our Dreams Grow Old

When our dreams grow old, our love will always be young
While we can still remember the melodies we have sung
As we go through the years with all their laughter and tears
The songs we've sung will make our hearts young
When our dreams grow old

I did a search and found several versions, sung by Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields, and others.  I hope you are able to find and listen to one of them. 

What are some of the songs you learned when you were growing up?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mother

Today was the anniversary of my mother's birthday. 


She was born in 1920, the 6th child in a family of 9 children; the 3rd of 4 daughters.  She was step-mother to five, mother to one, grandmother to one, and teacher to several hundred during her 40 years of teaching.  I wrote more about her, here.

I was full of memories of her, today.  She was the most influential person in my life and I miss her.  All day long, I have been humming her favorite song: Whispering Hope.

"Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion, whispers her comforting word,
Wait till the darkness is over, wait till the tempest is done
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, after the shower is gone.

Whispering hope, oh how welcome thy voice
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.

If in the dusk of the twilight, dim be the region afar
Wilt not the deepening darkness, brighten the glimmering star,
Then when the night is upon us, why should the heart sink away
When the dark midnight is over, watch for the breaking of day."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rest on Tuesday

I woke up feeling very tired, this morning, and called in to take a sick day off.  Then, I slept most of the day!  They were jackhammering the garage floor, next door, but I slept through the noise!  I guess I was really tired.

I did get up once to bring the trash cans in and collect the mail.  The next door construction crew were blocking my drive way, again;  I asked them to move their equipment and they did.  They could have parked their equipment on the other side of the street, but they prefer to park as close to the work site as possible.  I wasn't planning to go anywhere, but I don't like having my drive way blocked.

The mail included someone else's bank statement!  It had been delivered to the wrong address!  Same house number but a different street!  I put it back in the mail box, with the address circled, saying it was delivered to the wrong address.  I hope they deliver it to the correct address.

Later in the evening, I called my sister and spoke with her for a bit; then, watered the front garden and did a little more cleaning and housework.

It was another hot day, today, but it is supposed to cool off on Friday, with even a chance of rain!

Today, I am grateful for:
- I am able to take time off from work as needed
- I was able to sleep through the noise of jack hammering, next door
- Getting a few things done around the house
- A nice chat with my sister
- Video chatting with my daughter  

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DIDN"T; Took the day off
- Call insurance about the doctor's bill
- Call oncologist's office to schedule a port flush
- Bring the trash cans in - DONE
- Put away today's laundry - DONE
- Water the front garden - DONE
- Start tidying the family room: STARTED
  - clear pass through counter between family room and kitchen - DONE
  - dust the bookshelves - DONE
  - clear the coffee table - DONE
- Clean the Litter Box - DONE
- Tidy the spare bedroom

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Call insurance about the doctor's bill
- Call oncologist's office to schedule a port flush 
- Clear the computer table
- Clear the small dining table

How was your Tuesday? 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday: Surgeon's Visit and Grocery Shopping Week 3

It was 68F in the morning, today, and 100F in the afternoon!  All quite normal for the middle of October.

I tried to go to bed at a decent hour, but, even so, I didn't fall asleep until well after 1:00 a.m.  Then, I kept waking up, every hour or so.  I did fall back asleep, each time, but didn't want to wake up when the alarm went off and I had to wake up.  

Today, I put gas to the car in the morning on my way to the office.  I had a productive morning at the office.  In the afternoon, I went to my appointment with my surgeon.  I don't think they remembered to note down my appointment, because they looked very confused when I showed up and one of the front office staff asked me who made the appointment for me!  I showed them the appointment card I had been given, in response to their query.  It seemed to satisfy them and they asked me to have a seat.  I am glad I had the appointment card with me!  I have felt that the cysts have gone down a bit and the surgeon seems to think the same.  I asked him if I should have a biopsy and he didn't think it was needed.  He was also afraid that further surgery might not heal too well due to all the radiation I have had.  I asked him about the port catheter and he thought it was time to remove it, but said to check with the oncologist on my next visit (in November) and call him to schedule it, if the oncologist agreed it could be removed. 

I didn't return to the office after the appointment with the surgeon.  I came home, instead.  On the way home, I stopped at the small ethnic grocery store and bought a loaf of bread and more raspberries:

October 16 Groceries

 The bread was $1.50 and the double pack (12 oz) of raspberries was $1.99, for a total of $3.49.

October 16 Receipt

October regular grocery budget = $53.
So far, I have spent $4.13 + $1.98 + $.61 + $5.94 + $12.04 + $3.85 + $6.56 + $3.49 = $38.60
Balance left in the budget = $53 - $38.60 = $14.40

I really don't know what else I will want to buy for household groceries, this week.  I seem to have plenty of everything, and next week, I know there will be leftovers from the prayer gathering dinner.  I also seem to be the only one eating the yogurt and apples at the office!  Someone had brought doughnuts, today, but I had a yogurt and an apple. 

When I came home, my next door neighbors' construction crew had parked their equipment blocking my driveway, again!  I don't know why they can't block the neighbor's driveway, instead!  I had to wait while they attached something to their trailer before they could move it.

I was thinking I would be able to get going on my to do list since I was home early.  But first, I had some of the bread with butter and golden syrup.  Then, I lay down on the sofa and took a nap for almost 1 1/2 hours!  I woke up only when my daughter called to say she was home.  Even then, it took me a little time to wake up and have a cup of tea.  But, I am sure I really needed that nap!  I did most of the items on my to do list after I woke up from the nap.

Cleared Dining Table

I probably should have taken a "before" picture of the dining table, but I didn't, because I was too ashamed to do so!  It was pretty messy!  I had my sewing machine, self-healing cutting board, basket of fabric scraps, and box of thread and sewing notions, as well as a small pile of mail spread out on it.  The sewing machine and all the sewing related items have been moved to the spare bedroom and the mail moved to the family room to be sorted, later.  I dusted the table and the china cabinet, but I'll need to dust again, before the prayer gathering.

Monday To Do List:
- Put gas to the car - DONE
- Go to the office - DONE
- Surgeon's appointment - DONE
- Put away washed dishes - DONE
- Do a load of laundry (sofa dust sheets) - DONE
- Tidy the spare bedroom
- Clear the dining table/put away sewing machine - DONE
- Empty the trash cans/waste baskets - DONE
- Take the big trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Water the garden - DID THE BACK GARDEN

Today, I am grateful for:
- A good visit with the surgeon
- Yogurt and apples from the office
- Freshly baked bread
- A cleared dining table
- An afternoon nap

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Call insurance about the doctor's bill
- Call oncologist's office to schedule a port flush
- Bring the trash cans in
- Put away today's laundry
- Water the front garden
- Start tidying the family room:
  - clear pass through counter between family room and kitchen
  - dust the bookshelves
  - clear the coffee table
- Tidy the spare bedroom

How was your Monday?  How is your grocery shopping coming along?  Are you staying under budget so far this month?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up

We've had some lovely weather, this weekend.  Sunny and warm (highs in the 90s).  But, my house tends to be on the cool side, so it's 68F inside, when I wake up, and I open the windows to let the warm air in to warm up the house.

On Saturday, I woke up feeling tired and achy.  I had felt achy on Friday, too, and eventually took a Tylenol to help.  It wasn't bad enough for Tylenol, on Saturday, but I didn't have the energy I needed to do all the things I had planned to do.  So...I decided to take it easy.  I did a load of laundry to help me feel like I did something, went for a short walk, took some pastries over to my cousin P, called cousin V, called another friend to remind her about the prayer gathering, read some blogs and commented on them, cleaned the litter box, cooked spicy "devilled" beef, exchanged emails with a friend, and video chatted with my daughter.

Dinner was some of the spicy beef with pita bread:

"Devilled" Beef and Pita

Later in the night, I decided to bake some cornbread.  Even though the daytime temperature is high, the evenings are cool and I have been doing a bit of baking to make up for a summer of not turning on the oven, if you haven't noticed. 


Breakfast on Sunday morning was a piece of cornbread:

Piece of Cornbread
Later in the morning, my neighbor T called for our weekly Sunday morning chat.  After that, I responded to an email one of my long-time friends had sent me.  We've been friends since 5th grade, I believe; the only friend from childhood with whom I've kept in touch on a regular basis.  

In the afternoon, I put away the dried laundry from yesterday and did the dishes.  I had been collecting them from Friday, in order to have enough to run the dish washer.  I still didn't have enough for a full load, but the dish washer needed to be run, because I haven't used it in about two weeks (I usually just wash each day's dishes by hand).

Then, I started to clean the kitchen: I cleared and wiped down the kitchen counters and the stove top; put all the empty jars I had washed and dried in a box to store in the garage until needed; cleaned the microwave; tidied up the cabinet where I store the Tupperware-type containers and wiped the shelf; refilled the bottle of dishwashing liquid; swept the kitchen; and took out the kitchen trash. Really need to tidy the rest of the kitchen cabinets, too, but that is not urgent.  I might do that after the prayer gathering is over. Need to mop the kitchen floor, too, but I didn't do it, today.

Later, I cleaned daughter's bathroom, which is also the visitor's bathroom.  It will need to be wiped down again, just before the prayer gathering, but it is cleaned. 

Finally, I watered the houseplants and changed the dust sheets on the family room sofas. 

Considering the fact that I wasn't feeling very motivated to clean, I think I did OK.  What happens is, I write a list of everything that needs to be done and then, it becomes overwhelming!  So much to do!  So little energy!  But then, when I tell myself, just do one baby step - just do the dishes, just wipe the small counter area, just the stove top, etc., I manage to get something done. 

Daughter's cell phone started to give her trouble, yesterday.  It wouldn't turn on at times.  When it did the same thing, this morning, too, I told her to go ahead and buy a new phone, I'll pay for it.   Her old phone is something she bought about 7 years go; she said the phone store offered her $5 for it for a trade-in! 

I wasn't hungry for any lunch, today.  So, I had a meal replacement drink.  But I had an appetite for dinner: rice, spicy beef, cabbage, and lentils.  I served the same for my lunch to take to the office, tomorrow.


I am afraid I opened one of the passion fruit drinks I bought for the prayer gathering!  It's one of my favorite drinks and I knew I wouldn't be able to resist! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A pleasant weekend
- Warm weather
- But cool enough to bake
- An email from my long-time friend
- A clean and tidy kitchen

I am going to post my do to lists, again, to help motivate me.

Monday To Do List:
- Put gas to the car
- Go to the office
- Put away washed dishes
- Do a load of laundry (sofa dust sheets)
- Tidy the spare bedroom
- Clear the dining table/put away sewing machine
- Empty the trash cans/waste baskets
- Take the big trash cans to the curb
- Water the garden

How was your weekend?  Did you accomplish most of what you wanted to do?  How do you motivate yourself to do cleaning and housework when you don't feel up to doing it?  What are your plans for Monday?