Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Update

I was up until 4:00 a.m. last night, then, when the alarm went off at 9:00 a.m. (I had taken the day off from work, so I had set the alarm for later than usual), I turned it off and slept till 10:00 a.m.  By the time I had fed the cats, had a cup of coffee, checked my emails, etc. it was already past 11:00 a.m. and half the day was gone! 

In the next couple of hours, I tidied the family room, dusted the tables, put away the 10 bags of sugar and 5 cans of condensed milk I bought, put away the washed dishes and washed more dishes, and made several phone calls. 

My gardener friend M came over in the afternoon and I had him help me with housework!  He took down the almsgiving dishes, dusted the upper areas I can't reach easily, replaced the dead battery in my wall clock (he's tall enough to reach it without any difficulty whereas I need to climb up the 2-tier step stool), vacuumed the main rooms, and moved the furniture.  He reminisced about helping my mother with almsgiving preparations and left after admonishing me not to overdo things!

He also brought me a combination belated birthday/early Christmas gift of a coir door mat painted with a cat's face!  He said, the minute he saw it, it shouted my name to him! 
My New Door Mat
I washed the almsgiving dishes in the dishwasher, this time (last year, it was while I was washing them by hand that my hands started cramping).  The only things I hand washed were the gold striped drinking glasses I use for serving water during the almsgiving.
That's when I discovered that I have exactly 3 (one of them mismatched) small drinking glasses for juice!  That's not going to work, with 5 monks!  I had M take down my stem glasses, but there are only 4 matching!  It's OK to use mismatched glasses, but I am not sure about using stem glasses (aren't they usually for wine?) to serve juice to the monks, who, like most practicing Buddhists, make a daily commitment to avoid intoxicating substances!  I ran the idea by my daughter who said it would be weird to use the stem glasses for juice!
Either, I must buy a set of 6 small glasses, tomorrow, or, serve the juice in the gold striped glasses and serve the water in my holiday glasses (they have reindeer and snowflakes on them and say Happy Holidays).   
Choice of Glasses
I have 6 of the holiday glasses (bought on a clearance sale for $.25 a glass, I believe), 5 of the gold striped ones (from a set given to me as a gift from my sister), and 4 each of the two different types of stem glasses.  I know that the monks won't mind which glasses I use, but daughter says the holiday glasses are too Christmas-y to use during an almsgiving.  I guess I had better buy some smaller drinking glasses, tomorrow!
I managed to get most of the items crossed off my to do list.  Friend M vacuumed the living room, dining room, and family room.  I vacuumed the hallway, kitchen, bathrooms, and the bedrooms.  I have a load of laundry washing while I type this and I need to do the litter box before I go to bed.  But that is all I am going to do, today. 
The rest of the items that were on the list for today and didn't get done are being postponed for tomorrow.  Some of them, such as taking out the serving dishes, I didn't want to do too early, because a certain kitty cat (who shall remain unnamed), likes to jump up on the table to see what I've put there and I really don't want kitty nose prints all over my serving dishes!  The rest, I didn't do because I was getting tired and I don't want to get too tired.

Friday, Dec. 15:
✓- Rearrange furniture - sofas, coffee tables, tall round side table (for reliquary), trolley (for plates of offerings), remove blue & white vases near fireplace (so I can set the small sofa in front of the fireplace)* - DONE
✓- Take down dishes used only for almsgiving and wash them* - DONE
- Take out serving dishes, basins used for washing hands, serving spoons, etc.
- Take out plates, bowls, etc. for guests
✓- Final cleaning - dust, vacuum, etc. - living room, dining room, family room*, bedrooms - DONE
- Kitchen - counters
✓- Clean bathrooms/set out guest towels, etc. - DONE
✓- Put cashews and garbanzo beans to thaw - DONE
✓- Set out items needed for the transfer of merit: teapot, cup, and water basin; fill teapot with water - DONE
✓- Candles/incense sticks & holder; lighter/matches - DONE
✓- New bottle of water for blessing; bowl to catch drips when blessed water is poured out- DONE
- Set out items for washing hands: fresh cake of soap, hand towels, jugs & basins

* My gardener friend helped with these tasks

 Saturday's To Do List:
- Take out chair covers, table cloths, napkins, etc.; cover chairs, tables
- Buy flowers/pick from garden (if picking from garden, do on Sunday)
- Grocery shop - fruits, vegetables, milk, juice, yogurt, etc.
- Buy a set of small drinking glasses!
- COOK!  Cashew curry, lentils, egg curry, fry lentil wafers (pappadum)
- Clean the kitchen/clear the counters
- Bake brownies, cookies, make flan
- Take out serving dishes, basins used for washing hands, serving spoons, etc.
- Take out plates, bowls, etc. for guests

- Set out items for washing hands: fresh cake of soap, hand towels, jugs & basins
- Any other  undone items leftover from Friday
- Put away laundry

Today, I am grateful for:
- Friend M helping me and the cute door mat he gave me
- Lists and schedules
- Being able to accomplishing all what I did today
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Being able to take the day off from work

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


  1. You're very organised Bless. If it was me, I wouldn't mind what glasses I was drinking out of but I know if I was serving them I would want them to be right, so I can understand you wanting to purchase some more. You will probably get plenty more use out of them anyway.
    And you're right. Kitty nose prints are not the best look. X

    1. Jules, I have to be organized to pull this off by myself without getting too stressed.

      A set of smaller glasses would be useful. When daughter is home, she keeps one of the small glasses in her bathroom for rinsing out her mouth after she takes her inhaler. That leaves just two small glasses for the two of us! When it is just me, two are plenty, but when daughter is home, that's not quite enough. In fact, on her last visit home, she was asking what happened to all the small glasses! I guess they all got broken at one time or another?

      Depending on how I feel today (how tired or not), I will buy the glasses; if I feel too tired, I will just use the holiday glasses and the gold striped ones.

      The monks know I decorate for Christmas (they often ask where is my Christmas tree when they come) and they might find it amusing if I were to serve them their water in the holiday glasses. Also, the way things are shaping, this year, it seems all my Buddhist relatives are unable to attend and only my Catholic friends and relatives will attend. So, the holiday glasses will be a nod to their presence. :)

  2. You've been busy. I wish I had an M. I need some help getting things ready for the family Christmas.

    1. Everyone needs an M! Which is why he's so busy! Maybe one of your sons can help you?

  3. The cat mat is lovely, your gardener friend sounds an absolute treasure.

    I probably wouldn't think twice about serving juice in stemmed glasses to 'ordinary' people but think I would go for normal glasses for the monks lol.

    Hope in the middle of all your preps you are finding time to actually enjoy being able to do them this year. I'm sure it will all be lovely. xx

    1. Suzanne, I think serving juice in a stem glass is rather special, myself, but I don't want the monks to feel embarrassed, which they might in the presence of others. If it was only me, they probably wouldn't mind.

      I am very appreciative that I am able to do everything, this year! I just have to be careful not to overdo things! It was on the night before the almsgiving that I fainted, last year - I am just hoping that there won't be a repeat of that, this year!

  4. You are well on your way to Sunday. Good luck and don't forget to take breaks.

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn. I am trying to pace myself. Those breaks are very important, aren't they?

  5. "serve the juice in the gold striped glasses and serve the water in my holiday glasses" nothing wrong with this idea. You probably are the only one who would be worried. If you really are not comfortable with this idea why not ask your good neighbor, cousin or friend to lend you a couple of additional juice glasses. Honestly you don't need to stress over this.

    What a gem your gardener friend M is - love that door mat. Appropriate and perfect for you.

    1. Sandy, you are right - I'm probably worrying needlessly. I could probably do with a set of small glasses, anyway, but if I think I am too tired to buy them, today, I will just use what I have. It will be OK.

      M is certainly a wonderful and thoughtful friend. He is my late neighbor's nephew. He's been doing the garden since my daughter was born; it's going to be 25 years for next March!

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you! Very appropriate, don't you think? I'll put it out, tomorrow, under my kitty "Welcome" sign. :)

  7. Everything is coming together beautifully. Much success tomorrow.


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