Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Last Saturday of the Year

On the last Saturday of the year, I was expecting a visit from my aunt and cousin in the afternoon.  Aunt had called me on Thursday morning to say they wanted to visit on Saturday afternoon, around 1:30 p.m., and I was not to cook any lunch for them.  When I mentioned it to my daughter, the first thing she asked was, "What are you going to make for lunch?".  I said, "Nothing, Aunt told me not to make anything for lunch!".  When I mentioned it to one of my friends, in an email, she emailed back, saying, "But you will have some food for Aunt, just in case, won't you?"  LOL.  I assured her that I would probably cook a fish curry (I have plenty of beef-based items in the fridge, but my aunt and cousin don't eat beef) and there were vegetable curries leftover from the almsgiving in the freezer that could be reheated and served.

Saturday morning, I concentrated on cleaning up the family room.  Daughter had tidied up part of it and I had cleared the small dining table on Friday night.  Saturday morning, I tidied and cleaned the coffee table and vacuumed the family room, while daughter straightened up the sofa covers.  Then, I cooked a pot of rice and a fish curry with daughter's help - I had her add things to the curry while I washed the dishes and cleaned the sink.

Then, we waited.  We are used to Sri Lankan time.  You say 1:30 p.m., but that is just a general idea of a time frame.  It actually means anytime around that, but most probably 2:30 p.m.  So, I wasn't worried when 1:30 p.m. came and passed.  Or when 2:30 p.m. came and passed.

While waiting, I put away laundry, read blogs and posted comments, and began my month-end review of my monthly goals post.

My friend who was hosting the monthly prayer gathering called to ask if I was still coming, because, apparently, my cousin had called to say that she was not coming because she was still recovering from the flu.  I assured my friend that I was coming and my daughter, too.  I guess my friend thought I might not drive all that distance by myself, especially in the night, but, if that had been the case, then, I would have called her and ask to be excused.   

Then, I called my cousin to ask her how she was feeling and we chatted for a little bit.  Earlier, I had offered her a ride to the prayer gathering, but she said she didn't want to go because she was still coughing, although she was feeling much better.  I agreed with her that she should probably stay home and rest.

When 3:00 p.m. came and no aunt, I decided to have my lunch!  Finally, around 3:20 p.m., I gave aunt a call.  Apparently, she had got the dates mixed up!  Even though she said Saturday, in her mind, she meant Sunday!  Apparently, too, she had called me around 2:00 p.m., and left a message on my answering machine, but I hadn't received the message.   It might have been when I was on the phone with my cousin - usually, when I am on the phone and another call comes through, I hear a beeping to alert me to the fact.  Then, I can check my phone to see if there are any missed calls.  But, this time, I didn't hear the alert, and there were no missed calls showing aunt's phone number.

I do have a phantom answering machine, though, which is the weirdest thing!  It is the answering machine that I had before I got my current one.  That old machine had a voice mail recording with my daughter's voice (my present one has a generic male voice that came programmed into the answering machine).  Sometimes, people say they get that old recording when they call me.  How or why, I don't know, but it seems to happen when I am on the phone!  I have told all my friends and family, including aunt, that if they get an answering machine greeting with my daughter's voice, to disregard it, because I am unable to retrieve that message (the old answering machine was disposed of at least 3 years ago!)    

Anyway, the long and the short of it was, aunt was unable to visit on Saturday afternoon.  She apologized for the mishap and I assured her it was nothing to worry about (I didn't tell her I cooked; after all, she had told me not to cook and the food won't go to waste).  Aunt is in her 80s and she's allowed to get her dates mixed up!  Besides, it was the catalyst I needed to get the house tidied, so it was a good thing!  We agreed we'll visit sometime in the new year.

After that, daughter had her lunch - rice, fish curry, cashew curry, and tomato chutney.  Then, she suggested we go for a walk (she wanted to catch Pokemon as she finally has a phone that allows her to play Pokemon Go).  So, we went for a walk around the neighborhood and every now and then, we paused for her to catch Pokemon and for me to catch my breath!  I walked with her for about 30 minutes and then, came home (my left ankle started to hurt), while she went in the other direction for another 30 minutes, or so. 

After I came home, I did a load of laundry and, after daughter came back, we both had tea.  Then, it was time to get dressed to go to the prayer gathering.  We left the house at 6:30 p.m. and arrived at my friend's house at 7:30 p.m.  She had said to come between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m., so we were just in time and, in any case, we weren't the last to arrive.  We socialized for a bit, then the rosary was recited, and we all had dinner.  Daughter and I left soon after dinner, as I really didn't want to be on the road, too late at night, and, besides, practically everyone there was sneezing and coughing, and I didn't want us to catch anything and get sick!  I have had my flu shot, but daughter hasn't (not that I haven't told her to get one, several times).  I had taken my friend a gift and, just as we were leaving, she gave my daughter and me gifts and asked me if I could take my cousin's gift to her, as she had been unable to attend the gathering. 

Coming back, there was a detour to get on to the freeway.  I always get disorientated when there are detours, but daughter was able to help navigate and we got home, safely.   After we got home, daughter and I opened our gifts from my friend.  Daughter received this cat-shaped ceramic air freshener:

Cat Shaped Air Freshener
Isn't it cute?

I received a ceramic air freshener, too.  But I will do a separate post on that, I think.

On Saturday, I was grateful for:
- Aunt's non-visit wasn't due to any emergency or accident, just a mix up of the dates!
- It provided me with the incentive I needed to tidy and clean the house!
- An afternoon walk with my daughter
- Getting together to share a prayer with friends and family
- A safe drive to and from the prayer gathering

How was your last Saturday of the year?


  1. How funny that you have a phantom answering machine! Technology is very strange sometimes. I'm also glad that your aunt merely was mixed-up, and that there wasn't an emergency. I also appreciate how company inspires us to clean our house to a degree we can't seem to manage at other times!

    I have to say that I spent yesterday dragging from a cold and running errands despite that. I wanted to get my shopping done so that this week would be free of any obligations (besides work) and thankfully I succeeded!

    1. Laura, I hope you feel better, soon. Colds seem to knock me down, these days. Glad you were able to get your errands done so that your week will be clear.

      Hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a very happy new year!

  2. Every where I turn, someone is sick. I'm hoping that I don't catch anything, so maybe some extra Vitamin C is on the schedule for me today.

    We had people over a couple of days after Christmas and that got us to clean up the chaos that had developed before Christmas. Having people over is good for many reasons.

    1. Some extra Vitamin C is a good idea! I was told not to take daily Vitamin C supplements (something about it seeming to have the wrong kind of impact on breast cancer!) but, I am sure a glass of orange juice won't do too much damage.

      I think I should try inviting people over at least once a month! Or, maybe not, as most of my "tidying" end up being shoving things into the spare room or my bedroom and closing the doors on them! :o

  3. If I am serving a meal I wouldn't like as you say "Sri Lankan time" - does this go back to a very relaxed way of life or it just means "come when you like"?

    I do like the cat shaped air freshener. Will your daughter take it home or leave with you?

    1. Sandy, I think it goes back to a relaxed way of life. Life in Sri Lanka would have changed since I left, but, I remember a time when people just dropped in for visits without calling before hand (especially since not everyone had a phone, at the time - way before cell phones, obviously!)

      I try to be on time and very often, what I find is that the hosts are not ready when I show up on time! LOL. I guess we just expect guests to be late!

      Daughter will probably leave the cat shaped air freshener here, when she goes. She only takes carry on luggage and we are not sure if she'll be allowed to carry air fresheners in her carry on luggage, these days.

  4. There is no better motivator for house cleaning than to invite people over. And, you won't need to cook tonight. You have that done too. I hope you and your daughter escaped the germs from people attending the prayer meeting.

    1. I am starting out the new year with a relatively tidy and clean house. One of my goals this year will be to keep the house maintained as much as possible. A nightly tidy, a weekly clean. Not sure how realistic that will be, but, it's something to strive for.

      We have one more family gathering to attend, today, where we will, no doubt, be exposed to more colds and coughs, but I am fortifying myself with a glass of orange juice, as I type this, and hopefully, the germs won't get us!

  5. It's always a strange feeling to be waiting for someone to arrive and then the time just keeps rolling on and no arrival! Just as well you cooked as you and your daughter needed some lunch.
    The cat air freshener is cute. I have a cute bird that I was gifted a year ago and it looks similar but it has a light inside and is battery operated! For a change it might be possible to fit a battery tea light into the cat.
    I sometimes wonder if it wouldn't be better if people just stayed home when they are coughing and spluttering unless it is impossible to opt out of a committment!

    1. Yes, I have many emotions when I am waiting for someone. First, it is often relief because I am often running a bit behind, myself, and a few extra minutes give me a little breathing room. Then, it becomes a "hurry up and wait", followed by anxiety because one doesn't know if something happened! Usually, if I am going to be late, I call ahead and let them know, and I call before I leave the house, so they know approximately when to expect me.

      I guess people don't want to miss out on the fun and stay home. I understand why I was told to stay home, by my doctors, when I was undergoing treatments and my immunity was compromised.

  6. Sounds like it was a busy day! I still haven't had my flu shot either or taken YS to get his. I did have the flu in early December. They're saying that this year's vaccine is only about 10% effective against the strains making the rounds right now! Still, I ought to get it done. I hope you didn't catch anything from all the coughing going around you. And I'm glad your aunt is OK, lol.

    Good going on the walking! Is your ankle better now?

    1. Yes, it was a busy day, wasn't it? I, too, heard that the flu vaccine was only 10% effective, this year, but they were still urging people to take it. So far, I am doing OK (got exposed again, today, too!)

      The ankle is fine, now, thank you. I just get odd aches and pains when I walk; sometimes, it is the knee, other times, the hip or the ankle. Maybe I need more cushioning in my shoes.


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