Sunday, January 28, 2018

Windy Sunday - Another Visit to the Cemetery and January Grocery Shopping Week 4

They arrived very late last night/very early this morning - the hot, dry winds known as the Santa Ana winds.  Blowing from the Mohave Dessert, through the mountain passes, to the Pacific Ocean.  Our temperature was almost 80F, today!  Needless to say, I loved the temperature (but not the winds, so much). 
I enjoyed a nice cup of tea, this morning (with condensed milk since I finished the last of the regular milk with my coffee, yesterday morning), and later, had a brunch of hash browns (the last potato, although I ate only half of the hash browns), a scrambled egg (the last one in the carton; sounds like someone needed to go grocery shopping, doesn't it?), and half a fresh orange from the tree, which had fallen for the winds (the other half had cracked and split, so I cut it off).
Chatted on the phone with my daughter who called to say good morning, and with my neighbor T, who called for our weekly chat.  I also called friend R, again, and left a message.
Finally, in the afternoon, I ran a few errands. 
First, I went to the cemetery to check on my mother's grave; it was the same as last week - the grave stone was more or less clear because I had wiped it off and washed it, last week, but the mud hadn't been removed and it was still covering the in-ground vase.
Mother's grave with the mud covering up the in-ground vase
There should be a vase (turned up side down to prevent water collecting in it) with the opening and base of the vase showing like this:

In-ground vase at another grave

There was a guy in a golf cart type vehicle going around, so I assumed he was one of the grounds keepers, waved him over, and I showed the spot to him, but he said I needed to complain at the office and they had to issue a work order specifying what needed to be done.  I also showed him some of the nearby graves that had mud on them:
Nearby Grave Stone with Mud
I really wish I had taken a picture of my mother's grave the way it was, because it had mud both at the top and the bottom of the marker.  But I had been too upset that day and wasn't thinking, just reacting.
Anyway, I went to the office again, and the same receptionist was there.  She didn't remember me, but I remembered her name.  I reminded her that I had been there last week, too, and she had taken down my particulars to give to a manager who was supposed to call me, but I never received a call.  Then, she said she remembered, and said she emailed the manager and expressed surprise that the manager hadn't contacted me.  The manager isn't there during the weekend, she said, only during the week.  This time, I made sure to get the business card of the manager, so I have a name and number to contact her.  At least, the graves are not vandalized; just not maintained properly.
After that, I put gas to the car.  Gas has gone up to $3.15/gal., but, at least it is still available and it isn't as expensive as it was during the economic down-turn!  I put $35 worth of gas and it filled the tank. That should last me for the week.  (I budget $50/week for gas.)
Then, I went to the grocery store across the street from the gas station and did some grocery shopping.
1/28 Groceries
I bought:
1/2 gal. milk = $1.99
1 doz. large eggs = $1.49
1 pineapple = $.99
1 bunch bananas (5) @ $.49/lb = $.77
1 cucumber = $.50
Total = $5.74

1/28 Receipt

I also bought two bags of cat food, which cost $8.99 each, plus $1.71 tax, which brought up my entire bill to $25.43!  But, cat food is not part of my grocery budget, so my portion of the bill is only $5.74!

I also spent $3.50 on Friday, when I bought a bag of raisin buns at the Japanese bakery, during my walk, so that brings my Week 4 grocery spending to ($3.50 + $5.74) = $9.24
January Grocery Budget = $75
Spent to date: $40.14 + $5.58 + $2.81 + $9.24 = $57.77
Balance remaining = $75 - $57.77 = $17.23 

I doubt very much if I will grocery shop in the remaining days of January, so I am going to say that my January grocery spending was $55.77 and I will be carrying over the balance $17.23 to February.
After I came home, I had a cup of coffee,  Friend R returned my call, so I chatted with her for a bit.    Then, I watered the indoor plants and the newly planted grape vines (one of them is putting out new leaves, but the other looks either dead or still dormant; time will tell), put away the dried laundry from yesterday, did the dishes, and cleaned the rest of the kitchen counters!  I cleaned two of the bins in the fridge, too.  I will try to clean the rest of the fridge, tomorrow.  Two additional oranges had fallen from the tree, so I picked them up, washed them, and put them in my fruit bowl.
I cut up one of the mangoes I had in the fridge, before it spoiled.  It wasn't quite ripe and was rather sour, so I sprinkled it with salt and pepper; as a result, it was more of a salsa than a dessert!  But that's OK. I ate half of it and will eat the rest, tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The sunny, warm day
- Nothing got blown down or over due to the winds, other than the two oranges
- The grave stones are not vandalized, just not maintained
- Gas is available and even if the price has gone up, it isn't as expensive as it was during the economic down-turn
- Keeping in touch with daughter and friends
All in all, I had a productive day and accomplished much.  I couldn't water the front garden as the wind was too strong and blowing the water back at me!  I didn't attend to the garage door yet, either, because I want to see if changing the bulb in the overhead mechanism would help (I read that LED bulbs can block the radio waves of the remote) and daughter doesn't want me to climb the ladder when I am alone.  So, I need to call my neighbor and have him change the bulb for me.  Then, the plan is to test the remote from inside the garage to see if it works.  If not, then, I'll need a new remote (I already replaced the remote battery, so it's not the battery).
Weekend To Do List:
- Visit the grave site to see if mother's grave marker has been cleared of mud- DONE
- Attend to the garage door - NOT YET
- Put gas to the car - DONE
- Do grocery shopping- DONE
- Clean the kitchen - DONE
- Do the dishes, again!- DONE
- Put away the dried laundry- DONE
- Water the indoor plants - DONE
- Water the grape vines - DONE
- Water the front garden - MONDAY
- Meal plan/cook - Put chicken (cooked) to thaw - will make??? stir-fry again???
- Paperwork/pay bills - MONDAY

Monday's To Do List:
- Doctor's appointment
- Clean the fridge
- Take the trash cans to the curb
- Water the front garden
- Clean the litter box
- Paperwork/pay bills/file

How was your Sunday?  What are your plans for Monday?


  1. I hope your Mother's grave and also the others are cleaned up soon Bless. It must be upsetting that nobody seems to be maintaining them. Unless there are 100's of people going into the office every day the receptionist must have a very bad memory. Mine isn't good but I'd remember who I'd spoken to the previous week!

    The only grave we visit is Tom's and as the majority of graves have been left to grass over they always look neat and tidy as the grass is regularly cut. The only thing I don't like about that is to get to a grave you can end up walking over somebody elses. Always feels disrespectful to me.

    Some are that old they are starting to subside into the ground and have notes attached to them. I haven't read one but I'm assuming there's some sort of process the council needs to go through before they can do anything about it. xx

    1. Here, too, Suzanne, one has to walk over other graves to get to the one you came to visit. And the grounds keepers ride their vehicles over the grave stones and everything, without a second thought!

      Well, I'll call the manager, tomorrow, and see what can be done about getting the stones cleaned up. I should like to have it done before her death anniversary in February, because I would like to be able to place some flowers in the vase that I paid to have put in place!

  2. My father is buried in a small church cemetery that has no regular maintenance except grass mowing during the summer. Luckily, my cousin looks after his grave and decorates it throughout the year as her mother is also there. She even sends us pictures since all of us live far away. We are very thankful for her. Hope that you get your issues resolved soon.

    1. I was just thinking about that, yesterday - what if I lived far away and couldn't visit my mother's grave as frequently? Makes me feel sad to think of graves being left unattended and neglected. My father and stepfather are both buried in Sri Lanka. I assume they are being maintained by family who are still in SL.

  3. Shame that the cemetery isn't kept up. Agree that it doesn't seem o.k. to walk on a grave.

    You did very well with your January monthly grocery shop. We would never see pineapple for .99 truly a wonderful buy.

    Thinking of you going to the doctor today and hope it has gone well.

    1. Thanks, Sandy; I just came back from the dr's. It went well, but I won't know the blood test results for a few days and I still have to be scheduled for the chest x-ray. But the EKG was good, he said, pressure was fine, weight had gone down 2 lbs. since last visit.

      It has been awhile since I last saw a whole pineapple for $.99; usually, they have it on sale for $.99/lb. I am almost tempted to get another one and keep for next week!

      I will call about the grave site, tomorrow, and see if that gets any results.

  4. My grandmother would go (and take my brothers and me when we spent our vacation at her house) to the cemeteries where her relatives were buried a couple of times a month and she would polish the tombstones (in France they are typically larger than just the headstones that I mostly see here), refresh the flowers' water if they were fresh or the flowers if they were silk, and she had a little rake that she used to draw designs in the dirt around the tombstones too! So I grew up around that tradition and it's shocking to me that a cemetery manager wouldn't have gone to look at the mess and addressed it with the staff and with you immediately. I hope it gets resolved soon, it must be so upsetting to you. It's upsetting to me that now that my great aunt is no longer ambulant, no one is left to take care of my grandparents' headstone. My mom lives 4 hours away and it's not easy for her to get there. When I go, I don't want a tombstone. Greg wants one and it upsets me in advance that I might survive him and not be able to take care of it!

    You got excellent prices at the store! Well done! You spent so little in January, it's amazing.

    Good luck with your garage door opener, I hope it's an easy fix. Be careful driving with all those strong winds!

    1. Nathalie, I remember you had mentioned before about visiting your grandmother's grave. My daughter says that one honors the dead person in ones heart, not by visiting a grave. I guess that means she won't visit my grave!

      Well, I was trying to eat from the freezer, etc., this month, and I think I succeeded. February might be more expensive as I buy meat, etc.

      The winds seem to have died down, today, which is good. I will miss the warm weather they brought, though.


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