Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday: On the Last Day of May

Once again, I didn't fall asleep until after 3:00 a.m.  It isn't a problem, except for the fact that I have to get up at 7:00 a.m. in order to get to the office at a reasonable time!  Oh, well, as was pointed out to me in one of the comments on yesterday's post, when I am retired, I won't have to wake up at 7:00 a.m. after going to sleep at 3:00 a.m.! 

Today is the last day of May and May Gray made itself felt in the morning - it was cold, overcast, drizzly in areas, and more winter-like than spring.  But, later, in the afternoon, the clouds moved away and the sun began to shine and it warmed up a little. 

I walked past the farmers' market on my way to the bus stop, in the morning, but chose not to buy anything.  It was hard to walk past the French bakery stall, but I managed to resist the charms of both the French gentleman who mans the booth and addresses me as "Madame" in a lovely accent and the almond croissants/bear claws that are my favorite pastries!

Breakfast, today, was cheese crackers.  Maybe not the best choice, nutritionally, but a bit better than an almond croissant, I think.

Lunch was leftovers from last night's dinner - Spanish rice and chicken stir-fry.

An orange picked from my tree for dessert/afternoon snack:

Orange from my tree

It is one of the last oranges from the tree.  I picked the last 5 oranges when daughter was home, so she could enjoy them and she left two of the oranges for me.  Now, we wait for the new crop of oranges to grow and ripen!

I also took some pumpkin seeds as an additional snack and had some; a 1/4 cup serving size contains 15% of the daily requirement of iron, according to the nutrition label on the package:

Pumpkin Seeds

I had a very productive day at the office.  Colleagues are asking me if I am feeling excited about retiring, but, as I tell them, I've been too busy to give it a lot of thought!  Maybe after I put in the papers, I'll start getting excited about it!

The pharmacy had texted me in the morning, saying a prescription refill was ready for pick up.  So, after work, I drove to the pharmacy, directly, and picked up the refill.  I received a receipt showing I had $12 worth of Extra Care Bucks!  I looked around the store to see what I wanted to get with that, but couldn't decide, so didn't buy anything!  I think the coupon is valid till June 7, so I will go back to the pharmacy another day to make my selection. 

After I came home, I had a cup of tea and made some phone calls - Aunt T, cousin P, and friend R, to check on them.  Then, I did a load of laundry and watered the indoor plants. 

I made an omelette (1 egg) for dinner, and had it with a salad:


I made a salad to take to the office for lunch, at the same time, but I need to make a sandwich or something to have in addition to the salad.

Later, I video chatted with daughter.  She had to attend a day of training on the campus of University of California Davis and took the train there and back.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A productive day at the office
- Daughter had a safe train ride to her training and back
- I had a safe commute to work and back
- Sunshine in the afternoon
- The things I was able to accomplish

Thursday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DONE
- Stop by the farmers' market (maybe) - Decided not to
- Water the indoor plants - DONE
- Do the dishes - DONE
- Do another load of laundry - DONE
- Pharmacy to pick up refill - DONE

Today, I was able to accomplish most of the things on my to do list!

Friday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Leave a note for gardener friend M
- Attend meditation session

A short to do list for Friday!

How was your Thursday?  What are your plans for Friday? 

Drizzle on Wednesday

It was drizzling when I woke up, this morning!  I don't think we received a lot of rain, but it was enough to wet the roads and snarl up traffic!  It was enough, too, for me to not worry about watering the back garden, today. 

I had a relatively good day, considering the fact that I didn't fall asleep until after 3:00 a.m. (the last time I checked the clock) and had to wake up at 7:00 a.m.!  I went to the office and had a productive day.

Breakfast was a yogurt with some cereal that I added to it for crunch:

Breakfast: yogurt and cereal
That is the last of the 8 containers of flavored yogurt I bought a couple of weeks ago (May grocery shopping week 2).  I do have a container of plain yogurt in the fridge.

Lunch was a salad with chicken and grapes:

Lunch: salad with chicken and grapes
The jar has salad dressing; I used about half of it.

In addition to breakfast and lunch, I also took snacks:

Snacks: grapes and cheese crackers

I had planned to do a few things after I came home, but I ran out of steam!.  So, I took out the recycling, but not the kitchen trash; put away the laundry from yesterday, but didn't do another load; and I cooked dinner, but didn't wash the dishes!

For dinner, I cooked the packet of Spanish rice mix I had bought and a stir-fry with the last of the chicken breast I cooked yesterday; I added zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, onion, and corn (cut off the other half of the ear of corn I had, yesterday) to the chicken:

Dinner: Spanish rice and chicken stir-fry
I will take leftovers for my lunch, tomorrow.  That will be the end of the chicken I cooked, yesterday, but there will be more rice leftover, even after I take some for lunch.  I will be cooking something else to go with that rice, tomorrow.  It is not meal planning, exactly, but it works for me.   

After dinner, I called the friend I visited on Monday to give her the information about the upcoming funeral for the uncle who passed away, exchanged emails with a friend, and video chatted with daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Rain to water the garden
- A safe drive to the office on rain slick roads
- A productive day at the office
- Exchanging emails and phone calls with friends
- Video chatting with daughter

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DONE
- Water the back garden - Didn't need to - it rained!
- Water the indoor plants - Not done (forgot!)
- Put away the dried laundry - DONE
- Do another load of laundry - Not done
- Make a couple of phone calls - DONE

Thursday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Stop by the farmers' market (maybe)
- Water the indoor plants
- Do the dishes
- Do another load of laundry

How was your Wednesday?  Did you have a good day?  Do you manage to get things done after you come home from work?  Or, do you, like me, tend to run short of energy by evening?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

End of the Weekend on Tuesday

The long holiday weekend ended for my daughter and me, today.

We spent a relaxed morning, together.  I responded to blog comments (for some reason, due to changes in Blogger, I think, since last Thursday, I am no longer receiving email notification of blog comments - my daughter and I tried re-entering my email address in the settings but, it is not doing anything; I rather miss that feature), commented on a few blogs, and oiled and trimmed daughter's hair a bit more, at her request.  

At noon, I dropped daughter off at the airport.  Saying goodbye was easier because she'll be back, again, twice, in July!  She'll come down during the 4th of July holiday weekend to attend Anime Expo and, again, during the week between July 21 and July 28 to attend the two weddings!  She'll work from home during that week (and that will be my first week as a retiree, if all goes as planned).  

After I dropped her off at the airport, I ran a couple of errands as I needed to go to the bank and to put gas to the car.  Gas was $3.55/gal. today, and I put $30 worth, as I still had half a tank left.  I prefer to start off the work week with a full tank of gas and I try to fill up when the gas goes down to half tank.  That way, if there is an earthquake and the electricity goes off, I'd still have some gas in the car to last me a few days and wouldn't have to worry about the gas pumps not working.

Then, I came home and had lunch - leftover waffle and chicken.  After lunch, I felt sleepy, but stayed up until daughter texted to say she had arrived at the airport and was headed home.  Then, I took a nap on the sofa, with Dancer curled up near my feet!  I had just woken up from my nap when daughter called to say she reached her apartment and was getting ready to go to her ice skating class!  I had forgotten that the reason she chose an earlier flight was in order to be able to make it to her ice skating class!

Later in the evening, after a cup of tea, I watered the front garden.  I had to run one more errand, so did that, too.  Then, did a load of laundry, made and ate dinner, and did the dishes. 

Tonight's dinner: (because I have some very caring friends who have expressed their concern about what I am eating):

Dinner: salad, chicken, corn

Daughter and I video chatted for a short while, too.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter had a safe flight back
- She also had a safe subway ride and walk from the airport to her apartment
- Getting a few things done and crossed off my To Do list
- An afternoon nap
- Caring friends

Today's accomplishments include: taking daughter to the airport, going to the bank, putting gas to the car, putting water to the front garden, bringing in the trash cans, trimming daughter's hair, doing the dishes, doing a load of laundry, and running a couple of errands.

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Water the back garden
- Water the indoor plants
- Put away the dried laundry
- Do another load of laundry
- Make a couple of phone calls

How was your Tuesday?  What have you planned for Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Memorial Day Monday

Monday was Memorial Day in the US; a day to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces and a holiday. 

I woke up a couple of hours before daughter and spent a relaxed morning, having my coffee, going online, checking my mail and blog comments, etc., while waiting for her to get up.  I also put away the dried dishes from last night. 

Later, we went shopping for shoes, but, although we went to two stores, we didn't find what we wanted.  She needs a pair of high heeled strappy silver sandals to wear with the sari and I would like a new pair of dressy shoes but I can't wear heels anymore, so they'll have to be flats.  So, she will shop for shoes up in Berkeley, and I will shop for my pair, down here, between now and July when the weddings are scheduled. 

In the afternoon, we drove to my friend A's house.  My daughter and my friend's two daughters had made plans to go and see a movie and I had been invited to stay and visit with A, her husband, and her mother who is visiting from Sri Lanka until the girls came back from the movie.  We had tea and cake while we visited and chatted.  Later, after the girls came back from the movies, I got up to leave, but my friend asked us to stay and have dinner, they will order pizza.  Since we hadn't planned anything for the evening, I said OK.  So, we had pizza and egg salad sandwiches which A made while we waited for the pizza to be delivered.  It was a pleasant afternoon and evening spent in the company of friends. 

Daughter had wanted me to trim her hair, so I did that after we came home.  Then, she made us a cup of tea and now, we are relaxing, she on her computer, I on mine! 

Cousin P had called and left a message while we were out, so I called her back and left her a message!  Later, she called back, to give me the funeral information.  It will take place on Saturday morning.  My cousin said her daughter will drive her and they can give me a ride. 

On Monday, I was grateful for:
- A relaxed morning
- An afternoon and evening spent in the company of good friends
- An invitation to stay to dinner
- An offer of a ride to the funeral
- A sunny, warm day

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Take daughter to the airport by noon
- Tidy the house
- Do a load or two of laundry
- Put water to the garden
- Paperwork

How was your weekend?  What are your plans for the week ahead?

Monday, May 28, 2018

Sari Shopping on Sunday

I had a relaxed Sunday morning, sleeping in, checking my emails, responding to blog comments, reading and commenting on other blogs, etc.  I tidied one of the kitchen counters, did a bit of knitting, and chatted with neighbor T who called for our weekly, Sunday morning chat.   

Later, daughter and I went to an area known as Little India.  The drive took a little over one hour because the freeways were crowded.  We decided to have lunch first.  We had something called masala dosa:

Daughter's Lunch: Masala dosa, sambar, chutneys and faluda

It is a sort of a huge pancake, made with a fermented rice flour batter, and filled with a spicy potato mixture, served with sambar (lentils cooked with a mixture of vegetables), and chutneys.  Daughter also had a faluda (a type of drink made with milk, rose syrup, vermicelli, a type of seeds we call kasa kasa  - also known as sweet basil seeds or tukmaria) with her lunch.

The restaurant we went to also sells snacks and sweets, as well.

Snacks: various kinds of murukku (a fried snack), roasted cashews, etc.
Sweets: Jalebi, Barfi, Ladoo, etc.
More Sweets: Gulab Jamun, Boondi, etc.

It was hard to choose which sweet or snack to buy!  I enjoy most of them!  But, finally, I bought half a pound of jalebi to bring home!

After lunch, we went shopping for saris.  I was not satisfied with the saris I already have for daughter and I to wear to the two upcoming weddings, this summer.  Most of my saris are old, some are starting to tear, and I am just plain ready for a new sari.  Before I left the house, I had called one of my friends and asked her if she recommended any particular sari shop (she recently bought her daughter's wedding sari and saris for the eight bridesmaids) and she gave the name of a shop and said to tell them "my cousin R" sent me there!  LOL!  So, that's what we did!  We went and said Cousin R recommended the place and the saleslady said to look around and find what we liked and she'll give a good price.  Their cheapest saris were $99 and were arranged in rows on a long table.  There were one or two saris among them that we liked, but the ones we really liked were on another table that had a sign saying, $199.

Daughter picked a light blue sari with sprays of pink and silver beaded flowers and I picked a brighter blue sari with gold beading (a heavier beading pattern than the other sari).  They were both $199 each, but the lady was willing to bargain.  I offered her $300 for both saris and she agreed and then, further discounted the price to $280, so that, with tax, the total cost came to $306.

Daughter's sari came with a pre-sewn matching blouse (it costs $50 to buy a separate blouse, not just at this shop, but at all the shops I went to, earlier, with my cousin and her daughter).  At each shop, too, one could get the blouses altered to fit for a fee of $10-15, as each shop had a seamstress on the premises to do the alterations.  The blouse that came with the sari fitted daughter on the top - sleeves, bust, etc., but was big around the waist.  It would have cost $10 to get it altered at the store, but they waived the fee for me and altered it free of charge.

My sari didn't come with a blouse to match, but the saleslady gave me a blouse, anyway (a similar blue, but with a different pattern of fabric than the sari).  I will have to alter it a little bit (a bit tight on me), or sew myself a new blouse, which is what I will probably do. 

I also bought  a hair ornament for daughter for $20.  It comes down the center of the top of the head (along a middle parting) to hang down on the forehead.

Then, we came home and had a late tea.  I was tired by the time I came home and had to rest!  Daughter was surprised to see how tired I had become.  Shopping just tires me out, I guess!  We still need to do a little more shopping, tomorrow, as daughter needs to buy a new pair of shoes to wear with the sari.  I, too, could do with a new pair of shoes.  So, we will go to the Mall, shop around a bit, and then, go out for lunch.  Later in the evening, we will go to a friend's house and I'll visit with her and her mother (who is visiting from Sri Lanka), while our daughters go to see a movie.
My sister had called while we were out, so I called her back and we chatted for a bit.  Then, I called friend R to check on her.  And Aunt C called and we chatted for a bit.

Later, after I had rested, I cooked some sliced chicken breasts with onions and bell pepper strips and made waffles for dinner.  Afterwards, I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen counters; daughter put away the leftovers for me. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A safe drive to the shops and back
- A successful shopping trip
- Daughter's outfit is ready and I don't have to sew her a new blouse or alter her blouse
- New saris!
- Phone calls with family and friends

How was your Sunday?  What are some of your favorite sweets?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Busy Days and May Grocery Shopping Week 4

Friday was sunny and bright.  It was nice to see the sunshine after so many grey days.  I went to the office and had a fairly productive day.  I didn't get a phone call from the doctor's billing office and I didn't call; I thought I will wait until Tuesday to call.

I did speak with the nurse practitioner, however, about the iron supplements and clarified the dosage she wanted me to take.  She said either dosage was fine, but she preferred me to take the higher dosage.  

In the evening, I went home and rested a bit, as I had a bit of a headache (an eye strain, actually; probably from all the reviewing of documents I was doing for work - some people prefer to print things out and read them, but I prefer to read directly from the computer screen and make changes as I go).  Later, I remade daughter's bed with fresh sheets and the newly laundered quilt.  And I did a little bit of tidying.  I didn't go to the meditation session as I needed to go to the airport to pick up daughter, later in the evening.

At first, daughter's flight was delayed until 9:30 p.m.  But she was able to switch to an earlier flight, free of charge (because her reason for switching was her flight being delayed), and got home half an hour earlier than she would have otherwise!  It was lovely to have her home, again!  We chatted for awhile before we went to sleep.

On Friday, I was grateful for:
- Daughter had a safe flight home
- She was able to get an earlier flight, free of charge, due to her original flight being delayed
- I had a good day at the office
- A safe commute to work and back, to the airport and back
 - Daughter is home for the weekend  

Saturday morning, I was woken up by a phone call at 8:00 a.m.  My cousin V was calling.  She apologized for waking me up, but she was calling me to inform me that her uncle had passed away.  He was my cousin P's uncle, too.  Not directly related to me, but considered as extended family and addressed as uncle by me and my daughter, too.  We had been expecting this, ever since he was taken to the hospital, last week, with heart and kidney failure, but even so, when the news does come, there is a sense of sadness.  I called his daughter to condole with her and left a message.  Then, I called her daughter to condole with her, and she told me that her mother had met with an accident on her way to the nursing home and was being checked out at the emergency, but she was not injured!  I called cousin P, too, to sympathize with her.

Later in the morning, I dropped my daughter off at a mini-golf course (there were other activities there, as well, including an arcade and a batting cage) to meet up with some of her friends; they would play a game of mini-golf and go out to lunch.  Later, one of her friends dropped her off at home.

After I dropped off daughter, I went to the pharmacy to get the higher dosage iron supplements.  Afterwards, I stopped by the dollar store and the grocery store to buy some groceries and other items.
Photo-bombing Cat!
Just as I was getting ready to take the picture, Dancer decided to get into the picture, too!

May Week 4 Groceries
At the grocery store, I bought:
1 package bagels = $1.99
1/2 gal. milk = $1.99
1 flavored coffee creamer = $2.69
1.64 lb. bananas @ $.59/lb = $.97
1 bag (12 oz) frozen green peas = $1.00
Total = $8.64

At the dollar store, I bought:
3 cans mackerel in brine @ $1 = $3.00
1 package pumpkin seeds = $1.00
1 package mixed lettuce = $1.00
grapes @$1/lb = $1.26
Total =   $6.26

Total spent today = $8.64 + $6.26 = $14.90

May grocery budget = $70
Spent to date = $34.50 + $6.11 + $30.70 + $14.90 = $86.21
Over spent = $16.21

I am not too worried about overspending this month.  Some of what I bought today will be used in June, as well.  I will carry over the amount overspent into June.

In the afternoon, daughter and I went through my sari collection and tried on some sari blouses.  My daughter liked one sari that had been my mother's - a pretty shade of pink with silver work along the borders and the section that falls over the shoulder - but some of the silver threads were tarnished.  I washed it to try to remove some of the tarnish, but it didn't go away.  I might cut away the tarnished sections and try to sew a blouse or a scarf with the rest of the fabric, which is pure silk and so soft.

After that, daughter and I went shopping.  First, we went to the pet supplies store and we bought two buckets of kitty litter and more flea prevention medication. 

Then, we went to the electronics store and I bought myself a new laptop, since the other one had been giving me some trouble recently.  Daughter thought it was because I had so many pictures stored on it, so I deleted a bunch of them.  It seems to have helped, but now, I have a new laptop as a back up.  Daughter set it up for me and I am typing this blog post on it.  

We picked up some Chinese food on the way home and had an early dinner.  I picked the last five oranges from the tree, so daughter could enjoy some of it.  We spent a restful evening at home, just enjoying being together.

Today, I am grateful for:
- My daughter being home
- A new laptop
- My daughter setting it up for me
- A sunny, warm day
- Fresh oranges from the tree

How is your weekend, so far?  Are you enjoying having a long weekend? 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Grey Thursday

Yet another grey and drizzly day, but there was a little sunshine in the evening.

I was still trying to fall asleep at 2:30 a.m., last night/this morning.  I don't remember hearing the alarm go off, but apparently, I turned it off and fell back asleep!  The next thing I knew was the big clock in the living room chiming the 3/4 hour!  I woke up with a start and it was 8:45 a.m.!  I panicked a bit, but then, I emailed my supervisor and explained that I was running late and will be in around 10:30 a.m. or 11:00 a.m.  It is such a blessing that I am able to do that!  I will take some vacation time off to make up for the time.  He emailed back saying it was fine.  Emailing him to tell him that I was going to be in late was a good thing - it enabled me to have a cup of coffee, get dressed,  pack my lunch, etc., without getting too flustered about being late.  

I was just about to leave the house at 10:00 a.m., when the phone rang.  I checked to see who it was and it was Cousin P.  I answered it because I was concerned if she was calling to say something has happened to one of our family members - our Aunt T has been falling rather frequently, Aunt T's brother is in hospital (critical care unit) with heart and kidney issues, and his wife is in another hospital recovering from a partial hip replacement surgery after falling and fracturing her hip!   But, no, it wasn't any of those things, thank goodness!  Apparently, she wanted to come and pick some lemons!

I guess she forgot that I go to work, these days, because she asked if she woke me up.  I said no, but I was just about to leave to go to the office, but I could leave the gate unlocked for her to come and pick lemons.  She asked if she could come, right away, and I said yes.  I opened the gate and the garage door, too, and by the time I did that and took out the trash, she was here to pick lemons (she lives across the street from me).  I left her to it and finished packing my work bag.  She picked her lemons and left just as I was ready to leave, so that worked out OK.  I asked her if she was going to make lemonade and she said they were for a lady who lives down the road who sometimes goes walking with her in the mornings.   

I had a productive day at the office, once I got there.  

During my lunch break, I called back the medical billing office, since they didn't return my call from yesterday.  This time I spoke to the same person (Y) I had spoken with when I called in March and she claimed she had no notes in her files that I had spoken to her, but there was a note that someone else (C) had spoken with someone (M1) from insurance, but I needed to speak to yet another person (E) who handled that particular doctor's billing!   So, I spoke to that person (E) who said insurance never sent her a copy of the document they were supposed to fax to her.  She said she will call insurance and then, get back to me. 

A little while later, she called and said she spoke with someone (M2) at insurance and they said I needed to contact them and file a claim through them again.  So, I called my insurance and repeated the whole story to the agent (R) who answered the call,  R was a different agent than M1 with whom I had spoken with back in March, but that was OK as R was able to access the information and my file.  He said it shows that the document had been faxed to the billing office and that the billing office was going to process the paperwork.  I told him that they had processed the paperwork and their processing was to bill me again!

I think he could hear the frustration in my voice, because he then suggested he did a three-way call with the billing office and me!  That was an excellent suggestion, because he was able to speak directly with the billing office person (E) and explain the situation to her.  Then, he went ahead and faxed her the document, again, and we waited until she confirmed receipt of the document.  Part of the confusion was, although I have my insurance provider, I belong to a HMO, so all claims go through the HMO which submits them to the insurance provider and the billing office had been in contact with M2 at the HMO and not the insurance provider!  After all that, the billing office person (E) said that the person who actually inputs the data (C) was busy on another call, so she will give the document to that person and will get back to me, if not later this evening, then, tomorrow!  She didn't call me in the evening, so I will see if she calls me tomorrow!  If not, I will be calling her tomorrow evening!    

There was a protest march by teachers in downtown, today, and it was still going on when I left the office.  As a result, some roads were closed off to traffic and rush hour traffic was snarled and practically at a standstill!  Even with traffic officers directing the traffic at intersections!  It took almost 40 minutes to get from the new office to the parking garage by shuttle bus (usually, it takes 20 minutes), and it took me awhile to get out of downtown and onto the freeway.  I got home just before 7:00 p.m.!  

Then, I aired the house, had a cup of tea, called and spoke with my daughter for a bit, called friend R to check on her (she said she's not feeling too well and will not be going for meditations, tomorrow), made some fried rice for dinner, exchanged emails and messages with some friends and family, cleaned the cat's litter box, took out the garbage, and video chatted with daughter.  She'll be coming home for the weekend, tomorrow! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to go in to the office late 
- Being able to take vacation time off to make up for being late
- Being able to speak with both the insurance agent and the billing office during a 3-way call about the bill I received (and hopefully getting it resolved)
- A safe commute to work and back
- A relaxed evening at home

Friday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Call the nurse practitioner (she had returned my earlier call, from yesterday, but she had called my daughter's cell phone, instead of mine, and daughter hadn't recognized her number, so hadn't answered the phone and had deleted the message!  She was able to retrieve the message after I mentioned to her that the nurse practitioner hadn't called me back)
- Call the billing office, if needed
- Go to the meditation session, if possible
- Make up daughter's bed with fresh sheets
- Tidy the family room a bit
- Clear the kitchen counters
- Pick up daughter from the airport

How was your Thursday?  Did you have a good day?  What are your plans for Friday?  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Quiet but Productive Wednesday

It was grey and drizzly, this morning, when I went to work.  The drizzle was more towards downtown, not near my home, so the garden didn't benefit at all!

I had a productive day at the office.  We were all given two monitors for our computers (prior to this, only some people had two monitors) and I am enjoying that, very much, although I jokingly asked my colleague if we are now expected to produce twice as much work!    

I called the nurse practitioner during my morning break to ask about the iron supplement dosage and left her a message to call me back.  She was probably busy, because she didn't return my call.  

I also called another clinic regarding a bill they had sent me.  Again, I had to leave a message, as I called during my lunch break and maybe they, too, were at lunch, but they didn't return my call. This is a bill I had called about, previously, in March and I had referred it to my insurance, who had said they will follow up and take care of it (I have written down the dates and the names of the people I spoke with, in my notes).  I will call back, tomorrow.  It is not for a big amount and it is something I would have paid, except the insurance had sent me a letter saying I was not required to pay this amount and I had provided a copy of the letter to the clinic and that should have been that!  But they keep billing me for it!   Once before, too, I paid a $400 medical bill for a service rather than refer it to insurance, simply to avoid being billed over and over again and having to call the billing department and the insurance company and deal with it!  They know how to wear you down!

I put gas to the car on my way home; almost $30 worth at $3.53/gal., so that has been taken care of.  I currently budget $50/week for gas, although I rarely put more than $30/week.  Maybe, when I retire, I will reduce the weekly gas budget to $30/week and see how that works out.  

There was bright sunshine when I came home, which was nice.  I did two loads of laundry after I got home (daughter's quilt and a load of regular clothes and towels).  I am hoping the quilt will dry by Friday night, as she will be home then.  If not, I'll pull out another quilt for her.  I've plenty of quilts!  My clothes and towels will dry overnight and during the day, tomorrow.  I am still using the old laundry detergent - not the new box I bought, yesterday.  There's enough of the old laundry detergent for at least one more load.  I should put up a piece of paper on the laundry room wall and make a mark each time I do a load of laundry with the new box of laundry detergent to see if I will really be able to do 68 loads with it!  The box seems awfully small for that many loads of laundry!  Or, maybe, I use too much detergent per load?

Later, I wrote an email to a friend and video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Sunny evenings
- A productive day at the office
- What I was able to accomplish today
- Friends who keep in touch, regularly
- Chatting with my daughter

Tuesday - May Grocery Shopping Week 3

Today, I had another day off from work, since I have some time I need to take before I retire; it is time I will not be paid for when I retire.  I fell asleep around 2:30 a.m., last night, so I "slept in" till 10:00 a.m., this morning.  It was hazy and dull when I woke up, but, it wasn't quite as grey as yesterday.  I had a cup of coffee, replied to blog comments, brought in the trash cans, and checked on the garden. 

Later, in the afternoon, the sun began to shine and I went shopping.  First, to the pharmacy to pick up the iron supplements.  Then, to the dollar store (adjoining the pharmacy) for a few things:

Dollar Store Purchases
I mostly went to buy the nightlight bulbs and the toothpaste (not included in the grocery budget), but I also bought:
2 packets of rice cakes (1 whole grain, 1 sesame) = $2.00
1 packet of Spanish rice & pasta mix = $1.00
1 packet cheese crackers = $1.00
1 can pineapple pieces = $1.00
1 jar apricot preserves = $1.00
1 packet sunflower seeds (pepitas) = $1.00
1 lb. packet bacon = $1.99
bananas @$.49/lb = $.48
Total = $9.47

The store also had these wheat crackers, but, I thought, with a name like that, I had better leave it on the shelf!

I do like the serving suggestion that is pictured, don't you?

After that, I went to the regular grocery store (in the same shopping mall).

Grocery Store Purchases
I bought: 
1 gal. drinking water (not shown; earthquake supplies) = $.99
1 smoked sausage (14 oz.) = $1.99*
1 bag frozen meatballs = $2.27*
2 packages shortbread cookies, @$1.49 = $2.98* (to take to the temple on Friday)
1 package bagels = $1.99 - $.40 coupon = $1.59
1 package low fat cream cheese = $1.79
3 mangoes, @$.33 = $.99
1 small sourdough bread = $.71
4 bags dried pea pod snacks, @ $.99 = $3.96 (treat for daughter, who will be visiting next weekend)
Total = $21.23

* Mix and Match sale items; sale price is $1 off the regular price.

Total spent on groceries today = $9.47 + $21.23 = $30.70

In addition (not shown and not included in the grocery totals), I bought 3 solid air fresheners (@$.99 - $.60 coupon = $2.37; 1 can insect spray = $3.69; 2 bags cat food @ $8.99; and a box of laundry detergent (68 loads) = $15.49.  These items are all taxable and the tax came to a total of $3.81

This is the first time I've had to buy laundry detergent since the end of 2015, when I bought a big bucket from Costco, which I have been sharing with daughter (she has already asked if she can have some of the laundry detergent to take back with her!).  I have allowed my Costco membership to lapse and haven't renewed it.  I wonder how long this box will last me; I usually do about 3 loads of laundry a week.  

May grocery budget = $70
Spent to date = $34.50 + $6.11 + $30.70 = $71.31
Over spent = $1.31

Oops!  Maybe I shouldn't include the cookies for the temple and treats for my daughter in my grocery budget! As it is, I will need to borrow from the June grocery budget to buy milk, next weekend!  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to take another day off from work
- Sunshine in the afternoon
- Being able to do my grocery shopping
- Phone calls and emails from friends
- Video chatting with daughter

How is your May grocery budget coming along?  Are you within budget for the month or have you already overspent like I have?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Grey/Gray Monday

It has been such a grey day, today!  By the way, I grew up spelling it as "grey" and tend to keep to that spelling; but, over here, in the US, it is spelled more often as "gray".  Today has been so dark and gloomy, I think it deserves to be spelled both ways, for added emphasis!  Definitely "May Gray" weather and it won't get much better when the month ends and we go into June, for then, we get "June Gloom"!

The forecast called for rain, but, of course, all we really got was a thin drizzle.  I drove through some of it on my way to the doctor's appointment, in the morning, and in places, it was heavy enough to wet the roads and I had to turn on the wipers.  That qualifies it to be called rain, over here.

My appointment was at 10:30 a.m., but, I knew, from past experience, that it was going to take the whole morning.  I woke up at 8:00 a.m., had a cup of coffee, made a phone call I needed to make, and received a text from daughter saying she wasn't feeling too well and had called in sick; she said she was going back to sleep to try and get some rest.

I got dressed and left the house a little after 9:00 a.m.  The clinic is located in downtown; it is less than 20 miles from my home, but, the drive takes one hour due to traffic.  I reached the clinic around 10:15 a.m., checked in at the front desk and settled down to my knitting (doing the sleeves of the sweater).  Eventually, I was called in, my weight and blood pressure checked, and then, was asked to return to the waiting area until an examination room was available.  Finally, I was called in to a room and was seen by the oncology nurse practitioner, who examined me and went over the lab results with me.  Apparently, I am low in iron!  Well, that might explain the fatigue and one or two other symptoms I've been having, recently, which I put down to other reasons.  I am to take some iron supplements and inform my primary care physician assistant, so she can check on it, too.

She also put in referrals for various other tests I need to have, including another mammogram, a bone density scan (the cancer medication can cause bones to become brittle), and a colonoscopy as well.  I am to return in 3 months time for a follow up, which can be problematic as that will be after retirement and I might have a different insurance provider!  I discussed that with the oncology nurse practitioner, as well.  She said, if I do switch insurance providers, to inform the new doctor I'll be assigned to, so they can continue to monitor me on a regular basis.

It was already noon when I left the clinic!  I came home, called daughter to check on her (she's feeling better), had lunch, called one of my cousins (cousin V) and left her a message, responded to blog comments, put away the laundry, and spent the afternoon, well, I'd like to say relaxing, but actually, I was stressing about something.  Later in the evening, I took the trash cans to the curb, put water to the garden (both front and back), vacuumed the house, did a load of dishes in the dishwasher and handwashed a few items I don't put in the dishwasher.  Cousin V returned my call while I was doing the dishes, and I spoke to her for a bit.  I will be writing to a friend and video chatting with daughter, shortly.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A good visit with the oncology nurse practitioner
- My blood test results were mostly good
- The iron deficiency can be remedied with some supplements and dietary changes
- The little rain we had
- A productive day

How was your Monday?  Which spelling do you use - "grey" or "gray"?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

May Prayer Gathering on Sunday

The monthly prayer gathering for May was held, today, in the afternoon, at a friend's house.  We were invited to lunch, afterwards, and I spent a nice afternoon visiting with family members and friends who attended the prayer gathering.

Cousin P called me in the morning to find out what time I was planning to go to the prayer gathering (I was giving her a ride).  Her call woke me up, as I was sleeping in (I had set my alarm to ring at 10:00 a.m., since I didn't go to sleep until about 2:30 a.m.).  I told her I planned to leave about 1:00 p.m., because friend F, who was hosting the gathering, had said to come around 1:30 p.m.  Cousin P said 1:00 p.m. would be fine with her (I figured she was going to church, but she usually comes back from church around noon).

Then, I got up, had my coffee, replied to my blog comments, read and commented on a few other blogs, chatted with my neighbor T and with my daughter.  It was another grey, dull morning.  Both neighbor T and I agreed that we didn't like this weather!

Later, I swept the bathroom, took a shower, got dressed, etc.  At about 12:50 p.m., I called P and left a message, saying I was in the back garden, picking curry leaves and lemons to take to F, in case P called and wondered why I didn't answer the phone.  I spent 10 minutes or so, picking the curry leaves and lemons (I picked a big bagful of lemons, but, probably should have picked more, because, just about everyone else at the prayer gathering asked F if they could have some of the lemons, too, so I don't know how much she was left with for her own use!).  Then, I came inside and called P, again.  There was no answer, so I left a message, saying it was 1:00 p.m. and I was ready to leave.

At 1:15 p.m. I called again.  Still no answer.  This time, I didn't leave a message.  But I called her daughter on her cell phone and she answered.  I said I was trying to contact her mother and she said they were on their way home!  P came on the line to say they were just pulling up to their house and could I give her another 20 minutes?   Apparently, she and her daughter went shopping after church because her daughter wanted to buy some new make up and they got late!  She did say that if I was in a hurry, I could go ahead, but I didn't want to do that.  So, I waited until P came over.  I did text F to say I was waiting for P and will be there as soon as I can.  

P did apologize to F when we arrived at the prayer gathering and said it was all her fault that we were late.  But, F said it was quite alright, because, in any case, they were waiting for my cousin V's husband, who was coming after work!  Sometimes, it seems that everyone else is operating on a more relaxed time schedule (we call it Sri Lankan time), and I am an idiot for trying to keep to a set time!   

The prayer gathering, itself, went well. There were 11 of us gathered - 10 Catholics and one Buddhist (me).  As I've mentioned before, I don't recite the rosary with them, but listen to the inspirational passages that are read before the prayers are said and then reflect on things while they recite the rosary.  I attend these gatherings mostly for the fellowship and social aspects.  

Afterwards, F served a nice lunch of stringhoppers (a type of rice noodles) and roti (coconut flat bread) with various curries, followed by flan and fruits for dessert, and tea and coffee.  We spent a nice afternoon chatting, and then, left around 5:00 p.m.  F gave me some cuttings of succulents from her garden; I will plant them, tomorrow.

On the way back, I asked P if she minded if I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up my medication, otherwise, I could pick it up tomorrow, and she said she didn't mind.  So, I picked up my new inhaler and then, came home, a little before 6:30 p.m.  After I came home, I did a load of laundry and hung it up to dry.  Plenty more I should have done, but I think they can all wait until tomorrow, after my doctor's appointment.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to attend the monthly prayer gathering
- Seeing family and friends at the prayer gathering
- Being able to give curry leaves and lemons from my garden to my friends and family
- Cuttings of succulents from my friend's garden
- A safe drive to the prayer gathering and back

How was your Sunday?  Did you have a good weekend?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Crocheted Baby Blanket

Crocheted Baby Blanket
Today, I completed the baby blanket I have been crocheting.  It is for one of my colleagues who is having her first baby.  Since she doesn't know if she is having a boy or a girl, I decided to make the blanket with neutral colors for a unisex baby blanket.  Lemon yellow, white, and mint green are some of my favorite colors for unisex baby blankets.  To make it a little more challenging, I decided to use the yarn I had in my yarn stash.

In my yarn stash, I had half a ball of multicolored baby yarn, which was white with bits of yellow, pink, blue, and mint green, half a ball of white yarn, some pink yarn, a little pale blue yarn, and three partial balls of lemon yellow.   Not enough of any one color for an entire blanket, but perhaps enough if I combined them.  I decided not to use the pink or the blue yarn and to use only the multicolored, white and yellow yarn.  I am not a very skilled crocheter.  I know a few basic stitches and I can manage a granny square.  I decided to base the blanket on a granny square and just go round and round, building on the central granny square.

Start of a Granny Square

The size of the blanket was going to be determined by the amount of yarn I had, with the option of buying more yarn, if needed.

I decided to start off with the multicolored yarn I had, then, bordered that with the white yarn.  Finally, a wider border with the yellow yarn.  Apparently, one of the balls of yellow yarn I had was from a different dye lot than the others, because the color is slightly paler than the others!  It is not very noticeable (I think), unless you know what to look for, but, if you look closely, the paler yellow yarn is in the middle of the yellow border, with the darker yellow on either side:

Completed Blanket with Leftover Yarn

Close up of the different yarns
The majority of the blanket is made in a stitch known as double crochet in the US and triple crochet in the UK.  Since I learned to crochet when I was in Sri Lanka, which is a former British Crown Colony, the British terms are what I grew up learning, but I've lived long enough in the US to be familiar with the American terms, as well.  In my opinion, the exact stitch used to make a blanket such as this doesn't make a lot of difference.  But, it you are following a pattern, then, it is important to know if it is a US or UK pattern, otherwise the length of the stitch will differ and that might make a difference in the finished item. 

After I crocheted as many rows of double crochet (US)/triple crochet (UK) as I could with the amount of yarn I had, I crocheted a row of stitches known as half double crochet (US) or half triple crochet (UK) all the way around.  I think it gives the item a more finished edge.  The blanket is approximately 40 inches square.

Close Up of the Finished Edge

I hand-washed the finished blanket in some warm soapy water and lay it flat on a rack to dry.  Once dried, it will be wrapped up and kept to be given whenever the baby shower is scheduled.  I will make a card to go with it, next.

This is the yarn that was leftover from the baby blanket project:

Leftover Yarn

Each ball is less than 2 inches in diameter.  I was able to use the multicolored yarn and the yellow yarn to make one granny square for the granny square blanket I am planning to make with all my odds and ends of leftover yarn.  That was the end of that yarn!

Granny Square made with some of the leftover yarn

I think I managed to make good use of my yarn stash, don't you?   Obviously, I bought the yarn at some point, for some other project.  But, because I used the leftover yarn, this was a very frugal gift to make.  Do you crochet?  Are you able to make anything other than granny squares? 

Blood Tests and Meditation on Friday

I had to go for some blood tests, today.  Rather than go in first thing in the morning, when they are busiest, and then, rush off to work, I took the day off.  So, I was able to sleep in and go for the blood tests around 11:00 a.m., when the morning rush was over.  I had to be fasting for the blood tests, so, I was hungry afterwards.  I half wanted to get some shopping done, but I knew better than to do so on an empty stomach.  So, instead of going shopping, I stopped by my favorite Thai food place and bought some fried rice for lunch.  I suppose I could have eaten at the restaurant and done my shopping, afterwards, but I chose to come home and eat.  After lunch, instead of going shopping, I took a nap!  From about 2:00 p.m. till almost 6:00 p.m.!  I was shocked to see it was past 5:45 p.m., when I woke up!  I didn't think I had slept for so long.  I guess I was really tired!  Of course, if I had gone to work, after the lab test, I couldn't have taken a nap.    

I had a cup of tea and then, it was time to pick up friend R and go to the temple for meditation.  It was another good session and afterwards, we stayed for a portion of the questions and answers session.  We were there until almost 9:00 p.m., then, I dropped R off and came home.  

Tomorrow evening, the temple is having a special 3-part ceremony: a blessing ceremony, followed by the Sunday school children giving a performance, followed by dinner for all the participants.  I am not sure if I will attend the whole thing, but I might go for the first part.  If I do decide to participate more fully in the temple activities once I retire, there will be something almost every weekend.   

After I came home, I video chatted with my daughter and watched some TV, including some pre-wedding coverage.  I am not sure if I will stay up to watch the whole thing, but I am enjoying watching the guests arriving, as I type this.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to take a day off from work
- The blood tests went smoothly
- Friendly, cheerful lab workers
- Afternoon naps
- Being able to attend the meditation session at the temple

How was your Friday?  Are you glad that the work week is behind you and you have the weekend to look forward to?  

Friday, May 18, 2018

Quiet Thursday

Today has been a quiet day.  I went to the office and managed to get a good amount of work done.  I stopped at the farmers' market on the way to the office, in the morning, to buy a baguette, but they were all out of baguettes!  I didn't see any almond croissants, either.  They had a type of cinnamon roll, but I don't care for them, so I didn't buy anything, today.  I had taken a container of yogurt for my breakfast and leftover rice, chicken curry, and cucumber salad for my lunch.  I had taken a banana, too, but I didn't eat that.  

On my way home from work, I bought a pizza (1 topping large pizza for $4.99 + tax; it came to $5.43) and had some of that for dinner.  Then, I spent the rest of the evening crocheting and watching TV.  I don't know a lot of crochet and can't do any complicated patterns or articles, unlike knitting, but I can manage granny squares and baby blankets based on the granny square pattern.  So, that is what I am doing and I am using yarn I already had in my stash.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A quiet day
- A productive day at the office
- A relaxed evening at home
- Knowing how to crochet
- My yarn stash

Tomorrow, I have to go for blood tests and other lab work.  I have taken a day off from work, so I can come home and relax after the lab tests are done.

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Better On Wednesday

After sleeping all day, yesterday, I couldn't fall asleep until 1:30 a.m., but that was to be expected, I guess.  But I woke up feeling OK, this morning, and went to the office.  Today was a day of meetings, as there were two meetings and a training session.  In between meetings, I tried to get some work done!

But, I felt tired after I came home, so I took it easy.  I did some crocheting and relaxed.  Later, I cooked rice and a chicken curry for dinner:

Dinner: Rice, Chicken Curry, Cucumber Salad and Tomato Chutney
Today, I was grateful for:
- Waking up feeling rested
- A safe commute to the office and back
- Considerate co-workers
- A relaxed evening at home
- Phone calls from family and friends

How was your Wednesday?  What are your plans for tomorrow? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sleeping on Tuesday

Well, guess who overdid things, yesterday?!

Guess who woke up feeling tired and headachy?

Guess who called in sick and slept, practically the whole day? 

If you guessed, "Bless", you are right!

Last night, I went to sleep at 1:00 a.m.  This morning, when the alarm went off at 7:00 a.m., I found it hard to wake up!  I felt tired and I had a headache.  I stayed in bed till 7:30 a.m. and then, got up and had a cup of tea (the thought of coffee didn't appeal to me - that's when I know I am not feeling well), with the hope that a cup of tea would help me feel better.  But, it didn't.  At 8:00 a.m., I emailed my supervisor and requested a sick day off.  Then, I went back to bed and slept till noon!  It was the phone ringing that woke me up (I didn't answer it - it was a number I didn't recognize - and they didn't leave a message). 

I got up, ate a banana, and tried to stay up, but the headache was still there and I still felt tired.  So, I went back to bed and slept till 2:00 p.m.!  Then, I got up and ate some yogurt and drank some water (didn't want to get dehydrated on top of everything else!).  And...I went back to sleep!  The phone rang twice more and Dancer came to check on me a couple of times, meowing and head-butting me: "Meow, why are you still sleeping, Mummy?  Are you going to wake up and give me to eat?", but, I still slept until 5:00 p.m.!   I think the last time I slept the whole day like that was when I was still having chemo!  I guess I was really tired! 

Finally, I got up, had another cup of tea, and fed Dancer (and the garden cats, who were waiting patiently).  My headache was gone and I felt OK.  I brought in the trash cans, watered the front garden by hand, and turned on the sprinklers at the back.  At least I did two of the things that were on my Tuesday To Do List!

Dinner was a chicken sandwich, since I wasn't very hungry and didn't feel like cooking anything.  I did have another cup of tea, afterwards. 

Friend R called and we chatted a bit.  Then, I exchanged emails with a friend and video chatted with daughter.  I am off to clean the litter box and say my nightly devotions.  Then, I will head off to bed and crochet for a bit (I am making a baby blanket for one of my supervisors) and hope I'll fall asleep! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to take a day of sick leave
- Not having to push myself to go to work
- Being able to catch up on my sleep
- Having a "Me" Day!
- Understanding supervisors

Wednesday To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Call dr's office
- Vacuum - Living room & dining area (and maybe the hallway)
- Water the indoor plants

How was your Tuesday?  Have you ever slept a whole day like I did, today?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Floating Holiday Monday & May Grocery Shopping Week 2

I took my second floating holiday, today.  Once again, I didn't fall asleep until almost 4:00 a.m., last night (or should I say, this morning?)  At 3:50 a.m., I adjusted the alarm from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and, finally, fell asleep!  When the alarm went off, I resisted the temptation to sleep in and got up.  I am hoping that by doing so, I can fall asleep a little earlier, tonight.

My original plan had been to attack my To Do List, which I had revised, last night.  But, of course, I was not feeling very energetic.  I had to ease into my day - I had a cup of coffee.  I replied to blog comments and commented on a couple of blogs.  I commented on a social media group where I am a member and whined about not having enough energy to do housework.  I finished knitting my sweater front and joined the shoulders.

A little later, I put away a load of laundry and took the opportunity to tidy up the linen closet, a little bit.  Not a full, "take everything out, sort, and put things back" sort of closet organizing, but a mini-tidy of the shelves where I keep the bed sheets and towels, so that the stacks stay stacked, instead of toppling over.  The bed sheets and pillow cases are on one shelf, the towels are on one shelf, crocheted table covers and some knitted items are on another shelf and the bottom shelf has some quilts, and the chair coverings I use for almsgivings, etc.  The linen closet is also where I keep things like extra toiletries and household items such as candles, facial tissues, and light bulbs.  I wasn't going to take a picture of my linen closet, but I decided to go ahead and do so, anyway - as you can see, the two lower shelves have not been tidied!  Obviously a task for another day (maybe when I am retired - ooh, what exciting posts you all get to look forward to!  LOL!)

Linen Closet

I also washed the fronts of the linen closet doors and one of the bedroom doors that is next to it.  These doors have horizontal trimming on them and they tend to get dusty.

Then, I dusted the living room and dining room.  And I washed out the micro fiber cloth I used for dusting.

In between, I watched some programs on TV.

Shortly before 1:00 p.m., I began to get hungry.  I cooked some spaghetti noodles, sliced half of a chicken breast that I cooked yesterday, added it to the last bit of the stir fry I had cooked earlier, added a little bit of chili powder and tossed everything together.  My Chinese relatives (my step-father was of Chinese ancestry) will no doubt cringe at this version of chow mein, but it was a good lunch!

Not Quite Chow Mein

After lunch, I continued with my kitchen cleaning and the lower kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts.  I am a messy cook and I have white cabinets!  Enough said!  I have eight drawer fronts and seven lower cabinet doors.  At first, I thought I will leave the upper cabinet doors for another day (they were not quite as bad as the lower cabinet fronts were).  But then, after I rested a bit, I went ahead and washed them, too!  At least, I washed ten of them.  I didn't wash the ones above the fridge, or the doors of the floor to ceiling cabinet.  They will be kept for another day.   I also washed the stove vent hood and scrubbed the sink.  The kitchen is almost done!

I should have vacuumed, but a certain kitty was sleeping and I hate to disturb him (he's afraid of the vacuum cleaner noise!)  Instead, I cleaned the bathrooms. 

By then, it was late afternoon and I was getting tired.  It was time for a cup of tea.

After tea, I showered, got dressed, took the trash cans out to the curb, put gas to the car ($3.59/gal), and did a little more grocery shopping!  I went mostly for cat food, but, I also bought some yogurt, corn, and bananas:

May 14 Groceries

Yogurt (8x 6 oz. cups) = $4.49
Bananas @$.49/lb = $.62
4 ears of corn @$.25 = $1.00
Total = $6.11

May grocery budget = $70
Spent to date = $34.50 + $6.11 = $40.61
Balance left in the budget = $70 - $40.61 = $29.39

Dancer enjoying some of the corn silk - hard to tell from the picture, but he is holding it up in his paw

After I came home, I thought about putting water to the garden, but I was hungry, so, had dinner, instead - a yogurt, corn on the cob, some of the canned chili I had bought on Friday, and a banana.  I was starting to feel tired by then, anyway.  So, watering and vacuuming will have to wait until tomorrow.

But I accomplished a lot, today!  Yay!  It has been such a long time since I have been able to do so much in one day!  I feel I was productive! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- All that I was able to accomplish, today!
- My stamina is improving
- Having another day off from work
- Gas being available even if the price has gone up
- A clean kitchen!

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Bring the trash cans in
- Water the garden
- Vacuum (if up to it)

How was your Monday?  Do you have days when you feel you've accomplished much?

Mother's Day Sunday

Sunday was Mother's Day.  The temple was having a special ceremony to observe Vesak, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, with a retreat and an almsgiving.  I had been considering attending the event and participating in the retreat and went so far as to lay out my white sari, before I went to bed, to wear to temple in the morning.  But then, I couldn't fall asleep before 4:00 a.m. and I just turned off the alarm when it went off at 7:00 a.m. and went back to sleep!  I woke up again, around 9:30 a.m., when  friend called to wish me for Mother's Day, and thought of going to the temple to participate in the almsgiving, but I hadn't made anything to contribute and decided I will participate on another occasion.  Then, I went back to sleep for another hour or so!

It was another grey, overcast, cool day.  It looked like it might rain, but it didn't.  I relaxed and spent the morning responding to blog comments, posting another blog post, watching TV, and knitting.  

Today was a day for phone calls.  Daughter called, neighbor T called for our usual Sunday morning chat, two of my cousins called, another cousin texted, one of my aunts called and I called another aunt and a friend.  

Since daughter wasn't able to come down for Mother's Day, this year (we will celebrate when she does come down over Memorial Day weekend), I had to make my own Mother's Day brunch:

Mother's Day Brunch: Bacon, scrambled egg, fried potatoes, and sparkling blood orange drink

I actually cooked the entire package of bacon and froze the cooked bacon in portions of 3-4 rashers of bacon per package.  The bacon fat was poured into a jar and will be kept in the fridge to use as flavoring.  Later in the day, I cooked the chicken breasts I had bought on Friday.  I just sauteed them with a little onion, salt, and pepper, and used some of the bacon fat from the brunch to flavor them.  I mostly wanted some cooked chicken breasts to freeze to have on hand for future meals.

Afterwards, I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen - cleared and wiped the counters, wiped the stove top, swept and mopped the floor.  I also tidied the cabinet where I keep some of the canned and boxed food items and put away some of the items I bought on Friday.  Now, I just need to stay out of the kitchen so it remains clean!  LOL.

I also picked an orange from my tree:

Home Grown Orange

I had it after dinner:

Fresh Orange for Dessert

On Sunday, I was grateful for:
- My daughter for making me a mother
- Family and friends who called
- Fresh oranges from the garden
- A relaxed day
- A clean kitchen

How was your Mother's Day Sunday?  If you celebrate Mother's Day on a different day, then, how was your Sunday?  Did you have a good day?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Relaxing on Saturday

Saturday was another grey, overcast, cool day.  It rained in other parts of the city, but it only threatened to do so in my area.  I think my grocery shopping on Friday wore me out, because I felt rather tired on Saturday.  I took it easy and mostly rested.  I watched some TV, replied to blog comments (thank you, all, for all your lovely comments), read and posted comments on some blogs, and wrote a blog post or two!  I was going to write only one blog post for Friday, but soon realized that the discussion about vacation time off needed a post of its own and the groceries deserved its own, too! 

In between, I did a load of dishes in the dish washer and washed several other items by hand, cleaned the litter box, knitted a bit, called friend R to check on her and had a nice long chat with her, and admired my daughter's grocery shopping haul:

Daughter's Grocery Haul 
She bought everything from the dollar store and everything is priced $.99, unless otherwise noted:

1 box organic sweet potato sunshine cereal
1 box blueberry nut breakfast bars
1 box chocolate chip cookies
1 lb. Persian cucumbers
2 plaintains ($.50@)
1 box wasabi and soy sauce crackers
1 package Asian bbq rice side
1 package Morrocan style barley side ($.80)
1 jar plum sauce
3 lbs. pink lady apples ($1.99)
2 bottles vanilla bean protein plus shakes
2 packages freeze dried apple crisps
1 cantaloupe
2x 1 lb containers of strawberries
4 Manila mangoes ($1.00)
Total = $19.09

This is her cooking for the week:

Daughter's Weekly Meal Prep
She said she cooked: salmon fillet with onions and tomato, mackerel curry, sauteed plaintains, garlic basil baked potato wedges, and pasta (spinach pasta cooked in chicken broth and coconut milk with added spinach leaves and some of the onions and tomato mixture from the salmon along with the broken bits of salmon).

Later in the evening, I exchanged emails with a friend and video chatted with daughter, as usual.  Dinner was rice with leftover stir fry.  I tried the sparkling blood orange drink I had bought and it was very good.  I think I will buy another couple of bottles and have on hand.

On Saturday, I was grateful for:
- A day in which to relax
- A nice chat with my friend
- Knowing my daughter is eating well
- My hair getting longer
- A working dishwasher

How was your Saturday?  Did you run errands or were you able to relax and take it easy?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Friday: May Grocery Shopping Week 1 and Meditations

As mentioned in my previous post, I took a day off work, on Friday.  It was a grey, drizzly day.  I spent a somewhat relaxed morning, replying to blog comments, reading and commenting on some blogs, and knitting.

In the afternoon, I went to the pharmacy to pick up one of my medications.  I also inquired about one of my inhalers (due for a refill) but was told the manufacturer no longer made that particular inhaler!  The pharmacy promised to fax a request for reauthorization to my doctor's office.  I will be following up, next week.

Afterwards, I decided to go shopping for some household supplies and groceries.  I went to both the dollar store and to the regular grocery store.

I didn't take a picture of the household items, but they included 3 boxes of facial tissues, a box of plastic cling wrap, a box of wax paper, a couple of boxes of aluminium foil, several boxes of food storage bags (different sizes from snack sized to gallon size), two packages of batteries, and a long handled dust pan.  They were all purchased at the dollar store.

I also bought a package of 3 hair clasps.

Hair Clasps
My hair has grown long enough that I feel I can use one of these clasps to put it up, at times.  It was cold enough, last night, for me to turn on the heater, but, in a couple of months, it will be hot enough for me to want to get my hair up off my neck.

May 11 Groceries

This was my first grocery shopping trip in May.  I needed milk, I was out of a few things including mayonnaise, and I had a few coupons that were about to expire.

At the dollar store, I bought:
1 lb. strawberries
2 cans of mixed vegetables ($.50@)
2 boxes of cake mix
1 package of multigrain rice cakes
1 package roasted salted peanuts
2 packages of cookies
1 bottle of a blood orange drink (by a company that makes sparkling apple cider, which I like; I haven't tried the blood orange drink
Total = $10.00 (including $.10 deposit on the bottle of blood orange drink)

At the grocery store, I bought:
1 box pancake mix = $1.99-$.40 coupon = $1.59
1 can pasta sauce = $1.00
1 can chili = $1.79
2 cans condensed milk @ $1.99 = $3.98 - $1.00 coupon = $2.98
1 package cookies = $1.49
1/2 gal. milk = $1.99
1 box mac & cheese = $1.00
1 4-ct. individual fruit cups (mango) = $2.19 - $.40 coupon = $1.79
1 bottle salad dressing = $1.99
1 bottle barbecue sauce = $.99
1 jar mayonnaise = $1.99
1 12-oz bag frozen corn = $1.00
1 package boneless/skinless chicken breasts @$1.47/lb  (5 pieces) = $4.90
Total = $24.50

My May grocery budget is $75 - $5 overspent in April = $70
Spent to date = $10.00 + $24.50 = $34.50
Balance left in the budget = $70 - $34.50 = $35.50

Three packages of cookies, Bless?  They were to take to the temple to serve after the meditation session, as, last week, I noticed that cookies and tea were served at the end of the meditation session, but before the question and answer session began.

After I did the grocery shopping, I came home and had a late lunch.  My gardener friend M came by to do the garden and we transplanted some succulents from the back garden to the front.

Later, I attended the Friday night meditation session.  I went by myself, this week, as my friend R was not feeling well enough to attend.  The cookies were well received as no one else had brought any refreshments, this week.  I stayed for some of the question and answer session, but left just before 9:00 p.m.

After I came home, I exchanged emails with a friend and video chatted with my daughter.

On Friday, I was grateful for:
- Being able to take a day off from work, using a "floating holiday"
- Grocery bargains
- Being able to attend the meditation session
- Being able to contribute to the refreshments served at the meditation session
- Video chatting with my daughter

How was your Friday?  How is your weekend coming along?  Have you gone grocery shopping in May, yet?