Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Doctor's Appointment on Monday

On Saturday, I received a medical billing for one of my doctor's appointments in January.  Since the amount was the same as my co-pay which I had paid on the day of the appointment, I wondered if there had been a mix-up (wouldn't be the first time that has happened!)  Anyway, I called them, today, in the morning, but I was only told that this was an amount that was outstanding and, therefore, now due!  So, I called the doctor's office and I was asked to bring the billing statement in.  Which I did, on my way to the other doctor's appointment that was scheduled for this afternoon.  I took the billing statement, the service authorization letter, and the receipt of payment I had received; the front office person looked at it, but told me that this was a different billing than the co-pay.  Well, in that case, I'll pay it.  But, first, I also want to call the insurance company to verify that I owe this.  Last year, the insurance people sent me a letter, with a check enclosed, stating that they had audited my account and, apparently, I had overpaid on my copays and they are reimbursing me!

After that, I went to my appointment with the oncologist.  It was a routine follow-up visit.  I guess the blood test results were good (I forgot to ask for a copy), because I was simply told to come back in 3 months' time for another check up.

When I came home and checked the mail, I saw that I had received a Jury Duty Summons!  Just the other day, when I was filing and came across the Jury Duty file, I thought I hadn't been called to serve in a couple of years!  They must have read my mind!  LOL.

Later in the evening, I took the trash cans to the curb, watered the backyard, did a load of laundry and hung it up to dry, did the dishes (some by hand, some in the dishwasher), wiped down the kitchen counters, watered the indoor plants, did a bit of knitting, and watched some TV. 

Dinner was leftover rice, cashew curry, and cabbage.  Another vegetarian meal!  Later, I video chatted with my daughter.  Cousin P called, too, to thank me for the birthday gift and to discuss the party.  She said she was really surprised.

Today, I am grateful for:
- My blood test results were good enough that the doctor didn't have anything to say about them
- A safe drive to and from the clinic
- Another sunny, warm (84F) day
- Video chatting with my daughter
- What I was able to accomplish, today

Monday's To Do List:
- Doctor's appointment (follow up with the oncologist) - DONE
- Take the trash cans out to the curb - DONE
- Water the indoor plants - DONE
- Water the backyard? - DONE

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Call insurance re. billing
- Pay bill
- Fill out jury duty questionnaire
- Bring the trash cans in
- Put away the laundry from Monday
- Do another load of laundry
- Empty the dishwasher/put away dishes
- Dust and vacuum

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

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday: Grocery Shopping - Week 3

3/17 Groceries

I received a text from the pharmacy stating that one of my prescription refills was ready for pick up.  I had taken the last dose of another medication, this morning, and needed a refill on that, too, so I took the empty vial with me.  They didn't have a big enough stock on hand for that medication, so they gave me a few pills to tide me over until they can fill the rest of that prescriptions.  Which was fine with me.

While I was at the pharmacy, I picked up two boxes of  heat wraps (3 count each) for my daughter as they are something she uses and they haven't been available for some time, now.  Very often, too, they are not available at her pharmacy, so I pick them up for her whenever I see them.  I also picked up two small (30 loads) laundry detergent powder, as they were on sale.  Regular price $10.49 each, on sale for $5.94.  I had some coupons, too, so, I got each box of detergent for $4.94.  So, I got two boxes of detergent for less than the regular price of one box!  The heat wraps were $7.69 each, but, I had coupons for $1.00 off each box, plus, a 40% off one item, so one box cost $4.01 and the other box was $6.69.  Plus sales tax, of course, as these are non-food items.  In addition, I received $5 ExtraBucks Rewards!  I might use that for another box of heat wraps (if they have it) or more laundry detergent, when I go to pick up the rest of my medication, when it is ready.  I spent a total of $52.73, but that included $30 for my prescription.

Then, since the dollar store (99Cents Only Store) is next door, I went there, too.  The name of the store is a bit misleading since they now sell items for more than $.99, but, those items are, usually, well marked with the prices.

I bought:

1 package turkey cold cuts =  $1.00
4 bananas (1.19 lb) @ $.49/lb. = $.58
1 Butter lettuce = $1.00
1 lb. strawberries (organic) = $1.49
Total = $4.07

I debated buying the cold cuts, since I still have some of what I bought, earlier, but, decided to go ahead and buy them.  The package says it can be frozen; I've never frozen cold cuts, before, as I am not sure how they will be after thawing.

Dollar Store Receipt

March grocery shopping budget = $75
Spent to date = $1.79 + $7.74 + $5 + $23.29 + $4.07 =   $41.89
Amount left in the March grocery budget = $75 - $41.89 = $33.11

I will need to buy a loaf of bread, sometime, midweek, for all those cold cuts!  Or, maybe I can try making lettuce wraps!

Yesterday's party to celebrate my cousin's 70th birthday went well.  I   got to my aunt's a bit early, in order to get parking.  I drove to the back entrance, where the garage is located, hoping it would be open so I can take the food in first.  The garage was closed, but aunt's older grandson and his wife were just walking up and opening the garage door, so I had them take the food in while I went to park the car.  Good timing!

People took their time, getting there, as usual, even though they had been asked to arrive by 8:00 p.m., so we had to text my cousin's daughter to delay their arrival by almost an hour!  The story my cousin had been told was that her daughter was going to take her out to dinner, but, on the way, they will pick up aunt and another cousin, as well.  When they arrived (cousin's daughter having texted that they were just walking up), cousin R opened the door to them.  As cousin P, whose birthday we were celebrating,  walked in through the door, we all cried out, "Surprise!" and, she was so surprised and so touched that she got a bit teary!   We were mostly family and a few close friends, but she certainly wasn't expecting a party!

Cousin's daughter had invited about 40 people, but, only about 25 actually showed up.  So, of course, we had too much food!  There were appetizers (what we call "short eats") - the garbanzo beans I prepared, "cutlets" (ground beef or fish, mixed with potato, onions, and spices, made into small balls, dipped in beaten egg, rolled in bread crumbs, and deep fried), "patties" (ground beef or ground chicken or fish, mixed with potato, onions, spices, etc., pretty much the same filling as for cutlets, but encased in pastry and deep fried or baked; they look a little like empanadas), and small, "finger" sandwiches (these had a filling of asparagus and cheese, with green chillies), plus an assortment of cheese, salami, and crackers, chips and dip, and a commercially made snack mix (pretzels, cheese crackers, etc.).  Punch, sangria for those who preferred that, and other drinks as well; I drank water, since I knew I'd be eating carbs and dessert!

For dinner, there was biriyani rice, with is a spicy, flavored rice, cooked with chicken; two types of chicken curry (two different people made them), beef curry, a coconut and mint sambol, a tomato and onion salad with halved hard boiled eggs.  Someone was going to make eggplant, I was told by my cousin's daughter, but that person chose to make a chicken curry, instead.  I also cooked a pot of plain white rice, as well, once I got to aunt's house, because I know that some people prefer that to biriyani.

For dessert, there was birthday cake, another cake we call ribbon cake, the apple dump cake I made, flan, and chocolate biscuit pudding, which is made with Marie/Maria biscuits (a type of cookie), dipped in milk, and layered with a frosting-like mixture made with powdered/icing sugar, either grated chocolate melted in milk or chocolate powder, milk or cream, and sprinkled with chopped cashews - as one of my friends said, if you don't already have diabetes, this pudding is sure to give you diabetes, as it is so sweet!  I have two recipes for biscuit pudding, given to me by two different people, with slight variations in them - one calls for both milk and a tin of cream, 2 eggs, and optional brandy; the other calls for 3 eggs and milk, only, with vanilla as a flavoring, no brandy.

There was dancing, too; I don't normally dance, as I feel self-conscious, but when cousin P asked me to join, I did, as she was the birthday lady.  Which led to a family friend calling me aside to ask if I danced at her birthday party, last year, and when I said I had, she said, "Then I won't feel jealous"!  LOL!

I stayed at the party long enough to help with some of the putting away of leftovers, and came home after 1:00 a.m.  It was a good party.

Today, I had phone calls from neighbor T (who complained that the new neighbors have a small dog that isn't wearing a collar and, apparently wasn't on a leash, which got into her backyard by crawling under the gate!) and friend R (who called to vent about a plumbing problem she was having), and later, neighbor A texted about the barking dogs in the house on the other side of my house, which is behind her house.  Apparently, they barked a lot, last night, and disturbed her.  I didn't hear them, myself, however.  But, I told her I'll let her know if I do hear them or they disturb me (apparently, she has an open complaint with animal services about their barking, but needs another neighbor from another address to complain, too, before they will do anything).  I called friend R, later, to check if the plumber was able to fix the leak, but, apparently, not yet!

Later, in the evening, I watered the front garden!  This is the first time I've needed to water it, in several weeks!  However, we are supposed to get some rain, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so now, I am wondering whether to water the backyard, tomorrow, or wait to see if it rains!  Maybe water the orange tree, only?

I plan to do a load of laundry, tonight, and maybe do the dishes.  But, first, I need to eat something!  I just realized that I had forgotten to eat lunch!  I had slept in till late this morning and had my cup of tea at almost noon.  I didn't feel hungry before I went to the pharmacy, and when I got back, it was 5:00 p.m. and I had another cup of tea, since it was tea time!  It is almost 8:30 p.m., now!  Oops!  No wonder my stomach is starting to complain!

Today, I am grateful for:
- A good party, yesterday
- A warm sunny day, today (we got up to the low 80F!)
- Bargains at both the pharmacy/drug store and the dollar store
- Keeping in touch with friends and neighbors
- Rain in the forecast

Monday's Do To List:
- Doctor's appointment (follow up with the oncologist)
- Take the trash cans out to the curb
- Water the indoor plants
- Water the backyard?

How was your Sunday?  Did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?  Have you frozen cold cuts and had them after they thawed?  Does the freezing change their texture? 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday: Party Time!

Today, Saturday, is a warm, sunny day.  I took it easy and slept in, in the morning.  In the afternoon, I went to the store to buy a gift card and made a birthday card:

Birthday Card
This is fast becoming my favorite card design!  The lacy paper edging came in a bag of paper odds and ends I purchased for $1.00 at a specialty paper store (featuring handmade paper) on a visit to Bergamot Station, which is an arts center featuring private art galleries and shops, in Santa Monica, when she was in high school.  As part of her art class, she needed to visit the Bergamot Station and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), provide proof of her visits in the form of photos, etc., and do an art project.  For her art project, my daughter did a T-shirt with photos transferred on to it.  Her art teacher said that it was one of the most original art projects she'd seen!

Bergamot Station photos on one side

We bought a large T-shirts so she could fit all the photo transfers in!

LACMA on the other side
Each side has a photo of my daughter standing in front of the building sign, as proof that she was there, in person!  My daughter refuses to wear the T-shirt, so it's in the linen closet!  LOL.

The flower I used for the card was originally white, but the white flower wasn't that noticeable, so, I colored it with a permanent marker!

Afterwards, I baked an apple dump cake:

Didn't spread the butter, evenly, and it shows!

And, cooked the garbanzo beans appetizer:

Boiled garbanzo beans, sauteed with onions, curry leaves, mustard seeds, and chilies

Cousin's surprise party is being held at our aunt's house; we've all been asked to arrive by 8:00 p.m.; cousin's daughter will bring cousin around 8:30 p.m.  I expect the event to go on at least until midnight, if not later!  I am going to try and get there a little before 8:00 p.m. to find a parking space!

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny, warm day (I actually took off my cardigan and am in a short sleeved blouse!)
- The ease of dump cakes
- Family getting together to celebrate a birthday
- Having fun making cards
- My daughter saying, "Love you" at the end of each phone call and video chat

Saturday's To Do List:
- Buy a gift card - DONE
- Buy or make a birthday card - DONE (made one)
- Cook the garbanzo beans - DONE
- Bake a dump cake - DONE
- Attend cousin's surprise birthday party - Will do!

I don't think I will make a To Do List for Sunday; it's going to be a "Me" day or maybe I'll just catch up on things.

How was your Saturday?  What have you planned for Sunday?

Friday: Painted Ladies, Not Monarchs!

Painted Lady Butterfly

The butterfly migrations continue, but, today, a few of them stopped by to sample the flowers in the front garden and I was able to take some photos.   I realized that they were Painted Lady butterflies and not Monarch butterflies!  It was hard to tell the difference when they were flying past!

Unlike Monarchs, they are not poisonous

They seem to like the osteospermum

Hard to photograph them with my cell phone camera!

I read an article that stated that we are having more butterflies migrating this year than in other years because the recent rains have resulted in a profuse wild flower bloom!  These painted lady butterflies are flying south east to north west, at a speed of around 20 miles an hour, according to the article, going to Washington, Oregon, and, even Alaska! 

Painted Ladies have white spots on black background on the tips of their forewings

While I was in the garden, I took a couple of other photos, too.

I love how the osteospermum looks!  They've spilled over the brick edging!

I can't grow any grass, but I can grow flowers!

Today, I woke up without a headache, but, later, I could feel a headache threatening!  I checked my pressure and it was elevated, so, took some medication and took it easy in the morning.  But, then, I felt that I was procrastinating too much on the tax papers and it was starting to bother me, so, I worked on the tax file.  I had put all the tax documents into a file folder as they arrived in the mail, but I needed to verify that I had everything I needed and include the documents I needed to back up my deductions, such as property taxes I paid, monetary donations to the temple, etc.  Once all that was done, I dropped off the file folder at the tax preparer's office, so she could review it before my appointment with her (scheduled for next week). 

On the way home, I stopped to buy a new door lock handle for the sliding glass door.  I forgot to check the paint for the front door while I was there, so that will have to be done another day.  The store had changed all the check out stands to self-serve!  When I asked an assistant where the cashiers were, she told me to go to the other end where the customer service section was.  When I went there, I was told that it was only for online order pick up and returns!  But, when I told them that I had asked the assistant helping with self check out and she had sent me to them, they rang my order through.  I do not like self check out! 

I came home and installed the door handle.  The outside handle, with the key lock, had broken; I bought a new outside handle, but the lock that came with it had a metal bar which needed to be cut down to size.  Well, I didn't have a way to cut it!  So, I installed the new door handle with the lock from the old door!  At least, I don't have to switch keys! 

I spent the rest of the evening watching TV and knitting.

I cooked red rice and stir-fried cabbage for dinner.  I added the few radish leaves from the single radish I harvested from the garden, to the cabbage.  Did you know that radish leaves are edible?  They maybe eaten raw, in a salad, or cooked.  I prefer to cook them.  I also thawed a packet of cashew curry I had in the freezer and some tomato chutney:

Vegetarian Dinner
I am not a vegetarian by any means, but, I didn't miss the meat when I ate my dinner, tonight. 

Later in the evening, I wished my cousin for her birthday and video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Not having a headache
- Getting my tax file organized and taking it to the tax preparer
- Being able to install the new door handle and lock
- A relaxed morning and evening
- Butterflies!

Friday's To Do List:
- Sort through the tax papers folder - DONE
- Drop off the tax papers at the tax preparer's office - DONE
- Buy a new door lock for the sliding glass door and install it - DONE
- Check out paint for the front door
- Call and wish cousin for her birthday - DONE
- Continue to clear file folders

Saturday's To Do List:
- Buy a gift card
- Buy or make a birthday card
- Cook the garbanzo beans
- Bake a dump cake
- Attend cousin's surprise birthday party

I won't have time to do these following items on Saturday, but I am listing them so that I don't forget them!  They are for next week's to do lists:

*Check out paint for the front door
*Continue to clear file folders

How was your day?  What are your plans for the weekend?  Do you eat, or have you eaten, radish leaves? 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Thursday Could Have Been Better

I woke up with a headache, this morning.  I say morning, although there wasn't much left of the morning when I woke up!  I had to go for a fasting blood test, so I didn't drink my usual cup of tea.  Instead, I drank a cup of hot water.  It wasn't quite as satisfying as a cup of tea, though.  When I checked my blood pressure, it was elevated.  I think my headache was due to that.  Anyway, I took my blood pressure medication before I left to go for my blood test.

I didn't have to wait a long time, at the lab, but there was a new phlebotomist who had a difficult time finding my vein.  Normally, having my blood drawn doesn't bother me, but, this time, after she poked around a few times to find my vein (my daughter, who completed a phlebotomy course, said she was taught that, if one can't find a vein after two tries, one shouldn't keep trying and should call another phlebotomist to try, instead) and drew the customary 4 or 5 vials of blood needed for the various tests, I felt a bit weak.  Once I got to the car, I ate a granola bar I had with me and drank some water.  Then, on the way home, I bought a hot dog, and ate that, too.  We'll discuss low carb diets, later! 

I felt my heart pounding when I got home, so, I took the medication I take for that (a different type of blood pressure medication).  I also picked a fresh orange from the tree and ate that.  Then, I lay on the sofa, turned on the TV news, and napped.  When I woke up, I had a cup of tea and took two Tylenol because I still had a headache. 

It took time for the headache to go away.  Because of it, I didn't feel like doing anything.  I unpicked some of the knitting I did on the sweater front, but I didn't do any knitting.  I didn't do any paperwork, either.  I did clean my bathroom, a little, partly because Dancer had a bit of an accident, going outside the litter box!  I cleaned the litter box, too. 

One of my cousins, who is in Florida, called to check on me and we had a little chat.  Later, I replied to a friend's email and video chatted with my daughter.

It was Pi Day (3.14), today (Thursday) but I didn't have any pie to celebrate it!  Tomorrow (Friday) is the Ides of March! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Medications
- I survived the blood draw!
- I was able to drive home, safely.
- Afternoon naps on the sofa
- Phone calls, emails, and video chats

Friday's To Do List:
- Sort through the tax papers folder
- Drop off the tax papers at the tax preparer's office
- Buy a new door lock for the sliding glass door and install it
- Check out paint for the front door
- Call and wish cousin for her birthday

How was your Thursday?  Did you celebrate or observe Pi Day?  What have you planned for Friday? 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Mending on Wednesday

On Sunday, I changed my bed sheets and washed the flannel set that had been on my bed.  On Monday, when I folded the laundry, I noticed that there were several tears in the fitted sheet, in an area that was worn thin and faded.  Always, it seems that the bottom, fitted sheets are the first to get worn out and tear!  Then, I am left with the still good flat sheets, which I use as chair covers to protect the family room sofas from Dancer's fur!  When I was growing up, we only had flat sheets for our beds, there was no such thing as a fitted sheet as far as we knew!  Even now, one of my cousins prefers to have flat sheets, rather than fitted sheets.

I bought this sheet set  (flat sheet, fitted sheet, 2 pillowcases) from Costco.  I can't remember how much I paid for them (it was under $25, though, because I wouldn't have paid more than that!), or quite when I bought them, but, I know my mother was alive at the time and she died in 2006.  I am going to say that these sheets are at least 15 years old.  They are the only set of flannel sheets I have, so, I've used them every winter for the past 15 years. They've given me good service.  I had a decision to make:

- Do I get rid of the fitted sheet (I'd have to toss it as it is too worn out to donate; even the animal shelter wouldn't want it, as it would probably shred when they wash it.)?

- Do I, then, become a minimalist and use only the two sets of sheets I'd have left (good way to declutter the linen closet)?

- Or, do I buy a new/replacement set of flannel sheets?  (That includes thrift store shopping)

- Or, do I try to buy only a fitted sheet in a color that would coordinate with the flat sheet and the pillowcases from the snowman set?

- Or, do I try to darn the tears and mend the sheet?

- Or, do I cut up the sheet, salvage the good portions to make dusting/cleaning cloths, and toss only the badly worn out sections?

There was one fairly large tear:

Poor Snowman lost his stomach!

No, this is not the "wrong" side of the fabric - the color has really faded this much!  There were a couple of smaller tears, as well:

Another smaller tear

One of the smaller tears

What to do?  My daughter suggested that I bought myself a new set of flannel sheets.  Yes, I could do that.  BUT, I hate to toss things (well, anyone who has read this blog knows how I struggle with that!).  Plus, I hate to spend money!  I especially didn't want to buy more sheets without trying to salvage this set, first!  So, if you guessed "darn and mend" from the above choices, you guessed correctly!  LOL!

Except, the fabric is really so worn out that, even if the darning held, the sheet would just tear in another spot!  So, what can I do?  Well, patch it, of course!  I decided to sacrifice one of the two matching pillowcases for the purpose.  I cut off the seams that had been serged and unpicked the wide hem at the opening.  There were two worn out areas in the sheet (although only one area was tearing) so the two halves of the pillowcase provided patches for both worn areas. 

I sewed them in the sewing machine, first sewing a straight stitch as close to the edge as I could and then, sewing a zig-zag stitch, right round to help keep the patch as flat as possible.  The hardest part of sewing on the patches was feeding a queen size sheet through the arm of my sewing machine! 

The Patch

Patch Close Up

Now, I had the option of either cutting away the worn fitted sheet under the patches, or leaving it in place and darning the holes.  I suppose there is a way to darn with a sewing machine, but I don't have a fancy sewing machine with programmable stitches, etc.  And I wasn't going to sew back and forth with the amount of fabric I had to manipulate.  So, I darned by hand.  Using embroidery thread.  Because, I had read somewhere that embroidery originated from darning, as people sewed fancy stitches and designs to cover up their mending. 

One of the smaller holes, darned

My Helper
"I'm keeping the embroidery thread safe for Mummy!"
There are different ways to darn, but, this is the way I learned it:  reinforce the edges by sewing a running stitch around it, then, sew back and forth, catching the fabric where you can and drawing the thread in long stitches, in one direction, over the hole, and then, in the other direction, weaving in and out of the threads that are already there:

Reinforcing and long stitches


This way of darning is a type of needle weaving; you are weaving a new fabric with thread and your needle.  I am using a full strand of embroidery thread, which consists of six individual threads.  After I did that, I straightened out the outside edges of the reinforcements, to neaten up the edges:

The completed darning

This was the larger hole in the snowman's stomach.  It looks a bit like a woven box, or basket, doesn't it?  And then, I saw the faint outline of the snowman who was on the other side of the fabric (this is the wrong side of the flat sheet; the right side has been covered by the patch I sewed earlier, with the pillowcase).  Do you see him?

Do you see a snowman?

Aw, he was just a shadow of what he used to be!  Well, now, I couldn't have that, could I?  To paraphrase a song from the movie. "Frozen"..."Do you want to sew a snowman?"

Snowman in a Basket!
Yes, what you have here, is a snowman in a basket (at first, I thought of making it the basket of a hot air balloon, but thought that was a bit too much; instead, I think he's using it to go sledding!) and a woman who is embroidering on the under side of a fraying sheet and procrastinating on paperwork!  LOL!  How's that for creative procrastination?

I tried to not sew through the patch, but, I wasn't careful enough!  A few stitches got through and showed up on the right side!  So, we have this snowperson, on the right side, apparently throwing a handful of what looks like confetti over his/her head!

Whee!  Confetti!
I know my darning will hold, but, I've no idea if the worn fabric will fray in the next wash and develop new holes!  If that happens, then, I might just cut off the worn parts and leave the patches in place.  I probably should have done that in the first place, but, then, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of whiling away the afternoon, darning and embroidering snowmen!  I might have had to do paperwork, instead!  

Now that I have used up one of the pillowcases to make the patches and have only one pillowcase left, that leaves me with the question of what am I going to do for a second pillowcase?  Well, that's where the fabric stash comes in!  I had a piece of blue flannel, leftover from sewing a nightdress...it took me less than an hour to cut and sew myself another pillowcase.  Not matching, but that doesn't bother me.  Hidden snowpeople in boxes and others throwing confetti deserve a coordinating pillowcase with blue and white stars!  

Starry Pillowcase
My daughter just shook her head when I video chatted with her, later in the evening, and told her about my mending; she said, "Just buy yourself a new set of sheets!  Splurge a bit on yourself!".  It's not that I can't afford to buy myself a new set of sheets.  It's just that I don't want to spend the money if I can avoid it!  Sleeping on patched sheets might not be for everyone.  I just think it is being frugal and a bit of a challenge to see if I can get more use from something I have, before I spend money to replace it.  Or, maybe, I'd rather spend the money on something else - like more fabric for the stash!  LOL!  

Besides, mending the sheet is environmentally friendly as I am not sending it to the landfill (yet), I am reusing/recycling it, and I am saving money (for now).  Eventually, I might have to replace it.  But, when I do, I will do so with a clear conscience, knowing I tried my best to be frugal and environmentally friendly, first.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny day
- Last night's gale didn't cause any damage except knock down a potted plant
- This morning's 2.9 earthquake was mild (although I felt it!) and didn't cause any damage
- Rescue inhalers (yes, I had another asthma attack, today)
- A fun, relaxed day, sewing and procrastinating taking it easy!

How was your Wednesday?  What would have been your choice from the options listed above (toss, manage with the remaining two sets, buy a replacement set, mend)?  What else might you have done with a frayed sheet? 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Still Not Quite Ikebana on Tuesday

My Not-Quite-Ikebana Flower Arrangement

Guess what time I went to sleep last night/this morning?  Yes, 5:30 a.m.!  Eek!  Even so, I had set the alarm for 10:00 a.m. and I made myself get up when it rang.  Neighbor T had mentioned that the telephone company repair crew was coming at 10:00 a.m. and the telephone pole is in my backyard - very often, I get asked to open the gate for them to have access to the backyard.  Today, however, they were able to access the pole from T's backyard (as the pole is right at the corner between  her backyard and mine).   However, around 10:30 a.m., T knocked on my door, asking if she could use my bathroom as she had locked up her dog in her bathroom to keep him out of the repair crew's way.  As she was leaving, some missionaries walked up to my door.  I don't normally open the door to missionaries, but, I had been watching T leave, so, I had the door open, already.  They wanted to know if I spoke Spanish and, when I said no, they left!  I guess they are only interested in saving the souls of the Spanish speakers?  LOL.

After they left, I brought in the trash can and checked the mail.  The week's grocery ads had been delivered, but there wasn't any special deal that caught my eye.  One of the Kroger affiliates is having eggs on sale for $1.49, again, so I might buy another dozen before the sale ends next Tuesday. 

When I went out to bring in the trash can, the neighbor on the other side of T's house saw me and waved.  I had heard from T that he and his family were leaving, so I walked over to wish him well.  Apparently, they are moving to a more upscale neighborhood because the schools are better in that area (he has young children)!  He also introduced me to the man with whom he was talking, who will be our new neighbor (I believe he's renting the house).  I welcomed him to the neighborhood. 

I noticed, today, that the monarch butterflies are migrating!  There were lots of them flying north!  I tried to take photos of them (would have made a great entry for the "In Flight" prompt for the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt), but, the butterflies were fast, all I have is my cell phone camera and I am not good enough of a photographer to take a photo of them!  I was very disappointed that I couldn't photograph them, though.  Not a single butterfly stopped to rest or take a sip of nectar! 

Imagine Butterflies 

By the time I took the photo, the butterflies I was trying to photograph had flown off!  So, just imagine this photo with butterflies flying in it!  LOL! 

Crocosmia Flowers in Bloom
Since I was in the backyard, I thought I'll take a few pictures of what's growing there.

Flower Buds on the Orange Tree

Look what's peeping from under the orange tree:


The few really old radish seeds that sprouted and didn't get thinned out are ready to be harvested!  I picked this one that is pushing itself out of the ground!

First Harvest!

I picked some of the crocosmia flowers and leaves from the garden, along with a few grasses to bring indoors.  At first, I just put them in a vase, then, I thought I should try a flower arrangement.  Well, I tried!  LOL!  Ikebana, it is not! 

I was having a slice of cold leftover pizza for lunch when neighbor T knocked on the door, to use the bathroom, again.  I asked her if she had had lunch, she said no, that she wasn't hungry.  I offered her some cold pizza and she said that sounded good, but didn't want to be away from her house with the repair crew still there.  So, I wrapped it up for her to take back with her.  Later in the afternoon, she called to let me know that the repairs were done and she had phone service, again. 

After lunch, I dusted the main rooms and vacuumed.  My original plan had been to do the main rooms yesterday and do the bedrooms, today.  But, I didn't do them, yesterday, and when I wrote my To Do list for today, I didn't want to get over-ambitious and list "dust/vacuum whole house".  However, after I did the main rooms, I still felt energetic enough, so I went ahead and vacuumed the whole house.  I didn't dust the bedrooms, but my bedroom was cleaned, last week, and it was OK.  I timed myself and it took me 45 minutes to vacuum all the rooms; not bad.  I also got started on the mending, but, that will be a separate post, I think. 

Then, it was time to watch some TV and rest.  I went through and cleaned out two more file folders while I rested.  I emptied them both out, so that's two less files in my file cabinet!

By then, I was getting hungry, so, I cooked the beef I bought, yesterday:

Beef Curry
After dinner, I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen counters and stove top (I tend to be a very messy cook!)  Friend R called and we chatted for a bit. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to be there for neighbor T during the day
- Meeting a new neighbor
- Being able to get the dusting and vacuuming done
- Garden flowers
- Video chatting with my daughter

Oh, and I redid my flower arrangement - still not Ikebana, but a little better, I think!  These types of arrangements should not be displayed in front of mirrors as the reflection messes up the lines one is supposed to be striving to achieve, but, I needed it as high up on the mantel as possible, to keep it out of Dancer's reach!  I also found out that there will be an Ikebana exhibit and demonstration at a local recreation center at the end of the month!  I am going to try and attend it! I had attended an Ikebana demonstration many years ago, with my mother, but, I obviously need a refresher course!  LOL!

Still not Ikebana, though!

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Clear some of the desk drawers files - DONE (did 2)
- Dust/vacuum the living room, dining area, family room, whole house - DONE!
- Do the dishes - DONE
- Cook - DONE
- Mending - STARTED

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Check tax papers folder
- Drop off file at the tax preparer's office
- Continue to clear file folders
- Mending and sewing
- Clean my bathroom

How was your Tuesday?  Do you like to do flower arrangements?  Have you tried Ikebana?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Grocery Shopping on Monday

I am struggling to adapt to the time change!  Once again, I slept the morning away!  At least, I don't have to go to work, so, I can sleep in without any consequences!

But, I was up when neighbor T called; I didn't recognize the number she was calling from and let it go to the answering machine, but when I heard who it was, I picked it up.  She was calling to tell me that she didn't have any phone or TV service.  I asked if she wanted me to call the phone company to report it, but she had apparently done so.  She said she just wanted to see if I was home and to let me know that her phone and TV were out, because I wouldn't be able to call her.  I asked if she needed anything, wanted to watch my TV or wanted me to come over and keep her company, but she said no.  So, I told her that I planned to go to the post office, later in the afternoon, but, if she needed anything before that, to just come over and knock on my door.

In any case, I waited until after 4:00 p.m. to go to the post office to mail something to my daughter.  

After that, I went to the Armenian grocery store.  Not that I needed any groceries, as such, but, frozen puff pastry dough was on sale for $1.99/package and I wanted to stock up on them.  They are usually priced at $2.49 and, lately, I've seen them priced at $2.99, so I wanted to buy some to have on hand.  I'll probably make curry puffs with them the next time my daughter visits.  Then, since I was already there, I went ahead and did some grocery shopping for the week!  LOL!  Amazing what I can find to buy even when I "don't need" any groceries!

3/11 Groceries
I bought:
5 packages of frozen puff pastry @ $1.99 = $9.95
5 lb. bag of stone ground whole wheat flour = $4.99
1 container iodized salt = $.99 
1+ lb. dried garbanzo beans/chickpeas @ $1.29/lb = $1.75*
1+ lb. beef shoulder steak @ $2.99/lb = $3.36
1 lb. red potatoes @ 3 lb/$1 = $.30
Green beans @ $.99/lb = $.58
1 cucumber @ 3/$1 = $.34
1 lb. carrots = $.39
1+ lb. apples @ $.49/lb = $.64
Total = $23.29

* garbanzo beans are for the appetizer I will be making to take to a family gathering on Saturday.  I have some already cooked in the freezer, but, I am not sure if that will be enough for the 40 or so people expected to attend this event.  

3/11 Receipt

March grocery shopping budget = $75
Spent to date = $1.79 + $7.74 + $5 + $23.29 =   $37.82
Amount left in the March grocery budget = $75 - $37.82 = $37.18

On the way home, I bought a pepperoni pizza for $5.48, as I had been wanting pizza for several days.  But, it wasn't very good and I was disappointed.  

In the evening, I took the big trash cans to the curb, watched news and two programs on the National Geographic channel, went through another file folder of stuff while I watched TV, and I dealt with today's mail, too.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter, who wanted my opinion about an outfit she had put together to wear to her office, tomorrow: a lilac dress with a grey jacket.  I approved her choice.

On Monday, I was grateful for:
- Being able to sleep in!
- Leisurely mornings
- Bargains at the grocery store
- Getting rid of another file of papers
- Video chatting with my daughter

Monday's To Do List:
- Put away the laundry from tonight - DONE
- Post office to mail a letter to my daughter - DONE
- Grocery shopping - DONE
- Clear some of the desk drawers
- Go through and clear some files - DONE
- Dust and vacuum the living room, dining area, and family room

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Clear some of the desk drawers
- Dust/vacuum the living room, dining area, family room
- Do the dishes
- Cook
- Mending

How was your Monday?  Is anyone else having a hard time with the time change?  

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Prayer Gathering on Sunday

This morning, we changed our clocks to Daylight Savings Time.  Spring forward!  I watched the computer clock change from 1:59 to 3:00 a.m.!  What it did was to change my usual 4:00 a.m. bedtime to 5:00 a.m.!  LOL!  It was hard to wake up when the alarm went off at 10:00 a.m. (new time)!  I turned the alarm off and slept for one more hour!  Then, it was time to have a cup of tea, reply to blog comments, put away the laundry from yesterday, shower, and get dressed.  I had told cousin P we'd leave around 12:30 p.m. to go to the monthly prayer gathering, which a friend was hosting.  She came over and we left a little after 12:30 p.m. and got to our friend's house around 1:15 p.m., which was fine as they were still waiting for aunt T to come with cousin R and another member of the family. 

After the prayers were said, the friend who was hosting served lunch.  After lunch (and dessert!), we all sat around the table having a wonderful, animated discussion about various topics that included politics, religion, the educational system, etc.  The majority of the parents in our group sent their children to private schools and universities, partly for religious education and partly because they thought the public education system wasn't good enough.  I'm the only exception, because I sent my daughter to public schools (I took her to Sunday school at the temple for religious education); I think my daughter received a very good education, thanks in part to the various academic programs that were available to her in our public school system and to educators who recognized her academic skills and abilities and pushed me to get her into those programs.  So, I'm a staunch advocate for public education. 

We sat around talking until 5:30 p.m.!  Friend F who hosted the prayer gathering served tea and coffee and it was only after that, that we left!  It rained on the drive home, but it was barely drizzling by the time we got home. 

After I came home, I changed my bed sheets and made up the bed with fresh sheets.  A freshly made bed is a cat magnet: 

"Mummy made the bed; I must check it to see if it is comfy!"

I disturbed him when I turned on the light:

"Hey, that light bothers my eyes!"

But, I had to take just one more picture:

"Mummy!  You are embarrassing me!"

The quilt is one I made, using English paper piecing, back in 1990, from scraps leftover from my mother's sewing, for the most part.  I only bought the yellow fabric for the diamonds, as I wanted one unifying color, for the flowers to stand out.  I tied the quilt, instead of quilting. 

I washed the sheets that were on the bed and they are now hanging up to dry, overnight, inside the house.

I took out two of the ground beef and zucchini burgers I had cooked and frozen, earlier, to thaw for my dinner.  I will have some salad with them. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to attend this month's prayer gathering
- Stimulating conversation, afterwards
- A safe drive to the prayer gathering and back
- The door frames from which I am able to hang the laundry to dry, indoors
- The caring educators who taught my daughter

Sunday's To Do List:
- Put away the laundry from today - DONE
- Attend the monthly prayer gathering - DONE
- Change my bed sheets - DONE
- Do another load of laundry (the bed sheets) - DONE

Monday's To Do List:
- Put away the laundry from tonight
- Post office to mail a letter to my daughter
- Clear some of the desk drawers
- Go through and clear some files
- Dust and vacuum the living room, dining area, and family room

More Paperwork on Saturday

Saturday, I had a relaxed morning and played on the computer for some time.  Then, had a cold cuts sandwich for brunch. 

In the afternoon, I took some of the chocolate cake I might or might not have baked yesterday, over to neighbor T, who doesn't bake and who likes it when I bake!  LOL.  I also spoke with cousin P, who called to confirm that I will be going to the monthly prayer gathering, tomorrow, and will be giving her a ride. 

Later in the afternoon, I cleared the filing backlog and began cleaning out some of my files.  They were mostly work-related files.  I tossed the file folder of various certificates stating that I had successfully completed various training courses for work, but couldn't bring myself to toss a certificate of appreciation I had received for my work from a now-defunct board of commissioners.  I tossed some memos pertaining to time off for various medical conditions and was tearing up parking related documents (applications for on-site parking and approval confirmation, etc.) when I suddenly realized that some of these papers had, not only my car license number and my driver's license number, but, also, my social security number!  Oops!  I had to retrieve what I had already torn up and re-tear them in smaller bits!

And then, I came across a couple of other files that I had put aside during an earlier file cleaning session.  Almost three years ago, I found myself unable to toss the contents of these files and I had put them aside to go through them another, later date.  I wrote about it here, at the time.  I couldn't toss them, today, either.  I am still a sentimental fool and I had to stop cleaning the files because I was unable to go on. 

I watched a National Geographic TV show called "Wild Sri Lanka" while I filed, and, later, some news and a music program.  I knitted while I watched the music program and I did a load of laundry.  Dinner was the rest of the roast beef I had thawed and had for my dinner, yesterday, too.  Later in the night, I video chatted with my daughter.  She had gone to see a performance of Hello Dolly with some friends and friends of friends and to dinner, afterwards.  I'm glad she had a fun evening out with friends.

Today, I am grateful for:
- What I was able to accomplish, today
- Getting caught up on the filing backlog
- The sunny day
- Fun TV programs to watch
- Daughter having a fun evening with her friends

Saturday's To Do List:
- Finish up the paperwork backlog - DONE
- Clear the family room coffee table - DONE
- Another load of laundry? - DONE (hanging up to dry, overnight)
- Take a piece of cake over to neighbor T - DONE
- Change the clocks before I go to sleep in the night - Will do after this post

Sunday's To Do List:
- Put away the laundry from today
- Attend the monthly prayer gathering
- Change my bed sheets
- Do another load of laundry (the bed sheets)

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

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Paperwork on Friday

On Friday, I woke up at 9:00 a.m., full of good intentions to get started on the paperwork, but, then, couldn't settle down to do anything until almost noon.  But, after that slow start, I spent all afternoon and part of the evening processing papers!  In the process, I tossed four grocery bags full of paper to the recycling bin!  I minimally cleaned out file folders while I filed, as purging the files isn't that much of a priority, right now (although the filing cabinet is rather full and that makes it hard to file!).  I am almost caught up with the backlog; I should be able to get it all done, tomorrow.  At one time, I had files and papers spread out all over the dining table, but, later, I moved to the family room so I could watch TV while I processed papers.  The dining table has since been cleared, but I have some files out on the family room coffee table!  It will be cleared off, tomorrow. 

In between the paperwork, I did a small load of laundry (the bath mats, kitchen rug, and Dancer's towel he likes to sleep on), dusted my dressing table and cleaned the mirror, mopped the bathroom, mopped the kitchen, and did the dishes.  A chocolate cake might have been baked, too, and a slice (or two!) eaten, although I am not admitting to anything!  LOL!

Of course, I overdid things and got a mild asthma attack as a result!  Too much paper dust from all the tearing of paper and fumes from the floor cleaner, no doubt!  I had to take my rescue inhaler, as well as the regular inhaler, but I am not wheezing, anymore.  

Friend M came to do the garden in the early evening and he mowed the back yard for me.  He said it was still too cold at night to plant the rooted pineapple, so we will wait on that for another couple of weeks.  

I called neighbor S today to check on things and to see how her mother-in-law is feeling.  Later in the evening, Aunt C called and we had a bit of a chat.  Still later, in the night, I video chatted with my daughter.

I am really pleased with the cleaning of my bedroom over the week - I did the top of the chest of drawers on Monday, the bedside table on Tuesday, the desk on Wednesday, and the dressing table on Friday and the room got vacuumed on both Monday and Wednesday.  The majority of the house, too, got cleaned over the week, one room or area at a time.  I am hoping to be able to maintain the cleaning schedule, next week, too, with some modifications - the smaller bathroom won't need to be cleaned, next week, for example, since no one used it, this week, after I cleaned it.  

On Friday, I was grateful for:
- All what I was able to accomplish, today
- A dry day (more rain is in the forecast!)
- Rescue inhalers!
- Friend M tending to the garden
- Chatting with my daughter 

Friday's To Do List:
- Dust/Tidy the dressing table top - DONE
- Finish cleaning my bathroom - DONE - bath mats washed, floor mopped, etc.
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor - DONE
- More paperwork - DONE
- Have M plant the rooted pineapple top (from earlier) - NOT DONE - too cold at night, still, he said

I am not going to make a long to do list for Saturday.  Both my daughter and a good friend think my to do lists are unreasonably long and I am trying to do too much!  I don't think so, but, I am going to try to keep the weekends relatively free.

Saturday's To Do List:
- Finish up the paperwork backlog
- Clear the family room coffee table
- Another load of laundry?
- Take a piece of cake over to neighbor T
- Change the clocks before I go to sleep in the night

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

Friday, March 8, 2019

More Grocery Shopping on Thursday

Thank you, everyone, on your kind comments on yesterday's post.  At first, I wasn't sure if I wanted to show how messy my desk was to the world at large.  I was embarrassed by how it looked and how it might reflect on me as a person.  It made me feel like I was exposing my vulnerable underbelly to the world.  But, I wanted to be honest, and that involves showing myself as I am, warts and messy desks, and all!  Each one of those items on my desk is a delayed action, whether that action is to toss the item, fill out the survey, or file it.  The main reason for the delay in action tends to be that I didn't want to take the time, right then and there, to process the piece of paper.  The reasons for why I didn't want to take an action right away varied - I had to (or wanted to) do something else, first; I was tired and didn't want to deal with it at the time; or, I was simply procrastinating because that was easier!

And a big welcome and thank you to my followers, both new and old, including Anne who had to unfollow and then follow to show up on the sidebar!

Today, I slept the morning away!  I went to bed sometime around 3:00 a.m. and woke up, once, around 6:30 a.m., but went back to sleep and slept till practically noon!  At least, I got my full 8 hours of sleep!  LOL.

I spent the early part of the afternoon replying to blog comments and visiting some blogs.  Then, I had the rest of my vegetable soup for lunch.

After lunch, I went to the pharmacy to pick up a medication refill, as they had texted me saying it was ready to be picked up.  While I was at the pharmacy, I inquired about the status of my new blood sugar monitor (yes, I had to stand in the other line to do that), but I was told that they hadn't received anything from the doctor's office!  Here we go, again, on that merry-go-round!  LOL!  My medication refill came to $30.00

Then, I went to the dollar store that is adjoining the pharmacy, because, even though I had said I didn't need anything else, I wanted to check on their strawberries (one of the other grocery stores has advertised 2 lb. containers of strawberries for $2.49, this week, and their 1 lb. containers for $2.00).  The dollar store had 1 lb. containers of strawberries for $1.50, but, they didn't look very good.  Instead, I bought a 6 oz. container of blueberries (organic, according to the package), and a 6 oz. container of blackberries.   Then, I saw the containers of turkey cold cuts!  Cold cuts are not the healthiest of meats, but, for $.99, it was a bargain.  The "best by" date is April 9, but, this container will be eaten well before then, I'm sure!  I also bought two cans of the apple pie filling - I have a box of yellow cake mix in the cupboard and will make another dump cake to take to the upcoming family gathering.  I had signed up to bring an appetizer and a dessert to that event.

3/7 Groceries

 My bill came to $5.00

3/7 Receipt

March grocery shopping budget = $75
Spent to date = $1.79 + $7.74 + $5 =   $14.53
Amount left in the March grocery budget = $75 - $14.53 = $60.47

After I came home, I made myself a sandwich with the turkey cold cuts:

Turkey Cold Cuts Sandwich
I had that and a cup of tea.  By then, it was almost 6:00 p.m.  I watched the evening news and knitted for a bit,  Then, I did some paperwork, filing as I went.  Friend R called for a chat and Aunt C called, too, for a longer chat!

Dinner was the leftover portion of salmon and asparagus from yesterday, followed by yogurt and blackberries for dessert.  I need to decide what I want for dinner, tomorrow, and pull something out from the freezer.  Maybe the beef pot roast.  I should also make the asparagus soup for lunches. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Blog friends who are kind and non-judgmental in their comments
- My prescription refill was ready without any undue drama!
- Bargains at the dollar store!
- Phone chats with family and friends
- Video chatting with my daughter

Well, since I slept the whole morning and the trip to the pharmacy and the grocery shopping took up a good portion of my afternoon, I didn't do much of the tidying and cleaning I had planned to do!  It is midnight, now, as I type this, and I am not likely to do any cleaning now.  So, it will all be put off until tomorrow, and this is how I end up procrastinating! 

Thursday's To Do List:
- Pharmacy to pick up prescription - DONE
- Tidy the top of my dressing table
- 30 mins. of paperwork/filing - DONE
- Finish cleaning my bathroom
- 30 mins. of tidying in the 3rd bedroom - DONE
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor

Friday's To Do List:
- Dust/Tidy the dressing table top
- Finish cleaning my bathroom
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor
- More paperwork
- Have M plant the rooted pineapple top (from earlier)

Rooted Pineapple Top
This is from the earlier attempt at rooting pineapple tops - I put three tops to root and only one rooted:

Rooted Pineapple Top - Close Up
It'll be the beginning of my pineapple plantation! 

How was your Thursday?  Do you ever say you have enough groceries and then, go out and buy more?