Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July Balanced Life Goals - Review

Wait a minute!  How can it be the end of the month, already, and time to review and update my July goals for a more balanced life?  Where did July go?

As I've explained before, my monthly balanced life goals are similar to the spokes of a wheel, with the length of each spoke representing my satisfaction in that area of my life, from 1 to 10, with 1 being most dissatisfied and 10 being most satisfied.  Ideally, all the spokes are of equal length and the wheel will roll along smoothly.  If the spokes are of unequal lengths, then, the resulting wheel will be lop-sided and wobbly.  My ratings for each segment are shown within the parentheses, with the beginning of the month ratings in black and the end of the month ratings in blue.

July Balanced Life Goals:

Spiritual: (9.5)(9.5):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:

- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude; focus on being positive and joyful - Daily prayers and daily gratitudes are on-going.  I have been incorporating a joyful activity, each day, too, although I didn't always make a specific note of it in each day's blog posts - often, the unspecified joyful activities have been writing my blog post, reading, watching an interesting program on TV, or a simple joy such as a good cup of tea, using my good china, or a really ripe and sweet nectarine.  As for being positive, I have had many blessings this month, in the form of knowing my daughter is safe and alive, and good medical reports.

- Continue to practice meditation at home and at the temple - Daily meditation at home is on-going; however, I didn't go to the temple, this month.

- Continue to cultivate non-attachment to material things - Six bags of donations left the house, this month: two bags of books, two bags of clothes, and two bags of assorted household items.  I also gave away one of my blue and white vases from my collection to a friend and started a new bag of donations.

- Attend the monthly rosary prayer gathering if there is one! - Attended the gathering and gave a ride to cousin P, as well.  

I am leaving the rating at 9.5 (it would have been a 10 if I had gone to the temple).

House (9.5)(9):  The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming:

I think I made the house a little too pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming, because the fleas decided to move in!

- Clean - do one deep cleaning task per week - Well, the discovery of fleas coming into the house sort of overshadowed all my cleaning efforts, this month!  Lots of vacuuming, spraying, and laundry was done.  It will have to suffice!

- Organize - continue to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place - Not too much organizing, unless you count stuffing all the laundered quilts into the linen closet, to minimize any chance of any fleas getting on them, as finding a place for everything!  LOL!  That closet is now stuffed to the gills with quilts!   

- Well maintained - continue to implement the cleaning schedule - On-going!  I've been tweaking the cleaning schedule, a bit, but, things are being maintained.

I reduced the rating to a 9 due to the flea situation.

Garden (8)(8):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:

- Maintain (water 2-3 times per week, depending on the temperature; weed) - On-going; M and I have been watering the garden, doing some weeding, and M has kindly sprayed both front and back for fleas.

- Plant the rest of the vegetables and flowers - Didn't do any new planting; too hot! The two tomato plants are withering and the tomatoes on them are not only small but partially sun-baked when I pick them!  I think I should apply for a patent for growing sun-dried tomatoes on the vine!  

Summer is not a very good time for my garden; it just gets too hot.  All I can do is water and wait for the cooler weather.

I am keeping the rating at 8.

Daughter (10)(10):  The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her:

- Daily texts, phone calls, and video chatting, etc. - On-going; a most treasured joyful daily activity, made even more precious after recent events (the garlic festival shooting).

- Enjoy her planned visits (two visits planned, in July!) - Her first visit was over the July 4th weekend, when she came down to attend the Anime Expo.  Although she spent the major portion of her day at the Anime Expo, we still got to spend some time together, which was most enjoyable.  Her second visit was to attend a conference on Childhood Obesity.  She came down the weekend prior to the conference and stayed a couple of days after the conference was over, so we could spend more time together.  We went out to eat, took friend R to the Japanese Garden, did some clothes shopping, etc., while she was visiting. 

Last weekend, on Saturday, daughter visited the Gilroy Garlic Festival with some of her friends and enjoyed it, although it was a bit too hot.  On Sunday, there was a shooting incidence at the Gilroy Garlic Festival!  I am so very thankful my daughter was not there when it happened!  She is, and has been, one of the biggest blessings in my life.

I am keeping the rating at a 10.   

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to have a connection with family members and friends:

- Regular phone calls and emails - On-going.  I don't always write about it, but, I speak to or exchange emails with family and friends, at least once, each day.

- Will be seeing several members of the family and friends at this month's prayer gathering -Saw several members of the family and friends, which is one of the reasons why I attend these prayer gatherings; also, gave cousin P a ride.

- Celebrate friend R's birthday - Accomplished.  Daughter and I took her to the Japanese Garden and the Bonsai exhibit, there, and out to lunch, afterwards.  I believe friend R really enjoyed her birthday celebration.

- Wish friend A for her birthday - Accomplished; her daughters invited my daughter and I to a surprise dinner held to celebrate her birthday and we were able to celebrate with her!

In addition, daughter and I were able to attend a birthday celebration held at Aunt T's, this month, and saw several members of the family and friends there, too.

I am keeping the rating at a 10.

Community (10)(10):  The goal is to be involved in my community:

- Continue to participate in the blogging community - On-going; I am so thankful to have blog friends who are kind and supportive.

- Participate in the Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt - On-going; I took a couple of photos for the scavenger hunt, this month.

Weekly phone calls with neighbor T - On-going; spoke with her a couple of times during the week, too.

- Continue to participate in the online group of which I am a member - On-going; it's another group of supportive, non-judgmental community of friends.

In addition, I visited neighbor S one evening and participated in community out-reach surveys by both the Census and the gas company!

I am keeping the rating at a 10.

Finances (10)(10):  The goal is financial security:

- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose - On-going.  I went over my grocery budget and my pet care budget (I might have gone a bit overboard with all those containers of flea spray I bought!) this month, but, I not going to worry about that.  It was not something that I couldn't afford and put me into debt.  In general, I continue to live well within my means.  

I am keeping the rating at a 10.

 Health & Well Being (8)(9):  The goal is good health:

- Attend the doctor's appointment scheduled for 7/22 - DONE.  I was very nervous about this particular appointment, because it was my first time with this new primary care physician and she didn't have any of my medical history to go by.  But, the appointment went very well and I feel this new doctor will work out well.

- Mammogram when it is scheduled - DONE.  Results came back NORMAL!

- Continue to work on the following life style changes: 
   - better diet - eat more vegetables, less carbs - Work in progress!  Some carbs crept galloped back into my diet, this month, and they showed up when I got on the scales!

   - better hydration - drink 8 x 8oz glasses of water, daily - Work in progress.  I really need to improve my water intake, as my recent lab tests showed I might be dehydrated!

   - better sleep habits -  get 6-7 hours of sleep - On-going; I am getting the sleep, but only by sleeping in!  Sleep pattern is still very off!

   - more exercise - visit the gym and see what they offer - comment!  

- Lose 5 lbs  - Ha!  I GAINED 5 lbs!

The less said about the life style changes the better!  HOWEVER, I am going to focus on the positives and I have a lot of positives in my health segment, this month!  First and foremost, my mammogram results came as NORMAL!  This is such a relief!  Even though the cancer markers on the blood tests every  3 months have been consistently normal, I needed to know that the mammogram results showed normal, as well.  

Secondly, the most recent lab tests done by the new primary care doctor showed my blood glucose levels were good (HbA1c of 5.6).  That means I've been controlling my diabetes without any medications since October of 2018.  This, also, is a big relief!  

The same lab tests showed my cholesterol levels were good and the doctor said I could reduce the dosage of one of the medications I take for it.  My various other results were good, too - iron levels, calcium levels, potassium levels, Vit. D and B12 levels, etc.   The doctor did tell me to drink more water as test results indicated I was dehydrated and she told me to lose weight, which I already knew!  

So, for those reasons, I am raising my satisfaction levels in this segment to a 9!  That is the highest it has been in years!  Probably since I first started doing these balanced life goals!

Time Management (7.5)(8): The goal is to spend my time in a mindful manner:

- Get back on a more regular schedule - Work in progress; the weekly cleaning schedule is helping.

- Procrastinate less - Another work in progress.  I still tend to procrastinate and it takes a lot of talking to myself to get going on doing some things, but, I am getting better.  The important things (paying bills, scheduling and attending medical appointments, keeping other appointments, renewing or returning library books, etc.) are getting done in a timely manner.  But the other things, like some cleaning and filing, I still tend to put off until the last possible moment!  Part of my problem might be that these are really my own, self-imposed deadlines and nothing very dire will happen if I don't meet them.   

I am, however, giving myself credit for trying and for not procrastinating on the flea abatement-related cleaning, and raising my satisfaction level to 8.    

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time (10)(10):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.

- Engage in daily joyful activities - On-going.  Some days, it is a specific, planned activity, such as visiting a place or attending an event.  Other days, it is writing my blog post, or enjoying a special dessert.

- Go on at least a couple of outings - visit a museum, revisit the Japanese Garden for bonsai exhibit - Accomplished!  I visited the Autry Museum and the Japanese Garden and really enjoyed both these outings!  In general, I am not someone who needs to go places and do things in order to be happy.  I tend to be very much a homebody.  Going places takes some effort, but, I do enjoy it, once I make the effort!

I am keeping the rating at a 10.

That is my review of my goals for a more balanced life in July.  On the whole, I am pleased with the progress I made and what I was able to accomplish.

Did you make any goals for a more balanced life in July?  If so, how did you do?

Errands and Groceries on Tuesday

"We like a pillow for our head, even if it isn't soft"
Dancer, using the base of the stand fan for a pillow

Today has been another cooler day.  I didn't see any unwelcome critters about, either, which made me very happy.

I called the gynecologist's office and made an appointment, scheduled for next week.  Then, I went to the DMV counter at the Auto Club and renewed my car registration.  On the way home, I did some grocery shopping.  I was out of some items and I wanted to stock up on other items, so I bought two bags of cat food, 24 cans of tuna (on sale for $.59@), 2 cans of pineapple chunks in juice (@$.99), a jar of mayonnaise (well, Miracle Whip as that's what I prefer, $3.49), a box of pancake mix ($1.99), a container of pancake syrup ($2.89), a loaf of bread ($1.99), and a jar of peanut butter ($1.99).  I had been waiting for peanut butter to go on sale for $.99, and it hadn't gone on sale for that price, so I finally gave in and bought a jar at full price, because I've been out of peanut butter.  When I came home, next week's grocery ads were in the mail box and, guess what?  Store brand peanut butter will be on sale for $.99!  Oh, no!  I've half a mind to go back, tomorrow, to return what I bought, today, and get another jar at the sale price!

Breakfast had been cereal.  When I came back from grocery shopping, I made myself a tuna salad sandwich for lunch (I had been out of Miracle Whip, so couldn't make any tuna or egg salads).  Dinner was leftovers from the fridge.

I changed bed sheets and did laundry in the evening.  I decided to wait one more day to vacuum.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Medical insurance
- The Auto Club having a DMV counter
- Another cooler day
- Safe driving while I did errands
- Being able to video chat with my daughter

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Renew car registration - DONE
- Call gynocologist's office for an appointment - DONE
- Grocery shop/buy cat food - DONE
- Change bed sheets - DONE
- Laundry - DONE
- Dust
- Vacuum
- Water the indoor plants - DONE

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Vacuum
- Dust
- Clean daughter's bedroom window sill
- Clean the bathrooms
- Paperwork/pay bills

How was your day, today?  What are your plans for tomorrow?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


The Dictionary Wars by Peter Martin

Monday was a much cooler day, but, I really didn't feel like doing most of the things on my to do list, so, I gave myself permission to take it easy and read.  I finished reading "The End of Ice" by Dahr Jamail and started on "The Dictionary Wars" by Peter Martin.

In addition to reading, I did some laundry (washed three quilts), flea combed Dancer at least three different times, renewed some of my library books, took the trash cans to the curb for trash pick up in the morning, watered the garden both front and back, did a little bit of weeding, and visited neighbor S, across the street. Later in the evening, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The cooler temperatures
- Visiting with neighbor S
- Water for the garden and for all the laundry
- Being able to renew my library books, online
- Books to read

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Renew car registration
- Call gynocologist's office for an appointment
- Change bed sheets
- Laundry 
- Dust
- Vacuum
- Water the indoor plants

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

Monday, July 29, 2019

Counting my Blessings on Sunday

I called friend R when I woke up, this morning, but she was having a headache (this heat is getting to us all), so we decided to get together another day.  I had woken up fairly late, anyway (I woke up, once, earlier in the morning, when I received a group text from someone in the prayer group, but, I went back to sleep after opening a window to air out the house).  So, I spent the rest of the morning having a cup of tea, replying to blog comments, etc.

For lunch, I cooked some of the frozen chicken potstickers I had bought, with a nectarine for dessert.  Followed by a piece of chocolate cream pie as an afternoon snack!  Yes, a bit of an indulgence, I know!

In the afternoon, I read for a bit, then, felt sleepy, so, took a nap on the sofa.

After I woke up from my nap and had a cup of tea, I changed the dust sheets on the sofas and put the old ones to wash.  After they were done, I changed my bed sheets and put the used sheets to wash.  I debated whether to vacuum, again, today, but, decided to wait until tomorrow.  Instead, I sprayed the bathroom, again, and the area around the sliding glass door at the back.

Dancer has been flea combed several times, today, as well.  He doesn't like it, but lets me comb him for a few minutes, each time.  Then, he tries to get away.  If I follow him, he'll let me comb him once or twice and then he'll meow for me to stop!  "That's enough, Mummy!".  If I ignore him and comb, again, he takes a swipe at me or tries to bite!  "I said that was enough!".  He's tired of having his fur pulled and tugged!

I'm getting tired, too, of the constant round of combing him, spraying, vacuuming, changing sheets, and laundry!  But, I don't want to be constantly complaining about it, either.  Instead, as I mentioned to one of my friends, I am trying to count my blessings!  I am grateful that I am well enough to deal with this at this time.  Can you imagine if I was still undergoing chemo and trying to deal with a flea infestation at the same time?  There were days when I couldn't lift my head!  And, I am grateful that my daughter nagged me into buying a new washer and dryer - my old washer wouldn't have been able to cope with the amount of washing I am doing!   So, I am trying to count my blessings and be grateful for small mercies, as it were.

Later in the evening, I cooked rice, stir-fried smoked sausage, and curried, sauteed okra for dinner:

Smoked Sausage and Okra
I had some of my tomato chutney with them.  Tomorrow, I think I will cook some dhal to go with the leftover sausage and okra.

Later in the evening, I video chatted with my daughter.  She went to her acrobatics classes, today, did some grocery shopping, and cooked for the week:

Daughter's Weekly Meal Prep 
She made: spicy garbanzo beans; riced cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots sauteed with ginger teriyaki sauce, mackerel curry, mango curry, dhal, and "mayo tofu" with mushrooms (forgot to ask her what mayo tofu was).  She usually takes salads for lunch and had rice with the curries for dinner, alternating the different curries.

One of my cousins just texted me - she was watching the late news and heard that there had been a shooting, earlier today, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival my daughter and her friends attended, yesterday!  I had mentioned it to her, at yesterday's prayer gathering, that my daughter was attending the garlic festival.  Cousin was texting to ask if my daughter was OK! YES!  Thank Goodness!  According to the news, 4 people (including the shooting suspect) were killed and 15 injured!  When I texted the news to my daughter, she said her friend had told her about it, because he had gone there, again, today, with some other friends!  Oh, my goodness!  How scary!  But, they had left before the shooting occurred!  Daughter had not wanted to go to the festival, today, because she wanted to go to her acrobatics classes!  I guess she didn't want to say anything to me about it because she didn't want me to get upset.  I am so glad my daughter, her friend, and his friends are all safe, unhurt, and unharmed!  Thank goodness!  What a blessing that is!  The biggest of my blessings!  I hadn't even heard about the shooting when I wrote my post heading!  Today was the one day I didn't turn on the TV to watch news!  I am watching news, right now, though. Something like this really puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

Today, I am grateful for:
- My daughter and her friends are all safe, unhurt, and unharmed!
- The shooting didn't happen when she and her friends were at the festival!
- Fleas are the only thing I have to deal with, today!
- My many, many, MANY blessings!
- My cousin for texting me

 Sunday's To Do List:
- Call friend R - DONE
- Maybe go out to lunch with her - POSTPONED
- Do laundry - DONE
- Other things as needed - DONE (cooked, did dishes, cleaned the litter box)

Monday's To Do List:
- Go to DMV counter at the Auto Club to renew car registration
- Call gynocologist's office for an appointment
- Change bed sheets on daughter's bed
- Laundry (bed sheets/quilts)
- Dust living room & dining area
- Vacuum the house
- Clean the fridge
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up
- Water the garden, front and back

How was your Sunday?  Have you counted your blessings, recently?

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Prayer Gathering on Saturday

I stayed up reading until the "wee hours of the morning", last night!  It was 4:15 a.m. when I went to bed!  I woke up from a bad dream at 6:00 a.m., opened the bathroom window to get some cooler morning air into the house, and went back to bed!  I slept till 10:00 a.m.  Daughter called to wish me a good morning; she was planning to attend the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival with a couple of her friends, today, she said.

It was still relatively cool inside the house when I woke up for the second time, a very comfortable 80F.  I probably should have vacuumed the house, right away, but, I needed my cup of tea first, and then, I had to check emails and reply to blog comments.  Then, I needed breakfast - I am trying to be good, so I ate a piece of cantaloupe, instead of toast and jam, which was my other option (I finished my last egg, last night, when I had a scrambled egg on toast for dinner).

So, it was already 1:15 p.m. when I started to vacuum! I finished by 2:15 p.m.  I used a new vacuum cleaner bag and I tossed it, after I finished.  Then, I took a break and ate a nectarine.  We'll call that lunch, I guess?

Then, around 3:00 p.m., I left to run my errands.  I put gas to the car, went to Sears to get my vacuum cleaner bags (it's a Kenmore vacuum cleaner), and, on the way back, I stopped at the grocery store to buy the dessert to take to the prayer gathering (a frozen chocolate cream pie; $5.99), 1/2 gal. milk ($1.99), a dozen eggs ($1.99), 3 oranges (@$.89/lb), a head of lettuce ($.99), a box of frozen chicken pot stickers ($3.99) and a box of frozen General Tso chicken ($5.99).  My total came to $22.22.

I was home by 4:30 p.m.  I put away the groceries (sorry, I didn't take a photo), made myself a cup of tea, fed Dancer, and ate a handful of almonds for a tea-time snack.  Cousin P called to verify the time we had to leave to go to the monthly rosary prayer gathering and I confirmed we should leave by 6:30 p.m.

She came over just before 6:30 p.m. and we left on time.  We were at friend F's house at 7:00 p.m., although the prayers weren't said immediately.  Today's prayer gathering was well attended and I was happy to see aunt T and cousin V as well as friends.  Friend F had prepared a delicious meal and we stayed around talking for some time, after dinner. 

There was a DUI checkpoint on the way home and I was required to pull over to go through it.  I don't drink anything alcoholic, so I was not at all worried.  I was asked if I had drunk anything, tonight; I answered, "No", and I was waved through.  I dropped cousin P off and came home, then, video chatted with daughter.  She had enjoyed her day at the garlic festival although, she said it had been uncomfortably hot.

Aunt C and friend R had called and left messages while I was out, but it was too late to call them back.  Friend R had said she'll call me in the morning, so we might get together to go out to lunch. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to attend the monthly prayer gathering
- Being able to give cousin P a ride to the gathering and back
- A safe drive there and back
- Seeing some members of the family and friends
- Daughter had a fun day with friends

Saturday's To Do List:
- Vacuum - DONE
- Buy more vacuum cleaner bags - DONE
- Buy a dessert to take to the prayer gathering - DONE
- Buy a few groceries (eggs, milk) - DONE
- Put gas to the car - DONE
- Change the sofa dust covers - DONE
- Laundry
- Attend the prayer gathering (& give cousin P a ride) - DONE

I didn't do the laundry, today, but will do a load or two, tomorrow.

Sunday's To Do List:
- Call friend R
- Maybe go out to lunch with her
- Do laundry
- Other things as needed

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

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tired on Friday

I woke up with a headache, this morning, probably from all the spraying and stressing, yesterday.  Although the headache wore off, later, I took it easy, today.  Partly because the duct taping and spraying seemed to have helped.  I only found one flea on the bathroom floor and it seemed to be dying, anyway (the spray leaves an oily residue that remains effective for several days).  When I flea combed Dancer, I found only one flea on him and it seemed to be dead, too.  I felt I could afford to relax my guard for one day and didn't vacuum.

I did a load of laundry and hung it inside the house to dry, instead of using the dryer, because I felt confident enough that no fleas would jump on the items.  However, later in the evening, when I washed my bed sheets, I dried them in the dryer. 

It was another rather warm day, but the fans were sufficient.  I spent the afternoon reading one of my library books, "The End of Ice" by Dahr Jamail:

Library Book
In the early evening, I turned on the sprinklers in the back yard.  When M came to do the garden, I asked him to spray both the back and front yards for me.  He had a different type of spray he had used to spray ants in another client's kitchen, which stated it was effective against fleas, as well, and he offered to spray it around my bathroom, laundry closet, and outside, around the walls of the house at the back.  It was an offer I accepted, gratefully.  After he sprayed that chemical, he sprayed the stuff I had bought for the yard, as well. 

Much later in the evening, I mopped the kitchen floor. 

My joyful activity for the day was to make a bookmark with some scrapbooking paper to give to my friend as a thank you for lending me her book on the women in the Bible; I will be returning the book to her, tomorrow, at this month's rosary gathering.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Finding fewer fleas
- M helping me with the spraying
- Library books
- Washing machines and ceiling fans
- Video chatting with my daughter

Friday's To Do List:
- Buy more vacuum cleaner bags
- Vacuum
- Mop the kitchen - DONE
- Water the garden - DONE
- Have M spray the garden - DONE
- Other things as needed - DID LAUNDRY

Saturday's To Do List:
- Vacuum
- Buy more vacuum cleaner bags
- Buy a dessert to take to the prayer gathering
- Buy a few groceries (eggs, milk)
- Put gas to the car
- Change the sofa dust covers
- Laundry
- Attend the prayer gathering (& give cousin P a ride)

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

Friday, July 26, 2019

Productive Thursday

Today, we had a light drizzle in the morning.  Other areas received more rain, according to the news, but, what we received barely even moistened the ground!  However, it was a little cooler, today, and more humid, as well.

I received even more good news from the new doctor's office, today!  My lab test results came back and most of the results were good!  My A1c blood sugar level was good, below even the "pre-diabetes" level!  Apparently, I am doing well with controlling the diabetes through diet; I've been off medications for it since last October.  She said some of the results showed that I might be dehydrated, so I am to drink more water!  And, of course, I need to lose weight!

Today, I vacuumed the house, changed the dust sheets on the sofas in the family room and my bed sheets, did two loads of laundry, ran the dishwasher, and washed some other dishes by hand.  Then, I went to the pet supplies store for more kitty litter and flea spray, for both indoors and out.  Later, I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed inside the house!

Yesterday, I found out from where the fleas were coming into the house!  There is a crack on the floor where the "new" bathroom (the "new" addition of family room, bathroom, and laundry closet is now about 20 years old!) joins the rest of the house.  The caulking has chipped off, leaving a tiny gap.  Well, apparently the fleas are coming up from under the house through that gap!  I need to caulk it, but, in the meantime, I duct taped it!  Then, I noticed that they were coming through the wall socket closest to that crack and duct taped around the socket, too! 

Tomorrow, I will ask M to spray the garden.  I will also need to hire a professional exterminator to come out and spray under the house.

On the way home from buying the kitty litter and flea spray, I stopped at one of the Armenian grocery stores to see if they had my favorite loaf bread, but they didn't.  They were stocking up the shelves with a different type of bread (a flatter, elongated, oval shaped bread), but I didn't buy that or any other item.

I had what I call "breakfast fried rice" (leftover rice fried with crumbled bacon, scrambled eggs, a little dried Maldive fish chips, chili powder, curry leaves, and other spices) for brunch, today. Later in the afternoon, I had a little pistachio ice cream for a treat!   An early dinner of frozen lasagna, followed by a fresh mango and some crackers for a snack, later. 

Today I am grateful for:
- Good lab test results
- Flea sprays
- Duct tape
- The light drizzle we received
- Working appliances!

Friday's To Do List:
- Buy more vacuum cleaner bags
- Vacuum
- Mop the kitchen
- Water the garden
- Have M spray the garden
- Other things as needed

How was your Thursday?  What have you planned for Friday?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Good News on Wednesday

Good News

My mammogram results arrived in the mail, today, and the results are NORMAL!  What a blessing! Thank goodness!  It's what I had been hoping and praying for!  Yes, the blood test cancer markers have been good, but, seeing the results in writing had me crying happy tears!  The first thing I did was turn on the altar light and give thanks.  Then, I texted the good news to my daughter, who rejoiced with me.

I woke up at 9:00 a.m., today.  The bags of donations I had set out last night had already been collected and a receipt left.  I had a cup of tea and ate a mango for breakfast.  Then, I watched the tail end of the first half of the Mueller Testimony and the entire second half.  I am not willing to discuss politics on my blog, but, these are interesting times in which we live. 

Friend M shared pictures of flowers in his garden:

Zinnia 1

Zinnia 2

Zinnia 3
Aren't they lovely?

Lunch was a salad with chicken; yogurt for dessert.  I haven't decided on dinner, yet.  Maybe some fried rice or scrambled egg on toast. 

It's going to be another hot day.  We haven't reached our high of the day, yet, but it is 101F at 2:00 p.m.  It is still in the mid 80s inside the house, however, and I am comfortable with the ceiling fan on in the family room.  But, not comfortable enough to do housework!  That's my excuse and I am sticking to it!  LOL.

Inside Temperature at 2:00 p.m.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Good mammogram results
- Answered prayers
- Mail carriers who deliver the mail, walking up and down the street in this heat
- Electricity to run fans, TVs, and computers
- A relaxed day

How is your Wednesday coming along? 

Hot on Tuesday

Today, I woke up at 10:00 a.m. (after falling asleep around 2:30 a.m.) and decided to take it easy.  I had a cup of tea, replied to blog comments, and flea combed Dancer.  I found fewer on him than before (just two), but, went ahead and gave him his next dose of flea medication, 10 days early!  (I combed him, again, later in the afternoon, and didn't find anything on him; hopefully, with the new dose of medication, he will soon be flea-free!)

I had a slice of toast and a banana for breakfast and was trying to decide what to do in the afternoon, when the pharmacy called, saying they haven't had a response from the doctor's office.  I had a suspicion that they were calling the old doctor's office and I wondered if I gave them the old insurance card by mistake, yesterday.  So, I went to the pharmacy in the afternoon and gave them my new insurance card and told the pharmacy to call that doctor, instead.  The person who attended to me checked their computer system to see if any refills were due and, according to her, there was nothing due.  Neither she nor I could figure out what they were calling me about, in the morning, and I had forgotten to get the name of the person who called me.  Oh, well.

After that, I went to the dollar store to buy some dishwashing detergent and a few cans of lemon-lime soda.  I try not to drink soda, but, I've been feeling a bit nauseated, again, and I feel that the soda helps to relieve the nausea.  It certainly helped, today.

It was hot in the afternoon, today (103F).  I considered turning on the air conditioner in the bedroom, but I didn't.  Instead, I managed with the fan, went through this week's grocery ads, finished reading the book I had borrowed from my friend, watched news on TV, dozed a bit on the sofa, and brooded about the housework I didn't do because it was too hot to clean the house, today!

In the evening, I watered the garden, front and back, helped neighbor T bring in her trash can (my good deed for the day), handwashed the skirt I wore to water the garden because it got splashed with mud, and  put out the six bags of donations by the front door for pick up in the morning, tomorrow (I probably won't be up in time to put them out in the morning before the donations pick up van arrives!)

Today, I am grateful for:
- Electric fans
- Lemon-lime soda (even if soda is bad for you)
- Helpful pharmacy staff
- Cool evenings
- Books to read

Tuesday's accomplishments:
- Watered the garden
- Watered the house plants
- Went to the pharmacy again
- Went to the dollar store
- Gave Dancer another dose of flea medication
- Cleaned his litter box
- Brought the trash cans in
- Put the donations out for pick up in the morning

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Dust the house
- Vacuum
- Do the dishes/run the dishwasher

How was your Tuesday?  How are you coping with the summer heat?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Dctor's Appointment on Monday

Very Clean and Non-Working After Being Laundered

Today, I had my first appointment with my new primary care physician.  I am not quite sure why, but, I was very nervous about today's doctor's appointment.  I think, it might have been because this doctor wouldn't have the benefit of my medical records for the past several years.  But, the appointment went well, once I had found the office - I had transposed the numbers in the address when I wrote it down!  The doctor gave me a referral to see a gynecologist (I need to call to make an appointment for that).  She also wanted me to do a fairly comprehensive panel of lab tests, which I quite understood, as she was trying to establish a base record.  She wanted me to do it after fasting for 14 hours.  I was fasting in the morning, so, I decided to do the lab tests today.  I had to wait until afternoon to make sure I had fasted for 14 hours.  I was worried if I'd be able to do it, but, I was fine.  I  took a banana with me to eat right after the blood tests were done. 

Between seeing the doctor and going for my lab tests, I went to the pharmacy to give them the information about the new doctor, so they'll know who to contact for refills, etc.

After the lab tests, I drove to the Auto Club to discuss an issue that had come up when they were processing my renewal.  They had sent me a letter asking me to fill out the enclosed form, pertaining to my daughter.  However, when I met with the insurance agent, I was assured that I didn't need to fill out the form!  I'm glad that was taken care of.  Later, I was thinking I could have taken my car registration renewal papers with me and taken care of that, too.  I will go later this week to attend to that.

On the way back from the Auto Club, I bought a bowl of steamed rice with beef and broccoli from a Chinese fast food place.  Came home and ate all of it!  I can usually eat only half of a bowl, but, today, I was hungry!  Afterwards, of course, I felt too full!  I was also feeling very tired and sleepy.  So, I turned on the TV and dozed on and off while I watched news. 

Later, I changed my bed sheets and the sofa dust sheets and did two loads of laundry.  It was only when I was taking the load of sofa dust sheets out of the washer that I realized that I had bundled up one of the cordless phones in the sheets and washed that, too!  The phone is nice and clean, now, but, it no longer works!  I had three such phones - one in the family room, one in the hallway, and one in my bedroom; I now have two!  As I told my friend, I make the silliest mistakes when I am tired!

I also flea combed Dancer, cleaned the fridge, and took the trash cans to the curb.  But, I didn't vacuum the house or water the garden as I was too tired.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A good doctor's appointment
- I found the place even after writing down the address wrongly
- Safe driving
- Managing to fast long enough for the lab tests
- Getting the Auto Club issue resolved

Monday's To Do List:
- Doctor's appointment (at 9:00 a.m.) - DONE
- Lab tests - DONE
- Go to the AAA re. car insurance renewal - DONE
- Pharmacy - DONE
- Change my bed sheets - DONE
- Load of laundry - DONE (did 2 loads, because I washed the sofa dust sheets, as well)
- Clean out the fridge - DONE
- Take the trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Vacuum the house
- Water the garden, front and back

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Vacuum
- Water the garden
- Go to the pharmacy again (they've sent a text about one of my medication refills)
- Dust
- Give Dancer another dose of flea medication

How was your Monday?  What are some of the unusual items you've laundered by mistake?

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Parting on Sunday

Daughter left to go back to Berkeley, this morning.  Her flight was at 11:30 a.m.  We got up at 8:00 a.m. and daughter did her last minute packing, including the cooked salmon and curry puffs I had frozen for her to take back with her.  Then, I drove her to the airport, dropped her off, and came home.  At first, I thought I'd have to wait until October to see her again.  But, she told me that she has been invited to attend her friend's bridal shower, in August, so she'll be coming down again, next month!  It's easier to say goodbye to her when I know I will be seeing her again in about 3 weeks' time!

After I came home, I vacuumed the family room and my bathroom.  I don't think that vacuuming the rooms, piecemeal, is the best way to do this, but, it's what I am able to do, right now.  I guess something is better than nothing?

I also did two loads of laundry and remade daughter's bed with fresh sheets.   I spent the afternoon and most of the evening reading the book I borrowed from my friend (about the women in the Bible).  I am almost done with the book and will be able to return it to her at the next rosary gathering, next Saturday.

I am going to try to have an early night, tonight, because I have to get up fairly early tomorrow morning, too, because my doctor's appointment is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter had a safe flight back to Berkeley (well, she flies in to the Oakland airport and then, takes the subway to Berkeley and walks the mile or so from the subway station to her apartment as she claims it's faster than waiting for the bus).
- I will be seeing her, again, next month
- Working appliances
- Safe drives to the airport and back
- Pleasant weather

Sunday's To Do List:
- Take daughter to the airport - DONE
- Vacuum the family room - DONE
- Laundry - DONE
- Weekly phone call with neighbor T - DONE

Monday's To Do List:
- Doctor's appointment (at 9:00 a.m.)
- Go to the AAA re. car insurance renewal
- Change my bed sheets
- Load of laundry
- Clean out the fridge
- Take the trash cans to the curb
- Vacuum the house
- Water the garden, front and back

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

Parties on Saturday

On Saturday, I woke up around 9:30 a.m. and spent a relaxed morning,having a cup of tea and replying to blog comments, etc.  Then, I vacuumed the living room, dining area, and kitchen.  After that, it was time to take daughter to her friend's apartment.  On the way back, I stopped at a grocery store to buy a dessert to take to my aunt's house, some bananas ($.59/lb), a cantaloupe ($.25/lb), and a gift card.  Came home and ate a piece of the cantaloupe for a late breakfast.

Later, I made two birthday cards and enclosed the gift card in one.  Then, I wrapped up a gift I already had in my stash, attached the second card I had made, and took it over to my neighbor, who was having a birthday party and had invited me.  I didn't stay long at the neighbor's party as I didn't know anyone there, other than my neighbor and her daughter and hardly anyone spoke English and I don't speak Spanish beyond a few words and phrases.  But, my neighbor insisted that I ate something, so I had some salad, rice, chicken mole, refried beans, and some fruit for a late lunch.

After I came home, I read for awhile.  Then, around 7:00 p.m., I went to pick up daughter from her friend's.  Then, around 8:30 p.m., we went to my aunt's house to attend another birthday party (for my cousin's sister-in-law).  It was my intention to stay for a short while, only, but, we weren't allowed to leave until dinner was served and eaten, and the birthday cake was cut!  It was after midnight when we left and we were the first to leave! 

After we came home, daughter packed her suitcase, etc.  We went to sleep a little after 2:30 a.m.

On Saturday, I was grateful for:
- Vacuum cleaners
- Flea spray
- Safe drives to various places and back
- Daughter got to spend some time with her best friend
- Birthday parties!

Saturday's To Do List:
- Take daughter to her friend's house - DONE
- Vacuum the rest of the house - DID the living room, dining area, and kitchen.
- Put away the washed quilts and blankets for the summer - DONE
- Buy two gifts for a friend and for a neighbor who are celebrating birthdays - DONE
- Attend neighbor's birthday party - DONE
- Pick up daughter from her friend's house - DONE
- Attend the other party at Aunt T's house - DONE

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

Friday, July 19, 2019

Shopping on Friday

I was tired, last night, and went to bed relatively early for me (by 1:00 a.m.).  But, I had a rather restless night and kept waking up every hour or so.  In addition, I had some rather disturbing dreams; in the last one, I had come home after being out with my daughter and went in search of my mother to tell her we were home and found her body on the bathroom floor! Yes, there was a time when I came home after shopping with my daughter, and found my mother on the floor in the family room - she had had a stroke and a heart attack, and knocked her head on the edge of the table, as well.  I guess my dream was a replay of that event, except, in my dream, I found her in the bathroom of my childhood home in Sri Lanka!  After that, I couldn't fall asleep, again.

We noticed that Dancer was scratching and biting himself, so I flea combed him and, yes, I found three unwelcome visitors on him!  Sigh.  It's summer and flea season is upon us!  We applied his monthly flea meds, earlier this month - it is supposed to be absorbed through his skin and go into his blood stream and, according to the theory, when the fleas bite him, they get poisoned and die.  In the meantime, I will continue to flea comb him as often as I can (he doesn't like it and tries to bite me, when I comb him), do more laundry (sofa dust sheets, my bed sheets, etc.), and vacuum more often.

So, today, I washed the sofa dust sheets, sprayed the sofas with flea spray, and put the other set of dust sheets on (white sheets which will show any specks more easily than the floral sheets).  Then, I washed the quilts, blankets, and the sheets that were on my bed and put new sheets.  I also vacuumed the bedrooms again, the hallway, and daughter's bathroom  But, I ran short of energy to do the living room, family room, etc.  I guess I'll do them, tomorrow.

In the afternoon, daughter and I went shopping.  First, to the fabric store to buy navy blue thread to match the dress she will be wearing to her friend's wedding.  Daughter is one of the bridesmaids and her dress needs to be shortened.  We looked around the fabric store, but didn't buy anything else.

Daughter's New Dresses

Then, we went to our favorite discount clothing shop.  Earlier, they had closed most of their branches, but, this one store, which was their original store, is still open.  Daughter found 16 items for herself and a pair of shorts for me to wear around the house, for $94.94 with tax.  The most expensive item she bought was a white floral dress for $9.99; the least expensive item was a short sleeved blouse, with peplum, for $1.66.

Blouses and Shorts ($1.66 blouse on the right)

Other items included another dress ($7.99), blouses ($5.99-$7.99), T-shirts ($3.99@), strappy tank tops ($1.99@), and a couple of pairs of shorts ($3.99@) for herself.

She mostly wanted dresses and blouses for office wear and T-shirt to wear when she's taking acrobatics classes.

Casual/Work Out Wear
After that, we came home because M was coming to do the garden and I wanted him to put up the room air conditioner for me.  He watered the garden, front and back, for me, as well.  We also found a baby possum under one of the bushes!  We left it there as I believe the mother possum was somewhere around (it comes to eat the garden cats' food).

I have felt slightly nauseated, all day.  So, I had a mango for breakfast, some saltine crackers for lunch, and a scrambled egg with boiled potatoes for dinner.  I don't think I am coming down with anything, but, I am planning to have another early night, tonight.  Hopefully, I'll be able to sleep.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A working washer and dryer (especially helpful when doing multiple loads of laundry in one day)
- Daughter found some good buys at the clothing store
- My new pair of shorts that daughter bought for me (I now have two pairs of shorts!)
- M tending to the garden for me
- Being able to flea comb Dancer

Friday's To Do List:
- Water the garden, front and back - DONE (by M)
- Go shopping with daughter - DONE

Saturday's To Do List:
- Take daughter to her friend's house
- Vacuum the rest of the house
- Put away the washed quilts and blankets for the summer
- Buy two gifts for a friend and for a neighbor who are celebrating birthdays
- Attend neighbor's birthday party
- Pick up daughter from her friend's house
- Attend the other party at Aunt T's house

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

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Daughter Comes Home Again on Thursday

Typical Freeway Traffic

This morning, I drove to Anaheim to pick up my daughter from conference,  I left around 11:45 a.m. and got to her hotel at 1:15 p.m.  We got back home around 2:45 p.m.  There was the usual amount of traffic on the freeway, in both directions, but it was moving.  Daughter took the pictures of the traffic on the freeway, for me.

Approaching Downtown
I cooked a little rice after we came home and we had that with some of the salmon I had cooked, earlier, broccoli, and tomato chutney.  I had a mango for dessert.

Daughter was tired after her conference, so she rested after lunch.  I watched news, mended her clothes (two of her blouses had to be tossed because they had holes and, although I darned the holes, the darning could be seen).

Later, after tea, I mopped the bathroom, cleaned the kitchen, filled out the Census survey I had received in the mail, did a load of laundry, cooked the chicken drumsticks I had bought, earlier, and changed daughter's bed sheets.  I didn't water the garden and we didn't visit Aunt T, after all, as daughter was tired and wanted to relax at home.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Safe driving to and from Anaheim
- Daughter had a good conference
- She is home for the next couple of days
- My clothes drying rack
- What I was able to accomplish today

Thursday's To Do List:
- Pick up daughter from the conference - DONE
- Mend her clothes - DONE
- Clean the kitchen - DONE
- Mop the bathroom - DONE
- Paperwork/filing - DID SOME (Census Survey)
- Water the garden, front and back
- Load of laundry - DONE
- Visit aunt T?

Friday's To Do List:
- Water the garden, front and back
- Go shopping with daughter
- Maybe visit aunt T?

Just Relaxing!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Curry Puffs on Wednesday

Curry Puffs

I woke up relatively early for me, at 8:30 a.m., today, but, then, went back to sleep!  So much so for waking up early!  LOL!

After waking up for a second time, I had my cup of tea, replied to blog comments, and put away the laundry I didn't put away, yesterday.  After that, I called for a donations pick up, which is scheduled for next week, Wednesday.  I will leave the bags out, by the front door, and they will pick up and leave me a receipt.

For lunch, today, I had a salad with some of the salmon I cooked, yesterday.

Then, I vacuumed the house.  Note to self: vacuum in the morning, when it is not so hot! This week, I am making sticking to the cleaning schedule a priority!   Afterwards, I read and watched news while I rested.

Later in the evening, after a cup of tea, I decided to make curry puffs.  I took the ground beef I had browned, previously, and added some grated carrots and zucchini to it:

Curried Ground Beef Mixture
Then, it was a matter of putting a spoonful of the ground beef mixture on a square of puff pastry (I used frozen puff pastry, thawed):

Ground Beef Mixture on a Square of Puff Pastry
Wetting the edges of the puff pastry with some water to dampen it, folding the puff pastry over to form a triangle, which was then, sealed by pressing the tines of a fork against the edges:

Sealed Puff Pastry
I set them out on a foil-lined baking sheet and brushed them with some milk before baking them:

Ready for the Oven
I baked them for about 15 minutes at 350F.

I made 20 curry puffs.  I ate two of the curry puffs, while they were still warm from the oven, for my dinner.  I froze 10 for my daughter to take back, with her.  The rest, I kept in the fridge for us to have during the next couple of days.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to sleep in
- What I was able to accomplish today
- Blog readers who leave comments
- Electric fans and the electricity to run the fans!
- Books to read

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Put away laundry - DONE
- Call for a donations pick up - DONE; scheduled for 7/24
- Vacuum - DONE
- Clean the bathrooms - IN PROGRESS (I didn't have the energy to mop the floor)
- Bake curry puffs - DONE
- Do one decluttering/organizing task in the spare room - DONE
- Do some mending (daughter's clothes)

Thursday's To Do List:
- Pick up daughter from the conference
- Mend her clothes
- Clean the kitchen
- Mop the bathroom
- Paperwork/filing
- Water the garden, front and back
- Load of laundry
- Visit aunt T?

I can already see some of this being carried forward to Friday!

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

Productive Tuesday

Tuesday has been a productive day!  In the morning, after I woke up, I had a cup of tea, responded to blog comments, and dusted the family room.  Then, I put gas to the car and drove to my mammogram appointment.  Traffic was heavy, but I got to the radiology center by 12:45 p.m.  My mammogram appointment was at 1:00 p.m.  I didn't have to wait long before they called me in and the mammograms were done.

On the way home, I went to the Armenian grocery store, first.  They were having a special sale on salmon steaks ($4.49/lb) and I wanted to get some so my daughter can take some back with her.  I bought 8 salmon steaks (came to just over 4 lbs,).  I also bought more chicken drumsticks (on sale for $.59/lb.; today's special), fruits (bananas, apples, nectarines, mango), raw almonds ($3.99/lb), yogurt, some vegetables (tomatoes, broccoli, okra) and potatoes, as well.  I had $32.61 left in this month's grocery budget and  spent $40.05 at the store, today!  I decided it was okay to go over my grocery budget for this month.

After I came home, I had leftover vegan jambalaya for my lunch and pistachio ice cream for dessert!  Then, I rested a bit, read, and watched news.  Daughter texted that she survived her presentation and the panel discussion!  She said her supervisor and colleagues told her that she did great at presenting.  I knew she'd do well once she got over being nervous.

Later, I dusted my bedroom and started cleaning my bathroom (on the cleaning schedule for Wednesday).  Then, around 10:00 p.m., after the house had cooled off a bit, I cooked the salmon, sauteing it with onions and tomatoes.  I packaged and froze 6 of the salmon steaks and kept the other two in the fridge to have for dinner on Thursday night, when daughter comes home.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- The mammograms were done
- Having health insurance
- Daughter go through her presentation
- All what I accomplished, today

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Bring the trash cans in - DONE
- Put gas to the car - DONE
- Go for my mammogram - DONE
- Grocery shopping - DONE
- Dust the family room and my bedroom - DONE
- Put away laundry
- Call for a donations pick up
- Water the houseplants - DONE
- Cook the salmon - DONE

Today's joyful activity was reading.

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Put away laundry
- Call for a donations pick up
- Vacuum
- Clean the bathrooms 
- Do one decluttering/organizing task in the spare room
- Do some mending (daughter's clothes)

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

Monday, July 15, 2019


Bonsai - clearly showing the wire used to form the branches in the desired shapes

Today was a slightly cooler day.   A high of 88F instead of 97F.

In the morning, while it was still relatively cool, I changed my bed sheets, did a load of laundry, and dusted the living room and dining room.  I was telling my daughter about my weekly cleaning schedule and how it was (or was not) working for me (I find the Monday cleaning to go well, but, tend to slack off towards the end of the week).  My daughter suggested that I tried a rotating weekly schedule - rather than dust the living room every Monday, do it on Monday of this week, Tuesday of next week, Wednesday of the following week, and so forth!  I am not sure how well that will work out, either, but, it might be something to try?

I also called neighbor T to check on her, since I couldn't chat with her, yesterday.

Stone Lantern at the Japanese Garden

In the afternoon, I drove my daughter to Anaheim (near Disneyland) to the hotel where she will be staying during the conference she is attending.  She didn't have a specific time she needed to be at the hotel, but check-in time at the hotel was 4:00 p.m. and she wanted to get there a little after that.  We left the house at 3:00 p.m.  It was around 45 miles from where I live to the hotel and I anticipated the drive to take a little over one hour.  Well, the freeway was bumper to bumper and it took me 2 hours to get to her hotel!  I pulled up at the entrance at 5:00 p.m.!  I went into the hotel with her for 5 minutes as I needed to use the bathroom before I drove back.  Then, I got back on the freeway and drove home - the return journey took 1 1/2 hours, which was more like what I expected it to be.

I had planned to put gas to the car on my way home, but, when I pulled into the gas station near my house, it was quite busy and several pumps were out of order.  I was too tired to wait, so I decided to put gas tomorrow morning, instead.  I came home, had a late lunch/early dinner, drank a cup of tea, took the trash cans to the curb for pick up in the morning, and watered the back garden.

Friend R called to thank me again for her birthday outing and lunch, saying she really enjoyed the whole experience and loved the garden.  I'm glad she enjoyed it.  Friend F called to say that she was hosting this month's prayer gathering on the 27th.  I also chatted with cousin P.

Bonsai with Figurine

Today, I am grateful for:
- A safe drive to drop daughter off and back
- A cooler day
- What I was able to accomplish today
- Phone calls with family and friends
- Water for the garden

Monday's To Do List:
- Drive daughter to the hotel where she will stay during the conference - DONE
- Change my bed sheets and do a load of laundry - DONE
- Take the trash cans to the curb for pick up - DONE
- Dust the living room and dining area - DONE; wiped the window sills, as well
- Clean the fridge - DONE; just did a quick clean/checking what needed to be tossed
- Water the back garden - DONE

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Bring the trash cans in
- Put gas to the car
- Go for my mammogram
- Dust the family room and my bedroom
- Put away laundry
- Call for a donations pick up
- Water the houseplants

Resembling a Weathered Pine

How was your Monday?  What are your plans for the rest of this week?

Sunday: Bonsai Exhibition and a Vegan Cajun Lunch

Bonsai Display

Today, my daughter and I took friend R out for her birthday.

First, we went to the Japanese Garden, where they were having a bonsai exhibition and activities relating to the celebration of Tanabata or Star Festival.  The Tanabata activities included writing wishes on strips of paper, decorating them, and hanging them on bamboo plants.

Tanabata Wishes
The Japanese Garden was as beautiful as ever:

View of the Garden from the Viewing Pavilion

We tried to get there early to avoid the heat.  It was a very comfortable 81F when we left the house a little after 10:00 a.m., but, by the time we stopped to get daughter some coffee from her favorite coffee shop, picked up friend R, and drove to the Japanese Garden, it was 11:00 a.m. and the temperature was 89F!

It was the first time my daughter and my friend had been there and they both enjoyed the visit.  We walked around the garden for awhile and enjoyed the sights and sounds.   The lotuses and water lilies were blooming in the water garden:

Lotus Flowers

Water Lilies
Afterwards, we looked at the bonsai exhibit.  There were so many wonderful displays of these miniature trees!  I was fascinated by this pomegranate tree bonsai with flowers and a pomegranate fruit forming on it:

Pomegranate Tree Bonsai
I also got an idea for my front garden (where there is barely any grass), when I saw this dry landscape just outside the building where the exhibit was being held:

Dry Garden
I also took a few other pictures that might be candidates for the summer photo scavenger hunt (although I've taken other pictures for the same prompts, earlier, at the museum garden):

SPSH: "A Curved Path"

SPSH: "A Curved Path"

SPSH: "Bridge"
We were at the Japanese Garden for a little over an hour, I think.  We stopped at the gift shop and my daughter and friend R both purchased a few items.  I picked up a brochure about becoming a volunteer at the garden!  Volunteers help with special events, act as docents, help in the gift shop, etc.  It's something I am considering doing, although I haven't decided, yet.

After that, we went out to lunch.  Daughter and I had driven past a Cajun food restaurant, yesterday, and we thought we'd try it.  We read up about it, online, and it was a vegan restaurant, with lots of good reviews.  It was owned and operated by a woman who was originally from Louisiana.  Friend R was willing to try it out and so, we went there for lunch!

Daughter and I had their Jambalaya - rice, beans, blackeyed peas, bell pepper, green onions, red cabbage and vegetarian sausage!

I thought it was very good - spicy, well-seasoned, and I liked the "sausage".  My daughter thought it was too salty and she didn't much care for the sausage.

Friend R had their "Gumbalaya Bowl" - a combination of jambalaya and gumbo (didn't take a photo of that!).  She said it was good.  We couldn't finish our lunches and asked for containers to take the leftovers home!

For dessert, we each chose something called "Voodoo Brownie Beignet" - a beignet with a brownie inside it!  We asked for it to go, as we knew we couldn't finish it, then and there!

Voodoo Brownie Beignet
This was the first time friend R and I had eaten Cajun food.  My daughter, however, had eaten at a Cajun restaurant in San Francisco (although it wasn't a vegan Cajun place).  According to the owner of the restaurant we went to, today, it is the "World's first Cajun vegan restaurant".

I like this sentiment
After lunch, friend R declined my invitation to come home with us for the rest of the afternoon as she had to do a few things to prepare for the work week ahead, so we dropped her off at her apartment and came home.  By then, the afternoon temperature was 97F!

Daughter took a nap while I did two loads of laundry.  Later, I watered the front garden and prepared the rest of the package of frozen chicken pot stickers for our dinner.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to celebrate friend R's birthday with her
- Both she and daughter enjoyed their first visit to the Japanese Garden
- The shady sun hat I wore at the garden
- Tanabata wishes
- An enjoyable day

My joyful activities for the day included spending time with my daughter and my friend, visiting the Japanese Garden again, and going out to lunch.

Tomorrow, daughter will leave to go to the conference.

Monday's To Do List:
- Drive daughter to the hotel where she will stay during the conference
- Change my bed sheets and do a load of laundry
- Take the trash cans to the curb for pick up
- Dust the living room and dining area
- Clean the fridge
- Water the back garden

How was your Sunday?  What have you planned for Monday?  Have you eaten vegan Cajun food?