Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Balanced Life Monthly Goals Review

It's the last day of October and time for me to review my monthly goals.

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 month ratings in blue.

October Balanced Life Goals:

Spiritual: (9.5)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
- Continue with daily prayers and gratitude; focus on being more positive and joyful
- Continue to practice meditation at home and at the temple
- Continue to cultivate non-attachment to material things by donating/decluttering more
- Participate in the Kathina prayer ceremony and almsgiving at the temple (10/26-27)
- Host the October rosary prayer gathering (10/19)

This was a good month where my spiritual spoke was concerned.  I hosted the monthly prayer gathering, attended the Kathina ceremony at the temple, met my decluttering goal, meditation goals, and daily prayers, etc.  I am rating this area at a 10!

House (8.5)(9):  The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming:
- Clean - get the house ready for the October prayer gathering
- Organize - continue to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place
- Well maintained - continue to implement the cleaning schedule
- Decluttered - find 50 items to declutter

Again, I am pleased with what I was able to achieve in this area.  The house was cleaned and tidied for the October prayer gathering (although, doing so tired me out!), I found places for just about everything, even if they were temporary homes for some of them (another way of saying I shoved a few things in drawers and closets!), I decluttered 50 items, and I continued to implement the cleaning schedule for the most part (I might have relaxed a bit, after the prayer gathering).  I considered raising the rating to 9.5,  but, there are still too many little repairs, etc., that need to be done to get as high a rating.  I am rating it as 9.  

Garden (8)(8):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:
- Maintain (water 1- 2 times per week, depending on the temperature; weed)
- Get ready for fall planting

The garden is being maintained. It is starting to get cooler, now, and the garden is recovering from the summer heat.  None of the seeds I scattered seems to have sprouted and most of the cuttings M took to propagate didn't root.  But, some of the chrysanthemums I planted last year and the year before are reflowering, which is encouraging.  Going to keep 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.
- Enjoy her planned visit in October (for her friend's wedding)

I enjoyed having her home, earlier, this month, although we both fell ill!  Daily contact with her is on-going.  This area is a definite 10!

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to have a connection with family members and friends:
- Regular phone calls and emails
- Have Aunt C and cousin N over to breakfast (10/2)
- Attend cousin V's grandson's christening (10/13)
- Will be seeing several members of the family and friends at this month's prayer gathering

I was really looking forward to seeing Aunt C and cousin N for breakfast at the beginning of the month, but, Aunt called and cancelled it.  I was disappointed, but, it is what it is.  I did attend cousin V's grandson's christening and met several members of the family and some family friends at the event.  I also had cousin P and several friends attend the monthly prayer gathering, including friend R who helped both before and after.  I am going to keep the rating at 10.

Community (10)(10):  The goal is to be involved in my community:
- Continue to participate in the blogging community 
Weekly phone calls with neighbor T; check on her while her daughter is out of town
- Continue to participate in the online group of which I am a member
- Participate in temple events

I had a good month of community involvement, participating in the blogging community, interacting with several of my neighbors, and the temple.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

Finances (10)(10):  The goal is financial security:
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose

I am blessed to continue to do well in this area of my life.  It, too, rates a 10.

 Health & Well Being (8.5)(8):  The goal is good health:
- Attend the medical appointments scheduled for this month (2 doctor's appointments and, maybe, 1 lab test)
- Continue to work on the following life style changes: 
   - better diet - eat more vegetables, less carbs
   - better hydration - drink 8 x 8oz glasses of water, daily
  - better sleep habits -  try to adjust the sleep schedule (earlier bed time)
   - more exercise - get back on a walking schedule 
- Get back down to a healthier weight through diet and exercise

I attended one doctor's appointment, as the other one was rescheduled due to a change of doctors.  I did one lab test, but I haven't received the results, yet.  I also got the flu vaccination.  In general, things are going well where my health is concerned.  However, there is a lot of room for improvement where the details are concerned.  I really, really need to make some improvements in my life style changes.  I have reduced the rating to 8.

Time Management (8)(8): The goal is to spend my time in a mindful manner:
- Keep to a more regular schedule
- Procrastinate less

I am keeping the rating at 8, but, I think this is another area of my life that could be improved!

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
- Make one baby quilt
- Go on at least a couple of fun outings - one scheduled for 10/3

This has been a very good month for this area of my life.  There have been lots of leisure activities, crafting, and a fun outing with my daughter to attend the taping of a TV show.   I am keeping the rating at a 10.

That is my review of my goals for a more balanced life in October.  Everything went up or stayed the same, except for Health and Well Being.  I know what I need to focus on in November.  But, on the whole, I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish, this month.

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

October Decluttering

October Decluttering - Magazines

The goal in October was 50 items decluttered (set aside for donations, given away, recycled, and tossed in the trash, but, only as a last resort) .

7 magazines (from 2014 & 2015! To be donated)
1 small corningware dish  (fell and broke! Tossed in the trash)
8 plastic jars (recycled)
6 glass jars (recycled)
12 plastic food containers - several were reused to send food home with friends; others recycled
1 old paint tray (tossed)
1 dried up paint brush (tossed)
1 paint roller (tossed)
2 boxes (recycled)
1 glass (cracked; recycled)
1 rug (tossed)
1 cleaning sponge (tossed)
5 tubes of lotion (given away)
2 sewing kits (donated)
1 decorative cookie tin (recycled)

= 50 items

Plus, several items of daughter's clothing given to a friend for her granddaughter.

I met my goal, but, I am vaguely discontent because much of it are small bits and pieces which don't make a big impact.  However, it all adds up, doesn't it? 

Did you have a decluttering goal in October?  If so, how did you do?  Did you meet it?

Relaxed Days

I've spent a couple of quiet, relaxed days.

On Tuesday, I woke up feeling cold.   A hot shower warmed me up and I wore one of my sweaters.  This is one I knitted several years ago, using the entrelac knitting technique:

Entrelac Sweater

One sleeve is knitted with the pink yarn and the other sleeve with the white yarn.  The back is color blocked:

Back of Sweater
After I took this photo I thought of how my hair has grown back.  I had hair down to my waist when I started chemo:
Taken December 14, 2015 - 10 days after 1st chemo session
When it started to fall out, I cut it short on Christmas Eve and then, in early March 2016, I shaved off what was left.

It grew back a little finer in texture than before, I think, but, that's quite OK.  I'm glad to have hair!  And, that's the natural color, by the way.  I don't dye my hair.  It's still mostly black, with a little grey. 

On Tuesday, I called cousin P and friend R to check on them, did a load of dishes, and finished knitting the second sleeve on the sweater I am making.

On Wednesday, Aunt C called me in the morning to check on me.  Later, I watered the front garden and did a little weeding.  It was warmer, outside, in the sunshine than inside the house, where it was 60F.  That might be comfortable for some, but, for me, that's cold!  Neighbor E saw me out in the garden and came over to chat for a bit.  Afterwards, I drove to a nearby pizza place and bought myself a large pepperoni pizza for $5.00.  I had two slices for lunch and, later, two slices for dinner!  The other half of the pizza is in the fridge for later.

In the afternoon, I watched news coverage of the various fires, did a load of laundry, and sewed up the sweater.   I still need to tidy it up before taking a photo. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Relaxed days
- Warm sweaters
- Being safe from the fires
- Having my hair grow back
- Family and friends who check on me

Tomorrow is Halloween.  I didn't decorate my house, this year. Did you?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Mountain Climbing Quilt

Mountain Climbing Quilt

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, one of my friends, who comments on my blog as Bushlady, told me to envision the treatment I was undergoing as climbing a mountain.  Each step of the treatment was a step I climbed up the mountain.   I really liked her analogy and I wanted to make a quilt to represent my mountain climbing.  I knew exactly which mountain it was that I was climbing, too!

There is a 7,360 foot high mountain in my country of birth, Sri Lanka, known by several names: Sri Pada or Siri Pada (Sacred Foot) and Samanala Kanda (Butterfly Mountain) in Sinhala, and Adam's Peak in English.  It is considered to be a sacred mountain and a place of pilgrimage.  There is a rock formation near the top that has an indentation that resembles a large foot print.  According to the different traditions of four of the religions in the country (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Islam), the rock "foot print" is attributed to the Buddha, Shiva, St. Thomas, and Adam.  It is called Samanala Kanda (Butterfly Mountain) because it is frequented by certain species of butterflies as the mountain is in their annual migration flight path and one encounters them during the climb.

Every year, pilgrims and tourists climb this mountain, Generally, one drives up part of the way and then, climbs the rest of the way.  There are thousands of steps built into the side of the mountain to facilitate the climb.  Most people climb it at night, in order to reach the top just before sunrise to see the rising sun cast the shadow of the mountain on the clouds below and the surrounding landscape.

I had always wanted to climb it, but never did. Now, I had the opportunity to climb it, in a manner of speaking, thanks to Bushlady's comment about climbing a mountain.  One step at a time, of course.

Close Up of the Mountain

Once again, as with the majority of my quilts, it was going to be a scrap quilt, using the fabric I had in my stash.  The only fabric I bought for the purpose was the dark pink fabric for the borders.  I had an idea of what I wanted - a central panel depicting a mountain.  But, I didn't want to just cut out a piece of fabric to represent the mountain.  I searched online for images of quilts depicting mountains and found one that I really liked and followed the links to Quiltstory and to Spotted Stones:

I sent emails to both blogs, explaining I was a cancer survivor who wanted to base my quilt on the pattern shown on the quilt being depicted and asking if they had any objections.  Krista at Spotted Stone responded to my email, stating she was happy I found inspiration in her quilt design and asking to be notified when I was ready to show it on my blog,  This was in 2016 and, unfortunately, it seems she no longer blogs.  I sent her a follow-up email after I finished piecing the top, several months ago, to let her know that I was going to post pictures of my quilt top and have been waiting to hear from her, but, haven't received a reply.  I've decided to go ahead and post pictures of my quilt, anyway.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  It was in October 2015 that I had the lumpectomy to remove my breast cancer tumor.  This quilt was started to represent the mountain that I had to climb to reach where I am, today - four years of being in remission.  It is such a blessing!

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon

I was going to sew grey rectangles going up the mountain to represent the steps I had to climb -  one for each of my chemo treatments and radiation treatments.  But, I didn't like how it turned out, so I unpicked them all.  Besides, there was no way to depict all the other steps, in between the chemo and radiation - the immune booster injections, the weekly hydration sessions, the blood tests, etc.  I wanted the mountain to be the dominant feature.  I decided that the pink ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness was sufficient.

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon - Close Up

Besides, the pink squares form a sort of up and down effect and that is certainly how it felt, at times: one step up, two steps down, two steps up and one step down!  The panel I put in the backing was made from leftovers from those squares:

Leftovers on the Back

I still need to attach the backing and finish the binding.  I am planning to take the last dark pink border to the back to made the binding.  I might do some hand quilting, too, and include some significant dates and facts, but, the quilt top is now completed and I wanted to share it with you.

Thank you, everyone, who helped me climb this mountain.  All of you who helped, encouraged, and supported me with your prayers, thoughts, and kind comments.  I shared my journey in various posts, over the past four years, and you have all participated in that journey with me.

It is definitely pink!

Making this quilt has been a joy. 

Today, I am grateful for my many blessings:
- Being alive
- Having access to medical treatments
- Having medical insurance
- Family and friends who have helped me climb this mountain
- Prayers and thoughts that eased my climb

Quilting with Dancer on Sunday

I worked on the quilt backing, today, with some help from Dancer, of course.   While I sewed on the pieced panel I wanted to insert to make the backing sheet wider, Dancer tested out the bed to see if it was a suitable surface for working on the quilt:

Dancer Checks the Comfort Level

"Dancer, I need you to move so that I can spread out the backing sheet."

"Hey, what's this?  Is Mummy tucking me in?"

"No, Dancer, I need you off the bed!"

He got off the bed long enough for me to spread the sheet.  But, when I went to measure the width of the sheet, he jumped into help with that!

Helping with the Measuring

Action Shot!

"Measure from here, Mummy"

"I'll just bite off this extra bit!"

He is such a helpful kitty!  With his help, I managed to make a cut, lengthwise, 24 inches from one side edge, and inserted the pieced panel that I had sewn, yesterday and earlier, today:

The Pieced Panel

This panel is made up of some extra patches and fabric leftover from sewing the front.  It was sewn to widen the sheet in order to make it wide enough to cover the whole back of the quilt.  I sewed it off center, intentionally, to add a design element:

The Other Side of the Mountain (Quilt)
I'm reminded of the children's song, "The bear went over the mountain ... to see what he could see" and all he could see was "the other side of the mountain"! 

Do you have helpful pets, too?  

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Saturday's Activities

Handyman A was supposed to come today to work on the garage side door or the sliding glass door.  I got up at 8:00 a.m. and got dressed.  He hadn't said a time and had told me he'd call before he came, but, I wanted to be ready in case he showed up without calling or was already on his way when he called.  Only, he didn't call and he didn't show up.  I waited all day!  I am hoping that it was because he was busy working another job that he couldn't make it, today.  I am hoping that he will show up sometime during the week.  Or, even, next week.  I am hoping that the reason he didn't show up today was not because he didn't want to do the jobs I want him to do!  At least, he was able to fix my garage door!  I am grateful for that!

While I waited for him, I decided to work on one of my quilts in progress.  The Mountain Climbing quilt, to be exact.  I had been sewing the little grey rectangles to represent the steps climbed, but, it wasn't turning out the way I had intended it to and so, today, I unpicked all the ones I had sewn.  I've decided that I will not have the grey rectangles, after all.  Then, I worked on the backing.  I want to incorporate some leftover patchwork pieces to the backing.  So, I spent a little time piecing those squares and cutting out a few additional squares.  I am going to use a purple bed sheet that I had been given, for the backing.  I put it on the bed to get measurements and Dancer tested it and approved (he plopped himself down on it and napped!)  LOL!

Speaking of naps, I took one, in the afternoon.  Seems like waking up earlier in the morning results in naps in the afternoon! 

After I woke up and had a cup of tea, I went to the temple.  The temple is observing the end of the rainy season retreat.  It is called Kathina ceremony and is one of the more important ceremonies at the temple.  I wrote about it, here, a couple of years ago.  It is a two day event, with blessings being chanted one evening and an almsgiving and the offering of a special robe the next day.  Today, I attended the chanting of the blessings, known as "pirith".  The events started around 5:00 p.m. and will go on until at least midnight. 

A structure known as a "mandapaya", or pavilion, is built inside the shrine room of the temple.  It provides an enclosure for the monks to sit in while they chant.  Sometimes, it is decorated with panels of intricately cut tissue paper.  This year, the structure featured strings of flowers and vines.  Overhead, there are threads interwoven with leaves

"Pirith Mandapaya"
On either side of the doorway to the pavilion, they have placed a brass vessel, known as a "kalaya", which is traditionally used for collecting water, filled with the inflorescence of coconut palms.  Known as "pun kalas", they are a symbol of plenty, good fortune, and prosperity.  In Sri Lanka, they would be the natural inflorescence; here, we use artificial replicas made of plastic. 

Pun Kalas or Brass Water Pots with Coconut Inflorescence

The monks sit around a central table on which are placed a reliquary and the ola leaf scrolls on which the Buddhist scriptures are written.  These are the discourses through which the Buddha taught the principles of what is now known as Buddhism.  Throughout the night, the monks will take turns, two monks at a time, to chant the discourses or Sutra (Sanskrit) or Sutta (Pali).  At the end of each recitation, the monks bless the participants: "By the truth of these words, may you be well, may you succeed, may you be happy".

Once the chanting got underway, the lights were switched on:

With the Lights On

At 8:30 p.m., while the chanting was still going on, dinner was served to all the participants under a tent that was erected out in the garden.   A buffet was set up with a type of rice noodles known as indiappan or string hoppers, potato curry, two types of curry made with textured vegetable protein, spicy onions or seeni sambol, a type of snack known as cutlets, which are a mixture of potato and fish, formed into balls, battered and crumbed and deep fried, and crusty bread.  I brought my plate of food home to eat, as I didn't want to stay out too late.  There were fresh fruits for dessert, but I didn't take any. 


After I came home, I video chatted with my daughter.

Tomorrow's ceremonies will start with a parade around the block at 10:00 a.m., followed by an almsgiving (and lunch for the devotees) and the offering of the special robe known as the "Kathina robe" to the assembly of monks.  The kathina robe was being sewn at the temple, today, where a sewing machine was set up in the corner of the other, larger, assembly hall where the almsgiving will be held, tomorrow.  The Buddhist monks' robes are sewn in a specific patchwork pattern, said to resemble the way rice paddy fields are laid out. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A working garage door (even if A didn't come to fix the other doors)
- Time to sew on my quilt
- Afternoon naps
- Being able to participate in the Kathina ceremony at the temple
- A wonderful dinner

Today's joyful activities included sewing, napping, and going to the temple.

Saturday's To Do List:
- Have handyman A tend to the sliding glass door - He didn't show up, today!
- Discuss other projects I want him to do for me - Nope!
- Attend the evening chanting ceremony at the temple, if possible - DONE

Sunday's To Do List:
- Attend the almsgiving at the temple
- More sewing

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

Friday, October 25, 2019

Relaxed Friday

I had a more restful night of sleep, last night.  I woke up a couple of times, but went back to sleep each time.  When my daughter texted me to say good morning, I woke up and texted her back, then, slept, again!  When I finally woke up, a little later, it was already mid-morning.

Dancer coughed up a hair ball a little while later and he's been a bit listless all day.  He didn't ask for any tuna in the morning, when I made my tea and I didn't see or hear him eating any dry food the rest of the day, either.  I was a little worried about him, but, he didn't throw up, again.  He did ask for tuna when I was making tea in the evening and he did eat a little dried food, later, so I am hoping he is on the mend.

I had a relaxed rest of the morning.  Then, after brunch (a banana and a pita bread with beef curry), I went to Home Depot and bought the security light bulbs.  I walked around the garden section, but, didn't buy anything.

Later in the afternoon, I did some paperwork, watched TV, and knitted.  Then, when M came to tend to the garden, I made him a cup of tea and chatted with him while he trimmed the pomegranate tree and tidied up the front garden.

Friend R called later in the evening and we had a nice chat.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Dancer seems to be OK
- Another sunny, warm day
- Helpful sales people
- M tending to the garden for me
- The newest wildfires are not in my neighborhood

Friday's To Do List:
- Paperwork - DID SOME
- Tend to the garden with M - DONE
- Buy new bulbs for the garage security light - DONE

Saturday's To Do List:
- Have handyman A tend to the sliding glass door
- Discuss other projects I want him to do for me
- Attend the evening chanting ceremony at the temple, if possible

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

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Working Garage Door on Thursday

I felt worn out by midnight, last night.  I was in bed by 12:30 a.m., although my sleep was rather disturbed.  I found myself waking up every hour, or so.  I think, knowing I have to be up by a certain time, was preventing me falling into a deep sleep.  In one of my dreams, I had to go to work that day, but I was telling my mother that I wanted to call in sick because I really wanted a day off and my mother was looking at me incredulously!  Then I woke up and realized I was retired and didn't have to go to work!  I was so happy!  LOL.

Handyman A had said he'll be here around 9:00 a.m.  I got up at 8:00 a.m., had my tea, fed the cats, and got dressed.  Then, I watered the back garden and picked some feijoa (pineapple guava).

A was here a little after 9:00 a.m. and he was able to fix the garage door.  The remote control is not working, still (I think I need to get a new remote and try to program it), but, the door can be operated from the wall switch, inside the garage.  Opening and closing the door without a working remote is still a bit of a song and dance routine - enter the garage from the side door, open the main door with the wall switch, pull the car out, unlock the side gate to go back inside the garage to get the door to close from the wall switch, then, lock the gate, and drive the car.  Then, when you get back home, you reverse your steps - open the gate, open the garage door from the switch inside, pull the car in, close the door and the gate.  It's not as convenient as pressing a button to open and close the door without getting out of the car, especially in rainy weather.  Still, it is better than not being able to open or close the door, at all!  A told me to call him if anything happens and the door stops working, that he'll come by and fix it.  He charged me $225 for parts and labor to fix the garage door, which I thought was very reasonable.  Several years ago, when I had to have a spring replaced, I bought the spring and paid $100 for the labor only to a different handyman recommended to me by one of my neighbors.

I also showed him the garage side door which is warped and has a hole in the bottom (a small hole which has been enlarged by the garden cats who like to go inside the garage to sleep!) and the door frame which is deteriorating.  He said he can replace the door and frame for $150, parts and labor; he is coming back on Saturday to work on that.  I don't want to overwhelm him with all the work I need done, but, I did have him take a look at my sliding glass door which doesn't slide that easily anymore.  He said it needs new wheels.

I am feeling optimistic that I might be able to get some long neglected repairs done!  It seems I have something in need of repairs in just about every room!  Maybe the garage door breaking was a blessing in disguise!

In the afternoon, after A had left, I went to the post office to mail an overseas letter.  I needed to have it weighed and buy the proper postage.

That done, I went to the Armenian grocery store for a few items.  I didn't take a picture, but, I bought:
Onions @ $.20/lb = $.90
4 cans of condensed milk @ $1.69 = $6.76
1 package pita bread = $.99
Red lentils @ $1.29/lb = $1.47
4 potatoes @ $.29/lb = $.60
Dried garbanzo beans @ $1.29/lb = $1.73
3 bananas @ $.49/lb = $.59
2 cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans) @ $.69 = $1.38
Total = $14.42


The lentils and dried garbanzo beans are to replenish my stock; the canned garbanzo beans are to have on hand in my earthquake supplies.

The 10 lb. bags of russet potatoes were $1.99 each, which would have been much cheaper, per pound, but I bought four loose potatoes because the 10 lb. bags are too much for me and the potatoes usually spoil before I can eat them all!

It was 98F when I came home from grocery shopping at 2:30 p.m.!

After I came home and put away the groceries, I warmed up some beef curry and ate with a pita bread for lunch.  Then, I ate some raspberries for dessert.  Breakfast had been a slice of toast with a little of my strawberry jam and some of the fresh feijoa (pineapple guava) that I had picked earlier in the morning, when watering the garden.

After lunch, I took a short nap.

Later in the evening, I watched some TV and knitted a bit.  I finished one sleeve of the sweater I am making.  Dinner was chicken fried rice with asparagus followed by the rest of the pineapple guava I had picked.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A working garage door
- Finding a good handyman
- The opportunity to get some repairs done
- Fresh fruits from my garden
- Afternoon naps

Today's joyful activities include knitting and napping!

Thursday's To Do List:
- Get the garage door fixed - DONE
- More paperwork
- Post office - DONE
- Water the  back garden - DONE

I didn't do the paperwork, but I went grocery shopping, instead.

Friday's To Do List:
- Paperwork
- Tend to the garden with M
- Buy new bulbs for the garage security light

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Blood Tests and Garage Doors on Wednesday

I went for my fasting blood test, today.  When I opened the garage door, there was a big noise and a part of the metal contraption that opens and closes the garage door fell off!  It had been attached by a nut and bolt, but, I guess it had got loose without my noticing it and had come out.  I decided to fix it later, closed the garage door, manually (it goes up to open and can be pulled down to close), and went for my blood test.

The blood test, itself, went well.  I didn't have an appointment, but, I didn't have to wait.  In fact, I was in and out of there within 20 minutes and didn't even have to pay for the parking!  On the way home, I picked up a chili dog from hot dog place I pass by for my brunch.

When I came home, I managed to manually open the garage door and parked the car, inside.  Then, I couldn't close it all the way!  Neither could I fix the part that fell off, because I couldn't get the thing to line up properly in order to fix the nut and bolt!  After some consideration, I decided that it would be better the park the car in my drive way, until I get the garage door repaired.  I managed to get the garage door to open, but, then, it got stuck in the open position, and I couldn't pull it down to close! 

I called the monks at the temple to ask if they knew of anyone who might be able to fix it for me and the monks said they'll call around to see.  I also went across the street to ask one of my neighbors if she or her husband know of anyone who could fix it.  Her husband wasn't home, at the time, so she said to come back later to ask him when he came home.

Then, when I was watering the front garden, I saw a different neighbor and asked for his help, but, he couldn't pull the garage door down, either. 

Later in the evening, the monks from the temple called back, and one of them came with a handyman who is known to them.  These monks are such a blessing to me!  He had to dismantle part of the garage door opener system, but he did enough to get the door to close, for tonight.  He said he will come over, tomorrow morning, to fix the door.  According to the monk who brought him over, he is a good handyman.  If that is so, then, I have several other jobs for him to do!  The car will be parked in the driveway for the night, but that should be alright. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The blood test went well
- I didn't have to pay for parking at the lab
- The monks at the temple and all their help
- Handyman A's help with the garage door
- Friend R calling to check on me

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Blood test - DONE
- Finish dusting my bedroom - DONE
- Paperwork - STARTED

Thursday's To Do List:
- Get the garage door fixed
- More paperwork
- Post office
- Water the  back garden

How was your Wednesday?  What are your plans for Thursday?  Who fixes things around your house when they break?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Doctor's Appointment on Tuesday

I had a hard time falling asleep, last night, and then, I kept waking up, every couple of hours.  Once because Dancer cried his "I'm about to throw up" cry and threw up near my bed!  I cleaned it up and went back to sleep.   But, it was a restless sleep; probably because I was anxious about the doctor's appointment - getting there on time, what would she say about not losing any weight, etc.

I got to the appointment without any problem, however.  I had gained a pound instead of losing any, but my doctor didn't nag me about it.  My heart rate was slightly elevated when the nurse checked it, but, it had slowed down by the time the doctor checked it.  My blood pressure was good.  The doctor went over my latest blood test results and expressed some concern about a couple of them.  I am to take another fasting blood test to have those items rechecked and she will make some changes to my medications, based on those results.  I also received my flu shot.

I considered going to do the blood test, today, on the way back home, because I was fasting, but, it was already past noon and the lab would be closed for lunch.  I'd have had to wait until 1:00 p.m. for them to open and I wasn't sure if I could remain fasting until then.  So, I came home and had brunch - orange juice and a chicken sandwich.

Afterwards, I felt a little tired and took a nap on the sofa!   After I woke up, I had a cup of tea and went to change my bed sheets, but found my bed being occupied:

Dancer Takes a Nap

I didn't have the heart to wake him!  I waited until he woke up to do the sheets!

Today, I am grateful for:
- The doctor's appointment went well
- A safe drive there and back
- Free parking with validation
- Afternoon naps
- Fresh raspberries

My joyful activity today was napping on the sofa!

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Doctor's appointment in the morning - DONE
- Bring in the empty trash cans - DONE
- Change my bed sheets - DONE
- Load of laundry - DONE
- Dust my bedroom - STARTED
- Water the house plants - DONE

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Blood test
- Finish dusting my bedroom
- Paperwork

How was your Tuesday?  Have you had your flu vaccine, yet?  

Monday, October 21, 2019

Resting on Monday

I felt tired and sleepy by 12:30 a.m., last night, but, by the time I cleaned the litter box, said my nightly prayers and blessed the house (I go around from room to room, chanting a blessing and sprinkling blessed water; it's a nightly ritual), etc., it was around 1:30 a.m. when I went to bed.  I got up once, around 6:30 a.m., and, again, at 9:30 a.m., but I let myself sleep in, till noon, because I knew I needed the rest.  I decided that Monday would be a day of rest.

In the afternoon, the doctor's office called to confirm tomorrow's appointment.  After that, I drove to the library to return the one book I couldn't renew online (it had a hold placed on it).  I didn't borrow any new books because I still haven't finished reading the other books I borrowed!

After I came home, I worked my way down my To Do list, until it was all done, with little breaks in between. It was a lovely, October fall day, southern California style, with an afternoon high of 95F!  My kind of weather!  LOL!

Friend R called in the evening to check on me and to tell me how much she enjoyed herself at the prayer gathering.  She thanked me and I told her it was I who should thank her for all help!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to sleep in
- A productive afternoon and evening
- A safe drive to the library and back
- Friend R's phone call
- Chatting with my daughter

Today's joyful activities were sleeping in and watering the garden.

Monday's To Do List:
- Lint roller (to remove cat fur) and recover the sofas with dust sheets - DONE
- Put away the bottles of drinks - DONE
- Put away the laundry - DONE
- Do another load of laundry - DONE
- Return the library book that couldn't be renewed - DONE
- Water the garden - DONE
- Take the trash cans and recycling bins out to the curb for pick up on Tuesday - DONE

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Doctor's appointment in the morning
- Bring in the empty trash cans
- Change my bed sheets
- Dust my bedroom
- Water the house plants

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

Sunday, October 20, 2019

After the Prayer Gathering

Temporary Rosary Altar
Friend R and I spent a relaxed morning, talking about yesterday's prayer gathering, our lives, our children, plans for the future, and various other things.  Then, in the early afternoon, I drove her home.

After I came home, I did a load of laundry - the sofa dust sheets, tables cloths, and kitchen towels, etc., and put away the washed dishes and extra paper goods, from yesterday.  "Erasing the Evidence" we used to call it on the organizing forum I used to be on - put away all the items and restore the place back to how it was, without leaving any evidence of the activity that took place, recently.

I took down the temporary rosary altar I had set up on the living room mantel, too.  The statue of Our Lady is usually kept on the shelf in the closet in my daughter's room, where a more permanent altar was set up by my mother (it used to be her bedroom when she was alive).  That altar is a very multi-religious altar, with Buddhist, Christian, and Hindu religious statues and pictures. 

The other permanent altar in the house is a Buddhist altar in the living room:

The Living Room Permanent Altar

The darker Buddha statue on the shelf was a gift from a family friend; the white Buddha statue on top of the bookcase was a gift from the monks at the Temple. 

After a late lunch of leftovers, I took a piece of the cake over to neighbor T.  I froze the rest of it, to share with my daughter when she visits, next. 

I still have the bottles of drinks to be put away in one of the upper kitchen cabinets and the table cloths.  I will probably do that, tomorrow. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Friend R's company and help with the prayer gathering
- A relaxed morning after yesterday's activities
- Getting practically everything put away
- Being able to renew some library material online (one items could not be renewed as it had a hold on it)
- My cell phone didn't break when Dancer pushed it off the table and it fell! 

Sunday's To Do List:
- Take friend R home - DONE
- Do laundry - DONE
- Put away the washed dishes - DONE

Monday's To Do List:
- Lint roller (to remove cat fur) and recover the sofas with dust sheets
- Put away the bottles of drinks
- Put away the laundry
- Do another load of laundry
- Return the library book that couldn't be renewed
- Water the garden
- Take the trash cans and recycling bins out to the curb for pick up on Tuesday

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

Rosary Prayer Gathering on Saturday


It's been a very busy day!  I couldn't fall asleep until after 4:00 a.m. and then, my friend who leads the rosary called at 9:00 a.m. to find out what time I wanted her to come and if I wanted her to bring anything.  I said to come around 7:30 p.m. and no, I didn't need anything.   After that, I couldn't fall back asleep, so, I got up and got started on the cooking and the rest of the cleaning. 

I cooked the beef curry and the smoked sausage dish in the morning and organized the freezer.  Then, I took a break and made a card to go with the baby gift (by the way, my friend loved the quilt I made for her granddaughter).
At 3:00 p.m., I picked up friend R and we stopped by a grocery store to pick up a cake and some flowers (R's contribution to the prayer gathering).  She brought some apricot filled pastries, as well.

After we came home, I ate a slice of bread with some of the beef curry, as all I had eaten in the morning was a banana.  Then, I prepared the chickens to be roasted, and, once they were in the oven, I had a cup of tea.  A bit later, I cleaned my bathroom and cooked the asparagus I had bought instead of green beans and the rice.  I decided I would not cook dhal (lentils) after all or make a salad, as I was too tired by then.

People arrived a little after 7:00 p.m.  There were only 6 of us, but, it was a nice little gathering.  We had some interesting discussions before the rosary was said.  As usual, I just sat and listened while the others recited the prayers. 

Dinner was served after that and everyone enjoyed the meal.  I encouraged people to take some food home and had the containers all ready for them to do so.  Even so, I had a lot of leftovers to freeze.

Friend R is staying the night, but everyone else left around 11:00 p.m.  Friend R put away all the food for me (the part I hate doing) and I washed all the dishes, pots, and pans, etc.  Tomorrow, I will put the washed dishes away and do the laundry (table cloths, etc.)

Today, I am grateful for:
- I was able to host this month's rosary prayer gathering
- R's help, both before and after the gathering
- Being with family and friends
- Good food and conversation
- What I was able to accomplish

Saturday's To Do List:
- Clean my bathroom DONE
- Organize the freezer (mostly so that the bag of ice will be easily accessed!) - DONE
- Pick up friend R - DONE
- Do the rest of the cooking - DONE
- Set up the altar - DONE

Revised Menu:

Garbanzo beans

Beef curry
Roast chicken
Smoked sausage with bell peppers

Fruit platter (grapes, strawberries, raspberries)
Apricot filled pastries
Milk toffee

Sunday's To Do List:
- Take friend R home
- Do laundry
- Put away the washed dishes
- Rest!

How was your Saturday?  Do you host prayer gatherings at home?  What are your plans for Sunday?

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Getting Things Done on Friday

Dancer Likes the New Rug

I spent a quiet morning, today.  I slept in, then, had a cup of tea, replied to blog comments, read a few other blogs, etc.

Then, I cleaned the fridge.  I washed all the shelves, including those on the door and went through stuff and threw out several items that I had been keeping, like old packets of condiments you get with fast food (kept the soy sauce packets, though!), the opened bottles of wine leftover from last year's rosary prayer gathering (I don't drink wine and, generally, don't cook with it, either; I figured it had probably turned to vinegar by now!), and a couple of bottles of really old salad dressings.  I was going to clean the freezer section, as well, or, at least, organize it, but, it was 2:30 p.m., already, and I needed to go grocery shopping!

I went to the pharmacy, first, as my inhaler refill was ready to be picked up and I bought another bottle of calcium pills, as well, as I was running out of my calcium supplements.

Then, I went to the dollar store, next door, to buy a few of the groceries on my list:  bananas ($.49/lb), 2 containers strawberries (@$1.49/lb),  2 containers of raspberries (@$.99/6 oz), onions ($.99/2 lbs), asparagus ($.99/lb; decided to have asparagus instead of green beans), bell peppers (4/$1.00), frozen hot wings ($3.99), 2 bags of potato chips ($2.49/7 oz bag), a can of coconut milk, 2 bottles of soda, etc.  I spent $22 and some change at the dollar store.

After that, I went to the regular supermarket and bought 2 whole chickens ($1.79/lb),  6 lbs. beef ($3.99/lb), 3 smoked sausages ($2.49@), a bottle of sparkling apple cider ($3.49), 2 bottles of orange juice ($2.99@), milk ($1.99), half and half ($1.79), and two candy bars $.50@); I spent $65 and some change at the grocery store. 

By then, it was 5:30 p.m. and I was getting tired.  I came home and was putting away the groceries when M arrived to tend to the garden.   I had him clear the walkway to the front door (he moved some planters, tidied up, and swept the area). 

Then, we had some tea and he helped me with the house cleaning!  He dusted the ceiling fan and light fixtures, vacuumed, put a new battery in the wall clock, and taped down the new kitchen rugs I bought to cover the vinyl tiles that have started to peel off.  While he did that, I tidied the family room and dusted.

I took a short break after he left, a little after 7:00 p.m.  Spoke on the phone with my daughter and had something to eat.

Cousin P called and I chatted with her for a bit and then, I called cousin V and one other person to find out if they were coming to the prayer gathering, tomorrow, since I hadn't heard if they were coming or not.  I wanted to find out before I started cooking!  Well, cousin V and family are not coming and neither is the other person, her husband, and aunt.  So, instead of 15 people, there will be only 6 people to dinner, including myself!  Good to know!  I'll still go ahead and roast both chickens as that's easy, but, I won't cook all the beef and all the smoked sausage.

Then, I sauteed the garbanzo beans I had boiled, yesterday, with onions, mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried chilies, etc.  That dish is done and only needs to be warmed up, tomorrow.

After that, I cut up 4 lbs. of the beef, added the curry powder and other spices, and kept to marinate.  I was feeling tired by then, so decided to cook the beef curry, tomorrow.  I will freeze the rest of the beef to cook another day.

I also left cleaning my bathroom to do tomorrow. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Problem free medication refills at the pharmacy
- M helping me with the housework
- Finally knowing how many people to expect (and cook for!)
- A clean house
- Chatting with my daughter

Friday's To Do List:
- Grocery shop - DONE
- Cook the beef curry - Kept to marinate, overnight
- Saute the garbanzo beans - DONE
- Tidy the family room - DONE
- Clean my bathroom
- Vacuum (or ask M to vacuum for me!) - DONE
- Clean/organize fridge/freezer - DID the fridge

Saturday's To Do List:
- Clean my bathroom
- Organize the freezer (mostly so that the bag of ice will be easily accessed!)
- Pick up friend R
- Do the rest of the cooking
- Set up the altar

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

Friday, October 18, 2019

Happy Birthday, Amma


Amma means mother, in my first language, Sinhala.  Today would have been my mother's birthday.  If she had lived, she would have been 99!  She died when she was 85.

I don't know when the photograph, above, was taken.  Obviously, when she was still a young woman.  Probably in her late 20s or early 30s.  She had gone to a photographer's studio to have her photograph taken.  Unbeknownst to her, the photographer had enlarged one of the photographs and put it in the window of the studio as an advertisement of his work!  One of my mother's friends had seen it and told her about it and mother went to the studio and demanded her photograph back, since the photographer hadn't asked her permission to display it! 

It is in memory of her birthday that I host the October prayer gathering.

But, today, friend M and I had a cup of tea in her honor, in the evening.  M was the last person she saw before she died.  He had come to tend to the garden and had checked in with her and made her breakfast before he went to plant the green beans I had asked him to plant.  Mother had gone to the sliding glass door and asked him how it was going and he had given her a thumbs up. She had gone back to her chair, in the living room, and a few minutes later, M's aunt Katy, who was my neighbor, had come by to check on her and found her already dead.  My mother would have approved of us having a cup of tea to celebrate her birthday.  She loved her tea. 

Shopping on Thursday

Wednesday night, or, rather, early Thursday morning, around 3:00 a.m., I lay in bed, trying to fall asleep and feeling wide awake and energetic!  I half wanted to get up and put that energy to work and clean the house, but I thought I'd be too tired during the day if I did that!  Eventually, sometime after 4:00 a.m., I fell asleep.  Then, of course, this morning, when I woke up around 10:30 a.m., I had no energy!  But, I did a little tidying up (cleared the dining table and tidied the spare room which was threatening to become a dump, again!), checked supplies, wrote out my shopping lists, etc., and put some garbanzo beans to soak. 

In the afternoon, I went shopping.  I had to go to three stores to buy the items on my list, but, I bought some new light bulbs, a large gift bag I wanted for the baby quilt, two rugs to cover the loose vinyl tiles in the kitchen, three bags of cat food, two packs of toilet paper, another package each of small paper plates and bowls (extras will be kept for the December almsgiving), and a new can opener to keep with my earthquake supplies.  One of the shops I went to was closing and they were having a sale, so, I wandered around the shop, looking.  Then, I got tired and came home.

After a cup of tea and something to eat, I boiled the garbanzo beans I had put to soak, earlier.  Tomorrow, I will saute them with onions, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried chilies to serve as a snack on Saturday.   

Later in the evening, I started on the cleaning.  I replaced the burnt out light bulbs in the chandeliers and dusted the light fixtures, dusted the living room and dining room, and cleaned my daughter's bathroom, as that's the one guests generally use.  

We had some really gusty winds, this evening, and the power went off for a few seconds, while I was cleaning!  But, it came back on, much to my relief.  The winds have died down, now, thank goodness! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The power came back on after being off for a few seconds
- Being able to get my shopping done
- A long chat with Aunt C
- The strong winds have died down
- Video chatting with my daughter

Today's joyful activity was listening to music while I cleaned.

Friday's To Do List:
- Grocery shop
- Cook the beef curry
- Saute the garbanzo beans
- Tidy the family room
- Clean my bathroom
- Vacuum (or ask M to vacuum for me!)

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

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Midweek on Wednesday

Not only midweek, but, mid-month, too!  Can you believe that we are now in the second half of October?

It was another nice, warm day, today, but we had a bit of a cloud cover, so it wasn't very sunny.  I spent a relaxed morning, responding to blog comments and making some phone calls. 

In the afternoon, I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.  It's funny, but, I always feel the need to clean the kitchen before I start cooking for a gathering!  So, I washed the fronts of some of the lower kitchen cabinets, scrubbed under the stove burners, cleaned the counters, and swept the floor.  Now, I get to cook and get the kitchen messy, again!  LOL.

I also put away a load of laundry from yesterday, did another load, and hung it up to dry. 

In the evening, I pulled out one of my many unfinished knitting projects and started on it.  It is a sweater I started knitting some time ago and put aside for one reason or another (most probably to knit another sweater with newer yarn!).  I had knitted the front and the back of the sweater, already.  Today, I started on the sleeves.

Later in the evening, I spoke with cousin P, friend R, and, of course, my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A clean kitchen in which to cook
- The dishwasher and washing machine
- Electricity to run the appliances
- Chatting with my daughter
- Friend R will help with the prayer gathering preparations on Saturday

Today's joyful activity was knitting and listening to music.

Thursday's To Do List:
- Clean out the fridge
- Make the grocery shopping list
- Shop for the non-grocery supplies I still need
- Do a little more cleaning

How was your day?  What are your plans for Thursday?  Do you, too, have unfinished craft projects?  Or, do you finish one project before you start on another?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

New Sweater on Tuesday

New "Denim" Sweater

Today marks one year since I officially retired!  I can't imagine that one whole year has gone by!  It flew!  I feel that I didn't accomplish quite as much as I would have liked, but, I have enjoyed the slower pace of life.  I could really get used to it!  LOL.

Today, I finished sewing up the sweater I made with the 100% wool yarn I bought on clearance sale, on September 19.  The wool was in a color called "Denim" and it was on sale for $3.47 per ball.  I bought five balls of the wool, but used only four for the sweater.  I started knitting this sweater on September 26 (had made a note of it on my blog post on that day).  $14 and three weeks is not too bad for a wool sweater.  I didn't block the sweater as I rarely do so.

It fits!
I think it turned out well.  I like the color and it will go with several skirts and slacks I already have. 

I'll probably use the remaining ball of wool on another project.  Haven't quite decided what that would be, but, I like to have a knitting project to work on, especially in the evenings, when I watch TV.

I found out, today, that the friend who offered to bring the beef curry to the prayer gathering is unable to attend the prayer gathering, after all, due to a prior engagement.  Not a problem, though.  I have plenty of time to buy the beef and make the curry.  I still don't know exactly how many people will show up for the prayer gathering.  It could be anywhere from 5 to 15!  Yes, I've asked people to let me know if they are able to attend; so far, only three people have confirmed that they will be attending. 

I watered the garden, both front and back, earlier this evening.  I am planning to have a relaxed rest of the evening, making a birthday card.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being retired!
- Knowing how to knit
- My new sweater
- Water for the garden
- A sunny, warm day

Today's joyful activity was finishing the sweater!

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

More Sewing and an Earthquake on Monday

On Monday, I had a relaxed morning.  After my morning cup of tea, I called neighbor T to check on her, because she forgot to call me, yesterday.  She is fine, she said.

In the afternoon, I finished sewing down the border/binding on the baby girl quilt.  It has been wrapped in tissue paper and kept aside until Saturday.  After that, I spent a little time reading one of the library books.

Then, it was time to take the trash cans to the curb and watch the evening news.  I called friend R and chatted with her for a bit, as well.  Later, I watched some TV and knitted.  I finished knitting my blue sweater.  Just have to sew it up.

There was a 4.5 earthquake in northern California, this evening.   The epicenter was several miles from Berkeley, but, my daughter called me to say she felt it.  It wasn't a big earthquake, but, Berkeley sits right on top of the Hayward fault line.  Poor daughter got a bit worried; somehow, things like earthquakes feel more scary when one is alone and it happens at night.  We video chatted for a little longer, today, until she said she felt calmer. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The earthquake didn't cause any damage where my daughter is
- She has stocked up on emergency supplies
- She still has electricity
- I was able to finish sewing the baby quilt
- A relaxed day

Today's joyful activities were sewing and knitting.

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

Sunday, October 13, 2019

A Surprise and A Celebration on Sunday

Home Made Apple Pie!

My daughter's friend A baked me an apple pie and brought it over, this morning, as a thank you gift for shortening her bridesmaid dress!  I thought it was very sweet of her to do so.  My daughter was in on the surprise, because A had asked her what time I'd be home so A could bring the pie. 

After A had left, I made a quick run to the grocery store to buy a gift card for my cousin V's older grandson.  I had forgotten to do that when I was at the store, earlier in the week.  I got a gift card to the bookstore;  his parents can choose a book for him when they return to New York.

I had called cousin P, earlier in the morning to confirm that she and her daughter could give me a ride to the Christening and reception, afterwards.  The Christening was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and cousin said they will leave around 2:00 p.m.  That gave me plenty of time to get my clothes ready and get dressed.  I had been debating what to wear.  The reception afterwards was being held at a country club and I felt that called for something a little dressy.  Should I wear my long black skirt with a blouse (if so, which blouse?) or, should I wear a sari?  In the end, I chose to wear one of my saris.  After all, if I don't wear my saris to these types of functions, where else am I to wear them?

The Christening went quite smoothly, I thought.  The baby fussed a little bit at the beginning, but didn't cry.  The reception included a buffet dinner and dancing.  It was supposed to end at 7:30 p.m., but, I think we were there until about 8:00 p.m.  It was 9:00 p.m. when my cousin and her daughter dropped me off at home. 

Two friends I met at the gathering, today, offered to bring some dishes to the prayer gathering next Saturday. At first, I said it was OK, I was able to manage, but they insisted, and so, one will make the beef curry and the other will bring a dessert!  Friend R offered to bring something for dessert, too!  At this rate, it will be a potluck! 

I had a short video chat with my daughter after I came home.  She has to give another presentation at a conference in Sacramento, tomorrow, and has to have an early start to get there on time.  So, we said goodnight, early. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter's friend A bringing me a homemade apple pie as an expression of her thanks!
- Cousin and her daughter giving me a ride to today's family gathering and back
- Sari blouses that still fit!
- Family gatherings
- Friends offering to bring dishes to the prayer gathering dinner.

Today's joyful activity was gathering with family and friends.

Monday's To Do List:
- Finish sewing the baby girl quilt
- Start cleaning the house
- Buy two small area rugs
- Make and mail birthday card

How was your Sunday?  What are your plans for Monday and the coming week?

Sewing on Saturday

Baby Girl Quilt

I spent a good part of the afternoon sewing the baby girl quilt.  The borders have been attached, the batting and backing are in place, and I've machine quilted "in the ditch" between the horizontal rows.  I didn't sew between the vertical columns because one, I got tired and I tend to make more mistakes when I am tired.  The borders have been taken to the back and pinned in place - I will sew them down by hand, next week. 

Close Up
The solid pastel green squares don't photograph true to color, but it is a mint green, rather than baby blue.  The white patterned fabric was a bit thin and see through, so I lined each square with plain white fabric to make the pattern show up, better. 

Backing Fabric

It is a very soft, pastel colored quilt, but, I am pleased with how it turned out.   The quilt is backed with the elephants in circles fabric (cotton flannel). 

In the evening, I wrapped up the baby boy quilt and made a card to go with it.  I also looked up directions to drive to the church and the venue where the reception will be held, afterwards.  I am hoping I will be able to get a ride with cousin P and her daughter, but, if they are unable to take me, then, I will drive myself.

Today, I called and reminded family and friends about next Saturday's prayer gathering. 

Lunch was rice with lentils and mackerel curry.  For dinner, I cooked steak and broccoli. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A working sewing machine
- Electricity to run the sewing machine
- Being able to play with fabric
- A warm, sunny day
- Video chatting with my daughter

Today's joyful activity was sewing the quilt.

Plans for tomorrow include attending my cousin's grandson's Christening and reception, afterwards.

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

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Quiet Friday

Baby Girl Quilt Top in the Making

Last night, I stayed up too late watching news coverage of the fires.  Eventually, however, I went to bed and slept in, this morning.

I spent a relatively quiet day, today.  I spent most of the afternoon sewing the baby girl quilt top.  I chose a very simple pattern of squares and pieced the top.  I shall cut out and attach the borders, tomorrow.  When it got too dark to sew (I prefer to sew in daylight, not under electric lights), I knitted and watched TV.

Friend M came over, in the evening, and tended to the garden and did some tidying up, for me.  The resident spiders have been busy decorating the area near the front door for Halloween with their webs, but, M took them all down, in order to make the place look more presentable, next weekend, when I host the prayer gathering.  I need to do the same inside the house!

I called cousin V in the afternoon to see if she is safe from the fires; she is not impacted, but, the venue where she had planned to celebrate her grandson's Christening was closed, today, due to the fire!  She is hopeful that it will be open on Sunday!

I made a tentative menu for the prayer gathering dinner, today.  I wanted a menu that will be easy to make: Roast chicken and beef curry, smoked sausages cooked with bell peppers, rice, sauteed green beans, salad, and desserts of flan and fresh fruits, maybe a cake or a pie.  I can cook the beef curry a day or two ahead; everything else will be easy to prepare on the day.  This is one of the few times when I make a menu ahead of time and shop for the ingredients, rather than buying whatever is on sale and planning my menu around what I've bought.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter felt well enough to go to the office
- My family and I are not in the path of the fires
- An afternoon spent sewing
- M helping with the garden
- Video chatting with daughter

Today's joyful activity was sewing the quilt top.

Saturday's To Do List:
- Continue to sew the quilt
- Make cards
- Make a grocery shopping list for the prayer gathering dinner

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