Saturday, November 30, 2019

November Decluttering

My goal was to declutter 64 (+ 1) items this month - one for every year of my life and another one to "grow on"!  LOL. 

1 chipped plate
1 non-steaming iron
1 rice cooker with faulty switch (goes off before the rice is fully cooked)
1 old kitchen towel
4 nail polish bottles
3 books
2 pairs holey socks
1 "fanny pack" (belted pouch)
4 jackets
14 blouses
7 cardigans/sweaters
2 pairs slacks/jeans
9 skirts
6 scarves
5 food storage containers
1 hat
2 pot holders
1 tote bag
= 65

A lot of the clothes were what one of my aunts had given me.  I kept them to see if I would wear them, but, I didn't.  My daughter took some items, but, I didn't add those items to the count; I am only counting what has left, or will be leaving, the house.  I now have two bags of clothes to be donated. 

Decluttering is an on-going challenge for me.    I keep putting off decluttering the "collectibles" and finding easier things, like clothes, to declutter!  But, I'll get there, eventually.  Did you have a goal of declutter X number of items in November?  If so, did you achieve your goal?

November Balanced Life Monthly Goals: Review

It's the last day of November 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.

November Balanced Life Goals:

Spiritual: (10)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
- Continue with daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, positive, and joyful
- Continue to cultivate non-attachment to material things by donating/decluttering more
- Go to the temple for blessings
- Attend the November rosary prayer gathering, if there is one!
- Start on preparations for the December almsgiving

Another successful month where this area of my life is concerned.  I continued with daily prayers, meditation, gratitude, etc., did some decluttering, went to the temple, attended the November rosary prayer gathering, and have started on my almsgiving preparations.

House (9)(9.5):  The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming:
- Clean - Continue to implement the weekly cleaning schedule
- Organize - Continue to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place
- Well maintained - Keep "erasing the evidence"
- Decluttered - Declutter 64 items

I am pleased with what I was able to achieve in this area.  I was able to get some much needed repairs done around the house.  Unfortunately, the garage door opener mechanism failed, again, today, and I need to call A to come and fix it (he had told me his work is guaranteed), but, I am counting my blessings; at least I have a handyman to call on!

I got a bit behind with the cleaning schedule and organizing, and I haven't been keeping up with "erasing the evidence" as much as I should, but, I did meet my decluttering goal of 64 items (one for each year of my life, as I turned 64, earlier this month) plus 1 extra item (to grow on!) for a total of 65 items.  A lot of clothes and accessories, as I went through the two big bags of clothes I had received from one of my aunts, earlier in the year (I had been keeping them, thinking I might wear them, but, didn't) and put aside most of it to donate.  My daughter took some of the items (I didn't count those items), and I kept a few items aside for my friend to look through, but, I only kept 1 skirt for myself.  

I am rating this area 9.5 because all the small repairs I was able to get done far outweighs the cleaning and organizing I didn't get done!      

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)
- Do any fall planting I wish to do
- Clean out the garden shed

The garden is being maintained.  We cut down a pineapple guava tree that had died over the summer, pruned the curry leaf trees and thinned out a lot of new curry leaf seedlings, and M planted a butterfly bush and more squill bulbs.  The garden shed got postponed, but, I am 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 visits (2) in November

We had lots of together time, this month, because she came down twice to visit!  Once over my birthday weekend and this week for Thanksgiving.  We've done some shopping, eaten out, spent time with family and friends, and she's had a couple of fun activities with her friends.  Definitely a 10!

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to have a connection with family members and friends:
- Regular phone calls and emails
- Might see family and friends at Thanksgiving
- Maybe go out to lunch with my sister

November turned out to be a good month for getting together, both planned and spontaneous, with family and friends!  There were special birthday phone calls, video chats, and emails, in addition to regular calls and emails., I met some family and friends when I went out to lunch with my daughter for my birthday, I met more family and friends at the monthly prayer gathering and at Thanksgiving, and I went out to lunch with friend R and with my sister.  I am well satisfied with this area of my life and will continue to rate it a 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
- 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 continue to do well in this area of my life.  I continue to live debt free and well within my means.  I continue to budget because I want to and I continue to spend mindfully (for the most part; all bets are off when I go to the Sri Lankan store!)  LOL.  I am keeping the rating at 10.  

 Health & Well Being (8)(8):  The goal is good health:
- Attend the medical appointments scheduled for this month  
- 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, regularly scheduled (every 3 months) doctor's appointment, this month.  As I stated in the October review, in general, things are going well where my health is concerned, but, there is a lot of room for improvement.  I am keeping the rating at 8.

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

Again, this is another area of my life that could be improved, but, my current schedule seems to be working well enough.  I am trying hard not to procrastinate, but, some things do get put off until later!  I am keeping the rating at 8. 

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time (10)(10):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Celebrate my birthday!
- Engage in daily joyful activities
- Start making holiday gifts

This has been a very good month for this area of my life.  There have been lots of leisure activities, including watching TV, knitting, and quilt making, I've celebrated my birthday over a couple of weeks, and I have made some holiday gifts.  I am going to keep the rating at 10. 

That is my review of my goals for a more balanced life in November.  Everything went up or stayed the same, except for Health and Well Being.  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?

Friday, November 29, 2019

A Rainy Thanksgiving and a Sunny Black Friday

Thanksgiving 2019

It rained all night on Wednesday and it rained practically all day on Thursday!  It was raining when I woke up on Thursday morning.  It was raining when we drove to friend A's home for Thanksgiving lunch, in the afternoon.  As usual, she had cooked a feast, with turkey and all the traditional side dishes, plus, rice and beef curry, as well!  Friend A, her husband, their two daughters, my daughter, and I took turns to say what we were thankful for before we tucked into the food.  We lingered over dessert (pecan pie, pumpkin pie, love cake, ice cream) and sat around the table, chatting. 

We probably would have stayed longer, but, my daughter and I had to go to my aunt T's home to Thanksgiving dinner!  She had told people to come around 5:00-5:30 p.m., but I had told my cousins that I would be there at 6:00 p.m., with the cornbread, because I was going to my friend's house, as well.  I called my cousin before I left my friend's house, to let her know that I was on my way.  It was still raining when I drove to aunt's house.  I got there at 6:00 p.m., although finding parking took several more minutes!  Even so, I was in good time - they were just dishing up the food to go on the table.  In any case, my daughter and I weren't the last to arrive.  Another cousin and her daughter got late to come and we waited for them before a blessing was said and dinner was served:

Thanksgiving Dinner at Aunt's
After dinner, there was dancing and the party was still in full swing when my daughter and I left, a little after 9:00 p.m.  We were urged to stay, but, I was getting tired and anxious to get home before the roads got flooded - there are several intersections in my neighborhood that are notorious for getting flooded whenever it rains.  We drove home in the rain.  I think it was the rainiest Thanksgiving we've had in many years!  It was a cold night, too, with a temperature of 46F, which is cold for us.

Today, however, there is sunshine.  There are some rain clouds in the distance, but, there is no rain.  I made waffles and bacon for breakfast, then, called Aunt C to tell her that I bought a purse with the gift card she gave me.  Later, I called friend R and left her a message.  Now, it is afternoon, and I have opened a few windows to air out the house, put a load of laundry to wash, and put the three packets of whole raw cashews to soak.  I will cook them, tonight, and freeze them for the almsgiving.  Daughter and I are spending a relaxed day at home.  We are not Black Friday shoppers and have never been, although one of my cousins was planning to go at 5:00 a.m.! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- My many blessings
- Good health and being alive to celebrate another Thanksgiving with my daughter, family, and friends
- Safe driving, yesterday, in the rain
- A sunny day
- A warm, dry home

How was your Thursday?  Did you celebrate Thanksgiving?  Did you go Black Friday shopping?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Rainy Wednesday

It rained in the morning, today.  I am thankful for the rain as we need it and it means I don't have to water the garden, this week.  More rain is expected for tomorrow, as well.

The rain ceased by noon and, in the afternoon, we had sunshine, although there were rain clouds in the horizon.

I went to the fabric store in the afternoon.  But, the advertised fabric, Country Classics solids (regular price $5.99/yd., on sale for $1.79/yd) did not offer much of a selection when it came to the available colors and amounts of fabric.  They had lots of shades of yellow, one bolt of grey, one dark blue with less than 2 yards of fabric on the bolt, a dark brown (again with not much fabric left on the bolt), and a beige.  I considered the beige (I guess one could call it ecru, if one wanted to be fancy) and thought it would be OK.  It is a nice, neutral color and would help to tone down the bright colors of the quilt top.  However, when I went to the fabric cutting counter to have them measure out 5 yards, the bolt was full of short lengths of fabric, 1 to 2 yards in length.  So, I didn't buy it.

The same store is advertising a different type of fabric, Symphony Broadcloth solids (regular price $4.99/yd., on sale for 50% off, today, but, $1.99/yd. on Saturday and Sunday), and, if you get there before noon on Saturday, there is an extra 25% off entire purchase coupon, too!  Guess what I plan to do on Saturday, morning!  LOL.  I checked out the colors they have and, again, not much of a choice, but, there was a medium blue shade which might do for the quilt border.  Of course, I am taking a chance by waiting until Saturday, but, that's what I will do.

I didn't come away empty-handed from the store, however!  They were having a sale on yarn and I bought three skeins of yard for $2.50 each (regular price $3.99), in a color called "Dark Orchid" to knit a cardigan for my friend who requested one.  I asked her what color she wanted and she said, "A nice color", and, when I pressed her further, "A bright color", which left it open to interpretation!  But, purple is one of my favorite colors, so, that's what I chose!  I figured that, if she doesn't like it, she can give it back to me!  LOL!

Yarn for a Cardigan

My total came to $8.21:


I am not planning to start knitting this cardigan until after the holidays are over.  It will not be a holiday gift.  That would be too stressful.  But, I have the yarn on hand, now, for when I do start knitting.

After I came home, I had a cup of tea and then, I made corn bread:

Corn Bread

A double batch in the larger baking dish to take to Aunt T's, tomorrow, and a single batch for us to enjoy at home.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The rain we had this morning
- The sunshine in the afternoon
- Yarn on sale
- Freshly baked cornbread
- Holiday traditions

Today's joyful activities include baking cornbread and watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving specials on TV with my daughter, which has become a holiday tradition.

Plans for tomorrow consist of going to friend A's house to Thanksgiving lunch and to aunt T's house to dinner!  I need to look up driving directions from A's house to aunt's house because I took the wrong freeway, last year, and ended up taking a long, circuitous route.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  May your day be filled with family, friends, and much for which to be thankful.

Grocery Shopping and Prayer Gatherings on Tuesday

Shrimp Curry

I spent a relaxed morning, today, responding to blog comments and reading other blogs.  Daughter and I had the leftover coconut roti for breakfast.

In the afternoon, I went grocery shopping for a few items.  Daughter stayed at home.  I bought a quart of half and half ($2.99), a quart of milk ($1.99), some bananas ($.59/lb.), a bag of tangerines ("Cuties"; $3.49), some green beans ($.99/lb.), Brussels sprouts ($.99/lb.), a 5 lb. bag of flour ($2.29), a box of corn meal ($3.65), a bottle of canola oil ($1.99), a large pecan pie as my contribution to the Thanksgiving lunch at my friend's ($14.99), a container of four almond croissants ($4.99), a box of crackers ($1.49), a package of headless, deveined shrimp (a splurge at $8.99/lb.; $11.33 for the package), two packages of my daughter's favorite brand of ground coffee ($4.99 each) and two boxes of small trash bags ($1.99).  My total with trash bags and tax, etc., came to $65.31. Of course, I am well over my grocery budget for this month (I blew the budget the minute I set foot inside the Sri Lankan store, the other day!), but, I am OK with that.  It is a self-imposed budget, based on what I think is a reasonable amount to spend on groceries and not due to a financial necessity to do so.

My daughter helped me bring the bags of groceries in and she put away the groceries immediately, so I didn't take a picture of the groceries.

After I came home, I put some rice to boil and cooked a shrimp curry.  Daughter and I both had rice and shrimp curry for a late lunch. 

In the evening, we went to the monthly prayer gathering being held at my cousin V's home.  Cousin P and her daughter gave my daughter and me a ride there and back.  It was a good prayer gathering with many members of the extended family attending.  After the prayers were said, we had dinner (Indiappam or stringhoppers and curries).  My cousin insisted that I brought a container of food home for lunch, tomorrow, and I was happy to do so because I love stringhoppers.

Today, I am grateful for:
- What I was able to accomplish today
- Being able to attend the monthly prayer gathering
- Cousin P and her daughter giving my daughter and me a ride there and back
- Being able to afford to go over my self imposed grocery budget
- The strong wind gusts we experienced didn't cause any damage to the house or garden

Today's joyful activity was attending the prayer gathering.

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Bake cornbread
- Tidy the house a bit
- Go to the fabric store to take advantage of their sale (need to buy the solid colored fabric for the quilt border)

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

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Lunch and Shopping on Monday

New Handbag - Front


This is the new handbag I bought with my gift card, yesterday.  It is a reddish-brown leather bag (the color is described as cabernet).  My requirements were: a shoulder strap, a front pocket, full zipper closure, and roomy enough for all my stuff!  There is a small pocket in the back, too.  Apparently it is known as a hobo style bag. 

Today, my daughter and I went out to lunch with my half-sister and her husband.  We went to an Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant.  We had chicken biryani and white rice, chicken korma, lamb pasanda, dal tarka, and garlic naan bread with some mint chutney and tamarind chutney.  For dessert, my sister and her husband had mango kulfi (a type of ice cream) and daughter and I had kheer (a type of rice pudding).  The other choice for dessert was one of my favorites - gulab jamon - which is a ball of deep fried dough that is soaked in a sugar syrup flavored with rose water, but, I didn't order it because it would have been too much sugar for me.  My sister and her husband had mango lassi to drink, but, my daughter and I chose to drink water; daughter, because she doesn't like yogurt, and I, because I wanted to limit the sugar and calories.  In fact, I didn't even finish my dessert of kheer, but, brought the rest home and gave it to my daughter to have after dinner.

I gave my sister a jar of my pineapple guava jam as a gift and she gave gifts to my daughter and to me.  My daughter received a red purse and a tote bag; I received a scarf, a necklace, a small note book, and an embroidered drawstring bag. 

Later in the afternoon, my daughter and I went to a different mall to do more shopping!  LOL. She wanted a new planner for 2020, so we went to the crafts supply store where she bought her favorite planner with a 40% off coupon.  I looked around the shop, but, didn't buy anything!  Yay, me! Next, we shopped at a discount store for some clothing items.  I bought three sweaters to give to three of the young ladies on my holiday gift list and something for one of my cousins.  My daughter was able to get some of the leggings she prefers to wear to her acrobatics classes and some gifts for her friends.  She also needed some new socks for herself.  She saw some cute socks she liked that came in three designs and couldn't decide which ones to get.  So, I told her to get all three packages:

Socks - Set 1
Socks - Set 2
Socks - Set 3

LOTS of socks! 

Afterwards, we stopped at an outdoors sporting goods store to see if they sold any golf equipment, but they didn't - they sold equipment for camping, hiking, biking, kayaking, etc.  So, I couldn't get the gift card I was planning to get for a cousin's husband, who likes to golf.  There is a different sports store at the other mall; I shall try them, another day.  Finally, daughter went to a video games store (but, I stayed in the car while she looked around).  Then, she bought herself an iced coffee drink from a nearby coffee shop and we came home. 

Then, I took the trash cans to the curb for pick up in the morning, had a cup of tea, washed the dishes, and, after resting for a bit, made coconut roti for dinner, using one of the packages of frozen grated coconut I bought at the Sri Lankan store on Saturday.  We had beef curry from the freezer, with the roti (a type of flat bread).

Frozen Grated Coconut

Pol Roti

Today I am grateful for:
- Seeing my sister again
- Enjoying a good lunch in pleasant company
- Spending time with my daughter
- Having loved ones with whom to exchange gifts
- Cousin P offered me a ride to the rosary, tomorrow

Today's joyful activity was going out to lunch with my sister.

Plans for tomorrow include going to cousin V's in the evening to the rosary prayer gathering.

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

Monday, November 25, 2019

Shopping on Sunday

"Patties" - Pastry Filled with a Spicy Fish Filling and Deep Fried

Today, I had some of the patties we bought from the restaurant for my breakfast.  They look like empanadas, don't they? 

In the afternoon, my daughter and I went to the mall to do some shopping.  She wanted to get birthday gifts for two of her friends, I wanted to get a birthday gift for a friend's daughter, some chocolates to serve at the almsgiving, and a new handbag for myself, using a gift card that one of my aunts and a cousin had given me for my birthday, last year!  My current handbag (also a gift from the same aunt and cousin a couple of years ago) is starting to look old and worn, with the handles and strap starting to tear.  We got our shopping done and picked up some hamburgers on our way home for a late lunch.

After we got home, my daughter took a nap.  I cleaned my bathroom, read a few blogs, and had a cup of tea.

Later in the evening, we watched the American Music Awards show on TV, ate some of the snacks we bought yesterday, and relaxed.  My daughter printed out some canning jar labels for me to put on my jars of jam.  She put all new ink cartridges in the printer, but, the printer was not working properly and she could only print out black and white labels.  But, that's OK; I can use those labels just as well. 

Cassava Chips
One of the snacks we had this evening was cassava chips.  I remembered to take a picture only after we had already had half the bag!  They resemble potato chips but are a little crunchier. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A new handbag to replace the old one
- Getting some of the other shopping done
- Safe driving to the mall and back
- Spending a relaxed evening with my daughter
- Special snacks to enjoy

Today's joyful activity was spending time with my daughter.

Plans for tomorrow include going out to lunch with my half-sister and her husband.  I have a jar of jam to give her as a Thanksgiving gift.

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

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Fun on Saturday

Cousin V called me in the morning to let me know that she will be hosting this month's rosary prayer gathering on Tuesday night.  She apologized for the short notice, but, she's been out of town for the better part of the month; I said it was fine with me, as I didn't have anything planned for Tuesday evening, anyway.

Later in the morning, I called my half-sister to tell her about the almsgiving in December; she is unable to attend it, but, we made arrangements to meet for lunch on Monday.  Every time she calls me, she tells me we need to get together for lunch and to let her know when would be a good day.  She lives about one hour's drive from me and we don't see each other that often; maybe once or twice a year.  I think I need to be better about calling her and getting together with her! 

In the afternoon, daughter and I picked up friend R and we went to the Sri Lankan store to buy some items we both wanted.  I wanted more of my favorite tea, but they didn't have it in stock.  They said they are expecting another shipment of it in mid-December, so I am hoping I'll be able to get more tea, then.  In the meantime, I bought a different type of tea, called "Ceylon Gold" by the same company, to try.  Other than the tea, I bought items for the almsgiving (red rice, pappadum or lentil wafers, and sesame candy), items for the love cake we are planning to make (jars of pumpkin preserves and bottles of rose flavoring), some groceries (slices of frozen "seer" fish or king mackerel, frozen grated coconut, a jar of seeni sambol or spicy onion relish) and a whole bunch of snacks and treats!  I didn't take a picture of the food stuff I bought, though, because once I got home, I hurried to put the frozen items away.  I also bought a piece of kitchen equipment I had been wanting for awhile to replace the one I had to toss:

Coconut Scraper/Grater

New Coconut Scraper

This is a table model coconut scraper (or, grater, as they call it on the box; we used to always call it a scraper).  It clamps on to the side of a table, you hold the half of a coconut that has been split open against the serrated blades and you turn the handle, which causes the flesh of the coconut to grate.  I had one like this, which my mother and I had brought from Sri Lanka, but, we didn't use it all the time and, by storing it, it had rusted.  I tossed it, when cleaning out the kitchen, some time ago, and I had been debating whether to buy a new scraper or not.  After all, frozen grated coconut is readily available, here.  But, today, my daughter insisted that I bought it, threatening to buy it for me if I didn't!  LOL.  She has fond memories of when she was a little girl and she used to grate the coconuts for me.  The scraper cost $18.99.

When I was growing up, we had something that was less mechanized - it was a small, low wooden bench which had a flat disk with serrations along the edges mounted on one end; you sat on the bench, held the coconut half against the flat disk and moved the coconut to scrape the flesh.  In the Sri Lankan kitchen, where coconut milk was used in practically every single curry, the coconut scraper was an essential piece of equipment and the cooking of a meal started with scraping the coconut.

As many of you already know, I am usually a very careful shopper, looking for bargains and checking prices before I buy anything.  The one store where I simply buy what I want without even looking at the prices is the Sri Lankan store!  When I go there, I simply pick up what I want and don't think twice about it!  My total today came to $101.47.  I've said this before - it's cheaper than a trip to Sri Lanka! 

After our shopping was done, friend R took us out to lunch as a belated birthday celebration for me.  We went to another Sri Lankan restaurant that was located near the Sri Lankan store. 

Apey Kade ("Our Store") 
One of the letters on the store sign was peeling off, but, this is the name of the restaurant, written in Sinhalese.

Rice and Curries Buffet

Today's lunch special was a rice and curries buffet. 

"Short Eats"
Nearby, there was a display case with various types of pastries and other snacks that are called "short eats" in Sri Lanka.

Freshly Backed Fish Pastries
The person running the restaurant was very friendly and welcoming.  When I explained about the blog and asked him if I could take some pictures to post on the blog, he was more than happy, and posed with a tray of freshly baked pastries.  They do catering as well and I've had their food at various parties and they are good.

Although they had a rice and curries buffet, we opted for something else: lamprais/lampries (spelled both ways):

Banana Leaf Wrapped Lunch
It is a special kind of rice with curries, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed:


The banana leaves impart a special flavor and aroma to the food.  They also were our version of disposable plates, easily accessible and inexpensive as almost everyone used to have banana plants growing in their backyards and environmentally sustainable as well.

Authentic lamprais have very specific curries that accompany it and is a specialty of the Dutch Burgher community (descendants of the Dutch settlers) in Sri Lanka.  The version we had today had been adapted to the ingredients that are available here, but, it was a very acceptable version of it, and we all enjoyed it, very much.  None of us could finish our portions, so we asked for containers to bring our leftovers home. 

Although we couldn't finish our rice, we still found room for dessert!  They had a type of pudding called watalappan, which is made with jaggery, a type of palm sugar.  I didn't take a picture of that, but, it was very good!  My dessert was on the house, we were told, because we were celebrating my birthday!  Before we left, we bought some of the "short eats" that they had to eat at home.

There were only two other customers at the restaurant when we went (which was about 3:00 p.m., so, well after the usual lunch time, but, before their dinner buffet started).  We chatted with them for a bit before they left - they were a young couple from Idaho, visiting Los Angeles, and trying Sri Lankan food for the first time.  A short time later, a young man came in; he asked us a question as we were about to leave and we struck up a conversation with him, too.  His family is originally from Sri Lanka, but they moved to Alaska when he was a boy; he is currently living in San Francisco and came to Los Angeles for a music festival and wanted to try out the restaurant.  One never knows who one might meet in a Sri Lankan restaurant! 

After lunch, we came home and had tea.  Then, daughter and I drove friend R back to her home and dropped her off.  We've had a relaxed evening, after that, enjoying some of the snacks we bought and trying out the new tea (quite good, although not as strong as the extra strength tea that I like). 

Today's joyful activity was spending time with friend R and being treated to a belated birthday lunch!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to celebrate my birthday all over again
- Spending time with my daughter and friend R
- R's friendship over the years
- A special meal
- Having a Sri Lankan store and restaurants in the area

I don't have any specific plans for Sunday.  Daughter needs to do a little bit of shopping and I want to buy the rest of the ingredients needed for the love cake.  Otherwise, the day is free.

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

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Productive Friday

Friday morning, I went to the fabric store to buy the solid colored fabric that was on sale for the quilt border and backing.  Unfortunately, they didn't have enough of the fabric in a color I wanted and the salesperson insisted that what was on the shelves were all that they had.  I didn't want it to be a wasted visit, so, I bought all the purple they had on the bolt, which was under 2 yards and all the dark pink, which was about 2 1/2 yards.  They are having another sale, next week - I will see if I can find more solid colored fabric, then.  In the meantime, I added the purple and the pink fabric to the stash (and that is how the stash grows!).  I spent $8.22 for the fabric.

From there, I drove a few more blocks to a grocery store to buy cashews, a container of half and half, and, a loaf of chocolate babka (a type of bread).   I bought 3 lbs. of cashew pieces ($6.99/lb.) for the Love Cake daughter will be making and 3 lbs. of whole cashews ($7.99/lb.) for the almsgiving.  The babka was $4.99 and the half and half was $2.79, I believe.  My total came to $52.69. 

Later, in the afternoon, I changed the bed sheets, changed the sofa dust covers, did several loads of laundry including a quilt, tidied the family room a bit, and went over to friend R's to pick up something she had bought for me for the almsgiving. 

Friend M came over to tidy the garden for me and I gave him a jar of the guava-ginger jam for Thanksgiving. 

In the evening, I went to the airport to pick up daughter.  There was a long line of vehicles to get to the passenger pick up/drop off!  I guess holiday travels have already started!  Daughter said it was a very turbulent flight, but, at least she arrived safely. 

We've spent the rest of the evening chatting and enjoying some of the chocolate babka. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- My daughter had a safe flight home
- I get to spend all of next week with her!
- I was able to find parking spaces in very crowded parking lots at the stores
- M helping with the garden
- A productive day

Today's joyful activity was spending the evening chatting with my daughter.

Plans for tomorrow include going to the Sri Lankan store and going out to lunch with friend R. 

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

Friday, November 22, 2019

Jam on Thursday

Pineapple Guava-Ginger Jam

Today, while I watched the House hearings, I made pineapple guava (feijoa) and ginger jam!  This is the first time I've ever made this particular type of jam because, it is the first time I've had enough guavas from my tree to do anything other than eat each day's pickings.  So, after a brunch of leftover pancakes and bacon, I cut and scooped out the pulp from all the pineapple guavas I had picked this week.  Some of them looked perfect on the outside, but, were discolored and spoiled, inside, and I discarded them.  The remaining guavas yielded 2 1/2 lbs. of guava pulp with which to make jam!

After I weighed out the fruit, I weighed out an equal amount of sugar, as that's my universal jam recipe; 1 lb. sugar to 1 lb. fruit.  I also added the juice and zest of a couple of small lemons and then, boiled all of it.  It tasted a bit bland, to me, so I cut up some preserved ginger that I had on hand and added that to the mixture, too, to get pineapple guava and ginger jam!  If I didn't have any preserved ginger, I would have added a couple of sticks of cinnamon.  At the end of a couple of hours of constant stirring and boiling, I had enough jam for 11 half pint (8 oz) jars (for those of you who might not be aware of it, the American pint is 16 oz., not 20 oz. like the Imperial pint).  The majority of these jars will be put aside to be given as holiday gifts, but, daughter and I will open one when she comes home for Thanksgiving.   

I washed the utensils I used as I went and wiped up the stove top and counters.  So, I only had the jam pan and spoon to wash up at the end.  The house smelled delicious by the time I finished the jam making! 

By then, it was around 4:00 p.m. and I was too tired to go to the fabric store (besides, I would have got caught to the evening commute traffic).  The fabric sale is going on till Saturday, so, my plan is to go to the store, tomorrow. 

I had a cup of tea and rested for awhile.  Then, I showered as I felt I was sticky with jam all over!  LOL.  Afterwards, I did two loads of laundry.

Giving homemade jam as holiday gifts has become one of my traditions and everyone seems to look forward to receiving a jar of it, each year.   LOL.  It is a frugal gift for me to give, because I use homegrown fruit (or buy fruit on sale) to keep the costs down.  Often, the costliest item is the jar.  I can't quite remember how much I paid for the box of jars (I bought them last year), but, they are usually under $10 for a box of 12 jars (I buy the plain jars, not the fancy, "quilted" jars which cost more).  The only additional cost for this particular batch of jam was for sugar, bought at $.50/lb. (and gas to cook the jam, which I don't take into account).

Today, I am grateful for:
- Guavas and lemons from my garden
- Homemade jam
- Frugal holiday gifts
- Working appliances
- A sunny day

Today's joyful activity was making jam!

Plans for Friday include going to the fabric store, changing bed sheets, and doing more laundry.  Oh, and picking up my daughter from the airport!  LOL!

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

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Rain on Wednesday


The weather forecast was right!  It rained this morning!  I'm glad I held off on watering the back yard, after all!  Sometimes, procrastination works!  LOL.

Yay!  Rain!  

The afternoon was sunny and warm, however, so that was nice.  I was able to open the windows and air out the house during the afternoon.  The evenings are cold, however, and I layered up.  I was already wearing sweatpants, socks, a blouse and my grey wool sweater; I put on a wool cardigan and wrapped a scarf around my neck.  But, even so, my hands were cold!  I have the heater on, now, and I am seated in front of it, with Dancer sleeping on his towel on the piano bench!

I made pancakes and bacon for brunch, today.  I had an early dinner (around 5:00 p.m.) of salad with tuna.  I ate a banana for dessert, a bit later, and snacked on pineapple guavas.  I picked up a whole bowlful of guavas, this afternoon, as they had fallen after the rain.

I watched today's House hearings, knitted (finished the back of the sweater and started on the front), and cleaned the kitchen.  I also went through two crafts books and decluttered them. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The rain for the garden
- Sunshine in the afternoon
- Fresh guavas
- A working heater
- Being warm

Today's joyful activity was knitting.

 Plans for tomorrow include a trip to the fabric store! 

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

Sewing the Quilt Top on Tuesday

Little Diamonds Quilt Top

Dancer and I are feeling a lot better, today.  He's still sneezing and I am still a bit congested, but, we are on the mend, I think.

I slept in, a bit, brought in the trash cans, checked on the plants in the garden, and went through this week's grocery ads in the morning. 

Then, in the afternoon, I sewed the quilt top.  Sewed the diamonds into rows and then, sewed the rows together.  There are six rows of five diamonds per row.  The next step is to buy a solid colored fabric for the borders and figure out a backing.  I think a solid blue or purple will help tie all the colors together, don't you?  The fabric store will have solid colored cotton on sale for $1.99/yard on Thursday.  I will go shopping for fabric on Thursday 

Dancer came to do his part and inspected the quilt top:

Dancer Inspects the Quilt Top
A Closer Look to see if the Corners Meet!

Later in the evening, I watched some TV and knitted.  I had bought some blue yarn (last year?) to make a sweater, started on the ribbing, and put it aside.  I took it out, today, and started knitting the sweater back. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Dancer and I are feeling better and he was well enough to carry out his inspection duties!
- An afternoon of sewing
- Invitations to Thanksgiving with family and friends
- The sewing machine worked well
- Time to knit and sew

Today's joyful activities were sewing and knitting.

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Water the back garden if it doesn't rain
- Tidy the kitchen
- Tidy the family room
- Start on holiday gifts crafting

How was your Tuesday?  Have you started on your holiday gifts, yet?

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

More Grocery Shopping on Monday

Both Dancer and I are feeling a little better, today.  He has been sleeping most of the day, but, he has meowed at me to ask for tuna and he even ate some of his dry food, as well.  I didn't call the vet because I felt he was getting better, but, I will call the vet if I feel it is needed.

I was very tempted to take it easy and spend the day sewing, today.  In fact, I ironed all the quilt blocks and unpicked and resewed the one quilt block that I had sewn upside down.  But, it was a warm sunny day and I wanted to run a couple of errands before the cold and rainy weather arrives, later this week!

I went to the gas station, first, as my gas tank was just below half and I like to have a full tank in case of emergencies.  Gas, at the cheapest station in my area, was $3.79/gallon, today; 6 cents cheaper than it was last week!  I filled up the tank (I already had just under half a tank of gas) and it cost $35.12.

Then, I went to my favorite dollar store to buy a few groceries:

11/18 Groceries

I bought:
2 bagged salad mixes @  $1 = $2.00
4 individual containers of yogurt @ $.50 = $2.00
Bananas @ $.49/lb = $.59
1 bag hot wings = $4.00
2 packages (1 lb. each) bacon @ $1.50 = $3.00
1 frozen pizza = $1.00
1 package desiccated coconut = $1.00

My total came to $13.56, according to the receipt (I rounded up the amounts I paid to the nearest dollar, above).

11/18 Receipt

November grocery budget = $75
Spent to date = $13.95 + $2 + $13.56 = $29.51
Balance left = $75 - $29.51 = $45.49

I hadn't planned to buy bacon, but, it was on sale for $1.50 (50% off the regular price because it was nearing its "sell by date" at the end of the month).  I will freeze them and they'll be fine for several more months after that.

I also hadn't planned to buy the frozen pizza (not a brand I am familiar with), but, I wanted to try it (it has a garlic bread crust and Alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce) and it was only $.99!  I baked it for dinner and I thought it was quite good. 

After I came home and put away the groceries, I watered the front garden and took the trash cans out to the curb.

I had eaten a slice of bread with cheese in the morning for brunch and had eaten a banana before I watered the garden.  But, around 5:00 p.m., I was hungry and, instead of having my usual cup of tea, I ate a salad with some sliced grilled chicken breast added to it.  I was hoping that it would do for dinner, too, but, around 8:30 p.m., I got hungry, again, and that's when I baked the pizza and had a slice of it.  They do say "feed a cold" don't they?  LOL.  I wrapped up two slices of the pizza and froze them and put the rest of the pizza in the fridge for tomorrow. 

I watched news and knitted another hat in the evening.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Both Dancer and I feeling a little better
- Bargains at the dollar store
- Gas for the car
- Water for the garden
- A warm, sunny day in which to run errands

Today's joyful activity was knitting.

Plans for tomorrow include sewing the quilt top and watching some of the House hearings.

How was your Monday?  How is your November grocery budget coming along?  What are your plans for Tuesday?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Small Diamonds It Is!

Pile of Small Diamonds!

Both Dancer and I are feeling a bit under the weather, today!  He started sneezing, yesterday.  Then, this morning, I woke up feeling my sinuses were blocked. 

Poor Dancer spent practically the entire day, sleeping.  He didn't meow as usual, either, and I had to call him to eat his tuna - usually, he's in the kitchen, meowing at me, every time he hears me in the kitchen.   But, he did eat and he drank some water.  If he continues to be listless, tomorrow, I will call the vet and ask if I should bring him in for a check up.  

As for me, I took two Tylenol tablets after brunch (cereal and milk) and felt better.  I still feel a bit like I might be coming down with a cold/sinus infection, but, the headache and body aches went away.

Thank you, everyone, for giving me your opinion on yesterday's post about which quilt pattern you liked the best.  The popular opinion regarding the quilt blocks seems to be in favor of small diamonds!   Since I am planning to give this quilt as a gift, I think the small diamonds pattern is a good choice.

I spent the afternoon sewing the blocks together to make small diamonds.  Patsy Cline and Elton John kept me company while I sewed (and sang off-key!  LOL.)

Unfortunately, the bobbin thread got jammed up on the very last block and by the time I cleaned out the broken threads, it had started to get dark and I stopped sewing for the day.  Tomorrow, I plan to sew the blocks together to form the rows (provided the sewing machine cooperates!) 

In the evening, after dinner (leftover barbecue ribs and salad), I did the dishes/ran the dishwasher and started knitting another hat.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny, warm day
- Dancer ate and drank, although not as much as usual
- All of you participating in choosing the quilt block pattern
- My sewing machine
- An afternoon of sewing

Today's joyful activity was sewing my quilt blocks.

Plans for tomorrow will mostly depend on Dancer and how he is doing.  If he seems to be improving, then, I want to do a little grocery shopping and sewing.  If he's not showing signs of improvement, then, I need to call the vet and, maybe, take him in for a check up.  Keeping my fingers crossed that he'll be better in the morning.

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

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Playing with Fabric on Saturday

I slept in on Saturday.  I woke up, once, around 7:30 a.m., when a friend texted me a photo of her new born baby granddaughter (the one for whom I made the baby girl quilt), and, I suppose I should have got up, then, but, I went back to sleep!

Once I was up and had my tea, I did a little paperwork, watched some TV, and finished knitting another hat. 

M came by in the early afternoon and he cut down the dead guava tree that was growing in the side yard, planted the cannas, the sage, and the variegated iris, and watered them.  Now, we keep our fingers crossed and hope they all grow!  I will water the garden, again, on Monday and, our forecast says it might rain on Wednesday!

It was a warm, sunny day, today, with a high of 82F.  Tomorrow is supposed to be hot, with a high of 90F!  Then, it will get cool with a high of only 56F on Wednesday!

In the evening, I played with some fabric, arranging and rearranging the scrap pieced blocks that I sewed earlier.  I am still trying to decide which is the best arrangement for the blocks.


Small Diamonds

Or, a big diamond?

Central Diamond

Slightly Off-Centered Diamond

Of course, I had help, as usual:

Helper Kitty

Which arrangement do you like best? 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny, warm day
- M helping with the garden
- Dancer helping with the quilt!
- Time to play with fabric
- Fresh lemonade

Today's joyful activity was playing with fabric.

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

More Knitting on Friday

Yes, I watched more of the House hearings, today, and, while I did, I knitted. 

Knitted Scarf

I finished knitting this scarf with the novelty yarn I bought, a couple of years ago.  At first, I cast on 7 stitches with US #9 knitting needles and the resulting scarf was too narrow for my liking.  Then, I cast on 12 stitches and this is the result.  It's fluffy on both sides and is more rounded than flat. 

Then, I knitted these two hats:

Knitted Hats

I cast on the same number of stitches, but the ribbed one tends to contract and appears narrower.  I started a third hat, but didn't get very far with that one.  These hats are to be donated to the cancer center; I will leave them in the chemo room for anyone who might like one.  I want to make a few more and take them with me when I go in December. 

In the afternoon, I went to the pharmacy to pick up two of my medication refills.  Then, I went to the adjoining dollar store and bought a bag of mixed salad ($1) and two small containers of yogurt ($.50 each).  I also bought a 2020 wall calendar, a pocket planner, and two pairs of rubber gloves, 

M came by in the evening to do the garden, but, it was getting dark, already, and we decided that he should come to do the garden tomorrow afternoon, instead.  He shared some canna lily rhizomes with me.  Apparently, someone else was getting rid of them!  Yay!  More free plants! 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Drama free medication refills at the pharmacy!
- M sharing more plants with me
- My yarn stash
- Being able to watch the hearings on TV
- A working heater

Today's joyful activity was knitting.

Saturday's To Do List:
- Hem two pairs of pants
- Garden with M
- Maybe go to the fabric store

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Doctor's Appointment on Thursday

I woke up this morning to the news that there has been yet another school shooting, this time, in California.  How did someone who turned 16, today, get hold of a gun?

In the afternoon, I went to my doctor's appointment.  It was a routine follow-up appointment with the radiation oncologist.  Everything was fine, although my blood pressure was low.  The doctor checked me out and said it was OK.  I am to return in three months for another check up (I will have another three appointments with my other doctors in between).

I aired out the house and watered the back garden, after I came home.  Still need to water the indoor plants.  I've been watching news all evening.  At one point, the electricity went off, but, it came back on after just a few minutes.  Neighbor T called to check on me, afterwards, which was very sweet of her.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The doctor's appointment went well
- A safe drive there and back
- Fresh lemonade made with lemons from my garden
- An abundance of pineapple guavas
- Parking validation at the doctor's office

Plans for tomorrow include watching more House hearings and tending to the garden with M in the evening.

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Knitting and Unpicking on Wednesday

New Scarf in the Making

Today, I woke up early to watch the televised House hearings.  I remember watching the last impeachment hearing too.  I decided to do some knitting while I watched the hearing and pulled out another unfinished project, a scarf that I had started a year or so ago.  I even finished the scarf, but, then, didn't like how it turned out (too narrow), so I unpicked the whole thing and started all over again !

In addition to watching TV, knitting, and unpicking, I did laundry and watered the front garden.  The radiation oncologist's office called and confirmed tomorrow's appointment, so, that's on the agenda for tomorrow.

Today, I was grateful for:
- Television
- Electricity
- Being able to knit
- Water for laundry and the garden
- Being able to video chat with my daughter

Today's joyful activity was knitting

How was your Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Daughter Leaves Again, on Tuesday

My daughter left to go back to Berkeley, this afternoon.  She packed most of her bag, last night, but, this morning, she packed the last few things, including the food I gave her to take back with her.  I had bought two extra orders of rice and curries from the restaurant, yesterday, which I froze for her to take back with her.  I also gave her the rest of the fish rolls and two of the fish buns.  The fish buns and rolls will make a quick dinner for her, tonight, and, maybe, even lunch to take to work, tomorrow, so she won't have to cook this evening.

I drove her to the airport by noon (her boarding time was 1:10 p.m.) and dropped her off.  I'll be seeing her, again, in just under two weeks (she'll be flying in on the Friday before Thanksgiving, as she's taking that whole week off).  So, it wasn't too bad saying bye to her.

After I came home, I brought the trash cans in, picked the guavas that had fallen overnight, and spoke over the back wall with my neighbor in the house behind me, who was trimming his chinaberry trees (Melia azedarach).  I gave him the guavas I had picked up, returned a ball his granddaughter had thrown into my yard, and told him to feel free to prune any of the pine branches from my tree that might be going into his yard (he told me not to worry about it).

Then, I came into the house and opened the windows to air out the place (84F today; daughter was sad that she was leaving the nice, warm temperatures we are having and returning to Berkeley where it was 66F).  Daughter called to let me know when she boarded her plane and I lit the altar light and said a prayer for her to have a safe journey back - the plane ride, the subway ride, and the walk from the subway station to her apartment (she prefers to walk that mile or so instead of waiting for the bus!).  Her flight delayed to depart, however, so, she didn't reach the Oakland airport until later than usual.  I was starting to get worried when she texted me to let me know that her plane had just landed.

Later, I busied myself bookmarking my favorite blogs as I lost all the bookmarked pages when the other computer died.  There were a few other sites, too, that I had bookmarked, which I need to bookmark.  Then, I took a short nap as I felt very sleepy.

After tea, I did the dishes and Dancer's litter box.

Today, I am grateful for:
- My daughter had a safe journey back to her apartment
- She was able to take the food I gave her without any difficulty
- Another warm and sunny day
- An afternoon nap
- A relaxed evening

Plans for tomorrow include taking the old computer to the store to see if they can figure out what happened.

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

Monday, November 11, 2019

An Impromptu Birthday Lunch on Monday!

I've had the Beatles' song, "When I'm Sixty-Four" playing in my head all day long!  LOL.

Daughter and I stayed up, last night, and, at 12:00 a.m., she wished me a happy birthday and we toasted each other with non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider! 

This morning, my half-sister called and wished me.  Afterwards, I video chatted with a long time friend. 

Shortly after noon, my daughter and I decided to go out to lunch at a Sri Lankan restaurant.  We were going to order the food to bring home and eat, although they have a buffet, as well.  They also have a small selection of Sri Lankan cookies, jams, teas, and other items for sale, so I bought two kinds of cookies (Lemon Puffs and Ginger cookies) and a container of jaggery (a type of unrefined sugar made from palm treacle).  I also bought some appetizers: a type of bread roll called "malu paan" which has a fish filling and fish rolls, which are made by filling a type of crepe with a spicy fish mixture, then, breaded and deep fried. 

Malu paan and fish rolls

These are very popular snacks in Sri Lanka, especially at tea time.

We were waiting for our order of food when I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was cousin P and her daughter!  They had been on their way to a shopping mall and had stopped by for some lunch!  A couple of minutes later, a friend of ours, F, and her brother came into the restaurant!  So, my daughter and I decided to eat in at the restaurant with our cousins and our friends!  It turned out to be an impromptu birthday lunch and celebration!  With our lunch, I had a glass of Sri Lankan iced coffee, as a treat.

Afterwards, we came home and relaxed.  My daughter and I had discussed going to the La Brea Tar Pits, in the afternoon, but, we didn't feel like going anywhere, after we got back from lunch.  We might visit the Tar Pits when she comes down for Thanksgiving (we've been there when she was much younger, but, felt that a return visit might be fun). 

We are spending a relaxed evening at home, today.  Tomorrow, my daughter will go back to Berkeley and I will spend the rest of the day doing some tidying up and laundry, etc.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to celebrate my 64th birthday
- Having my daughter here to celebrate with me
- An impromptu birthday lunch celebration with cousins and friends
- Being able to video chat with my friend
- Well wishes from family and friends

Today's joyful activity was celebrating my 64th birthday!

How was your Monday?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A New Computer on Sunday

Something happened to my computer, this afternoon, and I could no longer log on.  I guess it crashed?  I was able to log on in the morning and respond to comments, read other blogs, etc., but, then, when I went to log on a bit later, I couldn't.

My daughter had gone to her friend's wedding reception, so I waited until she came home and showed it to her.  She couldn't figure out what was wrong with it, either, and we decided that I needed a new computer.  We went to the computer store and she bought me this new laptop as my birthday present!  That's on top of the 4 magazine subscriptions she got for me for my birthday!  I will take the old laptop to the store, later, and ask them to see what might be wrong with it and see if they can fix it for me.

Since we were at the mall, we decided to order dinner (and dessert!) from one of the restaurants there and brought it home to eat.  After dinner, my daughter set up the new computer for me.  I am glad it happened when my daughter was home and could set up the new computer for me.  I certainly wouldn't have known what to do and I'd been been very stressed!

Today, I am grateful for:
- My daughter being home this weekend
- The gift of a new computer (plus the 4 magazine subscriptions she had already got for me!)
- Daughter setting up the computer for me
- The special dinner (and cheesecake for dessert!)
- Another warm and sunny day

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

Shopping on Saturday

New Blouse

Daughter and I went shopping, this morning, at one of our favorite discount stores (this one branch is still open; all the others have closed) and bought some clothes.  She found several items she liked and I bought myself one short sleeved blouse for $3.99.

I also bought two plush throws/blankets to give as holiday gifts, with a design of poinsettias printed on them; one has a white background and the other has a black background.  It's getting to be that time of year to start thinking about holiday gifts!

After we came home, daughter went out with one of her friends to lunch.  I had lunch at home.  After daughter came back, we spent a relaxed afternoon and evening at home.  I ran the dishwasher and cooked more lentils for dinner (to go with leftovers).  Cousin P called and we chatted a bit. 

Tomorrow, daughter will attend the wedding reception of one of her friends from middle school, in the afternoon.  Her friend A will give her a ride there and back.  I might do a little grocery shopping while she's out.  I think we'll probably just stay home in the evening and relax.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Another warm (high of 95F) and sunny day
- Good deals at the discount store
- A new blouse
- Fresh guavas from the garden
- Spending time with my daughter

How was your Saturday?  Have you started thinking about holiday gifts?