Tuesday, February 4, 2020

A Finished Puzzle and Groceries on Monday

All the Snowmen and Gingerbread Men Cookies!
We had such a wind storm, last night!  I was afraid the eucalyptus tree would come down, but, it didn't!  It's still quite windy, today, too, and chilly (well, by our southern California standards).

I finished putting together the jigsaw puzzle, today!  At first, I thought I was missing two pieces, but, I found them hiding behind the dining room drapes, so all the pieces are accounted for!  After I took the picture, I broke up the puzzle and put all the pieces back into the box.  The two puzzles have been put away until the end of the year, to be brought out and put together, again.

One of my friends texted me, today, to ask if she can bring a beef curry to the Rosary dinner.  I was going to make a beef curry, but, I have learned that I always overestimate what I can do and underestimate my energy levels!  LOL.  So, her offer of help with the meal has been accepted with gratitude!  One of my cousins called, too, to ask if I wanted her to bring anything, but, she is down with the flu and I didn't want her to get too tired.

I have made a tentative menu for the Rosary dinner:
Chicken curry (and beef curry, if my friend is able to make it)
Smoked sausages stir fried with bell peppers (this was a crowd favorite the last time I made it)
Lentils (dhal)
Cashew curry
Cucumber salad (with tomatoes and red onions)
Green beans
Papadum (lentil wafers)

Flan or pie or cake for dessert
Fresh fruits

I planned the menu so that there will be a choice of meat (chicken and sausages) if my friend is unable to bring the beef curry for whatever reason.

I went to one of the grocery stores, later in the afternoon, to do some grocery shopping (and take advantage of their sales).  I didn't take any pictures of the groceries, but, I bought:

1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts @$1.99/lb = $7. 32
1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders @ $1.99/lb = $6.03 (they didn't have a second package of the b/s chicken breasts)
1 (3 lb) bag of mandarins = $1.99
3 bags of tortilla chips @ $1.88 (had to buy 3 to get the sale price) = $5.64
4 smoked sausages @ $2.50 = $10.00
2 containers of mango nectar @$2.49 = $4.98
10 cans tuna in water @$.59 = $5.90
Total = $41.86

2/3 Grocery Receipt

All of the above, other than the tuna, are for the Rosary dinner.

My regular monthly grocery budget is $75 per month, but, my overall budget also includes $50 per month for almsgivings and rosary meals (although that was based on hosting one rosary per year).  There is also another $50/month budgeted for "miscellaneous", each month, so I can take some money from that category, too, to cover expenses, if needed.  So, I will increase February's grocery budget by $100, this month (almsgivings/rosary budget from January and February), for a total of $175 to spend on groceries, this month.  I also had $9.90 left in my January budget (I will round it up to $10 for ease of accounting!)

So, my February grocery budget will be $175 + $10 carried over from January = $185.00

I spent $32.71 at the Sri Lankan store on Saturday and $41.86, today.

Balance remaining in the February grocery budget: $185 - $32.71 - $41.86 =  $110.43

I need to buy more rice, lentils, and the fresh produce for the Rosary dinner.  And maybe some soda.

On the way home from the grocery store, I stopped by the library to pick up a book that had been put on hold for me.

I spent the evening relaxing and making phone calls.  I took the trash cans to the curb for pick up in the morning, but, it was too cold and windy to water the garden.  Need to do that tomorrow, instead.

Today, I am grateful for:
- My friend's offer to make the beef curry
- Phone calls with family and friends
- Libraries
- Deals at the grocery store
- Leftovers!

Today's joyful activity was finishing the jigsaw puzzle!

Plans for tomorrow include cooking the chicken curry and, maybe more grocery shopping!

How was your Monday?  Have you gone grocery shopping yet, this month?  How do you budget for parties, etc.?  Do you have a separate budget for when you entertain?


  1. It is very kind of your friend to offer to contribute a curry for your almsgiving meal, which sounds delicious but the way :)
    The puzzle looks great. It must have felt good to discover the missing pieces and put them in place. X

    1. I agree Jules, it is very kind of her to offer to do so. :)

      Thank you; yes, I was glad to find the two missing pieces! And it felt good to be able to finish the puzzle!

  2. Those snowmens and cookies are so cute☺

    1. They made me want cookies all the time I was putting the puzzle together! LOL.

  3. Does this mean you have less time than usual to prepare for the Rosary dinner? It's good that your friend is offering to provide the beef curry as that's one less thing for you to do. I hope it all goes smoothly for you.

    1. Well, both yes and no! I like to take my time planning and preparing, but, there is only so much I can do ahead of time, too. And knowing I have just this week means I can't procrastinate too much, which is a good thing! LOL.

      I am very grateful that my friend has offered to bring a beef curry. Friend R has offered to bring the dessert and I can ask her to make the salad for me. I think it will go smoothly unless something happens (illness, etc.). Which is why I like to get most things done as well in advance as I can. :)

  4. That looks like a fun puzzle. Was it hard to work?

    1. It was a bit challenging. The pieces with distinct patterns assembled quickly, the gingerbread man with the red and white striped vest, for example, but the background pieces all looked alike! I definitely had to refer to the picture on the box to fit the pieces together, until it came to the last handful of pieces! LOL. But, it was fun.

  5. My sister loves doing jig saw puzzles. She finds them both addicting and relaxing. Maybe one day I will also feel that way, but right now I find them very frustrating. My tendency would be to sit and complete the whole puzzle in one go. I wouldn't be able to walk away and leave it. Ha. It must be my personality type.

    The menu sounds yummy. Right away I picked out the dishes that I would be able to enjoy on keto.....the sausages and red pepper with green beans and cucumber salad (depending on the dressing). I can usually fill up my plate whenever I go out. Your menu offers a lot of variety. Up until now, I have not considered a separate budget for entertaining. It comes out of my regular household budget; but like you, I prepare ahead of time for special events like Christmas, or company coming. You did extremely well with your shopping.

    1. I do find puzzles to be relaxing. According to one of the senior monks at the temple, it is a form of meditation, because while one works on it, ones mind is focused on it. Then, afterwards, when you break up the puzzle, that is a form of meditation, too, on the impermanence of things. :) It's very similar to the sand mandalas some Tibetan monks make - they spend hours pouring colored sand in intricate designs and then, at the end of it, brush it all away.

      I'm glad you were able to find some dishes that you'd be able to eat from my menu, Susan. :) As far as I know, no one who will be attending the prayer gathering is on a keto diet. But, I cater for those people who don't eat pork (the sausages are beef), or won't eat beef (they will have chicken), and for anyone who might be vegetarian (none of the regular group members, but just in case). You'll be able to eat the cucumber salad as the only dressing is salt and pepper. Would you not be able to eat the chicken curry? I could substitute regular milk instead of coconut milk for the gravy, if you were coming to dinner. :)

    2. Oh no. I can have coconut milk. Curries are generally thick. I just assumed they are thickened with flour or cornstarch much like a gravy. I use guar gum for thickening. I guess I will have to learn how to make a real curry dish. I have looked at jarred varieties in the grocery, but they all contain ingredients I can't have. I generally avoid all dishes with gravies and/or sauces, but if a curry dish is made with just the coconut milk, then what time is dinner?

    3. LOL, my curries are not made with anything from a jar, other than the curry powder, which comes in a jar (I no longer make my own, although I used to do that, at one time). The curry gravy is thickened only with curry powder and milk (either regular or coconut). However, as I recall, you can't eat onions or tomatoes, right? I'll have to remember to keep your portion aside before I add them to my chicken curry. Dinner will be served around 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. :)

  6. Well done on finishing the puzzle! I hope Dancer didn't hide those pieces as part of a game ha ha! My daughter bought some to do but they looked very fiddly. Her boyfriend laughed and didn't understand why she got some with 1000 pieces when they were having trouble with the 500 bits!

    1. Thank you, Sharon. Well, Dancer likes to help with the puzzles and sometimes his way of helping is to brush the pieces off the table so I have fewer pieces to deal with! LOL. This one is a 1000 piece puzzle. :)

  7. Oh my! This meeting entails a dinner!!! And one poor woman, has to do it, all the time???? I can't imagine.

    The one my mother used to take me to, was simply gather and say the rosary. That was it! And I was so anxious to get out, so I could go to some school thing with friends. :-)

    🌱 😊 🌱

    1. LOL, Wisps of Words, yes, it does! Either a lunch or a dinner, depending on what time of day it is held. :) You will find out that almost all our gatherings, whether for prayers or social, involves a meal of some sort. :D

      Well, the participants of the prayer group take turns to host the gathering (and the meal) from month to month, it's just that the number of participants have been declining so, some of us have to host it more than once a year. Until now, I've hosted this prayer gathering once a year, but, from now on, I will host it twice a year.

  8. Was it hard to sleep with the wind? I find it can be quite unsettling to hear it at night and wonder if anything is going to come down. I'm glad you found your pieces for the puzzle and were able to complete it already.

    What a delicious menu! It's good you are having some help, as that is a lot to prepare, but I guess you find, as I do, that when you set your mind to it, it all falls into place.

    The weather is mild again, just above zero. We may get snow later in the week, but tomorrow the sun is expected to shine.

    1. No, I slept OK, once I got to bed. But, earlier, I kept looking out the window to check on the tree. Once, the whole house shook when a gust of wind hit it and for a minute, I wondered if there might have been an earthquake! I heard on the news that not only trees, but, several power poles had fallen; I'm glad we continued to have power!

      Thank you, Bushlady. I will spread the cooking over a couple of days and it will work out well. I love to cook, but, the thing is, these days, my hands cramp (I take magnesium supplements for cramping) and I can't stand for long because my back begins to hurt.

      Hm, I don't think just above zero as mild weather, myself, but, I suppose it is different when the temps often dip below freezing. Speaking of mild weather, I took a few photos of my garden, today, to share on the blog. I thought of you when I took them. :)


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