Monday, March 30, 2020

My Three Carrots or Two Weeks without Grocery Shopping!


Monday, March 16 was the last time I went grocery shopping.  Before that, on Saturday, March 14, I had gone to the Armenian store for some groceries and I wrote about that, here.  On Monday, I was in the store only to pick up a few last items before I began to shelter in place.  Already, by that time, I was thinking I was taking a chance, grocery shopping, and wanted to keep the time spent in the store, and my exposure to others (and the virus), to a minimum. 

I usually grocery shop once a week or so, although, occasionally, I've gone longer in between grocery shopping.  On Saturday, I bought some fruits and vegetables (green beans, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions).  I didn't buy any carrots because I knew I still had some in the bag at home.  I didn't want to get a lot of fresh produce because I didn't think I could eat it before it perished. On Monday, I hadn't even planned to buy any vegetables, but, I bought a head of lettuce for immediate use and a head of cabbage for later, because cabbage keeps fresh for a longer period of time.  Again, I passed over the carrots. 

Well, the other day (Thursday), when I went to make my dinner and added a carrot to the green beans I was having with the roast beef, I realized that I had less than half a bag of carrots in the fridge!  On Saturday, I used one in the salad.  Today, I had three carrots left, as pictured above (the tip of the biggest carrot broke off).  I cut up the smallest of the three for tonight's salad:

Monday's Dinner: Lettuce, carrot, grapes, bottled mango-chipotle dressing

In hindsight (which is always 20/20, as they say), I wish I had bought another bag of carrots on my last grocery shopping trip! 

Today, I took an inventory of the fresh produce I have in the fridge.

8 Apples (+ 1 very wrinkled one)
6 Tangerines (there were 7, but I ate one!)
1 bunch of red grapes
1 bag of green grapes (rather sour, so I haven't been eating them)
3 oranges (had fallen from the tree)
2 avocado (which are being ripened in a brown paper sack)

1/2 lettuce (after today's salad)
1 small cabbage
2 carrots (after today's salad)
9 onions
2 pieces of ginger

Plus 2 potatoes, which are not stored in the fridge and which should be cooked, right away, because they are going to start turning green, soon!

I haven't taken a freezer inventory, yet, but, I have frozen tomatoes, green beans, broccoli, some bell peppers, edamame, for vegetables.  Plus 2 Serrano chilies, which is nothing!  Oops! 

I have some canned vegetables, too:

4 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans corn
2 cans mixed vegetables
1 can green beans
1 can whole potatoes

And, canned fruits:
4 cans sliced peaches in syrup
3 cans pineapple in syrup

I don't have a lot of frozen fruit, other than some bananas for banana bread.  But, I have raisins, and some dehydrated mulberries that my daughter bought, once, to try (and didn't like). 

I am not planning to go grocery shopping any time soon, so eating my "five a day" is going to be interesting.  I've plenty of rice, flour, lentils, pasta, pasta sauce, cans of fish, milk, peanut butter, etc., so I will have lots to eat, but, fresh produce will be a bit of a challenge.  Well, I guess I will eat what I have, first, and then, see where we are.  Friend M has asked if I need anything, but, if I am not willing to go to a grocery store, myself, then, I don't think I should ask anyone else to do so, either.  Maybe I can have a grocery delivery made.  If nothing else, I can always make a type of sambol/relish from the leaves of the curry leaf tree!  I shall have to do some meal planning, next, to make the best use of what I have. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- My three now two, carrots
- The fresh produce I still have
- What I have in the freezer and the pantry
- Fresh lemons and oranges from my trees
- My curry leaf trees

How are you managing with your groceries?  Is your area under lockdown/shelter in place orders?  Have you been grocery shopping since then?  How well did you stock up?  How are you getting your fresh produce?

Weekend Review

Saturday Dinner

I stayed up, Friday night, until 5:30 a.m. on Saturday!  I laughed at myself because there was a time when 5:30 a.m. was when I had to wake up, in order to get my daughter ready for school (I had to take her to the school bus pick up point by 6:15 a.m.) and myself to work!

Needless to say, I spent Saturday morning sleeping and my morning cup of tea was actually drunk in the early afternoon!  I spent a relatively relaxed day, which was fine, as I felt I had done plenty of things on Friday.  I called several friends and a couple of cousins to check on them and later, emailed a friend and video chatted with my daughter.  I didn't watch any TV, including news, although I read a few news headlines and articles online.

Saturday would have been my father's birthday.  He died in 1963 when I was 7 years old.  I said a prayer for him as that is all I can do now.

I made more milk rice for brunch, as that seemed to be what I was wanting.  Comfort food, I suppose.  I had it with the last of the shrimp and tomato and onion curry.   For dinner, I made myself a salad, with lettuce, the last of the small cucumbers, a carrot, bottled salad dressing, and a handful of raw almonds that I cut up.  Later, I had some raisins as a snack. 

I was still up later than I should have, on Saturday night, but I was in bed by 3:00 a.m., although I didn't fall asleep until after 3:30 a.m., which was the last time I checked the clock.  Then, I woke up once, around 7:30 a.m., which was too early, so, I went back to sleep until 10:30 a.m. 

Sunday morning, I spent some time walking around the back yard.  I took a few photos, but will probably do another post with them.  But this was today's "harvest":

Sunday's Harvest: Lemons and Curry Leaves

For breakfast, I made French toast, because I still had some fresh milk and using the last four slices of white sandwich bread I had.  I ate two slices of French toast for breakfast and kept the other two slices for Monday's breakfast. 

In the afternoon, I did some cooking.  I made curried sauteed green beans, a beetroot curry with the three beetroots I had in the fridge, and a mackerel curry using canned mackerel, canned coconut milk, fresh onions and some frozen tomatoes.  And, I cooked a pot of rice:

Sunday Lunch
I took a serving of the curries and some coconut sambol that I had in the freezer over to friend R; she didn't want any rice because she said she had rice.  Just as I did on Friday, I put the containers of food in a bag in the trunk of my car and she took it from the trunk.  I stayed in the car and didn't get down, at all.  We waved at each other through the closed car window and I drove home.  She called me a few minutes after I got home and thanked me.  I was happy I could do this for her.  It's not the same as inviting her over to lunch, but, it was the next best thing.

On Sunday, neighbor T called and friend F, too.  Later, aunt C called.  It was she who informed me that the Federal social distancing guidelines had been extended till the end of April.  So, I turned on the TV and watched some news, had a cup of tea, and then, took Dancer's advice and took a short nap on the sofa!  LOL!

Later, I video chatted with daughter and I informed her about the extension of the social distancing guidelines.  Earlier, we had wondered if her office would reopen after the first week in April; now, we think that is highly unlikely.  I expect she will receive an official notification to work from home during the month of April, too. 

This weekend, I was grateful for:
- Being able to keep in touch with family and friends
- Being able to keep my own hours when it came to sleeping and waking
- My garden and what it produces
- Being able to share some of what I cooked with a friend, even if it meant dropping it off instead of having her over to lunch
- Afternoon naps as suggested by Dancer!

This weekend's joyful activities included chatting with my daughter, keeping in touch with family and friends, naps, and knitting!

How was your weekend?  What are your plans for the week ahead?

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Dancer's Covid-19 Coping Tips

Hi Blog Friends!

Hi, Blog Friends, it's me, Dancer!  When Mummy told me that there is a scary virus going around that is making a lot of people ill, I didn't get too worried.  Because I knew that my Mummy will take good care of me and keep me safe.  

Even when she said that we all needed to stay at home to make sure we don't get infected by the virus or give it to anyone else, I didn't get too worried.  I reminded Mummy that I stay home, anyway, because I am an indoor cat and, although I would like to go outside, sometimes, to play with all those garden cats who call me to come out to play with them, she doesn't allow me to go outside and scolds me when I try to sneak out!

But, when Mummy said we should "shelter in place", I thought she meant I should do this:

"Shelter in place like this?"

Then, she explained that it meant we should simply stay at home, without going to too many places where there are lots of people and people should maintain some distance from other people to prevent the spread of the virus from one person to another.  Well, that's alright, then; I usually hide under the bed to avoid people when they come to our house, anyway! 

Mummy also said that a lot of people are feeling worried and anxious about how quickly the virus has been spreading and all the changes it has made in their lives, including not being able to go to work.  That made me feel sad.

Mummy said that a lot of people are feeling stressed trying to cope with the impact of the virus.  I asked Mummy what I could do to help, because, as you all know, I like to help.  Mummy said that maybe I could share some tips on how to cope with the stress.  Apparently, a lot of people, including herself, are having trouble with sleeping.  Well, you know that I like to sleep and I have no trouble sleeping.  So, here's my first tip on how to cope with Covid-19 (that's the name people have given this virus).

Dancer's Covid-19 Coping Tip #1:  Afternoon naps on the sofa in the sunshine!

Dancer's Tip #1
Sleep is good; it is restorative and helps the body to heal.  But, if worries and stress are keeping you up at night (Mummy was up all night, last night, and didn't go to sleep until 5:30 a.m.!), then, afternoon naps are the next best thing!  Especially if you can find a sofa with the afternoon sun shining on it and there's a crocheted blanket to cuddle up to. 

(Mummy's note: Dancer must have dreamt that he was fighting the Covid-19 virus because he woke from this nap with a start and hissed!  Then, he looked around rather confusedly, and went back to sleep!)

So, don't worry, friends, we are in this virus pandemic together and we will get through it, together.  Mummy said that if my blog friends like my helpful tips, I may post more of my tips for coping in the coming days and weeks.  Hope you sleep well, tonight.  But, if not, hope this tip about naps will help.

Purrs and Meows,


Sunny on Friday, Too!

Another sunny day!  As much as I appreciate the rain providing water for the garden, I prefer sunny days! 

Last night, I stayed up till 5:00 a.m.!  Why, I don't know.  It wasn't that I went to bed and couldn't fall asleep.  I just didn't go to bed until 5:00 a.m.  I briefly considered just having my morning tea and something for breakfast, at that point, but, I went to bed.  And slept till 11:00 a.m.!  Ah, the life of a retired night owl!  Maybe that should be my new blog title! 

After I woke up and had my tea, I replied to blog comments, checked my emails, etc.  Brunch was more milk rice with spicy onion sambol. 

Then, I picked some lemons, a couple of oranges, and some sprigs of curry leaves to take to friend R, along with the package of toilet paper I had bought for her, and the quarters she needed to do laundry.  Her apartment building has a laundry room with coin-operated machines, but, no change machine.  She had wanted to go to the bank to get the quarters, but, I told her not to, that I will bring her some quarters.   

In the afternoon, I went to deliver the items to R.  It was the first time I drove anywhere in nine days!  Fortunately, the car started (I had started it, earlier in the week, but, not driven).  There was almost as much traffic on the roads as I would consider normal on any weekday afternoon, which surprised me, as I was expecting there to be almost no traffic.  There was traffic on the freeway, too, but, it was flowing.  One of the gas stations I drove past had gas for as low as $2.79 per gallon, which is the cheapest I've seen in several years.

When I pulled up in front of R's apartment building, I didn't get down from the car.  I kept my car windows up and opened the trunk from inside.  R collected the two bags from the trunk and we called out a greeting to each other through the closed car window.  Then, I returned home and found a message on my answering machine - R had called to thank me for bringing her the items.  She questioned my math abilities because I had given her more quarters than she had asked for.  She had left an envelope with a currency note for the amount of quarters she wanted and said she'll reimburse me the difference, but, I told her not to worry; that, when this was all over, and she was working, again, she could treat me to lunch.

Since it was a nice, sunny day and not too cold, I decided to spend a little time doing a bit of weeding in the back yard.  I weeded some and was still at it when M came to do the garden.  He finished the weeding that portion of the planting bed for me and did some tidying up.  He also brought me two avocados that a neighbor had picked from a tree in the neighbor's yard and given him.  I don't like avocado in salads, etc., but, I will let these ripen and make avocado pudding, which is something I love!

Afterwards, I had my evening tea, watched the news, and knitted a bit.

Aunt C called and asked my help with deciphering a phone message.  She had called her insurance agent's office, but, she had reached a recorded message due to the office being closed due to the virus.  The message had said that the best way to contact them was through email and had left an email address, but, they read through the email address so quickly on the recording that aunt couldn't quite make it out.  She asked me if I could call the number and tell her what the email address was.  Well, I tried listening to it, twice, and I couldn't make it out, either!  It was obviously the company's name, but, it was not a company I was familiar with and aunt said she didn't know the name of the company, only the first name of the agent!  She thanked me for trying to help, but, I felt bad that I couldn't help her. 

Later in the evening, when I video chatted with my daughter, she, too, listened to the recorded message, and based on what we thought the company name sounded like, she did an online search.  After eliminating the first couple of companies that popped up, she figured out which one it was (matched the telephone number aunt had given me) and got the correct email address!  Yay, daughter!  I was then able to text the information to my cousin (it was too late to call aunt, but, I knew my cousin would still be awake). 

Dinner tonight was chicken and vegetable filled gyoza (Asian pot stickers) from the freezer with a cucumber salad to accompany it.  I have almost come to the end of the little Persian cucumbers I bought almost two weeks ago.  There is just one left, which should be eaten tomorrow, before it spoils. 

After dinner, I cut up and prepared the rest of the green beans, before they spoiled!  I blanched and froze about half of them, whole.  The rest, I sliced at an angle and blanched them, too.  But, I kept them in the fridge to finish cooking them, tomorrow.  I will make sauteed curried green beans (bonchi thel dala) with them.  I was too tired to cook them, tonight.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny day
- The car starting without any trouble
- Being able to take a few items to friend R
- Daughter being able to help aunt C with the email address
- M giving me the gift of avocado's from a neighbor's tree

Today's joyful activities included delivering some needed items to R and spending time weeding in the garden!

All in all, it was a good day and I am happy with what I was able to accomplish, today.

I am not going to make any firm plans for tomorrow.  But, if possible, I'd like to accomplish a few house cleaning tasks and do some meal planning to take advantage of what I still have in the fridge, in terms of fresh produce, and the freezer and pantry. 

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

Friday, March 27, 2020

Sunny Thursday

Thank you, everyone, for responding to the request for prayers for Whitney with your thoughts and prayers for her and her family.  May they provide a measure of comfort to Whitney and her family.


Thursday was mostly sunny.  I spent a relaxed morning, reading blog comments, reading other blogs, etc.  I had leftover waffles for brunch, along with an orange.  

In the afternoon, I did a load of laundry, washed the brunch dishes, went for a walk (just in the drive way and in front of my house and my neighbor's house), practiced the piano, and watched the news (and knitted while I watched news).  Neighbor T called to check on me and aunt T did, too.  Later, I called friend R and I called my half-sister to wish her for her birthday.

I also finally cut up and froze the broccoli I had bought last week.  I had planned to do it, earlier in the week, but, had procrastinated doing it for one reason on another!  

For dinner, I added carrots and green beans to the roast beef and potatoes I had cooked earlier and made it over: 

Made Over Roast Beef

Snacks included a slice of bread with cheese and grapes. 

Still later, I video chatted with my daughter. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A mostly sunny day
- Hot water on tap
- Being able to video chat with my daughter
- Phone calls with family and friends
- Working appliances

Today's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter.

Plans for tomorrow include taking the car out for a drive, taking a few things to friend R (we'll maintain our social distance and she'll take the items from the trunk of the car), and having M tend to the garden.

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

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A Request for Prayers for Whitney

Whitney (taken about 18 months ago)

Whitney (more recent picture

"Barb in Texas",who reads and comments on my blog, has given me her consent to post a request for prayers on behalf of her daughter Whitney, who has Stage IV cancer and is in hospice care.  Her doctors have given her less than three months to live.  Barb says Whitney is facing this with grace, dignity, and acceptance, after a long fight to overcome the cancer.  We are seeking prayers for her to have a peaceful transition from this life to the next.

May Whitney be free of pain and suffering.  May her transition be a peaceful one.  May her family be comforted knowing that we support them with our thoughts and prayers.

One Week on Wednesday

Neck Warmer

Another View

I knitted this neck warmer with wool leftover from knitting a pair of socks, earlier.  I had envisioned a slightly different style of neck warmer - one that crossed over in the front to form a V and was held in place by buttons.  However, since I was using leftover wool, I didn't have quite enough to make it long enough to overlap in the front.  Instead, I just sewed the ends together to make a loop.  It is big enough to slip over my head and snug enough to keep my neck warm, but, not so snug that I feel constrained by it.  I finished sewing it up, earlier this month (but, forgot to post a picture), and have worn it almost daily!  I find that as long as my neck is wrapped warmly, I feel warmer.

Today (Wednesday) marks one week of self isolation for me.  The last time I went out of the house to run errands was on Wednesday of last week, when I went to get my taxes done and to the post office to mail the forms to my daughter.  The only person I've seen since then (other than a neighbor or two when they stood several feet away, in their yards, and we waved at each other) has been M when he came to tend to the garden on Friday.  I am perfectly fine, staying at home, except for the general anxiety about the reason for staying at home!  But, one of the benefits, if one can call it that, from all this is, I no longer have people asking me, "So, what do you do the whole day, now that you are retired?"  LOL.  I felt obliged to be doing things, going places, etc., once I retired.  Instead, I am now doing what I've always wanted to do - staying home and relaxing!

Today, I made waffles for brunch.  I make them with a boxed pancake mix, following the recipe for waffles that is printed on the box: 2 cups of the mix, 1 1/3 cups of water, 2 tbsp. oil, all mixed together to make the batter.  Heat the waffle iron, grease it with butter or oil, pour some of the batter, and bake until the light goes off.  Pry open the waffle iron which won't open because the waffle is stuck to both top and bottom, and scrape the waffle which is now split into two, horizontally, with the spatula.  Sigh.  I had washed the waffle iron the last time I used it and, I guess, I didn't "season" it well enough before I made the first waffle, today.  Even the second waffle proved to be stubborn and refused to come out in one piece.  But, the rest of the waffles turned out well.  But, I didn't waste the waffle bits I scraped off - I ate them too!  I had some of the waffles with the spicy onion sambol and the scraped off bits with a little syrup.  Later in the evening, when I had my evening tea, I ate another waffle.  The remaining waffles have been covered and stored in the fridge for breakfast, tomorrow.

The morning was somewhat cloudy and overcast and it rained in the afternoon!  I didn't go for a walk, today.   Instead, I stayed indoors, washed the dishes, tidied the kitchen, practiced the piano (twice!), made a birthday card (sorry, didn't take a picture), chatted with neighbor T, friend R, and cousin P, tried to knit a scarf and took it apart, again, because I didn't like how it looked, watched news, cleaned up after Dancer (it's hairball time!), and video chatted with my daughter.  It's day 9 of staying at home, for her. 

For dinner, I ate some cucumber salad, some of the roast beef/pot roast from yesterday, and raw cashews and dried raisins for dessert. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The rain to water the garden
- Neck warmers
- Phone calls, etc. and keeping in touch with family and friends
- Kind blog comments
- Waffle irons

Today's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter.  She made a loaf of pumpkin bread, today, with whole wheat flour, honey, and maple syrup:

Daughter's Pumpkin Bread

How was your Wednesday?  Are you being required to stay at home, too?  If so, how are you doing?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


New Socks

These are the new socks I knitted.  In real life, the purplish stripes are more burgundy and the colors are more saturated than in this picture.  I used 100% worsted wool, using a skein I had bought on clearance for $2.79.  The one skein was enough for the pair of socks and there's a bit leftover for something else.  I'll probably use it to make more granny squares for the blanket I am crocheting with leftover yarn. 

Today, I spent a relatively quiet day.  The morning was cloudy, but, it didn't rain.  In the afternoon, we had brilliant sunshine.  After I woke up, I responded to blog comments.  The majority were friendly comments from all of you who read my blog on a regular basis, but, there was one rather virulent one about baby boomers, which I deleted.

Today, I walked in my driveway for about 15 minutes, waved hello to a couple of my neighbors and the trash truck driver, brought the trash cans in, checked on a couple of my cousins and friend R, and watched news.  I started knitting a scarf with another skein of leftover yarn, but, didn't like it and unpicked the whole thing.   I also read a bit and took a brief nap on the sofa.

Brunch was leftover milk rice and onion sambol, followed by a fresh orange.  Later, I had an egg salad sandwich with my evening cup of tea.  For dinner, I reheated some of the roast beef with onions and potato.  I was going to cook carrots and green beans to go with it, but, while I was cooking the onions and potatoes, I got one of those eye aura/visual migraines, so I curtailed the cooking and rested in a darkened room for a while.  Then, I ate the roast beef and potato with cucumber slices.  I will cook the carrots and green beans to have with the leftover beef and potatoes, tomorrow.  I had some fresh grapes and a piece of chocolate for dessert.

Later in the evening, I exchanged emails with a friend and video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to walk in my driveway and garden
- My daughter's work colleagues have been checking on her
- Phone calls, texts, emails, and video chats
- Afternoon naps
- All the people who are performing work deemed essential

Today's joyful activity was napping!

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Rainy Days and Mondays

We like to curl up and sleep on rainy days

There was a little sunshine in the morning, but, it rained in the afternoon.  Afterwards, it stayed cloudy and overcast, the rest of the day and I didn't go for a walk.  My half-sister called me in the afternoon and I had a nice chat with her.

I called my neighbor T to ask her if she would like a few oranges from my tree, but, she declined.  I also asked her if she needed help with taking her trash cans to the curb, but, she said not this week.  I took two of my trash cans (the yard waste bin and the trash bin; the recycling bin didn't need to be emptied) to the curb.  Then, I started the car and allowed it to run for a bit.  I haven't driven it since Wednesday and I didn't want the battery to die!

Today, I dusted the living room and the dining area, practiced the piano, did some paperwork, cleaned the fridge, did the dishes, watched news, and finished knitting the socks.

I called friend R and spoke with her for a bit, in the evening.

Breakfast was a cup of the yogurt M had brought me.  Lunch was an egg salad sandwich and some potato chips!  For dinner, I cooked milk rice and a spicy onion sambol.  Milk rice is usually eaten at breakfast, but, that is what I wanted for dinner.  I was going to eat it with the last of the shrimp curry, but, decided that the spicy onion sambol was what I wanted with it.  I ate the rest of the cucumber salad, afterwards.  Snacks have included tea biscuits and almonds.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to sleep in
- Sunshine and rain
- The car started without any problems
- Phone calls with family and friends
- Video chatting with my daughter

Today's joyful activity was knitting.

Monday's To Do List:
- Dust living room & dining area - DONE
- Clean the fridge - DONE
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up - DONE
- Paperwork - DID SOME

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Dust family room and my bedroom 
- Water the house plants
- Make/mail a birthday card

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

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Rain and Lizards on Sunday


We had sunshine in the morning.  I slept in, then, checked emails and replied to blog comments while having my morning cup of tea.  I wasn't very hungry for breakfast, so, I picked a fresh orange from the tree and had that for breakfast.  Daughter called to say good morning (she is quite well, today) and I called neighbor T to check on her since she didn't call me for our usual Sunday morning chat (she said she was fine, but, forgot the time as she was doing some housework).  Then, I practiced the piano.

I heard Dancer playing with something by the china cabinet in the dining area.  I thought he was playing with one of his toys - he loves to bat at a coiled up piece of pipe cleaner or a wadded up piece of paper.  I thought he might have put it under the china cabinet as he kept trying to reach under it.  Then, as I watched him, something ran out from under the china cabinet and hid under the other shelving unit!  Dancer managed to get it out and it turned out to be a lizard!  Eek!  I quickly swept it up with my broom and dust pan and carried it outside.  I remembered to take a photo of it, before it escaped into the grass!  I am not quite sure what kind of lizard it is, but, it is probably a California Alligator Lizard and it looks like it lost part of its tail sometime ago!  It was probably about four inches long.  I have no idea how it came inside the house!  But, good job finding it, Dancer!

I had just put on my pair of shoes to go for my afternoon walk, when it started drizzling and soon, it began raining in earnest.  It is still raining as I type this at 10:40 p.m.

I had a late lunch (around 4:00 p.m.) of rice, shrimp curry, the last of the green beans I had cooked, and freshly cooked spicy sauteed potato.  Then, I watched news and the Mayor's press conference.  I continued to knit on my socks while I watched the news.  I think I will have enough of the wool to finish both socks without any problem.

Later, I called friend R to check on her and spoke with cousin P, too.  Then, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Good health
- Sunshine in the morning
- Rain for the garden
- Fresh oranges from the garden
- Keeping in touch with friends and family

Today's joyful activities were knitting and chatting with my daughter.

Monday's To Do List:
- Dust living room & dining area
- Clean the fridge
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up
- Paperwork

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

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Sunny Saturday

Spring Flowers

Today has been a sunny day, which has made me feel very happy.  I spent a quiet morning, responding to blog comments (thank you, everyone for all the kind comments), reading a few blogs, etc.  I made French toast for brunch followed by an orange.  The pharmacy delivered my medication refill, today, well before their estimated delivery date!  I was pleasantly surprised.

In the afternoon, I called friend R to check on her and chatted with her for a bit.  In these uncertain times, she will find out, tomorrow, if she will have a job to return to on Monday! 

Then, my daughter called.  She had woken up with a headache, which, of course, worried me to no end.  She said she drank some water, thinking she might be dehydrated and had a cup of coffee, as well.  Later in the evening, around 5:00 p.m., I texted her to ask how she was feeling and she said the headache was still there and she took some ibuprofen, opened the window for fresh air, ate a little something, and was resting her eyes.  She had been planning to play an online game with a friend of hers who lives in Hawaii, but, she texted her friend and asked for a raincheck on their game because she wanted to limit screen time and rest her eyes.  I spent the rest of the evening being anxious about her!  I didn't want to call or text in case she was sleeping.  Finally, around 9:00 p.m., I texted her and she said she had just woken from a nap!  She is feeling better, she said, and teased me for being so worried.  But, these are scary times!  I have since video chatted with her and she's feeling fine. 

I went for my afternoon walk around 3:30 p.m., which is when I took the photo, above.  There was a police helicopter that flew around in circles, a couple of times; I don't know if they were just checking to see if things were quiet and people were complying with instructions to maintain social distances or what.  But, my street was pretty quiet.  One neighbor's young daughter roller skated a couple of times on the other side of the street - she must have left the gate ajar because I was at the end of my front garden and turned around to walk in the other direction and there was this huge dog standing a couple of feet from me!  It was that neighbor's dog (not the ones that bit me, last year!).  I quickly retreated to the other end of my garden, away from it, but, just then, the neighbor's daughter came back and the dog quickly ran back to its yard!  I heard her reprimanding it and, I think, she closed the gate more securely.  This same dog and its companion (a small yappy dog) barked their heads off at me, yesterday, when I walked, but, they were safely contained in their yard, then.

After I came in from my walk, I practiced the piano, did the dishes, had a cup of tea, watered the indoor plants, watched the news and our governor's news conference (among other things, the state has acquired the hospital which had been the hospital I had gone to for my cancer treatments and which had closed, earlier this year, and will be converting it to a place to treat corona virus cases, once they find enough medical personnel to staff it!).  It was then that I texted my daughter to check on her and she said she still had a headache.  I knitted my socks while I watched the news.  I just have only one skein of this particular wool (had bought it on clearance) and don't know if I will have enough for both socks, so, I am knitting them at the same time, using two sets of double pointed needles (same size!).  This way, if I run short of this particular wool, I can end the socks with a different colored wool and they'll both still match!  I finished turning the heels on both socks, today. 

Aunt C called while I was watching news and we chatted for a bit.

Dinner was leftovers: rice, shrimp, green beans, and cucumber salad.  A granola bar for dessert. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- My daughter is feeling better
- A sunny and slightly warmer day
- I didn't get bitten by another dog!
- Keeping in touch with daughter, family, and friends
- Afternoon walks

Today's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter (plus walking in the afternoon sunshine and knitting).

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

Spring on Friday

WPSH Alt C: View from my front door

It's been a cloudy, overcast day, today.  But, no rain and my asthma is better.  The photo above was taken yesterday afternoon, when we had some sunshine.

I called friend R this morning; I knew she would be at home because her place of work is closed for the duration.  Spoke with her for a bit.

Then, I called the Temple and left a message to ask the monks how they are keeping.  They usually depend on people to provide them with alms and I don't know if any arrangements have been made for their meals during this time of sheltering in place.  People usually bring stocks of supplies to the Temple when they visit and they have a fully equipped kitchen on site.  Later in the evening, the abbot of the Temple called me back.  He said that people have been bringing them meals and leaving them on a table that it placed outside the main sermon hall and the monks take the food in and warm it up.  He also said that, if things reach a point where people can't bring them meals, they have the basics such as rice and lentils and can cook themselves a meal.

I debated between making French toast and milk rice for brunch, today, and in the end, I had neither!  Instead, I had lunch!  Freshly cooked rice, leftover shrimp curry, and some of the green beans I cooked yesterday.  I cooked enough rice for a couple of meals.  I can always add some milk to a portion of it to make milk rice for breakfast, tomorrow.  Later, I wasn't very hungry for dinner, so I had a roast beef sandwich and I'm having a bowl of blackberries (sprinkled with some sugar, I admit) for dessert (midnight snack!)

I did my 20 minutes of walking outside, in the late afternoon.  It was still cloudy and there wasn't any sunshine, but, it wasn't raining and I got some fresh air.  I opened the windows to air out the house, too. 

When M came to tend to the garden, he brought me two individual cups of yogurt!  He had brought me one, earlier, too, when he brought the bags of cat litter!  I told him he shouldn't give all his food supplies to me, but, he said I was family!  Aw.  I made him a cup of tea, in return!  He planted the succulents cuttings he brought over last week, thinned out the peaches that are forming on the little tree, raked up the front garden, and mowed the grass at the back.  The back yard, which was looking a bit overgrown after all the rain, is nicely manicured, now.  It will get watered, next week, when it rains, again!

A couple of my cousins called in the evening.  One of them has a daughter who is a doctor at one of the hospitals in Boston, dealing with the virus outbreak.  His other daughter was doing aid work in Rwanda and managed to catch one of the last flights out of the country before their airports closed; she and her family are in quarantine for the next two weeks.  I'm so touched that he took the time to call and check on me. 

I did some knitting and practiced the piano in the evening.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A cloudy, but, dry day.
- Being able to walk, outside.
- M sharing his cups of yogurt with me
- Phone calls and video chats
- My yarn stash

Today's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter.

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

Friday, March 20, 2020

"Safer at Home" on Thursday

WPSH Alt. F: The Sky Today*

Today, the entire state of California has been mandated to stay home.  "Safer at Home" is the reasoning behind it.  We may go out for essentials such as groceries, medications, etc., but, for the most part, we are all being required to stay home.  I shall most definitely do my best to comply.

We had a little sunshine in the morning, followed by a shower of rain.  The rain cleared in the afternoon, though, and we had sunshine.

* WPSH: Eileen has kindly extended the deadline for the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt until April 30 and added several alternatives to help us since so many of us are staying home in light of the Covid-19 virus situation.  Thank you, Eileen!

My eye doctor's office called to remind me about my upcoming appointment (scheduled for next week) and I rescheduled it for May!  It's my annual check up, but, I think it will be OK if it is delayed by a couple of months.  Hopefully, by May, this virus will be more contained and things will be better.

Then, I filled out the Census20 survey that had come in the mail.  I filled it out online and it didn't take too long. 

I received a text from the pharmacy that one of my prescription refills was ready for pick up and I could opt to have it delivered free of charge.  My daughter had to help me with signing up for it, but, now, it is done and the refill will be delivered to me; I won't have to go in person to collect it.  May the delivery people be blessed with good health as they go about being of service to those of us who are staying home! 

In the afternoon, around 3:00 p.m., I set my timer for 20 minutes and walked in my driveway and in front of my house and my neighbor's house.  It was mostly sunny, but, chilly!

Blue Skies and White Clouds
Today, after my walk, I took a nap on the living room sofa.  Then, I had a cup of tea and watched the news and a documentary on the public TV channel about the 1918 influenza epidemic.  I continued to knit on the pair of socks I am making while I watched TV.

Breakfast had been a banana (the last fresh banana for now).  Lunch was the last of the spaghetti.  Dinner was the last piece of fried tilapia neighbor S had sent over, with cucumber salad.  I am trying to finish up all the leftovers in the fridge!  I also cooked some of the green beans I had bought earlier; the ones I bought on Saturday are still in the fridge waiting for me to blanch and freeze them. 

In the evening, I did the dishes, practiced the piano, and video chatted with my daughter. 

One more picture of today's sky

Today, I have felt stressed about this whole virus situation.  The rainy weather has been affecting my asthma and I had a slight headache, earlier (probably because I hadn't eaten, yet) and suddenly, I was worrying if I am going through an incubation period!  LOL. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The rain shower we had in the morning
- The sunshine in the afternoon
- The option of having my medications delivered
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Having a home in which to shelter

Today's joyful activities were walking and video chatting with my daughter.

Plans for tomorrow include doing some housework and having M tend to the garden.

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

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Filing Taxes on Wednesday

WPSH #19: An Alley - Part 1
WPSH #19: An Alley - Part 2

The alley behind the tax accountant's office - standing by the parking lot gate and Part 1 - looking to the right, Part 2 - looking to the left!  I had been waiting to photograph an interesting looking alley, but, with today being probably the last day I'll be going out for several weeks to come, I thought this was going to be my best opportunity to get a photo for the current photo scavenger hunt!  Six more photos to find!

We had a nice, clear, sunny day, today!  I was happy for an opportunity to dry out before the next storm front moves in.

Today, I went to my tax preparer's office and got my taxes filed and she also did my daughter's taxes and emailed the documents to my daughter for review.  However, she gave the actual forms for daughter's signature to me to mail them to her.  Daughter will sign them and send them back to her.

I came home after the tax appointment and had some lunch - leftover spaghetti.  Then, I went to the post office and mailed the forms to my daughter.  I also bought a new book of stamps while I was there.  Then, I came home, had a cup of tea, and watched the evening news.

Around 6:00 p.m., since it was still sunny and clear, I went outside and walked a bit - just up and down my driveway and along the sidewalk in front of my house and neighbor T's.  In fact, the path I walked made a "T"!  Hardly anyone was outside - just another neighbor's grandchildren playing in their front yard across the street from me.  I walked for about 20 minutes and got some fresh air and a little sunshine.  

Later, M brought me the kitty litter.  He had called me, earlier, from the store, to say they only had one 30lb. bucket, but, they had several 40lb. bags and if he should just buy the one bucket or did I want the bags.  I said to get the bags and buy two of them.  He brought them over and I reimbursed him.  I now feel I am well stocked up on the kitty litter!  

For dinner, I roasted the beef roast I bought on Monday.  Someone at the store had mislabeled it as chicken wings, which were on sale, and priced it at $1.29/lb!  I paid $3.24 for a 2.5 lb. beef roast!  Regular price on beef roast was $4.99/lb!  I had some of it with green beans and carrots for my dinner.  I will cut up the rest and freeze it for later meals.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny day
- Getting the taxes filed
- M getting me the bags of cat litter
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Phone calls with family and friends

Today's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter and phone calls with family and friends.

I haven't been doing my regular house cleaning these past couple of days.  I've been too distracted with all this other stuff going on.  I am hoping to get back on schedule, tomorrow.  I also need to do a freezer inventory and process some of the fresh vegetables I bought and freeze them.  This is definitely not the time to leave things in the fridge to spoil!  

How was your day?  How are your shelter-in-place preparations coming along?

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Yet Another Rainy Tuesday

Another mostly cloudy day, with intermittent showers, but, there was some glorious sunshine in the afternoon and early evening.

I slept in, this morning, after staying up worrying till the early morning hours: did I do the right thing, doing that last grocery shopping?  Was risking getting the virus worth the extra few items I bought? Should I have bought a container of milk to give to my friend?  What if I have to self-isolate for more than 2-3 weeks and it goes on for 3-4 months?  I have enough food, but, do I have enough kitty litter for Dancer?   Would the two buckets I have be enough?  (Each bucket usually lasts at least a month.)  Why didn't I buy at least another bucket when I was at the pet store getting these two buckets?  I had thought about it, but, why didn't I do it?  Should I risk going to the pet store to get more?

The kitty litter situation bothered me more than anything else.  I have enough food for quite a while, but, Dancer might not like shredded newspapers in his litter box if I were to run out of kitty litter!  "Meow?  What am I to do with this shredded paper, Mummy?  You know I can't read!"  Besides, I don't subscribe to a daily newspaper and the weekly grocery ads wouldn't amount to much.  But, I wasn't sure how advisable it would be for me to go to the pet store for his litter, either.

Finally, I texted my friend M and asked him if he could do me a favor and pick up two more buckets of kitty litter, should he pass by the pet supplies store when he is out and about, and I would reimburse him.  I told him that there wasn't a hurry, as I had enough for now, but, if he could pick some up at his convenience, I'd appreciate it.  He said OK and asked if there was anything else I needed, but, I said no.  He called me back, later in the evening, to verify that I didn't need the litter by tonight and said he'll get it for me on Friday.  He is a blessing to me!

Just getting that done made me feel better about the whole situation.  I probably won't need to keep so much kitty litter on hand, but, it's one less thing to worry about!

It was drizzling when I went out to bring my trash cans in, later in the morning.  There was some rain water pooled inside them and I managed to up-end the bins and get most of the water out.

Neighbor T called to check with me and neighbor S called to ask if I needed anything.  I assured both that I was doing OK.  Neighbor S also told me to keep up with the piano practicing and try some of the other pieces in the book; if there are any questions about those pieces, to call her and she will try to coach me over the phone!

I opened a new box of tea, today.  My last box of 100 tea bags lasted me from February 2 till now, so roughly six weeks.  I am so glad I stocked up with six boxes of tea when I did!

Usually, when my daughter came home from work, she would call me to say she's home and we'd talk on the phone for a bit.  She'd tell me all about her day at work and ask me how my day was and so forth.  The first day she worked from home, she didn't call me at the end of her work day as she was already at home; later, when we video chatted, I told her that I missed her phone call.  After that, she calls me every day, when she is finished with work for the day and we talk about our days.  So, she called me, this evening, too, and we chatted for a bit.  It was her first full day of sheltering in place and she said her colleagues have set up a way to check in on each other and one of her supervisors had emailed her to ask her how she was doing and to let her know if she needed anything.

Later in the evening, I chatted with friend R and with Aunt C. 

I wasn't all that productive today, either, but, I did two loads of laundry, remade my bed, and did the dishes.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The blessing of caring friends
- Rain for the garden
- Sunshine in the afternoon
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Fresh fruit from the garden

My joyful activity today was knitting.

How was your Tuesday?  Have you been second guessing yourself when it comes to stocking up?  How are you adjusting to the changing circumstances? 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Trying to Keep Calm on Monday

Monday morning was cloudy, but, there was no rain.  I had my morning tea, checked emails, answered blog comments, etc., and then, decided to get my tax papers together to take to the tax accountant's office.  I usually put everything in a file marked "Taxes" with the year written on it as each document arrives in the mail.  So, everything is usually contained in one place, but, I always go through the file to check that I had everything and there was one document that had been filed in its own file folder that I needed to take out and add to the tax folder.  My actual appointment is on Wednesday, but, I wanted to get the papers together and give to the accountant, before hand, so she had a chance to look through them.

Then, I took my trash cans to the curb and took neighbor T's trash cans, too, for her.  Our mail carrier was making the rounds and I chatted with her for a bit before I collected my mail.

Just before I left the house, however, one of my friends called.  She had just heard on the news that the Bay Area was asking residents to shelter-in-place and was calling to ask how my daughter was.  It was the first I had heard of it, so I texted daughter and she said, yes, she had just heard the news, herself.  So, of course, I had to turn on the news!  As of midnight on Monday, seven counties in the San Francisco Bay Area were being mandated to stay home for three weeks and go out only for essentials such as food and medicines.  This is what we have all been preparing for, but, when it comes, it still catches you off-guard, so to speak.  Daughter called and asked me if she should make one more trip to the store to buy a couple of items such as another packet of sanitary napkins and a container of milk to add to the stock she has on hand.  I said to go ahead and get what she needed while she still could.  

Then, I went to hand in my tax documents.  By the time I left the house, around 2:30 p.m., it had started to rain!  

On the way home, I stopped by the Kroger-affiliated grocery store that had been closed for restocking and sanitizing when I went on Saturday.  They were open, but, allowing only two of certain items per family.  I bought two more bags of cat food ($10.99@; I feed 6 garden cats in addition to Dancer and we go through a lot of cat food), two cans of evaporated milk ($1.49@), two bottles of oil (@ $1.89, must buy 2), a small beef roast ($3.24), a small cabbage (@ 3lbs/$1), a head of lettuce ($.99), 2 cans of spaghetti sauce (@$1), a 2-b. packet of spaghetti pasta ($1), a jar of hazelnut spread ($1.99), and a bottle of dish washing liquid (@ $1.99.  My bill came to $23 and some cents.

The cabbage slaw my neighbor sent me the other day reminded me that cabbage keeps fresh for a long time in the fridge.

It was pouring with rain when I came home and brought the groceries in!  In fact, I left the bags of cat food in the car because I didn't want them getting wet!  

I got home around 4:00 p.m., put away the groceries, warmed up the last slice of pizza I had bought from the dollar store, and had that for lunch.  Friend R called and we chatted a bit.Then, I had a cup of tea and watched the news.  While I watched news, I started knitting a new pair of socks, using a skein of variegated wool (100% wool) that I had bought on clearance, last year.  Knitting is calming for me and I needed something calming to do while watching news!

Cousin P called, later in the evening and I chatted with her for a bit.  She and her daughter had gone to visit Aunt T, yesterday, and they had said the rosary, after all (it had been postponed till the end of the month, earlier).  

Dinner was a salad and a banana, as I wasn't very hungry.  I did the dishes that had piled up and wiped down the kitchen counters.

Later, daughter and I video chatted.  She is now sheltering-in-place for the next three weeks or until further notice.  I, too, will be staying home to the extent possible, although I do have my appointment with the tax preparer on Wednesday (unless things change, in which case, I guess we'll deal with it as best we can).

I keep thinking of things I forgot to buy, but, I have plenty of food and other supplies on hand and fresh lemons and oranges in the garden.  I just hope and pray that we won't experience an earthquake on top of everything else!  How's that for "gloom and doom"?  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter and I are ready to shelter-in-place
- I was able to get the tax papers to the accountant 
- I was able to get the last few groceries bought
- More rain for the garden
- I've plenty of projects to work on while I stay home for the next few weeks

Today's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter.

On the To Do List for Tuesday:
- Dust
- Laundry (didn't do any, today)
- Continue with kitchen cleaning
- Water the indoor plants

How was your Monday?  What are your plans for Tuesday?  Is anyone else preparing to shelter in place?

Sunday, March 15, 2020


Lunch Sent by Neighbor

It poured with rain around 3:30 a.m., this morning (I had just gone to bed, but hadn't fallen asleep, yet), but, then, we had a break in the rain, which has been nice, because there is more rain in the forecast for the week ahead!  This morning, friend F called to see how I was doing and, later, neighbor T called for our Sunday chat.

Still later, neighbor S (my piano teacher) called to say her mother was making the fried tilapia that I like and she will bring me some for my lunch!  Shortly thereafter, her older daughter brought me two plates of food:  rice pilaf, cabbage slaw, fried tilapia fillets, and bread!  Yum!  Enough food for me for two meals!  I had some for lunch and again, for dinner!  And there's another piece of fish left for tomorrow's lunch or dinner!  At a time when people are stocking up on food and other supplies for themselves, these generous people are sharing their meal with me.  I am so blessed with good neighbors and friends!

In the evening, I called friend R to check on her and we chatted for a little bit.

I've taken it easy and relaxed, today.  I sewed up a neck warmer I had knitted, swept the bathroom and cleaned the litter box, took a walk around the garden and picked another orange, and watched the news.  Today, our governor asked people who are 65 and older to stay home for at least the next two weeks to minimize their risk of exposure to the virus.  I am not 65, yet, but, I suppose, with my pre-existing health conditions, I, too, should limit my going out and about.  Well, if it rains as much as the forecast says, then, I won't be tempted to go out, anyway!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Neighbor S sending me lunch (and dinner!)
- A break from the rain
- Fresh oranges from the garden
- Being able to keep in touch with friends through phone calls and emails
- Crocheted blankets

Today's joyful activity was walking around the garden and enjoying the fresh air and scent of lemon flowers.

Monday's To Do List:
- Change bed sheets
- Load of laundry (bed sheets/towels)
- Dust living room & dining area
- Clean the fridge
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up

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

Still More Rain on Saturday and Stocking Up

It was another rainy day!  Not a heavy rain, just drizzle, but, precipitation, nevertheless! 

Last night, just before I went to sleep, I wrote out yet another shopping list!  Yesterday, when I checked on my prescription medication supplies, I realized that I was running low on the calcium and magnesium supplements that I take under doctor's orders.  I had also read an article that advised having a few meal-replacement drinks on hand if one should get sick and don't feel like eating.  I took them when I was undergoing chemo and after that, I didn't buy anymore.  Then, I thought up a few other items to add to the shopping list (to take advantage of weekly sales): cooking oil at $1.99/bottle (I am on my last bottle of oil, right now), fresh mangoes at 3/$.99, etc. 

This morning, I slept in, then, debated going grocery shopping because of the rain.  Friend M called by to give me more succulents cuttings from his garden, I checked the mail, checked on the garden and picked up an orange that had fallen from the tree, chatted on the phone with daughter, etc., and, around 4:00 p.m. decided to at least go to the pharmacy to pick up the supplements and the meal-replacement drinks.  I used a $5 Extra Care Bucks coupon I had and another $6 off coupon for the supplements. 

Then, I decided to go to the grocery store - a Kroger-affiliate store called Food 4 Less.  Well, when I got there, at 4:30 p.m., the store was closed for restocking, according to the store worker who stood outside the closed doors.  They were not going to reopen until 6:30 p.m. and people were standing in line to get in when they opened.  I decided I didn't want to stand in line for two hours. 

So, I went to the Armenian store for some fresh produce and the frozen puff pastry squares they had on sale for $1.99, this week.  I had been there on Tuesday, to take advantage of the one day sale on rice and I bought a few other groceries, too.  On Tuesday, the shelves were well stocked.  Today, when I went there, I was shocked to see aisle after aisle of empty shelves!  No pasta, dried beans, or lentils.  Hardly any bags of rice!  No flour.  No eggs or milk.  No bread.  No canned beans. No white vinegar.  No potatoes.  No ramen-type soup noodles.  Nothing in the bulk bins!  (Usually full of rice, semolina, dried beans, etc.)  I spoke with one of the workers and he said he's never seen anything like it! 

I liked how they handled the check out lines.  Usually, each cash register has a line, and it can be a bit chaotic with shopping carts blocking the way, etc., but, today, they had the customers form one single line (which wound around the inside of the store!) and called out whenever a register became available.  The line moved fairly quickly and everyone was rather civilized about it. 

I bought:

4 packets frozen puff pastry (@ $1.99/8 squares) =  $7.96
4 apples (@ $.49/lb) = $.74
4 bananas (@ $.59/lb) = $.81
1x 6oz container of blackberries = $.99
green beans (@ $1.29/lb) = $1.42
broccoli (@ $.49/lb) = $.30
small cucumbers ($.99/lb) = $.90
tomatoes ($.89/lb) = $2.72
onions (@ $.20/lb) = $.81
a small piece of fresh ginger (@ $2.29/lb) = $.32
1 bag golden raisins (@ $2.69/lb.) = $3.34

My total came to $20.31

After that, I filled the car with gas ($3.19/gal).  I was just above half tank level, but, I thought it was best to fill it up now while I could still be out and about. 

Then, I came home and had a cup of tea.

My daughter, too, went to the dollar store across the street from her apartment and stocked up on a few fresh produce and some coffee.

My daughter said that, today, the number of Covid-19 cases in Berkeley increased from two to three.  She also said that the management of her apartment complex had put up a notice to the tenants, outlining the precautions they are taking, such as regularly cleaning the elevator buttons, etc., that the office is still open, but, there might be a delay in attending to maintenance requests during this period.  But, more worryingly, the notice had said that the management won't know if a tenant is exposed to the virus or if such a tenant is or is not in self isolation and, even if they did inform the management, the management isn't allowed to give out that information for privacy reasons, unless required to do so by the public health department.  The fact that the management put out that notice on the same day that the number of confirmed cases in Berkeley increased has made my daughter wonder if there is a connection!  We won't know, of course.  But, maybe it was just a coincidence and the management was just trying to reassure the tenants that they are taking as many precautions as they possibly can.  At least, that is what we are hoping!

I spent a quiet evening after I came home from grocery shopping.  I did text cousin N to check on her and to ask if there was anything she wanted me to pick up for her.  She texted back, thanking me and saying she is OK and has what she needs.  Aunt T called, too, and I chatted with her for a bit.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Courteous cashiers at the pharmacy and stores (I am sure it is not easy for them)
- M bringing me more succulent cuttings for the garden
- The rain
- My daughter and I being able to stock up
- A working heater

Today's joyful activity was chatting with my daughter.

Plans for tomorrow include doing some laundry and a bit of general housekeeping. 

How was your Saturday?  Have you been able to stock up in anticipation of having to stay home for a couple of weeks if needed?  What are your plans for Sunday?

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Rainy Friday the 13th

Yes, more drizzly rain, today, too!

Today was a day of cancellations!

Neighbor S (my piano teacher) called me this morning to cancel my lesson, that had been rescheduled for today.  I was glad that she called to cancel it, because I had been wondering if I should call and cancel it, myself.  As she said, there are plenty of pieces in my piano book that I could learn to play by myself and, if needed, I can call her to ask any questions I might have.

A little later, the lady who conducts the monthly rosary prayer gatherings sent a text to the prayer gathering group asking if this month's gathering (scheduled for this Sunday, March 15) should be postponed and, after some discussion, it was decided that it will be postponed at least until the end of the month. 

Then, I called the retirement office regarding a workshop that was scheduled for next Tuesday.  I had received the confirmation letter in the mail, earlier, this week, but, I called today to ask if they were still planning to hold the workshop.  I was told that the workshop had been cancelled and they were in the process of contacting all the people who had signed up for it!  They will probably reschedule the workshop, later. 

Later, M texted me and asked if it would be OK if he didn't tend to the garden, today, due to the rain.  I said that would be fine. 

One of my cousins in Australia called and we chatted - she had been planning to visit, later this month, but, that trip has now been cancelled due to concern about the virus. 

The only other appointment I have scheduled for this month is my annual eye examination.  I think I will call them, next week, and reschedule it.  Postponing that until all this corona virus outbreak is brought more under control would be a good thing, I think. 

I called neighbor T to check on her and and cousin P and I chatted a bit.  Later, friend R called.  Still later, I video chatted with my daughter.

I wasn't very productive, today, but, I did a load of laundry.  I also checked to see if I had enough medications on hand to see me through a 4-6 week quarantine, if needed (I do). 

Today, I am grateful for:
- More rain for the garden
- Hot showers
- Washing machines and dryers
- Leftovers
- Phone calls and video chats
Today's joyful activity was walking around the garden during the break in the rain and picking some lemon flowers to perfume the living room!

Friday's To Do List:
- Piano lesson (rescheduled for Friday, this week) - CANCELLED
- Clean the bathrooms 
- Do one deep cleaning task
- Errands, if any - NONE
- Tend to the garden with M, if it isn't raining - RAIN DELAY

Saturday's To Do List:
- Catch up on the weekly cleaning!

How was your Friday the 13th?  What are your plans for the weekend? 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Rain on Thursday

It has rained all day, today.  It was raining when I woke up and it is still raining at 10:30 p.m.  It's been a continuous, light rain all day.  A grey and gloomy day, too, but, I am grateful for the blessing of rain because it is watering my garden for me!  It is the type of slow rain that really soaks into the ground rather than run off, quickly. 

Yesterday, I had wondered if I should go to a different grocery store, today, to take advantage of some specials they are offering, this week (mangoes are on sale, 3 for $1, for example).   But, the rain helped me to decide to stay home, instead.

I made some egg salad for lunch and dinner was spaghetti with meat sauce.  I browned all of the ground beef I had bought, but used only half of it and half of a can of spaghetti sauce to make my meat sauce.  It still made enough sauce for maybe two more meals for me.  I froze the rest of the can of sauce and the browned ground beef.

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday's post about stocking up and emergency preparedness.  As some of you mentioned, one should always be prepared for any emergency and not panic buy to the extent that store shelves are emptied.  I agree.  Having a well stocked pantry and sufficient household supplies on hand for an emergency is very important.  For me, it is an on-going thing and I have mentioned my attempts to stock up as part of my earthquake/emergency preparedness, from time to time (here, for example, posted in August, 2018 and here, where I posted about my pantry inventory).  I haven't posted a pantry inventory in a couple of years, though.  The post I've linked is from 2017, so, well before the current emergency.  The contents of my pantry have changed (I used to have a lot of canned soups, at one time, and then, I stopped liking them and didn't use them as much; currently, I don't have a single canned soup in my pantry!)  But, I do keep quite a bit of food and other items on hand at all times.

My daughter began working from her apartment, today.  She showed me where she set up her "office corner" in her living area (she has a studio apartment; basically, it is one room with a sleeping area and a living area and a kitchenette along one wall). 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The rain to water my garden
- My house to shelter me from the rain
- A heater working overtime to keep me warm 
- A well stocked pantry
- My daughter being able to work from her apartment

Today's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter.

Friday's To Do List:
- Piano lesson (rescheduled for Friday, this week)
- Clean the bathrooms 
- Do one deep cleaning task
- Errands, if any
- Tend to the garden with M, if it isn't raining

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

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Stocking Up on Wednesday

Empty Store Shelves - Toilet Paper/Paper Towels Aisle 

Yesterday, one of my friends asked me if I could pick up a package of toilet paper for her when I went shopping next.

Today, I decided to go to a large warehouse type store (not Costco, as I no longer have a membership there) to buy a couple of bags of cat food for the garden cats and thought I'll pick up some toilet paper for my friend.  This is what I found in the aisle where they normally stack their toilet paper and paper towels!  Empty shelves, with just a couple of packages of paper towels, left!

Bottled Water Aisle
And this was their shelves where cases of bottled water used to be stacked!

I couldn't believe it! 

I bought two bags of cat food (@ $9.99), a jar of Miracle Whip (I had come to the end of my jar and I have been wanting some egg salad), and a multi-pack of my usual bar soap.  As I stood in the check out line, a lady asked me where I found the bar soap and I said, "Aisle 7".  She came back and told me that there was no more of that brand of soap left on the shelf!  Surely I hadn't taken the last packet of soap that they had?  But, apparently, I had!

Afterwards, I stopped by a grocery store, where they had both toilet paper and bottled water, and bought the toilet paper my friend had wanted.  I also bought a jar of prepared mustard (store brand stone ground mustard; $1.99), because I had come to the end of my jar of prepared mustard, a box of pancake mix ($1.99), a container of pancake syrup ($1.99), a pack of four cans of organic no-salt tomatoes ($2.99 as it was being discontinued), and a 68 load container of laundry detergent ($15.49).  The canned tomatoes and the laundry detergent are stock up items.

I checked if the grocery store had any hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes, but they were out of stock.  I don't have any hand sanitizer right now (I gave the last small container of it that I had to my daughter when she visited), but, I do have isopropyl alcohol (70%) and aloe gel, if I want to make some.    As for disinfectant wipes, I have some for now and, if I need more, I can make them with a bleach solution and paper towels or old wash cloths.

Yes, I am preparing for more than an earthquake.  I am preparing for another type of emergency, due to the corona virus.

I don't think I am being paranoid about it, and I do know that other illnesses, including the seasonal flu, have killed more people, world-wide, but, I am concerned.  I do belong to that group of people who are more vulnerable to the virus (older, with pre-existing health conditions) that put me at a higher risk of not recovering from it if I should get the virus.  I know I will not live forever, but, I would like to live a little longer if at all possible.  As such, I try to be cautious and prepared in case my city becomes a containment zone and I have to stay home for two weeks or even a month.

My daughter's office received official notice, today, from the university they are affiliated with, to work from home until mid-April.  Regular staff, such as she, have to be out of the office by Friday; more senior staff/supervisors have to be out of the office by the following Friday.  As far as my daughter knows, this is a preventive measure being taken to minimize the exposure of staff to the virus and the spread of the virus.  I am very grateful that my daughter is able to work from home.  She is, too, although, she will miss the in-person interactions with her colleagues and being in her small studio apartment all day.

The shopping took up most of the afternoon.  I had a late lunch of leftover rice and shrimp stir-fry when I came home (breakfast had been a cup of tea and a fresh orange).  Then, I watched news, chatted on the phone with my daughter about this new situation at her work place, spoke with friend R, and practiced the piano.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter.  I am afraid I didn't do any housework, today.  I will do that, tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for:
- What I have already stocked up as part of my regular pantry/emergency preparedness
- Being able to stock up a bit more, today
- Being able to help out a friend
- My daughter will be able to work from home for the next several weeks
- A sunny day to help dry out from the rain

Today's joyful activity was crocheting (started a new project!)

Thursday's To Do List:
- Vacuum
- Clean the kitchen
- Load of laundry
- Tax paperwork

How was your Wednesday?  Are you stocked up and prepared for an emergency?  Do you have enough food and household products to stay at home without going out to shop for groceries, etc., for two weeks, if required to do so?  For three to four weeks, if necessary?