Friday, July 31, 2020

On the Last Day of July

Peach-Orange Juice

Nothing quite like being woken up by your neighbor calling to say that the police had just been to her house because, apparently, another neighbor had called them to report seeing a man with a knife walking around neighbor's property!  Yikes!  She was calling to tell me to keep my doors locked and windows closed!  I normally open the living room drapes to let in the sunshine, but, today, I kept them drawn!  Later, my neighbor's daughter called me; she had come by to check on her mother and she said that everything seemed fine.  We agreed that it was probably some transient, passing through.  I had seen an encampment a couple of blocks away, before the lockdown, when I was driving past there; I haven't driven in that area, recently, so I don't know if the tents are still there or not.

Later, I poured some of the peach canning juice into a glass and squeezed the juice from a fresh orange into it.  I didn't expect the orange juice to float on top the way it did!  Looked so pretty, I took a photo.  Then, I topped it off with water and it still looked pretty and I tried to take another photo.  Except, I knocked over the glass and ended up with a mess on my dining table!  Not an auspicious start to the last day of July!

It has been another rather warm day.  I think today's high was in the upper 90s.  I ventured outside around 9:30 a.m. to water the moringa plants and the avocado seedling and it was already hot!  The rest of the garden got watered in the evening when M came to tend to it.  He also did a bit of tidying up of the garden for me, removing the spent four o'clock plants, deadheading the roses, and cutting down the overgrown grass at the very back.  

I took it easy, today, doing a couple of blog posts, reading and commenting on other blogs, watching news and one or two other TV programs, etc.  Later, friend R called and we chatted for a bit.  I also watered the indoor plants.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Neighbor T calling to alert me about the visit from the police
- Being safe and unharmed
- Fans and electricity to run them
- M helping with the garden
- Warm summer days

Today's joyful activity was relaxing and eating more ice cream! 

Tomorrow is supposed to be another warm day, with highs in the upper 90s (97F, according to the weather forecast).  I don't have anything scheduled for tomorrow, other than making a couple of cards and maybe a little tidying up.

How was your last day of July?  What are your plans for tomorrow?

July Mini Photo Challenge: Lines

Eileen at A Bracelet of Days has been hosting a monthly mini photo challenge, giving a theme for each month.  Participants are required to post a minimum of five photos reflecting that month's theme; the only requirement is that the photos have to be taken during the month.  These are my entries for this month's photo challenge.  The theme is "line(s)":

Scribble Lines

My mother had preserved this piece of paper in my "baby book" - as she had notated, I had scribbled these lines, on August 14, 1957, with my father's pen!  

Covid Worry Lines

Sounds better than wrinkles, don't you agree?  LOL!

Growth Lines

Another item from my "baby book" - a line graph plotting my weight (pounds) by age (weeks).  .

Palm Lines

The lines on your non-dominant hand are supposed to be the lines you've inherited, showing the influence of your ancestors, while the lines on the dominant hand are supposed to be representative of the impact you've had on your own life!

Lines of Poetry

Lines from a poem my mother wrote for me on my first birthday, expressing her wishes for me.  Another treasured piece of loose paper she had inserted between the pages of my baby book.   

Thank you, Eileen, for this month's mini photo challenge.  I enjoyed participating and putting my own interpretation on the theme.  

Balanced Life Monthly Goals: July Review and August

The second half of the year is underway; it is time to start reviewing how balanced a life I've been able to lead in July and look forward to August.  

Balanced Life Goals: July Spiritual (10)(10): The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life.
- Continue with daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, positive, and joyful
- Continue to attend Temple prayer/blessing services online
- Participate in the July prayer gathering if possible
- Continue to cultivate non-attachment by being generous and giving to the extent I am able

I was able to attend online blessing services at the Temple, in July;  The July monthly prayer gathering hasn't taken place yet, as of this afternoon.  I also continued with daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, and I have tried to be positive and joyful.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

August Spiritual (10)
- Continue with daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, positive, and joyful
- Continue to attend Temple prayer/blessing services online
- Participate in the August prayer gathering if possible
- Continue to cultivate non-attachment by being generous and giving to the extent I am able 

July House (9)(9): The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming.
- Clean - Tackle those areas that need a deep cleaning
- Organize - Continue to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place
- Well maintained - Keep "erasing the evidence"; implement daily and weekly cleaning schedules
- Decluttered - Declutter a minimum of 15 items in July, too; donations pick up scheduled for July 15

I have been keeping the house tidy and maintained; I decluttered 15 items and the donations were picked up!  I am keeping the rating at 9.  

August House (9):  
- Clean - Clean as needed
- Organize - Continue to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place
- Well maintained - Keep "erasing the evidence"; implement daily and weekly cleaning schedules
- Decluttered - Continue to declutter

July Garden (9)(9): The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant.
- Maintain (water frequently as needed, weed, fertilize)
Continue with landscaping the side yard

The garden is being maintained.  The roses and oleander are flowering, the moringa plants are growing, and I'm harvesting tomatoes!  I am keeping the rating at 9.  

August Garden (9):
- Maintain(water frequently as needed, weed, fertilize)
Continue with landscaping the side yard

July Daughter (10)(10): The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her.
- Daily texts, phone calls, and video chatting, etc., to keep in close touch with her
- Be supportive of her and continue to be there for her

Daughter and I continue to keep in contact daily.  I've said this before and I'll say it again - she has been a blessing.  Her planned visit during the first weekend in July didn't take place due to the virus, but, I am grateful that we get to see each other during our nightly online chats.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

August Daughter (10):
- Daily texts, phone calls, and video chatting, etc., to keep in close touch with her
- Be supportive of her and continue to be there for her

July Family & Friends (10)(10): The goal is to continue to have a close connection with family and friends.
- Regular phone calls and emails to check on family and friends

On going.  I have been interacting regularly with family and friends through phone calls, etc.  I am keeping the rating at 10.  

August Family and Friends (10):
- Regular phone calls and emails to check on family and friends

July Community (10)(10):  The goals 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
- Continue to participate in Temple online services

I participated in the blogging community, continued to participate in the online group, exchanged weekly phone calls with neighbor T, interacted with other neighbors, and participated in temple services online. I am keeping the rating at 10.

August Community (10):
- Continue to participate in the various community groups to the extent possible.

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

I continued to spend mindfully, even though my spending levels were higher than normal, and with purpose in July, too, as I continued to stock up.  I am grateful that I was able to do so.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

August Finances (10):
- Continue spending mindfully, with purpose

July Health & Well Being (7.5)(8): The goal is good health

- See if I can reschedule any or all of this month's medical appointments, too
- Continue to work on the same life style changes as before to the extent possible
- Continue to strive to attain a healthier weight (lose 5 lbs)

I rescheduled a couple of my medical appointments.  However, I did go for a blood test and a much delayed check up with the oncologist.  When I was weighed in at the doctor's office, I had lost 5 lbs. from my previous appointment.  My blood test results were good for the most part, although my calcium level was a bit too high!  I was told to stop taking the supplements I had been taking, per earlier doctor's orders!  I'm raising the rating to 8!

August Health & Well Being (8):
- See if I can reschedule at least one of this month's medical appointments, too
- Schedule another blood test- Continue to work on the same life style changes as before to the extent possible
- Continue to strive to attain a healthier weight 

July Time Management (7.5)(7.5): The goal is to spend my time in a mindful manner.
- Keep to a more regular schedule
- Procrastinate less
- Spend time purposefully, mindfully

On going.  I have continued to feel that I am not making the best use of my time!  I will keep the rating at 7.5.   

August Time Management (7.5):
- Keep to a more regular schedule
- Procrastinate less
- Spend time purposefully, mindfully

July Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time (10)(10): The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Engage in daily joyful activities
- Daily piano practicing
- Do a crafts project - finish the quilt!

I have been engaging in daily joyful activities, have been practicing the piano, and finished the quilt, which was much appreciated by my friend who received it.  I am keeping the rating at 10.  

August Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Me-Time (10):
- Daily piano practicing
- Pick one unfinished crafts project and finish it!

How was your July?  What are your goals for August?

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Stocking Up

Pantry Stock Up

I've been thinking a lot about stocking up, recently, especially since the pandemic began.

I have always tried to maintain a minimum of two weeks' worth of emergency food items and other needed supplies on hand since I live in an earthquake prone area (we had another reminder of that, very early this morning, at 4:30 a.m., in the form of a 4.2 earthquake and several aftershocks measuring at least 3.0, which I felt)!  It's what we are urged to have.  The presumption being that, if there was a major earthquake, outside help might not arrive for at least two weeks due to damaged infrastructure and one should be prepared to manage on ones own until then.  According to the news, based on this morning's earthquake, there is a 10% chance of an even greater magnitude earthquake happening in the next month, as a result (sometimes, the first earthquake is a "pre-quake" of a bigger earthquake).

When the request came in mid-March to shelter in place for two weeks, I wasn't too worried.  I had plenty of food and other supplies to see me through the two weeks and a bit longer.  Nevertheless, I picked up a few additional items on my last grocery shopping trip before the shelter in place went into effect, anyway, because I wanted to have enough on hand for at least a month.  I knew I wouldn't want to go shopping at the end of the two weeks; I was going to wait for about a month or so before I went shopping again.

What I didn't anticipate was just how long the risk of infection would continue to remain as high as it continues to be!  The plan was for most people to stay at home for two weeks until the circuit of spreading was broken due to a lack of direct contact.  That initial period of self quarantining was supposed to limit the spread of the virus and bring it more under control and make things safer for everyone.  Instead, four months later, the rate of spread is just as high, if not higher, in my area, at least.  As a result, I am still unwilling to risk grocery shopping in person!  Instead, I am ordering groceries online and either picking them up curb side or having them delivered and, occasionally, asking others, who do grocery shop in person, to pick up some items for me!  Plus dealing with limited availability of certain items, concerns about disruptions in supplies, and rising costs, of course.

Which brings me to pondering about stocking up!  I've been stocking up, again, slowly, as a result of the pandemic.   Partly because I am not grocery shopping as frequently and partly because some items are not always available for purchase, as and when I want them, these days. 

Many years ago, one of my friends spoke about her pantry and how she tried to keep one year's worth of supplies (not just food, but also other household items, garden seeds, etc.) in accordance with the teachings of her Church.  I was very intrigued and she was very helpful, sending me lists of recommended food items and amounts, per person, etc.  For a time, I stocked up a little more than usual, but, then, I found I wasn't eating everything I stocked and some items, such as crackers and cereal, turned rancid before I could eat them (I don't have the recommended cool storage/pantry for long term storage; I store my pantry items in the kitchen cabinets and my un-air conditioned house gets pretty warm in our summers), and that was a waste of both money and food.  So, I cut back on stocking up. 

Also, around that same period, minimalism was being advocated.  Eating down the pantry and freezer became a popular thing to do.  I almost felt guilty if I had more than one or two items of anything other than tuna, because Dancer kitty liked his twice daily tuna (which I stocked up on whenever it went on sale for $.50 per can, buying 24 cans of it, unless there was a limit on the number of cans one could purchase at a time).

My stocking up strategy used to be fairly simple.  I stocked up on most items when there was a good sale and in amounts I knew I could use in a reasonable period of time.  I also did a quarterly stock up of household supplies, such as toilet paper, dish washing liquid, etc., buying enough at a time to last until the next stock up.  This strategy worked well when I could shop at least weekly, varying the stores I shopped at each week, in order to take advantage of the sales.

All that strategy flew out the window when faced with the constraints of online shopping, delivery slots and fees, availability of items, etc.!  Now, I am stocking up the pantry, as and when things are available, with an eye towards having enough on hand, not just until the next shopping order, but, also to see me through possible future shortages due to disruptions in supplies and deliveries.  Often, this means 6 each of cans of vegetables, fruit, and coconut milk (when available), at least 6 cans of condensed milk at a time (I use it in my tea and a can will last me about 10 days), and as many as 10 or 12 cans of tuna.  I  have been shopping according to what I want to have on hand as opposed to what is on sale at the time of shopping.  Very often, there is very little that is on sale at the time of ordering.  I generally order the lowest priced items, but, I am realizing that stocking up during a pandemic is not very budget friendly!

I didn't have a very big grocery budget, to begin with.  Prior to this, my grocery budget was $75 per month.  I have more than doubled my monthly grocery shopping budget during the pandemic as I stock up.  I am grateful that I can do so.

Part of the extra money for the stocking up is coming from what I'm saving on eating out (budgeted at $25 per month; so far, I've not eaten out or bought any take out since early March when we celebrated daughter's birthday), gas for the car (budgeted at $50 per month; so far, after I filled the tank on March 17, I've spent $23 in July to top up the tank), and the $50 I budget each month for "miscellaneous", which is how I've always padded the monthly budget for any unexpected expense or the occasional "going over budget" in any given category.  Most months, this has given me an additional $125 to spend on stocking up.    On the months in which I didn't buy any new clothing items, I've had an extra $10 (which is my monthly clothing budget) to add to the stocking up budget, as well (I haven't bought any clothes, recently, but, I did buy a package each of undies and socks as they were needed).  

Household Supplies

Stocking up on cat food, kitty litter, household products, sanitizers, etc., has been expensive.  But, I wanted to build up a stock of them for my own peace of mind.  End of March would have been when I would have done my regularly scheduled quarterly stock up of things such as dish washing detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, etc.  So, I was already getting rather low on those items when we went into sheltering at home.  I went ahead and stocked up on those items, even if it meant going over budget. Again, I am grateful I am able to do so.  

I think I now have a pretty well stocked pantry.  I will try to replenish items as they get used up in order to keep a certain minimum amount in the pantry at all times.  But, starting in August, I will be going back to a monthly grocery budget of $75 (or, maybe, I'll add the $25 eating out budget to it, because I am not planning to eat out or buy take out foods in August, and make it an even $100).  

What are your thoughts about stocking up and keeping a well-stocked pantry?  


More Tomatoes Harvested

Three more tomatoes were harvested from the volunteer tomato plant, on Tuesday evening, after I watered the garden.

And guess what I found?!
Baby Cantaloupe!

I was very surprised because it is growing on one of the less vigorous plants that I thinned out and transplanted in the side yard, simply because I couldn't bear to discard the plant!  The two more promising looking plants that I left in place withered during that earlier heatwave, but this plant not only survived, but, has produced a tiny cantaloupe!  It is about the size of a tennis ball, right now!  Please continue to grow, little cantaloupe!  

Today, I called my sister and spoke with her.  She is home and recovering.  Her speech is not affected and she sounded well, if a little tired.  Her sense of balance is impacted, but, she is hoping that physical therapy will help with that.  I am glad she is home and sounding as well as she did.

In the evening, I received my grocery shipment.  I received everything I ordered; nothing was missing and there wasn't anything extra included, either!  LOL.  I now have bread, milk, flavored coffee creamer, a cucumber, lettuce for salads, bananas, some bacon, another package of cold cuts, smoked sausage, and two kinds of frozen chicken wings for treats!  Oh, and I also have yeast!  Yay!  I was finally able to buy some!

Dinner was chicken drumsticks and vegetables cooked with teriyaki sauce:

Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables

I sauteed the drumsticks in some vegetable oil, added sliced onions, the three tomatoes I picked from the garden, a carrot, the last of the zucchini, and a little bit of broccoli, and stirred in a little teriyaki sauce.  I had some of it with leftover rice I had in the fridge.  The leftovers are in the fridge for another couple of dinners this week.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- My sister is out of the hospital and recovering
- I was able to speak with her and she had no trouble with speaking
- I received my grocery delivery without any difficulties
- More tomatoes from the garden
- A baby cantaloupe!

Today's joyful activity was speaking with my sister and hearing how well she sounded.

How was your day?  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Trying Out the New Format

I have been automatically switched over to the new format, as of this morning!  I still have the option of switching back to the old format for a few more weeks, but, I am going to try to get used to this format.  Might as well, right?

On Sunday, I opened the various packages that had been delivered over the past few days.  I had sprayed the boxes with sanitizer when I first brought them inside and then, left them to air for at least a day or two before I opened them.  These are all the items my daughter ordered for me to stock up my pantry and household supplies.  Everything from cans of food to spare batteries for the smoke detectors to sandwich bags.  It was just one order, but, it was shipped and delivered in several boxes, over the course of a few days.  I am assuming that the items were being sent from different warehouses.  I received a big box with several cans of food, packed without a lot of air filled bags to cushion them, resulting in every can being dented, and a small box containing one packet of three kitchen sponges, all by themselves, surrounded by the air filled bags!  LOL.  The items are now sitting out on the table, to be aired for another couple of days before I put them away.  

Then, I started writing a blog post about stocking up, which I didn't finish.  

Yesterday (Monday), I opened the two additional boxes which arrived on Sunday.  One contained the 12-pack of canning jars I had ordered.  I was hoping that the second box would contain the two cans of condensed milk (ordered and paid for 10 cans, received 8) and the can of corn (ordered and paid for 6, received 5) that were missing from the items I had received so far.   Instead, the second box contained a set of full sized bed sheets which I hadn't ordered!  I texted my daughter to ask if she had ordered a set of sheets for herself (she has a full sized bed in the apartment) which might have been shipped to me by mistake, but, she said she hadn't ordered any sheets!  She checked the receipt and there was no mention of any bed sheets!  So now I have a set of "free" sheets!   I suppose the correct thing to do would be to call the company and say they sent me a set of sheets by mistake, or, maybe it is meant to make up for the missing cans?  If so, they are out of pocket because the sheets cost way more than the cans of food!

Yesterday, I had my piano lesson, in the evening, instead of in the afternoon, because S had a prior engagement.  Not a problem, at all, because my days are pretty open and I am flexible with my time.

Less than five minutes into the lesson, I got a phone call from my nephew.  My half sister's son.  He never calls me!  Even so, I let the answering machine pick it up and he started to leave a message.  But, when he said, "calling about my mom" I excused myself to S and picked it up!  Apparently, my sister had a stroke and was in hospital!  Thank goodness it was a mild stroke and she is OK, but, they were keeping her for the night for observation.  Nephew, who lives and works in northern California was planning to drive down in the morning to be with my sister (and her husband, who is himself recovering from surgery) when she comes home from the hospital!  I thanked him for informing me and said I'll talk to him later.

After that I returned to my piano lesson, but, as you can imagine, my mind was all over the place, worrying about my sister, and I couldn't concentrate on the playing.  I made so many mistakes, but, S was very understanding.  She thought I had done really well to learn the new song to the extent that I did.  I need to practice a little more (of course) and really concentrate on my counting, fingering, and tempo; but, in the meantime, she is going to look for another song for me to learn!   

After the lesson, I called my sister's daughter who is in Utah with her husband and their two sons.  She gave me a few more details about my sister (I explained to her that I didn't talk with her brother as much as I had wanted to because I was in the middle of my piano lesson when he called).  This morning, I called my brother in law and he gave me an update on her status.  He thinks she will be released from the hospital, later, today.  Her speech is unaffected, he said, but, her sense of balance is.  I also called my nephew a few minutes ago; he has driven down and is waiting for the hospital to call.  He thinks sister will need some sort of rehab and physical therapy, but, is waiting to find out more.  I told him I will call back, tomorrow.  

Today has been a relatively quiet day.  I did a load of laundry and put in an order (with my daughter's help) for more groceries as she called to let me know that yeast and disinfectant spray are now available for delivery in my area!  Delivery would be free with a $35 order and I ordered the items I had been planning to order from the grocery store for curb side pick up - a loaf of bread, a half gallon of milk, more cold cuts, lettuce, a cucumber, bananas,  two boxes of frozen chicken wings (Buffalo and honey barbecue), smoked sausages, a package of bacon (at $4.98/1 lb., probably the highest I've paid for bacon), and flavored coffee creamer.

I also kept an eye out for the trash collection truck and went outside as soon as the trash was picked up and brought my newly emptied trash can in!  I also noticed that someone had removed the shopping cart that had been left in front of my house!  Let's hope it doesn't show up, again!  

Plans for the rest of the day include piano practice and watering the garden.

Today, I am grateful for:
- My sister's stroke was relatively mild
- My nephew calling to inform me
- Online shopping and deliveries
- Being able to stock up 
- My daughter's help

My joyful activity today will be spending time in the garden.

July Meal Plans: Week 4 Update and Week 5

I started out the week with several items that needed to be used up; my menu options were:

Breakfast/Brunch: French toast (again), pancakes/waffles, ham sandwiches, scrambled egg with toast or fried potatoes, cereal and milk.

Dinners: Rice with leftover chicken curry with sauteed zucchini and/or green beans and/or  cucumber salad (enough for two meals; Monday and Tuesday?), spaghetti with meat sauce and zucchini (enough for at least two, maybe three meals; Wednesday - Friday?), tomato soup and ham sandwiches (Saturday?), pot roast beef made into a stew (Sunday?)

Snacks/desserts:  Fresh fruits (grapes, strawberries, apples, oranges), the last piece of banana bread, yogurt, cereal, snack crackers, maybe apple pie?

This is how it worked out:

Brunch: Ham sandwich, orange
Dinner: Rice, chicken curry, sauteed zucchini and tomato
Snacks: Tea cookies (with afternoon tea), peach yogurt

Brunch:  Uppuma (semolina sauteed with butter, curry leaves, dried chilies, peanuts, salt, etc.)
Dinner:  Rice, chicken curry, tomato chutney, cucumber salad
Snacks: grapes, cereal with milk

Brunch: Leftover uppuma
Dinner: Spaghetti with meat and grated vegetable (zucchini and carrots) sauce
Snacks: Chocolate cake!

Brunch: Spaghetti with sauce, banana bread
Dinner: Spaghetti with sauce, again! 
Snacks: Chocolate cake; cheese snack crackers, orange

Brunch: Ham sandwich
Dinner: Spaghetti with sauce
Snacks: Banana bread, cheese snack crackers

Brunch: Milk rice and the last of the chicken curry
Dinner: Sesame ginger shrimp gyoza (potstickers)
Snacks: Ham sandwich, tres leches cake

Tres Leches Cake

Brunch: Spaghetti with sauce
Dinner:  Sesame ginger shrimp gyoza (potstickers)
Snacks: Tres leches cake, cereal, orange

I am quite happy with the way the week's meals worked out.  I cooked some of the dishes I had listed as options, prepared a couple of others that I hadn't listed, and really, really enjoyed the convenience of having a big container of spaghetti sauce ready in the fridge!  There's just enough of the spaghetti sauce left for one small serving.

That brings us to Week 5. 

Breakfast/Brunch: Cereal and milk, French toast, pancakes/waffles, ham sandwiches, scrambled egg with fried potatoes, spaghetti with sauce, milk rice with fish curry and/or spicy onion sambol

Dinners:  Chicken (baked or broiled) with baked or mashed potatoes and broccoli; pot roast beef made into a stew; fish curry with rice and sauteed green beans and lentils; smoked sausage stir fry with rice or noodles

Snacks/desserts:  Fresh fruits, yogurt, cereal, cake, maybe muffins?

Obviously, I've already started on Week 5 with Monday's meals:

Breakfast: Cereal with milk
Lunch: Spaghetti with sauce
Dinner: Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast
Snacks: Orange

Let's see how this week turns out!  Anyone else making meal plans for the week?

Sunday, July 26, 2020


Birthday Card

This is the card I made for my neighbor T (she doesn't read my blog, so I can post the picture!).  I started out with a different design in mind, but then, trimmed a thin strip off the card stock to make it fit the envelope I had and the strip reminded me of flower stems and, well, we can't have flower stems without flowers, now, can we?  LOL!

My toe is feeling better, today.  It is still bruised and swollen, but, it is not as painful.  Even so, I took it easy, today, and rested.  I practiced the piano, made milk rice for brunch (had it with the last of the chicken curry), read a few blogs, cooked some of the frozen ginger shrimp gyoza (potstickers) for dinner, did the dishes, and enjoyed a portion of a delicious dessert that friend M brought me, when he came to tend to the garden yesterday:

Tres Leches Cake
If it has fresh fruit on it, it can't be too bad for you, right?  LOL!

Later in the evening, I spoke on the phone with friend R and video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- My toe is getting better
- A restful day
- Tasty meals and delicious desserts
- My stash of craft supplies
- Phone calls and video chats

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

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


Friday, July 24, 2020

Bruised Toes and Doctor's Appointment

Bruised Toe

Yesterday (Thursday), I slipped and almost fell in the bathtub while showering!  I was soaping and scrubbing my foot, which I was resting on the edge of the bathtub.  Suddenly, the foot slipped and I almost lost my balance.  I managed not to fall in the bathtub, but, my toe bent under all the way and my weight came down on it!  I don't think I broke anything, but, it is swollen and bruised!  I iced it, yesterday, and am icing it, again, as I type this.  I managed to water the front garden, yesterday evening, but, I watered only the fruit trees in the back.  I took a Tylenol before I went to bed.

This morning, I took another Tylenol.  I managed to wear a shoe to go to the doctor's appointment, though.

Today's doctor's appointment went very well.  My appointment was at 1:00 p.m.  I left the house at 11:45 a.m. and got to the clinic, which is located downtown, at 12:45 p.m.  They had called me yesterday, too, to ask the Covid screening questions, again.  I was happy that they did that, because it shows that they are taking all the precautions they can.  When I checked in, my temperature was taken, and after a short wait in the waiting room (I was the only one there, at first, but, later, another patient came in), I was called inside to have my weight and blood pressure taken.  Then, I was seen by the nurse practitioner as usual.  She went over my blood test results with me (it was mostly fine, but, one thing was high and she wanted me to repeat the test for that in one month), examined me, and put in the referrals for a mammogram and bone density check.  I was given my injection, too, and another appointment in three months' time.    I was home by 2:30 p.m.

I had my usual cup of tea in the morning, before I went to the appointment and took a granola bar with me, just in case I got hungry, but, I didn't.  I had a ham sandwich after I came home and will have my afternoon cup of tea a little later.

Friend M will be coming over to tend to the garden, later this afternoon.  We've been fortunate enough to have some rather mild days and the garden is doing well.

Today, I am grateful for:
- I didn't fall in the bathtub, yesterday
- The toe is bruised, but, not broken (as far as I can tell)
- The doctor's appointment went well
- The blood test results were mostly good
- I had a safe drive there and back

Today's joyful activity will be some card making.

How is your Friday coming along?

Friday's To Do List:
- Clean the bathrooms - DONE (did only one)
- Doctor's appointment - DONE
- Have M tend to the garden
- Practice the piano

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Other Neighbors

Banana Bread and Chocolate Cake
Some neighbors (I suspect; I don't know for sure) dump their surplus trash in my newly emptied trash cans.

Other neighbors, however, call me up and offer me cake, homemade banana bread, pasta, and fresh tomatoes! 

Lasagna Noodles and Fram Fresh Tomatoes
Neighbor S called me, yesterday evening.  It had been her mother-in-law's birthday and would I like a piece of store bought chocolate cake and some homemade banana bread (made by S's sister-in-law)?  Of course, I said, "Yes, please" because I can't turn down an offer of cake and banana bread!   Then she continued - would I also like to have a packet of oven-ready lasagna noodles and some farm fresh tomatoes her husband had bought?  Well, I couldn't turn down that offer, either, now, could I?  Have I mentioned how blessed I am when it comes to neighbors?  At least the ones who shower me with goodies?

Yesterday, after relaxing most of the day, I practiced the piano for some time.  The new piece is challenging, but, S has assured me that I am able to play it, so, I will keep at it!  She played the piece for me so I could hear how it is supposed to sound and I know that what I am playing now doesn't sound anything like that, but, we shall persevere!  I also listened to the piece being played online to familiarize myself with it; I know I am supposed to learn how to read the music, but, it helps me to know the tune! 

In the evening, I went outside to see if I could catch a glimpse of the comet Neowise, but, I wasn't able to.  I shall try, again, tonight, but, I think, there is too much light pollution for me to see it from where I am (not to mention too many buildings and trees blocking my view).

Last night, I cooked spaghetti sauce with ground beef, mixed with grated zucchini and carrots, and canned pasta sauce.  Then, boiled some spaghetti to go with it.  I might freeze some of the pasta sauce for later.  Afterwards, I washed the dishes and wiped down the kitchen counters, stove top, etc. 

Later, I chatted on the phone with friend R, exchanged emails with another friend, and video chatted with my daughter.  We watched a cooking video, together, on how to make a dessert that was a favorite when I was growing up.  I think I will try to make it, one of these days. 

Plans for today include some sewing/mask making, piano practicing, and watering the garden.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The neighbors who bless me with treats and goodies
- Being able to watch videos and listen to music online
- Another ripe tomato from my volunteer plant
- The mail being delivered without a pause
- The scrap basket

Today's joyful activity will be sewing.

Thursday's To Do List:
- Vacuum
- Water the garden, front and back
- Practice the piano
- Sew more masks

How is your Thursday coming along?

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Back to the Daily Accounting

Thank you, everyone, for your very kind comments on yesterday's blog post.  They were a pleasure to read and respond to.

Yesterday afternoon, after I rescheduled the dental appointment and I wrote my blog post, I got busy with the rest of my day.  I dusted the family room and the bedroom, watered the houseplants and the garden, mended one of the sofa dust sheets, put away the laundry, practiced the piano, watched a high speed car chase on the news and the rest of the news, cleaned the litter box, and brought in the trash cans.

Someone had dumped their trash into my newly emptied trash can which annoyed me.  Why couldn't they have put it into their own trash can?  I wouldn't have minded it if they had put it in my trash can before the trash was collected, but, after the trash had been collected?  I usually rinse out my trash can after the trash has been collected and now I can't do that and I have to keep someone else's trash for the rest of the week!  I have no idea who might have done that, although I have my suspicions.  It's probably the same neighbors who park their vehicles in a manner that blocks my drive way and dump chairs that resemble oversized shoes on my side of the parkway!  I have many lovely neighbors but, there's always one neighbor who spoils the whole block, isn't there?  I did ask one of the young men who lives in that house if he knew who had dumped their trash in my trash can, but, he said he didn't.  Not that I expected him to say he knew, even if he did!  Sigh.

I received my prescription refill in the mail, yesterday.  The pharmacy also sent the one refill that I had asked them to cancel (not once, but, several times) because the doctor has taken me off that medication!  Fortunately, there was no charge for that medication!  I suppose it was easier for them to mail it to me than cancel the order?  I am not complaining; it's better to have a medication I don't need than not have one that I do need!

I've had a fairly relaxed day, today.  I did some tidying and putting away of stuff, watched news, took some photos for the monthly photo mini challenge (theme is "Lines"), went through this week's grocery ads, and chatted with one of my friends.  I received another authorization from the insurance company for Friday's appointment in today's mail; I will take both copies with me when I go to the clinic!

I am going to switch things around a little bit with the tasks on my cleaning schedule and clean the kitchen, today, instead of vacuuming. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- All the kind comments from my blog readers
- Medication refills being delivered by mail
- Insurance authorization for services
- Being alive
- Relaxed days

How was your day?  What are your plans for tomorrow and the rest of the week?

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

An Account of my Days

In a way, that is what this blog of mine is, isn't it?  An account of my days.  Maybe that should have been the title of my blog, instead of My Two Cents!  ("My Two Cents" because I was adding my two cents to the blog sphere!)

Yesterday, July 20, marked the sixth anniversary of my first blog post!

As I stated in that first blog post, "It will be a blog about this and that.  My daily activities, musings, my craft projects, my attempts to be as organized as I'd like to be, etc."

That's what I promised and, I think, that's what I've delivered!  Six years of almost daily blog posts about my days and what I did (sometimes in excruciating detail!) or didn't do!  LOL.

Pink Oleander

Some of you have read my blog from day one.  Some of you are newer readers, and I know that a few of you newer readers actually went back and read my blog from the beginning!  Some of you have stayed with me since you first read and commented on my blog, and I thank you for taking the time to do so and for sticking with me.  Others have stayed for a while and then, moved on, or, at least stopped commenting, for whatever reason, and I thank them for the time they've spent with me, however long or short it was.  I feel blessed to have all of you in my life!

I do thank everyone for all the kind comments over the years.  There have been some spam, of course, but, that's why I have comment moderation on.  But, the majority of the comments from my readers have been positive.  You have been encouraging, helpful, sympathetic, understanding, and good humored.  I appreciate that.  I have tried to keep various controversial topics off my blog because this blog is not about such matters.  Occasionally, I might mention certain things because they have an impact on me or my child, but, I try to keep it to a personal level.  This blog is really about how I spend my days. 

I feel that I should offer some sort of a blog giveaway to celebrate the occasion of my blog anniversary, but, I am not going to the post office to mail any packages, these days, so, I am unable to do a blog giveaway.  It might be something to consider, later, though! 

July Roses

So, what did I do yesterday? 

Well, yesterday was also the anniversary of my father's death and I spent some time remembering him.  It's been 57 years since he died at the age of 55; in fact, he has been dead for longer than he had lived!  My second blog post was about him! 

The rest of the day was spent preparing for my piano lesson, then, having the piano lesson (A+ on the last piece I learned on my own and on the Minuet in G, part 1; part 2 was not assigned, but, I might ask if she has the music for it), changing the sofa dust sheets, doing a load of laundry, watering the blackberry and moringa plants, dusting the living room and dining area, and taking the trash cans to the curb.  I also called cousin P and friend R to check on them and chatted with neighbor T.  T thanked me for telling her about getting groceries delivered because she has now signed up for it!  Later in the evening, my daughter helped me to order another stock up order for both pantry items and household supplies.  The pantry items included cans of coconut milk (yay!), sweetened condensed milk (since I didn't get any when the grocery store substituted dulce de leche, instead), and tuna (Dancer says "meow"!).  The household supplies I ordered were the items I would have stocked up on my regular quarterly stock up - sandwich bags, kitchen trash bags, rubber gloves, etc.  I usually buy these items from the dollar store and it was painful to pay the full price!  I went with the store brand for the most part, but, even so, it was more than what I am used to paying!  I do rinse out and reuse things like sandwich bags when possible, but, I was on my very last box and wanted to have another on hand.  I also ordered another dozen canning jars to have on hand for any additional jams or chutneys I might make.

Yesterday, I was grateful for:
- My daughter setting up this blog for me, six years ago
- All of you who read my blog and comment on it
- A good piano lesson (and a patient teacher!)
- Memories of my father
- Daughter helping me with my stock up order

Yesterday's joyful activity was playing the piano.

Monday's To Do List:
- Collect the new piano music from S - DONE
- Piano lesson - DONE
- Load of laundry (sofa dust sheets) - DONE
- Dust living room & dining area - DONE
- Clean the fridge (didn't need to)
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up - DONE

The roses are loving the current lower than average temperatures

Today, I spent the morning stressing about the dental appointment scheduled for tomorrow.  Finally, I called the dentist's office and rescheduled my appointment!  It might be cowardly of me, but, I was stressing out too much about it.  One medical appointment per week is about all I can handle at this time and the oncologist's appointment, scheduled for Friday, is that appointment, this week.

I am hoping to have a more productive afternoon!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to reschedule my dental appointment
- Roses and other flowers in my garden
- Cooler than usual temperatures
- Weekly trash pick up
- Water for the garden

Today's joyful activity is walking in my garden.

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Dust family room and my bedroom
- Water the house plants
- Water the back garden
- Bring in the trash cans
- Mend one sheet
- Put away laundry
- Practice the piano
- Do dishes

And, a word or two from the co-author of this blog:

"Hi, Blog Friends; thank you for reading my blog!"

Hope you are having a good day.    

Monday, July 20, 2020

July Week 3 Meal Plan Review and Week 4 Meal Plan

July Week 3 Meal Plan:

I continued with meal options in Week 3, too, and it worked out quite well, as long as I remembered to put things to thaw on time!  I didn't manage to do so with the chicken, so, the chicken curry I thought I might cook on Thursday didn't happen till Saturday!  But, it worked out well enough, as I had something else that I was able to thaw more quickly!

These were my meal plan options:

Breakfast/Brunch: French toast, banana bread, pancakes, ham sandwiches, scrambled egg with toast or fried potatoes

Dinners: Rice with leftover smoked sausage stir fry (Wednesday); rice and chicken curry with green beans and cucumber salad (Thursday?), leftovers (Friday), paratha or coconut flat bread with chicken curry (Saturday?), spaghetti with meat sauce (Sunday?)

Snacks/desserts:  Fresh fruits (grapes, apples, oranges), banana bread, yogurt, cereal, snack crackers

This is how it worked out:

Brunch: Ham sandwich
Dinner: Fried rice
Snacks: The last of the frozen banana/peach dessert; snack crackers, grapes

Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Rice and smoked sausage stir fry from the freezer, to which more broccoli and carrots were added
Dinner:  Breakfast for dinner - scrambled egg and fried potato
Snacks: Banana bread, apple slices with peanut butter

Brunch: French toast
Dinner: Rice, leftover smoked sausage stir fry
Snacks: Crackers, grapes

Brunch: French toast
Dinner: Paratha with pork curry
Snacks: Banana bread

Brunch: Milk rice with leftover pork curry
Dinner: Ham sandwich
Dessert: Sauteed apple

Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: Rice, chicken curry, cucumber salad
Dinner: Paratha with chicken curry
Snacks: Orange

Brunch: Scrambled egg and shredded potato hash browns, orange
Dinner: Paratha with chicken curry
Snacks: Cereal with milk, banana bread, grapes

I am realizing that I need to keep a better account of what vegetables, if any, I have with my meals!  It almost looks like I didn't have any vegetables with my meals, other than the cucumber salad, but, the fried rice had vegetables added to it, so did the sausage stir fry, and whenever I cook a curry, it always includes plenty of tomatoes and onions!

Week 4 Meal Plan:

I am starting out the week with leftover chicken curry, in the fridge.  Items I need to use up before they spoil include a little milk in left in the old half gallon, a zucchini, broccoli, the rest of the cucumber, strawberries (well on their way to being dehydrated!), and grapes. 

These are my menu options:

Breakfast/Brunch: French toast (again), pancakes/waffles, ham sandwiches, scrambled egg with toast or fried potatoes, cereal and milk.

Dinners: Rice with leftover chicken curry with sauteed zucchini and/or green beans and/or  cucumber salad (enough for two meals; Monday and Tuesday?), spaghetti with meat sauce and zucchini (enough for at least two, maybe three meals; Wednesday - Friday?), tomato soup and ham sandwiches (Saturday?), pot roast beef made into a stew (Sunday?)

Snacks/desserts:  Fresh fruits (grapes, strawberries, apples, oranges), the last piece of banana bread, yogurt, cereal, snack crackers, maybe apple pie?

We shall see how this plan works out!

Anyone else meal planning for the week?


Sunday morning, I put water to the back garden.  Friend M gave me a blackberry plant, the other day; an unwanted sucker that he had dug up from someone else's garden.  He planted it for me in the side yard.  I meant to water it, yesterday, but, I didn't.  I watered it this morning, instead.  I probably should have watered it yesterday, though!  I don't think it liked being dug up and transplanted, as it looks more dead than alive:

Blackberry Plant

But, hopefully, it will take root and grow and provide me with some blackberries in the future!  As my daughter said, "Live, blackberry plant, live!"

The sweet potato vine is doing well, though:

Sweet Potato Vine

It is starting to spread, although none of the vines have taken root, yet.  It will be a long time before I can harvest any sweet potatoes, but, at least it is alive! 

The two moringa plants are growing, too:

Moringa Plants

One of them even has a few first flowers:

Moringa Flowers

I don't expect them to form any pods, yet, but, I was happy to see the flowers!  The first one bloomed yesterday, but the picture I took was blurry (my cell phone camera focused on a leaf!) and, today, several more flowers had opened!

I also harvested the first ripe tomato:

The First Tomato!
Not very big:

A Miniature One!
There are two or three more tomatoes ripening on the plant.  That might be the sum total of my tomato harvest, this year, though!  LOL!

When I was not busy watering the plants and harvesting tomatoes, I sewed another mask:

New Kitty Cat Mask
I am planning to sew a few more masks to give to the cancer center when I go on Friday.  All patients are required to wear a face covering when they enter the clinic, but, I thought that some of them might like to have an extra reusable mask or two.

My day was fairly relaxed.  There were several phone calls, including one with friend S who is recovering from the virus.  She works in a grocery store and was probably exposed to someone who had the virus, but, didn't wear a mask.  She didn't require hospitalization, thank goodness, but, has been recovering at home.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Friend S is recovering
- My first tomato of the season
- The moringa plant is growing and has flowers
- The fabric stash
- Video chatting with my daughter

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

And, just like that, it is Monday again! 

Monday's To Do List:
- Collect the new piano music from S
- Piano lesson
- Load of laundry (sofa dust sheets)
- 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?

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Blessed by Neighbors

Blessings of Fresh Produce

Friday evening, there was a knock at my front door; one of the neighbors, with a box of fruits and onions!  She said they received a huge box of produce from their church and she and her husband thought I might like to have some!   What wonderful neighbors!  I washed everything and put them in the fridge, except for one apple that was starting to spoil at one end.  I just cut that part off, sliced the rest of the apple and sauteed it in a little butter and sugar for dessert! 

I think I figured out what happened with the oncologist office visit authorization: a simple matter of overworked staff not checking the computer system that is supposed to make things easier!  LOL!  I have been seeing the oncologist every three months for regular check ups.  My last visit was in January and my next appointment was for April.  But, we were under a stay at home order, back then, and the clinic was only seeing patients who needed treatment, not just regular check ups.  So, we rescheduled the appointment for July and I suppose the computer system prompted the automated appointment reminder phone call that I received on Sunday evening.  Then, when I called on Monday (July 13) morning to confirm the appointment, the receptionist must have submitted the request for the authorization (as the authorization for the April visit would have expired) and probably made a notation on the paperwork that the authorization was pending.  When the first nurse called to ask the Covid-related screening questions, she probably didn't check the authorization status as her job was to ask the screening questions, not check authorization status.  Then, on Thursday, the nurse who called me was probably checking the roster of patients scheduled for the next day, in preparation, and she saw the authorization pending notation.  In the meantime, the insurance authorized the visit on July 14 (the day after I called the clinic to confirm the appointment) and sent me the paper copy which I received yesterday!  I am assuming they transmitted the authorization electronically to the clinic, as well, but, most probably, staff at the clinic didn't check!  And there you have it - Detective Bless solved another mystery!  LOL!

Blessings of Hand Sanitizer

Today, neighbor S called me and asked if I'd like to have a container of hand sanitizer!  Yes, please!  She kept it on the wall and I went over with my mask on and collected it.  I exchanged greetings with her and her daughter N (they were in their front yard and we kept our distance).  Thank you, S!  I now have plenty of hand sanitizer to use when I go to my various medical appointments!  Have I mentioned how wonderful my neighbors are?  I am truly blessed by them!

My daughter received the groceries and disinfectant spray she had ordered.  Last night, when she was checking the status of the order, she had received a message that the disinfectant spray was not available and she was disappointed as that was the main reason why she placed the order; but, apparently, they were able to fill her order!  Yay!  She also received a message that the ice cream sandwiches she had ordered were not available, so she amended her order to a different type of ice cream sandwiches.  Well, today, she received both orders of ice cream sandwiches!  LOL!  Plus, a free bag of frozen mirepoix mix (onions, celery, and carrots) that she hadn't ordered (they hadn't charged her for it!); she had ordered a bag of frozen edamame and maybe the person filling out the order put in the mixed vegetables by mistake, in addition to the edamame!   

Today, I am grateful for:
- The blessing of kind, generous neighbors
- Being blessed with fresh produce and hand sanitizer
- My daughter received all the items she ordered, plus more!
- Being able to video chat with my daughter
- Flower blooming in the garden

Light Blue Agapanthus

  Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.


Friday, July 17, 2020

A Slight Change of Plans

The oncologist's office called me again, yesterday evening.  Apparently, they haven't received the authorization for the visit from the insurance company, yet, and the appointment, scheduled for today, has to be postponed until they receive the authorization.  The appointment has now been tentatively rescheduled for next Friday, instead.  I mentioned to the nurse who called me that I had taken the blood test on Tuesday, this week, but, she said it would still be valid for next Friday.  Let's hope the authorization comes in by then.  Update: I received my copy of the authorization in today's mail!  It was post marked on July 14.  The clinic should have been able to retrieve it online, if they had checked, yesterday!  Oh, well, I am not too concerned about the delay. 

I found it difficult to get motivated to do much, yesterday.  I practiced the piano, tidied up a bit, washed a stack of dishes (I had been keeping them to have enough to run a load in the dishwasher, but, in the end, just washed them all by hand!), watched news, and did a lot of sudoku puzzles! 

My daughter called me during her lunch break to say that she had finally received a delivery slot for some items she wanted to order online, including fresh produce and disinfectant spray.  She wanted to go over the list of items with me, just to make sure that what she was ordering was reasonable.  Poor girl is concerned about the amount of money she is spending on groceries and household supplies as the prices being charged are so much more than what she was accustomed to paying when she purchased the majority of her groceries and cleaning supplies from the dollar store!  She doesn't need my permission to spend her own money, but, she wanted the reassurance from me that yes, the items she was ordering were things she needed.  They were, and, as I told her, at this point in time, availability was the main determinant!  The disinfectant spray, for example, hadn't been available for some time and is now limited to one container per order.  I couldn't persuade her that $2.99 was a reasonable price for a cantaloupe (she is used to paying $.99 for one at the dollar store), but, I might have persuaded her that she "needed" a package of ice cream sandwiches!  LOL.  The good news is, she was able to order a three pack of yeast!  She is now going to try to see if she can order some to be shipped to me (sometimes, the availability of stuff depends on the postal code it is being delivered to, and she is able to get items that are not available for delivery in my area). 

In the evening, I had to change my dinner plans, a little bit.  I had planned to cook chicken and had put some chicken thighs in the fridge to defrost on Wednesday night before I went to bed, but, by Thursday afternoon, it was apparent that they wouldn't be thawed in time to cook for dinner.  Instead, I took out the roast pork that neighbor S had given me and kept that to thaw.  Then, in the evening, I sauteed some onions, tomatoes, and curry leaves, added the cubes of roast pork, some curry powder, chili powder, the last bit of coconut milk leftover from a can I had opened, earlier, etc., and made myself a curry to have with a paratha.  I didn't take a photo of the curry, last night, but, I took a photo of the leftovers, today:

Leftover Pork Curry
I made some milk rice to have with the pork curry for my brunch, today.  I opened a new can of coconut milk to make the milk rice and for the chicken curry which I plan to make for dinner, tonight.  That brings my stock of canned coconut milk down to nine cans, which is not bad, except, I haven't been able to buy more coconut milk in my last two grocery orders!  I have used regular (dairy) milk in my curries, before, but, that means I will have to plan and coordinate my grocery shopping and cooking a little better to have enough fresh milk on hand for curries.  I started out a stock of 13 cans of coconut milk, assuming I'd use one can every couple of weeks; when I couldn't get more cans of coconut milk, I tried to ration my use to one can every three weeks.  We are now in the fourth month and I just opened the fourth can from my stock, so, I guess I've managed to ration my use to one can per month.  I won't stress about it, right now, but, I hope I can stock up again, before too long.

Today, I have done two loads of laundry and watered the fruit trees.  My cantaloupe vines haven't fared too well in the recent heat wave:

Cantaloupe Vines
Probably time to pull them out and clear that spot.  Oh, well, they tried!  It just got too hot when it went up to 100F, last week.

On the other hand, when I was checking the cantaloupe vines, a glimpse of red caught my eye:

The First Ripening Tomato

The volunteer roma tomato plant has one small ripening tomato!  It is a tiny tomato, but, I was very excited to see it.  I will harvest it in another day or two. 

M came over to tend to the garden and he was kind enough to run an errand for me.  I last put gas to the car exactly four months ago, on March 17.  I still had half a tank of gas, but, I like to refill the tank when it gets to half.  I asked him to fill the tank again, for me and, when he asked me if I needed anything else (there is a mini market at the gas station), I asked him to buy me half a gallon of whole milk if they had some.  I now have a full tank of gas and a half gallon of milk (I still had a little left in the half gallon I bought on July 3, but, now I have more milk for the next two weeks. 

Other than that, my plans for the rest of the day include practicing the piano, cooking the chicken curry, and putting away the laundry once it has dried.

Today, I am grateful for:
- I received my copy of the authorization
- The oncology clinic was able to reschedule my appointment for next week
- The blood test I did this week will still be valid for next week and I don't have to retake it
- M putting gas for me and buying me some milk
- One ripening tomato on the volunteer plant

Today's joyful activity was discovering the ripe tomato! 

I hope everyone has a good weekend.  Stay safe!


Thursday, July 16, 2020


Woke up earlier than usual for the second day in a row, because I had to!  On Tuesday, it was because I wanted to be at the lab at 8:00 a.m.  Today, it was because I wanted to call the dentist's office, first thing in the morning, as soon as they opened.  They had called and left a message on Tuesday evening, to remind me that I had an appointment for this afternoon, but, I called them this morning to reschedule it.  Staying home for almost four months and then, going to medical appointments three days in one week is a bit too much for me!  I really didn't feel up to it.  So, I rescheduled it for next week.   To be quite honest, I don't want to go to the dentist's and have been postponing doing so, but, the other day, a capped tooth broke and the crown came off.  I am not in any pain, but, I suppose it is better to have it checked and see what is the best thing to do.  The last time a crown came off one of my teeth, I managed to persuade the dentist to just cement it back on, but, this time, he might not be able to do so as there is no tooth left to cement it to!

Tuesday night, I set out the four bags of donations (three bags of clothes and one bag of miscellaneous/household items) by my front door to be picked up by the charity I had contacted about a donations pick up.  Today, they came by and picked up the bags and left me a receipt.  I am glad the items are gone; I won't be tempted to take anything more back from the donations pile!  LOL.

In the afternoon, I received a call from a nurse at the oncologist's office; she said they are asking some Covid-19 related questions of all the patients who come into the office in order to pre-screen them.  She sounded apologetic, but, I told her I was very glad that they are doing it!  It makes me feel better about going in, as it shows they are making an effort to keep things as safe as possible.  I was happy to answer her questions - have I been tested for Covid-19, have I or anyone in the household been exposed to it, have I had a fever of 99.9F in the last few days, have I been out of the state in the past two weeks, have I felt any aches and pains, etc.  My appointment for Friday afternoon has been confirmed.

Today, I watered the houseplants, put away a few things and tidied up a bit, and practiced the piano.  Later in the evening, I video chatted for a long time with my daughter.

Today, I opened the packet of soap I bought on what was one of my very last shopping trips before the shelter at home order was issued in March.  I bought it more out of habit than anything else, because I regularly stock up on various household items on a quarterly basis, varying the items purchased and buying enough for about 6 months at a time.  I almost put the 12 pack of soap back on the shelf because I had some soap from the previous time I bought soap, but, decided to go ahead and get it because it was something that won't go to waste.  I'm glad I decided to buy it, because I am stocked up on soap! I am now making a list of other household items to stock up on next: hand sanitizer, for example.

Today, I am grateful for:
- I was able to reschedule the dentist appointment
- The donations were picked up
- Technology that enables me to video chat with my daughter
- Being able to stock up on household items such as soap
- The health screening call from the nurse

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

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Call the dentist's office - DONE
- Dust family room and my bedroom - DONE
- Water the house plants - DONE
- Vacuum
- Paperwork/filing - DONE
- Do one decluttering/organizing task (go through one box in the spare bedroom) - DONE

Thursday's To Do List:
- Vacuum
- Clean the kitchen
- Water the garden, front and back
- Load of laundry, if needed

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