Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Cloudy Wednesday

Couscous Pilaf, Ground Beef and Potatoes, and Gata (Armenian Cookies)

More delicious food compliments of neighbor S and family!  Yesterday, she mentioned that she was cooking because she was expecting a visit from some family members, today, and asked if she could delay daughter's piano lesson by fifteen minutes; she wanted to finish the cooking and not have to interrupt the lesson midway to check on what she was making.  Apparently, she made a type of Armenian cookie known as "gata" for the first time.  She also cooked a dish with ground beef and potatoes and her mother made a type of pilaf using couscous and the tomatoes I had given S.  Today, she called to ask if I would like to try some of it!  Of course, I said, "Yes, please!"  A few minutes later, she brought this feast, shown in the photo, above!  She had included two madeleine cookies with the gata.  I returned one of her containers and gave her more tomatoes.  Daughter and I enjoyed the meal at dinner.

We had quite a change in the weather today.  Not only was it cloudy and cool (our daytime high was only 77F), it even drizzled in the morning!  

I woke up earlier than usual because I had to go for a fasting blood test this morning.  I got to the clinic a few minutes before my appointment and checked in.  There was just one other person in the waiting room and I was called in almost immediately.  I had my blood drawn by a phlebotomist I had not met before.  We chatted a bit while she entered my particulars into the computer and drew my blood.  As one of my friends and I had been discussing, recently, our opportunities to engage in casual conversations with strangers are rather limited, these days, which makes it harder to make new acquaintances and friends.

After I came home, I had a cup of tea and breakfast - a scrambled egg, toast, and calamondin marmalade. 

Then, I walked around the back garden and when M arrived a little later, I was able to share a couple of discoveries with him:

Crepe Myrtle Flowers

There had been a couple of crepe myrtle trees in the back which, to all intents and purposes, died a couple of years ago.  But, at least one of them grew back and now, we have some flowers!  M quickly weeded around the plant and removed some of the gazania, osteospermum, and curry leaf seedlings that were crowding out the crepe myrtle (as seen in the photo).  I saved some of the gazania plants that were pulled out to plant in the side yard.  

The other discovery I had to show him was this:

Okra Flower

The first okra flower!  There are a few more buds on some of the other plants.  I am looking forward to my okra harvest!  

M did some weeding and watering, today.  I shared some of the Serrano chilies with him. 

Later in the evening, I saw Bun Bun happily munching on watermelon leaves!  Oh, no!  I don't mind him eating the leaves, but, I don't want him to move on to the watermelons!  I managed to rig up a temporary barrier around the watermelon plant, with a bit of help from my daughter (she came out to see what I was doing).  It was too dark to take a picture, but, I'll take one, tomorrow.  I know everyone is going to laugh at it, but, if it keeps the watermelons safe, then, that's what matters!  I've noticed that Bun Bun and friends have eaten several of the succulents in the front garden, too!

After dinner, I made several phone calls to chat with family and friends.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- S blessing us with food she and her mother had prepared
- The little drizzle we received this morning
- The blood test itself went smoothly without long delays
- The opportunity to chat with the new phlebotomist
- M's help with the garden

Today's joyful activity was being in the garden.

I don't have any firm plans for tomorrow.  I should, however, take advantage of the cooler temperatures that are forecasted (a high of only 80F, tomorrow!) and get some housework done!

Cosmos Flowers

Bun Bun ate all the lower branches of the cosmos plant, but, it still produced some lovely flowers!


August Decluttering Challenge: 

8/1 - 1 pair gardening gloves

8/2 - non-working heating pad

8/3 - old purse/handbag

8/4 - 1 computer CD containing a report

8/5 - 1 plastic lid that cracked and broke in two

8/6 - 1 hooded sweatshirt (received a new one to replace it)

8/7 - old make-up I no longer use

8/8 - 6 plastic laundry detergent scoops (I use powdered laundry detergent; each new box comes with its own scoop; I don't need to keep the old ones, but, it seems such a waste to toss them in the recycling bin)

8/9 - 1 sponge paint brush (unused, but, so old, the sponge is no longer spongey!)
         1 plastic food container

8/10 - 1 blouse (given to daughter); will be donated as she decided it didn't fit her properly

8/11 - 1 broken clothes hanger
          3 bras

8/12 - 2 Zucchini!  LOL!  Eileen informed me that the zucchini don't count!

8/13 - Daughter's old artwork: A poster 

8/14 - Daughter's old artwork: A painting

8/15 - 1 long dress (given to daughter) - she had urged me to buy it for myself one year for all of $1, but, I didn't wear it.  She, on the other hand, loves it!  It looks much better on her than on me! 

8/16 - 1 coffee mug 

8/17 - A book on cake decorating

8/18 - 1 bottle of perfume spray (an "our version of a famous perfume" that someone gave which doesn't smell good to me)


  1. That is so exciting about the crepe myrtle. I will look forward to seeing how it does.
    And okra! I know you were hoping your seedlings would produce and it is happening. :)

    Rabbits continue to be a real problem for me. They really destroy so many plants.
    Your cosmos look good. I've raised my pot of cosmos up high on a plastic milk crate lol
    I don't usually have cosmos since they are a plant rabbits love and I don't plant things that I know will get destroyed, but I saw them on a deep discount and thought I'd give them a try.
    The real star for me this year has been the nasturtiums.
    The rabbits have eaten them along the border of the bed but they haven't ventured into the bed itself and the nasturtiums are growing like crazy.
    I still can't get over that they have eaten my Siberian iris. That has never happened before this year. And they are eating my marigold this year too. That is nuts. lol

    1. I was happy to see the crepe myrtle come back! My mother planted them; she used to love crepe myrtles and we had them growing in our garden in Sri Lanka.

      Sorry to hear about your rabbit problems! It sounds like you've a bunch of hungry rabbits! Good idea to raise your cosmos plant up above rabbit reach! I think I will have to invest in miles of chicken wire fencing! Or, grow everything in pots lifted off the ground!

  2. Wow, you had some rain ... well, drizzle! Was it enough to water the garden for you?

    S's cooking looks so tasty and, again, so generous of her.

    The okra flower is exciting. I'll be trying okra again in the near future. Last time I had it I didn't like it as I thought it was slimey and bland but one of the future recipes in the Indian cookery class feature okra so I will give it another try.
    Love the cosmos!

    1. Yes, I was excited about the drizzle! :D It wasn't enough for the garden, though, and M had to water. But, it was something!

      S's food was delicious! I made the mistake of telling her so, last night, and she brought me more, today! I think I will have to make something special this weekend and share with her!

      Okra is slimy! I usually make a "dry" curry with mine (sliced at an angle, sauted /tempered in just a little bit of oil with curry powder, curry leaves, spices, etc., until just cooked). No water or milk added to make a gravy/sauce. It minimizes the sliminess, I think. My daughter will not eat it, however, as she doesn't like the texture. :)

      The cosmos flowers are growing on a seedling that grew from the original plant that M bought for me. The flowers range in color from pink to magenta, all on the same plant!

  3. Hi Bless,
    Thank you for checking, I just saw your comment. I took a break from blogging to prepare for classes. I'm back in the classroom, and it feels great to really see my students in person again.

    Ooh Okra! I love okra, though most people don't like them. :) It looks like you are doing very well on decluttering. I have to declutter my spare bedroom again. For some reason it accumulates too much too often. :)

    1. Hi Nil, glad to hear you are well and back in the classroom, again. :) Didn't mean to be nosy, but, I got a bit worried. :)

      I love okra, too. I'm looking forward to picking some from my plants in the near future! I've a few moringa pods forming, too! :)

      Those spare bedroom have a way of collecting stuff in them, don't they? I've the same problem with my spare bedroom, too! :D

      Hope you have a good rest of the week and have a fun weekend. Stay safe!

  4. I guess the rabbits think that since you get to try new foods, courtesy of S. they should also have variety in their diet! I wish I could borrow them to chump on my Siberian Iris, now that it has long ago finished blooming. It will need to be cut down or it will just sprawl in brown leaves under the snow.

    1. I suppose the rabbits could be taken as an example of trusting that the Universe will provide for them? For me, as a Buddhist, there is merit in feeding another being. I am just gently nudging him towards something else that he could eat instead of certain things I am trying to grow for my own benefit! :D

  5. I have some yellow cosmos that has been blooming all summer. However, I am still waiting on the pink ones like in your picture. The wait will make them that more special, I guess.

    1. Oh, I hope your pink cosmos will bloom soon. Yes, the wait will make it more special. :)


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