Friday, September 24, 2021

Hello, Lois!

Lois - 9/23

 Say hello to Lois!*  On the first day of fall, she was still emerging:

Lois 9/22

The very next day, she was up and stretching her leaves!  She has grown from a seed I just planted, without removing the outer covering or germinating it first!  Welcome, Lois!  Glad to have you in my garden!

Yesterday, after I checked on Lois, I walked around the back garden and picked a few things to cook for dinner:

Thursday's Harvest

Four moringa pods, a handful of chard leaves from what I am calling my "cut and come again" chard plants, and six pods of red okra!   Those two longer pods were each over 7 inches long!

Long Okra

But they were still very tender and not woody, at all.  What I picked was more than enough for a meal for us and there are some leftovers for a second meal, as well.  I'm loving the fact that I can pick vegetables from my garden to cook for that day's meal!  

It was a cooler, hazy day, yesterday.  The sun, shining through the haze cast a pinkish glow in the afternoon, and the evening sun was just a ball of red in the sky!

Evening Sun

I spent a rather relaxed day, yesterday, checking on the garden, cooking the vegetables I picked, putting away the laundry, doing the dishes, and practicing the piano a little more.  This time, I practiced a couple of the newer songs I had learned.  Considering I hadn't played them in months, I think I did OK.  There were some mistakes, of course, but, I didn't do too badly.  I think I sat at the piano for almost 30 minutes.  Depending on how I do next week (I have to be able to sit at the piano for one hour without experiencing any pain), I think I might be ready to resume lessons in another couple of weeks, maybe?  I'll have to talk to S about it.  

Today, I slept in practically all morning!  I must have been tired!

I took a walk around the back garden, later, checked on Lois, who is doing well (her leaves have spread out, horizontally, now) and picked serrano chilies! 

Serrano Chilies

I weighed them and had exactly half a pound!  I called N (neighbor S's daughter) to give her some.  She came over and took a look at the garden, too.  We were outside and both had our masks on.  Later, when M came by to tend to the garden, I gave him some chilies, too.  He brought us a mango from a farmers' market he had been to; he said the sign had said red mangoes, but, the label on them say Van Gogh!  A little research online showed that Van Gogh is a brand name used for Kent mangoes.  I am keeping the mango to ripen and afterwards, I will keep the seed to sprout.  I might call it Vincent!  LOL!  I gave M some moringa curry and coconut flat bread to take home with him, as well as the chilies.

M pulled up the two tomato plants, today, and we picked the last few tomatoes that were still on them.  We left the bell pepper plant to see if it will produce more and picked the one bell pepper that was on it.  The bell pepper plant produced only about 5 or 6 bell peppers; I'm not sure if I will plant another bell pepper plant, next year.  

I also received my water bill for the last two months (we are billed every two months and the bill includes water, electricity, solid waste collection, and sewer charges, all in one bill, but, it is broken down by category; the solid waste and sewer charges are a standard fee, but, the water and electricity depends on usage.)  I am allowed 16 hundred cubic feet (hcf) of water at the tier 1 (lowest payment rate) per billing cycle, the next 14 hcf are charged at the higher tier 2 level and anything over that is charged at the highest tier 3 level.  I used 28 hcf, so the first 16 hcf were charged at the tier 1 level and the remaining 12 hcf were charged at the tier 2 level. The water portion of the bill was $224.00!  That's the downside of growing fruits and vegetables in a semi arid area where it doesn't rain for months in the summer.  At least it wasn't as high as the previous bill!

Neighbor T's water bill had also been delivered to my address!  So, I took it over and slipped it under her front door, then, called her to tell her about it.  

Today, I made coconut flat bread for brunch.    Neighbor S brought over some pumpkin cookies, a jar of pumpkin butter, and three pieces of pizza that N had baked, with extra marinara sauce on the side.  My daughter and I enjoyed the homemade pizza with our tea.  For dinner, I cooked the second piece of salmon we had bought, earlier.  I had some yogurt for dessert.

I gave S two succulent plant cuttings to plant in her own garden.  They were taken from the cuttings I received from my former supervisor several years ago.  

Later in the evening, I spoke on the phone with cousin V and friend R.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- The garden harvest
- Being able to pay the water bill!
- Receiving some goodies from S (and N)
- Receiving a mango from M
- Being able to chat with family and friends

Today's joyful activity was giving a tour of the garden to N. 

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

*Lois Lane - Clark Kent/Superman's girlfriend


September Decluttering:  I am continuing to declutter at least one item a day in September, too.

9/1 - 1 Crossword book, completed (recycled)

9/2 - 1 T shirt (daughter's; to be donated)

9/3 - 1 knitting book (to be donated)

9/4 - unused cards (to be donated)

9/5 - 1 participation medal (daughter's; tossed)

9/6 - 1 seashell necklace (to be donated)

9/7 - 3 copper bowls (to be donated)
      - 3 text books (daughter's; recycled)

9/8 - 1 text book (daughter's; recycled)

9/9 - 2 metal spare parts that are no longer needed (recycled)

9/10 - 1 CD (chemistry lecture supplement; daughter's; tossed)

9/11 - 1 bag of small plastic toy reptiles and amphibians (3 snakes, 4 frogs, and 4 lizards; to be donated)

9/12 - 2 crocheted shawls

9/13 - 1 ice bucket printer paper tray

9/14 - 1 homemade iPad cover

9/15 - a set of 4 stem glasses (to be donated)

9/16 - 3 books (daughter's; to be donated)
        - 1 handbag/purse (daughter's; to be donated)
        - 2 telephone directories (recycled)
        - 3 magazines (recycled)
        - 1 knitted shrug (to be donated)
        - 2 zippered plastic covers that bedding came in
        - 2 storage boxes 

9/17 - 1 jacket (to be donated)

9/18 - 3 disposable food containers (given with food)
        - 1 hooded sweatshirt (to be donated)
        - more old make up (eye liner that was dry! Tossed)

9/19 - 1 old wash cloth that was torn in the middle  (tossed)
        - 1 wooden cat shaped letter holder
        - 1 clock radio
        - 3 collectible dolls
        - several posters (daughter's; recycled)

9/20 - 1 broken picture frame (tossed)

9/21 - 3 hair bands (tossed)

9/22 - 1 scarf (to be donated; another bag of donations started)

9/23 - 1 bath mat (tossed)

9/24 - 1 blouse (given to daughter)


  1. Did you or your daughter paint the ruler? It's very pretty.

    1. My half-sister did! She took several "One Stroke Painting" classes and I have quite a few items she painted. :)

  2. Haha - you come up with great names for your plants.
    Lois has really bounced into life.

    As you said, considering you are caring for a garden in a climate where rain is rare along with 2 people's daily use of water, I think you've done pretty well keeping out of tier 3.

    1. Thank you! This naming of plants and fruits is a new hobby! :D

      Yes, unless I decide I will only grow and eat prickly pear cactus, just about every plant I'm growing for food requires much watering! Some of the plants (the moringa, for example) are supposed to be drought tolerant, but, I've noticed that when the temperatures go above 90F, even the moringa requires quite a bit of water (otherwise, the branches fall over!)

  3. Are those Serrano chilies super hot? You are doing well with your regular harvest from the garden. I think Honor Min must be cheering the plants on, as she was always concerned about your vegetable intake!
    My neighbour brought round my order of eggs yesterday and included a bag of tomatoes she had grown, so kind of her.

    1. They are not super hot, but, they do have some heat. I don't like my curries to be too hot (my tummy can't take it, these days!), so I cut up about 2 or 3 of the chilies to give the curry a nice flavor without being too hot. I don't deseed the chilies when I add them to a curry. Sometimes, I add some chilies to my egg salad - in that case, I mince about a quarter of a chili and add to 2 eggs.

      Oh, that was very nice of your neighbor to bring you the tomatoes along with your order of eggs! I'm sure you'll enjoy them. :)

    2. I forgot to say that Honor Min would be happy to see me eating my vegetables, wouldn't she? She was such a sweet lady, so concerned and helpful. May she rest in peace.

  4. Oh how exciting to meet Ms Lane and watch her doing her sun salutations! I look forward to seeing more of her! The chilli crop is pretty impressive too!

    1. Lois is continuing to do well! I checked on her this morning and she seems to be getting her second set of leaves! Still quite tiny, but, they should be out in a couple of days! I was thrilled with the chillies! I froze what was left after I gave some away - I just put them in a bag and freeze them whole. Then, when I want some fresh chillies, pull out however many I want and cut them up. I add them while frozen to the curries and they cook just fine. :)


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