Sunday, October 31, 2021

Monthly Photo Challenge: October - Autumn

The theme set by Eileen for October is Autumn.  Growing up in a tropical country, autumn was just another word, just like spring, summer, winter, and snow!  The seasons I grew up with were the rainy season (when the monsoon rains came, twice a year in the area where I lived) and the dry season (when there were no monsoon rains).  Then, I went to Wisconsin where I got to experience the season named autumn to the fullest!  But, autumn in southern California is not that well defined a season!  Summer lingers well into autumn, more so in some years than in others.  The days do get colder, eventually, but, most trees don't change color and the few that do, usually turn yellow, not all the beautiful reds and oranges that typically signify autumn (at least, in my neighborhood) and, of course, I am not traveling to see the more typical autumnal sights.  

But, here are my autumn offerings - photos of what autumn represents to me:

Leaves changing color:

Nectarine Leaves

And falling, which gives us the other name for the season: Fall

Fallen Leaves

More Fallen Leaves!

Pumpkins, even if they are blue and not orange:

Blue Pumpkin

And scarecrows:

Autumn Scarecrow

Autumn decorations:
Autumn Decorations

And Halloween:

Halloween Decorations

And with the cooler days, more baking:


Later, in November, autumn will also mean Thanksgiving, but, that's a whole different month, isn't it?

Thank you, Eileen, for this opportunity to participate in the monthly photo challenge!  I have had fun participating.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the theme will be for November!

October Decluttering

My goal for decluttering in October was one item a day for a total of 31 items decluttered.  I started out posting a daily list of items decluttered, but, it was making my daily posts too long and I decided to post one list at the end of the month, instead.   These are the items I have decluttered this month:

October Decluttering:

10/1 - 1 banana holder (a long ago gift from daughter; to be donated)
10/2 - 3 decorative beaded buckles (bought by my mother; to be donated)
10/3 - 1 craft book (about making picture frames; to be donated)
10/4 - 3 anime books (daughter's; to be donated)
10/5 - 1 pack of HP playing cards (daughter's; to be donated)
        - 1 Rubik's cube-type 3D puzzle (a triangle, instead of a cube; daughter's to be donated)
        - 1 chemistry set for making models of molecules and ions (daughter's; to be donated)
10/6 - 6 bottles of old dried up craft paint (tossed)
        - 3 items of clothing (to be donated; daughter took 2 of them!)
10/7 - 5 knitted scarves (to be donated)
10/8 - 1 basket (to be donated)
10/9 - 1 blouse (given to daughter)
10/10 - 1 hair clip (broken; tossed)
          - 1 cat toy (cat is not interested in it; tossed)
10/11 - 1 resin chair (broken, recycled)
10/12 - 1 old dry erase board (tossed)
10/13 - 5 plastic plant pots (cracked/broken; recycled)
10/14 - 1 basket (tossed; unfit for donating)
10/15 - 1 item of clothing (tossed; unfit for donating)
10/16 - 2 more items of clothing (tossed; unfit for donating)
10/17 - 1 cracked food storage container & lid; 3 additional lids
10/18 - 3 food containers and lids (tossed)
10/19 - 3 more food containers and lids (given away with soup!)
10/20 - 1 scarf (to be donated)
10/21 - 1 plastic table cover, used (tossed)
10/22 - 2 language (Japanese) CDs (to be donated)
10/23 - 1 pin/brooch (to be donated)
10/24 - 5 items of clothing (tossed; unfit for donating)
10/25 - 1 fridge magnet/pen, shaped like a slice of apple (given to me by daughter; tossed after the pen broke)
10/26 - 4 text books (daughter's; neither the charity I'm donating to or the library will accept them; recycled)
10/27 - 1 broken bag clip (tossed)
10/28 - 2 nylon net produce bags (had kept thinking I could make something with them; tossed)
10/29 - 1 set of 4 wooden matryoshka dolls (a gift from an old friend; to be donated)
10/30 - 1 shot glass (had been my step-father's; to be donated)
10/31 - 1 really old half used bottle of bubble bath (tossed)

I decluttered 68 items, total, of which 13 items were my daughter's contributions.

I want to continue to declutter in November, too.  November's goal is at least one item a day which will give me a minimum of 30 items.  I'd like to declutter more than that, of course.  My goal is not to be a minimalist!  But, to have fewer things, over all.  Over the years, I have accumulated various things.  A lot of those things are decorative items and displayed.  It pleased me to acquire them and they have brought me joy over the years.  But, increasingly, I am starting to feel that I have accumulated too much and it is time to lighten my load.  The time has come to let some things go and that's what I will be doing in November.

Anyone else joining me in decluttering?

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Mango and Peach Dump Cake

Last night, I decided to make a dessert for us to enjoy after our dinner of chicken and vegetable pot stickers.

I thawed (in the microwave) a bag of frozen peach slices (from the garden) and a bag of mango pieces that I had cut up and frozen myself (each bag probably held about two cups of fruit), dumped it all into a square glass baking pan with a quarter of a cup of sugar (daughter thought that less than a quarter cup would have been fine, too), a couple of heaping tablespoons from a jar of ginger preserves an aunt had given me as a gift, and a sprinkling of powdered cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg and stirred everything to mix well:

Mango and Peach Filling

Topped it with about one third of a box of yellow cake mix (I didn't want to put more as the cake mix is very sweet and I just wanted a thin layer like a pie crust on top), dotted the top of the cake mix with about four tablespoons of butter (I used half a 4 oz. stick of butter), cut up, and baked in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes:

Mango-Peach Dump Cake; Fresh Out of the Oven

Daughter and I had a serving of it while still warm; a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top would have been great, too, but, we are out of ice cream!

Mango-Peach Dump Cake

The ginger preserves gave it a nice, "warm" flavor, along with the cinnamon and nutmeg.  If I didn't have the preserves, I might have added a little freshly grated ginger or, even powdered ginger.  

This afternoon, I took some of the dump cake, along with some of the guavas, to neighbor S.  She gave me the last two napoleon pastries she had left!  Later, in the evening, she gave me some mini muffins (flourless, vegan) her daughter had made (trying out a new recipe, her daughter said) and some rice pudding her sister-in-law had made! 
Rice Pudding and Flourless Vegan Muffins

We had a sunny day, today, with a few clouds and a high of 73F.  I have had a relaxed day, so far.

I made some chicken fried rice for brunch, using leftover rice, leftover chicken, the last of the bag of coleslaw, a couple of eggs, a handful of roasted peanuts, some chili powder, and soy sauce.  There's a little of the fried rice leftover, too.  I haven't been doing weekly meal plans in a long time, but, there are bits and pieces of leftovers in the fridge to finish up and I took out a package of pork loin strips to thaw to make a pork curry, as well.

Today's decluttering was a shot glass.  It belonged to my step-father.  I don't drink alcohol and there was no need for the glass, but, I kept it.  Most recently, I used it for sprouting mango seeds, but, found that glass jars worked better for that purpose.  Today, I decluttered the shot glass.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Another sunny and warm day 
- Good neighbors and friends
- Being able to share
- Everyday blessings we tend to take for granted
- Simply being alive (I had my lumpectomy six years ago, this month)

Today's joyful activity was enjoying all the good things neighbor S shared with me!  

Tomorrow is Halloween!  Although I decorated the inside of the house, a little bit, I don't expect any trick-or-treaters to call and my daughter and I are not planning to do anything for Halloween.  We will probably just relax and take it easy, tomorrow.

How was your day?  What are your plans for tomorrow?  Will you be celebrating Halloween?

Warm on Friday

Fresh Guavas

We have had another sunny warm day, today, with a high of 87F.  My type of weather!  

I spent a relaxed morning.  Then, in the afternoon, I did some housework and, later in the evening, a load of laundry as Dancer had apparently preferred my bath rug to his litter box!    

Gardener friend M arrived in the late afternoon - a bit earlier than usual because he didn't have to go to his previous client's house today.  He brought me some guavas he had picked while at another client's - they were fully ripe as you can see and my daughter and I enjoyed some.  I kept a few aside to take over to neighbor S, tomorrow (they were getting ready to go somewhere when my daughter texted S's daughter N to ask if they'd like some guavas).  

M pruned some of the trees at the back of the garden, opening up the area for better air circulation and to let in more sunlight.  Afterwards, he watered the garden.  I told him to go ahead and remove the cardboard barriers on the gate since Bun Bun has been able to get in even with the barriers in place!  

Brunch had been another chicken sandwich.  Dinner was chicken and vegetables gyoza (pot stickers).  I had a bowl of cereal with milk for a snack, later.

Today's decluttering was a set of four (originally, there were five) wooden matryoshka dolls that a friend had given me as a gift upon her return from a visit to what was still the USSR back then (around 1980/81):

Russian Matryoshka Dolls

My daughter used to love playing with them when she was a little girl.  She is better than I am at decluttering, but, even she was sad to see them being decluttered.  They will be donated.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Another sunny and warm day
- Fresh, ripe guavas
- M tending to the garden for me
- A working washing machine
- Electricity

Today's joyful activity was being in the garden.

Plans for tomorrow include some sewing.  How was your Friday?  What are your plans for Saturday?

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Furnace Inspection on Thursday

Today was the day the furnace inspection had been scheduled.  I woke up "early" (7:30 a.m., which really isn't all that early considering the fact that I used to start work at 7:00 a.m., once upon a time, but, then, again, I didn't go to bed until after 2:30 a.m.) and got dressed in anticipation!

I had been told that I'd be informed of the time of the inspector's arrival in the morning and at 8:30 a.m., the call came from the furnace company.  The inspector will arrive between 10:00 a.m. and noon.  I asked if a technician will also be present, as I had been told when the visit was scheduled, and was told that a company representative will be arriving "soon" (he arrived at 9:30 a.m., which was fine).

I asked when they would do the plastering, presuming the inspection passes.  The person at the other end of the phone reacted as if it was news to her that the services of a plasterer will be required!  "I will have to look up your contract to see if plastering was included."  Um, according to what the company's rep who sold me the furnace had told me - they will install, have it inspected, and plaster the openings in the wall.  "Oh, we will have to check your written contract and call you back."  I assured her that it was in the contract.

But, after I got off the phone with her, I rechecked the written contract and, oh, no!  It made no mention of the plastering!  It was only in the verbal contract!  I had been so overwhelmed by decision making or distracted by other things such as negotiating down the price that day, that I had overlooked checking the written contract to make sure that the plastering was also written down, along with the installation, inspection, etc.!  Oh, how could I have been so remiss?

While I was fretting about that, the company's rep. arrived, introduced himself, took photos of the furnace, and told me that he will wait out in his truck for the inspector to arrive.  I brought up the matter of the plastering with him and he said that, if the sales rep. had told me they will plaster and it is in the written contract, then, they will do that.  At that point, I thought it was prudent not to say anything about the lack of mention of plastering in the written contract.  

The inspector arrived around 10:30 a.m., spent less than five minutes inspecting, said something to the rep about something should be 1 inch and that it looked like it was about 1 inch, and I guess that was that!  The rep confirmed that the inspector will sign off on things at his end before he left and I signed off on the statement that the rep had been here and he left, too.  Before he left, I reminded him about the plastering, emphasizing the fact that I was a repeat customer of many years. 

A short time later, the furnace company called to schedule the plastering!  YAY!  The plasterer will be here on Monday morning!  Yes!  I guess they realized that I will not pay that last $500 due on the furnace installation until the plastering was done!  Last time, when they put in the furnace, the plastering was done without any fuss, even though there was no mention of it in the contract, then, either!

I guess the moral of the story is to scrutinize the written contracts to make sure that everything is spelled out!

Of course, it's rather ironic that the furnace was inspected on a day when we reached 90F as our daytime high!  I had all the windows opened to warm up the house (which remained at least 10 degrees cooler than what it was outside) and sat outside for sometime while I enjoyed the other part of the watermelon I had cut, yesterday (daughter didn't think much of our homegrown watermelon, but, I thought it was quite good).  

Today, I chatted with two of my cousins and friend A.  I will chat with friend R, later in the evening.

Brunch had been a chicken sandwich (me; daughter had a salad); watermelon and mango for snacks; dinner will be leftover sausages with a baked potato (for me) or rice (daughter), and some of the second Korean dish that daughter had made, earlier.  Dessert will be the rest of the pastries neighbor S had given.

Today, I am grateful that:
- The furnace was inspected and passed inspection
- The plastering has been included and scheduled
- I now have a working furnace that can be switched on when it gets cold
- The sunny, warm day
- Chats with family and friends

Today's joyful activity was having the furnace pass inspection and having the plastering scheduled!

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

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Warm on Wednesday


Napoleons Made by Neighbor S

Neighbor S called me around 5:30 p.m. to say she was getting ready to make napoleons, which are pastries made with puff pastry and a cream filling.  They are known by other names, too, but she called them napoleons.  Would my daughter and I like some?  Oh, would we ever!  I told her we would love some!  She called me a couple of hours later, after she had made them - she made some with the traditional cream filling, but, she made some with a chocolate filling, too, because she loves chocolate. Oh, we love chocolate, too!  I was instructed to keep them in the fridge overnight and eat them, tomorrow.  And to let her know which flavor I liked better.  Shh!  Don't tell S, but, my daughter and I sampled a piece from both the chocolate and the regular napoleons, before I put them in the fridge to keep overnight!  They were both very delicious!  

Today was a warm day!  An afternoon high of 82F!  But, in the morning, when I woke up, the house was a chilly 61F and in the afternoon, even when it was 82F outside, it went up to only 70F inside.  I went outside to warm up!  

My leg was back to normal, today.  There were a couple of twinges in the morning, but, that was all.  I am almost positive that I was dehydrated, yesterday.  I have been making sure I drank enough water, today, filling and refilling a glass that holds 16 fl. oz., four times.  I have drunk 7 cups of water, so far, and will drink the final cup, before bed, when I take my bedtime medications.  I am not including the cup of tea I had this morning, because tea is a diuretic.  

M was here, this morning, to tend to the garden.  He didn't have to water the garden as Monday's rain soaked it well.  Instead, he concentrated on clearing up some of the overgrown plants at the back, pruning back the euphorbias and the curry leaf plants that are threatening to take over the garden!

In the afternoon, I sat outside and did some crewel embroidery.

Breakfast was a slice of toast with peanut butter and my homemade strawberry jam.  Lunch was a bowl of the Korean glass noodles that my daughter had made.  For dinner, I baked more seasoned potato wedges and the package of mild Italian sausages I had in the freezer, with some bell pepper strips mixed in with the sausages.  There are leftover sausages for another meal, tomorrow or on Friday.   Earlier in the day, I cut up the watermelon we named Walter III/Dandy Macaroni; I took half over to neighbor S and kept the other half for us.  There is one last watermelon still on the vine.  Bun Bun enjoyed the piece of watermelon rind I tossed out to him!  He's definitely at home in the back yard, now!

Today, I am grateful for:

- A warm day
- My leg is better
- Clean water to drink
- S sharing the delicious pastries she made
- M helping with the garden

Today's joyful activity was embroidering out in the garden.

Tomorrow is when the furnace inspector is supposed to check the furnace installation.  I still don't know what time to expect the inspector!  The furnace installers are supposed to call and let me know in the morning.  I hope the inspection goes well and the furnace passes inspection!  I am looking forward to being able to turn it on, when needed.  I also hope that the plasterer can patch up the walls, soon!  

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

Sunny and Clear on Tuesday

Kufta, Compliments of Neighbor S 
and her Daughter N

We had a sunny, clear day, today.  It was cool in the morning, but, warmed up to 71F in the afternoon.  The rain has moved east, they were saying.

I brought in the trash cans after they were emptied, collected the mail, walked a little bit in the driveway and back yard, and checked on the plants.  Bun Bun was very much at home in the back yard, stretched out near the sweet potato plants and later, he ate some of the cats' kibbles and munched on watermelon leaves!  This is the watermelon vine grown from the newer seeds that M had given on which Baby Melon grew.  There is another watermelon growing on that vine, but, I haven't been trying to protect it as much as I did with Wawa and Walter III.  I haven't seen any of the other rabbits, recently, so I wonder if Bun Bun is the only one left?

Later, I tidied the family room as some horizontal surfaces were getting cluttered!  Speaking of clutter, today's decluttering included four books.  They were daughter's books, but, I'm including them in my decluttering count!

Today, I finished reading the e-book I had borrowed from the library; "Caroline: Little House, Revisited" by Sarah Miller.  It is historical fiction, focusing on the events described in the first two books in the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the move from Wisconsin to Kansas, as seen from the perspective of her mother, Caroline Quiner Ingalls.  I enjoyed reading it, but, I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a biography, or, covered a longer period of her life.    

I have been experiencing some pain in back of my right leg, today.  A little similar to the sciatica pain I felt in May on my left leg, but, not as intense or painful, more like a mild cramp.  I don't want to believe that I might be starting to have sciatica pain, again!  I am assuming I'm dehydrated and have been making it a point to drink plenty of water in the hope that the pain will go away once I'm fully hydrated!

Neighbor S called and brought over some kufta that she and her daughter had made and my daughter and I enjoyed them for dinner.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- The sunny day after the rain
- No damage to my house and garden from the rain
- Neighbor S bringing us dinner
- Weekly trash collections
- Being able to borrow e-books from the library

Today's joyful activity was reading.

Plans for tomorrow include M tending to the garden in the late morning and doing some paperwork.

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

Monday, October 25, 2021

Rain on Monday

The forecasted rain arrived early in the morning.  It was already raining when I woke up at 7:00 a.m.  A slow, steady rain, not the powerful downpour that was experienced in northern California.  It continued to rain all day, but, it stopped around 5:30 p.m. and the sun peeked through while it set.  I was grateful for the slow rain which soaked into the garden without causing floods (other than a few flooded intersections).  We have had the second driest summer on record and the rain we received, at least here in my area of southern California, has been a blessing!

This morning, when I opened the sliding glass door to feed the garden cats, a certain Bun Bun was also waiting, with the cats, for his breakfast!  I think I've acquired myself a garden rabbit!  Since the cardboard is not preventing him from coming in, I think I will surrender gracefully and accept Bun Bun into my back garden menagerie!  

We left the house at 8:15 a.m., with me driving us to the clinic.  The freeway wasn't too congested and everyone was keeping to the speed limits.  The first proper rain of the season always leaves the roads slick as all the motor oils that have spilled over the summer starts to float above the water on the roads.  Often, there are accidents due to cars skidding on rain slick roads; today, we heard and saw one car skid as it took a turn too fast, but, luckily, no accidents.  We got to the clinic by 9:15 a.m.; my appointment was for 9:30 a.m.

The waiting room wasn't crowded, but there were people there who weren't wearing their masks properly!  One couple had their masks pulled well under their chins while they conversed with each other and my daughter and I felt very uncomfortable sitting in the same room with them.  Then, another man walked in and, although he was wearing a mask, it kept coming down as he first spoke to the receptionist and then, spoke on his cell phone.  I heard the receptionist tell him at least three times to wear his mask properly and another medical assistant also spoke to him and said if he didn't wear his mask properly, he will have to wait outside.  I felt encouraged by that to alert the receptionist that the other couple in the waiting room also had their masks completely down.  Once I pointed it out to her, she spoke to them in Spanish and asked them to pull up their masks.  Then, they were called inside and after a few minutes, I was called inside, too.  My daughter remained in the waiting room.

Once inside, I had my eyes dilated and checked; the doctor said that everything seemed fine.  Such a blessing!  I do have the beginnings of cataracts (and have had them for a few years now), but, I was told that they were still at the beginning stages and nothing to worry about for now.  I have another appointment in one year's time!  We parked in the medical building and parking cost $10 for the time we were there (maximum parking rate at that particular building was $18 for the day). 

Daughter drove us back and we had a good drive back, too.  Daughter had taken a few hours off from work in the morning to go with me to the eye exam.  But that did not prevent her supervisor from calling her about a work related matter before we had returned home!  She returned to work as soon as we got home! 

I rested for a couple of hours until my eyes returned to normal and I could remove my dark glasses.

Then, I made a pot of chicken and vegetable soup for lunch, using the bones from three of the chicken breast halves and the meat that was left on them, along with some vegetables I had on hand, including half a can of cut green beans that was approaching its expiration date.  Soup, made this way with what I have on hand, is a very frugal meal, I think.  I had the soup as it was; my daughter thought it was too bland and doctored it up with some additional ingredients to suit her taste!   

Then, I replied to blog comments and read a few blogs.  On one of the blogs, I saw a picture of American style biscuits the blogger had made and I asked for the recipe.  In the meantime, I decided to try my hand at making drop biscuits, adapting a recipe I found online (I substituted some half and half that was starting to turn sour - not so good for drinking, but fine for baking - for the milk called for in the recipe).

Drop Biscuits

With Butter

I think they turned out well, especially for a first try.  My daughter loved them and we ate several of them, while still warm from the oven!  She ate them plain, I tried mine with butter; they were pretty good with butter and my homemade strawberry jam, too!

After tea, I took the trash cans to the curb for pick up in the morning, practiced the piano for a bit, and spoke on the phone with friend R and aunt C.  Daughter ate some of the Korean food she cooked for her dinner; I had another bowl of my chicken and vegetable soup to warm me up from the inside out!  

Today, I am grateful for:

- A safe drive in the rain to the eye appointment and back
- My daughter was available to drive me back
- A good eye appointment
- The rain we received - a slow rain which soaked the garden and didn't cause any damage in my area
- Chicken soup and drop biscuits!

Today's joyful activity was making drop biscuits.

Plans for tomorrow include doing some tidying up and sewing.

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

Sunday, October 24, 2021


This is the gate with the bunny blocking boards set in place by M on Friday (gate not locked in this picture):

The Gate Barrier Boards

All Openings Blocked

This is the metal fence blocking the entrance to the side yard (where I fell, by the way):

Side Yard Fence

It is barricaded with a fine wire mesh and more cardboard to cover the gaps where the mesh doesn't go all the way to the end.

And this is the Bun Bun who breached those barriers on Saturday:

Enjoying a Snack Under the Calamondin Tree

"Oh, Hi There, Lady!"


"What's that?  Leave the Garden?
Oh, you are so funny, Lady"

He spent all evening in the garden.  Stripey cat would occasionally chase him, but, he was trying to play!  Bun Bun enjoyed some sweet potato leaves, as much of a newly planted Japanese purple mustard leaf as he could reach from between the wire mesh, some chrysanthemum buds, and grass; for dessert, he ate some of the cats' kibbles while I watched from the sliding glass door.  He left some fresh droppings as a thank you, I suppose.  I didn't see him leaving, but, he didn't show up, today (at least, I didn't see him!)

Maybe I should call him Super BunBun, because, surely he has some super powers to get through those barriers!

Today was a cloudy day, with some occasional sunshine.  The afternoon warmed up to around 73F, which was nice.  I slept in, this morning, then, said my morning prayers, chatted with Aunt C who called to tell me about the forecasted rain storm for tomorrow and with neighbor T who called for our usual Sunday chat.  

In the afternoon, I put gas to the car.  Gas at the cheapest station near my house was $4.26/gal.  Since I already had half a tank of gas, it cost me $36.89 to fill it.  The last time I put gas was on August 23, and I paid $4.15/gal.  I put $40 worth of gas, that time.  I didn't need to put any gas in September (one good thing about staying home during the pandemic is I don't use as much gas as I used to!)  I budget $50 per month for gas and any unspent gas money goes towards defraying other costs, such as higher than normal water bills, etc.

Later, I chatted with friend R, ran the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen a bit, and read a little.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Phone calls from family and friends
- The availability of gas
- Warm afternoons
- Electricity, hot water on tap
- Working appliances

Today's joyful activity was reading.

Today's decluttering was 5 items of clothing (I haven't been posting my daily decluttering log as it is getting long, but, I am decluttering at least one item a day).

The big plan for tomorrow is the eye doctor's appointment.  We are supposed to get a major rain storm tomorrow and I am not looking forward to driving to the appointment and back in the rain!  It is the first major rain storm of the season and driving in southern California when it rains is not fun!

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

Saturday, October 23, 2021



Blue Pumpkin

Gardener friend M specializes in growing pumpkins and other winter squash!  He brought me one of his blue pumpkins, the other day.  I have it up on the living room mantelpiece for now, as a decoration, but, it is supposed to be edible and I might try cooking it, one day, soon.

Today has been mostly cloudy with some sunshine in the afternoon.  I finished redoing my Halloween wreath, adding a few new items to it:

Halloween Wreath

Later, I vacuumed the rest of the house and did a couple of loads of laundry.  

I made-over some leftovers for lunch:


Cooked spaghetti noodles, leftover baked chicken cut into small pieces, a handful of coleslaw mix, a piece or two of bell peppers, cut into small strips, all sauteed in a bit of bacon fat, with a little soy sauce and dried chili flakes stirred in at the end with a handful of peanuts and a little chili sauce after serving to a plate.

Later in the afternoon, my daughter prepared two Korean dishes:

Japchae made with a type of sweet potato based glass noodles and vegetables.  One can add meat to it, but, she preferred to keep it vegetarian, with mushrooms, carrots, onions, and more of the coleslaw mix.

Gochujang Jjigae

A type of stew made with tofu and vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms, potatoes, onion); to be served over rice.  She took some over to N (neighbor S's daughter) afterwards. 

She likes to do meal prep on the weekends and cook for the week.  I seem unable to meal prep for more than a couple of days, although, there was a time when I used to cook for the week!  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Wool sweaters
- Working appliances
- Daughter cooking some of this week's meals
- Being able to make-over leftovers
- Getting some crafting done

Today's joyful activities included redoing the Halloween wreath and making a seedpod garland.

Plans for tomorrow include putting gas to the car.  I have half a tank of gas and I usually fill up the tank when it gets to half.  Especially since I have to go to downtown on Monday for my eye appointment.  A half a tank of gas will get me there and back without a problem, but, I don't like to let the tank get to quarter before I fill it.

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



Freshly Picked Chard Leaves

The little chard plant keeps giving me a handful of leaves to pick every 10 days or so!  I picked this lot, on Friday morning.

It has been a few weeks since I last updated everyone on the mango seedlings, hasn't it?  I know everyone is waiting to hear how they are doing!  LOL.

Clark Kent a.k.a. Super Man(go)

Clark hasn't grown since I potted him up!  I don't think he has quite got over the shock of being removed from the jar of water in the house to a pot of soil in garden where it gets quite cool at night!  But, I am hoping he will soon overcome his shock and start growing.

Lois Lane 

Lois, in the meantime, having sprouted in the pot, outside, has grown quite well and seems to be the stronger of the two!  Maybe she has superpowers of her own?  We moved the pot to a sunnier location which seems to suit her quite well!

Conner Kent a.k.a. SuperBoy

Clark and Lois have been joined by Conner Kent, a.k.a. SuperBoy, who is supposed to be Clark's clone!  Right now, he seems to be more of a contortionist than anything else as he figures out how to unfurl his leaves!  

It was another sunny day, today, if a little cool in the morning.  I had the small electric space heater on in the family room and was bundled up in layers!  Blouse, a wool sweater, scarf, and a poncho, too!  But, it warmed up nicely in the afternoon and I shed my layers of clothing until I was in my short-sleeved blouse!  But, by evening, I was all bundled up, again!  LOL! 

Last night I had baked some cornbread; I had a piece of that for my breakfast, today.  Lunch was the last of the beef and vegetable soup I had made earlier in the week.  

In the afternoon, after lunch, I vacuumed part of the house - the living room, dining area, kitchen, and hallway.  I had wanted to get the family room vacuumed, too, but, ran out of energy!  So, vacuuming the family room and the bedrooms is on the agenda for tomorrow.

Today, I received the deliveries of some items I had ordered as part of my regular, quarterly stocking up - cat food, cat litter, laundry detergent powder, a box of dryer sheets, a box of parchment paper, a box of plastic cling wrap, a box of sealable sandwich bags, etc.  Nothing very exciting, but, they are all necessary items.  I am grateful that I can order these items online and have them delivered to the house.

In the evening, M came to tend to the garden.  He bought us some Japanese vegetable seedlings (purple mustard leaves) and seeds that my daughter had wanted.  We removed the last few remaining okra plants (they were not doing too well now that it has turned colder), renewed the bed, and planted the purple mustard leaf seedlings and planted some of the seeds (Japanese spinach and a type of broccoli), which are cool weather plants.  The other seeds will wait until spring or even, early summer.

He also put more cardboard to block another part of the gate and, a little later, a poor, rather bewildered Bun Bun stood outside the gate, looking in, wondering what happened!  I felt so sorry for him that I gave him a cup of the cat's kibbles on the other side of the gate!  LOL.

These days, I am looking for excuses to turn on the oven to bake something at night, partly in order to warm up the house, even briefly.  So, for dinner, tonight, I decided to make baked potato wedges and, at the same time, I reheated some of the baked chicken breast that I cooked the other day and the broccoli I cooked, yesterday:

Dinner: Baked Chicken, Potato Wedges, Broccoli

I seasoned the potato wedges with salt, garlic powder, paprika, and a little hot chili powder.  They turned out well.

After dinner, I chatted with friend R for a bit.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Sunny, warm afternoons
- M tending to the garden
- The chard plant which keeps producing
- Being able to order needed items online and have them delivered
- Working appliances

Today's joyful activities included reading and gardening.

Plans for tomorrow include doing the rest of the vacuuming and laundry.

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

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Sunny Thursday


Chicken Breast with Hoisin and Peanut Butter Sauce

Last night, I took the meat off one and a half chicken breast halves and sliced it up, then, sauteed it, with some finely minced onions, in a little sesame oil mixed with regular vegetable oil until cooked.  In the meantime, daughter mixed up half a cup of bottled hoisin sauce, half a cup of creamy peanut butter, about two teaspoons of freshly grated ginger, and a little dried chili flakes into a sauce.  When the chicken was cooked, I added the sauce and cooked it until the sauce bubbled and thickened, almost caramelizing.  We had some of that for dinner with freshly cooked rice.  My daughter loves this sauce.  

In the meantime, I baked the rest of the chicken breast halves in the oven - there were two full halves plus the two from which I cut off the meat. They are in the fridge for future meals (might freeze one of the full breast halves).  Having the oven on to bake them warmed up the house, nicely, too.

Today was a sunny and warmer day.  At least, the afternoon was warm and the house warmed up to 70F inside!  

I had a scrambled egg and a slice of toast for brunch, around noon, with a glass of diluted apple juice.

Spent the afternoon outside, in the back yard (it was warmer outside than inside!) reading.  Bun Bun slipped in from under the gate and enjoyed snacking on the sweet potato vines, among other things!  He spent the entire afternoon and most of the evening in the back yard, because I didn't go chasing after him.  He even joined the garden cats for dinner:

Bun Bun Enjoying Cat Food!

Not the best picture since it was taken through the sliding glass door (Bun Bun ran away when I opened the door to get a better picture); the mostly dark gray/almost black mother cat is to the right of the picture - you can sort of see her white paw).  

Today, I practiced the piano for about 30 minutes, emptied the dish washer, cooked rice and broccoli to go with the leftover chicken from last night for dinner, chatted with Aunt C and friend R, and checked the grocery ads for this week's deals: 24 oz. brand name pasta sauce $.97; 18 oz. jars of ready to eat soups, $.99 (must buy 8), pork shoulder roast $1.99/lb., boneless/skinless chicken breasts $1.99, and salmon fillets $7.99/lb. (last week, they were $12.99/lb.; meanwhile, the ethnic grocery store I used to go to, pre-Covid, has salmon steaks for $6.49, but, they don't have curbside pick up, so I don't go there anymore).   That is a choice I make to keep my exposure to Covid-19 to a minimum, even after being fully vaccinated (yesterday's new virus count for the county was 1,267; today's is 1,167).  I am very grateful that I can afford to make that choice.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A sunny, warm day
- Spending time outside in the garden
- Chatting with family and friends
- Being able to afford to choose curbside pick up
- Chatting with family and friends

Today's joyful activity was reading.   

Plans for tomorrow include vacuuming the house and tending to the garden with M.  

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

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Mid-Week on Wednesday


Ham and Noodle Casserole

I made a ham and egg noodle casserole for dinner, last night.  I guess this is my version of ham tetrazzini (for which, there seems to be as many different recipes as types of pasta and sauces!)  I used half a 1 lb. package of egg noodles which I boiled in salted water until cooked.  To which I added about a cup, maybe a little less, of previously cooked and frozen ham, which I thawed in the microwave and cut up into small pieces; a handful of frozen green peas; a can of condensed cream of celery soup  mixed with a can of water, and some ground black pepper.  Mixed it all together in a square Pyrex baking dish and sprinkled a little garlic powder and a little paprika on the top.  I didn't add grated cheese to the mixture because my daughter doesn't like cheese that much; however, I had some individually wrapped mozzarella sticks (also known as string cheese) that needed to be used up, so, with her approval, I cut up one stick to lay on top of the casserole.  I baked it at 350F for 30 minutes, which turned the soup into a nice sauce, melted the cheese, and browned the tops of the noodles!  Daughter and I enjoyed some of it for our dinner and we had the leftovers for our lunch, today.  We both added some chili powder to our servings as the paprika didn't really do anything for us - next time, I will leave it out and add chili powder, instead!  I will make this again (I have another packet of ham in the freezer).  I suppose one could use cream of mushroom soup, too, (or make a white sauce) but, we like the taste of cream of celery.  You could add tuna instead of ham or omit it for a vegetarian version, too.

Last night, we went down to 49F and this morning, the temperature inside the house was 60F.  Later, however, it warmed up to 68F while the temperature outside was 73F.  I am glad the furnace inspector will be here next week!

In the morning, M stopped by to tend to the garden.  He watered the fruit trees, pruned the nectarine tree, and sprayed an all natural oil on it to protect it from borers.  I had him pick the one and only Fuyu persimmon we had growing on our new tree:

Fuyu Persimmon on the Tree

Freshly Picked Fuyu Persimmon 

When I bought the Fuyu persimmon tree, earlier this year (one of the new fruit trees we planted this spring), the nursery warned us that it would take about 5 years for it to fruit.  So, although there were a few flowers on the tree this spring, we didn't think they would actually set fruit.  However, the tree gave us one single fruit, which pleased us greatly since it was unexpected!  We picked it, today, and shared it with M.  I was going to take a picture of it after I cut it, but, forgot!  There was one single seed inside, which I saved to see if it will germinate.  It might not bear fruit (the tree I have has been grafted onto root stock), but, it will be fun to see if I can grow a Fuyu persimmon tree!  According to what I read online, one has to chill it in the fridge after planting in a germinating mix...not sure how well that will go!

I spent the afternoon reading an e-book I borrowed from the library (reading it on my daughter's iPad).

Later, I finished taking inventory of my pantry and emergency food supplies.  I try to keep a fairly well stocked pantry.  It is not just due to the pandemic and related shortages;  I live in an earthquake prone area and we are always advised to keep a supply of water and food on hand, in preparation for a really big earthquake, if not "The Big One" on the San Andreas fault!  At least a three day supply of food and water (minimum of one gallon of water per day per person in the household plus additional for pets); more, if possible, because it might take time for help to arrive and we might not be able to get to grocery stores (which might be damaged, themselves, in the earthquake) due to damaged roads, etc.  I still have some gaps in my canned foods (could do with more canned fruits, for example), but, for the most part, I have enough to get by. 

I also made a note of the "use by"/"best by" dates on the cans.  I am not someone who will throw out cans or boxes a few weeks after they've reached the date of expiry (I remember a time when cans didn't come with such dates on them and we opened and ate the contents without worrying about how long they had been on the shelves!)  But, I do try to use up cans that are near or at their use by dates.  I have some cans that I bought at the very beginning of the pandemic that need to be used, soon; I will be planning a few meals to use them up in the coming weeks.

In the evening, I chatted on the phone with family and friends, which was nice, cooked dinner, and did the dishes. 

In other news, Bun Bun is back in the back yard!  Yesterday, he ate the marigold flowers (not sure what else he ate) and some of the cat food!  Today, I looked out and there were the three garden cats AND Bun Bun eating the cat food!  I tried to take a picture, but, Bun Bun saw me and hopped away!  The garden cats seem to have accepted Bun Bun as one of them!  

Today, I am grateful for:
- A lovely, chatty email from a long-time friend
- M's help with the garden
- A persimmon from the new tree
- Being able to stock a pantry
- Phone chats with family and friends.

Today's joyful activity was reading.

Plans for tomorrow include some house cleaning in the morning when my daughter doesn't have any online meetings.

How was your day?  What are your plans for tomorrow?  

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

October Grocery Shopping - Part 2

I picked up my grocery order, yesterday.  The store substituted name brand butter for the store brand that I had ordered (store brand was on sale, but, they substituted the name brand for the same price, which is nice!)  The only item they didn't have in stock was the shirataki noodles that my daughter had wanted.  

Yesterday, I bought:

2 trays (10.91 lbs. total) chicken thighs @ $1.98/lb (reg. $2.19/lb) = $21.71
1 lb. bacon, on sale with digital coupon ($6.99 without digital coupon, $12.49 reg. price!) = $4.99 

1 bag (21 oz) vegetable & chicken pot stickers (frozen) = $6.49
2 pkts. (12 oz. each) wonton wrappers @ $2.99 = $5.98

1/2 gal. whole milk (reg. $2.49) = $2.19
1/2 gal. half & half (reg. $4.69) = $3.99
3 lb. butter @ $1.97/lb (reg. $3.69/lb) = $5.91

1 doz. large eggs (reg. $3.79) = $2.49

12 oz. jar stone ground mustard (reg. $1.79) = $1.67 

2 lb. red lentils @ $2.29/lb. = $4.58

1 can (13.25 oz.) mushroom pieces & stems = $1.79

1 box (40 oz) yellow corn meal = $3.99
2 x 5lb. bags flour (10 lbs) @ $1.99 = $3.98

6 cans (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk @ $1.33 (reg. price $1.79) = $8.00
1 box (6 envelopes) hot cocoa mix = $0.99

4 bags (@12 oz) ground coffee (reg. price $10.49; on sale @$5.99) = $23.96

1 (42 oz.) old fashioned whole grain oats = $3.59
1 loaf (24 oz) whole grain bread (reg. price $2.49) = $1.99
1 box (16 oz.) saltine crackers = $1.89

3 lb. bag onions = $2.99
5 lb. bag potatoes with digital coupon (reg. $2.99) = $1.49
1 bag (8 oz) mixed salad greens = $2.99
1 bag (16 oz) coleslaw mix = $1.79
16 oz. kale = $1.49
2 lb. bag whole carrots = $1.99
1 container (8 oz) whole mushrooms = $2.19
1+ lb green beans @ $1.99/lb = $2.13
.71 lb broccoli @$2.59/lb = $1.84

2.69 lb. apples (5 apples) @ $1.98/lb. = $5.35
3 lb. bag mandarins = $4.99
2 mangoes = $2.00
2.35 bananas (6 bananas) @ $0.65/lb = $1.53

Total = $142.95

According to the receipt, I saved $40 from coupons and sales, plus $6.95 pick up free that was waived because I spent more than $36.00.

The flour, corn meal, butter, etc., were stock up items in anticipation of holiday baking to come.  Coffee was a stock up item, too, because I hate to pay full price for it!  The condensed milk is also a stock up item (I use it for my tea and seem to go through a can every 10 days or so!)

The bacon was my splurge item, this time.  Not something I need, but, I love bacon and I have accepted that it will no longer be on sale at earlier prices!  I will divide up the package into smaller packages of 3-4 rashes per package and freeze it.  Then, take out a package to have occasionally, as a treat!

The frozen pot stickers are also a treat - my daughter and I could go through a bag at a sitting, but, we usually make it stretch for a meal one day and an appetizer or a snack, another day.  

My monthly grocery budget is $250 for two people.  But, this month, I also have the $60 from the August grocery budget and the $51 from the September budget that I didn't spend and carried forward, so an extra $111 in my grocery budget.  Part of that extra money will be spent to stock up on pantry items and part of it is earmarked towards donations.

Spent to date: 

$138.44 (on 10/4) + $142.95 (on 10/18) = $281.39


Today was sunny with an afternoon high of 73F.  I felt cold in the morning, however, and decided to make a pot of beef and vegetable soup for lunch to warm me up!  I cut up the leftover half of the beef roast that I had made earlier, added a container of beef broth that neighbor S's daughter N had given me, last year (wanted to use it up before it went out of date), some onions, green beans, zucchini (from the freezer), carrots, and potatoes and made the soup.  I had a bowl of it for my lunch, took a portion of it to cousin P, a portion to neighbor S (she wasn't home, so I gave it to N), a portion to my friend R (along with some of the pickled vegetables that S had given us, yesterday) and a portion to neighbor T, who told me that she had been wondering what to have for dinner and the Lord provided!  That really touched me!  She called me a little later to say that the soup was delicious and thanked me, again. 

In previous years, I hosted the monthly prayer gathering for October in memory of my mother's birthday and prepared a big meal for everyone who attended.  There have been no monthly prayer gatherings since the pandemic, but, I am glad I was able to make a simple meal of soup to share with others.   I really didn't make a huge pot of soup, but there was enough to share and there is still another portion for my lunch, tomorrow (my daughter is not much of a fan of beef and vegetable soup, but, there's enough for her, too, if she likes).

For dinner, I am planning to make a casserole with egg noodles, a can of cream of celery soup, and some ham I have in the freezer.  I'll probably add a handful of frozen green peas, too.  Mix it all up and bake it for 30 minutes or so.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to share some of the soup with family and friends
- A full freezer and pantry
- A safe drive to friend R's and back
- Medications being delivered by mail
- Sunny days

Today's joyful activity was making and sharing soup!

Today's decluttering included three food storage containers (although, I received three others from neighbor S, yesterday!)

Tomorrow, M will be here to tend to the garden.  I think we will pull up the rest of the okra plants and clean up that bed.  

How is your October grocery shopping coming along?  How was your Tuesday?  What are your plans for tomorrow?

Monday, October 18, 2021



Today, October 18, is the 101st anniversary of my mother's birth.  I have written about her in previous years, so, all I'll say here is that she was a wonderful mother to me.  I visited her grave this afternoon and, after saying a prayer or two for her, I sang Happy Birthday to her.  LOL.  She would have appreciated it!  She liked to celebrate birthdays.

I didn't order any flowers from the grocery store to take to the cemetery, partly because I know she would have preferred flowers from the garden.  Unfortunately, this year, there weren't many roses in bloom, only one small white rose.  But, I managed to put together a small mixed bouquet with some stems of moringa flowers, the blue plumbago from the plants she persuaded M to obtain for her when they were out and about one day (M still talks about that experience), a couple of cosmos flowers (out of the frame of the picture; she loved cosmos and grew them in the garden), and some greenery from the garden. 

Mixed Bouquet of Garden Flowers

The cemetery isn't that far from my house and I think I might have the answer to where the coyotes that occasionally wander in my neighborhood come from:

Sign at the Cemetery
This sign is posted every few feet along the driveways at the cemetery!

It had rained early in the morning (while I was still sleeping), even though the forecast had not mentioned any rain!  The rest of the day was partly cloudy and partly sunny.  The high was 66F, but, it felt warmer in the sunshine!

I had picked up the groceries before I went to the cemetery.  They had most of what we had ordered; the only item they didn't have were the shirataki noodles that my daughter had wanted.  They had substituted a name brand butter for the store brand that was advertised, but, since they charged me the same amount, I am happy with the substitution!  I will probably do another post about the groceries, but, in brief, I stocked up on chicken, baking supplies, coffee for my daughter, and my total came to $142.95.  

Dinner: Compliments of Neighbor S!

Yesterday was neighbor S's mother's birthday and this evening, S brought us dinner!  Rice, barbecue, hummus, marinated/pickled vegetables, and two pieces of her homemade gata!  Daughter and I enjoyed our dinner (and we'll enjoy the leftovers, tomorrow).  I know I keep saying this, but, I have been blessed with some lovely neighbors.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- My mother, for the years I had with her, for the memories, for being able to visit her grave
- My daughter, for all the many ways she shows her love and caring for me
- Neighbor S and her family for being some of the best neighbors and friends
- The availability of groceries and being able to buy them
- Being able to pick up groceries curbside

Today's joyful activity was chatting with cousin V who called to say she remembered my mother with a special prayer.  That meant a lot to me.  

Plans for tomorrow include cooking the chicken I didn't get around to cooking, today!  

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


Stripey Hugs the Curry Leaf Tree

Stripey Cat (also known as Will, as in "Where there is a Will there is a way" for his determined efforts to sleep in the planter with the chard plants and get into the okra bed) decided to hug the curry leaf tree, the other day.  I think there might have been a mockingbird on a higher branch that he was watching, but, he showed no signs of wanting to climb up the tree!  Instead, he clung to the tree for several minutes and then, jumped down.  He and the mockingbird have a little routine - the moment he comes into view, the mockingbird will dive bomb him and Stripey will give chase to the mockingbird.  When the mockingbird flies out of reach, Stripey will wander off and the mockingbird will dive bomb and it starts all over again!  Today, I watched him as he walked up and down the length of the garden wall, trying to figure out how to get down from it, until finally, he found the place where the asparagus fern is growing and jumped down, knowing the plant would cushion his fall!  His antics make me laugh!  Daughter says I am easily amused!  

I felt a little stiff and sore this morning when I woke up, so I took it easy and relaxed.  A cup of tea and morning prayers, then, leftover pancakes and a slice of ham for breakfast.  A phone chat with cousin P and neighbor T, both of whom told me to stop chasing rabbits!  LOL.

In the afternoon, I took out a tray of 4 chicken half breasts to thaw to cook for the upcoming week.  Then, I decided to do an inventory of the meat that I had left in the freezer, because that was the last tray of chicken that I had!  There is one single half breast (not a tray) and that is it for chicken!  Time to stock up on some chicken!  

I then decided to inventory the rest of the pantry which led to organizing some kitchen cabinets and sorting through the food storage containers!  Three lids without matching containers were discarded in the process, although, the last time I tossed what I thought was a container-less lid, I found out that my daughter had the container with her in Berkeley!  Of course, when she brought the container down, I had no lid for it!  LOL.

Midway through my pantry inventorying, I stopped for a sandwich (toasted ham and cheese - not quite croque monsieur, but, yummy!) and a cup of tea.  Dinner was leftovers - rice, green beans, and Italian sausage; daughter had rice and green beans for lunch and leftover pasta for dinner.

In the evening, I chatted with friend R.  

Later in the evening, we put in an order for groceries.  It included some baking supplies in preparation for the upcoming holiday baking season (butter, flour, and cornmeal), a couple of trays of chicken thighs for the freezer, fresh produce, and a few stock up items (canned condensed milk for my tea, coffee for my daughter, etc.)  I will find out, tomorrow, if everything I ordered will be available or not.  The convenience item was another packet of pot stickers and the splurge item was a package of bacon (on sale for $4.99 with digital coupon and loyalty card; $6.99 without coupon, loyalty card only).

Today, we had pleasant weather; sunny and a high of 76F.  The forecast for tomorrow, however, says it will be cloudy with a high of 66F.  No rain in the forecast, though.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Stripey/Will for keeping me amused
- Chats with family and friends
- Being able to order groceries online
- Pleasant weather
- What I was able to accomplish (kitchen cabinet organizing, etc.)

Today's joyful activity was chatting with family and friends.

Plans for tomorrow include picking up the groceries, the usual Monday routine cleaning, and cooking the chicken breasts I kept to thaw.  

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

Sunday, October 17, 2021



Buffalo Chicken Wontons and Ice Cream 
Compliments of Neighbor S and Daughter N

Thank you, everyone, for your concern and caring comments about my fall.  Last night, I felt a little achy and took a Tylenol before I went to sleep.  This morning, I slept in most of the morning and woke up feeling quite well!  Thank goodness for that!  Nevertheless, I took it easy and mostly relaxed.  It was another sunny and warm day, which was lovely!

Cousin N had texted while I was sleeping in (I woke up when I heard her text coming through, but, decided to sleep a bit longer); I returned her text once I was up.  She was checking up on me and I was told not to go chasing after rabbits!  LOL.  Her mother, Aunt C called, too, to ask how I was.

Today, I made pancakes for brunch.  I must admit that I cheat and use a boxed mix - the store brand "complete buttermilk pancake - just add water" mix - when I make American style pancakes!  I have only once made American style pancakes from scratch and I must not have done it properly, because I didn't much like them!  They were too dense, not light and fluffy!  I make the thin pancakes that I grew up eating from scratch.  But, today, I made American style pancakes from the boxed mix and warmed up some ham slices that I had in the freezer to go with them.  Then, I did the dishes and scrubbed the stove top!

In the afternoon, I did two loads of laundry.  I always feel that I've been productive when I do a load or two of laundry!  LOL.

For dinner, I cooked a package of mild Italian sausages with sliced onions, bell pepper strips (from the garden!) and slices of zucchini (from the garden, of course!), thawed and reheated a container of homemade pasta sauce made with tomatoes from the garden, and boiled some spaghetti.  It made a nice dinner and there are enough leftovers for another meal.  

This evening, we were also treated to a plate of Buffalo chicken wontons (made by neighbor S's daughter N) and chocolate coated vanilla cheesecake with poppy seeds ice cream bars, which neighbor S brought over!  The fried wontons were delicious and I called N to thank her and ask her for recipe directions.  Apparently, it is based on a copycat recipe she found online for an appetizer served at a restaurant!  I think my next grocery order will include wonton wrappers!  LOL!

After dinner, I had a chat with friend R.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Feeling OK after yesterday's fall
- Wonderful neighbors like S and her daughter N
- Caring friends and family
- Working appliances
- Sunny, warm days

Today's joyful activity was chatting with family and friends.

Plans for tomorrow include putting in a grocery order.  According to the news, there are shortages and empty store shelves due to disruptions in the supply chains!  I haven't been inside a grocery store since the beginning of the pandemic, so, I really don't know what is available or not!  I guess I will just put in my order as I usually do and then, see what happens.  The store will let me know if they need to make substitutions or if an item is unavailable.  

What are your plans for tomorrow?  Have you experienced any shortages in your stores and grocery shopping, recently?

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Friday's Happenings

White "Iceberg" Rose

Today was a sunny and warm day!  Our daytime high was 91F and I loved it!  The house only went up to 72F, but, it was comfortable.  

My doctor's appointment went well, too.  I didn't have to wait long to be seen!  My blood pressure was good, my weight had stayed the same (I would have liked it to have gone down, but, at least, it hadn't gone up!), and, best of all, the blood test results were good!  I forgot to ask for a copy of the lab results, but, I remembered to make sure that the next appointment (in 3 months time) was scheduled for exactly 6 months plus 1 day after my July Prolia injection!  They also scheduled my annual mammogram, as well.  And, I remembered to take my file folder for lab orders with me, so that I could put the order for the next set of blood tests into the folder, right then and there, to minimize the chances of misplacing it, again!  LOL!

The drive to the clinic and back went well, too, although the freeway was quite congested.  I had to take a short detour to get on the freeway on my way there, due to road construction, but, otherwise, it was a smooth drive.

After I came home, I warmed up some leftovers for lunch and relaxed.  

Later in the evening, M arrived to tend to the garden.  Bun Bun was hopping around the back yard and I let him be until he started feasting on the sweet potato vine!  Then, I decided that he had overstayed his welcome and started to chase him out.  He ran to the side yard, where the openings had been blocked and then, turned around and ran back to the back yard, with me running behind him.  That's when I lost my footing and fell flat on my face!  The flattened cardboard boxes we had laid down on the ground in the side yard cushioned my fall!  My upper lip got a bit smashed, but, the fabric mask I was wearing protected my lip and I didn't get a cut, just a bit of swelling, which went down after I applied a cold pack to it.  However, the fall knocked the wind out of me and I could not get up! 

My daughter was inside the house, in her room, which is on the other side of the house from the side yard.  She would not have heard me even if I called for her.  Luckily for me, M was at the other end of the back yard and I called out to him.  At first, he didn't hear me and then, it took a minute or so for him to register that I had fallen!  But, he helped me up and fortunately, I hadn't broken or sprained anything!  What a blessing! Once I got up, I realized that if I had fallen just two more inches to the right, I would have knocked my head on the brick that was holding down the flattened cardboard!  (The other day, when the wind was blowing, all the pieces of cardboard that were not weighted down by bricks or stones, got blown around; so, the brick was needed, but, it could have done a bit of damage if I had hit my head on it!)

Afterwards, I spent the rest of the evening resting on the sofa!  I cooked the rest of the bag of frozen potstickers for dinner and had some canned peaches for dessert.  Daughter did the litter box for me.  

After dinner, I chatted on the phone with friend R and aunt C.  Aunt C had had a recent fall, herself, but, she said she was not hurt.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Good lab work results
- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- I didn't hurt myself when I fell!
- M was there to help me up!
- The cardboard cushioned my fall!

Today's joyful activity was realizing that I didn't not hurt myself when I fell!

No big plans for tomorrow.  I will do a load of laundry and take it easy.  It's supposed to be another sunny and warm day, tomorrow.

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


October Decluttering:
10/1 - 1 banana holder (to be donated)
10/2 - 3 decorative beaded buckles (to be donated)
10/3 - 1 craft book
10/4 - 3 anime books (daughter's; to be donated)
10/5 - 1 pack of HP playing cards (daughter's; to be donated)
        - 1 Rubik's cube-type 3D puzzle (a triangle, instead of a cube; daughter's to be donated)
        - 1 chemistry set for making models of molecules and ions (daughter's; to be donated)
10/6 - 6 bottles of old dried up craft paint
        - 3 items of clothing (to be donated; daughter took 2 of them!)
10/7 - 5 knitted scarves
10/8 - 1 basket
10/9 - 1 blouse (given to daughter)
10/10 - 1 hair clip (broken; tossed)
          - 1 cat toy (cat is not interested in it; tossed)
10/11 - 1 resin chair (broken, recycled)
10/12 - 1 old dry erase board
10/13 - 5 plastic plant pots (cracked/broken; recycled)
10/14 - 1 basket
10/15 - 1 item of clothing (tossed; unfit for donating)