Sunday, April 3, 2022

Catching Up

Just like that, the first quarter of this year is over and here we are in April!  I ended March on a high note because I finished the first round of cleaning in the garage!  

Very Messy Peach-Mango Pie

To celebrate the garage cleaning, on Wednesday night (well, very early Thursday morning, as it was 2:45 a.m.) I decided to bake a pie!  I used some peaches (from the tree) and mango (from the store) that I had cut up and frozen,  The pie crust was made from leftover pie dough that I had in the freezer.  I added a little flour to the fruit to thicken the juice from the fruit, but, as you can see, the juice spilled out and made a mess!  Daughter and I enjoyed a slice each, while it was still warm from the oven and before I remembered to take a photo!  LOL.

Thursday was a cool (by our standards; 61F was the high), cloudy day.  I did laundry, ran the cleaning cycle on the washing machine for the first time, watched some news and a couple of TV programs, cleaned the litter box, remade my bed with the freshly laundered sheets, paid a couple of bills, and cooked a chicken stir-fry for dinner, which I served on ramen noodles:

Chicken Stir-Fry over Ramen Noodles

Afterwards, I did the dishes and cleaned the stove.

On Friday, since it was the first of the month, I made milkrice for brunch, which my daughter and I had with the last serving of chicken curry and seeni sambol (onion relish).   I also picked some roses and jasmines for the vases, harvested some peapods and broccoli side shoots, did the dishes, and, discussed garden plans with M when he arrived to tend to the garden.  He has promised to bring me some sunflower seedlings and he asked me if I was planning to plant any zucchini this year.  I said yes!  But, we agreed that we won't plant 14 zucchini plants again!  Maybe just two or three!  LOL.  I made waffles for a snack and fried potato slices for dinner as there was cooked chicken and vegetables in the fridge.  I spoke with friend R, too, in the evening; we discussed the protests against the state of the economy in Sri Lanka, as R is concerned about the well being of her children who are all there.  Friday was when my new shredder arrived, but, it arrived in the evening and I didn't open it then.

As I mentioned in my monthly goals post, I am planning to declutter 5-10 items a day in April.  I am going to list what I decluttered, each day, and I am going to consider each file folder of papers I shred as one item (these file folders hold at least one year's worth of statements or correspondence per folder and some hold as many as 5 years worth). 

Friday's Decluttering: 
- 2 items of clothing (jackets)
- 3 file folders full of statements, correspondence, etc.

Items coming in:
1 shredder

On Saturday, we had leftover chicken stir fry for brunch.  In the afternoon, I made a fresh fruit salad for a snack:

Fresh Fruit Salad

The last pear, the last nectarine, two kiwis, two oranges, a handful of cashews, and a little bit of the passionfruit juice blend that I had bought.  

In the evening, I cooked what I am calling a "freezer meal" (because everything was from the freezer) for dinner:

"Freezer Meal": Sausages with Tomato, Onions, Bell Pepper

Sausages, cooked with frozen sliced onions, frozen tomatoes (from last year's garden), and frozen bell pepper slices, which formed a sort of sauce for the sausages.  It went very well with some pasta that I boiled while the sausages were cooking.  

Afterwards, daughter baked some chocolate chip cookies for dessert:

Chocolate Chip Cookies for Dessert

I had woken up, Saturday morning, feeling a bit light-headed, etc., but, I felt better after I rested and ate brunch,  Later, I did a few things around the house, walked a bit in the garden, etc.  I also called the Temple and spoke with the monks, to check on how they are and to ask them if they would like to have a Sinhala-English dictionary I am decluttering.  They said they would like to have it, so, I will put it aside to drop it off at the Temple, one day.

Brass Spoons

These brass spoons are gifts/souvenirs we received from Sri Lanka over the years.  I kept one of them and decluttered the other four.

Saturday's Decluttering:
1 dictionary
4 brass spoons

Today, Sunday, daughter and I had a relaxed morning.  Brunch was a frozen burrito.  My half-sister called in the morning and we chatted for a bit, neighbor T called for our weekly chat, and later, neighbor S called to ask me about some plants; I took her a couple of the chocolate chip cookies daughter had made when I went over to check on the plants.  Her aunt had given her some loquat seedlings growing together in a pot and she offered to share one with me when she plants them.  I had grown a loquat plant from seed and it bore fruit for several years, but, then, it died.  I will be glad to get another loquat plant from S. 

In the afternoon, daughter and I took a few items over to friend R, including some chocolate chip cookies and oranges.  We picked up some almond croissants for her on the way, too.  It was another of our curb side visits and R gave me two packets of paprika she had bought for me at my request and some homegrown tangerines a friend of hers had given her.   

After we came home, daughter's friend A (whose maid of honor she had been) texted her - A had just made a batch of cinnamon rolls, would we like some, she will deliver!  LOL.  So, of course, daughter said, yes, please, and invited her over for a visit; we welcome guests who bring us homemade cinnamon rolls, still warm from the oven:

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

 Daughter did a quick tidy of the living room and family room while I vacuumed the family room before A arrived.

We all wore masks; the two girls enjoyed chatting for almost two hours and just before A left, daughter gave her a bag of freshly picked oranges, lemons, curry leaves, and peapods.

We had leftovers sausages for dinner (I cooked a little more pasta and daughter made a salad).  Then, she put away laundry while I shredded some files using the new shredder.  I must admit it shreds everything very quickly!  I shredded five years worth of my mother's statements!  I'm glad I bought the shredder!

Sunday's Decluttering:
- 2 purses
- spare office supplies 
- 2 file folders of papers

Today, I am grateful for:

- My new paper shredder
- Chats with family and friends
- Curbside visit with R
- The car started and a safe drive to R's and back
- Homemade cinnamon rolls

Today's joyful activity was socializing with friends and neighbors!

Plans for tomorrow include attending my friend A's mother's funeral.  The viewing starts at 6:00 p.m. and the mass starts at 7:00 p.m., followed by refreshments, afterwards.  A's daughter has asked my daughter if she can take some phone photos at the viewing, so we will go a bit early to be there when the viewing starts.  

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


  1. I'm glad you bought the shredder and are pleased with it, I knew you would be :) I'm intrigued to know which spoon you kept as they are all lovely, so unusual. All your photos of the food are wonderful especially the fresh fruit salad. Nice that your daughter has been asked to take some photos for the family tomorrow on such a sad occasion.

    1. Thank you, Eileen; the shredder was a good purchase! I kept the spoon that is second from the left, with the curvier handle. :) My daughter loves it when I make a fruit salad. I'll probably make another one, today, too. Yes, my daughter is happy to oblige with taking some photos for our friends.

  2. You have been busy. All your food creations look so yummy, messy fruit pies can be especially tasty. I would like a friend that bakes & brings warm fresh form the oven cinnamon rolls. Those brass spoons have some interesting shapes.

    1. Thank you, Mary-Lou; I have been trying not to neglect the rest of the household tasks while I cleaned the garage (not always successfully, but, at least we didn't go hungry! :D) The cinnamon rolls were delicious! The brass spoons are hand crafted; my mother used to use the bigger two for serving rice when we had a party, but, I rarely entertain, these days.

  3. I feel hungry after reading this post! The peach and mango pie from your late night/early morning baking session looks delicious ... you only had to phone and I'd have popped round for a piece 😂. I'm resisting the temptation to make one myself but I will be making a fresh fruit salad - haven't made one of those for ages.

    I hope A's mother's funeral goes smoothly. Are the funerals always that late in the day?

    1. I almost posted a "Food Alert" warning on this post! LOL. Oops! Sorry I forgot to call you over for a piece of pie! Yes, the fruit salad will be better - no sugar added to that, while the pie had some sugar (plus the pastry crusts!).

      Usually, the funerals are held earlier in the day, I believe, but, maybe this was the only time that the church was available before A's brothers have to return to Australia? One of A's daughters was saying that most funeral parlors were backlogged due to Covid.

  4. Lots of interesting information and photos - where to start? Well, the food all looks yummy and I was fascinated to learn that you baked a pie in the middle of the night! I'm wondering which of the brass spoons you kept. I thought of you and your family and friends when I hear the news from Sri Lanka. I hope that things get sorted out in a peaceful way. I can see the shredder is a big hit! You will be able to get through so many papers now you have it. I hope that the funeral will go smoothly and that the photos of family and friends will be a comfort for A.

    The sun is shining and the sap has been running well. We plan to have our second syrup bottling this afternoon.

    1. Ha, ha, midnight and later seems to be our favorite time to bake! I kept the spoon that is second from the left, with the more elaborate handle. We used to use it quite often. I'm going to see if I can polish it a bit more - they were all quite tarnished after being stored in the garage for several years.
      Family and friends in SL seem to be coping, but, it isn't easy. I do hope that they can resolve the situation, peacefully and soon!
      The shredder is, indeed, a big hit! I'm very glad I was persuaded to buy it! :)
      I, too, hope the funeral will go smoothly. They are planning to stream the services so family members in SL and Australia, etc., can also watch. Not quite sure how well that will go if SL has blocked access to social media! I suppose the photos will be shared with the rest of the family, as well.

      Glad to hear that the sun is shining and the sap has been running well. Sounds like you will have a busy day, today!

    2. I guessed it would be the second spoon from the left! They are all lovely.

  5. There used to be a tea shop near me which specialised in cinnamon rolls. A's look very professional to me! So do the choc chip cookies! I'm not much a fan of fruit pie, but I'd have been quite offended if you had had Eileen over without me. Lucky escape there! When you say "viewing", you mean open casket? I suppose important when others are unable to travel, although I recall looking at my Uncle's funeral pictures and having to warn mum he had open casket. Just as well I did, as she did not want to see. Finally, happy shredding!

    1. A is a good baker!
      Well now, it's a good thing I didn't invite Eileen over to have a piece of pie, isn't it? Although, to be fair, you are planning to come to lunch and stay to tea and dinner and maybe breakfast the next day and I haven't heard Eileen complain! :D

      Yes, it was open casket during that first hour. Then, they closed the casket and held the mass.

      I had two grocery bags full of the shredded paper - at least some of it is what I cut by hand - and, today, I spread it over a section of the back flower bed, along the rear wall, as mulch/weed barrier. The stuff I spread on one of the flower beds last year is still there and has proved to be quite an effective weed barrier. I'm looking forward to more shredding! :)

    2. Yes, well, Eileen is an example to us all, I'm sure...

      Just re-read my drivel and realised it doesn't make sense. It should have said, "I suppose PHOTOGRAPHS ARE important when others are unable to travel..." Glad to hear on subsequent posts that all went to plan.

      Glad you found a good use for your hundredweight of shredded paper! I suppose in your dry climate, things take longer to rot, hence last year's weed barrier still being in place. I have a fair bit of shredding to do and noticed today that the compost bin has made some space inside so I suppose I had better add it to the to-do list.

    3. Well, in theory, putting the shredded paper on the flower bed works, but, what happened in reality is, it was very windy, yesterday, and the shredded bits got blown all over the yard! I told M not to worry about it (didn't want him trying to gather all the bits to put back on the flower bed!). He thought it was very befitting that my mother's shredded papers should go to help the garden. :)

  6. I would have kept all four of the brass spoons and tied them to jars of homemade hot cocoa mix for little hand outs for guests who come by at Christmas. They are beautiful. (Surely we are going to be able to entertain next Christmas!)
    I want company who brings me hot cinnamon rolls!

    1. They are too big to be given out with hot cocoa mix - they are serving spoon sized. I wouldn't mind giving them as part of a gift, but, they are too tarnished, I think. I think one or two might have been silver plated at one time, but, the silver has worn off. I will let them go and maybe someone can use them for decorative purposes. Guests who bring warm cinnamon rolls are among the best! :D

  7. Lots of good food in this post. You are such a night owl making a pie at 2:45 in the morning. It looks delicious.
    I made some sausages this weekend. Similar to yours but I added white beans making it a mock cassoulet which we like and it's great for leftovers.
    My gosh, those cinnamon rolls look delicious.

    Which spoon did you keep?

    1. Thank you. Both my daughter and I tend to be midnight bakers! :D
      Oh, I need to make your cassoulet, the next time! I have a can of white beans, too! The cinnamon rolls were wonderful!
      I kept the spoon that's second from the left, with the more elaborate handle. It was my mother's favorite. :)

  8. You are really making a difference! Those spoons look amazing!

    1. Thank you, Lyssa. I'm digging deep to get those things that I have been holding on to for so long. :)

  9. Wow - sounds like you've been quite productive! I shall enjoy seeing your decluttering I am going to do some this month too. We shall see how well I do. If I could include the things we are purging at Jane's I'd shatter records lol.

    I love those spoons. Is there a story behind them?

    1. Thank you, Sharon; I am getting a few things done, although I often feel that I am not being productive. You are getting a lot of things decluttered at Jane's house! You and your MIL deserve a medal!
      No story behind the spoons. They are all from Sri Lanka, handcrafted. I think the first spoon on the left was a gift to my mother from several of her friends at the school where she taught in for 25 years. The second spoon from the left, which is the one I am keeping, was bought by my mother as a gift for me. The other three were gifts given to us by family and friends in Sri Lanka over the years when we visited. I rarely use them these days and don't necessarily want to keep them, either.


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