Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Monthly Photo Challenge: June

Eileen's monthly photo challenge for June was "Leaf/Leaves".  These are my finds for this challenge:

Fruit Tree Leaves:


Apple Seedling


Culinary Leaves:

Curry Leaves

Broccoli Leaves

Beetroot Leaves


Salad Mix

Spiky Leaves:





Lacy/Fern-y Leaves:

Asparagus Fern


Variegated Leaves:



Philodendron (Silver Satin)


Succulents Leaves:



Silvery-Grey Leaves:

Dusty Miller

Indian Sage

Wilted Leaves:



Scorched Leaves:


Dried Sacred Leaf:

Dried Leaf from the Sacred Bodhi Tree
or Pipal Tree (Ficus religiosa)
in Bodh Gaya, India

Other Leaves:

Embroidered Leaves (and flowers)

Porcelain Leaves

And, finally, just like Elvis:

Dancer...(Photo taken 7:52 p.m.)

Leaves... (7:53 p.m.)

The Room (7:53 p.m.)

Much to the disappointment of his number one fan, Snowball:

"NO!  Dancer Don't Leave!"
(Photo taken 7:54 p.m.)

Thank you, Eileen, for hosting the monthly photo challenges.  I had a lot of fun!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Resuming Regular Schedules

With my daughter back at work, it is time for me to get back to my regular schedules!

Monday was a productive day.  I changed my bed sheets and the sofa dust sheets, did two loads of laundry which dried quickly when hung inside the house, dusted the living room and dining area, cleaned the fridge (there wasn't anything to toss, but, I wiped down the various shelves), cleaned the litter box, took the trash cans to the curb for pick up in the morning, watered the front garden, did a meal plan, chatted with various family members and friends, and, of course, video chatted with my daughter.

It was hot on Monday, with an afternoon high of 100F.  It was cooler inside the house, of course, with the family room registering 88F.  I switched on the stand fan around noon and it stayed on the rest of the day!  In contrast, Berkeley had a high of 68F and my daughter said she had to turn the heater on in her apartment for a little while.

Today, Tuesday, is a slightly cooler day, with a high of 98F.  I did another load of laundry (a blanket and quilt), dusted and tidied the family room, and watered the houseplants.  Still left on the to do list: dusting my bedroom, spot watering the back garden, and bringing in the trash cans (I'll wait until the sun has gone down a bit before I go outside).  I have also been watching the January 6th Hearings and the news.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Electricity to operate the fans and other appliances
- A large capacity washing machine to accommodate the quilts
- Access to news
- Water for the garden
- Weekly trash collection services

Today's joyful activity has been sipping some cold peach lemonade (fresh lemon juice, leftover simple sugar syrup from the canned peaches).

How was your Monday?  How is your Tuesday coming along?  Is it hot where you are?

Monday, June 27, 2022

This Week's Meal Plan: End of June/Starting July

I didn't make a proper written down meal plan, last week, but I had an idea of what I might make based on what I had bought when I did my grocery shopping and what I had in the freezer.   In the end, it worked out very nicely!  

On Friday night, before my daughter arrived, I cooked a chicken curry, dhal, broccoli leaf mallung, and rice.  We sent two portions of it home with her friends who gave her a ride home and had some for our dinner.

Then, on Saturday, I cooked a shrimp curry and we had that with rice, leftover dhal, and leftover broccoli mallung for dinner.

On Sunday, I cooked hamburger patties and we had hamburgers on buns with lettuce, cucumber (because I didn't have cucumber pickles), and pickled jalapeno for daughter, along with the usual condiments such as ketchup and miracle whip in lieu of mayo, for dinner.  We missed having fries with our burgers, though.

Monday's meals were leftovers, the melon pan my daughter had made on Sunday, and the cookies her friend had made and brought over!  LOL!

On Tuesday, we picked up food from the Sri Lankan restaurant - stringhoppers with chicken curry, egg curry, and pol sambol (coconut sambol), pittu with fish curry, coconut milk, and a spicy condiment known as lunu miris, some fish filled pastries called patties, fish filled rolls (they are thin pancakes, rolled up with a spicy fish filling, then, battered, coated with bread crumbs, and deep fried!), and a coconut milk-jaggery pudding called watalappan.  We had some of the stringhoppers and pittu for a late lunch and the patties and rolls for dinner!  They were very spicy!  

On Wednesday, we ate the snacks (patties and rolls) for brunch, and the leftover stringhoppers and pittu, with the curries, for dinner.

I have no recollection of what we had for meals on Thursday, but, I think we had more patties for brunch and probably leftover hamburgers for dinner.  Neighbor S sent some cheesecake and macarons for dessert!

On Friday, I made egg salad sandwiches for brunch and cooked salmon, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, for dinner.  There was lahmajoon as well!  

On Saturday, we had waffles with peach topping for breakfast, leftovers made into fried rice for lunch, and coconut roti (flat bread) for dinner, which daughter had with leftover salmon and I had with leftover chicken curry.  

On Sunday, we had leftover waffles and peach topping for brunch before daughter left to go to the airport.  She had freshly cooked rice, steamed broccoli, and leftover salmon for her dinner once she had got back to her apartment; I had leftover roti and chicken curry for my dinner.

Which brings me to this week - the last week of June and the first week of July!

I start out the week with some leftovers in the fridge: egg salad, fried rice, some salmon, 2 hamburger patties (no buns), 3 coconut roti, a serving of shrimp curry, a serving of chicken curry, a container of coconut milk, the last portion of pittu, some baked sweet potato, and a big container of mixed salad greens!

Brunch - Egg salad sandwich
Dinner - Pittu, shrimp curry, coconut milk

Brunch - Leftover fried rice
Dinner - Salmon, baked sweet potatoes, salad

Brunch - Coconut roti and chicken curry
Dinner - Hamburger patties, sweet potato, salad

Brunch - Tuna salad sandwiches
Dinner - Pasta with sausages, salad

Friday: July 1
Brunch - Milkrice with seeni sambol (spicy onion relish)
Dinner - Leftover sausages and pasta, salad if there is any still left

Brunch - Leftover tuna salad in sandwiches
Dinner - Baked battered fish fillets, broccoli, corn

Brunch - Leftover milkrice
Dinner - Chicken stirfry with rice

I know the first few days of the week will work out well because I have leftovers to use up.  I also know that there will be milkrice on Friday!  Not sure how things will work out during the weekend.  

What are you planning to have for your meals this week?

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Daughter Leaves on Sunday


Another View of the Front Garden

My daughter left, this afternoon.  In the morning, after a breakfast of leftover waffles and peach topping, she packed her suitcase with all the last minute items she needed to pack (her laptop and charging cord, etc.) and the food items I was giving her to take.  The frozen items, double bagged, will remain mostly frozen until she gets to her apartment; a few items might thaw, but, they will remain cold until she is able to put them in the refrigerator when she gets to her apartment.  In addition to the cooked food, I gave her a small sandwich bag of freshly picked broccoli (the very last of the broccoli, I think) and the zucchini I had picked earlier (which I didn't get around to cooking!)  All she will have to do this evening to make dinner is cook a pot of rice, steam the broccoli, and warm up one of the curries I sent.  

Her flight was scheduled to leave at 2:00 p.m., with boarding scheduled for 1:30 p.m., which meant she had to be at the airport at 12:30 p.m. (one hour before boarding time).  She flies out from the local airport, not the big Los Angeles International Airport; the local airport is quite close to my house.  Daughter checked to see if the flight was on time and it was (we've been hearing a lot about cancelled and delayed flights on the news); we left a little after 12:00 noon, to allow for plenty of time in case there was a lot of traffic to drop off/pick up passengers.  It was a bit crowded, but, not as crazy as it has been on some previous occasions.  I dropped her off and came home by 12:30 p.m.  She didn't get through the check in until nearly 1:00 p.m.!  She said the line for checking in was really long and extended well beyond the usual checking in area!  Her boarding gate number was changed, but, she boarded the flight without any difficulty.

The flight itself is just over one hour.  She arrived at the Oakland airport and called me at 3:20 p.m. to let me know that she had a safe flight (she knows I keep the altar light lit from the time she leaves the house until she gets to her apartment!).  She still hates to fly, so she's happy when she's off the plane.  She took the subway from the airport to Berkeley and then, walked from the subway station to her apartment.  She got to her apartment around 4:50 p.m. and called me to let me know and I turned the altar lights off.

My daughter's next visit home will probably be in November, when she plans to come down for Thanksgiving.   

This week of having my daughter home has been lovely and we both felt that the days passed too quickly!  She took a week off from work and I took the week off from doing housework (other than cleaning the litter box and keeping up with laundry, dishes, etc.)  Starting tomorrow, I will be getting back to my weekly cleaning routines, etc.  If anyone is interested, next week's focus will be the main bedroom and closet.  

It is 95F outside, this afternoon, but, only 80F inside the family room which is quite comfortable for me.  Even so, I cleaned one of the stand fans and set it up in the family room, in anticipation of warmer days to come.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- This week of spending time with my daughter
- Daughter had a safe flight and journey back to her apartment
- I was able to send plenty of food home with her
- A safe drive to the airport and back
- Electricity to run the fans!  

Today's joyful activity hugging my daughter before she left!

Monday's To Do List:
- Change bed sheets
- Load of laundry
- Dust living room & dining area
- Clean the fridge
- Take trash cans to the curb for Tuesday trash pick up
- Water the front garden with water I've collected in buckets
- Meal plan 

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

The Last Saturday


Breakfast: Waffles with Peach Topping

Today is not only the last Saturday in the month, it is also the last Saturday before my daughter returns to Berkeley and her last full day at home; she flies back tomorrow afternoon (provided her flight is not cancelled or delayed).  I made waffles for breakfast and we enjoyed it with some of the peach topping; she loved the peach topping, by the way.  

My daughter and I ran a couple of errands in the afternoon and I treated her to her favorite iced coffee drink.  After we came home, I did two loads of laundry and she packed her suitcase, leaving some room for the food I will be sending home with her.  Then, we ordered some baby gifts my cousin's daughter had requested for her baby shower, which will be sent directly to her.  Even though I am crocheting her a baby blanket, with our new Covid case numbers going over 6,000 yesterday (weekend numbers aren't posted until Monday), hospitalizations going up, and the test positivity rate being 9.8% (7-day average), I am not sure if I will feel comfortable attending the actual shower, so, wanted to send her a gift just in case I decide not to go to the baby shower in person.

Leftovers/Fried Rice for Lunch

I made fried rice for lunch, using a bunch of leftovers!  Leftover rice, leftover cooked sausage, leftover broccoli, leftover broccoli leaf mallung (which colored the rice yellow because it had turmeric in it), and the last bit of roasted peanuts that were leftover in the jar!  In fact, I think it would be a good candidate for the SPSH No. 14 - Left Overs!  I did add an egg which wasn't a leftover.  There is a little of the fried rice leftover for my lunch, tomorrow!

Neighbor S called in the early evening.  She, her mother, and her aunt made gata (Armenian cookies) and her daughter N made rhubarb-strawberry jam; would we like to have some?  Yes, please!  My daughter loves their homemade gata and who wouldn't like some homemade rhubarb-strawberry jam?  The gata were still warm from the oven when N brought them over!  We were told they should be allowed to get cold before eating, but, well...I can assure you that they taste just as lovely when still warm from the oven!  LOL.


Gata and Homemade Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

N mentioned that the rhubarb-strawberry jam would be good in lemonade!  That sounded delicious!  My daughter quickly picked some lemons, I juiced them, and she made us two glasses of rhubarb-strawberry lemonade and it was lovely!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture!  But, it was a very pretty pink color and tasted great!

I finally made the coconut flat bread (pol roti) for dinner, tonight, after having it listed on my meal plan for so long!  Daughter enjoyed hers with some leftover salmon; I had mine with some chicken curry. I made extra so I could send some back with her.  After dinner, I did the dishes, chatted with friend R, watered the houseplants, and did the litter box.  

It has been another warm day with a daytime high of 96F (although the car temperature gauge registered 99F when we were driving about, but, it could have been from the heated asphalt on the road).  It has cooled down to 70F as I type this, close to midnight.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter helping with the last few errands and tasks I needed done before she goes back
- Neighbor S and daughter N sharing their gata and jam with us
- Transforming leftovers into a tasty meal
- Safe drives to the places we needed to go to run our errands
- In-person hugs

Today's joyful activity was spending time together with my daughter and enjoying all the good food we have made or have been given.

Plans for tomorrow include taking my daughter to the airport in the early afternoon and video chatting with her in the night.

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

Saturday, June 25, 2022


On the Shelf

Another warm day with a high of 96F.  Tomorrow's weather forecast states, "Warm with plenty of sun"; a high of 90F which will feel like 94F.  

Last week, friend A had suggested we visited her this afternoon, around 4:00 p.m.  I called her this morning to find out if she was up to a visit and she said she was at the hospital having an infusion.  I knew she would feel rather tired, afterwards, and she agreed that it would be best to postpone the visit.  She will let me know when she feels up to having me visit.  

It meant my daughter and I had a quiet, relaxing day at home.  I made egg salad sandwiches for brunch and we snacked on frozen home grown blueberries.  

M came over to tend to the garden in the evening.  I gave him a box of tea bags as he had asked me if I could buy him a box when I was at the Sri Lankan store, next (I gave him a box from my stock and refused to accept any money as he always brings me various things to share).  

Neighbor S kept the tradition of sharing food and brought over more lahmajoon in the evening!  Yesterday, my daughter had gone over to S's house to spend an evening painting with S's two daughters and S had sent some dessert home with my daughter - some macarons and two slices of cheesecake!  She is such a generous, sharing neighbor.

In the evening, I cooked some salmon for dinner.  There were two pieces of salmon in the freezer and I cooked them both, sauteing them with onions and tomatoes.  I cooked some of the broccoli I had frozen earlier and baked (microwaved) two sweet potatoes that neighbor S had given us, earlier in the week, to go with the salmon.  I froze most of the leftover cooked salmon for my daughter to take back with her; she will not need to cook dinner on that first day when she gets back to her apartment (well, she might have to cook some rice and a vegetable, but, that's all).  I will be keeping an eye out for salmon to go on sale before my daughter's next trip home, whenever that might be!  

Today, I am grateful for:

- A relaxed day at home
- M tending to the garden for me
- Neighbor S giving us more lahmajoon 
- Ceiling fans and electricity to run them
- Water for the garden

Today's joyful activity was spending time together with my daughter.

My daughter had planned to spend some time, tomorrow, with friend A's two daughters, one of whom will be celebrating a birthday this weekend, but, she received a text that the birthday girl has come down with a cold and it was decided that they will postpone getting together until daughter's next trip down.  Instead, we will spend another relaxed day at home, just enjoying being together.  

How was your Friday?  What are your weekend plans?

Friday, June 24, 2022

Six Months of the Front Garden

Back in January, I took a photo of the front garden on the 20th and every month since then, I have been taking a photo of the front garden, from about the same angle, on or around the 20th of the month, usually around the 22nd or so.  I thought it would be fun to see how the front garden changed during the first six months of this year:







It is obvious that the garden was at its best in February.  The front garden gets full afternoon sun and it bakes in the summer.  Even so, if you look closely, you will see one or two things to smile about:

Pomegranates Growing

There aren't many pomegranates, this year, but, I'm looking forward to them.

Then, there is this self seeded snapdragon plant, growing and flowering in a crack in driveway where it meets the sidewalk!

Snapdragon Growing in the Driveway!

How is your garden coming along?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Rain on Wednesday!


Tomatoes: How They Were on the Plant
Left Side in the Shade, Right Side in the Sun

The Shaded Side - Green

The Side that Faced the Sun

According to last night's weather forecast, we were supposed to get a thunderstorm and some rain early this morning!  We did receive about 10 drops of rain around 2:30 a.m., when I was getting ready for bed, but, then, it stopped and I thought that was that.  But, according to M, we did get lightening and thunder and some rain very early this morning!  I must have slept right through it!  It was cloudy when I woke up, but, the ground was dry.

M was here in the morning to tend to the garden.  He removed the tomatoes that were on the plant he gave me.  These tomatoes are about an inch in diameter.  You can see that they are still green on the sides that were not exposed to the sun and bleached white on the side that did receive the sun's burning rays.  I think it is accurate to say that the tomatoes got cooked on the plant!  We also harvested a handful of tiny potatoes - there were a total of five and they all fit into the palm of my hand!  I boiled them and my daughter and I had them with our dinner!

Daughter and I spent a pleasant afternoon painting!  First, we did some water color painting:  

Field of Poppies
(Daughter's Painting on Top)

I really like how she painted the sky.

Then an acrylic painting:

Field of Sunflowers
(Daughter's Painting on the Right)

My sunflower field obviously didn't get enough water!  LOL.  The acrylic paints were messy and by the time we finished painting, we were both covered with paint!  But, we had fun!

We had some of the fish rolls and fish filled pastries (called patties) from the Sri Lankan restaurant for our brunch and the leftover stringhoppers and pittu for dinner.

Today's daytime high was 91F; not too hot; it has cooled down to 81F now, at 9:00 p.m.  Tonight's low is supposed to be 67F.  It drizzled, again, around 7:00 p.m. - another 10 or 15 drops of rain!  It didn't wet the ground, but, we could hear the raindrops on the patio roof!  I went outside and I felt a drop or two of rain fall on my outstretched hand!    

Today, I am grateful for:
- Whatever rain we received
- M tending to the garden
- Painting with my daughter
- Yummy leftovers for our meals
- Today's garden harvest of tiny potatoes and two parboiled tomatoes!

Today's joyful activity was painting with my daughter.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another warm day with a high of 90F.  We are planning to have another relaxed day.

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