First, a review of how July Week 4 turned out. These were my options:
Sunday, July 31, 2022
Meal Plans: July Week 4 Review and August Week 1
Saturday morning, I slept in, then, did my usual morning routines, feeding the cats, having a cup of tea, saying my morning devotions, etc. I had some dry cereal for breakfast as I was feeling hungry. I replied to blog comments and commented on a couple of other blogs.
Around 1:30 p.m., I happened to look outside and noticed I had a visitor:
Every now and then, the neighbor's chickens fly over the wall into my garden. I didn't think too much about it, but, I didn't want it to eat my zucchini, so, I decided to go outside and check on the zucchini. I noticed the visitor had been on the porch steps, already, because he had left a couple of presents there!
The rooster appeared to be very tame and allowed me to get quite close to him. I thought he would fly back over the wall, but, no, he settled himself down on a pile of leaves under the feijoa tree. I left him there and went to check the zucchini - they are still very small, but, seem to have a tendency to turn yellow at the tips (they are not a yellow variety). I decided to pick three of them:
|Saturday's Zucchini Harvest|
I spent the afternoon video chatting with my daughter (she had gone grocery shopping and to the Japanese store and wanted to show me her purchases) and finalizing the monthly photo challenge blog post. I also called friend A and left her a message, checking on her.
|Rooster Under the Feijoa Tree|
That rooster was too still for my liking, but, I left it as it was. Every now and then, I'd go to the back door and check and it wouldn't have moved.
|Snowball and Mockingbird|
(taken through the glass door)
(Yes, that's the watermelon, next to the bird)
It's more likely that a dog attacked the rooster. Maybe even one of their own dogs.
- The neighbor took it away and I didn't have to deal with its disposal
- Today's zucchini harvest
- Video chatting with my daughter
- R calling to check on me
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Monthly Photo Challenge - July
Eileen's monthly photo challenge for...
|(not a good photo, is it?)|
was "Beginning with J".
Here are the photos I took for this challenge:
|Jade Plant (Common)|
|Jade Plant ("Gollum")|
|Jasmine (Common) Vine|
Jars of Jam:
|Jars of Jam|
A Jar candle
|A Door a-Jar|
|Joy of Cooking|
Jugs - one from my grandmother, one from my step-grandmother:
Joss sticks (also known as incense sticks):
And finally, just because he's "Johnny on the Spot"!
Doctor's Appointment on Friday
The compost heap grew a watermelon vine, this year, which was very exciting to me, but, it didn't do well during our heatwaves and today, M picked the only melon that had grown on it - it was bug eaten on the underside, but, I had to take a photo of it before I threw it back on to the compost heap. That is a quarter (25 cents) coin, next to it, for size comparison. I think the melon was about two inches in diameter! Definitely not the year for growing watermelons!
Today, I had my appointment with the oncology nurse practitioner for a regular quarterly check up. I called the clinic in the morning to confirm my appointment, just to make sure there were no last minute changes or cancellations. It was confirmed and I got ready.
My appointment was for 1:00 p.m. and I left the house at 11:45 p.m. The first part of the drive was good, but, there was traffic closer to downtown. I reached the clinic at 12:50 p.m., with 10 minutes to spare (they ask you to come in 15 minutes early to check in, etc.). This time, the clinic wasn't crowded and everyone in the waiting room and all the staff were properly masked.
I didn't have a long wait before I was called in, weighed, blood pressure checked, etc. and shown to an examination room. There was a short wait for the nurse practitioner to come in, but, she popped in for a moment to let me know that she had one other person to see before she could see me, which was nice of her to do. I did a crossword puzzle or two while I waited.
Once she was able to see me, she went over my recent blood test results with me. Most of the results were good, one thing was too low, a few things were too high, but, the cancer markers were within normal range and overall, things were fine. She made an adjustment to the amount of vitamin D supplements I was taking, instructing me to take one every other day instead of daily. Then, she put in a request for a bone density scan for me (I'll be notified when insurance authorizes it) and I received my injection to boost bone density. I left the clinic at 2:00 p.m. and drove home. I enjoyed the drive home because I could relax, as there was no rush to be anywhere on time and I had the air conditioning on! It was 95F when I got home at 3:00 p.m.
I rested a bit after I got home and responded to blog comments, etc. M arrived around 4:00 p.m. to tend to the garden. He tidied the place a bit, weeded, watered, and got stung by a wasp when he went to prune one of the lemon trees! Apparently, there was a wasps' nest in the lemon tree, after all! I felt awful about it, but, he brushed aside my concerns, saying he applied some aloe vera gel from the plant growing in the pot on the back steps. I'll text him, tomorrow, to check on him.
In the evening, I checked on my cousin who is still recovering from Covid (she said she's doing a bit better) and chatted with friend R. Later, I video chatted with my daughter.
Today, I am grateful for:
- M seemed to be OK after being stung by a wasp
- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- A relatively good blood test report
- Having health insurance
- Chats with family and friends
Today's joyful activities included gardening and video chatting with my daughter.
Plans for tomorrow include tending to a few things around the house that were neglected over the past couple of days!
How was your Friday? What are your weekend plans?
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Better on Thursday
- Feeling better
- Being able to take it easy
- Dhal and rice
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Not So Good on Wednesday
I must have eaten something that disagreed with me last night, or, maybe it was the glass of apple juice that I drank with my dinner, but, I woke up with an upset stomach this morning and threw up, too. Not a good start to the day! I stayed in bed most of the morning, getting up later to unlock the gate for M.
I started feeling a little better around 11:00 a.m. and did a few things, including reply to blog comments.
I called neighbor T's daughter K and left a message asking after her mother. K returned my call, later, with an update about her mother. T has fractured her hip, but, apparently, it is not a big fracture and she doesn't need surgery. She will be transferred from the hospital to a rehab center to recover and she will be receiving physical therapy while she is there. K thinks her mother will be there for a week or two before she can come home. When my mother fell and fractured her hip, she required hip replacement surgery and she was in a convalescent home for several weeks while she recovered; she still needed a lot of care when she came home, though. I asked K about T's dog and K said she took the dog to her apartment.
I informed M about T because he tends to her garden, too. He said he will text K, later. M watered the garden today and tidied up the place.
I called neighbor E to ask if he knew of anyone named Gustavo in the neighborhood, because I had a package with his name delivered to my address and he didn't, but, he said he'll ask around. We both think it is someone living next door, but, I don't know why they'd want their packages delivered to me! The delivery person didn't make a mistake because the street address on the package has my house number.
The other thing I did while I felt up to it was do a load of laundry and put new dust sheets on the family room sofas.
Then, around 3:00 p.m., I felt tired and napped on and off on the sofa until 5:00 p.m., when my daughter called me. It's a little after 7:30 p.m., now, and I'm feeling tired, again.
I ate some saltine crackers and drank lemon lime soda (Sprite) all day. A short time ago, I ate half an apple. I don't feel like eating anything else, but, maybe I'll eat the rest of the apple or some dry cereal before I go to sleep.
Today, I am grateful for:
- I've not been sick after that one time in the morning
- Crackers and lemon lime soda
- M tending to the garden for me
- T's fracture doesn't require surgery
- Afternoon naps
I didn't do anything that I can consider a joyful activity, today; I will have to make up for it, tomorrow.
No big plans for tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll feel well enough to do the vacuuming I didn't do today.
How was your Wednesday? What are your plans for Thursday?
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
I usually set my battery operated alarm clock when I need to wake up by a certain time in the morning, but, last night, I decided to set my phone alarm as well, for the first time; both alarms went off without any problem, except, I couldn't figure out how to turn the phone alarm off for at least 5 minutes! Pressing "Stop" didn't seem to do anything. I put on my glasses, turned the phone on and off, tried pressing various buttons and icons, eventually found a "delete" button, and that worked! By which time I was definitely awake! LOL. I suppose I should have figured out how to set and stop the alarm, earlier, but, that wouldn't have been as exciting!
My appointment was at 10:30 a.m. I left the house at 10:00 a.m., hoping to reach the lab by 10:15 a.m., but, there was road construction on the way and I didn't get to the lab until 10:30 a.m.! I rushed in, passing a whole bunch of people out in the hallway, and checked in, using their auto check in kiosk. They have some kind of scrolling display screen set up in the waiting room, which shows the names of the patients who have checked in, and I looked at it to see how many people were ahead of me - they were still seeing people who had appointments at 9:30 a.m.! There were 30 people ahead of me! Maybe they were short staffed.
Their waiting room has a sign that only six people should be in the waiting room at one time and they have six chairs set up, with as much room between them as possible given the size of the room. But, there were at least double that number of people in the waiting room, standing and sitting on the floor. I went outside into the hallway to stand with the people who were waiting there. The building, being a medical building, requires one to wear a mask at all times while inside the building. I noticed that only about half the people in the hallway and inside the waiting room were wearing their masks properly. Some had no masks, others wore them under their chins or under their noses. I was glad that I was wearing one of my N95 masks!
After awhile, I got tired just standing. I went inside the waiting room a couple of times to see if there were any chairs available without any luck, but, on my third try, there was a chair available with a person standing in front of it, but, not sitting down. I asked if he was using the chair and he quickly moved aside to give me the seat. I thanked him and sat down, gratefully. And waited. From time to time, a lab tech would come out to call someone's name and tell people that only six people were allowed in the waiting room at one time, and people would leave, but, they'd come back or new people would come in to check in and stay.
Eventually, at 11:30 a.m., one hour after my appointment time, I was called in and my blood was drawn. Only four vials of blood was taken, this time. I remarked to the lab tech about how busy they were, saying I chose a Tuesday because they are usually so busy on a Monday, but, she said that they are now busy every day and they don't get a break.
Today's parking came to $3.00. I had enough $1 bills with me, so didn't need to go to the pharmacy to get change.
Then, I drove home, straight, without stopping to buy any food on the way. I had been fasting for the blood test, so, as soon as I came home, I had half a cup of iced coffee and then, prepared my brunch. I was inspired by June at Live and Learn, who had made French toast over the weekend; I, too, made French toast and bacon to have with it, with apple juice and fresh grapes. I used the last two regular slices of bread for the French toast. I now have some bread ends or heels to make a small bread pudding or some croutons.
I felt tired in the afternoon and rested a bit, replying to blog comments, etc., while I relaxed.
A short time later, the phone rang and it was neighbor T. She had fallen while trying to put away groceries that had been delivered, earlier, and the groceries were all over the floor. She had called her daughter and she was on her way over, but, could I please come over and pick up the groceries for her. I told her to give me a minute to put on a mask and my shoes and ran over to her house. T had unlocked the door for me and was sitting on a sofa, waiting. For a wonder, her dog didn't bark or growl at me as he usually does. I had taken one bag of groceries to the kitchen and had just picked up another bag, when her daughter K walked in and said she can take over. So, I went home.
I was watching news and making a cup of tea when K called. Apparently her mother had fallen again! This time, she had hurt herself and K had called the paramedics. She just wanted to alert me and to let me know that she was with her mother, so I won't get concerned if I happened to see the ambulance pull up. I'm glad K told me, because a few minutes later, I heard the fire trucks and ambulance pull up. T was given some pain medication and taken in the ambulance to the emergency room, according to K, who saw me outside (I had gone outside to collect the mail) and stopped by to let me know before following the ambulance to the hospital. Poor T. I hope she will recover well from her fall. Poor K, too, having to deal with it all (she has a brother, but he lives out of state and it is she who has to tend to their mother).
I received the rest of the items I had ordered for delivery from the drug store -one of my prescription medications, a supplement I take on doctor's orders, some lotion, and some balm (the bag of Epsom salts was delivered, yesterday). I also received another package that was sent to someone named "Gustavo" but, with my address on it! I have no idea who Gustavo is! I don't know why my address was used to send him something! It was delivered by a shipping company, not the postal service; if it had been the postal service, I would have returned it to the mail carrier and asked that it be returned to the sender. I might have to call the shipping company and ask them if someone can pick it up and return it to the sender as there's no one by that name at my house!
Dinner was two pieces of frozen battered fish that I baked in the toaster oven, along with the leftover sweet potato hash which I warmed up in the toaster oven with the fish, sauteed zucchini, and corn. I took a photo but, it turned out too blurred, so I deleted it!
After dinner, friend R called and we chatted for a bit. Later, I video chatted with my daughter.
Today, I am grateful for:
- N95 masks
- A safe drive to the lab and back
- Access to medical care and having health insurance
- I was able to help T the first time she fell, today
- My prescription was delivered
Today's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter.
Plans for tomorrow include tending to the garden with M, vacuuming, and doing some paperwork.
How was your Tuesday? What are your plans for Wednesday?
|A New Box for Dancer|
I was woken up, this morning, by the sound of more hammering; the roofers were back laying more plywood over the last section of neighbor T's roof. They finished their work and left around 10:30 a.m. T's daughter K was over in the evening and she told me that the workers will be back on Friday as they can't proceed with the roofing until the City building inspector comes out to check on the progress and approve it prior to the shingles being installed.
Today, I changed my bed sheets, did a load of laundry, dusted the living room and dining area, did the dishes and tidied the kitchen, cleaned the fridge, took the trash cans to the curb for Tuesday's trash pick up, watered the garden both front and back, and started the car. After I came in from watering the garden, I put some rice to boil, cooked the cabbage stir-fry (cabbage thel dala or tempered cabbage), and warmed up the shrimp curry. I had it with some zucchini chutney for dinner:
|Rice, Shrimp Curry, Cabbage Thel Dala, Chutney|
Brunch had been the leftover beef ravioli. That finishes the bag of frozen ravioli I had bought in mid-May. I had been a bit underwhelmed by them, the first time I tried them. But, I liked them better, the next few times I had them. The trick, I discovered, was to cook them in the pasta sauce, rather than boiling them in water and then adding them to the sauce. Will I buy them again? Maybe. I might try the cheese ravioli, next time. But, for $4.29 for a 25 oz. bag, they were a good item to have on hand for a quick meal on a day when I didn't feel like cooking.
In the morning, Aunt C called and we had a long chat. In the afternoon, neighbor T called and we had a shorter chat. Later in the evening, I chatted with friend R and video chatted with my daughter.
Today, I am grateful for:
- Working appliances and the electricity to run them
- Water for the garden
- The car started
- Chats with family and friends
- Getting prescriptions delivered
Today's joyful activity was being out in the garden, watering.
Tomorrow, I have to go for a blood test in the morning. Plans for the rest of the day include dusting the family room and my bedroom and watering the indoor plants.
How was your Monday? What are your plans for Tuesday?
Monday, July 25, 2022
July Meal Planning - Week 4
|Friday Night Dinner: Compliments of S!|
This was the meal plan for July Week 3:
Brunches: Yogurt with peach sauce or other toppings✔, egg salad sandwiches✔, cereal✔, fresh fruit salad✔,
pancakes/waffles, scrambled egg with sweet potato hash.
- Sliced pork roast made over and served with rice/noodles/pasta ✔
Rice and omelet curry with beetroot and cabbage
- Pork fried rice✔
Shrimp curry (from the freezer) and rice, dhal, cabbage or broccoli
- Pizza and salad, compliments of S!
- Frozen ravioli with canned pasta sauce
This is how it all worked out:
Monday: Yogurt with peach sauce (brunch) egg salad sandwiches (tea and dinner, both)
Tuesday: Fresh mango (breakfast), cucumber salad and egg salad sandwich (late lunch); pork stir-fry with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, peapods, and rice (dinner)
Wednesday: Yogurt with peach sauce (breakfast), pork stir-fry sandwich (tea); pork stir-fry with rice and zucchini chutney (dinner)
Thursday: Fruit salad (breakfast), frozen pizza (lunch), rice, pork, broccoli, zucchini chutney (dinner), fruit salad
Friday: Cereal with milk (breakfast), fruit salad (lunch), cheese and toast (tea), pizza, salad, and pita chips (dinner)
Saturday: Fruit salad (breakfast), ravioli from the freezer (lunch), pork fried rice (dinner), cake!
Sunday: Scrambled egg and sweet potato hash (brunch), leftover ravioli and salad (dinner), cake!
|Cake - Compliments of S!|
- Omelet curry, rice, leftover sauteed cabbage, leftover zucchini, chutney
- Fried rice
How about you? Did you make a meal plan last week? If so, did you follow it? Are you making a meal plan for this week?
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Front Garden Update
Remember this flower bed? This is how it looked on Wednesday, with the leggy osteospermum.
This is how it looks this morning, after M cleared all the osteospermum plants, on Friday evening, at my request. Oh, look! There's the edging to the flower bed! LOL!
M asked me several times if I wanted the osteospermum pulled out or just cut back (he wanted to make sure, I guess), and I said I wanted it all taken out. I told him that I wanted a change and he quoted my mother: "Change is good". That used to be one of her favorite sayings!
|Doesn't that look different?|
I won't be surprised if some of the osteospermum will return, next spring, as it usually self-seeds.
|An almost blank canvas!|
I asked M to leave the other plants in place. I am debating what to plant here. Maybe more succulents? Maybe more of the sprengeri fern (also known as asparagus fern) that seem to thrive with very little water in other areas of my garden? There is also a tiny little fig plant in front of the middle lattice panel - it got scorched for the heat and M cut it all the way back, but, it will leaf out again and, hopefully, grow!
|Another look at the flower bed|
This flower bed is shady during the morning; these photos were taken around 11:40 a.m. It gets full sun from around noon until sunset. Whatever I grow there will have to be very heat tolerant.
|The pile of old osteopermum plants|
The green yard waste bin is already full with osteospermum plants! This is the rest of them that M left in a pile (he asked me if that was OK), until the green bin can be refilled on Wednesday.
Any suggestions about what to plant here?
Friday, July 22, 2022
The Back Yard in July
|The Back Yard in July|
(taken at 10:40 a.m., from the patio)
"It's not fair", complained the back yard, "She's always taking photos of the front yard." So, this morning, I took some pictures of the back yard, but, I didn't realize just how much the sun would bleach out the colors.
These are the two newest plants I've acquired in the last couple of weeks:
|West Indian Lemon Grass|
|Pineapple from a Rooted Top!|
I had given M the money to buy me a bag of potting soil and the lemon grass plant and he gave me the pineapple top he had rooted and potted up. I use lemon grass in my cooking. These two plants are being sheltered under the patio roof overhang.
Out in the garden, the vegetables are trying their best:
I'm down to three zucchini plants, now, with the fourth plant consisting of just one leaf! This year's plants are not producing as well as last year's plants did (a different kind), although M said he's harvested quite a few squash from his plants. I think his garden has a different micro climate than mine! Or, he just waters his plants more than I do!
The two tomato seedlings that I grew from seed seem to be picking up after being wilted for the heat. I'm hopeful that they will grow and produce some tomatoes - I've no idea if these are from Roma tomato seeds or Early Girl! I forgot to take a photo of the "wonky" tomato plant M got on discount, but, it is still growing, too, under the moringa tree.
|Moringa Leaves and Flowers|
|Moringa Leaves and Flowers|
And, with the help of the bees and the hummingbirds that visited the flowers, it has started to set pods!
|Moringa Pods Forming|
Both M and I cheered when we saw the first signs of pods forming!
The fruit plants are coming along, too:
The passionfruit vine has yielded four ripe fruit, so far and there are another four, maybe five fruits ripening on the vine, still.
The peach tree had a smaller crop, this year, and the nectarine tree didn't have any fruit, but, they are both alive and well and, hopefully, both with produce well, next year!
The avocado plant had some leaves scorched during our recent triple digit days, but, new leaves are emerging and I think it will continue to do well. It has a long way to go before it produces any fruit, but, I'm happy to have it in the garden because I grew it from a seed!
The blueberry bushes have more or less finished producing their berries (I picked three ripe berries this morning, but, I think they were the last). They seem to be happy in this spot under the patio and I don't want to move them. I might have to get them bigger containers, next year or the year after!
|Volunteer Lemon Plant|
The volunteer lemon plant (probably a sucker growing from a root of one of the bigger lemon trees) and the apple seedling I grew from an apple seed! I'm surprised that the apple seedling survived the recent heatwave, but, it seems to be doing well!
|Asian Pear Tree|
My Asian Pear tree, with its four types of Asian pears grafted onto the main trunk! I planted it (well, M planted it for me) last year and we had a total of seven fruits from it. This year, it looks like we might have a few more! They are all rather small, right now, but, I'm hopeful that they will continue to grow and ripen without any mishap!
As for flowers - there aren't many, as I am not focusing on them.
|Very Sorry Looking Guara|
|Light Purple Osteospermum|
|Pale Pink Oleander (which looks white here)|
There are also some gazania growing near the persimmon tree and plumbago near the shed, but, that photo didn't turn out well, at all! Too much glare from the sun along the side wall!
The green plants in the foreground of the photo are a mixture of day flowers (Commelina variety) and gazania.
And that is a tour of the back yard in July! Hope you enjoyed the tour and the sun was not too strong for you!