Thursday, September 29, 2022

SPSH - Final Link Up

The Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt, hosted by Mary-Lou at Patio Postcards has come to an end.  It was a rather challenging list of prompts, but, I am happy to say that I was able to find a photo for each prompt!

I posted the 1st Link Up, here and an Update earlier this month, but, I've included all the photos, here, in the final link up to make it easier to view all the photos in order.

#1: A Path - of sorts, leading to the back of the garden

#1: A Path

#2: Peek a Boo - Daughter helps out

#2 Peek-a-Boo

#3 Stairs: At the car dealership/service center

#3: Stairs

#4: Faceless Selfie - Me and my shadow

#4: A Faceless Selfie

#5: Something That Looks Like a Number or a Letter - We have choice of H, I, or X:

"H" Formed by the Cross Bars on a Stool 

Or...Is It An "I"?
Or, how about this one?

 "X" Formed by the Ironing Board Stand

#6: A Corner - The embroidered corner of a table cloth

#6: A Corner - of a table cloth

#7: A Leaf Vein - Sunflower leaf veins

#7: Leaf Vein

#8: Sipping On - Passionfruit Juice

#8: Sipping On - Passionfruit Juice

#9: Changes Shape When Wet:  I was wishing I still had those mini sponges that come in capsules, which expand to dinosaur shaped sponges when wet, but, I had decluttered them, so, I settled on bath bombs and bath salt cubes which will dissolve in water and change shape

#9 A: Bath Bombs

#9 B: Bath Salts Cubes

#10: OMG, The Shoes!  I am afraid that I didn't quite get what was meant by this prompt.  I chose to photograph a pair of shoes that I can't quite bring myself to declutter:

#10: OMG, The Shoes - my daughter's baby shoes

#11: Yellow and Blue Together - This was the photo that made the list for the final link up!

#11 Yellow Sunflower/Blue Sky

#12: Fuzzy Wuzzy Texture - Unlike in the poem, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't a bear!

#12: Fuzzy Wuzzy Texture

#13: All Gone, Empty - Empty dish after the fruit salad was eaten

#13: All Gone, Empty

#14: Left Overs - Left over yarn from a crochet project

#14: Left Overs

#15: Wind Power - Fans, even if they need electricity to generate the wind power

#15: Wind Power - Fans

#16: Oh So Colorful - A section of a batik wall hanging depicting the Kandy Perahera (a cultural/religious event in Sri Lanka)

#16:  Oh, So Colorful - Batik Wall Hanging

#17: Out of Place - There are so many things that are out of place in my house that I couldn't even tell what was out of place!  But, finally, I settled on this stack of mail on the ironing board:

#17:  Out of Place - Stack of Mail on the Ironing Board!

#18: In The Distance: Smoke from a brush fire in the distance (about 7 miles from my house)

#18: In The Distance - the grey smoke from a small brush fire 

#19: Culture, Yours or Another:  I had a hard time selecting just one item!  But, I settled on the ceremonial brass oil lamp: it is usually decorated with strands of jasmine flowers, coconut oil is poured into the pointy trays, with cotton wicks immersed in the oil at each point and the wicks are lit at the beginning of various ceremonies; the bird on the top is the Sri Lankan (Ceylon) junglefowl (Gallus lafayettii) which is endemic to Sri Lanka and is the national bird of Sri Lanka.

#19: Culture, Yours or Another - Sri Lankan Brass Lamp

#20: You Grew It, Made It - Peach jam from homegrown peaches:

#20: You Grew It/You Made It - Peach Jam from Peaches I Grew

#21: Invokes A Childhood Memory - Dhal and Rice - one of the favorite meals from my childhood

#21: Invokes a Childhood Memory

#22:  Add 1-2 to Change the Taste: Sour lemon juice, with the addition of water and sugar turns to sweet lemonade!
#22: Add 1-2 To Change The Taste:  Lemon Juice+Water+Sugar

Alt A: Recent Purchase - The haul from the Sri Lankan Store

Alt A: Recent Purchase

Alt B: Sunset - It was more colorful in real life - my cellphone camera didn't do it justice.

Alt B: Sunset

Alt C: Free Choice

Alt C: Free Choice - "Meow"

Thank you for hosting the summer photo scavenger hunt, Mary-Lou.  I had fun participating!

  1. Path
  2. Peek-A-Boo
  3. Stairs
  4. Faceless Selfie
  5. Something That Looks Like A Number or Letter
  6. A Corner
  7. Leaf Vein
  8. Sipping On
  9. Changes Shape When Wet
  10. OMG, The Shoes
  11. Yellow & Blue Together
  12. Fuzzy Wuzzy Texture
  13. All Gone, Empty
  14. Left Overs
  15. Wind Power
  16. Oh So Colourful
  17. Out of Place
  18. In The Distance
  19. Culture, Yours Or Another
  20. You Grew It, Made It
  21. Invokes A Childhood Memory
  22. Add, 1-2 To Change The Taste

Alt A: Recent Purchase

Alt B: Sunset

Alt C: Free Choice

September Monthly Photo Challenge: Beginning with K

The theme for September's monthly photo challenge, hosted by Eileen at A Bracelet of Days is "Beginning with K".  These are the photos I took for this month's challenge:





Karapincha/Curry Leaf (Murraya Koenigii) Tree




Keyboard (and bonus Kawai)



Katta Sambol

And, of course:
Kitty Cat!

Thank you for this opportunity to participate in the monthly photo challenge, Eileen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Hot on Wednesday, Too

Dancer Says The Tiles Are Cool

Another hot day, today, but slightly cooler than yesterday, with a high of only 97F.  Dancer spent most of the day sprawled on the tiled bathroom floor!

M was here this morning to water the garden, both front and back.  We discussed water-wise gardening and some possible plants for the front garden, but, didn't make any decisions.

Handmade Card

In the afternoon, I made a card to mail to my oldest half-brother; his birthday is not until mid-October, but, it takes time for cards to go to Sri Lanka.  I adapted a card design I saw online and I think it worked out OK, but, I see room for improvement!  But, before I make any more cards, I need to sit down and make some envelopes as I've used up almost all the envelopes I had on hand!  

I am feeling a little stressed about a medical billing notice I received in the mail, today, about non-payment to date by my insurance for the abdominal ultra-sound I had done, per my doctor's referral, back in June.  According to the letter, it is just a notification and I don't have to do anything, but, I am a bit stressed about the whole thing.  There is a number to call and maybe I'll do that, tomorrow, to find out more.  They haven't said how much the bill is for, but, I don't think it would be for a small amount!  But, I did sign forms agreeing to be liable for the cost if insurance doesn't cover it, so, I will pay it if insurance will not pay!

I had a tuna salad sandwich for brunch, today.  I didn't feel very hungry for dinner, so I had a chicken curry sandwich and some mango for dinner.

Today, I am grateful for:
- M tending to the garden for me
- My stash of scrapbooking/cardmaking supplies
- Electricity to run the fans
- Delivery services (Dancer's flea prevention medicines)
- The billing notice I received is not a bill - yet!  

Today's joyful activity was making a birthday card for my half-brother.

Plans for tomorrow include some paperwork (there are other bills that need to be paid!) and preparing for the bone density scan that is scheduled for Friday.

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

100F on Tuesday

Blue Skies and White Clouds

On Tuesday, we had a daytime high temperature of 100F, in the afternoon.  I think that was another record high for this date.

I received my natural gas bill ($35.29); my baseline for the billing period is 13 therms at a rate of $0.84 per therm and I had gone over that baseline by 1 additional therm and used 14 therms during the billing period!  That additional therm was billed at $1.24.  In addition to these basic charges, there are other charges in the bill - a customer charge, a gas transportation charge and a gas commodity charge, both based on the amount of therms of gas used, and taxes and fees added on, too.  Plus, there was an insert in the bill about a proposed rate increase!  

Earlier in the month, the gas company had sent me an email notification, that I had used 8% more energy than "energy efficient" homes, with a bar graph showing "energy efficient"  homes using 12 therms and stating I had used 13 therms.  Apparently I used one additional therm between then and the billing date!  Must have been the fact that I used the oven to bake that cake! My stove/oven, heater, clothes dryer, and water heater are all natural gas appliances.  I haven't used my heater yet (although I do have the pilot light lit) and I haven't used the clothes dryer; I haven't used that much hot water (at least, I don't think I have) and I haven't used my oven that much, either, but, I guess I cook too much?

In the winter months, when I have the heater on, my gas bill goes sky high and the gas company emails me that I use way more than average.  They do say that they are doing this to make one more aware of gas use and help with conservation and in no way is it a judgement based on use, which is good to know!  LOL.    

I did a load of laundry in the morning and hung everything up inside the house to dry.  Then, I brought the empty trash cans in, took the kitchen compost to the pile in the garden, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen sink, cleaned the litter box, perused the grocery ads, chatted with friend R, checked with cousin P's daughter to ask if they are in the path of Hurricane Ian (she said they are expecting some rain and maybe being without power), and replied to blog comments.  Thank you, everyone for your very kind comments about the front garden.  

Neighbor S called me in the morning and offered me some pizza!  The funny thing is, I had dreamt of pizza in the night!  She gave me two types of pizza and I had a slice of each with the salad I had planned to have for my brunch, today!  Dinner was another slice of pizza and a piece of mango, followed by some cake and ice cream!

Today, I am grateful for: 

- S treating me to pizza
- Working appliances
- Being able to hang laundry to dry inside the house (my daughter, for example, isn't allowed to hang any laundry to dry inside her apartment, according to her lease, due to concerns about mold, since it is so humid up there)
- video chatting with daughter
- Warm, relaxed days

Today's joyful activity included feasting on pizza, cake, and ice cream!  LOL!

Plans for Wednesday include tending to the garden with M, doing some tidying up in the family room, and sewing.

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Front Garden in September

The Front Garden in September

I forgot to take any photos of the front garden around the 20th of the month, but, here are the photos taken on the 26th, instead!

As you can see, the garden is struggling.

View From the Front Door

Another look down the garden:

Looks sad, doesn't it?

One or two plants are thriving, however, including this California White Sage (Salvia apiana) which is a native plant that M bought for me from a nursery that specializes in native plants:

California White Sage (Salvia apiana)

I think it is a sign that I should plant more native plants and not just drought tolerant ones.  However, the asparagus ferns I asked M to transplant from the back garden seem to be establishing themselves:

The Bigger Asparagus Ferns

The Three Smaller Asparagus Ferns

The succulents border isn't looking that succulent, but, the plants will revive over the winter (I hope):

Succulents Border

The succulents planted in the circle in the middle aren't looking too well, either:

Scorched Succulents

The aloe, however, seem to be doing well.

I wish I could say the same about these lantana plants:

Dead Lantana Bushes

As you can see, we have not done any landscaping in the parkway, either, but, to be quite honest, it has just been too hot for M to be doing anything there.  

On the other hand, I did manage to stay within my Tier 1 water allotment of 16 hundred cubic feet (HCF) for the billing period, 7/20/22 to 9/20/22 (we are billed every two months for water, electricity, sewer service and solid waste collection, in one combined bill)!  I used 12 HCF of water during this period, which included the hottest days of summer, and was billed at a rate of $8.0225 per HCF.  My water bill came to $96.27  If I had exceeded the 16 HCF allotment, the next 14 HCF of water used would have been charged at higher Tier 2 rates, the next 28 HCF would be charged at Tier 3 rates and anything above that, at Tier 4 rates.  (The combined bill for water, electricity, sewer and solid waste collection came to $295.21).

How is your garden doing?