Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Fifty Years

Another Squash Blossom

Another male flower on one of the squash plants.  Eileen had asked how I can tell if it is a male or female flower - the male flower has a slender stalk that looks like a regular stem.  If this had been a female flower, it would have a slight swelling at the base of the flower, shaped a bit like the fruit it would grow to become, if pollinated.  Squash plants usually get male flowers, at first, to attract pollinators, before the female flowers bloom.  The flowers are edible, but, I tend to leave them on the plant to do the job they are supposed to do.  

Today, August 30, 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary since my mother, step-father, and I left the country of our birth, Sri Lanka.  My mother had a job waiting for her, to each English to adult students in Taiwan, but, other than that, it was very much a journey into the unknown for us. It led us to Malaysia, where we visited family and friends, to Hong Kong, where we visited more family, and to Taiwan where my mother taught and there was more family to visit.  Then, back to Hong Kong, where my mother taught for three years and I continued to journey to the United States of America to do my further studies.  Eventually, my mother and step-father joined me in the United States and we settled down in our adopted country.  We did visit Sri Lanka a few times, but the last time I visited was in mid-August 1990, over 33 years ago!

Of the three of us who left that day, back in 1973, only one of us is left to carry on with the journey. I suppose that is way, back in January, 2023, I chose "Journey" as my Word of the Year and I wrote, "Life is a journey and this year, I want to enjoy that journey to the fullest.  I shall travel in the company of Hope and Joy and it will be a journey of discovery and personal growth."  When I wrote that, I did not mean for my personal growth to be what my scales seem to have interpreted it to be!  No, definitely not that kind of personal growth! LOL!

I look on each day as a step in the journey and I try to remember to appreciate each day and live it to the fullest.  This blog is, in a way, a record of that journey.

Today, I woke up with pain in my right hip!  Maybe I slept weirdly or maybe I am dehydrated (which is quite possible and I am making sure I'm drinking plenty of water, today).  I am able to walk although I am shuffling more than walking; I was able to go down the back steps to unlock the gate for M and take a couple of photos.  I am fervently hoping that it won't blow up to be a full sciatica flare up, like that other time when I was practically bed ridden!  My daughter asked if I needed her to come down, but, I said no, not yet, anyway.  Hopefully, hopefully, the pain will go away!  Sigh.  

I'm taking it easy, today, and ignoring all the things I need to do!  I did text my cousin's daughter in Florida to check on her to see if she and the family came through the hurricane ok.  She texted back a little while ago saying they're fine; just had a lot of rain and some wind, but, that's all.  Glad to hear that.

M was here in the late morning to tend to the garden and he watered both front and back for me and tidied up the place a little bit.

Mama Cat has knocked over the one empty cat litter bucket I left out for her and has claimed it as her new shelter:

Mama Cat's New Home

She comes out to eat and then, goes back inside her bucket!

Today, I am grateful for:

- The journey so far
- Anniversaries and memories
- M's help with the garden
- Cousin and family in Florida weren't too impacted by the hurricane
- Daughter's offer to come home if needed

Today's joyful activity was remembering an event that happened fifty years ago.  

How was your Wednesday?  Are you planning to look at the super blue moon, tonight?


Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Monthly Photo Challenge - August: Summer

"Summer" was the theme for the Monthly Photo Challenge, hosted by Eileen at A Bracelet of Days, for August.

Summer is:

Hot days when the temperature outside is 100F+

Heat Warning in Effect

 Although a little cooler inside:


When even Dancer says a cooling bath seems like a nice idea:

"It's Cooler in the Bathtub"

Garden flowers that don't mind the heat:

"Naked Ladies" (Amaryllis Belladona)


Pink Oleander

And scorched leaves:
Succulents (Euphorbia aurelia)

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) Leaves

When the most important garden tool is the hose:

Garden Hose

Cold drinks of fresh fruit juice made with fruits from you own garden:

Passionfruit Lemonade

My favorite time of the year, when I'm finally feeling warm, although Dancer might not agree:

"Summer is too hot for a fur coat"

It hasn't been as hot as previous summers and we will cool down, again, soon.

Thank you, Eileen, for hosting the monthly photo challenge.  I enjoyed participating.  I hope you feel well again, soon. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

August Meal Plans - Week 4 Review and Week 5

The meal plan for August Week 4 was: leftovers!

I had quite a few cooked dishes in the fridge to be finished: Roti✔, a little bit of rice✔, turkey keema curry✔, French toast✔, pizza✔, one hamburger patty✔, and salad ingredients.  

And this is how that worked out:

Brunch: Leftover roti and the last portion of chicken curry
Dinner: Toast with butter and peach jam (I was too full after a late brunch)
Snacks: Banana, Asian pears 

Brunch: A chicken sandwich roll (compliments of neighbor S)
Dinner: Leftover Rice and keema curry

Brunch - Roti and keema curry
Dinner - Breakfast for dinner - French toast

Brunch: A slice of pizza, mango
Dinner: Bread and butter (it was all I felt like eating)
Snacks - granola bars

Brunch - Chicken sandwich roll (again)
Dinner - Homemade cheeseburgers, grapes

Breakfast - Slice of bread with peanut butter
Lunch - Vegetable rice and chicken, compliments of neighbor S and her mother L
Dinner - Leftovers from lunch
Snacks - Mini croissants with peach jam

Brunch - Mini croissants with peach jam
Dinner - Patties


Patties are little pastry pockets filled with a savory filling.  I used the leftover ground turkey keema curry, mixed in with mashed potatoes, as the filling.  They are usually made to be eaten as a snack, but, I made them for dinner.  Very often, the pastry is cut in circles and then, folded over to form semicircular pastries.  This is the first batch I made with half of the pastry and since I waited until I was already hungry to make them, I just cut squares after I rolled out the pastry and made triangular shaped patties!  Less hassle to cut and fewer leftover pastry bits to worry about.  The one in the front, to the viewer's right, is semicircular.  It was too hot (yesterday, it was 99F/37C) to turn on the oven to bake them, so, I did what we used to do back in Sri Lanka, I fried them.  Then, after I had eaten some for my dinner, I rolled out the rest of the pastry and made some semicircular ones.  I still have some of the leftover pastry (all the leftovers from cutting circles of pastry) and more of the filling - might make more patties, later.

On to this week's meal plan!  I'm going to call it August Week 5.  As always, my meal plans are a list of options and subject to change (other than the milkrice on the first of the month - that will not change!)

Brunches: Patties, mini croissants, crumpets, salad, milkrice and beef curry (on Friday, Sept. 1), leftovers

Dinners: Rice with beef curry, cucumber salad, and broccoli; patties with a side salad (must eat more salads/vegetables); roti and beef curry; leftovers

Snacks: Grapes, mango, Asian pears, yogurt, other less healthy snacks!

If you meal planned last week, how did it work out?  What are your meal plan options for this week?

Sunday, August 27, 2023

August Grocery Shopping - Part 2

I ordered groceries on Saturday and picked up the items in the afternoon.  Dancer needed more of his favorite flavor of canned cat food and I wanted to stock up on a few items to take advantage of sales and coupons.  Ricky brought the groceries to the car and I asked him if everything was included and he assured me that nothing was forgotten!  LOL.  

I bought:

1 Beef chuck roast (2.71 lbs. @ $3.79/lb., reg. price $8.99) = $10.27

2 packs hot dogs, 8 count/12 oz. (reg price $2.99@; on sale with coupons for $0.94) = $1.88

3 cans Tuna in water (5 oz.@, store brand, reg. price $1.19@, with buy 3 get $.50 off coupon) = $3.07

2 cans Corned beef, 12 oz.@, $6.99@ (the store brand corned beef was unavailable) = $13.98

4 pack 10.5 oz. cans of condensed chicken noodle soup (on sale with digital coupon; reg. price $5.49) = $3.99

1/2 gal. milk (reg. price $2.79, on sale with coupon) = $1.79
1 container yogurt (64 oz., reg price $8.99; store substitute for the 32 oz. container I ordered) = $4.39*

2 packs Diced Peaches fruit cups, 4 indiv. 4 oz. cups per pack, reg. price $3.99/pack; on sale for $1.99/pack with digital coupons = $3.98

1 box Pancake mix, 32 oz. (reg. price $3.29; store brand) = $2.29
1 container Pancake syrup, 24 oz. (reg. price $3.29, store brand) = $2.50

1 loaf sandwich bread (reg. price $1.79) = $0.99
1 box (12 count, 11.85 oz.) mini croissants, reg. price $4.99 = $4.49

2 jars Peanut butter (16 oz., store brand, reg. price $2.29@, on sale, finally, for $0.99@) = $1.98

Total = $55.60

*Store charges the lower price whenever they substitute an item, which is really nice I think.

In addition, I bought:

3 Toothpaste tubes, reg. price $2.79@, on sale for $.99@ = $2.97
2 Toothbrushes, reg. price $2.99@, on sale for $.99@ = $1.98
1 package toilet paper, store brand (12 rolls; reg. price $8.99) = $4.49

7 cans cat food $1.00@ = $7.00

But, these items are not included in my grocery budget.  

My August grocery budget is $100 plus $51.25 carried over from July = $151.25

Spent to date = $59.53 (on Aug. 18) + $55.60 (on Aug. 26) = $115.13

Balance left = $151.25 - $115.13 = $36.12 (to be carried over to September)

I am pleased with how the August grocery shopping and budgeting went.  I will carry over the $36.12 to September.  I don't anticipate needing any groceries until at least the middle of September!

As always, I am grateful for:
- Being able to order groceries online
- Being able to pick up groceries 2 hours after ordering
- Free curbside pick up with a minimum purchase amount
- The availability of groceries
- Being able to indulge in the occasional splurge items 

How was your August grocery shopping?  Were you able to keep to your budget?

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Ordinary Days and Everyday Happenings!

The First Squash Blossom!

The first squash blossom has opened up on Minie!  It is a male flower, but. it is exciting to see it!  Those squash seeds M planted for me were ten years old and we didn't think they would even germinate, much less grow into plants that are now flowering!  How wonderful is that?!

Friday was a relatively relaxed day.  I had gone to sleep on Thursday night with a painful elbow on my left arm and I had no idea why it was hurting.  Maybe I knocked it, somewhere.  Or, maybe it was all the crocheting and I had the crocheter's version of a tennis elbow!  It hurt to move my arm.  So, I took it easy on Friday, at least until the boxes of cat litter and Epsom salt were delivered!

They were delivered to the front door and since I wasn't watching out for the delivery person to ask if they could just place it on the inside of the front door (I was told they weren't allowed to bring the packages inside the house), they were left on the front steps.  I would have left them there, too, at least until M arrived in the evening, but, I thought that might be too much of a temptation to a passerby who might decide to take the packages!  So, I managed, with a painful arm, to move two 30 lb. boxes of cat litter and a box containing two 19 lb. bags of Epsom salt up the shallow steps to the inside of the house. That's a lot of Epsom salt, I know, but, it is for the garden.  M sprinkles it around the fruit trees and some of the flowering plants to enrich the soil.  

I left them inside the front door in the living room until M arrived and he moved the cat litter boxes to the bathroom and the bags of Epsom salt to the garage.  Then, we dug up the potatoes that were growing in the last container.  He had me guess how many might be there and I guessed 12, but, there were only 11 and one of them was eaten into by a bug, so, we tossed that in the compost heap.  I didn't take a photo, but, some of the potatoes were a good size.  I am pleased with my potato harvest!  

Afterwards, M watered the garden.  I asked him to use the rain water I had collected and he did, but, he also needed to use the garden hose.  We stacked the buckets upside down for the water to drain and Mama Cat was not very pleased that her water buckets were emptied!  She knocked a couple of them down before she decided to perch on one of them: 

Mama Cat

She's looking at one of the buckets she knocked down and isn't that a look of utter disdain on her face?!

And that was how I spent Friday, the 49th anniversary of my arrival in the USA!  I had a homemade cheeseburger for dinner, to celebrate!  Brunch had been one of the frozen chicken sandwich rolls neighbor S had given me.  

Today, Saturday, my arm is much better, almost back to normal.  Today, there was another delivery; I had to sign for it and it was much lighter to carry inside:


I wasn't kidding when I said, on Thursday, that using up the stash meant I could buy more yarn!  This time I wanted 100% wool and I knew which brand I wanted.  I went online and compared prices.  The wool yarn I wanted was selling from $6.99 to $10.31 per 100 gram skein, depending on the store, but, one store had an online special, provided one bought a pack of 10 skeins, which reduced the cost per skein to under $5, which was the best deal.  I couldn't quite decide on the color I wanted - did I want "Natural" which was sort of beige, or "Heath Heather", a different hue of brown, or "Aran", which was creamy white?  I asked my daughter for her opinion and she liked both Heath Heather and Aran!  She suggested I get both and asked me to make her a sweater, too!  LOL.  So, yes, I bought two sets of wool and there will be new sweaters for both of us this winter!  Plus leftover wool to make other things.  The yarn stash has been replenished!  LOL!

After the yarn arrived, I ordered more groceries and picked them up in the afternoon.  But, that is a different post.

Neighbor S called me before I went to pick up the groceries.  Her mother was visiting her and wanted to know if I could show her how to crochet!  Well, yes, of course I could.  So, after I picked up the groceries and put away the perishable stuff, I took some yarn from my daughter's stash (with her consent) and two crochet hooks and went over to neighbor S's.  S's mother L actually knows how to crochet; but, what she wanted to learn was how I had made a shawl I had crocheted and given her as a gift!  I had actually forgotten that I had even made that shawl for her!  So, I showed her how to get started on it (once you start it, you just repeat the pattern, increasing in the middle of each row until it is the size you want it to be).  Then, I showed her a basic granny square, as well, which is about all the crocheting I know!  LOL.  I wore my N95 mask and L wore a mask, too, which I appreciated very much.  Afterwards, we sat and chatted for a bit before I came home.  I didn't come home empty handed, either: 

Dinner Plus More!

L had cooked vegetable rice and chicken; S served me a plate and added cookies, some Russian candy, (it has a citrusy taste), and a package of crumpets!  The rice has carrots and diced bell peppers added to it and I had it for dinner.  It was delicious.  

In the evening, after it had cooled down a bit, I planted more potatoes!  I am not sure if they will grow or not, because they were the last few left in my bag of supermarket potatoes and some of them had started to spoil.  I tossed a couple of them in the compost pile and put the rest into a container to see if they will grow.  It will be great if they grow, but, if they don't, then, that's fine, too.  And I put away the rainwater buckets in the shed, but, I kept one out for Mama Cat to perch on!

Well, this turned out to be a long post!  That's what happens when I skip a day!  My days are very ordinary, filled with rather ordinary activities, but, I truly enjoy each day's happenings.

I am grateful for:
- Being able to order online and have things delivered
- For M's help with the garden and any other tasks I ask him to do
- For potatoes harvested from the garden
- Being able to show L how to make the crocheted scarf
- Dinner compliments of L and S!  

Joyful activities have included tending to the garden with M and visiting with L and S and showing L how to crochet the shawl.

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend.  Did you think I'd replenish my yarn stash so quickly? 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Stash Busting Scrappy Grannies

Scrappy Granny Squares Lap Blanket

My stash busting scrappy granny squares lap blanket is done!  It measures approximately 38 inches by 38 inches, which is a good size for a lap blanket, I think.  My daughter said it was "So fun and eclectic" and Dancer has given his seal of approval:

Dancer Approved!

My yarn stash is much depleted now!

Here's the before:

Yarn Stash: July 2023

Here's the stash now:

Yarn Stash as of August 24, 2023

Just a bag of some odds and ends of Christmas-y yarn, a bag of 100% wool yarn (probably just enough for a pair of socks), and the little bit left from the purple variegated yarn as there wasn't enough of it to do another row of the border with it.  Maybe it might become the beginning of another granny square, eventually!  Or, it might get used to darn the heel of one of the knitted socks.  

But, now that I've used up most of the yarn stash, I am giving myself permission to buy new yarn!  LOL!  I can always do with another new sweater, right?  

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

SPSH - 2nd Link Up

It's time for the second link up for the Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt (SPSH), hosted by Mary-Lou at Patio Postcards!  In fact, I'm a couple of days late!

The first link up is here.

I haven't been able to take many photos for the second link up, but, here are what I've managed to take so far:

#3 Something Netted or Webbed: I have something netted (a bag which held oranges) as well as something webbed (a spider web in the garden)



#5 A Bridge - Yes, I know I'm cheating a bit, here, but, this movie was filmed in my country of birth and, what's more, family lore has it that my step-father's brother was one of the extras!

A Bridge

#11: Extraordinary Water - Nothing quite as extraordinary as a summer rain in August in southern California, especially when it is a hurricane turned tropical storm and buckets brimming with collected rainwater!  

Rainwater in August!

And puddles of rainwater on the driveway in August!  Although, it could also be a candidate for #8 - Some Shadows:

Puddles of Rainwater on the Driveway

#12:  Summer Tools - Practically the only tool one needs in the summer in southern California, unless there happens to be a hurricane turned tropical storm passing through!

Garden Hose

Alt A: Your Favorite Summer Taste:


Thank you, Mary-Lou, for hosting the Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt.

The list of prompts:

2023 Summer Scavenger Hunt / Search Ideas

1. A Plant/Tree With Thorn(s)✔

2. A  Wordless Directional Sign

3. Something Netted or Webbed

4. Something Berry Berry Delicious

5. A Bridge

6. A School

7. Something That Dangles

8. Some Shadows

9. A Crack or Pothole in The Road or Sidewalk

10. A White Flower(s)

11. Extraordinary Water

12. Summer Tools

13. A Sold or For Sale Sign (not necessarily a house)

14. Something That Rolls

Alternate A: Your Favourite Summer Taste

Alternate B: Your Choice

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

August Meal Plans - Week 3 Review and Week 4

My August Week 3 meal plan was based on what I had on hand in the fridge, freezer, and pantry, although I planned to put in an order of groceries sometime during the week (which I did on Friday).

This is what I had planned:

Brunches: Salads, French toast, boiled mung beans (haven't had that in a long time; need to remember to put the mung beans to soak overnight!), scrambled egg and fried potatoes, leftovers.

Dinners:  Coconut roti and chicken curry; leftover tabouleh, boxed rice/wild rice mix and roast chicken; hamburgers; ground turkey keema curry, rice, tomato curry, and broccoli leaf mallung; leftovers!

Snacks: Crackers with cheese or peanut butter; apples, roasted almonds and/or peanuts, cereal, banana nice cream, that last piece of brownie that's still hanging around in the fridge.

This is how it turned out:

Brunch - French toast
Dinner -  Baked chicken (leftovers), boxed rice/wild rice mix (leftovers), frozen peas and frozen corn

Brunch - French toast (leftover from Monday)
Dinner -  Homemade bread and chicken curry, tabouleh|
Snack - Homemade bread with butter and peach jam!

Brunch - Homemade bread with chicken curry
Dinner -  Pork and vegetable gyoza/potstickers (from the freezer)
Snack - Banana "nice" cream (frozen banana blended with the juice of 1 orange and some peanut butter)

Brunch - Scrambled egg (1 egg), bacon, fried diced potato and cherry tomatoes
Dinner - Cheeseburger with bread ends "bun" - a frozen beef patty that I had cooked and frozen, earlier (thawed and reheated), a slice of American cheese, lettuce, "special sauce" (Miracle Whip, ketchup, and relish), on the end crusts of a loaf of bread!  I debated if I wanted to add a piece of leftover bacon from the brunch, but, decided to save it for another meal!  

Brunch - Grapes
Dinner - Pizza, ice cream, grapes

Breakfast - Cinnamon rolls (compliments of neighbor S's daughter N)
Dinner - Ground turkey keema curry, rice, chutney

Brunch - Leftover ground turkey keema curry, rice, and chutney
Dinner - Coconut roti and turkey keema curry

I didn't have all the things I listed as meal options, but, I had some of them and I had other items that appealed more!  

The meal plan for Week 4 is leftovers!  I have quite a few cooked dishes in the fridge to be finished: Roti, a little bit of rice, turkey keema curry, French toast, pizza, one hamburger patty, and salad ingredients that must be finished.

In addition, on Monday, neighbor S brought me some frozen chicken, cheese, bacon, ranch dressing sandwich rolls that her husband had bought; I put three of them in the freezer and kept one in the fridge to have for brunch on Tuesday.

Of course I have already started this week:

Brunch: Leftover roti and the last portion of chicken curry
Dinner: Toast with butter and peach jam (I was too full after a late brunch)
Snacks: Banana, Asian pears 

Brunch: A chicken sandwich roll (compliments of neighbor S)

Chicken, cheese, bacon ranch dressing sandwich roll

Dinner will be rice and some of the turkey keema curry.

How about you?  Did you make a meal plan last week?  What's on your meal plan for this week?

The Garden in August (After the Storm)

The Front Garden in August 

All photos were taken on August 21, after tropical storm Hilary had passed.  Rainfall totals vary depending on the area, but, Los Angeles County received over 7 inches of rain, downtown Los Angeles received 2.48 inches on Sunday, which makes it the wettest August day ever for that area, and my area is said to have received 4.7 inches of rain!  That might not sound like a lot to some people, but, for us, that's about one third of an average year's worth of rain in one day!  The average annual rainfall in Los Angeles is just under 15 inches and in the rain year, July 1 2020- June 30 2021, we received 4.85 inches of rain, in total!  Thanks to a rather wet winter and spring (we received nearly 27 inches of rain, during 2022-2023) plus this past Sunday's rain, our three year long drought has ended!  

The garden is looking refreshed after that long soaking rain!

Looking at the Front Garden from the Other End
(Notice the bags of gravel and mulch over the roof overhang)

Succulents Border Along the Side Wall in the Front

View of the Front Garden from the Walkway
Looking Towards the Succulents Circle
(from between the first two trellises) 

Close Up of the Succulents Circle

Let's move to the back yard, shall we?

The following photos were taken from the front of the garden shed (located behind the detached garage), and they are my attempt at a panoramic view, from left to right!

Corner where the Side Wall and Rear Wall Meet
(Utility Pole at the Corner)
Plumbago hedge, persimmon tree, one of the loquat seedlings

Slight Change in the Camera Angle

Looking Towards the Corner of the Rear Wall and Other Side Wall
One of the volunteer curry leaf trees in the foreground
Plum tree in the back, to the viewer's right

Looking Straight Ahead
Plum tree in the center in the distance
One of the bigger curry leaf trees to the right (foreground)

One final photo showing the corner of the garage

The volunteer tomato plant has baby tomatoes!

Baby Tomatoes

The squash siblings:

Eenie, Meenie, Minie, and Moe (hidden between Meenie and Minie)

I was very happy to see that the trellis with the passion fruit vine was still in place after the storm:

Passion Fruit Vine and Trellis

The the main curry leaf tree is just behind and to the left of the trellis and one of the passionfruit vine tendrils has made its way to the tree and we have passionfruit hanging from the curry leaf tree!

Two Passionfruits on the Curry Leaf Tree

Passionfruit Seedling
This is one of the passionfruit seedlings I grew from seed; there were about 25 seedlings at one time and I gave some to M.  Some of the others died when it got hot, earlier in the summer.  This one was growing well and we transplanted it into this big pot and it continues to grow well.  Maybe it will join the mother plant on the trellis, eventually.  The remaining 5 or 6 seedlings are alive, but, still in their starter pots.

And finally, a quick look at the side yard:

The Side Yard

The Euphorbia tirucalli pleants (succulents) are growing very well - the taller ones, at the far end, were planted a few years ago and they provide a bit of screening.  In the foreground are some self sown four o'clock plants that grow like weeds.  The side yard is still the most neglected part of the garden!

I hope you enjoyed visiting the garden in August! 

Monday, August 21, 2023

After the Storm

Blue Skies and White Clouds

Yesterday (Sunday), we had grey skies and constant rain as tropical storm Hilary moved through our area.  The gale force winds that were forecast didn't actually happen in my neighborhood, at least, and I am very thankful that they didn't!  There were some strong gusts of wind from time to time, however, and I kept looking rather anxiously at the eucalyptus tree in the front yard, but, fortunately, not only did the tree stay upright, not even a single branch broke off!  I am very, very grateful for that!  

The Front Yard After the Storm

It was still raining when I went to bed at 2:30 a.m., but, the sun was shining when I woke up later this morning. 

The garden got a very good soaking and apart from the full buckets I had kept out to collect the rain water and a couple of puddles of water collected in low spots on the driveway,  the rainwater has all drained off or been absorbed into the ground.  

Mama Cat Enjoys a Drink of Rainwater

The round dish in the background is Mama Cat's water bowl; but, of course, she preferred to drink the water in the buckets!  

The only casualty from the storm was this branch that had fallen from the bottle brush tree:

Fallen Branch

As branches go, it is just a twig!  Thank goodness for that!  Other areas and cities have suffered more damage from this storm system; I feel very grateful and blessed to have been spared from all that!

I took a few more garden photos, but, I'll do a Garden in August post, later.

The power stayed on after it came back, last night, and there has not been any power or internet disruptions, today.  

I did a load of laundry in the morning (my bed sheets) and hung everything up to dry.  I will remake the bed when the sheets are dry - I am now down to one set of summer sheets, until I make over the full sized fitted sheet to turn it into a queen sized sheet.  I need to make that a priority.

Today's mail included a second document from a different insurance company than the one I use, with my address, but, someone else's name!  My initial reaction had been to write no such person at this address and return to sender.  However, since I was recently informed that a medical center I had used in the past had been hacked into and patient records and information might have been compromised, I was worried that there might have been some identity theft involved.  So, I opened the document (a policy change document) and discovered that while the cover letter had my address, the document inside had a different address, but, one digit in the house number had been changed.  Probably it was entered into the system wrongly.  In any case, I called the company, which was located in Illinois and the person who answered the phone was very confused as to why I should have received this document!  I said the cover letter had my address on it and gave her the policy number and she was able to locate their client's address in their system.  She told me to disregard the two documents I had received and to destroy them.  

I finally made the coconut roti last night and I had some with the last of the chicken curry for my brunch, today.  Dinner will be rice and ground turkey keema curry with some of my homemade tomato chutney.  I will make my meal plan later.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The worst of the storm passed me by; I had no damage to the house from either the storm or the earthquake
- The garden got a good soaking
- The power outage didn't last long enough to cause any of the food in the fridge or freezer to spoil
- All the emails and comments from my blog friends checking on me
- The insurance document I received was in error and not a sign of identity theft!

Plans for the rest of the day include taking the trash cans to the curb for collection in the morning and making my weekly meal plan.  

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