Tuesday, April 30, 2024

April Grocery Shopping

Today, on the last day of April, I picked up an order of groceries in the evening.

This was my first major grocery pick up since March 27, which, at the time, I considered as the first grocery shopping order for April, mostly because I had already spent all the grocery budget for March (I had not increased my regular grocery budget to allow for the fact that my daughter extended her visit to a total of three weeks).  At the time, I had planned to write a blog post about that grocery shopping order, but, I never did.  

I spent $38.07 in the March 27 grocery order and purchased:

Bananas, a pineapple, dinner rolls, half a gallon of whole milk, one pint of half and half, one pound of shrimp, 3 packages of ground coffee (12 oz. each), and there was a $0.30 bag fee for three plastic grocery bags.

Today's grocery pick up consisted of:

1 cucumber, reg. price $0.99, with coupon = $0.49

1 broccoli crown (0.7 lb.) reg. price $1.99/lb., $1.41/lb. with coupon = $.99 

3 bananas (1.11 lb.) @ $0.69/lb. = $0.77

2.16 lb. grapes, on sale for $1.99/lb., $1.75/lb. with coupon = $3.80

3 lb. ground turkey, on sale with coupon @ $3.49/lb. = $10.47

2lb. bag frozen breaded shrimp, with coupon = $7.99

3 cans tuna in water, @$1.02 with coupon = $3.07

1 doz. large eggs = $4.49

32 oz. container yogurt = $4.19

1/2 gal. milk = $2.79

4 cans coconut milk, @$1.99 = $7.96

1 loaf sandwich bread = $2.49

1 box cheerios cereal (10.8 oz box), with coupon = $1.99

1 box frosted flakes cereal, 12 oz., free with coupon = $0.00

1 bottle ketchup (20 oz.) = $2.49

2 jars pasta sauce, @24 oz, @$1.29 on sale with coupon = $2.58

2 x 6 pack lemon-lime soda, multi buy "must buy 4" price of $3.00/6 pack = $6.00

2 x 6 pack cola, part of multi buy deal = $6.00

CA redemption value on the soda, $0.30 per 6 pack = $1.20

Sales tax (probably on the sodas) = $1.07

Less $5 off coupon on grocery order over $50

Total spent, per receipt = $65.84 

Plus, there was another $11.58 spent at the dollar store on a can of corned beef, snacks, and dried chilies, earlier in the month!

Total spent on April groceries: $38.07 + $65.84 + $11.58 = $115.39

So, I went over my April grocery budget of $100 by $15.39, which I will deduct from the May budget of $100.  In any case, much of what I bought today will be eaten in May!  

I was able to take what they call a "sneak peak" at next week's grocery ads, too, today (the store sent me an email with the link; prices effective as of Wednesday, May 1) and whole chicken, thighs, and drumsticks will be on sale for $0.99/lb., which is my stock up price, these days.  Store brand bacon is also on sale, with a coupon, for $3.99/lb. which is as good as it gets these days, I suppose.  So, I do plan to go grocery shopping, again, next week, too.

That was my grocery shopping and spending in April.  Although I went over budget by $15+, I'm happy with my spending.  

How did you do with your grocery shopping budget in April?  

Monday, April 29, 2024

Meal Planning: April Week 4 Review and May Week 1Plan

Sauteed Apples and Custard

This was my meal plan for April Week 4:

Brunches: Ham and bread rolls, boiled mung beans, tuna salad and crackers, scrambled egg and fried potato, toast and peanut butter, muffins?

Dinners: Ham and potato soup (with added vegetables), baked salmon with rice, carrots, and green peas broccoli and potatoes, chicken curry and rice with dhal and moringa curry, baked breaded shrimp, leftovers. 

Here's how that worked out:

Brunch:   Ham and bread roll sandwich
Dinner:  Ham and potato soup

Brunch:  Tuna salad on crackers
Dinner: Ham and potato soup

Brunch: Leftover tuna salad on toast
Dinner: Leftover ham and potato soup with toast

Brunch: Ham and bread roll sandwich
Dinner: Baked salmon with rice, carrots, and green peas

Brunch: Peanut butter sandwich
Dinner: Baked breaded shrimp with tomato chutney

Brunch: ??? I think I had a ham and bread roll sandwich, but, I didn't write it down and I've forgotten!
Dinner: Leftover baked salmon with rice, carrots, and green peas

Brunch: Scrambled egg with the very last bit of ham, diced and added to it, bread roll
Dinner: The last of the leftover baked salmon with rice, etc.

Snacks and desserts included apples (both fresh and sauteed), kiwi (fresh), custard, peanut butter and crackers, and popcorn.  

There were a few changes, but, it worked out quite well.  I didn't eat the potatoes I planned to eat!  

On to May Week 1:

I'm continuing to plan this week's meals based on what I have on hand; however, I am considering putting in a grocery order, sometime this week.

Brunches: Burritos (Monday), scrambled egg and fried potatoes, milk rice with chicken curry and/or seeni sambol, pancakes and sausages, tuna salad on toast or crackers, leftovers

Dinners: Chicken curry with leftover rice, carrots, green peas (Monday), chicken curry with rice, dhal, and moringa curry, "breakfast for dinner" (either eggs and potato wedges or leftover pancakes and sausages), baked breaded shrimp, leftovers.

Snacks and desserts: Fruit (apples, pomegranate, home canned peaches), crackers and peanut butter, maybe a cake or muffins?   

At least, that's the plan!  No doubt there will be some changes as the week progresses!

Are you making a meal plan this week?

Sunday, April 28, 2024

The Back Garden in April: The Fruit Trees Edition

The Back Garden in April

As with the front garden, I've been posting pictures of the flowers, etc., in the back garden quite frequently.  You have all been very kind and said you enjoyed seeing the pictures of the flowers, and I thank you for saying that.  There will be more photos of flower, but, this time, I thought I'll focus on the fruit trees. 

Another View of the Back Garden

So, here's a look at some of the fruit trees in the back garden:

Fuyu Persimmon Tree

The Fuyu persimmon tree looked quite dead in March, but, it has leafed out since then and there are flower buds:

Fuyu Persimmon Flower Buds

The Asian Pear tree is slow to come out of dormancy, this year, but, there are some flowers and leaves to be seen:

Asian Pear Tree

The avocado I grew from a seed has new leaves, but, no signs, yet, of any flowers; it might not flower at all, but, I don't mind!  I'm happy to have been able to grow an avocado from seed and have it survive for as long as this one has:

Avocado Tree

The peach tree is coming along well, even with the peach leaf curl:

Peach Tree

M has thinned out a lot of the peaches, this year, in order to have plenty of air circulation around the fruit, not to stress the tree, and to prevent any branches break off as in the past.  I guess it would be better to have fewer, larger peaches than many, smaller ones?

Baby Peach

In previous years, the peaches have ripened by the end of May; I wonder if it would be the same this year, too?

Plum Tree

There are some tiny plums forming, but, I told M that I won't count them until they are bigger, because they tend to drop off the tree as they get bigger.  Last year, there were about a dozen plums.

The Plum Tree

There are oranges forming as well, but, well over half of them will drop off.

Orange Tree

The nectarine tree seems to have managed to escape getting the peach leaf curl:

The Nectarine Tree

Last year, it didn't produce any fruit; I'm hoping we will get at least a few nectarines, this year!

Another Look at the Nectarine Tree

Not a tree, but, the blueberry bushes are full of berries, but, I think we might have to put some netting on them because I'm noticing that the mockingbirds are helping themselves to any berry that looks like it might be ripening! 

Unripe Blueberries 

Well, I really couldn't do a post about the back garden without some flowers, as well, could I?  Here's a look at the self-sown California poppies and phacelia growing under one of the Meyer lemon trees:

Poppies and Phacelia Under the Lemon Tree

I forgot to take a picture of the pineapple guava (feijoa) tree, which is in bud, and the calamondin tree, although you can catch glimpses of them in the background on some of the photos.  

Thank you for visiting the back garden orchard with me!

Project Completed on Saturday

New Crocheted Blanket

The blanket I was crocheting has been completed.  It measures 42 inches by 54 inches, which is a good size for a lap blanket, I think.

The majority of the squares were done using yarn that was in my daughter's yarn stash, with her approval.  I knew it would be rather random, but, I tried to bring some uniformity to it by crocheting the central motif in each square with white yarn and crocheting a border around each square with cream colored yarn.  Except, I ran out of the cream colored yarn for two of the squares (and a corner of one other square) and the store didn't have anymore of it, so, I switched to white yarn.  But, I think it is OK.

I will wash and dry it and donate it to the cancer clinic when I go for my appointment in May.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

The Front Garden in April

The Front Garden in April

I feel that I've been posting pictures of the garden almost weekly, if not daily, in April, but, I didn't want to skip the monthly garden overview, either!  The weather continues to be cooler than normal for this time of the year, so the garden continues to thrive.

A Stream of Osteospermum

The osteospermum is starting to spill out into the sidewalk!  Currently, it is not spilling out too far, but, I will have to see if I can redirect it to go back into the garden or trim it back!  

The Succulents Border

I've plans for the succulents border and M is helping me, although he's not quite sure what it is that I am planning to do.  But, being the obliging friend he is, on Friday, he brought me a small tree stump from a flowering mulberry tree that he cut down for one of his other clients:

Tree Stump

I'm going to ask him if he can get me another stump or two; watch this space!

In the meantime, the climbing red rose is putting on a bit of a show:

Red Roses and Purple Osteospermum

One of my friends asked me if I kept a list of all the plants growing in my garden and I had to admit that I didn't!  But, in just this one planting bed, in addition to the roses, there are three types of asparagus ferns, a jasmine vine, the ever present osteospermum, gladiolus, sparaxis (Harlequin flowers), paperwhites, alstroemeria (Peruvian lily), and a pomegranate tree which is just starting to flower:

Pomegranate Flower and Bud

Last year, there were lots of flowers on the pomegranate tree, but, no fruit!  I hope that, this year, we'll get some fruits!

Last, but, not least, we have what I am calling the "rootery":

Eucalyptus Tree Roots and Base

The base of the eucalyptus tree has exposed roots and M and I've been planting succulents in the spaces between the roots:

The "Rootery"

It's a relatively new project and the plants are still settling in, but, the hope is that they will spread and grow into a sort of ground cover at the base of the eucalyptus tree.

Close Up of a Spreading Succulent

Thank you for visiting my front garden in April.   

Friday, April 26, 2024

A Cloudy Thursday

Pink Apples

Ha!  No doubt everyone is happy to see something other than a photo of yet more flowers!  I had one of the pink apples that M had given me sometime ago.  

Thursday was cloudy and cool (for me, anyway); I sat in front of the electric space heater most of the day.

The tree trimmer contacted me in the morning, stating that his records indicated that I had my eucalyptus tree trimmed last in 2021 and suggesting it might be time to trim it, again, and offering to give a free estimate.  I didn't want to tell him that he needed to update his records, but, reminded him that he had last trimmed my eucalyptus tree on January 12, 2024 and the tree didn't need to be trimmed, yet!  He, then, admitted that he had been looking at old records.  Poor guy, he must be trying to find more work for him and his crew.  

I spent a good part of the day watching news, watching online videos, emailing a couple of friends, helping Aunt C with some information she wanted, and joining the granny squares for the blanket I am making.  I sewed them in rows and the next step is to join the rows together and crochet a border.  

I wasn't very motivated to do any housework, today, but, Thursdays are my days to clean the kitchen and I did a little bit in the kitchen - washed all the dishes, scrubbed the sink, wiped down the stove top and the counters, and cleaned the microwave.  

Brunch had been a ham and bread roll; dinner was baked salmon with rice, carrots, and peas.

On Thursday, I was grateful for:

- Daughter had a safe journey back from the conference
- Working appliances
- Being able to help Aunt C
- Exchanging emails with friends
- What I was able to accomplish

My joyful activity was crocheting.  

Plans for Friday include crocheting and tending to the garden with M.

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


Thursday, April 25, 2024

In the Garden on Wednesday

More White Irises
There are more irises blooming.

Gaura Flowers

The gaura plant is starting to flower, too.


Serrano Chili Flowers

The serrano chili plant is flowering, again, too.  This is last year's plant and I left it in the ground over the winter and it is ready to produce more chilies for this year.  

M was here in the morning to tend to the garden.  He brought me more Harlequin (sparaxis) flower bulbs from his garden, mowed the grass, again, and watered the garden, both back and front.  

I spent the majority of the day watching breaking news unfolding on TV, about the protests being held on one of the local university campuses.  My late friend A's younger daughter takes evening classes at that campus as she pursues her Master's degree, and I was concerned enough to text her at work to alert her to the situation and to tell her to be careful.  The campus security officers weren't able to disperse the protesters and eventually, the police were called and, it took some time, but, several protesters were arrested and the campus was cleared of protesters, shortly after 8:00 p.m.  

Brunch was leftover tuna salad on toast; dinner was leftover soup with toast; kiwi fruit for dessert and popcorn for snacking.

On Wednesday, I was grateful for:

- Daughter had a safe journey to the conference she is attending (she was asked to be one of the panelists at the conference)
- M's help with the garden and gift of more flower bulbs
- Water for the garden
- Working appliances
- Leftovers for meals

My joyful activity was being in the garden and admiring the flowers.  

Plans for tomorrow might include putting gas to the car and maybe baking something (I've some wrinkly apples in the fridge that need to be used up).  

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

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A New Week


Monday started off with a long phone chat with aunt C and cousin N, which was nice.  Afterwards, I went out into the garden and watered the back yard.  It was a sunny day and the flowers were in full bloom.  

In the afternoon, I went to the library to return books that were due and then, I went to the craft store (Michael's) to buy more yarn for the blanket I am making.  I had run short of the off white yarn I was using to crochet a border around each granny square to make them look less random (as I had used leftover yarn to make them).  But, the store was out of the off white yarn, so I bought two skeins of white yarn and two skeins of "mauve" (which looked more like a dusty rose to me than mauve) for the border around the whole blanket.  I had to pay full price for them ($3.99 each) because they weren't on sale.  I looked around the store just a little bit in passing, as the store is set up in such a way, with the yarn in a corner at the back that one has to pass by scrapbooking and beading and art supplies, etc. to reach the yarn and then, pass by the decorative items, cake decorating supplies, and seasonal decorations on the way to the check out, that it is difficult not to see a lot of what they have!  But, I was not tempted to buy anything else other than the yarn I went to buy.  The store wasn't crowded on a weekday afternoon and I felt comfortable shopping.

After I came home, I took the trash cans to the curb for pick up on Tuesday morning, did a load of laundry, spoke with former neighbor T, chatted with friend R, watched news, and made my ham and potato soup for dinner.  It was the first time I have made this soup and it was good, but, it was just a little bland.

Tuesday was mostly cloudy and cool.  I brought in the emptied trash cans, put away the laundry I did on Monday, walked around the garden, made tuna salad to have on crackers for brunch, did a little housecleaning, watched some online videos, and crocheted.  I reheated the leftover ham and potato soup for my dinner and added a serrano chili to it and that really made a difference, I thought.  There is half a serving left; I will finish it for brunch on Wednesday.

I'm grateful for:

- Time spent in the garden
- Chatting with family and friends
- Weekly trash collections
- Safe drives to the library and craft store and back
- Working appliances

Joyful activities have included being in the garden, chatting with family and friends, and crocheting.

Plans for Wednesday include tending to the garden with M, more housework, and more crocheting.

How is your week coming along?

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

April Meal Planning: Week 4

Ham and Potato Soup
(with celery, carrots, and tomatoes)

This was the meal plan for the third week in April:

Brunches: Leftover milkrice and chicken curry (Monday), ham and bread rolls (Tuesday), pancakes with sausages, scrambled egg and fried potatoes, leftover pancakes and sausages, more ham and bread rolls

Dinners: Cup of noodles soup (Monday), leftover spaghetti and meat sauce (Tuesday), ham fried rice, ham and potato soup, leftovers.

Here's how that worked out:

Brunch:  Leftover milkrice and chicken curry 
Dinner: Cup of noodles soup

Brunch: Ham and bread roll sandwich
Dinner: Leftover spaghetti and meat sauce

Brunch: Scrambled egg, slice of ham, fried potatoes with bell pepper
Dinner: Tuna salad on crackers

Brunch: Bread roll with butter and peach jam
Dinner: Leftover spaghetti and meat sauce

Brunch: Last of the leftover spaghetti
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner: pancakes and sausages

Brunch: Leftover pancakes and sausages
Dinner: Ham fried rice

Brunch: Leftover ham fried rice
Dinner: Oven baked seasoned potato wedges and scrambled egg

There were a few changes, but, it worked out quite well.

On to Week 4:

Once again, this week's meal plan is based on what I have on hand in the freezer, fridge, and pantry, including a whole 5 lb. bag of potatoes that must be finished before they sprout! 

Brunches: Ham and bread rolls (Monday), boiled mung beans, tuna salad and crackers, scrambled egg and fried potato, toast and peanut butter, muffins?

Dinners: Ham and potato soup (with added vegetables), baked salmon with broccoli and potatoes, chicken curry and rice with dhal and moringa curry, leftovers. 

At least, that's the plan!  No doubt there will be some changes as the week progresses!

Are you making a meal plan this week?

Monday, April 22, 2024

Sunny Sunday


The Back Garden on Sunday

I might be slightly obsessed with my garden, right now!  But, I've been spending a lot of time, just walking among the plants, watching the lizards scurry out of my way, and listening to the birds singing.

Flowers and Weeds!

On Sunday, I walked in the garden, read for a bit, watched some videos and played some games (Sudoku, Solitaire, etc.)  I had the leftover fried rice for brunch and for dinner, I baked some seasoned potato wedges (I put salt, garlic powder, and paprika) and had them with a scrambled egg.  As I told one of my friends, I'm on a "breakfast for dinner" streak!  

Daughter said the choir performance went well.  One of the other ladies gave her a ride to the venue and brought her back, afterwards, which was very kind of her.  

On Sunday, I was grateful for:

- A sunny and warm day
- Being able to open the doors and windows to air out the house
- Having a garden and being able to spend time in the garden
- Internet service and electricity
- Emails from friends

Sunday's joyful activity was spending time in the garden.

I've had a lovely, relaxed weekend, but, I need to be productive on Monday!

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

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Relaxing on Saturday


Slightly Blurry Red Rose

Saturday was a sunny day, with a high in the low 70s.  Once again, I spent quite a bit of time out in the garden, checking on the plants, doing a spot of weeding, etc.  There was a mockingbird on one of the overhead wires, who had a lot to say!  There was a pair of crows, too, who checked out one of the overgrown Euphorbia tirucalli (pencil tree, pencil cactus) "trees" along the back garden wall; perhaps they were considering building a nest there?

I took it easy, after all the stress on Friday, and watched online videos, played some games, etc.  Dancer kept me company, in between his naps:

Watching the Sunlight Play on the Wall

Later in the evening, I spoke on the phone with Aunt C and video chatted with my daughter who spent the afternoon at a dress rehearsal for the UC Alumni Chorus spring performance, which will be held on Sunday (she's a second soprano).  She only started singing with them this spring, so this will be her first performance with them.  

Brunch was leftover pancakes and sausages from Friday's dinner.  Dinner was ham fried rice, made with leftover rice, ham, green peas, a scrambled egg, and some dry roasted peanuts added at the end.  Now I have leftover fried rice for Sunday's brunch!  I made some fresh lemonade to have with my dinner.  Yogurt for dessert.

On Saturday, I was grateful for:
- A sunny and warm day
- Daughter had fun at the dress rehearsal
- Phone calls from family and emails from friends
- The garden
- Dancer keeping me company

Saturday's joyful activities included spending time in the garden and video chatting with my daughter.

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

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Garden Flowers on Friday

White Iris

Friday was a stressful day, trying to "close the stable door after the horse has gone" as my mother would have said!  I made a couple of phone calls and tried to put a freeze on my credit with the three major credit bureaus and found the whole experience to be stressful.  Even their customer service people were not very helpful, with me telling one of them that I was logged into my account and him telling me that my account had expired!  Eventually, my daughter helped and to put a credit freeze in place (I honestly don't know what I would have done without her!  She is such a blessing!)  

Light Pink Rose

I spent some extra time out in the garden, trying to destress by looking at the flowers and doing some weeding.  We have some new roses:

Dark Pink Roses

And the first chrysanthemums of the season - this is one of the plants that M rescued a couple of years ago. 

Purple Chrysanthemums

I love the color!  I must remember to set up some stakes around the chrysanthemum plants, so that they don't flop over as much as they did, last year!  

The dogbane/scaredy-cat plant is in full bloom, now:

Dogbane/Scaredy-Cat Plant

I think I will be taking some cuttings from the plant after it has finished flowering and plant them in other areas of the garden, as well.  The bees love these flowers!

Close Up

M was here in the evening and he thinned more of the peaches and watered the garden for me.  

Brunch was the last of the leftover spaghetti.  Dinner was "breakfast for dinner" - pancakes and sausages.  Snacks included a bowl of pomegranate seeds:

Pomegranate Seeds

On Friday, I was grateful for:

- My daughter
- Her help with placing the credit freezes
- M's help with the garden
- Having a garden
- Garden flowers

Friday's joyful activities included spending time in the garden, enjoying the flowers and listening to the bird songs.

Plans for Saturday include some housework and maybe baking.

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

Friday, April 19, 2024


New Rose

M deadheaded all the other roses that were starting to fade, when he was here on Wednesday.

Thursday was a sunny and warm (low 70s) day.  I checked on the garden and the poor hummingbird sage plant was all wilted and drooping on the ground.  I tried to prop it up with a twig that I found in the garden.  It didn't like being transplanted, I guess.  But, it grows from a rhizome, so, hopefully, new growth will appear, eventually.

I spent some time cleaning the kitchen, today, scrubbing under the stove top, running the dishwasher, wiping down the counters, etc.  Later, I watched some videos and crocheted until my fingers started to cramp and then, I stopped.  It looks like I might need more yarn to finish the blanket that I am making.  I do hope that I have enough.

I am feeling a bit stressed, today, because I received an alert that my personal information was found on the dark web as a result of the phone company's data breach.  I now need to take a series of actions to try and protect myself from identity theft.  Thanks, phone company!  I really could have done without this additional stress!

On Thursday, I was grateful for:

- A sunny and warm day
- Being alerted about my personal information being breached
- The availability of credit monitoring services
- Working appliances and equipment
- Being able to knit and crochet

Thursday's joyful activities included receiving emails from friends, crocheting, and video chatting with my daughter.

Plans for Friday include attending to some paperwork and tending to the garden with M.

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

Thursday, April 18, 2024


Tea for Two!

Mama Cat and Chicken Little have started lining up on the steps every evening, around 4:30 p.m. or so.  They sit and wait until I give them a cup or so of kibble.  Patches comes by, later, after she checks to make sure that Mama Cat has gone away and the coast is clear!  She seems to prefer the canned food to the kibble, but, I tell her that she needs to eat whatever is given!  The canned cat food is a treat, not an everyday meal!

It was a sunny and warm (high of 77F) day, today.  M was here in the late morning to tend to the garden.  He brought me a new plant from his garden, a native plant known as hummingbird sage  (Salvia spathacea).  We planted it in the front garden, under the eucalyptus tree.  It's supposed to be drought tolerant, once established.  

I spent a fairly relaxed day, on Wednesday, crocheting and watching some online videos.  Later, I watched the evening news, chatted with friend R, and video chatted with my daughter.

Brunch was a scrambled egg, a slice of ham, and a potato cut up in cubes and fried, with a little diced bell pepper added to it.  Then, I wasn't very hungry for dinner, so I had tuna salad on crackers for dinner.

Today, I was grateful for:

- Another sunny and warm day
- M helping me with the garden and
- Bringing me more plants from his garden
- Being able to video chat with my daughter
- A relaxed day

Today's joyful activity was crocheting.  

Plans for Thursday include some weeding in the garden and more crocheting.

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

April Meal Planning - Week 3

I've been very lax with my meal planning, this month!  The first week in April, I had leftovers from when daughter was here and we had a lot of take outs and treats.

This was the meal plan for the second week:

Brunches: Scrambled eggs with toast or fried potatoes, pancakes or waffles, fried rice, French toast, toast with peanut butter, tuna salad sandwiches, muffins if I bake some

Dinners: Spaghetti with meat sauce (and leftover garlic bread); baked salmon with bulgur wheat salad (compliments of neighbor S)  with savory rice and broccoli or snow peas from the freezer; fried breaded shrimp with oven fried potato wedges and salad, leftovers from the spaghetti and the baked salmon and bulgur wheat salad.

Here's how that worked out:

Brunch: Beef curry sandwich with the last of the leftover beef curry
Dinner: Leftover rice and shrimp curry

Brunch: Scrambled egg on toast
Dinner: Leftover seafood potato balls, reheated in the oven

Brunch: Sauteed salmon and bulgur wheat salad, compliments of neighbor S
Dinner: Spaghetti and meat sauce

Brunch: French toast
Dinner: Leftover spaghetti and meat sauce

Brunch: Toast and peanut butter
Dinner: Leftover salmon and bulgur wheat salad

Brunch: Milkrice, chicken curry, and katta sambol
Dinner: Spaghetti and meat sauce

Brunch: Leftover milkrice and chicken curry
Dinner: Fried breaded shrimp (no oven fried potato wedges), salad

There were a few changes, but, it worked out quite well.

On to Week 3:

Once again, this week's meal plan is based on what I have on hand in the freezer, fridge, and pantry. 

Brunches: Leftover milkrice and chicken curry (Monday), ham and bread rolls (Tuesday), pancakes with sausages, scrambled egg and fried potatoes, leftover pancakes and sausages, more ham and bread rolls

Dinners: Cup of noodles soup (Monday), leftover spaghetti and meat sauce (Tuesday), ham fried rice, ham and potato soup, leftovers.

At least, that's the plan!  No doubt there will be some changes as the week progresses!

Are you making a meal plan this week?

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Midway Through April

Pink Rose - Starting to Fade

After a weekend of rain, Monday was sunny and it warmed up nicely to 72F in the afternoon.  I did a load of laundry, walked around the garden, and did a few things around the house.

In the afternoon, I went to the pharmacy to pick up two prescriptions that were ready.  I looked around the store a little bit, but, didn't buy anything.  Instead, I went over to the dollar store that is closing and looked around, again.  I bought a packet of hot glue sticks ($1.04), a pack of two 100% cotton kitchen towels ($1.80), and a bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider ($2.85); with taxes and deposit on the bottle of apple cider, the total came to $6.06.  

I'm finding myself feeling more comfortable going shopping in person, these days (fully masked, of course).  

After I came home, I took the trash cans to the curb, watched the evening news, video chatted with my daughter, and relaxed.

Brunch had been the last of the milkrice and chicken curry.  Dinner was a cup of noodles soup.  I didn't do a meal plan, yet, but, I took a package of sliced ham from the freezer and kept to thaw, to have with bread rolls for my brunches during the week.  

On Monday, I was grateful for:
- A sunny and warmer day
- The availability of medications
- The car started
- A safe drive to the stores and back
- Exchanging emails with friends

Monday's joyful activity was video chatting with my daughter.

Tuesday is supposed to be another sunny and warm day, with a high of 76F,  I've no special plans for the day, but, might do another load of laundry and some housework.

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

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Garden Additions

M Making the New Trellis

Earlier in the year, I had M prune the Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) vine which was sprawling all over the ground because the purchased trellis it had been growing on had deteriorated and broken down over the years.  I had planned to purchase another trellis, but, trellises are costly!  "Let's make one", I suggested to M.  "We can use some of the long branches we saved when you pruned the bottle brush tree!"  I think he was a bit skeptical, but, he always says it's my garden and I'm the boss!  LOL.  There's a reason why we get along so well and he's been tending to the garden for 31 years!

At first, I was going to do it, myself.  But, I didn't have the proper tools to trim the branches to size and, with one thing or another, the trellis didn't get built.  In the meantime, the star jasmine vine started to show new growth and flower buds started to appear.

On Friday, with rain in the forecast for the weekend, I told M not to bother watering the garden and we decided it was a good time to put together a trellis for the star jasmine.  Obviously, M did the work, while I directed and, occasionally, assisted with holding the cross pieces in place while he tied them.  I didn't want the trellis to be taller than the wall, so, M cut the poles to size.  This way, the wall will help protect the trellis from strong winds and minimize its chances of being blown down!

New Garden Trellis

Home grown, all natural, custom made, rustic trellis!  We decided to keep all the little branches in place as additional support for the vines.  Then, we draped some of the vines on the trellis to encourage them the grow up, instead of sprawling in a heap on the ground:

New Garden Trellis for the Star Jasmine Vine

I wondered if we needed to put some small rocks at the base to keep the trellis in place, but, M didn't think so.  We can always add them, later, if needed.  I told M that he should include "builds custom trellises" to his resume - he put together one with PVC pipes and chicken wire for my mother for her jasmine vine, several years ago, and now, he's put together another trellis for me.  

I love my new trellis!  What do you think?

In addition to the new trellis, we have a new plant for the garden:

New Tomato Plant

It's an heirloom tomato named "Berkeley Tie-Dye", which M selected in honor of my daughter!  

Tomato Plant Tag: "Caution: may cause flashbacks!"

Looking forward to seeing the "striking metalic green and red striped" tomatoes that are supposed to be a "delicious conversation piece" as described in the tag!  

We've had a rainy weekend, here, with rain on both Saturday and Sunday.  The garden has been well watered!  It's a bit chilly for me with night time temperatures of 46F and daytime highs of 55F, so, I've had the heater on all weekend.

I'm grateful for:
- M's willingness and help with the garden
- A new, very organic and homegrown trellis
- Rain for the garden
- A new tomato plant
- A working heater

My joyful activities have included supervising the making of the new trellis, gardening, celebrating the Sri Lankan new year, and phone calls with family and friends.

How is your weekend coming along?  What do you think of the new trellis?  Have you grown this type of heirloom tomatoes?