Friday, May 31, 2024



Another photo of the pink rose

I didn't take any photographs on Thursday, so, I'm posting a second photo I took of the rose, earlier.

On Thursday, I had a doctor's appointment at noon.  Although I left the house in plenty of time, there was a lot of traffic with some road closures and at least one protest adding to the already heavy traffic.  There were traffic officers directing the traffic at practically every intersection and that helped, but, I was a few minutes late to my appointment!  But, they were very understanding at the doctor's office.  I was taken in right away, weighed, etc., and the doctor checked me and went over the blood test results with me.  They were mostly good, but, I needed medication for the one not-so-good one.  I had been hoping to avoid additional medications, but, I am thankful that a medication is available for it.

Afterwards, I went to the little ethnic store near the doctor's office and bought two raisin buns from them.  And, on the way home, I picked up a pizza for my lunch (with leftovers for another couple of meals).

While having my lunch, I watched the news.  Afterwards, I did two loads of laundry, changed the sofa dust covers, spent an hour or so weeding in the back garden, and picked some blueberries.  I am freezing these blueberries to share with my daughter when she next visits.

In the evening, I watched a couple of TV programs, downloaded another book to read on the library's app, and chatted with my daughter.  

On Thursday, I am grateful for:

- A safe drive to the doctor's appointment and back
- A mostly good blood test report
- The availability of medications for the one thing that needs treatment
- Blueberries from the garden
- Working appliances

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

Plans for Friday include picking up my medications from the pharmacy and tending to the garden with M.

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Midweek Catch Up

White Sage Flowers

The white sage plant in the front garden is flowering.  It is a California native plant and drought tolerant.  Bees love the flowers.  The plant is edible, but, I must admit that I haven't actually used it in my cooking.  

I spent a fairly quiet holiday weekend.  I watered the garden on Saturday as I didn't do it on Friday.  On Sunday, I did some laundry and house cleaning , picked up my medication refills from the pharmacy, and went into a department store in the same shopping mall as the pharmacy to return a package as the item sent was the wrong size.  I had been thinking of going to the store later in the week, after the holiday weekend, but, the parking lot was quite empty, so I went inside and the store was quite empty for a holiday weekend!  I thought there would be more of a crowd shopping the Memorial Day sales, but, no crowds at that particular store.

On Monday, Memorial Day, I did some weeding in the back garden and, later, my daughter talked me through the process of setting up the new laptop that she got me as a Mother's Day gift.  It is up and running and it is lovely to have a reliable internet connection, again!  I have been bookmarking most of the blogs I visit on a regular basis, but, I know that there are one or two that I haven't bookmarked yet.  

On Tuesday, I watered the garden, did more weeding, and picked blueberries.  Afterwards, I gave myself a pedicure.  

Today, Wednesday, gardener M was here and we set up some wire mesh around the "corn patch" (hopefully!) and the okra bed:

The Corn Patch (with Mama Cat guarding it)

This seems to be Mama Cat's favorite spot in the garden at the moment.  She even sleeps there, although her cardboard box is still set outside, under the patio.  

Okra Bed

The okra seedlings are coming up, but, already, some of them have been eaten by something!  Not sure what - birds?  Chicken Little? Snails?  Hopefully, the wire mesh will discourage birds from eating the seedlings.  We used the wire mesh that I already had and some branches and part of a broom stick for the supports.  But, M has been tasked with sourcing some bamboo poles for the pole bean supports.  

The roses are still flowering:


M has also been asked to buy some top soil, at his convenience, to add to the rose bed.

I spent a little more time in the garden after M left and did a bit more weeding.  I have been carrying the metal garden chair around and sitting on it to weed.  

And I came across this bee, resting on a leaf on the nectarine tree, and cleaning its hind legs.  It seemed like a rather odd thing of it to do, but, I suppose they don't want to always have pollen on them?  

Bee at Rest

I was going to make a meal plan for the week on Monday, but, I've been finishing up leftovers for the most part.  For brunch, today, for example, I made waffles to eat with the last of the chicken curry.  Dinner was some of the frozen breaded shrimp, baked in the toaster oven, with tomato chutney to dip into.  I'm thinking of maybe getting a pizza for a late lunch, tomorrow, on my way home from the doctor's appointment; if I do, there will be leftovers for dinner and another lunch or two.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- My new computer
- My daughter helping me with setting it up
- Reliable internet services, again
- M's help with the garden
- The availability of my medications

Today's joyful activities include gardening, crocheting, and watching online videos.

Plans for tomorrow include the appointment with the doctor to go over blood test results.  

How is your week coming along?


Monday, May 27, 2024

The Back Garden in May

A View of the Back Garden in May

The back garden in May is also in transition from spring to summer with the spring flowers dying and the summer plants starting to grow.  What looks like a pile of dead branches in the middle of the picture is where I am hoping to have my corn patch!  We put the branches we cut from the curry leaf tree over the freshly planted bed of corn to keep Mama Cat from considering it a giant litter box and to keep Chicken Little from eating the corn!  Eventually, I want M to put up some chicken wire fencing around it.  He planted the corn a week ago and we have one or two seedlings making their way up:

The First Corn Seedlings

Phacelia and Celery Going to Seed

Just behind the newly planted corn patch, there is an Asian pear tree and these wildflowers called phacelia and the red stemmed celery which has bolted.  I am allowing the celery to form seeds and will try to collect the seeds.  The phacelia is there for the bees.

Nearby, in another newly dug planting bed, the okra seedlings are just starting to pop up:

Okra Seedlings

Last year, the okra didn't do well, at all.  Only a few seedlings grew and none of them grew taller than a foot or so and only one of them produced one single okra!  I hope that it will be better, this year.  Okra was selling for $5.99/lb. at the ethnic grocery store, the other day when I was there!  

Under the Orange Tree

We cleared the osteospermum plants that were growing under the orange tree as they had finished flowering.  They will return next spring, I'm sure, but, in the meantime, I am wondering if I should plant something else there or cover it with mulch.

The next photo is a close up and comes with the warning, "Objects in the photo are larger than they are" - baby oranges, about half an inch in diameter!

Baby Oranges 

Nearby, just behind the orange tree, the feijoa/pineapple guava tree is full of flowers:

Feijoa/Pineapple Guava Flowers

I am hoping that we'll get some fruit this year.  Last year, there were plenty of flowers like this, but, there weren't any fruits!  

There are lots of flowers on the gaura plant, too:


It is growing under the peach tree, where the peaches are starting to ripen:

The Peach Tree

The peaches are ripening later than they did in previous years, but, I am okay with that.

Apple Seedling

Nearby, we have the apple seedling I grew from a seed.  I've no idea if it will bear fruit and what kind of apple it will be, but, I'm thrilled to have another grown from seed fruit tree to keep the avocado tree (also grown from seed) company!

Another star of the garden is the dogbane/scaredy cat (it doesn't really seem to bother the garden cats); I just love their light purple flowers! 

Dogbane/Scaredy Cat

Just next to them, we have the Berkeley Tie Dye tomato plant with a couple of very tiny tomatoes growing!

One Tomato

Two Tomatoes

There are more flowers on the tomato plant and hopefully, we'll get a good crop of tomatoes!

Serrano Chilies

Also growing under the peach tree, I have my Serrano chili plant, with a good crop of green chilies to pick.  If I leave them on the tree, they will eventually turn red, but, picking them while green triggers the plant to produce more flowers and, hopefully, more chilies.  I use them when I cook curries or make egg salad for sandwiches or make cucumber salad to add a little heat.

In the meantime, the self sown mirabilis/four o'clock plants have taken over the area under the lemon trees where the chrysanthemums are planted!  They grow as weeds in my garden, but, their flowers are so pretty that I leave them in place.

Chrysanthemums and Mirabilis

Among the stars of the garden, right now, are the blueberry bushes:


Nearby, we have what I am calling M's "stonery". I collected some small stones and pebbles from the garden and put them around the post that supports the patio roof.  The stones are too small to be considered rocks, so I can't call it a rockery, but, M has been planting various plants he brings me among the stones.  The sedum had been growing in a pot, but, it is thriving in its new location.  The fern is a new addition as is the blue agapanthas "Elaine" that was planted last week.  There are some succulents growing there, too.  Maybe I need to find some bigger rocks and make it a proper rockery instead of a stonery!

"Stonery" or Rockery Wanna Be!

Or, maybe I should relocate the stumps over to this area!

Without the osteospermum flowers to distract, other garden flowers, such as this hibiscus, are being appreciated, more:


And of course, there are still some roses:

Pink Rose

There are also much clearing and tidying up to do.  The crocosmia have finished flowering and have set their seeds and have flopped over.  They need to be cut down and the area cleaned up; the bulbs will remain in place and will grow again in the fall.


Then, there is the wilderness at the very back, behind the garage and the shed:


Root Stock Roses Growing Among the Weeds

It's a mixture of root stock roses, gazania, and grasses.  M doesn't have enough time to water and clear the weeds.  I must start taking over the watering so he can weed and tidy.  There's an even worse area, where the Martha Washington geraniums are growing!  We are waiting until it has finished flowering - M wants to dig up the plants, clear the weeds, and then, replant the geraniums.  Until then, I'm just calling it my patch of tall grass prairie!  

Patches - hiding from Mama Cat

And that is the back garden in May!  Thank you for strolling around the garden with me.  

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Front Garden in May

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"

The theme for the front garden in May has to be the song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"!  That spring exuberance of osteospermum flowers has ended.  All that remains are a few seeds that will scatter themselves or get eaten by the birds.  The garden is still green, however, and I haven't decided if I want to pull out or cut back the osteospermum and clean up the garden a bit.

The Newest Addition - A Plant in the Gentiana Family

This is the newest addition to the front garden - a blue flowered plant that M brought for me saying it is in the Gentiana family.  I don't know for sure, but, I hope it will grow well in my garden,

A Trickle of Osteospermum

April's "stream of osteospermum" has turned into a trickle, now, although this plant that is spilling onto the sidewalk is still looking quite healthy.

The "Stumpery"

Not much has changed in the stumpery.  

The Succulents Border

Looking down the succulents border, everything is growing well.


This patch of aeoniums has spread.  They look a little like green roses, don't they?

I watered the front garden on Saturday, just after I took these pictures, since M wasn't here on Friday (he took the long weekend off).  

And that is the front garden in May.  Something tells me that there will be a lot of cleaning up and tidying to be done in June.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Overcast and Chilly Friday

Blueberry Muffins

My internet connection has been off and on all day, but, I am still able to post as and when there is a connection!  Sometimes, the connection re-establishes on its own, but, more often, I have to restart the computer.  

This morning, I tended to some paperwork and medical insurance issues, which were resolved without much of a problem.  I always carry my insurance cards with me and present them when I go to the lab for blood tests, etc., because I don't like to provide the information online when I make my appointments (even though, after all the data breaches, my information is all out there, anyway!)  I usually check in at the lab using their check-in kiosk and that's when I enter the insurance info.  Sometimes, though, the lab tech will ask to see the cards and then I hand them to the lab tech.

But, yesterday, and on the previous occasion (earlier in the month), I had checked in using my phone (a much faster way of doing things, I found).  Checking in over the phone, however, doesn't allow me to submit my insurance info and the lab tech didn't ask for it on the last visit and I forgot to ask her if she needed to see the cards.  Yesterday, however, I remembered and asked her if she needed to see them and then, she said yes. 

Then, I told her that I hadn't submitted the information on the previous visit and asked her if they would use the information they have in the system and she said they didn't retain any information in their system!  So, I wondered how they would handle the billing?  Would they send me a bill instead of billing my insurance?  I tried to call the lab's billing department, yesterday, but, they are located in another time zone and their offices had closed by the time I called them, at 2:30 p.m., my time.

Today, I checked the insurance provider's website to check my latest billing statement to see if there was any indication that they had received the bill from the lab, but, it wasn't there, yet.  Then, I called the lab's billing department again and spoke to a customer service agent, explaining what had happened and will I be billed for the earlier visit when I didn't provide the insurance information?  She was very kind and looked up the file and said, no, they just called my doctor's office and got the insurance info from them!  Oh!  Such a simple solution and here I was getting all stressed about it!  

"Hi, my name is Bless and I am good at making mountains out of molehills!"

LOL! Apparently, I'm not the only one to forget to provide the insurance info, although that was the first time for me, and they have a system in place to handle that!  I was so relieved and happy!  I told the customer service agent I spoke with that she had made my day and I can relax and enjoy the long weekend with that situation resolved.  Big sigh of relief!

Once that was out of the way, I checked on the garden, refilled the garden cats' water bowl (which also doubles as Chicken Little and other garden birds' water bowl, as well as the visiting raccoons who tend to spill any water left in the bowl) and picked more blueberries.  I also accepted another package for friend R. 

Then, I cleaned the kitchen and ran the dishwasher.  

Brunch had been rice and beef curry.  At tea time, I made a batch of blueberry muffins, with freshly picked blueberries.  I reused the liners that I had saved from the tin of Danish butter cookies I had bought for the almsgiving; there were ten liners and that's how many muffins I made!  I tried to call neighbor S to ask if she'd like some muffins, but, she was not home; I think they've gone away for the long weekend.  There are leftovers for dinner, although I am rather full after eating two muffins!  I might have some cheese and crackers for dinner.  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Not having to worry about receiving a big bill for the earlier lab work!
- Having medical insurance
- Phone calls, emails, texts, etc. with family and friends
- Internet connections
- Blueberries from the garden 

Today's joyful activities included getting the billing question answered in the best way possible and baking (and eating!) blueberry muffins.

Plans for tomorrow include doing some laundry and cleaning my bedroom.  

How was your Friday?  What are your plans for Saturday?  What are your plans for the long weekend?

Thursday, May 23, 2024



Beef Curry

Thursday was another cloudy day with the day time high of 67F.  That is cooler than normal for us at this time of the year.  

I went for my blood test and lab work in the morning; there was a 20 minutes wait, but, I had my book of crossword puzzles with me and the time passed pleasantly enough.  The lab tests went smoothly and I hope the results will be good.  

I relaxed after I came home and watched some online videos.  My internet connection has been good, today (hope I didn't jinx it by saying so!)  After a brunch of peanut butter toast, I picked some blueberries and checked on the garden.  Later in the evening, I watched news and some TV programs.

Later, I cooked the beef I bought on Wednesday.  I made what I call "devilled beef", which is a spicy beef curry with onions, tomatoes, and green chilies added to it and not a lot of gravy.  I had some of it with leftover rice from yesterday and there are leftovers for later.  

My daughter returned from Omaha, today - she is still on her way from the airport to her apartment as I type this (at 11:25 p.m.)

Today, I am grateful for:

- Access to medical services
- Daughter had a safe flight back
- Blueberries from the garden
- Uninterrupted internet services!
- A safe drive to the lab and back

Today's joyful activity was picking blueberries!

Plans for tomorrow will have to include some housework and paperwork.

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

May Grocery Shopping Part 2

May Grocery Shopping Part 2

Today, I went grocery shopping in person at one of my favorite ethnic grocery stores, for the first time since the first Covid lockdown!  

Receipt: $25.91

In the morning, I tended to the garden with M.  We planted some of the pole beans and the blue flowered plant that M brought me a week or so ago (a type of gentian, maybe?) and a blue agapanthus "Elaine" to replace the ones I had which died.  He also finished weeding the planting bed out of which I had pulled the osteospermum and watered the garden.  

In the afternoon, around 3:00 p.m., I took the packages over to friend R.  She wanted some curry leaves, lemon leaves, and some lemons, too, so I took her a bag of those, too.  

Friend R lives just a few blocks from the large Armenian grocery store; the one that has really good produce prices.  They were selling red cherries for $0.99/lb. this week and I decided that I will go there and buy some cherries and a few other things that were on sale this week.

The store was not too crowded and I wore a mask, of course (I think I was the only one there with a mask).  I took the opportunity to do a quick walk around the store to check out the prices.  Certain things have gone up in price since the last time I was there, over 4 years ago, which is to be expected, of course.  But, I was able to get an idea of what the current prices are and, as usual, the majority of the fresh produce was cheaper than at the supermarket.  

I bought:

Beef (boneless chuck roll) @ $4.99/lb. = $4.59
2 canned sardines, 5.5 oz @ $0.89 =  $1.78
2 mangos, $0.69@ = $1.38
2 bananas, @$0.59/lb. = $0.48
2+lb. cherries @ $0.99/lb. = $2.12
1 package digestive cookies, 400g = $1.99
1 package sesame crackers = $3.67
1 package, 8 oz. paprika = $4.49
4 cans coconut milk @ $1.19 = $4.76
Green beans @ $0.99/lb. = $0.48
2 Persian cucumbers @ 2lb/$0.99 = $0.17
Total = $25.91

May grocery budget = $100

Spent to date = $15.39 (over spent in April) + $29.47 + $25.91 = $70.77

Balance remaining in the May grocery budget = $100 - $70.77 = $29.23

I felt comfortable shopping there, today. I will continue to pick up certain things from the supermarket, but, maybe I might start going to the ethnic store in person, again, for the fresh produce and specialty items. 

I had forgotten to eat brunch, but, when I came home from the store, I had a banana, some of the sesame crackers, and later, I had two of the digestive cookies with a cup of tea.  Dinner will be freshly cooked rice (it just finished cooking) and some of the leftover stirfry (I kept a portion or two back when I made it to take to my cousin's house on Monday).

Today, I am grateful for:
- M's help with the garden and the plants he brings me
- Being able to help friend R by taking her the packages 
- A safe drive to R's and the grocery store and back
- Feeling ready to shop in person at the grocery store, again
- Daughter had an uneventful day at the conference

Today's joyful activity was gardening, although grocery shopping felt very joyful, too!

Plans for Thursday include another blood test at noon.

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

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Cousin V's Maine Coon Mix Cat

Isn't he gorgeous?  Such a friendly kitty and very affectionate.  Very vocal, too! 

My daughter experienced her first tornado warning this morning!  We are used to earthquakes and know what to do when it starts shaking, but, we don't usually experience tornados (although there have been a few small ones in and around the greater Los Angeles area over the years) and she didn't quite know what the siren meant or what to do (although she quickly shut herself up in the bathroom to wait it out).  Later, the warning changed to a tornado watch and there was a flood watch, too!  

I had a much less exciting day than my daughter.  I brought the trash cans in, took in my own packages that were delivered today (two bags of cat food kibbles, a box of canned cat food pate, and a box of laundry detergent), checked the grocery flyers (cherries for $0.99/lb. at one of the ethnic grocery stores!) and spent some time in the garden.

The osteospermum is more or less done with flowering for the spring; there will be the occasional flowers over the summer, but, it won't be anything like that first spring bloom.  M cleared out the osteospermum growing under the orange tree a week or so ago and, today, I pulled up all the plants that were crowding out the rose bushes in one of the beds.  That bed only has three rose bushes growing in it, anyway, and one of them is the root stock rose that the tea rose had been grafted onto!  I shall ask M to add more top soil to that planting bed and maybe we will buy a few more rose bushes to plant in it.  No doubt the osteospermum will return, next year, unless I put down some cardboard to prevent it.  

Lunch was the meal I brought home from cousin V's on Monday.  For dinner, I made over the stuffed chicken breast that neighbor S had given me.  She had given me one and a half stuffed chicken breasts and when I warmed up and ate the half, I found it to be a little dry.  So, today, I sliced up the remaining stuffed chicken breast, added a can of cream of chicken soup mixed up with a can of water, some frozen green peas and some cut up fresh carrots, sprinkled it with onion powder, garlic salt, and some black pepper, and baked it in my toaster oven for 30 minutes to make it over into a casserole:

Chicken Casserole

The end result was more like chicken pot pie filling than a chicken casserole (maybe I should have added more rice than what was in the stuffing), but, I ate a portion of it for my dinner and it tasted good (and the chicken was no longer dry!  LOL)  Of course I've ended up with more leftovers as a result of my make-over, so I will freeze it in portions to make chicken pot pies, later.  

I had planned to take friend R's packages to her, today, and I called her in the evening, but, for various reasons, we decided that tomorrow would be a better day to take them over to her.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter didn't have to experience a tornado, just a warning!
- She is safe and well
- Being able to order items online and have the packages delivered to my door
- Time spent in the garden
- Leftover and made-overs

Today's joyful activity was doing a bit of gardening.

Plans for Wednesday include tending to the garden with M in the morning and dropping off R's packages.  

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

Another Visit with Cousins on Monday

Crocheted Coasters

I had another lovely visit with my cousins on Monday.  I This time, we took the pictures at the beginning, before we ate lunch!  LOL.  I made a sausage stir fry to take along with a jar of my tomato chutney.  V had made a lovely lunch with rice, pork curry, potato curry, okra cooked with red bell peppers, a beetroot curry, and there was some of the fried dry fish leftover from earlier.  At the last minute, her husband fried some pappadum to have with the lunch and, of course, I was told to serve myself a portion to bring home with me, which I did!  There was fresh pineapple for dessert, but, I brought my portion home because I was too full for dessert immediately after lunch.

I wanted to give cousin M a very small gift, keeping in mind that she had a full suitcase of stuff to take back and weight limits to take into consideration.  Rather than buy her something, I decided to crochet her a set of coasters - very small and very lightweight so she could tuck them into a corner of her suitcase.  She was very pleased with the gift and told me that she still had a grey and white scarf I had knitted and given her on a previous visit - I had forgotten that I had made a scarf for her!  

I stopped at the pharmacy, on my way home, to pick up my inhaler that was ready.  I didn't buy anything else while I was at the drugstore.  The dollar store next door was closed and already, there was some graffiti outside the building, which is sad.  

After I came home, I did a load of laundry, watered the back garden, accepted another package for friend R, and took the trash cans to the curb (set them up outside the driveway as there was no room along the curb).  Later, I chatted with my daughter.  She had a good first day of the conference, which started in the afternoon and concluded with a vegetarian dinner (apparently, in order to minimize the carbon foot print of the conference, but, no doubt, also as a cost cutting measure as vegetables are cheaper than meat!)  The dinner consisted of an assortment of Indian, Chinese, and Western food, according to daughter, probably because it was an international conference.   Daughter said she did get a mild migraine, probably due to the time change affecting her sleep patterns and the stress of flying, but, it went away, later on.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Another lovely get together with my cousins
- A safe drive to and from the lunch with cousins
- V sending me home with a container of food
- My medications being available
- Daughter being OK

Today's joyful activity was getting together with my cousins over lunch.

Plans for Tuesday include taking R's packages to her.

Meal Plan for the Week:

Meal plans for the week will include sausage stir fry (with rice or noodles), the food cousin V sent home with me, chicken curry (from the freezer, thawing in the fridge) with rice and moringa curry (also from the freezer); and the stuffed chicken breast that neighbor S gave me earlier which will be made over into a chicken casserole with a can of cream of chicken soup,  and leftovers.  There might be some breakfasts for dinner, too, as sometimes, I have my main meal of the day for brunch.  

I am going to post this before I lose my internet connection!

I hope everyone is having a good week!


Monday, May 20, 2024


Sunday Afternoon Naps

Thank you, everyone, for your comments and for your patience while I try to deal with the internet interruptions.  I will try to reply to comments as and when I can. But, currently, what I am doing is posting all the comments in one go while I have a connection and depending on how long the connection lasts, I will respond then or later. So, if I don't respond to your comments as soon as I post them, please don't think I'm ignoring your comment.

Sunday has been a fairly quiet day.  My daughter flew to Omaha, Nebraska for a conference, today.  She flew out from the San Francisco Airport, with a layover in Denver.  She said the flight was smooth until it was time to touch down at Denver and then, there was a lot of turbulence, with the plane descending at such a fast rate that all the passengers looked at one another wondering what might happen. But, they touched down safely!  The flight from Denver to Omaha was quite turbulent, too, she said, with the flight attendants remaining seated for the most part. But, she arrived safe and sound and made her way to the hotel room.  As usual, I had the altar light on the entire time until she called to tell me she was safely in the hotel. Later, we Facetimed, since I now have a phone that allows us to do that (usually, we video chat on our computers).  The conference starts on Monday and ends on Thursday; she will fly back on Thursday night.

I spent a relaxed day, checking on things in the garden, going online as and when I could, and doing some crocheting.  I accepted another package for friend R and called her to let her know that it had arrived.  I also called cousin V to confirm the plans for tomorrow.  I offered to bring something for lunch and, at first, she said not to worry, she has prepared a curry and we'll just share whatever else is there.  But, when I offered to bring a chicken curry and a stir fry, she said to bring the stir fry.  So, that's what I will do. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- Daughter had a safe flight to the conference
- All my blog readers
- At least some internet service
- Having a phone with Facetime capability
- A sunny day

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

My plans for Monday include visiting my cousins and having lunch with them.  

I hope you have a wonderful Monday and a good start to your week.

What's better than an afternoon nap in the sun?

Sunday, May 19, 2024


Orange Rose

Just a quick post on Saturday, before the internet connection goes off again!

I've had a good day.  Cousin V called in the morning to say that cousin M realized that we hadn't taken any pictures of us together on Thursday, when I was there, so please come to lunch again on Monday and we'll take some pictures!  LOL.  I told her that it is not necessary to prepare lunch, but, cousin M leaves on Monday night, so, it will be nice to see her once more before she leaves.

Then, friend R called to let me know that she's having a package delivered to my house and it should arrive sometime during the day (a replacement for a package that was delivered to her apartment and was stolen).  It arrived in the afternoon and I called to let her know.  I said I could bring it to her later in the day, but, she asked me to hold off on bringing it because she's expecting two more packages which will be delivered to my address, next week.  So, I'll wait and take all the packages to her at one time.

I'm expecting some packages to be delivered next week, myself, because I ordered some cat food and a box of laundry detergent powder.

Brunch was a scrambled egg on toast, followed by fresh watermelon.  Dinner was baked breaded shrimp with salad; blueberries for dessert.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Another invitation to lunch with cousins
- Roses
- Being able to help friend R by accepting her packages for her
- Emails and phone calls
- Being able to order packages online to be delivered

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

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. 

Pink Roses Are Blooming Again

Friday, May 17, 2024


Bauhinia Flowers

Not a very good picture, but, the bauhinia plant is flowering (there's a yucca plant behind it).  

My computer is still acting up.  I think I really need to take it to the store next week and have it checked.  I couldn't connect to the internet all day, until about 10:30 p.m.  I'm hoping the connection will last long enough for me to type up this blog post.

It was another "May Gray" sort of overcast, cooler than normal, day, today.  I don't like the gloomy days.  But, I got a load of laundry done before I had to leave to go for my appointment with the nurse practitioner and I saw the City's watering truck come by and refill the water bags for the street trees - I think they refill the bags once every other week on a Friday. 

The appointment was at 1:00 p.m. and I left a little before 12:00 noon and I was still about 5 minutes late!  The traffic was as  bad as ever!  The waiting room was crowded, too, but, I was called in after only a few minutes of waiting and the visit with the nurse practitioner went well.  My blood test results were mostly good; the one not-so-good item will get rechecked.

I took the blanket I had crocheted and gave it to the nurse practitioner to be given to one of the patients; she was very appreciative of it.  

It was 3:00 p.m. when I got home.  I warmed up the food my cousin had sent home with me and had that for a late lunch.  

Later in the evening, M and I planted the okra seeds I had kept to soak overnight.  He brought me another piece of a stump, but, it was too big to place in the stumpery in the front (would have required uprooting too many of the succulents already growing there).  So, I asked him to place it in the back garden, in front of the star jasmine vine that is growing up the homemade trellis.  We might make another stumpery there!  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Mostly good blood test results
- A good appointment with the NP
- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- M's help with the garden
- Internet connections (for as long as it lasts!)

Today's joyful activity was picking blueberries!

Plans for the weekend include doing some housework and crocheting.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.


Thursday, May 16, 2024

Visiting Cousins on Thursday


Feijoa (Pineapple Guava) Flowers

The Feijoa or pineapple guava tree is flowering now.  I am hoping that there will be plenty of the fruit to pick, this year (there was no fruit last year).

Today, I enjoyed lunch with three of my cousins, including cousin M who is visiting from Australia.  I offered to bring something, but, cousin V, who was hosting the lunch, said not to bother.  So, I just took her a bag of lemons from my garden because she loves lemons.  Cousin V had prepared what she called a "simple meal" of rice and curries.  But, she is a wonderful cook and there was, in addition to the rice, chicken curry, beef curry, dhal, spicy sauteed potatoes, bread fruit curry with spinach, fried salted dry fish (a type of preserved fish), beetroot salad, and Sri Lankan mixed pickle!  Quite a feast in my opinion!  V had also made Sri Lankan style sego pudding (with coconut milk and jaggery)  for dessert and her sister R brought two type of cookies. 

I enjoyed seeing my cousins, again, especially M, as I haven't seen her in over a year (she generally visits once a year or so) and we spent the afternoon chatting.  Just before I left, cousin V served me a plate of food and a container of the sego pudding to bring home!  I have enough for my dinner and for lunch, tomorrow!      

I've had a relaxed evening since I came home. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Visits with cousins
- A safe drive to cousin V's and back
- V sending me home with dinner
- Lemons from the garden to share
- Sunshine in the afternoon after the morning clouds

Today's joyful activity was visiting with my cousins.

Plans for tomorrow include an afternoon appointment with the oncology nurse practitioner and tending to the garden with M in the evening.  I put the okra seeds to soak - we will plant them, tomorrow.

I hope I can get the internet connection to work long enough for me to copy and paste this post!

Hope you have a lovely day on Friday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024


The Stumpery 

My gardener friend M brought me another stump or two and we placed them this morning.  We had to remove a couple of small succulents to make room for the newer stumps, but, we planted them elsewhere.   

There is an older stump to the right of the new stumpery (the viewer's right) that is half covered by the succulents:

One of the other stumps 

That is what I'm hoping the new stumpery will look like, once a few plants grow around it.  It's a work in progress.

M planted corn in a newly prepared bed in the back yard, today, and we cleaned out the poppies growing in the other half of the planting bed where the tomato was planted, to get it ready for planting some pole beans.  We will have to figure out some sort of support for the pole beans to climb on!  

He also brought me a new plant - he thinks it's a gentian.  Whatever it is, we will plant it in the front garden on Friday and hope it will grow!

I was without an internet connection this morning, but, I have one now, in the afternoon, so I thought I'll do a quick blog post. 

It's been a cloudy day with a high of only in the mid 60s (65F, right now at 4:05 p.m.)

Today, I'm grateful for:
- Being able to access the internet, even briefly
- M's help with the garden
- Water for the garden
- The small electric heater (guess who is feeling cold?!)
- Blueberries fresh from the garden.

My joyful activity today was finishing up the stumpery!

Plans for tomorrow (Thursday) include visiting my cousins.

I hope everyone is well and having a good week.  I will catch up with your blogs as and when I'm able to.  


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

May Meal Plan Week 3

 My computer is still acting up.  Intermittent access to the internet, often not long enough to copy and paste a post!  

But, otherwise, I am doing well.  Sunny and a bit cool on Tuesday. Neighbor S brought me some stuffed chicken breast = she said it came already stuffed (with rice, broccoli, and cheese) and she cooked it yesterday. I've added it to the week's meal plan.

Hope all is well with all of you!

Weekly Meal Plan - May Week 2 


Leftover yogurt flatbread with chicken curry (Monday)

Egg salad sandwiches (Tuesday and probably Wednesday, too)

Leftover flatbread with katta sambol

Banana-blueberry muffins 

Frozen burrito


Leftover rice, shrimp curry, and dhal (Monday)

Leftover battered fish, salad, potato wedges (Tuesday)

Stuffed chicken breasts (compliments of neighbor S) with salad and/or cooked vegetables.

Smoked sausage and vegetables stir fry with rice



Fresh fruit (apples, blueberries, pomegranate)

Leftover cake and blueberry compote

Yogurt and treacle

Monday, May 13, 2024


Having computer issues - keeps kicking me off the internet every few minutes.  Will reply to blog comments as and when I can.  Will post my meal plan, tomorrow.  Sorry!  

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Mother's Day Weekend

Garden Flowers

The second Sunday in May is Mother's Day, here in the US and in Canada, too.  Happy Mother's Day to all the women who are mothers, step-mothers, foster mothers, or fulfill the role of a mother in someone else's life.  I hope you have had a lovely weekend.

It has been a sunny and warm weekend at this end.

On Saturday, I changed the bedsheets on my daughter's bed (she's not here, of course, but, Dancer has been sleeping in her bed) and the sofa dust sheets and did a load of laundry.  In the afternoon, neighbor S called me to offer me some watermelon and I went over to visit her very briefly, as it was the one year anniversary of her mother-in-law's passing.  S gave me a quarter of a watermelon, saying she and her family couldn't finish the whole watermelon they had bought, a slice of zucchini bread, and a gata (Armenian cookie)!

Treats Compliments of Neighbor S

In the evening, I cooked another chicken curry with the second tray of chicken thighs I had bought, earlier:

Chicken Curry

Once again, there were eight thighs in the package; I ate one of the thighs for dinner, with the yogurt flatbread/roti I made to go with the chicken curry, and froze the rest of the chicken curry in smaller packages for future meals.

Yogurt Flatbread/Roti

Today, Sunday, I had another piece of chicken curry and roti for my brunch.  I had considered making waffles or French toast, but, curry and roti was what I wanted and that's what I had!  I ate some watermelon, afterwards.  All I wanted for dinner was scrambled eggs and toast.

I had a very relaxed day.  I spoke on the phone with friend R, former neighbor T, aunt C, and, of course, with my daughter; texted with cousin N and with my late friend A's daughter.  I walked in the garden and picked some flowers.  I watched some videos online and crocheted.  Later in the evening, I video chatted with my daughter.  

This weekend, I was grateful for:

- My daughter
- My mother
- Being able to keep in touch with family and friends
- Having wonderful neighbors like S
- Garden flowers

My joyful activities included chatting with my daughter, phoning and texting with family and friends, and spending time in the garden.

Plans for Monday include some much needed housework and tidying the linen closet!

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