Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Scenes from the Month

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well.

I thought I'd catch you up to my month of August in photo collages (click on a collage to enlarge it).

The weather has continued to be very hot during the month so I go out for errands and a walk just before dinner when it's cooler.

This first collage shows some street scenes a little farther east of where I usually go to shop. I wanted to stop for Vietnamese food nearby, then make my way to the local library.

These sky photos were taken on my way to check the postal box a few days ago. You can see the sky is cloudy which makes it more interesting than a clear, blue sky. Also, the clouds portended rain which we desperately need. The rains did at last arrive overnight Monday and continued into Tuesday.

I like to keep some kind of record of my decluttering project so I can look back on the progress I've made . This next collage shows a small selection of the items I've decluttered in August.

I meant to include this photo of the Fiddle Leaf Fig in my last post but got busy. The plant only had 2 half dead leaves on it (one of them is pictured in the photo on the left). I finally put it outside in the hot sun and watered it sparingly.  You can see how much it grew in the span of about 5 weeks. If we get any more hot, sunny days before the rainy season arrives, I'll put it outside again. I want to get it as healthy as possible before I bring it indoors for the dark and cold months.  This plant really needs sunshine or good light to survive and thrive.

These flowers are in public planters on the side of the street. They are 2 different varieties of Rose of Sharon, a type of Hibiscus. They always bring a smile to my face whenever I pass by them.

I've done a bit of reading but not a lot. One novel I enjoyed was Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly.

Dear hubby has gone for a short visit to Kenya with very little advance preparation. He has just a small window of time before he gets busy again so I suggested he go without me.  There is a lot to do here before winter and someone has to be here to deal with the remediation of the patio.

The special assessment for patio remediation was finally dealt with late last week. Work should begin soon but because of the late start, the scope of the work and also the fact that rainy season will arrive soon the work won't be completed by December's end.  I'm not exactly sure when the work will be completed ir how this will affect the patio garden in 2024, but I'm hopeful work will be done in time to plant something next spring.

Things continue to keep me busy but I've also been taking things more slowly than usual.  Since my discharge from hospital I want to be sure to heal well before pushing myself too hard. I think I'm now fully recovered but have been feeling tired these past few days.

My thoughts and prayers are focused on all those dealing with natural disasters and whose lives have been upended in Canada (due to wildfires), in USA (due to wildfires and hurricanes), and all around the world with so many different issues. May you and your loved ones stay safe and May God hold you in the palm of His mighty hand.

Monday, August 7, 2023

The Long Weekend Ends

Thank you to the dear friends and fellow blogger who commented on my last post. I truly appreciate it. Monday concluded one of the busiest long weekends of the summer in my province.  I didn't get up to much or go too far. I always like to avoid the crowds as much as I can and I'm still recovering from a  recent hospital stay. I find I get tired even more quickly than usual.

On Friday, I completed the oral antibiotics I was prescribed.  The skin infection, wounds and cellulitis on my legs have all improved significantly.  But the redness and tenderness on my right leg is still a bit evident.  On Sunday I had an appointment with wound care nurse at a neighbourhood clinic I've never been to before. My skin wounds are healed but I thought it best to keep the appointment and see what the nurse had to say. She confirmed everything is healed but she will call me in a week to see how things are going.

After my clinic visit I took a walk to the library to return two books. The book, There There is a debut novel of a Native American writer from the USA. It comes highly rated but I didn't enjoy it that much. It's basically about a number of troubled Native Americans and their individual troubled circumstances and how they all congregate (unknown to one another) at a Pow-Wow (dance competition/celebration). Sadly many of them end up dying there. I didn't enjoy the characters or even empathize with them and the plot line seemed quite pointless.

I was in great anticipation for the newest Lisa See novel. I've read most, if not all of her other novels and enjoyed every one of them. This book is based on a true story of a female physician from 15th century China. The novel takes you through the restricted life of a woman in 15th century China and how this doctor had to do things in order to be able to treat a few patients. While I did enjoy the book, it was not as engaging as all the other novels I've read by the same author. Don't let that remard deter you from reading it though because I still rate it 4 stars out of 5.

After I cooled down at the library and rested a bit, I walked on to the local Farmer's Market. I had no plans to attend but when I learned there was one a few blocks from the library I decided to go and take a look. I arrived at the market shortly after 1 p.m. and the market closes at 2 p.m.  I didn't find anything that I wanted to buy. Besides, the prices at Farmer's Markets here are much higher than even the expensive supermarkets I shop at.  I still like to attend from time to time in case there is something unique or interesting.

We're in a drought here so you might notice a lot of yellow grass especially at the park.  A bit of rain is forecast in the next day or two and I hope it does indeed arrive.

Once I wandered around the market I decided to take a trip to another neighbourhood to see what I could find to eat. I'd been feeling nauseated all day and my appetite was not good. However, I know from previous experience, that not eating will only prolong the problem.

I couldn't find anything appealing as I wandered down the street. The restaurants I used to like have all changed hands and menus. I resorted to something I know I can generally eat, and ended up ordering a Chicken Bahn Mi which is a Vietnamese Submarine sandwich. It came with an iced coffee.

There are a number of produce stores in the area which is a good thing because I needed some veggies and fruits.  I picked up some carrots, zucchini, rhubarb, plums and blackberries. It was a bargain compared to where I usually shop and came in at just over $8.00 Canadian.  I also stopped at the Dollar Tree to buy some bleach and a few small things. The bill was much higher at $24 or so. I still wasn't feeling that great so I hopped on the bus to get home and rest.

It's always so nice to get home isn't it?

Some of you may remember me wanting to purchase a new phone so I could take better photos for blogging. I finally ordered one today.  It will arrive next week and I'm looking forward to seeing if it will meet my needs. 

I spent a bit of time catching up with a couple of friends, one local (by phone) and one up country (via email). It's always good to catch up with friends. It seems like most of us hardly have any time to do that these days.

I spent Monday doing some meal preparation for the next few days. I didn't get to everything I wanted to make but I did bake 2 loaves of bread and cooked up some ground beef stew and chicken curry with rice. I also took out the salmon from the freezer. I had washed and prepared it prior to freezing but I want to marinate it for grilling to be served with a cous cous salad.  Preparing a few meals ahead helps me to be prepared for the days ahead.

I'm hoping to add a photo of the ficus lyrata I mentioned in my last post. It's new leaves are doing really well and I'm excited about it. I think I need to put my few other plants outside for some sunshine.

I hope you are all enjoying the lazy days of summer. As for me, I still have a lot of work to do to reorganize my space. Hopefully I can do most of it before the summer ends and experiment a bit with the new phone camera.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

A Little Update

 Hello friends and fellow bloggers,

This is a brief post to update those of you who have been wondering what happened to me.

Since my last post, I have continued to be busy catching up on house projects and major cleaning.

I was able to vacuum and wash the carpet in the living room, clean the windows and window sills, dust the cobwebs from the corners and move a cabinet from the entry way to a corner of the living room  I usually try to wash the carpets twice per year and will likely do it again just before Christmas.

I put put the curtain roads and curtains. This project has been on my 'to do' list for so long that I've forgotten just how long it's been.  I actually put up a rod once before but the screws didn't hold. In the meantime I shopped for special drill bits that are supposed to go through metal. They worked better but I was still unable to drill deep enough in a few sections. I was worried the curtains wouldn't hold again but I put the curtains up anyway and I think everything will be okay. I'm so happy because I think it will really help keep the draughts out this winter and make heating more efficient

The gold floor lamp in the photo below is a new addition to the living room. I don't know how it happened but a small knob fell off of my original floor lamp. The lamp is quite old so I bought a new lamp to be sure I have a good light source. I'll also try to repair the broken lamp and I know I can use it if I can fix it.

The fireplace mantel is always changing, usually because a plant or two has died.  I keep trying but it's so hard to keep plants alive with little light and inadequate warmth over the winter.  One of the houseplants, a ficus lyrata was almost dead. I think it had 2 half dried leaves left on it. I put it outside in the heat and sun and it has sprouted about 12 new leaves in the past 2 weeks! I'll keep it outdoors for a few more weeks and hopefully it will become healthy enough to keep indoors over the darker, cooler months.

Just when I was making excellent progress on work indoors, I got very sick.  I  went to Emergency and ended up being admitted to hospital for about 4 days and 3 nights.  It turns out I had a skin infection (caused by eczema on my left foot and ankle) and cellulitis in my right leg. I was treated intravenously for several days before any sepsis set in and then sent home with oral antibiotics. I had good care at the hospital but was glad to get home after a few days. 

Breakfast one day.

 (Sesame beef) Dinner one day

Steamed Pork Dinner another day.

Hooked up to IV 

Entering my room. I had a room to myself for some reason.

The view out my hospital room.

Since being released from hospital I've eaten out a bit more than usual. I haven't felt up to cooking much though today I made spaghettini and meat sauce. On other days I made cauliflower-vegetable soup, rice and BBQ chicken.

Friday's Bento Box dinner

Chicken Souvlakia dinner (minus the skewers)

Spaghettini and meat sauce with shredded Parmesan Cheese

I haven't been able to do much housework or running of errands this week. I've done a bit of reading instead. 

Wednesday night I went out to buy groceries for the week I'll try to make a few meals ahead (stuffed pork chops and cauliflower, chicken or chick pea curry, beef brisket with rice and greens and chicken and baked sweet potato fries). 

Today I mustered up enough energy to sweep and wash floors, wash a load of towels and bath mats and clean the master bathroom toilet. I still feel tired so I'll be focussing on doing only essential housework this week. I also have a few appointments to deal with this week.

I hope all of you are safe, happy and healthy. Thanks for stopping by!

Neighbourhood Street Scenes

Hello friends and fellow bloggers, I hope you are well today. These are photos I took on a recent walk in the neighbourhood. You can see the...