Monday, September 17, 2018

A Lack of Explanations

If anyone is still reading this...  I hate it when people stop blogging without explanations and I guess that's what I've done this past month.  Sorry.

Nothing is wrong, technically.  My life is the same. I'm privileged to have a loving husband with a good paying job so I don't have to work, the kids are doing well, the cats are doing well, the grandpup is going well.

I've just lost any kind of willpower for anything save for watching a lot of shows on TV.  Blogging isn't appealing as I really find myself with nothing to say.  I've also not been commenting on other blogs.

I think the hormonal changes brought by the menopausal process have hit me hard and my body is having a hard time adjusting to it.  I've finally started sleeping well, maybe a little too well? My bed feels like a nest now. I find myself sleeping 10+ hours a night. Truth be told, my body probably needs it after a couple of years of sleeping pretty badly. I'm enjoying being able to go back to bed for a couple of hours once Greg and Youngest Son leave the house, even though I feel guilty for it, and most of the time I don't even go back to sleep, I just like lying down in the dark and maybe watch an episode of a comedy or two.

I've regained all my weight lost since January 1st :(  This is definitely my fault as, from one day to the next, I dropped my diet and stopped exercising... and started eating poorly again. I'm not meal planning, I rarely use any coupons, we do eat out a lot.  And I don't even care.  I have zero energy.  I
stopped drinking caffeine several weeks ago and, while this seems to have cured my hot flashes (yay!), it also makes me feel like I have brain fog  I thought that it would go away after a few days, but over one month in, I still feel that way. It's irritating.  Being outside more probably would be good but it's damn hot and muggy or it rains and I have weeds all over the place so even the back patio isn't very inviting these days. I haven't refilled the bird feeders either.  Shopping Day is a drag and I find myself skipping stops so I don't have to be spending so much time away from home.

I've read some books ("The Names of the Dead", a 1996 book by Stewart O'Nan was amazingly good), watching A LOT of TV shows (my daughter is letting me use her Hulu login and I'll be paying her half of it, there is a lot of content on there for me to watch!). 

I keep up with the housecleaning by just doing a couple of chores a day.  However, I've left the garden/yard go to jungle-state: it rains a lot, still, so pulling weeds is hopeless as they just grow back just as soon as I turn my back.

My volunteer papaya tree started flowering today so i should probably have some papayas soon?  The pineapples either were harvested and rotted on my kitchen counter because I couldn't bring myself to cut them up (they were tiny) or just rotted on the plants. So maybe I won't be harvesting papayas either.

I haven't taken any pictures save a few of the kitties, with my phone, because they're so darn adorable.

I used my recumbent bike a few times last week and Greg and I took our first walk since the beginning of July on the Van Fleet Trail yesterday afternoon despite the heat. We only walked 3 miles and now my feet are killing me (because I'm grossly overweight and out of shape. Again). I didn't bring my camera but we did see hawks and butterflies, and Greg saw a deer. No gators even though the water is everywhere on either side of the trail. It felt nice to be walking again. We'll try to do that again this weekend. However, today is predicted to be 106F with the heat index. Our August wasn't so hot, in comparison.

Greg is going on a business trip to Vancouver for 2 weeks soon. TWO WEEKS.   He's going back to Romania in October too. Ugh.  I hate it when he travels!

We've talked about taking a long weekend in December to go visit San Antonio, TX, just for fun. We'll see if we actually end up going.

The house behind ours apparently sold for $220K a month ago and there are people living there now, although I haven't seen them. Nor heard them. So that's a good thing! They never did fix that fence. 

Now the house next to ours is also for sale for $220K.  Greg tried to get a hold of the tree trimmer that we used before to come give us an estimate for taking down the tree that is worrying me but we never heard back from him. I need to find someone else.

My Daughter and Youngest Son teamed up to program a short space-related video game for a 48-hour game jam a couple of weeks ago. They had a good time, I think.  They didn't win anything but it's another experience under their belt.

Sorry for not publishing or replying to the few comments you might have left over the past month.  I'm a terrible person, I know.  Ranee, I love you :)  Thanks for your sweet messages.  I hope all is well with everyone and that you all recover soon if you were affected by Florence. What a shit show.

That's pretty much all I have to say about the past month.  Google has fixed their comment notifications, finally, but with that I have started getting a lot of spammy comments.   It irritates me more than it ought to, so I've decided to make the blog private for now.  This means nobody but me will be able to access it. I might decide to reverse that, at some point, but for now I just don't feel like blogging.  I'm going to leave this post up through the end of the week so anyone who is subscribed or who visits is notified, and then I'm going dark.

Love to all and thanks for reading :)  Hopefully if/when I come back, I'll be wiser, thinner, and smarter. Ha!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Bullet Point Recap: Monday 8/13 through Sunday 8/19, 2018

Monday 8/13: Back to High School and Domestic Monday
  • YS went back to school.  The line to get into the parking lot is very long in the mornings and he has to go get a pass to be able to leave the parking lot, every day, from the clinic, when he's done with his 4th period class. I guess this is because of the new security measures for the school.
  • Did the laundry, washed the dishes, scrubbed the kitchen cabinets (which needed it badly), swept kitchen, fake-mopped it, folded 3 weeks worth of laundry, swept cat room, did minimal dusting.
  • Ebates notified me that I have a "big fat check" coming in. Woo!

  • Rewatched Season 1 of Mindhunter.
  • Took a bath in the afternoon with my Kindle.
  • Did dinner dishes.

Tuesday 8/14 - Some Garden Work and Vet Visit
  • 2nd day of getting up on time and not going back to bed!
  • Cut vines off pathway on the side of the house, pulled weeds, swept from porch, took trash out.
  • Took Male Cat and Mean Kitty to vet for their annual check-up. Male Cat might be developing cataracts and apparently there is nothing that can be done.They got their shots, vet confirmed that we only need feline leukemia vaccine if need to be boarded. If we ever need to go to an emergency shelter, they'll only require rabies shot.
  • Returned books to library and got 2 new ones.
  • Made "No Soliciting Whatsoever" sign for front door.
  • Did some dusting.
  • Helped YS sign up for ACT test (in December).
  • Went to Walgreens to use up expiring Register Rewards (got cereal and laundry detergent). Earned 3,000 bonus BR points.
  • Sprayed cat litter mats and cat rug with hose to clean them and left them to dry outside.
  • Deadheaded roses
  • Harvested 1st pineapple and a tiny tomato
Brown banana for scale. One side of the pineapple was damaged by the sun but it smelled delicious.
  • Ordered 24 pack of microfiber cleaning cloths from Amazon, along with cleaner for outside of the house
  • Did dishes after dinner
  • My Daughter came home to visit for a couple of days
Wednesday 8/15 - Errands with my Daughter and Dentist Check-Up
  • Daughter got up early to come grocery shopping with me
  • Earned $2 in ECBs at CVS
  • We had breakfast at Keke's Breakfast Bar

  • Got her some stuff for her apartment at Aldi (mini frying pan, butterfly chair, and a new ankle brace).
  • Recycled plastic bags and egg cartons/foam items at Publix
  • YS got straight A's on his college finals + 6 college credits earned
  • Daughter got B's but her classes were much more challenging so she's very happy with her B's.
  • Bought Valvoline Synthetic Oil Change package on Groupon for Expedition via Swagbucks
  • Dentist check-up: all clear! Next phase of surgery (sinus lift attempt #2) scheduled for November. Plus: free decaff at the Keurig machine and I brought the spent K-cup home so I could use it to brew another cup or two!
  • Started watching "Schitt's Creek" again on Netflix because I love it.
  • Did dishes after dinner

Thursday 8/16 - Early Voting and More Errands, plus Even More Errands with my Daughter
  • Went back to bed until 9 am
  • Made waffles and bacon for daughter and me for breakfast
  • Did research on couple of candidates on my primary ballot
  • Went to vote by myself because Daughter didn't want to run errands with me afterwards
  • Went to Lowe’s: got free 14-lb bag of charcoal (military freebie, will give to our neighbor), fertilizer for my flowers, 2 pots of salvia and 2 pots of Indian blankets. Used the retired military discount to save 10%.

  • Went to Petco: got free cat treats, electric cat toy, hedgehog chew for grandpup
  • Went to Save a lot and stocked up on a lot of meat (including clearance on deli turkey), papaya, grapes, onions, whipped cream
  • Stopped by Racetrac for my free drink 
  • Back home, Daughter wanted to go get clothes at Kohl's, but I needed to tag along to get the 20% off :(
  • We went back to polling station so she could vote
  • We went to Kohl’s and I spent a lot of money (pants for Greg, yoga capris for me, T-shirt for YS, purse for me and then clothes and shoes for Daughter). Used $10 off $50 Back to School coupon and 20% off coupon. We agreed I wouldn’t give her a bday present next month since I bought her a bunch of stuff while she was here.  I earned $40 in Kohl's cash.
  • Went to pick up lunch from PDQ for her and me (3 pm). It was my first time eating there and it was good.
  • Swagbucks notified me that I earned 450 SB by shopping on Groupon through their portal.

  • Spent 3.5 hours watching Schitt’s Creek with Daughter and playing with cats.
  • She left before dinner to drive back to Gainesville. 
  • It poured at night.  Daughter made it back to her apartment safely despite all the storms.
  • Did dishes after dinner

Friday 8/17: Dealing with Finances and Educational Headache
  • Went back to bed in morning but couldn't sleep. Got coffee and pain au chocolat and ate breakfast in bed while watching an episode of Schitt's Creek :)
  • Spent most of the day dealing with finances while playing episodes of "The Antiques Roadshow" thanks to our PBS Passport subscription.
    • Input receipts for the last 2 weeks into my spreadsheets
    • Reconciled credit card statements and scheduled payments  (redeemed all rewards as statement balance credits)
    • Balanced all of our accounts
    • Tried getting a quote for HOI from USAA since they prompted me to try it, but then was denied because of "increased sinkhole damage risk". Un-believable.
  • Daughter called because Kohl's cashier had failed to remove a security tag from one of the items that I bought from her. I called our store and asked what she should do and relayed the answer.
  • Made plans with BFF to take her out to dinner and drinks for her birthday next week.
  • YS drove to Howey-in-the Hills after school to return his college textbooks and get the new ones.
  • I sent email to RaceTrac customer service because haven't been credited with loyalty points since late July.
  • Took PDQ Satisfaction Survey and earned $2 off my next meal combo. 
  • Then joined PDQ fan club and earned a free 3-tender item with my next purchase.

  • Redeemed $0.25 Ibotta rebate

  • Added a Google Play freebie to my Google Play library
  • Looked into selling restricted stock that has vested and did some research into stocks/mutual funds we might want to buy
  • Researched changed to UCF Game Design program and printed info for YS.
  • Researched UF's Game Design program. Discussed with YS. Sent request for tour of Digital Worlds Institute in November.
  • Researched PAX South conference in San Antonio, TX for YS. Discussed it with Greg and YS. They will visit in January 2019.
  • Updated Dual Enrollment masterplan to reflect classes taken/being taken and possible classes to take for UCF/UF programs. So confused now with all the changes to Dual Enrollment/graduation requirements/change of curriculum for Game Design diploma.  I feel like we have to start from scratch again.
  • Went to bed at 2 a.m. because I tried making sense of all the educational crap all over again but I finally gave up!

Saturday 8/18: A Family Outing
  • Got up at 8:30 a.m and we (Greg, YS and myself) were on the road to Full Sail University by 9 a.m. to attend Orlando iX, an event billed as "the Southeast’s Largest Gathering of Creators in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Video Games, and Digital Arts."

  • It took us 1 hour to get there, on toll roads. I pointed out the route to YS because this is the same route he will need to take to attend classes on the new UCF Downtown campus when he starts in 2020.
  • Greg and I were by far the oldest people there. The event itself... wasn't large. The venue was quite small and crammed, it was hard to see anything and, quite honestly, it wasn't all that interesting. Thank goodness Greg's employer had provided us with free tickets (worth $149 each for the Pro Pass, I can't imagine why someone would want to pay that much for this, quite honestly!).
  • I did talk to a couple of exhibitors because I felt bad that no one seemed to be talking to them at the moment, and in return, I got explanations on what Oculus Rift and Vive are (VR headset and peripheral systems used in gaming and other applications) and they also told us about Windows Mixed Reality systems.  So at least I learned something. I didn't try out anything because I get motion sickness very easily and, quite honestly, I think VR stuff is dumb.  Neither Greg nor YS are very enthused about it either.
  • I did get a free very large reusable bag freebie from a gaming company and urged YS to get one too :)  They contained promotional cheapie cardboard fans that I'll keep for when I get hot flashes, lol.

  • We had planned on attending 2 speaker sessions that YS was interested in: one about VR+eSports and another about Storytelling in VR, but the 2nd one apparently was cancelled and nothing else interested YS so we only attended the one about VR+eSports.  The speaker was very lame. His PowerPoint presentation didn't work so he winged it but couldn't really remember any of the facts, was walking back and forth while he talked (which was very distracting), was speaking very fast (which made him incomprehensible) and didn't share anything interesting save to say that he had tried a newer VR headset that he can't talk about but that it's going to be super cool.  OK, dude. Thanks for wasting our time. 
  • Thankfully, at the end of it (the whole thing took less than 30 minutes), another person came to talk about a couple of Orlando events that he has co-founded and that seems very interesting for my kids (in particular to YS):
    • Indienomicon, a free monthly gathering at the Melrose Center (downtown Orlando library).  As per their website, "Indienomicon events feature games created by indie developers that are local to the Central Florida area."
    • Indie Galactic Space Jam: ""an event in which individuals come together in a physical environment and attempt to rapidly prototype a game (video or otherwise) focused on some element of space in a limited amount of time".  It's an annual 48-hour event in Orlando that will take place in early September and they welcome people of all skill levels, including of no skill level at all, as long as they have the will to try it.  The co-founder spoke about it and said "if you don't come out of it and said it changed your life, I will refund your money!".  It costs $50 per person to participate (but includes food and drinks) and I offered to pay for Daughter and YS to participate together and I think they will accept. 
    • Orlando Game Space, a collection of game studios that collaborate on projects in a furnished and fully-equipped space that you can rent by the month. 
    • Gamasutra: a very comprehensive website dedicated to the gaming industry.
  • So we left at noon.  We went to lunch at Steak n'Shake and researched local gaming stores since we were near UCF and there are a few there.  We visited a new (to us) location of Campus Cards & Games (off Semoran Blvd) and saw several groups of people playing Warhammer with awesome terrain and painted figurines, but neither Greg nor YS wanted to observe the play (they told me I would be considered "weird" if I watched the people play! Whaaaaat?!) so we left and drove home.
  • Greg mowed the backyard and then the front yard, during the hottest part of the day! YS took a nap for a while.
  • As for me... I turned on the new electronic toy for the cats. They seem to enjoy it.
  • Harvested 2 small pineapples to ripen on my counter.  Watered the newest flowers since they looked very droopy.

  • Earned a $5 Amazon GC via Microsoft Rewards.

  • Was very relieved to find lots of yummy leftovers in the fridge when it was time to cook dinner because I feel very tired from not sleeping much and doing even less :)
  • We watched a couple of Community episodes (we own the DVDs for most seasons) as a family. Greg and I gave up on the "Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale" and Netflix is canceling it anyway. The first couple of episodes were funny but overall it ended up being quite dreadful. "The Soup", it certainly was not, despite using the same format.
    Sunday 8/19: I did nothing
    • Greg spent the morning fishing at Colt Creek State Park. Still hasn’t caught anything!
    • I watched "Schitt’s Creek" in bed in the morning because I was so comfy I didn't want to get up!
    • In the afternoon Greg washed the outside of the house with the moss/mildew cleaner I bought on Amazon. Then he and YS played a bout of Axis & Allies. 
    • Me? I vacuumed the downstairs and I cooked dinner but mostly I was online all day and night, just piddling around.
    • I texted my BFF to see if dinner was still on for tomorrow. Good thing I did because she had proposed Monday the 27th, not the 20th. Ooops. 
    • It poured tonight with tons of lightning too. Apparently Downtown Orlando received close to 4 inches of rain!
    • YS packed a lunch for tomorrow. When I went to bed at 11 pm, it occurred to me to check my calendar, where I had input his classes. I had told him to input them on his own calendar. Did he do that?! Nope, of course not. So I had to remind him that I thought his on-campus college algebra class is a Tuesday and Thursday class only. I’m irritated that he doesn’t even know his own schedule, TBH. But then again, I thought dinner with BFF was tomorrow. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree :)

    Monday, August 13, 2018

    Back to (High) School, Junior Year Edition and Briefly Catching Up - Monday 8/13/18

    The days are definitely getting shorter, it was darker outside this morning than I remembered it being at the same time just a month ago!

    Well, I'm on a blogging break, yes, again :)  There's just nothing interesting to really report as I'm not doing much of anything or going anywhere.

    This past week saw Greg being in Ohio for a few days to spend time with relatives, including his mom and his daughter and grandson.  He had a great time and didn't bring back any bugs this time (knock on wood!).  He got home on Thursday, took Friday off so we had time together too.  We went out to breakfast, found out that our favorite and very local breakfast place is now closed without any explanations (Greg is devastated!), went to Keke's instead and I put on more weight. Sigh.  We did the grocery shopping together on Friday and I forgot that I'd told myself I just needed milk and some fruit and I spent more than I intended to.

    While Greg was gone, Youngest Son and Daughter took their college finals. so this week they're both off college. My Daughter is visiting her dad for a couple of days and then she'll come to spend a couple of days here before going back to Gainesville for a happy reunion with her roommates, who were gone the whole summer.

    Youngest Son is starting 11th grade at the high school today. After some frustrations last week when the schedule he picked up was all wrong (I think that in 14 years at that high school, only once has a schedule has been accurate from the get-go!), he got an email last night that his schedule had been adjusted to what it should be. He also secured a parking pass for the Dual Enrolled section.  After years of complaining about the traffic pattern going in and out of the high school, they've finally changed the flow so everyone goes in the same way and everyone comes out the same way. However, the main way of going in was already backed up quite a bit in years past, so now they're adding a lot more students going in that way so I'm thinking a lot of people are going to be late for classes and work, at least for the first few weeks, and tempers are going to flare.  Well, I'm not in that traffic since Youngest Son is driving himself, woohoo!  I hope there aren't any accidents or incidents.  He's off after 4th period this week, and next week his Fall college classes start so that's when he'll start driving to the state college after 4th period.

    Is YS excited to start 11th grade? Nope! He's bummed about having to go back to high school because he prefers the state college environment. Why? Because no one talks to him there. Sigh.

    As for me, I did nothing last week, as in: I watched TV shows and read 2 books. That's it.  I didn't do any domestic chores at all, save for doing the laundry last Monday and sweeping here and there.  I barely cooked. I stayed up very late every night and slept in every morning.

    Last Tuesday I had my dental surgery: I was to have a bone graft done to prep for a new implant on the upper right jaw (molar). It's called a "sinus lift" as the bone is thinner than on the bottom jaw, and the sinus needs to be protected otherwise the post of the implant will perforate the sinus. Well, as much as I love my dentist, it didn't go as planned and in the process of cutting into my jaw to fit the bone graft in, the sinus was perforated :(  The dentist placed an artificial membrane patch and sewed me back up.  Now we have to wait 2 months for my jaw to heal again. Once that's healed, he'll need to open me back up and perform the bone graft but put more bone than he had expected since my bone is even thinner than he thought it was. However, he'll now need to cut on another angle to avoid cutting my scar tissue.  That will have to heal for 6 months before he can try to put in the post.  Ugh and the worst part is that the shot they give you in the roof of the mouth? Not a fan. And now I'll need to have it done 2 more times :(

    The good news is that I'm not in pain. I have sutures and I'm taking an antibiotic. I took the ibuprofen/acetaminophen combo for 24 hours just to be safe, but I don't even think that I needed to take it that long.

    But I definitely used the excuse of my dental surgery (and the fact that Greg was gone!) to not do anything :)

    It didn't rain all week until this weekend. The ground was wet this morning so it seemed it rained overnight. Good, because of my plants were starting to look parched.

    I didn't take any pictures save for a couple of the cats.

    I read "The Woman in the Woods" by John Connolly this past weekend and didn't like it.

    I watched a few movies like "The Constant Gardener" (didn't like it) and "What We Do in the Shadows" (weird but I did like it) and some Agatha Christie-based movies and series on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  I tried watching "Person of Interest" again (never got past the 1st episode the last 3 times I tried watching it). This time I made it through season 1, although I have to say that I let it play in the background while I surfed the internet, and once in the while I'd glance up. Well, it never did get any better, despite all the internet praise for that series, I hated it and gave up, once again, this time for good.  

    My favorite watch of the week was, oddly, a French series on Netflix entitled "Call My Agent!". It is so very good and I don't say that lightly because there are very very few French series that I enjoy and this was a big surprise. It's a dramedy set in a Paris-based talent agency but the actors portrayed in the series are playing themselves, which is a hoot. Of course, being out of the French loop for 30 years, I only recognized the older actors and had to look up everyone else on Wikipedia/IMDB, but I still enjoyed the series very much.

    Speaking of movies, Middle Son just wrapped up a weekend of filming with his friends. They participated in this year's Orlando edition of the "48-Hour Film Project" and this year they picked "western" as the genre (the choice was between "western" and "musical").  They then had 48 hours to write a script, film the movie and edit it.  I hope they place well!

    And.... that's it.  I don't think I'm going to blog again this week, I'm not even keeping notes on the side because, seriously, nothing is happening.  I have a lot of housework to do, so I'll try to motivate myself to do that instead :)

    Have a great week, I hope you're all doing well.

    Monday, August 6, 2018

    Day Book: Monday 8/6/18

    Outside my window... the sky is blue with white puffy clouds and the cicadas are so loud that I can hear them though the double-panel windows and the radio!  The yard looks nice because Greg mowed it this weekend, but it didn't rain the whole weekend and it's not supposed to rain today either, so I might need to water.

    I am thinking... that I might take a blogging break for a while. Nothing is happening and I can feel a slump coming on.

    I am thankful for... being able to sleep much better nowadays!

    From the learning rooms... YS and Daughter have their college finals this week and YS will be picking up his high school schedule (and parking pass) later on this week. 11th grade starts next Monday!

    From the kitchen... I did the dishes yesterday morning and didn't cook last night so there are only a couple of plates in the sink. Woohoo!  I'm not planning a menu for the week since it'll only be YS and I. I'll just cobble up something.

    I am wearing... black yoga capris and a black square neck, elbow sleeve Tshirt that I got on clearance from Kohl's with Kohl's Cash several months ago but hadn't worn yet. It's nice.

    I am creating... a bigger version of Nathalie by not staying out of the pantry or the restaurants :(

    I am going... nowhere today unless the library receives the next book that I'd put on hold.

    I am reading... I read "The Outsider" by Stephen King over the weekend. I didn't like it.

    I am hoping... that my dental surgery tomorrow will go well tomorrow morning.

    I am hearing... classical music on the radio, the AC just kicked on, Explorer is making biscuits on the pillows next to me. I need to clip the cats' nails as he keeps on getting snagged.

    Around the house... YS is attending his college classes this morning, Greg is in Ohio spending a few days with his relatives. Explorer is relentless in trying to get to the bowl of cereal that is next to me, the other cats are all in the Cat Room, taking naps.

    One of my favorite things... texts from my husband when he's away!

    A few things on my schedule for the rest of the week... dentist appointment, I think I might skip the grocery shopping trip (ha!), picking up Greg from the airport. Trying to stay out of the snacks?!

    My goals for this week... Definitely staying out of the snacks.

    Here's the picture I'm sharing... Sorry I don't have anything interesting!

    Have a good week!

    Sunday, August 5, 2018

    The Weekend in Review: August 4 + 5, 2018

    Saturday 8/4/18

    I played with the cats all evening last night. I found that I could lie down on the futon, twirl the cat toy with my right arm to keep them amused, and scroll down Reddit on my phone with my left hand, so I didn't even have to pay attention to the cats at all. We were all amused and that worked out well, until I realized that my shoulder was aching from all the twirling!

    I went to bed at about 11 a.m., did my nightly dental routine (and realized that my tooth sensitivity had already completely disappeared after only using the PerioMed mouthwash for 1 night!), remembered to wear my mouthguard (yay!) and then I was wide awake so I watched the first episode of a French show on Amazon Prime entitled "The Black Spot".  It was OK but I read that season 2 had started filming so maybe I'll wait to finish season 1 so I can watch both seasons at once.

    Then I tried watching "The Marvelous Ms Maisel" on Amazon Prime as well. People are always saying it's their favorite show on various forums I visit, and I have to say I watched half of the first episode and didn't laugh once.  So I won't be continuing.

    After that, I fell asleep. I was uncomfortable last night and woke up quite a bit. Honestly, I think it was because of the buns I ate. Note to self: you really have to cut back down on the starches!  But I eventually slept until 10 a.m.!  Greg said he'd come in earlier on to cuddle with me but I looked so asleep and comfortable that he decided to leave me alone.  I never even heard him come in, so I must have really been zonked out.

    He didn't go fishing after all, as he slept in as well. But he'd fed the cats and made himself breakfast.

    I poured myself a mug of cold decaf and had a bowl of cereal with fresh blueberries for breakfast... and then a bun.  We chatted for a bit as I earned the daily Rewards and caught up on the news, emails, and Feedly.

    Youngest Son got up at about 11 a.m. and I went to up shower so I could go to the library: they had a book waiting for me, apparently another one is on its way too (arrgh!) and the Hashimoto Protocol book was due in 3 days and couldn't be renewed because someone else has it on hold. Rats! I'll need to put it back on hold as I never read past the point I reached while waiting for Jury Duty.

    Greg decided to go mow the yard.

    I drove the Focus to the library, both for better mileage, and because it wasn't blocked in by another car in our driveway :)  I ended up spending over an hour at the library, chatting with the librarian about career opportunities for her.  I also returned my book and picked up the Stephen King book that was waiting for me.

    It was after 1  p.m. when I got home!  I was hungry for lunch but Greg wanted to mow the backyard and offered for us to go out to lunch afterward, so I distracted myself with another bun and by doing research for my friend the librarian. She mentioned that they're very short handed these days because my other librarian friend has been lent to the district office for a while, so I'm mulling over volunteering over there.

    When Greg was done mowing, he took a shower and then we drove to Clermont for late lunch/early dinner. Youngest Son had declined to come with us and stayed home to do some school work.  We ended up going to "The Crooked Spoon", a gastropub in Clermont that we last visited 3 or 4 years ago

    I picked a blueberry and brie burger, while Greg chose the herb marinated grilled chicken breast, served with rosemary goat cheese polenta and broccolini.  He drank beer and I had a peach cider.  It was all soooo good.  Pricey but we can afford it ;)

    We had a good time chatting about various things, so it was a lovely time.

    We're home now and it's close to 4 p.m. already!  I haven't done anything, as usual. And, as usual, there are a bunch of dirty dishes waiting for me.  I'm recuperating from the large peach cider right now, so that'll have to wait a bit :)

    It's not supposed to rain today and the sky is bright blue with white puffy clouds. It's hot but not super humid, surprising for the month of August in Florida.

    I think I'm going to start reading my new library book, "The Outsider", by Stephen King.

    And that's what I did for the rest of the day.  I didn't cook dinner since neither Greg nor I were hungry and Youngest Son went to get himself a sub from Publix (our treat!).  I went to bed and watched an episode of "Bordertown", a finnish detective show. I'd already watched the first episode and hadn't liked the series (acting is poor) but I thought I'd try it again.

    Sunday 8/5/18 

    I woke up at 9 a.m. Greg was up again and had fed the cats, again. He was busy packing his bag for his trip to Ohio and ironing his own pants.  Procrastination pays off :)

    I earned the daily Rewards. My Swagbucks bonus for July was only 40 SB but it's better than nothing.

    Greg brought me the newspaper from the driveway and there were 4 flimsy coupon inserts that I haven't even looked at yet.

    I killed time on the computer for a little bit, and then went to do the dishes.  Too soon, it was time to drive Greg to the airport, at noon. He went to visit his mom and other relatives in Ohio for a few days.

    The traffic was heavier than I expected for a Sunday but all went well.  On my way home, I excited the turnpike a bit sooner than usual so that saved us a few bucks in tolls, and I pulled over in the Target parking lot so I could place a Subway order via their app for YS and my lunch, as a treat.

    When I got to Subway, I was about 5 minutes early and they were slammed!  One of the 2 people manning the store apologized and asked me to wait for a few minutes. They hadn't even started on my order! But as he was super nice and I was early, I decided to be nice too :)  I ended up getting my sandwiches at the exact time as I was supposed to get them and they gave me 2 free cookies to apologize for my wait!  Woohoo! That was a nice surprise.

    I shared with YS, naturally.
    My app is set up to charge my Discover card so I'll get 5% back in Bonus Rewards.  I earned a $2 Rewards in my app to use on my next purchase.

    Then I stopped by RaceTrac and used a BOGO coupon to get XL drinks for YS (Sprite) and myself (caffeine free Diet Coke) and paid $1.07 OOP. I earned some loyalty points and paid with Amex for 2% back in Rewards.

    Back home, I chatted with YS for a little bit, and then we retreated to our corners for the rest of the day, lol.  I spent the rest of the day reading the 2nd half of my Stephen King book, "The Outsider". It ended up being a big disappointment as the plot was very very meh and so were the characters.  I ate a ton of snacks while reading because I have no self control. Ugh.

    Tabby Kitty and I tried to share the futon as I read. He was already on there but I wanted to lie down, so I had to make a bridge with my legs to accommodate him. I thought maybe he'd decide to go lie down somewhere else, but no. So we remained like that for quite a long time!

    Later on, Walgreens alerted me that I now have $2 in Balance Rewards available. Yippee!

    Greg's plane was late departing (again!) but only by about an hour and he got to Cleveland, OH by 6 p.m.  He had expected to have to take an Uber, which would have cost us about $60, but his BIL was able to pick him up, after all so yay. The BIL has a Porsche so it's always a treat for Greg to ride in it.

    From what I understand, the BIL is on a break from work so they have planned manly things to do together.

    I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. as I was planning on watching some TV in bed.  But I ended up catching up on Reddit on my phone for 2 hours instead, and then when I turned on the TV, I was actually tired. I tried watching the 2nd episode of "Bordertown" but it's really bad, so I turned it off and tried finding something else to watch.  I started watching "Crooked House", a 2017 movie based on the Agatha Christie book (on Amazon Prime) but I kept falling asleep so I gave up.

    Friday, August 3, 2018

    Like a Baby ~ Friday 8/3/18

    Me and my cold decaf :)

    I don't know why we say "I slept like a baby" to mean we slept extremely well because, in my experience, babies don't sleep all that well, but I did sleep soundly and peacefully, and like a baby last night!  Hooray!  I even remembered to wear my mouthguard, double hooray!

    I didn't even wake up until my alarm rang at 6:45 a.m.! So it can be done.  I got up and went downstairs to cook Greg's breakfast but I forgot to put on my glasses so everything was blurry! 

    I didn't want to go back upstairs because the stairs make a lot of noise and I didn't want Greg to wake up too soon, so I cooked "blind", lol. I couldn't even see the pad on the microwave (I heat up the bun for his egg sandwich for 10 seconds since I keep the buns in the fridge).

    Anyhoo, I got breakfast cooked, packed his lunch, and fed the cats since Youngest Son doesn't have any classes today so I told him he could sleep in and I'd take care of the kitties.  Then, as usual, I went back to bed and I slept again until 9:15 a.m.

    I was so comfortable, reveling in how comfortable I was in the very same bed where I had been uncomfortable and in pain just a couple of weeks ago!  I didn't want to get up. Thankfully I wasn't feeling hungry yet, so I earned some rewards on my phone and caught up on emails and the news. Then I unlocked new savings in my Publix, Ibotta and SavingStar apps.

    RaceTrac released my new weekly coupon for a free medium fountain drink, woohoo.

    Greg texted me at about 10 a.m. to ask how I had slept so I replied and got up and got dressed.

    Downstairs, I checked on the ice cubes and decided not to make any since we still have half a container of them.  I didn't need to defrost any meat because I have yet to freeze the ground beef and chicken drumsticks that I bought this week, so I'm thinking dinner tonight might be roasted drumsticks. I should pre-roast them in the electric roaster outside before it rains.

    I brewed a pot of decaf that will cool off and poured myself a mug of cold decaf brewed yesterday.  Breakfast was a bowl of cereal with fresh blueberries... and a couple of pains au chocolat. They're small!

    I earned the rest of the daily Rewards. Swagbucks will be having another team challenge next week.  Then I replied to a text from my BFF.  I'm playing episodes of "Without A Trace" on OTA TV in the background.

    Something I read last night made me want to make a batch of Betty Crocker Bread Machine Rolls so I prepared a batch of dough in my thrifted bread machine.

    I was low on Ten Things Farm Seasoning but instead of making more, I decided to marinade my chicken drumsticks in some McCormick GrillMates Baja Citrus Marinade. I'd gotten some packets of it for free from Walmart with my Swagbucks gift card.  They're marinating for 1 hour and then I'll try to roast them outdoors in the electric roaster. If it's still not raining, I'll try baking rolls in the roaster as well.

    I looked for a copycat recipe for the marinade mix so I can just make it on my own, but I couldn't find anything. I did print a recipe for Mojo grilling marinade from AllRecipes.  I do like being able to whip that marinade mix without having a bottle to store in the fridge and use up later, so maybe I'll just keep on getting the packets from Walmart with Swagbucks gift cards. I think they were $1 each.

    A young squirrel was raiding my feeders in the front yard again!  Thankfully I only had to open the door and step outside to scare it away. However, it poured all night and I walked out in my socks, right onto my sodden welcome mat.  Arrgh!

    Tabby Kitty is so clever. He's the one cat who wants to play and asks for it, loudly.  I wasn't replying to his cries so he came to me, planted himself in front of me and stared.  Then every time I was trying to pet him, he'd play with my fingers. So I relented and went to get his new favorite toy. I wish I could find a machine that makes the birdie fly by itself, lol.  I get tired of waving the wand around but he has so much energy! Because of that, he's kind of a bully because the other two kittens would love to play with the toy too, but Tabby Kitty just comes barrelling and doesn't really give them the chance to try it. 

    Well, as soon as I typed this, he decided to take a rest and Princess came up to play!  I told you Tabby Kitty was bright! He must have read my mind, lol.

    I started reading some blogs, and then it was time to make lunch.  It was 1p.m. and YS was still in bed!  He got up a few minutes later.

    It was also time to start baking the chicken drumsticks outdoors since the clouds were gathering. I turned them over in the glass dish, so both sides would be well covered in the marinade, and then reused 2 lengths of aluminum foil that I had washed a couple of times already, to cover them and protect the inside of the electric roaster.  I set it up on the patio table.  Hopefully the rain will hold off until after 2:30 ish.  I'm baking them for 45 minutes and then I need the roaster to cool off before I can bring it indoors. I might need to move it to the covered front porch to cool off, it has a better chance not to get wet there.

    For my lunch, I made my usual spinach salad and I made a turkey sandwich, using up the last one one pouch of organic guacamole that I had frozen back in 2012, I think.  I also had the last of the strawberries that I bought over a week ago. They're still fine, but I had to compost one of them so it's time to finish them off. I'm amazed they didn't go bad before today!

    The library emailed me that they had a book waiting for me... 10 minutes before they closed!  I'll have to remember to go pick it up tomorrow morning. It's a Stephen King book.

    I was able to redeem Microsoft Rewards points for a $5 Amazon gift card, that was emailed to me this afternoon.  Yay!

    I ended up baking the rolls indoors... oh yum,!

    I printed Greg's latest paystub and reported the appropriate numbers in my Tax Worksheet. This is how I track what money is paid to us and what money is deducted and make sure that I understand what is what.  It can get complicated with all the pre-tax and post-tax deductions and when his restricted stock (awarded as part of his yearly bonuses) vest, so I like to track it that way and also project it for the rest of the year.

    A couple of days ago, NPR posted an article explaining that many Americans (21% of taxpayers) will owe the government money at tax time next year, due to employers not withholding the proper amount.  I believe it, as it seems that Greg's employer might not have withheld enough FICA, according to my calculations, so if I'm right, who know what else hasn't been withheld properly?  We claim 0 allowances because we've owed money in the past. 

    I spent time this afternoon replugging our current and projected numbers into the IRS's 2018 Withholding Calculator and, according to them, we would get almost $10,000 back if we don't change anything. I made sure to include an estimate of what we expect to get when some restricted stock vests in August.  But I still don't trust the calculator (after all, we ended up owing a bit over $1,500 this past year. So even though I wouldn't usually recommend giving the government a $10K interest-free loan, I'm not going to make any changes to Greg's W4 (the calculator recommended changing it to claim 29 allowances through the end of the year), just in case.  I'll revisit this prediction (that I doubt we'll get any money back and that we'll probably end up owing money, when it's tax filing time in 2019!). But I guess I'm feeling OK that the calculator isn't anticipating us having to pay even more money at tax time.  LOL.

    I went to check the mail and found another coupon for Great Clips so I reminded YS to go get a haircut and off he went. Phew, I really don't like it when he's so shaggy! Quite honestly I wish Greg would also cut his hair and trim his beard, but the more I beg him to do it, the more convinced he becomes to just look like a hobo.  Ugh. I wouldn't mind so much if he didn't work with much younger people and I think that every day his employers are reminded of how much older he is, lol.

    Meanwhile, the "boys" were cuddling with me.

    I hopped on the recumbent bike at 5 p.m. with my laptop, put the "Tinker, Tailor..." movie back on because I fell asleep watching it again last night, and also perused the new weekly ad previews for CVS and Walgreens next week.  A few interesting deals so I started my shopping list for next week.

    Greg left the office at 5:15 p.m.  He's on vacation next week and traveling to go visit his mom for a few days.

    Youngest Son came home from Great Clips and he looks great!  He probably lost 5 lbs of hair, ha.

    I ended up biking for 33 minutes (5.6 miles).

    Greg was hungry and I wasn't yet (and neither was YS) so I made him a salad and he also had some chicken. We watched the 1st episode of "The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale" on Netflix, which is basically a reboot of his old show, "The Soup".

    Thursday, August 2, 2018

    Good News and Bad News at the Dentist's ~ Thursday 8/2/18

    Ugh, I barely slept last night!  I went to bed, finished watching the "In Bruges" movie while yawning a lot, decided that I didn't like it, on the whole.  Then I slept for maybe an hour. I woke up and then I was wide awake, tossing and turning for about an hour and a half.  I wasn't too hot, I wasn't uncomfortable, I wasn't in pain anywhere so I have no idea why I couldn't sleep.  I haven't had caffeine in several days, so it wasn't that either.

    At 1:30 a.m. I was still awake, so I got on my phone and read old blog entries from 2014. This tired my eyes so i figured I'd fall back asleep. Nope!

    I was hungry but I didn't want to go downstairs because then the cats would start crying for me when I went back to bed. I need to remember to put peanut butter crackers in my nightstand for nights like these!  So I drank water, thinking that maybe I was thirsty. That didn't help.

    At 3:30 a.m. I decided to turn the TV on, hoping that it would lull me to sleep ("Forensic Files" on the Kindle with the cover closed didn't work, I listened to the whole episode instead of falling asleep like I always do!).  I had to set up the Bluetooth speaker and transmitter.  The first station that came on wasn't anything I wanted to watch so I switched channels. As soon as I did that, the sound stopped being transmitted to the speaker!  Arrgh. So I tried resynchronizing it with the transmitter several times, checked all the connections, and still it wouldn't work.  By that time I really was awake!

    So I turned Netflix on and started watching the 2005 version of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" again, with the sound turned way down (I could barely hear anything over the fans) so as to not bother Greg, and with the captions on.  I still took about an hour before I fell asleep.

    So I slept from 4:30 to 6:45 a.m. when my alarm rang. I went to cook Greg's breakfast and pack his lunch, said hi to YS, set an alarm for 9:30 a.m. and went back to bed. Once again, I had a hard time falling asleep and felt that I didn't really sleep, but I must have.  I "woke up" at 9:20 a.m., earned the Mobile Microsoft Rewards on my phone and then took a call from my dentist's office. I was hoping they were calling to cancel this morning's appointment so I could try to sleep some more, but they were wondering if I could come in a little earlier.  I told the receptionist that no, because I was still in bed, lol!

    So I got up, got dressed, and went to eat a bowl of cereal and drink some cold decaf. I turned on the ice maker since Greg had used up all of the ice cubes last night.

    Then I brushed my teeth, used the waterpik, and drove to the dentist's for my cleaning.

    On my way there, I stopped by Flapjack Johnny's to turn in the rest of our waitress's tip from our breakfast on Sunday.  Greg had become distracted while paying and instead of doubling the amount he had calculated, to make it about 20%, he just wrote down the amount in his head.  So I gave the manager my receipt and the $5 bill and she promised to give it to the waitress.

    A year ago this month is when I finally took my courage in my hands and went to see the same hygienist to admit to her that I was terrified of going to the dentist but needed help since I had cracked a tooth and had many other problems.  Wow, a year already!  She was so nice and patient and non-judgemental, just as everyone has been in that practice, I feel so lucky to have them!

    So, good news is that she said I didn't have much tartar and "obviously I've been doing very well with my routine" (which I really haven't to be honest. I brush my teeth every night and morning, but I haven't been flossing regularly and my waterpik usage has been spotty as well. Arrgh, I know, I want to slap myself. I promise I'm going back to being good again!) but one of my implant is seeing a lot of gum recession (like a level 7 or 8, which is on the "danger of losing the tooth" on the scale!). Oh no!  She made sure none of my teeth were moving and they're not, and took an X-ray of the "pocket".  So the dentist came in to examine me and said it was OK but that I have to wear my mouthguard every night because not wearing it is probably what is causing the problem.  Yep, you're read this right, I also don't wear my mouthguard every night. This isn't on purpose though!  Despite having 2 phone alarms, a note on my bathroom mirror, the mouthguard in a glow in the dark box right in front of my nose when I brush my teeth and actually telling myself every night "mouthguard, mouthguard...", I have been completely forgetting to wear it!  What is wrong with me?!

    I'll tell you what's wrong: I am not following a routine anymore so that's completely thrown my life into disarray.  I know that I always do much better on a routine, but after a few months the routine begins to chaffe and I abandon it and then all hell breaks loose: I fall off my diet, I don't exercise, I forget my nightguard, I don't floss... I'm 50 and I'm behaving like an irresponsible kid! It's very annoying.  So I have got to get a grip.

    What's going to help is that I made an appointment to get starting on the next round of implants. It's actually going to be one implant on my upper right side, so it will correspond with one of my implants on the lower right side, which will really make it imperative for me to wear my mouthguard so the implants don't crack, as apparently I grind my teeth a lot.

    My appointment is next week!  The dentist will do the sinus lift, which is dental surgery when he reinforces the floor of the sinus by doing a bone graft so the post doesn't go through it.  I will have to wait 4 to 6 months for it to heal before he can put in the post and then the crown. The timing is good: I have about $1,000 left in our Health FSA account that has to be used by the end of the year (I can roll $500 over to next year's account only and I'd rather just use it all up this year). I have used up all of my dental insurance benefits for this year.  The estimate for the sinus lift is $800.  Then, in early 2019, when it's all healed, I can use my benefits again for the post and the crown.

    I'm not looking forward to more dental surgery, but it needs to be done. He warned me that it was going to be a longer tooth and that it won't look great when I smile, but I told him that I'm all about function, not form, and that I don't smile all that much and when I do, it's mostly a French smile with my mouth closed :) We laughed about that!  He said he'd rather that it doesn't look very good but is easier to clean than to try to make it look better but then it would be much harder to clean.  I agree.

    I got a bunch of freebies today, including two samples of Sensodyne that I asked for.  I also bought a new type of mouth rinse that the hygienist felt would help with my sensitivity on the lower left side (and also some of my other teeth have started to be more sensitive too, she explained that it might be caused by NOT wearing the mouthguard, something about dental tubes that I didn't really catch, to be honest but I trust her).  It's $28 (gulp!) and I have to use it after the waterpik.  Hopefully it will help.

    I had a credit so my payment for today (cleaning, Xrays, dentist examination, mouth rinse) was $84.10 and I charged it to my Health FSA debit card.

    On my way out, I grabbed a free 10 oz cup of Keurig decaf coffee.  I had brought my travel mug so as not to waste a disposable cup and I was excited that they had a decaf K-cup!

    Back home, I grabbed the Thursday paper from the driveway and put it all in the recycling bin. I was worried that, by no longer receiving the paper when my subscription ends, I would miss out on all the background info on local candidates for the upcoming elections but last night I saw a reminder (on their website, ironically!) that the League of Women Voters of Florida had put their non-partisan election guide online, so I had read the background information on the candidates in the races where I'll be able to vote. 99% of the races on my ballot will pitch a Republican against another Republican, it's so frustrating that the Dems and other parties don't seem to realize that they need to put up candidates in local elections!  So I guess I won't be able to vote for those anyway since it seems to be that the decision will be made in the Republican primaries.

    Youngest Son was back from his college class so we chatted for a little bit. His hair is super shaggy right now and I keep telling him to go get his hair cut and he keeps on saying that he's going to go but he never does!  Yesterday a Great Clips coupon came in the mail so I gave it to him. He can get his hair cut for $7.99 right now, which is better than the $9.99 I was charged on the prepaid card that I bought a couple of years ago, so I told him to use the coupon and tip the hairdresser $2 and charge it to my credit card. I hope he goes soon!

    I went to the garden to empty the countertop composting bin into the large one, along with the bowl where I collect old coffee grounds and filters. It's hot and humid and I didn't really want to be outside too long.

    My rose bushes are all blooming at the same time for once!

    The hibiscus also has a couple of blooms on it today.  My old hibiscus flowered much more than this one, I have to say.

    The vincas have invaded more of the garden area, and I don't really mind.  They're colorful and the butterflies love them. I'm a terrible gardener so any flower who wants to grow without my help is welcome to do so!

    It's August and I should be harvesting pineapples this month, but they don't seem to be ready at all.  They're all still quite small and green, so I'll wait.

    There are a lot of small tomatoes on the ground, the darn bugs are killing the plants.  They still have blossoms of them though. I harvested 2 small orange tomatoes but then lost one of them in the garden.

    Speaking of killing the plants, a small hookworm killed the lone tomato plant that never did too great and was supposed to give me larger tomatoes.

    And something chewed on my latest eggplant too!

    The weeds have returned with a vengeance, I don't even know why I bother.

    The volunteer papaya tree is going gangbuster!  I wish it would grow some papayas before it gets too tall and I have to trim it (It's growing under a power line and I keep saying that I need to move it to another spot but I'm lazy and also I'm afraid it'll die if I transplant it! Plus... it's hot!).

    The volunteer sweet potato plant is also trying to expand far beyond the berm, into my patio. I folded some of it back to encourage it to just grow on the berm. I should be able to harvest a few small sweet potatoes in a couple of months.

    The picture of the sweet potato vine didn't come out so enjoy this butterfly instead :)
    Back indoors, I turned the TV on to a new to me OTA channel called "Justice".  They are running true crime shows so I have that playing in the background as I type this and earn the rest of the Daily Rewards for today.

    I had seen a squirrel in the front feeder when I drove home and when I saw a cardinal land on it, later on, and leave without eating, I took a closer look and saw that the squirrel had knocked the feeder off-kilter so the bird couldn't reach the food.  I went to straighten it out and refill it, and put out the feeder that I had fixed last week as well.

    Then I went to the backyard, refilled all three hummingbird feeders, and cleaned all three bird feeders since the seeds in there didn't look great.  They're drying now and then I'll refill them.

    The wasps are building nests everywhere!  I sprayed several of them on the back of the house and also on a couple of the underside of the bird feeders!  I've noticed more on the front of the house, so I'll go spray those after lunch.

    Lunch is the last piece of pizza from last night and cherries.  Youngest Son tried the beef and bean burritos that I got at Aldi yesterday and said he liked them, so I'll buy them more often. I also had one later on (they're small!) and I thought it was pretty good.

    I'm so glad I refilled the feeders in the front yard as I spotted a very pretty house finch perched on the shepherd's hook about 30 minutes after I had refilled the feeders!

    Ooh, it's been a long time since I got a Swagbucks Search Award that's more than 4 SB! Today I got a 17 SB award that put me within 1 SB of reaching my 1st Daily Goal. Woohoo!  So I took a survey for 100 SB and was able to complete it and pass my 2nd Daily Goal.

    I went back outside to refill the bird feeders that had dried by now.  I saw another biggish wasp nest in the curl of a canna leaf so I sprayed it.

    Then I went to the front yard and sprayed nests from the front of the house and on the side of it too.

    The aloe plant at the corner of the house finally bloomed, yay!  It's pretty.

    My poinsettia is going gangbuster too! And to think I was sure the hard frosts had killed it!

    The Dr.Pepper promo folks confirmed that my purchase of Diet Dr. Pepper had been confirmed and texted me a coupon code to order a free T-shirt.  I had trouble with the site working on my phone, but I was able to access it on my laptop and place the order without any problems. I found the perfect design for Greg :)  Shipping & handling will also be free, hooray!

    Tabby Kitty parked himself by my hip this afternoon. He's becoming my buddy now!

    I caught up on some blogs and then... decided to hop on my recumbent bike!  Woop woop!  I biked 37 minutes (6 miles). Now if I could stop snacking on chips and marshmallows...

    It's 6 p.m. and getting dark. I think I'll cook chicken sausages tonight, with some pasta for YS and myself and steam some asparagus for Greg.

    It started pouring right after dinner. Greg watched the 2nd episode of "Patriot" .  I think I'll continue rewatching "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" afterwards.