HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
- Our youngest son received several awards today and Greg and I were planning on walking to his Award Ceremony but it was pouring so we drove.
- I didn't plant my nectarine trees yesterday since I moved the furniture back in place instead. Greg and I discussed where to plant them this morning so they get their 6 hours of sun a day and don't block vehicle access to the backyard. It's harder than it sounds, even though we have a large backyard! We have a couple of electric poles in it though, and large oak trees still, so we need to make sure the electrical crews and tree trimmers can still have access. Now I'm thinking I might plant them in my front yard, but we have a plumbing line running the width of it so I need to make sure the roots wouldn't cause problems. I guess this all means that after I have planted them, I cannot buy any other trees... unless they can grow in the shade.
- We realized that Greg won't be able to attend the Library's Video Awards ceremony next week (our son and his teammates won the state competition!) since he'll be traveling back from his business trip but won't land until after the ceremony has already started :(
- My oldest son had his Jr. Recital tonight. He's a Jazz Studies major (trumpet). My youngest son, daughter and I drove to UCF to watch him play and (silently) cheer him on. He got a standing ovation from the audience at the end!
- My daughter drove herself to school and packed her lunch, saving us money (one fewer round-trip and no cafeteria meal) and time.
- Greg worked from home today, saving us about $20 in gas and tolls.
- I harvested a handful of green beans. I deliberately picked them young to encourage the plants to keep on producing.
- I reused rainwater collected in a bin to water my 3 rose bushes.
- I reused water left in a cup from dinner last night to water my indoor herb seedlings.
- SavingStar credited my account with $0.55 for the bottle of Drano I bought at Publix last week.
- It poured mid-morning and then again early afternoon, quite unexpectedly, since I had just heard on the radio that our chance of rainshowers was quite low for today. This was great! I didn't need to water the garden and the bins (which I had just put back under the roofline!) collected some rainwater for me to use in the next few days.
- We decided not to put the old and dusty wooden 1/2 window shutters that we used to have in the living room back up so I wanted to touch-up the window frames with paint. I was going to buy some white paint at Ace Hardware, but I remembered that I had found a pint of it in Greg's shed a couple of weeks ago when I had touched up the door frame in our spare bedroom a few weeks ago! This was a sample we had gotten for free last year. It'll work perfectly for the window sills.
- I did drive to Ace Hardware, however, since I needed spackling compound (see "Failures"). I took advantage of this to run several errands at the same time. At Ace, I decided to buy the smaller size of compound for $3.49. The price per oz was higher than buying the larger container but since I didn't feel like paying for something that might end up in the trash in a few months, I decided to just get the smaller container. I also got 2 paintbrushes for $0.99 each. They're not the best paintbrushes and I do feel bad that I will likely be throwing them away after using them, but my choice was spending $1.98 and not having to use paint thinner to clean them (that stuff stinks and is toxic!) or spending $4.99 (the cheapest "better" brush) for ONE brush and having to clean it off with paint thinner in between uses. While I was there, I also got some great deals on other items.
- My next stop was the library where I got some great feedback on our youngest son (it's always nice to hear when people have great things to say about your kids without you even asking!) and where our friendly children librarian offered me some free begonia starts. They had an Earth Day event yesterday and a nursery had donated the starts, pots and potting soil for the event. They had lots of them left so I asked if I could take 6 of them and she told me to take whatever I wanted... but I didn't want to be greedy. I offered to take a pile of expired coupon catalogs back to my house to recycle them since they said their recycling bins hadn't been picked up for a couple of weeks. So I put them with our household recycling. I also returned a book and a DVD that I was done with and picked up 2 DVDs that were waiting for me.
- My last stop was Racetrac where I filled up Greg's truck (gas went up by 20 cents a gallon since last Saturday!) and hence received a new receipt with a survey on it. I also redeemed a survey reward code from a previous receipt for a free large hazelnut-flavored coffee. I like to add hazelnut-flavored half-and-half in it too because their coffee can taste bitter without it, but I put on weight this past week (despite exercising nearly every day last week!) so today I brought the half-and-half cups home and will taste the coffee first before adding them if needed... I put the coffee in the fridge and I will have it for breakfast tomorrow morning since I had already drank my 2 cups this morning.
- We didn't have any leftovers for lunch so Greg and I made ourselves sandwiches.
- I forgot to mention that last night I made myself a sandwich at home when everyone else got a sub from Subway. I was too tired to cook but I don't care for Subway's subs anymore and we had sandwich fixings at home anyway.
- I clipped the coupons on the back of an empty General Mills cereal box and added them to my coupon organizer. The Boxtops label will go to my son's middle school.
- Redbox sent me a code for a free DVD rental but it expires today and I'm not going to be here tonight anyway. I was going to give it away on Slickdeals but several people already posted theirs and I don't have time to babysit my private messages this afternoon (I don't like posting the code itself because then someone uses it but doesn't mark it as used and I hate when people do that...).
- CVS emailed me a coupon for $5/$15 this weekend... not sure if there's anything worth buying so I'll need to peruse this week's ad and also the preview for next week (should come in tomorrow).
- Bing Rewards sent me a code for 10 free cards on Shutterfly, but I'd have to pay tax and shipping so I think I'm going to pass... I communicate mostly via email anyway.
- I uploaded some new offers to my SavingStar account.
- We went to Racetrac before driving to Orlando so the kids could get free refills with their Sodapalooza cups and then to another Racetrac after the recital so they could have another drink for the drive home. I think we'll definitely get our money's worth with this deal :)
WE SPLURGED ON:
- The kids and I stopped by a fast-food restaurant for dinner. I didn't bring my coupons with me and we were kind of in a rush so we paid full-price. However, we didn't need to get drinks.
HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
- So I love my new windows but there is something I am hating about them: they're double-pane and the frame is much wider than the old ones (which were single-pane, flimsy windows) and now our amped digital TV antenna no longer gets several of the OTA TV channels that we were getting. This is very aggravating and something I totally hadn't foreseen. The antenna has to be positioned in a window (I've tried it in other locations but the reception is even poorer) and those are the only windows that will work for us... plus now that all the windows have been replaced, we'd have the same problem anywhere else, anyway. During the afternoon I could actually get MOST of the channels we used to get (but not NBC or the secondary channels on that spectrum like Me-TV) but at night we also lost CBS, ABC (so no Cozi-TV or my new favorite, Laff TV). We also no longer get the PBS channels out of Daytona Beach State College (which means no more Miranda on Saturday nights and possibly no more World-TV, another of my favorites!). And the other channels kept on pixillating last night. I was beyond annoyed. I don't want to be forced to pay for cable in order to be able to watch free OTA channels! I seems that we might have to plurge for an outdoor digital antenna. Since the house used to have satellite TV (before we moved in), the previous owners drilled holes in the oak floors to run the cable under the house and up the chimney. We're thinking of running the antenna cable through one of those holes under the house and having it come out in the front of the house and putting up the antenna in the front planter... see if that might work. I need to go price antennas now. I'm hoping I can reuse our current one in our bedroom upstairs... not that we ever watch TV upstairs (we have an old TV that I use to watch Netflix only when I'm so sick that I'm in bed, but that happens once a year at the most!) but the only antenna we have up there was one I had made myself with a piece of wood, wire hangers and chicken wire! It worked great for a long time, actually but now I can barely get any signal with it. The windows are new upstairs too but since we're higher, I'm wondering if that will improve the signal. Anyhoo, I found an outdoor antenna on Amazon that has the usual Great/Not So Great reviews. It was priced at $31.99 with free shipping and I used my $25 Amazon gift card that I earned via Swagbucks yesterday so my OOP cost is only $6.99. I hope it works!
- The window guys did a great job yesterday but after they left I realized that they hadn't put spackling compound into some cracks left in one of the old windowsills in our bedroom. I had spackling compound at home, but "someone" apparently decided to check it out and didn't put the lid back on it properly so it had dried up... I had to throw away about 1/3 of the large container so I was annoyed and had to go buy some more at Ace Hardware.
- I totally forgot to bring the empty propane tank with me to get a refill so no barbecuing for us this weekend. However, I noticed a promotion on paint ($10 off a gallon of certain brands) going on through Sunday and I do have $5 coupons too (received with the free samples of colored paint that I won from Ace last month) so Greg is going to go this weekend to see if he can get paint for the exterior of the house. If he goes, I'll try to remind him to take the propane tank with him too... and maybe even go with him to see if I can find cheap lettuce seeds. I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to plant any...