Sunday, March 20, 2016

First Day of Spring! (Sunday 3/20/16)

Happy first day of Spring!  I had to borrow the Google Doodle for today (bottom part of my header) because I thought it was so cute :)

It's been feeling like Spring for weeks down here in Central Florida. Trees and plants are starting to bloom, the rain has returned and it's sunny. I woke up this morning at 9:30 a.m. and everything was wet so it must have rained last night. Yay! Another day I don't need to water the garden. I'm always happy to delegate that chore (and cost!) to Mother Nature.

One of the cats had gotten sick last night because there were puddles of cat barf and bile all over my kitchen and the entry room... and then I found a big hair ball (it looks more like a turd) and a lot more bile in one of the cardboard boxes where they've been playing so I had to throw it away because it was gross.  I can't tell which cat it was.  I've noticed that we've had more cat throw-up incidents since they've been on that "maintenance" food so I might need to talk to the doctor about it. Or maybe it's New Kitty, I wouldn't put it past her, that cat has had more medical problems than both the other cats combined. Anyhoo, I started my day by cleaning up cat barf, which is never my favorite way of starting the day!

I had forgotten that we now get the Sunday paper... but I did go get it and thankfully the delivery person had double bagged it because it must have rained after they delivered it.  Once again, not much content that I hadn't already read online and it's kind of annoying me that I feel obligated to look through all the sections since I "paid" for it.  I did clip some coupons and then recycled the whole thing, save for the coupon inserts that I kept, in case a good deal comes up and I neglected to clip the coupon.

My dinner plan for today was to make Reuben sandwiches so I'm cooking the corned beef brisket that I bought on sale at Walmart this week in the crockpot, along with some sauerkraut, half a chopped onion, some garlic and carraway seeds and a little bit of beef broth. I hope it turns out good!  My plan was to make Reubens so I'm also baking some light rye bread in the bread maker. However, I had forgotten that my rye flour is really old (it expired in 2012!)  so the bread is probably not going to turn out and we'll have to eat the corned beef as is. I might need to steam some potatoes. But at least everything is cooking and we won't be ordering dinner :)

I completed my Bing Rewards tasks (I'm at 35% of my goal) and doing some light Swagbucks activities.

Greg had a good night and is reading is Kindle while we're listening to Sacred Music on KUSC.  The sun is shining and I don't think any of us have any plans to go anywhere today so we might even have a No Drive Day :)  I plan on doing the dishes and reading my 2nd John Sandford library book today and then we'll start watching the 5th season of Game of Thrones.  Well, Greg and I will. We feel that the show is inappropriate for our teens. If it weren't for the very explicit sex scenes, it would be a great show for them to watch, but I would be mortified to watch that with them.

My daughter and I were supposed to sit down together this morning so I could explain to her how to file her taxes and talk about balancing a checkbook, but she didn't wake up in time and now I don't feel like doing it so we rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

I printed a few coupons from my usual sources, uploaded digital coupons to my Publix and Walgreens digital wallets, and unlocked new offers on Ibotta.  I also uploaded a lot of new offers to SavingStar.

Greg spent some time raking leaves in our yard.  We have a ton of oak leaves that have fallen over the past couple of weeks! I'm glad that he's the one taking on this endeavor :)

I did the dishes while watching an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun on Netflix.  I tried my new bluetooth speaker and it worked great!

I saved the water that I had used to boil eggs a couple of days ago to water my indoor plants and used some of it to water my zombie celery.

After doing the dishes I baked a Strawberry Summer Cake.  Yum!  The kids fell on it like they hadn't eaten in years.

My lunch was leftover Beef & Bean Enchilada Casserole and I topped it with some stale-ish tortilla chips that had been in the pantry for a while.  I also had some cheese and bread and strawberries.

I had meant to start reading my book right after lunch but I meandered some blog rabbit trails and ended up reading some blog posts from older folks who travel in their RVs.  Lots of interesting photos and I'm envious. Yes, I'd love to have an RV and go traveling around with Greg. We did that a few years back when we borrowed his parents' RV and traveled through Virginia. I liked it a lot. So did he, but nowadays he's trying to recapture his youth, I guess and he'd rather camp in a tent.  Back when I was into tent camping and was taking the kids camping every month, he wouldn't come. Now he won't do anything else!  Grrr.  So I'm giving him a few years and maybe he'll be interested in RV'ing then.

Anyhoo, it's now close to 4 p.m.  Greg just came back inside, showered and is doing reading. I turned KUSC back on, some nice classical music (a waltz by Strauss, I believe) is playing and I'm going to pick up my library book as well.  The kids are doing their own thing.  Our son went to the park a couple of times, my daughter has been watching episodes of "The 100" on her laptop.

Last night at Publix, I saw that they had raclette cheese!  I took a picture to show my daughter, since we'd been looking for raclette cheese to make... well, raclette, but at $7+ for a tiny wedge, we both agreed that the $2.99 smoked Gouda cheese from Aldi had been gouda enough (see what I did, there?), hahaha.

At about 5:30 p.m. I was feeling a little restless so I went to check on my garden.  Nothing much to report, save:

I harvested the one strawberry, woohoo!  I thought for sure that the squirrels would get to it.

I still have a couple more growing too, although they're much smaller.

And the plants grown from last year's runners are starting to come back in the small planters. I should transplant them back to the self-watering bins, after I pull out the dead ones. Maybe this week, if I find the inspiration!

Some of my zucchini seeds have germinated, hooray!  I'm trying to grow those in a self-watering bin too, this year.  If they keep on growing, I'll have to jerry-rig some kind of a treillis.

One of my surviving tomato plants has several little 100 Supersweet tomatoes growing!

The lone serrano pepper flower that I had photographed yesterday is gone!  I found it and its stem in the nearby pot where the jalapeƱo plant is growing so I'm thinking another one of the damn squirrels or maybe a bug got it.  Grrr.

Still no peanuts emerging. Even though I was told (and read) that I could plant the whole unshelled peanut, I just read another blog that says that you should unshell them right before planting. I'm thinking that in the wild there's no one to unshell them so they should have germinated, darn it.  I planted them over a week ago and they're said to germinate within 3-5 days. Of course, I think the squirrels got most if not all of them. Damn squirrels.

The corned beef dinner was delicious but we don't have any leftovers for tomorrow so I'll have to make Greg a sandwich. The bread wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but the loaf was very tiny and then there was a lot of bread I could use as slices because the top "fell" onto itself and became convex and the blade embedded itself deep into the bottom of the bread.  Arrgh.

SavingStar sent me a notification that there will be a freebie starting tomorrow, although the expiration date in the email is off by a month?!?

Today ended up being a No Drive Day (and #6 out of 7 that I was trying to reach this year so we're doing much better than I thought we would!) AND a No Spend Day as well, which is always great. Yay!


  1. Sorry you had to wake up to cat barf! Never the best way to start a day!

    Your strawberry cake looks delicious. Mind sharing the recipe?

    1. Here you go!

  2. I've always loved the idea of getting an RV and just traveling around the US in it. Doubt it will ever happen though and I'm okay with that. It's just a little less appealing to me than it used to be. I'm looking forward to taking my son camping in a tent sometime, I just don't know how he'll handle it.

    1. I did it a lot when my youngest son was between the ages of 6 and 8 and he loved it. But what I did was hook up with a group of families from my county who all camped together once a month and everyone had boys (and a couple of girls) around the same age so he would spend the weekend running around playing with the other kids while the parents chatted. We also had organized activities (Canoeing, etc.). It was an offshoot of an organization called "Adventure Guides" (formerly "Indian Guides"). You might want to check into it. I'm NOT social at all but it was fine for one weekend a month, for my kid's sake.

  3. Funny. I cleaned up cat barf this morning as well.

    A few years ago, my Sweetie and I traveled out west to Vancouver to visit our son, in a tiny little trailer that we bought very cheaply. I repainted the entire inside and outside of the trailer, and made all brand new curtains. My Sweetie constructed a futon bed that pulled out at night and folded back up in the morning to give us more room inside the trailer. We put a chemical toilet in what used to be a closet, and we built a new closet and chest of drawers for all our clothes. We had a sink, ice-box and 3 burner propane stove. We used the tent spaces to camp in the national parks, because we had no power or water hookups. Our lighting was a combination of solar and battery powered options. Such wonderful memories.

    You have me craving corned beef now. Thank you for that. And you have reminded me that I never did make that summer cake last year. I used all my strawberries up in those fruit crisps. I will have to remember this year to make one of your cakes.

    1. You guys are really resourceful! That must have been some trip across Canada and I'll bet you had a great time. We really enjoyed ourselves when we did take my in-law's RV that one summer through Virginia. I'd love to go around the continent in my own RV. My mom always hated to camp in a tent and would always dream of owning a "caravan" as they're called over in France. She never did go camping in a caravan. She prefers hotels now, lol.

      As for the corned beef, I'm kicking myself. I should have bought several of them when Walmart had them on sale but once again, I had the "no room in the freezer" problem that week. The sandwiches really were delicious! I might just have to splurge and get some even though it might no longer be on sale.


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