Happy International Jazz Day! I just found out there was such a thing and that it's celebrated on 4/30, thanks to Bing Rewards. Well, darn it, if I had known in advance, I would have planned on going to watch a live Jazz Band! So instead I'm playing my son's senior recital on my Kindle Fire/BlueTooth speaker. Yay! I texted him as soon as I found out to wish him a happy International Jazz Day, but he never replied. OK, so it was 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday. So what?
Hmm, when I look at the events listed on their website, it shows a Crawfish, Seafood and Jazz Fest in Oakland, FL (about 25 minutes from here) this afternoon but when I click on the link for the event, it shows that it's in Apopka (another 20 minutes away) and that they sold all their tickets. Neither of my kids who still live at home like jazz or seafood so I don't have anyone to go with. Waaaaaa!
Where did April go?!? Wasn't it just last week that we were discussing Poissons d'Avril and the beginning of Spring? Summer is pretty much already here in Central Florida!
Not sure what today will entail. I never got any response from the Historical Miniatures association president, but to be fair, I emailed him at 8 p.m. and he's at the convention himself, I would think, so he's probably busy. I had told my son that we'd leave at about 9 a.m. and go with the expectation that we would probably not get in and he said "OK", but it's 8:35 a.m. right now and he's not even up... and now that I'm thinking that our chances of getting in are probably 1%, I don't really feel like going. So I'm not waking him up. I'm not even showered myself! We'll see what happens.
The Dragonboat Festival is going on in Clermont so I would like to see that. If we don't go to the Convention, maybe I can convince my son to walk on the trail there with me?
I also should get an oil change for the family car. I'm not sure what other chores can be accomplished because it all depends on whether we drive down to Orlando or not.
Greg's driving home today but he won't get in until very late.
- Greg spent the night his daughter's friends' couch because he didn't want to spend another $60 on the very out-of-date motel in town. Between their dogs and the newborn who's awake all night, I hope that he got enough sleep to prepare him for the 9-10 hour drive home. Me, I slept great! As a matter of fact, I have slept great since he's left. Now I'm wondering if my waking up in the middle of the night is due to his waking up in the middle of the night and I just don't realize it?
- I defrosted some ground beef for dinner. If I don't feel like cooking the meatloaf that I ought to make, I'll just make burgers.
- I earned my 27 Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks by doing minimal activities on that site.
- After I was done listening to my son's senior jazz recital (for free, of course), I looked for jazz albums on Amazon Prime Music and selected the Jazz Samba album by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd. I added it to my Prime music library so it's free to listen to it with our Prime membership. International Jazz Day continues...
- I collected water in the shower that will be used up for flushing the toilet.
- While waiting for my youngest son to wake up, I chatted with my daughter. Upon his awakening, we discussed whether or not we should try going to the Historical Miniatures convention and he decided that he didn't want to go. So I suggested that we all go to Clermont to see the Dragon boats and have lunch somewhere fun.
- My daughter and I are planning on going to visit my middle son near Daytona Beach on Mother's Day. We had talked about going to brunch but since it'll be Mother's Day, everything will be expensive and crowded. My middle son had suggested we just eat at this apartment and my daughter volunteered to cook us all brunch. Yay! Time with some of my favorite people (I'm going to ask my youngest son if he wants to come along) and I won't have to lift a finger :)
- I texted my neighbor to ask if his family's blackberry farm was opened yet. He replied "maybe next weekend".
- The kids and I went out to lunch (see: Splurges), but I gave the waitress my loyalty card number and reached the threshold for earning a $10 credit so next time we go to that restaurant, we will be able to save $10. Woohoo! Spending money to save money? I'm pretty good at that, unfortunately :)
- My daughter couldn't finish her huge chicken tenders and I was once again full after eating the coconut shrimp and the battered fish, so I asked for a box and we brought the chicken tenders and my fries back home. My son ate the chicken in the car and ate the fries later. I was going to bring the coleslaw too since we didn't eat it, but I thought better of it after remembering that we were going to walk to the dragon boat festival and the box would stay in the car. It was very hot today. I thought the chicken would be OK but not the mayo from the cole slaw. I was annoyed with myself to have to leave it there. Note to self: next time you eat out, bring with you one of the insulated bags that you take grocery shopping! In this case we were in the family car and not in my SUV, where I keep all my grocery shopping bags.
- After lunch, we parked the car at a free municipal parking lot alongside Lake Minneola and walked about half a mile to the waterfront park where the dragon boat races were going on. We picked a team color (blue) and cheered "our" boat and they won the race that we watched. Woohoo!
- The band shell was host to a few entertainment numbers:
|This girl was only 14 and made cutting wet and rolled tatami mats very easy. But later on the teacher|
attempted his own demo and kind of failed. Ha!
- There were a few festival tents erected for various charities and vendors. We saw a man walking in a suit of armor advertising Medieval Times and my son was reminiscing about our last visit there, about 7 years ago and said he'd like to go again so I was excited that he wanted to do something for once and we decided to go back this summer. At the same time, the Medieval Knight was walking behind us and heard us so he asked if we wanted coupons (heck, yeah!) and pointed us to his table where he invited us to grab a free reusable bag, a coloring book (which my son actually wanted, as a joke) and a 2-pocket folder for school. Freebies!
- My daughter was angling for me to buy them ice cream from the Ritter's Frozen Custard truck and I was going to until I realized that a milkshake was $5. I told my daughter that I had free coupons for soft serve ice cream at RaceTrac so she exclaimed "Well, let's go to RaceTrac then!" so we walked back to the car and drove to the coolest RaceTrac station in the area... and the only one that actually has soft serve ice cream. I had never been there because it's a little further down from Walmart and I never drive down that way anymore, but I might have to start going there because it's awesome.
- I realized that I still had my April "Prince of Pastries" coupon for a free 32 oz soda, and my son and I had brought our Sodapalooza cups. So I gave my Sodapalooza cup to my daughter who got herself a lemonade, and my son got a drink as well. Then they each used a coupon for a free soft serve ice cream cone (the coupons came with our Sodapalooza cups) and I redeemed my Prince of Pastries coupon for a free 32 oz caffeine free Diet Coke. So our OOP was absolutely zero.
- Then we drove to Panera so I could redeem my last reward for a free bagel. I picked a cinnamon crunch bagel.
- From there we drove home because I didn't feel like waiting for the car's oil to be changed. I might take the car tomorrow for a bike ride and I'll get the oil changed then. We first stopped by the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to see if they might have a sunshade for the family car because my daughter was complaining that it was very hot when she got in the car after her classes, but we didn't find one. I'll look for one at Goodwill. When we got home I tried to enroll the kids into watching an old Disney movie on Netflix with me but they had had enough of enforced time with their mother (!) so they begged off. I just turned the Jazz Samba album back on my Kindle Fire and enjoyed that. For free :)
- Greg took a different road home then he had on the way to North Carolina and apparently was lucky in hitting several RaceTrac stations where he got free soda refills with his Sodapalooza cup. Yay!
- I realized that, unless I ordered a Swagbucks gift card today, I would lose the 40 SB Swag-Up that I had earned with the last team challenge since it expired today. I only had about 850 SB available, so I redeemed 500 of them for a $5 Walmart gift card. My 40 SB was credited right away. I have a few Shop & Earn Swagbucks that should be credited today as well.
- I couldn't believe it when I looked at the clock and realized that it was 6 p.m. ALREADY?! Silly me, I has set the sprinkler on and the BBQ is right into its path so I was mulling over cooking the burgers on a wet BBQ. I had just read a blog post where the writer had said she had made spaghetti and meat sauce so I decided that I should make the same. I mentioned to the kids "I think I'm gonna make spaghetti for dinner..." as I was walking to the kitchen and, oh my, you would have thought I had announced that we had won the lottery! That's how excited they were that I would make spaghetti. My son declared "I don't think I've had spaghetti in the last 3 months!". What? So that's what's for dinner here tonight.
- I browned the pound of ground beef that I had defrosted. Since it was 73% "lean", I drained the melted fat into a jar that I keep on the sink for that purpose. I have learned my lesson with blocked drains and kitchen pipes! Once the jar is full, I just throw it away. I dumped the rest of the tomato basil pasta sauce that I had opened yesterday for my daughter's meatball sub in the frying pan and slowly warmed it up with the ground beef mixed in it.
- After dinner, my son walked to the nearby park to get some swinging done (and steps for his fitness class to log in) while my daughter and I watched "Hercules" (Disney animation) on Netflix. This movie always finds me in tears before the opening song is even over because it was my oldest son's favorite movie when he was little and we used to watch it together and sing all the songs together in the car on the way to daycare in the mornings. I even still remember all the words that he mispronounced. Sob. I cannot watch Hercules without a box of tissues being by my side.
- AC: my daughter doesn't have any plans to go anywhere today so I'll leave the AC on at 74F for her all day.
- Lunch. Since my son and I didn't drive to Orlando (so no tolls expense), didn't spend any money on convention tickets or merchandise or having lunch out, the kids and I decided to have lunch in Clermont and my daughter suggested going to "the restaurant where Greg and you eat all the time" so Lilly's on the Lake it was. We got the table that I wanted on the porch overlooking the lake again. It wasn't too hot in the shade and the weather was cloudy. I was hoping we'd see the dragon boats from there but they were further down at the Clermont Waterfront Park, where we walked to after lunch. Lunch was much more expensive than it would have been at a fast food place, but you pay for the location. The kitchen must have been understaffed because it felt like our food took a long time to come, but my daughter and I always find things to talk about so that was fine. My son was being taciturn again but that's the way he is. However, it made me think twice about spending more money to take him to Paris next summer... I don't think I could spend a week with him if he's always going to look mad or bored and has nothing to say!
|Yeah, that beats any old sandwich I would have made at home.|
- Water: I set the sprinkler to water the vegetable garden for 20 minutes in the evening.
- Hmm, nothing? Well, I guess we could have gone to a cheaper restaurant. But then again we could have eaten at home too. What's the fun in that?!
- Made our bed
- Put the laundry away
- Watered the garden
- Sprayed wasps nest around the outside of the house
While walking on the trail to the dragon boat festival, I spotted the following wildlife:
|Two Pied-Billed Grebe. It looks like a peaceful scene but there's actually something going on. Let's take a closer look...|
|♫♪La di dum, di dum♪♫|
|"Hey Phillis! You got toilet paper stuck to your tail!"|
|Male Blue Jay|
|The Birdie Hotel was full today!|
|The same old view from our table at Lilly's on the Lake, but I never get tired of it :)|