It never fails... when I have a good night and I'm snug as a bug, dreaming of fabulous things, the darn cat wakes me up by meowing for her food. This morning it was at 7:30 a.m.! I would usually ignore her but my bladder started screaming too so it was time to get up.
So I took care of business, fed the cats, and went to get the Sunday paper down the driveway. It's noticeably cooler today and indeed our high is only supposed to be 75F, yay!
I then decided that no matter what the hour, I would go on a walk in Clermont today, and stop by RaceTrac to get more bakery and drink freebies, as well as Panera's to get a free bagel :)
My breakfast was very frugal again since I reheated the 2nd cup of coffee that I had brewed with the free Café Bustelo K-cup yesterday morning and had the free blueberry muffin from RaceTrac.
Then I read the news online (since the paper's only giving me yesterday's news!) and found an article alerting me to the Lake County Landscape and Garden Fair, a couple of weekends from now. It's free and sounds interesting so I added it to my calendar. Busy, busy month of April!
What's that? Publix is having a Spring Cleaning Sale? How
Greg got up at 9 a.m. and was still feel icky. Our son got up early too, he was rearing to go at 9;30 a.m. and walked to the park to "get his exercise" for his fitness class. Good for him! I asked him before he left if he would be interested in going on a walk with me on the trail in Clermont and he even said yes. Wow! Then Greg said "well, I want to go on a walk too!", which surprised me since he's not feeling well. I warned him that I also wanted to make several stops to get freebies so we'll see if he ends up changing his mind.
Jodie texted me a picture of the tea she likes to drink because it "flushes your system" (i.e. you get to poop!). I might try it because as I age I'm getting more and more constipated. TMI? Sorry! I wanted to add it to this post so I don't forget about it.
I completed my Bing Rewards activities for today and reached the 150 searches that I needed to maintain my Gold Level, yay! I'm at 80% of my goal so I will soon be able to order an Amazon gift card. My Amazon Prime membership is due to renew this month, I believe. At first I had said that I wouldn't renew, but you know what? I will. We're not hurting for money and I like having Amazon Prime Instant available to us (although admittedly I don't use it nearly as much as Netflix), especially for their exclusive content so, shrug, I'll be splurging on that.
I printed coupons from my usual sources (crap, I need to purge my coupon organizer of all the expired coupons!) and uploaded coupons and deals to my apps and digital wallets.
Greg handed me his phone so I could create a RaceTrac Rewards account for him (he hates doing that stuff) so I did. I used the same phone number as for mine in his profile because he spends more at RaceTrac than I do and he will never redeem the rewards so I wanted us to have a common account. But the free drink coupons didn't appear in his app, and I'm wondering if that's because of the common phone number. I played dumb and emailed Customer Service to see if they can put them through. If not, we'll have to each earn our Rewards separately and then i'll have to borrow his phone at night or on weekends to go redeem the freebies which would be a major PITA.
I had also emailed them from my own phone to mention that it'd been over 24 hours and my status hasn't been upgraded yet. I just checked my app and they must have pushed it through because now I'm a "Prince of Pastries" (I also mentioned that I thought their titles were sexist...). So the April Prince of Pastries free drink coupon appeared in My Coupons as well... Yay!
I put 4 books on hold at the library. My waiting list number is next to each title... it'll take probably 2 years to get a couple of them, darn it! Arrgh.
Greg discovered all of a sudden that he has access to the Kindle Lending Library, even though he's had a Kindle for many many years, lol. He was very excited to tell me about it and got a little deflated when I told him that I knew about that, lol. Anyhoo, he was able to download/borrow a book that's worth $10 so he was very proud of his frugality. Please join me in congratulating him :) I asked him to send me a screenshot (and in the process taught him how to take a screen shot with his Kindle) but his email connection didn't seem to work with the Kindle. He told me he had never gotten it to work. So I Googled the problem, found the solution and he was able to get it to work! As I noted, it's not even noon and I've taught him 3 things today and what has he done for me? Nada. LOL.
And then he "bought" a free e-book, effectively saving us another $10, woohoo! Go honey go!
We decided to have lunch at home and go walking after that. It remains to be seen if it will indeed be a frugal outing...
Staples sent me an email with an offer of 25% back in Rewards on any orders of $60+ in HP ink. I did need to restock so I checked their price, double checked Amazon's (which was higher this time!) and ordered two multi color packs. This qualified me for the Rewards (which I'll get next month, I think) and free shipping. I also made sure to go through the Swagbucks portal so I should get 2 SB per dollar spent (so almost 140 SB although last time I ordered from Staples through their portal I never got the SB and they never replied to my repeated inquiries either!) and I charged the purchase to my Amazon Visa card which will lend me 2% back in Rewards. Woohoo!
I uploaded several new offers to my SavingStar account. The Advil promo is back so I'm wondering if buying 1 bottle will result in my getting credited for ALL the rebates again?! I'm very tempted to try it, lol.
New Kitty has been very vocal all morning and I've noticed that she's using a litterbox very frequently. The good news is that she's peeing and pooping fine but I'm not sure what her problem is. Hopefully not another urinary tract infection! I've cleaned the litterbox in case she was just being fussy (it was cleaned last night too) but she's still at it afterwards. Ugh.
I was worried about my middle son because he never replied to my messages and his phone has been going straight to VM for a couple of days. So I texted him to please call me because I was worried. Then a few minutes later his dad texted me to ask whether I had heard from him because he was supposed to spend the night at his dad's but never showed up. My anxiety level shot up sky high upon hearing that so I texted his GF. Thankfully she knew where he was and that he was OK (his phone was dead and he spent the night at a friend's) and she asked him to text us so he did. But she's complaining about the same thing, which isn't good because it shows that my son is an inconsiderate person and not just with me! But at least he's OK. I love, love, love his GF, she is so sweet.
After eating lunch (black bean soup leftovers, sweet & tangy pineapple salad and some cantaloupe), I went to take a shower.
I reused the water collected in the shower to flush the toilet and scrubbed it too while I was at it. Required household chore done for the day, woohoo!
Then we left to go walking. My daughter stayed home to study so it was just Greg, our son and myself. We first stopped by RaceTrac and while Greg pumped gas into his truck, our son and I went inside to redeem a survey reward code for a free huge chocolate chip cookie that he devoured in the car, and I redeemed another of my free drink coupon from the RaceTrac Rewards app for another 32 oz of caffeine free Diet Coke. The pump hadn't worked when we said that we were Rewards members so I asked the cashier about it and she apologized that several of their pumps were having problems with the Rewards program and that "they would be fixed soon". In the meantime I asked her whether I should email Customer Service with my receipt and she agreed that it probably would be best since she wasn't sure what else to do. Well, darn.
Back in the truck, we realized that Greg had forgotten to bring his water bottle and he was very thirsty so I let him drink my Diet Coke... I'm a good wife! I used that to strong arm him into agreeing to take me to Panera right away because I suspected that if we waited until after our walk, he wouldn't want to go since it's not on our way home. First though, we stopped by Save A Lot to get him more ginger ale since we were almost out of it and he always drinks ginger ale when he's not feeling great.
I tried pre-ordering my bagel from the Panera app so it would be ready when we got there, but the darn app now requires TouchID to verify to method of payment (even though it was a freebie) and my iPhone's TouchID only works to unlock my phone, not for individual apps, so I couldn't place my order. I was very annoyed and sent Corporate an email demanding to know why I couldn't just log in to my account with my password?! So, so annoying. Thankfully at the store itself, I could just give them my phone number, but I'll never be able to pay with my app from now on, as I did before. I'm really ticked off about this.
Alison has commented yesterday that she really liked the cinnamon crunch bagels there and I had never tried one so that's what I ordered. After a short thought for Alison (!), I tore into it. Oh my, it was sooooo good! It was almost more like cake than bread, but with a delicious buttery cinnamon-u crunchy topping. I dare say it tasted almost like the Polish Sugar Cake that my Polish grandmother used to make when I was little!
|This is for you, Alison!|
|This is the park where we left the truck. Isn't it pretty with all the oak trees? The building is the bathroom. We needed to go visit that before we embarked on our walk. Middle age bladders, you see...|
|This is the view from the "bath house". The lake that is alongside the trail is beyond those trees in the back, on the other side of the road. They did an incredible job developing this bucolic area but also keeping its charm.|
|Greg kept on offering piggy rides to our son. I was so afraid he would bust an ACL or something...|
Note: no one offered ME a piggy ride. Hpmf!
|Tons of people were using the boat ramps today. The parking lot was full!|
|We saw sailboats and motorboats...|
|Pontoon boats (in the background)|
|There is a rowing club that practices on the lake. Look at those long... canoes? I'm not sure what to call them. I want to go on the trail early one morning to watch them practice. I love watching the rowing event during the Summer Olympics!|
|Approaching Pioneer Village... I always take the same picture, I ought to try taking a picture coming back so we get a different angle!|
|The little building in the back is the small World War II museum that Greg and I visited a few weeks ago. We didn't stop today. We should have, though, since our son was with us. We were too busy chatting, as we passed by, to have thought of it.|
|I like how the waterskiing school used old wakeboard that they painted as decorations alongside their building. It makes me feel like I'm on vacation on some tropical island!|
|Some people were kayaking. We also saw people on paddleboards. That looks hard!|
|It'll probably be more crowded as the Florida summer takes a hold of us...|
Some of the flora and fauna I saw on our walk:
|This is a Narrow Blue-Eyed Grass (sisyrinchium angustifolium). My Florida Nature app tells me that this is a native plant and that although it is often mistaken for grass, it is actually a type of iris.|
|A lovely bougainvillea bush, outside of Pioneer Village.|
|I wasn't able to find this one in my Florida Nature app nor in my Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. I will have to inquire somewhere else. Some kind of iris? It grew on the lakeshore.|
|This is a tri-colored heron (egretta tricolor), hunting in the marshy grasses of the lakeshore.|
|I think this is an American Coot, also known as the Mud Hen.|
|These two white egrets met up in the grass and flew off together.|
Back at home, New Kitty was quieter but she had pooped a lot more while we were out and kicked a whole bunch of cat litter on the floor too. Argh. I think something is wrong with her although all the crying might also be because she would be in heat if she hadn't been fixed. The stray cat that I saw on Friday was back on the patio, his nose almost pressed against the sliding door, so I know he can smell her and probably vice-versa. Our older female cat also seemed to be bothered last night and was more aggressive with younger New Kitty this morning than she's been in a long time.
I emailed RaceTrac with a copy of my Rewards card and our receipt to ask if they could credit my Rewards account. I hope that they can!
I had been thinking about how both Laura and I apparently have large stocks of tea even though we're coffee drinkers because we can't resist buying new teas (!) so I decided to brew myself a whole teapot of that Green Peach Tea that I bought yesterday. I hadn't use my tea pot in a couple of years so it was nice to press another thing that I own into service. And I had the perfect tea cup too: almost 22 years ago, my mom and beloved grandmother came to visit me after my oldest son was born and we went to have High Tea at the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World. My grandmother loved china so I bought her a tea cup there to commemorate her visit. It's actually made in England. When my grandmother passed away a few years later, my mom had to liquidate a lot of her possessions since she herself didn't have any room for them, but she mailed me the tea cup that I had gifted my grandmother. It's been sitting on one of my bookshelves since then but today I'm drinking my tea from it and remembering my beautiful and sweet grandma whom I miss so much. Love you grandma!
Hey, if you're a genealogy enthusiast, Fold3 is offering free access to their Civil War records through April 15th! You'll need to create an account but that's it.
For dinner I grilled blue-cheese stuffed hamburgers on the barbecue. They were delicious! I made them with some of the ground beef that I bought on 50% clearance this week and some blue cheese crumbs that I had in the freezer. I served them with waffle chips from Aldi and some pickles for Greg and myself.
I reused 4 cereal bags to freeze the last 4 pounds of ground beef from that chub. I still have a 5-lb chub in the fridge that I will need to cut up and freeze as well. I will do that in a couple of days, after I have used up some of the meat in the freezer to make room for it!
I remembered to claim my March bonus from Swagbucks. I usually get between 600-800 SB in bonus but,if you'll remember, I barely participated in Swagbucks this past month. So my bonus was only 55 SB.
Greg and I have been watching episodes of "Documentary Now!" (with Fred Armisen and Bill Hader) on Netflix. The first episode (Sandy Passage) made us laugh quite a bit (there is one part, specifically where we laughed a lot) and the one about the hipster "journalists" in Mexico was kind of funny. But the rest of the episodes weren't very good although Greg is laughing his head off at "The Eye Doesn't Lie" right now. I haven't been following so I have no idea what is going on...
Our local Optimist Club reached out to my daughter and offered for one of the judges, a retired University Speech professor, to help her practice her speech for the Regional Competition. Of course she accepted gratefully, as there is a $2,500 scholarship on the line! So we will be going back to the Villages in a couple of weeks.
A side rant: you know what really annoys me about all those sites and blogs that have ads from certain networks on them? The ad networks pick up what you buy while you're online and then just show you ads of the exact same products that you just bought. WTH? So now that I bought ink on Staples.com, every site that I go to shows me ads for the exact same cartridges that I just bought. Hello?!? I just bought the darn things so why would I click on your ads now? Ugh.
I've been needed a camera strap for the older Canon Rebel Xti DSLR camera that my middle son exchanged for rent last December and I couldn't find anything at the thrift store. So i ordered an ugly one from Amazon (the pretty and cheap ones didn't list my camera as being compatible with them!) and redeemed the last of my Discover Rewards to get it for only $2.44. I picked the No Rush Shipping option and qualified for another $1.00 digital credit, woohoo! So two things: 1) this means that now I'm going to start seeing ads for camera straps everywhere and 2) it'll be way easier to carry the camera around and actually use it now. It might spur me to actually go to a photography class to learn how to use all the settings, ha!
So guess what I just put on hold at the library? Oh yeah...
My oldest son is graduating from UCF next month (my, how time flies) so I took advantage of a freebie code on Tiny Prints to order 10 free graduation announcements. I will send them to our family in France as a keepsake. We don't do graduation announcements or ceremonies in France so that'll be different for them to get in the mail! I picked the slowest mailing option, which dropped my OOP to just $5.30 and I'll get them in a couple of weeks.