Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Resting Today and Fantastic News ~ Wednesday 4/20/16

I was truly miserable last evening: the decongestant is not working and I just couldn't breathe through my nose at all and I felt icky.  I caught myself moaning each time I moved and that probably got on Greg's nerves because I caught a couple of quickly swallowed sighs, lol.  But he was a good egg and kept on asking me if I needed anything and if he could make me anything.  Thankfully I was able to sleep because I didn't take any decongestant (I read this morning that as side effect of pseudoephedrine is insomnia. You don't say!). However my mouth felt extraordinarily dry so I kept on waking up to drink and then pee. Still, I was able to rest.  This morning, though, my throat started hurting a bit, so I decided to turn off all my alarms, let Greg and the kids fend for themselves this morning and to just rest.

Greg got up and checked on me and offered to bring me some ibuprofen, which I gladly accepted. It's nice to be babied sometimes. He packed his lunch to take to work and I think the kids packed a lunch to take to school.  I asked him to take the recycling down to the curb for me since they collect it at about 8 a.m. and he did that before he left for work :)

Speaking of being babied, though, I guess everyone's sollicitude didn't extend to doing the dishes for me because after they left, I walked into the kitchen to brew myself some coffee and was greeted with a sink and countertop full of dirty dishes.  Maybe the water and detergent will wash my germs away, right?  I'll get to them this afternoon.

I had the blueberry muffin that I got for free from RaceTrac yesterday as my breakfast.  Not only was it comfort food, but the very moist texture felt really good in my mouth, and it was delicious... and very frugal!  And because comfort food for me pretty much means bread, I toasted a huge chunk of Cuban bread and tried buttering it up. I said "try" because I think that Cuban bread should probably only ever be used to make bread crumbs.  It's almost impossible to butter toasted Cuban bread. Arrgh. I need to stop buying it because I don't like the taste of it much anyway and the texture is just wrong, for me, fresh or toasted.

While I was in the kitchen, I emptied the countertop composting bin into the larger one outside, and I threw the pork loin roast into the crockpot where I had cooked the baked beans yesterday. I didn't feel like cleaning the crockpot or even getting the beans out, so I just added more honey barbecue sauce to the whole thing and set the crockpot on low. If the beans turn out to be mush, it'll be an interesting dinner and maybe I'll make BBQ Pork and Beans burritos instead of BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches, lol.

I opened the sliding door and a window for the kitties to enjoy the "cool" air. They won't stay opened long since our high today is supposed to be 89F.  A thought to Bless who has to endure those temperatures without AC. I think you should treat yourself and buy a one-room AC unit, Bless. I saw some on wheels on the Home Depot website a couple of years back, but you do need to run the drain outside, somehow. My brother's apartment has a permanent AC unit that only cools off his living room, in the South of France.  They don't have the duct work for it to cool the whole apartment.  His unit is a low-profile apparatus that is located high on a wall and the small compressor is outside on his balcony. I was thankful that he let us sleep in his living room last summer when we visited him.  I'm too spoiled now and not having AC feels like the pits.  I keep on telling my mom to buy herself one of those one-room units too because she is so miserable.  She claims that they're too expensive but she spends so much money on food, if she just started budgeting her groceries, she could pay for the unit in just a month... and be much more comfortable.  Anyhoo, sorry about all this, that's just where my thoughts are taking me this morning.

I'm glad that our painting class got cancelled tonight and I don't have to go anywhere. My daughter has her college class and she's taking a big test.  She'll be using my Panera Reward to get herself a free bagel on her way to the class.

I checked the weekly ads for Aldi and Save A Lot that start today and, darn it, I should have bottled my energy and gone shopping today:

Arrgh, the milk is on sale, the produce sales at Aldi are amazing AND the chicken breasts are $0.99/lb at Save A Lot!  No, no, I need to stay home and besides, I don't have room in the fridge or the freezer (my usual lament, so what's new?).  Still, I'm going to have to go grocery shopping on Tuesday again next week to try and hit those sales before they disappear!

SavingStar credited my account with the $4 for my Purex purchase yesterday.  I love Purex, my laundry smells so subtlety nice when I use it, so to buy it on sale with coupons AND get a rebate on it on top of that?  Priceless, lol.

So my plans for today are to do as little as possible to give my body a chance to rest and heal. Still, there are a few things I really need to do such as:

  • watering the flower seeds in the front lawn
  • watering the potted and in-ground veggies
  • doing the dishes
  • scheduling the online payment for the last credit card
  • maybe ironing Greg's pants and a couple of shirts

I think, though, that first I will go take a long hot bath (that should help my congestion) with my Kindle.  There is an e-book from the library that I ought to be reading so I just downloaded it to my Kindle. And while I was at it, I borrowed 2 more e-books.  The weather is nice, I should be able to sit outside at some point and do some reading, right?

While I was in my Amazon account, I decided to spend my $5.99 in free digital credits to buy the latest album from Panic! At the Disco  My daughter turned me on to this band. Have you ever heard it?  The singer has the most incredible vocal range.  Anyhoo, as I searched for their Death of a Bachelor album on Amazon, I realized that one of the benefits of our Amazon Prime membership is to be able to listen to a whole bunch of music for free.  Duh, I never used it before because I'd rather listen to our classical CDs, my son's jazz concerts that I recorded, or smooth jazz and classical radio stations on IHeartRadio. But hey, if i can listen to Panic! at the Disco for free, I'm so there!  So I'm rocking "L.A. Devotee" on my bluray speaker right now and the lively rhythm is making me feel better. Yay and free! Of course my poor daughter is probably thinking "there goes another cool band that's being co-opted by my middle age uncool mother!".  I did that with my middle son and "Sick Puppies", another really cool band.

I checked their touring schedule and found out they'll be in Tampa on June 15 and at first glance it wasn't sold out. So I texted my daughter that we should go see them if she's not in CA then (I'm hoping we'll know today about the coding camp). However, upon further investigation, there are only single seats available only I want to buy them from resellers at a premium of course. The cheapest seats I could find that way were $120 each. Yeah, I don't think so.  Also they're touring with Weezer and I don't know that band at all (I mean I know the name but I don't think I know their music. I'm a an geezer, not a weezer. Ha!).Oh, apparently my middle son is a Weezer fan. I suggested to my daughter that we should ask him to buy us all tickets since he has a job.  lol.

I closed the windows at about 11 a.m. and organized the dirty dishes in categories so it'll take less time to load the dishwasher efficiently this afternoon after my bath. Do you sometimes wonder if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty?  Years ago I made two signs that I laminated and stuck magnets to the back of them. They read "Clean" and "Dirty" and I slap the appropriate one on the dishwasher and the other is stored on the side of the fridge since it's right next to the dishwasher.  This has been very helpful. I mention that because I was reading a blog post from another blog recently and the blogger was complaining that she never knew the dishes were clean or dirty because her husband likes rinsing the heck out of them before loading them in the dishwasher, so she instituted a strict schedule whereby she runs the dishwasher every night before she goes to bed, no matter what.  Hmm, I prefer my solution because it's easier than sticking to an inflexible schedule and much less wasteful.  It's just the two of them at home so why would she need to run the dishwasher every night?  To each her own, but still, I don't know why she didn't just put signs on her dishwasher. However, it is to be said that she always wakes up to a clean kitchen and that's definitely an improvement over my method, lol.

Oooh, good tip from Lifehacker about turning apple peels into delicious apple cinnamon chips! I'll have to try that if I ever peel apples that aren't already spoiling.

And then there's this suggestion of avoiding to say you "own" something until it's paid off. Seriously, whenever I (used to ) take a Swagbucks survey and I'm asked if I'm a homeowner, I feel like a fraud to say "yes" because we still have a little less than 5 years worth of payments to make at our current repayment rate.  Yeah, we own our vehicles clean and clear but the house... belongs to the bank, I'm sad to say.  Do you think of those items that you haven't paid off yet as "yours"?

I worked on Bing Rewards and Swagbucks.  I'm laughing at my paltry SB balance of 507 SB and shrugging. It was nice using those gc at Walmart yesterday, though...

I'm filtering water for the cats in our Brita pitcher.  Doing so helps keep them healthy as I'm persuaded that our very hard water is what was the culprit in my male cat's urinary tract problems a few years back. Also it's cheaper and less wasteful in terms of plastic containers than buying them spring water as I did for a while.

My lunch was a bowl of jalapeño soup and the last burger that I had grilled on Sunday night, with the rest of the sweet onion slices that I had grilled alongside. I put a slice of cheese and some ketchup on the burger as well.  Weirdly (but thankfully), my sense of taste hasn't been too affected by my illness, although my sense of smell is dulled since I have a hard time breathing through my nose at the moment.

I read some blogs while eating half my pint of ice cream.  I just couldn't resist anymore.

I printed a couple of coupons that Pillbury emailed me. It's now close to 1 p.m. and I still haven't done anything today, much less take that bath I've been talking about. I'll be in the bathtub by 1 p.m. That's my resolution. Then: dishes.  Ugh. My morning of lounging about worked, I think, I feel better.

I took an hour-long bath, read some of "Dark of the Moon" by John Sandford on my Kindle while simultaneously listening to an old jazz album of Tadd Dameron.  I should have thought to use some bubble bath with mint in it to help with the congestion but I forgot.  I felt a little better at first and then started feeling icky again.

I had noticed that I was getting blog visits from Bloglovin' so I signed up for it to check it out, and added a "Follow me on Bloglovin'" button to the right side of the blog for those visitors who might want to do that. Personally, I much prefer Feedly because there isn't any sponsored content/ads in the middle of my feed in Feedly :) But if you are following me on Bloglovin', thanks for reading, lol.  It's funny that all the suggestions it gave me based on my following my own blog was for lifestyle or sewing bloggers because lifestyle?  Yeah, that's pretty much one type of blog that I hate reading and I really hope my blog doesn't get categorized as such.  As for sewing, I admire other people's creations but I'm puzzled as to why I got this suggestion. My sewing is pretty much limited to darning Greg's socks and sewing buttons back on my pants. That being said, there wasn't a "frugality" category that I could see.  There are so many blogs focusing on this, I wish it was its own category.

I admired Bless's cherry guava tree and especially the fact that she can pick her own fruit so she suggested I check local tree farms for one since they should grow well in Central Florida. I did check the University of Florida's extension office guidelines for guava trees in Florida and saw that they're considered an invasive species so they say to make sure to contain their spread. It shouldn't be a problem since I'm horrible at growing trees (haven't really grown one yet although I tried). More problematic would be where to plant one on our property since we have several challenges with the location of other trees, several power poles, and the fact that we need to leave enough space for large trucks from tree trimmers to access our backyard and trim the existing trees. But one can dream, right?

I went to pay my water/sewer/recycling bill online (it's $10 higher than last month... can you tell I started gardening after all?  lol) and realized that the one credit card payment that I intended to schedule too was unnecessary since I have a credit on that account and we didn't charge anything to that card this past month.  So since I was logged in to my bank account, I took some time to balance my checkbook by reconciling the transactions that had cleared the bank with my spreadsheet.  I found a couple of inconsistencies due to us, not the bank.  First, I had forgotten to delete a reference from a cell which resulted in my actually having $147 in my account more than what I thought I had (woohoo!) but then I realized that Greg had taken $60 in cash a few weeks ago but hadn't given me a receipt. I hate when he does that because then he doesn't account for anything he spends with the money and I feel that I don't have a true picture of what we're spending. I account for every penny that I spend, in cash or other so it really irks me. I'm not saying he shouldn't spend it, but I really wish he would account for it.  I also transferred the balance of our tax refund ($1600) to our savings so it doesn't disappear in the general budget.  We earn almost nothing in our savings account, I suppose I should look into a CD or something that might pay us a little more interest than that.

My son came home from school and we went on his Florida Virtual School account to request segment 2 of his Health Opportunities in Fitness Education (H.O.P.E.) class. I guess we should have requested both segments 1 and 2 at the same time back in March, but I didn't know since he's switching from middle school to high school in between segments, pretty much and I thought that maybe the high school guidance counselor would have to approve segment 2. But his teacher told me to request the 2nd segment now so he can be assigned to her again.  I need to ask my son how the class is going. It's been almost a month since he started and I'm not sure if he's on target or not.

My daughter drove to her college class for her big Trig test.  I thought it was the end of course test but that's next week. As of 4:00 p.m. she still hadn't heard from the Girls Who Code people.

Greg called me to check if he should plan on picking up dinner on the way home but I told him we'd be having crockpot BBQ Pork and Baked Beans. A small frugal victory today!

I didn't get to the dishes but I did go outside to water my garden. That took a lot longer than I anticipated because I also weeded several areas (peanut patches, all planters), planted spearmint and cilantro, as well as impatiens in all my free planters and also impatiens near the broccoli, watered the lemon and nectarine trees, and then also watered the flower seeds that I had planted in the front yard.

Several of my okra seeds have sprouted!

I'm starting to wonder if the "pole" beans seeds were just bush bean seeds....

But there is a little bit of action on this one bean plant... so we'll see what happens. The pole beans climbed the posts way faster the previous seasons, I'm pretty sure.
The collards have grown a little so I removed the screening material that was protecting them from the squirrels.  This bin is falling apart.

I'm going to have to harvest some lettuce because it's going up in flowers...

This weird bright yellow fungus keeps on appearing here and there, it even grows on my cement blocks!  I have no idea where it comes from!  I trampled it because left to itself it grows and then the spores release more spores.

Look at the hole the freaking squirrels dug in one of my tomato bins!  This is how they destroyed almost all my tomato seedlings last Fall.  

The zucchini seedlings look healthy. I need to install a lattice in that bin for them to grow upward.

They're kind of hard to see but there are several serrano peppers in this picture!
My 4 Ichiban eggplants keep on growing
This picture looks like I photoshopped the peanut on top of the seedling, but that's exactly how it's growing. I think it's so funny! My own Mr. Peanut!
The first peanut patch was decimated by the squirrels so it's not much to look at.

The 2nd one looks a little better... They're both protected by screening material but I pulled their "cages" to be able to weed the beds and water them.

My jasmine plant is now completely covered in blooms and smells sooooo good!
One of the tendrils was trying to crawl across the gravel walkway so I made grip the fake green shutter on the side and hopefully it will continue to propagate this way, towards my patio.
I had problems getting my camera to focus but this is one of the sand blackberry berries that are growing in the back of our yard. I'm leaving them for the birds.
Right after I said that I have no luck with fruit trees, I noticed that each of my nectarine trees has a couple of leaves growing.
LOL.  Yep, that's a big victory in my book :)

Nectarine tree #2

This planter is was overtaken by weeds but the little one in the middle is a basil seedling that grew by itself. I think the one on the bottom right might be a marigold since I had planted seeds that I had collected.  I pulled every thing else and we'll see what happens.
These vincas reseeded themselves too.
 Back inside:
The cutting from my neighbor's bush lost its flowers (but so did his bush).  We'll see if the cutting roots.

The bougainvillea cutting isn't going great, it lost almost all its flowers and foliage :(

These are the tops of the lettuce flowers that I had to pull last week in order to free the 2 bins for some of my tomato seedlings.  I'll be collecting the seeds soon.
Two of my avocado pits. The one on the left had an obvious pointed side, but the other two were almost rounded the same at both end so I had to take an educated guess.
This is the one that's been in water for a few weeks already. So far, no germinating.
Little zombie celery and big zombie celery.
My three zombie pineapples.  I think I put the last one on the right in the wrong jar. It's the newest one so it should be in the jar labeled 3/30.
I harvested 3 Roma tomatoes, 3 Supersweet 100 grape tomatoes and yay!  I beat the lizards to the punch and harvested the lone strawberry that was growing.

Dinner was BBQ pulled pork mixed with the baked beans I had made yesterday and everyone got a slice of Cuban bread.

I realized that my son's hair is... way overgrown and his JNHS Induction Ceremony is tomorrow night so I told him I was taking him to Great Clips after dinner. I was nervous that we might not make it since Greg left work 30 minutes late so we ate dinner past our regular time, but I just checked their hours and they close at 9 p.m.  Update: I asked my daughter if she could take her brother because I had started to feel droopy again and my ears felt like they had cotton in them. So she did. I gave him our Great Clips prepaid card and a couple of dollars in cash for the tip.

After dinner Greg and I watched the last episode of Fargo, Season 1. It's due tomorrow at the library so we timed that perfectly ;)

While we were watching the show, my daughter came to see us all excited because.... SHE WAS ACCEPTED INTO THE GIRLS WHO CODE SUMMER IMMERSION PROGRAM!!!!  Woohoo! She'll be headed to San Jose, CA for 7 weeks this summer. The camp is completely free but she has to get there and lodging isn't provided. However, her aunt and uncle live near San Jose and since their son is at college here in Florida, I think she can use his room.  She has to figure out how to get to camp every day. I think her dad will pay for her plane ticket to get there.  And I think the camp provides lunch for the students.  I thought she was on the fence about going but she is VERY excited so I'm very happy for her. It'll be a huge boost to her future studies and I would hope for her admission into (hopefully)

The description of the camp is as follows: "The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program embeds 20 rising high school juniors and seniors inside a technology company or university setting from 9-4PM each day. Here, young women get hands-on experience in computing concepts, programming fundamentals, mobile phone development, robotics, and web development and design. Project-based curricular modules allow participants to build products and develop innovative solutions designed to inspire an interest in and encourage their pursuit of computer science.
Daily classroom instruction is paired with talks, demos, and workshops led by inspiring female entrepreneurs, CEOs, developers, designers, and computer science majors who serve as mentors and role models throughout the program, each aligned with the subject matter discussed that week. Field trips to the tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, AT&T, Gilt Groupe, Foursquare, and the News Corp allow the young women to envision a future for themselves in this career and begin networking with those in the field.
The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program curriculum is designed and research-proven to engage and encourage young women in computer science. Each topic, activity and speaker is chosen to empower the young women with the skills to contribute to their schools and communities."
Doesn't it sound awesome?! I'm so excited for her and also quite deflated about the upcoming summer because she'll be gone all summer, pretty much, which means no girl road trip to Vermont and I can't console myself with my 14 year-old boy because he'll be busy volunteering with the library's Summer Reading Program, his Dungeons & Dragons Club and his online H.O.P.E. class. I guess yet another reason for me to get HBO Now so I can catch up on a million shows?  I'll have to put my recumbent bike in the living room as I did during the Superbowl :)


  1. Congratulations to your daughter! That is so awesome!

    I'm glad to hear that you got to rest a bit, today. Hope you'll continue to take it easy for a couple of days and feel better soon.

    Look how well all your plants are coming along!

    As for the a/c, I do have a small window unit that I put up in my bedroom every summer. I usually wait until July and then, turn it on only when the temps. go up into the upper 90s, because I hate having to stay in the bedroom and the rest of the house feels even warmer!

    1. Thank you, Bless! She is very excited. I'm glad you do have an AC unit, it would be so horrible without one. Could you install it in your living room instead and sleep on the couch?

      Did you laugh at my 2 leaves per tree? lol. I'm afraid they might be the only leaves that the trees get. I need to make more of a concerned effort to water them. They're on the edge of our property so kind of out of sight, out of mind, unfortunately.

    2. I'm sure your trees will leaf out more. But yes, watering will help. :)

      My house is open plan - living room opens out to dining, kitchen, and family room, etc. So, a small room unit will need to work too hard to cool the place down, unless I have 2 or 3 units all working at the same time. It's an option, though.


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!