Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sleepless In Florida ~ Sunday 4/24/16

I thought I'd take a page from Bless's blog today and not sleep a wink.  I can't blame the steroids, though, my lack of sleep came from staying up way too late hate-reading a blog. Yes, that exists.  You know, when you find a blog and you hate the blogger but somehow you can't take your eyes away because it's a train wreck or despite the horrible person writing the blog, you want to know what's going on?!  Like one of those dumb reality shows that we're all too ashamed to admit that we might watch or have watched at some point? OK, so maybe "hate" is too strong a word but certainly "strong dislike".  Ugh.

So I'm not going to mention the name of the blogger or even the name of her blog, but remember that Seinfeld episode about the boy in the bubble?  And how everyone expected the "bubble boy" to be a sweet child afflicted by a terrible disease but it ended up being a really horrible man afflicted by a terrible disease?  So tonight I'm wondering if it's OK for people who are undergoing terrible diseases to use that as an excuse to be total shitheads to other people around them and brag about it on their blogs under the excuse that they're dying so they're more entitled to it than anyone else because "oh, so unfair!"   And I can't sleep because of that. It's now past 4:30 a.m.

I mean, they're in excruciating pain and dying so they don't care about social niceties and the consequences of their written words and they want to vent. I get that.  I vent on my blog too and all I have is mild congestion and sometimes a big stick up my butt (OK, not literally, don't go freaking out on me!).

But what I read tonight, the vitriol thrown at everybody and then the commenters pitying the blogger and telling her she was justified? I found that revolting.  It brought back shades of how my dad treated everyone like crap as my stepmom was dying (and I was the one left to take care of her because "he couldn't handle it" so he held court downstairs, in the house where the love of his life was losing her battle with pancreatic cancer upstairs, being cared for by myself, who he badmouthed at every turn to whoever would listen and by medical personnel who, in his eyes, were all morons). To this day it was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through and I think I have some degree of PTSD due to that. And yes, it is one of the many reasons why it was so easy to sever all ties to my dad last summer.

So the answer to my rhetorical question, I think, not having undergone a terrible illness myself, is that, NO. I don't think it's right to treat people like crap because you feel sorry for yourself.  The world doesn't owe you anything.  And I think that if you believe in life after death, then it's terribly presumptuous to announce that you have no doubt you'll be in heaven while you're spouting all those horrible things about people. Have some self awareness, please. It might not be pleasant to realize you really are a horrible person when you're already dying but, shoot, you are leaving family behind to deal with all of that. Think of them, too. And no,  I won't be visiting that blog again.

Thankfully, I  follow Bless' blog.  Bless is the total antithesis to that blogger and a great antidote.  The best compliment that I could pay her tonight would be that her blog could put me right to sleep because it is so peaceful, lol. Not boring, peaceful.  She gets along with everyone, she has a beautiful garden, a beautiful relationship with her daughter, many friends and attentive family members, and I don't think I've ever seen her complain of anything.  However, I've already back read her blog so I have to find something else to help me catch some zz's tonight.  Bless is undergoing chemo to treat her breast cancer and finds, every day, five things to be grateful for.  And her posts and replies to comments are always measured and kind and uplifting, even when you know she's not feeling well at all and we're being nosy. So, thank you, Bless, for being such a good part of the blogging community.  You are a most graceful contributor and we should all strive to be more like you.

What I should be doing at this time of night is the dishes.  I usually don't do them in the middle of the night when i can't sleep because my daughter's room is right above the kitchen so it would wake her up. But tonight she's not here so I don't have that excuse and you know what?  I just started yawning. I'm not even kidding. Ohhhh, my eyes are getting heavy now.  I think I just hypnotized myself right out of doing the dishes again!  OK, first thing in the morning, I promise.  PROMISE.  I won't turn on the laptop or get the paper from the driveway or take my cup of coffee outside to see the birdies (gulp... oh I want to do that!). I will do the dishes.


I was able to sleep until about 10:30 a.m. (so I guess I wasn't completely sleepless!) although New Kitty annoyed the crap out of me and woke me up several times.  Greg got up before me (well, everyone did!) but took his coffee outside on the porch so as not to disturb me.  Awww...  when I woke up I was all groggy and he asked me if he could fix me anything or go get me anything and I said "no, thanks!" but what I really wanted to say was "how come you didn't do the dishes?!"  lol.

So I did a load of dishes while my coffee was brewing.  See? I didn't lie, I did the dishes. Woo, me.

Then I endeavored to sign up for the free trial of HBONow. That took a little longer than I expected because it wanted to charge it (after the trial period) to my Roku account but the credit card on that account didn't exist anymore so I had to change it. Good news, actually, since I wanted to charge it to Discover to get the 5% Bonus Rewards on movies that is available through June. Anyhoo, now that's done and we hopefully will be able to watch the season premiere of Game of Thrones tonight at 9 p.m.
Oh hey, Magic Mike XXL?  Is that like Magic Mike for fat women?  Cuz I'm a fat woman right now.

I also downloaded the HBONow app on my Kindle and Greg will download it to his XboxOne.  We flipped through their offerings (terrible app layout on Roku, btw!) and there's really not much that we're interested in watching that's not already on Amazon Prime Instant. Mr. Show is supposedly coming on May 1st, but I couldn't see any mention of it on their site. Greg found that nugget on a third party website so we'll see if it's true.  In the meantime, we did find a couple David Cross comedy specials that we're watching.  It's like the "Free Bagel a Day" promo with Panera, I want to maximize my 30 Day free trial, dang it!

So I added the billing date for the next installment ($14.99) in my checkbook and made it a recurring charge for the next 4 months.  I'll need to research when the GoT season will end so I can remember to cancel the subscription at that time.  Update: well you know what?  I'm dumb.  Apparently the first episode of GoT tonight is free anyway (I don't know why I'm surprised, we've been able to watch the first episode for free on the Xbox One for the past 2-3 years!) so I should have waited until next Sunday to sign up for the trial, especially since now my subscription will renew every 24th of the month and the last episode of the season?  It's scheduled to be aired on June 26, according to this site.  So I just threw $14.99 away. I hate it when I do that!

SavingStar released a new freebie and I shall endeavor to get that one at Publix this week. Woohoo!

I printed some coupons via Swagbucks, CVS, Target and Redplum, and I uploaded digital coupons to my Publix & Walgreens digital wallets and CVS app.

Greg went to get his hair cut at Great Clips. He has his prepaid card so it will get deducted for a $9.99 haircut instead of $14-$16 (I don't remember the current price of a haircut) but I gave him $2 in cash for the tip.  He got a free soda from RaceTrac while he was out with his RaceTrac Rewards app.

Still not able to order my $5 Amazon gift card from Bing Rewards so I'm plugging away at the now 27 daily credits that I'm allowed. Oh wait, nope it's 27 on the PC but if I switch to the app on my phone, I have an extra credit to earn so I'm back to 28.

I scheduled $10 to be added to each of my kids' school lunch accounts.  I only fund them $10 at a time since the kids are only allowed to charge lunch to those once a week.

Target is ticking me off.  For months their Cartwheel app has sucked.  Consider that I am searching for Cartwheel rebates on "produce".  Here is a small portion of the results that return:

So maybe you'll see why I have been avoiding Target since Christmas. Between this nonsense, the almost non-existent digital coupons anymore, the prices that went up, the merchandise that never seems to be on the shelves at my Target SUPERstore store and not because they're out of it but because they don't even sell those items even though there are Cartwheel offers for them and lastly, the attitude of some of the cashiers towards people who use coupons, I'm kind of done with them. Well, I would be if I didn't still have a shitload of money loaded onto a gift card that I bought for 10% off at Christmas and some money left on a Swagbucks gift card.  And if I didn't love their Mossimo T-shirts (they're comfy, if of poor quality).

I am madder than hell! This is the 3rd time that I pick up my "DSLR Photography for Dummies" library book and trying to get through the introduction. I don't know about you, but when I read that a book has been written "for dummies", I expect to be able to understand... well, most everything.  I don't think I'm a dummy but yes, there are some subject matters that should be explain to me like I'm ignorant. So this author,  Robert Correll, must have written the book for the people scrapping the bottom of the barrel of Mensa because this is one paragraph from the introduction:

"A 50mm lens on a full-frame dSLR acts like a 75mm lens on an APS-C-size Nikon body.  How do I know? Multiply the focal length (50mm) by the crop factor (1.5) to produce the result 75mm!"

Woa, woa, woa.  There is math involved?  Stop the presses.  All I want is to learn how to use the settings on my ancient dSLR (since that's the proper acronym) camera so I can take better pictures of the crappy dishes that I cook... or learn how to get the camera to properly focus on the tiny bud that I'm trying to photograph, not all the other crap in the background, thus rendering my picture all blurry!

There are 655 pages in this book, including the index.  Clearly this will take me decades to read and even longer to understand.  I don't have decades.  So I'm going to have to skip the "reading page-by-page method", skip any paragraph that looks like it has too many numbers in it, and go for the "let's find a photo that refers to something I want to learn how to do and go from there" method. And I don't have all day.

So you know what I did? I went to the garden with my iPhone 5S.  Forget DSLR, a lot of times I get better photos with my phone than with either of my digital cameras.  Here are some photos that I took at about 4 p.m.  I need to water the garden but I think I'll go after dinner when it's not so hot.

Our new rain barrel... now we need some rain!
One of my red roses is opening up and it smells soooo good!

Flowers on my zucchini plants, yay!  I hope at least one of them turns into a zucchini.

The "pole" beans are thirsty, not climbing and flowering.

Little strawberries are forming

My eggplants have been attacked by birds...

but there is another flower blooming on one of the plants!

Still had to use the trick of putting my fingers in the background of what I actually wanted to photograph so the camera would focus properly. I'm guessing that's not the appropriate method but I don't know my  ISO from my aperture, blah, blah, blah.

A couple of Roma tomatoes are almost ready to be harvested.

And a bunch of those Supersweet 100 grape tomatoes will be ready later on this week.

Another milkweed plant has grown.  Some aphids are already on it.
And because the best things come in three's, here is another lament: ginger is supposed to be good to fight nausea but apparently eating too much dark chocolate-covered ginger from Trader Joe's will actually induce nausea.  I wish I hadn't found that out.  Greg suggested countering that with ginger ale, but I'm not sure introducing more ginger on top of nausea-inducing ginger (couldn't be the chocolate!) is wise. So I'm having good old vitamin C in the shape of navel oranges instead. Oh yeah, a good hit of acidic food should make me feel better, right?

Still trying to make sure to maximize our HBONow (still free!) subscription, I watched several stanf-up comedian routines, and then several episodes of Extras, Season 2.  The episodes with Orlando Bloom and David Bowie were hysterical!  Greg joined me and we had a good laugh.

At about 6:30 I went to grill the hamburgers for dinner and watered the garden while they were cooking.  I'll need to water the fruit trees tomorrow.

We ate dinner while watching Arrested Development. Yep, today was definitely TV Day.  I need to rest for Domestic Monday tomorrow, right?


  1. Aw, Nathalie, I just don't know what to say! Thank you for the lovely compliments! I have my faults like everyone else, but I do try to focus on the positives. But we are all different in how we cope with things, aren't we? I'm sorry you got upset by that other blog.

    You have taken some great pictures with your phone! But, if you really want to take pictures with the camera and the book is not so helpful, would it be possible for you to take a class/workshop on how to better use your camera?

    As for the dishes, yay, you did them! LOL. Would your husband do them if you asked him to? How about your daughter and son?

    Hope you are able to go to sleep tonight! (((HUGS)))

    1. I have much to learn from you, Bless, and I do. I would hope that, were I faced with a crisis, I would be able to react with your grace and positivity. Neither are in my nature so watching you, through your blog, handle your treatment, work, neighbors, family, a cat definitely helps. If I had had to write my daughter's speech about how "Your Best Brings Out the Best in Others", I would have picked you :)

      I won't ask Greg to do the dishes. We have this weird dynamic where he's not all that happy that I'm not working so I'm not going to upset the apple cart by asking him to take on duties that are part of the work that I have assigned myself to do. He's a great guy but his view is that he makes the money and I stay home so I should take care of the house. And he's right. I don't have any limitations that prevent me from doing it. I just don't like doing it :) Back when we both worked, he would cook and clean quite often, without being asked. However, I WOULD appreciate it if he would step up when I'm not feeling well, without my having to ask. I don't like to ask for help (hmm, reminds you of someone else?)

      As for the kids, to be honest I was upset with them in my own head because they should make the leap that if I'm sick, it'd be nice for them to help out. But they don't, as smart and genuinely nice as they are. That is my own fault. They have their chores (doing their own laundry, packing their own lunches, cleaning their own rooms, my son is in charge of feeding the cats, cleaning their litter boxes every day and brushing them once a week) but aside from those, I have used other chores as opportunities to earn money towards such things as pocket money or car insurance or expensive school activities they wanted to do. So I think that it has taught them that if they're not doing it for pay, it's not worth doing. A slight miscalculation on my part? Also, they've probably inherited my housekeeping gene :)

      As for the photography class, I'm watching the local libraries' calendar of activities to see when the next series of photography classes will be offered. The one that I had thought to attend but didn't, last month or so, was a 2-hour stand alone class without any follow-up.

      Thanks for the hugs and sending you a lot more!

  2. Learned something good from your blog today. If I can't sleep, I'll tell myself I should get up and do the dishes. I think that might make me yawn also.

    1. I live to serve (unless it's to do the dishes), ha. Try it, you'll see, it works very well :)

  3. I really admire Bless's character also! No matter what happens her way she always tries to be gracious and positive. The world needs more people like her.

    My husband is not happy that I don't work either. Only he never helped me out even when I also worked and didn't do much when he didn't work and I did.

    1. Bless has quite a fan club, doesn't she? She deserves it!

      I'm sorry your husband doesn't help out at home. It's not easy although, at the same time, maybe it is because then you can do everything the way YOU see fit to.

  4. I agree with you about Bless's blog. She is so inspirational and even through her trials she is a positive person and a blessing to know. I have often found myself thanking God for her and her attitude towards life. I always enjoy her list of blessings at the end of each post- I don't know anyone else who does that and I wonder if she realizes how amazing that is. :)
    I know what you mean about books that are supposed to be helpful- I once took out a dummy book and, while I didn't feel like a dummy before I read the book, I felt like one after because I didn't understand it. I took out another book, not geared towards "dummies", and it was much more down-to-earth in the explanation of what I was trying to do.
    I think you take really nice pictures with your phone! And by the way, the dishes you cook are NOT crappy! Your desserts, lunches and dinners that you show pictures of always look good to me. :)

  5. Ah sweetie, I'm sorry that you had a bad night and I'm even more sorry that you had to read mean nasty comments. I completely agree with you Bless is a darling!

    As you know my dad is unwell and I feel so incredibly grateful that he is not bitter and self pitying but instead is kind, thoughtful and loving. It makes me happy to visit him.

    I knew about your step-mum but I didn't know you had cut ties with your dad, sometimes people bring you down and you just know its time to say goodbye.

    I'm also sorry the chocolate fingers made you feel sick.

    I hope you have a better day today and a better sleep tonight. Xxx

    1. Your dad sounds like another strong and generous human being. It's what makes it to hard to feel anything positive towards the blogger that I was referring to, because they behave so horribly and I'm thinking that if that's the way they're behaving at this stage of life, they can't have been such wonderful people to deal with before the illness. And in her case, other things she has said definitely makes me think that she is no one I would ever look up to in ANY capacity. I'm just astounded that so many people give her a pass. Whereas people like your dad and Bless, you just know that their kindness is part of who they are at their core, it's what defines them.

      My dad and I have had many ups and downs in our relationship, many more downs than ups but I thought that we truly had reached a point in our lives where we could appreciate one another. Nope. Last year's stay at his house made me realize that you can put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig, so to speak. He's a horrible person and I don't care that he IS my father. I don't want him in my life in any way, shape of form anymore. The sad thing is that my brothers pretty much feel the same, although I think they still keep in touch with him, but there's not much of a connection. He's also alienated a lot of friends, friends who, as my brothers and I suspected, were really only there because they were friends of my stepmom's, but once she was gone, they had no reason to stay. I don't blame them.

      How is your week going so far, Tara?


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