Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday 5/24/16

(If it looks like you've already read this... it's because you might have.  I made a mistake in scheduling my post and it was published at 11 a.m. instead of p.m. before I had a chance to finish it. I type my posts as my day unfurls so the final version is usually not ready until right before it is published, usually at 10:30 p.m. at the earliest. So I've added what happened since 11 a.m. and also some pictures. Sorry about that!)

It's 10:50 a.m. as I start typing this post today and I'm not having a great day so far...

My foot felt much better this morning.  However, I have to be good, so I decided to switch the inserts from my sneakers to my fake Crocs that I have been using as garden shoes and wear those in the house for now.  I look like and feel like a duck. Yes, I'm still in my PJs.

Why?  Because as soon as Greg left for work, my laptop did the turning itself off and not coming back on thing again.  I did the hard reset like I did last week, it came back on, and I started thinking that I needed to try and buy a new power supply to at least rule that out.

Then I went to sit on the patio with my laptop and my mug of coffee so I could enjoy the birdies and a beautiful morning before moving on to chores.  I was out there for 2 minutes when I realized that my display was dimmed... my laptop was running on battery power despite being plugged in to the charger and my battery power only lasts about 1 hour tops on a good day. Aaack!  Nothing would make the charger work.  I powered it down.

I moved everything back indoors, plugged the laptop in the living room, powered it back on, and it came on and this time registered the charger.  WTH?! Maybe it was too humid outside, although it really isn't, today.

It's been temperamental at the input into the laptop, sometimes I've had to turn it or jiggle it a little before the laptop registers it again. I'm hoping it's the coating on the charger's plug itself and not the hardware inside the laptop.  So I went hunting for a replacement charger. HP doesn't sell it, Amazon only sells knock-offs with bad reviews.  I went on eBay and found a reportedly genuine but used HP charger and ordered it. I even paid for expedited shipping so it would get here ASAP in case the problem reappears.

Meanwhile, I decided to research new laptops while I ran MalwareBytes on this one (which didn't detect anything). I did find a new HP laptop on Amazon that seems to have everything that I want although it runs Windows 10 (of course), aaaagh.  I'll wait to see if changing the charger makes a difference and, if not, I'll order the new laptop.  I can try to be stoic but the truth is... I can't go without a laptop!  It would be the end of the world!  My phone and my Kindle Fire are OK but don't allow me to do all the things I do with the laptop, darn it.  I really don't want to go through the hassle of moving everything over and learning to use Windows 10, and I really don't want to spend the $500 or so plus Office 365 because I have a feeling my license won't transfer.  It annoys me that I spent more than double the amount that I had been spending on laptops when I got this one, hoping it would last longer than the others, but here I am only what... 3 or 4 years later, and I'm having problems. I am NOT hard on my laptop!  Yes, it's been to France twice, but it's been so babied.  OK, except for all the crumbs on my keyboard. Hey, I told you I wasn't a good housekeeper!  I don't like change so if I/when I have to change laptops, brace yourself to read me whine about how the keyboard feels (i.e. I hate it!), how Windows 10 suck, how I can't find anything, how stupid Microsoft pushes all the updates automatically now, etc... I'm already annoyed and I haven't even switched laptops yet.  I read about people claiming they've been using the same laptops for 8-9 years and I'm thinking "how in the world is this possible?! Mine seem to last only 2-3 years on average!".

Then I realized that I had never published last night's post because I was tired and hadn't even uploaded the pictures yet so I had to do that and also research the names of the flora and fauna... so it's now 11:06 a.m. and I'm still in my PJs and I have done nothing else than those things I just discussed.  And I still have chores to do, of course.  Arrgh.


  • Packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • The kids packed their lunches for school.

  • Reused newspaper to pick up cat barf instead of a paper towel.  Incidentally I caught my daughter using paper towels to clean the countertops last night. I told her to use a cleaning cloth and my homemade orange peel vinegar instead.  She knows it, but I guess it's easier to reach and grab paper towels than to bend down to get a cleaning cloth from underneath the sink?

  • Defrosting chicken sausages for dinner tonight.  I'm having a heavier lunch than I should so I'll just have roasted Brussel Sprouts with my sausage for dinner. I'll make rice for the others.

  • I poured myself a tall cup of the blueberry herbal "refrigerator" tea that I had brewed several days ago, so this time I made a pitcher of Stash's Yumberry Black Currant Herbal Tea by putting 4 bags in the pitcher of cold tap water and sticking it back in the refrigerator.

  • My son finished a box of Lucky Charms this morning. I clipped the BoxTops label that I will mail to a school in the Fall, and will reuse the inner bag as a freezer bag.

  • I had been collecting bruised apples  in the fridge so I could dehydrate them.  I love dehydrated apple slices in my morning cereal when it's kind of  bland.  I had 4 apples so I composted the bad bits and I'm dehydrating the good ones.

  • I also steamed the last sweet potato in the microwave. It'll be nice to have half a steamed potato for lunch over the next couple of days and I'm relieved it won't spoil in the pantry either!

  • Since I anticipate doing several chores today, I decided to hold off on taking a shower until tonight, and then I won't need to shower in the morning.

  • I had a nagging feeling about my outside outlet... I always tend to leap to the worst conclusion, it's true.  So I took my phone charger outside and tried it... and my phone wouldn't charge.  The outlet had tripped!  So... I don't think I need to rush to buy another laptop quite as soon as I thought, but there's definitely a problem with either the charger or the plug into the laptop since I need to jiggle it at times so the charger registers on the laptop. Plus the laptop keeps turning itself off and won't turn back on unless I do a hard reset so, definitely a problem somewhere.

  • I had a small piece of cheddar cheese that had started to get moldy, so I cut out the moldy spots and melted the cheese on top of some chicken meat for my lunch.

  • It was too hot to be outside by then, so I ate my lunch while watching the 2nd episode of the last season of Wallander on PBS via my Roku (free entertainment). When I was done eating, I folded the laundry while finishing the episode.

  • I completed my Bing Rewards credits and earned a few Swagbucks.

  • I entered my walk from yesterday into Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 40 BR points.

  • I had trouble entering the KFR code from a box of cereal bought last week into my account so I did a chat with a Customer Service Rep who credited my account for me.

  • I submitted my receipts to the appropriate apps to qualify for some small rebates.

  • I used an old toothbrush to scrub the bathroom sink drain and drain stopper.

  • I used my homemade glass cleaner to clean the bathroom mirror.

  • I mixed a bottle of homemade liquid handsoap and reused the same Bath & Body Works foaming soap bottle that I have been using for a couple of years now.

  • My daughter and I drove to RaceTrac.  I got myself a CF Diet Coke refill for free with my Sodapalooza cup, a free frozen drink for my son with his, and redeemed my May RaceTrac Rewards coupon for a free 32 oz fountain drink for my daughter.

  • When it was time to put up the dartboard (since no one else seemed to be willing to do it!), I remembered that the only hardware included was to affix the dartboard itself to its cabinet.  There wasn't any hardware to affix the cabinet to the wall.  Luckily, Greg and I keep every spare screw, bolt, nuts... you name it. So I scrounged around in my stash and found 4 screws and wall anchors that looked like it would work.  Then I found a drill bit that was just a tiny bit too small in Greg shed, so I worked it around in the wall so the anchors would fit.  I needed to put 5 of them in but several of them bent and broke. Finally I had the center and the top ones in so I just screwed the cabinet in with 3 screws (by hand... it was hard work and I'm counting that as my exercise for today because I was sweating buckets... and swearing a lot too!).  I told the kids that we had better play darts every night of the rest of the year! No, we didn't play darts tonight.

  • While I was doing all my chores, I working on getting several gigabytes of pictures backed up from my wifi external drive to its back-up drive.  And that was only the June 2015 pictures!  I'm so far behind, I really need to work on this every day to get caught up before a catastrophe happens and I lose a year's worth of pictures.

  • I received a free sample of Allegra allergy medicine from Target.

  • My "cook dinner!" alarm didn't ring so I was really late cooking. I decided to grill the chicken sausages on the barbecue (Chipotle chicken sausages from Aldi, they're seasonal and delicious!) and I also grilled a couple of zucchinis.  I served the sausages on hot dog buns with chips, grilled zucchini, and I cut up a pineapple for dessert.  I only had a chicken "dog" and grilled zucchini.

  • I went to sit outside on the patio after dinner and stayed there catching up on emails and Feedly on my phone until 8:30 p.m.

  • Then I took a long bubble bath with my library book. I used up some Rosemary and Mint bubble bath that I got several years ago.  Working down my stash...


  • Water. I turned on the sprinkler over the vegetable garden for 30 minutes first thing this morning.

  • A new-to-me charger for my laptop from Ebay.  I used a $3.70 Paypal credit (from MobiSave) to get it for $19.29 after expedited shipping.

  • Water for my bath.

  • My youngest son has an 8th grade field trip to Busch Gardens tomorrow. I gave him $40 for meals, drinks and souvenirs if he wants any. 


  • I might need to buy a new laptop. Uuuuuuugh.


  • Watered the garden
  • Cooked breakfast for Greg
  • Set the breakfast table for the kids
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Dealt with laptop problems
  • Ran Malwarebytes
  • Set up alarms for our checking and savings accounts
  • Finished posting adventures from yesterday
  • Picked up cat barf (the day is getting better, isn't it?!)
  • Sprayed wasp nests outside the house
  • Collected the trash and rolled the large bin down the driveway for collection
  • Dehydrated apples
  • Updated my and my youngest son's calendars with his volunteering activities for the summer
  • Decluttered the coffee table... somewhat
  • Input some receipts into spreadsheets
  • Submitted rebates
  • Folded the laundry
  • Vacuumed the downstairs bathroom
  • Cleaned the mirror and sink in the bathroom
  • Sprayed washer with mildew remover
  • Vacuumed the living room, the downstairs hallways, the exercise room, the breezeway and the large entry room.
  • Swept the kitchen and the stairs to my daughter's room
  • Took an item to the attic that had been waiting to be taken up for over a week
  • Secured the new dartboard to its cabinet and the cabinet to the entry room wall (harder than it sounds!)
  • Backed up several weeks of photos
  • Cooked dinner
  • Took a bath and read more of my library book


  • I wore my special insoles all day in my gardening clogs.

  • I did my heel stretching exercises.

  • For breakfast, I had a bowl of generic honey nut cheerios with some dehydrated apple slices and half a cup of milk.  I had breakfast late due to my computer woes so I didn't have a morning snack.

  • My lunch was indulgent so I plan on having a light dinner: I had a cup of steamed broccoli, a cup of honey roasted potatoes (which tasted so good last night but, reheated, they tasted pretty bad), and a cup of cubed dark roasted chicken meat on a small flour tortilla with some melted cheddar on top and a tablespoon of green salsa.

  • Since one of the free samples I received yesterday was a gummy multivitamin, I took it this afternoon.  Won't do anything but won't kill me either and those gummy vitamins are like candy! It's... for my health, it really is!

  • As an afternoon snack, I had a cup of blackberries with half a cup of generic light whipped topping.

  • I did my heel stretching exercises again.

  • My exercise was all the vacuuming, drilling and screwdriver-ing that I did today.


  1. Hope your day improved and you won't need a new lap top any time soon. You had a lot of successes and accomplished a lot of chores, so I think it's been a good day. Hope your foot continues to feel OK.

    1. Thanks Bless. I was glad to be able to kick off those darn duck shoes when I took a bath tonight. They're comfy but I really dislike wearing shoes all day and especially around the house!

  2. I am really hoping the charger will work. A new laptop is such an expensive item, especially when you don't really have the time and luxury of looking for the best deal. I have my fingers crossed for you.
    You are doing great this time with the diet. You sound like you are resolved to see it happen, and your will power is remarkable. I am wishing you all kinds of luck.

    1. Aww thanks Susan. I hope I stick with it longer than a month, this time. It's discouraging to think that I now have to lose weight that I hadn't even put on at the beginning of January, but maybe that's what will keep me focused this time. I hope you stay on yours too :)

  3. Hello Nathalie, I'm so glad your foot is starting to feel better. But I am sorry to hear about your laptop/charger problem. There is nothing more annoying than when your laptop plays up is there? In fact I am not very good when any electrical items play up. It really irritates me. Xx

    1. Me too! If it's the charger, it's easily replaced, but an internal part... I can't do it and I don't trust my laptop to anyone outside of... me! I have too much personal info stored on it for me to hand it to some repair person. Hence, I'd rather have to buy a new one. It's stupid and I really hope it's the charger. But I think it's the actual input into the laptop :( My older sons' laptop had the exact same problem several years ago and I had to secure the laptop to their desk with duct tape and have the cord oriented a certain way and held with duct tape as well so it would work! So it became a desktop for them. I don't have a desk or space for a desk so it would be very irritating if I had to do that.

  4. I already thought you had done enough, and then I find out it wasn't even half of what you accomplished. Wowzers. Putting that dart board up on the wall was a big job.....all that screwdriver-ing is very tiring. Backing up all those photos, even if only a few weeks at a time, is a big accomplishment as well. All that sweeping and vacuuming that you do in a week is just plain exhausting. You put me to shame. Cut it out.

    1. LOL, but I didn't cut out the squirrel sign like you had ordered me to do the previous day! I might do that tonight when the temps cool off a little. Also, you made money decluttering your yard! MONEY! That's awesome! I'd rather make money than vacuum. Sadly, the vacuuming was very much needed so I couldn't postpone it any longer. I still have the upstairs to do but it's not as large of an area, by far. That'll keep until... I feel like doing it!

  5. BTW, that is your week's homework. I offered up the challenge to get it done before next Day Book entry this coming Monday (Memorial Day)I offered to pack up 6 boxes of junk for the yard sale....and clean this lousy window. I haven't started.

    1. Oh that's good to know. Memorial Day is a holiday so no homework... so that really gives me until the following Monday, right? I hate cleaning windows. Well, I hate cleaning anything, really. I hate cleaning.


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