Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That ~ Tuesday, 6/21/16


I was awake before 7 a.m. again this morning but after giving my bladder a break, I went back to bed and just read the news on my phone.  So basically what I might have done on the laptop if I had gotten up, but I could pretend that I was sleeping in!

I was thinking that, after all, I didn't feel like going anywhere today.  I have a lot of work to do inside the work (not even the painting, just the regular cleaning!), and going out will mean taking a lot of photos which will result into a post that will take me hours to write.  In the meantime, nothing else will get done.  So we'll see if I change my mind.  I do have to go out to Ace Hardware here in town to pick up my bird feeder and bird seed.

I had to do cat chores first thing after my shower and then take the trash down to the curb, but now (8:30 a.m.), I'm enjoying my morning coffee and muffin on the patio.  Once again it is fairly cool and there is a breeze. Hooray!

Well my A/C experiment kind of failed... I got very overheated at midnight as it was still 79F in the house but it felt stuffy since all the windows were closed, and I was concerned that I wouldn't sleep well, so I decided to turn the AC back on and set it to 77F.  It was still running when I went to bed a while later, but it wasn't running this morning. It was, however, 77F in the kitchen (windows to the east) but 76F in the living room (north and south windows).  I set it back up to 78F and I have the sliding door open so the kitties can get a whiff of the outdoors.  They seemed to enjoy it last night but they are not interested this morning.

Greg texted me at 8:36 a.m. to tell me that he and our son are going to hike to a waterfall.  I will be with them in spirit, lol.

I spent time researching flower names for yesterday's post.  I used my Audubon's Society Field Guide to Florida, an app on my phone that seems to be called either "Florida Nature" or "Nature Viewing" but that I cannot find in the app store to tell you exactly what to search for. That's annoying!  I like that app a lot, although the pictures are mostly crap, but you can start with their filters and then continue the research on a laptop.  I also used a couple of blogs, one which I discuss under "Gratitude" and the other that I have added to my list of recommended blogs (see my right margin, aaaaaall the way at the bottom), called Native Florida Wildflowers.

OK, it's 11:15 a.m. and the sun has reached my knees so it might be time to either move the chair or go back inside. I don't want to go back inside!  It's nice out.  I did go back inside, though, and closed the sliding door. It was 78F in the kitchen but 77F in the living room. It's past noon now and the AC hasn't kicked on yet. Woo!

I'm actually glad that I didn't go anywhere today. I did some cleaning, some baking, ran a few local errands, put away my coupons, used my new trimmer on the weeds, and harvested my sweet potatoes.  The only thing that bummed me out today is that I didn't see ANY birds at the feeders, either this morning or tonight. I stayed out a lot, waiting them out but none came to play. I wonder if moving the hummingbird feeders and then using the trimmer tonight made them circumspect?  It's just weird to have had that many birds the past couple of days and then none today.

Current To-Do List:
  • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
  • Finish letter to my great aunt - still waiting on a picture that she requested that Middle Son took but that he hasn't sent me.
  • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
  • Scan more old pictures
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew
  • Get new potted flowers for the patio
  • File paperwork
  • Enter some Coke codes into MCR
  • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
  • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns
  • Fertilize the raspberries
  • Trim weeds alongside berm edging - Done
  • Add more mulch to berm
  • Download all May photos to my external drive
  • Replace roach traps
  • Inventory supplies for master bedroom painting project
  • Research extension cords for generator
  • Call eye doctor to make annual appointment
  • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
  • Find the cats' rabies licenses
  • Exercise! 
  • Vacuum living room and breezeway
  • Sweep the main stairs
  • Sweep and mop kitchen
  • Dust
  • Look into getting new connecting hose for the propane tank 
  • Study dSLR camera manual
  • Spray oven cleaner on the shower stall walls, scrub it all clean, and redo the grouting too
  • Clean oven too!
  • Do dishes Done
  • Read reply from insurer about son's prescription
  • Prep master bedroom with painter's tape
  • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
  • Declutter breezeway cabinets
  • Declutter linen closet
  • Take donations to thrift store
  • Gather book donations for Friends of the Library and schedule a drop-off
  • Clean kitchen cabinets
  • Investigate new paint shade for cabinets
  • Clean the fridge! Done
  • Scrub the 3rd hummingbird feeder and refill it Done
  • Harvest and dry old basil plants
  • Harvest lettuce?
  • Collect lettuce seeds
  • Empty out recycling bins by the shed
  • Take items to the dump
  • Inventory seeds for Fall plantings
  • Input all receipts in checkbook and other spreadsheets
  • Put coupons away - Done
  • Find out from the Computer Repair store how much they would charge me for replacing my laptop's power jack

FRUGAL SUCCESSES
  • I collected water in the shower to reuse later on to flush the toilet. I also remembered to turn off the water while I was soaping up.

  • I filtered water for the cats in our Brita filter (we have hard water and I used to buy them bottled spring water).

  • Breakfast was a large mug of free coffee from Wawa (from one of the bags I won last month, in the mug that I won in the same contest as well) and the free blueberry muffin that I picked up at RaceTrac yesterday.  I had it on the patio while listening to the birds and enjoying the cool breeze blowing.

  • I decided to buy an electric trimmer just for me since Greg doesn't like electric tools but I need to trim the grass near my garden and his gas-powered one is out of commission. Ace Hardware has one on sale through 6/20 for just $30 and it's available at my local store. So I went through Swagbucks so I'll earn around 60 SB, earned about 300 Ace Rewards points, didn't have to pay for shipping and charged it to the Visa prepaid card that I had bought from my daughter several months ago.  I'll wait until the order is ready to be picked up and then I'll go get it, along with the bird feeder and seeds that I ordered yesterday.
  • I uploaded the SavingStar Healthy Offer of the Week for 20% off apples to my app. I don't need apples but you never know, as I always say.

  • I also joined the whatever challenge of the week is with my Starbucks Rewards.  In all probability I won't make any purchases at Starbucks this week, but I am meeting my BFF tomorrow and she has a weakness for Starbucks so, again, you never know.

  • I took a RaceTrac survey and earned another freebie.

  • Well, I didn't think that I had to worry about the Apple e-Books class action lawsuit because I don't think I've ever bought any books via Apple, and I'm very confused about the email I just received from Amazon (not Apple), telling me that as a result of the lawsuit, I now have a $13.21 credit in my Amazon account, that will expire on 6/24/17.  Woohoo?  I'm really confused. However, free money so that's wonderful!  Definitely a woohoo!



  • For my lunch I cut up all the tomatoes that I harvested yesterday, an avocado from the fridge and one of the hard-boiled eggs that Greg left behind. I dumped the rest of a jar of homemade salad dressing (which might be a little rancid) on it and mixed it all up.  I'll also have the last pear before it spoils. I drank tap water.

  • IHeartPublix posted a couple of heads-up about free candy after coupons and/or rebates. FREE CANDY.  You know I'll be going to Publix at some point, lol!

  • I froze most of the beans that I had harvested.
The vegetables that I still need to preserve: I cooked the eggplants tonight, along with some tomatoes, the beans will be opened for seeds since they're too big to eat, I will dehydrate the serrano peppers, I will slice and freeze the jalapeños.
  • I decided to make some roasted veggies for dinner tonight: corn, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant.

  • I turned 5 very brown bananas into 24 chocolate chip banana muffins and a small loaf of chocolate chip banana bread as well.
There's another tray of muffins off camera.
  • Added 1 large cat litter jug's worth of rain water to the large composting bin and refilled the jug from the rain barrel.

  • Swagbucks sent me the Walmart gift card that I had ordered 4 days ago.

  • The library emailed me that the Wildflowers of Florida book that I had put on hold is available for me.

  • I used the packet of hummingbird nectar mix that came with one of the feeders to refill the feeder that I cleaned out.

  • I made use of our HBONow subscription by watching several episodes of "After the Thrones" where a few people recap each episode and discuss back stories and theories. I love it! It's a great companion to the show that is only available on HBO so that makes paying for the subscription a little more "affordable" for me since Game of Thrones is the only show we watch on HBONow.


  • I decided not to drive to Discovery Gardens today after all.  Maybe going on a field trip every day is a little much.  I still had some errands to run so I did go out but just around my little town:
    • RaceTrac: 
      • I topped off the Focus. I only needed 1/4 tank, which cost me $5.55, but with it came a new receipt with which to earn a freebie :)  
      • I got 2 free CF Diet Coke refills with my 2 Sodapalooza cups so I'm set for the evening. Having the 2 cups is definitely going to save me on gas, lol.
      • I also redeemed a survey reward code for a free Jalapeño and Cheese sausage, which I put on a bun. I'll have it for dinner tonight with the veggies I plan on grilling.
I saved the packets of picante sauce, again.
    • Ace Hardware:
      • I picked up my 2 orders: the bird feeder (which is HUGE, much bigger than I expected!), the free 8-lb bag of bird seed and the electric trimmer.  I set up the bird feeder next to one of the hummingbird feeders on the newer pole and I moved the hummingbird feeder that it displaced to the swingset since there are hooks there.  I need to coat the hook in Vaseline!  BRB.  OK, done.
      • I will use the trimmer once it's not so hot, if it doesn't rain.

    • Library:
      • I picked up the book that was waiting for me.
      • I spoke with the Teen Librarian who said that the kids who had shown up for the D&D Club last week were very disappointed that my son wouldn't be here to animate it for the next 2 weeks. So they decided to bring their own board games in the meantime.  I texted my son to let him know :)
      • The branch manager asked me if I had picked up my BINGO card yet: they're having a BINGO game for adults based on library activities.  So I picked up a card and will see if I can qualify for any prizes.
  • My plans for tomorrow have changed: I was supposed to go to the movies with my BFF Jodie but she called me to say she had gotten a job and has to attend an orientation session tomorrow so we will need to reschedule.  I might go to Discovery Gardens instead, then. We'll see.


  • I spent some time this afternoon clipping coupons that I had printed and I put all my coupons away in my organizer, while watching "After the Thrones" on HBONow.

  • I used my new electric trimmer to edge the berm and my garden for about an hour. I don't know how much people charge for yard work but I saved that much :)  I really like my new trimmer, although the plug for the extension cord is loose so the cord keeps on disconnecting. I might have to use pliers to force the 2 prongs a little closer together.  I did have to put 3 outdoor extension cords together to reach where I wanted to reach since we only have 1 outdoor outlet.

  •  I pulled my sweet potato vine because it was really invading everything and in doing so, I was actually surprised to find sweet potatoes, lol!  I also harvested a few tomatoes.


  • When I checked the mail, I had a free sample of Lemi Shine Booster from Target.


  • When I came back indoors, I turned off the AC and opened the windows in the entry room/cat room and the living room.  The breeze isn't as strong as it was yesterday and it was hotter today so it might not be a good idea, but with the small fan on it's actually very nice and I'm saving money right now. We'll see if tonight is the night when I don't turn on the AC at all... but I doubt it, lol.

  • For dinner, I grilled the 3 eggplants and some tomatoes that I had harvested, a small zucchini that was starting to go bad (from Aldi) and an ear of corn (from Walmart).  I also warmed up the jalapeño and cheddar sausage "dog" that I got for free from RaceTrac, and drank my 2nd CF Diet Coke from RaceTrac as well (I had kept it in the fridge).  Dessert will be a piece of chocolate cake with the last strawberries and some whipped cream.



  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks.


SPLURGES

  • An electric trimmer, just for me :)


FAILURES
  • I have bad news about my laptop: I was still harboring the hope that the problem with it shutting down and not recognizing that it was plugged in might have to do with the power supply itself so I had ordered a new power supply. But I had left it upstairs and never really used it since the laptop seemed to be working OK for long periods of time.  Well, yesterday it shut down on me again, but it time I suspected it was because it had been running on battery power, unbeknownst to me and ran out of power. When it came back up, I had trouble getting it to acknowledge that it was plugged in to the charger.  When it finally did, I swapped the power supply, hoping that it would recognize that one right away, but it didn't.  So the problem definitely seems to be the connector inside of the laptop, arrgh.  I might stop by that Computer Repair place that had recommended the phone repair place last weekend and pick their brain about it.  Leaving my laptop somewhere would be problematic because of all the personal documents I have on it, so I'd probably have to delete everything before taking it in if that's even something they could fix (not that professionals don't know how to recover such documents but you've got to trust someone, right?).  Of course, I run the risk that it will stop recognizing the power supply altogether before I do anything about it.  Arrgh.  Maybe I'll stop there today to see if that's even something they can fix.  The rest of the laptop is absolutely fine, so it's maddening.  I just looked at some YouTube videos on how to do it myself and I'm sad to say that it's way beyond my abilities and that I probably would break something so I will pay a professional to do it.  If I didn't care about the laptop, I would try it!  When our Xbox 360 got the red ring of death the 2nd time, Greg wanted to throw it away but I watched videos online, opened up the beast, realigned the laser, somewhat put it back together. I ended up with extra screws and it vibrates a lot now but guess what? It works!  I fixed it over 5 years ago, I think, and it still works, lol. But I'm not going to attempt fixing my laptop myself.

  • The library notified me that the new Susan Cain book about introverts that I had asked them to purchase, that they did purchase, and that has been at my home for 6 weeks now, is due.  No, I still haven't read it. It's due in 3 days so I probably should start reading it, darn it.  Update: I just checked my account and no one has it on hold so on Friday, when it's due, and if I still haven't read it, I will renew it again.

  • Last night I filtered water for the cats and intended to refill the main water bowl.  However, I realized this morning that I never did refill the bowl and indeed left it on the kitchen table.  My kitties!  First I turn off the AC and then I forget to give them water!  They were fine this morning but I felt very guilty.

  • I cleaned the fridge and had a lot of food waste... sigh.

  • Well, I compared the leaves from the trees growing in my backyard to that picture taken of the Sand Oak yesterday and I was completely wrong.  Back to the drawing board.  This is driving me nuts!


CHORES
  • Made my bed
  • Collected trash
  • Fed the cats
  • Cleaned older cats' litterbox
  • Completely washed and changed out New Kitty's litterbox
  • Took trash and yard waste down to the curb
  • Watched videos on how to replace my laptop's power jack
  • Researched wildflowers for yesterday's blog post
  • Ordered an electric trimmer so I can do some yard work
  • Texted with my daughter
  • Did a load of dishes while watching "After the Thrones" on HBONow via my Kindle Fire
  • Wiped the kitchen countertops and table
  • Cleaned out the fridge of food gone bad
  • Baked muffins
  • Composted spoiled produce and emptied countertop compost bin into the large one
  • Added water to composting bin
  • Run errands
  • Spoke to my BFF on the phone
  • Installed the new bird feeder outside
  • Clipped and sorted coupons
  • Trimmed all the weeds in the backyard
  • Pulled the sweet potato vine, composted it, and harvested sweet potatoes and tomatoes
  • Brought the trashcans back up the driveway and took down the recycling
  • Cooked my dinner
  • Fed the cats


NATURE
A squirrel was enjoying my bird feeder this morning but I had cat duty chores to do so I didn't bother taking a picture.

I think the birds might have come for breakfast early today as I haven't seen any at my feeder even though I have been setting here for an hour. Where are my mourning doves?!

I did spot a flock of white ibises landing in a neighboring tree and a red-bellied woodpecker pecking at the old satellite dish on my roof. I think it uses it to sharpen or toughen up its beak!



A quick update on the wasps in the wall: we didn't do anything after I tried spraying the opening while on the ladder but since then we haven't heard any noise and I haven't seen any wasps coming in or out. So maybe the poison got to them anyway? Or maybe a lizard or two went inside and had themselves a little meal.

Speaking of reptiles, late last night I was sitting on the futon with my feet on the ottoman and my laptop on my lap (its favorite place!) when I felt something tickling the bottom of one of my calves... I thought it was New Kitty's tail as sometimes she'll come by, but I didn't see her.  So I lifted my calf and this little guy startled me by leaping from my calf to the futon next to me!  I think it's a baby gecko.  I caught it with the help of an empty scented candle jar and released it outside.


I sat in the backyard for an hour tonight, after trimming the weeds, hoping to see birds visiting the feeders but not one of them showed up!  I was very disappointed.

In so-so news, something's eating my okra plants, although one of them has tiny okra pods that are starting.



GRATITUDE

  • All those "how to" videos on YouTube. It's amazing that people take the time to show others how to fix their problems. 
  • Same thing with people posting solutions on online forums.  
  • And then again for bloggers. In researching the wildflowers that I photographed yesterday, I found this blog, FLwildflowers.com that has an impressive gallery of flowers but also of fungus and... well, slime!  This is how I learned about the yellow slime that keeps popping up in my garden once in a whole and the clathrus that also grows from time to time. It looks like the author passed in 2011 but someone is maintaining the site in his memory. Thank you so much.
  • My daughter was feeling better this morning although her throat was still bothering her.
  • My son is having a good time on his trip and texted me to tell me he loved me. Awww.

    10 comments:

    1. Yay Jodie! How exciting! I'm so glad she found a new job so quickly. I hope things will work out for her.

      Wow. Look at that list of accomplishments. This was certainly a mixed bag of domesticity. I have been watching what you eat very closely. So far, you have not eaten anything that you didn't already have or that wasn't completely free or that hasn't come from your garden. WooHoo. And look at that great pile of sweet potatoes, from one plant. I'm so jealous.

      I smiled when I read the kids were disappointed to hear your son wouldn't be there for the next little while. So happy for him. And he wrote to tell you he loved you. OMG. I told you he was wonderful, as if you didn't know.

      Fed the kitties. When I feed the pets here, I refer to it as "feeding the livestock". *laugh* Hope the birdies come back soon and that the lizards stop jumping all over your bare legs. *shiver*

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I'm almost regretting having pulled that sweet potato vine now! I was just going to cut it down since it was overtaking everything, but then I pulled the main root anyway and I kept on pulling and pulling... my composting bin is full with it now. Maybe more will grow in there? lol. There were quite a few roots that never did turn into a sweet potato It'd been growing since last fall, itself a remnant of a potato vine that had grown from a store-bought sweet potato that I had planted in a bin and that had overtaken the bin and the ones next to it the previous fall and thrown down roots in the ground, unbeknownst to me. So who knows what's still in ground that might pop back up again? It'll be interesting to see. It did very well in the semi-shade, I'll have to remember to plant it there again, if I ever do. Greg really wants to try the potatoes so I'm hoping they'll keep until he comes back next week. Usually I wouldn't worry about it but it's so humid that they might spoil. I wonder if the store-bought ones are cured.

        Feeding the livestock, snort! So I know you have a dog and I think one cat? Do you have more pets than that? Sorry if you've already told me. I keep thinking I need to start a spreadsheet with details of the lives of all my Blogger friends because my memory is so bad and I forget from one comment to the next. Yeah, I really should do this. I used to do this when I was very active on a homeschooling forum, it really helped, lol.

        I should hope that I'm not spending money on food this week (aside from when I have lunches planned with friends) due to the excessive spending on eating out last weekend! And Greg is spending money eating out anyway. I am, however, in the middle of perusing the sales ads and there is quite a number of great sales on fruit and I'm down to just apples so I might stop by a couple of stores before next week and buy some cherries, grapes and peaches. I love fruit!

        As for the lizard, I'm relieved that it was that and not a huge Palmetto bug!

        Delete

      2. I put sweet potatoes (from the store) into the fridge. Otherwise, I find they don't last as long as other kinds of potatoes.

        We have two cats....Brucie and Hannah. We have one dog named Satchel, who is a purebred Boxer.

        OMG. I just looked up Palmetto bug. I'd rather have the cute little gecko thank you very much.

        Delete
    2. Did you see starting today you can earn 50 bonus points on ngage and others on swagbucks.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi Mia! Thanks for the reminder! Yes, I did see that and I put a reminder on my Google Calendar to be emailed at 3 p.m. EST since it doesn't start until 3:01 pm EST today. And it's through Sunday. I did have trouble getting NGage to credit me when they had the same promo (was it last week?) so I'm hoping it'll work fine this time.

        So sweet of you to remind me, thanks!

        Delete
    3. Nathalie, are you sure you have enough things to do? My goodness, but that is some To Do List! Don't forget that you are supposed to be on vacation, too!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. LOL, a lot of it are little pesky tasks that I need to do but keep on putting off. If I just stopped being lazy, I could probably knock most of them off in a couple of days. Sigh. Baby steps...

        Delete
    4. Your muffins and vegetables (especially the ones on the grill) look delicious! Do you put anything on them before you put them on the grill?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I did brush a little bit of avocado oil on the slices of eggplant but I didn't put anything on the zucchini, corn or tomatoes. I grill the corn for about 15 minutes, 10 minutes for everything else (5 minutes per side). The tomatoes are delicious, grilled, and so is the corn! I don't even bother putting butter or salt or anything on it.

        Delete

    Anything you'd like to add? Share away!