Monday, June 27, 2016

Domestic Monday ~ 6/27/16

It's Monday!  Greg and our son left a week ago already?! Time really flies and yet I feel like I haven't seen them in a horribly long time. Yes, I miss them.

They left Greg's parents' house this morning. He had originally planned on staying there until Wednesday but his dad needs some peace and quiet so they are headed to Battle Ground, Indiana where they will visit the Tippecanoe Battlefield and Museum and camp somewhere nearby.

Oh, crap. It's Domestic Monday.  I guess I should get going, then... well, after I finish my coffee perhaps. It's 10:15 a.m. and I'm enjoying the patio right now.

Oh yeah, it's 7:00 p.m. and I just realized that I never copied and pasted my to-do list on this post, which might explain why I have accomplished exactly nothing today so far!  Oops.  Here it is. It's kind of pointless but I really should have it up since I probably won't go to sleep for another 5 hours or so, so there's still a chance that inspiration may hit, lol.

  • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
  • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
  • Scan more old pictures
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew - this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!
  • Get new potted flowers for the patio - still thinking about going to buy vincas from Lowe's. I did check and the sale runs through tomorrow.
  • 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
  • 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 gyneco to make annual appointment
  • Find the cats' rabies licenses
  • Exercise! 
  • Sweep the main stairs
  • Mop kitchen 
  • Dust
  • Look into getting new connecting hose for the propane tank 
  • Study dSLR camera manual
  • 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 linen closet
  • Take donations to thrift store
  • Get boxes to carry book donations - I might have to take the books in garbage bags because I'm not donating my laundry baskets!
  • Clean kitchen cabinets
  • Investigate new paint shade for cabinets
  • Harvest and dry old basil plants 
  • Collect lettuce seeds
  • Take items to the dump
  • Inventory seeds for Fall plantings
  • Fix the shoe shelf that has collapsed
  • Recalculate Greg's W-4 with new paycheck info and bonus
  • Look at what's in the large bin on front porch and declutter
  • Clean out the printer stand, including school paperwork folders
  • Declutter the top of the fridge
  • File the remaining loose recipes in appropriate recipe binders
  • Declutter coat closet/son's closet (shared closet) - son and I decided that I would wait until he was back home and we would declutter his whole room together. As always :)
  • Purge filing cabinet
  • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
  • Send email to my French BFF
  • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room when he gets back
  • Add new genealogical information to Rootsmagic
  • Do the dishes - oh, they'll keep another day!

7:45 p.m.  Just read the news that Iceland kicked England out of the Euro 2016. Iceland?! Sorry, Tara and Liam! Is it wrong for me to rejoice that since the next game is in Paris where my brother is, there won't be any hooligans?  Are Iceland's supporters really bad? I also read that 8% of Iceland's population went to attend the Euro.  That's like... 2 people, no? LOL.  Congrats, Iceland.

  • Breakfast was a couple of mugs of the free coffee I won from Wawa and 3 now stale chocolate chip banana muffins.  I still have three of them in the fridge, a long with the small loaf.  Getting there...

  • I collected water in the shower and woohoo, remembered to turn off the water while I was soaping up and shaving my legs.  I felt like the yeti.

  • I reused water collected from the shower to flush the toilet.  Oh, and I let it mellow during the day and at night too.  I'm all by myself anyway.

  • I still wearing the same pair of shorts that I have been wearing for a week.  I did say "I'm all by myself", right?  The cats don't care. I have been changing my shirts every day. As a matter of fact, I'm wondering how I ended up with a full hamper this morning?  Well, I did wear exercise clothes a few times too, I guess.

  • I did a super load of laundry on cold/cold and used vinegar as softener. I plan on having the clothes dry on laundry racks indoors since it's supposed to rain again today and it's just too humid right now.

  • The AC is still set for 78F in the living room and 77F in the kitchen. It's been working well for me. I still on the couch downstairs, where it's cooler, until about 3:30 or 4:30 a.m. and then I go upstairs because the bedroom is cooler by then.

  • My brother from Marseille emailed me to confirm that he had indeed received the international wire to pay for my mom's vacation and that his bank didn't charge him any taxes or fees so he received the whole 311 euros. Yay!  I was kind of anxious to learn if he had gotten it because if my bank rep had spelled or keyed in something wrong, I might have lost the whole amount plus the $45 in fees that they charged me.

  • I unlocked new offers in MobiSave. Nothing interesting, I doubt I'll use them.

  • I updated my Ibotta app and uploaded new offers.  You know, Ibotta is the rare app that's updated pretty often and I have to say that every time they update it, they make it better, unlike most of the other apps and program!  I like how it's really easy to tell which offers haven't been unlocked yet because now there is a big red box around the "unlock".  This really helps people like me who are visual and yet have poor vision!  And I'm a person who hates change usually, so that's high praise :)

  • I use UPS MyChoice, which is free and sends me an email every time they have a package to be delivered to my address. I love it because, even though I'm always home, it alerts me that they will be leaving something at my door. We have a couple of front doors on this house, one that we never use, so it's helpful to know to possibly have to look for a package there.  I really love my UPS drivers, they're the nicest people.  FedEx has a similar program, although it's not as helpful, but it's free as well.  The FedEx people always leave my packages at the "wrong" door.  UPS almost always leaves them where I would prefer they leave them :)  Anyhoo, I got an email alert that I have a package coming in tomorrow and I think it's my Publix gift card. woohoo!  This will help my July grocery budget.

  • I printed a coupon that Kellogg's emailed me.

  • In order not to read spoilers from Game of Thrones, I removed the "Entertainment" section from my Google News page thanks to their "personalize" option. I also unsubscribed from Lifehacker on Feedly since they either review the episodes or reblog the review from Gizmodo every week. It's got nothing to do with frugality but it certainly was a success in my book because it's going to be hard enough to avoid it all for a week!

  • I headed back indoors at about 1 p.m. because it had really gotten hot and I was sweating after inspecting my garden. So instead of biking, I decided to drive.  Making errands count:
    • I drove the Focus (better gas mileage) to RaceTrac and got my two free diet soda refills. I drank the Diet Mountain Dew at lunch time and put the Caffeine Free Diet Coke in the fridge for dinner tonight.

    • I then drove to the Post Office, where I mailed the letter to my great aunt.
    • On the way home, I drove along the small lake downtown, admiring the view. I'm always so appreciative that we live near a small body of water. It makes our environment so much more enjoyable, even if we don't take advantage of it much.

  • Lunch was a salad made with 1/2 a Romaine heart that has been in my fridge for several weeks and is a little rubbery. I added tomatoes from the garden, half an avocado bought several weeks ago as well, and some of that dressing I made with the marinade from the jar of marinated artichoke hearts that I finished several days ago. Then I also made a sandwich with a slightly stale hamburger bun that's been in my fridge for a couple of weeks, one of the marinated chicken breasts bought on clearance at Target that I had grilled last night, with some light mayo from Aldi to make the sandwich a little moister. Dessert was a bowl of grapes ($0.99/lb at Save A Lot this week). I drank my Diet Mountain Dew from RaceTrac.

  • Instead of going online or watching TV while I ate, I turned on WLOQ on IHeartRadio to listen to some Smooth Jazz and read one of the issues of Birds & Bloom that I had gotten from the library's donation pile several months ago.  I really enjoyed it.  There was a note on one of the pictures that they have a birding newsletter so I wanted to sign up for it but their sign-up page is giving me error messages so I subscribed to their blog via Feedly instead.

  • I also found this tip in the issue that I was reading. I like the idea of self-watering seed starters, although I think it would take more room than my usual seed nurseries.

  • I commented on Bless's blog that I was feeling lazy so I was going to put the laundry in the dryer, but then I felt guilty so I did end up hanging it on racks in my entry room.  Yay me. My bath towel is going to feel like sandpaper, though!  Maybe I'll fluff it up in the dryer before it's fully dry, with 1/4 of a dryer sheet.

  • I saw an alert on Slickdeals that some American Express members have offers available from BP on their card so I went to check if Greg had it since he got gas at BP yesterday but he doesn't.  However, we both have offers for Carrabba's.  It's one of the restaurants that we enjoy visiting when we actually go to a sit down restaurant, and the offers don't expire until the end of September so there's a chance that we might use at least one of them.  I uploaded them to both our cards.

  • I earned a few Swagbucks and noticed that the 3 days of missing bonuses for the nCrave/nGage promo had been credited. I'm relieved that it's over and enjoyed NOT clicking on banners all day today :)

  • I'm pleased to report that I was able to earn the Bing Rewards credits for today while avoiding Game of Thrones spoilers!  On the laptop, I earned the 15 credits by clicking through new stories but keeping my eyes focused on the number of credits that I have and purposefully making my peripheral vision all blurry. Honestly, I could have done that even easier by taking off my glasses but it didn't occur to me until just now and that's what I shall do tomorrow.  On my cell phone, I earned the 10 credit by blocking most of the screen with my left hand while I clicked back and forth on the headlines blindly with my right hand, lol.  Again, doing it without my glasses on tomorrow will be easier and with even better results because I can't distinguish any text without them. Finally, having bad eyes comes in handy!

  • I have an embarrassment of free entertainment to pick from for tonight: there are books to read, magazines to peruse, American Ninja Warrior on TV, I haven't caught up with all the blogs yet, I still haven't watched "The Americans, Season 4", I'd like to start re-watching "Community" on the DVDs that we own, PBS has a new "Endeavour" episode up... what to do, what to do...  Update: well, American Ninja Warrior was preempted for Olympic swimming or something so I decided to watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS.

  • I spoke to Greg and our son on the phone tonight. Greg had booked a cheap ($12) campsite in a primitive "canoeing" campground and was told, when he checked in, that it was mandatory to have a canoe.  So, since he didn't have one, he needed to transfer to the regular campground (that offers electricity). However, the attendant was new and busy and couldn't figure out how to transfer his fee that he had prepaid so she just told him to go to the canoeing campground anyway and didn't charge him extra (good thing, too!).  The campsite is along a river and there is black bass in the river so Greg bought a 1-day fishing license and is going to try to go fishing tonight.  It's short-sighted since he's already eaten dinner so what will he do if he catches a fish without refrigeration?  I guess he'd have to throw it back.

  • My own dinner was the last of the Hamburger Helper leftovers. I'm starting to eye one of those coffee cakes that I bought on clearance last week and have been keeping in the fridge... oh, I might have some instant decaf coffee tonight and a piece of coffee cake!

  • $2 and change to mail my letter to my great aunt.  Not a huge splurge and it will bring her much joy.

  • Greg bought a 1-day Indiana fishing license.

  • Darn it, now I know why my rain barrel was only 3/4 of the way full yesterday even after all the downpour that we had!  Somehow the downspout disconnected itself from the gutter!  I put it back in place and I think it'll stay on now.  It's not a huge failure since it's supposed to be raining every day this week anyway, but it feels like a failure, you know?  lol.  Also, I wish we had two rain barrels. There's just not another spot where we could have one, at this time.

  • Well, shoot. I saw this article on Consumerist that HP and Sony were recalling certain laptop batteries because of risk of them catching fire so I was kind of hoping that my battery was covered by the recall because that would have meant a new free HP battery and not the cheap Chinese crap battery that I replaced my original battery with.  Because, people, once again, procrastination could have paid off: I still have my original battery, as I was slatted to take it to the landfill last week but didn't.  So I went through the validation process, but, come to find out, my battery is NOT affected by the recall and they're telling me I can keep using it. Well, yeah OK, but your crappy battery died less than 2 years after my buying the laptop so no, I can't keep on using it, HP.  But I guess it's good that it didn't burn my house down. But not free replacement battery for me :(

  • I had a runner under my cookbooks that got ruined at the same time as the two cookbooks that I had to throw away a few days ago as I decluttered them.  I had sprayed the runner with stain remover and washed it with my laundry today. Alas, the stains didn't come out at all and I didn't want to spend more time trying to get out of stains out of a runner that I didn't care to keep anyway so I just threw it away.

  • Fed the cats
  • Cleaned both litter boxes
  • Talked to Greg and our son on the phone
  • Did a load of laundry
  • Corresponded with one of my brothers via email
  • Unlocked new offers in a couple of apps
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Inspected my garden and backyard
  • Ran errands
  • Made my lunch
  • Read a magazine!
  • Hung the laundry on racks
  • Sent message to Middle Son on Instagram since he's not picking up the phone
  • Sent email to daughter
  • Read and commented on more blogs
  • Emailed my mom
  • Talked to Greg and our son on the phone
  • Fed the cats
  • Warmed up my dinner

  • That Greg and our son are only gone for 2 weeks this summer. Two years ago, they were gone for 7 weeks and I went out of my mind. I really did. It was horrible.  I always thought I was a loner but, come to find out, not so much. A week or two is all I can handle.

  • My brother sent me this video of the Orchestre Phiharmonique de Marseille Flash Mob taken in May 2016. My SIL is one of the violinists.  My brother is in the crowd, watching it.  Sigh... I so wish I had been there too!

  • An older lady with a walker was at the post office before me but was busy putting some packages together. When it was time for the person ahead of us to have her turn, the older lady told me to go ahead next since I only had 1 envelope and she was mailing several packages. I protested that she go first since she'd been there before me, but the truth is we'd been waiting for a while already (the post office was busy) and standing on the tile floor in my ballet flats was killing my feet. Ouch.  So I gratefully accepted.  Thanks!

  • Oldest Son said his audition for the Main Street Philharmonic went well and they should "let him know in about a week or so", so I inquired as to what it meant because I didn't think there was a position available. Indeed, it would be to be placed on the list of "subs" for the orchestra.  And that list is technically unlimited so who knows if he would ever actually get called to play with them. But it would still be a good thing if he was indeed placed on the list. So, keeping all fingers and toes crossed.


11:30 a.m.  The sun has reached the patio and is roasting my feet so it's usually sign that it's time for me to head back indoors. But I'm not ready to go entomb myself in the living room quite yet!  So I'm playing ring-around-the rosie with the patio table and the shade of the umbrella that I just opened up, trying to make my patio staycation last a little longer. I wish the lovely breeze would return, though, because it's getting quite hot and the air feels heavier now. The only activity are the bugs (bees on my basil plants, dragonflies hovering over the backyard) and the lizards.  The Six Lined Racers love digging themselves burrows under the pavers that I have put on the berm and that support my larger pots.  Everyone is looking for a respite from the heat.  Some clouds are moving in and bringing back that lovely cooler breeze, yay!

I never much paid attention to their tails before, they're usually too fast for me to even photograph.  It looks... articulated, doesn't it?
Oh wait... I'm hearing a cardinal in a nearby tree. Maybe they're coming for lunch! I'm turned away from the cardinal feeder so I hope I don't wrench my back trying to take pictures if they do come.  Nope, they didn't come :(

I love this article in the Lake Sentinel today about Sunset Lake in Clermont and the American Lotus that the author found there.  I pass that lake every time I drive into Clermont as well, it is close to my vet's office. It just looks like a pond, but it's indeed part of a an actual park in Clermont, although that's not very obvious.  There aren't many amenities or even a parking lot.  I also spotted the lotus flowers from my car on several occasions and now I'm thinking it'll be one of my adventures this week to do what she did: stop, park the car, get out, and take pictures of the flowers :)

Speaking of flowers... I took a tour of the weeds in my garden. I like doing this from time to time. It's so easy to dismiss weeds as something to get rid of, but when you look closely, some of them are quite lovely, actually. Plus, they provide food for various bugs, including pollinators!  Of course, if I see them anywhere else than my backyard, I call them "wildflowers" but since they're in my backyard, they become "weeds".  I think it was Live and Learn who suggested to me that I should just call them wildflowers and she's right!  Here are the ones I saw today:
I have a small carpet of those in front of the air conditioner unit underneath my living room windows.  They're pretty!

Those are like daisies for Barbie dolls.  Why?

Look at how tiny they are!

It's sometimes frustrating when pictures don't capture the delicate hue of flowers and it's usually the case with pale mauve or blue flowers.  I don't have Photoshop... so ths flower looks white but it's a delicate pale mauve in real life.

I had to use my hand as background for the camera to focus on the flowers properly.

From further away it looked like this weed (sorry, plant!) had orange flowers,but a closer look reveals that it's the center of the leaves that is orange...

This is the "grass" in my backyard.  It's really a combination of various weeds. I'm thinking about painting a new sign
that says "Welcome, All Weeds!" and hang it in the middle of the yard.  LOL.


There were surprises in the garden today!

The sweet potato vine that I pulled last week?  It came back to life!  lol.

This little eggplant was hiding behind its bin...

All the recent rain seems to have reinvigorated several plants... the kohlrabi that I couldn't bring myself to pull even though I planted it almost 2 years ago and it's hopelessly overgrown?  It's getting a second life!

This appeared next to my moribund zucchini plant!

Remember how I left the small rotten Supersweet 100 tomatoes in the bin where they had fallen?
I have new baby tomato plants growing!  So I grabbed some more rotten tomatoes and put them in the next bin over too!

I thought I'd have to dig to check on the peanuts but these two were just sitting there on the ground!
The shells are starting to show some texture. I'm not sure how much longer I should leave them in ground...
I need to research it.

One of my nectarine tree has quite a bit of leaves but the other barely had any.  Today I noticed more
growth on it. Yay!  Proof, once again, that WATER is really what my plants need the most.

It's pretty much the end of the season for tomatoes here but this plant surprised me by blooming again!

How was your day today?


  1. Sounds like you had a pretty good Monday, all things considered. :) Love the "wildflowers" growing in your garden and look at all your veggie plants coming back, again! I enjoyed watching the video of the flash mob of musicians! What a fun thing to do!

    Hope you are having a great day, today.

    1. I did have a good day and I'm having another one today. Any day when I avoid to do chores is a good day, hahaha. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. How is your garden surviving the heat these days?

  2. Your staycation is sounding more and more wonderful with each passing day, like breakfast on the patio. Lunch looks so fresh and delicious, and you are listening to jazz in the background while you peruse some favourite magazines about flowers and birds. There is the occasional side trip to nearby lakes and parks to document all the various flora and fauna, or just a photo log of something familiar like your own backyard. You sound like a lady of leisure catching up on your personal correspondence and picking and choosing your entertainment for the evening. The only thing missing is your lady in waiting to serve you your dinner, or to turn down your bed and leave a chocolate on your pillow. Ha. Enjoy it. It will be over too soon.

    1. I am a lady pf leisure, aren't I?! This is why I always am amazed when people comment "oh, you do so much!"... because I really don't do all that much, I don't feel. But then again, as Erma Bombeck once said "No one ever wished they had cleaned more, once on their death bed" or something along those lines :)

      I did have chocolates yesterday too... I had 3 old Hershey Kisses sitting on the futon nearby so I ate them, a long with some dark chocolate chips used for baking because I was having a craving. Ha, as you said. Yes, it will be over soon. Soon, my sweetie will be back and I'll have to cook and clean for him but also he will be asking me if he can get me anything every time he goes into the kitchen. My Greg-in-waiting! I'm actually very eager for him and our son to be back.

      Are you resting after your garage sale?

  3. Yes we lost to ICELAND? How did that happen, I still cant believe it! Liam was thinking about going to that game because it is on his birthday and its in Paris. I dont think Icelandics are hooligans, they actually seem nice happy people. I think the trouble settled down once the Russians left.

    Yay for Greg getting a freebie upgrade. I'm quite jealous of your peaceful break.

    Hey I've missed a couple of days, I will catch up but please fill me in is your mum coming to visit?

    1. No, no, my mom isn't coming. She has leg problems that make air travel problematic. My brother from Marseille and his girlfriend offered for her to go to Corsica with them during the first 2 weeks of September, and Greg and I decided to pay for her share of the trip so she can go and enjoy it and not stress about the money since she is on a fixed income. I would have loved to buy her a plane ticket for her to come here, but with her legs, it's not a good option. Plus she's reluctant to travel by plane with all the terrorist craziness and she only wants to travel on a direct flight and there aren't any direct flights to Orlando from Paris (crazy, I know!) so I'd have to drive 4-5 hours to Miami or 6-7 hours to Atlanta to go get her. I don't mind, but she wasn't crazy about the idea. So now she's going camping in Corsica with my brother, taking first the train to Paris where my Paris brother will meet her and take her to the other train station and make sure she gets on the right train, and then TGV to Marseille where she'll meet up with my other brother and GF and they'll drive and take the ferry to Corsica.

      How is your dad doing? Is the Brexit going to change Liam's plans about coming to study in the USA?

  4. Where did I read that...? A weed is nothing but a flower in the wrong place! Heh.

    I have those drying racks standing around in our dining room (which we don't use...we have a dining nook off the kitchen). I usually put my clothes in the dryer for a short time and then hang them up, that avoids the "stiff as a board" and "rough like sandpaper" issues.

    1. I love that quote, so true! Thanks!

      Ah, I never thought about putting the clothes in the dryer first and THEN finishing them off on the racks. I'll have to try that next time!

  5. I didn't know about that UPS service. I'll have to sign up. We're not always home and depending on the driver, they leave the packages in different places. Sometimes they sit there for a day or two before I find them.

    1. It's very useful. The Post Office also has a similar service, I found out yesterday, @


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