Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day ~ Sunday 6/19/16

It's Father's Day here in the USA.  While it's a joyous day for many of us, especially new Fathers. it's also a painful day for many of us... those of us who have a dad who is terminally sick, have lost a dad, are estranged from their dad, perhaps never even knew their dad, or, if you're a man, want to be a dad but can't.

For me, I celebrate my husband, who is a great dad.  I choose not to celebrate my own father who is an ass.  So it's a bittersweet dad, in some respect, although if  I'm honest, I probably wouldn't have spent any time thinking of my own dad if I hadn't started writing this paragraph.

So, Happy Father's Day if it's a great day for you and let's move on if it's not...

I got up at 7 a.m., got the paper from the driveway, brewed my coffee, and decided to get some Nature Therapy because I was feeling a little blue (my guys are leaving tomorrow morning).  It rained yesterday so everything on the patio was wet but since I've been diligent with storing my patio furniture cushions in the deck box that I bought at Aldi earlier this year (and I'm so glad I did!), I was able to just wipe down everything and sit on gloriously dry cushions :)  More about what I experienced under "Nature".

Greg woke up our son at 9 a.m. to start packing the truck for their trip tomorrow since there is a lot of rain predicted for later on today.  They're bringing their camping equipment.  They probably won't be camping a whole lot because they'll spend the first couple of nights at Greg's daughter's house and then the bulk of their trip at his parents' house.  On the way home, they want to swing by Kentucky and Chattanooga so they'll probably camp there (if they can find spots because it'll be around the July 4th weekend and they don't have any reservations!).

We didn't do much of anything today.  Since they'll be gone for 2 weeks, Greg and our son got their fill of playing videogames :)  I read blogs, including a new one that I discovered via Pixel Peeper's blog, from a French lady who lives in Georgia, and watched a James Bond movie on TV.  There weren't any storms in the area but the station kept on freezing once in a while, which was a little annoying. We use an outdoor amped digital antenna since we do not have cable or satellite, and it has a remote to control its orientation. Greg mounted it on a pole made of a length of wood and a length of PVC pipe that he had found in his shed, bound together with duct tape.  I think we got the antenna a year ago and the pole has worked fine all this time!  It's sitting right outside our front living room window so I can look at it while I hit the remote to make it turn, so I always know whether it's facing the right way or not. Still, with the storms we've had recently, I've had to fiddle with it quite a bit whereas, until now, I hadn't had to touch it for months!  It still beats paying for TV so I won't complain any longer :)

I'll reveal more in my Day Book post tomorrow, but I have scheduled myself an outing for every day of the week this coming week. Yeah... maybe that master bedroom won't get painted after all, lol.  I tend to make lots of plans and then run out of steam and not go anywhere, but those are short local trips that should only take 2 hours or so of each day so I hope I will follow through with my plans, lol.

And on that subject, the Orlando Sentinel today had a section entitled "Rediscover Central Florida", a very welcome respite from the 24/24 coverage of last weekend's mass shooting in Orlando, which is all our local news channels, radio stations, and newspapers outlet seem worthy of reporting on a week later.  I did cut several short articles out of that section because they are talking about places that I didn't know about or had heard about but forgotten about, and I believe that the website (link above) has even more suggestions.  So more local field trips for me to take, yay.

I exchanged some texts with my daughter who was in the middle of writing an essay for her American Government college class. She went to the movies with her aunt and uncle and also went hiking in the redwood forest so she's having a grand time :)

  • While we were watching our show last night, I unlocked a ton of new Ibotta offers.

  • The newspaper had 2 coupon inserts in it (I have a 1-year Orlando Sentinel subscription that I purchased for just 1 penny), along with the newest Publix store coupon flyers that I had already picked up last night.

  • SavingStar credited my account for the $4.00 rebate on Zantac Duo Fusion.  Wow I have $32.73 in my account!

  • I uploaded new store coupons to my CVS app, including one for $10 off a $60 purchase.  I never spend that much at CVS in one trip... well, I did a couple of weeks ago when I bought my AmopĆ© foot file... I could have used that store coupon then, CVS!

  • Greg drove to RaceTrac to get a free soda refill so I asked him to take my Sodapalooza cup took and get me a free caffeine free Diet Coke.

  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet plus collected more water as I took my shower. I remembered to turn off the water when I was soaping up, woohoo!

  • In the shower I have been using up an Easter-egg shape bar of soap that was gifted to me many many years ago.

  • After my shower, I used some body lotion from a free sample of Bath & Body Works lotion that I brought back from our last hotel stay on Sanibel Island, a couple of years ago, Lime Verbena, I think.  Hmm, it smells citrusy and so good!  I always forget to use up samples even though they're lined up on my dresser (Well, maybe it's not so much forgetting to do it as "I don't feel like taking the time to slather this on!"), but Susan inspired me this week since she's been diligent about using up her samples of shampoo and conditioner. I have many of those too.

  • Since I spilled my drink (see "Failures"), and my son was now wanting a free refill as well (and Greg had finished his) he and I took the Focus to RaceTrac to fill up all three of our Sodapalooza cups, and I redeemed a survey reward code to get a free JalapeƱo & Cheddar Smoked Sausage for my lunch since my son was planning on having leftover fried chicken from last night and Greg didn't want anything.
Lunch today. I saved the 2 packets of picante sauce from RaceTrac since I decided not to add it to my bun.
  • As we drove to RaceTrac, I noticed that one of the turn signal bulbs had burned out (did you know that when your turn signal starts "blinking" fast, it means one of your bulbs is out?) so after RaceTrac, we drove across the street to Advance Auto Parts, where a very helpful clerk got me the exact bulb that I needed.  I installed it myself when we got home.  This is a frugal victory because, by changing the bulb immediately, I avoided a possible rear-ending (it was the rear right signal) and ticket if the police had stopped me. Also, I didn't pay anyone to change the bulb for me :)

  • I uploaded the new SavingStar offers to my app, although the only one I'll probably use from this batch if the one for Tums Chewy Delights since Greg likes those and they're pricey.

  • I printed a few coupons via Swagbucks.

  • Greg and I re-watched "Best of Show" on Netflix, one of our favorite movies and then we watched another one of my favorites "The Usual Suspects".  I tried watching "Quantum of Solace" on Ion TV but it was freezing so often that it was unwatchable so I gave up and started watching "Mr. Robot" on Netflix.

  • I took a RaceTrac survey and earned a survey reward code for another freebie :)

  • It started raining again at 5:30 p.m. so no need to water the garden again. Woohoo.

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

  • I made new cheat sheets for my and Greg's wallets starting on July 1st.  This is a summary of which credit card we should use in which store so as to maximize our Rewards.  I make a new one every quarter.

  • I got a mini tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream free at Publix after digital coupon.  I didn't know that I had uploaded that coupon and wouldn't have expected it to work on the mini tub so that was a good surprise.

  • I also used a BOGO coupon at Subway to get two 6" subs and a drink, which ended up costing me less than if I had bought just one footlong.  I ordered a 21 oz drink but the Subway manager told me that usually the coupon only works with 40 oz drinks. I pointed out to her the wording on the coupon (which had no such restriction) so she reluctantly let me purchase a 21 oz drink.  I was annoyed because the only topping we got on the subs was a little bit of lettuce so we already saved the restaurant money on that, there was no reason for her to insist that I buy a drink that cost 20 cents more under false pretenses!  I charged it to Discover for 5% back in Rewards.

  • Tonight we will be watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones on HBONow. I'm listing it under "Splurges" since we are paying for the monthly subscription only to watch that show, which we are not even enjoying all that much anymore but I'm addicted to it nonetheless, lol.

  • A 2-pack of rear signal bulbs for the family car.  They don't sell them in just 1-pack so now we have a spare for the next time a bulb burns out.  OOP was $6.41 on my Amex (1% back in Rewards).

  • I noticed that Advance Auto Parts have their wheel covers on sale for $9.99 and Greg had mentioned wanting one for his truck because the material is starting to peel off.  I didn't take the time to look at them today but I might stop by later on in the week to choose one for him.

  • It is now time for me to remind everyone that the name of this blog is "IMperfectly...", as an introduction to the next sentence: we bought dinner out again.  Greg felt like sushi again so I got more sushi from Publix, as well as a chocolate creme cake (on sale) and tiny tubs of Ben & Jerry's ice cream for him and our son.  I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards. Then my son and I went to Subway and got him a sub since he doesn't like sushi.  

  • I have to clean my fridge this week. I'm afraid I will have a lot of food waste to report because I really haven't been cooking much recently, and certainly not using a lot of ingredients when I did :(

  • Speaking of food failures, while Greg was packing some food for the camping trip, I handed him a 1L brick of UHT milk. He opened the cap to make sure it hadn't been opened before but, unbeknownst to him, this brand's cap contains teeth that shred the film opening at soon as you twist it.  So... he exclaimed that the milk had already been opened, when, in fact, he had just opened it.  Arrrgh. So now, on top of close to a gallon of sour milk and an already opened brick of UHT milk in the fridge, I know have another opened brick of opened milk in the fridge... and I'm about to be alone for 2 weeks!  So, at 3:15 p.m., I'm having a snack of Honey Nut Cheerios so I can use up some of the milk!

  • Greg and I were enjoying the cloud cover and a breeze that was chasing the humidity away on the back porch at about 10:50 a.m., when the cloud suddenly got grayer and it started sprinkling. In my haste to get the laptop, camera and phone indoors, I knocked over my Sodapalooza cup and it spilled all over the patio. Darn it.  I know it was free soda but it's still wasteful!

  • Greg brought down his hamper because he was planning on doing a load of laundry.  Well, that's my job and I protested that he was making me work on a Sunday, lol.  But he said "listen, I'm going to miss Domestic Monday and I need clean clothes!" What B.S., the man has tons of clean clothes in the laundry basket that he just took up to his room on Friday but OK, I did a load of laundry. It's going to rain so it'll have to go in the dryer.  I told him that next time, he'd better plan on leaving on a Tuesday.
  • Helped Greg located some camping supplies
  • Drove to RaceTrac to get free drink refills
  • Clipped some coupons
  • Printed come coupons
  • Made new cheat sheets
  • Went to pick up dinner


So as I sat on the patio at 7:30 a.m., the sky was blue, the white cloud fluffy, the humidity was bearable and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.  The backyard, and indeed the whole neighborhood, was/were strangely silent though... not one cicada, frog, bird or squirrel making a sound or an appearance.  So much for the therapy I was hoping to get!

I checked the weather app, which predicted 80% chance of rain by 8 a.m.  And indeed, here is what the sky was looking like by that time... a cloud cover had moved in. But no rain. I was still waiting to see a bird, although I had started hearing them call elsewhere in the neighborhood at about 7:45 a.m.

At about 8:15, a pair of cardinals finally decided to come visit my bird feeder, together, which is kind of rare nowadays. I usually see either the male or the female, but I think this means they've finally kicked the kids out of the nest and are... empty nesters :) So they are enjoying dates and eating out together.  Good for them!

Then a couple of doves showed up on the electric wire.  A few minutes later, I heard a woodpecker pecking at the old, unused satellite dish on our roof, and it was as if he was ringing the breakfast bell because, all of a sudden, a plethora of birds appeared, all at once. I had never seen this and I still can't believe it!  In the span of a few minutes, almost all the species of birds that I have ever seen in our backyard showed up at our feeder. It was incredible.  Greg got up in the middle of this and opened the sliding door to say good morning and I wished him a Happy Father's Day by saying "Shut up and close the door, you're going to scare the birds away!" LOL.  But then I laughed and actually wished him a Happy Father's Day and urged him to come out, which he did, and we spent a good 30 minutes together, enjoying the backyard and all the birds.  Here are some photos:

I had to zoom in to the picture itself in the next couple of shots, and take a screenshot, which explains the poor quality: a mourning dove on the feeder, and another one of the swingset to the right, a female cardinal to the left of the dove and a Carolina wren to the left of the cardinal!

A second later... a tufted titmouse on the pole, a mourning dove on the feeder, and a red bellied woodpecker hanging from the feeder! This was incredible for us because we usually just get 1 or 2 birds at the feeder at once, and usually from the same species.

Later on the two mourning doves came back to the feeder and obligingly posed for my camera so this one came out crystal clear:)

These two pictures of the hummingbird at the feeder are blurry because that feeder is at the very back of the garden and I had to use my 40x digital zoom, and my hand wasn't very steady because I was very excited.  The hummingbird (if it was the same, of course), made many appearances at those feeders  throughout the morning. Earlier on, it had hovered right in front of me, over the patio, and tried to drink from one of my tomato flowers, but I hadn't had a chance to take a picture of it.

Sandhill crane flying overhead

These are 2 mourning dove fledglings.  They were much smaller than the other two, and came out at the same time, although they remained on the ground.

Great Crested Flycatcher

A couple of vultures surveying the neighborhood
 By 9:35 a.m. the backyard was bathed in sunshine and the cicadas were deafening!

  • The birds!  I love them.
  • Time with Greg on the patio this morning, enjoying nature, chatting, laughing
  • Dry patio cushions!
  • Unexpected digital coupons getting deducted at the register :)


  1. I love Advance Auto Parts -- they really are always so helpful. Also, I was really surprised how easy it is to change bulbs for turn signals and headlights. Every time I do something like that I feel very successful. :)

    1. LOL, I know! I felt like quite a bad ass, having successfully replaced a turn signal bulb without even looking at the manual, lol.

  2. Yes, I did know that the "fast blinking" was a sign of a burned out bulb, and coincidentally it happened to us last weekend while we were at the time share in Collingwood. However, my husband took care of it. I have never changed out the light bulb or a fuse. You ARE bad-assed.

    I smile every time you have mentioned downloading a digital coupon because you usually say, "I probably won't use it, but just in case..." So they DO pay off with a few of these surprise bonuses. Glad to hear it.

    Beautiful photos of birds...and lots of different varieties. Obviously they are planning to make their appearances when you come out to play. And yes, they do look like they are posing for the camera. They must love the company, or they are expressing their gratitude for you topping up the feeders.

    1. Well thank you, and now I have a weird urge to go get a bumping sticker that says "I changed a bulb. What have YOU done today?" lol. And you're right, I always upload the digital coupons "just in case" and it did pay off this time. It's always a great surprise when it does :)

      The birds were a delightful surprise too and I'm happy that Greg was there to share that moment with me... and also because otherwise, he would have thought I was making it up!

  3. You are so clever, fixing dish washers and car light bulbs, etc.! I am quite hopeless with stuff like that!

    Sounds like you had a nice, relaxed day. So glad you got to enjoy the bird concert with Greg. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the birds, I enjoyed seeing them.

    1. Thank you for the lovely compliment. A lot of things look scary until you do them and then you realize it was not a big deal. Changing this turn signal was very easy. However, I'm glad Greg took care of replacing the light bulb in my SUV's headlight a couple of weeks ago because he had a very hard time removing the headlight and I probably would have broken something in the process!


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