Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hot and Humid, so What's New?! ~ Saturday 6/25/16



In the end, I decided not to watch "The Night Of" on HBONow. I did watch a few minutes of it, read the synopsis of the show which pretty much ruined the whole plot for the whole season and decided that it would be foolish to pay $14.99 to watch a show that was just ruined for me, lol.  If it's really good it'll be on DVD and I'll get it from the library. I have plenty to watch right now.

At midnight I was still awake and catching up on blogs when New Kitty decided that she needed human contact. I had taken off my shorts and put them on the ground and she was rubbing herself on them and turning them into a bed and being cute. She's been running away from me for weeks so this was a new development. She misses my son, LOL.  So I ended up scooping her up and cuddling with her although she was somewhat reluctant.  Then she started her crying out routine so I put an end to that :)

I feel asleep on the couch on purpose since I knew it would be stuffy upstairs and why run the AC at 76F if I can just sleep downstairs and keep it at 78F?  But my bladder woke me up at 4:30 a.m. and then I decided to brave the stuffiness and get into bed so the cats wouldn't wake me up this morning. It was fine with the fan on and I slept until 8:30 a.m.

I spoke to Greg briefly. He and our son were headed into Columbus to meet his BIL.  All three of them were having breakfast somewhere and then going to visit the Science Museum where there is a large videogaming exhibit.  Tomorrow they'll stay at his parents so our son can sleep in and just veg. He gets to sleep in the basement where it is cool and he has lots of privacy, which he craves, as all teens do.  It's in the 90s in Columbus but the AC isn't running in Greg's parents' home because his dad is cold all the time and is constantly piling up blankets.  Greg will work on some home projects for his parents such as replacing bulbs and whatever else they need. Then he'll plan the rest of his week.

So it's just past 11 a.m. and I haven't done anything save catching up on the news and Feedly.  I played with the cats for a while.  New Kitty is really missing my son, she was my "buddy" this morning and was playing with my coupon organizer at my feet.




I'm still in my PJs and I need to figure out what I'm doing today.  I feel like I should be going somewhere, but at the same time I really just want to stay home, lol.  It rained last night so everything is still wet and it's very humid outside.  This is pretty much a standard of the Florida summer, though.

OK, you can't really tell that everything is wet, but everything is wet.

Well, I'm going to post my To-Do List, as usual, to see if it inspires me to do something, even if it's just something at home.  Oh crap, I have to wipe down the oven cleaner from the walls of the shower stall.  **grumble**

  • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
  • Finish letter to my great aunt - DONE!
  • 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 - thinking about going to buy vincas from Lowe's as they're on sale. I might go 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! - Done for today!
  • Sweep the main stairs
  • Mop kitchen 
  • Dust
  • Look into getting new connecting hose for the propane tank 
  • Study dSLR camera manual
  • Scrub oven cleaner off the shower stall! (redo the grouting too?) 
  • 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 - Done! Now I have more donations to drop off!
  • Declutter linen closet
  • Take donations to thrift store- Done!
  • Get boxes to carry book donations - Save A Lot didn't have any :(
  • Clean kitchen cabinets
  • Investigate new paint shade for cabinets
  • Harvest and dry old basil plants - I harvested some for my lunch.
  • Harvest lettuce - probably not though, I have 4 hearts of Romaine in the fridge to use up first.
  • 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)
  • See if still have $20 credit on Shutterfly and order mug for my mom - I checked on that last night and my credit expires on 6/30 but the mugs are on sale right now so the system won't let me use the credit. Arrgh. There's nothing else I want to order for her so it might just go unused. That stinks.
  • Purge filing cabinet
  • Get rid of all the extra paper scraps I've been keeping - Done!
  • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
  • Send email to my French BFF
  • Cut up and freeze the ground beef chubs that I bought - Done!
  • Spray Kilz indoor primer on water stains on "new" ceiling tile in entry room
  • Add new genealogical information to Rootsmagic
I spent a while this afternoon finishing the letter to my great aunt that I had started on April 10th. For shame!  I type it in Powerpoint in a 14 pt font so she can read it more easily than my crappy handwriting.  Of course, I have to type it in French,which takes much longer because I have to type a 4 key combination for each accent (we use a lot of accents in French!) and also I have to remember how to say things in French, LOL.  She is her mid 80s but she's sharp as a tack. Powerpoint allows me to insert photos very easily too so I include pictures of the kids and this time I put pictures of the birds from my garden too.  I also included a map of the United States showing her where we live, where Greg and our son are right now and where my daughter is.  I'm very visual and you can tell me that you live in Timbuctu and I know it's in Africa but I'll need to look up a map so I know where it is exactly. My great aunt doesn't have a computer so I thought a map would be helpful. If I had timed this better, I would have written it on a weekday so I could have mailed it the same day too!  Now it'll have to wait until Monday.

My daughter posted a picture on Instagram... she now has silver hair with purple hues.  I think that's what it is.  Sigh... Actually, it looks better than the pink, I think :)

Greg and I decided that we would wait until he's back in town next weekend to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones together.  So now I have to avoid all spoilers for almost a whole week.  Arrrgh.


FRUGAL SUCCESSES
  • Breakfast, once again, was a couple of mugs of (free) Wawa coffee and three two (I just realized I didn't eat one of them!) homemade chocolate chip banana muffins that are getting pretty stale by now.  Maybe I could turn the rest into bread pudding?

  • I managed to reach my 2nd Swagbucks Daily Goal for the 2nd day in a row, last night. Woo! I should also get a 50 SB bonus today from watching those Ngage videos.


  • The special bonus promotion is still going on today and tomorrow so actually that provides me with a good excuse to stay as close to home as possible so I can keep on clicking on those darn green banners. I will be happy when it is over. For the record, 50 SB = 50 cents. Put that way, I'm thinking that maybe I shouldn't even bother?!  I mean, I really have to do this all day long to qualify for the 50 SB bonus!

  • The AC is still set at 78F in the living room and 77F in the kitchen (so the cats are a little more comfy since they're very furry).

  • I checked on the rainbarrel and, despite all the rain we had, it's only barely 2/3 of the way full.  I guess it was a light rain, not the fierce thunderstorms that we had a week ago. It's still free water that's very welcome!


  • Today, our local McDonald's are having a promotion whereby you get a free breakfast burrito if you come in wearing Orlando City Soccer garb and show them the coupon in the McDonald's app.  I still don't have any Orlando City Soccer garb for myself (and I'm not about to spend $20+ on a T-shirt just to get a few free burritos, I'm not a soccer fan), but I do have the T-shirt that I bought for my nephew for Xmas 2016 so when I go out, I'll bring the Tshirt with me and see if they'll still give me the burrito, LOL.


  • I collected water in the shower and reused some of it to flush the toilet.

  • I earned the Bing Rewards credits for today first thing this morning. I almost forgot to do the activities yesterday but I remembered them at 11:30 p.m. Phew!  I'm up to 72% of my goal.

  • I browsed the weekly ad previews for CVS and Walgreens for the week that starts tomorrow. There's nothing really exciting that I can see and I'll probably go shopping late in the week so the eggs and milk are fresh for when my men come back.  I did spot, though, a sale on cans of "tamarind nectar" at CVS for just 33 cents a can and I think I'll buy one to try it.  I was telling Bless in a comment on her blog that whenever she introduces us to a drink or dish from her culture, I always think that what I drink and eat is pretty boring in comparison.  So, next week, I'm shaking things up, lol!  Tamarind nectar is new to me and sounds pretty exotic so I'll try it.  I always thought tamarind was a spice.  Indeed, it is one of the ingredients of Worcestershire sauce. The green fruit pulp is also used to make certains poisonous yams safe for human consumption in Ghana, according to Wikipedia. One wonders how they discovered that! It's also grown extensively in the Southern U.S. states (especially South Florida) so maybe that's something I could forage? I'll need to be on the lookout for it.

  • I've mentioned before that I'm a genealogy addict.  I've had tons of fun, for the past 10 years or so, researching Greg's family history.  Luckily for me, several branches are actually quite well documented in past published genealogical histories (some of his ancestors were settled in what is now Philadelphia and some of the streets there still bear the names of the roads that bordered their farms) so it's been relatively easy to conduct my research from my own home, although I dream of visiting some of the areas where the most prominent branches lived.  On his mom's side, there were quite a few Mormons (from Sweden and Denmark) who settled in Utah.  The small town where they settled (Mt Pleasant) has a Pioneer Museum that has a blog and they publish genealogical information about the old families of Mt Pleasant.  Today, the blog post concerns one of Greg's 3rd great grandfather's family so that's exciting for me!  I saved the information to my laptop and in the next few days, I will be reporting it into the genealogical program that I use, RootsMagic.  I love it when information is free. Unfortunately there is a large "scam" going on in the genealogical world whereby you're expected to pay for access to what should be widely public records. I'm pretty peaved about that so I always try to avoid paying for access.  I have mentioned it before, but if you like genealogy or are interested in getting started, you should check whether your library system offers access to Ancestry.com.  Ours does, but you have to go to a library to use their computers to access it and it's a limited access.  But it's a start and it's free.  Find one of the larger branches that might have a genealogy research room. The Clermont Library has one of those with several computers in it and it's a nice and quiet spot to do research. They also have a genealogy club that meets once a month. I'm not a group joiner so I don't bother with it, but it might be a good resource and help.  On another genealogical note, a lot of Greg's ancestors on his father's side lived in West Virginia.  News of the horrible floods (so many people lost their lives, that's tragic) that occurred in that state in the past couple of days were very sad, and I wonder if any of the areas where his ancestors live were flooded. I'd love to go to WV one day and visit the old homesteads.  They were mostly in Upshur County, around Buckhannon.

  • Making errands count:  OK so I decided that since it's a given that I go to RaceTrac every day to get my free refills (since I paid for the Sodapalooza cups which is costing me a little less than $3.33 a month), I might as well run some errands and do something fun too, so I thought I'd go on a bike ride on the South Lake Trail.  I took the SUV since it's easier for me to put the bike ride on that vehicle (since I've got it all figured out) and also I wanted to drive it to make sure that the squirrels hadn't chewed on any under carriage wires in the couple of weeks that I hadn't driven it.  Bonus: I realized that I "only" had a 3/4 tank of gas so that meant I could get some gas at RaceTrac and get a new receipt for a freebie!  Woohoo!
    • McDonald's: it was before 1 p.m. so I was busy. I decided to use the drive-through and it went surprisingly fast. I presented my phone coupon and showed her the Orlando City Soccer Tshirt that I had on my lap and I got my free burrito.  Woohoo!  I put it in the fridge for tomorrow's breakfast.

    • RaceTrac: 
      • Instead of gassing up the SUV, I only pumped about 1/8th of a tank.  That way I can get another receipt when I put in more gas the next time I take it out AND also because I was gassing up as the more expensive RaceTrac station and I expect gas prices to drop a little in the next few days because of the Brexit.  So I put about $7 worth of gas in it, charged it to Amex (2% back in Rewards) and also earned  3 loyalty points with my RaceTrac app. Not much but better than nothing :) And I got that shiny new receipt with which I will earn a new freebie.
      • I got 2 free refills of CF Diet Coke with my 2 Sodapalooza cups (one of which was completely free to me since I won it in a contest).
      • I also redeemed a survey reward code for a free Cheesy Monterey Jack Taquito.
I drank the other soda while I was biking.
    • Habitat for Humanity ReStore:
      • I dropped off a bag of donations
      • I had planned on going inside to browse but then I decided not to because I don't need to be spending money on things I don't need right now.

    • Publix:
      • When I went there yesterday, they hadn't put out the bags of Black Forest organic gummy worms that the store's Grocery Manager had ordered for me back on Wednesday and I didn't feel like standing in line at Customer Service to ask them if they had come in.  Today, they were on the shelf but the sale price tag had disappeared and they were priced at 2 for $3.  I was steamed up (inside!) because they had refused to give me a raincheck, claiming that the 10 for $10 price was the new regular price so they would be $1 a bag when I came back to get them. Bullshit!  Arrgh. So I grabbed 2 bags and went to Customer Service.  I asked the attendant to check the price before I went into my diatribe and they indeed came up at $1.50 each. So I (nicely) explained what had happened and how the Grocery Manager had ordered the bags for me.  She tried paging him several times but he wasn't answering the phone so she finally manually overrode the register and let me have them for $1.00 each. Of course, I had brought my two $1.00/1 printable coupons and luckily I had brought my wallet along too because I always forget that candy is taxable. Grrr. So I paid $0.14 for 2 bags. I'm counting them as freebies :)

    • Bike Ride:  detailed at the end of this post.  I biked for 50 minutes (5.4 miles but I wasn't going fast and stopped to take pictures).

    • RaceTrac again: got another free refill with the Sodapalooza cup that I had emptied while biking. This time I got a Diet Mountain Dew, for a change.

    • So I ran several errands, only drove about 10 miles total, got some exercises and got some freebies. Yippee!

  • Back home, I harvested the garden: another bowl of tomatoes!

  • Once again the 78F temperature inside the house felt very cool when I came back indoors, lol. It was 97F in the shade at 2:30 p.m. outside so I think I'm saving a bunch of money. 

  • My lunch was the taquito (I'm keeping the hot dog I got yesterday for tomorrow) and I made a salad with a bunch of tomatoes from the garden that I had harvested several days ago, some fresh basil from the garden, and the rest of the jar of marinated artichoke hearts. This time I added whole grain mustard, some balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper to the marinade so it would have more of a kick when I used it as dressing for the salad. There is still some left in the jar so I put it back in the fridge. I also had a small bowl of grapes and my Diet Mountain Dew.  I ate lunch at 3 p.m. so dinner will be a late one again tonight.



  • Ace Hardware notified me that I earned a rewards (i.e. a $5 gift card) and that it's on its way. Woohoo!

  • I printed the 11 page letter to my great aunt on my color inkjet printer but I used the draft mode so it didn't use so much ink (and still, the pictures turned out great!). I also printed it double-sided so it'll be cheaper to mail. I used one of those free address labels that Audubon sends me every year when they're trying to raise money. And, of course, my paper came from Staples and cost me just 1 cent per ream :)  I'm glad this is done, it'd been on my to-do list far too long. As a matter of fact, I should get started on the next letter right now, lol.

  • I spent about 90 minutes decluttering all the cabinets in our breezeway.  I threw away some stuff but most of everything will be donated. I ended up with 2 large trash bags of donations, 1 box of picture frames to donate and bags of party supplies to donate as well. In the trash bags are items such as a corded phone, lots of board games, some still soft Play Doh, rocket fuses, patches, office supplies that I won't be using, and lots of more stuff that I can't even remember now.

I guess even Play Doh goes bad?!


  • I also recycled all the paper scraps that I had been keeping. Good grief, that was 3 drawers full!  I couldn't reuse them in my printer because they were all curled or crinkled so they would get stuck in the printer and possibly ruin it.


  • I did keep a Disney-themed picture frame that I thought my oldest son would like (it's black with Mickey Mouse cutouts so it's masculine) so I put it aside for him.  I also found a brand new pack of 3 artist's brushed that I can use for my squirrel sign. Yay!


  • For dinner I cooked the (free) box of Hamburger Helper Philly Cheesesteak with 1 lb of the ground beef I bought on clearance yesterday. I also used up 1.5 cup of the sour milk in it. Somehow, I think the onion powder in the sauce mix will overpower the taste of the milk. Well,  hope!  There will be leftovers for tomorrow. But, hmm, it's not very good.  Hamburger Helper rarely is but this is my least favorite. Glad I didn't buy 2 boxes of the same stuff!

  • I reused 7 cereal bags to wrap the 7 lbs of ground beef that I still needed to freeze. I really had to cram them in the freezer to fit, plus I had to take out 2 marinated chicken breasts that I'm defrosting and will be grilling tomorrow to use in salads for lunch next week, and I also took out the ice cube trays since Greg (the only one who uses ice cubes) isn't here.  I'll have to figure out something when he comes back.


SPLURGES
  • 2 bags of organic gummy worms for 14 cents!

FAILURES
  • I was distracted while I was showering and forgot to turn off the water while I was soaping up. Darn it.

  • I forgot to report that Greg had forgotten his toiletry bag at his daughter's so he went to CVS to buy new toiletries such as a toothbrush and toothpaste. Because he's a man.  I asked why he hadn't gone to Dollar Tree and he claims that they don't have Dollar Tree in Columbus. Oh, really?!
'nuff said!
  • So he paid full price to the tune of close to $20 for toiletries that he could have gotten for less than $5.  Also, he didn't think to give them our home phone number at the register so he would get whatever sales prices and use whatever coupons I had uploaded with my ExtraCare card and I would have also gotten the credit towards the quarterly rebate. AND: he didn't pay with the Amazon Chase Visa card that gives us 2% back in Rewards at drugstores. No siree.  I give him a cheat-sheet to keep in his wallet and consult before he buys anything and it clearly states to use Amazon Chase Visa at CVS or Walgreens but he never looked at it.  Grr, grr, grr. Men should never ever be allowed to shop. Ever.

  • As of 8:30 p.m. Swagbucks still hasn't posted the 50 SB bonus that I earned yesterday.  Grrrr. They'd better not short me on this.  10:04 p.m: still no bonus and their Customer Service doesn't work on weekends.  Arrgh.


CHORES
  • Fed the cats
  • Played with the cats
  • Ran errands
  • Dropped off donations at the thrift store
  • Exercised!
  • Picked some weeds off the berm and walkway
  • Harvested the garden
  • Finished writing a letter to my great aunt
  • Replied to blog comments and commented on other blogs
  • Decluttered the cabinets in the breezeway
  • Talked to my daughter via Instagram, texts and email
  • Fed the cats
  • Cooked my dinner
  • "Talked" to Middle Son via Instagram
  • Talked to Greg on the phone
  • Texted with Youngest Son

GRATITUDE
  • The overnight rainstorm that revived my garden and refilled part of my rain barrel
  • A lovely trail for me to bike on, close to my home
  • The wonderful song of a bird (maybe a Great Crested Flycatcher?!) that was singing at the edge of the trail. It was beautiful. I wish it hadn't been so hot so I could have stayed and listened to it longer.


NATURE/FIELD TRIP:
I took a bike ride on the South Lake Trail and parked at Lake Hiawatha Preserve, which is only about 5 miles away from my house, but this time I decided that I'd bike away from the lake, towards South Lake High School.  I'd walked that way a little bit but there are parts of the trail that aren't visible from the road so I wondered what it looked like. Let me take you on a bike ride... most photos were taken as I was biking. I only stopped for the pictures of most flowers and the birds.  It's not the most exciting bike ride though... I'm chuckling because I just watched a couple of videos that were on my memory card and one of them was shot by accident... it just shows my right leg pedaling and all your hear is the creaking of my bike seat, lol.  Oh my, my bike seat creaks so badly!  I've got to lose weight, it's painful to hear, lol.


Alrighty then, let's get going...

The beginning of the ride was quite lovely because of the trees.

We're still bordering the passive recreation park of the Lake Hiawatha Preserve. It's quite bucolic!


Oooh, I hadn't seen that they have a few of those whatchamacallit game stations... I think you have to bring your own disks?  I'm not really sure how the game works or what it's called.  There is also a dog park nearby.

They also have those helpful mile markers every half mile.

At this point on the trail, the road is to my right and beyond that are a few houses backing onto Lake Minneola.  I'd love to have a house there, although that road is quite busy.

The City of Clermont also provides bags for your dog's poop and trashcans.

Oooh, a curve in the road!  How exciting :)

This makes me feel like I'm on the "périphérique" (highway circling Paris)!

Another curve and I have to cross the road because the trail continues on the other side.



OK so now I've just crossed the road.  It's a quiet ride, there's really no one around. Well, now there are a
couple of people walking in the distance.

At this part of the trail, I go past a nursery, but mostly houses.  Their driveways are bisected by the trail now.

A little further down, I'm alone amongst the trees again.

But not for long as there is a large new subdivision to my right and construction is still going on... sigh.

This egret was hunting in a retention pond at the entrance of that subdivision.  It must be hunting for frogs because I can't imagine there would be fish in that. The water level was pretty low and the water looked very muddy from all the construction.

I heard a loud noise coming from behind me and it sounded like a whole group of bikers were about to pass me... but
it was only 1 guy who had those HUGE tires on his bike.  I wonder what the deal was with that! He looks like a hobbit riding a regular person's bike!

This was the part of the trail that I was discovering because it meandered away from the main road.  There is a street on the left that you can't see from the road. I had no idea all those houses were there! It's pretty nice and quiet back there...

Lovely crape myrtles.  I've got to remember to plant some of those somewhere on my own property!

More crepe myrtles, but bright pink this time.

Still alone on the trail but now I'm back alongside the main road.

On my left there is a subdivision that has its own golf course.  I've always thought it might be nice to live on a golf course because you can see all this grass from your windows and someone else takes care of it for you! However,  I would hate having all those golfers passing by my house constantly. I have to worry about them hitting a ball coming my way.

There was a cloud cover so it wasn't as hot as I was afraid it would be. Actually, it was a very nice ride.
It was hot when I stopped to take pictures, but I was comfy as I was biking.

Still no one on the trail with me.  I passed a total of 5 people and 2 more passed me.  In 50 minutes!

OK now I've turned around to go back to the Lake Hiawatha Preserve.  On my way back I stopped to take close-up pictures of
flowers and a bird on the side of the trail...  It's too late for me to look up the names tonight, I'll come back tomorrow to
do that.



Lantana! I love all the different color variations.




I think this might be a Great Crested Flycatcher. He had the most beautiful song that went on, and on and never repeated any notes!  He was on top of a tree, here and I used my 40x digital zoom so the photo isn't very crisp.  I would have stayed there listening to him for a long time but the sun was fierce at that point and sweat started dripping into my eyes and stinging so I had to move on before I blinded myself!



I love the faded American flag painted on the side of that shed!

Here is a better shot of that nursery again. I'll have to go check them out one day.

GARDENING

Meanwhile, back at home...

The pineapples are going mighty fine. They're not huge but getting bigger every day.  Weirdly, the oldest plants have produced the smallest pineapples. That's OK by me, I just hope they don't all ripen at the same time!

I left this strawberry for the critters.  I never seem to be able to harvest more than one strawberry at a time!

My guest vinca plant is doing so well!

The collard greens are definitely coming back but I wonder for how long... I spotted bugs in my tomatoes so soon the bugs will be everywhere, munching on everything. They've started on my okra, already!

Another shot of my pineapple empire (well, part of it!)

Temperature at about 2:30 p.m. this afternoon. This thermometer is in the shade.

This was taken this morning... the rose that just opened up was still wet from last night's rain...

Tomatoes

Flowers on the hibiscus, wondering if they should open up today or wait until tomorrow!
I hope you all had a nice time too.  Anything exciting happening in your neck of the woods?  

9 comments:

  1. Dancer says he wants to come to Florida to be with the nice lady who keeps her a/c on at 77 for her cats because they are very furry. He says he's very furry too (he coughed up another furball today) and it gets very, very hot where he lives, but his mommy doesn't put on the a/c for him.

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    1. Waiiiit a minute, I happen to know that Dancer has thrown up on or under your bed on several occasions so unless you kicked him out because of the throwing up problem, I think he does get to sleep where the AC unit is... did you not turn it on last night?

      Also tell him that the "nice lady" was texting with her daughter at midnight last night because said daughter sent her a text that said "MOOOOM THERE ARE KITTENS IN THE BACKYARD AND I AM INTERNALLY SCREAMIIIIIING!" and the nice lady replied "Oh no. No, no, no, don't bring any cats home!" lol. Then we texted some more and I found out they were itty bitty little kittens and my former BIL rents his house (I thought he had bought it) and isn't allowed to have pets so he doesn't know what to do with the kittens (I told my daughter he should take them to a no kill shelter if the mom isn't around) but then I was sad about the kittens so I was scrubbing my shower at 1 a.m. to try to forget about the kittens and my plan to drive to San José to go rescue them. I'm a sucker for kittens, darn it.

      Delete
  2. Yes, well, the a/c hasn't been turned on yet as it hasn't been hot enough for that. Also, I close the doors to my bedroom when I turn the a/c to keep the room cool and Dancer doesn't like closed doors! He'll sit outside the closed door and meow until I open it for him to come in, then he'll sit by the closed door and meow to go out again! He wants to be able to roam the house at will!

    Aw, itty bitty kittens! I guess a no kill shelter or pet adoption group might be the best answer.

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  3. That looks like a very enjoyable bike ride! We have bike/walking trails here, but I never ride a bike (haven't ridden one in years). My car is very little, I don't think I could fit a bike in it.

    I know what you mean about writing a letter in another language. Whenever I type something in German, I feel my fingers are doing acrobatics on the keyboard to get the German characters (Umlaut, and so on). And sometimes I can't remember how to say something correctly in German, so then I have to go back and rearrange the whole sentence. And then I wonder if it sounds really stupid. It's a lot easier when I skype...I just ask my sister (or whoever), "How do you say that again in German?" Heh.

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    1. I carry the bike on the outside of the SUV. The bike rack is a strap system that hooks on the top hinge of the trunk and then under the SUV as well. I'm not sure how it would work on a small sedan or hatchback though but there are several types available on the market. But yes, it's another thing to buy on top of the bike, and then you have to store all of that. But I've really enjoyed riding the bike when I have!

      It is easier to skype or speak on the phone (Skype won't work on my laptop because I refuse to update to Windows 10 and I don't like video calls because I feel very self-conscious and I feel that it ties me down more than talking on the phone). Even in English! I was typing messages back and forth with my daughter via Instagram and texts this afternoon and after a while I just called her. It took us 5 minutes to have a conversation that would have lasted an hour if we had typed it, lol.

      Do you remember the codes for the German accents? I never remember the codes for the French accents so I took screenshots of websites that have them listed and saved the screenshots for accents in French, German and Spanish to my desktop so I can cheat when I need them, lol. I needed the German accents for when I type names in my genealogy database as we had some German ancestors. Also: I use Google Translate when I forget how to say something in French. Isn't that sad? LOL.

      Tschüss!

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    2. You are too funny! I've done the Google translate, too, when I want to find the correct word in German. Once my cousin was here and she couldn't believe that you could forget something in your mother tongue. So then I asked her if she remembered who sat in front of her in first grade. Sure she could, she said. And then I asked her what the girl's name was. And then she was, "Oh, it's on the tip of my tongue...it'll come to me in a second...!" And that's when I told her, "That's exactly how it is with German words - I didn't 'forget' them, because as soon as someone else says the word I know what it means. I just can't remember it myself right now because I haven't used it in years."

      That's a clever idea with saving the screenshots to your desktop! I remember some of them by heart, but sometimes I have to use an Umlaut that I haven't used in a long time (usually the capitalized version) and then I have to look it up...

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    3. Yes, that's EXACTLY how it's like, isn't it? It's on the tip of your tongue but you can't quite remember it. And then sometimes you will but the word will sound funny like you made it up so you have to double check to make sure it IS a word in your native language. Boy, I sure feel like a failure when I do because, darn it, it IS my native language! But you know what? I've been now speaking English every day, all day, about 11 years LONGER than I've ever spoken French all day, every day. So then I feel better about myself... until I go to France and my brothers just love making fun of the expressions that I use and I can't understand their slang anymore because mine is from the 80s, lol. It's like coming here and saying "groovy" and "far out!" but not understanding "OMG" and whatever slang we're all using nowadays.

      I'm going to post my German accent screenshot as a image in my post tonight so you can right click on it and save it to your desktop if you want :)

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  4. I'm so happy you finally finished that letter to your great aunt. She will so appreciate that.

    Cute "New Kitty" pictures. Did you send them to your youngest son? He would get a charge from them.

    What a great bike trail. I could almost feel the coolness of riding underneath those large shady trees. Great photos. Lovely flowers. So those are Crepe Myrtle? They are gorgeous.

    And your lovely, vibrant vincas. I would be planting those all over my garden. Go get some more while they are still on sale.

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    1. Yep, I text the photos of the cats to my son and Greg every day so they get homesick and hurry up coming back, lol.

      I feel very bad that I waited so long to finish the letter but now it's been mailed and I know that she will love receiving it. My daughter and I really want to go back and visit her. She's such a lovely woman and I'm afraid that she is pretty lonely now that her knees are so bad that she can't live her apartment anymore. Her sons visit her and her oldest son, who lives nearby, helps her out, but she was always very socially active so it must be hard for her to be confined at home. I wish she had a computer. If I lived closer I'd go set her up!

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