June... start of the hurricane season for us. Ugh. I hope we come out of it unscathed, this year again. It's also the month when both my parents were born... I don't talk to my dad anymore and my mom doesn't celebrate her birthday but it feels odd to let those days just go by. It's also when school ends for the kids. They have a shorter summer than usual this year and then in 2017 school will end on May 24. We don't care "how you do it up North", transplants, we rebelled against a calendar that lines up with the cousins' from Indiana or wherever and reinstated our own, which will find the kids going back to school in mid-August, so they have plenty of time to prepare for the state-wide assessment tests instead of losing instruction time so they can go spend the month of August "up North, where everything is better" with grandma. Yes, this is the reason why our school start and end dates had been changed a few years back. I'm not even from here and I was pissed at the Northern invaders who influenced the school board, LOL.
I woke up this morning thinking about Jess and her predicament. I want to be a lawyer and stick it up to her sorry ass of a husband, dang it. I'm sure she's not reading blogs right now, or at least if she is, I hope it's blogs that can help her with her legal situation and strategy. Ladies, let's give her plenty of support, she's going to need it.
My brother from Paris emailed me a French article reflecting the American articles that came out yesterday to report that the State Department has issued a warning to all American citizens planning on traveling to Europe this summer. Of course, that was right after I encouraged my friend Leslie and her family to go watch the traditional military parade down Les Champs Elysees on Bastille Day (July 14). There's no specific threat and of course everyone should take care at all times nowadays. My brother specifically warns against Roma pickpockets who are a plague in Paris and other places. He works in the subway and has to help tourists who are robbed every single day and it's really getting to him. To be fair, he got me all stressed out about those pickpockets last year before and during our trip and I was so paranoid and nothing happened to us at all, although maybe nothing happened because I was being so paranoid... I know the kids were quite annoyed with me at times because I wouldn't let them use their iPhones to take pictures because of all the stories we'd been fed about the hit and grab crimes over there. How exactly does someone protect himself/herself against a terrorist attack, though? Especially since they're hitting small cafés and not necessarily just huge gatherings? It's a crapshot. You've got to be able to live, too. Argh. All of this to say that I'm actually glad that we went last year and aren't going this year, especially with all the civil unrest going on right now. It remains to be seen if my son and I will go next summer after all.
OK, moving on to chores... I need to try and be productive this morning as I have to run errands this afternoon (son's dentist appointment, then I want to take him to get new shoes, go to Aldi to get grapes, get him a haircut...). Here is the leftover list that I had done on Sunday and I'll probably add a few more tasks to it too:
Work on a menu for the week.Done. I worked on it last night, actually. Vacuum fridge coilsDone
- Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
Sweep laundry roomDone
- Finish letter to my great aunt
- Clip and sort coupons. Did it yesterday but I'm printing more today probably so I'll leave it on the list.
- 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
- Look into fertilizing the raspberries
Move the extra veggie "tents" to behind the shedand the peat moss into the small side shed. Done and I had to dump the peat moss on the ground because it was infested with giant ants. Put the extra edging behind shedDone
- Trim weeds alongside berm edging
- Add more mulch to berm
Harvest basil and dry itin dehydrator. Also move the plants in the shade to slow down bolting to seed (too late?!). Harvested basil and oregano. Dried basil in the microwave.
- Research bird feeders at Ace Hardware and poles too.
Connect new propane tank to barbecue and test it.Done Empty and wash New Kitty's litterbox.Done Redo kitchen wall calendar for JuneDone
- Download all May photos to my external drive
- Write May grocery shopping recap post
- Replace roach traps
- Check remaining self watering bins and refill if needed (including strawberries on side of the house)
Put Vaseline on pole leading to hummingbird feederDone Make new hummingbird nectarDone
- I collected warming up water in the shower to flush the toilet later on.
- Greg worked from home, saving us about $20 in tolls and gas.
- He drove to RaceTrac to get us free soda refills with our Sodapalooza cups while I was cooking him breakfast.
- The kids brought the lunches they had packed to school today.
- The new ads for Aldi and Save A Lot are out this morning and here are some deals that I might purchase if I go shopping on Tuesday next week. I'm thinking that I might pop in today after the dentist appointment and grab some of those $0.89/lb grapes for the kids.
- I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet.
- I finished a box of cereal, recycled it but kept the bag to reuse as a freezer bag.
- I cleaned New Kitty's litter box and finished a cat litter jug so I saved it to store rain water next time my rain barrel is full. No, it did not rain here today again... Orlando got tons of storms though. Arrgh.
- I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks.
- While reading the news online (for free!), I saw an article stating that "American Ninja Warrior" is back on NBC tonight. Ahem. We watched the finale by happenstance last season and actually had a really good time watching those people competing so we'll watch it tonight and see if we still enjoy it. I have added it to my calendar for the foreseeable future, too. I'm going to try to entice our son to watch it with us. That's the kind of stuff that teen boys should eat it with a spoon, I would think. Alas, my teen isn't a typical teen boy, I don't think. He hates sports of all kinds.
- I uploaded new offers to SavingStar.
- I threw away a silk plant but kept the container.
- I harvested some beans, grape tomatoes and a couple of strawberries, as well as lettuce flowers. I will collect the seeds soon.
- I also harvested a bunch of basil and oregano. The oregano doesn't smell like anything, I think it's too old of a plant. I'm probably going to have to pull it all and plant new seeds.
- Greg drove to RaceTrac to get himself a new free soda refill. I hadn't finished mine... but I should have thought to just pour it in a cup and have him get a refill for me too :(
- Greg and I had leftovers for lunch.
- When my daughter came home from school, she wanted a hot dog from RaceTrac but was hesitant to go there on her own to redeem an expired survey reward code that was explicitly good for a bakery item. As I learned yesterday, the codes can be redeemed for any size coffee OR a bakery item OR a hot grill roller item and they don't actually expire. So she asked me to go with her. I grabbed my Sodapalooza cup as well as Greg's and got us free refills as well as a free cookie with a survey reward code and my daughter was indeed able to redeem hers for a free hot dog. We love RaceTrac. Have I mentioned that we love RaceTrac?! I gave the cookie to my daughter too.
- I'm thinking that I'll probably repaint our master bedroom while Greg is away on his camping trip with our son this summer. I still have lots of paint leftover from repainting what is now my bedroom so I can use that, but I'll need white paint for the ceiling and probably new brushes and paint roller trays. I hate painting but I've been wanting to do it ever since we moved in, 14 years ago!
- I connected the new propane tank to the barbecue and it seems to be working fine. However, the gauge that it came with wasn't connected to the tank and the instructional picture on the packaging was too dark for me to understand how to install it. So I emailed the manufacturer and asked them to email me a clearer picture. I also asked them if I should be able to read the gauge when the tank isn't being used (you'd think but right now I think I might have installed it the way they want it and it read that the tank is empty when in fact it's full...) Update: they replied that none of their tanks came with a gauge that needed to be installed, that all their tanks already have the gauge attached to the tank. I emailed them the picture of their tank, the gauge with its packaging and the unattached gauge itself. They didn't reply. Grrrr. Another clueless Customer Service rep...
- I made a new batch of hummingbird nectar and greased the pole to the feeder with Vaseline to try and keep the ants out of it.
- My new fridge water filter came in. Remember how I had found a replacement for only $13.99 since the one I bought back in August had shot up from $22 back then to close to $40 now? Well, I was kind of nervous that it wouldn't fit, but it fits perfectly! And while I was at it, I vacuumed those gross under the fridge coils (you're supposed to do this to get better performance from your fridge). Misandric rant of the day: a man who will never EVER clean the refrigerator coils must have designed that fridge. What retarded (yes, I used the forbidden word!) idiot thinks that it's cute to put a grill that cannot be removed and without practically any access to the coils behind and yet tell me that I'm supposed to vacuum those things?! What woman is actually going to empty her whole fridge and freezer and gently tip it on its back so she can vacuum the coils? Nobody has ever done this. I'll bet you that even neat freak and germaphobe Kate from "Jon + Kate + 8" or whatever that show was ever did this (and the bleached the inside of her fridge all the time!). Anyhoo, I always forget that opening the doors of the fridge and freezer makes it much much easier to pry open the plastic guard in front of the whole thing. I only ever remember this after I was sweated and sworn a few choice words while I try to pry that thing off without breaking anything! Duh.
- I looked for printable coupons for Dick's Sporting Goods since we'll probably go there to get new sneakers for my son (his are almost 2 years old!). However, I couldn't find any. They're supposed to have "in store promotions" but all shoes seem to be at least $70. Still if they last another 2 years, it's not so bad!
- My son didn't have any cavities (woohoo!) but the dentist wants him to try changing toothbrush every month or even more often because his teeth are still too yellow despite not smoking or drinking tea or coffee. He received a free toothbrush, toothpaste sample, and floss.
- I had to pay $15 for a tube of Prevadent toothpaste but I charged it to our Health FSA Debit Card (prepaid, tax free).
- My son picked a pair of Nike Air running shoes that weren't the cheapest but were more than half the top of the line that we saw! They were marked down to $59.99. While we were at Dick's Sporting Goods, I asked about the indoor archery range that Greg had spotted there, but it's only for customers to try the bows that they are buying from Dick's or to try them after they've been restrung. We were hoping it might be a range that we could rent for our son to practice his archery.
- We drove to Aldi to take advantage of the sale on red grapes... there was only 1 bag left and I grabbed it just in time because the person behind me wanted it. I also got blueberries, another bag of Gold potatoes (I bought some yesterday but they were on sale today!), some toilet paper, and a 4-pack of pretzel rolls. I usually make my own and I had planned on serving rolls with dinner but forgotten to make them! They were delicious, though. I also bought one dozen eggs because they were down to $0.79 and I have a $0.10 MobiSave rebate that I can use. I charged the $15.22 OOP to my American Express card (3% back in Rewards).
- Then I checked my son in at Great Clips by using their app before we started driving there. That guaranteed that he would be the first one seen when we got there. I paid for the $14 haircut with our Great Clips prepaid card, which allowed me to only pay $9.99 for it. I gave the stylist $2 for a tip.
- On the way home, we stopped by RaceTrac again! I got Greg and myself another diet soda refill (#4 for him, #3 for me) and my son got a free soda as well since the frozen drink machine wasn't working.
- Back home, I started cooking dinner. I made my version of Zuppa Toscana. I used a package of chipotle chicken sausages from Aldi ($2.99), a yellow onion that had been sitting on my counter, white wine that had been bought on clearance at Save A Lot last year ($2 a bottle), Better Than Bouillon, collard greens bought on clearance yesterday and some yellow potatoes. I didn't have heavy cream so I used half a small 8-oz brick of UHT whipping cream from Trader Joe's. I served the soup with a pretzel bun on the side. Well, I don't know if it's because I've been on a diet or what but it was one of the best meals I've had in a while!
- While dinner was cooking, I watered the garden, refilled the hummingbird feeder, emptied the countertop composting bin, added water to the large composting bin and turned it.
- I also dried the basil that I harvested earlier today in the microwave instead of the dehydrator. It only took 6 minutes total (2 loads at 3 minutes each). I'll grind it tomorrow.
- After dinner Greg and I listened to an episode of "Snapped" that was running on TV while we each worked on our electronic devices, and then we watched American Ninja Warrior.
- I submitted my Aldi receipt for a $0.10 MobiSave rebate on eggs.
- Our middle school sent a message that the YMCA will be providing a summer camp at our school completely free this summer for all incoming 6th graders to including outgoing 8th graders. In addition, the kids need to only provide their lunch the first week but past the first week, breakfast AND lunch will be free. That is an awesome help to the parents of pre-teens and young teens in our area! My son won't be participating, though. He'd rather stay home and has several events at which he will be volunteering at our library every week. Since I don't work anyway, there isn't a need for him to attend.
- While we were driving to Dick's Sporting Goods today, I noticed that the old Walgreens location in Clermont is poised to be turned into a Bravo Supermarket. I checked their ad for the Winter Garden location and they might be able to beat even some of Aldi's prices so that would be exciting. I'm not sure when it would open but I would assume several months from now.
- I took the customer satisfaction survey regarding my visit at Dick's Sporting Goods and was able to print a coupon for $10 off my next purchase of $50+. The coupon expires at the end of July so I might even be able to use it.
- The new free offerings for the KindleFirst program are available here. To be honest, none of the books sounded interesting to me so I'm skipping this month.
- Gas to drive to RaceTrac (three times).
- Gas to drive to Clermont for errands.
- $15 for the Prevadent toothpaste that the dentist wants my son to keep using.
- Running shoes for my son.
- Water for the vegetable garden (30 min on the sprinkler)
- I should have taken the survey on the Dicks' Sporting Goods receipt when we bought the dartboard, because I would have scored a $10 off $50 discount that I could have used on the shoes!
- I forgot to make buns for dinner so I bought a 4-pack of pretzel buns at Aldi.
- Gas prices shot up 20 cents overnight! I paid $2.09/gallon yesterday and this afternoon it was $2.29/gallon at the same location. I guess it was a success that I filled up my car yesterday but it's not a success that we're going to have to pay more for gas moving forward!
- Cooked Greg's breakfast
- Set up breakfast table for the kids
- Cleaned downstairs bathroom sink and mirror, wiped cabinet and toilet
- Commented on blogs and replied to comments
- Cleaned out New Kitty's litterbox
- Deadheaded roses
- Cut out dead branches off tomato plants
- Inspected the garden
- Harvested some veggies
- Refilled the water bath
- Moved unused veggie tents to behind the shed
- Spread the ant-infested peat moss onto the ground and emptied the bin of water
- Pulled weeds off veggie garden and berm
- Connected new propane tank and tested it. Tried to figure out how to install the propane gauge on it.
- Drove to RaceTrac to get free drink refills and free items.
- Prepped the kitchen wall calendar for June
- Swept the laundry room
- Made a batch of hummingbird nectar
- Put Vaseline on the hummingbird feeder pole
- Made my and Greg's beds
- Replace fridge water filter
- Vacuumed fridge's coils
- Washed face plate and floor in front of the fridge
- Ran errands with my son
- Cooked dinner
- Watered the garden
- Refilled hummingbird feeder
- Emptied countertop composting bin and turned the large composting bin
- Submitted a rebate
- I waited until 9:45 a.m. to have breakfast: 1 and 1/4 cup of generic honey nut cheerios, 1/2 cup of ~2% milk, some sliced strawberries. I drank my customary 2 cups of coffee.
- For lunch I had a sweet potato that I had cooked several days ago, the last hot dog from this past weekend, a grilled zucchini and some leftover salad with my homemade dressing on it. Not too bad and I got rid of three leftover containers in the fridge!
- I had a banana for snack in the afternoon.
- For dinner, I had a bowl and a half of my zuppa toscana and a pretzel bun.
- Later on in the evening, I had a cup of blueberries and a yogurt.