Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Domestic Tuesday: Back to Work! ~ 7/5/16



I hope you all had a good and long weekend and enjoyed yourselves. I didn't do much of anything and Greg went back to work this morning so it's back to work for me too, I suppose. I got up with him at 6:45 a.m., cooked him breakfast, packed his lunch and saw him off. I had forgotten how bright it is outside at 6:45 a.m. at this time of year!

I took a shower before going to bed last night as I was lathered in sunscreen and mosquito repellent, so at least I have a leg up on the morning "chores" although I'm still in my PJs at 8:10 a.m.  I've caught up on the news, had my first mug of coffee, earned the Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks: heck, that's half of what I usually "accomplish" every day :)

Plans for today include doing some chores that should have been done yesterday in a regular week: laundry, sweeping, cleaning the bathroom(s)... I should get going.

I have my annual eye doctor appointment this morning. I expect that he'll tell me my vision got a little worse because that's how I feel. We'll see.  If so, I'll probably get the same glasses' frame. I'm used to them and I don't trust that another shape would make myself look better anyway.  According to a warning all eye doctors got from... some government agency (I forget which) this year, he's supposed to give me my prescription without me having to ask for it so I could conceivably get glasses from another source. But it's too much work for me, I'll just get them from him.  However, if I don't need new glasses, I might get the prescription anyway to see if I can order prescription sunglasses from somewhere else as he doesn't carry those (an eye doctor in Florida who doesn't carry prescription sunglasses?  that's kind of nuts, isn't it?!).  We'll see if I ever order them!

My son has some volunteering to do at the library this afternoon but he can walk/bike there so he doesn't need me.  It's going to be super hot. I saw the heat index for yesterday and today and it's not pretty. We're near the "Leesburg" one.  I guess I won't be spending much, if any, time outdoors.  I watered the potted plants last night. but maybe I'll water them again tonight after the sun has gone down a bit.

Yesterday

Today. They forgot to update the Orlando label, the article said it would feel like 105 in Orlando.  I've begged Greg not to go play tennis outdoors at lunch time but he thinks he's Superman.

Here is my still-too-long To Do List, but you should know it's a "I wish I would do" list and not necessarily "I absolutely have to do" list so most days it seems that none of it gets done. I just don't want to forget about those things so I keep on posting them.

This is so me, 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!
  • Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere 
  • Enter some Coke codes into MCR (next week)
  • 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 and June photos to my external drive
  • Replace roach traps
  • Research extension cords for generator
  • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
  • Find the cats' rabies licenses
  • Exercise! 
  • Sweep the main stairs
  • Mop kitchen - partly done
  • Dust
  • Read reply from insurer about son's prescription
  • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
  • Declutter linen closet
  • Clean kitchen cabinets
  • Process dried basil in coffee grinder
  • Take items to the dump
  • Inventory seeds for Fall plantings
  • 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 that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
  • Purge filing cabinet
  • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
  • Send email to my French BFF
  • Add new genealogical information to Rootsmagic
  • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
  • Declutter coat closet/son's closet (shared closet)
  • Text my friend Leslie to wish her and her family a good and safe year in France
  • Schedule Amex payment
  • Input all receipts into my spreadsheets - Started
  • Clean out my coupon organizer of expired coupons - Done
  • Clip and sort coupons - Done
  • Fold laundry and put away
  • Finish doing the dishes
  • Bake banana muffins - Done
  • Cut the cantaloupe up - Done
  • Work on a menu for the week - Figured out dinner for tonight and tomorrow night, lol.
  • Clean downstairs bathroom sink - Done
  • Declutter countertop in the breezeway
  • Declutter coffee table
  • Refill the self-watering bins

My daughter called me this morning to announce that she got a 4 out of 5 on both her AP exams for the past semester so she's definitely earned college credits for those classes (AP Art and AP World History), woohoo!  I'm so proud of her (in case you hadn't noticed!)!

FRUGAL SUCCESSES
  • I packed Greg's lunch.

  • He stopped by RaceTrac on his way to work to get a free Sodapalooza refill.  For some reason he chose not to take his 2nd cup with him. Maybe he's trying to wean himself little by little?  So I'll get 2 refills for myself when I go out this morning.

  • I brewed my morning coffee with some of the free hazelnut flavored grinds that I won from Wawa and used my free Wawa mug :)

  • I earned the Bing Rewards credits for the day and a few Swagbucks. There's a Collectors' Bills promo going on this week so search awards should be higher than usual.  I earned my first Collector Bill this morning.

  • Greg didn't complain about the heat upstairs last night so I'm going to leave the AC at 75F in the living room. Heck, he's gone the whole day so I might set it up to 76F and set it back down to 75F before he comes home... brb!

  • I started the laundry... I'll do 2 super loads in cold/cold and since it's probably not going to rain, I'll dry most of the clothes on the racks. I haven't decided whether I'll put them outdoors or keep them indoors. It's really really humid outside.

  • Breakfast was a bowl of Vanilla Almond Special K with some fresh raspberries added to it and some whole milk.  I think I can easily wait until Thursday to go grocery shopping this week but I might go tomorrow just so that I had first pick of whatever is on sale at Aldi and Save A Lot. We'll see.

  • I still haven't done a menu but I'm keeping dinners simple since I know I'm not in a mood to cook much.  I defrosted a package of chipotle chicken sausages. I'll serve them on hot dog buns since I ended up not finishing the first pack (Greg ate his without buns) and will probably make rice to go with them on the side.

  • I drove the Focus to my eye doctor appointment (better mileage). I was trying to think of other errands to run at the same time to maximize the gas waste, but the truth is I can do all the other errands when I go grocery shopping later on this week, so it really wouldn't save me anything but a little bit of time later on so I'll just wait. I have things to do at home, anyway.

  • When I got to the doctor's, their computer was frozen and they were trying to change the batteries in their wireless mouse and keyboard, to no avail. I suggested they reboot the computer since that always fixes the same problem with my laptop so they did that and it worked!  So not a success for me but I saved them time and aggravation and had the satisfaction to joke with Greg about it later on with a "Have your tried turning it off and turning it on again?" inside joke from the I.T. Crowd (one of our most favorite shows ever!).

  • I paid for my visit's co-payment with my Health FSA Visa card (tax-free and the money has already been deducted from Greg's paycheck).  It was only $30 total.

  • I asked about prescription sunglasses and they do carry them now, yay!  However, since I was using my benefits to order a new pair of bifocals (my prescription changed a tiny bit, as I expected it to), a pair of sunglasses would have cost me about $280.  Yikes. Instead, the technicians mentioned that since my change in prescription was minimal, I could send my current glasses to get tinted for just $25!  So I will do that once my new glasses are in and I'm used to them.  I only wanted sunglasses for when I'm driving or in the garden and since my long distance vision hasn't changed, the old ones will do just fine.

  • I splurged on scratch protection for my new lenses.  Our insurance plan doesn't cover it but gives us a deep discount so I only had to pay $15 for it.  The protection is only for a year but it's so annoying when you depend on your glasses and there's a scratch on your lens, so I'd rather pay the $15. They're on my nose all the time except when I shower (although sometimes I do shower with my glasses on!) or when I sleep, but I still seem to be able to scratch them, somehow.  I have a scratch on these but I waited too long to bring them in as my current scratch-free protection ran out last summer. Oh well.

  • My eye doctor said that the FDA is in the last stages of approval for new eye drops that would help people like me... you would put them in your eyes twice a day for 30 days and your eyes would retain the ability to focus so I wouldn't need to wear bifocals anymore, although I'd still have to wear a light prescription reading glasses.  The drops effect lasts for 9 months and then you do it again. Of course, we don't know about side effects yet, or if insurance companies would cover them, or the cost if not.  Also I'm not an early adopter so I would wait a few years to see... well, about side effects.  I don't like putting things in my eyes and I don't like adding chemicals to my body that are not in the shape of foods so unless they make them an ingredient of commercially available baked goods, I'd probably stick with my bifocals, lol.

  • I stopped by RaceTrac to get 3 Sodapalooza refills.

  • The SavingStar Healthy Offer of the week is 20% off tomatoes so I ignored it. I have lots of tomatoes from my garden and more to harvest.

  • I have new coupons in my RaceTrac app, including the free medium fountain/frozen drink coupon that I get every month for being at the "Prince of Pastry" level.  I'll probably gift it to Greg later on in the month. He has the same coupon in his app too. I emailed my daughter asking her to gift hers to Greg as well since she won't be near a RaceTrac before the coupon expires.

  • I clipped several digital manufacturer coupons to my Walgreens digital wallet. I prefer to use paper coupons at Walgreens so I can keep track of how many coupons I use there due to their insane coupon policy (I'm not a fan!) but. as goes my saying "you never know...".

  • I also clipped a few Publix digital manufacturer coupons.

  • My son needs some new socks. I think I'll wait until the next 30% off code for Kohl's is in effect in a couple of weeks (and hopefully there'll be a free shipping code for MVC members as well) and I'll "waste" my $20 in free Kohl's cash on that.  I wish he would tell me when his socks are getting holey so I can mend them (he does his own laundry) while they're still salvageable!


  • I did hang most of the laundry outdoors.  I am also running a few items (Greg's t-shirts and the bath towels) in the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting since Greg hates it when his clothes are air dried (but I still air dry his pants and undies/socks so, too bad!) and we both like our bath towels to be nice and fluffy and not like sandpaper.

  • I fixed one of my laundry racks with duct tape.  I love duct tape. I use it everywhere! First I tried using a zip tie but that didn't work. Then I tried masking tape but mine is from the Dollar Tree so it's cheap crap. It works for labels but not much else.  So I finally had to resort to the duct tape.  Since it's the hinge, it means that I either have to waste new lengths of duct tape each time, or leave it up permanently. I really don't want to have to leave it up so I think I'll take it back to Aldi to see if I can get a refund, and then buy a better quality one somewhere else.

  • I found a penny in the washing machine, a quarter in the dryer and 2 pennies on Greg's desk. So it was our money to start with, but now I'm adding it to my 2016 Spare Change Jar instead of letting it sit around.

  • I resisted going to McDonald's to get my son and me BOGO chicken sandwiches for lunch.  I really wanted to go but I knew we had plenty of food at home. My son had a corn dog and I will make myself a "BL without the T" sandwich or two, using tomatoes from the garden and the left over bacon that I had grilled last week.  I'm pretty proud of myself for resisting because I was already tasting the yummy McDonald's fries, lol.

  • I had 2 very brown bananas and 2 slightly brown bananas so I used both very brown and 1 slightly brown bananas to make a batch of chocolate chip banana muffins.  My son is home so they'll go fast!

  • I used homemade baking powder and homemade vanilla in my recipe. My Wilton silicone muffin "tins" hadn't been washed yet (from 2 weeks ago, yes I know, I'm hanging my head in shame. They're soaking in warm water as we speak!) so I went to my pantry and used some foil-lined cupcake liners that I had gotten for free several years ago. They're very sturdy so my plan is to peel the liners before my son starts eating the cupcakes so I can reuse them. I did that with 3 of them when I made the other muffins 2 weeks ago and reused them today without any problems. Update: well the muffins seemed to have stuck more to the liners today than last time so I don't think I'll be able to reuse them after all.  Darn.


  • I was thinking about dinner for tomorrow and using up things that I have in the fridge. I have an opened bottle of mesquite marinade so I'm defrosting 3 strip steaks that I had bought on clearance at Aldi for Father's Day but never cooked.  I'll marinade them tomorrow all day and grill them on the barbecue. I might make mashed potatoes with the last of the Golden potatoes that I have in the pantry.

  • For my lunch I reheated a baked potato that I had cooked last week but not eaten yet. I put some slivers of Roasted Garlic, Basil and Tomato cheese from Aldi in it and nuked it together. I also made 2 "B & T without the L" sandwiches, using tomatoes from my garden that were going soft, light mayo from Aldi, and 2 strips of grilled bacon from last week.  Dessert was the last 3 peaches that were going moldy (I cut off the moldy parts).  I drank my free Diet Mountain Dew from RaceTrac.

  • I ate my lunch while reading my library book and listening to smooth jazz on IHeartRadio (WLOQ).  A girl needs a break from all those domestic tasks!

  • My son rode my bike to the library for his volunteering shift. Today he helped with the "Movie Matinee" for young children. He got to watch a movie for free (Kung Fu Panda 3, he really enjoyed it), have free snacks (a bag of pretzels and a free bottle of water), see some friends and earn volunteer hours towards his Bright Futures Scholarship requirements.  He also stayed longer to play video games with other teens.  After 2 weeks spent with his dad and various relatives, I was sure he'd welcome some teen interaction!  They had another one of those video game tournaments. However, the Xbox 360 got the red ring of death. My son said he looked for solutions online and tried one that seemed to work at first, but then they got the red ring of death again. I suggested that he tried re-aligning the laser since that's how I fixed ours, several years ago.  However, you need special computer tools so he might need to ask if he can bring it home so we can use Greg's tools.

  • We had very little chance of rain today but at about 1:45 p.m. some dark grey clouds moved in and I heard thunder so I brought the laundry racks back inside.  Most of the clothes were already dry by then. yippee!

  • So a few weeks ago I borrowed "Wildflowers of Florida Field Guide" from the library. It's the same format as my "Wild Birds of Florida Field Guide", meaning it's a pretty small size book, soft cover, and the spine is color coded so it's easy to go to the color corresponding to the flower you're researching. Each flower gets its own page with information about its family, height, description of the flower and leaf, when it blooms, its cycle and origin, its habitat and range and some notes. More importantly, there is a full page photo of the flower opposite the description. I really like the format. However, in reality, it hasn't been as helpful as my Audubon Field Guide to Florida.  The pictures are larger than in the Audubon's, but the Audubon has allowed me to identify more plants mostly because then I look at the pictures first and do not get hung up on color.  The Field Guide might list one flower under the color pink, but then you find out that it also come in yellow. However, they didn't cross reference the yellow variety in the yellow section so short of flipping through the whole book (as I did and as I use the Audubon Guide, which is something I was trying to avoid), you might not find what you're looking for. Still, when you do find it, the details are very interesting. So, Florida nature enthusiasts, I would recommend you get it, but use it in conjunction with the Audubon guide.  I also use an app that has been very useful but somehow the name given by the icon isn't in the app store anymore so I don't know if they pulled it or what. I also don't know who published the app (I think it was the park service, possibly the state park service?) and I don't remember how I learned about it so that's not very useful, is it?  lol.  Anyhoo, back to the Wildflowers of Florida Field Guide... I had hoped to find a cheap used copy at the Friends of the Library book sale on July 4th but I didn't find one, so today I ordered a used copy from Amazon.  It was $7.90 plus $3.99 shipping and I used $11.89 in gift card credit to get it for free. Woohoo!

  • Greg has to travel to Vancouver for business next week, grrr.  On the frugal side, it means one week of living expenses paid for by his company and no gas/tolls expenses for us.  I really want to tag along with our son but Greg has something about the "impropriety" of getting the company to pay for the hotel room where we would stay with him. Let's face it, I'm ticked off about him not being on board for this because he gets to stay in a pretty swanky hotel room so if there are 2 more people in the room means nothing to his company as the rate would be the same. And I'm an "up and up" person so I wouldn't charge our meals to his business account or anything!  It's not like we're poor, we can afford a vacation!  I'm tempted to book a room in the same hotel without telling him and then showing up with my son in the middle of his trip and seeing his face when he realizes that now HE's paying for the hotel room, lol. I've always wanted to go to Vancouver. I don't know why, I just heard it was a cool city to visit and I've never been on the Canadian West Coast.  But... we have the darn 3 cats that can't even wait until 8 a.m. to get fed, so I suppose we shouldn't leave them here alone even for just a few days. Anyhoo, I found out tonight that he'll be flying through Houston on his way home. Last year, he had brought me back some delicious JalapeƱo  Salt Water Taffy from the Dallas airport so I told him he wasn't to come back home without a huge supply of the same thing, even if that meant he had to go to Dallas, lol.

  • I cleaned my coupon organizer of expired coupons. Why is it that no matter what day of the month I do it, there are always coupons expiring the next day and then I'm faced with "well, do I keep them or pitch them?!"  Arrgh. If I were elected president, I would make all coupons expire on the last day of the month. Period. Also all coupons would have the same shape, be oriented the same way and the pertinent information would be printed in font large enough for everyone to see.  Would you vote for me?  lol.

  • It never did rain.  At 4:30 p.m., I took down the laundry that had dried but the shorts and other bottoms and socks were still damp so I put them back outside.

  • In the meantime, I got busy watering the potted plants. Good grief. a 2nd cone flower pot is looking like it's dying.  I watered them all last night, they're all in the same spot and the label says that they should be in full sun (they are!) so now I'm thinking that one of the neighbor's dogs has been peeing on the pots.  I mean, what other explanation could there be?!  So I deep watered them and placed them into a planter that is unused right now so they're higher and also on the side of the patio where I know that the neighbors don't let their dogs go.  I don't want to level accusations without witnessing what happened but the plants started dying on the same days when I did NOT sit on the patio so...

  • Anyhoo, I kept watering all the plants with the same cat litter jug that I kept refilling at the rain barrel.  Now it's down to maybe 1/6th of the barrel and I can barely (ha! stupid pun!) reach the water.

  • I think I forgot to mention that last week I had crushed some of the dry basil stems all over several empty planters to see if the seeds that had fallen off would germinate.  Well today I noticed a bunch of little basil seedlings in one of the planters, hooray!  Not sure why not in the others but the truth is I've been haphazardly watering the planters so I can't remember what I watered or not. I need to be more methodical when I do this!  Anyhoo I always love it when I regrow herbs or plants from plants that I already had!


  • I have more strawberries growing, woohoo!


  • And I discovered a 3rd new sweet potato vine growing, lol :)

  • The new squash plant it looking darn good too!

  • I harvested a few more tomatoes. I love harvesting vegetables but I'm a little overwhelmed with all the tomatoes right now. I'd make marinara sauce but I have no room in the freezer for it and Greg wouldn't eat any because it hurts his stomach.  If I could just cram the tomatoes in the freezer, somehow, I could wait until I have the new hose for my barbecue and see if I can can some tomatoes on my camping stove.  I came back indoors because I heard some thunder in the distance.

  • And then, back indoors, at 5:20 p.m. I was smugly thinking "Thunder, thunder, but once again it didn't rain!" and I happened to look outside and a light rain was falling!  I ran to get the rest of my laundry back indoors!  Arrgh. Now it's moist again. It'll have to finish drying in the entry room.


  • Dinner was the chipotle chicken sausages that I grilled in the toaster oven and some white rice that I cooked in the microwave. I also served some slices of cantaloupe.


SPLURGES
  • Gas and tolls for Greg to get to work. I guess that's a splurge since he could work from home if he wanted to.

  • Gas for me to drive to the eye doctor appointment.

  • $15 for the scratch protection on my new lenses and $15 for the co-payment on a new pair of bifocals (lenses and frame).

  • I turned the AC back down to 75F in the living room at 5:00 p.m. because I had just come back from outdoors and it felt stuffy.  I'm sure it wasn't but it was very hot so I'm thinking it's probably not too cool upstairs.

FAILURES
  • I'm pretty ticked off at Aldi right now because they sold me crappy laundry racks.  The one rack that already has unusable bars because the plastic "joints" cracked and broke now has a broken hinge.  You all know that I'm a lousy housekeeper so it's not like my laundry racks are seeing heavy use!  I use them once a week at the most and I don't always use all of them. So for this to be broken already, really really pisses me off.  I didn't keep the box although I might still have the receipt (I'd have to dig for it) so if I do find it, I'll bring it back to see if I can get a refund.   I had bought two and the 2nd one is giving me trouble too but I can still use it so I'm not sure if I'll bring both back or what.  I might have to splurge and get a sturdier one online, although the ones that I have looked out have their detractors as well.  Ugh. Everything seems to be made shoddily these days and I'm quite sure it's on purpose.


CHORES
  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Commented on blogs
  • Fed the cats
  • Made our beds
  • Put Greg's laundry away from last week
  • Started the laundry
  • Collected the trash and recycling throughout the house
  • Took the large trash bin out for collection
  • Sprayed wasp nests around the house
  • Inspected the upstairs bathroom: in good shape, doesn't need to be cleaned!
  • Clipped digital coupons
  • Went to my eye doctor's appointment
  • Picked up new Sodapalooza refills
  • Hung most of the laundry outside
  • "Fixed" one of my laundry racks
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Baked muffins
  • Made myself lunch
  • Read some of my library book
  • Caught up on more blogs
  • Placed an Amazon order
  • Cleaned out my coupon organizer
  • Scrubbed the downstairs bathroom sink
  • Cleaned downstairs bathroom mirror
  • Shook bath mat outside
  • Vacuumed and dusted downstairs bathroom
  • Watered the potted plants outside
  • Watered the potted plants indoors
  • Harvested the garden
  • Added mulch to the three pots containing my roselle plants
  • Printed, clipped and sorted new coupons
  • Swept the kitchen
  • Partially mopped it (it was late in the afternoon and I needed to start cooking soon so I quickly mopped the dirtiest areas!)
  • Mean Kitty threw up all over the comfy chair in the entry room so I had to wash the chair cover
  • Cooked dinner
  • Input receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Activated Greg new credit card and got him to sign it and swapped it for the old one

GRATITUDE
  • That I don't have to go back to a "real" job this morning, working with other people.  Honestly, I do NOT miss this one bit. I know some women feel like they wouldn't be doing enough staying home, but I'm not one of them. I'm very grateful to Greg for letting me (reluctantly at times, it's true!) stay home.
  • That my vision is only a little worse and that we have excellent benefits through Greg's job so I can get a new pair of glasses at minimal cost.
  • That the technician at my eye doctor's is savvy enough to have advised me to get my old glasses tinted so I could have a pair of prescription sunglasses too!
  • That we "only" have three cats.  I can only imagine how much cat hair Laura must battle every day with six!
  • For the beautiful and plentiful hibiscus blooms that were on my bush this afternoon and the two gorgeous roses that also bloomed despite the heat.



Was it hot where you live, today?

17 comments:

  1. Yes, it was hot and awful here today. No rain, so that is something anyway. I have yet to find well made laundry racks -- a few years ago I bought a "heavy-duty" rack from Target? I think it was Target. Anyway, it wasn't long before it started to fall apart. The ends that hold the bars into the rack keep shearing off. And of course this happened past the return policy and also the rack was made by some no-name company. I still use it although it is pretty grim. I have another rack from college that is still going strong. I kind of want to have Michael make me some really heavy duty racks or pick up racks made by the Amish when I visit my parents sometime. It irks me, too, when necessary things are not made well.

    Congrats to your daughter on her AP scores --that is great! Also, can I just say that as a librarian I would have loved to have your son as a volunteer! He is always helping out. So nice.

    We are big IT Crown fans, here, too. ;)

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    Replies
    1. You love to cook and feed people, are a librarian, your husband is a PC gamer, you guys love cats, AND you love The IT Crowd?! if only you lived closer you could be our new best friends, lol.

      Thanks for the congratulations, I'll pass them on to her. She worked hard! And thanks for recognizing my son's efforts too. I have to say that I'm very pleased with him because he really came out of his comfort zone to do the volunteering shifts and he never complains about it. I think he finds it pretty rewarding, actually. I'm so happy there is such an opportunity. Does your library have a program where the teens can earn Bright Futures volunteer credits? Ours is run through the Junior Friends of the Library program. If you don't, maybe you could suggest that it gets put in place and advertised through your local high school's guidance office? Or even just your website?

      I really need to get either a new larger rack or a couple of the smaller ones. I might just go see if I can inspect the ones that Target or Walmart sells in store... or drive 30 minutes to Bed Bad and Beyond and see what THEY have. The thing is, even when they do look sturdy, you're at the mercy of a plastic piece that will break! My old racks were wooden and a little more sturdy, but the wood would leave brown marks on lighter clothing so it was annoying. And I don't want to have permanent laundry lines installed in the backyard. Plus if I have to walk more than 2 feet out of my house, I might ever hang the laundry outside again, lol!

      Let me know if you find some good Amish ones. It might require me to drive to Pennsylvania to get some, but dang it, I've been itching to go to Pennsylvania to do genealogical research in situ anyway!

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    2. We do have lots of opportunities for teen and really any volunteers at the library. During the summer we often have to turn kids away, unfortunately. Because there really is only so much work that needs to be done. Also...the city runs a special program through the Mayor's office that requires library participation. We are not lacking for teens helping us out during the summer! But what I recognize and admire in your son is his OWN personal motivation to get to the library and taking that responsibility on himself.

      Also, I just noticed your gratitude for only having three cats. HA. We do have a lot of cat hair around here. ;)

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    3. Ah, that's good to know! Having to turn people away is kind of awesome in itself, isn't it?! The local community college here runs a "Kids' College" summer camp each summer and uses several hundreds of teens as volunteers (my older kids earned their volunteer hours by helping out with it). It got so popular with the teen volunteers that now they require a $25 application fee and they interview all the volunteers. So I'm glad he can volunteer at the local library where I don't really have to drive, he makes important local connections, he gets to have fun AND earn some volunteer hours too. I was planning on having him register for the Kids' College next year, but unless they cancel our library volunteering program, I think we'll just stick with the library.

      As for the cat hair, mamma mia! I should never ever get on all fours to scrub the light-colored tile floor AFTER I've swept it, darn it. It's infuriating to see just how much cat hair still remain... vacuuming doesn't seem to help much more. It just blows them in another part of the room. I want to give them all a marine hair cut, and they're not even long-haired cats! So, my hat's off to you. Six of them...

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  2. I was in the middle of commenting on some of your past blog postings, when a "forbidden" error message came up, so I will try again later this afternoon. I sent two off before I could no longer open up any postings. I am able to open this one (today's posting), so I will comment now.
    Is it hot here today? You betcha. I am not going outside today. In fact, I will probably go up to my room and turn on the A/C unit and the fan, and tidy up my bedroom and bathroom. First thing this morning, I hung out clothes on the line and boiled some potatoes to make a potato salad for dinner. It will be too hot to cook later on in the day. I closed the drapes in the living room and turned on the ceiling fans. It isn't Florida hot, but hot for us.

    Congrats to your daughter on the success of her exams. And congrats also to your son for working on school assignments during his summer vacation, and also for earning volunteer hours for his scholarship program. Yes, I knew you were proud of your kids. *laugh*

    Too bad that Greg wouldn't even ask about how he could bring his family along for business trips. They have to pay for his room anyway. They could save money on not buying his dinners, because chances are that you would all go out as a family for dinner on most nights. You would be doing your own thing during the days when he is working. I think a lot of companies expect spouses to go along on business trips. He should ask what the policy is.

    Your backyard is getting quite colourful with the ever blooming roses, hibiscus, vinca and now the coneflowers. I hope they will exchange those two for you. Otherwise, get them in the ground. Don't give up on them. Keep watering.



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    1. Well shoot I don't know what's going on with Blogger but it was acting up for me too yesterday or today. And then earlier today I was cleaning out my "drafts" folder and when I clicked on "All Posts", all of last week's posts had disappeared and I about had a heart attack! So I closed the tab and then reopened it at my dashboard and all the posts had reappeared. Who knows what happened. But then something has disappeared in my Google Calendar last night too and I had to reinstall it so it might have been that they updated Chrome again (I use Chrome, do you use Chrome?) and in doing so it messed up something with Blogger and Calendar? I just don't know. Sorry! Note: oh yeah, they did update Chrome recently. I can always tell because when I check under "Track pageviews", the "do not track my own pageviews" is always reset to UNchecked whenever they update Chrome. It's annoying to have to recheck that box all the time, darn it. I left them several comments about it but they don't give a crap about user feedback.

      Another note: I'm not sure how you have set up your email, but I have mine set up to put the deleted emails in a "trash" folder where they stay for 30 days before permanently getting deleted. Because I tend to click on the wrong emails when I want to delete some that I don't care to read (like the daily one I get from Bath & Body Works!). So if I make a mistake, or need to look for something that I deleted after the fact, I just have to open my "trash" folder and I can see everything that I deleted over the past 30 days.

      I don't blame you for wanting to do tasks in the air conditioning! I don't suppose I would do ANYTHING if I didn't have AC. Goodness, I can't imagine cooking in a kitchen without AC right now. Good for you to have gotten started so early on dinner. I always think that potato salad would be a good and easy thing to make, but then when faced with peeling and cooking the potatoes first thing in the morning, I think "eh. I'll just buy some from Publix!". It's really one thing I don't mind splurging on because we love their potato salad :)

      Oh you DID know that I'm proud of the kids, did ya? LOL. I do talk an awful lot about how awesome they are. But they're also annoying and messy. And they should want to spend more time with their mom. lol.

      So last night Greg sent me his itinerary. His company is spending $1,700 on his hotel room! Whaaaaat?! I strongly suspect he just likes going on trips by himself, even though he will complain about having to go on business trips. He does have business dinners every night in general so if we went, we'd never see him so they wouldn't save anything but it wouldn't cost them any more either. Yes I agree that a lot of business do expect the spouse to tag along, especially when they send their workers away for a whole week (well, business week, but still...). He's going to Roumania, probably later on this year. I have no desire to go to Roumania (although if they paid for it, I would go!) but I wish it was closer to France so we could fly there together and then he could go on to his business trip and then I could visit my mom. I don't need that excuse to go visit my mom, but it'd be nice to be in France together even if it was just a couple of days.

      Keep watering, gotcha. Thanks for all the gardening feedback, oh wise one. I do wish I had your garden... or at least you as my gardener!

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  3. I would be very hesitant about putting things in my eyes. Especially just getting approved things. I don't mind sticking my contacts in, but hate putting eye drops in. I only go to the eye doctor whenever I run out of contacts.

    I'm glad you have good benefits. There isn't very many jobs around here with good benefits for family members.

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    1. You are way braver than I am. Even if contacts were an option for me, it would be an option that I wouldn't consider because I don't think I could ever put those things into my eyes. I don't even wear mascara. Just thinking about contacts gives me the heebie-jeebies!

      I think that the number of jobs with good benefits is dwindling nation-wide as the costs keep going up and employers are realizing that they can pass the costs onto the employees now that Obamacare is here. One of the reasons why I keep pushing Greg to remain with his current employer is that they do have excellent benefits that don't cost us all that much. True, we mostly don't use them but they're there when/if we need them. Going to another company and giving up that is, in fact, a huge part of his compensation package, would be a bad financial mistake, I think, especially as we're getting older and are going to start needing to use them more and more. Right now all 6 of our kids are still on his benefits (even though all 5 older kids are also covered by their other parent's plan) so I'm nervous that one day his HR department will look at that and decide that they're just spending too much on him, you know? So I keep knocking on wood that nothing changes, one way or another. Wishful thinking, I know.

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  4. Yes, I use Chrome. So there are glitches sometimes but they work themselves out. Like now, for instance....I can get back into your older postings with no problems. I just had to give it time to sort itself out. Ha. Not all my comments have shown up on your blog yet, but will eventually. Even if they never show up, you know that I read everything and I eventually respond.

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    1. I moderate all comments so you wouldn't see your comments until I've read and published them. I tend to read them as soon as I get an email alerting me that I have a new comment but sometimes I don't have time to reply right away (not that one has to reply to every comment but I like to) so I might not publish it/them until I have time to reply.

      Yes, the glitches work themselves out usually but it still annoying, especially when you lose what you'd been typing!

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  5. Congratulations to your daughter on her AP scores! That's excellent!

    And it sounds like your son is doing a great job with his volunteering at the library. I'm glad he gets to enjoy little perks such as watching a free movie and getting free snacks. :) My daughter volunteered at our local branch library for community service credits, but all she ever got to do was shelve books!

    I'm sorry you don't get to accompany Greg on his business trips. He really should ask the company what their policy is regarding accompanying spouses. Maybe if you offered to pay for half of the cost of the room they'd let you accompany him?

    Your roses and hibiscus are doing really well! Look how nicely they are blooming even in the heat!

    Hope you have a lovely rest of the week, Nathalie.

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    1. Thanks Bless, for the congratulations! She'll be proud to know that other people are proud of her too!

      My son does shelve books on Mondays and that's all he does during his regular volunteering shifts. I'm so grateful that they thought to ask the teens to volunteer with the Summer "Reading" Program activities. As you said, they get to have fun while also earning the hours so it's a very attractive proposition and it helps everyone.

      You are all lovely people who seem to think that Greg is just too shy to ask what the policy is. The truth of the matter is, as much as my husband loves me, he does NOT want me tagging along on his business trips. So he will never ask what the policy is and even if the policy was "of course, you can bring your wife!", he just wouldn't. Much less if he had to pay for any of it, lol. Did you see the comment I wrote where I reveal that the cost of his room is going to be $1,700?! There is no way we'd pay even a 10th of that!

      But, darn it, I really want to visit Vancouver! I might just have to go on my own. With a tent. LOL.

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  6. If it makes you feel any better, I am a Canadian raised by a military father (we moved a lot) and I have never been to the West Coast of Canada either. We lived in(the former) West Germany when I was a kid but never got further west than Manitoba. I hear it is beautiful out there though. Maybe one day you'll get you husband to let you tag along.

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    1. Canada is such a huge country, I'm not too surprised! Shoot, I grew up in France, which is much smaller than here and there are TONS of areas of France that I have never visited.

      How did you like living in West Germany? Greg lived there too, he was also in the military. His two daughters were born there.

      I've been to Quebec (Montreal, Quebec City, Chicoutimi and all points in between as I was driven in an RV) and then I drove from Orlando to Quebec City with my ex. We also drove from Florida to Los Angeles, CA and then to San Francisco. I've driven a friend from Orlando to Maine. And Greg and I drove through Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia many times. But I've never been to the Midwest or the Pacific Northwest. Years ago I had heard about a train you could ride from coast to coast in Canada and I've always dreamed of doing that. It was some kind of luxury train, though.

      Maybe if I keep on telling him that my readers are aghast, AGHAST, that he refuses to take me to Vancouver he will one day cave in, lol.

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  7. Alright then, I'm AGHAST that Greg won't take you to Vancouver! Did that help? LOL. Never been there, either, but it sounds like such a cool place! I would want to go, too.

    Your hibiscus flowers are beautiful!

    I always hang my laundry on drying racks, too (after a short time in the dryer, when clothes are still damp). I've used my share of flimsy racks and gotten frustrated. I finally found one at IKEA and have been happy with it for years. This is the one:

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40244831/

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    1. Pixel! I love you! Thank you so much for the rack suggestion, that's exactly what I was looking for, especially knowing that you've used yours for years. I just checked the stock at the Orlando IKEA ("most likely in stock") told Greg about it, reminded him that it's really close to Bass Pro Shops, so now we have a date for tomorrow. Woohoo! AND, still thinking of you, I told him that I wanted to stop by that Trader Joe's in South Orlando too so I can get more deliciousness from there. Oh yeah, it's gonna be a good day... and I hope to get two of those racks because at $15 each, I might as well... it's gonna cost us close to that in tolls and gas to get there and back anyway.

      And thanks for the aghast-ness. I told him about it too and he let a big sigh. I think we'll wear him down one of these days, lol. Certainly, he was way more willing to drive down to South Orlando on a Sunday than he has been in the past. It's the guilt.

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    2. Hahaha, you're welcome. Very clever to tell your husband about the closeness to Bass Pro Shop. I'm lucky, my husband loves to go to IKEA (it's the Swedish heritage thing, I tell you!) - sometimes we go there and end up buying just lunch and some food items.

      I hope you find the rack and you like it as much as I like mine!

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