Friday, July 15, 2016

Still Not Sleeping ~ Friday 7/15/16

Welcome to another "stream of consciousness" type of post.  I'm tired and anxious and once again not really in the mood to follow the usual format. Sorry.

I was up again until 5 a.m.  A big part of it was anxiety about the terrorist attack in Nice, but another big part of it is that I was drinking coffee and regular Diet Coke into the evening, since I had gotten 2 refills at RaceTrac in the afternoon and discovered after 9 p.m. that I hadn't even drank the 2nd one. Since I was thirsty, I downed it and later on realized that I had gotten regular Diet Coke instead of caffeine free.  Ugh.

I obsessively checked on the news and waited for news from my brother in Marseille. He eventually replied to my email so I know he's safe. I didn't really think he wasn't but Nice is only 2 hours away and he does visit occasionally and who really knows where people are at any given time, right?

So I spent another night watching Netflix. This time I watched the whole first season of "Happy Valley" and started watching the 2nd season as well.

This morning when I woke up at 8:45 a.m, I called my eye doctor's office to reschedule my appointment. I'm just not in shape to drive anywhere this morning.

Greg texted me from the airport at about the same time. He's on his way home, hooray!  But this means I have much to do today, with very little sleep and a very sore shoulder. I did take ibuprofen right before going to bed but this morning it is hurting again.

My youngest son doesn't have any volunteering to do today. He plans on doing a lot of work on his summer assignments.  He's been working on them every day but it's a lot of reading and then writing essays and analyses, synthesizing information for drawing maps, etc.  Poor kid.

My daughter texted me last night that her instructor is trying to get a copy of the radio interview that she did yesterday. It was her and another camp attendee and the instructor who got interviewed, but reportedly the station only ended up using my daughter's segment.  I hope she does get a copy of it.

I received a weird email from what is seemingly Navient this morning, telling me that my payment of $32 had been credited to my account. The email was sent to an address that I rarely use anymore but that is forwarded to my current email address and looked exactly like a statement from a banking company except that it doesn't note any account number or partial number. I'm sure it was a phishing scam as I don't have any loans save for our mortgage so I didn't click on any links.  However, because Navient is the old Sallie Mae and is the main servicer of federal student loans, I did text my oldest son to ask if maybe this might be related to one of his student loans.  He said that he didn't think so so I just reported the email as spam.  I did ask my son whether he had ever heard from the Main St. Philharmonic after his audition and he said that he still hadn't.  I didn't ask about his job search and he didn't volunteer any information either. The reason why I'm not asking is that I don't want to pester him about it and antagonize him. He knows he's got to find a job and he doesn't live with me.  He's 22 so it's basically none of my business unless he makes it my business.  Like by giving my email address for one of his loans, which he wouldn't do.  Grrr, life can be stressful enough without having to deal with crooks and thieves. I'm just glad I know I don't have any loans save for the mortgage, it makes it easy not to be too confused when I get emails like that.  This doesn't mean that someone didn't take a loan in my name though, and I really should check my credit report one of these days.

So plans for today are simply to stay home and get the house ready for Greg's return.  I have that 2nd load of dishes to do from yesterday. I want to bake some Strawberry Summer Cake. I need to put the laundry away, sweep and vacuum. Probably completely clean out at least one of the cat litter boxes because it stinks even though my son scooped it out last night. I need to make Greg's bed since I washed the bedding but never put the sheet and comforter back on the bed.  I also need to research restaurants for Monday night: I'm scheduled to have dinner with Oldest Son's girlfriend near the club where he'll be playing before we go to the concert together, but neither she nor I know the area so I have no idea of where we should meet.

Time to repost my Big Bad To Do List:

  • 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 
  • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
  • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns - Started but need to do more research.
  • Figure out if we should contribute to regular  or Roth IRAs for 2016 and fund them
  • Fertilize the raspberries
  • Download all May and June photos to my external drive
  • Research extension cords for generator
  • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
  • Find the cats' rabies licenses
  • Sweep the main stairs Done
  • Dust - Dusted the living room
  • 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
  • Take items to the dump
  • Inventory seeds for Fall plantings
  • 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
  • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
  • Declutter coat closet/son's closet (shared closet)
  • Write a menu for the week.  - I have ideas for easy dinners this weekend (hot dogs, tuna patties)
  • Declutter countertop in the breezeway - Done
  • Declutter coffee table - Done
  • Add mulch to the vegetable garden
  • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work.
  • Make rice crispy treats
  • Bake blueberry muffins
  • Research when and how to harvest a pineapple
  • Put some bleach in the heat pump water drain (to prevent build-ups) Done
  • Divide and repot the aloe plant
  • Sweep my bedroom - Done
  • Vacuum breezeway - Swept it instead.
  • Schedule credit card payments - Done
  • Add Osmocote plant food to roses and hibiscus
  • Start new tomato and green pepper seeds
  • Write new letter to great grand aunt
  • Vacuum living room Done
  • Put away laundry - Done
  • Wash litterbox - Done
  • Make Greg's bedDone
  • Mop kitchen - Done
  • Bake summer cake - Done
I forgot to turn off my dehydrator after 8 hours last night.  I did realized that at 3 a.m. when I went into the kitchen for a mid-night snack!  So it ran for 15 hours. I just collected the tomatoes and they're really tomato chips now, lol. I'll just have to rehydrate them in some boiling water before use. I filled one 16 oz and one 8 oz mason jars with them.  I'm so glad I don't have to worry about eating them before they spoil anymore!

I had 4 trays of those
Youngest Son joined Instagram so we're following one another. I only follow my daughter, Middle Son, Middle Son's girlfriend and Youngest Son.  My oldest son's girlfriend also has an Instagram but it's private and I don't want her to feel weird about her BF's mother asking to follow her so I'll just mention Instagram at dinner on Monday and see if she invites me to follow her.  Middle Son's girlfriend invited me to follow her but she hardly ever posts. However, when she does, it's usually a picture of my son so I go on the laptop to view it and I take screenshots, lol (Instagram doesn't let you download the pictures, who knows why).

It's Free Fries Friday at McDonald's again today.  If I'm dressed and awake enough, I might drive there this afternoon to get my son his $1.00 cheeseburger and my free medium fries.  Based on last week's experience, I think I might wait until the noon rush has ended.

I was productive last night, though... I did reconcile bills and scheduled several bill payments online, and I also found a present to order for Middle Son from Amazon. It's a book by National Geographic. I realize recently that he had gotten a subscription to the magazine and was decorating his room with photos from it.  I didn't ask if he got the subscription for free and I doubt he did, but I did point out that I frequently find free copies of National Geographic in the donation pile at the library. Anyhoo, the book I got for him is a used copy by a reseller, in "new condition" and I used $9.99 in Discover Rewards to get it for only $2.80 OOP. I will also get 5% back in Discover Rewards on my purchase.  It's not much, but it'll be something to give him other than just cash!

In paying the bills, I noticed that we accrued another $26.66 in American Express Rewards. Woohoo!

As I said yesterday, I'm keeping the tenderloin that I grilled last night to serve in a salad tonight. It'll be just my son and me for dinner, I think. Greg's plane doesn't land until 6 p.m. so he won't be home until at least 7:45 or 8 p.m. and he might have eaten already.  Anyhoo, I'm glad I don't have to cook.  I have enough things to do already and it's already noon and I haven't started on any of them.

I had only bought 1/2 a gallon of whole milk at Publix this week, so I poured half of it in a Rubbermaid container and mixed it, along with the other 1/4 gallon with water, so now we have a whole gallon.

Then I set about making a Summer Strawberry Cake. It was time, too, because the strawberries that I had rinsed off yesterday had started to spoil again.  I used 1/2 a cup of the sour milk (yes, I still have some, this stuff never runs out as fast as fresh milk, does it?!) and margarine. I reused a margarine wrapper that I had frozen last week to butter my baking dish.

I also boiled 6 new eggs so we can have hard-boiled eggs for snacks and egg salad sandwiches.

Then I did all the dishes while watching another episode of "Happy Valley" on Netflix.

My son walked to the park to get some swinging done.  It's a bright and sunny day here again. I really wish we would get some rain.

Overdrive notified me that one of the library e-books I had put on hold had become available to download so I did.  I think I'll spend most of the weekend reading again.

Since I was up past midnight I had worked on Bing Rewards already. This afternoon I earned a few Swagbucks.

I scheduled another bill payment online since the statement came in today.

Greg's plane landed in Houston 35 minutes early, which should give him plenty of time to grab lunch and look for my saltwater taffy.  We didn't think he would have time so that's good.

I took a shower and remembered to turn off the water while I was soaping up.  I used some of the conditioner that was left in a sample bottle that my daughter had tried to recycle.

I made my bed, swept my bedroom, wiped the upstairs bathroom sink, swept the hallway and the stairs, the downstairs hallway, the office, the breezeway, part of the entry room and the kitchen.

My son and I drove the Focus (better mileage than the SUV) to McDonald's at about 2:30 p.m., thinking that the crowds will be gone... not so!  The drive-thru was very busy so we went inside and had to wait... and I made the mistake to start thinking about our order (was gonna get a cheeseburger for $1.07 and get free medium fries and that was it) and told my son that I had a coupon for BOGO Buttermilk Chicken sandwiches and he loves those so I ended up spending a little over $5 and got a free chicken sandwich and no fries.  Then we drove to RaceTrac and got 3 free refills using our Sodapalooza cups and came home. Originally the plan was that my son was going to eat both sandwiches and I would have leftovers, but he offered me one of the sandwiches and I was weak because it smelled so good and I'm sick of leftovers so I took him up on it.  I think he was disappointed that I did, lol.

I watched some more of "Happy Valley" and kept stopping once in a while to do a chore or two.  This seems to help my energy level!

I reused the water used for boiling the eggs this morning to water my potted jasmine outdoors.

Then I washed the main cat litter box, emptied a new jug of cat litter into it and saved the jug for collecting rain water whenever it decides to rain again.

Since I had the hose turned on, I watered a few potted plants. It was 105F on my patio at 4 p.m. and I burned my feet by going out on the pavers without shoes on for a minute. Ouch. At 6 p.m., it was 114F!

Watched some more "Happy Valley" while catching up on blogs too.

Mopped kitchen.  Dumped the water in the rain barrel when I was done.

Vacuumed and dusted living room.

Back to "Happy Valley" now :) My Netflix subscription is really getting a workout. I need to decide next week whether to pay the $2/month extra to be able to have 2 streams in HD, or just 1 stream in SD.  I'm thinking I might splurge, after all.  Arrgh I wish there was a way for me to compare SD and HD streams at the same time to see if there's a big enough difference.  There probably would be, especially on the Kindle Fire.

Greg is landing in about 30 minutes, woohoo! A this point, I've done everything that I said I would do today except for putting the laundry away.

Last week I had "rescued" $0.53 from Greg's truck that he had left lying there. Today I added it to my 2016 Spare Change Jar.  That's a sort of decluttering, I think. It was well over 10 separate coins!

I browsed through next week's ad previews for Walgreens and CVS and made a note of what I'd like to purchase.

I put the laundry away and spirited another 11 cents found in the master bedroom, which were also deposited to my 2016 Spare Change Jar.

I decluttered the coffee table, which was mostly moving papers to another surface... which will need to be decluttered!

I decluttered the breezeway counter. In doing so, I threw away some stuff, put some stuff in the donation box, recycled some other stuff.  A few of the items I threw away were pottery items that Youngest Son either made in school (3rd grade) or painted (kindergarden). They were broken and neither he nor I cared to keep them any longer so I pitched them.  I also asked if I could get rid of a soccer and a swimming trophy from years ago. He hated both (those were participation trophies, not skill-based!) so he didn't care to keep them. I put them in the donation box. Maybe someone will want to pry the little metallic plaques and reuse the trophies.

In the donation box: one cat.  Ok, ok, I'm not donating her.

Threw away: a huge stash of upcycled envelopes that I will never reuse for anything.  I'll probably
move them to the recycling bin tomorrow.

Donation: some hardware from the kids' old bunkbeds

Donation:  the frosted glass shelves from the lamp I pitched a couple of months ago

Recycled: glass jar, plastic bottle.
Donation: flower pot picture holder, pot with silk roses

Donation: can of furniture polish. I don't even know why I
own this. I rarely dust, must less use furniture polish and most of
our shelves are particle board anyway

Donation: 2 trophies

Donation: a cuckoo clock that my dad and stepmom had given me.
I hate cuckoo clocks.

Thrown away: a 2016 sticker calendar that Greg accepted from a
garage even though he didn't want it, didn't need it and never used it.
Why do people automatically accept things that other people thrust at them?!

Thrown away: 2 broken potteries that our son had made/painted when
he was younger.

I also found the broccoli seed heads that I had been drying for several months so I collected the seeds and added them to my broccoli seed envelope.  I don't know why I persist in trying to grow broccoli as it never grows for me.

I received my Amazon orders today, socks for my son and my Seinfeld DVD set.  It came with several useless doo-dads. What the heck will I do with this? Especially the Puffy Shirt in a frame?  LOL. For now it's on a shelf, waiting for the next time I feel like decluttering.  I'll probably donate the other 2 items.

Greg got home safely (if exhausted!) and brought me gifts: some lovely exotic chocolate and saltwater taffy. He didn't find the jalapeƱo kind so he got me the next best thing: margarita-flavored!

But more importantly, he brought us: RAIN!  Glorious rain!  It didn't rain huge amounts but I'm hoping it'll be enough to fill up the rain barrel that halfway full right now.

Dinner was chicken stew leftovers for Greg and I made 2 grilled cheese sandwiches for our son.  I had some of the pork tenderloin that I had grilled yesterday and we all had strawberry summer cake.

I did have to compost 3 hearts of Romaine lettuce that had gone really bad in the fridge, darn it.

Accomplishments Today:
  • From last night: scheduled several bill payments, ordered Christmas present for Middle Son
  • Emailed Middle Son to firm up plans for Sunday.  Waiting for his reply.
  • Found a restaurant for dinner with Oldest Son's girlfriend on Monday. Emailed her and waiting for her reply.
  • Stored the dehydrated tomatoes in jars.
  • Stretched the milk
  • Boiled eggs
  • Baked a cake
  • Did the dishes
  • Scheduled a bill payment
  • Wiped bathroom sink
  • Made my bed
  • Swept my bedroom
  • Swept upstairs hall
  • Swept main stairs
  • Swept downstairs hall
  • Swept exercise room
  • Swept breezeway
  • Swept part of entry room
  • Swept kitchen
  • Picked up lunch
  • Washed the cat litter box
  • Watered the outdoor potted plants
  • Mopped the kitchen
  • Vacuumed the living room
  • Worked on my shopping list for next week
  • Dusted the living room
  • Put the laundry away
  • Decluttered coffee table
  • Decluttered breezeway
  • Collected broccoli seeds
  • Cooked/reheated dinner
So I feel that I had a good balance of productivity, rest and entertainment today.  I hope you all had a good day too.


  1. You were very productive! Well done! How is your shoulder after all that sweeping and mopping, etc.? You did well with the decluttering, too! Lucky you to get rain!

    Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    1. I was indeed very productive... maybe Greg should go away every week, as when he comes back I feel like I'm having visitors over and that's about the only time I actually get busy with the cleaning (which is partly why I don't like having visitors in the first place!). Ha!

      I meant to address that in my post but forget: weirdly (and disappointingly!) enough, my shoulder wasn't bothered at all by the sweeping, mopping and other cleaning gestures. Well, darn it, there goes my excuse. My lower back didn't like it, but since I did it in short spurts and got plenty of rest in between the spurs, it doesn't hurt today at all!

      Thanks for your concern. I hope you have a great weekend as well, Bless!

  2. Glad that Greg is back home. I was laughing while reading of all your chores accomplished today because that will be ME today. My daughter phoned yesterday to ask if we would be home this weekend. They are coming for a visit here tomorrow. So there is going to be a lot of cleaning up going on. I agree that it's the threat of company that can jumpstart your motivation levels when it comes to housework. I am so glad I cleaned off the dining table earlier in the week, but with me working at decluttering the Craft Room, now I have these boxes and bins lying out in the front room waiting to be dealt with. Maybe I will have to move them back to the Craft Room and CLOSE THE DOOR.They won't spend a lot of time in the house anyway. We will take them to the Midway at the Odessa Fair that is going on this weekend.

    I think your Middle son is going to love the book you bought for him. It is so thoughtful. What a great week you have had. You accomplished the things that you set out to do. You were going to use this week to watch some programming that you might enjoy while Greg was away, and to get some reading done, and not have to go anywhere. I would call that very successful.

    1. Despite all the work you're going to have to do, I can tell you're excited about your daughter's visit! Will grandchildren be visiting too? What a treat for you! Yes, I would put everything in the craft room and close the door. Too bad it's summertime, you could have gotten away with not cleaning up as much and just keeping the lights on low or turned off (which is what I do). Maybe close all the shades and drapes and blame it on the heat? I think most people probably don't care if the houses are spotless when they go visit someone they haven't seen for a while for just a day.

      I am very happy with my past week, thank you! I watched some really good series, did some reading, ate lots of chocolate, didn't have to stress about having dinner on the table by 7 p.m. (not looking forward to having to do that again, honestly), stayed up all night almost every night without having to worry about waking up Greg with my TV watching (my son sleeps through anything!)... and I did all those chores too. Now I'm ready to not do anything this weekend. I wish Middle Son would call me back to confirm our plans for tomorrow (the Flight of the Conchords concert). I've already bought the tickets so if he can't go I'm going to force Youngest Son to come with me but he won't be happy about it and has never seen the show so doesn't even know who they are. I'm really irked about how inconsiderate my 2 oldest sons are in their (lack of) communication, to be honest.

      Have a great day, don't overdo it. You still have to bake something don't you? I always feel like I should bake something when people come to visit.

  3. P.S. Way to go on the decluttering. I am liking this "ten things" challenge.

  4. You got so much done! Every time you post about the McDonald's app, I am very tempted to get it for those free fries. Except I really do not need fries at all. But I love them. :)

    You decluttered a TON! I need to make up my post for the week. It's not too too impressive, but at least I'm still going at it.

    We had crazy rain last night. It took me over an hour to get home from work, with bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. Not the best end to my day. But it cooled things off. Which was good because something has happened to our AC and we'll need to call someone out for a repair. Ugh.

    1. Oh no! I hope it's a cheap repair for you. Did you get the breaker box to make sure the breaker didn't get tripped? If it ends up being damaged because lightning hit it, make sure the repairman notes that on the paperwork or your HOI won't pay for it (in the worst case scenario).

      Don't get the app! This is how I ended up spending $5 and change that I shouldn't have spent yesterday, lol.

  5. I'm with you on the short spurts of activity. I used to joke that I could get an entire room cleaned during the commercials of a one-hour TV show. LOL. I seriously need to do some decluttering again. Sometimes, when I really need to get things picked up and decluttered, we play this game called "The realtor is coming tomorrow to show the house" where we pretend for 20 minutes that our house is on the market and, well, the realtor is showing it tomorrow. Then we buzz around for 20 minutes, cleaning and picking up like crazy for 20 minutes, and then we stop. Game over. I know...silly. But it gets stuff done.

    Have you tried ice for your shoulder?

    1. That's a nice trick, Pixel, although the thought of putting the house on the market would stress me to no end, lol. Maybe I could pretend that Greg is a visitor instead of my husband, that way I'd clean every day? Hmmm...

      I was thinking about ice last night, but our ice maker is broken, I have no room in the freeze for the ice cube trays right now and I don't think I have a bag of frozen peas in there. I should check. I didn't do anything today so my shoulder is feeling better right now. Thanks for all the suggestions!

  6. I'm glad that your brother is safe. Worrying about that is enough to keep you awake let alone drinking Coke at night. Enjoy Greg's return.


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