It's Friday, already... and the end of July. On Monday morning, it will be August. This summer has flown by.
It occurred to me this morning, as it was hard to get up at 6:45 am despite my bladder screaming at me, that I need to have my son start getting used to getting up early because in a couple of weeks he will need to be up by 6:00 am and right now he gets up at about 11:30 am. So i'm going to have him get up at 7:30 am next week, which is sure to put him in a bad mood.
I slept pretty well last night. Yay.
I've been in the backyard since Greg left for work, at about 7:30 am. It's about 78F and there's not much activity yet, save for my air conditioner that is running. It feels humid but it hasn't rained.
Plans for today are mostly to take my son clothes shopping and for a haircut. We were going to do that in the morning, but then I realized that I really wanted to spend the morning in the backyard and that we would save money by going after lunch. Plus, that way my son can sleep in again so he was in full agreement.
I miss the days of VCRs and non-digital TV when you could record your TV shows on tape. We don't have cable, so no DVR for me. I don't know how things like Tivo work but I'm guessing they don't work with OTA TV. I need to look into it, although the channels that I would want to
To Do List :
- Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
- Make a lightbox to take better pictures
- Melt down old candles and make into one or two new candles
- Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
- Dust the entry room, breezeway, bedrooms
- Declutter linen closet
- Clean kitchen cabinets
- Clean out the printer stand, including school paperwork folders
- Declutter the top of the fridge
- Iron - partly done
- Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
- Declutter exercise room (including storage bench)
Hang spare bicycle wheel up in small shed- Done
- Check on the pineapples to see if they're ready to be cut up and dehydrated - I smelled them yesterday and they don't smell ripe at all. So I guess I still need to wait?
- Cook spaghetti in advance - I didn't cook the frittata for dinner, after all.
- Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
- Take items to the dump
Take son to get haircut and get new clothes (on Friday)- Done
- Pick up acne soap from dermatologist (on Friday) - Will go next week
- Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
- Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere - Transplanted them in larger pot.
- Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
- Fertilize the raspberries
- 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. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
- Divide and repot the aloe plant
- Plant more okra
Water potted plants- Done
- Trim grass behind the hedge
Refill self-watering bins- Done Add mulch to cover laundry room drainage pipes- Done
- Refill hummingbird feeders (on Saturday)
- Call gyneco to make annual appointment
- Read reply from insurer about son's prescription
- Get back on the recumbent bike!
- Do 5 min of strength exercises
- See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
- Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
- Test the batteries in all 3 smoke detectors and replace as needed
- Vacuum fridge coils
- Greg to call plumber
- Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
- Scan more old pictures
- 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 - I guess I need to wait until tax time next year, actually. I'll have until April 15, 2017 to fund 2016 IRAs so I need to work on taxes way sooner than I did this year so I'd have time to fund the IRAs and THEN file my taxes.
- Download all May-July photos to my external drive
- Back up my external drive to my other external drive
- Find the cats' rabies licenses (might not need to since I'm taking them to get their new ones in a couple of weeks)
- File the remaining loose recipes that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
- Purge filing cabinet
- File paperwork
- Write new letter to great grand aunt
- Write July Food Expenses Recap post
- Call my daughter - texted her
Nearly 1 p.m. and a solicitor just stopped by. I wasn't pleasant because I despise and resent being bothered in my own home. I have GOT to get cranking on the No Soliciting sign. Better make more than one.
- Greg took leftovers to work.
- I used the last of the honey from the jar I turned upside down yesterday for Greg's toast.
- Today I will wash that jar and the two jars of pasta sauce from last night and save them to reuse them at a later time.
- I brewed pot of the free coffee I won from Wawa. Breakfast was 2 slices of the banana nut creme cake bought on clearance at SAL.
- I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks. The Daily Poll asks what is your favorite grocery store. Guess what I replied? It rhymes with Mulva. No wait, that was on Seinfeld. I like go call it "All De Deals". I really wanted to say that Publix was the best, because it is... but it's no longer my favorite. I wish they would build an Aldi in my neck of the woods as the one I shop at is 15-20 minutes away.
- Lunch was leftover lasagna that I refilled for my son and myself. According to Bing Rewards, today is National Lasagna Day, which is very serendipitous!
- I also had a navel orange. Laura was right, they're not as sweet as the ones we bought from Aldi a few weeks ago. Those had been from California and were oh so delicious! These are just OK. But at $1.99 for 4 lbs (= 8 oranges), the price was right.
- In order to save time in the morning, I made myself a "let's go spend time on the patio and photograph some birds" kit. I was thinking that I needed a cute basket to hold it all, but then I remembered that I don't have any cute baskets and I don't want to spend money to get a cute basket so I repurposed a clamshell from a hydroponic lettuce bought at Aldi. It works fine!
- I also uploaded some digital manufacturer coupons to my Publix wallet and one of them was for a freebie: an Atkins Lift Protein bars. Check your offerings!
- My calendar reminded me that tomorrow morning is the free Backyard Beekeeping presentation at the Mount Dora Library. I'd have to be on the road by 9:00 a.m. Right now I don't feel like driving all that way but I do want to attend the program! We'll be tasting several kinds of honey and they'll be discussing, among other things, "how to plant to attract bees".
- My son and I went to run our errands:
- I drove the Focus for better mileage than my SUV. It's going to be very hard relinquishing it back to my daughter in a couple of weeks because it's a lot of fun to drive :)
- We stopped by RaceTrac and got a free Sodapalooza refill each.
- We went to Goodwill on a whim, because I wanted to see if they had the Law & Order DVDs that I wanted. They didn't.
- However, I found an almost brand new Case-It trapper keeper for just $3.99. That's what my son used throughout high school and I'd have to buy a couple of them for about $15 to $25 each so after conferring with him, I decided that it might be a good idea to get it as a back-up.
- My Goodwill no longer offers a 10% student discount and they now have a specific day for the senior discount (Mondays only, I think) and military discount (Thursdays?)
- But they now offer a loyalty card where you get 1 point for $1 and after 200 points you get a $5 voucher. So I signed up. It'll take me forever to get to 200 points, but I might as well be part of the program.
- They now also have the color tag discount of the week that's applicable to more than just clothing. Now it's clothing, shoes, bags and housewares
- However, they used to have 2 great big shelves at the entrance where they had the Target merchandise that had been donated and that's no longer there, nor did I find them anywhere else in the store.
- I paid for the $4.27 OOP with my American Express card and declined to donate my change. Honestly, our Goodwill already charges too much. Other thrift stores are much thrifter.
- My son didn't want jeans from Goodwill! I didn't push it but in the car later on, I asked him why and noted that they were just clothes that someone else had worn but they were clean (plus I would have washed them at home anyway). He said he didn't mind clothes from thrift stores but that Goodwill gave him the heebie jeebies. Really? Because his dress attire came from Goodwill and the one before that did too. I guess next time I'll go shopping without him and not reveal where I got the clothes. I didn't push it today because they don't sort their jeans by size and frankly I didn't feel like going through 2 huge racks of jeans in hopes to find the elusive 28x30 size that we needed.
- We went to Kohl's.
- My son is a 28x30 in jeans and they don't carry that size. But I did find 2 pairs of Urban Pipeline jeans in 29x30. There was a sign that "regular" Urban Pipeline jeans they were on sale for $21.99 each (down from $44). I tried checking the price at one of the kiosks but their scanner wouldn't register the UPC. So I had my son try the jeans but warn him that if they rang higher than $21.99, I'd probably leave them and we'd get them jeans at Target where we were supposed to get a $10 coupon for them if he tried them on. The Urban Pipeline jeans fit fine although he'll have to wear a belt with them but he doesn't mind.
- He also picked a "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt. They were on sale at 2 for $20 but there was no other shirt that he wanted. It ended up being $12.99 since we only bought one.
- At the register, both the cashier and I did a double take because the jeans rang up as clearance items at $8.80 each! What an awesome surprise!
- I had the $20 in Kohl's cash obtained with our Discover cards' Discover Deals offers saved to my Kohl's wallet on the app so I applied that to my order and also applied the 20% off coupon that they had mailed me. So my OOP for 2 pairs of jeans and a Tshirt was only $9.06! I charged it to my Kohl's charge card and I'll earn about 24 Yes2You Rewards points since the coupon also had a triple points promotion on it. Not a lot, but I'd rather get the discount right there at the register, lol.
- I asked the cashier not to bag anything and we just carried our stash out of the store, because I had forgotten to bring a reusable in the store with me. No plastic, yay!
- We had meant to look for dress shoes there too but forgot, so we drove to Target.
- We did find a pair that he liked, loafers in a style called "Randy" so he calls them his randy loafers and we laughed like idiots about that, lol. They weren't on sale and there was no cartwheel or coupon for them so I paid full price ($34.99). He'll wear them maybe twice a year so they'll last for a while.
- I also wanted to get him black socks to wear with his dress-up outfit but all the packs of socks were over $10! However, we checked the clearance section and found a 3-pair pack of black and stripes business socks for just $4.64.
- I checked the food section for discounted Gold'n Plump chicken but there was none.
- I also checked the price of the frozen Gold'n Plump chicken patties because if I bought 3 packages, I could send for the free seasonings kit. However, the patties are $8.99 a box so I'll probably never get them.
- My son checked out the LEGO section because he's a kid, after all, still :)
- So my OOP was $42.41 and I paid with the Target gift card that I had purchased for 10% off last Christmas, so technically the money was spent last December and nothing will come out of this month's budget. Woo.
- I also asked the cashier to just put the socks in the shoebox so I wouldn't get a plastic bag since, once again, I had forgotten to bring a reusable bag in with me (and I missed out on the $0.05 discount. Grr. Lol)
- We stopped by the bathroom and while I was waiting for my son, I remembered that we were supposed to get a free small popcorn at the Target Café if we showed our REDcard. I checked online and confirmed that it was still going on. My son said he wouldn't eat any popcorn but I had him carry it and ... well he ate it, of course! I had some too but it was very salty.
- When we left Target it was raining some and the sky was very very dark and getting darker. Since he doesn't need the acne soap right now (he still has some), we decided to skip the dermatologist's. I'll go next week. I also asked how his acne was doing and he thinks his back is a little worse than it used to be so it sounds like I'm going to have to cave in and get that foam that our insurance doesn't cover. I'll have to call the pharmacy and check what coupons they offer on it now. I think it was going to be $75 after coupon. Gulp.
- I checked him in at Great Clips by using the app, which means that when we got there, he was next in line no matter how many people were waiting.
- So we drove to the Great Clips near our house. It poured on our way there and we joked that it probably wouldn't rain at our house.
- He was seen almost right away.
- He loves his new haircut! Apparently he'd been wanting one for a while but never expressed that and I was afraid to ask because well, you know teens, right? So we're both happy that he's much less shaggy now. I wish he'd shave his beard but he doesn't want to. Yes, my 14.5 year old has a beard. It's red and I think he looks just like the Lucky Charms leprechaun, which he takes as a compliment since Lucky Charms are his favorite cereal, hahaha.
- I used one of the $7.99 coupon that I found in the paper recently, and gave a $2.00 tip in cash. I paid for the cut with my Amazon Visa card and I'll get 1% back in Rewards.
- I looked outside while my son was getting his hair cut and the black clouds had followed us and it looked very ominous! I took a picture, texted it to Greg with a "I'll bet you it won't rain at home!".
- On the way home, I had meant to stop by RaceTrac again but I forgot. Oh well.
- It did rain once we were home, but a very wimpy rain. The bulk of it got discharged over Clermont. Well, better than nothing, I suppose. Still, I wish I hadn't spent 30 minutes in the hot sun watering all the plants this morning! Later on I checked the rain barrel and I don't even think that the water level went up. I need to check all the connections again, maybe run water in the gutter to see if it goes into the rain barrel.
- I signed up for a free Wildflowers & Butterflies Hike at P.E.A.R Park next Saturday morning! It'll be from 9 to 11 a.m. so it shouldn't be too hot yet and I look forward to hearing the ranger point out wildflowers and butterflies. According to Gallus Quigley, expert birder and Trails Coordinator with Lake County Parks & Trails, "August is the true beginning of fall migration with the arrival of early migrants like the Eastern Kingbird and the Louisiana Waterthrush, in addition to the numerous local birds whose young are now out and about on their own. Butterflies also increase in number during this season, as the summer blooms are near their peak." I hope I get to see some of those birds at some point!
- I checked the next week's ad previews for CVS and Walgreens and took notes of what I will want to purchase. Nothing at Walgreens, a few things at CVS.
- I received my new camera lens! Wow, that was fast! The seller sprung for 3-day priority shipping and the lens looks just fine to me. It was extremely well wrapped in layers and layers of bubble envelopes. Of course, I don't know shit from shinola when it comes to that stuff, but it lets me take pictures and zoom. The zoom is perhaps a little less than my 40X digital zoom but since it's all optical zoom, my picture quality at such a distance, should be much better. I can't wait to try it on the birds... on Sunday, I suppose, since I'm going to Mount Dora tomorrow. Also now my thrifted camera bag is way too small. I'm going to have to start carrying a backpack!
- Greg stopped by RaceTrac on his way home to refill his Sodapalooza cup for free.
- I didn't feel like cooking dinner and Greg was still raving about the lasagna, so I heated him up some more leftovers for his dinner and made breakfast for dinner for my son and myself. I don't call it cooking :) I made plain pancakes and heated up a box of maple turkey breakfast sandwiches, sliced some strawberries, and we had the pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream on top. So indulgent!
- After dinner Greg and I went on a mini-mini date: we drove to RaceTrac (of course!) and got some more free soda refills. We joked that we would show up at 11:50 p.m. on Sunday night with a big cooler and use all 4 of our cups in a chain to fill the cooler with Diet Dr. Pepper for him.
- I suggested that if he gave up on drinking whiskey, he could have an allowance for Diet Dr. Pepper at RaceTrac. He laughed. I was serious.
- Water to refill the self-watering bins and water the potted plants. I have to pay for that water but it's much easier on my shoulder and since I haven't been in pain for a week, it's worth it.
- So last night at dinner, I was talking to Greg about the toilet and he declared "We're just going to have to call a plumber. I know you don't want to deal with it (he knows me so well!) so I'll call the plumber and I'll make sure to be home when he comes and you won't have to deal with it at all. And I'll even have him fix the leak in the downstairs shower!". Well OK but either some lucky plumber is about to win the lottery or it's not going to happen. We'll see. Having a plumber over stresses me so badly that I'm thinking about going out of town... somewhere... so I don't have to be here to witness all the problems and the expenses until they've already occurred, lol. We've already spent probably about $20,000 on plumbing alone since we bought this house, I'm not kidding. So this is why calling a plumber sends me in a panic. Ugh.
- Last night, Greg went to change into a T-shirt after dinner, and he got a clean out from his dresser, put it on, made a face, took it off and threw it directly into the hamper. I was like "What's going on?! I just washed that tshirt!" and he was like "Yeah but you dried it outside and it's all stiff and scratchy! Don't dry my clothes outside!". Ugh. I had forgotten that a couple of his shirts needed to be put in the dryer this week and I didn't want to run the dryer for just 2 tshirts! They seriously aren't that stiff! I did use vinegar for the rinse but it doesn't seem to help. I need to get cheap softener to see if that would work because it bothers me to use the dryer when the sun can do the same work for free!
- Cooked Greg's breakfast
- Packed his lunch
- Made my and Greg's beds
- Watered potted plants
- Refilled self-watering bins
- Sprayed wasps nests
- Refilled bird bath
- Covered laundry room draining pipes with mulch
- Cleaned out the dryer vent
- Texted my daughter
- Heated up lunch for my son and me
- Printed some coupons
- Sorted and filed the coupons
- Ran errands with my son
- Cooked dinner
- Went to RaceTrac with Greg
- For a quietly entertaining summer that certainly hasn't dragged on!
- For libraries and librarians
- For the peace and quiet that returned to the neighborhood after everyone was done with their early morning yard work :)
- For the light rain we had this afternoon. It wasn't as much as what Clermont got but it was some rain :)
I was playing with my camera settings yesterday and today and remembered that there was a Super Vivid setting, and I got to thinking (because I do that, sometimes) that trying to find gratitude every day, like Bless has inspired me to do, is like looking at my life in the Super Vivid mode: everything is still the same, but suddenly more beautiful and vibrant. I enjoy it more and take the time to look at things more closely, reflect, and appreciate what I have. Uh. Here are some photos I took in Super Vivid mode this morning.
But before all that, I was taking pictures of the birdies in the "Children & Pets" mode, hoping my shutter speed would be faster so as to capture the birds in movement. I didn't think it did much of a difference, but when I transferred the photos to my computer tonight, I think I can tell which ones were taken with that setting. I can't wait to try out my new dSLR lens!
Bird Feeder Traffic Jam: A Love Story
|It all started with just one lonely white ibis, appearing out of nowhere in my garden. Nothing else was making noise or moving...|
|Then a mourning dove landed on the electric wire and surveyed the backyard. No doubt it remembered the drama at the feeder|
yesterday and wanted to make sure those pesky Cardinals were nowhere to be found!
|But, what is this?! A male cardinal did indeed beat the dove to the punch and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast.|
|But, where was his wife?! He seemed lost without her, looking around to see where she might have gone... maybe she missed a turn...|
|He went on their bench, hoping to find her there... but, no female cardinal.|
|He looked and he looked. He was so worried!|
|Sorry, I teared up a little at this point. It was so sad!|
|Where can she be?!|
|In the meantime, a tufted titmouse had shown up and was rallying the troops with its call.|
|Uh, excuse me, but could you turn around? It's for the Nathalie Gazette.|
|Ah, much better, thanks! Uh oh, I think he's mad.|
|I'm glad he decided to go have breakfast instead of coming at me!|
|Meanwhile, at the hummingbird feeder... incoming! Good thing the hummer was going for another "flower" than the wasp!|
|A quick look around the yard revealed another ibis had arrived, but this one was black.|
|It was like having Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney in my own backyard!|
|But the tufted titmouse wasn't finished with breakfast yet.|
|At this point, the dove had had enough of all the waiting and decided to land on the feeder and scare the titmouse away.|
|It strutted around, inspecting everything.|
|And then realized that it had forgotten to wash its feet before coming to "the table".|
|"Uh, that water look cold! OK, I'll just dip one toe."|
|Brrr, it WAS cold!|
|"Do these feathers make me look fat?"|
|"No, no, you look fine", nom, nom, nom.|
|"What?! I couldn't find her. She probably got distracted by some clearance sigh, somewhere!"|
|"Well, hi there! Come here often?!"|
|"Why don't you take a picture, it'll last longer!"|
|Male cardinal, forlornly calling out for his wife...|
|"Darn it, where can she be?!"|
|3 hours later... "Sorry, I thought I had told you it was Grocery Shopping Day!"|
|I couldn't seem to frame those pictures properly today!|
The Legend of the Headless Squirrel
|What the heck?! It's The Headless Squirrel!|
|It's digging up my yard, looking for its head!|
|Oh. Wait. Never mind.|
|Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Nectarpalooza!|
|Aaaaaaaahhhh. I love Nectarpalooza!|
|I think this lizard was disapproving of what I was doing... it looks very judgemental, doesn't it?!|
|And now New Kitty bids you nighty night!|