Monday, August 8, 2016

Domestic Monday ~ 8/8/16

In order to acclimate myself to my new routine, I got up at 6:15 a.m. this morning. Since i went to bed later than I should have (I got engrossed in a blog), it was a little rough, but having to go out this morning and being up early enough before Greg got up meant that I had time to jump in the shower before I had to cook his breakfast and pack his lunch, which helped.

Greg is reporting that his migraine his gone this morning... yay!  I hope it doesn't come back. Poor guy, he was miserable.

No sitting on the patio for me this morning.  My son's high school orientation is from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and then I need to run a couple of quick errands. After that, I need to kick my Domestic Monday duties into high gear!  I have already done a couple of quick things this morning but the list is pretty long and a little discouraging too.

My daughter is coming home tonight!!  I am so excited. I can't wait to hear all about her summer, although I won't prod her much tonight or tomorrow.  She has about 2 weeks before school starts and I'm sure she's sick of telling everyone (her dad and family over there) how it went, already. So we have time to chat.

Greg just pointed out how dark it was getting outside, it's not even 8 a.m.  I checked the Yahoo! Weather app because it has a radar picture on it and, sure enough, we have storms moving in.  Yay and also "oh no!" because I strongly suspect the change in atmospheric pressure is what's causing Greg's migraines. Also: we're running errands this morning!

2:30 p.m. Update: I'm exhausted after walking all over the high school for Orientation, running errands, and vacuuming the cars.  I'm not sure how domestic the rest of the day is going to be!

My son's schedule has him taking Honors Geometry, AP Human Geography, Environmental Science, Honors English 1, Introduction to E-commerce, Digital Design, and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In addition, he'll probably join the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) since he can't join NHS (National Honors Society) as a 9th grader, and he'll probably take a driver's ed course online via FLVS.

This year, the zoning was changed to shift some students from the more popular but overcrowded high school in neighboring towns to our until then under-utilized high school. Consequently the freshman class will be 600 strong, in a school that will welcome about 2,000 students come Wednesday.  I realized that the line to drop off and pick up will be much longer due to the increase in students (a lot of kids get dropped off and picked up by their parents), so I'm thinking that I might just drop off my son in the mornings but have him take the bus in the afternoons, unless he has club activities.  Taking the bus should allow him to be home at about the time that I would pick him up from the school, so I think he might be up for it.

To Do List :
  • Crafty/Creative:
    • 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)
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the entry room, breezeway, bedrooms (including son's fan)
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets
    • Clean out the printer stand, including school paperwork folders
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter exercise room (including storage bench)
    • Vacuum the Expedition and the Focus - Done
    • Do the dishes  (Monday)
    • Vacuum living room
    • Sweep breezeway
    • Sweep and mop kitchen
    • Sweep and mop downstairs bathroom
    • Spray bleach in shower stall
    • Scrub downstairs toilet
    • Make daughter's bed- Done
    • Do the laundry - Done
    • Fold laundry
    • Put laundry away
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Dehydrate pineapples (Tuesday?)
    • Process dehydrated onions
    • Make Grape Nuts Done
    • Make a menu for the week- Done
    • Bake something for snacks (Tuesday)
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
    • Take donations to thrift store
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • 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 - I'm thinking about pulling them and putting more roses in pots in their place.
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden - I will do this once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • 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
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Check on seed nursery and water as needed done
    • Check on garden and water as needed - Done
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
    • Get back on the recumbent bike! 
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises (Monday)
    • Weigh myself  (Tuesday)
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal
  • Maintenance:
    • 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
    • Call AC repair company- Done
    • Greg to call plumber
  • Technology/Paperwork:
    • 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
    • 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
    • Submit Clearasil rebate
    • Make welcome home sign for my daughter Done
    • Enter receipts in spreadsheets

  • I packed a lunch for Greg to take to work.

  • I boiled eggs this morning. The water will be reused to top off the indoor zombie pineapples once it's cooled off.

  • I brewed a pot of free coffee from Wawa.

  • I won't need to water the garden today again as storms are approaching our coast and, this time, I don't think they'll miss us. Update: it did rain a little in the morning.

  • Today is the last day for me to use the Focus to run errands as my daughter is coming home tonight.  I was going to stop by Publix this morning to buy a loaf of bread, but something was nagging at me: when I checked the online weekly ad for Save A Lot several days ago. I had noticed that there was an additional ad posted but I quickly forgot all about it and didn't check it. So I did this morning and lo and behold they were having another "Deal of the Day" promotion and tomorrow they will have the loaves of bread on sale at 2 for $1. So I'll go to SAL tomorrow instead of Publix today as we have enough bread to last us until then.

  • I printed a coupon that Kellogg's emailed me.

  • I took a RaceTrac survey and earned a reward code for another freebie.

  • I skipped breakfast this morning. I didn't mean to, I just ran out of time to eat before it was time to leave for the high school orientation.

  • We drove to Focus to the orientation (better gas mileage). While we were waiting for it to start, I designed a menu for the week. Hooray!  I also emailed my BFF to invite her out to lunch or dinner to celebrate her birthday.

  • After the orientation,  we ran a few errands:
    • Save A Lot: 
      • Deals: 
        • (2) 5-lb bags of potatoes for $0.99 each (deal of the day),
        • papaya for $0.99/lb,
        •  and some baked goods and breads on 50% clearance: 2 small French baguettes for $0.99, a loaf of garlic bread for $0.99 and a sliced banana nut cream cake for $1.49.
        • I paid the $7.51 bill with the $7.29 Staples Visa rebate card that I received on Saturday so my OOP was just $0.22 in cash.  Woohoo and now I don't have to remember using it up the card by January. (I do have another one I need to use up too though)
      • Gratitude:
        • They never received the 5-lb bags of potatoes that were part of the promotion so they substituted the more expensive Klondike Gold potatoes for them. And it was very lucky for me as we much prefer the gold potatoes!

    • Publix:
      • Deals:
        • Today they did have the Atkins Lift protein bar in stock. I bought one for Greg. It was priced at $2.29 but was FREE to me thanks to a digital manufacturer coupon that I had uploaded to my Publix digital wallet.
        • I paid for my overall bill with American Express, which will earn us 3% in Rewards.
      • Frustration: they stopped carrying the Earth Therapeutic head wrap (i.e. "hot sock") that I used to buy for Greg there and my son and I were starved and tired from all the walking so we just wanted to go home and not have to stop by yet another store to see if they had it!
      • Gratitude: they did sell an Earth Therapeutic neck wrap, filled with clay pellets that you heat up and that's supposed to smell like lavender and chamomile. Anything but that burnt smell that the ones we had at home were emitting! It was $8.99 but that'll come out of my medical expenses budget. It's larger than what Greg needs but I didn't want to run the risk that he wouldn't have a hot sock tonight if his headache returns.

  • We just wanted to go home so we skipped RaceTrac and the library. My son is going to volunteer there tonight so he will return the DVDs for me.

  • My lunch was a foot-long from Subway (see: splurges) and a quarter cantaloupe at home. For a drink, I opened a bottle of Diet Coke that I had gotten for free at Publix several weeks ago.  I upgrade my son's foot-long at Subway so he could have a soda and 2 cookies too.

  • I used my homemade citrus vinegar degreaser to clean the inside of the Focus and my Expedition.

  • Instead of going to the car wash, I vacuumed both cars at home, using our ShopVac.

  • I recovered $0.38 while vacuuming, which I added to my 2016 Spare Change Jar.  I also recovered some sweetener packets, paper clips, a ponytail holder and a small hair clip. And a putty knife that I had bought last year and evidently it slipped out of the bag and landed in a side pocket in the car where I didn't see it until today!

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks, including a 20 SB Search award.

  • My first free issue of Kiplinger Magazine came in!

  • I made Grape Nuts for Greg at a fraction of the cost of buying it, even in generic form.  I'm going to load up on whole wheat flour from Walmart the next time I go since I have a couple of gift cards for there and most of their other groceries are too expensive for me :)

  • Dinner was the chipotle chicken sausages that I had defrosted last week, white rice and some of the collard greens that I had cooked in bacon grease last week.  Since my daughter wasn't home for dinner, I have leftovers for Greg (there are only 4 sausages to a pack). I'm going to need to remember to cook an extra portion again now that she's back, so I have something to pack for Greg's lunches!

  • I changed the air filters tonight. I had changed them at the end of June... and tonight they were FILTHY! I had never seen them so dirty, proof that it's been way hotter than usual and the AC has really been working overtime!  I wonder if that'll fix the thermostat problem that we've been having?  Nah, it's probably something else.  I'm glad I had spare filters on hand. Ace Hardware is having a BOGO sale through the 15th so I'll get more.

  • Lunch from Subway for my son and myself to celebrate the beginning of the school year.

  • With my daughter coming back home tonight, I lowered the AC in the kitchen part of the house back down to 74F.  It had been on 77F since she left in early June. Her bedroom is right above the kitchen.

  • Since I knew I was going to be gone all morning and it was humid and rainy off and on, I used the dryer for all the laundry today (except my bra).

  • We received a list of supplies from the Geometry teacher whom we met this morning but since my son's schedule didn't show an assigned teacher for his class, he could be with that teacher or another one and he won't know until Wednesday.  I figured that both teachers would have a similar (if not identical) supply list so I decided to just order the supplies from Staples instead of heading into the store to find them.  I will earn 2 SB per dollar spent (which should be about 90 SB), 2% back in Rewards from Amazon Visa (although... see "failures!"), will earn Staples Rewards and received free shipping. Most of the supplies will be delivered to my home on Wednesday, which is perfect.  My OOP was $48.72.  I'm not sure what the other teachers will require.

  • I want to spend $18,000 to recruit people through Swagbucks for some website.  It's nuts, isn't it?! Yeah, tell it to THIS GUY.  (and btw, I wouldn't spend $18K on that but maybe I'm just stupid).  What do you think, Mia?!

  • Greg using "Earth Therapeutics" hot socks when he has migraines. I went to wash the outside covers this morning because they looked dirty but actually they were all burnt, outside and also the inside bag that hold the seeds (you heat up the whole thing in the microwave) had burned through!  Ugh. I would try to make a new inside bag with rice, but with the rain in the forecast, he'll probably need a hot sock tonight and I don't want the pressure of trying to fix that today so I will stop by Publix and get him a new one this morning.

  • I forgot to use the Amazon Visa at Subway, which would have earned me 2% in Rewards. I used the Amex instead, which only gives us 1% back in restaurants.  Poop.

  • What's worse is that while I was standing in line, I saw that I had an email from our credit union reminding us that we were eligible for 10% back on their Visa card until November (they switched us from Mastercard to Visa back in May). So for 3 months, we could have been earning 10% back on our purchases if we had used that Visa card. Arrgh. And did I use it when it was time to pay at Subway?  Nooooope.  Arrgh x2!  Arrgh #3: and again even though I was actively thinking: I need to remember to tell Greg to only use that Visa card between now and November 15, I charged the school supplies to the Amazon Visa card.  Good.grief.

  • The new Swagbucks "To Do List" is a failure for me. The 6th task that I accomplished was taking a survey via their "Answer" link.  The 40 SB survey wasn't credited, I didn't get the 1SB credit for taking a survey and I didn't get the bonus for having completed 6 out of 7 tasks!  Grrrr. So I emailed Customer Service.  Update: hooray!  They credited me for the survey and also for the bonus that I should have earned (only 2 SB but better than nothing!). I also reached my 1st goal today so I'll get a tiny bonus next month (5 SB).

  • Made my bed
  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Boiled eggs for snacks
  • Checked on the garden
  • Swept and spot mopped the kitchen
  • Planned errands for the rest of the week
  • Took a customer satisfaction survey
  • Made Greg's bed
  • Called AC Repair company and made appointment for tomorrow morning
  • Did the laundry
  • Attended the high school orientation
  • Wrote a menu
  • Emailed my BFF to invite her out to dinner
  • Got my son's schedule corrected
  • Helped him locate his classrooms
  • Ran errands
  • Made my daughter's bed and put fresh towels in her bathroom
  • Vacuumed the Focus and the Expedition
  • Cleaned both car's dashboards and other surfaces
  • Febreezed the Expedition
  • Did the dishes
  • Made Grape Nuts (first bake)
  • Ordered geometry school supplies
  • Posted "Welcome Home" signs for daughter
  • Cooked dinner
  • Changed both air filters in the furnaces

  • For pleasant staff at the orientation this morning.  My son's schedule was inaccurate, but we went to Guidance and a counselor took care of us right away and switched him out of Team Sports and offered him a spot in E-Commerce.  He was very crestfallen to see Team Sports on his schedule as he had taken the online Health & Fitness class to fulfil the P.E. credit requirement for graduation and he had had P.E. every single semester of middle school and he really dislikes any sports, lol.

  • For a former cross country team mate of my son's and his family obvious delight at seeing us at orientation and their interest and pride in my son as the mom mentioned how proud she had been of him when hearing about his 3rd highest GPA accomplishment during the last quarter of 8th grade.  I felt horrible as I hadn't seen them since cross country last fall and had forgotten not only their son's name but also where we knew them from. The son will have one class with my son this year, which delighted him.

  • That my kids don't qualify for free or reduced lunches from school.  Confession: this year the school district mailed the free and reduced lunch program applications to our house.  In the past they handed them out to all the students, which was already was wasteful because we don't qualify for those programs anyway so ours just get recycled, but now the taxpayers get to pay for postage as well.  It annoys me from a frugal POV, but I can see how some parents might not get the paperwork from the kids or the kids not turning it in at the school, so mailing it might reach more people.  My confession is that I'm cheap enough that every year, I have a little pang of disappointment that my kids will have to pay full price for whatever food they buy from the school. How stupid is it to feel this way?  Seriously.  We have to pay to pay full price for my kids' lunches (if they choose to eat at the school) because Greg makes a good living.  Would I prefer that we have to stress over our bills just so that I can say my kids get free lunches?Sometimes, I want to smack myself :)  So this year, I am regretfully (because of the waste of paper and postage money) but gratefully recycling the applications.  Yes you heard it here first: there are some freebies that I am grateful for not receiving :)

  • That we do have the option for my son to catch the free school bus and be dropped off less than 100 ft away from our house.  I didn't anticipate using this benefit but now I'm thinking we might, at least until my son gets his permit next year.  I'm grateful that the bus stop is right there so I can keep an eye on any shenanigans that might occur (because there's been drama at the bus stop before) and close enough to the school that he won't be on a bus longer than 10 minutes at the most.

  • For free shipping and good sales from Staples.  Getting the list of supplies in my cart took me less than 5 minutes and won't cost me more than getting them at a very overcrowded Walmart. Plus I'll get all kinds of rewards so woohoo.


  1. I was at Bok Towers in the 1980's. Was beautiful!

    1. It is lovely over there. Were you there for the carillon concerts?

  2. If I had an extra $18K to spend like that, I wouldn't be on swagbucks. LOL. I don't have any referrals, except for my daughter and she didn't really like it. LOL.

    1. Same here! The only referral I ever had was my son but he never even tried to create an account, I think. He was excited about Bing Rewards but then never qualified for it after I referred him.

    2. I'm so glad your daughter is coming home tonight, I bet you can't wait to see her. Your such a good mum putting clean sheets on her bed and lowering the zircon. Have a lovely evening with her Nathalie xxx

  3. I shouldn't be commenting today on your blog because I am in a very foul mood. But then I remembered that your daughter is home, so you will be so happy you won't even notice my grouchiness *wink*

    What is with all these gratitudes? Do they come that easily to you, or do you have to labour over them? I guess for starters, you have to be in a pleasant mood. I will try harder tomorrow.

    1. No, here's the weird thing: once I start thinking about things to be grateful about, my grouchiness tends to evaporate! I get annoyed easily and then I relay my annoyance to Greg at dinnertime, which results in him blaming me for everything because he thinks I'm just the biggest b***h in the world, and then he doesn't want to take me anywhere because he thinks I spend my time confronting people and being very obnoxious. He doesn't get that I behave quite fine in public, seethe in the inside, and vent at home because I don't have friends or co-workers to vent to, lol. Anyhoo, I'm trying to change all that and the whole gratitude thing is working (who would have thunk? I have Bless to thank for this). I even pointed out to my BFF all the things she should be grateful for instead of feeling sorry for herself today. She is kind enough not to tell me to shut... the door up, and I understand how, when you're grumpy, it's so annoying that someone tells you to cheer up, but I'm telling you the gratitude exercise works. Maybe you should try it? I don't usually know what I'm going to type until I start typing it so I'm not even making it up, it just comes out quite naturally, now.

      Anyhow, I'm so sorry you're grumpy. Since I'm far away and you can't hit me, I'm going to come close and give you a virtual ((HUG)). So there. All better?

  4. Hope your daughter arrived home, safe and sound. Hope Greg didn't get another headache due to the atmospheric pressure changes.

    After reading your post, I've decided I shall boil a couple of eggs and make some egg salad for sandwiches, this week. It sounds like something I might like to eat.

    Hope you have a lovely week, Nathalie.

    1. Oooh, I'm glad I could be the one inspiring YOU for a change, lol!

      Enjoy your egg salad. I hope you have a great week too.


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!