Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Domestic Tuesday aka Domestic Monday Part Two ~ Tuesday 8/23/16

Rinse and repeat: I went to bed watching an episode of Law & Order SUV on my Kindle Fire and didn't sleep enough but slept like a baby and woke up actually feeling much better than yesterday morning.

I'll tell you that I feel extremely lucky to have a kid who, after spending the summer getting up very late, took to waking up at 6 a.m. without complaining and who also took to taking the bus from and then also to school without any complaints.  He's awesome. And I'm really loving that he's taking the bus and that I don't have to fight bad drivers of doing the school shuttle. I do need to check into him joining the FLBA (Future Business Leaders of America). He was on board with it before summer since, as a 9th grader, he cannot join NHS for some unknown reason, but I'm thinking that now he doesn't want to do it anymore, mostly because he is not a group joiner, pretty much like his mom.  But yesterday he didn't go volunteering at the library either and I can feel him slipping when I need him to start focusing more on opportunities and activities that will benefit not only him but also others.  So we need to talk about this at some point this week.

He finally got assigned a real Geometry teacher. He'd had a sub since the beginning of the year (which was almost 2 weeks ago). He has rejoined a class that had had that teacher since the beginning of the year and who declared that the new students, including my son, are "very far behind". Great. However, she didn't assign any homework last night so it's unclear how she plans on catching them up.  Math is already his weakest subject so I worry.  There is a meeting with teachers (one of those that's held in the cafeteria and you can't hear anything they say and it's pandemonium, I wish they would organize it differently) but it's not until September 13.  I might email her tonight after I hear if a plan was discussed today.  Update: well he has work to complete before the end of the week. That school has implemented "personalized learning" so the kids supposedly learn at their own pace (which is negated by the teacher's comment that they were very far behind, IMO).  So he can access the computerized learning from home and plans on working on it when he gets home every afternoon and evening.

Also: he scored 100% on his AP Human Geography project that he worked on his summer. Woohoo!

Greg is definitely not coming back until mid-week next week at the earliest: they're at the doctor's this morning and his dad will probably get another immunotherapy session today but since the weekend his sister, who is about 32 weeks pregnant (he keeps on misremembering her due date so it keeps being pushed back, I thought she was due next month), developed high blood pressure and is now on bedrest because of the risk of preeclampsia.  She is seeing the doctor next on Thursday and they may decide for her to have an emergency C-section!  There's nothing she can do about that but my mother-in-law is back to being extremely stressed (she and her daughter are very close and the daughter does help a bit) so when Greg leaves, she'll truly be on her own as the daughter just won't be able to cope with either a high-risk pregnancy or a premature baby AND helping her parents.  So Greg won't decide what to do until later on in the week.

Update: he's going to wait until Thursday to decide but it looks like he might come back this weekend as the weekend flights seem to be about the same price as the middle of the week flights, coming in to Orlando.  His dad's doctor wanted him to go through 2 more immunotherapy sessions before remeasuring the tumors so the remeasurement won't happen for another month now.  His sister is going to the doctor's tomorrow so we'll know whether she's getting a C-section this week or not.  As far as the spots on the liver, the doctor said that the only way to know for sure what they are is to do surgery which nobody thinks is a good idea. There's a high probability that they are cancerous tumors anyway so if the lung tumors show shrinkage in a month, then the liver tumors would have shrunk too, and then they'll go from there.  As far as hiring someone to be home, Greg and his sister discussed it but they don't think there is a need right now.  His dad is still able to take care of himself quite a bit and there's really nothing really physical that his mom needs to do. What's most needed right now is emotional help for the mom and Greg said that his parents are doing much better since he's been there.  I just wonder what will happen when he leaves.  So we're all in a hold pattern for now.

On to the Dreaded To Do List!  Why do I post so many tasks when I accomplish so few of them?  Well, it's because if I don't read down this list every day in this very spot, then I will forget that I eventually need to do all those things and they won't get done. It's as easy as that!  I add things every day and I take some off too, but that's the backbone of what I need to be doing. I'm not in a rush to cross off a lot of things because as soon as they're crossed off, I need to re-add them. So why bother?!  Yes, I should consider NEVER dusting and then I wouldn't need to have it on the list at all. Sigh.

  • 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) - in progress
    • 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)
    • Declutter coffee table
    • Vacuum living room - Done
    • Sweep breezeway - Vacuumed
    • Sweep and mop downstairs bathroom- Vacuumed
    • Spray bleach in shower stall
    • Scrub downstairs toilet - Didn't need it
    • Make a car deodorant pad for my SUV
    • Sweep or vacuum my bedroom
    • Dust fan in exercise room
    • Clean the fridge
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put the laundry away 
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Dehydrate pineapples 
    • Bake a batch of Grape Nuts
    • Freeze the boiled chicken meat! - Will use it to make tetrazzini after all.
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
  • 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
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Check on the seedlings and water as needed 
    • Add water to pepper bins
    • Refill green bird feeder
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
    • Use recumbent bike- Done 
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises- Done
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal - Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards 
    • Weigh myself (Thursdays)
  • 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
    • Vacuum AC vent in kitchen
    • Greg to call plumber
    • Wash the bathroom ceiling with bleached water
    • Remind Greg to re-secure chicken wire to AC unit and also to block off opening under front of the house
    • Plan on taking car for oil change this week or next
  • 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 - in progress
    • 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
    • Look at sample ballot and research local candidates
    • Remove daughter's pc from her room and decide what to do with it
    • Shred the shredding pile
    • Sort coupons
    • Reply to my mom's email -Done
    • Return DVDs to library (Wednesday) - My son did it for me

  • I brewed a lot of free coffee from Wawa.

  • I froze a container of Spicy Black Bean Soup for chicken for a meal at a later time and put one serving in the fridge for my lunch today.

  • Last night, I strained the liquid left after boiling that chicken in an attempt to make "Better Than Bouillon"-like soup base.  It didn't work, after all, I just got some very dark stock and only about 24 oz of it. It's in the fridge and I'll use it in some soup this week.  I'm going to freeze the chicken meat in small portions for tacos and things like that.  

  • I used upcycled soup containers from the Chinese restaurant and an upcycled 32 oz yogurt container from Aldi to store/freeze the soup and the stock.  

  • My son packed a lunch for school.

  • He took the bus to and from school again today (yippee!).

  • My daughter only has afternoon classes today so she'll eat lunch at home.

  • I'm earning Swagbucks by playing nGage and JunGroup videos. Got disqualified from surveys again.  My 1st goal is 100 SB, I hope I reach it because I still haven't secured the 14 day streak.

  • I upped the temperature in the living room to 76F.  I should have done that as soon as Greg left last week but I forgot.

  • Gold'n Plump emailed me a $1.50 off chicken. I might be time to go back to SuperTarget this week to see if they have any on clearance and I probably also need to buy my berries there from now on. I need to take some Driscoll's surveys so I can print some coupons!

  • I was planning on freezing the boiled chicken meat but I came across this recipe for Chicken Broccoli Tetrazzini in an email from Pillsbury today.  Ever since Susan clued me on to using an electric Roaster Oven outdoors, I've been wanting to cook with my newly thrifted roaster more.  This would be perfect for it AND I could use up the chicken meat AND I have all the ingredients on hand apart from the cheese spread.  But I'm going shopping tomorrow... I might have to change my menu a little this week!

  • I reached my Swagbucks 2nd Daily Goal just in time for my 11 a.m. exercise session. Woohoo!  Now I'm free of Swagbucks for another 20 hours :)

  • I exercised for free in my home by using my recumbent bike. I had to watch another dumb episode of Dateline. Give me fake drama on SVU where people actually know that they're actors!  I need to stop watching Dateline, although I have to say the annoyance buoys my pedaling, lol!  Hey, and I also did strength exercises for 5 minutes while I was pedaling.

  • Thankfully I had my phone and Kindle to keep me mostly distracted while that dreadful show was on!  I caught up on blogs, tried to comment on some (but had to give up because it was just too frustrating), unlocked some offers, and earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • I unlocked a 20% off bananas offer on SavingStar. I always unlock those offers although I rarely redeem them since SavingStar only works in certain stores and I typically buy my bananas at Aldi or Save A Lot.

  • I went through Swagbucks to place an order on Shutterfly (see "Splurges") and will earn 1SB per dollar spent.  I also will earn 10% back in Rewards from our USAA Visa Rewards program.

  • Swagbucks credited me with 20 SB for redeemed coupons.  It's nice when it happens but I swear I'm not getting credited for all the coupons that I do use since I mostly use coupons that I print through Swagbucks.

  • I did more free genealogy research thanks to military and civil records put online by local regional departments in France.  One of my great grand uncles had a tattoo, how scandalous!  Another one was released from the French military in 1899 for "mental alienation". I'm dying to know what the back story was on that one.

  • P&G sent me a code for a free mug from Shutterfly so after checking the charge for international shipping directly from the company, I decided to order the mug that I had made for my mom several months ago.  I had picked pictures of the kids and me and also of my mom and all of us, taken on our trip to France last year, and I think she will enjoy that mug very much. I had to pay a slight overcharge for the type of mug that I had picked and then $14.99 for shipping, which was way cheaper than getting it shipped to me and then mailing it to my mom.  

  • None today!

  • Made my bed
  • Checked Greg's room for laundry to be put away but he had packed everything so I just took down the empty laundry basket back to the laundry room.
  • Froze the black bean soup leftovers
  • Collected the trash throughout the house and took the large bin down to the curb for collection.
  • My neighbor had forgotten to put his out when he left earlier today so he drove all the way home to do just that. I saw him as I was putting mine out and offered for him to just text me the next time so i would do it and he wouldn't have to drive back!
  • Defrosted meat for tonight and tomorrow's dinners
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Exercised
  • Brewed a pitcher of herbal tea
  • Placed an order
  • Dusted entry room, breezeway, living room, hallway (including baseboards)
  • Vacuumed living room, downstairs bathroom, hallway, exercise room, breezeway, entry room
  • Conducted genealogical research
  • Cooked dinner

  • I  pedaled on my recumbent bike for 56 minutes (10.12 miles).
  • I also used my 3-lb weights (so 6 lbs) to do biceps curls and triceps extensions (I think?!) for 5 minutes while I was pedaling.
  • I turned the motion sensor back on my phone so I can track how many steps I take every day since I usually have my phone on me.
  • I input my food intake and exercise into MyFitnessPal.
  • I spent an hour dusting and vacuuming. Yes, Bless, I did input that into MyFitnessPal. They didn't give me as much credit for it as I think I was due, though!

  • Technology can be very frustrating but although very useful. I was very happy to be able to use my smartphone and my tablet while exercising to be productive and distracted from the tediousness of exercising at the same time.
  • For fun conversations at the dinner table with my kids.
Any excitement in your life today?


  1. You were on fire today. All that dusting and vacuuming has put me to shame. Where are you getting your energy from? Is it the exercise regime you are on? I hesitate to tell you how impressed I am of your stamina this go round, because I don't want to jinx it.

    Congrats to your boy for getting the perfect score on his Geography this past summer. Woohoo. My major in University was Geography (which is a joke among my friends and family because I can't find my way out of a paper sack....no sense of direction)

    What a lovely, thoughtful gift for your Mom. It will be a keepsake.

    1. Thanks Susan. If that makes you feel better, I didn't do anything else than the shopping and then documenting the shopping today. It's kind of ridiculous but I didn't feel too guilty as at least the house was a bit cleaner :)

  2. By the way, Congrats on reaching your first weight loss goal. Yay!

    1. Aww thanks! My daughter scoffed at my "low" goal but I wasn't confident that I would lose anything as it's been hard for me in the past. I just hope it's a continuing trend!

  3. Glad to hear you are sleeping better. You had a very domestic Tuesday! Good for you! I, on the other hand, didn't do anything remotely domestic! Congratulations to your son on his excellent AP project grade. And that's great that he is getting up on time, taking the bus to and from school without a fuss.

    Hope everything will be fine with Greg's parents and sister. I, too, had hypertension and other problems, such as diabetes and hemorrhaging, when pregnant, plus I was in my late 30s, so was classified high risk and had to be on bed rest. My daughter was born 7 weeks premature through an emergency C-section. But everything turned out OK. I'm sure all will be OK for Greg's sister, too.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. Thanks, Bless!

      Thanks for sharing your story again. Yes, being premature doesn't seem to have affected your daughter much! I'm also glad that you made it through this high risk pregnancy unscathed. Greg's sister is also an older mom (she's in her early 40s) and this is her first baby. The good news is that her blood pressure seems to have stabilized so no C-section on the horizon, although Greg thinks that she is going to want to take it easy for the next 2 months.

  4. Wow on all the housework you got done! I'm with you on technology during exercise. I always listen to my iPod while walking or at the gym. One time I forgot my earbuds and I was totally lost! My husband always watches a TV show on his Kindle while he is on the treadmill, but I need music.

    1. Walking without music isn't the same, is it? When I walked on the trail (well, before I started taking pictures of every single flower and bird that I saw!), I would listen to music on my iPod and then iPhone. But with the recumbent bike, I get bored since the scenery doesn't change so I have the TV on, and then I have my phone and my Kindle too because it seems that I can't do just one thing at a time anymore. That's kind of sad. But it sure makes that darn exercising time go by much faster, which is always a plus.


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