Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Errands Tuesday ~ 8/16/16

I went to bed at 10:15 p.m. with my Beginner's Guide to Hummingbirds that came in from Amazon yesterday and read up on them and the Ruby Throated Hummingbird since that's the kind we see most often here.  I slept soundly until 2:30 a.m. when my bladder woke me up and then I tossed and turned until about 5 a.m.  I guess I was anxious about Greg leaving for an indeterminate amount of time.  Thankfully I felt back asleep and I was fine when I had to get up at 6 a.m. and I drove to the airport without feeling tired, even without any coffee (I didn't want to have to stop to use a bathroom somewhere).  I did have a PBJ and some water. I usually don't eat breakfast quite that early so I might have to eat lunch earlier today.

Luckily I was busy this morning. I had about an hour at home to drink my first cup of coffee and then I had to take the 2 older cats to the vet's for their annual check-up.  They let themselves be picked up quite easily, I was relieved because I thought I might have to chase at least one of them all over the place and we were off to our appointment.

They've been on weight management, urinary track supportive prescription food for a year and Greg swore they had gotten fatter regardless.  So I was relieved to see that Mean Cat had actually lost 0.2 lb while Male Cat put on 0.7 lbs but the vet wasn't worried about it because he noticed that his bladder was full.  He does have slightly tender hind quarters, though, and I had noticed that he didn't jump on Greg's lap as smoothly as he used to so the vet gave me a sample of joint support supplement to try on both of them.    Otherwise, they got their shots and everything is fine.  So new rabies and county licenses have been obtained and I'll make sure to put them where I'll find them (I spent this whole year looking for their licenses, I knew I had gotten them but couldn't figure out where they were!).

Now it's 10:30 a.m. and I haven't gotten started on chores and I have no motivation.  I don't feel like getting on the bike either.  Ugh.  Maybe after I eat something.

The muggy weather is starting to annoy me as I cannot take any pictures, it's so frustrating! I need to research how people deal with this, maybe there's a defogging spray that I can use.

Update: I spoke to Greg briefly tonight and he confirms that his dad's is in very poor health and apparently it happened pretty much overnight. He was strong at the rehab clinic and was able to walk around pretty well. then he came home and the next morning, he had deteriorated a lot.  There's also a concern about his mental state. It's unclear whether he is having delusions or if he's just in denial that his body is going faster than he is willing to accept, but he insists that he's able to do tasks that he's in no condition to do.  So Greg will definitely talk to the doctor about that but I'm concerned that the appointment is in one week. It doesn't sound like anyone has reached out to the doctor to update him on the dad's deterioration, I don't know.

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)
    • Do the dishes - my daughter did them.
    • Vacuum living room
    • Sweep breezeway
    • Sweep and mop downstairs bathroom
    • Spray bleach in shower stall
    • Scrub downstairs toilet
    • Put Greg's laundry away
    • Make a car deodorant pad for my SUV
    • Clean the fridge
    • Wash both cat litter boxes
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Dehydrate pineapples 
  • 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
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Spray water on the hibiscus for aphids and mealybugs
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Check on the passion flower vine - Done and it's dead :(
    • Check on the seedlings and water as needed 
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
    • Use recumbent bike - Done
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises  
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal - Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards - Done
  • 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
    • 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
    • Mail package (Wednesday) - Done

  • Greg and I had PBJs at home and brought drinks from home for the trip to the airport.  

  • I dropped him off at the Departures area and came home right away so no airport parking fees.

  • He flew Southwest so he didn't have to pay extra for checked bags or what not.

  • His parents decided to go pick him up from the airport so he won't have to take an expensive taxi.  I'm kind of worried about an elderly lady driving his cancer-patient dad and herself to the airport so I told Greg he probably should drive them home!

  • Our son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I'm assuming that he rode to the bus to school fine since it doesn't seem that the Focus was moved and my daughter is still in bed :)

  • I brewed a pot of free coffee from Wawa.

  • I earned a few SB.  I don't know how but I seem to have earned more than 200 team points already and my team was in first place this morning. However my 1st daily goal is 80 SB and I couldn't qualify for any survey so I probably won't reach it.  Update: the nGage and Jun Group videos must count for the team challenge because at 11 a.m. I'm up to 490 team points!  Woohoo, this means I will get a Swag-Up award, as long as I can earn enough SB to redeem for a gift card this month... I'll need 2,500  and I'm only up to 984 as of now.

  • I uploaded the new Healthy Offer of the Week on SavingStar (plums).

  • My vet gave me a few samples of joint supplement for the cats to let me decide whether I want to buy them, moving forward, or not.

  • My glasses are back from the lab (they were changing the prescription since it was too strong, I thought) so I'm going to go get them this afternoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't have to pay extra.

  • There are 4 large tuna patties and some couscous leftover from dinner last night so I won't have to cook much tonight, yay!  Plus I get to report one meal to next week's menu :)

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • I reached my Swagbucks 1st Daily Goal and also qualified for a 7-day winning streak, which will give me a 25SB bonus next month.

  • I went to pick up my new glasses and there was no charge.  However, the nurse and I discussed that I might need trifocals now because that medium distance is still blurry. I decided to try wearing them for a few days. They were great in the car, which was an improvement, but I still have blurry vision on the laptop because it's at the distance where neither the bottom part of the bifocals nor the top works great.   I can't get new glasses again until January and my insurance won't cover the trifocals (or progressive lenses, I can't remember now) so my co-pay would probably be around $70.

  • I wanted to take advantage of having to go out to Clermont again today to run a couple of errands so I could save time tomorrow. But when I came out of the optometrist, it was raining so I skipped going to the thrift store. I did go to Save A Lot to see if anything was marked down but it was busy and if anything had been, it had been snapped up so I didn't buy anything.  Then I stopped at the post office and mailed a package and then at the library to return a couple of books and one of the DVD sets that I had borrowed.

  • It rained a little bit while I was gone.  It actually poured in Clermont but only drizzled here.
Proof that it rained!

  • I had an offer in my SB inbox for 2 SB that I completed but didn't receive the SB so I emailed Customer Service.  They credited me with the 2 SB.

  • I really didn't feel like it today but I made myself exercise... for free on my recumbent bike.  Woohoo!

  • My son came home so I asked him how the bus pick-up had gone and he said fine. The girl we had seen on the first day was waiting for the bus so I guess she shows up after we've already left.  I asked my son "So you're OK taking the bus again tomorrow then?" and he said "OK."  So I guess I'm off the hook?  I'm feeling extremely guilty about it but maybe he's sick of my raging at other drivers in the morning, LOL.

  • I was able to request 3 samples from PinchMe today.  I'll use the Starbucks Kcups in my regular coffee pot.  I'll donate the cat food to the shelter and I guess I'll use the pain relieving cream next time I have a need for it.

  • The Guidance Counselor finally replied to my email and said she would drop my daughter from the high school classes she had been assigned to by mistake.  Phew!

  • My daughter and her BFF drove to the School Board's offices  and then to the State College to return the college textbooks from the summer classes they took and pick up the new ones for the semester that starts next week.  No cost to us, aside from the gas to get there.

  • Ace Hardware emailed me 2 coupons, one of them I think I already got in the mail... but my coupon organizer is in my car right now and I'm too tired to go get it!

  • I put Season 5 and Season 6 of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on hold from my library system.

  • I entered my exercise in Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 120 BR points.

  • I continued running nGage and JunGroup videos on my laptop in the afternoon while watching my LOCI library DVD on the TV... and managed to reach my 2nd goal!  Woohoo!  The thing is, though, I'm only doing this today because I feel tired with the lack of sleep and the gray weather is also making me tired.  But the rest of this week, I need to get up and do some chores!

  • I went to buy the tickets for the Lowry Park Zoo online but they wanted to charge me a $2 "convenience fee" which I felt was bullshit so we will stand in line and avoid the $2 charge.  Also, we cannot bring any outside food or beverage in the park and we are trying to be on a diet so I think I'll pack us a picnic lunch as we can always come out and go back inside.

  • For dinner I had the rest of the couscous from last night but I cooked pasta for the kids. We all had leftover tuna patties. I had had a craving for creamed spinach ever since Live & Learn had asked if I had had some recently but I only had canned mustard greens, so I made creamed mustard greens instead by adding some light sour cream to them along with a little bit of salt and oregano. It was pretty good and very low-cal.

  • Gas and tolls to drive to the airport and back
  • Gas to drive to the vet's and back
  • $231 in vet's fees, Yikes. Hopefully they don't have to go back for another year!
  • Gas for my daughter to go pick up her college textbooks
  • Gas to drive to the eye doctor and run errands
  • Postage to mail a package
  • Greg had to buy a cable, mouse and keyboard from BestBuy so he could hook up his laptop to an old VGA monitor and conduct his presentations, and also some replacement laces for his boots since the ones I had ordered didn't come in before he left.

  • I could have gotten off the turnpike an exit earlier to save some money on tolls, but the turnpike, even though it's 3 minutes further away, is a straight shot without any traffic lights or heavy traffic (going North) and I just wanted to get home and have a cup of coffee!

  • Made a PBJ for myself and Greg in the morning
  • Drove him to the airport
  • Took two cats to the vet's
  • Took down the hummingbird feeders to wash them
  • Cuddled with Male Cat as he was distraught upon coming back from the vet's
  • Made appointment to go pick up my new glasses this afternoon
  • Emailed Guidance counselor since we still haven't heard back from her
  • Ran errands
  • Mailed package
  • Returned library materials
  • Brought the trash cans back up the driveway
  • Picked up cat vomit and poop off the floor (grrr!)
  • Exercised
  • Brewed a new pot of "iced" herbal tea
  • Cooked dinner for the kids, warmed up leftovers for myself
  • Replied to blog comments and commented on blogs

  • Used my recumbent bike for 45 minutes. I pedaled faster today and was able to "ride" for 9 miles!
  • Once again I have calories left at the end of the day, but I'll be having a small piece of pie to eat them all :)  I'm proud of myself that I didn't break down and eat something when I felt hungry as I was tossing and turning last night (I drank water instead) and when I really wanted a 2nd lunch this afternoon (instead, I had some Wasa crackers with thinly sliced Black Forest turkey from Aldi).

  • For an easy drive to the airport and back
  • For caring and cheerful vet clinic staff
  • For relatively healthy and well-behaved cats!
  • For the school bus picking up my son this morning
  • For a good flight for Greg
  • For some rain today

(this is for Laura since she said she likes seeing pictures of other people's pets)

So true... I must have been a cat in all my previous lives!

Male cat waiting his turn in the examining room. The door stopper looks a little scary, wouldn't you say?!

Mean Cat was very spooked. She hates going anywhere, hates people (wait... she's ME!) and always hides when we take her to the vet's.

Male cat was exploring, but nervous. They've both been there before but they acted as if they had never been. It must be all the scents from the other animals that spook them. Still, the vet said my cats were "very well behaved".

She looks angelic, doesn't she?  She's a fur-producing machine!

Male cat was pretty spooked so I sat down on the ground to help calm them down. He came to have me pet him but she didn't leave her hiding place under the chairs.

After a while I got up because I'm so ungracious doing that and I didn't want any witnesses, lol!
Mean Cat decided that maybe it was safer for her to get back into the carrier. Oh no, you don't!

So she went to hide between the examining table and the wall. There was really no other place for her to go!
 I didn't take any pictures after that. They were weighed and got their shots and we discussed joint support supplements.  They were both very happy to return to their carriers and then, once we got home, they both bolted out of them as if they were on fire!  Weird cats.

After a while, I had to investigate as Male Cat kept on crying out, which is unusual for him.  So I sat on the couch in the "cat room" (which is our entry room) and petted him for a while to comfort him.   ended up with tons of cat hair all over me.

New Kitty came out to see what was going on.  Yep, that's my laundry still on the rack there on the left.

Nothign like a little butt scratch to calm a worried cat!

Meanwhile Mean Cat was striking a pose. She often sits like that.

New Kitty decided to go play with my laundry for a while, She was quite funny and I filmed her and emailed the movie to Greg and our son as they enjoy cat antics.

Then she just sat there and stared at me. She refused to jump on my lap or on the couch next to me, she just stares. Very unsettling. I think she's planning my demise.

Meanwhile Male Cat was busy trying to transfer as much cat hair from his coat to my lap. And my T-shirt.

The end.

(well, after that came the moment, about an hour later, when i realized that probably Male Cat had thrown up and pooped on the floor too!  We won't be documenting what came out of my mouth when I saw the poop on the ground. No it wasn't vomit. It was a lot of cuss words. Ugh.)


My zombie celery has grown so much in just a couple of days!

The periwinkles are thriving indoors. I don't really want to plant them outdoors yet.

This is the weirdest, most atrophied rose I have ever seen! It was just a little bloom yesterday.

The sweet potato vine is very aggressive... again!

More basil blooms. I'm leaving them instead of pinching them back in hopes that the bees and
butterflies will come back.

And the result is lots of baby basil plants that grew after I had spread the seeds from the dried up blooms in their planter(s).

These are all baby vincas!

More baby basil!

A small strawberry is growing.

And a few more strawberry flowers bloomed.

The cone flowers have had it, I think.

My passion flower vine has died!  I guess you can't transplant them so easily :(

Almost all the pineapple plants that I had harvested are regrowing new shoots!

One of the eggplants I need to harvest. The problem is, I'm the only one who likes them, they really upset Greg's stomach.
So I've been harvesting them but not doing anything with them, not even freeze them. Eventually, they end up in the compost. I know, Susan!

The lettuce that had reseeded itself  is still growing but I think it's about to bolt too.

Baby tomato plants that had reseeded themselves.

My zucchini plant died AGAIN.

I love the promise of a new rose in a couple of days!
How was your Tuesday?  Did it rain where you live?


  1. Loved all your cat pictures. Your Mean Cat looks a lot like our cat! Lucky you to get some rain. We haven't had any rain. I don't think your passion flower vine is quite dead, yet. The leaves have died, but the stem still looks green - leave it in place and it might leaf out again.

    1. Ha, I hadn't noticed that the stem was still green. Maybe you're right. A benefit of being lazy is that I wasn't planning on pulling it just yet, so it might work in my favor :)

      You're right, Dancer's coloring does look like Mean Cat's :)

  2. I LOVE the cat pics! One of my cats always wants to be on my lap. As in, the minute I sit down, she's there. If I sit on the couch that is a signal that I am willing to cuddle and she comes running from where ever she is in the house. Thanks so much for sharing. I will have to make an effort to capture some of our kitties on film, too.

    My cats all really hate the cat carrier. They know that when it comes out they are going to the vet. Or the snake tank is being cleaned, although I don't think they're aware of that as much. They are always super scared at the vets but it's the carrier that really makes them crazy. If I am putting them in myself I usually have to turn the carrier on end and dump them in that way. A visit to the vet is traumatic for us all.

    1. LOL, I had you in mind when I took those photos :)

      Your cuddly cat sounds like both Male Cat and New Kitty with our son. As soon as he sits down, one of them is on him. He does his school work or gaming on the PC with a cat sitting across his lap. I love cats but I can't stand it when someone wants to be on me or next to me all the time and they know it, lol. So they don't even try to jump on my lap UNLESS I'm sitting in my son's chair. It's so weird!

      I'm laughing at your turning the carrier upside down to get the cats out. I used to do that and stress about it because Male Cat has 6 toes on each foot so it makes it very hard to get him out when he's trying to stay IN, until one day I realized that I could take the top off the carrier... my smaller carriers have either hooks or screw-on caps that you can take off and then the top comes off. Doesn't yours? I haven't checked the larger carrier because I haven't really used it yet. Anyway, having to realign everything including the door to put the carrier back together is a small pain BUT it beats having to shake the carrier to get the darn cat to fall out and completely traumatizing it in the process (which is what we had to do, LOL.).

      Do you take all 6 cats at once?!

  3. We aren't on the same Swagbucks team this time :( I got an amazing amount of points so I am qualified but our team is running towards the bottom of the pack (I am the swimmer). I have made my total for 14 days and I am trying to get the 21 day total. Here is hoping that you get enough points to buy your gift card :) I know that is what I am working towards but I got it already!!

    I can't imagine that it would be fun to go to the vet with two cats who aren't interested in being there but I don't think that I realized that they walked around outside their cage...do they have rooms for dogs and rooms for cats so they don't smell dog smells?? I would think that they would be really irritated to smell dogs and other pets?

    1. Good job on reaching your daily goals and qualifying for your 14 day bonus!

      I don't think the rooms are separated for dogs and cats, as they also see other pets so I would imagine it would be impractical. My cats don't really know what a dog is since they're indoor cats, but Male Cat finds all the smells interesting. Mean Kitty just doesn't like change at all so being anywhere else than the kitchen or her favorite spot in the entry room stresses her, lol.

  4. I don't know why you berate yourself for not getting things done when you accomplish as much as you do in a day. Running errands is in fact enough work for one day. I would call that a successful day.

    Lots of great cat photos. They have such funny personalities. Great garden pictures too. And BTW, your passion flower vine is NOT dead yet.

    So sorry to hear about Greg's dad not doing so well. I hope that Greg does not wait a week until the next appointment. His doctor's office should be notified I think. It is small wonder that his mom asked for help. She must be very relieved to have Greg there.

    1. Oh, I don't think I berate myself. Just being honest about not doing much at all :)

      Both you and Bless agree that my passion flower vine isn't dead so I'll just let it sit there longer, but I need to remember to water it, then. It's at the back of the garden so I always forget to go there. I was hoping that, as a native plant, I wouldn't have to do anything, ha.

      Yeah, I hope Greg tries to move the appointment up or at least calls the doctor's office to update them, but it's not really in his temperament. Maybe his sister will. We didn't get to talk much this morning as he was called for help as we were on the phone and then he was going to try and do some work and I went grocery shopping. So I don't know what the latest news is.

  5. Hahahaaha, I cannot even imagine the chaos of taking all six cats to the vet at the same time. I don't think we even have enough carriers (which we need to rectify, as I worry about that if there were to be a hurricane). We are lucky to have a vet very close to us so we just stagger their visits every other month. We have to purchase special food and medication for two of the cats as well, so sometimes I feel like I live there.

    I actually turn the carrier on end to get them IN. For some reason it's a lot quicker and less traumatic all around if I do it this way as opposed to trying to get them in horizontally. We do just unsnap the lid at the vet's office as otherwise they wouldn't come out.

    1. I can't imagine your vet bill! I just spent $231 this morning just for their check-up and annual shots, I don't even think that the vet checked Mean Kitty very thoroughly to tell you the truth. They used to clip their nails for free, then they started charging $11 without warning us first and now they don't even bother. The visit was very, very brief but I guess the cats are OK. I'm thinking about looking into pet insurance as those two are getting older. Not sure if it'd be worth it or not.

      Oh OK, now this makes sense! I need to remember to do this, as I always end up sticking a thumb into some cat's butthole trying to get them into the carrier on our way to the vet's, lol. When it's time to come home, though, they can't get in there fast enough, lol!

  6. I'm sorry to hear that Greg's dad is so poorly, perhaps Greg can get his dads appointment moved up now he is there.

    Yay for your son catching the bus, don't feel guilty. If we had a free bus service to school my kids would be on it every day.

    Well done on cycling 9 miles that's brilliant, and for being under your calorie allowance. You are doing really well xx

    1. It was so nice not to have to deal with the idiots this morning that I'm done feeling guilty about him taking the bus, lol. If it pours in the morning, though, I'll drive him. I'm still going to get up extra early, just in case, plus I'm a little more productive that way.

      I get to weigh myself tomorrow morning, I hope I lost some weight but with my period being imminent (hopefully), I don't know how it'll turn out. So I'm trying to tell myself not to be disappointed if I didn't lose anything!

  7. I love the picture of new Kitty just staring at you. It's so funny. I use to have a cat, Max, that did that while I was in the bathroom! lol. He would sit up on the counter and just stare. Freaky. LOL. Our SB team is winning!!!!

    1. Maybe he wanted tips on applying make-up? That's hysterical!

      Are we winning?! I haven't checked our status for a while. Yay! Go us! I'm up to 2,470 team points, way more than I would earn!

  8. Your cat pics are just too cute - really show all their personalities! My cat used to love the laundry rack, too (but the tripod really was her favorite thing to circle and rub up against).

    1. Thank you! I still think it's weird that your cat loved the camera tripod so much, lol!


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