Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lunch with a Friend ~ Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hey, wasn't it just yesterday that we were all lamenting the end of July already?  And now it's August 25th.  Good grief, I swear the days goes by faster as you get older!

On one hand I can't wait for summer to be over, although we don't really have a "fall" season here. Our tree leaves typically fall in February and in the past years it's been quite warm and even hot up until January or so. I do hope that we can have some weeks when we don't have to have the AC running and we can open the windows before the cold snap does come in.  I also hope the allergy season isn't as bad as last year, but I think that my own sensitivity is increasing so there's probably not much hope for fewer symptoms.

On the other hand, we're approaching the busiest time of year for hurricanes here in Florida: September and October. I wish we were past those months already, as they make me quite anxious every year.  There is a tropical wave in the Atlantic right now which they say might affect Florida this weekend, which is when Greg might fly back.  A lot of "mights" but me being me, I'm already worrying about it and checking the National Hurricane Center's website.  There's just too much desolation all around (fires in California, dreadful flooding in Louisiana, earthquakes in Italy and Myanmar...) to ignore potential warnings.  Although, a lot of what we do focuses on living comfortably during a storm or after a storm hits (stocked pantry, emergency supplies, generator...) but what would we do if our house was destroyed or too damaged to be occupied?  What if Greg's office was destroyed?  I think of those poor people in Louisiana, particularly, because it's not so far from Florida.  I think of all the people who didn't have flood insurance because they were told they didn't need it.  A few years back, I took a flood insurance policy.  We're not in a flood plain so our annual premium is  about $450 a year.  Greg was dead against it. Well, too bad, I'm paying it every year. I don't even know if he knows that we have the policy. But I see articles like these too often and that weather patterns are changing, I don't care what the deniers are saying.  If anything, having the policy helps with my anxiety level somewhat, and let me tell you, I'd probably spend more than $400 on drug co-pays if I got a prescription for Xanax AND my house still wouldn't be protected in a storm.  So these days, I'm not as anxious about Hurricane Season as much as I was in the past (plus we don't have 6 little kids and pets to worry about in the middle of all of this anymore). But I'm hoping it's another mild year for us all.

On to more pleasant thoughts: I'm having lunch with a friend today!  My former supervisor from when I worked at the local elementary school and I try to have lunch once a month. She's a real estate agent and investor nowadays and it's very interesting to listen to her speak about her business. My daughter is the same age as her youngest daughter and used to be volleyball teammates so it's interesting to talk about their different paths in life and chat about our other kids and husbands.  Her husband had gotten laid off last time we met, back in June, I think, and I hope he was able to secure another job. He's in IT so you'd think it wouldn't be so hard, but we live in a pretty rural area, still, and sadly he's "older" so we all know that chances of getting employment are much reduced as you get older.  I was musing, yesterday, that if I had any entrepreneurial spirit, I would like to have a company that hires only older people who haven't been able to find another job after a layoff. But that would be illegal since you can't discriminate on the basis of age, even though I'd be trying to help those who have been discriminated against.  Sigh.  Sometimes I think that all those "protections" really don't protect anyone.  How do you prove that you weren't hired because you're over 50? Wow, my more pleasant thoughts paragraph once again are turning to depressing thoughts. Quick!  I must summon some happy thoughts...

Well, why quit now?  Moving on to My Ever Depressing and Never Shrinking To Do List! (Gah!  I just realized that I had made a huge grammatical mistake in yesterday's post title.  So, so sorry! My brain is turning to mush. Yesterday I had to ask my daughter was 1/8 + 1/8 was, as I was trying to adjust my portion size in MyFitnessPal.  I was talking about 2 slices of pizza and I had the actual visual representation that 2 slices were 1/4 of a pizza, but then I threw a simple addition of fractions into the mix and my brain panicked and I blanked out.  I felt very, very stupid when she told me the answer! Kind of like I'm feeling now about forbid/forbidden.  I have fixed that post title, btw).

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 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
    • Spray bleach in shower stall
    • Make a car deodorant pad for my SUV - Done
    • Sweep or vacuum my bedroom - Done
    • Dust fan in exercise room
    • Clean the fridge
    • Fold the laundry- Done
    • Put the laundry away - Done
    • Sweep laundry room
    • Sweep front porch
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Dehydrate pineapples 
    • Bake a batch of Grape Nuts (Saturday)
    • Make Chicken Tetrazzini with chicken meat from fridge (Saturday)
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
  • 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
    • Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
  • 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 (in September)
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays)
  • 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
  • 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 - Done
    • Record details of grocery receipts into spreadsheet
    • Write Grocery Shopping post
    • Prep August Food Expenses post
    • Clip new coupons - Done
    • Sort new coupons

  • I brewed a pot of free coffee from Wawa (won it in a sweepstakes earlier this summer) and drank it from my free coffee mug from Wawa (same prize package!).

  • My son took a packed lunch to school.

  • And he took the school bus again today!

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • I am continuing to earn Swagbucks by running Ngage and JunGroup videos on my laptop. I got disqualified from all the surveys I attempted, grr.  My 1st Daily Goal today is 101 SB. I have about 2,400 SB right now and I'm trying to decide whether to order a gc once I reach 2500 and get that 50 SB swag-up from the team challenge, or just wait until September 1st and only spend 2,200.  I guess the former?  Arrgh, I'm not good at this.

  • SavingStar credited me with the $0.26 cents from the banana purchase from yesterday.

  • Last night IHeartPublix posted a link to BOGO coupons for naan bread and that bread is on BOGO sale at Publix starting today so since the restaurant I'm going to for lunch is right next door to Publix, I will swing by and hopefully get the free naan bread. This time I'll keep it in the fridge. That is... if I can find room for it!

  • McDonald's sent an email that there will be another offer for free fries with any purchase tomorrow, via the app.  I didn't take advantage of the same offer earlier this week or of the freebie offer for a sausage burrito yesterday (but only because it was too late when I saw it!) so I probably won't take advantage of this one either :(

  • I placed a Glade gel insert from an electric dispenser-type of deodorizer in my car to make it smell better as it still smells musty (I suspect the many cardboard boxes in my trunk that I use as trunk organizers for when I go shopping).  I couldn't find the old clip that I meant to attach it to so I could clip it to my air vent.  Yesterday while at Target I was looking to bite the bullet and purchase one but this whole time I thought the brand was Glade and I had been printing Glade coupons when it fact the brand is Febreze and I didn't have any coupons. So I'll be looking for some but in the meantime, just placing the gel insert on my dashboard will work.  I bought those on clearance with coupons a couple of years ago so it's costing me pennies, too, which is nice.

  • I uploaded a few new digital coupons to my Publix digital wallet. They changed the look of the coupons again, all style and no substance. Once again, a change that actually makes things worse. Well, for people like me who have vision problems!  The top colored background is what attract your eyes, although it doesn't give you any information save the value of the coupon, and then you have to consciously refocus your eyes to the white portion while trying to see the tiny product image. Yes, I do wear glasses! This whole page just gives me a headache. So I emailed the Customer Service department at Inmar. I'm sure they have a file on my somewhere with a big "this woman is a PITA!" warning at the top :)  It was much better and easier on the eyes when the background was all white!  Once again, they need to hire older graphic designers!
It might not look so bad to you, but when it's a full page of those in their original size and the blurriness of the colored background at at the top of each coupon forces your eyes to try focus and unfocus continuously, it's quite bad!
  • I exercised for free in my home for an hour (weights, recumbent bike).

  • SavingStar announced a freebie, which is perfect timing since I'll be going to Publix this afternoon anyway :)

  • And the next season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent is waiting for me at the library so I'll also stop by to get it this afternoon.

  • This year, the FAFSA can be filed as early as 10/1 and the early bird catches the worm. My daughter won't likely qualify for anything else than unsubsidized loans thanks to her scholarships (Bright Futures and the scholarship that I had won for her back when she was in 5th grade) and the money her dad put aside for her in a small prepaid tuition fund, and shouldn't need any of them the first couple of years at the very least, but it's mandatory to fill out that nightmarish, unnecessarily intrusive form (I don't believe parental income should be part of the equation at all!  This isn't the kid's money, this is the money that parents need for their lives and retirement!) so we might as well do it as soon as possible.  I put a couple of reminders on my calendar. Update: I also mentioned it to my friend at lunchtime, who had no idea!

  • I had read, a few weeks go, that Chase credit cards would now require you to spend more money on in order to earn the 3% bonus. However, I checked the new terms this morning and the Chase Amazon Rewards card (the one that I have) is unchanged. The redemption rate remains at $1 = 100 points.  Woohoo!

  • I browned some onion and the ground turkey that I had defrosted a couple of days ago (bought on 50% off clearance, of course!) and put everything in the crockpot with some canned chickpeas, kidney beans,crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced chiles and chili powder to make "Two-Bean Turkey Chili" for dinner tonight. I had meant to make "Three-Bean Turkey Chili" but I mistakenly grabbed and opened 2 cans of kidney beans instead of 1 can of black beans and 1 can of kidney beans. Arrgh. Anyhoo, it will cook this afternoon and instead of baking corn bread, I will serve slices of the Italian bread loaf that I bought on 50% off clearance yesterday. It made a lot so we'll have at least 2 meals from it.  
  • Ace emailed me that I've won a reward... that they will mail me in a couple of weeks.  I wish they would just email it to me, it seems very cost ineffective to MAIL a piece of paper that I could just print. Also I wouldn't have to wait for it!

  • As planned, I went to meet my friend for lunch. We got separate bills and I charged mine to my USAA Visa card for 10% back in Rewards.
I only remembered to take a picture after I had already eaten half of my food!
  • Then I went to Publix right next door to get a few deals.  Look at what I got for $5.12 OOP, charged to my USAA Visa card (10% Rewards) but after all rebates it will have cost me only $1.83!

    • 2 boxes Kellogg's Frosted Flakes on BOGO @ $3.83, minus $1.00/2 manufacturer coupon = $2.83 and I also got $1.00 back from Mobisave and $1.00 back from Checkout 51 so $0.83 for both boxes.  I will also earn KFR points from Kellogg's and double punches for each box on my punchcard.
    • 2 bottles of Blue Plate light mayo with Greek yogurt on sale at $1.50 each and I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 printable coupons so $0.50 each bottle.
    • 1 cup Riceroni @ $1.29 and I will receive $1.29 back from SavingStar so FREE to me!
    • 2 packages of large whole grains Stonefire naan bread on BOGO @ $2.99 and I redeemed a BOGO printable coupon so FREE to me!
    • 2 packages of mini whole grains Stonefire naan bread on BOGO @ $2.99 and I redeemed another BOGO printable coupon so FREE to me!

  • Lastly, I drove to the library to pick up my DVD set, chatted a little with the teen librarian, and got to pick up several free coupon inserts from the donation box. Woohoo!

  • Ibotta Customer Support sent me a very nice email with the instructions on how to submit a product which bar code was rejected by the app but that qualifies for an offer. I have to wait until they verify the information and input it in their system and they'll email me once it's done and then it'll take an hour to refresh and then I can resubmit my receipt. I was tempted to just submit my receipt for the Kellogg's cereal that I bought today, after all it's only a $0.25 rebate off any box of cereal, but going through the whole process will ensure other people can claim the rebate off that particular brand of cereal (Annie's Homegrown) so I'll just wait and resubmit.

  • I submitted my receipt to MobiSave, SavingStar and Checkout 51.  MobiSave and Checkout 51 refunded me almost immediately, woohoo!

  • I printed a coupon that Betty Crocker sent me.

  • I submitted my receipt to Kellogg's Family Rewards so I can earn points for my Frosted Flakes purchase. Oh and I had forgotten about the double punch offer on purchase of Frosted Flakes!

  • My son borrowed my bike to go to the library and conduct his Dungeons & Dragons Club meeting. He's getting free exercise too!  Also my daughter has been using my recumbent bike. It's nice that we're all being more active and it's not costing us anything either (well, my son has been the most active of us 3, so nothing new for him!).

  • Lunch with a friend at a local Japanese restaurant. I got the 3 sushi rolls deal that also came with a bowl of miso soup and a small salad and with a 20% tip, my bill was about $14.  I drank water.  We made a date for next month too!

  • Greg booked his return flight for Sunday, yay!  My honey's coming back!

  • Betty Crocker sent me an email advertising a free sample (finally) but even though I tried claiming the sample within 10 minutes of receiving the email, they had already given all their samples away :(

  • Made my bed
  • Picked up paper from driveway
  • Brewed a pitcher of herbal tea(Cherry Berry today!)
  • Emailed my mom to check up on her
  • Vacuumed my bedroom
  • Uploaded digital coupons
  • Caught up on blogs (yes, I'm counting this as a chore today because I'm not feeling too motivated to do anything else, lol)
  • Folded the laundry
  • Exercised!
  • Cooked dinner
  • Put away laundry
  • Went to have lunch with a friend
  • Ran errands
  • Submitted my receipt for rebates
  • Clipped coupons from the inserts picked up today

  • Going out to lunch at 1 p.m. means that I'll need to have a mid-morning snack, something that I usually don't do. I'm trying to postpone breakfast as long as I can in order not to be starving by the time I get to the restaurant. Well that didn't work: I read Bless's post at 8:40 a.m., saw the picture of the fruit tartlet, and started salivating.  Argh. So I had breakfast at 8:50 a.m. Rats!

  • I'm seriously thinking about having sushi instead of my usual Bento box, so it's lighter in calories.  Update: I did it!  I had 3 sushi rolls (cucumber and avocado, spicy tuna and spicy crunchy salmon), a bowl of miso and a small salad, and I drank water.   Update: well, according to My Fitness Pal, that sushi wasn't as healthy as I thought it would be! But I still managed not to eat over my calories (good thing I exercised, though!).

  • I used my recumbent bike for an hour (11.76 miles) and also completed 5 minutes of weight exercises with my 3-lb weights! Woohoo me!

  • A nice leisurely lunch with my friend.
  • That her husband found a new position that he is excited about and offers benefits.
  • For great deals at Publix today!
  • For cute kitty cats :)
Male Cat was trying to decide which toy to play with this morning!

Mean Kitty enjoying a sunbathing moment. I'm theorizing that she knows she should lose
weight too and is trying to melt. It was 105F outside and she has fur.  Unless Florida cats are solar-powered
and I didn't know about it, I just don't get it.
When was the last time you had a lunch or dinner date with a friend?


  1. Yay-ay-ay! Greg is going to be home this weekend. Your housework is all caught up and you have meals planned for the next week. (Heck. You could eat leftovers for the next week) How about you just have a nice relaxing weekend. If the hurricanes arrive, you are well prepared.

    1. Arrgh, while all true, I'm reading your comments as I'm trying to convince myself to get up and do some chores that are still on my list! Maybe I'll make his Grape Nuts today that way I can relax tomorrow :)

  2. Glad to hear that you had an enjoyable meal out with your friend. The last time I had a meal out with a friend was in July, but I had lunch out with my daughter earlier this week.

    Glad to hear that Greg will be coming home this weekend. No doubt he'll be happy to be home and you'll be happy to have him home.

    Oops! Sorry about the picture of the fruit tartlet messing up your breakfast plans!

    I hope the hurricane season passes without any major storms in your area. Sounds like you've done all you possibly can to prepare for it, though.

    Have a lovely weekend, Nathalie.

    1. I'm very happy that he's coming home and not too happy that he has to go back to Canada AGAIN. I wanna go to Canada, dang it! I think it'd be fun to take my daughter to Quebec City. Oh and I watched "Quest for the Bay" this week and the landscapes of Manitoba were so gorgeous... I want to go there too.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well, Bless!

  3. The picture of your cat in the sunbeam looks just like one of mine who gets in the same position by a door that looks just like yours. My cat is an overweight tabby, too.

  4. I remember how hot it was last November and December! I had the AC going while cooking a turkey...not fun! When we first moved south (from Buffalo), a new co-worker explained to me that the South has four seasons, too: 1. Almost summer, 2. Summer, 3. Still summer, and 4. Christmas. Heh.

    Your lunch looks great - I love sushi, too. Whaddaya mean, it's not as healthy as you think? No, don't tell me. I don't want to know!

    1. You're right, you don't want to know.

      "Still summer", *snort*. I tend to call Christmas that too, you know!


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