I'm feeling blah today. I fell asleep on the couch re-watching the Jim Gaffigan special "Obsessed" on Netflix, since it has come available again. If you need a good laugh, watch it. Ms. Sandie, since I've anointed you a new Southerner now that I have cooked fried okra, you should watch at least the first 20 minutes when he talks about Southern food. He cracks me up :)
Anyhoo, I fell asleep during it not because I was bored (I was laughing very hard!) but because I was exhausted. When the show ended at 11 p.m., I dragged myself off to bed and then, again, I couldn't fall back asleep despite being tired. I started thinking about sad things, especially about my relationship (or lack there of) with Oldest Son, and then I was tossing and turning for hours.
I woke up exhausted. My freaking period is also taking its time getting started, I should be almost done with it by now and it's still not here. I want to skip the whole premenopause-menopause stage and just be done with it already! The cramps are here, though, lucky me.
So this isn't putting me in great spirits to go grocery shopping today. I was thinking I'd do what I did last week which was to spend the morning being productive and exercising and then going grocery shopping in the afternoon but now I'm thinking "get it over with" and go early. Also, I'm hoping to snag some clearance baked goods at Save A Lot for my son and those are typically laid out in the mornings. So maybe I'll go at about 10.
According to Bing Rewards, today is National Thrift Shop Day! So in honor of this day, I'm adding a couple of stops to my shopping list, PLUS I shall endeavor to remember to load my donations into my SUV so I can drop them off too.
My son took the bus again this morning, which is good considering that I probably would have been grumbling about bad drivers more than usual :) I watched him from the living room like a helicopter parent and texted him to get on the grass when I saw him standing in the street.
Years ago, I was taking my oldest sons to the same high school when a bunch of teens were waiting for the school bus and standing in the road. They refused to get on the grass (so sidewalks on my street or the cross street) so I had to maneuver my large SUV around them and in the process accidentally bumped into the one teenage girl who had been particularly nasty to me when I asked them to move so I wouldn't hit them.
I didn't realize that I had bumped her (with the back of the SUV as I turned the tight corner with her standing in the road!) so I kept on going but I was fuming about the situation so I called the Police Department on my way to the high school to ask them to send a police car to talk sense into the teens (because it hadn't been the first time that I had had that problem).
While on the phone with them , the mother of the teen called to report me as a hit and run driver! So I had to go to the Police Station right away. My oldest boys were mortified and pissed that they would be late. They had to write witness statements (one of my boys did see that my car had bumped the girl but knew that I hadn't realized it and hadn't mentioned it). What helped me was that when the girl had been nasty to me and refused to get off the road, I opened the door of my SUV, got out of my car and snapped a picture of her in the road, yelling at me. I provided that picture to the police. Other teens were filming us and I suppose they might have gotten those videos too, which showed that I had asked them to get off the road so they wouldn't get hurt (our street is very narrow and my vehicle is very large). I guess today it would have been livestreamed on the internet.
In the end, the police said that I hadn't done anything wrong and issued the girl a ticket for being in the roadway and impeding traffic. After that, the kids stopped standing in the road, but I started going the other way on my street because "better safe than sorry".
So this long story to explain why I was being a helicopter parent this morning and texted my son to get off the road. I had already told him not to stand in the road (he wasn't in the middle of it but at the corner, prime spot to get hit by a car from behind) but you see, the girl (not the same one!) who is waiting for the bus at the same time in the mornings was herself standing in the grass and I guess he thought she had cooties or something. Anyhoo, he did move into the grass and I continued watching for about a minute until the bus came. They were both on their phones, ignoring one another. I don't even know how teens find boyfriends and girlfriends anymore, these days, since they don't seem to talk IRL anymore.
My BFF replied to my text from last night and asked if I could come meet her tonight so we can chat and catch up. She had to run so I don't have any details yet. I suspect we might go out to eat? I do owe her a meal out for her birthday. She lives about 40 minutes away from me and needs to stay in her area so she can go pick up one of her kids from an activity so I'll be driving down there.
Anyhoo, on to my To-Do List:
To Do List :
- Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
- Make a lightbox to take better pictures
- Melt down old candles and make into one or two new candles
- Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
- Dust the entry room, breezeway, bedrooms (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 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
- Dehydrate pineapples
- Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
- Take items to the dump
Take donations to thrift store- Done
- 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
- Plant passion flower vine seeds
- Check on the seedlings and water as needed
- Add water to pepper bins
- 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
- 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
- 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
Filled out part of daughter's college application- Done Input receipts in spreadsheets- Done Submit rebates- Done
- My son packed a lunch to take to school.
- He took the bus in the morning and afternoon.
- I earned a few Swagbucks.
- I perused the new ads for Aldi and Save A Lot and added interesting sales to my shopping list for today and Friday (SAL).
- I earned 50 KFR points thanks to an email that Kellogg's sent me.
- I unplugged Greg's PC headphones and keyboard since he's not here for a while. Both still consume electricity even when not in use. I would completely unplug his PC but since the router is plugged in there. I'm thinking it would disrupt out WiFi.
- I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits. I'm at 90% of my goal so I should earn a $5 GC within the next couple of days.
- We have tons of pasta leftovers from last night and a couple of tuna patties, still, so I think that's what the kids will have for dinner if I'm not here tonight.
- I unlocked new MobiSave offers, which are the exact same ones as last week because they won't give me new ones until I redeem the current ones. However, I don't need any of the current ones so I'll be stuck with the same offers for a while, I think. I don't like this new thing they're doing.
- I left on my errands at about 9:35 a.m. I took my SUV, although the Focus was available so I should have taken that. I just thought about it now, grr.
- RaceTrac: I redeemed a survey reward code for a free large chocolate chip cookie that I'll give to my son.
- Save A Lot:
- There were baked goods on the clearance table, yay ! I bought 2 Mississipi Mud cakes, on 50% clearance at $2.25.
- I also bought 1 package of chicken breasts on sale @ $0.99/lb
- And I bought 2 packages of dry beans (navy and great northern) and a small jar of diced pimiento to replenish my pantry.
- I also grabbed a free cardboard box that will hold my next batch of donations for the thrift store.
- My OOP was $11.33 and I charged it to my USAA Visa which is giving me 10% back in Rewards right now.
- I had hoped to find 2 danishes on clearance but they were none. I had scoped them yesterday and knew the sell-by date was today but evidently they sold them before I got there.
- Later on I realized that the great northern beans were 19 cents cheaper at the Dollar Tree.
- The manager was the cashier this morning so I thanked him for discounting the baked goods and saving me from having to bake. We laughed.
- I gassed up my SUV at $1.98/gal and obtained a new receipt with which I will earn a new freebie when I take the survey. I paid with my USAA Visa card and will get 10% back in Rewards.
- I redeemed a survey reward code for another free large chocolate chip cookie for my son.
- Frustration: the display windows of the pump were opaque and I couldn't see anything! I will make a note of it on my survey.
- I found a pair of capris for my for $3.89
- I found a black graduation robe for my daughter for $6.29. I thought it was pricey for what it is but they categorize is as a dress and it wasn't the color of the week, which would have enabled me to get it at 50% off. I didn't want to risk it being bought before that color came up on sale so I just bit the bullet. This is NOT for my daughter's graduation. She will need a blue robe, but she will reuse the one my ex had bought for our oldest son (which was then passed down to our Middle Son). She will use this one for her Halloween costume, as she wants to go as a character from Harry Potter.
- I paid for my $10.89 OOP with my USAA Visa (10% Rewards).
- I felt that the robe was too expensive for what it was.
- The cashier (not my first experience with her) was all sweetness and sugar until I declined rounding up my bill to the next highest dollar and then she was curt and dismissive. Want to know why I always say no, lady? It's partly because you're a bitch about it.
- For the person who donated the gown because I don't have to keep on looking for one now!
- Deals: I did 2 transactions:
- 1 gallon of milk @ $2.79, which was FREE to me since I paid with my CVS gift card earned with our Amex Rewards program.
- 2 packages of CVS branded Maxipads on Buy 1, Get 1 at 50% off. I chose the kind without wings as there are more in the package for a lower price ($5.49). I had loaded a $2 store coupon to my app so my OOP was $6.81 and I paid with my USAA Visa card (10% Rewards).
- Major. I wanted to redeem a $1 off a gallon of milk coupon from the National Milk Board but the coupon beeped and my cashier pointed out at the new coupon policy that won't let her override the coupon anymore.
- The coupon policy was on a sticker on the counter and very long and in tiny letters. I couldn't even see what was written and the pressure of having people in line behind me didn't help. I was pissed. I'm going to use up my current gift card (which will take me months) but after that, I'm seriously reconsidering shopping there. I will share my thoughts with their Customer Service.
- It's a tough one this week. My cashier is always pleasant.
- Deals: bananas for $0.29/lb, grapes for $0.89/lb, yogurt for $0.29 a cup, a whole chicken at $0.95/lb (I'm going to try to make my own "Better than Bouillon" soup base), and a 9 oz bag of loose Stevia sweetener for $3.99 (way cheaper than buying the little packets and I can use it for the copycat chicken strawberry poppyseed salad's dressing when I make it. And then of course the rest of what I bought was cheaper than at Publix! I paid for my $56.46 OOP (includes cat litter and toilet paper) with my USAA Visa card for 10% back in Rewards.
- Frustration: I saw that the strawberries were priced at $1.29 so I grabbed a 1-lb box of it. When I checked my receipt before I started bagging, I saw that they had charged me $2.29! I took my groceries back to my car, went back to check the price, took a picture of it since it did say "$1.29" and went back to the cashier to get a refund. It took a while as he kept on having problems with the register and then he handed me $1.00 even though the receipt he gave me showed that he was refunding me $2.29. It was the store manager so I doubt he pocketed the difference but it still annoyed me, internally.
- Gratitude: for the lady with a caddy full of groceries who noticed me standing in line behind her with my receipt and told me to go ahead in front of her. Thanks!
- Dollar Tree:
- I got 4 1-L bricks of UHT Whole Milk @ $1.00 each to replenish my hurricane/emergency supplies since we had used up 2 of them. I used to buy skim milk, then I switched to 2% but today I got whole milk, that way I can dilute it with water, the way I do with the gallon jugs so it'll last longer when I have to use one of them.
- I bought 2 bottles of generic anti dandruff shampoo to replenish my stock.
- I once again paid
- They still don't have the mint herbal tea. I think they switched brands and the new one doesn't come in plain mint. Arrgh.
- They also still don't have the cherry pie filling.
- That I had the choice to get whole milk! Sometimes they only have the 1% or skim milk.
- South Lake Animal League Thrift Store:
- I dropped off my donations. However, I was quite hungry and tired of shopping so I didn't go inside as there wasn't anything else that I needed specifically. I also decided to skip stopping by the Habitat for Humanity ReStore thrift store.
- I picked up my free 8 x 10" reprint.
- I returned the DVD set that I had finished watching yesterday. I checked my email to see if they had sent me a message telling me that the ones I had put on hold had arrived but there wasn't.
- Frustration: a little bit after I got home, I got an email telling me that Season 5 of Law & Order: Criminal Intent was waiting for me at the library! Arrgh.
- Gratitude: that it's even available via the library so I didn't have to buy it :)
- When I got home, my daughter helped me bring the groceries indoors. She was excited that I had found the graduation robe for her!
- She had finished a box of Special K cereal so I recycled the box and saved the bag to reuse it as a freezer bag.
- I used my thrifted electric roaster oven to cook the chicken breasts that I had bought at Save A Lot. I wanted to set it on the front covered porch but the extension cord could have been pinched in the door (since my outlet is indoors!) and I was concerned that it would be dangerous or cause the door not to close properly and a risk to the cats since the oven gets really hot. Since it didn't look like it was going to rain any time soon. I set the oven on the back porch, on the table next to the barbecue. I used the extension cord that I had bought to use with the generator, after making sure that it was rated for the oven's ampage (it was). It worked great, although the top of the chicken breasts aren't golden the way they would be had they cooked in a regular oven. It's a good thing that I had added the "Ten Things Farm" seasoning to them, which gave them a little color. However, when it was time to cool off the oven, I didn't want to leave it in the open since we have afternoon thunderstorms so I figured I would bring it to the front porch to cool off. So I needed 1 child to open the sliding door into the house for me (and close it behind me) and another child to open the front door! I need to get an electrician to install an outlet on our front porch!
- I submitted a $0.25 rebate to Checkout 51 (mangoes) and a $0.25 rebate to Ibotta (milk). Ibotta refunded me very fast.
- I contacted Swagbucks Customer Service about an inbox offer that should have credited me for 15 SB but didn't and they credited my account :)
- I submitted my receipts showing my milk purchases for a contest. I'm kind of afraid that I'll win because the grand prize is an encounter with an Olympian... I'm really out of shape and I haven't watched the Olympics at all! But they're also giving out 1,000 $100 Visa cards and that's what I'd like to win.
- I replanted the celery root that I cut out today. Hopefully I'll get a new zombie celery. I also froze the celery tops so I can use them when I cook the chicken to make Better Than Bouillon Soup Base.
- My BFF suggested going to Chili's for dinner. I have a $10 off $30 coupon that they emailed me so if we reach that amount, I'll save a little. I wrote myself a sticky note that I put on my credit card so I don't forget! I'll also charge it to the USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards. Update: I was able to use the coupon.
- Gas to go grocery shopping/run errands
- Gas to go meet BFF in the evening
- Dinner @ Chili's to celebrate her birthday
- After waiting forever for the pineapples to ripen, apparently I waited too long because when I checked on them yesterday they looked horrible, like they had collapsed on themselves. Tom McCubbin, a local celebrated gardener who has a sporadic column in the Orlando Sentinel, just published an article last week saying that pineapple are typically harvested in August, in Florida. I wish he had published that sooner! I harvested mine about a month too early, apparently. Arrgh. I don't know if I'll be able to salvage anything from them. Lesson learned for next year!
- Microsoft is changing Bing Rewards to Microsoft Rewards. It sucks. I don't use Edge and I don't shop in the Microsoft Store so I guess I won't be earned as many Rewards. The more they try to make me want to use their products, the more I'm thinking my next laptop might be a MacBook. I used both Macs and PCs when I worked so I'm familiar with both, although it's been years since I've been on a Mac.
- Duke Energy emailed me our latest monthly electrical bill, which came to $276.71 before our wire protection fee (2,027 kWh). Last year, the same bill was only $227.21 (1,573 kWh) but in 2014 that same bill was $288.54 (1,920 kWh). So it's a mixed failure, I guess. I'm trying to remember why it was so much lower last year and it might have been that Greg and our son had been camping for a couple of weeks during that billing period? Also, it rained a lot last year so that probably lowered our temperatures. I'm also thinking that this year's billing period includes the weekend when our AC's blower was running non-stop because of the bad relay. Anyhoo, it's been one of the hottest months so it's still not bad, I guess. I noticed that Duke now posts our average monthly electric bill amount, which, for us, is $209.19.
- Made my and Greg's beds (since I hadn't done his yesterday)
- Took the recycling down to the curb
- Corresponded with my BFF
- Ran errands
- Documented and put everything away
- Cooked chicken in roaster oven
- Submitted rebates
- Filled out Customer Satisfaction survey
- Helped my daughter complete one of her college applications
- Entered receipts into my spreadsheets
- Replied to blog comments
- Went to have dinner with my BFF
- Brushed Mean Cat
- I logged my food into My Fitness Pal and looked up the Chili's menu before going to make sure they had "light fare" entrees and discourage myself from ordering anything else! Even if I don't exercise today, I should be OK.
- I biked intensely for 20 minutes before I left for dinner. I did have some chips and a little bit of guacamole dip. I
- For my youngest son to be as compliant as he is when I ask him to do something!
- My brother from Marseille shared a video that he took of a musical session at a friend's barbecue last night. Several attendees were musicians, including my SIL, so they got their instruments out and jammed while another attendee was singing. I think it was a traditional Russian song but I'm not sure. The guitarists were amazing (gypsy style) and it's always lovely to see my SIL play her violin. It put a big smile on my face and also made me sad because I miss my family. I'm grateful to my brother to have shared the video with me.
- For my son going to the library to pick up my DVDs for me
I pretended to be Pixel Peeper today and took got on my knees in the front yard to take a picture of a mushroom that was there :) I cheated the took the picture with my phone, though :)
What are your grocery shopping plans for the week?