And another week begins... what a cycle!
This morning I feel tired. I went to bed late on purpose, hoping that between biking for an hour yesterday and going to bed at midnight I would have a solid 6 hours of good, deep sleep but it didn't work: I found myself tossing and turning again. This time the fan was bothering me, but not having the fan on was making me hot. Arrgh. I turned on a small fan on my night stand that was blowing directly on my face, thought that the noise (it's much noisier than the other fan!) would keep me up, and then fell asleep. However I felt very tired when I woke up and the half caf/half decaf coffee blend this morning isn't helping waking me up, I'm afraid. Maybe I should have breakfast now. It is 8:30 a.m. after all.
Greg went to the office today. I'm glad of this, actually, as I enjoy being home by myself during the week. However, I need to remember that I am not alone in reality. My daughter doesn't have any classes at the state college today so she is at home and will be working on her online classes.
Despite being tired, Domestic Monday is off to a good start: last night, when I realized that I would have to do the dishes and not my daughter (she had reached the $30 earned towards her share of the car insurance for September), I had piled them up in a way that makes loading the dishwasher much easier. This morning, as my coffee was brewing, I thought that I might as well be doing something, so I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. I'm so glad that I did that, now I don't have that dreaded chore hanging over my head the whole day :)
My mom is on her way to Marseille to meet my brother and his girlfriend. Tomorrow all three will head out to Corsica, a beautiful French island in the Mediterranean, where they will be spending 2 weeks on vacation. I hope all goes well!
On to my To Do List. It's even longer than usual because I added a lot of things to it yesterday. Perhaps too many.
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 - No, I've decided to just pitch them. I know it's not the frugal thing to do but I have a ton of candles to use up, still, and I really need to declutter the house. Update: I had second thoughts last night so for now they're sitting on top of my washing machine until I decide what to do with them!
- Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
- Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
- Declutter linen closet
- Clean kitchen cabinets
- Declutter the top of the fridge
- Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat) - MONDAY
- Declutter shelves over printer stand
- Declutter storage bench
- Declutter coffee table - in progress
- Dust fan in exercise room
- Clean the fridge
- Declutter gardening supplies chest
Clean the oven- Done
- Defrost the freezer
Do the dishes (Monday)- Done Do the laundry- Done Empty the trash cans throughout the house- Done
Dehydrate pineapples- Done
- Make new menu for next week
- Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
- Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
- Take items to the dump
- 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
- Add water to pepper bins
- Refill green bird feeder
- Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
- Harvest the peanuts
Make hummingbird nectar- Done
- Refill the hummingbird feeders
- Replace batteries in solar lights in front of the house (need special batteries) - ordered the batteries today
- Call gyneco to make annual appointment - I'll do that once I'm more comfortable with my weight because I know they'll be nagging me about it anyway.
Use recumbent bike- Done
- Do 5 min of strength exercises
Log food into My Fitness Pal- Done
- Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards (in September)
- Weigh myself (Wednesdays)
- 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
- 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
- Scrub mildew off front of the house (porch, behind bushes, front stairs)
- Install white beadboard in laundry room (will need to measure and purchase)
- Install new stick-on tiles in laundry room (will need to remove ancient ones first)
- Paint laundry room cabinets
- Get Greg to fix/remove rotten wood on front porch
- Make a list of which outlets need to be replaced and call Duke Energy Homewire Protection to schedule appointment
- Ask electrician for estimate on installing outlet on front porch
- Ask Greg to make me new tiled table for electric roaster on front porch
- Get on flat roof, sweep it, and clean out the front gutter
- Ask Greg to install gutter screens on the front gutter
- 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 upstairs
- File paperwork
- Write new letter to great grand aunt
- Remove daughter's pc from her room and decide what to do with it
Prep August Food Expenses post- Done Sort new coupons- Done Fill out ACS Volunteer Application form- Done
- Go through the genealogical material crate
- Shred what needs to be shredded
- Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
- Work on shopping list - in progress
- Work on photo album for daughter's birthday
- My coffee pot is morning was only half free since I mixed a free bag of Wawa decaf coffee with a bag of Maxwell House coffee. But half free is still better than not free at all :) The Maxwell House coffee had been bought at Publix when it was on BOGO and I had coupons for it so I think the bag had cost me less than $2.00, many months ago.
- I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.
- Our son packed himself a lunch to take to school.
- He rode the school bus once again, although I think he might have had to run to catch it today as he left the house a little too close to the pick-up time.
- It looks like we'll be getting some rain later on in the week. Let's just hope this thing doesn't decide to become a hurricane and doesn't spawn tornadoes either.
- I printed a coupon that Kellogg's emailed me.
- A Slickdeals poster shared a 20 KFR code last night (KFRS-HARE-THAN-KS20) so I input it into my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.
- I did one super load of laundry on cold/cold (I don't separate anything, everything gets washed at the same time) and used vinegar as softener. My clothes and all the undies/socks/exercise clothes/washing cloths/cloth napkins will be dried outdoors on my racks from IKEA. The bath towels will be run through the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting with Greg's T-shirts. I will pull the towels before they're dry and hang them outside to finish drying. It worked last week to keep them relatively soft. Greg hates it when I dry his clothes outside. So I put his Tshirts and shirts in the dryer but I still dry everything else outside.
- I was smarter today than yesterday by setting up the electric roaster oven outdoors in the morning BEFORE the threat of any showers and I roasted one of the 2 packages of chicken breasts that were in my fridge. I bought those last Wednesday at $0.99/lb. I sprinkled them with Ten Things Farm Seasoning. Today I decided to set the roaster oven on my patio table. It should be impervious to the heat because the top is concrete, and it's closer to the sliding door. The chicken is cooking while my laundry is being washed, so it will be all done before I start hanging my laundry outside, next to the oven. So Greg and I won't smell like chicken this week. Btw, I can't remember if I shared this before or not. I thought it was a hoax but it was a real thing, apparently. I wish I had gotten it for our son, who loves KFC, lol.
- I inventoried my fridge to decide what I was going to cook this week. I remembered that I had potatoes that had started to get wrinkly and that I had set aside to make into hashbrowns this weekend. Only, I forgot to make the hash browns! So I will make mashed potatoes for tonight to serve with the chicken and I will steam the rest of the broccoli crown. I will serve some naan bread with that too. I got it for free at Publix last week.
- Well shoot, I had actually gotten up to go fix myself breakfast... 30 minutes later and I realized that I had never done that! I'm really liking the Aldi Crispy Rice cereal in the mornings. A big box is only $1.39. I might be able to get the Rice Krispies cheaper with coupons (or free at CVS) so I need to remember this before blindly buying at Aldi. I usually either slice a banana in it or add some berries. Today will be banana-flavored since I have a few bananas turning brown. I always try to remember to mix water in with the whole milk to stretch it and also to lower the calories. I only ever bought skim milk for years so I've been kicking myself for not doing this sooner! I would have saved tons of money. Oh well.
- The chicken took longer to cook than the last time, maybe because the oven hadn't preheated completely when I put it in (?) or maybe because it wasn't as hot outside as the last time I used it on the patio. Still, it didn't heat up my house so I'm happy about this. Now if only it were completely solar so I wouldn't have to pay for the electricity! I really need to try to build a solar oven.
- I finally processed the pineapples that I had harvested in July. I'm planning on writing a post about the whole growing process soon. As for this crop, it was a failure. Oh, I did regrow 8 pineapples from tops of pineapples I had bought in the store so that was great. But I harvested them too soon (in my defense, a couple of them had started to burn in the sun because it didn't rain and I didn't water them enough apparently) and they were inedible at first. So I left them to ripen in front of a southern facing window but as they ripened, they also pretty much collapsed onto themselves. Well, as if they were dehydrating themselves, really. It was interesting because I would have thought that they would rot, like the ones that we buy in the store when they're past their prime. But they didn't, at least not on the outside. So, all said and done, I cut off maybe 2 orange-size pieces of pineapple flesh between all 7 pineapples. That's another thing, they looked pretty big in the garden but they were actually quite small. Maybe adding manure or compost to the soil would have been a good idea? I just planted them in the sand. Also, they really didn't get enough water. I sliced the flesh that was salvageable and am dehydrating it. It's sweet but has started taking on that slightly chemical taste of the pineapple that's past its prime. I'm hoping that it won't be as noticeable once it's dehydrated.
- As for the tops, well, I'm going to try to get new pineapples out of them, of course! This is Nathalie's version of the Amish bread, lol. So I reused 7 glass jars (spaghetti jars and an olive jar), filled them with tap water, moved the pineapples that had been rooting since March and May down on the breezeway countertop, and installed the new ones on the South facing windowsill. If everything goes well, they should start rooting in a couple of weeks. The first homegrown pineapple top that I put in water on August 9th already has roots :) It's going to be interesting next Spring when I have to expend my garden to fit in 14 more pineapple plants. I already have, what? 19 of them in the garden, I think? I need to stop buying pineapples at the store! Did I mention that I'm the only one here who actually eats pineapple?! I'm a pineapple hoarder.
- I hung the laundry outside. That laundry rack from Aldi that had broken and that I had tried to fix with duct tape all those weeks ago? It's been outside on the patio this whole time. Yes, it kind of looks white trash but I couldn't throw it away if I could still kind of use it, could I?! I was thinking about using it as a kind of a trellis to grow the jasmine that's in a pot next to it, but then the jasmine never grew all that much. Mind you I now have the 2 large racks from IKEA, my old sturdy stand-by from Target from years ago, and 3 more racks from Aldi! I don't even do that much laundry anymore... Well, that rack came in handy today as I ran out of room on the one IKEA rack that I had set up next to it and I needed another one. Why go back inside and carry one of the "good" ones out when this ones, even crooked, still does the trick for light cloth napkins?! Sigh, I'm never going to declutter this, am I?
- Well, after I typed this up, I remembered that I had bath towels and Greg's T-shirts that I had loaded in the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing "Less Drying" setting. I went to check on them and they were still humid, as planned, so I got the 2nd IKEA rack, set it up on the patio and hung everything to finish drying outside. We'll see if Greg notices.
- I can't believe it's noon already! Where did the morning go?! Still no answer from Swagbucks Customer Service about the survey that hasn't credited and I still need to earn 68 SB to meet my first goal so I'm going to try nGage and JunGroup videos again and hope that Chrome is going crashing. Uh oh, just launched JunGroup and my laptop is starting to sound like a jet about to take off and it's getting laggy when I type these words. Darn it. Update at 12:36 p.m.: they just credited my account so I have met my 1st goal, yay! I will now try to reach my 2nd goal but that might be problematic.
- Also, I feel extremely tired. That half caf mixture in the morning is NOT working for me! Maybe I should do I scoop of that and one scoop of full caffeinated grounds. Ugh.
- I uploaded a few offers to our American Express cards. We probably won't use them but since those businesses are actually located in our area, and we have used them in the past, I figured I might as well load them.
- At 12:30 I noticed that black clouds were rolling in so I rushed outside right as some raindrops had started sprinkling and brought the racks back indoors. As soon as I was done, the sprinkling stopped, but of course. The laundry will now provide entertainment for the cats as they love hiding themselves in between my clean but humid and cat hair-free clothes!
- My lunch was Two-Bean Turkey Chili leftovers that had been made with 50% off clearance ground turkey (there's still more for tomorrow!), the last chunk of Italian bread bought on clearance and for free after SB gift card from Walmart last week, and a cup of yogurt from Aldi ($0.29 this past week).
- I signed up as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society. It was just a matter of giving them my contact information. Now I need to wait until they email me with the next steps. Oh wait, they just sent me an email asking me for some more information. Now they will email me within 5 business days with the next steps. I was very honest in my email and explained that until I knew what it all entailed and whether my son was going to join in after-school activities from which he might need a ride, I could only commit to one shift a week, even though I knew the need was great. We'll see what they say!
- I started putting my August Food Expenses Recap post together. I'll wait until after 9/1 to publish it to make sure that I cover all the eating out/ordering in. I also need to consult our credit cards to see what Greg might have charged without giving me an actual receipt.
- 2:13 p.m. It's started raining. Pretty strongly, but I doubt it will last, but it's something. I'm glad I had gotten some advance warning so I had brought my laundry back inside! 2:17 p.m. Well, it's over already! This is NOT going to replenish my rain barrel, lol.
- I exercised for free at home with my recumbent bike. I put on a L&O:CI episode from a DVD borrowed from the library.
- I brewed a new pitcher of herbal tea in my thrifted Takeya Flash Chill pitcher. Today I picked Dark Cherry Berry. I got the tea bags for free after coupons several years ago.
- I reached my 2nd Daily Goal in Swagbucks thanks to two 15 SB offers in my inbox. I decided to keep running nGage videos anyway. The JunGroup ones made Chrome crash so I had to stop those :(
- The library sent me an email to tell me that the next season of L&O:CI is waiting for me there. I won't pick it up until I return the one I'm currently watching since I can only keep them for 7 days.
- OverDrive also notified me that I am finally able to borrow a book by Lisa Gardner that I put on hold a very long time ago. So I'm going to need to find time to read (and not snack!) and I also have to watch 2.5 DVDs' worth of L&O:CI by Thursday. Yikes!
- I reloaded "new" offers to MobiSave (same as last week's).
- My son borrowed my bike to go to the library for his volunteer shift. I asked him to check the donation pile for any coupon inserts. However, when he got there, there weren't any books to shelf and there weren't any coupons either. So he came home. I'm glad it worked out that way because there's a storm approaching so this saved me a trip in the rain to pick him and my bike up!
- I made more hummingbird nectar.
- I had to empty out the countertop composting bin again so while I was in the garden I harvested what needed to be harvested: some jalapeños (small from the lack of rain!) and the 4 eggplants that were hanging on. I'll have to bake them just for me, I suppose.
- I was asked to participate in a CVS Pharmacy survey. Had I qualified, I would have received $15 in ECBs.I didn't qualify but they will send me a $ECB for my time anyway. Woohoo!
- Despite the website telling me that I didn't qualify for the offer when I tried ordering samples of Truvia Nectar, I received them today anyway!
- It started raining at 6:35 p.m. again, free water for my plants. Update: and it's still raining at 8 p.m. so this is the real thing, finally!
- My daughter went to visit her BFF this afternoon and they decided that for her 18th birthday, they want to have a Harry Potter movie marathon. Since the BFF has all the movies, this won't cost a thing. And since the BFF has a medical condition that prevents her from eating most foods, I can't even provide snacks or drinks (my daughter said she doesn't want to eat too much in front of her friend). The BFF turns 18 the following week so this will be a joint celebration. I'll make the Hershey cupcakes that my daughter has requested, though.
- An awesome reader, Rosie, shared a My Coke Rewards code with me so I was able to earn another 3 MCR points! Thanks so much, Rosie!
- I had enough leftovers after dinner to pack a lunch for Greg tomorrow and there'll be a small portion of broccoli and chicken for a lunch another day too.
- Upromise sent me a statement. I kept on meaning to cash the account in but would always forget. The money that's in there is actually from SavingStar. Earlier this year I had transferred the money from SavingStar to Upromise because the companies are sisters and Upromise allows you to get a check whereas SavingStar doesn't (or didn't, I'm not sure nowadays, I need to check). The money took a few weeks to be transferred and then I forgot about it! But tonight I completed the request. I should get a little over $51. Since it was money that I already deducted from my grocery totals I'm going to just deposit the check into our checking account.
- After dinner I was going to watch another episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent but Greg was sighing about it because he doesn't like those shows. So I decided to put in the episode of "Community" that was filmed as a Law & Order episode only. We own Community on DVD so it was just a matter of locating the episode (Season 3, episode 17). We laughed a lot. And then we watched another episode because we really love "Community" :)
- Gas for my daughter to drive back to the high school to turn in her senior dues. When she went there last week the person who was supposed to collect them wasn't there and she wasn't able to leave them with someone else, apparently.
- I completed a Swagbucks survey for 80 SB this morning but it never was credited to my account. I emailed Customer Service and then closed down JunGroup and nGage videos because something was making Chrome use up a ton of memory and my laptop was laboring, the bottom of it getting very hot and I was afraid it would crash. Chrome did crash, actually, again. If they credit me for the 80 SB, I'll have met (or be close to meeting) my first daily goal. If not, I'll have to run nGage and JunGroup again this afternoon.
- I'm very irked at L'Occitane. They sent me a "by invitation only" email this morning with the promise of rewards. Those end up being promotional codes to get free items when I buy something. Their stuff is so overpriced, but that's not even what's irking me: the offer I selected stated "get this FREE with ANY purchase" with an asterisk. So of course the fine print is alllll the way at the bottom of the page, in tiny letters, and spells out a bunch of exclusions. That hardly constitutes "any", right? Similarly, the top of their website promises free shipping with ANY purchase. Well, again, you find out later on that you need to by $49+ worth of merchandise to receive the free shipping. I'm halfway minded to alert the Florida Department of Consumer Affairs about this. Then, I find a bar of soap (an expensive bar of soap!) to order for one of my sons' girlfriends for Christmas. I decide to order it because even though it's $7.00, shipping is only going to be $4.95 and I'll get a 3-piece gift set for free with the promotion email, free gift wrap supplies, and a couple of free samples. Only the promotional code won't work even though the item that I have picked meets all the requirements. Arrgh. So I emailed their Customer Service and told them that I was mad even before placing my first order with them and that I felt that theirs was a bait and switch operation. So I doubt that I will be winning that trip to Provence any time soon.
- I'm so mad at Greg, I can't even find anything positive to say about this. He went and got a haircut at SportsClip in Columbus on Saturday. He paid $22 plus tip (so probably $25+ total). He came home on Sunday morning. I had been nagging him for a long time to get his haircut. He wasn't getting it up because he was being "frugal". We have:
- a prepaid card from Great Clips that allows us to get haircuts for $9.99. Since it's prepaid, the only thing we need to pay OOP these days is the $2 tip.
- a coupon for getting said Great Clips haircut for just $7.99. That's what I would have used had he waited, as the prepaid card doesn't expire but the coupons aren't all that common.
- a coupon for a FREE SportsClip haircut in Clermont, had he insisted on going to SportsClip.
- I had to compost 4 more small potatoes that had started to rot.
- Made my bed
- Unloaded the dishwasher
- Did the dishes
- Cooked Greg's breakfast
- Packed his lunch
- Made Greg's bed
- Collected the trash throughout the house
- Did a load of laundry
- Cooked chicken for dinner
- Hung the laundry
- Processed the pineapples
- Dehydrated some pineapple
- Started new zombie pineapples
- Made hummingbird nectar
- Brought the laundry and roaster oven indoors
- Put together the August Food Expenses post
- Brewed some more tea
- Took down most of the dry laundry
- I sorted the coupons that I clipped yesterday and put them away in my coupon organizer
- Sprayed oven with cleaner
- Cooked dinner
- Emptied composting bin
- Harvested garden
- Organized the dishes for tomorrow morning
- Put leftovers away
- Cleaned the oven
- Requested a check from Upromise
- I used my recumbent bike for 1 hour (11.08 miles).
- I logged my food and exercise into My Fitness Pal.
- That my mom made it first to Paris (where she had breakfast with the youngest of my brothers) and then to Marseille (where she met the oldest of my brothers and his GF) without any difficulties.
- That my daughter is not making a huge deal about her birthday! She arranged to have a movie marathon with her best friend (at the friend's house, on top of that!) and asked me for either Hershey cupcakes OR crêpes. I'll probably make both.
- That we finally got a measurable amount of rain tonight!
I don't have any nature pictures to show you today so I'm going to show you something that I saw thanks to Bing Rewards this morning; It might be old news to those of you on Pinterest (I haven't been on Pinterest since a few years ago when they started allowing sponsored pins), but people now make fancy bread like those Christmas cookies with characters already embedded in the dough. My daughter loves Tortoro so I was tickled pink to see this one specifically. I wish I had the gumption to try and make this for her birthday but I know that I would fail miserably because I just don't have the patience.
Here is the link to see more of those cool breads if you're interested.
Oh and I lied: I took a picture of those Roma tomatoes that have started growing this week, completely out of the blue!
Is anything growing in your garden?