Monday, August 22, 2016

Semi Domestic Monday ~ Monday 8/22/16

Good Monday morning! As I type this at 7:50 a.m. I'm still wondering whether I can turn this into Domestic Monday or not. I'm really tired so it might not happen, we will see.

I slept very well last night but not much. I went to bed late and brought my Kindle Fire with me because I fall asleep better if some TV show is on so I set it to Law & Order: SVU and then ended up watching the episode anyway so I don't think I fell asleep until after 1 a.m.  Then my alarm rang at 6:15 a.m.  So happy my son takes the bus now, though, as I don't think I would have been alert enough to drive.  I'm droopy as I type this and coffee doesn't seem to wake me up.

I spoke with Greg last night, His sister and BIL came for breakfast yesterday and they all discussed, with Greg's parents, the plans for the doctor's visit and beyond. Greg said that the consensus was that the doctor would probably have his dad undergo another immunotherapy treatment and order new scans done in a couple of weeks and that after that, unless some miraculous change happened, his dad would decline any further treatment.  Greg was talking about coming back possibly this Thursday, depending on what the doctor actually said, but I pointed out that if his dad declines any treatment, he might need to go back up there pretty fast. Of course, it's hard to tell. He wants to come home because he misses us and there's not much he can do right now. He says his dad is much stronger than when he first got there and that his mom is doing much better too, but I think they'll decline again once he leaves.  I don't think he understands that his mom is doing well because she has him there to help shoulder the burden, both emotionally and physically.  His dad is on his best behavior when he's there.  But, as I said, it's hard to see what the right thing to do is and we're all lucky that if he comes home and has to go back on a dime, there are flights from here to Columbus every day, even if most of them are not direct and it would be pretty expensive.  Oh well, it's only money.  My trip to France, when I went there to help my dad when my stepmother was dying of pancreatic cancer, cost us several thousands of dollars and Greg didn't bat an eye.

My daughter is coming home tonight from spending the weekend at her dad's and starts her senior year of high school officially tomorrow, although she'll only be taking college classes at the local state college this year.  She's only going to have classes on Tuesdays through Fridays and on some days she only has 1 class in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Of course, she'll have plenty of homework and studying to do, but she'll be here a lot, which is great and at the same time is completely going to disrupt my routine. For instance, she won't shower until later in the morning so my usual "run the dehumidifier in the bathroom as soon as Greg leaves" isn't going to work anymore, and since her schedule changes almost every day, I can't really have a day-to-day routine either.  So I have to think about that. I'm used to being all my myself all morning-long!

Speaking of cleaning and routine, here is my To Do List for infinity and beyond:

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)
    • Declutter coffee table
    • 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
    • Sweep or vacuum my bedroom
    • Dust fan in exercise room
    • Clean the fridge
    • Do the laundry - Done
    • Hang the laundry- Done
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put the laundry away 
    • Sweep/mop kitchen - Done
    • Do the dishes - Done
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Dehydrate pineapples 
    • Continue cooking soup base - Done
    • Process soup base
    • Bake a batch of Grape Nuts
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere - Transplanted them in larger pot.
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Fertilize the raspberries - I'm thinking about pulling them and putting more roses in pots in their place.
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden - I will do this once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Plant more okra
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Check on the seedlings and water as needed 
    • Add water to pepper bins
    • Refill green bird feeder
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
    • Use recumbent bike - Done
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises 
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal - Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards 
    • Weigh myself (Thursdays)
  • Maintenance:
    • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
    • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
    • Test the batteries in all 3 smoke detectors and replace as needed
    • Vacuum fridge coils
    • Vacuum AC vent in kitchen
    • Greg to call plumber
    • Wash the bathroom ceiling with bleached water
    • Remind Greg to re-secure chicken wire to AC unit and also to block off opening under front of the house
    • Plan on taking car for oil change this week or next
  • Technology/Paperwork:
    • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
    • Scan more old pictures
    • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns - Started but need to do more research.
    • Figure out if we should contribute to regular  or Roth IRAs for 2016 and fund them - I guess I need to wait until tax time next year, actually. I'll have until April 15, 2017 to fund 2016 IRAs so I need to work on taxes way sooner than I did this year so I'd have time to fund the IRAs and THEN file my taxes.
    • Download all May-July photos to my external drive - in progress
    • Back up my external drive to my other external drive
    • File the remaining loose recipes that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
    • Purge filing cabinet
    • File paperwork
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt
    • Look at sample ballot and research local candidates
    • Remove daughter's pc from her room and decide what to do with it
    • Shred the shredding pile
    • Sort coupons
    • Reply to my mom's email
    • Return DVDs to library (Wednesday)

  • I brewed a pot of free coffee from Wawa.

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • He took the bus to school.

  • I mixed 1/3 gallon of water to 1/3 gallon of whole milk to stretch it.

  • I pulled the chicken out of the crockpot. Hmm, boiled chicken anyone?!  I'm not sure what I'll do with the meat, I'm going to have to bake it into a meat pie or something because boiled chicken sure isn't something we enjoy.  There is still tons of liquid so my soup base still looks like regular stock. Groan. It's been cooking for 16 hours!  I put it back on high for 6 more hours, hopefully the liquid will reduce by a lot.  And then... well, I will still have to freeze it so I'm starting to think that buying Better Than Bouillon is definitely the way to go!  I had pulled about 2 or 3 cups of stock from the crockpot last night because it was threatening to overspill so I have that in the fridge to use tonight when I make black bean soup.

  • I did a "super" load of laundry on cold/cold and used vinegar as softener. There is absolutely no rain in the forecast so I'll be hanging everything to dry outdoors. The cats will be disappointed, I think.

  • The upside of having a foaming liquid soap dispenser that tends to overshoot on my upstairs bathroom sink is that the stains on the sink were soap so I was able to add just a little water and scrub the sink with that instead of using some other cleaning product :)  Quick and cheap! My dispenser is "overshooting" because I refilled it with (too much) Dial liquid soap that had been in a closet for YEARS (like almost 15 years!) and I added some water to it.  The ratio of soap to water is too high so it doesn't foam much.

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits and I'm working on Swagbucks. My 1st goal is 105 SB, which I won't reach unless I babysit my laptop since I got disqualified from a bunch of surveys again.  Arrgh. I'm at 54 SB at 9:00 a.m. so I'll make it, I think, but only if I sit around a lot and Ngage videos don't quit on me before I do!

  • The best way to save money is to not shop so in that spirit, I haven't been reading the Publix ad previews that IHeartPublix posts, for weeks!  I still see the alerts in Feedly and I email them to myself so if I decide to check them out anyway they'll be easily found in my email inbox, but I don't even open them up and peruse the ads unless I know that I'm going there. Yes, there are some great deals that I'm not making, but these days Aldi fulfills 90% of my grocery needs easily and then I don't have to make an extra stop, deal with coupons, etc.  So this morning I emailed myself the ad preview post for this upcoming week, but I didn't read it.

  • I had forgotten that I washed a bath towel. So as one of you suggested (I forget who, I'm sorry!),  I put it in the dryer for a bit and THEN I'll hang it outside to dry.  Supposedly it doesn't make it as scratchy. I have tried it the other way and it still makes the towels stiff as planks so I'm hoping this method might work better. Update: it did!

  • I reused rain water to water one of the nectarine trees and the little lemon tree in the back of the garden.

  • I used some weeds wildflowers to make a tiny bouquet for my baking counter. Fewer flowers to mow!

  • I harvested a tiny strawberry and ate it on the spot. It's not going into MyFitnessPal!

  • Over the weekend we saved 3 more empty cat litter jugs to store rain water. Now all I need is rain!  

  • Wow, I reached my 2nd Daily Goal in Swagbucks because I was credited a Shop & Earn. Woohoo!  I need to buy more stuff online so I can make my goals more easily, lol.  I am done with SB for the day.  Only now, I don't really have an excuse not to get off my duff and do some cleaning.

  • Especially since my daughter just texted me that she's coming home after lunch and I still haven't done the dishes that weren't done when she left on Friday... and were added to this weekend. Arrgh. OK, after lunch.

  • Although I didn't feel like it at all, I ended up exercising for free in my home. See, what happened is that for the past few months WRDQ had been showing 2 episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent every morning, at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.  I'd been borrowing the DVDs from the library so I hadn't watched them on TV for a couple of weeks but I'm in between library DVDs right now and I could watch those shows over and over again. So right before 11 a..m. I got a burst of energy and decided to move the recumbent bike to the living room and watch the 11 a.m episode. Only as soon as I sat down, it wasn't LOCI anymore, it was freaking Dateline. Whaaaaat?! Well, it was too late, I had already started pedaling.  So I halfway watched it but mostly read stuff on my phone, updated apps, etc.  But I did exercise!

  • I boiled eggs for my sandwiches for the rest of the week. Once cooled off, the water will be reused for watering a few plants.

  • I uploaded a couple of new generic offers to MobiSave (toothpaste, laundry detergent, OJ).

  • Uh oh... the French genealogical records website that was down yesterday is back up!  No, no, that's actually good news although maybe not for my domesticity today. Let's see, flip through screenshots of all French census records or clean the house.  Such a hard choice! Well, not really.  So I did that all afternoon while playing episodes of L&O: SVU on Netflix.

  • For dinner I ended up making the Spicy Black Bean Soup that's on the menu and I threw in some of the chicken meat from the chicken I boiled so I'm not making anything else. I had planned on serving the last large round of naan bread from a couple of weeks ago with it, but when I looked at it I realized that there were mold spots all over it so I had to throw it away :(  I'll just give the kids regular slices of white bread.  Argh, I should have made rolls!

  • Gas and tolls for my daughter to drive back from her dad's.

  • Got the notification of the lunch bill from when Greg took his dad out to lunch, ouch. I guess they didn't use a coupon or go to Wendy's.

  • After Bless and Susan commented that my passion flower vine wasn't dead yet because the stem was still green, I completely forgot to remind myself to keep watering it. So it's deader than a door nail now :(
The green is weeds. But of course!
  • Another pair of my shorts have torn at the crotch. Arrgh. The rest of them is fine so it feels like a waste to throw them away.  I'll use a patch but I can't run the risk of it falling off while I go shopping so it's another pair I'll have to make sure to only wear them at home.

  • Made my bed
  • Did the laundry
  • Scrubbed the upstairs bathroom sink
  • Sprayed bleach on bathtub rubber mat upstairs
  • Investigated credit card charge alerts that I had received (Greg's charges)
  • Filed the cats' new licenses in their files before I lost them (again)
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Commented on blogs
  • Hung the laundry outside
  • Deadheaded the roses
  • Clipped back the cone flowers
  • Watered the lemon and nectarine trees
  • Pulled snails off nectarine and lemon trees
  • Texted with Greg, youngest son and daughter
  • Exercised
  • Updated apps on my phone
  • Corresponded with one of my brothers via email
  • Boiled eggs
  • Worked on genealogy
  • Did the dishes
  • Swept and fake mopped the kitchen
  • Brought laundry back inside
  • Cooked dinner

  • I biked for 55 minutes (10.65 miles) on my recumbent bike in my living room.

Lunch (I forgot my tray!)

  • that my mom is so excited to go on vacation to Corsica with one of my brothers and SIL next week!  I was worried about her camping but she's all happy about it, after all, and says it will remind her of when she and my dad used to take us camping. Hardly, since my dad would do several trips with the car to bring everything we needed to camp for a month: a tent with separate rooms, cots, a whole traveling kitchen for my mom, including a little fridge... I don't think it was much of a vacation for her to tell you the truth!
  • that my daughter got home safely.
  • that middle son apparently had enough money to go visit his girlfriend in Tallahassee yesterday and today.


My surprise red canna flowers!

Seed husks left on a couple of the perches of the blue feeder prove that some birds did come to eat.

But I don't think any bird have visited this feeder in a whole, the seed level doesn't seem to come down (which means the squirrels aren't coming either!)

I should pull my tomato plants but I feel guilty since a couple of them are still flowering!

The ever expanding sweet potato vine... It's overtaking everything!

The lack of water is making my roses come out in 2 colors!  The bottom petals are bright red but the top ones are pink.

While others are coming out all dried up!

A couple of days without water just fried the new growth :(

More bi-colored roses.

And more atrophied ones!

Isn't it weird?!

Speaking of atrophied...the strawberries are tiny.  Lack of water, again.

These didn't even get to fruit.

Still not roselle calyces... maybe this will be one?
The underside of my nectarine tree leaves were covered in snails!

The few oranges on my tree are only about the size of golf balls.

I still haven't harvested the eggplants...

This serrano pepper is ready to be harvested too.

And so is this jalapeƱo

The lettuce that had reseeded itself is going to seed.

But the peanut plants look very healthy. I sure hope I'll get some peanuts!

The weeds are loving that Greg is not here to mow them.  They add some much needed color to my backyard and food for the bees and butterflies so I don't mind them... much.

I almost stepped on him!

Strawberry flower

I cut back the dead cone flower stalks but some of it is already growing back!

The cat litter bucket and the green bins both hold the cats' dry food.  Guess who was asking me
for DINNER at 10:30 a.m.?!  Greg calls her "The Bottomless Pit".
Did you do a lot of chores today?


  1. Looks like you had a pretty domestic Monday. Yay for getting the dishes done! It's going to be difficult, rearranging your routines around your daughter's schedule, but I'm sure you'll figure it all out. Please congratulate her from me for managing to take all college classes in her last year of high school! Your poor roses. They didn't like not being watered! Hope Greg's dad's appt. with the doctor goes well tomorrow.

    1. Thank you, Bless, and I will make sure to tell my daughter of your congratulations when she finally emerges from her room today :)

  2. I'm so sorry that your family is dealing with your father-in-laws illness. It's very difficult, I know, because we've had two family members die from cancer in the last few years. I'm sending positive thoughts your way.

    1. I'm sorry you had to deal with this as well. Thank you for the positive thoughts. Greg's sister has now developed high blood pressure, which can lead to preeclampsia. So she's now on bedrest and might undergo an emergency C-section later on this week. However, she's only 32 weeks pregnant. She was a major source of support for my mother-in-law, both emotionally and also IRL (his parents moved to Columbus to be closer to her and her husband), so this complicates things quite a bit. Greg is now waiting until later on this week to figure out if he's coming back middle of next week... or not! I miss my husband and I know he'd rather be home, but it sounds to me like he might be there quite a while longer, unless he decides to come back and then leave again. He has a business trip to Canada planned for September and I'm wondering if he's going to be able to postpone it.

  3. My comment went to the wrong post! To get a more concentrated stock tilt the lid to aid in evaporation. Crockpots tend to hold moisture in.

    1. No worries, I deleted it from the other post :)

      Now I really feel dumb not to have thought of that, ha. Well, I'm going to be using it as stock to make more soup this week so all is not lost, but in the future I'll just keep buying Better Than Bouillon at Walmart. Better keep earning those darn Swagbucks, then!

  4. You have gorgeous looking pink weeds? They remind me of portulaca or moss rose. They are very pretty. Too bad the lack of water has wrecked havoc with those rose bushes.

    Can the dehumidifier be run by your daughter after she finishes her shower? Or does she have to drag it in there after the room is cleared out?

    Greg sounds like a man torn between two places. I don't envy him.

    1. It might be a good idea to have her run it. It's sitting outside the bathroom and it's really heavy so she'd have to heave it over the doorway (there's a level difference) but she's younger and presumably stronger than I am!

      The pink flowers are from some kind of moss. I looked up the names in a previous post but I forgot what they are and I just finished vacuuming so I don't feel like getting up to get my book just now, lol.

      Greg's in a tough situation. It's hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes.

  5. Greg's family must be so happy (well, considering the circumstances) that he is able to be there for them. And you are right - it's "only" money. That's why we are frugal in other areas of our lives, so that there is money for instances like this.

    Weeds? Weeds are just flowers in the wrong place! :-)

    1. I've started calling them "wildflowers" :)

      Greg's coming back tomorrow but we know he'll have to go back there again in a few weeks. I wish his parents had moved down to The Villages instead of Columbus. They wanted to be closer to their daughter but now with her getting pregnant this year and being at the end of her pregnancy at about the same time as their dad's health is really declining significantly, they would have been better off closer to us. Hindsight is always great :)


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