Friday, August 5, 2016

Technological Frustrations ~ Friday 8/5/16


Greg worked from home today so I turned off my alarm and waited until I heard him go downstairs to get up, at 7:30a.m.  Consequently, I was a little groggy. The fact that he makes himself breakfast (PBJ) in the mornings when he works from home also threw me off my routine schedule.  So I brewed my pot of coffee, saw that it was wet (and muggy) outside because of the light rain we got last night, heard the neighbors mow their lawn (at 7:30 a.m.?!) so I decided to remain indoors today. The birds and squirrels will have to fight it out without me.

I have so many chores left on my list for this week and a very filthy kitchen... I really need to do the dishes this morning and then see what else I can accomplish. Wearing the knee brace last night (and until about 6 a.m. this morning when I couldn't stand it anymore!) seems to have helped and my knee seems fine as of 8:30 a.m. so we'll see what happens when I have to pivot to put the dishes in the dishwasher.  Oh, and my calendar just reminded me that I signed up for a 2-hour Wildflowers and Butterflies hike tomorrow morning, so I really need to baby my knee today!

No plans to go anywhere today... I'm hoping it's a No Drive Day!

Greg has a headache, I'm sure it's due to the change in atmospheric pressure with the tropical storm/hurricane that was in the Gulf this week, so I'm defrosting some chicken breasts to make him jalapeño soup for lunch. That always seems to help.

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)
    • Vacuum the Expedition and the Focus (Saturday)
    • Do the dishes - Done
    • Vacuum living room
    • Sweep breezeway
    • Sweep and mop kitchen
    • Sweep and mop downstairs bathroom
    • Spray bleach in shower stall
    • Scrub downstairs toilet
    • Vacuum daughter's room (Saturday)
    • Wash daughter's bedding (Saturday)
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Check on the pineapples to see if they're ready to be cut up and dehydrated
    • Collect dehydrated onions and process them - collected in a jar. 
    • Make Grape Nuts (Saturday)
    • Cook jalapeño soup for Greg - Done
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
    • Take donations to thrift store
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere - Transplanted them in larger pot.
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Fertilize the raspberries - I'm thinking about pulling them and putting more roses in pots in their place.
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden - I will do this once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Plant more okra
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Check on seed nursery - Done
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
    • Get back on the recumbent bike! 
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises 
    • Weigh myself  (Monday)
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal
  • 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
    • Greg to call plumber
  • Technology/Paperwork:
    • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
    • Scan more old pictures
    • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns - Started but need to do more research.
    • Figure out if we should contribute to regular  or Roth IRAs for 2016 and fund them - I guess I need to wait until tax time next year, actually. I'll have until April 15, 2017 to fund 2016 IRAs so I need to work on taxes way sooner than I did this year so I'd have time to fund the IRAs and THEN file my taxes.
    • Download all May-July photos to my external drive
    • Back up my external drive to my other external drive
    • File the remaining loose recipes that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
    • Purge filing cabinet
    • File paperwork
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt
    • Clip coupons
    • Sort coupons
    • Submit Clearasil rebate 
    • Input receipts into spreadsheets  - Done
    • Work on shopping list - Done
    • Record Greg's paycheck in my spreadsheets - Done
    • Transfer raise equivalent to savings - Done
I was feeling bad about not having dusted in quite a while (it's been on my to-do list for several weeks, yikes!) but I saw this article on a study about Amish kids and house dust on Google News last night (, which doesn't surprise me.  I've seriously always said that my kids have been healthy because I'm a lousy housekeeper and I never minded them playing in the dirt. I avoid antibacterial products like the plague and I have a healthy coat of house dust (and sand!) in my house at all times.

FRUGAL SUCCESSES
  • Greg worked from home today, saving us about $20 in tolls and gas and himself 2 hours of commuting time.

  • I opened a new bag of free coffee from Wawa (I had won 4 of them). This one is the "regular blend". I didn't bother mixing cinnamon in it, I just brewed it plain. It's much less bitter than the Dark Roast. Yay!

  • Greg brewed himself some Lipton Black Tea so I asked him to save me the bag so I can brew myself some tea at lunchtime. We love that tea but Publix doesn't carry it anymore.

  • I earned the Bing Rewards credits for the day and a few Swagbucks. At 8:50 a.m., I have 2,195 SB and I'm running nGage videos so I should be able to order a $25 gc today without any problems. Finally!

  • I took a RaceTrac survey and earned a survey reward code for a freebie. All my receipts are from the same station and I can only take 1 survey per station per day so I'll need to work down my stash of receipts over the next few days!


  • I noticed that the August free drink coupon that comes with my Prince of Pastries status had been added to my RaceTrac app :)


  • I took a quick shower.  My showers are always very quick (lather up, rinse, done!) whereas I take very long baths. I have a full bucket of water collected in the shower in the past few days but I don't want to flush the upstairs toilet with it since it's not flushing properly to start with.  And since it has rained the past 2 nights, I don't have to water anything... so I'm letting the water sit there until I have a use for it.  

  • I printed some coupons via Swagbucks.

  • I defrosted the chicken breasts in the microwave (I hate that, it makes it rubbery) and grilled them on the barbecue.

  • I had to first clean the barbecue that was extremely filfthy!  I used a spare Publix ad to run the gunk off after I scrubbed it with the steel wire brush so I wouldn't have to use paper towels.

  • Greg's headache turned into a migraine with the accompanying nausea. We were out of ginger ale so I asked him to monitor the chicken that was cooking and I drove the Focus to RaceTrac.  The 2L bottles of Canada Dry were over $2 each or 2 for $3 so I bought 3, and earned 9 loyalty points.  I also redeemed a Sodapalooza coupon for a free roller grill item (I got a Monterey Chicken roll for my son's lunch) and a free jumbo blueberry muffin with a survey reward code.  The soda won't come out of my grocery budget, as I'm deducting it from my medical expenses budget, lol.


  • I made the jalapeño soup by boiling 6 cups of water in the electric kettle. Meanwhile I cut up homegrown jalapeños, an avocado, and the grilled chicken.  When the water was done boiling, I mixed 1.5 tbsp of Better Than Bouillon Chicken into it to make the broth (so delicious, I buy mine at Walmart, it's way cheaper than at Publix although it's still expensive). Then I add the chicken, jalapeños and avocado and let it sit for 5 minutes.

  • Greg had soup and crackers for lunch, with ginger ale. Our son had the Monterey Chicken roll (I had put it on a hot dog bun) and an apple.  I had the rest of the frittata leftovers, the last burger from last night with homemade zesty refrigerator pickles that I had made in early July, and a mango (50 cents at Save A Lot).

  • I got some bread dough out of the fridge (Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Boule Bread) and set it out on the patio to rise.  I will bake it for dinner tonight.

  • I ate my lunch while watching one of the library DVDs of L&O: CI on my laptop (with headphones) so as not to bother Greg.

  • I printed the weekly coupons that Betty Crocker emailed me via Firefox.

  • A Swagbucks Search award put me over the 2,200 SB limit needed to order a gift card so I ordered a $25 Walmart gift card, which will help my grocery budget. I will get such items as bread flour and Better Than Bouillon there, since I can't find those items at Aldi and Publix is more expensive.


  • I decluttered 2 pens by throwing them away since they'd been in one of my pen cups but had stopped working quite a long time ago.

  • I also put the following in the donation box:
    • 8 spare inner tubes (various sizes)
    • a brake and gear cable set


  • I kept: a deluxed patch kit and 2 tire remover tools (for bikes) as I can use that.

  • My son used up a jug of cat litter yesterday and saved me the empty jug. I will fill it with rainwater once the rain barrel is full.

  • Both our American Express cards had an offer for $25/$25 on Hulu!

  • For a mid afternoon snack, I had a piece of blueberry pie bought on Monday at Save A Lot on 50% clearance.  I also brewed myself a cup of tea by reusing the tea bag from Greg's breakfast.

  • I perused the ad previews for CVS and Walgreens next week and took note of what I will buy from there.  There are quite a few grocery items offered with ECBs next week. I will purchase them as they are items we do consume, that I will get for free with my CVS gift card anyway. The resulting ECBs will allow me to get even more grocery items for free over the following weeks :)  Disclosure: part of my purchases will be Diet Dr. Pepper cans from CVS for Greg, as a surprise. And then some more from Walgreens tomorrow since I have $10 in RR to use up there!  Sshhh....  Also, Walgreens will have the eggs on sale for $0.69 a dozen next week, limit 2.


  • I had signed up for a Quikly offer whereby I could have earned a free oil change at Valvoline.  Since I don't check the phone where the text was sent (our home line) I wasn't fast enough to snag a freebie but I still got a $15 coupon, woohoo. My SUV is actually due for an oil change pretty soon and I go to Valvoline now :)


  • It rained mid-afternoon!  A steady rain that lasted a while. Woohoo :)

  • There's a milk promo going on.  If you upload your milk receipts between mid June and late August to the Milk Life website, you will earn a $1.00 coupon and be entered in a sweepstake.  Details here. I'm relatively well organized with my grocery coupons so it was pretty easy for me to find all the appropriate receipts :)


  • I received the $8.99 Visa card rebate for the antacid that I bought for Greg in June.  I need to make sure to use it up before January or $3 will be deducted every month!


  • I scheduled a credit card payment online.


  • We earned $34.59 in American Express Rewards on our last statement.

  • I didn't feel like cooking dinner.  Greg suggested we get food from the Mexican restaurant down the street but I'm not a huge fan of it and paying good money for mediocre food didn't appeal to me.  He said he would eat soup since we had jalapeño soup so he and I had that with homemade bread, and my son was happy to have canned ravioli and homemade bread.  Woohoo!

  • I earned a 30 SB collector bill that put me within 2 SB of reaching my 1st goal!  I'll go play a couple rounds of Swagasaurus Run to reach it :)


  • I did it!


SPLURGES
  • My son will be eating at the high school cafeteria once a week, as I allow him to. So I added $10 to his school lunch account. I just realized that I didn't make sure that he has assigned to the high school in the system now so I checked to make sure the funds weren't sent to the wrong school... he was indeed assigned to the high school. Phew! The $10 will be accounted for in my "Eating Out/Ordering In" expenses. Secretly, I think that he will find that it's much faster for him to bring his lunch from home as the line at the cafeteria is always extremely long.

FAILURES
  • Food Waste Friday - I had to compost:
    • 1/3 of a container of strawberries
    • a couple of cherries from the bag I bought on clearance.
    • my bag of frozen onions: I had processed them in the food processor, which turned them into a puree more than diced onions so they froze into one big mass that I tried to defrost in the microwave... but the results were onion puree so I can't really freeze that again. Ugh.
    • several homegrown jalapeños and serrano peppers that had spoiled before I froze them
    • a mango that rot instead of ripened


  • Something got changed on my laptop without my permission (odd since I never enable or actively disable all automatic updates) and now I'm unable to print coupons. Oh noes! It seems to happen periodically. I'm downloading Firefox for free to see if it'll print from there as it might be a Chrome issue.  It's annoying to have to "waste" time on issues like these time and time again.  
    • same problem with Firefox, arrgh.  I emailed Coupons.com but it'll take several days to get an answer. They're going to suggest clearing my cache so I'll try that now.
    • I cleared my cache and browsing history and everything since the beginning of time.  Still not printing.
    • Uninstalled and reinstalled the coupon printer.  Still not printing. In all cases, Coupons.com is requiring me to install their coupon printer every single time that I try to print. So it's not anything that has to do with my printer or my router.  And it doesn't seem to be Chrome (although the coupon printer plug-in doesn't seem to exist?!) since Firefox is giving me the exact same problem.
    • This might be the problem that gets me to just shop at Aldi from now on!  I'll have to check I can still print them from my son's PC that's running Windows 10.
    • Coupons.com replied and suggested steps for Firefox. So I reopened Firefox and went to the Coupons.com page (which was step #1) and suddenly there was a message from Firefox asking me if I wanted to enable the Coupon printer! YES! So then I defaulted my search engine to Swagbucks, went to the Swagbucks Coupons page, selected coupons, had to reconfirm that I wanted them to always allow to run the coupon printer plug-in and voila!  My coupons printed! So it's a PITA to have to use another browser again but at least I could print my $2 coupon for a jar of Nutella!

    • I tried printing my coupons on the back of full pages that had already been printed on one side, but since they're slightly curled, they won't go through the automatic feeder and I would have to manually feed them one by one. So that's not going to happen anytime soon :(

    • Greg got a migraine and nausea so I drove to RaceTrac to get him some ginger ale.  So much for No Drive Day.  (Poor Greg too!)

    • Technology and I are NOT friends today. I needed to scan some receipts. Our scanner is an HP WiFi Inkjet All-in-One printer. I mostly hate the thing because the printer uses color ink for printing anything including black and white documents, won't let you use anything else than real HP ink, and the wi-fi functions work only about half the time.  So of course I had to reset it on the new wifi (which was an ordeal in itself) and then it proceeded to give me a whole bunch of problems scanning, saying it couldn't connect to my laptop (but sending me messages to my laptop at the same time...), etc, etc. Scanning 4 receipts took at least 30 minutes with a lot (A LOT) of swearing very very bad words by yours truly.  Why can't be go back to the good old days of having everything wired in?!

    CHORES
    • Tried to figure out my coupon printing problem!  Grr.
    • Emailed Coupons.com
    • Funded my son's school lunch account
    • Took customer satisfaction survey
    • Recorded receipts into my spreadsheets
    • Printed coupons
    • Made jalapeño soup
    • Baked bread
    • Did a load of dishes
    • Went to RaceTrac to get freebies and ginger ale
    • Uploaded new offers to Amex
    • Worked on my shopping list
    • Balanced my checkbook
    • Set up the wireless printer on the wifi and tried scanning receipts. Ugh.
    • Scheduled a credit card payment

    GRATITUDE
    • For the light rain we had last night. There wasn't any extra water in the rain barrel, but it was enough for me not to have to worry about watering the garden today and the trees needed the moisture anyway.
    • That I was finally able to print coupons!  Despite my bravura about shopping only at Aldi, I would have missed the savings :)
    • That my husband and son were easy going when it came to dinner.

    14 comments:

    1. Sorry you had technological issues to deal with and Greg had a migraine. Hope all will be better, tomorrow. Glad you got some rain. Can you send some of it my way, please?

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      1. I'm currently willing all the rain predicted for today to rush westward to your area, Bless. I hope it works!

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    2. Hey, I take it Ginger ale helps Greg's migraines does it stop the sickness? I might keep some in the fridge for my nine year old although since we have broken up from school he has not had a migraine. Shocker!

      Its so annoying when you can't print things that you want, my computer is more a tablet than a computer although it has keyboard but there are a few restrictions on it like printing coupons. And I have been avoiding getting an I phone for years (not a big Apple fan) so I've skirted around using other phones but a lot of the apps that I want are on Apple so I think when its time to change my phone I will get an I phone this time.

      I hope you enjoy your weekend, your back to school next week aren't you? Is it Monday? Xx

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      1. The ginger ale is purely for the nausea. Yes, it does help. Pregnant women who have nausea are often told to eat ginger candy for it. Some people prefer flat ginger ale because the bubbles make them nauseous too but Greg likes it fizzy. I usually always have cans of it but I had drank the last one just a couple of days ago (I like ginger ale!) so that was bad timing.

        I would suggest buying a used iPhone 5S but make sure you get more than 16G, get at least 32G. The iOs takes a large portion of the 16G (and I don't even have the latest iOS) and once you add apps and start taking photos and add music, you're left with almost no space.

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    3. I just got new migraine meds from the doctor. I was very excited after taking the first one because it dissolved and the meds worked very fast and not just on the headache but the sound, light and everything sensitivity. It was amazing!!! Nothing else works for me so I highly recommend. I got 9 pills for a $7 copay so it isn't a lot of supply and it will probably only last a few months but hopefully I will get a higher number for the copay next time if the doctor writes it for more but I guess it might depend on the insurance. I hope that he is feeling better because it is a nightmare to not feel good.

      Congrats on the Swagbucks!!! I have made my daily goal for the last few days and I want to try to do days each month but the goal always gets too high to make. Here is hoping that you get lots of savings with your Walmart gift card!!

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      1. Thanks Alison! Can you tell me the name of the medication?

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      2. Rizatriptan is the new one that I got and it works great. I still use Excedrin if it isn't that bad but this one is a miracle. I used to take an other one that had horrible side effects and this one is wonderful!! Hopefully it works for Greg too :)

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      3. I'm so glad it works for you! If I can ever convince him to go to the doctor's, I'll have him mention that drug to see if he can get a prescription for it.

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      4. LOL!! Same problem here. BOYS!!! It really works amazing and helps because if I take other meds then I still have the headache the next day but with this stuff, when it is gone- it is gone and I don't wake up the next day with it. Maybe this will get him to the doctor. It said Maxalt something was the non-generic name which they might be more familiar with :)

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    4. Your bread looks delicious! I don't know why I shy away from making bread - or anything with yeast.

      I always let my kids have ginger ale when they had tummy issues, like throwing up or nausea. These days, I'd just as soon take some fresh ginger and make some tea (I don't drink any soda, except sometimes I mix some red wine with a citrus type soda...and don't tell my sister, she'd kill me over that).

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      1. I like the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day bread (although it's a lie, it takes longer than that because it needs to rise and then bake, but there is no kneading and making the dough takes less than 5 minutes). But I bought the yeast in (2) 1-lb packets from Amazon (much cheaper than buying the little packets at the store) and didn't use it fast enough. The bag I just opened had a sell-by date of January 2016 and it's not rising very well. I hate wasting it but it'll take me a loooong time to use it up and it'll just keep getting worse and worse so now I'm thinking I should buy fresh yeast. Maybe just 1 lb this time, if I can find it.

        Isn't red wine with fruity soda the same thing as a wine cooler? Or Sangria? I don't drink wine but I like wine coolers (a little too much!).

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      2. Ha - that's what I call it, my home-made wine cooler! It makes the wine a little sweeter and less tart, in my mind.

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    5. Sorry you had a "Frustrating Friday". Tech problems are generally very frustrating for me as well. Usually, if I can't fix it by turning it off and turning it on again, I will throw up my hands in despair and leave it for someone else to do. And when no one else can do it, that is when I hunker down and try to resolve it on my own. I understand the need to swear. It has helped me out on many occasions. Ha.

      Good for you getting your 10 items purged. I feel I haven't done anything in two solid weeks. I can't believe another week has gone by so quickly. Where is the summer going? Aaack. We didn't get the promised rain; and, the cooler temperature is still 30 degrees Celcius. Big Whoop! I'm not feeling the gratitude.

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      1. I don't blame you for being sick of the heat and lack of rain. Right now, though, I would like it to stop raining for a while as Greg has terrible migraines. We've spent the whole weekend with the curtains drawn because the light makes it worse and he doesn't want to be up in the bedroom (where it's darker). I feel terrible for him but I taking advantage of the fact that the house needs to be quiet for not doing hardly any chores and watching a lot of DVDs on my laptop. I need to call the AC repair people tomorrow as something is wrong with our AC thermostat. Ugh, it's always something.

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