Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday 8/31/16

My morning started with rain and the feeding of kittens. It all sounds very cozy, doesn't it?  lol.

I slept on the couch with the kittens in their cardboard box lined with a fluffy bath towel and covered with another one on the other couch. I had planned on feeding them every 3 hours since they don't seem to be very eager feeders anyway but then somehow my alarm rang at 3 a.m. instead of  2 a.m. so that made it a 4 hour wait but still, only one of them ate very well, the largest one. Throughout the night, I kept on hearing the other cats slinking into the living room so I would hiss at them and I could hear them run away, lol.

It was raining at 3 a.m., it stopped long enough for my son and Greg to leave for their respective destinations, and now at 8 a.m. it's raining again.

Tropical Depression 9 still hasn't been named as a storm and it now looks like it's moving a little northward so we might only get the rain without the storminess.  They still expect it to become a Tropical Storm some time this morning.

We're about where the "L": in FL is located
Due to the new kitten duty, my schedule for today has changed: I won't go grocery shopping this morning.  Instead I'll go in the afternoon, leaving my daughter to do kitten duty while I'm gone. I was going to go to several stores, but I think I might only go to Aldi and perhaps Publix, after all.  We'll see. Oh, and I have to stop by Walgreens to pick up my picture reprint. And the library to drop fof the DVDs that are due and pick up the new ones. Maybe I'll run that errand this morning. I can leave the kittens in the bathroom with the door closed and they'll be OK.

I'm a little tired but it's mostly due to the fact that the rainy weather makes for a dark morning!

My mom, brother and SIL made it to Corsica and are relaxing on a sandy white beach right now.  They haven't sent me any pictures of just the landscape so I have nothing to share for now.

On to my To Do List! I'm adding a "Kittens" section :)

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 - 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)
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • 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 - Done
    • Dust fan in exercise room
    • Clean the fridge
    • Declutter gardening supplies chest
    • Defrost the freezer
    • Sweep breezeway
    • Vacuum living room
    • Vacuum exercise room
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Wednesday) - Done
    • Take the recycling to the curb  - Done
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Need to preserve the eggplants
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere - Transplanted them in larger pot.
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Fertilize the raspberries - I'm thinking about pulling them and putting more roses in pots in their place.
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden - I will do this once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Plant more okra
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Add water to pepper bins
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
    • Harvest the peanuts
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Secure all outside loose objects and patio furniture in preparation for the storm (Thursday) - Might not need to do
  • Health:
    • 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  
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises  
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal  - Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards (in September)
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays) - Done
  • Kittens
    • Feed them every 2-3 hours. Give supplemental goop to those who won't eat. - Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.)  - Done
    • Wash and sterilize bottles and eye dropper  - Done
    • Don't forget to wash hands before and after handling them to prevent transmitting diseases to the other cats  - Done
    • Stop by vet's to get a smaller eye dropper - Done
  • 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
    • 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
    • Have Greg block the opening in the back fence
  • 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 upstairs
    • File paperwork
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt
    • Remove daughter's pc from her room and decide what to do with it
    • Complete August Food Expenses post -  in progress
    • Go through the genealogical material crate
    • Shred what needs to be shredded
    • Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
    • Work on shopping list - Done
    • Work on photo album for daughter's birthday (or graduation!)
    • Return DVDs at library and pick up new ones - Done
    • Check on solar lights again tonight. Contact Amazon about batteries that aren't working.
    • Input receipts into spreadsheets -  - Done
    • Submit rebates  - Done
    • Write Grocery Shopping Trip post - Done
    • Put Greg's passport away - Done

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • He rode the school bus.

  • I brewed a pot of half caf, half decaf coffee again, the decaf being free from Wawa (won in a sweepstakes).

  • I packed leftovers for Greg's lunch.

  • The kitten bottles don't seem to work so well, the kittens won't suck. So I found a dropper that I still had kicking around. It works a little better but it's too big.  See "Failures". However, it's easier to see how much each kitten is eating since the dropper is gradated in 1/4 tsp increments, up to 1 tsp.

  • When my son and I were at Petco yesterday, the person who helped us (and knew about newborn kitten care) showed us where the replacement milk formula was.  The KMR, the recommended brand, was $7.00 for expensive than the brand we ended up buying. The attendant said there was no difference.

  • In the kitten section, the only bottle came in a pack with other accessories (bottle brush, several other nippes) and was priced at $4.99. I had grabbed two of them but he told me that there was just a single bottle priced at $2.99 in the puppy section and went to get it for me. It's the exact same bottle as the kitten bottle but without all the other stuff.  Yay for attendant who aren't trying to oversell me!  So when he suggested the high calorie nutritional gel for kittens, I also grabbed it.  I did read an article this morning giving the recipe for "kitten gloop" so I guess that  is a thing.  I'll try feeding some to whatever kitten refuses to drink the formula at the next feeding time. It is intended to be supplemental food for finicky kittens.

  • After I fed the kittens mid-morning, I decided to go grocery shopping and run some errands but just as close to my home as possible since I only had 2-3 hours in between kitten feedings.
    • Save A Lot: I bought most of what I had wanted to buy from Aldi there. There weren't any clearances on anything today but that's fine as I still have 2 cherry pies and I don't need meat!  Their ad said the papaya was $0.69 each but they had disclaimers everywhere that it was an error and the papaya was $0.69/lb. That's fine, it's still a good price!  I bought 2.  I was able to use the $1.00 off milk coupon that I had printed last week, and use a $0.75 coupon off Black Forest Ham too. The blueberries were pricey at $2.50 for just 6 oz, but I figured they would be more expensive at Publix and my daughter and I like them.  I left the $2.00 Dole strawberries, though, as they didn't look good. I just noticed that my cashier gave me a discount on the bananas at just $0.29/lb, which is awesome!  They weren't brown at all so I thought I'd pay $0.54/lb.   My OOP was $25.71 and I paid with my USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards.

    • I stopped by the vet's to ask for a small eye dropper and they gave me a small pipette for free.  I should bring the kittens in at 4 weeks of age for a check-up and deworming, and then 4 weeks after that again and so on and so forth. Yeah, pricey.
I used it to give them mineral oil tonight.

    • At Publix, I was able to score 4 more packages of StoneFire naan bread for free after BOGO sale and BOGO coupons (although the cashier wanted to ask a manager because she didn't think I could use a BOGO coupon with a BOGO sale. She was told that I indeed could. Then the coupons beeped but she pushed them through manually, which I appreciated!).  I bought strawberries for $3.00, pricey but they're beautiful (not Driscoll's though), Bigelow herbal mint tea on BOGO @ $2.99 (since Dollar Tree hasn't had any in months). I splurged on Biscoff cookie butter for my daughter's crepes on her birthday as a surprise.  I also got 2 Renuzit cones for free after coupon. I was going to buy Makato ginger dressing that was on BOGO @ $3.99, but after making the rounds of the aisles, I decided that I didn't need it and put it back. My OOP was $12.84.  I still had $10.55 on the gift card that I had won in a sweepstakes so I applied it to my total and paid the $2.29 difference with my USAA Visa card for 10% back in Rewards.

    • I stopped by Walgreens to pick up the free 8 x 10 reprint that I had ordered last weekend.  I also grabbed a bottle of Oxyclean HD laundry detergent for $0.99 after coupon. My OOP was $1.27, charged to USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards, and I earned 30 Balance Rewards points.

    • Lastly, I returned the L&O:CI DVDs at the library and picked up the new season that was waiting for me.  I warned the teen librarian that I probably would ask my son to cancel his Dungeons & Dragons club meeting tomorrow, if the weather is stormy.  She was fine with it.

  • My daughter was home when I got back at about 11:20 and she helped me unload the car. It's always nice to have a child volunteer to do this!

  • For my lunch, I had the last of the Chicken Broccoli Tetrazzini and the very last navel orange that I had bought over a month ago!

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • I put Season 8 of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on hold at the library.

  • I submitted a rebate to MobiSave. I'm not sure I'll get it back because I uploaded the offer after I had done the shopping. I heard that you needed to upload the offers first.  We'll see.

  • I unlocked new offers on Ibotta.

  • I noticed that a $5.00 off $25 coupon had printed on my Petco receipt yesterday. I might actually have to redeem it this time!

  • Kellogg's emailed a 25-pt KFR code that I input in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.  However, I kept getting an error message when I tried to input it. I had to do a chat with a Customer Service Rep. First, the chat hung up on me when I was #2 in line.  I "redialed" it right away with the reference number that had been given to me and a new rep told me she would credit my account.

  • Oh hey, MobiSave did refund me the $0.10 for the laundry detergent,even though I had uploaded the offer AFTER I went shopping. Good to know!

  • CVS emailed me the $2.00 ECB reward that was a consolation prize for not being able to qualify for their $15 ECB survey :)

  • The American Cancer Society Volunteer Coordinator emailed me back this morning and was very gracious about my having to bow out until I'm off kitten duty. She said I could recontact her at any time. I do plan on doing that!

  • Checkout 51 refunded me the $0.25 for the blueberries.

    • The rest of the afternoon was a blurr... I fed kittens. tried to get kittens to poop, went to get mineral oil for the kittens, administered the mineral oil... then fed them again, tried to get them to poop...  arrgh. I'm really tired and nothing has been done, really.

    • I received some Ace Hardware coupons in the mail. Yesterday I received Dunkin' Donuts coupons.

    • Walmart also sent me a code for $10 off my first online grocery order. I might check it out.

    • I read that the kittens should be kept at a temperature of 95F for now since they can't regulate their body temp right now. Well, I'm not turning off the AC!  This afternoon, while looking for mineral oil, I found one of those long wraps that you heat up in the microwave. It's the exact same one as the one I bought Greg recently to replace the "hot socks" that he had burned in the microwave.  I had forgotten that I had given him that one for Christmas last year or the year prior and he had never used it. So I'm using it for the kittens. I warm it up in the microwave for 1 minute so it's warm but not too hot, and I put it on one side of the box, under the towel. They're warm and toasty for a couple of hours.

    • Dinner was the Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff and some naan bread.

    • Biscoff cookie butter for my daughter's birthday celebration.

    • Arrgh. I should NEVER declutter!  Remember when I did all that decluttering on Friday and Saturday?  I decluttered my printer stand that had been so messy for months. Part of what I decluttered were eye droppers, still in their package, that the vet had given me for some reason that I can't remember. Well, I think it was the vet, back when we got New Kitty and she was sick.  Anyhoo I'd have those for 9 months.  I usually put things like these in the donation box, thinking someone else can use them. But that day I was really tired of decluttering and the donation box was allllll the way at the other end of the house. So I dropped them into the trashcan at my feet.  So guess what I needed last night?  Yep, an eye dropper the size of the ones I "decluttered" because the one that I do have is too big for the kittens.  Arrgh.  So I have to stop by the vet's to see if they'll give me or sell me another one.

    • Swagbucks videos were making my laptop sound like a jet again this morning and everything was slowing down to a crawl so I'm not going to worry about Swagbucks today. I've reached the 21 day streak and that'll have to do this month. My 1st goal is 120 SB anyway and I doubt I'd reach it.

    • The solar rechargeable batteries ordered via Amazon came in yesterday afternoon.  I replaced the old ones. 2 of them made the lights come on right away, which was odd at is was only 4:30 p.m. but there was a big storm coming in and the sky was getting very dark.  The other 4 weren't on.  At night, 2 of the ones that hadn't come on during the day did come on but the last 2 didn't. I will observe again tonight, possibly replace the ones not working with some new ones (I had ordered 12) but if not all 6 work tonight, I will be contacting Amazon. Update: only 2 of them came on tonight. I left negative feedback for the seller and applied for a refund.  I was able to print a label so I won't have to pay for shipping, but I have to drop off the package at the UPS store by the end of September.

    • Took out the recycling late last night for collection early this morning
    • Fed the kittens at 3 a.m.
    • Fed the kittens at 6:30 a.m.
    • Cooked breakfast for Greg
    • Packed his lunch
    • Worked on my shopping list
    • Fed the kittens at 9 a.m.
    • Went to run errands and grocery shopping
    • Documented my trip and put everything away
    • Fed the kittens at 12 p.m.
    • Submitted rebates
    • Unlocked new offers in rebate apps
    • Input receipts into my spreadsheets
    • Took Customer Satisfaction surveys
    • Printed a few coupons
    • Fed the kittens
    • Did research on kittens
    • Went to buy mineral oil
    • Administered mineral oil to kittens
    • Did a load of dishes
    • Cooked dinner
    • Fed kittens
    • Applied for Amazon refund

    • I weighed myself this morning and I lost 2.2 lbs this past week. Woohoo! 

    • I didn't exercise today. I was distracted by several things and, to be honest, I felt very tired so I didn't really feel like getting on the bike. It's 8:34 p.m. and I have an hour before the next feeding so I might get on it for a little bit after I wrap up this post. Update: Nope, I didn't. I'm really too tired.

    • That the kittens survived the night!
    • That the potential storm seems to be veering North of us. Although now I'm worried about Middle Son's Darling Girlfriend up in Tallahassee!
    • That my mom, brother and SIL seem to be having a good time in Corsica.
    • That Greg told me he was proud of me for having lost 6.6 lbs :)


    They're eating with the eye dropper pretty well, although I don't think they're eating enough.  They're peeing well but they have yet to poop. I've tried everything, massaging their buttholes, rubbing it and then patting it with a paper towel dipped in warm water... I even gave them a couple of drops of mineral oil each late this afternoon but at the last feeding, even though I stimulated them both before AND after feeding, they still didn't poop.  If they don't poop by tomorrow morning, I'm going to take them to the vet's anyway. There's got to be a tech there who knows what they're doing and can try to see if she can make them poop!  This is very stressful.  Kittens that age should poop once a day and if they don't, it's a sign that something could be seriously wrong with them, according to the internet.

    The striped kitten, that's already the largest, put on 0.2 oz since yesterday, but the other two didn't put on any weight at all.  Starting now I'm going to wake them up every 2 hours to feed, even if they cry and cry and fight me.  They are feisty little things!  In all the YouTube videos that we've watched, the kittens cry but don't seem to move so much. Ours cry like toddlers having full temper tantrums in the middle of Publix AND try to get away from us. And they're strong! And since they're so fragile, we don't want to squeeze them too hard so it's... interesting, lol.

    Today, the dark grey kitten almost escaped from the box!  It was a display box from Save A Lot so one side was cut halfway down.  I had draped a towel over the box so they would remain warm and sleep and the box was caddy corner from me, on the other couch.  I was on the laptop and just happened to glance at the box when I saw a tiny paw emerging from under the blanket that was draped over the box, and then its little head!  Its eyes are still closed but the kitten had climbed up on top of the towel at the bottom of the box that's bunched up a little on the sides, and was crawling over it!  LOL.  That was really funny so I yelled to my daughter to come quick and we had a good laugh. I used a Walgreens Photo envelope to block the opening.  It's a good thing I was there!  They really keep on your toes, even though you think they're pretty helpless, still. I shudder at the thought of the headaches they're going to give me (if they ever poop and they survive!) when they're just a few weeks older.

    The Escape Artist
    Sorry I didn't list my freebies in a separate post today, Susan!  I need to get used to this new routine. 


    1. Oh my gosh! They are adorable! So cute. Wish you lived closer, I would take one. Good luck with them, you seem to be doing a great job!

    2. Aw, but they are adorable! I especially love the picture in which they are all curled up together! Have you thought of names for them, yet? At least one should be named "Storm" I think! :D

    3. Thanks, everyone! Good night (yawn), lol!

    4. I just adore the little video clip with the kitten sucking on the dropper (?).

    5. I haven't been commenting at all since the start of September, but then I think you are too busy with kittens to even notice. I always look for your blog but especially of late to see what the latest news is regarding the little ones.

      Seems strange that on today's date, with the storm racing towards Tallahassee, that it is still an "unnamed storm" They sure do develop quickly.

      1. I DID notice and I missed you! I know you're busy and then you've had to worry about your honey's health... plus I never want to pressure anyone to comment :) I was also surprised that it took so long to name the storm, knowing what we knew about its upcoming path at that time, but I guess they have to wait until it's reached a certain speed first.

        I hope all is well with you and your hubby, Susan.

    6. I had to bottle feed my oldest Lab-mix. He came to us at 13 days old...Mama had died and left behind a litter of 12!! :( We weren't really "in the market for" another pup because we had 2 at the time. Well, he chose us. Hendrix is now 8 years old and the biggest lover you have ever met! He is my very best friend!

      1. Man, I thought you were going to tell me you took in all 12 puppies! Awww, I can tell Hendrix is loved very much!


    Anything you'd like to add? Share away!