Monday, August 1, 2016

You've Got To Go With The Flow! ~ Monday 8/1/16



Can you believe it's August 1st?!?  I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. School is starting next week, aaack.

I stayed up way too late last night, until 2 a.m., re-reading some of my posts from last August. It was fun! But this morning I was paying for it.  I decided to sleep on the couch last night seeing that I would be up less than 5 hours later.  New Kitty woke me up at 6:30 a.m., making a racket in the litterbox next door.  I did manage to fall back asleep until my alarm rang at 6:45 a.m. and then I just waited for Greg to come down 10 minutes later.

Our son got up at 7:30 a.m. since I'm getting him acclimated to getting up earlier due to being in High School now. He'll have to get up at 6 a.m. when school actually starts. He is not a morning person so definitely no chit chats on the way to school :(  Maybe I'll have him ride the bus after all, lol.

After Greg left, I settled on the patio. I decided to only stay until 10 a.m. so I could catch "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" from 10 to noon, working on the laptop during the show (wayyy easier than on the Kindle!) and doing household chores during the commercial breaks.  Compromise, Compromise. It is Domestic Monday, after all, and now that Greg is aware of the trend, he'll be asking what I did to make it domestic, lol.

Hmm, so here's my "You Got to Go with the Flow!" theme comes in: I wasn't going to go out at all, but then a reminder came in that Save A Lot had the sugar on sale for $0.99 a bag today so I had to change my plans.  Then, once there, I found a few items on clearance so I spent more than the $1.98 that I was planning on spending. But it made my driving to SAL even more justified :)  Back home, I didn't feel like doing a lot of domestic chores because the heat did me in and I had slept only about 4.5 hours of sleep. So I think we'll go for a Domestic Tuesday this week :)  Sometimes you need to change your plans a little, My goals are still the same for the week, I'm just giving myself some extra time to accomplish them.

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
    • Iron - partly done
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter exercise room (including storage bench)
    • Vacuum the Expedition and the Focus
    • Do the dishes
    • Clean coupon organizer of expired coupons - Done
    • Do the laundry - Done
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put the laundry away
    • 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
    • Wash daughter's bedding
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Check on the pineapples to see if they're ready to be cut up and dehydrated
    • Write a menu for this week
    • Make bread dough  - Done
    • Collect dehydrated onions and process them - collected in a jar. 
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
    • Pick up acne soap from dermatologist (on Wednesday)
  • 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
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden
    • 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
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment
    • Read reply from insurer about son's prescription
    • Get back on the recumbent bike! 
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises - 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
    • Trim my bangs
  • 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
    • Write July Food Expenses Recap post
    • Input receipts into spreadsheets  - Done
    • Leave Amazon feedback  - Done
    • Reply to my mom's email  - Done
    • Sort coupons
    • Take Parks department survey and mention the sad state of the access road to the Gal Van Fleet Trailhead - Done
    • Redo the kitchen wall calendar for August  - Done

FRUGAL SUCCESSES
  • At 10 p.m. last night, Greg did a last run for Sodapalooza refills. He got all 4 cups refilled and put them in the fridge for us so we're all drinking semi-flat but free soda today, lol.

  • I packed leftovers for his lunch.

  • I brewed a pot of free coffee from Wawa for breakfast, and I had a couple of slices of the failed rum-raisin loaf that I baked in the breadmaker last night.

  • I cooked 6 more hard-boiled eggs for the week. The water will be reused to water some potted plant once it's cooled off.

  • I earned some Swagbucks and the daily Bing Rewards credits for today.

  • I unlocked new SavingStar offers on my app.

  • I did 2 super loads of laundry on cold/cold.  My bottle of detergent was empty so I filled it up with water a couple of times and dumped it into the washing machine so I could get all the last drops of detergent.  I used vinegar as softener and dried my clothes, all the undies/socks/exercise clothes/cleaning cloths and cloth napkins outside on the Ikea racks.  Greg's Tshirts and the bath towels went into the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting.

  • I inventoried my fridge to see what I have to work with for this week's menu.

  • I renewed a library book that was due today so I avoided any late fees.

  • Amazon released the August titles for the KindleFirst program (i.e. freebies!). I picked this one.


  • AT&T emailed me our new cell phone bill. You might remember that we decided to try NOT paying $40 for the AT&T Passport plan when Greg went to Canada last month.  Verdict: our bill is only $4 more than usual and part of it is due to my calling my mom for 12 minutes.  Woohoo!

  • I watched "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" on OTA TV in the morning while doing a few tasks on my laptop.  Free entertainment while being productive, woohoo!

  • I used a small dumb bell (I think it's 2 lbs) to do 5 minutes of biceps curls this morning. Woohoo!  Free strength exercise.  This was a joint suggestion from Pixel Peeper (do strength exercises 5 minutes a day to start) and Greg (use a small dumb bell while I watch a show instead of starting with pull-ups or push-ups, which I hate and I'm horrible at).  Thanks, guys!


  • My son walked to the park for his daily dose of exercise.

  • Dang it, I wasn't going to go anywhere today but I got a reminder that Save A Lot has the 4-lb bags of sugar for just $0.99 today (limit 2) so I need to go get some. I'll go at noon.

  • This month again I had a Discover Deals offer on my Discover card for $10 off $30 at Kohl's, which once entered into my Kohl's app, turned into $10 Kohl's cash. However, Greg didn't get the offer on his card this month so it's only $10 in free money for me in August. I'll take it!

  • Next weekend is the Florida tax holiday for back to school. It's for a much shorter period than it used to be.  In the past, it lasted 10 days. This year, it's only over the weekend. The benefits are much less too. I usually don't bother shopping during that period because retailers run fewer sales since they figure shoppers are already saving the 7% tax. Plus 7%... not a huge savings.

  • I drove to Focus to Save A Lot to take advantage of the special sale on sugar.
    • The Focus uses less gas than my SUV.
    • At Save A Lot, the cherries were on manager clearance at $0.50/lb!  The catch was that most bags had a lot of rotten cherries in them, but the first bag I picked up was 99.9% pristine, woohoo.  So I paid $1.07 for 2.14 lbs of cherries.
    • I also got 3 more ears of corn for $1.00
    • The bakery clearance table had 5 pies on 50% clearance. I didn't want to be greedy so I only bought 3 of them (*wink*). This will save me time and from having to bake and heat up the house.  I got an apple pie ($1.65), a blueberry pie ($1.65) and a cherry pie ($1.99).
    • I walked the perimeter of the store to see what else I could get on clearance.  I found a medium cheese pizza on clearance for $2.75. This will be dinner tonight, woohoo.
    • There were two 2-lb chubs of ground beef that were to be sold by today but not marked down. I wanted to ask the manager if he would discount them for me but when I saw him, he was busy receiving merchandise so I didn't bother. I have a lot of ground beef in my freezer anyway.
    • I also bought a large square plastic container for $5.49. A little pricey, maybe, but I needed a replacement for my bread dough container. I think I want to start baking Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day bread again.
    • The cashier told me that the limit on the sugar wasn't 2 bags but just 1.  Crap!  But she suggested I do 2 transactions so I could get 2 bags. How sweet of her, I wouldn't have thought of it and there was a line behind me. So I paid $16.98 with my Discover card (2% back in Rewards) and then $0.99 in cash for the 2nd bag of sugar.

    • On the way home I decided to stop by Walgreens to pick up my free 8 x 10 reprint. This saves me a stop on Wednesday.

  • Back home, my son came out by himself to help me carry everything back inside (awww, what a sweetie) and got all excited about the pizza and the pies, lol.

  • He had made himself lunch already so I put everything away and took care of mine: an egg salad sandwich, cucumber slices with some Veggie Ranch dip bought on 50% clearance last week, and some cherries. I drank the Diet Coke Sodapalooza refill that Greg had gotten me late last night.

OK. I ate most of the cherries in one setting. Oops.
  • Murphy USA released new freebie offers. I will redeem the soda but my local Murphy USA station doesn't have hot coffee.

  • I printed a few coupons that Kellogg's emailed me and also from Smartsource.com.


  • I mixed a batch of boule bread.  Realized that the container that I bought earlier at Save A Lot was actually a set of two. Woohoo.
I let it rise for 2 hours and then put it in the fridge, I'll bake bread tomorrow.
  • For dinner I cooked the pizza that I bought earlier today. I finished a pack of ham a little past its time (the color is off because of oxydation but the smell was fine), some pepperoni and slices of homegrown jalapeƱos on my and Greg's slices.  I also made a salad with Romaine hearts, grape tomatoes, an avocado and some cucumber slices.

  • I mixed a new batch of "Maille dressing".

  • I put the dehydrated onions into a jar. I'll chop them in the food processor tomorrow.

  • I found a penny that Greg had left in the breezeway so it rejoined its siblings and cousins in my 2016 Spare Change Jar.

  • I saved the 2 tops from the sushi packages from this weekend. They'll work perfectly as "saucers" under some of my pots.



SPLURGES
  • My daughter turns 18 in a few weeks and I just realized that it's a huge milestone so I need to do something special. Ugh.  I gave her older brothers laptops when they turned 18, but she already has one. So I asked her dad what his plans are.  She could use a newer phone but I wouldn't want to pay for one on my own, so I'm kind of hoping he offers to go halfsies on something.  We'll see.  Update: he's getting 2 iPhone 5S from his parents in a couple of months and will be passing them down to our daughter and Middle Son so I'm back to square one.

FAILURES
  • The Raisin-Rum loaf that I baked last night completely failed.  The dough didn't rise  and wasn't cooked all the way through, resulting in a very dense loaf, as Paul Hollywood (from The Great British Baking Show) would say. I don't know if it was operator error, if my breadmaker didn't heat up enough, or if there is a flaw in the recipe.  Maybe I should have picked "dark crust" instead of "regular crust".  I'm still eating it, toasting with some peach preserves, but it's more like choking it down.
The loaf was tiny and didn't look like much...

The heel didn't look too bad but the subsequent slices were dense and undercooked.
  • I had to compost several baby carrots that had dried in the fridge, an almost a complete head of Romaine that looked fine from the outside but that rotten on the inside.

  • I also had to throw away some pepperoni slices that had gotten mouldy.


CHORES
  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Cooked hard boiled eggs for the week
  • Did the laundry
  • Renewed a library book
  • Exercised a little
  • Left Amazon feedback on my recent purchases
  • Redid the kitchen wall calendar for August
  • Corresponded with my ex re: my daughter's return and her birthday via email
  • Printed some coupons
  • Cleaned out my coupon organizer of expired coupons
  • Input the latest receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Brought the laundry back inside
  • Mixed a batch of boule dough
  • Replied to my mom's email
  • Cooked dinner

GRATITUDE
  • For the texts that Middle Son's Girlfriend sent me last night. She's an absolute sweetie.
  • For the pictures that my sister emailed me from her vacation.
  • For my son's helpfulness when I came home with the groceries.
  • For the visits of some birds at my feeders.

NATURE
Hummingbird


Tufted Titmouse

Mourning Dove and female cardinal

The hibiscus flowers looked extra bright this morning.

This squirrel was quite upset. He squealed and squealed for a good 15 minutes.

Here it is squealing on top of the pole.
Male cardinal


This lizard was giving me the "come hither!" look. Sorry pal, I'm married.

Tufted Titmouse thinking about going to the larger feeder.

There it goes!

It doesn't have an extra long beak... it's carrying a large seed in it!


Carolina Wren coming in for a landing (I think I can, I think I can!)

"Told you I could!"



Getting ready to go... (sorry for blurriness, that new lens isn't all that fancy!)

And there he goes again!
Did your day go as planned?

12 comments:

  1. Those bird pictures are great! LOL on the lizard giving you the come hither look! :D Wonder what upset the squirrel? Maybe he was feeling unhappy that there are no squirrel feeding stations stocked with peanuts!

    Your hibiscus is looking gorgeous!

    That's a great price on the sugar! I haven't seen it at that price here in years! Too bad your bread didn't rise that much and bake all the way through. Maybe you can make some bread pudding or something with it? Or slice it and bake it again, like biscotti?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm eating the bread as is, with a little peach preserves on it, but thanks for the suggestions!

      I am NOT feeding any squirrel any peanuts. Especially not one as rude as that one.

      Delete
  2. What kind of light box are you building for your camera? I always enjoy your nature pictures, but today I especially like the one of the squirrel peeking around the pole.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, you would ask me that question, wouldn't you? I have a printout of some instructions kicking around somewhere in the mess that is on the printer stand, I think. But I'm comfy and too tired to go hunting for them right now, lol. It didn't look too complicated, though. It just involved a cardboard box, some white poster board and foil (I think?!). If I find them I'll post the link to the site.

      Delete
  3. I think the bird shots in landing and take off are amazing!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'd like to say that I planned them but I was very surprised to see them when I downloaded the pictures from the camera. I've been playing with different automatic settings so I get lots of surprises once I download them... which actually means that most of them end up being very blurry, unfortunately. But I liked these as well!

      Delete
  4. I love your pictures and the captions. They make me laugh out loud. Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your Monday sounds pretty domesticated to me. You did more than I did; therefore, you are exempt from putting me to shame any more by not doing a Domestic Tuesday...totally unnecessary.

    In fact, my Tuesday is pretty darn unproductive as well. My list of "haven't dones" is getting longer and longer the more I sit here. Maybe tomorrow will start out like firecrackers. At least I can dream about it.

    You will have to try that recipe for rum and raisin loaf again. It looks and sounds delish. Give it another chance and let us know how it worked out the second time. I LOVE rum and raisin, and was really looking forward to this recipe. I keep lovin' your photos. Nice close-ups, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounded good to me too, but I'm wondering if it just wasn't a recipe fit for a bread maker after all. Either that or my breadmaker isn't heating up as well as it should because that loaf was barely cooked.

      You needed to rest up, you had a long and busy weekend. But no more excuses tomorrow, ya hear? lol. I'll be shopping in the morning and recuperating from that in the afternoon so I already know that I won't be doing any chores that day. Everything is now on hold until Thursday.

      Delete
  6. Yeay on the great score on the cherries! And double yeay on the strength training! I love your idea of using your cellphone as a timer.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the idea of just doing a little bit! I have to confess, though, that I didn't do it yesterday or today. Life got in the way! I'll try again tomorrow :)

      Delete

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