Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Day Full of Fails ~ Tuesday, September 20, 2016

After a while of talking to my daughter last night, Middle Son came back down and apologized to me for being rude earlier.  That was unexpected and I apologized for lecturing him and we left it at that.  Then we played with the kittens.

Tabby Kitty had an explosion of diarrhea, twice, and I had to bathe him.  I kept part of it in a baggie to bring to the vet's this morning, and put him in a carrier by himself for the night so the other kittens wouldn't lick his butt.  However, I had just pushed the door closed and didn't lock it, thinking the towel on the floor would be enough of an impediment for him to open the door, but at 5 a.m. this morning I heard the kittens chirping and found the 3 of them huddled up together in front of the carrier!  Either the other two had busted him out or he is even stronger then I thought.

So I fed them and then tried to stay up to greet my youngest son and wish him a good day at school but by the time he left for the bus at 6:45 a.m., I was so tired that I was crying and had to stop taking a Swagbucks survey right in the middle of it because I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I was able to continue sleeping until 8:15 a.m. when Middle Son got up.

So plans for today include taking the kittens for their vet and then a conference call at 2 p.m. to discuss a possible sporadic work from home tasks from the Norwegian investor. I have a lot of cleaning to do too. My plan had been to have a mini Domestic Tuesday morning but it's 10 a,m. and I haven't done anything yet. Middle Son doesn't have to work until later on this afternoon and Greg and my BFF have been texting me for a while.  How is it that the day is barely starting and I already feel hopelessly behind?! I have dishes to do and other things to knock off my to do list, darn it!

Later on... I just came back from the vet's. Middle Son said bye and thanks and left for work.  I was chatting with my daughter as she was getting ready to go to class too when Middle Son's GF (My Not Quite Yet In Law Daughter) texted me all distraught that Middle Son had broken up with him. She was very upset. She's all the way in Tallahassee.  I'm very upset too but I can't get in the middle of that.  I'm glad that she has a friend who's coming to get her so she's not alone. I only had time to tell my daughter before she left for her class and we both agreed that while we're sad because we really love her, she's better off without Middle Son. She has a lot to go for her and is very mature while he's still an immature kind of a jerk most of the time.  I feel bad saying that about my son :(  I feel really bad for her and for all of us because she's awesome.  Sigh.  Later on, she texted me to apologize for having texted me about that in the first place and ask if we could still be friends. Of course!

We texted back and forth right up until the time when I had to do my phone interview. Which was interesting.  The interviewer is a Norwegian real estate investor who's trying to make contacts in Lake (where I live) and Polk counties here in Florida. The friend who referred him to me does the same thing but is based here.  Anyway, the Norwegian is looking for someone local to print letters, address them, and mail them.  For now it's only about 50 letters a week so I'm imagining maybe a couple of hours of work a week.  I was very clear that I won't do any kind of selling, calling people on the phone, meeting people... I hate that. And I'm not looking for a job so I didn't really care about "selling" myself.  I like clear expectations on both sides.  So when he mentioned that he was thinking about me handwriting the letters and then scanning them and printing them, I told him that, as a customer, it was a big turn off to see a letter similarly handwritten but that had been copied (so not so personal!), and that if he wanted to build a business, he should do it professionally and mail typed letters. But he's set on having the thing handwritten, apparently. So I told him my handwriting sucked. Because it really does!  I almost never write anything long hand anymore so it's very atrophied. He asked if I could email him a sample so I did that later on.  Other things that came up in the interview is that I might have to work for a couple of hours every day, which is fine with me, as his business grows. I think I understood that he's investing in different countries and is looking for other local people to invest with him down here. He asked me to tell my friends. Well, I didn't tell him that my friends are the person who referred me to him (and who does the same thing) and my BFF who is barely making ends meet.  And I'm not interested in speculating in real estate so it's not me either.  Anyhoo, I haven't heard back since the email and I honestly expect him to pass because my handwriting is really atrocious.  We'll see what happens.  Update: he replied that he would discuss it with his staff and would get back to me in a few days.  I'm thinking that's a no and right now with the mood I'm in and how tired I am, it would be a welcome "no".

So after all that, it was time to feed the kittens again and by the time I was done it was 3:30 p.m. and I didn't feel like doing much. So not much was accomplished today. I'm thinking I'm going to have a very abbreviated "Shopping Day, Part 2" tomorrow.

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 new ones
    • 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 - Partly done
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter shelves over printer stand 
    • Declutter storage bench 
    • Clean the fridge
    • Declutter gardening supplies chest
    • Defrost the freezer - scrapped off the top of the ice layer. Will need to defrost the whole thing.
    • Vacuum living room carpet 
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Sunday) -  All done save for pots and pans. I'll do them tomorrow, promise!
    • Do the dishes (Monday) - Done
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put the laundry away
    • Wash my bedding - in progress
    • Clean window over the kitchen sink
    • Clean sliding door windows
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
    • Take trash down to curb - Done
    • Take recycling down to curb- Done
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Redo the menu 
  • 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
    • Need to order cat food from vet's - Done
    • Take kittens to vet's - Done
    • Job phone interview - Done
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Pull the raspberries and add roses in pots in their place
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden 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
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Pull weeds off stone path
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Grease poles with Vaseline
    • Pull weeds from pots - Partly Done
    • Turn the composting bin
  • 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 
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays)
  • Kittens
    • Feed them every 4-6 hours- Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.) - 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
    • 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
    • Mend my fanny pack!
  • 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 blog photos from June through August 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 upstairs
    • File paperwork
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt (include kitten photos)
    • Go through the genealogical material crate
    • Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
    • Work on photo album for daughter's graduation
    • Fill out FAFSA for daughter (October 1st)
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Write and mail get well card
    • Install Firefox on son's PC and print avocado coupon via Swagbucks
    • Input new receipts into spreadsheet
    • Call my mom this week
    • Work on remaining shopping list

  • Drank a latte made of half a Starbucks K-cup and the caramel latte mix that came with it. It was a free sample from PinchMe.

  • Greg is on his business trip so all his expenses are being taken care of.

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school and rode the school bus.

  • My lunch was pasta leftovers from 2 nights ago and a slice of French bread.  Then I had some cantaloupe.
  • I earned a $5 Amazon gift card thanks to Bing/Microsoft Rewards.

  • I showed my son how to earn points on his Bing Rewards account. He must have been logged in without realizing in the past because he was very close to earning his own gift card. So tonight, while demonstrating it to him, he reached the amount of points needed for the gift card and redeemed them.

  • MobiSave did refund me the $0.30 cents that I claimed yesterday, including the Walmart faded-receipt rebates.Woohoo!

  • Vet bill for the kittens. I also had to pay for the last visit since their credit card machine wasn't working back then.

  • Gas to drive to the vet's and my daughter to go to her college class, and then to go pick up dinner.

  • Hot water for the kitty laundry loads and dryer for same.

  • I caved in when looking at my kitchen still full of dirty dishes and suggested to my son that we should go out to dinner. He suggested Chinese. I was going to be good and just get California rolls from Publix but when I got the Chinese menu out to place his order, I couldn't resist.  My daughter wanted a sub from Subway. So we went out, spent money when I have food all over the house AND I got something pretty unhealthy.  Sigh.

  • As we were driving there, my daughter was telling me about a really tough situation that one of her high school friends is in with her parents. I feel very bad for that girl, she is in a really tough spot but nothing that would justify any kind of investigation so there's really nothing for us to do, especially since she's not 18 yet.  It's frustrating for my daughter and I sympathize.

  • When we got home, my daughter got her new-to-her Samsung Galaxy Note 4 out of her pocket, it went flying out of her hand and landed face down on the tile.  The screen is fine. She has a protective case on the whole thing. The phone won't turn on anymore. She just got it yesterday. She spent $250 plus the accessories.  I feel bad because for once she did everything right and the phone was protected.  She has no recourse as the phone is pre-owned so not under warranty and she has already returned the 1st phone and bought this one with the money that Amazon advance-refunded her. I sure hope they do get the 1st phone so they don't take the money back again because she spent it on this one!  Her old iPhone 4, in the meantime, still works. But she might have just wasted $250+....  I did research online and sent her some possible solutions but between you and me, I think it's the LCD screen that's dead and by all accounts, the repair costs just as much as the phone.  Update: and then we realized that her screen IS cracked (just 1 crack). She thought it was the glass screen protector that she had bought especially to protect the screen that had cracked... None of the fixes worked, it looks like it's definitely the LCD screen :(

  • Collected trash and took it down to the curb
  • Kitten duty
  • Kitty laundry
  • Kitten duty with Middle Son
  • Visited with Middle Son
  • Texted with Greg
  • Texted with BFF
  • Swept Cat Room
  • Swept kitchen
  • Cleaned main bathroom mirror and sink
  • Hang new shower curtain
  • Emptied out small composting bin
  • Organized dirty dishes for a load this afternoon
  • Took kittens to the vet's
  • Set up new cat tunnel and played with cats
  • Texted with Middle Son's ex-GF :(
  • Phone job interview
  • Wrote a paragraph, scanned and emailed it
  • Kitten duty with Youngest Son
  • Earned Bing Rewards
  • Taught Youngest Son how to earn Bing Rewards
  • Emailed Greg
  • Played with the cats
  • Went to pick up dinner with the kids
  • Tried to help my daughter with her phone
  • Kitten duty and playtime with son
  • Changed their bedding
  • Did a load of kitten laundry
  • Took recycling down to the curb
  • Brought trash cans back up
  • Did a load of dishes
  • Brought down my bedding to wash it later on

  • I think I'm going to take taking this week off. I have my period, I'm tired, and I have a lot of things to do. Maybe it'll all excuses but I need to get back to a less tired and overwhelmed physical and mental state before I can start counting calories again. I'm not overeating but I'm not inputting the food into My Fitness Pal and I'm definitely not exercising.

  • I did beg off the annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day with my BFF this year. I told her I'd watch her bake her own. but Christmas cookies are one of my downfall and I need to not use the holidays as an excuse to completely fall off the wagon.  I want to be much healthier when I turn 50 in a little more than a year so I need to start now (she says, not logging her food or exercising! And now also eating very unhealthy Chinese food!).

  • For Middle Son's apology and the fact that we're not cross with one another
  • For a clean bill of health for the kittens!

So Tabby Kitty had his explosive diarrhea last night, had to have a couple of baths, and then "escaped" from the pet carrier that I had left unlocked to finish his night in the playpen, huddled up with his siblings.

Tabby Kitty, asleep on my daughter after his tummy trouble last night. She cuddled with him for a long time. Aww.
They woke me up at 5 a.m. and then we all went back to sleep for a little bit.

Middle Son got up and played with them after I fed them. No more diarrhea for Tabby Kitty although Middle Son reports that he passes gas so I gave him infant gas drops the both times that I fed him this morning. I did give him cereal this morning but I hadn't given him any last night.

I took the kittens to the vet's for their first official appointment.  The vet we had seen last for Tabby Kitty's constipation issues wasn't in today so we saw his partner.  I brought the poop samples from Tabby Kitty last night and also from Princess Poopy Bottom this morning (normal poop) in case they wanted them. They took them but then took fresh samples from them. The kittens didn't like it!

Tabby Kitty is 1 lb.  Princess Poopy Bottom is 0.8 lb and Dark Explorer is 0.9 lb.  She gave them all deworming medication and a quick exam and pronounced them very healthy and said I had done a great job.

I was frustrated, however, in how she dealt with the feeding issue. She spoke very fast and kept on mixing up "cereal" and "formula" so I was very confused and I told her so. Then she asked me what type of cereal I was giving them (and I had already very specifically twice, "it's Gerber Multigrain baby cereal, as per your colleague") and told me "I hope you're not giving them human baby formula. They make cereal specifically for kittens.  I told her for the 3rd time that her colleague had specifically told me to buy Gerber Multigrain baby cereal and asked what the brand of kitten cereal was and she replied "I don't know!".  I told her "Well, that's not very helpful!" because I didn't see any kind of kitten cereal when I went to Petco.  Anyhoo, in the end, we agreed that I need to start phasing out the formula (good thing I just bought 2 canisters yesterday) because that's what's causing the loose stools and have them eat almost exclusively cereal and offer water for the next couple of weeks or until their teeth are fully in and then start offering moistened kitten food.  But she said they have to eat frequently, that they can't go 8 hours without eating because kittens are naturally hypoglycemic. Well, no one ever mentioned that but I did tell her that they routinely go without eating for 8 hours at night because they usually sleep through the night and she was surprised as cats as nocturnal animals. I told her that I slept next to them and that they didn't peep and then she didn't say to wake them up or anything so I'm just going to continue doing what I've been doing.  Honestly, I'm thinking I need to become a kitten veterinarian. I'd be a great source of information, unlike those two vets.  Grrr. 

Anyhoo, I bought a bag of Royal Canin kitten food because it's the best brand, apparently, and I want them to eat well.  She said that once they're on the kitten food, their tummy problems will go away.

Back home, UPS pulled up in the driveway at the same time as I did and brought me the kitty tunnel that I had ordered. The kittens are settled back in their playpen and napping (one of them did go pee in the litterbox, though, probably Princess Poopy Bottom!), so I put the tunnel in the Cat Room. Male Cat got into it immediately.  The females were more circumspect so I left them to it. I wonder if they'll go explore.

Well,  I did go explore myself and found that New Kitty was quite interested in the tunnel as well. I played with her and Male Cat by dropping the toy on a string thingie into the top opening and trying to entice them to come chase after it.  It worked a little.  Mean Kitty, meanwhile, showed no interest at all and had fallen asleep on her favorite chair.

At kitten feeding time this afternoon, I introduced a bowl of water to the kittens.  They dipped their muzzles in it accidentally when investigating the new bowl and I don't think they really cared for it. How do you teach a cat to drink from a bowl?!  I fed them cereal and only about half the formula that they usually eat but same question: how do you teach a cat to eat food from a bowl? I put the bowl of cereal on the floor but they won't touch it unless I hand feed it to them on a spoon.  I guess I need to do more reading!  I don't like this transition phase, I have no idea whether they are eating enough or not!

Tonight I fed them more cereal but this time I'm letting them lick the spoon instead of shoving it into their mouth. But it's slow going so then I do put it in their mouths. Baby steps. I also gave them 2 to 3 tsp of formula each. They just don't like drinking water.  I'm going to research weaning transitions.

Princess Poopy Bottom has another large, well-formed poop tonight. Woa, that's twice in a day!  A record.  She's earned her pseudonym alright.

Did you experience any frustrations today?


  1. (((HUGS))) Nathalie. You have a lot going on and you are tired and overwhelmed. Just taking care of the kittens is a full time job and you have so many other things you are doing, as well. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's new phone; I'm sure she's pretty upset about it. I'm sorry, too, to hear that your Middle Son has broken up with his GF, but agree that there's nothing much you can do about it. Tomorrow is a new day; hope it will be a better day and you will feel better. Take good care of yourself.

    1. Thanks, Bless. Today was another busy day but I did get more sleep last night. We heard that Greg's dad is definitely deteriorating so Greg will fly back there on Sunday for an indeterminate amount of time.

      I hope you got some rain today. We haven't gotten any in a couple of days, I ought to go check on the garden tomorrow. Have a good night!

  2. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. We all get them, but I think you handled it very well. You are correct in wanting to get back to a healthy state, both physically and emotionally. And sometimes that involves stepping back and taking care of yourself for a bit. You have been caring for kittens and family for a long time, and both are a full time job. Even so, you were there today for your Middle son, his broken-hearted girl friend, your daughter, youngest son, BFF and Greg. You are dead tired, but you still got more chores accomplished than I did. I wouldn't worry too much about not entering calories for the rest of this week. You have a very clear picture of what food you are NOT going to put in your mouth. Without writing it down, you are still making good choices.

    I think you ARE a more informed "grower of kittens" than the experts in the veterinary's office. Maybe by the end of it all, you could make up a tip sheet or FAQ sheet for the vets to hand out to people going through the same thing, citing resources that you have found helpful. At least it would force them to get on the same page when "advising" their clients. Obviously you are doing everything right. They are in perfect health and they look so happy and cared for. I love the little kitty straddling your daughter's shoulder. That was my Brucie's favourite place to be.

    We kept a saucer of water (not a bowl) out all day. We also placed a saucer of moistened kitten food (same brand BTW as you are going to feed yours) beside the water at mealtimes. Sometimes we would dip our fingers in the bowl and allow the kittens to lick the water drips from our fingers. We also put enough water in the dry food so the kittens tasted it before the food absorbed it all. No, they don't like the "taste" of water, but if it is all they have, they quickly learn how to drink it. I know for a fact that Brucie was older than 4 weeks before we started weaning him. He was probably closer to 6 weeks. So I wouldn't worry just yet. And I would be putting formula in a saucer first, before going to water and solid food, to get them used to eating from the saucer.

    1. Thanks Susan, especially for all the great advice regarding transitioning the kittens to eating on their own. That's exactly what I was looking for! I'm using a small shallow saucer (like to hold dipping sauce) for the cereal and two of the kittens ate very well from it tonight. The 3rd one tries to eat the saucer, lol. I will try to pour some formula in a second one tomorrow and see if they lap it. Great advice!

      You read my mind about drafting something for the vet's office to hand out to people who have orphaned kittens although since the 2 vets don't seem to agree on what cereal to feed them, I'm not sure what I would put on there. We'll see if I ever do it. The mind is willing but right now I don't have the energy. I did want to write notes for myself, though, in case it happens again. Not that it can happen again because we can't take on any more cats AND I can't foster because I fall in love with them way too easily, lol.

  3. I can see why you got frustrated! I think you know more about raising kittens than the people at the vet's office seem to know.

    In my next life, I'm coming back as a kitten at your house!

    1. OK, just be ready for me to look at your butt repeatedly and kiss you all over in total defiance of the recent article warning people not to do that because of Cat Scratch Fever, lol.


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!