What a way to start my day: I was sound asleep when something woke me up, I noticed that it was bright outside, and I panicked, thinking my son had forgotten to get up because I didn't hear him at all. My arms and hands were asleep so I couldn't grab my phone or my glasses and couldn't tell what time it was! What a nightmare. Finally they allowed me to grab those things and see that it was 7:30 a.m. and I barged into my kid's room and... he was gone, because he's responsible and didn't forget to set his alarm like his mom did (I turned it off a few days ago because I was up before him and I didn't want the alarm to wake up everyone and forgot to turn it back on!), and also because he was solicitous enough to be very quiet. Phew!
But by then the kittens had woken up and were frantic! I rushed to make their breakfast (good thing I had laid out everything last night, I only had to warm up the formula for 30 seconds and mix it with the cereal!) and by the time I came back into the living room with their tray (breakfast in bed for my kitties!), Princess Poopy Bottom had gone over the top railing and landed on the carpet. She was OK and squealing. They were all squealing; they had been asleep for 12 hours! TWELVE hours.
So that was a little more frenzied beginning to my day than I would have liked :)
We were in the middle of playtime when Greg called me at 8 a.m. He still has a sinus headache (although thankfully it hasn't turned into a migraine) so he didn't sleep very well and he has 6 conference calls scheduled for today. The charge nurse is coming to visit his dad today. They also have nurses coming twice a week to help him shower, etc. for a few hours so Greg's mom can go out, do the shopping, etc. That helps a lot. Greg said that his sister is coming over on Thursday so they can talk to their dad about his last wishes, funeral arrangements, etc. When I was over at my dad's and stepmom's 7 months prior to her death from pancreatic cancer, they had been very pragmatic about their funeral arrangements, which had made it much easier on my brothers and myself. They had already prepaid for their cremation years prior so when my stepmom passed away, all I had to do was call a phone number, and the funeral home came and took care of everything and my dad didn't have to pay for anything else. Still, we had to pick an outfit for her (which was so hard, especially since cancer leaves you in such a state that your regular clothes might not fit. In my stepmom's case, she was really blotted), decide what the announcement in the paper should say, contact their friends to let them know of her passing, field many, many, MANY phone calls and would be visitors, attend the gathering before the cremation and play hosts to people who had come to pay their respects, and then make the arrangements for her ashes to be dispersed. And when I say "we", I mean "I" because my father refused to be involved into any arrangements although he's the one who arranged for the ashes to be dispersed since he had a very specific idea about it and I had to fly back to the USA. So it was still very stressful even though the bulk of the tough work had already been arranged and paid for. In my father-in-law's situation, the family was all set to go through a cremation, but he told them recently he wanted to be buried. So now they have to figure out where he wants to be buried (they just moved to OH), take care of all the arrangements, etc. A lot of stress, for sure.
|Tabby Kitty and I, talking to Greg on the phone|
Once I move the kittens to the Cat Room, I need to vacuum the living room. That cat tree shed a lot of stuff while I was putting it together yesterday and it looks like I haven't vacuumed in weeks again. Ugh.
Otherwise, no grandiose plans for today. My daughter has classes this afternoon. Since my shopping should be relatively easy this week, I'm not going to split it in 2 days and I'll probably go tomorrow, unless the bug to get out grabs me today. If the kittens wake up and get out of the playpen, Male Cat will have to corral them for me until I get back :)
I had forgotten to cross off a couple of tasks that I had done yesterday: talk to my son about studying the driver's handbook and also about entering the essay contest for the Optimist Club. I did both last night as we drove to McDonald's. He wasn't enthused about the essay contest but I fully expect him to enter it and do his best. His interest peaked a little when I mentioned that his sister had won $300 for it. Later on at home, he came to tell me that he had taken the preliminary test for the learner's permit and had scored 16 out of 25 (without reading the handbook) and asked if it was good for a first timer. I have no idea, but I'm glad that he had already started on the 2 tasks that I wanted him to accomplish! He can't take the test until mid January but I hope he'll pass. The school district has been offering driving lessons that usually don't cost us anything because there's a special "scholarship" that covers the costs so I hope we can do that again this year, on top of Greg teaching him how to drive the stick shift and me giving him extra practice time too. It's very scary to think that our last child is about to learn how to drive!
To Do List:
- 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) - I really need to do this or buy one because I had a bag (a whole bag!) of political pamphlets hanging from my door knob yesterday. I think I'm also going to add "and don't leave your literature either, I'll vote for the other party if you do!"
- 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.
- Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
Vacuum master bedroom- Swept instead Vacuum upstairs hallway- Swept instead Vacuum main stairs- Swept instead
- Do the dishes (Tuesday)
- Fold the laundry
- Put the laundry away
- Clean window over the kitchen sink
- Clean window in living room with finger marks
- Clean sliding door windows
- Clean entry room front windows
- Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
Collect trash and take it down to curb- Done Vacuum living room- Done
- Bake banana chocolate chip muffins
Defrost meat for tonight- Will make the Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff, no meat needed.
Talk to son about driving handbook studying- Done Talk to son about Optimist Club essay- Done
- Start watching Photography lectures online (see email)
- Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
- Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
Go for a walk with my camera- Done, walked through my neighborhood
- Go for a walk with my camera - little lake near Downtown Clermont
- Take items to the dump
Return DVDs to library and pick up new ones- Done
- Pick up cat food from vet's (Wednesday)
- Drop off pet coupons at SLAL thrift store
- Drop off Labels for Education at elementary school
- 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- Done
- Plant passion flower vine seeds
Refill green bird feeder- Done Refill the hummingbird feeders- Done Grease poles with Vaseline- Done
- Turn the composting bin
Harvest the roselles?
- Plant wildflower seeds!
Refill cat litter jugs at rainbarrel- Refilled 10 out of 14
- 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- Pulled weeds and walked through the neighborhood instead Do 5 min of strength exercises- Refilled 10 jugs at the rain barrel, 2 at a time, that counts!
- Log food into My Fitness Pal
- Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards
- Weigh myself (Wednesdays)
- Rub kitten towels on New Kitty and Mean Kitty
- Start introducing moistened kitten dry food
- Design kitten playground
- 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!
- Strengthen BlueTooth transmitter's cord with electric tape (in SUV)
- 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 - in progress!
- 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 (Saturday)
- Reply to my French BFF's email
- Start proceedings for deleting Yahoo Mail account
- Compare genealogy family sheet (see email inbox) with what I have in my database
Clip coupons and sort them- Clipped them and sorted the ones I'll need tomorrow for sure
- Work on shopping list
Print coupons from my son's PC- Done
- Brewed the last pot of half decaf with the free decaf won from Wawa. I've finished it this morning so from now on my coffee won't be free or half free anymore, unless I redeem RaceTrac survey codes for their bitter coffee. So probably not!
- Speaking of RaceTrac, they finally released a new coupon to their app. I might get Greg a Core Power (protein milkshake, he tried them this summer when I had coupons to get them free from Sodapalooza and liked them OK).
- Swagbucks emailed me to say that I would get 5 SB for ordering my GPS mount via Amazon yesterday. Oooh, big pay off! I didn't get any SB for the rest of my order, though.
- I reused the remnant of a corrugated perforated pipe that I had bought for making my self-watering bins in 2015 to protect the power cable to our outdoor TV antenna from Greg's edger.
- I exercised for free by taking a walk through my neighborhood :) I took pictures and will post them separately.
- I saved the inner bag from a box of cereal, to reuse as a freezer bag later on.
- I gave the adult cats a large empty cardboard box to play with.
- I gave the kittens a toilet paper core to play with :)
- My lunch was an egg salad sandwich on a mini naan, tortilla chips and salsa.
- I lied last night: I didn't finish watching Law & Order, Season 3 until this afternoon. The library emailed to say that the DVDs I had put on hold were waiting for me. My son is going to volunteer this afternoon so I'll have him turn in the DVDs that are due and pick up the new ones :)
- I used homemade hummingbird nectar to refill my feeders (probably too late, it's been well a month since I had last refilled them).
- I used homemade all natural weed killer (Susan's recipe) on an invasive vine growing behind my roses.
- I refilled 10 out of the 14 empty cat litter jugs from the rain barrel.
- It rained again at 3 p.m. but only for about 20 minutes and today it was only a gentle rain so not much got into my rain barrel, probably.
- I printed 2 more Gold'n Plump coupons from my son's PC (I somehow have 2 accounts so I use 2 PCs to print them). If Target isn't depleted (Southern Savers posted the deal yesterday so I expect the worst!), I should be able to get 4 packages of chicken for pretty darn cheap tomorrow... and then we'll pull an Alison and eat chicken for almost every meal the rest of the week :) Good thing there are lots of yummy recipes to cook with chicken :)
- I found my $5 reward voucher from Ace Rewards that I had misplaced! It had slipped between 2 pieces of paper on my coffee table. Phew!
- I earned a few Swagbucks and then qualified for a 100 SB survey, which allowed me to reach my 2nd goal. Yay!
- My daughter gassed up the Focus and turned 3 gas receipts in to me (she had forgotten to turn in the last two). I'll take the surveys and earn 3 more freebies (since she used my credit card).
- She just told me that she had an interview at Pet Supermarket tomorrow :) It's in Clermont so way closer to us than Walt Disney World. The Disney job sounds glamorous because she could get into the parks for free and get a few tickets a year for friends and family, but it's also an hour away so that adds 2 hours of commute plus gas expenses. I hope she gets the Pet Supermarket job, quite frankly.
- I finished watching the "Law & Order" DVDs and gave them to my son to return for me. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching sitcoms for free on over the air TV.
- However, when it was time to go to the library, the sky had gotten dark again and there was thunder so I told my son I'd drive him. The thunder woke up the kittens, who saw me and started squealing, so I asked my daughter to feed and watch them for me while I was gone and she did.
- At the library, I picked up the 6th season of Law & Order that was waiting for me, returned Season 3, and checked the donation pile. I really lucked out in that there were 3 sets of the 3 coupon inserts from last Sunday's paper, as well as a sheet of coupons for Dunkin' Donuts, including a card that gives the recipient $0.99 any size Iced Coffee, Hot Coffee, Hot Tea or Iced Tea through the end of October!
- The Children Librarian, who is a friend of mine, came to give me the printout of a picture of me and my youngest son taken back when he was only about 4 or 5 years old! She said she was cleaning out all her event pictures and that she's the person with the most pictures in all of our county (not just the library system, but of any county employee!). I guess IT must have told her to clean up some space. So I asked her to email me any pictures that she finds of my son. She said she had a lot. We were at the library almost every day when I was homeschooling him. It was a nice surprise, especially since we were both blonde at the time (he naturally, me because I used to lighten my hair back then) and I was really thin and good looking because I had just lost 50 lbs on Weight Watchers. So I'm kind of in mourning right now, not only because I was thinner but I was also younger and I can lose the weight and color my hair again, but I won't lose the years, lol.
- I had thought of stopping by McDonald's on my way home to pick up that free coffee with the coupon in the app, but there was a short line and I had interrupted my daughter's homework for her to watch the kittens for me so I just headed home. I'll get the coffee tomorrow.
- My daughter and I were discussing white boards so I told her I had a large one she could have and went to get it from the closet where I keep it. Only it didn't work for her. As I put it back, I realized that behind it I had a large blank canvas and 2 packs of 3 flat canvasses that I had bought back when the kids were young and they used to paint with the easels we had on the patio! So I gave them to her and she was happy since she's an artist and she could use free art supplies, lol.
- My son was done early with his volunteering and called me to say it wasn't storming so he would walk home. He saved me a trip and got his exercise :)
- I clipped a few digital coupons to my Walgreens digital wallet.
- I clipped all the coupons that I had printed and from the inserts. Since I plan on only getting a few things tomorrow, I'll just sort the coupons that I know I'll be needing. I put the pet coupons aside to donate to the South Lake Animal League thrift store. I hope to have the time to stop by tomorrow.
- Roku posted on their blog that we can now stream "The CW" for free on the Roku including new episodes of shows, but I couldn't find that channel in my Channel Store so I left a question on the user forums. A moderator replied 30 minutes later that he had just added the channel to the line-up so we should now see it. And I did, and I added it. I might never use it, but I like to have the option to, on days when I don't have any DVDs to watch and it feels like there's nothing I like on Netflix or Amazon Prime!
- For dinner, I finally cooked the Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff that had been on my menu for 2 or 3 weeks running now! I had 4 large mushroom caps, but one of them was a little moldy so I composted it. I could have tried to save some parts of it but I already had a lot of mushroom to use and that cap was also kind of slimy. The others were just fine.
- Gas for my daughter to go to her classes.
- Gas to drop off my son at the library.
- My daughter needed a new-to-her shirt for her interview tomorrow and told me she would try Goodwill first! Good girl! I gave her my Goodwill Customer Loyalty card to swipe so I could earn the points if she did find something there. However, she looked through several stores including Goodwill and couldn't find anything until she found a blue top that she liked at JcPenney for $19.99.
- Kitten duty
- Kitten playtime
- Took the trash bin and yard waste bins down to the curb
- Pulled weeds
- Replaced missing mulch from berm
- Divided aloe plant and replanted them
- Added a piece of plastic tubing around the TV antenna pole and cable so Greg can edge around it without cutting into the power cord for the antenna
- Photographed weeds and flowers in my garden
- Went for a walk around my neighborhood and took photographs
- Kitten duty
- Kitten playtime
- Swept cat room
- Swept kitchen
- Relocated kittens' playpen to Cat Room
- Changed air fresheners in closet and upstairs bathroom
- Vacuumed living room carpet
- Swept upstairs hall, master bedroom and my bedroom
- Swept main stairs
- Swept litter spilled outside New Kitty's litterbox
- Refilled hummingbird feeders
- Refilled green bird feeder
- Refilled 10/14 jugs at the rain barrel
- Pulled more weeds
- Brought trash can and yard waste bins back up the driveway
- Printed coupons from my son's PC
- Caught up on blogs
- Prepared food for the kittens
- Drove my son to the library
- Returned DVDs and picked up new ones
- Chatted with the Children's Librarian
- Picked up free coupons!
- End of kitten duty
- Found canvasses and gave them to my daughter
- Clipped all coupons
- Cooked dinner
- Added a channel to my Roku line-up
- I receive daily emails from Pollen.com alerting me to the allergens levels in my area. They're on the rise. I remember that last year, I had been miserable with allergies, something new to me, so I need to see what kind of allergy medicine we still have and if it's terribly out of date or what.
- For a lovely walk through my lovely neighborhood
- For the pretty song of a bird heard during my walk
- For playful kittens who still want to cuddle when they're tired
The kittens didn't wake up until I shot up from the couch at 7:09 a.m. It had been close to 12 hours since I had last fed them!
Princess Poopy Bottom made it over the top railing this morning and thankfully fell to the ground without hurting herself. She is fearless!
They ate really well and then went to explore the living room. I introduced them to their new cat tree but they're still too little for it.
Princess Poopy Bottom had a good time attacking a sock :)
A red shoe lace that used to be New Kitty's favorite toy held their attention for a while.
After close to 45 minutes of playing, they were reading for a nap so I placed them back in their pen and settled down with my cup of coffee... only about an hour later, a bird started to sing loudly in the chimney! The pen is right against the fireplace but only one kitten woke up and looked at me quizzically. The bird sang once again and then fell silent and I haven't heard it since.
I left them to sleep and went to work in the garden and on a walk. When I came back, I had time to eat my breakfast and then they were up and hungry again. They conveniently all visited the litter box at the same time, so I brought them to the Cat Room in the litter box, which saved me a trip, LOL.
|What I saw when I looked in the playpen.My cuties!|
|Another shoe lace kept them occupied.|
|Their favorite corner|
|Ring around the scratching pole...|
|Even an almost empty tube of paper towels will entertain them!|
|I think Male Cat would really like to join in! As a matter of fact, once they were in bed, he had his own turn pouncing on the shoe lace, LOL.|
|New Kitty came to see what all the ruckus was about as well but she definitely kept her distance.|
|My little Dark Explorer|
|And Tabby Kitty about to come cuddle with me|
|A quick nap after all the playing...|
A couple of hours after I put them down for a nap, I heard a squeal of distress so I went to check on them and found Princess Poopy Bottom and Dark Explorer facing each other on each side of the bed with their backs rounded and their tails straight up and Princess PB hissing and spitting at him! She's a mini New Kitty! I suspect he's sucked on his last butt, probably :) I asked what was going on and leaned over the pen and Tabby Kitty looked at me like "I have no clue! I was sleeping!" and both protagonists calmed down and came to me, meowing, probably telling on one another but I don't really speak cat. So I got all three of them out, cuddled for a minute and then left them there under Male Cat's watchful glance while I made more food.
Princess PB and Dark Explorer each ate half a bowl and went to play but Tabby Kitty ate a whole bowl! Then all three of them played quite roughly but there wasn't any more drama. 30 minutes into play time, Dark Explorer climbed up on me, we loved on each other, and he fell asleep in my arms. At the same time, Tabby Kitty crawled onto my lap, made himself comfortable and fell asleep as well, both of them purring. Princess PB was left by herself on the scratcher so she approached me hesitantly and meowing pitifully so I put her again my chest too and she started purring and loving one, grabbing my chin with her claws and licking it, and then she tucked herself under my chin against my neck and fell asleep as well, all three of them purring in unison. I'll tell you, if it hadn't been for the fact that I was sitting on hard, cold tile with only a small hard, cold tiled step on which to rest my lower back, I would have fallen asleep like that too. They were so warm and so comfy and trusting! After about 5 minutes, I managed to get up without dropping them and despite their meowing protests, set them down on their comfy bed for them to finish their nap in the sunshine.
I love them so much!
When I went outside to check the mail this afternoon, I spotted their mom. I'm positive this cat is their mom. She's been hanging around our houses ever since we found them, she's fuzzy like Dark Explorer and Princess Poopy Bottom, but also has black markings like Tabby Kitty.
|The hibiscus looked a tiny bit better today, but I think it'll take a while for it to be healthy again.|
I looked at my neighbor's hibiscus (the parent plant to this one) and it had no blooms whatsoever
so at least mine has a couple!
|I love how big and plump the roselle calyces are on this one plant!|
|Once again I photographed several weeds. I love their delicate colors!|
|Found this under one of the bird feeders, proof that we still have visitors!|
|I cut out the main stems of this tomato plant yesterday but took pity on the 2 small branches that had|
grown at the base.
|I finally divided the aloe! Here is the main plant. The pot is still too small but it'll have to do. I put another large one in another large pot but I forgot to photograph it.|
|Then I decided to plant all the baby ones in ground because I couldn't bring myself to compost them!|
|Oh crap, there are more!|
|There, I replanted them too. I put them in the former spot where I used to try to grow blueberries.|
It's not in full sun so they should have a good chance to survive.
|The few oranges on my tree are coming along. I should be able to harvest those in late December.|