Friday, September 16, 2016

A Quiet Day At Home! ~ Friday 9/16/15

So good news: Greg started feeling better last night and actually had a good night and was back to his charming self this morning.  He went to the office and out came the scented candle and all is well with the world again... well, almost all. I really need this PMS to go away as I still feel irritable but at least no one is around to trigger me, hahaha. My daughter is going to her classes soon and I rarely see her when she's home anyway because she spends most of the time in her room.

It's Friday... I don't know where this week has gone. Tomorrow it'll be a week since Greg and I walked at P.E.A.R. Park and I feel like it was just a couple of days ago.

No plans for today.  I'll look at my To Do List and see what I can accomplish today.  I'm assuming that the kittens will be up every 3-4 hours like they were yesterday so I'll be doing a lot of feeding, cleaning, cuddling and kitty laundry. I doubled up the amount of Kitten Magic Potion that I made this morning because they're eating a lot more.

The weather is gorgeous!  I just walked down the driveway to mail a check and it's lovely. I wish I could sit outside for a bit but the patio is already in the sun and I don't feel like unearthing my umbrella.  Also I have a scented candle going on in the living room and classical music playing on the Roku, sleeping kittens. my coffee and I'm enjoying my peaceful living room!

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 (Friday)
    • Finish putting the laundry away
    • Clean window over the kitchen sink
    • Clean sliding door windows
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Need to preserve the eggplants
    • Write a 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
    • Return bathroom sink knobs to Ace
  • 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
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
    • Harvest the peanuts
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Pull weeds from pots
    • 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 - Done
    • 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
    • Pour bleach into furnace drain pipe - Done
    • Check the AC furnace filters - Done
    • Pour some Drano down the kitchen sink  - Done
    • 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
    • Return solar batteries to Amazon (printed label)
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Pay credit cards - Done
    • Write and mail baby card
    • Write and mail get well card
    • Look for any warranty on my silver chain
    • Input Greg's paystub information into spreadsheets - Done
    • Install Firefox on son's PC and print avocado coupon via Swagbucks

  • Brewed a pot of half decaf coffee with the free decaf won from Wawa.

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

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I stretched 1/2 gallon of whole milk with 1/2 gallon of water to stretch it.

  • SavingStar credited my account with the $0.50 for the Zatarain that I bought on Wednesday.

  • I clipped some Publix digital coupons to my digital wallet.

  • I made a pot of Jalapeño Soup with the rest of the chicken meat from last night, the huge jalapeño that I had bought at SAL, an avocado I had bought about a month ago and Better Than Bouillon Chicken. I love that stuff!  I had offered to make it for Greg last night to help with his headache but he wasn't in the mood for it.
It doesn't look like much but it's oh so good!
  • I froze the chicken breast bones so I can reuse them to make chicken stock at a later date. I used a former cereal bag and an elastic band.

  • I saved a couple of cereal bags and rinsed them to reuse them later as freezer bags.

  • I defrosted half a loaf of pumpkin bread for my son's after school snack.

  • My lunch was a bowl of Jalapeño Soup and a salad, a piece of string cheese and a navel orange.

  • I looked at the ad previews for Walgreens and CVS next week and took note of what I might want to purchase there.  CVS will have the Black Forest organic gummies free after ECB.

  • I printed a few coupons via Swagbucks. BOGO avocados and I need some anyway, woohoo! I think I'll print a couple more from my son's PC, but I have to install FF on it first since neither Chrome nor Edge will recognize the freaking coupon printer. Argh.

  • I unlocked new offers on SavingStar.  There is one on Kellogg's products that I'm hoping to be able to redeem.

  • I started reading one of the books on Sri Lankan cuisine that I had borrowed from the library. It's called "Rice & Curry" and takes up to page 39 to feature the first recipes (curry powders) because there is so much information about the making of the book, Sri Lankan history and culture, description and pictures of all the various spices that are the backbone of Sri Lankan cuisine... I purposefully waited until after lunch to open up the books lest I get hungry reading it. It didn't work. On page 45 they have the recipe for Beef, Fish or Shrimp Patties (first actual dish recipe) and I had to close the book because I was already salivating.  Maybe I should wait until after my PMS has gone, I always feel ravenous!
Ah just looking at the covers makes me hungry!  I need Bless to adopt me!
The author is a 2nd generation American Sri Lankan who is also a journalist.  He lived a year in Sri Lanka to do the research for this book and served as Anthony Bourdain's tour guide for an episode of No Reservations in Sri Lanka in 2009. I need to see if that series is still on Netflix.
  • Pixel Peeper told me about the International Food Club down on LB McLeod in South Orlando a couple of weeks. I already had it on my list of field trips to plan, but looking through an old article in the Orlando Sentinel about ethnic food stores, it seems to include Sri Lankan items so I need to remember that. Another place, Patel Brothers, down on OBT carries Indian foods including, according to some pictures, spices in bulk so I might be able to find some stuff there (although yes, Bless, I do know after reading the cookbook's intro that Indian cuisine and Sri Lankan cuisine are completely different, lol!).

  • It rained hard for a few minutes at about 4:15 p.m. 

  • I scheduled several bill payments online (for free, of course!).

  • I redeemed 100 Amex Rewards points for a $100 CVS gift card. I had wanted to get a gc for another store but the choices are pretty limited and I didn't want to redeem it for a restaurant gc.

  • I redeemed 3,500 USAA Rewards points for a $25 Publix gift card. I'm so excited that they've added Publix to their line-up!

  • It rained again at 5:40 p.m.

The rain looked very pretty through the late afternoon sunlight.

  • For dinner, I decided that Greg and I would have Jalapeño Soup and I made tomato soup (from a can!) for the kids. I made my son and Greg some Grilled Cheese and Ham sandwiches to go with it, and my daughter had a regular Grilled Cheese sandwich. I had some more salad.  It was delicious and I still have a lot of soup left for lunches tomorrow, yippee!

  • Yesterday I wrote a $450 check for our flood insurance policy. We're not in a high risk area and there's a $10,000 deductible, but uncommon weather events are on the rise and $450 seems a small price for peace of mind.


  • Kitten duty
  • Made more Kitten Magic Potion
  • Cooked breakfast for Greg
  • Set out the lunch I had packed yesterday morning
  • Published blog comments and replied
  • Kitten duty
  • Changed their bedding
  • Did a load of kitty laundry
  • Made Greg's bed
  • Requested FSA ID for the FAFSA
  • Mailed flood insurance check
  • Swept front porch
  • Poured Drano down kitchen sink (maintenance)
  • Poured bleach down heat pump furnace drain (maintenance)
  • Check furnaces' air filters
  • Emailed Middle Son and ex husband about FAFSA starting on 10/01 and need for obtaining a new FSA ID.
  • Emailed my French BFF to make sure her daughter, a student in Dijon, is OK as I just read that there was a big gaz explosion near the main train station and several people are trapped under rubble.
  • Attempted to take Swagbucks surveys
  • Made a pot of Jalapeño soup and a salad 
  • Started reading one of the Sri Lankan cookbooks
  • Researched ethnic stores in Orlando
  • Kitten duty with son
  • Paid bills online
  • Redeemed reward points for gift cards
  • Balanced my checkbook
  • Signed up for the AlertLake emergency notification system
  • Kitten duty
  • Cooked dinner

  • No exercising again today.  I told Greg that I didn't know if I'd feel up to walking this weekend as I'm crampy.
  • I was pretty good with my food intake though!
  • That Greg is feeling like himself again :)
  • That I was able to obtain a FSA ID for the FAFSA right away since I linked it to my old PIN. My BFF had warned me that it takes a few days for the government to check up on your credentials (she's new to the FAFSA process this year). My daughter has already obtained hers.
  • For great weather today even though I elected to remain indoors!
  • For some rain in the afternoon
  • For being able to redeem credit card rewards for gift cards that will help me stay on budget at the grocery stores


I gave the kittens some cereal last night since they had all pooped and I wanted them to sleep through the night and it worked!  I fed them at 9 p.m. and they didn't start waking up until I was getting their breakfast set up in the living room.  Such cuties!

Princess Kitten had a h-u-g-e poop this morning!  All the while, the boys were staring at her quietly from the playpen and I told them "See?  This is how it's done, boys!", lol.  I joked with Greg that since one of Laura's cats is named Princess Fluffybottom, I'm going to name ours Princess Poopy Bottom :)

I'm only going to give them formula during the day so they'll be up every 3 hours or so. At least, that's what happened yesterday. They pee in the playpen and it wakes them up, I think.  Today I put the litter box back in there, just in case, on top of the last spot where they peed, and I buried one of the paper towels on which one of them had peed on while I coaxed it, to see if that will encourage them to go in there. They technically have a couple more weeks according to the developmental stages I've been reading about, but mine are very advanced kittens... I credit that to the classical and smooth jazz music that I have them listen to while they're sleeping, ha.  Baby Einstein, Kitten Edition.

Every day they grow a little more.  Tabby Kitty put on 2 ounces between Wednesday and Thursday!  They groom themselves a little bit, sometimes play together a little bit. This morning, Princess Kitten was sniffing the dingling ball that's been in the playpen for a while. She knocked it by mistake and got intrigued, I guess.  Dark Gray Explorer is still trying to climb the walls when he's crying and no one picks him up right away.

Princess Kitten relaxing on my son this afternoon, after feeding time.  She's started to groom herself, it's so cute!  Here she is, licking her paw.  I scratched the base of her tail with my nails tonight and she looooooved it, and then rolled on her back and offered me her belly to scratch while she played with my fingers. I was halfways lying down so she was lying across the top of my chest, nestled against my neck under my chin and purring up a storm.  It was so sweet!
I saw this on Amazon yesterday and I'm mulling over getting it. Not sure if it's that much better than the playpen but at least there is a top that's secure.

Yesterday, I ordered this:

And I'm also mulling over getting this (for the older cats too!)

What's the most unusual (for you) dish that you've ever cooked?


  1. I love cat toys! Also, love that our cat names are giving you ideas. :)

    I made fish cakes from a Moosewood Cookbook and the recipe sounded fantastic but they were a disaster. I don't know that it was the oddest thing I've ever cooked, but it was definitely the most adventurous I feel like I've been with fish. I still think the recipe looked amazing but they really turn out good.

    1. I laugh every time I picture a cat named Princess Fluffybottoms, hahaha. Our kitties have their own names but I have to decide on pseudonyms for the internet. I'm paranoid but too many places suggest your pet names as security questions and there's a whole lot of social engineering going on these days. I wouldn't want my kitty cats' identities stolen! (*wink*).

      Fish cakes sound good to me, possibly because the word "cake" is included! And now I'm hungry...

  2. Glad to hear Greg felt better. As for PMS and cramping, try drinking lots of water. I know it sounds strange, but if one is dehydrated, the symptoms are worse.

    You got rain twice in one day? Not fair! We haven't had any rain even once this whole summer!

    Mmm, patties! One of my favorite snacks. They are similar to empanadas. The Indian stores should have spices that are common to both cuisines and they might even carry some Sri Lankan items, as well.

    Princess Kitten washing her paw is too cute for words!

    Hope you have a lovely weekend and all will be well with you.

    1. Water does fix everything doesn't it? My trick these past few days, to keep hydrated and from eating everything in sight, has been to sip on hot instant decaffeinated coffee all day. It's made with water so I'm thinking it should work too!

      Oh, good news on the Indian store. That one looks very big by the pictures on Yelp. How did you grow your curry tree? Did you bring seeds from Sri Lanka with you?

      Yes, we were lucky with the rain this week. Rainshowers had been announced and some of them even fell over our house. My cashier at Aldi this week told me that it poured at her house the previous night. She lives maybe 2-3 miles from my house and yet we didn't get anything so I was getting annoyed, hahaha. Right now it makes me wish I had planted some beans or something. Maybe I'll get into the garden this weekend. I've got to harvest those peanuts and see if the squirrels left me any!

      Have a great weekend as well. I wish rain for you too!

    2. I bought the curry leaf tree as a tiny plant from one of the Indian grocery stores. Check the Indian stores to see if they have packets of dried leaves or, occasionally, fresh sprigs in their refrigerator section.

  3. I am laughing at your PMS comments. Don't wish it away because once it's gone menopause sets in and then the "fun" really begins!

    1. Do tell! No, really, DO tell. I always thought that once menopause was here then everything else, like the hot flashes and the mood swings, would go away. Are you telling me that it's worse after menopause? I've been wishing for it for 15 years, lol!

  4. Mmm the jalapeño soup looks so good and you are doing so well with what you are eating, I am put to shame :(

    I'm glad that Greg is feeling better and that you are starting to get back to normal, just need to get rid of the pms and life will be dandy.

    Your kittens are seriously cute and you are such a dedicated carer, they are very luck to have you.

    I've never had Sri Lankan food before.

    Have a lovely weekend xxx

    1. It's funny because as I was reading the recipes in the cookbook for the various curries, I was actually thinking of you since you've had curry on your menu a few times. Do you do takeaway or do you cook it yourself?

      The kittens are something else. We all are completely in love with them, hahaha. I fretted more about their poop this week than about Greg throwing up his guts all day long on Thursday.

    2. Ha ha poor Greg, he has taken a back seat now. Will you keep all the kittens?

      We do a combination a lot of curries we make but occasionally we will order an Indian, the takeaways around here aren't great so more often tan not we do end up making them. Xx

    3. Ah Tara, I could never imagine NOT keeping all three of them from the second I laid eyes on them, hahaha. I used to think that people who had that many pets had a screw loose (that was before I "met" you, Laura, if you're reading this!) but look at me now... ha! I guess never say never.

      I don't know if I'm more impressed with the fact that you routinely cook curries or that your kids actually eat them!

  5. I believe in insurance to and I understand that peace of mind that you mentioned. My husband does not believe in insurance and he gets quite upset with all the insurances that we are required to carry. I would get flood if we were not on a mountain.

    1. Greg is the same as your husband! We're on a hill but there are houses above us and in the past we've had water coming into the house during really bad storms. Since then Greg has made a number of improvements to divert the water running down the hill away from the house and it's worked but that and the stories that I saw after Katrina and other hurricanes where some water damage caused by the storms were actually classified as "flood damage" and therefore not covered by people's regular HOI policies, made me leery. In the end, I hate spending the money, but I prefer being prudent. He has no idea of how much insurance he carries through his employer since I'm the one who reviews and signs up for the benefits. I've signed him up for pretty much everything, lol.

  6. I tell people that you could always tell what day of the week it was at my husband's parents house, just by what was on the dinner menu. It was always the same thing each week. When we set up house together, my Sweetie had a lot of adjusting to do. He had never eaten pasta before for instance. So when I made a homemade spaghetti sauce to serve over pasta, he would eat a side dish of sauce (which he gradually grew to love)and then open a can of Chef Boyardee for his main dish. Seriously! To him, that was spaghetti.
    He still doesn't like rice, even in a casserole. He is meat and potatoes all the way. He is not fond of casseroles, but he will eat them without enthusiasm. Ha. So my adventures in cooking, are not very adventurous, although I have made him a vegan red lentil stew a couple of times which he thought was alright. Maybe because it had potatoes, carrots and cumin in it, it had ingredients he liked.
    Funny thing though. Once his grandmother and his dad passed, his mother became quite the cook for herself. She tried so many different things and loved experimenting. So I guess we know that she was also cooking for her husband.

    1. Wow, he only knew Spaghettios?! That's kind of sad, lol. That being said, my kids don't like the "good" Kraft Mac'n cheese or even homemade. They like the cheap mac'n cheese from Save A Lot because that's what they were raised eating! Which reminds me, I'm going to buy some to put in Middle Son's stocking at Christmas time, eh eh. 39 cents a box.

      How challenging it must be for you, unless you don't mind meat and potatoes every day... Greg insists on having a protein, doesn't eat many vegetables and usually doesn't eat any fruit. But that's because of his stomach problems. My kids eat what I put in front of them because that's how I raised them but once they're on their own they seem to avoid all produce, which makes me sad.

      I think it's awesome that your MIL decided that once she was a widow, she was going to enjoy eating the foods that SHE wanted to eat, hahaha!

  7. I hope you start posting photos and recipes if you start cooking any of the exotic recipes from these books!

    I'm a very boring, run-of-the mill ordinary cook, but I like to try new recipes. My crock pot is one of my favorite appliances. Right now I've got Indian spiced lentils with chicken cooking. It will be for dinner tonight (and one other night during the week, plus several lunches for me).

    1. Have you visited Bless' blog at My Two Cents? She is from Sri Lanka (but lives in CA) and once in a while posts recipes of Sri Lankan dishes. She always makes me very hungry!

      Indian spiced lentils sounds pretty fancy to me, hahaha! I love lentils. The link that I'm giving you takes you to a Lentil Curry recipe that Bless posted recently. We're having pasta (no sauce), salad and grilled tomato basil chicken sausages from Aldi for dinner so talk about being boring and run-of-the-mill! But everyone will eat that without complaining. The kids are kind of dreading my venturing into Sri Lankan cuisine because they don't like spicy foods.


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