Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Domestic Tuesday? Not So Much ~ Tuesday, 9/6/16

Oh dear. I had told myself that I would be very productive today to make up for the fact that I barely did anything yesterday, but it's 9:00 a.m. as I type this and I'm still in my PJs.  I need to get going!

The days are getting noticeably shorter: it was dark when my son left the house at 6:45 a.m. to catch up the school bus at the corner. I had turned on the light on the front porch so he could see the lock to lock the door.  I dislike short days, it feels that you have so much less time to do what you want to do!  But there's nothing I can do about it.

Greg received a call from his mom this morning. His dad just had his last chemo session this morning but they realized that he has lost 21 lbs since the last session 2 weeks ago so they wanted him to go to the ER to be admitted. He went home instead because everybody in their family agrees that if he's admitted into the hospital, he won't come out and he'd rather be home with Hospice care.  The wound care nurse is coming to see him tomorrow so they'll go from there.

Plans for today include going to run a few errands in between kitten feedings. I should have left already so now I have to wait until after the next feeding.  I want to do the laundry, knock off a few to-do's from my list.  Speaking of which...

To Do List
  • Crafty/Creative:
    • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
    • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
    • Melt down old candles and make into one or two new candles - No, I've decided to just pitch them. I know it's not the frugal thing to do but I have a ton of candles to use up, still, and I really need to declutter the house. Update: I had second thoughts last night so for now they're sitting on top of my washing machine until I decide what to do with them!
    • Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter shelves over printer stand 
    • Declutter storage bench 
    • Dust fan in exercise room
    • 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 breezeway
    • Vacuum living room
    • Vacuum exercise room
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Tuesday) 
    • Do the laundry  - Done
    • Dry the clothes - Done
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put the laundry away
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Need to preserve the eggplants
    • Write menu for the week - Done
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Fertilize the raspberries - I'm thinking about pulling them and putting more roses in pots in their place.
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden - I will do this once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Plant more okra
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Find fish emulsion and use on plants
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
    • Harvest the peanuts
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Pull weeds from pots
  • 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 2-3 hours- Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.) - Done
    • Don't forget to wash hands before and after handling them to prevent transmitting diseases to the other cats  - 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
    • Fix the fan in my room with electric tape
  • 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
    • Remove daughter's pc from her room and decide what to do with it
    • Go through the genealogical material crate
    • Shred what needs to be shredded
    • Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
    • Work on photo album for daughter's graduation
    • Return solar batteries to Amazon (printed label)
    • Sort new coupons

  • I brewed my usual pot of half decaf coffee. The decaf was free from Wawa (won in a sweepstake).

  • My son packed his lunch to take to school.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work. After months of him complaining whenever my daughter, son or myself ate mozzarella string cheese because he thought it was gross and disgusting, he asked me yesterday how many grams of protein and calories were in a stick. When he learned that it was fewer calories (50 cal) and more protein (7 grams) than an egg, he decided to try one... and loved it! So now he wants those in his lunchbox instead of hard-boiled eggs for snacks, The problem is that they're way more expensive than hard-boiled eggs so this is going to increase my grocery expenses.

  • Greg stopped by RaceTrac this morning and got himself a FREE soda refill with his Sodapalooza cup.

  • I did a "super" load of laundry (my clothes and Greg's) in cold/cold. I hung most of the clothes outside to dry, with the exception of Greg's T-shirts because he's a delicate flower who doesn't like this clothing dried outdoors (too bad for him, the only pieces I agree not to dry outdoors are his shirts).

  • Then I did an "extra large" load of laundry that included the kitty laundry and since they leaked pee on their towels, I washed everything in hot/cold.  Then I will hang them outside.

  • After the mid-morning kitten feeding, I decided to go run a couple of errands. I didn't want to go to Aldi today, I'd rather wait until the new produce offers tomorrow so I decided to remain in close proximity to my home.  I wasn't sure if I'd be back before my daughter left for school so I didn't take the Focus. Instead I took my SUV.
    • Save A Lot:
      • No clearance bakery items :(
      • I did see a cheese pizza with a sell-by date of 9/4.  The manager was at the cashier so I asked him if he would discount it at 50% and he agreed so I got it for $2.75.
      • I didn't buy any meat!  Didn't even look at the section.
      • I got more papaya at $0.69/lb, grapes at $0.98/lb and 8 lbs of large Russet potatoes for $3.99. I also got another ear of corn since I had only 3 in the fridge. I bought them a while back so I'm not even sure that they're still good..
      • My OOP was $15.09 and I charged it to my USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards.

    • Publix:
      • I had a couple of digital coupons for 100% freebies that I wasn't sure I could redeem at my Publix since they never seem to carry the organic products that are usually part of those promotions. However, to my great surprise, they had both!
        • A cup of La Liberté organic yogurt ($1.79, FREE with digital coupon)
        • A loaf of Dave's Killer organic bread ($4.99, FREE with digital coupon).  That coupon didn't get deducted at the register so I had to go to Customer Service where the rep was pleasant enough but you could see she didn't believe my story.  Eventually she agreed that I was due the money back so she gave me a gift card. I would have preferred the cash but she said she "couldn't do that" which is totally bullshit. They've always refunded me pricing errors in cash. I told her I thought it was a complete waste of plastic. Because it is. I was irritated about the whole experience, to tell you the truth.
        • I bought broccoli @ $1.50 because it wasn't much more expensive than Aldi and I'm out of fresh veggies.
        • I also got some tomatoes on the vine ($1.69/lb) for a salad tonight that I'll serve with the pizza.
        • 2 packages of Dole Mixations fruit cups ($2.00 on sale and I had $1.00/1 coupons), 1 package of Dole fruit cups with no sugar added ($2.00 on sale and I had a $75/1 coupon) and 1 package of Dole Squirtable Fruit pouches (on sale for $2.00 and I had $1.00/1 coupon).
        • I also bought 2 containers of Driscoll's strawberries, on sale @ $3.00 each and I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 coupons from the Driscoll's Consumer Advisory Panel.
        • IHeartPublix had advertised a BOGO on the Butterball smoked turkey sausage but my store only had them on sale, not on BOGO. I can get them cheaper at Save  A Lot.
        • It had also advertised a sale on the Eckrich kielbasa but again my store didn't have them on sale (maybe tomorrow?!). So I didn't buy any meat at all, although against my will this time.
        • My OOP was $15.87 (including the bread) which was charged to my USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards, and then I received a $4.99 gift card for the bread refund.

      • While I was at Publix, I received a notification from the McDonald's app that they were giving away a FREE 6-pack of chicken nuggets today at participating locations, with the app coupon. Perfect!  I stopped by on my way to the library and redeemed the coupon. I gave the nuggets to my daughter for her lunch when I got back.

      • I stopped by the library and returned the DVD set that was due today. No late fees for me!  There wasn't anything worth taking in the donation box and I resisted buying the very yummy-looking brownies that were being offered at 50 cents a piece as a Friends of the Library fundraiser.

      • Lastly, I stopped by RaceTrac and got FREE soda refills for my son and myself with our Sodapalooza cups.  I also redeemed a survey reward code for a FREE apple fritter for my son's afterschool snack.

  • I unlocked new offers in MobiSave and Ibotta.

  •  I submitted receipts to Ibotta and Checkout 51.

  • Checkout 51 refunded me $0.25 for the grapes. Woohoo!

  • And Ibotta refunded me $0.25 for the bread. Yes!

  • I was able to take a Swagbucks survey and met my 1st Daily Goal :)

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • Greg stopped by RaceTrac to get himself a FREE soda refill with his Sodapalooza cup on the way home.

  • I printed a couple of coupons that Kellogg's emailed me.

  • So dinner for 4 was the $2.75 pizza. The kids wanted their plain, I added some sliced Black Forest Ham and homegrown jalapeños on Greg's and just homegrown jalapeños on mine.  Yum. I also made a side salad and my daughter and I had strawberries for dessert. I think my son will have grapes.

  • My son emptied a cat litter jug and saved it for me so I refilled it with rain water at the rain barrel and also refilled the 7 other jugs that I had emptied to water the plants before Hermine came to visit.

  • I also saved a cereal box inner bag to reuse as a freezer bag.

  • Hot water for the kitty laundry.
  • Gas for my errands and for my daughter to drive to her college classes and back.

  • None!

  • Kitten duty
  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Caught up on blog comments
  • Corresponded with one of my brothers and my mom via email 
  • Collected the trash throughout the house and took the large bin down the curb for collection
  • Made Greg's bed
  • Did 2 loads of laundry
  • Worked on shopping list
  • Kitten duty
  • Ran errands
  • Brought the 2 trash bins back up the driveway
  • Hung first load of laundry outside while 2nd one was being washed
  • Put groceries away
  • Fixed my lunch
  • Kitty duty
  • Tried to socialize the older cats
  • Updated Kitty records
  • Caught up on blogs
  • Kitty utdy
  • Brought dry laundry back indoors
  • Cooked dinner
  • Kitten duty

  • I had to dig a belt out of my closet as my size 20 capris were way too lose, yippee!  I don't think I have lost much weight this week as I only exercised 3 times, we'll see tomorrow morning.

  • I have been doing very well with my food intake, although my period is approaching, which means that I'll start getting very hungry in a few days.  I'm a little nervous about that!

  • For good deals at the store today
  • For a sunny day that's not too hot
  • For the opportunity to dry the laundry outdoors
  • For healthy kittens who keep growing very well and who are just adorable!
  • For emails from my brother, SIL and mom


Today is a week since we found them! The kittens are doing quite well. They're getting stronger and more alert.  This morning was the first time that they were awake and crying out for food before I woke them up! It's still quiet little "meows" so not that stressful yet.  They're eating more and trying to walk.

After their first daytime feeding today, they were still awake and tossing and turning in their box, so I lined the bottom of the play plen with a clean bath towel and placed them in there to give them some room to exercise.  I put a timer on for 15 minutes because I didn't want them to get cold. I figured that if they were crawling/walking around, they would keep warm despite the AC being on.  They're just like babies, wobbling on their feet, rocking back and forth, falling over. One of them just goes in circles!  But they were interested enough in their new surroundings to explore a little bit and were too busy to be crying out as they had been in the box.  Then, shortly before my timer rang, they had nestled themselves against each other and were falling back to sleep, so I scooped them up and put them back into their box so they would be warmer.

I think I'll give them some play time every time I feed them. It'll make them stronger.  

My pictures aren't very good because either the flash goes off or I turn off the flash and then the pictures are quite dark.  Also the bird's eye view isn't the greatest.  I'll have to try taking better pictures later on when the light is better, especially if they stay awake for a little bit now.

Two of them, I suspect they're both males (the striped one and the dark grey one) have started grooming themselves after a feeding. I filmed them liking their paws and forelegs and also their chests. Woohoo, kitten steps!

One of the kittens wasn't falling back asleep after the 1:30 feeding so I took her with me to the room where our 3 other cats are.  Mean Kitty immediately spit. She looked quite mean.  She didn't take a swipe or anything and we weren't in range, but she didn't like it. New Kitty came to investigate and sniffed the kitten for a couple of seconds, and then she spit as well. I warned her off and she walked away. Later on, she did the same thing. Male Cat didn't know what to think of the whole thing. He stayed where he was but he was very interested in the kitten.  We had him the longest so he's had to get used to Mean Kitty (she came a year after him) and New Kitty this past Christmas. He's never had any problems, he's a good egg.  So I'm not too worried about him.  The two females... it's going to be interesting!

Greg and our son came to help me with the kittens tonight.  They cuddled with 2 of them after I fed them while I fed the third one. We're all quite enchanted with them!

How was your Tuesday? Did you get a lot of things done?


  1. That's a lot of weight for Greg's dad to lose in so short a time, isn't it? I'm so sorry to hear it. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Those kittens are doing so well! They've grown so much in the week you've had them! Seems like you make a good Kitten Mom!

    Well done with avoiding buying more meat! Eat from the freezer! That's our mantra for this month, remember? LOL.

    My Tuesday was busy. I hadn't started my car in over a week and when I went to drive it, it wouldn't start! I had to get it jump started and then, drive around for awhile before I dared to stop, in case it wouldn't re-start! But I did groceries, went to the library, did a load of laundry, cleaned my bedroom, watered the garden, and did office work.

    1. It is a lot of weight. Greg said that he has an appetite but by the time Greg's mom brings him the food, he's fallen back asleep. He sleeps a lot. We heard today that the doctor decided to put him on Hospice Care. We're not sure of what it entails yet or when it'll start, but it'll be a source of help and hopefully comfort for Greg's parents in the weeks to come.

      I'm going to comment on your post in a while, but I don't think it's normal that your car wouldn't start after not being driven for a week. You just got that battery just a few months ago, if I remember properly. Are your connections corroded? Do the spark plugs need to be replaced, perhaps? Greg's truck sat for 2 weeks while he was away and it started just fine. My SUV sat for a whole month while I was in France and it started fine. If batteries died after only a week of no driving, a whole bunch of people on business trips or vacation would get back to the airport and be stranded! You might want to stop by an Advance Auto Parts or similar auto parts store that offers free battery testing.

  2. I'm not surprised you are all enchanted by the kittens they are seriously cute and I'm not really a cat person Nathalie. We have had a cat that has visited us on three occasions, Liam and my fourteen year old caught it strolling down the stairs the other day and then yesterday it jumped through the window and sat staring at my fourteen year old and then today it jumped through the window again and joined Ben on the sofa. Ha ha cheeky cat!

    I'm really sorry to hear about Greg's dad. It certainly sounds like he will be better off at home than in a hospital. (send you guys hugs) xx

    Well done on having to wear a belt with you Capri's, I look forward to hearing how you have got on tomorrow xxx

    1. Hmm, it sounds like that cat has adopted YOU Tara!

      Thank you for the hugs. The doctor said that his dad is to be in Hospice Care now so he'll definitely be at home and not go back to the hospital. We don't have any other details for now.

  3. You got some freebies! On a more somber note, I am very sorry about the news regarding your FIL.

    1. Thank you so much. It's mixed news, isn't it? On the one hand we all know what it means that Hospice is going to be involved, but on the other hand we all feel that it's for the best considering his condition and the fact that he absolutely does not want to be in the hospital. Cancer really sucks.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about Greg's dad, Nathalie. I'm glad that they've managed to arrange hospice care, though, and that he is not in the hospital.

    I still love the kittens. ;)

    1. Thanks Laura! The kittens are a nice distraction and provide lots of cuddling opportunities :)

  5. I hope Greg's dad has a peaceful way ahead of him. I guess that's all one can say at this point?

    I love that Liberté yogurt! Probably shouldn't ask the dairy manager if they have Egalité and Fraternité yogurt, too, huh? :-p

    1. Ha! Too funny! But it's a Canadian brand, not French :)

      Thanks, yes, I think that's all we can hope for him, that and as little pain as possible.

  6. I would have read this post last Thursday morning, so I am realizing that I have not commented on anyone's blog posts. You and Greg have been top of mind all this time concerning his dad. Having read this morning about how upset he was over "not being consulted about Hospice", it must be an especially trying time for the family. I hope the end is painless.

    I apologize for not commenting, but also not acknowledging your comments to my few posts. I know that you immediately become concerned with what is going on with me, and I have to assure you that things are fine. There have been no more trips to Emergency. Wednesday was my day for Domestic Engineering, and I think I may have overdone it. I went back to bed Thursday morning....like get up, stay up for two hours, and then fall into bed again. Life can be rough. I have been trying to stay caught up with the garden veggies and my goals for September, but my enthusiasm is waning. *laugh*

    I look forward to your posts every single morning over coffee. I love the kitten photos. They are growing up so fast.

    1. Aww, thanks Susan, that's very kind, everything that you said. And it's scary how well you know me despite never having met me because yes, I've been thinking about you and your Sweetie and hoping that your silence only meant that you were busy with other things and not that anything was wrong. I almost emailed you but you probably have your kids and intimate friends already checking in with you so I didn't want to add to that. I'm so glad nothing happened. However did you keep your Sweetie from injuring himself? lol.

      My own enthusiasm for gardening has waned and I didn't even harvest half as much as you did! it's exhausting all the weeding and watering and harvesting and processing. I'm skipping this season, i'm far too busy with the kittens right now.


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