Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Fall Y'all! ~ Thursday 9/22/16

Source: Google Doodle
I love, love, love today's Google Doodle. So cute :) That would totally be one of my kids!

When Greg went to Canada last, I had been so productive: cleaning, decluttering... he came back to a nice home. This time around, I don't know if it's the combination of it being that time of the month and the kittens (who really aren't all that demanding anymore) but I'm frazzled and exhausted and nothing has been accomplished. I haven't really cooked either this whole week. I feel that all I have done is run errands...  aargh.  He is flying back tomorrow and leaving again on Sunday morning so I might not rush to do much more between now and tomorrow night, although I do have to fold the laundry, do the dishes, start socializing the kittens with the big cats, and vacuum my living room. At the very least.

And I just remembered that I have a lunch scheduled with my friend today at 1 p.m., which means that I need to try and adjust the kittens feeding time too.  

I slept from about 11:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. this morning when the kittens woke me up. After I had fed them, I felt really tired so I turned on the light on the front porch for when my son leaves for school because I felt that I wouldn't wake up when he got up.  And I didn't, but first I actually couldn't go back to sleep so I checked the news and Feedly on my phone and saw that Alison had posted a recipe for making Amish Friendship Bread without the starter. Oh yum. I love that stuff but that starter is a PITA and since I don't have any friends to give it too, it quickly becomes a nightmare.

So I eventually went back to sleep at 5:30 a.m. and didn't wake up when my son got up. I woke up again at 7:09 a.m. in a panic because I had heard his alarm at 6:00 a.m. but he had been so stealth-like and I was so out of it, that I didn't hear him leave and I thought he had slept in! After I made sure that he hadn't, I went back to sleep again until 9 a.m.!  This is crazy.

My daughter is skipping her college class today because there is an NHS meeting at the high school that she has to attend and also some other kind of meeting. She assures me that it's OK, that attendance doesn't count in her grade for that particular class, and that all they're doing is review for next week's test and she feels that she can do that on her own. 

My son has his Dungeons and Dragons Club meeting this afternoon. He got confused yesterday and thought it was Thursday so he brought his D&D stuff with him when he went to the Teen Programming!  But no one else showed up anyway. I was asking him the other day how his club is doing and he said he was a little frustrated because only middle schoolers are showing up and they're "immature and tend to be distracted easily so we constantly have to restart the game."  Ha, now he knows what being a dad will be like :)  I'm not sure, however, how much longer he'll want to lead the club if things don't improve.  I don't get the impression that it's much fun for him anymore.

OK, To Do List Time!

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 - Done
    • Vacuum exercise room - Done
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Tuesday and Wednesday)  - Done
    • Fold the laundry - Done
    • Put 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:
    • 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
    • Lunch with a friend - Done
    • Get rice cereal for kittens from Publix - 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
    • Finish inputting new receipts into spreadsheet 
    • Call my mom this week
    • Write Grocery Shopping Post
    • Follow up with Middle Son again about appointment time for photo session - He texted me first
    • Start proceedings for deleting Yahoo Mail account

  • Late last night, Swagbucks awarded me 99 SB for a search!! This is the 2nd time this year that I win such a search award! And no one was awake to share my excitement, lol!
  • My son packed a lunch to take to school and rode the school bus.

  • I brewed myself a pot of half decaf coffee using the free decaf won from Wawa.

  • SavingStar credited my account with the 30 cents that I claimed for the avocados at Publix and the $3.38 spent on the Bush's beans (before coupons) towards the $12 needed to earn the $3 back. I really don't think I'll make it to $12.
  • CVS sent me a coupon for 30% off, it'd been a while since I had gotten one of those.  I don't plan on using it since it's only off regular priced merchandise and expires this weekend, but I uploaded it to my ExtraCare card just in case.

  • The kittens are using the litterbox more so I'm not doing as much kitten laundry as I did a few days ago. Yay!

  • Today is Double Point Search Day on Bing Rewards. I earned all the credits that I was allowed.

  • I forgot to mention that I stretched the milk yesterday by adding 1/2 gallon of water to 1/2 gallon of whole milk.

  • I stopped by Publix after my lunch to pick up rice baby cereal for the kittens. At the register I noticed that my favorite gum was on BOGO so I bought 4 containers of it (only 3 pictured because I left one in my vehicle).

  • The library has already received season 2 of Law & Order for me from another library in our county's library system so I picked it up this afternoon on my way home from lunch.

  • I received the CVS gift card that I ordered from our American Express Rewards program.

  • Dinner tonight is going to be Breakfast for Dinner: French toast made with the rest of the 50% off French bread bought at Walmart, turkey maple sausages, raspberries.

  • My daughter has an interview for a part-time job at Walt Disney World in a couple of weeks. Woohoo!  It's a long commute (45 minutes) but no tolls from our house.

  • Monthly lunch with my friend at a local sushi place.

  • My appeal to SavingStar about the avocado purchase at Walmart was denied again, but this time they explained it's because you can only use the offer once that week and I had already used it at Publix. It's irritating and confusing that the offer doesn't show as "completed" or disappears once you've used it!

  • Apparently ALL Yahoo Mail users are affected by a massive hack that occurred earlier this summer.  I moved to Gmail several years ago but still keep my old Yahoo Mail address for signing up for promotions and such accounts that I know will generate spam or unsolicited emails.  Back when I moved to Gmail, I had set up my Yahoo Mail account to automatically forward all inbox messages to my Gmail address, so I don't have to keep on checking 2 inboxes.  Since then, Yahoo has changed their settings and I don't think you can do this anymore, but there's also no setting that I can find to stop it!  So I'm going to have to go through all the accounts that I have set up with Yahoo Mail, switch them to another email address, and then eventually delete my Yahoo Mail account. It's going to be a lot of work but I hate Yahoo nowadays anyway. I used to be such a Yahoo fan, their calendar used to be awesome. Now it just stinks.  Greg still uses Yahoo Mail so I don't know what he's going to do.

  • Kitten duty
  • Turned the porch light on for my son
  • Texted with my BFF
  • Texted with Greg
  • Worked on Customer Loyalty programs
  • Unloaded dishwasher
  • Kitten duty
  • Moved seed nursery
  • Put away roaster oven
  • Moved gardening "shelf" outdoors
  • Moved kittens to Cat Room
  • Went to lunch
  • Ran errands (Publix, library)
  • Kitten duty
  • Vacuumed living room
  • Vacuumed exercise room
  • Dusted the mantelpiece
  • Loaded the dishwasher and started it
  • Cleaned the kitchen counter
  • Swept and spot mopped the kitchen
  • Decluttered arm of the futon!
  • Cuddled with Princess Poopy Bottom
  • Caught up on email
  • Dealt with Yahoo fiasco
  • Cooked dinner
  • Folded the laundry

  • Confession: I was eyeing the last 3 donut holes this morning while my coffee was brewing and I finally ate them.  I reached my 2nd mini goal yesterday so I treated myself.  Sigh, I have got to get back on the horse, though.
  • That Greg finally got a good night's sleep last night
  • That the kittens are doing well, using the litterbox and eating from the saucer
  • That the larger cats are leaving them alone, for the most part
  • For a good chatting session with my friend at lunch


Last night is another blurr... I fed them at 10 p.m. and then they woke up at 4:30 a.m.  Princess Poopy Bottom went straight to the litterbox and peed there. Woopie!

Last night I found one of those absorbent mats that one keeps near the sink to drain the dishes so I decided to use that under the saucers of cereal and formula to protect my carpet and it worked pretty well at 4:30 a.m.

I was so excited that they were eating on their own, that it's pretty much all
the pictures I took today!

Princess Poopy Bottom is a natural and a quick learner and she ate the cereal out of the saucer without any problem.  As a matter of fact, she ate almost the whole thing (a whole tablespoon of cereal mixed with formula) by herself!  While she was eating, her brothers had woken up and were crying and trying to climb the playpen, just a foot or so away.  After a while, Tabby Kitty decided he couldn't wait any longer and went into the litterbox and did his business in there too.  Yay!

Princess Poopy Bottom doesn't like and doesn't know how to lap the formula from the bowl (I'm pretty sure she did it a little yesterday but she and Tabby Kitten kept on putting too much of their muzzles into the formula and coughing!) so I fed her some formula with the eye dropper, just so I knew she had had enough liquids to produce a poop.

I had to go mix more cereal for Tabby Kitty and he also launched himself at the saucer of cereal and was a "Clean Plate Ranger", as Greg says!  But again, I had to feed him the formula with the eye dropper. He wasn't pooped since he had that really liquid explosion on Monday night.  I looked for cereal for cats online last night and nothing came up so I think that vet was full of shit (so to speak!). However all the sources that I found mentioned feeding rice cereal to kittens, not multigrain (the other vet had told me "not the rice cereal when I asked if that's what I should buy, but the Gerber multigrain one")  so after my lunch I need to remember to duck into Publix and buy rice cereal and see if that helps the constipation.  Ugh.

Clean Plate Ranger material!

When it was time to feed Dark Explorer, it was a totally other story.  I think Dark Explorer is... shall we say "differently abled"?  He just doesn't get it.  He will not eat from the saucer, preferring instead to chew on the saucer's rim, and even if I try to direct his muzzle to the cereal in the center, he turns up his nose at it.  So I hand feed him with the spoon and he eats well that way but doesn't lick it from the spoon either. Rather he bites on the spoon while I shove the cereal down his mouth, like a baby. I think maybe he wants to skip the cereal stage and go straight for things he can crunch!  Their teeth have definitely come in and are sharp. A couple of them were nibbling my fingers yesterday and ouch, it hurt!  I also fed him formula with the eye dropper and he tries to chew it too, doesn't even try to suck anymore.  So it's a little challenging. He did, however, have a huge poop and this time it was well formed. He's had soft stools for almost 2 weeks and hadn't pooped since Sunday morning so I was hugely relieved.

Then they went back to sleep until.., well, it's close to 10a.m. and they're still sleeping!  I guess the cereal really settles their tummies :)

I think I'm going to try to move the playpen to the Cat Room today to get them all used to being together.  The kittens sleep most of the time anyway so it probably won't make a difference.  The older cats won't like the change, though, but they'll get used to it.

At the mid morning feeding, both Princess PB and Tabby Kitty went into the litterbox and started scratching around. They didn't do anything but the instinct to bury/scratch has kicked in.  Dark Explorer joined them by climbing over the side (there is an opening that I cut and that the other two are using!) and so it became quite crowded in there and no one peed, I don't think.

The feeding was much the same as the last one: Dark Explorer refused to eat or drink from the saucers and had to be spoon fed like a baby. I love him so much but boy, he is challenging!  We ended the session with him covered in cereal because he won't sit still and my arm covered in it too.  No one pooped.

As I finished feeding them, I put them in the large cardboard box that contained one of my orders yesterday.  When it was all done, I moved the playpen to the Cat Room and then moved the kittens, who had fallen asleep in there. I decided to place the playpen against the sliding door both because I wanted them to be warm (and it's not directly under an AC vent) and also because there isn't any furniture nearby for the other cats to get on and possibly get into the playpen.  I know that they could easily jump in if they wanted to but I don't expect them to put the effort into it, lol.  I was concerned, however, that Mean Kitty would play gargoyle over the playpen and scare the poop out of them.  Male Cat is always very curious and he came to investigate right away... Tabby Kitty had woken up and came out of the "bedroom" and stared at Male Cat as he was walking away but the decided to go back to sleep. I left them to go have breakfast with a little bit of trepidation as it is the first time they're so far away from me since we've gotten them, but it's a necessary step.

Male Cat, pretending that he's not snooping on the kittens...

Walking away to regain his spot at the entrance to the kitchen...

But wait!  Tabby Kitty is awake and came out to play.

Male cat hears him meow and decides to keep on walking away.

The females are watching from a safe distance... and from some height, the better to see, you know!

My daughter got up a few minutes later and reported that they were all awake but just looking around and not making a peep.  I just hope that all goes well if they wake up while I'm away at lunch since those tend to last a couple of hours.

I was about to leave when Male Cat, feeling left out, bumped into me repeatedly to signify that he wanted to cuddle. So I sat down on the armchair in the Cat Room and he jumped on me and presented me his belly.  Awwww. But we could only cuddle for 5 minutes as I had to leave.  New Kitty came back the chair as well but just stared at me, and Mean Kitty let me pet her for a second but soon turned her back on me.

Look at that face!  It's begging me... pet me, pet me!

So I pet him, and then went to pet the females and sat down for a bit. Male Cat jumped on my lap and made himself pretty
comfortable. Oh, he was purring up a storm!

New Kitty wouldn't come up but sat next to us.
Later on...I came back from lunch at about 3 p.m. and they were asleep. But they soon woke up so I fed them and the kids helped cuddle them before and after.  Dark Explorer must have realized the errors of his way because he actually did eat from the saucer and even tried to drink from the formula saucer (without much success). Hooray!  Tabby Kitty was almost a pro at lapping the formula from the saucer, and my daughter and I were cheering him on.

He's so fuzzy!
New Kitty came to lie down in the sunshine next to the playpen and tried to steal the show by acting all cute and fuzzy, but when a kitten approached her, she was quick to spit quite emphatically.

A couple of hours later, the kittens were mostly still awake, enjoying themselves in the sunshine shining into the playpen through the sliding door, but Princess Poopy Bottom definitely didn't want to be in there and cried quite loudly so I went to pick her up and we cuddled and played for a while. My son had gone to his Dungeons and Dragons Club meeting so I sat in his chair, with the kitten on my chest. My legs were extended in front of me and resting on the arm of the nearby couch because it was comfy and I had completely forgotten that it pretty much was an invitation for Male Cat to jump up on me. So I was very surprised when in fact he did jump up!  You have a tiny kitten bitting your fingers and suddenly 13 pounds of big male tabby cat land on your lap out of nowhere...

So he made himself comfortable, and so did Princess Poopy Bottom...

Once he jumped off me, I put her on the ground. New Kitty was waiting near the tunnel and Princess PB, a fearless explorer, headed straight for it and explored in it for a bit. When she came back out, though, New Kitty went to her, sniffed her head, started hissing pretty meanly and suddenly bopped her on the head. I screamed so loudly, I'm surprised Princess PB didn't have a heart attack.  New Kitty is in BIG trouble.  So now we know... all this time I was telling the kids not to worry because I didn't think that she would do anything worse than just hiss and spit!  Maybe she's the Mean Cat after all...

As I was cooking dinner, Tabby Kitty came out of his slumber and went to poop in the litterbox, hooray!  Only problem was... it was still liquid.  Argh.

How is your poop these days?  Errr, I mean, how was your day, today?


  1. You had another very busy day, today! Loved the video of the kitten and Male Cat. I hope the other 2 cats come around and accept the kittens. They are growing up so fast! Look at them eating from their saucers and using the litter box, etc., to the best of their abilities! Hope you have a good day, tomorrow. Get some rest!

    1. It's amazing how fast they're growing, isn't it?! I hasn't even been a month and they've gone through so many stages already! Before we know it they won't be kitten anymore :(

      We had some fun moments today, the kittens and me, and I was also able to do some chores in the morning and relax with Law & Order and my laptop this afternoon. Greg just texted that his plane landed at OIA. He'll be home soon. Yay!

      I hope you have a great weekend, Bless!

  2. I kittens are growing up. *sniff* It's like they're off to school for the first time, and meeting some older bullies along the way. They have to stand up for themselves but still cry out for mommy.

    You did great at home, tidying and cleaning the kitchen and living room. You got the laundry folded and the dishes done. WaHoo. Greg is looking forward to coming home and everyone is fed and happy. What more could you ask for? I'm glad you got some time away to have lunch with a friend and some "non-kitten" conversation.

    Hope you have a wonderful Saturday with Greg before he has to leave again. He will need some time to rejuvenate before the trip.

    1. LOL, I love the school/bullies analogy! It's so very true :) We were nervous about New Kitty all day today, my daughter and I, because she was pretty aggressive yesterday and for no reason. But she seemed a little chill-er today. I'm posting another video tonight. Were you ever able to watch the others? Did the solution that I shared with you work?

      I didn't use my kitten voice to talk with my friend, but our conversation was heavy on kittens, however. I think I've become one of those bores who has to talk about her pets or her kids all the time. But she talks about her kids too so it's all good :)

      Greg just landed at Orlando International Aiport, hooray! He should be home in a short while (we're about an hour from the airport). I need to go finish cooking dinner. I don't know why I'm so tired but I can't stop yawning and my eyes are even watering. I spent the afternoon watching Law & Order while doing other stuff on the computer so I can't even claim that I was doing some heavy chores!

      I hope you have a good weekend and great visit with your kid brother tomorrow. Eat lots of yummy stuff... I hope the charger works so you can take and post pictures!

  3. Actually no, it still isn't loading. I don't know what's wrong with it; but, I haven't spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. I've been busy elsewhere. Can you guess? Ha. I'm just not having luck with my computer lately. My printer decided almost a month ago to quit working. It has a cartridge error message on it. I tried everything that way. I suspect maybe I got a bad cartridge delivered. I haven't the time right now to muddle around with it, but I will eventually have to spend some time investigating. I can't print anything, and I miss that.

    1. Are you using an original ink cartridge from the same maker as your printer? More and more companies are making it so their printers only accept their own ink. Sometimes it's set like that straight out of the factory, but nowadays, with internet-connected printers, they just push software updates that make them reject the third-party (and much cheaper!) ink cartridges. I had the same problem with my previous inkjet printer several years ago, an HP, and just switching back to real HP cartridges (at more than double the cost of those I'd been buying!) "fixed" my problem.

      I'm sorry you still can't see the videos!

  4. That little video clip was just too cute!


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