Sunday, September 11, 2016

In Remembrance, Flowers In The Garden and Another Walk ~ Sunday 9/11/16

Today is a sad day, which unfortunately was followed by many more sad days around the world.  But we shall never forget 9/11.

Moving on to the day's events here in our little corner of the world, I had a good night's sleep thanks to very sleepy kittens. But then they were restless this morning and ended up on separate feeding schedules too, which is going to make things more complex. I need to get them back all on the same schedule again!

Greg got a call from his dad this morning who was upset because he felt that he hadn't been consulted as far as starting on Hospice care. Greg told him that he had and that he had expressed that he didn't want to go back to the hospital, didn't want to go to the emergency room. His dad said he wanted to continue with the immunotherapy, but according to Greg's mom, that is no longer a choice.  But now Greg is doubting what she understood as he had noticed that she misunderstands a lot when he was last there with them.  His parents are meeting with the Hospice administrator later on today so Greg asked to be conferenced in.  He thinks he's probably going to need to go back there pretty soon.

His sister is going to be in the hospital for 3 days and the baby is scheduled to remain in the NICU for 2 weeks.

Since it's Sunday, I've decided not to post my To Do List again. Perhaps I'll just post it on weekdays from now on, we'll see.  I was a little productive early this morning as I unloaded the dishwasher while the kitten formula was warming up at 5:00 a.m. and then reloaded it while the kitten formula was warming up at 8:45 a.m.  LOL.  I've also done a load of kitty laundry (those kittens produce 
mounds of stinky bath towels!), gone into the garden to take some pictures, contacted the Orlando Sentinel about my missing Sunday paper, checked on blogs, printed coupons, earned the Bing Rewards... and it's only 10 a.m. Go me!

I'm not sure what today is going to look like.  Greg is reading his book right now, the kittens are asleep, my son just got up and is taking a shower.  I'm still wearing the same clothes as yesterday since I fell asleep on the couch before changing into my PJs!  I need to go take a shower. I'd love to go explore a new trail today but I don't know if Greg is up for it and the kittens have been a little erratic this morning.  Maybe in the early afternoon...

For now we're listening to classical music via WQXR in NYC (I love that streaming radio allows us to listen to stations from across the country and the world!) and I lit up a new scented candle this morning, Apple Pumpkin Pancakes, which smells divine.  I'm seriously craving something sweet and pumpkin-y just about now and oh my, I have that pumpkin puree in the fridge waiting for me to bake it into delicious pumpkin bread!  I'm off to do that now :)

Greg had the conference call with the Hospice Administrator and his parents this afternoon. By then, his dad was either a little more lucid or more resigned, but either way he signed the paperwork without any trouble.  There is a charge nurse who will come in tomorrow to make an evaluation and who will come back to see him at least once a week. He/she will be in charge of coordinating all the care and the doctors.  Hospice has Greg and his sister on their contact list so they can call Hospice directly and be kept apprised of what is going on.  I think Greg is relieved after the call. He was telling me that he woke up early this morning with an impending feeling of doom and couldn't get back to sleep but was refusing to accept that it had anything to do with his dad.  I think he's wrong. It's a lot of stress for the family members, and I know this from experience.  Hopefully he can sleep better tonight.

  • I brewed my usual pot of half caf coffee using the free decaf coffee won from Wawa.

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • I uploaded new offers to my CVS ExtraCare card via my CVS app.

  • The newspaper, when it was finally delivered, contained 4 coupon inserts, and a sheet and 2 inserts of Publix store coupons.

  • I baked 2 loaves of chocolate chip pumpkin bread in the electric roaster outside so it wouldn't heat up the house more than is necessary. And since it's smaller than the wall oven, it should cost me less in operating costs as well.  I used homemade pumpkin purée, made last year from pumpkins bought for $2.99 each. I need to use up last year's batch so I can buy more pumpkins when they go on sale soon!

  • I put the ziploc bag that had contained the pumpkin purée aside to rinse and reuse it later.

  • I suspected that I wouldn't feel like cooking tonight (a common Sunday night occurrence!) so I set the container of pulled pork that I had put in the freezer earlier this week out to defrost.

  • I printed several coupons from Smartsource.  They have $1.50 off 1 bag of King Arthur flour!  The coupons expire on 9/26 though. I'll need to go to Walmart and stock up this week :)

  • I also printed coupons via Swagbucks. I'll mark them with a small "SB" in pencil so I'll know to use those first, as we're supposed to earn 10 SB per redeemed coupon.

  • When I cleaned the litter boxes a few days ago, I finished 2 jugs of cat litter. I had put them aside so today I refilled them with rain water from the rain barrel. The barrel is still halfway full.

  • I also used rain water to water my indoor zombie plant empire :)

  • I went on the PetAg website (makers of KMR kitten formula) to investigate the difference, if any, between the 2 kinds of kitten formula that I have bought from Petco so far, both made by PetAg. I couldn't find any information one on the PetLac but their site is being redesigned, apparently.  I did find a form to request free new kitten owner packets so I requested 3.  The form had a place for comments so I asked them about any differences between the 2 formulas and how that might affect the kittens. I hope they reply.  I had to start a new container today and it's the KMR kind now (they'd been on PetLac since I found them).

  • I unlocked new SavingStar offers in my app.

  • I printed one Target store coupon. This should make for cheap Galbani mozzarella cheese next time it's on sale at Publix, especially coupled with the $1.00/1 coupons from the Galbani website that I just printed :)

  • I uploaded some digital coupons to my Publix digital coupon wallet. One of them was for a BOGO jar of Peanut Butter & Co.

  • For lunch I grilled the remaining 2 chipotle chicken sausages from the package I had defrosted yesterday, for Greg and myself.  We also split the left over mashed potatoes. I'll have the rest of the salad as well and half a papaya. Our son will make himself a sandwich once he's done with the homework he is doing right now.

  • Greg is stressed about his dad and restless so we'll go on a walk after lunch and kitten duty. I might even buy him another milkshake.

  • We did go walk on the General Van Fleet trail, which is free (save the gas to go there and back). It's about 20 minutes away from our house.  On the way there, we were leaving Mascotte when we saw 2 separate cars that had been stopped for speeding.  Mascotte is famous for being a speed trap. Busy SR 50 goes straight through it but the speed limit is 35 mph, which you tend to forget as there is a big dip in the road and the cops are usually waiting at the bottom.  Today though the cars had been stopped outside of the official 35 mph zone, which made us think that perhaps the speed limit starts right at the official city sign, a few hundred feets before, although it's not marked as such. So we made sure that Greg remembered to drive very slowly on our way back :)  We don't need to be getting speeding tickets!

  • So we exercised for free on the Van Fleet trail.  It was very hot, especially when there was no shade.  We walked a little over 4 miles and I even channeled my inner Tara and ran for part of the way. I thought I was going to die.  At first, I told Greg not to bother running because my "running" is his "walking fast". He didn't believe me!  So I starting "running" and he was trying to run but couldn't. He made me laugh and feel bad about myself at the same time so I insisted on him running ahead of me and waiting for me later on, but he wanted to stay with me so I picked up the pace a little and he slowed down his running significantly and finally we were able to run together.  I think I probably only ran 1/4 of a mile (heck, probably not even that!) and I was very winded when I stopped. And then we still had to walk 1.5 mile back to the truck so that had been a bad idea, lol.  But we made it and we were exhausted!  I'd better have lost weight this week!

  • On the way home, we stopped by McDonald's because I was going to use an app coupon to get Greg a free medium milkshake and myself a medium Diet Coke.  But their shake machine was out of order. It didn't surprise me since they didn't have any ice yesterday and their AC was out too. Greg was really disappointed because he had been thinking about that shake ever since we had left the house!
We still have 9 days to redeem it, though, so perhaps
next weekend?

  • So I suggested we go to RaceTrac.  I redeemed my app coupon for a free medium fountain drink to get him a Diet Dr. Pepper, and he redeemed his app coupon for a free small coffee to get me a small pumpkin-flavored coffee, 2 hazelnut flavored creamers and 2 packets of Equal.  We didn't get anything for our son since I hadn't completed a survey and I had baked him chocolate chip pumpkin bread earlier in the day.

  • When we got home our son went to swing at the local park while Greg and I enjoyed our cold drinks (water for me!) and a piece of pumpkin bread (half a piece for me).

  • Then I finally took a shower. Yes, it's gross but after sleeping in my clothes yesterday and waking up in them, I just went walking in the same clothes again. Hey, it saved on water and electricity and soap lol.  But I enjoyed the mostly cold shower i took this afternoon. It was cleansing and very refreshing!

  • I thought the over the range microwave (the GE one that I bought at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for just $25 earlier this year) had died because it just stopped functioning in the middle of warming up the kitten's formula. I was right there and nothing popped or exploded so I suspected that a fuse might have blown. I asked Greg, back in the living room, if we had lost power anywhere on that end of the house and he said no. We hadn't lost power in the middle of the house either, nor anywhere else in the kitchen.  Odd.  I checked the indoors electric panel and everything was OK. You have to understand that our house is from 1930 originally but had been added on at various times since and I suspect the work was done by the homeowners without pulling permits.  So the electrical wiring is very wonky, as we found out once we bought the house.  We used to have another (as in a second) electric panel indoors that was our main panel but was so old that it still had the glass knob fuses.  4-5 years ago, we had to find a new Homeowner's Insurance Company since State Farm got rid of a lot of HOI policies in Florida, including ours, and the new insurance company sent an inspector to look at our house before they would write the policy since it was such an old house (for Florida it is!). He told us that the electrical panel, which had been acceptable back when we purchased the house in 2002, had since been outlawed because it caused many fires so we had to completely change and upgrade the main electrical panel for the house.  Then the electrician told us that the code had changed and that our power line was now coming in too low into the house (I agreed, the line was just a couple of feet above my head when I stood under where it connected tut o the house) so they had to install a 3-ft riser and reconnect the main power line to that and then to the new and improved panel which is now outdoors instead of being indoors. So long story even longer, we always forget about that electric panel since it's out of sight, out of mind. Going back to the microwave situation, Greg shrugged and said "I guess it's time to get a new microwave again!" but I was annoyed.  I investigate when I'm annoyed. I remembered the outdoor panel, found one fuse that wasn't really on the ON of OFF position (none of the fuses are labeled, we need to do more investigating and do that!), switched it back into the ON position and ta-dah! My microwave is working again!  Woohoo!  I'm still puzzling as to why the circuit tripped and there's the whole issue about it being the only kitchen appliance or outlet that is connected to that electric panel and not the indoors one that is much closer to the kitchen but as long as I have a working over the range microwave, I'm happy :)  Gold star for me!

  • For dinner I served pulled pork sandwiches.  There was enough pulled pork left to pack for Greg's lunch tomorrow.   I thought I had a can of baked beans but I didn't so Greg decided that he wanted some salad on the side and I made another spinach salad with a tomato on the vine, the other half of the avocado I cut yesterday, a hard-boiled egg, and some cucumber slices.  My son and I also had a baked potato. I had mine with light sour cream and dried chives. Yummy!

  • We all ate our dinners while doing other things. I uploaded pictures to this blog and watched a couple of episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on the laptop at the same time (DVD borrowed from the library). Greg played video games and our son recorded a videogame session for his YouTube channel.

  • My daughter texted me that she is coming home tonight after dinner as there is a representative from the University of Florida coming to her high school tomorrow morning.

  • Gas to the General Van Fleet trail and back.
  • Gas and tolls for my daughter to drive back from her father's house.
  • Greg bought an e-book for his Kindle. After redeeming the rest of the Bing gift card that I had earned, he spent a whooping 20 cents!

  • This is how long it's been since I baked:  I had to throw away an opened large jar of organic unsweetened applesauce this morning because it had spoiled. I had written the date of when I had opened it on the cap: May 29!  I like to use unsweetened applesauce in the sweet breads that I bake instead of oil.

  • Over the past 2 days I've been getting a lot of spammy comments from a Blogger profile (so glad the comments are moderated so no one clicks on the links that profile posts and gets viruses!) so I contacted Blogger this morning to report the profile in question as being a spammer. I hope they ban it.  I've read that one way to avoid spammers is to make sure that when you insert a link in your posts, make sure to click on "Add 'rel=nofollow' attribute"  Why they don't have that automatically checked, I don't know.  I'm going to make sure I do that from now on.

  • Kitten Duty at 5:45 a.m.
  • Unloaded the dishwasher
  • Made more kitten magic potion
  • Reported spammer to Blogger
  • Earned some Bing Rewards
  • Kitten Duty at 7: 15 a.m.
  • Changed the kitten's bedding
  • Inspected my garden
  • Fed the cats
  • Earned the rest of Bing Rewards
  • Contacted the Orlando Sentinel about my missing paper
  • Printed coupons
  • Kitten Duty at 8:45 a.m.
  • Started a load of kitten laundry
  • Kitten Duty at 9:25 a.m. This is getting old!
  • Caught up on blogs and commented
  • Chatted with Greg
  • Baked pumpkin bread
  • Defrosted pulled pork for dinner
  • Added our new niece to my genealogy database
  • Requested new kitten owner packets 
  • Unlocked new SavingStar offers
  • Cooked lunch for Greg and myself'
  • Swept the kitchen
  • Kitten Duty 
  • Went on a walk with my favorite hubby
  • Took a shower (woo!)
  • Kitten Duty
  • Cut up the side of the kitten's litter box
  • Cooked dinner
  • "Fixed" the microwave!

  • Walked for a little over 4 miles (ran part of the way too!).

  • For the first Roselle flower of the year!
  • For sleepy kittens last night
  • For a lovely walk with my hubby and all the nature we were able to observe
  • For Greg's dad to have accepted that he is transitioning to Hospice Care

Yesterday at about 6 p.m. I was fretting that the kittens had slept a lot in the afternoon and that they would be up all night.  Bah!  I fed them at 7:45 p.m., they cuddled with Greg and then went back to sleep... and I had to wake them up at 5:30 a.m. today!  I sleep next to them so I would have definitely heard them if they had been awake. When they're just waking up they sound just like squeaky toys, but if they're hungry, they start really screaming and their screams are piercing, lol.

My two little males are backed up, once again.  Arrgh. It's been 48 days since they've pooped (I feel like I'm in a confessional!) but I'm done stressing about it.  They'll poop when they poop.  They're getting the "fiber" from the baby cereal twice a day, liquids from the formula/goat milk/Pedialyte potion (on demand, I might add), infant gas drops two or three times a day. I let them walk around in the playpen so they get exercise on the few occasions that they're awake.  Greg and I burp them and cuddle with them.  They're pampered :)

This morning I had ran out of the first can of kitten replacement milk powder that I had bought that first day so I switched to KMR.  Both powders are from the same manufacturer and both state "Kitten Replacement Milk" on them but the KMR was $7.00 more and I can't tell what the difference between the two is!  Maybe the KMR will be easier on their gut?  The other one does state that it's been fortified for nursing mothers too.

Tiny saucer of baby cereal, infant gas drops, a bowl of warm water to wipe their butts
and encourage the peeing and pooping, warm glass of water to warm up the bottle of kitten magic potion
and lots of Bounty pick-a-size paper towels cut in half for the peeing/pooping/formula and cereal dripping duties.

5:00 p.m.  They still haven't pooped.  They reek of pee and I change one of the towels that they sleep on every day. The males always pee a lot when I coax them too at feeding time, but the female has been "dry" at times. So I think she pees while she sleeps or maybe she wakes up to pee and just does her business on the towel?  Anyhoo, today I cut an opening in the side of the "tray-style" litter box that I had bought for them at the thrift store and put a little bit of cat litter in there. I placed it in their playpen with the opening facing their bedroom (i.e. the box where they like to sleep most of the time) and we'll see what happens when they go in there.  I know they're too young but perhaps they'll be precocious. If anything, it'll be a different terrain for them to maneuver.

Speaking of terrain... we have a window bench under the front windows in the living room. I put two of the kittens on it this morning and decided to have a kitten race!  We need to fashion walls so they don't fall and put all three of them on there and take bets! They're walking a little better now. I should also put them on the carpet and the wooden floors for them to walk on something a little firmer than the towels they're used to.
On your marks...

Get set....
Go!  The little female won.  Females are awesome that way :)

NATURE: In my garden this morning...
The first roselle flower!

And a calyx!  Hopefully I will have plenty to make more
roselle jelly this year. It was so, so good!

My 2nd roselle has some genetic condition that made A LOT of small leaves develop at each fork
in the branches. 

There is, however, one limb that seems to have developed regular calyces. Yay!
The third plant lost its main limb in Hermine :(

A red canna flower had appeared yesterday but by today it looked all wilted. But I think more are
on their way.

The serrano pepper plant is blooming again but upon seeing all the ants on it, I realized that it's
also infested with aphids. What did I do about it?  Not a thing.  I was still waking up!

The sweet potato vines are intertwined.  The one that looks dead is the one from which I pulled the potatoes yesterday (or was it Friday?  I don't remember!)

The pink rose bush keeps on having very small roses;  small is better than none, though :) The other two bushes haven't given me any new roses.

The strawberry plants aren't in great shape but they're still flowering :)

My hibiscus lost all its blooms in the storm, but today a new flower unfurled :)

FIELD TRIP: A Walk on the General Van Fleet Trail
So today we parked at the northern end of it (right off SR 50) and walked South on it for 2 miles.  We've walked down that way before, but never that far. We even came across a trail/road that was crossing our trail and explored it for a little bit.

When we first started walking, a mother and a couple of children pushing a stroller were coming back to the parking lot. The kids looked exhausted and the oldest girl, perhaps 9 or 10, informed us that it wasn't a very good day for a walk.  I asked her why and her mother said that it was just very hot on the portions where there wasn't any shade.  She was right!  As we walked away, though, the little girl called back to us that they had seen deer about 2 miles down the road. I thanked her and then told Greg that we would miss the deer because I don't think I was up for walking that far.  2 miles isn't bad but the 2 miles back were worrying me because my left heel usually hurts a lot after I walk (I still think it's plantar fasciitis and I'm wearing the insoles but they don't seem to help much).

Well, we did walk the 2 miles and sure enough Greg spotted a deer at about the 2-mile point!  I saw it too but couldn't take a picture fast enough. Other wildlife that I didn't photograph: a beautiful hawk that we saw taking off from some trees just off the trail, a couple of squirrels, and a turkey vulture that was circling over us right after I was done running (perhaps he heard me say that I was going to die!). That last one was a little unnerving, lol.

Once again, I expect a lot of my pictures to be blurry. I only took the point-and-shoot camera. Next time, I might need to suck it up and carry the dSLR along.

I usually see the trumpet vine up in trees, but this one was growing on the ground!

At one point the forest floor looked nice and dry so we got off the trail and walked through it for a bit to get a closer look at what lies beyond.

We passed by this big colorful spider. We saw lots of spiders today!

This is what's beyond the wood.  We think the wild boars live in there.  We saw  signs of them at the edge.

Another spider :)

I had the hardest time photographing this one because it was in the shade and my camera just wouldn't
focus on it. I took these pictures with my phone but they didn't turn up very good.

The spider was a deep yellow and as large as my palm!

A bunch of spotted bee balm

We saw tons of butterflies but they were very frustrating to photograph. They move around too much and too fast for my slow as a poke camera.

We thought this was a bird of prey, but now I wonder if it was just another vulture...

Red lichen

Part of the trail. It's straight for 29 miles!

I'm the one who spotted this alligator. It was very well camouflaged!

This spider had weaved its web across the trail up in the trees and the sun was shining through.

We came to a small forest road crossing the trail. To our right...

And to our left...  We decided to go to our right.

I found this brown round seed. I wonder what kind  of seed that was. It looked like a bead.

We came across a gate but Greg pointed out that the sign only forbid vehicular traffic.

So we squeezed through the opening and walked down the road a little more.

It was nice and peaceful. I enjoy walking on roads like these more than on paved trails, to tell
the truth. But we only walked to the trees in the background.

Aargh, try as I may, all my pictures of this very pretty light brown butterfly turned out blurry :(

This guy was HUGE!

Aaaaand another spider and its web high above us. It looks like it's parachuting down!

Back to the Van Fleet Trail

Greg found these dragonfly wings and part of the heard down on the ground.

Pixel, I didn't see a cattle egret on a cow but I saw sandhill cranes BEHIND a cow. Kinda like
the same thing, don't you think?!  I WIN!

I wanted to wait and see if they would jump onto the cow's back but Greg was impatient and we
had to leave...
How was your Sunday?!


  1. Your garden is coming along nicely. My garden is in need of a lot of TLC! Thank you for sharing the pictures from your walk. I don't think I could manage a 4 mile walk, never mind about running for a portion of it! I hope you have a lovely week and all will be well with you and your family. Take care.

    1. Don't let those few flowers fool you, my garden is also in need of a lot of TLC. There are weeds everywhere, I still haven't pulled the tomato plants, most of my self-watering bins are shattered and need to be trashed and replaced. Ugh. I guess I could spend some time in the garden now that the temperatures are down a bit but I don't feel much like it at the moment. So it's doubly nice to be able to spot some flowers here and there!
      Have a great week, Bless!

  2. I'm on the merry go rounders too. Same team again. We need to win again. Have a great day.

    1. Same team again, yay! Arrgh, when I stopped working on SB about 45 minutes ago, we were dead last... I've earned my team points and surpassed my 2nd daily goal so I'm out for the day. I know... bad team player! But I have to do some chores! I hope you are doing better than me. What's your SB name? Mine is Froogalmom.

  3. You baked two pumpkin loaves in your electric roaster? I knew you were going to be better at this than me. Are you challenging me to a dual? I have got to up my game. I have got to think of something to bake in my roaster now.

    You are sure to have lost weight this week. You walked this weekend....4 miles today alone. I couldn't run from the front door to the car. The fact that you ran 1/4 mile, is impressive. Way to go. You have been so good, so resolved with what you are eating. You have resisted a lot of good treats this week.

    Great photos of the trail. I cannot believe (I don't want to believe) that you have spiders as big as the palm of your hand. I cannot shake that image from my brain. Thanks for that.

    1. You are very welcome :)

      I had been wondering if you had used your electric roaster more since you had posted that first picture. I would like to use mine even more but I first need that electrical outlet to be installed on the front porch. Since it involves me calling someone to arrange for it, it won't happen for quite a while!

      I did lose weight this week, I was so pleased! I'm now back at the weight I was for several months so I'm hoping that my body isn't gonna say "I'm done now, thanks!".

  4. No, no, no, no....the race is still on! It needs to be a cattle egret on top of a cow. None of that sandhill crane behind one. Does not count. Keep trying, sister!

    Next time, I might need to suck it up and carry the dSLR along. <-- Carrying a heavy dSLR while walking counts as both strength training AND aerobic exercise!

    1. Are you sure that it doesn't count?! Oh well, I should keep trying :) It seems that years ago I used to see them do that all the time and now not so much. But years ago I lived in Kissimmee and we had cows very close to my apartment complex so that might be why.

      If I can count the walk as double the exercise credit if I carry the dSLR, I might be tempted even if I end up not taking any pictures!


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