Wednesday, September 7, 2016

More Shopping ~ Wednesday 9/7/16

Since I had run out of L&O: CI episodes to watch last night, I grabbed my Kindle and started reading the latest library book that I had borrowed. I quickly shut it down as it wasn't good. This book by Lisa Gardner that I had put on hold many months ago was more like a short story and the detective was conducting a class so it wasn't an investigation. That and the insertion of all the author's BFFs from the regular circle of crime novelists as characters in the class, really got on my nerves after only 5-6 pages!  So I looked at the list of books that I had downloaded for free via the Amazon KindleFirst program, and decided to read "Interference" by Amélie Antoine.  It's actually a translation because the original novel was written in French. But I'm reading it in English. Go figure!  (I'm French, for those of you who might not know!).  It was very promising but I was exhausted and I don't even remember falling asleep, taking off my glasses or putting the Kindle away!  I'll have to ask Greg if he did that for me. Probably not, though, as he know that the slighest touch while I'm sleeping makes me scream bloody murder, lol.

My mom sent me an email overnight that they were able to extend their stay in the air-conditioned mobile home until Sunday so they'll only be sleeping in the tent a couple of nights. Hooray!  However, to save money, they've all decided not to re-up their internet access subscription for 15 euros per phone for the week so I won't hear back from them again until they're home.  I hope nothing happens!  It's funny how I lived most of my life without cell phones and nowadays not having access to one or the internet is a huge deal to me. It's actually sad.  But Corsica is in the news right now with their burkini ban having been upheld by a local court, in defiance of the French government's orders, and local separatists, who are already violent people, have threatened hell and brimstone on ISIS (which might end up meaning any muslims living there) and mom, brother and SIL are at the beach in Corsica for another week. So yes, I worry.

Greg spoke to his dad last night and said that his dad actually sounded very good and full of energy. I think the dad puts on a show for Greg, though.  I hope nothing happens while Greg is in Canada, it would make complicated matters even more complicated.  We're prepared for Greg to go spend an extended period of time with his parents when the end nears.  Right now, they have various therapists and nurses coming by their house so that helps, and they were going to look into getting a CNA's help too.

Wednesday is typically my Grocery Shopping day so I'll be headed out in a bit.  I had plans to go to Walmart, Aldi, CVS and swing by Save A Lot in case they had discounted baked goods for my son, but I've now decided to skip Walmart.  I'd skip CVS too if it weren't for the $5 ECB that expires today. I'll get overpriced eggs and some cereal with it.

I also need to go to the library to return the other DVD set that I have finished and RaceTrac, of course!  I've decided to donate my free bagel from Panera's, a reward I earned recently, to my daughter since it's next door to her state college. It'll save me the calories.  Sob. I love Panera's bagels!

I don't know how much else I'll accomplish today, I get really tired after shopping, usually.

Greg got some texts regarding his dad today.  They are transitioning him to Hospice Care so he will never have to go back to the hospital and he and Greg's mom will have regular help in this difficult time too. We think it'll take a few days to get it set up.

My BFF texted me while I was out shopping to ask if I wanted to go hang out with her this weekend as she is holding a garage sale, but I had to decline since I have to be home with the kittens.  She lives over 30 minutes away so it would have to be a very short visit and I didn't want to bring the kittens along either.

Then my French BFF emailed me!  I feel very popular today :)  I have to reply to her but it takes a little longer since I have to type in French and also I have a lot of news to share with her since it's been a couple of months since we wrote.  So I added that to my To Do list.

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) - Done
    • Do the dishes (Wednesday) - My daughter did them
    • 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
    • Mail Gamefly game - Done
    • Return DVDs to library - Done
    • Grocery Shopping Part 3 - 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!)
    • 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
    • Pour bleach into furnace drain pipe
  • 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
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Input receipts in spreadsheets - Done
    • Prep my Grocery Shopping post - Done
    • Clear my Kindle of the expired library loans - Done
    • Return call from Pharmacy re: son's prescription
    • Call bank and have them remove me from daughter's account

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

  • I packed leftovers for Greg's lunch.

  • My son packed his lunch to go to school.

  • He rode the school bus, as usual.

  • Greg stopped by RaceTrac to get a FREE soda refill with his Sodapalooza cup for his morning commute. He will also get another one on his way home tonight.

  • I reused the water left in dinner cups and from boiling the eggs and warming up the kitten's formula to water my indoor plants.

  • I perused the new weekly ads for Aldi and Save A Lot and made a note of what I want to buy. I HATE the new Aldi online ad, you can't see anything anymore without clicking or hovering.   Arrgh, more work for me for the same result as before. I sent them a complaint. But of course! At least the SAL ad lets you zoom with a slider so you can make the whole ad larger without having to see the items individually, but it's not so with the Aldi ad. So I can't do screenshots anymore either, sorry.

  • I donated my Panera bagel reward to my daughter since I don't want to use it. Well, I want it but I don't have time to stop by and I don't want the calories.

  • I am reusing an old gardening "tent" as a top for the kitten's play pen. It's not so much to keep the kittens in as it is to keep the older cats out while I'm going shopping.

  • I ran Ngage and JunGroups videos to earn a few Swagbucks early in the morning, but then they made Chrome crash so I didn't earn much at all. Better than nothing but it's frustrating.

  • My daughter gassed up the Focus at RaceTrac yesterday and turned in her receipt to me since she charges the gas to my Discover card, so I'll take the survey and earn another freebie for my son.

  • I hadn't sorted my coupons but since I was mostly shopping at Aldi today, I only took the cereal coupons out of the stack of new coupons that I had clipped, in case I wanted to buy some at CVS. I needn't have bothered as I didn't buy cereal at CVS after all!

  • So I ran my errands and was back in a couple of hours:
    • Save A Lot: nothing was discounted today, poop, although I might be able to score discounted ground beef later on this week. Shut up, I have just remembered that I don't have room in the freezer. Arrgh.  I bought a cantaloupe for 99 cents and half a pound of Roma tomatoes @ $0.79/lb. I paid for the $1.36 OOP with my USAA Visa card for 10 % back in Rewards.
    • CVS: 
      • I was thinking to myself that I should note, in the next survey they send me, how dirty their parking lot is because there was trash everywhere on the ground. And then I spotted 2 Coke bottle caps on the ground!  They weren't even ON bottles and the bottles were nowhere to be seen. Maybe it's a trap?  Shrug. I pocketed them, of course!

      • I had a $5 ECB with which I was going to buy 2 dozens of eggs, on "sale" at $1.49 a dozen but there was a limit of 2. I thought I'd buy cereal with the rest of the ECB since I can't apply it to the milk, but then I saw that the Diet Dr. Pepper 12 can packs were on sale at 3 for $10, not a great price (Target had them for $2.50 this weekend) but hey, they're FREE to me anyway with my CVS card.  So I bought the 3 packs. I should have also used the $2 in ECB that I received from the survey that I was disqualified from, but I forgot.  I also bought a gallon of milk, on sale for $2.79. I know we just bought some from Save A Lot on Monday, but even when I stretch it, a gallon/week rarely is enough when Greg is home because he uses in his Grape Nuts at night.  Anyhoo, my OOP was $11.47 after tax but it was all FREE to me with my CVS gift card earned via our Amex Rewards program.

    • Aldi:
      • I think the snowbirds are down early this year as the store was clogged with senior citizens.  I need to try to remember that it'll be me before soon, but I was a little annoyed because it significantly slowed me down.  Add to that that the store was out of several things that I wanted or that the quality of the only packs of Romaine hearts on the shelf left to be desired, the fact that I was charged a different price than what was posted on a couple of items, other expired promotional price tags on the shelf that hadn't been taken down, and then my experience at the checkout counter (more on that further down) and it was a frustrating trip.
      • I did buy several items that weren't on my list. As Laura noted on her own post about grocery shopping, Aldi is the one store where it is sometimes hard to stick to your list!  Today I grabbed a jar of Red Cabbage with Apples (can't wait to try it!), some Brussels sprouts, portabello caps, and evaporated milk.
      • I used the $5 off $30 coupon that I found in last Sunday's paper. Woohoo!
      • The sign for the portobello caps read $1.19. I usually take pictures but I didn't today. As the cashier was checking out my items, I asked him to confirm that they rang at $1.19. He made a show of looking at his register and said "well, actually $1.29" so I thought I had misremembered.  Only when I checked my receipt before bagging up, they had rang at $1.99 each!  What the hell, dude?!  Why lie?! So I went back to him.  He started questioning me (he was the one who had questioned me about the strawberries when I had had the same problem a couple of weeks ago, I need to start avoiding this guy because he makes my blood pressure go way up with his attitude!), and then called the manager on the radio saying that "a woman was claiming that the price was $1.19". How rude. Why couldn't he have said "a customer" and "said that she saw a price tag that said $1.19"?! Anyhoo, the manager told him to honor the price and then it was a whole ordeal of him refunding the 2 packs of portobello in cash and then having to wait for a manager to override the register when he rang them up again for $1.19 each. Meanwhile the rest of the line was waiting, and when the manager came she didn't do it properly so it didn't work so then she had to be called back. Finally I got my change back and he did apologize so there's that and I guess I'll get the 10% Rewards from my credit card on the higher price so there's that too. But it was annoying.  In the middle of all that, I forgot to check the rest of my receipt. Guess what?  their sign for the bananas stated $0.29/lb and of course I was charged $0.44/lb.  I'm going to leave feedback for that store about the price discrepancies. It's really unacceptable, especially when the cashiers treat you like you're lying.  Ugh.
      • Anyhoo, I also bought 1 jug of cat litter, 2 large rolls of their brand of paper towels that are supposedly comparable to Bounty although I'm doubting that they are, and some dishwasher detergent.
      • My total OOP was $38.89 after the coupon and tax and I paid, of course, with my USAA Visa card for the 10% back in Rewards and then I got $1.60 back for the price difference on the mushrooms.

    • I stopped by the drive-through mailbox at the post office to mail the Gamefly game that Greg wanted to return.  Our mailperson had left our dropbox unlocked so he had been unable to mail it this morning.

    • Then I went to the library to return the DVD set that was due. Again, no fines for me!  I asked if they had any items for me but they hadn't received their deliveries yet... and then, of course, once I sat down at home to update this post, I noticed that I had 3 emails from them telling me that they had received items for me to pick up. Arrgh. If my son goes this afternoon, I'll ask him to pick them up for me.

    • My last stop was at RaceTrac, where I got 2 FREE soda refills for my son and myself with our Sodapalooza cups, and redeemed a survey reward code for a free apple fritter for his after school snack.

  • My daughter got home shortly after I did. She had stopped by RaceTrac herself and gotten a FREE soda refill as well.

  • After I put everything away and fed the kittens, I fixed myself lunch: leftover salad from last night, an "egg salad" sandwich made with Dave's Killer Bread that I got from Publix for free yesterday (yummy bread but I would never pay $4.99 for a loaf of bread!), some grapes ($0.98/lb yesterday at SAL) and my free CF Diet Coke from RaceTrac :)

  • Since I didn't get any discounted baked goods today, I defrosted some pumpkin purée that had resulted from my processing last year's jack o'lanterns. I'll make my son some pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

  • I submitted my CVS receipt to Ibotta for $0.25 off eggs and $0.25 off milk and they credited my account promptly. Those items were moneymakers for me!

  • I also submitted my Aldi receipt to MobiSave for $0.10 off pretzels and $0.10 dish detergent, as well as my CVS receipt for an additional $0.10 off eggs, another money maker for me!  They credited me promptly as well.

  • Hey, remember how I said that one of my goals this year was to learn how to use my dSRL camera?  And how I downloaded the manual and printed it (all 180 pages of it) but then never read it?  And how I attended only part 1 of a 2-part Digital Photography for Beginners course at the Mount Dora Library?  And how I asked Middle Son to just give me in-the-field lessons and offered to pay him for those?  Well, thanks to a Slickdeals poster, I might actually learn something this year: Marc Levoy, a former Stanford Photography professor put his entire lectures online for free.  Woohoo!  I need to somehow works this into my schedule.  Watch them while I'm on the recumbent bike?  That sounds like the ticket.

  • My son is going to the library later on to attend the Teen Scene club  and agreed to pick up my library materials for me.  Such a helpful boy! Update: well, he borrowed my bike but once he got to the library, the basket fell off it. So I drove (the Focus, better gas mileage!) there to retrieve the basket, my books and my DVDs :) I'll have to reattach the basket with some other zip ties. They were crappy zip ties from Dollar Tree. I might have to get good one from Ace Hardware.

  • For dinner, I changed my plans. While I was looking for my Chinese Pork Roast recipe, I came across the recipe for Green Chili Pork Stew that I made a few times and we all loved. It called for corn as well, which was perfect!  Yesterday I had defrosted a 2-lb bag of pork loin chunks before buying the pizza on clearance so I used those pork chunks, cut off the kernels from the 4 ears of corn that I had, bought at 3 for $1 (the ones bought a couple of weeks ago were still surprisingly good!), and a bottle and a quarter of Taco Bell salsa verde that I had bought for something like 20 cents a bottle over a year ago.  I also decided to cook some white rice in the microwave, although the recipe doesn't call for any, and I'll serve mini naan breads (free from Publix last week).  It going to be goo-ood!

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • Gas to run errands (again!) and for my daughter to attend her college classes.
  • Gas to drive to the library when the basket on my bike fell.

  • Didn't realize that Aldi had charged me $0.44/lb for the bananas when in fact their sign read $0.29/lb until after I had gotten home.  Grrr.

  • My daughter is still trying to regain a more natural hair color than turquoise so she can apply for a job at Universal Studios. It's not going well. She did research online and saw that you could make the color fade by shampooing with powdered Vitamin C. She bought Vitamin C pills and first crushed them by hand until I crushed them for her in my food processor.  She shampooed twice and the hair faded a tiny bit. Today, she bleached it.  She now has her roots of the natural dark blonde color, bleached blond hair here and there, and all kinds of green and blue hues on the rest of the hair. I've been telling her for days to go to a salon, although I wouldn't pay for it because I had told her NOT to color her hair and I think she needs to learn her lesson, but she won't. Even Greg took pity on her and said "You should go to a salon and consider it an investment in your future if it'll allow you to get a part-time job at Universal!". I'm taking it to mean that he would pay for it, although I don't think he realizes that it could mean a couple of hundred dollars but she didn't pick up on it and I really, really want her to learn her lesson and stop trusting what people on the internet say.  She thought she'd be able to go back to her natural hair color pretty easily. Ha! I've suggested she gets a gamine cut and let the hair grow back but she has a round face so she knows it wouldn't look good on her. But the current look is pretty horrid too.  I feel bad/not bad, you know? All this money, down the drain, quite literally. She had gorgeous hair before all that.

  • Not my failure but a rant. Have you seen the price of the new iPhone 7?  $649! And it is confirmed that there is no headphone jack anymore. You'll have to use their Bluetooth headphones or get the adapter but then if you do that, you can't charge your phone while using the headphones. And if you thought people playing music or talking on speaker on their phones without headphones was already obnoxious, hang on!  The new speakers will have double the power!  Why?!?! This is getting out of hand.  $650 for a phone?!  I sure hope my iPhone 5s lasts a few more years because I don't want a huge iPhone 6 and I don't want the 7 either. Maybe it'll be time to switch to Android for my next phone.

  • I didn't exercise. I also didn't really do any chores.  Arrgh.  I didn't even watch any TV or anything!

  • Corresponded with my mom via email
  • Kitten duty
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Took recycling down to the curb for recycling
  • Unloaded the dishwasher
  • Kitten Duty
  • Changed kitty's towel in their box
  • Reloaded the dishwasher and turned it on
  • Wiped countertops and kitchen table
  • Found top for playpen
  • Worked on shopping list
  • Ran errands
  • Corresponded with BFF via texts
  • Documented my trip and put everything away 
  • Kitten duty with Daughter
  • Uploaded kitten video to Instagram and emailed it to the kids and Greg
  • Fixed lunch
  • Tried to take Swagbucks surveys :(
  • Submitted receipts for rebates
  • Watched my son play with the older cats while chatting with him and my daughter
  • Kitten Duty with Son
  • Worked on grocery shopping post
  • Drove to the library
  • Kitty duty with Daughter again
  • Cooked dinner

  • It's been a week since we've had the kittens and since I've been back sleeping on the couch, next to them. A delightful week but a tiring week, and I didn't get to exercise as much as I should have, and I also didn't drink enough.  Consequently, I've only lost 0.4 lb this week, but I'll take it. I need to try to re-incorporate exercising in my routine, though.  I don't know why I'm just so wiped out.

  • Gah, I didn't exercise today again!  I need to do that first thing tomorrow morning.

  • For my mom being able to stay in the AC mobile home for a few more days. I was worried about her being in a tent for a whole week!
  • For good deals at the stores
  • That the kittens continue to grow strong and healthy
  • For my kids. They make me laugh :)
  • For my husband's sense of humor

I put them back into their box last night so they would be warmer for the night, and placed the box in the playpen.  They were so comfortable that they didn't wake up at all to nag me for food. They're such good kittens!  I didn't want to wake up at 4 a.m. to feed them but I felt very guilty thinking about their little bladders so I did get up and made them pee and fed them. They were wide awake by that time and eager to get out of the box. While I was feeding one, the other two were climbing over the edges!  The box isn't very tall, in case you're wondering, and they were very eager to come cuddle (they had already eaten).  So cute.

So when I went shopping today, I had put the kittens in the playpen and made them a little nest with towels but I also put their box in the playpen with them and taken off the cardboard envelope that blocked the entrance to the box, in case they wanted to crawl back in.  I topped the playpen with a mesh garden vegetable tent. It was ill fitting but I figured it would keep the other cats out. The playpen has wheels but it's too wide for me to wheel it into any room where I could close the door.Yes, I could have collapsed it and then put to back up but I'm dumb that way :)

Anyhoo, no one ate the kittens while I was gone and they had indeed crawled back into their box and fallen back asleep in there.  Awww....

My Daughter and I fed them. It was her first time so it was interesting to observe. They definitely have their own personality and you have to make them understand who's the boss without hurting them but they're so tiny that when it's your first time, you don't know how forceful is too forceful!  But she learned and she cuddled with them too.  When she put them back into the playpen, they didn't want to go back to sleep!  They walked around a little bit, wobbly as heck since they're still learning to walk. We were laughing.

I had just finished telling her that it wouldn't be long before our little explorer (the dark grey kitten) would figure out that he could climb the mesh sides of it when I heard her gasp and guess what he was doing?!

We're in so much trouble now!  I've got to find a plank that'll fit on top of the playpen! Or chicken wire...

Here are a few pictures too :)

Mean Kitty doing her impersonation of a cute kitten :) OK, ok, she's cute too!  Look at how fuzzy she is!

How did your day go today?


  1. I am glad to find I am not the only one to be annoyed with Aldi. I do go there but get very irritated. Today was the first day of this week's ad which had eggs for 69 cents a dozen. There was not an egg to be seen in the place. Very irritaing because it is a little out of my way and I had not planned on going back this week

    1. I'm wondering if they're having distribution problems due to the storm that went up the east coast after hitting us because they were out of several things that they usually have in stock. I think my store had eggs although I didn't pay too much attention since I wasn't buying them there. I just need to avoid that cashier, though, he's smug in a passive aggressive way and that really irritates me. I know you're doing your $50 challenge... if you have a Save A Lot nearby, their eggs were 99 cents a dozen at my local store this morning. Good luck!

  2. Oh, look at Little Explorer climb that playpen! Yes, Mean Kitty is cute, too!

    Hope Greg's dad's hospice care arrangements work out well. (((HUGS)))

    Hope the rest of your mom's holiday goes well, even if she can't stay in touch with you for the duration. I am sure all will be fine.

  3. I have mostly been happy with Aldi; occasionally they've been out of meat or produce, but usually that has been when I don't get to the store until the end of a sale cycle plus later in the evening. Our store is still relatively new, though. I honestly get more annoyed at some of the other shoppers than the staff at the store, who have always been super nice and helpful. I cannot stand it when cashiers are smug and condescending. A few times that happened to me at Publix and i went out of my way to avoid those employees. I really dislike being made to feel stupid or somehow devious when usually THEY made the mistake.

    The iphone thing is crazy to me, too. I have an iphone 5 as well and I told Michael the same thing -- this might be what causes me to switch to Android. It's too bad because I love the simplicity of the iphone. But the price and the lack of a headphone jack are just ridiculous to me.

    1. I'm mostly happy with Aldi too but I think that my store's employees really need to be more on the ball about making sure the shelf prices match what we're being charged. Also it drives me crazy that I can't see the register display as the cashier checks me out.

      I've run into the cashiers you describe at Publix and SuperTarget too, usually when dealing with coupons. Those people do NOT understand how coupons work... they think it's a discount that we're getting and that the stores are making less money. They don't understand that those little pieces of paper get their stores cash from the manufacturer so their stores aren't "losing" anything and we're not stealing or "getting away" with anything! They're usually particularly indignant when claiming that you can't use a BOGO coupon on a BOGO deal because then, gasp, you'll get something for FREE. And they're not a charity! Ugh. I go way out of my way to avoid those cashiers, which is why I was kind of happy that Aldi didn't accept coupons. But when people want to somehow lord it over others, they'll find a way, won't they?

      The problem with switching to Android, for me, is that I don't know the first thing about it so I wouldn't know which model is a pretty recent one, which OS means what, what brand to pick, etc, etc. Most everyone I know has iPhones! But I'm definitely not getting the iPhone 7. My kids tell me there's a smaller Iphone 6 (the 6S, maybe?) but it'll probably be another 2-3 years until the price goes down enough for me, I think.

  4. OMG...that mountain-climbing kitten!!!

    I have an ancient Android phone and would like to get a newer one at some point. I go back and forth between wanting an iPhone and an Android. But the latest Samsung Galaxy now is recalled because it might catch on fire. Not that I would ever get the latest of any phone...

    1. Funny that as you typed your comment, my daughter had just walked in and told me she ordered a refurbished Android from Amazon this weekend (she has an iphone 4 but it's stopped charging). Greg also declared yesterday that he'll switch to Android when his iPhone 5s dies. Our son has my old iPhone 4 so I guess if his dies too, we'll switch him to Android as well. I'm really going to miss being able to use iMessage with my daughter, though. You can see when the other person is replying to you, which is good for someone as impatient as me, lol. I also would never have the latest of any phone... or anything else for that matter. I'm a very late adopter. Is the Samsung Galaxy the only choice of newer Android? I'm so clueless when it comes to that...

  5. Have you emailed Aldi's yet about your annoyance with shelf prices that are different from the scanner. Those are very legitimate concerns. And why are you not able to see the register prices as they are being scanned???

    Your family must be home now after their vacation in Corsica. I hope they took lots of landscape photos to send you. Did your mom have a fantastic time?

    When Mean Kitty did her cute kitten pose, did you say "Aw-w-w" and make a fuss over her? Are the cats feeling a little neglected?

    1. Ah shoot, no, I completely forgot about it. I shall have to do this this week. Aldi's cash register display only faces the cashier. They can swivel it around but they don't. So you don't see anything ringing up unless you turn the display but then they can't see it to see that everything is scanning OK, or if you stand right behind the cashier, which would be unnerving. I think it's done on purpose because Aldi is all about speed. They want you in and out. I guess they figured that if you saw the display, you'd be more liable to question things and "waste" everyone's time? I don't understand the reasoning, to be honest. Maybe it's just that this kind of cash register is cheaper for them.

      I think my mom, brother and SIL were coming back today. Then my mom still has to take the TGV back to Paris and then back down to where she lives (an hour or so South of Paris). I'll probably hear from her in the next couple of days. I hope she sends me good pictures too! My brother is into photography and made himself on of those 360 degree cameras. He'll probably post videos on YouTube. I'll have to link to one if he does.

      No, the other cats are far from being neglected. The very large entry room is their domain and is also where my son's computer is located. And my son, when he's not at school, is in that room 99% of the time and 99% of that time, there is at least one cat on him. Sometimes two. He told me that all three were on him yesterday! They looooove him and he looooves them. He feeds them, brushes them, cleans their litterbox... he's their human. Mean Kitty is just mean and doesn't like anybody save for my son, or any cat, save for Male Cat because she was a tiny kitten when we got her and we already had him.

      I'm more like a mother cat myself. I love the kittens and taking care of them and kissing their wittle wiggly bodies and exclaiming at all their milestones and cuteness. But as soon as they start acting like adult cats and shedding and meowing and hacking fur balls, I'll stop. I still like them, I just let others slobber all over them at that point, LOL. I'll be the one doing the discipline (mostly yelling at them to shut up already!), taking them to the vet's and fretting about their health, what they eat, if their scratchers need to be replaced, etc. I'm also going to be the one buying them all their toys. Yep, just like a mama. Just not a helicopter mama. I'm not really a pet person, you know. Hahaha. Seriously, I'm not. I like cats because they're aloof and leave me alone :) It might be different with those kittens because I'm raising them by hand from 1 week old, but I'd be surprised if it were. We'll see, stay tuned!


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