Friday, September 2, 2016

Mother of Kittens ~ Friday 9/2/16

Source: Etsy via Yahoo Images
"Mother of Kittens" is the title that Greg bestowed on me this morning, LOL.  If you watch Game of Thrones, you will get it :)

I feel less tired this morning. I fell asleep on the couch at 10:15 p.m. so I slept 45 minutes before the 11 p.m. feeding. Then I fed them again at 2:30, and then at 6:30 a.m.

This was where Hermine was at midnight last night.

We're in the Clermont area.
The 6:30 a.m. feeding almost didn't happen: my son woke up at 6:00 a..m. and when I opened my eyes, it was raining pretty hard and everything was very dark: we had lost power during the night.  My son fed our adult cats by light of his phone and came to tell me that he had gotten a call that school had been cancelled for today.  I was actually getting up to get dressed and drive him to school since it was pouring so I was relieved that neither of us would be be on the roads in the storm.  Then I realized that without power, I wouldn't be able to warm up the kitten's food.  Arrgh.

I called Duke Energy's power outage line to report our outage and enroll in text notifications. They didn't have an estimate of when power would be back but did say over 1,000 households were affected and that the first report had been at 5:15 a.m.

I was happy that I had taken a moment last night to position our camping lanterns throughout the house and charge the one battery that was dead overnight.  So I used the lantern to navigate through the house, put on Greg's rain jacket and my garden clogs and braved the rain with a flashlight to go to the small shed and retrieve the camping stove and a small propane tank.  I set it up in the kitchen and I warmed up water to warm the kittens' food and water for their toilet.  Phew!

Greg got up at 6:45 a.m. while I was feeding them and laid back down on the couch while we discussed our plans.  His office hadn't sent notification that it was closed so he decided to go to work, but first we decided to sleep a little longer since the kittens had been fed and the power was still out.  I laid down and as soon as I closed my eyes with contentment... the power came back on!  Yay?!  lol.

So I recharged the lantern battery (since it discharged very fast, actually) and also the spare battery for my phone.  We're supposed to get very strong gusts of winds and rain throughout the day so better be safe than sorry. I'm also going to go to Ace Hardware at some point to get D batteries and another couple bottles of propane.  The barbecue is useless if it's raining outside!  Btw, Duke Energy never did send me a text to tell me power was back on. Their texting alerts system is very unreliable.  The power company that we had before and that was bought by them was much better.

There are lots of accidents on the local roads, notably I-4 and the Beach Line (SR 528), which is the toll road leading to the Orlando International airport, which is closed.  I hope Greg is able to make it to work OK. He doesn't take I-4 at all, but he is going through areas that had very strong storms last night. I'm also worried about Middle Son who travels from Daytona Beach to Universal Studios on I-4 most days.  My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law was smart to come home yesterday as 150,000 people are without power in the Tallahassee area and several counties on the Gulf are under water.  Hopefully she can make it back there safely on Monday since classes resume on Tuesday, as far as I know. For those of you who aren't the in USA, we have a holiday on Monday.

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) - MONDAY
    • Declutter shelves over printer stand 
    • Declutter storage bench 
    • Dust fan in exercise room
    • Clean the fridge
    • Declutter gardening supplies chest
    • Defrost the freezer
    • Sweep breezeway
    • Vacuum living room
    • Vacuum exercise room
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Friday) 
    • Take batteries out of the fans and put everything away
    • Put flashlights away
    • Put vacuum cleaners back in their spot
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Need to preserve the eggplants
  • 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
    • Go to Ace and get batteries and propane
    • Gas up the car
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Research cone flowers and their care and plant them somewhere - Transplanted them in larger pot.
    • 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
    • Add water to pepper bins
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
    • Harvest the peanuts
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
  • 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 (in September)
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays) 
  • Kittens
    • Feed them every 2-3 hours- Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.) - Done
    • Wash and sterilize bottles and eye dropper  - 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
    • Vacuum fridge coils
    • 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 May-August photos to my external drive - in progress
    • 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
    • Complete August Food Expenses post - Done
    • 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 birthday (or graduation!)
    • Put reminder on calendar to schedule kitten vet visit @ 4 weeks (week of 9/19, check-up and deworming)
    • Return solar batteries to Amazon (printed label)
    • Update tax spreadsheet with Greg's paycheck information
    • Transfer equivalent to his raise and FICA to savings
    • Purge coupon organizer of expired coupons
    • Clip new coupons
    • Sort new coupons
    • Input receipts into spreadsheets (including the emailed ones)

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

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

  • I took a "marine" shower.

  • I clipped a few more coupons to my Publix digital wallet.

  • Youngest son needed to buy a birthday present for his sister so he came with me to run errands:
    • We stopped by Family Dollar just down the street, where he found what he wanted. I also bought a birthday card and a pack of chocolate-covered pretzels for my daughter's Harry Potter Marathon tomorrow.  They had Peonies and Cherries Glade Plug-Ins but I hadn't brought my coupons and then the cashier told me they were $5.45. I'll have to see if I can get them cheaper at Walmart. My total OOP was only about $3.00 so I paid cash. I wanted to pay with my credit card to get the rewards but my hands grabbed a $20 bill before my brain reigned them in!

    • We went to Ace Hardware, where I purchased a 2-pack of propane bottles for the camping stove, as well as 2 8-packs of D batteries. I decided to purchase the Ace Hardware brand, priced at $9.99 each, which was $4.00 cheaper than Energizer or Duracell.  They're guaranteed until 2024. I charged my OOP to my USAA Visa for 10% back in rewards. I will also earn Ace Rewards points on my purchase.  I had checked the coupons that came in the mail a couple of days ago but they're not valid until 9/6 and I wanted to make sure I had the supplies I needed in case we lost power again since high winds are predicted for this afternoon.

    • We stopped at McDonald's, where my son got a grilled chicken sandwich. I redeemed a digital coupon for free medium fries. I charged the $5.xx OOP to my USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards.

    • The last stop was RaceTrac, where I gassed up the SUV because I don't like not having a full tank during hurricane season.  I charged the OOP to my USAA Visa card for the 10% back in Rewards and earned 12 Loyalty points on my app.  I obtained a new receipt with which to earn a freebie after taking the survey. And I also redeemed a survey reward code for a free huge chocolate chip cookie for my son.

  • My lunch was the last of the Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff leftovers (the mushrooms had been $0.89 for 8 oz at Publix), a mini naan (free), and half a papaya ($0.69/lb at Save A Lot).

  • Middle Son arrived at noon. I fed him a sandwich and pretzels and he cuddled with the kittens. We chatted and then an hour later he set up his camera equipment and shot tons of pictures of the kittens. I'll have to wait until he works on them and converts them from RAW to JPG and then until he gets me a CD of them but they'll be great!

  • Bing Rewards officially changed over to Microsoft Rewards. Of course I hate it. What can I say? I really don't like change, especially since now I'm further away from my goal. Grrr. I didn't give them good feedback. I completed all the activities that I could. I don't have Edge so I can't do that. I guess I could do it from my son's PC though.

  • Walgreens Photo released another freebie code (ENLARGEFREE good though 9/6) hooray!   I ordered a reprint of a picture I took recently of Greg and our son.

  • The library emailed me to say Season 8 of L&O:CI is already waiting for me to pick it up. Aaack!  I'm only on the 2nd DVD of Season 7.  I'm not going to pick it up until later this week since I can only keep it for 1 week.

  • I checked our Discover Deals accounts to see if the $10 off $30 Kohl's offer was available again this month, and again I see it in Greg's account but not mine.  So I loaded the offer into my Kohl's app and I now have $10 in Kohl's Rewards again!  Woohoo, free money :)
  • For dinner I cooked the 3 large chicken breasts that I had bought at $0.99/lb last week.  I was supposed to make chicken parmesan but I forgot to check my menu before putting the breasts to roast in the oven (it was raining so I didn't use the electric roaster today) so it'll have to be roasted chicken breasts! I made a box and a half of thin spaghetti to go with it and a side salad. Middle Son and  GF stayed for dinner although she wasn't hungry so she didn't eat.

  • I received the latest issue of Kiplinger Magazine (free subscription).

  • I perused the ad previews for CVS and Walgreens for next week and made a note of what I might want to purchase.  There's nothing really exciting. Also CVS changed the way you view their ad. They kept the "see it as it's printed" ad format which I like, but instead of flipping through the pages now, you just slide them from side to side and there's always a part of the previous and next page that still shows on the screen and that annoys me :)

  • School is out but the state college is open so my daughter drove to her classes.

  • I bought lunch for my son at McDonald's as a special treat.

  • I asked Middle's Son GF if he was planning on coming over to visit her while she was in town and she said he couldn't come until Sunday because he couldn't afford the gas.  My son never asks for anything so I contacted him via his iPad to ask whether he still had the debit card for the Checking account that I had opened for him at USAA and when he confirmed, I transferred $100 to him for food and gas.  He was very thankful and came over right away :)

  • I had to compost more potatoes that had spoiled. Darn it!


Oh boy I'm really happy there were only three in that litter!
  • Kitten duty overnight
  • Reported power outage
  • Retrieved camping stove to warm up kittens' food
  • Kitten duty
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Texted with Middle Son and My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law
  • Kitten duty
  • Ran errands with Youngest Son
  • Ran dehumidifier in downstairs bathroom
  • Put camping stove and propane away
  • Visited with Middle Son
  • Fixed him lunch
  • Kitten Duty
  • Visited with Middle Son (still)
  • Kitten Duty
  • Visited with Middle Son (he was still here!)
  • Kitten Duty and My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law came over
  • Kitten Duty
  • Cooked snack for Middle Son
  • Visited with Daughter, Middle Son and My Not Quite Yet Daughter In Law
  • Kitten duty
  • Cooked dinner
  • Put leftovers away
  • Kitten duty

  • Because I had visitors all afternoon, I didn't get to exercise. But I also didn't have time to eat much :)
  • That we didn't suffer any damage since the stronger storms and tornado warnings were for areas on either side of us.
  • That the power came back on at 7 a.m.!
  • That all three kittens seem to be thriving
  • For a lengthy visit from Middle Son and then his GF.
  • For Greg getting to and from work ok despite the weather and several accidents


The kittens are doing well, although I worry about the striped one, which is the largest and my best feeder, because as of 8:30 a.m. he still hasn't pooped and I don't think he peed either during the last 2 feedings. It was hard to see at night when the light isn't very good and my eyes are tired. If he still hasn't pooped at the next feeding, I'm going to start feeding him every hour to see if the increased liquid will unblock him (or her, but I think it's a boy).

The dark grey kitten finally pooped at 6:30 a.m. hooray!  It wasn't as much as the other kitten and was more like the toothpaste consistency that the online articles described, than the turd that the light gray one passed yesterday.  It wasn't happy that it was pooping, though, lol!  But that dark grey kitten already knows how to purr!  After I feed each kitten, I give them a bath with a wet paper towel to mimic their mom licking them all over, and the last 2 times I did that, it started purring! It's like a little clicking sound but it's purring. So cute!

The striped kitten pooped as I was modeling him for Middle Son to take photos so we have his first poop on "film" lol. I'm so relieved that he finally pooped.  Goodness, I hope they become regular now :)

Well, it seems that they are because all three of them pooped at the 5:00 p.m. feeding!  Also a couple of them are starting to open their eyes.  So exciting for me, lol. They'll also put on weight since yesterday, woohoo!

I called the vet's at 4 p.m. to have the staff tell him that the kittens pooped and ask if I should change anything in their diet.  He'll call me back tomorrow, apparently.

I feel like it's been a long day and yet I really didn't accomplish any of the chores that I should have done.  Oh well, tomorrow is another day!


  1. The kittens are freakin adorable!

    1. Aren't they, though?! I'm so proud of them, you'd think I gave birth to them, LOL. However, I have got to build an immunity to cute kittens. I cannot do this again. Not only do we have a lot of cats now, but I'm too old for this crap. Getting up at night to feed them is kicking my butt, hard. Where is that insomnia that I was complaining not too long ago?! Have a great day, Theresa!

    2. Lol @ "you'd think I gave birth to them." That would have been much less painful 😆. Even I could have done that without an epidural!

  2. Aw, that picture of the kitty with its eyes barely open is so cute! I was laughing over your chores list - all those kitten duties!

    Glad your power was restored fairly soon. It's kind of scary how much we are dependent on electricity, isn't it? I am glad you had the propane stove and the kitties were able to get their warm feed and bath!

    I am glad the main storm passed you by, Nathalie. And your Not Quite Yet DIL was able to come home safely.

    Have a safe weekend.

    1. I was thinking "we're ok, if we don't have electricity, it's not that hot, we have books and games and kittens to play with..." until I realized that I hadn't charged the extra battery for the phone, that the fan batteries had corroded, and that all my current library books are on the Kindle. And especially that the microwave wasn't working, lol. It's not the fact that we didn't have electricity, it's the not knowing HOW LONG we've not going to have electricity! 24 hours later, Duke Energy still hasn't texted me to say that the power was back on, lol.

      We dodge a bullet with Hermine. I'm wondering if we'll dodge the next one... Everyone is annoyed at me because I won't let them take the collars off the cats, but you never know so I want them to keep them on at least until the end of hurricane season. The cats have adapted well to them but the noise of the tags is driving them all nuts. They should try taking care of the kittens... you get so tired you don't even hear those little noises anymore!

      Have a great weekend, Bless.

    2. Oh Nathalie I'm so sorry you are having a difficult time with Hermine, I hope it passes you by quickly and everyone is ok. I have been keeping an eye on the news but it doesn't seem to give us any in depth information about the areas the stormy is hitting. I'm glad your son was off school so that you didn't have to drive.

      The kittens are gorgeous by the way. Please keep us updated on how you guys are. Xxx

    3. We're OK, we squeezed between really bad weather to the west, east and north of us so all we got was some rain. We lost power for about 3 hours, apparently, but were asleep for 2 hours of it so it was fine. Thanks for worrying about us!

      Good luck with back to school this week and working full-time now! I hope you and the kids have a great year :)

  3. Love the Mother of Kittens nickname. They are so sweet, enjoy them.

  4. Between hurricanes and kittens, things are busy at your house. Watching the kittens develop, must be pretty interesting. They are lucky your found them.

    1. They really are adorable, it's such a joy to see them wobble around in their box, curl up against one another, get all indignant when I wipe their butts, suck greedily on the dropper, burp, and especially when they start purring right after I feed them and give them a "bath". I'm so in love with them, lol.

      But yes, it makes for busy days... much like having a newborn. I did manage to do a little bit of housework today, but I still haven't exercised. I need to make this a priority in the coming week.

  5. I was just going to say that - it's like having a newborn (or three?) around! Constant attention required and all that worry about them. They will love you so much once they get a bit bigger. You will be imprinted on them as their mother (like that experiment with the ducks - or was that geese?).

    1. I'm actually worried about this. I love taking care of them now because they sleep 98% of the time, but I know myself and I wouldn't like it if one pet, much less three, decided to follow me everywhere and be in my feet all the time, lol. But we'll all have to learn to live with each other. I want to think it will be fun. Time will tell :) Right now, I'm head over heels with them!

  6. It sounds as though they are out of the woods now. You should be proud.

    1. We've given them informal names for now and even started calling them by those names but I won't feel 100% sure that they're OK until their first vet check-up in a couple of weeks. I;m proud of them! They're fighters... and lovers too. I love it when they start purring after they've been fed and I cuddle with them and they try to suck on my neck, lol!

  7. Brucie would suckle on my earlobe. I let him do it until he was about 6-8 weeks old, then I stopped him by distraction.

    1. Awwwwww, how adorable!!! When I was younger, I knew a family that had a huge cat that liked to nuzzle the neck of the mom of the family and just lie there, sucking on it. It was a grown-up cat! It was very weird. I'm going to probably end up with 3 of those because I cuddle with them for a few minutes after each feeding, one by one, and nestle them against my neck and my shoulder while patting their backs to make them burp. They purr and purr and make biscuits with my T-shirt. So cute!


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