Sunday, September 4, 2016

Quiet Day at Home ~ Sunday 9/4/16

Last night is a blur. Again, I was so tired that my plans to wake up more often to feed the kittens didn't come to fruition, but it didn't seem to bother them as they were sound asleep each time I did wake up, lol.

My daughter spent the night at her BFF's to continue the Harry Potter marathon started yesterday.

So I woke up this morning at 9 a.m. and I was still tired and I have a slight headache due to being dehydrated, I think. I have been good with my food intake since the kittens have come into our lives, but I haven't been drinking enough and have only exercised once or twice, I think.  Arrgh. I need to find a new "normal" rhythm.

The sky is a little overcast as of 10 a.m.  Our neighbor is supposed to bring his grandson today to see the kittens and then Middle Son and My Not Quite Girlfriend In Law are also supposed to come at some point. So I need to go take a shower and get dressed!

I don't know if I'll get to make the cupcakes for my daughter today,  I might just make them tomorrow instead.

So no other plans than that for today. I'm going to watch more L&O:CI episodes, though.

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 (Saturday/Sunday) - Done
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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  - Done
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises  
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal - Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards - Done
    • 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
    • Clip older cats' nails - My son did it
  • 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
    • 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)
    • Update tax spreadsheet with Greg's paycheck information - Done
    • Transfer equivalent to his raise and FICA to savings - Done
    • Sort new coupons
    • Input receipts into spreadsheets (including the emailed ones) - Done

  • Brewed a pot of half decaf coffee (decaff coffee was free from Wawa via a sweepstakes win).

  • Daughter is having breakfast at her BFF's :)

  • I uploaded new offers to my CVS app.

  • I earned a $5 Amazon gc with Bing/Microsoft Rewards. I guess they still give out the discount if you're at the "silver" level (now it's level 2?!) because after I redeemed the points, I still had 80 points in my account.

  • So I ordered another volume of "Florida's Fabulous" for free with it! This time I ordered "Florida's Fabulous Waterbirds". The used copy was rated as "very good" on Amazon and sold for $0.01 plus $3.99 shipping.
  • McDonald's released a coupon for a free pack of  4 chicken nuggets, valid only today. I'm going to try and go redeem it for my son later on.

  • I uploaded new Publix digital manufacturer coupons to my digital wallet.

  • Middle Son came to visit me the kittens and brought me back my SD card loaded with the pictures he took of the kittens on Friday. They've changed so much since then! I've included some pictures at the end of this post.

  • Middle Son is trying to convince Daughter to accompany him to the employee preview of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida in a couple of weeks. It would be free to her and he can get her into the parking lot for free as well.  She was reluctant (because she doesn't like being scared, like me!) but she finally accepted since he told her he'd buy her ice cream for her birthday too :)

  • Middle Son shared with me a video that he and his amateur film maker friends from MakeDo Entertainment created for a recent contest. They were given "props" and had 48 hours to write, film and edit the film and had to make sure to include those "props" or "prompts" in the movie. In their case, they had to use flippers, had a character who was a candidate for something and was named Arnold Taylorson, and include the dialogue line "she was here just a minute ago!".  The subject matter they chose is horrifying but it's all tongue in cheek, of course, and being a big fan of thrillers and crime shows, I loved it and was laughing my head off the whole time.  It's called "The Maniacal Method" and it was filmed in Clermont :)  It's too bad they didn't win first place!  I thought they did a very excellent job.

  • His GF called as he was leaving the house... apparently a lot of baby squirrels were knocked off trees during Hermine, in Tallahassee, so she and her room mate are going to foster a baby squirrel for a while :)  I'm sure this will make all of you squirrel lovers very happy.  And how can I not think that fostering a helpless baby anything is awesome, right? I hope she realizes how much work it is, though.

  • I printed a few coupons via Swagbucks and a Target store coupon too.

  • I exercised for free at home with my recumbent bike.

  • Greg didn't catch any fish, again, but he did mow our backyard. Woohoo!

  • I found a RARE $5.00 off $30 coupon for Aldi on page A24 of today's issue of the Orlando Sentinel!  Woohoo! It's good September 4-10.

  • 4 out of 7 of the latest homegrown pineapples that I'm trying to regrow have rooted :)

  • I drove the Focus to run a couple of errands:
    • Went to McDonald's to redeem the free 4-chicken nugget coupon.  
    • I also went to RaceTrac and redeemed a survey reward code for a free apple fritter for my son.

  • I didn't feel like cooking anything on my menu for dinner, so I defrosted a bag of 4 marinated chicken breasts that I had bought on clearance with coupon at Target. I will turn them into chicken sandwiches and serve them with the fries that I bought at McDonald's. It was a little pricey for fries ($5 plus tax) but way cheaper than going out for dinner, don't you think?

  • I took 3 different RaceTrac surveys and earned 3 survey reward codes for freebies, woohoo.

  • I was able to transfer the equivalent of Greg's raise and the FICA payment that he's not making for the rest of the year to savings for our "new car savings".

  • I entered my weight and exercise for today into Walgreens Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 180 Balance Rewards points.
  • Racetrac released my September app coupon for a free medium fountain drink.

  • We had a storm move in tonight and got some more rain.

  • I earned the maximum of Bing Rewards for the day and a few Swagbucks.

  • Gas for Greg to go fishing again.
  • Used the dryer for the kitty bath towels that I washed. I set it to the Auto Moisture Sensing setting.
  • While in line at McDonald's, I decided to get 2 large fries for Greg and the kids for dinner.

  • None

  • Kitten Duty
  • Kitten Duty again
  • Changed cat scratchers
  • Visited with Middle Son and GF
  • Kitten Duty
  • Did a load of kitty laundry
  • Fixed lunch for Middle Son
  • Uploaded coupons
  • Printed coupons
  • Exercised
  • Kitten Duty
  • Launched laptop back-up utility
  • Ran errands
  • Took customer satisfaction surveys
  • Kitten Duty
  • Input receipts into spreadsheets
  • Scheduled transfer to savings
  • Recorded Greg's paystub into spreadsheets
  • Cooked dinner
  • Kitten Duty
  • Did the dishes

  • I used my recumbent bike for 45 minutes (8.94 miles).

  • For my Middle Son's and his GF's visit this morning!
  • For Greg's enthusiasm for mowing our lawn

I was so tired that I didn't wake up every 2 hours as I had planned.  I fed the kittens at 11 p.m., and then 1:30 a.m. and then a big jump to 6:30 a.m.!  And since no one was up, I went back to sleep at 7 a,m. until I heard Greg move upstairs at 9 a.m.  I still felt really tired, which might be because I'm not drinking enough. I'm really not being active enough to warrant such fatigue!

The kittens are doing well. We had some poops last night, although not enough, and all three have their eyes open now.  They play together a bit, which is just like rough housing, but mostly they sleep. They sleep all the time!  They're definitely growing as their little claws are harder now and keep on getting caught in the bath towels that I use to keep them warm and absorb any pee they leak on me during the feeding/grooming sessions.  Soon, I will get scratches, I think!

They all purr once their tummies are full and I melt each time.  I tried to give them each some cuddle time, but it's hard since once I take one to take care of it. the other two cry (louder now!), the whole time that they're without their sibling in the box!

Last night, Male Cat, who usually lounges on Greg's lap in the evenings, let himself be convince to jump up on the couch next to me instead (the kittens had been put away) and cuddle for a bit. His nails are long, I need to get my son to trim all 3 older cats' nails today.

This morning, Male Cat realized that something was in the play pen. He was intensely curious but didn't jump in.

Later on, Youngest Son brought him over to watch the kittens being fed. He looked curious but
when this one started screaming, Male Cat got scared and Youngest Son had to take him away, LOL.

It's amazing that the kitten at the bottom of the pile is still breathing!  This is one of the positions in which they sleep.

This morning, taken with the "selfie" camera on my iPhone

Num Num Time! (Photo by Middle Son, last Friday)

Their eyes were starting to open then ((Photo by Middle Son, last Friday)

Not enjoying his little butt getting wiped (Photo by Middle Son, last Friday).

Look at those dangerous claws! (Photo by Middle Son, last Friday)

New Kitty (Photo by Middle Son, last Friday)

I changed the two cardboard scratchers this morning.  Each cat took its turns using it as a napping mat... 

Although New Kitty prefers balancing herself on the top of Youngest Son's computer chair!
Have a Happy Labor Day, tomorrow! (or Monday, if you're not in the USA!)


  1. You still accomplished a lot, even with being tired and doing all that kitten duty! Aw, your Middle Son's GF is fostering a baby squirrel! I saw a squirrel in my garden, the other day, and got so excited! I wanted to take a picture but it ran away before I could do so.

    The look on Male Cat's face as he watches the baby kitten is priceless!

    Hope you have a lovely Labor Day holiday, tomorrow.

    1. LOL, Bless, I can totally picture you getting all excited to see a squirrel! Was it a black squirrel or a gray one? I thought that the black squirrels that my daughter spotted in her uncle's backyard in San José were pretty cute. Here, I sigh every time I see one in MY backyard, lol.

      Have a great Labor Day as well. Remember to rest!

  2. Unrelated but could you post details on the Kohls 10 cash from Discover? I am new to Discover card and would love to take advantage

    1. Absolutely! First, you need to have the Kohl's app on your phone and be signed in to your Kohl's account.

      Then, log into your Discover account. Click on "Rewards" and then select "Discover Deals". In the search field, type in "Kohl". You might have an offer for $10 off $30 at Kohl's. That is the offer that you need to get the $10 in Kohl's cash. (If all you have is an offer for a certain percentage back from Kohl's online, it is NOT it. Not all accounts have the $10 off $30 offer).

      If you do have the $10 off $30 offer, click on it. You will see a bar code with numbers under it and then further down a PIN code.

      Open your Kohl's app and go to Kohl's Wallet. You can try to do "scan to enter" and see if you can scan the bar code on the Discover offer. It only worked for me once, since then I've had to enter it manually. If the scanning doesn't work, use the "Add to wallet" function. Then enter the numbers under the bar code, and then the PIN code from the offer. Now you should see $10.00 listed under "Your Kohl's Cash & Yes2YouRewards". When you go to Kohl's, just present the Kohl's cash bar code at the register and then pay with whatever means of payment you want to use. You don't have to use Discover at this point.

      In the beginning, Greg and I each had the Kohl's offer on our accounts so I would enter both offers in my Kohl's wallet and have $20 in Kohl's cash (2x $10), but these past couple of months it's only been on Greg's account (we have different Discover accounts). I still enter it in MY Kohl's account, it doesn't matter that it wasn't in my own account and that I'm the one using it. Each barcode is individual so you can't share the bar code with other users, though.

      This month's Kohl's cash will expire on 9/27. I hope that helps!

  3. Thank You! For now I have a percent off, but I will take a look to see if it pops up later.


    1. I think that the new deals are added at the beginning of the month but I know that neither Greg nor I had that offer on 9/1 and his showed up in his account on 9/2.

  4. Each can of kitten formula had a bottle and nipple inside. They were so little and so cute. Brucie took to it immediately. However, he was much older(as in 4 weeks old. I hope the kitties will eventually take to a bottle. It will make your life easier.

    I don't know how you are able to get any other work done with those 3 kittens. And you still find time to exercise. The photos are wonderful....your son's as well as yours. But his pictures don't have distracting "background crap" in his. How does he do that?? Is this something you learn in photography school? I really like that.

    1. Yeah, he set up one of those black umbrella thingies that photographers use in the background. And then he got very close to the kittens that we had staged on a small table covered with a blue towel a few feet in front of the umbrella and I guess set his depth of field and some other technical setting so the background would be blurry and the focus was on the kitten. You do learn this at Photography school, I guess. I suppose I should cover the whole house in black sheets to get similar pictures from now on!

      I think I make it sound like the kittens are a lot of work. It's really not. It ties you down because you have to feed them every 2-3 hours and then it takes anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on how well they eat, if I have to make them poop, etc., but then they're asleep in between sessions. It's not like a newborn who might be screaming its head off because of colic and who needs human interaction because its awake. The kittens sleep constantly! It's just a big change in my routine and it takes time away from other things that I should be doing. I'm even more thankful that I'm no longer driving any kids to and from school!

  5. What fabulous cat and kitty pictures! Your son is a talented photographer.

    A few years ago, a former co-worker at a former job decided to rescue a squirrel. She brought it into the office since it was sick/injured and she didn't want to leave it in her car (this was during the course of the work day). Well, the squirrel had fleas and another co-worker complained about that and the mayhem that ensued. So our boss made the employee with the adopted, injured, flea-infested squirrel go home. LOL.

    1. Thank you, Pixel! I won't tell him what you said, though, because he'll already a little too full of himself, lol. I don't blame your former boss, fleas are hard to get rid of. Luckily the mama cat took good care of the kittens because we haven't seen any fleas on them at all!


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