Monday, September 26, 2016

Sleepy but Domestic Monday ~ 9/26/16

Well, the Dreaded Day has come. No, no, not Domestic Monday because I strangely don't dread it as much as you'd think, but the day when the kittens make a break for it.  More about it in the Kittens section. (yes, you have my permission to skip all the boring frugality stuff and go right to the Kittens section if that's what you want to do!).

As I said in the Day Book this morning, I feel like a bear in hibernating mode!  I have been starving the past few days (and I drink all day so it's not like I'm dehydrated and confusing the signals!) and also very sleepy (but I don't eat that much that it would make me sleepy, you know?).  I was re-reading blog entries from late September 2015 and I was starving back then too. So definitely hibernating mode.  It was raining a lot, back then, I had planted a garden, I was harvesting roselles, baking all sorts of things... man, I was productive back then!  Compared to that, I feel like a big fat slug this year.

Source: Yahoo Images
So, Domestic Monday... I need to fold the laundry, do the dishes, sweep, put the laundry away, clip the coupons that I printed, sort the coupons, bathe the kittens (they need it!), put away the pineapple that I dehydrated, look into the fridge to make sure nothing is spoiling.  All that and I haven't even looked at my To-Do List yet!  There's a window in the living room that has finger marks on it and thanks to Susan, it's been bugging me but also I forget about it every time my eyes focus on something else so I still haven't cleaned it. I have a terrible short-term memory.

I spoke to Greg briefly last night after my post was published.  He said his dad was worse and better at the same time: last time he was there, his dad was very weak, his legs were extremely swollen, and he slept like a kitten, all day.  This time around, his dad claims that he feels very strong, the legs aren't swollen anymore, and he stayed awake all afternoon to enjoy the visitors. However, he gets tired easily and starts rambling and not making sense when talking when he's tired and he realizes it too.  I know I do that too when I'm extremely tired so maybe that's not so unusual. They need to realize that even though he says he feels strong, his body is exhausted.

As for Greg, flying made his sinus headache come back and I hope he was able to sleep last night and didn't develop another migraine.  His brother-in-law picked him up from the airport in his Porsche convertible so I had to warn him that we're NOT getting a Porsche convertible because I want to pay off the mortgage and we now have 3 new cats to support.  So we laughed. We're definitely not Porsche-kind of people anyway, but he enjoyed the ride. Maybe that's why he's having sinus problems, now :)

Alright, enough chit-chat, I've got to post my To Do List so it stays top of mind.  Feel free to skip that too if lengthy to-do list from strangers aren't what floats your boat :)

To Do List:
  • Crafty/Creative:
    • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
    • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
    • Melt down old candles and make into new ones
    • Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two) - I really need to do this or buy one because I had a bag (a whole bag!) of political pamphlets hanging from my door knob yesterday.  I think I'm also going to add "and don't leave your literature either, I'll vote for the other party if you do!"
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets - Partly done
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter shelves over printer stand 
    • Declutter storage bench 
    • Clean the fridge
    • Declutter gardening supplies chest
    • Defrost the freezer - scrapped off the top of the ice layer. Will need to defrost the whole thing.
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Sunday and Monday) - Done
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put the laundry away
    • Clean window over the kitchen sink
    • Clean window in living room with finger marks
    • Clean sliding door windows
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Bake banana chocolate chip muffins
    • Defrost meat for tonight - No need to, we ate out.
    • Put away dehydrated pineapples - Done
  • Education
    • Talk to son about driving handbook studying
    • Talk to son about Optimist Club essay
    • Start watching Photography lectures online (see email)
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
    • Go for a walk with my camera - little lake near Downtown Clermont
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
    • Go pick up new cat tree from Tractor Supply Co - Done
    • Order cat scratcher refills on Amazon - Done
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Pull the raspberries and add roses in pots in their place
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants - Done
    • Pull weeds off stone path - Done
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Grease poles with Vaseline
    • Pull weeds from pots  - Done
    • Turn the composting bin
    • Check on the roselles  - Done
    • Plant wildflower seeds!
    • Refill cat litter jugs at rainbarrel
  • 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 - Gardened for 90 minutes instead
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises  
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal 
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays)
  • Kittens
    • Feed them every 4-6 hours- Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.) - Done
    • Give them a bath - Done
    • Rub kitten towels on New Kitty and Mean Kitty
  • Maintenance:
    • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
    • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
    • Test the batteries in all 3 smoke detectors and replace as needed
    • Greg to call plumber
    • Wash the bathroom ceiling with bleached water
    • Remind Greg to re-secure chicken wire to AC unit and also to block off opening under front of the house
    • Scrub mildew off front of the house (porch, behind bushes, front stairs)
    • Install white beadboard in laundry room (will need to measure and purchase)
    • Install new stick-on tiles in laundry room (will need to remove ancient ones first)
    • Paint laundry room cabinets
    • Get Greg to fix/remove rotten wood on front porch
    • Make a list of which outlets need to be replaced and call Duke Energy Homewire Protection to schedule appointment
    • Ask electrician for estimate on installing outlet on front porch
    • Ask Greg to make me new tiled table for electric roaster on front porch
    • Get on flat roof, sweep it, and clean out the front gutter
    • Ask Greg to install gutter screens on the front gutter
    • Have Greg block the opening in the back fence
    • Mend my fanny pack!
    • Strengthen BlueTooth transmitter's cord with electric tape (in SUV) 
  • 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 - in progress!
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt (include kitten photos)
    • Go through the genealogical material crate
    • Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
    • Work on photo album for daughter's graduation
    • Fill out FAFSA for daughter (Saturday)
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Start proceedings for deleting Yahoo Mail account
    • Pull Sunpass airport parking receipt for Greg to expense - Done
    • Renew cookbooks at library - Done
    • Compare genealogy family sheet (see email inbox) with what I have in my database
    • Clip coupons and sort them

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school and rode the school bus.

  • I loaded new offers to MobiSave.
Some of the new offers I uploaded
  • I pared down my shopping list since there were some items on there that I bought every week but that I can skip this week.

  • I harvested 2 Roma tomatoes from the garden.

  • My lunch was leftover salad from last night, an egg salad sandwich on a mini naan, grapes, the rest of the OJ that Greg didn't finish and then I had tortilla chips and salsa, just because. So I'm not totally back on the wagon yet.

  • McDonald's is celebrating National Coffee Day all week by offering a coupon for a free small hot of iced coffee in their app.

  • Greg really enjoyed the "Ike" biography that I had bought for him at our Friends of the Library book sale on July 4th and had put more biographies from the same author in his Amazon wishlist, so I checked out library system and found that all the books that he wanted are available for loan. I sent him an email.  And then I found a lot more books that he had on his wishlist, for loan at our library. I sent him more emails :)  I know he loves his Kindle but I don't see the point of paying for ebooks from he can borrow the real books from the library.

  • My daughter was invited to go to the movies by her BFF who had found an old gift card in her wallet so she's paying for the movies. In exchange, my daughter is driving them to the theater (at Disney Springs), so I guess I'm paying for the gas :)

  • Of course, since I watered the garden this morning, the sky turned back at 1:00 p.m. and thunder started booming.  It's probably going to rain! It started to rain at 1:25 p.m.  Not a huge downpour, just a small rain storm.  Update at 1:45 p.m: it just turned into a downpour and it rained for at least one hour. Yay!

  • The cat cardboard scratcher refills that I wanted were $12 each on Amazon. However, the Kong incline scratchboard, which my cats love, was only $5.79 as an add-on (which means that you have to spend at least $25 to get that price) with a limit of 4 items. It's annoying because I would have gladly bought 5 of them to reach the $25 minimum!  So I bought 4, and also ordered a Christmas present for Middle Son and a GPS mount replacement for my GPS since mine had broken last year and the duct tape job wasn't really working anymore.  The mount was only $2.50 and is being shipped from China for free. I don't understand how they make money on that.  I charged it all to my USAA Visa card and didn't use any points or rewards available, because I'm still getting 10% back in Rewards on that card. I'll use the rewards/points once that promotion is over :)

  • I printed Greg's airport parking receipt as a pdf from his Sunpass account and emailed it to him so he can process his expense report.

  • I renewed the cookbooks from the library online.

  • I printed a couple of coupons for Special K that Kellogg's had emailed me.

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits and a few Swagbucks.

  • I printed a couple of Gold'n Plump coupons that they had emailed me.

  • I mixed a new bottle of liquid hand soap, reusing the same foaming bottle I've been using for several years.

  • Tractor Supply Co called to say the cat tree had come in. I had ordered it "Ship to Store" so I didn't have to pay for shipping. My son came with me to pick it up and carried the 40-lb box indoors for me. Then I put it together. It's meant for small cats and I think I'm going to leave it behind the futon, next to Greg's desk. They can look at the backyard (it's facing the back window), watch Greg play video games, watch TV with me, climb on and off via the couch if they want to... it's perfect!  And it has lots of sisal scratching pots for their claw sharpening pleasure!

  • In the mail, I received more $5.00 of $25.00 coupons from Ace Hardware.

  • I also received the $25 Publix gift card that I had ordered from our USAA Visa Rewards program.

  • I used a BOGO coupon to buy chicken sandwiches from McDonald's for dinner. I also got my son a small fries but we drank water at home and I had the rest of the salad from last night as my side.  We went to pick the food early, at 5:45 p.m. so as to beat the dinner rush. It worked as there was only 1 car in line in front of us, already waiting for its food while I ordered.

  • I entered KFR code QUEE-NOFS-UMME-RPTS into my Kellogg's Family Rewards account and earned 100 KFR points.

  • Remember how I said I would NOT be going to Target this week?  Well, about that... CouponPro posted that there is a "hidden" Cartwheel offer for 40% off fresh chicken (any brand) right now. You have to log in to your account from a PC to upload it, it won't show up on the app.  Now, I just got $1.50 coupons for Gold'n Plump chicken so, yep, I'll be going to Target this week after all :) (Pork and ground beef have 25% off Cartwheel offers, btw, and 50% off Kashi Savory bars and also Balance bars although limit 2 per person).

  • I finished watching the Law & Order DVDs from Season 3 tonight. I'll return them to the library on Wednesday. Another season is on its way to me but I'm now skipping to Season 6 since the library is missing several seasons :(

  • Gas for my daughter and her BFF to go to Disney Springs.

  • I placed an Amazon order for several cardboard cat scratchers, a GPS mount to replace mine that was broken, and a Christmas present for Middle Son. 

  • Since my daughter won't be here for dinner, my son and I decided to treat ourselves to McDonald's. There goes my menu and my diet :)

  • I thought that my daughter would eat out with her friend but she didn't. She asked if she could have a pasta bread bowl from Domino's but at $8, I felt it was too expensive. Instead, we agreed that she'd use a coupon to get 10 chicken nuggets and large fries from Burger King, about the same distance as Domino's, and that she'd drink water at home.

  • Gas for my daughter to drive to BK and back :)

  • I've decided to stop reusing water collected in the bathtub and shower to flush my toilets. It might be a coincidence but the upstairs toilet started acting up just a few weeks after I started doing it upstairs and last night I did that downstairs and the toilet started backing up.  Then again this morning. It flushes fine when I just flush it the normal way.  So I don't know what the problem is (besides having ancient plumbing!) but I just won't do it anymore.  I need to remember to warn the kids and Greg.

  • Kitten duty
  • Kitten playtime
  • Cleaned their litterbox
  • Composed Day Book
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Unlocked new rebates
  • Talked to Greg on the phone and swept the kitchen at the same time
  • Kitten duty
  • Kitten playtime
  • Cuddled with older cats
  • Partially cleaned my inbox of irrelevant messages
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Worked on my To Do List
  • Sprayed bleach on the bathtub rubber mat
  • Cleaned the bathroom sink upstairs
  • Cleaned out the garden
  • Watered most potted plants (I missed two, I just realized)
  • Researched library books for Greg and emailed him
  • Placed Amazon order
  • Got Sunpass receipt for Greg
  • Printed some coupons
  • Kitten duty
  • Kitten baths
  • Kitten playtime
  • Went to pick up the cat tree
  • Put the cat tree together
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Went to pick up dinner
  • Unloaded the dishwasher
  • Kitten duty
  • Kitten playtime with my son and daughter
  • Washed all the dishes
  • Prepped kitten's breakfast for tomorrow
  • Gave my daughter a coupon for dinner
  • Talked to Greg on the phone

  • Let's just not talk about this again today... needless to say, I didn't get back on the horse.  I need to get busier so I'm not so hungry. I really need to get back on the recumbent bike!  There's nothing stopping me right now but my own laziness.
  • That Greg didn't get a migraine and slept comfortably
  • That Male Cat is a great babysitter!
  • That I was able to put the cat tree together in just 20 minutes despite less than desirable instructions.


So I finally know what it feels like to survive a zombie attack!  The kittens slept from about 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. this morning. Only when they woke up, there wasn't the usual little mewling calls coming from the play pen. Oh no.  I just heard the scratch of the claws griping the sides of the playpen.  My eyes opened. I knew what that meant.  By the time I leaped the 4 feet separating the futon from the play pen, two of the kittens had already reached the top of the play pen.  I peeled them off, put them back in there, and they'd start climbing all over again and the buggers are fast!  I was panicking "Down! Down! You need to stay down!", to no avail.  They were ravenous and they were coming for me.

Source: Yahoo Images
Finally, I had to leave them there and run to the kitchen to get their breakfast ready. Luckily, these days it takes under a minute: fill a small glass container with their formula, heat it up for 30 seconds, shake it well for no hot spots, and mix it with 1 tbsp of baby rice cereal per dish.  Mix, ready!  OK, maybe a minute and a half.

My son was up and getting ready for school so he went ahead of me to check on them while I was mixing and came back with a kitten on his shoulder. "Mom, did you leave Dark Explorer on the floor of the living room?!" No, I hadn't.  The adorable little freak had finally done it: gotten to the top of the playpen and fallen on the other side!

He didn't look none for the worse. He did fall on the carpet, not the wooden floor or tiles. So I got in turbo mode.  Thankfully his fall must have spooked the other kittens, as they were waiting for me in the play pen. Phew!  But as soon as they saw us coming, the squealing and climbing started again and they launched themselves at the food as soon as their paws touched the ground.

They're like little wind-up toys, these days!  They eat a little, and then go explore. They love crawling under the coffee table (it has a bottom shelf so they have to get on their bellies to get under it and it's really hard to get them out of there!), under the couch, under the playpen... but they still pretty much stay within a 3-4 feet radius of me and come when I call their names... most of the time. Then they go eat again and go exploring again. Today I remembered to get the litter box out of the play pen. Last night, in the tiled Cat Room, Dark Explorer peed on the floor because I hadn't had the foresight to set the litter box out of the play pen. So I'm not making that mistake again.

"No, you'd better not!  It stinks when a cat pees on the floor!"  Thank you for your input, Male Cat, duly noted.

I put all three kittens in there one by one after they ate so they would do their business. Only they were too busy and wanted to go exploring. After a while, I noticed Dark Explorer scratching the carpet next to my thigh so I looked closer and he had pooped on the ground!  With the litterbox just a foot away!  Arggh. Luckily it was a dry poop and he had done it on the towel that I had laid on the floor under the food bowls.  I put him back in the litterbox and this time he went to pee. So then I put the other two in the litter box too and this time they each peed and Tabby Kitty pooped too and his was still soft so I'm very happy indeed that he didn't go on the floor!

After some more exploring and some cuddling, I put them back in their comfy bed in the play pen. I'll move it to the Cat Room later on this morning.  They're all curled up in a different corner of the bed, a new sign that my babies are growing up and don't need each other as comfort to fall asleep. I suddenly feel a little sad. Our cuddles are shorter too, they're busy, busy, busy and want to be on their way, even when they're the ones coming at me, purring and wanting a belly scratch.  They're toddlers, after all!

Last night, Male Cat was very attentionate and helped me watch the kittens as they explored the Cat Room after their dinner meal.  He came up to a couple of the kittens and sniffed them and didn't act all spooked as he had in the past.  At one point, Tabby Kitty started walking next to him, Big Striped Cat and Little Striped Cat, it was too cute!  But I didn't get to take a picture :(

This morning, though, he was a great babysitter.  The kittens awoke again at 9:30 a.m. because, like me, they heard scratching on one of the outdoor window screens and saw a squirrel coming down the house, holding down to the screen. Oooh! I hate the little bastards!

Soon I had animals climbing everywhere: the squirrel outside, the kittens climbing out of the play pen, squealing for food. It was madness!

I knew they'd just fall out of the play pen again, so I went to my daughter's room and woke her up by dumping all three of them on her back and leaving them with her while I went to prep their food.
blurry, sorry!
Then Male Cat helped me by keeping an eye on them (following them everywhere or lurking from a nearby corner) while I relocated their play pen to the Cat Room and also while I used the bathroom because the urge always hits when something else pressing needs my attention!

"Did you wipe after you peed?  Let me check..."

"Where does she think she's going?!"

"I'd better go check!"

"What are you doing behind the computer desk, Princess Poopy Bottom?!"
 Later on...

"La di da dum dum... just sitting there on my scratcher..."

"What the..."

"Aargh, zombie kitten attack! Save yourself!"
He was very good and later on I praised him and cuddled him, and then also went to praise and cuddle New Kitty and Mean Kitty who left the kittens alone and didn't budge from their spots.

Her Highness Mean Kitty graciously appreciated some petting today.

That Princess Poopy Bottom... I call her the Christopher Columbus of our house. She's always exploring new territory. This morning, she ventured to the end of the breezeway and then back.  The farthest any kitten has ever gone on its own!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the boys... are cuddling with me. No exploring for them this morning!
 But this afternoon, it was a different story!

"Hmm, I think I know what is wrong with this computer!" (she is sooo advanced!)

Dark Explorer discovering a dingling ball. He was really into toys these past couple of days.  Yesterday he was pouncing on his cuddle buddy toy and biting its ears.

All this exploring and playing made Tabby Kitty want to crawl on mom's lap to take a nap :)

Nighty-night, kitties!

If you can't get enough kitten pictures, there's a kitten livestream on YouTube! (not my kittens , though)

As I went upstairs to go shower this morning, I looked down in the garden and it was bathed in sunshine and I thought I'd go take some pictures once I was showered. Then I got dressed in exercise clothes, thinking it was half the battle already and might inspire me to get on the recumbent bike.  I grabbed my camera and headed to the garden.

I had to use the side door off the laundry room so as not to wake up the kittens who were sleeping in their pen in front of the sliding door.  Once outside, a dreadful sight awaited me.  Everything was pretty much dead or covered in weeds.


Weeds!  OK, their tiny white flowers were pretty, but I'd rather have lettuce in that bin!

Dried up serrano peppers

Pretty dried up rose bushes. I cut them back quite a bit.

The hibiscus looked so bad!
I used to think that I could multitask pretty well, but it's no longer true. I cannot be on a diet, exercise enough, and raise kittens. And I cannot raise kittens and garden.  My poor garden has been sorely neglected.  I couldn't even tell you when the last time was that it rained, but it's been a while because the hibiscus is parched, the rose bushes are mostly dried out, the vincas in the hanging pot might never come back, a lot of the herbs died, heck! even some of the weeds fried.

So that wasn't my plan for today but I grabbed the cat litter jugs that I had filled with rainwater and I watered the potted plants, pulling weeds here and there.  And then I thought "I need to cut off a lot of dead stuff!" so I went back inside to get my gardening shears and then I started cutting away: the rose bushes, dead herbs, tomato limbs... and then I decided I'd just pull all the old tomato plants because even if they had one or two small tomatoes growing at the very tip of them and more flowers coming in, they were so bedraggled and the main stem was so damaged and dried, that they probably wouldn't make it and in the meantime made my garden look terrible.

So everything came off and was thrown away, I put the tomato towers away.  Then I pulled a lot of weeds.

The self-watering bins look better, if you discount the fact that the plastic is crumbling and I really need to order new ones, make new self-watering bins, then load the soil of the old ones in the wheelbarrow, throw away all the old bins, and then refill them with the soil (only that soil is probably depleted so I need to mix it with manure or compost first.  I'm not planning on having a garden this fall/winter so I'll need to do that in January to get the garden ready for the spring.

I read a few blogs of homesteaders where the bloggers have huge gardens, can for days, take care of many animals, bake everything from scratch, and blog about it all, so I feel like a failure, in a sense, but of course we're all differently abled and despite my sturdy Polish and Belgian peasant background, I guess I'm just not that much of a "homesteader". I'm really good at watching "Law and Order", though :)

I ended up spending 90 minutes doing all of that and in the end, I'm pleased that the garden looks marginally better.  I'll have to go it all over again (well, the weed pulling) a few more times before the spring, but it's a start.

Here are some surprises and good things about the garden this morning:

Greg didn't tell me that he had edged that terribly invasive ground cover that's growing between our neighbor's yard and ours. But look at how thick it is!  This is the ground cover where we found Dark Explorer and Princess Poopy Bottom. If they indeed fell from the oak tree where our neighbor found Tabby Kitten, then it saved their lives!

The roselles are gorgeous and, knock on wood, the squirrels haven't munched on them yet. But
there are only about 15 of them, probably not enough for me to make jelly :(

Despite the drought, the pineapple plants are doing extremely well, for the most part.

I harvested these two Roma tomatoes

And then found a couple more that weren't quite ready yet...

But I ended up pulling the plants anyway because they really looked bad and it just needed to be done. Sorry, tomatoes!

A volunteer vinca plant grew quite well on its own, while the ones that I bought did poorly in the hanging baskets. Next year, I'll need to plant them!

That's not a good surprise.  It's probably the one that was climbing down my window screens earlier!  But I knew some of you
like the darn things, so I took a photo for you.  It is kind of fuzzy, isn't it?  OK, it's kind of cute. But I'm glad I didn't plant anything because there were lots of squirrels everywhere today.
My weird stunted roselle tried to bloom.  Derp.

Then, finally, on a different limb, an actual flower!

And this one is on the roselle whose main stem got broken in the storm we had a couple of weeks ago.

The sweet potato vines continue to grow pretty much willy nilly.

Even though a ton of plants were dead, the cone flowers are still surviving!

Volunteer basil in one of the pineapple pots

The 3rd rose bush despite looking pitiful, mustered enough energy for a tiny rose to bloom. Last year
at the same time, it had rained a lot and my roses were huge!

More tomatoes are growing. These, I didn't pull.

Hard to see but in the front bin, I have 2 or 3 Supersweet 100 tomato plants that had reseeded themselves
and a collard green,

And these are little lettuce heads that had reseeded themselves too.

And once again we have loads of tadpoles in the bins that are collecting water.  They help keep the mosquito population down so we like them.
Any surprises for you today?


  1. You had a busy Monday! Look at all those "Done"s on your list! That squirrel looks adorable! :D The kittens are adorable, too, and I love how Male Cat is keeping an eye on them. He's being a good older brother to them, I guess. The other two cats are probably saying, "Don't expect us to babysit for free"!

    Hope you have a lovely day. Send some of your rain my way!

    1. Your comment about what the other two cats were thinking made me laugh outloud, Bless! You're probably right! Hahaha.

  2. Wow! It must be Fall. You worked outside in your garden for 90 minutes? I hope you tracked that as exercise today. After that downpour you had this afternoon, things may start coming back and looking really healthy in a few days. It is nice to see how your garden is growing these days. I can't show you mine. It is a disaster. Yes, even though I am harvesting quite a bit, the weeds are doing just as well. Ha.

    Male Cat is so sweet. He must be feeling very protective of all the kittens. I bet when he sleeps, he has truly earned it. It is so adorable to see him shadow the kittens, and like you said, he is a great babysitter. They won't be content anymore just staying in the one room. You have to let them grow up. *sniff*

    1. He's very curious and shy too. I think he'll have a great time playing with them when they're a little bigger. They're definitely growing up: playing together but also fighting! There was drama today, you'll read about it in my blog post later on :)

      The weeds annoy me to no end, especially with the knack they have to grow when nothing else does. However, I was reminded that native plants do well without fertilizers or special watering because they're specially adapted to the area and obviously weeds fall under that classification too, whether we like it or not!

  3. I admire you for everything YOU get done. Ninety minutes of work in the garden - that's a lot! Plus you take care of a house, laundry, cooking AND raising three kittens! For some reason, I have a tough time just keeping up with blogging and the laundry. I wish I could say it's because right now I'm so focused on exercise and being healthy and that I've lost weight, but sadly this is not the case. My scale is stuck on the same three numbers - I lose a pound, I gain it back, I lose two, I gain one back... At least I'm not gaining ALL THE TIME. Compared to my garden (three citrus trees), yours looks huge. And fantastic.

    1. You're very kind. We have about 1/3 of an acre. It's not huge but I like the size of it.

      As far as the weight, I'd like to be stuck at a number but a number that's about 60 to 70 lbs lighter! You have a full time job. I don't even know how I used to work full-time, take care of 6 kids, and do everything else too! But back then no kittens, no gardening, no blogging :)


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!