Saturday, September 17, 2016

So Advanced! ~ Saturday 9/17/16

I don't know about you but I really like quiet weekend mornings!  I got up at about 6:45 a.m. and was tending to the kittens when Greg got up and announced that he was definitely going fishing... and off he went!  My daughter didn't make an appearance until about 11 a.m. and then my son didn't get up until about 11:30 a.m.

So it was just me, my laptop, my coffee and the 6 cats... and my scented candle -- almost paradise!

Greg didn't get home until about noon. He didn't catch any fish but he said he found a new trail to explore although you need boots because it's not paved or anything.  We had lunch together and then he went to the shed to try and fix his weed wacker.  I asked him to use the leaf blower on the back patio to clear all the dead leaves away from the sliding door because we keep on tracking them all over the house when we come in from outside, so he's doing that right now :)

I ought to go use my electric weed wacker to cut down that tall grass near the composting bin before it rains. Maybe once he's done with the blower.

No plans for today.  I feel like I should go walk somewhere but I also want to stay home and read a book or watch a show.  I need to go to Publix, though, to pick up more infant gas drops because we're out of those, and more Pedialyte and goat milk while I'm at it because we're almost out of those.

But it's the weekend so don't expect me to be super productive!

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)
  • 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.
    • Vacuum living room carpet 
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Friday)
    • Do the dishes (Saturday)
    • Do Greg's laundry for his trip - Done
    • Iron Greg's clothes (Sunday)
    • Finish putting the laundry away
    • Clean window over the kitchen sink
    • Clean sliding door windows
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Need to preserve the eggplants
    • Write a menu
  • 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
    • Return bathroom sink knobs to Ace - Done
    • Buy kitten supplies from Publix - Done
    • Buy kitten formula from Tractor Supply Co (Monday night)
  • 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
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • 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
    • Turn the composting bin
  • 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 
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays)
  • Kittens
    • Feed them every 4-6 hours- Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.) - 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
    • Mend my fanny pack! 
  • 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 (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
    • Return solar batteries to Amazon (printed label)
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Write and mail baby card
    • Write and mail get well card
    • Look for any warranty on my silver chain - Done
    • Install Firefox on son's PC and print avocado coupon via Swagbucks
    • Give Greg his passport (Sunday)
    • Input new receipts into spreadsheets
    • Sign up his phone for AT&T Passport plan - Done

  • Last night, I combined a referral code from Sandie to score a $15 discount on a order and I should also get $20 back from American Express for using an offer that was available in my Amex account and that I had activated.  Hopefully Sandie will get $15 as well if I did it correctly. I also got free shipping.  Today, emailed me to say that since I had paid with an Amex card, it had enrolled me in the Boxed Gold loyalty program that should get me free shipping for orders over $50 and 3% back in Boxed Cash to be applied to future orders. I don't know if I would reorder because I feel that without all the promos that I used, I could do better in stores with coupons, but the price I paid after all discounts/rebates factored in last night ended up being OK.
And now I find out that if you place the order via the Boxed app but by going through Ibotta first, you get 15% off too!

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

  • I earned the Daily Bing Rewards and I'm close to being able to order an Amazon gift card! 
Just a few more days...
  • I also logged in the Edge browser on my son's PC since I had noticed that he was logged in to his Microsoft account there, and did a bunch of searches to earn him more Bing Rewards too.  He's within 2 days of getting a gift card, his first.  I need to show him what to do everyday to earn more frequently. It takes 10 minutes, tops.

  • I ordered an item on sale and had it shipped to the store to avoid the $9.69 shipping charge :) I charged it to my USAA Visa card so I will earn 10% back in Rewards (over $6!)

  • I was able to complete a Swagbucks survey and reached my 2nd Daily Goal.

  • I checked my Kellogg's Family Rewards account to make sure I had been credited the 1,000 points for the 1st punch card and I was. However, I noticed that there were 2 tasks offered that I could complete to earn another 200 points: update my profile and watch a video on how to upload a receipt. I had already done both in the past but they didn't show completed so I did them again and got my 200 points. woohoo!

  • Greg got me a free coffee with his RaceTrac app coupon. I asked him to get me the plain coffee, in hopes that it won't be as bitter as the mixture of Dark Colombian and regular coffee that I got last week and had to throw away. He also got me 3 hazelnut creamers but forgot the packets of Equal.  Also, this was part of a failure (see appropriate section).

  • He also gassed up his truck at RaceTrac, thus earning loyalty points, 10% back on our USAA Visa card and getting me a new receipt with which to earn a freebie!

  • For lunch, I had leftover Brussels sprouts and the last breaded pork chops from a few nights ago.  He had leftover Jalapeño Soup and a sandwich.

  • My daughter went to attend her BFF's birthday party that was organized for today. She will be fed there :)

  • She colored her hair yesterday and it's mostly back to dark blonde. Her hair looks fried, though :( and there are still subtle greenish highlights but it's almost back to normal. She's planning on applying for a temp holiday position at Bath & Body Works since Universal Studios never called her back. I took a picture of her that I will email to my mom. She will be very happy to see her granddaughter without turquoise hair again!

  • McDonald's is giving away free sausage burritos again today with their app if you wear some Orlando City Soccer gear. I will bring my nephew's Tshirt with me. I need to mail it to him for Christmas soon, though!

  • Tractor Supply Co emailed me yesterday a coupon to get 15% off at their Friends and Neighbors sale on Monday night. I plan on getting more kitten KMR formula then.  They're having a pet event today with giveaways and free samples so I'll try to stop by too.

  • Greg blew the leaves away from the sliding door and mowed our front lawn... for free (save the cost of gas).

  • I went to run a few errands:
    • Publix:
      • I mainly needed to restock on kitten supplies:
        • infant gas drops ($7.49)
        • powdered goat milk (about $10)
        • Pedialyte ($5.49)

      • I also got 2 avocados from Mexico @ the whooping price of $1.50 each so $3.00 but I used a BOGO manufacturer coupon and a $0.75/2 Publix store coupon to bring the price down to $0.76 and I'll get $0.60 back from SavingStar (20% off $3.00) so MONEYMAKER!

      • Greg had whined for a snack before I left so I got 2 pints of Häagen Dazs ice cream since it was on BOGO. One for him and one for our son. (about $5).

      • I paid for the OOP with my USAA Visa card for 10% back in Rewards.

    • Tractor Supply Co:
      • They were having a Pet Appreciation Week event at the store today so I stopped by and registered both Greg and myself for a drawing for a gift card.
      • I also picked up a free tote bag that contained a book of coupons and a tennis ball. It's for a dog but if our cats don't want it, I'll donate it to the South Lake Animal League thriftstore.

      • I did buy a pack of 3 catnip-filled mice, mostly because I didn't want to just grab the freebies and walk out of there (the event tent was in the middle of the store but was unattended).  It was about $3.
I guess kittens are immune to catnip because they didn't pay
those any mind at all!
      • I paid with my USAA Visa card for 10% back in Rewards.

    • Ace Hardware:
      • I returned the bathroom sink knobs and got my money back ($12.99 + tax). It'll be credited back to USAA Visa so I won't be getting the rewards on that purchase.

    • McDonald's:
      • I don't know why I ever bother bringing my Orlando City Soccer T-shirt for those promos because the cashier could not care any less and never asks to see it!  But I got the free sausage burrito. I'll have it for breakfast tomorrow... although my tummy is grumbling now so maybe it'll be a snack!

    • RaceTrac:
      • I redeemed a survey reward code for a free custard filled Long John doughnut for my son... tomorrow, since he's eating the ice cream now :)

  • I submitted my receipt to SavingStar for the rebate on avocados.

  • I found a penny in the middle of my street as I was going to check the mail :)  It went into my 2016 Spare Change Jar.

  • I brought back 2 tortillas from our restaurant dinner (see "Failures). It's not like I don't have tons of tortillas in my fridge already, but I couldn't let them go to waste!  I should have asked for a to-go cup for my Diet Coke refill, though.

  • I was able to order a free 8 x 10 reprint from CVS for free. You have to place the order via your CVS app (so the photo has to be on your phone) and use promo code CVSAPP at checkout. I think the code expires today though.

  • I ordered some more items that I will use as Christmas and St Nicolas presents for some of the kids from

  • Gas for Greg to go fishing and explore new trails.

  • I ordered a new cat tree for when the kittens are a little older from Tractor Supply Co.  They were having a sale today so I saved $17 on it, they didn't charge me tax, and I save on the delivery fee since I'll pick it up from the store with my son's help.

  • I added an AT&T Passport plan to Greg's phone line for his trip to Canada.

  • Hot water for the kitty laundry and dryer usage for their bath towels (on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting).

  • Catnip-filled mice for the kittens (they don't care).

  • I'm contracting Middle Son to take pictures of Youngest Son and Daughter for me instead of buying the mediocre school pictures.  I told him I didn't expect a discount since he really needs to make a living and pay his bills. So his estimate is pricey, I guess,  ($100 per sibling) but he said he would give me as many prints as I wanted.  I only need them for my mom and great aunt so I won't need that many, but he does nice portrait work and I'm happy to use him.  We're trying to get that scheduled right now.

  • Greg wanted to redeem his free medium fountain drink coupon from his RaceTrac app today but he realized that when we went walking on Sunday and stopped by to get me the free coffee with his app coupon, the cashier had used the wrong coupon and used the one for the soda :(

  • I located the lifetime warranty that we had purchased for my silver chain at JC Penney and of course it was $25 down the toilet as it doesn't cover "accidents" or "customer abuse".  On another note, we were flabbergasted to see that the lifetime warranty that we had purchased for my diamond ring, purchased at the same time, cost us $180.  I guess we weren't frugal at all, 5 years ago!  The salesman had told us that it included the repairing the prongs that hold the diamond and unlimited cleanings of the rings.  Needless to say,  I went to get it cleaned on 3 different occasions and each time the jewelry counter was very busy and there was only 1 person there so they couldn't do it so I ended up just cleaning it at home with an old toothbrush and dish liquid!  So that was over $200 down the toilet, I can't believe that we did this!  And now I still have a broken silver chain. I'll have to bring it and see if they can send it for repair and how much that's cost me. It might be cheaper just to buy a new one.  I can't get a cheaper one because I'm very allergic to any zinc content in jewelry.

  • Stupid PMS!  I was starving all day and didn't feel like cooking that Portobello Stroganoff that I had thought I'd cook and I wanted bread.  But I didn't want to drive to Panera's (20 min) or even Publix (4 min) so we're going to the Mexican restaurant down the street.  They won't have bread but they'll have tortilla chips and gooey food that will satisfy me, I hope. Update: oof, I ate too much. But it was good!  No regrets, even when I saw the sizeable bill, lol. We had a good time chatting with our son, too.
Oh but YUM!

  • Kitten duty
  • Changed their bedding
  • Placed orders
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Earned loyalty points in various programs
  • Added passport plan to Greg's phone line
  • Kitten duty
  • Did Greg's laundry
  • Worked on errand list for today
  • Ran errands
  • Kitten duty
  • Changed their bedding
  • Submitted a receipt for a rebate
  • Went out for dinner
  • Emailed my siblings to ask if they were on Instagram
  • Emailed a UF professor to ask for help in identifying frog

  • No walk for me today, I'm being a couch potato. And we ate dinner out. And I didn't log my food today.  It's a slippery slope...

  • For Greg enjoying his exploring and fishing time this morning
  • For a quiet morning by myself :)
  • For several freebies today
  • For cuddly kittens
  • For a nice dinner locally with two of my men!


She is so advanced!  Last night, Princess Poopy Bottom walked into the litterbox all by herself, and did her pee-pee right in there!  She's only 3 weeks old!


They usually don't do that until about 5-6 weeks and you usually have to entice them with previous urine too!  I did have a paper towel previously peed on buried in there, but she didn't pee on top of it so I don't know if it helped or not.  I tried to put the boys in there afterwards but they didn't do anything.  I did coax one kitten to pee over the litterbox but, unless he's peeing on his own, he doesn't care where he's doing it.

Anyhoo, you should have seen me, I was so excited.  You'd have thought that one of my kids won an Oscar!  Once again nature proves that females develop earlier than males :)

The kittens slept for almost 9 hours last night!  When they woke up this morning on their own as I was setting their breakfast down on the coffee table, Little Princess Poopy Bottom marched herself back into the litterbox and peed in there again.  I am a proud mama!  However, she hasn't peed in it again since then so it's still a work in progress.

In the meantime, the boys are going in and out of the litterbox but they just play in there, attacking one another and just sitting there, looking around.  Me?  I'm facepalming the whole time. Boys.

This might look like a playground but it's not!

My son helped me with a feeding this morning. He burps and cuddles the kittens after I'm done taking care of them, much like Greg does in the evenings. Then we both just sit back and have lots of cuddle time with them.  They purr and purr and make biscuits on us and we're all very happy.

Tabby Kitty

Dark Grey Explorer

Princess Poopy Bottom making sure that her brother doesn't fall off mommy.  I got ya!

Dark Grey Explorer cuddling with my son after a bath

Princess Poopy Bottom making herself comfortable on mommy.

Now smile for the camera!
This afternoon, Greg helped me with the same and Dark Gray Explorer was so comfy that he fell asleep right in Greg's hand, while his brother was just sitting there, staring at me.  Princess Poopy Bottom was on my shoulder, purring away.

She earned her nickname again today by having another huge, well-formed poop. I'm not sure what's up with the boys, Tabby Kitten is always constipated (yes, STILL, it's now been 2 days since I've seen any poop out of him so unless his siblings eat it...), and Dark Gray Explorer just has soft stools that always require me to give him a semi-bath under the laundry room faucet because he fights me as he poops so it ends up all over his fur. Again, arrgh, boys!


Greg took this picture of a beautiful bright green and black frog at Revel's Pond this morning. It was perfectly camouflaged on the ground amongst vegetation of the same color but he saw it hop.

It looks like a watermelon frog, doesn't it? I can't seem to identify it so I emailed a professor from UF to ask for help.
 Are you tired yet of reading about kitty poop?  LOL.


  1. That frog was a really cool sighting! I am still reveling in having all weekend off so spent today just doing fun stuff. Tomorrow it's back to work and back to studying.

    It's so fun to watch the kittens grow!

    1. Weekends are the best, aren't they? I hope you get to do lots of fun stuff today!

  2. Well done, Princess P.B.! :D Definitely advanced for her age! Those kittens are so cute!

    A family dinner out is a good thing. Family bonding over food you didn't have to cook yourself and the bonus of no clean-up involved! Sounds like a perfect way to spend a Saturday evening.

    I hope you have a lovely Sunday, tomorrow.

    1. I've always said that even if I had more money, I'd remain frugal but I just realized, reading your comment, that if there were all kinds of restaurants just down my street (like in any large city downtown), I might just eat all my meals at a restaurant without batting an eye! Someone to serve me and be attentive to my needs, and as you said no cooking and no dishes... aaaaah. And the company wasn't half bad either!

      Have a great Sunday, Bless!

  3. I did get the credit! Thank you very much. Love all the kitten posts, will you be changing Princess Poopy Bottoms name when she gets older? Lol. We never get product insurance now. For the very reasons you express (always seems to hard to redeem) we had it on our first flat screen TV, it just stopped turning on after 13 months. The hoops we had to go through.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad for you! I might have to change her name today, as she didn't make it to the litter box this morning, but we'll see, lol.

      We bought our first flat screen TV from Target and opened a Target credit account that day to earn the additional discount and we also bought the extended warranty. A year later (it was after the original store warranty had expired), the TV stopped working. We were able to get a new TV from Target AND they refunded us the difference because the TV price had since dropped! Based on that we bought our 2nd flat screen TV (because that one eventually did die past the extended warranty) at Target again with a warranty again but we haven't had to use it. I have to say that most of the extended warranties are rarely used as they usually don't cover what is going to ail your appliance. I have got to learn to just say no when they offer them and just keep my fingers crossed that the appliance/computer what not, will last at least that long! We've wasted so much money on those. Grrrr.

  4. Eating out with the family is a good thing. Since retiring, my Sweetie and I have eaten at restaurants very seldom. Even when we have been given gift cards, we hoard them until we make it a special occasion. We would both prefer to eat at home. If I absolutely don't want to cook dinner, my husband will step up, or we will make a soup and sandwich. It is just the two of us now, so we are easy. But when I was working outside the home, and had kids at home, wow! We would do pickup rather than eat out. Nowadays it takes a shorter amount of time to fix something than to order something in.

    Princess Poopy bottom is definitely advanced beyond her years. Using the litter box and cleaning herself proves that she is indeed a princess and a lady. It must be the refined atmosphere of listening to classical music by candlelight. What happened to the boys is beyond me. Regardless, they are all so adorable. You have saved them from certain death. It pains me to think of what might have happened to them. They are so loved and cared for.

    1. I agree, many times driving to a restaurant, placing the order, waiting for it, and then eating it there or even just driving home takes longer and costs MUCH more than just making something at home. Especially for us since there aren't that many restaurants (that we like) in our little town so if we drive to Clermont it's at least a 40 min trip without even waiting for the food! I wish there was a Panera's in our side of town because I can order the food and specify a time for it to be ready, pay with the app, and then just walk in and pick it up from a special shelf and be on my way. But just that would mean 40 minutes of driving there and back! The Mexican restaurant down the street (about 1/2 a mile from my house) isn't that great (although yesterday's meal was delicious, I think they might have changed chefs, even the presentation was better!) but it's right there. We could actually walk there although we always end up driving because by the time we decide to go, we're starved, hahaha. But at close to $50 for the 3 of us (I gave a 20% tip and we each had a drink other than water so that adds up), even just driving to Publix 5 minutes away to pick up a Chicken Family Dinner would have saved me about $35. But then we would have all eaten in our own corners and we wouldn't have had the sparkling conversation we had last night! It was fun. I think we've been doing well with eating out this month, it's been much less than usual.

      We spotted the hawk on the back fence again yesterday. The last time we had seen it was the day after we found the kittens (and also the morning of the day we found them!) so it made me shudder to think they could have been his prey! My babies! They are very much loved and cared for. Oh my. Nothing is too good for them. Today I went to get a fluffy sheet that I had bought for the kids years ago but that they didn't really like so they could be even comfier in their playpen. They need to like it. Of course, I'll have to wash it next time they wake up because one of them at least is a bed-wetter. Having been a bet-wetter myself and raised 3 of them, I'm very sympathetic to that! But oh, the laundry! And the smell! Thank goodness for those scented candles, lol.

  5. Yep, sounds like kittens are just like kids--the girls advance faster than the boys. At least in some areas.

    1. Having raised 3 boys and 3 girls, I can't honestly think of any stage that our boys reached before our girls. Wait, no, Middle Son rolled over when he was a baby way before my daughter did (I don't know about Greg's daughters). But that's about it?! What has your experience been?

  6. Using the litter box is absolutely Oscar-worthy! LOL. I can't get over their big eyes. Who can't love those faces!

    If I won the big, big millions in a lottery I'd be eating out all the time, plus have a personal chef cooking for me. You know, like Oprah does.

    1. Dude. Having a personal chef is my #1 dream. Well, right after winning the lottery. I need to start buying tickets again although I was telling myself this week that buying scented candles instead made so much more sense because I'm pretty much guaranteed to get enjoyment from that!


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