Saturday, September 3, 2016

Someone turned 18 today... ~ Saturday 9/3/16

Happy Birthday to my baby girl who turns 18 today!!! It know it's a cliché but how times flies... I can't believe that she's 18 and about to leave the nest next year. How many cats do you think I will have by the time my youngest, who is 14.5, also turns 18?!

She had asked me for crêpes for her breakfast last night at dinner and I spilled the beans that I had gotten her cookie butter so she was super happy and eager to have that for breakfast this morning!  She was ready to go to her BFF's for their Harry Potter Marathon by 9:30 a.m. so I made her crêpes and she (and later on my Youngest Son) enjoyed those slathered in cookie butter. So much for her diet but you have to celebrate on your birthday, don't you?!  I gave her the birthday card that I had found for her at Family Dollar yesterday. For $1, it had the best sentiment ever about her being an amazing person and us loving her so much and being proud.  She was very touched and we cried. Because that's what we do :)  And also I gave her a check for $200, which was much more than she expected (my birthday budget used to be $50) because we ended up scrapping the plans for the ceramics painting session and The Cheesecake Factory (she might ask her dad to take her there, it's way closer to his house anyway and he's not on a diet!) and she didn't want a party, just to hold that Harry Potter marathon at her BFF's.  So I gave her the equivalent of what I would have spent and I figured that if I gave her a check, she could deposit it in whichever account she wanted as she has several bank accounts that I and her dad opened for her.

I also gave her a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels for her movie marathon because she loves those and she and her BFFs will be picking up lunch and charging it to my credit card.

So she's gone until tomorrow and tomorrow I'll make her those Hershey cupcakes that she wanted and her youngest brother will give her his gifts.  She's really happy with all those plans and I'm relieved that she wasn't disappointed in her birthday celebration :)

Greg went fishing at about 10 a.m. when it was sunny. Now it's close to noon and it's raining and very overcast. I hope for him that the fish are biting :)

Plans for today?  Well, I meant to drive around to see if there were any garage sales where I could buy a playpen to use for the kittens in a couple of weeks but I got busy doing some household chores, finally.  I might drive to the thrift store this afternoon.  I also need to redeem the free 32 oz soda coupon that's on my RaceTrac app because it expires today. This will be for Greg.

Otherwise, I want to try to exercise and I need to watch a lot of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in between Kitten Duty spurts.

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 - 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 (Friday) - Done this morning
    • Do the dishes (Saturday)
    • Take batteries out of the fans and put everything away - Decided to keep batteries in fans but put those away
    • Put flashlights away - Decided to keep in place
    • Put vacuum cleaners back in their spot - 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
    • Go to Ace and get batteries and propane - Done yesterday (forgot to cross off)
    • Gas up the car  - Done yesterday (forgot to cross off)
  • 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
    • Add water to pepper bins - Done earlier this week, forgot to cross off!
    • 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
    • Find a playpen - 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 - Done
    • 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
    • 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
    • Put reminder on calendar to schedule kitten vet visit @ 4 weeks (week of 9/19, check-up and deworming) - Done
    • 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 - Done
    • Clip new coupons - Done
    • Sort new coupons
    • Input receipts into spreadsheets (including the emailed ones)

  • Brewed a pot of coffee using half free decaf from Wawa (won in a sweepstake).

  • Earned daily Microsoft/Bing Rewards.

  • Redeemed my August bonus Swagbucks from the Winning Streaks, yay!
  • Last night I ordered a used copy of Florida's Fabulous Land Birds from Amazon.  It was priced at $0.01 with $3.99 shipping so I paid for the $4.00 OOP with the digital Mastercard debit card that I had received as a rebate.  I had already accounted for the rebate in my grocery shopping several months ago so it wasn't a true freebie but it didn't cost me anything out of pocket and I still have $1 to spend by the end of September.

  • The new KindleFirst free offerings are out for September, and I picked yet another thriller that I probably won't read anytime soon, lol.

  • For dinner tonight I defrosted some turkey bratwursts (bought on 50% clearance, the package of 5 was $1.90) because my freezer is so full that I couldn't find the smoked turkey sausage. I'll also cook the green cabbage that I bought a week ago!  Greg shouldn't eat any because it hurts his tummy so I think I'll steam some potatoes on the side for him.

  • While eating lunch (leftover salad from last night, the half papaya that was left and a mini naan with a hard-boiled egg salad), I caught up on blogs while watching an episode of L&O:CI on a DVD borrowed from the library.

  • After eating lunch, I went to run some errands:
    • I gassed up Greg's truck at RaceTrac and charged it to my USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards. I got another receipt with which to earn a freebie and earned 15 loyalty points on my app.  I also redeemed a survey reward code for a large chocolate cookie that I gave to my son, and my app freebie coupon for a 32 oz Diet Dr. Pepper for Greg.

    • Since I was going to stop by the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, I swung by Walgreens first to pick up my free 8 x 10 reprint.  Once at home, I displayed it in a $1 black frame from the Dollar Tree. Now I have a good picture of Greg and our son together, for once not making goofy faces :)

    • I didn't find what I was looking for at ReStore :(  I noticed that clothing was 50% off on Saturdays so I went through the racks trying to find new shorts or capris for me. I saw lots of shorts that I would love to have, the kind with cargo pockets, but they were all sizes 8 to 14.  They had very few clothing items for large size women. So I left empty handed. Next time, I will have to go first thing in the morning, I guess.

    • I stopped by Tractor Supply Co. to see if they carried any kitten stuff.  Arrgh, they do and it's just a mile from my house instead of the 10 miles to Petco... and they're cheaper, too!  They sell the kitten bottles for just $1.99 each with the orange rubber nipple instead of the silicone nipple, so I bought one to try it because the dropper, while working well, isn't ideal especially as they're starting to drink more. If they take to it, I'll go back and buy 2 more.  They also sell the formula.

    • Next, I stopped by the junk store that's just down the road from my house to see if they had a baby play pen.  They didn't.

    • I was going to go to the library when I remembered that a thrift store had opened up in the next block over, just a few months ago. I always forget to check it out because I typically just turn into the library and don't pass the thrift store.  So, on a whim, I went there. As soon as I told the owner that i was looking for a pack'n go playpen, she told me "it's near the cash register... $15!" and I said "it's mine!". lol.  She told me I looked too young to have grandchildren (which I guess what a compliment but at the same time a diss telling me that I was too old to have babies!) and I told her that it was for my cats.  She must have thought I was crazy because she was a little less chatty after that, LOL.  I'm thrilled with my find!  We set it up in the living room, in front of the fireplace that we don't use.  I won't put the kittens in there until they can regulate their body temperature better, though.

    • Then I stopped by the library. I picked up that season of L&O:CI (I decided to get it since it's a long weekend!) and also several coupon inserts from the donation box.

    • When I got home, my neighbor was getting ready to mow his lawn. He asked me about the kittens and if he could bring his grandson by later on or tomorrow for him to see the kittens :)

  • I won a 40 SB award for a Swagbucks Search!

  • I clipped the coupons out of the inserts that I picked up at the library. Uh oh. I might have to buy some more proteins this month after all!  I now have 3 of those coupons.

  • I received the $5 Ace Hardware Reward that they had told me was coming in.  Dang it, I could have used it yesterday!

  • I also received coupons from Pet Supermarkets.

  • Greg didn't catch a fish so he consoled himself with college football on OTA TV this afternoon :)

  • When I wasn't taking care of the kittens, I caught up on blogs, clipped coupons and cleaned my organizer while watching a couple of episodes of L&O:CI on a DVD from the library (on my laptop).

  • Birthday cash for my daughter and I bought her and her BFF lunch too.  She changed her mind about the restaurant and ended up driving to The Cheesecake Factory with her BFF (who can't really eat anything?!) so I paid for the gas and tolls as well.  

  • None

  • Kitten duty (at night)
  • Did a load of kitten laundry (at night)
  • Kitten duty this morning
  • Wrote birthday card for daughter
  • Put books on hold at library
  • Made crepes for daughter and had small birthday celebration
  • Located data about her birth and texted her a screenshot because she wanted it!
  • Kitten duty
  • Made Greg's bed
  • Did yesterday's dishes
  • Wiped down kitchen countertops and decluttered the one above dishwasher
  • Wiped down kitchen trash can
  • Vacuumed kitchen, including under furniture and in nooks and crevasses
  • Vacuumed fridge coils
  • Put away fans
  • Put away vacuum cleaners
  • Caught up on blogs
  • Kitten duty
  • Ran errands
  • Kitten duty
  • Clipped coupons
  • Kitten duty
  • Clipped more coupons
  • Purge expired coupons out of the organizer
  • Cooked dinner

  • I made crêpes for my daughter's birthday breakfast but I abstained from eating any. I couldn't stop at one anyway!

  • For my daughter to have turned out as wonderful as she has.  I'm a very lucky mama!
  • For a sunny afternoon after all the rain we've had.  We needed the rain but I don't like the gray skies and dark days as they drain me.
  • For finding a playpen today as my mind is now at ease that I'll have a place to put them in when they suddenly decide to crawl out of the box!

I kind of wish that my insomnia that raged for several weeks this summer was back because it was extremely hard to wake up to feed the kittens last night. I did but I might have snoozed for 15 minutes each time and increased the amount of time in between feedings!

They're doing so well!  They're very active when I wake them up and last night the striped one was playing and rough housing with the other while I was feeding the 3rd! It was so cute.... they took a little longer to settle down after the 3:30 a.m. feeding so I know they'll be very rambunctious in a couple of weeks as they grow bigger and they start to see very well.  I have to find a playpen because I don't think they'll stay in the box too long.

This morning, when I fed them at 7:30 a.m., each of them was so content after having an empty bladder and a full tummy of warm food, that they started purring as I stroked them with a paper towel moistened with warm water, to simulate their mother given them a bath :)  They were so comfy!  I love them so much, lol.

The animal clinic called me at noon. The vet said to decrease the gas drops to just twice a day for a few days and to keep giving them the mixture of kitten formula/goat milk/Pedialyte until they're 4 weeks old.

I found the kitten supplies that I might need to refill at Tractor Supply Co, just a mile from my house. Yay!  I bought a bottle with one of the rubber nipples that all the kittens in the YouTube videos seem to like.  I tried feeding a kitten with it later on and it just wouldn't suck on the nipple so I went back to the dropper. It is much easier to see how much they drink with the dropper anyway.

I hope you're having a great weekend!


  1. Happy birthday to your daughter! Please wish her all the best from me.

    Those two cookbooks you found are new to me, but I hope you'll enjoy looking through them. If there is an Indian grocery store close to you, they should have the Sri Lankan spices and curry powders, too.

    And those kittens are just too cute!

    Enjoy your holiday weekend, Nathalie.

    1. Thanks, I will tell her :)

      Alas, I don't believe there is an Indian grocery store in my vicinity. Probably in Orlando, I'd have to make a special trip.

      Have a great weekend too, Bless!

  2. Oh my gosh!! Those kittens are so cute! Also, welcome to having 6 cats! :) Seriously, they're adorable and I really think that bonding with kittens from this stage on gives you such a different relationship with them as they become cats. I had to laugh when you talked about them crawling everywhere even when they're so little in a previous post. We had mama cat and our kittens contained in the master bathroom and hadn't worried about kitten proofing the space as it didn't seem like there was anything we needed to do in there. But they found a tiny gap of space between the cabinets and the wall and were constantly getting stuck. We couldn't see it because the access point was actually under the cabinet at this really weird spot above the cabinet kickboard but under and behind the door/front panel. We just heard this frantic mewing and seriously thought we had kittens in the wall!

    Anyway, clearly these photos are bringing all kinds of memories back. They are so cute and wonderful! Good job on keeping them so healthy. <3

    1. Can you believe it?! And I thought it was crazy that you had 6 when I thought of all the cat hair and the vet bills and the litter boxes, etc. And now it's going to be us, lol. It'll be interesting to see how they all get along. For now the kittens are my babies. The other human members of the household are enchanted by them but I'm the only one taking care of them. At some point they'll become my son's playmates and responsibility (until he leaves the house) but for now they're all mine, lol.

      How funny that you thought you had cats in the walls! A few years ago, an acquaintance told me the story of how, when they were kids, they had hamsters that had escaped from their cage and gone into the walls and made lots of babies in the walls who, in turn, had babies, etc. In your case, I'm glad you were able to dislodge the kittens!

      I will definitely need to be very careful since our house is old and has lots of spaces for them to hide, especially when they're tiny. And I welcome your advice any time, lol.

  3. Happy 18th to your daughter :).Sounds like she had a great day. My daughter is 18 and my son is 14.5, one just finished high school and the other starting on Tuesday....yikes!!!

    Your kittens are absolutely adorable. It is so wonderful that you are raising them.

    1. Thank you Theresa, I will pass on your wishes to her!

      Our kids are of the same age. What is your daughter doing? Mine is still in high school, technically a senior this year since she was born just 2 days after the 9/1 cut-off date to start Kindergarten, but she's dual enrolled in college so she's only taking college classes this year.

      It's weird when your youngest starts high school, isn't it? Mine went back to school a couple of weeks ago already and it's going well so far. I hope your son has a great freshman year!

  4. Happy birthday to your daughter! And I'm glad to hear the kittens are thriving.

  5. Happy Belated birthday to your daughter. So glad that she planned her birthday celebration with her BFF. She will always remember this birthday as the year all those kittens arrived. She must have truly enjoyed her birthday breakfast of crepes with cookie butter.

    The kittens will indeed bond with you, but it is fortunate that they also have each other. My Brucie was very "needy", and it might have been better for us if there had been two of them.

    1. Poor Brucie. The kittens comfort each other and they sleep intertwined, which helps keep them warm enough, so I can't imagine how hard it must be for one kitten on its own :(

  6. "For my daughter to have turned out as wonderful as she has. I'm a very lucky mama!" Your daughter just might have hit the Mama jackpot too!

    1. That is very very kind of you to say, Joy. Thanks!


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