Saturday, September 10, 2016

Walking at P.E.A.R. Park ~ Saturday 9/10/16

When you get older, waking up several times a night really tires you out even if you end up sleeping a long time!

There was an unscheduled kitten feeding at 3 a.m. and then I heard Greg come down at 4 a.m., and then his moving around upstairs in the master bedroom, off and on, for a couple of hours. At some point I was awakened by a loud hiss. I think New Kitty came to sniff the playpen in the middle of the night and put on her diva show again.

So I woke up completely exhausted. So much so that I found myself in the kitchen warming up the kitten food and realizing that I had completely forgotten that I wear glasses to see anything: I had left the glasses by the couch and everything looked fuzzy only, it took me up til then to wake up enough to realize it!

I suggested to Greg that we should go for an early walk today but he didn't seem too excited by the possibility. He said that he needed to mow the front lawn but, for a change, he wasn't excited about it either, lol.

His sister didn't have the baby last night. She got slatted for a C-section at 11:00 a.m.  this morning and had a baby daughter who weighs a little more than 4 lbs (1 month premature.)

I had a burst of energy when Greg and I came back from our walk this afternoon and said that I was going to weed whack the high grass around the composting bin area, but then Greg convinced me that it was too hot so I didn't do it. But I almost did, so I think that should count for something, ha.

I really didn't do much and I wasn't so much on the laptop today so I'm going to spare you my To Do List for today as it wasn't even posted in the draft for my motivation :)

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

  • I ran nGage and JunGroups videos on Swagbucks for a little while until my laptop got much slower and then I stopped.  I also did a few more activities including attempting survey but I got disqualified from all of them, again.  So at 9:40 a.m. I only have earned 32 SB. My first goal is only 85SB but I doubt I'll reach it because I doubt I'll do any more activities today.

  • Walgreens is offering another free 8 x 10 reprint this weekend with code FREE4FALL.

  • I need to run errands this morning to buy more infant gas drops and a new battery for the kitchen scale.  There is a $2.00 rebate on Mylicon drops on Checkout 51 but I just checked the Walgreens website and they're priced at $12.99, significantly more expensive than the Publix brand which was about $7.59, I think. So I'll go to Publix. Hopefully they'll have the kind of battery that I need so I don't have to drive anywhere else.  

  • About the not driving anywhere else...
    • So I went to Publix and got the batteries that I needed. 
      • They only sold them in 2-pack or larger and only Energizer brand. I was able to use a $0.75 coupon from an insert. So they were $2.93 after tax.
      • The Publix brand of infant drops was $7.49.
      • I also bought 3 packages of Glade plug-ins because they had the Cherry Peony kind that I wanted and they were the same price as what I had seen at Family Dollar. But there was a Buy 2 Get 1 Free store coupon in the new insert that they put out today, and I had a $2.00/3 manufacturer coupon. Plus I redeemed a $1.00 Ibotta offer. So I ended up paying $8.54 for (3) 2-pack, which I think is pretty good.  Since the house has been smelling like kitty pee once in a while, I've been more interested in deodorizers, scented candles, etc!
      • My OOP was $20.61 (minus the $1.00 Ibotta rebate) and I paid with my USAA Visa card for 10% back.
I also decided to try the sweet pea & lilac scent :)
    • Then I decided to drive to Save A Lot to see if the baked goods that had a sell-by date of yesterday had been discounted. It was 11 a.m. by then and there was nothing on the clearance table save the same candy that I saw a couple of days ago.
      • so I got a Snickers Crispers bar for my son at $0.45 and a York Peppermint Patty for Greg at $0.45. 
      • I also got 2 cheese pizzas at 50% off so $5.34 total.  There were more that I could have gotten for 50% off too but there's just so much room in my fridge!
      • I did check the meat aisle because they had a lot of ground beef that was supposed to have been sold by today, but I guess earlier shoppers snapped those up so I didn't get to break my no-meat buying pact, lol.
      • My OOP was $6.39 and I paid with USAA Visa (10% back)
      • I also picked up a notice that there will be a 3-day sale next weekend.
I forgot to take a picture of the pizzas.
    • McDonald's sent me a notification that I could get a free 10-pack of chicken nuggets with the purchase of a large drink. 

    • So I decided to drive to McDonald's and treat myself to a large Diet Coke and get the nuggets for my son's lunch. I tried calling him to warn him not to make himself lunch but he didn't pick up so I called Greg who then asked me to pick him up an Artisan Chicken Sandwich and a large fries. Aaaargh. Note to self: next time, don't call anyone!
      • When I got to McDonald's, there were several cars at the drive-thru so I parked and walked inside. Thankfully, I always get ready before ordering with my credit card and my coupons.  I couldn't find my USAA Visa card!  So I went back to my car and called Save A Lot to see if I had left it in the CHIP reader, although I remembered putting it away.  I was kind of panicking, I don't like to lose stuff like that!  They told me they couldn't find it... then as they were telling me that, my eyes fell in the pocket by the door handle and I saw my credit card... I had put it there in preparation for ordering from the drive-thru because I don't like hunting through my purse for my wallet as I'm inching my way to the pay window.  Phew!
      • So I went back inside. It was hot as their AC wasn't working.  I asked if they had orange soda (I got the chicken sandwich meal and planned on giving the drink to my son since Greg has cans of Diet Dr. Pepper at home) and the cashier said yes but she charged me for an OJ, which carried a 30 cent surcharge!  I realized that while I was waiting for the food so she gave me a large soda instead of a medium. But it was still 30 cents more than I had wanted to pay so I was annoyed.  My OOP was $10.14.  If I had't called Greg, it would have been just $2.39 + tax.  I charge it to USAA Visa, of course.
      • I asked for barbecue sauce with the nuggets. My son won't it eat but I'll use them next time I have to use barbecue sauce :)

    • I had seen a sign for a garage sale in the neighborhood but I'm horrible at noticing street names. I've lived here 14 years and I can't tell you the names of the streets in my neighborhood, it's ridiculous.  Anyhoo, driving around (I never did find it), I saw that the house behind us (behind the wooden fence) is for sale.  I guess the old lady who used to live there did pass away. I told Greg that we should buy it and rent it out. He would rather buy it and expand our own property.  I checked a famous real estate site (that I'm not naming or linking to because I'm mad at the changes that they've just made and their marketing people contact you if you mention their name in a post!) to see the particulars.  There is an offer pending on it but it's been pending since July.  Also the house has pretty much been gutted inside and what's not gutted is really outdated, much like our own home.  And it's on septic and pump. Considering all of that, the house is surprisingly expensive.  It needs a lot of work and not just cosmetic.  I hope that whoever we get living back there is quiet but the way that the neighborhood as been going, speculators have been buying the houses and renting them to trashy people so...

  • I submitted an Ibotta rebate and they credited me right away.

  • For lunch, I had leftover mashed potatoes with the little bit of chicken meat left from last night, and half a papaya.

  • I suggested that we go walk at P.E.A.R. Park since Greg has never been there and he had decided that he wanted to go walk after all and he agreed.  This time I brought a fanny pack in which I put some peanut butter crackers because I get hungry during or after a walk, and a bottle of water. I reminded Greg to bring some water as well. 

  • P.E.A.R. Park is free to use so it only cost us the gas to get there (about 20 minutes each way) and the snack that Greg insisted on getting afterwards: we went to McDonald's to get him a shake. I was able to redeem a $1.00 off coupon with my app.  I just had my water and peanut butter crackers, although I took a sip of his shake. Honestly, I don't like them so it wasn't hard to resist getting one, lol.

  • Greg and I watched college football for free on CBS via our over the air antenna: the University of Florida Gators vs, University of Kentucky Wildcats. If my daughter makes it into UF next year, we might even try to make it to a game :)  Although I think I like watching football on TV much more than live because I need the commentaries, lol.

  • I researched kitten care library books and put 2 on hold. I'd been meaning to do this a few days ago but kept on forgetting:
Don't you just love it when the library has exactly what you needed?!

  • I had set out some chipotle chicken sausages to defrost for dinner before I bought the pizzas on clearance so Greg and I decided to have our pizza with sliced chipotle sausage on top. Our son just wanted his plain.  I made a side salad with spinach, a vine tomato, some cucumber slices and 1/2 an avocado.  Greg and I had ours with some Ken's Lite Raspberry Pomegranate dressing (bought on BOGO last week) and our son has his plain.

  • I ordered a free 8 x 10 reprint of a kitten photo (of course!) from Walgreens with the freebie code for the weekend.  I know we'll ooh and aaah and love remembering how tiny and cute he was at just one week old :)  I need a bigger house, I'm running out of walls and surfaces for all those pictures!

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • Gas to run errands and then later on to drive to P.E.A.R. Park

  • Lunch from McDonald's for Greg and a large drink for me (my son's chicken nuggets were free).

  • A large shake from McDonald's for Greg after our walk.

  • See failures for the first part of the story but I needed to reorder some rechargeable camera batteries so I reordered the same ones I bought last June. They were $13.95 for 2 on Amazon with Prime shipping.  I decided not to redeem any rewards or points so I could earn the full 10% back from USAA Visa.

  • Once again, I lost one of my camera batteries!  It's driving me crazy, especially when I can't tell where I might have lost it.  Today I could have sworn it fell off my fanny pack when I came home and was transferring items back to my purse, but I've looked everywhere and I can't find it. Arrgh.

  • Kitten duty
  • Worked on Swagbucks
  • Caught  up on blogs
  • Took a marine shower
  • Kitten duty
  • Did a load of kitty laundry
  • Ran errands
  • Went on a nature walk with Greg
  • Corresponded with my BFF via texts
  • Put some library books on hold
  • Worked on the photos I took today
  • Cooked dinner
  • Kitten duty
  • Gave a bath to 2 kittens
  • Ordered photo reprint

  • Walked for an hour. Not very fast since it was through wooded areas and I was taking pictures a lot, but it's better than nothing.
  • I eschewed McDonald's... twice!
  • For having defused a situation with Greg when we were annoyed with each other earlier today
  • For time spent with my husband in nature this afternoon


Our little striped kitten didn't want to play along with the new rules of waiting 6 hours in between feedings last night, and woke up screaming at 3;00 a.m., only 4 hours after the last feeding.  So I went to heat up the formula, and I could hear him all the way on the other side of the house, that's how loud he was!  Thankfully he didn't wake up anyone, not even his brother and sister!  So I fed him, we cuddled and then he went back to sleep... until 7:30 a.m. when, once again, he woke me up by asking for food.  Arrgh. He used to be my best sleeper!

Kittens in the mid morning. So angelic!
They slept for a long time this afternoon! I fed them at 1 p.m. before we left on our walk and it's now 6:15 p.m. and they're still sleeping... no doubt they'll wake up in the middle of the night because cats are nocturnal animals.  Sigh.

Two of them (the female, which is the light gray one with the pink spot on the back of her head) and the dark grey male really stank of pee so I gave them a bath of sorts with a dab of rosemary dishwashing liquid from Aldi rubbed on their belly and little parts and I rinsed them under warm water flowing from the laundry room sink's tap. I collected the water in a bucket in the sink so I'll reuse it to mop the floors or something. It wasn't that much pee and I'll add Pine Sol or equivalent to it.  They were very good but especially the little male who seemed to enjoy it very much!

Little Girl's first bath!

As a reminder, the Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve Park is a former agricultural research center that is now a county park leased from the state. Rangers and volunteers are hard at work to restore natural Florida ecosystems in the park, which features several trails.  The northern access area features tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground,  2 baseball courts and a dog park.  (Why is there never a cat park, hmm?!).  The southern area, where we parked, is the nature conservation area.  There is a nature center and community gardens.

I first visited it on my own in June this year. Back then, there were tons of different flowers. Today I saw a few, but my pictures ended up almost all blurry, probably because the strong sun was preventing me from seeing what I was photographing. I only brought the point and shoot camera. I do need to go back on my own with the dSLR when I have more time to properly focus on everything.

Today, Greg and I decided to walk the river trail alongside the Palatlakaha river.  I had walked it a little bit earlier this summer by myself, but it was Greg's first time at P.E.A.R. Park. I showed him the butterfly garden, and then we took the trail alongside the river. There wasn't much to see at all. The river level is much higher than in June and the current is swift. Greg and I have been discussing him getting a kayak to go fishing. I wish he would get a 2-person kayak.

Anyhoo, most of what we saw alongside the river was the beautiful beauty berry bushes. They were everywhere.  There were some benches alongside the river's edge, which was fortunate because I noticed that Greg didn't look like he was feeling great and when I questioned him, he said he was feeling a little dizzy. So I had him drink some of my water since he had left his in the car (men!).  We sat down at a couple of benches. I'd like to say that it was nice but the river isn't particularly pretty and the closer we were to water, the more the mosquitoes were trying to get us. Luckily, Greg felt better after drinking water so we continued on to the Observation Kiosk (not much to observe, though), and then back to the car by way of the bird blind.

We were very unlucky with the fauna today. I did spot several different caterpillars and butterflies but the only birds we saw were mourning doves and a white egret that flew in as we were driving off, some lizards, fire ants... Greg swears that he saw a squirrel but I didn't see it and I think he was lying to pretend he was still Eagle-Eye Greg. Whatever, Greg. there was NO squirrel.  We did see some scat that contained what looked like watermelon seeds. I think some critter got in the community garden and probably munched on some watermelons.

Still, we enjoyed our walk.  Here are the few pictures that weren't too blurry.

Greg spotted this very pretty but dead scarab right away. I loved the burnished gold thorax and the deeply iridescent emerald green wings.

Spotted Bee Balm

Passion vine flower

Beauty berry

Walking towards the river in the woods

A field of yellow flowers!

More Beauty Berries. I love them, they're so pretty.

A plump mushroom in the woods

The Palatlakaha River

Some delicate pale blue flowers

The very rare Rhinoceros Oak :)

Another mushroom. It looks like a flower, doesn't it?

Greg pointed out the weird bark pattern on this oak. No doubt a disease of some kind...

I wonder if this is how some people came to believe that there were some faces on trees (à la Lord of the Rings)?!

Some kind of Goldenrod, I think... I'm too tired to look it up!

More pretty pale blue flowers (my camera never renders the blues very well).

Six-lined race runner near its burrow

A field of spotted bee balm

Indian Blanket

Fritillary butterfly

Overlook Kiosk at the top of a small hill.  There are picnic tables there.

Passion fruit

Big puffy clouds and birds on a wire...

They were all mourning doves

I had never seen a caterpillar like this one. I still haven't bought a caterpillar book though.

How pretty!

The little snail at the very top made me think of an angel atop a Christmas tree :)

Another caterpillar. You know you're tired when all the caterpillars start looking like fuzzy kittens to you!

Animal scat with squash-looking seeds. We saw several clumps of those.  Wonder what animal pooped those...

Salvia (blurry)

Remnant of a chrysalis

And another one

Milkweed (blurry, arrgh)

More passion fruit!

Love the grass roof on the bird blind!

Lonely pepper plant in the community garden. You guys would look good on my pizza tonight!  We actually saw a few people working on their plots as we left.

Driving home. All this is missing is a few cows, we thought.
How was your Saturday?


  1. Those kittens seem to have a mind of their own, don't they?

    Congratulations to Greg's sister on her birth of her baby daughter.

    Looks like you had a nice walk. Lovely pictures - I especially liked the rare rhinoceros oak! I don't think I've ever seen one of those before!

    1. It was very surprising to see one in the wild! (*wink*)

  2. I just got 21 swagbucks for searching your blog (I have it bookmarked but still :)). Haven't got that many swagbucks in one search in years (pathetic I know).10 more and I snag me a Starbucks card. Pumpkin Spice Latte here I come!!

    1. Oooh, nice! I'm honored to have been part of this win, Theresa, LOL! I got a 99 SB award for a search this summer, that was awesome. Now I'm probably going to be getting 4 SB for the rest of time, lol. Oh and next time I'm bored, I'm going to do searches for all the blogs I read via Feedly. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Congratulations to Greg's sister.

    Looks like you had a lovely walk in the park. What a beautiful place.

    You was good visiting McDonald's twice, I would have eaten something seriously unhealthy. Xxx

    1. Thanks, Tara! It was hard resisting the chicken nuggets because they smelled so good in the car and I was really hungry. Lucky for me, I had put them in the trunk of the SUV, so I couldn't even reach them, lol. I can resist milkshakes and ice cream just fine as I don't really care for that. But put a loaf of bread in front of me and I turn into the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, oh nom, nom, nom!

  4. Beautiful photos, as usual! Thank you for the reminders about the free 8X10s at Walgreens. I have been able to take advantage of that the last couple of times you posted and I really appreciate that!

    1. I'm glad I was useful! I should add this to my list of accomplishments for the day, lol.

  5. My favorite photos are the passion flower and the field without the cows and no egrets standing on top of the cows! :-)

    1. Wait until you see my post from the next day!

  6. Before going to bed last night, I checked to see if you had got to any of my comments I wrote yesterday. My Sweetie had already gone up to bed, so I took a few minutes to read my email. You had me laughing so hard with how you responded, that of course he asked me what was so funny when I went up eventually.

    Also I can relate to your feeling frustrated with Greg when you phoned to tell him where you were and asked him to tell your son you were bringing lunch home for him. You ended up taking a lunch order for Greg...not what you had intended. My husband frustrates me in the same way. I am in the kitchen.....let's say I am making toast. I call out to him, "Do you want toast?" Because if I am making for one, I can certainly make for two. He'll say no, BUT I will have a ham and cheese sandwich with a slice of tomato. Grrr. Did I offer to make that for him? No. It drives me up the wall.

    Although you only intended to go to one place, you certainly make good use of doing errands. You visit a lot of places in a very short time and you manage to do everything on your list. Thank you for the kitten update and the walking tour of P.E.A.R. park. I always enjoy your photos, even when you think there isn't a lot to see. Mature is beautiful and wondrous. After all, you got to take a picture of the very rare Rhinoceros Oak, in the wild. Most people would not have had the opportunity. *laugh*

    Congrats to the new baby girl and her family.


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