Friday, September 23, 2016

Yay, Yay, My Baby's Back! ~ Friday 9/23/16

Happy Friday.  Greg's coming home tonight! To tell the truth, it's been such a busy week that I hardly had the time to miss him!  But the fact that he's leaving again on Sunday morning still makes his return even sweeter.

After I posted my blog post last night, he and I texted and he complained about having a cold.  Ah, crap. Every time he travels, he gets sick. It wouldn't be so bad if he could just spend the weekend in bed and recuperate, but, as I just said, he's coming home tonight just to leave again on Sunday morning.  I warned him to stay away from the babies in Ohio, especially the premature niece, and then I guess his dad shouldn't be exposed to viruses either although at this point in the game, does it really matter?  Ugh. I wish he didn't have to go, for all involved, but of course he needs to.

The kittens and I had a good night. I had to get up a couple of times because my bladder remembered that I wasn't as exhausted as I had been recently. Yay? Not really. I want a good 8 hours of solid sleep without having to wake up at all!

My son needed to print an assignment for school and for some reason he said his PC wouldn't connect to the internet last night so he couldn't use the wifi printer and by then he had already shut everything off so he couldn't even give me his documents on a dongle for me to print it on the laser printer. But he did that this morning, phew. Good thing I was up, too!  So I need to figure out what the deal is with his PC, I'm thinking he's not waiting long enough for the printer to come online?  The new router sure seems to be connecting devices to the network slower than before.  All in all, for all the money that I paid for that OnHub router, it doesn't seem to have been worth it.  Personally, I think the old D-Link router was faster (and I hadn't had to purchase a special ethernet switch box either!).  Anyhoo, one more thing to do (hey, that rhymes!).

I had thought to make Alison's Amish Friendship Bread today but we still have baked goods from Save A Lot to consume (well, the kids have...) so scratch that plan. Dinner might be crockpot chicken something rather so it can stay warm for Greg's arrival.  I need to figure it out.

Otherwise, I don't have any errands planned today. Wow, first day this week! Whatever shall I do with myself?!  The living room is vacuumed, the laundry is folded.  I just need to put it away, move the kittens back to the Cat Room (I put them back in the living room for the night so I could keep an eye on them), do some dishes.  I'll be working on posting this week's grocery shopping results. I'm sure the day will go fast.

I just tried calling my mom since it's only 2 p.m. over there but she didn't pick up. Oh well.  She emailed me later with sad news that my former great aunt (ex-wife of my great uncle who died last December) had died and was cremated this morning.  I hadn't seen her since I was a teen and never new her very well, but she was family to me.

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.
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Thurday and Friday) 
    • Put the laundry away - Done
    • Clean window over the kitchen sink
    • Clean sliding door windows
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
    • Wash the older cats' litterboxes - Done
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Redo the 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
  • 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 
    • Pull weeds off stone path
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Grease poles with Vaseline
    • Pull weeds from pots - Partly Done
    • 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 - 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 (October 1st)
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Write and mail get well card
    • Install Firefox on son's PC and print avocado coupon via Swagbucks - Done
    • Figure out the wifi problem (if any) on my son's PC - Done
    • Finish inputting new receipts into spreadsheet - Done
    • Call my mom this week - Left a message this morning as she didn't pick up. She emailed me back.
    • Write Grocery Shopping Post - Done
    • Start proceedings for deleting Yahoo Mail account

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school and rode the school bus. He hasn't bought lunch from school even once this year so far!

  • I brewed my usual pot of half decaf with the free decaf won from Wawa. It's coming to an end though!

  • I earned the Bing Rewards daily credits for today.

  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet.

  • I looked at next week's ad previews for CVS and Walgreens and made notes of what to purchase. Almost nothing (well, milk from CVS).

  • I realized that I was almost out of infant gas drops again so I texted my daughter to ask her to stop by Publix on the way home and get me some.

  • I was able to troubleshoot my son's printer (his PC has stopped connecting to the Wifi and then stopped recognizing any networks and then defaulted to printing to a fax, I think all due to the latest Windows 10 update, piece of crap!), reconnect it and reconnect to the printer. I installed Firefox and a couple of Acrobat programs so I could print coupons from it too :) I made sure the default printing options were draft and black ink only. HP printer still uses color ink at the same time as the black ink, which is such bullshit. Someone should sue HP for this, it's pure greed. If you have black ink in your printer, NO color ink should be used. Also, if you haven't heard, back in March they rolled a software update to all wi-fi connected HP printers that now prevents you from using 3-rd party ink cartridges. Mine never did allow them to start with.

  • I boiled 6 eggs for future lunchtime sandwiches.

  • My lunch was a naan (free from Publix after coupon) with some cajun turkey (50% off at Walmart) and homemade zesty refrigerator pickles, leftover salad from last night, and half a papaya.

  • Subway texted me an offer for a free 6-inch sub with the purchase of a 30 oz drink.

  • McDonald's was having their free fries with any purchase Friday today.  I completely forgot about it and it's a good thing because I was starving today and I already ate too much.

  • Today is Double Points Day for Powerade cap code on MyCokeRewards. I only had 1 Powerade cap so I earned 6 MCR points.

  • I spent the afternoon mostly working on the computer while watching episodes of Law & Order on the DVDs borrowed from the library. 

  • I wanted to put Season 3 of Law & Order on hold at the library, but I was disappointed to see that they don't have season 3, 4 or 5. So I put Season 6 on hold.  Then I'll have to skip to Season 10 and then Season 12 and then it's over, I think.  I guess I need to put the series on my thrift store wishlist.  I checked Netflix and Amazon Prime and they don't have them either.  And boy, even the used DVDs on Amazon are expensive.  Arrgh.

  • Michelle, another of my wonderful readers, emailed me a bunch of Coke product codes for me to enter on MyCokeRewards!  Thanks so much Michelle, your sweetness is very much appreciated!  I'm going to keep them until they have one of those double points entry days around the holidays (today is only for Powerade and I don't know which codes might be Powerade or not).

  • Dinner was chicken teriyaki, cooked in the crockpot. I also cooked some white rice in the microwave.

  • More infant gas drops for the kittens. I had my daughter pick up 2 bottles this time.

  • Gas and tolls for Greg's trip back from the airport (he won't expense those, grrr.)

  • I forgot to set a timer when I was boiling the eggs so they boiled for several times 10 minutes. They'll be hard-rock boiled now!

  • Some people, like yours truly, should only cook recipes that come in bullet points because paragraphs are hard to read and then they don't read them and then they mess up the recipe...

  • Did a load of kitten laundry
  • Printed my son's school assignment
  • Kitten duty
  • Called my mom and left a message
  • Texted with Greg
  • Put dinner in the crockpot
  • Put away laundry
  • Filed some paperwork
  • Washed the 2 main litterboxes
  • Swept part of the entryroom
  • Kitten duty
  • Cleaned kitten litter box
  • Moved the playpen to the Cat Room
  • Relocated the kittens
  • Mopped the downstairs bathroom
  • Boiled eggs
  • Troubleshot my son's PC
  • Reconfigured his Wifi connection
  • Reconnected the printer
  • Installed Firefox, Acrobat Flash and Acrobat Reader
  • Printed coupons
  • Updated Malwarebytes and ran it
  • Finished inputting receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Wrote and published my weekly grocery shopping post
  • Kitten duty with daughter and son
  • Extra long cuddle time with 2 sleepy kittens on me while my daughter played with the 3rd
  • Texted with Greg

  • I really need to get back on the wagon. Last night I was craving chips and salsa so I indulged while watching Law & Order.  I need to go back to logging my food to make sure that I have the calories allotment for that!

  • And, ahem, today I had some danish, more chips and salsa, and some turkey on crackers.  Those were my snacks!

  • For a good night's sleep
  • For spying a cardinal at the feeder this morning. Watching birds brings me joy.
  • For Greg coming home to me, even for just a short while
  • For 2 sleepy kittens cuddling on my for a long time this afternoon. So precious!


The kittens slept for 8.5 hours last night, I even had to wake them up!  Eating all that cereal (they really go to town and I let them eat their fill) sure seems to make them sleepy.  However, now I'm second guessing my decision to switch them to rice cereal... it should did produce a stool for Tabby Kitty who had been backed up (again!) but the back end of it was liquid, and Princess Poopy Bottom was gassy last night and this morning and had a little bit of the squirts as well.  I gave them all infant gas drops but stuck with the rice cereal this morning, we'll see how they do today.

They are so playful!  The boys, especially, like to attack one another and roughhouse.  Tabby Kitty loves to chew on my hand and my fingers and boy, does that hurt when he chooses the sensitive pads of my middle finger or my ring finger!

They're also more adventurous.

The boys have been trying to decide whether they want to jump from the futon or not... not today!
Dark Explorer was trying to bat at his sister's tail this morning but he's still a little uncoordinated so it was comical to watch him try and miss all the time, but quite a lot. But he's acquired that reflex that cats have to lick their paw and rub it on the side of their muzzle and over one ear to clean themselves. He's the first that I observed doing that.

Also, he's the first to have figured out how to use the sides of the playpen to propel himself onto the towel that covers the "bedroom", which is the cardboard box where they sleep most of the time. He did that several times last night and I was wondering if I was going to find him in the middle of the living room at 3 a.m.!  Good thing he slept like a log.

I still have them in the living room at 8:30 a.m. as they are asleep, again. Once they're up for the next feeding, I'll move the playpen back into the Cat Room.  It shakes things up over there, although the older female cats are irritated and then hiss and spit at each other and at poor Male Cat every time they pass one another.

Later on... I feed the kittens at 10:15 a.m. and then moved them back to the Cat Room. They were asleep and remained asleep until I fed them at 3 p.m.  This time I put the cereal into a larger saucer (for 2) and one of the smaller ones and I fed them all at once.  I'm worried that neither boys peed (although one unknown kitten had peed in the litterbox) and Princess PB only had a few drops. So I gave them all some formula with the eyedropper.  One of the boys, not sure which one, had a big belly grumble so I expect someone might get diarrhea again.

After feeding time, Tabby Kitty went back into the "bedroom" and started to fall asleep while my daughter and I played with the other two. I felt bad for Tabby Kitty so I picked him up again and settled on the couch and he made himself very comfy on my right shoulder and went back to sleep.   Dark Explorer was playing with my daughter.

Then Dark Explorer came and settled himself in the crook of my left arm and started falling asleep too. Meanwhile, Princess PB was on my son, playing.  New Kitty was circling around, without hissing this time, and she finally jumped up on my son and got herself comfortable on his legs, just like Male Cat had done yesterday.

And then Princess PB started playing with her tail so I asked my daughter to take a video.  New Kitty was being very good and didn't protest.  Eventually, though, she jumped off his lap and went to lie down in the sun.

Then I returned the kittens to the playpen, reluctantly, as both of them were very very comfy and dead to the world, lol. I wonder if they'll still do that when they're older :)

Look at Dark Explorer, LOL!  He was completely conked out.
Did you get any cuddle time with anybody today?


  1. The kittens look really small when they are next to the adult cat. Hope Greg's visit back is a good one for everyone.

    1. Thank you. We were talking last night and he said that both his mom and sister agree that his dad is going downhill fast, but the nurse who's been visiting says that he's doing OK and could still hang on for several more weeks or months, it's just hard to tell. So Greg could be gone for a week or an extended period of time, we just don't know. It's lucky for everybody that he is able to work from his parents' home, though.

      The kittens are growing but it's true that they are still so tiny compared to the adult cats. And New Kitty, which whose tail Princess Boppy Bottom was playing yesterday, is the smallest of the three older cats! They are fearless, though. Dark Explorer got right into New Kitty's face last night and we all went "oh!" and held our breaths but she chose to just walk away and didn't hiss or spit or anything, for which we received much MUCH praise from all of us, lol.

  2. Again, that video clip is just too cute!

    I hope things go well for Greg's visit to Ohio. Not sure what that should mean, but I'm keeping everyone in my thoughts.

    1. Thank you, Pixel. We're like you and everyone else, unsure of what a "good" outcome would be at this point.

  3. Adventurous kittens! Love the video of Princess PB playing with New Kitty's tail! The bigger cats will eventually come to accept the kittens, or, at least, tolerate them!

    1. It's funny that, as you were typing your comment, I was typing on tonight's blog about New Kitty being kind of a butt today and how I read that you should rub a towel on one cat and then on the other, and then vice versa, to get them used to each other's smell so they become less aggressive faster. But they say it can still take weeks or months. Good grief! Still, I'm going to try the towel trick and see if it might work. They don't have to love each other, and certainly our house is large enough, but she does not to cool it down so I don't think that she's about to kill them, hahaha.

    2. While you were writing this post on Friday, I was busy putzing around in the Craft Room....and no, I am still not finished. On Saturday, my Sweetie and I drove up to Smith Falls and had a wonderful day with family. But today, I decided come hell or high water, I would sit at the computer and figure out the problems I have been having this past month.

      First of all, there was the printer. After following all the suggestions in the trouble-shooting guide, I eventually replaced the brand new colour cartridge with an old spent one.....still the same error message. I put the new one back in and took out the brand new black cartridge and replaced IT with an old one. Success! The printer is working. The brand new black printer cartridge has to be flawed, so I will mail it off to the company tomorrow. I order my cartridges directly from the manufacturer.

      Next problem was the "sudden" inability of viewing the videos on your blog, which meant the Adobe Flash wasn't working. This took most of the day to solve. I loaded Firefox, and then Chrome for Firefox, and then enabled the plugins for Chrome. Success again! I don't understand what the heck I am doing, but as long as it works, I am happy.

    3. I'm glad you had a great time with your family and boy, you did extremely well fixing BOTH your printer and your Flash problems! I'm like you, most of the time I don't know what the heck I'm doing but if I can fix it anyway, I'm fine!


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