Monday, October 17, 2016

Domestic Law & Order ~ Monday 10/17/16

Well, well, well, Domestic Monday is here again, taunting me.  I've noticed that my enthusiasm for domestic chores (well, the little I had) has completely disappeared since we've gotten the kittens.  I'd rather spend the day watching them and cuddling them than doing laundry or mopping the kitchen!

However, laundry must be done.  But since I also need to watch Season 12 of Law & Order because it's due at the library on Wednesday, today is going to be a mash-up Domestic Monday/Couch Potato Day.

The kittens spent the night on their own in my bedroom again.  The new routine seems to work: I come in the bedroom in the morning, they jump off the bed and start eating/drinking, I plop each one of them at a time in the litter box.  If they don't decide to pee right away, they go back on their own after they've drank or eaten a little bit. I sit on the floor next to them until all three have gone and then I grab them to go downstairs once they get ready to start playing.

So far, so good, no more peeing outside of the litter box.  Soon they'll be old enough to sleep downstairs with the other cats and I can reclaim my bedroom.

Greg went back to work this morning but our son didn't have school today.  Friday was the last day of the first grading period so today is a Teachers Only day for them to produce the report cards.  So I didn't set an alarm for myself either.  I woke up when Greg got out of the shower and then I dealt with the kittens so I didn't get a chance to cook him breakfast. He made himself a PBJ.

I've been terrible at commenting on blogs over the weekend, I apologize. I have read the blog posts and just been lazy at commenting.  Feel free to pay me back by not commenting either :)

I'm posting my long To Do List to keep myself motivated this week.  There are several things that are being crossed off since I accomplished them this weekend, and I hope to accomplish some more by Friday :)

  • 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 - in progress
    • Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two) - I think I'm also going to add "and don't leave your literature either, I'll vote for the other party if you do!"
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets - Partly done
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter shelves over printer stand 
    • Declutter storage bench 
    • Declutter printer stand
    • 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
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
    • Clean downstairs bathroom
    • Clean my walking shoes
    • Do laundry  - Done
    • Fold laundry
    • Put laundry away
    • Vacuum living room - Done
    • Sweep litter from upstairs - Done
    • Clean kitten litter boxes- Done
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Post menu for next week 
    • Defrost meat for tonight -Done 
    • Bake Fresh Pear Torta - Done
    • Bake cinnamon raisin cranberry bread
    • Bake pumpkin pie
    • Make Roselle jelly
    • Make lemon poppyseed bread in breadmaker - Made Blueberry Swirl Sour Cream Bread instead
    • Make Grape Nuts - Done
  • Education
    • Follow up with son about driving handbook studying -Done 
    • Follow up with son about Optimist Club essay -Done 
    • Start watching Photography lectures online (see email)
    • Write posts about General Van Fleet Trail and research flora and fauna
    • Same with Colt Creek State Park
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Sign up for ranger hike in local nature preserve at the end of the month
    • Go for a walk with my camera - little lake near Downtown Clermont
    • Ask Greg if want to go to Wings and wildflower festival then Lake Griffin Park? Or Lake Harris? We went
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump - Done
    • Drop off pet coupons at SLAL thrift store
    • Mail Labels for Education to elementary school 
    • Go to Ace to get new broom handle for rubber broom and solar rechargeable batteries for the front yard solar lights -need to see which handle would fit.
    • Buy Greg a bike
    • Buy Nature's Miracle from Petco - Done
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Pull the raspberries and add roses in pots in their place
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Turn the composting bin
    • Harvest the roselles
    • Plant wildflower seeds!
    • Refill rest of cat litter jugs at rainbarrel 
    • Move all pots back in place - Done
    • Plant seedlings outside
    • Deadhead the roses  - Done
    • Water potted plants - Done
    • Water Peace Lily  - Done
    • Put suet cake on feeder pole
    • Measure diameter of feeder "tray" and get new bowl from thrift store
    • Add mealworms to tray feeder
  • 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 - pulled the futon mattress and put it back on
    • Log food into My Fitness 
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays) 
  • Kittens/Cats
  • 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
    • 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
    • Strengthen BlueTooth transmitter's cord with electric tape (in SUV) 
    • Pour Drano down the kitchen sink (for maintenance)
    • Schedule free in-home estimate with BathFitters
  • 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 September 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
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Start proceedings for deleting Yahoo Mail account
    • Compare genealogy family sheet (see email inbox) with what I have in my database
    • Replace music on my phone
    • Clip coupons I printed - Done
    • Sort the coupons 
    • Take RaceTrac surveys - Done
    • Update Net Worth document
    • Record receipts in spreadsheets - Done
    • Install Photoshop Elements 10 on son's PC

  • I packed leftovers for Greg's lunch.

  • I brewed a pot of coffee, using half the free decaf coffee I had won from Wawa.

  • Speaking of Wawa, they emailed me that the freebie of the week (with their Rewards app and a gift card uploaded to it) is a Shorti hoagie.  I'll get it when I go shopping tomorrow.

  • Kellogg's emailed me a code for one of 2 Shutterfly freebies. I'd love 101 reprints for the photo album I'm supposed to put together for my daughter's graduation, but their shipping costs are high so I probably won't bother with it.

  • I mixed a batch of Grape Nuts cereal for Greg and completed the initial bake.

  • I did 3 "super" loads of laundry in cold/cold.

  • I watched several episodes of Law & Order, using DVDs borrowed from our library system.

  • I tracked all our expenses from this weekend in my spreadsheets.

  • I took 2 RaceTrac surveys and earned survey reward codes for 2 new freebies.

  • My lunch was the Chinese food leftovers from last night and some potato salad from Publix, also left over from last night.

  • I reused an empty cat litter jug from Aldi by cutting it in half and using the bottom half, lined with a plastic bag that I was going to recycle, to hold the contents of the sifted kitten litter box from upstairs and the pooper scooper that I had gotten from Dollar Tree. It's too flimsy for the older cats' litter box but works OK for the kittens.  I'm leaving the kit'n caboodle (ha! See what I did there?!) in the upstairs bathroom and I'll throw it away every couple of days. You know... to make it worth the plastic bag!

  • By the same token, I pulled several plastic bags from my recycling stash to use as liners for this new poop'n pee collection box.  No need to waste waste bags, ha!

  • Several packages containing Christmas gifts came in. They were put away in their hidey hole. You know what else came in?  My new Ryk√§ walking shoes!  Pixel and all the commenters were absolutely right, as soon as I put them on, I thought that I had never put on such comfortable shoes (apart from my first pair of Nike's that I had bought on clearance and were like slippers and oh boy, I miss those sooooo much!).  I've only worn them for 5 minutes around the house so far but they feel so light and cushiony, I don't think I'll need those $30 worth of insoles that I bought last week (and that are so freaking uncomfortable).  Well, I hope I don't. I can't wait to go on a walk with Greg to really try them out!  I bought them half a size larger than my usual size on the advice of several commenters because they reminded me that your feet really swell when you walk  a lot.

  • I lit a new candle from Bath & Body Works today, "Sweater Weather" although the AC is running and we won't need sweaters until February down here, lol. It really smells very good. I think I might have to buy more of that one and also of the Autumn Morning, next time they have a sale on candle. What?  It's my new addiction :)

  • I took a survey about our visit to Colt Creek State Park a couple of weekends ago. There is a drawing for a free Florida State Parks annual pass, which we would like to win, of course!

  • I would like to clip my coupons now but a kitten has decided to take her nap on my shoulder. She is a mommy's girl and I love it ;)  Oh wait, she moved to my chest, freeing up my arms, and I was able to clip my coupons. Thank you, Princess! Tabby Kitty helped me clip them.

He tried clipping them by chewing them out, but that didn't really work.  I had to ask him to
stop "helping".

  • I enrolled Greg's Amex card in the Shop Small Businesses promotion, whereby we will earn double the rewards when we shop at local small businesses through the end of the year when paying with our Amex cards.

  • I baked a Fresh Pear Torta with the pears I had bought from Save A Lot over a week ago.  There was minimal waste.

  • I washed the comforter from the couch (I spilled something else on it!) and dried it outdoors.

  • In the meantime, Youngest Son helped me put the actual futon cover back on the mattress and turn it as well.
Well maybe we didn't turn the mattress? It looks suspiciously flat on the far end
where I usually sit... crap!  The towel on the floor is there on purpose. It hides all my
electronic charger cables from the kittens and their sharp little teeth.
  • I reused rainwater store in cat litter jugs to water my outdoor potted plants.

  • I unlocked new MobiSave rebates.

  • My daughter brought me a Coke product bottle cap :)

  • It only took 10 months, but I finally installed the licence plate holder that I had gotten at the thrift store last year.  I don't know why I's back and I have a black SUV so you really can't see it, lol.

  • Dinner was the Gold'n Plump Seasoned chicken breasts that I had gotten on clearance several weeks ago (I broiled them) and a box of Barilla pasta.  Simple and everyone liked it :)  For dessert, some of us had a piece of Fresh Pear Torta. Yum!

  • I baked a loaf of Blueberry Swirl Sour Cream Bread in the breadmaker for breakfast tomorrow.  I hadn't tried this recipe yet. I used orange zest that I had frozen earlier this year, and frozen blueberries that had been in the freezer far too long.

  • I brewed myself a cup of Lipton black tea with Bergamot by reusing the tea bag that I had used yesterday.

  • Middle Son's subscription to Popular Photography (that I got for him for free) still comes in to my house, and I was excited to see this month's issue because it promised to talk about learning how to take better close-up photos. Well, I don't take macro photos but I would like to.  Unfortunately, the material needed is very expensive and the process is way too technical for me.  Photography can be quite an expensive hobby!  I'll pass the issue along to Middle Son when I see him next.
Interesting how their tagline isn't "How to TAKE great pictures" but "How to MAKE great pictures", isn't it?

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

  • I didn't feel like hanging the laundry on the racks so I used the dryer for all 3 loads.

  • I want that T-shirt and I'm going to buy it for myself.  So there.
I think it was from Catalog Favorites.

  • I have now eaten all the bags of M&Ms that I had bought on clearance and planned on putting in the kids' stockings at Christmas.  Bad, bad, Nathalie, in more ways than one!

  • Kitten duty
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Fed adult cats
  • Mixed and baked Grape Nuts
  • Did the laundry
  • Picked up cat barf and hairballs (Mean Kitty had a couple of accidents)
  • Played with kittens
  • Recorded receipts in my spreadsheets
  • Took customer satisfaction surveys
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Turned a cat litter jug into a collection bin
  • Swept off spilled litter upstairs
  • Made Greg's bed
  • Washed the comforter from the futon (I had spilled something)
  • Vacuumed the living room and futon
  • Asked for son's help and turned mattress over and around and put futon cover back on mattress
  • Put mattress back on futon with son's help
  • Swept hallways, exercise room, breezeway
  • Cleaned kitten's downstairs litter box
  • Tried on my new walking shoes!
  • Provided nap support to a kitten
  • Clipped coupons
  • Wrote and mailed a greeting card
  • Baked pear torta
  • Emptied countertop composting bin into the large one
  • Watered outdoor potted plants
  • Put the pots back in their places
  • Took pictures of the garden
  • Deadheaded the roses
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Unlocked new rebates
  • Installed license plate frame on my SUV
  • Cooked dinner
  • 2nd bake of Grape Nuts
  • Collected trash throughout the house and took it down to the curb, along with yard waste
  • Flipped through photography magazine (read 2 articles)

  • Uh, let's not talk about this right now.

  • But I did get my new walking shoes and I'm really excited about them!

  • A few hours in... well, they're comfy but they're not magical because my heel still hurts. Gotta do the stretching exercises!
  • For a pretty good day
  • For comfy new shoes


I spotted this feather stuck upright like this, in between 2 concrete sections of my driveway, tonight.
Looks like some bird claimed my driveway as its own!
I put the pots back on the berm. Nothing is in the right place and some of the plants don't look
very good. My lantana has completely died, but I had bought the plants in Spring 2014 so I did get
2.5 years out of them!

I wanted to harvest the roselles but I knew I wouldn't be making the jelly today. Maybe Wednesday afternoon...

Greg put the bird bath here when he took it out of the shed after the hurricane didn't come.
I kind of like it there so it might stay.  I haven't put water in it, though, because of the whole Zika thing.
However, bees and butterflies also need water so I think I will refill it.

The Red Canna is growing new shoots.

A group of sandhill cranes flew overhead, calling very loudly as they went.

A guest basil plant that was growing in a self-watering bin that used to house tomatoes has grown quite a bit!

The sweet potato vine had grown over this bin, so I had buried parts of the vine in the garden soil to see if it would regrow
potatoes in there.

The kale is surviving and doing pretty well, but it's also being overtaken by weeds. I need to pull them.

Guest Bibb lettuces are doing OK but I need to harvest them this week, I think. They're getting kind of leggy.

This is blurry but it's the guest collard green plant that is growing in a corner of a bin.  I wonder how large it will get.

My potted vincas are doing poorly but the guest vincas that have been reseeding themselves in the cement blocks bordering one of my gardening beds are doing awesomely.

Tomato plants that had reseeded themselves are still flowering.

I think the baby aloe plants that I had put in ground have all died, but the main plant that I had put in a larger
pot and in partial shade seems to be doing OK.

My weird, stunted roselle plant still looks weird and stunted!

These are roselles that grew on the stem that had broken off on the 3rd roselle plant.

My hibiscus had new blooms on it today, hooray!

I have a couple new pink roses getting ready to open.


Princess looks terrifying, doesn't she?!
Actually, she was just yawning after waking up from a long nap.  Look at her baby top teeth :)

Do you think Explorer did this?  Well, yes, he did!
But he looks so innocent, all curled up on a pillow!  I love his fuzzy little paws!

Big Male Cat and Little Male Cat, carefully eyeing each other... No, Male Cat did NOT help Tabby Kitty get up on the chair, and Tabby Kitty wanted to jump up but was hesitant because Male Cat is so BIG.

Look at that silly face Princess was making at the camera as she was waking up from a nap taken on my chest this afternoon.  I've joked that I was going to paint her claws pink so I can distinguish her better than Explorer because from some angles, it's hard to tell them apart!
I hope you had a nice start to your week, everyone.


  1. Looks like you showed that To Do list who's boss! :D

    1. Forget the T-shirt, I need a banner to hang in the house!

  2. We have two tabbies from the same litter, male and female, that we've had for 13 years and it's still hard to tell them apart sometimes. Often it's based more on their behavior than their looks. It's funny to see how Explorer is covering up the dishes every day. I wonder what that means.

    1. It's a good thing they seem to have different personalities, then, eh? Greg wants me to put a little pink Tutu on Princess or something.

      I just looked up the food covering behavior and apparently it's very common and an instinct to protect food from predators. The bath towel that I put under the food bowls to protect my carpet is making it much easier for him, I suppose!

  3. I cracked up when I read your failure comment. I also think the bloodbath looks good there.

    1. Ah, Sandie... what bloodbath? Methinks autocorrect is playing tricks on you? LOL.

  4. Wow you have achieved loads this weekend, I think you deserved a law and order couch only day today. I think its funny I always used to be so impressed at how you always did Greg breakfast but I laughed when I read that Greg made pb&j because you were busy with the kittens. Xx

    1. Please continue to be impressed... I need someone to be impressed, Tara, LOL!

  5. Wow, look at you go. All those green "DONE"s from the weekend must have compelled you to keep on deeping on. You sure did accomplish a ton of stuff.

    Your pear torta looks wonderful. I love that T-shirt. You should totally get it. Love the photos of the garden. It looks like the flowers are coming the Fall. It must be beautiful weather for the flower beds. Did I tell you that I lost one of my potato bins after just one summer? When I picked it up to dump out the dirt, it just disintegrated.

    About your kitty covering his food bowl (with food still in it)? Don't be surprised if he continues to scratch the floor around the dish, even though you removed the towel. The instinct to bury uneaten food will still be there.

    1. It sure explains why Male Cat sometimes tries to "dig to China" on the tile floor, although he's usually quite far from his food bowl!

      I do want that T-shirt. I need to order it.

      Flower beds? What's that?! I'm a very, very poor landscaper. Remember those wildflower seeds I ordered and I was going to plant? That still hasn't happened and I should have planted them last month. But I need to dig out flower beds first, somewhere... I envy Bless's gardener right now.

      I'm not surprised about the potato bin. Those plastic bins look strong but they're no match for the sun rays. Have you tried just making a "container" will wood pallets? I have a special bag that I had gotten for free from a catalog as an introductory offer, and I keep on forgetting to use it.

  6. That T-shirt is fantastic! And thanks for posting a link to the pear torte recipe. I copied it and printed it out. It looks yummy!

    1. Let me know if you make it! I wanted to make another one this week but my Aldi didn't get the Bosc pears that were on sale in time for my shopping trip :(


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