Friday, October 21, 2016

Not Much Going On ~ Friday, 10/21/16

Greg couldn't believe that it was already going to be Friday, last night but to me yesterday felt like a Friday so today is a... bonus day?

The kittens had another successful night in my bedroom on their own last night.  Tabby Kitty even climbed the stairs all by himself at 10 p.m. to go night-night!  The others are being transported in a laundry basket. For now they're too busy keeping their balance in there instead of jumping out.  They definitely try to jump out when I'm carrying them in my arms, and since they've quadrupled in size since we first got them, it's a little challenging maneuvering steep, narrow stairs with an armful of squirmy kittens with claws :)

I went to retrieve them this morning at about 6:35 a.m, as usual, and there was evidence that a couple of them at least had peed in the litter box overnight so hooray!  I don't like the idea of them holding their pee for so long (my bladder hurts just thinking about it!).  Yet both the boys visited the litter box as soon as I sat down on the ground next to them. Princess was really thirsty, she drank forever.  The water bowl is right there in the room with them so I don't get why she doesn't get up to drink. I guess she must be very comfy on my duvet!

They are wild in the mornings!  Jumping and running at full speed, climbing everywhere, fighting (playing), being adventurous!  It's too bad it's still so dark (and we don't have overhead lighting) because then none of my early morning pictures, when they're at their most funny, turn out: the flash washes out everything or doesn't come in on time and they're already in the next room over.  So this is why you mostly see pictures of them asleep in the afternoons nowadays.

This morning it was very foggy.

I'm not sure why since it hasn't rained in days and it hasn't been particularly hot either.  Just a few minutes ago, at 8 a.m., I realized that it was still foggy so I went outside to take a picture, realized that it was quite cool (the outside thermometer registered less than 70F) so I opened a bunch of windows throughout the house to air it out.

It feels very nice and the older cats at least are really enjoying this.  The kittens don't seem to care. I just realized that I had forgotten to open the windows in my son's bedroom, the one that needs it the most, but now I have two kittens (always Princess and Explorer) who have just settled down on me for their first nap of the day.  Awwwww.... still, I have to make them move as I do need to air out his room and also turn off the dehumidifier in the bathroom.  Sorry kitties :(

There are a couple of errands I want to run in town today:
  • Family Dollar, where I hope to find an inexpensive tray-style litter box (the upcycled pain roller tray is now a little too small and there haven't been any at the thrift store, which is several miles away, while this store is less than 0.5 mile from my house).
  • Ace Hardware, where I want to buy a new handle for my rubber broom (I first need to measure the length that I want as it's available in several lengths and I want to make sure I don't pick one that'll be too small again!) and some solar rechargeable batteries for the solar lights up front.
  • Library, where I want to return a set of Law & Order DVDs and the book that I finished.
  • RaceTrac, to redeem a survey reward code for a free baked good for my son's snack (although we have pumpkin pie so maybe I'll skip that one)

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 - 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
    • Iron
    • Sweep litter from upstairs - Done
    • Clean kitten litter boxes - Done
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Post menu for next week (Monday)
    • Defrost meat for tonight - Done
    • Bake Double Pumpkin, Cranberry and Raisin Bread - Done
    • Make roselle jelly
  • Education
    • Start watching Photography lectures online (see email)
    • Write posts about General Van Fleet Trail and research flora and fauna - Done
    • 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 - I think I'm going to skip this. The hikes are 2 to 3 hours long and right now I can't imagine walking longer than 90 minutes at the most with my foot hurting still.
    • Go for a walk with my camera - little lake near Downtown Clermont
  • Errands:
    • 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
    • Meet BFF for coffee - Done
    • Return library materials
    • Buy a litter box at Family Dollar
  • 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).
    • Turn the composting bin
    • Plant wildflower seeds
    • Plant seedlings outside
    • Measure diameter of feeder "tray" and get new bowl from thrift store
    • Add mealworms to tray feeder - Done
  • 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 
    • 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
    • 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 (maybe, eventually and only if they stop calling me 3 times a day)
  • 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 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)
    • 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
    • Replace music on my phone
    • Take RaceTrac surveys 
    • Update Net Worth document
    • Install Photoshop Elements 10 on son's PC
    • Input receipts in spreadsheets
    • Clip coupons - Done
    • Sort coupons
    • Reply to my mom's email - Done
    • Research candidates on the ballot (before Wednesday)
  • Brewed a pot of half caf coffee using the free decaf coffee won from Wawa.

  • Packed a lunch of leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • Our son packed a lunch and rode the school bus.

  • The kittens and I are listening to classical music (and later on, smooth jazz!) on IHeartRadio and a kitten is playing a free video game for cats on my phone, lol.  Smooth jazz finally succeeded in putting them to sleep.

  • I printed a few coupons.

  • I noticed that one of my butternut squashes from Aldi already had blemishes so I set about making butternut squash soup.  I knew I loved it but I forgot how much I love it! 

  •  I had a big bowl for lunch and also made a fried egg sandwich.  

  • I saved the seeds from the squash to roast them at another time.

  • I had the notion to bake rolls to go with the rest of the soup, but I couldn't decide on a recipe, even though I remembered that I had a new bread machine book that I had bought from the Mount Dora library this summer.  So I ended up baking a loaf of Double Pumpkin, Cranberry and Raisin Bread.  This is why I can't be on a diet right now. It's a baking time of year!

  • I aired out the house until 12:30 p.m. and then I had to close the windows and turn the AC back on because it was 78F in the kitchen (and so hotter than that in my daughter's bedroom upstairs) and 77F in the living room.  The cats and I really enjoyed the opened windows, though. I can't wait until I can leave them open all day but they're predicting a warm winter so I don't know if I'll be able to.

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

  • I watched a few episodes of Law & Order (DVDs from the library). 

  • My daughter offered to redeem her Panera reward for a free bagel for me today since she was going out to Panera's.  That's sweet of her... I'll take a free bagel any day!
Asiago bagel from Panera's
  • A couple of weeks ago, we got an extra delivery from the Orlando Sentinel on a Wednesday. It was actually a bunch of store sales flyers and also coupon inserts.  Several days later, I noticed that they had thrown one of those in the bushes that are behind the house that is catty corner from us (so the back of their side yard is facing my house) but no one was picking it up.  I waited and waited and waited.  Today, I decided to just retrieve it. I'm tired of staring at it and I'm quite sure that the guy who lives in that house won't be using coupons.  There were 2 sets of coupon inserts in there. Woohoo. No more "trash" and I'll probably put some of those coupons to good use. The plastic bag will be reused to clean one of my kitten litter boxes and the rest of the papers went into my recycling bin.

  • For dinner, I roasted chicken breasts in the wall oven (I didn't feel like dealing with the oven outdoors) and served the butternut squash soup as a side, with oyster crackers.  We used the new soup bowls I ordered from a catalog a few weeks ago. It was very yummy.

  • I saved the chicken bones by freezing them so I can make chicken stock at a later date.  I was also able to put away a whole breast and the meat picked from the other two breasts' bones for lunch tomorrow and there are 2 more servings of soup left over.

  • Last night, I received an email from Amazon that they hadn't received the rechargeable solar batteries that I had returned to them so I would be charged for them again (they had already refunded me).  Whaaaat?! I unearthed the UPS Store receipt that I had obtained after dropping off my package (always, always get a receipt when you return something, even if you're not paying for the postage!) and emailed them with the tracking number that showed that they had indeed received it. This morning they emailed back with an apology and said that I shouldn't have gotten that email. Phew!

  • I looked at the CVS and Walgreens ad previews for next week and made notes of what I'll be buying (not much).

  • I didn't run any errands today after all. I'll try to go tomorrow.

  • SavingStar released an offer for a 100% freebie. I'm not sure if I'll redeem it as I really hate those Jiffy corn muffins.

  • Aargh, stop me!  B&BW is having another candle sale and this time there's also a 25% off coupon which would make them less than $10 each and I really like a couple of the ones I bought recently so I want to stock up.  Crap, I really should stop buying those candles. But I love them!  I'm putting it off for now... Update; well, I didn't resist. I bought 4 candles, which means I got one for free, but then I had to pay for shipping. Oh well. Now that I know I can remelt that last half inch and make new candles out of them (I bought 100 wicks), I feel much less guilty about it. Plus I am enjoying one of those "Sweater Weather"- scented candles right now and it smells very very good.

  • Gas for my daughter to drive to Payless ShoeSource and also a pair of shoes for her to wear with her slacks at Traditions tomorrow.

  • Don't you hate it when technology makes it harder for you to accomplish what you wanted to do?  My daughter couldn't connect to the wi-fi printer this morning.  I had her email me her document so I could print it to the wired laser printer.  A small annoyance since we were able to print the document but an annoyance and waste of time nonetheless.

  • Then I went to print coupons from my son's PC.  I went straight to Mozilla Firefox since I have been unable to print coupons via Edge or Chrome on Windows 10 for a few weeks.  The computer asked me if I wanted to download the Firefox update and I foolishly said yes.  I should know better and never update anything because it never fails: the updates always screw something up. I was able to print from Redplum and Smartsource, but once again cannot print from I followed the instructions in the Help section under "Advanced Firefox instructions", restarted the browser, and then restarted the whole computer and I still can't print.  It's not the printer (although I did have trouble printing from that computer this morning at first as well, ever since we got the new router, it takes forever and a day for the WiFi printer to actually be connected to the Wifi!) and it's not the other sites since I CAN print from those. It's the freaking site and I'm sick of it.   I left them feedback but they don't reply and if they do, they always blame the user, never their own crappy product.  Things like these really put me in a bad mood. I have now wasted over 30 minutes trying to print those coupons and I still don't have them.  I'll have to try from my own laptop but since the laptop is set to update Firefox automatically, I'm not hopeful. Update: Firefox is updating on my laptop but in the meanwhile I was able to print a few coupons.  We'll see what happens after I restart FF or/and my laptop, I'll bet I'll have the same problems.

  • The kittens are chewing on everything and much more mobile these days and at times they're driving me (and the older cats) crazy!

  • Nobody is visiting my bird feeders!  Even the suet cake is still there.  I decided to use the bird bath as a "tray feeder" and put some dried mealworms in there, just in case.  There was only a little bit of water in it.  Also, I wanted to sit outside this morning but 2 sets of people were using very loud mowers around the house next to ours and the one in the back. Also, I'm back to having kittens sleeping on me at the moment, lol.

  • Yes, I'm full of complaints today.  My mom emailed with only "How is everything going?" in the text of the message. Can I confess that I'm sick and tired of providing my French family with news from everyone here and yet it's like pulling teeth for them to tell me anything about their lives?  I've asked my mom repeatedly about my sister and nephews and she's not answering. It's very tiresome to always be the one actually maintaining the relationship, much like with my older sons. Why couldn't she include a paragraph about what she's been up to, her health, the weather, anything?! What's new with me is that everyone is driving me crazy.  Anyhoo,  I just replied "Everything is fine, how about you?".  Passive aggressive, I guess.Update: it worked!  She wrote back a long paragraph, much longer than what's she'd written me up til now (for instance, she never really told me anything about her vacation in Corsica, nor shared any pictures...(

  • My daughter texted me from Payless and asked if $29.99 was OK.  The class is tomorrow and I didn't think she'd find anything cheaper apart from at a thrift store and she didn't want thrift store shoes. They needed to be dressy shoes.  So I said yes and then remembered to check Discover Deals and saw that I had saved a 10% off offer but she needed the printed offer. So I texted her right away to hold off on purchasing them and took a picture of it and texted it to her but she had put her phone back into her purse so didn't see my text.  Arrrgh. I should have CALLED her.

  • Kitten duty
  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Defrosting chicken breasts for dinner
  • Cleaned the 3 kitten litter boxes
  • Swept the spilled litter
  • Ran the dehumidifier in the downstairs bathroom
  • Aired out the house
  • Made Greg and our son's beds
  • Provided nap support for a couple of kittens for a short while
  • Printed a document for my daughter
  • Texted a reminder to my son about his library book that is due
  • Worked on my To Do list
  • Updated my "About Me" and "Contact Me" pages"
  • Let Tabby Kitty use my phone to play a video game :)
  • Inspected my flower pots and bird feeders outdoors
  • Added dried mealworms to the bird bath
  • Troubleshooting printing problems on my son's computer and the wifi printer
  • Printed a few coupons
  • Played with the kittens
  • Filtered water for the kittens
  • Made butternut squash soup
  • Baked bread in the bread machine
  • Worked on and published General Van Fleet/Polk County post
  • Clipped coupons
  • Roasted the chicken for dinner
  • Ran a load of dishes

  • My foot still hurts. I forgot to wear my shoes in the house until after noon and I've been forgetting to do the stretching exercises. I'm a terrible patient.
  • For a cool morning and the opportunity to air out the house
  • For my daughter getting me a free bagel :)
  • For news from my mom


I had forgotten the pot of parsley that I had stashed behind some of the bushes in preparation
for the hurricane.  It looks the best it's ever looked AND there's a baby basil plant growing in the pot too!

The basil also reseeded itself in this pot .

The hibiscus flowers today were gorgeous!  Large and a very deep dark pink.

And my rose bushes are loving the cooler weather and the fact that I watered them recently.  I have several
blooms on all three bushes.

I put the peace lily outside since it's poisonous to cats and the kittens are chewing on everything.  It finally has a new "flower" opening up.

Tabby Kitty can't help himself... every time he sees a plate or cup, he (soon followed by his siblings), has to leak it to get a taste of what was on/in it!

Naptime and oh boy, look at all my gray hair that I didn't know I had!  And I sure hope it's not a bald spot on my head....

Mean Kitty was (finally!) enjoying a moment in the sun on the new Ripple Rug when one (and soon two and three!) kitten decided to pay her a visit.  She hissed...

And decided to walk away and let them play on the rug.

"Is she gone?!"


Male Cat was trying to ignore the commotion: "I'm in my happy place, I'm at my happy place!"

New Kitty balancing on the back our son's chair. She's amazing that way!

LOL, another reason to call her Mean Kitty!  I just can't seem to get a picture of her where she doesn't look evil :)

But she's cute, no?

You wouldn't believe all the scratches and scars on my legs... the kittens love playing on my legs in the mornings!  They look angelic but they're naughty little kittens!
Do you have any scars?  What's the story?


  1. Aww, look at all those cute little kitties! Mean Kitty looks fed up about being ousted from the rug! I've scars, too, from when I get scratched by Dancer when he's playing and forgets to keep his claws to himself!

    1. Cats... you forget that within these cute velvety paws, they hide sharp, sharp blades!

  2. I don't like to update computer things either, but my husband, who works in cyber security, says that it is important. Besides new features, the updates often fix problems that make you vulnerable for hacks and other security problems. And if your operating system is Microsoft, you are especially vulnerable.

    1. In theory I agree but in practice I've stopped updating a lot of things. So far, so good, keeping my fingers crossed, not opening emails that come from people I don't know (and even contacting those I do know who send emails that might look questionable before I open them) and not visiting links or sites that also don't look reputable. They can steal your information on your iPhone with a simple iMessage nowadays, from what I read recently. Crazy!


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