Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Terrible Twos ~ Thursday 10/27/16

Source: Pinterest via Google Images

The Terrible Twos are here... the Terrible Two Months, that is.

I'd had enough of the kittens last night: after the peeing incident, they were chewing on everything again and I found Tabby Kitty chewing enthusiastically on the radio antenna cable of my stereo system (he chewed through half of it).  Yelling and clapping and removing them doesn't help!  They're not scared of me (and I'm dreading that one day they will be because they're my babies!), and removing them just results in them coming back and doing the same thing right away.  Oh and at dinnertime, they were all trying to eat the older cats' food too. Same thing, removing them. and they'd come back right away.  It's exhausting. I don't recall that we ever had those problems with the older cats but we only had one kitten-aged cat at a time so that's probably why. In our case, I think they egg each other on.  So I'm going to have to be tougher.  Common sense would dictate to get a water-spraying bottle (and I have one) but I can't spray when they're near electronics, which is almost all the time. Also, I'm afraid that scaring them might result in them randomly peeing.

Oh, and they leap now, from piece of furniture to piece of furniture.  Explorer was dangerously close to leaping onto my bookshelf that's near Greg's recliner, last night, the one that houses the few precious-to-me knick knacks: the cups from my grandmother, the Limoges pot that my great aunt passed down to me last year, Greg's old books... some things I can relocate or store until they calm down, others (books!) that will have to remain. Again, I cannot spray water towards the books!

Plus, we have tile and wooden floors throughout the house so spraying water could lead to someone slipping and falling.  So I'm going to have to find another solution.

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
    • 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
    • Declutter gardening supplies chest
    • Defrost the freezer - scrapped off the top of the ice layer. Will need to defrost the whole thing.
    • Vacuum living room
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put away the laundry
    • Iron
    • Mix a bottle of window cleaner for the kitchen
    • Sweep litter from upstairs - not needed today
    • Clean all three kitten litter boxes - cleaned the upstairs litter box as of right now (I'll clean the other two after we're done watching our show)
    • Wash big cat litterboxes -washed one of them today
    • Do the dishes 
    • Put the futon cover back on
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Post menu for next week (Monday)
    • Defrost meat for tonight - Done
    • Bake rolls
    • Make roselle jelly
    • Make Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola bars
    • Make crepes for the kids' snacks
    • Make Halloween cookies for kids (Monster Brownies?)
    • Marinade chicken for tonight - Done
  • Education
    • Start watching Photography lectures online (see email)
    • Write post about Colt Creek State Park visit
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Go for a walk with my camera - little lake near Downtown Clermont
    • Finish reading my library book (Mind Prey) - Done
    • Read "Escape Clause" (due on Tuesday) - Started
    • Finish watching Season 14 of Law & Order
  • Errands:
    • 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 a litter box at Family Dollar - Remembered that I had bought a "big cat litterbox" at the thrift store and that I was keeping it for when they were bigger and I'm thinking that they might be big enough for it now...
    • Go get floss 
  • 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
    • Water potted plants
    • Refill self-watering bins
    • Pull weeds from pots and bins
  • 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) 
    • Put together four-tier shelf - Done
  • 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!
    • 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
    • Track groceries in spreadsheet - Done
    • Post this week's shopping trip details - Done
    • Recap October's groceries and eating out
    • Input receipts in spreadsheets - Done

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

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

  • I aired out the house and turned off the AC. It is 66F at 7:45 a.m. and our high is supposed to be 83F, much like yesterday.  Update: I was able to leave the windows open until 12:30 p.m. but by then it was 77F in the house, which is slightly too warm for us. We're wimps!

  • After telling me he was definitely going to the office today (and my prepping his breakfast so all I would have to do was cooking it), Greg decided to work from home today. I have mixed feelings about it, as usual: he saves us about $20 in gas and tolls and I get to have him at home at all. Those are pluses.  But he usually has about 4-5 conference calls a day, so I have to turn off the music or the TV if they are on (I usually am listening to classical music or jazz) and he speaks very loudly so using earphones doesn't work.  Also I'm never as productive when he works from home than when I'm alone.  No matter, for today all I had planned to do was sit with my new library book. Maybe I'll go sit on the patio and let him deal with the kittens. Oops, too late, one just settled herself on my chest.  So much for that, lol!

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

  • I was selected to participate in an at-home product test via Swagbucks and if all goes well, I think I should get 700 SB. I said "I think" because I forgot to take a screenshot of the offer!  In the meantime, qualifying for the test earned me 75 SB, which allowed me to meet my first daily goal.  Then I took a couple of double point Peanut Lab surveys which carried me beyond my 2nd daily goal, woohoo!
  • I uploaded a 30% off CVS store coupon to my ExtraCare card.

  • I downloaded and printed a short Betty Crocker cookbook that they had emailed me.  I actually liked every recipes in it.  Sigh, more recipes to file.

  • Greg and I had leftovers for lunch.

  • The first season of "Homeland" is waiting for me at the library. Since I haven't finished the 14th season of Law & Order yet and I have to read the latest John Sandford book by Monday (and I'm having a hard time liking it so far...), I'll wait a few days before checking out "Homeland".

  • I was able to order a free 8 x 10 reprint with store pick-up from Walgreens with code MYSTERY (exp 10/29) thanks to a Slickdeals poster!  I picked the Fake-Viagra-Commercial photo of Greg fishing that I took back on 10/9 because I liked it, actually :)

  • I put together the four-tier wire shelf that I bought at Aldi this week ($8.99). It's a little flimsy but on the plus side, I didn't need any tools to put it together and now that corner near the sliding door doesn't look as messy.

  • While I was reorganizing it, I finally took a look at our son's hiking boots.  They're size 7.5 and the last time I bought him sneakers we got size 9 so the boots went into the donation box. Greg said "we should sell them on eBay!", which means "you should sell them on eBay", which means I'm donating them.

  • My daughter texted me that she was elected "most artistic" of her class for the yearbook. Woo!

  • She also picked me up a free asiago cheese bagel from Panera's with her "Free Bagel A Day" reward for the month!
  • I contacted Walgreens and Publix to compliment an employee at each of their store for their excellent customer service.

  • I reused rainwater for the indoor seedlings (that I still haven't transplanted) and the outdoor potted plants.

  • We received a check for $27 as a refund for overpayment on our Homeowner's Insurance Policy.

  • Discover sent a mailing in Greg's name with the same offer as the $10 off $30 at Kohl's that's been on Discover Deals but that he didn't get this month... I tried scanning it into my app and inputting the PIN code and, sure enough, it gave me $10 in Kohl's cash!  Woohoo! It expires 11/20.

  • For dinner, I decided to serve the cooked marinated chicken strips on tortillas as soft tacos instead of quesadillas. I made a big salad to go with it.  We have enough leftovers for Greg to have a big salad with chicken strips for lunch tomorrow.

  • Greg and I watched several episodes of "That 70's Show" on Netflix after dinner :)  I' m thinking that  at this point, it might make more sense to just buy all our favorite shows such as this one on DVDs because we rarely seem to watch anything else on Netflix anymore, and as Netflix is putting out more and more "original" content, I find myself watching it less and less often.  I like the convenience of having it, but I don't think we get out money's worth anymore.  I go through this every year and then I start watching it more just to get our money's worth.

  • Nothing today!

  • I had to compost 1 and 3/4 of cucumbers that had gone way too soft in the fridge.

  • Fed the kittens
  • Cooked Greg's my breakfast!
  • Aired out the house
  • Provided nap support for a kitten
  • Earned reward points
  • Cut up and marinated chicken for tonight's dinner
  • Cleaned upstairs litterbox
  • Cleaned upstairs sink and cabinet and toilet bowl
  • Provided nap support for a kitten
  • Took Swagbucks surveys
  • Texted with my BFF about her stove's coil replacement dilemma (offered her my camping stove but she didn't want it)
  • Recorded receipts in my spreadsheets
  • Wrote my weekly grocery shopping post
  • Cuddled with kittens
  • Chatted with son about graduation options
  • Gave Male Cat and Mean Kitty their dose of feline joint gel
  • Provided nap support for a kitten
  • Cooked dinner

  • It's the weirdest thing but this afternoon a pain started in the middle of my left palm and has been throbbing ever since. It feels like a rheumatism. Or could it be arthritis?  I don't know but it's annoying because it's not going away.  I might need to take ibuprofen.
  • For a beautiful day that allowed me to keep the windows open until 12:30 p.m.
  • For bantering with Greg and the kids at dinnertime.


Greg was looking out the windows into our backyard tonight at about 5:45 p.m. and exclaimed that there were lots of birds in our backyard so I went to see and sure enough, there were a lot of small brownish birds on the ground, under the oak tree between our house and the neighbors' house.  There were also 2 birds on the electric wire that looked blue and red from where we were so I got excited thinking they were maybe Painted Buntings, but I couldn't take any pictures because of the screens. So I went outside (and all the little brown birds flew away!) but the sun was behind the birds so it was hard to see the colors. So I changed the camera's setting to "Super Vivid" so the colors in all the following pictures have been intensified.

I think it's an Eastern Bluebird, after all.

A cone flower has regrown!

Tomato flowers. I have GOT to refill the self-watering bins. I've been a terrible gardener ever since the kittens have appeared.

The volunteer vincas are beautiful.  The potted vincas are almost dead :(

Our crotons. I love their Fall colors!


Greg used his back scratcher to grab the kittens that had gotten on the bookshelf next to his chair during his conference calls today!

Princess and Explorer spent a couple of naps on the pillows instead of me, but later on Explorer took a very long nap on me...

While Princess and Tabby Kitty were enjoying the comfort of the cat tree basket!


  1. Oh, no! Not the terrible twos! LOL. Good luck with training them not to chew on wires, etc. We had a cat who used to bat at the water when we tried to spray her! She thought we were playing with her!

    Your crotons look lovely! I need to go to shopping for some plants for the garden. It's looking so neglected.

    Hope you have a nice, productive day tomorrow.

  2. I remember those maddening days with kittens. We had one cat, Lucy, who was a chewer and no shoe string or electrical cord was safe with her. She could sever them in just a couple of bites. The other cats went through a chewing phase, but outgrew it as they usually do. However, Lucy's chewing/severing phase went on for years. It's a good thing that kittens are so cute or I'm not sure we'd tolerate their wild behavior.

    1. You got that right! I need to find ways to hide or protect the wires before they get hurt. Or do a whole lot more yelling. I actually don't like the yelling but it was effective with the older cats who are pretty well behaved now but don't like me much. The three of them together are a hoot and I love them to pieces,but they are also VERY challenging. I am ready for them to calm down, now. They don't get spayed/neutered for another 4 months, though.

  3. It's been forever since we've had a young kitten in the house, so I don't remember what we did about the chewing issue. We probably had a lot less electronics then. Or maybe our kittens weren't chewers.

    Your garden looks a lot more interesting than ours. We have three citrus trees that sort of linger on the brink of dying, but every few years they do produce some fruit.

    1. We didn't even have that many cables just 2-3 years ago! They really love the slender ones from various chargers and earbuds. So since we both have a Kindle and iPhone and we each use our earbuds/earphones at lot, the kittens are in heaven. Plus all the charging cables on Greg's desk for the modem, router, ethernet switch box, my external drive... and the cables behind the TV stand. Arrgh. I do remember that in the past, I only had to tell our then-kitten to stay away from behind the TV stand. Now, I feel like I'm telling them "Stop chewing on this!" every 10 seconds. They're like little rodents, hahaha. They also love trying to chew on the corners of my library books. It's just like having babies, we have to keep everything out of their reach. Only babies don't climb and jump on everything!

      My orange tree is definitely dying. This year's crop is going to be very tiny. Right now one orange is actually orange (which is early, I think that usually they don't ripen until early December). I'm not even sure if I'll harvest them. I didn't last year. They don't taste good and I still have marmalade that I had made 2 years ago!


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