Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weekly Recap: Sunday 11/20/16 through Saturday 11/26/16


Note on 12/25/16: I went through several weeks of depression in November/December which led me to withdraw from blogging every day and continues to make me feel very antisocial.  I actually wrote posts because I felt that it kept me busy and also I knew that I would want to re-read them at some point, but I never published them until today.  So this is why you might be seeing those old posts in your email or RSS Feed in late December...

Sunday 11/20/16

The double draft stoppers didn't work... the kittens escaped the bedroom and came to wake me up at 6:30 a.m.!  Greg got up at 7 a.m., our son at 7:30 a.m., and they left for their trip to Ohio at about 8:00 a.m.  My daughter has a late shift today.

It's cool, just 68F in the living room.  Our high today is going to be 65F so I'm not opening the windows :(  I'm NOT turning the heat on, even when it gets down to the 40s for the next 3 nights.

The kittens have been sleeping on me for a while now, it's almost 10 a.m.  I need to kick them off so I can refill my coffee and have breakfast!

So I am going to be mostly alone this week, I think. My daughter has work and classes and is planning on going to her dad's for Thanksgiving and since I'm not doing anything (didn't even buy ONE turkey this year!), I'm not accepting visitors either. I plan on lounging around the whole week and buying dinner every night because I'm not cooking. Well, I'll probably have to cook on Thursday as most places will be closed.

I made a list of shows to binge on, but then I remembered that I haven't watched the Harry Potter movies in so long (and only saw 1-4, originally, I think) and I just bought them on Google Play, so I'll probably watch those. I have to catch up on "The Americans", "The Good Wife", "Suits" and then there's "Downton Abbey" that I stopped watching after Season 2 and some other shows.  So I don't think I'll be bored.

Last night I earned a $5 Amazon gift card via Bing Rewards, but it wouldn't let me use my phone numbers to get the verification code. I contacted Customer Support but this morning, it worked. Woohoo!  I now have $17 in gc on my Amazon account. I think I'm going to treat myself to the Complete Series of "Newsradio" on DVD because I love that show.


SavingStar credited my account with the Frito-Lay credits, woo, 1 whole cent?!  I guess better than nothing, though :)



The paper was in the driveway this morning and I asked Greg to retrieve it for me before he left. There were 2 coupon inserts and a Publix coupon insert.

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

I uploaded digital coupons to my Publix wallet.

I printed Swagbucks coupons via Firefox.  I can't print them from my son's PC anymore because I allowed Firefox to be updated on his so I'm glad that my laptop is set up that I have to agree to any update... I'm not updating it so I can continue to print coupons. It's insane!

However, Redplum once again won't let me print. Oh well.

I also uploaded new CVS store coupons to my app.

I spent $5 on Groupon to buy a $10 Domino's gift card that will come in handy this week. Sweet!


I feel purposeless... I keep flitting from program I said I was going to watch to the next. Nothing is holding my attention.  I kind of feel like going for a bike ride but at the same time, not.  Maybe I should borrow a library book and read.  Btw, Alexa got downloaded to my Kindle (and Greg's) automatically and we both disabled it. We don't like AI. Well, Greg likes it better than me although he's stopped using the Kinect on XBox One and Siri on his iPhone, I'm pretty sure. I absolutely HATE even the idea of it.  Ugh.

Well, I started watching "The Missing" on Starz via Amazon Prime, even though I don't have a subscription to Starz and it didn't ask me to subscribe and I don't seem to have gotten charged for it.... Hmmm.



My daughter and I made plans to go to World Market on Tuesday evening after her class. We'll have dinner out too.  It'll be nice to spend time together :)

I took 2 RaceTrac surveys and earned 2 more freebies.

I ordered "Newsradio, The Complete Series" from Amazon Warehouse Deals and paid for the whole thing with my Amazon gift cards, woohoo. Greg can give it to me for my birthday.


I had forgotten to check the mail yesterday so I did today and found a rebate check for $7.99 from Clearasil. It was supposed to reach me in mid October at the latest so better safe than sorry. I deposited it to our checking account via my bank's app.

I spent the afternoon watching "The Missing" and adding photos to the last 2 weeks of posts since I hadn't done that. I'm not ready to post them yet, but at least I've written them.

I fed all the cats.  My son being gone for a week means that I need to clean all 5 litter boxes too as well as feed them all.  I have my work cut out for me, ha.  I did it later on.

Explorer barfed up a piece of ribbon (thankfully he barfed it up!) that he had tried to eat, but all over the blanket that I use to sleep. So I did the laundry early this week.

I also prepped a batch of bread dough for the week. I'm planning on baking delicious boule bread every day.

Monday 11/21/16

Brrr!  It got cold last night, down to the 40s.  I had decided to let the kittens sleep downstairs since they keep on escaping the bedroom anyway. I've gotten a board that had been sitting on the porch for a few years and used a shelf to block access to the master bedroom since Princess loves getting in there and then hides instead of coming out when I'm trying to get her out (aargh!). But I didn't have another board handy to block my bedroom.

So I set up the 2nd futon as a bed, thinking I'd sleep on there and that if the kittens joined me, I'd have enough room to stretch.  However, they were very rowdy last night, jumping and playing straight past 11:30 p.m. so I finally turned off the TV and then they finally settled down. However, I wasn't comfortable on that futon at all so at 1:30 a.m., I went back to the one where I usually sleep.  Eventually, I found the kittens laying on top of me but since it was cold, it didn't bother me.  I expected New Kitty to come crying out for food this morning at 6 a.m. but I was allowed to sleep until 7:30 a.m. without hearing a peep from anyone.  The kittens had food in their bowls and kept eating through the night and when I woke up at 7:30, all three of them were sleeping like peas in a pod, atop me, lined up against the back of the futon, lol.  They were purring and playful and cuddling right away, which was a delightful way to wake up.

But I did have to get up to feed the adult cats and use the bathroom.  It was 64F in the living room (down to 62F at 9:21 a.m., possibly because I opened up the curtains) so the kittens ran around a tiny bit and then cuddled back with me on the couch. I made them a little nest with the blanket so they would feel warm.

My daughter is working late again tonight so she is sleeping in.  Greg and our son left NC and are on their way to his mom's in OH. They expect to be traveling all day.

I got some bread dough out of the fridge and it's resting so I can bake a loaf of delicious homemade bread for my lunch. I feel like making soup so I might make jalapeƱo soup as I have chicken that I need to cook and old avocadoes. I have sliced jalapeƱos in the freezer.

I wrote a Day Book and published it but turned off the comments.  I don't quite feel like being social just yet.  I was thinking about going to the library today and mail the birthday card to my great aunt too but I might wait until Wednesday when I run my regular errands.

It's supposed to be Domestic Monday today but I did the laundry last night. With no one here most of the week (I don't count my daughter, not because I don't love her, but because she's either going to be in class or at work or at her dad's most of the week), I don't feel a great urge to clean anything.

I earned 50 KFR points with the following bonus codes:



I scheduled the last two credit card payments for this month.  My electric bill for the past month is $140.89 for our consumption. Last year's bill, during the same month, was about the same, only a few cents less.  The important thing, though, is that throughout the course of the year, we spent $1,400 less than what I had budgeted for electricity.  Don't get excited, it's not so much due to our low consumption (which is low for a house our size but could be a lot lower if we were diligent about turning off power vampires) as it is due to the fact that my budget is still the same as it was back when we had two much more inefficient AC units.  Still, in the past few years I have used those savings to buy a plane ticket to go to France.  I had planned on just banking it this year for a future ticket, however, I've decided to just leave it in checking and use it to "pay back" the expenses sustained so far, due to having gotten 3 kittens.  I just totalled up the cost of the kittens (except the cat litter) and we've spent $1,077 so far.  Yikes. But we love them so... good thing I kept the electrical budget the same!

My daughter got up in the late morning and we chatted for a while and cuddled with the kittens.  I baked my bread and then baked the last 3 breasts of chicken that I had bought on clearance at Aldi last week.

She and I were hungry so we decided to drive to McDonald's.  I took a quick shower and found Tabby Kitty crying out for me behind the door when I opened it (awww....) and then he went crazy running and attacking the duvet on my bed, hahaha.

Daughter and I left to run errands. I wanted to go to the Post Office to mail the birthday card to my great aunt and then go to the library to return 2 books, but the Post Office was really crowded so I decided to try again on Wednesday.  I didn't have any really good coupons on my app for McDonald's and it was also crowded so I suggested to my daughter that we go to RaceTrac to get a free hot dog for her and I would just eat my favorite chicken salad on the homemade bread that I had just baked.

At RaceTrac, she got a free hot dog with a survey reward code and I bought her a bag of chips. I earned loyalty points on my app and got a new receipt with which I'll earn another freebie.  I redeemed a code myself for a free 32 oz caffeine free Diet Coke.  So in the end, our lunch that was going to cost me more than $10, cost me only $1.39.  I was pretty happy about that.

I spent the rest of the afternoon watching "Luther", which I still find unwatchable, so I actually don't really pay any attention to it... I just have it on in the background while I do genealogical research online.

My daughter went to work and the kittens and I were left to warm ourselves up on the couch. I actually fell asleep and took a nap at 7:30 p.m.!

Greg and our son made it to Ohio OK. I ended up watching 2 Danish movies on Netflix. I love foreign movies, they actually hold my attention since I need to read the subtitles!  That went on until very late in the night. The kittens slept with me downstairs again and again they were active quite past their "bedtime". I guess they have finally realized that they're nocturnal animals!

Tuesday 11/22/16

The kittens and I had an uncomfortable night. It was cold (44F this morning outside at 7:30a.m. and 61F in the living room) and I kept tossing and turning.  At 3:30a.m. Tabby Kitty decided to start playing and biting and acting wild so I tossed him off the futon a couple of times, and then he calmed down and rejoined his siblings who had tucked themselves under my chin as I was protecting them from his bullying, and then it was the massive amounts of purring right there by my ear that kept me up a little while longer.  But, happiness. I finally woke up at 7:30 a.m. and went to feed all the cats.

New Kitty is missing my son, as are Male Cat and Mean Kitty, but that makes them even more mellow. This morning Mean Kitty didn't even have a fit when a kitten starting eating her food while she was herself eating it, and similarly, New Kitty let Princess drink from the same bowl at her at the same time without batting an eye.  Amazing!

It should get up to 74F today so I'm looking forward to opening the windows in the afternoon. I only opened the sliding door window for the cats yesterday, as it faces South so it actually warmed up the Cat Room quite nicely and they enjoyed it.

My daughter has a class this afternoon and then we'll drive to Ocoee to go to World Market and other stores to do a little bit of shopping and then have dinner out.

I'm going to get more dough out of the fridge to eventually bake another loaf of bread. I should do the dishes today... hmm, maybe!

It's technically Gardening Tuesday so I should go water the plants too.  I wonder if the low temps killed anything. The pineapple plants seem OK, as seen from the window.

I haven't brought the trash down the driveway for collection yet as I'm still in my PJs.  We have less than half a bin full so it won't be a tragedy if I don't.

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

My BFF texted me to invite me to spend Thanksgiving afternoon with her and her kids. Her husband will be working and the friends who usually visit them have to work. I thanked her but my own plans include my PJs, purring kittens, and a library book or two, unless I find something else to watch on TV.

For second breakfast,  I had homemade bread with homemade orange marmalade from the oranges on our tree... the only time that I succeeded in making some kind of a jam, back in 2015.

I sorted the coupons that I had clipped this past week and found the World Market coupons that we need this afternoon, as well as a $5 birthday coupon from McAllister's Deli and a $6 Staples Rewards voucher that I need to use up before the end of the month.

I watched a French movie on Netflix (I think?) and then my daughter came home and wanted to go shopping almost right away.  So we left. I have to admit that I felt tired (of doing what?!) and was not in a shopping mood but I was looking forward to spending time with my daughter.  We drove the Focus to Ocoee because it gets better gas mileage and it's easier to park in busy shopping areas than my large SUV, and didn't take the toll roads.

We first visited World Market. Honestly, last year when we went together, it was exciting because we had never been in that store together and I had a lot of things to buy.  But this year they sold the same stuff as last year, and I didn't have anything to buy, really but I still grabbed a couple of things: a large jar of blue-cheese stuffed olives for the Christmas buffet (I think Greg will like those), a box of small toast crackers, and a chocolate bar to give my daughter for St Nicolas.  My daughter had asked me if I could pay for the purchases and she would refund me the next day when she got her paycheck.  So we pooled our purchases and I was able to use the $10 off $40 coupon that I had brought. I will deduct it from what she owes me since most of the purchases were hers.

Then we visited Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I steered her away from the "Organization" section, telling her she wouldn't use any of it since she's so messy anyway, so she paid me back when we passed the Cleaning section by saying "Oh mom, you don't need to go there, you never clean the house anyway!"  Ha, so true!  She didn't buy anything.  I found an organizer for Greg to put over the arm of his chair that will hold his Kindle, cables, earbuds, etc.  I hope he uses it. It was $9.99 and I used a 20% off coupon that i had clipped from an old magazine from the library's donation pile (you do know that Bed, Bath and Beyond accepts their own expired coupons, right?) so it was $8 and some cents.

After that we went to Ulta because she likes looking at make-up even though she doesn't wear any.  I lasted exactly 3 minutes in the store because I hate make-up and the inanity of spending so much money on stuff to paint your face. It's absurd!  I was going to wait for her outside, but she decided to leave as well.

Next went to Target.  She was at a loss of what to get for her stepsister on her dad's side, so I suggested some make-up brushes (!) since that girl wears a lot of make-up.  So she bought a brush kit. I spent way too much time trying to get the Cartwheel app to work on my phone, the phone reception at that store is horrible.  Eventually, I just texted "BEAUTY" to their number so I could get the coupon for 25% off the set.  I also bought the socks that my daughter wanted and some socks she needed for work, and a feather pillow that was $10 because she wanted a new one.  I was able to use a $5 off $10 coupon that we had received in the mail and saved $2.50 off the brush kit with the coupon that i had received via text. I paid for the OOP with the Target gift card that I had bought last Christmas so there was no immediate cost to me.

After that I had had enough of shopping and my feet hurt but my daughter wanted to go to Ross, which was almost next door. We did, but she didn't find anything to buy.  I had told her we'd go out to dinner but by then it was almost 6 p.m. and I needed to go home to feed the cats and I really didn't feel like being around more people (the shopping plaza was packed!) and we still wanted to stop by Aldi to get some chicken nuggets. So I suggested she ordered dinner from Panera on her app and we'd swing by there on our way home to pick it up.  I completely forgot that I had a Panera gift card in my wallet so she charged it to my Discover card.

We went to Aldi in Winter Garden since it was on our way. Never again.  That store smells and looks run down and it didn't have any brie.  My phone was almost dead so I couldn't look up my shopping list. We just grabbed a few things (I got more German holiday cookies in case I didn't make it there the next day!) and I was thankful to be able to leave. Yuck.

At Panera's, the food wasn't ready even though we were 5 minutes late.  We used the ladies' room and by then the food was 10 minutes late so I asked a cashier to go check on it. She apologized.  When the food finally came, our receipt looked like it'd been dropped into the dressing bowl.  Then when we got home, we were missing one chunk of baguette and they hadn't given us any plasticware. It wasn't important since I had baked bread and we had regular silverware at home, but I was still very annoyed by the whole thing. I toyed emailing the manager, but the order was placed from my daughter's app under her name so I decided not to. I wish she would email them, though.

Back home, I fed the cats and we had our dinner.  I had started rewatching an episode of Mr. Robot on Amazon, a series I had given up on several months ago.  Since I still didn't understand the plot, I looked up the episodes on Amazon... yeah, SO not the show for me.  So I surfed and surfed and then finally came across a British series with an international cast called "Fortitude". It's odd enough to keep my interest for now, and even though it's in English, it's fun to hear everyone's accents when they speak.  So I watched several episodes before falling asleep.

WEDNESDAY 11/23/16

I had a HORRIBLE night with the kittens and this morning I was ready to give them all away to a good home. Last night, as I fell asleep, they started behaving like they were on meth or something. Seriously, they suddenly became very wild, running everywhere, jumping, biting, screaming, fighting. I was so tired. I had to swat them several times to get them off me as they were attacking me.  I was tempted to go sleep upstairs but they would just follow me there. At 1:30 a.m. it was still going on (and had gone on for a couple of hours already) and I had yelled at them so much already (which did absolutely nothing) so I turned the TV back on.  Eventually they went to sleep on the other futon but then they were back at it at 3:30 a.m. and I had to chase them into the Cat Room. They eventually came back and settled down again but no one slept with me, which was good because I wasn't in the mood. Then this morning at 7:30 a.m. a couple of them came to wake me up. Problem was, I was still in a foul mood from their shenanigans.  Eventually a couple of them migrated back to my chest to try to take a nap but I have no patience for that today so Tabby Kitty and Princess are sleeping on the other futon and Explorer is nestled on my legs.

It's 8:40 a.m. and I'm about to turn on "Fortitude" again because what else is there to do?  Wash the dishes?  Pffft.  Go grocery shopping?  Pffft.  My daughter is going to her class soon but she will be back by noon.

It wasn't cold last night.  I got so annoyed at the kittens that I developed a huge hot flash and had to have the small fan blow on my face for a good part of the night. It's 65F in the living room at 8:45 a.m. and 62F outside. Our high today will be 76F.

Walgreens has a new freebie code for an 8 x 10 reprint. I have no idea what to order and might skip it.

CVS emailed me a $6 off $30 coupon so I uploaded it to my ExtraCare card.

I find myself taking fewer and fewer pictures every day, as I am not publishing daily posts anymore.  I kind of miss it, although how many pictures of a loaf of homemade bread does one need to take, right?!

Greg texted me that he was sick all night after eating at some BBQ joint last night. The only thing that he ate differently from anyone else was collards greens.  So I told him about Sandie's diagnosis of Chronic Ulcerative Colitis and asked him to ask his sister what she was diagnosed with because she also has some kind of intestinal problem.  I hope he feels better soon.  Looking at the list of foods to avoid if you do have that disease, there are A LOT of things that he routinely eats or drinks that he might want to avoid (soda, alcohol, meat, crunchy nut butters...) including high fiber foods like collard greens.

I spent all day in my PJs, cuddling with the kittens and watching TV shows: I finished "Fortitude", which ended up being spectacularly craptacular, I'm so mad I wasted almost 12 hours on that.  Then I couldn't find anything that I got into (tried "Cold Squad", an old Canadian series but couldn't get into it).  I decided to watch "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" trilogy that's on Netflix. It's the Swedish version with English subtitles, which I like for reasons stated before. I absolutely HATED the books so I didn't expect to like the movies and mostly, I didn't.  I also fell asleep through most of Part 2 of the first movie, ha.

The kittens slept most of the day so I was dreading the nighttime, but they actually slept most of the night too. Yay!

At dinnertime, my daughter wanted to go to Publix to get an apple pie to bring to her dad's on Thursday so I ordered Chinese for my dinner and she picked it up, along with Subway for her dinner. I forwarded a Subway coupon to her and she was able to use it.

Greg said he was feeling better so he had ham and potatoes, even though I told him to stay on the BRAT diet for at least 24 hours.

THURSDAY 11/24/16

I slept pretty well. Tabby Kitty started jumping around at about 6:30 a.m., I think.  I was able to keep sleeping until 7:30 a.m. and then I went to feed the cats and brew my coffee.

Greg texted me at 9:00 a.m. that he was feeling sick again and thought he had caught a stomach virus, although he has no fever and is not vomiting. He's back on the BRAT diet.  He was supposed to cook Thanksgiving Dinner for his family since no one seems to know how to cook a turkey over there, but now he has to just give them directions on how to do it themselves. I hope my son doesn't catch what he has since they're sharing the same room, although I highly doubt he has a virus, to be quite honest.  I think it's the stress of being with family and his dad's service along with not paying attention to his dietary needs that's causing all of that.  Anyhoo, there's nothing I can do. I just hope he can drive the 2 days back because our son needs to be at school on Monday.

My daughter is going to her dad's at some point this morning and will be gone until Monday, I think.

My plans for today: well, as much as I'd like to stay in my PJs, I need to shower and do some cleaning: the freaking dishes and also I need to wash some of the litter boxes.  So I'll do that in a bit.  Then I plan on just watching TV or reading a book and cuddling with my kittens.

I earned the Bing Rewards credits for today.  They gifted me 500 points via email, too.

The Rest of the Week
I did nothing else than watch horrible shows on Amazon and Netflix.  At least I got our money's worth. Feeling very antisocial.

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