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...
Also: this particular post doesn't have any pictures. I didn't feel like adding any at the time, and today I don't feel like it either. So just boring text. I might go back and re-add pictures at a later time, although I'm not even sure that I took any that week (and if I did they're on my old laptop).
On Saturday, I started watching the Harry Potter movies that I had bought on Google Play so I continued on Sunday morning and then watched some James Bond. I never understand the plot and I couldn't finish anything that I started.
Greg and our son came home at 6 p.m. His mother was texting and calling him as soon as he walked in the door.
I cooked pasta and sausages for dinner. The cats, who had been so good the whole week, all started misbehaving.
Greg declared that he was buying me a new laptop for my birthday, no matter what the cost. I don't want a new laptop.
My son missed the school bus in the morning, somehow, so I had to scramble to drive him to school at 7:10 a.m. He made it on time and it wasn't so bad for me because the only line was to get out of the parking lot and it went well.
Greg worked from home. He is refusing to comply with leaving the toilet seat covers down, refusing to realize that leaving his earbuds out even just while he's in the bathroom will results in them getting chewed up by the kittens. They chewed up the brand new $16 earbuds we bought a week ago.
I did the laundry (used the dryer) and went to do some shopping. I was going to go to Aldi but then decided to just go to Save A Lot. I barely needed anything anyway but I wanted to get out of the house. I went to Save A Lot, Walgreens (to get anti-acne soap for my son since he forgot his while on his trip), and Publix to get Greg some kefir. I also got some cheese. I remembered to use some of the gift cards from my wallet although not at SAL.
My BFF texted me while I was out to ask how my week went last week. I didn't feel like replying but I told her it had sucked and I didn't feel sociable. She said OK.
I tried mailing the birthday card to my great aunt (I ended up not going anywhere last week and I forgot the card in the car) but the line at the post office was extremely long again so I just went home, weighed the envelope and put on 3 forever stamps before putting it in the mail drop.
My daughter came back from her dad's in the meantime. In the afternoon, she went to study for a test at her BFF's. I spent the afternoon reading some of the library books that I had borrowed and did that in the evening as well.
I threw away a lot of food from the fridge that had gone bad. I didn't compost anything.
I made chicken burger and steamed potatoes for dinner but I skipped dinner.
My son didn't miss the bus this morning. Greg went to work. I told him to buy lunch.
I put the trash out to the curb.
The windows are open but it might get warm today.
I have a headache.
Dinner was Barber stuffed chicken breasts and rice. I skipped dinner again.
I didn't go grocery shopping. I looked at the ads but there wasn't anything that made it worth my while to go to the store.
Also, I let my Staples $6 ink reward expire. I knew it expired that day. I didn't care. You know I'm depressed when I don't care about wasting food, not composting, and letting rewards expire.
The youngest of my two brothers emailed me early happy birthday wishes and my BFF texted me early birthday wishes as well.
I cooked a pork loin roast in the crockpot with BBQ sauce.
I did a load of dishes.
My daughter went to her class until 11:00 a.m. and then I texted her to see if she wanted to pick us up lunch. We agreed on Panda Express so she and I had Chinese for lunch and watched Harry Potter episode 7, part 1 on Google Play.
Then my daughter took her youngest brother out shopping, presumably for birthday gifts for me :)
It rained this afternoon for a short while. The first rain in several weeks.
For dinner I heated up a can of baked beans to go with the pulled pork sandwiches that I had made.
During dinner, my daughter asked me if I wanted a birthday cake and I told her no, but donuts from Donut King in Minneola would be awesome. She and Youngest Son had pooled their money to get me some last year. She looked exasperated at the suggestion because... come to find out, that's exactly what she and her brother had bought me this year again to leave on the table for my birthday breakfast the next morning! They had gotten me 2 of my favorite kind, one for each of them and one for Greg (and the 6th one, they split). So I had a donut for after dinner snack. Yum and thankfulness for sweet children :)
Today was my birthday. I absolutely dislike birthdays and hoopla but it makes me sad if my family doesn't wish me a happy birthday. Go figure.
However, my sister and eventually older brother emailed me. MY MOM emailed me. That is huge since she's a Jehovah's Witness. She didn't actually say the words "Happy birthday" but her message was lovely and made me cry so hard. We have a lot of differences but to her credit, she goes against her cult's directives and places her kids above them.
My ex texted me and sent me an animated gif of a frog. I asked him if it was because I'm French (was French!) and he laughed and admitted it was just the first gif that popped up when he looked for one that said "yay!". We barely have any contacts nowadays but we always wish each other a happy birthday via text.
Middle son called me and said he might come over the next day although he wasn't sure if he could and I wasn't sure if I was free (I had just redone our wall calendar for the month and knew there was one Friday when I had an appointment and couldn't remember if it was this week or not and he was in a rush so I didn't get a chance to check the calendar).
My other friend (who doesn't know if was my birthday), texted me and offered me a job. Well, it's not even a part-time job, just the opportunity to help her for a few hours a month, entering data in a database. I can definitely do that. She checked to make sure I didn't want to make phone calls and I told her I didn't want to have to contact people, period. It won't start until after January 1st. I asked Greg whether he was bribing my friend to offer me a job to get me off the couch (although it sounds like it's something I'll be doing from the couch!) and he laughed and denied it. So I confessed to my friend that I had asked him that and she laughed too and promised it wasn't a conspiracy.
My oldest son's GF emailed me her personal birthday wishes. That was nice and I thanked her. No, my oldest son didn't contact me at all. Sounds like we're done. I know he knew it was my birthday since his live-in GF contacted me and Middle Son let it slip that their dad had texted all 3 kids to remind them it was my birthday (which pissed me off because, damn it, let them remember this on their own! They're all 18 and above! I stopped reminding them of their dad's birthday when they turned 18).
Greg worked from home. At first, I was a little annoyed because I would have rather either 1) be left alone all day to wallow in my despair. This depression is really hitting me hard. My plan was to watch "Bob's Burgers" on Netflix all day long. or 2) that he take the day off and we go hiking or something. Him working from home only means that he's in the living room with me but I can't really watch TV because he's working (he'll say I can but I know it's interfering with his work) and I have to be subjected to his many conference calls that go on forever and during which he speaks very loudly. But he was very sweet and managed to turn my gloomy-looking day into a much better day. First, he offered to go get me breakfast, but I still had the one donut left over. Then he insisted on making his own breakfast. I warned him that I wasn't planning on cooking dinner and he was fine with that. Then he gave me a present every 4 hours or so: some chocolates, some cheese and finally a very funny card (he never gives me cards!) that was very à propos and he performed a dance for me to the music that sounded when I opened it. It made me laugh. With that, he and the kids gave me a set of large glass mushrooms that are solar-activated lights. There is a cord that runs between all three so I was thinking about putting them in the front yard but I never look in the front yard so I think I'll set them up at the edge of the porch so I can see them at night when I walk in the breezeway. They're pretty without being illuminated so I hope they look good at night too. Lastly, he told me earlier in the week that his main gift to me was a new laptop and that I could get whatever I wanted, cost was not an issue. He offered to take me shopping for one this weekend if I wanted to do that instead of ordering one online. There is an HP laptop that I had already researched and bookmarked on Amazon so I was tempted to order that, but it comes with Windows 10. So honestly, I DO NOT want Windows 10. I love my current laptop and there's nothing wrong with it aside from the wonky power supply that should be fixable although I have to take my laptop in and leave it at the repair shop for a week and also a couple of my keys aren't working very well anymore but it's probably because of all the crumbs that have accumulated under the keyboard so presumably that would get fixed with the power supply. So at the last minute, I decided not to order a new laptop... yet. He says it will avoid the frustration of having my current laptop die on me and not being able to use it at all, but that discounts the huge amount of frustration I will have trying to use Windows 10, setting up the laptop to work the way I want it to work, reinstalling all the software that I would want to reinstall and once again customizing it to look the way I want it to look, and then having to deal with the fact that things like small utilities that I kept from Windows 95 and use all the time are either no longer usable in Windows 10 or have completely changed.... I HATE CHANGE. So I think I'll just keep my current laptop and deal with the aggravation when it dies. Or maybe I can spend time cleaning it up and taking it to the repair store. I'm so indecisive these days, it's caused by my depression and making it worse at the same time.
Anyhoo, my daughter bought me a ceramic gardening pot and she painted it and sprayed it with acrylic sealant so I can use it to grow something. That was a lovely idea: something that I can use and that she personalized for me!
Youngest son gave me a small ceramic kitty cat figurine that you hang from the side of a pot. I hung it from the side of my coffee mug and it made me smile :) He also gave me a small box of Pirouline cookies, which I love.
Speaking of Youngest Son, he had his Future Business Leaders of America meeting after school, so I went to pick him up when he was done and we stopped by Publix so I could get some French bread and a new pair of earbuds for Greg since the kittens have eaten one bud of the pair we bought last week. To his credit, the whole day he kept on throwing a whole blanket over his laptop every time he left the room so the kittens didn't chew through any of his cords today. If only he had been doing that all along! Anyhoo, I surprised him with the new earbuds but his conference call was already done.
Youngest Son and I also stopped by RaceTrac where I redeemed a survey reward code to get him a free muffin for his snack.
My daughter came back from her class and since Greg didn't have another conference call planned, he was OK with us watching the 2nd part of Harry Potter, Episode 7 while he worked. What a guy!
He took our son to the library for his D&D club, since I didn't want our son to bike home when it's dark (there aren't lights on the bike) and went to pick him up as well. He also ordered Chinese food for all of us for dinner since he knows that I weirdly crave the crappy Chinese food that really isn't good from the local Chinese restaurant, lol.
So all in all, it was a very good birthday and I'm thankful to Greg and my family and friends to help make it so.
The kittens didn't cuddle much. They're growing and busy doing things they shouldn't do like jumping on the breezeway counter and eating my tomato seedlings!
At night, Greg and I watched some episodes of "Bob's Burgers". We love that show, it makes us laugh a lot, which I really need those days.
Greg went to the office today. Neither he nor I slept well. I thought of Oldest Son and how he didn't wish me a happy birthday and it made me sad and at the same time, I don't care all that much. I mean, I'm sad that I don't have a relationship with him and that it's going to prevent me from attending events where he might be present (mostly jazz concerts that I would have enjoyed or events with my other 2 kids where he might show up) but at the same time, the fewer people in my "contacts", the less drama to deal with. Wait, that makes no sense as I didn't think there was any drama going on before he sent me his very hurtful message, and now, well, there is since we don't talk and it's affecting my life anyway. Sigh. Sometimes I wish I had no relatives at all and didn't have to deal with any crap like that. People are draining me.
I cooked his breakfast and packed him a lunch.
Our son went to school and packed his lunch.
My daughter went to a Disney Food and Beverage training class and will be there all day.
She owed me the $30 in car insurance yesterday and was trying to transfer the money from her account to mine but we couldn't figure out how to do it and she had to go to class so I emailed USAA to ask for instructions. They replied this morning so I emailed her the instructions.
She was accepted to UCF, which we knew she would be since she'll be getting her AA from a state college that is affiliated with UCF. Still that's exciting! She's still undecided as to whether to go to UCF or go to UF if she gets accepted there. She really likes Gainesville, and, I think, the idea of being away from her parents (her dad lives right next door to UCF). However, UF doesn't have the web desig major that she was thinking of declaring, and also she's already found a girl with whom she matches 100% as far as UCF roommates would go. And also her BFF would be going to UCF. So she keeps on going back and forth and can't make a decision until February because that's when she'll find out if she made it into UF or not. In the meantime, UCF wants $250 to reserve a dorm room. I told her that I'm not giving UCF any money until she's actually accepted her acceptance, lol. So she's going to talk to her dad about it.
It's very cool outside today so I opened the windows and it's 66F in the living room right now. The kittens are huddled next to me on the couch, trying to stay warm. They have fur so I'm not worried but my feet are getting cold and I should put a sweater on. We had to have the AC on the last few days because it got warm again so I'm appreciating the cold weather. Our high should be 72F today, which is lovely.
I need to go to Aldi to get more cat litter because I need to empty out all 5 litter boxes and wash them. Our house smells like cat pee and it's depressing me even more. But I don't feel like going anywhere.
A stay black and white cat has been stalking squirrels and birds in our backyard for the past week or so. No wonder birds never come anymore despite my many feeders. I love cats but I'm very resentful of stray cats. They've killed any enjoyment I was getting of my garden.
Gardening-wise, nothing is happening. I haven't set foot in the garden in days (weeks, really) and haven't watered, despite the lack of rain. My hibiscus is probably going to die. Even that thought isn't enough to spur me to go water it. I have lost any motivation or will to do anything. I'm only typing this post because I felt that I should recap my birthday to remind myself, in the future, that things aren't as bleak as I'm perceiving them to be.
I forgot to list all the birthday or other freebies I have gotten in the past few days:
- Panera gave me a free bagel a day in December!
- They also gave me a free pastry reward on my card for my birthday, good though the end of the month
- Dunkin' Donuts loaded a free drink coupon on my app, good until January
- Starbucks loaded a coupon for a free drink or food item but it expires today and I'm thinking I won't redeem it
- Wawa is having their 12 days of Christmas celebration with a freebie a day. Today is a free donut.
- Auntie Anne's loaded a free pretzel reward on my app (good through the end of the month)
- CVS sent me a $7 Rewards
- Kohl's sent me a $10 promotional gift
- Ace sent me a $7 off $20 coupon
- Bing Rewards gave me some free points
- Swagbucks gave me a 55 SB Swag-up that expires at the end of the month (birthday Swag-up)
- I was able to request a coupon for a free 12-pack of Coke products from MyCokeRewards for just 30 points (a few days ago)
- I uploaded offers for $10 off $50 American Express statement credits when Greg and I shop at Lowe's this month. I can't think of anything I want to purchase, although Greg bought my mushroom birthday gift there the day before I uploaded the new offer. I could return the gift and then turn around and buy it again to get the statement credit, but it's less than $50 for once and too much work for me in my state right now.
- A coupon for a free Quick Strike energy drink from Murphy USA
I feel that there were more freebies that I have forgotten about but maybe that was it.
I downloaded 2 free e-books borrowed from the library to my Kindle Fire. I tried reading one of them yesterday but just couldn't get into it. It was the 4th book in a row that I was unable to read completely :(
I really should be cleaning my house right now. It's not disgusting, but it's definitely not clean. I haven't dusted in weeks and the bathroom sink needs my attention. I have some dirty dishes in the kitchen and I need to vacuum the living room and sweep the rest of the house. None of those are things that I want to do. Not blogging has definitely taken the wind out of my sails, but I don't feel like blogging (as in "interacting with other people") either and right now just typing those things in draft form just for myself isn't working as motivational tool either.
I'm really annoyed with myself and yet I can't seem to make myself come out of this major slump. I just feel so hopeless about everything. Even if I snap myself out of it, the reality is that reality sucks. big time. And in ways that apparently most people out there can't comprehend. Every day brings news that catapult me right back into the pit of despair where I've been wallowing for a month. Ignoring what's going on isn't going to work for someone like me. The political climate of the country and around the world is going to have very real, very close repercussions on me and people I love. And life isn't a movie where you can just live in your bubble and at the end everything is OK. Everything is NOT OK. Anywhere.
I'm defrosting a chicken for dinner. I will roast it this afternoon with potatoes, carrots and celery.
I need to put together the St Nicolas stuff for Youngest Son and Daughter since it's next Tuesday. I didn't get anything for Middle Son since he doesn't live here anymore, and also the renewal fee for his website (part of my Christmas present to him) is about $50 higher than it was last year.
I didn't sleep well as the kittens kept me up a lot and I was uncomfortable. I can't remember what we did in the morning. I think I just read the news online and then Greg got up and did some reading, we listened to classical music. After a while, he suggested we go explore that new nature preserve that we had discovered a couple of weeks ago that is not too far from our house. I agreed so we showered and got dressed. He wanted to take me out to lunch but food doesn't really have any attraction for me these days (so how did I put on all that weight back?) and also he was asking me about lunch when I had just had breakfast so we decided to just eat lunch at home. He had leftovers and I had a sandwich.
Our son didn't want to come along (surprise, surprise) and my daughter was at work, so we left our son in the care of the cats, ha, and went to explore the Pasture Preserve.
The good: we were the only ones there. That's always nice. The weather was very pleasant and there is a path that meanders through the preserve that is pretty flat. I really want to go back in the Spring because I suspect there will be lots of flowers. There is a bathroom in the parking area.
The bad: there aren't any benches at all. Normally it wouldn't bother me but with my foot hurting and the fact that I think their map is mislabeled as far as how long the trail is, I really wanted to be able to sit down at some point. Also, and it's my fault, but instead of wearing my exercise clothes, I wore khaki shorts. We walked for 2 hours and at the end, the shorts kept riding up and left me with a wicked inner thigh rash because of all the chafing. It was very painful! We saw a lot of wild boar damage, some of it quite fresh, so I was very nervous about being there by ourselves and unable to run if one came at us. I could even smell them at the part where there was the most damage. Greg never smells anything so he didn't believe me, but trust me, there were pigs not too far. Aside from a hawk that we saw right as we were leaving, we didn't see any wildlife at all! Not even a squirrel. The "lakes" where they said there might be catch and release fishing in the future, are nothing more than small swamps. There won't be any fishing there unless we get a lot of rain. I'm thankful that Lake County bought the property and is preserving it, but it's really not all that interesting. At least, not this month :) I did find 2 very fluffy downy feathers that I brought back for our cats' enjoyment and we saw a lot of scat, a lot of it had gray hairs mixed into it so we're thinking it was coyote scat and it had eaten rabbits. We also spotted some snake jerky as we approached the parking area on our way back. It looked like a snake had been run over by a vehicle and it dried up in the sun.
Even though we didn't walk much longer than we usually do when we go on the trail, we were exhausted and very sore when we got home. My foot hurt a lot and also my lower back, so I went to take a hot bath with my library book.
We were also very thirsty (even though we had brought water with us) so I asked Greg to stop at RaceTrac and buy me an extra large fountain drink (caffeine free Diet Coke). That lasted me the rest of the night!
We spent the rest of the day reading and cuddling with the kittens. Our son did his laundry, a bunch of school work, and also went to visit our local park for his daily dose of swinging.
My daughter came back from her shift and we chatted for a bit before she went to do some homework too.
Dinner was tuna patties and linguine. I only made 4 tuna patties, for once, so there weren't any leftovers.
After dinner, Greg and I watched a few episodes of "Bob's Burgers" and then he played with his Xbox One and I read some more. I'm re-reading "Echo Burning" by Lee Child. Before his books became really bad. This one isn't too bad.
Speaking of books, I selected a book from the Kindle First program for the month of December and downloaded it to my Kindle Fire. I also put a book on hold at the library. It's called "Florida's Wild Edibles". I came across a blog post yesterday that referenced it, when I was researching whether beauty berries are edible. Greg had asked me that and I thought they weren't but apparently they are, although they taste much better in jelly form. I wish I had known this at the height of the season. Right now, the ones that I do find look unappealing. Anyhoo, the jelly recipe that the blogger posted came from the "Florida's Wild Edibles" book, apparently. I'm #2 on the waiting list (even though the book was published in 1993!) so it'll be a while before I get to read it.