Saturday, October 7, 2017
For the record, my husband owns guns. I don't think people shouldn't have guns at all. I absolutely support abortion rights. And what is "good" for the goose, SHOULD be good for the gander.
PS: Still on break, not sure when I'll be back. But I had to post this because I'm so freaking pissed about both situations.
Monday, October 2, 2017
Hi everyone, I'm going to disconnect for a little bit. No way to tell how long, I might be back tonight or in a week, you never know when those moods strike me.
I hope you're all going well and have a fun weekend. Yesterday was a super indulgent day for me. I did nothing worthwhile, blew a bunch of money on snacks (mostly for me), stuffed my face while reading a book, was whiny like a toddler, and then passed out in a food coma on the couch. Not my finest hours, gah.
Youngest Son drove the Focus to school (with me, of course!) for the first time this morning and did very well. Yay! We left at the same time as we would have if he had taken the bus and I was surprised at how much school traffic there still is at that time, over a month after school has started. So I guess we'll keep on leaving at the same time, which means he still has to wait 30 minutes before classes start!
One of my readers, Cheryl, is having a hip replacement tomorrow. Cheryl, I'll be thinking of you! Make sure to tell that husband of yours to stock up on all kinds of good stuff for you!
Mia... still no results from the thyroid test? ((HUGS)) Waiting is the worst. How is your arm, in the meantime?
I wish you all a peaceful week.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
- Greg and I headed to bed at about 11 p.m. last night. The difference is that he got to fall asleep right away while I discovered THREE fleas in my bed (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarhg!) and had to try to catch them and then proceeded to flea comb the kittens until 11:45 p.m. I'm sick and tired of dealing with fleas and why the heck do they still have fleas when I've just put on the Advantage II and it's supposed to be killing fleas at all stages of life (including eggs)?!?! I have a shipment of it due from Amazon next week and yes, I WILL be reapplying it, dang it. I have got to bomb the house, I suppose.
- So when I was finally done, I was wide awake. But then I had to deal with my Kindle Fire not being charged, having to find the cord, connect it properly so it would reach far enough to allow me to watch a show and hide the cords so Explorer wouldn't chew on them, etc, etc. I was really annoyed and grouchy and really wide awake when I finally settled down at past midnight. Arrrgh.
- But then I had a good night, I suppose. I can't remember what time it was when I woke up and saw that the Kindle was still playing and put everything away, but I went to use the bathroom and was able to go right back to sleep afterwards. Since the kittens are now old enough to not be making a mess in the bathroom by playing with everything at night, we leave the door open as it sticks so opening and closing the door at night makes noise that wakes up the other person. Princess now sleeps there on the mat in front of the toilet and will. not. move. Good thing we have a nightlight in the bathroom so we see her or she would get stepped on!
- I woke up at about 8 a.m. and only because of my bladder, hooray! Explorer was on the pillow next to mine, Tabby Kitten was sprawled on the yoga leggings that I had thrown on my leather recliner yesterday. They were very warm when I put them on so he must have been there for quite a long time! Princess also came to cuddle after I got back in bed. It didn't last long as I wanted coffee. I didn't take a shower, thinking that I might work with the mulch this morning, but now it's 10:30 a.m. and I still haven't done anything and it's looking like it's going to rain. Oh well. I guess we're not going to the dump either. We have to cut some of the branches in the debris pile because they are too big and Greg told me last night he didn't want to have to work in the rain.
- I realized that I completely forgot to wear my mouthguard last night for the first time since I got it on 9/1! I used the Waterpik for the first time since my dental surgery last night and I guess that distracted me and I forgot about the mouthguard.
- I heated up the rest of the free cups of coffee that I got for National Coffee Day yesterday and had a couple of discounted Hawaiian rolls with the rest of the free strawberry cream cheese for breakfast. I also fed the cats.
- I spotted squirrels at the base of the cardinal feeder (in its new location) but they scampered when they saw me so I don't know if they actually managed to climb the pole (or jump up) or not. The kittens had seen the squirrels too!
- I went outside to check on my rain barrel, hoping to find it full since it rained a lot yesterday, but the level had barely changed! There are lots of leaves that managed to slip under the gutter screens during and after the hurricane so we probably need to remove the screens and scoop out the leaves. At least my garden got watered for free.
- The sun is playing peek a boo with the clouds this morning but make no mistake: it's supposed to be rainy all day starting pretty soon. I'd be excited except for the fact that I feel restless and I feel like going somewhere... and hiking! We are planning on hiking tomorrow morning but I'm not sure where yet.
- Today is the Law & Order: SVU marathon but I'm not in the mood. I should read a library book...
- I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits and I'm working on Swagbucks with automatic nCraves' help. My first goal is 95 SB. I did get a 26 SB Search Award early on and that's helpful!
- Greg finally got up at 10:45 a.m. We chatted for a bit and he felt like having coffee so I brewed him a pot of the 2008 Walmart French Roast coffee. I offered to cook him breakfast (I had secretly wished he wanted to go to Flapjack Johnny's!) but he said he'd make himself a PBJ.
- One of the things we chatted about what licorice. I absolutely abhor the stuff (seriously, it makes me gag just thinking of it!) and he likes it. When we watched "The Great British Baking Show Masterclass" yesterday, the first recipe Paul Hollywood demonstrated was a licorice black currant Swiss roll. OMZ, barf. I couldn't stop gagging during the segment and Greg was amazed that in 16+ years of marriage, he had never known that I hate licorice. Anyhoo, he mentioned this morning that he doesn't even know where licorice comes from and I guess Asia (which was right but it's also native of Southern Europe) and I told him that they used to sell sticks of it in candy shop in France when I was little and you'd just chew on the stick. So we looked it up on Wikipedia and it wasn't made of branches of the licorice tree, as I had thought, but from roots of the licorice plant. You learn something everyday. Do you like licorice? That vile, vile flavor? Don't let me influence you :)
- Another thing we chatted about was an email I sent him earlier this morning entitled "I think our problem might be posture and lighting", accompanied by this:
- I emailed Middle Son some feedback about his website and also asked him to contact me so we could schedule a portrait session for Youngest Son. I checked the school's flyer and their lowest price package was $22, so I offered $25 to Middle Son to take just one good portrait of Youngest Son and just give me the digital version of it. I kind of feel cheap but we're also giving him a darn good monitor. He's too poor for me to barter the monitor, though, I feel.
- I was re-reading old blog posts from 2015 last night and came across a menu that I felt sounded pretty darn good. I don't know if I can do all the dishes (I don't think I have any pork left in my freezer, for instance) but I can certainly reuse and adapt several recipes to match what I do have in my freezer and fridge right now. So I might use that as my menu for the coming week. I feel stuck in a rut right now and it's annoying me.
- The IHG Rewards Club (Holiday Inn, among other hotels) emailed me that I was eligible for a free Kindle Single book from a preset selection so I downloaded a book about Winston Churchill's life during 6 months of WWI, for Greg.
- The sun was out again and I told Greg I wanted to take a drive somewhere, go do something and he said "OK, see ya!" because he just wants to stay home. Sigh. Well now the clouds are out again. Aargh. Also, I caught a squirrel in my cardinal feeder so I opened the glass door and yelled at him and I'm now close enough that he actually got off without me having to set a foot outside, lol.
- I was reading a blog somewhere that mentioned a preparedness calendar put forth by her county (in Oregon) that suggests buying specific items month by month in order to be ready for emergencies. That is super helpful for people who have limited income or feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task so I downloaded the pdf, converted it to jpgs so I could post it here. Yes it is specifically for Oregon where it snows and they have a high risk of earthquakes, but you can replace those tasks/items for those that are appropriate for the dangers in your area (hurricanes, for instance).
- Suddenly Greg declared that it was time to take the storm debris to the dump. So we spent the rest of the day doing that: loading the truck (Greg stumped on everything so we could load a lot more than it looked like we could!) driving to the landfill in Tavares (30 minutes away), unloading the truck, driving back (30 minutes), loading the truck... it took 3 loads to get all of our stuff, the stuff across the street from our driveway and half of the piles still in front of Jeff's house. We would have gotten all of it (turns out Jeff hurt his back) but we were pooped so we stopped after the 3rd trip. I added the weight when we were on the scale at the landfill and we got rid of 1,000 lbs of storm debris! We are pooped, but so happy that the piles of debris are gone from our front yard!
|Part of one of the two piles of debris left on our front yard after Hurricane Irma. We also got the stiff that you see across the street, the 2nd pile from our yard, and half of the debris left in front of Jeff''s house.|
|Approaching the scale at the landfill.|
|In line at the landfill, the first time we went, waiting to unload. The subsequent times, we were the only ones there.|
|Ta-dah! The piles are gone! We just have to do light raking and we asked Jeff to go over the area with his super duper mower whenever he feels better to mulch whatever stuff is left. It's mostly dirt, though.|
- While we were gone, I let the nCrave videos play on my laptop and I passed my 2nd daily goal, woohoo!
- We picked up lunch from Hardee's on the way to the landfill the first time. I had another one of those $5 meals and Greg just had a sandwich. The total OOP was about $12 and we charged it to Discover for 5% back in Rewards. As we were ordering, a lizard that had been chilling on the outside of Greg's window jumped into the truck!
|Can you see it sitting there on the dashboard?! It wouldn't leave! So we let it stay.|
- Today was the last day for the Bonus Rewards for restaurants so we took advantage of it because after we worked outside all afternoon, I asked Greg if we could get take-out for dinner because I wasn't up for cooking and didn't want a sandwich. He wanted to eat at the local Mexican restaurant and I agreed. So we got home, showered and went for an early-ish dinner. Our son didn't want to come so we picked him up food from McDonald's afterwards.
- I had a mango margarita at the Mexican restaurant and the alcohol hit me so hard I felt super sleepy and woozy after the meal, lol. So at McDonald's I used a coupon to get a free medium Espresso Caramel Macchiato to wake me up.
- Youngest Son worked on his homework this afternoon, played video games, and moved his military miniatures to his sister's bedroom.
- I think I'm going to fall asleep early tonight! I'm watching a couple of episodes of Forensic Files on Escape TV but I feel very droopy.
- The espresso caramel macchiato that I got from McDonald's is the foulest thing I have ever drank. I don't think the girl knew how to make it. I've never had one but I'm pretty sure that's not how it's supposed to taste. I'm going to dump it. Good thing it was free!
THINGS DONE ON SATURDAY (NOT MUCH!)
Drop off yard debris at dumpDONE
Stretch my feetDONE
- Family & Friends
Go on a date with my husbandDONE (the dump counts and then dinner!)
- Schedule Middle Son for Sophomore portrait of YS EMAILED HIM
Schedule breakfast and walk with PixelDONE
Feed the catsDONE Replace upstairs water bowlDONE
Reach SB 1st goalDONE Earn daily Microsoft RewardsDONE
Gather the rest of the storm debris and take to the landfillDONE
Friday, September 29, 2017
- For some reason (too many carbs?) I felt exhausted last night when it was time to go to bed. I usually try to go to bed at about 10ish and it was 9:45 p.m. when I turned off "Frasier" in the middle of an episode because I didn't want to fall asleep on the couch. I fell asleep in my bed to the disturbing sounds of "Forensic Files" (but it's my favorite show to fall asleep to!), having kicked Explorer off my bed because he was trying to chew on my Kindle's charging cable. Sigh. I need him to stop doing that!
- But then Middle Son texted me at 11:45 p.m. to acknowledge my earlier text and then texted me again at 12:30 p.m. to say "change of plans, I have to go to work earlier than I thought" so I texted back that we'd need to get together to get him the monitor on another day and to stop texting me when I'm asleep! Then I slept OK although I was a bit restless. Princess came to sleep with me towards the end of the night and made herself comfortable right across my neck, lol! I felt so out of it that I just petted her, let her stay there, and fell back asleep.
- I didn't shower this morning, thinking that perhaps I'd deal with putting mulch on the berm before I left to run my errands, but now that I'm outside (I was camped out on the patio at 7:46 a.m.!) and it's really muggy, I'm rethinking this. I don't know why I thought it'd be 80F today, I just looked at the weather report and we're supposed to get up to 89F and have some thunderstorms in the afternoon. The humidity level is 94%. So, to my point, who needs to shower when you're swimming through the air, am I right? Yeah, you know I am!
- I really need it to rain because my plants are parched and I've been too lazy to water them.
- Youngest Son took his packed lunch to school and rode the bus. I wonder if he'll want to try to drive to school starting on Monday as he's still stalling a lot. I'm kind of worried that an overeager teenager driving behind him might end up rear-ending us when he stalls at the traffic light.
- I just spent a bunch of time researching YouTube videos to show him but all the ones I found were either done in the UK and use diesel cars (they behave a little differently than gas-powered cars) or use the RPM method (our car doesn't have an RPM display) or are made in the US but use more powerful cars than ours (the one video used a Mustang. OK, dude, when you release your clutch your Mustang IS going to move forward without gas, not the 2007 Ford Focus though!) so none were useful :( He just needs to learn not to release the clutch too fast while also using more gas. Also I'm thinking he might be sitting too close to the wheel as having your leg all scrunched up will result in your letting go of the clutch too fast as your leg position isn't comfortable. I'll need to mention that to him.
- I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work and his PBJ sandwich. He took the last 2 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper to work so I need to get him some more today. It's not on sale at CVS but I have an old rain check to get them at 3 for $11, which is probably the best deal around and then I'll pay with a gift card so they'll be free. If CVS is out of them, Walgreens has them on sale at 3 for $12 but then I don't have a gift card for that store :(
- I brewed a pot of the 2008 Walmart crappy coffee and had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (free to me with my CVS gift card from our Amex Rewards program), with a brown banana and some milk bought on 50% off clearance back in January 2015. I might make crepes for YS this afternoon since Bless reminded me of those and I should probably try to use the milk pretty fast so it doesn't spoil. Unlike Bless, I actually love brown bananas, I think they're very flavorful!
- I ran the dehumidifier in the bathroom and then came to sit on the patio. A crow was cawing from a nearby tree. Not exciting but again it's now 9 a.m. and that's the only bird that I spotted. It's super quiet in my backyard this morning. I want to see birds! I think I'm going to go run my errands, I don't want SAL to run out of the $0.99/lb chicken breasts before I get there...
- I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits earlier this morning and I'm earning SB with automatic nCraves.
- So I left right after 9:00 a.m. and came home at about 11:35 p.m. It took longer than I thought!
- I checked my RaceTrac app before I left and saw that there was a coupon for a free small coffee for National Coffee Day. Woohoo! I alerted Greg about it and asked if we could redeem it for me this weekend if he didn't want it and he said "sure", yessss to free (crappy and bitter but free) coffee!
- So I drove to RaceTrac and redeemed my coupon for a small decaf. I also grabbed 2 hazelnut creamer pots and 2 sweeteners. I ended up not drinking the coffee until I got home, though.
- Next stop was Save A Lot.
- They had pumpkins! They were $3.99 each so $1.00 more than at Aldi but it would have costed me way more than $2 in gas to drive to Aldi and a lot of time so I grabbed two while I was there.
- The chicken breasts were frozen, but no matter. I got 2 packs of 3 breasts each. I'm defrosting a package for this weekend's dinners and put the other in the freezer. The chicken was on sale at $0.99/lb.
- I also grabbed more grapes on sale at $0.99/lb since YS has eaten most of the bag I got on Wednesday already.
- And I bought more bananas since I was down to just one. They were $0.49/lb.
- I checked for meat, produce, dairy and baked goods on clearance but nothing was.
- My OOP was $19.35 and I charged it to Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.
|The pumpkins will sit in the Cat Room for a few weeks while I pretend that I decorated for Halloween,|
and then I'll cook and purée them to make pumpkin bread and other goodies.
- From there I drove to Kohl's.
- I had the $10 in Kohl's cash that I had earned when I bought the 4 pairs of cargo shorts for YS.
- I checked my coupon organizer but I didn't have any additional discounts to use.
- I went to the kitchen clearance section and found servings dishes that I really liked to serve the loaf cakes that I make for YS quite often. The red ones were marked down to $3.99 but the blue and cream ones were marked down to $5.99 so I bought 2 red ones. I'll give one as a Christmas gift to my BFF. I also bought a red bowl that was marked down to $3.49 because I didn't feel like scouring the store for something else on clearance. I figured I'd pay a couple of bucks in OOP and that was fine.
- At the register, the serving dishes rang up for $1.99 each and the bowl for $2.39 and the whole thing was lower than my $10 in Kohl's cash so I grabbed a bar of Godiva chocolate priced at $3.95. So in the end, my OOP was just 34 cents and I got lots of freebies! LOL. I got more than I figured I would for less money. Gotta love it. Well, I charged it to my Kohl's charge card because that helps my credit history a little since the card is in my name only.
- My next stop was Walmart. It actually was a good experience today. It wasn't crowded, I didn't have to wait for a self check-out counter at all!
- Plus, as soon as I walked in I spotted 3 rotisserie chickens that had been discounted to $2.61 each so I grabbed all three. We'll have one (or two, they're tiny) for dinner tonight and I'll pick the meat from the other and freeze it to use in casseroles or tacos.
- I was going there specifically to buy more Better Than Bouillon since it's cheaper at Walmart than anywhere else and I had $0.75 blinkie coupons that expired tomorrow. I calculated that I could afford to buy 4 jars with the gift cards that I still had. I bought 2 chicken and 2 beef. I had a lot more coupons so I left them on the shelf for other shoppers.
- On my way to checking the bakery clearance rack, I saw that they were having a promotion on the 24-ct packs of Diet Dr. Pepper and that it was on sale for $5.98. I figured that I should buy them since I could cover it with my gift card anyway, it was a slightly better deal than using the raincheck at CVS and I was worried that CVS would be out of it anyway.
- Lastly, I bought a package of Hawaiian rolls on clearance at $1.16.
- My OOP was $27.27 and I was able to cover most of it with gift cards (Swagbucks and a $10 gift card I had gotten as a rebate) so most of it was free to me. $4.95 of it was charged to a gift card I had received when returning an item so technically, it wasn't free.
- From there, I went to Wawa.
- As soon as I walked around the car to get to the pump, I saw a bunch of coins spilled on the ground! It was like a really good dream, LOL. In the end, it's "only" $0.34 but it's now MY $0.34. Woohoo for free money!
- I had seen a headline this morning saying that gas prices were "rapidly falling" but it was still $2.539/gallon at Wawa. Slightly better than the $2.699 we'd been paying for a while so I won't complain! I gassed up the Focus, charged it to American Express for 2% back in Rewards, and received a receipt with which I will earn a freebie after taking the survey. Woohoo!
- I went inside to get the free coffee for National Coffee Day. It said "one per person" on the offer so I also got another one and was going to redeem the coupon from last week's survey
- But the cashier wouldn't accept the coupon because she said the coffee was free today. Alright, then, I got 2 free 24-oz of flavored coffee and I still have a coupon that expires on 10/2. I'll have to see about going back to Wawa before then :)
|Look at my loot!|
- I had been tempted to get a car wash for the Focus but it really needs to be scrubbed and I know the car wash won't be enough so I saved the $6 and I'll just do it at home.
- Next stop was CVS.
- They had a bunch of shoes on 90% off clearance but I had no need for rubber boots or flip flops so I didn't get any. There's a blogger I read once in a while who buys all that stuff and resells it for more, but it's too much work for me and my city requires me to buy a permit for a garage sale so forget it.
- I bought a half gallon of whole milk on sale at $1.99
- and a package of Trolli gummy candy on sale at $2.00. I received a $2.00 ECB in return, which I will use towards more groceries in the weeks to come. The candy was given to YS.
- My OOP was $4.13 and I charged it to my CVS gift card earned from Amex Rewards so it was all free to me.
- I had wanted to go to Dunkin' Donuts to redeem 2 offers: buy a M to XL coffee and get a free M coffee and also earn 130 points (which would have allowed me to get another free drink) but I ran out of cup holders in the car, so I skipped it. I might still go get those if YS and I go driving this afternoon.
- My next stop was the South Lake Animal League Thrift Store, where I dropped off a bag of clothes and some pet coupons that I had clipped for them. I didn't go inside because I was eager to get home. but I should have because I just checked my thrift store wish list and realized that I had wanted to buy a cat water bowl to replace the one that I don't like upstairs. Well wait a minute, I bought that red bowl at Kohl's without any plans for it so I guess that'll be the new cat water bowl :)
- I skipped Publix because I can go there on Wednesday and still take advantage of the deals since the ad runs Thu-Wed.
- Last stop was Ace Hardware.
- I had a coupon from their calendar that allowed me to get 2 barbecue lighters for $1.00 each so I grabbed those
- I also got some nails because I'm forever looking for nails to hang pictures up but the ones I always see are the ones that don't have a head. So those will be MY nails and they went into MY hardware box, lol. They were $1.97
- I looked at headlamps to replace Greg's that conked out recently, but there were several kinds for a variety of prices so I decided to come back with him so he picks the one he prefers. He uses his all the time.
- Back home, I chatted with Jeff for a minute or two since he was in his driveway. He was lamenting about the yard debris that still hadn't been picked up by the city so I shared what I had learned in the paper yesterday that said it would take months for all of that to be cleared. Greg and I decided this morning that we'll be loading up the truck tomorrow and heading to the dump ourselves because we're tired of looking at the piles in front of our house. It'll take several loads though. Jeff offered for us to just dump it on his family's grove because they get a fire permit every year and just do a huge bonfire with all their debris. It's really nice but I would feel weird about showing up there and just dumping stuff because it's not like we're on first-name basis with his family, you know? So we'll probably go to the dump.
- I photographed and put everything away and then heated up leftovers for my lunch. Yum! I'm glad I resisted all the fast-food places that I passed today!
- The Law & Order Marathon is on ION TV again today but they're playing episodes I've seen many times before so I switched to Escape TV and I'm listening to old episodes of "FBI Files", etc.
- Ah dang it, AT&T sent an email to say that they're pulling out of the Plenti program! That's how I earn most of my Plenti points! Waaaaaah. They're offering a new AT&T "Thanks program" that is of no use to me because it's to buy movie tickets and listen to music.
- Ugh, it's 2 p.m. now. I just finished reading some blogs and I'm ready for a nap! I already knew that eating carbs just puts me to sleep but after last night's dinner and this leftover lunch, I now have the definite proof that I have GOT to get back on my Diabetic Exchanges diet. I felt much better when I was on it.
- I went to heat up a cup of the full caff hazelnut coffee that I had gotten for free at Wawa and swept the kitchen while the coffee was heating up.
- Then I remembered that the master bathroom was the last room that I hadn't cleaned this week, so I swept it, replaced the floor mat with a clean one, sprayed the shower with bleach, wiped the mirror and sink. The toilet was cleaned earlier in the week and looks fine.
- I input today's receipts in my spreadsheets. The groceries will be deducted from next week's budget.
- Youngest Son came home from school and we chatted for a minute or two, and then he went to cuddle with the cats and work on his homework. We agreed we'd go for his driving practice at 5 p.m.
- I checked my rebate apps for any applicable rebates and submitted my CVS receipt for a $0.25 "any item" Ibotta rebate.
- I also submitted my receipt for the Walmart Savings Catcher but I don't have any hope that any other places might even sell the 24-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper, much less have it on sale and for cheaper.
- I emailed my friend Pixel from Thoughts From My Corner of The Couch to see if she'll have time to meet up for breakfast and a hike this coming month. It'll be so much fun seeing her again!
- Oooh, the sky is getting dark! We might get some rain! I hope we do!
- 4 pm: it's raining! Not a lot, but steadily. Yay.
- YS will be taking the PSAT on October 11. He handed me the notice from school but didn't read it (grrr!) and it's a good thing that I did and that I asked if he had a calculator because he tells me that he doesn't. If I hadn't read it, he would have shown up without one. I had a chat with him about taking his own future in hand, reading the notices before he hands them in to me and acting up on action items such as realizing that he doesn't have a calculator, telling me that he needs one, doing the research ahead of time as to which model is appropriate and allowed, etc. That is what his sister did but somehow none of my boys seem to be able to do on their own. Why is this? I raised them all the same, I swear. So I texted my daughter to ask which scientific calculator she recommended for him seeing as he might take the same classes as she did. I should have had him text her, however, darn it.
- My daughter called me back and we discussed which calculator would be appropriate. Since the list of approved graphing calculator isn't easily found on the College Board website, we agreed that a Ti 30 scientific calculator was fine and we'll wait until Pre-Calc to order whatever calculator he'll need for that. So I ordered a Texas Instrument calculator on Amazon and charged the OOP to my Amazon Visa card for 5% back in Rewards. I didn't pick the digital reward option because I was worried we wouldn't get the calculator in time.
- YS and I went driving at 5:20 p.m. It was raining so I decided that we'd just drive in the neighborhood and have him practice stopping and going at lots of stop signs. Luckily, we have lots of those! I let him go wherever he wanted. Before we started, I shared with him my findings from the videos that I watched this morning, namely that I felt that maybe he was sitting a little too close to the wheel, which interfered with him being able to release the clutch slowly enough, and that he needed to hit the gas pedal more strongly. Also we talked about releasing the clutch as soon as he switches gear so the engine doesn't rev up. So off we went. He wasn't convinced about the position of the seat being important, but he didn't stall while he was driving with the seat one crank back from where he usually likes it. So I had him move it forward 1 crank again and try, and he stalled twice while he was in that position. We also analyzed what he did wrong (one time he released the clutch too fast and the next time he didn't hit the gas pedal hard enough). I had him move the seat back again and he kept practicing and he didn't stall at all! So after about 30 minutes of this, I told him I felt good enough for him to drive us to Clermont to go look for the comic book store that we hadn't found the last time. It was still raining and there was quite a bit of traffic because it was rush hour, but he did great.
- I used Google Maps on my phone to find the store but we still couldn't locate it (it's a brand new store) so I called them and they told us where they were. We had to go around the block but then we found them. It's a smaller store than I anticipated based on the fact that it's a large chain in the Orlando area but well stocked with both comics and gaming materials, including D&D, yay! The clerk said that they were trying to get a D&D group going on Sunday afternoons so I think I'll bring YS on Sunday. He was interested in a new-to-him board game called "Star Wars: Edge of Empire" and I offered to get it for him for Christmas but then he decided to buy it himself. It was priced at $29.99 but usually Amazon has those games for less so I checked my Amazon app and amazingly it was $40+ on Amazon! So I bought it for him with my credit card (since he didn't have enough to cover the tax and I could get the rewards on the whole amount!) and I had him give me $20 because I wanted him to keep the $12 in his wallet in case he needs money at school for anything. The store offers a loyalty card where we get 1 punch for every $10 before tax and after 10 punches we get a $10 credit. The clerk gave us an extra punch so we already have 4 punches. Woohoo!
- I felt a little bad about not going to the other comic bookstore where we had befriended the owners, but they don't know anything about D&D and they're nice and all but this store is going to be better for us.
- As we were leaving the store, Greg texted that he had gotten home (he left work early today). By the time we got home, he'd been answering emails instead of even attempting to get dinner started so I was a little put out, but then he was fine with eating cold rotisserie chicken so that was easy. I did heat up a can of baked beans because he didn't want salad.
- We ate while watching the first episode of The Great Baking Show: Masterclass on Netflix. We just love Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry!
- A couple of days ago Greg had asked me to order an HDMI cable on Amazon so he could connect his PC to the new "monitor" but I had completely forgotten to do that! So I ordered it tonight, along with the siphon that I had researched during the hurricane black-out. We'll need it to siphon the gas out of the generator as it shouldn't sit in there.
- All of a sudden, Greg suggested that for my 50th birthday that's coming up in a couple of months, he and I should "go somewhere". OK, I was cautious when hearing the suggestion because that usually means "Clermont" or "Orlando" in his mind, as he doesn't usually want to travel with me because he claims I complain too much. He had a point several years ago and I have made a great effort to be a more positive person since then and I have to admit that our relationship has improved as a result (plus the lessened pressure of not having 6 kids at home and a custody battle going on helped a lot!). Anyhoo, I jokingly said that I wanted to go to Paris for the weekend and he said "Sure, I'll take you to Paris!". Whaaaat?!? But the thing is, I don't want to go anywhere in December because the weather is crappy anywhere I would want to go, and I don't want to leave YS alone. So we chatted about options but I ended up suggesting that we wait until summer or fall next year so we can combine his 50th birthday celebration with mine (we'll both be 50 at the same time for about 2 months!) and YS will be 16 and driving on his own so a little more independent and mature, and we can have Middle Son or Daughter keep an eye on him (hopefully), and also we could go somewhere for longer than just 2 days. Well, he agreed that it was a good idea and that gives us more time to plan. Woohoo! So I'm thinking that I get to reset my "50 lbs by my 50th birthday" challenge to a "50 lbs by my 50th birthday celebration" challenge :) Now we have to agree on where to go. Since it'll be to celebrate his birthday too, I don't think he's going to want to go anywhere outside of the US. And I guess so much for "let's tighten our belts", eh?
THINGS DONE ON FRIDAY
Drop off thrift store donations and coupons (laundry room)DONE Go to Kohl's to redeem KC by 9/30DONE Go to CVS for milk and TrolliDONE Go to Wawa to redeem free coffee (cpn and free coffee day) and gas up carDONE Go to Ace to redeem coupon by 9/30DONE
Wash mouth guardDONE Stretch my feetDONE
Update freezer inventoryDONE
Check bathroom ceiling for mildewDONE Run dehumidifier in bathroomDONE Clean downstairs bathroom sinkDONE Wipe downstairs mirrorDONE Sweep/mop downstairs bathroomSWEPT Spray bleach in shower stallDONE
- Family & Friends
Take Youngest Son driving with Focus (needs nighttime experience too)DONE
- Schedule breakfast and walk with Pixel IN PROGRESS
Order or buy scientific calculator for PSAT (10/11) - Check answer Daughter for recommendationDONE Reach SB 1st goalDONE Earn daily Microsoft RewardsDONE Enter receipts in checkbookDONE Enter food receipts in Groceries & Eating Out spreadsheetDONE Submit receipts for rebatesDONE
Watch the birds outsideWELL, I TRIED!
Thursday, September 28, 2017
- Hey, I slept pretty well last night! I didn't wake up to use the bathroom until 5:50 a.m. and then that woke up Explorer who was snoring softly on the pillow to my right and as I curled back up on my left, he let out a little cry, and came to settle himself on the pillow to my left, with his head against my neck and he purred. Awww. But then I couldn't go back to sleep and enjoy the last 20 minutes of my night. Well, that's OK.
- I had kind of hoped (but not really) that Greg wouldn't like his TV or that it wouldn't work because then I could have had a big TV in my bedroom on which to watch Forensic Files when I go to sleep, lol. Just kidding, I don't want a TV in my bedroom. But sometimes watching the Kindle Fire gets uncomfortable because I curl up on my side, have to prop it with pillows and blankets to completely hide my headphone cord away from Explorer and my glasses hurt the side of my face. Sigh. First world problems.
- Greg texted me this picture from upstairs after he got out of the shower. It seems Tabby Kitten was enjoying the fan's breeze quite a bit this morning, lol!
- Youngest Son packed his lunch to take to school and rode the bus. I packed Greg leftovers and a PBJ for his breakfast.
- Tolls have been reinstated for a week so I got an alert that the Sunpass was being replenished. I didn't miss those! It looks like the hurricane's toll lift saved us about $100 in tolls though.
- I had defrosted a quart of 1% milk overnight since I'm not planning on going to CVS until tomorrow and I had finished the previous half gallon. When taking the picture, I realized that I had had it in the freezer since January 2015! I had bought it on 50% off clearance at SAL back then. I used it in my morning cereal, with a brown banana too.
- I also defrosted some ground beef overnight. Again, I had bought it on 50% off clearance at Save A Lot, several months ago. I'm going to make Blue Plate Meatloaf for dinner, along with mashed potatoes and a can of no salt added green peas. I feel so prepared that I already knew what I was going to make for dinner last night, without even having planned a weekly menu, ha.
- Greg asked me if I was going anywhere today and I said no, but I should have answered: no! I'm going to be chillin' on the patio! I settled myself on the patio with the laptop, camera, Thursday paper, coffee and bowl of cereal as soon as I had started the dehumidifier in the bathroom, at about 7:45 a.m.
- It's muggy and it'll be hot today but hopefully the temps should cool off starting tomorrow. I had a few visitors in the nearby trees and at the feeder within 45 minutes of sitting down and I also took some pictures in the garden. My lens was fogging up so again, excuse the quality of the pictures.
- I emptied the countertop composting bin into the large one outside and noticed that the darn sweet potato vines have sprouted again! I knew it would since I pulled it without digging for the larger potatoes (they're probably bug chewed anyway) but I was thinking it wouldn't happen until next summer, lol. Those are some really stubborn sweet potatoes!
- I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits and I'm working on Swagbucks with the help of automatic nCraves. My 1st goal today is 109 SB.
- Secondly, not chilling but sobering, was a local article telling us that the mass of debris caused by Irma might take not weeks but months to clear out. Mostly because most of the haulers were sent to the highest affected counties down South, but also because in order to be refunded by FEMA, the counties have to pay all of the costs upfront (for our county alone that's going to be more than the $21 million that Charlie had cost back in 2004) and also have to hire a monitor to report to FEMA (and pay for this upfront again) and if they miss any step in the process, FEMA will deny the reimbursement and local taxpayers will be on the hook for it.
- I ignored a call from a number in Austin, TX and looked it up right away and darn it, it was Home Depot Home Services. I called them back but got their voicemail. Why they don't call from the number they ask you to call back (which is programmed in my phone so I know it's Home Depot), I don't know. I've been getting tons of spoofed numbers spam calls recently, at least 4 a day so this is reinforcing my policy of not answering any calls from numbers I don't know. Some people hate voicemail but I love it. Use it!
- I just realized that Sunday is the first day when you can file the FAFSA for 2017-2018 if you have a student in college (or are in college yourself) and it's first come, first served so don't delay! I texted my BFF a reminder and emailed my daughter. I also shared with her the information I found that confirms she could use Bright Futures over the summer, although I urged her to contact the Financial Aid department to double check that summer 2018 is considered part of the 2017-2018 school year for Bright Futures purposes. It's not something she'd want to assume and then realize that Bright Futures won't be paying 100% of her summer tuition and fees.
- I also sent my daughter an article clarifying that she will need to pay federal income tax on the portion of her Bright Futures scholarship that she got back and that she used on housing this year. She had been asking me about this just last week.
- I noticed that I'm past the 2,500 SB that I needed for a gift card, but I'm going to wait until Sunday to redeem them so it only costs me 2,200 SB (since it's 10/1 and the 1st gc of the month is usually discounted to 2,200 SB).
- The squirrels are relentless this morning! I just witnessed one sliding down as it foolishly tried to climb a greased bird feeder pole and it never gets old! The smarter ones do use the mulch pile and small trees to skip the climbing and just jump on it! I get up periodically to chase them away, although this has the effect of also scaring the nearby birds :(
- I texted my friend Juliet with the FAFSA reminder as well (she has a daughter who is working this year but is planning on going to college the following year, I believe) and ask her if she was available for lunch soon. Because "tightening my belt" doesn't mean I'm gonna stop meeting my few IRL friends for a meal and a good chatting session! She replied so we made plans for next week. This reminds me that she flips houses so she knows contractors so I'll need to ask her for a recommendation for a roofer. I could text her right now and ask but I don't feel like dealing with it today.
- Actually, I don't feel like dealing with anything today. I just went down my To Do List 3 or 4 times and I thought "ugh" at almost every bullet point, ha.
- The squirrels are really getting on my nerves today so I moved the cardinal feeder. It's closer to me and not near the mulch pile or a tree although they could jump to it from the nearby pole if they wanted to. But for now, it's perfect. And if the cardinals come back, I'll get better pictures :)
- Still no period and still famished, so I went to make myself a snack. I decided on a strawberry cream cheese sandwich. Guess who else is hungry?
- I actually read the paper today and learned that WUCF-FM has expanded to our county by buying 89.5. Woohoo! I'll have to see if I can now listen to jazz in my car when I drive locally. A jazz lover, I've been avoiding listening to jazz for over a year since my Oldest Son (a jazz trumpet now turned music teacher) stopped talking to me for reasons unknown. It's just too painful. Anyhow, I also saw that there's going to be a free Latin Jazz festival in Casselberry on Saturday that features Arturo Sandoval, one of the great jazz trumpetist and I hope Oldest Son knows that and can attend. I wish I could go but again... too painful and I guess it'd be very awkward if I ran into him. I really do not like drama and Oldest Son hasn't been responsive to any of the openings I have tried with him.
- Remember how I said yesterday that I hadn't seen a lot of six-lined racers this year? I just spotted a small one! Woohoo!
- Home Depot call me back from yet another number so I didn't pick up. Good grief! I didn't know it was them. Actually it was the service guy himself who left a VM. I called him back and he said he was 45 minutes away and could be come now? I said "Sure!" and he told me he was so relieved that I made his day because he didn't know when else he was going to be able to come up here. So glad this is working out, I told him he made my day as well :) One less thing to worry about and to have to follow up on. So I'll go back indoors in 30 minutes. It'll be past 11 a.m. so the patio will pretty much be in the sun by then anyway, and I haven't seen any birds at the feeders since I last got up to scare the squirrels away.
- Good grief now I'm getting a call from Bainbridge Island, WA. I don't know anyone there. I'm sick of spam calls! I keep my "home line" to avoid telemarketers and now they keep calling my cell somehow. This one was reported online as being a scammer pretending to be from Apple. I blocked it. And 2 minutes later I got another call from a spoofed local number. I blocked that one as well. I swear I'm thinking about getting rid of my cell phone altogether sometimes.
- Of course, now that I have to go back inside, a little Tufted Titmouse keeps on making very quick trips to the blue feeder. I wonder if it's feeding youngs because it just take one or two seeds and then flies off, only to return a minute or two later. I'm thinking that once the window is repaired, I might just set out the patio umbrella, put on some shorts and a tank top to be cooler and come back to sit on the patio some more!
- Best.service.call.ever! John from Home Depot Home Services showed up when he said he would, was super nice and very happy that he didn't have to drive too much out of his way to come fix my problem since he was already halfway up my way when he got the call and is going to be extremely busy in other areas over the next few days, and went above and beyond, IMO.
- First off, the balancing shoe didn't need to be replaced. He said the guy from yesterday didn't know what he was doing when I explained how that guy had just forced the shoe up with his screwdriver instead of using the screwdriver to turn it sideways and release the spring tension a little, as the first guy had told me and how the manufacturer recommends those balancing shoes are handled. John was able to resit the window in it very easily and told me that I needed to make sure that I first lifted the windows a few inches before letting it hang down to wash the outside of it without holding it like I was doing and then showed me how to resit it properly, although honestly he didn't do anything differently from the video I had watched and how I had done it so I don't know why it worked for him but not for me (or the other guy yesterday). He took it out a few times to demonstrate so I could see that it was a problem easily fixed. OK, I'll try to be better next time. I suppose this means I should be washing my windows much more often so it becomes second nature and I learn not to have that problem anymore! Ha.
- Secondly, he pointed out that we have a lifetime warranty on all windows and screens so we shouldn't feel bad about calling them any time we have a problem. When he said "like if you have any damage to any screens, call us and we'll come fix it for free". Ding, ding, ding! I mentioned that the kittens had actually mangled my sliding door screen back when they were kittens so he said "I have time, I have the material, do you want me to replace it now?" Heck YES! So he replaced my sliding door screen too! What a guy! Did I mention that he was super nice? We had a nice chat while he worked.
- So I'm super happy with Home Depot and those windows. He also mentioned that he's been installing windows for a long time and that he loves those vinyl Simonton windows because they are so effective against the heat in Florida and the warranty is great. I agree!
- I was going to sit outside again after he left but by then it was noon and it definitely was hotter so I decided not to, after all.
- I fixed my lunch: pasta and zucchini leftovers to which I added some pasta sauce with meat that had been in my pantry for a while, some of the salad that was leftover from a couple of nights ago, and the 2nd half of a pineapple (bought for $0.99 at Save A Lot last week). I had also brewed a pot of decaf so I'm drinking that.
- I upcycled a yogurt container to hold the leftover pasta sauce in the fridge. If the container turns red, I don't care.
- OMZ, how timely is this article from Lifehacker about How to Get Your Smartphone Potential Scam Callers For You? Well, not as useful for me as I would have hope because after downloading the Call Protect app getting a password texted to me from AT&T, creating an account... they're telling me my line isn't eligible for it because I don't have AT&T HD Voice. And from what I understand, I need an iPhone 7 to be able to get AT&T HD Voice. So poop. They got me all excited for no reason. But maybe the article will help one of you.
- Orlando City Soccer scored 2 goals in a home game yesterday so my local mcDonald's is offering free large fries without purchase today to celebrate. Woo! I think I'm going to take YS to McDonald's on the way to the library.
- And Wawa emailed me that they're offering 1 free coffee up to 24 oz tomorrow to celebrate National Coffee Day. Woohoo! I was going to use my survey coupon for it but now I can get two :)
- I met my 1st SB daily goal, woo!
- It's 2 p.m. and I'm really struggling to be productive today, bleh. I circled a few things I might want to buy at Publix in the weekly ad. Even that wasn't exciting.
- I input my receipts into my Groceries and Eating Out tracker. It's really bad, people. Also, I was mistaken, this week's groceries still count as September. Out of 5 weeks for me in September, I've been over grocery budget 3 times. Yikes. We also spent a ton on eating out.
- Youngest Son came home and we chatted for a bit.
- I balanced my checkbook.
- Then I went upstairs, made the beds, changed the DampRid bag in Greg's closet, and put the laundry away.
- Next, I went to my daughter's bedroom and made her bed with fresh bedding, replaced the towel in the bathroom and cleaned the bathroom. There! Now I feel a little more productive!
- I texted Middle Son to ask him if I could drop off the monitor at his apartment tomorrow. We're tentatively scheduled to meet in the morning. Knowing him, he'll be asleep and won't pick up when I call to get the gate code... we'll see.
- A rant: I did a chat with a United Healthcare Rep because I couldn't find any information about my question on their website. I wanted to know if I could get a flu shot at a pharmacy like Walgreens, CVS or Publix Pharmacy and still have it covered by my insurance and whether I'd have to pay a co-payment. The rep didn't seem to know, contradicting himself. It's not a hard question and one that you'd think they get all the time. In the end, I have zero confidence that my flu shot will indeed be covered if I get it done at Walgreens. Why? Because several years ago I had one done there (same insurance company, same plan) and while Walgreens first said "no co-pay, your insurance covers it!", I got a bill for it several months later as they said that United Healthcare had denied the claim. Grrr.
- YS was conducting his D&D group today so he drove us to the library with the Focus. And stalled almost every time he stopped the car. Sigh. But we got there.
- We didn't have time to get the free fries from McDonald's before the library so I got them afterwards and ate them instead of keeping them for YS since he wasn't going to be home for another 2 hours anyway.
- I checked the mail and found one of Susan's wonderful homemade greeting cards in my mailbox! All for me! Look! I was so excited :) Thanks, Susan, I love it.
- I relaxed by re-reading some of my blog entries from this summer, and then it was time to cook dinner!
- I made the meatloaf by using the 50% off ground beef that I had defrosted, 2 eggs, some of the 50% off milk that I had defrosted too, some ketchup (I had to finish the bottle so I put the milk in the bottle and shook it well to get all of the ketchup out), some cornbread stuffing that I had bought on sale last year during the holidays, half an onion, some green peppers that I had bought on sale at Aldi before the summer, cut up and frozen, and most of a bag of fresh spinach from Aldi last week. I was thinking about baking it in my oven roaster outdoors but I ended up just baking it in the kitchen oven after all.
- And then I peeled some potatoes (some of which were on the verge of getting soft) and cooked them to make mashed potatoes.
- Greg is going to pick up our son from the library on his way home and will let him drive home so he gets more practice... on the F-150.
- When the meatloaf was done cooking, I decided to bake a loaf of garlic bread anyway and I also heated up a can of green peas. It's going to be a lot of heavy carb-loaded food! I might be in a coma on the couch afterwards!
- I unloaded the dishwasher and set the table. I hope I have the energy to do the dishes after dinner because I've really liked not having to worry about it in the mornings :) Update: I had energy and I did them and woohoo!
- I fed the cats since YS was at the library.
- We have lots of leftovers but not of garlic bread because YS and I ate the whole loaf. The.whole.loaf.
- After dinner Greg went to enjoy his new huge "monitor" while playing video games, YS did the same with his own PC, and I watched an episode of "Forensic Files" on Escape TV. Then I caught old episodes of "Will & Grace" and "Frasier" on Cozi TV.
Wash mouth guardDONE Stretch my feetDONE
Defrost meat for dinnerDONE Defrost milkDONE
- Whole house
Put laundry awayDONE
Do the dishesDONE Unload dishwasherDONE Empty countertop composting binDONE
Run dehumidifier in bathroomDONE Clean Daughter's bathroom sinkDONE Clean Daughter's toiletDONE Wipe Daughter's mirrorDONE
- My Room
Check my bed for fleasDONE Make my bedDONE
- Greg's Room
Check Greg's bed for fleasDONE Make Greg's bedDONE Replace Damp Rid bag in Greg's closetDONE
- Family & Friends
Take Youngest Son driving with Focus (needs nighttime experience too)DONE Contact Middle Son to arrange for monitor drop-off or pick-upDONE Remind daughter of FAFSADONE
Schedule lunch with JulietDONE Remind Juliet of FAFSADONE Remind BFF of FAFSADONE
Feed the catsDONE Filter waterDONE
- Make list of what to buy at Publix in new ad IN PROGRESS
Reach SB 1st goalDONE Earn daily Microsoft RewardsDONE Enter food receipts in Groceries & Eating Out spreadsheetDONE Balance checkbookDONE
Schedule Home Depot Home Services appointment to fix windowsDONE
Refill bird feedersREFILLED THE CARDINAL FEEDER Use dehumidifier water for potted plantsDONE Check on papaya seedlingand water it DONE
Watch the birds outsideDONE