Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Not Very Inspired Thursday ~ 1/19/17

I was relieved, in more than one way, to realize last night that my tummy pains had been gas and not very early menstrual cramps or something more serious. I took a gas pill and it helped tremendously. However, it was already past 10:30 p.m. so I still didn't get on the bike. Oh well, I'd walked well over 10,000 steps and was under my calorie count anyway.

I was really tired but I didn't sleep well. Both the "twins" slept with me while Tabby Kitty slept with Greg, as usual.  They stayed in bed with me all night and every time I would move around, Princess would come and lick my nose and try to bite my fingertips to get me to play with her.  I moved around a lot.  I was really tired this morning when they woke me up by sending something from the dresser fall to the ground with a loud CRASH at 6:15 a.m.  Just as well, I hadn't showered last night so I did that this morning and then it was time to take Youngest Son to school.

The drop off went really well, we actually ended up being "first!" in line to drop off, but unfortunately I wasn't first in line to leave the parking lot and idiot parents, blocking the students' access to the parking lot because they get pissed at other parents cutting in line so they block all the intersections instead of leaving them clear so students can go park, didn't help. So in the end it took me just as long to leave as on the other days even though there were much fewer cars.  Arrgh.

No rooster sighting today or maybe I was too sleepy.  I got home and Greg was still in the shower!  He said he slept through his alarm and Tabby Kitty is the one who came to wake him up.  He also shared that last night Tabby Kitty would also lick his nose at intervals and that at one point, he fell asleep while licking Greg's nose and his chin went to hit Greg's nose and stayed there!  He's our little narcoleptic kitten, we've caught him falling asleep when he was just sitting there several times so it was pretty funny!

I felt so tired that I went straight for the coffee and didn't drink my now customary 2 cups of water first :( Also I don't feel very motivated to do anything. It's 9:30 a.m. and I'm just starting this blog post now so I haven't even posted my To Do List, which usually helps me get a start on the day.  But, knowing that I didn't feel like doing much despite still having quite a few things on my list to do in January, I didn't sit on the patio.  I think I'll fold the laundry and watch Sherlock, and then vacuum my living room.  To start.

Plans for today, otherwise, include my driving Youngest Son to the library later tonight for his Teen Video planning session and Greg will pick him up on his way home.  Dinner will be easy: spaghetti and (frozen) meatballs and a side salad. I like easy dinners that are also crowd pleasers :)

Well I guess it's time to stop chatting and to post my...

  • Watch "Sherlock" while I fold the laundry
  • Read details of Diabetic Exchange program 
  • Do my foot exercises DONE
  • Exercise 
  • Finish putting away Christmas decorations
  • Wipe out a USB stick for library
  • Greg and I need to assign the IRA contributions to specific funds  
  • Vacuum fridge coils
  • Declutter under window seat in Exercise Room
  • Compare music libraries between the 2 laptops and finish moving what's missing to my new laptop
  • Figure out what software I still need to move/reinstall on new laptop
  • Trying syncing my phone on new laptop
  • Clean litter box upstairs Washed the 3 other litter boxes!
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Ask Daughter to help me clip Tabby Kitty's back claws and Explorer's claws  
  • Fold the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Vacuum living room
  • Take Driscoll's surveys 
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"!
  • Pick the oranges
  • Zest the oranges and freeze
  • Cook black beans in pressure cooker for Saturday 
  • Bake something with an ingredient from the side-by-side freezer (this week) - made chicken stock with chicken bones and veggies from the freezers.
  • Move fonts from old laptop and reinstall on new laptop
  • Take my measurements
  • Sign up for Personal Capital?
  • Look into renewing Youngest Son's passport - Decided to wait until he turns 16.
  • Send check to Middle Son for conference

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • Turned off the AC and opened the windows at 7:30 a.m. as it is quite cool outside.

  • Entered my weight into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 20 BR points.

  • Ran automatic videos on Swagbucks while I was out taking my son to school and then successfully took a 75 SB survey so I'd already surpassed my 2nd Daily Goal at 8:00 a.m, yay!  Still running automatic videos to earn some more... I'm now at 1,401 SB at 9:37 a.m.

  • Earned the daily credits on Microsoft Rewards.

  • Printed a cereal coupon that Kellogg's emailed me, twice.

  • I've been wearing the same capris for a week!

  • I used stretched milk in my morning coffee but it's starting to taste off so I didn't use it in my cereal. I should bake something today to try to use up the last of that "bad" milk.  I did stretch the new whole milk used in my cereal by cutting it with water too :) 

  • MyCokeRewards sent me an email whereby I could enter to win a $500 Amazon gift card if I entered one code through the link they sent me so I did... and forfeited the 3 MCR points I would have earned otherwise. This irks me as it's tantamount to expecting a purchase in exchange for a sweeps entry, even though I used the code from the cap my daughter found yesterday.  I guess I'll be singing a different tune if I win the $500 gift card, eh?  lol.

  • I flipped through the free local paper that was in my mailbox yesterday and found out that there'll be a free presentation at the Clermont Library on Saturday morning about "Florida Plants for Florida Birds". I had planned on going to the Lake Hiawatha Preserve to try to score a free Myrtle Crepe sapling at 9 a.m. and the presentation is at 10. This might be tight, as I wonder if they'll give out the saplings at the end of their own presentation... so we'll see what I end up doing but it might end up being a full and free morning for me :)

  • Called my car insurance company and removed the collision coverage on my SUV.  That'll save us only about $103 per year but that's $103 in our pocket!  Realized that the family car already didn't have collision. Greg doesn't want to drop it on his truck ($120/yr). Kept Road Assistance and Rental Reimbursement since we'll be traveling through the USA with my 10 year old SUV this summer.  I guess I was wrong when I thought I remembered that rental reimbursement went hand-in-hand with collision. Now considering lowering our liability since I no longer drive high school club kids around... but with Youngest Son being involved in FBLA, I guess I should hold off to see if I'll need to volunteer again at some point...

  • Found out from insurance company that if my daughter lives with her dad next year, she'll need to be on his car insurance. Gave him a call to make sure he realized that and he did, although he mentioned that if her official address is still mine, then she can stay on mine.  If she lives in an apartment and is completely self-sufficient and we don't claim her as a dependent anymore, then she could get a non-owner policy but she would need to call herself to get a quote since she's 18. The rep recommended that I be on the call with her since she's so inexperienced at those things. So we'll wait to see what happens with her housing decision.  I left myself a reminder on my Organization Google Calendar to revisit the issue on 8/1.

  • The second hyacinth (the pink one) blossomed and my living room smells so nice!

  • This morning I saved the plastic sleeve that the Thursday paper came in (part of my 1 penny for a year of  Orlando Sentinel subscription) to reuse when I clean the upstairs litter box tonight, along with the 2 jugs of cat litter that I emptied out. I will reuse them to store rain water when the rain barrel is full again.

  • I printed bonus coupons that Betty Crocker emailed me.

  • I received the cat grass kit that I had ordered from Amazon so I prepped the kit and put it in a closet where it's supposed to germinate.  I will check on it in a couple of days.

  • My lunch today was very self-indulgent but also frugal:  I made a couple of open-faced egg salad sandwiches because the eggs were starting to smell a little sulfur-y, and I finished the Christmas caviart by spreading it on 8 small toasts.  I also decided to finish the leftovers from 2 days ago (linguine with turkey chili) and I topped that with one of the Dole Mixations fruit cups that hasn't gone bad (yet).  I had about 300 calories left from yesterday and I'll bike tonight (she says, before eating all those carbs!). But hey! No food waste.  We're having pasta again tonight but maybe I'll just have a big salad instead.

  • I'm making chicken stock in the crockpot with the chicken bones saved from yesterday's breasts, some wing bones that I had saved in the freezer and 2 bags of diced green peppers and eggplant from my garden last summer (or even the one before that!).  I don't know if it'll taste good (I also added oregano, thyme, rosemary and a bay leaf!) but it'll use up the bones and freed some space in both my freezers...which will be replaced with the containers of broth, lol.

  • I was going to bake muffins for my son's after school snack, but I remembered that I still had a tin of cinnamon rolls that I never baked on Christmas morning so I baked those instead.

  • I perused the ad previews for CVS and Walgreens next week. It looks like all I'll be getting from CVS is milk and I won't shop at Walgreens at all.

  • I had hoped to see toothbrushes on sale at CVS. I've had it with the Dollar Tree toothbrushes, the latest that I have bought really aren't worth the quarter that I paid for each of them :)  So I'm going to splurge on a good toothbrush for myself next time there's a good deal at CVS or Walgreens.

  • The upside of dropping off Youngest Son at school in the mornings, is that now I can stop by any weekday to do my Publix shopping. They'll have just opened so it won't be busy, it won't cost me an extra trip since it's on my way home, and it'll save me some time on Wednesday mornings by having one fewer stops to make (or letting me stop at a thrift store instead!). Yay.

  • I unlocked new MobiSave offers in my app.

  • I also unlocked a $5 off $25 offer at ThinkGeek and $5 off $40 at Gander Mountain on Ibotta.  I might not use them but at least they're there if I want them!  Oooh, and they also have a $5 off $15 at JoAnn's and my daughter and I will pass one this weekend when we go to Renninger's so I'll ask her if she wants to stop in.

  • The lettuce that I'm growing does look great because it's been outside in the heat, but I like it fine. Since I'll be having a big salad for dinner. I went to harvest some just for me :) I'll make a side salad with store-bought spinach for the family. 

  • Anyhow, I also noticed that my lettuce is definitely regrowing on those stems that I left in the soil... yippee!

  • I also harvested a few more tomatoes (leaving them to ripen a little longer on my countertop), a handful of beans (that I froze right away), 3 tiny serrano peppers and a tiny jalapeño pepper... and then this!  How funny!  The vine had grown through the handle of the bin and I had pulled it from the other side so I hadn't noticed that a sweet potato had gotten stuck up there! It's been chewed on by some grubs a little but I'll cut off those parts. For now it's continuing to cure on my countertop, along with all the others since I keep on forgetting to cook them!

My pitiful crop!
  • I scheduled a bill payment online. My bank will mail a check automatically at no cost to me :)

  • My daughter gassed up the family car and paid with my Discover card so I'll get 5% back in Rewards and gained a new receipt with which I will earn a freebie.

  • I gave my son another driving lesson. This time he practiced driving throughout our neighborhood.  Still getting used to driving, especially a large SUV like mine. He's doing fine but we're doing it because I know there is little to NO traffic at that time of day, lol.

  • So I went to redeem a Vudu promotional code that someone had posted on Slickdeals and logged in with my account information. I had set up an account back in 2013 but never used it.  It wanted me to put in a credit card so I decided not to redeem the promo code after all because chances are I won't use it since it expires next week and the fewer places have my credit card on file, the better. BUT: I checked "My Vudu" and apparently I own 6 SD movies in there... must have been part of the initial promotion when I linked a Roku to it?! I love "Ghost" and "Lethal Weapon" so I'm happy about that and I think I'd been wanting to watch "The Producers" at some point.  Not sure about the others, though.

  • I was going to renew my son's passport since it expires in a couple of months. However, if I wait until he turns 16 next year, the passport will be good for 10 years. If I do it this year while he's 15, the passport will only be good for 5 years. I'll confer with Greg to see if there would be any reason for our son to need a valid passport this coming year and if not, we'll wait so we can get twice the amount of time for the same price :)

  • I exercised for free at home on my recumbent bike, while listening to 2 episodes of Frasier on the TV (I couldn't actually watch it, oh no...) and catching up on blogs on my Kindle Fire.
Someone insisted on getting in the way of the TV screen...

  • Gas:
    • to take my son to school
    • and tolls for Greg to commute
    • for my daughter and BFF to drive to their college class
    • to give Youngest Son a driving lesson
    • to drive him to the library
  • A brochure came in for Middle Son about a huge Photoshop convention in Orlando in April.  One of the sessions is how to make money for your Photography Business by contributing to Adobe Stock so I texted pictures of the brochure to Middle Son and when I saw that the student price was $149 when the price for "regular" people is $699 (it's a 3-day convention), I offered to pay for it if he thought he wanted to attend. He was very appreciative as he was about to buy his ticket because he definitely wanted to go :)

  • The iTunes charge for the RunMeter app upgrade to the Elite version finally came through, 4 days late!  So I definitely spent $9.99 on that.

  • I had forgotten about our new hose reel that came in a week ago!  Today I went to connect the hose to it but I couldn't disconnect the hose from the faucet on the back of the house... our really hard water seemed to have fused the heavy duty metallic connector to the faucet and we don't seem to have a wrench wide enough to use one.  I've asked Greg to help me disconnect it this weekend. So much for "better" hoses, as I never had any trouble disconnecting the cheaper ones with plastic connectors!

  • My bank had left me a message to try and figure out how I could link my IRA accounts to Quicken Premier 2017. I tried what they explained and it still wouldn't work and actually caused other accounts that had been linked to just disappear.  So I sent them a new message and in the meantime, called my mortgage company to try to see what they needed to do so I could access my mortgage account in Quicken. Well, I can't. They're not compatible with Quicken at all, despite Quicken listing them as a preset in their list of Mortgage Providers!  So I did a chat with a Quicken Customer Care agent and asked for a refund. They gave me instructions on how to go about that, should be a paper check within 3 to 4 weeks.  I asked them to let their engineers know that my mortgage company (US Bank Home Mortgage, btw) is not compatible and apparently has no plans to be compatible with Quicken and I got an answer that was either very sweet or completely sarcastic, I couldn't really judge. In the mood that I am right now, I just let it go. So then I had to deactivate all the account links that I had already created, and then uninstall the software, and then send my refund request. Ugh. So much time wasted and so disappointing!  I suppose that I might have the same problems with Personal Capital (plus I wanted the Tax Planner feature from Quicken!) so I might not even try to bother with that.  I sure hope that I do get the refund.  A little silver lining is that since it'll be a check refund, I'll get to keep the 5% in rewards from my Amazon Visa. A very tiny compensation...

  • Gas for the family car: $12.58 (RaceTrac)
  • Greg was given another pack of gum at work today!

  • Made my bed
  • Fed kittens
  • Prepped breakfast for Greg
  • Took Son to school
  • Aired out the house
  • Entered sweepstakes
  • Earned rewards on my programs
  • Replied to my sister's query on Instagram
  • Ran the dehumidifier in the downstairs bathroom
  • Wiped the sink and the toilet
  • Washed 3 of the litter boxes and refilled them
  • Tried connecting the hose to the new hose reel
  • Entered a MCR Sweepstake
  • Called car insurance and removed collision on my SUV
  • Discussed various scenarios for daughter's car insurance next year
  • Talked to my ex and then to Daughter about the options
  • Contacted my bank re: Quicken
  • Contacted my mortgage company re: Quicken
  • Contacted Quicken re: a refund
  • Gave Youngest Son another driving lesson
  • Texted with Middle Son
  • Provided nap support for a kitten
  • Cooked dinner
  • Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and started it
  • Washed a couple of pots by hand
  • Put away all the leftovers

  • I didn't sleep well but the graph doesn't reflect all my "awake" periods as they only noted those when I walked around.

  • So I went straight for the coffee when I woke up.
  • Breakfast was a bowl of rice krispies with 1 cup of ~2% milk and a banana.
  • I did my foot exercises.
  • My left knee feels a little tender this morning (?)
  • I was very bad with my water intake today :(
  • Lunch was linguine with turkey chili, 2 open-faced egg sandwiches, 8 mini caviar toasts, and a fruit cup.
  • Dinner was a large salad made of lettuce from the garden, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and a few croutons. I also had 1 piece of herring filet in mango pepper sauce that I had bought at Aldi several months ago but never eaten. It was delicious! 
  • At 8:20 pm. I had walked 8,338 steps today, just staying home.
  • Exercise was riding my recumbent bike for 44 minutes (7.26 miles)
  • For another pretty easy school drop-off. Also my son thanking me every morning for dropping him off :)
  • For Live & Learn's warning that hyacinths are toxic to cats. I had no idea!
  • For Youngest Son not crashing into anything as he was learning to drive my SUV
  • For Greg picking up our son from the library so I could stay home and have dinner ready on time


  • My 2nd hyacinth bloomed this morning and it's lovely, even though I did find out from Live & Learn that they're toxic to cats :(

  • I've forgotten to water the garden since it rained a couple of times, so my daffodils still aren't germinating, but the raspberry canes are coming back in a couple of places!

  • A new rose is preparing to bloom and another one is about to fade...


I didn't vote for President Obama the first time around, but I voted for him the 2nd time around.  Someone posted his final letter to the American public and I'm reproducing it here. What a classy man. Despite not agreeing with him on everything, I admire him and his wife greatly.  The next few years (if we're lucky enough that the new bozo in chief won't decide to "elect" himself President for Life) will be something else, entirely.  I am not an optimist but I'm particularly not an optimist when I look around and ahead.  

"My fellow Americans,
It’s a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It’s a letter meant to share what we know, what we’ve learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world.
But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.
Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength. I’ve seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers — and found grace in a Charleston church.
I’ve taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I’ve seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other.
I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding.
All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work — the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.
I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.
And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We the People.’ ‘We shall overcome.’
Yes, we can."


  1. I will miss the Obama family for sure. I agree that both he and Michelle carry themselves with grace and humilty and seem truly to have a wonderful relationship, which I admire.

    I am way behind on blogs, but wanted to pop in and say hi!

    1. Hi Laura! Thanks for taking a minute to stop by! I hope you're keeping your head above water with your classes and your projects :)

  2. Those cinnamon rolls look yummy! Now you have me wanting a cinnamon roll! It might not have been a very inspiring day, but you still managed to accomplish quite a bit. Too funny that your kitten is helping you with your workout! :D Your sweet potato vines are very determined! I once planted a sweet potato that had started to sprout, but nothing happened. It grew a little bit and then it died!

    Hope you have a good day, tomorrow. And fasten your seat belt - it is going to be a bumpy ride these next few years! I almost got into a fight about it with one of my friends who called me, today!

    1. It's hard for me to imagine you getting into a fight, especially with a friend, Bless and I'm glad it didn't come to that. It's very difficult when someone you are close is of a much different opinion. I don't shy from expressing my views but I try to be tolerant in most cases, so I can keep some peace. I've been lucky that my friends are still my friends despite vast differences and I like to think that they feel lucky that I still choose to be their friend. And that Greg and I still find ways to love each other despite vast differences as well. We just choose to discuss what we agree on and to not discuss the things we don't agree on.

      I have been trying to resist the cinnamon rolls, although the few remaining aren't as appetizing as they were yesterday, which is good for me!

      The sweet potato vine here is relentless. It's all died down now that it's "winter" and it's not raining (again!) and I pulled it, but I'm sure that once we get any amount of rain, it's going to pop up all over my berm again. Its flowers are pretty and we can eat the potatoes so I don't mind it too much, lol.

      I hope you have a good day, today, Bless. I plan on keeping busy and avoiding the news. Grrr.

  3. Really, the most positive thing I can think of saying about the next four years (if, indeed, it will be four years...) is that they will be highly entertaining. And you are right, it's wise to avoid discussion with friends and relatives who are of the "other" persuasion. LOL.

    1. Entertaining would be good. You're way more optimistic than I am :)


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