Monday, January 23, 2017

A Spendy Monday ~ 1/23/17

Well, this is it: the day when my darling kittens are getting fixed.  It was a stressful night, first with all the bad weather around us (18 people died in the Southeast due to that same storm system so it wasn't something to take lightly!), and then worrying about my babies' big day, and about how thirsty they must be because I was very thirsty but I didn't drink anything in solidarity with them!

Explorer and Princess slept with me and cuddled and cuddled. It was like they knew something was going to happen. And then at 6:00 a.m. Explorer sent something flying from my nightstand, sure sign that he wanted me to get up NOW!

So I went to shower while the kittens went downstairs in search of breakfast... which wasn't to be found since I had left specific instructions to not give any cats any food or water.

When I came down I packed Greg's lunch, prepped his breakfast and then put the kittens' name tags on the collars that I had bought them for Christmas. I removed the little bells because they would have driven me crazy.  Then I put the collars on the kittens. It was probably the last time they trusted me to do something to them. As soon as the collars were on, they completely freaked out, trying to play with the tags that were dangling there and take the collars off. It was kind of comical, in a way, to see their acrobatics. I didn't put their rabies or county license on, just the tags engraved with their names, so the vet technicians would know which kitten was which.

Explorer, trying to eat the name tag dangling from his brand new collar!

Then I took Youngest Son to school, which went really well. We passed his school bus which is now picking up kids going the opposite direction as it usually does?!  You'd think they'd warn the parents, but no.  I'm glad I'm just driving him now, it cuts down on the stress of wondering whether he's going to be picked up or not.

Back home, Greg was eating breakfast and I rustled up the kittens and put them in their carriers, one to each carrier.  Boy, they fought me!  They have never fought me before so I was surprised!  And then the pitiful meowing and clanging against the doors to pop them open started. Greg, the yellow-bellied husband, escaped to work, and I had to wait a few more minutes before it was time to drive them to the vet's.

In the car, they had calmed down, and then Princess started meowing and then all three were meowing, ugh. I called Greg and put the call on speaker so he could share in the misery. It's not a long drive to our vet's but it felt like an eternity with my babies crying behind and next to me!

So now they're there. The surgery tech will call me mid-day to tell me how they're doing and I'll probably be able to pick them up between 4 and 5. Or was it 3 and 4?  I'm sure they'll tell me again.

The bill is going to be a doozy, hence the title of the post. I'm not even going to pretend this is Domestic Monday because I miss my kitties and I'm worried and I don't feel like doing anything.  But I'm still posting my To Do List, in the hope that it will inspire me to do something.

  • Read details of Diabetic Exchange program 
  • Do my foot exercises 2X
  • Exercise
  • Finish putting away Christmas decorations
  • Wipe out a USB stick for library DONE
  • Greg and I need to assign the IRA contributions to specific funds  
  • Vacuum fridge coils
  • Replace fridge water filter
  • Finish decluttering under window seat in Exercise Room (on Thursday)
  • Compare music libraries between the 2 laptops and finish moving what's missing to my new laptop in progress (copied it all from old laptop to external drive)
  • Figure out what software I still need to move/reinstall on new laptop DONE
  • Trying syncing my phone on new laptop
  • Clean litter box upstairs - I did late last night 
  • 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  (later on this week) The vet techs clipped their nails for free!
  • Fill up jugs with rainwater
  • Finish putting the laundry away
  • Start new loads of laundry DONE
  • 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
  • Move fonts from old laptop and reinstall on new laptop
  • Take my measurements
  • Sign up for Personal Capital?
  • Enter receipts into spreadsheets in progress
  • Clip coupons DONE
  • Sort and file coupons  DONE

  • Last night the 600 SB for my Microsoft Shop & Earn were finally credited to my SB account. I now have enough SB to order a gift card, but I will wait until after the team challenge (that starts today) concludes so I can earn whatever pitiful swag-up award my team will earn!

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I packed a sandwich and other goodies for Greg to take to work.

  • My 1st Swagbucks goal is 100 SB. It'll be hard to reach it, I think, today.

  • There was little damage to our backyard; we lost a leaf filter on one of the gutters, that Greg will nail back in place, and a middle size branch fell in between our house and our neighbor's.  Greg will cut it in pieces and place it in the yard waste bin tonight.

  • I harvested a few tomatoes, including a couple of green ones that the rain had torn off the plants. I'm hoping they'll ripen on the countertop.  Also a couple of beans :)

  • I checked the rain barrel and was disappointed to find that, even with all the rain we had, it's only 3/4 full.  I'll fill up jugs tomorrow because I forgot to do that today.

  • I thought I had drank all the coffee that I had brewed yesterday morning but there still was about 1/2 a cup left in the pot so I had that this morning.

  • The temperature is pretty cool this morning so I have the AC turned off and the windows open.  Our high today should be 71F/21.6C.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • I entered 4 MCR codes into MyCokeRewards and scored 12 MCR points in my account.

  • I did the laundry in cold/cold.  The dryer will be used on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting.  For the 2nd load, my bottle of detergent was almost empty so I refilled it with water several times and dumped it into the washing machine to use it all up. I also adjusted the water level to just "large" since my 2nd load had fewer items.

  • I clipped the coupons that I had printed and from yesterday's inserts.  I had turned the TV on to see if anything was worth having on while I was clipping and an episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent was starting, woohoo!  I watched the whole series on DVD last year, but I can always watch it all over again because I'm so forgetful, lol.

  • I was able to qualify for 1 SB survey, finally, after trying out for many, and met my 1st Daily Goal.

  • I also realized I qualified for the 14 day Streak bonus, i.e. I will be awarded another 100 SB next month!

  • For lunch, I had a bowl of leftover black bean soup, a Sandwich Thin with a herring fillet in mango sauce and half a papaya. I didn't take a picture because I was anxious to hear from the vet's so I forgot!

  • So I called them at 1 p.m. since I still hadn't heard from them and they said the boys were "done" and Princess was still being operated on.  I thought they'd all be in recovery by now...

  • The cat grass is growing!  I hope it turns green, though (I had kept it in a closet, as instructed).

  • I reached my 2nd Daily Goal in Swagbucks and I've earned the 400 team points in the Team Challenge needed to qualify for whatever Swag-up we'll get at the end of the week :)

  • Chili's emailed me a coupon for a free appetizer with any adult entree over the next couple of days. It's going to remain in my inbox, in case I get to use it (but I won't!).

  • The vet's bill was about $200 cheaper than I had been quoted!  That was a great surprise, as I expected the bill to be closer to $800 according to the estimate they had given me, but it came in much lower than that, included all the medicines I have to give the kittens, and the follow-up visit for Princess to get her stitches out in a couple of weeks.  I charged it to Amex, where I will earn 1% back in Rewards, and which should help me reach what I need to order another CVS gift card soon, I hope!

  • A box of PinchMe samples came in!  I received:
    • A large sample bag of Purina One dry cat food. I texted my BFF to ask if her cats were picky or if she would like it.
    • A dishwashing cloth from Scotch Brite
    • A small 100-calorie bag of Slim Fast chips
    • A code for a free 8 x 8 photobook from Shutterfly (won't use, let me know if you want the code)
    • a coupon for a free jar of Barilla pasta sauce
    • 5 $1 coupons off jars of Barilla pesto sauce. I might not buy because we don't use pesto and I think I already have a jar or two in my pantry!

  • I unlocked a few offers on MobiSave, SavingStar, and Ibotta, including a new offer at Gander Mounter for $5.00 off a $25 purchase.  It expires at the end of the week so I won't redeem it, more than likely, as the closest Gander Mountain is at least an hour away.

  • I ordered take-out for dinner and my daughter went to pick it up with the Focus. She didn't want Chinese so I suggested she goes to Subway and uses the coupon that I had forwarded to her: $4 for a 6" sub and a bag of chips.  It was about $3 cheaper than she would have spent at Publix for the same thing.  The rest of us ordered combination platters, which have a lot of food (soup, eggroll and entree). I'm going to try and keep at least half my portion for lunch tomorrow.  We'll see if I can be "good" tonight!

  • Gas:
    • to drive son to school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • to drive kittens to vet
    • to go pick up kittens
    • to go pick up dinner

  • I used the dryer to dry all the laundry since it's raining off and on and I don't feel like setting up the racks in the house and have the cats play with the clothes drying on them.

  • A huge vet bill which was cheaper than  I thought, though!

  • Take-out dinner. With 3 kittens in distress and the need to monitor them away from the older cats, I didn't feel like cooking so I decided we would splurge on take-out tonight.

  • The Kellogg's Family Rewards site still didn't let me log in this morning. Hopefully their IT people work on Mondays and will fix it!

  • One of the Coke bottle caps that the kids found this weekend had a code that wasn't recognized by MCR. I tried a large number of various combinations, took a picture of the code with my phone and zoomed on it so I was sure I was entering the proper letters and finally gave up :(

  • Oh who am I kidding?!  It started with one little piece of ginger dark chocolate and ended up with me eating the rest of the bar that my Daughter had given me at Christmas.  Plus I should exercise this afternoon since I plan on babysitting the kittens all evening in my bedroom during their recovery but I don't feel like it...  What was that you said, Bless, about my willpower?!

  • Our Discover card was billed for our Netflix subscription: $10.81
  • Vet's: $532.98
  • Subway: $4.28
  • Chinese restaurant: $29.69

  • This coming week (starting on Thursday for me), Publix will have the Campbell's Yes Well soups on BOGO and I Heart Publix posted a link for a BOGO Campbell's Yes Well coupon, which will make these soups completely free.  I printed 2 coupons from my laptop and fired up the old laptop to print 2 more.  I'll just stop by every morning after dropping off my son at school :)

  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Took son to school
  • Put name tags on kitten collars
  • Put collars on kittens
  • Put kittens in pet carriers
  • Fed the big cats
  • Drove kittens to the vet's
  • Inspected the garden and yard
  • Put bird feeders out again
  • Harvested a few veggies
  • Corresponded with one of my brothers via email
  • Replied to blog comments and commented on blogs
  • Started the laundry
  • Put away the flashlights and emergency weather radio
  • Clipped coupons
  • Put the name tags on the older cats' collars
  • Filed coupons away in organizer
  • Participated in SB Team Challenge
  • Mopped all the water I spilled!
  • Called the vet's 
  • Texted Greg and the kids to update them
  • Printed some tax documents
  • Transferred music files from old laptop to external drive
  • Listed the programs and docs I still have to transfer to the new laptop
  • Went to pick up the kittens
  • Unlocked offers on rebate apps
  • Ordered take-out for dinner
  • Tried to get Princess to stop licking her incision. Ugh.
  • Supervised kittens while they were sleeping off their loopiness :)

  • Sleep was anxious but apparently good. I guess the app knows better than me?!

  • Breakfast was a cup of Special K Vanilla Almond and 1/2 cup of whole milk. I drank coffee.
  • Mid morning snack was  3 pieces of ginger dark chocolate.
  • Lunch was black bean soup, a herring filet on a Sandwich Thin, half a papaya
  • Afternoon snack was more chocolate, pretzel sticks...
  • Dinner was Chinese take-out.
  • Water consumption was almost non-existent, I was too stressed.
  • Exercise was just walking around the house today (7,131 steps as of 7:30 p.m.)
  • Foot exercises were performed.
  • that my BFF finally replied to my worried text from last night, as the weatherman had shown her area being impacted by very strong winds and rain... she told me they hadn't gotten ANY rain or even strong winds at her house!
  • That the 6.5 cup full of water RaceTrac cup that I managed to dump all over the floor where most of our power cords and transformers lay didn't damage any equipment and that I was able to mop it all up before:
    1. the wooden floor was ruined
    2. I was electrocuted
    3. our electronic (2 laptops, Greg's desktop and his Xbox One) were damaged!
I'm always bitching at Greg for having water on his desk next to the electronics so we won't mention this major mishap to him!
  • That in cleaning up the mess, I found, tucked under a corner of the carpet, an SD card that didn't contain anything that I needed so I wiped off the content and now I have an SD card to give to the Teen librarian so she can finally copy those pictures of Youngest Son and friends on there for me!
  • For very friendly and professional vet techs. They're awesome ladies, all of them, and took great care of my babies!


  • Well they got their operations. The vet tech said their bloodwork was great.  Tabby Kitty is now 6.8 lbs, Explorer is 6.2 lbs and Princess is 5.2 lbs.  Explorer and Princess used to be so close in weight, always, but not anymore!
  • We  brought them home in 3 different carriers, the kids came with me to help.  I was going to put them up in my room right away, but they have to remain in the carriers for a couple more hours so I put them in the living room with me and I'm playing some Vivaldi to calm them down. It's not working as they are frantic to get out of the carriers. I feel so bad for them!  They can only have a little bit of water when they come out, and then about 5-10 kibbles of food each at about 8 p.m.  

  • Tomorrow they can start eating normally again, but I also have to give them drugs every 12 hours.
  • At 5:45 p.m. I couldn't take Princess's pitiful cries anymore (the boys had quieted down and were asleep in their carriers) so I took them up to my room and opened the carriers. Explorer went to hide under the bed and wouldn't come out for a whole 30 minutes. Tabby Kitty and Princess were all loopy but restless and were trying to get out of the room. They eventually drank a little water and tried to use the litterbox, but they also try to lick their butts or stitches, try to jump on things (and then fall off because they're loopy)... they're quite a handful!  But they're not longer crying.  We'll see how much sleep I get tonight I think I might push the bed aside and put the mattress on the ground...  
Tabby Kitty and Princess loopily trying to play and walk around :)

Tabby Kitty attacking the draft stopper under the door while Explorer seems to have forgotten that his butt should be IN the litterbox, not sticking out of it!  Thankfully, he didn't do anything!
  • I moved to the bed and the boys came up and fell asleep next to me at about 6:45 p.m. I'm playing the Vivaldi station on my phone's Pandora app, this time it seems to work to relax them. They're used to hearing it when I play it downstairs. Princess was licking her incision non-stop and it was challenging to make her stop. She's very restless and won't settle down to fall asleep (she came out of surgery at least 2 hours after the boys so she's not on the same sleep cycle anymore). At least none of them are acting like they're afraid of me anymore!

  • A few minutes later, they were all asleep. I texted the kids and Greg not to come up so they didn't disturb them. I'll wait until they wake up to give them some food and go eat my dinner.
The boys

I hope your day was cheaper than mine and less tiring and painful than the kittens'!


  1. Glad your babies, and you, made it through the day!

    1. Thanks, Judy! I'm sure it was harder for them than for me, but I was very frazzled :)

  2. Oh, so glad to hear the kittens are home, recovering. Poor little kittens. Glad the procedures cost less than was estimated. You had a valid excuse for eating the chocolate. I know you will exercise your will power again, starting tomorrow. After you finish your leftover Chinese food, of course. ;) Hope you have a good day, tomorrow, Nathalie.

    1. Thanks Bless. I knew I could count on you to give me a pass on the chocolate and encourage me to find my willpower again :) I think I'll look for it tomorrow. I just finished the Chinese food leftovers and oh boy that is crappy food but like crack to me. I can't resist it!

      The best news about the final cost of the procedures is that I had forgotten about the rebate that the county offers on a first-come, first-serve basis and it's $50 per cat! So I should get $150 back within 30 days. I know I'll get it because I forgot to send them a receipt so the financial clerk who reviews the paperwork emailed me back and told me everything looked good except for the missing receipt. I'm glad I had left myself a reminder on my Google calendar back when I made the appointment for the kittens or I would have forgotten about it and forewent $150!

  3. I admire you...what a brave woman! All three kitties fixed on the same day? Wow! They should be fine once they sleep and get their bellies filled in the morning. My Nella pulled her stitches out twice! The first time they restitched but the second time they said she would be fine...healing nicely. Good luck with your sweet babies. :)

    1. You are very kind, Cheryl, but I'll tell you what: the boys were back to normal by 11 p.m. last night and they're running and jumping and wrestling as if nothing had happened to them! Princess though, is having a harder time, harder yet because they don't understand that she can't do those things and they keep jumping on her and chasing her. I tried sequestering her in my bedroom but she escaped (she wriggles under the door because there is a big gap) and if I put her in the carrier, she just cries and cries... thankfully right now they're all taking a long nap :)

      Oh my, Nella was determined to get those things off, wasn't she? Was she a kitten too when it happened? New Kitty and Mean Kitty before her just licked themselves a lot, but never tried to remove the stitches. Princess... I'm not too sure of what she's doing and she won't let me look. I'll have to wait until she's asleep next to me. For now she's hiding under some piece of furniture somewhere.

    2. Kitties are so crazy aren't they? :) Yes, Nella was a kitten when she had her surgery. I lost 2 kitties mid-2011, Mickey was 17 (kidney disease)and Baby was 18 (seizures).That left me with only Charleigh, a rescue that my brother flew from Charleston, SC to NY the previous year for me. Well, I had a lot of dry food that Charleigh didn't like, so I thought I should drop it off at a farm near me. The woman there feeds strays, she had 20-30 of them...a regular colony. It was 11-11-11 (I will never forget the date!) when we went sister-in-law (Sylvia)and me. Most all the kitties were orange colored, skinny, sickly and could have all done with a visit to a vet...poor eyes were runny, etc. But...there was one tiny long haired fluffy tiger striped one that seemed out of place. Apparently, someone had dropped her off at the farm a few weeks earlier...the farmer's wife had named her Scamper. She would mew at me and weave in and out of my ankles and at one point, she scratched in the dirt, relieved herself and than covered it. Already litter trained?! Sylvia said, "If you don't take this sweetie home, I will!" So, I asked the farmer if I could have her, his wife wanted to keep her, but he said, "go ahead, she's your's". We took her right to the vet ($200.00/shots, flea meds, etc.) and a week later she had her surgery (another $200.00 plus dollars!)She has always been such an inquisitive kitty...that we call her Nosey Nella...but only when she is naughty. After some research. I figured out she is a different type of cat...she is a Norwegian Forest Cat...a smaller version...just 12 pounds. She has the fur where water rolls right off of her...the right markings, the tufted fur between her toes. By the way...that was the last time she ever "covered" her waste...she is a do it and run out of the litter box kitty (She can clear a room too...p-u!) but we love her anyway! :)

    3. You must be taking extra good care of your kitties for them to have lived so long! My brother from Paris' cat turned 21 last year, I believe. He's had her since he was a single young man. I can't imagine what he'll do when she's gone.

      One day you'll have to tell us the story of why your brother flew a cat to you, lol! Didn't you have rescue cats in NY? I'll bet it's an interesting story.

      My other brother from Marseille has 2 cats and I think they're all Norwegian Forest cats. They have the very narrow faces and the sharply pointed ears and long coats, they're beautiful. He paid a breeder though and they cost him a pretty euro :) I think Nella knew what she was doing when she was courting you at the farm and it worked! And suddenly here you were spending $400 that you probably weren't planning on spending, right? lol. They tug at your heart strings.

      My son and I went to a cat shelter a few years back to visit the cats and almost all of them had eye infections, even though the shelter was very clean and obviously the cats were well taken care of. But there were hundreds of cats. Apparently it's really hard to avoid those infections in large populations of cats as they're very contagious.

  4. Glad to hear that both you and the kittens made it through the operations just fine.

    1. Thanks and me too! I hope Princess's recovery goes well and that she ends up leaving those stitches alone. She's also licking the base of her tail constantly, I'm not sure if that's where they stung her for the anesthesia or what. She can't seem to sit still when she's awake. Oh, she must have understood that I was typing her name because she just made a little noise under the couch and jumped next to me :)

  5. I'm glad their operations went well - they sure are cute!

    1. Thanks Kris! They are the cutest kittens ever. But I'm biased, of course :)

  6. Hi Nathalie,
    Sorry about my delay in responding about the diet. I was doing a little working to fill in at my old job. I have lost 4 1/2 lbs. its going slooooow ) :. Sounds like you are sticking to it well... good for you ! I would love the Shutterfly code for free book! I'm working on some now.
    Thanks, Bonnie

    1. Bonnie, can you email me at imperfectlynathalie @ gmail dot com (without the spaces)? I'll email you the code back.

      Hey, 4.5 lbs is great! I'm probably not going to lose anything this week with the PMS symptoms kicking in, me not drinking enough (water), and all the sodium from the Chinese food, ugh. You still have several days to lose 1/2 a pound, you can do it!!!

      I love it when you think about it in terms of flour bags. Imagine a 5-lb flour bag and how heavy it is and that suddenly you don't have to carry that around anymore! I think that our February challenge should be another 5 lbs, what do you think?

  7. Also Re: the MCR... if you go to contact and work with virtual assistant... they will send you a replacement code for that one that didn't work.... they don't let you do many but for sure would give you one.

    1. Wow, I don't know what happened, but I was never notified of your comment and I only realized you had commented back on 1/24 when I checked my pending comments because another commenter was saying her comment disappeared yesterday!

      Ah well, thanks for the info anyway, Bonnie!

  8. Glad the kittens (and you!) survived the ordeal of three surgeries! You just gave me the idea for tomorrow's lunch - herring fillet in mango sauce. I was just debating whether I should get up and make a sandwich, and here is your suggestion. Thanks!

    1. Oooh, you still have some?! Can I come for lunch?! I can't wait until Aldi has it again. I need to try that pineapple one now. Maybe tomorrow if I remember :)


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