Saturday, January 7, 2017

πŸ¦€ 😭 I'm Crabby Because of No Crabbing ~ Saturday 1/7/16

Actual sign hanging in my house :)

Greg said he would close his door last night so Tabby Kitty wouldn't bother him, so I took all 3 kittens and their food, water and litter box in my room and closed the door as well.  I managed to only use the bathroom once.  However, every time Greg would use the bathroom, Tabby Kitty would cry out, and then finally this morning at 6 a.m. he managed to open the door!  How in the heck...

He went straight to Greg's door and was crying out (so cute now, not so cute when he's bigger and louder!) so I retrieved him, and went to take a shower.  When I came out of the shower, the door was still closed but Explorer had managed to squeeze himself under the door and was waiting for me behind the bathroom door. Arrgh!

After I got dressed, we (the kittens and I) went downstairs and I fed them. It's still raining and we are under a severe thunderstorm warning in parts of the county.  It's also going to rain in Flagler Beach and the temperatures are falling throughout the state, we're supposed to go down to 37-38F tonight!  My pineapple plants are probably not going to be thrilled. It's supposed to get colder tomorrow night. And we'll have to turn the heat on.  I get headaches when the heat is on so I'm not looking forward to it.


Nothing from the rangers at the park so I guess the class is still on and they don't open until 8 a.m. and we leave at 7:30 a.m.  I'll try calling them at 8 anyway, better to turn around after 30 minutes than to get there and it's cancelled. I once again offered for Greg to stay home last night but he insisted he was coming and he was looking forward to it.  We'll see how he feels this morning. It's 6:50 a.m. and he's still in bed.

I packed a change of clothes for myself (told the men to pack their own, wanna bet they won't?) and some snacks: apples and peanut butter crackers. We're driving through part of the Ocala National Forest to get there, so I'm not drinking coffee or much water so I don't have to pee on the side of the road, lol.  So today won't be a good day for water/food intake. We're supposed to go out to lunch since Greg didn't want to pack a picnic.  I have to remember to be good but if it's cold and rainy outside, I wonder if a salad will look all that appetizing next to a burger or something.  I've got to steel myself :)

No To Do List for today since we'll be gone.  I'm starting the crockpot before we leave so dinner will be ready and hot, at least.

Update: well Greg got up at 7 a.m. and said we shouldn't go because of the severe thunderstorm warning. As I was telling him to stay home and I'd go on my own, the rain started absolutely pouring and thunder and lightning appeared, so I decided to cancel the trip.  I am so disappointed! But it's probably for the best.  I'll have to call the ranger station at 8 am. to let them know.


To console myself, I went to brew coffee, after warning our son to stay in bed and Greg went back to his. 

Crap (crab?). Now I have to come up with a To Do List.  Can you tell that I'm least I'm having fun with emojis today?!


  • Whine about how disappointed I am that I won't learn the crabbing basics in 2017 (that was the only time they'll be offering the class this year) DONE
  • Drink coffee DONE
  • Book Greg an appointment at the Urgent Care Clinic and fill out the paperwork online first.
  • Drop off my bike to be fixed? I decided to do that next week since I'll be running errands in Clermont anyway.
  • Reply to my mom's email DONE
  • Fold the laundry DONE
  • Clean upstairs litter box
  • Wash Cat Room litter box
  • Finish putting away Christmas decorations
  • Iron at least 2 outfits for Greg
  • Take batteries out of fans DONE
  • Wipe out a USB stick for library
  • Remind Greg to transfer money into the IRA accounts
  • When he does this, update the Net Worth document
  • Look up value of our cars and call USAA re: dropping collision - Discussed with Greg, he is reluctant to drop it on his truck even though it's 7 years old :( will discuss more.
  • Calculate bare bones budget and make sure we have 12 months put away in EF - DONE
  • Put DD214 away
  • Watch Bill Murray documentary on PBS with Greg DONE
  • Do my foot stretching exercises DONE

  • I packed snacks for the road trip.

  • After Greg got up and the weather turned to worse, I decided to cancel the road trip: so no 2-hour drive and no annual family pass to the Florida State Parks (for now), an economy :)

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • I cooked dinner in the crockpot.

  • I'm playing a few videos to earn Swagbucks this morning. My 1st Daily Goal is 70 SB and I have 60 SB that will credit today from a Shop & Earn so I don't need to put much effort into it. Plus I'm only 20 18 SB away from earning a $25 gift card. Woohoo!

  • My mom emailed me overnight to get some news and I thought I didn't really have anything to discuss but I ended up typing her a very long email!  This might need to replace the phone call I was planning on placing to her this month. I even sent her pictures so it might replace the French blog that I was going to start as well (now that I don't have any photos of crabbing taking place, grumble, grumble!). Anyhoo, emailing is way cheaper than calling since is FREE. I like free :)  It did take me a couple of hours to type the email, though, and I had to use Google Translate a couple of times because my French is so bad, I couldn't remember how to say a couple of things. What a maroon!

  • More rain means more free water in my rain barrel, I expect it's completely full now. I'm going to go fill my water jugs and hope the barrel refills too!  Update: I refilled 18 cat litter jugs with water collected in the barrel (it was full!) and now I have maybe 1/4 of the barrel left.  And it started raining hard again!

  • Temperatures dropping means no AC this morning (but heat on tonight, bleh).

  • I entered last night's biking mileage into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 120 BR points.

  • Oooh, my 2nd Daily Goal in Swagbucks is only 80 SB and I have nGage videos that are playing automatically so I'll be meeting my 2nd Goal and hopefully going beyond it too!
Yep, met my 2nd Daily Goal!

  • I uploaded a $2 Beauty coupon that CVS emailed me to my ExtraCare card. As per corporate, "Qualifying Beauty purchases include items from the following categories: Cosmetics, Ethnic Hair Care, Fragrances, Hair Notions, Hair Appliances, Hair Care, Hair Color, Hand and Body, Personal Cleansing, Pro Salon and Facial Care . Excludes items from Trial & Travel, gift cards and prescriptions.

  • I redeemed $2,200 SB for a $25 Walmart gift card, woohoo!

  • Chili's emailed me an offer to earn a free appetizer if I ordered $15+ of To Go food by Monday night. I've more than unlikely that I will, but I uploaded the offer to my Chili's Reward card anyway.  It just occurred to me that when we're traveling up North this summer, I will be able to use my Plenti points at Rite Aid (we don't have Rite Aid down here and I'm earning via Chili's and AT&T). At the very least, it'll mean a few free snacks.

  • Since it's dark and gloomy and rainy, I decided to brighten my living room by lighting up a scented candle (finally!) and picked the Mahogany Teakwood candle. Hmmm, smells so good!

  • Well that's a happy finding: I thought I hadn't met the 2016 goal to make sure that I had calculated a bare bone budget and made sure that we had a year in emergency expenses stashed away, but I had indeed calculated it. I just didn't remember where I had done all those calculations (hint: a worksheet in my Checkbook Excel workbook entitled "Emergency Budget", doh. I might have too many worksheets!).  I found them this morning and updated them for 2017. One thing I had calculated wrong was that I didn't take into account that under current legislation, we would have to pay for a health insurance policy if we didn't have one. I have no idea how much we would have to pay, but I would assume that for 3 of us (we'd drop the older kids, they are all covered under other plans anyway), I would need to budget at least $1,500 a month? So that increased the amount needed for Emergency Funds tremendously (I had budgeted a measly $20 a month for medical expenses in 2016 terms!).  Still, I'm pleased that we do have 12 months of that put away and a little more for other emergencies. I'd like to grow that "little more" this year as our cars are getting older, our appliances are getting older... we're bound to have a lot more car maintenance expenses and to replace something like the fridge... or have to pay for plumbing woes.  Plus if we have a tax bill this year, it'll have to come from that as well.  So in the best possible world, I'd like to increase our emergency funds by $2,000 this year. I will update my 2017 goals accordingly.

  • For lunch I had a bowl of leftover butternut squash soup, a chicken sandwich made with 2 oz of chicken breast that had been in my fridge for a few days, and the 2nd half of the papaya that I had bought on clearance before Christmas.  No kitten tried to eat my papaya today!  I had left it wrapped in Cling wrap just in case.

  • I'm counting this as a success: every day this past week, I've been so busy with my tasks and other tasks and then replied to blog comments and commenting, and then exercising at night and going to bed at a decent time, that I didn't have any time to take blog rabbit trails the way I like to. And I missed it.  And yes, a lovely but yet real time consuming side effect of becoming virtually social again is that it takes a lot of time to reply read through comments and reply to them and then comment on other people's blogs.  Time that I used before to just veg on the computer!  Anyhoo, my success today is that I took an hour or so to do just that and it felt nice :)  Now I'm going to fold that darn laundry.  And yes, you will see "fold the laundry" on my To Do list again on Monday since I'll be doing the laundry again on Monday. Sigh.

  • Greg's throat is feeling better so he doesn't want to go to CentraCare today.  However, he felt "blah" and it was raining this morning so he didn't want to go walk anywhere. And then he didn't want to go this afternoon either because he was reading his book. We might try to walk tomorrow morning before Middle Son comes over, although it will be cold. But since we're not going to CentraCare and my daughter is still in her PJs in the middle of the afternoon, it looks like we're in line for a No Drive Day today, and I'm hoping a No Spend Day as well :)

  • I finally folded the laundry, woo!  Greg and I took advantage of that time to watch a very short "documentary" featuring Bill Murray on PBS. It wasn't what we expected, just a 5-6 minutes 30-year old audio recording of an interview and someone animated Bill Murray in the stories he was telling. The quality of the audio was pretty rough and it wasn't all that interesting, actually. So then we put on an episode of Bob's Burgers on Netflix and laughed a lot. We also watched a tiny bit of "Brain Games" and then I was done folding so Greg went back to his book and I put Smooth Jazz back on Pandora :)

As always, I had "helpers".
  • I found a penny on the printer stand and I put it in my 2017 Spare Change Jar.

  • I had a huge failure with my Checkbook spreadsheet that was very stressful but the success story was that I was able to recreate it by piecing together the version that I had backed up from my old laptop (dated a month ago), the remains of today's version (long story!) and then because I charge everything so all our expenses that haven't hit our account yet were available on our credit cards' websites. Phew!  It is a lot of work that I wasn't planning on doing, obviously, but I only lost a tiny portion of the work that I had done today, in the end.

  • Another good side of this is that I had to log in to our Discover accounts sooner than I would have otherwise and took advantage of that to see if, by any chance, there was a Discover Deals offer for $10/$30 at Kohl's B&M. And you know what? There was and we each had it in our account, so I entered the information in my Kohl's app's wallet and I'm $20 (in Kohl's Cash) richer tonight! Woohoo!  I'll need to think hard about what to get as I also have a $5 in Yes2You Rewards so $25 to spend...  I ought to channel Sandie and get started on my Christmas 2017 shopping :)

  • Youngest Son and Daughter walked to the Family Dollar (they didn't realize it was as cold as it was!) and got themselves some snacks (with their own money). When they got back, my son presented me with a gummy candy called a "Krabby Patty" to console me for not having been crabbing today, lol. It was delicious. I have no idea of the calorie content so we'll just declare it calorie free!

  • Today was a No Spend Day and a No Drive Day! Woohoo!

  • For dinner we had the black eyed pea soup that had been cooking. I used the black eyed peas left over from the New Year's meal, celery that I had bought on sale at Aldi several months ago and frozen, baby carrots, Better Than Bouillon (bought for free at Walmart) and used up the garlic summer sausage that I had bought for Christmas and that we never ate. It was very good and I have enough leftovers for 3 people. I served the remaining 4 pieces of corn bread that I had baked for the New Year and that I had frozen. It was a nice hot meal on a cold night!

  • I scheduled three credit card payments online for free and balanced my checkbook, looking ahead at the next month since my checkbook contains my budget for the next 2 years, day-by-day.  This allows me to make sure that there is enough money in the checking account and see what what we spend today will affect us down the line if nothing changes.  I've used this way of budgeting us for 20 years and it's worked great for us so far.

  • I turned on the heat tonight (set at 67F), as it's supposed to go down to 44F tonight (which, apparently, it already is at 7:45 p.m.).

  • Stupid weather that forced me to cancel my field trip!

  • I got up with a small headache that got progressively worse by 10:30 a.m, probably caused by the drop in atmospheric pressure because there's no way I'm dehydrated.  So I took an Advil and I'm going to drink a lot of water. I expect I'll have a continuous headache over the next 2 days and Greg will start developing one of his migraines too.  I gave him an Advil as well.

  • I don't know what happened or how it happened but I had 2 versions of the same Excel spreadsheet opened, the original one (my checkbook with my budget that I had just completed for the next TWO years) and a copy of it that I had renamed.  I was making changes and lots of deletions in the copy version and saved it, turned to the original version and the same changes had been applied... which means that 99.8% of my whole workbook had been deleted.  And it couldn't been undone.  I screamed and screamed and Greg asked pertinent questions and tried to help me. Since nothing could be done and one of the workbooks suddenly got locked up "for editing", he told me to restart my computer. I did, and then we couldn't get into any of the workbooks as they were all "locked for editing". Whaaaaat?! In the middle of all that, a bright hope remained that my automatic wifi back-up was working so I could recover a previous version from there. Well, it was, but it updates the documents that are modified as soon as you save them so the back-up only contained that version that had everything deleted. Then my heart sank and I started crying because a lot of information that I needed had been lost.  Greg consoled me and then I started thinking that I had switched laptop not too long ago (only 3 weeks) so at the very least, there was a 3-week old copy of the document (so not updated and missing all the work that I did today but better than nothing!) on that laptop. Plus it backed up to another area of my external drive, so I was able to retrieve that copy and thankfully most of the work that I did today was still in the original file (which suddenly let me access it).  Anyhoo, I am spending several hours tonight recreating the information that I'm still missing, and the stress... ah, I feel exhausted.  I might skip biking tonight since my commitment was to exercise at least 30 minutes on weekdays and today is not a weekday :)

  • A lot of our bills are scheduled to be paid online on their due dates and I'm wondering if I should include those here too. Maybe I'll include the previous week's bills in this space on Saturdays since I get a reminder to input the previous week's expenses into my checkbook on Saturdays anyway...
    • Mortgage: $2,154.17 (includes $960 in extra payment to principal)
    • Discover payments: $29.61 and $834.76 (we each have our own card)
    • Transfer to New Car Savings account: $80
    • Electric bill: $92.34

  • But as far as today was concerned, it was a No Spend Day!

  • I ordered a $25 Walmart gift card from Swagbucks. It'll take a few days to get it.

  • $20 in Kohl's Cash for our Discover Deals offers!

  • Fed the cats
  • Cooked dinner in the crockpot
  • Packed for the trip
  • Called the Ranger Station to let them know we weren't coming
  • Replied to my mom's email
  • Refilled the cat litter jugs from the rain barrel
  • Earned Rewards for my programs
  • Folded the laundry
  • Played with the kittens

  • Texted Middle Son to arrange lunch tomorrow
  • Created a new year in my budget (2018, I budget 2 years out)
  • Started archiving parts of my Checkbook Excel Workbook (I archive my records by month, whereas my checkbook usually contains the information going back several months as I'm not diligent enough to archive the previous month every time a new month starts!) when suddenly files were corrupted and all hell broke loose!
  • Recreated my corrupted file
  • Checked Discover Deals and loaded up Kohl's Cash
  • Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and started it
  • Scheduled credit card payments
  • I didn't start my day by drinking water right away since we were supposed to have a long car trip through an area devoid of public bathrooms, and by the time I called off the trip, I drank coffee to drown my sorrow!
  • Breakfast was a bowl of generic rice crispies with half a cup of ~2% milk and a banana.
  • I did my foot stretching exercise twice this morning.
  • Lunch was 2 oz of grilled chicken breast on a Sandwich Thin with a little bit of light mayo, a bowl of butternut squash soup, and about 3 cups of papaya. I drank water.
  • Afternoon snack was a piece of string cheese.
  • Dinner was a bowl of black eyed pea soup with summer garlic sausage and a piece of cornbread.
  • I did my foot stretching exercise.
  • I input my food and liquid intake into MyFitnessPal.
  • For a husband who was willing to brave driving through a severe thunderstorm to come crabbing with me and was actually excited and interested.
  • For a quiet day at home after all when the weather wasn't nice today.
  • For rain that allowed me to refill my cat litter jugs!
  • That Greg is feeling better today
  • For a husband who tried to help me when I had serious problems with my Excel workbooks.


The kittens tested my patience sorely this morning as they kept on jumping up on the counters, digging through my seedling tray, pulling books off the shelves (!), jumping on the kitchen table!  Arrgh, I had to come at them with an almost empty roll of paper towels and swat them on their butts when I could. It broke my heart to see them run away from me, but they've got to be taught.

Later on I noticed that I didn't know where they were so I figured they were napping somewhere. Then I started hearing them jump around upstairs. I thought Greg had opened his door and they were playing in his room. But it went on and on and no noise from Greg but plenty of cat jumping noises so I just went to check on them (at 10 a.m.) and all 3 were in my bedroom, jumping up and down on the bed (like little kids!), jumping on and off from the bed, the dressers, the window sills from behind the drapes... they looked like they were having fun so I left them to it. Poor Greg is probably trying to sleep with a pillow over his head!

New Kitty came in the living room this morning and Explorer was sleeping in "the bucket" that's part of the cat tree. She perched herself at the top of the cat tree, overlooking the bucket, and as I was looking on, she reached out and tried to swat him with her claws!  It wasn't a playing gesture, it was purely to tell him to get off "her" tree but her problem is that it's NOT her tree and she's not even supposed to be in the living room since she's being such a bully.  So I yelled at her and she just sat on her butt, looking at me, didn't even try to leave! So she got a swat on the butt with the paper towel roll as well and from now on, she will be banned from the living room, period. Poor Little Explorer was completely confused, didn't know what had happened to him!  Argh, I thought we were past the bullying stage and were now at the acceptance and resignation stage. I guess not so much!  I can't imagine what would happen if we had that many cats in a smaller house. I guess no RV trip with the cats around the USA for us. Yes, it's been a dream of mine, lol.

I told you my kittens were vegetarians!  here they chewed a few leaves from my green pepper seedlings...

.... and here they chewed on some of the pineapple plants too!


I'm was not happy with nature today. It could have waited a day to decide to be less boring than "70's, no rain in the forecast"!  But it did provide lots of rain that we did need, so I guess we're on OK terms now :)

Is it cold where you are?  What's the coldest temperature you've ever experienced? I have no idea... probably close to 0F/-17C.


  1. Your kittens' antics make me smile, as always. Brutus still runs like a maniac around the living/dining room (it's one really large open area) and he has this whole circuit that involves the top of pretty much all the furniture. It's really amazing how far he can get without touching the ground.

    I can empathize with the Excel scare. I HATE when something like that happens and I have a very similar reaction. Gah. To lose all that work!

    When I lived in PA the temps would get below zero. I don't think they really ever got much more than 5 or 6 degrees below, but still. With windchill and snow, that's really cold!!

    1. I wonder how sedate the kittens will become once they're fixed. Male Cat went from being a very playful kitten to a cat who started sleeping most of the day pretty much as soon as he was fixed. I'd hate for them to lose ALL of their spunk because they are so entertaining, but I need them off the countertops, the stove and the sink (especially the stove, I'm so worried they'll try to jump on it when it's hot!) and for them to stop doing their claws on the carpet and trying to eat the edge of it when they have a plethora of scratching posts and cardboard scratch pads to use! The carpet clawing problem just started yesterday. Every day they find some new way to drive me crazy!

      Brutus sounds like a very entertaining cat as well! Does he ever break anything when he's running around like this?

      Yeah, -5 or -6 sounds really cold to me! I don't enjoy the cold but this afternoon we took a walk when it was chilly but sunny and it was very enjoyable. I started all bundled up and kept on shedding layers as we were walking, though. All the blubber that I have keeps me warm enough!

      I hope you stayed warm today!

    2. Ours...did not become very sedate until they were a couple of years old. Hope you have a slightly different outcome!

    3. Two years?! Arrgh, that won't do at all :)

  2. Aw, Nathalie, I am so sorry you couldn't go crabbing, today, due to the weather. I know you must feel disappointed. But it sounds like you made the best of the day, anyway. :) Sorry, too, about losing all your updated worksheets, but you managed to salvage some of it. Very resourceful of you! Those kittens are bundles of energy and mischief, aren't they? Hope you have a lovely day, tomorrow.

    1. Yes, the day could have been a complete disaster but it turned out fine. Phew! I still wish we could have gone crabbing though. I'll need to see if perhaps another state park might be offering something similar.

      I hope you had a good day today Bless and that your shoulder is feeling better.

  3. Aw-w-w how disappointing that you were unable to attend the crabbing because of the weather. You didn't let it get you down though. You had a roller coaster of a day with lots of highs and lows. I would have freaked to lose that file on my computer. But wow! Look at all of your successes today. You are doing extremely well with your efforts to stay in touch with your family....much better than me. In one week, you have emailed your brother in Marseilles, and your mom. You have sent off snail mail to your mom and your great aunt. You have arranged for a lunch date with Middle Son and a coffee klatch with your BFF. Am I missing something?? It has only been one week....way to go. I have been trying to send off a simple birthday card all week and still haven't managed it.

    The temperature in Kingston Ontario right now is -13 C (windchill is -22), going down overnight to -17 C (windchill -24) In Farenheit degrees, it is presently 9 degrees (feels like -8) and is going down to 1 degree (feels like -11 with the windchill). You are putting the heat on today. We have had the heat turned on since the beginning of October. Ha. Stay warm.

    1. Ha! I first read your comment as "we are putting the heat on today" and I about died thinking that you still hadn't put on the heat UNTIL today and here I was turning on the heat when it was merely in the 30s! So I had to re-read that sentence again once I read the rest of your paragraph :) Yes, I figured it was way colder where you are. Poor Susan. I can't even imagine what -24 feels like other than damn cold. Too cold for me, that's for sure.

      Leave it to you to keep track of how many family members I have contacted this week, lol. You're like my social secretary! Yes I think you got them all :) They were things to do on my January wishlist of accomplishments so I'm glad I got those done.

      Also, you and everybody else who say "You did all of this and I didn't do as much...", come on. I don't have a sick husband in the hospital, I'm not battling some monstrous cold virus and I don't work outside of the home (and barely in the home, ha!), so don't put yourself down. You certainly have other things to worry about than making cards and cleaning the house right now. I haven't caught up on Feedly yet (I read your blog there) so I haven't read the latest update but I hope everything is OK. I'll be heading over there shortly.

  4. I am sorry you didn't go to the crabbing workshop. I was looking forward to hearing about it! I am still Christmas 2017 shopping!! LLBEAN emailed me thatI had. ANOTHER $10 code I hadn't realized. So I got ANOTHER gun sock. (We are a licensed to carry household). Two nice FREE stocking stuffers. DH and I also went to Barnes and Noble as he had. A gift card. I found lots of clearance that was an additional 50% off the lowest price! I spent less than $35 and purchased over a dozen quality gifts!

    1. Oh man, you're on a roll! Way to go with all your gifts, you are going to be so bored when the rest of us talk about our Christmas shopping and you have nothing else to buy, hahaha.

      LLBean hasn't sent me anything but the first $10 off that I used LAST year. This year's catalog had no offer in it so I just threw it away.

      I really need to think of what to get from Kohl's, although I'm now thinking that since I've been doing a lot of walking, maybe I should just order another pair of walking shoes for myself to replace my current ones at some point this year...

  5. Hi Natalie,

    I finally got the Discover Deals Kohl's offer! Thank you for the instructions.


    1. Oh yay, Saryn! I'm happy for you, hahaha. I was wondering if you would this time :)

  6. If I had to cancel a field trip on such short notice, I totally would use that as an excuse for a "no to-do list day." How sweet of your son to get you a Krabby Patty candy!

    And don't feel bad about having to use Google translate - I have to do the same thing when I type an email in German. I still have my dictionaries from 7th grade, but of course there are no words like "data processing" or "word processing" in it. In either language. Ha.

    I used to live in Buffalo and remember 5ΒΊF feeling like a warm up... :-)

    1. Ha ha, I still have my dictionaries from high school and college but I'm far too lazy to get up and get them and then flip through them. Google Translate is much easier and, as you said, the dictionaries are now missing a whole lot of words that they use over in Europe since we, old foggies, moved away! Half the time I have no idea what my brothers are saying when they speak French to me. It's very unsettling.

      Buffalo is known to be a cold city, from what I hear. I think they experienced the coldest temperature recorded in the USA outside of Alaska last winter... I'm glad for you that you're in Florida now!


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