Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Date with Youngest Son ~ Sunday 2/19/17

Happy Sunday. It's a happy one for me because... drum roll... I've lost 2 lbs this past week!  Without really dieting or drinking or logging my calories... or exercising?!  Hmmm, maybe I'm just very dehydrated. I don't care, I was so happy to see that number on the scale because I thought that maybe I'd be 2 lbs heavier, you know?!

So it was a good way to start my Sunday at 5:30 a.m.  Another great way to start my Sunday was that the kittens actually let me sleep in until 7:30 a.m. and I'm the one who woke them up at that time, too!  Explorer and Princess had settled themselves each on one of my shoulders when I went back to bed after my 5:30 a.m. bathroom visit/weigh-in and actually protested when I got up and I thought "well, now you know how it feels every morning when you're trying to get me up at 4 or 5 a.m.!" but they dutifully came downstairs and had breakfast, enjoyed the open windows for a bit, and then Explorer climbed right back up on my chest and shoulder as I was reading the news on my laptop and cuddled for a bit.  I love kitten cuddles so I was happy :)

The weather right now, at 9:35 a.m. is very overcast, but our high should reach 80F/26.6C.  As I mentioned, I have the windows open and I can hear birdies calling from atop the trees. This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count so I think I'll sit in the backyard later on today and see if I can identify any visiting birds.  There was a cat in our backyard this morning so I didn't bother sitting out there. Plus it was kind of wet because it drizzled yesterday afternoon so I didn't feel like wiping down all the furniture before sitting down.

Greg went out of town for a few hours, to visit someone.   My plans for today include going to see "The LEGO Batman Movie" with Youngest Son in the theater. I know, neither he nor I actually enjoy going to the theater but I wanted to have a date with him and I thought we'd both enjoy the movie. It's not frugal but who said dates had to be, right?  Then I'll take him out to lunch. He loves chicken and a Zaxby's opened up in Clermont a few months ago, so I thought we'd go there. I've never eaten there. But when I told him that last night, he was strangely resistant to the idea because... he doesn't like their logo. What?!  Greg and I were still chuckling about that this morning. Fifteen year old boys are strange birds, aren't they?  I think we'll still go... it'll give him something to complain to me about for the next few years until he becomes a regular person and realizes that it was silly and tells the story to his own kids :)

As always, I'm posting my To Do List but I probably won't do much about it. It's the weekend, woohoo!

  • Write a menu for the week DONE
  • Record bird sightings for Great Backyard Bird Count
  • Cut up the pork loin into roasts and freeze
  • Go on a date with Youngest Son DONE
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift (Greg on Monday)
  • Update French blog
  • Sweep Cat Room
  • Sweep breezeway
  • Sweep exercise room
  • Make my bed  DONE
  • Print coupons DONE
  • Clip coupons DONE
  • Sort coupons DONE
  • Upload digital coupons DONE
  • Turn bread heels into bread crumbs
  • Earn Microsoft Rewards credits   DONE
  • Input weight into WHBRHC  DONE
  • Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time  
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER)  
  • Do last night's dishes DONE
  • Fold the laundry (as I watch "Spy in the Wild")
  • Put the laundry away 
  • Clean fridge - cleaned the bottom shelf, cleaned the "main" shelf
  • Sweep the downstairs bathroom
  • Vacuum the upstairs bedrooms
  • Sweep/vacuum the main stairwell
  • Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son (after pediatrician apt)
  • Download all January pictures from my phone and camera to external drive
  • Back up external drive to its own external drive!
  • Start a list of the electric outlets that I want to get replaced
  • Do my foot exercises  DONE
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only)
  • Give USB drive to Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it
  • Move missing Music files from External Drive to my Laptop 
  • Move/reinstall missing software on new laptop in progress, moved all the files to the External Drive
  • Trying syncing my phone on new laptop
  • Back-up my phone
  • Reset phone to factory settings
  • Upgrade to newer iOS
  • Clean upstairs litter box  DONE
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Read new issue of Kiplinger's in progress
  • Wash kitchen windows
  • Inventory the pantry
  • Inventory the freezers
  • Reorganize the gardening supplies area in breezeway
  • Purge file cabinet in progress (through "credit cards")
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Move fonts from external drive and reinstall on new laptop
  • Take my measurements
  • Look into transplanting hyacinths in garden - Moved them outside since Explorer has started to jump on mantelpiece :(
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach (wear old clothes and shoes, gloves and goggles)
  • Finish decluttering exercise room shelves
  • Try to hit my 1st Daily Goal on Swagbucks  DONE
  • Call my bank to consolidate my IRA accounts
  • Sit down with my daughter and show her how to file her taxes
  • Start on our tax return
  • Schedule an outing to P.E.A.R. Park and ask them about the trees from my backyard
  • Input receipts in my spreadsheets DONE

  • We didn't turn on the AC last night and might not need it today either as it's very overcast. I have the windows open.

  • I lost 2 lbs!  Woohoo!

  • The kittens let me sleep in until I was ready to get up.

  • My mom emailed me that, despite some hiccups (she's not good with technology!), she was finally able to access my French blog :)

  • The paper was delivered (last Thursday's paper never showed up but I didn't really care since there aren't any coupons in it and I never read it!) although the only coupon insert today, due to the holiday, was the latest Publix store coupon brochure.

  • Lowe's sent me a message saying that if I shopped there or online over the next few days, I would receive a coupon for $10 off $50 my next purchase next week.  I guess they're trying to be like Kohl's?  I don't need anything from Lowe's so I won't partake, but if you don't get their emails and your store is included in the offer, you might want to check it out.  

  • I saved the inner bag from my box of Rice Krispies to reuse as a freezer bag.

  • My 1st Swagbucks daily goal is 75 SB today. The videos that I don't mind playing just dried up and I've only earned 35 SB. We'll see if I can qualify for any surveys.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

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

  • I uploaded store coupons to my CVS app and digital manufacturer coupons to my Publix app.

  • I printed a few coupons via Swagbucks.

  • Stretched the milk by adding 1/2 gallon of water to 1/2 gallon of whole milk.

  • Filtered water for the cats in our thrifted Brita pitcher.

  • I reused a newspaper plastic sleeve to gather the contents of the upstairs litter box and dispose of them.

  • I got my son a snack and a drink at the movie theater but nothing for myself. I chewed gum, ate peanut butter crackers that I found in my purse and also strawberry Altoids that my daughter had given me for Christmas.

  • My son and I refilled our cups at Zaxby's before leaving the restaurant so we got a little more out of our money.

  • We were passing CVS so we stopped and I did my shopping for the week so I don't have to go back there on Wednesday. I got a gallon of milk (on sale at $2.79) and a dozen eggs (on sale for 99 cents). I redeemed a $1.00 ECB and paid for the $2.78 OOP with the CVS gift card that I had earned via USAA Visa, so it was all free to me :)  Plus I redeemed a MobiSave rebate for $0.10 off the eggs when I got home, so it was a MONEYMAKER. Woo!

  • On the way home, we also stopped by RaceTrac and I redeemed a survey reward code to get my daughter a free medium-size fountain drink (lemonade).

  • MobiSave credited my Paypal account with the 10 cents.

  • I wrote my menu for this upcoming week and planned on using up several things that are in my fridge right now.

  • I attempted several Swagbucks surveys and was finally able to qualify for one that paid 65 SB. I met my 2nd daily goal.  They also credited me with 17SB for a Shop & Earn activity last month.

  • For dinner I cooked cheeseburgers for Greg and the kids and served baked beans on the side. Myself, I had the rest of the Mock Zuppa Toscana soup, an egg salad sandwich and half a papaya.

  • Gas:
    • and tolls for Greg to drive out of town for the day and back
    • for my son and I go to on our date and back

  • Two movie tickets for my date with my son.

  • Popcorn and a bottle of water for my son at the movies.

  • Lunch out for my date with my son :)

  • Electricity: my daughter was hot so we closed the windows and turned the AC back on at 3:45 p.m.

  • I signed up for the Zaxby's clubs (email and text) to get the free chicken sandwich coupon so I could use it at lunch today, but when I got the confirmation it said they would MAIL me the coupon in 6 weeks. Whaaaat?! What's the point of having an email and texting club, then?  I might unsubscribe if our lunch experience isn't good.

  • I should have tried to eat healthy at Zaxby's (they do serve grilled chicken sandwiches and also salads) but I was really hungry and ... didn't. I did have a caffeine free diet Coke though, instead of the sweet tea that I was eyeing.

  • Theater: $16.50 (2 movie tickets) and $9.75 (a small popcorn and a bottle of water)
  • Zaxby: $14.53 (lunch with my son)
  • BP: $44.75 (gas for the truck)

  • I should get a coupon for a free chicken sandwich from Zaxby's in 6 weeks
  • A gallon of milk and a dozen eggs from CVS, after sales, redemption of ECB and using a gift card, plus I got 10 cents back from MobiSave
  • A medium fountain drink from RaceTrac, with survey reward code

  • Weighed myself
  • Fed the cats
  • Set meat to defrost for tonight's dinner
  • Aired out the house
  • Cuddled with a kitten
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Commented on other blogs
  • Worked on my Rewards programs
  • Signed up for a Rewards club
  • Printed coupons
  • Uploaded coupons
  • Made my bed
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Brought the recycling from upstairs to the recycling bin
  • Went to the movies with my son
  • Took my son out to lunch
  • Ran a couple of errands
  • Submitted my receipt for a rebate
  • Planned my menu for the week
  • Worked on earning Swagbucks
  • Clipped and sorted coupons
  • Cooked dinner
  • Did the dishes

  • I lost 2 lbs!  I have lost a total of 10.8 lbs since January 1 so a little over 21% of my goal :)
  • Sleep was good.
  • Breakfast was a bowl of Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries and a cup of ~2% milk.
  • Mid Morning snack was 4 PB crackers and some strawberry Altoids
  • Lunch was a chicken tenders sandwich and fries
  • Afternoon snack was marshmallows and 2 clementines
  • Dinner was Mock Zuppa Toscana, egg salad sandwich and 1/2 a papaya
  • Foot exercises were performed
  • for a lovely date with my lovely son:)
  • for a safe trip for Greg
  • for kitten cuddles

Even though if was fun to go out with my son, I didn't think much of the movie (LEGO Batman Movie).  I had loved "The LEGO Movie" a few years back and has hoped this one would be good. But it was super long and I didn't think the voice talent or the jokes were any good. The theater was 75% empty but the few kids who were there didn't laugh much. I think my son liked it much more than I did.

I always sit at the end of a row because I invariably need to use the bathroom and I don't want to disturb anyway.  It never fails that, even when the movie theater is as empty as it was today, the following happens:
  1. People show up after the movie has already started
  2. Despite the theater being mostly empty they pick the row I'm sitting in so they step on my feet and obscure the screen while I'm trying to watch the movie
  3. A few minutes later one of them decides to either go to the bathroom or go get a snack so then we get disturbed another 2 times.
  4. Someone in a row in front of us whips out their smartphone during the movie and starts reading their Facebook or texts or what not, in the middle of the movie.
I can't tell you how rage inducing all of this is. Seriously, I should always avoid to go to a theater.  Plus it's too expensive.  

On the plus side, the previews looked good, for once. We saw previews for "The Boss Baby" and I laughed a lot at that.  "Despicable Me 3" also had me in stitches because of the new villain and his 80's busting moves.

My son really seemed to like the preview for "Power Rangers" until he heard that it was... the Power Rangers. I told him there was no shame in liking the Power Rangers, lol. Myself, I thought it was a remake of "The Breakfast Club", at first!

Moving on to lunch. It was the first time we ate at Zaxby.  The food was OK.  The restaurant wasn't very crowded but it was so disorganized. The trashcans were overflowing and no one was cleaning them, the table weren't being cleaned either. I was very underwhelmed.  My son didn't have much feedback. I think he just wanted to go home, lol. But we did have a good time together (we joked about the movie and other things) and I think he appreciated going out since he usually goes from home to school or to the library and that's about it. He did tell me that he hated me, but don't panic, it was a joke referring to the movie we had just seen, so he meant quite the opposite. I told him he was my most hated child and he laughed. 

I never did count the birds in the backyard because when we got home, I just didn't feel like doing anything!  I might try to do it tomorrow. We'll see.


Tabby Kitten's most excellent napping spot next to me, last night :)


  1. Yay, congratulations on the weight loss! That's great! All those long hikes in the state parks paid off! The Prednisone makes me hungry (in addition to keeping me awake) and I am constantly eating, so I think I might have gained, this week!

    That is so nice that you make it a point to have a date with your kids, one-on-one! You know they are going to remember and cherish it, later. Glad your mom is able to access your French blog! Does she read this blog, too? Or is the language an issue?

    Aw, look at how cute Tabby Kitty is, all sprawled out next to you and asserting his claim to you by putting his paw over you! He's adorable.

    Sounds like you had a good day, Nathalie. Hope you'll have a lovely day tomorrow, too. Enjoy the long weekend and take the holiday!

    1. I'm constantly eating too, it seems, and I'm not on Prednisone. You eat little at a time and don't have many (if any) sweets, though, and you've been active with all your vacuuming and other tasks so maybe you won't have gained?

      Each kid and I have been having "Mommy Dates" since they were little. I grew up with 2 brothers and a half sister and my mom was working long hours so it was hard to have 1:1 time with her. I really liked it when she'd take me to the pastry shop and we'd share a piece of Black Forest Cake and she'd make me swear to not tell my siblings because "she only did it with me". Years later I found out that she did the same thing with them! But it made me feel special at the time, which was appreciated. It's hard to have siblings, I think.

      It's been harder to have "Mommy Dates" as the kids grew into teenagers and had their friends, activities, and we stopped relating to the same things, you know? But I'm facing my daughter moving away to college and then probably finding a life partner and not having time for Mommy Dates anymore, and I'm trying to get Youngest Son out of his shell too, so I've made it a goal to try to have time with each of them away from home every month this year. I also try to visit with Middle Son once a month. Usually he comes over here to get his fill of kitten love, and I'm hoping that the summertime trip will pan out and that he can join us. It's been both very easy and very hard to let the kids go once they go to college, it's weird.

      No, my mom doesn't read this blog. She doesn't speak English and even if she got Google to translate it, she wouldn't understand the colloquial expressions, the context of many things, the acronyms. And I don't think it would interest her much. Do you have family members who read your blog, Bless, apart from your daughter?

      I hope you're having a good holiday!

    2. No, my family members don't read my blog, at least, not on a regular basis. They know I blog, but they think it's weird (they think I'm weird, to begin with, LOL, because I am so different from them). :)

    3. That's funny... my kids and Greg also think I'm weird for blogging what I'm blogging about and they don't read my blog either! Honestly, I like it better that way.

  2. Congrats on the weight loss! I did pretty well too but I know I will soon be sick of fish, salad and veggies. I was never overweight until my late 40s and then every year I'd gain and never take it off...boohoo. Anyhow nice date with your son too. I should have done more one on one with my older 2 kids. Youngest was pretty much an only child so she and I did a lot together. She still calls me pretty much everyday and yesterday, she, the 2 year old and myself facetimed for over an hour. That's always fun. I didn't start working until she was 16- I knew I needed to start planning for the empty nest. It worked out well because now I never feel lonely- not with all my clients! One just called me this AM and apologized for calling so early- no emergency but they like me to know where they are. Anyhow the menu is planned for the day, lunch bag packed for a trip to Daytona, and I might even stop at Joann's depending on my mood. How old is your son? GS won't be 15 and able to get his permit until June- he can't wait. He has a steady GF too- my daughter and soninlaw aren't happy about that but he's always been social and liked girls LOL. Those kittens are so cute! I never did sleep with mine until Whiskers got really old. PS I had 3 years of French- 2 in HS and 1 in college. My advisor even tried to get me to minor in it. We went to Paris and the countryside in 1989, a long time ago for sure but we loved Paris.

    1. Getting old really stinks, doesn't it?! Congratulations on your weight loss too! Do your kids live far away from you? How lovely that you have a close relationship with your youngest daughter!

      I'm wondering if you went to Daytona for the Daytona 500. Traffic is going to be a bear so be careful!

      Youngest son is 15. He is actually quite reluctant to learn how to drive (didn't want to drive to the theater yesterday) and is not interested in girls at all at this point, to my great relief, lol. I never encouraged the kids to date only because I wanted them to focus on their studies and activities and didn't want to have to deal with all the drama and angst of teenage relationships. I had quite a few turbulent years as a teen myself due to a long-term relationships so I wanted to spare myself the stress I put my mom through :) I hope your grandson's relationship is not drama-filled, lol.

      Do you remember much of your French? How nice that you got to go to Paris! 1989 is the year that I was back here for good. I was at Stetson in 1987-1988 and then went back to France. It was a long time ago, indeed! My daughter is planning on minoring in French in college at this point. I never taught my kids how to speak French. I figured that since I learned how to speak English in school, they could do the same. However, when it was time for my older boys to pick a foreign language in high school, I strongly encouraged them to pick Spanish as it would be more helpful to them, living in Florida and in a country increasingly multicultural, I reasoned. We aren't close to my French family, not in the way you're close to your kids and grandkids. So they did but I doubt they remember any of it. My daughter picked French, although she had to do it online because they got rid of the French classes at the school itself and we went to visit my family back in 2015. She really loved it so she wants to continue. Youngest Son didn't seem to like the trip so much at all, but he is also planning on picking French as his foreign language. He should be starting soon, actually, I need to talk to him about signing up for the Florida Virtual School class.

    2. Son lives in Alexandria, Virginia- his GF of 10 years lives in Oxford, England now and he visits her every couple of months. He was here for my birthday in November though! Youngest daughter lives in San Francisco with her husband and 2 /12 year old DD, my little GD. She's fortunate to be a SAHM. She and DH met at UF- he majored in statistics and economics and minored in math- a real brain. I've visited three times and they have been here at least twice a year and are coming in May. I relocated here to be close to one child- she stayed here after college and is the mother of my 2 grandsons.Actually, I remember quite a bit of French. I took 2 years of Spanish in the 90s at a local community college and I think I have a flair for languages although I am better with the bookwork than speaking! I also had Latin in HS. GS has Spanish- he's ahead in math and takes algebra 2. He had algebra 1 and geometry in middle school and his brother (7th grade) is on the same track. No I went to Daytona to see a client today. Weather was GORGEOUS!

    3. Ah yes, I remember you telling me about your daughter in San Francisco who went to UF. We speak the same languages! I started English in 6th grade, Latin in 7th grade (and kept it through high school) and Spanish in 8th grade and of course my native language was French. Wow your GS are advanced in math! Youngest Son had Algebra 1 in 8th grade and is taking Geometry in 9th grade; I guess Algebra 2 is in 10th grade.
      Glad you didn't get caught in the Daytona 500 traffic!

  3. It's nice that you have dates with your kids. And what a great kitten picture.

    1. I'm lucky that they also enjoy the dates!

      Tabby Kitten is the one kitten I worried about most when we got them, because he wasn't pooping. How I fretted over him! He rewarded me by becoming a daddy boy and shunning me, lol. So whenever he comes to me and cuddles, I love it. He showed up in my bed this morning and I was tickled to death, hahaha.

  4. We went to the movies the Thursday of the big storm here a feweeeks ago. Saw the power Rangers preview that you mentioned, I thought it was the breakfast club remake as well LOL. DH and I have found that going to any restaurant they're opening week is always a disaster. They just don't train their staff before the openings. I would say give them a try. Great job on the 2 pounds!

    1. Thanks! I wish I could take credit for the 2-lb loss but I was very surprised. So I reasoned that the marshmallows I ate had perhaps absorbed some fat and I had some more yesterday afternoon (Bonnie, don't read this!).

      Ha, I knew that I couldn't be the only one who thought it was a Breakfast Club reboot! I was relieved that it wasn't... I'm sure that one is in the works somewhere, though.

      Yes, I should give Zaxby a chance, but they have been open for several weeks now, and there was a manager present. I didn't like the way anything was organized, from the parking to the inside of the restaurant. The food was good, but nothing that I couldn't live with. And it was messy to eat as the chicken tenders kept on falling off the bun. So unless my son comes back to say that he loved it after all, I'm thinking we'll just go to KFC next time, which indeed is his favorite place (I just wanted to try something new!).

  5. Congratulations on the weight loss!

    Aren't movie theater tickets terribly expensive? That's why we wait for most movies to come out on video, though sometimes we do enjoy the big screen and the theater experience. We usually go when I have free tickets from donating blood. I always tell Dave he better enjoy the movie, because it literally was earned with blood, sweat, and tears.

    1. LOL, yes he HAD better be appreciative!

      I haven't been able to donate any blood in well over 15 years because of the ban on donations from people who lived in countries affected by mad cow's disease in the 1980s and France is included :( I was donating regularly before the ban, as I am O negative and they always need O negative blood!


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