Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Day Spent At Home ~ Tuesday 2/7/17

I was so tired last night, I forgot to update my blog post from yesterday to reflect that I had, indeed used my recumbent bike at night for 45 minutes!

I fell asleep on the couch at about 10 p.m., cuddling with a kitten, and Greg woke me up to go upstairs at about 11 p.m. When I got into bed, I remembered that I hadn't updated the blog post... weird how, when you're tired, your priorities are all screwed up, because I set about updating the blog post on my phone, which took forever and a day and then didn't format properly.  Meanwhile, the kittens, who had followed me into my bedroom to come to sleep too, had gotten all excited about the light cast by my phone, and were completely awake, jumping everywhere, trying to sneak behind the blinds so they could look out, etc.  Even after I turned off the light, I could hear them over the fan, doing things they weren't supposed to be doing. I had to tell them to get off furniture several times, and then I'd had it and kicked all three of them out of my bedroom and closed the door.  Then I went back to sleep.

This morning, Greg said that he then heard them racing downstairs on the wooden floors, "barroom, barroom!" for a while. I didn't hear anything because I was asleep. A short while later, though, I heard Explorer crying at my door and I felt bad about it (!) so I re-opened my door and he jumped on the bed and said sorry by purring and rubbing himself all over me and curling up against my side, nuzzling my hand. Awww... and then Princess showed up too (the two of them usually sleep with me) and did the same. Double awww... and then we all fell asleep again until morning. The end.

Well, not quite. My alarm rang at 6:10 a.m. but since my son was staying home from school again today, I reset it for 6:30 a.m.  I had hoped to sleep longer but the kittens were in cuddling mood again so we cuddled and purred and kissed until 6:30 :)  I had told my son to wake me up during the night if he needed more medicine, but he didn't and he's still sleeping at 8:30 a.m. so I hope he's sleeping off the rest of his illness, poor kid.  He has a lot of work to do to catch up on what he's missed and a test to study for. I warned him today that he would need to work on all that before we put on "Gotham", but of course if he's feeling poorly I won't push the school work.

My daughter had a senior class meeting at the high school this morning so she's off doing that for an hour or so, and then she has a college class this afternoon. Her BFF is supposed to take her driver's license test next week, I think, and her parents already bought a spare car, so my daughter and she might take turns driving to the college classes in the future. We'll see.

I feel like I was very productive yesterday so I'm not sure how motivated I'll be today, hahaha. I need to go shower and get dressed but before I do that, I'm posting my usual To Do List to give myself a little inspiration and kick in the behind.

  • Write absence note for Attendance Office tomorrow DONE
  • Cut up ground beef chubs, repackage, and freeze DONE
  • Cut up ribs, repackage, and freeze Cooked them instead
  • Print menu for the week DONE
  • Defrost meat for dinner Not needed (meatballs, I'll nuke them tonight)
  • Fold the laundry DONE
  • Put the laundry away
  • Gather the trash and take it down to the curb DONE
  • Monitor Youngest Son's fever DONE
  • Turn bread heels into bread crumbs
  • Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time 
  • Mop or fake mop the kitchen fake mopped it!
  • Do the dishes (AFTER DINNER) DONE
  • Clean fridge
  • Work on shopping list and itinerary for tomorrow DONE
  • Add bleach to furnace drain line for maintenance (will do after maintenance apt on Thursday)
  • Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son
  • Make appointment for preventative maintenance on heat pump DONE
  • 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  DONE
  • Find USB drive (NOT an SD card!) and clear it so Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it
  • Read e-library book in progress
  • Make sure Greg assigns specific funds to his IRA account 
  • 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 litter box upstairs  DONE
  • Clean all other litter boxes 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
  • Wash kitchen windows
  • Reorganize the gardening supplies area in breezeway
  • Purge file cabinet
  • Put out Valentine's Day decorations in progress
  • Finish ironing Greg's clothes
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"!
  • Move fonts from external drive and reinstall on new laptop
  • Read the 2 library travel books? on hold, since now we're not sure of when or where we're going
  • Take my measurements
  • Sign up for Personal Capital?
  • Start French blog for my mom and sister?
  • 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
  • Send my feedback to all my elected officials (city, county, state, Congress) Emailed Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson (Senators) and Dennis Ross (Congressman)

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I opened the windows at 8 a.m., both to air out the house and to provide entertainment for the cats.

  • My son just got up at 8:40 a.m. and, while he's all clammy, he only has 99.1F temperature. But he's congested and coughing so I gave him a dose of the "Throat and Flu" medicine that should help him for the next 4 hours.

  • My 1st daily goal for Swagbucks is 80 SB again. I'm running videos but they'll run out soon and I haven't been able to qualify for any surveys :(

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits. I should be able to order a gift card tomorrow.

  • They did email me late last night in reply to a ticket I had opened several days ago about nCrave not crediting me 3 SB, and credited me with 5 SB. A small woohoo :)

  • I'm still using up dehydrated apple slices, made from apples that were going bad, in my morning cereal.

  • I reused a bread bag to gather the contents of all 4 litter boxes.

  • Later in the morning, I attempted to take SB surveys again, qualified for 2 small ones and exceeded my 1st Daily goal. Phew! I didn't think I'd meet it at all :)

  • I entered my weight and last night's exercise into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 180 BR points.

  • I unlocked the $0.25 rebate on loose bananas in SavingStar. That should get me 1 free banana at Publix or Walmart, maybe?

  • I don't know what's going on with me, but I've been super hungry for over a week now.  Honestly, I blame the Diet Coke. Drinking sweetened drinks (Diet Coke or coffee, for that matter) just seems to make me hungry. But I love my Diet Coke and I still have several cans to drink.  Conundrum!  I had lunch today at 11 a.m. and ate the leftover scalloped potatoes and ham and half a papaya. And I'm still hungry.  The leftovers were delicious!

  • I designed a shopping itinerary for tomorrow.  I'll start right after dropping off my son at school (Publix, since it's open at 7 a.m.), and then do all my shopping in a specific order, ending with the RaceTrac station that features the ice cream bar because I'll bring a cooler and hope that the ice cream won't melt too much in the 15-20 minutes it'll take me to drive home!  My crazy idea might work.

  • I unlocked new offers in MobiSave and Ibotta.  

  • Yay, the Progresso bread crumbs Ibotta rebate is back in my line-up, so I'll get another canister for free (after coupon and rebate) tomorrow!

  • Oooh, and not only is the Truvia Nectar rebate back in my Publix line-up (money maker since it's on sale for $2.99, I have a $2 coupon and the rebate is $2!), but there is also another rebate that's only good at Walmart and I'm going there tomorrow. That'll be another money maker for me even though I don't know the price there, because I'll be paying with a Swagbucks gift card. Woohoo!

  • I went up to the "attic", brought with me some odds and ends that had been sitting around for weeks, waiting for me to take them up, and came down with the Valentine's Day decorations, as they are.  A sign for the front door, a heart-themed lined bread basket for the table, a couple of Vday kitchen towels and a runner for the table. Only the runner apparently hadn't been washed last year before I put it away and is stained. So I sprayed it with stain remover and threw it into the washing machine with a couple of other things that needed to be washed since yesterday, on cold/cold. I'll put everything outside to dry.  Oh and my lesbian love birds, of course :)

My daughter found the boy Vday bird at Target a couple of weeks ago, but
I didn't have her buy it since I already had 2 girl birds.
  • I "fake mopped" the kitchen. That's when, after sweeping, I take a square of an old bath towel that I have cut out, wet it, and pass it over any spills and stains on my kitchen floor, usually with my foot.  I go around the kitchen, erasing the evidence of being a lousy housekeeper:) It takes less than 5 minutes, and the results, although not perfect, bring me just as much satisfaction as when I do mop, but for a fraction of the effort and much less lower back pain :)

  • Erica asked me about the Trader Joe's shelf-stable whipping cream that I use so I told her I'd post pictures of it. Here it is.  I think it's $1.69 an 8-oz brick. It's been several months since I've been to TJ so the price might be different. I'm not that familiar with the layout of the store, but I think it's near the baking supplies, perhaps?  You keep it in your pantry at room temperature and just stick it in the fridge a few hours prior to whipping it.  I've also used it as heavy cream in soups and recipes with great success. Make sure you shake it really well before using as the carrageenan (which is seaweed extract) and the cream separate some. I also always cut the carton open to scoop up every little bit of it :)  I haven't been able to find the equivalent at my regular grocery stores, so when I go to TJ, about once a year, I stock up.
You should be able to click on the picture to see a larger size
  • I researched white noise machines on Kohl's.com.  I think I found one that I'd like. It's gotten great reviews. However, it's on the pricey side: $70. But being able to sleep without hearing all the noise in the house or in the street when it's too cool to have the fan on is worth it.  If I wait until Friday, I can use the 30% off discount, along with the free shipping code, and then apply the $20 in Kohl's cash that I got from Discover Deals and reduce my price to just $28. It's cheaper on Amazon, but even if I redeem almost $10 in Discover Rewards and a $5 gift card, it's still a little bit more expensive than at Kohl's.

  • I went back to the site that I feared had contributed to getting the virus alert message that I received last week (How To Contact Your Elected Officials, a .gov site) and sent emails to Marco Rubio, Republican Senator for Florida and Bill Nelson, Democratic Senator for Florida.  I didn't get the virus alert this time.  Then I found my Congressman's email address and emailed him too.

  • I reused 10 cereal bags to store the 10 lbs of ground beef that I bought on Sunday and froze them.

  • I didn't have any more room to freeze the spare ribs that I bought a couple of weeks ago, so I made Bobby Flay's Spice Rub, slathered it on the ribs, and baked them in the oven for a couple of hours.  I hope they turn out OK, because it's a lot of ribs!

  • Kellogg's sent me an email recap of what KFR points I earned this past week and apparently I got a 1,000 bonus for having 10 punches on my virtual card. Woohoo! I only use my KFR points to order $1.00/1 coupons to purchase more cereal :)

  • I received a CVS mailer containing $15 in store coupons.

  • Ooh, I had a SB inbox offer  for 15 SB that actually turned out to be for 60 SB so I met and exceeded my 2nd daily goal!

  • I cooked pasta and a few meatballs for the kids. Greg had ribs. I tried some for the first time ever but didn't care for them (too greasy) but Greg loved them. Good because I cooked 7 or 8 lbs of them :)
Hmm, it looks like a big bug to me.  Not all that appetizing!
  • During dinner, I noticed that the air was blowing in the kitchen but it was 78F even though the thermostat was set at 73F.  Long story to explain the background: our house is long and we have 2 AC units, each cooling a part of the house.  The main unit cooling off the living room side of things and 3 of the bedrooms is an electric AC unit.  The kitchen side of the house, including my daughter's bedroom, is cooled/heated by a heat pump.  So the heat pump's indoor blower was working but the outside unit wasn't coming on.  I checked and reset all the "fuses", to no avail. The main switch outside was ON.  Grrr.  I had scheduled the maintenance guy to come on Thursday morning to perform yearly maintenance but now it looked like we were going to have to make sure he knew how to do repairs as well.  Greg went to check on everything, did everything I did again, and suddenly called "honey!  I fixed it!".  How?!  He remembered that, years ago, I had showed him a small reset button at the base of the outside unit, in the back.  Ah-HA!  Last summer, when the electric AC unit wasn't working and he was out of state, I had called him and said "Don't you remember me telling you something about a reset button?!  I thought there was a reset button!" and he swore I had never said anything about a reset button. Turns out, it was for the heat pump! So I'm glad he did end up remembering that and pushing the button did result in the outside unit coming on and my daughter's room is on its way to get cooled off :)

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched a few episodes of Bob's Burgers on Netflix.

  • I exercised for free at home by using my recumbent bike for 44 minutes. I watched 2 episodes of Frasier on Netflix at the same time. Between Gotham, Bob's Burgers and Frasier, we're getting our money's worth, at least :)

  • Then I watched over the air TV.  Roseanne is on and I like that show, still, after all those years :)

  • Gas:
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • for my daughter to drive to the high school and back for a meeting
    • for my daughter to drive to the state college and back for her class

  • Electricity:
    • did a small wash
    • then my son had to do 2 more super loads to wash his bedding again
    • used the dryer for all items as it was getting cloudy and I wasn't sure if it'd rain
    • used the oven to bake the ribs for 2 hours
    • AC: I had to close the windows at 3:30 p.m. and turn the AC on as it was getting hot in the house, even without the oven on yet.

  • My daughter texted me in the middle of her Senior Class meeting that it was a complete waste of her time because all they're talking about is how to register for college classes and the common course numbering system... she's ALREADY attending college! I told her to leave but she doesn't want to draw attention to herself.   The failure is for the administrators organizing the meeting who made it mandatory for all seniors and failed to realize that there are dual-enrolled kids who 1) have to make a special trip for the meeting since they're not attending any high school classes at all and 2) are wasting their time listening to information that doesn't pertain to them.

  • 12:30 p.m.: I haven't felt very motivated today, had lunch early because I felt famished, and then gave in and had cake.  Arrgh.

  • I feel guilty that I'm not working in the yard or at the very least enjoying my back patio right now. But I'm comfy in the living room, I have smooth jazz playing on Pandora on the TV, a breeze is blowing, and I can hear the birds through the open windows that I'll need to shut soon because the temperature is rising. It's supposed to be 81F/27C today!

  • The Senate confirmed DeVos as the Secretary of Education. A woman who has never taught, nor worked at a school, nor ever sent her children to a public school. A woman who thinks tax dollars should pay for religious education and says that she "believes in accountability" but can't articulate what that means. A woman who couldn't answer the questions asked of her from several senators about various aspect of education in this country, and who plagiarized other people in her answers.  This is a dark day for the United States. If you thought that it was shameful that American K-12 students are actually LESS educated than their peers in other countries (and, coming from another country and having had 6 children attend public school and homeschooled two of them for various amounts of time, yes THEY ARE), wait until we emerge from this nightmare. Mark my words.  We should all be in mourning right now.  And SHAME to anyone who voted to make her Secretary of Education.  I'm going to stop here before I say something that I'm (not) going to regret. I'm steaming mad.  My kid is now set to attend school under this MORON'S "leadership" for the next 3 years, and who knows what havoc she's going to wreck on the university system.  No, I will NOT give her the benefit of the doubt.  She is so far removed from an acceptable choice for this position, it's un-freaking-believable.

  • Yet another sexual offender/predator was allowed to move in within a few blocks of our middle school, elementary school, several daycares, and our local playground. And my house.  I'm sick of being surrounded by those perverts. I emailed the flyer to our interim Chief of Police and asked why that guy is allowed to live where he is.  Most of the time, it's because they're grandfathered in because they're moving back to where they lived before our ordinance stated that they couldn't live within a mile of any schools, etc. but I have found, in the past, that sometimes the city police isn't as up-to-date on those issues as they should. I also emailed the flyer to my son and daughter since they walk the neighborhood.  Ugh.  Update: I received an email back from the interim chief of police thanking him for notifying him (the flyer I received came from the Sheriff's office) and saying that he's looking into the matter and expect resolution tomorrow. What did I tell you about the local police not being up-to-date on those?  I guess they don't subscribe to the same alerts as I do.

  • With a right-wing candidate likely to be elected President in France, who promised to pull France out of the EU, I need to look at getting the euros that I had kept for my next trip to visit my family converted back to dollars because I have a feeling that the euros are going to lose their value pretty soon AND I might not be able to use them if I ever go back to France.  I should have just changed them back into dollars but I was trying to avoid paying yet another commission.  Grrr. It's going to be harder than it sounds because my bank is in TX without any offices here.  I might have to drive to the airport and hope that they'll let me change the money without having a plane ticket (I'm pretty sure they asked for my plane ticket the last time I changed money before leaving for France).  Tonight I asked Greg if he would just stop at the currency exchange kiosk next time he has to fly to Canada and he said he would do it, but I'm thinking maybe we'll go visit a state park down that way before then and just stop by and do it then. 

  • I'm so depressed about what's going on in this country that I ate the 2nd half of the cake (or close to).  I need to get a grip with my diet again, darn it.  At least I can control that so why don't I?!

  • I was in the middle of requesting a check from Upromise for the full amount in my account when Explorer walked on my keyboard, causing the wrong amount to be requested. I didn't confirm the request and tried to start all over again but their system won't let me request another check and they want me to call them. Call them?!  Oh no. I sent them an email asking them to send the balance of my account to my home address. I hope they won't say "You need to call us!".

  • No Spend Day!
  • I requested a check for $54.40 from Upromise (which is the money that I earned on SavingStar, but SavingStar won't cut me a check when Upromise does so I had them transfer the money to their sister company, Upromise, in late 2016, and forgot to request the check from Upromise until today.

  • Fed the kittens and cats
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Checked my son's temperature
  • Worked on my Rewards programs and sweepstakes
  • Texted with my daughter
  • Made my bed
  • Aired out the 2nd floor
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Cleaned the 3 downstairs litter boxes
  • Took the trash down to the curb
  • Picked up sticks from front yard
  • Made maintenance appointment for heat pump
  • Took SB surveys and met my goal
  • Worked on my itinerary for tomorrow
  • Unlocked new rebates
  • Wrote excuse note for school tomorrow
  • Mailed a couple of letters
  • Brought the trashcans back up to the house
  • Brought items up to attic and put them away
  • Put up Valentine's Day stuff
  • Did a small wash
  • Emailed my congressman and senators
  • Emailed our interim chief of police
  • Forwarded sexual offender flyer to my kids
  • Cut up the 10 lbs of ground beef into 1-lb chunks and froze them
  • Made rub for the ribs and baked them
  • Folded the laundry
  • Cooked dinner
  • Loaded the dishwasher and started it
  • Tried to figure out why the heat pump wasn't working
  • Greg fixed it thanks to a tip I had given him years ago!
  • Watched a show with Greg
  • Exercised

  • Sleep was good, once I kicked the kittens out... and then let them in again.
  • Breakfast was a bowl of Rice Krispies with dehydrated apple slices and a cup of ~2% stretched milk
  • Lunch was leftover scalloped potatoes and ham, half a papaya
  • Afternoon snack was saltines and then the rest of the cake :(
  • Dinner was a little tiny bit of ribs and about 1/4 cup of pasta (I wasn't hungry)
  • Water consumption was not good, again :(
  • Exercise was...
  • Foot exercises were performed.
  • for cuddling kittens after I chased them away meanly last night :)
  • that my son seemed better this morning
  • for my son's teachers who have all been awesome and supportive about his absence and their kind "get well!" messages :)
  • for Greg remembering about the reset button on the heat pump outdoor unit!

This morning, my daughter took a nap in the Cat Room, and New Kitty took a nap on her!


  • We have huge storms coming our way tonight from about 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Apparently, they're the same storms that spurred a tornado in New Orleans today, yikes.   They're predicting over 2 inches of rain for Clermont, it looks like we're going to get the brunt of the storms. I think I might sleep on the couch tonight.

How was your Tuesday?


  1. Thanks for the photo! I've printed it out to take with me next time I venture out to TJ's. It's not very often for me, either, being a 45 minute drive one-way.

    1. That'll be a good thing about my daughter moving to Gainesville if she gets accepted to UF, because they DO have a TJ there. But no Aldi. So I'll have a great excuse to go visit her often (to bring her cheap food from Aldi) and I can stop at TJ and indulge in the whipping cream, chocolate-covered ginger and Stilton cheese! I hope you enjoy the whipping cream.

  2. You have a nice blog. I came over from Blessed Beyond Measure and was excited to find another blog to read which is about thrift and family life. And cats! And then some political comments were made...

    I will read a few more entries in hopes this
    Is just a one time thing. Hoping this is the case because I really enjoyed what I have read so far.


    1. Dianne, if you don't like the political comments, may I suggest you move on? This is my blog and I'll damn well say what I please on it. I'm NOT in the mood to appease anyone. Have a nice life.

  3. That picture of the azaleas looks lovely. I planted several azaleas here, but they all died after a few years.

    I hope your son continues to feel better. Sorry about your daughter having to waste her time listening to something that doesn't really pertain to her.

    I hope the storms don't cause any damage in your area and all will be well. (((HUGS)))

    Those ribs you made look delicious! I think I will buy some ribs, the next time I see some on sale, and try to duplicate what you did!

    1. We have tons of leftovers, you should come to Florida :) The spice rub was a little disappointing to me as it wasn't very spicy; I thought it would have been more flavorful. But Greg loved it.

      The storms mostly left us alone and refilled my rain barrel, but I read that Jacksonville had a tougher time with them. Thanks for the hugs, though!

      I keep on telling myself that I want to plant azaleas, but since I get to enjoy the ones across the street every time I look out the window, I'm in no hurry to have my own!

  4. Your azaleas are very pretty -- I have a love/hate relationship with azaleas as the ones on our property are not planted in the correct place (i think) and so most of the year look straggly and horrid. But everytime I get up the nerve to cut them down, it happens to be right around the time that they bloom and then I feel terrible and can't do it! Argh!

    Way to go on contacting the senators, etc. I am off my game this week with feeling sick. Also I made the mistake of following a few on facebook to stay up with what they are doing and thinking and it's driving me crazy!! :)

    1. They're my neighbors-across-the-street's azaleas :) I get to enjoy their beauty when they bloom and not have to take care of them at all! They're bordering the street so they're almost like mine, right? I think they only bloom for a couple of months a year and the rest of the year they're just green bushes. But maybe I'm wrong, I'm not that observant.

      I'm so glad I'm not on Facebook, I'd have to block everybody. I wanted to send an email to Rick Scott too but then today he actually did a decent thing by reaming the head of the Florida GOP who wants to stop any incentive payments to bring companies to Florida...

  5. Agree with you on DeVos as the Secretary of Education. I worry about this affecting the U.S. for a long time.

    I was so tired on Tuesday night, I totally slept through the storms and then was surprised on the way into work the next morning at the evidence (wet roads, leaves and twigs all over). I guess I didn't even realize that it was supposed to get this stormy.

    1. At least you got a good night's sleep and were none the wiser. I got worried by the overzealous weathermen who always get so excited when they have something else to report that it's going to be sunny and nice, and I'm thinking that next time, I might not bother.


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