Monday, February 13, 2017

Grocery Shopping/Domestic Monday ~ 2/13/17

The good thing about not drinking water or much of anything else is that I'm sleeping really well these days... no need to wake up in the middle of the night, I'm really enjoying this, which might be why I'm so dragging my feet on drinking water again.

I went to bed at 11 a.m. and slept soundly until Explorer tried to get me to wake up by biting my forehead (?!) a few minutes before my alarm rang at 6:10 a.m.

I wasn't looking forward to Domestic Monday on top of having to spend an untold amount of time at the garage getting my tire fixed or replaced this morning, ugh.   But I did reload the dishwasher as soon as I got home from dropping off my son at school, as Greg was coming out of the shower, and it felt nice not to have that hanging over my head the rest of the day.

And then I opened the windows for the cats and birds were singing throughout the neighborhood so I grabbed my laptop and coffee and headed for the patio to type my Day Book post.  It was a lovely way to start my day, I need to do this every morning!

It's a bit cloudy this morning, but I like it as it keeps the heat at bay a little longer :)

  • Defrost meat for dinner DONE
  • Cook dinner in crockpot DONE
  • Look for blue cheese slices coupon DONE
  • Sort coupons
  • Take SUV to the garage to get tire fixed or replaced DONE
  • Turn bread heels into bread crumbs
  • Earn Microsoft Rewards credits DONE
  • Work on Swagbucks Team Challenge 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 (AFTER DINNER)  DONE
  • Do the dishes from this weekend - DONE
  • Do the laundry DONE
  • Fold the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Clean fridge - cleaned the bottom 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 2X
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only)
  • Find USB drive (NOT an SD card!) and clear it so Teen librarian to put photos of Youngest Son on it
  • Read 7-day library book! in progress
  • Read e-library book in progress
  • 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
  • Wash litter box upstairs  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
  • Reorganize the gardening supplies area in breezeway
  • Purge file cabinet in progress (through "credit cards")
  • Take RaceTrac surveys  DONE
  • Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"!
  • 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
  • Enter receipts into spreadsheets DONE
  • Schedule credit card payments DONE
  • Balance checkbook DONE
  • Call Driving Class department to find out if/when Youngest Son has been/will be scheduled - will have to do it tomorrow, it was 5 p.m. when I found their phone number
  • Sit down with my daughter and show her how to file her taxes
  • Check the air filters and replace if needed


  • My son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • School drop-off went off without a hitch!

  • I stopped by RaceTrac on my way home to get my son a free apple crumb muffin with a survey reward code.

  • I opened the windows at 7:15 a.m. and decided to go have my first cup of coffee on the back patio with the birdies :)

  • At 8 a.m. I called the garage to see when they might be able to fit me in and they said to come on over right away so off I went, grabbing some PB crackers to bring with me since I hadn't had breakfast yet and my library book.

  • I called my daughter on my way over to the garage to make sure she was going to Gainesville today. She was on her way with her dad. He's driving his car so no gas/toll expenses for me and he'll feed her as well :)  She decided to stay over at his house tonight, which makes sense, so she'll go directly to her college class tomorrow afternoon and will be home tomorrow night.  So I don't have to feed her tonight, or most of tomorrow either.  I reminded her of a couple of things to ask if she gets to talk to the Admissions department at UF. I also ate a 4-ct package of peanut butter crackers as my breakfast.

  • At the garage, I settled myself to read my library book but there was a TV on that was blaring some infomercial and made it really hard for me to concentrate, so I just caught up on blogs on my phone.  After about 15 minutes, I was told that they couldn't put a patch on the tire, but they COULD plug it and they think it'll hold up nicely.  Cost?  $26.75 (the minimum charge for a tire repair being $25 anyway).  Phew!  What a great surprise!  They put my spare tire back under my SUV and I was on my way. I charged the repair to my Amex for 1% back in Rewards.

  • Since I was already halfway to Aldi, I decided to go there to stock up on more $0.99 strawberries.  I had thought to stop by RaceTrac in Clermont as well in order to top off my tank (it's cheaper in Clermont than in my neck of the woods by as much as 12 cents a gallon, sometimes!) but when I looked in my wallet, I didn't have any survey reward codes to redeem (I need to take more surveys!), so I skipped that. I still have 3/4 of a tank and my daughter and I are going out on Friday so I can always refill my tank then.

  • Once at Aldi, I thought it was silly to only buy the strawberries since I had my shopping list on my phone and it was already done for the week (minus whatever produce would be on sale on Wednesday) so I went ahead and bought everything that I was planning to buy on Wednesday. The only additions to my cart ended up being 2 bags of Valentine's Day marshmallows because I love marshmallows and they were on sale for $0.69 each. The success?  I limited myself to 2 bags when I wanted to buy at least 8!  I also bought a pork loin since I'm out of pork roasts.  The shelf price was $1.79/lb but once home I noticed that the sticker actually said $1.69/lb.  I should be able to get 2 large or 3 small roasts out of it.  I also bought toilet paper, cat litter, and dishwasher detergent, and my OOP came out to $68.89, which I charged to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

  • I was tempted to go to Publix but I hadn't looked at this week's ad yet or put the coupons that I had printed and clipped yesterday in my organizer. Plus, I can go tomorrow or Wednesday morning right after dropping off my son at school since it's on my way home and they open at 7 a.m. Last night Greg begged me to buy him more blue cheese slices for the burgers. He's cute when he begs so I told him he'd have to beg all week :)  I need to try to find a coupon for them because they're pricey, but as he said, since we saved a lot of money by not having to purchase a new tire... with this philosophy, we'd be in the poor house in no time, but he loves the cheese and I love to indulge him :).

  • On my way home, I was driving behind a Tesla Model S with Florida plates. That's kind of weird in itself since I don't think we have many charging stations in Florida. I would think that would be a hindrance.  I was tempted to take a picture of it when we were sitting at a traffic light, thinking that Pixel would have probably whipped out her camera, but I felt funny about it so I didn't do it and then it turned off somewhere. The person driving it was zipping in and out of traffic, so when I called Greg to tell him I was behind a Tesla, he noted that it probably wasn't using the self-driving option, then, and then reminded me to make sure not to rear-end it as those things are terribly expensive. So I guess the "success" part of the story is that I didn't rear-end a Tesla this morning :)
It looked just like that! (Source: The Oatmeal)
  • Back home, I almost forgot about the groceries in the trunk!  Luckily, I was looking at my kitchen after being home for about 5-10 minutes and wondering why it felt like something was missing... lol.  So I put everything away (the kittens helped corral those pesky reusable bags that seem to fly across the kitchen floor of their own volition!) and went to start a load of laundry. It IS Domestic Monday, whether I like it or not :)

  • We finished a loaf of bread last night, along with the hamburger buns, so I have 2 new bags to reuse when I clean out a litter box.

  • Bonnie's husband reminded me, via one of her comments, that popcorn is a nice filling snack, so I got my jar of popcorn kernels out of the pantry this morning and it's sitting on the kitchen table... so when I reach for the marshmallows, I can decide to make popcorn instead.  Hopefully I will have the willpower to do that (although, 100 calories for 5 marshmallows isn't too bad.  It's just that I can't stop at 5. I luuuurrrve marshmallows!).

  • I did 2 super loads of laundry (I don't separate anything) in cold/cold.  Greg's T-shirts and the bath towels went into the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting, but the rest of the laundry will be hung outside to dry.

  • Then I settled myself once again on the patio with my 2nd cup of coffee, my bowl of Rice Krispies (with fresh strawberries and stretched milk) and my laptop. It was barely 10 a.m. Hmm, maybe I won't be terribly productive today. I DO need to read that library book, you know!

  • A poster on Slickdeals gave us a heads-up yesterday that some of the Kellogg's Family Rewards codes had been reset so you could reuse them again, for a total of 90 KFR points!  Woohoo! It tried it and it did work for me this morning.
HOWITWORKS20PNTS = 20 points
      • And then I also entered a bonus code that Kellogg's emailed me this morning:

      • And I printed a coupon that I also received via email for my BFF, and then a couple of others for me :)

      • I entered my weight and yesterday's walk into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and only earned 20 BR points for my weight. So I won't bother entering my exercise again until 3/1, when I start earning exercise points again.
      • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

      • I submitted my Aldi receipt for a couple of MobiSave receipts (10 cents off pretzels and 10 cents off clementines, even though I bought mandarins, in my mind they're the same thing and I guess MobiSave agrees since they gave me the rebate) and for a $0.25 rebate off cucumbers from Checkout 51.  MobiSave credited me right away.

      • My wi-fi connection started acting up on my laptop and then I realized that I had lost it... the kittens hadn't knocked the plugs out of the wall as they tend to do so I wasn't sure what the problem was... I reset the modem and router and then regained wi-fi internet connection on my phone but still not on my laptop?!  The router's app showed that everything was working fine, so I ended up rebooting my laptop and then it worked again. Odd. But, hey, it's working! Phew! 

      • The Swagbucks Team Challenge has started and I hope to earn a bunch of Swagbucks to make progress towards another $25 gift card. And then I might take a break from SB.  They credited me with 117 SB today from last month's Shop & Earn Kohl's order but I think I'll miss out on the 2-week streak bonus (and beyond) due to them not crediting me for the survey that didn't credit me yesterday :(  Update: as I was typing this, I actually received the email that they had credited me, however, it shows in my ledger for today so I replied and asked if they could adjust it to make it appear for yesterday so I could keep my unbroken streak.  I did pass my 2nd daily goal.

      • I received a spam text message asking me to click a link to resolve some issue or they would terminate my service so I followed the instructions in this article to forward it as SPAM. It works with all carriers, I think. AT&T then asked me the phone number that has sent the text and I gave it to them and they thanked me.

      • I hung the bulk of the laundry outside on my 2 racks from Ikea.  I always think of 2 people when I hang my laundry outside: Pixel, who clued me in to the Ikea racks (thanks!) and my mom, who always hangs her laundry outside but on wires that are too high for her and I really wish she'd buy a couple of these.  I should see if I can get her some from

      • For lunch, I heated up half of a can of Campbell's Be Well soup that I had gotten for free (this time it's the Hearty Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Garlic) and made a ham sandwich with a Flatout bread and a little bit of light mayo. For dessert, I had 1/4 cantaloupe, bought a couple of weeks ago from Save A Lot.  I ate it outside on the patio. It's still cloudy and there is a light breeze.

      • Checkout 51 credited me with the $0.25 for buying the cucumber.

      • I was looking for a coupon for the Castello blue cheese slices that Greg was begging me to buy for him and found a post from iHeartPublix on 2/1 that I had forgotten about, that reminded me that I had uploaded a $2 digital coupon for those in my Publix wallet. Woot!  I'll be buying those for Greg tomorrow and hiding them so he keeps up with his begging, hahaha.

      • My daughter called me mid-afternoon to report on her apartment hunt progress. She's found a couple that she likes but it's student housing so she'd be shared with 2 or 3 other students that she would need to be matched with.  She and her dad also had lunch with her cousin who is attending UF. He's a senior, I think, so he was able to advise her as to the dorms. Apparently she can stay in the Engineering Hall even if she's not an Engineering major because they keep some spots for students like that, so she'd just need to request that dorm on her housing paperwork that she would fill out probably at the beginning of March. But she thinks she'd rather have an apartment. However, she won't make any decisions today.

      • I took 3 RaceTrac surveys (for 3 different stations) and earned 3 more codes that I will redeem for freebies :)

      • I received a free sample of Persil Plus laundry detergent in the mail.

      • I tracked my receipts in my spreadsheets.

      • I scheduled several credit card payments online.

      • My son borrowed my bike to go volunteer at the library.

      • I balanced my checkbook and looked ahead to the next few weeks to make sure we would have enough money in our checking account to cover all the bills.

      • I cooked 6 hard boiled eggs with eggs that had a sell-by date of 2/3, for my upcoming lunches. I like egg salad sandwiches and they're really inexpensive :)

      • I reused 2 more empty cat litter jugs to hold water from my rain barrel.  I have quite an "arsenal" now.

      • For dinner, I made some white rice in the microwave, and also cooked some of the collard greens that I had bought on 50% clearance last week.  I didn't quite follow the recipe that I had found, as adding molasses and brown sugar just didn't appeal to me, and I also didn't add any onion to it because of Greg.  And the canned tomatoes I added had chilies in them. I hope it's still palatable!  We'll also have pulled chicken.

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

      • Gas:
        • to take my son to school
        • and tolls for Greg's commute
        • to go run my errands

      • 2 bags of Valentine's Day marshmallows at Aldi ($0.69/bag)

      • I asked my daughter to get me a box of chocolate-covered ginger if she made it to Trader Joe's in Gainesville, and told her to buy herself those peanut butter chocolate cupcakes she likes so much and charge the whole thing to my Discover card.

      • Swagbucks never replied to my ticket yesterday so they didn't credit me for the missing survey and I wasn't able to reach my 1st goal, which in turn made me miss the 2-week streak that would have been reached today or tomorrow :( Update: they credited me but for today so I still missed out on my 2-week streak :(

      • Later on, I took a Peanut Labs survey that didn't credit, again.  Grr. I opened another ticket.

      • I received another fake ransomware pop-up on my laptop while playing SB videos (good protection job, Microsoft Defender, yeesh!) so I shut down my laptop. Then it seemed that I was having trouble restarting it but it started after a while and I'm running MalwareBytes again.  What a pain. So I'm done with SB for today. I need 400 team points to qualify for the whatever team swag-up award we will get at the end of the week and I'm at 393.  I'm also up to 1,909 SB.

      • Local garage: $26.75 (tire repair)
      • Aldi: $68.89  ($19.22 non food items; $49.67 groceries)
      • Trader Joe's: $9.08 (snacks for Daughter and V'day present for me!)

      • An apple crumb muffin at RaceTrac, with survey reward code
      • CouponPro posted a code for a free 8x10 reprint from CVS with store pick-up. I don't have any photos I want reprinted this week so I'll skip it. I did email Middle Son, Daughter and my 2 friends about it, though.
      • A sample of Persil Plus laundry detergent

      • Fed the kittens
      • Packed lunch for Greg
      • Prepped his breakfast
      • Drove my son to school
      • Got him a snack
      • Loaded and started the dishwasher
      • Wrote my Day Book post on the back patio :)
      • Called the garage
      • Drove to the garage
      • Called my daughter
      • Caught up on blogs
      • Did my grocery shopping for the upcoming week
      • Put the groceries away
      • Made my bed
      • Started the laundry
      • Worked on my Rewards programs
      • Submitted rebates
      • Hung the laundry outside
      • Investigated wi-fi interruption
      • Talked to my daughter about the housing options in Gainesville
      • Cuddled with a kitten
      • Chatted with Youngest Son
      • Took customer satisfaction surveys
      • Washed the upstairs litter box
      • Made popcorn
      • Entered receipts into my spreadsheets
      • Brought the laundry in
      • Scheduled credit card payments
      • Balanced the checkbook
      • Cooked hard-boiled eggs
      • Cooked dinner
      • Refilled 2 cat litter jugs with rain water
      • Unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and started it

      • Sleep was very good!
      • Breakfast was a bowl of Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries and a cup of ~2% stretched milk. I drank coffee.
      • Morning snack was a 4-ct pack of PB crackers. I drank water.
      • Lunch was 1/2 a can of lentil soup with chickpeas with some oyster crackers, a ham sandwich and 1/4 cantaloupe. I drank Diet Coke.
      • Afternoon snack was 2 cups chocolate coconut popcorn, 2 tiny mandarins
      • Dinner was white rice with pulled chicken and some collard greens
      • Water consumption was not.
      • Exercise was not done because I had a little kitten sleeping on me!
      my little Princess
      • Foot exercises were performed.
      • That my tire could be repaired, thus saving me about $175
      • For cardinals at my bird feeders, repeatedly!
      • That my daughter has a productive day in Gainesville


      • I'm thinking about the 190,000 people who are under mandatory evacuation orders in Oroville, CA because of the spillway failure and imminent threat of flooding. This must be terrifying.  I hope no lives are lost.  After years of hearing that California was suffering from intense droughts, it's surreal to think that there is now so much water at the dam that it's threatening the communities below it.  I hope none of my readers are affected by this.

      • In my neck of the woods, we're supposed to have some rain on Wednesday, but today it was just cloudy.  I was able to observe several birds today.
      A couple of Mourning Doves in front of the house as the sun was rising this morning, hence the bad lighting.  They didn't
      visit the feeders but I'm happy they're back!

      My dying strawberry plant has a new flower!

      My "trimmed too short" roses are already showing new growth!

      This bird was singing at the top of the neighbor's tallest tree while the sunlight was hitting it. In the past the Crested Flycatcher was the one singing at the top of this tree, so I'm thinking it's the same kind of bird again? I can't really tell because the branch is in front of it.  This was taken with the 40x digital zoom so it's not very crisp.

      Princess was trying to catch a gnat, under Tabby Kitten's watchful eye.

      OK, brace yourself, I got a lot of cardinal pictures today as they came to feed on several

      This shot makes me laugh. Such a fluffy butt :)
      Did it rain today where you are?  Snow?


      1. No rain or snow in my neck of the woods...just a lovely, sunny day! 🌤 Those cardinals are beautiful. I've never seen one live before. I take it the pale one was a female? Still very pretty. Your morning coffee on the patio sounds pleasant.

        1. Yay for a lovely sunny day! You guys don't have Northern Cardinals in Southern California? They're quite common here, but I love taking pictures of them. They came all day yesterday, I was so excited because apart from the one I saw a couple of days ago, I hadn't seen them all winter. They are lovely, aren't they? Such bright red. Yes the pale one is the female. I wonder if the impulse that some human females have to wear jewelry, make-up and trendy clothes comes from some instinctive revolt against the fact that very often females are more drab than males, in the animal world... lol.

          I hope you're having another lovely sunny day today, Judy!

      2. I pulled up a map of the cardinals range and was surprised by how big it is but the entire west coast is empty of this bird! Guess I'll have to take a road trip if I want to see it! I think your observation of the human female vs the animal world is interesting--and probably correct! We're due for a high of 75°...sounds good to me. 😁

        1. Enjoy your day! Let me know if you see any interesting birds :)

      3. Beautiful pictures of the cardinals, Nathalie! They are fun birds to watch, I think.

        Thank you for the information about the CVS photo code -- I went right ahead and used it.

        1. You're welcome! I was hoping you'd see it in time :)

      4. Nope, no cardinals in So. Cal.

        You did well with the grocery shopping. Well, 100 cal. for 5 marshmallows isn't too bad. After all, they are a fat free food, as the bag states! I used to make marshmallows, but my daughter doesn't like them and they are not good for me, so I don't make them, anymore.

        Glad the garage was able to plug the tire! Definitely a savings!

        Princess looks so cute both when she's sleeping and when she's showing off how high she can reach! Bless (who needs to go back to work, since lunch break is over!)

        1. Confession: at first I thought it was 100 calories for 9 marshmallows so I was ecstatic! But then I realized it was 5 marshmallows and the "9" came from the number of servings in the bag. Poop.

          I printed a recipe to make them several times but I'm too lazy. 69 cents a package for already made marshmallows sounds good to me, ha.

      5. ...that Pixel would have probably whipped out her camera...darn right she would have!!! As a matter of fact, there is a picture of a Tesla on my blog somewhere a few years ago that I snapped while we were driving across the Courtney Campbell Causeway from Clearwater to Tampa. Funny how we think alike.

        I love your photos of the cardinals! We have a lot of them here, too, but I haven't managed to get a good picture of one.

        1. I probably would have taken the picture if I hadn't been driving but I felt awkward taking the picture as I was behind the wheel, even though we were at the traffic light. I saw another Tesla yesterday in the parking lot in Orlando but I didn't even think to snap a picture of that one. I'm already becoming blasé after seeing only 2 of them! Greg said he heard that they might be coming out with a $30K model soon?


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