Tuesday, February 14, 2017

No Spend Tuesday ~ 2/14/17

I got out on the patio at 7:30 a.m. today and we had a lovely blue sky with a few wispy clouds and I could still see the almost full moon in the sky.  A bird was singing at the top of a tree as the sun was rising, I saw a flock of about 10 cardinals flying over my patio, their little bellies highlighted red by the rising sun's rays as they flew over me, the squirrels started chasing one another...

I got busy catching up on the news, trying to earn SB, and next thing I know... it's almost 9 a.m. and the sky is completely blocked by big clouds!  I just checked the weather app and we have 50% chance of rain at about 11 a.m., although our high should be 79F/26C.  I guess I won't be roasting the turkey outdoors so I can keep the AC off in the house, then :(

Happy Valentine's Day if you celebrate it.  I set out the heart-shaped boxes of chocolate from Dollar Tree on the breakfast table this morning, but my daughter is still at her dad's and my son had already had breakfast so he didn't even notice. That's alright, he'll see it after school.

When I came back from dropping off our son at school this morning, Greg greeted me with a little Valentine's Day dance, LOL.  So funny :)  We don't really do anything for Valentine's Day so this was special.  And then he saw HIS chocolates and was all like "awwww.... honey!" and we kissed.  And I reminded him that he had bought me dark-chocolate covered ginger from Trader Joe's that would be coming via special courier (aka my daughter!) tonight so he wouldn't feel bad that he didn't have anything for me.  We had said we wouldn't do anything but I can't help it, lol.

I'll be roasting our Valentine's Day turkey this afternoon, another treat for him as he loves turkey.

My plan today is to really not do much of anything and try to read the library book that's due tomorrow by close of day. Aack!  I love to read but I hate the pressure of having to read something on a deadline.  So I announced to Greg that ALL I would do today was read my book, but then of course it isn't true since I need to roast the turkey, make mashed potatoes, and still do a bit of chores.

You know what I didn't do yesterday?  Well apart from not eating any marshmallows?! Exercise.  February is NOT going well for me as far as losing weight and getting healthier is concerned.  I'm losing all kinds of motivation, it's frightening!  I want to lose the weight, I love going on our walks but apart from that everything else seems like a big pain in my toosh right now.

Anyhoo, I was super tired last night and Princess decided to settle herself against me right at 9 p.m. and put her paws and head across my left wrist and looked so cute, how could have I left to use my recumbent bike?! I already hadn't paid any attention to her all day!  So she slept and then I did. Yep, I fell asleep on the couch again, with PBS's Antiques Road Show playing.  When Greg went to bed, it had changed to some show where journalists talked about political news, so of course they were talking about Trump but in my sleep I was aware of them talking about him but we were on a baking show.  I don't remember the details but it was so interesting that when I sensed Greg about to turn off the TV, I protested that I had been "watching" that so he shrugged, left it on, and went to bed. And I fell back asleep for a little bit but then I knew it wasn't a baking show so I ended up surfing on other channels and watching... something but I don't remember what. Then I was on channel 15.1, I think, and there was a German show playing. I love TV shows in different languages but you need your eyes open to follow the subtitles when you don't speak the language and my eyes kept on closing and then I realized that it was past midnight!  So I went to bed.

I don't know where the "twins" were but Tabby Kitty had waited for me, which is unusual as he always goes to sleep with Greg. However, he knows that I always refill the food bowls upstairs AND the water bowl too and he loves when I pour water so I always indulge him :)  Then I went to sleep and he disappeared too.

I was awakened at a little bit before 5:19 a.m. by Explorer purring and trying to smother me with his fur.  I was thinking that my alarm was about to ring but I wasn't sure and I really needed to pee so when I saw that it was 5:19, I got up to use the bathroom. Then it was cuddle time with Explorer and  I'm not sure that I actually slept again but I was tired when the alarm rang so I made the executive decision to skip the shower since I hadn't exercised last night and snooze for 10 minutes. Only Princess then showed up too and both Explorer and Princess started licking my forehead and biting me playfully so, so much for trying to get a little more sleep!

School drop-off went well, again.  I never get tired of typing this, because it can be such a stressful situation for me (tons of traffic and bad parents doing stupid things), but the routine that we have developed seems to work well both for my son and myself so I'm not dreading the school drop-off as much as I used to. Plus I don't pick him up, which is great.  This morning we listened to Tchaikovsky in the car again, and when I got home I changed the CD for tomorrow. We'll be listening to some of Puccini's arias.  Not sure my son will love this, but I like exposing him to various things. I love opera. Greg loves opera. We just rarely listen to it anymore and when I do, I always listen to 3 operas which are my favorite: Carmen, Don Giovanni, and Il Trovatore. But we have many more on CD and I'm happy that I decided to start playing classical music in the car and use those CDs that have been sitting there so long.

Alright, enough chit-chat!  I'm posting my To-Do List as usual but I expect not much will be done today!

PS: We ended up having a No Spend Valentine's Day, which might sound unromantic but that suits us just fine :)

  • Roast turkey DONE
  • Make mashed potatoes DONE
  • Sort coupons
  • 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  DONE
  • Do the dishes (AFTER DINNER)  DONE
  • Fold the laundry (probably on Thursday as I watch "Spy in the Wild")
  • Put the laundry away (Thursday or Friday)
  • 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 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! gave up on the book, didn't like it
  • 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
  • Clean 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 
  • 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
  • Call Driving Class department to find out if/when Youngest Son has been/will be scheduled 
  • Sit down with my daughter and show her how to file her taxes
  • Check the air filters and replace if needed
  • Pour Drano down kitchen sink (preventative plumbing maintenance)
  • Schedule credit card payment

  • My son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • On my way home from the school drop-off, I stopped at RaceTrac and redeemed a survey reward code for a free blueberry muffin for my son's after-school snack.
  • I turned off the AC at 7:30 a.m. and opened the windows.

  • I started earning Swagbucks before leaving for school (automatic videos) so by the time I came back, I had surpassed the team points that I needed to qualify for whatever award my team will get. We have slipped in 2nd place and I don't expect we'll come back into first.

  • I settled myself on the patio with my coffee and laptop and tried to take some surveys. I actually qualified for one so I surpassed my 1st Swagbucks Daily Goal, hooray!  I'll keep running the automatic videos until they run out but then I won't work on SB again.  I'm up to 2,059 SB at 9:20 a.m.  I checked my streak and they never did adjust it so I would qualify for the 14 day streak, although I did meet my goal every day so I'm annoyed.

  • It's 9:22 a.m. and the sun is trying to shine again, hooray! It's nice and cool, though. I love it.  A perfect Florida morning. I'm enjoying a bowl of Rice Krispies (free from Publix) with fresh strawberries ($0.99 a pound at Aldi) and some stretched milk.  Frugal morning on my patio :)

  • I uploaded the SavingStar rebate on loose broccoli, just in case, but I don't plan on going to Walmart and usually produce is a little expensive at Publix so I may not use it.

  • I didn't set the timer per se but I did a bunch of chores in a whirlwind so I could say that I did something today, although almost none of it was on my To Do List so I can't cross anything off, rats.
    • Collected the trash throughout the house
    • Took the trash can down to the curb for collection
    • Made my bed
    • Cleaned the upstairs litterbox
    • Brought new TP rolls to the bathroom
    • Put the recycling bags full of foam egg cartons and plastic bags (where do the plastic bags come from?!) in my SUV so I can recycle them at Publix tomorrow morning
    • Aired out my son's bedroom
    • Unloaded the dishwasher
    • Reloaded it with the breakfast dishes
    • Put cloth napkins that had been soaked by the kittens knocking a cup over into the hamper in the laundry room

  • Amazon sent me a shipping notification for my white noise machine and confirmed that I earned a $1 digital credit that will expire on June 11.  I made note of it and of the expiration date in my "Rebates & Freebies" spreadsheet so I don't forget to use it up.

  • Someone posted a 100 KFR bonus code on Slickdeals. I entered it in my Kellogg's Family Rewards account: LETI-TSNO-WUGE-TPTS

  • I sent Greg a free Valentine's Day card via Bing :)

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • I worked on my Publix shopping list for tomorrow. It looks like I'll definitely be over my $50 weekly goal, but my budget is $100 so it's all good :)

  • I received an email from my brother from Marseille!  He rarely writes so it was a good surprise. He and his live-in GF (let's call her his wife, for all intent and purposes they're a long time couple, they just don't want to get married!) are looking at buying a retirement home, although they're still in their mid-40s. She owns the apartment they live in in Marseille, and will be done paying it off next year so they're looking around for something they really like and that they wouldn't mind driving to on the weekends for the next 10 years until they can retire.  I'm happy for them... and if I can ever go back to France, it would be another place for me to stay for free, lol. He said he'd been avoiding calling our dad and doesn't have any news but he finally contacted our other brother to let him know about the online girlfriend that our dad had told him about last Fall. Our other brother (the one who lives in Paris) hadn't heard of it and was very surprised and shocked so we're surmising that if there indeed was a relationship, it hadn't lasted, as she supposedly was from Paris and my dad was planning on going to visit her there and surprise our brother and his wife. Hmmm. My brother from Marseille is trying to gather the motivation to call our dad to find out what's happening.  None of us have a great relationship with our father (who's a snobby jerk of the first order) so I completely understand.  I was just wondering, yesterday, what was happening with him and whether I should probe my brother to call him :)  I miss my stepmom.

  • I thought my digital meat thermometer had died again because the display wouldn't stay on, even if I jiggled the little battery in place. So I used my candy thermometer to see if my turkey was cooked. I hate throwing things away just because the battery died (it seems that so many electronics nowadays are designed to be thrown away as soon as their battery stops working) so I took it apart and figured that there was a way for me to push the battery out of its casing with a letter opener. I did that, put it back in the casing on the off chance that it might have done something... and it started working again!  Woohoo!

  • I used tools we own to fix a couple of issues on my bike, including one that shouldn't have been there (see: failures)

  • The turkey was cooked and I made mashed potatoes from scratch to go with it. I saved the neck of the turkey to make stock but I threw away the giblets because those are gross.  I don't make my own gravy so I'll warm up a can of the stuff, bought on sale over the holidays.

  • I noticed that I was able to meet my 2nd Daily Goal in Swagbucks :)

  • After dinner I put the turkey carcass in the crockpot with water and some Italian herbs and I'm going to let it cook all night.

  • Gas:
    • to drive my son to school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • and tolls for my daughter to come back from her dad's this afternoon

  • Electricity
    • running the oven for 3.5 hours to cook the turkey
    • running the AC this afternoon and tonight

  • I always save the posts from IHeartPublix where she details what's on sale in a specific week and applies the coupons that she knows of as well, and once in a while, I even read them to see if there's anything worth buying at Publix.  Usually the prices are comparable, even if a little different, but actually a lot of the prices are the same. She's in Chattanooga, TN, I'm in Central Florida. For this current week, she noted that the Eight O'Clock coffee is on BOGO at $4.43 in her ad, and that there is a $1.50/1 printable coupon available. That makes the coffee $1.43 for 2 bags for her.  I checked my ad and the same coffee, at my store, is $6.71.  Now, coffee isn't really grown in TN so why would coffee be more than $2 cheaper there than it is here, in the same supermarket?! Sometimes I wonder if we really live in the same country.

  • Well, I did pick up my library book at noon and ate my lunch and even some marshmallows while I was reading and I just didn't like it. I read almost half the book before giving up and checking the ending. Yep, I had guessed more or less correctly. I hate it when books are predictable and when the writer takes the role of the narrator and make it totally unrealistic.  In this case the main narrator was a 13-year-old girl and it was evident that it wasn't a 13-year-old speaking, which makes it hard to be drawn into the story in the first place.  So I'll have my son return the book for me tomorrow when he goes to the library for his Teen program, and I won't incur any late fees :)

  • I'm pissed. Last night my son rode my bike for the first time since I paid to get it fixed at the snooty bike store where they always makes remarks about people buying bikes at Walmart (as I did), after my daughter damaged it in her fall.  He mentioned to me that one of the brake handles was in the wrong position, turned pointing downward. Hmm, so I went to check on that this afternoon.  I suppose it could have happened when she fell, but then why wouldn't they have corrected that at the store?  Luckily, I had a tool that I could use to loosen the brace around the handlebar and reposition the brake handle.  When I went to put the bike back into the shed, I noticed that it didn't seem to "roll" quite freely. So I checked the wheels and the brake pads had been tightened so much that they rubbed against the rim of both the front and back wheel, even when they weren't being applied!  So I had to figure out how to loosen them. It's been a few weeks since I took the bike to be fixed, and I didn't notice it until now (although the bike had been in storage, and hasn't been used until last night), I'm sure they would deny they did this.  There is NO way that they didn't do it on purpose, those brake pads were rubbing so much.  I'm never going back there again!  I'll need to either figure out how to fix my own bike in the meantime, or find someone else (like Middle Son's former roommate, if he's still in the area) to do it.  I just hope that whatever I did now won't cause my son to crash when he rides it. I should try to take a bike ride myself to make sure everything works OK...

  • 8:22 p.m.  I started smelling something burning... the dishwasher has died and from the smell of it, it's an electronic part.  The dishes are only halfway washed so I'll need to rewash them tomorrow by hand and empty the dishwasher by hand, since it's full of water (I do have a wet vac). It's 15 years-old so I'm not sure that it'll be cheaper to try to fix it (i.e. call a repairman) rather than just replace it... apart from the fact that I tiled the kitchen (myself) around the dishwasher, not under it. So to get it out, we're going to need to a) bust some tiles or b) bust the kitchen counter. The counter is from the 70s and laminate so I wouldn't mind a new counter BUT: it rests on our rotten custom-built but in the 70s kitchen cabinets. So we'd need to replace the cabinets too.  And then we should replace the sink... so you see where this leads.  So I'm thinking that I'm going to be doing the dishes by hand for quite a while. Good thing I just stocked up on paper plates a few weeks ago :)

  • No Spend Day!

  • A blueberry muffin from RaceTrac, with a survey reward code

  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed a lunch for Greg
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Set out the Valentine's Day chocolates for everyone
  • Took my son to school
  • Picked him up a snack
  • Aired out the house
  • Worked on Swagbucks
  • Collected the trash through the house
  • Took trash can down to the curb
  • Put recyclables in car for tomorrow's drop-off
  • Replenished TP in bathroom
  • Aired out my son's bedroom
  • Made my bed
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Unloaded the dishwasher
  • Reloaded it with breakfast dishes
  • Commented on a couple of blogs
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Texted Oldest Son and his GF for Valentine's Day
  • Emailed back and forth with my brother about the house and others that he and his GF are looking at
  • Tried reading my library book and gave up
  • Cooked the Valentine's Day turkey :)
  • Made mashed potatoes
  • Cuddled with a kitten
  • Reloaded the dishwasher and started it
  • Started making turkey stock in the crockpot

  • Sleep was weird, but good, I guess.
  • Breakfast was a bowl of Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries and a cup of ~2% milk
  • Lunch was a pulled chicken sandwich, collard greens, a little bit of chips and 1/4 cantaloupe
  • Afternoon snack was some marshmallows. I didn't count how many but very possibly too many!  Then I had a whole sleeve of saltines, and also some saltwater taffy.  Arrgh, and 2 clementines.
  • Dinner was turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. And then I had chocolate covered ginger.
  • Water consumption was... not.
  • Exercise was not performed today, again.
  • Foot exercises were performed!
  • For a lovely morning on the patio
  • For my husband's Valentine's Day dance :)
  • For my daughter's safe return from her dad's
  • For a long email exchange with my brother!


  • The sky was a little cloudy first thing this morning...

  • The moon was still visible at 7:30ish.

  • The same bird welcomes the sun from atop the same tree. I still think it's a Crested Flycatcher.

  • The sun was still coming out this morning when a Mourning Dove landed on the electric cable in my backyard. I was hoping it'd get the nerve to come eat at the cardinal feeder (last year it seemed the mourning doves were there all the time), but it didn't :(

  • A contrail above the patio made it look like the sky had a zipper :)

  • At 10 a.m. this morning ash is raining down on me as I'm sitting on the patio. I did hear sirens a while back but it doesn't smell like anything is burning so it's odd.  I might have to go back indoors if it doesn't stop soon.

  • A pair of cardinals came to feed at the feeders at 10 a.m. at 10:15 a.m., they were still here, seemingly quite content and unworried about me sitting right now (in my red shirt and black shorts, maybe they thought I was a big fat cardinal too!). Shoot, as I started typing this, they flew off. I hope the keyboard clicking didn't alarm them!

  • The sun came out again to play and the lizards are meeting the challenge.
Adult lizard

Baby lizard
  • The squirrels are making good use of the electric cables criss-crossing the backyard and the nearby street as I keep on seeing them run alongside this "squirrel highway system".
This one was having a snack near Greg's shed.
  • Earlier this morning one came right up to my patio, with me sitting there, and started digging through my pots. I followed him to my garden where he started digging in one of my self-watering bins, so I shooed him away and noticed that I had 3 little tomatoes ready to be picked...

  • ... and then some new ones too that I will let ripen...

  • and even a couple of new Roma tomatoes from my very bedraggled Roma tomato plant!

  • The serrano pepper plant is still growing tiny peppers that have now turned red...

  • And a slightly larger green one. And it has more flowers!

  • And the Ichiban plant that would never die had 2 new eggplant flowers.  We'll see if they turn into fruit or not.
This flower is being attacked by ants so maybe it won't turn into an eggplant.
  • I just noticed that my huge basil "bush" that grew as a volunteer in a self-watering pot was indeed only ONE plant!  The stem is thick like my thumb!  It really liked the constant moisture. I should grow everything in those pots.  The bees love basil so I have a lot (for me!) of basil growing.

  • Speaking of bees, I noticed a couple of dead ones in my narrow blue bird feeder... what in the world?!  Did they think it was their hive?  But there was large holes for the birds to get to the seeds so they could have come out quite easily, I don't understand. Maybe this is why hives are drying everywhere, the bees get confused?!

  • My hibiscus has a flower!

  • At 11:30 a.m. some dark clouds have moved in but they're not very threatening. I don't think it'll rain.  I opened the patio umbrella and searched refuge under it as the sun is out (in between the clouds) and blinding/quite hot at times.  The wind is picking up a little. An osprey just flew over the backyard (I'm pretty sure it was an osprey) and the squirrels and lizards are nowhere to be seen now.

They look way more ominous in this picture than they were in reality... it never did rain!
  • I still don't know what those 3 little trees that are growing in my backyard are. Any ideas?
The trees

Their leaves
  • I also have a little oak tree growing, maybe a turkey oak?


Tabby Kitty spent the whole day in this bed near the sliding door.. catching some rays!

And he was comfy!

Princess started grooming my son as if he was another kitten!

Princess :)

Male Cat looked sad that Tabby Kitty had stolen his bed... but he really likes empty boxes!

Mean Kitty getting a suntan

New Kitty taking a nap on the sofa

Explorer, looking surprised!

And here, getting some cuddles :)
How was your Tuesday?


  1. I enjoyed your pictures today. The flycatcher looks like a robin to me, but I'm not very good at identifying birds.

    1. You know, when I saw its red belly, I thought "robin?" as well. But I've never seen a robin by itself, only in large groups, and I only see it when it sings at the top of the tallest tree every morning, something that the flycatcher does and did indeed do last year atop the same tree. So I lazily called it a flycatcher. I should research some more but it's hard without a clearer picture. Maybe I'll call it a "robin flycatcher" if I see it again. I'm also not very good at identifying birds!

  2. In reading your comments on what you did with all your chores… I realize we do a lot that we don't even think about. An example, refilling the toilet paper in the bathroom. Sometimes my husband asks what I did in the house and I know I'm busy all morning and rarely sit down. But I can't tell him exactly what I was doing even though I know I was quite busy.

    1. I agree. There are a lot more things that I do but don't bother adding to my list of "accomplishments", yet they do take time and keep the house running along :) Then I think "Oh I really didn't accomplish anything today because I didn't get to the big things that I listed on my To Do List, but all those little things did get done. Just not necessarily listed!

  3. I like your bing Valentine. ;)

    I'm sorry about your dishwasher. I don't mind doing dishes by hand, but I think I might cry if I didn't have the ease and speed of just loading most of my dishes into a machine! Particularly right now! I hope you can figure something out.

    1. Thanks, Laura. I spend a long time dealing with the dishwasher today and was very close to ordering a new one online... then I did my dishes by hand, realized that it only took me a couple more minutes than just loading the dishwasher, and decided to just forego a dishwasher until we remodel the kitchen in a few years. I just ordered 2 dish basins from Amazon so I can minimize the amount of water I use when washing by hand. That's the way we did it in France (and my mom still does it since she doesn't have a dishwasher) and it didn't kill me :)

  4. Lunch-Time Incognito-Bless here!

    I loved reading about the Valentine's Day dance and kiss that followed! :D Very sweet. I was served my divorce papers on a Valentine's Day! I like to think of it as the biggest gift I could have received at the time! I don't think the date was intentional - he was probably quite oblivious of it. I just thought it very ironic.

    Loved all the pictures, too. I, too, initially thought that your flycatcher was a robin! In the news, yesterday, there was a story about a man's pet squirrel chasing off an intruder and I thought I must share that with you! So keep those squirrels in your garden happy with the occasional ripe tomato - they are protecting your property!

    Your 3 little trees do look a lot like the one my neighbor planted on my parkway - I don't know what that tree is, either, but my gardener thought it might be a carob tree. Hope that is what is growing in your garden - if so, you'll have a chocolate substitute!

    Have a lovely day, Nathalie.

    1. You don't mention whether YOU cared, at the time, that you got serve on Valentine's Day but it doesn't sound like it ended up being a major trauma in your life. A great gift indeed if you were looking to get out of the relationship as well!

      I guess I'll be calling my morning visitor a robin, then! Love the story about the squirrel chasing the intruder. We do have so many of them around the yard, I'm hoping intruders would definitely be deterred, ha.

      Ohhh carob trees! Now that WOULD be cool. I have no idea how they would have ended growing here though but maybe some birds pooped the seeds? However the carob tree leaves look more rounded than the ones in my backyard. I was thinking that maybe they were Southern magnolia trees as the leaves look similar, but I'm not convinced.

      Thanks for the feedback, though. What did you decide to do with the tree your neighbor planted, by the way

  5. The tree is still there - looking half dead, but it'll probably survive and grow. As for the timing of the divorce papers, by then, I was past caring. The marriage had already ended for all intents and purposes way before then.

    Maybe you could break off a sprig of leaves from your trees and take it to a plant nursery and ask if anyone there could identify it? Or, if there is a biology department at your daughter's college, she could ask a professor?

    1. I have contacted the biology department of a couple of universities asking for help in identifying a frog, some trees, etc. and I've never heard back from any of their so-called "experts" so I'm not holding my breath. I should, however, take it to my county's extension office when they have their master gardeners out giving tours of "Discovery Gardens". I've always meant to go there and I have yet to do that. It's just 20 minutes away. Also, I think one of the rangers at P.E.A.R. Park might be able to help. They have several tree specimens that are growing there and are labeled and the rangers I've talked to were all very friendly. I'd meant to go back anyway and it's also only 20 minutes away from the house. Maybe next week... thanks for sparking those ideas in me, Bless!

  6. Sorry about your dishwasher...and isn't it crazy how replacing one thing would lead to having to do six others? Next thing, you're remodeling your entire kitchen! Good thing that you are planning to do that eventually anyways.

    My Valentine's Day was a "no spend day" as well. I went to work, to the gym, and then came home to eat a salad for dinner. With Dave in New York, we've put off doing something for Valentine's Day. But restaurants are too busy that day anyway, and chocolates are 50% off the day after.

    If you want to identify trees, the Arbor Day Foundation has a identification guide on their website:


    They guide you through a bunch of questions and (hopefully) can give you the ID for the tree. Naturally, it involves a bit of luck...but probably better than asking someone like me, LOL.

    1. Ah, good to know I'll have to try it. Thanks!

      Inquiring mind wants to know... did you buy a lot of 50% off chocolates?

    2. Actually, I haven't bought any yet (and the V-candy probably will be gone by the time I make it to a store). What with being alone all week, all I did was work, walk, go home, and get caught up on some old housework. I had a salad almost every night for dinner and generally felt like a hermit. However, Dave got home this evening and brought some sponge candy for me (it's a Buffalo thing). So after an entire week of eating healthy and very sensibly, we're now scarfing down chocolate-covered sponge candy.

    3. Chocolate...covered... sponge?! Never mind, I'm so hungry right now even that sounds delicious! And you deserve it, you guys had a stressful week. Enjoy! I'm off to see what Buffalo sponge candy looks like...


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