Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Blahs ~ Wednesday 2/15/17

I have the blahs today. The weather is blah and so am I.  At 7:50 a.m. the sky is very cloudy and the atmosphere is heavy with potential rain.  Indeed, we have 50% chances of rain this afternoon and strong winds predicted for later this morning.  Which reminds me, I need to go put the patio umbrella back in the shed. BRB.

Ok, done. At least it's cool right now and I have the windows open so the cats and I are enjoying the cool breeze.  But no patio time for me today :(

Greg lost 2 pounds so far this week, hooray for him!  But it also highlights my own failure to get my motivation back.  I haven't exercised in 2 days, am not logging my calories, not drinking water, and I don't feel like doing any of it either :(  I was doing SO WELL and I'm annoyed at myself for self-sabotaging and yet I can't get my butt in gear again.

I'm obsessing over the dishwasher.  I unloaded it this morning and started scooping water out of it and now I'm waiting for my daughter to get up so I can use the wet vac to finish draining it (her bedroom is right above the kitchen). My kitchen sinks and counters are once again covered in dirty dishes (it quit only a short time into the cycle) so I'm going to need to wash them all by hand too, and I'm not looking forward to it.  Once it's drained I'll try to dissemble the draining thingie to see if maybe something is stuck in there that is preventing the pump from working but the whole dishwasher is just not turning on (and yes, I checked the fuse box) so I think the motor blew.  Greg said "Just call someone to come take a look at it!" but this discounts the fact that 1) I hate calling people (it really produces real anxiety in me these days, if I don't know the person and 2) that we'll more than likely have to pay for a service call only to be told they can't even look at the dishwasher because they can't get it out from under the counter without "major" demolition work.  I wish I had a husband who would take care of it himself. But judging on his "I'll take care of the plumbing problem!" in the shower that still hasn't been fixed more than a year later and the "sure, I'll unhook the garden hose from the outside faucet for you!" that was articulated over a month ago and has yet to be attempted, I think that I'm on my own with the dishwasher again. And yes, I'm whining about first world problems and single mothers have it worse but, damn it, that doesn't mean that I don't ever get to whine about my problems, lol.

I never did sort my coupons yesterday so I think I'll just gather the ones that I need for sure for Publix and won't bother about the others right now.  I need to go out to run a few errands:
  1. Pick up the cat food that I had ordered from the vet's
  2. Might as well go to Save A Lot since it's very close and they have $0.99 cantaloupes. And yikes, they'll have $0.29/lb chicken leg quarters this weekend but I don't think I have the room in the freezer.
  3. Go to Publix to get a few things
  4. Stop by RaceTrac to get my son a free snack as I didn't go this morning.  I had left the house without my phone, which left me all discombobulated and I just wanted to get home.  Yes, I'm getting old and weird, I am painfully aware of this.

So I had hoped to have a pretty quiet Wednesday but now it looks like I have a ton of things to do. Bleh.

I gave my chocolate-covered ginger to Greg last night, after partaking too much, and asked him to hide it from me.  This morning I asked him what he did with it and he told me where it is. Arrgh.

Yes, I am wallowing in negativity right now.

  • Pick up cat food DONE
  • Finish grocery shopping DONE
  • Submit rebates DONE
  • Get snack for son DONE
  • Input receipts in spreadsheets DONE
  • Account for groceries this week in my post DONE
  • Sweep kitchen DONE
  • Sweep Cat Room
  • Sweep breezeway
  • Sweep exercise room
  • Make my bed DONE
  • Sort coupons
  • 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  
  • Use Wet Vac in dishwasher DONE
  • Try to see if something is blocking the pump DONE
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher DONE
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (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
  • Return library book DONE
  • 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 DONE
  • Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"! Composted them, they had spoiled.
  • 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 DONE
  • Sit down with my daughter and show her how to file her taxes
  • Check the air filters and replace if needed DONE
  • Pour Drano down kitchen sink (preventative plumbing maintenance) DONE
  • Schedule credit card payment DONE
  • Strain the turkey stock and freeze it DONE
  • Take down the Valentine's Day decorations and put them away DONE
  • Print new tax forms DONE
  • Start on our tax return

  • My son packed a lunch for school

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work

  • The school drop-off was very easy!

  • Greg lost 2 lbs!

  • I turned off the AC and opened the windows to air the house out and entertain the cats.

  • If you missed out on the TooJay's promotional app code to get a free pastrami item, the promotion has been extended to February 19th!  See graphic below.

  • I've got to turn my mood around.  Things to look forward to today:
    • There's a Law & Order Marathon starting at 11 a.m.  I need to get all my errands done before then!
    • And there's L&O: Criminal Intent on from 10-11 if I come back earlier :)
    • There is delicious chocolate-covered ginger in the house!
    • I can move my recumbent bike to the living room and bike while I watch L&O
    • The rain will be good for my garden!
    • I don't have to go to a real job (so, so grateful for that)
    • My kittens are going to want to cuddle at some point :)
    • There are leftovers in the fridge for lunch, yum!
    • Dinner is going to be mock Zuppa Toscana, which is easy to make and delicious
    • I'm going to get a couple of freebies from Publix today.
    • I feel better already!

  • Microsoft Rewards had a bonus offer for 500 credits if you submitted a Microsoft-related anecdote so I did and I should get the bonus "in a few weeks". I didn't want to write a story about how I hate Windows 10 and Windows Defender is useless, so I wrote about Greg using his Xbox One for us to watch blu-rays when we discovered that our thrifted blu-ray player didn't, in fact, play blu-rays!

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • So I left on my errands:
    • I almost missed Save A Lot because I was lost in my thoughts!  I bought:
      • a cantaloupe ($0.99)
      • a 3.20-lb papaya at $0.99/lb so $3.17
      • and a box of donut holes on clearance at $0.75. Truly, I hesitated, took it, put it back down, and then decided to take it anyway.  Truth is, I was hungry and I reasoned that I would then have a snack both for my son AND my daughter AND me :)
      • I looked for produce and meat on clearance but there wasn't any.
      • My OOP was $4.91 and I charged it to my Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.

    • I picked up the large bag of Urinary S.O. Moderate Calories cat food for my older cats from the vet's. Since I had the credit from the bag that I had to leave there last week, I didn't have to pay anything today.

    • Publix:
      • I dropped off the foam items and a few plastic bags in their recycling bins.
      • I checked my lottery ticket but I didn't win anything. I still have several drawings left on it.
      • They didn't have any regular raspberries at all, despite that they advertise them as being on sale so that saved me some money as I was planning on buying 2 containers of them.
      • I was thinking about purchasing my favorite Mentos gum that was on BOGO but I checked my stock and I still have 2 bottles of it and then gum from other brands that I don't like as much but that I need to use it. So I left it on the shelf.
      • I purchased:
        • 2 boxes of Barber stuffed chicken, on BOGO at $5.49 and I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 printable coupons so $3.49 for 2 boxes.  They were out of the breaded chicken cordon bleu variety so I bought the chicken parmesan variety. I hope it's good but it'll definitely be an easy dinner!
        • a package of Castello blue cheese slices for Greg (even though he didn't beg nearly enough) at $5.49 (aaargh) but I redeemed a $2.00/1 digital coupon so $3.49
        • 4 cans of Del Monte no salt added diced tomatoes, on BOGO @ $1.53 and I redeemed $1.00/4 store coupon and $1.00/4 insert coupon so it came out to $0.27 a can.
        • a tube of Gourmet Garden Cilantro paste @ $4.29.  I lucked out because I had a .55/1 coupon that I had gotten from a tearpad several months ago, but there was a dispenser of $1.00/1 Catalina coupons and I grabbed the last one!  So I paid $3.29 but I also redeemed a $1.00 Ibotta rebate, which made it a better price.  It's more expensive than growing my own cilantro or even buying it fresh at SAL or Aldi, but I haven't planted any and I keep needing to use a little of it in recipes so I like the paste :)

        • a small bottle of Truvia Nectar on sale at $2.99. I redeemed a $2.00/1 printable coupon, which beeped. I had a different cashier this time who didn't bat an eye and entered it manually.  This ended up triggering the $1.50 digital coupon that I had on my account, which made it a moneymaker, but I also submitted a $2.00 Ibotta rebate so in the end it was a $2.51 MONEYMAKER!  Woohoo!
        • My OOP at the store was $10.82 and my cashier congratulated me on my savings :)  I charged it to my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
        • Back home, I submitted my receipt for $3 back from Ibotta.

    • I also picked up a couple of free recipe cards from Publix Apron.

    • I decided to skip RaceTrac since I had the donut holes and didn't feel like making another stop.

  • Ibotta credited me within a few minutes!

  • I unlocked a few new offers from Ibotta, MobiSave and SavingStar.

  • I had left my laptop on playing automatic videos from Swagbucks but they dried up while I was gone. I attempted to take a few surveys and lucked out with a Peanut Labs survey that was super easy, took maybe 1 minutes and earned me 65 SB!  So I met my 1st goal by 11:00 a.m.

  • I turned on Law & Order on over the air TV to have it in the background as I completed several tasks on my laptop.

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

  • I entered my receipts into my spreadsheets. Tracking what we spend to the penny is vital to ensure that we are being frugal and know where our money is going.  Tracking my grocery shopping in details allows me to make sure I don't overspend in this category of the budget where most people do overspend by a lot :)

  • For lunch, I had a pulled chicken sandwich, the rest of the collard greens leftovers and about 1/3 of a cantaloupe.

  • I printed some new coupons via Swagbucks, including some new pet coupons that I'll be donating.

  • I took 3 RaceTrac surveys and earned 3 more freebies :)

  • I called the office to find out when my son might be able to take the driver's ed class but there are 15 students ahead of him and only 3 students per class so he might not be able to take it until the summer... but then it'd only be over a week.  At least now I won't worry about possibly scheduling something during the school year that would conflict with it. I wish they would just let us schedule a class right now but we can only do it when it's "our turn" so probably closer to the end of the school year.

  • I used the Wet Vac to drain the water out of the dishwasher, unscrewed the filter to clean out the pump area, cleaned the door contacts (just in case) and tried getting the dishwasher to start again. After a couple of tries, it did start and I thought I had fixed it!  But after about 30 seconds, it stops.  When I open it, it's refilled with water. So I emptied it again and tried again. And so on and so forth. 3 times.  So after doing more research, I think it's the pump, which can only be accessed from the bottom of the dishwasher. I researched the cost of the part on RepairClinic and it's over $100, plus the cost of a service call because I think it'd be over Greg's head.  So then I started to think that we should just buy a new one since ours is 15 years old anyway.  I checked the Lowe's website and there is a Whirlpool Energy-Star rated dishwasher on sale for just $299 through the end of the month and they have 2 in stock at my store. I called the number to get a quote for installation and hauling of the old one and before tax and if we chip the tiles out ourselves, and barring any "we need to bring this up to code" issues, the total would be $467.98 before tax. I asked Greg if he thought he could install it himself and he said "probably" and thought we might be able to get the old one out by moving the fridge out of the way and taking out the end support of the countertop and sliding out the dishwasher that way. Hmmm. So I was thinking we'd go look at the dishwasher this weekend. I checked Appliance Direct as well and it's $15 cheaper but with delivery, etc, I think it'll be a wash and I'd rather deal with Lowe's.

  • Then I did the dishes by hand and used the dishwasher as a drying rack. It only took maybe a couple of minutes longer than just loading the dishwasher so I decided that I'd rather NOT replace the dishwasher until we're ready to remodel the kitchen, at some point after we pay off the house.  I grew up without a dishwasher anyway so it's not a huge deal.  I'll just buy a couple of dish basins so I can minimize the water waste since my sinks still drain even with covers on them.

  • I informed my son that he would be driving to the library today so he needed to bring his wallet with him. We reviewed the route and what he could improve on compared to the last time he drove there and he did great.

  • I gave him my library book to return for me so I don't incur any late fees :)

  • I researched dish basins on Amazon that would fit into my old double-sink and ordered 2 of them along with some cat scratcher refills and cat grass containers since they were add-on items that I could only get if I spent more than $25.  I redeemed $12.40 in Amazon Visa rewards and picked the No Rush shipping option for the scratchers and the cat grass, since it was available. My OOP was $21.10 and I will earch 5% back in Rewards and I will get $2 back in digital credits.  So basically my 2 dish basins cost me $0.93 :)

  • I reused a bread bag to dispose of the contents of the upstairs litter box when I cleaned it.

  • I went to pick up my son from the library and had him drive home. He did extremely well :)

  • I strained the turkey stock that had cooked overnight and reused 2 Chinese take-out soup containers to freeze 8 cups of it.
  • I washed and hung to dry a cereal bag that my son had set aside for me. I also clipped the Boxtop and will mail it to our local elementary school, along with the others that I collected, in the Spring.

  • I cooked the Mock Zuppa Toscana soup for dinner. I used smoked turkey sausage and kale and added one of the 4-cup containers of turkey stock that I had just put in the freezer to the pot since I hadn't defrosted any chicken stock anyway!  I served it with naan bread.

  • After dinner I still had about 4 cups of soup left over so I saved it in the fridge for future lunches.

  • I did the dishes by hand after dinner. I actually like it as now that I'm using the dishwasher as a drying rack, I can pile up the large pots and pans on top of the other dishes without worrying that they'll prevent the top rack from getting washed, and my sinks can remain empty!

  • Gas:
    • to drive my son to school
    • and tolls for Greg's commute
    • to run my errands
    • to drive my son to the library and pick him up again

  • Middle Son and I haven't had a date this month so I think I'm going to take him to see the Lego Batman movie on Sunday as Greg will be out of town.

  • Definitely wasn't credited for a 14-day streak by Swagbucks and now my Daily Goal is 96 SB.  Ugh. I'm very close to the 2,200 that I need for my next gift card so I'll keep on trying to earn SB until then and then I may give it a rest...

  • Well, shoot,  I was hoping that Lidl would be coming soon and more than hoping that the mystery building going up next to our Walgreens might be one (since it doesn't look like it's going to be the much rumored Taco Bell, after all...), but it doesn't sound like Florida will be getting Lidl stores in the near future. However, if you are in Virginia. or the Carolinas, get excited!

  • Save a Lot: $4.91 (groceries)
  • Publix: $10.82 (groceries)
  • Amazon: $21.10 (2 dish basins, 2 cat scratchers, 2 cat grass containers)

Grocery shopping this week: my budget is $100 but I spent $61.99 after all rebates, broken down as follows:
  • Baking: $0.00
  • Beverages: $0.00
  • Breads: $2.55 (2 loaves white bread, 8-ct hamburger buns)
  • Cereals: $0.00
  • Dairy: $9.53 (1 package American cheese slices, 1 package string cheese, 4 yogurt cups, 1 package Castello blue cheese slices)
  • Pantry/Dry Goods: $1.06 (1 jar grape jelly, 1 box saltines, 1 bag egg noodles, 1 bottle Truvia Nectar sweetener)
  • Produce & Juice: $29.09 (64 oz apple juice, 2 lbs carrots, 5 lbs gold potatoes, 3 Romaine hearts, 1 cucumber, 1 lb Roma tomatoes, 3 lbs mandarins, 2.9 lbs bananas, 4 lbs red grapes, 4 lbs strawberries, 3.2 lbs papaya, 1 cantaloupe, 4 cans no salt added diced tomatoes, 1 tube cilantro paste)
  • Proteins: $14.16 (4.25 lbs pork loin, 1 lb Black Forest turkey, 2 boxes Barber Chicken)
  • Snacks: $5.60 (1 box Swiss rolls, 1 package peanut butter crackers, 1 bag pretzel sticks, 1 bags marshmallows, 1 box donut holes)

  • Free pastrami item at TooJay's via their app when you enter the promotional code "Pastrami" in the app by 2/19!
  • a bottle of Truvia Nectar that I was actually paid $2.51 to bring home :)
  • the two dish basins were almost free ($0.93) since I paid for them with Amazon Visa Rewards.

  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Drove my son to school
  • Unloaded the dirty dishes from the dishwasher
  • Scooped out half the water from the dishwasher
  • Looked up possible solutions/repairs for dishwasher online
  • Worked on Rewards programs
  • Caught up on blogs
  • Located coupons for my shopping trip
  • Ran my errands
  • Put everything away
  • Submitted rebates
  • Recorded receipts in my spreadsheets
  • Downloaded tax forms
  • Updated my checkbook
  • Printed some coupons
  • Took customer satisfaction surveys
  • Drained the dishwasher with Wet Vac (3 times)
  • Tried to fix the dishwasher
  • Researched dishwasher parts
  • Researched new dishwasher
  • Called Lowe's to get quote on installation/swapping
  • Texted with Greg about replacing dishwasher
  • Did the dishes by hand
  • Had my son drive us to the library
  • Brought back the recycling bins from the curb
  • Made my and Greg's beds
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Researched dish basins
  • Placed an Amazon order
  • Checked the air filters
  • Poured some Drano down the kitchen sink for preventative plumbing maintenance
  • Took down the Valentine's Day decorations and put them away
  • Cleaned out my email inbox
  • Went to pick up my son from the library and had him drive home
  • Drained and froze the turkey stock
  • Washed a cereal bag
  • Swept the kitchen
  • Cooked dinner
  • Brought the Wet Vac back indoors and put it back together into a Shop Vac
  • Emptied the countertop composting bin into the large one outdoors
  • Did the dinner dishes by hand
  • Sleep was OK.
  • Breakfast was a bowl of Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries and a cup of ~2% milk. I drank coffee.
  • Mid morning snack was... 6 donut holes.
  • Lunch was collard greens, a  pulled chicken sandwich and 1/3 of cantaloupe. I drank diet Coke.
  • Afternoon snack was chocolate-covered ginger and 2 mandarins.
  • Dinner was zuppa toscana and a wedge of naan bread
  • Water consumption
  • Exercise I'm taking a break
  • Foot exercises were performed.
  • For an easy school drop-off
  • For nice cashiers both at Save a Lot and Publix
  • For Ibotta because it really does save me money :)
  • For my lovely kittens!

Would you rather do your dishes by hand or do your laundry by hand?


  1. That's easy...dishes. I've been doing them by hand my whole life. Clothes by hand would be hard, imho. Love the kitty pics--they are so cute!

    1. I think clothes would be hard because of the wringing. If I could have a wringing machine, it'd be a big pain in the butt, but it'd be doable... in Florida, since it's sunny most of the year so we can dry our clothes outside pretty easily.

  2. I'm sorry you had a blah day, but you still managed to accomplish a lot! Look at all those "done"s and crossed out items on your to do list!

    Ooh, pastrami burgers! One time, I used to work in an office building where a "lunch truck" used to come every day and they used to make the best pastrami burgers! I could have eaten one every! No wonder I gained weight!

    Apparently, 3 out of 3 kittens approve of the new bag of cat food! Even if it is meant for the older cats!

    I have done both dishes and laundry by hand. I used to do all the dishes by hand, even when we were 3 people in the house, even after the dishwasher was installed, because I only used the dishwasher when we had a big party. I still do dishes by hand most days, and run the dishwasher only once a week or every couple of weeks. I pre-rinse everything by hand before I load the dishwasher, so it doesn't feel like a lot more work to just handwash everything.

    I used to wash all the laundry by hand when we lived in Florida, in order to save money. We were rather poor then, because only my step dad had a job and he didn't get paid a lot, working as a janitor in a hospital (never mind that he was a dental surgeon by profession). By the time my parents paid the rent, there wasn't much left to live on. My mother and I used to sit in the dark and wait until my step dad got home at night, in order to save on electricity. :)

    These days, my washing machine is acting up and all the water doesn't get spun out at the end of the cycle. I find I need to wring out some of the laundry before I hang them up to dry, otherwise they drip all over my wooden floors. I don't mind, but my hands are not quite as strong as they used to be. One of these days, I'll replace my appliances. :)

    1. Did your stepdad ever end up being employed again in his field of expertise? Why did your parents decide to emigrate to the USA when faced with such a change in their circumstances? Or did they not realize that this was going to happen?

      I never used a dishwasher until I started having kids. My ex and I had one in the last couple of apartments that we rented and then the house that we built, but we just didn't have enough dishes to justify using it. I always used it as a drying rack. I rather liked my sink being clear of dishes drying it in last night and this morning!

      When I was in college, I did my laundry by hand. We didn't have any laundromats in the dorms. Most people went home every weekend and did their laundry there. I did too, my first year, but my mom didn't have a dryer (unheard of back then in France!) so many times I'd come back to my university on Sunday nights with a bag full of still wet jeans, etc. Ugh. My 2nd year, I rarely went home at all so I washed everything in my tiny bathroom sink and hung it up to dry on closet doors, chairs, the heater, my desk... my undies were nylon so I would get huge blisters on the back of my fingers when scrubbing them clean. After that, I only ever bought granny cotton undies, even when I didn't have to wash them by hand anymore! My jeans would take several days to dry because I could never wring enough water off them, no matter how much I tried. It was a pain.

      As far as putting on weight at work, when I last worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation, we had a Nature's Table café right underneath my office. I was pregnant with Youngest Son, would bring my breakfast from home with me so I could eat at 9 a.m. and then I'd go get biscuits and gravy for 2nd breakfast at 10:30 a.m. because we had an open atrium so every time they cooked something, it'd all waft to my desk. I put on way too much weight when I was pregnant. A year later, when I did Weight Watchers at work, it was quite challenging. They also used to have a snack cart that would make the rounds, but thankfully that was mostly for the artists so they wouldn't come to the department where I worked, lol. I'd see them across from the atrium, though, and I was vaguely resentful :)

    2. No, my step dad was unable to work as a dental surgeon after he came here and that was a great source of frustration to him. :( As for why they came - the universal immigrant dream. They came believing it would be a better life than what they had. I don't like to talk too much about the life we lived back in Sri Lanka, because it sounds like I am boasting, if you know what I mean. We weren't wealthy, but we were fairly well off, with property, household staff, and well connected to people in high places. :) Sometimes, I tell my daughter (I once showed her the stack of invitations I had kept from certain diplomatic functions my parents and I had been asked to attend and she was incredulous); she asks me all the time why we ever left. The question now is probably why we never went back. In fact, my parents were seriously considering going back when things were so hard for them in Florida, but it felt like a failure to them, I guess, to go back without having first made it here, you know? So, when my aunt said come to California, it's better here, we packed what we could into our car, gave away the rest, took a small personal loan to finance the drive and drove across the country, seeking that illusive better life. :) My parents never regained the type of life they gave up in order to come here. My step dad never quite got over that disappointment, but my mother and I just accepted it for what it was and made the best of things. C'est la vie, as you might say. :)

    3. I understand. I think a lot of immigrants to France (mostly men from Northern Africa) ended up in dire straits when they moved there to pursue their immigrant dream, but were too proud or ashamed to admit the truth to their families back home. I knew of fathers of friends of mine who would have their picture taken in front of other people's Mercedes to send the pictures back home to Morocco or Algeria to show their families that they had "made" it, when in fact they lived in the projects and very underemployed, if employed at all. Those people never moved back home either.
      Your mom was wise, although I'm sure it must have been hard for her too, I would imagine.

  3. I see you use the same cat food we do. I have found it's cheaper at Petsmart than at my vet's. I take the prescription to Petsmart's clinic and they convert it to one of theirs that's good for a year. Sometimes, I get a good coupon at the end of the receipt, that I can use on my next bag. I don't know if you have a Petsmart nearby, but if you do, you might check it out.

    1. Interesting... We don't have a Petsmart, but we have a Petco. I'm not sure if we could do the same? How much do you pay for the bag at Petsmart if you don't mind me asking? I pay $63.50 for the 17.6 lbs bag of Royal Canin Urinary S.O. Moderate Calories at the vet's and it's only 10 minutes away from my house and on my way to the other stores that I frequent. Petco is about 20 minutes away and a little bit out of my way.

    2. Oh, that's a good price. I pay about $10 more than that at Petsmart and an additional $5 if I buy it at the vet's. And last time I looked online, I couldn't get it any cheaper. Maybe it's time to look again. Regional differences in prices are always interesting.

    3. $10, that's a big difference! Is pet food taxed where you live? My vet doesn't charge me tax on it. Not sure if it's taxable in store, I want to say yes.

  4. HI Nathalie,
    Don't let the weight loss (or lack of progress get to you)! It is a Marathon and not a sprint. The changes you are trying to make i.e. water, exercise etc... will become a habit overtime.. We both know this is a never ending struggle but we can LOSE WEIGHT and it will happen if we just keep keeping on... sure we'll have some days (weeks) that we slip up.... but the general trend is what is important. Imagine how nice it will be for us to be lighter in the summer... and having our clothes fit more comfortably. You have still got time to lose weight in February... more than two weeks.... How about a goal of 2-3 lbs. for the rest of February? I'm bouncing up and down too but hoping my general trend is down with 5 1/2 lbs. now... I was hoping to be lower too! Hang in there ! Bonnie

    1. Hi Bonnie! Sorry I took so long to publish this and reply, I've definitely been feeling the "blahs" with the diet and exercise. Arrrgh. I really appreciate all your support, you are so sweet and so... RIGHT. I will start again tomorrow, I promise! Thanks!

    2. You are the best! I'm off to go hiking. I'll try to be good with the food but the water might have to wait as I don't want to have to wear Depends today LOL. Have a great weekend, Bonnie!

  5. Hey, Lady! A couple of things...every time I scream like someone is murdering me because I see a bug/spider/crawly thing and he comes running in a panic just to look at me like, "seriously", I remind him that those were part of his vows he said when he wasn't paying attention so that's what he gets!!

    The Dishwasher thing...well, our dryer went out at about 10 yrs old....hubby has repaired/replaced at least 4 different parts. We bought a "new" to us one from a friend...welp, that lasted a month. Hubby researched it again, and realized there's no way he can get to where he needs to get to fix it. I said to HELL with it! Lowe's had a dryer marked down from $399 to $299. Well, neither of us have a Lowe's card BUT they offered some kind of % off thing plus 6 months same as cash for newbies. THEN, I found a tidbit online by googling "Lowe's coupons" about Ebay selling Lowe's $50 off coupons online for .99...with instant delivery. I mean seriously...I had NOT even gotten my paypal receipt and he had already mailed my code! Here's the guy I used:

    I think our out of pocket was $230ish (hubby picked it up himself) and SOME electric companies will pay YOU or credit YOU to pick up your old appliance. We gave ours to a guy who saw us loading it up and asked if he could have it for scrape metal. Sure! Oh, we also had to buy a microwave (mine was given to me at LEAST 17 yrs ago and finally died) last week and the small heater I use in the master bathroom died (I have low iron and freeze even in NC), so I just ordered that! STOP!! I am bleeding out here!!

    Oh, Oh! I also ordered the dryer from Lowe's and the microwave from Wally World online AND earned Swagbucks! Hah!

    1. Hey Joy! So you've finally caught up? LOL.

      Thanks for the ebay link! I had no idea. We can get the old dishwasher picked up for free from our trash company (we have to leave it by the curb and schedule a special pick-up) and then i remembered that i could probably get a used dishwasher from the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store if we really needed one. But for now we'll just do without, it's not such a big deal, actually. Good job on earning the Swagbucks!!!

  6. Dishes or laundry by hand? Definitely dishes! I have (and enjoy) a dishwasher and use it to the fullest, even though I only need to run it two or three times a week. I got my first dishwasher about 20 years ago, before that I did dishes by hand.

    But laundry? No! I'd go to the laundromat before dealing with washing clothes by hand.

    1. Or that great drycleaner with the witty signage :)


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!