Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Flu Has Arrived Here ~ Sunday 2/5/17

We were supposed to attend the Civil War battle reenactment at Renninger's today, but for the past few days I knew I didn't feel like going there (regular life already feels too much like the Civil War is impending) so last night I told Greg that I wasn't sure I wanted to go today. He didn't care one way or another and suggested we attend only every other year instead of every year, as we have since our son was a baby.  But Youngest Son had expressed interest in attending when I asked him about it last weekend so we left it up to him, and again he said last night that he wanted to go. Our son never wants to go anywhere so we decided that we would go.

This morning, Explorer woke me up at 5:45 a.m., generally being a pest. I was tired because I had had a hard time falling back asleep when I went to bed, and got tired of him, so after a few swats and "shut up!", I kicked him out of my bedroom and closed the door... only he started crying and pawing at the door and ended up waking Greg up, which woke up Tabby Kitten who came to investigate what was going on. So at 6 a.m. I had the 3 kittens in my room, the boys being pests and me getting really annoyed. And then everyone settled down on my bed and went back to sleep. Until my son got up to go to the bathroom and slammed the doors. I was really annoyed and really didn't want to go to the Civil War event so I resolved to tell Greg that he should take our son on his own.

I finally got to a little before 7 a.m., brewed my coffee, fed the cats, went to get my paper down the driveway, settled with my coffee and my laptop to start earning Swagbucks, and my son got up and came to the living room. Right away I told him, irritably, that next time he got up, he needed to NOT slam the doors.  You know, it never fails, every time I've been angry at my son, he's been sick.  He said "OK, sorry." and then "I've had a fever all night."  Last night he had complained about a sore throat and when I looked at it, it didn't look very good to me but he didn't have a fever so all I gave him were some Ricola drops.  I checked his forehead this morning and he was burning up!  My baby!  I went to get the bottle of CVS Flu and Throat syrup that, thankfully, I had in my pharmacy, but suddenly he said he had to throw up, and so he did.  Dang it, it's either the flu or the stomach flu but regardless, it's not good news for any of us and he's feeling pretty bad. I have a vet appointment for Princess to get her stitches out in the morning so I'd need to try to get him into the pediatrician's on Tuesday (although if it's a virus, there's really nothing they can do). Right now I plan on keeping him home tomorrow at the very least.  After he threw up I had him eat a slice of bread very slowly and then take a dose of the Flu and Throat medication and sent him back to bed with a bucket, a towel and a bottle of cold water so he keeps drinking.

So no one is going to the Civil War battle reenactment today and we need to try NOT to catch what he has. Greg, especially, is prone to catching every bug on the planet!

Today is another drab day. It's all cloudy at 8:15 a.m., so I'm putting on some music to cheer myself up.  The kitchen is full of dirty dishes because I haven't done them in a couple of days, I'm out of bananas and applesauce and I need to put my son on the brat diet so I need to run to Publix.

On the good news side of things, I lost 0.2 lbs when I thought I'd have put on weight. But I kind of had to wiggle on the scale for it to not remain at 219.2 (my weight from last week, ha!). I'm bloated and crampy because of my period (can't wait until those are gone, gone, GONE!) so I'm hoping that I'll have a better result next Sunday.

  • Go to Publix and get bananas and applesauce DONE
  • Get a new thermometer from Publix or Walgreens DONE
  • Wash crockpot DONE
  • Cook dinner in crockpot 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
  • Do the dishes  DONE
  • Clean fridge
  • Print coupons DONE
  • Clip coupons (put aside for BFF and SLAL Thrift Store) DONE
  • Sort coupons
  • Upload digital coupons DONE
  • Unlock new offers in rebate apps DONE
  • Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son
  • Make appointment for preventative maintenance on heat pump
  • Vacuum the living room
  • 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  - Took a 4-mile walk
  • 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
  • Clean litter box upstairs 
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Read new issue of Kiplinger's
  • Finish ironing Greg's clothes
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Make lemon poppyseed muffins or/and lemon squares with the "grapefruits"!
  • Pick the oranges
  • Zest the oranges and freeze
  • 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?
  • Get soil from Lowe's, before Saturday?
  • Look into transplanting hyacinths in garden
  • Scrub patio pavers with bleach (wear old clothes and shoes, gloves and goggles)
  • Finish decluttering exercise room shelves
  • Mend at least one item from mending basket (Youngest Son's bag)
  • 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) in progress

  • I lost 0.2 lbs! Not great but better than gaining. Only 4.8 lbs to go for February. I need to up my game!

  • The paper was in the driveway and there were 2 coupon inserts.

  • I saved the plastic sleeve to use it as a cat poop bag as I clean the upstairs litter box. I also saved 3 bread bags for the same purpose, yesterday.

  • So glad I had a bottle of "Flu and Throat" medicine to give him, although I guess I'd just have given him ibuprofen otherwise. Still, it makes me feel like I'm actually helping him. Poor kid.

  • I weighed driving to Save A Lot vs. just going to Publix.  SAL is only a couple of miles beyond Publix and is having a very good sale on ground beef ($1.39/lb) but they don't carry thermometers so I would have had to stop at Publix anyway. The difference in prices wasn't high enough for me to justify the extra time and gas to drive to SAL (and I don't need the ground beef) so I just went to Publix.  I got what I needed plus a couple of items that I knew would be free after coupons/rebates:
    • a box of saltines (@ $1.95, it's a dollar higher than Aldi's and 96 cents higher than SAL)
    • 2 packs of White House All Natural "plus" applesauce cups (on BOGO @ $2.19)
    • a Publix-branded digital thermometer for $2.99
    • 2.16 lbs bananas at $0.65/lb = $1.40
    • an 8-oz box of Progresso Italian bread crumbs ($1.19 and I redeemed a $0.75/1 printable coupon and claimed a $0.50 Ibotta rebate so a $0.06 MONEYMAKER,  oooh, and when I looked at SavingStar, a rebate for $0.75 had appeared so I unlocked it and claimed that one too! So $0.81 MONEYMAKER!)
    • another bottle of Truvia Nectar sweetener (on sale @ $2.99,  I redeemed a $1.00/1 coupon from and claimed a $2.00 Ibotta rebate so a $0.01 MONEYMAKER)
    • I put in my phone number at the keypad in case any digital coupons were applicable but there were none.
    • My OOP was $10.96 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.  Technically the thermometer is FSA-eligible so I should have been able to pay for it with the funds I have put aside tax-free in the FSA account, but then the administrator would have asked for a doctor's note to justify the expense so fuck that noise. Seriously, those FSA rules piss me off so much. I shouldn't need a doctor's note to buy a thermometer or one of the myriads of "over the counter" items that are supposedly eligible as FSA expenses but in reality will never be because who wants to spend a $20 or more co-pay to go see a doctor to write a note justifying the freaking thermometer?! (/rant over).

  • When I got home, I had a bowl of Rice Krispies for breakfast. I added slices of dehydrated apples. Those were apples that had started to go bad but that I dehydrated to avoid food waste, several weeks ago. I keep them in a glass jar in the fridge.  The Rice Krispies had been free from CVS and the milk was watered down to stretch it. It was delicious and frugal and provided me with needed fiber.

  • I had thought to buy cups of pre-made Jello for my son at Publix, for tomorrow, but then I remembered that I had boxes of Jello in the pantry and, as I said, I'm not planning on giving it to him until tomorrow (unless he's no longer throwing up today).  So I made him Jello when I got home. I used a package of Jello Simply Good that I had gotten for free after coupons and rebate several months ago.  Instead of using Cling Wrap on the bowl, I just covered it with a salad plate.

  • I submitted my Publix receipt to Ibotta and SavingStar. Ibotta credited me right away.

  • I washed the crockpot to get dinner started (I'm making the scalloped potatoes and ham that I was supposed to make on Wednesday) but then I realized it only has to cook for 4 hours so I put an alarm on my phone to assemble dinner at 2 p.m. instead.

  • I wiped down everything that my son touched in the bathroom fixtures (sink, toilet, doorknobs), along with his room's door knob with a Lysol wipe. I'm glad I still had one of the packs of those that I had gotten for free from the Dollar Tree, after coupon, several months ago. I also replaced the small plastic cup that he uses to rinse after he brushes his teeth. I'll have to make sure he changes his toothbrush in the next couple of days so he doesn't reinfect himself.

  • I entered my weight and yesterday's walk into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 120 BR points.

  • It's Superbowl Sunday here in the USA and we have no plans to watch it.  I only enjoy watching football when I'm watching it with Greg but my favorite players have retired and I despise (and always have despised) Tom Brady who is actually Greg's golden boy.  I hate him so much. Anyhoo, Greg hasn't watched a single NFL game this year so we're not watching the SuperBowl either.

  • I opened the windows for the cats at about 10:30 a.m. It's a little chilly but not too bad (I mean, it's 62F/16.6C!).

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits. I think I should be able to claim a gift card later on this week.

  • My 1st Swagbucks goal is 80 SB.  I'm running videos and I'm at 44 SB at 10:45 a.m.  The videos ended just as I qualified for a 65 SB survey so I did meet (and exceed) my 1st goal. Hooray!  I'm glad I won't have to babysit the laptop all day :)

  • I printed a few coupons via Swagbucks, for which I should get 10 SB per coupon if I ever redeem them.  I printed the new pet coupons that I'll donate to the South Lake Animal League for their thrift store. I didn't spot any coupons that I know my BFF would use, though.

  • I also printed coupons via Redplum and Smartsource.  I clipped them right away, along with the ones from today's inserts.

  • I uploaded new digital coupons to my Publix, Walgreens, and CVS digital wallets.

  • The Throat and Flu medicine seemed to help our son who told me he felt better at 11 a.m. but went back to sleep. I'll give him another dose at noon, have lunch, do the dishes, and then greg and I will go walking on the Lake Minneola Trail. It's not too far so we can be home fairly quickly if he feels bad again, and we can get some exercise.

  • I did the dishes while my lunch heated up (and some!) and administered a new dose of medicine to our son.

  • I washed several zipper bags that had already been reused several times, along with new cereal bags, and I hung them all to dry in the laundry room (using the pinching type of hangers that you use for skirts and pants).

  • My lunch was the leftover lentil soup that I hadn't frozen yet, and a turkey avocado sandwich.

  • Walgreens released a new coupon for a free 8 x 10 reprint with store pick-up!  I didn't know what to order because all the pictures that I take of us are crappy, so I ordered a print of the sunrise on the misty lake that I took last week.  The code is FEBFREE and is valid through 2/5.

  • I forwarded the code to my daughter and Middle Son. Daughter ordered her own reprint :)

  • Greg and I went to the Lake Hiawatha Preserve in Clermont, where we left the truck and we walked 4 miles along Lake Minneola :)  The weather was gorgeous, sunny and 72F and tons of people were out and about, walking, biking, etc. 

  • I found a wrapped, unopened, mini Milky Way piece of candy right off the parking lot area, probably dropped by a kid after a birthday party or something so I picked it up!  It's like when they throw candy at us at the homecoming parade and we pick it up from the street, but Greg is completely grossed out.  The candy is hermetically wrapped, I don't see the problem... it was delicious :)

  • I had wanted to go to Publix first so I could get more naan bread for just $1.00 for 2 packages, but the parking lot was packed so I said "forget it".  On the way home, we stopped by RaceTrac and Greg gassed up the truck, earned more reward points on his app and gained a new receipt with which we'll get another freebie :)

  • In the meantime, I went inside and redeemed a survey reward code for a free medium lemonade for my daughter.

  • When we got back, my daughter asked if I would go back out with her to pick up her Walgreens picture because she'd never done it before... well, my son also asked me to take him to Save A Lot because he needed one more picture for that big AP Human Geography project that's due tomorrow, only now I don't think he's going to be at school tomorrow. He was feeling OK so I said fine, but I needed to get the crockpot going first.

  • I made scalloped potatoes and ham in the crockpot, using 4 large Klondike gold potatoes and 1 smoked ham steak bought on 50% clearance a couple of weeks ago, 1 can of cream of mushroom condensed soup and some homemade Chicago Steak Seasoning. I'll serve wedges of naan bread with it, and probably make a salad too.  I will make rice for my son instead.

  • So all three of us went. We took the Focus for better gas mileage.  We went to:
    • Save A Lot. My son and I took the picture that he needed and then I bought 10 lbs of ground beef that was on sale for $1.39/lb. My OOP was $13.90 and I charged it to my Amazon Visa card for 1% back in rewards.

    • Publix. My daughter dropped me off and I just got 2 packages of Stonefire whole wheat naan bread. It was on BOGO at $2.99 and I redeemed (2) $1.00/1 printable coupons.  My OOP was $0.99 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

    • Walgreens.  My son stayed in the car and my daughter and I picked up our free 8 x 10 reprints. While I was there, I decided to go ahead and buy the gallon of whole milk that I would have bought on Wednesday (on sale for $2.49) and I charged it to my Amazon Visa for 2% back in Rewards.  Now, however, I'm thinking that I might have been able to skip buying milk this week since I still have a gallon in the fridge. Oh well.

    • RaceTrac. My daughter still hadn't eaten lunch so I gave her a survey reward code and she got herself a free hot dog.

  • Then we got home and it was time for my son's next dose of medicine. He feels OK while he's on the medicine but once it's worn off, his fever shoots up again. He's definitely not going to school tomorrow, so I emailed his teachers to give them the heads-up and ask them to email him any assignments that he might be able to do from home.  I also emailed the Teen library at our local library to let her know he won't be volunteering tomorrow night.

  • My February monthly coupon for a free medium fountain drink from RaceTrac appeared in my app today.

  • At dinnertime, the potatoes weren't completely cooked :(  So I made rice for my son in the microwave, and I made tomato soup for my daughter and myself and heated up a can of Aldi's chunky sirloin veggie soup for Greg. I made us grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the soup.  We'll have the scalloped potatoes tomorrow night.

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched the last episodes of Bob's Burgers currently available on Netflix, and then we started the series again since Greg hadn't seen the first few episodes.

  • Gas to go to Publix/Walgreens to get sick relief supplies.
  • Gas to go walk on the trail.
  • Gas to go run errands with the kids.

  • Youngest Son is sick :(

  • My digital thermometer isn't registering the proper temperature anymore. He's burning up and the thermometer states he doesn't have a fever.

  • I forgot to stop by RaceTrac to redeem a survey reward code today.

  • Ah crap, there was a new digital coupon available for $1.50 off the Truvia Nectar in my Publix app. I could have uploaded that first and gotten an additional 50 cents back instead of using the $1.00 coupon that I did.  Oh well.

  • I told Bless that I probably wouldn't use that code for $10 off my first $15+ CVS Curb Pick-Up order but when I was in the app today, I noticed an area where I could look up directions on how to use the service. Well, come to find out, it's not available in my area anyway...

  • Publix: $10.96 (groceries, thermometer)
  • RaceTrac: $28.18 (gas)
  • Save A Lot: $13.90 (groceries)
  • Publix: $0.99 (groceries)
  • Walgreens: $2.49 (groceries)

  • A small box of Progresso bread crumbs (after coupon and rebates)
  • A bottle of Truvia Nectar sweetener (after coupon and rebate)
  • An 8 x 10 reprint of a picture from Walgreens (after coupon and store pick-up) for me
  • An 8 x 10 reprint of another picture from Walgreens (same deal) for my daughter
  • A 32 oz fountain drink for my daughter from RaceTrac (after survey reward code)
  • a hot dog from RaceTrac for my daughter (after survey reward code)
  • a mini Milky Way (found on the trail)

  • Fed the cats
  • Sorted out the paper
  • Treated my son's symptoms
  • Worked on my rewards programs
  • Went to Publix to get BRAT diet supplies, freebies and a thermometer
  • Made JellO
  • Washed the crockpot
  • Wiped down the fixtures in the bathroom
  • Unlocked new rebates
  • Submitted rebates for receipts
  • Brewed a pot of chicoree coffee for Greg
  • Printed coupons
  • Clipped coupons
  • Went on a walk with Greg
  • Went on errands with the kids
  • Chatted with my daughter about educational plans next year
  • Helped my son with taking pictures for his AP project
  • Emailed all his teachers 
  • Emailed the Teen librarian
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Commented on other blogs
  • Cooked dinner
  • Fed the kittens
  • Sleep was good until 5:45... darn cat!
  • Breakfast was a cup of Rice Krispies with some dehydrated apple slices and a cup of ~2% milk. I drank coffee.
  • Lunch was a cup of lentil soup and a turkey avocado sandwich.
  • Afternoon snack was a slice of bread and a mini Milky Way.
  • Dinner was tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Water consumption was non existent. I drank coffee and Diet Coke.
  • Exercise was a 4-mile walk (1h 12 min).
  • Foot exercises were performed.
  • Weight loss was 0.2 lbs this past week.
  • That my foot continues to no longer hurt during and after our walks!
  • For a beautiful day and a lovely walk
  • For having medicine to treat my son with in my medicine cabinet and that today was Sunday so he didn't miss school

NATURE: Lake Minneola Trail

The weather was perfect and we saw lots of people... and birds!

Mottled ducks

The change in vegetation since just a few days ago was amazing... the trees have leaves that are growing...

Hey, two Rock  Pigeons!


Love is in the air... or in this case, under a bridge!

I liked the contrast of the yellow leaves of this tree against the blue sky.

The seaplane was back, landing on the lake and taxiing to the beach under Lily's on the Lake, the restaurant where we like to
eat lunch.  They stayed there for a while, and we saw them taking off again as we were walking back to our truck. Must be nice to take the plane to go have lunch!

A few weeks ago, I was telling you about how this year, our oak trees are masting (i.e. losing their acorns en masse, something that they do cyclically). This is a little piece of a huge carpet of acorns that were under one of the oak trees bordering the lake!

So exciting... the first Pickerelweed of the year!

Either Mexican or Peruvian Primrose Willow

Florida Tasselflowers

Creeping Dayflower

Not sure what those are...

You can't tell but they're pale mauve...

Snowy Egret (?)

Seagulls bobbing along, Snowy Egret in the foreground.

Palm Warbler?

Gulls shooting the breeze...

American coot

Blue Jay

Kids enjoying the swingset on Jaycee Beach.  The water level is as high as I've ever seen it, it's really nice to see!  The last time I saw it that high was 20 years ago!

Little Blue Heron

My son's fever shot up to 102F tonight, not even 30 minutes after I gave him his dose of "Throat and Flu" medicine at 8 p.m.  I told him to drink lots of water and sent him to bed. Thankfully he hasn't thrown up again or had diarrhea so I think he can eat normally tomorrow.  I plan on waking him up at midnight to give him just ibuprofen, which hopefully will help him sleep for 5-6 hours.  I hate it when my kids are sick, I feel so powerless... and he's too big for me to cuddle!

I hope you had a nice and healthy Sunday...


  1. Sorry to learn your son is sick...hope he is on the mend soon. Fingers crossed that the rest of you stay healthy. Another beautiful looking day in Florida. It was cloudy and gray here. We're supposed to have rain tomorrow. Yippee!
    (I don't care for Tom Brady either!)

    1. I'm so mad that he managed to win that darn game. I truly despise him. Ugh.

      Thank you, my son is feeling a little better today but still has a fever so I'm going to keep him home again tomorrow. I'm also hoping that none of us get his germs. I'm more worried about getting sick from taking him to the doctor's or the urgent care clinic than from him. But I don't think I'll need to take him to either. At this point he needs more rest and TLC.

      I heard that you were supposed to get rain... yay! You guys need it, although with the rain you've been having for a month, you're in a much better spot than you used to be.

  2. I'm so sorry your son is having the flu. I hope he feels better, soon. Continue to keep giving him ibuprofen to keep his fever down.

    Sounds like you had a pretty good day, even with the kittens waking you up, early. Dancer used to meow and wake me up at 6:00 a.m., because he was used to getting his morning spoon of tuna at that time, when I was going to the office. Even when I was undergoing chemo, he'd come and meow at me to get up and feed him! Now, however, he has learned to lie down next to me and wait until I get up!

    Glad you got another walk in the park and thanks for sharing the pictures. I especially liked the pair of pigeons being all lovey-dovey! :D

    1. Thanks, Bless. Today I alternated acetaminophen and ibuprofen today but his fever is still 101F or higher when the drugs wear off so I'm keeping him home tomorrow again so he can rest.

      Dancer is a good boy :)

  3. I hope you son continues to get better and the rest of you remain well. When someone gets sick, it's always my fear that everyone else is going to catch it.

    1. Thanks! I agree, I'm always reading blogs where the lady says "we were all sick like dogs all week!" and so I dread all of us getting sick at the same time too! Keeping my fingers crossed and well washed so I don't pick up his germs inadvertently!

  4. Thank you so much for the info about the Walgreen's code! I had about 20 minutes before midnight to use it when I read your blog, but I did get a vacation photo enlarged and printed. :)

    I always love your photos; the picture of all the acorns makes me a little homesick. My parents have a lot of oak trees on their property and I miss them! We have oaks, here, of course, but acorns always make me think of home.

    I'm sorry your son is feeling so poorly.

    1. I'm so glad you were able to get the free photo too! See? It pays off to keep up with me, LOL.

      I completely understand that the acorns made you homesick (sorry about that, though!). I'm the same with chestnuts :)

  5. Hi Nathalie,
    Sorry to hear about your son being sick. Make sure he drinks plenty of fluids. My husband (such a kind man that he is)gave me the flu, which turned into strep throat, missing 6 days of work, and is now bronchitis. I also have laryngitis and a plugged ear. My husband is fine! LOL.

    1. Thanks Mia. I had just reminded him to drink water before I read your comment :)

      Boy, if that's what your husband planned on giving you for Valentine's Day, I hate to think of what he might be planning for Christmas, ha. Seriously though, I hope you're OK! This sounds terrible. I had plugged ears a few years back due to a cold and I felt miserable. I hope you feel better soon.

  6. Hope your son is feeling better by now! My kids were always put on the brat diet, too, whenever they were sick.

    1. He finally feels better, although he's still coughing a little, but he's much better than he was a week ago, thank you :)


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