March 29?! Aaaack!
I was very tired last night and looking forward to sleeping on my new mattress and have a good night's sleep but the kittens decided otherwise. First, I fell asleep on the couch while watching TV and was woken up 20 minutes later by Tabby Kitten crying outside of the bathroom because Youngest Son was taking a shower and he loves being in the bathroom when either Youngest Son or Greg take showers. Weirdo. So I went to bed.
All three kittens followed me upstairs. I put "Forensic Files" on the Kindle to fall asleep to (sorry, Theresa, it's really interesting but it also lulls me to sleep pretty well!) but they kept jumping on the spare twin mattress that's leaning against the wall and since it has a plastic cover, it was making quite a bit of noise, which I guess is what excited them. After the third time of telling them to settle down, I finally kicked them out of my room and closed the door!
At 3 a.m., Explorer started crying outside my door because he usually sleeps with me. So I opened the door and he settled himself on my pillow. For once, it didn't force me to sleep in an uncomfortable position since I now have a larger mattress and I can have more than one pillow side by side. Hooray! I fell back asleep until he started playing with the darn mattress again at 5:50 a.m. At least, he's somewhat trained in stopping making noise when I tell him to "get down!" and he came back to sleep with me for another 20 minutes, until my alarm rang.
So I'm not very well rested this morning and my plans include going on a bike ride with my Daughter. She wanted to go have lunch at a French restaurant in Mount Dora, which is 45 minutes away, but I'm going to see if she would agree to go to breakfast instead at our local breakfast place and then just bike on the General Van Fleet trail.
However, I probably need to try to go to CVS today anyway since we're down to just 1 can of Diet Dr. Pepper for Greg. I really wish there was a CVS in my own town, darn it! Oh and I need to stop by the library to pick up the documentary waiting for me since Youngest Son told me he wouldn't be going tonight (he has too much homework).
Youngest Son was going to go to Guidance today after school to try to make an appointment for Friday to discuss which AP classes are available to him as a Sophomore, but I reminded him that I might not be in town to pick him up if he missed the bus home, so he'll have to do that tomorrow. He's like me, doesn't like his plans to change, so he wasn't too happy. But he also didn't want to have to walk home :)
Despite my whining about having to do the dishes in the morning, I didn't do the dishes last night so guess what I have to do today? Sigh. And yes, Bless is right, they tend to multiply spontaneously, just like papers!
TO DO LIST
- Start dinner in crockpot Forgot! I'm switching dinner plans between today and tomorrow
Fold the laundryDONE
- Put the laundry away
Take recycling down to the curbDONE
- Declutter the printer stand
- Do the shredding
- Refill the self watering bins
- Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift
- Take Youngest Son to get a haircut
- Clean bathroom ceiling
- Clean hallway ceiling right outside the bathroom
Make my bedDONE Earn Microsoft Rewards creditsDONE Input weight into WHBRHCDONE
- Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time
- Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER)
- Take one mattress and the bed to the thrift store?
- Make a dermatologist appointment for Youngest Son
- 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) Biked for real :)
- Wash upstairs litter box
- Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine
- Inventory the pantry
- Inventory the freezers
- Purge the top drawer of the file cabinet
- Take RaceTrac surveys
- Scrub patio pavers with bleach (wear old clothes and shoes, gloves and goggles)
- Finish decluttering exercise room shelves
- Call my bank to consolidate my IRA accounts
- Schedule an outing to P.E.A.R. Park and ask them about the trees from my backyard or look at the Audubon site that Pixel shared.
- Go to airport to cash in my euros?!
- Mend sliding door window screen
- Plant and water the tree
- Water the pineapples
- Add water to indoor pineapples - I think I might compost them. I really don't want to plant them, after all, and I don't have anyone to give them to.
- Track my and Greg's IRAs for the IRS
- Download all February pictures from phone, Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive
Reply to blog commentsDONE
- Purge the dresser in the upstairs hallway
- Purge the top drawer of the file cabinet
- File all the pending documents
- Use brush on fridge coils
- Schedule maintenance appointment for my SUV
- Prep March Food Expenses post in progress
- Mop kitchen
- Vacuum living room
- Get Youngest Son to sign up for French I on FLVS - we decided he would do this over the weekend
- Check if Youngest Son made Guidance apt to ask for start date after AP exam (May 11) - he will go tomorrow.
- Get change so I can give Youngest Son $5 for the McDonald's gift card
- Pick up movie from library - Will do tomorrow.
- Try making yogurt in yogurt maker
- See if can mend Youngest Son former backpack straps
- Enter receipts into my spreadsheets
SUCCESSES and FAILURES
- Last night, Greg fixed his hiking boots with the Shoe Goo. Since they have to cure and he wears hiking boots to work, he asked to borrow our son's boots (which were his dad's). So he wore those to work this morning while his were curing.
|Hmm, kind of messy!|
- Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school and used the new backpack I gave him last night. Greg had gotten it for free at a Microsoft conference back in 2011 and we had never used it. Hooray for not being minimalists!
- I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work. We still had 2 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper so I didn't need to stop by RaceTrac this morning to redeem my medium drink coupon for him.
- I drove Youngest Son to school and remembered not to get annoyed at the person driving in front of me because it probably was a young teen learning how to drive. They sure did stupid things.
- I had already collected the recycling throughout the house so I took the 2 bins down to the curb. It's a feel-good thing for me but I'm convinced they just throw it all with the regular trash.
- Before I left to drop off my son, I started playing automatic Swagbucks videos and remembered to leave my laptop open while I was gone too. My 1st daily goal is 40 SB and I'm up to 24 SB at 8 a.m. So far this week I've only earned 1 Collector Bill so I'm guessing I won't be getting the bonus.
- I did earn the maximum of Microsoft Rewards points for the day and I'm getting closer to getting a $5 Amazon gift card.
- I usually shop on Wednesdays and it's always weird to see the shopping reminders pop up in my email (Eat breakfast before you leave! Look at the ads for Aldi and SAL first!) when I've already done the shopping. Well, I'm not "done" done, but I don't need much else. Still, I looked at the new brochures online. Aldi doesn't have much of anything this week to lure me there, but they will have an umbrella stand for $19.99 next week and I need one. I have looked in thrift stores to no avail for several months now, so I might just buy Aldi's. Save A Lot has apples on sale. Both stores have good prices on chicken thighs (around 69 to 79 cents a lb) but I just bought leg quarters for $0.59/lb yesterday so I won't buy any more.
- I had been feeling like I had forgotten to do something and I just realized that it was to open up the windows in the house before it got too hot. So I just did at 8:00 a.m. However, there is some kind of an alarm going off in the distance that's really annoying me. If it doesn't stop soon, I might have to close the windows again. Could it be cicadas? It just sounds different.
- The St John's Water Management District controls much of Northern and Central Florida's water supply and regulates it (I guess?) and this morning I read a headline that they're alarmed at how low our water supply is right now, especially in light of our ongoing drought and sounding the alert. Forest fire risk is really high in our state and they're thinking about restricting water consumption (we have a lot of lawns, pools, golf courses and too many people live here in general). So this morning, as I was driving to the high school, the passenger in the trade van ahead of me flicked his lit cigarette butt out of the window! "Thankfully" he was driving in the left lane so the butt stayed in the road to be ran over by other motorists instead of landing in the shoulder where it could have sparked a fire. It was still dark out and the lettering on the van was in pale letters on white background so I couldn't read the name of the business nor the phone number and then I had to turn to get to the school anyway, or I would have called the police on them. Not only do I hate litter bugs, but if you throw your lit cigarette butt out of the window, you're an ass and you deserve all that's coming to you. I really wish I could have gotten the information. Yet another reason why I think I should have a dashboard cam! Maybe that's what I'll ask for at Christmas.
- It's ironic because I'm generally not in favor of Big Brother watching (all those CCTV cameras creep me out). This morning, I told Greg I thought we should get a VPN at home to try to ensure *some* degree of privacy in light of the rollback of ISP privacy laws by the dim-witted current administration, but it appears that it won't do much good after all. My ISP, Brighthouse Networks, was bought by Charter last year when they merged with TimeWarner, so I have no hope that they'd to the right thing and protect their users' privacy. I love the internet and I loathe the technology all at once.
- My daughter texted me from her bedroom at 8:40 a.m. to ask if we were still going biking. I told her my new plan, that I didn't feel like driving to Mount Dora and that I was hungry. She loves eating breakfast out so she agreed right away but said she wanted to bike on the Lake Minneola Trail in Clermont. We agreed, since I had to go to CVS in Clermont anyway that worked out very nicely for me! By 9ish we were on the road!
- We stopped by our local breakfast place and had the waffle breakfast combo. She didn't want the fruit that came with her waffle so I asked if I could have double the fruit on mine instead :) I picked blueberries. It was so yummy! I had drank coffee at home so I had OJ instead and she had milk. I left a 20% tip because the service is very good and paid about $30 altogether after the tip. I charged it to my Amazon Visa card for 2% back in Rewards.
- After breakfast, we drove to the Lake Hiawatha Preserve and started our bike ride alongside Lake Minneola. I used my RunMeter app (set to "Cycle") to measure our ride and we rode for 8.94 miles (54 minutes). I did stop to take some pictures but my app is set to detect when I stop and not take the stops into account.
- After our ride, we drove to CVS. I was able to purchase 3 cases of Diet Dr. Pepper for Greg. It was on sale at 2 for $12 but I had a rain check from last October letting me get them at 3 for $10 and their rain checks don't expire so I was able to get them at that price. I redeemed a $10 ECB so I only paid the 70 cents in tax! I also got a 1/2 gallon of whole milk on sale at $1.99. I will mix it with 1/2 gallon of water to stretch it. Lastly I bought a tube of Colgate toothpaste that was free to me after a coupon that the manufacturer had sent me after I complained about the wording of a promotional email that they had sent me in January. I paid $2.90 but I used a CVS gift card that I had earned via one of our credit cards' rewards program so it was all free to me :) I also received $1.00 back in ECB (for the toothpaste).
- I had wanted to go to Aldi to finish my shopping and to the library but my daughter was tired and she has a lot of homework to do so we just stopped at RaceTrac to gas up the SUV and then drove home. I spent $36.64 in gas, charged it to my Discover for 5% back in Rewards, earned loyalty points with RaceTrac and gained a new receipt that will give me a freebie when I take the survey.
- Youngest Son texted me to say that he wasn't having a great day because he got a "C" on a test that he had studied for (E-Commerce, an elective) and that he had walked into a spider at lunch time :( I texted back that I was going to be home after all so he could go to Guidance after school and call me for a ride if he needed one. He replied that he would just take care of it tomorrow.
- Wednesday is "Law & Order" marathon day on Ion TV (over the air channel), so I settled myself on the couch to type up my update and watch L&O. However, there are some interferences in the air today (maybe some storms?) so I keep on having to reposition the antenna. Good thing it's on a pivot and I have a remote :) Still it's annoying.
- I decided to have the rest of the coleslaw that I made yesterday, as my lunch, along with 2 clementines.
- I had left my laptop running while I was away so I reached my 1st Daily Goal in Swagbucks thanks to the automatic videos.
- Youngest Son brought me back a Coke product bottle cap from school. I had to tell him that the stupid Coke Rewards program ended last week! He was very disappointed as I think he rescued the code from a trash can (after making fun of me for doing the same all those months, lol!).
- I had forgotten to check which rebates I might be able to redeem yesterday so I did today and I was able to claim a $0.25 "any item" rebate with my CVS receipt from Ibotta.
- Heads up! If you shop at Publix, make sure to upload the digital coupon for the BOGO Chips Ahoy! Thins cookies via their app or the digital coupons page on their website. I couldn't find it so I had to do a search of it and then it popped up. IHeartPublix is reporting that the cookies are on BOGO sale this week so you can get 2 boxes for free with the digital coupon if your area practices what she calls "true BOGO":) There are also other BOGO digital coupons available right now for other products as well so make sure to load them up before they disappear, in case you want to use them later on.
- If your CVS participates in the Curbside program (not all do, the closest one to me is 79 miles away!) and you've never used it before, you can get $10 off a $10 purchase if you use the code in this Slickdeals post. The code expires on 3/30.
- Grrr, my BFF gave me a heads-up about a $1,000 UF scholarship offer from a local UF alumni club in our county so my daughter can apply within the deadline which is in 2 days (her son will be going to UF as well)... so I checked with my daughter and yes, she knows about it and no, she is NOT going to apply because it requires 2 letters of recommendation and she claims that she doesn't know anyone who would give her one. (to be clear, ALL she has to do is fill out an easy 1 page application and obtain 2 recommendations). Whaaaaat? She's dual-enrolled with awesome grades and she doesn't feel anyone would agree to recommend her?! That's just pure laziness. I'm pretty angry about it. But she's 18 and it's her "party" and will be her debt. And I won't be the one bailing her out. Grrrr. Sometimes, I don't understand her at all. I emailed my BFF to thank her for the heads-up and also tell her about a local job opening I found out about this morning in case she wanted to apply.
- I entered my weight into Walgreens' BRHC and earned 20 BR points. I was in the middle of entering my bike ride from this morning when the site went down :( I'll have to try again later.
- Youngest Son gave me his latest report card and he has straight A's. Woohoo!
- For dinner, I made mashed potatoes from scratch and broiled chicken breasts in the oven with
Ten Things Farm Seasoning on top. I need to make a new batch of it, btw. I should have thought this through and used the electric cooker outdoors to cook the chicken since there was no chance of rain. It's really hot in my daughter's room above the kitchen so the AC is set to 73F and the oven being on isn't helping. Crap! I probably also should get serious about building a solar oven. I could have probably cooked the potatoes outdoor too!
- I did reuse the potatoes' rinsing water to water my hibiscus. And then I took pity on my poor parched flowers and potted herbs and used several rainwater jugs to water them. Everything is scorched, it's horrible. Since I just posted about the water shortage, I don't want to be a hypocrite and get the hose out (we don't water the lawn at all, though, like ever, and I decided not to garden this Spring. Even when I do, I mostly use self-watering bins that use little water compared to overhead watering). I only have about 20 cat litter jug's worth of rainwater left though so unless is starts raining soon, I will have to use the hose at some point :( I also put some water in the bird bath. I know we live near 2 lakes, but I figured the bees, birds, wasps, etc that hover over the yard might not feel like flying to the lake? And yes, Bless, the freaking squirrels! I don't even know if the birds have been using the bird bath at all. Last year I did observe a couple of them using it but whenever I look outside, I don't see any activity there. Which reminds me: I want to go back to sitting outside in the morning at least for a little while. Life can't always be about chores, you know? And take more bike rides before it gets too hot. I really had a good time today.
- Greg wants to build a composite deck right outside our front door, under our front porch. I had asked him to wait until April 1st to buy the materials since Discover will be running a bonus 5% in Rewards promotion from April 1 through June. I've already signed us up for this bonus reward. The new Lowe's sales flyer was in the free paper delivered with our mail today and it looks like they'll be selling the composite deck boards for 10% off starting tomorrow through April 5! Of course, this is the weekend that Greg has chosen to drive to North Carolina to visit his daughter... with his truck. Arrgh. I put the ad on his desk but I don't think he's even taken measurements yet. The discount only applies to materials in stock so I can't even order it to be picked up when he gets back. I'll see what he says... If they're less than 9 ft, I might be able to pick them up in my SUV.
- Earlier today I asked my daughter if she had talked to her dad about getting a prom dress. You see she's attending prom but only because her BFF is "making her". She has no interest in going aside from that and they're going as each other's "date", I guess. Personally, I'm firmly against Prom. I think it's a huge waste of money (and I feel the same about graduation ceremonies, which I don't attend). My ex is big into that type of thing so he's been pressuring the kids to attend and offering to pay for their tuxes/dresses, etc, etc. She hadn't been talking about getting a dress and I know other people have been shopping so I inquired about her plans. Wouldn't you know that she had completely blanked out about the fact that she needed a dress, shoes, etc?! So she'll be talking to her dad. She's dreading the whole thing because it means she'll need to go shopping with her stepmom and stepsister, who are both very much into the whole prom thing, and she hates trying on dresses. Well, I'm not the one who's pressuring her to go so I have no sympathy, lol. Middle Son had succumbed to the fatherly pressure of buying Prom tickets but ended up not going and reselling them at a profit. That is so much like him, it makes me chuckle :)
- To round up dinner I wanted to make spinach mandarin salad since I hadn't made it earlier in the week. So I dumped a can of mandarins on a whole bag of spinach, completely forgot about the sliced almonds (until now!) and then blanked out on a dressing. So then I remembered that there was a citrus vinaigrette recipe on the back of my can of avocado oil that I had made before and was delicious. Only I didn't have any orange juice so I tried using some of the mandarin juice from the can. Not only did it not work, but my avocado oil was rancid and my honey was crystallized and Greg was going to walk in the door any minute. I remembered that I had a very old can of OJ concentrate in my freezer so I tried defrosting some of it in the microwave, but it was brown and the sell-by date was 2013 (!) so I threw it away and I ended up throwing the whole "dressing" away because it tasted terrible. I'll have to throw away the rest of my avocado oil too, which makes me unhappy because it was quite expensive. But I hadn't used it in a while so it was my fault. I'm also realizing that I have a whole can of walnut oil in the pantry that probably went rancid as well and I only used that one once, I think. Grrr. So no one ate the salad (but my son because he's a good boy!) and it's in the fridge. I'll have to figure out what kind of dressing I can make with what I have... and now I just realized that I have fresh oranges in my fruit bowl. Aaaaaaarrggh. But the oil is still rancid. Maybe vegetable oil will work?!
MONEY SPENT TODAY
- Breakfast restaurant: $29.55
- RaceTrac: $36.64 (gas)
- 3 12-packs of Diet Dr. Pepper after ECB
- a tube of Colgate toothpaste, after coupon
- a half-gallon of milk, with CVS gift card
- Fed kittens
- Packed Greg's lunch
- Prepped his breakfast
- Checked the new grocery ads
- Started SB videos
- Drove my son to school
- Took recycling bin down to the curb/
- Caught up on the news and blogs
- Aired out the house
- Replied to blog comments
- Went to breakfast with my daughter
- Went on bike ride with my daughter
- Went to CVS
- Got gas for my SUV
- Texted Youngest Son
- Submitted a rebate
- Chatted with Youngest Son
- Replied to more blog comments
- Brought recycling bins back up to the house
- Folded the laundry
- Peeled potatoes
- Cooked dinner
- For a beautiful morning with my daughter!
- For Law & Order marathons :)
- For my son being an excellent student and hard worker!
|Princess sleeping next to me last night, on the couch. She's so cuuuuuute!|
|Explorer was trying to catch my camera strap this morning :)|
I didn't take any pictures of this because I was busy peeling potatoes but in other news, apparently raw potatoes are like catnip to my kittens. As soon as I started peeling the potatoes, the kittens were all over me. On my shoulder, stalking my potato peelings, licking their chops repeatedly, trying to get closer and closer, reluctantly leaving when I pushed them away and said "no!", only to come back and stalk me again. It was kind of creepy! There is kitten food in their bowls just 4 feet away so it's not like they're hungry! Do any of your cats covet raw potatoes?!
Note: I found information that raw potatoes contain solanine (mostly in the skin, though, from what I understand) and it's toxic to cats.
I brought my camera along on our bike ride, but my focus was more on the biking and less on the picture taking since I was riding along with my daughter so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have had I ridden alone :)
I'd posted pictures of the Lake Minneola trail before, when I walked it with Greg on several occasions, so I didn't take a lot of the same pictures. We biked another 2 miles past the part where we usually turn around when we walk, so I took a few pictures of that part of the trail.
|Lantana, invasive but so pretty!|
|Love the pop of blue from the Ocean Blue Morning Glory!|
|This is my favorite part of the trail, one where I used to walk a lot many many years ago. You see, just up the hill to the left, is where my ex-husband and I built our house. I used to push the stroller with my young babies and toddlers here :)|
|Back at Lake Minneola's shore, the Purple Martins' bird houses were full. Yay! I attended a very interesting presentation on the Purple Martins last May so I was eagerly awaiting their arrival this year.|
|There were only a couple of birds outside the birdhouse when I started taking the pictures but it's because the rest of them were flying around, trying to catch bugs. They "eat on the fly" because they catch bugs as they're flying around.|
|More blue flowers! Pickerelweed.|
|I know these Oakleaf (also known as Southern) Fleabanes look like weeds but I think they're very pretty and delicate.|
|I know I've identified those pale mauve flowers before but I can't find them in my reference books today. Oh well.|
|This Great Egret was hunting on the lakeshore and caught a tiny silver fish.|
|Here is the blown-up and cropped version.|
|It was a very active bird so I decided to wait a little bit to see if I could see him catch something else. I was all excited to see him take a hunting stance... and then... he just scratched his neck with his foot, lol.|
|Ah! There! He's going for it again!|
|But he struck out this time. My daughter was getting impatient so we left. I really need to come back and bike by myself one of these mornings!|
|Common Tickseed. I don't like it when the name contains the word "common" because it reeks of a put-down. I think they're very beautiful! Poor little flowers...|
Well, this was my Wednesday. How was yours?