Monday, March 6, 2017

A Sore and Non Domestic Monday ~ 3/6/17

Between the Diet Coke I had for dinner and the rest of my morning coffee that I drank right after that, I was able to stay awake until 11 p.m. and work on my daily post.  I did go up to bed, with much effort because I was so in pain (everything hurt, I was shuffling like a 90 year-old with a walker), but then I couldn't fall asleep. It was at least another 30 minutes before I did because I remember the white noise machine turning off and I had set it for 30 minutes.  At least, I took a long shower before getting in bed so I felt somewhat refreshed from that. Then I had a long, very uncomfortable night. I was in pain, kept tossing and turning non-stop and then I had a kitten who would insist on moving along with me, only each time he or she kept on insisting on sleeping with their fur covering my nose and mouth. It was exhausting and I didn't have the 2 brain cells to 1) get up and take an Advil and 2) lock the kittens out of my bedroom!

So finally it was time to get up at 6:10 a.m. and the first thing I did was take an Advil.  Now, it's about 8:00 a.m. and I feel a little better. At least it's easier to move. But I don't plan on doing anything strenuous today so I'm sitting on the back patio, enjoying the cool air, my coffee and the birds calling.  I think I'll do an official Domestic Tuesday this week.  I do need to do the dishes, though.  Maybe this afternoon.

How was your weekend?  Mine was fantastic and busy since we went out both days, first to the WWII Reenactment on Saturday, and then hiking at Alafia River State Park yesterday. We forgot to ask whether it's pronounced "Alafia" or "Alafaya".  There's an Alafaya Trail in Orlando so Greg is thinking it's pronounced like it.

I'm going to list my To Do's since I've realized that this blog is my best organizing tool, but I don't expect to accomplish much off my list today.

Hey, I realized that this coming Sunday is when we change the clocks again. I thought I'd mention it in case some of you had forgotten about that, as I did.  It's going to be very bright in the mornings now... which means the kittens will try to get me up even earlier. Groan.

  • Inventory what's in the fridge
  • Make a menu for the week
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift 
  • Clean bathroom ceiling
  • Make my bed  DONE
  • 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
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER) 
  • Vacuum Youngest Son's bedroom
  • 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 DONE
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only) 
  • Read one of the library books in progress
  • Clean upstairs litter box 
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes
  • Put away the clipped articles from Kiplinger's magazine 
  • Wash kitchen windows
  • Inventory the pantry
  • Inventory the freezers
  • Purge the top drawer of the file cabinet
  • Take RaceTrac surveys 
  • Take Driscoll's surveys DONE
  • Take my measurements
  • 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.
  • Write letter to my great aunt, with pictures
  • Mail letter to my great aunt
  • Go to airport to cash in my euros?!
  • Mend sliding door window screen
  • Finalize and mail letter to UPS CEO (add Amazon's comparison)
  • Plant and water the tree
  • Make sure I get answer from the Educational Foundation director re: Daughter's scholarship after what paperwork to fill out 
  • Track my and Greg's IRAs for the IRS
  • Fix the brakes on my bike again
  • Download all February pictures from phone, Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive
  • Trim cats' nails
  • Get the hummingbird feeders out of storage
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • Greg rid of cardboard boxes on the front porch
  • Make sure all pictures from the Canon camera are saved to external drive and then wipe out the memory card, format it for the Panasonic camera and swap memory cards
  • Reply to blog comments DONE
  • Purge coupon organizer DONE
  • Sort coupons
  • Reply to my mom's email DONE
  • Reply to my brother's email DONE
  • Renew library books (on Thursday) Put reminder on my calendar for Thursday
  • Try to enter Powerade cap code on MCR and see if can redeem my points DONE
  • Add new information to kitchen wall calendar
  • Input this weekend's receipts into my spreadsheets DONE
  • Do laundry
  • Wash my bedding
  • Dry laundry outdoors
  • Fold laundry 
  • Put laundry away
  • Sweep kitchen
  • Clear out front porch
  • Gather trash from around the house

  • I lied, the first thing I did after waking up and getting dressed was make my bed, not take an Advil. I figured that I was so sore, I might not be able to get back up the stairs today!

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch for school, as he does every day. He saves me so much money by doing this!  I was re-reading blog entries from March 2014 when both my daughter and Middle Son were buying lunch from school every day otherwise they either didn't eat or mooched off their friends and I'm glad I put my foot down last year.  I did put money in his lunch account as he is allowed to buy lunch once a week, but he never does.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg: vegetables from when I cooked the corned beef and chicken from Saturday night.

  • School drop-off went well, which is always nice.

  • I aired out the house when I got home, which always make the kittens happy.  The birds were singing throughout the neighborhood, which made me happy :)

  • There was a little bit of coffee left in the pot from yesterday morning so I added it to my first mug of the morning.

  • The milk is definitely turning now, when I added it to my cereal, it looks odd and tastes a little cheesy. But it's nothing that'll make me sick so I'm still eating it. However, I'll probably dump the rest of it, which is about 1/4 of the gallon (it was stretched with water).  I did use a brown banana in my cereal. I love the taste of a very ripe banana in my Rice Krispies!

  • Oh yay, I've tweaked the format of the blog a little and from now on will be listing the successes and failures in the same section. Not to bury the failures, but sometimes I'm ranting about something that's not so much a failure (well, not mine anyhoo) and I never really know where to stick that. I may rename this section as well, I don't know.

  • Greg is planning on taking down the rotten pieces of our front porch on Saturday, which means I need to clear it this week.  The screened-in enclosure is what's coming down as the wood that's framing it so completely rotten.  We have a tiled front porch and a couple of steps leading from the porch into the house. He plans on building a composite deck covering the tiled portion of it so the steps will lead from the driveway to the deck and then there won't be steps to come inside the house (right now we have an accumulation of water on the front porch every time it rains because the floor isn't level). I suppose he'll screen it back in too. Honestly, I wish he would have it done professionally.  I hope he doesn't get in trouble with Code Enforcement and that it ends up looking good.  Also, I hope it won't be too expensive, lol.

  • I started working on Swagbucks with videos so I'm earning a tiny bit.  My Search Award once again was only 4 SB this morning.  Not sure if I'll get another today. My 1st goal is 90 SB. Once again, I don't plan on trying to meet it, necessarily.

  • I checked my and Greg's Discover cards' Deals and we both had the new offer for $10 off $30 at Kohl's B&M, which means that I was able to accumulate $20 in Kohl's Cash in my app's wallet by entering the promotion and pin codes.  Woot! Between that and the $5 promotional gift that I received last week, I have $25 in free money to spend there and... no idea of what to get!  I'll check with Greg to see if he needs anything.

  • I defrosted a loaf of pumpkin bread that I had frozen just yesterday, because the first loaf is already gone! I won't get any more freebies from RaceTrac until it's all been eaten away.  As an aside, I noticed that our RaceTrac had posted a flyer with the nutritional content of their baked goods and that Apple Crumb Muffin that I get for my son pretty often?  570 calories.  Whoa.  Good thing he's a string bean otherwise!

  • I earned the Microsoft Rewards credits for the day.

  • I entered my weight and yesterday's hike into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 160 BR points.

  • I lied about eating my cereal with the curdled milk. I ate the pieces that had the banana but then I threw away the rest because it looked completely unappetizing and made myself a PBJ instead. Part of the reason why I threw it away is that, as it was sitting there on the table near me on the patio, several black vultures landed in a nearby tree and were staring at me. I was wondering if many the smell of the curdling milk had attracted them (in which case their sense of smell is truly amazing because it didn't smell bad to me!) but then they all swooped down in the back neighbor's yard behind the fence so I guess something had died back there. I had gotten the whiff of something this weekend and thought that maybe someone had spread manure in their yard close by...

  • I had been remiss in replying to blog comments since Friday so between last night and this morning I caught up on that!  Thanks for commenting and sorry for being so late in replying! I'm also late in commenting on other blogs.  Instead of doing that next, though, I replied to my brother and to my mom's emails.  It always takes me much longer to type in French, both because the darn accents take 3 or 4 keystrokes and I always forget which ones, and also because my French plain sucks.

  • I feel much better at almost 11 a.m., that Advil tablet really worked! Hmm, a little too well because now I'm feeling guilty that I'm not in full Domestic Monday mode! But it's lovely outside, I'm in the shade, there's a strong breeze blowing and I still feel tired from my restless night. I have my library book, maybe I'll do some reading while I eat lunch in a little bit...

  • Ugh, between the house construction going on in the next block over, and some type of cleaning process going on in the house behind ours (I think someone is in the process of renovating the house to sell it), there suddenly is a lot of noise outside at 11:30 a.m. Bye-bye birdies, but even if I go back inside, I'll have to close all the windows on this beautiful day to minimize the noise. It's deafening, I'm not quite sure what they're doing but they're trying to talk over the noise at the same time, which is making it worse for me.  Hell is others, my dear friends. I want to live away from others.

  • So I went back indoors to eat lunch.  I closed the back windows but it's barely blocking out the noise as they're now doing noisy yard work.  I'm watching The Rockford Files on over-the-air TV while eating, and catching up on blogs too.  My lunch is the last of the pumpkin soup made for Friday's dinner, an egg salad sandwich with the last hard-boiled egg from last week (it was a little yellow under the shell and smelled a little but sulfury but was fine to eat, a piece of string cheese and an Activia yogurt.  

  • Well, I'm glad I decided to be lazy and not do the laundry today as all the sand and dust being kicked off by the ride-on mower in the yard behind mine is drifting towards my house. My laundry would have ended up being all dirty again!

  • I entered the Powerade code from the cap that I found in the woods yesterday in MyCokeRewards and earned 3 MCR points. Alas, I'm only at 181 points, which won't get me anything interesting. I could enter sweepstakes but I'll just wait to see if I find more caps by the deadline of March 22.

  • I tracked our expenses from this weekend in my spreadsheets (Checkbook, Groceries & Eating Out, Other Expenses) so I'm ready when the credit card bills come in and so I know how much money we spent in each category. Knowing where your money is going, to the penny, is very important in order to make progress in your goals.  I set aside our RaceTrac receipt to take the survey at a later date.

  • I took a Panda Express survey with the receipt from my daughter's dinner on Saturday (I rated it all high as my daughter loves Panda Express) and received a survey reward code for a free entree with the purchase of a 2-entree plate. I'll give it to my daughter since she likes eating there.

  • And then I took 2 Driscoll's surveys, as I have a backlog of berry containers from last year's purchases, and earned 2 more coupons for $1.00/1 Driscoll's berries. Our local strawberries have been on sale and I no longer go to SuperTarget for groceries, so I suppose I'll use the coupons to buy Driscoll's raspberries at Publix if they're on sale.
  • I purged my coupon organizer of all expired coupons, which will save me time when I'm looking for particular coupons to match to Publix and CVS sales.

  • For dinner, I cooked burgers and baked potatoes (I decided to keep the Caribbean Rice for another night).  I skipped dinner myself as I had eaten chicken nuggets this afternoon (I was hungry!).  So I packed the leftover burger and potato for Greg's lunch tomorrow.

  • Gas and tolls for Greg to commute to work, gas for me to drive my son to school in the morning.

  • $20 in Kohl's Cash thanks to Discover Deals!
  • A code for a free entree (with other purchase) at Panda Express after taking a survey

  • Made my bed
  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed a lunch for Greg
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Defrosted pumpkin bread
  • Drove my son to school
  • Aired out the house
  • Worked on Swagbucks
  • Redeemed Discover/Kohl's offers in my app
  • Replied to emails
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Commented on blogs
  • Tracked my receipts in my spreadsheets
  • Took Customer Satisfaction surveys
  • Purged my coupon organizer
  • Fed the kittens
  • Cooked dinner

  • For being able to recuperate from the hike at home today
  • For continued spring-like, lovely weather


Greg texted me a couple of pictures he took while walking around the pond in front of his office building at lunch time.

A hawk

A Mallard duck
Did you do a lot of chores today?


  1. Few chores for this gal! I'm fighting a head cold...all I wanted to do was sleep. Mae joined me under the covers which was nice but I felt like a slug in molasses most of the day! How interesting that you were visited by vultures and I hear you loud and clear about others being hell. We've got remodeling on both sides of us. Makes for a noisy day. Hope your sleep is better tonight!

    1. Oh no Judy! I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I felt like a slug in molasses too yesterday (love the analogy!) because my muscles just didn't want to work properly.

      I was just reading that there is new legislation in the works in Florida that would prevent local governments from enacting such things as noise ordinances without the approval from the state government (for a bunch of Republicans who supposedly want to wrestle the power from Washington, they sure seem to want to concentrate it all in Tallahassee, as the article mentioned!) so now I'm stewing about that. I'm extremely sensitive to noise pollution. I hope the remodelings going on on each side of you don't last long!

      Are you feeling better today? I did sleep better last night, although in the middle of the night I realized that Explorer was sprawled on most of my pillow! I'm a softie when it comes to those kittens (who are going to be 7 months old soon so I probably need to stop calling them "kittens") so I just used the little corner of pillow that he was letting me have and fell back asleep, hahaha. There's just something about a warm little furry body that purrs against me in the middle of the night that makes me melt :) I think you are the same! Give Mae a cuddle for me, if she lets you!

    2. Yes, we're pretty much the same when it comes to being push-overs for the love and purrs of a cat! I love that your kittens lay like that with you. I can't count how many nights I've given up my side of the bed or my pillow to a kitty. Or that I've been used in their acrobatic feats! I'm actually feeling worse a cough now...but surprisingly my night was pretty good! I'm thankful for that. Have to go out today so I'm going to pick up some homeopathic meds and probably some chicken soup from (gag) Costco. (I HATE that store). The sun is out so I think I'll sit in it for a while. Hope your day goes well. Oh...Mae let me cuddle for the briefest second...she says thanks! 🙂

    3. Yuck, Costco on a day when I feel good isn't tempting so I'd definitely not go on a day when I feel sick. I'm sorry you have a cough. Feel better soon!

  2. Did I do a lot of chores? NO! I do always make my bed and try to keep things picked up. I am still eating fish but had some green beans with it last night. I can't believe how empty my freezers are. I guess you overdid it with the hike- hope uou aren't so sore today. However, you might have inspired me to start visiting a park or two occasionally. There are a couple I've passed and never visited. Of course I'm always saying I need to go downtown more or to the beach...My desk is a mess so guess I should start organizing. I have a 4:30 PM appointment which means I won't be home until at least 6 PM which is late for me. One of my clients was telling me the time changes Saturday night- I actually prefer not being on daylight savings time since I get up so early and like it lighter then. Oh well- no one asked me.

    1. I used to always make my bed as soon as I got up and then Greg started getting up later than me so I was thwarted in that. Now that we keep separate bedrooms so we can actually spend our fitful nights without bothering one another, I've gone back to making my bed first thing in the morning most days. It's really not difficult as I don't use a top sheet, just a comforter so I have zero excuses on the mornings when I don't make it!

      Great job on eating out your freezers! Did you have much fish stocked up, then?

      Greg and I visited several free nature preserves around our county before we decided to buy the state parks annual pass. Now that we have, I keep on finding more free nature trails, preserves and county parks in the counties around us so maybe we won't renew the pass next year and just go visit those free ones. Of course, I wouldn't have discovered them if we didn't have the state parks pass because Greg would have refused to drive further than 20 minutes away. I've been surprised at how willing he's been to drive 90 minutes to a state park. Now he wants to go visit the Myakka River State Park and that's 2 hours away!

      I've been feeling guilty that we never go to the beach while millions of people wish they could visit Florida for its beaches, but we're just not beach people. The only time I have really enjoyed the beach was when I took the kids to Sanibel Island. I used to take them there every year for a weekend and we had such fun. Ah, I really miss my kids being little.

      I understand why you like it better when it's not dark when you get up. I don't mind it so much if I'm allowed to sleep until my regular time, but I don't think those kittens are going to let me!

  3. Love the vulture picture. Your new camera is really good. Are you getting used to it? How easy is it to operate?

    1. Thank you, I do like the pictures that I'm taking with the camera and during this last hike, I was glad that it wasn't all that heavy! I am getting used to it little by little but I think I probably need to go om walks by myself so I can figure out how to take the best pictures without feeling rushed because Greg is waiting for me to move on!

      I like how much clearer my pictures turn out when I use the zoom than they did with my Canon point and shoot, although I'm still frustrated that the zoom isn't actually even better (I'm just never happy, am I?). I feel that in a while, I might feel confident enough to try using some of the manual settings, which my son's guidance. For now, I continue to use the full automatic setting on most pictures, with the "P" mode in either autofocus or manual focus if I want to take macro pictures or pictures of animals that aren't moving too fast but are hidden behind a branch, for instance. Sometimes the pictures look fine on my screen but end up being blurry on the laptop, but I'm thinking maybe it's because I use bifocals? I'm not sure. So I just try to take lots of shots of the same thing so at least one picture turns out pretty good, hahaha.

      I also like that it shoots pictures faster than my old one so I miss fewer shots. I still miss shots, especially of birds in flight, because either my reflexes are way too slow (which they've always been), or I just can't see the birds until it's too late. So those are operator deficiencies, not camera deficiencies!

  4. I, too, liked the photo of the vulture. It looks very exotic with the Spanish moss on the tree! Glad you are feeling better after taking the Advil. Sorry about the construction noise! Well, you'll get your chance to be noisy when Greg takes down the porch! :)

  5. Vultures look so imperious, especially when you consider what they eat! :) I can imagine that you were sore today -- that was a long hike! Michael and I did a nine mile hike a few years ago and really did not prepare well for it; we didn't bring enough water and got confused about where we were, too. By the time we got back to the car we were DONE. Ha. I too am impressed with how much you are taking advantage of the state park pass. I just realized that our national park pass will expire in a few months and we really haven't taken advantage of it since coming back from our vacation last spring. I think maybe I will make a point of encouraging some weekend trips this month and next.

    Did you throw out the milk? You could use it to make biscuits or pancakes, if it's just curdled but not actually bad.

    1. I prefer the black vultures to the turkey vultures, they don't look as ugly, lol. They're a vital part of our food chain so I appreciate them, but I really need to learn to recognize them from underneath as I always get excited to spot "a hawk" and 99% of the time it turns out to be a vulture. Greg has started calling them "hawkstures" until we confirm what they are, lol.

      Oh my, NINE miles and not enough water?! That would have done me in. But then again, I could barely walk 2 miles at the beginning of the year and now I'm up to 7! Maybe we'll be able to walk 9 by the end of 2017 and not feel like we'll never be able to move again. I do need to start bringing more water though, as I only had 1 bottle. My fanny pack has room for two and the weather is going to start warming up soon.

      Which national parks are you planning on visiting before your park expires? I was going to buy one for our trip this summer but on second thought, I decided not to since most of the national parks aren't close to us anyway so we wouldn't get our money's worth.

      We spent $90 on the state park pass, after Greg's military discount, and so far we would have spent $35 in admission so I'm hoping we'll meet (and even exceed!) the $90. I wonder if we'll be as eager to go hiking when it starts getting really hot and humid...

      And yes, I should have used the milk to make something, it didn't even cross my mind! I was grossed out by the curds in my cereal. To be honest, I made pancakes with sour milk the last time I had any and froze them and they're still in the freezer as the kids keep on forgetting to eat them. With this, I'm going to go defrost myself some pancakes for breakfast!

    2. I think we will drive up to Cumberland Island as that has been on our "to visit" list for a long time and it is a really easy weekend trip for us. I also want to go down to the Everglades over my spring break; hopefully Michael can take some time off, although maybe I will just go by myself!

      We did use the pass quite a bit while we were out west, so it's paid for itself already (the Grand Canyon entrance fee is expensive, so if you go there more than one day, the pass is pretty much paid for, and then we used it for all of the other national parks and monuments in Arizona and Utah, too). But I hate to just let it linger! We are close enough to Georgia that we might try to visit some of the Civil War battlegrounds, too.

    3. Ooh, Cumberland Island is "only" 3 hours or so from my house... maybe I could go there next week with the kids for Spring Break or visit on the way down during our Summer trip. I'll need to talk to my daughter about it. It looks very pretty.

      When is your Spring Break? Ours is next week. Don't go to the Everglades by yourself, I'd worry you'd get attacked by a python or something :)

  6. I, too, racked up some great Kohl's rewards! I had $5 Yes2You Rewards, the $5 promotional offer, and a 30% off coupon. I stopped on my lunch break Monday and they had some extra Christmas items out that were all greatly reduced. I got a Hallmark ornament for each Little Daisy (Doc McStuffins) and Mr. Daisy (a beer stein) for $1.35 each, a gorgeous deep red wax melt warmer for $6.99 (originally $40), and a Christmas wreath for $2.15. I paid less than $3 for everything :)

    1. Woohoo! Great deals, Mrs. Daisy! I asked Youngest Son and Greg if they needed anything and they don't so I need to think of something to buy with my now $20 (the $5 promotional gift expires today and I'm not going shopping after all, in order to support International Women's Day). It'll probably be something(s) that I'll use as Christmas present(s).

  7. Don't you love those wonderful spring days when the humidity is still low and the temperatures are mild enough to have windows open?

    1. This is when we're really happy to live in Florida, right? Soon, maybe not so much! I was mad to have to turn the AC on this afternoon!


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