Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Domestic Tuesday Lite ~ March 7, 2017

I felt mildly guilty typing "Domestic Tuesday" when it's 7:50 a.m. and I still have a kitchen full of dirty dishes but I'm sitting on the back patio and will be for several hours, in all likeliness, so I added "lite" to my title.  I do have chores to do (and I have started already) but I'm going to take my time to do them.

However, there's a faint bad odor on my back patio, and I wonder if it's whatever the vultures were chumping on yesterday, on the other side of the fence.  It comes and goes so it's not bothering me much. I'm staying put!

There aren't any birds singing around my backyard this morning though. I can hear them around the block but my trees remain silent :(

I don't have anything exciting planned for today, just chores.  Beats having to go to a real job, though so I'm not really complaining.

My garden looks terrible but this year I'm making peace with the squirrels by not gardening. There's one on my veggie bins right now, just past the tomatoes and it's.not.bothering.me.  She says, with her eye twitching. I am zen.

On to my monstrous to-do list!  It'd be nice to knock some things off it today!

  • Inventory what's in the fridge DONE
  • Make a menu for the week DONE
  • Bake more pumpkin bread DONE
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift 
  • Clean bathroom ceiling
  • Add bleach to furnace line
  • 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 DONE
  • 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 2X
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only) 
  • Read one of the library books in progress
  • Clean upstairs litter box DONE
  • Add Osmocote plant food to rose and hibiscus bushes  DONE
  • 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 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
  • Get 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
  • Sort coupons
  • Renew library books (on Thursday) Put reminder on my calendar for Thursday
  • Add new information to kitchen wall calendar
  • Do laundry DONE
  • Wash my bedding
  • Dry laundry outdoors  DONE
  • Fold laundry 
  • Put laundry away
  • Sweep kitchen
  • Clear out front porch
  • Wash the upstairs litter box
  • Work on my shopping list DONE
  • Gather trash from around the house DONE
  • Take trash bin down to the curb DONE

  • As he does every day, Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school.

  • As I do most days, I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I drove my son to school and it was uneventful, which is a good thing!

  • We have more pumpkin bread so I didn't stop to get him a muffin at RaceTrac.  My daughter complained, last night, that there was "a distinct lack of cupcakes in this house!" but I told her to try the pumpkin bread :)  She was joking. She loves baking so she would jump and bake the cupcakes herself if I let her.

  • The $1.50 credit for buying the Dial soap at Publix last week finally hit my SavingStar account. Almost a whole week's delay but at least I got it.

  • As I have done every day this month so far, I'm earning a few easy Swagbucks by running videos on my laptop, taking the daily poll, checking out the deal of the day, and doing SB searches to get to my usual websites.  It's slow-earning but I'm burnt-out on SB.  I was going to go to Walmart this week and stock up on tilapia and other grocery items with the SB gift cards I already have, but I'm not sure I have the freezer space for it.

  • I wonder if my allergies are going to start ramping up as I had a layer of oak pollen on my car's windshield this morning.  I was re-reading old March entries from previous years a few days ago, and March is when I usually get bad sinus allergies and itchy eyes, and my black SUV turns green with the pollen. It's useless for me to wash it as it's parked under the oak tree (we don't have a garage or carport).  I probably should stock up on allergy pills, come to think of it.

  • Pixel from Thoughts from the Corner of the Couch and I made a date!  We're going to go hiking the Hillsborough River State Park in a couple of weeks together. It will be lovely to meet one of my fellow bloggers who's local and also a European ex-pat!

  • I reused a bread bag to clean the upstairs litter box this morning, supervised by a kitten who just had to get into that particular litter box right as I was cleaning it, instead of the three other ones that are in the house!

  • I had fixed myself a large mug of instant decaf last night but fell asleep before I could finish it, so I finished it this morning and then poured the little bit of real coffee left over from yesterday pot into my first cup of fresh, real coffee.  I've been using the free Truvia Nectar for several days, instead of sweetener, but I don't like it. First of, if I wanted honey, I'd use 100% honey.  Secondly, it's hard for me to judge how much to use in my mug(s) and I always end up with coffee that's not sweet enough, followed by coffee that's too sweet because I add too much after that.  I still have 4 bottles to use up, though and they were all free or moneymakers so I'm going to grin and bear it :)

  • I didn't make a menu for the week yesterday, I've got to do that today. I think that I'll make spaghetti and meatball with garlic bread for dinner tonight. Nobody will complain that we already had that last week!

  • I earned 125 KFR points by entering bonus codes SPRI-NGFO-RWAR-DDAY (25 KFR pts) and SKIS-LEDS-KATE-4PTS (100 KFR pts) into my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.

  • Inching my way to 5,000 BR points, I entered my weight on Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 20 BR points.

  • And also inching my way to another $5 Amazon gift card by earning the daily Microsoft Rewards credits on my laptop and on my phone's app.

  • The loaf of pumpkin bread that I had defrosted yesterday morning  is almost all gone already (I've noticed that my son is having that for breakfast, these days) so I defrosted the 3rd loaf.  I'll probably bake some more pumpkin bread today when I do the dishes.

  • I did 2 "Super" loads of laundry in cold/cold.  The load containing Greg's t-shirts and the bath towels went into the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting, the rest was dried on the laundry racks on the back patio.  I've been forgetting to add vinegar as softener but it doesn't seem to make a difference...

  • Since the pruned roses are regrowing and even budding at this point, I figured it was time to add the Osmocote fertilizer (a task that had been on my To Do List for many months!) so I did that and also added it to the hibiscus.  The instructions were to water thoroughly afterwards so I reused 1 cat litter jug of rainwater for each pot.  I think that on Thursday I might need to spend time in the garden to weed and water other pots (I don't feel like doing it today) and the pineapples.

  • The bird bath is done dry so instead of adding water (which might have been smarter?) I put some dried mealworms in it mixed with some bird seeds,  I'm hoping to see other birds than cardinals.

  • I kind of cheated because I wrote a menu for the week without checking my fridge first, but I didn't publish the post until after I had made sure there was nothing I was forgetting to use. Well, there was... the portabella mushrooms, but I think I might sautĂ© some on Sunday to add to the burgers.  They're not anywhere near going bad anyway.

  • For my lunch, which I had on the patio under my patio umbrella since the sun is out in full force, I had half a can of tomato carrot bisque, a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich on a slice of rye bread, a stick of string cheese and an Activia yogurt.

  • Ah crap, the library has a book waiting for me, the latest Jonathan Kellerman, that I had put on hold months ago.  I'm only going to have 7 days to read it and I have just started (well, several days ago!) another book.  I need to make time to read.  I have been reading blogs, which nowadays I find more interesting than novels, and the news, which nowadays I find scarier than many novels I used to enjoy.

  • I have a new "free McCafĂ© item with any purchase" coupon in my McDonald's app but this time it expires on Friday. Rats for Greg!

  • I unlocked the new SavingStar offer for $0.25 off loose pears.

  • I really don't want to leave my back porch because I'm so comfy in the shade... but I'm done catching up with stuff online and that "do the dishes!" chore is really nagging at me. Sigh.  It's 12:15 pm.  I'm going to go do the darn dishes, bake some more pumpkin bread, and then I'll settle on the couch, watch something on Netflix, and sort my coupons at the same time.  Deal?  Oh, but I'm so comfy!  But my sinuses are getting all stuffed up, I told you the oaks were losing their pollen. Ugh. Alright, alright, I'm going, I'm going.

  • An hour and fifteen minutes later... I did the dishes and 3 loaves of banana bread are in the oven. However, I didn't realize that I was almost out of flour so I used whole wheat flour and added chocolate chips to make them moister (I hope!) also I put in a whole teaspoon of ginger instead of 1/4 tsp!  Once again I hope the chocolate chips will mask that misstep. Argh.

  • I spent a lazy afternoon watching a crappy French show on Netflix based on a crappy Harlan Coben novel, "No Second Chance" and surfing the internet.

  • For dinner, I made spaghetti and meatballs and a side salad.

  • I checked the mail after dinner and found a $5 promotional gift voucher from Bath & Body Works. Woohoo!

  • Greg and I watched more Seinfeld episodes on the DVDs that we own.

  • No Spend Day

  • A $5 promotional gift from Bath & Body Works

  • Made my bed
  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Drove my son to school
  • Gathered the trash throughout the house
  • Took the trash bin down to the curb
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Started the laundry
  • Sat on the patio :)
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Commented on blogs
  • Switched the laundry
  • Cleaned one of the downstairs litter boxes
  • Replaced a cat cardboard scratching board
  • Sprayed a wasp nest
  • Added Osmocote fertilizer to roses and hibiscus and watered them 
  • Added bird seed to cardinal feeder
  • Added dried mealworms to bird bath
  • Hung laundry on racks
  • Put the rest in the dryer
  • Made a menu for the week
  • Checked the fridge to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Washed the dishes
  • Baked 3 loaves of chocolate chip pumpkin bread
  • Brought the laundry back inside and put away the racks
  • Cooked dinner
  • Put away the leftovers
  • Took the recycling down to the curb
  • Checked the mail

  • For freebies in the mail
  • For another lovely morning on my patio
  • For cuddles from Explorer last night and this afternoon :)


  • Right after I said there weren't any birds in my backyard, a couple of Northern Cardinals made their appearance at the feeder.  It's only 8 a.m., though, and the sun's rays haven't reached it yet so the pictures are quite dark.

  • The squirrels heard that I was making friends so they're all playing in the backyard too.  This one was kind of cheeky!

  • Later on, a hawk flew over my house but I was hanging the laundry so I didn't get to take  a picture of it. You've got to wonder why he was calling so loudly as he was flying, because I'm sure all his potential preys definitely heard it coming and hid! If he was calling out to find a mate, he struck out too.

  • Those weird dragonflies are back again.  I can't remember what they're called and I couldn't take a picture of one. But a ladybug came to search refuge on my laptop!

My lone strawberry is getting bigger and I have another one growing.

My green onions are blooming.

Tabby Kitty has decided to stop stealing Greg's socks and start stealing my "athletic" wear. Here is a Nike headband that I completely forgot I had.


  1. So is your achiness gone? I've been walking every morning for 20-30 minutes and enjoying it- really. I just hope the left knee holds up for Disney....I actually have a free day today- no appointments so I hope to finish 3 support plans, do a few errands and maybe do a little yardwork. We have that awful pollen too! The pool gets covered with it and it already has a greenish cast heehee...my fault. Needs shocking bad... BTW my fish unfortunately is not fresh- Publix had BOGO on Sea Cuisine and that's where I got it all! It's edible though and low in calories. I think a box of 2 servings is $8 so with the BOGO it's $4 a box or $2 a piece. I bake it instead of microwaving so probably a but tastier. Last night I actually had popcorn instead and it was a low calorie day. I didn't get home until after 6. I watched a little TV and went to bed to read. I'm hungry now so might make myself breakfast instead of oatmeal. Have a good day.

    1. Yes, my achiness was gone yesterday but then came back with a vengeance last night although not so much in my legs and feet, but my shoulders and my neck. Ouch. I didn't sleep well and even took an Advil at 2 a.m. when I just couldn't get back to sleep.

      I've had knee problems too, it's so painful. Have you tried wearing a brace? It's really helped me when my ACL was hurting, although rest and ice and wearing good walking shoes even at home was what helped me most.

      I've had the Sea Cuisine entrees before and they were good, but I think I had microwaved mine. Well done on a low calorie day!

      I hope you enjoy your free day as well, Nan! Happy International Women's Day!

  2. How nice that Tabby Kitty is finding things for you. Sounds very useful. :)

    1. It's helpful during daytime :) Last night Princess "found" one of her toys and came into my bedroom with it in her mouth while crying out nonstop. I guess she was excited to tell me she had "found" it too?! She left it at the foot of my bed and then came to sleep with me but I would have preferred she didn't tell me about her find, haha. Do your cats find things for you too?

  3. Oh girl, your To Do list almost gave me anxiety! LOL. I commend you for writing all of that down and accomplishing most of it! I stumbled across your blog and am glad that I did! I look forward to future posts!

    1. Hi Mrs. Daisy (can I call you Daisy?)! Thanks for commenting and sorry for the anxiety-causing To Do List, hahaha. If you're planning on reading my blog in the future, you might want to skip that part. I repost it every day so it might induce PTSD :) Having it on the blog keeps me honest (and I would like to think productive but some days are better than other) and organized. I'm making a concerted effort to reach monthly goals (derived from the goals I've set for 2017) so I keep on adding to it too!

      Oooh, you're a blogger too! Woohoo, I'll be visiting your blog soon. Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by.

  4. Those are some great squirrel photos! Slim likes to make sure that we are cleaning the litter boxes to his satisfaction, too. He's quite the inspector. He used to go in after other cats and tidy up if he didn't think they did a good job (!) but that has subsided with age.

  5. I read this post last night, but was too tired to compose a coherent comment! But I loved the squirrel photos (well, you knew that, already, didn't you?). Especially that second one, where he is standing on the rim of the planter and eating something! So cute!

    You got quite a bit crossed off your to do list! Well done! I'm sure your ginger-banana bread will be a big hit! I can't believe the pumpkin bread finished so quickly!

    Tabby kitty looks very happy with his new toy! Too funny about Princess and her toy - Dancer does the same. He has a favorite knitted scarf of my daughter's that is his special "blankie" - every night, he carries it to the bed and makes the biggest racket while doing so! Every time we leave the house (or he thinks we are gone) he drags it to the back door! It's his security blanket!

    1. Awwww, Dancer! How cute!

      I can tell that you never raised a teen son by the fact that you're surprised the pumpkin bread is disappearing so fast, hahaha. They're locusts.

      You do know that I take all the squirrel pictures for you, right? Of course you knew that :)

  6. I agree with you on the news being scarier than any horror novel these days!

    Weird dragonflies??? Now you have me wondering.

    1. I don't know that I ever found out what kind of bugs they are. They look like very stocky dragonflies and they usually land on the tip top of any kind of support I used for my vegetables and take in the breeze. Last spring, sometimes I had one on almost every support at one time! They're reddish. I'm not sure they are dragonflies. I posted a picture of one in this post last year, but I saturated all the pictures so it came out way redder than it was in reality https://imperfectlyfrugally.blogspot.com/2016/04/garden-update-tuesday-4516.html It's a long post so do CTRL+F and enter "dragonfly" to get to the picture right away :) Let me know if you know what it is!

  7. Replies
    1. I was thinking that too at first, but it wasn't quite right. After you posted this reply, I went to get my Audubon guide again and then, on the bookshelf, I noticed that I had a copy of Florida's Fabulous Insects so I looked in there and I found it! I'm pretty sure that it's actually the Violet-masked Glider, aka the Carolina Saddlebags. It is indeed a dragonfly. The book states that it's usually found in swarms, and I rarely see just one, usually there's a whole group of them flying over my backyard. Well, I always thought they looked gross, and the book shows a picture of one eating a bee, so I'm going to have to start chasing them, now!

      Thanks for inspiring me to look a little harder to find out what it was. I'm going to forget about it though and I'll probably complain about "the weird dragonflies" again very soon, watch it.


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