Friday, March 10, 2017

Foggy but Warm ~ Friday 3/10/17

It's very foggy this morning, but luckily it wasn't foggy enough to impede traffic when I dropped off my son at the high school. Good thing, too, because I completely forgot to turn my lights on and didn't realize it until halfway there!  I guess I wasn't as awake as I thought I was.

Now I'm home and I have opened the windows for the kittens. It's going to be another warm day today, with a high of 84F/28.8C (ugh) so I'll probably have to close the windows and turn the AC on by mid-day, only because it gets hot upstairs and my daughter will be home most of the day.

Right now it's 60F/15.5C, foggy, and the birds are chirping outside the window. Speaking of birds, I didn't see the rooster this morning. I wonder if the hawk got it or if its owners finally (and wisely) decided to keep him locked up.

It's the last day of school before Spring Break for the kids. My daughter has a mid-day exam at the state college so she'll be gone for that.  I've been thinking that I might take a break from blogging during Spring Break, as I did last year, so I can catch up on reading.  So if you don't see me posting one day, it's what's happening.

My little sister turns 38 today. I sent her an email because I forgot to do that last night. It's harder to see your younger siblings grow older, I think, because it makes you realize how much older than them you are!  In my case, there's an 11 year difference between us, so it makes me ancient!

Since my plans to have coffee with my BFF this morning have been postponed to Monday, I find myself with my day wide open. I put on my exercise clothes this morning in case I get motivated to get on the recumbent bike.  I have to do last night's dishes (I had just finished doing 2 days' worth of dishes so I didn't feel like doing the dinner's dishes right after that!), fold the laundry, and do all the sweeping/vacuuming.  Since Youngest Son didn't go to the library last night, he didn't pick up the book that's waiting for me, so maybe I'll ride my bike there this morning and check my brakes since Youngest Son reported they're mushy.

  • 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) used my real bike to go to the library
  • Read one of the library books in progress
  • Clean upstairs litter box 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.
  • 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
  • Track my and Greg's IRAs for the IRS
  • Fix the brakes on my bike again I think they're fine
  • Download all February pictures from phone, Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive
  • Get the hummingbird feeders out of storage
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • 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 cardsDONE
  • Reply to blog comments DONE
  • Bike to library to pick up new library book for me DONE
  • Wash my bedding
  • Fold laundry DONE
  • Put laundry away in progress
  • Sweep Cat Room
  • Sweep Exercise Room DONE
  • Reply to my nephew's email DONE
  • Clear out front porch  We decided it was OK to keep the stuff that's on the porch there, as it's not in the way of the demolition.

  • As usual, Youngest Son took a lunch that he packed to school, and I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • The school drop-off was swift, despite the fog and a little more traffic than usual. I think we've found the sweet spot as far as when to leave for school :) As usual, my son will ride the bus home.

  • I didn't bother stopping at RaceTrac after school because last night I had set another loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread to defrost.

  • I emailed my sister to wish her a happy birthday. We're not phone call people (I think I've only talked to my sister on the phone maybe 5 times in my life!) and with her working hospital shift and the time difference, it'd be impossible to get a hold of her anyway.

  • I started working on Swagbucks by playing automatic videos and got a 9 SB Rewards for a Search right away so that was a nice way to start the day.  My 1st goal is 60 SB.

  • I'm planning on making black bean soup for dinner and grilled ham & cheese sandwiches so I've already assembled all the cans I'll need and found some homemade chicken stock to defrost from the freezer. I'm also defrosting some more Flatouts for my lunch sandwiches and chicken thighs for tomorrow's dinner.

  • I looking through the freezer, I realized that I have a whole bag (I use reusable bags to organize my freezer, 1 bag per type of food/meat) of bread buns and other bread products that are gluten-free, back from when I thought maybe Greg had a sensitivity to gluten (he doesn't).  I've looked at those and wanted to throw them away many times in the past 3-4 years, but each time I think about how much I spent on them and put them back in the freezer!  Today was the same, I keep thinking I could make bread crumbs out of them. But right now I have a lot of bread crumbs in my pantry and we don't even use them very often.  Sigh. I might go back and get rid of them after all.

  • I boiled 5 eggs so I can use them for my lunch sandwiches.  I love egg salad sandwiches and eggs are cheaper than lunchmeat and contain much less sodium (I use a little bit of light mayo. I don't really make "egg salad", I spread some mayo on the bread and then slice an egg on top).

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • And I earned 20 BR points by entering my weight into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices (I really wish they picked a name that's much shorter than that!)

  • Our tax return was deposited into our checking account a couple of days ago and I didn't realize it (I don't check our account every day. I have alerts set to let me know when something comes out of it but I don't think there's a way for me to be alerted of deposits and transfers).  I texted Greg to make sure he's still OK with me sending it to the mortgage.  The end is in view, we should be able to pay it off in under 2 years, woohoo.  He said yes, although that he thought we would first cash it for $1 bills and roll in them for a bit, hahaha.  I should be getting our mortgage statement in the mail today or tomorrow, so I will use the payment voucher from it to accompany the check.

  • I reused a bread bag to clean the upstairs litter box. Earlier today I reminded Greg to keep all bread bags for that purpose, as I had spotted one in the trash. I'll need to remind the kids of that as well.

  • I did last night's dishes by hand (no choice since we don't have a working dishwasher anymore!). I watered the Christmas cactus with some water left in last night's dinner glasses.

  • I rewashed 3 zipping baggies and 2 cereal bags that I'll reuse as freezer bags, and put the ones that had been hanging dry in the laundry room away.

  • I reused a plastic container to organize small freezer bags under the kitchen sink.

  • I reused the water from the hardboiled eggs to water my hibiscus.

  • I stupidly warmed up the tomato carrot bisque in the Gladware container that was holding it, yesterday, and now there is a thick orange ring on it that won't scrub off. I read that you should use a paste of baking soda but that didn't work :( It's not an expensive container but it's annoying because I use it often. I'll have to look for a new one at a thrift store.

  • The small amount of peanuts that I had harvested last summer had been "curing" on my island since then!  I finally shelled them but only harvested about 1/2 cup of nuts, hardly worth the $4.95 that I had paid for the seed peanuts and all the worry about the squirrels digging them out.  Arrgh.  I guess I'll toast those and make some type of trail mix.

  • As I emptied the countertop composting bin into the large one outside, I decided to turn it too.  And then I reused a cat litter jug's worth of rainwater to dampen it.

  • I harvested several grape tomatoes from a plant that is finally dead.

  • I decided to bike to the library and brought my new camera along.  The brakes are a little mushy indeed, but work just fine. I biked along the small lake that's just a block from our house and enjoyed the fine weather, and then I had to bike alongside a very busy and trash-strewn highway. That was much less enjoyable but thankfully it's a short ride. I rode on the sidewalk since there isn't a bike lane.

  • I chatted a little bit with the Teen Librarian who shared how much fun she and all the teens had had when my son brought the foam LARP'ing swords that he bought himself, earlier in the week :)  I picked up my thriller and biked home. On the way home, I stopped by the lake to take a few pictures.

  • I had a 16G memory card in my new camera but a 32G memory card in my new one. I finally erased both cards, reformatted them, and swapped them. Since my new camera's pictures are larger files, I needed the extra memory.

  • My daughter drove to the state college in Clermont to take her anthropology mid-term exam.

  • I suppose I should have used the shredding disk instead of the blade to shred some cabbage in my food processor to make coleslaw. Doh.  I used some Marie's Original Coleslaw dressing that I had gotten for free (and that has a Feb 2017 sell-by date). It's delicious!

  • So I had some for lunch, along with an "egg salad" sandwich and some grapes. I wanted soda and contemplated drinking one of Greg's Diet Dr. Peppers even though I don't like it, but then I remembered that I had a 2L bottle of Diet Coke that I had gotten for free from Publix the last time we had bought a family chicken dinner. Woohoo!

  • Meanwhile, Tabby Kitty was bugging his sister.

  • I earned a 15 SB search award that allowed me to meet and exceed my 1st daily Swagbucks goal!

Well, Princess was sleeping in this picture but it was during a conference call :)

  • It's 1:43 p.m and I still haven't swept or folded the laundry.  It's hard to feel motivated when all your housemates are like this right now:

  • I have "Cybill" playing on Laff TV (over the air channel) and I'm just browsing online.  I'm typing this little confession so it pushes me to go get the laundry out of the dryer and fold it while watching Cybill, lol.

  • That worked!  I folded the laundry but instead of watching "Cybill", I put on the movie "Barton Fink" on Netflix because I've never seen it and I always wondered what is was about.  Princess helped me with the laundry, of course :)  I gave up on "Barton Fink" after a while, it just wasn't the kind of movie I was in the mood for watching this afternoon.  I started watching "The Crown" instead.

  • I made some hummingbird nectar (4 parts water, 1 part white sugar, bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes, let cool completely before filling the feeders).

  • What the heck, Swagbucks?!  I'm not watching your slideshows for free!

  • It took me a while, but I finally watched "Netherlands Second", the Dutch's video answers to POTUS.  I can't even type his name, it pisses me off so much that he is the President. Nonetheless, if you've never seen it, you've got to because it's really funny. The link is in the first sentence of this paragraph :)

  • I checked the ad preview for CVS next week.  I'd only be interested in buying milk but I don't even think we'll need any. So I think I'll skip going. I won't even bother checking Walgreens.

  • I'm really liking "The Crown", but I wonder how much of it is due to the overwhelmingly dramatic score, lol. I'm a sucker for dramatic scores :) Sigh, well episode 3 just ended and now I have to go cook dinner. And wait until Greg starts playing video games to keep watching it. I don't know that he would like it as much as I do.


  • I borrowed a thriller from the library. I count it as a freebie since I didn't have to spend any cash out of pocket :)

  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg a lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Emailed my sister for her birthday
  • Started working on my Rewards programs
  • Caught up on the news and blogs
  • Drove my son to school
  • Defrosted items for dinners
  • Boiled eggs for lunches
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Replied to my nephew's email
  • Investigated our tax return
  • Balanced our checkbook
  • Texted Greg
  • Scrubbed the upstairs toilet
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Did last night's dishes
  • Washed baggies
  • Did a big or reorganizing under the sink
  • Researched cleaning solution for plastic container
  • Shelled last year's peanuts
  • Emptied countertop composting bin
  • Turned the last compost bin
  • Harvested tomatoes
  • Closed the windows and turned the AC back on
  • Biked to the library
  • Picked up my book
  • Swapped memory cards between cameras
  • Made coleslaw
  • Folded the laundry 
  • Replaced toilet paper rolls in bathroom
  • Put away part of the laundry
  • Swept the exercise room and the breezeway and part of the kitchen
  • Wiped the kitchen trashcan
  • Chatted with daughter a little bit
  • Made some hummingbird nectar

  • For receiving our tax refund without any problems
  • For nice weather that made it possible for me to bike to the library
  • For friendly librarians!
  • For grape tomatoes from plants that I neglect :)


The lone strawberry is ripening.

The cone flowers are growing back!

The sweet potato vine is slowly spreading.

The pineapples are developing their little crowns.

This turkey vulture was in the middle of my street right before I left for the library. The picture isn't crisp because I took it through the screened window.

Boat-tailed Grackle

Black vulture, flying over the lake

Spatterdock ("Yellow Pond Lily")

Peruvian Primrose-willow

Bulltongue Arrowhead

Example of picture taken without zoom of hawk flying above my yard with automatic mode on.

Same picture, zoomed in at 100% and cropped.

And again

Same. Obviously, the camera has limitations but I'm still pretty impressed by the pictures :)

Are you ready for the weekend?


  1. Morning! Walgreens BRHC. (Balance reward healthy choices). I did see the video and loved how his wife flew in. Looks like you are really enjoying that new camera!

    1. Ah thanks, that's a good compromise between "WGBRHC" and the longer name :)
      I'm loving the new camera! I just wish it would fit in my pocket but my bike has a basket that came in really handy.

  2. Ooh, that is foggy, indeed! Hope it cleared, later. Happy birthday to your little sister! There's nearly 15 years difference between my half-sister and me (and 16+ years difference between my oldest half-brother and me!) and only 11 years difference between my sister's daughter and me! But she still calls me aunty, as is proper. :)

    I've read that keeping stained plastic ware in the sun will help bleach out the tomato stains - I don't know how well it works, but might be something to try?

    Sorry your peanut harvest wasn't more than that, but it was a fun experiment, wasn't it? I wonder if you might be able to plant some of those peanuts and if they'd grow? By the way, what happened to the squash seeds that were germinating in your compost bin? Did you plant them somewhere or did you just turn them over?

    Aw, look at all those sleeping kitties! My goodness, but how can anyone feel motivated to do housework with all them napping kitties? I'd be tempted to curl up and take a nap, myself!

    Hope you are having a lovely day and have a fun spring break!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Bless, I'll have to put it on the patio table and see if the sun will bleach it. I fear it's baked on but you never know.

      The peanut experiment was interesting! Yes, the peanuts would regrow into plants. Actually a couple of the nuts were already germinating when I shelled them! But it was too tempting to the squirrels and for the small amount of peanuts that I got (a lot of them were eaten by bugs, too), it's just not worth the effort.

      The squash seedlings from the composting bin disappeared... one of the reasons why I finally turned the composting bin yesterday.

      The kittens are driving me nuts as we speak, it is now 12:13 a.m. and they're running everywhere like crazy and knocking things over and I want them to just settle down already! Everyone is in bed (but me) and they're making an awful racket. They'll probably settle down once I turn off the lights, though!

  3. Love that photo of the grackle! We had a pretty warm day yesterday, too. I finally visited a discount/salvage type grocery store yesterday and had way too much fun. I only spent $10, though, so that is a good thing. :)

    1. $10 isn't bad! I used to go to a salvage grocery store YEARS ago but they don't have those around here anymore.

  4. Way to go on being able to pay off the mortgage early! So many people never do and go into retirement with many years left on their mortgage.

    I had to laugh about you not being able to type POTUS' name (well, not laughing at you, since I believe we feel the same way about him). One of my relatives/Facebook friends can't write his name either, she just refers to him as "#45."

    Bulltongue Arrowhead - now I finally know what it's called!

    1. Thanks, Pixel! I'm glad my little post was helpful! You know, until I read your comment, the #45 for him always mystified me but I just realized why he was called that. Doh! So, in a sense, you taught me something too!


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