Friday, March 24, 2017

Lunch with a Friend ~ Friday 3/24/17

Happy Friday!   I slept like the dead, only getting up once to use the bathroom and my head was filled with "so I'm an elf and here is my sword..." thoughts, and then when the alarm rang I felt very tired. So my theory is that I spent the night playing D&D in an alternate universe.  Later on, I realized that my nose was very stuffed up, allergies rearing up their head I guess, so I'm probably tired because I didn't inhale enough oxygen when I was sleeping.  I told myself I'd get back in bad for a short nap after taking Youngest Son to school.

I don't know why I do this because it never happens. Once I'm up, I'm up. I might not have much energy, but I'm not going back to bed.  So after the school drop-off, I forced myself to do the dishes right away as I'm having lunch with a friend today so I knew a big chunk of my day would already be gone and that my fatigue would lead me to have a 3rd day of dirty dishes in the sink.

I'm glad I did that because now it's 8 a.m. and my kitchen sink and counters are clean and I don't have to worry/feel guilty about that all day.  Phew.

As Greg was getting ready for work, I reminded him that we have to leave our house at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow to drop off our son at his AP seminar, and suggested that he loads the truck with the kayaks tonight because he can't be late for his seminar.  I don't think we'll be able to go kayaking where he wanted because he says he hasn't figured out how to secure the kayaks in the bed of the truck for a trip further than the half-mile to the boat launch near our house, so I'm thinking I might just go drop off my son, and then we'll just kayak near our house before going back to pick him up.  We'll see.  Right now I can't imagine kayaking at this time of the day, I just want to crawl back into bed, hahaha.

So we'll see how productive I can be today... I want to bake banana bread, write the 2 postcards and mail them, file some paperwork and clean the litter boxes because we didn't do that last night and the poor kitties seem to be pouting.  Beyond that, I'd like to start reading one of my new library books!

  • Bake banana bread 
  • 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
  • Make menu for the weekend
  • Clean bathroom ceiling 
  • Clean hallway ceiling right outside the bathroom
  • Order longer handle for rubber broom
  • Write and mail postcards to great aunt and mom DONE
  • 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)  
  • Clean upstairs litter box Cleaned all 4
  • 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 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.
  • 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 comments  DONE
  • Put coupons away
  • 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

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school and I dropped him off there. He'll take the bus home.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • Once again we're having a cool morning so I opened up all the windows. I had to close them at mid day yesterday and run the AC through the rest of the day, and today will probably be the same.

  • The Orlando Sentinel had an article online this morning about the drought that we're experiencing.

So my area is "abnormally dry" while most of Orange county, to our East (that' where Orlando is) is in moderate drought.  The article goes on to state:
"But during the past three months, much of Central Florida has recorded a rainfall deficit of 4 to 5 inches, he said.
Orlando, according to the National Weather Service, has had 3 inches of rain since the start of the year, which is 4.3 inches less than normal. Until Thursday, the city’s rainfall for this month had been less than a tenth of an inch.
Going further back, the region has not had a drenching since Hurricane Matthew in October."
 So we're hurting very badly for water. Not only that, but our Upper Floridan aquifer is so depleted  and in danger of running out of drinking water, that Clermont is trying to dig a well into the Lower Floridan Aquifer, which starts at 1,800 feet underground.  I can't imagine how this is a good thing for the environment and the risk it poses to all our homes when sinkholes start becoming even more abundant!  In another story earlier this week, the local ABC affiliate, WFTV, reported that 73,000 have moved to the greater Orlando area in the last year.  Construction is once again booming here.  The Villages is looking at adding another 20,000 homes.  My own area is slated to dramatically increase in size when a new, huge, development breaks ground in our mostly rural so far area.  
If you're thinking about moving to Central Florida (or anywhere in Florida for that matter), remember several things: we might not have state income tax, but we have plenty of taxes on other things.  Unemployment compensation is extremely low (less than $200 a week, MAXIMUM, if you qualify) and only lasts a few months.  Jobs, contrarily to what you might be reading in the press, are not abundant and when they are available, they are mostly part-time, minimum wage service industry positions.  Housing prices are creeping up and finding an affordable apartment is very hard.   The roads are congested and we have many toll roads. We have very little in terms of public transportation.  Our governor and our legislature are Republicans, and right now, following the national trend, are hell-bent on cutting out many social benefits.  So called "food stamps" restrictions  and cuts are going to be impacting 200,000 Floridians according to recent reports.  Florida didn't extend Medicaid when it was offered by the Obama administration. If you're considering moving despite all of this, please buy an existing home.  There are plenty of them.

  • OK, after all this doom and gloom, 2 things that are making me happy today:
    1. I'm having lunch with my friend Juliet
    2. Season 3 of Grace & Frankie premieres on Netflix today!  I loooooove that show. I need to rewatch Season 2 now (for the 3rd time?) because I've forgotten where we left off the characters.

  • I did all the dishes from the past 2 nights by hand (of course, since my dishwasher isn't working).

  • I dumped the water from 2 dinner glasses into the outdoor pineapple pot out on the berm.

  • I had to compost some rotten veggies from my fridge :(At least I didn't load up on veggies again this week, which might be a problem as I want to make soup for dinner tonight...

  • I earned the maximum of Microsoft Rewards credits today.

  • I also entered my weight into Walgreens' BRHC and earned 20 more BR points, inching my way up to 5,000 points which will translate into a $5 credit on my next purchase.

  • I also earned 25 KFR points with the following bonus code:

  • I wanted more than cereal for breakfast so I made 2 sunny side-up eggs and used up the last 3 mangled (from Princess gnawing on them) pieces of bread from Walmart to make buttered toast.  What I really wanted to do was wake up my daughter and take her out to breakfast at our newly discovered local breakfast place, but since I'm already having lunch out with my friend, I decided not to.  I haven't had an outing with my daughter this month yet, so I'm going to ask her this afternoon if we can carve some time together next week.

  • I was still hungry after that so I cleaned all 4 litter boxes, hoping the smell of cat poop and pee would temper my appetite. It didn't.  I did reuse a bread bag to gather the malodorous contents of the boxes and I ended up with almost a full bag!

  • You know who else was hungry?  This guy!  

  • I chased him off and since it was so nice out, I went around the house, spraying new wasp nests and sitting on the swing on my front porch, trying to spot birds in the trees across the street. I could hear them but not see them :(

  • I ran some Swagbucks videos. At 11 :15 am. I realized that I had already met my 1st daily goal thanks to the 60 SB from a February Shop & Earn award from Target.  Woo!

  • I took (2) RaceTrac surveys and earned two new rewards codes for freebies :)

  • I chatted with Daughter for a bit when she came down and we made a date to go on a bike ride and have lunch at a French restaurant in Mount Dora next week.

  • I also blocked time on my calendar to go back to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive because I keep on forgetting to go back there!

  • We own a lot of the D&D materials but we didn't have "Volo's Guide to Monsters" and I wanted to complete Youngest Son's and my collection so I ordered it on Amazon.  I was able to use the Rewards that Greg earned on his Discover card and my $3 credit for accepting a No Rush Delivery for my new mattress, to get it completely free, woohoo!

  • Youngest Son's backpack is very heavy every day and his backpack straps broke again. He texted me to ask if I would be able to fix them. I'll try but if not, we have a spare backpack in the attic. Both the one he's using and the one in the attic were freebies Greg received for attending Microsoft conferences several years ago.  I suppose his backpack would be lighter if he got a locker at school but he doesn't want one.

It's the 2nd backpack that breaks so far this year!
  • I opened a Redbox email that I had discarded without reading this morning to see what movies might be available that I could rent for free with the credit they gave me yesterday, and then realized that not only there is a war movie that I think Greg and our son would enjoy, "Hacksaw Ridge", but that the email also contained a code to get $1.25 off the rental (so almost free if I get the DVD). I texted Greg to see if he wanted to see it but didn't hear back from him so I think I'll go ahead and get it from the Redbox at Publix since I'm having lunch right next door.  The movie, directed by Mel Gibson, is about the true story of conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss who volunteered to serve in the Army in WWII  in the Pacific
    as a combat medic and who ended up saving upward of 75 soldiers without wearing a weapon. He was granted a Congressional Medal of Honor by President Truman.

  • In other news, I hadn't been on the Redbox site for a long time and I hate the new iteration. You used to be able to see all the movies in the various dispensers and it would specify whether the movie was available or not, but now it's just a wall of picture posters and no indication whether the movie is available or not.  I hate that.  I want less graphics and more information.

  • I left for my lunch appointment 5 minutes early and picked up the movie from the Redbox kiosk for free. When I got home, my son was happy about it because he'd seen parts of it on YouTube and said it sounded interesting. Greg said he'd watch it if our son wanted to watch it. So we're watching it tonight. Goodness, why does watching a movie need to be so complicated?  Now I need to remember to return the movie to a Redbox kiosk tomorrow.

  • I had a great time chatting with my friend who is firming up her plans to use me as an administrative assistant in her real estate business. We agreed to set up a formal meeting where we can discuss what type of work she needs me to do since today was just a chatty lunch about our kids.  As for working for her,  I'd be an independent contractor and it probably will only be for a couple of hours a week or something like that.

  • I told her I bought a yogurt maker but that the process was more involved than I had realized so she told me she'd been making kefir and offered to give me some grains. Yay!  I had read exchanges between Anne and Laura (I think?) about making kefir and getting kefir grains and I'd been intrigued but wasn't sure that I'd want to make my own. My friend explained the process and it sounds simple enough so I think I'll try it.

  • And then she also sent me, later on, contact information for a remodeling company she's worked with before, since at some point we'll need to remodel our bathrooms and our kitchen (although I do want to pay off the house first).  I wouldn't have known where to start so this is good information to have and she's a great resource for me as we talk about what we want to do with our house, etc.

  • Back home, I realized that I had a little bit of salad left from my dinner last night, so I ate the salad leftovers too.

  • I checked Swagbucks again and noticed that I had reached my 2nd daily goal. I'm confused as to how, but I won't dispute it!

  • I went to check on the pants and shirt that got stained yesterday. The shirt seems OK but the pants still have big oily stains on them, despite using a lot of "Shout". Maybe I didn't let it sit long enough?  Since I washed the pants in cold water and hanged them to dry, I sprayed Shout on them again and now I'm going to let them soak for a bit before washing them again.

  • There is a 60% off one full-price item coupon for Michael's, available for today and tomorrow only, so I told my son who was interested in buying an item there.  I printed the coupon for him and he and my daughter drove to Michael's to do some shopping together :)

  • I received a letter from my great aunt. She's having such a hard time walking and I keep on telling her not to reply to me if it's a hardship, but she keeps on replying. She has a great sense of humor, says that her vision is so bad now that it's hard for her to read books or the newspaper so she bakes (she's always been a great pastry baker) and opens her apartment windows to taunt the people outside with the great smells and take her revenge on people who can walk.  She's very lonely, only sees her oldest son on Saturdays.  I feel so bad for her and yet there's nothing I can do about it short of writing her.  I'm not sure that calling her on the phone would work, but maybe I'll try that?

  • I emailed my mom to give her news and ask her for my great aunt's phone number since I don't have it.

  • I looked for a figurine that I could buy to represent my new character (developed last night at the D&D workshop) so I could use it when I play and I found one on Ebay. I went through Swagbucks so I'll earn 1 SB per dollar spent (so 6 SB) and paid via Paypal, where I had a $0.10 credit from MobiSave.  So I paid $6.85 out of pocket after shipping.

  • I texted Middle Son to see if he ever received the offer from Walt Disney World Photography and he did and is going to fill out new hire paperwork next week. Then he'll have to go through all the new hire training like my daughter had to do and apparently they want him to get started ASAP.  This is wonderful news, I'm so happy for him! They'll provide all the equipment, which is good since he still hasn't been able to replace his camera equipment which had been stolen. Right now he's renting a camera from his school, but once he graduates, he won't be able to do that anymore. 

  • For dinner, Greg ate the lunch that I packed for him since he ended up going out with a friend who bought him lunch.  The kids and I had grilled cheese sandwiches.

  • After dinner, Greg, our son and I watched "Hacksaw Ridge". It was extremely violent but pretty good, although I think the story didn't make much sense at times.  Regardless of the movie's weaknesses, to think of what Desmond Doss accomplished during the war,  it leaves you in awe.

  • My Sunpass account was debited for $30.  All those trips to UCF to play D&D are adding up!  I really wish there was a group we could join locally.  Space seems to be an issue as our local game hobby stores are very tiny.

  • Lunch with my friend: about $12 after tip for my meal.

  • D&D figurine on Ebay: $6.85

  • 2 survey reward codes were obtained for taking RaceTrac surveys.
  • "Volo's Guide to Monsters" from Amazon, free after Discover Rewards and Amazon credit.
  • Greg was treated to lunch by a friend of his.

  • Made my bed
  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his breakfast
  • Earned a few Swagbucks
  • Caught up on the news
  • Drove my son to school
  • Aired out the house
  • Did the dishes
  • Composted rotten vegetables
  • Worked on To Do List for today
  • Cleaned the litter boxes
  • Chased squirrel from bird feeder
  • Sprayed wasp nests
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Wrote and mailed 2 postcards
  • Chatted with Daughter
  • Cuddled with a kitten
  • Placed an Amazon order
  • Went to meet a friend for lunch
  • Rented a movie
  • Chatted with Youngest Son
  • Printed new D&D materials
  • Re-treated my pants with stain remover
  • Commented on blogs
  • Emailed my mom
  • Cooked dinner
  • Watched a movie with Greg and our son

  • That Season 3 of Grace & Frankie is now available on Netflix!
  • That Greg still has a job. My friend's husband just lost his for the 3rd time in 2 years :(
  • For a nice lunch with a thoughtful friend.


  • In my own backyard this morning:

How was your Friday?


  1. My Friday was very productive if I do say so! I made a big pot of marinara sauce, some Iowa corn soup and some chocolate chip cookies all from scratch. I also went to Winn Dixie, Aldi's, Publix and Save A Lot. Publix had nothing I wanted and Save A lot did not have the chicken breasts but all in all, everything I bought was on sale/on my list or BOGO. We really need rain too although what little grass I have left is still green. I did mow the other day- I have 1/2 acre which I take care of and I'm also the pool man who is lacking in that job. This morning I have 2 clients to visit but that's about all I HAVE to do. I still haven't got out any Easter decorations so I might do that or not. I was hot last night so it might be time to start running the air conditioning. Last 3 electric bills have been under $60 but that is about to change. Have a nice weekend.

    1. Your electricity bill has been under $60?! With a pool?! Wow! How large is your house?

  2. Hope the kayaking goes well today. As usual, enjoyed your pictures especially the one of the lizard.

    1. I think it was a frog, actually. It was hiding behind one of the decorative shutters! I ended up not going kayaking at all, but I did get on my recumbent bike to make up for it.

  3. Hi Nathalie,
    Just wanted to let you know.. my diet is up and down too ) :. This morning I was back at 4 1/2 lb. lost... I've had really good success with oily stains with Murphys Oil soap. Just pour a little out of the bottle and rub it on. the stain... then put a little water on it rub some more and let it sit overnight.You had offered another code for Shutterfly and I didn't want to be greedy since you shared one with me but if no one asks for it I would love it as I am working on some books as gifts for my kids. Have a good weekend!

    1. I just emailed you the code for the Shutterfly book :) I'm glad you can use it!

      Thanks for the suggestion of using Murphy Oil soap. I don't have that at home but I'll have to look for it. Hopefully the stains will come out during the 2nd wash, but I won't do it until Monday.

      I'm sorry you're having ups and downs with your diet too! I'm wondering why all my motivation went out the window as soon as January was over. Arrgh. I did get on the recumbent bike today but my eating was horrible and I'm hungry all the darn time too! Hopefully we'll both have better results to report at the end of April. I haven't even weighed myself in 2 weeks now, I'm afraid to discover that I've put everything back on!

      Have a great Sunday :)

  4. Sounds like you had a lovely day! Lunch out with a friend is always nice, isn't it? Good thing you have another backpack that your son can use. My daughter used to carry a ton of stuff in her backpack, too, and I was forever patching up holes, etc. But once the straps break, then it's time for a new one. You already have flowers on your jasmine! Mine barely has any buds on it!

    Making yogurt is not complicated. I make it without any yogurt makers. I boil the milk, let it cool until lukewarm, add some plain yogurt as a starter (later, once you have your own yogurt, you can use a little of that as your starter for the next batch), and leave it in a warm place (I heat my oven at the lowest setting and turn it off) for about 8 hrs. or until set. Then, put it in the fridge. I showed one of my cousins how to make it when she came on a holiday from Australia and she says she makes yogurt at home now, every week, and thinks of me! :)

    1. You're right, it's not complicated but it's definitely more involved than I thought it would be. I was thinking I'd just be able to put the milk and starter in the yogurt maker, plug it in, and let it do its magic, but now I have to boil the milk too, let it cool down, etc. It's way more steps than I anticipated, lol. Have I mentioned that I'm lazy?!

      My jasmine flowered overnight, it seemed, and it hasn't rained in a while so I'm not even sure where it got the energy to bloom! I'm sure yours will flower soon too.

  5. We just learned about Grace and Frankie a few weeks ago, so now we are on Episode 8 of Season 1. I'm off to check out Cat and Turtle's post.

    1. I love that show so much... but I have yet to start season 3. I need to rewatch parts of Season 2 (or maybe the whole thing) to remember where it left off!


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!