Saturday, March 11, 2017

Start of Spring Break ~ Saturday 3/11/17

The kids are now officially on Spring Break for a little over a week and I have nothing planned.  Spring Break tends to be busy in Florida and none of us like crowds, so we traditionally pretty much stay home.  This works out well since we're all homebodies!  My daughter told me she had lots of school work to do. She might go to her dad's next weekend so she can go to the Blue Man Group concert that he invited her to attend.  Youngest Son doesn't have much school work to do, which is a nice change!

He and his sister have been talking about attending MegaCon in Orlando in May together. I'm so glad they get along so well, they're both nerds who have differing nerd affinities (she loves Pokemon Go and various animé series, he enjoys My Little Pony,  LARP'ing and Dungeons & Dragons) and they rag on each other, which is very funny, but they also have so much fun together. I think my son might even end up missing my daughter more than I will when she goes to college!

Today is the day that Greg has designated as "Bringing Down the Enclosed Front Porch" Day. Well, he isn't taking down the whole front porch, just the screened in enclosure since the frame of it is wood that is rotten.  We are planning on taking the debris to the county dump this afternoon and I want to try and stop by the major bass tournament that is taking place nearby on the Harris Chain of Lakes and being filmed for the NBC Sports Channel to see if there's anything interesting to see!

My own plan for the day, since Greg never lets me help him with anything, is to continue reading "Heartbreak Hotel" by Jonathan Kellerman (I started it last night) and possibly watch more of "The Crown" on Netflix (if I end up not liking the book).  I'm not planning on doing any chores at all, so there.  I just realized that I was supposed to cook a yummy dinner for tonight, forgetting that Youngest Son and I are driving to East Orlando to play Dungeons & Dragons with a bunch of college students (I presume, as the location is near UCF) whom we've never met.  As much as I was looking forward to playing D&D 2 weeks ago when we last tried, I'm dreading it now!  It's that dumb social anxiety, I guess. It woke me up last night and I had a hard time falling back asleep.  I don't like meeting new people and it's going to be painfully obvious, when I look at everyone else's pictures on the Meet-Up session page, that of the 7 people who signed up to play tonight, Youngest Son and I don't match the demographics, an older woman and a young teen.  I'd feel better if I knew what the heck I'm doing, but, despite playing the game twice already, I've forgotten almost all of it (and it's complex!) and I worry about annoying everyone.  Arrgh.

I think I'll skip posting my To Do List for today and give us all a break from it :)

  • It was nice and cool when the kittens finally succeeded in getting me to wake up, at 7:30 a.m., so I turned off the AC (which didn't come on last night, after all) and opened the windows. Since then, my kittens, who'd been running everywhere like crazy?  They've all fallen asleep in various spots.  Arrgh.

  • SavingStar credited my account for the $1.00 off the Big G cereal boxes I bought on Thursday. Sweet!

  • My 1st SB goal is only 50 SB and I should be able to reach the 2,200 SB threshold today that will allow me to order a gift card. And then?  I'm not going to worry about Swagbucks for the rest of the month (she says, but she'll probably still run the automatic videos because they're automatic!)

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • I entered yesterday's bike ride and my weight into Walgreens BRHC (thanks, Sandie!) and earned 60 BR points.

  • Greg borrowed a free e-book from Amazon about the Seminole Wars in Florida.  I also found him a free 60-page pdf from the Florida Department of State that details the Seminole Wars Heritage Trail. We might make sure we hit some of those locations in our travels around the state for hikes.

  • I saved the inner bag from the cereal box that I finished this morning to reuse it as a freezer bag.

  • I reused a bread bag to clean the upstairs litter box.

  • I was able to redeem 2,200 SB to order a $25 Walmart gift card that I will use for groceries, woohoo!

  • It's still lovely outside at 10 a.m. so I'm grabbing a glass of Diet Coke and my library book and heading to the back patio.

  • I'm next updating this blog at 11:27 p.m.!  It had published automatically at 10:30 and I got home at 10:31 p.m. and I had to revert it to draft in to order to finish it. Sorry about that!  So here is how the rest of the day went...

  • I read my book on the back patio for a couple of hours.  Meanwhile, Greg took the crowbar to the front porch:

  • It really didn't take him long and I had suggested he backed the truck up so he could just load the debris in the truck bed as he went along so he did... and promptly lost his crowbar so that probably ended up at the dump as well as he never found it after that!  I thought his plan would be to enclose the new deck that he will install over the tiled area, but he said he wasn't planning on enclosing it at all.  The one problem is that the step to the right leads to the entrance we use for the house, and the door doesn't close very well and tends to open... it's not a problem when we're home because we always lock it, but if I'm coming and going with the groceries, sometimes it pops open on its own... and the kittens can get inquisitive. And now there won't be a porch to contain them anymore.  So we're going to have to be extra careful. Otherwise, I do like it, it's nice not to have to battle with our old porch door that was tricky and not to have the rotten wood staring at us every time we come home!  We are going to get rid of a lot of the things that are sitting there, I just need to find a new place to store them or to donate them.

  • I told Greg that the new 5% in bonus Discover Rewards, starting on April 1, will be for Home Improvement Stores, so we agreed he would wait until April to buy the decking materials.

  • So after he did that, we had lunch and then he and I drove to the county dump in Tavares. I was along for the ride but didn't even have to get out of the truck. It cost us $10 to dump the stuff. Not bad!

  • Evidently the bass tournament wasn't taking place  in Tavares, as I thought, but in Leesburg, so we didn't get to see any of it. Oh well.

  • I had told Youngest Son that I'd take him to Michael's before leaving for our D&D game tonight but then promptly forgotten about it so he asked his sister to take him.  They got to spend some time together goofing around and he bought some craft supplies for his miniature building activities.

  • We drove back to town and stopped by Publix to get the kids subs for dinner and some candy for my son (and me) for the trip to D&D.  We could get a 20 oz Coke bottle for $1.50 off with the purchase of a turkey sandwich and since I was buying a turkey sandwich for my daughter, I treated myself to a 20 oz bottle of Caffeine Free Diet Coke for just $0.39 after coupon.  

  • I also got some cash from the ATM while we were there.  The ATM fee will be refunded to us by USAA.

  • When we got home, I settled on the couch with my library book (which was pretty good!) and my Sour Patch Kids and enjoyed some more downtime while Greg was washing his truck in the backyard. I had asked him, again, to try to get the hose unhooked from the faucet so I could use the hose reel, but then I forgot to ask if he did it.

  • Middle Son called me at about 3 p.m. to find out if he could come over and visit tonight but I had to tell him that I wasn't going to be here. Since our D&D game was actually less than 1 mile from his dad's house, and he's kind of geeky too, I asked if he wanted to come play with us but he said he'd been watching Star Trek so he was all geeked out for the day. Oh well. I asked him to come over next week but he's going to Savannah with his dad.

  • Youngest Son and I left at about 5 p.m.  We drove to East Orlando where we met the other members of the D&D Meet-Up.  It was.... interesting!  They were all college students and all very knowledgeable about D&D.  They were all very nice but light years ahead of us and spoke very very fast of very very nerdy things that went so much over my head that I thought they were speaking a difference language!  And then, halfway through the game, the store owner brought this huge box of glazed donuts over and offered our group some and they each got two and I thought "They're already so hyper and now they're being fed SUGAR!"  My son and I declined the donuts. I was afraid that between my cluelessness and the sugar, I'd fall into a coma :)  At 9 p.m. I thought the game was over but apparently they were just taking a short break and I had had enough so we asked to be excused since we had a long drive home.  But we did have a good time, although if we return, I'll bring a book and let my son play. He was excellent with me and enjoyed himself!  He was so patient and explained everything to be when I didn't understand and just told me what to do, hahaha.

  • On the way home, we stopped by McDonald's and got us a meal. Yeah, my diet has been shot to hell once again.  Maybe I shouldn't even get on the scale tomorrow morning. Sigh.  I did use a $2.00 of $10.00 coupon from my app, and paid with Amazon Visa for 2% back in Rewards.

  • So between all the Diet Coke and the candy and then  a very sweet tea from McDonald's, I'm wide awake at almost midnight! I've already changed the clocks.  I still have a little bit of my library book to finish and then I'll head up to bed.    It was a very good day :)

  • My daughter had neglected to tell her dad that she wasn't planning on going to his house next week and he was mad, as I would have been, when he found out because he had bought her a ticket for Busch Gardens on Monday and the Blue Man Group concert on Friday.  So now she's going to be driving to his house tomorrow night to go to Busch Gardens with them on Monday, will come back home on Monday night, and then  will drive back there on Friday. I also think it was very inconsiderate of her not to let him know in advance. It irks me when my kids do things like these.

  • County Dump: $10 for construction debris
  • Publix:  $13.67 (food)
  • Tolls to drive to East Orlando and back (no clue how much!)
  • $1.00 for bottle of water at D&D game
  • McDonald's: $8.52 (dinner son and myself)

  • Greg downloaded a free e-book from Amazon

  • Fed the cats
  • Worked on Rewards programs
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Commented on blogs
  • Located a resource for Greg
  • Cleaned the upstairs litterbox
  • Redeemed points for a gift card
  • Read my library book
  • Went to the dump with Greg
  • Went to Publix
  • Read some more
  • Talked to Middle Son on the phone
  • Went to play D&D with Youngest Son
  • Chatted with Greg
  • Chatted with my daughter

  • For a beautiful day, library books to read, a comfortable set of patio furniture, a husband willing to take down our rotten porch and friendly college students tonight.
Love seeing pollinators on my flowers!

That rose is getting ready to bloom!
Did you have a nice Saturday?


  1. Sounds like you had a full day! Greg did a good job taking down the porch! Too bad about his crowbar, though. I'm glad you and youngest son enjoyed your D&D evening. :) Don't feel bad about having McDonald's for dinner. I had pizza! And chocolate pudding! :D

    1. I'm happy to hear you seem to have your appetite back!

  2. I was going to ask about the D&D game but you posted the answer- glad you made it through it! We're all excited about spring break here- it's earlier this year! I'll still have my phone on to field questions but no actual work until Thursday will be done. I did make tuna and now have that to finish. It was just OK. I'm looking forward to some Disney food. Someone asked me if we would be going to the expensive GF restaurant- unlikely LOL. Granddaughter and I facetimed yesterday- she's so cute and was wearing a Moana (not sure if that was spelled correctly)dress my daughter bought her from the Disney store. She's real girly- will be 3 in May. In fact she was born on her aunt's (my older daughter's birthday). DD gave me her amazon PW so I can watch that Disney movie haha. I guess she purchased it. PS I loved the Crown- there is going to be a season 2 also. I've been watching Rectify on Netflix. I can't get any local channels at all so I pay for Hulu and the kids gave me Netflix. I'll never pay for cable again- streaming is great. I've had my Roku almost 3 years.

    1. I read that Netflix actually authorized all SIX seasons that the director had envisioned for "The Crown" and that the series will end in 1955. So I guess this means I'm stuck having to renew Netflix for 5 more years, lol. I kind of want to watch "Rectify" but kind of not. I've been on the fence about it for quite a while. Have you tried using a digital antenna for local channels? I used to have one of those flat square white ones that you stick in the window (I bought the Amazon brand some something like $24) and it worked great when we still had single pane windows. Since getting all the windows replaced with the double pane kind, we couldn't get any signal with the antenna in the window (too many things in the way of the signal, we have large trees everywhere in the neighborhood), so I bought a remote controlled outdoor digital antenna. It was quite inexpensive (I can't remember but I think less than $75 total) and Greg just stuck in on a 2x4 planted at the front corner of our house. Since we're on a crawl space, he just ran the power cable and cable that hooks up to the TV under the house. It works wonderfully, we get so many OTA channels even living 40 miles away from Orlando, from where most of the TV stations broadcast the signals (we also get some Tampa stations). Between that, Netflix and Amazon Prime (which we rarely use), we have not needed cable. Greg did splurge for the NFL Ticket last year via the Roku (I can't remember which channel) but with my Oldest Son's help who was still a college student at the time, we were able to save $100 off the price. Greg enjoyed it last year but this year he quit football-watching altogether so no bemoaning not being able to watch his Detroit Lions at all and it's been quite nice to be able to go hiking every weekend instead of being stuck with football on from morning to night on both Saturdays and Sundays, lol.

      Have fun at WDW! We're trading places as Youngest Son and I will be heading to St Augustine for just one day this week :)

  3. Pretty rose! The porch looks great and I can see how nice it will be to have a deck. But I'd be nervous about the kittens, too -- they can be fast!

    I had to laugh at your report about D&D. I can not keep anything that is happening in that game in my head so I'm pretty much a failure. But I'm glad your son had fun and that the group is a nice one.

    1. D&D is super challenging for me. I don't know how people can play this game seriously unless they're completely obsessed with it, which most of them seemed to be, hahaha.

  4. You have my respect for attending a D&D game meet with your son. I'd be lost...the last time I played video games was when Mario Brothers came out. That was when...25, 30 years ago?

    You are lucky to have a husband who is handy around the house. All the houses that Dave and I lived in have been new houses, so we've been spoiled by not having any major maintenance issues.

    1. Super Mario Brothers! My favorite video game! Yeah, 30+ years ago now. Youngest Son and I are going to 2 D&D events this week. The 1st one will be a workshop for new players so I'm hoping to pick up information I had missed so far. I'm sure it won't be helpful to my son who already knows how to play but you never know. Then on Sunday we're going to play again but this time we're starting from the beginning and no one will be at a character level above ours, which I hope will help. It'd be nice if there wasn't that much geekspeak going on because my son is going to get sick of translating everything for me pretty quickly, I think!

      And I'd rather have newish houses without maintenance issues, to tell you the truth. Greg muddles through but sometimes it feels very slap-dash if you know what I mean.


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