Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Big Disappointment ~ Wednesday 4/5/17

Let me get the disappointment out of the way so maybe I'll stop being irked about it:  with all the pouring rain we got yesterday afternoon and last night again, my rain barrel collected maybe 1 inch of water!  What?! I inspected it this morning with trepidation, like unwrapping a long wished-for birthday present, and I almost screamed in disbelief and frustration!  All the connections are solid so Greg and I surmise that there must be a bunch of leaves in the gutter. There shouldn't be as he had installed gutter guards but we don't see any other explanation.  So I'm adding a reminder on my To Do List to have him remove the guards and inspect the gutters this weekend.

Today is Shopping Day but since I already went shopping yesterday I really don't feel like going today again. However, there are some things that I do need for dinners, ugh.  I'm trying to psych myself up to go.  There are a lot of little stops I have to do on top of my regular shopping too: go to Petco to get the free bag of cat treats that I'll give to my BFF, go to Bath & Body Works to get the $5 freebie with the coupon that expires soon, go to Dollar Tree... it just makes for a longer trip and I'm not looking forward to it one bit.

It's all warm, humid and wet outside so no sitting on the patio, looking at the birdies today, and no opening the windows for the kitties either. So we're all bummed.

Greg is playing tennis with a co-worker at lunch today, I hope he doesn't twist a knee or something.

Well, let's get this show on the road!

  • Defrost meat for dinner DONE
  • Collect recycling and take to the curbDONE
  • Sweep leaves off the front porch and collect for composting
  • Go shopping 
  • Fold laundry DONE
  • Put laundry away DONE
  • Clean downstairs bathroom sink and mirror, and toilet DONE
  • Clean upstairs bathroom sink and mirror, and toilet
  • Scrub the bathtub 
  • Spray shower with bleach DONE
  • Work on shopping list DONE
  • Clip newly printed coupons DONE
  • Put them away in organizer DONE
  • Declutter the printer stand
  • Refill the self watering bins - it rained  a lot so I won't bother this week
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift
  • Take Youngest Son to get a haircut
  • Clean bathroom ceiling 
  • Clean hallway ceiling right outside the bathroom
  • Make my bed DONE
  • Earn Microsoft Rewards credits DONE
  • Input weight into WHBRHC 
  • Set 15 minute timer and try to accomplish as many chores as possible in that time
  • Unload dishwasher DONE
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER) DONE
  • Take one mattress and the bed to the thrift store?
  • 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 
  • Exercise at least 35 minutes on my bike  (weekdays only) 
  • Clean upstairs litter box  DONE
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ask PEAR Park rangers 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 - get cat resistant screening material?
  • Plant and water the tree
  • 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 and March pictures from phone, Canon camera, and Panasonic camera to external drive
  • Reply to blog comments  DONE
  • Reply to emails
  • 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
  • Vacuum living room
  • Try making yogurt in yogurt maker
  • See if can mend Youngest Son former backpack straps
  • Enter receipts into my spreadsheets DONE
  • Schedule Amex payment
  • Update Net Worth Report spreadsheet in progress (mortgage statement won't be ready until 4/7)
  • Read a library book 
  • Contact IRL friends to schedule coffee/lunch this month
  • Make more hummingbird nectar
  • Submit receipt for rebates DONE
  • Preserve the  garden vegetables that are on my counter
  • Take cuttings of the basil and root them
  • Take cuttings of the jasmine and root them
  • Ask to take cuttings of the neighbor's hibiscus and root them

  • It rained overnight again and even though my rain barrel barely (ha!) collected any rain, all the garden benefitted from the downpour and I hope it rains some more today.

  • 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.

  • My 1st daily goal for Swagbucks is 60 SB once again but I completely forgot to get started on the videos right away so I'm running behind already.

  • I reused an old bread bag to hold and dispose of the contents of the litter box that I cleaned this morning.

  • My new headphones are supposed to come in today. They were highly rated on Amazon. Well, I've already received an email from the supplier in broken English that asked if I've gotten "one of the broken pairs" and assuring me that, if I have, I just need to reply to the email and they'll send me a new one.  Hmm, that doesn't inspire much confidence, does it?  But I guess the customer service is proactive and positive so we'll see.  Update: re-reading the email, what they're actually saying (in bad English) is that should I experience any problem with the headphones, I just need to reply to their email and they'll send me a new pair because they have a lifetime warranty.  This is confirmed by some of the reviews that I had read prior to ordering them :)

  • I earned the maximum of Microsoft Rewards credits for the day (250 credits). Since I was at 5,071 credits yesterday and I only needed 5,250 to be able to order a $5 Amazon gift card, I knew that I'd be able to order one today. However, after completing all the credits, Microsoft Rewards seemed to credit me the points with a dropper, I had to refresh my screen repeatedly and each time would be awarded 5 credits, or 15 credits. This has never happened before!  I eventually reached the desired level for the gift card and ordered it but now I have to monitor my credits and make sure that I get credited for all of them.  Grrr.

  • I had to dig deep into my chest freezer to find the 2 lbs of ground turkey that I wanted to defrost to make the Southwestern Turkey Meatloaf for dinner tonight, but I did find it! I also defrosted half a block of mild cheddar cheese and a block of Monterey Jack cheese that I had saved in there, and a container of cranberry almond chicken salad.  I'm thinking that I might be able to avoid going grocery shopping today...

  • But: I checked the Aldi ad online and oh my!  I'm going to be stocking up on baking supplies as they dropped the prices on a bunch of stuff: butter is $1.99 a lb this week (limit 6), brown sugar is $0.99, cake mixes are $0.79 (easy snack), baking cocoa is $2.19, chocolate chips are $1.49...  and then NEXT week they'll have the deck boxes for $39.99, the same one that I got last year for my patio furniture cushions. I'm thinking about getting 2 of those for my front porch this year, it'll hide the stuff that we're not ready to get rid of yet, and look nicer than the bins I have there right now.  I'll probably also get a new chair cushion (priced at $12.99) to replace the one that's been on my front porch swing for 13 years now and is all faded and gross looking.
This week
This week as well, woohoo!

Next week!
  • I guess that since I'm probably not going shopping today (I mean it's past 9:30 a.m. and I'm still home!), I'll fold my laundry while watching Forensic Files. Also, we're out of the pound cake that I baked on Monday so I'll bake a chocolate cake using one of the cake mixes I bought last night at Publix.

  • It occurred to me, while I was folding the laundry, that I should have waited until the ground turkey was defrosted so I could bake the turkey meatloaf right afterwards while the oven was still hot (I don't want to bake it outside because it's wet and we have more chances of rain).  Darn it!

  • So after I cleaned the bathroom and laid down the shower curtain liner out on the patio to spray it with Soap Scum and let it sit for a while, I put the ground turkey to defrost in the microwave.

  • I scrubbed the liner clean of mildew and hopefully most of the soap scum and then put it in the washing machine with the dirty exercise clothes from yesterday and other dirty laundry that had already accumulated, and washed it in cold/cold with lots of vinegar and laundry soap too.

  • And once the ground turkey was defrosted, I made the meatloaf. I'm excited that I was able to use some of the sofrito cooking base sauce that had been in my fridge for a while, as well as the bottom of 2 old bags of tortilla chips that were past their prime!  I was able to make a large meatloaf and a smaller one, that I'll freeze.

  • I received my new headband headphones and they work fine and I love them!  They're so comfy!  I had my daughter try them on too and she loves them as well so I'm going to order her a pair. I'll ask Youngest Son if he wants one when he gets home. Greg turned me down, he said they "look very 80's". The fool! 

  • They came in a small box, packed in a bubble envelope. I was able to open the envelope carefully so I can reuse it at a later date.

  • I hung the laundry and shower liner outdoors since it was sunny and there was no sign of rain.

  • For lunch, I had leftover pasta, a small cranberry and almond chicken salad on half a flatbread, and half a papaya. Yes, I had to fend the kittens to be able to eat my lunch. Today I decided that enough was enough and I was through sharing. They have expensive kibble in their food bowls that they need to eat. They're cats, darn it!

  • Speaking of which... they might be Jewish cats.  The lure of the challah bread was apparently too much for them. This is the scene I found in the kitchen this morning.

  • I saved the bag from the flatbread to reuse it as a litter box collection bag.

  • There was nothing interesting in the mail save for the new Publix ad, which I saved. I recycled the rest.  I did keep the one envelope that came with an ad for pest control, and I will reuse it to collect pet coupons to donate.

  • While I was standing by my printer, I spotted a greeting card that I had bought some time ago and forgotten about. It was to congratulate someone on their new job and saying that I hope it would help make their dreams come true.  Appropriate and just sweet enough to send to Middle Son!  So I mailed it to him, along with a small cash present that will hopefully help a small dream come true :)

  • I had left the cake to cool off but when I got it out of the pan, it just looked naked. I didn't have any chocolate frosting but I did have a can of pink frosting so I attempted to put frosting on the cake.  Let's just say that I'm never going to qualify for the Great British Baking Show... or any baking contests!  Plus the frosting ended up tasting a little rancid. Arrgh. I made myself a new pot of coffee so it masks the taste of the frosting. Good news for me, though: I don't really care for frosting so I'm definitely much less liable to eat half the cake by myself now!  Update: ugh, that frosting is really disgusting. I think I'm going to tell the kids to scrape it off. I think it's the first time that I've had an unopened can of frosting go rancid on me.  Update: Youngest Son said it didn't taste rancid to him at all and that he loooved it.  Teenagers!
Lol, it looks so bad!

Yeah, Youngest Son didn't care about how it looked... 
  • I received an email from Amazon stating that the D&D manual that I had pre-ordered and received yesterday had a pre-order guarantee and that since the price had dropped by $4.37 since I had ordered it, I was charged the lower price.  However, I checked my records and I had paid for the order mostly with Amazon Chase Visa Rewards and a small ($2.01) balance from a gift card. So I sent them an email asking them how I would get the $4.37 back since they had deducted those amounts when I had placed the order.  They replied to me within minutes:

  • I noticed that the Swagbucks automatic videos had stopped playing so I checked my ledger and I met my 1st daily goal. Yippee!

  • My son came home and tried my headphones and loved them. Actually both he and my daughter went up to my bedroom to try my headphones on my new mattress since they hadn't tried it yet and they loved the mattress as well, lol.  So I ordered 2 pairs of headphones on Amazon.  I applied $7.01 in gift cards and $2.48 in Amazon Rewards points so my OOP was just $12.49 and I'll earn 5% back in Amazon Rewards on that.  I didn't pick the "No Rush Shipping" because I'd figured that I didn't need the $1 digital credit.

  • Publix customers!  We can earn a $5 Publix gift card by mail up to 6 times per household, through September 2017, when we spend $20 on participating Unilever ice cream brands! See this site for more details. Pay attention to the details, you will need to upload your receipts (purchases from 4/1 through 9/30/17) to the site with the purchases and price circled and you only get credited for what you paid for.  Also it seems that you have to "cash out" to actually receive the gift cards, they're not sent automatically.  Read the rules carefully!  I printed them and will keep them in my coupon organizer.  I wish it had started last week when I unwittingly paid close to $10 on Ben & Jerry's ice cream!
  • I clipped the coupons from the library inserts and those that I had printed as well. Tabby Kitten was very interested in that so I threw the paper clippings on the floor as I was clipping and he had a great time playing with those :)
"My paper scraps!"
  • I set aside many pet coupons for the South Lake Animal League thrift store and also some for my BFF.

  • I harvested some grape tomatoes and a couple of serrano peppers.  I need to remember to preserve them (probably by freezing them).  Adding this to my To Do List...

  • Since the weather was nice, Youngest Son walked to the library and will walk back home too.

  • In submitting my Walgreens receipt for a MobiSave rebate ($0.25 off paper towels), I noticed that I had earned 40 BR points on my purchase, which allowed me to reach exactly 5,000 BR points.  Yay!  I now have a $5 merchandise credit that I can use.

  • So I submitted several receipts for rebates. Nothing huge, $0.25 off paper towels (MobiSave), $0.25 off any item (Ibotta, applied to pasta), $0.25 off apples (Save A Lot).  MobiSave and Ibotta credited my accounts right away.  Checkout 51 refunded me a little while later.

  • I entered my receipts from the past week into all my spreadsheets and tracked my expenses in detail, as usual.

  • I took a Panda Express survey and earned a reward code for a free entree item with the purchase of a 2-entree plate.

  • Then I took 2 RaceTrac surveys and received 2 survey reward codes that will get me 2 new freebies.

  • At 5:30 p.m, I did the dishes.  Greg loves coming home to a clean sink but it'll never happen unless I do the dishes at the last minute and I'm not cooking that night. I had already cooked the meatloaf so I put it back in the oven at 250F to warm it up.

  • I froze the smaller one. Since I didn't want to freeze it in the baking dish, I tried to take it out in 2 pieces but it was very crumbly so I ended up labeling the (reused) plastic zipper bag with "SW Meatloaf, use for shepherd's pie".

  • Dinner was good. It was actually quite of bland so I added salsa verde to mine and then fresh cilantro and it was better :)

  • After dinner Middle Son called me to catch up. Since he's now a Disney Cast Member, he offered to sign me in once he gets his employee pass so we can go shooting pictures and he can give me my photography lesson there. Woohoo! I requested that we go to EPCOT because that is my favorite park. But Animal Kingdom would work too, especially to practice taking pictures of fauna, right?  Right.  He's still in the middle of training.  Since he doesn't know what shifts he'll be getting yet, he hasn't quit his part-time job with Enterprise and hopes that he can keep both jobs because he's really enjoying working for Enterprise.

  • Then Greg and I watched several episodes of "Seinfeld".

  • $40 mailed to Middle Son towards his new camera fund as a spontaneous gift.
  • Amazon: $12.48 (2 pairs headband headphones for the kids).

  • I earned a $5 Amazon gift card from Microsoft Rewards.
  • I found a coupon for a free sample size tube of Super Poligrip in one of the library inserts (if I can find it, I'll donate it).

  • Middle Son offered to sign me in to Disney for free once he gets his employee pass.

  • Prepped Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Drove Youngest Son to school
  • Took the recycling down to the curb for collection
  • Greeted my neighbor and chatted about the weather
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Made my bed
  • Unloaded the dishwasher and drying rack and right-side of the sink
  • Rinsed and organized the dirty dishes
  • Chatted with Greg
  • Checked on the rain barrel (grr)
  • Worked on my Rewards programs
  • Baked a cake
  • Folded the laundry
  • Put some laundry away
  • Cleaned downstairs bathroom (mirror, sink, toilet bowl)
  • Sprayed shower with bleach and scrubbed
  • Replaced shower stall liner
  • Sprayed old liner and scrubbed
  • Put in washing machine with rest of dirty clothes
  • Made the turkey meatloaf
  • Hung the laundry to dry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Tested my new headphones
  • Chatted with my daughter
  • Frosted the cake
  • Brought the recycling bins up to the house
  • Checked the mail
  • Mailed a card to Middle Son
  • Clipped coupons
  • Had my son try my headphones
  • Placed an Amazon order
  • Put coupons away for thrift store and for BFF
  • Put coupons away in my organizer
  • Photographed the garden
  • Harvested some veggies
  • Brought the laundry back indoors
  • Provided reference photos for daughter
  • Input receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Froze second meatloaf
  • Set the dinner table
  • Heated up dinner
  • Fed the kittens
  • Did the dinner dishes!  (YES!)
  • Packed leftovers for Greg tomorrow
  • Chatted with Middle Son
  • Watched a show with Greg

  • That we didn't get any of the huge hail storm that hit North of Orlando!
  • That I didn't have to go shopping today after all :)
  • That Amazon credited me the price difference of my order

  • I didn't spend any time outside this morning so I'm referring you, once again to Cat and Turtle's latest post, this one about what she saw on Fort De Soto Beach. I had never heard of a calico crab! Pixel, this might have to become my next photographic goal & obsession!  If only I could convince Greg to go to the beach...

  • Later on...  I went outside to gather the small amount of laundry that had been drying and a hummingbird was feeding! Ugh, I didn't have my camera and the sun was shining right behind the feeder (from where I was) anyway, but it put me in the mood to be outside for a bit and take photos.  My alternative was to either do the dishes or input my receipts in my spreadsheets so I was really happy to be outside, even though it was hot, lol.  No birds returned during the small amount of time I was out there, but I did take some photos of parts of my garden.

The rain helped some of the verbena come back to life, yay!

Guest basil plants in the pot where one of my pineapples is growing 

Another guest vinca growing in between my pavers is flowering!

When was the last time you were really disappointed?


  1. I lost a day this week- it seems like Friday to me! I saw the Aldi's ad too and might go later. I have 4 or 5 pounds of butter but that price is too good to not buy more. It freezes right? Little sis said to not make any goodies for her for the weekend- she is still low carbing but I'm going to make some cinnamon rolls regardless- all the nephews like them. I keep a starter I feed weekly in my fridge and use that. I imagine we will find some festival to attend- there's always something going on in this town! So your middle son is going to work at Disney. My grandsons are hoping to be beach lifeguards- both have gone to lifeguard camp since they were 6 and love the water. You have to be 16 to be a junior lifeguard so that will be oldest one next summer. They are walking distance which is nice. Now I need to do some notes- I visited 4 clients yesterday so slowly working through my list.

    1. I felt the same way! It feels like tomorrow should be Saturday. Yes, butter freezes very well. I didn't go shopping again today.

      Middle Son is going to work as a Game Day Sports Photographer at ESPN Wide World of Sports for the summer. He hopes that he'll have a foot in the door to move into a more permanent photography position in one of the other branches of WDW.

      Being a lifeguard is a tough job, kudos to your grandsons! I didn't know they had lifeguard camp for kids as young as 6!

  2. I know those kittens can be oh so annoying, but they are so cute. Loved the picture of Tabby Kitty in the paper.

    1. He's very lucky he's cute because of the three, he's the biggest handful for sure!

  3. I am sitting here laughing at your iced cake! Bundt cakes are so hard to ice nicely. I just melt the frosting a little bit and drizzle it over the cake. But, your son sure liked it! :)

    1. Yes, that would have been the smart thing to do, wouldn't it?! It never occurred to me to melt the frosting! I'm completely ignorant in matters of cake decorating and I don't have the patience for it anyway, but I could have nuked it for a minute and done what you said, I'll have to remember that trick, thanks!

  4. I had to laugh out loud at Jewish cats - too funny!

    Getting a photo of a calico crab seems like a perfectly normal obsession to me...just like the egret-on-a-cow obsession. LOL. I'd never heard of them, either, but they look very pretty!

    1. I tried to spot an emu on a llama for you this past weekend, as we passed a pasture that had emus AND llamas in it, but the emus weren't collaborating...


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