Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Not Very Productive Day ~ Thursday 4/6/17

The day didn't start right at all.

First of, I was excited to go to bed with my new headband headphones last night, so much so that when I caught myself in the process of lying down on the couch right before 10 p.m. to continue watching "Forensic Files" on TV and probably fall asleep in the process, I announced to Greg that I was going to bed and I watched "Forensic Files" on my Kindle Fire with my new headphones. They worked like a charm, the only annoyance is that the electronic parts themselves aren't sewn in the sleeve that is the headband, presumably so you can adjust their position but then they keep sliding back towards the opening when you take them off, put them on, etc. Not a huge deal, I saw a "fix" in one of the reviews on Amazon (sewing a quick couple of stitches to keep them in place) so I need to add that to my To Do List.

Anyhoo, I fell asleep with them on, woke up a little while later and put everything away, and went back to sleep. At some point the weather alarm radio that we keep in the master bedroom started blaring a siren!  I rushed to the bedroom where I found Greg pounding on whatever keys to make it stop (note to self: move weather radio to my bedroom!) and he announced that there was a tornado warning in effect until 6 a.m.  I wanted to hear specifically where since warnings are usually issued when they've actually spotted a tornado but he kept on hitting the keys willy-nilly (he always does that with electronics and it bothers the crap out of me) so before we got into a fight, I decided to go back to bed and check the weather alerts on my phone.  By the time I checked the map on NOAA and saw that most of Central and Northern Florida were under tornado WATCH until 8 a.m., I was wide awake. It was just past 12:30 a.m.!  So I put "Forensic Files" back on and fell back asleep again. A while later I woke up to use the bathroom and put everything away.

I had an uncomfortable night tossing and turning, probably anxiety and thirst because of dinner last night, and I do keep water on my bedstand but I couldn't seem to make myself wake up enough to actually take a sip. Weird, huh?  At some point I heard noises and I thought it was the kittens making a ruckus around the room so I yelled at them to quit it, but then I saw lightning through the curtains and I realized the noise had been thunder and lightning. It was just after 6 a.m. so I just checked the NOAA map again, realized that the tornado threat had been lifted, cuddled with the kittens a bit, and then got up.

 It had obviously rained last night because everything is wet again.  I hope my rain barrel caught some of it.  School drop-off was horrendous today.  First of, an idiot almost succeeded in running me off the road when he decided that the regular lane to go straight was too busy for him, proceeded to pass everyone by using the right turning lanes lane instead and tried (and succeeded only because I had to slam on the brakes) to muzzle in between the car in front of me and my SUV.  As I said, the roads were slick and the traffic is semi-heavy heading in to the high school so this was a very dangerous situation. I leaned on my horn and didn't let out for at least 10 seconds.  The next left turn was to go to the high school but he went straight. I suspect it was a  high schooler who decided not to tempt his fate by turning in front of me because he couldn't have escaped me then, there's nowhere else to go, pretty much, as very few people usually continue on straight on that road at that time of day (there's another road that they can take to go that direction that doesn't have all that traffic at this time of day).  Anyhoo, I had tried to take a picture of the license plate but my windshield was covered in rain and he was hitting his brakes to avoid the cars in front of him and my camera didn't shoot.  So I tried memorizing the license plate number and my son texted it to me.

At the high school, there were way more people dropping off their kids than usual at the same time and all the morons seemed to be out at the same time today. The rain must be causing this even though it wasn't raining anymore!  People were double parked in the drop off lanes because, once again, they didn't want their precious children to walk the extra 100 ft that dropping them off in the proper lane would entail, people were dropping off their kids in the middle of the access road, where there aren't any streetlights and the kids were crossing the road to get to the high school in the dark, outside of any crosswalks, people speeding in the school zone... it was all very dangerous and ridiculous!  There are never any police or school administrators making sure that everyone follows the laws and rules and I'm sick of it.

By the time I got home, I was preoccupied with the radio report that one of the toll roads that Greg takes to go to work had apparently been shut down in both directions because of a major accident, so I forgot to stop by the police station to enquire as to what could be done about the guy who nearly ran me off the road, and now that I'm one, I don't want to deal with it anymore and I feel guilty about it because maybe this guy will end up killing someone some day.  But I don't need all that stress.  Ugh.

So now I'm thinking that perhaps today isn't the best day for me to be out and about shopping and that I'll probably go tomorrow instead.

What a long, stressful introduction to today's post, I'm sorry. There are days like these.  I can only imagine the stories that Bless and those of you who commute in very dense traffic, could tell.

The good news is that we didn't get any tornadoes, I did get some sleep, no one was hurt, my son got to school on time, and the toll road is closed near Disney, which isn't anywhere close to where Greg is going.

Greg just dropped off Princess on the couch. He's been washing his hair with Pert shampoo for the past couple of days and she goes nuts: as soon as he comes out of the bedroom and sits at the kitchen table to make his breakfast, she jumps on his shoulders and rubs herself all over his head and beard and starts chewing on his hair while purring!  She's always been a hair chewer but this is a whole new level of silly, lol. She ran after him as soon as he walked away from the couch. Silly girl!

Ok, on to see what awaits me today if I don't go shopping (I may change my mind!)

  • Defrost meat for dinner DONE
  • Sweep leaves off the front porch and collect for composting
  • Go shopping 
  • Fold the last of the laundry DONE
  • Put laundry away DONE
  • Clean upstairs bathroom sink and mirror, and toilet
  • Scrub the bathtub 
  • 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  DONE
  • 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) 
  • 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  
  • Reply to emails in progress
  • 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
  • Schedule Amex card payment DONE
  • 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
  • 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
  • Move weather radio to my bedroom DONE
  • Sew headphones in place

  • Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school.  He has an AP Study Group session after school today so I will go pick him up.  If the roads are still slick, I won't have him drive. Plus, I don't think he brought his driver's license with him.

  • I started the Swagbucks automatic videos and remembered to leave my laptop running while I took my son to school. My 1st Daily Goal today is 70 SB.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I defrosted 2 bottom round steaks that I'll use for the stir-fry tonight. Crap, I had meant to defrost 4 sirloin pork chops instead!  Oh well, beef stir-fry it'll be instead of pork.  Since I'm not going shopping, I don't have any broccoli (although I might have some in the freezer, I need to check) so I'll use collard greens instead since I have a big bag of those.  I feel like making mock Zuppa Toscana for lunch. Well, I should say I feel like having that for lunch but I wish someone else would cook it for me, lol.

  • I received a very short email from my younger brother (the one from Paris) asking me for the URL of the French blog that I had started and if I still posted on it.  I told him I hadn't updated it since March 2, as no one seemed to be reading it but offered to keep posting on it. I ended up sending him a longish email asking him for news of everyone (it's always interesting to hear people's different perspectives on the various drama in the family!) but, being a man, he probably won't answer and my SIL stays out of it (smart woman!) so she's no help :)

  • While moving the weather radio to my bedroom and inspecting what is in the drawers of my nightstand, I found 2 electronic gadgets that I don't use anymore (a radio that's also an iPhone 4 and older charger and you can listen to music from your phone on it, and an old Timex alarm clock) so I put them in the donation box to take to the thrift store.

  • I spotted a squirrel eating from the cardinal feeder so I ventured outside to chase him off.  It's humid but we have a "cold front" coming in that's going to drop the temperatures by 20 degrees by the end of the day so I think I'll open the windows later on.  Anyhoo, the yard was full of the calls of birds, I wanted to sit there so much. But it's very overcast, wet, and I have chores to do.

  • I inspected the rain barrel: since no new water collection!  What the heck?!  So I took apart the gutter downspout and it's clear, the connection to to the barrel (clear), put everything back together.  Then I climbed on a chair, slipped my hand underneath the gutter guard so see if I could find any obstruction in the gutter and felt around a little (I was a little spooked by the possibility of touching a snake or some other critter that might have decided to make a nest in there (ants!) so I didn't do it too much) but didn't seem to feel anything.   There were some leaves in the V curve of the roof so I thought maybe the water flow was interrupted at that point and I cleared it. Although, the water would be running from the whole surface of the roof so that's a silly thought, but you never know.  Arrrgh, once again I feel frustrated.  It's supposed to be raining again in about an hour if I believe the weather app (I don't).

The kittens were like "What are you doing out there?!"
  • The roofers are hard at work on the house that's being built kind of caddy corner from ours so, sitting in the living room, I can hear a lot of hammering, although our double-pane windows are doing a good job of dulling the sound.  So I guess I'll turn the TV on or put on some music.  "Forensic Files", anyone?!  Oh shoot, I just realized that I completely missed the Wednesday Law & Order marathon yesterday!  Poop.

  • I was wrong about my brother, he did reply to me and gave me a little bit of news. His brother-in-law, who lives in Munich with his wife and kids, is moving back to France, apparently.  His kids are little (they were less than 5 a couple of years ago, I think) are tri-lingual.  He speaks French to them, his wife (who is from Colombia or Argentina, I think, I don't remember, but a South American country) speaks Spanish to them, and they'd lived in Germany since they were born so they're fluent in German.  How wonderful!  It's a lot of work for the parents though, I wasn't able to do this with my own kids, I felt, because it would have been confusing to speak only French to them but then English to my husband(s) and everyone else. But now I regret it and my kids are pissed at me for not teaching them. Well, you know, my dad only knew Polish until he was 5 and was sent to school in France, but forgot all about it and never taught me either. I survived :) And I learned English in school and college and by moving over here. My two older boys picked Spanish as their high school foreign language but didn't stick with it past the credits having been earned, and my daughter and Youngest Son picked French. My daughter is keeping with the reading part of it somewhat but not at all with the speaking,  and we both get frustrated when I try to engage her in French conversation so we rarely do it.  We'll see how Youngest Son does! He starts in mid-May.  Anyhoo, my brother promised that he would visit the French blog regularly so I guess I have to start updating it again. Maybe I'll do that today.

  • Well it's now 2:13 p.m. and I have done nothing else than update my French blog. He'd better read it!  LOL.

  • For lunch I had the leftover pasta from 2 nights ago, with the rest of the jar of pesto. I didn't have any protein because I had chicken salad sandwiches for breakfast.  I'm about to have papaya now, while the kittens are sleeping. Wanna bet they'll smell it anyway?

  • Meanwhile, I did reach my 1st Daily Swagbucks goal.

  • And I printed a Kellogg's coupon.

  • And I told Daughter I want her to make me this cake!

  • And Middle Son texted me because he's still doing Operations training at Disney and today he walked through the old Walt Disney Feature Animation building where I used to work. He said the area where my desk was located was dark so I told him that in my dreams, they're holding my job and my desk for when they reopen the Walt Disney Feature Animation, Florida Studio :)  I wish.

  • I suppose I should look at my To Do List and see what I can accomplish before Greg gets home. Anything I can do from the comfort of the couch?  Pay credit card bills?  I can do that...

  • I reconciled my Amex statement with my records and scheduled the credit card payment online.

  • My daughter called me to say she needed to get gas but the RaceTrac gas station was out of order so she wanted to know if I wanted her to get gas in our neck of the woods instead.  Gas had shot up by a lot in the past week so I told her to go to Wawa in Clermont instead, which has the same price as our regular RaceTrac station.  She paid $2.399 a gallon!  It was just $2.159 last week!  Anyhoo, when she gave me the receipt, I noticed that we can also earn a freebie by taking a survey, which is new since the last time I got gas there, several months ago. However, I still prefer RaceTrac:
    1. I don't have a prescribed timeframe to take the RaceTrac surveys; Wawa wants me to take the surveys within 5 days
    2. RaceTrac doesn't require me to provide my email address to get the reward; Wawa does
    3. RaceTrac provides me with a code to write on the receipt; Wawa wants me to waste my ink and paper to print a coupon
    4. RaceTrac survey reward codes don't expire; Wawa's coupon expires in one week.
    5. RaceTrac's survey reward codes are good for either a baked good, a hot grill roller item, or a medium fountain drink; Wawa's is good for an any size hot beverage or fountain drink only.

  • Youngest Son texted me to go pick him up a little earlier than we had planned. Apparently the AP Study Group is just the teacher giving the kids the "review books" and having them "study as they want" and then she's there for questions. Other kids were being loud and my son was having a hard time concentrating on his studying so he decided to leave early. Back home, we discussed that since he already has the review book at home, he won't be attending the Study Group anymore and will instead study at home. However, there will be a couple of times a week when I will go pick him up from school after most of the students have already been picked up so he can practice driving home.

  • Then I had him drive us home. He did mostly well, but we had to review which lane to turn into when you're turning into a one-way 2-lane road from a 2-way road and vice versa as he was confused.

  • I took (2) RaceTrac surveys and earned 2 survey reward codes.

  • Youngest Son decided to walk to the library for his D&D game. I texted Greg to ask him to plan on picking him up on his way home and he agreed.  But then no one came to his game again so he walked home :(

  • My timing is off... I should have vacuumed the living room when the kittens were being rowdy. Now I want to vacuum but they're taking a nap... in the living room!  So instead I folded and put away the laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, and located broccoli in the freezer for dinner tonight.

  • I entered my weight into Walgreens' BRHC for the past 3 days and earned 60 BR points.

  • Save A Lot sent me a coupon for $1.00 off a bag of Klondike Rose potatoes.

  • For dinner, I made Orange Ginger Beef Stir-Fry.  I used 2 bottom round steaks that I had bought on 50% off clearance, some broccoli I had bought on sale at Aldi and frozen, sliced mini peppers bought last year on sale at Aldi and frozen, and the rest of the spinach and mandarins that I had saved from last week after my failed spinach mandarin salad.  I used some of the orange ginger stir fry sauce that I had bought at Aldi last year, and I made white rice in the microwave.  I hope it's good. Those kinds of recipes rarely turn out for me!  Update: Greg liked it, the rest of us thought it was OK.

  • After dinner, Greg and I watched a few episodes of Seinfeld.

  • Wawa: $15.99 (gas for family car)

  • My daughter got free snacks and a bottle of water at her state college today.

  • Fed the kittens
  • Prepped Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Drove my son to school
  • Researched road closure for Greg
  • Cuddled with kittens
  • Defrosted meat for dinner
  • Replied to my brother's email
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Made my bed
  • Made Greg's bed
  • Moved the weather radio to my bedroom
  • Put 2 electronic items in the donation box to take to the thrift store
  • Chased a squirrel from the bird feeder
  • Checked the rain barrel
  • Checked the gutters and rain barrel attachment
  • Cleaned leaves off the roof
  • Updated my French blog for my brother
  • Texted with Middle Son
  • Printed a coupon
  • Scheduled a credit card payment
  • Went to pick up my son
  • Had him drive home
  • Went over rules for making turns
  • Input a receipt into my spreadsheets
  • Took customer satisfaction surveys
  • Folded the laundry
  • Put it away
  • Unloaded the dishwasher
  • Defrosted broccoli
  • Cooked dinner
  • That I didn't get into an accident this morning!
  • That no tornado hit our area
  • For lower temperatures that will last a couple of days


Greg had just left for work at about 7:30 a.m. when I spotted a cardinal at one of the feeders and its mate in the wet grass. I had to take the pictures through the sliding door window.

Then tonight, after dinner, I was passing the window of the exercise room and noticed a hummingbird sitting right there on the electric cable right outside the window!  Of course it was getting dark so he's just a silhouette... a little blurry because we have a screen on that window. It was lucky that my camera was just there, but also he stayed quite a long time for a hummingbird!  Tabby Kitty heard me call out to Greg all excitedly so he ran up to the window excitedly too but he was looking at the feeders so missed it, lol.

He looks so tiny on the electric cable!


  1. It's Friday YAY. Little sis arrives this evening- nephews are going 1/2 day to school. I just made up some bread dough for the rolls and after first rise will make the rolls. I don't plan on doing much housework today but I do need to go shopping. Cooler weather will be nice right? I've been running the air conditioning non-stop- I can take heat during the day, but at night when I sleep I want it to be cool. Like you, I use a personal fan too. Are your kids anxious for school to end? The grands are counting the days but I think their summer is already planned. My daughter, the oldest, is very organized and since she is an educator she has the summer off too. I probably will mow the front yard today- yep, I'm the gardener too. Gotta get started- don't work too hard on your lists.

    1. It is so nice and cool this morning! Enjoy your weekend with your sister and the boys, it's going to be gorgeous! I have to go shopping today as we're running low on some stuff and I'll be busy this weekend but I really don't feel like going anywhere.

      The only plans we have this summer are on hold: I'm waiting to hear if my daughter gets the summer job to see if she and I are going on our NE states trip or not, Greg is also waiting from me and from the school system (driver's ed class for Youngest Son, I hope he gets in for a summer session but we don't know when that would be and won't know until he's next on the list to get called for it) to set his dates for the camping trip he and Youngest Son take every summer for a couple of weeks. When the kids were little, I had a list of field trips and activities planned out, would do tons of research on that, but now that they're teens and they love staying home, we just play it by ear :)

      Have fun, relax, and have a cinnamon roll for me, OK?

  2. Love that cake. What are the tops of the carrots made of?

  3. Oh, that is a cute cake! I should make one for the office!

    I'm glad you didn't skid or meet with an accident when that car cut in front of you! So dangerous to brake like that on wet roads. I rarely honk at people any more because of their road rage. I once honked at a car that didn't turn when we were waiting at a left turn light - he sat there and waited for two light changes without moving and so, when the lights changed for the 3rd time, I honked. He turned left, I turned, too, then he moved to the next lane and slowed down so I passed him. Then he pulled up behind me again, and when I stopped at a red light, he got down from his car and banged on my window and started to yell at me! I got so scared that he might pull out a gun! I drove off as soon as the light changed - I should have just driven off even on the red light! He tried to follow me but I was able to lose him. I've seen people being attacked in their cars. It's scary! I might swear at them, but I don't honk at them!

    1. Oh Bless, that must have been so terrifying! I would have never had the patience to wait through 2 light turns, I'd have been honking as soon as the light was green and he wasn't moving. Nowadays everyone is on their phone as soon as there's a red light and they don't pay attention to the light, I'm always honking. (it's not illegal to be on the phone while in the car in Florida). Same with right turn on right, which is legal in Florida. One night I was driving at night to go to one of Oldest Son's concerts, on the Florida Turnpike, and a car cut me off (there was no traffic, thankfully) so I honked. Well you know what he did? He came to a complete stop in my lane, right in the middle of the Turnpike! And then he would start again, just go a couple of feet and hit his brakes again. And so on and so forth. I was honking the whole time. Finally he left and then I followed him and got on the phone with Greg and read him the car description and license plate number, in case that guy turned out to be even nutter than he seemed and pulled a gun or something. But I made sure I stayed behind him for several miles so he would know that he hasn't intimidated me (and also I was going in the same direction anyway!). But then he exited. I kept on making sure he wasn't behind me the rest of the trip and, honestly, I hope he did the same! Jerk. I swear, one of these days I'm gonna get a dash cam.

  4. I really hate it when people think they are more important than others and drive past cars patiently waiting in line and then cut into the front of the line. Happens here at the high school all the time...along with the increased amount of fender benders. Luckily, now I drive by the school after the school traffic is done, but I remember how blood-pressure-raising it was when I had to drive there just before the start of school!

    1. Oooh, I hate that too! How entitled can people BE?! In my case, those people don't even do that. They just drop off the kids on the main road (blocking traffic for everyone behind them) because, even though it's 6:55 a.m. and there is no line to speak of, they're just way too busy and important to take 30 seconds to turn into the high school, drop off their kids where they're supposed to be dropped off, and then be on their way. It's called impeding traffic and it's illegal. I want to start a website and post the license plate numbers and pictures of all the people who do that and then publicize it. If I were rich, I'd hire billboards and post their pictures on there too! Oooh, you see how ragey it makes me? LOL.


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