Happy Earth Day! It would have been a great time to go hiking or something, but I didn't feel like it today so I'm spending Earth Day on the couch. Yep, I'm not even spending it out on the patio. I might change my mind, it's only 9 a.m. Update: I just got an email from the Florida State Parks encouraging me to go to a state park on Earth Day and detailing all the activities going on in some of the parks today. Well, that settles it, I'm definitely not going! Who wants to be with a bunch of people? Not me, not today :) Maybe Greg will want to go walk on the Van Fleet Trail later on.
The kids made a run to Walgreens last night as my daughter needed nail polish. At 8:45 p.m. I found myself falling asleep on the couch, so I texted my son to ask if they would be coming home soon because I dislike being asleep when the kids are out and about. Thankfully, they were in the driveway. They came in, we chatted for a minute, and then I fell asleep! I woke up at 10:30 p.m., said goodnight to Greg, and went to bed where I slept until 8 a.m.. pretty much.
Greg went fishing on the lake next to our home on his kayak this morning. As he said "so I probably won't catch anything!" but he enjoys being on the water and just reflecting, I guess. This morning he did cover himself in sunscreen. He had only put it on his face last weekend and got nasty sunburns on his legs that really hurt all week so he wasn't about to repeat that. I probably should check my stash of sunscreen to make sure I have enough for him. So far I've only kayaked once!
Youngest Son is still in bed and so is my daughter. Her prom is tonight. It takes place at one of the Disney Resorts and starts at 7 p.m. The theme is "Starry Night", a theme that is recycled from previous years, I think as I remember one of our older kids having the same theme.
She and her BFF are driving there together (my daughter is the one driving). The BFF's mother is a professional photographer so she'll take pictures of the girls before they leave. I hope I get a copy :) So I'll be staying up late tonight. I have another box of chocolate covered espresso beans to keep me company :) Up until I typed this, I was thinking that we might go hiking tomorrow but now I'm realizing that I'll probably be a zombie again tomorrow. I know I'll be asked again if she's excited about Prom and no, she's not. She's only going because her BFF asked her to go with her and her dad always pressures our kids to go to things like this, insisting that "they'll remember it forever!". I think that only works if it's an event you're actually looking forward to attending, but if it's not, it's just another evening spent doing something that you didn't want to do. But maybe that's just me projecting :) I do hope she has fun. She and her BFF have spent the last couple of years taking classes at the college and they're not close to anyone in their graduating class, nor do they especially like the people from their high school.
Youngest Son (who is a freshman in high school) just got up and I asked him if he was going to ask a girl to go to Prom when it's his time to go and he said "Nope!". LOL. I'm be shocked if he wanted to attend Prom. Shocked. We'll see what happens.
My kitchen is full of dirty dishes that I can no longer ignore. So that's my "project" for the day. There was leftover salad on the table overnight because I forgot to put it away last night, and Greg reported that the salad was all over the kitchen floor this morning (good thing I never put dressing on it!): the vegetarian kittens had struck again, lol.
I had an email from my lovely SIL from Paris waiting for me in my inbox this morning so I need to reply to her, and lovely comments from many of you that I need to reply to as well.
Otherwise... I'll try to be somewhat productive today. (Hmm, re-reading this at the end of the day, I really wasn't!). I have a lot of little projects that really need my attention, like reorganizing the paperwork that spilled from its folders when Explorer jumped on the printer stand and sent everything flying to the floor... and now everything is mixed up together because Greg picked it all up and put it in a big pile, not realizing it was several different folders. Serves me right for not putting the paperwork away, but it's yet another project that I need to work on and I figured that if I left it out in the open, I'd be nagged into finishing it. Ha! That doesn't seem to work very often. You know what would work? If I lost the internet connection for a day. I could, technically, restrict the connection to my own devices since I control the Google Wifi router. Hmmm, maybe I should schedule a day when I do that and get a bunch of projects done. Maybe this summer, when it's too hot for me to escape to the patio?
|"Prioritizing Devices" also means that I can cut off the WiFi connection to a specific device... or two!|
I'm running automatic videos from Swagbucks on my laptop this morning, in a desperate attempt to try and reach 2200 SB soon so I can get another $25 Walmart gc. I met my 1st daily goal, which admittedly was low (40 SB).
Well, it's now 10:34 a.m. and I haven't done anything else than puttering on the computer. Time to hit the shower and then do the darn dishes!
So I took a short shower. I needed to wash my hair and there was barely any shampoo left in the bottle, so I took off the cap (those bottles of VO5 are hard to uncap though!) and added water to the bottle several times to get the rest of the it. Then I recycled it.
I kept on hearing a banging sound against the door while I was showering, so I put my glasses back on and spotted little kitten paws sticking out from under the door. Tabby Kitten doesn't like to be shut out of the bathroom but he couldn't get the door to open! He barged into the bathtub as soon as I opened the door for him, as I was drying off. He loves jumping into the bathtub and watching the last of the water swirl down the drain, hahaha. One day, if I do that after I've taken a bath, he'll get a nasty surprise if the tub is still full of water.
|Source: Yahoo Images|
After I got dressed, I managed to put the mattress cover on the mattress all by myself. I got a waterproof, hypoallergenic mattress cover. I do hope it's waterproof. With my cycle now becoming completely erratic, I'd hate to stain my new mattress. Who wants to wear feminine pads every night? I know I don't. I still haven't bought a bed, I quite like having my mattress on the floor, actually. I'm getting used to getting up from the floor so it's not quite as hard, now, maybe I'm in better shape even though I'm putting on weight?
Then I decided to ride my bike to the lake to check up on Greg and possibly take some pictures of nature for Earth Day. The lake was busy, there were 3 parties fishing (it's a small lake), two of them with 2 guys on the boats, the 3rd party being Greg on his kayak. He hasn't caught anything but seems to be having a good time. He asked if we were doing anything this afternoon so I suggested walking on the Van Fleet Trail but he didn't look too enthusiastic so perhaps we won't go. There were kids swimming at the boat launch and birthday parties being organized on the picnic tables. We have small skate park, basketball court and playground and all were busy so, with all this activity, there really wasn't any fauna to photograph so I just took pictures of Greg and left.
It wasn't too hot, 79F on my weather app right now at 11:15 a.m. but it's overcast and there was a small breeze. I'm thankful for the gears on my bike that allow me to not have to pedal quite as hard up the small hill back to my house! Still, my heart was beating pretty hard when I got home, so I'm taking a short break and trying to psych myself up to go do the dishes. Sigh. It's not like they're going anywhere and that they're magically going to wash themselves so I'm just postponing the inevitable!
|Just a precision that the socks on the floor? They're all there because Tabby Kitten (the one lying down at the top of the picture) is obsessed with socks. Those are the ones he brought down to the living room just last night!|
I'm having my 3rd cup of coffee to give myself courage and energy! Oh yeah, 3rd cup because I had a cup left over from the pot I brewed yesterday afternoon and then I re-brewed a whole pot (which is 2 cups' worth as I have a small coffee maker). I'm finding that I like cold coffee slightly more than hot coffee.
Good news, I hope: the weather app now shows some thunderstorms possible tomorrow and also next weekend. I hope they keep the thunder and lightning (we're having a severe drought and are under burning bans and severe fire risk) but that we get some rain, darn it.
Before I left for the lake, I saw that the impatiens that I had transplanted a couple of days ago looked very bad. Oh no! I suddenly remembered that my past impatiens had been kept in the shade and had done very well, but those are in full sun, pretty much. I watered them with a jug of rainwater, hopefully they can be revived, and I might need to try to move the planter back in its old partly sunny spot.
Both Greg and my son finished a box of cereal this morning so I recycled them but I first clipped the Boxtops for Education label and set it aside to donate to our former elementary school in the Fall. I saved the inner bags to possibly reuse them as freezer bags, but truth be told I have a big stash of them right now so I might end up throwing those new ones away after all.
Alright, I've procrastinated enough and now it's time to go do the dishes. I'll watch some "Forensic Files" on the Kindle Fire as I do them, it'll help.
It's now 1 p.m. Greg came home while I was doing the dishes. He didn't catch a fish, but found a red cup and a plastic worm. Freebies! I watched two episodes of Forensic Files while doing the dishes, woohoo!
Afterwards, I chatted with my daughter for a little bit, and jokingly offered to do her make-up for Prom. I don't wear make-up and she'd end up looking like a clown if I did it so we both laughed. I inquired as to when she might be home tonight. Prom ends at 11 p.m. (and, come to find out, it's a junior/senior Prom) but she doubts they'll stay that long. I offered to buy them dinner (with my Discover card, which she carries) and told her to buy whatever they wanted, even if it was to eat at Disney. She was excited about that and they're planning on bringing a change of clothes so they won't show up at a restaurant in their prom outfit (it's just not their style!). We agreed that she or her BFF would text me with an ETA.
|Not my daughter :)|
After lunch, Greg asked if I still wanted to go walking, so we headed to the General Van Fleet Trail, which is 15 minutes away from our home. Greg's foot was bothering him a little so we didn't take a long walk. We were on the trail for only an hour but walked slowly and stopped to take lots of pictures. I'm not sure how far we walked because I had absolutely no signal on my cell phone so my RunMeter app didn't register the walk at all :( I think maybe we walked 2 miles, tops.
When we started, it was very cloudy so I've had to enhance some of the pictures so they don't look washed out, but as we were finishing our walk at 2:45 p.m., the sun came out. The upside of the cloudiness is that it wasn't blazing hot at all. Strangely, even though it was Earth Day, we didn't encounter anybody on the trail at all. No walkers, no bikers, no one. I hope this means they were all participating in the March for Science. I did my part by observing nature :)
Everything is so dry!
|This dry patch of grass is actually the bottom of a large pond. I'm standing on the bridge that straddles it, looking down. There is NO water.|
|But there are still some aquatic plants (Pickerelweed). I wonder how long before they die...|
Then we took a few more steps. There was a tiny pond and I spotted a turtle and then this small gator and pointed them out to Greg.
And then I looked to the left and saw this. How many gators can you spot in this picture?
Here, I made a key for you.
|Number 1 totally looked like a root, didn't it?|
and some of its siblings...
|They're not as cuddly as kittens.|
|First bottlebrush sighting of the year!|
And then a little further down, another tiny pond and two more gators!
|Those look a little more vicious. Especially the one on the right.|
And a turtle hiding its head in the sand, I guess.
Looks how low the water is. Usually that whole brown area in under several feet of water! It's frightening.
|Notice how Greg is wearing a different shirt for once? When I put the laundry away this week, I hid his favorite hiking shirt in a different drawer. My trick worked and I finally have a picture that doesn't look like I've photoshopped him in it!|
|Ah, that mystery plant that I have yet to identify!|
|Large Gopher Tortoise|
|Bulls or cows|
|Each of them are paired with a cattle egret, that was following its cow wherever it walked. But no egrets jumped on top of any cows, Pixel, you'll be happy to hear :)|
|Imagine that! A squirrel, in the middle of the forest! We actually saw more squirrels on our walk|
today than we've ever seen in all our walks on this trail.
|We were the only ones on the trail. Or I should say, the only humans.|
|We wondered if this tree had been hit by lightning.|
|It was carbonated at the top, but part of the bark was intact at the bottom. A new vine was starting to climb all over it.|
|This flowering airplant seemed to be growing straight out of the ground, which was perplexing as I usually see them growing on tree trunks. Perhaps it was growing on a root hidden under the leaves.|
|Most of the vegetation was brown, but there were lots of green ferns growing there.|
|Another Pickerelweed lent a splash of color to an otherwise drab background.|
|Look at those plump pods!|
|A tree was covered in those flowers, and it smelled pretty darn good too. No butterflies though. Maybe it just wasn't sunny enough?|
|A thistle about to bloom|
|It wouldn't be a walk with me if I didn't show you a picture of a cardinal!|
OK so this means that in a few weeks, there will be at least 12 LARGE gators in the area, looking for water. There is a house not too far from there, with an above the ground pool. There were kids splashing in it this afternoon. Part of me wanted to go find the entrance to that house so I could go warn the homeowners to make sure to check their pool before the kids jumped in there. I hope they're aware of that. If you've lived in Florida for a while, I think you know. But wow. TWELVE. Plus at least the other 2 that we had spotted in the other pond.
|5 on the shore and there's one in the water to the far right. That's twice the amount of cats that we have. I'd rather have 12 cats than 12 gators.|
|I noticed that one section of the bridge had been replaced since we last walked here.|
|I guess that explains the homemade "NO VEHICLE" sign that has been posted suddenly!|
|The sun came out as we approached the trailhead.|
We got in the truck and Greg said "You know what I could go for right now?!" and I said "ice cream!" at the same time as he said "A shake!" so we drove to McDonald's and we got shakes for him and the kids. I gave him my phone so he could get my app scanned, which earned us a free shake since I needed only 1 more "punch". Only I didn't read the print first which said "ANY size shake" so we only got mediums. Darn it we could have gotten a free LARGE shake! Oh well.
As for me, I don't like shakes, so I got a Strawberry and Cream pie. I had never had one. It was like a warm Poptart, only less crunchy.
As soon as she left, I realized that I had forgotten to give her some cash, in case she wanted to use the Valet parking at the Coronado Springs resort. She was wearing heels and she's not used to walking in heels, so I figured the less she walked, the better :) So I called her and we agreed she and her BFF would stop by on their way to the resort. So I got to see her BFF too. They were both gorgeous, naturally :)
I was thinking that I would start reading the Madeleine Albright book and then got sidetracked by Wikipedia because I started to wonder if she was still alive so I looked her up. I read the article about her, and then got really annoyed because it reminded me that she was the one who had said, during the past election, "there is a special place in hell for women who don't vote for other women" or something along those lines. My vote for Hillary Clinton was more a vote against Trump than a vote for Hillary, who I can't stand either (albeit not on the same scale) and I hated the fact that I was told I should vote for a woman solely based on her sex, as I strongly feel that merit is more important than sex, so I got all steamed up about that again and then decided that it probably wasn't the right time for me to read her book. I know, I'm weird. Anyhoo...
Greg and I got changed, and Youngest Son and we drove to the restaurant. One of these days we'll walk there. It's half a mile from the house!
It was busy but we got a table right away, although the food took a while to get there. It was good and we had a good time. I didn't take a picture, sorry, Bless! I had shrimp fajitas, yum. The waiter asked us if we wanted drinks to go before we left, and I had a large cup of Diet Coke to finish so I asked for a To Go cup. I'm glad he asked about that because I wouldn't have thought to ask. I did pack the 2 flour tortillas that I hadn't eaten so I could bring them home.
Back home, I spent more time replying to comments! I felt so popular, lol. Thanks so much for all the kind comments :)
So they drove there and she texted me that they arrived safely at 10 p.m. I guess they'll be home around midnight or a little later. Good thing I got that extra Diet Coke from the restaurant to keep me awake :)
Well, that's about it for today, then. It's 11 p.m. now and I'm wide awake. Yay! I told Greg earlier that I wanted to go kayaking with him tomorrow morning. He was planning on going kayaking on the Palatlakaha River again, I hope I can keep up with him!