Monday, April 10, 2017

Domestic Monday ~ 4/10/17

It's 9:00 a.m. and I have yet to title my post because I'm not convinced that this will actually be a "domestic" Monday. I've done pretty much nothing this morning but sit on the patio and I don't feel a rushing need to get up and do chores anytime soon!

Greg was up for a little while last night, and when he came back upstairs, at 3:30 a.m. the stairs creaked an awful lot and woke me up and then I couldn't get back to sleep.  Princess and Explorer were sprawled on the bed with me so I didn't want to move too much lest they start playing around, but after 30 minutes, I decided to get my Kindle Fire out and put on a show.  So Explorer (who had woken up) and I watched a couple of episodes of "Forensic Files". He fell back asleep before I did :)  I think it was 5 a.m. before I went back to sleep.  Then, right before my alarm rang, Princess woke up, played with something, and then amused herself by pouncing on my toes underneath the duvet.

I need to find a box to hold my elastic bands for my hair, as right now I just have them in a bowl on my dresser and the kittens surgically extract a couple from the bowl every morning (surgically because the dresser is covered with body sprays bottles, brush and other implements and somehow they never knock anything over!) and chew on them. They destroyed another one this morning!

Alright, I don't want to think about it, much less post it, but it's time to face my big bad...

  • Defrost meat for dinner No need, I have pork loin in the fridge already
  • Make menu for the week
  • Bike to library to return book, pick up new one, look for coupon inserts
  • Mail birthday card to Oldest Son DONE
  • Put CVS and Aldi receipts in my wallet
  • Return items to CVS and Aldi 
  • Enter receipts in all spreadsheets
  • Measure patio table to see if Lowe's umbrella stand would fit under it
  • Clean upstairs bathroom sink and mirror, and toilet
  • Scrub the bathtub 
  • Sweep the downstairs bathroom DONE
  • Research state parks to visit this weekend
  • Declutter the printer stand
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift
  • Take Youngest Son to get a haircut - Greg is going this weekend, I'll have him take Youngest Son with him
  • Clean bathroom ceiling 
  • Clean hallway ceiling right outside the bathroom
  • Make my bed DONE
  • Check air filters and replace if needed 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
  • 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  
  • 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 
  • 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
  • Plant the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant
  • Plant the oregano
  • Water potted plants DONE
  • Refill self-watering bins where veggies/herb are growing DONE
  • Add water to indoor pineapples Threw them away with yard waste
  • 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
  • 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
  • Read a library book 
  • Contact Juliet to schedule lunch this month
  • Confirm coffee date with Jodie 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
  • Sew headphones in place
  • Add bleach to furnace line
  • Order 2nd hose reel
  • Print copy of insurance card and give to Youngest Son to put in his wallet

  • Youngest son packed a lunch to take to school, I dropped him off at school without any problems today, and he'll take the bus home.

  • I stopped by the lake on my way home from dropping off my son at school this morning, to take some pictures. I now keep my old point-and-shoot camera in the SUV so I didn't have to use my phone.  The sun was rising over the water that was gently steaming...

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work: leftover rice and cashews from his Chinese take-out on Saturday, and a rotisserie chicken leg quarter from earlier last week.

  • The temperature was lovely at 7:15 a.m. but we have hot days ahead of us so I decided to spend the morning on the patio today. I grabbed my coffee, laptop and camera, and I've been enjoying the backyard ever since (it's 9:22 a.m.).  I might name my post "Hummingbird Extravaganza" because a couple of them have been visiting the feeders at today, as early as 7:24 a.m.!

  • I turned off the AC and opened the windows. Most of the cats are enjoying that but Explorer has been driving me crazy climbing up the screen on the sliding door and crying out because he wants to be with me!  Or catch a bug, I'm not sure which one...

  • The library just emailed me that the book I had put on hold yesterday is now available for me so I might bike there later on. I'll return the book that I don't plan on finishing and look for donated coupon inserts.

  • I forgot to put on sunscreen when we went walking on Saturday and my right shoulder is burnt!  I did put on sunscreen when I went kayaking yesterday, thankfully, or it would be raw.

  • I'm not bothering with Swagbucks again today as the automatic videos aren't in the line-up and they have yet to reply to my ticket from this weekend when the regular videos weren't crediting any SB.  They haven't even posted the new daily poll yet. Someone is asleep at the wheel over there...

  • Kellogg's emailed me a new Shutterfly code, this time I emailed it to Bonnie directly since she seems to be putting them to good use :)

  • My daughter is driving back from her dad's today. Yay!

  • Oldest Son is turning 23 in a few days. Even though he and I are still not on speaking terms apparently, I have decided to go ahead and mail him a birthday card with a check.  He's still my son and I love him. I picked up a card for him at the Dollar Tree last week. I was going to be snarky (passive-aggressive?) and send him this one... but then I thought better of it and just picked a neutral card.  I guess American Greetings hasn't come up with a "birthday card for son feuding with his mom" category...
I did NOT send him this card :)
  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • I tried calling my mom but she wasn't home. I left her a message. 

  • I boiled 3 eggs to make egg salad sandwiches for lunch this week.  Once cooled off, I'll reuse the water in one of the potted plants.

  • I'm also defrosting a stick of butter for the cookies I plan on making later on. I usually use Imperial margarine when I make cookies, but since I just stocked up on butter at $1.99/lb, I decided to "splurge" today!  Maybe I should just make another pound cake...

  • I scheduled a reminder on my gardening calendar for Thursday to break down 4 more crumbling self-watering bins and re-mulch the area first thing in the morning on that day. It's terrible but if I don't set alarms and alerts in my calendar, phone and even add those things to my blog's To Do List, I'll completely forget to do it.

  • I texted my Daughter to see if she was up for a bike ride and lunch on Wednesday.  She doesn't have classes then. She said yes!  I think we'll bike the West Orange Trail and have lunch in delightful downtown Winter Garden.

  • Greg's grandson's 1st birthday is coming up. I suggested opening a 529 savings account for him where we could deposit money every birthday and Christmas but Greg declined.  I know he didn't get him a birthday present (he said his visit this past weekend was the present!) so I mailed him a ride-on truck from Amazon from the both of us.  Youngest Son had one that I had bought at a garage sale for just $1 and he loved his so much. I know his daughter's house has wood floors throughout so he should be able to ride this just fine. I had them include a gift receipt in case he already has one and she wants to get something else.  Amazon applied the $4.38 credit from the pre-order guarantee on the D&D book I got for Youngest Son last week, so I ended up paying $17.76 for it total and will earn 5% back on my Amazon Visa card.

  • Since I was tracking that expense (and the check mailed to Oldest Son) in my spreadsheets, I remembered to add the expenses that we paid with cash this weekend (we didn't get any receipts so I would have forgotten!).

  • I checked my RaceTrac app and my monthly free coupon for a free medium drink was available, woohoo!  I texted Greg to let him know and also sent a tweet to RaceTrac to ask them when Sodapalooza starts this year. According to my own posts, it started in April last year... but that might have been because they were debuting their new Rewards program.

  • I have pork loin in the fridge so I think I'll cook some of that (I'll look up a recipe my Publix Apron recipe book, those are always delicious) and make baked potatoes and steamed asparagus.  Dinner is planned! I love it when it's easy like this!

  • Sigh... well it's almost 11:30 a.m. so I suppose I should get started on the laundry, at the very least. And then bike to the library?    

  • I made myself go back inside for a bit and did some chores:  among others, I  started the laundry.  I'm doing 2 "super" loads on cold/cold.  I emptied a bottle of detergent and refilled it with some water, shook it, and dumped it in washing machine.

  • I filtered water for the cats in our Brita filter instead of buying them spring water, as usual. Our water is very hard.

  • Instead of cookies or a pound cake (which takes 2 sticks of butter), I made a peach melba dump cake. But instead of putting the peach filling, raspberries, cake mix and cutting up the butter on top, I melted the butter and mixed it into the yellow cake mix in my Kitchen Aid mixer, and then added it to the top.  It's a little more work because then I have more stuff to clean, but it works much better.

  • I saved the butter wrapper in the freezer.

  • Since I'm baking indoors, I closed the windows and turned the AC on. It was time to, anyway. My daughter is going to be coming back soon and her bedroom would have been very hot otherwise.

  • For my lunch, I'm having the leftover salad from the last night, on which I dumped 1/2 a can of herring fillets in spicy mango sauce. I also have 2 clementines and a glass of cold water.

  • I hung the laundry out to dry on the patio, apart from Greg's Tshirts and shirts and the bath towels, which went into the dryer on the "Auto Moisture Sensing Setting".

  • I did some gardening.

  • My daughter came home safely and will go to her BFF's in a little bit so they can study for their Astronomy exam.

  • I received confirmation that Youngest Son is the recipient of a scholarship that will allow him to take free driver's ed classes through his high school in May. It's a group of 3 drivers, and they take turns driving 4 days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. for a total of 10 days (so 2.5 weeks).  We'd been waiting to hear when he would be able to do it to tell the library when he'll be doing D&D this summer and also for Greg to schedule his camping trip, so this is helpful. He'll finish that pretty much right before his online French class starts. All high schools students in our county (public, private and home schooled) are eligible for those scholarships.

  • I entered bonus code SOREADYFORSPRING into my Kellogg's Family Rewards account and earned 100 KFR points!

  • My BFF texted me to firm up our coffee date. We'll be going on Thursday, when Wawa is having free coffee all day. How's that for a cheap date?!  It works out great, I'll go grocery shopping a day late and right after we meet (since Daughter and I have a date on Wednesday anyway).  And then on Friday I can take Youngest Son clothes shopping in the morning and then out to lunch. So I'll have a date three days in a row!

  • Youngest Son came home from school with a sore throat.  I looked at his throat and it doesn't look striated. He's not coughing or anything so I just gave him ibuprofen and told him not to go volunteer at the library.

  • I vegged for a couple of hours, reading blogs and listening to sitcoms on TV.

  • Then I spent time vacuuming most of  the downstairs. I'm glad it's done!

  • I checked both AC filters and only one needed to be changed so I did it. Making sure that your AC filters are clean will improve your electricity consumption and prevent costly repairs to your AC motor.

  • In the mail, I received address labels and a To Do List pad from St Jude's (along with a plea for more donations!).

  • I also got the CVS gift card that I had ordered from our American Express rewards program.

  • Our new mortgage statement came in and we're at a tad over $30K!  So exciting.  It'll actually be a couple thousands more, I think, when I request the pay-off amount.

  • My daughter texted to ask if she could have dinner at her BFF's so it'll only be 3 of us here.

  • For dinner, I cut 4 half-inch cutlets out of the half pork loin that I had bought at Aldi ($1.69/lb) and cooked them as schnitzels. Instead of baking potatoes as I had planned, I heated up a jar of German red cabbage with apples that I had bought at Aldi last fall, and then I cooked the 2nd bag of asparagus that I had bought on sale at Aldi 2 weeks ago. They were still good!

  • Amazon: $17.76 for birthday present
  • Check for Oldest Son's birthday present

  • Chili's reminded me that I have a coupon for a free dessert or appetizer that ends on Thursday. I might go there with my daughter on Wednesday, although I think I'd rather eat at one of the funky places in Winter Garden :)
  • A coupon for a free medium fountain drink in my RaceTrac app (monthly coupon for the "Prince of Pastries" reward level)
  • A sheet of foil address labels and a To Do Pad from St Jude's
  • The $100 CVS gift card that I had ordered from our Amex Rewards program

  • Fed the kittens
  • Prepped Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Drove my son to school
  • Took pictures of the lake
  • Brewed my coffee and sat on the patio
  • Chatted with Greg
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Researched traffic conditions for Greg
  • Emailed Middle Son and Daughter about road closures
  • Cuddled with kittens
  • Commented on other blogs
  • Worked on my To Do List
  • Boiled eggs
  • Wrote and mailed birthday card to Oldest Son
  • Put more toilet paper in bathroom
  • Called my mom
  • Brought more toilet paper to bathroom
  • Collected the trash throughout the house
  • Brought the shopvac in and put it back together
  • Made my bed
  • Started the laundry
  • Baked a cake
  • Filtered water for the cats
  • Hung most of the laundry out to dry
  • Dried the rest in the dryer
  • Watered potted plants
  • Refilled self-watering bins for veggies that are growing on their own
  • Deadheaded all the plants
  • Trimmed the outdoor pineapple plants of their dead leaves
  • Threw away the indoor pineapple plants
  • Recycled all the jars
  • Texted with BFF
  • Signed up Youngest Son for driver's ed class
  • Chatted with Youngest Son and gave him a pill for his throat
  • Took a break from doing anything productive
  • Swept the downstairs bathroom
  • Vacuumed living room, hallway, main stairs, exercise room, breezeway (including countertop), Cat room, most of the kitchen and stairs to daughter's room
  • Checked the air filters and replaced one
  • Checked the mail
  • Cooked dinner
  • Brought the laundry back inside

  • All I'm going to say is that I finally weighed myself this morning and I've put on even more weight. I guess stuffing my face, not being accountable, and then hoping that a 6-mile walk will magically melt all my fat strategy isn't working...
  • Lots of hummingbird sightings in my garden this morning!
  • For my daughter's safe trip home today
  • For running water. How freaking awesome is it to have running water in your house?  Call me spoiled but I certainly wouldn't want to be without it.
  • For driver's ed scholarships!

NATURE: Around my neighborhood and house

  • I decided to stop by the lake this morning on my way back from the high school, hoping to catch a nice sunrise à la Pixel.  It wasn't the dramatic sunrise that she always seems to manage to photograph just about 90 minutes south of where I live, but it was a nice one... a light pink light in the sky, water gently steaming from the lake, grackles landing on the fishing pier and greeting the sunrise with their cries. It was very peaceful and lovely.

  • There's been a flurry of humminbird activity at my feeders this morning. I know for a fact that there are at least two hummingbirds since they were dancing together over one of the feeders this morning (no,  I don't think I managed to capture both of them in the same photograph!) but there have also been quite a lot of visits and for a longer time than in the past. So maybe it's not always the same one or maybe it's feeding babies.

  • You know who's feeding babies?  A couple of crows who seem to have a nest at the top of the tree in the back neighbor's yard.  I haven't been able to see the babies but the parent's behavior is unmistakable: one flies off, the other stays in the nest and moves its head as if it were feeding a brood, the other comes back and does the same thing.

  • The loose cat with the collar on slinked back and tried to catch a couple of squirrels who just laugh at him.

  • A lizard is sunning itself. It's lighter than the other lizards so he probably thinks he needs a tan...

  • A pair of cardinals came to visit at about 9:45 a.m.  His and hers feeders, I guess, as he headed for the red feeder and she was content with the green one.  They fed for quite a while so I might not see them again this morning.

  • 11:20 a.m. Arrgh, I just missed a great shot of a hummingbird whose throat looked bright orange in the sunshine! Maybe it was a road construction hummingbird.  

  • A blue-bellied six-lined racerunner just walked by. It was fast so I couldn't get a clear shot of it!  It's the first one I see this year.  Love that blue belly!

  • Funny as some days I see lots of varieties of birds, but today so far it's been hummingbirds, crows, and a couple of cardinals.  Some ibises flew over. No woodpeckers so far, no blue-jays or doves...  Oh, I want more flowers so I can see more butterflies too!  And feed the bees!

  • The wasps are enjoying the nectar as well. There was bunch of them at about 12:20 p.m. I haven't seen a bee yet.

  • I finally took pity on my plants and use the hose to water all the potted plants and refill the self-watering bins where something is growing.

  • I deadheaded all the plants. For the basil, I sprinkled all the seeds in the same bins where the parent plant had grown and then cut the dead stems.

  • I trimmed all the outdoor pineapple plants of their dead leaves and dead tips. That was a lot of work and my arms are all cut up and bleeding!  I noticed that all the plants that I had harvested last year not only regrew new plants, but those also regrew plants in some cases.  So I went back inside and threw away all the indoor pineapple plants that I had been growing for a year or so.  It was something like 13 plants. They took a lot of space indoors and I really didn't want to expand the pineapple empire outdoors.  Oh well.
It ended up being a pretty tiring day, between the short night, working in the garden in the sun, and then vacuuming a whole bunch!  I'm pooped so I decided to do the dishes in the morning instead of tonight.  How was your Monday?


  1. You had a busy and productive day! Look at the length of that accomplishment list! Wow! Oh, I wish I had your success with pineapple plants! My mother was able to root them, but I haven't had much luck! I think, the next time I am at the dollar store, I will buy a pineapple just for the pleasure of trying to grow it! Lunchtime Bless.

    1. Be careful "the pleasure of trying to grow pineapples" is how I got started and ended up with over 30 plants! And I'm the only one who eats pineapple. Not that I should worry about that because the ones I harvested last year, when we had more rain than we're having this year, ended up being mostly inedible, lol. It's been super easy for me to grow them, I'm stumped as to why you haven't been able to do it. Just twist the top off, cut off any fruit that's remaining on it, peel the bottom leaves back, and stick it in a jar of water on a sunny window sill. I don't even change the water. After a few days to weeks, depending on how ripe it was to start with and how much sun it gets, you'll start seeing roots. I leave mine in jars until the roots are well developed (so months!). I have a few plants in pots but most are in-ground. The plants get huge (about 3-4 t in diameter) and the leaves are sharp (sometimes serrated) so plant them away from one another if you do plant them. They need to be in full sun. Good luck! If you lived closer I would have brought you the ones that I threw away!

  2. I love all your photos (still jealous of your cardinal pics...) but I really love that last hummingbird picture - just look at the luminescence of his backside! You really captured it well.

    1. They're such beautiful creatures, aren't they? Like little fairies. I get so excited when I see them!


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