|Because I'm still deluding myself that my hair is blond and not greying!|
I woke up with 2 cat toys in bed with me... and 2 kittens :) I'm loving my new mattress, quite honestly, and the extra room that it provides. But somehow, I still end up having to contort myself sometimes because the kittens also love the extra room and they're growing... and sprawling! But I feel less guilty about making them move now, even when Princess protests a little (she's so cute!).
Well, it's officially too hot for me to open the windows in the morning. It's over 73F right now, at 7:30 a.m. and the AC is set for 73F inside the house so the upstairs doesn't get too hot at night. But on the bright side of things, it's supposed to remain in the 70s over the weekend, which will be lovely as right now we're on the high 80s side of things during the day. As a matter of fact, our high today is going to be 90F/32C with a 35% chance of rain that I do hope materializes. I need to refill my rain water jugs and my rain barrel! That reminds me that I had said I would buy another rain barrel, but we need more gutters on the house before I can use it anyway.
My plans for today are nebulous. I have chores to do that I didn't get to yesterday but I also want to go to Save A Lot to get apples and clementines that are on sale (hopefully they're not out!) before the sale ends today, and swing by the library to see if there are any coupon inserts by any chance. My son's AP study group was cancelled for today so he'll ride the bus home. My daughter has classes to attend so she'll be gone this afternoon. I'm thinking maybe I'll go sit on the patio for a little bit, like right now... here I go!
TO DO LIST
- Collect trash and take to the curb - DONE
- Sweep leaves off the front porch and collect for composting
- Fold laundry
- Put laundry away
- Clean bathroom sinks (both) and mirrors
- Spray shower with bleach
- Work on shopping list
- Clip newly printed coupons
- Put them away in organizer
- Declutter the printer stand
- Refill the self watering bins
- 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
Earn Microsoft Rewards creditsDONE
- 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
Water the pineapplesIt rained a lot!
- 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 commentsDONE
- 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
Return library materialsDONE Pick up any coupon inserts from libraryDONE
- Try making yogurt in yogurt maker
- See if can mend Youngest Son former backpack straps
- Enter receipts into my spreadsheets
- Schedule Amex payment
- Update Net Worth Report spreadsheet in progress (mortgage statement won't be ready until 4/7)
- Read a library book
- Scrub the bathtub
- Contact IRL friends to schedule coffee/lunch this month
- Make more hummingbird nectar
SUCCESSES and FAILURES
- Youngest Son packed a lunch to take to school. I drove him there but he'll ride the bus home since his AP Study Group was cancelled today. He mentioned that he might want to go to the library tonight to "check it out". I'm not sure what there is to check out on Tuesday evenings, maybe he has a date? LOL. Update: in chatting with my librarian friend later on, she reminded me that they just got 2 new drones and she had asked him for help in getting them together and figuring out how to use them...
- Once again I didn't have leftovers to pack for Greg. I had made extra chicken nuggets last night but he doesn't really care for them and I was craving them the whole time we were watching "Seinfeld" so I ate them... for my 2nd dinner. What is wrong with me?! I must have a tape worm as I'm hungry all the time.
- Well, it might feel too hot and humid to open the windows in the house, but it's actually lovely, cool and breezy on the back patio. I'm not sure how that works?! The AC was running earlier but it hasn't run once since I've been outside and it's been 45 minutes! I did run the dehumidifier in the bathroom after Greg's shower. but then my daughter will take a shower later in the morning so I'll have to do it again. I love her but that schedule of hers (here in the mornings, classes in the afternoons but only a couple of days a week) isn't working well for ME :) She loves it, of course.
- My first SB goal today is again 60 SB. I ran automatic videos but forgot to keep my laptop open while I was dropping off my son. Also my 1st (and maybe only) search award of the day was only 6 SB compared to 22 SB yesterday so I'm doubtful that I will reach my goal today. Which reminds me, I should check to see if they posted the March bonuses... mine is going to be ridiculously tiny. Oh yes, 72 SB! Better than nothing, though. Don't forget you actually have to claim it and it doesn't count towards your daily goal.
- It's almost 10 a.m. and I haven't done anything save sit on the patio and enjoy nature. I don't feel guilty one bit!
- I earned the maximum of Microsoft Rewards credits and should be able to order a free $5 Amazon gift card tomorrow. Yippee!
- The sky continues to get more and more cloudy, I hope we get some rain later on... it might be time for me to go run my errands, then.
- Oh, my calendar just reminded me that my daughter has her phone interview for a summer job this afternoon! I hope it goes well!
- It looks like the Discover Deals Kohl's $10/$30 offers were yanked from all Discover accounts yesterday and those who thought to print them and tried to use them in stores were denied because they all came up as "invalid". Oh well.
- I uploaded more digital coupons to my Publix wallet.
- I texted Middle Son to check in on him since he was going through Traditions, the main training day for all new Disney employees today.
- I decided to go to Save A Lot (will go back again tomorrow if there are any new deals I want to use), Publix (free Chips Ahoy cookies after digital coupons), Walgreens (6 rolls of Bounty towel papers for $3.99), the library and then RaceTrac. But I don't want to get up from my patio chair, I'm so comfy...
- So I finally left at 11 a.m. and texted my daughter to let her know where I was going. I didn't expect to be very long and indeed, I was done with most everything by noon. But I didn't get home until 1:45 p.m.! Here is what happened:
- I saw the rooster that I thought the hawk might have gotten. He's still roaming free...
- I went to RaceTrac and redeemed a survey reward code for a free Snickerdoodle Brownie.
|Ugh, sorry for the bad picture, it was too dark in the kitchen!|
- Then I went to Save A Lot. I got upset at a guy who was cutting through the parking lot instead of using a parking lot the way it's meant to be used and almost broadsided me. I was so pissed off that I considered accosting him in the store because I saw that he had parked a little ways away but when I came out, his car was gone so he must have wanted to avoid the confrontation! Anyhoo, at Save A Lot, I got the following:
- (2) 5-lb bags of Golden Delicious apples, on sale at $2.99 each (they were the last 2 bags)
- (2) 2-lb bags of Halos clementines, on sale @ $2.99 each (we eat those so fast, 1 bag is never enough!)
- (1) 3.29-lb papaya @ $0.99/lb. I considered leaving it there but then I thought "what if the price goes back up to $1.29/lb tomorrow?". I should have left it there... it'll be $0.79/lb tomorrow! But I didn't know that at the time...
- (1) bunch of fresh cilantro @ $0.59
- 0.43 lbs of Roma tomatoes @ $0.79/lb
- and 1 bag of collard greens marked down to just $0.99 (woohoo!)
- My OOP was $17.14 and I charged it to Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards.
- I saw a promotional sign advertising a 3-day sale that starts on 4/6 but they didn't have any of the handouts that they usually have so I asked the cashier if she had one and she got the assistant manager to give me a copy of the sales flyer that starts tomorrow. Woohoo!
The Save A Lot brochure that starts tomorrow: (regular sales that last all week)
Save A Lot 3-day sale (April 6 through April 8)
- From there I went to Publix.
- All I planned on buying was 2 boxes of Chips Ahoy Thin cookies that were on BOGO for $3.79 and for which I had a BOGO digital coupon, which would make both boxes free. However, I know from experience that if my OOP is $0.00, the cashier will often question it, so I figured I'd buy something else. But I hadn't brought my coupon organizer...
- So I figured I'd go to the bakery and treat myself to some yummy bread. On my way, I passed a display that showed Ronzoni pasta was on BOGO @ $1.59. $0.80 a box isn't bad so I grabbed 2 boxes.
- But by then I still wanted bread. They had one huge loaf of Challah bread, which I love, so I treated myself. It was $3.49.
- At the register, I entered my home phone number to trigger the digital coupon, but instead of deducting the $3.79 for the box of Chips Ahoy, it only deducted $1.89! I pointed that out to the cashier, and she saved the order and walked me to Customer Service. The rep there said everyone who had tried to do the deal had had the same problem! He deleted the $1.89 coupon, which basically charged me for $1.89 and then entered the $3.79 coupon manually. Then he announced that I owed $1.29 total. Wait, what?! I told him that wasn't possible since I was buying a loaf of bread priced at over $3 and that I didn't have a coupon for it. So we looked at the receipt and when he had deleted the $1.89, it had triggered the $3.79 coupon and then he had deducted it again manually. So he told me to forget about it and just pay the $1.29 because he "had no way to fix it". Well, OK then! Thanks! So I got the bread for free and some overage was applied to the pasta as well. Score! I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
|Original Receipt showing the digital coupon deduction for only $1.89|
|My final receipt|
- I drove across the street and went to Walgreens to buy Bounty paper towels. Publix had them on sale too but it was going to be more expensive per roll. I used a $1.00 digital coupon that I had uploaded to pay just $4.34 after tax for 6 rolls. However, they're the full-sheet rolls, which I dislike. I was hoping they would be the half-sheet rolls. I don't mind cutting them in half but the kids and Greg will use full sheets (and multiple ones at that!). Oh well.
|I saw those in the gardening section. I don't know that I would want my plants to "sing" to me when they need water! I think that would drive me nuts. There wasn't a price so I don't know how much they were.|
- After that, I drove to the library.
- I returned a DVD and a book.
- There were coupon inserts in the donation pile. Woohoo!
- Then I saw a sign welcoming the new branch manager. What? I didn't know we had gotten a new one! So I went to look for him to introduce myself and welcome him and he so happened to be talking to my friend who is the children librarian so she introduced me and mentioned Youngest Son, whom he had met apparently last night. So the three of us started talking about the library and I suggested ideas for programs. I learned a lot from my friend about the politics of our stupid little city (all our local politicians should be fired!) that are preventing our library from putting together programs on the adjacent property that the county bought for our library or even in their own parking lot. It's ridiculous. Anyhoo, my friend was talking about the Friends of the Library and how the old guard has left and there's new "blood" in so I mentioned that I had meant to join up this year and she gave me the email address of the president. I asked her not to tell the president anything because I didn't want the pressure of having someone contact me just yet, especially since I don't know yet how much of an involvement I will have with my friend Juliet's real estate business. So she said she wouldn't. Then we talked about our kids (she has a senior graduating from the same high school this year too) and scholarships and I told her about the Optimist Club so I need to send her the information.
|1 Publix store coupon brochure and 2 manufacturer coupon inserts|
- My daughter called me at about 1:30 p.m. to make sure that I was still alive. Awww, so sweet of her to worry about me, so I took my leave of my friend and let her work and came back home. On my way home, I grabbed a cookie from the plate they were offering to celebrate having a new manager. I hadn't eaten lunch!
- Back home, I chatted with my daughter for a few minutes while I put everything away. I noticed that the sky was getting dark and the wind was picking up. I moved her car to Greg's spot at the top of the driveway, in case it started raining before she left for her classes, that way she wouldn't have to walk as far to get to it.
- I also removed the patio umbrella and put it in storage so it wouldn't blow away.
- Lastly, I put the large piece of plywood that I had used at the bottom of my twin bed and the box for the utility cart that I bought recently in Greg's shed so they wouldn't get wet.
- It's now 3:06 p.m. and it's raining! Yay! I hope it rains for a long time! It didn't rain too long, maybe 20 minutes, but it really poured, double yay!
- Shortly after, I received a call from my car insurance company, USAA. The driver of the vehicle I hit in the parking lot on Sunday did file a claim. I told the rep that I had pictures. She was thankful that I did and sounded very relieved that I indeed knew about the incident and that I was indeed the driver. I guess they must have a lot of fraudulent reports. Indeed, the letter I received from USAA yesterday highlighted the fact that they avoided something like $1.5 billion in "fraudulent" claims last year, although that also covers their homeowner's and renter's insurance business, I believe. She sent me an email with the claim info and I sent her the pictures that I took. She subsequently confirmed that I wouldn't incur any costs out of pocket as it will be covered by my insurance policy. Also, I don't anticipate seeing my policy cost increase since I have accident forgiveness.
- I had left my laptop on with the Swagbucks automatic videos playing while I ran my errands and I indeed reached my 1st daily goal!
- My daughter had her phone interview. She said it went well and she should know early next week. There are almost 50 applicants for only 6 or 7 positions, though. If she gets the job, she'll be working straight until the day before she moves into her apartment in Gainesville, so roughly 2 months. The pay is a little less than $12 an hour, but it's something, right?
- Youngest Son decided to walk to the library since the rain had ended. Before he left though, he accepted a package from UPS, which was the latest D&D campaign book that just came out today, that I had pre-ordered on Amazon. I got it for free for him by using my Amazon Rewards. He was pretty excited. He also checked the mail for me. I got some CVS store coupons, woohoo!
- I had a huge failure at dinnertime but it's not what you think. You see, I was going to cook. On the menu tonight was Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff. But when I got into the kitchen at 6:30 p.m. I found that the mushrooms had become all moldy between yesterday morning and tonight. I only had 25 minutes before Greg got home and no meat defrosted, much less cooked! Arrgh! So I asked my daughter to cook a box of pasta while I was going to Publix with Youngest Son. I had planned on just getting a rotisserie chicken but their chickens are small and there are three of us who like breasts and chickens only have two. So then I was going to get 2 chickens but then I spotted hot wings. So I got 1 rotisserie chicken for the kids and hot wings for Greg and myself. I also wanted to get a salad kit but at $3.99 a tiny kit, I was like "You're kidding me!" and the Romaine hearts were $3.99 vs. $1.99 at Aldi and then the hydroponic lettuce was $2.99 vs. between $1.49 and $1.99 at Aldi so I bought 2 boxes of chocolate cake mix on BOGO sale instead ($1.29)! My OOP was close to $20. Arrgh. But now I have leftovers for Greg's lunch tomorrow.
- Greg's company is having a family event at Universal Studios again and we were planning on letting my Daughter take Youngest Son, which is what we did last year, because Greg and I don't particularly care for Universal Studios, but this year we won't be able to participate at all because Greg will be on a business trip in Europe the week prior, so he won't be around to get the tickets.
- He got gas for the truck tonight, earned loyalty credits on his RaceTrac app, paid with American Express for 2% back in Rewards, and got a new receipt that will earn us a new freebie :)
- We did watch a few more episodes of "Seinfeld" after dinner.
MONEY SPENT TODAY
- Sunpass: $25 (Greg's tolls, the account was replenished this morning)
- Save A Lot: $17.14 (groceries)
- Publix: $1.29 (groceries)
- Walgreens: $4.34 (paper towels)
- Racetrac: $53.68 (gas for Greg's truck)
- 2 boxes of Chips Ahoy Thin cookies from Publix (after BOGO digital coupon and BOGO sale)
- 1 large loaf of challah bread from Publix (after coupon mishap)!
- A Snickerdoodle brownie from RaceTrac (with survey reward code)
- 2 manufacturer coupon inserts from my library's donation box
- A cookie from the library
- Fed the kittens
- Prepped Greg's breakfast
- Caught up on the news
- Drove my son to school
- Packed Greg's lunch
- Ran the dehumidifier in the bathroom
- Collected the trash and took the trash bin down to the curb
- Chatted with Greg
- Spent time on the patio
- Refilled a hummingbird feeder
- Commented on some blogs
- Worked on my Rewards programs
- Texted Middle Son
- Ran errands
- Chatted with my librarian friend and her new boss
- Chatted with daughter and put the groceries away
- Answered a call from a USAA insurance rep
- Drew a diagram and emailed her the photos that I had taken
- Replied to blog comments
- Chatted with Youngest Son
- Texted with Greg
- Emailed the Optimist Club to ask them to add my friend to their mailing list
- Did some research for her and emailed it to her
- For glimpses of a gorgeous ruby throat hummingbird this morning
- For the birds' serenade in my backyard and being able to be home to enjoy it
- For my 5 senses. Even though my sight and hearing are dulled with age, I can see and hear, taste and smell and I have hands to touch my kids and pet my kittens. We take our senses for granted until one day they start to go...
- For the age of digital photography. I don't mean retouching and PhotoShop, I mean the fact that we can snap away without a care because we have a 32G SD card in the camera and it won't cost us anything to "develop" the pictures. I remember taking photos sparingly when we had the old kind of cameras with film, and then having to wait to find out if the pictures turned out at all!
- For car insurance. Goodness.
I'm on the patio at 7:42 a.m. with my camera. I just finished taking pictures of various flowers around my garden (it doesn't take long, I have almost none!) and now I can hear the mournful call of a dove. I used to think that was an owl, hahaha.
I can smell jasmine but I'm not sure if it's the Bath & Body Works eau de toilette I sprayed on myself this morning or my actual jasmine vine that is flowering like crazy right now.
I think the Cardinals will be out soon, I can hear some of their calls. I heard a hawk too but didn't spot him. A few ibises just flew by. This morning, as I was driving my son to school heading east, the sunrise was spectacular, I wish I would have taken a picture, especially as a flock of egrets flew across it. Spectacular, indeed.
I was right, the Cardinals are getting ready to come feed... I just spotted one in my orange tree, probably the scout, sent ahead to see if the brown blob on the chair on the patio is friend or foe :)
|Yeah, my orange tree is definitely dying!|
All the bird calls woke up the squirrels as I'm finally seeing some of them emerge from their nests and climbing down the tree trunks. It's a little past 8 a.m. The bums!
|I had to zoom in on this picture that I took from across the yard with my zoom already, but I think it might be a hummingbird nest!|
|A bird... I had to zoom in a lot too! I need to look up what kind it might be.|
|Let's zoom in...|
|He has nectar on his beak!|
|A bluejay and a crow at the very top of the tallest tree around my backyard.|
|And a surprise: a downy woodpecker!|
The red bellied woodpecker finally came out for breakfast but he's hidden behind a curtain of Spanish Moss, I'll have to try to catch a glimpse of him later. Ah, gotcha! It's like playing Pokemon Go but with real birds :) A little bit later on, I did get it!
The neighborhood's "stray" cat made an appearance, stalking squirrels at the base of a tree. Good luck with that, dude, you have a bell on your collar, you ding-dong. They hear you coming a mile away!
I see the large ants have found one of the hummingbird feeders... sigh. I need to add more Vaseline to the pole, I guess.
The humminbird keeps coming back but only drinks one long swallow at a time, which makes it challenging to photograph it as it takes me a while to find it in my viewer and then the camera doesn't focus on it!
|Oh but you can glimpse the red throat here, even if the camera didn't focus on the hummingbird!|
|The red bellied woodpecker flew to the power pole and seemed to have something in its mouth...|
|Very grainy enlargement but it appears to be a berry of some kind|
|It likes just sitting there at the top of the pole. It stayed for quite a long time!|
|This big fluffy dove made an appearance too. I think it was eyeing the bird bath, but it didn't dare come down.|
|Again, bad focus but look at that red!|
|One of the squirrels sounding the alarm!|
|Aww, Male Cat wants a belly rub too!|
|Obligatory lizard photo!|
|Another lizard seemed to have gotten its tail bitten off. The stray cat, perhaps?|
I refilled the hummingbird feeder and went back inside to wash my hands. The three kittens can't get enough of me when I come back inside and always try to get my attention. Me, on the other hand, I try to take a family portrait with all three in the same shot, but Tabby Kitty is overexcited and won't cooperate.
|Tabby Kitten was jumping off the chair, he didn't fall off or anything.|
The hummingbird returned (again!) right after I refilled the feeder, but my camera battery had died. Ugh. How many pictures of a hummingbird do I need, you ask? Well, all of them, of course!
|Here is that mystery bird again... I don't know what it is... it has a yellow belly.... I'm too tired to look it up!|
What is your favorite bird picture today?