Monday, April 17, 2017

Semi Domestic Monday ~ 4/17/17

4/21/17: I don't know how this happened but I found this post just this morning in my "Draft" folder although it also showed it was scheduled to have been published on Monday night at 10:25 p.m.  Blogger gremlins at work, here. So I'm publishing it manually on Friday morning, which is why it's showing up in your mailbox very late, in case you're wondering.

It's the start of another dry week here in Central Florida, and one that will be getting hotter and hotter each day.  I love the sunshine but I don't relish the heat. At least it's not humid yet.  I'm concerned about the fires.  This morning they announced that school busses wouldn't be running in the Umatilla area, in the northern part of our county, because of all the fires.

It's Domestic Monday and I don't have a lot of plans save working in the backyard this morning (which I just finished doing!), the laundry, and perhaps sweeping/vacuuming if I feel up to it.

Right now it's 9:20 a.m. and I finally sat down on my patio to enjoy the birds' calls.  I had to close the windows because it was getting warm on the kitchen side (hence in my daughter's room) and the kittens were climbing all the window screens. They drive me crazy with this.  I want them (and the older cats too!) to enjoy the songs of the birds and the smells, but not if they're destroying my screens!

I felt like I had done a good dent in my To Do List yesterday but each day brings new tasks to do/repeat, so overall it never looks like my list is getting any shorter!

  • Defrost meat for dinner  No need, we're having meatballs
  • Work on shopping list in progress
  • Do the laundry DONE
  • Hang the laundry to dry DONE
  • Fold the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Sweep/vacuum kitchen, breezeway, Cat Room
  • Wash Cat Room windows (outside)
  • Schedule trip to Trader Joe's (need whipped cream) perhaps on Thursday
  • Scrub the bathtub 
  • Research state park to visit next weekend - I think I'll have to wait until later in the week to see what fires are burning...
  • Declutter the printer stand in progress
  • Give a driving lesson to my son with the stick shift 
  • Take Youngest Son to get a haircut - Greg will take him next weekend unless I can't stand it anymore sooner than that!
  • 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
  • Do the dishes by hand, drain/dry in the dishwasher (AFTER DINNER) 
  • Put mattress out with the trash (Tuesday morning) 
  • 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
  • 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 
  • 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 Discovery Gardens staff about the trees from my backyard or look at the Audubon site that Pixel shared.
  • Clean the barbecue (as in scrub it because I sprayed the inside with wasp spray)
  • Mend sliding door window screen - get cat resistant screening material?
  • Plant and water the tree
  • Water potted plants (berm, patio, near shed, front porch) DONE and put reminder in my gardening calendar
  • Track my and Greg's IRAs for the IRS
  • Download all March pictures from 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
  • Try making yogurt in yogurt maker
  • See if can mend Youngest Son former backpack straps
  • Read a library book in progress
  • Contact Juliet to schedule lunch this month Texted her to check up on her
  • Preserve the peppers and tomatoes that are on my counter 
  • 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
  • Add Drano to kitchen sink plumbing for preventative maintenance
  • Get rid of the bins behind the hedge
  • Trim the hedge
  • Trim the bushes
  • Take Youngest Son shopping for jeans and shorts
  • Get new cushions for front porch swing from Target? DONE
  • Put details of BFF's travel dates on my calendar (for airport run duty) DONE
  • Take down 4 crumbling self-watering bins DONE
  • Re-mulch the newly empty spaces DONE
  • Mix more Chicago Steak Seasoning
  • Mix more Ten Things Farm Seasoning
  • Mix Chili Seasoning for Friday
  • Add zippered plastic bag to fanny pack to protect camera if it rains
  • Bake peanut butter sheet cake (Baking notebook for recipe) once the bunny cake is gone
  • Order graduation announcements - Middle Son Waiting for him to email me his picture, sent him another reminder today

  • Youngest Son didn't have a fever this morning. He packed a lunch to take to school and I drove him there. He'll take the bus home.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work and the last 2 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper. Since I'm not planning on going to CVS any earlier than Wednesday, I will redeem a RaceTrac survey reward code for a free medium fountain drink from him tomorrow and Wednesday morning after I drop off my son at school.

  • I opened the windows for a couple of hours since the temperature was still nice outside.  I had to close them and turn the AC back on at about 9:00 a.m. though.

  • I started a super load of laundry on cold/cold and I'll do another one after that. Only the bath towels and Greg's shirts will go in the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting, the rest of the laundry will be hung out on the patio to dry.

  • Dinner tonight will be pasta and meatballs (again, it feels like we just had that a couple of days ago...) and I'll cook the rest of the collard greens that I had gotten on clearance last week.

  • I saved a bread bag so I can use it to clean one of the litter boxes.  Since I was gathering the trash throughout the house this morning, I just used that trash bag to bag the contents of the upstairs litter box.

  • Since I had missed watering the potted plants on Saturday, I did that this morning. First, I collapsed 4 more crumbling self-watering bins.  My neighbor Jeff came out to let his dogs out while I was doing that so we chatted about our weekend.  I thought I'd have 4 more to collapse next week, but I have plants in them... I might have to make 4 more bins this week and see about transplanting the plants. Hopefully they will survive.  I saved the salvageable parts of the bins so I can reuse them.  Then I re-mulched the areas where they had been so the weeds wouldn't invade the space.  The backyard is so dry!
I need to get rid of all those clear bins as they're the ones that are falling apart.
  • Also, I'm annoyed by the water that leaks from the hanging pots on the front porch because it's tiled and it makes a mess and also water wastage... so I put one plastic container under the one pot this morning.  I'll be looking for a couple of slightly unsightly ones at Dollar Tree or the thrift store this week. Maybe some ceramic pots that wouldn't look odd being on the ground?  And I probably need a couple more for the hanging pots that I have in the backyard too although those leak on the weeds grass...
The orange bucket will catch the water and I can reuse it.
  • Once again I'm not bothering with Swagbucks any more than taking the Daily Poll and checking out the "Deal of the Day" for a total of 2 SB. I did earn a 12 SB Search Award so that'll help a little. My first goal went back down to 50 SB.

  • I earned the daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

  • I hung the laundry to dry on the patio.

  • Chili emailed me an offer for a free dessert that I uploaded to my Chili's/Plenti account, just in case.

  • Redbox texted me a code for a free DVD rental but it's not clear whether I have to rent a movie to get one free or if it's a straight free rental. I wish the wording was more to the point!

  • I unlocked new rebates on MobiSave.

  • It's just past 11 a.m., time to open up the patio umbrella and move under its protective shade, although the sky is getting a little cloudier.  The hummingbird feeders that I refilled a couple of days ago are almost empty again!  I keep on seeing wasps coming to feed but no hummingbirds, though, although I've just heard one flew by a couple of times.

  • My daughter filled out the application for the $500 STEM scholarship from CenturyLink so I gave her a stamp as she has to mail it out.  Earlier today I put a note on the communal mailbox, asking the mailperson to help me access my mail and to not push the mail against the lock as it makes me unable to open the door!  I hope I can access my mail today.

  • For lunch, I had leftover rice and pulled pork and the 2nd half of the papaya that I had cut open yesterday. I almost bought a papaya tree at Lowe's last week but looking at the instructions, I decided not to. It's just that I know myself and that I've already killed a plum tree and two nectarine trees by not watering them enough.  The papaya tree needs to be watered every day for something like a year and then a couple of times a week after that.  There is no way that I, someone who doesn't even do the dishes every day, can commit to watering a tree every day. No way. Which is why I haven't planted that fringe tree that I got for free from Arbor Day Foundation/Duke Energy yet.  I guess I should have looked at the planting instructions first!

  • I want to go to Trader Joe's in Orlando this week to stock up on UHT whipping cream because I'm out of it and I use it for a variety of dishes.  My daughter thought she'd be able to come with me but she needs to do something for a class so I'll have to go on my own. Now I'm thinking that I might venture into Ikea while I'm at it.  Yikes, I really don't like Ikea, I always get so grumpy when I'm forced to walk the whole damn store to buy just the one thing that I need. But it might be cheaper than going to Target to get some outdoor cushions for my front porch swing.    But really, I should go with my daughter so she can pick out some stuff for her college apartment.  Sigh. Maybe I'll just wait until she can come along. Finals are next week so after that she'll be wide open, probably.  Plus I just checked the Ikea website and there really isn't anything that I like...

  • So I checked the Target website. I went through Swagbucks for 2 SB per $1 spent although there was tons of exclusions!  Still, I found a lumbar pillow that I really like and that was on sale at buy 1, get 1 50% off through today so I got two. I did look at their bench pillows and they have nice ones but the one I got there 14 years ago had cost me $19.99 and nowadays they're $40+ and the one I liked best was $110!  Oh no, no, no!  I think I'll just put the 2 pineapple pillows on the swing, which is a deep green wooden swing and leave it at that. It's not like we ever sit there, even when there is a push cushion under our butt. The swing is facing the driveway so there's always a vehicle right in our face, not exactly a romantic spot.  So I ordered the 2 pineapple cushions, got the promotional price, free shipping since I paid with my Target RedCard Mastercard and an additional 5% off too. My OOP was just $15.23 and now I don't have to go to Ikea win-win!  And I should get about 30 SB too.

  • My mom sent me 3 emails, each with just 1 picture because she doesn't know how to insert 3 pictures in the same email, lol. She doesn't say anything else than captioning the picture.  One of the pictures was of some flowers in her yard but she didn't say what type they were. So I replied to ask some questions about all the pictures and sent her pictures of my flowers too.  There are days when I wish we lived closer to one another because we do have our love of flowers in common (although she's probably a better flower gardener than I am). Plus she has lots of fruit trees: cherries, apples, peaches, apricot... I think she also has raspberry bushes.  I'm very jealous of that, lol.

My mom's flowers are "giroflées" or "gillyflowers"
  • I was thinking that my friend Juliet was closing on her new house tomorrow but when I double checked our texting history, it looked like her closing was scheduled for last Monday.  Rats, I was going to wish her a happy closing! So I texted her to check up on her. We haven't scheduled our monthly lunch for April yet, much less talked about what/when/how she would like me to help with her business.  Update: she replied that they closed on the house a few week ago but are doing renovations so she hasn't moved yet so I offered to help with the move if they needed help.

  • I came back inside at 2:15 p.m. it was just too hot for me outside and absolutely nothing was going on in the backyard today. No hummingbird sightings at all, although I'm positive I heard one or two flying by earlier.  Anyhoo, I checked the temperature that registered on the back porch thermometer and it was only 90F. It sure felt like 100F!

  • I noticed that the note that I had left on the mailbox was gone so I went to check the mail. I had expected the box to be absolutely jammed with mail but no, it wasn't. She had just pushed it all the way towards me and a box from had jammed the lock.  So in the mail, I found (among junk mail, of course. Why am I getting catalogs from jewelers when I don't buy jewelry?!):
    • A coupon for 25% off my purchase (except for sales items, of course) at CVS along with a coupon for Listerine too. They no longer sell the Listerine Naturals that I was buying for my son so I won't use that one.

    • A box of samples from PinchMe

    • A card from Greg's employer letting us know that we have access to mental health professionals for free. That's nice to know but not anything that he or I would use. I don't even go to see a GP. But it's nice to have the option.  I suppose that in the future, when we no longer have the option, we'll think back on this time and say "we should have gone to see them then!"
    • New credit cards from Chase. Those are the new Chase Amazon cards. Now, I'm pissed for several reason:
      • The only thing that has changed is in the benefits. Now we earn 5% at Amazon instead of 3% and as of 6/1 we will no longer earn 2% at office supply stores, just 1%.
      • However, they are reissuing new cards. What a waste of material and money.
      • The old cards were a nice lime green. Easily recognizable in our wallets. The new cards are slate gray, like 99% of the OTHER cards in our wallets. How the hell is this going to help me?  I don't have time to go through all the cards in my wallet at the register! I'm already pissed at USAA for making the debit and credit cards look exactly the same!  On top of that, the new Chase Amazon card just has the CHIP, the VISA Logo and the Amazon LOGO on the front. The card number and expiration date are on the back.  Do you know how many times I'll have to explain where the card number/expiration dates are if I'm asked for the card at the store?  Did I mention that I don't like change?  Change for the sake of change is the worst.
      • So I shot them an email to give them "feedback" about this and ask if I could pick a different design. I'm sure the answer will be "no".

  • My PinchMe box included yet another code for a free 8x8 book from Shutterfly so I emailed it to Bonnie, who seems to enjoy making those. Let me know if you don't want them anymore, Bonnie!  

  • I saved the envelope that the new credit cards came in so I can reuse it for coupons. Yesterday I set aside a bunch of pet coupons that I put in a such a recycled junk mail envelope so I can hand them to the thrift store.

  • And then I spent the afternoon completely vegging and reading the blog "My Crappy House" from the beginning to end. I don't like her decorating taste at all but her cat is adorable and I like her humorous style of writing.  Plus she really kicks ass at all those DYI project.  I mean, I tiled my own kitchen (so crappy!) and refaced some of my cabinets and painted them (that was a better job but it's now 13 years old and it needs to be redone very badly!) so I kind of know how hard everything she's done has got to be. So it was a nice way to spend the afternoon.  Also, so that you don't think I was totally lazy, I cuddled with a kitten too. At the same time. It takes skills.

  • Chase replied that my card can be ordered in white, orange or blue.  So I asked for them to send me white ones. I'm not crazy about white but my FSA Visa card is orange and I'm not sure what hue of blue they're talking about and I already have 2 Navy blue cards.  Why couldn't I keep green?!?  This is so stupid. And as Greg pointed out, I just helped waste even more resources. Well, crap!

  • Youngest Son felt good enough to go volunteer at the library. Yay!  I asked him to check the donation box for me for any coupon inserts but he reported that there were none. I'll go tomorrow, they might be there by then...

  • I was bringing in the laundry from the back porch when I decided to check on just how dirty my barbecue was... and when I opened the top, I found a live wasp nest in it!  So I got the hornet/wasp spray and went to town. Which means that now I really have to clean my barbecue because I don't want to be poisoning us, right?  Sigh, one more thing to add to my To Do List. Also, my grill top is completely rusted.

  • My daughter went to study with her BFF and was invited to stay for dinner so she did.  I texted her back that I was going to rent out her room since she's never here anymore :)

  • I earned 150 KFR points by entering bonus codes EAST-ERTR-EATS-4YOU and ITSR-AINI-NGKF-RPTS into my Kellogg's Family Rewards account.

  • $15.23 (2 outdoor pillows)
  • Sunpass: $25 (Tolls. Greg's account replenished itself)
  • A virtual coupon for a free dessert at Chili's
  • A code for a free DVD rental at Redbox
  • A box of samples/coupons from PinchMe which included:
    • A code for a free 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly
    • A can of Bella dog food for small dogs (will give to my neighbor Jeff who has a small dog)
    • A coupon for same (will also give to Jeff)
    • A bag of Pure Leaf green tea with mint (I'll give to Greg)
    • A mini tube of Sensodyne toothpaste along with a $1 off coupon. I'll put it in our travel supplies area.
    • A small tube of Aqua Velva after shave balm (my men don't shave anymore so I think I'll give it to Middle Son when I see him next)
    • An envelope of Slimfast High Protein Smoothie Mix. It's chocolate so I'll drink it!

  • Fed the kittens
  • Packed Greg's lunch
  • Prepped his  breakfast
  • Caught up on the news and email
  • Drove my son to school
  • Put note on mailbox to ask mailperson to let me access my mail!
  • Made my bed
  • Put away Greg's laundry
  • Collected trash throughout the house
  • Cleaned the upstairs litter box
  • Started the laundry
  • Collapsed 4 self-watering bins
  • Stored the salvageable parts
  • Threw away the rest
  • Re-mulched the areas where the bins had been
  • Watered the potted plants
  • Watered the pineapples and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant
  • Washed the aphids off the hibiscus buds
  • Refilled the self-watering bins
  • Refilled the bird bath
  • Worked on my shopping list
  • Put laundry in the dryer
  • Caught up on blogs and commented
  • Chatted with daughter and gave her a stamp
  • Researched outdoor pillows
  • Placed an order
  • Replied to my mom's email(s)
  • Texted my friend Juliet
  • Read more blogs
  • Checked the mail
  • Emailed Chase
  • Read a blog. All afternoon.
  • Replied to Chase
  • Brought the laundry in
  • Sprayed for wasps
  • Cooked dinner

  • For another lovely day spent at home.  I love this so much!
  • For pictures sent by my mom, which is rare.


Greg thought he had spotted a Pileated Woodpecker on one of the power poles in front of the house but by the time I got out there, it was gone. I did see two Red Bellied Woodpeckers on the next pole over but he swore to me he had seen a Pileated one. Hmmm...

When I came in the backyard to water the plants, a pair of cardinals had been at the feeder. The male was skittish and flew off into the orange tree at the back of the yard, when he saw me, but the female was gutsy and stayed in one of the small mystery trees growing around the bird feeders, until I got a little too close for comfort.

I saw doves and ibises fly over, heard crows and other birds, but since I was active in the garden, none of them got too close.

The neighborhood cat chased a squirrel up the power pole in the backyard. He almost got his squirrel today!  I admit that I would have been sad to see that.  Then he had himself a dirt bath at the bottom of the pole... weirdo!  I had plants in the way so my pictures didn't turn out. But he came back later and he had caught a lizard.  Here is a picture of him after he either let it go or ate it.

10:45 a.m.  a small black snake just slithered through the patio, passing right under my chair!  I might not have noticed it if it hadn't been for the rustling of the few dead leaves scattered on the pavers.  It went to the rain barrel, probably to hide in between the empty cat litter jugs waiting to be refilled.  It's a garden snake so nothing to get excited about but I wish I had gotten a picture of it. It was too fast for me! The numerous lizards look nonplussed.

I'm hearing a hawk that sounds very excited nearby... perhaps this is why the snake was rushing away!  The cardinals are flying from tree to tree and the squirrels are staying under cover.  I have yet to see a hummingbird today :(

12:41 p.m. The birds have quieted down (and I've barely seen any today!) but the butterflies are out...

Otherwise, around the garden this morning...

Now that I have refilled the self-watering bins, the tomato plants are giving me new tomatoes

And a couple more pineapples are flowering

Serrano peppers

Another eggplant flower about to bloom, But they haven't turned into eggplants for several months now.

A couple of volunteer heads of lettuce... and lots of weeds!

The jalapeño plant that wouldn't die.
Any big plans for the week?


  1. I wish it would rain, too...we had wildfires in Polk county, too. Luckily they were on the other end of the county (Indian Lake Estates), but it still worries me.

    Love that flowering pineapple!

    1. Yeah, you guys have had problems with wildfires longer than any other county in our area, so far this year! I see rain in the forecast for next week but usually it means that my area doesn't get a drop of it. Keeping all my fingers and toes crossed!


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