Warning: a lot of this is going to sound like a pity party. I'm sorry. It was a week with highs, but also with lows, for me, and I don't want to lie about it and pretend that it was alright because that's not at all the way I feel and I do want to remember this. That being said, nothing terrible happened (well, one thing has had me in tears at various times this week but I won't die from it), so I'll probably roll my eyes at my whining when I re-read this in the future, as you might do when you read it yourself. Hopefully, because that would mean that my spirits got better after this week :)
|The weather got cloudier and cloudier in the morning... do I dare dream of rain?!|
|Yes! And the temperature went down quite a bit too, hooray!|
|The bottom of our driveway after one bout of rain. It ended up raining for 4 hours straight! Not enough for what we need|
but much better than nothing.
|I checked the rain barrel after it was over and it was 3/4 of the way full. Hooray!|
|Doesn't this rose look happy?|
|Good thing that I had a kitten to cuddle with to take the frustration away!|
|New Kitty enjoyed looking at the rain fall from atop one of the cat trees.|
|Male cat took a nap. I just realized that the collar that is wearing (and that is falling apart) had the colors of UF. Maybe Daughter should take the cat with her to school in August!|
|Mean kitty was taking a nap as well.|
|Princess was comfy in the other cat tree.|
|Youngest Son worked on some projects that were part of his final exams.|
I don't remember what my daughter did that day... Greg and I started watching "Peep Show" all over again on Amazon Prime that weekend. The show makes us laugh a lot.
I don't know why people think it's acceptable to text someone before 10 a.m. on the weekend and after 10 p.m on ANY given day, if it's not an emergency. Texting is NOT email. Some of us keep our phones on all day and night and near us at all times. A text is indeed a disturbance to whatever is happening. For me, it's sleep!
A friend texted me at 8 a.m. to wish me a Happy Mother's Day but really to ask if I needed a table and chairs or if I knew anyone else who did since she had gotten new furniture for her house. The text woke me up, as I had planned on sleeping in, but I ignored it and went back to sleep. I replied to her several hours later and wished her a Happy Mother's Day as well.
My BFF waited until a more reasonable time to wish me a Happy Mother's Day as well and also asked me to confirm that I was still OK with driving her and her kids to the airport the following Sunday. I replied Yes and wished her a Happy Mother's Day as well.
Then Middle Son texted me to wish me a Happy Mother's Day and ask if he could come over after work, in the evening. That one was really nice to get but I ignored it for a couple of hours as I went back to sleep. Later on I told him I'd be happy to see him that evening.
When I got up, everyone else was still asleep. I fed the cats. Youngest Son woke up and came to say good morning. Didn't mention Mother's Day. I didn't say anything about it either. At 10 a.m. it became evident that no one had planned anything for breakfast so I had cereal.
Greg got up, said good morning, and went to see Youngest Son. Youngest Son came to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Somehow, I don't appreciate it quite as much when someone has to be told to come wish my a Happy Mother's Day. Greg called his mom to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. Then he called his daughter to do the same. That really annoyed me since he purposefully does not wish me a Happy Mother's Day because "you're not my mother!". I went upstairs to make my bed and feel sorry for myself. He came up to ask if I wanted to go walking. By then it was past noon and I hadn't had lunch, but I decided that it would be nice to go on a walk. That's what we had done last Mother's Day as well. He suggested we walk by Lake Minneola and have lunch at Lily's on the Lake. But I declined because I felt that it was going to be busy because of Mother's Day and I didn't feel like being around people. So I asked to go walk on the Van Fleet Trail. Again, a repeat from last Mother's Day. My daughter got up right before we left and wished me a Happy Mother's Day. I didn't see her again the rest of the day. To be honest, she had mentioned, the previous day, that "she didn't know where she should take me for Mother's Day, maybe Mount Dora?" but I had told her that I didn't think I'd want to go anywhere with people around. Secretly I was hoping that we'd just spend the day at home, doing an activity together with Youngest Son, even if it was just watching a movie or playing a game. Something like that. But I guess she took it as "I don't want to spend time with you?". I don't know and I wasn't about to force my kids to spend time with me on Mother's Day, you know? Neither of the kids expressed any interest in coming walking with us.
I was really blue and decided that since it was so hot and everything was burned, there probably wasn't anything to photograph on the trail so I left my camera and fanny pack at home. I just had my phone, not even a bottle of water. My phone used to get 1 to 2 bars of AT&T service on the trail but now we get NO SERVICE at all so my RunMeter app wasn't working. We used the distance markers painted on the trail to estimate that we walked for 4.5 miles. It was hot but mostly cloudy so it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be.
|Right before we started walking.|
|On the way home, we took a different road than we usually take and spotted these cows with|
the hugest horns (like African buffaloes!) that we had ever seen. Again, his camera didn't
really picture them well.
|There was a small breeze so it was perfect.|
|While we waited for our food, we each enjoyed a Tropical Lemonade. Greg usually doesn't like "fruity" drinks but|
he really liked it! I wanted another one but I didn't.
|On the way home, we got our free Sodapalooza refills and I found|
a penny in the RaceTrac parking lot.
|Middle Son played with the cats.|
|Explorer likes to observe from a perch.|
Middle Son mentioned that he wanted to stop by Donut King on his way back home because he missed their donuts. I started wanting donuts too so we decided to drive there together. When we got there, I discovered that he conveniently had left his wallet in his car back in my driveway so I had to buy my own donuts AND his on Mother's Day. Also, before he left, I asked if he had any gas in his car (as I always do) and he said no and paused. I wasn't sure why he was pausing and he confessed that usually when he replies "no" to this question, "people give me money". It was my turn to pause as I considered whether telling him to "F off" on Mother's Day would be appropriate. I replied that I already had had to buy HIM donuts on Mother's Day... and he laughed and said he was kidding and hugged me. Whatever. I still had to buy him donuts on Mother's Day, you know? Well, I guess I didn't have to. But I bought them for everyone else too.
Oldest Son never contacted me. I had hoped that by my sending him a gift for his birthday last month (and Christmas back in December, and wishing him good luck for an important audition he had a couple months back AND wishing his GF's a happy birthday) and him replying by saying he really appreciated it, it would mean that perhaps we were on the way to mending our relationship. But I guess not. I'm completely and utterly heartbroken. I miss my son.
It ended up being a very shitty Mother's Day, my friends. I guess I need to adjust my expectations to just not expect anything in the future. Easier said than done. I was and I'm still, a week later, very hurt.
Domestic Monday means that I did some chores on that day.
|Laundry and dried most of it outdoors...|
|Refilled 16 cat litter jugs with rainwater from the barrel. 17 left to go!|
|I baked a loaf of bread in the breadmaker for snacks.|
|For a bit of good news, I checked Discover Deals and didn't find a Kohl's offer in my account but did find one in Greg's so I got $10 in free Kohl's cash when I input it in my app.|
|My daughter had mentioned that she needed a new hamper to take to college so I found the 30% off discount and free shipping codes on Slickdeals and ordered a pop hamper that was on clearance. I paid $1.49 total.|
I did more chores that I didn't photograph (quite a bit more, actually!) and also watched some Game of Thrones episodes with my daughter.
In the evening, I re-watched "Enemy of the State" with Will Smith and Gene Hackman and was speechless in how prescient that whole movie was. It's like we live in a bad sci-fi, apocalyptic movie, these days...
In the morning I started watching a show on Netflix called "Life in Pieces", while I did other tasks. I didn't like it at first, as I thought everyone was overacting, and kept it on just for curiosity because Colin Hanks and James Brolin are in it and I like them both. But I ended up warming it to it so much that I watched all the episodes in one day! Well, to be honest, I had it on
but didn't pay real attention to probably 3/4 of the episodes, so I'll have to rewatch them :)
but didn't pay real attention to probably 3/4 of the episodes, so I'll have to rewatch them :)
|My daughter got up and chatted with me for a bit. In the middle of talking to her, I noticed this announcement on her high school's webpage, so we decided to go out to lunch to celebrate her graduation, later on this week.|
|She picked Cracker Barrel.|
|In the afternoon, I tried again to access my external drive and couldn't. Aaargh. The drive had a USB port but I needed a male to male USB cable and, despite having tons of cables at home, we didn't seem to that specific one :(|
|In "good news", Swagbucks will be awarding me ONE Swagbuck for my Kohl's purchase. I had to laugh.|
Youngest Son had his last driver's ed lesson that day. We should get his certificate in the mail soon.
Middle Son stopped by again out of the blue to return the analog phone and a sleeping bag that he had borrowed from us when he was filming his movie. He only stayed a minute.
Wednesday was an emotional day for me as it was the 14th anniversary of my beloved grandmother's death. She passed away from ovarian cancer in 2003.
|This is my beloved grandmother and me, when I was about 10. I miss her so very much.|
Wednesday was also my Shopping and Errands Day. I started by researching what needed to be done on my SUV since the last check-up (50K miles ago!) so I could stop by my garage, discuss it with the mechanic, and make an appointment to have it done before my daughter and I leave for our summer trip. He looked at the information, informed me that I didn't have a timing belt (as I thought I had and that it needed to be replaced) and called me back later on with an estimate for everything: SUVs are expensive vehicles to buy, operate, and maintain, but again, aside from oil changes and the occasional repairs, I hadn't had any maintenance done on it in several years. The estimate is for $1,150, before any actual repairs. Well, it's 10 years old but I hope to keep it several more years! I made the appointment for next week, when Daughter can get me there and back again to pick it up.
Then I stopped by the vet's to pick up the extra cat food that I had ordered: double order to cover our regular needs AND for Hurricane Season. Cost? Almost $300, I kid you not: (2) 17-lb bags of the Urinary SO Moderate Calories for the older cats, and 8 smaller bags of the kitten food (since they don't sell it in large size). However, I will have to reorder more this summer as I want to keep 1 large bag and 4 small bags in stock in case we have a hurricane and the supply chain is disturbed.
|I picked up a free muffin from RaceTrac (after survey reward code) that I gave to Youngest Son for his snack.|
|I was excited to score chicken drumsticks and skinless, boneless chicken thighs on clearance :)|
|I got Sodapalooza refills for Youngest Son and myself on my way home.|
|RaceTrac keeps on adding free drink coupons to my app. Greg only has one but I have FOUR! I need to remember to use them up before they expire...|
|I found another penny in the RaceTrac parking lot!|
|They're pretending they're not watching, but they were :)|
Youngest Son went to the library to attend his Teen program and picked up some travel books that I had put on hold. Daughter and I think we'll visit NC and VA during our trip so I ought to read up on those to figure out where we might go.
Greg and I watched more episodes of "Peep Show" together in the evening.
I emailed my cop brother from Marseille to ask about the status of his wedding and his vacation home buying. He replied that he and his GF won't get married until after they've completed the purchase of the house, on which they're supposed to close in mid-June, if they can get the bank to lock in their rate and all the different players to get their shit together. He's frustrated, as is everyone who's ever bought a house, lol.
It hasn't rained since last Saturday so on Thursday morning I figured I should water the garden, which I did. Only I forgot about the rain water in the jugs and I used the hose instead. Doh!
|I have a couple of Ichiban eggplants forming.|
|The pineapples are coming along and I harvested some more jalapeños and serrano peppers. I used them|
on my pizza slices, yum.
|The basil babies have grown with all the rain we got!|
|And my little volunteer tomato plant as well (the rest is weeds that I need to pull).|
|The milkweed pops have burst and the seeds are flying away... I wish they would grow wild in the yard but with Greg mowing, they never do :(|
|The oregano is flowering.|
|The impatiens didn't like the heat at all but the plants look healthy. However, the marigolds are|
doing very well! I deadheaded them last week and this week, I only needed to take away 2 heads.
|The fuchsia is almost completely dead!|
|I cut all the dead branches and only kept those that still had some green leaves, soaked it, and put it|
on the front porch near the begonias. Maybe it'll come back to life in that spot?
|The begonias are doing extremely well there!|
|Later on I put up some graduation decorations in the kitchen...|
|which entertained the kittens quite a lot! I thought I had bought a banner but they were dangling thingies.|
Well, after I wrote my replies, I remembered that the whole conversation about the Memory Book had started last year when I had mentioned that I had kept a journal for each kid as soon as they were born, and had planned on giving it to them when they turned 18 or graduated. As I added more kids to my arsenal, my good intentions petered out, and instead of updating the journals very often, I ended up updating them once a year... and then skipping years altogether :( However, I still had a pretty substantial journal to give to Oldest Son when he turned 18 and he had LOVED it. I never gave Middle Son his because he was my toughest kid and that was reflected in some comments that I had written. Plus he's very pragmatic and also messy and uncaring in some ways, so I didn't want it to end up in the trash. I'll wait until he's more mature to give it to him. My daughter turned 18 at the beginning of her senior year (since she was born a couple of days after the school cut-off date of 9/1 she's always been the oldest in her class!) but I had decided to give her hers on Graduation. Well, and then I completely forgot about it. Yikes!
So I went to get the journal and re-read it and got all emotional and regretful that I hadn't kept up with it very well. But then I also remembered that several years ago I had kept a blog diary that wasn't about frugality at all but about what was happening in our lives. At some point, Blogger messed up my Picasa settings and all the pictures disappeared from the blog and I was never able to recover them. They were in my Picasa albums but they wouldn't display in my posts. I was very upset and started recreating my entries in Powerpoint by copying and pasting the text and then reinserting my pictures one by one and adding clip art to make it look a little more attractive. I figured I would print the sections about my daughter and insert them into the Journal! The picture above is of the 2009 pages that I printed in color and of my working on new pages from the years that were missing. I don't want to give it to her as a file on a thumb drive, but as a printout. There will be a lot of pages, so I need to think of the best way to display them. Maybe I can go to Staples and have those turned into spiral books? I'm not sure. Maybe I'll just hole punch them and put them in some attractive binders but since I had meant them for me to keep them on my computer and not really thought to print them, I lined up all the text and pictures so the very edge of the paper so I'm afraid that binding them in any way will ruin the pages. I really didn't think this through at all!
Thankfully, when I had gotten this new laptop in December, I had copied those Powerpoint documents from the old one to the new one and not to the external drive! So I went back to the documents and printed all the pages that mentioned my daughter, in color, on my inkjet printer. Good thing I keep a stock of printer paper and ink cartridges because I had to replace every single cartridge. In doing so, I realized that I had never finished the 2013 and 2014 "books" and that I was either missing or hadn't made a book for 2012. I think I must have forgotten to copy it from the old laptop as I had one for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014!
Coincidentally, that was also the day when I received the USB cable that I had ordered in hopes of being able to connect to my external drive with it. If I wanted to complete the missing sections and create a book for 2012, I had to have access to my pictures!
So I tried the cable... it didn't work. Windows wouldn't recognize my external drive at all. Did I cry of frustration? Yes, yes I did. And then I don't know what I did, but in moving the external drive on Greg's desk and unplugging it from the router and the electric outlet and then replugging it in, suddenly, it was available as a drive on my laptop again via wifi and the software needed to access it was working again (whaaaaaaat?!? I have no idea how that happened!). In the meantime, I had remembered that last year, I had bought an additional external drive, but not a wifi one, as I meant for it to be the back-up drive to that external drive exactly for the same reason: in case one day I couldn't access the wifi drive! I has started, in fact, copying all my pictures over but I had stopped in May 2016 and I had never copied the rest. Phew, at least I could access those. So I spent the rest of the afternoon copying all my pictures from May 2016 to the end of April 2017 from the Wifi external drive to the cabled external drive, in case the wifi connection thing/software stopped working again , and I also copied all my financial spreadsheets and other documents that I want to back-up. I put a reminder to do this once a week now (I also need to back up my Genealogy database and picture catalog to it!).
Anyhoo, with the pictures copied I used that "new" external drive to access the pictures I needed to complete the 2013 book before going to bed. It was obvious that this project wouldn't be done by graduation, the next night, so now I aim to give it to her before she leaves for College.
Speaking of my daughter, Middle Son offered to take her to Epcot on Friday before Graduation, and between that and her dad and family going to graduation and having to find easy places to park, it was decided that she would drive to her dad's on Thursday night and spend the night there, and then spend the day with her dad and brother at Epcot on Friday. She promised me that I would still be able to see her on Friday before graduation.
In the morning, I found more graduation decorations that I had never used for Oldest Son's graduation back in 2012! (I had done other things, as I had completely forgotten, but rediscovered when I recreated the 2012 Powerpoint document during the day!). I cut out the "12" from the signs and hung them around the house for a more "festive" look. I also had two "congratulations, Graduate!" signs that I planted in the front yard.
The plan for the day was that Daughter would be at Epcot with Middle Son and their dad. They would take 2 vehicles and my ex would go back to his house mid-day as he had to pick up his wife from the airport. Middle Son and Daughter would come back here before Graduation so she could get ready. She would then drive to graduation and Middle Son would hang out here since he couldn't be there that early. The overflow parking lot is actually at the middle school down the street from my house, so he would walk to the Middle School, meet his dad and other family members there, they would ride the bus to the high school. Then my Daughter told me she'd come back here for a short while after Graduation with her BFF since I had told her I had hoped to see the both of them on Graduation Day (so I could give them their secret goodie bags!), before she would drive back to Orlando to have dinner with her dad and extended family and then spend the weekend at her dad's.
I spent the day recreating the 2012 book from my old blog records. I reinserted all the pictures but didn't have time to embellish anything with clipart so I'll still need to do that.
Right after lunch, I started thinking that if my daughter had to be at the high school by 5:30 p.m. but wasn't going to have dinner until 10ish, she and Middle Son were going to be hungry. So I drove to Publix and got some graduation cupcakes, several deli subs that I ended up cutting in thirds, some Pringles and potato salad, so I could assemble a quick buffet for them. I texted her to let her know. She said they would be leaving Epcot "soon". It was just before 2 p.m.
|Cupcakes in the colors of her school|
At 4:30 p.m., I still hadn't heard from them and started wondering if something had happened. I texted her and Middle Son replied that they were on the Turnpike and would soon be here. They got here at 4:55 p.m. She needed to leave for the high school no later than 5:15 p.m. She was tired from her day, her hair was all filthy and she was sweaty. I forced her to take a shower and wash her hair, as she insisted that she was "fine". Uh, no. Before going to the bathroom, she came down with her graduation gown all bundled up and asked her brother to iron her gown! Seriously?! She had the whole week to take care of that and it wasn't done?! Things like these really irk me. I grabbed the gown, told Middle Son to get out of my way, and ironed the gown for her. Meanwhile Middle Son played with the kittens and filled me in on their day. They had eaten at Epcot so Daughter wasn't hungry and she was in a rush so she didn't notice the decorations at all. She left with her hair wet, said it was hot and it would dry before graduation started at 7 p.m. True. I told her not to worry about coming back here after Graduation with her BFF, I don't like being in a rush like this (as she would still have to drive back to Orlando to attend dinner with her dad and his family), so I would see them next week when we had more time to discuss their ceremony and I could give them their surprise goodies.
So Middle Son and I chatted after she had left. Come to find out, they had been late coming home because of him. He had forgotten to bring an outfit to change into so they had had to drive all the way back to East Orlando and then back to West Orlando (where I live) again. Typical. Also typical? He hadn't done his laundry so his clothes needed to be washed. It was now 5:30 p.m. with graduation starting at 7 p.m. and he had to walk a few blocks and then take a bus to get there. I washed his clothes and set a timer to put them in the dryer. By the time he said "I should see about moving my clothes to the dryer" they had been in there for 5 minutes already. At some point, I realized that he smelled pretty rank too so I sent him to take a shower while his clothes finished drying. He ended up with slightly moist clothes but he didn't care. His dad and family had already taken the bus to the high school. I had heard thunder and it had indeed sprinkled earlier in the afternoon so it was muggy, so Youngest Son and I drove him to the Middle School where a bus was conveniently waiting right at that moment, and he got there in time. I had asked if he was going to take pictures for us but he had only brought his iPhone. He asked to borrow my hybrid camera but I wouldn't let him take it. Oh well if I don't have pictures. Yes, my ex and his family took some, I'm sure, but I won't ask for any and he probably won't offer any (which is why I won't ask for any). I'll probably be able to get some from my daughter later on this year, I'm thinking. (update: she just posted some on Instagram so I took screenshots of some of them).
Youngest Son and I drove on to RaceTrac where we got our free Sodapalooza refills and I bought an extra sandwich, because Middle Son had eaten and Youngest Son and I had eaten 1 third of a sandwich each as a snack, and I hadn't planned anything for dinner. So Greg, Youngest Son and I dined on the graduation buffet food and had our own little celebration of sorts. I spent the evening finishing the 2012 book (still need to adorn it with clip art) while "Peep Show" was playing and I was half watching it with Greg.
I had told Middle Son to keep his dirty clothes that he had changed out of in a plastic bag on the front porch and get his dad to swing by after graduation to get his clothes back. However, I had the good surprise to see my Daughter, along with Middle Son, after graduation, as she had wanted to come see me for a few minutes and show me her summa cum laude (free) sash. I asked Middle Son to take pictures of us with my camera, but I'm sad to say that none of the pictures turned out, at least not well enough for me to be able to frame one.
I was very happy to see my daughter and got emotional. She said the speeches had been "stupid" and that she spent the ceremony texting! I said "well, you didn't text me!" and she replied she and her BFF has been texting back and forth since they were not seated next to one another. Still, she was very excited and full of enthusiasm after the ceremony, and I was happy to see her in such good spirits. She said she received a digital photo frame from the State College as a special graduation gift, and a card signed by a lot of her high school teachers, also she said she didn't know most of the teachers who signed the card.
Meanwhile, I forgot to mention that I had never heard back from the principal about the graduation being streamed. He had sound promising when I had first contacted him, but never replied to my follow-up inquiry sent on Wednesday. I'm not surprised, to tell you the truth.
Anyhoo, after we took pictures, my daughter changed back into her regular clothes and she and Middle Son (who did remember to grab his dirty clothes) drove back to East Orlando, where they apparently met, among other, Oldest Son and his GF, along with her dad and his and stepmom's extended families, for dinner at Chili's. Daughter texted me this morning and said she and her brothers and Oldest Son's GF had sat in a booth by themselves on purpose because none of them wanted to socialize with anyone else. That must have been awkward for the other folks who had come to spend time with her, IMO. Anyhoo. She also mentioned that she had gotten about $600 in gifts and that she was going to put $500 in Savings.
She will come back on Friday.
Gratitude for the week
I don't want to end this post on a bitter note, so after all this whining, I'm practicing gratitude for the things that went right, namely:
- It rained for several hours on Saturday last week
- Greg took me out to walk and to lunch on Sunday
- I saw Middle Son several times this week
- I was able to access my pictures after all and copy them to another drive
- I had forgotten that I had already put together Powerpoint documents based on my old blog, which can be used as Journals for my kids
- I had forgotten that I had already copied the vast majority of my pictures to the other external drive, which will save me a lot of time
- Youngest Son's sense of humor
- Daughter's hard work paid off by being recognized at her Graduation and having a good time there even though she didn't want to attend
- Time spent with my daughter this week and being able to see her in her cap and gown (and special sash!)
- Cute kittens who still like to cuddle with me, at times
How are you all doing these days?