Friday, May 5, 2017

What I Was Up To ~ Monday 4/24 through Friday 4/28, 2017

May 5, 2017: I had typed up this post during my first "break" so I finally inserted photos and decided to post it "posthumously".

Monday 4/24/17

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to see Greg off to the airport and then went back to sleep (or tried to but the kittens weren't helping!) until 6:30 a.m.  I took my son to school. He was sleepy on the way to school and so was I!

Greg will be gone for 5 days on a business trip so all his expenses will be paid by his employer. And since he has a business phone now, we don't even have to worry about how much data he's using or not and he can even call me!

The weather is overcast and the weather app says we have a 75% chance of rain. I'll believe it when I see it.  Still, I'm holding off on watering the flowers until later on, just in case.

I said I wouldn't post every day so I could concentrate on doing chores and finishing projects. Well, maybe I'll start on that tomorrow. This morning I don't feel motivated to do any domestic tasks at all.

My daughter said she was going to spend all day at the library to work on a final paper for one of her classes, so there won't be anyone around save the cats to witness my watching "Forensic Files" most of the day. Sweet!

I put a book on hold at the library and then realized that I had a 20-cent fine because one of my books was overdue. I usually get a reminder email 3 days out but I checked all my folders including the trash and spam folders and I never got a reminder. So I emailed my friend the Teen Librarian to ask her who I should contact about this. I didn't mind the fine (I should have known my book was due!) but I wanted to make sure it wouldn't happen again.  She replied that IT was aware of the problem and that there had been a hiccup in the system last week, and she removed the fine for me. Yay!

My Swagbucks goal was low (40 SB) so I ran videos and met it early on. I also earned the Microsoft Rewards for the day.

Last night, I had fallen asleep on the couch while watching "Forensic Files" and Greg was reading, when we suddenly heard a loud and continuing "clang!" coming out of the air conditioning unit outside the living room windows. It was dark so Greg shined his phone flashlight on the unit and announced that there was critter stuck in the unit!  Neither of us could make out what it was, but it looked pretty large to us. I was thinking it was a possum or similar that had been under the house and might have gnawed a hole in one of the ducts and crawled in there.  So we rushed outside to take a better look. I grabbed a large flashlight. I was already bemoaning that something huge was going to die in there and stink up the house and Greg would be gone all week and I'd have to be the one dealing with the repair people again (something always seems to break down when Greg is gone a few days!).  So we shined the light on... I went back to take a picture this morning... it was a frog, from what I can tell.  Poor frog, but phew!  Part of me had been afraid that instead of being a possum, it might have been a cat.

Also, we watched an episode of "Forensic Files" together last night and when we do so, we always play at reminding ourselves of what not to do if he ever decide to murder the other.  I know, black humor, but we have fun with it.  Anyhoo, the show we were watching made a big deal about a length of duct tape that had been missing from a body that had been discovered, and then a fisherman had found it and the police had been able to zero in on the suspect thanks to that piece.  About 10 minutes later, I was looking at the backyard (it wasn't dark yet) and saw something on the ground near one of my veggie beds.  I joked to Greg that I had found the missing piece of duct tape.

This morning, I was walking around the backyard and went to see what it was more closely... you guys!  It IS a piece of duct tape!  I did like on the show and picked it up with a large piece of mulch to preserve any fingerprints, lol.  And then I felt stupid so I just threw it away. The end.  Still, I have no idea where it came from... dum, dum, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum!  I sure hope there isn't a body buried somewhere in the backyard.

Other things I photographed around the backyard...

The Ichiban eggplant is blooming up a storm and...

There is an eggplant growing!  I guess I just needed to add water to the bin. Who would have thunk?

This is the fine job that Greg did with the outdoor carpet from Aldi.  The green support beams aren't green all over because it's reclaimed wood from our old shed (it was painted yellow and green).

The crowned flycatcher has reclaimed its spot at the top of the tree! It was singing its little heart out this morning.

The hibiscus is waking up... the blooms are slowly unfurling.

A rose, and more are about to bloom. Yay!
Interesting article that claims that all that Ivanka Trump clothing that stores weren't able to unload was renamed "Adrienne Vittadini" and sold to SteinMart to be resold to customers.  You just never know what you're buying, do you?

Susan, avert your eyes!  I actually was a little domestic today, after saying that I was renewing my membership in the Lazy Housewife Sisterhood Club, but it's because the kittens made me do it.  One of them threw up all over the kitchen so I had to pick that up.  And then I decided to pick up the socks that Tabby Kitten left all over the house too, and that led to getting the laundry started. I may have also stripped Greg's bed since he's not here. It's the perfect time to plan on washing his bedding.  Oh and I cleaned all 4 litter boxes because the darn cats decided to have a Poop Fest today or something.

The pile of socks that I gathered downstairs. Princess was nosy and had to come sniff it when I tried taking a picture of it.

Then she wanted to know what I was doing..
Greg made it to Denver OK. His flight wasn't overbooked so he wasn't asked to give up his seat. Rats.

I had fun looking at pictures of the signs that people made for the March For Science this past Saturday. This one made me laugh.  I always wish after the fact that I had gone to a march.

I had asked my sister-in-law who she and my brother were going to vote for in the French presidential election. She didn't answer directly, but told me that they weren't planning on voting in the run-off seeing as they couldn't bring themselves to vote for Macron, the centrist who is a former banker and represents everything that is wrong with the world in their view.  Arrrgh. I urged her to hold her nose and go vote anyway, reminding her that 45 was elected here in part because so many people stayed home, thinking there was no way he'd be elected and others because they just couldn't bring themselves to vote for Clinton.  I reminded her that Le Pen is 45's ally and a right-wing extremist.  I think I might have swayed her a little... I mean, what is the point to NOT vote?  You don't get to get off the planet. You still have to live with whatever choice is made by the majority (unless you live here because the majority sure didn't vote for 45!).  So why not have a say and make sure that the truly evil people don't get elected?!  It takes just a few minutes of your time!

Greg wasn't kicked off his flight to Vancouver either. Grr, no riches for us!  He did say the flight was crowded, though.

McDonald's alerted me of an offer for a free large fries without any purchase in my app, since Orlando City Soccer scored some goals yesterday, but that would have meant for me to drive to McDonald's and I wasn't in the mood for it so I didn't redeem it.

So I finally had enough of the cat hair everywhere and swept the downstairs. A few observations:

  • the upcycled handle that I had jerry-rigged on the rubber broom head is longer than the previous one but still way too short. I need it to be about 2 feet longer.  It's fine to sweep a tiny area, but to sweep my large kitchen with it, for instance, ouch. My lower back hurts quite a bit.

  • I need to lock up the kittens in my bedroom before I start sweeping. Vacuuming scares them so they leave me alone. But they think that sweeping is a game so it ends up taking me 4 times as long as I have three kittens launching themselves at the broom, batting the dust bunnies, frolicking in my pile of dirt as I'm gathering more dirt before shoveling it into the trash bin... arrgh. Yelling at them, swatting them, pushing them away with my foot, nothing works. They love it!  It's playtime, mom!

  • Is it better to dust the furniture first and then to sweep/vacuum?  Or the opposite order?  It doesn't seem to matter at my house. If I sweep first, then I find dust bunnies on the ground after I'm done dusting.   If I dust first and then sweep, I see all the cat hair and dust flying in the air and settling back onto the shelves, the mantelpiece, etc.  Is the answer that I should dust and sweep/vacuum every day so there's less chance of anything actually flying around and depositing itself?  Probably. Do I want to do that? Nope.

  • I ended up sweeping the equivalent of 2 kittens' worth of cat hair. Seriously. Half my trash bin is full and it's mostly cat hair. It may be time to start brushing them regularly again.

The high school posted a site where we could download pictures of the Prom.  I looked and there were lots of girls with red dresses... only none of them were of my daughter and her BFF.  I emailed her and she said she didn't even know there was a place where they could get their picture taken at Prom, lol.  Her BFF's mom is a professional photographer and apparently took "300" pictures at her house before they left for Prom so I hope I'll get one of those, just for my records :)

I was a little hungry in the mid-afternoon, so I made 2 cheese quesadillas with the two flour tortillas that I had brought home from the Mexican restaurant on Saturday.

I stumbled on a thread on a forum that I read about twist ending in movies so I spent a long time just reading movie plots on Wikipedia. A lot of them were horror or science-fiction movies, two genres I don't enjoy watching, so I'd rather read all about them on Wikipedia (and wonder why people would want to watch horror movies!).

Only... on Wikipedia!

Greg called from his hotel. He told me all about his ordeal at the airport this morning, which was a bunch of delays and problems one after the other, poor guy. He almost didn't make his flight!  I reminded him that I had told him to be at the airport 2 hours in advance but he poo-poo'ed that and said 90 minutes was enough.  Well, now... I love it when I'm proven right :)

It never did rain over here. I didn't water the flowers. I'll have to do that in the morning.

I was lazy for dinner and not hungry (I had some chocolate this afternoon and the cheese tortillas!) so I heated up a can of Campbell's Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup for the kids and made them a grilled cheese sandwich each. They were actually very happy :)

I sat with them and my daughter and I discussed Prom. Then she asked me if I had more pictures of Mean Kitty when she was a kitten so we went to sit in the living room and I showed up the pictures and movies of the first month we have Mean Kitty. We had such a good time watching those, I don't think I'd seen some of those since I had filmed them!  Youngest Son came for a little bit too. Then she had to go work on her college class essays and Youngest Son really wanted to go cuddle with Male Cat and Mean Kitty so I started watching Forensic Files again.

Mean Kitty, 4/25/17.  By the way "Mean Kitty" isn't her real name.  She has a name that doesn't reflect on her badly
at all.  But I chose it as her pseudonym for the blog because she's quite a b-i-t-c-h with the other cats.
I went to bed at 10 p.m., at the same time as Youngest Son.  I was still awake so I put "Forensic Files" on the Kindle Fire. All three kittens came to bed with me, but Princess and Tabby Kitten left after a few minutes when they realized that, as usual, I wasn't going to let them use the bedroom as a playground.  Explorer kept cuddling with me, though, and trying to watch the Kindle too, so I mostly listened to the show as his head was blocking my view, lol.

Princess cuddled with me last night before I went to bed.  She and her brother always have to extend a paw to make sure they're touching me, lol.

Tuesday 4/25/17

Ugh, my night was fractured.  Explorer was very needy and insisted on laying down right against my face at all times.  He was purring too.  It's usually lovely but I got very annoyed because I kept on turning this way and that way and he'd move over each time and I'd end up with nostrils and a mouth full of his fur.  Arrgh. Finally I pushed him off me pretty hard and yelled at him to get off me already but it was only a few minutes before my alarm rang, or so it seemed.

After my shower he jumped on top of the tall dresser where I keep the deodorant etc, so once again he could be in my face.  What is it?! He had water, food, the litter box was cleaned yesterday...  I just don't know.  We did cuddle, though, because I can't stay mad at him, he's just too cute :)

I have no idea where Tabby Kitten slept. Since I washed Greg's bedding but hadn't made the bed again, I closed his bedroom door. I expected Tabby Kitten to cry at the door all night but he didn't, not even once! He must have slept downstairs with the big cats.  Princess slept at my feet most of the night.

This morning, Princess is the one who's needy.  She jumped on me as soon as I sat on the couch, returning from the school drop-off and grabbed my fingers with her paws, playfully chewing on them while she purred and purred, and finally fell asleep. She's currently nestled against me, which is forcing me to hold my arm in an odd position so I can type, and it's hurting my shoulder!  She's such a cutie, though.

So I dropped off my son at school this morning. We were treated to a beautiful sunrise as we drove to the school, and I asked my son to take pictures of it with my phone. My windshield was filthy so I don't expect those will look great.  Then I remembered that I had my old point-and-shoot camera in the car, so I fished it out and took advantage of a traffic light to take my own picture. Only, the traffic light and cables and buildings were in the way. Grrr.

Picture my son took. It was much prettier than that in real life!

Ditto with the picture I took with my point-and-shoot as we waited at the traffic light.

On my way home, I stopped by the lake and snapped more pictures.  The light was golden, it was so pretty!  There were a couple of grackles and a great blue heron by the shore. They didn't do anything really interesting while I watched them, though.  As Greg reported, the little fish in the lake have grown quite a bit! They're now about 2-3 inches long.   Hopefully they'll turn into full size basses.  I don't know why the heron wasn't hunting on that side of the boat launch. Maybe it prefers lizards and frogs to fish?

The temperature was 11 degrees cooler this morning than yesterday morning!  58F/14.4C!  I opened the windows and turned off the AC. It's supposed to be 84F/29C today.  I decided against sitting in the backyard and now I'm stuck with Princess on the futon, when I should be watering my plants!  Arrgh.  Ah, as I typed this, she heard the little bell of that neighborhood cat outside so she got up.  OK, breakfast is in order before I go outside. First things first!

Alright, now she's annoying me: Princess just dipped her paw into my cereal bowl as I was eating, so she could eat it herself since I wasn't letting her muzzle near my bowl! As soon as the other two heard the spoon scrapping on the bowl, they showed up as well so I had 3 vultures perched on the back and the arm of the futon, intently watching me eat my cereal and inching closer and closer...

My Swagbucks goal is 40 SB this morning. I'm running videos to try and reach it. I'm at 1,979 SB total so I need 221 extra SB to be able to order a $25 gift card.

My son returned my library book for me last night, when he went volunteering there, so I don't really have a reason to bike there today save for trying to score some coupon inserts.  I used very few coupons last week (I think 2!) so I'm rethinking how much time I spent gathering, clipping and sorting those.  Not being able to make some deals advertised on IheartPublix isn't at all as upsetting as it used to be, I'm way more "zen" about it now. So maybe I won't go to the library today.

I figured I should go do my outdoor chores before it got too hot outside so I:

  • collected the trash and recycling throughout the house
  • took the trash and yard waste bins down to the curb for collection
  • finished drying Greg's comforter in the dryer (it was still damp)
  • swept the leaves off the front porch because a bunch had accumulated again. I threw them away in the yard waste bin
  • I realized that I had forgotten to break down the last 4 crumbling self-watering bins so I set about doing that. First, I transplanted 3 or 4 tomato plants from crumbling bins into more sturdy bins that stood empty (I had to pull the weeds out first). I hope they survive! 
  • I also harvested 3 small lettuce heads. I'll turn them into a salad at lunch time.
  • One bin had been refilled recently so the ground was moist and crumbly. I decided to let it sit another week or two so the soil would be very dry again and easier to remove.
  • I wheeled everything that needed to be thrown away down to the curb
  • I saved the parts that could be reused (everything but the bin itself and the soil, which is full of weeds and has lost most of its nutrients by now).
  • Then I refilled the hummingbird feeders.

I transplanted 2 tomato plants in the bin where the "guest" basil plant is growing.

And two in this bin.

Bless, look!  A ladybug was on my hibiscus!  I hope it ate a lot of aphids because I couldn't blast all of them away.
That's when Greg called to say good morning. It was 9:15 a.m. my time, 6:15 a.m. for him since he's in Vancouver.  He slept great, for 10 hours!  I'm happy for him, he's been having sleep problems as well.  We chatted for a bit and while we did, I started a new batch of hummingbird nectar to boil on the stove. Only since I was distracted by the phone call, I forgot to set a timer and it ended up boiling for about 45 minutes instead of just 10!  I added 3 more cups of water, boiled it again for 10 minutes. Maybe the hummingbirds will like the slight caramel flavor? ha.

After Greg and I hung up, I watered all the plants and refilled the few self-watering bins that are still functional.  After all, I guess I could have kept my pineapple plants that had rooted in jars, since now I have lots of space in the garden to replant them!  Oh well.

Lots of room now!
This took a while.  But it was very overcast and still cool! By the time I was done, it was only 70F/21.1C and in the house as well.  Yay!  I decided to sit outside for a while.

A butterfly came to visit the milkweed while I was watering. I tried to photograph it with my crappy phone camera and it didn't turn out very well, but later on it came back several times as I sat on the porch so I got better shots of it. Yay!

Another shot I was really happy to take was this one of a hummingbird visiting the red flowering vine that's growing on its own where my large oak tree used to be. I had just refilled the feeders but I was super happy to see it try to drink actual nectar from actual flowers!

A pair of cardinals came to visit their feeder and took turns eating.

I emptied my countertop composting container into the large composting bin outside and it occurred to me that it needed to be wet so I dumped the aphid-filled water that I had collected when I cleaned off the hibiscus into the composting bin.

The crows were occupying the top of the nearby tree along with a couple of crested flycatchers, and as soon as the crows left, the alpha flycatcher started his singing. Well, the crow came back really quickly and chased him off the tree! I guess it's sore that it can't sing as beautifully, lol.

Now I'm thinking this wasn't a flycatcher. It kind of looks blue...
It's now 11:15 a.m. and the clouds are letting the sun shine a bit. It gets hot very fast when that happens!  There's not much happening outside so I might go back indoors and cuddle with the kittens. I want to make carrot soup for lunch and also bake some banana bread for my son's after-school snack.

Explorer was crying for me quite a bit.  Look at those claws on my window screen!  Arrrgh.  
For dinner, I'm going to bread and pan fried the 2 chicken breasts that I had defrosted last weekend and cook the package of cheese-filled tri color tortellini that I had bought on a whim at Aldi last week. I'm writing it down so I'm not too tempted to buy take-out food!  I've already succeeded in talking myself out of stopping by Dunkin' Donuts or the Publix Bakery this morning on my way back from the high school.  

My daughter had a final to take at the college today and was planning on studying at the library for her other finals so she left at 11:20 am. and won't be back until dinnertime.  I'm so pleased to have assiduous children!

I'm still on the patio at 11:25 a.m. I know I said I was going on but I'm so comfy!  I just heard a loud buzzing sound over my head and looked up, in time to catch a male ruby throated hummingbird landing on the electric cable almost right above my head!  Too bad the lighting is so poor.  I snapped away and then he flew to the closest feeder and then, quick as lightning, to the red pepper cage just a few feet away, where he sat for just a couple of seconds, not long enough for me to snap it :( Too bad because the lighting then was just great.

This big lizard is flirting with the smaller one. Spring is making them a little frisky!

A bee is competing with a butterfly on the milkweed. The butterfly was coming, saw the bee, and turned around!  I wonder if the bee growled, like the kittens do when they have their favorite toy and another kitten approaches :)  That always makes us laugh.

11:45 a.m.  You guys... I decided I was going back in, gathered my stuff (laptop under my arm, empty coffee cup in my hand, camera around my neck) and took a couple of steps on the patio... and came "nose to nose" so to speak with the black garden snake correction: it's a black racer that's been hanging around. It was enjoying the patio as well and didn't see me until the last minute.  I swear we both got startled and I did a little jump (so glad I didn't drop my laptop!). He scrambled (and had a hard time scrambling, that was funny!) under the many empty cat litter jugs piled up by the rain barrel, while I exclaimed "Oh, god. Fuck!" and my heart did a little jump itself and then I was on my way, chuckling under my breath at the fact that we were both enjoying the patio at the same time.  I pictured it with its little snake lounge chair, his mug of snake coffee and his little snake laptop. I wonder what he's saying about me on his little snake blog, lol.  Hmm, there might be a little more cherry liquor in the Aldi chocolate cherry liquor cake that I've been snacking on this morning than I realized!

I used three overripe bananas to bake a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread. I used the new loaf pan that I had bought at Aldi last week.   My son will be happy to have a freshly baked treat for his afternoon snack :)

Then I used the rest of a bag of carrots that had half frozen in my fridge, a couple of newer carrots, and the very last of the leeks that I had in the freezer (that I was surprised to find, actually!) to make Carrot and Coriander Soup.  I love that soup!  It's cooking in the microwave right now. Then I'll put it through my blender and use the rest of the small brick of UHT whipping cream that's been in my fridge for a couple of weeks, as well as salt and pepper. I'll probably make myself a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it.

At 12:38 p.m. the windows are still open and it's still only 72F in the living room thanks to the thick cloud cover. Since my daughter is gone all day, I'm going to keep the windows open as long as I can, even though the oven is on.  I'll turn on the AC about an hour before she comes home and hopefully her room will be cool enough. When it's not, she just studies in the Cat Room but the cats are distracting :)

These are the two male kittens, play-fighting after they throw my clean laundry down on the ground!

Princess, waking up from a nap.
I got the banana bread out of the oven (oooh, looks so good!), and processed the soup in the blender. The leeks must have been old, they were very fibrous.  I fixed myself a fried egg and cheese sandwich to go along with a large bowl of the soup, and got a navel orange out of the fridge.

I was carrying my lunch back to the living room as I was getting ready to watch an episode of "Forensic Files" while I ate, when I noticed my two male kittens intently looking down the exercise room window and scratching at the bottom of the window frame (thankfully, not the screen itself!) so I became convinced that they had seen the snake.  I put my food down on the arm of the futon, got my camera and asked them what they had seen and they said, in their little kitten voices, "see here, mom, a snake!" and sure enough it was!  It was in the grass by my composting bin. It's actually quite small but according to Wikipedia, the juveniles don't hatch until the fall so I guess it's an adult snake. I've seen them much bigger, though.  The kittens have amazing vision as the snake started to move under the hedge, passing behind some pots and things that I store there, and still knowing exactly where the snake was as it reappeared and stopped. I took pictures but as there is a screen on the window, it wasn't optimal.  So I went outside. The snake stayed there, but it was hard to get a close-up and get the camera to focus as there were leaves and Spanish moss in the way. Still, I got a couple of head shots. And then I let it be. It eats frogs and lizards (but also baby birds!).

Look at this cute little face! He looks quite friendly, doesn't he? However, apparently they are biters. They're not venomous, but still, I don't want to get bitten!
I came back indoors and the male kittens were still looking out the window and now scratching like crazy at the bottom of the screen frame and I was afraid they'd pop it out so I closed the window while marveling that they hadn't even noticed that there was food on the futon.

Then I walked in the living room and this is what I saw. Argh, I had forgotten about HER!  My lunch!  LOL.

I submitted a ticket to Swagbucks because they never did credit me with any Swagbucks for my mattress purchase via Amazon on 3/21.  That day, they were offering 7 SB per dollar spent for Furniture and mattresses and boxsprings are listed under furniture on the Amazon website.  I should have earned 1,281 SB!  I had to wait 32 days in order to submit the ticket.  I sent screenshots of the purchase confirmation and of the Amazon website showing mattresses listed under "furniture". The only thing I don't have is a screenshot showing they were offering 7SB per dollar that day for furniture.  I'm getting very annoyed that we, the customers, have to prove all of that when they are the ones that screw up.

In other retarded 45 family news, go Germany! "But the audience was unsympathetic when she called her father a "tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive", with the moderator moving the discussion on amid a chorus of boos."  You know whose family he has so far supported and enabled to thrive?  His own.  

Alright, my lunch is done and I have yet to turn on "Forensic Files". I will now fold the laundry while watching it.  Ah, the glamour of being a SAHM.

Swagbucks replied to my ticket by apologizing and crediting me with the missing Swagbucks. Woohoo!   I immediately ordered a $25 Walmart gift card by redeeming 2,200 SB. The 50 SB Swag-Up from last week's Team Challenge was credited to my account. Yay! Also, the addition of the missing SB made me definitely meet my 2nd daily goal in SB.

I earned the maximum credits of Microsoft Rewards for the day.

And then I received an email from Ace Hardware telling me that I earned a $5 Rewards and that it'll be mailed to be within 2 weeks. Woohoo!

4:30 p.m.  I should accomplish more projects from my To Do List but I'm not too motivated. The kittens are asleep, the windows are still open, and I think it would be lovely to lie back on the couch with my Kindle and start one of my newly downloaded library books... I might not be as productive this week as I thought I would be if I wasn't blogging. Perhaps it's because I'm still blogging?!

4:45 p.m.  I needed my Kindle, which was upstairs, so I brought the laundry baskets of folded clothes upstairs and put my laundry away. I'll deal with Greg's some other day.  I grabbed my Kindle and the charging cable.

On my way to putting the empty laundry basket away in the laundry room, I noticed once more the dried up tracks of bleach that Greg had spread around the outside of the Cat Room windows a couple of weeks ago and I decided that I had stared at them long enough and that it was time to do something about it. So I used my homemade window cleaner and a microcloth and cleaned the outside of the windows. Now that I know how to operate them, it's not as intimidating (we have the kind that swing in so you don't have to be outside and take the screens off to clean them, unlike our old ones).  Yay, one more thing to take off my To Do List!

I was comfortable in the house but I noticed that it was 78F in the living room so I closed all the windows and turned the AC back on so we're comfortable sleeping tonight.  Good thing I did because my daughter got home at 5:30 p.m.

I started reading one of my library books, "The Girl in the Woods" by Gregg Olsen. I think this is going to be a light read.

I got some coupons for Burger King in the mail.  I used to love their burgers but I can't remember the last time we ate there. I mean, it's just by the crappy Chinese restaurant so if I'm going to be driving that way, I'll go for the addicting crappy Chinese take-out, 100% of the time. Oh yum Chinese take-out...

So my dinner trick didn't work. I started thinking about Chinese food!  So I ordered us Chinese and my son and I went to pick it up.  We qualified for 2 free sodas with our order. Yay!  And this time I remembered to tell them not to include the fried wontons strips that we never ever eat. Double yay!

I read my library book tonight. It was horrible. One of the most poorly written piece of drivel I've ever read.  Ugh. I returned it to the library.

I went to bed at 11 p.m. and put on an episode of "Forensic Files" on my Kindle. I think I must have fallen asleep pretty much right away!

Wednesday 4/26/17

Yesterday my daughter told me that Tabby Kitten had been crying at her door at 5 a.m. and cried for 20 minutes before going away (she didn't let him in).  Oh so that's where he was!

Last night, I heard a cat crying and crying in the hall right outside my door so I called out to him but he wouldn't come so I turned on my light, looked at the time (2:30 a.m.) and in walks Princess with a cat toy in her mouth and she was the one crying, desperately. I guess she was calling the other kittens to come play with her?!  She never does that!  Anyhoo, I petted her and told her to come to bed before turning off the light. All I remember after that is that at some point all 3 kittens were in bed with me. She by my feet, Tabby Kitten stretched along my leg, and Explorer somewhere near my head, although he was very good last night and didn't try to smother me even once!  I got up at 6:30 a.m.

I'm rethinking the mattress cover.  It's not made of plastic but it's waterproof so there's got to be some kind of plastic barrier in it.  When I wake up in the mornings, my sheet feels moist under me. It didn't do that before I had the cover on.

We had another gorgeous sunrise this morning as I drove my son to school, I wish there had been time or a good spot to stop and snap a quick picture!

It's cool again this morning and 59F/15C so I have opened the windows again.  Today is my weekly shopping day and not only do I not feel like going but I even feel like going much less than the other weeks!  I just want to be home! We do need bread.

I've looked at the ads for Aldi and Save A Lot and there's nothing much to be excited about.  I'll probably go but make it a quick trip.  I need to:

  1. Pick up the older cat's food from the vet's
  2. Get a new spraying handle for the hose
  3. Get bread and milk

I had read that there should be a reward in my Auntie Anne's app today for a free pretzel in honor of National Pretzel Day, but I just checked and there is nothing.  That's fine, I didn't feel like going to Walmart anyway (Aunt Annie's is located at our Super Walmart).

My son has an FBLA meeting after school so I'll need to go pick him up. I had told him to bring his DL with him because I'd have him drive home, I wonder if he did it.  He's not excited about learning to drive at all.

I put the recycling out to the curb since today is collection day.  Oh, there are lots of birds singing outside in the trees, I can hear them through the open windows. I don't want to go anywhere, darn it!  But that would be postponing the inevitable, much like doing the dishes that I'll have to do before Greg gets home.  I haven't cooked but they still do pile up. Oh wait, I baked and made soup yesterday. My bad!

Swagbucks Watch isn't offering much in terms of "Sponsored Videos" today, which is the only section that I use to run videos, so I'll skip that and won't bother trying to meet my goal of 40 SB.

It's 8:30 a.m.  I've caught up on the news and on blogs.  I guess I'll get going with the errands/grocery shopping so I can be home earlier than noon.  Ugh. Update: I was back by 11:00 a.m., woohoo!

So, this ended up becoming The Best Day Ever.  Why?

  1. Sodapalooza has started!!!! Woohoo!!!
  2. Law & Order Marathon Day on Ion TV, double woohoo!  And I can watch it until the very end since Greg, the L&O hater, isn't here.

Here is how my shopping trip went:

  • Vet's: I picked up the large bag of Urinary S.O. moderate calories cat food for the older cats.  I chatted with the receptionists for a bit and paid for the $66.99 OOP with my Amex (1% back in Rewards).

  • RaceTrac:
    • I topped off my tank. The gas price has gone down at a little ($2.40/gal). I earned loyalty points on my app and charged the $12.52 OOP to my Amex for 2% back in Rewards.  I gained a new receipt with which to get a freebie, once I take the survey.
    • I went inside to use the ladies' room and redeem a survey reward code for a free "brookie".

    • As I approached the register, I noticed the clerk had a cup in his hand that suspiciously looked like a Sodapalooza cup so I asked him with bated breath... "Is... is that a new Sodapalooza cup?! When does it start?!" and the heavens parted as he replied "Yes and it starts today!" If you followed my blog last summer, you know how much we used our Sodapalooza cups.  That's what got Greg addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper. Yes it's bad for you, but better than smoking, right? Anyhoo.  We'd been waiting for it to start again but they never replied to my (or other customers') tweets asking when it would start.  So I asked how much they were: $12.99 each but we get $2 off if we have the Rewards app.  The coupon wasn't on my app but they had instructions to just deduct the coupon manually in that case.  There was a limit of 3 cups per user but since they were deducting the coupon manually anyway, I asked if they would let me buy 4 and he agreed.  So I happily spent a crapola of money on soda cups. However, that comes out to $3.66 per month (the cups are valid through 7/31) and we can refill them as much as we want during that time period, either with fountain drinks or frozen drinks.  Also, it comes with coupons for freebies and discounts that don't expire until 8/31.  I filled mine up right away, but didn't fill out the others, only because that station didn't have the kids' favorite fountain drinks (but the one near my house does).  The only regret I have, is that I didn't make sure that the cashier scanned my loyalty number as he rung me up so I didn't earn any rewards on the transaction. I might email them to see if they'll credit me.

    • Flushed with my success, I texted Greg even though it was only 6 a.m. in Vancouver and he called me back right away.  He was excited as well, hahaha.  

    • Almost the best part about this is that I no longer have to buy the cans of Diet Dr. Pepper so this will in turn help my grocery budget!  I was on my way to buy milk and Diet Dr. Pepper at CVS but they didn't have any anyway, as usual.  I did two transactions at CVS:
      • Transaction #1: 2 bottles of Xtra laundry detergent, on sale at $1.99 each and I had (2) $1.00/1 store coupons loaded on my app so I paid $2.26 after tax, and charged it to Amazon Visa for 2% back in Rewards.

      • Transaction #2: I bought:
        • 1 gallon whole milk, on sale @ $2.79
        • 5 boxes of Kellogg's cereal, on sale @ $1.99 each.
        • I redeemed a $3.00/5 manufacturer coupon, $3 in ECBs and a $1.00/4 boxes of cereal digital store coupon.
        • My OOP was $5.74 but it was all free to me since I paid with the CVS gift card earned with our Amex Rewards program.
        • I should also earn 1,800 KFR bonus points thanks to the promo going on right now.

    • It was just past 9 a.m. when I got to Aldi so it wasn't crowded at all.  I got what I had on my shopping list and a few more things.  
      • Non-food items included:
        • a pair of XL men cargo shorts ($11.99). Those are actually for me!  I love cargo shorts but have the hardest time finding them in ladies' style anymore.  I don't think if they'll fit me but if they don't, I'll give them to Middle Son.
        • a nozzle handle for the hose ($3.99). It's one of those "thumb controlled" ones and since the trigger is what had broken on my other one, I decided to try this style.
        • a ceramic-coated pan ($12.99).  I have an old one that I had gotten for free via a P&G offer several years ago but it's all scratched now and also the bottom is warped so it was time to replace it.  I could have waited until I got a used one at a thrift store, true.
        • Non-food items accounted for $31.

      • Food items totaled $33.47.
      • I charged the $64.47 OOP to Amex for 3% back in Rewards.

    • I looked for my free drink coupon for Wawa but I couldn't find it. Rats!  It expires in a couple of days. Update: arrgh, actually it expired today and I couldn't find it because, as is my habit, I sent the coupon to print but I didn't actually turn on the printer until... this afternoon when I was printing my Swagbucks gift card.  That's when the Wawa coupon printed as well. Arrgh. I need to stop doing that!

    • I went to Publix because I needed to use the ladies' room again and I wanted to get money from the ATM to give to my son in exchange for the Visa Debit card he wanted me to take.  USAA will refund me the $2.75 ATM fee.  I also scanned my lottery ticket in the machine that one day will tell me I won something (but not today!) and grabbed a couple of store coupon brochures.

    • At Walgreens, I bought the bag of sugar that was on sale for $1.79 and then some chocolate marshmallow bunnies because they were 90% off. I redeemed a $1.50 Register Rewards that I had gotten last week, and my OOP was $0.72. I charged it to Amazon Visa for 2% back in Rewards. Once home, I redeemed a $0.25 Ibotta rebate for $0.25 off any item.

    • My last stop was Tractor Supply Co.  I had a $10 Rewards to spend before 5/2. I wasn't sure what to buy!  I looked at their plant sale but I didn't want to have to plant more tomato plants and I didn't want to have to purchase more large pots for new rose bushes just now.  The baby chicks were cute but we're not allowed to have chickens. I ended up choosing a tray bird feeder that can double as a bird bath too.  I'll use it for the dried up mealworms.  The sticker on the shelf said $11.99 but it rang lower and the cashier couldn't accept the $10 Reward if I was spending less than $10 so I bought a candy bar.  In the end, I paid $1.69 and charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.  I gave the candy bar to my son.

Back home, I photographed everything and put it away. As usual, the kittens were my self-appointed inspectors.

For lunch, I heated up my Chinese food leftovers and also those of my daughter's since she didn't want them. Yum.

I submitted my Walgreens receipt to Ibotta and they credited me right away.

In the mail today, I found coupons for Great Clips. It figures!  Greg and our son just got their hair cut this past weekend!  We paid $9.99 with the prepaid card but we could have paid $7.99 with the coupon and kept the $9.99 cuts on the card for a subsequent month (the cards don't expire). Grrr.'

We also got the latest issue of Outdoor Life magazine (free subscription) and an envelope of local coupons from Valpak.

I entered all of last week's receipts into my spreadsheets.  In doing so, I realized that Greg charged home repair supplies he bought at Lowe's to Amex instead of Discover.  That really annoys me because I reminded him three times before he left to use Discover AND he also has the cheat-sheet that I made for him. Discover offers 5% back in Bonus Rewards at home improvement stores this month, but we'll only earn 1% back on Amex. The bill was for over $100,  grrr. Honestly, I think I should be the only one allowed to spend any money, ha.

Ooooh, and then I saw the receipt for our meal at the Mexican restaurant. He left a $16 tip on a $40 bill.  That's a 40% tip!  WTH?!  The server was good, but not THAT good.

The only good news is that my grocery total for today was $35.60. Woohoo!  I will finish the month under budget for groceries.  Eating out is a different beast and even though I said I would no longer stress about it, we really need to reign this in. It's gotten ridiculous.

My son texted me that he was ready to be picked up from school so I grabbed the 3 Sodapalooza cups (I had given my daughter hers) and went to pick him up. He had brought his wallet so I strategized that it was probably better to have him drive us home so he could get driving practice, and then I would drive back to RaceTrac (it's 1/2 a mile away from my house) to get the Sodapalooza refills. I just didn't feel good about him driving into a gas station and parking into their small spaces when he's still so unsure of himself.  Can I confess that even though I try not to be tense when he drives, I can't wait until we're home in the driveway?  LOL.  His driver's ed class starts next week and I can't wait... for him to get more experience so he's more confident.

Swagbucks emailed me the $25 Walmart gift card I had ordered yesterday.

I took two RaceTrac surveys and earned two survey reward codes that will get me freebies and I earned the maximum of Microsoft Rewards credits.

Ooh, someone on Slickdeals posted the link to a Hamburger Helper rebate I wasn't aware of: buy 3 boxes of Hamburger Helpers (specific varieties ONLY) and 1 lb of ground beef in one transaction, and get up to $9.25 back for the cost of the ground beef (you'll only get refunded for the ground beef). Rebate expires in August. Make sure you read the small print.

Well, it looks like my life is about to get easier. Not only can I avoid doing the dishes every day, but I might not need to wash our clothes anymore either and make money in the process!

More good news: just saw an Ion TV promo stating that there'll be an all-day Law & Order marathon on Friday as well!  Woohoo!

Youngest Son walked to the library to participate in his weekly free teen program. He gets exercise, socialization with peers outside of school, has fun, and it's free. What's not to like?

Dinner was an XL cheese pizza from Aldi. While it baked, I unloaded the dishwasher and washed more than half of the dirty dishes.

Greg called in the evening and we chatted mostly about the cats because there wasn't much else to discuss! He's having a productive business trip but wasn't looking forward to having yet another business dinner, which also involved some kind of team building exercise. Both he and I don't like those types of activities.  It's hell on introverts.

I watched Law & Order in the evening, until I fell asleep on the couch!  I woke up at midnight and went to bed.  I slept pretty well until it was time to get up.

Thursday 4/27/17

I woke up worrying about what I was going to wear at the luncheon honoring the Top Scholars of our county today.  It's always the same story, I'm always too short-sighted to realize in advance that events like these will take place so maybe I shouldn't abandon my diet and exercise and maybe I should look in my closet in  advance to make sure I have something that fits. I probably do but I don't know if I still have shoes to wear as I purged them.  These days I'm in yoga pants and sneakers 100% of the time!  Another thing that always happens is that I'll agonize about that, wear something that I'm not comfortable in, and then show up at the luncheon/award ceremony and a lot of people will be wearing casual attire and then I'm thinking "Arrgh, next time I need to do the same thing!".  So I won't go in yoga pants, but I might just wear capris and a T-shirt.  We'll see.

School drop-off was a little odd. First of, the bus that my son would normally take came flying down our road as we were leaving, not even attempting to break for the street corner where my son would be waiting.  In all the mornings that I have taken my son to school, this is only the 2nd time that we've been behind the bus, usually it hasn't come yet by the time we leave (several minutes after its scheduled pick-up time!), as evidenced by the fact that the other kids waiting at the next stop are still there. This morning, the bus actually stopped at that stop, even though there were no kids waiting!  It waited just a couple of seconds before moving on.  I'm not sure whether the kids were driven this morning or whether they missed their bus!

Traffic going in and out of the high school was much heavier than usual, and I'm thinking that I'm not the only parent concerned that their kid might not get to school on time on a day when EOC exams are taking place!  For a change, I didn't observe any parents dropping off their kids on the main road, as I always do, however, I witnessed something perhaps even more dangerous: a car was waiting to turn into the high school. There is no turning lane on that portion of the road for the cars heading the same way, but there are 2 lanes in the opposite direction (the one I come in): the straight through lane that passes the high school and its parking lots, and the right turning lane that you use to turn into the high school.  So for once, this car was waiting to turn left into the high school but was holding up traffic behind it as it didn't have a turn lane and the cars coming the opposite direction weren't stopping (or even slowing down to the school zone speed limit, arrgh) to let it turn.  Suddenly, 2 idiots in 2 separate pick-up trucks that were waiting behind that car decided "F*** it!" and passed the car in the opposite traffic's through lane.  If that car had been able to turn at this moment, there would have been a huge accident because she had no reason to check her left mirror before turning!  And those idiots could have crashed into incoming traffic as well, which had to hit the brakes for them.  Ah, but to have a dash cam!  If the principal is at the award banquet today (the last time I attended, the principal was sitting at our table), I am definitely going to mention my concerns.

I opened the windows when I got home but the birds aren't being very vocal today.  I'm not sure where the kittens are, everything is suspiciously quiet.

I'm feeling "blah".  I think that this week has been a mistake and that I should take a break from blogging ALTOGETHER.  It's too easy for me to say "well, I'll type this up so I have it for my own records later on..." and then nothing has changed, I'm still blogging, which takes way too much time out of my day. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but the problem is that I love it a little too much.  I tend to have an "all or nothing" personality.  I think that if I truly want to accomplish anything, I need to stay away from the laptop.  Ugh, ugh, decisions.  Complicating things, I feel a vague responsibilities to keep my readers entertained by blogging every day, because I know that I sigh when I check Feedly in the mornings (and several times during the day!) and don't see a lot of new posts by my favorite bloggers. But I'm blogging for ME so why should have feel any kind of responsibility, right?  Ugh.  At the same time, I feel life is too short and stressful, at times, not to do something that you truly enjoy. For other people it's crafting, or cooking, or going to work, or playing an instrument, or running or... fill in the blanks. For me it's blogging!  But it's also an avoidance technique that I use way too much.  I thought it would help me be more accountable in some instances but I'm become very complacent and I've been accountable for nothing: I'm back to being as fat as I was at the start of the year, our eating out expenses are through the roof, and I haven't really accomplished much of anything so far this year. I'm not even gardening!  So I might take a complete break from blogging of an undetermined amount of time, to see if I can make a 180 degree change in my life.

I earned the maximum of MS Rewards for today and a few Swagbucks.

Checking my RaceTrac app, I now have 6 coupons for $2 off a Sodapalooza cup (?!) and another coupon for a free medium drink has appeared as well. Soda galore for me!  I drink diet soda when I do, but apparently now they're saying that it causes dementia and I forget what else. Oh well, everything is toxic nowadays.

I also finally got the reward coupon for the free Auntie Anne's pretzel.  It wasn't coming up for me yesterday so it's a good thing I didn't go there after all!

I decided to get my duff off the couch and went upstairs to do some chores:

  • reused a plastic bags (given to me at RaceTrac yesterday to carry the 4 Sodapalooza cups that I hadn't planned on buying that day) to clean the upstairs litter box.
  • made Greg's bed with the clean bedding
  • hang a fresh towel in his bedroom
  • put away his clean laundry
  • made my bed
  • looked for an outfit to wear at the luncheon
  • tried on a couple
  • decided on which outfit to wear
  • tried on the men cargo shorts I bought yesterday (they're loose in the belt area but fit fine around the hips, I'm keeping them)
  • shaved my legs!
  • located a pair of shoes to wear with said outfit
Then I went downstairs and hid the kayak cart that I had ordered for Greg as an early anniversary present in a gardening shed outside because whatever grease they put on there stinks to high heaven.  I'll need to remember that I ordered him that and where I hid it, lol!

Now I feel better about the luncheon although my outfit highlights the fact that I really, really needs to lose weight.  Ugh.  Not a good way to start by going to a luncheon, ha.

Good grief, our high today is supposed to be 95F/35C!  I thought it felt muggy and I just checked the weather app that states the humidity level is currently at 91%. Yep, summer is on its way.

I should try to do a lot of chores this afternoon. Usually I get  a burst of energy (guilt?) on the day when Greg flies back, but there is a Law & Order marathon on TV tomorrow so I know myself enough that I probably won't get anything done then.  At least I'm self-aware. That ought to count for something.

I've been keeping my To Do List in a notepad note on my desktop and it's working OK. I can't color code it or strike-through but I could just use Word I guess.  Anyhoo, I'm thinking that I might just keep it there instead of posting it on the blog when I DO blog, and just report on my accomplishments. We'll see.  Just musing outloud.

I caught up on some blogs.  Others, I've decided to stop reading them. They offer nothing of value to me, no inspiration, not even entertainment, and I'm irked by the writer.  Life is too short.  I'm sure people have had the same reaction to my blog and it's fine.  I took several blogs off my regular reading list today.

Greg called and we caught up on what he did last night. Tabby Kitten always comes running to the phone when he hears Greg's phone (I put my calls on speaker otherwise I can't understand the other person, stupid iPhone 5S), and then starts trying to chew on my phone case. Today he managed to hang up on Greg, lol!

I replied to some blog comments and then it was time to get ready to go to the luncheon. I forgot to figure out how to wear my hair. Arrg. I'd like to leave it long and flowing but it's thin and since it's muggy outside, it's going to look horrible.  Gosh, I really hate having to dress up and worry about things like these.  Yet another aspect of having a job that I don't miss.

1:53 p.m. We're back from the luncheon!  It went well. Our high school's tables were stuck in the very back of the room and my daughter picked the seats in the very back corner for us, such an introvert who doesn't relish the limelight, hahaha.  Still, it was very nice for all of us to hear, when they announced her name, which college she would be attending (UF) and her major (Computer Science), that she was also being recognized for earning her A.A. at the same time as her high school diploma.  She was on the only one in attendance at the luncheon with this accomplishment.  Later on, they also singled her out for being the first recipient of the Educational Foundation's Duck Race grand prize, something that I had won for her back when she was in 5th grade and which is a college scholarship.  CenturyLink sponsored the ceremony so each kid got, on top of a plaque from the educational foundation, a notebook, pen and some earbuds from CenturyLink.  The lunch was lasagna and salad (but they had ran out of salad when our school was called to the buffer). We did get a breadstick and a cookie too.

My ex and I chatted about Middle Son and I learned that he's actually note graduating in May as he still needs to take 3 gen ed classes that he'll take online this summer.  He's also probably not moving into the rental house in my neck of the woods, but into a rental house closer to his dad's house.  I need to schedule lunch with Middle Son soon.

My daughter revealed that she had been nominated to give the commencement address at her state college graduation ceremony. She declined.
  1. She's not planning on going to that ceremony
  2. She had too much work on her plate already
I understand, but I'm disappointed. And yet I feel totally hypocritical since I don't attend graduations anyway, lol.

On the way home, my daughter and I stopped by RaceTrac and got Sodapalooza refills. I had brought Youngest Son's cup as well so I got him a frozen drink and put it in the fridge since he'll be home shortly.

It was nice changing back into my comfy yoga pants!  The pictures I took at the luncheon were horrible.  I take OK pictures of birds and nature but I can't photograph people and pictures of me are always horrifying. If that's not a wake-up call to go back on a diet, I don't know what is!

Youngest Son walked to the library for his D&D club and plans on walking home since it doesn't get dark as early now.

I requested a sample of dog food from Walmart. I'll either donate it to my neighbor or to the South Lake Animal League.

For dinner, I finally cooked the chicken and cheese-filled tortellini that I had planned on making several night this past week! I coated the whole thing with the jar of Alfredo sauce that I bought yesterday. It was pretty tasty and easy to make and the kids loved it.  We all ate at the dinner table and chatted, it was nice.

After dinner, I finally wrote the announcement that I wanted to step back from blogging for a while. I really need to focus on accomplishing goals that I had said I would accomplish this year.  Blogging has become an avoidance technique for me. I get on the laptop to type a sentence on my post for the day, and I end up spending 3 hours surfing the web, mostly reloading the same pages over and over again.  Ugh.


  1. So I quickly checked your list of other Bloggers you read to see if you had turfed my name off the list. I wouldn't blame you because I have been very remiss in posting lately. Even while I went back to the beginning of 2017 and reread everything I had written, I was surprised actually that I only posted once in February and once in March. I wasn't even feeling the depression yet. But I am getting better, and I feel I have just had a very productive week.
    I laughed when you told me to avert my eyes, because you really didn't give me a chance to. The next sentence revealed that you accomplished some domestic arts that day. Shoot! You and Bless are trying to erode my resolve. I also gasped a little when you announced you had (or Princess had) eaten a fried egg and cheese sandwich. That is my most favourite kind of sandwich to eat at home. I've never seen it on a restaurant menu, so I mistakenly thought I was the only one who enjoyed them. Lol.

    I have to tell you that when it comes to fashion lately, I am right on the mark. The few times I have gone outside to pull some weeds or work in the garden, my jeans look exactly like the ones in that ad. I guess where I fall flat, is that I wouldn't think of going out in public wearing them. I have been short-sighted in that I come inside to change out of them and into some clean, dry and unripped jeans (so last year).

    Love your pictures as usual. Yay for Sodapalooza! And please don't quit blogging forever.

    1. Fear not, I was talking of other bloggers that I followed on Feedly but didn't list on my Blogger widget :)

      I'm relieved that I'm not the only one going to run errands with pants that had dirt stains on them (or dirt on my knees when I've been in the backyard in shorts!). I think that should be a style all to its own, don't you?

      Yay for having been productive this week! I haven't, really. It's starting to look like I was actually doing MORE chores when I was blogging about them at the same time. Arrgh. Now my daughter and I have started watching Game of Thrones together since she's done with her classes, so almost nothing is getting done.

      I hope you're enjoying your weekend, Susan!

  2. Well, this is a pleasant surprise! I thought you said you weren't going to blog? Did you get lots accomplished? I was without internet for a couple of days and I got a lot of reading done! Non-blog reading, that is!

    Yay, a ladybug! Hopefully, there will be more and they'll take care of the aphids for you. :)

    1. See, that's always my problem! I say "I won't blog" but then I still want to keep track of what I did for myself, so I end up blogging but not inserting photos and not publishing the posts. And then finally I do insert the photos and publish the whole thing so I have it as part of my "record". But this time, I'm truly not blogging. Since my last "update in pictures", I haven't really taken pictures either!

      I didn't get lots of things accomplished at all. I'm being a big slug. Ugh. I did mop my kitchen (yay!), finished purging my filing cabinet (yay!), got rid of the last disintegrating self-watering bin (woohoo!) and did other piddly little things. These days my daughter is done with her classes and we have started watching "Game of Thrones" together. I've already seen it, of course, but it's all new to her. So we're doing an awful lot of sitting on our butts and watching GoT. I'm banking time with her since she'll be going off to college in 3 short months now!

      I was happy to see the ladybug too! You know, a couple of days after you suggested I order some online, I read an article from a gardening expert who said not to bother buying ladybugs because they fly off and that we should concentrate of making sure our gardens attract ladybugs in the first place. However, he didn't mention how to do that. I would have thought that having aphids would be a good way to attract them, hahaha.

  3. I'm behind on catching up with your blog! I had a doctor's appointment coming up for which my doctor had strongly recommended I reduce both my weight and cholesterol levels. So naturally, I tried to accomplish this in the two weeks leading up to the appointment, by walking/running more and spending a little extra time at the gym. That cut down on my computer time at night... I only lost two pounds, but my cholesterol went down by 10 percent. Yeay! I celebrated by having pizza that

    I had to laugh at your "handling the duct tape" a la Forensic Files. And fried egg and cheese sandwich is one of my favorite sandwiches!

    What a great photo of the black racer! They are, of course, very beneficial in the garden (eat roaches and bugs), but they can be quite aggressive.

    When my youngest son learned how to drive, we drove each other crazy. We just ended up yelling at each other... The driver's ed class he took at school was so much better for him.

    Congratulations to your daughter on earning her A.A. at the same time as her high school diploma. That's quite an accomplishment - you must be very proud.

    1. Congrats on lowering your cholesterol level! I have no idea what mine is. I haven't had a blood test in several decades as I avoid the doctor's like the plague. But I'm also avoiding my scale which isn't good. Happy Mother's Day!


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