Does anyone else feel like they're in the movie Groundhog Day and every day is starting to blend into the others? I feel like that this morning. Probably an after-effect of having been on vacation with different plans every day.
It's Thursday but it feels like a Friday to me. All the same, I'm supposed to be going grocery shopping this morning but I don't feel like it. I do need to go though, we're out of yogurt, berries and a couple of other things. Bah.
I had planned on making Mock Zuppa Toscana for dinner tonight but my freezer is full and organized like a Tetris game and the sausages are... somewhere at the bottom, probably. I think the easiest thing will be to buy a pack of sausages at Aldi today. But the uncertainty of what we'll be having for dinner now is preventing me from planning my food intake completely. Maybe I should plan on just making spaghetti and meatballs for everybody and I'll have some leftover chili. Don't mind me, I'm thinking outloud.
It must be very humid outside because my windows are completely fogged up and I can't see outside. I guess it's a good thing that my walk with my friend got cancelled!
|When I went outside later on, I realized that it had rained last night.|
Well on that cheery note, I need to think of my day ahead... Daughter is mostly going to stay home today. Youngest Son is volunteering this afternoon and the activity will take place in the next town over first so I'll drive him and pick him up (maybe I can get daughter to do it for me) and then he'll run his D&D Club at our library.
Go grocery shoppingDONE Pick up kitten foodDONE Stop by Petco to redeem free couponsDONE Stop by Panera to have $10 bonus gift card problem remediedDONE Plan my food intake for the dayDONE
- Transfer money to New Car Savings (waiting for Greg's next check so I can confirm his raise amount)
- Post trip pictures on French blog
- Write and mail postcards to my mom and great aunt
Edit another Vacation postDONE LAST NIGHT
- Back up all pictures to my external drive
- Figure out where I was in the process of backing up my external drive!
- Clip cats' claws
- Pull weeds
- Make hummingbird nectar
- Find two books to donate to The Little Library when I go to the eye doctor
- Check to see if I need to purchase more Prevident toothpaste
Input all receipts into my spreadsheetsDONE
- Balance the checkbook
- Wash Youngest Son's bedding with mine
- Cut up Greg's old sheet for rags
- Iron Greg's business clothes
- Vacuum the downstairs
- Mop kitchen
- Find a bed for me (IKEA?)
- Clean upstairs litterbox
- Bake banana bread
- Figure out what to do with other egg yolks
SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
- I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.
- I started Swagbucks videos right away so I could try to meet my goal despite being away for a few hours today. My 1st goal is 60 SB. I also earned the mobile Microsoft Rewards on my phone while my laptop was booting up!
- Having cats isn't cheap but at least it's saving me money in exterminator fees... it seems that the heat and rain has awakened all the bugs that we hadn't seen for many months and every morning I find dead beetles in the kitchen that obviously the cats had been playing with. This morning there also was a large palmetto bug that had a bite taken out of it. Ugh. That reminds me not to accept any kisses from the kittens today!
- I'm thinking I might take the Focus to go shopping, that way I can fill up the tank at the cheaper Clermont station. My daughter is planning on going to Busch Gardens with a new friend tomorrow. Taking the Focus will save me money since the gas mileage is so much better.
- Hooray, the nCrave "All You Can Eat" videos are up so now I can earn SB automatically. I just need to remember NOT to close the laptop when I go shopping! Yesterday they were still running when it was time to go to bed, I had earned a total of 250 SB for the day! Update: they were still running when I came back from shopping and I reached my 2nd daily goal, yay!
- Back when the kittens were little, the vet had given me samples of Advantage II treatment for fleas for them. All my cats are indoor cats and I don't like putting chemicals on them if they don't need them, so I only use the flea treatment when we spot the occasional flea (we bring them in from the backyard, I guess). Well, they grew too big for the dosage so I exchanged the samples for samples of the next size up. Now they're too big for that dosage too so I'm taking those samples back to the vet's this morning so they can give them to other people. We'll see if they have samples for 10+ lbs. I was looking at New Kitty interact with Explorer this morning. Remember when she used to hiss at them so much when they were babies? Now Explorer is bigger than her and she was just touching noses with him and not making a noise when he came to see her. It would have been nice if she had been that chill when they were little, she who had just had kittens herself a year or so before, it would have saved us some stress! But now all is well, everyone is getting along splendidly. As a matter of fact, I wish the older cats would kick some younger cat's butt instead of letting them eat their reduced-calorie food! Sometimes I wonder what Mean Kitty survives on because she doesn't even bother getting up to eat anymore. She lets them eat her stuff and I guess eats what remains? This morning I put her bowl next to her on the couch so she would at least have a chance! She's not thin by any stretch of the imagination so she's getting nourishment from somewhere.
- I should be exercising before I go shopping but right now I feel tired (not sure why, as I slept 8 hours) so I might skip that today. Or maybe I can make myself bike this afternoon...
- I was checking the French news headlines and they said that yesterday had been the hottest day in France since 1945! My mom's AC unit isn't supposed to get there until Wednesday. And now I feel terrible not to have even given a thought to my great-aunt about this. I hope she's OK. Her son and DIL check in on her, but she's turning 90 this year and older people are at a highest risk during heatwaves. School is still in session over there and most buildings don't have air conditioning so everyone is suffering. If I ever move out of Florida, I'm going to make sure we have AC even if we end up in Alaska, darn it.
- I finished earned the rest of my Microsoft Rewards credits. I'm very close to being able to claim another $5 Amazon gift card!
- The kittens have been naughty this morning.. eating the rest of a loaf of bread that Greg had left on the table! Naughty kittens. The bag was a waste as they chewed through it.
- So I left for my shopping excursion at 9 a.m. and I was back by 11:45 a.m. I took the Focus, as planned. Here is what I did:
- Save A Lot:
- I wanted to get more whole wheat tortillas there since I'd gotten them for $1.49 for 10 the last time (50 cents cheaper than at Aldi's) but today they only had the more expensive Mission brand. Poop.
- I ended up getting a papaya (on sale at $0.79/lb), a dozen eggs ($0.79), a small jar of bay leaves ($1.39), a huge container of oregano ($2.79, I thought it was a very good deal seeing that my oregano plant cost me $3.99 and it's already flowering!), a pound of lentils for $0.99, and two containers of sugar cookies marked down 50% (so $1.25 each).
- My OOP was $11.40 and I charged it to Amazon Visa for 1% back in Rewards. I should have used one of those Visa prepaid cards that I've been buying from my son, but I always forget about them!
- I returned the samples of flea medication and asked if they had any for the 10+ lb size but they didn't.
- I picked up the 4 bags of kitten food that I had ordered. My OOP was $75.96 and I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
- I gassed up the Focus @ $2.149/gallon. Unfortunately, the mechanism that stops the pump when the tank is full didn't work and, once again, the car and I were splashed by gasoline! Luckily I mostly jumped out of the way on time so only the back of my bare legs, my socks and my shoes were splashed. Still, grrr because now I had to smell like gasoline and I paid for gas that ended up on the ground!
- So I ran inside to let the attendant know. She was kind of apathetic and said she'd tell her manager and apologized but that was the extent of it.
- Back in the car, I used baby wipes that I had given my daughter to keep in the car to wipe off my legs. I could have used the bathroom at the gas station but I didn't even think about it!
- At least I earned rewards on my RaceTrac app and gained a receipt that I will redeem for a freebie once I've taken the survey.
- I had a coupon for a free bag of cat treats, up to $4.00, that they had mailed me for New Kitty's birthday. I was all set to get treats that I would then donate to my BFF, but then I spotted "Greenies" treats that clean teeth and supposedly help their breath too. Princess has very bad breath so I decided to spend a little money and keep the treats for her. I paid for the $2.13 OOP with my Amex for 1% back in Rewards and earned some points on my Petco Pal Rewards program.
- Then I purchased a pressed mint leaves treat that was on clearance for $3.48. It's also used to treat bad breath in cats. I figured Princess needs all the help she can, hahaha. But I bought it mostly because I had to buy *something* in order to be able to use the "free 2.5 lb of (I forget the brand) of cat food" coupon that I had printed from the Petco website. Again, I'm going to be selfish and keep everything. I had considered buying a 60-cent can of wet cat food and then get the free bag and donate everything to my BFF, but as I said Princess needs help with her breath and the dry cat food ended up not being crap ($9.99 a bag!) so I'm keeping it too as a back-up bag for hurricane season. My OOP was $4.43 and I also charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards and presented my PetPals reward card to earn points.
- While I was looking for the cat food, I realized that they sold 7 lb bags of Royal Canin kitten food for $31.99 and there was a coupon for $10 off $50 in Royal Canin cat food available too. So It would have been cheaper to buy the kitten food at Petco. Royal Canin is the brand that I use! Arrgh.
- I needed to talk to a manager about the $10 bonus gift card that I had received back in May when I had purchased a $50 gift card during their promotion, since the cashier had actually failed to activate the $10 bonus gift card, as I found out when I tried to use it during our vacation!
- The manager asked me if I was planning on ordering anything and I had already decided to order the full Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken (to go). which was $9.49 since it would have been over $10 with the tax and I would have just turned around and used that $10 gift card (it expires on 6/30!). So I ordered that and he didn't charge me tax at all so I had no overage to pay. Woohoo!
- I presented My Panera Rewards card to get the credit for my visit (to earn a Reward).
- The 12-ct cases of Diet Dr. Pepper were on sale at 3 for $9 this week and I was really hoping that my chat with the manager last week about them always running out of Diet Dr. Peppe eachr fast had produced results. You know what? It had! I bought 6 cases.
- Then I got a box of Very Berry Cheerios as it was on sale for $2.88 a box and I had a $1.00 printable manufacturer coupon and a $1.00 CVS coupon that had printed at the kiosk.
- I also got a box of Fiber One cereal, on sale at $2.99 because the Betty Crocker diabetic cookbook that I ordered from Amazon has baked good recipes that are made with that cereal.
- Lastly, I bought a 1/2 gallon of whole milk, on sale for $1.99.
- Aside from the coupon for the Cheerios, I redeemed $20 in ECBs ($5.00 from my last shopping trip and $15.00 from the 2 CVS Advisory Panel surveys I took recently)
- My OOP was $4.19 and I used my CVS gift card (earned via our American Express Rewards) to get it all for free. Woohoo!
- As I was leaving, I noticed a flyer that contained CVS coupons so I grabbed a couple of copies.
- I was very happy that most of my purchases were healthy, woohoo!
- And excited that the strawberries were $1.19/lb so I bought 4 lbs and also 4 containers of blueberries.
- Instead of buying whole wheat tortillas (10 for $1.99), I decided to try the Fit & Active Multi-Grain with Flax flatbread (6 for $2.29) because whole wheat is the main ingredient and they're 100 calories vs. 130 calories for the tortillas.
- I stocked up on Fit & Active Light Balsamic Vinaigrette because I wasn't sure that they would always have it (I bought 2 bottles at $1.29 each) and the sugar free French Vanilla non-dairy creamer ($1.59 each, I also bought 2 containers)
- I did buy sausages for the soup tonight, but I got the turkey andouille sausages that were 6 sausages for $2.49 instead of the Chicken Chipotle sausages that I was going to get (4 sausages for $2.99). The turkey sausages are cheaper and healthier!
- I spent $70.12 total and I charged it to my Amex for 3% back in Rewards.
- Food items were $54.53 and non food items (toilet paper, cat litter) were $15.59.
- I went to redeem my survey reward coupon for a free any size coffee. I picked a 24 oz French Vanilla coffee. I also grabbed 4 cups of half and half (I will use them instead of cream in the soup tonight) and 4 packets of Equal.
- I also got a free sample size cup of hazelnut coffee.
- They had no cardboard sleeves for the coffee, which was extremely hot! By the time I got to the register, there thankfully was no line because my hands were burning something fierce! I asked the cashier whether they had stopped providing the sleeves but she apologized and said they were probably just out of them. She suggested using napkins (there was a dispenser right there so I got a bunch) or a drink carrier that she kept at the register but I felt the napkins weren't as wasteful. She apologized again and gave me a survey card with which I'll be able to earn another drink freebie! Woohoo! I will definitely take the survey as she was very pleasant.
- I had planned on going to Publix but in the end, I skipped it as I didn't really need the things on my short list there.
- My last stop was a doozy. I stopped at the RaceTrac station near my house to get Sodapalooza refills for Youngest Son and myself and also redeem an app coupon for a free medium fountain drink because it expired today.
- So I was standing in line with 3 full drink cups in my arms and also my phone in hand to redeem my coupon.
- There was an older guy in line in front of me, who didn't have anything in his hands at all.
- In front of him was a lady who had her foot in a cast and had one of those little trolleys where your knee rests on the trolley so you don't put weight on your foot. She had a child with her and they were checking out. Apparently either her child pulled the candy that was displayed under the counter down or her trolley got caught in it, I'm not sure, but suddenly the whole shelf of candy was coming down on the floor. Not just the candy boxes but the whole shelf actually detached itself from the display and was sliding down and spilling everything. The kid was trying to stem the flood and the lady, with her one knee in the wheeled trolley was trying to bend down to support the shelf until the store manager could come help, which was taking a while.
- Meanwhile the guy in front of me didn't budge. Looked at the whole thing, the lady precariously balanced on one leg while the other could have gone from under her at any time because it was on wheels, and didn't even make an attempt to help.
- My hands and arms were full of my stuff and there was nowhere close by to put it down so I nudge him and said "can't you help her so she doesn't fall and reinjure her foot?" He didn't turn around or reply at all! I thought that perhaps he didn't speak English but I nudged him again and said "could you please help her so she doesn't fall?!"
- And that jerk turns to me and says in perfect English "Why don't YOU help her?!" so I showed him my armful and said "I can't, my hands are full!" so he said "Well, then put your stuff down!" so... I called him an ASSHOLE to his face. Meanwhile, an employee had helped the lady who straightened out and looked at me and we rolled our eyes at each other. The manager called the next person to the counter and everyone at the station acted as if nothing had happened. The asshole asked for a pack of cigarettes (it figures!) but was told they don't carry that brand anymore so I snickered out loud. He didn't make eye contact after that and it's a good thing because I think I would have kneed him if he had said anything to me. That asshole. Ohh, I'm still so unbelievably pissed off about it!
- As I left the station (before him since he was still waffling about what cigarettes to buy!), I held the door open with my elbow for another guy of about the same age who was just coming in to the station. He grabbed the door and said "Well you're being quite the good girl, aren't you?!". Let me tell you, usually that kind of talk (I'm going to be 50, I'm not a "girl"!) pisses me off but I could tell that guy was genuinely thankful so I smiled at him and said very loudly "Well, I AM, AREN'T I?!" and we smiled at each other and he thanked me again. Let me tell you, that really helped end my shopping trip on a better note.
- However, you know that I soon as I walked in the door at home, I was recounting my encounter to my daughter, LOL.
- I hope that asshole gets lung cancer and dies a painful and slow death. I still can't believe the nerve of the guy. I mean, he could have said "I have a bad back" or something to that effect if there was a legitimate reason for his lack of action, but he was just an ass.
- Back home, the kids helped me unload the car and my daughter and I split the Panera salad for lunch.
- I gave the mint chew to Princess, who licked it a couple of times and then abandoned it. Tabby Kitten, however, loved it!
|I wonder if he ate the whole thing because I can't find it anywhere now...|
- Meanwhile, I had left my salad on the arm of the futon while I put something away. When I got back to the living room, I noticed Princess and Explorer huddled together over something on the ground and I figured that they had gotten into my salad and stolen the chicken. But no... they're truly French kittens and they had stolen my chunk of French bread and were busy chewing on it! LOL.
|Sleeping off the French bread...|
- I ate my salad and then it was time to take Youngest Son to his volunteering gig. I suggested he drives there to get some practice and he agreed. So I asked him if he wanted to try driving the Focus (stick shift but Greg gave him a couple of lessons while I was on my trip) and he wasn't sure so I had him drive it around the neighborhood first. He did fine but needs more practice with the clutch/accelerator magic before I feel comfortable taking him out on a highway so we drove home and got the SUV (automatic) and he drove us to the Civic Center. The librarian wasn't there yet and the parking lot was empty so I had him practice parking the SUV into the narrow spaces. He needs more practice! We agreed that we're going to try having him practice driving the stick shift at least once a day on the days the Focus is available.
- Meanwhile, my daughter went to her BFF's to spend the afternoon there.
- I submitted my receipts to Ibotta and MobiSave, which credited my accounts immediately. Only 35 cents, but better than nothing!
- I started inputting my receipts in my spreadsheets.
- When it was time to pick up Youngest Son from his volunteering gig, I drove the Expedition. Everyone was already gone when I got there, but my friend the librarian had waited with my son. Awww. Her daughter was also there, she was in my daughter's graduating class, so we discussed what she is doing now.
- I had my son drives us home and we took a back way that is much longer so he could get extra driving practice. He did great!
- Twenty minutes later, I had him drive us to the library so he could attend his D&D Club. Greg will pick him up on his way home from work since he has a lot of things to carry.
- I finished entering all my receipts into my spreadsheets. I spent $67.92 out of my $100 grocery budget for the week.
- I entered my weight into WGBRHC and earned 20 BR points.
- A 2.5 bag of Whole Earth Farms cat food (with any purchase) from Petco
- A Strawberry Poppyseed salad with Chicken from Panera's (with $10 bonus gift card from a May promotion)
- 2 boxes of cereal, 1/2 a gallon of milk and 6 cases of Diet Dr. Pepper from CVS, after sales, coupons, ECBs and CVS gift card earned with our American Express Rewards.
- A 24-oz French Vanilla coffee from Wawa, with survey reward coupon
- A sample size of Hazelnut coffee from Wawa
- A survey card from Wawa which will earn me another free 24 oz coffee
- A medium (24 oz) fountain soda from RaceTrac with app coupon
- 2 Sodapalooza refills (free refills through 7/31)
- I lost a tiny bit of weight between yesterday and today. I'll take it!
- Breakfast was my usual egg whites with onions, zucchini and spinach and 1 cup of papaya chunks.
- Lunch was 1/2 a Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken from Panera and 1/2 a chunk of French bread.
- Afternoon snack was 8 Thin Wheat crackers from Aldi and my homemade strawberry shake.
- I have entered this time of the month when I'm hungry all the time. I'm surprised because I didn't have that problem last month but today I've been hungry. So I treated myself to a stick of light string cheese. It's an extra exchange of meat, but oh well. I needed it!
- Dinner was a cup of turkey chili with beans and a whole wheat hamburger bun and 3/4 cup of blueberries. Later on, I had a yogurt, 8 more Thin Wheat crackers and 2 tbsp Neufchatel cheese. No wonder I was feeling hungry, I still had a lot of food to eat for the day!
I didn't have either of my good cameras with me, so I had to content myself with my phone to take a picture of the pond with blooming lotus flowers right behind the vet's office.
What is your favorite flower?