Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Think My Scale Hates Me - Tuesday 6/20/17


I know that I shouldn't weigh myself every day but so far it's been very encouraging and providing the motivation to stay on my diet and get some exercise.  BUT. Today, it's telling me that, despite staying on plan yesterday and biking 9 miles, I'm up 1 lb since yesterday morning.  Waaaaaaaa!

I shouldn't worry about it since I understand about the vagary of one's weight from one day to another, but, darn it, I'd been going steadily down for a month now (with a couple of tiny hikes here and there when I wasn't doing something right), including right before my cycle started, so this is annoying!  The old Nathalie might have wanted to quit right there and then, but I'm not going to, darn it!

That being said, my routine is not happening today again because I have to take Youngest Son to his dentist appointment this morning and I haven't planned my food intake yet.  But I'll do that just as soon as I'm done prepped this post.

The weather is gray and cloudy right now, at 7:50 a.m.  I'm sure it'll rain this afternoon again. It seems to have awakened the bugs because I've been finding more of them in the house, like the occasional ant scout and small bugs that look like roaches and that the cats like to play with and kill (hooray!).  I need to get some weatherstripping for our front door since there's a small gap.

My daughter left for Gainesville early this morning, before I got up. I had planned to get up before her to see her off, but then I decided against, which made her happy when I announced that last night because, as she said she's "not a morning person!".  I hope she's gotten there safely!  I feel better about her driving there on her own on I-75 knowing that she already drives an hour to her dad's on our toll roads and also around his house (he lives within blocks of UCF so she's used to college drivers!) drives on I-4 once in a while, and that she just got lots of practice driving on various roads including busy interstates during our trip. Plus she's been driving for almost 4 years now. But still. I just texted her and she replied that she was in Gainesville at a traffic light. Woohoo!

  • Do the dishes PARTLY DONE
  • Plan my food intake for the day  - DONE
  • Exercise - DONE
  • Bake bread? BOUGHT BREAD
  • Mail mortgage check at Post Office - DONE
  • Look for the article I had saved about what to do once your mortgage is almost paid off
  • Transfer money to New Car Savings (waiting for Greg's next check so I can confirm his raise amount)
  • Schedule credit card payments - DONE
  • Post trip pictures on French blog
  • Write and mail postcards to my mom and great aunt
  • Write and mail postcard to a friend
  • Edit another Vacation post - DID LAST NIGHT
  • Freeze peppers and eggplants
  • Clip cats' claws
  • Fold laundry and put it away - FOLDED IT
  • Clean upstairs bathroom
  • Pull weeds IN PROGRESS
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • Cut up and freeze meat bought on Friday DONE
  • File new coupons in organizer
  • Make eye doctor appointment - DONE
  • 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


  • I might need to train the kittens to sleep somewhere else than in my bed. I somehow ended up with all three most of the night and now that they're so much larger, they don't leave much room for ME! I seemed to wake up a lot last night, but I don't feel tired this morning.

  • I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.

  • I earned the Microsoft Rewards for the day and I'm earning some Swagbucks. My daily goal has doubled to 60 SB and the nGage videos quit working early on this morning so there's no way I'm going to meet 60 SB, oh well. I really need to make myself go to Walmart, I have something like $100 in SB gift cards to spend. I just never feel like going to Walmart!

  • Meanwhile, Greg is hoarding his Microsoft Rewards points because he plans on redeeming them for an almost free copy of Destiny 2 (a video game) at the end of the summer.

  •  I planned my food intake for today.

  • My daughter texted me that she got to UF safely :)

  • I drove Youngest Son to his dentist appointment in Clermont.  We parked right in front of the Little Library so as soon as he was checked in, I went back to look in it.  If you read the We Are Clamco blog, you might have seen the author's latest posts about the beautiful rocks that she is leaving everywhere in her area.  (Read that post and go back a couple more for more pictures of her awesome rocks!). I guess that's a new fad, but I'm very impressed by her rocks!  Well today I found a rock in our Little Library. It seems to have been painted by a child.  I took a picture and left it there as I didn't need such a rock, although if it had been more whimsical, I would have taken it for my garden.  Susan, you might want to look into making some of those for your own garden and have your grandchildren discover them next time they come to visit!

  • I also found 2 paperbacks that I brought home with me: a Harlan Coben that I had started but not liked a few years back (it galls me not to love all of the his books so I'm going to try it again!) and a John Sandford that I've read several times already but that I took for those days when I crave reading his prose but all his e-books from the library have been checked out :)  I'll need to remember to bring a couple more books to leave in that Little Library in exchange. 

  • While I waited for Youngest Son, I started reading "The Simple Path to Wealth" on my Kindle. It's the book that was recommended by the FrugalWoods and that I was able to borrow for free from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.  So far I'm liking it a lot, mostly because I'm now in the same frame of mind of the writer. I need to have Greg read it so perhaps he'll start wanting to move toward financial independence instead of always joking "We can afford this because we're rich!" (we're not rich).

  • Youngest Son's cavities haven't progressed, thanks to a steady process of brushing with specialized (and expensive!) fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and using fluoride rinse, so the dentist is still keeping an eye on them without doing anything to them.  He left with the usual free toothbrush, tube of regular toothpaste, and floss sample and an appointment for 6 months from now. Hooray for dental insurance, we didn't have any co-pay even with X-rays being taken.

  • I forgot that my eye doctor's office was right around the corner or I would have gone to make my annual appointment while I was there and saved myself a phone call!  So I called from home and made my appointment for early next month.  I'd rather wait a little longer and have a Wednesday morning early appointment which then will allow me to go on to do my grocery shopping... it'll save me gas and travel time.

  • On the way home we ran some errands:
    • We stopped by Save A Lot to buy a loaf of bread. This will allow me not to have to go shopping tomorrow if I don't feel like it.
    • There were several bakery items on the 50% off table today and I was tempted to buy French baguettes and Ciabatta rolls, but then I would have eaten it so I left it there. I did buy a box of sugar cookies for Youngest Son.  No baking for me, hooray :)
    • Instead of charging the $2 and change, I used a Visa gift card that I had bought from Youngest Son last year (he had won it in a Teen Video Award competition). No money out of my pocket today!
    • We drove by the Post Office where I mailed the big check to the mortgage company. Bye bye money, hello equity!
    • Then we went to RaceTrac and refilled our Sodapalooza cups for free. I offered to redeem a survey reward code for a free roller grill item for my son's lunch later on, but he declined.

  • Then I offered to drop him off at the park and he accepted. So he got his swinging done early and got some exercise walking home.

Happiness is... a grumpy cat waiting for you in the window!  Mean Kitty was all "Where have YOU been?!"
  • Back home, the kittens entertained themselves with the free box that I had picked up from Save A Lot. Eventually I'll use it either to pack some of my daughter's possessions for her move, or for donations.

  • I cooked my breakfast. It was already mid-morning so I turned on Law & Order: Criminal Intent on ION TV. I'll exercise after breakfast and my favorite show today :)

  • I cooked a box of elbow macaroni and mixed in the taco meat left over from last night's dinner. I told Youngest Son he was welcome to have that for lunch this week. If he doesn't like it, I'll just freeze it for a quick dinner in the next few weeks.  Personally, I looove taco meat in pasta!

  • I harvested several green onion for dinner tonight and tomorrow.

  • Since my daughter will be out of town for almost 48 hours, I turned the temp back up to 75F on the thermostat in the kitchen (it controls the temp in her room as well). I'll turn it back down to 73F right before she returns.

  • Our latest electricity bill is $223.18 (due 7/7), which is $23.18 higher than what I budget for this month, but I have a surplus of almost $900 in my electricity budget for 2017 so far, so I'm not worried about it.  The AC has been running a lot and now that we're older and doing better financially, I'm much more liberal with keeping the upstairs cooled off as much as possible. It's been nice!

  • Well what do you know? I actually qualified for a SB survey AND got credited for it so I met my 2nd Daily Goal! Woohoo!  I'll try a few more. Well, didn't qualify for any other and now it's time to go exercise...

  • But first, I did a few light chores: cleaning up the upstairs litterbox, collecting the trash throughout the house, putting the recycling into the bin for collection tomorrow, replenishing the toilet paper in the bathroom, taking the trash bin down to the curb for collection...

  • Which is when I noticed that it wasn't too hot and there was a nice breeze... and decided to go sit on the back patio for a bit before the rain came in at about 2 p.m.  I can exercise while it rains!  I love sitting on my patio! Sadly, the overcast and rainy weather isn't bringing out the birds.  The cicadas are singing, though, almost covering the sound of the air conditioning unit running in the background. It's funny how the backyard feels much more humid than the driveway upfront, though.  I might not stay very long.

  • The roses badly needed to be deadheaded so I did this. My hibiscus is loving all the rain, it's exploded in blooms!

The roses, after I deadheaded them.
  • I inspected the garden and I have a few things growing without my ministrations. Awesome!
Pole beans

A wasp enjoying the milkweed

Tomato plant growing in my jalapeño bin and blooming.  I wonder if the tomatoes will be hot?!

The sweet potato vines are coming up everywhere
  • I refilled 3 cat litter jugs at the rain barrel, which is super full.  I've decided to try to store as much water as possible for the next dry season so my backyard is looking very "white trash" indeed with rows of white plastic cat litter boxes lined up against the house, lol.

  • Ah, darn it, another book came available for me at the library!  The latest Dennis Lehane this time. Will I make time to read it this week? It's another 7-day book that's not renewable. I'm not enjoying all this pressure!  Meantime, I asked Youngest Son to return the Betty Crocker diabetic cookbook to the library for me this afternoon when he goes to volunteer, since I've bought a used copy on Amazon.

  •  I scheduled my water bill payment via my bank. They'll mail the city a check directly, at no cost to me. The bill is about $15 more than it's been in past months, but it's probably because I was watering the garden more faithfully in the weeks before the rains started. Also, part of me believes that the person who is supposed to drive around and read the electronic meters... probably doesn't. My water bills don't always make a lot of sense, but I'm very apathetic about it because they're not really out of line in the grand scheme of things either.

  • I scheduled my credit card payments online, in full, and for their due date. No stamps, no checks and no interest fees, woohoo!

  • Youngest Son went volunteering at the library. Today he's helping set up and break down the room for the Movie Matinee scheduled for the younger kids. He's never interested in the movies so he spends the movie in another room chatting with several people, and he earns a few hours of volunteering while doing so.  I believe that he first checks to see if there are any books to shelf, but they have several teens volunteering during the summer so there's usually nothing else for him to do. He walked there as it wasn't raining yet and I'll pick him up if it's raining when he's done.  Well, the clouds are getting darker so it's time for me to pack it in. I didn't spot any birds at all :(

  • For my lunch, I used part of that chicken breast that had been in the Pyrex that I broke. I had rinsed it to make sure there was no glass on it instead of throwing it away.

  • I was checking the news when I saw that there was another heat wave in France and that the area where my mom lives is under "dangerous" warnings. She turns 70 next week and doesn't have AC in her house so I worry about her and my stepdad.  I've been telling her to buy herself a portable AC unit but she always brushes off my concerns. So today I researched portable AC units on Amazon France, found a good option, and contacted Greg to ask if he would be OK if we bought this for my mom for her birthday. He said "sure!" but I wanted to make sure that she or my stepdad would be home for the delivery so I called her. She didn't answer, as usual, so I left her a message to call me back when she got home because I had a pressing question.

  • Meanwhile, I got on my recumbent bike to exercise.  After a while, my daughter called to say she had been able to ask questions from the Bursar about the order in which her scholarships and prepaid fund would be applied and she started detailing the answers (Prepaid fund gets applied first, then Bright Futures - although we don't know how the fact that BF will cover 100% of her tuition and fees will affect that, the Bursar said they haven't received anything official from the government about that yet) but then my mom called back at the same time so my daughter hung up and I chatted with my mom for almost an hour.  I biked part of the time, but I lost track of how long and how far I had biked and the bike's memory gets wiped out after 5 minutes of inactivity :(  Anyhoo, my mom was excited at the idea of an AC unit and very thankful but also leery of how to install and use it so I ended up emailing her the link to the unit and also to the kit to set up the hot air return in the window so she and my stepdad could look at it and decide whether it was something they would use and he could set up. She'll let me know. There are only 2 in stock so I hope they don't wait too long! Oh, she just replied that it looks awesome but she will show it to my stepdad tomorrow so he can chime in.

  • CVS sent me a new Advisory Panel survey for which I qualified and that earned me $5 in ECB. Woohoo!

  • It's almost 4:30 p.m. and it hasn't rained yet so my son walked back from the library.

  • I love buying used books from Amazon: I pay a fraction of the cost and usually, even if they're described as "used - good", they're brand new. I received my copy of "The National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America" (which was free to me thanks to my Amazon Rewards!) and it's brand new, never been cracked open!  Woohoo :) And now to try to identify those mystery trees in my backyard and when Greg and I go on hikes...

  • I entered my weight and my estimated exercised into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices. I think the exercise points don't actually get credited until overnight...

  • Youngest Son thought that the macaroni and taco meat was "OK". Without a more ringing endorsement, I decided to just freeze the leftovers, using two large freezer containers that I had purchased at Aldi before my trip.

  • Since I think 2 lbs of ground beef is better than 1 lb when I cook dinner (sometimes there aren't a lot of leftovers for Greg the next day) and I had bought 2-lb chubs of ground beef on clearance, I just froze them as is, without cutting them up in 1-lb portions. Easier and I don't "waste" 4 cereal bags!  I'll use the other meat that I bought last week in the next couple of days so it can remain in the fridge.

  • I had forgotten, before giving the Betty Crocker Diabetes cookbook back to the library, to copy the recipe for the biscuits I meant to bake for tomorrow's dinner. Darn it!  So I defrosted some naan bread instead, that I had gotten for free from Publix several months ago. I had cut each naan into quarters and frozen them 4 at a time.  Perfect, since there'll be 4 of us at dinner tomorrow.

  • Well my mom must have been very excited about the AC unit because she was able to talk to my stepdad right away after all and she emailed me that they both thought it was awesome and that he should be able to rig something up for the hot air hose on his own (the installation kit is backordered) so I went ahead and ordered it for her. I'm so excited!!!  They are very thankful. I can't wait until they have it and it's working and I don't have to worry about my mom dying of heat exhaustion! Plus a bonus: I'll be able to commandeer it when I go visit if it's too hot for me, hahaha. No, I wouldn't do that to her.

  • Zaxby emailed me an offer for BOGO boneless wings meal for tomorrow. However, I don't think I'll be able to use it?  I wish it were only for the boneless wings. It's only good at my local Zaxby and you have to have received the email to use it.

  • Aarrgh, Chase declined my Amazon purchase made with my Amazon Visa card because they thought it was fraudulent!  So I had to call them and make sure it was fine and the customer rep authorized my account to make such purchases in the future without having them being declined (they hadn't been declined until today so whatever!), so I guess there was a reason why this delay happened. I had to place my order on Amazon again but I was able to just "modify" my method of payment by just re-selecting it and I hope that this time it will be fine because Chase confirmed that my card has been charged now!

  • I printed a Petco coupon for a free bag of cat food with any purchase that someone on Slickdeals had alerted us to. I don't understand why I don't get emails from Petco about those since I get their emails about everything else... well, as it happens I'm going to Petco tomorrow or Thursday to redeem the coupon for a free bag of cat treat that I received for New Kitty's birthday, so I'll buy something else for the cats and get the free bag of cat food if it's in stock. As usual, I'll give it to my BFF. I also sent her the link to the coupon, in case she can make it there herself.

  • Dinner was Calypso chicken with yellow rice (brown rice for me) and steamed broccoli. I had bought the boneless, skinless chicken thighs on 50% off clearance at Save A Lot last week, so it was $1.95 for 6 or 7 thighs and the huge container of yellow rice had been $4.99 at Bravo (using a cup of it tonight barely made a dent in the container!).


  • 2 paperbacks from The Little Library
  • A toothbrush, toothpaste and floss from the dentist
  • Sodapalooza refills (we bought the cups but the refills are free through 7/31 and we've used them so much that we've probably paid back the cups now!)
  • $5 in ExtraCare Bucks from the CVS Advisory Panel
  • Printed a Petco coupon for a free bag of cat food with any purchase

  • Gained a pound, if you believe my cranky and deluded scale!
  • Breakfast was 2 egg whites with some onions, zucchini and spinach, and a cup of cantaloupe chunks.
  • Morning snack was eaten with lunch and was a strawberry shake made with 1 cup of ~2% milk and 1.25 cups of strawberries.
  • Lunch was a chicken wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla, some light mayo, 1 oz of chicken breast and some spinach. I also had a side salad with 1 tbsp of light balsamic vinaigrette and a cup of cantaloupe chunks.
  • Afternoon snack was a slice of homemade whole wheat bread with 2 tsp of Earth Balance spread with Olive Oil.
  • Dinner was 3 oz of chicken calypso, 1 cup of cooked brown rice (I could have 2/3 of a cup according to the exchanges but I was short 200 calories on the MFP front so I had a little more rice) and a cup of steamed broccoli. I'll have a Fit & Active yogurt a little bit later on.
  • I estimate that I biked for about 30 minutes, so between 5 and 6 miles.

How was your Tuesday?


  1. Weight fluctuates daily, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. But hope it reverses direction and comes back down again, soon.

    Glad your daughter got to Gainesville, safely. The very first time I ever drove anywhere alone was from Palatka to Gainesville. The day after I got my driver's license! I had 2 weeks in which to learn how to drive! The same lady who gave me my permit test took me on my test drive and before we got into the car, she asked me if I was sure I was ready and I said yes. I didn't tell her that if I didn't pass the test, I wouldn't be able to attend that summer class I had registered for! Oh, to be young and full of self confidence!

    I love how someone has provided a seatless chair for the free mini library! I have not seen one of these libraries in my area; I wonder if we even have them.

    That was very nice of you to get your mother a portable a/c. Just today, my friend and I were discussing them, as she wanted to get one for herself. My daughter and I had been discussing getting one, last year, but we didn't.

    By the way, I meant to congratulate your son on his excellent grades, in your earlier post, but forgot. Please tell him I said well done.

    Glad to see your garden coming along so nicely. Mine is slowly withering in the heat!

    1. You had some "chutzpah", registering for classes before even learning how to drive, lol! I worried much less when I was younger as well... I didn't know any better, hahaha.

      I hadn't noticed that chair didn't have a seat until you pointed it out! I'm glad I didn't attempt to sit in it, that would have been a spectacle!

      I wanted to get a portable AC unit for my daughter's bedroom a couple of weeks ago, at Aldi, but it used a hose to get rid of the water and I didn't want to deal with it and have water running in front of the kitchen windows. Plus. she's moving out in a couple of months anyway. I might still get one if I can find one, like my mom's, that collects the water in a bucket that you empty out. I'd still need to run a hose to get rid of the hot air it produces, though.

      I will pass the message to my son, thank you! I hope your veggies endure the heat OK! You should have planted peppers, they love the heat!

  2. What a sweet and caring daughter you are. That is such a lovely birthday gift. I have been hearing about the different areas of the world that is experiencing heat waves right now. Besides France, the mid-west of the US is also suffering record highs. I wish that I could share some of our cooler, wetter weather.

    My son and his girl friend were painting rocks last summer. The ones they made for me were garden markers, but they also painted up some picture rocks and have them both inside and on their apartment patio. I am going to show them this site that you linked to.

    1. Now I remember that you talked about your son and his GF painting rocks several months ago. I had no idea what it entailed until I saw the pictures on that blog. I wish I were that creative, it sounds like a lovely pastime.

  3. I don't know about your water company, but our electric company doesn't read our meter every month. They sometimes estimate usage and it all gets worked out correctly next time they read the meter.

    1. Yeah, I'm quite sure that's what they do the water too, although now they have the electronic meters so the guy only has to drive slowly down the road instead of actually reading the meter.

  4. I agree, the air conditioner is a nice birthday present for your mom. It doesn't get quite as hot in Germany as it does in France, but I visited once during a heat wave and it was awful. Nobody has air conditioning there.

    That thing with the painted rocks is happening in Lakeland, too. I've found a few cute rocks on my walks.

    1. I really love the idea of finding those rocks, especially when they're themed to where you find them! I'm going to have to start looking for those now that I don't look for Coke product bottle caps anymore :)


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