Thursday, June 15, 2017

Not One Thing Was Done ~ Thursday 6/15/17

Woah, I really don't know what's going on but my rhythms are really bonkers.  Last night right before bedtime, I told Greg that I didn't think I'd go hiking this summer at all since it's so hot and humid, and that I'd probably just use the recumbent bike. He stopped short of calling me a wimp so I finally did what I had been talking about doing for a while now... no, not kill him, but look back through my Summer 2016 posts to see if we had taken ANY hikes last summer at all!

Well you know what?  I ended up re-reading posts until 3 a.m.... and then I got started again this morning at 8:30 a.m. and now I just finished re-reading through July 2016 (and I didn't even read ALL the entries) at 3:00 p.m.

Needless to say, I haven't done anything. I just quickly checked my email and it's almost 4 p.m.  That never happens, I always check my email first thing in the morning. The whole world could be in flames and I wouldn't know because I've been listening to classical music all day and I haven't even checked the news yet!

For the record, it looks like I'm the only one who hiked in June 2016 (a short hike at P.E.A.R. Park all by myself and then an attempted hike at Lake Louisa State Park right before a storm) but we did take one hike together in July on the Van Fleet Trail, for an hour.  My feet were hurting back then and Greg had discovered fishing so we mostly went to fish.  I didn't re-read the August posts so I'll have to do that.

OK, let's back up a little...

So right before I started re-reading blog posts last night, I saw an article on the Orlando Sentinel's website announcing that our Republican governor, Rick Scott, had vetoed the higher education bill that our Republican Florida Senate President, Joe Negron, had been pushing, which would have guaranteed that the highest level of Bright Futures Scholarship Awards would have paid 100% of tuition and fees but that would have also shifted funds away from state colleges in order to pay for this.  I'm a big supporter of both, but I think state colleges really need the money in order to be able to offer quality programs to our students.  So I had emailed Rick Scott exhorting him to veto the bill. I'm glad he listened :)  However, I'm a huge hypocrite because the article also shared something that I didn't know... i.e. Bright Futures will be paying 100% of tuition and fees for the Academic Scholar (highest level, of which my daughter is!) for the upcoming school year anyway since that was already approved as part of the budget bill that Rick Scott has already signed.  So woohoo times two!  I emailed my daughter right away - she didn't know about that either.  Now she really needs to talk to the Bursar's Office at UF next week when she goes to Preview to find out, of all her scholarships and prepaid fund, etc. what will pay for what and how much she'll be able to get back and apply to books, rent, etc if Bright Futures covers the tuition and fees entirely.  Then we'll see what happens for the future years.  However, in bad news, Scott approved the other education bill which will see a lot of money shifted from public schools to private charter schools supposedly in the name of school choice but certainly no one in their right mind can think this is going to actually benefit our students.  As far as I know, all superintendents have urged him to veto the bill but that fell on deaf ears.  Again, selfishly, I guess I'm happy that Youngest Son only has 3 more years to go in his K-12 education.

Today, as I drove Youngest Son to his library volunteering commitment, I explained what was going on and outlined, once again, why it's important for him to get all the volunteer hours, excel in his AP and regular classes, and study hard for the PSAT/SAT/ACT tests because he absolutely needs to also qualify for the highest level of Bright Futures.

As a matter of fact, I asked my daughter last night if she had shared the information with her BFF, who is now struggling to earn the 75 volunteer hours that she needs by the end of the month to qualify for the 2nd highest level.  Come to find out, her BFF missed the minimum SAT score required for the highest amount by just ONE point. So even if she got 100 hours of volunteerism in time, she still wouldn't get full tuition and fees for next year.  I'm very glad that my daughter will!

Anyhoo, then I got busy with my blog posts. Greg went to bed later than usual, at about midnight.  I stayed up a little later in the living room, but I took my laptop with me to bed, thinking that I'll just read a little longer and go to sleep. Well, I kept on reading until 3 a.m., when my laptop battery finally died!  The kittens kept on coming to bed, wondering why I wasn't sleeping, nudging me to turn off the laptop, but I was too interested.

Well, then I turned off my alarm because I knew that I wouldn't be getting up with Greg at 6:45 a.m.!  Indeed, I meant to wake up at about 9ish but the kittens came, again, to nudge me at 8:00 a.m. They were relentless so I got up, begrudgingly.  I was very tired and I've had coffee and I'm still just as tired at 4 p.m.!

So I didn't exercise. I also didn't plan my food intake for today. Relax, it doesn't mean that I've been bad at all.  But I do need to figure it out pretty much now.


Breakfast Supervisor #1 on the left...

Breakfast Supervisor #2 on the right... I didn't know Cheerios smelled so good!

Lunch. No Supervisors in sight, they were napping.

I did put dinner to cook in the crockpot at noon. I'm making Southwest Chicken Stew. I usually cut up the chicken breasts, but the ones I defrosted overnight were on the bone and I didn't feel like cutting them up. So I just tore the skin off and threw them in the crockpot on the bone.  That way, I'll be able to use up all of the meat. I'll just pull it off the bone about an hour before dinner and cut it up at that time.

I did find that I had some food waste: a can of No Salt Added corn and a can of pumpkin purée that I had opened before my trip and stuck in the fridge and that got moldy. I'll be composting them.

I also opened a can by mistake, thinking it was black beans, so I put one of those shower-cap type of covers on it (gotten for free years ago, I keep on reusing it!) and put it in the fridge. Now I need to find a use for it before it goes bad :(

As I mentioned, Youngest Son volunteered today, quite a bit, actually. I drove him to the next town over at 12:45 p.m. so he could help out with the Magic Show that was put on for the younger kids, as part of the Summer Reading Program at the library. Our library is very tiny so they use the neighboring town's Civic Center for those programs, as our own town wants to charge them an exorbitant amount of money for the larger meeting room.  I suppose my son could bike there, but there is no bike lane and he would have to bike on the sidewalk that frequently has broken glass on it (the road itself is far too dangerous for him to bike on) so I just drive him or ask my Daughter to drive him.  I did take the Focus so I didn't use as much gas as I would have with the SUV.

Then I went to pick him up at 3:15 p.m.  We stopped by RaceTrac on the way home to get Sodapalooza refills. I noticed that I had a new coupon for a free Chicken Bacon Ranch sandwich in my app, but they were out of those. I'll try again tomorrow.  I should have had him drive, but he's not comfortable driving the stick shift yet.  I do need to remember to have him practice some more, as Greg gave him a couple of lessons while I was gone.

He was home only a couple of minutes when he left for the library... there is a Chess Tournament that he wanted to participate in, and then he'll conduct his Dungeons & Dragons Club session. Only the kids have asked if they could also play other games so he researched other RPG (Role Playing Games) and found a zombie apocalypse game that they were all interested in. He also found a player's manual for free online and you just play on paper so he didn't need to purchase any resources.  If it's successful,  I'll look on Amazon to see if there are other manuals for the same game (there are several adventures but he only found the one for free) that I could get for him as I have Reward Points.

The sky is very dark and there is thunder so I hope he made it to the library OK since he didn't want me to drive him. I asked him to check if there were any coupon inserts in the donation box and to grab them for me if there are.  Update: I guess there weren't.

Daughter has been quiet all day. She came down a little while ago and played with the cats, and then announced that she was going to take the math placement test of UF.  She technically already has the credits needed to be able to be placed directly into Calculus but the placement test is still required of everyone before they attend Preview. She's attending next week and that's when she'll be able to sign up for her first semester of classes.  She had talked, during our trip, about taking Pre-calculus first as a refresher (since math isn't really her strong suit), but then she changed her mind since a lot of the computer science classes she wants to take have Calculus as a prerequisite and delaying taking the class would just force her to spend at least one extra semester at school. So I suggested she takes a pre-calculus class on her own online over the summer via free resources and she said that's what she was planning on doing. Bright girl.

My life philosophy :) I hate math.
Otherwise, not much else happened.  Here are some random things:

I lit up my Provence Garden candle again this morning since the kittens were staying away from the living room. The old house always smells somewhat musty to me in the summertime since I can't open the windows, so that helped. I didn't keep it lit very long, just until I could smell it. I keep it on the mantelpiece and so far, so good.

Zinio alerted me that new issues of Prevention and Weight Watcher Magazines are available to read online via my library's account so I checked those out and will try to "leaf" through them soon.  I like free :)

Kellogg's emailed me a new bonus code to celebrate Father's Day.

I just put a loaf of buttermilk cornbread in the oven for dinner tonight. I used sour milk and vinegar instead of buttermilk.

It just starting raining hard at 4:45 p.m. Woohoo.  There is thunder. Princess just came to take a nap near me, I think she's a little worried. I really need to clip the cats' nails this week.

Youngest Son mentioned that he needs more model glue so I looked for the 50% off any regular price item coupon that I had seen advertised earlier this week and printed it. I'll be stopping by tomorrow after I have coffee with my BFF since I'll be driving through Clermont to get more produce at Aldi.

I finally started running some videos to try and earn some Swagbucks and I earned my daily Microsoft Rewards credits.

I didn't gain or lose any weight since yesterday, but I entered my weight into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices anyway and earned 20 BR points.

So the new Coke Rewards site (use the same credentials as for the old site to sign in) is letting you enter codes to see if you qualify for a $5 digital Walmart gift card. You need to enter 2 codes to qualify for 1 entry.  My daughter and I did keep the bottle caps from the Coke products we bought on our trip (plus I did collect one from a parking lot! I had read something about entering codes somewhere so I figured I might as well start collecting bottle caps again!) so I used 2 of the caps today but I didn't win anything. There are other offers so check it out but so far nothing that is getting me excited. I sure hope we can still bank points to redeem for merchandise and gift cards but right now that doesn't seem to be the case.  However, the new program doesn't officially start until 7/1 so maybe there'll be changes?

I went on the front porch to take pictures of the rain and realized that:
1) my fuschia liked being on the porch so much that it sprouted new flowers while I was gone!
2) that none of the plants (begonias and fuchsia) on the front porch probably got much water during all the downpours and I never watered them when I got back, so I just put them outside in the rain.

I got an email newsletter from Lindsay Olives with interesting suggestions of what to do with olive brine.  I thought you frugalistas might be interested, as I was:

  1. Add brine to your marinara or pizza sauce. This is particularly great with a spicy puttanesca or vodka cream sauce.
  2. Try a vinaigrette of olive oil, fresh grapefruit juice, white wine vinegar, olive brine and Dijon mustard. Serve with a butter lettuce and avocado salad.
  3. Add brine and red pepper flakes to homemade (super easy!) ketchup for a great olive flavor that is, of course, terrific on a burger or with French fries.
  4. You can add olive brine to a martini of course, but try adding it into your Bloody Mary mix at your next brunch. And since you’re serving brunch, a touch of olive juice in soft scrambled eggs with mascarpone and chives is an excellent addition.
  5. Make a flavored aioli by adding olive brine and orange zest. Slather on sandwiches (especially tuna salad), or dollop on grilled tuna or salmon.
  6. We’ll put homemade hummus on our “worth the effort” list every time. Try substituting half the chickpeas for white beans and adding olive brine to taste. Serve hummus on crostini with a drizzle of olive oil and finely chopped fresh rosemary.
  7. Make a fantastic slaw of fennel, apple, and celery or purple cabbage, carrot and jalapeño and add olive brine to the dressing. Let this chill in the refrigerator to let flavors really shine.
  8. Adding broth to greens such as kale, broccoli rabe or chard after lightly sautéing with olive oil is a great way to impart flavor. Next time, swap the broth for olive brine!
I finally accounted for what I ate so far in my Food Journal.  I still have to figure out what foods to eat to complete all my exchanges for the day, and also input everything in MFP to make sure I'm on track as far as calories and nutrients go.

I Heart Publix gave a heads-up that there is a digital coupon available for $4.29 off a loaf of Arnold Buttermilk bread, which probably makes it FREE!  Upload it ASAP :)  I hope my store carries it.

I checked our Discover credit card accounts and once again we both had the $10 off $30 Kohl's offer under Discover Deals so I added them to my Kohl's app's Wallet and I now have $20 in free Kohl's cash to spend there.  I'll be looking for sheets this time so I'll probably go in the store since I also got the 30% off discount code in the mail the other day.

Woohoo, free money!

Male Cat and Mean Kitty haven't been eating as much as in the past.  As a matter of fact, they no longer come running to their bowls in the morning, I wonder what that's all about.  In order to prevent the kittens from eating all her food, I brought Mean Kitty her bowl tonight. I'm not sure that she ended up eating anything. She's not wasting away but I never see her eat anymore.

But you know who I see eat all the time?

Yes, you Princess. And you two brothers. You eat your kitten kibble and then I have to repeatedly chase you away from the older cats' food bowls too. You are little pests when it comes to that. And oh, how you know you're not supposed to eat that food, but you still sneak behind my back to do it.

Don't look all innocent, you two, you know what I'm talking about!

Again with the finger chewing... I guess it's naptime for Princess...

Yep, it sure is.


  1. Bright Futures will be paying 100% of tuition and fees for your daughter. Congratulations. All of her hard work is paying off big-time. That is wonderful.

    You can't be staying up until 3 o'clock in the morning. You need your beauty sleep.

    1. It'll be a great help to her. Free college is great, but of course someone has to pay for it. Since most (all?) our legislators are Republicans, they don't want to raise taxes so they rob Peter to pay Paul. I don't think that's the right way to go about things, but I won't lie and say that I wouldn't love it if she and Youngest Son got free tuition and fees for all of their college career. You know I love "freebies".

      And you're absolutely right, I can't stay late like that. But blogging daily again takes a big chunk of my time, especially with also trying to post a Vacation post every day, so I've been going to bed late 3 nights in a row and I'm really feeling it :(

  2. That is so great that your daughter's tuition will be paid! Well done, both of you! I know you both worked hard to enable her to do that.

    1. You've very kind. All I had to do was make sure education was a priority for the kids. She really deserves all the credit, she's been an awesome student beyond my wildest dreams. Knocking on wood that being alone at college won't deflate her sails, so many bad influences even for someone who should and does know better... you know I'm a worrier! But also I myself slacked off a lot when I was at college and then quit before I obtained my 4 year degree to get married. A cautionary tale if there ever was one, although she might not be on this Earth if I hadn't done that...

  3. The picture at the top of your post make me laugh out loud!

    I love your lunch - the milkshake looks so creamy and delicious.

    1. That should be our next photography challenge! A rooster on stilts, lol.

      The milkshake is so good and easy to make! I use 1/2 cup of whole milk (since that's what I buy), 1/2 cup of water, 1 coffee scoop of powdered stevia from Aldi (because otherwise the strawberries alone aren't sweet enough for me) and 1.25 cup of strawberries and then I blend everything in my blender. So, so delicious and since I don't like drinking milk, it's a great way for me to gulp it down. Also no ice needed since the milk and strawberries come right out of the fridge.


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