I stayed up too late last night reading "When We Fell" by Dennis Lehane, which is an intriguing story but at the same time not very good. I haven't finished it yet but I'm close to the end.
Then I had an uncomfortable night. I woke up several times to use the bathroom but I also was aware that my lower back was hurting and I couldn't really get comfortable. I thought it was because of the bending over the rain barrel and carrying the jug full of water across the patio several times, but in the light of day I think it's a sign of menstrual cramps. Also my weight crept up another 0.2 lbs (arrgh, 1 step forward, 3 steps back!) so it seems to confirm that. I'm due in 4 days but my cycle hasn't been very regular for several months.
Explorer tried to destroy my mini blinds even more this morning so he woke me up and I removed him from the space between the mini blinds and the curtains, and then he started batting at something and growling very loudly like a dog and I started getting worried that he had found a bug and that the bug would try to find refuge on my bed, which is still a mattress on the floor. So I turned on the light several times and couldn't see anything but him crouching and growling. Then I looked again and he had a toy and was growling with it in his mouth, as if another kitten was nearby to steal it (but there weren't any other cats in the room!). Weirdo! He was so loud that I decided to just get up. It was 6:15 a.m., a whole 15 minutes before my alarm rang. Sigh.
I didn't feel like doing the dishes and I didn't do them. Shame on me. It poured last night, on top of the several thunderstorms that we got in the afternoon, so everything is drenched outside and it was still gray and matching my mood. I might not be too productive today, I've already warned Greg.
My daughter and I went to bed cross with one another last night. She was telling me that she was going to the animal shelter with her BFF today to take the items that the BFF had gathered to "earn" her volunteer hours, when she let it slip that she also purchased several items for her BFF to take to the shelter for the BFF's volunteer hours. So of course I had to lecture her about spending her limited money unwisely on her friends when she doesn't even know what her budget for the upcoming year is. Plus, she's only been paying us 1/3 of the cost of the car insurance and I had just told her that she didn't need to pay any of it while she was in college since she wouldn't be driving and didn't have much money on hand. She stumped off and I called after that to say if she had money to spare, then I'd start expecting her to pay the whole amount of the car insurance. Geez. The BFF might have been sick for a good part of the year, but she also wasn't sick for part of the year and just didn't make volunteering a priority. She'll be living at home while in college. Her family seems to be comfortable. I get that my daughter was doing her a kindness but she always spends money like it doesn't matter that soon she'll be in college and then on her own. She needs to be saving at her stage in life, not blowing money! Plus she's irked at her dad for enabling Middle Son but she turns around and does the same with her BFF. Anyhoo, she'll probably be pouting all day now. Yes I know, she'll keep on blowing her money but next time she'll be smarter about opening her big mouth in front of me. And that's fine, but then don't expect me to subsidize your expenses in the future. Which reminds me that I had told her that I'd pay for the $55 difference in rent between the apartment that she chose and the one that was closer but not as comfortable or secure because she wasn't sure she could swing the extra $55 a month. See? Another reason for me to be pissed at her "generosity". There's generosity and there's foolishness. I think I made it clear which one I think is at play, here.
Plan my food intake for the dayDONE ExerciseDONE Take trash bin down to the curbDONE Record today's food intake into MFPDONE Do the dishesDONE
- Post trip pictures on French blog
- Write and mail postcards to my mom and great aunt
- Back up all pictures to my external drive
- Figure out where I was in the process of backing up my external drive!
- Pull weeds IN PROGRESS, PULLED SOME MORE TODAY
- 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
- Balance the checkbook
- Put coupons away in the coupon organizer
Fold the laundryDONE
- Put the laundry away IN PROGRESS
Wash Youngest Son's beddingHE TOOK CARE OF IT
- Cut up Greg's old sheet for rags
- Iron Greg's business clothes for his trip next week
- Vacuum the downstairs
- Sweep and mop kitchen
Clean upstairs litterboxDONE Bake banana breadDONE, baked muffins instead
- Mend some items from the mending basket
- Draft an email reply re: daughter's FL Prepaid/Scholarship ongoing saga ON HOLD, waiting to receive the "card" that's coming her way
Make more salt-free garlic herb seasoningDONE
- Take Youngest Son driving
Wash litter boxes and change litterDONE
SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
- I gained more weight! Waaaa. I'b better see a big drop once my cycle is over, darn it.
- It rained all evening so my garden is now well-watered!
- I didn't do the dishes first thing in the morning as I wasn't feeling great. I should buck up and just go do them.
- I packed leftovers for Greg to take to work.
- I brewed a pot of coffee using another free K-cup from Starbucks.
- But my first mug of coffee is the last of the decaf coffee that I had brewed last night, mixed in with a little bit of fresh coffee. I don't like wasting coffee!
- My mom turns 70 today! She doesn't celebrate birthdays but I'm doing a virtual celebration in my head for her :) She emailed me that the AC unit that Greg and I treated her to was delivered today (a day early!) and also that the sealing kit for the window was actually included, woohoo! It didn't seem that it would be and the kit itself was out of stock when I had tried to add it to my order. She said my stepdad will look at it and try to install it.
- I planned my food intake for today. At least, one positive thing done this morning :)
- I started earning some Swagbucks. My 1st goal is 100 SB today and I'm already running the automatic nCrave videos as well as the JunGroup ones.
- Last night Kellogg's confirmed via text that I had earned a promo code for the $8 towards a free movie ticket and texted me a link to redeem it. It then asked me to register for a KFR account but I just logged in since I'm already a member. Once logged in from that link, it told me I hadn't earned the credits that I needed. WTF? This morning I logged into my KFR account from my laptop and the promotion confirms that I had earned the credits but when I go to click "Redeem", it just takes me to instructions to submit the receipts in order to earn the credits. Arrgh. I emailed them.
- I earned the daily MS Rewards on my laptop. I'll earn the mobile ones when I bike later on this morning.
- I'm so proud of myself for actually getting on the bike right at 9 a.m. even though I wasn't in the mood for it. It's silly because I just pedal while I'm doing things that I'd be doing sitting on the couch anyway!
- Before biking, though, I started a new pot of decaf coffee. This time I used a K-cup of decaf coffee that I had snagged from one of our Holiday Inn Express rooms. I should have snagged ALL of them, in hindsight, since we were paying for the room. But that coffee also wasn't the greatest. Still, free coffee, woohoo!
- While I biked, I input my food intake for the day into MyFitnessPal, and then read a couple of Money Diaries on Refinery29 via my Kindle. My, do those Millennials drink a lot. Suddenly it makes Greg's evening whiskey seem almost quaint (I wish he wouldn't drink only occasionally as it's quite unhealthy and also expensive even though I buy the cheap whiskey!).
- After biking, I made myself breakfast. Since I was out of onion, I used some minced garlic (Dollar Tree) and a portobello mushroom cap that I had bought at Aldi a couple of weeks ago, I added some Fiery 5 Peppers to the eggs for a little flavor since I still haven't mixed a new batch of salt-free garlic herb seasoning.
- I started thinking that maybe I should go shopping today since I don't feel like being domestic and I'm almost out of a couple of things. Plus I could possibly still score cheap strawberries and blueberries at Aldi... I have to think about it and eat breakfast first.
- I sat in the living room to eat my breakfast just as L&O:CI started, woohoo for my awesome sense of timing!
- My daughter went to her BFF's, she didn't seem mad at me this morning anymore :) I asked her to make sure to leave the car home this afternoon as I should take Youngest Son driving today. The roads are wet so it'll be a new experience (a white knuckle one for me as I'm afraid he'll make the car slide as he starts going, he's still having trouble finding the right balance of clutch release and gas power upon starting!
- At about 11:00 a.m. Princess is trying to settle herself against me to take her morning cuddle/nap but the cushions aren't arranged just so, so she ends up halfway on my lap. I decide to humor her and grab my library book, which is conveniently sitting right next to me. I read a few pages. The book that was intriguing last night is now just tedious. I want it to end. I want more coffee too and right at the same time as the thought pops into my mind, Princess gets up to get a snack. I head to the kitchen.
- I pour the last of the decaf that I brew but since it's lukewarm now, my sugar-free powdered creamer won't dissolve properly so I nuke it for a minute.
- While I wait, I decide to go empty out the countertop composting bin into the larger one outside. I do that. There are bits of veggies/fruit stuck to the bottom so I dip it into the rain barrel so I can add water to the large composting bin while rinsing out my countertop one too. I add 2 containers of rain water to the composting bin.
- Walking back through the patio, I notice all the weeds and I'm reminded that I told myself that I'd pull weeds when the patio was in the shade. Part of it still is and it's not too hot so I get on all four and start pulling weeds, large and small, from around the pavers. The sun comes out and I'm sweaty so I go back indoors.
- I wash my hands, put the composting bin back on the counter. Sigh at the sight of the dirty dishes and think to myself "not yet!". I head back to the living room.
- But before doing that, I realize that it's 11:30 a.m. and Mean Kitty still hasn't asked for food. I place a bowl of kibble next to her on the couch.
- I go back to the kitchen, thinking there's "Something I need to do in there!" but I've forgotten what. So I decide to go ahead and mix a half-recipe of the garlic and herb seasoning. The recipe has salt in it but I decide to skip it. It needs marjoram and I'm almost out but before I add it to my shopping list, I decide to scrounge in my bin of herbs because sometimes I think I'm out and I buy an herb or spice, only to realize that I did have an extra jar that was unlabeled. My thoroughness pays off and I find a small plastic zippered back of marjoram that I had harvested in my garden back in 2015 and also another small back of homegrown rosemary. Score!
- I process the marjoram and the rosemary, one by one, in Greg's old coffee grinder and refill my jars. I also need more thyme and I've been drying some on the counter for a few weeks so I crush it between my hands to harvest the tiny leaves. Then I pick out the inevitable stems, and add the (wow) one tablespoon that I end up with, to the thyme jar.
- So I decide to go harvest more fresh herbs from the garden and set them out to dry. I harvest thyme and rosemary (I didn't grow marjoram last year) and then I go back out to harvest oregano since my pot is overgrown. I just bought a huge jar of it but it doesn't matter.
- I'm about to sit down when I realize that I haven't collected the trash to take it down to the curb so I hurry to do that. I go to clean out the contents of the upstairs litter box in the process and notice that it stinks... I just washed and replaced all the litter in all 4 litter boxes just 2 weeks ago! Usually it lasts 3-4 weeks. So after I gather the trash throughout the house, I carry all 4 litter boxes outside, empty them out, rinse them well with the hose on full blast, and take the trash bin down to the curb.
- I go back inside for a minute and notice that Mean Kitty isn't on the couch anymore but that Male Cat is curled against her bowl. Half the food is missing but who knows which cat ate it?! I take the bowl and try to bring it to Mean Kitty. She thinks she's in trouble and runs away! I catch up to her, pet her and try to cajole her into eating. She goes back to hide. This cat!
- In the meantime Youngest Son has gotten up (finally!) and I tell him what's happening with Mean Kitty and leave him to figure it out (she loooves him and doesn't like me).
- I bring the litter boxes back indoors and refill them with litter. The kittens hop in 3 of the litter boxes right as I'm done. Youngest Son volunteers to help so I ask him to bring the larger litter box to the kitchen while I put the other three back in their spots. The cats have been messy to I get my old vacuum cleaner out (I just use the canister part) and start vacuuming the loose litter from the floor. However, it doesn't vacuum very well so I end up getting the rubber broom out.
- Walking back to the kitchen, I run the rubber broom in the breezeway, catching a bunch of hidden cat hair that was hiding under the cabinet's overhang.
- Then I spot the empty cat litter jugs and decide to fill them at the rain barrel before it rains. I do that and line them up with the rest of my litter jug empire. At some point it'll be the dry season again and I'll have a few days of watering stored up in the jugs.
- So now it's 12:30 p.m. and go to sit in the living room, very wilted, and tell myself that I could go for some coffee... which reminds me that I had gotten up from the couch an hour and a half prior to that to go get some coffee! Where is my cup?! I look and look and then remember that I never got it out of the microwave!
- So I go get it from the kitchen and renuke it but this time I remain by the microwave!
- I bring my coffee back to the living room. I notice that my Daughter has called and left a VM! I didn't even realize that I didn't have my phone with me. My anxiety ramps up as I'm waiting for the message to start playing because she never calls, she texts, and she doesn't leave messages either. Did she and her BFF get into an accident?!? No, she's just telling me that the Educational Foundation Director called her to say she'd received the "card" for her Prepaid Fund (aka the scholarship that I had won for her) and that she was mailing it to us. So good thing that I didn't draft the email because now we'll wait for the card to see if my daughter is now able to log in to the account with whatever information is on the card. I text her to acknowledge the message and explain why I didn't have my phone. She probably was worried too since I'm known to carry my phone with me everywhere just in case one of my kids need me.
- Youngest Son is on his way to volunteering at the library but first tells me that he ran out of one of his acne medications. I call the pharmacy and get a message that we can now order refills online. I go to their website and try entering the Rx but there is a letter in the Rx number and the Rx field of their website doesn't accept letters. WTH? Also it wants me to create an account. I don't want to create an account, damn it, I just want to order a refill! I call again, press the number to talk to a rep and asked if I can just order the refill on the phone. They say yes. So I do. Our insurance doesn't cover the medication but the manufacturer offers a rebate to the pharmacy. Still, our co-pay is $75. It used to make me angry, but the medication is working for Youngest Son and he's been on it for a couple of years now. I'll use my FSA card to pay for it with before tax money.
- Now it's 1:15 p.m. and time to eat lunch. Good grief, a good part of the day is gone already and despite all the little things that I have done, I don't feel particularly productive. Probable because the kitchen is still a mess and I haven't folded the laundry...
- I got make my lunch. In the middle of doing that, I realize that I have no "goodies" for Youngest Son's snack so I decide to bake banana chocolate chip muffins right away so they're baked before he's done with volunteering, in case it's pouring and he needs me to pick him up. I use the 3 brown bananas that I had, and 2 egg yolks from this morning's breakfast, to which I add a little water. The baking powder is homemade, I probably should mix some more soon. I also use the Wilton silicone muffin cups that I've had for 3 years or so. I really like them but I need to remind Youngest Son not to throw them away!
- I put the muffins in the oven for 20 minutes (a reason why I decided to make muffins instead of banana bread, it takes half the amount of time to bake!) and go back to making my lunch, thinking that I probably should make another loaf of whole wheat bread in the breadmaker to freeze. But first things first: I need to eat lunch. THEN I can play with the breadmaker!
- Vanguard is offering a free video seminar on Thursday night entitled "Do I Need a Financial Advisor?". I'm tempted to sign up but it's at 7 p.m., which is when we eat dinner. I wonder if I can just watch it online later on. The email doesn't specify, I'll need to investigate on the Vanguard website.
- The new ransomware that's spreading everywhere is concerning. I sure hope they find a way to stop it before it reaches our banks, etc.
- I had forgotten to earn the mobile MS Rewards while I biked, so I did it in the afternoon.
- Time to fold the laundry! While I was in the kitchen (the laundry room is off the kitchen), I threw the ingredients to make a loaf of 100% whole wheat bread into the breadmaker. Set it and forget it! At least... as long as we don't lose power. A storm is brewing, I just heard thunder and the sky is getting really dark.
- The 2nd load from yesterday wasn't completely dry yet so I restarted it for a little bit. Once it's dry, I'll fold everything at the same time.
- My mom and stepdad didn't understand how to set up their AC unit so my mom emailed me a couple of times. I don't have a unit like that so I couldn't offer much help, but I found some answers in the Q&A section of the product on Amazon, which I had told her to read beforehand but I guess she didn't do. Anyhoo, I also found an email address and phone number to contact to request the instructions in French (apparently they only come in English and German in the box because the unit was shipped from Germany). My stepdad kept on insisting they had to fill up the unit with water so she's frustrated that he seems to know even less than her, hahaha. She told me she was going to ask someone else to help.
- I earned more than my 2nd Daily goal in SB, woohoo!
- Oh and I also reached my goal 14 days in a row so I'll collect a 100 SB bonus. Yes!
- I forgot to mention that Daughter told me Oldest Son got a music teacher job at a local disadvantaged elementary school for the new school year. He has to take a test in Gainesville to proof that he's qualified to teach K-12 tomorrow, apparently, but otherwise he should be good to go. I hope so for him. So it doesn't look like he applied for the St Augustine position, Nan, thanks for letting us know about it anyway. He had confirmed that he'd gotten the information from me and that was it. I hope your grandson's high school can find a teacher and have their Band Camp this summer.
- I folded all the laundry and put part of it away. I felt like having more coffee so I brewed another pot of decaf, using the last free K-cup of decaf coffee. It might seem like I'm drinking a lot of coffee these days and I am. I get ravenous when I have menstrual cramps and drinking hot coffee staves off the cravings in a way that tea doesn't.
- I had just settled down with my afternoon snack when Youngest Son texted me to ask if I could come pick it up. It was pouring, with thunder and lightning, so I put on my jacket, which is waterproof but has a fur lining! I was so hot, I had to turn on the AC really high in the SUV, lol. I picked him up from the library and then we drove to RaceTrac to get our Sodapalooza refills (he used one of the umbrellas I keep in the car to keep himself dry).
- Kellogg's emailed me the promo code for $8 on Fandango. I texted Middle Son to see if he wanted it since he goes to the movies all the time and he was very happy to accept it.
- I did the dishes while watching an old episode of The Great British Baking Show.
- I don't feel like cooking the tilapia! I think I might make pasta and serve it with the chicken from the humongous breasts I cooked on Sunday and then steam some asparagus on the side. So that's what I ended up making for dinner. I heated up a jar of Barilla Marinara Sauce, put the chicken meat in there and added some pepper. I cooked a box of whole wheat Ronzoni penne.
- Explorer came to cuddle with me :)
- However, I have got to cook the asparagus shortly after I buy them... because when I opened the bag, they were all spoiled. The tips were all very liquid-like. So I composted the whole thing and steamed some broccoli instead but I was very annoyed. $2.69 down the drain!
- After dinner, Greg and I watched a couple more episodes of "Peep Show" on Amazon Instant Video Prime. I'm about to start organizing my new coupons in my coupon organizer.
- I returned "The Simple Way to Wealth" to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library. Apparently we can only borrow one book per calendar month so I have to wait until 7/1 to see if they have "The Millionaire Teacher", that was recommended by one of my readers since my regular library system doesn't have it.
- The AC unit my mom received contained the sealing window kit that the unit needs but should have been sold separately. Woohoo!
- Two Sodapalooza refills for myself and my son, and 4 refills for Greg
- An $8 Fandango code to exchange for a movie ticket, via a KFR promotion
- +0.2 lbs again?! Arrgh.
- I biked for 45 minutes (8 miles)
- Breakfast was my usual egg white omelet and today I used zucchini, portobello mushroom, and spinach, along with some minced garlic. Yum.
- As usual as well, I had my morning snack along with my lunch: a strawberry shake.
- Lunch was a turkey and spinach wrap on a multigrain + flax flatbread from Aldi (it was good!), a side salad (romaine and cucumber with light balsamic vinaigrette) and some blueberries.
- Afternoon snack was a slice of homemade whole wheat bread with 1 tbsp of Polaner sugar free apricot spread and 11 Thin Wheat crackers from Aldi. I finished the box so I was finally able to open the box of Reduced Fat Thin Wheat crackers from Aldi and took exactly 1 cracker out of there :)
- Dinner was a cup of whole wheat penne pasta with 3 oz of chicken in marinara sauce and a cup of steamed broccoli. Later on, I'll eat a yogurt.