Monday, July 3, 2017

A Not Very Domestic Monday ~ 7/3/17

Greg only had one meeting today so he decided to work from home and I turned off my alarm. I slept really well last night and indulged in not waking up until 9 a.m.!  I would have slept longer but a phone call woke me up.

I am groggy. It's 11 a.m. and I'm still in my PJs and haven't done anything save for feeding the kittens (who gorged themselves on the older cats' food earlier since Greg had fed them so they don't want their kitten kibble!) and wash a couple of dishes so I could have breakfast.

Greg's done with his conference call and he drove to RaceTrac to get us Sodapalooza refills. I'll get the next round since I have to go to the library return my book.

Plans for the day won't be extensive, but I'm going to post my To Do List just the same...  Warning, it's gonna be a looong one because I consolidated several To Do lists. It doesn't even cover everything that I have to do, but it's a start. I need to knock as many things off my list this month as possible!

  • Plan my food intake for the day DONE
  • Exercise Only 10 minutes
  • Record today's food intake into MFP DONE
  • Do the dishes  I'll do half of them after publishing this post
  • Plan menu for the week DONE
  • Work on new shopping list DONE
  • Return book to the library DONE
  • Explore Vanguard's Personal Advisor Services webpage and get started on process 
  • Create Greg's online Social Security Account (with him) and update my documents
  • Post trip pictures on French blog
  • Finish backing up all pictures to my external drive (later on this week when Greg is away and the kids are still in bed so I can hog all the bandwidth!)
  • Figure out where I was in the process of backing up my external drive!
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • Find two books to donate to The Little Library when I go to the eye doctor DONE
  • Cut up Greg's old sheet for rags
  • Do the laundry DONE
  • Fold the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Iron Greg's business clothes for his trip
  • Clean out my coupon organizer DONE
  • Finish clipping coupons
  • Put new coupons away
  • Back up my blog
  • Sweep or vacuum my bedroom (when my bed gets delivered on Wednesday)
  • Sweep and mop kitchen
  • Clean upstairs litterbox DONE
  • Mend some items from the mending basket
  • Take Youngest Son driving
  • Vacuum fridge's coils
  • Request new mortgage pay-off statement after the July payment clears
  • Transfer money from savings to checking
  • Express mail a check to the mortgage company to pay off the mortgage
  • Explore Will and Power of Attorney forms on LegalZoom and discuss with Greg
  • Check if "The Millionaire Teacher" is available on the Kindle Owners' Lending Library I DID, IT'S NOT :(
  • Find a good picture of our cats and order bag from Shutterfly for Daughter with freebie code
  • Clean out the battery drawer, inventory what batteries we need and buy them on Sales Tax Day (hurricane season, need to research when that will be)
  • Finish the 2014 Powerpoint document for Daughter
  • Add clip art to all 2012, 2013 and 2014 pages that I created and print them
  • Declutter this past year's school files and prep new files for this coming year
  • Check if there is any money in Daughter's school lunch account and if so, request that it'd be transferred to Youngest Son's

  • Greg worked from home, which saved us a bundle in gas and tolls.

  • As usual, I drank the last of the decaf coffee that I had brewed yesterday before brewing a fresh pot.

  • I earned the Microsoft Rewards for today and I'm working on Swagbucks. My 1st goal is very high (102 SB) and the videos stopped working for me after only 48 SB so I'm not optimistic. I'll reboot my laptop to clear some memory and try it again.

  • Greg drove to RaceTrac and got us Sodapalooza refills!  I checked my RaceTrac app for new coupons and... it said I had NO coupons available.  I had a free medium drink coupon that didn't expire for another 7 days so I'm ticked off. I emailed their Customer Service. I wonder if it's payback for having told them I was gassing up at Wawa from now on...

  • I haven't made a menu for the week but I think I'll make tacos for the family tonight since I have ground beef that I had defrosted yesterday. There's still a serving of the Beefy Tortilla Pie, so I'll have that myself.

  • I went to cuddle with Princess last night so she's not mad at me anymore and she came to give me kisses several times since. Yay!

  • I reused a bread bag to clean up the upstairs litterbox.

  • I'm doing two load of laundry today on cold/cold.  I'll try to dry the first load outside before it rains. The second load contains the bath towels and Greg's T-shirts so it'll go in the dryer on the Auto Moisture Sensing setting.

  • I made plans to go to the Friends of the Library 4th of July book sale with Greg tomorrow. It's just 1/2 mile away from the house so we'll walk and check out the vendor tents while we're there.

  • I also suggested that since our plan is to put the old couch out on the curb tomorrow night, that we first carry it to the front of the house and sit on it to watch the fireworks instead of breaking out the camping chairs, lol.  He laughed, but I was serious :)

  • Alright, now it's almost noon and I'm getting on my recumbent bike...

  • But before I did that, I went to make sure that Greg wasn't expecting some special food spread for July 4th tomorrow... He said "Like what?" so I mentioned hot dogs, potato salad... and he said "Peanut butter pie?" hopefully.  Well, I couldn't disappoint him, could I?  So I sighed and told him I'd run to Save A Lot after I was done biking and he was really happy.

  • I'd been biking for just 10 minutes when he came in and said "Want to go on a "date"?! I have to go back to Lowe's!". Well, you don't have to ask me twice!  So off we went.
    • First we went to the library to drop off my book.
    • Then we went to RaceTrac in Clermont for him to gas up his truck for $2.079/gallon. He earned some reward points on his app.
    • Next, we went to Lowe's:
      • We returned a part for the gutters that was the wrong one and got about $9 and some cents credited back to his Discover card.
      • We got the correct part.
      • We checked out the plant clearance shelves but didn't see anything that we liked.
      • Went to the self checkout but we didn't have an actual "MyLowe's" card (I hope it's in the mail) so the supervising cashier helped us. I'm glad I questioned why we weren't given the 10% military discount with the MyLowe's account because he had forgotten to click on a button. So we saved about 90 cents, woohoo! We charged the replacement part back to Discover for the 5% bonus rewards.
    • From there we stopped at the ABC Liquor Store because they had emailed me a $5 off $25 coupon that expires tomorrow and we wanted to see if Greg's whiskey would be cheaper than at Winn Dixie with the coupon.  
      • It was!  It was on sale for $13.59 a bottle so we got 2 bottles
      • We also went to check out the vodka section since Greg just wanted to browse and we were curious whether or not they sold cucumber-infused vodka.
      • Well they did!  Organic vodka at that!  So we bought a bottle because we decided to make our own tropical lemonades tomorrow to sip while watching the fireworks.  It was $19.99 a bottle and there was an offer to get a free 1L bottle of a certain brand of tonic water with it ("No substitutions").
      • We couldn't find that tonic water so I grabbed a bottle of the same brand of club soda and asked the cashier whether we could get that for free instead. She said "Sure". Woohoo!
      • I redeemed the coupon and gave her my ABC Liquor Rewards Member number.
      • The OOP was a little over $45 and I charged it to Amex for 1% back in Rewards.
      • I earned 42 reward points too.

    • Then we went to Publix.  I wasn't sure that Save A Lot would have the hot fudge that I needed for the peanut butter pie, and we prefer their Southern-style potato salad to Save A Lot's so we were going to have to make two stops. Greg was happy when I told him "Let's just go get everything at Publix". I thought it would be crowded but it really wasn't. I got:
      • 2 containers of Publix-brand lite Cool Whip ($1.39 each)
      • 2 packages of Ball Park hot dogs. They were on Mix and Match BOGO. We wanted two packs of the Angus Beef ($5.49) but they only had one pack left so we got a pack of the bun-length ones on the recommendation of the stocker ($4.99 but free thanks to the BOGO).
      • 2 bottles of Minute Maid lemonade ($1.99 each) since we needed some for our tropical drinks and we had a  $1.00/2 store coupon for that brand. However, when we got to RaceTrac later on, we realized that we could have just gotten free MM lemonade with our Sodapalooza cups!  Boneheaded me!
      • A container of potato salad (on sale for $2.00)
      • 2 packages of Jack Links jerky for Greg's snacks (BOGO at $6.39)
      • A jar of "craft beer" sauerkraut for the hot dogs (on sale for $1.49)
      • A jar of hot fudge (on sale for $2.00)
      • 2 packages of Publix brand neufchatel cheese because I didn't remember if I needed one or two ($2 each)
      • A 6-pack of Patriotic Cupcakes for the kids' snacks just because ($4.00, on sale)
      • Publix brand hot dog buns ($1.39)
      • I was hoping that maybe I had digital coupons for some of the stuff but I didn't :(
      • So my OOP was $32.80 and I charged it to Amex for 3% back in Rewards 
      • Yikes, but cheaper than going to a restaurant for just one meal and the hot dogs will last us for several meals. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of my purchases.
    • Our last stop was RaceTrac for Sodapalooza refills for Greg, Youngest Son, and myself.

  • When we got home, Youngest Son was finishing mowing the front yard since he hadn't finished it yesterday. We saw our neighbor Jeff come over with his ride-on mower to ask if he just wanted him to finish the front yard (so sweet!) but our son declined since his dad had asked him to do it :)

  • I informed my daughter that we were going to have a special meal tomorrow after all but then she informed me that she had already accepted her BFF's family's invitation to their cook-out. What?!  So I told her she couldn't have any of my peanut butter pie :)

  • I made my lunch.  I had to throw away the rest of the milk because it went bad. No one but me seems to be using milk anymore!  I put a brick of UHT whole milk from Dollar Tree in the fridge since I'm not going shopping until Wednesday and I used some of it for my strawberry shake.

  • Greg only had a snack and went to work on the gutters.

  • The sky was getting dark, so I put the first load of laundry in the dryer, after all. The second load also went into the dryer, as planned. It started raining at 3 p.m.

  • I had just sat down to eat my lunch when Greg came in and asked me to come help him with something.  What?! So I reminding him of what had happened the last time I offered to help (we fought) but he promised he would be on his best behavior.  So I went outside, helped, we didn't fight, and then thunder started thundering.  I pointed it out to him and told him I had done my wifely duty :)

  • Now it's 3:00 p.m. and I'm about to have my lunch while I watch the first episode of Prime Suspect-Tennison on the PBS app of our Roku.  I haven't exercised OR done the dishes and the laundry is in the dryer so I feel a little bit like a domestic failure today. Oh well.

  • I claimed my 295 SB June Bonus.  Also Customer Service credited me with 2 SB for a Swag code that wasn't working a few days ago. (don't forget that you have to claim it, it doesn't get credited to your account automatically).

  • Greg finished the gutters and it looks very nice!  There's just one change he needs to make to bring the downspout closer to the side wall and then I also need to order a new rain barrel.

  • IHG Rewards sent me a statement for the 6 nights we spent at Holiday Inn Express hotels. I had accumulated a little over 6,000 points but I won't be staying at another hotel this year, I don't think.  So I explored how to redeem the points and ended up ordered a $10 Dunkin' Donuts gift card in exchange for 5,000 points. It was either that or Starbucks.  Greg and I were just discussing going to Dunkin' Donuts for Valentine's Day this year, after we had walked at Silver Springs State Park and how maybe next time we go walking, we'll stop by to share a coffee and a donut again, so it was timely ;)

  • I started watching the 2nd episode of Prime Suspect - Tennison, while cleaning my coupon organizer and came across a coupon for 10% off my entire purchase at Tractor Supply Co. that expires tomorrow. So I asked Greg if he needed anything from there and he said he wanted some kind of long-sleeve fishing shirt and we decided to go and see if they had any!  So off we went again but we didn't find any there. I'll have to look online. It was only a couple of miles away from our house so it's not like we went far!
  • On the way home, we stopped by RaceTrac again to get more Sodapalooza refills for Greg.

  • I did reach my 1st daily goal in SB :)

  • Back home, I looked for the type of shirt Greg wanted online and I found one that was great and half the cost of the one that I spotted at Dick's Sporting Goods. Greg liked it so he picked a color, and then I found him a hat with bug shield and a nape protector too.  I applied the balance of my Amazon gift card to the purchase, and we got free shipping with Amazon Prime.  The $32.35 OOP was charged to our Amazon Visa card for 5% back in Amazon Rewards.

  • As planned, I cooked tacos for dinner and I ate the last of the Beefy Tortilla Pie leftovers, along with about 2/3 of a cup of whole wheat penne that was left over as well.

  • I felt bad about not wanting to do anything for July 4th, really, so I ran up to the storage space that we call "the attic" and got the few decorations that I have for patriotic holidays. I still don't feel like celebrating but I'm doing this for Greg and the kids, I guess. I have a small wreath made of stars on the front door, an American flag sign in the kitchen, along with a large "USA" banner that I hung over the kitchen table, and then three stars (red, white and blue) that I put on the mantelpiece. It's too dark to take pictures now, so I'll have to do it tomorrow.

  • I identified 2 books to leave at the Little Free Library in Clermont when I go to my eye doctor appointment this week (I had taken 2 books the last time I passed it). One book I had bought last year's at the July 4th Friends of the Library book sale, the other I had gotten from a thrift store for the kids when they were little.

  • I'm really liking that Prime Suspect Tennison series on Masterpiece Theater so I added reminders in my calendar to watch the new episodes as they come out. If you're interested in checking it out, hurry up because the 1st episode's free viewing expires in 6 days! After that, you can only see it if you're a Passport Member. To be a passport member, you need to check your local PBS station's requirement. For mine (WUCF), I'd have to be a supporting member at least at the $60 annual (or $5 monthly) level.  I knew that I had donated money to WUCF last Fall so I checked my records and I donated $100... however, it was earmarked for the Jazz Radio station, not the TV station, both under the WUCF umbrella. So, you never know, I emailed them with my receipt to ask if that would qualify me for the Passport program. I'm sure it'll be no, but you don't know if you don't ask, right?

  • Then I put on an episode of  "The Great Yellowstone Thaw", also on the PBS app of the Roku, that I watched sporadically while I was updating this post. You know, having a narrator with a good voice for narration is important for documentaries, I think. And the guy narrating this documentary... well, I don't think he has a voice for narration. Consequently, I'm not finding myself too terribly interested in the documentary. Is this terrible?

  • I went to check out the site of the company that makes the organic cucumber vodka that we bought today, and they have a great recipe (and video) for strawberry basil vodka infusion that you serve with club soda. Oh my, I might have to start drinking more! They also have more recipes for more infusions on that page.

  • I'm sad to report that the trick of putting the cigarette-smelling cookbook in a plastic bag with some dryer sheets didn't work. The book still stinks. Arrgh.

  • But I'm happy to report that the cats continue to love the new couch. New Kitty is going to be sad when that mattress goes away though, she loves lying on its edge.
Well, half the cats, at least.

  • Sodapalooza refills :)
  • A bottle of club soda at ABC Liquor Store
  • A $10 Dunkin' Donuts gift card from IHG Rewards


This dove came to have dinner at the cardinal feeder tonight :)
I hope you had a good Monday. Happy Fourth tomorrow if you're American :) Well, off to do half the dishes!


  1. That vodka sounds amazing and so does the strawberry drink you mentioned. I really like Hendrick's gin, which is a cucumber gin. You can make really awesome mixed drinks with it as the base; one I really like is a gin and basil smash.

    I had to laugh that you are ending up making a special 4th meal anyway. I was at Publix this evening myself -- I forgot to get two bags of hamburger buns on Saturday and we need some for our burgers tomorrow. The peanut butter pie sounds fantastic! I don't think I am going to make dessert except maybe some hot fudge sauce so that we can have sundaes. That way we are limited to exactly two portions.

    1. That's very wise! As for me, I don't like peanut butter flavored stuff too much so I won't have any trouble resisting the pie, they can have at it!

      I don't think I've ever had gin, I'm not much of a drinker but anything with basil in it has to be delicious!

  2. You have had a busy day! I had not heard of peanut butter pie and looked it up; it sounds good! Nice to see the cats enjoying their new sofa. Dancer wants to know why I don't buy him a sofa! :D

    1. You know, I was thinking the other day that some people spend upwards of $50 for a nice dog or cat bed... I got a whole couch :) I'm quite sure Dancer has nothing to complain about!

      I'm about to start making the pie. I had to reprint the recipe (from the Jif website) because I somehow lost the one I had clipped from a magazine several years ago (I suspect that perhaps one of my older sons took it with him when he moved out, lol) and the printout shows the nutritional information. Well for 1/10th of the pie (which is a tiny piece!), you eat 600 calories and 38 g of fat! That's almost half the calories I should eat in one day so it's a good thing that I'm not so much of a fan of peanut butter-flavored desserts or candies!

  3. I'm glad that the work with your husband went well. My husband and I learned long ago if we were going to work together, one of us had to be in charge and the other had to follow. Otherwise, we would fight.

    1. You are very wise. If I help, I follow directions but if he does a project for me and I see him so something that doesn't work, why shouldn't I be able to voice my objections or concerns without getting my head bitten off? Ah, men. Anyhoo, it was a relief that there was NO bickering yesterday. He was in a great mood and we had a great time, all day! To be honest, most of our days are like this, but I have self-diagnosed PTSD from my parents' fights before (and after) they divorced and I shut down when we do fight.

  4. Well I am kind of glad that you put out a few decorations and are making up some special treats for the Day. It makes the celebrations more memorable. On Canada Day, besides everyone dressing up in a sea of red and white, we do the BBQ thing as well. In fact, our hostess this year grilled up hamburgers that were cut in the shape of Maple Leafs. We watched a parade as is our custom, but many of my family attended outdoor concerts. I am guessing it is tradition that keeps us looking forward to these special occasions.

    1. Awww, maple leaf-shaped burgers?!? You guys are too cute!

  5. You are getting really creative with your boozy drinks! I don't drink a lot, but enjoy an occasional drink. Of course, alcohol is usually high in calories and I really, really want to EAT the calories that I'm allowed. You know, like in the form of peanut butter pie!

    1. Same reason why I rarely DO drink alcohol, lol. Sometimes I wonder if we're "sisters from another mother", Pixel!


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