Monday, July 17, 2017

Ladies Only (Kind Of) ~ Sunday 7/16/17


  • It's going to be "Ladies Only... Save for 3 Male Cats" for a couple of weeks since Greg and Youngest Son left this morning on their camping trip.  Greg was excited, Youngest Son much less but he still mustered a smile.  They're driving to Charleston, SC today, with stops in Savannah, GA and a couple other places.  Greg actually booked a cabin with AC at a campground for tonight since the weather forecast was rather wet.

  • I slept pretty well last night. Explorer did his little circus act under the bed just once, I yelled at him and then he stopped and I guess came back to sleep with me because when I woke up at about 8:15 a.m., both he and Princess were sleeping against me.
Then they started grooming each other :)
  • For breakfast I had a bowl of generic Cheerios with a small container of canned pears. I had bought those fruit cups months ago for the kids to take to school and I guess they never did. So I'll be eating those down over the next few days.

  • I earned a few SB and the Microsoft Rewards for the day.

  • Today is another day of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on ION TV (over the air TV) but my daughter and I will be leaving for Mount Dora shortly.  We'll be visiting Renninger's "Longest Yard Sale". It's the last day of it so hopefully there'll still be vendors and we'll get good deals. We're actually only looking for one specific thing (a frame) but I like browsing. My daughter doesn't so much, she's already make remarks about "So... we're only looking for the frame and then leaving, right?!" but since we're driving 45 minutes to an hour to get there, I'm taking my time! We'll do lunch at Panera's afterwards and then hit Aldi and the Bakery Outlet.

  • Today is also the premiere of the latest season of Game of Thrones but my daughter and I will be abstaining from watching and from reading spoilers until Greg gets home in, sigh, 2 weeks.  Sob.
Hey, but UF posted this on their Instagram... Fuchs is the name of the President of the University of Florida. The gator is their mascot (in case you didn't know, go Gators!).  I laughed :)
  • Greg and Youngest Son left us their Sodapalooza cups since there won't be RaceTrac stations where they're going. 4 cups, woohoo!  I'll be drinking caffeine free Diet Coke all day through the end of the month :) However, Greg had driven to RaceTrac before I got up to gas up his truck and to get two Sodapalooza refills for himself. He poured them into reusable water bottles to take with him.

  • It's National Ice Cream Day and McDonald's has released a coupon for a free cone on their app, good today only. Greg finally downloaded the McDonald's app a couple of days ago and I had suggested Youngest Son downloads it as well but I don't know if he did. I texted Greg to remind him of the freebie.

  • RaceTrac sent emails yesterday to apologize for the fact that their app hasn't been working well lately. I had to reply that actually mine had been working OK until they sent the email and then I lost all my coupons.  This morning the coupons were back and they gave me a couple of extra coupons for free any size coffee, fountain or frozen drinks. Well, darn it, that's the ONE thing I didn't need!  I don't like their coffee but I might have to just redeem the coupons for that.

  • So my daughter and I drove the Expedition to Renninger's. The Focus gets better gas mileage but I never know what I'll find at yard sales so having the larger vehicle makes more sense.  

  • First, we stopped at RaceTrac and I got one free Sodapalooza refill for the road for myself. My daughter didn't want anything.

  • There was no entrance fee at Renninger's.  It wasn't busy at all and there actually weren't many sellers at all. The bulk of the exhibitors are the "antiques" dealers who have permanent buildings.  
Walking down to the "yard sale". It's very sandy and my Expedition almost got stuck in the sand when we went to leave!  Thankfully, I was able to get out, but I was nervous that we were going to need a tow truck!
This was taken in the permanent area where there are a bunch of small buildings where people sell more curated "antiques" and tchotchkes. Most of them were air conditioned but we didn't visit any of them since it's not the kind of stuff that we were wanting to buy.

So at first I was disappointed because it was far from being "The Longest Yard Sale" at all. However, within 10 minutes of getting there, we found what we had come to get, i.e. a large picture frame that my daughter wants to paint to make something like this:
$50 at Michael's!
This huge frame was just $3! I bought it for my daughter, who will paint it white and transform it into a frame like the one above, for her apartment.

And then, on a table where everything was marked down 50%, I found an AP World History Study Guide. It's a little old, 5th edition, while the current edition is the 7th edition, but it was only $2.50 after the discount so I got it for Youngest Son.  And that's all we bought. We looked around a little more but it was very hot and we didn't need anything else. That's too bad because I saw a very cool TV stand for just $15 but it was too large for the corner where our TV is (my current TV stand is an old microwave stand  had bought at Kmart back when my ex and I split up), a very nice table to put behind a couch for just $10 (but I have Greg's desk behind my futon and the other one is pushed against a wall) and a nifty nightstand also for $10.  Those were amazing deals but my daughter didn't need any of it and neither did I.

I also saw this sign which made me chuckle, but at $9, it stayed there.
  •  Back in the SUV, we placed a Rapid Order from Panera's because I had seen a promo code for $3 off $6 on Rapid Orders, although the caveat was that it only worked for some locations.  The promo code didn't work for us, oh well. I had loaded one of my Panera's gift cards on my app so I paid with the app and there was no money OOP for us today.

  • First, we stopped by another RaceTrac gas station and my daughter got a free Sodapalooza refill. I still had most of my own drink.  While she was getting it, I uploaded new digital coupons on my Publix app and unlocked new digital offers on my CVS app.

  • We picked up our order from Panera's.  I had the whole strawberry poppyseed chicken salad and a small side of French bread. It was nice and refreshing. We ate out on the patio since we had brought our own drinks, thankfully we had a table in the shade. It was hot but they were playing music we enjoyed and we were the only ones outside. We chatted about my daughter's roommates. Bless, hold on to your hat: I got so excited when my daughter said that the 2nd roommate, who is from Miami and will be studying biology and then doing PreMed, is from a Sri Lankan family!  I'm even more excited because she's the roommate who told my daughter that she loves cooking and is planning on cooking for all of them on some days. It'll be completely lost on my daughter, who is very picky and doesn't usually like any kind of "foreign" food, but... you know how I've been lusting after Sri Lankan food ever since you've been talking about the dishes you cook, so I'm hoping the roommate will be cooking on the days when I go visit, LOL.  And hopefully she cooks Sri Lankan food :)  The other roommate is from Tallahassee and studies Linguistics. She's already obtained her AA from a state college and so has the Miami roommate.
The salad was delicious but the bread... oh the bread.  I love bread.
  • After our lunch, we drove just 2 door down to Aldi. It's a brand new Aldi and man, it is NICE!  There are signs in the aisles to indicate all the sections, the berries are refrigerated (with the salads, etc.). I have Aldi envy!  On the bad news front, they also didn't have any Fit & Active Light Mayo, Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar, grape jelly or the peanut butter protein bars that I usually get for Greg. What is going on?!  Also the green apples are more expensive this week (over $4). The grape tomatoes wouldn't ring up and after the cashier got the correct code for them, they rang for $2.19 but the sign on the shelf said $1.59. She wouldn't take my word for it (they never do) and there was a line behind me, so I told her I wouldn't buy them. Grrr. My OOP was $67.84 but it's because it includes 2 jugs of cat litter ($3.79 plus tax each), three pleated darkening window shades (the paper kind you stick on the window frame, $3.99 plus tax each), that I got for my bedroom because it's still too bright in there, and a backpack ($19.99 plus tax) for Youngest Son. He has one that Greg had brought back from a convention, but he went through a couple of them this past year, so I bought one as a back-up.  So the non-food items were $42.31 and groceries were $25.53.  I don't think I'll need to go grocery shopping this coming week.
The food I bought.
  • We passed the Nature's Own Bakery Outlet but it's closed on Sundays. Poop.
Copyright Marc Strand via Google
  • Before we got home, we stopped by RaceTrac again and got 4 Sodapalooza refills this time, 2 for my daughter and 2 for myself.

  • While I was putting everything away, my daughter started cleaning the frame in the driveway. One of the stray cats came to visit her!  She said it has a clipped ear, so I guess it was a Trap, Neuter and Release cat.
It ran back under the car when she tried to get a little closer.
  • I texted with Youngest Son a bit. They did take advantage of the free ice cream coupon from McDonald's :)  It looks like they also stopped at a gaming store in Jacksonville and bought some stuff there, as a credit card charge alert was emailed to me.

  • I printed coupons via Swagbucks.

  • My daughter made plans to go see a movie at a drive-thru theater in Lakeland with her BFF tonight. She'll be driving the Focus and I gave her $20 for the ticket ($5) and dinner.  She will take both Sodapalooza cups with her so she and her BFF can get free drinks at RaceTrac.

  • My mom emailed me that the weather has turned super hot again so she and my stepdad hooked up the portable AC that we bought them. I hope it works for them. She said it was just starting to cool off their living room.

  • Crap.  The sample that I thought was roselle jelly from yesterday's seminar?  Actually, it looks like it's molasses. I guess she made it with the sugar cane?  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that's what it was until after I had already spread it on a whole wheat bun. Weird snack this afternoon!

  • With no rain in the forecast for today, I ventured into the garden to water it.  I used the hose to rinse off stink bugs that had invaded my eggplants and to refill all the remaining self-watering bins (they didn't need much). I also used it to water the beans and papaya seeds.  

  • Then I weeded the garden area.  There are still some weeds but it's much better.

  • Next,  I used rain water to irrigate all the potted plants. Oh shoot I just realized that I once again forgot to water the begonias on the front porch!  I'm too tired to go back out because...

  • It was 4:15 p.m. when I went out, and 5:15 p.m. when I came back inside, the hottest part of the day.  My weather app says it feels like 100F but this morning, when it was cooler, it felt like 107F.  I ended up pulling weeds off the berm. Of course, I had forgotten to put on sunscreen :(

  • Back when my oldest sons were in marching band, I had bought them a couple of "Kool Towels", which are very absorbent, like chamois, and they were supposed to wear them on their necks when they were practicing their patterns in band camp in the summer.  I had found one in the trash when Middle Son moved out so I had fished it out and kept it.  So today I found it in my stash, got it very wet, and I'm wearing it on my forehead right now because I got a little heated up outside.

  • At about 5:30 p.m., we had a power hiccup, everything turned off but then came back on right away. OK, fine.  An hour later, I got up and started moving around to go cook my dinner and then I realized that it was pretty warm in the living room... I have the thermostat set for 74F but it was up to 76F, even though the AC was running.  The thermostat showed that it was stuck on a cycle called "cool +2" and I don't know what it is but it didn't cool the house at all!  I had to turn it off altogether to force it into going back into the "cool" cycle. But now it's 77F on this side of  the house and boy, if you thought 3 degrees makes much of a difference, you'd be wrong.  The air coming out of the vents doesn't feel super cold to me so now I'm wondering if my AC unit is working as well as it should. It's going to take hours to come back down to 74F (and hopefully it will) but the upstairs is going to be stuffy tonight. So I might just sleep on the couch, we'll see.  The AC on the kitchen side of the house (different unit) is working fine and it's much cooler there.  Ugh, every time Greg goes somewhere, something breaks down here. Update: phew, it looks like it IS cooling, we're now down to 75F.

  • The asparagus that I bought today is already spoiling!  When I opened the bag, it was a little smelly. So I cooked the whole bag (my daughter and I love asparagus so we were planning on eating them tomorrow night) with some herbs and I've having half of it for dinner, with a couple of fried eggs on top.  I need to go back to figuring out my food intake in the mornings and stick to my plan much more closely. I've been a little lax lately.  Tonight, I've having an extra meat exchange.  Also, I didn't exercise, but I did pull weeds and water for an hour in the hot sun, so I'm using that.

  • The sky is getting darker at 7 p.m. and I don't mean that night is falling. Maybe it'll rain! Oooh, now there's thunder too!  7:52 p.m: it's raining! Not a ton but I'll take it!

  • Greg and I were unable to talk on the phone tonight! We each had only 1 bar and our phones wouldn't connect at all.  We were able to text though.  They made it to Charleston but the Wifi isn't working well at the cabin and they're in the flight path of an Air Force base. I begged him to stay at hotels from now on because I don't want our son to get sick by sleeping outside when it's so hot, and he did say that they'll stay at a hotel tomorrow night. Sweet!

  • I'll be staying up late tonight, I don't want to go to bed until I know my daughter is safely home. The movie should end at about 11:15 p.m. and then she has an hour drive home.  I'd better brew some coffee!

  • She came home safely at a little past 12:30 p.m. However, she reported that the GPS had them go on a tollroad and, as she was unsure whether our Sunpass would cover the toll or not, she went to the cash only lane and her BFF paid the $0.75 toll in cash. They didn't get a receipt. The light said for them to go but then she thought she should get a receipt so she backed up and then the light said "pay the toll" and she went anyway (and I guess she didn't get a receipt after all) so I really hope she didn't get flagged for running a toll because the car's tags and Sunpass accounts are both under my name and I really don't feel like dealing with such nonsense.  I don't know why she didn't just look at the logo on the toll lane to see if the Sunpass was accepted or not (I'm pretty sure that it is, nowadays most if not all toll roads agencies in Central Florida have agreements with one another to charge each other's users).  But I guess at least she told me about it so if something comes out of it, at least it won't be a surprise... and she'll pay for whatever ticket.

My daughter took this picture of Male Cat and Princess, relaxing on the cat couch.  Princess makes me laugh, lol. Male Cat looks pissed to have her butt in his face :)

Explorer came for a cuddle tonight.  Look at His Fuzziness!

  • 2 Sodapalooza refills for Greg at RaceTrac
  • 3 Sodapalooza refills for myself and 3 for my daughter, at RaceTrac
  • RaceTrac gave myself, Greg and my daughter 2 coupons for free any size drinks each, via their app.
  • McDonald's offered a free ice cream cone with a coupon in their app today, but my daughter said she didn't like their ice cream so I didn't redeem mine. Greg did redeem his, though.

  • I didn't like the scale display this morning so I'm going to ignore it. Plus, it's probably inaccurate because I've been kind of backed up, lol.  And I had put my hair in a bun and we all know how heavy those hairbands are (**eyeroll**).
  • Breakfast was a cup of generic Cheerios, half a cup of whole milk, and half a cup of canned pears (drained).
  • Lunch was a whole strawberry poppyseed chicken salad and a chunk of French bread from Panera's.
  • Mid afternoon snack was a whole wheat bun with half a teaspoon of molasses (!) and a strawberry shake. 
  • Dinner was 2 cups of steamed asparagus, 2 fried eggs, and a small chocolate chip banana muffin (the last one).
  • And then I was really bad and had the last 2 crêpes (the ones that the kittens had chewed on!).  My punishment is that they weren't even that good (I had messed up the ratio of flour and milk) so I didn't even enjoy them as much as I thought I would. Tomorrow, I'm getting back on the horse at 100%!

To Do List
  • Plan today's food intake DONE
  • Exercise
  • Record today's food intake into MFP 
  • Do the dishes - I didn't do them but I did organize them and I plan on washing them first thing in the morning. It's never as much as I had feared once I pile them up properly :)
  • Make dinner menu for the week
  • Roast chicken breasts (Monday morning)
  • Upload digital coupons DONE
  • Print coupons DONE
  • Clip coupons DONE
  • File coupons
  • Record receipts into my spreadsheets 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
  • Continue checking Target's Redcard account to see if they credited my refund. Then schedule payment (due 8/2)  - Return was recorded, credit should be issued by 7/27?! Keep checking every day.
  • Post trip pictures on French blog
  • Finish backing up all pictures to my external drive (when Greg and our son are on their camping trip)
  • Figure out where I was in the process of backing up my external drive!
  • Make hummingbird nectar
  • Trim bushes in front of the house (next week)
  • Transplant ferns from bin into front yard (next week)
  • Transplant all basil seedlings from berm and patio to the empty garden beds (next week) 
  • Pull weeds from berm DONE
  • Pull weeds from gravel path IN PROGRESS
  • Pull weeds from bean patch DONE
  • Pull weeds from garden mulch area 
  • Pull weeds from planter near house/hose
  • Pull weeds from rose planter
  • Pull weeds from front planters and path
  • Lay down more cardboard on top of mulch
  • Mulch the berm again (next week)
  • Decide what to plant in the garden this fall and where
  • Water potted begonia
  • Clean all litter boxes DONE
  • Wash all the litter boxes
  • Feed all cats in the morning DONE
  • Feed all cats in the evening DONE
  • Wash Greg's bedding
  • Mend some items from the mending basket
  • Take Youngest Son driving (on hold until he comes back)
  • Vacuum fridge's coils
  • Explore Will and Power of Attorney forms on LegalZoom and discuss with Greg
  • Find a good picture of our cats and order bag from Shutterfly for Daughter with freebie code
  • Inventory what batteries we need for hurricane season
  • 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
  • Tape the Strength Training videos and put on dedicated SD card (once the large TV is reconnected)
  • Put bleach in furnace drain line for maintenance
  • Pour Drano down kitchen sink for maintenance (need to buy some first!)
  • Clean the inside of the dishwasher
  • Clean exercise room vent
  • Vacuum kitchen vents
  • Vacuum the downstairs
  • Vacuum the upstairs
  • Fix kitchen sliding drawer
  • Install window shades in my bedroom
  • Wash bathroom and hall ceiling, door jamb (next week)
  • Write letter to Target CEO (once refund has been issued)
  • Call SunTrust and Chase re: bonds
  • Reconcile FSA records to make sure we're not missing money in the account
  • Write groceries post for the week DONE
  • Add Osmocote plant food to hibiscus and roses
  • Check on beans and papaya seeds (daily) and water as needed  - DONE
  • Order rain barrel from Home Depot (find gift card first!)
  • Dehydrate apples (next week)
  • Declutter the old coffee table IN PROGRESS


  1. Nathalie, I am so behind with my reading and commenting! But I saw that bit about the roommate and I am all excited, too! :D I hope she will be a roommate your daughter finds easy to get along with.

    I hope Greg and your son have a safe drive.

    $50 for a frame with some twine and clothes pins?! Your daughter will have a better frame for a fraction of the cost!

    Your salad looks good! I love Panera bread! One day, when all my dental work is done and my mouth has healed enough for me to chew, I am going to treat myself to some bread from Panera!

    Aw, look at the black and white stray, lying inside the frame! Pretty as a picture, kitty! The other kitties are cute, too!

    1. Wasn't that a ridiculous price for the frame at Michael's?! I think hers will turn out nice too. She's not done yet, she wants to paint it by hand instead of spray painting it.

      I have to warn you, it's a little hard to chew on Panera's French bread when you're missing some molars. But I'm missing several and I'm still able to chomp down on it so where there's a will, there's a way :) I hope your mouth heals soon.

  2. The UF president must have a great sense of humor. Loved the Instagram!

    1. Yes, I guess he gives zero Fuchs. Hahaha, sorry, I couldn't resist. Poor guy, I guess with a last name like this, he HAD to have a great sense of humor growing up. And now he's the President of a major university so that's nice for him. I really loved that Instagram as well and my daughter lamented that she should have thought to make something like that herself, hahaha.

      We won't be able to watch GoT for another week and a half... arrgh, we can't wait. And then we calculated that my daughter will be at school for the last 2 episodes :( She's already planning on driving back home that Sunday when the last episode airs so she can watch it with us, LOL.

  3. Pulling weeds in the garden is DEFINITELY exercise. I'm glad your mom is enjoying her new air conditioner. I don't wish to jinx myself, BUT.....I haven't needed to install my AC unit so far this summer. It remains a little on the cool and wet side of things.

    The "World's Longest Yard Sale" sounds like fun. To have everything in one place is my kind of yard sale. How could your daughter not want to stay and browse? I would love to attend one of those. She is going to do an amazing job on her $3 frame. What a great idea!

    1. I'm so glad for you you haven't had to install your AC unit! I just got my electric bill for the past 30 days or so and it's $300. Arrgh. But we do enjoy that sweet AC 24/7! I'm so glad my mom and stepdad figured out how to use the portable AC and are enjoying it. They're too old now to have to suffer the heat!

      That yard sale sounded much better than it was. It was not that long but what they did have was priced much better than I thought it would be. I usually enjoy looking at those too but now that I've realized that I really don't NEED anything and that I should actually declutter the house, I don't enjoy the browsing quite as much as I used to. Also it was quite hot and humid. It's fun to hunt for something specific that you have in mind, though!

  4. Great deal on the $3 frame! I hope you show us the end result, after your daughter gets done with it.

    "Fuchs" is a fairly common surname in Germany. It means "fox." But yeah...I feel bad for anyone here having that name.

    1. Ah yes, I need to ask her if she finished the frame. She had painted it mauve but it ended up being too purple for her so she was going to repaint it and then put up the string.

      Would you pronounce "Fuchs" as "Fee-ucks" or "Fucks"? I've been pronouncing it as "Fee-ucks" just because it felt rude to say "Fucks", ha.

  5. "Fuchs" is pronounced like "foox." Rhymes with books. :-)

    1. Cool, thanks! I just told my daughter and she said she heard that he tells people to pronounce it "Fox". Good thing that I'll probably never meet him :)


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