SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
- Well, I didn't get up "on time" again... I had a restless night for some reason and slept in until 9:30 a.m.
- However I had packed Greg's lunch last night so he took leftovers to work today anyway.
- As usual, I earned a few SB and the Microsoft Rewards credits for the day.
- Greg had finished a loaf of bread at breakfast this morning and left the empty bag for me. I reused it to clean the upstairs litterbox.
- Looking at today's plans, my son's BFF wants to attend the D&D Club this afternoon but his dad works and his mom is back in France for a month so we will go pick him up and drive him there. If he needs a ride home afterwards, Greg will bring him home with our son, he will have dinner here with us, and then we will take both our vehicles to drop off Greg's truck at the garage where it will be undergoing maintenance tomorrow and then drive on to the BFF's house to drop him off. This sounds complicated but it'll actually help everyone, reduce our gas expense, allow me to sleep in tomorrow morning because Greg will take my SUV to work, and allow us to still have dinner at the regular time.
- Since the BFF is a picky eater, I switched my dinner plans and we'll have hot dogs and mac'n cheese tonight instead of tomorrow night. Hopefully he likes this.
- I wanted to go to Save A Lot today to grab some of the eggs on the 3-day sale ($0.49 a dozen) and also to Aldi to grab a couple of things, but I could run into SAL when we go drop off the truck tonight so I'm thinking maybe I'll hold off. I could go to Aldi on a different day.
- I placed an order for cat and kitten food with my vet's office. This time I only ordered 2 bags of kitten food. Added to what I have on hand, I think it should last me through the end of August, when they'll turn 1. At that time, I hope to just be able to put them all on the same food, the Urinary S.O. Moderate Calories that the larger cats are eating right now. The kittens steal their food all the time anyway so I don't think they'll mind and it'll make our lives easier because then I think we'll stop stressing about the kittens eating out of the wrong bowls. Food will become a free for all and if the large cats want to eat out of the kitten bowls, I won't chase them off anymore either. They all need to start watching out for themselves!
- I had planned on making myself an egg white omelet for breakfast in a little bit (it's not even 11 a.m.) but the Bustelo coffee I'm drinking (espresso ground) is very acidic and suddenly I HAD to get food into my stomach or I was going to throw up. No time for an omelet so I poured myself a bowl of generic Cheerios, and went to grab the last brown banana... only someone had already eaten it! Arggh. All my berries are frozen too... so I scrounged around in the fridge (with some urgency!) and found a jar containing a bit of dehydrated apples and I'm using that on my cereal. It's really good. Youngest Son eats a lot of apples during the school year but this summer, he has slowed down his consumption quite a bit and I will have several apples left when he leaves to go camping. So I plan on dehydrating those too. I don't like fresh apple on my cereal but dehydrated is fine.
- It's July 13 and my daughter graduated from high school back in May. As you may recall, at the time she was honored for having earned her AA. The state college had notified the high school back in April that she had earned her AA. Bureaucratic bullshit being what it is, it actually took until July 13 for all the correct transcripts to be centralized in her student account at the state college (FLVS, high school, state college) level, which meant that UF couldn't acknowledge that she had indeed earned an AA, which meant that they wouldn't let her NOT register for the classes they require of freshmen. Are you still following me? So now that her transcripts are finally complete, we get to pay $2.40 (she thought it was going to be $12.50 so $2.40 is much better!) for them to be sent to UF so they can finally acknowledge that she DOES have an A.A., change her status from freshmen to... junior? I don't even know, and allow her to NOT have to take the freshman-required classes and also to register for the classes for which she's already taken and passed the pre-requisites. Only now she has to wait until August 3, I think to actually register for the classes since they've closed class registrations for the summer. In this day and age of computerized everything, you would think it wouldn't take 2 freaking months for all of this to be done! How on Earth was she allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony, honored for an AA, etc. if someone, somewhere, didn't already have the official transcripts showing that she had indeed earned all the required credits?! Also, now she has to wait until September to actually receive the official A.A. because it won't be issued until the graduation ceremony for those who graduate in the summer. She doesn't care since it's just the piece of paper but then again... graduate in May, receive the paper in September. How inefficient. Things like these drive me nuts not only because it's insane, but also because she's had to worry about the whole process these whole 2 months, contacting several people to check on the progress, making sure that the correct transcripts were being sent, etc. Yes, she could have not worried about it but then they wouldn't have recognized that she had taken 2 years of French on FLVS, because apparently that didn't make it into her official transcripts at first.
- In related news, though, she continues to study Calculus every day and she was telling me yesterday how much she's actually enjoying doing this without the pressure of having homework that'll be graded. She's taken several practice math placement tests since she's started studying and so far she gone from a 57 (the official test she took before UF Preview, they had told her not to study) to a 79 the last time she took one. She's going to officially retake the test in late July and hopes to be able to score at least that so she can register for Calculus 1 and be allowed to register for the Computer Science class she needs to take too. I'm so proud of her. She's far more disciplined that I ever was or that I am now for that matter. I mean, she doesn't even particularly like math, but she says she enjoys it when she finally understand a concept and sees herself be successful at solving problems. She amazes me every day :)
- I tracked the UPS shipment that was being returned to Target (the king-size bed platform base that they had sent me erroneously) and it shows that it was received 2 days ago. However, no credit has been applied to my REDcard yet. I don't want to schedule the payment (due 8/2) because it still includes that charge and I don't plan on shopping at Target again so I'd be stuck with a useless credit on my account. I don't want to close the credit card as it might come in handy (you never know) and closing it would lower our credit score. So I emailed Target again to inquire, they never did reply to the last email, and yes I'm keeping track of all of this and will include it in the letter that I intend to send to their CEO about this whole thing. No wonder Target has been losing market shares to Amazon and even to freaking Walmart. Ugh.
- I unlocked new rebate offers for cereals on SavingStar. We are fully stocked, but if I find a great deal, I will get it anyway. Cereal doesn't go bad in this house.
- I uploaded some new Publix store coupons to my Publix digital coupon wallet via their app.
- I looked at the previews for the upcoming Walgreens and CVS ads just to see if there would be any "freebies" (i.e. either good ECB offers or freebies after RR at Walgreens) but there aren't so I'll be skipping those stores next week. I might be able to get away with not shopping at all since it'll only be my daughter and myself and we have tons of food at home? I need to resist the temptation of going out to dinner at night. It's difficult for me to only cook for 2 as I don't eat leftovers for lunch anymore and she won't eat them either and a lot of recipes that I have are for 6 or 8 servings. I could try to scale them down for just 2 people but it's not that easy.
- I don't think that I mentioned it before, but Greg told me there's a chance he might have to go on a business trip to... Sweden! In December! That's to make up for the business trip that he should have taken to Barcelona Spain this past month, but that a mix-up ended up in him not being invited to that particular work symposium. Personally, I'd rather go to Spain in the summer than Sweden in the winter but I'm still very envious as I'd really love to go to Sweden, darn it. And I can't because we have beaucoup cats and a son who won't even be 16 in December so no way to leave him at home by himself, you know? Yes, we'd still have to pay for my airfare but I could share Greg's free hotel room. Arrgh.
- Arrggh, I can't wait and I have to because Greg is leaving on his camping trip for 2 weeks on the very same day the new series of Game of Thrones is starting and we watch the show together so I don't want to start without him (well I want to but I want to be nice and wait!). It didn't help that Roku sent me an email today entitled "We can't wait!". Bastards.
- I'm so happy that Bless finally got the help she needed in getting her very frustrating health-related problems resolved yesterday! Now I can be doubly as annoyed by my own much less important problems, hahaha. Just kidding, Bless, but I am happy that everything is finally lining up for you and hope it continues to stay in alignment!
- I don't feel like doing anything that actually needs to be done in the house or to make phone calls, so I went to the garden with my camera.
MONARCH CATERPILLAR WATCH: They're all gone :( I hope it means they found a spot to become their transformation and not that they were eaten by birds or something.
- Resuming my successes and failures... I harvested several serrano peppers and froze them whole. I have a whole container of them right now and my plant keeps on giving me more and more peppers, lol.
- The Ichiban eggplant plant that wouldn't die... is still producing! I have an eggplant growing right now and another one that's about to start, plus another blossom on the plant. I've been terrible with those, either leaving them for the birds/squirrels or harvesting them and composting them because Greg can't eat eggplant, the kids hate it, and I don't have room in the freezer anyway.
- I finally got tired of the vincas that had self-seeded in between the pavers of the patio and realize that those are self-seeding as well so soon my patio will just be a jungle of vincas. Pretty, but still! So I pulled them all and replanted them in the one garden plot where nothing else (but vincas!) has grown in the past couple of years. I'm sure they won't survive, especially since it was hot and in the end I just planted a whole handful of them in the same hole, LOL! But I dutifully watered them and now we'll see.
- Other pictures from the garden today...
|Random tomato plant that reseeded itself in the mulch|
|Another guest tomato plant growing in the middle of the basil forest|
|And it's producing tomatoes too!|
|More pole bean plants have sprouted (next to the weeds!)|
|The pineapple empire is looking good|
|A couple of the sweet potato vines to make Bless envious, LOL|
|A potted pineapple plant that looks like it'll be ripe pretty soon.|
- At about 1 p.m. my daughter announced that she and Youngest Son were going to take a walk in the neighborhood. She's bored and wanted to play Pokemon Go and go to the corner store to buy... toilet paper. Mind you, we HAVE toilet paper. Many rolls. Like over 18 rolls. I told her that. She said she wanted to buy toilet paper for her apartment. I told her to take some from home. But she whined that she was bored. So this is why she's going to waste money on toilet paper?!? She's disciplined with her homework but a complete hmm, what's a word I can use that's not too insulting, I can't think of one... numskull? when it comes to money. And that really really annoys me. She just laughs it off. As someone who tries to be frugal so she can help her family attain certain goals, the fact that most of my offspring is actually a bunch of spendthrifts is really disappointing. No one is perfect and I guess I'd rather she buys toilet paper than drugs, but good grief. And she's not even going to use a coupon. THE HORROR.
- I found several apples in the fruit bowl that are ready to be dehydrated now, but I still want to wait until Youngest Son is gone on the off-chance that he doesn't eat any of those that are still good. I'd rather run the dehydrator only once. So I put the blemished apples in the fridge to try and slow down the decay.
- The kittens have been very rambunctious today. I just had to kick the 2 boys out of my bedroom because they were up there, making a racket... I found Tabby Kitty chewing on my leather chair again and Explorer jumping on furniture... like kids, basically. I closed both bedroom doors upstairs. So now they're tearing around the downstairs, running around like chickens with their heads cut off! At least they're not doing to buy toilet paper that they don't need because "they're bored"... lol.
- My daughter and the cats heard some scuffling in the wall above her bedroom's door jamb... and we think it's one (or several) mouse. Arrgh. I texted Greg.
- So for lunch I made a chicken spinach wrap. I didn't feel like having salad so I ate a small bowl of the Tortellini Corn Chowder that I made earlier in the week, it's soooo good. I also had the last 3 cherries and a quarter of a papaya (I then let Tabby Kitty lick the juice off the peel). I was bad today and didn't plan my food intake in advance, but I have a rough idea of what I can eat and in which quantities so I think I should be alright. I probably won't have a hot dog tonight, I think I'll have more Tortellini Corn Chowder leftovers.
- Thunder is booming in the distance at 2:34 p.m. I hope this means it'll rain today, although in about an hour we'll be on the road to pick up Youngest Son's BFF...
- Well crap, I had hope the season of Prime Suspect: Tennison had more than 3 episodes but an email from PBS had me realize that the last episode I watched was actually the season finale. I had hoped it wouldn't be. I'm very disappointed as I really enjoyed it. At least the 4th season of Endeavor will start airing on 8/20 but I didn't like the last season, I kept on falling asleep during the episodes.
- I decided to watch "The Story of China with Michael Wood" on the PBS app. It looks like all the episodes are still available to stream for free. I had bought "The Story of England with Michael Wood" on DVD last year because I had enjoyed that series very much so this should be interesting as well.
- Right as Youngest Son and I started driving to his BFF's house to pick him up, it's started pouring with lots of huge lightning strikes. We need the water so I was happy about it. We picked up his friend and I dropped them off at the library for the D&D Club, and then stopped by RaceTrac to grab Sodapalooza refills for Youngest Son and myself.
- Back at home, our neighbor Jeff and I chatted for a while as he has lost power at his house but we didn't at our house (our houses aren't connected to the same "grid"). I offered to let him run a cable from his house to ours but he was holding off on seeing how long it would be before they restored power. I just got a text from Duke Energy asking if we had lost power and telling us the repairs should be done by 6:30 p.m. (it's 4:30 p.m. right now).
- As I put down my purse at home, I realized that Greg had texted me while I was chatting with Jeff to tell me that his mom had an MRI today (she'd been having some bad back pain for a while and her doctor scheduled her for an emergency MRI just yesterday!) and that it looks like she has spinal stenosis due to arthritis and also a bulging disk and that her doctor has put on a waiting list for emergency spinal surgery! Last July is when Greg's dad took a turn for the worse so we're starting not to like July at all. Greg and our Son were supposed to get to her house in about a week and spend a few days there with her, but now they might have to drive straight up there. She's in Columbus, OH. I suggested they fly and just rent a car there and hang around the area so they can be there if needed when needed but Greg just wants to drive. Hopefully his sister and BIL will be able to help her during recovery because I've read that if she gets a spine fusion due to the bulging disk, it may be 6 months of recovery where she can't carry anything, bend down or stoop at all. She's in her 70s and lives alone. It also sounds like, despite the surgery, it's a disease that tends to recur as the spine continues to get older.
- I putted around on the computer, reading blogs here and there. I couldn't concentrate on "The Story of China" so I turned it off.
- I also input my receipts into my spreadsheets so I could track every penny that we spend, as I usually do.
- When I checked the mail, I found our new TV remote that I purchased via a 3rd party vendor on Amazon. I had assumed that it might be a copy of the Philips remote (despite the name of the vendor which is "originalTVremotes" of something like that) but it even says "Philips" on it. I plugged in the "old" TV into an outlet before replugging all the cables just to make sure the remote was working OK and yes it was! All the buttons seemed to be working great. So I set about replacing the small TV with the larger one and replugging the Roku, Blu-Ray player and the soundbar. The soundbar wouldn't come on at first, but then I pressed a button on its own remote and it worked. Phew! I then had to retrain the TV remote to learn the volume up, down and power on/off functions of the soundbar and now I can use the TV remote for both the TV and the soundbar again. And everything works great. And the fix cost us $15! I'm so glad I tried it instead of rushing to buy a new TV unnecessarily! I'm still not sure why the buttons on the TV itself wasn't working after I had unplugged it and why it wouldn't turn on, but maybe it just needed to cool off for a while? It's working great now and I'm very happy. I can see the screen and the text display again, woohoo! And this TV is already set up to get all the channels that I DO want to see in the line-up. Aaah, it's like putting on an old pair of slippers :)
- The family had hot dogs and mac'n cheese for dinner and I had leftover Tortellini Corn Chowder with half a whole wheat bun. My son's BFF was picked up from the library by his dad after all.
- After dinner, Greg and I went to drop off the truck at the garage and then we went to Save A Lot. I found papayas for $0.59/lb, woohoo! I bought 2 of them. They also still had split chicken breasts for $0.99/lb so I got 2 more packages and froze them when I got home. Lastly, I bought 2 dozens of eggs at $0.49 a dozen. My OOP was $13.32 and I paid with a Visa gift card I had bought back from Youngest Son last year so no money out of pocket tonight!
- Lastly we stopped by RaceTrac. I got a Sodapalooza refill for myself.
- I had lost any energy to do the dishes when we got home, so Greg and I watched a couple of episodes of "Peep Show" on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
To Do List
- Plan today's food intake
- Record today's food intake into MFP
Order cat and kitten foodDONE Go to SAL tonightDONE Pick up son's BFFDONE Drop off the boys at libraryDONE Drop off Greg's truck at garageDONE
- Drive son's BFF home? DIDN'T NEED TO
Input receipts in my spreadsheetsDONE
- Do the dishes
- Make banana chocolate chip muffins
- 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) - Checked today still no credit.
- 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 seedlings from berm and patio to the empty garden beds (next week) TRANSPLANTED THE VINCAS
- Mulch the berm again (next week)
- Decide what to plant in the garden this fall and where
- Water potted begonia
Clean upstairs litterboxDONE
- Wash all the litter boxes
- Mend some items from the mending basket
- Take Youngest Son driving
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Clean the inside of the dishwasher
- Clean exercise room vent
- Vacuum kitchen vents
- Vacuum the downstairs
- Vacuum the upstairs
- Fix kitchen sliding drawer
- Wash bathroom and hall ceiling, door jamb (next week)
- Write letter to Target CEO
- 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 IN PROGRESS
- Freeze half the milk (waiting to clear room in the freezer!)
- Add Osmocote plant food to hibiscus and roses
Check on beans and papaya seeds (daily) and water as neededDONE
- Order rain barrel from Home Depot (find gift card first!)
- Dehydrate apples (next week)
- Declutter the old coffee table IN PROGRESS