Thursday, July 13, 2017

Low Energy Thursday ~ 7/13/17


  • 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.

  • SavingStar credited my account with the $1.00 for buying cereal yesterday.

  • 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 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

Basil forest!

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
  • Exercise
  • Record today's food intake into MFP 
  • Order cat and kitten food DONE
  • Go to SAL tonight DONE
  • Pick up son's BFF DONE
  • Drop off the boys at library DONE
  • Drop off Greg's truck at garage DONE
  • Drive son's BFF home? DIDN'T NEED TO
  • Input receipts in my spreadsheets DONE
  • 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 litterbox DONE
  • 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 needed DONE
  • Order rain barrel from Home Depot (find gift card first!)
  • Dehydrate apples (next week)
  • Declutter the old coffee table IN PROGRESS


  1. I was laughing at the paragraph about the AA debacle. My DH got FINALLY offered a permenant position at the company he has been working at for almost a year. They wanted his HIGH SCHOOL transcripts. Never mind that he has been out of school for almost 40 years. He had to go back to his hometown and thankfully they still had a hard copy.

    1. Are you SERIOUS?! But hey, he got an offer for a permanent position! That's wonderful!!!! Good thing his high school still had the records, oh my. That's crazy.

  2. I hope your vinca makes it! I think it's such a cheerful plant. And I'm really glad that the remote works with your TV and those problems seem to be sorted out.

    I can totally empathize with you regarding the college transcripts. I do understand that they need to actually certify the grades and coursework before going through with certification. And I also understand that they have graduation happening pretty much at the same time grades are due, so that creates both a timing mess and then a quantity backlog since there are usually a large number of students graduating in the spring especially. But it's still frustrating. We'll be graduating in August of next year and several of my classmates have plans to head right into a doctoral program (not me, lol); the transcript thing makes that a little complicated. I guess I'm surprised that UF isn't more willing to work with the unofficial transcript since they are all state schools. That's the part that I would find especially frustrating. I'm glad it's getting worked out, though.

    1. I see what you're saying but "certifying the grades and coursework" to me sounds like something that had already been done when they called the high school in April to tell them that she had earned the AA. And, surely, the high school doesn't anyone walk across the stage at Graduation who hasn't actually also earned the high school diploma. So I don't see what the problem and delay had to happen. Good luck to your classmates with all that!

      I was frustrated with UF as well because when she went to Preview, the student advisor she was assigned to and who was helping her register for classes kept on saying "well you can't register for THIS since we don't know for sure that you got your A.A.". etc. And then in the end, he overrode the system and let her register for the Computer Science class that she wanted, even though it was the same problem and shouldn't be able to register for it if she hadn't passed pre-Calc already. So if he was willing to do the override for one class, why not do it for all of them, which would have saved her time and ensured that she was in the classes that she needs/wants. Now I'm nervous that there won't be any room left since everyone else who spent the 1st 2 years at UF were able to register for their classes in May or June. I don't know, it seems to me like they really need someone to go over all their processes and streamline a bunch of stuff.

  3. I'm glad you were able to sleep in, again. Obviously, your body needs the rest. Hope you'll get your energy back after you catch up on your sleep and rest.

    Cooking for one or two is difficult, isn't it? Will you and daughter eat leftovers for dinner (instead of lunch?) Then, you can prepare a regular 4-serving meal and have it twice during the week for dinner. Maybe not two days in a row, but after a day or two? Or, freeze the remaining portions for a future meal? (Then, on those nights when you don't feel like cooking, you can pull out your own, homemade frozen dinners"!)

    OK, that's it! I am going to look for Ichiban eggplants (although I don't much care for eggplant) and some sweet potatoes to grow! One of the dollar stores I went to yesterday had tomato plants and I was very tempted to buy some, although it is probably too hot now for them to do anything!

    Hope Greg's mom will be OK after surgery and recovery will go smoothly.

    Thank you for the shout-out! I'm convinced that your getting annoyed on my behalf was a catalyst in getting things to move! The Universe picks up on vibes like that! :D

    Hope you are having a fine day, today, and enjoying Bastille Day. Lunchtime Bless (off to play the "Not a Robot" game - yesterday, I got to go through several rounds of identifying pictures with road signs and with cars, before the system was satisfied! I had such fun, I am thinking of making mistakes on purpose to prolong the game! :D )

    1. It's a vicious circle, isn't it? I don't sleep well so I wake up tired and then I don't exercise and then I don't sleep well... I did make myself get up at 6:30 a.m. today and I actually feel better, but I did go to bed at a little past 11:00 p.m. last night. I didn't exercise, though.

      Good idea about cooking a 4-serving recipe every 2 days and reheating leftovers on the 2nd night. I'll just have to find recipes that both she and I enjoy as she typically doesn't like leftovers. I would freeze but I bought chicken last night so now I'm back to not having any space in the freezer. Story of my life!

      I wish I could send you my eggplant plant! I should pull it but its resilience amazes me and makes me feel bad for it, hahaha. And there's the pure satisfaction of seeing something grow, you know? They grow fast! Yes you should try planting a sweet potato again. They do love the heat but especially the rain so make sure you water it every day. And put it somewhere where it has room to spread because, boy, does it like to spread! You have to be patient though, it takes a while for the potatoes to form. They like a sandy soil, like most root vegetables.

      I always laugh at you having so much fun with the CAPCHA verification :) Have a good afternoon!

  4. When my son went through a regular college graduation, he got handed his official diploma on stage, but it took a couple of months until is was all certified. He wasn't trying to transfer credits but he did have to be careful about job applications saying he had a degree when the college couldn't yet confirm it. I think the very frustrating hassles your daughter went through are fairly typical. However, it was good that they happened when you were around so you could help her problem solve on how to handle these types of things. That way she'll know how to handle a red tape problem in the future.

    My cats are on urinary SO and only one of them needs it. It's more expensive to feed them all that way, but a lot less hassle. And the cat who needed it would sneak the other cat's food no matter what barriers we had set up. He ended up getting another blockage and that vet bill was way more expensive than the extra food price. I have found that Petsmart has a slightly lower price on the food than at my vet's. Our Petsmart has a Benfield vet clinic associated with it and I had to get the prescription transferred there to use in the store. But that was easy. Also, sometimes the have a good coupon or rebate on the food.

    BTW, my last set of kittens got so fat on kitten food, they had to be taken off at nine months. We had promised the adoption group that we would keep them on kitten food for a year, but the vet said it was better for them to switch sooner rather than later. From your pictures, I don't think your kittens have that problem.

    1. Yes, you are correct, this is a widespread bureaucratic problem. As a matter of fact, when my daughter attended "Preview" at UF, which was specifically for kids who had already obtained their A.A. (so UF already knew that she had an A.A. or she wouldn't have been able to attend that particular session), most of the kids in the session also hadn't gotten their transcripts to UF for the same reasons as her. So most of the kids also had to sign up for classes that they were going to end up having to drop 2 months later to re-enroll in the proper classes. That just makes NO sense whatsoever! What a huge waste of time and money/resources, for everyone. If I taught her anything, though, it's to be persistent and to get answers and not just assume that everything is going to be done properly and in the proper delays
      (because there ended up being an issue with the French credits for instance).

      It sounds like we are in the same boat with the urinary S.O. Only Male Cat actually needs it. He's the one who had the blockages several years ago and almost died. Only our very persistent vet insisted on treating him (almost for free!) at his clinic for a whole month and saved his life in the end. So he was put on the urinary S.O. and we put Mean Kitty on it as well by default because even with just 2 cats at the time, it was too much trouble trying to keep them on a separate diet. Plus she's only a year younger and I suspected that the culprit was our tap water (which is super hard) so it only made sense she ate the same food. Same thing with New Kitty when we got her. She came in right at the end of trying to get Male Cat and Mean Kitty to lose weight (hence the "Moderate Calories" version) and she eats the same thing. The kittens loooooove that food. They always hover over the older cats' bowls or even steal their food, even if they have their own food in their bowls. So we won't have any problems "switching" them over. They're still very active so they don't have any weight problems, but as they grow older they're slowing down a lot so the moderate calorie diet will probably be appropriate as well. It's expensive and I was hoping to be able to get it somewhere else cheaper (we don't have a PetSmart nearby, though), but again our vet saved Male Cat's life and we paid only $500 for a whole month of him being at the clinic on IV and antibiotics, with procedures to "unblock" him on several occasions since he kept on getting blocked. This would have cost us thousands of dollars! But when I told the vet I couldn't afford paying this much for a cat when I had 6 kids at home (at the beginning of the treatment), he insisted on doing it anyway and not charging us over what he had already charged us. So now I just keep going there and buying the food there out of sheer thankfulness, you know? Of course, with 6 cats now, I think I've repaid the debt many times over but what can I say? I don't like change and I'm loyal :)

      I'm laughing at the idea of overweight 9-month kittens! They must have been gluttons, LOL. Were they a particular breed?

  5. Nathalie, I know I asked this before, but I can't find your answer. We are seriously starting to shop for a new camera and I wondered what kind of camera did you get recently?

    1. I bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (not an affiliate link) from Amazon. It's a "hybrid" camera, which means it has dSLR capabilities (but I guess not as extensive as full dSLR) and also various automatic functions. You can NOT change lenses though. I paid $497.99 for it back in February and it's still the same price, apparently.

    2. Thanks. My husband got a recommendation from a photographer friend of his and it sounded similar to yours. That's why I asked. However, I see that it is different. His model was a Nikon with a detachable lens. I would like a better camera but my abilities are not much beyond point and shoot. I guess I could learn. This is going to have to require some thought as I sort out wants, needs, and price.

    3. It's so complicated, isn't it? I just can't get my head around the dSLR settings and I much prefer to use point and shoot cameras as well. And then there are so many choices! So when Middle Son told me that model would be a good choice for me, I didn't question him and I just bought it. I like it although, honestly, I'm not sure that it takes MUCH better pictures than my Canon Powershot, especially when I look back at my old posts and I think "Wow, those pictures were pretty darn good!". The zoom is the same although it was a digital zoom on the old camera so the pictures taken from far away were grainier with the older one. Good luck with your shopping!

  6. We have a 2 story house and kept hearing something running around in the vents. We had a mouse in the garage and figured it got into the vents. One day I come home and go to open our bathroom door, in our bedroom and in the toilet is a mouse! This was about a month ago, My husband was out of town for work and I almost had a heart attack. Luckily, my daughters boyfriend was here, after I stopped screaming, he went to get it out, we thought it was dead. That it had drowned. It wasn't! LOL. But it was really dazed, so he did get it out. I did take a nice picture of it for hubby. We haven't heard any noises since then. It still freaks me out. He must have fallen out of the vent in our bathroom right into the toilet.

    1. HAHAHAHA! Too funny! We're going to have to put new traps, I guess. Ugh. The worst is when they die in the walls and then it stinks for weeks. Actually, the worst is when they fall in the AC furnace. A couple of summers ago mine stopped working and it was because the mouse and the trap both fell in there. It's a good thing that they didn't damage anything but it cost me something like $125 for the service call. The AC repairman had a good laugh when it found it.

      Did you see there's a SB Team Challenge starting on Monday? I'm on the Stride Pride team.

  7. No, I didn't see about the team challenge. Thanks for the info. I have to go sign up.

  8. I'm on pedal of honor. Wow, you have to get 600 points now. At least the payout is better. Good luck. But, my team is going to win! LOL.

    1. I'll let your team win, OK? 600 team points when I no longer run the videos is going to be impossible and then I won't have enough points to redeem for a gift card anyway :) I don't even know why I signed up for it.

  9. I'm loving all your garden photos!

    I'm the exact opposite from you when it comes to making recipes. It's only the two of us here, and oftentimes (when I do cook, I make a big pot of 8 servings or even more. I love to take leftovers to work for lunch, or have the meal another time for dinner, or freeze some of it for later (or all three of these options).

    1. Yeah, I NEED to stop stuffing my freezer so full so I can actually have room for leftovers because I think it'll be impossible for me to only cook enough for 2 when Youngest Son leaves the nest. Maybe I can buy "decoy food" to put in the freezer. Like fake turkeys, etc. So I still have the satisfaction of having a full freezer, visually, but I can take out the plastic turkeys when I need room for leftovers and not have to stress about cooking whole turkeys? LOL. I'm only halfway kidding, you know...


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