Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday At Home ~ 7/8/17

  • Plan my food intake for the day DONE
  • Exercise 
  • Record today's food intake into MFP DONE
  • Do the dishes DID THEM LAST NIGHT
  • 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) 
  • 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
  • Transplant all seedlings from berm and patio to the empty garden beds
  • Cut up Greg's old sheet for rags We decided to just throw it away, as we didn't need any more rags.
  • Put new coupons away DONE
  • Back up my blog DONE
  • Clean upstairs litterbox DONE
  • Brush the/some cats DONE
  • 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
  • Clean out the battery drawer DONE
  • Inventory what batteries we need 
  • Research 2017 Hurricane Season Sales Tax Day DONE, I MISSED IT
  • 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
  • Put bleach in furnace drain line for maintenance
  • Write letter to Target CEO
  • Make dinner menu for next week
  • Write grocery shopping post for last week DONE
  • Check out Walgreens and CVS ads for next week DONE
  • Work on Shopping List IN PROGRESS
  • Water plants (front and back, near shed) I WAS HOPING IT WOULD RAIN!
  • Go through the manuals drawer and purge it DONE LAST NIGHT
  • Declutter the old coffee table IN PROGRESS
  • After I published my post last night, I went to do the dishes while re-watching an old episode of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix.

  • When I was done, at about 10 p.m. I had a text from Greg that his flight from Vancouver had been delayed and that he might miss his connecting flight to Orlando! Nooooo.... I checked Alaska Airlines' app and if they left at the newly announced time, he'd have about an hour to make his next flight, which was good.  His flight did leave at the new announced time, arrived in Seattle in plenty of time for him to catch his next flight, and he had a whole row to himself for the 5+ hour flight to Orlando :)

  • So after washing the dishes and texting with Greg, I was replying to a comment from Susan who was saying something like "it's better that a small thing breaks down rather than a big thing" when the TV remote started giving me trouble again! I changed the batteries again (just in case, didn't work), and then unplugged the TV from the outlet for at least 60 seconds as had been suggested by the manual.  But then, the TV wouldn't turn back on at all!! I tried with the remote, with the button on the TV itself, tried plugging it in another outlet. Nothing. It's dead, Steve.

  • I moved the very small (perhaps 19"?) TV that was connected to the Xbox 360 (good thing that broke down too, eh?) and connected it to the outside antenna, the Roku, the Blu-Ray player and the soundbar. It took some fiddling for the soundbar to work (thankfully I had kept the appropriate cable to connect the two, as I had had to buy a separate cable for it to work with the larger TV) and to teach the TV remote to operate the sound bar too so I can ditch the sound bar remote.  The TV is so tiny that I couldn't do that from the couch because I couldn't read any of the text on the screen (the menu for that TV is even tinier, it takes only a small portion of the whole screen, thanks, Insignia!), but it's better than nothing.  Also, I can't read the channel number on the screen when I dial it with the remote. And it doesn't seem to get NBC anymore :(  I'll need to move the antenna in a new direction and rerun the channel search, tomorrow.  We had bought our former TV at Target and, of course, I just declared that we're not shopping at Target anymore. Famous last words... Target, or Walmart?!  Arrgh.  I don't want to risk getting a large screen TV on Amazon, I don't think.  Unless we use Target as a showroom and then order the TV from Amazon... Either way, I sure wasn't planning on spending $$$ on a new TV! Anyhoo, I guess it was good that the Amazon order for the new remote WAS cancelled after all.

  • BUT!  This morning I had an email from Amazon touting Prime Day (coming up on Tuesday) and vaunting their great deals on TVs!  Greg was also planning on buying himself a new 4K monitor this Fall so now we're waiting until Prime Day and possibly buying the TV and the monitor then, we'll see.

  • So  I went to bed at 1 a.m. but I couldn't sleep for a while.  Then Greg landed at about 5:30 a.m., and texted me (at my request), and then called me from the truck about 45 minutes later (at my request). He was tired and had bought himself some coffee but somehow it exploded in the truck and all over him!  And he had nothing to clean it up! Well, at least it woke him up :)

  • I realized at that point that I had left the light on the front porch for him all night, but since he got home at about 7:30 a.m., it was really bright by then and he didn't need the light!  Good thing I had installed an LED light on the porch, last year.  So the expense will be minimal.

  • I had fallen back asleep by then and didn't hear him come in at all.  I ended up sleeping until 11 a.m. myself!  My daughter texted me to say she was leaving to go to her dad's for the weekend so I finally got up, took a shower and fed the kittens. Even Greg had gotten up before me.

  • So once again my plan to resume my routine were derailed.  I brewed coffee for the two of us and ended up making us both lunch at about 12:30 p.m.  I made a turkey wrap for Greg, that he had with pretzels, and I made my usual lunch for myself, minus the strawberry shake that I'll have later on today.  I used the leftover salad from Olive Garden as my side.

  • After lunch, we drove to RaceTrac to get our free Sodapalooza refills (I got one for Youngest Son too) and I also redeemed my app coupon for a free medium fountain drink for myself since it expired in 2 days, and a Sodapalooza coupon for a free Jack Links 1 oz beef jerky stick for Greg when he goes fishing.

  • The sky got really really dark and thunder started booming at about 2 p.m.  I rushed outside to harvest my red serrano peppers. The plant is starting to get covered in stink bugs, I'm hoping it'll rain a lot and wash them away.  It started drizzling so I ran back inside but it soon stopped. I really wish that it rains!  My hibiscus is all parched.

  • Driving to RaceTrac, I noticed that one of our neighbors used pineapple plants to border a circular planter in their front yard, as I spotted one pineapple growing on one of the plants.  That's a good idea, maybe I should try that too.

  • I earned the Microsoft Rewards for the day and a few Swagbucks. I tried several surveys and qualified for one so I'm within 10 SB of my first goal but I'm not sure I'll work to reach it.
  • Domino's sent me an email to confirm that I earned a free medium size 2-topping pizza with my Domino's Rewards. Woohoo!

  • I brushed all the cats. It's amazing how they enjoy this brush vs. how they absolutely hated the other brush that we used for years. I mean, Male Cat presented me his belly for me to brush it, and Mean Kitty purred.  It doesn't remove as much hair as the other one, but the experience is so much nicer both for the cats and the brusher, that I don't care. Any hair that it removes it less hair in hairballs or in clumps on my floor :)
Explorer thought it was a toy... but then again, he thinks everything is a toy!
  • I took a minute to back up my blog. That way if Blogger is ever compromised in any way, I'll still have a record of it. I ought to do it every week or every month, but I've been lax. Last time I did it was in April.  I went ahead and changed my Google Calendar reminder to make it a weekly occurrence. It really takes less than one minute so I have no excuse to NOT do it.

  • I finally went through the battery drawer, put all the expired batteries in a box to take to the landfill/recycling center next time we go there, and organized the remaining batteries.   I completely missed the Hurricane Season Tax Free weekend (early June!) so I need to start clipping coupons and scouring sales ad for sales on batteries. But first I need to see what batteries we would need, from flashlights to portable fans. I can't think of what else uses batteries these days that we actually use on a daily basis (we have AA and AAA batteries for remotes).
Expired batteries :(

The ones we're keeping

  • I checked the ad previews for CVS and Walgreens for next week and worked on my shopping list.

  • I redeemed KFR points for (3) $1/1 Kellogg's cereal coupons from Kellogg's Family Rewards to take advantage of good deals/ECB offers on Kellogg's cereals at CVS this coming week. Daughter says she no longer eats Special K for breakfast, but Youngest Son still digs cereal :)

  • It didn't rain!!! Arrgh. 

  • Hey, Greg and I each got an offer for $10 off $30 at Kohl's from our Discover cards, so I input the codes in my Kohl's wallet and now have $20 in free cash to spend at Kohl's!  I'll wait until 7/14 when there'll be a 30% code available (BBQ30) and a free shipping code as well for Kohl's cardholders (FREE4JULY).  I think I might order myself another Under Armour exercise top as I really like the one I got last month.

  • I tracked the UPS return for the bed platform base being sent back to Target and they should receive it on Tuesday. I signed up to get an email alert when it is delivered to them so I can start checking my credit card again for the refund.  Meanwhile, the platform base from Amazon should show up on Monday.

  • I was able to fix my mini-blinds, hooray!  Explorer had pulled on them, which causes the tiny strings holding up the strand of mini blinds to the top bar to get torn apart. I was able to thread the resulting 4 tiny strings through the top bar, with the help of a pair of tweezers, and tie them in double knots.  I won't be able to raise and lower them anymore, but I really never do this anyway, I leave them down all the time.  I snapped them back into their brackets and no longer need the flat sheet that I had just installed... until Explorer breaks them again, that is! But go me!

  • Greg was super tired in the afternoon so he took a long nap.  I didn't start cooking until he woke up because I wasn't even sure he would get up :)  And then my planned dinner would have taken too long to cook, so I ended up cooking Coriander Crusted Salmon, and serving the leftover gorgonzola linguine from my dinner last night as a side (just about 1/3 cup for me and I split the rest between the men, it was a lot!). The men also each had a breadstick from Olive Garden and I steamed some broccoli and yellow squash for myself. It was yummy!

  • While I was cooking, the men drove to RaceTrac to get Sodapalooza refills for themselves. I still has my free medium caffeine free Diet Coke to drink so I didn't bother giving them my cup.

  • We talked about their upcoming camping trip while having dinner, and then Greg and I watched the latest episode of The Great British Baking Show.

  • I reused the plastic bag from Olive Garden last night to clean the upstairs litterbox.

  • And then Greg and I watched a couple of episodes of "Peep Show" on Amazon Prime Video.

  • 7 Sodapalooza refills with our cups (from RaceTrac)
  • A medium fountain drink with a RaceTrac app coupon
  • A 1-oz Jack Links beef jerky stick with a Sodapalooza coupon (from RaceTrac)
  • A code for a free medium 2-topping pizza from Domino's Rewards program
  • $20 in Kohl's cash thanks to Discover Deals :)


  1. Glad to hear Greg came home, safely. Glad you got to sleep in - you must have been tired! Very clever of you to fix the mini blinds! You've reminded me that I need to get some C batteries for the clock in the living room! Your dinner looks very healthy and yummy, by the way.

    Hope you have a lovely day, tomorrow. If you get any rain, please send some of it my way!

    1. Can you believe that we're both back to wishing it would rain already?! We were supposed to have 65% chance of rain today but the sky is blue, the sun is shining and I'm thinking I'm going to have to go outside in the heat to water my poor plants... and then, of course, it'll probably end up raining!

  2. Too bad about the TV, although it's nice that you had a back-up available! We bought our TV from HH Gregg not long after we moved into this house, so maybe six years, now? I don't know if that store or maybe a Best Buy is in your area --- we like to go in to get an idea of the actual product even if we end up buying online.

    Can I ask what brush you are using for the cats? Half of ours love to be brushed but a couple of them really hate it. I think their skin is more sensitive, but our older cat get horrendous mats that we really can't do much about without her going totally nuts.

    We like Peep Show, too! Michael is more a fan than me, though, as I get a little overwhelmed by how AWKWARD that guy is all the time!! :D

    1. We got our TV from Target 5 years ago so it could be planned obsolescence. But guess what?! I plugged it in again late last night just to make sure, one last time, that it was really dead before we pulled the trigger on buying a new one, and it came back on! What?! I didn't know whether to be happy or annoyed. So I ordered a new remote replacement because perhaps the main problem IS the remote and not the TV. It WOULD be nice to be able to keep using it, there was nothing wrong with it (save a line across the screen but it's off to the side and we don't notice it anymore).

      Have you heard that HH Gregg went out of business? They liquidated all their stores. We never did shop there as the closest one to us was 30 minutes and not in an area of town that we visit. Best Buy is about 25 minutes away and there have been many articles on Lifehacker stating that most people use it as a showroom for Amazon. We've done that too, most recently when buying my daughter's laptop (to be fair, they didn't have the one she wanted in stock anyway).

      The brush I bought for the cats is from Petco. It's this one. I paid the full price in store so it might be cheaper to buy it online as it seems to be on sale right now although then you'd have to pay for shipping. I'm not sure if they match their website's prices in-store if you show it to them on your phone? Also if you do Swagbucks, they offer 4 SB per dollar spent if you go through their shopping portal.

      OMZ, I cringed so hard the first time I watched "Peep Show"! I was on my own. As soon as Greg got back in town, I told him he HAD to watch it although warning him about all the awkwardness. I wasn't sure he'd get into it but he LOVED it. We laugh so hard all the time. I think we've watched the whole series 3 or 4 times now. So, so awkward. Last night we watched the Christmas episode (when Mark's parents and sister are there for Christmas dinner and Jez is mopping about his mom being in Greece with her boyfriend and Dobbie shows up but Mark didn't want to tell his parents they were dating) and Greg kept on looking at me and laughing because Mark is ME. (Buying kitchen tongs as Christmas present for his roommate because he wanted them for himself and since they were on BOGO he gave a pair to his GF as well, ROFLMAO!). There is another series with the two actors called "That Mitchell and Webb Look" that was good too but it's vignettes/sketches, not a series like "Peep Show". I don't know if it's available on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video though. Also, if Michael likes cringey and funny stuff, he should love "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" with David Cross, about a hapless American businessman in England. The first season is super funny (and cringey!). I didn't like the 2nd one as much though.

    2. LAURA! I just got an email from Petco saying that they're having a huge sale for the next couple of days with FREE shipping! Details here.

    3. Thank you for the heads up on the Petco sale! We ended up getting a second cat tower in addition to a brush and, crazily, cat wipes. We're hoping that the wipes will help us groom our older cat with sensitive skin. Sometimes I wonder if we are maybe a little cat crazy. :P I don't use Swagbucks, but I did go through Ebates for cash back.

      I didn't realize that HH Gregg was out of business, lol. Shows how much we pay attention to things! Actually, I think the only time we'd ever even been in that store was when we bought the TV.

      And yes, I can always laugh at the Peep Show plots after we're done, but often in the moment I'm just horrified!! I'll have to look up the David Cross show -- sounds like it would be right up Michael's alley.

    4. I think you might very well be cat crazy but I already suspected that when you first told me you had SIX cats! Back then it sounded crazy indeed, hahaha. Petco sent me offers for $15 e-gift cards if I spend $50+ but there's just nothing we need.

  3. Glad Greg made his flight and that he had a whole row to himself - that is really rare these days! I've only been on one flight in the last 10 years that wasn't totally full. My oldest son just came back from Taiwan and posted a photo, all excited that he had a whole row to himself. And 10 minutes later he posted an update, saying that an entire family came on the plane late, and there went his "entire row." LOL.

    I'm really impressed with your technological skills regarding the TV. The joke at our house is that I don't even know how to turn it on. Last week, Dave went to Buffalo two days before I did, and - you guessed it - the TV wasn't on once. I always tell Dave he can't ever leave me, because I'd be helpless in the TV department without him. Our living room TV is about 8 years old now, and it's started to act up a bit, too.

    1. I'm sure that if you read the manual, you'd figure it out! Then again, if you didn't turn on the TV for a couple of days, maybe you just don't even need a TV, ha.

      That must have been a long flight from Taiwan, poor guy with his hopes dashed! Did he go there for business? That's your son from Buffalo, yes?

    2. That was the son in Greenville, SC (he goes to Taiwan once or twice a year to see about raw material for his bicycle wheels).


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