Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Nathalie

Isn't it infuriating to see someone making wrong decisions for herself, especially when she knows better?  Don't you want to reach through the screen and smack her to knock some sense into her?  Ugh. I do. And I'm talking about... myself!!!

Last night I succumbed to the temptation of dark chocolate-covered espresso beans that I had rediscovered in a drawer.  And I didn't limit myself to one serving either.  It's soooo much easier to "cheat" when there's no one else around :(

I was thinking "Well now I'll never be able sleep!"  but I lied down on the couch to watch "Law & Order", pulled a blanket over myself... and fell asleep!  I slept until midnight!  Of course the darn bladder woke me up and then I was tired by awake, if you know what I mean, and I resumed watching Law & Order instead of going up to bed.  A few minutes later, I was back on the laptop (because I can't seem to just watch a show anymore without doing something online at the same time!). The kittens came and went, wondering why I wasn't going to bed. I cuddled with them and Explorer made himself comfy against me while I kept on surfing the web.  Finally, at 3 a.m., I told myself I had to go to bed!  I emailed Greg to ask him not to call me in the morning, went to bed, turned on "Forensic Files" on my Kindle because that's the fastest way for me to fall asleep, and I was whisked away in Morpheus's arms.

The kittens were kind to me, came to cuddle but didn't insist on my waking up. Actually, they sidled up to me and fell back asleep themselves!  Once again my bladder woke me up at 9 a.m. but the kittens weren't ready to get up, so I came back to bed and we cuddled and I caught up on emails and news on my phone. Finally my system started screaming for coffee and I got up at 9:30 a.m. and fed all the cats.

I should have made an egg white omelet for breakfast, but I started to be very hungry so expediency won and I fixed myself a bowl of generic Cheerios and a banana. It wasn't a bad choice frugally since the bananas are turning brown.

I filtered more water for the cats.  I know I should try and be productive today but I don't feel too motivated and there's a Law & Order: SVU marathon on today, uh oh.

Realistically, though, I can: fold the laundry while watching, wheel my recumbent bike into the living room and exercise, and do some "chores" on the laptop that I should be doing. Heck, I could even dust the living room while the TV is on.  So I really don't have any excuses NOT to do anything.

My biggest challenge today is probably going to be eating healthy and trying to stick to the exchanges. So I'm going to stop typing right now and grab a brand new journal sheet to plan my food intake, because my goal for 2017 was "lose 50 lbs by the time I'm 50" and time is a-wasting and I'm a-wasting time for what?  A few dark-chocolate espresso beans that didn't even provide as much satisfaction as guilt?  Ugh. I need to get back to what works!

So I planned my food intake and resolved to try and drink only water after I'm done with my coffee today.  I'll probably want some Diet Coke but I'm hoping that my laziness will work in my favor today!

Then I printed some Publix store coupons from GetTheSavings.

Part of my Prime membership is the ability to read some magazine issues for free. The selection changes every month. This month, I decided to download "Backpacker" and "Consumer Reports".  I will need to read them on my Kindle, though, which I'm not crazy about.

The Prime e-newsletter that I received had an interview with one of my favorite writers, Michael Connelly, whose books inspired "Bosch", so I read it and put his newest book on hold at my library. Darn it, I didn't know it was coming up and now it'll be forever before I can read it. As a matter of fact, I checked the list of "Coming Up" books that I might want to put on hold and it'll be a looooong time before I read any of the seven that I ended up putting on hold, because my library system doesn't lease hundreds of copies of the same book. I just hope that they'll only become available one by one because sometimes I get 2 or more available at once and it's impossible for me to read them all on time. I have the time, but the pressure of having to finish them before the 7 days are up just force me to freeze.

I earned a few SB and the day's Microsoft Rewards credits.

Well, well, well, it's barely 11:30 a.m. and I'm already hearing thunder!  I guess mowing the lawn isn't in my stars today and I can't say that I'm heartbroken, ha.

Alright, now to fold the laundry (but before: more coffee!).

Damn this way I have to being distracted easily! I went to get the rest of my coffee, saw that it was sunny outside despite all the thunder, grabbed my camera and went to take a few pictures. I deadheaded some roses and pulled some weeds, here and there.

There's a storm a-brewin'

The bees are loving the basil, and so am I: it reseeds itself, smells delicious and I can use it in my cooking. It's also a wonderful plant for pollinators. What's not to love?!

This sweet potato vine is loving the heat and all the rain!

There were tons of lizards around.

The basil babies are teenagers now!

I saw this butterfly sitting there, gently flapping its wings as if to dry them, and I'm thinking that maybe it's one of my Monarch caterpillars that hid in the nearby plants and became a butterfly. The research I've done says that it takes 9 to 14 days to go from end-stage caterpillar to butterfly, and I last saw the caterpillars around 7/12 so that would definitely fit!  Woohoo! I hope it survived the storm that ensued.

The papaya seedlings are doing great.

The bean plants are doing well but the worms are starting to eat the leaves. Ah, the darn pests!
The poor begonia on the front porch aren't faring great since I keep on forgetting to either water them or put them out in the rain when it does rain!  So, since it'll be raining any minute now, I set them out on the walkway so they can enjoy the rain too.

Darn it, the "goop" that Greg used to seal the new gutters' seams isn't working!  Part of it fell to the ground and that that is still adhering to the gutters is allowing water to leak. I only noticed because it's not raining yet but I guess the gutters are still full of water from yesterday's rains (?!) and the leaking water is spreading all over the front porch.

But hey, my rain barrel is full again and Mother Nature is going to be watering my garden for free this afternoon again, woohoo!

Darn it, I just caught myself getting distracted again!  But no!  This time I'm folding the laundry!  Update: and yes, I did. Woohoo! (yes, I know, it's a pathetic woohoo, but hey, better than not having folded it).

My laundry helper showed up right in time. Tabby Kitty loves helping with the laundry.

He is circling...

And inspecting...

Giving it the "Tabby Kitty's Seal of Approval" :)
12:45 p.m. It started pouring!  The sweet potato vines should love this and I'm hoping I'll be able to harvest lots of them this year.

It got so dark in the living room!

Finally, 1 p.m.!  I was getting hungry. A bowl of Cheerios, no matter if it's whole grains or not, is just NOT enough to keep me filled up until lunch time.  I'm having a chicken spinach wrap, a lettuce and cucumber salad, and 2 clementines.

I only have enough roasted chicken to last me through tonight so I set the package of Black Forest Turkey that I had thrown in the freezer out to defrost.

I haven't been eating as much Romaine lettuce and cucumber as I had planned to this week, so I had to compost 2 leaves of Romaine that had started to rot. I used most of the very limp cucumber in my salad but the heel was way too soft and was composted.

I got sucked in a vortex just now... you know how we say "wow, the world can be a small place sometimes!"?  Well, I was reading a several years old blog entry on some blog and decided to check out the comments for some reason and one commenters mentioned a blog that they like that included the name of my French hometown (well, not where I was born but where I grew up and where my sister and family still live!) so I checked it out, not sure that it would indeed be a blog from that town. And it was!  And it's in English and it's a cooking blog.  Oh no...  the blogger takes beautiful pictures of her food and she cooks incredible dishes and I want to eat them all... and I, as a French woman, now feel very inadequate because this American blogger cooks beautiful (and probably delicious) French food and ... well, I don't.  But what a small world indeed, isn't it?  And she and her husband split their lives between that city and somewhere in PA and of course my own husband and son were in PA through this morning (they're not on their way to OH). Anyhoo, I just think it's funny and now I'm craving ALL the foods.  This is why I can't follow cooking blogs (Laura knows that very often I tell her that I have to avert my eyes when she discusses what she cooks, lol) but this one... well, I had to follow it just because once in a while she mentions something about my hometown that makes me very nostalgic.

It's 2:45 p.m. and it's long stopped raining but it's still dark in the house due to the extremely overcast sky outside.  Princess has been enjoying her usual afternoon nap next to me on the couch. I know she loves me because she's got to be touching me, somehow, but she also absolutely love the pillows and I always arrange them so she can be the comfiest possible. I turned on the small light for a moment just so I could take a picture and show you how comfy she is. I mean, don't you want to be like her?  Nestled on soft fluffy pillows while it's storming (well not really but let's pretend it is) outside?

No, no, she's not giving me the finger, it just looks like it!
 Maybe I should take a nap too, lol.  It might help with the hunger pans that awakened when I looked at the cooking blog.  I'm sipping hot decaf coffee with sugar free French vanilla creamer in it despite my pledge of drinking water today because it's almost as if I was eating something.  Ah the trick one uses sometimes...

About an hour later, the trick wasn't working anymore so I went upstairs to put away the laundry, made both my and Greg's beds, relocated some pictures frames from his room to mine, and reused a plastic bag to sift through the upstairs litter box. Then I cleaned all the litter boxes downstairs too.  It was still only 3:45 p.m. so I rewarded myself with 8 Thin Wheats reduced fat crackers.  The strawberry shake will be made shortly...

I thought it had stopped raining but no, it's still going. But it's more of a drizzle now. I guess that explains why the sky is still so gray!

I put away the coupons that I had clipped, once again wondering why I even bother since I haven't used a coupon in a couple of weeks, LOL.

The strawberry shake didn't abate my hunger. What is wrong with me?! I'm considering having dinner super early.

On the plus side, this is shaping up to be a No Drive and No Spend Day for me. Yay!

I took the Wawa survey with my receipt from yesterday's visit and earned another coupon for a free any size beverage.

I swept some tree debris from my driveway and also swept the front porch. I noticed a bunch of mosquitoes have hatched and are hanging by the front door, I need to  make sure they don't come in.

In the mail, I found a postcard from my great aunt (love her!), a renewal form from the county for 2 of our cats' licenses and an envelope from St. Jude's containing a plea for help (already gave for the year) and a new sheet of address labels plus a To Do List pad.

I could save $12 per cat if I renewed their license for 3 years instead of just 1, but since I actually pay for the renewal at my vet's for 1 year at a time, I'm afraid I'd forget that I had renewed it for 3 years and pay again. So, oh well, no savings for me.

I couldn't wait for dinner so I had a fried egg sandwich with a little bit of reduced fat cheese on an English muffin and 2 clementines at about 4:30 p.m. and then later on, I had my regular dinner because I was still starved. I don't know what is going on with me but sitting there hungry and fantasizing about food isn't going to help so I'm eating and trying to keep it as healthy as I can.

I emptied most of the dishwasher out while my egg sandwich was cooking and I also fed the cats.

I won 2 pretty large Search awards in Swagbucks today so I was able to meet my 1st daily goal without any effort. Woohoo!

A couple of years ago the series "Psych" was on Netflix and I had checked it out and not really been into it.  So now they're playing it on over the air TV at 1 a.m. and I had it on last night and thought it actually looked kind of funny, so I was hoping to be able to stream it for free. Alas, it's no longer on Netflix and Amazon wants me to pay to watch it, so I just put Season 1 on hold through my library system.

Greg and our son finally made it to his mom's in Columbus, OH this afternoon and they're going to the movies tonight to watch "Dunkirk" so they'll be calling me late.  So it's a good thing that I just ate the rest of the chocolate-covered espresso beans. What? Did I just type this?  No, no, you're dreaming. Shhh, go back to sleep!

To Do List
  • Plan today's food intake DONE
  • Exercise 
  • Record today's food intake into MFP 
  • Make crepes or pancakes with sour milk
  • Empty dishwasher IN PROGRESS
  • Do the dishes 
  • Make Greg's bed DONE
  • Fold the laundry DONE
  • Put the laundry away DONE
  • File coupons DONE
  • Explore Vanguard's Personal Advisor Services webpage and get started on process 
  • Create Greg's online Social Security Account (with him) and update my documents
  • Post trip pictures on French blog
  • Finish backing up all pictures to my external drive (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 
  • Transplant ferns from bin into front yard 
  • Transplant all basil seedlings from berm and patio to the empty garden beds 
  • Pull weeds from planter near house/hose
  • Pull weeds from berm ONGOING
  • Pull weeds from garden area ONGOING
  • Pull weeds from rose planter 
  • Lay down more cardboard on top of mulch
  • Mulch the berm again (next week)
  • Mow the lawn
  • Edge the berm
  • Decide what to plant in the garden this fall and where
  • Water potted begonia PUT THEM OUT IN THE RAIN
  • Clean all litter boxes DONE
  • Feed all cats in the morning DONE
  • Feed all cats in the evening DONE
  • Dust Cat Room and Living Room
  • Vacuum downstairs
  • Vacuum upstairs
  • Vacuum both staircases
  • 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
  • Scrub the WHOLE shower (including ceiling)
  • Clean exercise room vent
  • Vacuum kitchen vents
  • Fix kitchen sliding drawer
  • Install window shades in my bedroom
  • Wash bathroom and hall ceiling, door jamb 
  • 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
  • Take Wawa survey DONE
  • Add Osmocote plant food to hibiscus and roses
  • Check on beans and papaya seeds (daily) and water as needed  IT RAINED AGAIN
  • Order rain barrel from Home Depot
  • Declutter the old coffee table IN PROGRESS


  1. Don't be so harsh on yourself. It is OK to indulge in something like the chocolate covered espresso beans, once in awhile. I don't much care for the espresso beans, myself, but if you give me some chocolate covered raisins or cashews, I'll probably eat the whole container in a sitting!

    You definitely captured a newly hatched butterfly! The chrysalis is right there, under that leaf to the left of the butterfly!

    I wish you'd send me some of that rain! We haven't had any rain since April, I believe. Your garden is coming along so nicely!

    You have a laundry helper kitty and I have a quilt helper kitty! Princess sure does look comfy on her pillow! Dancer is unhappy because I took away his comfy quilt!

    I hope you have a lovely day, tomorrow. Take care.

    1. Well shoot, you're right! I completely missed the chrysalis in the picture, lol. So much for my "detective work", hahaha. This is exciting!

      I'm trying to convince the rain to move to your area but it's not listening to me, sorry!

      We're so lucky to have such helpful cats, aren't we? *wink*

  2. Well, you took care of the espresso bean temptation. They won't be there taunting you tomorrow. See, there was a method to your "bad decision".

    1. Good point and, may I say, you are my favorite enabler, ha. I think there's another pack of those hiding somewhere... I really should do some more "decluttering" :)

  3. You grew a baby Monarch butterfly! I am thrilled. I love that you have captured that photo with the chrysalis. How perfect. I hope all seven survive.
    You had a no spend, no drive day. Yay!! You got free address labels and notepad, won another free Wawa beverage, and 2 free magazine issues. You reached your daily SB and Microsoft Rewards. You ate good healthy meal choices and accomplished some household chores. Where did your list of gratitudes disappear?

    1. No, it's just easier for me to wait until you list them for me, Susan :)

      All joking aside, I can't believe that I missed the chrysalis in the picture. I have new glasses! But yes, I'm thrilled too and also hope all 7 made it. The rain we're having is probably not very good for their hatching though. Next year I'm gonna spend a fortune on milkweeds!

  4. There are days when I go way overboard with "a little cheating" - and then, afterwards, I feel bloated and horrible, and I ask myself why I did this to myself. And the next morning, when I step on the scale and see that no, I didn't gain back all 14 pounds that I have lost, I realize that overindulgences are going to happen. Don't beat yourself up over it. Just move forward.

    I've experienced the "vortex" of the world being a small, small place - it's almost spooky! So what's the name of that fascinating food blog?

    1. I'll shoot you an email. I'm weird like that where I don't want people back in my hometown to find a connection to my blog here because I do talk about my family and I don't necessarily want them to know about that, LOL.


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