Thursday, July 6, 2017

Things Are Looking Up! ~ Thursday 7/6/17

So last night, after publishing my post, I ventured on Amazon to order a new platform base for my bed.  I wanted to avoid the same brand as the one I ordered from Target, in case the company was the source of the screw-up with my order. There was another brand that also got good reviews and the base looks identical so I ordered that one.  I should get it on Monday because it's being fulfilled by Amazon. And... it was $58.55 total (getting 5% back in Amazon Rewards after the fact) as opposed to $79.xx that Target charged me, including their 5% Redcard discount. For the record, the same brand as the one I had originally ordered also was only $59 on Amazon. I should have checked there before placing the Target order, lesson learned.

I also had gone via Swagbucks and "furniture", under which the base falls, is eligible for 3 SB per dollar spent, so that should be about 174 SB at some point. The last time I placed an eligible order on Amazon, though,  I never got the SB and had to wait 31 days in order to put in a ticket. So I'd better put a reminder on my calendar right away.

Then I placed a different Amazon order for a few items that my daughter will need for her apartment.  That was about $55 worth that I charged to my Amazon Visa as well and I will earn 5% in Amazon Rewards with it.

I waited for Greg to let me know that he had landed in Vancouver and then that he had gotten to his hotel and then I went to bed, it was past 1:30 a.m.

I slept pretty well, considering that I had been drinking full caffeinated coffee right until bedtime!  I got up at 8 a.m. No news from Target so I have no idea whether I should leave the bed frame outside for a possible pick-up or not. There is also no credit showing either as processed or pending on my Redcard account. This had better be a less frustrating day than yesterday!

To Do List...
  • Plan my food intake for the day DONE
  • Exercise 
  • Record today's food intake into MFP 
  • Do the dishes 
  • Make banana chocolate chip muffins
  • Record my receipts into the spreadsheets DONE
  • Return bed platform to Target?!?  DONE
  • Clean my purse 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 (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
  • Fold the laundry
  • Put the laundry away
  • Finish clipping coupons
  • Put new coupons away
  • Back up my blog
  • Sweep or vacuum my bedroom (when my bed gets delivered on Wednesday)
  • Sweep and mop kitchen IN PROGRESS
  • Clean upstairs litterbox 
  • 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, inventory what batteries we need and buy them on Sales Tax Day (hurricane season, need to research when that will be)
  • 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
  • Move clothes into new dresser
  • Place Amazon order for daughter's items and new bed DONE
  • Greg made it to his hotel safely last night and we both slept well.

  • The capris that I hadn't worn in a while fit much better this morning, even with my being bloated, than they ever did. Yay!  I won't weigh myself again until after my period is over, though.

  • The bathtub was very draining very slowly this morning and I was starting to envision more plumbing problems, but it ended up being a huge clump of hair that was stuck in there despite the hair "drain" that I had put on top of the drain. After I removed the clump, the bathtub drained normally. Phew!  You never know what to expect with this old house, even after all these years, so that was a relief.

  • Instead of brewing coffee, I remembered that I had put the 24 oz free hazelnut coffee from Wawa in the fridge yesterday, so I nuked that. I also still have a little bit of the free French Vanilla coffee from yesterday and, I think, half a pot of the coffee that I had brewed at home in the morning!

  • Yesterday was an odd day for me, the first, since I started my diet, where my food intake felt completely off.  I never did get a chance to plan my food journal ahead for the day since I was running around all day, and the stress of the Target situation obliterated any appetite that I had for dinner. I finally got hungry at midnight and had the leftover taco meat in an Aldi flatbread along with 12 cherries. I had approximated my exchanges for the day in my head. When I input my food intake into MFP, it seemed that I was short on calories and I know that I didn't eat any vegetables yesterday, save for the tomato and spinach in my panini yesterday morning. I have got to be better today!  Since I'm having lunch at 11:00 with a friend, I just looked up the restaurant's menu and have already decided on a choice of a couple of dishes to choose from.  I have no idea what I'm cooking for dinner even though I did make a menu. Probably one of the chicken entrees since I bought fresh chicken breasts yesterday.

  • I earned a couple of Swagbucks and all the Microsoft Rewards credits for the day. I never did take SB surveys yesterday so I didn't reach my first goal and broke my stride for the month. Oh well.

  • Greg called me when he woke up. He said he had a good night, yay!  He'll be in meetings all day and has a big business dinner tonight so on the frugal side for us:
    • his call was placed from his business phone so no cost to us
    • he's being fed the whole time he's on his trip so again, a savings for us (but negated by that Domino's order I placed last night!)
    • no gas or toll expenses for him to drive to work for these days, although he'll again refuse to expense his tolls to go to and come back from the airport, grrr.

  • The tropical wave in the Atlantic is now officially a depression but NOAA said there was no chance of it developing in the next 5 days.  I was worried that it would and that it would end up interfering with Greg's flight back.  Yes, I do worry all the time, don't I?! That's my way of trying to influence the future because my theory is that if I worry about something enough, Murphy's Law will prevent it from happening. I must have not worried about Trump becoming president enough. Will do much better next time.

  • When we went shopping yesterday we ran out of reusable bags, so we ended up with several plastic bags. I asked my son and daughter to set those aside for me so I can reuse them to clean the litter box.

  • I'm thinking about letting my daughter take the Focus to college for through Labor Day because her dad is going to have her take his car for that period of time anyway and thinking about it, it would cost me less in gas, tolls and TIME if she just drove our car, allowing me not to have to drive her to or from her dad's house on move-in weekend and on Labor Day weekend because she would just drive herself and end up at our house to drop off our car before  I drive her back to Gainesville.  I need Greg to be on the same page so I sent him an email detailing the advantages of doing this. We'll see what he says. Personally, I don't think she needs ANY car there at all (there are buses!  I took the bus in Dijon to buy my groceries, etc., there is ZERO issue with her needing a car at all, especially since we bought all the stuff for the room yesterday and I'll be taking it up there the day after she moves in). Update: Greg agreed. This will make my life easier.

  • My purse had become very heavy so I cleaned it.  I still have to reorganize my wallet but already it feels better not to have a bunch of unneeded things in it.  I still carry too much!  I think one of these days I'm going to post pictures of everything I carry in my purse. It's like Merlin's traveling case in The Sword and the Stone!

  • As I was getting ready to go meet my friend for lunch, there was a knock at the door. It was UPS, coming to get the bed platform. What a surprise, Target's latest message (don't send it back, keep it, donate it but hey we want it back by 10/4!) had no impact on the pick-up the rep must have scheduled anyway. I apologized to the driver because the thing is really heavy and he can't park on our steep driveway so he leaves the truck on the street, but he was very good natured and nice.  He did give me a receipt so hopefully I will get my money back.  Good grief.

  • I left to meet my friend and we had a delightful lunch, catching up about the last year.  She spent it in France with her family (her son is Youngest Son's BFF) and they just got back last week. We spoke a little bit about their experience there, but mostly about high school here since he son spent his 9th grade year at the American High School in Paris but now has to reinsert our local high school and she's not sure yet which credits he'll get or not. I treated her to lunch and we agreed that we wanted to start having lunch once a month. She's so nice, I love her. I had a tomato mozzarella panini for lunch, with a small cup of cantaloupe on the side and I drank water.

  • On the way home I stopped by RaceTrac. I found a penny on the ground as soon as I got out of the car!

  • I refilled my and my son's Sodapalooza cups for free at RaceTrac, and then redeemed a Sodapalooza coupon for another free Jack Links meat stick for Greg's snack when he goes fishing.

  • Back home, I chatted with Youngest Son a bit about my lunch with his friend's mom, and then I started looking for the documents that he had received at school about the course offerings for the upcoming year, etc, along with the documents I had gotten for him to take the driving classes, etc.  I scanned everything for her and then grouped them in 6 different emails detailing everything. By the time I was done, it was 2:30 p.m.!

  • My daughter wanted to start watching the Fellowship of the Ring again (we stopped last night when we still had an hour to go, it's the extended version!) so she settled with her hook rug again and we put the movie back on. 

  • I finally caught up on blogs... I was 2 days late!

  • Target never replied to my email but sent me a survey about the delivery. One question: "From 9 to 10, will you recommend Target to your friends and family?" I gave it a rating of 0 and wrote a paragraph about what has happened in the last 24 hours, including the fact that I ordered my new platform from Amazon for $20 cheaper and expect that I won't have any problems. I swear if I don't get my money back, I'm going to the local TV News Problem Solver Guy! Later on, they sent me an email asking me to rate my purchase on their website "to help other shoppers". Are they serious?!? I didn't bother with that one.

  • Youngest Son walked to the library for his D&D Club since it wasn't raining.  My friend had texted me that her son was contacting my son to see if he could attend this afternoon too. Yay!  Of course he can attend!  I hope he likes it. She'll be back in France for a month starting next week so I told her that we could pick him up and drop him back off for that next week if he wanted to go (after that my son will be on his camping trip). Update: they all had a good time.

  • I finally "planned" my food intake for the rest of the day, based on what I've already eaten.

  • I input my receipts into my spreadsheets while talking to my daughter and watching "The Two Towers" (we had finished the 1st movie and moved on to the 2d one!), when the subject of bras came up and I realized that my bras (which I love) came from the Target website. Nooooooooooooooooooooo.....! Amazon doesn't carry that style!  I'd better lose weight in my boobs too so I can find acceptable bras somewhere else (that don't break the bank!).
Explorer tried to help me organize my receipts.
  • Ugh, due to the alcohol purchase and last minute 4th of July "cook-in" supplies, I was way over my grocery budget this week, even if I don't count my SAL purchases (since I paid for them with funds already deducted from my budget last year).

  • However, I was able to redeem a $0.25 rebate from Ibotta for "any item" from Publix.

  • I forgot to account for some chores earlier: I sprayed bleach in the bathtub and the shower enclosure, I swept the kitchen, and I swept the breezeway, exercise room and part of the living room.

  • For dinner, I put a box of Barilla Pronto pasta to cook and I'll nuke some meatballs for the kids.  I'll make my usual lunch for my own dinner tonight.

  • Arrgh, my $25 thrift store over-the-range microwave stopped cooking!  Everything else works just fine.  Arrgh.  I guess I'll have to go buy another $25 thrift store microwave.  Good thing that I also have a smaller, countertop one (also from a thrift store!) in the meantime.

  • Greg called at about 7:45 p.m. our time. He's exhausted and still has one more meeting to attend and then a business dinner. He'll be in meetings all day tomorrow and then will catch a night time flight to Seattle and then the red-eye to Orlando.  I expect he'll sleep half of Saturday away since he can't sleep on airplanes.

  • I fixed my dinner and then quickly went into the garden to take some pictures since I noticed that my red canna finally had sprouted a flower. It hasn't rained in a couple of days and I forgot I had planted beans. Yikes. I might need to water tomorrow if there isn't any rain in the forecast.

The serrano pepper plants are full of blooms and peppers ready to be harvested.

There are 3 blooms on the Ichiban eggplant plant that wouldn't die...

The pole beans that reseeded themselves found the poles and are climbing. I need to water so
the beans that I planted this weekend catch up!

No bugs had attacked the parsley in two years... and in the space of just a couple of days, a caterpillar or grasshopper must have found it...

The vincas growing in between the patio pavers are huge! I need to try to rehome them somewhere else. There are more of them on the other side of the table too!

A lovely rose. My hibiscus has lost all its blooms, though.
  • My daughter and I started watching The Return of the King (3rd LOTR movie) after dinner.  I forgot to mention that we own the blu-ray discs so this isn't costing us anything.

  • I reconciled a credit card statement with my records in Excel and scheduled the payment to be debited on its due date. Instead of scheduling the payment to Target's Redcard, I will wait to see if they process my refund, and reduce my payment by that amount (otherwise I'll end up with a credit in my account that I have no intention of using).

  • However, while working on our finances, I realized that I never created a new credit card cheat-sheet for Greg and myself and consequently we've been using the wrong credit cards this whole week!  When we thought we were getting 5% back at Lowe's and Ace Hardware, we weren't, and my lunch today that I charged to Amazon Visa for 2% back in Rewards? I missed out on getting 5% back with Discover!  Arrgh. So much for trying to be smarter than the average bear, right? I'll make new ones tomorrow for Greg and myself to keep in our wallets.  The good news is that my daughter charged the Domino's order from last night to my Discover Card so we'll get 5% back on that one... but the bad news is that I had earned a 20% discount code for Domino's with a promotional offer and I completely forgot about it and didn't apply it and about an hour after the kids came home with the food, I got an email reminding me that my Domino's promo code was about to expire!  Again: arrrrgh!

  • And another "Arrgh!" (so maybe things are not looking up actually?!), the "source" selector button on my TV remote suddenly stopped working too!  It's the curse of Greg being away.  All the other buttons work but this one. Nothing was spilled on it, no one was sitting on it. It won't let me switch to the Roku, Blu-Ray player, etc. It's a problem!  So I ordered a used "like new" replacement from a 3rd party vendor on Amazon with a 60 day money back guarantee and upgraded to "express shipping" so hopefully we get it by Monday. This really stinks! I use my Roku all day long! Thankfully, I just realized that there are manual buttons on the TV itself along the side of one of the edges, on the back and "Source" is one of them.

  • Two Sodapalooza refills, from RaceTrac
  • One Jack Links meat stick, from RaceTrac, with Sodapalooza coupon
  • A penny, found on the ground
  • Greg's food and phone calls today, as he will be expensing everything


Male Cat was interacting with a visitor this morning...

Pawing at the window, still not understanding, after all these years, that there was no way he was going to break through!

The other cat was taunting him!  Oh his tail was swishing back and forth, you should have
seen it!

It's getting close to the weekend again... I hope you have a good end of your week!


  1. What a tease that other cat is. I think it knows that Male Cat can't get to it.

  2. Don't you hate it when things start breaking down (like the microwave and the TV remote), because we all know that they start breaking down together in bunches. I am hoping these remain small items and NOT large appliances.

    Yay for clothes that fit better! And daily Freebies. And reconnecting with old friends. It certainly does sound like things are picking up. The weekend is almost here again....ALREADY!!! Have a good one.

    1. I agree, better smaller things than larger ones, although not having a working remote for the TV is pretty dire because our TVs are so complicated today, they just can't work without the darn remotes! This week went by fast, didn't it? I hope you have a nice weekend too. I don't have anything specific planned. Do you?

    2. Well you jinxed me! As soon as I published the reply to your post, I tried changing the volume on the TV and the remote wasn't working for that again. So I unplugged the TV from the wall, left it off for 60 seconds as suggested by the manual and... the TV never came back on. Not with the remote, not with the button on the TV not when plugged into another outlet. So I think our big screen TV is kaput. I have no idea what happened. Arrrgh. I put the small TV from the old Xbox there but the soundbar isn't working with it and it's so tiny and the sound is tiny and it's not getting the channel that I need to watch Law & Order, darn it. It's so tiny that I can barely read the channel numbers from across the room. Woe is me, woe is me!

  3. Sounds like you had a lot going on, on Thursday! Love how your garden is looking with all the new flowers and everything! I meant to plant some chilies and never did! I should scatter some seeds and see if anything happens!

    1. Yes! They love the heat and don't need much water (although they flower and fruit much more if they get both). Good luck!

  4. Ha - I think you should post pictures of everything you carry in your purse. Did you know this is a thing? There is a whole category on Flickr called "What's in my bag?" Quite interesting! I think Instagram has a similar thing.

    Don't feel bad about being two days late catching up on blogs! We all get busy, and obviously I'm something like three weeks behind.

    ...I'd better lose weight in my boobs... Dear Nathalie, don't you know that that's the FIRST place you lose weight? Very frustrating for the lesser-endowed of us women!

    1. That's exactly what my mom always complained about when she lost weight, hahaha. Well, as luck would have it, it is NOT the first place those of us who are more generously endowed lose weight. Wanna to trade places?

      I'm not surprised the "Show me what's in your bag" is a thing on several platforms. The Lifehacker blog that I read also has those once in a while, for professionals, but to be honest, I always thought "who cares?!", hahaha.


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