Sunday, August 30, 2015

Simple Sunday

It was an eventful day around here yesterday - mostly in the fact that we had a huge windstorm. Crazy weather. I'm surprised we still have a roof on. Our whole property was covered in branches, big and small. We lost power for a little while. I think we might have lost my favorite tree out in my front yard :/  It's quite bent off to one side now and pulled out of the ground just a bit.

Late afternoon, after the winds stopped DH and I headed outside to clean up. We put the smaller stuff in the wheel barrow (a couple of loads) and dumped in our yard waste bins. The big branches we put in our little pull along trailer that came with our lawn tractor. Then when we got done with part of the backyard DH went "duh!" just pick up the big branches and he swept up all the small stuff with the sweeper attached to the lawn mower. That probably saved us an hour of back bending work! The little trailer was piled as tall as me with big branches and DH ran it all through the chipper. In between it would rain. We were soaked and sore. My back is killing me this morning.

In a more "positive" event - one of the drug dealing neighbors behind us got arrested last night! Woo! He has apparently pretty much had a court ordered no contact order for several years now - to not be at his parents house, which none of them abide by, obviously. Nor has the sheriff bothered to do anything about, even thought they know he is always there. The only time he gets charged with it is when he gets arrested for something else  Apparently the recent pressure from our councilman to get this neighborhood cleaned up had some effect. So, now this family has their 2 oldest (of 3) in jail, though I'm sure the younger one will continue with the drug dealing from the house.The deputy that DH has the most contact with told him a couple of days ago he was working on arresting him and was going to try again last night. He's now in jail with a $75,000 bail (he's been charged with this several times). Betcha he'll be right out in the next couple of days. Our councilman is totally disgusted with the judges in our county, now that his eyes have been opened to what goes on with charges being dropped all the time on the repeat offenders. He's now getting our state representatives involved.

I've been working on couponing a bit more lately. Yesterday we went to RiteAid and picked up free disposable razors, free chapstick and DD got 4 Great Lash mascaras for .74 each. I had $3 in plenti points to pay towards. I was $10 out of pocket, but then earned $11 in Plenti points.

Today, I'm going to get caught up on my laundry. ooh fun!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Misery loves company

We spent about 3 hours over at the guys house, who is basically in a similar neighborhood of homes on acreage, about a mile from us. He is luckier in that he has several neighbors who are willing to be involved to get rid of this, where we are alone in our endeavors. No one over there owns several lots or are related (as in our situation). They live on a long gravel road, where all the 5 acre lots/homes face the road. We have a long (first half paved/other half dirt) road, but most of the homes are on little private roads that shoot off to the side.

There were 4 other neighbors at this pow-wow. Lots of nice folks, just like us. Same story - cars, walkers and those on bicycles all day and night. They have more woods and this appears to be where a lot of these low-lifes live/hide. The homeowners actually walk through the woods (armed with guns) and flush them out all the time. It's all the same people in both neighborhoods for the most part. DH has pictures from our camera's on his phone, descriptions of cars, etc. They all match.  Yep, yep - seen that guy lots of times, etc. They even have the mulatto nut job who walks around with a meat cleaver over there, too. Turns out their resident drug dealer (who was in jail for less than 20 hours this week) and his girlfriend were the two who last spring tried to come over the fence one afternoon into our backyard.

They all despise the dispatchers as much as we do! Every single one of them had a gun on their hip. One of the guys, who lives at the beginning of their private road and has a security system and cameras also has a camera that reads license plates. DH would love one of those! haha.

From what we are hearing and from watching the last county meeting (where this other guy went and spoke too) they will be adding a special task force for this problem. DH and I go to the meeting on Monday with the council members and the head sheriff, where I plan to ask what their time frame for resolving this will be. The next time a deputy suggests we move from our home of 26 years, I'm going to ask him where in this county people are required to follow the law. Is there such a place?

I took my computer into work yesterday and wonderful IT guy fixed it right up. Apparently trying to do driver updates via remotely wasn't working. Seems to be working fine now. I didn't have to restart my computer this morning. He's also ordering me more memory, which will be good. It was funny when he sent out a company wide email asking where the electric computer duster was......eek - my computer was that dusty inside, LOL.

We finally get some rain (and cool weather)- for apparently the next 5 days. I am so happy. This drought weather has been awful. Our beautiful lawn just looks like dirt!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Same old stuff

DH did his little interview with the county tv show yesterday. DD ended up going with him instead of me, so I didn't get to see it. She said he did great. Everyone there taping it said he did great. DD got to sit in the control room, which she thought was pretty cool. It was only about a 10 minute segment where they asked DH a few questions and asked our councilman a few. I'm not sure when I will get to see it. They tape it, edit it, and at some point it airs.

One of the regular visitors to our drug houses - and he is the son of the drug house of the guy in the next neighborhood over (who is having same issue we are - with mostly the same people) was arrested Tuesday night for possession of a stolen car, possession of car theft tools and possession of drugs. He has been arrested numerous times, he has been through rehab at least twice. Yesterday he got released - no chargesfiled pending investigation! This is what we deal with for every arrest our deputies put their lives on the line for. I called our councilman last night to let him know. He said he is going to go talk to the prosecutor and find out what is going on. It's a joke. Our councilman said it reminds him of a cartoon he saved years ago.......a police car with a policeman putting a criminal in one door and a judge on the other side of the car pulling him out.

Tonight we are going to go over to the guys house in the next neighborhood over. He went and spoke at the council meeting last week and I watched it online. He seems a lot like my hubby - fed up and willing to put some effort into getting this cleaned up. Our councilman is working with him too. Fortunately for him, he only has one neighbor who is the problem and his other few neighbors aren't related to this guy (like our situation) so he has a bit of help in fighting this, where we are on our own.  The housing development that is being built next to us (it is basically in between us and this other guy) finally had to hire a security company because of the nightly thefts and apparently that has helped. This other guy said he and his neighbors are also paying for off duty deputies to come and watch their street. Very expensive and it kind of pisses me off that they have to do that - that is what our taxpayer money is going for - for our sheriff to protect us from criminals. I think they are wasting their money, really. These druggies and criminals know nothing is going to happen to them and if they do get arrested charges will be dropped and nothing happens to them anyway.

I have been having computer problems with my monitors since Tuesday. I worked from home and decided to ask our IT about why my computer seems to go into sleep mode during the night and won't come back on in the morning. He remoted into my computer and did some windows updates and all of a sudden I had one monitor working and the one that was had huge fonts. Then he spent the afternoon trying to fix that. Then he spent part of yesterday morning trying to fix it. Something to do with my video driver but all the updates he tried failed. So, I have to unplug and haul my computer into the office this morning, where I'm sure he'll fix it up.  I am so used to two monitors now. Trying to work with one monitor yesterday was like trying to work with one hand tied behind my back!

I charged my cell phone right before bed last night. It was at 100% and I unplugged the charger. Woke up to a completely dead phone! What the heck?! Always something.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The paint job

Here are a couple of pics (for NDChic!) of the living room. Previously the wall were white (well, an "antique white" - but still very white) and I tried to show the ceiling so you can see the difference in color.

 We are pet friendly - a blanket on the couch cushions for doggie laying :)
My carpal tunnel has been giving me real grief the past week or so. I even had the chiropractor work on it last week at my appointment. He recommended something called a "gyro ball", so I ordered one from Amazon for $10 to give it a try. It should be here any day.  While painting my wrist was killing me! I almost dropped the brush a couple of times. I have a glove wrist support I wear when I have to use the mouse a lot or type a lot. It usually works great, but not so much this past week or so.

Last evening we used my free on demand movie rental code and watched Interstellar. We all really like it. Some of it kind of boggles the mind. I especially liked the explanation of what a worm hole is. DD was teasing her boyfriend, because she really likes Matthew McConaughey.......but not as much as Matt Damon, she told him. Well, we didn't know Matt Damon was in this movie too, so when they were in a scene together she was like "oh my god! it's both of them at once" LOL.  DH loves Jessica Chastain (from Zero Dark Thirty) so he was enjoying it too. It's definitely a movie I'd watch again.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend catch up

I had a busy Friday and Saturday. I thought DH was going to be out of the house all day Saturday, so I decided that would be a good time to get the living room painted. I had finally decided on a color and was ready to get it done. Went and got the paint and supplies on Friday. I bought really good brushes and roller brushes and also an extension for the roller, because we have a vaulted ceiling. Then Friday afternoon I got everything taped off and ready to go.  DD had borrowed a couple of nice heavy painting tarps from her boyfriend. Friday night DH found out his friend was cancelling on him. Dang! DD and I were trying to avoid his constant hovering and "you're doing it wrong" (even though he's never painted a room in his life).  Oh well - I was committed to getting this done Saturday.

We got started about 9am Saturday morning. DH helped pull out the tv stand and small upright (super heavy) piano away from the walls. The 2 big tarps borrowed worked great to lay on the floor along the walls. I started on all the "cutting in" (I think that is what it is called) along the ceiling and wherever the roller brush couldn't go. DD started on the walls with the roller. She really liked the extension and it worked great. Definitely worth the $10 it cost.Thankfully DH went outside and kept himself busy and out of our hair.

4 hours later we were done and I really really like the color. It's what I would call a medium taupe (walls were previously white) and really makes the room feel warmer. I took a before and after picture, but it's doesn't really show the color very well. I also wanted some new curtains. The one's previously there (for over 15 years! eek!) were just some DIY job. I had bought some fabric and draped it across the top of windows and down sides in a puddle. I don't need curtains that can be shut all the way across the 3 windows (I have wood blinds) but just something that will hang down each side. We found some super cheap at Ross for $15. Two panels with the big grommet rings on top. They are a darker taupe color and will look nice with my dark brown wood blinds.Their curtain rods ('cus I was totally replacing the old ugly gold rod that came with the house!) were about half the price as I saw at Walmart, but I forgot to measure what length I needed, so I will have to go back and buy that later.

Since we re-did our bathroom a year ago I have been looking for something to put on the wall above my towel bar. It is the largest wall in the bathroom and has just looked so bare with nothing on it and pictures on all the other walls. I wanted something that hung horizontally and just really haven't come across anything I really liked.....or if I did it was too much money. Last weekend we were at Kohl's so I could buy something with my $10 Kohl's cash, before it expired. We were scanning the pictures/home decor aisle and I spotted this really cute canvas picture. Flipped it over to see the price and it was regularly $40 on clearance for $8! I snagged it up and it rang up for $6. DH got it hung up for me yesterday and I love it.

Yesterday was mostly just a day of rest. I made blueberry muffins for breakfast. Right after breakfast DH turned into a major crab, so it wasn't really a very relaxing day. DD and I had planned to go look for curtains for a little bit, but he wanted her help with some stuff and then when she tried to help he didn't want it, so we ran over to Walmart and Kohl's. She made us dinner (the yummy homemade mac and cheese recipe) and was going to have her boyfriend come over and watch a movie, but with her dad being such a grump, she decided to go over to her bf's house after dinner (I don't blame her).

Oh and guess what she and her bf are going to do?! They are taking a trip to Ireland at the end of December.That has been her dream place to go for years now. She is beyond excited. They will be there 7 days (plus the 2 days traveling there and back). I think they found a pretty good package deal for around $2800 staying at what looks like a really nice hotel in Dublin. Lucky girl - I'm jealous!! Bf has been having to work tons of overtime at his job and while he hasn't been very happy about it, I think now knowing that is paying for their trip, makes it more worthwhile to him.

So, while I was on zillow, looking at the info and link to the foreclosed house around the corner, I had my usual annoyance in looking at our home info and wondering why it has always said our square footage is 1616 sq ft. It is 1680. I noticed you could make an account and log in and edit info, so I did it. I corrected the square footage, took off the detail that said we had a deck (we removed it a few years ago) and added that we had fenced property and lawn. When I was done and submitted it our property value went up $9,000! Between what it's been going up lately and that, we now actually have $20k of equity back into our home (according to zillow) finally. Plus, comparable homes in the area that have sold, I noticed, actually sold higher than zillow had valued them - by $15k-20k.  That is also encouraging news. Maybe by next summer we can look into selling and having enough equity to move out of this neighborhood. If home values continue to rise, along with the $12k in principal we will pay down this next year, we should be in a much better position by then.

Well, it's back to work for the week. This coming Friday is the last of my Friday's off. Boy, that went fast!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's about time

Guess what?! After 2 years that foreclosed vacant house around the corner from us has finally been put up for sale. It's about damn time.  Though I'm not holding my breath that it will get bought by someone decent. No, most likely it will be bought, fixed up, and rented to some awful, annoying people. Or....our slumlandlord neighbor will get his hooks into it. When he and DH had their long talk 2-3 weeks ago he mentioned he love to get it, put $20k into it (ha! good luck) and rent it out. OMG. Please no. That house will need a lot more than $20k to fix up, I'd imagine.

So, I found it online. I'm not quite sure I understand how the listing for it works. It's listed at $275,000! WHAT?! They cannot be serious. I think they are as high as those who've been using the house to shoot up the past 2 years. But, then the website says "minimum offer" is $182,000. It appears they are taking bids, so maybe it's like an auction type of thing.  I just have to pray pray pray that it is way more than our neighbor is willing/able to spend to buy it.  At least if he doesn't get it, we will have a chance someone decent will buy it.

It will be very interesting to see what it ends up selling for, and I'm sure the maggots who visit our neighborhood will see the for sale sign as an invitation to break in and vandalize it some more in the meantime. 

My mistake

I knew it was a mistake. As soon as it came out of my mouth and then as I was sending the email. I told my 74 year old mom that I could send her a link in an email to watch the video of us speaking at the county council meeting.

Oh my lord! This is our conversation last night when she called me:

Mom: I got your email but I can't figure out how to watch it. I'm on my ipad (mini).
Me: ok, hold on (getting my ipad mini so I could walk her through the steps)
Mom: well, I can see people, but I can't hear anything.
Me: you have to turn your volume up
Mom: how do I do that? I didn't know there was sound on this.
Me: there are buttons on the side of your ipad
Mom: there are?! I never noticed. What do I do?
Mom: which one?
Me: the top button sets the volume up, the bottom one brings it down

Me: you have to tap on the bottom of the video to bring up the bar that lets you fast forward (as we don't get to speak until almost 3 hours into the meeting)
Mom: what?
Me: you have to tap on the bottom of the video to bring up the bar that lets you fast forward
Mom: well, I'm not sure it's working. I'm touching on the thing but I don't see it.
Me: it would probably be easier to just watch it on your desktop computer
Mom: oh, ok, let me try that
Mom: what's https showing up on the top of my computer? Is that why my printer won't scan anymore?
Me: I don't think so, just open the link I sent you. What do you see?
Mom: it's all black.
Me: do you see an arrow/triangle in the middle? you click on that to start the video
Mom: no it's just black.
Me: try putting your cursor in the middle of the black area and see if the arrow shows up
Me: try refreshing your screen
Mom: what?
Me: ok, just close out that screen and click on the link in your email again
Mom: it's just a black box
Me: have you ever watched a video on your computer (that she has had for years) before?
Mom: well, probably not
Me: ok you probably don't have a video player loaded. Go back to your ipad
Mom: ok, I got it back on. What do I do?
Me: you have to tap on the bottom of the video so you can see the bar and slide it over
Mom: what do I slide?
Me: tap on the little circle and slide it over
Mom: oh, I don't know. It's not working. I'll just have to keep working at it.
Me: ok - talk to you later

Text to DD: your grandma is never allowed to get an iphone.
DD: No. Never. Ever.

I think I have a concussion from banging my  head on my desk