Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tax help

As I expected, I guess I'll be doing my mom's taxes again this year. After the past several years of pulling my hair out trying to do her easy tax return, because I'd try to do them on her computer and because the last 2 years she thought she was learning how to do it. #1 her internet was slow as molasses #2 she was not learning because she didn't remember a lick of it the next year #3 she barely knows how to use a computer anyway.  She's seemed convinced since I moved that she would be able to do her taxes online herself this year. So, I have just been saying ok, but if you need help with it let me know.

Got a call from her last night - wondering if I could do her taxes. LOL. She just has several documents I need (social security and a couple of retirement account statements). I know she has a printer/scanner. Did she want to scan her docs and email to me? Well, she doesn't know if her printer/copier scans and attach in email (forget it). So, I said hey, how about this. You know how to make copies on it right? (yes!). Make copies and mail them to me. Then she mentioned she's a bit nervous that it's going through the mail with her ss# on it (I didn't mention they came into the mail to her that way!LOL), so I suggested she just use a black marker and black out her ss on the docs before mails to me. Ok, I think we are good to go. I'll have them in a few days. It will take me probably a whole half hour (maybe an hour at most) to file it online and so much easier than 10 phone calls from her saying "how to I answer this and go to the next page?" LOL  Easy for me to take care of and less stressing about it for her. All good!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

HOT Amazon discount code and other Wednesday happenings

Today Amazon is having a discount coupon code! First time I have ever heard of one being offered. In honor of their #1 Corporate Ranking in a Harris Poll, for today only, they are offering $8.62 off a $50 order with code BIGTHANKS.  Certain conditions apply.  Guess I'll get an order in for some of the regular stuff I order through them and take advantage of the savings.

Tomorrow evening is my first ladies book club meeting. 6pm. Potluck, bring whatever you feel like. Hmm...I think for this first time I'll just bring some dessert. I have a brownie mix or might (this evening) make some peanut butter cookies. I'm sure this first meeting will end up being a bunch of questions about me, LOL. who I am and what the heck I am doing here in this little town HA! I will have to pay close attention to names, if here are very many there. I hear a name when introduced and instantly forget it, so I have to really make sure I pay attention when meeting new people. Thankfully it has warmed up here quite a bit and the roads are good now, as I have to drive about 10 miles outside of town on a windy 2 lane road. I could jump on the freeway and take the next exit, but then I have to go across this really old narrow bridge, LOL.

Over the weekend DH made the blanket ladders for DD and myself. Exactly what I was looking for. He enjoyed (for the most part, he got a little crabby because his OCD personality won't let him take his time and spread it out over more than one day) making them and is pretty proud of himself :) He even rounded the corners on the top and angled the cut on the bottom.

Still letting it dry completely before bringing back in house and adding blankets. I need one more throw blanket, so I will probably look at Ross or Walmart next time I'm in the city.

This morning I finished my last bank statement reconciliation for work - this one went like a piece of cake, so the morning is off to a good start. I am hoping my boss approves my suggestion to change from our banking online bill pay to using our accounting software's online bill pay. It will cost about $50 a month but would save me 2-3 hours a month, which more than makes up for the $50 and that time can be spent on more cost productive income generating projects. It as a suggestion I made in my self review I submitted and still waiting to hear back on my annual review. I'm sure she'll ok it.

DH got busy this morning re-watching a movie (that he's already watched a dozen times the past couple of years), so he'll be nice and quiet for the next couple of hours :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A big UGH!

I spent the day reconciling bank statements for work. Our bank statements have become much more cumbersome with online bill paying versus the old way of printing out a bunch of checks each week. I always seem to be off some weird amount lately, that is always my fault - transposing a # or something. Now I have a bad headache - good thing the day is done now.

Then I got an email from owner's wife (she works at office too) at my side job - they are getting audited - AGAIN! $F%$##. We just went through that 3 years ago. Came through fine, no issues, but figured they'd now be good not to be audited again for awhile, at least.  GRRR! It is such a pain in the ass. I guess I'll be earning a little extra this year dealing with that, as it will take more time than what I normally do for them. Knock on wood, but for my full time job we were audited once, before I started working there and nothing since. Ok, she just sent me a copy of the audit letter - it's not the IRS, it's for their state department of revenue, so that's not quite as bad, I guess. Thankfully they have a CPA that will deal with most of it.

My SIL mailed me a birthday card last month. It got returned to her with a yellow sticker saying "attempted not known". She had the address all correct. It's just a PO Box - how hard is that to put in the right box #?  So, she mailed it again on 2/8. Just got it today! Good lord - did it travel around the country first? Her daughter mailed me a "save the date" card for her wedding last Monday and I got it it 2 days later.  So strange.

DH wants "nacho's" for dinner, so I'm going to attempt to make some. Wish me luck! I'm just kind of throwing some stuff together to make them.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Christmas again?

Oooh Ooooh! I'm so excited! For the past couple of years I have been wanting a new pre-lit artificial Christmas tree. But, the one's that look really nice are also really expensive and of course when I'm looking at them it's Christmas season and they cost $250 on up. So, it never happens. My current tree that I have had several years is a white fake tree. (prior fake green tree was a hand me down from my mom that finally wore out) I picked it up at Walmart after Christmas on clearance. It was a $100 tree for $9 bucks. Figured what the heck! for 9 bucks, even if I only used it a couple of years, hey, I got to have a different tree for a while. Well, I've kept using it for several more years, but it's starting to show it's age, not to mention I'm really tired of a white tree by now.

Back it up a few hours and I was texting with DD to ask her what blender she uses to make smoothies. Because both blenders I have (then I remembered I gave her my newer blender before we moved) just plain suck. One is just ancient (a wedding gift, but it actually works better than the new one). The other was one I bought a couple years ago was an inexpensive one and it blends terrible. If you try to make a smoothie it gets stuck. But again, I don't want to spend $200 for a blender. I was then googling and watching a video of the Magic Bullet. Hmm....seems like a handy little gadget and was on sale at Kohl's for $20. Plus I had a 30% off coupon. These things sell for $60 everywhere else it seemed. Even with having to pay shipping (since my Kohl's order wasn't over $75) it was still $20 and a good deal. If it didn't work that great, at least I didn't spend a lot of money, but it looked like it has a lot of different uses, so I decided to try it.

For some reason I then clicked on the "clearance" tab on Kohl's. Two of the first items were pre-lit artificial Christmas trees. REALLY on sale! The first one was 9 feet (too tall) but the next one was 7 ft, pre-lit LED lights, regularly priced at $400. The sale price???  $80!! Take off my 30% and you have a very nice Christmas tree for only $56. OMG! I bought it too. I added a filler item for a few more dollars to make the $75 free shipping (the blender was going to cost $9 to ship) threshold and my order is in! Jingle those bells!

Sunday stuff

I used $180 of the unexpected money to purchase some drapes and blinds. The guest bedroom blinds broke (they are just cheap vinyl white ones). The office room has same vinyl ones and they really should have had a brace in the middle. They sag on top and I'm sure if we pull these up and down they will break too eventually. Plus the office room has a weird sized (54"w x 21 1/2" H) horizontal window up high on one side with no window treatment. I'd love to just leave it as no treatment, but the afternoon sun totally blinds my computer screen and I can't see to work.

I ordered some cream colored drapes from Walmart with a bronze rod. For the big office window I bought the same Bali wood blinds that are in the rest of the house. For the up high horizontal windows I ordered a cellular shade in a tan-ish color. I was going to order the same wood blinds, but the cellular shade was cheaper and I thought it might look nice to have the different type/texture/color, instead of two dark wood blinds in one small office/bedroom. The blinds were 20% off at Home and sounds like a few weeks before they will arrive.

Since my back was still bothering me yesterday (it's getting a little better each day) and I didn't vacuum, I spent the time cleaning up my messy desk. I don't know why I can have a totally clean, uncluttered house, but my desk is always a mess. I try to have as minimal papers come across it as possible (I do electronic billing, etc) but there is still always lots of papers. I'm a "piler" I know what's in my piles. I had a big pile of new house/old house papers, receipts, etc. Our new house came with a binder that the inspection was in and I've been using the binder to put everything in related to the house. The sale of old house came with a paper folder, so all that's there (like the receipt I just got with the insurance refund check). Plus a bunch of other misc papers piled on them. Threw a bunch out and put the binders in a drawer. I moved my cute wicker vertical file (found at Goodwill prior to move) over onto my desk (it was up on a dresser in the room). Let's see how long I can keep all the papers off that part of the desk!

As I finished reading the book club book (All The Light We Cannot See) one of my e-books on reserve with my (old) library became available. It's "Killing the Rising Sun". Interesting that they are both about WWII and kind of a weird shift to go from a fiction book set during the war to a non-fiction historical book on the war.  Basically, what I get out of them is that men in general are a pretty brutal bunch. I get war and what is necessary, but not the torture, rape, etc of innocent people. I also didn't realize how many millions died in WWII around the world. 3% off the worlds population.  You always hear about the 6-7 million Jews killed, but 24 million Russians died. Just unbelievable.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

More unexpected money

Just got a check in the mail for $1164.00! Dang - I was not expecting that! I don't know how people who sell/buy a house are supposed to know what they are owed back once everything closes and records. A couple of months ago it hit me that I wonder if my old house's home owners insurance got canceled? I assumed it did. I seem to recall filling out that info for the title/escrow to close on our house. The payment was made through our mortgage, so obviously if there's no more mortgage, there's no more payment going to that policy. We are using the same insurance company as before (just a local agent here). But I had gotten some mail about my old policy that got me wondering. I left a voicemail at my old agents to confirm it got canceled. I sent them 2 emails. No reply. I was emailing my new agent about something so I asked if he could look into my old policy with their company and make sure it got canceled.

I'm thinking it had not! The remittance stub for the check shows that my policy was paid in Sept (just before we closed) to the insurance company. Then dated 2/7 (when I contacted my new agent) it shows a line item "cancel of policy effective 10/13 (close enough date)" and a full refund of the policy amount! Woo hoo! Just electronically deposited that baby in my savings account! The check went to my old address, thankfully it got forwarded still.

Now, if the new mortgage company could just get those delinquent property taxes paid out of my escrow account, all should be taken care of. I think.....?

Saturday morning

My lower back has been in pain the past 3 days and I have no idea what I did. I got up Thursday morning and sat down at my desk to pain. It's a little better today, but very annoying. For the past few weeks I have been doing a few stretching exercises each morning. Just a bit, every easy, very slow. Touch my toes (which is really just touch my shins), stretch my legs a bit, etc. I tried to stretch a little this morning and could only reach down just past my knees! Well, at least it's better today, rather than worse.

I finished the book for the book club last night. I'll give property neighbor a call in the next few days and confirm she is still hosting next Thursday and for what time to be there. I'll have to figure out some treat to bring.

I used to always purchase DH some lottery tickets, but have not since we moved here. Well, the other day he wanted a ticket for the PowerBall so we ran over to the little store at the gas station. I mentioned to the (very nice) guy that I wanted to buy for drawings in advance. He said he didn't think there was any way to do that - "you just have to come back tomorrow and buy another ticket for the next drawing LOL". I showed him the little box to check on the side of the ticket to do consecutive drawings, got my ticket and now don't have to go back for a few weeks, haha!

I turned in my self review to my boss a month ago. Still anxiously awaiting a review and hopefully a raise. Haven't heard when this might be. We'll just have to do a phone call about it. Usually I kind of have an idea of what it will be because I see the budget spreadsheet she does up for the year. I'm ready to input that now in our accounting software and asked her for it, but she's so behind she's not done with it yet. Oh well. I'm guessing it will be minimal like the past couple of years. We aren't off to a very good start these first 6 weeks of the year sales wise either. Hopefully it picks up quickly - we are supposed to get an extra 5% bonus this year.

DH and I went into the city yesterday afternoon to get some stuff at Lowes. Some lumber for making my blanket ladder I want (and he's going to make one for DD, too). We also picked up a bunch of stuff for DD's new house - garage storage type stuff. DH wanted to get them for her. I think we spent about $200 on her, but hey - we are finally in a position to do that, so it feels nice. She will be surprised. We will be going over to visit soon, just not for sure when yet. Kinda of waiting on better weather since we have to drive over 3 mountain passes to get there.

Then we stopped at the grocery store. I had a decent list but we still had enough stuff like soda and water. Mostly I wanted to stock up on some meats, get milk, bread, some snacks and a few other items. We ended up just basically stocking up on everything again (we went 2 weeks ago), so now we are really stocked up. And of course now I am over my monthly budget for groceries. That better mean that next paycheck's grocery spending better be very small! I thought we were going to have to get gas (it's been a month) but DH said he had 5 gallons in a gas can in the shop that he dumped in the car, so we are good for a little while longer. I might make it this whole month of Feb without spending any money on gas.

This weekend should keep him busy working on the blanket ladders. Yay! something for him to do. Once he's done I get to do the sanding and staining part, something new to me to learn. DH got me an electric sander for xmas, so I'll finally get to try it out! Normally I vacuum today, but I think I'm going to have to hold off until my back feels better :/

I ended up sleeping on the guest bed last night. He woke me up when he came to bed (like 1am) and then 3 minutes later he's snoring and I can't get back to sleep. Plus then the dog had to move out of his spot and went down at my feet and with my back bothering me I needed to stretch out my leg and it wasn't happening. Of course anytime I go sleep somewhere else the dog immediately gets up and follows me to wherever I am so he can sleep with me. Ten minutes later I had the other dog laying next to me, LOL. Well, at least they were both on the other side so I could stretch as needed and it was nice and quiet. Hopefully DH slept better too, with me not nudging him all night to stop snoring.

He broke the blinds on the guest bedroom window, so I was up with the sun - which fortunately around here is almost 7:30 am. I need some curtains or blinds. Totally forgot to stop and look for some yesterday. By the time we got done at Lowe's and then groceries we were both tired and I didn't think about stopping to look for some.  I wanted to pick some drapes out in person, but maybe I will just order some online and hope for the best.