Wednesday, April 26, 2017


While, after 4 months or more of looking at it, our neighbor had finally taken away that old junk truck sitting up on a trailer out in front, within days he brought in another one, but this one he parked in his driveway (along with the other non drive-able truck he has parked there) and had mentioned to DH that he was bringing another one "temporarily" to get the parts off of it. Well, we all know what "temporary" can mean..... He ended up not even coming home this past weekend (and had taken his trailer with him when he left) but came back Monday night with just the trailer. He did park that out front, but at least it's low to the ground and we can look out our front window and see the view we are supposed to see. He picked up the rear ends and just moved them over to the other side of his front yard, LOL.

The wife apparently has not gotten her old job back and is now home every day. She's been putting their dog outside in their back yard tied up about once a day. All winter they kept him inside (a blue heeler dog). When he is tied up outside he will literally bark non-stop until they bring him back in. At first she was leaving him out there about 15-20 minutes. Then an hour. She put him out there yesterday at 4pm and he literally barked until 8pm, when she brought him back in. How does a person just think that is ok? I know it happens all the time, but how can you sit in your own house and listen to your own dog bark for 4 hours straight? 1. It would drive me nuts. 2. I would feel terrible that I was annoying someone else. I feel so bad for the dog. Anyone who knows about dogs knows those cattle dogs are super high energy, as well as smart, and they need to be exercised daily and have their brains kept busy.

Last night DH got a hold of the guy that still owns these vacant lots in this little "sub division". He still has 6 lots for sale and these first two houses were built 8 years ago, so he's been trying to sell a long time. Our previous owners had mentioned he wasn't happy with the condition of the renters place either, as he feels it might be hurting his ability to sell the lots. He lives a couple hours a way, so he's not seeing the condition on a regular basis. DH assumed he was also the one that wrote up the covenants for these properties and wanted to clarify the "we can't even wash our cars here" comment the renters made. We read that particular covenant as you cannot wash or repair your vehicle in the street, but you certainly can in your own driveway.

So, the guy (seems like a nice older retired gentleman) said no, it's just the street you aren't supposed to wash vehicles on. They didn't want people washing off a muddy work truck or something in the street or on the shoulder area. Makes perfect sense.

Of course, DH brought up the fact that the renter is breaking several other covenants that we aren't very happy with, especially as it is hurting our property value/investment and DH was wondering if this guy had ever spoken to the renter's property owner and how receptive she might be to us complaining to her. He said he has talked to her before and she "seemed" receptive and he actually had talked to her about it last August and she told him she planned to move them out and put her mom in the house. Obviously that never happened. More than likely it was just something to say to delay being complained at again for awhile.

Then the guy said that as the developer of this subdivision and since the lots have not all sold he would still be considered responsible for making sure the covenants are followed. He said he'll talk to his attorney today about it today. DH told him that we are also more than willing to join in, either through his attorney or our own attorney, to also be part of the complaint. He thought that was a very good idea to have her receive notification that two property owners are not happy with the covenants being violated. He said he'll see what his attorney says on what is best way to handle this. At the end of the conversation he said he also might just give the woman a call (she also lives a couple hours away) first and see where he gets with her. I would imagine he'd try that route first, so that it might save him some legal fees.

So, I think we'll probably get some resolution at some point. He wants to protect his investment too, as well as get these lots sold at some point. Our good friends who live about a half hour from us, the wife works at a law office in the city and they handle property matters, so if need be we will use someone in her office. I wouldn't think it would cost more than a few hundred dollars to have a letter written to the lady that owns the house.

Honestly, if it weren't for the renters and all their junk vehicles and parts (and now their dog) we would probably seriously consider staying right here and not building our house. It's a quiet area at the end of town. We love this little house.  But, after spending all those years at our old house, living next door to a junkyard and crappy neighbors we are not willing to go through that again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Oh Good Grief!

So over the weekend while we were working on beautifying our little yard, DH had about a wheelbarrow full of dirt and rocks from digging out some of the holes. Most of the dirt he used elsewhere, but this stuff had too many rocks. He didn't want to dump in it a pile on top of our nice newly graveled area around the shop because it would be too hard to shovel back up, so he put it in 2 small piles right up next to our big shop doors, that sit right on the edge of the alley. I'm talking like 2 small piles - about 2 feet wide and maybe out from the shop doors about a foot. It would be easier to shovel up from the hard dirt/grass ground right there, than on our graveled area. And of course we didn't want to dump in on our just seeded lawn area.

He plans to use a little of it to fill in a low spot and the rest will probably just get spread out right in front of the shop doors, as it's kind of a low spot there and driving something into the shop you kind of have the concrete floor up a bit higher. Anyhow - regardless, it's like a wheelbarrow amount of dirt in 2 small piles.

As he was putting it there, he said "watch - old bitty neighbor lady is going to be calling her son or someone from the city or county is going to show up asking about it". Sure enough later Sunday afternoon he shows up for about 15-20 minutes. Then this morning we are sitting in our office at our computers and see a "city" truck pull in the alley, pull up behind our shop for just a few seconds and then back out down the alley and head back towards town. DH is FUMING right now.

I had told him on Sunday, when he made the comment that he's probably right and just say "hey, I'm in the middle of a landscape project right now. It's not blocking the alley in anyway and it will be moved when I have time (and the muscle energy back) to get it moved later this week. OMG! You should have seen the alley and the area around and in front of the shop when we moved in! The previous owner had crap laying all over AND in the alley (that he kindly left for us to clean up) not to mention all the pick up loads of crap on the other side of the alley - from neighbor lady!

But the city has no problem with our junky neighbor with his junk vehicles and auto parts laying on the shoulder area of the street in front of his house - clearly city property! No problem with them tying their dog up outside and he just barks and barks, non stop.

What the hell is wrong with these people? You have someone move into your economically dying city/county, who want to live quietly, make their place look nice, mind their own business, AND more importantly SPEND their money in your city/county and have to treat people like this? I'm sure as slow as these people all seem to work, it'll be 2 weeks before we get a letter or something about it, which of course, by then DH will have it picked up anyway. We've been trying to laugh it off every time DH goes outside and does something in the back yard (not even going in the alley) and she has to have her son come drive down the alley, but this is pretty much past our tolerance level for stupidity.

Did I mention NO one uses this alley? Of the 3 houses on the alley, we are the only lot which actually would have a need to use it (because of the shop) and we don't even use it, other than rarely. I'm sure our previous owner used it on a regular basis. It appeared he parked his pickup in back here. One time there was someone from the electric company in the alley working up on the pole.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Let the week begin

I finished a book I was reading on my library app last Wednesday evening. Then realized I had no more books downloaded to read! Everything in my "hold" list wasn't available yet. I was next in line for a couple of books, but since the lending period is up to 3 weeks, it could be anywhere from a day to 3 weeks wait.  I didn't feel like going through available books and seeing if anything caught my eye, so I just decided to wait it out. Which was not fun. There's not much on tv and I was getting bored!  Finally, last night I decided to find something to download and just as I did it, 3 of my books on hold became available, of course. One of the books I already ready about a month ago, but it is for my book club and it is the book we are discussing this Thursday, so I wanted to have it available to refer to and read the discussion questions. I went ahead and started reading the book I downloaded in my attempt to find something to read and it's pretty good. I guess it's been made into a movie - one of those YA dystopia society books, similar to Hunger Games, called The Maze Runner.

We finished planting all the little trees yesterday. We got 1/3 of them planted on Saturday afternoon before we ran out of time and energy. The ground here is a lot easier to dig in compared to our old house. Not very rocky at all, so that was easier on DH.

That's the alley in back, as well as the grouchy old neighbor lady. By the time those trees grow tall enough to block her either we'll be gone........or she will LOL.
This is the other side of our yard - just a vacant lot next door on that side.

I did get to relax a little bit (before I went outside to help DH put the trees in the holes he dug) and started watching the new Season of Bosch on Amazon Prime. One of my favorite shows and that will give me something to watch for 8 1/2 more episodes, when I am bored and looking for something on tv :)

DH is taking a look at our hot water heater today. It's nearing the end of it's life - was put in when the house was built and even though it's a 50 gallon heater (more than we had at our old house) we don't seem to have as much hot water as we did at our other house. He read you should flush your tank once a year. Did you know that? We didn't and have never done that as maintenance. So he did that. Don't think that is the problem - it all came out clear, no sediment causing any problem. Now he's trying to test the heating elements. He's you-tubing how to do it. He has a meter thingy but honestly, every time I've ever seen him use it on something, he has no idea how it works. LOL. Also, some videos he watched said if the tank is "gurgling" it's probably not the elements and it's just time for a new hot water heater. We have assumed we need a new one and that is the plan to go buy this weekend, after I get paid, but DH decided he'd at least see what he could do on his own to test/fix and maybe save us some bucks, if he can. Otherwise, we'll go get a new one (about $350-400). Get the benefit of more hot water and a good selling point that the house has a fairly new water heater when we go to sell.

Birds are enjoying our bird feeders. We sometimes see bunnies out in the yards and neighboring properties. One is just huge! As big as a big cat. We have yet to see any squirrels around here, but I did see a chipmunk in our back yard this morning.

I just realized yesterday afternoon I didn't make a meal plan for this week's dinners. I ended up making tuna casserole. I had bought some ingredients to try a salmon quiche but after planting trees, plus still being really sore from the yard work Saturday, I was too tired to try something new. I'll try it one night this week. Seems like a fairly easy recipe.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Good deal and busy Saturday

Whew! It's been a busy day and it's only half over. And I can hardly move. DH started with seeding the yard with grass seed. Then his good friend and his son coming over and bringing a load of compost. They spread it all around where we want to add grass and also in the areas where the lawn was pretty thin and DH had over seeded. I planted the 3 shrubs (boxwood) we bought yesterday at 3 corners of the house.  While they were outside spreading compost I was inside vacuuming and painting the edges of our inside doors.

Who lives in a house (that they built them self) for 8 years and doesn't finish painting the edges of the doors? It only took me about an hour and now all the doors are white on the inside edges. There was only one door that had been painted. Then I spackled some  holes we had made in the bathrooms when we put the wood shelves under the mirrors and moved the mirrors up higher, leaving the holes in the bottom from where the mirrors had been. We also had some holes in the laundry room from where we took out their shelf and put in the cabinets. 

Then I made the guys lunch of club sandwiches. Yum. Haven't made those for awhile but everyone always likes them. The guys were done in about 2 hours and it already looks so much better!
Front yard with some overseed and compost added. We also re-seeded that strip of grass out front on the other side of the fence, between the fence and road. It was sort of grass, sorta dirt.
front yard in front of covered porch. New boxwood shrub planted. We'll put some other type of shrubs in that gravel area. The front yard grass should look better soon too.
Part of the back yard that had sparse grass here and there. Was ugly, but should look great when the grass grows. You can sure see the difference from neighbors lawn compared to ours! Hopefully ours will be nice and thick and green soon.
This is our little side yard which was just dirt (ie mud). We graveled a strip next to the house and the rest will grow grass.

We went to the city after work yesterday to look for Thuja (aborvitae) trees. I had called one nursery and they wanted like $45 for a 3 foot tree! We needed at least 30 (and that's only to do part of one side of our lot) . Lowe's had some nice big tall ones (like 4-5 ft) but they were $20 and then they had some really small ones - like barely a foot tall that were $8. We knew we could order some online from a wholesale nursery to get some about 15" that would be less than $2 ea (plus shipping costs). But we still didn't want to start out with that tiny of trees! We decided to go to Home Depot and see what they had.  Found some about 2ft tall for $8, so we decided to get those. We fit 32 on the cart (and that's what fit in the back of my car ) and also picked out 3 boxwoods.  She rang them up and I was expecting a total of like $275 and she said $182....when I got outside heading back to the car I looked at the receipt and all the thuja's rang up at $4 instead of $8. WooooHoooo! What a deal!
We haven't planted them yet and they still are smaller than we had hoped to be able to get for the money we wanted to spend, but it will look 100x better than it did before.  There is literally not a plant, tree or shrub on this lot.  Just grass, rocks and dirt.

I need a nap!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Eyes and Yard work

I finally got off my butt and made an appointment for an eye exam so I can update my glasses prescription and hopefully see better. Next Friday afternoon at the Costco optometrist. I was googling eye dr's in the city and this guy has been voted best optometrist the past 2 years. The person I made the appointment with told me they don't bill insurance direct, I will have to do it, and I said that is no problem, because my insurance is out of network and I'd have to submit it myself anyway. I asked how much for an eye exam for glasses and it's only $75. I have a $20 copay and my insurance will cover $50 out of network, which means I will only have an extra $5 out of pocket for the exam.

DH has taken advantage of the dry weather today and got the areas in our yard that we are going to seed for grass ready by raking up. He did a bit of thatching in our existing lawn and there is part of our existing lawn in the back that is very sparse grass, so he prepped that too.

We have been trying to find some tall growing shrubs (thuja's) like we put in our previous yard, for putting along the fencing here. There isn't a tree or plant on the lot, for goodness sake. How do you live somwhere for 8 years and not put in a shrub? LOL. We were going to get some from this wholesale nursery our friend wants to go to but after talking with the place on the phone I think it's not quite what we are looking for in size. They only have some pretty small starters in stock in their nursery that isn't even in this state, so they would have to be shipped. I called Lowes in the city to ask what they have in stock and sounds like they have a bit bigger sized ones. Even though higher priced, of course, they sound more like the  minimum size we are looking for at $7 ea (we need a lot to make a hedge - time to put some privacy between us and those neighbors!). They sound like the same ones/size/price as we bought at Lowe;s for our old house a few years ago. It doesn't sound like they have as many in stock as we want/need but he said he was pretty sure they could order more. We are going to drive into the city after dinner tonight and take a look at what they have and hopefully get those, at least.

When we shop at Lowe's I always use my Lowes credit card to charge whatever we buy, so that I get an additional 5% off. Then I get home and pay it. I just received a new/replacement Lowes card in the mail today, along with a coupon inside that was for 10% off if spending over $299. That would be a nice savings, but I'm not sure we'll be spending that much, unless we find some other plants we like to go in our rock garden.

Hopefully after this weekend's activity our yard will look a little more spruced up!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It's a Thursday kind of day

Last night's dinner was easy, but a fail as far as the noodles were concerned. The small grocery store in our town is part of "Western Family" grocers so I have been trying some of their store brand items. Some ok, some not. The egg noodles were not. They pretty much just fell apart when boiling. I mixed in with some beef tips (Hormel, heated in microwave) and we ate them anyway, but I won't be buying those again.

Same thing with their jam. I like raspberry jam and tried their store brand. Ugh. It hardly even had any taste and was a strange texture - almost like a hard jello. In my recent Walmart order, where I needed to spend $35 to get the free 2 day shipping (hey - did I mention that my Walmart orders are now getting here in 2 days?! I like it!) I ordered some raspberry jam. It had really good reviews LOL. Made in France. It came yesterday, so I opened it up and took a little bit on a spoon. Now that is raspberry jam! and the texture is right too. It's called Bonne Maman. Cute little jar too. I'll be having some on an english muffin for lunch today.

Tonight's dinner (I think) will be the easy frozen skillet Bertolli chicken marsala with potatoes. I think it's DH's fav, so good to have once a week. Tomorrow we'll do steak again.

We had another beautiful sunny day yesterday. They seem to be every other day or so, in between clouds and rain. Today is clouds and supposed to rain this afternoon. Saturday is supposed to be sunny-ish and high 60's. I can't wait. We have lots of yard work planned (though mostly it will be DH and his friend doing it) and DH will be able to put the grass seed down and get that going. He got to mow the lawn yesterday. It took him all of 15 minutes, haha. He was going to drive over to our friends place and mow for him. He has 3 acres of lawn (and of course a riding mower - actually 3 of them)) but DH decided he'd better first do it on a day when friend is doing it, so he can ride one of his others and make sure he's mowing it like friend would want it mowed. (is there more than one way?! LOL). He would love to just go spend a couple of hours mowing over there - take the dogs and let their dogs out of the pen and run and play.

For some reason I was thinking tomorrow was one of my half day Fridays, but then I realized this morning it's not. Last week was, so it's not until next week. I need to make an eye doctor appointment, which will have to be in the city, so I'm going to see if I can get in at Costco optical next Friday afternoon sometime. That's where I got my last glasses (though not my exam) and was very pleased with the glasses and especially the price - less than half what the optometrist office wanted for lenses and frames. They aren't part of my vision insurance, but the insurance doesn't cover a whole bunch anyway and I can submit an out of network claim. I will have to pay a $20 copay either way and they will cover another $50 of the exam (I think they run about $100). If I was seeing in network they'd cover the exam cost in full after copay, so I might be out another $30. Either way they only cover $100 towards lenses and frames. I think I've had these glasses a few years now and definitely can tell I need a new prescription. Some of the smaller numbers and words while working on computer are hard to read, as well as trying to read the guide on the tv (even though I made it bigger, LOL). Time to get it done.

Ok, I'm off to try and figure out why my work outlook will not do a smiley face in my emails anymore. When I type :) instead of a smiley face I get a square. I thought it was happening to everyone in the office because I'd see a square in recieved emails, too. But just recently commented on the square is annoying me and found it it's just me! I'm trying google a solution, but so far nothing is working. I'd like to figure out out myself without having to put in a ticket with our IT folks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Neighbor kids update

What. The. Hell.!! During my lunch break I ran to pick up our mail at the post office and stop at the hardware store for some caulk. On my way back, as I turn (slowly - I always drive slow in town) onto our street I spot the boy out in the middle of the street riding one of their motorized toy cars. I quickly look around to see where the little 2-3 year old is. She's standing behind her mom's SUV, near the street. So I inch along toward my driveway and pull in. I no sooner get out of my car and the little girl is standing right behind my car. OMG! What if I had decided to back up for some reason??!!!!I didn't see the mom anywhere.

I went inside and was telling DH and he said he's already this morning had to tell the kids to stop playing in our driveway - AGAIN!. I went back outside to see if the mom was out there or if not, I was going to knock on their door.  She was outside yelling at the little girl about something and I walked over to our fence between us and called her name and told her what happened. I said I could have ran her over! "Oh...geez...ya, that is scary. I'll talk to her". Talk to a 2 year old?!! How about fricking WATCHING your 2 year old instead of letting her run around with no supervision. I don't care if I lived out in the sticks or in the suburbs - I would never have let my 2 year old out of my sight.

There is absolutely no reason those kids need to be in our driveway whatsoever. They have their own driveway, a front and back yard, a 1/4 acre field on the other side of their house and an acre field across the street to play in, not to mention a playground a block away.

Are people really just that stupid?

Wednesday this and that

There's really not a lot going on so far this week. We put the bird food and water feeders we have out in our back yard last week and I see the birds are finally coming around. Lots of pretty little birds I haven't seen before, now living in a different part of the country. I also put out my hummingbird feeder but it has a leak so it all dripped out very quickly. I'll have to see if I just didn't get it screwed on right or if it somehow got damaged in the move and I'll have to get a new one. Gotta have a hummingbird feeder. I have another one that sticks to the window, but I haven't put that one out yet.

Our friend is coming over again on Saturday. He has our dump trailer and is getting himself some compost and then bringing us a bit of it. He says he adds it in the holes when he plants trees and shrubs and it really helps them grow fast. It's supposed to be in the mid 60's Saturday so sounds like a good day for it.  Still not sure when we are all going to the nursery to buy shrubs and trees. Plus DH has grass seed we bought to seed on the side of our house and also over seed pretty much the rest of the yard, especially the bit in back next to the house - it's more dirt than grass. I know he's just waiting for the weather to stay warmed up a bit. We are still below freezing or close to it some nights.

Did I mention my DD got a kitty? A one year old long haired Siamese. She is so pretty and starting to make herself at home with them.

Last evening we got to watch a couple of bunnies in our back neighbors yard (across the back alley) chase and play with each other. One HUGE bunny (almost as big as a cat) and a small one. Then a cat showed up. LOL. It entertained our one dog for quite awhile as he laid at the back sliding doors watching it all.

Dinners have just been out of our big stock up shopping we did last Friday. Though Monday, we didn't really have dinner. I didn't have lunch until like 2:30. I had saved the leftover steak from Sunday's dinner and made myself a steak sandwich by slicing really thin and putting in between two pieces of toast (something my dad used to make). Then about a half hour later DH decided he wanted to try one with the rest of the steak. At dinner time (usually between 5 and 5:30) neither of us was really very hungry, so he ended up having some heated up egg rolls and pizza rolls.

Last night was a chicken breast, rice and mixed veggies dish. I think tonight will be some beef tips over noodles and we're still finishing up the 12 pack of bakery rolls I had bought in our shopping trip.

That's all I got. Pretty boring stuff but I guess that's good. Just regular every day life going on.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The neighbor kids

Yesterday afternoon,as I finished working and went out in the living room to sit awhile, the two little neighbor kids were in our driveway playing because 1) their driveway is too full of crap and 2) the dad was out working on his crap and didn't want them playing around him. The 5 year old was on his bike. I went out there just as he's making a circle in our driveway (our driveway is 3 cars wide) on his bike, literally within inches of my car. I told them they can't play in our driveway anymore, so he said ok and biked away and told his sister to come with him. I think the dad was back inside his garage as this happened.

In the evening DH went outside to throw the ball to our dog. The kid's dad was outside (oh, did I mention he turned around and brought home another piece of junk car? after we had that one sitting out front of his yard all winter and he finally gets rid of it and then turns around and brings home another one Saturday night!). Anyhow, one of our dogs goes over to the fence to say hi to the guy, so DH figured it was a good time to ask (tell) the dad to keep his kids out of our driveway. The guy was like "oh ya, ok." DH told him there's now a dent in my car from his son hitting it with his bike, so then of course he wanted to look at it. He texted and his wife came out and they talked about it some more. Of course neither offered to pay to fix the damage. She must have texted the older teenage daughter in the house, as she then came out with the boy. He started crying and said he was sorry for running into our car. DH said he appreciated him apologizing, but can't have it happen again. There is plenty of free space around to play on that isn't on our property.

The guys is always telling us the previous owners complained about the noise he'd make working on his junk and if I'm making too much noise just tell me. We really haven't heard much at all - he was outside during the day Sunday (but we were gone part of the day) making some noise, but no big deal. DH was like "you mean, like the noise on Sunday? Other than that, I really haven't heard anything and that was no big deal". Then the wife says "well, that was at 3pm".....and give her husband a look..."not at 3AM...". So DH says well if you are making noise at 3am then we'll have a problem. Then the wife, for some reason, brings up "we can't even wash our cars here" and DH was like what? why not? Well, it's in the covenants, our landlord showed us.  DH was confused - is it like a city ordinance or something? No, it's in the covenants for this neighborhood. So then DH says "well, if that is a covenant, then there must be covenants that you can't have all that junk either?" They just kinda shrugged their shoulders like they didn't know.

The dad stayed out there talking with DH awhile more. DH also told him our new fence isn't a jungle gym for the kids to climb on. He told him "I'll be honest with you,  the previous owners said they put up the partial fence around the front yard to keep your kids from coming over into their yard and front porch all the time". The guy wanted to pass off that the fence got put up because the previous owners had a dog and the dog was always pooping in their yard and they didn't like it. DH said well, I have two dogs and they won't be going in your yard, just as I expect you to keep your dog AND your kids out of my yard. Then the guy says that the previous owner used to keep her car in the garage......well, we shouldn't have to keep our car in our garage, just because his kids can't respect boundaries. He also flat out told him we do not like looking out at a wrecking yard and if/when we decide to sell our house and we feel it's hurting our sale or property value we are doing to do something about it. This guy likes to bash the old owners (obviously they didn't like him and all his crap either) and said ya, they asked me to move some of my stuff off after their first sale fell through, so I did. (which explains why there wasn't much when DH first came over and looked at house). Then after we bought he brought it all back. DH told him "well, I won't be asking you to move your stuff and trying to lie to a prospective buyer - if I have to deal with it, then your landlord will just be hearing from me and then an attorney about it, if necessary".

Then in their chatting DH mentioned this guy's long commute every day to the city to work, but at least his wife just works across the street, so she has no commute. "Oh, well she did, now she doesn't work there anymore". Apparently she decided to take a job at another small county hospital in a neighboring county that would have been like a 45 minute drive (at least) for her. She gave her 2 weeks notice just recently and something happened (he didn't say what) with the new job and she didn't end up getting it. She tried to rescind her 2 weeks notice, but the hospital here told her no, she'll have to re-apply for the position along with the other applicants they have received. It will be unlikely they hire her back. Our neighbor our at our property is an administrator at the hospital and already told us they do not like her there, as she has a bad attitude and they wished she'd just quit. Then the neighbor told DH she has a job interview at a place in the city. Maybe if they are both working in the city (55 miles away) they will move? One can dream and wish, right?
So, this morning I looked up the covenants for this property/neighborhood (which is one street with 4 lots on each side, so far just our house and their house are the only houses built). I honestly didn't really remember what they were. We got a copy when we put the offer on and read through it. They were minimal and nothing that we had a problem with abiding by.  The covenants state you can't wash your vehicles in the STREET (or burn leaves in the street). Of course you can wash your car in your own driveway. And so we refreshed ourselves with all the restrictions, which (of course) includes no parking overnight in the street (they do), long term repair or storage of junk vehicles will not be permitted, as well as boat trailers, utility trailers and all other trailers shall be parked so as not to impede the view of adjacent residents.

Well, there ya go. This guys going to have some cleaning up to do shortly. We're tired of it all.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sunday perfection

We had a pretty perfect little day yesterday. The sun was shining and 62 degrees. We took the dogs, packed a lunch, and went for a drive. There is so little traffic around here (unless you go right into the bigger city that is over 50 miles away) it makes it relaxing to take a drive just about anywhere around here. There are lots of little road (dirt roads) that go up into all the mountains.

We drove up one road that turned into a dirt road. Got a few miles up and started seeing some snow and then passed some guys in an old pick up filled with firewood. The stopped to tell us that just up around the corner there was lots more snow on the ground, so we probably don't want to take our car past it. We drove up to that area and turned around. Stopped back in the little town at the drive through burger joint and got some milkshakes and the kind old couple gave the dogs some bacon. Then we went a few more miles back towards our town and headed up a gulch road. DH had read there was a little bit of an old ghost town left a few miles up it. We found some of it and got out and looked around and let the dogs run around.

 This was a town in the late 1800's, apparently for mining. Lots of these around here.

Then we headed back down and stopped at a little boat launch on the river. It was so nice and warm outside.

This place was only about 5 miles from our house. We headed back home. I took a little nap, then DH took a little nap. Dinner was some steaks. mashed potatoes and rolls. DH had picked the steaks out at the grocery store the other day - coated in some seasonings. I was a bit nervous to cook them as they were pretty thick and I never can seem to get them cooked right - either not done enough or over done, but I did them perfectly.  They were way too big of steaks though. I only could eat half of  mine, so I put the rest in the fridge. Not sure what I'll do with it. Might try making my Dad's old favorite thing he used to make us with leftover steak: steak sandwiches. He'd cut the meat in thin strips and put it between two pieces of toast. I always remember they were so yummy.

I called my mom to wish her a Happy Easter and later DH called his Dad. We spent the evening watching Killing Jesus on tv.  Not a bad weekend, at all.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

An expensive day

Yesterday I only had to work until noon and decided to take a drive to the city to go get my hair cut and do some grocery stocking stock up. I haven't gotten my hair cut since before we moved! It was down well past my shoulders and just driving me nuts because when it gets long it just kinda poofs out. I'm not picky about paying big bucks to have my hair cut. It's just an easy, top of the shoulders, a little layered style. Great Clips was fine and she did a really good job. Actually much better on getting some layers in than my old hairdresser used to - and it was only a couple of bucks more than I used to spend. I should be good for a few months now. I swear I shed as bad as the dogs so at least it will be shorter shedding now.

DH had decided to go with me to help me shop. He'd run over to Lowe's while I was getting my hair cut. Only on the drive to the city his phone completely died. Crap! Apparently it's done it a couple of times in the past few weeks, but it started up again. We've only had our phones 2 1/2 years, but he does use it constantly (for getting on the internet and texting). The whole drive to the city DH was moaning and groaning that he's probably lost all his contacts and photos. I don't know how all that works, but I said I'm sure it's not all lost. So, after my hair cut we found the Verizon store, where the guy was able to get it started back up. But since it's been acting like this lately, he said it's probably on it's last leg. We decided to go ahead and get DH a new phone. DH hates change and learning new things, but thankfully Apple keeps their upgrades pretty much the same for the user. We went with the iPhone 7 smaller phone (to still fit in his pocket), but still a bigger screen than our iphone 5's. $650 thank you very much. GRRRR. I opted for adding it onto our monthly bill for 24 months. No interest and same overall cost, rather than having to be out that all at once. Plus I spent $100 out of pocket for a new case and screen protector. We have had cheap smart phones in the past and with DH and his not understanding how to use them, the iphone has been much better for us. Not many complaints about his phone at all since we've had them.

This phone better last him awhile! and mine will probably end up dying soon too, what do you want to bet?. DD is going to get him an ipad mini for birthday/Father's day gift, so that might help make his phone last longer, since he won't use it quite to much then. He mentioned yesterday he'd like to get an ipad mini one of these days, so good idea DD has to get him one.

We stocked up at the grocery store for almost $300, but that was for several weeks of food. Made for a long afternoon, since we were probably at the phone store for at least an hour. We didn't get home until after 5pm. Oh and someone decided it was ok to put a dent in my car in the parking lot. Nice. At least we think that's where it happened - either that or DH thinks our neighbor kid might have done it with his bike - he was riding over in our driveway next to our car the other day......why can't people be responsible about their kids? I would never have let my kids do that. Ever.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Allergy season

I've pretty much had a headache since last Friday. Took me till yesterday to realize it's most likely allergies. When ibuprofen won't make a dent, it's usually a sinus headache. And I don't have any sinus meds. I used to always get this for a week or two in February, but here, I guess it's April. Probably because things are just now starting to grow and bloom again after all the snow.

DH has been puttering in the yard the past couple of days. He finished putting the edging he had left, around the "rock garden". We're going to be adding some plants in the garden, so it won't look so ugly.  Right now he's out front in the street chatting with the neighbor that lives directly across from us. He's usually got some town gossip, LOL, since his brother is the sheriff. Our neighbor directly next door to us finally moved out the piece of junk pickup he's had sitting on a trailer out in front of his yard all winter. At least we can look out our living room window now and not have to see that ugly thing every time - it was right at the corner between our 2 lots. We eventually stopped even opening up our living room blinds because who wants to look out at that?! The trailer is still sitting there, but at least it's fairly low to the ground, so not blocking our view of the trees and mountains.

I made a lasagna casserole last night and put half in the freezer for another meal. I've been making it for years from an old recipe book I have put together by some women's community group. I should probably take a look through it and see if there are other recipes that sound good to try. I'm sure I did when I got the book like 30 years ago, haha, but apparently only tried that one recipe.

I received an invitation to my neice's bridal shower. Since it's 450 miles away, I obviously won't be attending......but I guess I'll have to send a gift......and then a wedding gift.....

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Grocery shopping and meal planning

I went grocery shopping on Sunday morning - hopefully I planned well enough that I got enough to get us through this week. I spent $66, which is pretty low, but I had kind of stocked up the week before. That total included using a store coupon from the weekly flier for .79 tuna (limit 3). I also wanted to get the .79 tomato soup on coupon, but they were sold out. I also bought 3 donuts from the bakery case. They have the biggest, freshest donuts. Usually they are sold out whenever I am shopping there, but they had 2 maple bars (DH's fav) left and I got a chocolate covered bar for myself. As I was checking out there were 3 little Girl Scouts tucked in the corner of the store next to where I was checking out. I asked how much per box ($4, unless I wanted the S'mores -they were $5...because they have more ingredients, I was told by one cute girl). I got $10 cash back from my grocery payment and bought 2 boxes for $8. I usually never buy these cookies, but hey - it's small town and gotta support those kiddo's...and who doesn't like Girl Scout cookies? In the past, usually someone brought boxes into the office, so I'd get my fix that way.

I also splurged and bought myself a half gallon of organic milk. I love the creamier taste of it, so will have some in between drinking regular (ie cheaper) milk. That $66 total also included a 12 pack of Mtn Dew. I hate paying their $6 price (I have never seen it on sale at this store, ever), but we are down to less than 2 packs (from our big stock up from Walmart last month) and I wanted to make sure we didn't run out and I'd have to make another trip to the store this week. Mtn. Dew is like DH's coffee. He drinks 2-3 cans a day (ugh!). I have a half work day this coming Friday, so I think I will make a city trip and stock up on pop, water, steaks and chicken breasts. I just do not like the steaks and chicken we have tried at the town grocery store. Too thick.

The dinner plans for the week are:

Last night: Bertolli chicken and red potato marsala skillet meal. DH loves this meal and it's easy to make. I'll add some crescent rolls and some applesauce.
the rest of the week:
Lasagna casserole
Eggs and bacon
Tuna Casserole - (I can freeze half for another time)

I get so tired of trying to plan dinners. I'd probably love those fresh pre-made meal kits they have now via various mail order companies, but no way would I pay the cost of them. I saw some crockpot meals advertised on Omaha Steaks and they were like $20 per meal. Ridiculous.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Cutting a small expense and shopping trip

I've just canceled my Netflix subscription again. Other than when I watched Longmire, after I joined again, I really haven't watched it much. A few movies here and there. Three of the past months were free, because I had received a $25 Netflix gift card for Christmas. Might as well have the $8 a month in my pocket rather than basically going to waste. I can put it toward the bedding set I'm saving for for the log bed. I still have Amazon Prime and it seems most movies we watch are through our satellite on demand anyway. I'm still taking advantage of a 6 month promotion for HBO and Showtime for $7.50 a month each and we do watch those quite often. When the 6 months is up this summer, I will probably only keep one of them....maybe. I'll see what DH thinks.

Late yesterday afternoon DH decided he wanted to go into the city and get some more yard supplies. He still needed more stakes for the edging (didn't buy enough the first time) and wanted to get some grass seed. We weren't sure what is good kind for this area of the country, so DH asked his friend - who put in 3 acres of grass. He'd know! DH texted him to see if he was home and we'd pick him up and he could go with us to the store (friend only lives about 15 minutes from city) he told us to buy it at, but friend was in the city, finishing up some activity with his family. We got to the store and couldn't find what he said to get. Then friend called and said he was passing by the store on his way home and did we want him to stop in and still help? Yes, please. LOL. He came in a minute later and after looking around with us remembered he apparently bought his grass seed at a different store. He said we needed one with high percentage of Kentucky Bluegrass and none of them had that, so then he said he had a bag left over at home we could have, so we ended up stopping at his house on our way home and just getting that.

But first we went over to Lowe's to get the stakes and see what they had for grass seed and some lawn fertilizer (for the lawn we do have). I just think it's not quite the season yet, which is probably why not much selection of grass seed. The nice part of living here, compared to where we lived before, if we were going to go from one store to the next, even if just a couple miles separated them, it would have taken 15 minutes to go those couple of miles. Here, in this "big city" it literally takes minutes.  Another good thing was this first store we were at (a feed/farm type store) has the dog food we use! I'm glad I decided to go check while we were there. They aren't listed online with the dog food company as selling it there. That will save some time in the future, being able to get it there. The only place we had found it was at a Tractor Supply store and that was about 15-20 minutes farther south of the city, in another smaller town. Not convenient, but we've been buying 2-3 bags at a time and each bag lasts us a month.

Our Lowe's purchase was about $70 and I always use my Lowe's credit card to save an additional 5%. Figure that $3.50 saved paid for part of the gas driving into the city. I logged into my Lowe's account this morning and paid off the charge.

Since it was dinner time when we were leaving the city we grabbed some burgers to go through the drive through. Always glad when I don't have to make dinner - two nights in a row ;)

This morning it's been snowing - not sticking, but still a sign winter is not over here yet. Probably won't put down any grass seed this week. We won't be going to that nursery for trees with our friend for at least a couple of weeks. He and his family are going to see his parents for a long weekend/Easter.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekend update

Our good friend delivered the second load of rock yesterday morning. DH filled up his gas tank and then we took him out to breakfast. He's the one having marital problems, some of which he's creating himself ("chatting" via Facebook and texting with on old jr.high woman friend) and we told him as much. He agreed, but he's being stubborn because of all the crap his wife lies to him about (her money, credit debt, etc).

After breakfast he kindly came back to our house and helped DH put the rock where he wanted it. This load had to be put in wheel barrow (many times) and DH put most of it around the perimeter of our house. It took them maybe an hour and was a huge help to DH, that's for sure.  Then the two of them went out to our property. Now that the snow has melted they could see better for what earth moving they will be doing and DH wanted to get his opinion on stuff. We have some small new growth trees that will need to come out and friend needs more trees at his place so they dug several up, so friend could replant, rather than just have them cut down when we start the site work.

Since it was kinda rainy and I didn't feel like traipsing through the brushy property, I stayed home and cleaned house, got caught up on a couple of tv shows. Chatted with my DD a little bit. She adopted a cat, so she is busy with that this weekend. She found the one year old kitty on Craigslist. Had messaged with the lady to go pick  her up one night last week and 45 minutes before she was to pick her up the lady told her the cat wasn't available any longer. DD kind of pressed her for more info and turns out the lady decided to take her to a siamese cat rescue instead. So DD pressed her some more and got the contact info. Spent a couple days contacting the "crazy rescue cat lady" (as she called her LOL) and was able to get the cat Friday evening. A pretty gray, long haired kitty.  And I got my weekly call to my mom in. DH got home around 4pm, hadn't had lunch (though we had a big breakfast) so asked me for lunch at 4:10.  So then he didn't want dinner (yay me). I just had a bowl of cereal and later than evening he did too. Easy. I finished reading Frankenstein. Eh. I wasn't impressed at all. I guess I'm just not meant to read "classics".

The weather has been rainy and gloomy....and muddy! ugh. Tired of wiping muddy paws all day. Part of DH's work on the yard is to get rid of the dirty/muddy areas - hence the gravel and then we will be seeding with grass some other bare areas. The area on one side of our house is just a dirt strip - ripe for muddy paws. We've put the gravel along the side of the house. We will grass seed the rest, as well as some thuja trees along the fence line.

I've pretty much had a headache since I woke up Friday morning. Not sure what that is about. Just a dull headache. About the only thing on my to-do list today is run over to the town grocery store and get a few things I am almost out of.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The alley

I don't know if it's our imagination or what, but that strange neighbor lady behind us, on the other side of the alley, is quite the odd duck. We are rarely out in the alley. Even though our big shop doors open up the alley side, DH doesn't open them up often, since the shop is just used for storage and if he needs to get in there for something he goes in through the "man door" that is on the other side of the shop, facing our house.

Neighbor lady is across the alley, down on one end of the alley, we are on the other side about 3/4 of the way down toward the other end of the alley. There is just one other house - the house directly next door to us, towards her end. It's just a narrow, one lane dirt road alley.

We've used the alley a couple of times this past week. Last Saturday friend came and picked up the little dump trailer. He pulled in the alley down at our end, when he left he pulled out the other end (where neighbor lady's house is). Sure enough, the next day her grown up son (he's like 40 or 50) drives down the alley to go to her house. Apparently gotta check out what we did in the alley!

Thursday DH was outside in our little backyard spreading some weed killer (NOT in the alley -heaven forbid!).  Sure enough, later just before dinner time, her son drives down the alley again (not slowly, either), stops and goes in her house several minutes and leaves. So strange. He actually has to go out of his way to drive in our end of the alley to go to her house.

I'm sure she was apoplectic after friend pulled in the alley again the other evening, and then again this morning, and backed in our backyard to dump the rock and when done pulled out down her end of the alley again. LOL. What, does she think the alley only belongs to her or something? I don't know. Her son just did it again yesterday - goes flying down this alley, goes into her house for like 5 minutes and then leaves. People are strange! I think DH has decided he's just going to go out there everyday - open up our doors, mess around, use the alley to access our big doors, etc. Might as well make her son come over every day LOL

Friday, April 7, 2017

Another raise inquiry

Speaking of (non) raises. DD texted me asking me what I thought would be a decent raise for her, when she reaches her 1 year anniversary with her employer, in June. They did not do a 6 months review, as they told her they would.

I said, well, I only really have the company I work for as as example, but, when we hire new college grads for an entry level type of job we start them out at just what DD got started out at - $40k.  BUT, usually after 6 month, sometimes a year, we bump them up quite nicely with one big raise. Usually $5-$10k, if they've proven themselves a valuable employee and are doing a good job. Sometimes we do $5k after the first 6 months and the other $5k at one year.  But usually by their first anniversary they are making $50k.

It will be interesting to see what comes about with her job. She is doing a great job - they tell her that all the time and have given her more responsibility and she is sole purchaser for one group. I would think if they want to keep her, they will realize they need to bump it up quite a bit. Someone with her degree and now experience would be able to find a job in that $50k range (where they live) no problem. I do know she is pretty dang bored with the job overall, so has seriously been considering looking for something more challenging, but she wanted to wait until she had at least a years experience post degree. If they don't give her a decent raise, I'm sure she will start looking in earnest. Since they live in a large metro area, she will have lots of  opportunity to find a different job.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

It's Wednesday now

Ok, so I do know what day it is today.  Off to a good start. Our friend delivered us the load of rock after he got off work yesterday (our little dump trailer worked well), so then we took him out to dinner at the little restaurant in our town. YAY! I did not have to cook. And our favorite waitress was working. She's such a cute, sweet, little thing.

Got to listen to friend and his marriage problems most of the dinner. It's a bit of a different world over here. Not sure if it's just because it's all small town, so everybody knows every body's business or what, but sure seems like a lot of bar drinking and infidelity goes on among all these folks. Maybe it went on in the metropolitan area we lived in before, but we sure didn't hear about it with any of our friends (on a rare occasion). DH and I just looked at each other like this is so not our life, so hard to imagine. Not that friend and his wife are cheating on each other, but just about all their relatives and friends are or have. I told DH I would not like knowing all that about friends and relatives.  Plus, why would they all cheat when they know it's small town and every one knows anyway? Weird.

Anyhow, most of their problems are money and not being on the same page raising their kids. Friend had ordered this huge meal and the waitress was joking with him that if he finished it he'd get a sticker. So he finished it and she gave him a sticker. LOL. DH took a picture of him with the sticker and put it on Facebook. We had a good laugh about it. Our friends wife's comment (she wasn't with us) on it minutes later was kind of snarky. Either she realized it or friend said something to his wife - but she removed the comment and made a nicer comment instead.

DH got to spend this morning keeping busy spreading the gravel out. They used the dump trailer to spread it all out in the area as much as possible (kind of tight quarters), so dh didn't have to rake it all by hand. He'll bring one more load Saturday morning and we'll be good to go on that part of the landscaping improvement.

I've been trying to focus on earning Swagbucks the past week or so. I'm trying to make sure I get to my daily goals, so I can earn bonus's. So far I'm averaging around 100 per day, which is $30 per month. I used to average a few dollars a month, plus what I earn when I remember to online shop through them. I finally seem to be getting approved to do surveys, so can usually get to my 100 goal a day that way. I try to fill in with watching video and have figured out that I can leave them playing on my personal desktop screen even when I am flipped over to my work desktop screen. They will still play. I also figured out that you do not have to let them play through the whole time. Once you see the check mark show up (usually 20-30 seconds in) you can click on the next one. Even doing this all day while I'm working doesn't earn me very much. Right now I have $34 earned and $30 pending from shopping that will credit eventually.

Anyone else missing Cindi from ThriftyAtSixty's blog? I enjoyed her insights and good links to articles and such, as well as seeing life of a retired person on a budget.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I thought it was Tuesday today

I had to look at my work calendar to see what day of the week it was! I guess it's better that I thought it was Tuesday rather than Thursday.

Well, I at least got an answer to my payables request. I received an email back from my boss this morning apologizing that she is so behind, but she had marked up my review with comments and this one was a definite yes, so go ahead and sign up for the service....and thank you for all you do.

Nothing mentioned about my review...........sigh.....

So, I'm trying to sign up for the dang service and it's a PITA just to get signed up. It wants principal owners info, date of birth, soc sec#, etc.  Ok, I have that. But then it uses his SS# to pull security questions that only he would know the answer to: "you have a mortgage through which company" and gives a multiple choice list. Bugger!

I emailed my boss back that this isn't a quick and easy sign up process and we can wait on this until she is back from her vacation (she's off next week) and figure it out. Or we can list her name and SS# and I can get the security answers from her (she is a partial owner). Hopefully we can just use that route and get this done quickly. Otherwise trying to sync up with a busy company owner is going to be who knows when.

We might be getting some landscaping rock delivered today. DH's friend (who now has our little dump trailer) is going to be getting us a load of chip rock and sounds like he might get it after he gets off work today (if he gets off at a decent time) and run it out to us. DH offered him dinner and a tank of gas :) I know DH is anxious to get to working some more on our yard. I think the plan is to go to that wholesale nursery with friend on Saturday and get the shrubs.

Our Dish satellite remote control goes through a set of batteries every 2-3 weeks! Annoying, not to mention expensive! I googled the problem and seems like it's a problem and those said they asked for a replacement remote and that fixed the problem, so I have requested one and hopefully that fixes it. I can see maybe replacing every couple of months, but not every couple of weeks. If we still have the problem, I will have to see about investing in some rechargeable batteries.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Following up on a suggestion

I've kind of given up expecting a review for this year, BUT, I did have a suggestion I had made in my self review that I would definitely like some feedback/approval on! It's been 2 1/2 months since I submitted it. It's in regards to our payables and our current method of online bill pay. While it saves time not having to print, sign, match up with invoices, put checks in envelopes, mail (and cost of stamps), and file the check stubs and corresponding paper work, it is duplicating bill entry, as I enter the bills in our accounting software and then basically have to re-enter the same info into our online bill pay with our bank.

Our accounting software offers a bill pay service and with the amount of checks we cut a month, would cost about $50 a month to use this service. We would more than make up for that cost in my time savings. Time that could be used towards activities to collect more money for our company.

So, this morning I emailed my boss that I wanted to follow up on my suggestion made in my self review. Is this something she thinks would be good to implement? (as I would need her approval to do so).  Maybe, that will also trigger her to give me an answer if I am going to get a review this year!
Regardless, I really would like to use this payables service and use my time on more productive work, rather than entering the bill info twice.

I'm still waiting to hear back. Keep you fingers crossed for me.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Aches and pains

Yesterday was a very nice day. DH's friend came in the morning with the fixed tired for our little dump trailer. They hooked it up to his pickup. Loaded our two dogs in with one of his dogs and headed back to his place for a day of burning "crap". So, we finally got rid of all the scrap wood and concrete forms the previous owner so kindly left here. And we are going to keep the dump trailer at his place. He has tons of room and he can use it, too, when he needs it for hauling stuff.

I spent the rest of the day still recuperating from my sore muscles. Geez - the back of my legs still hurt! My back is all better now, though. I did get the vacuuming done. Looked for some coupons and loaded up some Target Cartwheel offers on the app on my phone. Just about everything on my shopping list had a Cartwheel coupon for 5-20% off. Nice. I took a very short 20 minute nap and headed out at 3pm. I went to Target and shopped for misc stuff. It was nice just taking my time and not feeling like I was in a rush......until I looked at the time and realized how much time I had already spent there and what time I needed to be at friends for dinner. LOL.  I walked out of Target and it was snowing. I still needed to pick up some rolls and dessert for dinner and I drove across the street to a grocery store and picked up a couple of pies (banana cream and chocolate silk) and some really yummy rolls from their bakery. I will have to remember those rolls next time I need some.

I got to friends place. I had brought our dogs dinner. Figured they'd be hungry since it was past their dinner time and our older dog didn't eat his breakfast (he always knows when something is "up" to change our routine, so he won't eat then). Apparently they had quite a day. Play play played - and rolled around in a ditch with dead fish. DH had to give them a bath outside. They played with friends two dogs, ran after the guys on the quad and completely wore themselves out. Our younger pup must have pulled a muscle in his right shoulder area. He's kind of limping a bit.

We then had a delicious turkey dinner and enjoyed the company of our friends and their 2 kids. Dessert was good too :)

We headed home about 8pm (we live a half hour from them) and while yawning on the way home the right side of my jaw started "popping". Grrr. I've had this happen before, but not this bad and it goes away. It's still doing it today and annoying the heck out of me. I looked it up online - take advil, rest the jaw, maybe apply heat.  I've done all that. It's a bit better, but sure wish it would stop.

Still nothing about a review at work. Bummer. I am going to ask her about one of the suggestions I made in my self review write up, though. I would like to see if my idea to streamline payables a bit (at a small monthly cost) would be something we could do.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Vacuum update

I've had my Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy vacuum a couple of weeks now and am still completely in love with it. I have to say I'm not experiencing any of the negative reviews I read/watched on it.

it's too heavy: Not at all. It's the same weight as my old vacuum by WAY easier to push/pull while vacuuming. The wheels roll easy and turn easy. It also has a nice handle in front to lift the whole vacuum.

it's constantly falling over and won't stay in upright position: Haven't had any problems with this. I push it up to the most upright position (last click) and it stays up.

the canister is hard to snap back in: no problems with this either.

I have tried some of the attachments.  The tool for mattress and the tool for upholstery work well. The dusting tool: not so much.  I tried it on my wood blinds, but the hose was cumbersome - every time I pulled back from the blinds the hose would suck back into it's original position and I kept having to pull to get it to extend again. It really doesn't want to stay extended. I found it just easier to clean the blinds my original way: with a swiffer duster.

Another complaint was that the dust and dirt didn't drop right out of the canister when emptying and you had to sometimes use your fingers get get out. I do have that issue, but it doesn't bother me. I think in my case it's mostly because it's long dog hair. If it was just dirt and dust it would fall out. It only takes less than a minute to clean it out.

I also like that the electric cord is very long. I used to have to plug in 2 spots to vacuum my house. Now I can just plug in the middle of the house and it reaches to both ends.

I love it so much I've gone from 30 years of vacuuming once a week to vacuuming 2-3 times a week!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Weekend projects

Yesterday was a complete over do and I'm feeling it today. I only had to work a half day. It was a nice sunny warm 62 degrees out and DH was getting started on yard work/landscaping stuff. I went out to help and 4 or so hours later got done. We put in some plastic landscape edging around the house. Started loading up big rocks from the "rock garden" (I hate that thing) to clear some spaces for plants and a walkway through it.

I can barely move today. My back isn't good for that kind of stuff anymore and while my legs are sure feeling the pain from all the bending down and up, they will recover much more quickly than my back will. All day today I feel like my back is on the verge of going out. Can't over do it more. Of course DH wanted me to do some more today, but I'm not. I'll give it another day to heal and do some more tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning DH's friend is bringing over the fixed tire for our dump trailer (he picked it up for us after work one day last week). He and DH will get it put back on and then he will use his truck to haul it back to his house, with DH riding along. They will burn all the wood in it, as well as stuff friend needs to burn. I'll hang out here at home for most of the day and then head in to their place to have dinner with them and bring DH home. Since they are only about a 10-15 minute drive into the city from their place, I think I'll go into the city first to do a bit of shopping. I need some miscellaneous stuff. Address labels for work, running out of makeup and mascara. Stuff like that.

I'm starting to like Walmart free shipping better than Amazon. I can order just about anything and it's usually here in 3 days. Amazon free 2 day shipping is taking 7 days. I just ordered a box of food stuff, some vitamins and razor blades. Ordered on Tuesday and it was here Friday. I also have been needing a new pair of jeans and have just been putting it off because I haven't wanted to take the time to look for some and then try them on, blah blah. I ordered a pair of Walmart's Faded Glory brand to try for $10. I really like them. They have a bit of spandex in them, so are soft and comfy like my Jones New York jeans. Can't beat $10 either.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The blues

I'm feeling quite blue today. Some of you who have read for a long time may recall me writing about my son and our estrangement. We have not seen or talked to him in 2 1/2 years now. I don't even bother to blog about it anymore. It's what life dealt us and we live with it as best we can. The bits and pieces of info we get, every so often, tell a story of drugs, no job (or short lived jobs of a few weeks here and there), living with whoever will give him a couch/bed to sleep on- someone new every 2-3 months (if that long).

And yet again, someone close to us and we love has chosen not to tell us they had contact with him. I really don't get it. It's not like we actually do anything with the info - other than maybe sleep a little easier that night knowing he's still alive.  Of course there isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't cross our minds. I say a prayer for him when I go to bed at night.  What is so hard/wrong with saying "hey, just wanted you to know I heard from him". It's not like we then ask for his phone number or anything.

This time especially hurts, considering it's my DD who has heard from him and didn't tell us. You'd think when you haven't heard from your brother in over 2 years, you'd tell your parents, who you know wonder and worry about him. I'm just at a loss to understand any of this.

On the good side, I guess, is now we at least know he is doing ok. He's been at the same job for 6 months and it appears he got rid of the eyebrow piercing (seen in one of his facebook photos). He's apparently now living with another girl/woman (another one with a kid) - but we all know what that is about - that's one of the ways he finds his places to sleep for a few months (there have been many of these relationships).

I'm tired of people keeping us in the dark. Apparently we're just supposed to forget we ever had a son we gave birth to and raised.

What's on my bookshelf this week

The library app I use for downloading e-books calls my downloaded books my "bookshelf". At any given time I usually have 2-3 books on my bookshelf. One I am currently reading and two waiting to be read. They can be borrowed for up to 21 days and since I can usually finish most books in a few days to a week (sometimes two days, if it's a shorter book) I like to have another one waiting. Plus, most times I have to wait for it to be available and then download when it does.

The book I am currently reading is called The Orenda.  I am loving this book so far. I'm only about 1/3 of the way into it, but find it a hauntingly, beautiful story.  It's set in what will become Canada in the early 17th century. Told from the perspective of the 3 main characters, an Indian warrior, an Indian girl (from a different tribe) and a Jesuit priest.

Waiting on my bookshelf is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I haven't read very many classics and it may become one of my book club reads, so will give it a try.

The rest of the books I want to read are still on my "on hold" list and haven't become available yet to add to my bookshelf. I have quite a few reserved. That way, usually something becomes available often and I'm never without something to read. You just never know how long a wait it will be. And it's a hobby that I can spend hours a week on, for free.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

No cooking tonight

I got lucky again, and DH is out of the house all day today! What are the odds that would happen two times in the last 5 days? :)

His wealthy friend called him yesterday. He bought some expensive muscle car a couple of months ago. Only it's in another state! He's been waiting for the weather to get better to go and get it. He called DH to see if he was busy and would he want to drive over there with him so he can get his new car and DH can drive back the truck they drove over in. It's going to be a long day for him. A 7+ hour drive each way and they left at 5am.

So, I'm also a bit sleepy today. The alarm went off at 4:10. I did get up and make DH and egg muffin sandwich to take with him and then went back to bed. I didn't fall asleep right away and then when I did wake up it was a half hour later than I normally get up. 

DH said they should be back around 8pm (now it's sounds like 9pm), so he would just have me pick him up when they get back to friends place. It's only about 20 minutes away, but will be dark by then and they live on this long dirt road and then once you turn onto their ranch there are like 3 different driveways (there are 3 houses on the property) that you can't really tell which house they go to. I'm sure I'll end up taking the wrong one! Hopefully it will still be a little light out and I can see a bit.  I think I'm going to look at their place on google maps again, just to make sure I'm taking the right dirt road, in the first place. Regardless, it's not like you can get the 3 houses mixed up once you get to them - 2 are "regular" little houses, the one they live in is a HUUUGEE log home. Kinda hard to miss, haha. Their garage is bigger than our whole house, including our garage. LOL  It's for sale, if anyone has 4.75 million laying around ;)

It's so quiet here today.  The dogs are being sleepy heads and have been napping most of the day. I think I'm most happy about not having to make dinner. I'm getting burned out on having less choices than we used to have and while I know I can change that by finding new recipes to try, I haven't yet made the effort. We did find a good one skillet frozen Bertolli meal that we really liked, but they don't carry it here at the town grocery store, so I can't get anymore until we next trip to the city. I'll have to be sure to buy several to have on hand. It's definitely something we'd eat once a week (a chicken marsala and potatoes dish). I think we might also give our little grocery store's deli counter a try. They have fried chicken and such. For tonight, I think I'll just make myself some french toast and a slice of ham. I have some delicious black forest ham left from when I made the pasta salad for book club. I've been heating up slices for lunch this week. I'm sorry, I just cannot eat anymore pasta salad! It makes a huge bowl of it and dh won't eat it.

The health insurance question

It doesn't appear Obamacare is going to be fixed any time soon, if at all.  When the GOP has a majority house, senate and the white house and they can't even agree with each other, we aren't getting anywhere with anything. I don't know why that surprises me.

$6132 a year for insurance (for one) with a $5550 deductible is outrageous. DH and I are seriously considering dropping it, paying the fine (it would be about $2000) and putting the rest in our own bank account. I heard a statistic the other day that 12 million people aren't buying insurance and are opting to pay the fine instead. I don't blame them. In fact, I know a couple of them and they aren't young folks, either.

Another thing I kept hearing on the tv the last couple of weeks is  "people are just opting to not have insurance and just use the ER, where they then won't have to pay for their medical"......WHAT?! I don't think so.  If I take my DH to the ER, and he doesn't have medical insurance, you can damn well bet they are going to send me a bill AND expect me to pay it! Where the heck is this "news" coming from? I've heard it numerous times, even from the president's press secretary.

The fact that we would owe medical bills is the only thing that has kept me paying this exorbitant rate for extremely crappy insurance (lowest priced Bronze Plan available).  All's he's getting out of it is catastrophic insurance. Honestly, if it goes up again for next year (and of course it will) we probably will just not have health insurance anymore for him. If I was paying $511 a month for decent insurance with a low deductible, I'd be ok with it, but it's not even close to that, not to mention prescription coverage stinks too. Plus, with the Bronze plan, it only covers 60%. We're still going to have to cough up 40%, on top the the deductible - so if something major happens, we're going to owe a ton of money it really doesn't make much difference in the grand scheme of things whether we have insurance or not, it seems. If we have it and have a big emergency or illness, we're going to owe way more than we can afford (apparently even a broken ankle can cost up to $117,000) - if we don't have insurance and have a big emergency or illness we're still going to have way more than we can afford.

We'll just start taking that monthly premium and putting it in a savings account for medical bills. If something major happens - well then the provider will get what we've saved up, along with a $500 a month payment until it's paid off, I guess. So, 10 million people who couldn't afford health insurance now have it (for free, or cheap) and 12 million now don't have it, because they can't afford it now. Ridiculous. I'll have to do more research, but I read that if you have insurance for at least 9 months out of the year, you don't have to pay the penalty. We should know by late October/early November what the 2018 rates will be. We could cancel it then, if we decide and possibly at least not have to pay the penalty for 2017. Maybe by 2018 something new will be in place.

As I was writing this blog out, I read a post that Cindi over at ThriftyatSixty recently made about the cost of healthcare. As always, she has a great perspective on things.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Auto parts and trees

Sunday we drove over to the auto parts store here in town. Yes, we do actually have one in this little town. No, it's not open on Sunday. LOL.  We didn't really have anything else to do, so we decided to drive into the city and go to Lowe's. DH wanted some plastic edging stuff to go around the house, between the lawn and dirt area around the house. Make it look neater and then we'll put some plants and shrubs around in the dirt area.  He also bought a covered garden hose reel and a post hole digger tool. He will use that to hopefully make it a bit easier to dig holes for all the shrubs and thuja trees we plan to plant.

DH's friend knows of a wholesale nursery place about a half hour or so north of us. So, in the next weekend or two we are all going to go up and get some trees. Friend wants a bunch of trees for his place (he's still working on the landscaping) and we want a bunch of those thuja trees to add to our landscaping and add some privacy. We're going to finally use our little pull along dump trailer that DH traded for when he got rid of the big moving trailer. But first, dump trailer has a tire that keeps losing air, so when DH and friend were out exploring last Saturday they dropped it off at a tire place to get fixed and friend picked it up for DH yesterday after work. And it needed a new battery (that operates the dump part). When we traded for it the guy said it needed a battery and gave DH $200 in cash as part of the trade. That's what DH was expecting a battery to cost, too, so was pleasantly surprised yesterday, when we ran over to the auto parts store, that the battery was only $110, plus he bought a plastic box it sits in for $15. Hopefully we'll get to the nursery in the next weekend or two.

The weather this week is very cloudy and rainy. All the snow is gone and the grasses are starting to turn from winter brown to green. Temps in the low 50's during the day and just above freezing at night. Kinda gloomy here this week. We noticed a street sweeper (very old machine!) out yesterday. The streets are at least starting to look a little cleaner, rather than full of gravel from the sanding during the winter.

I was clearing out pictures on my ipad the other day and came across a bunch of pictures of all the flowers in full bloom at my old house. So pretty. I'm ready for some color around here! Still way to early though :(

Monday, March 27, 2017

Marriage and Money

DH spent the day with his friend on Saturday. He said they really didn't discuss friends problem(s) with the wife and kids not helping with the house and yard.......until the end of the day when they stopped somewhere to get some dinner. Then DH kind of got the even bigger picture. Not good. Sounds like friend is leaning towards a divorce, which is sad. I know there's two sides to every story, but I can sure kind of see his point as to why even be married.

Money, of course, is always a problem for most. What is the best way for a married couple to handle their money? For us, it has always been "jointly". We have one bank account. Our paychecks always went into the same account and bills were paid (by me, because that's just my accountant nature). There's never been a your money and my money. (other then a couple of bonus checks I received that I didn't tell DH about because I didn't want him to just blow and I put in savings. I didn't spend it on me).

Friend has been married 20 years now. In their relationship her money is her money. Though he knows how much she makes (quite a bit more than him) he never sees her paycheck or her money. He doesn't even have access to her checking account. Now, this might be a good thing if he were a spender, but  he is not, he's a saver and she's apparently the spender.  Again, this might work for some married people, but get this.....his bank account is joint with her! I don't get it. Her money is her money, but his money is her money too. How does that work? Obviously, it's not or it wouldn't be an issue for him.

He never knows what she has for credit cards. When they applied for the loan to build their house, he found out she had $20k in credit card debt he didn't know about, so because of that debt to income ratio hit, they had to wait 6 months for her to get it paid down to qualify. She has a car payment. He drives an old truck because that's all he can afford. He pays the majority of the house payment (she give him some towards it) and pays some other household bills. She pays a couple bills, her car payment and some of the food, kids clothes and stuff.

I could get handling money this way if both people make a LOT of money and have a LOT of money. But between the two of them, they make about what I make a year. Nothing extraordinary.

I guess I just don't get the being married and keeping money separate and splitting up bills. Especially when one makes more than the other - doing it that way would make the one who makes/has less always feel like they were broke. Let alone, there isn't much discussion on what purchases they make, because they don't do it as a couple.

Add in that kids are allowed to be mouthy and disrespectful to him and no wonder he doesn't want to be there anymore. Wife allows this disrespect and when he gets upset about it they all act like he's the one with the problem.  He does the grocery shopping and usually makes dinner. DH told him that he really didn't know what to tell him. He said if my wife had a husband who does all that you do, she'd be in heaven. If I had a wife like yours I'd probably be divorced. He did tell friend he needs to back up the OCD a knotch (this coming from someone is same way LOL) - that the carpet doesn't need to be vacuumed EVERY day just because he likes to see the line marks from the vacuum! But, on the flip side - yes they all need to pick up the damn dog poop that is everywhere: lawn, driveway, sidewalks, even inside garage!

I'm sure they will work it out and are just going through a rough patch, like we all do at times. I just found their money situation to be very strange, especially when they've been married for 20 years and have two kids. It might be a perfectly good way to do it, for some, but obviously it's not working for them, because friend is feeling resentful about it.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A good Saturday

Thursday night was my second book club meeting. Very fun. There were 6 of us again, all the same, except one didn't show up and a different one did. She was also very nice. Another beautiful home (though not near as big as our property neighbors house) on the river. Our property neighbor picked up myself and another in town and we rode together, which was nice because I'm not sure I could have found that house without some difficulty!

The ladies names are starting to sink in now and I was able to better figure out who they are/what they do type of thing. I already knew my neighbor works at the bank. One works at the high school, one is a retired nurse. The others are retired, I think.

None of us cared for this book. One of the ladies didn't even finish it. But, the discussion questions were pretty good, so at least we had good discussions about the topics of the book. Sisters and family relationships, etc. Again, we all brought something to the potluck. Pizza, chili, macaroni salad (mine), green salad, deviled eggs and cider.

I've already finished the April book. It was a quick read and I liked the book and one other lady already finished it and said she really liked it. Plus, I now know the books for the next few months. Two I have on reserve with the library for an e-book and I'm sure they'll become available by the time I need them read. If not, the book for July (a non-fiction history book) is available for download for $2.99, so I think I can manage that :)  Since it's non-fiction DH might be interested in reading it, too.

I'm also now on the book club email and one of the members just emailed a couple of book suggestions based on things we discussed last night. One was reading a "classic" and also a suggestion to read another non-fiction book. Another, who hasn't been to the meetings, emailed that she's been missing because her mom passed away and she's been taking care of that. She mentioned they are having a garage sale for her mom's house next weekend. It's just down the road from where we live, so I might go take a look around.

Upcoming book for April (that I finished a few weeks ago) is called Wonder, about a boy born with a disfigured face, told from his 10 year old perspective. A good book and I loved his sense of humor about life.

DH is out of the house today! His friend (the one who's can't get his family to help) and him are going "exploring". Since DH grew up in this area and spent a lot of time in all the forests (cutting firewood for their family business) they've been wanting to just drive around and hang out.

I stayed home and cleaned house. Stripped my bedding off and washed. My mattress cover pretty much disintegrated in the washing (or dryer). It's almost like the elastic part around the edges just melted. It is kind of old, but never had it do that before from washing. Time for a new one :/

I was inspired by Debt Girl to do a little video tape tour of my house. But now I have to figure out how to upload it. LOL. I tried to send it to myself via messenger, but says it's too big of file.  So, since I'm not that tech savvy, it might just end up getting canned. No body's missing much LOL.

House is clean, laundry is done. I think I'm going to have some lunch and just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Other people's problems

DH has a good friend who lives about a half hour away. They met years ago when they both worked for the same company and friend then moved to this area to settle, marry, have a family. He and his wife built a very nice house a little over 2 years ago. They have a nice big shop and it's all very nicely landscaped. All work that friend did himself. He's a hard worker and likes things to look nice.

He complains a lot to DH - his wife and 2 teenage kids are no help at all. Both he and his wife work full time. The kids are very able bodied teenagers (boy and girl) but they have never been required to do any chores. They have a dog about 2 or 3 years old. He's pretty well mannered and not a problem (other than of course he poops). They also have a 9 month old or so puppy who is a complete terror. The kids and wife just had to have him, but of course they do nothing to help train and take care of him. They now have 2 dogs pooping in the yard and no one wants to scoop poop. They didn't worry about it when it snowed and now of course see their nice yard is covered (they have a huge yard front and back) in poop everywhere. Friend will just end up cleaning it all up himself, rather than keep fighting with wife and kids over getting some help.  One time friend got home from work and told the girl to go pick up the poop in the dog kennel. She didn't do it and her reply was "no, you just asked if I would do didn't say I had to". And wife backs up the daughter about it. If they are home the kids just play video games and watch tv.

DH tries to "suggest" solutions. Have the kids take turns every day scooping up poop. It's about a 10 minute job. That's what our kids did! It was one of their jobs, as well as DD emptied the dishwasher and DS took out the garbage.

Friend also likes a clean house inside, which isn't happening whatsoever. They have this beautiful custom home and no one wants to pick up after themselves, so friend is crabby and grumpy and the wife and kids complain that he's angry and in a bad mood, so they make him take an antidepressant. I'm not sure he's the one with the problem!

Again, DH tries to suggest "what is so bad about having the kids help out and have some regular chores?" Friend makes excuses for the kids and wife isn't on board, so of course there is your problem right there. They have school and the boy has sports (always) so they shouldn't have to "work" too. I don't get it. No matter what, our kids had to help when told/asked. If there was a one time yard project or clean up, they were expected to help, in addition to their regular chores. And we were busy with kids activities too.

I will say it is much easier to keep up a clean house when you don't have kids around! It's made a world of difference in how I am able to keep up now. But, the friends still have a few years before that happens. Their girl is 16 and sounds like she can't wait to "be gone" at 18 but the boy is only 13. I have to laugh at someone like their daughter, who thinks she'll have life easier when she's on her own. LOL.Who then does she think is going to do all the stuff her dad does? (Plus he's the one who usually cooks their dinners)

They are always out and about going to sports, camping summer weekends, bbq's, etc. which makes it pretty hard to do housework or keep up with yard maintenance when you are never home. I think friend (and wife) wanted this nice home and yard, but really had no idea what it takes to keep it up, so now they are having strife and unhappiness.  You can't have it all. If you want a nice house (and can't afford to hire someone else to take care of it) then you'll have to give up some other activities. That's just the way it is.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Just this and that

With having Monday off, this week has gone by quickly. DH got a hold of the company he ordered the trailer tarp and parts from. I guess one of the poles was not broken, as he first thought. They are sending him the correct tarp and another part he needs that goes with that tarp. He asked how they wanted him to send back the wrong tarp and they said just keep it.  So, I suggested selling it on Ebay! of course that will not happen. It'll get hoarded with all the other stuff he never uses....sigh....

The weather was dry (though overcast) and in the low 50's yesterday so DH went out and did some yard work. There is a "dirt area" a couple of feet wide all along the back of the house, but it was up against the siding of the house in one area and too low in another so he shoveled into a wheel barrow and moved it and raked it. We'll probably put some shrubs in. Of course now he's totally sore and tired and will have to take a couple of days to rest.

I haven't been able to get him going on my building projects yet. He did go talk to a guy down the road who has some lumber laying out (covered sorta) that he apparently sells, but it's kinda wet and DH decided it wouldn't be good for what he is building. He really needs a table for his saw in order to make all these upcoming projects easier and I don't think he's figured out which one he wants yet.

For the past week or so he's taken up reading, which he has never/rarely done. Non-fiction and history type books. He's on his second book now, a historical account of a local guy from our area back in the late 1800's. A friend of DH's now owns the ranch that this "mountain man" settled, so he was interested in reading the book. 

I love that he is reading (not sure how long that will last) but of course he wants to buy the books. Even though I'm always reading something, I rarely buy books. It would just be too expensive. When we were at DD's this past weekend he picked up my ipad mini (which I use for social media and reading borrowed from the library e-books) and saw how big the Facebook posts and pictures were to read and look at compared to him always using his tiny iphone. DD has decided to get him an ipad mini for combo birthday/Father's Day gift. I'm hoping that way I can download for him books he might want to read, rather than purchasing them. I don't mind buying some books, but usually it's after I've read it and know it's something I just loved and would like to have. I do want to start up a library of sorts when we have our new house (and bookcases!) but plan to try to find used copies of the books I want, for the most part. At least now I can add a book or two as a Christmas gift idea for him. The funny part is he has to turn the tv down when he's reading, yet all these years I've had to read with him having the tv on. LOL. At least he's taking a break from watching the political news all day.

Tonight is book club and I read the book a few weeks ago and haven't even really looked at the questions. Guess that is what I will be doing for a lunch break today.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A good book and disaster prep

I just finished a good book that sure brought on the "what if's" thought process. It's a young adult book, which I didn't realize until I started it, but I've read lots of them that I've enjoyed and liked this one too. This book is called "Life as We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Written in diary style by a 16 year old girl and life on earth suddenly changes by a huge meteor crashing into the moon and sending it off kilter and closer to earth - thereby changing the tides, weather, etc. Suddenly they had to be prepared, very prepared.

So, in general, it really gets one to thinking, how prepared are we if something were to happen where we didn't have electricity, food at the stores, water even?

In the book the mother had enough forethought to get as much money as she could out of the cash machine, filled up with gas and had her 3 kids go to the grocery store with her to get all they could (as was everyone else) as soon as it happened (this was before the weather catastrophes hit), plus she already had a fairly well stocked pantry.

Are we prepared and for how long? I know we bought some emergency food (and some long lasting candles) a couple years ago. Honestly, now I can't even remember how many days it was supposed to last us. It's in a bin in the garage. I think it was like a 30 day supply. So for a short term emergency it would be fine, but not for months and months. What would we do for heat if there was no electricity? We have propane heat, but it needs electricity to actually run the furnace. We have city water (will have well water when we build our house) - would that still be coming through? We don't have a wood stove (the characters in the book did). We do have a generator, but that would only last as long as gas was available (in the book, what gas was available early on went up to $12 a gallon or more and could only buy 3 gallons limit at a time)

I know DH and I have discussed prepping to some degree, but that was back when we bought the emergency food and with moving being our focus the past year we haven't really thought about it any more. Our old "good neighbor" was quite the prepper. He will be very prepared, that's for sure and honestly, living there we kinda knew if a disaster hit for long term, we'd have him - cuz he's like family and he's got enough for us too.

So, if something happened right now -what do we have? Let's see... The 30 day (I think) emergency food stuff. Probably enough food in the house for maybe a few weeks, but not much fresh stuff, like milk, eggs and bread. Gas in our vehicles and I know DH keeps a 5 gallon can full, but I don't think he has more. Dog food for about 3 1/2 months (that's good). Enough toilet paper and detergent for a couple of months.

As I was reading the book, one of the thoughts I had was "why don't they make some bread?" Apparently they didn't think to buy yeast in their big shopping trip, but later found some the mom didn't remember buying earlier, so they did have some bread for awhile.

So, just off the top of my head, here are a few things I know we should buy/stock up on that I either don't have at all or have very little of:

Yeast and flour
powdered milk
more canned goods
a good first aid kit
a lantern or two

How about you? how prepared are you if stores were closed or out of food long term?

It is a book series and I just started the second book last night, just to see how it's all turning out for them.