Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Too many decisions

I took yesterday off work as a vacation day. We went to the city to make house decisions and get costs. What an exhausting day! We had 4 places we wanted to go. One was cabinets, the building supply place, flooring and a place that sell generators.  We decided to call ahead the day before to the cabinet place and the guy we were supposed to ask for at the building supply place. Wanted to make sure they had time for us sometime that next day. I called the cabinet place first, as it was on the way in, the town just before the city. I got her voicemail (of course!) and left her a message. I waited like an hour, hoping she'd call back and I could nail down a time with her first before I called the builder supply guy. Nope. So, I called him up to see what his schedule was like the next day and he said he was pretty open all day. Cabinet lady never did call back.

We decided to stop in her place on the way in yesterday morning and see if her showroom was even open yet or someone there to talk to. It was, she was the only one there, and with a customer, so we just kind of looked around and waited. She didn't even tell the customer she was working with "just a second" and come over to us to at least say "hi, I'll be with you as soon as I finish up here". We kept waiting. She was with them in one of the two showrooms, so I walked into that one, just to see if she would at least acknowledge me. Finally she did and said she'll be with us asap. We waited some more. DH just can't stand on his legs for that long and nowhere to sit. About that time her husband walked in (I guess he does the installing and other construction work) so we did get to chat with him a bit, but he wasn't too knowledgeable - mostly he just filled the time until his wife was done, LOL. Finally, after like an hour of waiting (she kept saying she was just about done) we got to talk to her. Cabinets are hard to pick out. Too many door styles and then what kind of finish and then what kind of wood. Anyhow, she is going to work up like 3 different "levels". Hopefully one is within the allowance the builder gave us. We also asked her about the price difference between laminate countertops and granite. She said laminate is like $36/sqft and there are some granites that start as low as $40/sqft. Hmm. Well then we're going to look at granite.

Then we went to the builder supply place. Thankfully that guy was available right away. We spent about 2 hours with him, I think. Doors, exterior and interior, windows, and siding. I had already emailed him a pdf of our plans, so he had actually printed them out big and used them to mark notes on. He was awesome and very helpful in steering us in things we would like and would not like.

Next stop was granite place the cabinet lady recommended. Well, the remnants start at $40. Stuff I liked was at $70. BUT, remnants sizes work great for like a bathroom countertop and we saw several we'd be happy with, saving money there and not much mor than laminate. At least we know the costs now.

Then we went to the flooring place. DH has been really wanted hardwood floors. Our friends put in "engineered hardwood" in theirs. I was under the mistaken impression that the engineered hardwood was better for durability (scuffs, scratches) than regular hardwood, but I guess it's not. Since we have 2 big dogs in the house, the salesman really recommended laminate. Which is what I really wanted in first place. I want maintenance free! We were able to show DH that there are high quality laminates, now pretty much waterproof, that is much better than the cheap stuff we put in our old house. He showed us one that is exactly what I was looking for! That was easy! For the 2 bedrooms and office we are going to carpet (not decided on masterbedroom yet) he suggested maybe using their remnants, too. We can get that very cheaply and save some money there, for sure. I'm not picky, as long as it's decent quality and a neutral color, for those rooms.  We also picked out some tile, that looks like stone, for the foyer and will use vinyl in bath's and laundry room.

By then it was 3pm and we were STARVING. Stopped at a mexican restaurant and DH has been craving carne asade for a year now. Haven't had any since we moved. It was really good and we will definitely eat there again, during city visits.

Our last stop was back at the masonry place we were at a few months ago and got samples, as we never got any pricing. It's all the same price per sqft, but depending on the style/type there is more labor involved in one style vs another. He gave us two names to contact for mason labor, so we can get the labor costs.  We are having the worst time trying to decide on a style for around the front bottom of the house and the fireplace. We came home with yet another sample.  We didn't  make it to a the generator place. Next trip.

Oh and the dr. office got a 30 day supply of his med now to the pharmacy, so we were able to pick that up, too.

We got home at 5:30. Poor doggies were in the house for 8 hours, but they did ok.  Today I am swamped at work trying to catch up for one dang day off.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Rock on!

DH met with H Co guy Saturday morning. He even mentioned that he met with the people who bought lot #7 last Sunday! So, wouldn't you think he would have gotten a hold of us to meet too? DH is kind of thinking he probably blew us off (probably based on crap like the ex sheriff said) but then when DH started calling around asking other contractors and asking locals who to call, word got around that he blew DH off twice and then he kind of had to call. Guy is supposed to get us a bid next week. He said he'd love to do our rockery (something he likes to do) and said that is going to be really  nice - I'd love to build it -  but DH said well, I think I've already got it handled with someone else I got a hold of last week.......(ie - you snooze you lose!)

Later in the afternoon Saturday, never hearing from rock hauling guy (what the heck is wrong with these people around here?) he called him up. He called back said he would deliver a couple of loads Sunday afternoon and the rest on Monday. He finally called around 12:30 Sunday afternoon. We were waiting for the call because he wanted DH to meet him at the rock quarry to make sure what sized/shaped rocks he wanted him to load. He lives 5 minutes from the quarry - we are like 20 minutes. We got out there and still waited a half hour for him. But at least dogs got a good run around exercise while we waited. These are big rocks! Like 2-4 feet big. Boulders, really. When he got there with his dump  truck, DH was like I recognize that truck - it's an old truck that a company he used to sub contract for years ago (two states away!). Turns out he was right - this guy bought it at an auction where they were getting rid of old trucks from that company. LOL.

It was like 2:30 by the time we left the quarry and leaving that little town, where they have a little drive thru burger joint we've been to several times. I was hungry so we decided to make it an early dinner and get burgers. They are slow as molasses, LOL, so by the time we got our order and got it home to eat it was 3pm. We then drove out to our property to make sure he'd dump the rocks where DH told him to. He got there a little after we did. Said he was going to try to do one more load, but I'd be surprised if he did. It would probably be dark by the time he could get back with the load. But hey! at least we have a start on something!!

Then DH was supposed to meet a paving guy at the property at 10am this morning, for a bid. He called at 9:30 saying his truck broke down about 25 miles out. He was waiting for a rescue, so wasn't sure if he'll make it today, now. Maybe later this afternoon or tomorrow.. Ok, whatever. LOL.

I'm taking tomorrow off work. We want to go into the city and look at things like doors, windows, cabinets, etc. Get an idea of what we want, what the price range is for the quality we want, and hopefully that will allow our builder to come up with numbers that are accurate come building time. Our friends gave us the name of the cabinet place they used. They are on the way to the city, so we hoped to stop there first. I called this morning. Can't get a hold of the lady, so had to leave a message. Our builder recommended a builder supplier that has a showroom, where he gets a lot of what he uses. I called them too, got transferred to the guy he works with voicemail, so now am waiting on that call back too. I didn't know if we needed an appointment with him or could just stop in. What do you want to make a bet that when we are ready to head into the city tomorrow, we still have no call back from either?!

But, DH is ticked pink at the rock being delivered. The guy who will be building the rock wall said he would be doing it like starting Thursday. It shouldn't take him more than 2 days, and with the size of the rocks we are ending up with, it will go quick. But, it's getting cold fast here! Ground is getting frozen, but at least no snow yet or forecast this week, so hopefully we can get this part done.  Hoping to be able to post a pic of the rockery at weeks end :)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

So, it's Saturday already

I still needed a couple more gifts for DD. She had on her list a throw blanket and a hair straightener. Last time I bought her one (years ago) it was an expensive $100 one she wanted. This time she said it didn't have to be expensive, just a basic one. I ended up buying online from JC Penney. I haven't bought anything from them for years. I used to have a JC Penney credit card. My very first card I ever got, at age 18. I had it up until we filed for bankruptcy. I had used it off and on over all those years, never once late making a payment. As soon as we filed they canceled my card and I haven't been back since. Swagbucks offered 10% cash back, so made for a decent deal, also with a JCP 25% off code.

Still no word on the rock being hauled to our property that he said would be yesterday or tomorrow (people in this area SUCK at working!)........BUT. guess who called yesterday morning? H Co guy! When he said who he was on the phone DH (who is usually a very friendly person) just said "yep?". Guy sounded very humbled, compared to the way he acted the other two times DH talked to him. Said he owed him a call. DH said "yep". He said got busy that one day, forgot and then couldn't find our number. DH was just like well if you want to take a look at at and give me a bid, feel free (it's not like we have to use him). So,he said Saturday and he did call back and DH is meeting there with him right now.

Then we had a big fiasco with DH's doctor office yesterday and his cholesterol med. OMG! It's ridiculous. His visit was in July. He's been taking 5 mg of generic Crestor. We explained he first tried Simvastatin and it made his muscles ache. The dr. put him on Crestor 5mg and that was ok.  Then a few years ago, after a cholesterol recheck the dr wanted him to up it to 10mg, so he did.....and had muscles cramps again, so it was back to 5mg. We explained this to this new dr. She wrote the prescription for 5mg and also did a cholesterol blood test. It was time to pick up his prescription this week and I got online with Target pharmacy to get it filled for pick up. He was out of refills. So, what? the PA gave him like a 5 month prescription? I logged into his patient account w/dr. office and requested a refill for 7 months. The nurse called and said because of his last blood work the dr(PA) wanted him to go up to 10mg. I said well, he really doesn't want to do that and explained the muscle problem. She then said well, if he doesn't want to take 10mg then he'll need to come in and talk with the PA. I said well, he's almost out, so we'll need one refill until he can get an appointment. She says she'll call one in for 7 days and transfesr me to the front desk to make appt. She disconnects me instead. Before I called back I said to DH - either just try the 10mg or get the 10mg and take it every other day, like you did before. I call back and end up talking to front desk and say I want the nurse to know he'll go ahead with the 10mg and IF he has a problem with it, like he did in the past, then he'll come in for an office visit.

Yesterday morning I log into Target pharmacy to make sure it's filled, before we get there that afternoon. All's that got filled was the 5mg for 7 days. Obviously she didn't get the message. I called the dr. office and talked to the receptionist again, repeating he'll go ahead and try the 10mg and IF he has an issue, then he'll make an appt. She said that is what she told the nurse and put me on hold, came back and said the nurse thought she called it in for 10mg but she must have done 5mg, so she will call the pharmacy. We get to the pharmacy and they have the 10mg filled......for SEVEN days. OMG. I said, no it's supposed to be for 30 day supply and several refills. So pharmacy calls dr office and we go off to shop for a few items. We get back to the counter and she tells us the dr office won't fill it for 30 days unless he comes back in. Good Grief! He was just in there several months ago. He doesn't need to go in for another stupid $400 visit (that's what the first visit cost) to see a PA for cholesterol discussion. We left with no prescription. Like we told the pharmacist - it's a 2 hour round trip to come back while the stupid dr. office figures this out! I called the dr. office when I got home and ended up talking to someone completely different than the first two times. Basically I said either fill it for 5mg or 10mg (we don't care) and for 7 months, until it's time for him to go back in for his yearly check up, or never mind.  The only reason she told me he needed to come in to see the PA was when I said he didn't want to take then when he agreed to 10mg. he still needs to go in?

I'm tired of being annoyed by people who can't do their job effectively.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

If I could have thought of a title, I would have posted this hours ago!

The wheels are verrry slowly starting to move forward this week. The builder finally emailed back (hey, took him only a week and a half) about where to go to look at things like windows, doors, etc. He gave us the name of a building supply place he says he uses for a lot of that stuff. It will at least give us ideas and cost ranges. We are going to go visit there next Tuesday and see what we can accomplish.

Haven't heard back from the guy DH met with on Tuesday, who said he could probably haul the rock in Friday or Saturday. I'm going to hold my breath and see if that really happens.

Nothing much else is new. We are going into city this weekend to stock up on groceries and pick up prescriptions. I didn't realize DH's doctor only gave him a 3 month prescription on his cholesterol med. Why? LOL. why not just do it for the year? So, I had to log into his health account w/doctor office and request them do the refill. If they don't get it to pharmacy by tomorrow, I guess we can pick that one up when we are in the city on Tuesday.

My office has an account with Staples for office supplies. I've always thought it very "behind the times" that you can't view invoices and pay them online. I mean really, who can't you do that with nowadays?! Well, today I received Staples statement and it says they now offer online bill paying. So, I log in (the login our receptionist uses to order supplies) and don't see anything where I can pay. They have an "account chat" feature so I open it and ask about paying online. I then get transferred, via chat, to another dept, who tells me she turned now on the feature for our account and to log out and then log back in. I do, but do not see any payment feature/option. Of course my chat box is closed now, so I open again and ask the next person that answered the chat question. She transfers me. I explain again and that person says "I'm sorry, we do not offer online payments". OMG! I said well Amanda just told me she turned it on, your statement says right on it that you do......I literally ended up being "on hold" via chat for 45 minutes while she researched it. She kept checking back and thanking me for waiting, she was checking with her supervisor, etc. I was starting to get annoyed and about ready to just say "oh never mind" and close the chat, but I decided to be nice. Obviously she was working on it, probably getting stressed on her end that she was keeping me on hold forever and couldn't figure it out. I just replied "ok, I'm still here😀.  I guess it's a new option and they don't know how to turn it on. I was then referred to call another dept.  I think I'll just keep paying by check. LOL.

I haven't heard anything about the cookie exchange that was mentioned at my book club meeting in October. The woman who was going to do it must have changed her mind. No email about it. I'll probably just make my cookies the weekend of the 15th then.  I was looking forward to being able to get a variety of cookies to have. Oh well.

I usually just make my mom's sugar cookie recipe for our Christmas cookies. They taste yummy, even though they are a pain to make and when I make them they always poof out and lose the Christmas cookie cutter shape detail, so some of them you can't really tell what they are supposed to be. If I was doing the exchange I didn't want to share some mutant looking cookies, so I was going to make "Mexican wedding balls" that my mom used to also always make.  I was going to make a pumpkin pie for Christmas dinner, (I've still been craving it) but again, I'm the only one that likes it, so messaging with DD we decided to try making a peppermint bark cheesecake, instead, while she is here over Christmas.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Trudging through Wednesday

I talked to my boss about some various things she called to chat with me about. The best news - we are getting a bonus at the end of next week! I'm not exactly sure how much, but I'm assuming the 5% amount. She was calling me from her cell phone while she was getting a hot chocolate at Starbucks (LOL) and it wasn't the best connection. She said even the other managers do not know it's being paid out. Nobody thinks they are getting it, since we haven't made the sales goal. Mostly she had to fill me in because I'll have to make sure money is transferred from our money market account to checking to cover the bonus checks....and she knows I will not spill the beans to anyone.

I did ask her why she thought our sales were down, given the booming economy there and we've always made our sales goals, except in 2009. She said we are having some issues with customer service quality, we are starting to get a reputation of being hard to work with and also with issues between departments. She said there was one job that was $150,000 and 25 people had worked on it!! That's almost half our whole staff! not to mention that is a smallish order! We have the same managers we've always had, but a couple more people in each dept, seems to be more than everyone can handle.

I'm also getting a $500 bonus from my side job, so that is great (last year it was $1000) too. Every extra helps, for sure.

Well, what do you know, the site work contractor guy who said he would meet at property on Tuesday actually did! DH is having him start with bringing us 6 loads of rock. We hope - Dh said he seemed a bit flakey, but said he could deliver either Friday or Saturday. We'll see. It sounds like this guy will let us rent his equipment, for this other guy (who operates but doesn't have his own equipment) to install the rockery wall. He said he doesn't know how do to rockery walls so wouldn't feel comfortable doing that part. Let's hope this is someone who can/will do the job. He's from the same county, but lives in next town west.  And the phone just rang from one of the paving companies DH had called. Said he's been out of town for 2 weeks, but is interested in the job. So, at least we are making a tiny bit of progress. We also found out this is the same paving company that paved our property neighbors place. So, we're making a tiny bit of progress this week, at least.

This guy also mentioned he thought the reason we are not getting anyone to get back to us is because they only want to deal with builders/contractors. Ok, that is understandable, but then DON'T tell us you are going to meet with us (twice) and then don't and don't even give the courtesy of a call. A simple "sorry, I only work with contractors" would have saved everyone a lot of time and aggravation. As it stands now when our builder gets around to using subs, you can guarantee we will not letting him use "H Co".

I tried the elk hamburger meat in tacos last night. Tasted fine to us. It must have smelled very different to one of our dogs. He had his nose in the air sniffing all over LOL.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Spinning wheels

So here is what DH tried to accomplish last week in regards to building a house:

Called 3 paving companies for bids. Only one called back and emailed a bid.

Emailed our builder to ask for the list of suppliers he said he could get to us for the bids we will (attempt!) to get on doors, flooring, cabinets, etc.  No reply back.

Called 4 (or maybe it is 5 or 6 now) contractors about getting a bid on our excavating work that will need to be done. (see previous post). We maybe have one from the next county coming, but they also have not set up a date to come look at it. I think it was 4 from local here and 2 from next county (where the bigger city is, so more options on contractors). One of the out of county one's said they could probably come out Saturday and would call....of course that didn't happen, either. One local guy said he could probably get out to the property on Tuesday, so we'll see if he calls today.

Two and a half weeks ago called fence guy (the one we already used to fence this house) and he said he could come out in a week and a half and would call. No call.

Stopped by the county planner office (which consists of one guy and his assistant) to ask two easy questions. He wasn't there so gal had DH write them down on a piece of paper. No call back.

I'm sure I'm probably missing another item he tried to get accomplished.

I told DH that maybe he just needs to think of handling it like we do where I work. People don't get back to an email request, we keep sending follow ups until it gets done.

Like I told DH - worse comes to worse, we just have builder bring in his site work sub contractor. He had just thought (as well as we did) that we could probably save some money by having a local guy do it, as well as part of our goal was to try and spend the money here local, if possible.  Are these town people just stupid or what? You've got someone who wants to spend a few hundred thousand dollars in your small local economy and the local business's don't want the money? just dumb.

Friday evening our property neighbor emailed about their water softener system. DH had mentioned to them before he'd like to see their set up, as it's not something we've ever had before. She just had her salt delivered and that reminded her about Dh wanting to see it sometime. I emailed her back that it was no rush, and the way things were going it would be a miracle if the house ever got built! and a comment about how we can't get anyone local to bid the site work. She of course emailed back and said "did you call H Co?" So, I emailed her back that yes we called him first.....and twice! and he was supposed to meet DH Tuesday (two weeks ago now) and never called. She was like wow! his wife works where her DH works and tells people at work that her DH (H Co guy) is looking for work!

I'm sure we'll figure it all out eventually, but it's going to be extremely annoying dealing with all these bozos.

The people we bought this house from? The guy works for DH's millionaire friend and they have been working/living in an rv (him and wife), out of state, on a job this past year. They are back for awhile and now staying in their rv on another the lot millionaire friend has in town. DH saw his pickup in town the other day. They had left a box of vhs tapes down in the crawlspace, so DH decided to take them over to them (they had totally forgotten they even had them down there).  Want to hear what the (now ex) head sheriff said about DH to them, when they ran into him at a football game and asked something like 'how's the people that bought our old house doing in the neighborhood" (knowing they had problems with renter neighbor all those years) and his reply?! "oh, he just brought all is issues with him from wherever he came from". That ex-sheriff (he quit recently) is such a total piece of #*%&. He had lied to us and said the sheriff dept never had to come out to deal with our neighbor until we called. Ex-owners of our house said that is a flat out lie. They were there all the time. They said they came home one night to find every cop car there...the high school daughter was standing outside in the back yard by herself and they asked her what was going on. She said her stepmom held a gun to her head..........ya, and we're problems in this town. Unbelievable!

My week didn't fare as well on some things I ordered online. One of the cups in the set of dishes I ordered has a chip. I ordered DH a pair of a pair of boxer shorts.  I ordered a shirt for myself, in Medium, but it's too big.

I did just score a brand new nice office chair, though! My boss sent out an email to all employees to pick a chair (out of 3 choices) for the new office they are moving into. My chair seat cover here at home is literally disintegrating on me, wearing out. I knew if I sent my boss an email that I would like one of those with a winky face, she'd offer to get one for me. I don't usually do that kind of stuff, but shoot.....I need a chair.....if I worked physically at the office I'd have a new chair......and the company can certainly afford to give me a chair. So there!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Weekend update

I had a fun day Saturday. My neighbor across the street called up and wanted to see if I wanted to go to some holiday craft bazaars with her, her mom, and another lady. Heck ya - I'd love to get out of the house! We started out at the grade school bazaar. It was a pretty decent one. I ended up buying 4 handmade soaps (buy 3 get one free) and a lotion bar. She had lots of soap scents to choose from and I think friend and I sniffed all of them LOL. Then we went over to another one being held at the old original town school building. It wasn't much there at all, though I did buy a raffle ticket for a beautiful quilt and the money benefits the senior center. My property neighbor was working at that one, so got to say hello to her. Her hubby was playing Santa, but that part hadn't started yet, so I didn't get to see him. I can certainly see him as a jolly Santa type.

Then we stopped in next door to the florist/gift/coffee shop. I had never been in there before. What a cute place and decorated with lots of Christmas things for sale. The coffee smelled yummy and they also sell some sandwiches, as well as the florist part.

Next stop was the next town over. We stopped at a cafe to have some lunch first. The local ladies I was with were familiar with it, but hadn't been there in a long time. Apparently it's not as good as whoever used to own it. Very poor service. The coffee was luke warm and she didn't even bring the water and coffee until our order. But the conversation and company was fun. After we went to a big gift shop there in town. It's kind of a tourist stop place, but lots of stuff and lots of Christmas stuff out for sale this time of year. It's all really too pricey, but I did pick up a book on smoker/bbq recipes for dd's BF and a stocking stuffer for DH - where you can make your own little bit of "snow", since he's constantly whining if it isn't snowing.

Friday evening my SIL texted me that she was at a furniture store looking at a chair for her parents Christmas present. As I mentioned before she's not had much luck finding anything, especially in the price range she set. Well, this one was $950, what did I think (pics sent)? I told her it was ok with us and she said she was waiting to see if the salesperson could get the price any lower. He came back with like $660, $129 delivery/set up and $230 for a 5 year warranty, plus 10% sales tax, bringing the total to $1155 to be split 3 ways. Ugh, but oh well. SIL really wanted the warranty.

Then she texted me that she had googled the name/brand of the chair and found it for sale online for $603, no shipping and no tax! Sale price good thru the next day. But she didn't think then they could get a warranty. I said for $500 less, if the chair dies in a few years we can buy another one! Her DH said the same. Then I got online and looked it up on the site she was trying to look at via her phone. Found the 5 year warranty was also offered - for only $70! Saturday morning she ordered it. She did opt for an extra $50 for door delivery rather than free curbside delivery. They have a steep driveway and this would be better. So, I was only out $242, rather than $383. Much better! Plus she got to try it out in person, so knows she is getting what she wants for them. I would have spent probably $50 on a gift for her and her DH, which we decided not to exchange this year, due to the higher cost of the chair, so really the chair cost to me was like $192.

Of course, the one contractor from the city who said they could probably come out Saturday did not. I'll have another post about all that coming soon.

Friday, December 1, 2017

November update

November is already over and it's time once again to do a monthly review and update.

The biggest change I'm excited about is my credit score. Last month it ended at 737. A check today and it is now 740!! I finally made it to the "very good" level and what most lenders use as the criteria for better rates.  This will be very good (I hope!) for applying for a construction loan/mortgage. When I was applying for mortgage a year and a half ago, I was in the low 700's.

I'm also excited that today it has been 7 years since our bankruptcy was discharged. All the banks told me I needed to be 7 years past in order to qualify for a conventional loan. I have read that it can be 7 years and sometimes 10 years before the BK will not show on your credit report. As of today, it's still there, but at least for lending purposes (unless they've changed their rules again) I am good to go. Between that and my better credit score, I think we should be able to find a construction loan.

I think we've done pretty good post bankruptcy. Stayed out of debt.  Have one credit card, for emergencies and have rebuilt our credit and increased our net worth some. I do have some store credit cards, but don't use them too often and always pay in full. I basically just used them to help rebuild my credit, once I was able to start getting approved for them.

My 401k increased $1955 to $73,875. Getting close to $75,000! Maybe by end of December? Technically speaking, it will be over that, the money just won't be there for several months after that. The year ends and we earn 3.4% profit sharing and our 50% company match, which is a bit over $4000, in total, that will be added to my account.

M-Turk. I was doing well until Thanksgiving week, where I pretty much didn't do anything. Then for some reason I have had trouble getting back to it this week. I finally did a few dollars yesterday and have done a couple of dollars today and I'll try more during my lunch break. I earned about $67 for November.

Google ad sense: $20.83, so it takes me about 5-6 months to get the payment for $100

Swagbucks - really pathetic again. $5.67. It's just much easier to earn money on M-Turk (when I do it!)

In work news, still keeping my fingers crossed on the bonus payout ($3900) for year end and a bonus from my side job. Today I submitted to my boss a proposal for a new method in completing one of the aspects of my job. Tracking down commission discrepancy issues. I just do not have the hours available each month to get to the number of discrepancies I come across every month, especially with the way I have always had to work on resolving them. There are just too many.  I have asked for her feedback in making a change to the procedure, which will also have to get approval from our project management supervisor (as her group has to research my requests). She actually emailed me right back and loves the idea and emailed the pm manager right away for her input.  That manager just emailed back this morning that she is fine with that idea. This should make my job easier and more importantly we'll probably get back more money owed to us that is slipping through the cracks now.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Just WOW!

These small town people are something else!  So, last summer we wanted to get some of the site work started. For starters, we needed a bunch of trees and brush cut down (dozer and backhoe type work) and the hilly area the trees sat on cut down and leveled out with rest of the ground, and DH wanted the driveways roughed in. He asked around who to call, since we aren't familiar with any of the locals who do this type of work. I'm not sure how he got the name of the guy he did, but the guy has some equipment, came out and looked at what we wanted done, said it was 2-3 days work (as DH figured) and he could do it. He brought out his dozer and backhoe on a Sunday and proceeded to work the afternoon getting started. The night before the big wildfire in our area had started. He called Sunday night said he got called to go help on that, but would have another guy run his equipment and finish out the job. Guy did a great job. We paid the contractor for renting his equipment and paid the operator for his time. It all worked out the same.  At the time DH asked this contractor, who owned the equipment, if he does the other "more detailed" type of site work we will need done in the future, and he said no,  he just likes to do the "rough in" type of work. No problem.

So, we are trying to get bids for the "more detailed" type of work we will need done. Everyone recommended "H Co". He does really good work, but he's pricey. Ok, so DH called him first. See previous post about this guy not calling back....twice now. So, DH called up the guy that did the operating on our first project, would he be interested in bidding on it or part of it (especially the rock retaining wall).  He met DH out at property today and suggested if DH could rent a loader from that first guy (who he did the operating for) and he'd have our side rock wall done in like 2 days. DH gets home all excited about it and calls up the equipment guy. He's maybe....

Get this: when he did our rough in work this guy who owns "H Co" obviously saw him doing it (again, small town). Apparently they had a "gentleman's agreement" between contractors that guy#1 would only work certain types of jobs, ie only those needing a grader, but apparently guy#1 had a little earlier bought the dozer and backhoe, so that made "H Co" guy mad and he went and bought a grader. Then he saw guy #1 working on our lot and is upset. And apparently H Co guy is telling people our job is his job. WTH?!! He hasn't even called us back to bid the job - after we have asked him TWICE now. That was kind of the vibe DH got from the out of county contractor DH talked to (from the teleco job) yesterday, that he didn't want to step on H Co guy's toes.

So, let me get this straight - we apparently can only use H Co, because no one wants to make him mad, but H Co guy can't be bothered to call us/meet with us. Are you following all this still? OMG!

Ya, well, screw H Co guy. Our builder (from out of county) was willing to work with us and let us use some local contractors (ie give some of the work to help local guys), but we don't have to use them. It's OUR money. We are paying them. We get to decide who gets our money, not H Co guy. And H Co guy, you just screwed yourself out of the job you apparently think is yours to have. H Co guy also owns the septic/sani-can company in town. It won't be his sani-can sitting out on our property during construction either!

Like I told DH - the local contractors relationships with each other are their deals - but when the one and only local contractor we can (apparently ) use won't call and take care of us, that's our issue.

Things that make you go hmmm...

Ok, so I've mentioned we had to have the phone line run from the corner of our subdivision to our property. We requested this back in July. We mentioned it several times to our property neighbors - mostly mentioned because months were going by and still not getting done. But we also said we had asked the telephone company about how they bring it in, as of course, no one would want them digging up neighbors paved driveway! No, they dig underneath it, we were told, and we told neighbors this.

So, without notice, but a phone call Tuesday morning from tele co that they were there (actually it was a subcontractor company teleco uses for this work). DH was out there for a bit, talking with them, but their "boring" machine that would go underneath the paved driveway broke. So DH came home.  Last evening we got an email from property neighbors saying "we were so surprised to see teleco out there! They didn't call and tell us they were coming! But, while they were there M worked out a deal to get them to dig our ditches for the walnut grove trees we want to plant on our lot on the other side of us (they own first two lots)." I replied back we didn't know they'd be there today either, but we've only been trying to get them out there since July!

DH goes back out there yesterday morning and they were just finishing up. DH was really happy with how they "cleaned it up", even leaving the neighbors area looking better than it did. The lead guy (it's his company) says well, ya we try to.....but your neighbor wasn't too happy about us being here. Dh was like huh? WHY? Apparently after DH left there Tuesday, neighbor guy came home, screeched up to a stop and starts yelling at them "what are you doing on my property?! get off my property!". Well, FIRST off they were not on HIS property - they were in the Utilities Easement of the road in front of the 7 lots, where they have every right to be! They had bore (or were in the process at the time) underneath his driveway to pull the phone lines through to get them down to our property, as of course they would have to do (and eventually for all the lots). There is no other way. The lead guy says they deal with that kind of attitude and response from people all the time, so to appease him they agreed to dig the ditches for his trees! OMG! WTH?!! What is wrong with people? So neighbor didn't "make a deal" (as we assumed wife had meant he paid them a bit, since they were already out there on our job) - No, he bullied his way into making them feel like they had to appease him. That is total crap in our book. We do not operate that way at all. DH was pretty flabbergasted to hear this about our neighbor.

Tuesday, when DH was talking with the lead guy about who's building our house and who's doing the excavating, he says "so you're using H Co?" DH says well, I've asked for a bid......(wondering how he knew this?). Then yesterday morning, as DH is talking to him, DH asks him what all type of work his company does? do they do excavating type work too? He said yes, they do it all, even the rock retaining wall. DH says "well, if you are interested I'd love for you to give me a bid" He says well, if you are using H Co, he's actually a good friend of mine and I wouldn't want to step on his toes/local work for him (this guy is from city). DH says ya, speaking of H Co, how did you know I wanted to use him? "well, you told me" DH thinks to himself " I didn't....". So, then DH says well, to be honest I have called H Co twice now and the first time he said he'd call me back Fri (two week ago) or Mon (last week) and he didn't and I let it go because it was holiday week. Then I called him again Monday and he was supposed to meet me out here yesterday and didn't and has never called me back. I'm not going to beg someone to take my money. So, I've already got another company coming out Saturday to give me a bid, and if you want to bid it, feel free. DH gave him a copy of his site drawing and he gave DH his business card. He got an email last night that they want to bid it.

This is a weird place to live..........LOL.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

At a turtles pace

There are about 3-4 guys that have small excavating companies here locally in our county. Everyone we talked to seemed to highly recommend one guy. "He does the best work". This is the guy that DH called over 2 weeks ago. When he returned DH's call he said he was out of town that week and would call DH the following Monday (of Thanksgiving week). He never did and DH figured short work week, he got busy, etc. So, DH called him again on Monday of this week. The guy almost acted like he didn't even remember talking to DH about our project (weird) and then he told DH he was bidding a job in town yesterday morning and when he was done with that he'd call DH to meet him at our property. No call whatsoever. WTH?! DH will not be contacting him again.  In the meantime yesterday afternoon he contacted another guy to get a bid. This guy seemed (and I use that word lightly around here!) much more interested and said he'd get back with DH on meeting up. But again, no one around here gives much in the way of firm dates.....and then they never call back. DH told him he's really trying to use as much local contract work as possible - you know, keep the money flowing into our county's businesses....(isn't that what you are supposed to do, right?)

He also talked to his friend last night (who works construction industry) and the one who our builder built his house. He called back this morning and talked to the excavating company that did his work (they are local to his town/next county over) and they would really like to bid the job and will come out to our property on Saturday. Our lot is about 25 miles out from where they are located, so not too far of distance. DH's gut feeling is that's probably who we will end up going with. If these local guys can't even be somewhat responsive, well then that's their loss, I guess. We tried. He also got an email back with a bid from one of the paving companies (there are no local pavers), but they are out of the city, so you'd expect them to be a little bit more on the ball. But he hasn't heard back from the other two he asked for bids from on paving.

He emailed our builder Monday afternoon/evening, asking for the list of places he said he would recommend we get the bids from for the things like cabinets, doors, flooring, etc. Still no email back from him on that. Sigh....this is going to be a very slow long process, that's for sure.  I remember when I was applying with the local (in the city) lender for our loan for this  house. She was so amazed that I always emailed right back and was so organized and had all the docs she would request right away. Well, ya, that's how it's done! LOL. That's what I liked about our realtor we used - he was very on the ball and responsive.

Speaking of slow companies...the telephone company finally showed up at our property yesterday to run the phone line down to our property. We only started this process to request that get done last July! They had to bore under our neighbors paved driveway and then dug across our two roughed in driveways to set up the phone pole on the other side of our property next to the electrical box. Via email last night our neighbor said it looked like they got done and did sweep up the road after themselves. DH is on his way out there now to take a look at it and then he will stop on his way back through town at the propane company and get the bid on purchasing a 1000 gallon propane tank and having it buried.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Just in waiting and hoping mode

I have been pretty convinced that we would probably not be getting our second half of our yearly bonus at the end of December. At the company meeting in October they adjusted the year to date sales goal down some, but there was really no way we were going to make that even. For some reason sales are down this year (first time in many years), though our commission % rate is up, so it's kind of evened the numbers out.

But, my boss emailed me yesterday, asking for the total that we paid out in July for bonus's.....that's a good sign that they are looking to pay out something next month, at least. I sure hope so. I have never ever counted on that bonus, but this was the one time I was. It's still not for sure, but I am now at least hopeful we'll get something. I'm also really hoping I get a bonus from my side job. They have been kind of hit or miss with them, but most years I have gotten something. Last year was $1000.

Then my boss sent out an email to all employees last night about a short notice year end company meeting in 2 weeks. I kinda thought since it was almost December, combined with we probably weren't getting bonus payout, that they decided not to have a meeting. I asked my boss if she wanted me to fly over for it, but she said not really necessary. I'm kind of glad. I like a bit of time to get in the mindset to go back to all that chaos over there LOL. We decided I'll wait and get over there in Spring, so I can see the new office they move into.

We are still dealing with contractors/supplies around here who are as slow as molasses getting back to us. But, hey, the telephone company finally called this morning and were out at our property bringing in the phone line down to our's only been since July we've been trying to get them to do that. DH called a site work guy about doing the septic/drainfield, foundation dug, rock wall..two weeks ago. He said he would call back last Monday. of last week and he never did. Ok, it's was a short week. So, DH called him again yesterday morning. He said he would call DH today to meet up with him out at the property. It's noon and still no call. He also called our fence guy two weeks ago to get a bid, he said he would come out last week and never called. Again, ok, it was a short week, but no call from him this week, either. What do ya gotta do to get people to work around here? It's ridiculous. Yesterday he called 3 asphalt companies to get bids started and had to leave messages with all of them. So far only one has called him back.

I usually wait until the last day of the month to check my credit score and see if any changes (for my month in review post). But, I checked it yesterday, as I was online with my credit card (making sure my payment to pay my tires balance was showing as paid in full). It's up two more, now 739. Just 1 away from that "better" 740! Hopefully by January, when applying for a construction loan, it will be at the 740.

Monday, November 27, 2017

it's all about shopping for now

My SIL wants to get my in-laws a new recliner for Christmas and have us and one of DH's brothers chip in/split it 3 ways. She wants to get one of those power lift kind and also one that has an electric headrest. But, it appears her initial budget of around $500 isn't finding anything (I didn't think it would, when a regular recliner costs that much). I guess she had seen one she liked and in the price range at a local to her furniture store, but when she went there over the weekend it was sold and apparently a "closeout", so they can't order her another one. I tried to look online to help her find one, but wasn't finding much that has both features and is cloth, not leather. So, it looks like our budget is going to have to increase.  I emailed her this morning, trying to think of a tactful way to say let's not exchange gifts with each other this year and we can put it towards the parents gift. She thought that was a great idea. We'd probably spend $50 on each (couple) other, so that is $100 more we can put towards the chair.

Our neighbor friend across the street gave us some "elk hamburger" to try. I'm kinda scared to try it LOL. Will it taste too "gamey"? They do have it mixed with some regular ground beef, to give it some fat.  DH was over in his garage while he was working on some of the cutting up and our dogs were with him. He had his deer and elk heads laying on the floor. One dog sniffed it, wasn't really interested one way or the other. Our younger dog didn't want anything to do with it. LOL. He even left the garage.

I had several gifts to order online, so I decided to wait until today "Cyber Monday" to see if they were any cheaper. Nope, not a one.  DD had several things to order (also from Amazon) and she put them in her cart, but had not ordered yet.  She texted me that she got an alert email from Amazon that one of the gifts for DH (it's a solar powered phone charger, for emergencies) went on a "flash sale" for half off - saving her $15! She was so excited. Then she had some slippers in her cart for herself and they went on sale and she saved $4. I was at least happy that I had $34 in my Amazon payments account (from M-Turk) to put towards my order.  She went shopping by herself yesterday for Christmas decor stuff. She kept texting me and said her trunk looks like Christmas exploded in it! Then when she got home she video chatted me so she could show me all her cute stuff and good deals. She had received a $50 Bed Bath and Beyond card for her birthday, so got lots of cute stuff that was on sale. She found some cute, really cheap stuff at Ross (always good for decor) and then a few things at Target.

I also placed a big Target order online, as everything was 15% off today. I ordered some normal purchases. The dog's brushing chews were buy one get one 50% off, plus 15% off, so that was a good deal, as those things are pricey. I also got myself a "gift". Last year DD had gotten me a set of dinnerware that I totally love. It's 4 place settings and I'd really like to have 8. I was hoping it would go on sale, but it's not. I did have two "promo" codes though. One for a $10 gift card with a $15 home purchase and one for a $10 gift card with a $50 purchase. The dishes are $60, less the 15% off all online orders today, less 5% for using Target red card, then I will get the $20 in gift cards, so it's like getting the dishes for more than half off. Maybe I'll get 2% back in Swagbucks, the list of ineligible items doesn't say home purchases.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Just Sunday morning chit chat

I was wondering why I got zero Swagbucks for my recent $50 Target online order. Well here's the reason:

Toys and electronics,Baby care (diapers, wipes, formula), all gift cards, prepaid cards, school & office supplies (paper & art supplies), Pharmacy (including OTC), Sweet JOJO, Target Photo, Apple, video games and consoles, contract mobile phones, books, magazines, music, digital entertainment, One Spot, Hardlines, sports and fitness equipment (bicycles, team equipment, indoor and outdoor recreation, etc.), grocery (food, beverage, fruit, meat, produce, frozen items, soda, coffee, candy, snacks, dairy, bread and baking supplies, sushi, deli, liquor, beverages, household commodities, etc.), pets, health, personal care and beauty items (cosmetics, hair care, etc.), Starbucks, Target Cafe & Pizza Hut Express are not eligible for SB.

Basically, nothing at all is eligible! about the only thing that would qualify would be clothing. Oh well, I still get 5% savings using my red card, so that helps.

I just saw a pic come across Facebook of my 4 cousins. The last time I saw one of my cousins (she is a twin) was in 2009. Holy moly! She must weigh 300 pounds now. She was always a regular sized woman. My mom has talked to my aunt (her mom) off and on and she said that after her divorce (which was a bit before 2009, if I recall) she has just gone downhill into depression. But I didn't realize the weight gain, too.  I guess she lives with her mom and they live in a super tiny apartment and cousin doesn't work anymore. Very sad. I'm glad she has her mom to be with. Her twin and brothers don't live near them.

Linda (Practical Parsimony) asked for more pics of lights and decorations. Here are a couple. I still need to try to get some good indoor pics

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Decorating day

Whew! The lights are up and the house is decorated. It took us both just about all day. At least it was warmer outside this year, so DH didn't freeze trying to do it all. My new tree was a job. Sure, it all drops down when you get the parts set up, but then you have to separate all the individual branches. And I'm OCD when it comes to them all being perfect, so it took me like 2 hours just to do all that (and by then my back was killing me being bent over the branches). But, at least I didn't have to put lights on it. LOL. I really like the tree and it's nice having a green tree again (used a white one with blue and silver decorations for last several years). I don't think I ever would have spent $400 for it though!

I have 4 big bins of decorations (plus a few other items here and there in closet, cupboards). I was happy that, with my new sofa table DH made me this past year, I now had somewhere to put some of my Christmas village houses. It always makes me sad when I get to the box that has our Christmas stockings in it and then I have to see the one with our son's name. Then it makes it hard to enjoy decorating the rest of the house/tree. I need to just start remembering to do the stockings last, I guess. There are quite a few ornaments with his name, he made as a kid, or the Hallmark ones my mom got every year commemorating his age. I think I will just put them in their own box, when I clean up this year. I gave DD all of her Hallmark ones. I put one of his on the tree, just to remind me of the good years we had with him, even though it really makes me sad, rather than remembering the good times.

I decided to put the Christmas bedding in the guest room this year. It's supposed to be a king sized duvet, but it's always been too small for my king sized comforter, so I tried it on the queen one in the guest room. It fits pretty prefect. Now DD and BF will have a holiday themed room to sleep in.

I keep the Christmas bedding in a plastic zippered bag the normal bed set came in, but it still smelled a bit musty (and I washed it last year before I put it in there) so I washed it all up, while I was decorating the rest of the house.

DH got lights up along the fence and the front of the house. Half of his time was spent finding the burned out lights. They'd work, he'd get a string up and then it wouldn't work. Same thing every year, right? I told him to leave the top of the porch railing, as the pre-lit garland I ordered should be here next week.  Later than night he got a text from our neighbor friend across the street that said "nice lights".

We both got done around 3:30 and then DH came inside and put my bins and tree box back in hiding and we both just ached and pained, me on the couch and him in his chair for awhile. I know his back and legs were killing him. At least dinner was nice and easy. Heat up leftovers of turkey and the rest of the sides. It tasted even better than yesterday, I think. Something came up about grocery shopping and going to the city and I said we do kind of need to go - it's been two weeks. DH was like no it hasn't! I said yep, it was 2 weeks ago. Last weekend we went in for the vet visit. We still haven't decided if we'll make the trip this weekend. It won't be today. As of now, neither of us feel like going. I might just stock up with what I need for 2 weeks at the local store, this time. We have enough soda and water for at least a couple weeks, so I'll just need mostly dinner stuff.

I have some old bananas and I set out some butter to soften, so maybe this afternoon I'll feel like making a loaf of banana bread. I'm still missing the pumpkin pie to eat. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Turkey goodness

We have a very quiet little Thanksgiving, just the two of us.  DD Facetimed me in the morning (right as I was stuffing stuffing up the birds butt!) and we had a nice chat and I got to see her nicely set table. My mom also gave her nice set of white dishes to DD. Her BF wanted to cook their turkey in his new smoker, so I guess they got that going at like midnight the night before.  She sent me a pic of it...oh my. it looks pretty charred/black (which she laughed about) but said inside it was very tasty. He had stuffed it with apples and onions or something like that. She also said not a peep from BIL's sister (or mom) about her Christmas decorations LOL

We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and the usual trimmings. I did not make a pumpkin pie this year, since DH won't eat it and I do not need to eat a whole pie to myself. But later last evening, I was really wanting a slice of pie :( The turkey turned out nice and juicy. It was done earlier than I expected, but no big deal since it was just the two of us. We weren't on any time schedule.

We watched a movie on Amazon. Allied, with Brad Pitt. Eh. It was ok, nothing great. Honestly, I've never really much cared for any of his movies, other than Money Ball. It pretty much rained all day. Thankfully today is dry and we'll get started on our Christmas decorating. DH will do the outside and I'll do the inside. I'm excited to put up my new tree I bought on sale last winter. The one that cost $400 at Kohls and I got it for like $57 (or something like that, I can't remember now exactly how much).

I did a bit of online shopping yesterday. I really wanted to stock up on DH's Wrangler jeans that were on sale at Walmart for $10, but of course they were out of his size in every wash/color but one. He prefers the dark or medium wash, but I did order one pair of light wash. I also ordered him some sweatpants. For myself I got a $10 pair of jeans and a jean shirt that is fleece lined inside. Should keep me warm this winter. I also ordered him 4 of his favorite old movies (one of them is MoneyBall) to put in his stocking and while DD and BF are here over Christmas we can watch them. I also ordered 4 of the pre-lit garland that Lowe's had on sale for $5 each. I had a $25 Walmart gift card from swagbucks, so I used that on my Walmart purchase and only had to pay about $30 out of pocket. Speaking of Swagbucks, I placed that Target order a week or so ago and got zero points for it. It shows I placed the order, but says 0 points. I wonder why.

Well, off to decorate........

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Our town newspaper (weekly) ran "How to Cook a Turkey" by the local 3rd graders.  Here are a few of my favorites :)

First skin the turkey. (Cut the head off). Beware of blood spilling on new floors. Make a hole inside turkey. Stuff with carrots, onions, and celery. Cook for six hours.

Hey Dad I see a turkey can I shoot it? Yes you can, bang so we took it home so we can pluck it and gut it and after that we will put it in the ovin for 6 hours. There is your turkey.

Put the turkey in the pressore cooker. Cook it for 60 minutes. Then take it out and dump it in the oil machine for two seconds. The put salt on it than put in in the pressore cooker for 20 minutes and then then it out of the pressor cooker. Then there is your turkey ready to eat.

Who knew we've been doing all wrong all this time LOL

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 20, 2017

Getting in the Christmas spirit

The days just seem to be flying by. I can't even get a grip on getting ready for Christmas. I'll have to do most of my shopping online, but even that I feel like I don't have enough time. Maybe with this long weekend after Thanksgiving I will get in gear.  I did send DD a list of gift ideas for DH....I was sitting here the other day at my computer, while he was at his, and all of a sudden he started rattling off gift ideas, so I wrote them all down. Now I need to send her my list. I have most of it written in a "note" in my ipad. It should be easy to send to her and yet I still haven't done it. Plus she has only give me 2 ideas for herself and none for her BF. I told her I need a better list!

I know most of the Black Friday ads are out online and the only one I've even looked at is Lowes. I'm going to order a few of their 9' lighted garlands that will be on sale for $4.98 (reg. $11.98). I can use them out along our front porch rail and then in our new house I can use them on the stairs banister.  I did quickly look at Walmart's ad. Honestly, most all the stores ads are nothing I ever usually buy as gifts anyway. My goal will be to try and get all my online shopping done this weekend.

I do see things in the ads (big ticket type items) we would need for the new house, but it's too early to buy and we just don't have the storage space anyway.

Had a bit of fun on Facebook with DD and another friend yesterday. This is basically DD's first Christmas in her house. They moved in a week before xmas last year so were still unpacking. No tree, no decorations. So, being the girl she is (loves to decorate and loves xmas) she is gung ho to decorate all out. She had just ordered some xmas stockings for her, BF, dog and cat. Two of them arrived last week and she laid them on the back of her couch, snapped a pic and posted it on Facebook about how excited she was to decorate for xmas.  Her BF's sister makes a comment "Brother, you have Christmas decorations in your house before Christmas! with a shocked face emoticon." DD texted me "oh the horror! I took a pic of some xmas stockings" LOL. Weekend before last my mom gave her all her xmas houses. She's been trying to decide where she is going to put them and finally figured where (and a plug in for the lights in houses) so she decided just to mess with her BF's sister (when she comes for Thanksgiving dinner) she'd display them now, along with the stockings hanging above on the stair banister,  and posted it on Facebook. Of course she got several likes and a few comments. About 15 minutes later BF's sister makes a post on her own wall with a meme about decorating before xmas and a comment in her own words about she loves the season but it shouldn't start until after Thanksgiving. I was texting a friend who LOVES Christmas more than anyone I know and told her about BF's Christmas Killer sister (dd's words). She started tagging DD in Christmas decor posts (she's already started decorating, too) and DD just kept decorating even more LOL.  She has a nice big window ledge above her kitchen sink and put some lights and decor with a comment "and while I'm cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner, I'll enjoy my lights" LOL.  Not a peep out of BF's Grinch sister.  My friend texted me "maybe her heart will grow 3 sizes while being there at Thanksgiving" hahaha!

I gave our pooch his second ear drops treatment yesterday after dinner. He really doesn't seem much better today. Ear is still kind of red and she's shaking his head still. I can't even tell if I'm getting the medicine in his ear too much or too little. You have to put the bottle long tip down in his ear and "lightly" squeeze 8 times/drops, but you can't see if it's going in or not. I'm a terrible nurse.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Vet visit

Well, I'm $118 poorer, but one of my dogs is on his way to feeling better. Poor guy had a yeast ear infection.  While the nearest vet is almost an hour away, at least they are open on weekends and I was able to get him an appointment yesterday afternoon. For the next 9 days I have to treat his ear with a rinse and then this drop type of ointment. The meds were the pricey part of the visit. I only have $10 in my Capital One "pet" savings account, but I do have $100 in my "travel" account again, and since I just made a trip at the end of September to visit DD and mom, I probably won't be needing to go again until at least next Spring. I might transfer half of that balance over to Pets to put toward the $118 I spent.

We have free HBO on Dish this weekend and watched a good movie yesterday: Hidden Figures. I really enjoyed it, but like with most movies based on a true story, I will google it for more info. Then I was kind of disappointed to find out a lot of the things in the movie related to how they were treated did not really happen. I get that they would need to conflate the timeline of the women's 3 stories, but the one lady became a supervisor (and of whites) years before this movies timeline even started, not at the end. It was still a good movie, though. My favorite part was when the woman who wanted to be an engineer went to her first class and the teacher said "our curriculum isn't geared toward women" LOL.

DD did a craft bazaar yesterday to sell her soy candles. She sold $230 worth, so she was very happy. She did this last year and only sold like $110. I had sent her some big pine cones a few weeks ago I picked up out at our property and she had her table display really cute with a log sliced tray, the pine cones and her candles. She had two sizes and on the larger ($15) size she put a sign, buy 3 get one small candle free. That was probably a good idea as I think she sold that little combo 2 or 3 times.

Not much else going on. I really need to vacuum today, so that is going to happen. I will probably wash sheets and blankets too. DH needs to find something to do. He's bored and getting on my nerves. He found out last night an acquaintance (I guess you could call him that) passed away. About our age. DH knew him through when our kids raced. They never actually met in person (he lived in another state) but they had emailed about the sport quite a bit. They started off not really getting along at first, but then realized they were on the same page. They later became Facebook friends and their running joke was to call each other a-hole. He saw on Facebook that he passed away. Sad.

I woke up this morning wondering why the weekends go so darn fast, but then I remembered I only have to work 2 1/2 days this week. That will be a nice break to have. Then I'll have almost 2 weeks off between Christmas and New Years.

Friday, November 17, 2017

working through Friday

What a busy morning at work it's been for a Friday. Started with an email from my boss forwarding a list of detail needed by our CPA - to finally finish our 2016 tax return! Apparently, it's been a long delay due to some owner transfer of stock to some of the key management and trying to get all figured out or something. I know my boss is swamped and to get this list asking for 7 items was probably more than she wanted to deal with this morning, so I'm glad she passed it on to me. It took me almost a couple of hours, but it's done and sent to her now. I also took it upon myself yesterday to try and work though a prevailing wage issue we've been having. I hope I have resolved it. Boss has been in out of office meetings for past 2 days, so probably hasn't had time to look at my email about it.

I deserved a little break after that, so here I am. LOL.  One of our dogs has something in his ear that is driving him (and us) nuts. I put some ear solution in his ear last night and again this morning. I hate when that happens to him. There really doesn't seem a lot that can be done, other than it working itself out after a couple of days.  DD's puppy is having diarrhea the last 2 days and she doesn't know why. He did have more puppy shots last Friday, maybe a reaction? If he's still having it when they get home from work today, she's calling their vet. 

We got several inches of snow during the night, so I woke up to a white wonderland. DH is happy. Snow is his happyness. Now it's warmed up and all melted LOL.

No big weekend plans. I just had to send $125 to the state for registering our water well for the property. One more thing out of the way.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Buh Bye Walmart online

I came across a couple of recent online articles about Walmart raising their online prices, in order to encourage shoppers to visit the stores, rather than order online. What marketing genius thought this one up? The main reason I shop online is that going to the store is not convenient to me. It's almost an hour away. The main reason I shopped at Walmart online was because of the good prices and the free shipping if you ordered at least $35. When they started the free shipping with $35 order they touted it as no annual subscription fee (like Amazon) to get the free pricing.

Walmart (today) Walmart (August) Target

Del Monte Can Veg 1.48 0.98 0.59 sale price at Target
Crystal Light on the Go 3.28 2.48 2.59

Hamburger Helper 2.28 1.50 1.59

Carnation Inst. Breakfast 5.87 4.84 4.99

Campbell's soup 2.29 1.58 1.59

Jif Peanut Butter 28 oz 5.26 3.98 5.79 *40 oz at Target

Here's a few of the items I purchase regularly. Today's prices compared to what I paid just back in August, compared to what I could get at Target online today (and free shipping, too).

Gee, what do you think I'm going to do? Drive an hour to go visit the Walmart store in person, or order from Target online? At a minimum, I'm just going to shop at my pricey little town grocery store - same as online Walmart prices and I'm supporting local business, while I'm taking the hit to my budget.

Excuse me while I go give Target some of my business.....they are offering a $10 Target gift card with a $50 food purchase and those canned veggies are on a really good sale! Time to stock up.

Trying not to spend extra

When I had my doctor visit (to refill meds) last month I paid my co-pay for office visits of $25. Insurance processed it as a specialist visit at $50. It was in no way a specialist. I didn't even see an MD, she was an NP, for goodness sake.  Since many moons ago I worked in doctor office billing (for a pediatrician office) I know how this works. I called up the billing department (at a different office than where I went) and asked about it. She told me the office is considered a specialist office. Oh brother. It's not. The name is Women's Care and Family Wellness. They are just regular doctors. If a pediatrician's office isn't considered "specialist office" then neither would this.

So, I then called the office I went to.  They should know what they are LOL. She said No, we are not a specialist office and you saw an NP. Yep. So she asked me to bring in my EOB. I said I live an hour away can I just email it? Well, no, we can't email with you (oh brother) but can you fax it in? Ok. Well, I don't have a fax machine any more (who does? LOL) so I worked up a cover page and a copy of my eob and emailed it to our receptionist and asked her to please fax it for me from the office. I am not paying a specialist visit copay to see an NP about a cholesterol med refill!

I went to the little town grocery store at lunch yesterday to get my turkey. I had a few other items to pick up but saw they had a deal where if you spent $50 the turkey was .99/lb (vs. $1.69) . So, I added some more items to my cart. I couldn't add it up in my head, but figured how hard would it be to get to $50? Their stuff is expensive and I rarely get out of there for much less than that. I had her ring up everything but the turkey. Total: $49.70! I grabbed a candy bar.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

wallets, apples and fences

I haven't used my new purse yet, since I don't have a wallet (my old purse has a built in wallet). But a week or two ago we were eating at our local restaurant, which has a gift shop, and I noticed a display of wallets. I saw one I liked, as we were checking out, but at the time really didn't want to spend $33. We went out to dinner there again last night and everything in the gift shop was 10% off. I'd really like to start using this purse and I'd like to have a fairly nice wallet, so I decided to buy it for myself. Now I'll be able to see how much I like a big purse where everything is dumped in one big opening (not much I think haha). It will take some getting used to. I really don't want to spend a bunch of time having to dig around for something all the time.

We got a whole box of prepackaged organic sliced apples (Trader Joe's brand). I guess there was a semi truck overturned the other day on the freeway. Like 16 pallets of these spilled out. Our neighbor lady across the street took her truck and got a bunch of boxes, helping with the clean up. She brought over a box. Lots of bags of apple slices. What to do with all of them? We've eaten two bags and tossed the rest in the freezer. DH took one out of the freezer yesterday and when it thawed out the apples were all mushy. There's no way we could eat all those bags in 2 weeks (use by date on bags). So, not sure if I can maybe make some applesauce out of the bags still in the freezer or not.

DH made two calls this week to get started with a couple of estimates. One was to to fence guy. We are putting up "field fence". Something similar to this picture:
This is the same fence guy who put up our fencing at this house. He called DH right back (a good sign!) and said he'd be able to meet DH out at our property to take a look in about a week or so, then he can work up a quote.  DH offered to send him some pics of the property and dimensions needed, if he didn't want to make the trip all the way out, but he said he wanted to see it in person. Then DH had left a message on Monday for a local guy who does septic work and other miscellaneous site work. He's had good recommendations. He called DH back yesterday. Said he is out of town this week, but will meet up with DH next week. We are hoping he can do quite a bit of what we will need done: septic, utilities and the rock retaining walls. Our builder also felt confident having all that done by someone local here will save us money compared to him having his subs come out. I'm just relieved both guys called back in short order.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Monday was here and neighborly stuff

Yesterday's annoyance was brought to you by Monday. I get an email forwarded from my boss with a ? mark. The property management company we pay rent to (due first of each month) on one of our offices emailed her they did not get the November rent payment. This payment is set up on auto pay via our online banking. So, I log in to make sure it got sent. It shows it did, almost a week before due date (as usual). Since it's a "bill pay", as soon as it's issued by the bank they take it out of your checking balance, whether or not the recipient has actually received and cashed the check yet. So, I can't really tell if they deposited it or not.  I send my boss a screenshot that a check was sent to them by the bank on  10/26. It must have gotten lost in the mail if they haven't received it. Does she want me to cut a new check that she can mail them directly from the office? Yes, ok. So, I set up a check for her to print.

Then I contact our bank rep to ask her how I go about stopping payment on a bill pay check that was never received by the recipient.  While I'm waiting to hear back from her I'm cc'd by my boss on another email reply she made to the property management company, referencing another bill we owe them for some work done on the office. I'm reading the email and looks like now they are saying they did receive the November rent. I email my boss back "I'm confused - did they get the November rent or not?" Oh, yes they apparently did, the lady was mistaken. She didn't verify before she emailed whether they got the check or not. you just want to send the check you just printed as our December payment then or what? she already shredded it. Ok. in the meantime the bank lady emails me back that they are confused - they show the bill pay check was cashed, so I email her back saying "sorry, false alarm. sorry for the waste of her time!".  so I had to "un void" the first check (which I couldn't really do, I had to re-create it. Void the second check. All this was about 45 minute waste of my day, for nothing.  It just seemed to be the way the day kept going LOL.

I think I posted awhile back about the time when we had some girl park her broke down car in the alley behind our house at midnight one night. She parked off the shoulder of the alley behind the old lady's (I wouldn't normally refer to someone as "old lady" but she is a crabby old lady, she has earned the title, LOL) house and apparently freaked her out. She called her son, who came out, he called sheriff, but they were busy and going to be awhile. DH had heard the car/commotion out there, too, and was outside seeing what was going on when he son came down the alley. It was his first time talking with him and he said it scared his mom pretty bad. The cops finally came, figured out it was some girl's car and she called in to dispatch and said her car broke down and she'd pick it up the next morning. It really wasn't that big of deal. Why she picked there to park and just not pull over on the side of the adjoining street, who knows.

About a week or so later we saw the old lady leave with some of her belongings packed in her car and another truck. She hasn't been back since. I'm not quite sure how long ago this was now, close to 6 weeks ago or more, maybe. We see her son stop at the house once in awhile to check on things. Yesterday the garbage company showed up and picked up her can. That tells us she cancelled her garbage service and isn't coming back any time soon. Oh darn. LOL. We can have a party in the alley now, I guess. Even if she called the sheriff again on us for mowing the weeds in the alley, it won't be the one that came, because he's quit now, too! Good riddance to him, I say. The two times I had the "pleasure" of talking with him, I couldn't stand him and I am the type of person that always gives people the benefit of the doubt and tries to look at the positives of them, not the negatives. He just gave me bad vibes all around.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekend review

Weekends just go by too darn fast. And we aren't even that busy doing stuff! Friday was my half day, but I had woke up in the middle of the night Thursday night with a pounding headache that I had all day Friday. Ugh. So, I was glad to only have to work until noon. I did very little the rest of the day.

Saturday morning we went to the city and got our grocery shopping done and picked up our prescriptions.For some reason I spent a lot more than I have the last couple of trips, where I shop for 2 weeks of food. Hopefully that means I got more than 2 weeks worth. I had refilled my prescriptions with Target/CVS online a couple days earlier but for some reason they had only filled DH's, so we had to wait.....and then walk around and buy stuff, LOL. Most of it was stuff I had on my grocery list and just decided to get there, since we had time to kill. I did stock up on some dog treats that weren't on my list, but they were on sale, plus a $5 Target gift card.  Why will an insurance company allow a 90 day refill for mail in prescriptions, but not at a pharmacy? Dumb.

We got done grocery shopping and it was getting close to lunch time, so we did our usual stop thru Wendy's and got some burgers for the ride home. I'm hoping when we are a little closer to the city, after our home is built, that DH won't want to go with me as often. I'd rather just go get it done by myself, but for some reason he feels like he has to drive and go with me every time now. We didn't do much the rest of Saturday. Watched a movie on tv.

Sunday morning I did a bit of house cleaning. We spent the afternoon going over all our house and shop plan notes and I typed them up and then DH attached them to an email he sent the builder. We had talked to him about most all of them, but wanted him to have in writing, so he wouldn't forget. For some reason the guy who did our  house plans made all the interior doors really small, like 28". So one of our notes is all doors wider - up to 36" wherever possible.

DD celebrated her birthday (22) over the weekend. We face timed with her for awhile and while we were chatting the flowers I ordered got delivered to her, so that worked out well. They really didn't look very much like the photo though, other than they were the right color. Her puppy is so cute. He even knows how to sit now. She wanted BF to take her to the Melting Pot for dinner, since they had never been there before and she wanted to go somewhere nice. They got dressed up nice and she sent me a pic of her in her cute/sexy little black dress.  Next morning her BF posted a photo that showed part of their dinner bill where they were charged $5 ea for a glass of water! A bunch of his friends commented and some were like "that place is a rip off" etc.  Then someone asked how the food was, because they had never been there and BF's mom went in and commented "that place is overrated". There were like 25 comments. DD was texting me like " Geez - WTH?! It was a birthday dinner, my choice. Who cares if it was more than some of those people want to spend on a dinner!"  So then she went in under her BF's mom's comment and put "For a nice night out for my birthday, I thought it was nice. Food was good and they provided a nice selection for each course. I probably wouldn't go again but having never been, and having a reason to celebrate, it was a fun experience".  Then DD texted me and said just because I don't want to go to Applebees, with a coupon (like her BF's mom did for her birthday) doesn't mean she has to put down where we went to eat!

Monday is definitely living up to it's bad reputation today. People are annoying the heck out of me. That can be a tomorrow post.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The long anticpated builder meeting

We finally got the meeting with our builder. We met him at a little bar restaurant near a house he is building. Neither of us could remember what he looked like LOL. We only met him once before and it was a year and a half ago.

It was a decent meeting and I think DH got a lot of his questions answered, especially about the remaining site work, how the water, propane and electricity will get run in. He says he will  get us a new cost breakdown. He's also agreed with DH that getting some local dirt mover guys from our area will save money vs. who he could get to come out to our rural area and for DH to go ahead and get those bids and choose who he wants. To help us keep our cost down, we are going to do a lot of the work getting bids and meeting those that need to see the site first (like for the foundation dug out, septic system and ditches for water, power etc.) If the builder doesn't have to take time to do that, he doesn't need to charge us for that. And we will pick out and get bids for our interior stuff (flooring, windows, cabinets, doors, etc). Then with all that done in advance, he will work up all the final numbers, so what gets given to the bank should hopefully be pretty accurate, rather than him just estimating some #'s/allowances and then we come in and say "oh, but we wanted this quality of cabinets, that's $5 grand more".  Basically he said for all that stuff DH will kind of be like a co-contractor and he'll knock that work that he would have had to do out of what he charges us in his "contractor fee" line item. While we do not want to do any of the actual finish work (like our friend did with his house) we can and do have the time to get those bids and meeting with people about it.

So, DH has his main questions (for now) answered and we've got some stuff we can get started working on between now and the first of the year. I asked him if he had recommendations on who we should get bids from for the interior stuff and he said he'd email me the info. That will help, since we aren't really familiar with suppliers in this area, other than like Home Depot and Lowes.

He also explained the fire/insurance deal, same as our realtor did. He said he was sitting on a couple of completed houses this summer because they couldn't get insurance until the fire season was over! No insurance company would quote/insure, so the lenders couldn't close. Hopefully we don't run into that next summer, when he's finishing our house, but since the huge fire came through our area, it probably won't happen again for a very long time.

DH had emailed the guy that did our plans and cc'd builder yesterday after our meeting. The beam on our front porch will have to be curved and engineered, so DH was emailing him the go-ahead with that (we wanted to confirm this with builder, so got that answered at meeting). Builder actually called DH last night to ask him a few more questions. That was a good sign.

DH has also been designing *my chicken coop. He's watched so many videos on coops and raising chickens now, he's going to be a chicken expert LOL. I can see already they are really going to end up his chickens. haha!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

a bad day

I'm rarely EVER a crier when it comes to an argument with DH (but I can tear up at a stupid sappy commercial, no problem). Just too many years of dealing with him to let it get to me like that anymore. Basically (especially, during the really bad years around 15-20 years ago) I've built a wall up dealing with his crap, when it comes around.

But, for some reason his bitching at me today just hit a nerve. I am so tired of being wrong and always at fault whenever he thinks he has been "so wronged". I think I got teary eyed because it was SO STUPID. I just give up.

I make his breakfast in the mornings. It's almost always an egg sandwich (like an egg mcmuffin). I've been making him this for like over 20 years. But, some morning's he says he doesn't want anything or he wants cereal or toast (not often), so I usually wait until he gets up to ask him what he wants, and then I go make it.  I usually always make his lunch, too (at lunch time, whenever he says he's ready for lunch). A sandwich with some chips. No biggie. It literally takes me like 2-3 minutes. If his egg sandwich sits in the foil for awhile after I make it, he likes it best.  Plus, he also recently realized if his lunch sandwich has also been pre-made earlier, he likes it better too. Ok, no biggie. So, for about the past 10 days or so, I've been making his egg sandwich (I guess whether he wants one or not) before he gets up. He's usually up between 8:30 and 9am. He rarely gets up before then. While I'm up around 7:15, I don't usually make the egg sandwich (and his lunch now, at same time) until around 8am.

Yesterday he got up early, like 7:30, so of course I hadn't made it yet, and I went right out and made it for him. I did not make his lunch this time. Why? Because we were supposed to go meet the builder for lunch. Seems logical to me. Finally around 12:30 yesterday we came to the conclusion we weren't meeting with him, so I made DH some lunch.

This morning he gets up at 7:45. Again, before I got his breakfast made. He came in to sit at his computer (next to mine) and I said "you're up early again" and he said it was because he was feeling sick to his stomach. I finished a few minutes of work and then asked him if he'd like me to make him anything for breakfast (I wasn't sure, since he was feeling sick-ish) and he said no. I spaced it out about getting his sandwich made early, so it had time to sit for awhile before lunch. I just kept working at my desk.

Around 11am (I think it was even earlier than that) he was of course hungry and as he was getting out of his desk chair he said "is it time for lunch yet?"I said "oh ya!, I forgot to make your sandwich, since I didn't make you breakfast this morning" as he's walking out of the room. I was about to get up and go make him lunch and it totally sounded to me like he went into the kitchen and was making his lunch (which he will do sometimes). Ok, he's making his own lunch today, so I'm going to keep on working.

Some time passed. I have no idea how long, as I was deep in work mode. It could have been 10 minutes or 30 minutes. He walked back in and asked me to scan a piece of paper. I scanned it, handed him back the original and was in the process of getting the copy to the printer and he walked back to the dining room (where he works on house plan stuff) and 30 seconds later I walked out with his copy and laid it on the table. I wasn't paying attention to whether he had a sandwich sitting on the table or not (he's got papers, etc all over). I just laid it on the corner and went back to work at my desk.

A bit after that he comes back in my office and asks for some lunch. I innocently and in no way was I being rude or anything said "oh! I thought you already made yourself lunch!" and I started to get up to go into the kitchen. He threw a fit! No, he didn't make his lunch! Didn't I see that he didn't have a lunch sitting there when I brought out the copy to him? Just never mind. he'll make it himself if it's so much trouble for me. On and on.

OMG! I said I'm sorry. I thought I heard you in the kitchen making lunch earlier. Since I didn't make you breakfast, I forgot about making your sandwich earlier this morning (plus it's kind of a new routine for me). He then says "what was your excuse for not making any of it yesterday?" I replied that I didn't make him a lunch because we were supposed to go out for lunch! Then he says something about that I didn't make his egg sandwich either. I said yes I did. No, I did not make it early, before you got up, because I wasn't expecting you to get up at 7:30 and I usually don't make it all until 8am, but as soon as you got up I  made your egg sandwich.

His reply was that I was just making excuses. Everybody treats him like crap, doesn't listen to him, blah blah blah, including me. I again tried to explain that I truly thought I heard him in the kitchen making himself lunch. Nope, not good enough. I should have seen he wasn't eating lunch when I put the copy of the table.

I'm not writing this for advice (I'm pretty much beyond any advice with him after 32 years of marriage), or sympathy, or telling me I'm wrong. I just found it strange that I cried! I can't tell you the last time he made my cry. Probably over 20 years ago. Maybe it's just my menopausal  hormones kicking in. Part of me just wanted to really come unglued on him, but I didn't. It just makes things way worse. It's easier overall to just keep my mouth shut and ignore him and I shouldn't have even given him the little bit of answer that I did. But guess, what? Tomorrow and every day after that, I'll be making his egg sandwich and lunch sandwich as soon as I get up now. And I'm making him a lunch tomorrow.....even though we're supposed to meet the builder for lunch at noon. What do you want to make a bet he'll say "why'd you make me a lunch? we're eating out".

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Left hanging

It's lunch time. I was supposed to be sitting somewhere in a  restaurant with DH and our builder........Surprise....he blew us off again.  He was supposed to let us know where and exactly what time to call or message last night. DH called him around 9 or 9:30 this morning and left a message inquiring and never got a call back. So disgusted. But not surprised. I had a feeling this would happen. I don't think it's too much to ask for him to get with us for an hour or two and answer some questions about our plans and the building process.  Sure would be nice, just once, to have someone we will be PAYING act like they actually want our business! Geez. Makes you wonder how these business people make it.

update: The builder did end up calling around 2pm and rescheduled us to meet noon on Thursday. We'll see how it goes, I guess.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday this and that

Some of our snow melted yesterday, but we got a couple more inches last night to replace it. I've have a pinched nerve in my neck for about 4 days, giving me a headache, too. The weird part is it goes away while sleeping and when I get up it returns. Today it is quite a bit better, so I'm hoping it's on the way out.

Thanks to everyone's book suggestions I was able to download a couple of books to read, as well as add several more to my waiting list. I finished Lucy's recommendation of The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Loved it. In some ways reminded me of one of my favorite books, The Shack. I read that one in like 24 hours. Yesterday I was able to start On Turpentine Lane, recommended by Stephanie. I'm liking that one a lot so far too. An easy, enjoyable story.

I can never seem to take advantage of the extra hour sleep from changing the clocks. I wake up my normal time, as well as the dogs did too. Then by 8pm last night I was ready for bed, but I made myself stay up until 8:45. It'll probably take me all week to get adjusted. DH walked into the bedroom right after I went to bed and said "what are you doing in bed already?!" I said "I'm on dog time". LOL.

I think we inadvertently got a problem taken care of. The business (it's a county related office, volunteer ran, so people aren't even there all the time) that is behind us on the other side of the alley has a problem with their heating unit. Maybe it's a boiler? I'm not sure. But since LAST winter started every time their furnace kicks on it's sounds like a really loud gun shot going off! It took us a like a week last year to figure out where it was coming from - it was kind of hard to tell since the mountains are so close on both sides of us that the sound just echos off the hills. Plus it was hunting season, so we weren't sure, but it was close and loud. Finally we realized what it was. One time last winter someone from the place was outside while DH was out back, so DH commented about it. Like "boy, sounds like you have a furnace problem, there, huh?". The guy was like "ya, we're going to have someone come look at it". Well, of course they never had it fixed and it continued all winter and now, of course, its starting right back up again, this winter. Boom! Do you know how many times that we hear that all night (as well as all day) every time their heat kicks on, while we are sleeping, as our house sits right behind it? It also just didn't sound like it was a very safe thing to be going on with a furnace, you know? Plus, it's a taxpayer owned building - fix it!

Weekend before last, when we were out at our property talking to our neighbor there, DH asked him if he knew who was in charge of that building behind us. (he was thinking about trying to once again suggest it get fixed). He did and gave us the name and described what he looked like. DH said that is was the same guy he tried to talk to about it last winter. Neighbor said "I'm sure he's a perfectly good guy, but my interactions with him on things (county related) have not been good". We thought, oh great, well then we're not going to get anywhere with him then. Well, the past few days there have been no more "booms". You can see their furnace is running (smoke/exhaust comes out of the back vent we can see from our house), so they must have had it fixed. I'm pretty sure neighbor probably mentioned it to someone....probably not directly to this guy, but word got to him or someone, I'll bet.