Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A new pay day

I received my first google adsense payment. $108.63, earned during the time period when I started in February through July.  Hey, I'll take $100 bucks for doing what I was going to do anyway, right?! It's not like I'm trying to earn it, LOL.

I was dog tired yesterday. We stayed up way too late Sunday night with DH's sis and her hubby, but we hadn't seen them in almost a year, since before we moved. Well, I take that back. I saw them just before Christmas last year, when I flew back for a few days for a work meeting and visited with them at my in-laws house for a few hours. I took a sorta nap when I was done with work at 4:30, until 5pm. I didn't really sleep, I don't think. Then I made dinner. DH got two naps in. I was in bed by 9pm.

My boss must be swamped lately. She's usually super good about getting back to my emails, but I've noticed the past month a few seem to be slipping through the cracks and I have to send her reminder emails. A sure sign she is overwhelmed. We've had several new hires and I'm sure that is a big part of it. They are a lot of work. LOL. I'm trying to email her only when it's a last resort, but some things only she can answer for me.  She also asked me to take care of something last week that normally she does, so that's a sign too. I was more than happy to do it.

DH went out to our property yesterday. We've been trying to get our dogs used to water and I think they've got it figured out. Black dog took off down the bank and jumped in the river before DH and old dog could get down there. LOL. And the little fishies were something new to them, too. The river is quite low this time of year and flowing pretty slow. We have a big flat rock next to the edge you can stand out on, so when that isn't covered in water, you know the river is low.

Tomorrow the phone tech comes and hooks us up with faster internet and a new modem. So, I'll be able to post these posts even faster LOL :)







Monday, August 21, 2017

Any bets?

Weather in the 80's is so much nicer. I can deal with this much better. We haven't even had to use our a/c unit very much this last week. Tues and Wed will be mid 90's again, but then it changes back to 80.  I am just not a hot weather person.

Saturday morning I finished my house cleaning - got the bathroom cleaned and dusted. There wasn't much else to do. I had already vacuumed Friday afternoon and the two of us keep the house clean otherwise.  While I was doing that DH mowed the lawn. Then, as I figured, we were bored with nothing to do.  DH called the guy who had the rock we looked at for our rock wall, as he had told DH he had some other rock at a different quarry. We thought maybe we could find out where it was and run out and take a look at it, but he said it was on another guy's property and we'd have to do it on Monday, so that idea of something to do was out.

We set out all our stone samples we got at the mason showroom's. We had 7 samples and were able to remove 3 right away, once comparing them side by side. Then we got down to two styles we liked and are keeping those in mind to decide from. We don't have to decide any time soon, but at least we've narrowed it down.

Saturday evening we went out and when we got home around 11pm we turned the corner to our street and no one was home at the renter neighbors AND the old pick up truck he has always had parked (it doesn't run) out in front of his garage was gone. Wow. That was a surprise. He got home a little later (along with his girlfriend in her car) with his big car trailer and backed that into his driveway.

Sunday afternoon he started loading some things from inside his garage on to the car trailer - an air compressor and a couple of other big things. Then he hooked up to his little enclosed car trailer and backed that up to the garage and started loading stuff in it from inside the garage. We were sure wondering what the heck is going on! The wife never came out - we assumed probably sleeping since she works nights. Then after dinner-ish time he left with the enclosed trailer and was gone a couple of hours. Came back and started loading some more stuff in to it. Then he hooked back up to the big flat car trailer and left with that, but was gone only maybe a half hour. Came back without the big trailer and hooked up to the little trailer and left with that.  Came back (by then it was like 10:30pm) and must have loaded up some more and left again like after midnight (wife had gone to work earlier in the evening) and got home at like 2 am.

DH started a "pool" with our friends (via text) and with our neighbor across the street - joking $5 to make a guess as to what the heck is going on. LOL.  When we got home Saturday night we thought maybe that means they are moving.....but he was watering the lawn- so that doesn't make sense and then Sunday morning he mowed.  But when he started emptying out his garage yesterday afternoon the theories are back on. DH was over talking to our neighbor lady across from us and she was like "are they moving?!!" DH guessed the landlord told them she's putting the place up for sale and he needs to clean it all up/out. I guessed his wife found out about the girlfriend and he's moving out. Neighbor lady across the street says "again?" so apparently this isn't the first time he's cheated on her. Who the heck knows with this guy. Today is also his day off and he hasn't done anything today and he didn't bring that little trailer back him after that last load last night. 

Early evening last night we got a text from DH's sister. She and her hubby were passing through on their way back home from vacation and wanted to stop by for a visit, so they didn't get here until like 8:30. They were going to go another 2 hours and stay somewhere overnight, but we told them they were more than welcome to spend the night at our house, so they did that and left about 9am this morning. We stayed up very late talking all night, so I'm on about 5 hours sleep. Ugh. It's really going to hit me early this afternoon, I'm sure.  When SIL was leaving she said our house is so cute and loved how I have it decorated and said she's lived in her house 20 years and doesn't have it decorated as much as I do mine. haha.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

So many choices

After I was done with work (and vacuuming!) yesterday we decided to head into the city and go visit a couple of places that sell mason stone. I texted our friend and asked him where he got his from for his house, and was there somewhere to go look, and he gave me the name of that one and another one in that area.

We first went to the showroom of the mason place friend didn't use. It was a really nice showroom. Lots of fireplaces done up in various stones and colors and some small walls. Really gave you an idea of what the stone looks like. We got a couple of brochures and they even had samples we could take home, so we got 4 samples. DH got his questions answered on how to install this stuff on like a 2'x2' pier (for the fence gate piers), so from those answers he realized he doesn't need the stone for that right away. He can build the piers anytime and it can be stoned when we do the house exterior and fireplace. If he had needed the stone right away, we would have had to decide now what we want on the front of the house, as we want it to be the same. Thankfully we don't need to decide right now! Plus, this showroom also sells the gas fireplace inserts so we got a chance to look at those and see what style we like, too.  Then there is the decision to make it stacked/dry (no mortar in between) or have it more spaced out with mortar. They end up looking quite different (in my opinion). DH is leaning toward the dry stacked looked (that's what our friend did with his stone)

The second showroom wasn't as fancy and they sold same type of stuff - just different brands. They had no actual examples (ie fireplaces) - just squares on the walls. Very hard to envision what it would look like in large scale, that's for sure. Plus they were kind of busy - only had one guy working helping a couple of people at the counter. Finally a guy from outside came in and answered a few our DH's questions, but as far as pricing, we had to go wait for the counter guy. He did get us several samples to take, too. Then the customers were gone and the counter guy had to run outside a minute and a guy was standing around the other side of the L-shaped counter and he and DH started chatting and he started to give DH answers (I thought he worked there LOL). Turns out he is a mason and was there to buy some stuff. He even took DH outside to explain to him one way he could build a pier.

It seems their pricing is about same. The first showroom might have bee about .50 a sq higher in price. DH doesn't have a lot of imagination when it comes to design, colors, etc. He didn't quite get that the stone we use on the outside base of the house doesn't have to be the same style, or even color, as the stone we use on the fireplace LOL. Pretty much it will be my decision, especially the fireplace stone.

We're trying to get some of these decisions made in the next 6 months, so that we are not overwhelmed with trying to make all these decisions at the same time during the building process. Trying to nail down "what" we want/like and then I can price shop and work within our budget.

DH didn't even realize all this stone stuff nowadays is manufactured stone. The first showroom even had a faux stone fireplace mantle that looked exactly like an old barnwood beam. I thought it was real wood and they just had it there for their fireplace display.

I didn't buy any cases of water last Sunday when I shopped (thought we had more left) so we stopped at the grocery store and bought 4 cases, a few loaves of bread, and a banana cream pie. Then we stopped at Wendy's and got a couple of burgers for the drive home.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday is here

Yesterday at noon I made a taco soup to heat up in the crockpot. It's so easy to make. Some browned ground beef, dump in a can of just about every kind of bean there is, some taco seasoning and tomato sauce. This recipe makes such a huge amount and with only the two of us eating it, I was able to put away 3 more meals of it in the freezer. Got to use my new leftover containers that I got for free (work rewards points). These meals will be nice this fall and winter.  A nice warm tasty soup and no cooking. We add some shredded cheese, sour cream and frito's scoops are our spoons.

It's looking like I will have to be taking our black dog back to the vet. He keeps licking his anal glands and it stinks, too! He's never had this problem before and I was hoping it might just be temporary thing and would clear up. Plus he's still really itchy. I just started giving him fish oil to see if that might help.

The phone company called yesterday and scheduled a tech to come out next Wednesday to upgrade our internet and put in a new modem. It will be interesting to see if I notice any difference in speed. Even if I don't, that's ok, my main goal was to get the cost down, which has been accomplished by 20%. One thing I've noticed about living here......all the people you talk to on the phone that are with business's or a gov't office are all so nice and friendly. Well, with the exception of one lady I talked to at our local county licensing office.....and turns out she was originally from our old state...so that explains that! LOL. Though I have talked to her in person now a couple of times, too and she's much nicer in person to talk to.

I ordered a heating unit for our friend's garage yesterday. DH still has one thing being stored at his property that will stay there until we move (covered up by a tarp in the back of their property, so not really an eyesore, at least. When friend built his house,  his attached 3 car garage doesn't have any heat in it. We have added this heating unit to our attached garage and to our small-ish (20x30) shop out back of our house and they work great. Friend has been asking DH what he bought, how installed, etc. As a thank you for storing our stuff we are having one of the heaters sent to him. I'm sure he'll be surprised. It was $260, which seems a fair trade for him letting us use his place for storage for the past year and probably almost another year until our house and shop is done.

Today is a half day for work, which means the weekend is almost here. We don't have any plans, which means DH will probably be bored. The air is still way too smokey to make outdoor plans. We'll probably just continue with making decisions and researching what things we want for our house. DH is working on a front gate right now. He wants to (do himself) 2 pillars with stone on each side of the driveway entrance. Then decided he wants lights on the pillars, so I had to see what style I wanted, because that would apparently determine how he does the hole in the pillar for the lights (that we would then use on porch and in front of garage). I really hate clicking on something and then seeing the price. $700 for ONE porch light?! Seriously?! I found one I liked that was $60 at Home Depot. Then did a google search of it and found it for sale online at another place for $36. Even better. DH also plans to build the wooden gate himself and is now researching what electric gate openers cost and how to install. We will be having a fence around  front and sides of property. Nothing super fancy - just one of those wood/hog panel type fences, 4 ft tall.  Something like this and we will use the same fence guy who did our chain link fencing at the house we have now.


When I finished the book I was reading last Sunday I didn't have anything available on my library e-book list/download. A couple I was next in line, but nothing to read! Eek! By Tuesday night I was feeling withdrawals coming on. Finally yesterday one became available. It's the start of a series recommended by a co-worker (we email about books sometimes) - The Stephen King Dark Tower series. I don't think I've ever read one of his books, though I have enjoyed a few of his movies (not the scary ones).

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Future budget

Last year I had done an estimated budget of our expenses living in the house we build.  Now that I have a better idea of what things cost in this area, I'm working on updating it.  Electricity has been quite a bit more than I thought it would be compared to where we used to live.......but I think in the  new house it won't be as much as we are paying for this 1400 sq ft house! Two reasons. One is we will be on a different electricity company - a co-op, which is usually cheaper (and the co-op said they are cheaper than the power company we currently have to use). We were on a co-op power company at our old house and it was much cheaper than the other for profit electric companies around us.  The second reason is that we will be having a heat pump at our new house. The furnace will only be a backup to the heat pump. While there is the initial cost of the heat pump, it will more than pay for itself in saved electricity/propane bills. They typically pay for themselves in 3-5 years, according to statistics. We asked our property neighbor, the other day, what her electric bills are, and while I can't remember now what she said, it was under $100 a month for their big 5000+ sf. house. These summer months I have paid $160/mo ($400 in winter) for this little house!

Another monthly savings will be water/septic. I averaged $50-60 a month until summer and we like to keep our lawn green and the bills have been about $100 a month the last 2 months. We will be on our own private well and septic, with no monthly outlay. The experts say a well pump should last about 12-15 years and cost about $1000 to replace. So, I need to set aside about $70 a year for future well pump replacement. Much cheaper than paying that each month, like I am now.

Both of these savings (and now the $25 a month phone/internet savings) can go toward the higher house payment we will have.

The other item that is going to come down one way or the other is health insurance for DH! Seriously, I am done paying over $500 a month for basically nothing. Since the worthless politicians can't get their act together on repeal and replace, I really think I am just going to drop the insurance at the end of this year (maybe even in November) and start putting that money in a savings account to pay for doctors visits and medicines. Within 3 years I could have almost $20,000 saved for medical emergency, in 5 years it would be almost $31,000. I can pay his (on average) once a year dr visit and prescription out of that each month, too. From what I have read, the "tax" "penalty", whatever you want to call it, only gets taken from you only if you have a refund, which I never do. You have to have insurance for 10 months to avoid the penalty, so this year I would not have to pay it, if I keep the insurance on him through the end of October. I guess next year we'll wait and see..maybe something will at least be done about the penalty by then. Maybe at some point a more affordable plan will be available and I would then purchase that again.

I am just done with paying this exorbitant rate for what amounts to what is a catastrophic plan. The high deductible makes it unusable for regular office visits/care. On top of the $512 a month I still have to pay for any visits to the doctor and his monthly prescription.

We will be 10 miles closer to the city, where we do a majority of our shopping, so that will save a bit on gas over a years time for each trip there (average a couple times a month). We will also have our mail delivered to our house, eliminating the need to drive to the post office 3-4 times a week. While it's only about a mile each way right now, it adds up and it's having to star the car up each time, etc.

That's all I have come up with so far. I plan to try my hand at a few chickens for eggs......but I'm sure the cost of keeping the chickens will be more than the cost of eggs, LOL.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Happily Ever After

When we moved last year we decided to find a new home for our two parakeets.  We knew there wasn't going to be an inch of space in my car (there wasn't) and truth be told, we never were really that attached to the birds. We got the first bird in 2009. As a birthday gift for DH. He was not working by then and home all day at his desk, so we thought it would give him some company. The bird was fine for a few years. We let him out of his cage semi-often and he'd fly and get some exercise and our yellow lab was the gentle giant with him, other then he'd try to lick the birdy to death, LOL. Then a few years later birdy started incessantly banging her beak in the cage. We tried moving her cage around to different spots, etc. Then we decided she must need a buddy, so we got the 2nd bird. All was great for a year or two and then she started banging again.  The other bird never got comfortable with us trying to sit on our finger or anything.

Anyhow - I put an ad on Craigslist and within hours got a message from this guy. He and his wife would like to take them, they had lots of birds and loved birds. So an hour later they came and picked them up. Within a few days he had texted me the the birds were doing great and a picture of them being free and out of cage (they let their birds be free around the house most of the time).

Every so often, he'll send me a text saying they are doing great, but I haven't received one for many months now. Each time I'd tell him  how happy I was the birds found such a great wonderful home. I figured he was done with the updates and I hadn't saved his cell# to ask him.

Yesterday I got the nicest surprise text. The birds (one male and one female) had bonded with other birds in their flock and the female bird (the one we got first in 2009) has had 3 babies! OMG! The picture of all of them is so great. I'm so glad they got such a great home (much better than ours LOL) with people who really love and take care of them so well.

The birdies got their happily ever after new home and so did we :)

Our birds are the two on the right, their mates are on the left and the 3 babies are in the middle....from what I understand it only takes like a month for the birds to grow. Not sure how old the babies are, I didn't ask the guy.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Another budget reduction

I called the phone company to check and see if I could save any money by switching to one of their new bundle plans. Yep! I sure can. The customer service rep called me back with the details. There are two plans I can upgrade AND save money.

We are currently at 8mb internet speed (we had like 50mb at our old house) with dsl, and it's been working fine for us. I have no problems remoting in to work, nor do we have any problems streaming like Amazon movies or On Demand (which uses internet), though I've never tried both at same time (since I'm working LOL). Occasionally it's a bit slow, but we knew that would be the casemoving here, where fast internet isn't available, and it really hasn't bothered us at all.

We can now get up to 25mb! There is a also another plan that is 15mb, almost double the speed we currently have AND it's $25 a month cheaper than I'm currently paying for my phone/internet bundle!!! Woohooo!  I could still save $5 a month by taking the 25mb speed, but we really don't need it. The 15mb will be good.

I do have to get a new modem, but with their new bundle package plan it includes a new modem at no cost and they are waiving the service call fee for the tech to come out and set it up.  Plus, we will now get unlimited long distance calling. The plan we are on now only covers 600 minutes. Which is usually enough, but there are times DH has gone over that for the month. He does not like to talk for long periods of time on his cell phone (where long distance is free) as his hand starts cramping. He calls his dad like once a week and usually talks for an hour, plus occasional calls with some friends.

I think I'll take this $25 I am saving each month and set it aside until I have enough to pay off DH's new phone that we are being charged $27 a month for (24 months, no interest). That way it will be paid off in about half the time - 12 months instead of 24 months. When I have enough saved to equal what the balance is, I'll pay it off in one chunk, while I keep making the $27 a month extra that's included in our bill, until then.

I got another small savings on Sunday when I stopped at Staples to buy another cardboard tube for storing plans. It was $5.99. There was a person checking out in front of me and the cashier was asking if she had a Staples Rewards account. I know I do, I have a little paper "card" in my wallet, somewhere, so I had a minute to find it while I waited my turn. I almost didn't bother, thinking what's a small purchase like this matter anyway........after she applied my rewards code it dropped the price of the tube down to $2.29! Now I'm kicking myself for not taking the time to use it on the first 4 tubes DH and bought a couple of weeks ago. I always look at any savings I can get while shopping in the city as money towards the gas it cost me to drive the 110 miles round trip, so another unexpected $3.70 was good.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Weekend relaxing

Boy, I will sure be glad when all this smoke in the air is gone. I'm tired of watery eyes and even headaches some days.

Saturday morning DH wanted to drive out to the property, just to see what the hills across from us looked like in daytime after driving past that night before in the blaze.  Our neighbor lady was outside watering her lawn and we talked with her awhile. DH had the house plans in the car so he showed her the page that shows what the outside of the house will look like and also the drawing he did on the back of the last page, laying out the house and shop and driveways on the lot.

She gave me a good tip she just got from someone - the telephone/internet company has new bundles and new cheaper rates. She called and said she wanted to lower her bill and was there a cheaper plan she could go on. She's now saving $20 a month and got faster internet! I am calling this morning, for sure.

We didn't do much else on Saturday. I took a nap, read some more of the book I am reading. What a long book, but good. DH listened to a race online Saturday night. He kind of wanted to do the online pay per view live broadcast, but when he saw that it was $48 and only showed the main event (which if there were no yellow or red flags could literally be over in 10 minutes), not the races leading up to it, he said nope. Not worth the money and he wants to save for house stuff.

We're pretty much out of groceries to make dinners, so I went into the city yesterday morning so I could do a stock up. Besides being more expensive, the grocery store here in town just doesn't have meats I like. I've tried them. We like thin steaks, which they don't have and I've tried their chicken breasts twice and they are too thick and dry. First I stopped at the feed store for our dog food and bought 2 bags. Then to Target to pick up prescriptions and used some more of my Starbucks gift card balance to buy a white mocha, which I haven't had in what feels like forever. Then I stopped at Staples and picked DH up another tube for house and shop plans. Then I finally got to Walmart - where by then it was 10:30 and pretty crowded. I had hoped to get there a lot earlier. Oh well. I got all my stuff and loaded up the car and got back home at noon. Unloaded and put it all away and had a bit of lunch. I was going to take a nap, but then DH went outside to do some yard work, so I figured that is a good time to get the vacuuming done. Then I took a nap :)

I finally finished the book we will be discussing in book club at the end of this month. It was kind of an emotionally exhausting book and I was relieved to be done with it.

DH has been working on landscaping drawings/ideas, so that is keeping him busy. He likes to draw stuff out. Dinner last night was a couple of steaks, green beans and some melon. While he was drawing I had started watching a movie on Demand and about 20 minutes into he decided he wanted to watch it too, so I started it over and we watched that until 10pm and I went to bed.



Saturday, August 12, 2017

The view on the way home

Yesterday afternoon our friend texted DH with "we're getting Papa Murphy's pizzas - we can either bring them to your place,  or you come to our place.....or I guess neither" LOL. We ended up going to their place. Felt we needed to get out of the house, since we really didn't go anywhere all week. I have been craving pizza lately, so this was great.  DH brought our house (and landscape) plans and discussed with friend. We got a few ideas, too, from his building experience (and we are using same builder). Still just wish our friend didn't feel the need to drink so much. I'll bet he drank a 1/2 of a 5th of whiskey.

Driving home we were going the "back" way because they had been chip sealing on the freeway and DH didn't want to drive through it. The back way passes right by our property. As we got closer the sky got red and as we rounded a bend, and the direction we would be heading, it looked like we were going to drive right into the fire area!

Holy crap! Those fire guys DH talked to earlier in the day were right! It did get worse last night. Still not jumped over the freeway but almost right down to it.  All those white marks in the photos are ash debris falling in the air that showed up in the flash. They are also predicting that Sunday will be worse as the temp will be dropping about 20 degrees (finally!) , but with wind, I guess.

It was a very eerie feeling driving by all this. This fire has been a month now and apparently isn't over by a long shot. So far though they have managed to protect every home and building in the area of the fire, which is the main thing.

Friday, August 11, 2017

a new VPN - again

I'm happy the weekend is almost here for a couple of reasons. First, the usual - no work, haha! Second is we are supposed to have today and tomorrow in the 90's and starting Sunday we finally get down in to the 80's and even 70's next week. I am very tired of this hot weather and hopefully it is gone and done with for the summer. Now, if we could just get rid of all the smoke in the air.......

No plans this weekend. There is a "festival" in a very small town about 90 miles away that I think sounds fun. They have like 120 crafts and misc vendors. Maybe I can talk DH into going to it for something to do. Funny, the population of this little town is a little over 200.....and 120 vendors is almost as much as their whole population haha!

I went to log into my side job remotely and it wasn't working. Oh man, not this again. I emailed the guy at the office who is the go-between them and their IT company.  Turns out he moved my workstation and hadn't turned it back on, but once he did, I still couldn't get signed in.  It also turns out they have switched to yet another new IT company and the last one had set me up on this totally funky VPN system that I really don't like. I can't even get into my desktop full screen mode.

So, the new IT guy was awesome. Very quickly he had me set up with a normal VPN/remote connection (with a full screen of my desktop).  He also set up Outlook on my workstation desktop, which I have never had. I've always had to access my emails with them via Web Outlook. He also showed me how to set my emails up to my phone. It's all SO MUCH BETTER now.  And I can use my dual screens when remoted in and I can print to my home printer.  I'm just a happy camper all around. I emailed back the guy at the office this IT company is a keeper.

DH just went out to our property and at the end of our "lane" for our little subdivision was a bunch of fire management trucks. He texted me a picture and said it was a bunch of bigwigs...meeting there because they think the fire is going to jump the freeway and river over to our side. GRRR!  Not worried about our property, but the homes in the area, for sure.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Water and scams

We will need to have a well dug on our property. And it needs to be done before the house building starts because it would not be good to start building a house and find out there is no water! While we are not concerned that would happen (the well logs in the area are fine), we still want it done before building.

We have heard people say two different costs.....a couple people (one in person and one online in a video) say $10 per foot to dig. We have a couple others tell us, no, it's more like $30-$35 per foot. Big difference. If it's $10 per foot - lets get it done now. Well logs and neighbors well indicate needing to drill down about 145 feet.

DH kept saying, should we just do it now? I'm like well, if it's $10 a foot, sure. If it's $35 a foot, not yet. We don't have that much - we just spent $2800 on the site work and he knows we had $5,000. $5000-2800 does not equal another $5000 or more.  Seriously, it gets so annoying sometime. After next paycheck next week, I'll be back up to $4000 saved for it.

So, I have mentioned more than once - well call and get a quote (we have two phone numbers for 2 companies recommended in the area). We can't budget until we know what it costs! Finally, yesterday he calls one of them (used by our property neighbors and by friend who built his house a couple years ago) and it's $36 per foot and they are 3 months out. Ok, that is very most likely doable to have that extra in 3 months. Then DH says, but what if they get an opening and say they can do it in a month? Sigh.....if we don't have the money to do it then, we don't have the money. Why is that so hard to understand? You'd just have to tell them anytime after such and such date...(I'm anticipating having enough by the end of Sept)

Then I told him to call the other number and get that quote too. It's a local guy (the other one is from the city) so it's possible he might be a bit cheaper. He said he will give the other guy a call, too.

I was reading a story on Facebook about a scam pulled on a 79 year old. The scammer called and told him his grandson was in jail in his local police station, gave a phone number to call back on that is in another state and had him buy $3000 worth of Best Buy gift cards, call the number back and give them the gift card codes. Who ever has gotten bailed out of jail using gift cards? and if someone is that far gone in their mind that they would fall for that, then hopefully there is a way to set up an elderly person's phone so that they can only take incoming calls from certain numbers programmed in (family, doctors, etc.). And if you are of sound mind enough to figure out how to buy $3000 in Best Buy gift cards you'd think you'd know this is a scam. Sorry.......I'm not being very empathetic, I guess. Anytime someone I do not know calls I am suspicious. How does that end up changing when you get older?


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

An uneventful week, so far

There is not much new and exciting going on this week at all. I'm really looking forward to next week, when the temps are supposed to be down in the 80's and even in the 70's one day. I'd like to finally get back to some normal weather. Rain would be so welcome - especially to help put out the fire and get rid of all the smoke in the air.

DH was going to get started building his boot bench, for the laundry room, today but since he needs to  put his saw table outside, and it's so smokey, he's decided to wait.

I went grocery shopping last Sunday for this weeks food. I think I might actually make it the whole week without needing to run to the store. I spent $70 on Sunday and I also spent $36 with a Walmart online order of some food, toothbrushes, etc.

My DD has been in a money saving mode lately with her shopping. She will send me messages that she is doing up a spreadsheet with all the stuff she regularly buys and the prices so she can watch for sales and get below those prices and stock up. She said she compared prices between Costco, where they like to shop and Target, where she shops a lot too and Target was better on a lot of her items. I asked her if she factored in the additional 5% savings using her Target card and she had not, so even better. I also reminded her that the grocery store she likes to shop at has an app where you can save even more and she had forgotten I used to use that, so she will download that to her phone. I told her they used to always have a free item each week, too.  She and her BF are also really good about not eating out very often. They always take their lunches to work. Usually she will make up a weeks worth on Sunday. Always healthy stuff too. Usually they take their breakfasts to work, since they both start so early. DD will make a weeks worth of breakfast burritos or they will do some overnight oatmeal. They cook most of their dinners at home, other than weekends, when they are usually out and about doing activities and going out with friends.

She was going to apply for a job that an acquaintance posted on Facebook, starting at $50k, but when she looked up the company it had a lot of bad reviews on the employment/salary site she was looking at, so she decided not to apply. Plus, it was for a job recruiter type of position and I told her I think she'd probably get pretty bored looking at resumes and interviewing all day every day.




Monday, August 7, 2017

Weekend wrap-up

Weekends go too darn fast, even with only working a half day on Friday. Saturday morning, we started to head out of town down the main street and see people sitting in lawn chairs in front of their houses - must be a parade happening in conjunction with the fair.  We got farther down a bit and decided to pull into a little gravel parking area in front of a business that isn't open on weekends. There were a couple others parked there, waiting, on a quad and a side by side. DH pulled in next to the side by side and asked the guy if he minded if he parked next to him and asked him questions about his side by side (something DH is considering buying one of these days). He was a nice older guy. The parade was due to start in about 10 minutes.

What an adorable little parade. Totally hokey, like the fair, but so cute. Glad we happened to be driving though just before and got a chance to see it.  As we got out to our property, the neighbor lady was just leaving (she was volunteering at the fair). She said she was running late because the dogs (they are taking care of their son's 2 dogs, as well as they have 4 of their own) ran off and she had to chase them through all the properties. Then she made some kind of comment we weren't sure how to take (you could tell she was in a hurry) - she said "one of these days you'll have to walk me through your property - it was kinda "icky" walking through it with all the dust. The dogs got so dirty".  We just kinda nodded and weren't sure what she meant and then she had to leave. Well....ya, it's now a construction site - it's going to be dusty and dirty. Don't take you dogs on it then....you have your 2 acres, the 2 acres you bought on the other side of you and 20 state acres on the other side of that!

But, as I got to thinking I have a feeling now that she meant she saw all of DH's little flags that denote the corners of house, garage, and shop, etc and meant she wanted him to walk her through and show her the layout. LOL. At least I hope that's what she meant and wasn't complaining because our lot is now full of dirt.

Speaking of neighbors - renter neighbor brought home his piece of crap mud truck and parked in on the trailer in his driveway again. Oh yay, we get to look at that junk again. He has tried to initiate conversation a few times with DH the past couple of weeks and DH isn't having any of it. Don't trust to talk to him one bit. DH will just answer his question of "how ya doing" with a "good" and that is all he'll give him, even if he tries to keep the conversation going. After he brought that piece of junk back last night DH was out in our front yard setting up the sprinkler and he says "how ya doing?" DH just said "good" and starts to walk toward our side yard sprinker and the guy holds his arms up and back and says "don't worry - I'm not going to start it" DH just looked at him and said "you aren't even supposed to have that parked here, and you know it" and then just walked away to our backyard. They both never not have a cigarette in their mouths and when we walk out our front door and they are outside, you can smell it from our porch. Gross. The wife hasn't been to work now in like a week, so who knows what's going on there...but poor guy can't have his girlfriend over at night then! She couldn't even get her lazy butt out of the house Friday or Saturday (fair was through Sat) and walk (or even drive) her 2 little kids over to the FREE fair.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A fair and rodeo

We decided to wait and go to the fair in the evening, since the rodeo didn't start until 8pm. We knew the fair itself probably wouldn't be much and not much time necessary to look around, so we headed over there around 6pm or a little after (I had to cut DH's hair first).  We decided to just walk, as it was only about 3 or 4 blocks and a short cut through the grade school, down a path behind the high school football field and then out front of the high school is where the fair is set up.

On our way past the grade school, we see our neighbor couple from across the street at the grade school, they were putting together a shed for the school, so we stopped and DH helped a few minutes with that.

As expected the fair was not much at all, LOL. Not even any rides for the kids. We were hungry and there were at least several food booths, so we got some burgers and fries. DH had just met a guy the other day while he was at our property - the backhoe owner had sent this guy over to pick up his backhoe. He was standing near the picnic table we were eating at and DH said hello, so he sat down and chatted with us. Told us we'd better get our rodeo tickets bought, in case it sold out. Watched some kids roll around in those big bubble things. The exhibit in side one of the school buildings for art, photography, etc was closed. They had a big booth set up about fires and the fire fighting. We stopped to read an info board about good things to do around your house/property to prevent fire and there was an info sheet you could take with you. DH said it was good info to know and grabbed one. A young lady was manning the booth (she looked pretty bored as no one was visiting). We said hello and started chatting with her. Super cute young lady fire fighter. We talked with her about 15 minutes and then it was time to go over to the rodeo arena (we had picked reserved seats, only $1 more than the $11 general seats, LOL)

I LOVE RODEO's!! I haven't been since I was a kid. DH had never been to one. He loved it too. There is just something about cowboys I have always loved. (my real dad was a true cowboy) Nothing better than a guy in jeans, a western shirt, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, in my opinion. And I just love seeing the young kids dressed up like that. So much fun. One of the ladies in my book club was sitting down the row from me, so we said hello.

The rodeo got over about 10:15 and we headed back home, back through the path behind the football field. A group of teenagers passed us and said they said hello. We were walking past the grade school and could see (in the dark) someone coming towards us on a quad (with a headlight) he waved and then turned and parked in front of one of the grade school doors and said something. We turned around and realized it was the guy from down the street that we got the wood from to make the sofa table. So we chatted with him a bit. He was in charge of getting ice for the beer garden, so he was apparently getting it from the grade school kitchen. LOL.

Love my small town life!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Let's get Friday morning done!

My Friday is not starting off that great. First off early this morning the fire smoke settled in town really heavy. Woke us up early, settled in my sinus's and by the time I did get up, I had a bit of a headache.  Then I log into work and get an email from the co-worker that cannot seem to manage the simplest of tasks. As usual, something is missing from her request for me to place a purchase order with one of our manufacturer's. Seriously, who gives a ship to address with no ship to company name? Then right after I emailed her back for that info, our email system went down for a bit.  I'm just glad it's only my half day Friday and the annoyances won't last all day :)

The little fair in town started up yesterday through tomorrow, so I think we'll go check it out this afternoon. I'm sure it won't be much, haha. It's like 3 blocks away, so we can walk over. Plus it's free. Unless we want to go to the rodeo tonight, that costs.

DH has been wanting nachos for dinner, but last time I tried making them I only had cheddar cheese and he wanted the more thicker melty type of cheese. I am out of ideas to make for dinner that doesn't involve turning the oven on. So, while at the grocery store yesterday I looked around and found some little cans of cheese dip by the chips. I just winged it with trying to make something resembling nachos. I browned some hamburger and green onions, added some taco seasoning, refried beans and a bit of water. Melted the cheese dip in a sauce pan. Put some chips down, layered some meat mixture then cheese sauce and repeated.  DH said it was great and loved the cheese sauce. Next time I'll add some other ingredients - regular onions and tomatoes diced up. I'd like some sour cream, too.

Our neighbor across from us was in and out of his garage this morning and had his old dog outside their yard. As soon as the old girl saw DH and our dogs outside this morning she came running across the field to join in on the fun. She's such a sweet old dog and wants to play fetch so bad, but she breaths like she's about to keel over that we only throw it a short way once or twice. Then DH walked her home...neighbor had gone inside to take a phone call and normally she would just stay in their yard, but now that she knows us, she just takes off to over here LOL. At least he knows where to find her.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

I'm out of titles :)

Well, I can't figure out how to set up my tax info in Google for the Adsense payment. When I logged in there was a notification that I needed to update my tax info for payment, so I did all that and kept trying to hit submit and it kept staying at the info entry page, saying I have not completed it correctly. I can't figure it out. Boo :(

DH spent yesterday morning at the property. When they moved dirt we did end up with some actual topsoil from the hill that got moved. That's a good thing - less we'll have to have brought in later. DH took his wheelbarrow and moved a bunch of it over to a strip of area next to neighbors side. It's going to be lawn eventually, so will need topsoil there.  We've been emailing with our neighbor at the property. In person he is super funny and he's the same way in emails too.

We haven't had book club the past 2 months. Hopefully we'll have it at the end of August. I'm just getting started on the book. It's actually our book from June........that I didn't end up reading. I tried to start it and just didn't like it, so I was relieved when the meeting got cancelled. I didn't realize they would just move that book to August for discussion. I'll give it another try and see if I can get into it.

In looking at our house plans closer, DH isn't happy with the roof line and dormers on part of it. He sent it to our brother in law (who frames houses) to get his input. He called back last night had some good thoughts and ideas on it. Then DH went back to the original plan he got the idea from (he used that, but tweaked it, then we had the guy do up the drawings for us) and that is pretty much what our brother in law said to do. So, most likely we'll be changing that. It doesn't change the floor plan at all - just how the roof line is and the dormers over the garage. DH is going to wait and talk to our builder (he's very busy right now) and see what he thinks. I told DH we're not having him make any changes until later....when everyone has had a chance to get all their suggestions/changes made and we can have him do it one last time - and only pay one more time! BIL is going to send DH a picture of a house he just did that looks like he is recommending, so we will get a better idea from that, too.

Still hot, hot, hot weather. Still smokey air. Every morning I look at the 10 day forecast, hoping that the newest 10th day brings some relief, LOL. Nope.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Not what was expected

One bad and one good:

DD found out her raise - even worse then she expected. A whopping $1422 a year. She's not pleased, to say the least, so finding a new, better paying, and more interesting job will be her new goal. And knowing her and how she works, it won't be long before she finds one. With her degree, experience under her belt now, and the salaries in her area for her qualifications, she should be making $45k a year easy, if not $50k.

We finally got the total bill on our site work on the property. We had hoped it would not be more than $3500 (it's kind of hard to estimate exact hours they would need to move dirt) but are very happy to find out it is $2800. Much better than the $5-6k DH's friend's brother in law's estimate, plus we used someone local here from town, which is good.

Found out yesterday one of our friends (from where we used to live) is in the hospital and it sounds pretty serious. Possible heart failure, fluid in his lungs and kidneys only working like 33%. Then he started slurring and mixing up his words, so possibly a stroke. Praying for him and his wife and 3 kids.

Last night we watched the 2 hour first episode of the show on Discovery about the Unabomber. Very good show, we both enjoyed it. Thankful for being able to pause live tv, LOL, as DH kept having to go out and move sprinklers around during it. I think it's like an 8 episode show, so we'll have to be sure to keep watching.

Not much going on for me. Just busy with work this week.  Trying to get my side job completely caught up. I got behind the month I couldn't access anything and then got behind when I had to re-create 2 months of work. Now I hear they are looking into purchasing a building for their office, rather than leasing, so I know they will need up to date financial reports at some point, so I'm trying to get behind the 8 ball this week.          

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Extra money

I opened my work emails to a nice little surprise this morning. A $200 bonus from my side job. It's the company's 9 year anniversary (and I have been with them since then) and they are giving all their people $200 cash gift, so I was told to just cut myself a check for that amount and cash it (since I can't be there). Nice! More into savings for future house stuff :)

I made that chicken and rice crockpot dinner for last night. I thought it was pretty awful, really. Kind of dry (you'd think soaking in cream soup and milk for hours it wouldn't have been). I figured DH would have hated it......he asked for seconds. LOL.

So the last 30 days of "extra" income has been pretty good. The unexpected $200 above, I finally got over the $100 level for GoogleAdSense and now should be getting a check for $108 (if I'm understanding how it works, still new at it), I earned $20.53 in Swagbucks in July and I don't know the total yet, but usually I earn about $25 cash back using my debit card. Oh, and I also got a big check for $1.32, a stock dividend from a few shares of stock I still own in a company I worked for many moons ago. Wish I could just get rid of the stock, but from what I checked into it would probably cost me more to sell them in fees than I would get out of them.  Total $330.57..........which is coincidentally just about the amount of that bedding set for the bear log bed that I would SO LOVE to have........ but for now, the money will just sit on my bank account.