Saturday, July 4, 2020

A dinner guest

Yesterday morning I went into town hoping to find some bags of topsoil/potting soil so we could plant the stuff I bought Thursday. I was pretty sure the hardware store had some, but decided to try the lumber store first and they had them. DH had told me to get 4 bags. But that was only about half of what we needed LOL, so an hour later I was back getting 4 more. And we still didn't quite have enough, then I found a little bit left in a bag in our garage.

We planted 10 small ornamental grass type plants and 2 bushes. At about 9:30 last night, while watching tv something catches my eye out the front window. At first I though it was a big bird landed on the bench on the back patio, but as I stood up to get a better look I see this!
 
Happily munching away on my flowers. From where I was sitting on the couch, I could only see his ears and antlers. He was hardly afraid of us at all, he didn't really want to leave. After he did we then realized he ate most of the brand new bush planted right behind him. UGH! Then I realized he also munched down the big strawberry plant sitting on the patio right next to that bench. We got up this morning to the other bush at the other end of the patio all eaten, too. Guess he decided his $30 dinner wasn't enough, he needed the $30 dessert, too :(

I suppose we'll have to try some deer repellent.

Yesterday morning, at about 8:15 (I was in the shower) I hear our dogs start barking, like someone is here. Who could be here that early? too early for UPS/FedEx. After I turn the shower off I hear talking. Then I realize who it is. It's our "loud" friend, haha. He had been over at his property and was heading back home and stopped by on his way. He has a brand new 8 week old lab puppy. He didn't stay too long, as he had a 7 hour drive ahead of him.

I actually got to sleep in this morning for almost an extra hour. Finally, after weeks, my older dog didn't get up a half our earlier than normal. I don't know why he's been doing that. It's gotten annoying.

Hopefully today I can finally make that peach cobbler with those peaches. They are ripe now and I finally have free time today....I think....I don't think Dh has any plans. 

I received an email my Netflix gift card is about to run out, so I just canceled it. I don't watch it enough to justify $9 a month and I'm sure DD will get me a gift card for Christmas and I can renew it then.

Happy 4th of July Independence Day. Hopefully this county gets itself headed back in the right direction soon. There are too many good people in this country to let these radicals destroy it, yet it seems like that is just what we are all doing. I pray for peace and prosperity for all.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Did I just have a week off?

Friday already. Were did my week off vacation go? Doesn't even feel like I've had one at all. Boo!

Yesterday I had to take my mom back to the wound care office so they could check out the progress. Her appointment was at 10:30 and starting around 8am I was waiting for her call telling me she just didn't feel well. Sure enough, around 8:30 my phone rings. But, miracle of miracles, it was just her telling me she was showered and dressed and just waiting for her breakfast.

I got to her place about 9:45, so I wanted to see her rash compared to Tuesday afternoon, last I saw it. Now the open sore part was completely gone. Still very red in where the open sore had been, but way better. The dr. was running about a half hour late, which of course is mostly frustrating because every other minute my mom is commenting on it and worried I have other stuff to do. I kept telling her dr's are rarely on time and I always budget myself 45 minutes at a dr. office. Then she tries to tell me again she could get a car and start driving herself to these appointments. I again told her she doesn't know where anything is around here and would get lost. She said she could learn. I said do you remember coming here last week? She did not, LOL.

Dr. (and nurse) thought her yeast infection looked so much better and were very happy with the progress. Since the open wound part is healed she doesn't need to keep the bandage dressing on (that was changed every 2 days). Just apply the anti fungal cream 2x a day and keep that cotton strip tucked in underneath her stomach. They gave us another roll of cotton and another tube. I decided since it's improving and no dressing to change every 2 days, she doesn't need to come back to my place. I cut up all the cotton into the size strips she needs. Set them, along with the cream on top of her little medicine cabinet below her bathroom mirror and taped a note with the 2 instructions on the mirror behind it. Of course, I will be calling/reminding daily to do the cream and cotton.

As we are leaving the parking lot she again mentions she should have her own car and drive. I said I'm sorry but you won't be able to remember the directions to places. Then I said do you remember what the doctor just told you a few minutes ago for what you need to do for your rash now? She did not. The next time she brings it up I'm just going to say well, then you'd have to take the driving and written test to get a license here. LOL.

After I drove to the other side of town to drop off the payment to our sprinkler system guy at his office. I'm driving down streets/part of town I've never even been on and my mom says "oh this looks familiar, I think I've been here before". I laughed and said I've never even been here before, so you for sure haven't. LOL. We owed him for what we had him add to our system at his last visit. I had gotten his address off their website and had told his daughter the day before, after she emailed me the bill, I would drop it off (though of course half hour later than I thought, as dr was running late). I get there and the place (old house) is now an insurance company office. I tried to call but no answer and left a message. Then decided to get my mom back to her place so she could have lunch. I had sent dh a text that I was waiting for a call as to where their office really was, LOL. He got a hold of the owner guy via his cell phone and called me with the address.

After I dropped the payment off, and ready to head home, I decided to stop at Home Depot and look for some small ornamental grass type plants we want in numerous spots. I got like 10 of those (3 different kinds) and 2 larger bush type plants to put near each end of our back patio. 4 of the grass plants were on clearance for $3. They looked in great condition and inside were some more, that looked exactly same, but still at regular price of $8. But, stupid me, forgot we were out of potting soil. This morning I'm going to run into our little town hardware store and hope they have some.

A week or so ago DH put some fertilizer on all our lawn. It was different shades of green all over. Dark green, spots of light green, medium green, etc. Within a week now our lawn is completely all one dark green color. He's very pleased. He had asked a friend, who's lawn is very nice, what he did, so he gave DH the name of the type of fertilizer he uses.

My mom called me yesterday afternoon that she had gone downstairs to play bingo - and won twice. I'm so glad she is doing activities. I'm sure it will be so good for her.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The doctor visit

Yesterday was my mom's appointment to get established with a primary care physician. I took her to my doctor's office. I see a PA there, but felt my mom should probably have an MD, so she saw someone different than I see. She seemed very nice and I liked her. She seemed to listen and pay attention to what I told her.

She sits down to start her questions to my mom and of course says "so do you have any issues going on or concerns?" My mom's reply: "Nope. I'm good".

So, then of course, I said, well we do have a few issues going on we'd like to discuss. 1) I told her about the yeast rash and treatment so far. I asked if by chance they had another bandage because the place hadn't given me enough thru Thursday (next appt), to change every 2 days. She said they did not. I also asked her about the strip of cotton we are supposed to keep there where her stomach skin folds over, because it doesn't seem to want to stay put very well. She explained it was ok and just keep it tucked up in there (might need adjusting after going to bathroom or walking around much) but it was just to help keep skin dry and she said that her excess stomach skin hanging down over her groin allows it to stay moist there and causing the yeast infection.

2) her common mornings of "just not feeling well". I told the doctor the only symptom I can get her to describe is her forehead is sweaty and hot (though no fever ever). I told her it's been going on at least a couple of years and that it completely goes away in an hour or two. I said I had originally thought maybe it was from her missing doses of her meds quite often, but we have fixed that issue. Then I told her I recently had realized she's been taking Tylenol PM quite often and sometimes 2 pills at bedtime and that I realized it's just benadryl. She said that is definitely not a good thing to be taking regularly. She said it can cause other issues, as well as memory problems! I said yes, that is what I had read about it too. She then said if you are having trouble sleeping we can look into a different option, that is specifically for sleeping (not benadryl) but then my mom (as she almost always says to me) "oh, I sleep pretty good". I'm not sure why she had been taking the Tylenol PM but I'm guessing it's something she probably started using years ago (before her memory problems) and it was now in her mind it's something that helps her or she needed to take it at bedtime.  The doctor said she really doesn't have any idea on what could be causing the mornings, but offered maybe it's anxiety, which is what I think it is too (now that her meds are under control and the Tylenol PM has been discontinued).

3) I reviewed her meds list and also that once I got her medical records access, recently, I realized her previous dr had also told her to take a few supplements that she has not been taking. I'm guessing she had ran out sometime before and then didn't remember to re purchase (OTC). I told her I did have her taking just a multivitamin. She said the daily low dose aspirin she does not recommend, unless my mom had heart issues (she doesn't) and she felt the high dose of vitamin b12 wasn't necessary unless she was low (she's not) and thinks it might have been tried to see if it helped with her memory, but she didn't think it was necessary. I said, good, because at this point, the less for her to take the better.

4) and lastly I pointed out some "red spots" on her arms she is constantly worried about. As I figured, dr said they are just aging spots because the skin gets thinner as it gets older. They don't itch. Then mom says "well, I just feel self conscious about how they look". Ahh...at least now when she mentions them again (because she will forget what the dr said) I now know what to say about them.

In a couple of months (I guess due to when her last annual check up was last August) we are going to go back in for the actual wellness physical.

After the visit it was lunch time so we stopped in Burger King drive thru and then went across the street and ate in my car at the Walgreens parking lot. I wanted to get her a few things there. Wanted to find a similar bandage the wound care place had us use, so I could replace it before I left and then she'd be good with that until Thurs am appt. She also had mentioned before she wanted some sun screen and more easy crossword puzzle books. She also picked out some snack brownies that she thought looked good.

I got her back to her apartment (lots of nice welcome home to her from staff), set up her new microwave cart I had rolled in (though honestly I doubt she will even use the microwave either) and changed her bandage. She had gotten her mail and her stupid investment brokerage company apparently still doesn't have her new address! (that I have given twice). It went to her old address and forwarded. She also had a box at her door, where the wound care place had apparently sent some bandages....but they are HUGE, like 10" long size. Totally will not work, so I'm glad I got the 4" ones at Walgreens. Good grief. I showed her the sunscreen and was going to put it in her bathroom and she says "oh is this something I use on rash?" Oh no! it's just sunscreen, you said you wanted some for taking walks outside. Then she says "oh, I think I have some already". LOL

Oh, and the other thing I did while there is check her laundry hamper in her bathroom. It was at least half full of clothes and towels, etc. Ok, I feel better now. I had though she had brought all her dirty laundry for me to do and if that's all she used in the past month, is why I was so concerned! So, she is wearing/using quite a bit, she just didn't bring it all and she hasn't done it herself. At least I know that part and will now get the laundry hired out.

I then picked up my grocery order and headed home later in the afternoon. I was pooped! I took a short nap before I made dinner and then just relaxed the rest of the evening. When I pulled in I saw a pickup parked out in our street and DH out talking to a couple in our driveway. They were from California and looking at lot#6 that is for sale. Said they were about 15 years from retiring and looking for property they could build on at that time. They said they had no desire to stay in California after they retire. They seemed fairly young, so I'm guessing they want to retire at like 60 or early 60's. They seemed really nice, though they had more properties to look at and are more interested in low river bank property.

One of my chickens escaped the coop when I went in to give them a treat and fill up water, LOL. I was able to grab her up really quick before she got too far.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Just this and that Tuesday

Saturday afternoon, for something to do, I took mom out to a neighboring town that has a touristy gift shop. They have quite a bit of wall art/paintings for sale and we have gotten several from them the past few years. I've been wanting something (and waiting to have the extra money to spend) for the guest bedroom that has the bear carved log bed. The only thing on the walls in that room is a mirror. I found this painting of a black bear and it compliments the room nicely.

Last night we decided to go out to dinner for the first time in months and months. We went to our usual steakhouse, which has always been very good. I must say I was very disappointed! I know a year ago or so I had overheard the owner talking with some one about if she had sold the place yet. I'm guessing it now has new owners. I almost always order the grilled salmon. It is very good and melts in your mouth. I order their garlic mashed potatoes for my side. The salmon was half the size it normally is and not near as good (I'm guessing its from frozen, not fresh). The mashed potatoes were obviously instant type. Certainly not worth the $24 plate cost. DH always gets the fish and chips and said it hadn't changed any.

I think my mom's yeast infection rash is improving. The part that was the worst, open sore area was probably 3 inches across her groin area and when I changed the bandage yesterday it was now 2 much smaller sores. The area around it (still covered by the big 4" bandage) is still fairly red, but the area outside the bandage area is much better now. I know the wound care dr. took a picture of it last week, so that will be a good comparison to see how much it's improved. She goes back to that doctor on Thursday morning.

Today we see her new primary care physician at 11am. She did get up yesterday and remember that she was showering, so that was good. I am washing her dirty clothes up this morning so she will go back to her place with all clean stuff.

It poured rain yesterday and today is doing the same. Will not be a nice drive back to the city. Oh well. After I am done with mom I am picking up a Walmart grocery order. This is the first order I have done since the virus hit that they have our toilet paper in stock.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Here we go again...........

Our neighbor texted DH last night. Guess what? They have their sons 2 dogs AGAIN all summer, for at least 2 months. This is now the 4th summer in a row (that we know of) and always an excuse why they need to dump their dogs off on their parents. The first summer they were moving. The second summer (that was the summer we were building) was she was having a baby (their 3rd) and last summer it was because they were putting in a yard and didn't want the dogs around. (so they came and messed up the yard WE were trying to put in). This summer it's they are remodeling and don't want the dogs there. What crappy dog owners. We always feel sorry for the dogs to get separated from their family and home for months every year. And it's always longer than they say it's going to be (and because you know remodeling will take 3x as long as the estimate)

I also feel for their newer/problem dog that they got last Fall (right after the sons 2 dogs went home). He's finally adjusting to his new home and the other dogs and now has something new to deal with in 2 dogs he's not familiar with. Hopefully this isn't going to be another summer of barking issues - again. Good grief.

I'm usually up at 7am (dogs schedule) but got to sleep in until almost 7:30. That was after being woke up at 4:30 with our oldest dog puking up a chunk of grass. Not again! It took me awhile to fall back asleep. Then I'm up here in my office drinking coffee and typing this out and hear my mom get up (8am). She's standing outside her bedroom door and I ask how she's doing and she says oh, not the greatest. She kind of had a confused look on her face and then says I'm not sure but I thought they said I could call down to have breakfast brought up. I said well, yes at your apartment they are bringing your breakfast up to you in the mornings. Then she said ya, I don't know if I was just dreaming about that or what. I talked her into going back to bed for awhile, told her DH wasn't even up yet. I talked her into going back to bed for a bit. I could tell she wasn't ready to get up yet and I think she thinks because I am up she needs to get up. (nope! I like my free "me" time in the mornings! haha!)

Yesterday she remembered that she is taking a shower today. I wonder if she will still remember about it when she gets up this morning.

I don't think I mentioned it, but Saturday morning I did chop up all the red bell peppers and 3 of the onions. I got a quart sized ziploc full of each on the freezer now. I kept 3 of the onions whole, in my pantry, as I figured I'll probably use them up. I was going to make the peach cobbler, but then realized the peaches were not very ripe yet, so I am still waiting on them to get riper/softer. I did get my ice cream made at 4pm yesterday. Yummy!

Ok, mom's back up. Here we go :)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Laundry

Someone's going to have to remind me to take deep breaths and relax, LOL. My mom comes down this morning already dressed. Ok, but as we have done 3x a day for the last 3 days I need to change her dressing and put on the anti fungal cream first thing. Annnnnddd....I'm guessing she just left her undies on from yesterday. So, while she's eating breakfast I go upstairs to look in the laundry basket I set in her room for dirty clothes and sure enough, not another pair has been added.  After I get her back upstairs so we can put on the cream and new cotton bandage part, I explain to her that she needs to put on a fresh clean pair of undies. She was kind of like "oh, I guess I didn't". I then went into how, with clearing up this rash infection and making sure it stays gone, it is most important now that she puts on a fresh, clean pair every day. She starts to say "oh, well I'm not sure I have enough for that (she does) but I can wash them in the sink. So, then I had to explain, NO, we can't have you doing that any more. That is probably most likely what has caused this rash to get so bad and not heal the past few weeks (with the diflucan and cream we did for 2 weeks, it really should have started to get better and it got worse).

She seemed a bit confused and concerned, just by the look on her face. Then she said she thought the cleaning ladies did her laundry and I said no, they are only doing linens, you are responsible for your own clothes and we need to start having your clothes washed once a week now. She then was concerned "well, I don't have a big enough load to do it that often". I said well, if you have 7 undies, 7 pairs of socks, 2-3 jeans and tops, you should have enough. I said you can do a small load just as easy as a full load. I then told her if she doesn't want to have to do the laundry there is a lady who does other residents laundry to help them out and we can get her to start coming in once a week. She doesn't charge very much (I have have no idea what she charges, LOL, I just made that part up to help convince her). I mentioned this a couple of times that we can just have her start coming in once a week to do wash your clothes, like she does for other residents. She tried to mention again she could just do her undies in the sink. I'm like NO, we are not doing that anymore. I asked her what soap she used to wash them. She's not sure. She guesses she just used some liquid laundry soap. I said that isn't getting them clean enough or they can't get rinsed out well enough. They have to be done in the washing machine from now on. When I commented again about doing laundry weekly, she'll have 7 undies, socks, etc she says well, usually I wear my socks an extra day. I told her for her skins health she needs to be putting on clean clothes.

So, tomorrow I'm calling the lady that the manager gave me her # for and see if she can start coming in weekly to do her laundry. Then I'm going to just have her start doing more and more to help my mom, so mom probably won't even realize it as we gradually add the help (like just making sure she showers at least every other day). I'm guessing the reason my mom isn't doing her laundry anymore is because she is forgetting how to do it/use the machines. I'm also guessing she was probably washing her undies in the sink at her old apartment, often, because she didn't think she had a big enough load to use her washing machine.

I'm also realizing (though I already knew it) how much of a homebody/introvert/recluse I am LOL. I read one time that introverts need to recharge by themselves after dealing with people. That is me, haha. I do not enjoy having to feel like I need to make small talk/chat all day with someone. It exhausts me.

This morning after I got up I made the mixture for the ice cream to be made in my kitchenaid ice cream attachment. I was going to make it yesterday around noon, but haven't made in a few years and forgot it needs to chill for 8 hours before making and I didn't want to be doing it at 8pm last night. So, now I'll get to do it around 4pm. About 9:30 this morning my mom went back upstairs to lay down, so I'm getting a little break.

The rash area that is around the bad part (that part is covered with bandage/dressing to leave on 2 days at a time and then change) is almost all cleared up, so that is very good. Still putting on cream 2x a day, of course, but glad to see it getting better. Tomorrow we get to change that bandage again (and shower) so I'm hoping that part is showing some more improvement.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

On my staycation

As if I needed anything else to deal with, while I we were waiting for my mom's dr. appt, I get a text from her banks fraud alert department. Did she make this charge to some unknown name (I can't remember what it is now) for $3.45? I texted back NO. Got a text back that her card was now restricted for use, call the bank. When I got home I logged into her banking and was also able to click on a few questions there that reported that as a charge she did not authorize. So, they canceled the card and now a new card is on it's way to her. I'm really hoping it will be in her mail by next week, so I can activate it for her and then change her auto pays that get charged to her card.

I kind of wondered the past many months what exactly my mom does all day with her time. She doesn't watch much tv, other than a little in the evening (jeopardy and wheel of fortune, of course). She never mentions napping much, but I had a feeling she must. She's already taken a nap before lunch and now at 1:30 she's taking another one. She did sit and work on her crossword puzzle book a bit.

Before we left for my mom's dr appt I remembered I need to turn off her medication alarms on her clock. Go to do that and realize the clock is unplugged! I asked her if she just did that and she said she did since she's going to be gone 5 days and didn't know how else to stop the alarm. I wonder if she really turned it off for that or had already unplugged it awhile back, because she doesn't like the alarms going off twice a day?! We'll see I guess, when I take her back and reset it and then see if it's still plugged in the next visit.

She had this envelope in her file cabinet safe that has been in there forever, so she brought it to have me look at it. It's for 200 shares of stock my dad bought back in like 1970 for a silver mining company. I looked it up. Apparently still in business. The stock value? A WHOPPING .11 (yes, that is cents) per share. LOL.  Too funny. No gold mine found in that silver mine ;) We had a good chuckle over it. I showed it to DH and he said that is actually the mine a friend of his works at now. Apparently the reason for the basically zero stock price is until just recently they were on strike for like the past 5 years.

Last evening we took a quick drive over to this area where elk and deer like to spend the evenings. We weren't seeing anything but came upon another car stopped like they were watching. He pointed out a herd of elk off in the distance on the other side of a grove of trees. He had binoculars, so was getting a better view than we could get. I do like how living here it's normal to just pull up and chat with people you don't even know. And with people you do know, haha. As we continued on down the loop road a truck was coming by and it was a guy we know from doing our site work when building, so we stopped in the road and chatted with him a minute.

Today starts my week off work. Yay! Once we get up and about this morning, I'm going to get started making/prepping stuff in the kitchen. First up will be making some ice cream. I haven't made any in at least a couple of years. Then I'm going to make a peach cobbler to try to use up the peaches I got and also chop up the onions and bell peppers for freezing. Those bell peppers would be good for my home made pizza I make - if I can ever find my Classico pizza sauce again. I haven't been able to find any to buy since Covid hit. Weird. Great, now pizza sounds good, haha.

The hot weather is taking a cool down turn starting today. It will only be 73 and then in the 60's tomorrow and in the high 50's on Monday. Summer? LOL  We had a young buck deer wandering through our front yard yesterday afternoon. Our dog started barking a little looking out the front door so my mom went over to see what he was barking at and got to watch him wander through a bit. She enjoyed that.

Sometime in the next few days I also want to drive her into our little town. Show her our previous house. Stop at the grocery store and get some more milk. Once she is up this morning I get to take off that one bandage to change it (and she can take a shower). I so hope it is starting to look better.




Friday, June 26, 2020

Ugh Ugh Ugh

Of course I was not surprised yesterday morning when my mom called at 8am to tell me she just doesn't not feel well at all. Her forehead was sweaty and so hot. I said oh, ok. Just take it easy this morning. That's why I made your doctor appointment for the afternoon, as you'll feel better by then. "well, I don't know. This is worse" LOL. So, then I said well the appt is not until 1:45 and we have to have this rash taken care of, so even if you aren't feeling too well, we have to go in for the visit.  She was also supposed to go down to the dining room yesterday for meals, so I'm sure that has something to do with it, as well.

Then she calls me about an hour later (in the midst of all this I'm trying to get payroll processed as I'm only working half day) and she is "worse". She just doesn't think she can "travel" (not sure where she thinks she's "traveling to" haha). I said well, the dr office is only about a 6 minute drive and repeated again that we have to go to this appointment. We'll see how she feels when we are done to go to my house (though of course I was bringing her here anyway). "oh...ok, then".

Then around 11:30 she calls. Starting to sound better and does say she is glad to be going to the dr .to get this rash figured out, but she's not sure if I want her staying at her house if she's not feeling well. I tell her that I'm sure she's not contagious or running a fever (she's not), so she'll be fine.

The wound care center doctor said it does appear to be from a yeast infection and it was actually spreading a bit more from when I last looked at it. Lots of instructions for the next week that there would be no way for my mom to remember, so glad I decided to bring her home with me to take care of. They put a smaller bandage dressing over the worst part, to change every 2 days. The rest is applied antifungal cream twice a day, along with a dressing of basically a cotton strip (she also said we could use old t-shirt cut into strips) to change 3x a day. I could kind of tell that the dr and the nurse were thinking (due to where the rash is and where it's spread) it's related to her underwear, as they asked if she'd changed detergents or anything like that.

I've now realized that her hygiene and self care has deteriorated quite a bit. I did not realize that her thinking on that has gotten this bad. She's always been a very clean and tidy person and her apartment is still always tidy, so I didn't realize her self care is longer getting the same care. I know she has always kind of been one to shower like every other day, but now she's not even doing that anymore.

She has done no laundry and now lived at her place almost 5 weeks! I'm not sure about her bedding and linens. She says no one from housekeeping has come to clean or do her linen laundry. I'm hoping she's just not remembering they have. I know from comments she has made off and on over past years or so she doesn't shower daily. I could also tell when I first visited her last November at her new place (right when her BF had his fall and found out he had cancer) she had not showered for several days (she was staying in his apartment) and easily could tell it from her hair. She will say she just uses a wash cloth in between days. I think at the time I just thought it was because he fell, she was staying in his apt. with him, trying to help him, is why. But, I'm seeing now this is apparently her "normal" now. The doctor asked her how many times a week she showers and she started to answer, but then said she hadn't this past week because she was supposed to leave that bandage on from the prev. doctor visit last week. So, I'm not sure what her answer would have been...but dr. told her for the health of her skin, she needs to be showering at least 3x a week. Honestly, I'm guessing she is doing it one or maybe 2x a week.....

When I kept asking her the past couple of weeks if she went and did her laundry, she said well, I have quite a few pairs of underwear and when I was quarantined I just washed them in the sink. I'm guessing unclean and re-worn underwear are probably the reason for the rash.  She brought her laundry with her to do at my house (as soon as she knew a week ago she was coming, she decided wait and bring it). I honestly hope that is not all she has worn the past month!! I'm really hoping that she did not bring all her laundry (she doesn't remember now, of course) because if she didn't we have a problem.

She also only brought the pair of pants she was wearing yesterday and only one pair of jeans that were in the laundry basket. I asked her if that is the only pants she's worn in the past month?? She thinks so and didn't seem to think that was a problem. I said well, if you are only wearing a couple pairs of pants they need to be washed every week, so then she said "well, I guess I'll need to get more pants then. (pretty sure she has several pairs!)

And it's certainly not like she doesn't have the time to do a load or two of laundry a week and take a shower at least every other day. I just emailed the mgr lady at her apartment. When I very first had talked to her she said she has a lady she uses to help her mom (who also lives there) and she's really seasonably priced, so I asked for her name (or anyone she'd like to refer me to) and number. I also asked what the schedule is for cleaning my mom's apartment and the linen laundry done as she is telling me no one has done that yet, but I'm she's just not remembering it was done. At least if she tells me it has been done, I'll feel better knowing that she's actually had some towels washed recently!

I had hoped to catch her when she first got up this morning, before she got dressed. Needed to change her dressing and wanted to make sure she's putting on clean underwear! She came out already dressed (in what she had on yesterday) and no thought to that dressing. I got her back in the bedroom to change the cotton strip and couldn't find the one that was supposed to be there from the night (it's not sticking to anything, just tucked in where her stomach folds over, which dr. told me should stay put there and her pants will keep it there, obviously not well!). Finally realized the one worn during the night was now down in her underwear (probably happened when she went to the bathroom and got dressed). Obviously she did not change her underwear either. UGH!! No wonder she has a yeast infection and that it won't heal.

I did up all her laundry (one load of tops and one load of whites) so now will make sure to keep track of her getting the dirty ones in her laundry basket and a clean pair on each day, while she is here with me. I commented to her yesterday that we need to get her undies washed in the machine. She says well, I did them in the sink. I said well, the washing machine uses hot water and will make sure they are clean. She says "well, I used hot water". I can see now that her thinking this is an ok way to take care of herself on a regular basis is not going to work.

Now, I need to figure out how to convince her she needs some help coming in, since she thinks she is doing fine with it all. And if I tell her what needs to be done (like showers every other day and weekly laundry) she will agree with me and say she'll do it, but then of course does not. Plus, of course she now can't remember if she's showered or not the previous day, so I think, until I can get someone to start checking in on her during the week, I'm going to have to just start telling her "today is the day you need to shower". But, then I won't really know if she did or not, either.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The food bounty

I went and picked up the free food. We aren't going to starve for awhile. My friend had like a pallet of each stuff to give away, apparently. A place in the city contacted her, had extra I guess, and figured she could share it with her community/small town, so she did. I didn't get there until about 11:45 because I ended up on hold with Lowes (for a second time) for an hour trying to resolve (again) the order they shipped wrong almost 2 weeks ago and were supposed to ship me out the correct item(s). I pretty much got there just in time, she was down to her last boxes of the meats. She said it all went pretty fast.

A huge box of bacon, layered on parchment paper, so will be easy to pull out a "sheet" when needed. This will last a good long time. A partial box that had 3 full racks of pork spare ribs. I think it had like 6 in it, but I told her it's too much, so as I went to get my car pulled up close another lady came and took the other half. A big box of produce: leaf lettuce, bag of apples (though really tiny ones), peaches, bag of peppers, bag of onions, potatoes and yams. And an "emergency kit" box of misc canned and dried goods (rice, peanut butter, tuna, canned chicken, can veggies). Not any brands I've ever heard of, but just as good I'm sure. Feels good to put a bit more food in the freezer for future use.

So, now I need to figure out how to do the spare ribs. Even one is way too much for DH and I to eat. Any suggestions? it's all frozen, so I can't split in half unless I thaw it.  Is there something I could do with the leftover meat once I cooked one of these? I'm thinking some pork sandwiches, but after a couple meals of pork, we'll probably have had our fill awhile. Could the cooked meat then be frozen to use later in sandwiches? I'm not much of a cook, so pretty clueless here.

I doubt we will eat the apples, they are super tiny, haha. Never seen ones that small. I'll probably cut them up over time and give to chickens as scraps. I found a recipe that looks pretty easy and delicious to make an apple crisp crumble. I think I will make a cobbler with the peaches. I also stopped at the grocery store for a few things and bought the half and half and whip cream to make ice cream this weekend with my kitchenaid attachment. Ice cream and apple crumble and peach cobbler sounds pretty tasty!

how long will onions last? I should probably share some of this food with my neighbors. With just the 2 of us, we probably won't be able to eat all the fresh stuff before it goes bad. But, I can also share with my chickens :)

Tried the bacon with dinner tonight (eggs and bacon) and it was decent. Kinda thin, but free is free.

My mom is so funny. She's had a perspiration problem for years (dr  notes think it's from the paroxetine medication) but now she doesn't seem to remember that's been on ongoing problem for many years, so every time she gets a little perspiration on her forehead she is convinced she has a fever. ("my forehead feels really hot". I'm like you can't feel your own forehead, LOL) She took a note down to the main desk to let them know she will be gone from today through next Tuesday and got back to her apartment with perspiration. She calls me convinced her forehead is really hot and she must have a fever, but she's going to wait a bit to take her temp. I'm like why don't you just take it now, then you'll know. 98.2. haha.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Wednesday what not

DH thinks he may have figured out the problem with the lawn tractor. He fiddled some more with it yesterday and said it worked great and had more power now too (just what he needed haha). He did have me order a replacement part, but it was only $6 on Amazon.

When I called my mom about 11:30 yesterday she was in her usual slow morning. She said she hadn't even gotten dressed yet. And again, she supposedly wrote down what time her doctor appointment is tomorrow. Then she called me about 4pm and said she just got back from doing an "exercise class" downstairs. Yay! Like DD said - she's done more in the past week (2 activities, haha) at this new place than she did in almost 8 months are her previous place.  I think I'm going to get her a desk calendar and see if she can write down upcoming things on it, to help her remember, rather than all these little slips of paper. Maybe if she could just look on her calendar and see that she has a dr. appt on Thurs 6/25 at 2pm or that such and such day is her day to be able to eat in the dining room, it would help her. Hard to say.

My friend who lives in town (the one I got the chickens from) texted me last night that she's getting in a bunch of produce boxes, bacon and pork spare ribs and to come today between 10am and 1pm and she'll load me up with some. I'm not going to pass that up, so I'll take a lunch break today and go get me some. I'm not sure what the story is on how/why she is getting all this (where she works) but I'm sure I'll get the story when I see her, and it will be interesting to see what I get. I really needed to make a trip to town anyway. We're out of milk, bananas and with the hot weather now, I want to put some ice creams bars and popsicles in the freezer.

My half sister lives on a ranch/farm (though her boyfriend, of many years, is self employed with a different profession, he does also have the ranch). Anyhow, he wants to be more self sufficient and stock up on foods, etc, so they got a whole bunch more chickens this past spring. She's starting to get eggs now and said when they all start laying she'll probably get about 40 eggs a day, which she will sell this summer. Then this fall they are taking all but 10 to a poultry processing place and filling up their freezer for the year with chicken. She'll let the chickens hatch eggs next spring and repeat.  Smart, especially since they have the space to do it. She finally was able to quit working and is loving being home all the time now, taking care of her animals and such.

My uncle called last night. He's asked me this before and I've told him before I can't find any, but he wants to see if my mom has any really old photos of when they were little. He's trying to figure out what house they lived in. Mom keeps telling him she doesn't have any photo albums now (she does) so I told him I'll look thru them again to see. I asked him about his skin cancer and what is now going on and he said he goes in tomorrow to have it removed. His blood work all came back good and the dr. told him it all should be able to be removed. As I kind of thought, when he found out that day last week and called me, I think he just over reacted a bit and thought he had just received a death sentence.  I'll give him a call in a few days and see how he's doing.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Saving dollars

I'm trying to be mindful of saving dollars and not wasting. I did pretty well this past week or so, with one exception.

Those thick 2"+ steaks that I have and wasn't having the best of ease broiling/cooking so thick....Sunday I let one steak thaw out about halfway and then cut it in half, thereby making 2 1" steaks. They worked perfect and perfect size for us. So, now 5 steaks left will become 10.

I made a casserole the other day for dinner and didn't freeze half and ended up just dumping out what we didn't eat. BAD! I was very lazy (I think this was last Friday or Saturday). Last night I made a tuna casserole for dinner and put half in the freezer.

Our propane/gas company had sent out a postcard reminding about the summer fill lower rates and to call by 6/30 to schedule the fill. I called yesterday. Since our tank is at about 45% and we don't use much in summer, she said they will put us on the schedule for later rather than sooner and we are locked in. The main guy had called or texted DH about it a few weeks ago but now I can't remember what he told DH the price/gallon is. I think he said $1.25. Then in August or September we will also do the "pre pay winter contract", to lock in a winter fill at lower price. I think we have finally figured out how this all works to save the most possible.

DH's health insurance just sent out a notice that for June's premium they are giving a small discount due to Covid-19, so will save about $7 there. I think they spent more to send out the notice than the discount, LOL. There was 2 pages to the notice plus another 3 pages of privacy notice.

DH's "new" lawn tractor is having issues staying running. It's like after it's been running awhile it heats up and shuts down. He's thinking/hoping it's just the fuel pump and wants to get a new one from the John Deere dealership. Like he said - there's always a reason someone is selling their stuff, LOL.

A year and a half ago I bought my iphone 6s (ya, I'm always way behind, but not willing to spend those ridiculous amounts for the latest and greatest). It was on sale/special for $5/mo for 24 months. Except they bill it strange. It's billed at $15 a month and then a $10 credit, equaling out to $5 (no interest). I had hoped to just pay off the phone in full, without continuing the extra $5 month payments, but they won't let me, LOL. If I want to pay it off early, I lose the $10 month credit and would have to pay the $15/mo for the remaining payments left. Oh well, it's interest free, so no biggie. I'm sure as soon as I get mine paid off, DH's phone will need to be replaced. Always seems to work out that way.

Working on MTurks again today. At $5.34 so far.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Monday mood

I have to admit, I've waited to call my mom a little after lunch the past 2 days. Then I know she is past her morning "I just don't feel well" and good to go, LOL. She's doing well. She knows she has a doctor appointment coming up but does have to keep asking me when. I'm sure she's written it down each time. And she kind of seems like she doesn't exactly remember why she's going. And then when I remind her she also has an appt on the 30th with a primary care dr. she seems to not remember that until I remind her. BUT, she sure is remembering that she is coming to stay at my house for several days! Too funny. She has left the bandage on, thank goodness. She also mentioned there was a notice that Bingo is staring up twice a week, so the thinks that sounds fun. It says "bring your dimes" so we will have to get her some dimes :)  She also wants a hat to wear to take walks or sit outside. She can't find any of her hats she used to have for golfing. I'll have to dig a bit through her stuff, I'm sure she has one or two somewhere. If not, we'll go buy her a new one.

I tweaked my neck on Saturday and it still hurts. We were looking way up at the beam up in our back patio where the birds keep trying to build a nest, and DH takes his leaf blower every day and blows down the twigs they get started. I was holding my neck way back for quite some time looking up while he was blowing. Then he wanted me to fix his tv out in the shop (it has my old Firestick) and it's way up high, so I had my neck bent back for awhile going through the menus. I have a messed up neck from a car accident years ago so I should not have done that. Wish it would stop hurting now and hope it goes away soon.

The microwave cart I ordered for my mom delivered to my house today. I told DH no rush to put together as I won't take it to her place until next Tuesday, but of course he's putting it together right away. A ton of pieces! and went I commented that, he says "ya...did you look at it when you ordered it?" I'm like well, ya. a picture of it put together. How am I to know how many pieces it has? So, now he's mad at me because it's so hard to put together and so many pieces. It's on wheels, so once he gets it in the back of my car on Tuesday, I should be able to slide it out and down on it's wheels in the parking lot and then just wheel it into my mom's place.

It's finally warmer today. 80 degrees. My chickens just seem to be spending the day up inside on their perch. But, my half sister, who is very chicken experienced, just says they are probably just hanging out there because it's warm out. 

I didn't do any MTurks the past 2 weeks (well, like $2 worth). Between work and time off to take my mom to the dr twice, etc, I just haven't had the focus to do it. I did manage to do $12.50 today and will try to get back into the routine of it.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A little progress

My mom had a much better day yesterday, even though when I called her later morning, she was her usual not quite feeling very well. But, she had left the bandage on and eaten breakfast and had taken her pills. Then I told her that since I was just there Thursday and coming again next week that I wasn't coming this weekend, so we'd need to get her pillbox filled up and I could help her over the phone. She said it's already done! She said when she took her pills she saw (with the exception of Sat eve pill) it was empty and that she needed to refill it for the week so she did that. I was super surprised!

I brought up again if she had done laundry yet and she hasn't and now her idea is since she's coming to stay with me a few days she'll bring her laundry to do at my house. Ok, LOL. You'd think she be looking for things to do, rather than sitting in an apartment all day with not much at all to do. When discussing her mornings, she brought up that she's been sleeping fine. So, obviously she hasn't needed those Tylenol PM's (ie benadryl), but that also apparently hasn't been her morning problem, since she's not felt well for like the last 4 mornings in a row. Sigh......

Then about 4:15 she called me to tell me good news (her words, LOL). She went downstairs around 2:30 to check her mail and heard some talking in the dining room, so she looked and and a small group of women were gathered over in the corner. They invited her over to join. In honor of Father's Day they were having a little chat and talked about their fathers and grandfathers. When they were done my mom said she was putting her chair back, all but one had left, so she said she helped that lady push chairs back and clean off the little chalkboard. She seemed very proud of herself that she did an activity and I was sure happy to hear it. That is so what she needs.

We kept busy yesterday, but nothing too major. DH finished fixing a gutter spout on one corner of the house. Shortly after they were originally put up someone working here at the house just stepped on the piece that was coming out from the bottom and dented it. DH instead buried a piece of pvc pipe down under the ground for the downspout to drain into. While dh was out in his shop trying to organize some more, I got in a good nap. He was at least able to empty one big plastic bin. It basically just had some boxes in it that a couple of his power tools came in. He even saves boxes! It was a struggle for him, but he broke down the boxes and threw them away and was able to put the empty bin stacked in with his other empty bins. One at time LOL. Maybe it will all be done when he's 80, LOL.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Weekend relaxing

Glad for the weekend to be here. The week went by so fast but for some reason working yesterday seemed to drag on. I did figure out an IT problem all by myself. It was caused by our IT switching me to that new server to log in to. I didn't realize that by setting up the accounting software on the new server I lost my "web connection" to 2 apps I use to integrate outside data into the accounting software. And it was popping up an error message, but apparently everyone gets the error message when the sign on to the server or something, so it's annoying everyone. IT wanted to disconnect the "web connection" altogether and I'm like NO, I use that all the time. The IT guy was trying to figure it out. I was trying to re-add the 2 apps I use and the first one we were trying to add wasn't working. I got off the phone with our IT guy and tried to add the other app, which worked, so then I knew it wasn't a problem on the accounting software side. I tried to get tech help from the support of the other app but they had to refer me to another department and would be 24 hours.  A few hours later I had a thought. That app is still attached to my old desktop copy of our accounting software. I think it can only work on one computer at a time. I logged in my old version, deleted it, and then was able to add it to my new version. IT guy was happy it was resolved.

DH and I were out sitting on the front patio last night. We got up for a few minutes to  tend to one of our recently planted flowering shrubs. Came back to sit down and there was a snake right at the front door! I'm sure it was a garter snake, but it was a good 2 1/2 feet long. EWWW! My friend who gave me the chickens texted me back, throw it in with the chickens! No. Not gonna happen. Then I'll have to clean it out of there once they killed it. Just no. LOL.

Since I was just at my mom's on Thursday and will be going back next Thurs I'm going to try to take this weekend off from making the trip for a visit. More than likely something will come up where I'll need to go in to see her for something anyway, before Thursday, so I'm not making a special trip this weekend. I think today is her day to eat meals in the dining room, so if she at least goes for lunch and dinner that will keep her busy today. I need a couple of days to recharge.

I'm also taking the whole week off, week after next. I was just going to take Mon and Tues 6/29 and 6/30 off, as I'll have my mom here and she has her regular dr. appt on the 30th, but my boss said I should just take the rest of the week off, as Friday the office is closed for 4th of July holiday. So, I'm just going to do that. I haven't had a full week off in quite some time and certainly have more than enough vacation days on the books.

DH's friend had told him what lawn fertilizer he uses, so I had picked up 2 50# bags at a co-op store after I left my mom's Thursday. He got the lawn mowed and applied it all yesterday, so hopefully that will help. 

Well, I need to go take a walk to the mailbox this morning to leave something to go out, before the mail is delivered. It comes pretty early most days.

Oh and a funny while we were sitting out front yesterday, our neighbor down at the end of the street came home pulling a little uhaul trailer. DH, being nosy, haha, wonders what that is for. Then about half hour later he pulls out. We wave, but dh kind of throws his arms up like what the heck? are ya moving?! I said I'll bet they are helping someone move and got the uhaul and just stopped at home for a bit. A minute later he gets a text from the wife "you're not getting rid of us. LOL. We're helping my mom move". 

Friday, June 19, 2020

feeling a bit hopeless

I'm feeling a bit defeated today. Mom just doesn't get it and can't remember what she needs to do to take care of this rash. I thought it would be easier, for this next week, since he put that bandage dressing on and just said to leave it on, and she wouldn't need to keep remembering to put the Lotrimin on 2x a day. I call her up later this morning and ask her how it's going/feeling and she says "oh it was itching a bit, so I put some of that cream on".  You took off the bandage?! "yes". Did you put it back on? "No."

ARGH*#*T$&$.  So, I went through it all again, how the dr wants her to just leave it on, it has medication on it. She's to leave it on until she sees the specialist next Thursday. So, I'm telling her to put the extra one on, he gave her and I get a work call beeping in, so I have to get off with her. An hour later I get to call her back. Did you get the new bandage put on? "No, I thought you said to leave it off?". Then she starts talking about having 2 extra bandages and I'm like what? He only gave you one extra. Apparently she has 2 similar type smaller bandages in her bathroom drawer left over from who knows when/what. Then she calls me back and says she's going to put it on, but it's really small and won't cover the area. I'm like are you sure you have the extra bandage he gave you and not what you apparently found in your drawer? it was really big - it should be exact same size as the one he put on yesterday.  Where is the one you took off? (to compare to) Finally.....I think she found the extra one he gave her. She still thinks it's still too small, so I don't know.

She is definitely coming to stay with me after her appt next Thursday. That will be the only way to make sure whatever instructions they give her will be followed. If it turns out that this wound care is going to need to be something that goes on for a bit (and I'm guessing it might) this will be a good time to hire some nursing aid help to come in and then just keep it going to help her with her medications.

She also has yet to do laundry! She couldn't the first 2 weeks because she was in quarantine. I had offered to take some home to wash for her, but she figured she had plenty of clothes for 2 weeks (she does have a lot of clothes). Well, now she's been out of quarantine 2 weeks and still hasn't done a load of laundry. Last Sunday we bought the plastic laundry basket so she'd have something to carry her clothes and laundry soap in. She just apparently keeps putting it off. The laundry room is just down the hall a ways from her apartment, like 3 doors. So, she's lived there a month and hasn't done laundry yet. I guess I'm just going to have to keep asking her every day this next week and see if she goes and does it. I'm also not understanding their housekeeping schedule - I read that during this quarantine time it was every other week, but she says no one has cleaned her apartment yet. The first 2 weeks they couldn't and then if the 3rd week was the non cleaning week, then they should have cleaned it this week for sure.

The busy afternoon

Yesterday morning I asked my mom if her rash was getting any better (as she had taken that 2nd dose of diflucan on Sunday) and she told me "oh, ya, it is." I thought ok, good. She must have needed that 2nd dose (and the dr said it would most likely be a week before she started seeing improvement). Then an hour and a half later she calls me and tells me it's worse. I have an appt on the 30th to get established with a dr. where I go, but that is too long to wait to have this looked at again, if it's worse (or even if it's not better). So, I decide to take her back to the walk in clinic yesterday afternoon. We had a bit of a longer wait this time and I had to keep explaining to her that this office is part walk in (one dr for that) and then there are a few other dr.'s that see established patients by appointment, so that is why they are going back before her and she was here before them.

Anyhow, when I got to her place and looked at it, it was not worse, but definitely no better at all. There is a big area that is still like an open sore and very red. To me it looked same as when I took her to the dr. 10 days ago. It was a different dr who saw her. He said it's not infected but not healing at all and kind of sounds like a lot of that is probably due to where it's at....with her excess weight and her stomach folded down over her thigh, she's just got skin rubbing on skin and the area just can't breathe at all to heal up. He referred her to their "wound care clinic" to have it treated to get it to heal. He then put this medicated type big bandage dressing to cover the area and to just leave on it. He said it can be left on 4-7 days and he gave her an extra, depending on how long it takes to get into the specialist. He said he had called the referral in and they would be calling her in a few days to schedule. After I dropped her off I called the office to give them my # to call to schedule it and they called me right back, but can't get her in until next Thursday.

I was glad that he put that on and that she, for now, doesn't need to be applying anything to it. I can tell she was having trouble remembering to put the Lotrimin on it and yesterday when I got there she got confused and didn't know if she was putting Lotrimin or Cortaid. (pretty sure she was using Lotrimin, as she had used up that first tube and was now using the 2nd one). Depending on what the wound care clinic does, if this needs to be "dressed" or anything applied to it, I'm just going to bring her to my house to stay, at least until her regular dr. appointment that next Tuesday. I don't feel she is capable enough to take care of it herself, with her memory. I checked her pill box and she had remembered to take all her doses, so I think the alarm system is helping with that.


Our sprinkler system is finally all finished and working. The guy didn't show up until 2pm (it was one of the employees of the owner). So, of course DH ended up spending the 3 hours helping him and half of the time it was pouring rain. Haven't received the final bill yet, which should only be for the section of 8 sprinkler heads we added to our initial bid. I told DH I sure am sick and tired of paying others to have you help! Now if the fence guy would ever show up.............

On Sunday I ordered a microwave cart online from Walmart, for my mom. Was having it shipped here, so DH can put together and then I'll take it to her. The order said arrive on 17th, but what I didn't realize until Monday was it said JULY 17th. Well, I'm not waiting that long, I'll just order it from someplace else or order a different one, so I went in my Walmart account/orders and canceled the order. During the cancel process it popped up list of cancel reasons to check off, so I chose the one about taking too long. I was going to place a new order, but decided to give it a day or two to make sure cancellation was finalized and my mom's credit card was refunded, as it was already charged. It's a good thing I did wait, because then the next day I got an email from Walmart saying it had shipped and will be here on 6/22.

My replacement lightbulbs came so now my kitchen is bright again. I was down to 2 working lights left. They say they are warranty for 5 years and are supposed to last 10 years/11,000 hours. These ones darn well better last more than 1 year. I have kept the receipt and if they do not, I will be returning.

6 of those nice steaks I had received awhile back are a really thick cut (not sure what cut, doesn't say on the package). I took 2 and marinated in teriyaki sauce. I had a hard time cooking them, as I expected. I'm not very good with steaks, especially if super thick like these ones! I hate using the outdoor grill, I suck at it. I don't like using the broiler in the oven, it just smokes up the kitchen. With our normal and thinner cuts the past couple of years I have just been using my flat griddle! I tried it with these but could tell it was not getting all the way done and also (I think because of the marinade) it was getting too crispy on the outside, that I don't really like. I had tried cooking each side 15 minutes. Then decided I'd better just put in the oven on the broiler setting for a bit. But, I've never used the broiler setting on this new oven yet. In all my years of broiling something I've always left the oven door open a crack. You know, where it will stay open a couple of inches for you? But this oven does not have that! You either have to leave it almost all the way open or shut all the way. This is also a convection oven, so I have no idea if that makes any difference in how you broil. After a few minutes I took them out and we ate them. I gave DH the one that was a bit thinner, so I know was cooked more and ate the other one, which I would day was medium rare.  Maybe for the rest of those thick (like 2-3 inches) I can slice down in half.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The usual mornings

Well, my mom had the past 2 mornings "not feeling well". Same old story. No exact problem or symptoms she can describe. They often seem to correspond to mornings when she is expected to do something......like I am coming. Or previously, when her BF was alive, it was days she was supposed to go visit/stay with him. Yesterday was the first morning the dining room is opened back up and she's supposed to go down for breakfast, rather than them bringing everyone's meal to their apartment. Of course, she didn't feel well. She says she called down to ask for her meal to be brought up and whoever she talked to wasn't very nice and said she had to come down. Well, of course then that upset/stressed her out more. I called her about 10:45 and then she had a knock on the door and it was the lady who I think is asst. mgr (her husband is mgr) making sure she felt ok. My mom asked her if she could just call down if she didn't feel well and she told her yes, definitely.

I made sure my mom had taken her meds and look at her pillbox while on the phone with me. She insisted she has. She always acts like this is the first time she hasn't felt well in the mornings and I gently reminded her that she has had this several mornings a week for the past couple of years and always within a couple of hours she feels fine for the rest of the day. I said I think you just have some mornings where you don't feel so well and just takes a bit longer to get going for the day. I think some of it is she gets up and starts worrying about this or that, and especially if she's expected to be on a timeline, I think it stresses her out and she thinks she doesn't feel well.

So, it doesn't appear that it's the Tylenol PM causing "the mornings" but I have noticed she seems much more alert and doesn't sound groggy, like she used to. Either way, I do not think taking Tylenol PM almost every night (and sometimes 2 pills) is a good/healthy thing.

I emailed the lady who I think is the assist. mgr of the place. I explained that my mom has never been one to be up and ready by 8am (their breakfast time). At her previous independent living place she kept milk, cereal, toast etc in her apartment and that is what she had most mornings, when she was ready to eat, and only went down for lunch and dinner. I said we wanted to make sure my mom was doing what is expected of her and not causing anyone there confusion, so if she wants to eat her own breakfasts in her apartment, does she need to call down every morning to tell them she's not coming down? And if she does want them to send up a breakfast for her, I'm assuming she can call down for it to be brought up and just pay the $5 fee (which she doesn't mind doing)? She only emailed back that if she doesn't want to come down for breakfasts, it will not be a problem. I guess I'm to read that that she doesn't need to call down and let them know she's not coming. I hate when people can't answer something you specifically asked, LOL. But this is "independent" living. I wouldn't think residents would need to let them know if they aren't eating there. Some obviously have their own vehicles, they could be going out to eat at a restaurant or a relatives home or something.

I know when my mom lived in her own house, I don't think she got up most mornings until 8:30 or so.  Plus she has to take her omeprazole pill and wait 30 minutes before eating breakfast. I just don't see her being one to be up, showered and dressed before 8am. She'd probably have to get up by at least 7, just to feel awake enough to get moving and get ready by 8am.

She did call me about 4:45 pm and said she had just been out in the sitting room area near her apartment visiting with some others and was going down to dinner and she was fine and seemed very chipper.

My uncle called last night with some not so good news. He just found out he has skin cancer on his scalp. Hopefully it's something they can remove and he'll be fine, but I was having a hard time getting out of him the prognosis and the when of removal. He was more intent on talking about his estate and final wishes, so my questions weren't getting answered. I figured since he just found out that day, he's probably a bit overwhelmed and I just let him say what he needed to say and I'll give him a call in a few days. He is 76, 3 years younger than my mom. He also said he wasn't going to say anything at this point to my mom, since her memory isn't too good and he also wants her to focus on adjusting to her new place, rather than worrying about him. I agree.


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Another to do item off the list

Today the sprinkler system guy is suppose to come back to do the added on section, as well as get the sprinkler heads on in the area right in front of the house, with the shrubs. He said he'd be back in 2 weeks, so he's pretty close.

DH has a very old semi truck that he has kept for over 30 years (ie piece of junk, LOL) that he thinks "one day" he'll restore it (and then do what with it? LOL). Anyhow it's basically in 3 pieces. The cab is in his shop. The chassis part, which was cut in two, has been stored on a friends property since we moved. It's just been now that DH finally has room inside the shop to put it there. It's obviously not something we'd want sitting outside next to our house, and only having 2 acres (partially which is river bank) there's no where to put it, without it visible from everywhere. Back when we originally were making the moving plans friend had called DH up to see how it was going, at the time dh was trying to figure out how to move it and where to put it. He asked friend if he knew of any storage places in the area. It was friend who said you can just store it at my place. He has 14 acres and it would be way in back, where it's not noticeable. DH was like nooo, I can't do that to you. Friend insisted it was ok and he was coming over to our area to visit his parents and said, "I'll even bring a trailer and bring it back for you". So, we paid for his trip over and back and some rent for the trailer use. Over the years we have tried to "pay" friend for letting us keep it there. We'd always pay for dinners out, we bought them a heater for their garage and when we had our little dump trailer he used it frequently for his landscaping work.

But, that was a long time ago and DH has felt bad that our build took so long. Partly because we didn't build that first year after we moved here and then because when we did build it took twice as long as expected. Then DH just ran out of room in the shop. Finally, now that he was able to use up a good amount of the leftover lumber stored in our garage to build the shed,  he now had more room in the garage, and a good sized shed to put all the garden stuff in (that was all in the shop). He was able to move some things out of the shop to the garage, move the garden stuff out to the shed and shuffle a few things around and finally had room for this truck chassis to fit.  Yesterday he called up the local towing company and they went and picked it up from friends place and now it's back and inside his shop. He was expecting maybe like a $400-500 towing bill, but it was only $253, so that was decent.

After DH showed me where the chassis (covered with a tarp) had been stored at friends place, I don't feel quite so bad for having it there. It's back behind a berm area, so not visible from their house, and DH showed me a picture he took - the area is now full of other pieces of junk. I told DH I'll bet if you had just taken it out of there, without telling friend, it would have been months before they even realized it was gone, LOL. But, Dh feels much better having it out of there and one more thing checked off the list of things we needed to get done. Sad, that DH's shop is back to completely stuffed, but that's a whole other post......

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

LOL

We just had a laugh, though I'm sure there are some that won't think so, but if you knew the guy and this small town, it is.

DH came across a Facebook post to one of our county council members Facebook page that "two guys were standing over in the corner and not social distancing at the little convenience store at the gas station" in our little town and when they were "confronted" about it they just laughed and told the guy "we're fine". Should he report it to the county health department or who? As DH is reading this he's thinking OMG, I wonder if it's our older retired friend that stops by to visit with us all the time?! He goes in there for coffee and a chat with his buddy every morning - for years. DH is reading down through the comments and someone says "did you get a picture of them?" and so they post it. Sure enough, it's our friend. Oh gosh, I can just see him telling someone to mind their own business. He is like 73 and has lived in this little town for like forever. Not to mention there has not been one case of it in our county, and if someone came in the store and needed to get to the ice cream freezer they were standing in front of at 7am, they would have been more than happy to go move 6 feet away.  He doesn't have Facebook, but being such a small town, I'm sure in no time he found out about it. His wife has Facebook.

We were outside chatting with our neighbor last evening. (he's got another new p/t job, LOL). Our older dog was playing with one of his dogs. Running and wrestling. You wouldn't know he's almost 12 years old. Silly dog won't play with his brother, LOL. I thought he might be a bit stiff and sore today, but he's all good.

The town has an annual car show outside in front of what has been an unused building, for years. But now a corner of the building is in use for a small cafe and apparently that cafe owner wanted to double the "rent" for the car show to be there for 2 days, so they moved it to another spot a few doors down. Just stupid. I'll bet her business would have quadrupled that weekend with people going inside to get food and drink from her, since they were right there. There was no reason to double the rent, other than just being greedy.

Monday, June 15, 2020

It's a Monday kind of Monday

I can tell already this is not going to be a good Monday (or probably week). They (IT) are trying to change how I remote into work and it's already not working. I have a feeling I am not going to be a happy camper with this new set up. They tried something like this years before, where they tried to have me log into the server and the accounting system/program was like a snail, so they had to change me back to remoting directly into my computer at the office. But, apparently (now that I no longer have a desk there at the office) that computer has just been sitting on the floor in the server room closet and it's in their way. Right now the change has been put on hold and our internal IT guy is having to get our outside IT guy involved because right off the bat stuff isn't working right, so he put me back to my old way until it's resolved. UGH! He was like we should just be able to change you over to the new log in and nothing's changed. um....where's all my saved files? where's all my saved website links/login's for websites I have to access regularly (like our bank)? "Oh....." LOL

Another thing I did was take a couple other meds out of my mom's bathroom, when she wasn't looking. One was an "ointment" that I think she tried on her rash.....I looked it up and it was a prescription she had gotten a couple years ago - that is ointment to treat skin cancer! Sounds like pretty strong stuff and I think she got it after she had some removed from her leg. The tube expired Jan of this year and I don't want her thinking it's something to put on her skin now. She also had a bottle of some Tyenol with codeine she had been prescribed 2 years ago (it was prescribed at same time she had the skin cancer removed) and it expired a year ago. I don't recall seeing that bottle before, or I would have thrown it out, but it's gone now.

My new ink toner arrived for my printer on Saturday. It prints out great, nice and dark. And they were only $10 ea!! Not sure how long they will last, but I don't typically print out very much anymore. Just a few checks for my side job and occasionally will print out work bank statements to reconcile from. My printer is just a laser jet black and white printer. An actual Brother cartridge for this printer is $60. Hell no.

Well, I need to call my mom and see how she's doing this morning. She must have figured out her medication alarm at 9:15 this morning because she didn't call me (thankfully, as I was on the phone with IT guy).


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Dorry

I was watching Finding Dorry last night. That's my mom, haha.


My mom was feeling ok this morning, so that was good, but her memory was just plain awful. I picked her up and we went over to Target. She did remember a list she had written some things down and as we get inside she says she needs heartburn medicine. ?? I said no you don't. That's the prescription pill you take every morning, when you wake up. She acted like she had no idea what I was talking about. Then she said she needed some Cortaid. I said I know you have some in your bathroom because we just bought some not too long ago and you already had some then. I asked her what she needed to use it for and she said she didn't know, she just thought she was running low. I reminded her that the dr. said do not use that on her rash, it was probably making it worse. When I checked when we got back she has 3 tubes of Cortaid in her drawer!

We picked up 2 tubes of the Lotrimin for her yeast infection rash as the one purchased Monday, after the dr. appt, isn't very big and putting it on 2x a day she was not going to have enough to keep using it another week or two. She probably actually has at least a 1/3 left in the tube but she'd been telling me for days she was almost out.  She also wanted a basket to carry her laundry in to take to the laundry room down the hall. We get it home and she asks me what that basket is for.
 
She had also been asking me for days if she could take that 2nd pill for her yeast infection/rash and I kept saying no, you have to wait a week. Then she called me on Friday and asked me to call the dr and see if she can take it sooner. A week meant Sunday, but the stuff stays in your system for 6 days, so they said since she took the first pill Monday am that ok to take Saturday evening. I get there Sunday morning and she hadn't taken it. It was also not taped back up on her fridge like I told her to do. She also forgot to take her yesterday morning pills.

So, I take her pill box into the bathroom to fill it up for the week and get her pill bottles out of the little medicine cabinet. You know......the bottles I taped a note to each one in bright red ink that said "only open to fill pill box" on?? Well, the notes were taken off! Who knows why. She doesn't remember doing it or that there had been notes on it. I got some more yellow post it's and wrote on them the same message and below it wrote "do not remove this note" and taped them across her bottles again. We'll see......

I then went to her digital calendar/clock and programmed it to have an alarm go off 2 x a day every day to remind her to take her meds. It will have an audible alarm buzzing as well as the display will say "time for your morning (or evening) meds". She tried everything she could think of to talk me out of using that. What if she decides to go somewhere. (you aren't going anywhere) What if it's too loud and bothers the neighbor (you don't have a neighbor on this side of your apartment and it's not that loud). I told her she needs to be home when it's time to take her meds or know to take them before she leaves, if she is going somewhere and won't be home to take them. I did a test and it went off and displayed the message. It is turned off by pushing the "ok" button in back. I taped a yellow sticky note to the edge of the front telling her to press ok button on back to turn off alarm. Then I told her I don't care how loud it is, making sure she takes her medications every day is more important right now. I told her the only other option is to hire someone to come and check on her daily to make sure she's taking them and she said "oh I don't want to do that".  (actually I will probably try that medicine dispenser next, but I didn't bother trying to explain that to her)

Then I went back to the bathroom to take out all the Tylenol PM bottles (we had bought some last week shopping as she said she was out and she wasn't). She didn't seem to remember our discussion about the pills on Friday evening but again she was very receptive to the idea to not take them for awhile and she said just take them with you, so I did. I hope I found them all!

I told her it was DD's husbands birthday coming up in case she wanted to send something, so she wrote out a check (as she usually does for gifts the past couple of years). I didn't expect her to know the date, but she didn't know the year either.

I have been telling her we had an extra microwave she can have, so I brought it today. We still need to get a cart for it, but when I looked online this morning none of the nearby stores seem to actually carry them in the store, so I'll have to order it shipped. I had set the box (DH put it in a box) on her kitchen floor and later she asks what that box is.

Her alarm for her evening pill is set for 6:15 pm. I set my phone alarm to call her a few minutes before so I can remind her it's going to go off soon and how to turn it off.

Friends, who needs 'em?

The other evening DH was talking on the phone with our old "good neighbor", just catching up. He sorta had a lawn out front of his place. He'd mow it a couple times a summer. DH would mow it for him a few other times, LOL. DH did this for years and neighbor didn't ever mind. DH would just drive the riding mower over to his part and spend 15 or 20 minutes mowing it down.

He said the lady that bought our house called him up the night before and said "your lawn is getting kind of long". He said he replied to her "yep, I've never seen it that long before". LOL. Then he told her "Old neighbor used to mow it for me". haha! Actually, he said the reason he hadn't mowed it was because his big garage door broke and he couldn't open it to get his riding mower out. He'd been waiting on the part to fix it.

I ordered some various wall storage hooks for DH, from Lowes. Well, they really messed up the order. I'm so confused! It was  a 45 minute wait getting through to their customer service. I ordered 10 of one type of hook, 10 of another, and 5 of another, along with a door mat. The total came to $192. The stuff came Friday and the one I ordered 5 of is missing and there are 5 of a hook I didn't order. Ok, they just picked the wrong item. But, then I look at my order online and it's strange. It shows the total as $192 on the first page, but when I click on details it shows an additional 5 ordered of one of the kind I ordered 10 and the total says $225. My Lowes card shows $192 charged and we only got 10 of the item (as ordered) not 15.When I finally got thru to an agent he will have the 5 missing shipped out, he said my total is $192, so he can't figure out why it's showing more $ and when I asked how to get the wrong 5 back to them, he said "just drop them off at the customer service desk next time you are at Lowes".

DH went to see a friend yesterday. and I enjoyed my "me time". Took care of the chickens with some fresh water and a treat. Finished cleaning the kitchen and dusted and made the bed. Vacuumed up and down. Took about a 1/2 hour nap, ate lunch on the back patio and then it got cloudy and chilly so I went inside and read. Finally, when it was past dinner time and I was hungry I made a leftover meatloaf sandwich and texted DH. He said he was on his way back.

This is DH's friend who has been acting strange the past couple of years. Definitely has a drinking problem which is probably 90% of the problem. DH said they were having a good visit (another friend of his was there for about the first hour) but later dh could tell friend really still has a problem with DH. He's obviously the type of guy that wants his friends to listen to his problems and complaints and bitching about life (which he does a lot), but he doesn't want to reciprocate and if you do try to share/vent (like with our house build problems) he actually gets all defensive and acts like "you just complain too much".

It's also evident that jealousy is a huge part of his life (not just with us). DH said it was just odd...comments he'd make, almost like he was mad...stuff like the size of our house. Or the fact that DH made videos of the build. DH was like well, I love to take pictures and videos, I have a drone, and I wanted to have memories of our build. I made those videos for myself. Friend was like ya, but you put them on Youtube. DH says well, you pretty much have to use that to convert them to a video, especially to share with others, and believe it or not there were a few people who did want to watch (like DD, etc) and see the progress. DH said it's not like I was trying to promote myself or do a "how to" video. There was never even any talking. DH just compiled each stage of the build into photos and videos and would put the video to a song he picked. Sometimes he'd post the link on his (private) Facebook page, as we said, there were a few who liked to watch them.

Then he was mad at the amount of power dh put in for electricity! He's like well you have 2 separate power services! DH is like what are you talking about? No, I don't. It's just one to supply the shop and house. Then he's like well 440 amp service in the shop is ridiculous. DH again says what are you talking about? No, I don't.

And like I said to DH who the F cares if DH did have that for electric or what the size of our house is? It's certainly should be no skin off friends nose. Just strange. Friends place is really nice and he's done fantastic with his landscaping and acres of perfect lawn. DH always tells him so, but he tries to act like it's not or says yours is nicer. DH is like no it's not and friend says your house is way nicer (ie more expensive) than mine. Again, DH says no, it's not!

While he was gone another friend (who he's known since childhood, but now lives on the other side of the state) called. Wanted to pick his brain about something. I told DH when he got home and he said I'm too tired of "friends" right now. I'll call him tomorrow.

Going to see my mom this morning - wish me luck, haha!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

To sleep or not to sleep

So, I was reading this article about medications that can affect cognitive/memory. One of them mentioned in the article was the "PM" part of like Tylenol or Advil PM. Long term use isn't good. Every so often my mom would mention "oh I couldn't sleep, so I took one of my 'sleeping pills'". I just recently realized she meant Tylenol PM. I had thought maybe she had some other OTC sleep aid, I know my grandma used to take them often, but she has Tylenol PM, so I didn't think much of it, until I just read this article today.

I started wondering how often is she taking these? I'll bet money the mornings she doesn't feel well for a couple of hours is after she's taken this the night before. I called her to ask and she said she probably takes them several times a week and some nights she takes 2! No wonder some mornings she sounds chipper and some mornings not. Probably depends if she took any the night before.

I told her that I have a feeling this could be what's causing her morning problems and I also told her that I read an article that said it's possible long term regular use can affect the memory (especially in an older person) and so she's going to stop taking them to see how she feels. Hopefully she'll REMEMBER to NOT take them and that we discussed this. I'll have to keep reminding her and actually take the pills or put a note on them not to take when I am there Sunday.

While I know it won't be some magical cure all for her memory, I do have a strong hunch she will start having better mornings. It will be interesting to see if it clears up her mind a bit, too. I'll bet she's been taking these for years.  And something to discuss with the doctor. Though quite honestly, I feel like doctors don't ever really listen and don't have much of a problem just prescribing and prescribing. Usually they end up prescribing sometime to counter act the effects of the previous medication they just prescribed.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Required Minimum Distribution

I had read something recently that one of the part of the CARES Act passed, because of the Corona Virus, is that retirees are not required to take their RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) this year. Not having to take this distribution would lower my mom's tax liability for 2020, as she would be reporting less income. My understanding of how her retirement RMD was set up is that she has half distributed in March and half in September. Unfortunately I didn't know about this suspension of the RMD until a few days ago. If I had known, within 60 days of her first distribution this year, I could have had it "returned" to her investment account, but that one is too late now.

But, I was able to contact her broker and have her suspend the distribution for September. My mom has plenty in her savings account (from her house sale) so that she doesn't need to live off her distributions, for at least this year. Her 2nd half distribution would have been a little over $17,000, so I'm estimating that not having to report that as income will save her approximately $2000 for 2020 federal and state taxes. And allows her money to stay in her investment portfolio and still be part of her principal balance to grow. Less income will also have an effect on her Social Security and could help reduce her cost for Medicare Part B, thereby increasing her monthly payment just a bit, once that is taken into account.

In other news with my mom. She obviously isn't remembering the name of her old retirement living place or the name of her new place. The names aren't even similar in any way. I was checking her emails to delete any spam and checked her sent emails. She had received an email asking her to do a brief "exit survey" of why she left her old place. She emailed back with this reply:
At this time I have no reason to move out of R*****!!  So far I am very happy here!!!  I'm sure I will even like it more when we can get out of our rooms & meet everyone and get involved!

Oh goodness! Luckily it was a "no reply" type of email address she replied back to, as she was supposed to click on the link to do the survey. I went ahead and did the survey, so they don't email her again to try to get her to do the survey. (not that she probably would have even remembered the email or her reply anyway........). BUT, on a good note - I guess she likes it at her new place :)

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Mom stuff

I took a look at my mom's retirement account balance (trying to watch it monthly or so) and the stock market must not be doing too bad. I think her balance is the highest I've ever seen it! And every time I look at it I think to myself is my Step Brother just stupid or what....telling me she would run out of money in about 10 years.

With the amount she has, and say earning even a conservative 3% a year on it, plus her social security, she shouldn't even need to touch her principal for the time frame she is living in this place.   Right now her expenses are about $36,000 a year. She makes $20,000 a year in social security, so only needing to take $16,000 out of her retirement funds. At a conservative 3% a year she should be earning like $28,000 a year on her funds. At this rate, her principal will still be increasing for awhile.

The only thing I can think of is that SB just took her balance, estimated a high yearly expenses and divided that and came up with 10 years or so. He obviously couldn't have taken into account that her large balance, even though going down each year, was going to continue to earn interest income each year. Plus, she has social security income. That spreadsheet I worked up she won't even be tapping into her principal balance for several more years.

And if he is indeed that stupid, then he definitely shouldn't have been the one in charge of her money! The only other alternative is that he was going to spend it, himself and thought I'm too stupid to know how long her money would last (even my uncle, when I told him what SB said about her money lasting 10 years or so, was like what?! That can't be right, she's probably got enough for 20 or more years)

Wish my 401k looked better like that. I'm still down quite a bit compared to the first of the year.

Both last couple of mornings my mom said she wasn't feeling the greatest. I asked her if she remembered to put the cream on her rash this morning and she said yes. Then she said maybe what the dr gave her is making her not feel so great. "Did he give me a shot for it?" No, I said, you had to take a pill on Monday for it. Then she remembered about taking the next one next Monday and I reminded her I taped it to her fridge. She goes to look and nope! She already took it down and moved it! ARRRGH!! She looked around and said it was on her table next to her pill box. I told her that I taped it to her fridge so it wouldn't get misplaced and we'd know where to find it come next Monday. She says she put it back up there now. Good Lord - who knows where I'll have to find it next Monday, but I'm sure she'll forget and take it down again and I'll be on the phone with her next Monday morning trying to figure out where it is! Thank God I wrote on the card in bold red marker "to take Monday June 15th". otherwise who knows if she might have thought she needed to take it already.

None of these logical things I try to do to help her with seem to work. It's really hard to figure out and try to do things to make things easier to remember/less to remember. Nothing really seems to work and things that seem so logical to me don't even register with her brain anymore. I guess I really just need to stop stressing myself out trying to figure out "tricks" to help her memory. She just doesn't quite think logically any longer and nothing will help now. Examples are now she will have food expire in her fridge or cupboard, but not think to throw it out. She can look at papers she has on her desk, see that they are from her old apartment (like their newsletter type things or upcoming activities) and not think "oh, I don't need these - I don't live there anymore!".

Next visit I'm setting up the medication reminder alerts/alarms that her digital calendar/clock has. If that doesn't work, I am looking into an automatic pill dispenser system that sounds helpful. You can load up to 30 days supply and program it to automatically dispense the pills down into a little cup. The machine will remind her it's now time to take. If she doesn't remove the cup, I would get a notification on my phone. It costs $100, then $30/mo, which obviously much cheaper than hiring someone to come in daily. My only concern on if it would work for her is would she remember to put the cup back after taking her pills, so it's ready for the next time? I would hope the device reminds on that too, haha!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Annoyed

My computer is annoying me. Last week it was the fan running fast and noisy, which for whatever reason has been fine this week, but also about the same time my web browsing started getting really slow and still is. It's driving me crazy. I will take like 5-10 seconds to load most pages. A check of my internet speed shows it's normal. I tried 2 other browsers and they are doing the same thing. DH computer is fine (thank God!) but the weird part is my computer is hooked up directly to the modem, his works off wi-fi, so supposedly mine should be working a little faster/more reliable. I have no idea what to do to try to get it back to normal. Of course I've tried restarting my computer. Last week I tried unplugging the modem/router and restarting it.  This computer is only like 3 months old, it shouldn't be having problems.

I really don't use other programs on my computer, other than Firefox to access the internet. I did just try to open Excel and a file and it was very fast to open. It just seems to be the internet.

ohhhh. I just logged out of my vpn for work to see and it seems back to normal - so apparently being logged into vpn is slowing it down. I have never had that problem until this past week. Wonder why. Well, at least now I know what is causing it, just wish I knew why, especially since I've been on VPN for years and never had an issue with my internet speed. I leave my "personal" desktop of websites open (like my side job email, for instance, and MTurks) and often throughout the day I will minimize my VPN screen and look at my personal stuff I have open on Firefox, check my emails, etc, and it's never been slow until this past week. I did a speed test with my VPN logged on and it came out virtually the same as being logged out of VPN, so why is it taking 10 seconds to load web pages?

I haven't ordered anything online for a few weeks, as I didn't want to order anything to be delivered while we were having the driveway prepped and then paved. Then the week delay in between. Well, finally I placed some orders yesterday. A bunch of hooks DH wanted from Lowes to hang stuff in the garage. Some new light bulbs from Home Depot. Another frustrating thing: we have LED bulbs in our kitchen recessed can lights. They are already going out. 3 have gone out in the last couple of weeks. The Home Depot page for this particular brand (Ecosmart) says they are supposed to last 10 years with 3 hours a day use. We certainly don't have them on for more than 3 hours. Of course no receipts for the ones put in as they were installed by our electricians, but I'm keeping the receipt for this dozen I am replacing them with.

I also ordered toner cartridges for my printer. Those are so expensive and I used to get them through work (they gave me printer) but between no one in the office to order/send me one, and that I really used most of the toner accidentally printing off mom's 100 pages of chart notes, LOL, I'll pay for it. I decided to try an off brand from Amazon that has lots of good reviews and it's a 2 pack, for $20 (had $3 coupon to check the box for). If I had brought the Brother brand it would have been like $50 or $60, just for one. That's really one of my pet peeves that the stupid ink costs as much as the printer.  There is apparently no such thing as Amazon Prime 2 day delivery to my area anymore. It's free shipping, but most stuff is taking 5-7 days now. DD and I share an account and her address is the default and will show 2 days but change it to my address and nope. She ordered something to send her dad for his birthday recently and thought she had time to get it here in time, but then when she put our address it was delayed.

My mom called yesterday evening as she couldn't get her tv to work. Ugh. I don't know what is wrong. Usually she just pushes the tv on button on the Spectrum remote and it comes on, but now it gives some message about "no connection" and something about source. I'm guessing she pushed a wrong button, but I don't know how to tell her over the phone. She might have to just call downstairs and see if they can send someone up to help her/take a look at it.

And one of the banks my side job uses is no longer letting me access the accounts online. I called the help ph# and was told I am not listed on the account as a signer or have access. Weird! My side job boss logged in and says it shows she gave me account permissions back when it was opened. My boss thought I was a signer on this one, too, but I looked back through emails over a year ago when she opened this account and I don't think I was added on this one. She tried to log in with my user id and password from her computer and didn't work either. So, she put an email into her banker and we're still waiting to hear.