Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday stops

Yesterday couldn't decided if it's winter or spring. Frost in the morning. Then sun, then clouds, then rain, then snow. then sun and snow, LOL. I was just about done vacuuming yesterday and dh wanted to run into the town lumber store, so I went with. He bought 4 concrete blocks with posts, 2 lag bolts and a bag of quickcrete. I'm pretty sure he had told me awhile back what he was using them for but I wasn't listening so I didn't ask again. Figure I'll find out when he uses them, LOL. Whatever it is he didn't do anything with them after we got home.

As he got out to open up our gate, we heard a loud shot. Then 9 more in fairly rapid succession. Again coming from down river, where the night before were 3 shots at 11pm. As we had pulled in our street I had seen Mrs. outside in their dog kennel as we drove by to our driveway. She must have heard, too. Later dh chatted with Mr. and he said he wasn't home and Mrs didn't hear. But, I guess she did hear the first few as she was walking back inside their house.

I had talked to my mom yesterday morning, she called to ask if I was doing her taxes. I have already done them, but hadn't even mentioned it, figuring if she remembers about them great, if not, that's fine too. I told her I was coming to see her tomorrow, probably be there around 10:30. Later, she calls me after lunch and says are you on your way or is that tomorrow? I'll give her a call when I'm on my way this morning and see if I can stop and pick her up anything at the store. Of course she's going to say "oh, I can't think of anything". I'm not going to take the time to take her out today. I only plan on visiting with her for about an hour and I want to make sure her meds are filled up and any mail she has gone through. I'm also going to give her back her check register and just not worry about it. My response will be to tell her to log into her bank online and get the transactions from there and stop stressing about it. The problem is every time she needs help logging online. Our bank will not store the user name, but it will store the password (dumb) so no matter how many times I write it down for her, she doesn't know where it is and she won't leave it out or taped to her computer because someone could steal it.

Ok, I'm back from my trip to see mom. She didn't even mention her tax return and I gave her back her checkbook register. Then before I was leaving I was logging into her bank account to show her it balance with it and for some reason it made me change her password, so we decided to put her log in ID on a note under her clear desk pad (not that she'll remember it's there). Then she said well, why would I need to get online with it much? I said to keep your register up to date and look up the transactions and she said well, I should just let you keep doing it. Yay! LOL. So, I have it back.

The garden center I stopped at was awesome. So much stuff! I'll be back. Most of it was outside of course and I'm just walking around in a sweater. Others the same, even flip flops. I'm like how can the temp be 34 degrees (it was sunny) and we're all just walking around not cold? I guess I acclimated now, haha.

I stopped at TJ Maxx and got a new small frying pan and a broom. Try the new pan and see if dh stops complaining his egg sandwiches taste weird.  At least Walmart didn't short me what I ordered to make an easy dinner tonight - deli sliced roast beef and sandwich rolls to make french dip sandwiches. Yum!

I'm pooped. I'm not one who can shop for very long in the best of situations, so after a 45 minute drive and 6 stops at various places, then a 45 min drive home is tiring to me. Stops: TJ Maxx, Walgreens (for my mom's things she wanted), then my mom's place, then Home Depot (no luck in finding a navy patio table umbrella), then Walmart (35 minute wait for them to bring my order out!), then the garden center, about 10 minutes from there).

At the garden center I also picked up a flowering plant to plant in memory of our sweet dog we lost.

Nap time!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

So much for hope

Shoot....the down river shooting happened last night at 11pm. 3 loud shots in a row. Apparently Mr. Neighbor heard it, too, as we got an email from him. I guess it was too much wishful thinking to hope that problem had gone away, too. Who the hell shoots at 11 at night?!

It was such a nice day yesterday. DH and I took a little walk around at noon and again after dinner.

I got a call back from my mom's investment broker assistant lady about her RMD. While she says my mom was never on auto distribution for it, I disagree. She was last year and after the March distribution I had to have her cancel the Sept half. Anyway, glad I inquired because it sounds like with it getting turned off last year, they forgot to turn it back on. I told her to just do it once a year in March, is fine. She got the money transferred and I see it in her savings account, but it was less than the RMD....then finally I remembered they take out taxes from it. 

Dh said he now heard there might be a shortage of ketchup. Also heard that toilet paper prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer. Good thing we have a bunch. I'm just going to keep buying each grocery trip and then when the price starts jacking up, I'll stop buying, until I have to stock up again. A friend of mine, who's husband is a salesman and has to drive a lot, said it's costing him $20 more per fill up now and this is a car, not a big tank with truck or SUV. $90 for a sheet of plywood! Insane.

Housecleaning day. Fun stuff ;)

Friday, April 9, 2021


I didn't realize the reason dh hasn't been doing any of the projects on our list is because most of them involve building something and he gets too cold working out in the unheated garage and that is where his big work bench and table saw is. Well, I hadn't thought of that and don't blame him. It's cold out there.  When I go out there to get chicken food or scratch, half the time it feels colder in the garage than outside! With the weather starting to warm up, he should be able to get started in again on stuff fairly long as the lumber needed doesn't break the bank.  He said he looked up a sheet of plywood on Home Depot and said the price has like quadrupled since we built our house.

Gradually, parts of the lawn are turning green again. Some parts very green and some still completely winter brown. One part near the front corner of our fence is green and growing, it almost needs mowing already! The other side of the fence, where neighbors tried to plant grass is filling in, but very weedy, but I'm sure they will add that to their lawn fertilization they pay to have done several times a year. Which reminds me, I will need to pick up the lawn fertilizer we've started using. It's from the feed store in the city and we need about 3 bags at $25/bag. It seems to work well and easy to apply. DH just uses a bag thing we bought where he puts it over his shoulder and cranks the handle around and it spits out the fertilizer, or grass seed, or whatever he is putting down, as he walks around. Much cheaper than paying someone to take care of our lawn. He applies it around Mother's Day and then the same brand of fertilizer, in a different ratio, at the end of summer, at Labor Day.

I think I'll go see my mom on Sunday and get groceries while there. Sunday seems the better day, weather wise, as tomorrow is predicting some snow again. That gives me Saturday to concentrate on house cleaning. 

Our sheriff's dept (all 7 of them) finally got brand new vehicles to drive, instead of already 5 year old hand me downs from the state patrol. Like dh said, it's nice to see and makes a local citizen a bit more proud to see them being able to drive something nice (and 4 wheel drive, which of course they need around here). Lord knows they make squat in salary. I think our friend that stopped by last weekend said they make like $17 an be a cop! Ridiculous. Yet, friend said, someone can go work as a meter reader for the power company in our area and makes $30/hr. 

Our offices are going back to a part time office schedule starting in June. T-Th in the office and M and F work from home. No mask needed if you are fully vaccinated and wear a mask if you are not. Not that it affects me and a few other full time remote workers. I think I'm going to start taking either a Friday or a Monday off every few weeks. And figure out a week here and there, during this year.

We still haven't heard from our HVAC guy on when he's going to install our air exchanger system. As usual, with contractors here, SLOWWWWWWWW. But, our experience with him wasn't like that when doing our house. We can't start the master closet project, until he installs that, as he will be using a corner of my closet space to install this and vent to outside (to exchange the air).

I got my tax returns done and submitted yesterday. Yay for not procrastinating like I usually do with it.

I totally bungled up my federal tax withholdings for my paychecks yesterday afternoon. I didn't know the W-4's have been changed. I was actually wanting to take a look at what I had set up for State tax, as I always get a refund, so wanted to reduce that withholdings a bit. But, the system was telling me before I could click on state I needed to update my Federal. So, I was assuming I'd just open it and ok/keep what I had. Well, I don't know exactly what I did but it updated me and put my federal w/h quite a bit higher. I guess there are no more # of exemptions to claim. It wouldn't let me delete the new w-4 I had just inadvertently submitted. Finally, after spending some time looking over the new w-4 and worksheet I was able to figure out I needed to add in the $ amount I itemize in excess of the standard deduction. That took me back to close to where I was before. Luckily, I also have access to a calculation feature, where I can run a projected paycheck and see what all the deductions are, so I was able to know where I adjusted it to, now.

Back to work. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

New signature

I noticed something new in an email signature I haven't seen before, in an email I received from an employee of a company my company does business with. After her name the person put in parenthesis (she/her).  This "wokeness" has become ridiculous. Like I said to my dd, when asking her if she's seen anything like this yet, "I don't care if you are it/he/she/they, just do your job and process my PO" LOL.

My mom did mention her boyfriend yesterday, but she forgot his name, LOL. She just referred to him as her friend was coming over in a bit to watch some tv after dinner. I asked who (wondering if it was him) and she like oh the guy I met, I don't say his name often enough, I can't remember his name right now. I'm glad she has someone to pass some time with. Before that she was visiting off and on with her neighbor lady across the hall, but last time I was at my mom's she mentioned she had been gone a week or so, in the hospital.

I finally didn't have to log down any gun shots yesterday (Mr. Neighbor had asked me to keep track). I was gone for about 45 minutes during his peak time, but dh was outside working so he would have definitely heard, if there were. Still crickets from the shooter down river.

It pretty much felt like old days going into town yesterday. Lots of traffic (well, for a town of 800 LOL), the restaurant parking lot full, the hotel lot pretty full. No masks required (we also have had zero active cases for awhile now). DH had put a huge garbage bag of pop cans in the back of my car for me to drop off. There is a house in town that takes them, but as I pulled up, she had a big sign on her fence that said no longer accepting aluminum. Dang. We have been dropping them off there a couple times a year for the past 4 years. I did some looking and there is a small recycling center just on the other side of town that is open 2 days a week to take recyclables, so probably just start using that.

DH finally worked on something yesterday. There is a big rock in our driveway island that he wanted moved over a bit. Too big for him to move by hand. It took a bit of work to get it moved. He had his quad with the snow plow on front trying to push it. No luck. Then he had me get on the quad and he used a big crow bar and got it underneath while I pushed with the quad. Finally, it started moving. He's also figuring something out to help keep our new patio table planted when it's windy out. I'm not exactly sure what he's doing but sounds like he's going to make his own umbrella base out of concrete and then also anchor underneath the table to it somehow.

The first week of the month I'm always needing to get checks out to my mailbox, reimbursing side job employees for their expenses and auto allowance. I need to get another one out this morning, before the mail carrier comes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Campers, shooters and money

We and our neighbors are still trying to find out if the people/person camping down the road about 3/4 mile from us has a permit or when exactly their 16 days start, if they don't. We drove past it on Saturday and quite a bit more junk and garbage spread all over his campsite. It seems ridiculous that the 16 days starts when the Forest Service gets around to "making contact". It should be when someone first reports them there, in my opinion. He's already on day 12 since we all first noticed him. After I called last Thursday, Mr. Neighbor followed up with an email to the FS lady, cc'ing us and another neighbor down the road. She never replied, so this morning I sent an all reply email asking her for an update on the campers status. Her reply back was that they still needed to send their "LEO" out there and she will let us know. Typical. DH had also talked to the deputy about it, with his chat about that and the gun shooter and let him know of the suspicious amount of very slow driving vehicle activity late night since that camper moved in. Deputy said they'd put some patrols through there and they did, right away, and since then there have been no more suspicious cars driving by at midnight.

While the gun reloader guy continues his ways across from us, the shooting that had been going on 1/2 mile down river from us has not resumed. It's looking more and more like maybe the shooter there was that pilot guy who did the ill-fated motorcycle jump.

There was a nice house on the river, about 5 miles from us, that just recently went for sale for $1 million dollars. I see it already has a pending sale for it now. Was only on the market a couple of weeks. While the house, a mile from us, that has been for sale for same price, off and on for years, still has not sold.  

I realized I need to adjust my subscription monthly purchase of dog food and treats. A 40 lb bag of dog food lasted about 1 month and we have a full bin inside and 2 bags in the garage. I went online to skip the late April shipment, and then realize I can skip it for several months now, as the 3 bag supply we already have is now going to last 6 months instead of 3. Same with everything else, I guess. 

It's been sunny and nice the past few days. Warmed to around 60 degrees, but tomorrow is predicting snow. Just a tease of spring we've been having, I guess.

I need to contact the assistant broker lady who does the administrative work on my mom's retirement $. In the past it looks like her RMD (required minimum distribution) was split up into two transfers, first of March and first of Sept. Last year she got her first of March and then I realized due to Covid changes, she didn't have to take the RMD, so I had them turn it off for the Sept payment. This year it is back to being required and nothing has been transferred yet. Though she did get a letter from them early in the year telling her what her RMD amount for this year is, none of it has transferred yet. So, I need to find out what the plan is and make sure her distribution got turned back on for this year.

I need to run into town at lunch break today. Out of milk and might as well pick up a few others things. I haven't been to town in like 3 or 4 weeks, LOL. I had been to the city enough the past month to get what I needed there, but milk always seems to be the thing I run out of.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Too quiet

It's too lonely and quiet in my office. No snoring dog under my desk or asking for a treat throughout the day. I did get a visit from the big black pup, he came in from playing fetch with dh, came upstairs, wanted a treat, then proceeded to get under my desk and sleep a bit. We have a big dog bed pillow, which neither dog would use, LOL, but that last night we had the old pup laying on it. This morning I noticed it was all crooked and indents on top, so our other dog must have been laying on it. Awww...

He's a funny dog. When he was younger and he'd see me get out the flea medicine he'd go run and hide. Now, when he sees me get it out, he walks up to me and puts his head down. So funny.

I finished watching the season finale episode of Resident Alien. Linda - did you watch it? Every episode made me laugh and the ending was great and left it to continue to a Season 2, which I read has already been approved. It was getting a little "far-fetched" with some scenes in the last episode, but then they just throw in a good laugh and you realize they knew it was, too, haha.

I follow a few decor pages on Facebook. On one yesterday someone asked where is a good place online to get a cowhide rug. Several replies and I commented where I just got a calfhide rug from and that it was nice and shipped quickly. Someone put a sad face on my comment, LOL. I wanted to say "oh good grief - it's not like they kill the calves for the hide!!" People....

In my list of ebooks I put on reserve at the library, one of them was Matthew McConaughey's new book out called Greenlights. Well, who doesn't like to listen to him talk, so I decided to get the audio book instead of reading it, LOL. It became available the other day and I started listening, but boy does he talk fast! So far, it's good though. Either he's slowed the talking down a bit or I'm just getting used to it, LOL. And here's something I didn't know: One of Dh's favorite movies is Dazed and Confused. I just realized that the guy who played one of the teenagers in that movie (the jock with red hair) is the guy who plays Rip on Yellowstone.

When I talked to my mom again yesterday afternoon she still has not mentioned her boyfriend. I'll give it a few days and ask about him. DD said maybe he realized how bad her memory is and backed off spending so much time with her. It's pretty exhausting on a regular basis, that's for sure. I would think it would be pretty difficult to have any "serious" type of relationship with someone who can't remember what you just said 5 minutes ago.

DD's refrigerator crapped out last night. They went off to Lowe's to try to get a new one, but couldn't agree on one. The one she liked and in their budget was some brand no one has ever heard of (Hisense?) and they looked it up online and some bad reviews. The other one in the style they liked is like $2200, but they went back home, looked online everywhere and for something they can get right away, and couldn't really find anything in a lower price, so they are probably going this afternoon to get the $2200 one. I should add that the reason it's $2000 range is because they want one with ice and water dispenser. They have been having lots of Murphy visits the past couple of months.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Quiet Sunday

It was a quiet Easter Sunday, but we didn't really have anything planned anyway. Our retired friend, who lives in town, dh had texted him about our dog, so he stopped by for a visit yesterday afternoon, which was nice. We also got to listen to the gun shooter for about an hour. Of course it started up while we were outside, doing chores. Guess he couldn't even take a break on Easter.

DH is so sad, but I think part of it is our dog passed on the same day his dad passed away, 2 years ago. Our other dog is doing ok, but when he's outside he keeps going to the spot on the grass and sniffing where the older dog had laid down, before we put him in the car.  I did tell my mom Saturday afternoon, when I called her, but I don't think she remembered when I called her yesterday morning.

She also called me yesterday afternoon worried she was missing her check register and thought someone stole it. Sigh......I really don't know what to do. I had hoped since she doesn't really have to write checks anymore she'd kind of forget about it. I log into my account online every morning and hers is linked to mine, so I see it too. I don't really need a register for her (I don't use one myself anymore). I'm thinking of just giving it back to her and just not worrying if she gets it updated or not. It always seems to be Sunday afternoon when she wants to figure out her banking. I wonder if that was when she used to take care of it all, when she could remember. If she calls to figure out her register, I'll just have to tell her she'll have to look at her online transactions to see what she needs to write down and leave it at that. She won't get it done and forget all about it for another 2-3 weeks and repeat. I guess I'd rather have her frustrated she needs to update it vs. thinking someone stole it. Lesser of 2 evils, I guess.

She also thought she had 2 $20 bills and they are missing, so someone took them. I said well, when you were here last weekend and I took you home you had one $20 in your wallet and you gave it to me so I could buy you the Advil at Walgreens and I gave you back 2 5's in change. She said she doesn't have the 5's and doesn't remember spending them on anything (could have been bingo). When I took her home I asked if she wanted to stop and get some cash out to have on hand, but she thought she was ok with what she had. That's the hard part, if she has cash and spends it she totally forgets that she did and thinks someone took it.  I think I may just have to start having some $20's with me and when I visit her, just always make sure she has a couple in her wallet, then she will probably just think it's the same ones.

She hasn't mentioned her boyfriend the past 2 days. When I called her Friday, he was visiting in her apartment and it sounds like they had gone to the "devotional" activity that morning. She's so funny. She's always been a very fickle church person, LOL. When she was growing up, my grandparents never went to church. She met my dad, who was Catholic, so she became Catholic and a few years after they were married they moved back to where his parents lived, so most likely went to church with my grandma as she always went to Saturday evening mass. They had me baptized Catholic.They divorced when I was 1 years old and she moved back to where her parents lived. She never went to church when I was growing up, so I had no clue what it was all about or going to mass. I went a few times when I'd visit my grandma for a couple weeks every summer, but felt like I was a fish out of water and no one bothered to explain any of it to me. And when she married my step dad (who adopted me) he didn't go to church. They were married like 36 years, no interest in church. Then she started dating her previous boyfriend (who they were friends with him and his (now deceased) wife for many years. He was a regular church goer and suddenly she was all about church. She used to go to church with him, but later they just started watching a Sunday sermon on the tv. After he passed away (almost a year and a half ago now) she was back to no interest in church. I thought maybe she would still watch on tv. Living here now, when she will look at her activity calendar and tell me what is going on, she'll be reading off the activities for the day and when it's something to do with church/religion, she will say "oh, I'm not interested in going to that". But, suddenly a new boyfriend in the picture and he's apparently a church goer, so she's back at it, LOL.

We were expecting rain last night so we stacked our new patio chairs underneath the covered part, so they wouldn't get all wet, as well as moved the table over to be covered. We don't get much rain, especially in summer, but figured it would be easier to just keep it dry as possible. I'm sure it will last longer overall, not getting wet all the time. I still need to get an umbrella for it.

Our neighbors were of course sad to hear about our dog, just as we were so sad when they lost their oldest dog awhile back. Thankfully, there has been no excessive barking and they are doing a great job to keep their sons dogs crated inside when they aren't home. Finally, we haven't had to be complainers.