Friday, February 28, 2014


We had our meeting with the undercover narcotics team. They came in an unmarked vehicle and sat at our dining table talking with us for an hour and a half.  Kind of disappointing in some respects. The head guy (or the one that did most of the talking) said he thinks they have enough evidence built up to go into the drug house behind us (that's if a judge ok's it) but that they have nothing against the renter's at the end of our street. I feel sorry for the detectives - they are so short on the manpower they really need. Basically they said they could try to bust the drug house behind us, but since these people (the guys and their parents) have lived there for 30 years they aren't going anywhere and they'll just be back at it in 6 months.  If they start working a  case on the renters it's more likely they would end up moving if busted and be gone. So they are going to focus on the renters place for now, as like I told them, the activity going in and out of our private dead end road is making the activity going in and out of the drug house behind us look tame in comparison....though alot of the activity is connected as many of the cars and walkers go back and forth between both houses. We have so many people walking (with backpacks) and on bicycles going in and out, it's crazy.

DH said he heard on the scanner after midnight that they made an arrest on the next block over, just outside our neighborhood (the only way out of our neighborhood) - 2 walkers with backpacks (sound familiar??) and they arrested one. So hopefully it was someone who had just come from the renters. They will have to keep trying to make arrests and then get them to work with the undercover guys to help them get the evidence to go into the house and bust.  Patience is all we can do right now, I guess, though it's run so thin, as you can imagine.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Our neighborhood situation has gotten so out of control, it's insane. The car and foot traffic up and down our little road the past few weeks has probably quadrupled. It's making the drug house traffic behind us (even though most of it is related to each other) look tame in comparison and that traffic is bad! Almost every morning I go onto our county's drug tip website and report the activity. DH has been logging it in a notebook, from what we physically happen to see outside our windows, to what is recorded on our security cameras.

Yesterday DH set the camera on the front of our garage (that faces the road) to detect motion. Every time it detects it snaps a picture. In the 24 hour period it snapped 84 pictures! And that probably didn't even catch all of them, because after it snaps it will wait 5 minutes to reset and many of these people are not at the renter's house for more than 5 minutes. Just insane. The few police deputies we've talked to when they come out say to keep calling, but if DH calls the police at 2am to report "suspicious activity or persons" the dispatchers basically tell him to ignore it. He's not calling the 911 emergency line (doesn't feel like it's life threatening...yet) but calls the non-emergency dispatch line. Someone might drive thru an hour or so later.

The activity wasn't so bad when the one deputy was working it 4 nights a week and doing arrests as the drug buyers were leaving the neighborhood, but then he told us the drug task force is working on it and getting an undercover guy on the inside and it doesn't appear he is just assigned to it, as he was. Well, since then the traffic, especially on our road, has exploded, so not sure what is going on. This morning I sent an email to the Lieutenant at our precinct (the one DH met with last month) and asked him to call as I had some questions on how to report this on the drug tip website and also about calling in the activity when it is happening. I included a screen shot of the 84 pictures! and said I don't even know how to document this much activity. A couple hours later I got a call from a deputy who says he is with the narcotics division. He is supposed to call me back later today, when he is done with something else he is working on, and then he wants to come out and talk with us and get the "lay of the land".  God, I hope something will finally get better around here at some point.  DD mentioned to me the other day that since she's not going on a "senior trip" with friends, she'd like us to take a family vacation to see Yellowstone. I was thinking this morning that there would be no way we can leave this house like that - we'd come home to nothing left and what is left would be trashed, guaranteed.

Monday, February 24, 2014

I'll save the $55

My Costco membership dilemma has been solved. I went to Costco on my way home from work to fill DH's prescription and they told me they did not have enough pills in stock to fill it. They said to check back tomorrow to see if they got more in. Well, I don't really have time to do it tomorrow after work - I have to follow DD the hour plus drive to our friends house, so we can dropped her car to be worked on. So, I just stopped at Target on my way home today to fill it and found out that with the new insurance that "sorta" covers prescriptions (after I meet a huge deductible, which I never will), it applies my co-insurance amount after the contracted write off amount. So, my out of pocket price at Target was the same price I paid at Costco last month! Their cash prices are different, but my cost was the same. Woohoo - I can just start filling this at Target again. A 5 minute drive to get there and usually never more than a 10 minute wait to get it filled.  At Costco it was always a 30-40 minute wait to get it filled, so I usually just dropped it off and then made another trip to pick it up the next day. Now I'll save the annual membership fee and the extra gas it was costing me to go there.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Is it worth the $55?

To renew Costco membership or not renew Costco membership? That is the question.  I didn't end up using it as much as I thought I would. Because I can't stand that fricken' place! I am usually only need a couple of things (when I'm getting a prescription) and when I see the lines to check out I say "forget it".  But, we did use Costco for a few large purchase items......our security camera systems (we bought 2, one for house and one for our detached garage) and I saved a bundle on my glasses. For the regular purchases, if there is something I really want to buy there, I could just have my mom go with me and she pay for it with her card. But, the eyeglasses were a huge savings.....But, I can't think of any big purchases like those we would do this year. I certainly won't need to buy any glasses this year and nothing big like the security camera systems (they were $400 each).  If it weren't for one of DH's meds being so much cheaper there, I'd never set foot in the place......and I don't have to have a membership to get prescriptions. I'll probably try it for one more year and see how much I use it. I guess you can always cancel it anytime and get part of your money back, if I change my mind.

Friday, February 21, 2014

So glad it's Friday

Well, the sick germs finally caught up with me. It's been a long chase. I honestly can't remember the last time I was sick with a cold or flu - at least a few years. But, the crud has settled in my throat and chest with a nice cough and not much voice to talk.  At least it's not all congested in my nose and I can sleep pretty well. My boss had it last week, so I probably have her to thank. One of our company owners found out yesterday his had turned into pneumonia.

Glad it's a work from home day and I'll work as much as I feel like, though I don't see me making it 8 hours. Maybe I'll take a lunch break nap and be able to finish the day.  I do need to get in the shower soon and get myself over to the vehicle licensing office. DH and I are putting son on the road to self sufficiency and getting the vehicle he drives (and has with him in Canada) into his name and him and the vehicle off of our names and insurance liability is one step.  The other step was telling him he had to get his own health insurance and pay for it himself.  With those 2 steps I am freeing up at least $250 per month.  The health insurance is $200 per month and as soon as I get these vehicle papers sent back up to him and can call my insurance company to drop him and the vehicle I will know how much per month I'll save there.

We had a very rough patch with him for a couple of weeks. Him trying to assert his independence, but trying to do it while we were still at risk with our vehicle in our names in another's mostly resolved and apparently time for us to back out of the financial support we have been covering and time for him to be the adult he kept trying to tell us he is. Sadly, though, I have a huge feeling he won't bother with the health insurance until the point and time he is back living in the states. The earliest that would be is July, but I'm sure he'll try to extend it again. I guess it's all things he will have to figure out and hopefully make the right decisions and choices.

I haven't figured out yet what I will do with the extra monthly money. I'm pretty sure I'm going put some of it toward my 401k and increase that withholding. I pay my mom $300 a month (car loan) and will likely increase that some too and put the rest as more monthly EF savings.

If I feel better this weekend, I want to finish up our tax return. I got most of it done last Sunday and it appears we are only getting $58 back. Oh well, better than owing I guess! I need to get it done so I can report the actual numbers back to FAFSA and be done with that.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's only Tuesday?

DD is a host at the restaurant where she has worked the past year and a half. She has gotten to fill in as a server quite a few times the past few months and she'd really like to start serving all the time, but they just don't have any server openings yet. The young people that work there tend to stay! It's a good workplace and about the only time one of them leaves is they decided to go off to college somewhere.  She got to fill in last night as a server and was so excited when she got home because she got a $40 tip - from one table. It was a party of 10 and she said their bill was like $140, so that is an awesome tip.

DH very much enjoyed his all day gun training/defense course that he went to with our neighbor. He will probably do a second course sometime. It was taught by a cop, ex-Navy seal guy.  DH is super tired and sore all over by over-doing it for 6-7 hours, but he said it was worth it. He can take the next few days to just rest and get back to "normal" pain level.

I have been trying to get a refill on one of his medications and it's getting ridiculous! Our doctor's office has an online program where you can request refills and request which pharmacy to send to. I knew he'd be out of his refills for this med on Sunday so I gave the doctor office plenty of notice - I requested the refills last Tuesday afternoon! I totally meant to call the pharmacy on Friday just to make sure they had the prescription, but totally forgot until Saturday morning. I called the pharmacy and sure enough, they never got the prescription refill. This is not a med to stop suddenly taking, so they gave me a 3 day emergency supply for him. I called the doctors office yesterday and had to leave a message with support staff - asking to call my cell and let me know this was taken care of and that it needed to be done in the next day or so, as I only had a 3 days supply for him. No call. So, now I have to spend time again today, trying to make sure this got refilled.  Is it really that hard?! What's the point of the online refill request if it doesn't work or they just don't do it. GRRR.....

I don't know why but I just realized the other day I will probably need new tires on my car soon. They have 55,000 miles on them. I don't know why I haven't thought of this sooner, but guess I'd better be budgeting $600 for this in the near future. I should be able to save for most of it over the next few months and if nothing else I have my emergency savings I can draw from.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A day off

I'm having a rare day to myself today.......ahhh...the silence is relaxing.  Well, except for the dishwasher running and the smell of the oven on self-cleaning ;)  I have been wanting to run that self clean cycle for the longeset time but I know the smell gets pretty bad, even with the exhaust fan on and the kitchen window open. DH is so sensitive to smells that I've been waiting for a day where he will be gone all day (which is like never ever!). Even though the parakeets are 2 rooms away, I still put them in DD's room with the door shut and her window cracked a bit. Don't need a couple of birds keeling over.

I cleaned the kitchen laminate flooring - on my hands and creaky old knees with some water and vinegar, wrung out with a cloth and wiped down. Mostly doggie drool spots. Even though they aren't allowed in the kitchen, young dog manages to hang as much of his body over the "line" as he can at any opportunity.

DH is out for the whole day with our good neighbor. They are attending a gun training/defense class that is about 6 hours long, plus almost an hour travel each way. I don't expect him until about dinner time. It's good for both of them to get out and do something. DH hardly ever leaves the house and neighbor goes to work and that's about it, for him. DD is at work and won't be home until mid afternoon and we plan to go to Kohl's and Target after she gets home. I need to pick up some things at Target and we both have $10 off $30 coupons, each have $10 in Kohl's cash and a 30% off coupon if I put the purchase(s) on my Kohl's charge. I'm not sure what I'll get but figure if find something for $30, I will only be out of pocket $7. I'm kind of in need of a new bra, so that might be a good purchase.

As soon as the dishwasher is done I'll throw our dog hair covered duvet cover in the washing machine. Right now, I'm going to go clean my bathroom and then I think I'll take a break and watch a movie or read.....or nap. It's been a long stressful week (well, 2 weeks actually) and I'm going to get as much from this day to myself as I can, no matter what I'm doing!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


My grocery store had these large 25 oz bags of Beggin' Strips on sale for $5 per bag yesterday. The cheapest they can usually be found is Walmart's price of $9.48. I had a coupon for $3 off 2 and a coupon for a free Busy Bone small treat with purchase of 2 Beggin' Strips. Two big bags of our dogs favorite treat and a freebie - all for $7 is a great deal in my book. Woof!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Just checking in

I'm still around (thank you for asking Joan!). We've just been dealing with issues regarding our son and it's zapped all my energy and then some. Usually, when we have a problem it's dealt with very quickly - we don't let things go on and on, but with him 1000 miles away (and ignoring our attempts at communication) it's been dragging on for 2 weeks now. Still not resolved, but at least last night was a good conversation about it.

Add that to the insane amount of drug traffic (vehicle and pedestrians) going on up and down our little private road every single night and the one behind us....a regular nights sleep is a distant memory for me. Last Friday night, after I'd been asleep a couple of hours DH comes in the bedroom and says look outside...the police had a car pulled over at the end of our road (in front of the renters). We heard over the scanner the officer report one in custody, while we watched them search the car for almost a half hour while 2 passengers stood off to the side. Well, we found out the next morning that the person arrested was slum landlord's meth head son! Woo hoo! According to county jail records online he was arrested for DWI and no valid drivers license or ID. $25,000 bail (that high I think because of all his priors) and mandatory court before being bailed out. So he had to sit in jail until Monday morning and apparently he was given 4 more days in jail and will be released Friday.

Then come to find out yesterday that the stolen property that DH found stashed in the bushes in the back of our property (it borders the private road behind us that the drug house is on) - another story I don't think I blogged about - was stuff really stolen from slum landlords place - by his own renter's son! except renter and son are blaming it on son's friend, of course. The police are working all this drug traffic hard, but the 2 assigned to it apparently only work Wed-Sat nights, and they are doing at least one arrest a night and working at trying to get the ones arrested to talk and help get them in their to bust the dealers. We are just trying to be patient. 

DD has excitedly already found her dorm roommate via the school online dorm mate match site. She is from out of state and they have similar interests and both will be business majors. I think she will get to meet her this spring, when she comes to the school for an open house type of thing going on, that we will attend too, so DD can meet her (even though we've already done the tour, etc). I think we'll go up the night before and spend the night, since it starts at like 8am and it's a 2 hour drive. Leave at 5:30am to get up there by 8am - no thank you!

Monday, February 3, 2014

From a drip to a leak

DD has had her car for 3 years now and it's been reliable and just a couple minor problems. Like it needed a new battery, but not much else. But, it has always had a very small oil leak (more like a small occasional drip) that has gotten worse the past couple of months. Quite a bit worse. We had a mechanic we used for years (father in law of a friend) but the last couple of times we took a car to him (it's been several years ago now) we weren't as pleased. He changed the oil without us authorizing it (and had nothing to do with the problem we brought it in for) and DH is picky - he does it himself and always uses same brand of oil and filter. Anyhow, we didn't really want to take DD's car there, so DH put the word out to his Facebook friends for a good recommendation on a mechanic to check out her car and fix what needs to be fixed. We didn't want to take it to someone we have no knowledge of, because our luck is always to get the one that would say she needs thousands of dollars worth of work and doesn't. We just got a good recommendation from a very good friend and will take it to his repair guy. Hopefully it's nothing major and won't cost DD much. I will help her out what I can, but she has way more money than me, LOL, so if it's major, she's just going to have to bite the bullet and use some of her $7,000 in savings.  DH had taught her from the day she got the car to always check her oil level when she gets gas.  I was with her a couple of weeks ago to get gas and she checked her oil and the guy in the car next to us filling up was like "wow, I've never seen a lady checking her own oil - that's awesome!". Made DD feel good :-)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Up and down week

This week had some ups and downs. A call on Wednesday from the deputy who has been doing the arrests. A prosecutor let 2 of his arrests go (remember the one found with a pound of marijuana?) stating he didn't show enough in his report to warrant the stops. The deputy was very upset, to say the least, as well as us. I think the guy who was found with heroin got a different prosecutor and that one kept him in jail. The deputy said they have to put an hour or two into each arrest report. He said he talked with the other prosecutor, who was helpful and gave him some tips on the best way to word the reports, so that the arrest sticks and they aren't let go the next fricken day. He also talked to his lieutenant who wanted a meeting with my DH, so he went over to the precinct Thursday and had a good meeting with him. He went prepared.  He took a map with him, to explain the 3-4 properties involved and where we sit (pretty much in the middle) of it all and which streets are involved.

Another deputy called yesterday and said he is also now assigned to this problem, so now we have 2 (or 4, I guess they work in pairs per car) and said the Lt. told them that this is their only assignment right now until it is resolved. They had already made 2 more arrests that night before (unknown to us) and so far one of those arrests and another they stopped to talk to ratted out a bit what is going on.  That is their plan right now - to keep trying to stop and make arrests as these cars leave our neighborhood and hopefully get them to rat and use that as evidence for warrants to search the places. I guess at some point they then have the drug task force come in and finish it up.  I am hopeful we won't have to deal with this much longer. This deputy also said that their Lt. talked with the prosecutor who let the 2 guys go and explained this is a known drug house they have busted before and they are working it. The prosecutor changed her mind and had them re-write the reports "better" so apparently the charges stick again, so they have warrants out for their arrest again.

DS was turned down for his work visa. Without going into all the detail, it's ridiculous reasons and now we are dealing with a 22 year old who thinks he has the answers to his dilemma, but they are stupid and risky and not supported by us (though he has the support of those he is staying with and his girlfriend, of course). Like I told him - at this point (since he is NOT a self sufficient adult), his risks are my risks and I can't afford any of it, nor can he.  Not sure how this will all turn out......we could end up having to cut him loose financially, but we are not going to support stupid decisions that could/will affect his life. So, this has been no fun at all, to say the least. I swear that kid cannot get a break (it's tough being a white male in these times), which is so sad because he is such a good, smart person, who just wants a job, for goodness sake.