Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Not much hope

As we were preparing to go over to the nearby neighborhood meeting with the head sheriff after dinner, we get a phone call. Some real estate agent just doing cold calls, it appears. Asks DH if we will be in the market to sell our home in the near future. DH laughs and says if we could sell this place, we'd be gone tomorrow! So they talk a bit and then he passes her off to me (of course). So - she is coming by Sunday afternoon to give us her estimate on our home value. Gotta start somewhere, right? At least then we'll have a good feel of how close (or far) we are to having enough equity to get out of here.

Honestly, I think if/when we get to that point, that we can sell this place, we will just get out of this whole area now and not wait until retirement. Like DH said - really, for us, there is no quality of life here. Sure, it's a beautiful region, but when it take a half hour just to go 5 miles, it's ridiculous. When we moved out to the rural-ish area 25 years ago, it didn't take 90-120 minutes to get to work (and then same back home) in the city. Now this area rural area is overgrown and we spend all our time sitting in traffic just to get anywhere at all.

When we do eventually get to move, it will probably be to somewhere in Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming. I'll find a job. We'll take the pay cut and take the better quality of life (for us) over the money.

The neighborhood meeting wasn't anything enlightening or even hopeful. The head sheriff just gave his normal speech of how he doesn't have enough deputies, they are spread too thin. Blah blah blah. then the Lieutenant said the same thing. Then the (awesome) deputy, who has been trying his darndeset to help us all, spoke. He really is the only one that gave us any glimmer of hope. that this will ever be resolved. He is a fairly young, on the ball, deputy. He is also the deputy that this other neighborhood pitched in money and hired him to do some off-duty patrol for 4 different 4 hour shifts. They have 2 drug dealing houses in their neighborhood too, like us. The one guy and his girlfriend from one of the houses are both in jail now (though we all know that won't last long), so at least they are getting a bit of a break, but it all just goes to the other house or explains why traffic 6 blocks down the road, in our neighborhood, has increased. They gotta go somewhere.........

They have a great group of neighbors over there - a big turnout of probably 20 people. Represented from our neighborhood? Just me and DH. Same old story.

Let's hope this real estate agent gives us really good news, LOL. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Just getting through the week so far

I have a little extra time to write this morning, as I am ending up working from home. There is a major traffic accident where all lanes of the freeway are blocked. My boss emailed me an hour ago, that she was stuck in it and apparently she still is.

My 10 year anniversary came and went at work with not even a congrats. Hmphf! I'm sure it will get recognized at some point, when boss is looking at the anniversary/birthday report for something else. But, I guess it just tells me that obviously nothing big was planned as a bonus/gift (as previous employees received), or I'm sure it would have been acknowledged.

Tonight is our long awaited meeting at the other drug neighborhood near us, with the head sheriff. I think the head prosecutor might be coming too. We tried to get our state reps to attend, but they said they couldn't. If our good neighbor does not come with us, I am going to be so mad. He has absolutely no excuse to not be there and show some support for us and trying to fix this problem. Unfortunately our councilman cannot be there as he has another meeting to attend. I'm sure head sheriff will just say a bunch of crap to make us all feel like something will be done. At least the weather will be nice and we all won't be standing out in the rain.

In the meantime, there was some "disturbance" going on at then end of our street yesterday during the day. A car in, another car raced in. A guy on foot ran in. Lots of commotion and then the car (this is the SAME car that DH followed that night a few weeks ago and called 911) raced out. A minute later one of the young guys that lives in the neighborhood (he and his mom are both involved in all this drug activity) was walking out and DH was outside so he said "hey, what's the name of that guy in the white car?"  Kid stopped and told him - his mom's "ex", was his step dad. They don't want him around, etc. DH says, so why don't you call the sheriff? and kid (he's 19 or 20 years old) says "we're the type of people that shoot first, then call the cops" Then he says he took care of it by pulling a knife on the guy and pulls the knife out of his pocket to show DH.

DH was texting the guy over in the nearby neighborhood about it and he was like "man, I would of just shot him right there! you should have called the sheriff"  DH said there is no point in calling them. We've called on stuff like this before and when they finally get here, they make us feel like we are just being stupid and just stay away from them, even though we are on our own property. Apparently we are just supposed to stay holed up in our house all day.

DD had her first (long day) of classes yesterday and thinks it all went well, other then she forgot to bring a pen with her and had to go buy one at the bookstore. She made a new friend already of a girl that is in 2 of her classes. Today she has off, so will get to spend it in her quiet apartment, with no annoying roommate and get her studying done :)  Her BF had a job interview yesterday for a different position within his company. If he gets it he will have to move about 60 miles from here (unless he wants to drive 2 hours each way to and from work - ha!). He is really hoping he gets it. It would be more money and a step up.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Just doing this and that

I kept busy yesterday with various things. Friday was my half day at work and I got my grocery shopping done then. Yesterday morning I stopped at RiteAid for a few things, to use up some of my Plenti points and earn a few more in the process. Then I stopped at the pharmacy that makes the compound for the kitty thyroid medicine. $45. Ouch. But she said once his correct dosage is worked out (most likely after his re-test in a month) then I can buy 3 months at a time and it's much cheaper. First she said a month free and then I thought she said $65 for a 3 month supply. Either way, it won't be so expensive.

Then I stopped at Target to buy a baby shower gift for a woman at work who is expecting in about 6 weeks. I had seen a Target Cartwheel coupon for 25% off Cherokee brand clothing (sized 0 - 5yrs) but there was absolutely nothing in that brand at the store. So, I ended up getting a cute 3 piece outfit for the little guy that was $17 and a gift bag on clearance for $1.44. I had another $5 Target gift card to use and all in all I spent less than $15. I was trying to keep it at $20 or under.

As I was heading to fill up with gas for the week, DH called and wanted me to get some grass seed and weed and feed. Our lawn took a beating from the drought this summer and he's hoping to restore it. I went back home first to pee and grab some lunch and then headed to the home improvement store and grabbed a big bag of each, though I forgot we usually need 2 bags of the weed and feed. I'm going to Costco later this morning, so I'll swing by and pick up another bag.

I spent part of the afternoon sending a deputy emails with pictures and videos of all the traffic. This was what I had to send him just telling him about between 2am and 4am on Friday night:
2:04am - bike rider out
2:04 - car in at corner
2:16 - bike rider in
2:26 - bike rider out
2:32 - bike rider in
2:56 - bike rider out
2:59 - bike rider in
3:04 -  bike rider out
3:16 -  car in at corner
3:34 - bike rider in
3:39 - bike rider out and stopped and checked the lock on our back gate!
- car in at corner
3:49 - car in
3:57 car out
3:58 car in at corner

DH called slumlandord and complained and so last night, it was the grandma of these kids (she and grandmpa live in an rv on slumlords main property on the other side of us) who had her car going in and out ALL night long. Be gone a few minutes, come back, What a F'd up family.  In the meantime the county has done nothing to get rid of the rv that they are living illegally in or the list of other code violations on all the properties. It's all still a joke. A friend, who used to live in this neighborhood, was back through awhile ago, with her cop boyfriend from a different county. He took one look as they came into the neighborhood and told her don't come back here without a gun on her and he told her our county will never do anything about it because they are totally soft on drugs. Yah - ya think?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Kitty update

Our old cat's "senior" blood tests results came back and he does have hyerthyroidism, which is probably what is causing his high blood pressure, too. There are 3 options. An expensive $1000 treatment that would fix the problem, daily pills or daily cream applied to his ears. Apparently the pills are about $40 a month and the cream $48 a month.

Yikes. Due to the cats advanced age, vet doesn't recommend the $1000 fix, so I am going with the cream applied to the ears treatment. That's got to be easier than trying to give a cat a pill twice a day, for the rest of his life, right?  I'm waiting for a pharmacy to call me back to let me know they have it ready. I guess it's a special compound that has to be made and there are only 2 pharmacies in our town to do that.

So, my cat will cost more in medication a month then I pay for myself, LOL.  Other than that, all his other tests came back good and normal.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My dream view

In my "retirement" dreaming (I'm must be soul sister to DebtGirl!) here is the view I dream of having out my window

                        This is a picture from a home on 2 acres listed on Zillow (in my price range).
                                           HOLY MOLY! I'm ready to move now!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                         or this one
which also has this view

Well, that little bit of online searching sure put a John Denver song in my head :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Senior kitty care

I had to take my old grumpy cat to the vet today. He's about 14 1/2 years old (if I am remembering right which year we got him) and has had a lump growing on his right front leg.  Luckily, after the vet  did a needle aspirate on it, it was determined it's just a cyst and not really a problem. It doesn't hurt the cat and he said it could be removed, but most likely would just grow back. He did drain it and it's a lot smaller  now. The vet also recommended having a "Senior Profile" done: blood work, urine sample etc.  Kitty's blood pressure was kind of high and his thyroid didn't feel quite normal to him, so these tests might be helpful to see if he has any other issues going on.

He was also due for vaccinations, so all in all it cost me $300. The "Senior Profile" was almost $150, but worth doing at this point, I think. Before he knew the lump was a cyst, he had said if he has to be put under to have it removed, he'd then recommend full dental work......just that part would be about $650! Yikes. DD and I talked about it while we were waiting for them to do the testing and decided not to spend that, especially, if I was going to also have to pay for surgery to remove the lump.

So, I guess I'll wait for the call tomorrow with the blood and urine test results. If his thyroid is a problem, he may have go to on medicine and/or diet change.

                                         And yes, that is him laying on the dog's bushy tail!

Monday, September 21, 2015

More number crunching

It was a pretty relaxing weekend, overall.  Even with DH's crabby mood. I got lots of house cleaning and general tidying up done. My house was so nice and clean yesterday that by afternoon I just sat down and watched some shows on Netflix. I removed some more of the dead annuals from the planters. I still have some blooming a bit, but about half is gone now. We've been getting some rain off and on, so the grass is slowly coming back to life

I spent early yesterday evening reading the retirement book Sluggy recommended (from previous post). It wasn't available through my library and I think the $10 spent to download it to my ipad mini was worth it. I quickly read through it all, though I will go back at some point and do the worksheets. I learned several things that I didn't know and some things I will find helpful. I especially liked the section on putting your retirement money in "buckets". I had heard about the 4% rule of withdrawing money, but this bucket method makes so much more sense to me. I am/will be hands on and I budget, so using this method should help optimize our retirement money.

Since most of us live pretty long these days, the author works on a 30 year retirement. I think that is a bit much. Even if I do live to 95 (like my grandma did) by then I'll most likely be in a nursing home and all my (meager) savings depleted quickly anyway. But, it's certainly not out of the realm to expect a 20-25 year retirement life. The bucket method is to put your retirement into 3 buckets. Money for the first 5 years, money for the next 5 or so years and then a bucket for long term investing....that long term bucket - money that you won't need for 10-12 years and has another 20-25 years to grow, can be invested more aggressively than the money you will need the first 10 years. Makes so much sense to me.  It also makes me realize that if we only have, say $300k to start with, by divvying it up into buckets, the long term portion, invested more agressively, still has the potential to grow my retirement savings every year. I will not just have $300k and that is all, to live on for 25-30 years. I haven't run the estimated numbers, but I think we will be able to add to our retirement portfolio quite a bit over those years.

The Social Security part is still all a bit of a mystery and the book really didn't go into much detail about that as I had hoped. I did learn that DH does have enough credit for his own social security and logged into an account for him to see his estimated benefits. I had apparently, several years ago, got the impression he didn't have enough credit for SS, but it was disability that he didn't have enough for and I didn't realize they were calculated differently. So, that is a relief - especially as I learned from Sluggy (and the book) that if you don't have enough credits from SS, then you have to pay for medicare (currently $441 a month). So, at least we have dodged that bullet. Apparently there are 80 some different ways to take SS. Typical gov't for you, I guess. I think that down the road, as I get closer, it will be very prudent to meet with a SS advisor to figure out what is best.

I also know I need to maximize my 401k contributions to get the full matching my employer offers. I just haven't been able to afford that much and am leaving free money on the table. Hopefully after DD is on her own and I have more discretionary income, I can then funnel that to 401k. Currently, I need to be putting another $160 a month in order to get the full matching I could be.

It was also very helpful to learn that if I choose to work a lower paying job for several years at the end of my work life, it won't negatively affect my monthly benefit amount, as they take the highest 35 years incomes. This might give us some options when I am 62 to sell our home, move where we want to live and supplement living off our 401k, with job income, until taking full SS at 67.

The years always go by so fast - I'm sure the next 10-15 will be done in a flash.  While we certainly aren't going to have excess money to live lavishly, we should at least have enough to live simply and comfortably. We won't have to eat cat food, I hope ;)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Crunching the numbers

Our mortgage and home equity loan will be paid off the same year that I turn 62 (in about 11 years). The same year I would be eligible for Social Security, if I chose to start at age 62. Obviously we will want to maximize our income, while at the same time balancing my strong desire to BE RETIRED as soon as possible. More than likely the longer working life will have to win that war, in order to have the money we need, but a girl can dream, right?

Based on current SSA estimates, if we take our benefits at age 62, we would be looking at about $26,400 a year. This is both of us combined. With DH not working for several years now, he no longer has enough credits to claim his own social security benefits, so he will have to take the 50% of my benefits, option. And since I got such a late start on my 401k saving, that most likely won't be enough to live on. If we wait until age 67, we will earn about $40,000 a year.  I really don't want to wait that long. I don't know what the amount would be at age 64 or 65 - in the middle, but I'm guess it's in the middle between the 2 amounts, so around $33,000 a year.

We will also have my 401k to draw on. Who knows what that amount will be! This year started out with some decent returns and now is in the negative. Based on what I contribute (and will increase that next year, when I don't have DD to support), what my company matches and also contributes as a profit sharing portion, and on an average historical earnings of 8% a year, we'll probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of $250,000.  Drawing 4% a year would give us $10,000 a year income. I read somewhere recently that 4% is a recommended amount, in order to have enough left in your savings to last all the retirement years.

I look at homes for sale - anywhere out in the country, in the mountains - wherever population is way less than it is where we currently live and neighbors are few and far between. I just want to get an idea of what prices are, for something we could live in for our retirement years, compared to what our home value is.  For estimating purposes, let's pretend, using today's dollars, that it's 11 years later and our house is paid for. It's worth $225,000. I am finding decent homes, with land and a shop, out in the middle of nowheresville, for $135,000-150,000. After estimated selling fees, etc, let's say we clear $50,000 after paying cash for new home. That's 50k we can add to our retirement savings, now bringing us up to $300k and giving us now $12,000 a year to draw out, instead of 10k. Retiring at around 64 or 65 would give us about $45k a year income. I would think we could live on that - with no mortgage payment. We don't plan on living an extravagant lifestyle, that's for darn sure. Just a quiet life, with our animals.

I will definitely have to do some Social Security benefits research in the coming years. Like, say, what if we decided to do this move at age 62, but I found a job (obviously going to make way less than I do here in the big city) until I was 67 and then take Social Security. Will the 5 years of lower income hurt/decline what my monthly SS income will be by the time I'm 67, compared to if we stayed here and I worked my higher paying job until I'm 67? Also, isn't there some rule that at some age you have to start withdrawing out of your 401k?

It's a 2 sided issue - wanting to get the hell out of this place/area, along with retirement looming in the next 11-15 years. I don't want to make stupid decisions, but living here just gets harder and harder....even without the drug neighbors situation, the traffic and overcrowding around here is insane, not to mention the high cost of living. I am so sick of it. It's a good thing I love my job and employer, that and my decent salary is really the only thing holding me around here.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Good deal shopping

I managed to get my grocery shopping and I think I managed to work my coupon deals without any screw ups.

A couple of good deals I got while at Target:
1 Allegra 12 hr 24 ct $12.99
and 1 Allegra Allergy Children's 12 ct 9.99
Buy 2 get a $5 Target gift card
-$5 manuf. Q on 24 ct
-$3 manuf. Q on 12 ct
-(2) $4 off Allegra Target store Q
submitted for a $2 and a $4 mobisave rebate
MADE about $4 off the purchase!!

I'm new to mobisave, but have to say, so far I am liking it. There is a waiting period, which I read could be up to a month, but I was approved the next day. Just in time for the above deal! There aren't a lot of deals offered. I submitted my receipt photo and within an hour or so my PayPal account was credited. Pretty impressed.

I also got a 30 pk of Quilted Northern bath tissue on sale for 16.29
-$2.50 manuf. Q
-$1 Target mobile Q
- 20% Target cartwheel discount
= $9.73 for the 30 pack

At Walmart I picked up 2 Hefty kitchen trash bags 22 ct for 5.37 ea
- $1 mobisave rebate
and submitted to Swagbucks for a $10 Walmart gift card deal. Takes up to 60 days, so hopefully it comes eventually :)
= free trash bags

I can use the Allegra (I'll have to find someone to see if they can use the Children's) and don't usually do the free deals on stuff I don't/can't use, but since I made $4 on it, it was worth doing.

I also have $22 in RiteAid Plenti points that I need to figure out how best to use them and earn more points.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Wedding gift off the to do list

I've had a wedding invitation sitting at my desk for weeks now. It's for my cousin's kid and it's out of state, so certainly not going, but sending a gift has been in the back of my mind. I finally got it taken care of this morning. I assumed they would be registered somewhere, but I had no idea where. I found a website online that searches all the registry's and found they are registered at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and another store. They had lots of items with BB&B, but shipping isn't free unless you spend over $50.

I really only wanted to spend $30-$40. And most importantly, I didn't want to spend hours agonizing over how much I should spend and what to get them (as I always do over wedding gifts). This is my budget and honestly, I will probably never seen my cousin's kid again (haven't seen him in several years now since he joined the service) or even meet his new wife in my lifetime, as they now live across the country. I'm not very close to my cousin (his mom) anyway - though certainly not for lack of trying on my part, when they practically lived next door to us for several years.

Anyhoo - I hopped on their Target registry. Picked out a cute wall decoration on their list for $30. There was a 10% off code, plus I had a $5 Target gift card to put towards it, 5% red card savings and free shipping (direct to bride's address). My out of pocket was $23. Done! The invitation could now be tossed in the garbage and off my I'll just wait for the invitation for her other son - who just got engaged this week - LOL!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday tidbits

Today's big excitement was a dentist appointment for a cleaning. I had a 9am appointment and almost waited longer in their waiting room than I was actually back in the exam room! Since I've been going every 4 months now for cleaning, the job goes pretty fast. It's been nice to just have to go for cleanings now and not all that expensive work that I did for over a year.

I got back from the dentist appointment and both DD and DH were crabby pants. Both of ya go back to bed and try again.

Just I walked by the newspaper rack in Walmart shoppers really buy the Wall St. Journal?

I'm still watching Prison Break - finally on Season 4.  I hear they might be bringing the show back to tv with a new season...after 10 years? that might be interesting.

So, DD's been applying for part time jobs on and off campus. She got an interview for one off campus, but they wants someone 15-25 hours a week. That will be way too much for her schedule. I told her. I also told her an off campus job will most likely not give her the freedom to come home for the month of winter break (and all the other holidays/breaks). She got asked to come in for an interview - pick a time this week, Tues, Wed or Thurs. She emails back that she will be in town on Friday, would it be possible to do an interview that day, instead?.....they say ok and then ask if she would be available for like 30 hours a week? She says no and also says she won't be available for the month of winter break, the week of Thanksgiving, blah blah blah. Of course they cancel the interview with her.....and she doesn't get why.......(oh this generation!)

Tonight's dinner is a "chicken sandwich ring" made with crescent rolls.

Our wayward son....he's back on Facebook. We can't really see much due to his privacy settings, but he changes his profile pic every few weeks, it seems, and I can get a glimpse of his "friends" from the town he lives in. OMG!!!!! Especially the girls......OMG!!! if they were my daughters I'd go hide under a rock from embarrassment. All of them total losers and white trash (male and female).  Let's of the girls that liked his latest picture....her page has a post on it that says "Fuck Stress, Smoke Weed".  The string of comments on his latest profile pic (from 2 of his friends who started commenting back and forth to each other)  was just ridiculous...about getting drunk, shut the F up, etc. What a sad, waste of a good, smart person's life.........he turns 24 in a couple of weeks.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Some extra money and a fun afternoon

Awhile back I got something in the mail about a class action lawsuit against the bank and/or appraiser company (I can't remember who it was specifically against), who did our refi back in 2007. Apparently they overcharged customers on the appraisals. So, I sent it in, thinking hey, maybe someday I'll get a few dollars. I got the check in the mail yesterday - for $63! Not bad for something I wasn't expecting in the first place. I deposited it straight to my Capitol One savings account.

DD and I had a really fun afternoon yesterday. When we went to the horse races last month a friend of ours messaged DD (he had seen her Facebook post that we were there) and said they have horses that run there. He messaged her last week that they would be there this weekend and if we wanted to come he'd show us around the paddocks, etc. We went yesterday and had a great time. First we had some lunch with them at some restaurant back near the paddocks (didn't even know it was there) and then he gave us a tour of the stables they use for their horses. It was pretty quiet back there by that time, close to first race. The horses were just in their stalls relaxing, munching on some hay. Such gorgeous animals!

One little thing I just loved was a sign hanging on the wall of the stables we were in. It was an old sign from the old original horse track. This is the track I went to as a kid with my family and mostly just with my dad. It got torn down and years later this new track (different city) was built for our area. I loved how they had that little memento of the old track.

Then we walked down to the main track/grandstands area and he gave us a little tour of the upstairs areas and we got our racing program. We sat outside, just past the grandstands area, on some round tables with umbrellas near the track side and the area where they parade the horses by before the race/winners circle area after each race. It was a great area to sit compared to being inside the grandstands area, where it was much more crowded.  I only won on one race, but it paid me $17 so I ended up coming out $6 ahead overall. We only stayed until about 4:30 because DD had other plans that evening. Even better was we didn't have to pay for parking or admission! We got to park where friends had their motorhome and then walk in with them and their special passes in the back gate.

We learned more how to read the horses stats in the program and other general questions we were curious about. I didn't realize most all the horses stay there at the track all the time. I asked how jockeys were picked to ride a horse and during one race a horse was just not going to get into the gate. Nope. He was having nothing to do with it. Friend was saying they will scratch him and I asked who makes that decision. It's a state horse racing commission vet.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The adorable first apartment

I'd say we got quite a bit done in 24 hours. We got to DD's apartment around 2:30 yesterday afternoon. Unloaded all the boxes and stuff she had loaded into my car.....upstairs.....pretty much one box at a time, LOL. Then we went over to the customers service center to order her internet service. Long line inside all the way back to the door, so we decided to run over to Walmart and get the futon.

The measurements shown online are for the put together product, not the box. Oh....well then this might not fit. It was 30x28x whatever length (that part would fit). Back out to the car to measure the back opening. Yikes, it will be close but should fit. Back into the store to customer service to find out how to pay for it/have someone haul it to the car. While we started to tell the cs lady why we were standing in line, the guy behind us offered to get it and load it into our car for us (even called his brother inside from the car) and then the lady told him they had to have an employee do it for liability purposes. Ok. Thanks for the nice offer, anyway.

So we waited and waited for a guy to come up front. But did he bring the flat cart? No, he had to go back and get one and then meet us up front......umm.why not just meet at the middle of the store where the furniture is? He got our box loaded on the cart and followed us up to a register. Where I then tried to use my $200 Visa gift card to pay the $238 total. It would not work - any which way. I was getting frustrated and then the guy who was helping us load said "is it a gift card?" he then showed the guy at the register how it's supposed to ran through (because it was less then the total) and then I could pay the balance with my debit card. THANK YOU carry out dude!  The box literally just fit into the back of my car. That car hasn't failed me yet on anything large I've had to haul :)

We headed back over to the place to order internet and only one person in line by then. We got THE nicest customer service lady in the history of customer service everywhere!

Then we spent 2 hours of hell trying to put the futon together!

I like the looks ok (it will go into my office/bedroom when she's done with it). I like the wood arms and the color of the futon cover.  Comfort wise it's nothing to write home about. I wish I could have sat on one first. I probably wouldn't have bought it. But it will do and rarely need to be used for sleeping.

By the time we got done putting it together it was late and we were both ready for bed. Her IKEA bed (boyfriend got from someone for free) hasn't been all put together yet because of the BF's dog chewing some parts and they haven't come yet. Then I looked at the frame, almost put together, and mattress lying next to it. Umm.....I think you are missing at least one need a base for the bed (slats or whatever comes with it) so you have something to put the mattress on once you get the frame finished being put together! Oh!!!!! So, she will have to make another trip to IKEA to get those. I just slept on her mattress on the floor and she tried the futon.

She had no food whatsoever (she won't move in for good until 2 more weeks) so we grabbed a frozen pizza from Walmart and ate that for dinner. I can't sleep as late as she does but got up at 7:15 and in the shower and got ready. Oh man, did I need some coffee and food! She got ready by 8am and we headed off to find the nearest Starbucks. It was in a grocery store that she likes to shop at, less than a mile from her place, so she was happy to find that. And that store sold gas too. She's all set. haha.

A trip to Target and we got some command hooks and a variety box of nails, tacks, etc. We hung up all her pictures and tidied up and headed home for the 2 1/2 hour drive. Whew!

Friday, September 11, 2015

A mini getaway

I only have to work a half day today (fabulous employer perk!) so DD and I are going to head up to her new apartment around noon. Move some more things in and do some decorating. Like she said, decorating is not a boyfriend activity, LOL. We will just stay overnight tonight and do some things in the morning and head back for home around noon.  It will be a nice little break. It will also be nice that I will no longer have to get a hotel room to go visit her! I think I went up and stayed 3 or 4 times last year, so at least $100 for hotel/taxes on it and eating out, each trip.

One of the things on our list is to see if we can find a futon couch for her living room. When she is done with school I will then use the futon in my office/bedroom. I found one at Walmart that I like and it appears they have it in stock at the Walmart in her college town. Now we just have to figure out if we can get it in my small crossover SUV (we always seem to get everything in there!) and then figure out how to get it up the stairs and into her apartment! I am hoping some strong guy will be walking by just at that time :)  I still have that $200 Visa gift card from my side job employer and having been holding onto it for this. She also wants a valance for the kitchen window and I received a $10 off $10 JCPenney coupon and maybe we can find her something there for cheap.

The washer and dryer was supposed to be put in her unit during this week. We also need to work on getting her internet hooked up, which will probably be our first stop when we get into town. It looks like she can get on a no-contract deal for $30 a month. She isn't getting cable or a land line. She might get a tv, just so she can stream Netflix, instead of watching it on her small laptop, but she will wait and see on that.

She's been applying for part time jobs on or near campus. She finally got a call on one yesterday and the guy did a phone interview. It's for an assistant tennis coach (just for fall season) for a kids program. She didn't feel like the interview went very well - but as I told her - some people are just really crappy interviewers! But at least she finally got a call on one of her applications and got some interview experience out of it.

While I am working this morning, I will send her to get the weekly grocery shopping done, so that I don't have to do it on Sunday. DH is going with our good neighbor this morning to look at some carports and wants us to wait until he gets back to leave, so that we don't leave the house free for the thieves/druggies.

The other day DD and I were in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner and I said "ok, so I just have to does your BF's family even find anything in their home or even make meals in the kitchen?" She just rolled her eyes and said "it drives me nuts, it drives BF nuts. He assures me that when we have our own place it will be very tidy" LOL.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cell phone bill update and looking ahead on the budget

While I was happy to start saving $5 a month on the new Verizon plan change, I was confused as to why they now show with the new plans that each phone line is $20 a month and we are still paying $40 each (so $40 each phone, plus $45 for data for all 3 of us). I chatted online with a customer service person and got the answer that our phones were bought at a discount/under 2 year contracts, so we are still subject to the $40 a month until those contacts expire. Then it will drop to $20 per phone. DD's contract is up in 2 months, and she will get the benefit of a lower phone bill at that time. Her share of the bill will go down from $60 a month to $40. That will be great for her budget.  DH and my phone contracts aren't up until November of 2016, but at that time will then drop down and with 2 phones I am paying I will save $40 a month. That will be nice when it happens. Almost $500 a year back in my pocket is nothing to sneeze at. These iphone 5's that DH and I have should last us several years.

Here are the budget reductions I have to look forward to in the next 12-14 months:

May-ish: Crestor goes generic. I am currently paying $172 a month for DH's prescription....and that's with a $50 a month discount from the manufacturer that the pharmacy has. I have no idea how much the generic version will be, but it's gotta be less.

June: DD will graduate. DD will most likely have a job lined up. Even if she doesn't, right away, the plan is for her and BF to get a place together. I won't be giving her $100 monthly towards her college living expenses. I won't be paying her auto (about $50/mo) and health insurance ($200/mo) any longer, or any other miscellaneous things I buy for her.

November 2016: phone contracts up and save $40 a month

Even without however much the reduction in Crestor will be, that's $390 a month savings. Plus, I assume I'll get some little raise next year. If last years extremely disappointing raise is anything like next years, then it will be very little....$50 to $70 extra take home.  Next year about this time I should have at least an extra $500 a month.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


At the end of this month is my 10 year anniversary with my employer. This is now the longest I have worked somewhere. My other longest was 9 1/2 years. After that I had 5 years off as a SAHM and then worked at a place 1 1/2 years (they outsourced half my job and I needed full time) and then another 3 years at another place.

I am SO curious what my 10 year anniversary gift will be! Why? Because every past employee who had their 10 year anniversary got a paid trip for two to Hawaii to stay in owners condo. I had always had that trip in my 5 years I was like "only 5 more years until I get that trip" and it was a countdown. Then a few years ago the owner left (ie was forced to leave) the company and since then no one else has come up on their 10 yr anniversary.  So, now what will they do?  Knowing my luck it will now just be some minor thing, like "oh hey, here's a $100 gift card to go to dinner somewhere"......It always seems like as soon as it's my turn or as soon as I get in on a benefit - the policy changes. That job I held for 3 years prior to this one? It has a super awesome benefit of an 8 hour day, with a one hour PAID lunch break. So, it was a 35 hour work week and got paid for 40 hours. It had always been that way. I got to enjoy it for a whole few months and then after all those years of it being a perk, they dropped it. I was pretty mad because I had another job offer at the same time as this one and one of the main reasons I choose that job was because of that perk.

And if it was a trip, could we even feel one bit comfortable leaving this house for a week? Not even likely. DH gets nervous if we have to leave it unattended even for a few hours. I think the only reason they have not broken into good neighbors place, while he is at work all day, is because they know DH is home and watching.

I guess I will know in a couple of weeks :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

JOKE - Part 3

We go outside where the Sergeant is parked along our front fence and talk to him. He had come over about how DH got treated the night before by his deputy(s). Wanted to (sort of) apologize for it, but then of course proceeded to have every excuse WHY it would happen in the first place. I said to him "after what we have been living through the past 2 years, the last thing we need to hear from a deputy is that there is nothing going on here!".

DH asked about all the cop cars/lights etc for that hour. They were looking for the guy they let walk off. It was a "goof" that he was let to walk away. Their computers were being really slow and they couldn't detain him any longer, so let him walk. Then finally it came through that he had a felony warrant and they tried to find him for an hour. He's still on the run. So, instead of taking another couple of minutes questioning this guy (they sure didn't have any problems detaining DH that long) where they could have had him right then, they let him walk and then 2 minutes later find out he's wanted and have to basically call the whole dang department out to find him.

DH told him he didn't take the deputy's name. He understands they are all different and all act/react differently. At this point all's we care about is that this neighborhood gets FIXED! We talked with him for quite awhile (this is the guy who is neighbors with and knows our daughter's BF). Right after he first pulled up a car came down our road. It was the grandma of these kids at the end of our street...the one who lives (illegally) in an RV on slumlord's property on the other side of us. Awhile later here comes slumlord property owner riding up on a bicycle. Of course grandma sent word that the cops were here. So he's trying to nosey in on the conversation. Trying to act like he's a concerned neighbor. Sgt asks him where he lives and he just points and says "over there" and Sgt says "in that trailer?" (the one that councilman tells us will get condemned) and he says "well, no, I live in the shop. I'm going to be getting it legal to live in" (first time ever he's actually admitted he lives in the shop). I could tell the Sgt was not impressed with him and basically just turned away from him and continued his conversation with us.  Then slumlord tries to say that this car DH followed was this other neighbor lady's ex boyfriend,who she is now dating the brother in law that lives at the renters place (got all that?!) and this guy is just stalking her (in good neighbors driveway at midnight?). She has a restraining order (or well, maybe she does) on him. No one wants him in the neighborhood, blah blah blah.

Sergeant gives us this new email address they have set up to use for reporting (instead of the online narcotics tip line). We can give info and attach pictures and videos. They have assigned a deputy, who is on light duty, to take all the info. Basically, they don't even want us calling dispatch to report suspicious people - just send the email. Only call if it's a 911 safety issue. Whatever - they never come anyway so it's nothing different.

Sgt leaves and we are left standing there with slumlord. We are trying to be nice. He just wants to keep blaming all the neighborhood problems on the drug dealer house behind us. We keep pointing out that doesn't change the fact that your renters have 800-900 visitors on our little private road a month at all hours of day/night. He again said "well, you can't be accusing my renters of dealing drugs". I kinda lit into him and said what do you want us to think it is? They all come, stay 2 minutes, just like at the other house behind us. DH said - you said yourself that youngest son is now is drug rehab. We all know the other son is also drug addict.  Slumlord says "well, ya they use drugs and bring in these people that do too, but they aren't dealing."  WHATEVER!

Friday was pretty quiet, but Saturday morning in comes that same car that DH followed the other night. The one slumlord says no one wants around. As the car is leaving it stops at our gate for a second, blares it's music and peels off the side of the pavement into our gravel/landscaped area. Then about 1/2 hour later the car returns, so I call slumlord to tell him to get up here and DH was going out to wait for the car to leave and stop it. Our good neighbor comes outside too, as slumlord is peeling down the road to his renters house.

Just before this, DH is on his way out, in my car, to go visit his new friend, in the other neighborhood, and show him a picture of this car to see if it visits their drug house. As he turns the corner at the end of our street he sees this guy down the road a bit with a bike and some kind of little cart full of stuff. DH gets just out of our neighborhood and realized he forgot something and turned around to come back. This guy is now on the property of the foreclosed/vacant house. He doesn't see DH stop and watch him. He puts his bike in the shed and then walks over to the garage side door and had his hand on the doorknob and sees DH. So he kinda walks in circles and then goes to the shed and takes his bike out. He then puts it in, then takes it out. Then he stops and DH says "do you think we need to call the sheriff?". They have this whole conversation where the tweeker cannot stop rubbing his hands all over his face. DH tells him to move along and then calls the sheriff to report him breaking into the house. Of course they never came out.

Slumlord finally comes back over to us (standing at the fence between us and good neighbors property) 20 minutes later. Here's the new "story": it was the lady who lives down the street (she and her 19 yr old son are involved in all this crap up to their eyeballs) now driving this car - the car of the guy who 2 nights ago he told us she had a restraining order on, he was stalking her and they didn't want him around here.  Now apparently he loaned her is car to drive. It was one excuse after the other.  Then slumlord basically said it was us who was the problem, not his renters. DH just walked away back to the house. I stood there a few minutes - just wanting to see if our good neighbor would finally grow some balls. All's he said was "well, there sure is alot of traffic on our road and it's not been the same the past 2 years". I went back into the house then too, fed up. What good neighbor (Mr. I'm always packing a gun) should have done was walk over to that car parked in the culdesac and said "what the %#$% were you doing on my property at midnight?!"  Or at a minimum he should have told slumlord he's full of crap and yes, we all know his renters are dealing drugs.

Gee, good neighbor.... You weren't calling slumlord to ask him to watch your property while you were out of town for 5 days........

There is one really good deputy (who is also the deputy that did the off duty patrol for this other neighborhood on Friday night). He has been good about emailing DH. He said the 4 hours they spent (that the other neighborhood chipped in and paid for at $60 an hour) at the other neighborhood resulted in 5 stops and one really good one. No arrests, but apparently got lots of info out of them and it all also tied into our neighborhood people. He said they are working on it.

We are so over all of this. Good neighbor knows DH is done with being his personal neighborhood watch program. He can finally open his front blinds, that have never been open in 20 years, and figure all this out for himself.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A girls day out

Yesterday was a fun girls day. DD, her best friend, her boyfriends mom and sister and myself all went to IKEA. BF's sister will go going to the same college as DD and needed stuff for her dorm room. DD still had a few things on her list she needs for her apartment, as well as wanted to take a look at their mattresses again. Her BF's mom and sister are very nice and easy to chat with. I hadn't met his sister before then. She's a cute little firecracker of a personality. I hadn't seen DD's best friend since they graduated over a year ago, so it was good to see her. She is back off to college next week.

We walked that store for almost 2 1/2 hours! It was so crowded (as always) and between all of us we had the one cart we were pushing totally full. DD found a queen size mattress she felt she could sleep on and was easy on her savings account balance (most important to her). Then we had to sit and wait almost a half hour for someone in customer service to put together a bag of some hardware that is missing on her IKEA bed frame she has. Well, not missing's been stored (still in boxes) at her BF's house and one of their dogs chewed thru the a box and chewed some of the plastic and wood hardware pieces!). She had BF were going back to the store to get the mattress later that afternoon and take it to her new apartment and get some things moved in.

I figured we'd go have lunch somewhere as it was after 1pm by the time we got out of there but we headed home to drop off everyone. BF's mom had bought some of IKEA yummy smelling cinnamon rolls and invited us in to have some.

HOLY MOLY! I had been just inside their front door before and seen how messy their house is, but WOW! I'm not a perfect housekeeper by any means, but their house makes mine look spotless. The small front living room was just filled with stuff laying and stacked everywhere. Pretty much like I saw when I was there before, but worse. I don't even know what it all was. Then we got to step back into the kitchen/dining/family room area. There was not ONE spot open on the counters and in the sink. The dining table (and even on chairs) was filled with stuff. She had to move it all off so we could all sit down to have our dessert. The family room wasn't quite as bad, but still messy and cluttery. I can only imagine what the bedrooms and bathrooms looked like. The cat just hopped up on the kitchen counter and made his way through the foot high piles of stuff. Eek! My cat tried to get up on our coffee table recently (I have no idea why - he knows not to get up on anything but the couch or beds) and I nipped that in the bud immediately.  I don't even know how they could vacuum, other than the walkway area between the rooms.

I would not be able to even think if I lived like that, let alone ever feel like I could ever relax. When my kids were little I had a lot of clutter and now that I got rid of all that, I can't stand having clutter everywhere. It's so much easier to stay organized, to just THINK, when the house is clean and calm. I can actually find whatever it is I am looking for. It's put away where it's supposed to be stored.

So, this morning (yes I did have a few dishes in the sink to put in the dishwasher. I'm not perfect by any means) when I got up, got my cup of coffee and fed the dogs and cat I felt blessed that my home is clean and uncluttered and that I can feel peaceful and relaxed while I get my day started. Time to vacuum - the black dog hair on the carpet is driving me crazy :)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The JOKE - part 2

Part 2 -

So for close to the next hour there were lots of cop cars, lots of red flashing light, flash lights everywhere. Heard a dog barking. We had no idea really what was going on other than DH assumed it was them trying to find the felon they let walk away.

The next morning he calls his new friend over in the next neighborhood. He needed someone to vent to about the night before. Well, new friend got treated just about the same way the day before! Tuesday they have 2 guys walking their private road, yelling out, threatening that they were going to take care of this neighborhood, etc. He calls for police to come out. Gets the same reaction, as always from dispatch. They won't send anyone out. If my DH can be a hot head, this guy is a VERY hot head. He seems to lose his temper at the drop of a dime (and rightly so, in this case). They have lots of woods around them that they have already ran out the druggies from more than once, living in tents,etc and they recently found a neighboring city police department vest. He goes into the wooded area, finds tents again as well as MORE stuff from this other police department! another vest, a police helmet, a bag. He is so mad that he drives over to the precinct and of course gets that old worthless desk guy. While he's trying to ask for a deputy to come over and go into those woods with him, so he can show him the stuff, etc., there is a Sgt. standing behind the desk guy and he says "well, aren't you guys hiring off duty deputies this weekend? can't you just take care of it then?" Friend loses it right there at the precinct. He was so mad (and I don't blame him). He finally said to them, well maybe if you guys were doing YOUR JOB in the first place, we wouldn't need to hire the off duty deputies!! Apparently in the discussion he was also made very much to feel  like he has no problem in his neighborhood, that he's just making stuff up, etc. Just like DH was made to feel.

He got back home and about an hour later the Lt. and some others came out to his house. Kind of apologetic about the comments made to him at the precinct. They try to tell him they can't go on his neighbors property (no one lives there - it's just wooded acreage) with out the owner's permission. Friend tell him he got the guys permission about a year ago but hasn't talked to him since. They are asking questions. like what is the property owner's name. He told them he helped the owner put up the no trespassing signs last year. Then one of the other deputies apparently was trying to check on who owns it. Didn't you say the guys name is Vern? Friend says yes. Lt says, well the owner is a female, named LaVerne.....basically acting like he just lied to them. And friend says....yes, HIS name is LaVerne - it's a guy, and that's his name! Turns out he passed away last year, unbeknownst to new friend, so now they have to figure out who has it in probate and get permission from them. Good grief. But just go ahead and piss him off some more by acting like he is lying and making stuff up.

While this is happening, one of his other neighbors (who rides a Harley) that we met that night last week, when we went over to this neighborhood, is stopping at the grocery store nearby on his way home. He comes out of the store and these 2 guys are actually sitting on his bike and threaten him for trying to run this crap out of his neighborhood!
So, between what DH experienced with the deputies and what our new friend experienced they both were fit to be tied and just getting each other more riled up over all this while comparing notes!

That night about 8:30 pm a sheriff car pulls up in front of our house. It's the Sergeant from our precinct, who had been at that meeting with Mr. Head Sheriff on Monday........

Saturday, September 5, 2015

JOKE continues to be the word of the day

The neighborhood drug situation just keeps boiling and boiling. DH had an interesting "experience" with some deputies the other night and our new friend over in the next neighborhood had a very similar experience the day prior.

While we had a week of low drug activity, it started back up again during the day Wednesday. Cars in and out. That afternoon DH called it in (like we are told to do). Same story.  Dispatch says they won't dispatch anyone, report it to Narcotics. What the hell good is that going to do, when we've already been told Narcotics isn't interested in our "bottom of the barrel" situation?!!  By almost midnight it had been a steady stream in front of our house. This "regular" car pulls down our street (with it's headlights off, of course) and turns into our good neighbors driveway - quite a ways into his driveway, actually. Good neighbor is of course asleep and unaware - cuz that's what normal people do when then have to leave for work at 6am! DH goes outside to see what this guy is doing on good neighbors property/run him off.  DH sees someone coming out from the drug house on the other side (most likely to meet up with this car) and the car sees DH and quickly backs out and goes and parks near the entrance to our street. DH grabbed my keys, got in my car and drove out to find the guy now parked around the corner, off the side of road. DH pulls up next to him and sits a minute. Then the car pulls up next to the vacant house and DH follows him and parks too. By this time he is on the phone to 911 - reporting a suspicious vehicle, going to the drug houses, etc. Of course they are trying to tell him to not do this and of course they don't want to send a deputy. DH tells them he's not pulling off this guy until a deputy comes and finds out what he's up to. Then the car turns around and goes back into our neighborhood, so DH just waits, because there is only one way out. Several minutes and he finally comes back out just as the cops (3 or 4 cars) are coming in. DH points to the car and one pulls him over and they tell DH to wait.

Then it got interesting. DH is standing there talking to the Sgt and deputies, telling them what this car had been doing, and the deputy that talked to the guy in the car comes over. It's just "John Q Citizen" (meaning DH is full of crap) and lays into DH about it. DH says this guy is a regular at these drug houses and he was on my (sleeping) neighbors property. The cop then says "there's nothing going on in this neighborhood". DH stares dumbfounded at him and says "you are being facetious, right?" "NO, I'm not, there's no problem in this neighborhood, blah blah." DH looks at the other deputies in disbelief and says "c'mon seriously? you guys are aware of this right, aware of what's been going on for 2 years now, right?" and one of them looks at the ground and says yes. Then DH says Mr. Head Sheriff is aware of this and the cop says "I can guarantee you Mr. Head Sheriff isn't aware of this or even knows this neighborhood exists". DH says......hmm...well that's funny because I was in his big office downtown on Monday with your Lt. and one of your Sgts and drew him a map on his big white board".  This cop was getting so irate that one of the other deputies literally had to pull him away from DH and walk him away to calm him down.

As this is all happening out come walking 3 guys leaving the neighborhood. They see the cops and 2 turn around and go back the way they came. One keeps walking and a couple of the deputies go to talk to him. They let him go but apparently then ran his name and realized he had a felony warrant out for him. Bam! they were all back in their cars and off to chase in the direction he went.

DH came back home and was fit to be tied over this BS. About 15 minutes later there are cop lights everywhere in our neighborhood for probably at least a half hour or hour.

Stay tuned for part 2..............

It's moving time

DD got an email yesterday that her new apartment complex has been permitted for occupancy and ready to move in anytime now. Oh boy is she excited - and relieved! She needs to be in the place by Sept 27 at the latest as her classes start the 28th. It's been a bit delayed and we were nervous that it would end up not being ready by then. She is going to be in the area later today, so is going to drive the extra 20 miles and pay her rent and get her keys :-)  Now she will have lots of time to get moved in and be all settled before she starts her quarter of 4 pretty hard classes. She got an upstairs unit and is happy about that. I'm sure the place is going to look adorable with her decorating skills.

She has been applying for some on-campus office work type jobs. She just wants something 10-15 hours a week to earn a little money for gas, etc. One job was off campus for an assistant kids tennis coach for just a few months She would have loved that, with her tennis experience, but never heard anything on her resume.

Her BF, who works for a large company that is all around our region, has been applying for other positions at a plant north of the main city. That would put him about an hour from her, while she's at school, and if that's where they ended up living once she graduates, it will most likely put her in a better position, geographically, for more job opportunities.

So, pretty soon that bedroom of hers that is stuffed full with all her apartment stuff will look very empty! She isn't taking her bed or dresser (she is so weird about dressers, she doesn't like them) but she is taking her desk and bookshelf and the drawer unit that is in her closet.  I'm excited to be on the countdown to her independence from us financially. I'll have more money then to funnel into my 401k and get us closer to retiring and getting the hell out of this overcrowded, traffic from hell, zoo.

Friday, September 4, 2015

It's official: we are old codgers

DH kind of had to set DD straight a bit last night. I love her to death, but honestly I am looking forward to later this month when she goes back to school. I'm ready to have my space and regular sleep back. I guess I'm officially good at being an empty nester now.

She and her BF spend every single day together. I get that. Completely. They are in love. They are perfect for each other. But his schedule is not my schedule. His 5-6 hours of sleep per night is definitely not my schedule. Until a few weeks ago he worked the afternoon/night shift. Started work at 2:30 and got off at 11:30pm. M-F. He was used to not going to bed until 1 or 2 am. This was a complete shift for DD's schedule, since they started dating last Dec/Jan. She has always been a go to bed early girl.

So, mornings (usually by 9 or 9:30) DD would head over to his place or he'd be coming over to our place. DH is not a morning person. It takes him quite awhile to get so his body will move after laying down for 6 or 7 hours. It's a slow process and he's not really in the mood to be super chatty with someone who loves to chat. Conversely, at 1am, while DH is still up (he has trouble sleeping with his health problems), he is winding down, sleepy and getting ready to head to bed. When BF brings DD home, he doesn't need BF standing there wanting to talk to him for a half hour, because BF is wide awake.

Me, I go to bed at 9:30 or 10. Usually 9:30 on week nights. I need 7-8 hours sleep. I don't always sleep the greatest because of my neck and back problems. Now her BF works days. 6am to 2:30pm. So now they spend from the time he gets off work until about 11:30pm together. Most days DD goes to his house, but every night she rolls in around 11:30 or 11:40 - our one dog always barks (that's just the way he is) and he's sleeping with me, so of course I get woke up. Even if he just lets out a little woof, I still get woken up and I almost always hear her pulling in our gravel driveway and the parking is right outside my bedroom window and her car has a little bit of a loud exhaust sound to it. Or there are the nights, like last night where BF had picked her up after he got off work, they went to his house and he had to bring her home later. So, at 11pm, after I had already been asleep last night, here they come. His truck is diesel and loud and of course our one barker dog has to start barking because he gets really excited when he knows it someone besides us coming in. I am tired of being woken up every single night. A few times a week would be tolerable, but not every night.

If DD had to get up and be at work at 6am each morning, I KNOW she would not be coming home at 11:30 every night. She doesn't get up until around 8:30 each morning. She gets her nights sleep she needs. But, I'm not and DH finally told her it's disrespectful. Not to mention her coming home that late and our private roads back into our neighborhood are crawling with druggies and criminals. He would totally worry until he knew she was inside our gate.

I'm ready to have my home back to myself. Ready to be able to put my pj's on in the evening, while I sit and watch tv, use my tablet or read a book. Ready to not be woken up every night by her return or her BF leaving and hearing his truck start up.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Netflix, stocking up and magazines

I found a new tv show to watch on Netflix. Prison Break. I'm on episode 5 right now and so far am enjoying the story line. A friend of mine recommended it and said the first season was really good, but that she didn't enjoy the other seasons as much. At least it will give me something to watch for awhile.

DD and I went shopping during lunch time yesterday and stocked her up on 4 tubes of her Colgate Enamel toothpaste coupon deal from Target for .74 ea. She will not have to buy that for a long time. We also stopped at the dollar store and she got some kitchen things: spatula's, tongs, pasta spoon and a couple other things.  Then we stopped at Walmart for a few groceries and got her some Ivory body wash for .47, after coupon.

I now have $11 in RiteAid Plenti Points and I like how the new program doesn't require you to use them up in 2 weeks. Some weeks there just isn't anything on sale that I want or need or some weeks I just don't get time to figure out and plan the deals.

I was thinking the other day that I no longer have any magazines that I subscribe to. I had several - most all gotten free using points but they expired and I don't do the Dasani water (Coke rewards points) any more. I buy cheap Walmart brand water. Today I came across a good deal for a years subscription to ALL YOU magazine, so I went ahead and got that. This magazine typically has quite a few coupons included in it, so I imagine it will pay for itself and I'll have a magazine to read again. I miss my magazines, like Family Circle and Woman's Day.  Just stuff to browse through without much thought involved after a long day of work and commuting (it took me almost 2 hours to get home Tuesday).

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's kind of quiet

It hit me yesterday while at work. This meeting we went to with the head sheriff and other law enforcement....wouldn't you think a meeting specifically about drug dealing/drug using would have some representation there by the Narcotics unit?? Nope!  Apparently our issue it too small for them to want to bother with and the only reason the bust happened last December was because that department Lt. did it as a favor to the guy who was Lieutenant of our precinct at that time.

So, it's too small of problem for Narcotics and too big of problem for the regular deputies. Ridiculous. I told DH that NO ONE better EVER refer me to report any of this to the Narcotics unit ever again! If I had a dollar for every time I have been told, by dispatchers, the desk Sergeant at the precinct and by deputies, to report it to Narcotics, I'd have enough money to get out of this place. The dispatchers are the worst - they don't want to dispatch and just always say that we need to report it to Narcotics. I always say "I do - sometimes daily - for months and months, now going into years."  No more. The next time I hear that, they are going to get an earful. The link to reporting online has been on my toolbar for quick access for almost 2 years now. I removed it.

Our bulldog councilman went and had a meeting with the head county prosecutor yesterday. He will be working on the issue too, but of course blamed most of it on the judges. They also will apparently be trying to use a law on the books for our state....Use of buildings for unlawful drugs, where property owners, landlords, etc cannot use buildings for anything related to illegal drugs. Even if they suspect it is going on they are required by law to report it. Failure to comply or knowing that it is going on and not doing anything about it is a class C felony (punishable up to 5 years in jail). It sounds like they might start threatening that to our neighbor who owns the rental place on our street and the parents who own the home of the drug dealers behind us.

It turns out that the Sergeant that was at this meeting is a neighbor of DD's boyfriend and he knows him pretty well. He called him up yesterday and talked with him a bit. He told him he is at our house often and sees all this for himself.  Sgt. said "yes, those were real good people and their neighborhood is a mess". The Sgt. very frustrated because in the past several years their hands are so tied now for stopping people and doing searches.

It's been fairly quiet this week, a nice break. Two of the 3 guys in the drug house behind us are in jail, at least for a couple more weeks, so it's just the youngest of the 3 left to hold the fort and deal.  The people on our street have been laying pretty low. Our guess is landlord has been griping at them a bit, along with they saw the county cars out here last week, nosing around. In addition to the fact that the youngest is apparently in drug rehab. It's all just temporary quiet, but it's nice anyway.  Other than I couldn't stop and get our mail from our mailbox yesterday because some tweeker was sitting on the ground in front of them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Word of the day

If I had to describe yesterdays meeting with the head county sheriff I'd have to use "anti-climatic". I was under the impression that some of the other county council members would also be at this meeting, but it was just our councilman and his assistant from that side of the building.  There were quite a few in attendance from the sheriff's office. Head Sheriff, the Lieutenant and Sergeant from our precinct and a few others. 

They didn't tell us really anything we didn't already know about the our situation and we didn't tell them anything they haven't already known the past 2 years. I left the meeting feeling pretty much "blah". Their hands are tied in making traffic stops because it's all private roads back here, so apparently laws don't apply. If you want to deal drugs out of your house, live on a private road.....there's nothing they can do, is basically what I got out of it.

Oh sure...the head sheriff gave us the "we're gonna work on this" speech. They all gave the "we're understaffed/underfunded speech" - which they are. Not near enough manpower for the amount of people that live in this area. It sounds like the funding in the county budget that our councilman has put forth to add a 6 man task force will get approved, but it won't be until the 2016 budget.  Our county sheriff is an elected position and I think it comes up for re-election next year. As it stands now, I highly doubt I'll be voting for him if there is someone else running against him.

The Lt. also said that the only reason the bust/warrant got made last December on the house behind us was because the SIU (narcotics) did it as a favor to the guy who was Lt. of our precinct at the time! It's just too "small potatoes" for them. Nice.........that's the only way to take care of a neighborhood being overrun by drug dealers, users, thiefs, etc? 

The sentencing these repeat offenders are getting is a JOKE. The oldest of the 3 drug dealers that live behind us...he got charged with the following last February: Theft3 and Assault3 (drug charge dropped). Plead guilty and got out and was supposed to be sentenced in June. Of course Failure to Appear for his sentencing. They finally picked him up 2 weeks ago. His sentencing (this is a repeat offender, mind you) was yesterday....he got sentenced to a whole 81 days.  His brother? who just got arrested for violating the joke of a no contact order his parents have on him? he got sentenced yesterday to 20 days in jail.

The guy, who last winter, was showing up at the drive up window at the drug dealers behind a Hummer, with his girlfriend, with a baby in their arms......every night around 11:30pm....they are one of the ones that got popped, which led to the warrant being served on this house last December.......he ended up getting "drug court", which means he has to hold a job and test clean (monthly, I think?). He has failed at least 2 times. Literally, while we were sitting in that meeting yesterday afternoon, he was failing his drug test - again - and being booked into jail. I'm sure he'll be let out yet again, so he can come and buy drugs in our neighborhood.

Our councilman is having a meeting today with the head county prosecutor, to get his take on all this light sentencing. Also, we are going to another meeting with the head sheriff - over at the other neighborhood 6 blocks from us (the people we went and met last week), but that isn't until the end of September.  Our councilman is also try to get our state representatives to come to this meeting.

We are also pissed off at our good neighbor for continuing to bury his head and let us do all the work. One of the first questions the sheriff's asked was "why doesn't your other neighbor on your street call this stuff in".  DH told him that last night and he was like "well. I don't see it.." DH said that is BS...later when he told me that I said well then I guess he has no reason to be asking us to keep an eye on his place we just did while he was out of town for 5 days!

I think the word for today:  JOKE