Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

Christmas was very nice, even if it was just the two of us. It snowed all day. I put our little turkey in the oven and while it was roasting we took the dogs for a walk. It was perfect.  We opened our gifts on Christmas Eve. DH had done a bunch of gift shopping when he was visiting his friend, so he had quite a few things for me :) Afterwards we FaceTimed with DD. She is doing well and loving her new home.

I've been off work since last Wednesday before Christmas. Sleeping in a bit, reading, watching movies. Last Saturday we went and visited that friend of DH's, who he used to know through work, where we lived before. OMG! What a lovely amazing home and I didn't even really get to see much of it. It's about a 6,000 sf log home. We sat with the guy and his wife in their living room the whole time and visited. Both super nice people (in early 60's I'd say), I really liked them and enjoyed their company. It would have been nice to tour their home, but I also liked that they weren't "oh, look at our house!" type of people, too. Just sitting in their big living room with the fireplace, some coffee and watching it snow outside was so nice and relaxing.

We have about a foot of snow accumulated now. It's been one month now since winter really started. I like it :) Though I will be glad when it's all gone and spring is here and don't have to worry about what the road conditions are.

Unexpected money keeps coming my way again this week. I got a check from my previous mortgage bank for $1244 for overpaid property taxes. I thought the escrow lady had said we'd be getting about $1200 back, but I had gotten a check from the bank for like $100 or so and thought that was it, but that must have been for interest.  Then I got a check for $24 from a class action settlement I signed on for awhile back. It was for same bank and something to do with overcharged appraisals back in 2007 time when we refinanced our home. And I got a very nice $150 Visa gift card from my boss for Christmas. Wooo!!!

DD and her BF went on their own phone plan. I guess it didn't really save me as much as I thought, being able to drop down to the 2GB plan. It dropped it $15, but I was already paying 2/3 of that $15, and now I'm paying 100% of the $35 2GB plan, so really only saved me $3 a month. Better than nothing, I guess. I also received a $25 Netflix gift card for Christmas so that pays for the next 3 months, which is nice too.

We decided to get another laundry room cabinet. It's a decent sized laundry room, so we might as well utilize the space available for extra storage.

We also found a use for a couple of old wood shelves from our old house. Again, very little storage space in our bathrooms, so we put on in each bathroom. The medicine cabinet I ordered to match the vanity wood also came this past week and we installed that. SO much nicer to have all the stuff off our our sink area.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Vacation days

I've been enjoying my past couple of days of vacation time. Wednesday DH and I drove into the city and did a bunch of shopping. Went to Walmart and got stocked up on food and things. Made a trip to Lowe's for a few things and got some cabinets for our laundry room. Nothing too fancy or expensive, but looks much neater having the supplies inside a cupboard rather than on an open shelf that was on the wall
They also had a tall narrow cabinet that we have decided we will also get that can go between the washing machine and the hot water heater that you can't see in the picture.

Yesterday I spent cleaning, baking and wrapping presents, so all that is done. I made my annual sugar cookies (mom's recipe) and as always, while they taste amazing, they always poof out and lose their shape so really don't look like any of the Christmas shapes they are supposed to. Wish I could figure out the trick to that! I've tried all the things I know: refrigerating dough (the recipe says too), adding flour, I've tried real butter, I've tried margarine. Oh well. I also made a couple of loaves of banana bread.

Tuesday night we went to the restaurant in town for our weekly dinner out. For the most part we have had the same waitress every time. She's a sweet, shy, young woman. I know she has small twins and not sure if any other kids. My usual tip is $4-5 (20%). This time when I went up to the counter to pay (she rings up too) I handed her 2 $20 bills and told her to keep the change ($16). I thought she was going to start crying. She came around the counter and gave me a big hug. She is the sweetest.

Not sure what we are doing today. It's supposed to start snowing again later today. DH mentioned going to visit a guy he knows - he used to live over where we did and DH knew him through work. The guy is a millionaire, lives on a huge ranch nearby, and DH has been meaning to stop and say hi to him. I would love to see his home. It's for sale and the pictures are just amazing. (hmmm...we didn't have 12 million, so couldn't buy it HAHA!) Though in typical DH style instead of asking the guy a couple of days ago if he'll be around or when is a good day, DH will try to text him today at the last minute, haha. So, likely we won't end up visiting today.

We will open our gifts tomorrow, as we traditionally open Christmas Eve and then open small gifts in our stockings on Christmas morning. I found a small turkey to make that and all the trimmings on Christmas Day. We will just be having a nice, quiet, white Christmas with just us two and the dogs. Perfect.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The busy weekend

It's time to get caught up! Thursday afternoon I flew "home", so I could attend my company's year end meeting and Christmas lunch on Friday. I love the airport in my area! So small and not crowded at all. I had about an hour wait before boarding - which was a small prop propeller type of plane and we walked outside to get on. When I walked up to the TSA station I was the only one in line LOL. Where does that happen?! We had a little delay as we had to de-ice before leaving. About an hour and 20 min plane ride and I got in about 5pm (dark of course). People EVERYWHERE! Got shuttled over to the rental car building a little after 5:30 and it was about 5:50 before I was able to finally start heading towards DD's new home - which was an hour and a half drive because it was still rush hour traffic. Plus my GPS direction app on my phone was not giving me voice instructions so when I got off the exit to her place I'm trying to drive in the dark and look at my phone to see the map on how to get there. GRRR...

I got to her lovely new home a little after 7pm - starving, because I'd still had no dinner. Thankfully she had made some pulled pork in her crockpot and we had yummy pulled pork sandwiches. Then I took the tour of their home and we visited for a couple of hours before we went to bed (because they have to leave at 5:15 in the morning and I had to leave around 6am as my drive was going to take at least an hour and I wanted to try to get to the office as close to 7am (start time) as possible. They keep their house freezing cold, LOL, plus their new bed hadn't been delivered yet, so I had to sleep on the futon couch, which was pretty hard and lumpy (that was that futon I bought her for her college apartment). Thankfully it was only one night, but I've pretty much had a neck and headache since then. Bleh! Wish I could have spent more time with her, but just wasn't in the cards this trip.

I got to work Friday morning, said hi to everyone I haven't seen in 2 1/2 months and then helped my boss put names on all the Christmas cards and stuff with our bonus checks. We chatted while doing that and got caught up (all personal chat, LOL). Though later, I did go in her office and ask her if there was anything that wasn't working for her with our new arrangement of me working remotely 100%. She said nope, it's all working fine. I got a nice hug from one of the owner's and I told him I appreciate all they have done for me more than he will ever know.

We got done with our lunch and meeting around 2:15 and I then headed down to my mom's house. It was nice having a rental car. For $65 I got a nice mid-sized Chrysler that was very comfortable to drive (once I figured out how it all worked). I got to my mom's in about an hour or so (terrible traffic even that early in the afternoon) and we just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. She has twin beds in her guest room and the bed was at least comfortable. Though she has her heat come on about 5:30 AM and then I'd get woke up because I started getting so warm. Not sure why she does that so early, as she doesn't get up until 8 or 8:15.

Saturday morning we went and did a little Christmas shopping - got a few thing for DH, that I could fit into my suitcase. I had packed as light as possible, so that I'd have room to bring some things back with me. More traffic and more people! I do not miss that area one bit - especially the god-awful traffic everywhere. Saturday afternoon I took a nap (still had the headache from Friday) and after I woke up my stomach didn't feel to well. We were going to go out to dinner but just ended up staying home and having some leftovers. Thankfully my stomach felt better in a few hours.

I headed back to the airport Sunday at 2:30 (almost an hour drive). Dropped my rental car off, caught the shuttle back to the airport and stood in the long TSA line. Something happened (not sure what) with the guy in front of me and the scanning machine, so finally they had me step over and just walk through the old fashioned metal detector. Then was the long walk, and walk, and more walk to my gate (I think the airport where I live now has like 5 gates haha!). I should have had about an hour wait to start boarding but that ended up being delayed almost an hour, due to maintenance issues. I was supposed to get home at 8pm, but ended up being 9pm. Ugh. It was pretty boring just sitting at the airport and they kept announcing little 10-15 minute delays and to stay close by, so by then it was getting toward 6pm and I was getting hungry and couldn't leave to go find something to eat. I did have a granola bar in my purse, so I at least had that. A nice young Army kid was sitting next to me and we chatted a bit while waiting for our flights. He was such a Baby! so young. Just enlisted in August. When I asked him if he was flying home for Christmas he said "yes, ma'am!"

Glad to be back home for sure. Still lots of snow and cold. I'm only working through tomorrow this week and then have off for vacation days until Jan 2nd. I always take off during this time just to relax and enjoy the holidays.

I got my bonus check ($3900 before taxes) for the second half of the year and we were also told that next year they are increasing the bonus program to 15% of our annual salary (from 10%). When I opened my emails this morning (I hadn't had access all weekend) from my side job there was an email that I was to cut myself a bonus check...for $1500! That was so nice of them! With my regular salary, side job and bonus's that will make my income at $99,660 for the year. If I get another $4k next year in bonus and maybe an estimated salary increase of $2k that will put me at about $105k total income next year.

DH brought the dogs with him to pick me up at the airport, so I got lots of doggy kisses and life is good.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Snow and the week ahead

It was a quiet weekend. Lots of snow falling. We made a snowman just for fun. Got that out of our system, LOL.

DH got home Thursday afternoon. He had borrowed friends truck to use so I picked him up at friends house about a 30 minute drive down the highway. He got in just in time before the snow started falling on Friday and thankfully I only had dry roads before then to go pick him up. Saturday morning he took me to the grocery store in town. I'm not too happy with their stocking of breads! They are always out of the sandwich bread we like, as well as English muffins. They were out when I went last Thursday too. At first he was like "can't you just drive yourself?" and I said that was the deal you promised me to move to where it snows! You drive me! It's certainly not like he has anything else to do and he's already saying he's bored. Which is exactly what I told him would happen when we first talked about moving here. Duh. He always has to be doing something and there's not much to do now.

Dinner last night was courtesy of some leftovers I had frozen. "Taco Soup" and I made some corn bread to go with it. I like those easy kind of meals. Tonight will be some chicken breast tenders I thawed out in casserole type dish with white rice and mixed vegetables. Tomorrow we will head back to "the restaurant" for our weekly dinner we have missed the last 2 weeks.

Thursday I fly out to go to a work meeting on Friday. Our year end company meeting and bonus check hand out :). I'm staying in town through Sunday afternoon. I will drive to DD's Thursday evening (I get in at 5pm) and see her new house and stay with her. I think I will spend the rest of the weekend at my mom's. DD has a friend flying in from Australia on Friday afternoon and will be busy with her all weekend. They started being pen pals when they were probably 10 years old and have kept in touch ever since. I'm just going to rent a car, so I can come and go as I please. It'll only be about $60 to rent one.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It pays to ask

My company is generous with paid holidays. We get Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after off. Usually we get all of New Years Eve and New Years Day off. I was looking at the company calendar and noticed we did not get the Monday after New Years Day off. I always thought if a holiday falls on a Sunday, then Monday is usually considered the paid holiday. The company I do my side job for is closed that day. DD's company is closed that day. Normally, I would just not say anything, but I decided to ask my boss. She was like "you know, I didn't even think about it! Let me check and see if our main manufacturer is closed....". Today we got an email that not only now are we closed that day, but our owner's also added in Dec 22nd. I'm glad I asked :)

DH should be home around dinner time this evening, instead of tomorrow. He's making better time back, not pulling a trailer, and got to the town his friend lives in, this morning, so they went and had a late breakfast instead of dinner and DH is now back on the road. A winter snow storm is supposed to be coming tonight, so he is wanting to get back before then. He had a bit of scary driving through Wyoming last night - got blown off the road a couple of times and it was very icy. He got to a hotel as soon as he could.

I need some groceries! Gotta start planning dinners again (ugh! LOL). Well, it's cold cold here right now at 12 degrees but I'm going to go to the little grocery store during lunch break and get some things. The dogs don't even want to go out .They go out for a minute and want right back in. Apparently the kids at the grade school I can see out my office window don't mind it - they've been out at recess playing! BRRR!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Vacation" almost over

DH is making his way home now. Should be here mid day Friday. He's taking a half day extra to stop in and see a friend on his way home, have dinner with him Thursday and stay at his place and then make the rest of the trip home Friday morning.

It's been a very nice, quiet 10 days so far! But, I'll be glad he's back to scoop dog poop. HA! I'm sure I didn't get it all before it snowed Sunday night so there's probably some left under there :/ I'm heading out there soon to see what I can pick up. I haven't done it for a couple days. I'll have to get super bundled up, it's 15 degrees out.

Not sure how/why it happened but the seller of DD/BF's new house had the gas turned off on Monday (the day it closed). They didn't get the keys until like 6pm on Monday. They called Tuesday but gas company said they couldn't come back out to turn on until today! Good grief and it's like 25 degrees there this week. WTH?! They aren't staying there yet (not until they get all moved in this weekend) but it certainly is cold enough to freeze pipes with no heat on. When we sold/bought nothing was turned off on our old our or this new one.

In the backyard of DD's new house is a shed. They never got to see inside it, as it was locked. They got the key now and she sent me a pic of what was inside the "mystery shed" (I assumed nothing - ha!). Inside was sections of a tree that had been cut down (in their back yard). My immediate thought was all the Pinterest things I have been seeing recently made with slices of big logs! DD said she thought the same thing and was excited to see them :) Her BF saw firewood - haha!

 I told her to save me a slice :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Oh mom.......

Oh boy, trying to help my mom with a computer issue.......sorry, it's not happening. I honestly just cannot even understand what she is trying to tell me! it's literally "I open that Firefox thing and then I see something about "s-y-m - symatic or something. I can't get to my aol or anything. Over on the left is usually that one thing, you know? but now I can't find it". Good lord, I honestly have zero idea what she is talking about. I asked her if she's tried turning off her computer and turning it back on? (always a good thing to try first) Her reply was something like " well, ya, but (and then she's trying to explain something else about it" Mom - did you actually shut off your computer? "yes, I did and you know that little button on the front, well I did that but....(and then she totally made no sense)".  "Norton keeps coming up".  Me: oh you put Norton on again? (I had advised her not too). apparently she did. I recommended she would probably be just best to take her computer in somewhere (this is the new computer I went with her to buy and set it up for her not too long ago) and have them take a look at what is going on. Other than uninstalling Norton (which I know she wouldn't know how to do), I don't know how to fix, nor do I really understand what the problem even is.

Then she says "what do I take in to them? just that box under my desk?" Umm.....didn't we buy you an "all-in-one" computer, where your computer unit is built into your monitor? "Oh, maybe we did". I think what's under your desk is your modem.  "oh, it says Comcast on it". Right, you don't need to take that to the computer shop, that isn't part of your computer. Just take the monitor unit that is on your desk.

Today she calls me before she's getting ready to take it in...."will they need the password? is it the password you set up to do my taxes?" WHAT?! LOL. No, mom, that password doesn't have anything to do with running your computer.  I know she always turns her computer off each you have to put in a password each time you turn on your computer? (I didn't remember doing this when I set her up). First she said yes, then she said no.  She has no idea. "well, my password for AOL is already in there". No, mom, that is not the same thing.  Mom - when you turn your computer on each morning, do you have to put in a password before anything (meaning desktop, but I knew she wouldn't know what that was) will even show up on your computer? She honestly doesn't know! "I guess I'll bring my list of passwords with me just in case"  (which is literally a bunch of slips of paper with partial info on them that drive me INSANE) "But I can still see my AOL mail and facebook on my ipad mini..that's weird". Well, mom, the ipad doesn't have anything to do with your desktop computer.....

Sigh....I wish I could help her and I wish I could understand her explanations that make no sense and bounce around all over the place. I probably should have set up something like TeamViewer on her computer before I moved so I could log into her computer and try to see what is going on, but she'd have no idea how to even open it anyway to let me get logged in. She really does like 3 things on her computer. Goes to the internet to see her aol mail, her Facebook (don't even get me started trying to explain that to her! "why do I keep seeing so and so's stuff?" umm...because you are friends with them...."well, how do I get rid of it?" You don't,unless you unfriend them. As peoples new posts show up, the old posts fall away below them, etc etc.), and her banking with her bank and her investment company. That's it. Oh, and she plays solitaire. So, I installed AVG just so she'd have some virus protection in the background and added Firefox and put her 4 websites she goes to as favorites showing on the top bar. So, all she would have to do is turn on her computer. Click on Firefox, and then she could go to her 4 spots. It should have been pretty fail-safe, right?

Hopefully the computer repair shop can fix her up and she doesn't have to pay too much.

Not starting off to a very good day so far

I just got DH signed up for a new health insurance plan. UGH. An extra $158 a month was not in my budget planning. I'm offsetting some of it with not having money deducted from my paycheck for FSA in 2017. That will be about $100 a month (pre-tax). Mostly what I had used it for was chiropractor visits and DH's expensive Crestor prescription - neither of which I have anymore. At least I'm trying to go without seeing a chiropractor monthly (I went about every 5 weeks) and see how it goes. Probably come spring, when I can safely drive to the city on a regular basis, I will find a chiropractor there to go to at least every few months to get adjusted. I need to also let his old health insurance company know he will not be renewing for 2017.

Well, that's just great. When I signed up I had to provide a credit (debit) card # and clicked on set up for recurring monthly payments - it's already hit my account! I assumed it would come out when due on the 1st of January. So, now I'm $511 short, as well as the $124 I got double deducted earlier for 2 electricity payments that came out of my account for some reason. Not very happy right now.

I think I am done Christmas shopping for DH, at least. I just ordered a CD from of a musician he really likes. The actual CD is coming in the mail, but figured out I can also listen to it now in the Amazon music app! .

When I decided to go out and drive at noon yesterday our street had all melted. Nice - now it will be a normal drive into town. No - all the other streets were still covered in snow! Why in the world just our street had melted I have absolutely no idea! So weird. But, I had no problems, other then when I was backing out of my parking space at the store and then turning to go forward I slid a bit, as it sloped off a little. But I had parked as far out as I could, so no issues, LOL.

DH will be home mid day Friday sometime. He's going to take an extra half a day to come home, which I am glad about. He has a good friend on the other side our our state (which is on his route home) and will stop in Thursday afternoon to have dinner and stay at his place the night. Friday morning he'll have about a 5 hour drive home.

One of the changes for us, living here, is no more fast food. Obviously a good thing, but still a bit of an adjustment that I just can't run and pick up burgers, Subway, Chinese food, etc, whenever I feel like it.  Or order a pizza delivered. We do go eat at the restaurant in town once a week. We are regulars now - Even have a punch card ;)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday is here already

It was a quiet, uneventful weekend. I decided to not drive to the city to do shopping on Saturday. I was getting all ready to go, about 9:30am, and brushing my teeth and just decided that I really didn't feel like driving almost an hour each way! Then I walked into the kitchen and saw it had started snowing. haha. No real snowfall until yesterday evening, where we got a couple of inches and it's only 22 degrees out.

I got some laundry done, vacuumed the house. That's about it for chores. Watched some tv and movies. I tried to get into The Crown on Netflix, but became bored with it about 3 or 4 episodes in.  I also got through a bit of my boxes of papers and was able to toss some of it out. I at least eliminated one smaller box and was able to add some into a file drawer.

About 6:30 this morning, for almost a half hour off and on, I kept hearing what sounded like snow shoveling and it sounded like it was coming from our neighbor. I was like what the heck? She literally works around the corner and across the street. Why would you spend all that work and time to drive your car one block. Just walk! Plus, their driveway isn't that big, why was there so much shoveling? did it snow more last night?...But once I got up and it was light enough to see outside (it doesn't even get light around here until almost 8am) it wasn't her. So, it must have been coming from the place across the alley behind us. I just saw a kid walking by to school - in shorts! Kids!

I know that to people who are used to driving in the snow, it's no big deal, but to those of us that aren't - it's freaky! I know I have some packages to pick up at the post office and want to get over there today. Guess I will have to brave it - haha! it's less than a mile and all flat. Plus I think they put de-icer on the main street through town. And a snow plow just drove by HA! The cars I have seen driving by so far seem to be getting along fine. Plus, I want to stop at the grocery store for a few things. I want to make some spaghetti for dinner, which I can eat for 2-3 nights.

I did some online shopping at Target. I didn't realize I could order grocery type stuff from there, with the prices being what I normally spend there (still cheaper than grocery store here in town), so I added a bunch of stuff to my order: mayo, tissues, dental floss, dog treats, dishwasher tabs, etc. I got DD a Target gift card for Christmas, as they were having 10% off of them yesterday, as well as a couple other gift ideas she gave me.

She and BF signed all the papers for their house on Saturday and it should close today and they can get the keys to their new home! What a quick and easy process for them. Just a bit over 30 days since they made their offer. The mortgage broker I referred them to is awesome. He did such a great job for them. He referred them to the agent they used, and they really liked her too. At her apartment they have been using the futon I bought for her, which isn't comfortable at all, plus they don't have a dining table. BF's parents are giving them their old sectional couch and dining set, so that is nice. I had given her our old coffee and end table awhile back, so they have that too. She just bought the washer and dryer and BF is going to buy a king sized bed and mattress for them. She has a queen sized one from IKEA, but they want a new bed and then can use this one as a guest bed.

It was a weekend of "found money"! I was looking in my cedar chest for something and flipped through a baby book - two savings bonds fell out! One for each kid. I thought I had kept all of them in our little safe box, over the years, (cashed in by now) but apparently not. I will take DD's to her when I visit next week. Not sure what to do with DS's. It does have my name on it too, as an "or" owner, so maybe I can just cash it out and take it off the thousands he still owes us......When I was paying for my Target order online I was getting out of my wallet 2 $5 Target gift cards I had in there. I also found a Visa gift card that I thought probably only had a couple dollars left on it. I checked and it has $21.54! Nice :)

We are surrounded by hills/mountains on all sides of us. Here's one of my views from our house

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Weather forecasts and gift giving

The weather forecasts here are just dumb. LOL. It is rarely correct. It was supposed to snow every day this week. It was supposed to snow last night. In fact, right now, it's supposed to be snowing. It's not and other than a little bit Monday morning, we have not had snow any of the days and days it said it was supposed to snow.  The only thing that seems to be predicted right is the temperature.

So, I am hoping it's wrong again on Saturday (or Sunday)! I want to go into the city and get my Christmas shopping wrapped up. DH's I have ordered online. I got him some Romeo shoes (or are they considered boots?) he's been wanting. I also ordered him this neat wooden state sign I found on Etsy. It's cut into shape of state, has longitude and latitude of our town and the town is marked with a bullet shell casing. Will look nice on the wall over his computer desk. I'll need to get him a few smaller items and stocking stuffers.  For DD's boyfriend, we already purchased his gift several weeks ago. The first trip they were here and we were eating in the town restaurant, he really liked this metal wall art they had. When we were in the restaurant again over Thanksgiving weekend, he was eyeing them again! So, I know he'll like it.  I haven't gotten anything DD anything, but I got a list of ideas from her last night. I also need to get my mom's present. Usually I get her a calendar and some crossword puzzle books and a gift card.

If I can't get into the city, then I will do some shopping when I fly over for my annual company meeting in two weeks. I'm flying in late Thursday afternoon, will be at work most of the day Friday and then staying until Sunday afternoon, so I will have time to go shopping. Gifts for my mom and DD I can just wrap and leave with them, then.  DD should be in her new home by the time I go over, so I will stay with her at least the first night. She lives north of my office about an hour, my mom lives south about an hour, so I will probably go to my mom's after work on Friday and spend the remaining nights with her. DD is going to be busy hosting a friend visiting from Australia that flies in Friday afternoon.

We will be getting the second half of bonus's for work, at the meeting. Sales are going great. We've also been working on really trying to get our commission % increased, too. We have some leeway on how orders are priced for most of the manufacturer's, which then in turn increases the amount of commission we receive (our sole source of income). Even if our sales stayed same at 100 million, a 1% increase in commission rate is a million dollars more in revenue to our company - pure profit for really no extra overhead at all. Something our owners keep reminding our quotes and sales force dept's....something they'd love to pass on to the employees!

Today DH is visiting the grassy knoll landmark in Dallas where President Kennedy was shot. What a coincidence that just over Thanksgiving we watched a movie about his assassination. He sent me some pics. He even got to go right up inside to the window at the book depository. Yesterday was his friend's wife's birthday, so he paid for their dinner at a steakhouse. Less than $80 for 3 at a steakhouse - seems kinda cheap to me, but then again none of them drink alcohol, which keeps the bill down for sure.

My short lunch break is over. Back to work. I do not feel like working today at all. Ugh. I wish tomorrow was my half day Friday, then I could have gone into the city at noon tomorrow instead of waiting until the weekend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Photos and what not

Small world. When we were in Target last Friday I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. I guess my old address was still in their system, so the pharmacy tech asked if I was visiting. I told her we just moved here almost 2 months ago. Turns out she used to live in a nearby city of my old address. Then she said she was grew up in another nearby town where I then said that we used to go there a lot - to the racetrack. To which her eyes got big and she said she used to date a racer. I said, well we probably know him and sure enough, it was a family we raced with quite few years. What are the odds?

DD and her BF got their closing disclosures on their house yesterday! Won't be much longer before they will be able to close. So exciting for them. It's been a quick, smooth process for them. They only made their offer on Nov 3rd. The house is just awesome. The door from the master bedroom into master bath/walk in closet area is one of those sliding barn doors that are so popular now. She is in love with it. LOL.

I am enjoying my "ME" time with DH gone. It's already so peaceful living here, you can imagine how much more it even is, with just me, haha. He arrived at his friends last night. They have a beautiful home with a pool and hot tub. He plans to stay a week down there, so I won't be seeing him until later next week.  I'm glad he's doing this - he deserves some fun time, after the crap we have been through he past few years. He's been friends with this guy since he was 17, lost contact for many years, but reconnected about 10 years ago and have kept very close now. I'm sure they will have lots of laughs over the next week.

Snow is supposed to be coming again this afternoon, so I plan to make the big 1 mile drive to the post office and stop at the grocery store for a few things, that I didn't do yesterday. I just didn't feel like going anywhere. I was waiting for UPS to bring the dog food and by the time he dropped it off, I just didn't feel like getting out. I also need to get out in the yard and scoop dog poop! that is always DH's job.

All the Christmas decorations are up. We did that Friday afternoon/evening after we got back from shopping, so it was nice to have DD's help with it all and the tree. When we got back from shopping DH had the outside lights about halfway done. Looks great. Doesn't appear many here in town put lights up. Kinda surprises me. The neighbor across the field from us put up a little bit of lights and told DH ours look really nice and that the old owners never put up lights. I'm sure the little ones next door are enjoying it, too.

OH! and DD brought me an early Christmas present!

I have been wanting this dish set for quite awhile. I just love them!

For my guest bedroom I have been looking at night stands and found some just perfect on a Black Friday sale at Lowe's, of all places.

Pretty much what I was looking for. Something small with one drawer and bottom shelf. My other criteria was that they had to be all wood (no particle board/mdf stuff). From my searching I was expecting to have to pay $100 or more each. These were only $39 each! Half off on sale and I also had a 10% off coupon, so only $35 each. They are really nice and solid and I feel like I got a really good deal. I still need something above the bed on the wall. I'm eying some art I saw online that are pictures on wood - though this one would look really good on the living room wall above our tv.

Today is payday. I was looking over my budget and realized I don't even have any bills to get online and pay out of it, other than I put something on my Target card a few weeks ago and paid that off. My new house payment comes out automatically, as well as DH's health insurance. Which reminds me. I need to get online and get him signed up for health insurance for 2017. I am praying it won't be very many months I have to pay that ridiculous $511 a month and new options are available. January 20th can't get here soon enough for me. I know it will take time, but it's nice to know it should be changing. I still can't get over that just a few years ago I was paying $270 a month for THREE people's insurance (better coverage too) and now I'm paying $511 a month for ONE person. It's a big old scam, that's for sure.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Managing some bills

I got online with my bank account this morning, as I do every morning, just to make sure everything looks right. Why is there another payment pending to the electric company? I made the payment due online directly with the energy company last week and it cleared my bank that day. Now there is another payment pending for same amount. I called and she said it looked like one was an online payment and one was a check received. Hmmm....ok...I thought I must have set it up to pay via online bill pay through my bank, forgot I had done that and then paid online on their website. I checked my online bill pay (which I didn't remember doing, except for our water/sewer) and I had not set them up as a bill pay at all. I also did not send them a check. WTH?! I guess I have a credit towards next months bill now, but still!

I had to "suggest" to DD last night she needs to stop being such a data  hog for our cell phone service plan. We share our bill for the 3 phones, she pays 1/3. BUT, she uses 90% of the data! A few months ago, when Verizon changed their plans, I upped us from 3gb to 4gb data. DH and I don't use very much at all, since we are mostly at home and connect to wi-fi. We were constantly getting right to 3 gb, so I upped it to 4gb. Now we are barely making it the month on 4gb. I looked at the details yesterday and I used 2%, DH 4% and the rest was DD! C'mon now.  She said "well, I guess we need more data" and I said "No, YOU need more data" LOL. I told her DH and I don't need very much, but we at least need to be able to have some available when we need it (like DH being on the road yesterday) and not have to go over. Turns out she is listening to music on her phone all day while at work, so that is what is using it up now. I told her she's just going to have to cut back some on that, so we have some data available when we need to use it, too. Sounds like she and BF might be going on a plan together soon (he's on his parents plan). Works for me.  Then I'll probably cut us down to the "small" plan, which I think is 2gb. That would be enough for me and DH. Right now we are typically using less than 1gb.

DH drove a whole bunch yesterday, about halfway to his destination. I think he drove almost 13 hours. Yikes, but that's how he rolls (and another reason I had no desire to go on this trip). He stopped and got a hotel last night. I don't know how he thought he was just going to stop at a rest stop and sleep in the pickup a few hours. Way too cold for that, obviously. He should get to his friends place, near Dallas, this evening some time.

I signed up for Netflix again yesterday, so I could watch Longmire, haha. I choose the smallest plan, this time for $7.99/mo. With DD not using it, I didn't need the $9.99 plan. I can't really tell the difference between SD and HD anyway and our internet probably isn't that fast to handle HD anyway. So, last night I started my binge watching :) I only got partway into the second episode, because I stopped to watch The Voice, which was 2 hours of my evening.

Yesterday morning's snow melted off by mid day. No snow today, but supposed to be some each day for like a week starting tomorrow. I went to get our mail yesterday and see they had sanded the street a bit. Since today is clear, I think I'll make sure to get the mail today and also stop at the grocery store for a few things. That way, if it snows a lot I can just stay put! I haven't learned to drive in the snow yet!

The dog food I use for the dogs I used to find at a couple of feed stores in my old area. I haven't been able to find it in this area. Supposedly a small grocery store in the city carried it. We stopped there last Friday, and they carried the brand, just not the chicken and rice flavor. The only other place is a Tractor Supply about another 10 miles farther, but Tractor Supply (where I used to buy it where I lived before) shows if they have stuff in stock and it showed out of stock at that store, so we didn't drive there. I ordered another bag via Amazon at the beginning of last week, thinking that was plenty of time to get the bag here before I ran out. Geez! They didn't ship it for 3 or 4 days and now it's on the slow boat here, supposed to be arriving tomorrow. 10 days is a little ridiculous. I should have ordered 2 bags (one bag lasts about a month). Next time I will. I have enough for a couple more days, at least.

Well, back to work!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving surprise

Lot's to catch up on after the long Thanksgiving weekend. It started out with a wonderful surprise visit by DD and her BF! They showed up late Wednesday night and stayed until Sunday morning. It was such a great surprise and we all had a great time.

I always buy a big enough turkey so we have lots of leftovers, so that wasn't an issue with originally just thinking it was me and DH eating dinner. The turkey turned out great, so juicy. After dinner we watched the "movie" DD had sent me several weeks ago. It was actually a mini-series of about 7 hours, called 11.22.63, based on a Stephen King book. We all enjoyed it and watched all of it until late that evening.

Friday, DD, BF, and I headed into the city to do some Black Friday shopping.  Easy peasy. Not much crowds - or at least compared to how it would have been where I lived before. DD and BF bought a washer and drying for their new house (BF has a pickup with a canopy). I had a 10% off coupon to Lowes (received in a moving packet from USPS), plus they saved almost 10% in sales tax. We did some other shopping around a few stores. I was picking up a prescription at Target and chatting with the pharmacy assistant. She noticed my old address was in system and asked if I was visiting. I told her we just moved a bit ago and turns out she was from near where I used to live. Then mentioned the town she grew up in and I said that we spent quite a bit of time there at the racetrack. Turns out she knew a family we used to race with. Small world, for sure. On the way back home we stopped in this small town about halfway that has a sign on the freeway for a used bookstore. I'd been wanting to check it out. It was so adorable. In this old narrow house. Bookshelves to the tall ceilings. DD bought a few old vintage books, just for decoration. One was a book of poems by Tennyson, actually published in 1899!

Saturday we took a drive, in search of snow. We didn't have to go too far, really. Got off the main road just over a pass and onto a logging road that DH used to frequent growing up. Very pretty!
We packed a lunch, so on the way back stopped at a visitors center and looked inside (mostly we had to use the bathroom!), then ate our sandwiches as we drove back. The dogs LOVED being out there.

The kids left pretty early Sunday morning, hoping to miss some of the holiday traffic, especially going over the pass. I guess they timed it right, because it wasn't bad at all and they made pretty good time getting back home.

DH sold the big 53' trailer this morning......or rather he traded it for a small dump type trailer you can pull behind a pick up. Figures he'll use it quite a bit when we start working on getting the property ready to build/landscape. Oh well, the money back would have been nice, but this will save money too, rather than having to hire someone to haul various loads in. He will want topsoil this spring for this house, to fix our lawn and add more grass, so he can go pick it up himself now. At least the big trailer is gone! I can now look out my window at my desk and see stuff. The grade school is down on the corner of next street and I can see the playground and all the kiddos outside playing and the mountains behind them. Those swings are busy :)

DH left this morning for his road trip to return his friends small cargo trailer he borrowed in our move. - going all the way to Texas (because friend moved there early this year). He'll be gone at least a week or more (so he says). Me? I'm going to enjoy hanging out by myself for awhile :)  Catch up on some tv shows, read some more books, just really relax. If weather permits, I will go into the city next weekend sometime, and try to get some Christmas shopping done.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Fences make good neighbors, right?

The fence guys came back today and so far about are half way done with the fence. It's going to be sooo nice. 1) it will keep the dogs in the yard and give them much more room outside. 2)  it will keep the neighbor kiddos OUT of our yard (have I mentioned them yet?) 3) it already looks much nicer than the old fencing. It has a top rail now and it's all pulled nice and tight, not all saggy looking, like before.

Yesterday I came across a good deal on a KitchenAid classic mixer through Kohl's. I've been sitting here all week trying to figure out what to use the $20 Kohl's cash I have to use by tomorrow (I bought DH some Romeo shoes/boots for xmas and earned the Kohl's cash). I thought DD might really like one of these (I know I really like mine) and I've also had in the back of my mind I'll need to get her a housewarming gift.

I texted her and asked her if she'd like one. Like me, she's not some super baker, but it is nice to have to use when you do bake something. Like me, she really doesn't need the super fancy, expensive ones. (though in my book, even the classic models are expensive!). The color choices were white (which I have) or silver (which appears to look stainless in the photo). She said heck ya, she would love one! She choose the silver, which should go good with her stainless appliances. All in all I think it's a nice housewarming gift.

The posted deal was using a 15% off coupon code, but I had a 25% coupon code that I had received as a moving promotion, making the deal even better. It was regularly $300, on sale for $229 - which doesn't fool me. I know you can get these classic models for $199 at several stores, but that's usually the lowest. This deal was $229, less the 25% off, less my $20 Kohl's cash, less a $30 mail in rebate (DD will save me the upc code and packing slip), and $45 back in Kohl's cash. Plus I think I earned enough points for a $5 Kohl's rewards back. Making this about $77 when all is said and done. Pretty good deal, I think. I just had it shipped direct to DD. Now I gotta figure out what to spend $45 in Kohl's cash on.....xmas gifts, most likely.

I'm ready for it to be tomorrow at noon, so I can be done working for the week and enjoy the days off and good food.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

New normal

Yesterday was a very different day for us. An ordinary day for most folks, but a new kind of normal for us. We actually left the house for half the day, without a care or thought. We didn't have to worry about setting and watching security cameras, or who was that suspicious person (ie drug addict/thief) walking down our street just as we were leaving. Nope, we left and didn't have to give any of that a second thought! Wow, we haven't been able to do that in several years. I had forgotten what it was like.

DH took the dogs and went and visited a friend for a few hours. I went into the city and did some shopping. I actually got home before him. Last night DH was just about in tears as he was telling me how great it felt to be able to leave his house and have no worries and not feel like he was going to get robbed if he left his house unattended. He hasn't had that peace of mind for a long time. It was hell getting here, but I think we have achieved our goal.

Not sure what we are doing today. He doesn't have any projects to do. Maybe we just drive around and do some "sight-seeing" of our area. He mentioned there is an old ghost town nearby he'd like to check out one of these days.

Friday, November 18, 2016

TGIF already

I can't believe how quickly the week goes by now. I had thought maybe it would feel the opposite  now that I am working from home 100%. Another difference I have noticed living here is I hardly ever take a nap anymore. I think I've taken like two the 6 1/2 weeks we have lived here now.

Overall our internet seems be be fairly sufficient. Coming from very high speed cable internet, I was a bit concerned about it! We now have DSL throught our telephone, but it's only like 8mbps download speed (though when the guy hooked it up and tested it he said it was showing faster, but didn't say how much). It will be the same service when we build our house on the property. Our old IT guy at work hadn't really been able to give me a definitive answer on what minimum speed I'd need to work remotely. All in all it's working fine for me. At times it's a bit slow trying to use Quickbooks remotely, but not too bad. The upload speed is pretty bad, but thankfully I don't have to do that with working remotely too often. I did have to upload a file for my side job and it failed until the 3rd try. I was getting worried for a few minutes!  Watching streaming movies and shows has worked fine too, so all good. Supposedly there is some new internet service in town that is supposed to be faster, but I checked into it and speeds are same for much more money, so I'll stick with what I have.

It got cold here last night. down in the 20's and only 27 degrees right now, mid day. No snow yet, though still predicting some next week. Looks like it will be just me and DH for Thanksgiving dinner. DD has to work Friday, so they aren't coming, and our old good neighbor was going to come, but he couldn't get out of being on call that weekend. He's always offered to be on call since he has no where to go Thankgiving, so had already been signed up for it this year. No biggie.  While I love the food, the day hasn't ever been that big of deal to me.  DH and I will still have dinner with all the trimmings. We have a movie that DD sent to us we can watch that day, too.

Looking forward to a very short work week next week - 2 1/2 days!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mid week this and that

Is it really Wednesday already? The days seem to be just flying by. It's getting colder. We had like 3 flakes of snow today, LOL. They are predicting some this evening, but the weather report seems to change by the minute around here.

I was going to go into the city this weekend and get all my Thanksgiving food, but I'm going to get it all here at the town grocery store. I got the weekly ad and everything Thanksgiving food is on sale. I stopped in today, after I went to the Post Office, to pick up milk and a couple of things and also picked up a Butterball frozen turkey. That's when I decided I'll just save the trip to the city and get my holiday dinner stuff this weekend. What little I might spend extra I will save in gas, so it probably all evens out this time.

I use Progressive for my car insurance and when I had to get a new policy for moving to a new state they also offered me to do the snapshot device again. I said I already did that, but apparently with a new state it's basically all new rating, so might as well do it again. They aren't going to get much activity on it - haha! I hardly drive much anymore and most times when I do it's one mile into town and back. Don't go over 25 mph LOL

DH is going to Texas after Thanksgiving. Take his friends little cargo trailer down to him and visit with him a bit. Last night he tried to talk me into going. Ehhhh, no thanks. We'd have to take the dogs and the thought of 4 days (2 days there and 2 days back) riding in a pick up doesn't sound good at all. Besides, I was really looking forward to some me alone time - well, me and the dogs).

Well, not much else going on today. I have some bananas I bought to get ripe so I could make banana bread this week and they are ripe now, so I think I'll go get that done now that I'm done working for the day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Figured out the right time :)

Ok, so I finally made a decision on a wall clock! I don't think I ever checked Target's website (though I did check in store) in all my searching. I found this

24" clock. Pretty much exactly what I wanted in style and really what I wanted in price. $37 bucks is all. Plus I threw in $13 of something else I could use to make it $50 and got $10 off my order and saved the Target red card 5%.  I think that's a pretty good deal and didn't break the bank at all. Hopefully it will look as good up on my living room wall.

Here's the new guest bed we got for our guest bedroom
I'm short a pillow on one side to put behind the pillow in sham. I'll just pick up a cheap pillow next time I'm at Walmart or Target. As you can see I'm also short some wall decor! Eventually I'll get something for over the bed. Ross is a good place to find cheap wall well as Goodwill :) I'm not totally digging the comforter.....I picked it up at Kohl's prior to the move, using up a $50 giftcard I had. It's ok I guess, but I do really like the bed, itself. I ordered it from Home Depot, of all places. I found it online at various stores and Amazon was cheapest but they wouldn't ship to my address for some reason, so I paid about $10 more and Home Depot had no problem shipping it UPS.

Today's chit chat

The fence guy (and his son) got started yesterday. They got all the post holes dug and posts in concrete. He had to re-do all the posts that were in the existing fencing. Again....done half-assed. Dug deep enough, mostly filled back with dirt and just a little concrete. Apparently not how you do it. Now he has to let them sit for about 4 days or so and then he'll be back to finish. It's going to be so much nicer for the dogs to have more space....though right now there is no fencing at all for them, as he had to take down the chainlink. So, now we have to be out with them each time they go out. That's kind of annoying, but hopefully he'll be back soon and finish up.

Today DH is starting on his garage shelf project. I had found this on Pinterest some time ago and he's doing something like this:

Our Big Shelf - Custom Garage Overhead Storage Installation ...:

This should keep him busy for a few days, except of course he has to paint the wood!

We are supposed to get some snow tomorrow morning. We had a couple of weeks of really nice warm, near 60 degree weather. Then it started raining this weekend, but still fairly warm.Not really what I expected for November here, but works for me.

DD and her BF's house purchase is moving right along. Now closing has been moved up to Dec 13. After the inspection, I guess they made a revised offer and asked for $6000 towards their closing costs and the seller agreed, so they were really happy about that. She is pretty bored with her job. Just not enough to keep her busy. She plans to stick it out for a year and then look for something new and more challenging.

My half sister is a grandma now. That baby boy is the cutest thing and she is, of course, very in love with him :)

I'm going to our annual year end company meeting mid-December and my boss has been nice enough to book me a flight over there. I'll fly in Thursday evening, go to the meeting on Friday and visit DD and my mom through the weekend and fly home Sunday afternoon.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Back from a little blogging break

Last week was a busy one for my jobs. Trying to get financials done for both and I had gotten a bit behind with taking time off last month for moving. But I got it all done. Sure made for a quick week. Plus, Friday was my half day and I really wanted to get it all done so I could have my half day off. I drove into the city and got my 2 weeks of shopping done (sorta). I'm not sure I'm not sure I really like trying to do 2 weeks worth in one trip. It's too hard on me, physically, to tell you the truth. Just getting all the soda (DH drinks alot) and water on the cart makes it so heavy and then start adding in all the other stuff on my list and the cart is so heavy by halfway through the store it's all my muscles to get it turned around corners, etc. Then my back starts hurting. I take a cooler with me to keep the frozen and refrigerated stuff cold on my way home, but it's hard to get 2 weeks worth in there. I'm almost thinking that it would be better just to drive the 45 minutes each way once a week (at least during the good weather months). I could shop in town (I do a little bit) but most things are way more expensive. Though I did get eggs for .69 a dozen in town last week!

We had a guy come last week and kind of finish the walls in our attached garage. Basically prep them so we could paint. Originally DH had also wanted him to texture the walls, but the guy recommended us saving $300 to pay him to texture and just primer and paint as it was after he got done. Glad we did. Looks fine. We put on the primer Wed evening and then painted it on Thursday afternoon/eve (another reason I didn't have any time to post!). It looks a lot better than just drywall with some mud over the nails.

Saturday DH's friend came to help again (we have been giving him some money for helping, even though he doesn't want to take it, we make him!). First, the 3 of us went to breakfast at the restaurant in town. This time they fixed something that broke on the 53' trailer we had bought to move all our shop/garage stuff in. It's fixed and we have it for sale (praying for a quick sale on it) now. They also put base board trim around the garage floor/walls. We still need to put trim around the door that goes outside.

Sunday DH and I spent a good half of the day washing the concrete floor in the garage (he's so OCD!). I don't think it really helped much - seemed like a lot of work for not much result, that's for sure. DH is going to build some wood shelving up above where the garage doors open, so that will give him more storage space. 

Today a guy is here getting started on the fence project. The fenced in area we do have (just front and part of side yard) was done so half-assed! The fence guy is basically having to re-do it :/ Oh well, at least it will look good when done and be done right now - as well as give the dogs much more space outside.

I want a large distressed looking type clock to put on one wall of my living room. I am having a heck of a time deciding! The one or two that I really really like are  $300 range. I'm not paying that. I've found a few others I like in the $50-$150 range, but I just can't decide on one.  Now I keep flipping back and forth between a more barnwood face/rustic look and one that is rustic/antique looking, but not like slats of wood. Plus I don't know if 23" is really big enough. I might need to go 30". I tried to eyeball it using a tape measure, but I think I'd be better off just to cut a circle out of some paper and visually look at it that way. I also saw a you tube video on how to make one out of pallet wood (we have tons of that now!) and I'm considering that option too, but I'm afraid I won't do a very good job of it. I CAN'T DECIDE!! So, in the meantime I have this big empty wall, haha.

I was pleased with the election results and am hoping to see much more reasonable health insurance premiums next year. Guess we'll see what happens with it, along with that I'm hoping the economy finally picks up.

We also got our mattress for the guest bed and that is all set up now. So comfy! Hopefully those that sleep on it will like it. I think it might become my napping spot :)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Happy day

My little girl is getting all grown up, that's for sure. She turns 21 this month and she and her BF made an offer on a house that got accepted yesterday. They looked at 8 or 9 homes in the area they want to live, which is much closer to their jobs and will cut their commute time down by less than half. They found one they really liked last week (after looking at it and another one) but looked at 7 or 8 more on Wednesday and that was still the best one. It's really nice and will be a great house for them and something they can grow into over the years. It's 1700 sf, 3 bedrooms, on a decent sized lot in a good neighborhood. They are very excited to say the least. They are scheduled to close just before Christmas. Her BF works with a guy who does home inspections as a side job, so he is doing that for them this morning. I'm so proud of them.  They both work hard at their jobs and their lives to be productive and successful.

DH rented the forklift from the lumber store and spent all day yesterday getting that 53' trailer unloaded and figuring out how to fit it all in the shop and garage. True to his OCD and organizing skills, he even drew it all out on paper the night before. LOL.Most of it he's just going to leave on the pallets, so it will be pretty easy to get it all settled in their spots. Thankfully it was a sunny 60 degree day (though super cold in the morning!) to do all this. Very excited to have this trailer emptied out and up for sale soon! Recoup some of our moving expense money. Hopefully we can get out of it what we paid for it, but anything is recovered cost. I think if we had hired a mover it probably would have cost $5,000 at a very minimum to move all the stuff we moved. Probably more closer to $10,000, because all the shop stuff was a trailer load in itself, not even including our home stuff. I can't remember what we paid for the trailer. I think it was $4000 or $4500, we paid someone $1800 to haul it over here, paid to rent a 26' u-haul truck and a small u-haul trailer, plus gas. Whatever we can get back with the sale of the trailer will have us under what it would have cost to hire a company to move us.

This morning the guy was supposed to show up almost an hour ago to get started on tape and texturing our garage. No call either.  Frustrating, to say the least. DH spent a good half hour this morning moving stuff out of the garage to get this started. He's going to be pretty upset if this guy doesn't show up. At least a darn call to say he's running late would be nice.

This morning I pulled the sheets off the bed, have some laundry going, got the kitchen clean (though it wasn't that messy). I think I might make a cake today. I will probably take a trip to the store to see if they have any fresh mushrooms for my homemade pizza and pick up our mail at the post office. That will take a whole 20 minutes, LOL.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Still in project mode

We went into the city yesterday afternoon/early eve and got a queen mattress set. A little more than I was planning to spend, but I ended up getting a floor model that was over $900 for $449, so I'm happy. Felt super comfortable, so hopefully guests will like it. It might end up being my napping bed, haha. I already have the bedding for it, that I picked up with a Kohl's gift card I had before I moved. I do need to get a queen sized blanket though. I should be able to find something reasonably priced at Ross, Target or Walmart.

But, I don't have it here yet. DH has been storing his pick up, car trailer and our old "someday it will be a classic" car at friends big shop. He took my car to his place yesterday, left it there and brought home the trailer and old car with his pick up. Ready to store here, now, but he's not quite ready to store his pick up yet and doesn't want to leave it parked outside (especially because little 2 or 3 year old  neighbor girl is a rock thrower...gRRR....), so we took his pick up back to friends, but first went and got the mattress set. So, we just left the mattress set in the back of the pick up inside friends shop and drove my car home.  Friend might come over on Saturday, and if he does he'll bring it in his truck. If not, DH will be ready to park his pickup inside our garage later next week and we'll get it all then. I wish I could get the bed all set up now! oh well.

Winter has been holding off, so that is good. 60 and sunny for a few days. We've got someone coming Saturday to start on the tape and texturing of the attached garage. Then next week sometime we have a guy coming to finish fencing the property. Plus, he has to actually fix the existing fencing. The previous owner just did a half-assed job. When he got to a corner he just pulled it around the poles, rather that stopping, cutting, attaching to pole and then starting a new run. Plus he never put top rail on it, so needs that too. I'm sure it will look much better when it's all finished. Then we are done with our big projects for this house. We have a couple of small things to do inside the house this winter, but should be under $500. We're going to add a medicine cabinet to the master bath. The one I have picked out is $146 and matches the hickory wood vanity cabinet. DH would like a sink in the laundry room and that is $100 at Lowes. We also want to add some inexpensive cabinets up above the washer and dryer and I'm estimating less than $200.

Down the road there are a couple pieces of furniture I'd like to add. We have room in our living room for a sofa table and a book case - both of which I want for our new home, when we build it, so after we get done with the above projects, any extra money we spend will mostly be to go towards something for the new house/property. I think I will watch on Craigslist and see if anything comes up.

Here is my solution to the guest bathroom that doesn't have any linen storage. I bought this cute little stand at Walmart.  I need some nice new towels to roll up and put on the bottom shelf. I found a great priced set when I was at Ross last week, shopping for DD's birthday, I have no idea why I didn't buy it!

This way I get some place to leave some towels and it's something I can take with me to the new home. Double win.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wednesday chit chat

One of the 3 choices of health insurance I have to choose from, for DH, was having problems with their website yesterday, when I was first looking. The other 2's premiums were about the same ($600). I was able to get online with the 3rd company yesterday afternoon and got at least some better news. Their premium for DH would be $511. Still a ridiculous amount, but at least quite a bit cheaper. Still just infuriates me that I have to pay $6000 a year for what amounts to catastrophic coverage, plus still pay a huge deductible, copays, coinsurance and prescriptions aren't even covered until deductible is met.

In other news. I had to buy a new pillow for sleeping. I left my pillow at my mom's accidentally the day I moved. It was starting to get old and flatter anyway, so I told her just to toss it out. I tried using one of our extra pillows from what was on the kids beds but for a good week or two my neck was hurting and headaches. Since I was a kid I have always used a latex foam type of pillow. Not that easy to find these days (with all the memory foam now so popular) but  Bed Bath and Beyond carries it so I ordered one online and it came on Monday. I feel so much better now!

I figured out a way to at least watch some on demand shows via Dish. I can watch some shows via my computer, but not stuff from HBO (the plug in won't install for some reason), but it loaded fine on my ipad mini, so I have been catching up on the last season of Game of Thrones using my ipad. Apparently the satellite box I got doesn't allow for on demand. I got the "Wally" since we only have one tv and I didn't think I needed the Hopper, which has dvr. I can apparently get on Demand through the "Wally", if I add an external hard drive to it and pay a set up fee...I don't know all what. Seemed way to complicated to me. I'll just watch the shows I miss on my computer or ipad.

DH is going to finally be able to start unloading that 53' semi trailer into the shop. He found a forklift to rent (for  like $100 a day) from the town lumber store. He's going to get started on that tomorrow - the weather is supposed to be really nice the rest of the week) and thinks it will take him 2 days. He wanted the inside of our attached garage finished, with tape and texture, so he can paint. A guy is coming to do that on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how it all fits in both the shop and garage! Square footage wise they both total what our old shop/garage did, so it should be pretty do-able. Plus the shop has almost a quarter of it with a loft area, he can also store. He is going to add overhead shelves in the attached garage, up by the ceiling (I saw it on Pinterest) to store extra stuff, too.

The bed I ordered for the guest room also came on Monday. Now just need the mattress. We are going to go into the city later this afternoon, after I get off work, at get a queen set purchased. I'm not going to spend too much on it. It will hardly get used, probably just a handful of times a year, when DD comes to visit. I see the store we are going to go to has a couple of sets on sale for around $300. I'll see how they are to lay on and hopefully one of them will be good enough as a guest bed, otherwise I might go up to the next price level. I called this morning and they have one of the queen sets in stock, so we could get it all done in one trip, which is what we are hoping to do. DH really liked the bed frame I purchased. I'll post a picture of it, when it's all set up and bedding on it.

It sounds like our old "good neighbor" might drive over for Thanksgiving. He's had Thanksgiving with us for quite a few years, so of course before we moved I mentioned to him a couple of times he's welcome to still come have Thanksgiving with us :) He and DH still text and email. He said our old yard hasn't been mowed since we left, LOL.

The company I work for had another huge sales month for October. Our year end bonus should be in the bag after that month. Still 2 months to go in the year and we are almost at our year end goal. Woo!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


I was able to check into 2017 health insurance plans and rates for DH today. UGH!!!!! Health insurance is much more expensive in this state, plus I only have 3 insurance company choices. I was paying $353 a month for a Bronze plan for him before. Here the cheapest plan is $603 a month. I checked 2017 prices on his old plan/state and it would have went up to $418 a month (18% increase). Now I am facing an extra $250 a month - for the same CRAPPY coverage.

Seriously,  who in their right mind, thinks this Obamacare is a good thing? It boggles my mind. I'm sure the reason it's so much higher here is because this state (and especially this county) has a majority of low income/subsidized residents, so I'll be paying for their premiums in the $603 a month for DH. Just wonderful.........

I'd save over $5000 a year just not having health insurance on DH and paying the 2.5% penalty and paying office visits, prescriptions, etc out of pocket. With the huge deductible everything common (an office visit or two per year, prescriptions) all are out of pocket anyway. Of course, that doesn't protect us if he had a major health problem and that's all this $600 a month/$7200 a year is really paying for.  SO Frustrating!

I could add DH to my work health insurance, but it would cost me about $1000 a month, so I've always opted for the individual plan health insurance and shopped around every year. Pre-Obamacare I paid $272 a month for DH  AND 2 dependents!

I pray pray pray that Trump gets elected and something gets done about this. Who knows if it really will, if he does get elected, but I know for damn sure if Hillary wins, it won't.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Clean up

We've (or mostly DH) has been keeping busy working on our projects. He and friend finished the electrical wiring to the shop (lights and outlets now) and we had a guy come Saturday and do spray foam insulation, so now DH will be able to get the trailer unloaded into the shop and then we can get that trailer sold.

A guy is on his way (was supposed to come last week) to give us an estimate to finish the chain link fencing.

So, a little update on the weeds in the alley.  As I mentioned there is still a strip of weeded area on the other side of the alley, across from our neighbor. DH didn't mow wasn't in our part of the alley. When he started to mow the part bordering us, there was a bunch of old lumber, some barbed wire, etc. He didn't know if our previous owner had dumped that there (wouldn't be surprised as he had a lot of junk like that to clean up around his shop) or the owner of the house on other side of alley dumped it there.

This morning 2 guys showed at the lady's house to start cleaning up that weeded area in the alley. OMG! I can't believe how much stuff was in there under all that weeds! They threw a HUGE pile of lumber over the fence, bank into her property. Filled up a pick up with old tires and crap and there was a dead coyote they pulled out of there! WTH!? It's not even really that large of an area. Not sure why she's suddenly having it cleaned up, but maybe she got the hint. It's very apparent, now seeing all the stuff that was in those weeds, that that homeowner had been using that area of the alley as their dumping ground for years.

Also, the neighbor right next door to us hauled some of his piling up crap out and also took his little dune buggy race car thing that's parked out in front of his property away on a trailer yesterday. I guess our previous owners had been trying to get him to clean that stuff up for quite awhile.

Looking better around here LOL.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More a little of this and that

DH got to meet one of our other neighbors yesterday. The lots across the street from us are vacant land and this guy lives in the house on the other side, directly across from us. They use the vacant area to throw a ball to their dog too, so he came out and said hello to DH. Our dog that likes to chase the ball had fun chasing the ball with their dog.

Turns out he is the brother of the sheriff! LOL. DH said "oh, ya. I already met him....." and told him what happened with the weed mowing. He just rolled his eyes and said "don't pay any attention to him" haha.

We went and had dinner at the restaurant yesterday and Prime Rib dip was the special again, so I have a feeling we'll be going on Tuesdays. Once DH finds something he likes to eat, that's what he sticks with.

I need to order the little plug for our dishwasher that holds the spot free fluid in. The previous owner had shown me that she had accidentally dropped it in the bottom of dishwasher and part of the underside got a bit burned off. "but it still works, no problem". Well, ya, no, not really. That little bit burned off doesn't allow the plug to fit tightly so all the spot free fluid just drains out gradually and you fill it up and within days it's all gone. I found one online for like $13, so I will order that up.

The electrical inspector didn't pass a couple of items, or rather they just need to be added to. This won't hold up getting the insulation done this weekend as the inspector said he will still be able to see that DH fixed the problem and he can ok it in final inspection.The insulating is getting done Saturday  morning. Yay!

I called the bank manager back this morning about the wire transfer fee credit but he was with a customer so the assist. mgr who answered phone asked if he could help. Boy did he! He was looking at my account and asked if I do wire's very often and I said no, we just had to do two outgoing and one incoming because we sold our house and bought 2 properties. He then said he would credit me both the outgoing $35 fees and the $15 incoming fee. Very nice! Glad I decided to call :). Now $85 more in my account.

It's very strange here in that we are both tired so early in the evening! We used to call over here to various people and it would be like 8pm or so and sometimes they'd already be in bed and we'd think how strange that was. Well, I'm here to tell you it's not strange, LOL. I can barely stay awake past 8pm (I used to go to bed around 9:30). 9pm is it now and I'd rather it be 8:30, haha. DH used to stay up midnight or even later, now he's in bed by like 10pm. What's in the air? LOL. It's a good thing shows start at 7pm here, rather than 8. I'd never make it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday stuff

This morning has been spent making some phone calls. Always something to take care of, it seems.

I realized I should probably change my mailing address with my paid off mortgage and home equity loan banks, so that when they send out the year end tax statements, they go to my new address. Was on hold with one bank like 15 minutes, just to talk to someone.

Then I got an email notification that my old garbage service payment (was set up on autopay) went through....but of course it was for the full month of October, rather than just through Oct 4th. So, had to get that straightened out.

Then I tried to call the bank manager at the bank branch we went to 100 miles away 2 weeks ago to do that wire transfer. He had nicely told me he would credit me back the $35 wire transfer fee, but of course that never got done. I was just going to forget about it, but woke up this morning and decided to call and ask about it. He's not in until tomorrow.

We are going to eat at the town restaurant again tonight. We went last Tuesday and the special was a prime rib dip that DH loved. Wondering if they have the same special same day of each will find out! ha. The first day we got here we ate dinner on a Monday and the special was Tomato soup and someone came in and I heard the waitress tell her the special and the lady said "oh, ya, It's Monday" so, I'm thinking maybe it's the same. Whatever....I don't have to cook tonight :)

The state electrical inspector guy is here right now checking out the wiring DH and his friend ran to the shop. Hopefully it all checks out ok. they have now just been standing outside talking for quite awhile. The insulation guy is supposed to come this weekend and do that part. Then DH can get that 53ft trailer parked on the side of our house unloaded and sold. That should give us back several thousand dollars. Hopefully he can sell it for close to what he bought it for ($4000).

Then once that is unloaded, DH will make a trip to Texas to take back the little 12 ft enclosed trailer he borrowed from a friend. Said friend moved to Texas earlier this year and left his trailer at his brother's and was going to go get it at some point and take back to TX. DH said he'd borrow it and then return it to him, so friend was happy with that. I think DH will spend a couple days down there visiting him, so that will be good for him. He and this friend always laugh and laugh about everything.

DD and her BF are moving forward in the home buying process. They got pre-approved for about $350k, but the homes they are looking at are in the $275k range. Tomorrow they are meeting with a realtor that the mortgage broker recommended. She is loving this mortgage broker, so I'm glad I was able to connect them with him.  They will probably find something they like pretty quickly (they already have found several online that they like) so I'm sure moving will be happening in the near future.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Good and bad

For the most part I am loving this new little house and lifestyle, but there are a few things on the "bad" list.

So here's the good stuff:
The house is a cute, well built little house. Seems very energy efficient too.

It's nice having an attached garage (even if it's smaller than we are used to)

The small town (no stop lights) is easy to get around and quick to get errands done. Today I stopped to get my mail (and a package from the desk that was too big to fit into PO Box), stopped at the city office to get dog license tags (a whole $10 for both dogs for lifetime licenses), then a quick stop at the grocery store for a few things. I was gone a whole half hour LOL

If we want to go to the city it's only about a 40-45 minute drive and it's a pretty drive.

The one restaurant in town has really good food, so we've been eating there about once a week. Even got a "punch card" now that we are "regulars" :)

Our older dog loves being outside now. He thinks the big grassy area across the street is his yard too (though of course we only let him go there when we are with him and we clean up after him).

It's very peaceful overall. And the Fall colors every where are just beautiful.

Here's the "bad" (just minor annoyances):
Our master bedroom is a bit too small for a king sized bed. We are able to fit our bed (sleigh bed) 2 night stands (just barely fit width of room) and a small dresser in one corner. Luckily the walk in closet is HUGE (almost like a small room) so we just put our big dresser in the walk in closet. We even have a gun safe in there now and there is still tons of room.

The master bath doesn't have a medicine cabinet. All our "crap" on the counter is driving me nuts. Will be buying one to hang on the wall over the toilet very soon.

The guest bathroom doesn't have a linen closet/storage area. Haven't figured out yet what I am doing for this problem. I could put a small/tall cabinet between the sink/vanity and the toilet, but if it has doors/drawers it will hit the toilet paper holder when trying to open. Still working on what will be best solution.

The neighbors directly next door have a lot of junk piling up. More than when we looked at house before buying. The guy who owns the vacant lots on each end of our street (and across street) has apparently complained to the property owner (they rent) that it needs to get cleaned up or he's getting an attorney because he feels it's affecting his ability to get the lots sold. At some point (after we've been here a bit) we'll probably join in with him to complain to the property owner about it. There is no reason they need to have an old couch up leaning up against the wall of their back porch area...(that's just an example of one of the junky stuff they have).

These neighbors have two little kids. One about 3 and one in kindergarten. The 3 year old girl doesn't listen at all. The 5 yr old boy is better, but you can tell just starving for attention. He thinks DH is his new best friend, which isn't what DH needs at all. LOL. Yesterday we were outside in our front yard with the dogs and neighbor guy came over to fence to chat. The little girl kept climbing up on the chain link fence and he kept pulling her down. Do you know what he did, rather than make her mind? Picked her up and put her over the fence into our yard to play while we were talking! Within minutes she was throwing rocks and walking into our garage where we had left the door ajar. Good grief. That's the thing - you try to be friendly with people, but then they just push the boundaries.

The tub/shower is really narrow! DH just fits to sit in the tub on each side. LOL.

The dishwasher seems to be a bit on the small size - the silverware holder is really small.

People aren't as friendly as I would expect in such a small town. No biggie. Not intending to get into the politics and gossip of small town anyway, and when we get to build our new house, we'll be 10 miles outside of town, with only one neighbor, so that will be perfect ;)

Master bathroom fan doesn't seem to work at all to keep mirror from fogging up. Even if I leave the bathroom door open, it's still all fogged up!

And my biggest complaint is the stove fan! Our previous house vented the oven smoke through the fan and out through a vent in the ceiling. This one has a microwave over the oven (which at first I thought was nice) but all's it does is vent right back into the house! So stupid! Any time I try to broil steaks or hamburgers I'm just getting smoke right into the kitchen. Sooo frustrating. Our friend, who was visiting/helping DH again this weekend, said his is same way. I don't get it - makes no sense to me why it would be set up like that.

Things we've had to fix so far:
The house garage door didn't open all the way.
The hot water heater was set on the highest hot water setting - yikes. Turned that puppy down to something more reasonable.
Outside faucet knob missing - found it in garage
One of the roll up doors on the shop wasn't set up to roll with proper hardware (seller had told DH he'd install it, but of course never did)
Cleaned up the most of the mess they left (they came and got most of it last weekend) but there are still a couple things they never came back for (an old exercise machine) so now we're going to have to pay to dump the stuff. Grrrr.
Added door stoppers in some rooms
The shower curtain had these open kind of rings that every time you'd pull the curtain back some of the rings would fall all. Was driving DH nuts, so I bought some enclosed rings that have little ball bearings on them. Works great now.

Projects being worked on/soon to start:
Running electricity out to the shop, so DH can have some lights and plug ins. DH's friend helped and it's now out there and waiting for inspector to ok it. Then we'll have some insulation sprayed in. Then DH can finally get his big trailer unloaded and we can get that thing sold and out of here.

Additional chain link fencing. Currently fencing is just around front yard and to side of house. Just going to fence the whole lot and also add the top rail, that's not on the existing fence now. It will give the dogs much more room to wander around the yard......and help keep the neighbor kids out of our unfenced area. Still waiting for a call back to get an estimate. People are slow to call back around here, that's for sure. DH has called 3 people on one project and not a one called back, like they said they would.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Just chit chat

The rest of this week has been pretty uneventful (thank goodness, right?!). Tuesday afternoon we drove to the city to pick up a cordless weed eater DH ordered from Lowes. We didn't get back home until 6pm, so pulled into the restaurant (the one and only) in town and had dinner. Even got a punch card, now that we are regulars :)

Wednesday I made a few calls to find out if we needed permits to add some additional fencing around the lot and put some electrical out in the shop. No permit needed on fence, but do need a permit on the electrical. A few more calls and figured out that is through the state. I did an online permit application for $80 and got the permit emailed, so good to go to get that done. Though the online application process wasn't the most user friendly, I finally figured it out.

I went to the city office here in town and got the dog's licenses. A whole $5 each for lifetime licenses. No wonder this town/county is so broke. LOL. While there I picked up a town newsletter off the counter. Not much going on in town, haha. There was also another sheet for the town library....saying you can click through their Amazon link to help support the library. So, I can definitely do that with my Amazon purchases.

Dropped off our voter ballots, so that is done. Not that is probably really makes a difference. I'm sure Hillary will win, anyway. I did have to do a bit of research on some of the local elections and initiatives, since I'm not familiar with anything going on here yet.

The little grocery store has the best donuts! yum! They also have a little deli with fried chicken and such. Haven't tried that yet, but will at some point. About as close as we'll get to "fast food" in this town. LOL.

Yesterday was a nice sunny day (most of the days have been cloudy and rainy). DH got a bunch done in the shop. Got one of the "roll up" doors actually made into a roll up door (only one was). He also made a little form outside the new "man door" he put in last week. He'll pour concrete this weekend to make a little concrete pad outside the door. Then he got to use his brand new weed eater. No worries - he stayed on our lot! haha!

It's kind of different to have to go pick up mail at the post office all the time. Not used to it, but the whole trip takes like 5 minutes, so can't complain. Once in a while I skip a day. 

Next on the "to do list": open up a bank account here at one of the banks in town. Will be more convenient, I'm sure. There is a local bank and a national bank (Wells Fargo). I think I'm going with the local bank and do that sometime next week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Don't mow weeds, whatever you do!

Want to hear more about the mowing of the weeds in the alley? OMG! So, this was Sunday afternoon that DH mowed a little strip of weeds down along the alley (but outside the fence on other side) and got the stink eye from the lady that lives on the other side. He apologized to her for mowing the weeds and said he won't do it again

Yesterday (Tuesday by now) late morning someone drove down the alley in a pick up (no one except us has used the alley so far, so not common for a car to drive down it). A short time later guess who shows up at our front door?! The sheriff and his under sheriff! Said they got a complaint from the lady on the other side of the alley that he was on her property looking around. DH says "oookayyy.....well, I just mowed some weeds down in the alley, but sure, no problem. I already apologized to her and told her it won't happen again".  Now, wouldn't you think that's all that would be needed to resolve this? Oh no....then the sheriff wanted to see DH's driver's license! (we now have new temporary licenses we went and got last week) and hands it to his under sheriff......and he actually calls in to run a check on DH's license. OMG!  All this for mowing down a few feet of weeds in an alleyway? Mowing weeds in an alley is such an offense, that apparently it calls for the HEAD sheriff and the under sheriff to both come out.

So then the sheriff is telling DH she's an older lady, her husband died, and she just got freaked out that someone was on her property (in the alley). DH says "sure, understandable. It won't happen again, I was just trying to keep the weeds down a bit". Then he says "what's up with the truck?" and DH is like what truck? (his pick up is still being stored at our friends shop 30 miles away). "oh, I mean this trailer" the sheriff says. It's a little small cargo trailer. DH says, it belongs to a friend of mine, he let me borrow it so move some of my belongings here. We just bought this house a couple of weeks ago.

Then the sheriff says something about her son (I missed that part of the conversation). Now we had already been told by the previous owner that that lady's son was in charge of the town schools, but he's a lazy POS (previous owner's words) who doesn't help her out. The sheriff is saying something about her son and says "he's a big guy - you don't want to mess with him".  Did you just seriously say that? LOL. Like, that a warning? a threat? aren't you the law? the one's who are supposed to protect people from "big guys you don't want to mess with"? The whole time we're just kinda standing there going like "ooookaayyy, no problem".

So, my guess is lady did not call the sheriff. She complained about it to her son. He took a drive down the alley and then got a hold of his sheriff buddy (apparently they are good friends) and had him come over and make sure we weren't going to mow any more weeds down! Otherwise, she probably would have called that day, not 2 days later.

We had already heard a bit about this sheriff.......from the guy who lives in the (super nice expensive) house next door to the property on the river we just bought. He told us one of our visits last spring that he was friends with the sheriff (goes hunting with him) when we were telling him what our neighborhood/city drug problem is like and dealing with the sheriff and deputies there. So, DH kinda just throws in there "ya, we just moved here. We also bought a piece of property down on such and such door to Mr. So and So" (knowing full well they are friends)".  You could kind of see his surprised expression. Then he says "well you seem like a decent guy and you have a pretty wife (again, seriously? LOL)., we just wanted to make sure there will be no problems".

You gotta just laugh about it.  Apparently a "hey, thanks for mowing those overgrown weeds down" isn't what happens around here LOL.

DH didn't mow the whole alley - just the part that our property borders. Here's a picture of what the section looks like that DH mowed (oh the horror!) just up to the fencing on other side of alley. Makes that tree look so much prettier, I think. and it's not to that fence farther back near the trailer. there is a wire fence that runs right along alley, right behind that tree.

 Here's the weed  along the alley, next to where DH mowed above, that border our neighbors property, that DH didn't mow.

What an awful neighbor DH is.......shaking my head..........