Sunday, January 31, 2016

Let's talk about the real problem!

Just had a long phone conversation with the woman who owns the property kitty corner behind us (next to drug dealing house). She is also the sister of the dad at the drug dealing house. She lives on the other side of the drug dealing house (with her mom). Clear as mud?!

Here's a drawing to show you who is where:

The "rental" owned by Aunt has 3 big dogs that are outside 95% of the time. They bark ALL the time. They bark ALL the time because there are drug addicts and homeless around ALL the time. DH talked with aunt about it a week or so ago. She said she would talk to the renter. Now again, for past 3 days it's been non-stop barking. Because it's been non stop drug dealing since Thursday night.

So, I called Aunt up and left a message with her mom (mom is the 83 year old lady who owns our water well) to ask her to please call me. She called back about an hour later. I was nice as can be with her. I said we don't have a problem that C has a dog(s). She should have a watch dog and it should bark when someone is out there. So, I said, let's talk about the reason WHY those dogs are having to bark 24/7. (BTW, it used to be 2 dogs (a doberman and a rottweiler) and now's she's added a third big dog.). They bark because of all the drug addicts coming to your brother's house to buy drugs. I said do you or you mom have any suggestions on what we, in this neighborhood, can do to stop them dealing drugs 24/7 from their house?
She said they don't see it all going on because of the trees and fence between them and drug house and also because they all come in to the corner of the house nearest our side. I said it is ALL the time. I said it's been so bad the past 2 years now and that we knew her nephews dealt some drugs for several years before that but it was nothing like it is now. She said years ago it used to be just pot but now it's heroin and meth and her nephews are addicts, and I said yep and it has destroyed our neighborhood. She agreed.

Anyhow, I was proud of myself that I was very calm and nice, but I wanted her and her mom to know we are sick of this in OUR neighborhood and it's their neighborhood too. I'm tired of talking to her every so often (either about the water well or her renters dogs), but never mentioning her druggie family next door.

She says she didn't realize it's as bad as it is. She said she did drive from her house to her rental house the other day and saw the lowlife out there waiting to buy their drugs. I said they are out there ALL the time.  She knows they have literally ruined the neighborhood. She says she has tried to talk to her brother and sister in law before and they just say "we try to run them off when they come and blame it on the 2 (adult) sons". I said that is not happening at all. As we talked on the phone for about 15 minutes, each time someone walked up to the back porch or drove in, I commented and told her. She was just like "oh my god. I am so sorry". She doesn't know what to do.  Apparently she has another sister now living with her and her mom and said this sister has actually called the cops on her nephews dealing drugs (and it made her mom mad). She doesn't know what to do.

And the lady living in her trailer isn't really a "renter" She said she and C bought the property together years ago, but it is just in Aunt's name and she pays the taxes on it. "So, I can't really evict her". She said she did talk to her and told her she's just going to have to start bringing the dogs inside when they start in on the barking. I said, well, she might have the first few days after DH talked to you about it, but they have been out there barking now since Friday.

She doesn't know what to do about them dealing drugs. She just kept apologizing. I said, well, just so you know, the cops are working on this and the prosecutor has assured us that the next time this house is busted the parents are getting arrested too and that is the thing I am hoping most for, because that will stop it for sure.  She said she knew they had been told they will get arrested next time too.

So, nothing really got accomplished, as far as drug dealing goes, but she said she would talk to C again about the dogs barking and keeping them inside more. She also has to clean up a huge pile of garbage outside C's place. The county had apparently given her a 30 day extension (that county is just so nice to all these trashy people!) but she said she'll have it out of there this week. about not throwing garbage outside in the first place?

As I sit here and pound my head on my desk..................

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Decor changes....or not

I forgot to mention a "big" purchase we made last weekend. Sort of an anniversary/birthday present. We still have most of my year end bonus in savings, so DH wanted to get us some night stands for our bedroom. We bought our bed about 8 years ago and then got the matching dresser a few years after that. The night stands we have had for the past 31 years are nothing special and don't match. One was from my teenage years - a piece of particle board crap. The other one was nicer, solid wood - gotten for free from one of my mom's neighbors when we first got married.

Of course, after all these years, since we bought the bed and dresser, this style is no longer being made. DD and I went to the big furniture store and looked around for something as close as possible.  This is what I ended up with:

The wood is a little bit lighter than the bed and dresser, but it's the closest I could get. The knobs and pulls are very similar. They weren't cheap, either. $218 each. (well, that's expensive in my book). But they look really nice in our room and will last us the rest of our life (and then some).

How often do you change the decor in your home? I really don't very often, but I sure have been wanting to more lately. I guess I'm tired of looking at some of the same pictures and knickknacks I have been looking at for 15-30 years!I know of one person who changes her decor every season!

Most of my decor got put in place about 16 or 17 years ago. I think DD was around 3 or 4. I had gone to someone's "Home Interiors" party. I had no money to spend (of course) and ended up just buying a couple of their candles in a jar. for $5 each. But I ooogled over the whole catalog and the thing I liked the most turned out to be a "hostess" item -  meaning I had to host a party in order to be able to get it. I'm not usually one for hosting parties like that, but I really wanted that item bad!  What is it? I still have it and actually still love it! It sits on a wall in between my living room and dining room (the horse and greenery were from this company too).

I still remember this company's catalogs. Different groupings of decor for different rooms, styles, etc. I booked my party, invited everyone I knew. Quite a few came and they spent a lot of money! Plus it was a hostess double points promotion. So much money everyone spent that I was able to get this free and I still had so many points leftover that I got to get a lot more too!  And most of it is still decorating my house. I still like the things, but just ready for a change in scenery, ya know?!

At the time I was in the process of changing dd's room over from baby to toddler. I was able to do her almost her whole room with the free stuff. It was kind of a "country charm" theme, I guess you'd say. I had an adorable patchwork comforter on her twin bed, painted the walls a light yellow and got this little collection of "stuff". She still has that part left in her room all these years later. (a couple of things she added to the shelf later)
This is also still in her room, as you walk in the door. I painted the coat hook myself, made the little wood bear and the stuffed bears were gifts she was given when born.
In my dining room, I still have the free stuff I got from the party sales that are a "western/cowboy theme". This stuff I still really like, for some reason. I think I'm still a Montana girl in my blood (born there)
I had also gotten some bathroom decorations, but those got replaced when we remodeled our bathrooms about a year and a half ago.

I got this "grouping" for my bedroom

I also got a whole bunch of fake greenery. Example here, above our built in china cabinet
I have some of this greenery stuff other places in the house too. I actually would love to get a couple more pieces, but can't find anything this nice anywhere I have looked (Joann's and Michael's).

After I got all my free stuff I still actually had a whole bunch of points still left to spend. It was crazy. The lady told me I could wait and see what new stuff might be in the next catalog.  Then one day she calls me up and says she's getting out of the the business of selling for this company. She had a ton of stuff at her home she wanted to get rid of, marked way down and I could use my leftover points. I remember going over to her house and using up the rest of my points on a couple of nice big pictures. One is in my living room still
It's not crooked, I promise LOL. and it looks kind of weirdly smallish for the wall in this pic, but I think that's because you can't see the ceiling just above the picture line and the bedroom door frame just to the right. It actually does fit the wall space nicely.  I remember liking this picture a lot, but there was a small gouge in the gold frame. The lady said "oh, I can fix that right up - she grabbed a gold colored marker pen and filled it right in". Couldn't even tell. LOL.  I also got this picture for my bedroom. Kind of Thomas Kincaide style

So, I was basically able to decorate my home for free. It was awesome. Especially because I was a stay at home mom, DH wasn't making squat and I couldn't have afforded even one of these items to buy on my own.

I would like to start replacing a few pieces. Right now I really want to replace that picture over the couch with this clock

It's fairly large - 24" in diameter. I have been pricing it on the internet. The first place I saw it (through Pinterest) was Houzz and they wanted $89. Then I found it online with Walmart for $77. I see Houzz has it down to $77 now. Amazon carries it too. It's what I'm saving up for right now.  I'm either going to wait until I have more in my Walmart savings catcher rewards or I need to amp up doing Swagbucks so I can earn some more Amazon gift cards. I only have about $13 in Walmart $, as I spent the $90 I had earned in cashback at Christmas time. I do also have almost enough points with Receipt Hog to cash in for a $20 Amazon gift card (or just to PayPal).

Once DH hangs up the 2 new pictures I got for my office/bedroom, I'll snap some pictures of those. One was from Ross for $17 and the other was a birthday gift.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Long post, I just kept typing away!

Today is payday. I got up about a half hour earlier than normal (a work from home day). When I first got up there was no internet and apparently an area outage with an estimated time of 11am. GAH! But within a few minutes it was all back up and running.  I paid all my bills online. Later this afternoon I just need to mail off my home equity loan payment and get DH's monthly "allowance" out of the bank.

It's a gray rainy day and according the the weather, it's gonna be like this for a week. Bleh! Oh well, better than drought, like last summer, that's for sure. At least it's gradually staying a bit lighter longer each day. My car is so dirty. I've been going to stop through the car wash, but it's always raining. Guess I'm going to have to do it anyway, even though it will just turn around and be dirty again.

I'm going to start buying LED light bulbs to replace the bulbs in our house. They sure are pricey, but I want to see if they reduce the electric bill any noticeable amount. Has anyone else done this? I think we have LED in the shop. I can't remember what DH replaced in there. I know one of our outside floodlights is LED. We try to keep lights off in the house when not in use, but the bedroom that the birds are in (DD's room) the overhead light (2 bulbs) is left on all day, otherwise it's too dark in there for them, especially in winter, when even keeping the blinds open it's still too dark and gray outside to give much light into the room. Plus we leave our porch lights (1 front and 2 back) on all night and during the days I work at home I leave my desk lamp on all day, while I'm working. In the evenings the table lamp is on.

I was stressing out a bit over the best way to pay my upcoming $600 dental bill. I realized I can just use what I have available on my FSA balance. I think I overestimated some (since I didn't know exactly when/how much the Crestor will go down when it goes generic this year). I really didn't want to have to use my Care Credit charge account. I have 2 more payments on the last charge I put on there ($300 for cat's vet bills at 6 months no interest) and I really want to not owe anything on it (even if it is no interest). But at the same time, using it probably does help my credit score.

I'm working on my weekly grocery list.  I plan for 5 dinners made at home and 2 take out. Here's the weekly menu:
Tonight: Steak and baked potatoes
Sat: Hamburgers
Sun: Chicken pot pie (new recipe from DD to try)
Mon: take out
Tues: tacos
Wed: Sloppy joes
Thurs: take out (this is just for DH. I just eat leftovers or whatever)

I tried to plan the hamburgers and sloppy joes in the same week, so I can try to use of most of the hamburger buns. If we just have hamburgers, 3 get used and I always end up having to throw the rest out. I find they don't thaw out well, if I try to freeze them. So, I am trying to plan 2 meals to use them up. Any other ideas on what I could do with them, rather than having to throw away 5 buns?! Same thing with tacos! DH likes hard tacos and I like (barely - I'm not a big taco fan) soft tacos. He does eat quite a few (like 4 hard and one soft) but I end up throwing out the rest of the hard shells and while I put the soft shells in the refrigerator, most of the time I don't have tacos again for awhile and end up throwing it out, after I've used one or two of them! So much waste! Can those be frozen? I'll bet they can.

I've been really good about taking leftovers to work for lunch (or we get fed at work due to a training session going on or something). I used to buy soup at hand or other stuff to take, but I haven't bought anything specific for lunch in quite awhile.  I keep one soup at hand on hand, just in case I don't have any leftovers. I took it with me on Monday, but one of our company owners (who likes to cook) had brought a big pot of spicy tomato soup and french bread. OMG! it smelled so good in our kitchen. I ate it, though the soup was a bit spicy for me (I'm not a spicy food person, at all). Tuesday I brought leftover tuna casserole and Thursday I brought leftover homemade mac & cheese.

No plans for this weekend. I'll probably be spending some of it working on my side job, trying to get caught up. I was behind at the start of the week and with not being able to access the program I needed to get my work done for 4 days, now I'm really behind. I did get November all finished yesterday and will try to power through December's stuff today, but I doubt I'll get through it all.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A little bit of this and that

It has been a frustrating week, work-wise. Day 4 and I still cannot access the program I need to complete my work. It's SO stupid.  None of them at the office would go more than a couple of hours with this program not working on their desktop. As of yesterday afternoon I was now told to email their off-site IT person, as she supposedly had fixed it all.  I still haven't heard back from her.  I was already a bit behind on my work for this company (due to taking two weeks off at Christmas) and now I'm really behind. Update: as I was typing out the rest of this post, the IT person emailed me back with the settings and all is finally fixed now. That was definitely something that should not have taken 4 days to fix!

In my regular job, I've been trying to resolve an issue with the expense tracking software we use and it's integration into Quickbooks. Supposed to work "easy as 1-2-3". It's not.

It's dumping rain. I've already had to dry the dogs off twice this morning. They always have to go out to pee, first thing, and then shortly after they eat, they always need to go out again. It's going to be an awful drive into work. Fortunately, I had just started a new audio book that is really good, so at least I have that to look forward to. It almost makes the drive feel like a break from everything.

With Christmas and birthday gift cards, I now have $75 on my Starbucks card! I don't go there that often (usually with DD, so even less now that she's gone most of the time) so this is probably going to last me a long time.

I'm almot out of my cat's daily thyroid medicine. I did remember to call the vet yesterday and get that going. Hopefully they called it in to the pharmacy. I will check with them in the morning tomorrow, to make sure, as they have always said they need at least 3 days notice, because it's not always something they have ready made up, since it's a compound.

I was just reviewing my EOB from my recent dental cleaning appointment. Charged for Fluoride. Unless something has changed in the way fluoride is applied, I did not have that done. The only thing she did was polish my teeth quickly after the scraping part. Is there fluoride in that and that's what they consider? I always remember, if having it, it was applied to the teeth for a few minutes and then you were told not to eat or drink for a little bit after. Hmm.....might have to call and check on that. It's only $28, but as I'm probably going to max out my benefits yet again this year, every little bit helps.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mid week ramblings

Another birthday come and gone, another year older. FIFTY-TWO! Yikes. I sure don't feel that old (well, except those days when I feel more like 82 years old). DD was home for a quick weekend visit. She made me a birthday cake (Confetti cake) and got me a cute rooster mug and a candle (from Ireland). Her BF got me a set of pictures to hang on the wall that dd and I had seen awhile back and I liked. They will look nice in my new office/bedroom. DH got me a nice Starbucks gift card and some of my favorite chocolates. My boss had my cubicle decorated with Happy Birthday signs and a pretty bouquet of flowers. Mom took me out to lunch.

DD also got me some adorable, but totally dysfunctional, rooster salt and pepper shakers. The holes are so big, the salt and pepper just pours out.

Sunday morning DD and I made some candles.  Super easy and the amount of wax I bought was exactly perfect for the containers we had. They smell wonderful.

Gil, over at That British Woman recently reviewed the book Once Upon a Flock: Life With My Soulful Chickens.  It looked like something I should read :).  Picked it up at the library and read it in about 24 hours. Very cute, funny, sweet book. Makes me want chickens even more.  Though they do seem like a lot of work if you get addicted to them.

It's a quick read, with great drawings (she is an illustrator) and pictures throughout the book.

I can't seem to get in sync with my side job lately. Monday I tried to access the main system they use for tracking orders (same one we use at my regular job) and got an error message. I emailed the guy at the office that handles that kind of stuff (they don't have an onsite IT person, and use an outside company for most things, if he can't take care of it). He passed me off to another person at the office, who then passed me off to actually call tech support for the program itself. So, early yesterday morning I called and their support person said that they had upgraded to a new version and I apparently still was trying to access the old version. He emailed me some easy instructions and I followed them, but apparently that messed up everything and then no one at the office could get into the program. I get an email later that morning from the guy I originally emailed (you know, the one who was supposed to handle it?) and he said "in the future it would be better if I handled this type of issue". I, as nicely as I could, emailed back "I definitely agree, that is why I emailed you for help in the first place" - and added a smiley. I waited awhile and emailed him back asking him to shoot me an email when everything was up and working again and he said it's all working now. So, I tried to again access the program (it was the new version now) but there is still a message that some settings need to be entered (that I don't know), so emailed him right back to let him know. It's now Wednesday morning and I still have no response. I've been trying to get on this program for 3 days now, and have so much to do, as I'm trying to finish up year end. Frustrating.

It's been a pain in the butt trying to get a debit card in DH's name on our checking account with Chase. I had finally gone into the bank and talked to the manager about a week and a half ago or so. He said to call him back and put DH on the phone and he'd set it up. Well, I called back when I got home, had to leave a message and he never called me back. This was a Friday afternoon. The next week I kept forgetting to try and call him back and then this week I was at work Monday and Tuesday and no time. As I went to bed last night I had a thought. I wonder if I can order a debit card in his name with my PayPal debit card account? I logged in this morning and sure enough, there was a link to "order another card". I typed in DH's name, clicked the box to agree to be liable for all charges, and simple as that, a card in his name is on the way.  One more thing taken care of. Plus, this way is better anyway, as I'll earn 1% cash back. I really don't know why Chase had to be so difficult. His name was already on the account for goodness sake.

On the neighborhood front - quieter but still in business. Now both of the renter's sons have warrants out for them, so they haven't been seen much, though DH did see the older one walking out last night and sent the deputy an email. We also found out this great deputy is being transferred to a different area in the county. Well, of course he is. GRRR.  BUT, there is a new guy who seems to have stepped right into his shoes and is impressing DH and the guys from the other nearby neighborhood. He has called DH several times and texts him too. One of the brothers from the house behind us is still in jail for a couple more weeks, but the other brother is still there to do business.

that's about all I know for now.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Yay Friday!

I went to the dentist Wednesday morning for my 4-month cleaning. I have been such a model dental patient the last year or so! So, I was not happy to find out I have a cavity. And not just your ordinary run of the mill cavity. No, it has to be on the edge of the partial tooth that I have a crown on. Old crown has to be removed, cavity fixed, and a brand new crown put on. So, there will be another $600 out of pocket I will have to pay. %$%^!  He said he could "patch" the cavity, but did not recommend that as it will compromise the crown.  At least it is my oldest crown (like over 20 years) and not one of the one's I just had and paid for in the last couple of years.  Other than that, my brushing and flossing is doing great and I can start going back to 6 months cleanings.

I only had to work at the office one day this week. Nice for saving money on gas (and my sanity in the traffic). I won't even have to fill up with gas this weekend. Today is my half day Friday. Love these days. I can be off at 11:30 and get the grocery shopping all done. I also, finally, have an appointment later this afternoon for a long overdue haircut. Only I can't remember if she said 2 or 2:30 (stinks getting old!), so I will have to call her later this morning and get the correct time.

DD is coming home this weekend for a quick visit. Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening. Wish it was longer. She only has classes Mon and Wed and I tried to get her to head home this morning, so she'd be home when I got off work around noon and we'd also have this afternoon together, but she said she meets with a girl on Friday afternoons she is partners with on a class project. Then she says she and BF have a bike ride scheduled Saturday morning at 8am, for a couple of hours, so she won't be heading home until after that (and it takes 2 1/2-3 hours to get home). Oh well. I'm not sure if her BF is coming down too or not. Most likely. He has been staying at her apartment to commute to his new job, but most likely he will want to see his parents too. Which probably means that most likely the 30-ish hours I get to spend with DD will have to be split with her also seeing BF. LOL.

We have plans to spend a couple hours trying out some candle making. I bought all the stuff before Christmas, but the kit got back ordered and didn't get here until after Christmas and she had already left on her trip.  Also a trip over to a big furniture store. DH's present to me for birthday (and anniversary) is to get the night stands for our bedroom set.  I was looking online and it appears the set is no longer being made. Bummer. It's expensive stuff, so I haven't been able to buy it all at once. First we bought the bed (sleigh bed), then a couple years later got the dresser. Hopefully, I can find something similar that will look ok. The store does still carry furniture from this furniture maker.

This is the bed I have, though ours is king size so there are 3 panels across head and foot. My wood is also quite a bit darker than this. It is very heavy solid wood.
Hopefully, I can find something similar that will look ok. I love walking around this furniture store. It is HUGE, like 6 acres of floor space and they have a lot of nice furniture and accessories. DD and I will have fun just looking around at everything. We do that about once a year, just for fun.

My new rooster cookie jar arrived yesterday. I am so in love! haha! the colors are awesome
We got some more news about our resident neighbor theif/dealer/addict (renter's minor son). The prosecutor had told DH a few weeks ago that he hasn't been following his probation requirements (he spent 2 months in rehab for his sentence for stealing a car and credit cards and ATM theft) and was going to be called back into court. Well.....he didn't show up for his court date this week.  So, I'm sure that explains why the renters have been acting like hermits all week. Now he'll have a warrant out for him. DH talked to one of the deputies last night looking for him, and DH promised to call in, if we see him around. With the 2 awesome deputies on this new "warrant unit" I'm sure they will get him soon. We also found out that slumlandords son has a warrant now too. We didn't realize that. Haven't seen him around for a couple of week, which is also another reason it has been so quiet around here.

Better get to work, so I can get my half day in.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A reprieve

Not to jinx it, but it has been quite a bit quieter in our neighborhood the past 1-2 weeks. The renters on our street have just about become "normal" people. After DH confronted their little drug runner (the same one that his mom came and confiscated his pickup, then gave it back to him, then it disappeared again and he showed up in his girlfriends car) New Year's Eve night, he (and his GF) haven't been seen since.  There has been very little traffic in and out. Just the dad going to and from work, for the most part.

The drug house behind us has slowed down quite a bit too. Not completely, but not near the non-stop traffic it was. It gets busy for a short time and then goes dead quiet for awhile. Not normal activity, compared to the last 2 years. They have also shifted their sales from the bedroom window to the back door. Still all completely visible to us. Most likely that is a door into a laundry room (as most all doublewide mobile homes are) and it appears they have actually taken the door off, and it's just the screen door! Crazy. Now, when people drive up or walk up to buy, they go inside for a few minutes, rather than standing at the window, waiting.

It kind of appears that the sheriff is finally putting some pressure on them, maybe. The 2 deputies who were so on the ball a year ago and made arrests out of here that lead to the drug bust on the house behind us, have now been assigned to a "warrant" unit. Not sure if this is a new unit (never heard it mentioned before) or not, but they are definitely new to it, and these 2 definintely know how to get *$%% done. Last week they arrested 2 guys on warrants. According to the prosecutor (who keeps DH pretty informed) they have ties to the drug house dealers behind us. Then Tuesday night one of the drug dealers behind us was arrested on a warrant for violating his court ordered no contact order, to not be at this house, where his brother lives. Last conversation DH had with the prosecutor, she said that if he gets arrested again on this no contact order, he will be serving more time than the last time (21 days) because this is a repeat offense (at least 3 times now) for this. He went in front of a judge yesterday. Got a whole 5 more days than the last time. Big whoop.

We have a feeling that DH calling the sheriff last week, because he saw a different guy with a known warrant, standing at the drug house back door and then saw him go inside. The cops (4 cars and deputies) showed up about 30 minutes later. They didn't find him, but most probably saw son/drug dealer there, reported it, and prosecutor was able to get a judge to put out a warrant for the violation. That's just our guess. But 28 days is a joke, as this whole county court system is.  Oh well, at least I'm sure he is pretty miserable right about now, not getting his drug fixes.

Slumlandlord's drug addict/dealer son has mostly been gone, which always helps. He showed up again couple of weeks ago and traffic just went out of control. That was right during the time (on New Year's Day) when the councilman brought the 3 other county folks out to take a look, and someone from slumlandlords property started yelling at us (couldn't see behind the shop who it was). DH ended up talking to slumlandlord on the phone that night and basically said - if you don't like that people are here to try and help this neighborhood, you really aren't going to like what's coming!".  Pretty much haven't seen son since and that's about the same time his renters quieted way down. Deputies have been doing more patrols thru and will drive right though renter's property to get to the road behind us. I'm sure that is helping.

The other nearby neighborhood (who has never had the level of traffic we get) has been kind of the same. Their 2 drug dealers (different houses) are still in jail, which is helping, but the girlfriend of one of them is still around, doing her dealing. Plus one of the neighborhs had his car broken into recently.

Has this problem been fixed? Oh, not by a long shot. It's just them laying low because they are aware of the extra heat going on right now. But, it has at least been a very welcome break.  Lately, when our black dog barks in the middle of the night, it's not because some lowlife is walking down the street in front of our house. It keeps turning out to be a family of raccoon's, a big old opossum, or a cat. LOL.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Can we just fix it?

I had to deal with a pissed off, bitchy "co-worker" yesterday. It's someone from my side job. She is kind of/sort of the office manager at this office, but I rarely have to deal with her the past couple of years, as one of the owner's wives works there and she is the one I mostly deal with on a day to day basis. (I love her btw. We have the funnest email exchanges).

Anyhow, the last week of December this lady emails me that her daughter worked a few hours one day and sent me her hours. The final December payroll had already been processed, so I let her know that it would have to be paid with the Jan 15th payroll. She had also asked that the check be mailed to the office, not the home address.

Fast forward 2 weeks, when I am processing payroll. Shoot - I was just happy that I remembered to put in the 6 hours of time for this girl! (she only works there a few times a year to do filing, etc) But, I did not pass on the message to our payroll processing company to mail the check to the office. Partially because it slipped my mind, but mostly because we had already had this issue of "live" checks (those who do not do direct deposit) being mailed direct to employees homes and being late or lost. Last July we gave instructions to the payroll company that all live checks were to be mailed to the office and mailed UPS, so that they arrived on payday. There hasn't been any issues with it since, so I really didn't even think about adding the reminder. I just assumed that's where the check would be mailed, as this was supposed to be the procedure for the last 6 months.

Well......apparently not. The lady on the payroll company end mailed the check to the home address. Add in that Monday was a post office holiday and then come to find out the address on file for this daughter was never updated by Mom when they moved to a new place. Nice. Mom sent an email (cc'ing me) to the payroll processor saying she needed to cancel the check, and send a new one to the office overnight. It was a rude email. Payroll lady suggested that it would be much quicker if they wrote her a company check for the net amount. She'd have the check right then and no next day air charges. I replied back, that yes, that is the best way to handle it.  That is what we do at my (full time) company whenever something arises and bookkeeping wise, it all gets worked out with the payroll company (we use same company at my full time job). I cc'd the owner's wife in the email, as she is the one there who signs the checks, so she would know she needs to cut a check.

Office lady/mom emails back another rude email that just forget it - they would just wait for the check, if it ever comes.

I emailed back that I was sorry for the mess. I should have reminded payroll processor to mail to office, but I didn't, as I thought it wasn't an issue any longer. I also said, that that owner's wife could quickly write out a check for the $80 and the issue is fixed and done with.

This is the email I got back:You can't ever assume that people are going to remember...I've learned that the hard way.   I'll give it a few days to see if it shows up. But, look at all the time and hassle for one tiny paycheck.   Amazing.

I emailed back owner's wife in a private email "well then........".  She emailed me back and said they are all tired of this lady and her attitude and most likely she is retiring in summer, from the sounds of it, and they can't wait. I said the new check could have been written and signed in 2 minutes and the issue resolved, but apparently it was more important for her to be all mad about it, rather than quickly resolve it.

I am so glad I don't have to deal with her on a regular basis anymore. I never had much problem with her before, the first few years of this job, but I could tell she was a snippy type of person and probably not the easiest person to work with.  Do I feel terrible and beating myself up over it? Nope. It was a mistake, but also one that could have been quickly and easily fixed.

We also had a payroll issue yesterday at my regular job. One of our employees had $850 deducted from his check on Friday! We quickly contacted payroll company and asked why? They goofed - system glitch when the new year rolled over - a payroll advance he had taken last summer (and paid back of $850) somehow rolled over into the New Year and got put back on. Did we sent snippy rude emails? Nope. We just wrote him a company check for $850, gave him time off to run to his bank to deposit and that was that. Easy fix. No reason to make things worse.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Welcome to a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. It was nice having the extra day off. Makes this week only a 3 1/2 day work week for me, since I only have to work a half day this coming Friday. I got the dining room painted. No pictures. It really doesn't look any different, LOL. I just painted it the same antique white I painted it 16 or however many years ago.  What difference I could tell was that the walls were pretty dang dirty. Maybe being in proximity to the kitchen? Anyway, it does look much cleaner and fresher to my eyes, at least, and the couple of places at corners where my vacuum (most likely) chipped off drywall, got repaired and painted too.

I'm glad I had yesterday to recoup. Painting really does a number on my neck and back. I will say that the $3 little "edger" tool I bought to try was amazing. It made going along the window trims, the ceiling and floor SO MUCH quicker than using a brush. Best little thing ever!

DH and I kinda had a blow up last night over all the (thousands of dollars in) racing equipment we still have. Our shop/garage is literally stuffed to the rafters. There is no room for anything and barely any room to move inside. Add that to the fact that there will be no more racing with our son, obviously. He just keeps holding onto it all, because he can never part with anything, especially anything that has even an ounce of sentimentality with him. I am tired of him complaining about it all, but keeping it all. It's just a waste of our time, a waste of our space, and a waste of money to just sit there.  He knows he'd basically just have to give the stuff away (compared to what it cost) and he'd just rather let it sit and rot (his words) than let someone else have it for practically nothing.  So, I said, well then take it all to the dump! You'd have your space back and (apparently) the satisfaction of knowing no other piece of crap racer gets the stuff for practically free.

Anyhow, I really don't care what he does with it, but I'm tired of hearing him complain about it and not doing something with it all. I resigned myself years ago that that was money spent and never to be seen again. But it could also be a nice little chunk of change to help us move.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


All this looking at houses online the past couple of months has really put me in a decorating mood. Ever since we got our new coffee table about a year ago, I have wanted something for the top of it.  I stopped at Ross today on my way to fill up my car with gas.  I found this "bowl" in one aisle and a bag of "stuff" in another. $16 later, here is what I have on my coffee table now.   Kinda cute.

And I always take a look at their garden stuff and found this adorable owl. I got him too :)

I've been getting the dining room prepped for painting tomorrow. We have a built in china hutch that I have some big fake plants up on top. Let me just say that up there was Dustville, USA. Ewwww! On top of my other china cabinet, kind of hidden (along with a bunch of other dust), was this little teapot (I collect teapots) with guess what?....a rooster on it! Forgot I even had it.  I decided it needed to be displayed somewhere I can see it, so I put my pens near the kitchen phone in it.

We have got to get the kitchen walls re-done! They're the only walls in the house(besides the laundry room, but those walls are a plain tan color, so not so ugly) that are still the ugly old "mobile" home wallpaper. I HATE it. I'm sure it would also help sell our home better, if we got that updated.

Friday, January 15, 2016


I'm having an obsession with roosters (and chickens) lately. Someday I will have my own chicken coop and chickens, but in the meantime I have cute decorations.  DD got me this cute little metal sign for Christmas.  Someday it will hang on my chicken coop, but for now it's just leaning against the wall at my desk

And she got me this cute calendar too, that is hanging in my kitchen
 and awhile back I bought this napkin holder with a $10 Kohl's coupon (got it free). I don't know why, but I just love this piece. I think it would be cute with red napkins.

and then I just had to order this Rooster Cookie jar!
It only cost me $5 out of pocket! I had $16 left on my Kohl's gift card, $10 Kohl's cash, a 30% off coupon code, a Free shipping code, and when I logged in this morning to order it, it went on sale for $5 less than it was priced a few days ago.  I had been looking online at some cute rooster figurines, but this will do double duty.

I don't want to go overboard on rooster stuff (I are laughing because I already have) but they are just so darn cute. I know DD got me a rooster coffee mug for my upcoming birthday. How do I  know this? Because she sent me a picture of this whole display of rooster dishware. I was like OMG - where is this at?! She was out shopping and saw them. So we agreed she'd get me the coffee mug for my birthday :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Snob story beaten

I was sharing with my boss my "fun" family get together with snobby SIL. She pretty much topped my story! Her daughter is engaged to be married. Fiance's parents are extremely materialistic (especially the future MIL) and everything has to be expensive and name brand and always shown off to everyone.

My boss is total opposite of that. Her daughter is a school teacher (ie doesn't make a ton of money) and about the sweetest person (just like her mom, my boss) you could find. Boss and her hubby decided to invite future in-laws (they have socialized with them a few times before over the past few years) for a nice prime rib dinner at boss's house. They were supposed to be there at 3 - with appetizers. Dinner was to be at 5:30.  They showed up 4 1/2 hours late! Boss said her nice dinner basically had to be reheated in the microwave.  Then there was the "fun" gift exchange game. Future MIL brought a gift and apparently wanted it for herself! Who does that?! When it was her turn to pick a gift, she picked the own gift she brought. Boss stole it from her (after all, isn't that the whole point of the game?) and boss ended up with the expensive gift from Pottery Barn. Boss said later her husband was overheard consoling his wife "I'm sorry you didn't get your gift...we'll make sure to get you another one". OMG!

Then a week or so later there was an incident in the car where fiance was talking to his mom on the phone with speaker on. She didn't know boss's daughter was in the car with him and totally started bashing boss's daughter, who ended up in total tears.  I feel so sorry for boss's daughter. She is going to have to live with that Bitch of a MIL for the rest of her life!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I'm just awesome

I received my email from my boss with my annual "self-review" attachment.  I'm working on that right now, so I can get that to her today.  I'm trying to be a bit creative, where my goals for this year and solutions kind of fit in with being able to work remotely, when we move out of state. How's that for a bit sneaky? I'm honestly tempted to just discuss this with her during my review? I'm not sure if that is the right time to tell her about my plans, or wait just a bit and then hit her with it. I'm terrible about using my instincts or intuition on situations like these. I always second guess myself and don't have a lot of confidence in myself. I honestly have no idea if they would let me work remotely or not. If I had to guess, I'd say it's about 50/50 chance.

One thing I did this past year, which I have found extemely helpful in filling out this years self review is I kept a little word document of my "accomplishments" the past year. Honestly, I really forget them by the time a year, or close to it, has passed. To me, they are just part of the job and I don't spend too much time thinking "hey...look at what I did! I'm awesome!" LOL.  But I jotted a few notes to myself throughout the past year on things I think were "accomplishment" worthy and it has been much easier to review myself.  One was something I discovered last spring, that saves us in taxes.  I totally would have forgotten about it by now, if I hadn't written it down.  I still need to come up with a good solution for the issue that my time is being swallowed up by 2 other departments and all their paperwork, as they have really expanded their work this past year.

This morning I had my monthly-ish chiropractor appointment. Much needed since I painted this office/bedroom a couple of weeks ago. My neck/shoulder/back was a mess after that. And now I get to do it again this weekend! We have a 3 day weekend and I am going to use that extra gallon of paint to do the dining room. It shouldn't be quite as much time as the bedroom. There isn't really much wall space on the 3 walls. One has 2 windows. One has 2 etched type windows that look into our family room and the 3rd wall is mostly all a built in china cabinet.  The only real hard part to paint will be the wall space above the built in hutch - it's high up, as it's a vaulted ceiling.

That's about all I've got. I think I've been feeling like my life is on a "wait and see" path.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Why I like dogs better than most people

So, I spent about 4 hours at the annual step family get together. About 2 hours longer than I wanted to. My oldest step brother and his wife were there. Have not seen them in YEARS. They have always lived out of the country or in another state. Now they are both retired and moved back to this area. I was quickly reminded what a snob his wife is. O.M.G.

We were all sitting around eating and chatting and my step brother says how he wants to get a dog, but wife won't let him. She says "NO dog. I don't want my house smelling like a dog. So and so has 2 big dogs and their house stinks like dogs and there is dog hair all over their furniture. No way."  It was everything I could do to just bite my tongue and say "well, then I guess you wouldn't like coming over to my house then". 

Then she was apparently talking about the people that bought their house they just moved from.
"She (the new owner) is a homeschooler (said with total disdain). It's just weird to me."
My step brother says "well the area school district is terrible" and wife says "well everyone from our neighborhood sends their kids to private schools" and step brother says "well, private schools are terribly expensive" and she says "well he has a job with such and such company, I'm sure he can afford a private school".

Gag. Puke.  And then I had to listen to her say if Trump or Cruze get voted in she's moving out of the country (because she is a member of the liberal media) and my snobby cousin says if that happens she's quitting her job (because she works for the government).  God I hope a republican gets voted in. I'd go to next years party just for that reason. LOL.

I was more than happy to come home to my stinky dog smelling dog hair on the furniture house. Where my dog got up on the couch next to me to give me a doggy hug, looked in my eyes, kissed my nose and then burped in my face!

I just want a debit card

This week went by so fast. I was pretty swamped at work - with 2 weeks of paperwork to get caught up on.  Yesterday was my half day Friday and I was glad of that.  I went and filled up my car with gas (with a .30 discount from store points), went inside the store to the bank, and then got a few PowerBall lottery tickets (from the $11 I won on the drawing before), then did the weekly grocery shopping.

I went to the bank because I was pretty mad.  We have always had only one debit card, in my name, for our checking account. DH wanted to have his own, so I called up to order one. We both own this account. They need to talk to him to verify. Ok, whatever. I hand him the phone and they ask the account #......which of course he has to in turn ask me what it is. Then her (from India) next question is do you have a statement in front of you? DH asks me and I say No, I do it all online, so I start to log in.  Then her next question is "what date did you open your account?"  I just sat there with my mouth agape! I have had this same account for about 35 years. How in the hell would I know what date it was opened? I took the phone from him because by then he was quickly agitated. Is this info supposed to be on my statement or something? is that why you asked if we had a statement? She says yes, and I say I'm not seeing anything, where would this info be?  She then informs me that since we can't answer this security question they will be unable to issue a debit card at this time. I asked to speak to her supervisor, so Jason (aka Abu) comes on the line and tells me the same thing.  I hung up on him.

I drove straight over the the bank and asked for the manager.  If I had to jump through any more hoops to get this stupid debit card on an account I OWN, I was going to just close my account. The manager is a very nice young man I have dealt with before (when we opened my daughter's Roth IRA) and he quickly said he'd take care of it (I didn't tell him I would close the account), he gave me his card and said he needed to talk to DH on the phone, just to ask him a couple of questions to verify his identity and then he could get the card ordered. I don't know why I just didn't take my cell phone out right then, call home and then have him ask DH the questions. I waited until after I got back home (from grocery shopping) and then called the bank. He was with another customer and would have to call me back.......Only he never did. So, still without a new debit card ordered at this time. Ridiculous.

After that I went to look for some gifts for my nieces (all teenagers now). We are having a late family holiday get together (as always) and I just remembered I still need to get them Christmas gifts. Before Christmas DD had found some super cute knitted head bands for 75% off and I had hoped they still might have some in stock. All that stuff was now 80% off, but no cute headbands left, but tons of cute scarves. I picked up 3 different scarves.  Total for all 3? $12!! I was originally going to spend more than that for each of them. Very happy to have come out without having to spend much of anything.

This afternoon is the get together at my mom's. I really do not want to go at all. DD can't come, she isn't planning on a trip home from college again until the end of the month. I see these family members (step brothers and sister and spouses and a cousin and her family) once a year. I really am  not in the mood to make small talk. But I will go. I really have nothing in common with them. I don't drink. I'm not into football. I don't get to talk about the great vacations I took the past year. Blah blah blah. Maybe it will be my last year of it - haha - maybe next year I'll be living out of state ;)

Then I spent the later part of the afternoon just doing this and that and got on Facebook to see some old high school pictures an old friend had posted of a group of us girls. Oh the memories that brought up! We were commenting back and forth and then one of them said we have to talk, so she did a conference call and 3 of us talked for about an hour. OMG - we laughed so much. It was such fun. One of the ladies I have not seen or talked to in probably 30 years. We are making plans for the 5 of us to get together for a girls "sleep over" night together at a hotel or somewhere.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back at it

DH listed my old desk on Craigslist and we sold it for $100. Yay! He also has a trailer hitch listed for $150 and I'm sure that will sell too. Maybe that's the little boost he needs to take a look around that shop and see what he can get rid of.........nah.....who am I kidding?! LOL.

Back to work this morning, but doing it from home so that I can take a break at 11am and go pick up the travelers from the airport. It'll probably take me a couple of hours to do that, so a long lunch, basically. It's about 50 minutes to the airport. She has decided to go back up to her apartment at school tonight. BF has to work tomorrow morning and she needs to get to the bookstore tomorrow and go pick up her mail being held at the post office. I had hoped she'd stay here tonight and head up Tuesday morning, so that we'd have the whole evening to spend together.

We had a bit of snow yesterday and 2 inches was expected overnight (big deal around here that messes ALL driving up. I woke up early this morning to hear rain, so I was kind of glad, since I had to drive out in it today. This area isn't like areas that normally get snow and get snow plowed everywhere. If we get snow it's a chore just to get a mile down the road to the store, not to mention there are hills everywhere.

Our old cat has decided he doesn't like going outside anymore. He has always HATED to stay in at night, but gradually stays on later and later. He's has always just meowed whenever he wants out during the night and I get up and let him out. he's decided to just stay in and pee on the little bath mat in front of the shower! He's done this twice now. Ugh. He's going to have to go out for at least a little bit when I go to bed. DH can let him back in when he goes to bed.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Saturday afternoon

I received a few gift cards for Christmas - all to Kohl's! So, I have enough for a little mini shopping spree of $110. Then I got a coupon in the mail for $10 off any purchase, to add to the spree. I'm not sure what to get. I kind of think I might save it......if I end up having to look for a job when we finally get to move, I will definitely need some interview type clothes! I've been wearing jeans to work for over 10 years now. I don't even have any dress clothes that would be suitable. What I did have from years ago I got rid of because I am not that tiny size 2 any more.

I also have been really wanting this certain vacuum (a Hoover cordless) and Kohl's sells it, too. But it's like $400 and even if I wait for a 30% off coupon, it will still be about $170 (plus tax) out of my pocket. It appears there are 2 models of this vacuum. Target and Walmart sell it for $200 and other stores for $400 and the model #'s are different, but the descriptions seem exactly the same.  Not sure what the real difference is. I might even call Hoover and ask!

I didn't have much luck on my errands today.

I picked up a new keyboard at Staples.  The keys are somewhat quieter....except the space bar! It's really noisy. How stupid is that. I think I will probably take it back and try to find another one. The box says this one is supposed to be "whisper quiet". Not even close.

I stopped and waited in line at the bank for 10 minutes (and had to listen to some noisy obnoxious kids sitting in the lobby waiting for their parents) so I could order DH his own debit card and was told he has to be the one to call or come in and order it.  How dumb. It's my account (well, both of ours) and I should be able to order him a stupid debit card.

Then at Target I tried to find a 9x12 picture frame. Apparently not a standard size, so now I'm going to have to order one. It's a cute picture of a rooster that came with my nice Lang calendar DD got me for Christmas and I wanted to frame it. Why can't they just make the picture in a standard size, then? Plus, now after looking online I have my heart set on a rustic barnwood type frame and of course they are like $30.

DH went to visit a friend this afternoon. Yay! This is the friend that he and his wife are also packing up and getting out of this overcrowded and way too liberal area. I think they are leaving sometime soon, it sounds like.  They have been friends since DH was 17. Gonna be hard to say goodbye.

2 days left of vacation

Not a whole lot has been getting done the past 2 days. We seemed to have lost our steam and my back still is bothering me from the day of painting. Grrrr.... Yesterday I went and got the grocery shopping done. It was a nice day to do it - pretty much no one was out and about (and I waited until 11am to even leave the house) and even the donut case at Walmart bakery was full. I rarely ever get to pick us up a maple bar, even when I am there at 9am. I only spent $85.  Not sure how I managed to do that and $12 of that was a big jug of laundry detergent and about $10 was some mineral spirits and goo gone.

When I got home a car was parked in our driveway. Turns out it was our county councilman here with 3 other people. One guy was a council member assistant (for another council member, I think), one worked at a rehab place and the other was his sister. They wanted to see first hand what it is like here. So, DH walked them back down to the corner of our property and sure enough, the druggies didn't disappoint. They had stood there 30 seconds when one walked up to the back door and them promptly turned around and started walking away (obviously someone inside knew they were being watched). A few seconds later someone, from behind the big shop at slumlanlords place next door, starts yelling and cussing them out about watching the place. One of the county people said "why are "they" upset? we're not looking at their place?" and DH said........exactly! why should they be upset if they supposedly aren't involved? Which just showed that we are surrounded by either the drug house(s) or neighbors who are involved with them in some way.  Then one of the renter's (from our street) son's came walking in. DH said it was almost like he tripped on an invisible wire and then did this little dance and twirl around. The councilman was like "what is he doing?" and the rehab lady said "welcome to meth". I don't think there were probably any other county or state politicians out on their day off trying to help their community like that.

The last few times we have called the sheriff to come out here, they have been really quick to get here. Not sure what is going on with that, but it's nice. When I called last month for the big fight in front of our house, they were here in like 15 minutes. DH called the other night and 3 cars showed up in 6 minutes (but of course just missed the one's who had been running the drugs in and out the previous 36 hours). One deputy described it so well:  living here must be like living in the movie Groundhog Day.  Yep! that's it exactly. One of the guys from the other nearby neighborhood had his car broken into on New Year's Eve.

I did spend a good half hour trying to get an old sticker off of a bedroom door. DS stuck it on there as a kid and I never tried to get it all off. It was a long process, even with goo-gone, but I finally got it all off. Then I started on a dresser of DD's....that she stuck 3 stickers on when she was little! Remember those little picture stickers that would come in their school picture packets? Ya, around first grade she was sticking them everywhere, LOL. I scrape and scrape and only tiny little pieces come off at a time. I'm still working on that one.  You'd think the goo-gone stuff would just soften it right up to come off, but nope.

It's been sunny and a bit below freezing all week, but I like that better than rain and having to wipe wet paws all day.  Today I need to run over to Target and pick up my refills on the acid reflux and cholesterol medications. The acid reflux med is really working great, so I am really happy about that.
I received a $10 off $10 Staples coupon in the mail. I have been wanting a new keyboard that is quieter to type than this one (it especially seems to echo all the click and clacks in this office bedroom). Hopefully I can find something that doesn't cost too much and is quieter. It's right next to Target, so I will swing in there today, too.

We didn't do anything New Year's Eve. It's really never been a big deal day to me. I fixed a nice dinner of steak and baked potatoes and we had some banana cream pie (I picked up from the store) for dessert. I was in bed by 10:30. The clock is going to keep on ticking past midnight whether I am up to watch it or not.

DD and BF come home on Monday, so I am going to work from home and take a mid morning break to go pick them up from the airport. Then she will leave the next day to go back to school, as her classes start Wednesday. At least we'll get some time to hear about her trip and see all her pictures before she goes to school.