Friday, December 29, 2017

How to blow money

I forgot to mention, that after we took DD and BF out to dinner we drove over to our friends place, since they were only about 5 miles away. We had texted them earlier to see if they wanted to meet and have dinner with us, but they had just gone out the night before and were just hanging out at home and feel free to stop by, so we did. DD wanted to meet them. She was about 4 years old when they came to our house for a quick visit, so she doesn't remember, LOL.

DH's buddy can't win with his family. He has the week off (his wife doesn't) so his kids wanted him to take them (almost 500 miles each way) to visit their grandparents/cousins, back to where we used to live (he's originally from there, too). He didn't want to for 2 reasons - the cost and driving when this weather is worse now in this part of the week/weekend. DH talked to him yesterday and he said they are mad at him he was driving in the terrible icy/snowy roads into the city to take them to a movie, LOL. DH is like well that will cost him close to $100 for tickets and food!

Another thing he was discussing with DH: they are selling 3 of their 14 acres to some friends. I think the figure is like $25,000. DH was like "oh, are you going to be able to use some of it to finish the inside of your shop, then?" (because he's always saying he wants to finish it) and he's like well, no because then wife would say "well, what do I get out of it?". Guess what they are planning to do with a majority of that money? He said $10,000-$15,000 for a vacation!! Every time DH talks to him he's complaining he doesn't have enough money each month, his house/property tax payment went up $300, etc, etc. So, ya, go blow $15,000 on something that will be over and done with in a week. I can totally see a well off family (like the owners of the company I work for) doing something like that, no problem, but not when you are just making ends meet. 

He's also mentined he got a lot of overtime this past year, which he hasn't gotten before, much. He makes $20 an hour, so about $42k a year. This year he made like $50 or $52k. I said to DH, he made $10k more than he is used to making, still can barely make ends meet......what's he going to do this next year, if he doesn't get that overtime again?

ah well, glad it's not me that has to deal with that.  I'm still feeling really "rich" now - my paycheck deposited this morning and the check for the rockery hasn't cleared, haha!! Time to get online and pay bills (that aren't set to automatic). Soon it will be tax time!  Wonder if/how much extra I might be seeing in my paycheck come February?? I'm hoping it's at least a little bit, especially if I do not get a raise again this year.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Do nothing day

Today is just going to be a sit around and relax day, I think. It's been snowing since I got up.  Yesterday I cleaned house.  DH is doing laundry today. Looks like he'll have to get out and shovel the driveway. We are supposed to get like 12 inches over the next couple of days. We'll see. The weather experts always seem to over estimate what we will end up with.  Sure is pretty though. Feels like I live in a snow globe LOL.

My kitchen overhead fluorescent light went out last week. Of course the hardware store here in town doesn't have anything like that. We thought we were ordering a whole replacement fixture from Home Depot. It came yesterday and was just the cover/diffuser. GAH! Before we ordered that he tried to switch it over to LED bulbs, but turns out the LED tubes we bought at local hardware store still had to be used with a ballast and he had already cut the wire and removed the ballast. So, now we ordered some LED tubes that do not need ballast and they should be here Tuesday.

We got 3 days of turkey and leftovers and we are done with that, now. Back to regular cooking. I'm going to have to get to the store sometime soon. Was hoping with my days off we could get some shopping done, but the weather is not cooperating for a 55 mile trip to the city. Oh well. Will have to clean out the cupboards of what we have and maybe a trip to the local grocery here in town for milk.

I think if DD were single she would probably end up moving to this area, near us....getting a job/living in the nearby city. She really likes it here and told me if it wasn't for her BF's good job they'd probably do it. She said when she comes over to visit, she doesn't want to go back to all the people/traffic/crime, etc. On the way back home, their puppy was napping the whole way and when they crossed the border into their state puppy woke up, looked out the window and growled. LOL. She said "I hear ya, pup!".

DH signed up for this "VIP membership" online last month. Thought he was paying $8.95 for a year membership. Turns out it's a monthly charge! Now I'm trying to get it canceled. Apparently no way to do this online. GRRR! I sent them an email and a Facebook message. I did just get a Facebook reply, asking for the zip code the account was set up in, so hopefully it will get taken care of. After I googled it I found some others complaining they couldn't get it canceled and had to close their card! I am not closing my debit card. I'll just dispute it if they charge again and get it taken care of that way. I'll pay the 2nd charge, DH's (and my) dumb fault for signing up in the first place.

Tomorrow is payday. Yay. I'm feeling really rich, because the guy has not cashed our check yet for all the rock and equipment rental. Wonder if he is waiting until after the 1st of the year, so he doesn't have to claim the income in this year. If that's the case, wish he would have just said that rather than me stressing over not getting that bonus check in time! haha.

Well, off to do nothing...........

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Christmas days

I'm finally alone enough and rested enough to blog today! It was wonderful having DD here but even more made me (and DH) realize how much we just enjoy ourselves and quiet little life. DD and her BF are pretty mellow people, too, but that little puppy?! Oh my goodness! The first day and a half it would not stop. Our black dog is an alpha and while he was ok to play with him, he was good about putting puppy in his place, when needed. It completely wore me out just watching that puppy. We did get a break from him the second day, when we put him in the crate and left the house. LOL.

We drove over to the next town and went and had lunch at the little burger place. We had never been inside before, just thru the drive thru. Cute little place, decorated like 1950's with 50's music playing. Then we went over to the big antique store and looked all around. I ended up buying myself an old wooden duck decoy, like I have been wanting and in the price range I was willing to pay (certainly not $200 like many I have seen!). We also drove out to our property so they could see the site work and rockery we had done, since the last time they were here.

Came home and relaxed for a couple of hours and then we took them out to dinner at the nicer restaurant about 35 miles out. Good food, again. I had the grilled salmon, again. Came home and watched a movie I had recorded on dvd for DD, that she wanted to see.

Christmas eve it pretty much snowed all day. DD and I made a peppermint bark cheesecake (quite the recipe!) The puppy settled down some and took breaks from being "on" all day. DH shoveled the driveway and walkway a couple of times. Dinner was homemade pizza and salad.  In the evening we opened all our gifts. We all take turns, so it takes a bit of time. I was wondering how DH managed to get me 6 gifts, but no charges on the debit card or cash from his wallet used. Turns out he was a little creative and wrapped a rock in each box, along with a sticky note with a bow on it. Each sticky note had a "gift" for various things. A trip to Bed Bath and Beyond, a trip to Kohl's for 2 items, a trip to an antique store, a trip to downtown (in the city) stores (ie small gift shop types of stores), a nice dinner out that isn't for my birthday or anniversary, etc. It was a cute idea.  DD got us the Despicable Me3 movie (DH loves minions) so we watched that. At one point everyone, even the dogs, was asleep watching it, other than me.

Christmas morning we opened out stockings and had blueberry muffins for breakfast.  Got the turkey in the oven. Just before it was done I realized I didn't buy any gravy! I tried making gravy like my mom and grandma years ago and it was lumpy and so I never tried again. Well, this time I'd have to try! Found a recipe online and it turned out awesome! A different recipe than I recall my mom and grandma using (flour, milk and drippings). This one was butter, flour and drippings. It turned out perfect and will be my gravy from now on :)

DD and BF did not come prepared, as I had told them to, for the weather. They drove over 3 passes and didn't even have gloves! WTH?! what if it was bad and they got stuck or had to chain up. She didn't bring boots - only a pair of like keds tennis shoes. Just dumb. We couldn't even go take a walk. She got off work (she worked from home) last Friday and only had to work until 9:30 that morning. She made it sound like they'd get on the road at 10am (7 hour trip). No, BF wasn't ready at all, he had sat around that morning and watched a movie. When he finally got ready, then they had to go to the bank, get gas, stop and buy snacks. It was noon before they even left town. Plus it took them 8 hours to get here, so they didn't arrive until like 8:15 our time.

They left yesterday morning and I took a long nap!

BF told us (when she wasn't in the room) that he plans to propose to her on March 7th! I asked if that was a special day and he said it was the date 3 years ago that he first told her he loved her. Hopefully she will want to wait until 2019 to have a wedding! I don't think I can handle building a house and a wedding the same year! EEEK!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017


My USPS Priority mail package apparently decided to take the scenic route to get here. It took 7 days! Ridiculous. But, it's here now all safe and sound. And my boss sent me a $200 Visa gift card

The fluorescent light in my kitchen went out. The whole thing. When both bulbs would not turn on I knew it was the fixture itself that went bad. What are the odds that both bulbs would burn out at same time? Of course there is nothing here in town hardware store that will fix it. DD is stopping at Lowes tonight to pick up what we need and will bring it with them when they head over tomorrow morning. She's all excited because she thought she was going to have to work 3 1/2 hours tomorrow morning, but her boss told her she could work from home, so that will save her commute time and they can get on the road earlier than planned.

They did trade his truck in for a newer used F-150. Looks sharp in the photo's she sent. They should be able to get here by late afternoon tomorrow, hopefully in time for dinner. We got quite a bit of snow yesterday, but the mountain pass looks pretty good for their travel over.

I'm getting the bedding on guest bed washed up. I've slept in the bed a couple of times recently, due to DH snoring. We set up the dog crate, so their puppy can sleep in at night or put in if we go somewhere. I think we will take them to an nice steak dinner Saturday night.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Universe conspires

Goodness! when the Universe decides to conspire against you on something you just can't seem to fight it.  This bonus check! OMG! it's still not delivered today.  My boss sent it via USPS priority mail. She sent me a copy of her receipt with the tracking #. It was supposed to be here yesterday. Tracking still shows it is in transit and has not reached the post office. Plus, to make matters worse, she used my street address on it. I drove over to the post office today and they assured me they will get it in my box anyway. Which, is true, I occasionally receive mail addressed to my street address and they get it in my box.

So, where in the hell is the package? So much for priority 2-3 day mail, eh?! Tomorrow will be the 7th day it's in transit. To go 400 miles! Their online tracking hasn't even updated it in over 24 hours now, where before it shows every 24 hours an update "in transit",  with date and time.

DH is freaking out because he had told the guy who delivered all the rock we'd get him a check by end of this week. Bonus checks were last Thursday. I figured I'd have it Tuesday this week at the latest. Ok, so plan B.  I'll get paid early from my side job. I'm the one who cuts myself a check at the end of each month. It's a flat rate, same amount each month. I emailed owner's wife, who is the one I have 99% of my contact with. I just wanted to let her know that is what I'd like to do for this check and get her ok. I know she won't have a problem with it, whatsoever, but I still would like her ok. That way, depositing that check, we're covered to pay the rock guy, until my bonus check finds it's way here.

She almost always answers my emails pretty quickly. Not usually more than an hour or so. Two hours go by. Then I have to email her about another question from their CPA's office. Finally about 1pm she answers my email question from the CPA. ok, now I think she'll be answering my "favor" email anytime now. Nope. nothing. I emailed her again about an hour ago, saying sorry to be a pain, but did she see my email from this morning. Still not heard back from here.

I just can't seem to get this resolved one way or the other, no matter what I try. And I guess my boss also included a little gift from her in the package.

Dodged a bullet

We did not have to have dinner with the ex-sheriff. DH was confused because neighbor's brother has same first name as neighbors father in law....FIL is who was coming to dinner LOL.  And then they didn't even come. Her parents were in the city, late running errands so decided not to come. It was just the 4 of us and a very nice time was had. Good food. I brought a big salad, so that rounded out the meal: elk or deer chicken fried steaks and fried rice.  Her dad did end up stopping by after we were done eating. Nice gentleman and he and DH talked and talked, LOL.

My bonus check seems to be missing in delivery land...........sigh.  Of course. I had just assumed she would put the check in the mail from work last Thursday. Throw a stamp on it and mail it. No, she emails me last Friday. She was working from home and running work errands. She was going to send my check UPS (she thought that would get it to me faster) but realized they need a physical address and she only had my PO Box. I emailed back that just mailing it is fine, I figured it would take a few days to get here......or if she wanted to do UPS, here's my physical address. She said "ok, thanks". I figured one way or the other the check should have arrived yesterday. Nope. I asked her how she ended up mailing it. She doesn't remember! It sounds like she went to a mailing place that does UPS, etc, but she couldn't remember how it got sent, just that it was supposed to get here by Tuesday. I woke up this morning thinking if she ended up having them ship it USPS priority letter, and she used my physical address, then it's probably sitting somewhere.  USPS won't deliver to my street address. Sigh. Of course DH had told the rockery guy we get the money to him by the end of this week, thinking my check would be here by Tuesday at the latest and that gave us a few days cushion.  Even if she had just stuck the envelope with a stamp going regular mail it would have been here by yesterday. Good grief.

My vacation starts today, but I've already been working this morning. I didn't get some final numbers from my boss until like 6pm yesterday for some money that needed to be transferred from money market to checking. Got that done, then of course had to read my emails and answer one...ok. I'm done working now. Hoping my boss can let me know how she mailed this/get tracking, but she probably forgot to get the tracking as yesterday she said she had it at her home.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Last week we were invited over to have dinner this evening at our neighbor friends across the street/field. Neighbor was texting DH this morning as to what time. He also said his brother and his wife will be there.......his brother is the jerk ex-sheriff!! LOL.  This should be an interesting report tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‚

Monday, December 18, 2017

The cookie recipe

I sent my mom an email asking her the following about when she has always made this cookie recipe. I know she has made it every year, up until the last couple of years. She was NO help! LOL. She called me and just read me off the recipe (which I already have the same one, of course) and when I said "do you use butter or margarine?" She couldn't remember, butter she thought. Did she add flour to the rolling surface and pin? She thought so.  Did she sift her flour? She didn't think so.  She just kept saying, I just followed the recipe. LOL.

Here it is:

1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Mix butter, powdered sugar, egg, vanilla and almond extracts. Blend in flour, soda, cream of tartar. Cover and chill 2-3 hours. Divide dough in half and roll each half to 3/16" on floured cloth. Cut, sprinkle with sugar. Bake 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees.

Her cookies always turned out perfect and they melt in your mouth and taste yummy sweet with the hint of almond.

If mine taste just right, they don't hold their shape. If they hold their shape, they taste like there's no sugar in them. I can't get both.

Stupid cookies...........

UPDATE: ok, I think it's the powdered sugar was bad/old. I went to the store this afternoon to get ingredients to make a peppermint bark cheesecake DD and I want to try and bought a new bag of powdered sugar. I tasted  a pinch from my old bag and the new. The new tasted sweet, the old tasted weird! kinda blah, like my cookies! Now I suppose I'll have to try another batch just to see, eh?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

another peaceful day to myself and crappy cookies

So, I cut my hair myself yesterday morning. Got rid of like 2+ inches off the bottom. I googled how to do it, LOL.  Much better! I'd still like to get more off, but my only really sharp scissors are small ones and the higher up I tried to cut off, the thicker my hair got and then it wasn't so easy to cut evenly. It was getting so long and I was hating it. Now it's just below my collar bone and doesn't look so straggly. I think I might order some good scissors to have on hand for this!  The online video showed someone with longer hair, but mine was long enough to split wet hair into two sides and pull in front and put rubber bands in, then cut below the rubber band. Easy peasy.

DH was at the property all day again, but texted me a bunch of pictures and the side rock wall is all done. Looks great, I think. He said it's hard to get a good picture. If he stands way back and takes it you can't really see the depth that it's 2 levels.

He estimated needing 4 loads for this part of the wall, but said they only used 2 1/2 loads, so that will be less loads we have to get for the lower rock wall. (next Spring). That level dirt area between rock tiers will be landscaped. I think we got this rockery wall done for a steal. Rock and labor for a total of $2650. That might seem like a lot to some, but that is very cheap. From Home Advisor: Natural stones like boulders and rocks are heavy and difficult to work with. Expect to pay a minimum of $25 per square foot for labor and materials. The hourly cost for building with dry stacking stones is $65/hr.  What we got done would calculate (I'll verify total sqft w/dh when he gets up) to a $15,000 rock wall, and that is what DH said, too last night. Like the asphalt guy commented, most places those rocks are $200 each. We paid the guy $20/hour to operate the loader/stack it/decide what goes where. DH gave him an extra $40. Money well spent. Included in that money is also getting 2 trees pushed over and out of the way.

I got my presents all wrapped. About half way into it my butter was softened, so I made up my sugar cookie dough so it could get in the fridge to get chilled. Then I finished up the wrapping, while listening to Christmas music. Then I watched a Christmas movie on tv. Dough got chilled and I made the sugar cookies. aRGH#%. I just cannot get those right! It's a simple recipe. My mom (and me when I lived at home as a kid) have made them for years and years. Mine either do not hold the cookie cutter shape and poof out, but taste great, OR if I can get them to hold the shape (so you can actually tell it's a star or a tree) then they taste blah!. I have tried real butter and margarine.  This time I used margarine, thinking the butter was causing the shape mutations the past years. I want to give our neighbors across the field some cookies and wanted them to look like the shapes! So, today I got cookies that baked into shapes and taste blah! When  my mom makes these cookies they are melt in your mouth sweetness. Maybe the powdered sugar was too old? Too much flour? rolling the dough is such a pain for me. It sticks to no matter what I try, so I really tried to add more flour this time, so I could get them to roll out, not stick to the rolling pin and not stick to the cookie cutter and not stick to the surface I rolled them on.  I guess I will go buy some new powdered sugar and try again! I want my dang Christmas cookies!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

It's the countdown

DH was gone all day long at the property. He sent me a couple of pictures. One of when the guy finished the prep work (it's a 2 tiered wall) and one of the first rock set. Plus yesterday afternoon it started snowing pretty good. We've got a few inches back on the ground now this morning.  DH is up at at 'em back to the property. I did not go - too cold to stand around and watch and I'm going to make cookies and wrap presents. I've been waiting for my last gifts to arrive, so I can get all the wrapping stuff out once and be done. Plus, I get to enjoy another day all to myself ๐Ÿ‘ธ

We bought some new snow shovels a couple months ago (our last winter one wore out). DH finally got to try it out. One is on wheels and he says it's so much easier on him and does it quicker.

DD said her BF just had some work done on his pickup and now he thinks he has a head gasket problem. He bought the truck used and DD said it's just about paid off.  They were hoping it would last awhile longer before having to put at least a couple thousand dollars into it. I think he's had it about 4 years - they have been together 3 years now and he had it then. She said of course now he just wants to get a new (I don't know if she means brand new or new to him used) pickup, rather than get it fixed. It is a 2004, so getting up there in years.  But, they were planning on driving that over next Friday, since they have to go over 3 mountain passes and have chains for it, if needed. Now they will probably have to take DD's car and get chains for it to have with them. She has a very nice Ford Taurus they bought new about 19 months ago. I'm sure they will be fine driving it, but they are also bringing their puppy and would have rather not had it in their new car.

I'm thinking of dropping satellite tv (Dish) when we move and just use internet service for tv watching at try. It would save us at least $40 a month or more. DH basically watches two channels. Fox News and Discover. That's it. I watch a few network shows, but nothing I couldn't get via Hulu and I usually watch them on my ipad anyway. I see Hulu has live tv for $40/mo. It includes Fox News, but not Discover. DH prefers watching shows on our tv, rather than his computer, so I'm still trying to figure out if there would be a way to get/watch Discover on a tv via internet. I'm not coming up with anything, unless it's part of your paid subscription. That is my only hold up in this whole plan, how to get Discover.  I have access to my mom's xfinity/Comcast account and have xfinity Stream TV on my ipad, but I'm not sure there would be a way to access that via a tv.  Maybe there is, that I'm not aware of. He could probably get used to watching Discover on his ipad or computer, if he had to. We also have Amazon Prime Video, included with the Prime subscription I share with DD.

6 more days and DD is here! They will be here early Friday evening until the following Tuesday afternoon.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Rock and Roll

My bonus check is on the way to me. Yay! We have direct deposit for our regular paychecks, but bonus checks are always "live" checks.  They were handed out at a lunch meeting with most everyone yesterday. No one, except the two owners and my boss (and me) knew about it, since we didn't meet our sales goal. My boss said a few people started crying, they were so happy.

We got the 13 loads of huge rock delivered,  though one load was smaller stuff, that can be used to fill in spaces. This morning the excavator is being dropped off and the operator will get to work! I can't wait to see it. With these big rocks, creating the wall will go pretty quickly, so he should get most of it done today and finish up tomorrow. This is just for the wall that will be on one side of our house. The wall below the back patio will be done in Spring, but I have a feeling there will be some rock left over to go towards that and we won't need as much in Spring.

One of the paving companies met with DH Wednesday to see and work up a quote. He's from the city (there are no local paving companies). He saw the rocks (and a load being delivered while he was there with DH) and said those rocks would be $200 a piece from somewhere in the city. DH didn't tell him what we are getting them $15-$20 a piece!  We had gone to a big rock/stone quarry place about 45 minutes north of us last summer. They wanted like $200 each there, too.

Just to give you an idea of what they look like! It snowed a bit Wednesday morning. Our neighbor emailed me and said what is DH building? a castle?!! LOL.

DH can't help himself not get involved with local issues. He's tried really hard not to, but when it comes to drugs he's having none of it. We live near what used to be a small retirement home building, owned by the county hospital. It's not being used now, as they couldn't make it feasible to operate. There was an article in the local (weekly) paper that said "they" want to bring in DOC (dept of corrections, from another county) in and use this building as a low level rehab for drug offenders (which 95% wouldn't even be from this county). OH HELL NO! A block from a grade school! DH was fit to be tied. Our neighbor friend across the field (this place is directly across the street from his house) got home from work yesterday and he didn't know about it. He was so mad too. Then DH talked to our property neighbor, who works for hospital. He said they weren't even told that the county "committee" brought in DOC to tour their building! They are totally against it, as well as he is sure the school will be too. The guy spearheading this? He's a defense attorney who lives in our county, works in the city. Wants to be able to work here, so hey let's bring all the trouble here, so he has some work and doesn't have to commute. Yesterday DH happened to be able to chat with the new sheriff (used to be the undersherrif) about it for a few minutes. His reply? well, so and so (the attorney) is a "Jenkins" - they own 3/4 of this county (so like no one else has a voice in anything).......DH was like I don't care what they own! LOL. So far this morning (DH is out at property) DH has called me like 3 times, our neighbor across the field from us has called me twice, to get the info that was emailed to DH about it this morning from our property neighbor.  Our current neighbor is on his way to the council meeting right now he said, to go on record against it. (I just saw him drive by LOL)

This is a tiny town. 800 folks. What a huge negative effect bringing something like this in would be. I don't care that we won't be living next door to it down the road. The "committee" is trying to pass it off as the county would make money off of it.  There is no money to be made off drugs and crime. Everything it brings with it, just creates more cost to deal with. The hospital owns the building and with them against it, I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen anyway. And shoot- with how long it takes ANY thing to get done around here, we'll be dead before it happens haha!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Too many decisions

I took yesterday off work as a vacation day. We went to the city to make house decisions and get costs. What an exhausting day! We had 4 places we wanted to go. One was cabinets, the building supply place, flooring and a place that sell generators.  We decided to call ahead the day before to the cabinet place and the guy we were supposed to ask for at the building supply place. Wanted to make sure they had time for us sometime that next day. I called the cabinet place first, as it was on the way in, the town just before the city. I got her voicemail (of course!) and left her a message. I waited like an hour, hoping she'd call back and I could nail down a time with her first before I called the builder supply guy. Nope. So, I called him up to see what his schedule was like the next day and he said he was pretty open all day. Cabinet lady never did call back.

We decided to stop in her place on the way in yesterday morning and see if her showroom was even open yet or someone there to talk to. It was, she was the only one there, and with a customer, so we just kind of looked around and waited. She didn't even tell the customer she was working with "just a second" and come over to us to at least say "hi, I'll be with you as soon as I finish up here". We kept waiting. She was with them in one of the two showrooms, so I walked into that one, just to see if she would at least acknowledge me. Finally she did and said she'll be with us asap. We waited some more. DH just can't stand on his legs for that long and nowhere to sit. About that time her husband walked in (I guess he does the installing and other construction work) so we did get to chat with him a bit, but he wasn't too knowledgeable - mostly he just filled the time until his wife was done, LOL. Finally, after like an hour of waiting (she kept saying she was just about done) we got to talk to her. Cabinets are hard to pick out. Too many door styles and then what kind of finish and then what kind of wood. Anyhow, she is going to work up like 3 different "levels". Hopefully one is within the allowance the builder gave us. We also asked her about the price difference between laminate countertops and granite. She said laminate is like $36/sqft installed and there are some granites that start as low as $40/sqft installed. Hmm. Well then we're going to look at granite.

Then we went to the builder supply place. Thankfully that guy was available right away. We spent about 2 hours with him, I think. Doors, exterior and interior, windows, and siding. I had already emailed him a pdf of our plans, so he had actually printed them out big and used them to mark notes on. He was awesome and very helpful in steering us in things we would like and would not like.

Next stop was granite place the cabinet lady recommended. Well, the remnants start at $40. Stuff I liked was at $70. BUT, remnants sizes work great for like a bathroom countertop and we saw several we'd be happy with, saving money there and not much mor than laminate. At least we know the costs now.

Then we went to the flooring place. DH has been really wanted hardwood floors. Our friends put in "engineered hardwood" in theirs. I was under the mistaken impression that the engineered hardwood was better for durability (scuffs, scratches) than regular hardwood, but I guess it's not. Since we have 2 big dogs in the house, the salesman really recommended laminate. Which is what I really wanted in first place. I want maintenance free! We were able to show DH that there are high quality laminates, now pretty much waterproof, that is much better than the cheap stuff we put in our old house. He showed us one that is exactly what I was looking for! That was easy! For the 2 bedrooms and office we are going to carpet (not decided on masterbedroom yet) he suggested maybe using their remnants, too. We can get that very cheaply and save some money there, for sure. I'm not picky, as long as it's decent quality and a neutral color, for those rooms.  We also picked out some tile, that looks like stone, for the foyer and will use vinyl in bath's and laundry room.

By then it was 3pm and we were STARVING. Stopped at a mexican restaurant and DH has been craving carne asade for a year now. Haven't had any since we moved. It was really good and we will definitely eat there again, during city visits.

Our last stop was back at the masonry place we were at a few months ago and got samples, as we never got any pricing. It's all the same price per sqft, but depending on the style/type there is more labor involved in one style vs another. He gave us two names to contact for mason labor, so we can get the labor costs.  We are having the worst time trying to decide on a style for around the front bottom of the house and the fireplace. We came home with yet another sample.  We didn't  make it to a the generator place. Next trip.

Oh and the dr. office got a 30 day supply of his med now to the pharmacy, so we were able to pick that up, too.

We got home at 5:30. Poor doggies were in the house for 8 hours, but they did ok.  Today I am swamped at work trying to catch up for one dang day off.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Rock on!

DH met with H Co guy Saturday morning. He even mentioned that he met with the people who bought lot #7 last Sunday! So, wouldn't you think he would have gotten a hold of us to meet too? DH is kind of thinking he probably blew us off (probably based on crap like the ex sheriff said) but then when DH started calling around asking other contractors and asking locals who to call, word got around that he blew DH off twice and then he kind of had to call. Guy is supposed to get us a bid next week. He said he'd love to do our rockery (something he likes to do) and said that is going to be really  nice - I'd love to build it -  but DH said well, I think I've already got it handled with someone else I got a hold of last week.......(ie - you snooze you lose!)

Later in the afternoon Saturday, never hearing from rock hauling guy (what the heck is wrong with these people around here?) he called him up. He called back said he would deliver a couple of loads Sunday afternoon and the rest on Monday. He finally called around 12:30 Sunday afternoon. We were waiting for the call because he wanted DH to meet him at the rock quarry to make sure what sized/shaped rocks he wanted him to load. He lives 5 minutes from the quarry - we are like 20 minutes. We got out there and still waited a half hour for him. But at least dogs got a good run around exercise while we waited. These are big rocks! Like 2-4 feet big. Boulders, really. When he got there with his dump  truck, DH was like I recognize that truck - it's an old truck that a company he used to sub contract for years ago (two states away!). Turns out he was right - this guy bought it at an auction where they were getting rid of old trucks from that company. LOL.

It was like 2:30 by the time we left the quarry and leaving that little town, where they have a little drive thru burger joint we've been to several times. I was hungry so we decided to make it an early dinner and get burgers. They are slow as molasses, LOL, so by the time we got our order and got it home to eat it was 3pm. We then drove out to our property to make sure he'd dump the rocks where DH told him to. He got there a little after we did. Said he was going to try to do one more load, but I'd be surprised if he did. It would probably be dark by the time he could get back with the load. But hey! at least we have a start on something!!

Then DH was supposed to meet a paving guy at the property at 10am this morning, for a bid. He called at 9:30 saying his truck broke down about 25 miles out. He was waiting for a rescue, so wasn't sure if he'll make it today, now. Maybe later this afternoon or tomorrow.. Ok, whatever. LOL.

I'm taking tomorrow off work. We want to go into the city and look at things like doors, windows, cabinets, etc. Get an idea of what we want, what the price range is for the quality we want, and hopefully that will allow our builder to come up with numbers that are accurate come building time. Our friends gave us the name of the cabinet place they used. They are on the way to the city, so we hoped to stop there first. I called this morning. Can't get a hold of the lady, so had to leave a message. Our builder recommended a builder supplier that has a showroom, where he gets a lot of what he uses. I called them too, got transferred to the guy he works with voicemail, so now am waiting on that call back too. I didn't know if we needed an appointment with him or could just stop in. What do you want to make a bet that when we are ready to head into the city tomorrow, we still have no call back from either?!

But, DH is ticked pink at the rock being delivered. The guy who will be building the rock wall said he would be doing it like starting Thursday. It shouldn't take him more than 2 days, and with the size of the rocks we are ending up with, it will go quick. But, it's getting cold fast here! Ground is getting frozen, but at least no snow yet or forecast this week, so hopefully we can get this part done.  Hoping to be able to post a pic of the rockery at weeks end :)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

So, it's Saturday already

I still needed a couple more gifts for DD. She had on her list a throw blanket and a hair straightener. Last time I bought her one (years ago) it was an expensive $100 one she wanted. This time she said it didn't have to be expensive, just a basic one. I ended up buying online from JC Penney. I haven't bought anything from them for years. I used to have a JC Penney credit card. My very first card I ever got, at age 18. I had it up until we filed for bankruptcy. I had used it off and on over all those years, never once late making a payment. As soon as we filed they canceled my card and I haven't been back since. Swagbucks offered 10% cash back, so made for a decent deal, also with a JCP 25% off code.

Still no word on the rock being hauled to our property that he said would be yesterday or tomorrow (people in this area SUCK at working!)........BUT. guess who called yesterday morning? H Co guy! When he said who he was on the phone DH (who is usually a very friendly person) just said "yep?". Guy sounded very humbled, compared to the way he acted the other two times DH talked to him. Said he owed him a call. DH said "yep". He said got busy that one day, forgot and then couldn't find our number. DH was just like well if you want to take a look at at and give me a bid, feel free (it's not like we have to use him). So,he said Saturday and he did call back and DH is meeting there with him right now.

Then we had a big fiasco with DH's doctor office yesterday and his cholesterol med. OMG! It's ridiculous. His visit was in July. He's been taking 5 mg of generic Crestor. We explained he first tried Simvastatin and it made his muscles ache. The dr. put him on Crestor 5mg and that was ok.  Then a few years ago, after a cholesterol recheck the dr wanted him to up it to 10mg, so he did.....and had muscles cramps again, so it was back to 5mg. We explained this to this new dr. She wrote the prescription for 5mg and also did a cholesterol blood test. It was time to pick up his prescription this week and I got online with Target pharmacy to get it filled for pick up. He was out of refills. So, what? the PA gave him like a 5 month prescription? I logged into his patient account w/dr. office and requested a refill for 7 months. The nurse called and said because of his last blood work the dr(PA) wanted him to go up to 10mg. I said well, he really doesn't want to do that and explained the muscle problem. She then said well, if he doesn't want to take 10mg then he'll need to come in and talk with the PA. I said well, he's almost out, so we'll need one refill until he can get an appointment. She says she'll call one in for 7 days and transfesr me to the front desk to make appt. She disconnects me instead. Before I called back I said to DH - either just try the 10mg or get the 10mg and take it every other day, like you did before. I call back and end up talking to front desk and say I want the nurse to know he'll go ahead with the 10mg and IF he has a problem with it, like he did in the past, then he'll come in for an office visit.

Yesterday morning I log into Target pharmacy to make sure it's filled, before we get there that afternoon. All's that got filled was the 5mg for 7 days. Obviously she didn't get the message. I called the dr. office and talked to the receptionist again, repeating he'll go ahead and try the 10mg and IF he has an issue, then he'll make an appt. She said that is what she told the nurse and put me on hold, came back and said the nurse thought she called it in for 10mg but she must have done 5mg, so she will call the pharmacy. We get to the pharmacy and they have the 10mg filled......for SEVEN days. OMG. I said, no it's supposed to be for 30 day supply and several refills. So pharmacy calls dr office and we go off to shop for a few items. We get back to the counter and she tells us the dr office won't fill it for 30 days unless he comes back in. Good Grief! He was just in there several months ago. He doesn't need to go in for another stupid $400 visit (that's what the first visit cost) to see a PA for cholesterol discussion. We left with no prescription. Like we told the pharmacist - it's a 2 hour round trip to come back while the stupid dr. office figures this out! I called the dr. office when I got home and ended up talking to someone completely different than the first two times. Basically I said either fill it for 5mg or 10mg (we don't care) and for 7 months, until it's time for him to go back in for his yearly check up, or never mind.  The only reason she told me he needed to come in to see the PA was when I said he didn't want to take then when he agreed to 10mg. he still needs to go in?

I'm tired of being annoyed by people who can't do their job effectively.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

If I could have thought of a title, I would have posted this hours ago!

The wheels are verrry slowly starting to move forward this week. The builder finally emailed back (hey, took him only a week and a half) about where to go to look at things like windows, doors, etc. He gave us the name of a building supply place he says he uses for a lot of that stuff. It will at least give us ideas and cost ranges. We are going to go visit there next Tuesday and see what we can accomplish.

Haven't heard back from the guy DH met with on Tuesday, who said he could probably haul the rock in Friday or Saturday. I'm going to hold my breath and see if that really happens.

Nothing much else is new. We are going into city this weekend to stock up on groceries and pick up prescriptions. I didn't realize DH's doctor only gave him a 3 month prescription on his cholesterol med. Why? LOL. why not just do it for the year? So, I had to log into his health account w/doctor office and request them do the refill. If they don't get it to pharmacy by tomorrow, I guess we can pick that one up when we are in the city on Tuesday.

My office has an account with Staples for office supplies. I've always thought it very "behind the times" that you can't view invoices and pay them online. I mean really, who can't you do that with nowadays?! Well, today I received Staples statement and it says they now offer online bill paying. So, I log in (the login our receptionist uses to order supplies) and don't see anything where I can pay. They have an "account chat" feature so I open it and ask about paying online. I then get transferred, via chat, to another dept, who tells me she turned now on the feature for our account and to log out and then log back in. I do, but do not see any payment feature/option. Of course my chat box is closed now, so I open again and ask the next person that answered the chat question. She transfers me. I explain again and that person says "I'm sorry, we do not offer online payments". OMG! I said well Amanda just told me she turned it on, your statement says right on it that you do......I literally ended up being "on hold" via chat for 45 minutes while she researched it. She kept checking back and thanking me for waiting, she was checking with her supervisor, etc. I was starting to get annoyed and about ready to just say "oh never mind" and close the chat, but I decided to be nice. Obviously she was working on it, probably getting stressed on her end that she was keeping me on hold forever and couldn't figure it out. I just replied "ok, I'm still here๐Ÿ˜€.  I guess it's a new option and they don't know how to turn it on. I was then referred to call another dept.  I think I'll just keep paying by check. LOL.

I haven't heard anything about the cookie exchange that was mentioned at my book club meeting in October. The woman who was going to do it must have changed her mind. No email about it. I'll probably just make my cookies the weekend of the 15th then.  I was looking forward to being able to get a variety of cookies to have. Oh well.

I usually just make my mom's sugar cookie recipe for our Christmas cookies. They taste yummy, even though they are a pain to make and when I make them they always poof out and lose the Christmas cookie cutter shape detail, so some of them you can't really tell what they are supposed to be. If I was doing the exchange I didn't want to share some mutant looking cookies, so I was going to make "Mexican wedding balls" that my mom used to also always make.  I was going to make a pumpkin pie for Christmas dinner, (I've still been craving it) but again, I'm the only one that likes it, so messaging with DD we decided to try making a peppermint bark cheesecake, instead, while she is here over Christmas.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Trudging through Wednesday

I talked to my boss about some various things she called to chat with me about. The best news - we are getting a bonus at the end of next week! I'm not exactly sure how much, but I'm assuming the 5% amount. She was calling me from her cell phone while she was getting a hot chocolate at Starbucks (LOL) and it wasn't the best connection. She said even the other managers do not know it's being paid out. Nobody thinks they are getting it, since we haven't made the sales goal. Mostly she had to fill me in because I'll have to make sure money is transferred from our money market account to checking to cover the bonus checks....and she knows I will not spill the beans to anyone.

I did ask her why she thought our sales were down, given the booming economy there and we've always made our sales goals, except in 2009. She said we are having some issues with customer service quality, we are starting to get a reputation of being hard to work with and also with issues between departments. She said there was one job that was $150,000 and 25 people had worked on it!! That's almost half our whole staff! not to mention that is a smallish order! We have the same managers we've always had, but a couple more people in each dept, seems to be more than everyone can handle.

I'm also getting a $500 bonus from my side job, so that is great (last year it was $1000) too. Every extra helps, for sure.

Well, what do you know, the site work contractor guy who said he would meet at property on Tuesday actually did! DH is having him start with bringing us 6 loads of rock. We hope - Dh said he seemed a bit flakey, but said he could deliver either Friday or Saturday. We'll see. It sounds like this guy will let us rent his equipment, for this other guy (who operates but doesn't have his own equipment) to install the rockery wall. He said he doesn't know how do to rockery walls so wouldn't feel comfortable doing that part. Let's hope this is someone who can/will do the job. He's from the same county, but lives in next town west.  And the phone just rang from one of the paving companies DH had called. Said he's been out of town for 2 weeks, but is interested in the job. So, at least we are making a tiny bit of progress. We also found out this is the same paving company that paved our property neighbors place. So, we're making a tiny bit of progress this week, at least.

This guy also mentioned he thought the reason we are not getting anyone to get back to us is because they only want to deal with builders/contractors. Ok, that is understandable, but then DON'T tell us you are going to meet with us (twice) and then don't and don't even give the courtesy of a call. A simple "sorry, I only work with contractors" would have saved everyone a lot of time and aggravation. As it stands now when our builder gets around to using subs, you can guarantee we will not letting him use "H Co".

I tried the elk hamburger meat in tacos last night. Tasted fine to us. It must have smelled very different to one of our dogs. He had his nose in the air sniffing all over LOL.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Spinning wheels

So here is what DH tried to accomplish last week in regards to building a house:

Called 3 paving companies for bids. Only one called back and emailed a bid.

Emailed our builder to ask for the list of suppliers he said he could get to us for the bids we will (attempt!) to get on doors, flooring, cabinets, etc.  No reply back.

Called 4 (or maybe it is 5 or 6 now) contractors about getting a bid on our excavating work that will need to be done. (see previous post). We maybe have one from the next county coming, but they also have not set up a date to come look at it. I think it was 4 from local here and 2 from next county (where the bigger city is, so more options on contractors). One of the out of county one's said they could probably come out Saturday and would call....of course that didn't happen, either. One local guy said he could probably get out to the property on Tuesday, so we'll see if he calls today.

Two and a half weeks ago called fence guy (the one we already used to fence this house) and he said he could come out in a week and a half and would call. No call.

Stopped by the county planner office (which consists of one guy and his assistant) to ask two easy questions. He wasn't there so gal had DH write them down on a piece of paper. No call back.

I'm sure I'm probably missing another item he tried to get accomplished.

I told DH that maybe he just needs to think of handling it like we do where I work. People don't get back to an email request, we keep sending follow ups until it gets done.

Like I told DH - worse comes to worse, we just have builder bring in his site work sub contractor. He had just thought (as well as we did) that we could probably save some money by having a local guy do it, as well as part of our goal was to try and spend the money here local, if possible.  Are these town people just stupid or what? You've got someone who wants to spend a few hundred thousand dollars in your small local economy and the local business's don't want the money? just dumb.

Friday evening our property neighbor emailed about their water softener system. DH had mentioned to them before he'd like to see their set up, as it's not something we've ever had before. She just had her salt delivered and that reminded her about Dh wanting to see it sometime. I emailed her back that it was no rush, and the way things were going it would be a miracle if the house ever got built! and a comment about how we can't get anyone local to bid the site work. She of course emailed back and said "did you call H Co?" So, I emailed her back that yes we called him first.....and twice! and he was supposed to meet DH Tuesday (two weeks ago now) and never called. She was like wow! his wife works where her DH works and tells people at work that her DH (H Co guy) is looking for work!

I'm sure we'll figure it all out eventually, but it's going to be extremely annoying dealing with all these bozos.

The people we bought this house from? The guy works for DH's millionaire friend and they have been working/living in an rv (him and wife), out of state, on a job this past year. They are back for awhile and now staying in their rv on another the lot millionaire friend has in town. DH saw his pickup in town the other day. They had left a box of vhs tapes down in the crawlspace, so DH decided to take them over to them (they had totally forgotten they even had them down there).  Want to hear what the (now ex) head sheriff said about DH to them, when they ran into him at a football game and asked something like 'how's the people that bought our old house doing in the neighborhood" (knowing they had problems with renter neighbor all those years) and his reply?! "oh, he just brought all is issues with him from wherever he came from". That ex-sheriff (he quit recently) is such a total piece of #*%&. He had lied to us and said the sheriff dept never had to come out to deal with our neighbor until we called. Ex-owners of our house said that is a flat out lie. They were there all the time. They said they came home one night to find every cop car there...the high school daughter was standing outside in the back yard by herself and they asked her what was going on. She said her stepmom held a gun to her head..........ya, and we're problems in this town. Unbelievable!

My week didn't fare as well on some things I ordered online. One of the cups in the set of dishes I ordered has a chip. I ordered DH a pair of a pair of boxer shorts.  I ordered a shirt for myself, in Medium, but it's too big.

I did just score a brand new nice office chair, though! My boss sent out an email to all employees to pick a chair (out of 3 choices) for the new office they are moving into. My chair seat cover here at home is literally disintegrating on me, wearing out. I knew if I sent my boss an email that I would like one of those with a winky face, she'd offer to get one for me. I don't usually do that kind of stuff, but shoot.....I need a chair.....if I worked physically at the office I'd have a new chair......and the company can certainly afford to give me a chair. So there!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Weekend update

I had a fun day Saturday. My neighbor across the street called up and wanted to see if I wanted to go to some holiday craft bazaars with her, her mom, and another lady. Heck ya - I'd love to get out of the house! We started out at the grade school bazaar. It was a pretty decent one. I ended up buying 4 handmade soaps (buy 3 get one free) and a lotion bar. She had lots of soap scents to choose from and I think friend and I sniffed all of them LOL. Then we went over to another one being held at the old original town school building. It wasn't much there at all, though I did buy a raffle ticket for a beautiful quilt and the money benefits the senior center. My property neighbor was working at that one, so got to say hello to her. Her hubby was playing Santa, but that part hadn't started yet, so I didn't get to see him. I can certainly see him as a jolly Santa type.

Then we stopped in next door to the florist/gift/coffee shop. I had never been in there before. What a cute place and decorated with lots of Christmas things for sale. The coffee smelled yummy and they also sell some sandwiches, as well as the florist part.

Next stop was the next town over. We stopped at a cafe to have some lunch first. The local ladies I was with were familiar with it, but hadn't been there in a long time. Apparently it's not as good as whoever used to own it. Very poor service. The coffee was luke warm and she didn't even bring the water and coffee until our order. But the conversation and company was fun. After we went to a big gift shop there in town. It's kind of a tourist stop place, but lots of stuff and lots of Christmas stuff out for sale this time of year. It's all really too pricey, but I did pick up a book on smoker/bbq recipes for dd's BF and a stocking stuffer for DH - where you can make your own little bit of "snow", since he's constantly whining if it isn't snowing.

Friday evening my SIL texted me that she was at a furniture store looking at a chair for her parents Christmas present. As I mentioned before she's not had much luck finding anything, especially in the price range she set. Well, this one was $950, what did I think (pics sent)? I told her it was ok with us and she said she was waiting to see if the salesperson could get the price any lower. He came back with like $660, $129 delivery/set up and $230 for a 5 year warranty, plus 10% sales tax, bringing the total to $1155 to be split 3 ways. Ugh, but oh well. SIL really wanted the warranty.

Then she texted me that she had googled the name/brand of the chair and found it for sale online for $603, no shipping and no tax! Sale price good thru the next day. But she didn't think then they could get a warranty. I said for $500 less, if the chair dies in a few years we can buy another one! Her DH said the same. Then I got online and looked it up on the site she was trying to look at via her phone. Found the 5 year warranty was also offered - for only $70! Saturday morning she ordered it. She did opt for an extra $50 for door delivery rather than free curbside delivery. They have a steep driveway and this would be better. So, I was only out $242, rather than $383. Much better! Plus she got to try it out in person, so knows she is getting what she wants for them. I would have spent probably $50 on a gift for her and her DH, which we decided not to exchange this year, due to the higher cost of the chair, so really the chair cost to me was like $192.

Of course, the one contractor from the city who said they could probably come out Saturday did not. I'll have another post about all that coming soon.

Friday, December 1, 2017

November update

November is already over and it's time once again to do a monthly review and update.

The biggest change I'm excited about is my credit score. Last month it ended at 737. A check today and it is now 740!! I finally made it to the "very good" level and what most lenders use as the criteria for better rates.  This will be very good (I hope!) for applying for a construction loan/mortgage. When I was applying for mortgage a year and a half ago, I was in the low 700's.

I'm also excited that today it has been 7 years since our bankruptcy was discharged. All the banks told me I needed to be 7 years past in order to qualify for a conventional loan. I have read that it can be 7 years and sometimes 10 years before the BK will not show on your credit report. As of today, it's still there, but at least for lending purposes (unless they've changed their rules again) I am good to go. Between that and my better credit score, I think we should be able to find a construction loan.

I think we've done pretty good post bankruptcy. Stayed out of debt.  Have one credit card, for emergencies and have rebuilt our credit and increased our net worth some. I do have some store credit cards, but don't use them too often and always pay in full. I basically just used them to help rebuild my credit, once I was able to start getting approved for them.

My 401k increased $1955 to $73,875. Getting close to $75,000! Maybe by end of December? Technically speaking, it will be over that, the money just won't be there for several months after that. The year ends and we earn 3.4% profit sharing and our 50% company match, which is a bit over $4000, in total, that will be added to my account.

M-Turk. I was doing well until Thanksgiving week, where I pretty much didn't do anything. Then for some reason I have had trouble getting back to it this week. I finally did a few dollars yesterday and have done a couple of dollars today and I'll try more during my lunch break. I earned about $67 for November.

Google ad sense: $20.83, so it takes me about 5-6 months to get the payment for $100

Swagbucks - really pathetic again. $5.67. It's just much easier to earn money on M-Turk (when I do it!)

In work news, still keeping my fingers crossed on the bonus payout ($3900) for year end and a bonus from my side job. Today I submitted to my boss a proposal for a new method in completing one of the aspects of my job. Tracking down commission discrepancy issues. I just do not have the hours available each month to get to the number of discrepancies I come across every month, especially with the way I have always had to work on resolving them. There are just too many.  I have asked for her feedback in making a change to the procedure, which will also have to get approval from our project management supervisor (as her group has to research my requests). She actually emailed me right back and loves the idea and emailed the pm manager right away for her input.  That manager just emailed back this morning that she is fine with that idea. This should make my job easier and more importantly we'll probably get back more money owed to us that is slipping through the cracks now.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Just WOW!

These small town people are something else!  So, last summer we wanted to get some of the site work started. For starters, we needed a bunch of trees and brush cut down (dozer and backhoe type work) and the hilly area the trees sat on cut down and leveled out with rest of the ground, and DH wanted the driveways roughed in. He asked around who to call, since we aren't familiar with any of the locals who do this type of work. I'm not sure how he got the name of the guy he did, but the guy has some equipment, came out and looked at what we wanted done, said it was 2-3 days work (as DH figured) and he could do it. He brought out his dozer and backhoe on a Sunday and proceeded to work the afternoon getting started. The night before the big wildfire in our area had started. He called Sunday night said he got called to go help on that, but would have another guy run his equipment and finish out the job. Guy did a great job. We paid the contractor for renting his equipment and paid the operator for his time. It all worked out the same.  At the time DH asked this contractor, who owned the equipment, if he does the other "more detailed" type of site work we will need done in the future, and he said no,  he just likes to do the "rough in" type of work. No problem.

So, we are trying to get bids for the "more detailed" type of work we will need done. Everyone recommended "H Co". He does really good work, but he's pricey. Ok, so DH called him first. See previous post about this guy not calling back....twice now. So, DH called up the guy that did the operating on our first project, would he be interested in bidding on it or part of it (especially the rock retaining wall).  He met DH out at property today and suggested if DH could rent a loader from that first guy (who he did the operating for) and he'd have our side rock wall done in like 2 days. DH gets home all excited about it and calls up the equipment guy. He's maybe....

Get this: when he did our rough in work this guy who owns "H Co" obviously saw him doing it (again, small town). Apparently they had a "gentleman's agreement" between contractors that guy#1 would only work certain types of jobs, ie only those needing a grader, but apparently guy#1 had a little earlier bought the dozer and backhoe, so that made "H Co" guy mad and he went and bought a grader. Then he saw guy #1 working on our lot and is upset. And apparently H Co guy is telling people our job is his job. WTH?!! He hasn't even called us back to bid the job - after we have asked him TWICE now. That was kind of the vibe DH got from the out of county contractor DH talked to (from the teleco job) yesterday, that he didn't want to step on H Co guy's toes.

So, let me get this straight - we apparently can only use H Co, because no one wants to make him mad, but H Co guy can't be bothered to call us/meet with us. Are you following all this still? OMG!

Ya, well, screw H Co guy. Our builder (from out of county) was willing to work with us and let us use some local contractors (ie give some of the work to help local guys), but we don't have to use them. It's OUR money. We are paying them. We get to decide who gets our money, not H Co guy. And H Co guy, you just screwed yourself out of the job you apparently think is yours to have. H Co guy also owns the septic/sani-can company in town. It won't be his sani-can sitting out on our property during construction either!

Like I told DH - the local contractors relationships with each other are their deals - but when the one and only local contractor we can (apparently ) use won't call and take care of us, that's our issue.

Things that make you go hmmm...

Ok, so I've mentioned we had to have the phone line run from the corner of our subdivision to our property. We requested this back in July. We mentioned it several times to our property neighbors - mostly mentioned because months were going by and still not getting done. But we also said we had asked the telephone company about how they bring it in, as of course, no one would want them digging up neighbors paved driveway! No, they dig underneath it, we were told, and we told neighbors this.

So, without notice, but a phone call Tuesday morning from tele co that they were there (actually it was a subcontractor company teleco uses for this work). DH was out there for a bit, talking with them, but their "boring" machine that would go underneath the paved driveway broke. So DH came home.  Last evening we got an email from property neighbors saying "we were so surprised to see teleco out there! They didn't call and tell us they were coming! But, while they were there M worked out a deal to get them to dig our ditches for the walnut grove trees we want to plant on our lot on the other side of us (they own first two lots)." I replied back we didn't know they'd be there today either, but we've only been trying to get them out there since July!

DH goes back out there yesterday morning and they were just finishing up. DH was really happy with how they "cleaned it up", even leaving the neighbors area looking better than it did. The lead guy (it's his company) says well, ya we try to.....but your neighbor wasn't too happy about us being here. Dh was like huh? WHY? Apparently after DH left there Tuesday, neighbor guy came home, screeched up to a stop and starts yelling at them "what are you doing on my property?! get off my property!". Well, FIRST off they were not on HIS property - they were in the Utilities Easement of the road in front of the 7 lots, where they have every right to be! They had bore (or were in the process at the time) underneath his driveway to pull the phone lines through to get them down to our property, as of course they would have to do (and eventually for all the lots). There is no other way. The lead guy says they deal with that kind of attitude and response from people all the time, so to appease him they agreed to dig the ditches for his trees! OMG! WTH?!! What is wrong with people? So neighbor didn't "make a deal" (as we assumed wife had meant he paid them a bit, since they were already out there on our job) - No, he bullied his way into making them feel like they had to appease him. That is total crap in our book. We do not operate that way at all. DH was pretty flabbergasted to hear this about our neighbor.

Tuesday, when DH was talking with the lead guy about who's building our house and who's doing the excavating, he says "so you're using H Co?" DH says well, I've asked for a bid......(wondering how he knew this?). Then yesterday morning, as DH is talking to him, DH asks him what all type of work his company does? do they do excavating type work too? He said yes, they do it all, even the rock retaining wall. DH says "well, if you are interested I'd love for you to give me a bid" He says well, if you are using H Co, he's actually a good friend of mine and I wouldn't want to step on his toes/local work for him (this guy is from city). DH says ya, speaking of H Co, how did you know I wanted to use him? "well, you told me" DH thinks to himself " I didn't....". So, then DH says well, to be honest I have called H Co twice now and the first time he said he'd call me back Fri (two week ago) or Mon (last week) and he didn't and I let it go because it was holiday week. Then I called him again Monday and he was supposed to meet me out here yesterday and didn't and has never called me back. I'm not going to beg someone to take my money. So, I've already got another company coming out Saturday to give me a bid, and if you want to bid it, feel free. DH gave him a copy of his site drawing and he gave DH his business card. He got an email last night that they want to bid it.

This is a weird place to live..........LOL.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

At a turtles pace

There are about 3-4 guys that have small excavating companies here locally in our county. Everyone we talked to seemed to highly recommend one guy. "He does the best work". This is the guy that DH called over 2 weeks ago. When he returned DH's call he said he was out of town that week and would call DH the following Monday (of Thanksgiving week). He never did and DH figured short work week, he got busy, etc. So, DH called him again on Monday of this week. The guy almost acted like he didn't even remember talking to DH about our project (weird) and then he told DH he was bidding a job in town yesterday morning and when he was done with that he'd call DH to meet him at our property. No call whatsoever. WTH?! DH will not be contacting him again.  In the meantime yesterday afternoon he contacted another guy to get a bid. This guy seemed (and I use that word lightly around here!) much more interested and said he'd get back with DH on meeting up. But again, no one around here gives much in the way of firm dates.....and then they never call back. DH told him he's really trying to use as much local contract work as possible - you know, keep the money flowing into our county's businesses....(isn't that what you are supposed to do, right?)

He also talked to his friend last night (who works construction industry) and the one who our builder built his house. He called back this morning and talked to the excavating company that did his work (they are local to his town/next county over) and they would really like to bid the job and will come out to our property on Saturday. Our lot is about 25 miles out from where they are located, so not too far of distance. DH's gut feeling is that's probably who we will end up going with. If these local guys can't even be somewhat responsive, well then that's their loss, I guess. We tried. He also got an email back with a bid from one of the paving companies (there are no local pavers), but they are out of the city, so you'd expect them to be a little bit more on the ball. But he hasn't heard back from the other two he asked for bids from on paving.

He emailed our builder Monday afternoon/evening, asking for the list of places he said he would recommend we get the bids from for the things like cabinets, doors, flooring, etc. Still no email back from him on that. Sigh....this is going to be a very slow long process, that's for sure.  I remember when I was applying with the local (in the city) lender for our loan for this  house. She was so amazed that I always emailed right back and was so organized and had all the docs she would request right away. Well, ya, that's how it's done! LOL. That's what I liked about our realtor we used - he was very on the ball and responsive.

Speaking of slow companies...the telephone company finally showed up at our property yesterday to run the phone line down to our property. We only started this process to request that get done last July! They had to bore under our neighbors paved driveway and then dug across our two roughed in driveways to set up the phone pole on the other side of our property next to the electrical box. Via email last night our neighbor said it looked like they got done and did sweep up the road after themselves. DH is on his way out there now to take a look at it and then he will stop on his way back through town at the propane company and get the bid on purchasing a 1000 gallon propane tank and having it buried.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Just in waiting and hoping mode

I have been pretty convinced that we would probably not be getting our second half of our yearly bonus at the end of December. At the company meeting in October they adjusted the year to date sales goal down some, but there was really no way we were going to make that even. For some reason sales are down this year (first time in many years), though our commission % rate is up, so it's kind of evened the numbers out.

But, my boss emailed me yesterday, asking for the total that we paid out in July for bonus's.....that's a good sign that they are looking to pay out something next month, at least. I sure hope so. I have never ever counted on that bonus, but this was the one time I was. It's still not for sure, but I am now at least hopeful we'll get something. I'm also really hoping I get a bonus from my side job. They have been kind of hit or miss with them, but most years I have gotten something. Last year was $1000.

Then my boss sent out an email to all employees last night about a short notice year end company meeting in 2 weeks. I kinda thought since it was almost December, combined with we probably weren't getting bonus payout, that they decided not to have a meeting. I asked my boss if she wanted me to fly over for it, but she said not really necessary. I'm kind of glad. I like a bit of time to get in the mindset to go back to all that chaos over there LOL. We decided I'll wait and get over there in Spring, so I can see the new office they move into.

We are still dealing with contractors/supplies around here who are as slow as molasses getting back to us. But, hey, the telephone company finally called this morning and were out at our property bringing in the phone line down to our's only been since July we've been trying to get them to do that. DH called a site work guy about doing the septic/drainfield, foundation dug, rock wall..two weeks ago. He said he would call back last Monday. of last week and he never did. Ok, it's was a short week. So, DH called him again yesterday morning. He said he would call DH today to meet up with him out at the property. It's noon and still no call. He also called our fence guy two weeks ago to get a bid, he said he would come out last week and never called. Again, ok, it was a short week, but no call from him this week, either. What do ya gotta do to get people to work around here? It's ridiculous. Yesterday he called 3 asphalt companies to get bids started and had to leave messages with all of them. So far only one has called him back.

I usually wait until the last day of the month to check my credit score and see if any changes (for my month in review post). But, I checked it yesterday, as I was online with my credit card (making sure my payment to pay my tires balance was showing as paid in full). It's up two more, now 739. Just 1 away from that "better" 740! Hopefully by January, when applying for a construction loan, it will be at the 740.

Monday, November 27, 2017

it's all about shopping for now

My SIL wants to get my in-laws a new recliner for Christmas and have us and one of DH's brothers chip in/split it 3 ways. She wants to get one of those power lift kind and also one that has an electric headrest. But, it appears her initial budget of around $500 isn't finding anything (I didn't think it would, when a regular recliner costs that much). I guess she had seen one she liked and in the price range at a local to her furniture store, but when she went there over the weekend it was sold and apparently a "closeout", so they can't order her another one. I tried to look online to help her find one, but wasn't finding much that has both features and is cloth, not leather. So, it looks like our budget is going to have to increase.  I emailed her this morning, trying to think of a tactful way to say let's not exchange gifts with each other this year and we can put it towards the parents gift. She thought that was a great idea. We'd probably spend $50 on each (couple) other, so that is $100 more we can put towards the chair.

Our neighbor friend across the street gave us some "elk hamburger" to try. I'm kinda scared to try it LOL. Will it taste too "gamey"? They do have it mixed with some regular ground beef, to give it some fat.  DH was over in his garage while he was working on some of the cutting up and our dogs were with him. He had his deer and elk heads laying on the floor. One dog sniffed it, wasn't really interested one way or the other. Our younger dog didn't want anything to do with it. LOL. He even left the garage.

I had several gifts to order online, so I decided to wait until today "Cyber Monday" to see if they were any cheaper. Nope, not a one.  DD had several things to order (also from Amazon) and she put them in her cart, but had not ordered yet.  She texted me that she got an alert email from Amazon that one of the gifts for DH (it's a solar powered phone charger, for emergencies) went on a "flash sale" for half off - saving her $15! She was so excited. Then she had some slippers in her cart for herself and they went on sale and she saved $4. I was at least happy that I had $34 in my Amazon payments account (from M-Turk) to put towards my order.  She went shopping by herself yesterday for Christmas decor stuff. She kept texting me and said her trunk looks like Christmas exploded in it! Then when she got home she video chatted me so she could show me all her cute stuff and good deals. She had received a $50 Bed Bath and Beyond card for her birthday, so got lots of cute stuff that was on sale. She found some cute, really cheap stuff at Ross (always good for decor) and then a few things at Target.

I also placed a big Target order online, as everything was 15% off today. I ordered some normal purchases. The dog's brushing chews were buy one get one 50% off, plus 15% off, so that was a good deal, as those things are pricey. I also got myself a "gift". Last year DD had gotten me a set of dinnerware that I totally love. It's 4 place settings and I'd really like to have 8. I was hoping it would go on sale, but it's not. I did have two "promo" codes though. One for a $10 gift card with a $15 home purchase and one for a $10 gift card with a $50 purchase. The dishes are $60, less the 15% off all online orders today, less 5% for using Target red card, then I will get the $20 in gift cards, so it's like getting the dishes for more than half off. Maybe I'll get 2% back in Swagbucks, the list of ineligible items doesn't say home purchases.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Just Sunday morning chit chat

I was wondering why I got zero Swagbucks for my recent $50 Target online order. Well here's the reason:

Toys and electronics,Baby care (diapers, wipes, formula), all gift cards, prepaid cards, school & office supplies (paper & art supplies), Pharmacy (including OTC), Sweet JOJO, Target Photo, Apple, video games and consoles, contract mobile phones, books, magazines, music, digital entertainment, One Spot, Hardlines, sports and fitness equipment (bicycles, team equipment, indoor and outdoor recreation, etc.), grocery (food, beverage, fruit, meat, produce, frozen items, soda, coffee, candy, snacks, dairy, bread and baking supplies, sushi, deli, liquor, beverages, household commodities, etc.), pets, health, personal care and beauty items (cosmetics, hair care, etc.), Starbucks, Target Cafe & Pizza Hut Express are not eligible for SB.

Basically, nothing at all is eligible! about the only thing that would qualify would be clothing. Oh well, I still get 5% savings using my red card, so that helps.

I just saw a pic come across Facebook of my 4 cousins. The last time I saw one of my cousins (she is a twin) was in 2009. Holy moly! She must weigh 300 pounds now. She was always a regular sized woman. My mom has talked to my aunt (her mom) off and on and she said that after her divorce (which was a bit before 2009, if I recall) she has just gone downhill into depression. But I didn't realize the weight gain, too.  I guess she lives with her mom and they live in a super tiny apartment and cousin doesn't work anymore. Very sad. I'm glad she has her mom to be with. Her twin and brothers don't live near them.

Linda (Practical Parsimony) asked for more pics of lights and decorations. Here are a couple. I still need to try to get some good indoor pics

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Decorating day

Whew! The lights are up and the house is decorated. It took us both just about all day. At least it was warmer outside this year, so DH didn't freeze trying to do it all. My new tree was a job. Sure, it all drops down when you get the parts set up, but then you have to separate all the individual branches. And I'm OCD when it comes to them all being perfect, so it took me like 2 hours just to do all that (and by then my back was killing me being bent over the branches). But, at least I didn't have to put lights on it. LOL. I really like the tree and it's nice having a green tree again (used a white one with blue and silver decorations for last several years). I don't think I ever would have spent $400 for it though!

I have 4 big bins of decorations (plus a few other items here and there in closet, cupboards). I was happy that, with my new sofa table DH made me this past year, I now had somewhere to put some of my Christmas village houses. It always makes me sad when I get to the box that has our Christmas stockings in it and then I have to see the one with our son's name. Then it makes it hard to enjoy decorating the rest of the house/tree. I need to just start remembering to do the stockings last, I guess. There are quite a few ornaments with his name, he made as a kid, or the Hallmark ones my mom got every year commemorating his age. I think I will just put them in their own box, when I clean up this year. I gave DD all of her Hallmark ones. I put one of his on the tree, just to remind me of the good years we had with him, even though it really makes me sad, rather than remembering the good times.

I decided to put the Christmas bedding in the guest room this year. It's supposed to be a king sized duvet, but it's always been too small for my king sized comforter, so I tried it on the queen one in the guest room. It fits pretty prefect. Now DD and BF will have a holiday themed room to sleep in.

I keep the Christmas bedding in a plastic zippered bag the normal bed set came in, but it still smelled a bit musty (and I washed it last year before I put it in there) so I washed it all up, while I was decorating the rest of the house.

DH got lights up along the fence and the front of the house. Half of his time was spent finding the burned out lights. They'd work, he'd get a string up and then it wouldn't work. Same thing every year, right? I told him to leave the top of the porch railing, as the pre-lit garland I ordered should be here next week.  Later than night he got a text from our neighbor friend across the street that said "nice lights".

We both got done around 3:30 and then DH came inside and put my bins and tree box back in hiding and we both just ached and pained, me on the couch and him in his chair for awhile. I know his back and legs were killing him. At least dinner was nice and easy. Heat up leftovers of turkey and the rest of the sides. It tasted even better than yesterday, I think. Something came up about grocery shopping and going to the city and I said we do kind of need to go - it's been two weeks. DH was like no it hasn't! I said yep, it was 2 weeks ago. Last weekend we went in for the vet visit. We still haven't decided if we'll make the trip this weekend. It won't be today. As of now, neither of us feel like going. I might just stock up with what I need for 2 weeks at the local store, this time. We have enough soda and water for at least a couple weeks, so I'll just need mostly dinner stuff.

I have some old bananas and I set out some butter to soften, so maybe this afternoon I'll feel like making a loaf of banana bread. I'm still missing the pumpkin pie to eat. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Turkey goodness

We have a very quiet little Thanksgiving, just the two of us.  DD Facetimed me in the morning (right as I was stuffing stuffing up the birds butt!) and we had a nice chat and I got to see her nicely set table. My mom also gave her nice set of white dishes to DD. Her BF wanted to cook their turkey in his new smoker, so I guess they got that going at like midnight the night before.  She sent me a pic of it...oh my. it looks pretty charred/black (which she laughed about) but said inside it was very tasty. He had stuffed it with apples and onions or something like that. She also said not a peep from BIL's sister (or mom) about her Christmas decorations LOL

We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and the usual trimmings. I did not make a pumpkin pie this year, since DH won't eat it and I do not need to eat a whole pie to myself. But later last evening, I was really wanting a slice of pie :( The turkey turned out nice and juicy. It was done earlier than I expected, but no big deal since it was just the two of us. We weren't on any time schedule.

We watched a movie on Amazon. Allied, with Brad Pitt. Eh. It was ok, nothing great. Honestly, I've never really much cared for any of his movies, other than Money Ball. It pretty much rained all day. Thankfully today is dry and we'll get started on our Christmas decorating. DH will do the outside and I'll do the inside. I'm excited to put up my new tree I bought on sale last winter. The one that cost $400 at Kohls and I got it for like $57 (or something like that, I can't remember now exactly how much).

I did a bit of online shopping yesterday. I really wanted to stock up on DH's Wrangler jeans that were on sale at Walmart for $10, but of course they were out of his size in every wash/color but one. He prefers the dark or medium wash, but I did order one pair of light wash. I also ordered him some sweatpants. For myself I got a $10 pair of jeans and a jean shirt that is fleece lined inside. Should keep me warm this winter. I also ordered him 4 of his favorite old movies (one of them is MoneyBall) to put in his stocking and while DD and BF are here over Christmas we can watch them. I also ordered 4 of the pre-lit garland that Lowe's had on sale for $5 each. I had a $25 Walmart gift card from swagbucks, so I used that on my Walmart purchase and only had to pay about $30 out of pocket. Speaking of Swagbucks, I placed that Target order a week or so ago and got zero points for it. It shows I placed the order, but says 0 points. I wonder why.

Well, off to decorate........

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Our town newspaper (weekly) ran "How to Cook a Turkey" by the local 3rd graders.  Here are a few of my favorites :)

First skin the turkey. (Cut the head off). Beware of blood spilling on new floors. Make a hole inside turkey. Stuff with carrots, onions, and celery. Cook for six hours.

Hey Dad I see a turkey can I shoot it? Yes you can, bang so we took it home so we can pluck it and gut it and after that we will put it in the ovin for 6 hours. There is your turkey.

Put the turkey in the pressore cooker. Cook it for 60 minutes. Then take it out and dump it in the oil machine for two seconds. The put salt on it than put in in the pressore cooker for 20 minutes and then then it out of the pressor cooker. Then there is your turkey ready to eat.

Who knew we've been doing all wrong all this time LOL

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 20, 2017

Getting in the Christmas spirit

The days just seem to be flying by. I can't even get a grip on getting ready for Christmas. I'll have to do most of my shopping online, but even that I feel like I don't have enough time. Maybe with this long weekend after Thanksgiving I will get in gear.  I did send DD a list of gift ideas for DH....I was sitting here the other day at my computer, while he was at his, and all of a sudden he started rattling off gift ideas, so I wrote them all down. Now I need to send her my list. I have most of it written in a "note" in my ipad. It should be easy to send to her and yet I still haven't done it. Plus she has only give me 2 ideas for herself and none for her BF. I told her I need a better list!

I know most of the Black Friday ads are out online and the only one I've even looked at is Lowes. I'm going to order a few of their 9' lighted garlands that will be on sale for $4.98 (reg. $11.98). I can use them out along our front porch rail and then in our new house I can use them on the stairs banister.  I did quickly look at Walmart's ad. Honestly, most all the stores ads are nothing I ever usually buy as gifts anyway. My goal will be to try and get all my online shopping done this weekend.

I do see things in the ads (big ticket type items) we would need for the new house, but it's too early to buy and we just don't have the storage space anyway.

Had a bit of fun on Facebook with DD and another friend yesterday. This is basically DD's first Christmas in her house. They moved in a week before xmas last year so were still unpacking. No tree, no decorations. So, being the girl she is (loves to decorate and loves xmas) she is gung ho to decorate all out. She had just ordered some xmas stockings for her, BF, dog and cat. Two of them arrived last week and she laid them on the back of her couch, snapped a pic and posted it on Facebook about how excited she was to decorate for xmas.  Her BF's sister makes a comment "Brother, you have Christmas decorations in your house before Christmas! with a shocked face emoticon." DD texted me "oh the horror! I took a pic of some xmas stockings" LOL. Weekend before last my mom gave her all her xmas houses. She's been trying to decide where she is going to put them and finally figured where (and a plug in for the lights in houses) so she decided just to mess with her BF's sister (when she comes for Thanksgiving dinner) she'd display them now, along with the stockings hanging above on the stair banister,  and posted it on Facebook. Of course she got several likes and a few comments. About 15 minutes later BF's sister makes a post on her own wall with a meme about decorating before xmas and a comment in her own words about she loves the season but it shouldn't start until after Thanksgiving. I was texting a friend who LOVES Christmas more than anyone I know and told her about BF's Christmas Killer sister (dd's words). She started tagging DD in Christmas decor posts (she's already started decorating, too) and DD just kept decorating even more LOL.  She has a nice big window ledge above her kitchen sink and put some lights and decor with a comment "and while I'm cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner, I'll enjoy my lights" LOL.  Not a peep out of BF's Grinch sister.  My friend texted me "maybe her heart will grow 3 sizes while being there at Thanksgiving" hahaha!

I gave our pooch his second ear drops treatment yesterday after dinner. He really doesn't seem much better today. Ear is still kind of red and she's shaking his head still. I can't even tell if I'm getting the medicine in his ear too much or too little. You have to put the bottle long tip down in his ear and "lightly" squeeze 8 times/drops, but you can't see if it's going in or not. I'm a terrible nurse.