Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Let me spend your money

DD and her BF no sooner get home and his mom is telling them they still owe her for their share of the hotel (they shared a room). I'm thinking to myself "it's bad enough you had to spend a week with them, but then you also had to share a room? Yikes!" LOL. DD and BF are so mad, because they know they already paid her for it all up front, including the room. DD said when they checked in they ended up getting a discount that got credited to parents credit card, so if anything SHE owes them half the discount! BF's mom nickels and dimes him to death and spends money "for" him without asking and then expects him to pay for it. DD and BF just bought a house, might not be flush with cash right now, you know?

For example, BF has a dog he's had for 5-6 years. They won't let him take the dog to live with him, but he still has to pay for everything for the dog, which is fine with BF, but his mom never consults him on anything for the dog and then just tells him he suddenly owes her hundreds of dollars. She took him in for his annual check up (no reminder to BF that it was time, so be prepared for a bill) then in addition to his check up she goes ahead and has them do dental cleaning - and then tell's BF he owes her like $500 or $600. (after BF and DD just bought a home security system). Maybe she could have asked him if he could afford that right now, or maybe they could've waited another month or two to have the dental work done, instead of one huge bill all at once that he wasn't expecting. Last year she let some girl "borrow" the dog to do some agility 4-H thing. BF didn't want her to, told her no, but mom let the girl take the dog anyway. Dog ended up getting hurt and needing surgery, but there was a couple of options on how to heal him up. He told his mom which one he was willing to pay for and she went ahead and calls him up while she's at the vet (getting the expensive option done) and telling him he needs to give them his credit card # and pay for it. It cost him like $1500. I guess his dad is kind of the same way.

Two years ago he wanted to move out (was turning 25) and buy a townhouse. They basically talked him out of it because they needed his rent money to make ends meet! It was shortly after that that BF put in for a different job/promotion that was in a different city. It took about 6 months but he got the job and had (more like "got"!) to move about 90 minutes from them and finally cut the umbilical cord, at least as far as directly having to help support them.

DD is like me - tight with her money and likes to budget and know where it's all going. Having a MIL (someday) draining their money isn't going to fly too well with DD, I can tell you that.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Catching up from the long weekend

The rest of the weekend was kind of not doing much.  We did do some yard work in the morning. I gave all our new bushes/trees a drink of miracle grow, while DH sprayed for pests/ants around the house. Sunday evening we did go for a short drive to see if we could see any elk or deer feeding (we did). I finished my book and started another one. We watched a movie Sunday night. We didn't go to the city - wanted to avoid the crowds and stop spending all the money we spend every time we go in there.

The neighbors had a party Sunday afternoon/night and yesterday all day it was kinda of just grand central station there. They weren't having another party, but at one point yesterday afternoon there were 9 cars parked at their house (including their own). We LOVE our little covered front porch and have been trying to enjoy it, with this nice weather, but kind of hard with all the chaos going on right next door on a regular basis. Between all the people, kids, and the renter guy cutting and grinding metal all weekend, it's not exactly peaceful. Plus, it was in the 80's all weekend and it was nice to sit outside in the covered porch shade. We need some comfortable cushioned chairs though! We have this old cedar two seater that gets the butt sore after awhile LOL. We did get two perfectly blissful hours on Sunday afternoon, while they were all at daughter's graduation ceremony. We even heard a wolf howling several times up in the hills nearby.

DH spent more time out there sitting than I did, as I got tired of listening to constant yelling at kids to don't do this or do that, while kids screamed and cried. They can't really see us sitting out there (unless they walk out farther into their driveway) because we have a big covered BBQ sitting at the end of our porch, blocking the view. DH was sitting out there Saturday evening, with the dogs at  his feet and the wife was on her cell phone ranting F--- this and F-that to someone about how she can't afford to live in the city (where the guy commutes to) and she already spends enough money commuting to work (she's working graveyard now, with about an hours drive to another town, it sounds like).

Between that overheard and another comment to DH, it appears they must have gotten their letter from the developer.  All last week in the evenings there was a young man removing the siding from the city/county service building that is behind us on the other side of the alley. DH had chatted with him a couple of the evenings while he was outside watering. I was outside the first night. Super nice young guy. He offered to remove the siding for free and then they are letting him keep the old siding, which he's going to use to fix up the little house he bought. Anyhow, DH was outside playing with our dogs and this young man and two older gentlemen were standing at the back of the building, I guess looking at young man's progress. DH walked over to say hello and before he could say anything one of the older guys pipes up "oh oh, here comes the home owner's association". (okay, the renters got the letter) so DH just laughs and says "no complaints from me if you are fixing it up putting new siding on........I was just coming to say hey, someone stole all your siding!"  He didn't bother to tell the guy that the HOA wasn't our idea or plan, but we sure agree with it.

Other than overhearing the wife talking about not affording to move and that comment to DH, it appears nothing is going on over there in anyway related to either cleaning up all their junk, nor packing up to move out. We haven't heard anything from the developer that he's gotten any response back yet from the homeowner. Yesterday afternoon we were sitting on our porch having some ice cream and their 9th vehicle pulled up and parked in the street. It's a friend of the wife, regular visitor. Her son (another regular, who half lives there) had just pulled up in his truck and parked on the shoulder. He said "mom, you can't park in the street,  you can't block cars coming through". Her reply was "they can kiss my ass".  So he got in her truck and moved it to the shoulder. I know he is trying to be respectful of the laws because he works at the sheriff's dept and has been told. He's the same one that stood there with his mouth open in surprise, while the other guy tried to swerve into our driveway where our dog had been standing.

DH is on her way home from her Indy 500 vacation and glad to be heading that way LOL.  A week with BF's parents (and 3 others) was probably a bit more than she could take. She was not impressed with the city - said it's a pit, while the business degree side of her wondered how with all the money that is infused into that city from that racetrack, how it's not reflected in the condition of the city. She said she liked the beginning and end of the race (this is from a girl who knows racing) but got so bored during the middle she was about to fall asleep, so she had to get up and take a walk.  She said the racers are complete snobs. After the race they went to the pits and walked around. She said not one racer was nice to a fan. They stood behind their dark sunglasses, not smiling or talking while they signed autographs. She said the one female driver had a little girl getting her autograph and you could just tell the little girl idolized her and the driver couldn't even smile or say hello to her while signing. BF's parents are close minded who only want to talk politics (or about their work) and no one can have a different opinion. She said while they were out to dinner after the race, the other couple that was with them all was asking DD about her job, etc and the guy commented to DD something along the lines that all these high school kids who think they should be getting $15 an hour, when BF's mom butts in and says "well, they should get that. People having to work two jobs, blah blah blah." Then DD (which she never does around them) gave her opinion and the other guy started to say he agreed and his parents didn't even let him finish his point before they were interrupting him and ranting on about how wrong they are. I'm pretty sure there will be no more family vacations, LOL.

DH is happy that his new friend/neighbor across the field will be home tonight or tomorrow from his two weeks at work. His wife was gone all last week, as she helps with the 6th grade camp the kids always do. Next weekend is a car show in the area, and we will probably go look at the cars. Trying to talk our friend who lives about a half hour away to bring his old 1950's car.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Flea market fun

We had a fun day. Went to the big flea market that is going on this weekend in a neighboring town. We went fairly early (before 10am) so it wasn't too crowded yet, but was sure getting that way when we left a couple hours later. Lots of booths ('d say over 100) and we enjoyed looking at everything. We each bought a couple of things and a gift for our daughter.  DH bought a couple of antique things - an old grinder that was just like his mom used to use when he was a kid and she had him grind up peanuts for this dessert she used to make. And he bought an old wooden pulley. I bought a metal rooster bell and a metal rooster for the yard (ok, I am officially done buying anymore rooster stuff!). We bought our DD a wood wine bottle holder that also holds (and came with) 2 wine glasses.

We saw lots of other stuff we really liked, but they cost in the hundreds, so that wasn't in our budget right now. We both had cash in our wallets and I spent $45 and DH spent $40 and the gift for DD was $15. It was nice 70 degree weather and just right for walking around. Surprisingly DH really enjoyed it, he was surprised himself. In the old days that is not anything he would have enjoyed going to me with.  We stopped at the little burger stand and got a burger and milkshakes for lunch and then drove the back roads home. Saw a sign for an antique store, so we stopped in there too. Nice little store and both of us really liked the antique wall telephone (I can't remember now how much it was, but too much for me right now) and outside on her porch she had this antique cast iron pot bellied stove. It was $300, which for that I didn't think was a bad price (again, just not something I have room for right now or want to spend that kind of money on right now) but thought it would look really cool on our covered patio when we build our house.

We were both tired when we got home and took naps.  I've just been reading a good book this weekend "Tell The Wolves I'm Home". Hard to put down. I'm sure I'll finish it this weekend.  DH might go up into the woods with a friend on Monday and help him cut some firewood.

Friday, May 26, 2017

What not chatter

June is going to be an expensive month. In addition to DH having a birthday. A niece is graduating college and another is getting married. The graduate I will just send a check, I think.  The wedding I will have something sent from one of their registry's.

Yesterday we received our copies of the developer's letters to the homeowner and renters, so they should have their's in their mailboxes too.  He sent their's certified so he will know if/when they get them. Every time DH goes to mow the lawn he has to pick up a bunch of rocks out of our yard next to the fence between us. Isn't that nice? I told DH to just start putting them in a bucket and then next time one of them is outside say "hey, you want your rocks back?" The guy was outside until at least 2:30am making noise in his driveway/garage - left work at 6am. Again, I ask - how can someone stay awake like that on a regular daily basis?  DH was out watering the front lawn after I left for book club last evening. One of our dogs was standing near the edge of our driveway, a few feet from DH. A friend (regular visitor/stays overnight alot) of the renters had pulled up and parked on their shoulder and another truck pulled up next to him on the street and they talked for about 10  minutes. DH said when the truck in the street started to leave he turned around to make sure our dog was not in the street (he wasn't) but still called him over to him anyway. The guy (don't even know who he is) literally swerved toward our driveway like he wanted to see if he could hit the dog or something. DH said he did a double take like "WTH?!!" and turned back and looked at the kid who had parked on their shoulder (he was still there) DH said he was standing there with his mouth open and DH just kinda stood there looking at him and then he kinda shyly waved his hand at DH and then DH said "Hi Cody, how are you doing?" (DH has talked to him before) and he was like "uh....good....." It was like he didn't know what to make of what that guy just did either.  So, it's going on our growing list of notes that the developer has asked us to keep, if he needs to go to court on this home owner.

DD is trying to enjoy a vacation with her BF. LOL.  They are at the Indy500...for a whole week!....with his parents and another couple that are friends of his parents.....Day 2 DD was already texting me that she's ready to come home. It's hard to vacation on other people's time schedules. They flew out at midnight and didn't get there until like 9am (connecting flight/layover). She had basically no sleep for 30 hours and the next day they really didn't have set plans, just some sight seeing and they wanted to get started at 7am. She's like omg. I haven't slept in over 30 hours and then I'm supposed to get up like at 6am? when we have all do to just putt around and no real plans? Then it rained all morning yesterday and they wanted to buy tickets to the dirt track race for that evening. She told them, no - just wait - it's going to get canceled. They were all like "no, the rain is supposed to stop by evening, it will be fine". She's like I grew up at dirt tracks, this ain't my first rodeo.  It won't be able to dry out in time to race.  She was right - it got cancelled. LOL

Plus she said the hotel is awful. The parent's friends booked it. I looked it up and it's only a 2 star, so no wonder. If you are traveling with a group and want to make sure everyone is at least a bit comfortable, at least pick a 3 star - especially when you have to stay there for a whole week.

Last night was book club. A more manageable amount of 8. A very good book that we all loved: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  Carpooled with a couple other ladies and got to listen to the small town gossip. Again, another one who cannot stand (and she works for him) the son of our crabby old neighbor on the other side of the alley. So far, have not heard one person say something nice about him, LOL.

I don't know what we are going to do this weekend. There's a big flea market in a neighboring town all weekend. Trying to talk DH into going to that.  Most likely we'll take another drive exploring the area. Weather is supposed to be super nice for the next week.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


We had some various visitors yesterday, keeping us entertained. The first was this guy trying to figure out how to use a hummingbird feeder

Then this gal (and she had a buddy with her) stopped by for a bite to eat around lunch time

And later our alley bunny was busy making his rounds

Earlier in the day DH had been perusing Craigslist or something for "stuff" for sale in our area. He came across on old vintage push mower and said he's always wanted one - just to have for fun or display. It was $25, so he messaged the guy and we went over to his place after dinner. DH started to give him the $25 and he says "oh, $20 is fine - since you came and picked it up" LOL. So now we have this

From what we could find out based on the mfg name on it, probably made in the 1940's and originally sold for about $36. It came out of some stuff the guy is finding from property he bought last Fall that was originally the first hotel in our town, ran until the 1980's.  For now it's going to sit in our rock garden, next to the wheelbarrow full of flowers. Nice young man who sold it to us, and he and his wife/girlfriend are putting a lot of effort into restoring the property and buildings.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Renter neighbor issue update

Ooooh! The renter neighbor issue is about to come to a turning point, I think. It's no longer just us complaining to the home owner, which I think will make a huge difference. The developer (he still owns the 6 vacant lots here) has forwarded us copies of the letters he has just sent out certified to the home owner and the renters. If she (the lady that own's the house) doesn't take this seriously, I'd be surprised. He wrote very good, thorough letters on letterhead from his engineering/development business.

She got a 3 page letter, outlining all the violations and the fact that he and the previous owners of our house (of which he made mention to her that he was also part owner of, prior to selling to us), have been dealing with this the past several years. Numerous complaints. He told her he has lost sales of his properties because people are concerned over the condition of all the junk at and around her house. He said off an on they have also used his property to store their junk on (seen as late as last week, when he was in town) and that is to cease immediately, unless they first have permission.

Basically, he nailed her/renters for violating just about every covenant there is. He listed the covenant and then in bold listed examples of how it's being violated. That they appear to not be using it for a single family residence, based on the number of cars parked there on a regular/nightly basis. It appears 8-10 people are living there. (for sure 8, often times 9). Nusiance: the hammering, pounding, impact hammering, revving engines late and night and into the early morning hours. Maintenance and Upkeep: he stated there has been a junked vehicle in the driveway for months with the driveline laying on the ground, as well as other parts. Your home is being used for the long term repair of vehicles in the garage and driveway. This renter is involved in repairs to vehicles that is more than just a hobby. No business will be conducted in the subdivision that would necessitate the storage or resale of material: the renter has been storing vehicles, trailers, bbq's and other types of junk on the property and at times on my adjacent property. Miscellaneous: this is where he told her to keep their junk off of his adjacent property Then he listed a couple of town regulations that are being violated as well: parking in the driving lane of the street, as well as disturbing the peace.

I especially liked how, for the most part, he mostly used examples from prior to us owning the house, not mentioning us very much, other than to say, it appears your renter is continuing the same behavior with the new owners of the house next door, going as far to tell them he knows how to make people's lives miserable, as he did with previous owners.

Some of the examples of the violations, at the end of the paragraphs, he said "this offensive activity will stop immediately" "The longer term repair of vehicles and the storage of junked vehicles needs to cease immediately". At the end he gave her 7 days to resolve or he will be seeking other alternatives to resolve this matter.

DH had tried to call her again on Monday morning and had to leave a message. So he basically said if it's not resolved we will be seeking legal counsel to enforce the covenants. Of course, she didn't return his call.

The letter he wrote to the renters was a totally different tact, which I found interesting. He introduced himself and said he used to be part owner of our house with the previous owners and he also owns the 6 vacant lots in the subdivision. He said he is retiring soon and moving back to the town and possibly might have plans to build himself a house on the lot adjacent to the home they rent, but at a minimum, he plans to get going on building homes in this subdivision to sell. He also said over the past few years he has received numerous complaints about them from several different people in the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhood regarding his storage of salvage vehicles, etc. He said he has passively overlooked these violations, but has no plans to anymore, as he progresses with the completion of this development. He also told them he will be forming a Home Owner's Association to ensure the compliance of the covenants for the protection of his investment, their landlords investment and the investment of future homeowners. Basically he was telling them "I'm back and involved and your crap is done".

He sent these letters certified, but did not have the PO Box number for our renters, so he just sent it General Delivery and with their street address. I'm pretty sure this town is small enough that it will get to their PO Box. Hopefully, they get the copy. For sure the lady that owns the house will get her letter (as well as a copy of the letter sent to the renters).

It will be very interesting to see what all ends up happening in the next week and from here forward. He said the letters should arrive by tomorrow. From meeting him a couple of times now, he seems like a very serious type of guy and not one to be pushed around. Unless she is a wealthy woman (and I don't think she is if she was worried about having to spend money if they trashed her house getting them to move out) then I cannot see where she would want to have to pay double attorney's fees, if she ended up getting sued by two other property owners. Her attorney having to respond and deal with 2 different attorneys would cost her twice as much as just one of us suing her, I would think.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Guess what?! I'm going to be a grandma. No, not DD......she has a brain in her, it's the know the one who can't even support himself? So, his 33 year old girlfriend, of 2 or 3 months, he lives with, is pregnant (she already has one no father in the picture 9 year old kid). Ya, great. A grandchild we'll never get to see or know.  Just peachy news, eh? I guess about all's we can do is pray for that innocent baby, who will be born to a cigarette smoking and pot smoking momma (and dad). Sad.

Our renter neighbor found a "work around" solution to his landlord telling him he can't park his junk at the house or on the vacant lot next door, owned by the developer guy. Friday night they were mowing the neighbor lady's yard who lives behind us in the we know "why". He's apparently told her he'd mow her foot tall lawn in exchange for being able to park his trailer and junk truck on her property! LOL. He even got to use her water (apparently she's on a well system) and pressure wash it on her lawn! What a deal he's got going. haha.

Nice weather in 80's past few days. I added a few plants. I finally got some herbs for my two vintage tea tins to put in the kitchen window ledge. I think I should get one more tin.  I also found this cute succulent bowl at Lowes, while we were there picking up some screws and more grass seed. The empty picnic table needed something on it. Hopefully I don't kill the plants!

Parsley and peppermint. The peppermint smells good, too.

I have a department at work annoying the heck out of me. What should be basic, repetitive type requests for PO's and invoices have constantly become a series of emails I have to send because they don't supply me with the info I need or are only giving me partial info.  One girl is new, so she gets a complete pass, but the other has been there for years and knows the drill.  Don't send me a customer PO to order some parts for and not give me the ship to address. Just dumb. Or she'll give me the name of the company it ships have 3 branches, which one? Not to mention it's not my job to have to look up the address, it's hers! I just politely email back "can you give me the ship to address, please". I got one request today to invoice a customer for some service work. But the customer PO doesn't match what's in our system for the service dollar amount. So, I have to email back to clarify which amount I'm supposed to invoice. C'mon ladies....this is basic stuff. Then we recently started regularly ordering this one part from this one vendor. That's all we order from them. One at a flippin time. At first it was me ordering from them to direct ship to our customers (and then I bill our customers for it). Then the dept started pulling the part out of our (very limited) stock to fill the order and telling me to re-order for our stock.... one at a time......I'm like this is completely ridiculous and such an inefficient way to do this. If we are going to start stocking the part to fill the orders, then order a whole bunch at one time and place one big re-order when you are getting low. Not orders for quantity one from them, 3x a day!. I was just about to say something about it to my boss when she called me Monday morning apparently having the exact same thought as me. This is ridiculous. She got together with the ladies in this department and got them on a new plan to order these more efficiently. It's much easier for me to place one order a month, pay one invoice a month, rather than 20 separate orders a month and 20 separate vendor invoices to post and pay.  It will obviously save them a ton of time, too, not having to send me an email 3x a day to place orders.

Monday, May 22, 2017


I'm sick and tired of family right now, so not in the best of moods. Plus, now I'm trying to get caught up on my side job. Finally got fully up and running again Friday took them 3 weeks to figure this out! Did I mention they ("they" is the new IT company my side job company hired could not find the Quickbooks program or company file. So, the IT guy installed the most recent version and since they apparently couldn't find the working file (the one that saves the new data to, each time you use QB) we had to go off of an old backup I did back in February, when I had to send the CPA a file for year end.  The only time I ever do a backup file is when I need to send one to the CPA. They were supposed to be backing this all up on their server nightSo now I have to re-enter/re-create everything since February.  I'm not a happy camper about that either.

Just crawling back in bed for the day sounds like a good plan. Wish I could!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The flower photo :)

Look! I got a "the photo" of the flowers I sent my mom. LOL.

Very pretty! (they were FTD, and I will definitely use them again). She got the flowers on a Friday and the buds weren't open yet, then she was gone from Saturday until like Monday or Tuesday, so this photo was taken on Tuesday. DD got "messenger" installed on her ipad. I told her to try the password with the first letter capitalized, and that worked. DD showed her how to send a message and I sent one back so she could see what a notification looked like. DD later said to me that she's pretty sure Grandma really didn't get it. It's like she wants to learn, but when you start to show her the steps, she's just like not truly paying attention and doesn't want to take the time. She also showed her how/where to make a post on Facebook (which I don't think she's ever done - other than one time by accident. She said happy birthday to someone but posted it on her own wall.  BUT, I did see that last evening she actually made a comment on a post my step sister made thanking everyone for birthday wishes. Progress!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Friday evening sofa time

I got to spend the evening to myself last night, a nice rare treat. DH took his buddy and his son to watch some dirt track races that were about 3 hours drive each way (yikes). Sounds like they had fun and DH got home at like 2am.

I plopped my butt on the couch and started binge watching Bosch on Amazon, again. I had only got through the first 2 episodes the last time I had time to watch. I think I still have one or two more to go now. For dinner I heated myself up some frozen egg rolls and made some rice in my rice cooker. I couldn't remember the water to rice ratio, so I googled it and both examples I glanced at said 1 to 1. Apparently that's not right for my cooker because the rice wasn't quite done enough. I think now I remember it was maybe 1.3 to 1 or something like that. I guess next time I'll google my actual brand of rice maker.

I talked with DD a bit on the phone, too. I use her Amazon prime account sometimes and couldn't get into it yesterday, as it wanted me to enter a code that was emailed. She got the code and called to tell me. We also discussed her helping Grandma (who's going to visit her today) with her ipad and how to send/post a photo. I'm like seriously - show her how to make a post on Facebook and write it down for her. LOL.  We both agreed that DD wasn't even going to explain to her how DD will have to enter her home wi-fi password, while Grandma is there, to use internet with it. I said just add your password and get it going - if you try to explain "wi-fi" to her she will not understand. When her BF moved she couldn't use her ipad to access her email and Facebook at his new place. I tried so hard to explain that he has different internet service and she has to enter his password in the "wi-fi" section of her ipad. Pretty sure she never did get it set up. She thinks it's her email password or something. I told her that she pays Century Link for her internet service, right? Yes, she gets that. Ok, well, they gave you a password to access that internet service, so only you can use it, not your neighbors, too. "Oh, well I have no idea what that password is or where I would have saved it." When you go to someone else's house they have different internet service/password that you have to enter in order to use your ipad. So, we are going to try the written down instructions and see if that can help her. We also both agreed that we will keep agreeing with her that she really does not need a smart phone for anything..........or she'll end up with a phone she can't figure out how to use.

I think DH and I might go into the city on Sunday. He needs some new saw blades and screws and the feed store has our dog food on sale, so it would be a good time to get 2-3 more bags. I think we have one left. I think he'll probably be too tired to go today, after all that driving yesterday and the lateness in getting to bed. He's still asleep now.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bird watching

with putting the bird feeders and bird water-er (is that a word?) out in our backyard we are seeing lots of variety of birds. I like to know what they are (except for the damn crows, I already know what they are!) but it's kind of hard to figure out.

One is a small-ish black bird with a bright red stripe on it's wings. So I googled that description and what do you know - the bird is called a "red-winged blackbird" (how original!). The google page also showed pictures of the female "red-winged blackbird", which looks absolutely nothing like the male bird. It's brown in color, but describes a bunch of other birds I've seen just like them.  There's another bird I've seen a few times that is a pretty blue. I have no idea what that is (not a bluejay, like we used to see at our old house).

This picture doesn't show the red in the wing, looks more yellow (there is a little yellow, too). But I'm pretty sure the other birds must be the females. I also listened to the distinctive sound they make online and definitely it's them.

The hummingbird feeder attached to my office window is a busy place and I'm seeing what looks like about 4 different kinds of hummers. From my googling it looks like I'm getting Calliope, Roufus, Anna, and maybe Broad-tailed. They are so fast, and they seem to change color as they move, so it's been a bit harder for me to learn to identify what they are.

At my old house I loved listening to the mourning dove up in a tree nearby. They sound like a owl. DH swears he's hearing them here, but while it does sound like an owl hooting (during the day) it doesn't sound like the mourning dove call. But, we have seen some birds at our bird feeder that look just like them, so maybe they just sound a bit different here? The call is "ahoooo....hooo-hooo-hooo" and these birds just do "hooo-hooo-hooo"  Funny, DH's neighbor buddy said the other day that he's up really early and keeps hearing what sounds like an owl hooting in the morning and said he's never ever heard them before. DH told him what we think they are and that I must have brought them with me, LOL.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Please pay for the stuff I want

My new Pet Peeve. Seems everyone's new thing is to set up a GoFundMe account so they can get what they want, without having to pay for it themselves.  There's even been a few recently among people I know.  DD's boyfriend's sister. She wanted to go study abroad for a semester. Had zero money, so she set up a gofundme to get everyone else to pay for it. After she only received about $100 in donations, she gave up.

Now it's my niece trying to fund her life choices, so she can go get her master's degree in another state., I'm not giving you money for that! Maybe take out a student loan, so you cover your tuition and living expenses. Or here's an even better idea - go get a JOB and WORK for a few years, live with your parents, and save the money yourself, so you can go do it, if you don't want student loans.

Seriously, I do not get this attitude of entitlement. Why is it everyone else's responsibility to pay for your life choices?

It's my DD's pet peeve too, so we just had quite the snarky text messages back and forth about it. At one point I mentioned the above about getting a JOB and WORKing and she texted back "whoa whoa whoa. You CANNOT use the J and W word with people anymore!"  LOL.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Just a simple photo.........

earlier chat with mom a few days ago:
Mom: I wish I could take a picture of the flowers and send it to you.
Flip phone - no pics or texting, which she wouldn't know how to use, even if she did have it.
Last night (it was a 45 minute conversation):
Mom: hey - can I take a picture with my ipad mini and send it to you? The flowers have opened up so pretty.
me: oh, ya, that's a good idea!
Mom: ok, I click on camera? 
it's showing me in the screen
Me: click on the little camera up in the right top corner to change the camera view
mom: oh, ok, got it. Do I just push the red button to take the picture?
me: no, red means you are taking a video, the button should be white
mom: my button is red
me: do you see where it says video, photo, square?
mom: no there is nothing like that on my screen
me: (looking at my own ipad mini) it should be right below the button to take the picture
mom: no, I don't see anything like that. Just a little camera up in the corner
me: ya, that's the camera you just tapped to change the view so the camera wasn't looking at you
me: hmmm...ok, well I guess your button is red so tap it to take picture
mom: ok, I think it took, now what?
me: now open photos.(which of course I had to explain how to do)
mom: ok I see it
me: do you have Facebook messenger?
mom: do I have what?
me: ok, open Facebook
mom: oh ya, there's this thing about I have messages but I don't know how to read them..
me: ok, tap on that then
mom: messenger has moved do you want to install?
me: yes
mom: it says "get"
me: Yep, tap on that to install it
then a whole long conversation about why it's not installing.
mom: do I tap on info?
me: no GET, then install. Ok, lets try this. do you send emails from your ipad?
mom: well,  you know I'm not sure if I ever have
me: ok, open your email compose an email and type in my email address. ok do you see a paperclip thing?
mom: no, just a plus sign
me: ok, well you need a paperclip because that's how you attach the photo in the email
ok, let's try messenger again
this time install works, but of course pops up she needs to enter her apple id password
which of course she does not know.
mom: it might be on one of my slips of paper........
me: that's why I try to use the same password for everything
mom: oh, well maybe I used xxxx9999 (not her real password LOL)
me: try that
mom: no, it's invalid
me: it might need a capital X, my apple password starts with an uppercase
mom: oh ok, let me try that. Does the arrow in black with the line mean it's caps?
me: well that means your caps lock is on, all the letters will type cap, just  tap it once to make it solid black with no line under it and type the X
mom: well, I can't get it to work. is the arrow solid?
me: when the arrow is not filled in it's lower case - your keyboard shows lower case letters. When you tap it once to make it black it's upper case, your keyboard changes to uppercase. When you tap it twice it locks the keyboard in uppercase.
mom: well, I can't get it to work
me: ok, let's just have you make a post on your facebook and I can see it that way. open facebook again
mom: well, it's on something weird, I don't know what all this is. Settings something.
me: tap on newsfeed. near the top, above everyone's posts, do you see "what's on your mind" next to your photo? (Every single time I have tried to help  her with Facebook over the phone, I swear I cannot figure out what she is looking at - nothing she relays to me is anything like I see on Facebook)
mom: no, don't see that. I see my friend liked something about a bear with bees
me: ok, right above that it doesn't say "what's on your mind"?.
mom: no it says share photo and check in
me: tap on share photo (whatever that is!)
whatever that was it's not working either
me: ok, try tapping on your name/photo in upper right to go to your wall. do you see "what's on your mind" now?
mom: no, but I see photo
me: ok tap on that
mom: do you want to allow access to your photos?
me: yes, allow
mom: oh, I want to allow? 
me: yes, you do
mom: now it's in settings something about enable photos
somehow she gets to her photos.
mom: ok, I see my flower picture but it's moving
me: that's because you took a video, not a photo, when you see your photo is there an arrow in the middle of it?
mom: yes there is
me: that means you took a video
so back to camera we go to try to take a photo
back and forth again about how she should see "modes" time lapse, video, photo, square. Now, for some reason, she can see the mode options and FINALLY gets it to take a photo
back to Facebook, where she gets same message of allowing photos and she still apparently has absolutely no way to actually make a post on her facebook page
finally she said she would just take it to my DD on Saturday, when she goes to see her new house

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

It's only Tuesday

DH and the neighbor guy across the street have become buddies. He invited DH to go out with him yesterday for a drive up on the logging roads (and bear hunting, if he happened to see anything). DH doesn't hunt, but said for sure he'd love to ride along. This guy has lived here all his life, so he knows all of these roads and even what's off on these even smaller "roads" (more like trails). Lots of old mining camps, ghost towns. Even a few small lakes. At one point they even hiked about a half mile back into an area, where there was an old mine. They were gone about 3 or 4 hours and DH had a great time. No bears were harmed LOL

This guy works out of state, 2 weeks gone, 2 weeks home, so he's about to leave again. His wife works here in town with the school. Of course, small town people gossip quite a bit, so while at dinner with them Friday we did get even more scoop on our crappy renter neighbors, as far as from her perspective of seeing the boy at school and the parents. Now that mom is working a different job and leaving really early, the oldest daughter they moved in a couple of weeks ago appears to be in charge of taking the boy to day last week neighbor gets a call at the school office, from the daughter and said she sounded half asleep...."Umm....I just dropped K off at school but no one was outside?......" Well, that's because school started 40 minutes ago...."umm....well there was no one outside to meet him?". YES, that's because school started 40 minutes ago!. Good grief. Maybe if the dad wasn't waking up the whole street at midnight with all his noise, his kids could get some sleep and wake up in time for school. I think she was late getting him to school again yesterday, too. Ridiculous.

The guy that owns the vacant lots in our subdivision stopped by again yesterday morning. Guess he was still in town. He said he went and talked to some city people. I forget who all he rattled off, but someone about city ordinances (noise, parking, etc) and also county land planner. He said no one wants to help, at least unless we have lots of documentation of what has been going on, so he just wanted to reiterate that we should be keep a log of any problems and any attempts to resolve, etc. First step is he's going to have his attorney write up a letter to send the the home owner and see where that takes us. He's a very serious guy. I'm guessing he's in his 60's. He just retired. His parents still live here in town, but he lives a couple hours away.

DH went for another drive, by himself, last evening. It was like 8pm and I didn't feel like going anywhere. He wanted to see if there were any elk in that spot we tried to find them Saturday evening. He pretty much hit the jackpot. Huge herd of elk, lots of deer, too.  They were all in these big pasture areas.

Yesterday was a partial success in fixing my work computer issues. My boss called up the bill pay service and added me as a co-subscriber. I then called back to tech support. Whatever was in the missing email I was supposed to get was how I activated the account. She walked me through it and it's working now. Bills got paid! I'm just a bit confused though, on the "accounting" of it. The payments come out of our checking GL account, but she had me set up a new GL account for the bill the payments/online checks record under that account, leaving a negative balance on my GL for that account because that isn't the account where we record our money.....hmmm...I ended up linking the "bill pay" account to our checking account in the GL and that basically worked to record the payments out of our checking money. But still looks strange on the chart of accounts. I might have to call back and see if there is a way to just have it recording directly to our checking GL account on the books.

I'm not quite there getting full access for my side job. I at least can finally remote into a desktop they set up for me now. It appears to be the same desktop screen I used before, my saved files were there.....but Quickbooks is totally missing! The guy thought he had it on there, but I said nope. That's just a backup file I had saved last, to send to our CPA. It's not the program, itself. How they cannot find that, I have no idea! But, it's still not resolved. I cannot believe I am on my 3rd week with this problem. I'm really behind now :(

Monday, May 15, 2017

Weekend activities

It was a busy weekend, but still relaxing at the same time. I worked half a day on Friday, but was still hanging around with my phone on me and checking my emails because the IT guy at my side job was still working on getting me hooked up. Still not quite there - at least I now can remote into a desktop....but they haven't figured out where the accounting program is located....(I'm shaking my head LOL)

So, I didn't get my vacuuming done because I was afraid he'd call again and I'd miss it. Then we went out to dinner with our neighbors who live across from us. Very fun and good food. Lots of easy conversation. After dinner they drove us around the area we were at a bit.

Saturday morning I headed out first thing to the city to get all my annual flowers. I went to Lowe's and was getting plants but pretty disappointed in their quality, so I probably only got about half what I needed and then went over to Home Depot, where they had much more and much better quality. I knew the Lowes flowers would be fine once I got them planted and picked off the dead blooms, but it just wasn't filling me with "joy" to pick out pretty flowers when they looked so crappy!  I also got 2 metal trellis's and some clematis, as well as 2 big bags of potting soil. We planted those on the end of our shop out back, next to where we put the picnic table. Might pretty up the metal shop just a bit, haha.

I also stopped at Target to get my prescription and a few dog treats, toilet paper, etc.  Then I went to the grocery store next door and did some grocery shopping, mostly for meats, pop and water.  I forgot my bags for the frozen/cold foods, so I had to pick up a couple more. Oh  well. I had a loaded car heading home around noon.

When I pulled in DH was out on the porch waiting for me, so we could start planting flowers. A couple/few hours later we were done. I was short a few flowers (it's always an estimate, plus this is a whole new planting space for me). The little grocery store in town has a tent with some flowers and veggie plants so I ran over there and picked up a few more petunias, trailing lobelia, and a geranium to finish the last 2 pots.

After dinner on Saturday (I was pooped so we just had soup and sandwiches) we decided to take a drive to see if we could see any of the elk that usually hang out in this field about 8 miles from us. Didn't see any elk, but ended up driving up into the hills and saw some deer. Kept driving up and up about 5 miles (again those dang narrow winding logging roads!) until we got to this view

A nice way to end the day, that's for sure.

Sunday we were expecting some friends to stop by on their way home to the other side of the state, but weren't for sure what time. I got the house cleaned in the morning. Talked to DD on the phone and then friends called and said they'd be here about 2pm or so. We also had the guy that owns the vacant lots in our little subdivision stopping by at 3pm to discuss the renter neighbor issue. He was in town visiting his parents. So, since we were double booked, DH talked to the guy in our dining room, while I visited with the friend in our living room. The guy was here about a half our or so and after he left we took our friends out to dinner and then they headed home, with about a 5 1/2 hour drive ahead of them.

DH kind of got the "back story" as to why this guy hadn't really tried to team up with our previous house owners in taking care of this renter issue - because for them it wasn't just only all the junk vehicles and parts, it was also constant noise late at night (pretty much the only time the renter is home) with grinders running at 2am, etc. Apparently when this guy did up this development he kinda got in a "partnership" with the guy that had our house, who was a home builder. He built the house next door and they sold it to this lady. Then he built this house. He had a loan for the construction and owed this developer for the lot. He then filed bankruptcy and never sold the house, ended up living in it these past 8 years. So, this developer never got his money until this house got sold to us, as he had a lien on it for what was owed to him for the property. So, he wasn't real inclined to help these folks out any, after all that they went through and he never got his money for almost 10 years.

He's now ready to take this on, it seems. He wants to try and get these properties sold and a junky house probably isn't helping him any. He noticed the renter guy had parked one of his trailers on his lot....but also noticed the renter moved the property stake over, so that it looked like he wasn't parked on this guys property! I would have moved it back if I was him, LOL.  He also took some pictures as he was driving away.

After we got back home from dinner we relaxed and watched the movie Sully with Tom Hanks. All in all a good weekend.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Weekend plans

I can't seem to get things to work right with my job this week. I was trying to pay bills online (still using the old bank online billpay method) and I get a few bills entered and then suddenly get an error message from the bank. "try again later". Tried to pay bills 3 times and finally gave up. Thank God it's my half day Friday and this week's almost over! Hopefully I'll have better luck with everything next week, eh?

My afternoon plans consist of vacuuming and whatever else housework I feel like getting done. We are going out to dinner with our neighbors across the street and we are looking forward to that. DH might go bear hunting with him next Monday. That should be an experience for DH, haha! he's not a hunter, but he'll just go along for the ride and company.

I'm going to head into the city first thing tomorrow morning to get some grocery stocking stock up done, pick up a prescription, and get all my annual flowers for planting in pots. I'm sure that will take me all morning, for sure. I'll probably spent Mother's Day planting it all :)

Sunday it sounds like we will have some friends visiting. DH has a friend he grew up with, who now lives on the other side of the state. He called the other morning to see if we will be home on Sunday - they will be passing through on their way back home from a trip, and wanted to stop in and see us. DH and friend are the same - talk talk talk when they get together or on the phone. His wife and I will probably hardly get a word in edgewise LOL. I've only met her once before (new-ish wife) but she seemed kind of like me, a bit on the shy/quiet side. 

Weather doesn't sound too good this weekend and hopefully I can be outside to get my flowers planted.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Crummy work day

I had a phone chat with my boss after I emailed her to ask for details on the company meeting that was held last week. She called me up to give me the scoop. Pretty much what I figured it was about.

Anyhow - good news on the bonus program. They decided to tweak it a bit and do just as I had hoped - base it on the fact that even though gross sales are not at goal, the actual income to the company is on target. If we meet that by end of June we will get 5% of the 15% paid out at that time. If by the end of the year we have met both, we will get the additional 10% paid, or if it's just meeting the income goal, it will be another 5%.  Like I said, they are fair and generous guys, so this doesn't surprise me. Hopefully we can meet this revised goal!

Other than that work has been very frustrating today. I still cannot access my side job remotely. So ridiculous. This morning their IT guy emailed me a "temporary" fix, but I can't get that to work either, so now he's supposed to call me this much ya wanna bet he doesn't call?

Ok, so while I was working on something this IT guy suddenly remotes into my computer! He had me download something yesterday so he could remote in. I assumed once he disconnected we were disconnected unless I gave him permission again - apparently not. After he was done I looked at my emails and see right before he remoted into my computer he sent an email telling me he was ready to remote in and forgot my ph#....So, in the middle of the night him (or someone from his company) could just log into my computer any old time they want to? Um...ya. NO!  I don't even know what this program is (nothing I've ever used when someone is remoting into my computer) called Autotask Endpoint Manager (AEM). I right clicked on it and there is a setting called "privacy mode" that I now have enabled. I googled the program and the privacy mode setting and from what it says if he wants to access my computer again from now on he'd have to request my permission. I hope so. This has me a tad freaked out.

I sent him an email with my ph#, if he needs to call and he emailed back that the temporary fix they had come up with for me to log in isn't going to work, so they are going to have to figure something else out. How hard is it to set up remote access, for goodness sake?!! I've been doing it no problems for 7 years and suddenly it doesn't work anymore? I emailed the guy at my side job office, who sorta takes care of the computer system to let him know what has been going on and that I'm now almost 2 weeks without being able to do any work for them. Hopefully he'll get on this IT company's tail to get this fixed.

Then while I was on the phone with my boss I revisited the online bill pay that I wanted to sign up for, that I had tried just before she went on vacation a few weeks ago, but it needed owner info that I didn't have. I had her on the phone while I enrolled for it online and she was able to answer the security questions. A message then popped up that said I had successfully enrolled and would be receiving an email. (I had used my email address for this very reason). I never got an email and it wasn't in my spam or quarantined mail. I tried to go ahead and log in with the user id and 8 digit pin I had to chose during enrollment and no luck. Finally I called the support number.....

Transferred 4 times. The 4th time was to tech support and the call disconnected during transfer so I had to call again. Finally get someone in tech support. She asks me the same questions to verify who I am/our company, bank account used to set up, etc. (I had already given this 3 other times). Then she tells me "oh, I can't talk to you - I have to talk to the person who's name was used for the enrollment" OMG. I said well she's an owner of the company and doesn't really use Quickbooks so she's not going to be able to figure out what I need answered for using your Bill Pay system! So, now my boss has to call in (and answer all the same questions I've answered 4 times now) and tell them to add me as a "co-subscriber" and then I can call back and talk to them. Good grief.

Not a very good work day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Still working on the nuisance

of course still dealing with the neighbor's, which we don't expect to take care of overnight, but are at least making some progress (or maybe it's more like two steps forward, one step back). It was basically to be expected, that his attitude and actions would increase once the house owner told him to get rid of all the junk. Each night the past few nights he's taking it a bit farther. Saturday night was a pressure washer running for about a half hour after 9pm. Sunday night was the "backyard party" going on until 10:30pm and the lady across the alley flashing her porch light off and on at them. Monday night he was working on his race truck thing in his garage (with garage doors open). About 11pm all of a sudden he starts the thing up (first time we've heard it). Super loud, open headers, no mufflers. Woke me right up. (we are what, like 30 feet apart from each other?) DH was still up. He ran it about 30 seconds and shut it down. DH went out the door on our porch and yelled "hey! c'mon man, it's 11pm". He started it right back up for a bit, shut it down and DH went out again and yelled over " really, that's enough". He never did come outside his garage but started it up a few more times. It would be annoying enough to have to listen to it if he did that during the daytime but at 11pm? and he has little ones sleeping in his house attached to his garage...

All told he started it up like 4 or 5 times between 11pm and 11:30pm. It's hard to explain in writing how loud it was. It's not like he was just starting up a regular vehicle and revving it up. If you've ever been to car races, you know how loud they are - especially when they don't have any exhaust/muffler system on them.It's like rattle the pictures on the walls loud.

So, DH called the sheriff's office to put in a noise complaint. Told them it's not an emergency by any means, but apparently something we're going to have to have to address, as we have discovered the previous owners did too (many times apparently), and we are not going to put up with that going on all the time. A nice young deputy stopped by yesterday. He actually lives just across the street from the corner of our street, so he's familiar with it and also said he's familiar with some of the history of problems with the previous owner of our house. DH said well....then it appears they are the constant in this equation, aren't they? if they bothered the previous owners that bad and now have started doing it to us. DH told him we've been patient with all the problems with this guy for 7 months, but at some point we have to have the covenants followed (most likely a civil matter) and not live next door to a loud nuisance (law matter). He said he would talk to him soon, as he noticed the guy is usually getting home from work about same time he is later in the evening. He said he will also be checking into codes and such to see what they can do if he doesn't comply. He said there might be some city ordinances he can use. DH also told him what the guy said a couple of weeks ago about "knowing how to make people's lives miserable". Deputy said well, I kind of take that as a threat. I said, well at a minimum it was definitely a warning from him that if we start making complaints about him he knows how to make our life miserable. The deputy also said that they may be able to also do something to enforce the covenants and he would check into that avenue more.

He was a sweet nice guy, has a wife and two little ones (I've seen her taking walks with them) and said he had considered buying this house when it was for sale......but....the dispatcher kinda warned him away....because of the neighbor! I told him our situation with buying it, but we plan to build in a year or two. He asked if we were going to sell or rent and I said probably sell because you never know what kind of renter.... I said I had told my husband why couldn't one of you nice young deputy families that live down across the corner have been the ones that lived in this house next door! He said he'd love to rent our place, if we decided to rent and would take excellent care of it (providing the neighbor isn't there anymore LOL). He said they plan to rent here a few more years, but have decided they want to buy a place outside of town when the time comes.

The neighbor across from us, who we are getting to be friends with (and going out to dinner with on Friday) stopped by in front of our house yesterday morning as he was going somewhere (dh was out with dogs) and they chatted some more about this neighbor. He said feel free to pass along to the homeowner when you talk to her that my wife and I are tired of their crap too.

DH got to talk to the homeowner on the phone for a few minutes yesterday morning, but she was at work and got a call coming in and had to tell DH she'll call him back that afternoon (she did not). She said she wants them out of there, but she's now worried they will trash her house. DH did tell her that currently there are 4 adults and 4 children living at the house and the night before another adult stayed the night. She was like "OMG, where do they all fit in there?!"  DH did end up asking her if she covered their water bill or they did....he said I really don't mean to pry, but if you cover it, then I wanted to warn you to expect a huge bill....they have literally been running two sprinklers probably 12 hours a day for 4 days straight. We watered our newly seeded lawn and new plants really good one day before the last meter reading (then luckily we got several days of rain) and our bill was $10 higher than normal, just from that extra one day of watering for about an hour. They are probably running a $40 a day water bill up! We don't get it at all. It's not like the established lawn that they have would even need watering right now. It's not hot out and there's been enough rain off and on. So strange. The only thing we can come up with is they think they are annoying us by the sound of the sprinklers and some of the water coming into our yard? They said the previous owner would get mad if their sprinkler watered her property, so maybe they think it will annoy us? Bring it on....less water I have to pay for LOL! Thanks for watering the little trees I just planted along the fence, haha. Just one of the things that make you wonder....that and how does someone work a full time job all day, then go to another job after work for another 4 hours, come home (a 45 minute drive each way) and stay up in his garage until like 1:30am and then leave for work at 6am the next do you even stay awake doing that day after day, 5 days a week?  (mega amounts of coffee? drugs?)

Early yesterday evening the deputy called. Said he actually called neighbor on his cell phone (small town, easy to obtain, LOL) and talked to him. Said he admitted to running the engine that late. Deputy said he told him he can't be doing that and that they also cannot be parking IN the street anymore. They need to be in their driveway or on the shoulder (they parked in the street because they had their big driveway and shoulder all filled up). He said he also warned him that if the nuisances continue, they will charge him.

Neighbor got home last night at 10pm, left at 6am - barely heard a sound over there and as they had yet again parked a vehicle in the street, it got moved to shoulder.

DH tried to trim our black dogs bushy tail to get some knots out and made it look worse, so when he went to do an errand in town yesterday he stopped at the cute little dog groomer place we noticed and dropped him off there. For $10 whole bucks she spiffied him up nice! She said he's the best behaved flat coated retriever she's ever been around. I guess they aren't usually well behaved? DH also bought a brush she had for sale that works on his type of coat and gave her a $5 tip :)  While pooch was getting trimmed he went over to the county building to talk to the county planner about our property. He had some questions about where the short plat shows the drain field should go (which doesn't really work for us) and had heard this guy is a bit hard to deal with...unless you kinda kiss his that's what DH did LOL DH said they got along fine and the guy was very cooperative and had no problem with where DH said we wanted to put the house and the drain field.

DH still keeps in regular touch with our old "good neighbor". He sent DH a text last night. The water stopped working again last night. The well owner couldn't get a hold of slumlandlord, who usually "fixes" it for her, so she called good neighbor. He went down to the well house/shed (which sits on the corner of her drug house son's property - the one that deals all the drugs out the bedroom window) and said the blackberry bushes were so grown up around the little building he couldn't even get the door open and said obviously no one has even been in this well house since she had the pump replaced a couple years ago. He finally gets the door open and OMG! all the insulation that is in the walls and ceiling was all just hanging there and rotting out. He sent DH a picture. I said oh man, she should so be reported to the county! WE ARE SO GLAD WE DO NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT OR HER EVER AGAIN! I can just hear her now....ohhh..I don't know what to do...I don't have any money for it.....I'm still paying off the credit card charges on the pump 2 years ago.....

Other than that all is fine. I put a hummingbird feeder that sticks to a window on my office window and got to sit and drink my coffee watching a hummingbird this morning. DH had his breakfast out on the porch, as it was a nice sunny morning. The high school kids were outside in the area across from one side of our house, where there is a big lawn area and a town "frisbee golf" area and they were all playing that for gym class, it appeared. Kinda fun to watch, too. Small town life.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The disappearing bonus

Last week there was a company meeting. My boss said it wasn't necessary to make the trip over to attend. Not a major meeting or anything and she'd fill me in on it, afterwards. But, shortly after the meeting ended, she sent me an email that she was leaving the office for the rest of the day and would fill me in the next day. I'm still waiting LOL

I'm sure it was mostly about the fact that we are opening another satellite office for some of the employees and also, that for the first time in just about ever, our sales are not meeting the goal set for the year. WTH?!! Of course, this affects our bonus, which is based on meeting the sales goal at mid year and at the end of the year. While 90% of our income is commissions, a % based on sales, the bonus program isn't based on our commissions $ received, but rather our gross sales $.

The past couple of years, while the push is, of course, to reach our sales goals, it's also been emphasized that we could definitely be doing better on the commission % we actually earn on those sales (after all - that is the actual income to the company). They've pushed to increase our % by a couple of points. Every point is about an extra million dollars in commission to our company for a year - all "easy" money. It doesn't cost us extra manpower or time to price our projects a bit higher when we can. Anyhow, while we've always met out sales goals and earned our bonus, the commission % earned has stayed the same the past several years.

Now this year, our sales are not where they should be (even less than this time last year) BUT, our commission % has increased over 2%. That is wonderful. That means our bottom line net income will be over 2 million dollars more than last year, based on the same sales total.  So, while our sales are not where they should be at this point, our total commission dollars are more than where they normally are, now that we are getting more out of those sales.  BUT, our bonus isn't based on that.  So, kinda stinks that overall - the employees/sales force are making the company the same amount of money as before, we would not get our bonus this mid year.  The extra crappy part is that for this year our bonus's went up from 10% of our salary to 15%....and now for some reason we aren't meeting our goal. Poop!

One of the owner's sent out an email a week or so ago, telling us not to stress out too much over the drop in sales. The company is still very strong financially and at the end of the day, it's is after all just a job selling stuff. It was a nice email, but I'm sure everyone would rather the sales be up and getting a nice bonus next month!

Why sales are down, I really have no idea. We are 20% below are sales goal YTD so far, and 14% below our sales total at this time last year. Ouch! It does make one wonder about the correlation of increasing our % earned on those sales. Did it end up taking more time away from making other sales? Or did it cause us to lose sales because we were too high priced and the customers went with another manufacturer to buy some of their products? Because everything I am hearing about the area we service is that construction is on the increase, so by association our sales should be increasing, not decreasing. I thought business's were feeling optimistic about the economy and investing more. We have had a bit of turnover in our sales force, but nothing more than usual in a given year. Though I found it odd that the person that got the very highest % of raise (15%), out of everyone, a couple of months has decided to leave the company.

Personally, it will be another hit to my budget, especially since I also did not receive a salary increase this year. It wouldn't have been so bad to not get the bonus, if I had received the 4-9% increase that just about every single other employee got. Or vice versa - it wouldn't be too bad not to get a raise, since they increased the bonus program by 5% (and we've never had a problem getting our bonus before). While I do not budget the bonus in my monthly budget, it of course has ALWAYS been a nice boost to income to get it twice a year, these past years. I am hoping some adjustment will be made to take into account that we are actually earning more money, even though our sales are down. The owners are very fair and generous, so I have a feeling it will all work out in the end.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Not ready for Monday yet

Where did the weekend go? Too fast. Not that we really did a bunch, but before I knew it Monday is here. I kicked off work about a half hour early on Friday so we could go to the city and pick up my new glasses. The style is quite different than I've ever had before, so it's taking me a bit to get used to them, but I think I am starting to like them.

After that we went over to Home Depot and DH got the lawn mower he wants. I don't really think it was going to be on sale anywhere (apparently the sales are in Fall for that kind of stuff?) and only a couple of places around here sell it. Anyhow, we bought that (a Honda self propelled mower) and a few more plants for the yard and then went over to the farm/feed store and picked up 3 decorative wagon wheels I have been wanting to put out in front of the front porch. Pretty much my Mother's Day present, I guess. I love them!

Saturday we ended up re-staining the porch railings there. We had some stain to use up, but wish DH would have went and bought new stain that was lighter. We ended up using the Walnut stain we had left and it's pretty dark, but still looks better than it did. We'll live with it. (picture is before stain)

After shopping was done on Friday (it was about 6pm by then) we got a quick drive through dinner and then on our way out of town stopped at a little dirt track to watch some racing. It was fun (though completely forgot about bringing our seat cushions with us) and DH's friend and his daughter decided to come watch too. They seemed to enjoy it. It was over by 10pm and we were home about 40 minutes later.

Friday afternoon I had been outside for a break, throwing the ball to our dog across the street in the field. The guy who lives straight across from us on the other side of the field was back from working out of state and was working in his garage, so then his dog is usually out with him. She saw me (well, she saw the ball LOL) and came running over so I played fetch with her and our fetching dog (the other dog will not play, he just wanders around). She is 11 years old and poor thing sounds like she's going to have a heart attack she's breathing so hard, but she won't give up playing. I didn't want to tire her out so started to walk her across the field to take her back and neighbor met me halfway and got her.  Then yesterday afternoon DH was in the field on the side of our house and she was out at her garage again and came running over to play again. LOL. I went outside too. Then we walked her back home and talked with the guy and his wife for probably like an hour. He was trying to fix his snow mobile and couldn't figure something out and then DH figured it out, so he was really happy. We are going to go out to dinner with them on Friday evening, so that will be fun and be able to get to know them more. They are same age as us. They cannot stand our renter neighbors either and wish they'd just move away.

Neighbor hasn't cleaned up anymore since last Thursday night. Still one junk vehicle and car parts in the driveway. He brought more car parts in yesterday, dumped in front of his garage. He moved his two trailers to the other side of his house, but the big one is parked on developers property. (I doubt he got permission). Saturday and Sunday he had the big trailer parked in back, kind of partway in teh alley and partway on his back lawn. I'm sure the old lady was fit to be tied about that, since she seems to think the alley is her property. And true to his word, he knows how to make people's lives miserable. Has really ratcheted up the noise level, usually starting about 8:45pm the last couple of nights. Last night it was until after 10pm, they were out back. DH happened to look out our back sliding door about then as it was especially noisy and noticed the old lady across the alley (she's closer to their house than ours) flashing her back porch light off and on. Most likely trying to tell them to shut up.  Think she'll call her son on them? LOL

DH has been in one of his "funks" the past week. He rarely stops complaining about anything and I am so tired of listening to him. But it will pass and I just nod and agree with him, half listening. I've learned it does no good to try and convince him otherwise - that just makes him madder and harder to break the cycle. He'll get over it soon and my ears won't have to bleed for awhile.

The hummingbirds have arrived so that is making me happy. Our back yard area has become quite the wild life area, birds, hummingbirds, bunnies. One of our dogs will just sit at the back sliding doors and watch and watch. Keeps him entertained. One night we saw a big deer in the field next to our house.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Alright Alright Alright

The house owner came through! We had a feeling she had talked to them (DH talked to her Tuesday  morning) as all week they had stopped parking in the street. Since the guy doesn't get home until like 10pm every night we figured if they were going to clean up it wasn't going to happen until this weekend. But, he got home about 8:30 last night. Obviously, none too happy as he's driving fast and screeches his truck and trailer around the corner and comes to a screeching halt in front of our houses. His wife had hooked her SUV up to one of their smaller trailers and moved it over to the side of the house. He pulled in with his big car trailer and loaded up one of the junk/non running trucks in his driveway and hauled it away. Then he came back with with no car trailer and loaded some stuff in the back of his pick up and left again. (when DH had talked to the home owner she said when she told them to get it cleaned up last summer/fall he had told her he had a friend on the other side of town he could take it all to....just didn't tell her he brought it all back after we bought our house).

It looks SO much better already this morning! They also had this rusted, dirty, crappy looking, what I think was one of those big BBQ's that sit on a little trailer just sitting on the side of the street - it was actually sitting on the vacant lot on their side, not even on their property. That appears to be gone or moved too.  Just having them not park a car or two out in the street 24/7 is a big improvement on it's own.

I'm very glad we persisted and pursued following the covenants with the owner of the house. Sure, the renter guy won't be too happy, but that's not our problem. There was absolutely no reason he should have been allowed to have what amounted to a wrecking yard - small town or no small town. DH is going to give the home owner a call soon and thank her for taking steps to get this cleaned up. I'd say it's about 85-90% cleaned up now, so that is very nice indeed.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Flowers it is

Just spent $50 for 2 flower bouquet's to be delivered. One to my mom and one to MIL. I think that is a pretty good deal and along with that I get free shipping and fees on any flower orders for the next year.

FTD (which had the best reviews online for the flowers looking like the photos and being quality) had an initial coupon code for $10 off any order. I didn't go real fancy with the bouquets. They are flowers after all and they die in a week - LOL. They were having a special half price on a spring type bouquet for $19.99 (I didn't do the upgrades offered).

All well and good on the price of it, but shipping for each order would have been more than the price of the bouquet! about $22 each. Um....that seems a bit ridiculous, even with the $10 off the whole order, it would have cost me about $75 total. I noticed they were offering a "Gold Membership" for a one time fee of $19.99 that would give you free shipping/delivery fees on all orders for the next year. Well, shoot, I might as well do that. It will pay for one shipping and make the other one free - even if I didn't place another order in the next year, my total on this order would be $50, after applying the $10 off code.

I've set myself a calendar reminder to order next years birthday/Mother's Day before the year is up and take advantage of it, before I cancel the subscription and not get charged for another year.

Muddling through the week

Since I totally buggered getting my mom a giftcard to mail with her birthday card, I told her I'll combine with Mother's Day (which we do quite often anyway). I'm just going to send her a bouquet of flowers, as well as have one sent to my MIL for Mother's Day.  I hate ordering flowers online - you never know if they will look good and I'm sure they don't look like the pictures! HA.  I might end up sending her something from Harry & Davids. I know she likes that and I know their stuff is good. Or maybe I'll just get a giftcard this next week (I should have to go to the city sometime in the next week for my new glasses) and mail with a Mother's Day card. Might be a cheaper alternative than flowers.

Beautiful sunny day today - getting up to 81 degrees. Wooo! We started seeing a few new blades of grass yesterday. Today should really help it along. I'm going to hate to see my water bill, but it's gotta get taken care of.

I'm still not able to log in remotely with my side job and I'm a tad annoyed now. Their IT company just keeps telling me "tomorrow". I'm on my 3rd email to them. Finally this morning I asked for an update on when I can expect to get this resolved as I have work to tend to. They keep saying they have a firewall they have to get installed first before they can get me set back up. They've been saying that since Monday and each day it's the same story. I kept telling them to call me anytime during the work day, but this time I said let's set up an appointment time for them to call. My luck I'd be on another call or in the bathroom or something and miss their call. This way I know for sure when to be available.

When DH was having that long conversation with the neighbors a couple of weeks ago (when their kid dented my car and their solution was I should park in the garage) the guy said "ya, I know how to get along with people if I want, but I also know how to make people's lives miserable (chuckle, chuckle). He was referring to the old owners, but DH also took it as he'll have no problem trying to make ours miserable too. Anyhow, not sure if his landlord has contacted them yet or not, but kind of getting that impression. They aren't parking in the street overnight anymore. He usually gets home from work sometime between 9:30pm and 10:30pm. He has this diesel pickup with no mufflers. So it's a loud one. He backs in his driveway and starts revving the engine a couple of times. Whatever LOL. He usually leaves about 6:10am. Most times he warms his truck up about 5-10 minutes. It's loud, often times wakes us up, but no biggie - the guy has to get to work. Yesterday morning he let it sit there running for 30 minutes. This morning it started up at 5:30 and he left at 6:20. 50 minutes. He knows when he parks backed in it's much louder than if he pulls in nose first, as then his exhaust is right next to the front of his house and our bedroom on that side. What a douche....doesn't even realize who he really is ultimately just making mad is his landlord. LOL. I didn't realize when DH was talking to her that she told him she wants to get them out of there completely, not just clean it up. DH had said to her that our goal isn't to get them to leave - just to clean up all the crap and we'll be happy. Apparently the young lady with the 2 little ones that moved in this week is his oldest daughter. (he has 6 kids total).

DH got the picnic table and another bench we have stained yesterday. Now he wants to just find someone to give the picnic table to LOL. I said well, then why bother taking all that time to stain it?! Silly. With the much warmed up weather now, I think I'm probably safe to plant flowers in all my pots and hanging baskets. I noticed the little grocery/hardware store in town has a big tent out put out front that they will be having some flowers and plants available to purchase soon.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mid week rambling

It's supposed to warm up to almost 70 degrees today. Currently this morning it's only 41, so far. We have a ways to go to get there. Tomorrow's forecast is 81! That should get that grass seed sprouted - at least we are sure hoping.  The previous owners left a picnic table on the back patio. She also left some stain that she had intended to stain it with, but never got around to it. I just helped DH move it out to a sunny spot so it can dry out a bit (just damp from overnight moisture) and am sure I just whacked my back out.  Hopefully by this afternoon it will be dry enough to stain. I think we are going to end up taking it out to the property, though. The little back patio area isn't much bigger than the picnic table. We can set it near the river bank and take a lunch out there once in a while and watch the river.......though I have no idea how it will be it loaded on the trailer, as it's just way too heavy for me to help. I guess he's going to have to wait until his friend is over visiting sometime.

We really like our neighbor who lives across from us, on the other side of the vacant lots. He's home for 2 weeks and gone for 2 weeks, as he works out of state. Seems with the lack of jobs in this area, that is a common thing we hear on how people make a decent living around here (or they are retired). The lady who has the title company in town said her husband works out of state for like several months at a time and only gets to come home several times a year. They have kids too, which wouldn't make for very good family life, that's for sure. Anyhow, he's a nice friendly guy and when he's home he's just out doing stuff around his yard, etc during the day (his wife works in town here) and every so often he and DH chat. I think he gets home today and DH is anxious to tell him we "might" have good news as far as our neighbor having to clean up his junk. This guy has said he hates that they park in the street, as they go down our street to get to their house (his garage in in the back of his property) and it pisses him off that he has to drive on the other side of the street to go around them. The guy that owns these vacant lots emailed last night that he is still going to check with his attorney on what will be the next step, if the house owner doesn't follow through on her promise. He also said he'll probably be in town in a couple of weeks and would like to meet us.

Dinner meals this week have been (besides Spaghettio's last Sunday LOL) meatloaf Monday night and pizza last night. I can't find my pizza sauce (Classico) in town grocery so I ordered 3 jars from Walmart and my order got delivered yesterday. Tonight will be chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, which as become a favorite of ours. Easy and very cheap meat. Tomorrow is just a hamburger helper casserole and Friday will be some leftover taco soup I had frozen in the freezer. I need to get the next 7 or so meals planned out and see if I have enough to get through another week, without shopping. I think I might. I also have a lasagne casserole frozen in the freezer, from when I froze half of it last time I made it. I also froze half of a loaf of garlic french bread. I'm getting better about doing that.

I'm reading a good book I came across called eleanor & park.  Easy read story about teenage love among a boy and girl who seem an unlikely pair. I started it after work yesterday and almost finished it already.

We haven't been eating out much at the town restaurant. Maybe once a month now or less. We've taken to stopping in at Wendy's for a burger when we are in the city and that is our "eat out" 2-3 times a month now and only costs about $12, so half the cost of eating at the restaurant.

I'm still waiting for a call from my side job IT company to get me back online with them remotely. They keep pushing me out, but now say they will be calling me today.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday (and also the anniversary of my dad passing 8 years ago). I chatted with her in the morning for a while. DD tried to call her when she got off work but no answer and texted me if I knew where Grandma was. Nope, sounded like she was staying home. She tried again later and got her. Mom was like "ya, I missed your call and saw you called. I was going to try to call you back, but the last digit of your phone number was missing". We have no idea how she did that with her flip phone, LOL, but that's how it goes with her ;)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Covenants issue update

We were finally able to get a phone number for the lady that owns the house next door.  I know DH has been stressing over all this. He had a nice talk with her this morning and now he feels much better (me too!). Finding her number was a job! The two numbers we found were disconnected. I kept trying google searches and found where she possibly worked, but did not really want to call her at work. We knew her mom lives here in town and worked for one of the town services companies. DH didn't really want to call her to ask for her number, but we finally had no other option, as we just could not find a number. Called up here in town where her mom works (she would have been the one to answer the phone) and was told she just retired and the guy gave DH her home number. She was very nice to him and they actually had quite a long conversation about it. She says all that stuff the renters have on the property has got to go. DH asked for her daughter's number or to please pass on our number for her to call us. She gladly gave us her numbers (both cell and work). She also said she drives by our street on her way to visit her father in the nursing home and just doesn't bother to look down the street at the house anymore, because it was bothering her to look at it's condition. Apparently the renters were telling her (and others) that the new people next door were like them (into racing) and they had a lot in common with us. The mom said her thought was "you mean they like "junk" too?" DH laughed and said NO, we do not have anything in common with them. Yes, we do have some racing stuff, but it is all inside our shop and would NEVER be stored out, being an eyesore to neighbors. We do have a small flatbed car trailer in back, parked up next to our shop, where is should be. We only have one vehicle we park in the driveway and apparently, according to the renters, if we don't want their  kids to damage it anymore, we should park it in our garage. She was like OMG.

Once DH gets to talking (and he feels comfortable) he can talk and talk, so I jumped in the shower. When I got out he was then talking to her daughter, the house owner. It all went well. She was very receptive and nice and said she has told them before they need to get all that stuff off the property. DH also told her that when he looked at the house, none of that junk was there and when we moved in a month later it was there and more just keeps being added. He told her what the renter said about moving the stuff out, for our previous owner, so we wouldn't see it when we looked at the house. She was like "oh.....that's not right". So apparently, she wasn't aware that happened. She lives 2 hours away, so isn't seeing it on a regular basis. (and most likely, if no one's complaining, then might as well not deal with it). She said she will definitely get this taken care of. She had hoped to have her mom live in the house, but mom doesn't want that, so it's been renters. She then said she should probably just sell the house, since her mom doesn't want it. She also said to DH that she would not want to live next door to that, either. DH said, well, that's good to hear and if you can look at it from that perspective, then this should be a pretty easy fix.

Hopefully we aren't just getting our hopes up for nothing, but at least we first tried talking to the home owner. Oh - and the wife/renter must have found a job and they apparently moved in some girl, with a baby and a toddler, to also live with them, last night! Good grief. She showed up (parked in the street, of course) and proceeded to unpack her SUV, bags, boxes, playpen, vacuum cleaner, the works. I'm assuming she's probably now the live in babysitter. So 4 adults and 4 kids now living in that small house. DH didn't mention anything to the house owner about that. Just stuck to the covenants/junk vehicles and parts issue. Though her parking overnight on the street isn't allowed. Right now with just 2 of the 8 houses here on this street it's not a huge deal, you can drive on the other side of the street to get around the car (now cars) they have parked there, but can you imagine if the other houses were in and everyone did that? There would literally be no way to drive down this street. Hence, the covenant rule.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens. The house owner was even nice to say that when she confronted them about removing all the excess stuff she was just going to tell them she was in town visiting her mom and drove by the house, rather than telling them we complained. If nothing gets done we at least tried to talk to her first and then will go the route of getting an attorney and we also have the developer, who said he is going to work on the issue too and seemed more than willing to involve his attorney, if he has too.