Monday, December 31, 2018

New Years Eve - quiet and figuring out money

I tried to call our insurance agent, for our construction loan insurance, this morning but their office is closed today. I was hoping they'd at least be open part of today, so I could get some answers on if the mold issue might be covered or not.

Friday our propane wall heating unit started acting up. It would not fire up sometimes and had a code 11, which's not igniting. We'd push the button that does the temp up or down and it would come right back on. Run for hours, even all day, and then suddenly do it again. We'd notice it would start getting colder inside and realize it was code 11 again. Of course, now it's the long holiday weekend - and of course it's 20 some degrees outside. Yesterday DH messed around with it. I'm not sure what he did, but so far so good. Keeping fingers crossed. It worked all day yesterday and through the night and so far so good today.

Yesterday afternoon we made a trip into the city for grocery shopping. It had been two weeks and I was just about out of everything. My two week budget is $275 and we spent $265. We are now saving a bunch, because we are not providing soda and water (mostly soda) to the framing crew! They drank a lot. Sometimes I really hate DH's need to always be feeding people, LOL. He said when he'd clean up he'd find pop cans almost full, where they'd take a sip or two, set it down to work and leave it. We still had the two cases of soda we bought at the store 2 weeks ago, so that was nice. We didn't need to buy any extra water this trip, either.

Mostly, we've just been trying (unsuccessfully) not to think about this mold issue and how it's going to get paid for. It's pretty much making us sick to our stomachs.  We are very happy with the insulation crew. They are even going above what they said they would do for the price. The mold remediation guy looked around at our insulation and said "boy, you sure won't have much of a heating bill". I'm hoping that is the case! Our HVAC guy says we won't, between the insulation we are getting and the system he is putting in (electric furnace and heat pump system) our heating bills should be pretty low.

So, far I'm pleased with the electric bills here. Granted, it's just for the shop and whatever the construction workers have plugged in outside- power tools, generators, etc. But my highest bill has been $114. In our house in town, though we did have an electric hot water heater, even in our summer months, my cheapest electric bill for that 1400 sq ft house was $160. I know we are using up propane at a faster rate here, but still way cheaper than heating our house we had in town, where my winter bills were $400 a month PLUS propane (to heat). Apparently the combination of a gas furnace, but that had to use electricity to blow the heat through the house, was quite expensive. I'm guessing this 1000 gallon propane tank is gong to last us (heating the shop to live in) about 5-6 months before we need to fill up. So about $2000 for the year, approximately. Plus, I'm not spending about $1000 a year on water and sewer, as I did before. That's another $83 a month, on average.

The $470 a month saved now on health insurance for DH sure is awesome. It's huge. His old insurance plan went up almost $100 a month, that would have started Jan 1st. No thank you.

We'll have to see what this coming New Year brings for a salary increase, as the next few months are usually when we find out. I am hoping for at least something to boost the budget a bit. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

The mold issue revisited

Our contractor still hasn't fixed our crawl space mold issue. He now thinks he has. Not. Even. Close. The mold started growing in the foundation crawl space shortly after they got the floor covered (and it rained, a bunch...and then turned winter). That was a good 3 months ago or more. We kept being told not to worry about it, they will clean it up. But they did nothing. Then when the HVAC guy came in a couple weeks ago (right after the roof got put on) he said get another opening cut into the floor and get the air circulating with some fans down there to dry it out, at least. Contractor sent two fans with the framers and we had one fan. It did pretty much dry out (of course the mold would still need to be fixed). Then the contractor had the guys bring 2 "ozone machines", that he told us would get rid of the odor and kill the mold., they only kill odor, not to mention they are extremely dangerous to humans! Like DH turns them off when anyone is working in the house, even though the little machines are underneath the house.

So, DH has to keep on the contractor about this. We were going to have the foundation also spray foamed with insulation. Well, they are about ready to be at that point, but obviously aren't going to do it until the mold issue is gone. Same thing with the HVAC guy, he's not installing his ducting and putting the furnace down there until it's fixed.

Contractor comes out with his helper guy late Wednesday morning and goes and looks down there (DH thought he seemed a bit startled at what it looked like). He said two "kids" (it's 2 young guys who usually do concrete work) are on their way and they will be spending the next 3 days scrubbing it all down with bleach, supposedly to kill all the mold. Even with those ozone machines going all night, every night, it still smells down there, not to mention breathing the mold. Contractor gives the boys some cash and says run into town and pick up some face masks (you know, those white kind that you wear at the hospital) and he and the other guy leave. DH is like OMG. you guys are not going to spend hours down there with little white face masks on, so he digs out his 2 respirator face masks for them to use. They had 2 gallons of bleach with them and were putting some in buckets with water and spent about 5 hours total on Wednesday under there. Left at 4pm. Came back yesterday morning and worked a few hours and said "we're done, it's all cleaned up". Yesterday after they left DH goes down under there and there is just water running down the sides of the foundation, in some spots. Still some mold.

We decided to call a mold remediation company to have them come out and give us an evaluation and estimate. This morning we told the builder that's what we are doing, so he knows what is going on. Like DH told him, sorry, but 2-3 gallons of bleach is not going to fix this issue, in our opinion. Two guys came out this afternoon and one went underneath and took readings and bunches of pictures. Showed me some of the pictures where the wood is still totally mold spots. He said the wood down there is reading 23% saturated with moisture. It should be under 10%. What we have means the wood is rotting. He said there were two big wet spots on the ground, that he didn't know if maybe water was coming up from the ground? DH said, they weren't there the other day. We all came to the conclusion that the two boys just dumped the rest of the bleach water from their buckets down in the crawlspace when they got done! DH then crawled down there to go see where the wet spots were and put his nose down there, smelled like bleach, so pretty sure that's what they did. DH texted one of the boys and yep, that's what they did. That's why you don't have 2 young kids who know nothing about how to fix this doing it.

He guesses it will be between $15,000-$20,000 to fix. He then said this should be covered under the contractor's insurance (we've been told that by the hvac and insulation owners, too). I said is it through our construction insurance policy I had to take out or through contractor's insurance? He said we should check with our insurance company. It would probably be claimed through them, but that then they would go after the contractor's insurance.  He will have the estimate to us on Monday.

They also explained how they fix it. It's like a 10 day process. They use hundreds of pounds of baking soda and blast it everywhere. Then they use a hepa vacuum and vacuum it up. They they wipe down every surface, and then go over it again with the vacuum. They explained why bleach does not work. When they are done they send out the testing results to an independent 3rd party to verify it's all gone. They also explained about how dangerous these ozone boxes are! We told him what our contractor said when he was here....he's just going to leave us the boxes, so once we are all living in the house, whenever we leave we can just go down and turn on the ozone machines, while we are gone. The remediation guys eyes bugged out! He said you don't want to have those going in any area humans live..even when you aren't home....even underneath the house! I said not to mention, if we do leave the house, our two dogs are still in the house. Good grief.

So, now I'm sure it's going to be a big issue with insurance/contractor, etc. UGH!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas update

We had a nice Christmas Day. We went over to our next door neighbors in the morning, for brunch. They had also invited another couple, whom we have met before. It was a really nice time. She had so much yummy food and we all had great conversation. We all ended up staying until like 2:30 in the afternoon.  We walked back home and made a few phone calls. Video chatted with our daughter. We took a nap and then in the evening we went over and visited for a couple of hours with the friends we used to live across the street from. (the one's we had dinner with last Friday evening).

DH's dad is holding up. He did get to spend Christmas eve and Christmas Day at SIL's house. Now they are just trying to figure out obituary, etc. FIL wants to wait until he passes and them have a memorial service for the both of them together. He's so heartbroken, I'm sure he just doesn't want to have to go through a service and I'm sure he figures he's not going to be too far behind her in passing.

DH talked to his younger brother yesterday for a bit. Apparently he talked to the oldest brother, who still seems to want to give everyone a headache. When DH was talking to his dad on the phone last night FIL said that the last time he talked to the oldest was a couple of months ago, right before he went in for his heart surgery. Older brothers words to FIL: hey, don't spend all my inheritance. He's such a loser.

Our contractor finally showed up today, with a few guys, to get started fixing the mold issue in the crawl space. They've been having some ozone machines running for the past week or so, which has killed some of it, but there is still a lot of black down there, so they are spraying and scrubbing. He said it will probably take the two guys he brought with him the rest of this week to finish it. The insulation crew is supposed to come back today. It's already noon, but the head guy just called and sounds like his guys are still coming today. They will probably be here early this afternoon, again work until 8:30 or so this evening and then stay at the hotel again, as they have at least 3 more days of work to do, too.  The dry wall guy is supposed to come on Jan 7th to get started. Supposedly, as he gets an area done, the tape and texture guy will be here to get started, too.

We got about 4 inches of snow or so on Christmas Eve morning, so DH got to try out his new quad/slow plow. It works ok. At least should get him through this winter.

DD got me another Netflix gift certificate, for a gift. I had run out of the one she gave me for Mother's Day, so I haven't had Netflix now for a few months. This time she got me a $60 card, so should last me for about 7 months of the service.

DS also called again on Christmas eve, after hearing about MIL passing. I did at least get to talk to him for a little bit. First time in over 4 years. It was hard, but at the same time, so nice to hear his voice. When he talked to DH first, he mostly just asked him a lot of questions about what we have been doing, and he did the same with me. Hopefully, at some point, we'll get an explanation for all these past 4 years. I'm still wary of hoping for too much...just to end up having him disappear on us.

Monday, December 24, 2018


We got a call from SIL first thing this morning that MIL passed away peacefully in her sleep this morning. I'm glad she didn't have to suffer very long and it's a blessing to know she is now in heaven. I'm sure FIL won't be too far behind to join her. Though, honestly, I have a feeling, even though he is heartbroken, it's probably taken a huge weight off his shoulders, as he has always carried the burden of caring for her and worrying about her.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

It's just time

The news on DH's parent's seem to change almost daily. I guess MIL had a really bad episode with her dementia again, on Friday night, where she got very violent (again). SIL said the care home called 911, which I guess they got in trouble for, as they were supposed to call hospice? Then last night they found out that MIL is nearing the end and her body is starting to shut down now and they are guessing about a week left to live. They now have her pretty much sedated. So, now FIL is very very upset and depressed. He blames himself because he thinks if he wouldn't have gone in for that heart surgery and the complications from it, she would have been fine (which isn't the case at all), I guess because he thinks then he still would have been able to take care of her. He said he wanted to go first. Which for the rest of us, we see it would be better the other way...because she won't make it with out him.

Her body and her brain are just not working any more. It's time for her to shed her earthly body and have her soul in heaven. It 's just time for them. I do not see him living much more than a few more weeks after she is gone. He will be too heartbroken.

Friday we went out to dinner with our friends we used to live across the street from in town. It was really nice to see them again and visit for awhile. They have kids and grandkids and for the first time they will be all by themselves on Christmas Day, so she is pretty bummed (they are all going to in-laws and girlfriends) . They invited us over for the afternoon for snacks and more visiting on Christmas Day, so that is probably what we will do, after we have brunch with our current neighbors.

We've had a very lazy day today. Just slept in. DH's sis has been emailing him a bunch of old pictures of their parents, so he's been looking through those. He's put together a nice little picture video of his mom and dad.

I started watching The Sound of Music on my ipad this afternoon, but then got sleepy and took a short nap.  I think for diner we will have Stouffer's lasagna, but instead of heating it in the microwave I'm going to bake it in the toaster oven. I ran out of books to read - again! Everything I have tried to download through the library is having to be on a hold/wait list. There are two that I am next on the list for, so I'm hoping they get released soon. The library lets e-books be borrowed for 21 days, but I always try to be courteous and "return" the books I have borrowed, when I finish early and know it is one that has a wait list. I just don't let them sit in my "bookshelf" for the whole 21 days and then go back automatically.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The 2018 extra income recap

I just added up my "extra" income for the year. Right around $1200. Not bad for not doing a whole bunch. Some of it was completely passive.

Debit card rewards: $132.92.  This is down from previous years, because earlier in the year I got a credit card with 2% rewards, so I use that as much as possible, rather than my 1% rewards debit card.

Credit card rewards: $506.22. This might be higher than what would be normal, because of being able to charge some house build things on it (and then get it back via our construction loan draw). But, I also did not have this card all year. I don't think I got it until like April.

Google adsense (from this little blog): $237

M-Turks: $325.79

I also earned like $9 from ebates and something from Swagbucks, but I don't know how much for this, as I closed the account out a few months ago. I also earned $24 from ebates this past quarter, but I guess I won't see that money until February.

All in all, not too shabby. I could definitely be doing more with M-Turks. I think once we get moved into the house and settled in my office, I'll be able to focus as bit more on that. I'll try to do some during my lunch break, but DH is constantly in and out of the shop here, all day long, this question or that question, or just to tell me something, or he's texting me from outside about something. I seem to get distracted from it, whenever I'm trying to get the survey's done.

Friday, December 21, 2018

More parents updates

Some good news on my mom. Her MRI came back good.....but she seemed even more forgetful when I just talked to her. I just got a Christmas card in the mail from her and it had our old address/PO Box. I thought I had given her my new address, but maybe not. Then as I am giving her the new address - I realized it was literally the exact same conversation I now remembered telling her before! I gave her the street name and she said "is that all one word?" Then I gave her "Lane" and she said "is that Ln or Lane". I said either way. It was like deja vu. Then something came up about DD and she said she was seeing her sometime soon, she thought it was Sunday and I said "oh, DD told me she was having breakfast with you on Christmas Eve, that's on Monday". My mom then says "Christmas Eve? she is?" Oh geez. Then she looked on her calendar and saw she had written down her name on Christmas eve, but didn't write down a time. "oh, I see it, but no time. Maybe it was breakfast, I can't remember now". So, I guess the dr. will be trying to reduce her anxiety medication by half in the near future and we'll see if that helps her memory function any. I know when she first went on this medication (I didn't know it at the time) she became very scatterbrained. Trying to have a phone conversation with her was impossible. She would jump from one topic to the next and so confusing to talk to. I also know about 4 years ago, just before Christmas she tried to go off this medication and was all out of sorts, so she went back on it. I have a feeling she doesn't remember this at all, and I'm hesitant to mention it to her. I don't want her to get it in her head that's what will happen this time. Plus, I'm not so sure the last time, her dr had her gradually cutting down. And for some reason her dr. wants her to wait until summer to cut the dosage down. I'm not sure what could be the reason for that and she doesn't know.

DH's parents are struggling. If it's not one, it's the other. When MIL is doing well, FIL is not. I guess yesterday he was very upset and wanted to move back home. SIL and the care givers were able to convince him to stay there, as it is not safe for them to be at their home alone and they cannot afford to hire 24/7 care. SIL said he was calmed down a bunch by evening, but then for some reason (I don't have the details yet) 911 had to be called for MIL, but she is still at the home, didn't have to go to the hospital. Poor SIL. DH talked to FIL last night, around 7:30pm their time and he seemed ok, didn't say anything about not wanting to be there or having a rough day. As hard as it is for her, SIL is just going to have to hold her ground on this. They cannot live by themselves any more. I mean, FIL is basically considered hospice care right now, is my understanding. He can't stay by himself. It would probably also help SIL's stress level if she wasn't trying to take a vacation every month in the midst of dealing with all this, LOL. She keeps complaining she can't take anymore time off work dealing with this, yet she is literally going out of town almost once a month on personal trips/vacations.
The snow plow/quad actually ended up costing us a total of $2260. The guy mentioned it would probably need a battery soon, so DH being DH would rather replace it now, rather then when it won't start. That was $105. Then we went and put the title in our name and I guess had to license it because it can go on the road, so that was $155. Still under budget overall, and we would have had to license anything we bought, anyway.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A spark of hope

With the in-laws new situation and FIL going downhill, we of course let our DD know. She is down in their area (as her fiance's parents live in the same town) most weekends, so DH just wanted to let her know, in case she wanted to go see him again, sooner rather than later. He also asked if she would get a hold of DS (as he has texted her a few times this past year) and also let him know about grandpa. This was Friday evening. Then DH decided he would try calling DS himself and telling him about Grandpa. Of course he didn't answer and he didn't have his phone set up with voicemail.

Saturday late afternoon DH and I were in the city getting our grocery shopping done and grabbing dinner. DD texted DH that DS texted her that he tried to call, but no one answered. DH thought she meant he tried to call grandpa, so he texted back to her, he sometimes can't get to the phone, just tell him to try again a bit later. DD said, no, he tried calling you, on your home phone number.  That was quite a surprise to hear. DS told DD that he was on his way to a work party, had to work on Sunday, but would call DH back after he got off work Sunday.  He did call. It's been 4 years since we last heard his voice and talked to him.

The call lasted 10, maybe 15 minutes. DH knows exactly how many days it's been since he heard our son's voice (over 1400 days). He told him it was great to hear from him. He told him about grandpa (and grandma)'s health problems and that grandpa probably doesn't have a lot of time left, if he wanted to go visit  him. DH asked him how he was. Asked him what he is doing (like for working). DS is a pretty quiet person, so DH said it was hard to tell if he was just being very quiet or having a hard time emotionally with the call. He was guessing the latter. DH just said several times, thank you for calling, it's good to talk to you and good to know you are ok. There have been times in the past 4 years we didn't know if you were even alive. DS said he was just trying to work, save money, improve his credit and just be an adult. (he's 27) DS didn't ask anything about us at all. Towards the end of the call DH asked him if he wanted to talk to me and he said no, not this time. I'm not really sure how to take that. Part of me tells myself that probably means there isn't even going to be a next time. We'll see, I guess. Hopefully it opened the door to more communication, but I'm not holding my breath that 4 years of heartbreak is going to change. Or that he'll start to communicate and then disappear again.

When DH talked to his mom last night on the phone she said DS came and saw them yesterday. I'm glad he went and did that for them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

An extra Merry Christmas

My UPS overnight-ed bonus check finally arrived late yesterday afternoon. Well, it was totally worth the wait!! In addition to the bonus I was expecting, I received an additional bonus of $3000 (net $2500)!  That is so awesome and I am so surprised and thrilled. I sent my boss an email (she's been asking if UPS showed up yet) and thanked her so much. She said not everyone got the extra, but she was given some additional funds to allocate to extra bonus's and wanted me to know how much she appreciates me and all I do.

It's about a 400 mile straight shot east from my office to where I am now. I looked at the UPS tracking detail for this overnight letter. OMG! It took quite the scenic route around the country, I tell ya. That letter envelope traveled 4000 miles. Good grief, LOL.

ok now, for what I was really starting to post about:

Sibling dynamics are always so interesting. I grew up an only child, so it's all pretty much foreign to me. I do have step siblings, but they are all older than me and they lived with their mom (or were already grown up, when their dad and mom split) so I don't have that experience.

DH is one of 5 kids. He is the second oldest, with his older brother being 7 years older than him (so he's 61 now). His 3 younger siblings range from 15 months younger to 7 years younger than him. The oldest and his wife are complete SCUM. I don't think we've seen them in probably 20 years or talked to them. They never wanted much to do with any of the family and that was just fine with us. It's not that they every really broke ties or anything happened, they just do not bother to keep in touch. On occasion they will contact the parents, but it can be years in between. Their own 3 kids barely have anything to do with them.

But this is the sibling and his wife (I'm sure most of it is generated by her) that thinks it's ok to message SIL on Facebook and give her grief because they weren't told this or that. SIL said she tells them every time, "dad says if you want to know what is going on with him and mom, then call them and talk to them". DH told SIL awhile back he would call (I think this was when FIL had the surgery that didn't go well and he was in ICU) older brother and let him know. Of course he didn't answer his phone and never called back. Then last Friday night, when FIL went into ER, DH tried to call this older brother, again no answer or return call. DH doesn't leave voicemails. He figures in this day and age with everyone having a cell phone in their hand or pocket 24/7 the brother knows someone is trying to get a hold of him.

If I was SIL I probably would have just given them a quick courtesy phone call, short and sweet and then told them to call dad if you want to know what is going on with them, from here forward. Just to save the aggravation you know is coming from them. So, SIL tells oldest brother (or really it was most likely his wife on the other end of the Facebook message, it's her Facebook account) that DH has tried to call him at least a couple of times (I think it's actually been 3 attempts) in the past couple of months. The reply back was "what?! he's alive? (like DH is the one hiding, LOL) I really doubt he tried to call me, he doesn't have the nerve, and if he did, why didn't he leave a message?"  This is from a 61 year old adult! Not to mention IF they had bothered to call the parents any time in the last 2 1/2 years they would have known "DH was alive".

How about act like a normal person and say "oh, he tried to call me? I didn't know (or didn't recognize the number, so I didn't answer). Give me his number and I'll call him back!". It's obvious they are just looking for an excuse to complain and be as annoying as they can.

DH called his dad's cell last night and MIL answered. Oh boy was she chatty! Normally she will get on the phone and say a few words to DH and that's it. So, it's very good to know she is liking this place. FIL is feeling worse and worse (as expected, though) so DH didn't talk to him too long. We're just glad they now have 24 hr care.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A new home for parents

SIL found an adult family home for parents and they were moved there yesterday. She said it was very hard. FIL was very upset and sad (though he told her they needed to go there asap), but she said MIL was being great about it, so at least that helped. They are in a home setting and share a bedroom. The place currently also cares for two other people. It's fairly near where SIL lives, maybe 5-10 miles away, at the most. Hopefully, it will be a good place for them. Sadly, SIL is now dealing with some other sibling issue while trying to deal with all this. The oldest sibling and his wife (alcoholics) who don't live nearby and act like they are in jr. high. Just makes us realize even more why we have nothing to do with them. Not worth the time or effort they require.

Ok, now we are officially ready for some snow. DH has been looking and looking for something to plow snow with. We figured our budget was going to have to be in the $4000-$5000 range (ugh), because that is the cheapest he was finding anything on Craigslist, even just a quad with a snow plow attached. Finally, a guy posted an older quad for sale for $1650. He also said he had a winch and snow plow he could put on it, for extra. DH contacted him and he said another guy had already called and was going to come look on Monday, but if he didn't buy it, then he'd call DH.  He called today and said the guy never showed up, so DH is next. DH asked if he would deliver it and he said he would (he's about 60 miles away). So, for a total of $2000 (including winch, plow and delivery) we will soon have something to plow our driveway with.  I know DH has been stressing about this. We really didn't want to have to spend $4000 or $5000, so we are really happy that we got this for $2000. Now, if we get a bunch of snow, which is predicted later this week, we are ready for it.

My year end bonus checks are cursed! Last year was a big delay with it. My boss got mixed up and sent it USPS priority (so 2 day), but she used our street address and not our PO Box. It took 8 days to finally get to me! Last Friday she emailed and verified my new address and asked how should she send it. I said either usps or ups is fine, we don't have the PO Box anymore. She sent it out last Friday via UPS overnight. It was out on the truck for delivery yesterday. Of course it never showed up. Supposedly it is going to show up today. Good grief - I know they don't delivery on weekends, but they had an extra 2 days to get it to the truck for delivery, with the weekend, so now we're on it's 5th day! Cursed, I tell ya ;)  Plus, my company was charged $42 by UPS for this overnight "letter". I put in a claim for a refund of the overnight cost, since they did not deliver on time.

The house is progressing as well as can be expected. Two of the framers were back to finish up, the electricians were finishing up the rough in, painter was here to finish staining the timbers (thankfully it has warmed up enough), some garage door installers were here installing the wiring for garage door openers and then the insulation crew showed up. About early afternoon, everyone was done and left, except the insulation crew. It got pretty quiet here all of a sudden! Now it's just the insulation crew and they said it's about a 10 day job. They are from out of town and are staying in the town motel, while on this job, so they actually ended up working until like 8:30 last night. Like they said, they might as well work as much as they can. DH said they are doing a great job with what he's seen so far, so he is happy that we ended up with this company to do it (not the same company that did our shop).


Monday, December 17, 2018

Parents update

I'm understanding SIL's worries, regarding parents, a bit better now. As Karen pointed out in a comment from my last past, many facilities require two years of private pay before accepting medicaid. SIL has found this to be very true, especially for the one's that she feels aren't crappy places. The quotes she is getting will run around $11,000-$12,000 a month for the both of them, so they will run out of their savings in a couple of months. In order to stay in the nursing facility of choice, she will have to get their home sold quickly, so that they have the money to keep paying for it. Which doesn't leave any money to fix up the house issues, so it will have to be sold as is. They are now past the time available to them to "spend down" some of their savings to fix the house. They needed to do this before they needed to go into nursing home care.

I guess FIL told SIL over the weekend he's ready for them to go into a nursing home asap (he said "tomorrow"). Obviously it's going to take SIL a few days to line something up, I would imagine. DH talked to him last night and basically told him it's time, they have to do it, so they can get the care they both need.  He also guilted his dad a bit, by telling him SIL is wore out. She can't handle dealing with them trying to stay in their home, when they can't take care of themselves. But, I think it was needed to be said. Their other brother just kind of stays out of the conversation, for the most part. SIL and her DH went and looked at several over the weekend.  Zillow shows their house valued at $323,000. Accounting for the shape it is really in, maybe they can get $225-250k for it, less their selling fees and $20k line of credit, that should still give them enough cash (plus their monthly income) for maybe two years of care for both of them. It's going to be close, I'd say. Though, unless some miracle happens, I really doubt FIL is going to last that long. I can't see the hospital setting up hospice consultation, if he has 2 years left.

So, I'm learning lots about all this process. Be prepared! Take care of your home throughout the years, to maintain it's value, especially if this equity is what you will need to pay for nursing care. Downsize your possessions, as you age, so that it helps make for an easier transition, when you have to move out of your home. Unless you are wealthyGo into assisted living a bit sooner rather than way past time, so you  have time to sell your home. I don't think in-laws really realized how not taking care of their home these past years really has affected their equity, come time to sell.

Saturday, December 15, 2018


As I totally expected, FIL ended up back in ER last night. What a mess. I'm really not sure what SIL (or even FIL) expected to happen and of course no plan for MIL's care.......again. SIL and her DH were babysitting their new granddaughter when FIL had to be taken in. So, she got a neighbor of theirs to come over and stay with MIL, while her DH stayed home with their grandbaby. After a couple/few hours, of course the neighbor was ready to be done, but SIL said the dr. told her she needed to stay at the hospital with FIL, so she didn't know what to do. your daughter up, tell her it's an emergency, and she's going to have to come pick up her baby! Geez.

FIL earlier this week had filled out DNR paperwork. He now has congestive heart failure as well as C-diff, so rather than put him in intensive care at the hospital it was decided to send him back home and get hospice set up. So SIL took him back home (this is around 11pm), but hospice isn't coming until Monday. So, she leaves them by themselves and goes back home! omg. I guess someone is coming today to do an assessment for nursing home care on both of them. SIL said it's a requirement by the state or something to have this assessment done.

She seems more concerned with the money aspect of it all. She actually messaged this morning to ask if I could look up and see if nursing home care is tax deductible. DH says "that's what she is worried about?!!".  Then DH talked  with his dad this morning. He commented something similar about the money for the care and no inheritance to the kids. DH was like we don't and never have expected an inheritance, you are supposed to use your money for your and mom's care.

I started to say to DH that I am just not getting why they are all so concerned with using their savings and income for their care and started to compare to my grandma and how we worked it with her. Well, he started to spout out some "they are poor,  your grandma didn't have a house payment, etc". I said first off, they have way more money than my grandma ever did. They have some savings, they have a pension and both get social security. They also have a house that is paid off, other than they do have a $20k line of credit loan (this per SIL). The house is probably worth $200k. My grandmas little mobile home was worth $12,000. They do not have to sell their house in order to qualify for medicaid, after their savings run out. Once they die, medicaid may go after some of the proceeds from the sale of the house, but they do not have to sell it to have their care paid for by medicaid (at least this is what I am reading, as they have less than $520,000 in home equity). So, this all doesn't have to be this big issue they are making it to be.

Go into assisted/nursing care. Use their savings and regular monthly income to pay for it. Once the savings runs out, they can go on medicaid. Their monthly income will still go towards the cost of care and medicaid will pick up the rest. SIL can either then get the house sold or she can wait and do it after they pass. I'm just not understanding why they are all not wanting to use their money for the care they obviously need.  They are both at the stage in life where that is what they need and don't have a choice. That is what their money has to be used for. Plain and simple. It's not like they need to keep their savings for some other reason or use.

SIL is complaining (and rightly so) that she doesn't have enough time to deal with all this and work her job, take this much time off all the time, etc. Well, then she's going to have to get serious and just tell them this is what is happening. They are going into nursing care and that is that.

On another parent issue, my mom had an MRI done yesterday of her brain. Probably a good thing as apparently she told DD (dd happened to call her yesterday afternoon after she got off work) she didn't realize she was having an MRI done at this appointment! She also mentioned to DD that the medicine she takes for her excessive sweating..Paxil......can cause memory problems, so the doctor might reduce her dosage. DD didn't know what the medication was, but she was pretty sure Grandma was confused about what she is taking it for. I told DD, no, that medication is for anxiety and she has been taking it for years. She said grandma seemed kind of flustered and confused by it all and I said, I'm sure it was a tiring overwhelming day and when she has that, she gets so she doesn't remember stuff very well.

I decided to wait and call her this morning, after she got some rest. She seemed pretty good. She did say she sure didn't remember them telling her she was going to have an MRI. I then asked about her medication the dr. wants to change dosage...(to see if she was still thinking this was medication for her sweating)...all's she said was "it's paroxetine (paxil) but I don't even remember anymore why I take it or why I started taking it". I told her its for anxiety and she said "oh, I must have started taking it when your dad got sick, well, I probably don't need it anymore".

I was just doing some online reading that medications like Paxil are thought to be associated with a two fold increase in cognitive impairment. So, I hope the doctor looks at this seriously and works on getting her off of it. She said something about the doctor said waiting until summer to do it. It has always frustrated me that a medication that was supposed to be a temporary fix, while she was going through stress, turned into a permanent thing. I know that is what caused her big weight gain (a good 50 pounds on a petite 5'4" frame) and the sweating she suffers from. I'm sure it probably isn't helping her memory/brain function either.

Friday, December 14, 2018

It's a sad day

Twice this morning one of the neighbor dogs (they have a big huge fenced in area and a doggie door into the house) has let out the longest, saddest howling I have ever heard. Oh my! I texted our neighbor telling her I was just checking to make sure everyone was ok, as he was sounding so sad and he's never done that before.  She texted back that she was in the city at the vet with one of the other dogs, so he apparently is lonely!  Too funny.

Another busy day with subs here. Hvac is back, two framers are here finishing up siding,  Electricians are still here. Originally they said if they didn't get done Thursday, they couldn't come on Friday, so would be back Monday, but they are here today.

Yesterday the gas fireplace got installed. Don't really have a pic of it, as they covered it with cardboard. The final amount for it ended up being a little less, as there wasn't as much venting to install as they anticipated Here is an image the Fireplace lady had sent me when we were trying to decide on log style. This fireplace, but of course, ours will be surrounded by stone and a mantel.

The gas line to the house got dug, installed and backfilled yesterday. They were backfilling in the dark, with the excavator lights on, but they got it done. I suppose if they would have gotten here before 11am they wouldn't have been working in the dark, LOL.

I think we are going out to dinner tomorrow night with our old neighbors from town. That will be fun. Haven't seen them in awhile.

DH talked to his dad again last night. He is still not feeling well or getting better, so it won't surprise me if he ends up back in the hospital. I don't know how in the world he is caring for MIL if he doesn't feel well. DH talked to his mom on the phone for a minute (that's about all she will talk). Now that they are back in their home (after being gone about 6 weeks) MIL thinks they have moved into a new house. Kind of sad, really. All this time the main reason FIL gives that they don't want to sell it and move is because "mom wants to live in her house" and she really doesn't even know what is her house anymore.

Well, that's all I've got today. The office is having their holiday meeting/lunch and closing at noon, but I'm just going to keep working a full day, here at home. It's the least I can do, since I am so blessed to be able to work from home and so far away from the office.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Cookies and dancing

I had some leftover tub chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge, so decided to try out my new toaster oven and use up the cookie dough (and get that big tub out of my tiny fridge!). I didn't have a cookie sheet and had to use the broiler pan that comes with the oven. It seemed to cook them very fast and more on the outside than inside. But, maybe it's because of the broiler pan, I don't know. I tried it with the convection oven on, which was quicker. I tried it just "oven" and switched the tray position. They weren't the best, but everyone working out on the house scarfed them down and didn't say no to the second batch :)

DH has been video and picture taking this whole build process. He uses his cell phone, his ipad, my ipad, his drone, LOL.  He likes to set up the ipad's on time lapse while they are working. When the electricians got to working on Monday and we were doing our walk thru with 2 of them, DH told them he does this. I laughed and said "can you dance?" (because the concrete kid had done his funny dance for the video).  Last night DH was uploading his stuff to his computer and watching some of the time lapse from yesterday. One of the electrician guys was up in the bonus room, working by himself (and they had radio going). It's of course in speed up mode, because of the time lapse, but you see him working, moving from can light to can light and then really quickly he's in the middle of the room doing a dance! LOL Love it! DH said he will be able to slow the video down some, when he puts it in his movie maker program, so then we'll be able to see his dance moves better. So cute.

I'm getting my ebates cash back balance built up. It's now up to $24.12. I just wish they paid more than once a quarter. I have to wait until February for the next payment. I think, overall, it has paid more than shopping through Swagbucks.

My company is paying out the second half of this years bonus's. It is kind of a weird end to our year, sales wise, since we dropped our huge manufacturer last month and started with a different, smaller one. So, while we did not make our gross sales goal, we did increase our profit margin over last year, so they are calling it a win. Plus, it really wasn't fair to everyone to base the year's sales quota to include the big mfg and then to decide to drop them. Anyway, I should be seeing my check in the next few days.

It doesn't sound like FIL is doing to well at home, which is what everyone was afraid of. SIL told DH last night he was filling out DNR paperwork. I don't blame him. My dad had that filled out too. He did not want to be kept alive by machines. I'm sure he's just going to end up back in the hospital soon and SIL will be dealing with where to put MIL all over again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Trying to get everything done

I walked down to the mailboxes yesterday afternoon and what a pleasant surprise. They were all (3 of them) decorated for Christmas! So cute. I figured it was probably done by our immediate next door neighbors (and not the ones building down on the last lot) as she likes to decorate, so I walked over and knocked on her door and asked. It was her. I said I love it! Then she asked us if we were going to be home for Christmas and if we weren't doing anything, they'd like us to come over for brunch on Christmas morning. That will be really nice and so nice of them to ask. They are nice company to visit with. I need to figure out a little gift to take with us.

I was thinking of sending SIL and her husband some Harry & Davids gift but hadn't pulled the trigger yet because the free shipping code I had found didn't work. I just decided to send them a gift and also have some of the box of pears sent here, so I can take those with us to our Christmas brunch at neighbors. Total for both came to $82. The free shipping code worked this time, saving almost $24 in shipping. For some reason my ebates didn't pop up to activate savings, so I checked to see if they offer any cash back and it's a nice 7%, so $5.74 will be back from that, and I put it on my rewards credit card, so another 2% back, too. 

The other evening SIL messaged me asking if I had an instapot and said she thought they sounded like a glorified crock pot. I told her I did not, but DD has one she uses pretty regularly, but I figured it would end up another appliance I didn't use. And then I said I had thought about getting a toaster oven for the shop living, but knew I wouldn't use it after the house is done, so I didn't get one. So, what shows up today as a gift from FIL/MIL? Yep, a toaster oven. LOL. Looks like a nice one and the size I would have wanted if I had bought one. It's an Oster Convection toaster oven. Will do a 12 inch pizza. Yay. We get to have pizza for dinners now too. Plus it will hold a good sized casserole dish. I'm sure I will really enjoy having it, even though I'll probably never use it again once we move into the house. Plus, I have no idea where I'm even going to put it here in the shop, LOL. The counter space I have is full. Time to rearrange some more I guess.

DH got the date wrong on the gas company coming to dig the gas line from tank to house. It's tomorrow. Then the gas fireplace people called and said they are going to come tomorrow instead of today.  So, it's not quite as hectic here today, just framers putting up the rest of the siding and the electricians.

I feel like I might be getting a little cold. Had a headache all day yesterday, then last night a bit of a scratchy throat, which I still have this morning. I didn't sleep well, but at least the headache is gone.

We didn't get the snow predicted last night - just rain and freezing rain this morning. But it's 41 degrees now and the ice has melted. They sure do not do a good job in predicting the weather for this area. It's rarely right, other than the temperature. And with this warm up, the painter crew returned today, so that is good. She still has some trim to finish and stain the front porch vertical beams, now that they have been set. I think she is also the one that does the caulking all around windows, etc. I just looked outside, it's 41, sunny and lightly raining/snow sideways LOL

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Lots of progress, still lots to do

The electrician showed up yesterday morning and got to work. Super nice guys. This is not the same electrician who finished our shop (after our first electrician died), because they were way too expensive. We actually had not met this guy, because he had given us a bid via email. He brought 3 guys with him and they worked all day. We did a walk through with the owner and another guy, to decide on how many lights, where to put some of the outlets and wall switches, phone lines, etc. They said we were easy to work with, haha.  They also were both good at making suggestions, which was helpful. They expect to have the rough in done by Thursday, if not, they will be back on Monday to finish it up.

A friend from town stopped by to say hi. I just love him. He's the retired (who works all the time, LOL) guy who cut up our trees into lumber for us, as well as lent us his trailer when we moved. He's just a happy guy, who enjoys life.

This morning the electricians showed back up around 8am. The plumber is back, because they forgot to rough in our little half bath downstairs! Our contractor finally sent someone out to get the mold in the foundation crawl space mitigated. He brought 2 "fog machines" that will do some part of it by killing the mold and getting rid of the smell. Then they will spray down with bleach, I guess. Apparently this mold issue is happening in just about every house being built, all the contractors and subs are saying. Supposedly something to do with the glue being used in the flooring boards.

Tomorrow sounds like another busy day. The propane company is coming to dig a ditch (about the last chance to do it before the ground gets too frozen) so they can run the propane to the house. Our hvac guy ended up recommending an electric furnace (with our heat pump) so now the only thing that the propane will be used for in the house is the gas fireplace and a hot water heater. Two of the framing crew is supposed to be back, getting back to work to finish siding the dormers. The framer has decided to wait to build our inside staircase until the drywall is done, because they make such a mess. The fireplace people are supposed to come too, to get that venting installed.

I'm still trying to decide if I want just a soaker tub or a jacuzzi type. Quite a price difference and honestly, I think I probably wouldn't use the jets much. I like peace and quiet when I am soaking in the tub, not noisy bubbles, even though I am sure, at times, that would feel nice.

Last night I tried making chicken fried steak for dinner. Ack - it's just too messy to try to make a real meal, with out a sink right nearby. Back to soup and microwave food! Plus, I had to use a canned gravy I could just heat up in the microwave, since I only have one hot plate, and it didn't taste very good.

My in-laws went home yesterday, after over 6 weeks away from home, either in the hospital or the rehab care facility. Not sure that is a good thing. Apparently they were ready to release MIL, but still wanted FIL to stay in a bit longer to finish clearing up his pneumonia, but he insisted he was going home. I guess we'll see how it goes. I guess when SIL was texting DH about it, she was being pretty bitchy about it (understood). Then she called later in the evening and said her husband told her she was being a bit too bitchy to her brother, so she called to apologize.

We sent a Christmas gift (that we bought just after Christmas last year at a gift shop) to our friend who is struggling with the cheating DH.  She received it yesterday and was happy. She loves Christmas decor, so we had gotten her something. She finally got tough a week or so ago and told him she was filing for divorce (her therapist recommended this). Well, now, for the 3rd time since all this started last summer, he's left his girlfriend (who is 24 years younger than him) and trying to get back together with our friend/his wife. I feel so bad for her. He just keeps jerking her around. Comes back to her, professes his undying love and then a week or 10 days later tells her he can't stand her and he misses his girlfriend. I can't even imagine wanting him back, but she does.

I woke up with a headache this morning that I can't seem to shake. I've even taken some ibuprofen, but it hasn't helped. My boss has been so busy with the changes at work to repping a big new line, that I am trying not to email her unless it's absolutely necessary, because she doesn't have time to respond. A couple of weeks ago I knew we had a little annual spreadsheet due to our payroll company, so I did it up and emailed it to her (sometimes she does it, sometimes I do) a little in advance, knowing she probably won't have time to do it. She emailed me yesterday asking if I could do it, before I could reply that I already did, she sent another email "LOL - I see you already did this! I'm behind 2 weeks on emails". I replied back - have you gotten to my email requesting two days off after Christmas yet? I  might be back from the two days off before you get to it! LOL".

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The usual weekend stuff

The last couple of days my computer has been making a funny noise with the fan. Ugh. I know this computer is getting up there in age, and I know work will buy me a new one, when necessary, but I don't want to have to deal with that, too, right now. DH suggested it probably needs a good blowing out of dust, so he did that this morning and all seems well now.

We've been having a problem with our shop bathroom fan not getting the moisture from our showers out. The window is all fogged up and takes forever to clear. Well, DH did some looking and apparently the vent wasn't opening to the outside when the fan was turned on. Hopefully that is fixed now. I'm tired of him yelling at me that I'm not leaving fan on long enough or not leaving the window open a crack long enough! Or then he's yelling at me this morning because I left the fan on, still for a little while, after I was done in the bathroom - he's saying "leaving the fan on just draws the moisture in" Huh? I thought the whole point of a fan was to pull the moisture out! I gave up trying to talk to him about it.

Friday, the HVAC guy showed up. 3 guys, in about 5 hours, got the venting all roughed in. Now the electrician can come on Monday and get started. The HVAC guy is friend of good friend, and also the guy used to own an insulation business and had done our shop at our house we just sold, in town, so DH feels really comfortable with him and his advice.  He said not to worry at all about the mold in the foundation crawl space. Once our contractor mitigates it, it will all be fine and no worries, so I think that helped DH calm down about it.

It's warmed up. 34 degrees instead of 5! I'll take it. Though now they are predicting snow again. So far, they have been pretty wrong about the snow predictions, so am hoping it will hold off a little longer, still. We do not have anything to plow our driveway with! The original plan had been that this house would be done by late Fall, at the latest, we'd be done with our little dump trailer, sell it, and use that money for something to plow with. We're going to have to figure out something soon. Though again, a lot of it, I think is DH over reacting a bit. We could just hire someone local to come in and plow it out, when it snows. Probably cheaper that way!

My in-laws are supposed to be going home tomorrow. Hopefully it will all go well. I'm sure they are both ready to get back to their own home. I just asked SIL what would be a good gift for them as I have no idea. She said they like Applebee's, which is just down the road, and they can order and do a curbside pick up, so that is what I just ordered via Amazon, and it will come to them in a gift bag. I still need to send my SIL/BIL something. Was going to do Harry & Davids again (we did that 2 years ago), but dang, their shipping is so expensive! We'll see. I'm still thinking about it.

We totally just vegged out yesterday. I took a nap. Then around 4pm DH suggested going out to eat. Neither of us was really hungry for a big dinner, at the nice restaurant we like, so I said, well the drive thru burger place is 20 miles one way and the nice restaurant is 20 miles the other direction, so let's just do the burger place. Then the dogs can ride with us, and get their bacon, from the nice drive thru lady. Plus it was about half the cost of the steakhouse. Then DH ended up taking a nap from 6pm to almost 8pm. Then he wondered why he couldn't sleep last night.

This afternoon DH has been outside, doing what I do not know. Still organizing all the stuff that is getting put inside the (still no doors) garage on the house. Now it's got a bunch of boxes from the Hvac guy. Hvac guy also said I do not have to have a downdraft stove top if I don't want. He doesn't think it will be an issue. My issue with too much smoke from cooking (setting off fire alarm!) isn't from using the stove top, it's when I use the broiler in the oven and the oven will be an in wall unit, so can't vent that anyway. Those down draft stove tops were like $1000+ more than a regular stove top, so I'm glad to be saving that money, for sure. Especially since we will be needing to also purchase a washing machine.

Thursday, December 6, 2018


The switch over to my new phone worked. Whew! There were a few bumps in the process, that I'm not really sure why. The first bump was they needed to send me a 6 digit code to access my apple account, but my old phone was supposed to be turned off and new one wasn't getting the code. Kept trying and trying. It wouldn't come thru my  ipad either. Even turned on my old phone. Tried "other method" and that didn't work. Then it told me I had too many codes sent (that I never got). Finally I had to start over and then it worked. Then towards the end there was another time I had to put in my password for Apple and it kept giving a weird error message. Finally after about 5 tries it went through. Eventually, all my stuff was there and working. I just had to enter passwords for my 3 email accounts I have set up in my phone. I was very relieved it all worked and now I don't have to make a trip to the city to have Verizon do it for me. I think Verizon did a good job with their online instructions, for the most part. Now, I have a cheap phone case ($8) on it's way from Amazon. It's nice having a phone with a bit bigger screen and one that will take good indoor pictures. My old phone stopped taking good indoor pics quite awhile back. I'm also glad I was proactive and ordered this new phone before my old one died. Otherwise, I would have been in a rush to get a new phone and probably would have ended up spending more at the store on a newer model, that I don't really need. $120 for a phone, that will hopefully last me another 4 years, is plenty to spend.

The electrician who is supposed to come Monday called to check on progress, to see if he can start. Which then made DH have to call the HVAC guy and see what is up. He said he will come tomorrow morning and have done what needs to be done so the electrician can get started on Monday. That's good - will give DH something to keep busy with tomorrow while that guy is here working. Maybe he'll even find out what his buddy's issue is.......the good friend that pretty much stopped contacting him once we started building and we have no idea why. This guy knows him pretty well, their kids play sports/go to school together. Maybe it will come out it chatting with him,  haha.

Lucy at A Dime at a Time will be proud of me. I earned $5.90 on M-Turk yesterday. But...then I haven't even been on there today. So, I just went on for about 15 minutes or so and earned $3.20.

Attempting the phone switch

DH had an excursion yesterday. He drove 2 hours to go renew is conceal carry permit. I had called ahead a few weeks ago and got all the info. Hours, cost, etc. They said  he would need to be fingerprinted again, since his permit was done in another county originally. Ok. So, he gets there and they tell him, sorry, we can't fingerprint you today, because it's a federal holiday due to President Bush's funeral. What are the odds, he'd pick that day?! Who knew. So, they tell him maybe try the next county sheriff's office to the north. He has me call and check with them. They said "why does he need fingerprinting again?" I explained what the other county told me and she said no, we do not need to fingerprint him again. But, they only took cash or check, no debit/credit. I had thought he didn't have much cash on him (he was planning to pay with debit card), but luckily he had a check in his wallet. So, he drove another hour to their office. Was in and out in less than 5 minutes. So, at least that is done and good for another 4-5 years. And at least it was a nice sunny (though cold) day for driving.

So, now the HVAC guy, who was supposed to get started this week has been a no show. He was supposed to get done before the electrician, who is supposed to come next week.  Frustrating and discouraging to say the least. I was hoping he'd be here, while the framers aren't, so DH still keeps busy. When he gets bored and nothing is going on, he starts thinking too much. So, far this morning he's keeping busy cleaning up some of the construction debris and reorganizing the pallets of stuff still out there.

My new iphone 6 arrived by FedEx this morning. I'm going to like having a little bigger screen (it will be easier on these old eyes). It's sitting on my desk trying to warm it up to room temperature. The thing feels like an little ice block. It's like 10 degrees outside and apparently it wasn't much warmer in the FedEx guys delivery van, LOL.  Wish me luck with a smooth transition from my old phone content to my new phone..........

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Itchiness and other updates

Can someone explain to me why I have two bites on my leg that will not go away? I know pretty much exactly when they showed up. It was either the day I was coming home from visiting at DD's or the day after. They were small, on the side of my calf, and I figured them just to be flea bites I got from DD's house/dog/cat. She had mentioned she needed to get her dog back to the vet the next week for his flea treatment.

This was on Oct 21st, and I still have the two little bites and they still itch! What the heck?! It's not like they itch all the time, but at least once a day they start to itch and I put a dab of cortisone cream on them. Why in the world are the bites (whatever they are from) staying so long? Crazy.

We got the cabinets for our shop bathroom put up last night, so everything is done in that room now, except for some trim around the window.  Much nicer and cleaner without all the stuff sitting on top of the machines. The brown doesn't exactly match the brown wood of the vanity, but for our budget, this is what I could find. They are the same cabinets we put in the laundry room in our house we just sold, except those ones were white. I liked the white one's better, as far as how it looked more like wood painted white, than this brown looks more "fake", but these were the only brown ones I could find in our budget and for a shop bathroom they will suffice.

There is no work going on at the house, as the framers are waiting for the rest of the siding to come in, which apparently won't be until next Wednesday. He knew last week he wasn't going to have enough, but waited until this week to order. The HVAC guy is supposed to get started this week, but we haven't heard from him yet. They did get the fireplace, for the gas fireplace, built, using a beam for the mantel from a tree cut down on our property, so that is neat.

It's got some live edge on it, plus the framer said since it still has some drying to do (it was cut down summer before last) it will probably still crack some, which is fine, as we want it to look rustic.

Since DH has the day off from being "helper guy", as there is no one working on the house, he decided to go get his conceal carry license renewed. He has to drive 2 hours to do it, so will be gone a good part of the day. Better than being here in the shop, bothering me because he's bored!  He has to pay a little extra for the license because it's expired. He wasn't sure what he was going to do - he could just get a CCL here in this state, but it's not valid in as many states as his old license. He could go back to old state and renew. A small late fee, as long as he renews within 90 days of it expiring. So, that's what he decided to do. A bit of a drive, and honestly, I'm surprised he went by himself to go do it. Usually, he's so hesitant to go take care of stuff by himself.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

New vet

Yesterday afternoon we had to take our older dog to the vet for his checkup and vaccines. Plus, I wanted some bumps and lumps he's been getting checked out. I had hoped they are just a result of him getting old (he's 10 now) and thankfully the vet said they are all benign stuff. I forget the medical names of them. Some fatty type cysts and some wart looking things. He said none of them are an issue and common as dogs get old, mostly it's the owners bothered by them and not the pet, haha.  Other than that, he is doing well. He could stand to loose a few (8 to be exact) pounds, and that has pretty much always been the case, though he is down 2-3 pounds in the past couple of years, as he gets more exercise here.  Again, I am trying to get DH to at least cut down on the treats and table scraps he feeds them. At least give him half a treat - break the milk bone or beggin stip in half. I told DH I don't want to cut down on his food amount (already did that a couple years ago) as that is what he is getting his nutrients from, not the treats.  I do give them some milk bone treats (we have the small size), but I always break them in half to split and I never feed them what I am eating., other than green beans, which they love and which the vet also recommended as a good no calorie treat. So, what does DH do as we stop and get McD's for dinner? Gives the dogs french fries as we are driving home........

I tried a different vet. The closest vets are in the city, but the one I had tried (neighbors recommended) was on the far side of town. Plus, the last time I was there I was not thrilled with the complete chaos in their waiting room. Completely packed. I'm used to walking into a vet office and maybe there is one other person/animal waiting or checking out. So, while we had been at this little business center looking at gas fireplaces a couple of weeks ago, I noticed there was a vet office in the complex. It's right off the first exit to the city and when I googled them, they had 5 star reviews (the other place had 3), so I decided to give them a try. It was certainly much easier to get there then the other place (and better parking) and will probably save 15 minute drive each way. I was the only one in the waiting room, while we waited to be called back. They were prompt and I was out of there with him in 30 minutes. When I went to check out there was one person with a dog waiting for their appt and then someone else walked in with a cat carrier. That's how it should be. Not 20 people crammed into a small waiting room shoulder to shoulder with their pets. I liked the vet. He seemed calm and took time to talk over with me about his lumps and bumps and was good at explaining. While they might have been a bit more expensive then the other place, it was a better experience overall. Most of the $149 bill was 4 vaccines. The office visit was $42. I was just relieved to find out he has nothing serious going on.

We are 35 minutes to the first freeway exit (now that the road construction is done) and the vet office is just down the road a bit from there and also in the same area where we shop, so it was convenient. After the vet visit we had to go over to Lowe's and pick up some cabinets we ordered for the bathroom here in the shop, as well as we picked up some wire shelving that DH is going to put in the mechanical room (where the water heater and stuff is) so he has some more storage space. He started putting together the cabinets last night and got the tall narrow cabinet that goes next to the washing machine done. We now have that filled with towels and toilet paper. He's got the cabinet that goes over the washer and dryer put together, but not on the wall yet. Then we can put the laundry detergent and stuff up in that and we won't feel so cluttered in there.

I see my new iphone I ordered is on it's way. Originally the order email had said it wouldn't be available to ship until the end of December. Now, I'll most likely have to make another trip back to the city to go to the Verizon store and get my old phone swapped to the new one. I only have to work a half a day this Friday, so I may do it then. No snow is forecast, just cold, sunny and dry, so the drive will be fine if I go by myself.

The house progress seems like it has slowed down, even though there have been 4 guys working on it the past couple of weeks. They got most of it sided, but didn't order enough and told DH this morning that today is their last day until the siding comes in.....but didn't say when that would be. You watch, now they'll get off on a new job and it'll be like pulling teeth to get them to come back and get to work again. There is still so much that the framer has to do, regardless of the siding. There is still a fireplace wall inside to build, an enclosure for the drop in tub, as well as the whole staircase!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Elder care

I was reading a text SIL sent DH and another brother. OMG. She acts like since the rehab care center is about ready to discharge MIL (maybe tomorrow), it's their fault she has no care to go home to! They told her she could stay on, but it would be $345 a day, since medicare won't pay for any more days, as her hospital stay issue is cleared up now. Then she said she told them, "well, she doesn't have anyone at her home to care for her, so don't call me to come and pick her up when you are discharging her". OMG! Seriously? Well, then I'm sure they would just keep her there, and be sending MIL/FIL a bill for it. So, why not just arrange for her to stay there, billing FIL/MIL, until FIL is well enough to leave?  See what I mean about them all making this harder than it needs to be?  She is grown up, intelligent woman, with a 20+ year career. It's not the care facility's fault that medicare only pays for so many days after a hospital visit, it's not their fault FIL/MIL have too much income/savings to qualify for medicaid at this time.

MIL obviously needs full time care. She is in a wheel chair, she is on oxygen, she is half dementia most of the time. She is best when she is with her husband, so why not keep her there and pay for it? Instead they are going to let FIL go home with pneumonia?! If they have to use their savings to pay for it, then so be it. That will be some of their "spend down" so that once it's gone they will qualify for medicaid, which seems to be what they all are most concerned about - they want medicaid to pay for their nursing care and not use their savings for it. Earlier she was trying to figure out things they could use their savings for to "spend it down" so they would qualify. Like they could put a new furnace in their house.

We really don't have much more advice to know to give SIL on all this. I think they are all making it  harder than it needs to be. I think there are two issues going on with them. One is they have income and savings, but do not want to use it for medical care. Second is they don't want to leave their home. 

When my grandma couldn't take care of herself anymore, she had some savings. She first hired a woman than came in like 4 hours a day. She cleaned her house, did laundry, made her lunch and a dinner, then went home. When she needed full time care she sold her little mobile home and then had that money too.  She had about enough left in savings for about 2 years of care. She used it all up and then she went on medicaid. Since in-laws want to stay in their home, and they want medicaid to pay for their care (rather than use their savings), then why not do the spend down they are allowed to fix their house and whatever else they are allowed to spend it down on, and then have some in-home care through medicaid, rather than going into a nursing/assisted living facility. But, they don't want in home care either. Not sure what one does when they are fighting the inevitable so hard. It sounds like that a few years ago (before FIL started getting sick) they were planning for all this. They and SIL consulted an attorney who specializes in this and got all the info on what they needed to do, how to spend down, etc. He even had them open separate checking accounts so MIL's smaller social security check would just be in her account and had them put the house just in FIL's name only. But, now that medical issues and care needs are arising it seems no one wants to do what is needed to be done.

It would probably help SIL to break down the issues they/she is dealing with one by one, rather than being overwhelmed by all together.

1) It is now a given that there will be times that FIL is too sick to care for MIL, even if only temporarily. A plan needs to be in place for her care, so when this happens they aren't all in a panic of what to do with her. SIL has a full time job and she does not want either of them to live with her, so obviously other care arrangements need to be made.

2) A plan/agreement between FIL and SIL to either use what income/savings they have for the extra medical care that comes up (like MIL having to get temporary care) or a plan to get the "spend down" done, so that medicaid is in place for these extra medical expenses. If they are going to go the "spend down" route, then do it now, don't keep waiting to see what happens down the road. We all know where the road goes. I would think since they can use the money towards improving their house, they would benefit from some extra comfort knowing their house was maintained and more comfortable to live in.

Well, once I wrote those two things out, that's all I could see that needs to be done. It really doesn't seem insurmountable. Sure, it is not fun at all and is stressful, but the way they have been going about it, to me, just seems like more chaos and stress. I'm a person that likes to have plans in place, not just wing it when it happens. Especially when you know it is going to happen at some point. SIL has had a month to prepare that most likely MIL will be getting released from this rehab before FIL.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Interview memories

We got another skiff of snow last night, but the roofing crew is here and trying to get it done this weekend. It's only like 34 degrees outside.  I heated up some cans of beef stew and fed the 3 roofing guys some warm lunch.

Once the house is "dried in" then the electrician and hvac can get started. Hvac is supposed to get started next week and the electrician the week after. All the door and windows are now in...except for the front door. I think that's going on Monday.

I'm reading another good book called "The Boys in the Boat" about the UW rowing team who won the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. I keep finding books that sound good to read and I'm keeping a list and every time I try to borrow from the library e-books, there is a wait. I'm got probably 15 books on reserve. Hopefully they'll become available at different times so I'm not suddenly bombarded with books to read all at once.

I'm making some chocolate chip cookies in the teeny toaster oven I have. I have some cookie dough (DH likes to eat it raw) in the fridge, and warm cookies sound good. Too bad I can only make like 4 at a time, LOL.

I was noticing from a Facebook post that my neice's husband works for this guy I interviewed for a bookkeeping job with, years ago. That brought back a memory. Man, that guy was too intense and hyper for me, LOL. Way Type A personality. and it was like he'd had about 10 cups of coffee. He ran his construction business out of an office attached to his garage. It came down to him deciding between me and another person. He chose the other person. They were asking lesser salary, if I recall. I found another job a week or two later. About a month or two later, he called me back up, asking if I was still looking for a job. I said "oh, what happened - your other person didn't work out?" I didn't even consider going to work for him at that point, since I had a new good job. I probably couldn't have stood his personality anyway.

Which then brought back the memory of the weirdest job interview I ever had. I think it was during this same job search. Another company in the same nearby small town this other interview was in. It was a pretty good sized manufacturing company looking to hire a staff accountant. The controller set the interview for like 5pm, which I thought a little weird, to begin with. We interviewed for quite awhile in his office and the interview seemed to go well. Then he wanted to give me a tour of the facility - which is always a good sign. I think by then it was 6 o'clock or after by the time we got back to his office. He then said he wanted to hire me (I was excited to hear that) and starts explaining that he will be hiring me through a temp agency for like 90 days and then after his corporate office closes the interviewing for the position, then I would be changed to a permanent employee. I was like wait a minute...are you saying you are going to hire me, but still be interviewing for the position during this time period? Well, yes, technically, but....and he had some lame excuse. I said, well no thank you. I am looking for a permanent full time position that I can stay at for a long time. I'm not looking for something temporary that might work into a permanent job, if you don't find someone else you like better in the next couple of months. He seemed very surprised by my reaction. I politely again, said no thank you and I left. It was kind of a creepy feeling looking back and being there that late when the office staff were gone (I think there were some working in the warehouse part).  Again, about 2 months later he calls me up........wanting to know if I was still looking for a job. Actually I think he called again sometime later that year, too. I recall getting two calls from him. So weird.

and another memory of a company I worked at part time during college. They were hiring another office person (there were like 3 or 4 of us in the office) and I was front in our little entrance area where we had some file cabinets. A girl walked in. So serious and somber. She was here to interview with the office manager. I was still doing filing when she left and after the office manager walked her to the door and she left, she turned to me and said "that is the saddest person I have ever met!" She said she could barely get 3 words out of her for each interview question she would ask her. Needless to say, she did not get hired, but I always wondered if that girl ever did find a job