Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Enjoying another day off work

I had given DD a check to reimburse her for the gifts she picked up for me to give my mom. She texts me Sunday that she stopped at her bank to deposit it in the ATM but there was a sketchy homeless guy sitting there and she didn't want to get out of her car by herself. I said get with the times and deposit it with your phone! LOL. She texted this morning that she deposited it with her phone. I said welcome to the 21st century.

Our HVAC guy has a house at least as big as us, bigger it looks. He said he has same furnace/heat pump set up as well as same electric co-op company. He said his heating bills are like $100/mo. Well, either he doesn't really know what his bills are (his wife probably pays them, she's the office person for his business) or we keep our heat on way higher, LOL. My bill that just came out for December was $300. I'm still not complaining, though. Still cheaper than our tiny house in town, but not $100, haha. It was about that all the other months and even during the hot of summer, with a/c on, so that was really good. At least with the last couple of months bills and the next couple, I'll have a good idea what to budget for next winter. I'll have to ask our neighbors sometime, what their bills run in the winter, but I'm pretty sure they have a propane furnace, so probably not very comparable.

DD, her DH and another couple are spending a couple of nights away for New Years. Usually they go to the ocean, but this year they are using my bosses cabin on a lake. She had let us use it once years ago and it was nice and relaxing time. Boss hardly uses it anymore, in fact is planning to put it up for sale this year, as they rarely go there anymore now that her DD is grown and busy. But, it was super nice of my boss to let them use it - and for free! I wouldn't exactly call it a cabin, per se. It's more like a small house, LOL. 3 stories, even. From the front it looks like of like a cabin with rooms in attic, but there is also a daylight basement in back. But, there's still also no cell service at all there, so I won't be able to communicate with her for a couple of days.

My new health insurance that started in August uses WalgreensRX for mail order prescriptions. I got mine transferred and refilled a few months ago and now it's time to order my refills, but I can't seem to get their website to work. I sign in, but every time I click on something it takes me to a screen that says "you are already signed in"....well ya...that was the idea....I just tried again this morning and it worked. Now I need to do one of my mom's prescriptions. It's showing no refills left, so I'm really hoping it will just be a matter of the online pharmacy (Kaiser) contacting her dr for a refill that he ok's. She's been on this for years and was just in to see him last summer, so not sure why it wasn't refilled for more then.

Well, my uncle kind of figured out a way to have my mom stop driving, as we've all been pretty worried about her out there driving. She has a 10 year old Prius. It appears the battery is finally giving out. I'm pretty sure she's never had to replace it before (I think they cost a couple thousand to replace) and now that she hardly every drives (maybe every couple of weeks) it keeps dying. She called AAA last Friday and they restarted it and told her to drive it for 20-25 minutes, so she said she drove around her apartment complex parking lot. Then Saturday it wouldn't start again. Uncle has been telling her when she's ready to give up driving/having a car he wants her car. Uncle had my son go over yesterday to see if he can start it and that he was taking it to uncle to get it worked on. We figured with her memory she will quickly forget how long he'll even have had it. But, she pretty much just told him to keep it and she seems ok with it, so that is good. One less thing for us to worry about with her. My only issue is uncle said it was being stored by our son. DD and I aren't very trusting in that situation at all (he'd end up using it and putting her at risk/liability) but uncle told me yesterday it's just for one more week and then he's bringing a trailer up to get the car. Ok, that seems ok then.

Time to put the Christmas decor away......not as fun as putting it up, LOL

Monday, December 30, 2019

What's old is new again

DH had woodworker guy refurbish our old wrought iron bench with new wood slats. He was able to use the wood from our cut down trees, for this also. It turned out so pretty and is much nicer than it ever looked when new, haha. The slats are thicker and sturdier and stained such a pretty color.

I bought this bench at a hardware store probably 30 years ago, LOL. When it got all weathered and wood started rotting we kept it and it was in our little "fire pit area" at our old house as yard decor and I kind of made it into a planter. When we moved over here, DH took it apart and threw away the slats and thought someday we'll re-do it. It should last another 30 years ;)

Snow arrived a bit yesterday and more expected tomorrow and Wednesday. We'll just be doing a very quiet (as usual) New Years Eve and New Years Day. I'll probably start taking down all the Christmas decorations tomorrow. The house will probably seem a bit empty afterwards.

I don't usually make New Years goals, but I guess if I were it will be to keep up the MTurks earnings, like I did for the month of October. I've made a little over $1600 for 2019 with it. My 2020 goal is $3000. It would be nice to find something else to do online that pays decent, when MTurks is slow and I could fill in with another source.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

A little post Christmas chat

I hopped online yesterday in search of a 12 foot artificial Christmas tree on clearance. The one I had seen at Lowe's was half off at $349, but they were out of stock. I found a very similar one (it has more lights than Lowe's tree) online with Home Depot and it was $274 (half off) so I ordered it. I doubt I'd find a decent looking full (not the skinny kind) 12 foot pre-lit tree for less than that. It was $55 to ship or free to ship to store, so we will just make a trip to the city and pick up at the store, rather than pay that shipping cost.

Now, I need to get focused back on MTurks earnings. The last 2 months have been abysmal, after earning $454 in October. I've only done $70 this month and $142 last month. I don't think there are as many surveys (most are from universities) during this time of year, so I'm hoping it will pick back up after the first of the year. I've been trying to find hits while I've been sitting at my computer the past hour or so and only have done $1.50.

One of DD and SIL's friends made them such a neat Christmas gift. He's a graphic artist and made them cartoon like prints of each of their 3 pets. They are so cute and look just like them. I think I'm going to have him make me one for our 2 dogs. They would look cute on the wall above the dog wash. I am going to "commission" him to make me two, haha.

Here is another of the gifts DH got me. Another vintage wood duck decoy. I had seen it at the antique store when we were looking around, but didn't buy it since we bought the old phone. Now I have 2 cute old ducks.
These are a couple of the things I got from my mom's house, that she couldn't take to her new apartment. DD had been storing for me, until they could bring them over.
The table originally belonged to my grandparents and then mom got it when my grandma passed. I doubt it will stay in this corner of my dining room, as I am still searching for a reasonably priced old farmhouse hutch to go on that wall, but for now, it really helps fill that empty space.

The fake tree goes well next to the staircase, I think. Again, something to fill the space a bit and add a bit of color. Those darn trees are expensive to buy, so I'm grateful to get this one.

And one more picture. I also got this painting and old table from my mom (originally belonged to my step dad's parents). I put it up in my office and set my new old "check writer" on it for display.

Not much happening this weekend. Yesterday I washed the bedding on one of the guest beds and remade it. Today I'll do the other one.  My boss worked yesterday and had to text me with a question and apologized. I was like no problem! It was a 5 minute time out of my day and then since I was online I saw she had approved some employee expenses, so I got those set up to pay out, so they didn't have to wait until I get back next Thursday. Easy peasy.

For quick easy reads, I've just been reading some Christmas stories, similar to the Hallmark channel movies, LOL. Last night I switched genres and went back to science fiction. I have a bunch of various books on hold, that I am waiting my turn on, so trying to fill the gap until one of them becomes available. Thank god for e-readers (I use my ipad mini) and ebooks through the library! Basically a never ending supply of books to read.

Well, DH is up and about now. Now that I've finished my coffee and this post it's time for me to go downstairs and get myself some breakfast.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Christmas continued

Mom went to bed about 8pm Christmas eve. I'm sure she was tired. The rest of us stayed up and visited. DD and I made it until 10:30pm and I think SIL and DH to about midnight. Christmas morning we got up and I made a breakfast of blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs with diced ham, sausages and orange juice.  I jumped in the shower quick and then got the turkey in the oven around 10:15. Then we opened our stocking stuffers.

The day seemed to go by quick, just visiting. DH and SIL figured out how to use the game camera and set it up outside. We played a little bit of darts up in the bonus room. DD hit the bullseye her first try, LOL.

Dinner was about 3pm and turned out good. The turkey looked perfect golden brown and I didn't forget anything, like I did at Thanksgiving (sweet potatoes). We had given mom several crossword puzzle books, so she worked on one of those and DD and I worked on another book for awhile.

Mom loved my home and how everything was decorated for Christmas. It's definitely a good house for Christmas and Winter, being set in the mountains with trees all around and viewed through all the windows. Not that we hardly have company, but it sure was nice having 2 guest rooms available.

She's still so frustrating with her medications! I had reminded her the night before they came to make sure she brought her pills. DD asked her when she picked her up. So...instead of just putting her pill box in her bag, she puts several days pills in her old little pill box that is just for one time a day. She put her evening pills all in an empty day she wasn't using while here (ie Sunday). And I saw she brought several of the bottles. She told me she took Christmas morning, but that evening I had snuck upstairs and looked (and that's when I discovered she brought that other pill box) and there were still pills in Wednesday. Ugh. But, who knows if maybe she just took them out of her bottles? Yesterday morning, before they left I asked her if she took and she said "yes, I took my before eating breakfast one, but I still need to take my other morning pills" I asked her what happened to deciding to take all those morning pills at the same time, when she got up, and she said "oh, I just decided to wait". So, I'm sure now we'll be back to her forgetting those 2nd round of morning pills.

It really was too quick of a visit. I wish they would have stayed one more day. Basically we got them for about a day and a half is all :(. They got up and left at 8:30 yesterday morning.

Here's a few of my wonderful gifts I received

When you spend time around my mom you can really tell her memory issues, much more than just talking to her on the phone once or twice a day. And I'm sure it's probably worse being somewhere not familar, rather than her own place. When she moved out of her home she wanted to get rid of a lot of things. DD took a lot and I picked out several things, that DD had to store for me until she could bring them over in their truck. Mom seems to have forgotten some of it was her stuff. The table in that picture above with the antique check writer is one of the items from her house. I also got an oak small table that was my grandparents and a tall fake tree/plant, as well as some various dishes.

It was a very nice Christmas in our new home and I'm so glad DD, SIL and my mom were able to come. It's been really good that I've gotten to see them 3 times since Nov 1st. Now it will probably be several months, as we settle in for winter to really put it's hold on our area. Maybe a big snow on Sunday.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Eve

I started this post on Tuesday morning, LOL, and didn't get it finished.

DD texted me at 7:10 that morning. It was 6:10 in their time zone and they were picking my mom up at 6am....only she either didn't set her alarm right or forgot to set it when she went to bed, so she wasn't even up yet. So, they didn't get on the road until 40 minutes after they planned. At least all 3 passes are either bare and dry or bare and wet, so travel was good getting over here.

Weird, I was just looking at my old checking account I still have open and use a bit. I usually transfer my MTurks earnings into it (which have been zip the past couple of weeks). There were 3 "paypal" withdrawals. Two were from DH getting gas with his paypal debit card. One was me getting gas with my card. Both our paypal debit cards are supposed to pull out of my main checking account and that is how they are showing set up.

And even weirder is I used my debit card 3 places in town that day. First was in the hardware store, then in the grocery store and then gas. The first 2 pulled out of my main checking and the gas charge pulled out of my secondary checking. How does that work?! I'm even more confused now! I guess I just need to delete that old checking account from being linked to paypal. I don't keep much money in there and don't need an overdraft because it for some reason decided to pull out of there instead of my main checking.

Anyhow, they actually made good time and got here by 3pm on Christmas Eve. First up was to give them their wedding gift! HAHA! If you may recall, we had a hope chest made for them, but it wasn't done until after their wedding and this was the first trip they made over here. I couldn't take it my last 2 trips to see them, as I flew. They loved the gift so much.

I made spaghetti for dinner, good and easy. While waiting for them, I had made 2 pumpkin pies, so we had that later, for dessert. Mom seemed pretty good, though tired from the long drive, of course. But, we all just sat in the living room and visited, so it was relaxing. We were trying to decide if we should open all our gifts then or wait until Christmas morning. We've done it both ways over the years. DH wanted me to for sure open a certain gift Christmas Eve. It was a set of log/wood night stands to go next to each side of the bear log bed. Perfect! Especially since DD and SIL were sleeping in there that night, haha.

After I opened it, then DD decided let's open them all up :) No one argued, haha. We also take turns opening each gift, one by one. Lots of nice gifts were received and given. The kids gave DH a game camera, which he will enjoy using to see what wildlife is out and about our property. DH also gave me a couple of items I had liked when we visited the antique store a few weeks ago. He went back the weekend I was visiting mom. A wood duck decoy (I own 2 now) and an old "check writer/protector". 

to be continued........

Monday, December 23, 2019

Nothing too exciting

Yesterday was mostly all about cleaning. Nothing exciting about that, huh? I cleaned the kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms, dusted and vacuumed. DH cleaned some outside windows. DH went over to his friends place for a little while just as I was about done with most of it, so I took advantage of the quiet and took a little nap.

After he got back we decided to put up the dart board in the bonus room. I had gotten this dart board a couple of years ago as a work rewards from one of our manufacturer's for doing online training classes. There were lots of items to choose from, but with the points I had, I chose the dart board, thinking ahead to our plans to have a bonus room above our garage.

It was a bit hard to figure out where to best put it, as this room being in attic space, the ceilings and walls are low and angled, but this spot should work.

I just logged into work quickly and did our state business tax return. I just ran out of time to get it done Friday and it needs to be submitted by Thursday. Ok, now I am officially done working until Jan 2nd. In processing payroll I see that just about everyone at work has taken this time off, so hardly anyone is working.

When I called my mom yesterday morning she said she wasn't feeling too well and was thinking maybe it was something she ate at the buffet in the dining room the night before. She was feeling better last night when I called and her plans today are to run over to that vehicle license place next door to her bank and find out how much her tabs are and then go next door to her bank and get cash (she hasn't received her new checks yet) and then go pay for her tabs in cash. DD says she will not call her this time, LOL. Hopefully she still feels ok today and nothing serious. They are heading over here starting early tomorrow morning.

Today, I still need to mop the flooring, do some of my laundry, and I'm going to make sugar cookies. Sometime today or tomorrow we need to go deliver a gift we got for woodworker guy friend. He had really liked our wind chimes, so I got him the same kind, only a smaller version. DH hasn't wanted to give it to him until as late as possible near Christmas because he's the type that would think he needs to go out and get us something, LOL.

One more sleep and I get to see my DD and mom :)

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Busy time of year

Yesterday was kind of busy and fun. I made a double batch of dog treats and it's a good thing. After they were done baking DH and I took 4 of the bags of dog treats over to our next door neighbors. Mr was not home, as he as out playing Santa for the Lion's Club. We chatted with Mrs quite awhile in her foyer. The new dog is doing better and the little bit they used the bark collar a few days ago he figured out right quick what the deal was. While we were there (and you can imagine how it could be chaos with 4 big dogs and company show up) all the dogs were really good and calm (after they said hello). The new dog is very sweet and she said it also helped that they had him neutered.

Then we went back home and had lunch and then I walked down the street to the other neighbors to deliver a bag of dog treats for their brand new puppy. OMG. Puppies are too cute, LOL. They were all outside when I got down there, so we just stood outside for awhile visiting. I also took a little bag of chocolate chip cookies DH had made. Their little 2 1/2 year old enjoyed a cookie, once he got over his shyness, LOL.

After I got back home DH and I were just relaxing in the living room and realized someone had pulled in and was coming up to the door. It was the couple who live about a mile down the road. They stopped by to drop off homemade Kahlua and cookies. Yum! They hadn't seen our house inside yet and both said it was so nice and she said a couple of times how beautiful my Christmas decorations were. I know they have 2 dogs, so I gave her one of my bags of  dog treats. That was really nice of them to stop by and drop off goodies. I don't know what kind the cookies were but they are super delicious. Really flat and chewy.

The weather has been unusual. 50 degrees and same again today. A little colder starting tomorrow but no snow in the forecast, which is good for DD, SIL and mom to get over here. I think DH is going to wash our car today, LOL. It's so dirty.

DH gave me one of his Christmas gifts early. He couldn't wrap it and figured I'd want it out for our overnight guests coming. A blanket ladder for the room with the log bed. Woodworker guy made it (of course LOL).

And once the holiday (or maybe I'll leave it out all winter) are over I can add my newest blanket to it. Some friends sent us this blanket as a Christmas gift. I love it. Fits right in with our decor

Today, and probably tomorrow I'm just going to be cleaning. I need to rewash the bedding in the "bear" bedroom, as the dogs sleep on it and even pull the covers back, and sleep on the sheets LOL. Plus I bought new sheets for that bed, so they are ready to be put on. I'm just going to shut the guest bedroom doors after I get them cleaned and ready for my overnight guests.

DD won't be here until at least mid afternoon on Christmas Eve, so while waiting I think I'll make some Christmas sugar cookies and also a pumpkin pie. For dinner that night I'm thinking either spaghetti or a hashbrown/cheese/bacon casserole.

Let the cleaning palooza begin..........

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Major TGIF

Goodness, what a computer crazy day and a half I had. Wednesday afternoon I get on the phone with one of our IT guys to fix a problem with the computer I log into at the office. He thinks I have a virus and needs to work on it, so I can't work the rest of the afternoon, other than answer a few emails.

Thursday morning I wait about an hour and a half and email him for a status update, because he also said if it was going to be too long they'd figure out a temporary way for me to get signed in and working. I got stuff to do! Even my boss messaged him it's urgent. Then he emailed back that it was not a virus (yay!) and he thinks he fixed it, so I can log back in now. Only I couldn't log in. I tried like 10 times and finally emailed him back. He called and remoted into my computer at home and of course it worked then, LOL. He joked that I pretended to have troubles so I could talk to him again. i said, I missed you. I only have dogs to talk to during the day, LOL. Finally, I was back to working, trying to get caught up. About an hour later my home internet went down. OMG! Can I just get a break? I wasn't sure if it was something wrong with my home wi-fi or if the phone company internet went down. Their Facebook and website page never gives any updates, if they have a system problem. I tried to reset our modem. I tried to call the phone company several times and kept getting a busy signal, so I figured it must be on their end. Then I used my phone to access their website and do an online chat and they said it was down and they didn't know how long it would be. Ugh.

Then I remembered I could do a "hotspot" with my phone and use that to access internet, so I did that and was able to keep working. Whew. Surprisingly it wasn't slow, worked fine. I probably had to do that for almost 2 hours and our internet finally came back on. Of course, it's the end of the world for DH if he can't use his computer. When I told him it was an outage all over and not sure how long (I figured it wouldn't be too long) he says "well, how about if we go do our grocery shopping now?" Um..no...it might come back on and I'm already way behind on work because of my office computer being down. (I hadn't thought of the hotspot yet). I don't want to be gone 3 hours or more, if it's going to come back on soon. I've got a ton of work to do. Then he gets crabby that Friday the weather is supposed to be worse and he doesn't want to drive in it. Well, tough cookies, bub. Work comes first. Then I remembered doing the hotspot, so I was good to go to get back to work. It's exhausting dealing with computer issues.

Besides that, it did not snow and it got to 50 degrees yesterday! The roads couldn't have been any better, LOL. I worked half a day and am done (except for one quick thing I need to log back into work and do by Monday) until Jan 2nd. We went and got our groceries and picked up one of DH's gifts to me he ordered. Last night he also gave me one of his other gifts early, since it's too hard to wrap. I'll post pics of both gifts in the next post.

On tap for this morning  -making more doggie cookies.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Something to bark for

Instead of making Christmas cookies to give to neighbors and friends, I decided to make doggie cookies, as most of our friends have dogs. I found a pretty basic recipe online that has pumpkin puree, peanut butter, eggs, whole wheat flour and a bit of cinnamon. Somewhere I have some dog bone cookie cutters, but I cannot find them, so I ordered some for $3 from Amazon (paid for with my MTurks earnings). The other night I tried out a batch. The resident taste testers approved :)

I bagged them up in cute little bags and tags. We gave these 2 to the guy who did our mason work. He had always brought one of his 2 dogs with him to work each day. He stopped by yesterday, because DH was taking him over to woodworker guys place, because woodworker guy is going to make a bar countertop for mason guy, as he had seen our bar countertop and wanted something done like that in the house he is building. I need to make at least another batch, as I want to give some to our neighbors with the four dogs and our other neighbors, the young couple down at the end of our street, just got a new puppy last week.

Speaking of dogs. Neighbors new rescue dog continues to be a challenge. He has separation anxiety and that doesn't work too well with Mrs gone like 10-12 hours a day and Mr. often gone for hours at a time. Add in that all the dogs can go in and out the doggy door to either go outside or inside whenever they want.......well the new dog just barks non-stop outside. Tuesday he started barking again around 4:30pm, because someone pulled into our driveway. Dh left with his friend and neighbors dog barked non stop until neighbor got home, at almost 6pm. I had already asked them last week if they could try out the bark collar (they used before on their other dogs, and son's dog, and fixed the issue) on the new dog. She said Mr was supposed to put him inside kennel when he left but apparently he didn't that day. Mr did text my dh Tues evening after he got home, asking how dog did, so of course DH had to tell him he barked non-stop. Mr sent me an email yesterday morning that he had to go to the city for a meeting for part of the day, but was taking dog with, but today he had to be gone all day and that is too long to leave him in the crate inside, so they are going to try the bark collar, but if he just keep barking, could we just remove it, as they don't want him inflicting pain to himself all day. He said they will figure out a solution one way or another. I guess they had him boarded with the trainer his original owner used while they went on their trip 2 weeks ago. Trainer said the dog is an "Omega" male. Which apparently means he's not Alpha or Beta, he just does whatever he wants to do and is not really into "pack rules".

I've been having problems with my work computer's "file explorer" for the past month. Sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes part of it is accessible. IT worked on it several weeks ago, but the problem came back. The next time I put in a help ticket, while I was waiting for them to call me, I restarted the computer and that seemed to fix it, so they didn't do anything. Then it started up again this week. Well, the guy thinks my computer got a virus, so I got shut down from working yesterday afternoon, while they work on it, and so far this morning I cannot work. I am able to get into my Outlook and access our payroll website directly from my computer, so I am working on payroll stuff this morning. Making sure all the PTO in the payroll system matches our company out of office calendar and that everyone's time off will get charged on the next payroll. UGH. I did not need this right now when I'm super busy with work before year end and trying to get stuff done by Friday so I can take off days the rest of the year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Lost and found

Have you ever thought you were trying to help and then realized you were just making it worse? Oh my goodness, we (DD and I) helped turn yesterday into a fiasco.

I had talked to my mom twice yesterday morning. She sounded  really good. She said she was going to go over to the vehicle license office after lunch. It's literally a half a mile from her apartment and next door to her store/bank. She's very familiar with the area. Here's what we thought was happening:

DS's part time job happens to be in a store in that same shopping center. He saw grandma walking by and went out the door of the store to call her over and say hello. Apparently he thought she seemed confused and didn't know where she was going or what she was doing. He offered to help but she said no, she's ok. She left and he promptly texted DD this info and that maybe she shouldn't be driving. DD texted me. We thought she must be headed back to her apartment (where else would she go?) so DD waited about 15 minutes and called her (I was waiting on a work meeting call so I couldn't do it right then and DD has just gotten off work). She said she was lost. Oh no, how did she get lost a half a mile from her apartment? She must be really confused and out of it. DD was trying to get her to tell her where she was - a street or a business sign. Then she told DD there was only houses around so she was turning back from where she came and would call DD back. She called DD back about 10 minutes later and said she was at a gas station and they have given her good directions. Ok. So dd waited like 15-20 minutes and called her again, hoping she was home now. She tells DD she's over at an Albertson's store on Pacific. DD panics. OMG, she's now like 4 miles from her house. By then it's getting to be like 3:15. It starts getting dark like after 4pm. DD is stressing out completely trying to figure out exactly where she is and trying to look on google map of streets and get her home. I'm about to call the local police to help her. Then my mom says to her "well, I'm here at Albertson's I might as well go in and get my tabs". By then DD thought to herself "grandma has lost it. Thinks she can do her tabs in Albertsons!" She tells her no, lets just get you back  home before it gets dark and manages to route her home safe and sound.

After my mom was home a bit, I called her and realized here's what really happened:
My mom went over the the licensing office. Tried to get her over a year expired tabs renewed and apparently they wouldn't/couldn't take a credit card payment and she had no checks, because she had written her last check out on Saturday to my uncle as a xmas gift, while we were having breakfast with him. They told her she could go to the next nearest office and they take credit card and gave her directions. So, as she's leaving is when DS saw her and talked to her. She was probably a bit confused (mostly she just forgets what she just said or thinks she already said it), but mostly she probably said she didn't know where she was going because she hadn't been there before and was going to try to find it. (she just left out the part of what she needed to do) Then she started driving there and got lost. That's when DD called. She got back to a gas station and asked for directions....but not back to her apartment, as DD assumed, no she was getting directions to that other licensing office! So, when she called DD back, that's why she was 4 miles from home. And guess what, inside that store is a licensing office! OMG!

So, if DS wouldn't have ran into her and DD hadn't called her (when she was lost) it probably would have all ended up just fine. Yes, she did miss a street and have to turn around, but she then went to the gas station, got directions to the other licensing office and made it there after that and most likely would have asked them for directions back to the road straight to her house (one street down) and would have been all just fine, but DD got her and herself all stressed out, thinking grandma kept getting lost trying to get back home when she wasn't trying to go back home. Oh man. We should have just stayed out of it! But we're so over worried about her that we overreacted....probably much like her BF has been the past couple of months, eh?  But, ya, she really shouldn't be driving. She is ok going the half mile to the store and the bank and gas station there. That's it. Anything else and she will get lost, because she's not familiar enough with the area and that's what I have to keep reminding her. Most of the time she has no desire to go out and drive anywhere at all. The only reason she does is if she feels like she "has" to, like she felt like she had to go see BF and she needed to get her tabs renewed. We had felt it was ok for her to drive over to get her tabs renewed, since she knows how to get there and back, no problem. Never dreamed they'd try to send her to a different office!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The next chapter

Mom's BF passed away. His DD just called my mom yesterday morning and told her he passed away during the night. I'm really glad we were able to take mom over there on Saturday to see him. She had a feeling he wasn't going to last much longer. She seemed ok with the news. I think she's had all these weeks to kind of prepare herself and knew it was coming and she's glad he's not suffering anymore and in a better place. As far as I know his family is not having a service for him. DD called her later in the afternoon and said she seemed good and she said she had talked to my uncle, too. When she called me in the morning, first thing, I forgot to ask her if she called SB. DD asked her when she called in the afternoon and I guess she had not called him yet, but said she would. I thought about texting him the news, but figured my mom can let him know. She did have a note stuck to her computer to remind herself to email a friend of theirs, when he passed. I see that she did email her yesterday.  I told my DD that it will be interesting to see how my mom does, now that she doesn't have someone telling her every day she needs to move. And it will be interesting to see if she finally starts to get involved in some activities there. She keeps saying all the time she needs/wants to, but hasn't.

One of the other things I got done, while at mom's, was change all her passwords and online account secondary contact info from SB to me, so that he no longer has access. When I was there 6 weeks ago, I had made her a password list so she'd have all her logins and passwords. She had decided to fold it in half and put it in her desk drawer, kind of along the side of the drawer, inside. It wasn't there. We looked and looked. She couldn't figure out what happened to it, then she got worried maybe the cleaning lady took it? In going through a file tray she has next to her desk, I found it mixed in with her other papers. I was going to take a few copies of things, but her printer/copier printed out blank pages. She had a box each of black and color ink cartridges underneath her desk, which I tried, but I have a feeling they were old/used as they were in the box but not wrapped in a sealed foil type package, nor was there the little strip to peel off, when you first open them. She thought for sure they were new, as she would throw away old ones. While DD had her out to go to Goodwill they stopped and bought new cartridges and that fixed the problem.

I still need to email her brokerage/investment guy and send him the new POA copy and my contact info to change on her online banking. I had hoped to change it online from her login, but it said you had to call the office to make contact changes. I hadn't been able to log into her investment account, because it has extra security protection and wanted to text the number on file which was hers or SB's, (but she really doesn't know how to get texts). I'll get that done here in the near future. SB can't log in now, at least. Her money just sits there and earns, LOL, so it's not like it's a big rush to take care of.  She basically only ever transfers money from there once a year, when she has to take her annual draw. I was able to update myself on her balances (from 6 weeks ago), from her computer, and was wondering why the "savings" account through there, which SB had set up new and her put most of the money from her house sale, actually went down almost $200. There is an annual $175 yearly fee for that account. It earns basically zip in interest (.10%) so she actually will loose money on it! That's just dumb to me. Might as well just put that money in either her regular bank savings account or her credit union savings account. I doubt those have a fee. Good grief. Of course, she also pays an annual fee for her IRA/investment account with them too, which is understandable, but to pay $175 a year just to have a savings account is ridiculous. She might as well just put the money under her mattress! She'd better better ahead. At least with her credit union savings account she's earning .45% on her money in there. I totally do not understand putting it in an account that earns .10% interest and has a $175 a year fee. I have no idea why that was a good idea?!

Another thing I need to figure out is her December rent payment. She has this sheet of paper with information typed that shows her rent amounts for 5 months and the one time "community fee". It appears to have come from the office of her retirement apartment, but nothing with their logo on it. Basically, it's a breakdown of her rent and the discounts they were giving her the first 5 months, mostly due to her BF being the referral. Anyhow, it shows her Dec rent was to be $1310. They billed her (I have a copy of their December rent statement) $3120 and did not give her the discount that is showing on this paper she has. I am going to call the office manager I talked to there last week and ask about it, at least.

Monday, December 16, 2019

The weekend trip

I made it back home around 8pm last night. The roads here are a bit bad, but not terrible. It was a good weekend and I feel like I got a lot "accomplished".

My boss picked me up at the airport around 7:15am and it's a quick drive over to the office. Since I don't have a desk there (and my computer I log into from home is in the server room) I couldn't actually work until our lunch and meeting. First I got coffee, LOL. Then my boss introduced me to a few people who have started since my last visit. I caught up with others I have worked with for years. Lots of hugs from everyone :)  My boss and I sat in her office and discussed a few different things we are working on, so that took up some time too. We also have a little satellite sales office and the lady that works there I had not met yet, but we email quite often, so she showed up for the lunch/meeting so it was nice to finally meet her in person. We sat by each other for lunch and visited. The actual meeting was much shorter than usual, only 45 minutes. DD had driven down from her office (she took off early) and was just sitting out in her car waiting for me, so after the meeting everyone was just snacking and drinking, so I brought her in for a bit and then we left to go to my moms.

Ugly Friday afternoon traffic, so it took us at least an hour and a half to her place. We checked into the hotel first, which was less than a mile from my mom's place. It was a Best Western Plus. Seemed like a decent hotel and nice room. We got to mom's and visited in her apartment awhile before we went downstairs for dinner. We were both impressed that she had filled up her pill box and was good to go for a week! She still had wanted to keep her "before breakfast" omeprazole in a bottle by her bedside, so who knows if she was remembering that? Before we left for the evening I counted how many were left so we would know if she took it the next morning.

We stayed with mom until about 7:30pm. I was wiped out! I had been up since 2:30am their time zone. DD was tired too, as she was at work at like 5am. We were in bed by 8:30. Around 10pm the room next to us decided to have a party. Sounded like a bunch of young guys. I put up with it for about a half hour and then decided to call down to the front desk. Only neither phone in our room would work. So, I called with my cell phone. She said they would take care of it and within a couple minutes all was quiet and we didn't hear a peep out of them the rest of the night. We didn't have to get up until like 7 so got a decent amount of sleep. On the way to mom's we stopped at a drug store and picked out a multivitamin for over 65 years old. Then we went through the coffee stand and got us each a mocha. We were going to meet my uncle about an hours drive to have a late breakfast. Honestly, we were wondering if my mom would remember to be up and ready, as we told her we'd be there at 8:30 and leave about 9. We were walking into her lobby area at 8:30 and there she was - ready to go! LOL. We sat in the lobby and drank our coffees and then hit the road. We drove mom's car so it could get the battery (Prius) ran since she hardly drives now.

Breakfast with uncle was nice. He's a hoot, so always lots of laughs with him. While we were looking at the menus mom said "where's the senior menu?" and dd said it's on the back. I don't know why I turned it over, I think just because mom was still trying to figure out what she wanted to eat. I flipped it over and suddenly went "OH!! Oh my God. I just realized I can order off this menu now!!" LOL. 55 and over. Holy cow! LOL. After we left the restaurant my uncle had been in his car behind us pulling out. He texted me to check mom's license plate tabs...looks to be expired. We looked when we got back to her place - sure enough- expired in 2018!! oh Lord.

DD looked through her glove box, thinking maybe she had renewed her registration and just forgot to put on the tabs, but nope. We got online, but since it was over a year expired she has to go to the vehicle licensing office to take care of it. We looked up where it's at and thankfully it's right next door to the grocery store/bank that she goes to a mile from her place. DD put a big yellow sticky note on her old registration with a note to go get new tabs at office next door to Safeway.

On the way back from the restaurant we were stopping where her BF is being cared for, so she could see him. No wonder she got lost! We had the map on our phone and still got lost. BF is not doing well at all. He's definitely now in the final stages of life. Both his daughter and son were there. Mostly he sleeps but he did wake up and my mom was able to talk to him a bit. They have him on morphine now and I imagine it will be any time now. The place he is at seems nice. It's one of those homes made into an adult family home. Some guy owns it and the main lady just lives/works there to care for the residents (I think they have 2 or 3 now). We were chatting with her, while my mom was in BF's room, and the owner guy came in and was talking to BF's kids. The lady told us that when he comes over here he will try to talk you into having your mom move here...just warning you, LOL. Sure enough that's what he did. Finally, DD just said well we're going to get her moved closer to us. Later DD told me "I'm not putting my grandma there! She's not dying!"  It was hard for her and sad to see BF like that, but she was really glad she got to see him again and she totally understands he's not got much longer. His DD said she has turned his cell phone off, since he can't really use it now, so if mom wants to try to call, just call her number.

Once back at mom's we got her to take her "morning" pills....by then it was like 1:30pm. Since she had met us in the lobby that morning, we didn't get to see if she had taken them earlier. So, that was a good time to figure out a new plan. She actually brought up maybe just taking all her morning pills at the same time when she gets out of bed and takes her before breakfast pill. She said she remembers that pill because the bottle is right by her bed with a glass of water. So, we added her before breakfast pills to the morning slot in the pill box and she decided to just leave the box right next to her bedside. then she just has to remember to take all the morning pills one time, when she gets up and then her evening pill when she goes to bed. That way, when I call her around 10:30 am she should already have taken them all for the morning, rather than having to remember two different times. She also really liked that we got the one multivitamin to replace the 4 vitamins. Plus, she'll get all the other vitamins in that one vitamin and not have to deal with putting 4 in her pill box every week. DD and I just took the old bottles of vitamins with us.....didn't need them in her cupboard, confusing her. She really didn't want to use the alarm on the digital calendar, so we are going to just trying this twice a day/bedside method and see how that goes for a couple of weeks.

We went back to our hotel room about same time Saturday night. Just watched tv until about 9pm and went to sleep. Again, around 10pm the same next door group started up. UGH! I should have thought to ask the front desk earlier that day if they were still going to be next to us Saturday night and I would have had them get us a different room. By 10:30 there were even louder than the night before and sounded like more of them in the room. We could also hear girls laughing this time. I called down and thankfully they took care of it right away. Our only other complaint was the pillows were just AWFUL! Basically square pillows and very hard. Saturday, we saw mom had a couple of extra pillows in her closet so we borrowed them, haha. We both slept much better with those.

When we got there Sunday morning I went and looked at her box and yay! she had remembered to take her pill the night before at bedtime and she had taken all her morning pills when she got up. We are hoping this will work, at least for the time being.

Mom is very open to the idea of moving to an assisted living place by me. DD and uncle also really like the idea. I showed her a couple of the places here, online, but the 3rd one's website wasn't working. DD took her over to Goodwill to get rid of some things and I went through her papers and filed and shredded a bunch of stuff she really didn't need cluttering her desk and mind. I also went through her various paperclipped little stacks of notes to herself on little slips of paper and got rid of most of them. Some were notes from months ago to remind herself something.

It also sounds like mom will come over for a few days at for Christmas with DD/SIL. She was having a hard time remembering about it, but I think after we talked about it several times, she started to remember. She would say "oh that sounds really nice, I don't know why I wouldn't want to go". We'll see, she's the type that will change her mind at the last minute and say "oh, I just decided to stay home".

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Some helpful information

Yesterday afternoon I called the place my mom lives in now. I wanted to make sure I'm aware of all what's available to her living there and wanted to ask if an outside service can come in and help her. I found out some helpful information, that will probably be able to keep my mom there awhile longer, or at least until we can figure out a move. Honestly, if she can stay there another 3-6 months that would be great.

So, first off is yes, an outside service can come in and assist her. Some of the residents use the services that are in the area (ie. like Visiting Angels). She wasn't sure of their details, she thought some maybe had a 2 hour minimum charge. I will just have to check into some, if the digital calendar/alarm doesn't work.

Secondly, is they have free Lyft service up to 10 miles for residents. They just have to go down to the front desk, let them know they need the ride and they will call Lyft. If it's over 10 miles then it's $2 per mile, so very reasonable and the charge just gets added on their monthly billing. I doubt my mom was even aware they offer this, or if she did, she forgot. I'm sure it was mentioned in the beginning, but she had way too much to remember then and plus, she has her car, so probably didn't give it a second thought. But, I'm so glad to know this. It's one more thing that could let her stay there awhile, if she can't drive, she would still have transportation. Like the grocery store (and her bank inside) is only a mile or two away. Her doctors office is 4 miles. She could even take a Lyft ride the 10 miles to see her BF and not have to drive herself! They also do regular "shuttle" trips in the van type thing where they have scheduled trips, to say Walmart, where they drop them off for an hour and then take them back.

So, if I can get the medication issue resolved and know she has rides, when needed, I feel she could stay there awhile longer and do ok, since otherwise she can still take care of herself. This  currenet place does do all the meals (though she does have her own kitchen if she wants to eat there) and does weekly housekeeping.

I called mom back in the afternoon as I wanted to tell her about the Lyft rides and that she could take that over to see BF.She didn't answer, no call me back until about a half hour later. She had been feeling better by afternoon and decided to get in the shower, haha. She did sound quite a bit better and more energetic. I told her about the free Lyft servcie and she brought up moving near DD again, saying she wanted to make sure it's a place that offers assistance with living, so she wouldn't have to move again. I told her that is the type I am looking into. Then she said "well, if it wasn't for my insurance I'd move over to near where you live". We have talked about this a bit before (I threw the idea out there a couple times, just to see what she'd say). I reminded her again, that she is not tied into this particular insurance plan. She has other options to choose from (she has just always used Kaiser) and if she moves out of the area, she is allowed to switch to a different plan (Medicare advantage type plan). She said oh, well I think I'd like living over there, close to you then. So, I'm going to definitely get more info on the places in the city (about 35-40 min from us). I had gotten info on one, just to see.

We'll talk more about it with her this weekend. Show her the places online. It would be so much nicer if she would move here! Easier on me and she'd have me visiting her regularly. But, she's also known for changing her mind, so next week, she could have a totally different idea, LOL. But, so far, the past 2-3 weeks, she has stayed set with the idea that she does know she needs to move and wants to be somewhere that can help her as her needs change over the years.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A grumpy old man

Well, dang. I was trying to remove an old blog from my blog reading list on the side of my blog and I deleted them all! UGH! I'm too tired right now to re-do them all. Sorry fellow bloggers! I probably won't get it fixed this week. Too much going on with my jobs and year end stuff trying to stay caught up. Plus, I'm not working Friday, since in the morning, I'll be traveling and then at the office all day and then visiting my mom all weekend.

DH is getting grumpy and crabby. Not enough to keep him busy and his mind occupied. It's just a big old catch 22 out in his shop. He should be able to spend hours out there putting around and keepign busy, but he can't work on anything out there because there's no room and he can't make room until he can get rid of/sell some of the stuff. And he can't get the stuff ready to sell because there's no room to get it ready to sale (some things to sell need to get re-assembled)...He is trying to sell some of the racing stuff, but no luck. I'm sure that is a combination of several factors. We no longer live where the racers live, so it's not convenient for them to buy, and lets face it, the stuff is old now and some of it probably getting obsolete. Or racers just are wanting new stuff, instead of used. And I'm sure he still thinks it worth way more than it really is, by now. He did have one inquiry, but didn't pan out. It all just puts him in a bad mood. I don't know how many times he just threatens to start taking stuff to the dump. Fine by me! At this point I don't really care what he does with it. It's all just a complete pain in the butt. I suggest just putting a "steal of a price" on the stuff. It'll probably be gone in no time. At least get something for it, compared to just dumping it, right? But no, he can't let someone get it for a steal. That would make him unhappy, too, LOL.  The shop is just basically a big expensive storage unit! Just dumb. He can't even start putting up shelves to start to get organized, because until he gets rid of some of it, there's no room to even do that. Classic hoarder, except that he does like everything neat and orderly, at least.

He's on edge with just about everything. Yesterday he got the window cleaner spray can out from under the kitchen sink. It's right there in front, when you open the cabinet door. Then he reminds me (for the 1000th time in 35 years) "don't be piling a bunch of stuff under the sink and having it knock over and mess up the pipes" (or something to that effect). I know. I keep stuff away from the pipes. I keep the stuff I use regularly right up front, not even near the pipes. If I do, on occasion, need something stored farther back I'm always very careful not to bump anything on the pipes, yada yada. I said to him have you ever, in 35 years of having a home, had to fix a pipe under one of our sinks, because something stored underneath broke it? (the answer is NO) Well, that set him off, LOL. He fumed and sputtered and then said "well, it's gonna happen!". Then he took everything out from under the kitchen sink and put in all in a box that is now sitting on the kitchen floor and says "there, now the problem is fixed". Whatever, I really don't care. He can be completely ridiculous.

I was going to call my mom a little after 10am her time this morning  to try to make sure she got her meds taken a little earlier than I've been getting around to calling this week, at 11 or l1:30. But, I had an issue come up with my computer at work and was waiting for a call from our IT dept, so I couldn't call her until 10:50. When I brought up if she took her morning pills it was her usual "oh yeah, I did" Then I said, well, I think you still need to fill in the box for Thurs-Sat, can you take a look at it for me and see? Oh, of course Wed, this morning, was not taken! ARGH!! I told DD I don't get how she has no problem remembering to call her BF every morning but can't remember she has pills to take every morning. It shouldn't be this hard! I thought at least calling every morning, then I can make sure she's got her pills taken, but even this isn't working. She told me she will fill up Thurs-Sat after we got off the phone. I know she most likely didn't do it. and I'll know she didn't do it when I get there Friday and see there are no pills left in her Friday evening and nothing will be in there for Saturday.........Plus, she just takes her time getting up and going now in the mornings (which is fine) but she still needs to be taking her morning medication in the morning, not at 11, or 11:30, or whenever she finally remembers. Alarm system set up will be a must. The crappy part is Saturday morning we are leaving early to go meet my uncle halfway and have breakfast, so I can't set the alarm to try out until Saturday evening's pill time.

And even if we still lived just 5 miles apart, like we used to, there is no way I can manage her meds like she needs. Sure, I could go fill them up once a week (which would be nice), but I couldn't be there every morning and evening to make sure she's taken them, I could only call her like I am doing now. She's still not got involved with any of the activities in her apartment community. She keeps saying (almost daily) that she needs to and I keep encouraging her. I'll say, just pick one to try. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

I want to call her current retirement place and talk to them. Explain what is going on with her and see what services they might be able to recommend in the area to help her, and maybe help her stay there as long as possible. I was looking up the phone number and then clicked on google reviews. Found a review by a local "Senior Care" agency, that said they are always impressed by the facility and it's employees when they come to assist residents in the care of their agency. Good to know! And then there was a lengthy review done by a prospective resident. She said you don't even need a car to live there. They offer a free car service if you are going within 10 miles and if going farther, it's still cheaper than a taxi. Again! Good to know! I'm going to give her place a call and see all what is available to her and what they can recommend for outside services.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Medication management struggles continue

My mom actually did worse with remembering to take her medications last week! I had high hopes this would be a good week because DD was there to make sure her pill box got filled for the week and she has the new digital calendar reminding her what day of the week it is.  But, when I talked to her Sunday, to make sure she took her morning pills and then to get her to fill up for this week, she says "oh, well looks like I already filled part of it...There's Sun, Mon, and Tues.."  Which of course means she forgot to take her pills for 3 days last week! ARGGGGHHH!!!  It really just makes you wonder when she took them on Wednesday how she doesn't realize she missed 3 days when the days before are still in there. Plus, of course she's not feeling very well, in the mornings again. Not to mention, when I call and ask her, she's obviously often just telling me she took them, when she hasn't!

I think combining her 3 or 4 vitamins into one multivitamin pill will help with when she needs to fill up the box for the week. Then she will just have her 2 morning pills and one vitamin pill for the am slots. Her evening slot is her cholesterol pill. I'm also going to get the medication alarm reminder set up on the digital calendar, when I am there this weekend. DD and I have discussed getting her a smart phone, where there are also apps that will remind her it's time for her meds.....but we both agree her having to figure out a smart phone is a BAD idea. I'm also guessing she's the type that will just turn off the alarm/reminder and then tell herself "I'll take them in a few minutes" and then of course she forgets/doesn't. Moving to assisted living where they can do medication management for her is a must in the near future. I should probably, for now, see about hiring someone to come in, and at least get her pill box filled up each week. I can still call every morning and will just have to make sure she's taking them and make her get the pillbox in front of her while talking. We did talk again Sunday about NOT putting it in her kitchen cupboard - I stressed again, when it's in there she forgets about it. I told her she's just got to stop worrying that the pills are "in the light".

I was looking online at her cell phone account and call log. I was just curious how often SB was taking the time to call her (before we changed the POA). Since she moved she only has cell phone, no land line. He called her a couple days after she moved in. Then again 10 days later. Then the next call wasn't until 3 weeks later! (the morning of my last day on visit with her). Just proves he shouldn't have been the one in charge. You can be in charge of her, at the level she now needs attention and regular calls, and only call once every couple of weeks. Geez. (though I'm sure he was probably mostly calling her BF, rather than her)

I emailed 3 assisted living places near DD (there really aren't too many) and only one actually replied and gave me pricing. One emailed but wanted to do a tour, and never replied back to my second email asking for pricing. A 3rd never replied. I emailed those 2 back again yesterday and also found one more in her area, that I emailed. I'm also going to email a couple more in my area, just to have a comparison to the one I did get and give her as option. I then emailed "A Place for Mom" and they called me like instantly and then transferred me to an advisor for that area. But, apparently, since I had already contacted (or attempted) to contact these places on my own,  they aren't able to really help me. She did throw out a couple prices for two of the places I hadn't heard back from yet, but she was talking so fast and jumping from place to place in her conversation. I then asked her to repeat the pricing but I'm still not sure if that is just the starting price (most of those places offer studio apartments as well as 1 and 2 bedroom) as I don't recall saying 1 bedroom, other than I told her where she was living now, in a one bedroom. One place was $3600 and she said that included assisted living, so that is what she is paying now, with no assisted living. The other was $3200/mo. The place that did email me back was $3150/mo plus medication assistance would add another couple hundred, she said.

I called her at 11:30 today. She said she wasn't feeling that great, so she cancelled on driving over to see her BF again. Then said "and he of course gets so upset with me". I said well, he's just going to have to understand you don't always feel well and shouldn't be out driving around. Tell him that DD and I will bring you over to see him on Saturday. I then asked if she took her Tuesday morning pills. She said no, not yet. That she hasn't really felt like doing anything yet this morning and went back to bed for awhile. I said well, if you are missing your doses that can and probably is contributing to you not feeling well. She said "oh, you are probably right, I'll take them as soon as I hang up with you". For some reason DD thinks trying the alarm to reminder her it's medication time will confuse her more. I said we'll try it out Fri eve, Sat and Sun and see how it goes. She has got to start taking her meds at a set time every day, otherwise she will just forget.

After I visit her this weekend, get her pill box filled up for next week and set up the alarm/reminders on the digital calendar, I'll see how she does next week. If that doesn't help the situation, then I am going to give a service like Visiting Angels a call and see about setting up service with them for medication management for her. We'll just have to use that until we can get her moved into assisted living place in the next couple of months.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Antique find

My groceries total at Walmart came to $218. I removed a couple items and  the steaks came in lower as once they go off actual weight, it's not as high as they always estimate. We did stop at Target and got stocked up on toilet paper - 2 big cases came to $32 and that included using the $1.50 off coupons that were on them. But, after I got home I realized I forgot tomatoes, for DH's salads. They also gave me 4 loaves of bread, where I only ordered/charged for 3 loaves. Friday night for dinner, we just had turkey, ham, and provolone cheese sandwiches on big croissant rolls and salad.

Friday evening DH mentioned going on Saturday to the two antique stores (one is really big) in the next town to look around and see if we see a farmhouse hutch I like and in our budget, which is basically the $500 from selling the topsoil we still haven't spent. We are holding off right now on the chest freezer. So, far using the little freezer in the shop refrigerator is working out well enough. That would be fun to go look around the antique stores. We have not done that in quite a long time.

Then Saturday morning he says "I don't think I want to go to the antique stores.....driving there will get the car all dirty" (we had just been through the car wash when we picked up our groceries). I said "well that's no fun!". So, we ended up going, ha! We were going to go to the little antique store first, but as we turned to go down the road it's on we saw a sign over the sign for the antique store that said "closed for the season". We walked all through the big antique store and while they had quite a few hutches, they were all 1) too expensive and 2) not what I wanted. I want a farmhouse style hutch with no glass doors on top. And I don't want to spend $1300! The guy also had us look back in his "second" building of furniture that they still need to work on cleaning up etc., but nothing there either.

Late last night DH saw one like I want go on Craigslist or marketplace so he messaged right away, but hasn't heard back yet. It was in the city and only $100. I am hoping and praying on that one!

And of course we both saw several other things we liked and caught our eye. Small church pew benches (DH really wants one of these for our entryway), an antique adding machine (for my office), a vintage pool stick rack/holder (if we someday get a pool table in our bonus room), and antique old wall telephones. We have been wanting an antique wall phone for several years. They had several. There was another couple in the shop, while we were looking around, and we heard them offer the owner lady a lower price than the item was marked and she said yes, if it was cash or local check. DH and I are not "bargainers" but we looked at each other and decided to try it on the phone. DH offered $50 less and she said yes. Then when her hubby was bringing it over to the cash register he started to pull off the bottom box to show DH and he dropped that piece! It ended up cracking a bit. He said he could fix it, if we wanted to come back the next day or if DH wanted to glue it himself, he'd knock $20 off the price. DH said he would fix it himself (the guy said just glue and clamp it down until glue dries), so we ended up saving $70 on it.

It's made of walnut and the guy said he hasn't seen many made from that wood, usually they are oak. It's super heavy, though there aren't any working parts left in it. DH put the bottom on, just to take the picture and then he took it out to the shop to glue and clamp. It "fixed" good and he put it back on this morning. This is on our kitchen wall, that door going into the laundry room.

We had a fun afternoon that is basically our Christmas present to ourselves, other than getting each other a few very small/inexpensive items.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Plugging along

I've heard back from 2 of the 3 independent/assisted/memory care living places in DD's area I emailed for more info and pricing on a 1 bedroom for their levels of care. Of course, no one wants to actually give me pricing, they just want to say "here's our brochure, let's set up a tour". I then emailed back I live out of state, so I'm not sure when I'll be over there and available to take a tour yet. At this point and time I am just trying to gather information and pricing. One did email me back that a 1 bedroom independent living is $3150/mo ($500/mo cheaper than mom is currently paying) and having something like medication assistance would add a couple hundred more. The place here, near me, that I emailed was over $4000 for a 1 bedroom independent living and assisted is $5000/mo but he also suggested if it's just medication assistance using an outside service might also be an option, too, while staying in independent living. None of these places I have looked into, seem to have a washer and dryer in the apartments, as her current place does. They have coin op laundry area to use. Both of the places that have emailed me back with pricing did also say that the independent living includes transportation to dr appts. I'm pretty sure the place she lives in now does not do that.

The mid 40's weather this week has melted most of the snow we had. Then neighbor's 3 dogs have been fine, while they are gone. No barking. Originally they were going to leave the new dog at home and take one of the other dogs with them (because these 2 fight) but I guess after realizing the new dog is barking when they are not home, they decided to board him and just leave the other dog at home with the other 2. Other than them looking sad and lonely, wondering where their humans are, they are doing fine.

I'm trying to get back into MTurks after a bad 2 weeks. Monday I did $8, Tues $15 and yesterday $13. Not great, but I guess this is a slow time of year for earning money with it.

I'm working on getting my Walmart grocery pick up order ready and in my cart (for tomorrow afternoon). Almost every single 2 week order I have done ends up right around $200. I feel like there is a lot of stuff I didn't have to add to this order (because we've been eating lighter dinners, so I still have some things leftover in my freezer) but it's at $240! I can't figure out what is so different. I pretty I even have less soda and water, since we stocked up some on our trip just before Thanksgiving, to get the turkey.

DH stepped down from being the website admin (he'd done it for about 7 years) for the kids racing club we belonged to --- 6 months ago. He emailed the club pres, secretary and another board member. Told them the hosting was paid up through October and the domain was paid through Feb 2020. Let him know who to pass on the login/passwords to. No reply from any of them whatsoever. Until last night. The outgoing club pres finally emails "sorry for the delay in reply, I've been busy with personal stuff, please email us the account logins/passwords". Ok, LOL. DH replied with the info. Said the hosting expired in October, as he said it would, and is no longer even accessible with that log in (website hasn't even worked since October). People are just worthless. That is why we got tired of volunteering for stuff....because we'd do what we said we were going to do and when it needed to be done, while everyone else just waited for us to do it. The racing club left the sanctioning body it belonged to a few months ago, anyway, so we aren't even joining the club anymore. Between the web hosting and web domain (that we were paying for) and the club dues, I'm going to save over $300 a year. Works for me.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Dogs, lights and gifts

Our neighbors left for their trip to see their son and family and will be back Sunday. They decided to board the new dog, since he will just bark when they aren't home. Hopefully the other 3 will do ok while gone. They get to go in and out whenever they want and a friend of theirs comes to feed them 2 times a day. So far today, the other 3 have been fine. They didn't even bark at me and my dogs when they saw us walking to the mailboxes.

We are going to have to have our electrician figure out why our great room lights flicker of and on every so often. It was mentioned to them by DH when they installed all the lighting (before we moved in) and DH noticed it. They made various "reasons" it might be doing it. A bad bulb in one of the light fixtures (hanging from ceiling) or a surge from our electric company. Then it was mentioned to them again that it happens every so often and when our head electrician was here to fix the fire detectors we mentioned it. Basically, they just kinda shrug their shoulders and don't say/do anything.

For the most part, while sitting watching tv in the evenings we only have one floor/table lamp on. It doesn't blink, nor does the tv plugged in above the fireplace). But if we turn any of the overhead or wall sconces on, they blink every so often. Now we have the tree plugged in and it does the same thing. So, last night we actually watched and timed to see if it was regular or radom. Yep, about every 9 minutes it will blink on and off once. The weird thing is the floor lamp will not do it, but the table lamp, plugged the outlet on the floor next to it, does. This is the only room in the house that does it and now that we've had tree and other decorations plugged in and it keeps blinking on and off once, every 9 minutes, it's annoying! Whatever it is, they need to fix it. We paid a buttload of money to this electrician and obviously something is wrong, If it was a power surge from our electric company wouldn't the whole house do it? not just one room? If it was a bad bulb in one of the hanging light fixtures, why do the other fixtures blink, when those fixtures are off. So, I just left him a message about it.

Mom continues to sound good each day, so that is encouraging. She hasn't had any days she wakes up not feeling well, since last Thursday. She does keep saying she thinks she needs to move closer to DD, maybe next spring, so I sent out a few emails to the places in DD's area. One just emailed me a brochure, but no pricing. That's all I heard from so far. I did also email one here near me, in the city, just to see. They emailed right back and sent pricing. Actually a little more than she is paying now, for independent living. Another place in my area did have their starting pricing online, for independent living and it was about $600 less a month than she's paying now.

I just ordered a gift for DD...or maybe I'll give it to her DH as a gift, since I still want to have a few things for him to open (even though we are chipping in on a big gift with DD). One of those Facebook ads got me, LOL. It was personalized stone/farmhouse style coasters. It has their last name initial, with some floral leaves type on each side and then their full name in cursive on the bottom. It reminded me of their wedding announcement. $23, which I tried to see if somewhere else was cheaper, but no. But when I personalized it and clicked it to my cart it went down to $16.99. Then I googled a coupon code and found one for 20% off. I did have to pay shipping of $6.99 but it all still only came to $19. Is coasters a good "guy gift"? LOL

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

This, that and the other

I had given DD a $50 JC Penney gift card for her birthday last month. Wow, did she do well finding deals there on Sunday online shopping. She had been eyeing a pair of boots that were regularly $60 on sale for $20. When she got home from their weekend at in-laws, she got online to order them. They were now down to $15. Plus she found another pair of boots she liked, reg. $80 for $15. And she got a 2 pack of bras for $15 and undies for like $10. She spent a little over the $50 but I think she did really well to get all that. I'll have to start checking out JCP once in awhile, I usually always just look at Kohl's.

So, my mom had a bit of trouble trying to drive over to see BF at his new care place, on Sunday. Oh geez! Of course, she thought she knew how to get there. I don't think he's too far from her, in the same general area. But, she realized she didn't know how to get there, so she said she saw a fire station and stopped in there to ask how to get back to her street/place and she just drove back to her place. I guess BF was mad and chastising her about it. But, apparently it all didn't throw her off kilter, because when I talked to her Sunday (around 6pm) she was fine and not stressed about it (other than I could tell she was annoyed how BF reacted). I told her that it was smart she stopped at the fire station, but she really shouldn't drive somewhere she's not familiar with. She's only been there 2 times and others drove. She said she had looked it up on the computer to make sure she remembered how to get there, but said she should have printed it out. I was kind of surprised she even knew how to look it up, haha. She said she was going to try again on Monday, but take the directions with her. I called her about 1pm yesterday and she was at BF's having lunch with him and his caretaker. Apparently BF had the caretakers husband drive over to mom's place (as I said I'm guessing it's not more than a few miles between them) and she followed him over there. So, that was good. She called me back when she got home (she's been good about remembering to call me back, if she's busy when I call) She said she made it home, no problem.

Woke up to almost 40 degrees this morning. What a change. It's supposed to be in the mid 40's all week and just above freezing at night. I had to take some things to our mailbox for outgoing this morning and it was nice not to be so cold. Last night DH stepped out on the back patio to let the dogs out and called me out. We stood there a minute listening to some coyotes, that didn't sound too far off.

The last of my Christmas decor is arriving today. Just some "swag" I ordered to hang on the two old wooden sleds (we bought off Craigslist last year). They were $10 ea, which was about the cheapest I could find
I'm going to be really watching after Christmas clearance sales on artificial Christmas trees....looking for a 10-12 foot one. We saw a 12 ft one at Lowe's on Saturday we really liked...only $525 on sale, LOL. I googled it. Found a very similar one (actually more lights and more tips) at Home Depot, for like $440, sale price. We need other stuff for the house before we need a $400 tree, LOL.

And last but not least. I've had my fill of turkey sandwiches :)

Monday, December 2, 2019

Monday This and That

I'm doing some Cyber Monday (of which nothing I am buying is any cheaper, LOL) shopping on Amazon for a few final Christmas gifts and a few other things we need. I thought I was getting a $5 credit for purchasing and sending a $50 Amazon gift card by text (I sent it to myself, LOL), but have not seen the $5 credit on my account yet. The instructions made it sound like it would be available shortly after the text was sent. I was going to apply it towards my order of all the gifts and stuff. Oh well, if and when it does show up I'll use it at some point. Always ordering something through there, it seems. I also just got a Verizon text that I earned an "Up Reward" so I claimed a $3 Amazon gift code.

One of the things I just ordered is a new usb charger for our iphones/ipads. Seems like either the charger plug in or the cords are always dying. Or we are sitting in the living room for the evening and both want to use the charging cord that is plugged in (we don't have any more plug ins available). One of my usb chargers (I also have one next to my bed and he has one in  his den) just died. I discovered they make "dual" usb chargers plug ins. Nice! Then we can both charge at the same time, while sitting in the living room. Only $9.

I also saved $9 by cancelling Netflix. My gift card balance got used up through today, so I'm glad I remembered to cancel it, or I would have been charged for another month to my debit card on the account. I'm pretty sure DD will get me another gift card for Christmas (or my birthday in January) so I'll start the membership up again when I get another gift card. We've got enough to watch with Amazon Prime and using DD's YouTubeTv for a couple more months.

I talked to my mom just after dinner yesterday. She was down in the dining room, finishing her dinner up, so she said she'd call me when she got back to her apartment and she did remember. She was super chatty. I think we talked for almost a half an hour. She said she had already taken her evening pill, too. I'll wait until closer to lunch to call her today. I prefer to call her later morning. By evening time, after working, making dinner, etc. I'm tired, haha.

If you want to read a "mind trippy" book, read Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. It's jumps right into the suspense and is a good science fiction type read. There is a sequel to it, but I'm going to have quite a bit of a wait to get that one through my library e-books.  And....now I'm back to no books to read in my queue....I have a bunch I'm waiting on to read, but since they are new releases/popular it's a long wait.  Time to go back to my previous post(s) asking for book selections and see what I still haven't read yet. I'll probably go back to reading some of the James Patterson Alex Cross books. They weren't too bad, though not my favorite. At least they are something to fill in while I'm waiting on other books.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Weekend wrap up

DD had a really good visit with my mom. She said she was doing well. Of course had a few things they had to repeat, but that's the norm with her now. DD did discover she had forgotten to take several of her evening (cholesterol) pills during the week, but apparently got all the morning one's taken (most important). Still very concerning, as obviously a normal cognizant person would see there are past days evening pills still left in the pill box when taking the next day's dose.

She loved the digital calendar/clock, so we are hoping this is another memory trigger to take her pills. When I am there in 2 weeks we will set up the alarm system to remind her when it's time and see how that goes while I'm there. Mom called me early evening yesterday and thanked me for the digital calendar. Said she thinks it's great and really appreciates it. She sounded really happy and doing well.

DH and I decided to go to Lowes and get the garland I wanted and he also wanted 2 big candy canes that were at Home Depot. Well.........much $ later we finally got out of the city, LOL. He needed a few screws and bolts, as the fireplace log holder I bought through Amazon was missing all the screws (grrr!). As we were standing there I turned around and saw this 4 piece set of 2 artificial trees in pots, garland and a wreath on Black Friday sale for $49. I couldn't resist, especially at that price. Next summer DH is going to put some more plug ins near the front door, so I can put them outside next  Christmas, but for now I put them here. You can't seen in photo but they also have pincecones and red berries mixed it. Very cute.

 I put the garland and wreath on the fireplace. We also picked up some pointsettia plants that were on sale $4 each.
DH ended up getting 4 of the big candy canes (LOL). We were in the city early afternoon and it was really quiet there for a Saturday afternoon/Thanksgiving weekend shopping. Lots of parking places at Lowes and Home Depot and the traffic was light. It was nice, for a change. After we got home and put up our new decorations we then just relaxed the rest of the afternoon and evening. DH had stopped at Wendys on the way home so he just had a salad for dinner. We watched a couple of movies on tv. Elf (gotta watch that every Christmas, LOL) and Tin Cup.

I just worked on trimming our older lab's nails. I hate doing it and he doesn't really enjoy it much either. His nails are sooo thick. It's hard to even cut through them with the nail trimmers I have. Maybe there are better kinds to buy. I also have a nail grinder, but he really hates the noise of that. I usually try to cut what I can and then grind a little more off, but by then he's usually done with me. I wish there was an easier way to cut them down.

It's been a nice long weekend. I'm not ready for Monday, though. How about you?

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Fa La La La La

I got all my decorating done yesterday. It couldn't have been a more perfect day/setting as it was snowing outside all day. It was harder, because being a new house, I wasn't sure where I was putting most of the stuff, including the tree! LOL. I also feel like I could use a bit more, with the house being so big. The tree definitely seems too small for the big room, so we'll think about that for next year. Either get a big real tree (and put the fake one in another room) or buy a new bigger fake one.

I also need more of the garland, for the stair railing. I had purchased this garland a couple years ago, from Lowe's Black Friday deal, online, for our outside porch railing. I need 4 more and Lowe's has them again for $4.98, but no shipping available this time. Booo! It was snowing all day yesterday, we didn't want to drive 45 miles to the city.

Mom was doing ok when I called yesterday morning, not great, but ok. Certainly much better than the later afternoon the previous day. But, she was back to "well, I know I'll have to move soon, up near DD, but I don't even know where to look". I told her (again) not to worry about it right now. We'll look for her, when the time comes, and figure it out. DD also talked to her around dinner time and she was doing really good then. My uncle also called her in the evening and then called me, to say she sounded really good then, too. When I talked to her yesterday morning she again brought up that BF had gotten pretty upset with her that she didn't come over. I have a strong hunch that's what set off her confusion episode. If she didn't feel well enough to want to go then there was no reason to get mad at her! Good grief! I also don't think he realizes that he's causing half her problems, in my opinion. He's the one who keeps telling her she has to move, getting her stressed and worried about it, which then, most likely, makes her not feel well. Honestly, I'm tired of him, now that I see how much he's affecting her.

Well, I have $15 Kohl's cash to spend between now and the 9th. Do I hold out and see if they will offer another free shipping code in December? I think I will. Right now it's free shipping with $25 order, which is better than usual.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Stuffed and worried

Well crap. I was waiting until early evening yesterday to call my mom and see how her day went, going to BF's care place for Thanksgiving dinner. She called me up just before I was going to call her. She was so confused. At first I thought maybe she thought she was calling DD because she said "so you are coming this weekend right?". I said no, DD is coming Saturday and then I am coming in 2 weeks. Then she said she didn't go to BF's for dinner, she woke up and "just didn't feel good" (again) so she called his DD and told her she wasn't going to go. She said BF was very upset with her about it.

I wish I had known she didn't go, I would have called her earlier in the day! She was so confused about who was coming and when. I had to repeat several times. I wonder what brought this on. She hasn't been like that since that day in August with her credit card and she got so overwhelmed and flustered she didn't know what was going on. She says she took her medication and that BF had asked her the same question (it sounded like she had just got off the phone with him). She's had a few days this week, again, where she woke up not feeling that good, but then is feeling better by noon. I don't know if maybe he got mad at her yesterday morning when she told him she was staying home and maybe that upset her. Hopefully she will feel ok Saturday, when DD goes. DD will go to see her even if she calls her up and says she doesn't feel like it.

Our turkey dinner was nice - except I totally forgot to buy yams! DH is the only one who likes them (alot) haha. I will run into town and pick some up today so he can have with leftovers. We did end up having to listen to neighbors new dog bark all day long, as soon as they left. What, do they think he doesn't bark? By early evening we got to wondering if this was the weekend they said they were going out of town. So, I texted her and as nicely as possible tried to say your dog is driving us nuts. I said is this the weekend you guys are at your sons? Poor B has been barking since you left and we tried to go talk to him, pet him, and gave him a treat, but it didn't help. Sorry. They got home about an hour later. It's next weekend they will be gone and they are going to board him while they are away. Thank goodness.